Saturday, October 31, 2015

Baby Mamma Drama

I started my blog years ago when I decided I needed a way to document all my stories about dating and guys. I felt like no one would believe me unless I wrote about it. My best friend says if I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck.

I dated this guy in college for quite a while. I can't recall why we even broke up. Over the last few years, we connected on LinkedIn, but we never emailed each other. Months ago, one of us emailed - I honestly don't remember who. We made plans to get coffee, but neither of us followed trough. We went a few months again and then he emailed me. We made plans to grab lunch. Two weeks ago yesterday, we were emailing and decided to have a spontaneous dinner. First time we'd seen each other in 15 years. I had a blast. Lots of laughs. The following week, we made plans for lunch. He ended up canceling because of work. Yesterday, we made plans to hang out tonight. To me it was just a chance to get together with an old friend and have some much needed laughs. 

This morning I woke up to a missed unknown number on my phone. No biggie. It happens. I woke up later and had a missed call from an Ohio number and a voice mail. Voice mail says: 
"Hi, this is Cassie. I'm @&$'s girlfriend. We have a three month old daughter. Not sure if you knew this or not, but you just broke up a family." 
I decided to text her and tell her I had no idea and there was nothing going on between him and I. I also texted him. He was very nonchalant about it. Just said to ignore her and he was sorry. She texted me back and said she had found naked pictures on his phone of another girl and emails from another girl he used to work with. She also said that her and her dad had just left his house from getting her things. Him and I texted back and forth a few times. Well, come to find out (and she also told me this) the daughter is not biologically his, but he had been around since she was born. 

WHAT THE FUCK is all I can say. Now, he's not responding to my text messages. Clearly, they were dating when him and I had dinner. Of course I didn't know this otherwise I would have never had dinner with his ass or made plans for today. Even if I thought there might be something between us (which I don't know), I sure as shit wouldn't pursue it now. Dude. You're 35 years old and you're playing games with a woman who you portray yourself as "dad" to her daughter. Who the fuck does that? 

Now that he's not responding to my text messages, his ass better not email me at work. Doubt he'd ever read this, but grow up dude. 

I think it's safe to say that anyone I knew years ago need to stay in my past. I have connected with several people from my past and they all end up being giant assholes. No more. I'm done. The past is the past for a reason. 

Again, I can't make this shit up.

Update... 11/5/15

I ended up emailing him on Monday and he responded right away. We emailed a few times and that was it. THEN, Monday night, I get another text from this crazy chick.  She said that the naked photos on his phone are, in fact, me, and that I am a homewrecker. First of all, I know for a fact, those naked photos on his phone are not me because I haven't taken any naked photos. I took a screen shot of her text message and sent it to him.  He just said to block her number and ignore her. I did text her back and said "Um, I'm not sure you're talking to, but I don't take naked photos and text them out. Stop texting me and move on." She never responded.

Yesterday, I got on LinkedIn and it showed two girls had viewed my profile. Two girls who, by the way, were my connections on LinkedIn. I don't filter out the requests on LinkedIn because it's just a business site. I'm not posting my personal life on there. I just always accept the requests. Well, both of these chicks worked at his old job. AND, the one chick was named Casey. I thought she said Cassie on my voice mail. I took her name and looked her up on Facebook. Sure enough, she's got a three month old daughter. I blocked her on LinkedIn, Facebook, my phone, and also her little friend. I texted him and told him what I found and that he needed to tell her to leave me alone -- that she had taken it above and beyond at this point. Do you think this mo fo has yet to text me back? Nope. He acts like I'm bothering him. As if he's being inconvenienced by the drama. Uh, you brought me into your drama, douche bag. You could at least have the common courtesy to text me back and at least say sorry. Whatever friendship he thought was going to be salvaged is dead. I can't be friends with someone who can't seem to find their balls and attempt to fix the issue that he had part in. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

What hobbies?

Whenever you meet someone new, one of the first questions asked is "What are your hobbies" or, "What do you like to do for fun?" For me, this can be a dreaded question. Why you ask? These days I'm pretty boring. I work and come home. As far as hobbies go, I am not into going to the gym, cooking, crafts, photography, collecting anything, etc. I don't think watching prime time television or trashy reality TV classifies as a hobby. I am into reading, writing, and my cat, Amelya. Can we say boring?! 

When dating, you're supposed to seem interesting like you don't sit at home every night. I could fib and say I'm going out, but I don't fib well and I'm not into playing stupid dating games. I wanna portray myself honestly. Back in my 20's is when I went out three nights a week to dance. I stayed up late and slept all day. Now, I'm perfectly content coming home from work and curling up with my DVR and a book. I'm content being in bed at 11:00 pm on a Saturday. But, I'm beginning to question whether I really am content. I think it's more that I'm worried what other people think which is completely unlike me. I don't usually care what people think about me.

This takes me to the next question. What makes me happy? What do I enjoy doing? In the book I'm reading The Happiness Project, I'm on the chapter now where the author works on doing more of what makes her happy and finding more fun. Oddly enough, when I opened my gratitude journal today, the next suggestion was to write down three things that make you happy. 

If going out to the bars/clubs isn't what makes me happy anymore, I shouldn't be embarrassed by that. If sitting on my couch with a book and catching up on my DVR is what makes me happy, I shouldn't be embarrassed by that. I like being home on the weekends to unwind and mentally relax. I like being home so Amelya can play outside. It makes me laugh how she'll stay outside all day long exploring the backyard.

There are lots of things I would like to do, but I don't want to do them alone. I feel like that's what people don't understand. I would like to get off the couch, but I want someone to get off the couch with. There's a lot of fall activities I would like to check out at Soloman Farm. In the summer, I wouldn't mind driving to the Tin Caps just to watch the fireworks after the games. There are lots of outdoor concerts around town in the summer too (as long as it's not 100 degrees). I've been really wanting to go to Chicago for the weekend. I'm up for any type of water park in the summer. I've been wanting to go to Michigan and check out all the lakes and lighthouses. 

For now, I need to be content with myself. Not worry so much what people think about my weekend hobbies and what makes me happy. 

On another note, I was hoping an old friend was going to text me this weekend to maybe grab dinner or have a bonfire. Well, I never heard from this friend. That takes me to a conversation I had with Jessica a few weeks ago. She said, 

"...but honestly I think if you stop letting others get to you and disappoint you & just don’t have expectations of others, until you find the person you should have expectations with then you will be a lot less disappointed. I know it sounds bad & is really hard, but you have to stop caring so much…once you let that go, you will be happier, I promise you that! Expectations are hard even if you can count on the other person."

It puts things into prospective. I am disappointed I didn't hear from this friend. But, I shouldn't be. I shouldn't have had any expectation that I was going to hear from this person. No expectation = no disappointment. Makes perfect sense. Makes things a little less traumatizing. (If you knew me you'd know why I said "traumatizing.")

I'm really going to work on finding more things that make me happy and making sure I'm having more fun. It's gonna be tough, but nothing comes easy.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Angel

Last night, I had dinner with Jessica, a college friend of mine. We were really close in college and even after. At one point, we lived across the hall from each other in our apartments. Over the years, we just kind of grew apart. More recently, we started talking because I got involved with essential oils.

Anyways. At dinner last night, we were talking about why I am no longer friends with Sarah that I also went to college with. I told her it stemmed from a conversation I had with her about Joey, etc. (won't go into the details). She said, well after Joey sent me that email, that's why I came to his funeral. I said, "what email?" She proceeds to tell me that when Joey was in the hospital before he passed away, he emailed her and told her he wanted us to squash the past and be friends again. Jessica said, "I never told you that?" Now, over the past month or so, it's come to my realization that I remember nothing about my 20's. I have zero long term memory on a lot of things. (I don't even drink!) I keep racking my brain trying to remember if she told me or not. Part of me is sad if she did tell me and I just don't remember. Part of me wants to not have known about this before because somehow I feel like this was a way to get a message from Joey after all these years. After he passed away, I found out he went ring shopping. I'm not sure if this was before or after we actually broke up. But, he went. He also came to my dad in his dreams shortly after he passed and told him he'd always be watching over me. Again, I kind of feel like this was another message from him that he was always watching over me then and even now.

Oh, needless to say, I became a blubbery mess in the restaurant last night after she told me.

My Guardian Angel...

In honor of Halloween...and, I guess the Cubs losing last night! Boo!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

My plan was to get up earlier every morning and meditate. Not surprisingly, I have not meditated since last Thursday. BUT, I have been getting up at least 15 minutes earlier. Monday, I used that time to shave and give my hair a good washing because I hadn't showered since Friday (don't judge me). I also put away some laundry.  I have time to put on my eyeliner which takes a little bit longer. Today, I used that time to change my earrings which I've been meaning to do for about a week. I also took the time to put my new Avon lotion on my feet. I have more time to play with Amelya too. It's really the only time of day she's feeling lovey. She likes to sit on the bathroom counter with me while I get ready and she'll rub her face against mine if I lean down. Or, some days, she likes to push shit off the counter. SO, there's a good 50/50 chance she'll be an asshole all morning.

I got my Gratitude journal out and have been making more of an effort to write in it everyday - even if it is just one sentence. I have definitely come to the conclusion that I don't like writing in journals because my handwriting looks like I'm fresh out of kindergarten.

The book I'm reading now is The Happiness Project. At first I was excited to read it, then I thought maybe this isn't quite what I'm looking for, and now I'm liking it. The author takes a year long journey to becoming happier. Won't go into all the details, but I think even if each chapter/month isn't for you, there's still some helpful advice/information throughout.

I think I mentioned recently that I started going to therapy. Tomorrow will be my second session and I couldn't be more excited. There's nothing more refreshing than getting advice from a third party. Or, just being able to vent to someone who is a complete stranger. Seriously. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Meditation

I'm sure Huffington Post has been around for years, but I'm just recently discovering it ... and, I love it. The blog I read today is on Huffington Post Women. I love when you read an article, blog, or a quote and it's as if you wrote it yourself. Or, it was just something you needed to read at that very minute. Here's the blog I read today: 
Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree--that surge of adrenaline released after the mind has detected something to panic about. Your hands shake, breathing increases, your stomach turns, eyes dilate and you start to sweat. But then it passes. Logic prevails, you take a deep breath, and then you move on with your life. Unfortunately, for those with an anxiety disorder, the wheels never stop spinning and peace is nigh impossible to achieve.  
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) several years ago, but the reality is that it's been an ever-present companion my entire life. Living with GAD means that, essentially, I am wired to be anxious about everything, and nothing, all the time. The other aspects of my mental illness slowly emerged into my late teen years, but anxiety and depression have been with me since the very beginning. As such, it should come as no surprise that anxiety has been one of the most difficult things for me to find healthy coping mechanisms for. I call it the "energizer bunny brain" because I'll be damned if my brain ever stops going and going.
It's difficult to describe how the brain of someone with an anxiety disorder can take one simple comment or situation, and spin it to where it feels like a disaster is unavoidably imminent. For instance, relationships (both friendship and romantic) can be incredibly difficult to navigate. And the more you like the person, the worse it gets.
Let's take the example of not hearing from someone for several days. It happens to all of us, it's annoying, you think to yourself, "Ugh, they're always on their phone--why aren't they texting me," and then you shrug and move on, right? Au contraire, my friends--not so easy with those with the anxious brain. Less healthy coping mechanisms emerge, such as drinking, sleeping too much, not eating, self-harm, and isolating. If you don't believe me, this is an actual series of events that has occurred to me due to my anxiety over something as seemingly innocuous of an unreturned text:
1. First, there's the obvious action of checking your phone constantly to see if you somehow missed the notification.
2. Then you restart the phone because maybe turning it off and back on again will help the situation. Nada.3. You send the oh-so-casual text of, "Hey, haven't heard from you in a bit; hope everything is OK." (then repeat steps 1-2)4. For the rest of the day, you attempt to read a book (but can't focus), and instead watch Netflix because that requires less brain power. Your mom calls and you talk to her about something, but you can't remember what, because your brain is still working on where the missing person is.5. Attempt to fall asleep early that night, but instead spend several hours lying awake ruminating over all of the possible things you could have done to drive the person away from you.6. You've finally fallen asleep, but then you have to wake up to pee (damn, shouldn't have drank that cup of tea before bed). You check your phone for any notifications, see nothing, and then spend another hour or so trying to fall back asleep.7. Wake up groggy the next morning, check notifications, turn phone on and off again, and then drag yourself to the coffee pot. Because coffee is good for anxiety, said no one ever.8. Try to eat breakfast but since your stomach and intestines have managed to work their way into knots, you feel nauseous.9. Spend 15 minutes stalking all of the person's social media accounts looking for activity. If there is activity, and they still haven't texted you back, skip to step #16 to begin the moping process. If there is nothing, continue to #10.10. Spend significant amount of time on makeup and outfit, for fear of looking anything less than perfectly functional. Waterproof eyeliner and mascara are a must.11. Arrive on time to work, and then sit at your computer staring at the screen for an hour while your brain continues to analyze and pick apart various possible scenarios. Your co-workers look at you with concern, but know better than to ask, unless you start crying.12. You start sniffling and finally give in to what seems like the only option, short of physically stalking the person out (because that would be weird, duh). That's right, it's time to search the obituaries and news for that person's name. Cue spending another hour digging through the Internet--only to come up with nothing.13. Somehow you zombie it through the rest of the day, with maybe some minor crying spells in between (and repeats of steps 1 and 2), and you arrive home.14. Decide to take an early shower while listening to some music. A remotely emotional song comes on and you lose it--end up spending 30 minutes sitting in your bathtub sobbing while the water rains down on you. Eventually you pull yourself together, dry off, and bundle into your cozy sweats.15. A friend finds out you're under the weather and encourages you to come out to happy hour with them. Well, fuck, now you have to get yourself all made up again to look functional. Can't do anything fancy with the eyeliner because your hands are shaking.16. You drag yourself to the bar, put on the show of being "fine," and down your first drink a tad too quickly. Before you know it, you're completely drunk, hitting on anything that moves, and then end up crying. Thankfully, you have a good friend that makes sure you get home safe, and drink some water and take ibuprofen. You wake up the next morning, hungover, exhausted, and bemoaning your anxious brain.
By the end of that scenario, it doesn't matter whether you actually hear from the person again or not, because the anxious brain has already taken over. Anxiety disorders convince someone that the worst-case scenario will happen, and to such a point that it is impossible to convince oneself that, logically, that scenario will not occur. Logic has no place when an anxiety disorder is running the show and panic is wreaking havoc. Unfortunately, for me, if I'm in a state of constant heightened anxiety, eventually my brain numbs out in a last-ditch effort to protect my sanity. It's a defense mechanism that essentially seeks to shut down all emotions, reactions, and having expectations of people and myself, but enables me to survive and work.
One of the hallmarks of a mental illness is that it prevents you from functioning, working, getting out of bed, eating, showering, etc. An untreated anxiety disorder can be devastating because it is a continuous dysfunctional state that rips apart your life, while the transient state of being anxious is a normal human emotion. Much like other mental illnesses, therapy and counseling can help to retrain the brain, and medications can be immensely helpful. With the help of both, I am able to function, process stressors, and talk myself down from anxiety that would have previously decimated me. It will always be a prominent factor, but it is no longer one of the constant defining elements of my personality. I am more than what my anxiety disorder would reduce me to. I am not broken.
If you care for someone with an anxiety disorder, don't tell them that they're being silly and that obviously that situation won't happen. Instead say something along the lines of, "I understand why you feel that way, but I really don't think that will happen because of this evidence." People with anxiety disorders don't have much empathy extended to them, so a little bit can go a long way. It helps to know that someone supportive is in their corner to assist with fighting their personal demons. Furthermore, keep the anxiety disorder in mind when interacting with the person--not necessarily to cater to it, but even just to go the extra mile to help their mental status. Encourage them to see a therapist and/or psychiatrist, and reassure them that you don't think they're crazy. Let them know that, while they can't see it right now, you know without a shadow of a doubt that they are more than what the anxiety disorder would reduce them to.
Number 15 was absolutely hilarious to me. Not only would I have that exact same thought..."well, fuck..." but, if you know me, you know my hands shake on a regular basis. Adding in anxiety is only going to make that worse. I have experienced and/or done every single one of those on that list.

This statement is also very true: Unfortunately, for me, if I'm in a state of constant heightened anxiety, eventually my brain numbs out in a last-ditch effort to protect my sanity. It's a defense mechanism that essentially seeks to shut down all emotions, reactions, and having expectations of people and myself, but enables me to survive and work.

It may take a few days or even weeks to get to this state, but eventually it happens. Sometimes throughout the day (if I'm lucky), I'll experience this numbness. It may not last long, but it's at least a brief moment of silence in your brain. I'll take what I can get.

Several people have suggested that I try to meditate. I have been very hesitant to start because the thought of sitting in a room in complete silence, breathing, and being aware of your self scares me. I feel like that's what I experience when I lay down to go to sleep. If I don't fall asleep fast enough, then my brain wants to discuss the last 36 years of my life at that very moment. I had downloaded an app called Headspace that is supposed to help walk you through the art of meditation. My plan was to start tonight when I got home from work. Last night, I got home from work, and I decided to give it a try. I had a horrible headache from crying most of the day and I just wanted to attempt to relax. I went into my spare bedroom which has a dresser and a TV in it and sat down on the floor in the dark. I leaned up against the wall and turned the app on. I watched the 90 second video and then it began. Much to my surprise, you didn't necessarily need to be in complete silence. Which was a relief since Ameyla thought we were playing a game where I sit in complete darkness and she runs through the house like a wild banshee. You start out by breathing in and out and it says to do it loud enough so that if someone were sitting next to you they'd be able to hear you breathing. You're supposed to start being aware of how your body feels from your head down to your feet. I'm breathing and trying not to laugh at Ameyla who is now throwing herself down on the floor in front of me meowing. All of a sudden, it was like an explosion went off inside me and I just started bawling. You know when you get the flu and at first your stomach hurts so you attempt to make yourself throw up and eventually, you're lucky if you make it to the bathroom in time? That's how I felt. It just came out....I had no idea I was going to start crying. I think I cried for about half of the meditation (which was only 10 minutes). I kept taking deep breaths and eventually calmed down and finished the breathing and next thing I knew the app was telling me I had completed my first session. I'm guessing that was not how it was supposed to play out.

I had set my alarm for this morning to get up earlier than normal to try again, but I had went to bed with a migraine, woke up at 3:00 a.m. with my head still pounding, took some medicine, and slept on and off until it was time to get up for work. I'll try session no. 2 tonight and see how it goes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Open and Honest

I keep going back and forth between putting my thoughts and feelings out in my blog, or just writing it down for me only. Part of me feels like if I blog about it, then I'm actually getting my feelings out. 

After the way I've been feeling lately, I called and set up a therapy appointment which I had today.
At first I wasn't sure if I was going to mesh well with the therapist. I have been to therapy before and that woman wanted to talk about my life I felt like since the day I was born. This woman just jumped right in to why I was there. I ended up liking her. She had some good advice and seemed to understand me. She cussed too so that was a bonus. Ha!

I've also been emailing a few friends back and forth today. At some point though I just feel like I'm talking in circles and that they are running out of positive things to say. Or, perhaps just tired of telling me the same things over and over again. Hell, I'm tired of having the same damn conversation over and over again.

So, yesterday, I woke up to news that NBA star, Lamar Odom was found unconscious in a brothel. OK, first off, I had to Google what a brothel was and that's disgusting. But, to each his own. Lamar is a cocaine addict and then he had taken herbal Viagra and that put him into a coma. It's no secret that Lamar has suffered from drug addiction, depression, etc. He lost his mom and more recently, his best friend, and I believe a child as well long ago. My point in all of this is that mental illness is not a joke. I just keep thinking how much he was/is suffering. I have also been thinking a lot about Robin Williams and his suicide. I always thought people were selfish for committing suicide. How bad can it really be? I'm only guessing that the people who have committed suicide are feeling a thousand times worse than I am. But, in some way, I get it. You get so tired of feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, and your mind just wanders all day. All you want is for the constant noise to stop. Just shut up for two minutes. The only time I get that peace, is when I'm sleeping.

Do I pray? Yes. I definitely think it takes practice though. I heard someone say that once and I thought they were nuts. I struggle with praying and asking God for help when there are people out there who are dying from cancer, losing someone to cancer, homeless, or can't put food on the table for their kids. I feel like God is laughing at me. What could I possibly need or want?

I know my unhappiness and anxiety comes from being alone. I know I've blogged about this before, but people say you can't make others happy until you're happy. The thing is that I'm not trying fulfill some part of me that I've been neglecting. I don't need to finish school, I don't need to learn how to take care of myself, I don't need to save up money to get an apartment or buy a house, I'm not trying to purchase my first car, and I'm not trying to find my dream job (btw, does such thing exist?). I don't need to do me. I've done me for 10 years. I've watched all the girly movies, I've watched trash reality TV, I've painted my nails, plucked my eyebrows, read my books, slept in the middle of the bed, kept my house the way I wanted it -- no tooth paste in the sink or water spots splattered on the mirror. So, I really struggle with this statement/comment.  I also know that someone isn't going to make me 100% happy. I realize I'm always going to struggle with depression and anxiety.

Till next time...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Raw Truth

The last time I felt like I had lost complete mental control was probably back in 2006-2007. I remember I had just came home from running errands and I had a case of some beverage sitting on my kitchen counter and I took my hand and just swiped it all to the floor. I sat on my toy box and just thought to myself "What the hell did I just do? Why am I feeling like this? This is NOT normal." Shortly after, I think is when I went to see a doctor. 

I have good days, bad days, and impossible days. I think for some people who don't experience depression and anxiety they think it's as easy as just telling yourself to be happy. That everyone has bad days, and you'll wake up the next day and start fresh. While that may be true for even me, most days are a constant struggle. A struggle to get out of bed, get dressed, and show up for the day. 

This week for me has been particularly rough. My boss and I had a little tiff at work. The others at work are a constant struggle every single day to just make it through without telling them all to shut the fuck up -- stop slamming doors, stop running, pick up your feet when you walk, stop slamming the copier lid down, stop arguing with me if i tell you I don't want to take a call, etc. Some days, the noise is so loud it takes all that I have to not lose it like a crazy person. 

This week I also had a meeting for a new opportunity. Well after another meeting today, I realize that opportunity just isn't going to work for me. 

Everyday I am lonely. I know you're thinking I have a great family and a few great friends. I haven't had a relationship in 10 years. Even when I think I might have met someone who isn't an obvious psychopath, and by that I mean someone who isn't married, or in a relationship, it only takes time before someone loses interest. Before someone doesn't have the same feelings as the other.

I also know what else you're thinking. I have a job (two actually), I have a house, a car, clothes on my back, food in my stomach, family, and friends. So, why do I wake up everyday unhappy? I can't answer that. I have been working on being grateful and mindful. I have really been working on giving everything to God. Like I said - some days aren't so bad. The past two days have been horrible. Mentally exhausting. My heart feels like it's going to beat out of my chest. I keep looking at my TV stand with the plant and owl and think about taking my hand and swiping it all onto the floor like I did back 2006-2007. The tears flow, but there's no relief. The tears stop and I'm numb. I watch TV to get my mind off everything. I clean. I go shopping. I sleep just for a moment of silence and peace.  

I keep thinking of Robin Williams. He was a successful actor. He had family and friends. But, inside he was clearly hurting. You just never know what someone is going through. Sometimes the pain is just too much.

It's hard to talk to other people about how I feel. If you don't have depression or experience anxiety, you just can't simply understand what it feels like. Yes, it sucks, but that's not an acceptable comment to say to someone who feels like I do.  You don't just shake it off. Despite trying to get your mind to shift focus on happy things, it's just not that simple. 

Right now, all I can do is pray that each moment feels better than the last and that God pulls me through this.