Enthusiastic

Enthusiastic.

That is supposedly the one word that describes me.

My friends agree.

Huh.

I took Calvin to my mom’a grave the other day. It was a big step, but it was a lot easier than I anticipated.

I know Ben came here with me a few times, but he had been here on his own without me or my family. Our families went to church together, so we were friends. In fact, his parents were with me when my mom died. His mom held my hand.

Jordan… Probably didn’t come here with just me. He might have been here once or twice with the rest of our friends, but not just the two of us.

Sean wanted to come. He wanted to visit. I didn’t want him to though. Not just the two of us or ever really for that matter. I never really felt he was mature enough to understand the significance and what it meant to me. It’s also a sacred place for me and I didn’t want to share it with him.

It was an easy choice to bring Calvin here though. I don’t know why, but it was. He even bought a flower with me to place on her marker.

Now he makes me enthusiastic.

Even during a depressive episode.

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Wrong and Right

“It’s a long day,” you remark.

I agree.

I know you’ve actually been busy. Planning, meetings, rehearsals, and practicing. I’ve been snuggling with my cat.

But I feel so tired. My appointment with my therapist was something else today. I felt like my brain imploded and everything was fuzzy. I probably couldn’t recall about 90% of those precious 50 minutes if you asked me to.

I’m also experiencing a headache at the moment.

I just feel wrong right now.

Wrong about how tired I am. Wrong about school. Wrong about money. Wrong about the way I feel. Wrong with how much I’m invading your life.

It makes me just tired. I want to sleep.

Maybe when I wake up, it’ll feel right.

Stopping Chasm

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What stops me?

Is it fear? Is it love? Is it apathy?

I’m sitting in my car, feeling sick above all things. Dizzy mostly. Probably due to my medication.

I’m very tired of playing in this endless cycle.

My body feels somewhat relaxed. My breathing is slow and even. My heart rate is steady. My muscles aren’t tensed.

My mind is another story.

I’m not the only person good at hiding things. Calvin never tells me when he talks to his ex-girlfriends. He probably thinks nothing of their conversations and thinks that telling me will only cause worry.

It’s worse because I know he’s talking to them but he hides it from me.

That makes me worried.

I’m really not the jealous type. He tells me of girls he’s friends with and I’m not bothered in the least bit by it.

I’m worried now though, because he hesitated to tell me.

To make matters worse, when I addressed it briefly, he could only say that he was sorry.

Only that.

So tell me. What’s stopping me?

I’ve never understood what’s stopped me in the past. Maybe it’s just that I’ve never actually been close enough to actually make an attempt.

Part of me knows I have been though. I have scars on my shoulders to prove that.

Before this whole ex-girlfriend fiasco, I was already having a shitty day. This only amplifies everything.

As I write, rain pours down and the chasm only gets stronger.

I asked my best friend if I was overreacting. She assured me that I wasn’t and told me I was probably under reacting. I’m just unsure of what to do in this situation.

My heart is no longer steady. My breathing is shallow.

I’m taking today off now.

I’ve had enough.

Rain

This week is going to be very difficult, and it’s not even 10:30 Monday morning.

I’ve been increasingly tired lately. I don’t know. I have vivid dreams (the meds do that) and I wake up feeling like I never went to sleep. Calvin asked about it last night. I told him just that I haven’t really been sleeping well. There’s truth.

I didn’t know what to tell him though. I almost never do.

Woke up this morning and couldn’t get myself out of bed. It wasn’t until 4 minutes until class that I finally did. I hate showing up late to things. I’d usually rather not go at all. He told me sorry, but I’ve been missing too much class lately so I should go.

He’s right. But I think why have I been missing so much class?

I’m so tired.

I take naps almost every single day because I’m so tired.

I can’t make it through the day without some sort of caffeine.

This week is going to be all rain. All. Rain.

I usually love the rain.

But I can tell right now it’s only going to make this week hard.

Honestly Okay

The weather is beautiful and life seems to throw surprises everywhere.

Not all of them are bad though.

Some are incredibly good.

Incredibly good.

Last night, a friend of mine was having some issues with her saxophone. She texted me to see if I was around to see what the problem was. Initially, I panicked. Fixing a horn for me usually means I have to play it a little bit. But I did it. I helped her figure out what the problem was. Simple. Her reed wasn’t any good. I gave her some of my reeds that I probably won’t ever use since they’re of a brand and thickness I don’t use anymore (or at least, just use on the rare occasion. Sometimes I can get a really good sound out of them.) Then, just on a whim, I went out and got my soprano.

I played, just because.

I played soprano. 

Interesting start, seeing as I’m not much of a soprano player and don’t like playing it nearly as much. But I willingly, without any prompting, played soprano, and didn’t have a panic attack.

I played saxophone and didn’t have a panic attack.

It was glorious. 

I was so excited, I called Calvin over, we went out and had a wonderful dinner, and I was in a high the rest of the evening. 

Yesterday was just the first day in a long time that I have just felt really okay. 

I feel hopeful. I feel happiness. I feel rational. I feel stable. I feel relaxed. 

Granted, I still feel overwhelmingly tired, but that’s also due to my horrible sleep schedule as of late. I’m also on edge with Calvin’s Pre-recital Hearing this afternoon. Once that’s all over, hoping on the words from him that he passed, I think I’m going to be really okay.

I’m very much okay with just feeling okay.

Okay is good.

Okay is very good.

I have also recently discovered through a friend of a group called Active Minds. It’s a group that centers around college students with mental illness, providing resources, and trying to erase the stigma against mental illness and the discussion. While I am very interested in the group and think their mission is one I want to stand for, I don’t feel mentally and emotionally prepared to talk openly about my depression by using my vocal chords. I can talk on here just fine, but I’ve always been better at expressing myself in a more clear and effective manner than by speech. 

Which probably isn’t good, seeing as my writing is very scattered most of the time.

But today they have their event called Send Silence Packing. It’s where they have backpacks all across our campus quad, or as we call it at Iowa the Pentacrest, and have facts, resources, and people advocating for mental illness. It’s a very strong message, and very important. I want to help and support it, but I need someone there to support me. 

It was hard enough passing the backpacks while riding on the bus. All I could think of was that one of those backpacks could have been mine. How close I was. How a few people made a difference.

Granted, I’m still at a balancing point. I’m standing on the middle of the lever, wanting desperately to go up, but knowing that I could very easily go down once I step on that side. Or that the downside would be easy to go to as well. 

It’s a challenge and I’m not one known for their superb balance.

But for right now, I’m okay.

Honestly, I’m okay and I love it.

Fighter

Did you know that when a young child loses a parent at a young age, certain connections made in the brain are never made so the child perceives the world in a totally different way?

I grew up in a household where I never talked about myself or how I was feeling. Everything was about my mom, the cancer treatment, etc..

I learned to get over things fast.

My father was verbally abusive and terrifying in the first few years after my mother’s passing. At times, he got violent. There are certain things I can never get over with him. He knows this, but he’ll never admit he was sorry.

He has never fully learned the impact of words. Words carry a lot more meaning than people think.

Him yelling at us then claiming he might kill himself…. Not exactly for the ears of a 10-year-old.

No one has ever stood up for me. No one has ever tried to vouch for me. In my life, if I wanted to do something, I did it through my own means.

Everything I have, everything I am, I have fought for. I’ve fought for my own damn life too many times and still do.

I do things and I do them my way. I have learned a lot from mistakes. I’m still learning.

But don’t expect me to change just because you’re in my life now overnight. This is a lifetime of conditioning you’re dealing with. It’s unrealistic and you’re taking a lot from me when you do this.

Yes, I’m burdened with it, but it’s my burden to carry. It’s not yours to deal with. Let me carry myself, my things, my thoughts, beliefs, and feelings for they are mine to carry.

If I really need help, I’ll probably ask.

I know I’m a work in progress, but this is a lifetime of conditioning you’re attempting to undo.

I’ve not afraid of a fight, either.

Swims

Depressive episodes are nasty little things. They can creep up on you at any moment without any notice or warning. When they hit, they hit hard. 

It’s a beautiful day outside. I woke up still pretty early-ish, around 10:15. Came home a couple of hours later. I still have Calvin’s keys since he had rehearsal this morning. Came home, was chilling with my cat and roommate. We decided to go out and throw the frisbee a little bit. Had another friend join us. Came back home and started making some Mac ‘n’ cheese just because. I haven’t really been hungry recently, but you know, that’s okay. I had only had some toast this morning so I figured I should eat something more. Had some yogurt while it was cooking. My sister started pocket texting me numbers so I called her just so she’d know. We ended up talking for some time. 

I went to drain my pasta, ended up having every single bit of pasta down the sink. Skill.

It was funny.

I was disappointed, but funny. 

Stephanie really demanded that we go shopping today later so I agreed just because I didn’t know what else to say. I honestly didn’t want to go shopping with her because she takes way too long at each store and I’ve already been feeling annoyed with her lately. I don’t want to aggravate things by being around her when just thinking about it annoys me. I’d rather hang out with her when I’m not feeling hostile towards her. I’m sure she would to.

But my sister was being demanding that I go see her show tonight. I was planning on going tomorrow, but she insisted that I wouldn’t make it. So I bought a single ticket.

Yeah, Calvin can’t come because of a rehearsal. Not a big deal.

But because my dad’s coming to the show tonight I think I want to get dinner with him since I haven’t seen him for a few weeks. I invited Calvin to come with us, but he didn’t say yes. He didn’t say no either, it was just implied. 

Yeah… kind of annoyed already with him earlier too. While driving home, I texted him saying just to hold on for a few seconds because I was there to give him his keys. He insisted on leaving because he was already with his ride and didn’t want to keep them waiting. 

I think it’s more so he didn’t want to be getting his keys back in front of someone. 

He always tries to be discrete about it too. And while I understand it, when it inconveniences both of us he kind of needs to get over that embarrassment (when everyone knows or doesn’t care anyway) so we can get shit done.

Now I have to make an extra trip to some where I don’t need to go. 

Also, I’m always the one doing the driving, the staying, I do a lot of shit. Small things.

I’m just annoyed which is why I’m venting.

But I’m not just annoyed. I’m feeling the symptoms pretty hard right now.

I really don’t want to go to this recital to go support my friends. I mean, supporting them is the only reason to go. Other than that, I’m just feeling very upset, tired, heavy, and like I can’t talk to anyone.

Minor things. Minor things add up way more than they should. 

This week has just been hard too.

I’m so much more irritable and the weather’s been nice and I don’t get it.

My head just swims.

Rude

This is gonna kill my battery but I’m so pissed I don’t care.

You were mean to me all night.

What the fuck. What the actual fuck.

Temperamental. I don’t know what’s going on with you, but if you’re simply going to be rude and mean to me all night and short to me I’m not going to give you shit back.

If you were open with me and told me that you were specifically upset for some reason, then I could help. Then we would both be on the same page and I wouldn’t be out in my car outside of my apartment having a cigarette.

You just let me go.

I didn’t want to talk tonight because I know this is a bit pent up and I have alcohol in my system. That makes everything worse and I need to go to bed.

I can’t believe you let me drive though. After seeing me drink, you just let me go.

I know you’re upset with me to. Instead of choosing to tell me though, you’re rude, short, and unpleasant.

I feel under appreciated. I do a lot of stuff for you. A lot. I feel like I can barely get you to say “I love you” unless it’s right after sex.

I feel stupid. I’m letting you use me a lot and it’s not fair. Then when life gets you down, you don’t tell me and instead get mean.

What do you want me to do?? I don’t tell you about my own demons because you’re stressed yourself but what am I to do with my demons then??

Post interrupted by Eric. He needed to vent.

The Sound Of Settling: “You”

Here is yet another drunken update.

I sit in my apartment – a good amount of intoxicated – yet very easily swayed in any emotion presented correctly.

Whether that be elation or anger, I can flip very easily. Yet, I still think fairly rationally.

I’m just a lot quicker to mood swings and am feeling pretty good overall.

That’s how I know I’m good.

This is good.

GOD DAMN IT. TOO GOOD. I NEED TO FOCUS.

I want to pick up my alcohol from the party I was at. I was outside having a smoke with one of the freshman bassoonists when the cops came and busted it. I took him to my place just to chill out, but very quickly he said he was gonna catch up with some friends which was good because…

UGH.

I’m just…. UGH.

I don’t go out anymore.

I’m pretty okay with this. I mean, I go out every once and a while. I drink with good friends. I usually text/message Calvin at some point through out the night. I haven’t gained back the weight I lost due to quitting drinking for a while. The number of times I’ve gone out this year… I could count them on one hand. The number of times I’ve been drunk this year I could count on one hand. Last year… that same number would be the number of times I went out on one month.

I went out a lot last year. I got drunk a lot. I have a lot of great memories, stories, and bonding times with friends I barely see anymore. I also remember thinking the whole time that I should date someone who could come with me and be my equal at these kind of events and such.

Calvin has proven himself as such.

He went to Saxmas with me. I was so proud and happy and… I can’t even explain the emotions. My alcohol that I won there is still at his place. I haven’t touched it since that night.

It still sucks though going to parties alone and then calling/texting him later while I’m drunk and he’s doing work and I can only think, ‘Is this the way it’s gonna be next year?’

I sure as hell hope not.

Because I won’t be in marching band. I probably won’t be in SAI. I don’t know what events I’ll get invited to. Probably none. I’ll just be going to the bars. Getting hit on by men that I’m attracted to but not interested in. Also remaining fiercely loyal to a relationship.

I can tell anyone right now that Calvin is the best thing that has happened to me.

Him and Leo.

Leo has motivated me to take responsibility for my life.

Calvin has made me accountable.

Lots of people have noticed the difference. I take more time and care in my personal appearance (partially due to me just knowing how to do my make-up, part of it being last semester being a dark hole full of “I can’t even shower I’m so depressed how am I out of bed”.) I’m getting my act together. It’s a good thing. It’s a really good thing.

I still cling to my vices, though.

I still smoke. In fact, I’ve started smoking more regularly. I need to stop. I need to quit now before I become addicted. It’s a vicious cycle that starts and ends now. I just need to be strong enough to realize that I can and will be okay without tobacco.

I think about sex. A lot. A lot more than the average person might expect. Probably not. For the first time, I’m not on birth control and I have an active sex drive and I want to use it. Reasons why I’m terrified of Calvin going some where other than Iowa for his Master’s Degree….

I know he will though. An almost full ride scholarship to Indiana and Rousseau at Minnesota…

Granted, we still have Tse. But Calvin is thinking of coming back for his Doctorate.

It’s hard! I have yet to feel successful at a long-distance relationship. Every single time I have tried one, I haven’t really been invested in it from the beginning. But this one I am. I’m so invested in it, it seriously terrifies me.

I don’t know what to do. I take one look at this guy and realize I am so in over my head and he probably isn’t and I realize that one of these days when he goes away for whatever degree it is, he’s going to find some prettier, more talented girl and he’ll realize that he can do so much better than me. I’ve even said this to our friends and they have yet to say anything. I shouldn’t say that they agree, but they don’t disagree. Not openly at least.

He can.

He probably will.

I’m just scared for how that’s going to leave me.

It’s hard for me to not think long term. I’m just not that kind of girl. Sure, I don’t know what’s going to happen and I don’t have expectations. Expectations are different from hopes and dreams though.

And I’m a dreamer.

Of course, I haven’t thought more than a few years down the road with us, but I see myself traveling to Hong Kong next winter. I want that to be a surprise Christmas gift to him, but we’ll see how long I can keep up that scheme.

But I think long term. You know, one of the reasons why he didn’t want to date me was because he thought I was thinking more long term with this. I told him that I didn’t know what I was thinking because honestly, I didn’t know. I hoped though.

I am a lot more invested in this than he is.

Examples:

He’s met, talked to, openly showed himself to my friends and family. Even close ones. Like Christian. He has yet to meet Diego, but that’s in the works and once he meets Diego… I don’t know if I can turn back.

I’ve talked to him mom. For about… 2 minutes. It was awkward. It didn’t go over well. He brushed over it like it was nothing, saying I was “shy”.

Every other conversation he’s had with a close friend or family member since we’ve been dating: I’m invisible. I’m not to talk unless I’m being directly addressed.

It’s not like it really matters, though. He talks almost strictly in Cantonese with them. Not a language I am familiar with or that I can at least butcher my way through.

Most of them know a good bit of English though, so he says. But I get it. The precious time he has to spend with them, he doesn’t want to waste everyones’ time blundering our way through some English. He wants to tell them what he wants to tell them, have them do the same, then everyone leave and go about their business. Sure.

I want to share him with my friends and family because he’s so important to me.

He keeps me on the side as this thing that is in his life now, but doesn’t want to go about sharing me because it makes life difficult.

OKAY. I’M PISSED AT HIM.

I’M PISSED AT HIM FOR A LOT OF REASONS RIGHT NOW.

He almost ruined my night tonight. The constant jokes about me being drunk and if I was going to text him or not. It made me not want to have my phone on me at all. Even when I did text him, all he said was, “here it goes,” and just waited for me to be a silly, stupid drunk girl texting him. I’M A LOT MORE THAN THAT DAMN IT. I DESERVE SOME FUCKING RESPECT.

He was pissy when I picked him up today. He was upset that I didn’t give him enough notice on our double-date that had just been planned 2 hours before then. I let him know as soon as I knew. Like it was my fault.

He makes me feel guilty for wanting to go out and drink. He makes me feel guilty for being some drunken white girl. He makes me feel like I’m acting like sorority chicks every time I get drunk. It’s not fair. It makes me feel stupid and like I don’t have a brain. It makes me feel like I’m of a lower class or something stupid like that. So what if I like to get drunk?! I don’t do it that often any more, and if I do want to, do you really have to be so condescending to me about it?! You’ve barely ever been drunk, let alone gotten drunk on a regular basis to socialize and have good stories and memories with your friends.

I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry at all.

I’m sorry that even in my drunken stupor, I still want to be with you.

You, who has made me feel stupid for saying that I would walk to your place right now. Of course I would walk, I can’t drive. It’s not safe for me to drive. I would walk. By myself. In the cold. For you. Because I always will want to be with you. I’m okay by myself. Really, I am. Ultimately, I want to be with you though. I choose that. Why? Because I fucking love you, you dipshit.

You.

It’s always been you.

I just know that I haven’t always been “you” for you.

I know that.

I know that I probably will never will be.

You.

You’ve always had me, even when you didn’t intend to.

Now I wish that I was smarter. Now I wish I had been more of a closed book to you. Now I wish I could take some of the beginning.

That beginning ruined me.

You’ve always had me.

And I’ve never felt like I’ve had you.

I feel like after now, I would have had some of you.

I still don’t feel that way.

Sure, I know things. I know things that you said you’ve never shared with anyone.

I still don’t feel like I have you though.

This is the sound of settling. Except I’m not settling. You are.

And it drives me insane every day.

Quitting

My mom was a cat lover.

I’m pretty sure had she raised me more, she would have told me to stick with it and helped me instead of trying to quit.

I can’t keep quitting and finding alternatives.

Some things are worth it.

My gut tells me this is one of those things.