Thursday, October 04, 2007

The mirrored, the opaque

I love watching people on the train with their effortless slickness. You watch enough and you realize they're just as self-consciously insecure as you are.

Here's the guy with the sunglasses like a shield further buffered from the now with his Ipod. He's busy but oh-so-cool.

There's the guy with an all too together not at all planned out and put together look of tweed, stripes, plaid and undone gelled hair. He's hiding behind his paper and leaves to go off to a life that has to be fabulous. He probably toils away by day at the Gap in order to live while dreaming unfulfilled dreams.

So many people with lives I might envy. Bt if I and they knew the truth, it might be my life they envy.

This guy over here is far too tall and not at all comfortable in his skin. Thin, hunched, antsy, trying to shrink but still standing out in his wrinkled professorial clothing. I wonder where he's going.

They liken us to books. With covers. That has a deep ring of truth. Never judge a book by it's cover. We all wear veneers for society. We don't want anyone to know who we really are. And we offer up something half opaque half mirrored thinking we are hiding what we don't want anyone knowing.

Don't judge a book by it's cover. Wise words, indeed.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Changes Changes Everywhere

Wow - it's been almost 5 months since I've posted anything. 5 months is a long time. And a lot has happened in 5 months. At least I think so anyway. I wonder how many times I can say "5 months" in one paragraph? Hee.

In one of my previous posts from the beginning of the year, I'd pledged to begin taking care of myself. I'd gone to a psychiatrist and been prescribed medication and also had an upcoming appointment with a therapist. Let me say all of that is the best decision I have EVER made.

I'm still seeing the therapist. I've been seeing her once a week since January. Just being able to talk to someone objective has made all the difference in the world. I'm not a talker by nature at ALL and I thought it would be really weird. But you know what? It wasn't. And it's not. It's a very cathartic experience.

I feel so free. Much lighter. We started at where I was and now we're working backwards. I didn't really want to work backwards, because even though I didn't and still don't know all that troubles me (and really, who does?), I DID know that my troubles were most likely caused by past events. It's hard looking back but it's good for me. And it's making me stronger.

I knew I had many issues with my past. I knew my past made me very angry. I'm still angry. But at least now I can express it. Which is more than I can say of previous times. I carried that anger inside for so many years. I was angry that I was angry. I was angry that no one could SEE the anger. I was angry that I couldn't rid myself of the anger. I was angry that I couldn't EXPRESS the anger. And it was eating me up inside.

There are people in my life upon who my anger is projected towards. There are situations from my past that I am still angry about. Situations of growing up that made me angry as a child, and now as an adult the anger is very real and finally THERE as anger. As a child you feel something but there's no outlet, sometimes no name for it. And that stays with you, as it has me.

I've always been the "good" person. The calm one. The one that can "make-do". You have no idea how much that pisses me off. With the help of the therapist I am seeing what that has done to me. I am seeing what I can DO about it. I am seeing that though that WAS me, it doesn't have to BE me. Part of my anger is reconciling who I was FORCED to be (through circumstance and necessity) with who I AM.

I am going through so many changes so fast. I should be scared, but I'm not. I'm elated. I'm angry. I'm happy. I'm confused. I'm saddened. And I welcome ALL of that. I'm ridding myself of what I call my Tin Man Syndrome. I can FEEL.

For so long I felt dead inside. Unable to express emotion. Unable to FEEL emotion. No clue what I should be feeling in what situation. Only aware that "normal" people would feel something at some point in some situation. But I couldn't. I was so used to caging up all of who I was, that I lost my essence.

Depression is a bitch, ain't it? I am truly amazed at how much depression has affected my life. How much it has held me back. Medication has done wonders for me. I'm still on Lexapro and Klonopin. My Lexapro dosage was upped from 10 mg to 20 mg. My Klonopin, however, is being decreased gradually. By the end of the month, I will be off it completely. I've just gotten a prescription for Ambien because sometimes I have trouble "turning off" to sleep. But my sleep is so much better now than before. I used to go to bed late, still not sleepy, couldn't fall asleep, and once I fell asleep, I would wake up 4-5 times a night. So I was averaging MAYBE 3 hours of interrupted sleep. That makes the world so very gray and foggy. Now I'm working off of 6 to 7 hours of good sleep. And it has made a world of difference in how I feel physically.

I don't have panic attacks anymore (the upping the Lexapro dosage took care of that for good). I still have symptoms of PTSD (the sleeplessness), but nowhere near as bad as what it was. I know I still have the GAD, but its effects are being lessened every day through the medications and through therapy. And I still have depression. Depression is a part of my life, but no longer my WAY of life. I can tell if I'm in a down cycle. But I snap out of it. Being self-aware now, helps me a great deal. Therapy is teaching me how to deal with all of this.

No things aren't all birds and pretty flowers and trees, but at least I can see the world in color. I can't remember the last time I could do that. I have seriously been living in this horrible horrible gray state of turmoil AND nothingness for as long as I can remember. It doesn't seem quite so horrible when you're in it, even though you know something is wrong, but NOW, having some space and being able to peer from outside to inside, I honestly don't know how I lived in that.

I feel blessed this year. Very blessed. I feel that by finally admitting I had a problem and admitting I needed help, I started the process to free myself. By freeing myself, I opened myself up to new experiences and a new me. Something I'd feared before, but now welcome with open arms.

The amazing thing is that other people have noticed the changes in me. Being IN this, I didn't really think that there would be anything VISIBLY different, but apparently there is. My boss (now retired) was aware of what was going on (since therapy is during work hours) and she thoughtfully stated one day that I was such a different person. I was interactive. I was engaged. I was proactive. My roommate (who of course knew too) told me that I was different, as well. I was out of my room. Talkative. Animated. All of that shocked me. I had no idea that others could see or would see. It was and is still very touching to me that people care enough to validate what I feel inside.

At work, I'm doing well. Though my retired boss is still around two days out of the week, I am mostly on my own. I have a new boss, but she is our leader and very busy, so I'm entrusted to perform my own duties. That would've scared me shitless before, but now I'm confident. I've been at this post for 11 years and my feeling is "you can do this, girl". I'm smart, I'm educated, I'm well-trained, I'm fit for this job, and I'm qualified. So no problem. One thing at a time. One step at a time. And I'm good.

Also another very much unexpected change. I have been without a relationship for almost 5 years. I was not looking for a relationship. I did not want to meet anyone. I did not CARE to meet anyone. I was almost resentful that being with someone would take away my precious time.

Well wouldn't you know that shortly after staring the meds and therapy, I met someone. Wasn't even trying to meet anyone. But for whatever reason I was so open to him. And now I have a boyfriend. He means so much to me. We've grown close quickly but I'm very comfortable. It's still a fairly new thing for me, but I am blessed to have him in my life. Every day with him is a day I welcome. And I actually APPRECIATE him and enjoy his company. That is very very weird for me.

I am making an active effort to PARTICIPATE in this relationship. I'm 30 now (WOW!) and this is probably the most GROWN relationship I've been involved in. Real people. Real problems from the past. The real deal. And I couldn't be happier.

Once more I can see I wrote a lot. I've been writing for a half an hour at least. But that's me. I always love to write and now I have the energy to care enough to actually write. Gotta love it!

Monday, January 22, 2007

5 Things You Didn't Know About Me

OK I've been tagged by Tonyette (

1. I don't like people
I really don't like people. At all. Not all people, of course, but generally speaking. I think it's because I think people are stupid and not worth my time. People are superficial beings. And really not all that intelligent. They're dumb to the point of making me angry. I just tune them out and go to my own little world. Either that or talk about them in my head. I used to wonder why I didn't fit in and wish that I could. Now I realize that I'm different from the average person for whatever reason and I don't give a damn about fitting in. Because then I would be just as dumb as them, and then where would the fun of that be?

2. I'm secretly a fashionista
Sure I'm like why the hell would you spend $8000 on a purse when I'm struggling to save $1000 for a vacation. But I would love to be able to afford to dress like I want to. Nothing too extravagent, but something more well made than things I buy from Value City, Target, Burlington and occasionally Ross or Marshalls. I did just buy my first ever thing from Bebe. And I bought some new glasses by Fendi. And a few months ago I bought my first ever thing from Nordstrom (perfume). But just for once I'd like to be well put together so I'm not ashamed of how I look all the time. But I can't afford to look nice. I'm still paying my debt to society from where I screwed myself over during college.

3. The "Other" Me
There's another "me" that comes out sometimes. People don't really see her a lot. But she's actually the real me. The me that I would be if I wasn't forced to be this me that people expect to see. I'm not actually this boring, this quiet, this conservative, this whatever. I am currently the product of people's expectations. And I hate that more than you can know. I am slowly making my transition into the product of my own expectations and screw everyone else. I am convinced one cannot be completely happy unless one is true to one's self.

4. Possums
I hate possums. Those are the ugliest creatures (other than hagfish, but that's another story). It's not that they're ugly ugly, but they're sneaky. They always look like they're up to something. Like they're waiting for you to turn your back so they can rip your spinal cord out through your neck. Or sneak into your house and steal your young. What's the purpose of a possum, anyway?

5. Morning Glories Make Me Happy
Most people don't even know what a morning glory is. They're simple vined flowers that come in purple and pink shades. In the country they shut their blooms at night and open up with the dew and the sun every morning. Their beauty is in their simplicity. And they remind me of one time in my life where I was closest to being truly happy. Also honeysuckle and sassafrass make me happy. Honeysuckle is another vined flowering plant with yellow and white blossoms. you can pluck them and suck the nectar through the bottom. And the fragrance is so pretty. Sassafrass just smells good. You can follow your nose to the trees, pick a leaf, crush it, and the scent is amazing.

I tag my sister Miss Aly

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Resolutions and Such

I never make resolutions. Ever. I don't like being told what to do - not even by myself. Just a quirk I have. Or perhaps it's because I'm a Taurus. When I do decide to do something it is sudden and seemingly out of the blue. But not really as I give everything I do a lot of thought but only act on it suddenly.

So far this year I went to get my eyes checked. Something I really needed to do and was overdue for. Which is important since I wear contacts and can't see worth a damn without them. Everything's fine. I found a new eye doctor whom I really like, got a new contacts, a new type of contacts and splurged on some hot new glasses. Not that I wear them outside the comfort of my apartment, but still. The ones I have now are very old, very ugly, and literally held together by thread. I need to stop that. That making do type of shit. I was raised like that and as I grow older, I realize that it is totally not necessary at this juncture in my life to "make do". So why do it?

Something far more important I did was something that will hopefully save me the fate of other family members. I went to see a psychiatrist. Picked a name from my insurance list and went to him. Yes I need help. Yes I've known this for many years. It suddenly came to me the other week that again, why the hell should I make do? I'm not ashamed, so why shouldn't I help myself? It's exhausting me being as I have been probably since the age of 11. And getting progressively worse. The psychiatrist diagnosed me with general depression (which I suspected), general anxiety disorder (again, which I suspected), PTSD (suspected that, too) and panic attacks (had NO idea). And now I'm on two medications - Klonopin for the anxiety and Lexapro for the depression.

For the first time in a long time I can sleep at night. I fall asleep and don't wake up until my alarm goes off. Since I've only been on this stuff a week, of course I don't know the long-term effects, but I am optimistic. Not to pat myself on the back, but I am very proud of myself for saying fuck it, I'm doing something for myself and to hell with everything that has been bringing me down.

My psychiatrist also suggested a therapist for my PTSD issues. My first appointment with her is Wednesday. Lord knows what flood gates THAT will open. I am well aware I have more issues than just the PTSD. The main one being anger from childhood up through now. THAT should be fun when it comes out.

I've only told a few people about all of this. Again, not because I'm ashamed but because I don't need to hear shit like "Oh you just need some - that's why you're depressed" or "Well what do you have to be depressed about?" Spare me, people. Statements like that are why I think most people are flaming idiots and so not worth my time.

At any rate - I think this is a great start to '07. Instead of sitting on my ass wishing for change, I've started the cycle to MAKE change. And isn't that really all any of us can do?