Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coming up on 9 years post-OD

Every year that June 1st rolls around, it hits me in different ways. The first alive-aversary was a bit shocking. I think I have some old handwritten journals I could flip through to find my real feelings from that time (and I still think maybe I'll go back through them). I think by the third anniversary, I had forgotten about it. I felt bad for forgetting, when I realized it a few days later. Sometimes the day passes without incident, sometimes I look at the clock a lot. At least once, I have stayed up until the early hours of the morning, remembering, how x years ago, I was getting carted away in the ambulance, throwing up in a small bowl, falling asleep naked on a gurney, struggling to stay awake while the nurse asked me questions. Ask me later, why are you asking me now?

I'll still be here in the morning, though that wasn't really the intent when I fought to wash down 18 pills, one at a time, with water filled over and over in a Dixie cup. It wasn't until a few years ago that I really accepted the overdose as a suicide attempt. I wonder if that seems silly to other people, but there probably aren't a lot of people out there that will admit, if they even see, the humor in these kinds of situations.

It's hard to see it that way when most of what you remember is thinking, "I just want to wake up and have everything be better."

What I hate most about the overdose is that I don't remember a lot. It's not selective memory. It's just my memory. It sucks. It always has. With executive functioning disorder, I have trouble holding onto details, and I think it's also common for depressed folks to have poor memories. There's a lot of things going on in your head when your depressed and even big events get blurry, especially with the passage of time. I tried to document the events over and over after I got out of the hospital and I still have some of those records, but there's a lot lost. Maybe it's disassociation.

What I love about what happened is that it's my story to tell on my own terms. Nobody asks me about it. I can talk about it when I want, stop when I'm done. Thanks, stigma-on-depression-and-suicide-attempts. You are playing in my favor.

To be honest, I can't dwell at all on how my family might think about it. Maybe they remember June 1st with sadness (too). I can't talk to them about it (if you read this, I'm sorry, but I really can't).

I think, this year, I'll take a long walk with Hulky. Maybe I'll wear something pretty. Perhaps I'll cook us up some steaks.

(I've written about my history and overdose before.)

This entry is a little early this year. I like the idea of posting on my actual alive-aversary on June 1st, but these are the feelings with me today.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Part of my bicycling commute–near work


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When it gets really rainy, the swamp-area beside the parking lots by my office get really full. Geese and ducks hang out here. My co-workers and I watched them peck at ice during the cold months.

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By the athletic facility, there are a few radio towers of some type. I don’t know what they area, but they look cool while also being intrusive to the view.

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When I first went walking in the parking lot to investigate my route (during a lunch break), I wasn’t sure where I’d be coming out from the park. Had I looked a little to the right that day, I would’ve seen the path.

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Ze path
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Lots of puppies run around here now that it's warm out.
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There’s a lovely bit of stream or brook here. This is part of my path through the park.

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Quack
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I could hear loud music here on the day I took these photos. I thought it was a congregation at first, but some of the music was Sinatra-esque. Somebody was having a good time, anyway. I don’t think it was being sung live.
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I found out that day that orange peels float. Just so you know.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hello, I'm alive. Have a post.

I've started hiding my trashcan at work behind an empty desktop computer, under my desk. I had to hide it because I kept forgetting and putting things in it. This is my minimal one-woman effort to reduce waste. If I carry the very little waste that I produce every day (geez, we're taking fruit peels and tea bags, get your head out of the toilet) to the trashcan in the kitchen every day, the bag will not have to be replaced on mine. There is only a paper teabag sleeve in it right now, from yesterday. I am hoping the maintenance people will leave it so I can see how long I can keep it empty.

There's a grand post about my bicycling to work coming up. I don't know when. I think it needs more pictures first. I've got some photos that I took near work on my "test ride" before I actually ever did the ride as a commute, but I think I want some from the whole route. That will have to be arranged for a weekend. My legs are tired, have been for the past week or more, and I'm hoping it's just from non-stop activity (squats when I'm not cycling), and that I will recuperate eventually. I have only gotten to cycle to work once this week due to poor forecasted weather. That is, the weather forecasted was poor, and the forecasting was poor because it DIDN'T RAIN DURING MY COMMUTE YESTERDAY. Disappointing, but too much of a hassle to risk cycling and getting stuck. I have only one flashy light for my person/backpack and my bag isn't THAT waterproof.

Brunch in town.
It's been just under two weeks since Hulky helped buzz my head. The little floof in the front cracks me up. It's slightly longer than the rest of my hair, but I'm okay with that. I think that bit of "personality" helped me transition to the whole "where the crap did my hair go" bit. I do miss having more hair at times, but this is a fun project. I think I'm getting more used to my face every day. I wear make-up only a few times a year, at most, and I don't feel any more inclined to now. It's just not practical and I generally like my features unadorned. My hair is long enough to show bedhead, which is usually something I love, but requires some wetting and brushing to try and control at this length. I don't really mind the poofy head look. I don't really mind any of it, but I'm still looking forward to getting a bit more length before our engagement party so I can bleach and dye it. If it's not the length I want, I'll just buzz it again, now that I know I love it.

Because I do love it. I feel like I can say that now. I honestly recommend this to anyone. It's an excellent challenge in self-confidence. I feel like I focus on my posture a lot more now, which is a good thing all around.

Bicycling seems to help with that too. I remind myself to keep my shoulders back and down, and I feel like they don't seem to be as pulled forward when I admire my body's profile in the mirror.

I am so proud of my legs, I don't think I can even explain it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Buzz-cut up in hyah

I didn’t even think of doing a “before” picture. For shame!

Well, this is what I looked like last week?

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A screencap from the video you won’t get to see of the process:

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This is the face I made when the buzzer got stuck in my hair:

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At one point, my hair looked like this (it was kind of greasy):

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But in the end, I think I look pretty adorable.

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Maybe, someday, someone will capture a photo of me smiling, full-dimple. It looks great.

Enforcing personal change

Faces mean a lot. Faces communicate, just from their appearance alone, to all sighted people. No words required. The structure of our faces is probably the thing least easy to change about our bodies. Fat can be lost, muscle can be gained, vice versa, et cetera, but barring surgery, trauma, and age, the visage does not change very much.

This is the thing we struggle with most. When people are unhappy with their bodies, it seems like others are all too willing to step in and remind them of "how beautiful your face is!!!" As though that has any merit on their worth. As though their size had any bearing on their worth as a human being, to begin with.

This isn't structured well, but it's not easy to talk about either. I haven't been able to read lately, or write. Something is different about my brain and I can't figure it out.

I guess I have been enjoying "thin privilege" for most of my life, but I am still one among many that was dissatisfied with my own flesh and skin. Now that I'm happier with my body, even with regular changes that it undergoes, I'm stuck becoming accustomed to my face. Some days, it looks fine to me. Other days, it's "too" broad, or my nose is "too" angular. There is so much influence in our lives over how we perceive ourselves. I have noticed that smaller noses and broader jaws are very highly valued among men actors in Hollywood lately. The faces valued for women are, frankly, very infantile (larger forehead, lower & larger eyes, petite and slightly pointed nose, cupid lips). Anything outside of these values is considered "exotic", "elongated", "bulbous", and every single term has a negative connotation. The words themselves are not inherently negative, only the value we have given them.

In contemplating what to do with my hair as it becomes a massively overgrown pixie-cut, I realized that I should be less afraid of these changes. Yes, this is coming from someone who has sported a mohawk, pink hair, purple hair, and is not afraid of a short haircut (something that society tells us is weird for women). In the end, the mask of hair is removed, the shelter is gone, and I am forced to contend with my image again. My body is the same however. Strong, sexy, and dare I say, almost athletic. My face is the same too, I just can't seem to get used to it.

I'm about 90% certain that I'm buzzing my head this weekend. I feel like I need to face myself.

Just don't tell me something along the lines of, "Of course you could pull this off!" You could pull it off too. It's only a matter of your own perception. Screw everyone else.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Learning how to deal, again

Love In The Age Of The 24-Hour News Cycle

I have been wondering how to talk about this article since it came out. I don’t know if there’s anything I can say about it that is not stated in the article itself.

Everyone has to learn to deal with fear at some point (well, they don’t have to, but if they don’t, life is a lot less bearable). Those skills are brought to light especially during the time of poignant tragedies such as the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Being so close to home, it struck me especially hard. It was horrifying to know that my friends were hearing gunshots close to their neighborhood, that it was dangerous for them to go outside. My town was not affected by the lockdown, but I was trapped by this oppressive fear that the situation would change and it would no longer be the town next door.

I am relieved at every kiss that Hulky and I share. We have a few rules that we abide by pretty strictly. No intentionally ignoring phone calls. No turning down a kiss, even if it’s just a quick peck. We also say “I love you” at basically every parting. It’s those little things, and being able to hold his hand everyday, that get me through the harder moments. No matter what, we had that.

I learned that I don’t really need the news. Knowing about the horrors going on in other countries, even in other areas of my own country, only makes me sleep less restfully. Where I am in my life right now, there is no way that I can help them. I’m tired of “signal boosting” tumblr and Facebook posts. Maybe someone out there can make a difference, but I can’t, and it wears on me. I’m too sensitive. What I can do is affect my local community by staying informed on state politics and local elections. I think that will have the greatest impact. Maybe someday I will find a way to share my resources with others, but I’m not ready for it yet.

That’s okay. And that is the #1 thing I have learned from this. It’s okay to be helpless sometimes.