I don't have anything to write about

This is fairly straightforward. I don't have anything to write about. Scratch that. I feel like I don't have anything to write about. I think I don't have anything to write about. I think I don't have anything interesting to write about. If I don't have anything interesting to say, why say anything at all?

I used to pride myself on turning mundane, everyday goings-on into comical mishaps. But... I haven't done that in months. Years? I felt too frustrated and depressed to bother. My brain wouldn't allow for that kind of creativity.

I've changed my external world. I'm not reading into what you say, the words you text, the ideas you write. I take your words at face value and don't try to dig and make excuses and understand why you say what you say or how you say it. If you do not exude the kind of energy, positivity, good intentions, honesty, communication that I want, then I'm not interested. But if you do... let's see where things go.

"Don't mistake kindness for desire." I've spent most of my time the last weeks thinking about those words. I typically read these kinds of critical, keen observations from an acute, as-intersectional-as-I-am-currently-knowledgeable-but-still-cis-white feminist lens, directed at *men.* But I've come a long way in my three years of therapy. Instead... Instead, I thought of myself. Have I surrounded myself with people so unkind that I'm not longer familiar with that quality? So unfamiliar that when I experience it, I mistake it for desire? I have devoted my intentions to develop kindness as my baseline. This means that some people are no longer in my life -- and for which, I am all the better. It also means respecting boundaries that others (men) set with me.

You say you only want to be friends? Okay, fine. But that means I will interpret your words as such forever. I cannot believe you'll change your mind at some point. I can't imagine what life would be like if we dated. Can't hold on to a thing that is not real and was consciously rejected by you.

I'm deconstructing some of my own boundaries. Friendship is my priority. Fostering dynamic, respectful relationships. But I've been guarded and insecure for a long time. Attempting a new friendship terrifies me. Deepening relationships I already have terrifies me.

Being rejected for who I am terrifies me.

The more myself I become, the more joyful I feel. I'm excited and confident and I want everyone to feel this way. It's a lot easier for me to achieve these successful, enjoyable friendships when I enjoy myself. And I really fucking do.

Anxiety, Agency, and Trauma (oh my...)

I recently went out with a guy. It was going great, late into the night. A lot of easy conversation and joking and laughing. Until we got on the subject of why we both moved here. Both fleeing, for one reason or another. He was transparent about why he came here, and that conversation had flowed well until he asked 

what trauma brought me here.

I haven't perfected my light, breezy brush off for that question. I haven't thought about it at all. I certainly hadn't expected it to come up in our otherwise fun and carefree night.And so, typical me, overwhelmed by someone who barely knows me identifying events, which I have only considered in passing, as traumatic, started to cry.Just kidding!I pushed those tears back into their ducts with a sharp pain in my nose and a tight throat, looked down at my drink, and mumbled whatever I could to move away from the question.

What brought me to the other side of the country?

A lot of things! But the final straw was a few terrible people.  And that is what I could and should have said! Or, "A bad relationship and terrible friend." Or, maybe, "I fell in with a bad crowd and spending time with them amplified my worst traits, insecurities, and weaknesses." But even if I had those answers prepared, I probably would have reacted with the same overwhelming panic.Trauma isn't something to be taken lightly, and I'm hesitant to identify anything in my life as traumatic, because of the lingering, subjective question,

was it really that bad?

Some people I trusted were mean to me. Lied, laughed at me, snuck around together. They were cruel. I'm sure that at least one of them enjoyed the pain she caused. BUT no one died. There was no natural disaster. No physical or sexual abuse. No accidents, no violence.I hear the word "traumatized" thrown around a lot. I'm cynical about the reason. Do people open up more about trauma these days? Are they so casual about their mental health? Or has the word been dissociated from the weight of its meaning? My friend was traumatized when she saw a micro penis. Someone at the table next to me was traumatized by a test she took. I don't want to victimize myself. Am I truly traumatized, or am I another person overlooking the true implications of the word?

I'm more affected that I'm willing to admit.

When I think of that traumatic year for what it was, I think about the people involved, still laughing at me because I'm unable to move on. Doesn't she have anything else going on in her life? She's pathetic.I have moved on...but the impact isn't gone. I still don't understand what happened. I don't understand motives. Was my boyfriend emotionally abusive? I don't think so and never have. But he was manipulative, right? I don't know... he seemed too honest to be manipulative. But I am sure that I was manipulated. He did what he wanted, never mind me, and I was anxiously attached, along for the ride.Any evidence I have that points to emotional abuse doesn't seem good enough. I was never belittled or threatened, never forbidden from going certain places or spending time with certain people. He didn't seem to care what I did, or about me at all, for that matter.Emotional abuse can look like many different things. That emotional neglect and disregard for my needs are forms of emotional abuse. But I had a hard time accepting that, because of the context of our relationship. At the point in time when our relationship became categorical emotional abuse, he would not accept the title of boyfriend and would not tell me he loved me. From the outside, I looked like a girl obsessed with a guy who had made his boundaries perfectly clear. I came off as crazy. Needy and overly attached. Delusional. Creating a relationship that didn't exist.

How could he be negligent when the relationship was one sided?

Well, let me tell you! I've written about this relationship before; a long-winded, near-sighted version right after the fact. This is the abridged version: My boyfriend put in the emotional labor when he was wooing me. In more technical terms, he groomed me. He spoke poetically about his feelings and wanted to spend every moment together. We did spent every moment together. We spent time with his family and his close friends. He told me he loved me more than anyone he'd loved before. He told me about countless instances where he had been victimized by life and his dad. How much his mom and sister didn't like any woman he dated.I thought that the chemistry between us was the stuff of epic love stories. I wanted to support him and stick by him no matter what. I felt special because he had chosen me.The rest happened months later.So, you can see why I had certain expectations about that relationship.But, until recently, I refused to accept that 9 month relationship was emotionally abusive, or even manipulative. It seems so mild compared to other kinds of abuse. I thought that I was complicit. I chose to stay with this "man" (who had the emotional maturity of a young boy), waiting for things to go back to how they were in the beginning. I lived for the breadcrumbs he left me.I thought I was in control, that I made informed decisions of my own free will. Except... that's the thing about manipulation. He took advantage of my emotional depth and vulnerability. I didn't know what was happening. I didn't have the emotional intelligence to recognize that my feelings were vicious anxiety, not love. The choices I made were not my own. I was powerless. Without agency, were my choices really my decision?

They were not.

My actions and words were always based on his. They were attempts to get his attention and love. Simple as that. The end.But wait, there's more! There were other people in on the joke as well, which compounded the problem. People who were my friends. Namely, a close friend who betrayed me with my boyfriend, and her ex, who I even dated later on. (Clearly my penchant for putting myself in problematic situations didn't stop after that relationship.)The paranoia I've had since high school, that people are playing a joke on me, laughing about me behind my back, was reality.

For years, I wondered what was real.

I didn't move on. I dwelled on questions I would never have the answers to; which of his feelings and words had been genuine, which situations were organic. But I have long since stopped trying. All that I can do is accept the reality of that abuse and trauma.I used to wonder if I would be in the same place I am now--physically, mentally, professionally, socially--if that year was different. I don't think about that anymore. My most significant growth to date has come from my worst mistakes, and without that year, I could be a very different, lesser person. I am not grateful and I'm not appreciative, but I'm in a better place.Trauma motivated me to move the fuck on from the life I was stuck in. To get away from the townie boyfriend who had nothing going for him. To move away from mean girls who have nothing better to do than tear each other down. To find better, more constructive ways to spend my time. And I have!I have good friends and date better men. The friend who inspired this writing is genuine, intelligent, thoughtful, and creative. At first, I was naturally interested being more than friends. But he was not. And at first I was upset; my feelings were hurt. But if I didn't want to be friends with the men I want to date, then what's even the point? I want high quality people in my life, and they are not so easy to find. A good friend is good enough.

Sometimes Things Really Happen, take 2

Part 1 of this post has not been published, because it's close to 3,000 words and I cannot see the end. I got a bit carried away, creating a narrative and the right tone, proofreading and re-writing as I went.Let me go back to the beginning, before that post went awry.In May, weeks before my birthday, I started writing an evaluation of my life over the previous year, with the intent of identifying what kind of changes had occurred, and how I've grown and changed. Or not.


A year ago

I had a crush on an attractive bartender who lacked any noticeable substance. I had a one night stand* with someone who looked at me with awe. Since then, my need to feel wanted ceased.I recognized and embraced my own uniqueness that comes in so many forms; my love for animals, riding horses, my little bratty bird; more than a writer, I'm an artist; I surround myself with plants. I'm hella accomplished, hella smart, and always try to be friendly, be kind, and do good.Around the time of the bartender and one night stand, I put my party ways away for good. I transitioned into the next installment of life. The financially responsible one, that is dedicated, committed, and loyal to friends and projects that I care about.For years I was extracting poison that lingered, from a source I refused to acknowledge, in a successful attempt to move on.(That's right. Successfully.)I have an entire life to lose. It's filled with things that matter, like being a real, functioning human. Existing in the world, in the peripheral of strangers' worlds. To see and be seen. To radiate existence.

A Year of Progress

I became less passive aggressive, but still too possessive. It's jealousy. I feel threatened by other peoples' skills and accomplishments, as if they invalidate mine. But the fewer passive aggressive, possessive, insecure people I spend time with, the less inclined I am to feel any of those things.Many times jealousy has lit a fire under my ass and inspired me to create, but I don't think art can be created from jealousy. Art can be inspired by happiness, sadness, anger, hopelessness, loneliness... most things. To me, jealousy seems too impure of an emotion to inspire. I don't want to create based on the desire to best than another creator. That seems very lonely.Even though I (mostly) don't let me jealousy get the best of me—I cannot begrudge quality, no matter what my insecurity says—I can question the honesty, vulnerability, sincerity, of other art. Criticism is fair, even if it stems from jealousy. Honest, respectful, sincere feedback.I do not like ostentatious shows of self-praise or accomplishment—YES, there's a difference between being proud and being a braggart—but I learned to temper my humility, a trait tied to my insecurity, and express myself in a way that is comfortable and which is intrinsic to my education. Like hey, guess what, I'm smart and I'm educated. I paid for this shit and I won't pretend to be less than so other people feel comfortable when I speak. 

And where am I now?

At an office job in the best office environment I'll ever find, not that I was searching in the first place. I'm exhausted by Friday; being around people is exhausting, making eye contact, saying hello, making actual conversation. And then there's the part where I do work on a computer all day, and talk about work on conference calls, and talk to my team about strategies for work.After the first couple of months, feeling like I was back in high school, I got past the curves of settling into my place. I'm not the same as my high school-self, and I'm not the same as my one year ago-self.I like work. I like the people in this community. The work challenges my mind. 

A woman can be many things at once.

Because still I am my high school-self, and she is my elementary school self. I do the work to be more than the young women before me, and there is more work to do. I think there always will be, but want to do that work, and I try my best.


There you have it. A blog post that, by my standards, is unfinished and unremarkable. I don't want to post it but I don't want to keep writing it. The only way I would feel satisfied publishing these words would be if I spent all my time going over every word choice countless times, cutting, pasting, re-arranging, only to decide the original was best. But to even write a complete post would take weeks, if I really committed. But this is a personal blog, not the New York Times. So I'm DONE.I think that's progress.

Trivializing My Mental Illness, Can You Not?

I am not particularly good at speaking up in the moment, so when a friend told me that a TV show cured their depression, my eyes bugged out of their sockets but my mouth stayed shut.

I know that was a throwaway comment not at all meant to trivialize depression, but it did. I have dealt with depression for well over a decade and with it: anxiety (general anxiety, social anxiety, obsessive & compulsive tendencies), occasional panic attacks, constant irritability, apathy, inability to acknowledge accomplishments or feel rewarded by them, lack of emotional reactivity, constant fatigue, weight gain, lack of appetite and surprising weight loss, insomnia since I was 10 (the earliest I can remember, though it likely began before then), headaches from the moment I wake up, sometimes migraines, and psychomotor slowing and agitation!

And then there was a period in my early teenage years when I thought about dying every day.

whatever-regina-george-mean-girls-cheese-fries

Yes, I looked up all of those symptoms, for two reasons. One, because when I try to think of how depression has affected my life, I always draw a blank, the same way I'm unable to answer a question on the spot (or speak up in the moment); my brain cannot cut through the fog quickly enough to do so.  Two, I can't remember a time before I felt this way, cannot remember what my life was like before, and cannot say how depression has affected me, because depression is my life. I have only recently, the past year at most, begun to extrapolate my actual personality, sense of self from the condition that grew roots so deep into my being and wove them so tightly around every fiber that I didn't know that the depression was not me.

So, when I hear that cutting out sugar and "eating better" helps depression, I remember when food was the only thing in my life to which I looked forward. When I hear that "small goals" help depression, I remember my STILL PRESENT avoidance and thoughts of futility and failure. When I hear that "getting out of the house" helps depression, I remember feeling like everyone was watching me, whispering, laughing about me, judging me when I left my home. When I hear how "being active" helps depression, I remember my low, low self-esteem and imminent failure.

Getting better is not that simple.

When I hear anyone dole out advice that suggests ignorance to the difficulty--impossibility--of achieving seemingly easy, every day activities, errands, actions, I say what the fuck do you know about depression and shame myself for not expressing compassion for their well-intended attempt to help.

For the record, YES all of that well-intended advice does help. But it is not, by any means, that easy. Not easy to get better and not easy to even put those suggestions into action.

I can only speak to what I have experienced and the accounts I have read, but the act of existing is exhausting when you are depressed. For anyone who experiences depression on an episodic or reactive basis, the experience is so, so different from a persistent depressive disorder. There is even debate about the conditions encompassed within the diagnosis "major depressive disorder." All that a diagnosis requires is experiencing 5 or more symptoms at once, over a consistent two week period. But how can someone who experiences 5 of those symptoms for exactly two weeks have the same experience as me, someone who has experienced all 9 of the possible symptoms, often all at once, for years and years?

HOW????

It is after two years of therapy and the highest legal dosage of antidepressant & anti-anxiety medication bupropion, highest legal dosage (and occasionally 30mg higher) of additional anti-anxiety med, buspirone, and nightly sedative/antidepressant trazadone that I have upgraded to a consistent state of relative okay-ness (okay being feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, difficulty being productive, and generally gloomy disposition), which as far as I can tell is "persistent depressive disorder" with regular but brief bouts of what I guess is categorized as "major depression."

And in this vein of trivializing depression, I imagine that someone who deals with never-ending major depression, the actual major kind with which I used to deal, the idea of persistent depression, that state of relative okay-ness, seems like a walk in the park, and I know I'm fortunate that my mental health has improved to this extent.The good news: I am doing things again! Things that I enjoy! Sometimes I even feel feelings of enjoyment while doing them. But the accomplishment here is that I am not avoiding things I love due to my fear of failing at or not enjoying them. Like spending time with horses. Reading books. Painting. And writing! Writing this blog post!Part of this writing success is due to my discovery of new bloggers and artists around my age who express their vulnerability through their art. Vulnerability of being themselves, of sharing their fears, failures, and talent with the world.But part of it is my own pettiness, from witnessing art that claims mental health as inspiration or artistic platform, but does not claim the vulnerability necessary, and knowing that I could do better.My success is not (yet) a large audience, but is within myself, having not found writing that is exactly what I want to read, knowing it's up to me to create that. My success is slowly, surely, steadily writing that story. 

love doesn't fix your finances

I told the man I have been involved with for a year and a half that I love him. I felt more comfortable with him that night than I have ever before, with anyone I have dated. I felt secure and so full of love for days after. Yesterday that good mood ebbed away. I recognized the ebbing when I woke up to my alarm--"Waking up with a smile makes your day better"--and mustered only an eye roll, but had a good morning, and didn’t notice again until the afternoon. Such an amazing feeling is finite and when I recognized its faded presence, I wondered what I could do to sustain it, what had happened for it to go away. I blame money. After feeling so steady with my finances, sure of my financial planning and goals, I suddenly had several hundred dollars less than I expected, with several more necessary errands I need to run before my next paycheck. Never mind that my checking account is in a significantly and progressively improved state. Love did not fix my finances and despite what I felt and believed for days, did not make everything okay. As I deflated, I regressed to habits I’d given up for approximately five days, eager to re-establish a familiar connection with my anxiety, only to continue feeling exactly nothing.

Amphetamine Logic

I've been consistently taking Adderall for almost a year now! Crazy how time flies. My usual psychiatrist is very wary of treating his patients with stimulants, which I think is reasonable, given that I've been abusing* them off and on for five years. Surprise!Obviously I didn't tell my psychiatrist that. If he knew, he'd never prescribe me what I want. Not that it matters, because he doesn't think my legitimate difficulty paying attention warrants use of a highly addictive, widely abused substance. Bummer!Since he didn’t immediately hand over the addies (mad respect though), I found a different doctor who does! Honestly, getting an amphetamine prescription is super easy. So easy, in fact, that I got my first prescription by accident!Let me explain.Around my third or fourth appointment with Bummer Psychiatrist, we were still in the half-hour, drug consultation phase of our appointments. I told him the non-stimulant alternative he'd prescribed weeks ago wasn't working. I thought that finally, my patience would pay off. Adderall, here I come! But nope. He recommended that I get tested for ADHD. Not a blood test. Not a brain scan. He might have meant the long ass questionnaire, which costs more than an actual thousand dollars. But from what I understood, he meant the TOVA test, a seizure-inducing adaptation of the 80s arcade game, Pong.Just kidding. It's not really an adaptation. More like a straight up ripoff. Just kidding again. I mean, I don't know.Being his usual bummer self, my psychiatrist had set up a catch-22. Option A: I don't take the test, can't "prove" I have ADHD, and don't get addies. Option 2: I do take the test, it suggests that my symptoms are mild to nonexistent, and I don't get addies. But how hard could it be to exaggerate those symptoms for a test?So I figured that if I took the test, Bummer Psychiatrist would give me my drugs, and that would be that. But of course, he did not actually have this computer game test at his office. I finally scheduled an appointment with the Middle Eastern doctor that kept popping up in my ZocDoc searches, whose office was all the way in freaking Hermosa Beach.After driving for close to an hour, the receptionist showed me to the psychiatrist's impersonal, poorly lit office, overlooking the 105. His desk was opposite the the long blue couch I sat on, but they both faced the same direction. Eventually the psychiatrist came in and I was taken aback by how distinctly opposite he was from the picture on ZocDoc. Instead even remotely Middle Eastern features, the man in front of me was white. Sort of. His face was pretty red and his skin was stretched tight across his cheeks, like he'd recently had Botox injections or maybe even a facelift. It turned out that the practice's namesake was NOT the only psychiatrist who worked there!Tighty McRed Face introduced himself and I think I hid my confusion pretty well. Then he sat down at his desk with his back to me, like I wasn't there! You'd think that someone with an MD in brains would have more sense than that. Immediate rejection vibes. Like I wanted to look at his creepy face, anyway.He swiveled his chair around and asked me what I was there for. With a strong foundation of confusion and blatant disregard laid, I mentioned my difficulty focusing and the TOVA test. I would have said more, but he interrupted me and just talked and talked until he talked himself into writing me an Adderall prescription a few minutes later.That's it! I hadn't even taken the test, but I got a prescription, anyway! I walked out and drove another hour straight to my pharmacy. The best part is that my insurance paid for all of it! I literally get generic Adderall--legally--for free! Thanks Obama!All of this can be yours** too, just by talking to a licensed physician who doesn't give a shit! And there are plenty of those.2nd picDon't get me wrong. I really don't like going to this guy. I just think if you're going to prescribe a widely abused stimulant, you should be more discerning. I also really don't think I should be more responsible than the doctor prescribing me drugs. I'm not even responsible enough to own a dog!But obviously if I see a responsible physician, they're not going to prescribe me Adderall, because I don't have ADHD. Was that not clear? I definitely don't have ADHD. And I do see a responsible physician, and he won't prescribe me stimulants. Point made. But stimulants help so much, and plenty of drugs are prescribed off-label!

*calm down, the term is for hyperbolic effect.

**some exclusions may apply.

 

All I Want for Christmas is a New President

On Wednesday, November ninth, I woke up at six a.m. and in the dim light, swiped through my phone to Facebook. News from the night before had not changed. I thought it would have changed.I walked the few feet from my bed to my bathroom and peed while the fog of my dreams lifted. I stood up to brush my teeth and wondered what I'll do if I ever need an abortion. Instead of reaching for my toothbrush, I gripped the counter and crumpled to a squat, crushed by the force of my sobs.Eventually, I brushed my teeth. The sight of my puffy eyes and red face in the mirror threatened to propel me to further ugly crying. I didn't look at myself again.I tried not to wake the bird as I crept into the kitchen. We'd both been up late the night before, but if he didn't get at least ten hours of sleep, he'd squawk all day and forget the rules about biting.I poured the cat her breakfast. Pieces clanked into the metal bowl. I filled her water dish.I wish I was a cat.The bird quietly stirred. I adjusted the blinds to filter light in, to wake him gently and hopefully prevent the squawking. He wouldn't get his ten hours.I texted the man I stopped dating less than a week ago. I went to work.I spent the next four hours grooming horses in ninety degree heat and getting yelled at by a woman I barely know. I drank a bottle of water. An orange Gatorade. A blue.I didn't think.Before I drove home, I checked my phone for the first time in hours. The man I wasn't dating hadn't replied to my text from that morning, or from the day before, or to finish the conversation he had started days ago.I projected my feelings of loss on him. If I could fix us, I'd feel better. The rest wouldn't matter so much.Instead, I spent the next half hour driving home and crying. Pressure in my forehead threatened to become a dehydration migraine. I tried not to cry too much.My friend's birthday party was that night. I knew about it for weeks. I imagined twice the celebration: her birthday and our new president. Or at the very worst, her birthday and an end of the world blow out.I knew I'd go. I'd recover by then. I would rest my heart and watch TV for hours and be ready to smile and drink and celebrate her life.Instead, I sunk further into my couch and finished the container of frosted sugar cookies from the supermarket. I didn't want to stay inside, some lugubrious blob on the warm leather couch. I didn't want to go outside, either. I couldn't do anything.I ordered pizza, even though I'd eaten so much sugar I didn't think I'd ever be hungry again. But hypothetical pizza seemed like a good food to try and fill the sadness, since my cookies were gone and I wanted salty grease.Not that anything mattered anyway.My phone rang at exactly seven-thirty and I went to meet the delivery guy. Two men leaned against the wall surrounding my complex and I looked away when I walked by. Did they feel bolstered by the results, no longer subjected to common human decency? I'd read about too many acts of hatred that day.I found the delivery driver around the corner--delivery guys always get confused around my apartment. He spoke with an unfamiliar accent. I wanted to ask him where he's from, if he's okay. I wanted to tell him I was sorry. I wanted to tell him that I'm with him. But I didn't know him. I didn't want to overstep. Instead, I looked him in the eye and said thank you. He hurried away.I walked back down the sidewalk, hyper-aware that this time I wasn't meeting anyone. No one expected me back home. And those two men were still standing near the gate.I avoided eye contact again and pretended to focus all of my attention on retrieving my keys, stuck under the pizza box in my hand. My other hand clutched my wallet and plastic bag filled with side salad (a gesture of healthy eating, except it was iceberg lettuce) and tiramisu. I'd done that dance plenty of times before. This time I didn't want to be stuck outside with my hands full, fiddling with a jangling clump of keys, any longer than I needed to be."Hey, want me to get the gate for you?" one strangers asked. I was still looking down and I noticed his baggy, black pants first, the kind with the same dangly straps that the emo kids wore in high school. His face is pale. None of my neighbors had ever offered to get the door for me. Most of them didn't even hold it open behind them.I almost said no. I almost had the key situation handled. But in that instant, a potential threat had become an ally."Sure! Thank you so much." He'd already walked toward the gate, his own keys in hand. I knew far too few of my neighbors. I'd never even seen most of them.He responded with something kind and friendly. For a moment, I was hopeful.Back inside, I sank back into my couch.

Hi, Remember Me?

It's been a while.

Last week, one of my friends said I was like "a real adult." I told her that I'm just good at pretending. Would a real adult get an email notification from her bank that her account balance fell below $25? Twice? In one day? If the answer is yes, then you could say that yes, I am very much a real adult.

A few weeks ago, I went to my PCP to refill my anti-depressant prescription. A psychiatrist had originally written the prescription, but I couldn't really justify spending hundreds of literal dollars per appointment. Especially since he made me cry. And not in a mental breakthrough sort of way. More like an "I feel patronized and insecure and if I wasn't depressed before I definitely am now"sort of way.

Truth be told, I'd gone to this shrink to get Adderall and then chickened out, partly because I was pretty sure that I needed anti-depressants, but mainly because I felt too suspicious. When it comes to getting through TSA with a razor in my carry-on or being pulled over for pulling a U turn over double yellow lines, I'm good! But a prescription for Adderall? Nerdy white girls ARE the suspect profile. Never mind the fact that I forget what I'm saying in the middle of a sentence! Or stop paying attention to other people when they're in the middle of a sentence! Or forget what I'm doing in the MIDDLE OF DOING IT.

Or that I forgot why I'd started writing any of this post in the first place.

I wanted my PCP to refill the prescription and to provide one for Adderall. I thought he'd be cool with providing a sketchy scrip for a not-so-sketchy girl who'd rather watch 10 hours of TV and not even really enjoy it than write a single title page to her critical paper that's due in a week.

He was not cool with it. He wrote me a referral and told me to call my insurance and find a psychiatrist who took my insurance, like THAT'S no big deal. I suppressed an actual panic attack and the urge to cry. Again. What kind of person tells another human to call their insurance company? That sort of action only leads to more problems. But I did it when I got home because I wanted my goddamn Adderall. The drug that motivates before you even take it.

Twenty minutes and two transfers later, the agent told me the phone call and referral were unnecessary. I only needed to go to their website and find a doctor in my network. Easier said than done. Do you know how many doctors are listed as in-network who are not actually in my network? I don't know how that happens. Consider my mind boggled beyond comprehension. But I found someone and scheduled an appointment two days later. Drugs, here I come!

I was 45 minutes late to my appointment because I went to the wrong address and ended up at Cedars Sinai Hospital. It's rather large. I spent 20 very confused, sweaty minutes trying to find his office, only to find out he hadn't worked there for a number of years. I went outside and sat on some steps.I had to log into my insurance's website through my phone, which was not nearly as inconvenient as I imagined. I found the correct address, five miles away. I might have cried, but it got mixed in with the sweat, so it's hard to tell for sure.

I race walked to the garage where I'd left my car, only to discover that there was no way to get in. I mean, I really, really couldn't find it. I found the valet section of the garage, inexplicably NOT LINKED to the rest of the structure. I tried to retrace my steps to the elevators I'd taken from the garage to the rest of the hospital. After a few wrong turns and getting off on the wrong floor, a cute doctor/nurse/science person stepped into the elevator.

"HOW DO I GET TO THE GARAGE?" I asked.

He chuckled. "Oh, it's level LL. People always have a hard time."

I did not laugh back. I pushed the button and wiped my sweat mustache, glad that I'd remembered to pay the parking fee while I'd been in the valet section of the garage. A whole $4 to park somewhere that I wasn't even supposed to be.

I made it to Beverly Hills, relieved that there was a parking structure right next to my doctor's office. The first two hours of parking were even free! Considering that I was already 45 minutes late, that wouldn't be an issue.

My doctor was very nice. He asked a few questions pertaining to depression and anxiety, one of which was "Do you find yourself sweating excessively?" I just stared at him.

When our 15 remaining minutes were up, he told me that he could rush through the rest of the consultation, but that I am "intricate" and we should finish the appointment next week. I was actually ok with that, because he seemed nice and smart and I didn't want him to think I was desperate for drugs and then not give them to me.

I left and couldn't figure out how to get into the parking garage. Again. When I'd parked, I'd managed to remember which floor I was on, but hadn't noticed much else. So when I was climbing the stairs of the structure, I noticed the entire stairwell looked a bit different than the one I'd rushed down 20 minutes ago, but figured they'd change when I went up a few floors. Why did I think this? I do not know. But they did not turn into the stairs I recognized, because that is not the way stairs work. So I took the elevator down to the first floor, thinking that maybe it would magically lead me to the CORRECT first floor that actually led to the parking garage.

But that did not happen, because this is not Hogwarts.

So I went down the stairs instead, to the underground, but stopped when I reached a door. It was unlocked and led to more stairs, but my fear of the door closing, locking, and trapping me in there prevented me from going further. That's happened to me before. Numerous times. I'm glad to report that I've learned from those experiences.

So finally I ended up back on the sidewalk, looking at my phone, shaking my head and sighing, like I'd made all those ridiculous choices on purpose because some friend had told me they'd be waiting for me in the second level of the stairwell, no just kidding in the elevator, no just kidding in the BASEMENT.

Then I noticed the sign fastened to the bricks, noting that this was NOT a stairwell for the parking garage. I'd noticed it before, but was so sure that I was in the right place that I ignored it. Yeah, it was only there to throw others off the scent, to keep them from their cars forever.

I found the right stairwell and kept right on walking past, down the street to Sprinkles, where I got two cupcakes to cry into. One for the car and one for home.

At the end of our next session a week later, the psychiatrist gave me a few options. First and foremost, he wanted to switch my anti-depressant prescription to a more effective drug that would likely be far more effective than what the first, patronizing shrink had prescribed. He told me that I'd also likely benefit from Adderall or Ritalin. I could switch the anti-depressant and try that on its own, or combine it with either Adderall or Ritalin.

Naturally, to throw off non-existent suspicion, I opted for the first option. I still don't have my Adderall.

The Thing About Garbage People

I just spent almost half of my tax return on making my car run better. This is awful and I haaaaate it.I had this friend who was broken up with and pretty upset. For a while. Like to the point where people who didn't know her that well we like "get over it" and then even her good friends were like "get over it." And I mean I get it, because she was super selfish around that time. Lots of drama, Coachella, this and that. All very Southern California and annoying.But at the same time I'm like... people can be pretty insensitive when it comes to others' feelings. Telling someone to get over feeling shitty and hurt by someone they care about is just really presumptuous I think. No one really gets to have a say in how long you're allowed to feel a certain way.Then again, feeling unhappy or bitter doesn't give you the right to talk about yourself all the time and ignore everyone else. We've all got some pretty serious first world problems. Like me not wanting to spend the money that I very much do have on a car that my parents bought me that very much needs new tires.I'm all for letting people feel their feelings but it's really not the biggest problem in the world and eventually everyone stops caring. So feel your feelings all you want, but don't expect that everyone will continue to care with you.Getting over something isn't just about the way it makes you feel though. It's about adjusting to a new lens and a new way of seeing life. When someone you love dies, you have to grapple with them never being around again. It's not like they just aren't talking to you; they're gone forever.But we're not talking about death here because I'm not really familiar with it and also because comprehending the reality of it is super depressing.But I AM familiar with breakups. Urrrrgly breakups. And like general betrayal and lying and confusion. I don't want to presume anything about this friend's breakup, but it seemed like a normal and healthy breakup to me. So whatever, maybe mine have been too and I'm just delusional and self-centered.For shits and gigs let's pretend I'm not delusional, for the sake of my reputation.The reality of life is that we exist within relationship to everyone else in the world. Six degrees of separation and stuff like that. Our lives consist of our interactions with other people and relationships with those around us. Close relationships with people we love have a particular impact. Especially when you get dumped. Even more so when someone dies, but we're not going there, right? Just the dumping.I can confidently say that at one point, the getting dumped and friend shitting on your life combo scrambled my brain pretty well, for a few years. Now I'm finally getting back to being a sane human being (but possibly delusional). A solid 3 years later. Getting dumped is rough but it's a fairly normal thing that can be handled in a respectful manner. For me, that wasn't what made a particular relationship (or two, really, actually sort of three...) so difficult to handle. For the span of a year or so, I kept finding out about how people had lied to me, had spun lies about me, and had made sport of laughing at me behind my back.I spent a year coming to terms with my actions as a garbage person. Actions such as dating a guy that my friend had a crush on and then succumbing to this hellfire that was created after. But like honestly, thinking about it, I just cannot fathom that anything I did was so awful that I deserved to have people intentionally hurt me.What was so hurtful about it? That this person who I thought was my friend, who never told me that my actions bothered her, made it apparent that she had never liked me or cared about me at all, to the point where she TOLD me about about how she had sex with my ex, how often they had make out even before that, how the two of them had a threesome with her boyfriend, how the three of them laughed at the things that I texted to my ex and made fun of me together.In the end, I've spent a good chunk of my life feeling bad for shit that I shouldn't feel bad for. I pissed of a wretched person and dated a narcissist. Blaahhhh.Then for a while I was like TRUST NO ONE, EVERYONE IS HORRIBLE but it was in a far less conscious manner. It's honestly pretty difficult to find people who don't say negative things about people behind their back. I've settled to allow light gossip. Re: the dating sitch, the dating pool in Los Angeles does not set a great standard.I suppose something positive came out of that situation. You know, with the friend who snuck around with my ex-boyfriend for months, who later told me that I was pathetic for being so broken up about that breakup. Thanks to her, I decided to stop being friends with such awful shit monster people.Since then, I've befriended some fantastic and intelligent women who actually contribute substance to my life. Even so, I have to repress the urge to overthink actions and words. Honestly, it's a little self-centered to assume that everyone is out to get you. But passive aggressiveness ties so closely to insecurities. It's sort of easy to think that people are intentionally needling me in parts that are most sensitive.Even so, I'm satisfied that my old shit monster pal seems to be continuing to make the same shitty mistakes in life. Because yeah, I totally creeped.I also have a new cruuusshhhh. 

There Were Two in the Bed and the Little One Said Get the Fuck Out

For all my talk about dating and being in a relationship, I wonder if I actually even want to be in one at all. I like the idea in theory, but I'm so out of practice, I could be wrong. I mean I have a routine. It's my way or the highway and if you choose the highway I'll run you over with my car. I like the way things are now. If I brought someone else in then I'd probably have to accommodate them and I don't want to do that.But more importantly, I do not like sharing the bed. I move around a lot and like to sprawl, probably because I overheat easily.If I can't even share a bed, how can I share my life??

new girl i sing to myself

I haven't even lived in the same place for more than a year since I turned 18 seven years ago. Different dorms, different universities, different apartments. Everything was in a constant state of flux, but I think I wouldn't have minded staying in the same place for a couple of years. The only problem was the roommate situation.There is nothing inherently good about living with someone else. Best case scenario is that they have nice stuff they'll share with you. Unless of course YOU are the one sharing and THEY are taking. And taking. Andtakingandtakingandtaking and never giving back.But that's not even so bad. The worst thing about living with someone else is that they're around whenever they want. Even if you don't want. And I rarely want. The longest I've lived with another person is two years. It only happened once, against my better judgment, and it was awful.The only person I can count on is my cat.

But even our relationship is precarious at best. Like when she's meowing at me to pet her and love her but I'm trying to focus on finishing my large cheese pizza. But it's also pretty annoying when she shits on my carpet and pees on my bed.

Ok I mean that bed peeing thing only happened the first couple of months that I got her. But I was ready to turn her out on the streets. Honestly, one of the reasons why I got her instead of a kitten is because she's old and I know she'll die in a reasonable amount of time. Like 5 years tops.

How people my age are already reproducing ON PURPOSE is beyond me.AND THEN, just when I think I have it all figured out, some unreasonably hot guy strikes up a conversation with me at the grocery store as the sweat from my workout is drying and a new sweat mustache is forming. I'd forgotten a bobby pin so my bangs are all askew and I'm wearing my glasses, my makeup basically all melted off at that point.I basically looked like a monster.For some reason he asked for my number and then actually used it.I don't know. I don't get it. I give up.

Orange is the New Black

When you find out that a guy you were seeing a few months ago is dating someone else. This would not be a big deal except this guy is actually going to PRISON at the end of the year for NOT a short amount of time because he did some pretty shitty stuff.
The guy who is going to PRISON has managed to find someone who will still date him even though he is GOING TO PRISON and you cannot.

Because you are a meanie.
And scare even the nicest guys away after two dates. Because you are mean.
Except you didn't even realize that you were being mean and maybe you WEREN'T but maybe the this second date guy exists on a different planet where people communicate differently than you and you weren't mean at all but you hurt his feelings anyway. And he seems like such a good guy that try to apologize for being mean EVEN THOUGH YOU WEREN'T but he's ignoring you because he's not an insane masochist and then you feel awful about it forever even though it was maybe not meant to be in the first place.

At Least My Cat Loves Me

I haven't been writing much lately and it's because all things considered, my life is going well right now. Great new job, riding horses, volunteering, graduate school, friends, and no one in my family is recently dead or anything like that. But why focus on the positive when I can focus on the negative? The negative being that after a year and a half of being single and all alone, I am still single and ALL ALONE. Besides my parents and my friends and my siblings. Whatever. None of them fill that penis shaped hole inside of me.But the real reason I haven't been writing is because my parents are reading this and it's their job to ruin my life. My mom gave me some "advice" like 6 months ago that still (!!!!) haunts me.No sex before monogamy.Sorry mom, but seriously, it's not the 40s anymore and what do you know? You got that advice from a reality show.So anyway, I was just feeling bummed every which way about the fact that there's something about me that just makes me completely unlovable to attractive, well-adjusted straight men. For a while I was trying to figure it out, like hey, I know I'm not perfect and it's completely reasonable that there might be something I might need to change. So I ran through the list of things that are maybe just "too much" for other people.

  • Too smart
  • Too pretty
  • Boobs are too big
  • Too good in bed
  • Too funny
  • Too personable
  • Too endearingly awkward
  • Too driven
  • Too good with animals
  • Too many positive qualities
  • Too crazy

WHAT OH WHAT COULD IT BE? Oh right, it's that last one. I don't like to use the word crazy when referring to women though, so instead I'll say I'm emotionally spastic instead.

kim k all alone

But like, if you're gonna date a girl, I'm pretty sure that's a given, and considering all my other qualities, I'm really the best deal you're going to get. Yet somehow I'm STILL ALONE while there are great guys dating awful girls. I mean like controlling, condescending, rude, manipulative, mean girls. And here I am, all aloney on my owny, sitting on my bed of spinsterhood with my cat next to me.Even she runs away when I try to cuddle with her.I mean so what if I expect a date to be planned an entire day ahead of time? Or if I only text a guy that I'm casually seeing every few days? I know it's a bit much to start to have feelings for someone after a single date, but what can I say...I'm just completely un-fucking-reasonable.But hey, being an crazy spinster has its perks. I can eat all the S'mores Oreos and cake and ice cream I want and never have to worry about looking good naked. And then I can use my empty ice cream pints to cry my lonely cat lady tears into.

Say You Will, Say You Won't, Make Up Your Mind

Is life really about doing what you want? Is that all there is to it, in the end? That's a sort of selfishness is appealing but can also be hurtful to others. So then it becomes a matter of which you care about less: getting what you want or hurting someone. There are a few things to consider. Like do I care about this person enough that I don't want hurt them? What if I choose not to hurt this person, don't get what I want, and I suffer instead? To what extent should we force ourselves to suffer so as to not cast that struggle on to someone else?Shit happens and people get hurt. That's the way it goes. We have to be selfish to make the best lives for ourselves. Other people can't be our main priority.For the record, I'm talking only about participating adultish people here. Not like people with families or major responsibilities or anything. That's the point of it all anyway, isn't it? To get those major responsibilities? To rely on ourselves. To find people who deserve our selflessness. Maybe being selfish comes first, so we can be selfless later. We're all working to get to what we want. To get the big career or family or that rad vacation or whatever it is. There's always a price to pay, something to lose, sacrifices to make.

regina george cheese fries gif

The In-Between

I wish I didn't feel such a great need to understand everything. I'm not talking about how computers work or anything like that. That sort of stuff has answers, as complicated and confusing as they are. I'm talking specifically about the question why. WHY do I feel the need to question everything? WHY does this person act like that, WHY did this or that happen? I want to understand intention and the way everything fits in the universe but at the moment I'm stuck on my own role in all this mess.If I had a job I'm sure it would be a less daunting question. We're all insignificant, but working for the Man or at least someone creates a sense of purpose. Make money doing a job you hate, or love, and then spend it on stuff you want or need or trips you want to take or whatever you want, really. Create fulfillment. But I'm still looking for a job since the store that I'd worked at closed, and I don't have those opportunities.I could take the easy way out and work in retail again or even In N Out. They make good money. But now I have this stupid thing called standards and want to find something stable. I don't want to commit, especially when I don't know exactly what I want to do, but I don't want to work in a glutton factory anymore. Glutton for materialism, glutton for food, whatever. I don't want to sell people shit they don't need or food that will kill them. I don't want to work with people at all, really, but that's probably asking for too much.So in the mean time I apply for jobs and go to interviews and nothing works out and this feeling of inadequacy grows. Logic is no match for the simplicity of emotion. As if emotion is anything but intensely complicated. But it does what it wants and despair is a tough feeling to conquer. I'm lucky to have parents who continue to support me while I continue to try and try and try but I'm starting to wonder why, why, why.Like I could move back to Maine. I don't have family there anymore but I have friends. I could fly back to LA twice a year for my school workshops. I was hot shit in Portland. I stood out. But it's different here. There's nothing like being surrounded by flawless females to crush a girl's confidence. Then again, that probably has a lot to do with the whole dating thing not working out. I couldn't have decided to give up on that game at a better time. Sometimes giving up really is just for the best. It's not like having a boyfriend matters. My standards are really not that high for what I want at this point, as far as commitment goes, anyway. But somehow it always ends in disappointment and disappointment is tiring.Then there are my friends. I have a few excellent ones, which is great, but this crew as a whole is just so unreliable. I don't know. Maybe it's me. I don't like the way it works, the one-on-one or little groups or big parties. Why can't it be a handful of friends, nothing prepared to death or rager reliant? Why do we always have to go out to dinner or a bar or fucking trapeze class or Palm Springs? Whyyyy do people need to plan even the littlest thing on Facebook? Why can't we get a group together and hang at home, drinks some beers, maybe smoke some weed, and watching a fucking movie? Maybe I'm just not invited to those casual hangouts. It's possible. Probably not. But maybe. But everyone has their stupid little drama and I'm sorry friends, but it really is stupid. It shouldn't be so difficult to get a handful of people together, but it is because one person already has plans and someone doesn't like someone else.I like the mix of chicks and dicks that I grew up with, a mix that apparently doesn't really exist here, because maybe men and women really can't just be friends. Or maybe it's just me. Is it? That's the worst question and I'm sure if I actually asked, I wouldn't get a straight answer. I miss my old friends, the ones I've known since middle school. I miss the friendships that are reliable and rock solid. I liked having a small crew of people who all liked each other, who had gotten over the bullshit years ago. It takes years of interest and effort to create that and I want it now. Right now. But I don't even know who's a reliable choice and who's got that brand of LA flake that I'm learning to hate and simultaneously become.I don't like this in-between.

That Time I Acted Like Even More Of An Awkward Moron Than Usual

This is the story of the time my friend Jake came to visit me and I was awkward. The two aren't directly correlated, but he was visiting while I was awkward, which gives the awkwardness more of a time frame, since it is a regular occurrence in my life.It was the third and final night of Jake's visit. Some of my friends were doing a sketch comedy show that night, and I'd already decided like a month before that I'd be attending. Friendly support and all, ya know? So I told this to Jake and after a day of beach bumming and trying to find the Daredevil premiere, we headed on over.Since I had no food in my house that I was willing to share because I 1) am poor and 2) eat strange foods that no one would want to share anyway, we first stopped at a bar so Jake could eat and we could drink. There was a painting night going on. Many single ladies and unwilling boyfriends were there. We sat at the bar. The guy next to Jake was drunk and hitting on a girl. The bartenders were very attractive. I've been meaning to go back and see if either of them will marry me, come to think of it. They're both probably actors though, so :/We got to the theater and I introduced Jake to a bunch of people while we waited in line. Finally we took our seats and the show started. It was funny and we laughed. Then it was over and we all went outside to congratulate our friends on being funny and to bask in the glow of their coolness. I was so overwhelmed by all the coolness that I forgot that I am not one actually possessing the cool and then I asked a very attractive guy if I could touch his hair.Luckily I knew this guy and even remembered his name. This is not a normal thing for me, remembering names, and I only happened to remember his because it was like the third time we'd met and he pretended to be offended that I didn't remember it last time. For the sake of this post, he will henceforth be known as Attractive Guy. So this was like the third or even fourth time we met face to face and actually made a point to say hi and exchange actual words, which is major progress, believe it or not. Before we'd met, I'd seen him a few times, in my super awkward stalker (stalkward?) way. Like imagine me at a barbecue, hiding behind a potted plant as I scout out the scene. Because even though I've never actually done that, that is what I do in my mind every time I'm in a social setting. Every. Time.We met at a friend's party a few months ago. I was doing my stalkward thing and I noticed his presence. As I'd done before, I took a moment mourn what would never be and then moved on. Imagine my horror when, just an hour or so later, we actually spoke. To each other. Even if I'd anticipated such a scenario would ever happen (and let's be real, my imagination creates some pretty detailed scenarios), I would not have been prepared. He told me his name was Attractive Guy. Our conversation was brief, as most of my conversations tend to go. We spoke again later. I told him I'd forgotten his name.Thus began our torrid love affair. Just kidding. Come on. The next time I saw Attractive Guy was at the comedy show. I was like "Hey Attractive Guy, like how I remembered your name?" and we talked about things that I don't remember because they were probably stupid."Your hair looks different," I pointed out."Probably because you can see it," he said.I feel like I laughed too much at this comment, even though I'm sure I didn't, but I might just be trying to erase the entire encounter from my memory. Anyway. Normally he wore hats. That night he wasn't. And because his hair looked like a gravity defying cloud, I asked to touch it. Because that is who I am and that is the sort of thing I do.Then I touched his hair and it did not feel like a cloud because it was hair, not a cloud.Then we left because Jake was tired and I needed to die of embarrassment.

She's Saving Herself For Luke Perry

I've been dating two different guys for the past month. That's not actually interesting in itself, but what is interesting is that the other night I got to tell one of them "I think you're too involved in your own life to be involved in mine," which makes me feel oh-so grown up, like in an I'm-still-five-years-old-feeling-like-how-I-thought-I'd-be-when-I-was-twenty sort of way. Like when I was seven years old and had a literal dream about being ten because the idea of being in the double digits was so incredible.Like woah dude, so grown up.And then the very next day I got to tell the other one, the one who I've only gone out on TWO dates with because even though we seem to genuinely like each other, we are also actually busy doing other stuff like having a life in general, you know, so it's not even at all serious. Except we do make a point to keep in touch, so.

you could say napoleon dynamite

What was I saying? Yeah, I got to tell this guy that I didn't like making plans spur of the moment like he does. I am busy and have other people to hang out with, buddy. Oh, this was on the phone, by the way. Not texting. Actual voice to voice contact. Because he's a rad dude, that's why. After I told him that, you know what he said to me? "You're gonna have to get used to it if you hang out with me," or something to that effect. I was just like

dianna agron eyebrow raise

"OH DO I NOW?"

Those are the words that I said to him. And then I was like haha no. Because seriously, no.*

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm up for last minute business, if I've spent the day unemployed, on my couch, re-watching Orphan Black in order to prepare for the season premiere next month. Just don't tell him that. I'd like to set some sort of precedent, thanks, that specifies I don't work around this kid's schedule, this fuckin west side rich kid who didn't even kiss me on the first date.

My mother would approve.

*We're going out again later this week.

Run For Your Life

You know those slasher films, where the stupid teenagers decide to split up to go looking for a murderer? The movies where you KNOW what's going to happen and you just DON'T UNDERSTAND why those teenagers are such idiots? Well I'm pretty sure that can be applied to relationships too. Like when you see your friend making the same mistakes she always makes while you're just sitting there like WHY CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING?But then you end up in the exact same position with the most successful tunnel vision that's ever occurred in the history of mankind. We all have certain patterns that we're comfortable with which tends to cause history to repeat itself. To what extent do we try to change these habits, though? To what extent should we accept certain aspects about ourselves, rather than trying to change them, and instead make the most of what we have?At some point we're all saddled with some sort of baggage. I mean all a relationship really is is two people whose issues are compatible. Try as we might to improve our weaknesses, we're all flawed and we always will be.

The NJB from NYC

I'm pretty sure I went out with Michael Cera last night. But a more Jewish, suave Michael Cera. I think I'm actually ok with this. What I'm not so ok with is how I'm writing this blog post right now instead of doing school work. Writing is writing, right? Sure, some writing takes priority, and in this case, it is the wrong writing.Anyway, Michael Cera is very good at kissing and somehow snaked his NJB self into my living room last night. We watched Adventure Time. We were far too fascinated by it. Except he isn't such a nice Jewish boy after all, because he tried smooth talking me in a way I haven't seen the likes of in quite some time. Please buddy. Like I haven't been there before. So he was straight with me, praise jesus hallelujah, one that can actually speak his mind."commitment issues, tbh" is what he told me. Of course. Please kid, like we all don't have baggage. Get over it. He's looking for something casual. He thinks. And I'm looking to get married. Get real.  And yet. He texted me after he left. He texted me all day. Planned when to go out again. Wanted to see me tonight. Ok then. Who's got the power now?A not so NJB from NYC. Sounds good to me.