Thursday, November 10, 2011

letter from my sister....

from (sister)

i dont give a shit if you block me on facebook, i dont ever look at your page clearly dont give a shit about being related to me. lets just call it quits now and that is fine with me. you wont let anyone help you, you scream at mom, all she does is cry all day because of you. if this is you then you are a shitty person. a horrible human being. so if i were... you i would embrace the bipolar thing because otehrwise you're just a mean person.

go to a hospital.

take the medication your doctor tells you to take.

24/7/365 of our family's time should not revolve around worrying if you are going to hurt yourself or someone else or starve to death since you lost your job and have no money. i geuss you dont mind mooching off everyone around you... but considering that most of the people that are homeless are bipolar... you might want to take care of yourself.

I love you. i dont love you when you are like this because you're mean and completely hurtful to everyone around you.

mom and dad must be more patient because i dont have sympathy for someone who refuses to take care of themselves in any way.

my flooding your wall was for your own good. i will not apologize for that. you put psycho-path posts up and i didnt want the world to see it so i said "i love you" and "i miss you" like 30 times so it wouldn't show up. for your own protection.. that does not mean people would be afraid to write on your wall. you must have lost all sight of logic.

get some help. leave my mom alone. she cries all day. and youre just a bully and heartless if you're not manic.

i'm going to choose to beleive that you are manic. but we all know you're the smartest person in the universe and wont listen to anyone else.

(actual post from my sister from earlier this year).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trying to Chart a New Course

Okay, so I realize that the last post was both ridiculously long and quite a downer. I'll try to be a little more brief and positive this time.

My family went to visit my brother this weekend for his birthday. He's a few years older than me, and has bipolar as well. Unlike me, he has found career success and has been living a stable and productive life for some time. It can be difficult to not compare myself to him and seem completely inadequate. I wrote the previous post on Friday night, so I was deep in comparison and self loathing. I can't say that I feel a whole lot better, but I am trying to find strength to move forward and improve myself instead of wallowing.

The way I see it, I won't be happy with myself until I get some confidence back. I won't get confidence back until I try something and succeed. Rather than waiting around for a chance success, there are things that I can do to work towards setting myself up for that success.

For one, I've decided to take a few classes at the community college to improve my computer skills. On my resume I have indicated that I'm skilled in Microsoft Office and Adobe CS - namely Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. If I were completely honest with myself and my prospective employers, I'm actually only truly comfortable with Word, Outlook, and Illustrator, moderately comfortable in Photoshop and Powerpoint, and nearly clueless in InDesign, Excel, and Access. This presents a problem, since most jobs that I would be shooting for require these skills. So what can I do? I could either tell myself I'm stupid and inadequate, or I can do something about it. It does me no good to get my foot in the door by fudging my resume if I'm going to be completely clueless once thrown into the workplace.

To improve my skills, I have found two classes to take at the community college - Desktop Publishing 1, which covers InDesign; and Web Design 1. I'm a little intimidated by the idea of going back to school- I haven't taken a class in over 4 years. I figure rather than buy how-to books and let them collect dust on my bookshelf, I need some structure, assignments, and most of all, accountability. It's too easy for me to say "I'll buy a book and learn it" and never really get into it, or skim though it without absorbing the information. I hope that by taking a class, I will learn by doing and not have to rely on self-motivation. Honestly, self-motivation is clearly not my strong suit at this point.

In addition to taking those classes to increase my computer knowledge, I am going to work towards an ultimate goal of doing a mini-triathlon with my brother. I haven't fully worked out when that will happen, but for now I'm trying to take up biking regularly and increase my distance with running. I need to find a gym where I can swim- I still have a membership down by my old apartment at Gold's Gym, which I'm getting charged for every month. I can either pay to end that membership or pay to have it transferred to the Gold's that is about 15 minutes away. However, I'm fairly sure that they don't have a pool. The other option is the YMCA, which I'm positive has a pool, and is closer. I'd like to go that route, and I'm hoping Gold's won't charge me a fortune to end my membership. I'm guessing they will. On a positive note, I biked a short distance this morning and got new running shoes, which I wore on a 3.5 mile run an hour ago. Woot woot, progress.

Of course the topic I've avoided addressing so far is that I'm currently unemployed. It feels like shit. After my final paycheck comes in the mail from my most recent job, I will have no source of income. I have applied to a couple of retail stores in the area, which honestly feels like a huge step backwards. However, if I can't handle design jobs right now, retail may be my only option.

I'll take a second to say this, then get back to attempted optimism: How did I get to this point? How did I go from such success in school to feeling unable to do anything besides work retail and living back at home with my parents?

Okay, back on subject. My brother gave me the book "Body for Life", which addresses setting 5 major three month goals for fitness and life in general and tracking them on a weekly basis. I got out my dry erase board and wrote down some goals - get down to 155 pounds and participate in Triathlon, pay off medical bills and credit card, build up savings and improve credit score, become comfortable with Microsoft Office and Adobe CS, Move out of parents' house, and get closer to siblings.

Unfortunately, that's more than 5, and most are ill-defined and not clearly measurable, as well as being unrealistic expectations for a three month time period. My assignment for tomorrow, since it's nearly midnight, is to think of 5 measurable and attainable goals to reach by November 20th. I'm also supposed to think of reasons I want to attain each goal, three unauthorized patterns of action that hold me back, and three new patterns of action that will help me reach my goals. My brother has apparently used this method for 10 years. Every week he types in how he worked toward each goal during the previous week. Since my board is divided into Long Term Goals and Weekly Goals, I'm thinking I need to erase the whole thing, get it worked out more clearly on paper, and then rewrite it more clearly, with 5 3 month goals at the top, and a weekly goal in each of the five categories at the bottom. I'm generally not particularly organization-oriented, but it has become clear that I need to find a system and put it to work immediately.

There is a reason that I have been largely stagnant in my career and general knowledge progress since college. It's hard to admit, but I require external structure and direction. When left on my own to float in the breeze, I waste the day chasing butterflies instead of finding a path and following it. I procrastinate, I make vague plans with no concrete plan to execute them, and I coast by on what gets me through the day. If I don't have assignments, I don't produce. I am scared to take risks if I'm not held accountable- I may have been an honor student in college, but four years out from graduation I haven't sent out a single illustration portfolio to a magazine, newspaper or publisher. That's truly pathetic. I don't even have enough work to make a portfolio. Without someone giving me weekly assignments, I accomplish nothing.

Now, I don't mean to place the blame on some outside source; it's my own fault. Now that I recognize that I have a weakness in working outside of a structured and performance based environment, I have to find a way to create structure and performance goals for myself. This is really uncomfortable for me; I am easily distracted and discouraged lately, not to mention the fact that I've never cultivated an ability to plan progress effectively. A system is not going to fall into place and be comfortable right away, but the only way to progress is to create a structure and plan and jump in.

Tomorrow, I will make 5 goals for the next three months and I sign up for the two classes. I will also exercise, eat healthy, and try to work on one of my unfinished art projects. That's the plan anyway (<--look! I'm planning already!) Of course theres also the issue of applying for jobs... I'll apply for at least one tomorrow, even if it's just retail. Meh.

I'll update soon with my five goals and I'll keep you posted on my progress in future blog posts.

Currently my mood is cautiously optimistic, and mostly determined. Self-doubt is ever-present in my mind, and guilt and regret are still weighing down my feet, but I will not let them keep me from moving forward. I can't. I can do better, and I owe myself better. I deserve to be happy, and I won't be happy if I'm not trying, progressing, and succeeding. In the past, I've coasted by with "good enough", but if I'm honest with myself, I'm happiest when I'm pushing my limits and charging into new territory. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What happened... and What Now?

Hello Readers (If I have any),

I wish I could write a positive post, and hopefully by the end I'll get around to sounding optimistic. The truth is that I've had a rough several months. I got pretty close to giving up on myself completely, and spent a lot of time mentally berating myself and letting myself sink into depression. I'm not feeling a lot better now; I feel like I've dug myself into quite a hole and it seems close to impossible to dig myself out. A month ago I said it was impossible, so maybe "close to impossible" can be considered progress.

I'm sure it's obvious that my year didn't start out on the most positive note. I was TDO'ed (forcibly put in the hospital) the day after quitting my job on my birthday, and my boyfriend (understandably, I admit) broke up with my while I was there. It was a lot for anyone to have to handle, and I wasn't acting like the girl that he fell in love with. He was hurt that I hadn't been honest with him about my condition, but it's hard to tell someone that thinks you are so perfect that you have a huge crazy elephant in the room that he likely will not understand.

Following my hospitalization I was pretty traumatized and began acting quite self-destructively. I decided that it was a good idea to tell everyone I knew on facebook about my bipolar disorder. For some reason I felt it was my calling to be a spokesperson and make people understand. Instead, in my cloud of denial, I pushed many people away and became a topic of gossip for hundreds of people I hardly knew. I began drinking a lot, and really not caring about the consequences. I had little respect for myself and hooked up with a few guys simply because they showed interest. I guess that I felt that I had nothing left to lose. I was unemployed and had big unrealistic expectations for my freelance art and design efforts, which previously had been nearly nonexistent because of my lack of marketing efforts and business sense. However, to me at the time, it was going to make me rich.

It's hard to explain the feeling of mania to someone who hasn't felt it or had to witness it in someone they are close to. I felt incredibly smart and energetic and charismatic. I certainly drew attention to myself, but in all the wrong ways. I was getting more attention from boys when I went out, but I think it was because I was oozing self confidence (overconfidence), which made me seem together and intriguing. However, my big aspirations lacked substance and actual planning. My mind flew from one big idea to the next. I wrote feverishly, painted quickly and abstractly with lots of paint, and decided to completely redecorate my apartment. I actually thought it was a good idea to PAINT the wood floor. I painted thick green yellow and blue swirls all over the floor. Obviously, there was some delusional thinking involved. How could I believe there would be no consequences to painting the floor in a rental apartment? For me, consequences didn't exist in my mind, limits were nonexistent, and I had to forge ahead and away from everything my life had been, as fast as possible.

I lived in denial of my self destructive actions for about a month until Valentine's day, when I was arrested for Drunk in Public after drinking at a bar and not having the funds to pay for it, then getting in an argument with the bartender and then storming out, hoping to call a friend or family member to come and bring me money. In truth, I wasn't drunk, I was still manic. I wasn't thinking, and my self destructiveness and denial was barrelling toward a potentially disastrous climax. While in jail that night I had panic attacks, I cried, I yelled at the guards, and I pretty much made an ass out of myself. They insisted I was drunk. Hell, it sure appeared that way. The high of mania can be described much like alcohol. It starts out giving you confidence and euphoria, but if left unchecked can transform into irritability, irrationality, and self destruction. I had gone from the happy drunk to the angry drunk, getting angrier and more reckless with each passing day.

After being released in the morning, I went back to my apartment after fighting my parents to get my car back from their house (they had picked it up after I was arrested, and wanted me to come home with them, but I refused). I was still thinking nothing was wrong with me and was angry that they would accuse me of being manic. In hindsight it's blaringly obvious- that's were the delusion of mania comes in. It is obvious to everyone else but you that something is wrong, and you feel attacked and insulted when people become concerned and try to tell you that you're acting strangely. I had lashed out at everyone in my family and my closest friends when they tried to confront me and ask if I was taking my medication.

As you could have probably predicted, I was TDO'ed again. I had been put on lithium during the January hospitalization, and I was against it from the start. I had several side effects, including lactation. I know what you're thinking... what the fuck? Yep, I literally began producing milk, which would squirt out when I squeezed my boob. (Sorry, I'm a weirdo and refuse to say "my breast". Sounds ridiculous to me.) Anyway, how weird is that?! I also was having muscle weakness and severe nausea. However, everyone insisted that Lithium was the way to go. It had worked for my brother and is almost always doctors' first choice for treating bipolar disorder, so they forced me into it. Like many people, especially manic people, I didn't want to be forced to do anything, and wanted to go back to the medication that had worked for me in the past with no side effects. I had found a full bottle of my old medication (Lamictal) and decided that I was going to stop the Lithium and put myself back on Lamictal. Looking back, I'm sure that played a huge role in why my mania lasted as long as it did- the brain doesn't like quick drastic changes in such medications- you could say that my brain and mood pretty much rebelled against me.

I managed to go about another week at my apartment following the D.I.P. before my parents found out about my personal medication regimen and there were cops at my door. A crisis counselor was called and I assured him that I was fine, but after speaking to my parents he disagreed, and I was cuffed and taken to the hospital again. Thankfully, this time I was slightly more reasonable about the situation and stayed calm and was allowed to ride in the passenger seat of a cop car, with my hands cuffed in front of me. This was a sharp contrast to my january trip, which involved a struggle, yelling, and consequent forceful behind the back cuffing, multiple plastic zipties on my legs, and a toss into a paddywagon. This time in the hospital I was much calmer. I think the reality of the mania was beginning to hit me. After the nightmarish night in jail I realized that the mania wasn't fun anymore. I couldn't sleep, I had nightmares, and I couldn't sit still. I was irritable and impatient, and was beginning to become paranoid once I realized how many people knew after my facebook ramblings.

I knew the mania had to stop, but I didn't want Lithium. However, that's what they put me on again at the hospital. This time I didn't fight it. I clenched my fists, and swallowed the pills along with my pride. I began to turn my anger inward as my mood started to even out. I was let out of the hospital in three days this time. The anger was soon replaced with shame. My mood was coming down and the lithium was helping in some ways, but I still had the side effects. I talked to my regular psychiatrist and convinced him to wean me off of Lithium and gradually build me back up on Lamictal (the way it's supposed to be done, definitely not a situation where one can/should go cold turkey on one and start on a high dose of the other, as I had done before). It took about a month to transition, but things calmed down.

I was returning to reality, but I quickly realized that reality was not good. I wasn't a successful entrepreneur... I was merely unemployed and had paid a fee to have an incorporated business name. I had no clue what I was doing, and I was broke. Really broke. I had pushed my mother and sister away while I was manic, but thankfully my dad was still willing to visit me regularly and fill my fridge so that I wouldn't starve. I went out regularly because I was bored and lonely. I actually drank very little, mostly because I couldn't afford it. I met a good guy who was out of my league, and we quickly hit it off. However, my mood and self esteem was beginning to dip into depression and self loathing, and I didn't feel ready for a relationship. I gradually retreated, not because I didn't like him, but I convinced myself that he couldn't and shouldn't like me... the "real me".

I abruptly halted my facebook activities. I had always been active and shared funny videos and statuses and interacted with friends before the mania and facebook post-vomit, but suddenly I was completely embarrassed and horrified with the reality of my actions. I went back and deleted everything that I had written that seemed remotely crazy, and started to withdraw from social activities and avoid contact with friends. I felt defective, stupid, and un-lovable. My sister seemed to have lost all respect for me (not that I blamed her) and we barely talked. We still don't. I don't know how to get close to her again. I feel disappointed in myself and not worthy of her respect or forgiveness.

I started a job at a printing company in April, but I had begun to dip into depression and was immediately overwhelmed. I realized I wasn't very knowledgeable in InDesign, which was the program they primarily used. The work environment seemed bleak, and I got scared. So rather than sticking it out and figuring it out, I freaked. I bolted. I quit the job after two days and drove home to my parents' house. I literally ran home to my mommy and daddy. I didn't want reality, I wanted to curl up in a ball and erase the past few months. I wanted to go back to my steady job, my cute and comfortable apartment, my boyfriend, and my stability. I just wanted to press rewind, and the fact that I couldn't was absolutely unbearable and overwhelming. I was scared, and I hated myself. I felt weak for my inability to recognize and control my actions.

I started sleeping a lot. It seemed like the only way to escape reality. At first I ran every day to try to fight the depression, but my will to fight it started dying away. I wouldn't quite classify myself as suicidal, but I just wanted to sleep. Every night I wished I could go to sleep and wake up back in December, realizing it had all been a horrible dream, and I could pick right up where I had left off. Every morning I woke up and things were the same, my job and previous life were still gone, and I didn't want to get out of bed. I found any excuse to sleep- I claimed that my medications were making me sleepy- mostly I just wanted to escape reality. I often laid in bed trying to will myself into tiredness. Instead I just ruminated on the downturn of my life and my perceived complete failure. I wasn't hungry at all, and quickly lost 10 pounds. My boobs shrunk, and I convinced myself I had ruined my body. I ran less and less. Once or twice a week; each run getting more difficult because I wasn't running often enough to maintain my fitness level.

I started having trouble drawing. Things didn't look the same, and my brain just didn't seem to process what I saw anymore. Whereas I had always felt at ease with sketching things from life, it suddenly became nearly impossible to translate what I saw to the paper. I began to panic; art was something that had always defined me as a person. I felt that if I couldn't draw, I couldn't do anything. I was worried that my drawing ability was simply gone, and if it was gone, who was I? What was I going to do? How would I get a design job?

I went back to facebook, but rather than posting I just browsed my friends' pages and compared myself to them, seeing only the ways that I was inferior, and seeing their success only in terms of the contrast to my failure, their happiness only in terms of the contrast to my sadness, their attractiveness only in contrast to how unattractive I felt. I became obsessed with my appearance in a very negative way. I convinced myself that I was now ugly and would never be pretty again. I stood for long periods of time in front of the mirror, studying my every flaw and picking at any imperfection in my skin until I had red welts everywhere. I hated myself. I started mentally assessing all of the ways that I had failed in life until it was all that I thought about. This worsened my oversleeping problem and made it harder to motivate myself to exercise. "Why bother?" I thought. I suddenly became terrified to see my friends. I was convinced that they would see how much I had changed and how ugly I had become. Isolation and sleep was my way of escaping, my way of clinging to denial and my wish that I could go back to December.

My lease didn't end until the beginning of August, but I stayed at my parents house from April until then, gradually moving my stuff back to their house. I was "searching for jobs in Richmond", but in reality I wasn't searching very hard. I had mentally dug myself into a hole of denial and I wanted to just lay there indefinitely. Because of my difficulty with drawing and my lack of knowledge of web design, I didn't think I'd ever get hired for a design job, and if so, I'd never succeed. Every trip to the apartment was a harsh reminder of the events of the beginning of the year, and everything I had thrown away.

Thankfully, when I went to court for my Drunk in Public, the officer had misplaced my paperwork and I wasn't on the docket. The judge told me I should buy a lottery ticket because she had no choice but to completely dismiss the charges. It was a relief, because my mistake was not going to become a permanent record mistake.

I had regular visits to my psychiatrist, and he recognized that I was not evening out; meaning that the logical dip into depression following the mania was not going away. I was put on an antidepressant in hopes of lifting my mood. Unfortunately, my reality was actually rather bleak, so the pills did little to help besides bringing back my appetite. I began to put back on weight, a matter that I obsessed about. I weighed myself several times a day, and studied myself in the mirror. I saw a bit of cellulite that I didn't have before, and it became another thing that I obsessed about.

I forced myself to start running again, but since I had been slacking the running was difficult. I couldn't go very far and had a lot of trouble breathing, which I told myself was just another way I had failed that could not be fixed. I dragged myself out to run, but more out of fear of weight gain than for actual enjoyment. Following every run I mentally berated myself for how much I had trouble breathing and how little distance I had covered, unwilling to give myself credit for just getting out there and exercising again. I signed up for an indoor soccer team, but was unable to enjoy the games because my fitness level was so bad that I spent much of the time gasping for air. My competitive nature caused me to analyze my play and go home frustrated after every game, thinking only of my past successes in soccer and getting angry at myself for letting myself slip. My knee pain had returned (I've had three knee surgeries, most recently June of 2010) and I felt like my body was not only now ugly and fat, but also falling apart.

I had half-heartedly been sending out applications and responding to job ads on craigslist, not really expecting to hear back about anything. One day I did; I had sent a resume to a sign company about a graphic designer position that sounded almost identical to the one I had held in Richmond. They called me about 10 minutes after I sent it and asked me to come in for an interview. Instead of being excited, I was terrified. I had gotten so good at cutting myself down that I was convinced I would be incapable of being creative and performing the job. I had several anxiety attacks before the interview and almost didn't go. To my surprise, they hired me on the spot, and I started the next week.

It should have been my fresh new start, but it wasn't. I couldn't snap myself out of the mental cycle of self hate, self doubt, and depression. When I thought about work I envisioned nothing but failure. On the first day, I froze up. I stared at the screen, anxiety boiling in my chest, unsure of what to do. I got very little done, because in the back of my head I had already determined that I was going to fail. After one day I convinced myself that I was going to be fired. The second day I made myself sick with worry and actually vomited, unable to go to work. I called in on the SECOND DAY. Can you believe that? I hated myself for it, but I took some twisted relief in being able to bury myself in the covers all day and escape reality.

By the second week of work I was a nervous mess. I second guessed everything, was unable to think creatively, and got very little work done. My fear of failure was beginning to look like a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I dreaded going to sleep every night because I knew I'd have to get up and go to work. In the mornings I had to be literally dragged out of bed to go to work. My depression and desire to sleep began to border on thoughts of suicide. I didn't make plans, but I couldn't help thinking that I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up.

About two weeks in, on a Wednesday, I hit rock bottom. I simply would not get out of bed. I was terrified to go to work for fear of being fired, and I felt like a complete and utter failure at everything. I refused to get up, and even took an ambien at 8 am so that I could sleep through the day. When I woke up, my mom was sitting next to my bed. There was somewhat of an unspoken understanding. I had to do something, something had to give. I knew I didn't want to kill myself, but I felt completely out of options. I decided to check myself into the hospital voluntarily that afternoon.

I was only there for three days... they increased my antidepressants slightly, hoping to chemically pull me out of my hole. I quickly realized that doing crossword puzzles, watching tv, attending a few group therapy sessions a day, eating horrible hospital food, and sleeping on a hard hospital mattress was not going to solve anything, and checked myself out of the hospital. I found out that my boss was worried and wanted me to come back to work, so I went, but my heart and head were still not in it. I still agonized about waking up every day, still thought constantly about failing, and still got very little work done. Every day, I just wanted to go home and sleep. Most days I did, then tried to squeeze in some form of exercise before reluctantly taking a sleeping pill every night so that I wouldn't stay awake thinking.

I simply couldn't pull myself out of my hole of self-doubt. After a week and a half back, I eventually landed right where I had before, utterly unable to drag myself out of bed. This time, I knew the hospital thing wouldn't work. I made some calls and found out that the hospital offered a two week intensive outpatient counseling program; sort of a therapy bootcamp, every day from 8:30 to 3:00. I signed up to go, fully expecting to get fired and not really caring. I was still laying at rock bottom and fighting for the will to live, and working didn't seem like the highest priority. My dad talked to my boss and surprisingly, he said for me to take my time and that I could go back to work after the two week program. Rather than being relieved, I was nervous. I still couldn't see myself succeeding at that job.

Every day at the therapy sessions I talked about feeling worthless, helpless, ugly, and a failure. If it sounds like a broken record, it's because it was. It was like a tape playing in my mind on repeat. They talked about coping skills- exercise, read, draw, etc. I mentally shot them down. Exercising was a chore. I couldn't draw. Or at least I convinced myself that was the case. Every day just felt one day closer to going back to work. I felt confident enough after one week to go down to my apartment and go out for a friend's birthday, but I drank too much and got sad about everything I had left behind. I began the next week of therapy feeling worse than when I had started.

I dragged through that week, and suddenly it was time to go back to work. I felt no different. I was overwhelmed with anxiety over work from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to sleep. I worried about failing on projects; so I started actually failing on projects. I froze up, felt anxious about freezing up, and consequently froze more. I was taking way too long on projects, and my boss was starting to comment. I got more and more anxious and started making silly mistakes. The boss's patience with me seemed to have reached its breaking point, and he started telling me. He annoyedly sighed or rolled his eyes when he had to explain things to me a second time, and when I would ask questions he would often snatch jobs from me and just say that he would do them himself. Work became torture; each day was worse than the last. Finally, as I had done before, I panicked, and I bolted. I quit.

That was a week ago. I haven't really told anyone. My Mom, Dad, and sister know, but I can't bring myself to tell anyone else. Not even my brother. I feel like a total failure and disappointment to my family. My sister barely talks to me now, and she either just thinks I'm stupid or has given up on me. When I or my parents try to explain the depression, she seems to think I've just become lazy and stopped trying. I often fear that she's right; that saying I'm depressed is just an excuse. I used to be so driven, so successful in everything that I tried. Now I have trouble getting out of bed, and can't complete anything. What happened? What happened to the overflowing confidence that I had at the beginning of the year?

Well, I guess that bipolar disorder happened. I don't want to use it as a crutch or an excuse anymore, but it's always there, always affecting me and everything in my life. Now I find myself mostly withdrawn from my social life, living with my parents, unemployed, and resorting to applying to retail jobs. How did I let my life come to this? Why did I have to get this illness? I had so much potential coming out of high school, and then this all hit me, and I can't seem to keep my head above water. I hate to say it isn't fair, because a lot of people are worse off than me, but I want to say it. I want to be proud of myself. I want my parents to be proud of me. I want to have close friendships again... maybe even find love again. But how? How can I move forward and make peace with the elephant in the room? How can I build a career now that I have so many jobs in my past and so few solid skills or clear plans for the future?

I want to pull myself up by my bootstraps, but the boots feel like cinderblocks now. I am better than this. I want to fight this. I want to be happy. Where do I start?

What now?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

just a piece of what I went through on valentines day...

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Day after MLK Day

I will attempt to keep this update brief...

On January 18th, I was in a loud argument with my parents at my apartment about them smothering me (so true, I get no breathing room), and somebody called the cops. As usual, even though I stayed very calm, somehow they must have looked up my medical history... then it got "interesting". I was thrown onto the ground, handcuffed with my face shoved into the ground, and when I told them the handcuffs were too tight, they made them tighter.

Then, as I cried bc I knew what was coming, four large cops tossed me (yes, tossed) into the back of a paddywagon head first and tried to slam the door on my foot. I put my foot out bc I wanted to talk things out, and they threatened to "break my fucking leg" with the door. They then shoved my leg in and slammed the door. Although there were tons of seatbelts in the back of the paddywagon, I was not belted in, and they drove down "statue" avenue, which has cobblestones and is very bumpy. I could hear them laugh from the front seat as I bumped around in the back with their every turn. I had a pretty bad panic attack during the drive from claustrophobia.

Although some nice city cops at the Hospital tried to find a way out of it, the dickish cops who roughed me up and arrested me filled out the proper paperwork, and I was TDO'ed. I cried every day about being in the hospital, because I knew I wasn't a threat to myself OR others. I just wanted to go back home. They told me I was being depressed/manic bc I shouldn't be crying that much.

Shouldn't be crying?! I was in a mental hospital with schizos and literal crazy people, with no opportunities to go outside or exercise, and my friend and love relationships crumbling all around me, and they want me NOT to cry??

I don't get it. I plan to advocate for mentally ill people with my graphic design business. Why? Because what happened to me should NEVER happen to ANYONE. It was ridiculous and unnecessary and expensive. Not to mention traumatic. I've been having horrible nightmares since getting out, and I literally CANNOT sleep at night. I get claustrophic and antsy and weird. When the sun comes up I know everythings okay and I sleep. It's horrible.

WHY does this keep happening to me? Why can't I just get arrested like everyone else? A jail cell would beat the hell out of a hospital room. It's like my whiteness prevents me from going to jail. Sounds like a silly thing to be mad about, but if I was black I'd spend one night in jail for disturbing the peace, then I'd go home in peace. Fuck the hospital. I have a pretty good case for a medical malpractice suit and an unneccessary roughness (pardon the football term) suit against the city police.

I just want a normal life. Is that so much to ask?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Going to Start Posting Again

Well, things got a little wild again. Sigh. That roller coaster I was alluding to in the top of my blog- well lets just say its a very accurate metaphor. More information to come. Thanks to all that have read my blog in the past and the new readers that I've gained by somewhat "coming out of the closet" about my illness and my blog to a number of my friends.

Yay. Or something. Have a good night, readers. Stay tuned for some interesting updates!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

quick update- pre new years.

Hey anyone who cares to read this... still working the same job.

however, i went out on a limb and joined an internet dating site and met a guy that i really like. he's a few years younger than me, and has my exact same sense of humor. he's really into me, and vice versa, of course. things are almost too perfect, which really makes me nervous, because i haven't brought up the bpd subject. i'm going to wait as long as possible. i hate that i have to make a big unveiling out of it. i always feel like i'm hiding something, but its not like i can go on the first date and say "hi, i'm sunny, i'm bipolar. still wanna date me?"

blah. anywho i'm keeping this short because i went out tonight and honestly i'm a little drunk. the guy i'm seeing is working all night so i went out with guy friends, but since its the holidays there were a few people out tonight that i reeeeally would have preferred to have not seen. meaning people i had serious problems with when i was manic last year. people i was very cool with before the mania; before shit hit the fan with my life. i was happy when they moved outta town for work. however, since its the holidays, of course they had to visit! joy.

blah. the two guys i'm referring to were both nice to me and hugged me when they saw me, but i could definitely sense some hesitation and fakeness. blah. why did last year have to happen? it kills me. i could see them measuring me up... trying to gauge how "sane" i am now.

really awkward. no good. speaking of awkward, i had a car accident and for the past 2 months i have entrusted my vehicle with my exboyfriend, who is a mechanic. we are friends now, which is great, but there is often the awkward moment where he says something that crosses that "friend line". for instance he made fun of me for being late or something when i called him today to ask if my car was ready... and at some point he said "thats why i love you"... half-joking. who am i kidding? it was more than half joking. but the only response i could come up with was some goofy giggle. i mean, yeah, i love him, but in a caring way, an almost family way. and as happy as i am that we're friends now, i get a sense that he sees our friendship as a process of getting close to me again, and being with me again.

i haven't told him i have a new boyfriend. i don't know how thats going to sit with him. honestly, i think it will crush him. ugh i wish i could be one of those girls that does what she wants and doesn't worry about hurting boys. you know, one of those girls that has no problem with playing games. unfortunately, i'm not. i have a conscience, and if i feel like i've used a guy i feel guilty forever.

blah. i'm really sorry for the stream of consciousness nature of this post, and of course the lack of proper capitalization and punctuation. what can i say? its 2 am on a saturday night/sunday morning.

anywho. time marches on. wish me luck!

oh yeah, bonus. i lost 10 pounds! not sure how, but grateful anyhow. happy new year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I owe you an update. Grab a beer, it's a long one.

...Wow, I haven't posted in almost a year. That's pretty hard to believe.

Sorry to leave you with such a cliffhanger. HOSPITAL! COURT! LIVING IN A HOTEL! Sounds like a bad episode of Passions, doesn't it? Alas, it was actually my life about a year ago. The joys of bipolar disorder. Heavy sarcasm inserted there.

Geez, you know what? I really have no clue where to start. How about where I left off?

Ok, court was December 17th... well, it was supposed to be. George Bush came to the town where I had court, so they postponed the hearing on assault charges for THREE MONTHS. I had been up every night having panic attacks about the trial, and then they told me I'd have to wait another three months. I was unable to spend Christmas with my family. My dad's side of the family was gathering in Florida at my grandparents house, and although I was invited, I couldn't bring myself to go.

I was still far to angry with my mother. About a month previously (a week before the angry exchange that resulted in the assault charges) I had been arguing with my mother, who was heavy into the throws of menapausal mood swings at that time and is quite intense to begin with. At one point in the argument she stormed out and got in the car, and i went out and got in the passenger seat and refused to get out of the car until she talked to me. She proceeded to turn in her seat and then she kicked me, repeatedly. I didn't fight back, and my dad watched from the garage door, doing nothing to stop her. I got out and told her I was moving out and never living with her again, and closed the door. The next week I came back with a friend, hoping to get some of my belongings and that's when I bumped into my Dad on my way out of the door and drove off. My parents called the police and told them I assaulted him so that they would stop me and arrest me and put me in the hospital for treatment. I was riding with a friend who didn't really know about the bipolar stuff when we got pulled over by a sheriff, who took me off in handcuffs, told me my father was getting a restraining order on me, and then took me to the hospital and had me involuntarily admitted to the hospital. After 3 days I was released.

I had stayed briefly with a high school friend who had a drinking and drug problem that caused her to go off on screaming rants over nothing. Combine that with my already manic state and we had a definite volatile situation. I certainly couldn't go live at home after getting out of the hospital, and didn't feel comfortable going back to live with my friend. In desperation I went to the hotel where I used to work as a lifeguard and got a room for the night. I made friends with the manager quickly, who I learned had a boyfriend who was bipolar and dying of AIDS and empathized with my troubles. We made a deal that if I did a painting for her of them together she would let me stay there in the hotel free of charge until my family and friends situation (and my mental state, of course) calmed down. She is an incredible person. I still haven't finished the painting, and I feel horribly, but we talk regularly and I hope to finish it soon. Her boyfriend died of AIDS just 3 days before my court hearing on December 17th. Needless to say, a very emotional time.

Ok, back to Christmas. I had moved into an apartment with a friend of a friend by that point, and planned to stay there alone while my family went to Florida for Christmas. My Dad felt horrible about everything that had happened and stayed behind for Xmas day and we spent the day together and he flew to Florida the next day. It was the saddest Christmas of my life, although it did mean a lot to have him there. I'm actually tearing up as I type about it.

Anyway, to speed up the story, I was pretty depressed for a little while and struggled to find a job. It was a very dark time for me, life seemed quite bleak. I had scared many of my closest friends with my manic behavior in the fall, and many of them refused to speak to me. I tried to go out a few times, but always came home in tears after awkward run-ins with friends that included strange hesitant hugs and overheard whisperings about me between friends.

I had to go to a local healthcare center for the homeless/unemployed to get treatment for my bipolar disorder, since I didn't have insurance. It was extremely uncomfortable to walk in to that building, as it was within view of the dorm I had lived in a few years before while attending college. It felt like it was a million miles away from that lifestyle. The upside is that I was on medication, and I was getting through the days.

I applied to a job at a local printshop at the beginning of March and got it, despite still feeling pretty down and unsure of myself. A week after starting training, on March 17th, I had to go to court for my trial about my assault charges with my Dad. I sat silently and listened to my public defender ask my dad and the police officer about my mental state five months previously. It seemed as though they were describing someone else, not me. Who WAS that person? My stomach was in knots, and I can think of few times when my self esteem has plummetted to such depths as it did there in that courtroom.

Thankfully, the charges were dropped, and I was told that my arrest would not be on my permanent record. My public defender told me I seemed like a completely different person than the one that she had met back in December, which I'm sure she meant as a compliment, but didn't feel that way to me. To me it solidified my total discomfort with myself and the scary thought that I really had no idea who I was. I thanked her anyway and faked a smile. It was a a beautiful day, and when my Dad and I walked outside and started down the courthouse steps I couldn't help it as I started crying. It was a silent cry... just my eyes completely overflowing with tears as I bit my lip and walked to the car. My dad gave me a quick awkward hug, and then drove me back to my apartment. We had Sonic on the way- a strange drive-thru consolation lunch.

Life has been relatively uneventful since, which I'm sure to most would seem a relief. In many ways it is, since a lack of drama is a luxury not always afforded to those with bipolar disorder.

I'm still working the same job, and I now have legitimate health insurance in my own name and don't have to walk into the homeless health center anymore. I'm paying my own rent and bills... barely, but I'm squeaking by.

I've even rebuilt many of the friendships that crumbled during the turmoil last year. I go out fairly regularly and am greeted by smiles and sincere hugs instead of awkwardness, which feels really good. Either most people have forgotten or have forgiven me, because last fall is never discussed. Just the typical things- who's buying the next round of beer, what girl's butt is too big for those pants, and whether we ought to try a different bar for once. Trivial, yes, but much preferred to the serious issues I was facing a year ago.

I really want to apply to better jobs that are better suited to my degree and skill level, but I'm scared. I'm scared that my good friend BPD is going to rear its ugly head again, and my world will come crashing down. I'm afraid to aim high, lest it be that much more devastating when it all falls apart.

I know that sounds grim, but thats what crosses my mind when I think about a better job.

I haven't had a boyfriend since my ex... almost 2 years ago now. We're friends now, which is great, because he knows me better than pretty much anyone.

I've talked to a few guys, but it never develops into anything. I'm always terrified to get in too deep and then get rejected once the wonderful bipolar issue presents itself. Someone will love me anyway, right?

I sure hope so.

Anyway, I know that was painfully long, and chronologically it was a little mixed up at times, but I felt I owed whatever readers I may have had in the past and present an explanation.

Life marches on, and for now, the road appears pothole-free. I'm crossing my fingers that it will stay that way.

Wish me luck readers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my trial is december 17th

my dad claims he's going to get the charges dropped. i can't seem to find the number to the lawyer... and i'm starting to think that

MAYBE a court appointed lawyer isn't the best way.

based on past experiences.

Is there anybody out there who would like to take my case??

ask around... i'm a standup gal. i promise.


wrote this a little while back when i got back from a club in dc

i spent most of last night literally pulling tiny pieces of glass out of my legs, crying, screaming into pillows (to avoid having security called on me), and desperately trying to contact every friend i could think of to get me the hell outta this hotel.

do i hate this hotel? no.

but i have developed a number of phobias, due to hearing/ hearing about/ knowing about/ researching about so many people DYING recently.

kinda upsetting.

and when you have a vivid imagination like i do, it makes for some nice vivid dreams. dreams about big scary bombs, babies crying, moms begging, and kids being overmedicated.

visions of what happened to me in the hospital..

i dream about it. every night.

i see her coming towards me, every night in my dreams. and i'm tied down, and praying.. and she sticks me.

so you can think its funny if you want.

i continue to have nightmares.

please just let me go free, i know what i'm doing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

1st post hospital post

i just got out of the hospital... i was detained because my dad told some lies, i went home to get some stuff, and ended up bumping into him on the way out and telling him i was going to sue him for the lies he's told. I didn't really mean it, but I was angry.

he called the police, and i was arrested and charged with assault on a family member.

friggen nightmare.

i have court november 2nd. its gonna suck.

but at least i got out of the hospital.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

I'm watching "The Number 23" with my little sister.

We're both internet addicts and both quite ADD, so we're doing other things while watching. Good thing too, cause I'm freaked the hell out, and I'm sure I'd be even more so if I was paying full attention to it.

Okay, it's over now. Let's just say it wasn't my favorite movie ever. Reeeeally weird. All the stuff they said about 23 was pretty crazy. They claim its a real phenomenon that many people are kind of obsessed with. I'm going to try to put it out of my head, since I'm prone to semi-obsessive thinking. I didn't like seeing Jim Carrey in a role like that, either. I love him for his comedy, so I hated seeing him this way. There were several pretty intense sex scenes, and it was just too weird to see freakin Jim Carrey having intense sex. I mean, he's Ace Ventura. He's Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber. He's the crazy-ass Mask guy. I have no desire to see any of those characters having sex. Ever.

It was all a little uncomfortable, because I remembered some obsessive paranoid thoughts I had during my manic episode. I became convinced that there was some huge significance to the number 17- my favorite number, my soccer number, and the day of my birth- January 17th. I suddenly kept noticing the number popping up everywhere, seemed like everywhere I looked. I'd be driving and randomly look up at a mile marker, and it would be 117, or the clock kept saying 2:17, 4:17, 11:17, when I looked up; things like that. I realized that my first and second boyfriends both had the number 17 in their aim screen name, as I did. The guy I had really liked about a year previous had 17 in his sn too. Some Jehovah's witnesses came to the door at my apartment, and when I opened the door and didn't slam it right away, they started telling me how Christ was coming again and the world was coming to an end, citing chapter 17 of the book of Revelation. I know it was just the mania; me making connections where no connections existed, giving great significance to insignificant things. It definitely freaked me out, but of course, when I came back down from the episode, all the 17 stuff stopped. I remembered that I had been so sure of the number's significance, but I stopped seeing it and believing it.

That whole thing is more a source of embarrassment now, (although thats probably not the right word because no one knows but me, I guess "shame" is better) when I think about the kind of things I was thinking about during that ordeal. That's actually a huge part of why I was depressed for so long afterwards; not just the 17 thing specifically, but everything I thought and believed that was unreasonable and illogical. That shame, combined with my plummetting seratonin levels, kept me down for quite some time. It was really hard for me to forgive myself for all of that, and I guess I actually still haven't. It may sound weird to say "forgive myself", but I really hated myself for the mania for a long time, even though it wasn't my fault. The thought that I could -and probably will at some point- be that way again, haunts me all the time.

Geez, I have myself a little creeped out again thinkin about the 17 stuff... and now this stupid 23 stuff. I gotta snap out of it. I'm going to sleep, since my sister and I have been major insomniacs lately. She's leaving for college -the big freshman year- in a few weeks, so we've been burning the midnight oil with movie marathons and tivo'ed shark week shows. I reeeeally need to fix my sleep patterns; getting too "off" has tripped me into depression before- it may have played a part in the mania too. Add the bad sleep patterns to my less than stellar record of medication consumption of late, and suddenly I'm really tempting fate.

On that note, I'm off to bed. Gotta look for jobs tomorrow, I'm tired of being broke and bored. Surely employment will also help my self esteem rut and borderline-depression that I've been in lately. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Update on ex situation.

I talked to my ex today, and he's (relatively) okay. Alive and uninjured, at least. He's pretty depressed though. He's down about his ex's Dad's coma, the disintegration of his relationship with his best friend of many years, and the fact that I seem to be building a life here, and not back in the city with him. He thinks I'm forgetting about him and don't love him anymore. I assured him I do love him, but I'm not at any place where I can commit to anything or make any big decisions, because I'm so confused. I hate to feel like I'm leading him on, but I genuinely don't know what to feel about us. ARggggh so frustrating.

Anyway, I'll probably write more later, but I wanted to update, for the readers I may or may not have that may or may not have read the last post and were wondering what happened with that.

....Still weirded out about the My Boys thing. Man, that was weird. Twilight Zone material.

Ok, Hasta Luego.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Extremely Uneasy.

That's probably the best way to describe my state of mind at the moment.

The following post is quite rambly. Consider yourself warned.

The party went well, despite low attendance by my friends. Only four of my college friends came of the thirteen who had RSVP'ed, but there were six hometown friends there too. I was tempted to feel like a loser, since my brother had a much larger turnout of his friends, but I tried to keep in mind that he has been living in the area a while, and his friends live nearby. I refused to let myself get upset- instead I let myself get drunk. It ended up being a lot of fun, so I can't complain.

The weird thing was that the ex didn't come- the ex that still talks all the time of wanting to get married and have kids and all that. He usually calls me several times a day, and gets upset if he doesn't get to speak to me all day. However, the last time I talked to him was Thursday evening. He said he was going to come late to the party on Saturday, and I expected him to be there. However, I was unable to reach him Friday, Saturday, yesterday, or today, with multiple attempts each day. I had been wishing he wouldn't try to call me quite so much, but not talking to him at all for 4 days is very out of character for him, and I'm starting to get really worried. He's not the kind to get mad and ignore me without at least letting me know he's mad first. Not that he has a reason to be mad.... very strange.

One thing that makes me wonder if something is up, is something that happened last week. He called me and told me that the father of his high school girlfriend was hit by a car and was in a coma and a bodycast. He was very upset, and said he was going to go visit him in the hospital. He always calls his ex "hell-bitch", but talks about how close he was with her father, since he didn't have a son. When I explained the situation and my not being able to reach him to my mom, she asked if it was possible that he's suddenly interested in her again. I want to think that's very unlikely, but hell, anything's possible. I mean, I don't think I want to be with him anymore, but it's still weird to think of him with someone else. Especially someone he's always referred to as "hell-bitch". Mostly, I'm just worried that something may have happened to him. We don't have mutual friends, so it's likely that I wouldn't be notified if something did happen. Hmmm. Like I said, extremely uneasy.

To add to that, I watched "My Boys" tonight- the show about the chick with all guy friends. I've never watched it before, but my guy friends have jokingly called me "PJ" (the chick's name) and have insisted that I watch it. Well, tonight I did, and the first of the two episodes that aired had eery similarities to some recent events in my life. PJ has a close guy friend with whom she has had a lot of chemistry for a while. Finally (in a previous episode) they wind up kissing, and then she kinda bolts afterwards. After that, it was weird between them, and in this episode, he actually starts dating a new girl.

my boy's season one recap

Ok, weird. I know that's a common scenario, but let me explain. I had liked this guy friend of mine for like 5 years, but he moved away for a few years, then came back. Well, ever since seeing each other at a party last year, we've had crazy chemistry and whatnot. Unfortunately, I had a boyfriend. We talked all the time, but it was always innocent talk. He talked about wanting a girlfriend, and I tried to help him find one (although I secretly wished it was me). Eventually, I broke up with my boyfriend, and soon thereafter on a night that I went out with the guys, we ended up kissing (nothing beyond that). We were both crashing at another guy's house, so when I woke up and realized what had happened, I kinda freaked. I waited for a bit for him to wake up, and then ended up just leaving. After that there was a big weirdness between us. It was not discussed. I took the weirdness as rejection and made a series of bad decisions that pretty much screwed any chances I had with him. However, there was still chemistry. Anyway, he just got a girlfriend. I'm upset about it, but I have no right to be, because I was the one who messed things up.

Ok the rambling took me offcourse, as usual, but the point is- close guy friend, kissing, weirdness, new girlfriend. Funny thing is that PJ looks much like me, her guy friend looks much like my guy friend, and PJ's guy is now dating an asian girl, as is my guy friend. I'm not suggesting anything crazy like them basing it on me, I'm just saying it made me very uncomfortable, since I had been trying to avoid thinking about it so I wouldn't get upset. It was like every time something happened on the show, I was like "Come on! Seriously stop it, you're freakin me out."

My friend and his new girlfriend had said they were maybe comin to my party, but they were no-shows. It's for the best anyway, because I would have probably been all bummed out about seeing them together- I have not yet been exposed to them as a couple.

One thing that caused my post-makeout freakout with him was something he said a while back, when we were talking about him trying to find a girlfriend. Apparently, some girl he wasn't interested in was interested in him, and he jokingly said to me "I'll just tell her I'm bipolar, that'll get rid of her". He has no idea that I'm bipolar, so I tried not to hold it against him, but it felt like a major punch in the stomach. I was pretty upset about that. After the makeout, I thought about the possibility of us actually dating, and because we're both in a closeknit group of friends (guy friends except for me), when he inevitably found out I was bipolar, the secret would be leaked to all the friends, and I'd be different to all of them. I couldn't stand the thought. So I freaked.

This is a bad precedent- I haven't dated anyone but that one ex since my bipolar diagnosis (who I had been dating before the diagnosis as well), and it appears that it's going to put a major strain on my future dating behaviors. *Sigh*.

Ok that was a lot of rambling. I had to get it out. I feel a little better, a little unburdened, but still uneasy. I'll just have to wait it out and see what happens.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I just typed a good sized entry, and pressed something random and it all disappeared. I could scream. It won't let me undo. It said it autosaved but I don't know how to find my drafts. bah!

Anyway, the gist of what I said was that it's amazing I'm up so early, my sleep habits have been horrible.

I've been searching periodically to see if my blog pops up when you search for it, using words like "an inconvenient illness", "bipolar", "sunny knoll", etc. So far, nothin. Thats okay, I didn't expect to see it yet, just thought it would be cool if I did.

When I searched this morning on a blogsearch engine, I came across this article, which reeeally pissed me off. Yes, I will acknowledge that bipolar patients can occasionally be somewhat delusional. I find it hard to believe that someone, even a bipolar someone, would entirely invent a sexual assault. It strikes me as a typical cheap shot by the defense at the credibility of the victim. If he did in fact assault her, this bipolar delusional defense is a dirty low blow. Makes me sick.

Anyway, that's all for now, I'll probably write later.



Pretty impressive that I'm actually able to say that. Due to my skewed sleep cycle I've been getting to bed as late as 3 or 4 many nights, then not waking up until noon. I know, totally pathetic. I'm in between jobs right now, and since I'm staying at my parents, if I don't set an alarm, they're off at work, and I just keep sleeping. It's not that I wake up and say "screw it, I'll go back to sleep", I just don't wake up at all until that time. I've never had an easy time with mornings, but now that it's not absolutely required, I've been skipping them altogether. ha ha. I exercise once, even often twice a day quite streunously, so in my defense, I'm not 100% lazy. Maybe 75%.

It's damn incredible to look at the clock and see 6:45.

Well, I'll keep this brief, and probably write later. I'm a dork, so I've been searching google and other engines periodically to see if my blog shows up when I search for things like "an inconvenient illness", "bipolar", "sunny knoll", etc etc. So far, nothing. That's okay, I mean damn, I just started. I just thought it would be cool to see it pop up. My other blog does- the non-incognito one (damn, it's like i'm a superhero with an alter ego), even though I've only posted once. It's been viewed over a 100 times though, since it's linked to an art site, so maybe theres a number of views you have to hit before they pick you up.

Anyway, I was searching on a blogsearch engine, and came across this, which reeeally pissed me off.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I'm a little bummed out at the moment, because the weather forecast for this Saturday is 60% chance of rain, so that could put a serious damper on the river party plans. Shit. The fact that many people have to come from an hour away- college friends- means that many will likely be scared off by the weather predictions. Plus, since as I mentioned earlier, there are 40 people who said "maybe", I guessin most will be pushed to no. I'm trying my best to keep a positive attitude that it will be fun no matter what the weather and if a small number of people come, that's okay. However, I can't honestly say it wouldn't be hugely disappointing to plan a huge party, with outdoor games and boating and whatnot, and end up stuffing people into the house on a gloomy day to drink beers on the couch. I'm trying to plan some fun stuff in the case of a house party- beer olympics perhaps. Gotta stay positive.

It's been really hard to avoid being depressed lately... I feel like I'm walking on shaky ground at the moment. I just graduated from college, and I'm staying with my parents right now. I have come to find that although I have a cum laude communication arts degree that should translate into a graphic arts or advertising job, most jobs of that nature require that you know web design, which I don't. I've gone and bought some books on how to use the programs- Dreamweaver, Flash, etc.; and I'm finding that they are going to be much more challenging to learn than I originally thought (or at least hoped). Every design job I've seen listed wants a minimum of a few years experience. It reminds of that commercial- I think its for Old Spice or something- with the sophisticated looking guy talking about experience. “If you have it, you don’t need it. If you don’t have it, you want it. You need it to get more of it. Without it, you can’t get any of it.”

I actually googled it and found it. So here it is. (sidenote: if you haven't noticed yet, I'm a google fanatic. I google everything. I should buy a google t shirt.)

Anyway, it's so true. How can you get experience when every opportunity requires that you already have experience? So maddening. I need to go ahead and apply for those jobs instead of wussing out whenever I see that in a job description. I'm scared of getting a "grownup job". I never think I'm good enough. Everyone elses says I am, but I'm the most self-critical person on the planet.

The whole thing has me bummed. I took five years to finish college because I switched majors. I was a semester ahead of schedule before that, thanks to 18 AP credits, so even with the major switch it should have been 4 1/2 years. Unfortunately, I had to take a semester off when I had my big manic episode junior year, which pushed it to five. Because of this, most of my high school friends have been out of college for a year, and either have or are on their way to getting their shit together, whereas I have no freakin clue what I'm doing. I'm in debt by 950 dollars as a result of getting a credit card and having no self control, and I have no savings. Add to that that I'm an art school graduate, and it's hard to stay positive right now.

I keep getting majorly caught up in the "what might have been"s. I got really good grades in high school- finished 19th in my class (should have been higher, but even after senioritis I pulled through with a 3.9 thanks to all of my AP credits), got a 1380 SAT, three varsity letters, NHS, etc etc etc. Everyone told me I should be a lawyer or something really ambitious, but I never doubted my desire to go to art school. I got a full ride, got good grades, and all that jazz. However, now I find myself unemployable, broke, living with my parents, and hearing of all the grand successes of my former classmates. I get really sad thinking about the "glory days" of high school.

I was going to major in advertising, but instead went for the hardest art major to be admitted to- Communication Arts- and got in. I was proud of myself and all, but it turns out that illustration is mostly freelance, which is hard to find success at, and can be a very lonely racket. Had I been an advertising major, I could be going for cushy full time advertising jobs, where I'd be guaranteed hours and steady pay, fast paced work, benefits, and coworkers. They claim that a communication arts degree could lead to an advertising job- the problem is that while they taught us the visual side, we learned nothing about building a campaign, working as part of a team, interacting with clients, or any of that important stuff. This means I'd likely be stuck as a production artist, with little input on the actual campaign- slogans, commercials, radio, all the fun stuff.

But, as I said, I'm really trying to stay positive.

I've been bad about taking my medications for a little while now. I haven't been refusing to take it, but simply forgetting to. Often. A few times a week. I know I'm playing with fire here, especially given my current situation, and I'm worried.

I caught myself having some borderline manic-type thoughts the past few days. While cutting the grass today (which takes like two hours on the riding mower) I got to thinking it would be a good idea to try to write to Maxim or FHM or other such magazine and try to get them to feature me. The idea started because I have seen where they do a feature about girls who write in- usually wanting to get back at an unappreciative exboyfriend after a bad breakup, or a guy that never gave them the attention they deserved- and the magazine does them up and takes a hot picture and writes a little blurb about them. I thought about that because I recently got out of a 3 1/2 year relationship with a guy that was very controlling, and during this time I kind of abandoned my prior life and friends to spend all of my time with him.

I wanted to break up with him for a long time and was pretty miserable for a while, but I am the least assertive and confrontational person you may ever meet, so I put it off forever. I had a lot of guy friends from playing soccer on a frat team, and I started going out with them once a week a few months before I broke up with my boyfriend, and came to realize how much I missed my old life and freedom. I finally broke up with him and started going out with the guys all the time. I became "one of the guys" to them- fun to hang out with, but more like a guy than an actual girl. It was fun but got kind of annoying, since being one of the guys means getting teased like they all do to each other. One of their favorite things to do when we were out was bring up every thing they new about my love life from freshman year, giving much tease time to the more embarrassing parts. It was funny, but they even did it in front of new people that I met, which I was uncomfortable with. Plus, since I'm tall and muscular from playing soccer, they call me "Amazon" and "Gigantor" and "Xena Warrior Princess" all the time. Again, funny, but not entirely flattering. Although they say they think I'm hot, none of them act geniunely interested, and I think it's because I'm stuck in this "one of the guys" role, and they always go for skinny girly girls.

This all leads back to the Maxim idea. I got to thinking, wouldn't it be cool to be in there looking really hot, just as a "I'll show you" to my ex and all the guys. Plus it would be nice for Maxim to acknowledge that girls that are not size 2 and 100 pounds can be hot too. I've always thought it would be fun to get all done up and get some nice pictures taken, but I'm too embarrassed to actually ask anybody I know to take them. I couldn't be serious and sexy, I'd just laugh the whole time to cover my discomfort. Anyway, the whole idea kinda ballooned, and I thought about how I was gonna write the letter and send pictures and all this stuff. I thought, of course they'd want to feature me, and maybe they'd even put in some of my art. At one point I caught myself, thinking, this is starting to sound like the sort of things I was thinking when I was manic. Grandiose schemes, inflated sense of importance, etc. I tried to stop thinking about it.

I don't think I'm manic by any means, I'm not running around with a lot of energy or anything like that. It just kind of scared me, because I realized how easily I could slip back into that state of mind. I'm not entirely ruling out the idea, but I know that there is only a very tiny chance that they'd actually go for it. That's the difference- when I was manic I was absolutely positive that ideas like that would work out. I may just send in some art- I've been doing digital work that pokes fun at celebrities, the kind of thing they often feature, so maybe it would be worth a try.

Okay, once again I've gone and gotten carried away. I always do that when I write. When I was in high school, I was usually the only one that, when given a writing assignment with a page number requirement, had to fight to keep it short enough. I always had to write really small and cramped to fit it in. I'm glad I'm doing this blog thing, because I haven't been writing hardly at all in years, and I used to really love it. That was my thing- art AND writing- and for too long it became just art. It didn't feel right.

On that note, I'm going to thank you for your patience in reading this, if you made it this far. I'm gonna do some sketching and then go to bed. Nighty night.