Smell

The olfactory bulb is where the sense of smell is processed in the brain. It is right next to the hippocampus – where memories are stored. This is why certain smells evoke certain memories. 

The smell of fresh cut grass on that warm summer day as you ate a popsicle. The smell of your favorite perfume you wore on that date with that one person you never saw again after that night. The smell of fresh baked cookies from that time when you were a teen baking cookies with your sister around Christmas time. 

The smell of you invades my nostrils and almost knocks me to my knees the second I step into the threshold of your apartment.

I just miss you so much.

Bad Day

I got a call from the plasma donation center today.

I am not eligible to donate plasma until December 1st due to major depression. 

This is just shitty.

It’s weird to have someone else tell you about what you have.

So of course I pull out my abnormal psychology book and start reading.

And rereading. And rereading again. Symptoms, treatment, neurobiological approaches, physiological “causes” (more like theories), everything. And then I sit and think.

I’m having a very hard time today dissociating myself from it. The first time I read it I was okay. It was kinda weird, but I was okay. This time, it was like each word cut deeper than the last.

The worst was the “Discover: Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Disorder”. 

I want to scream at my textbook. How could they not understand? The perspective of the authors comes across as more and more naive each time I read it. How come people in the hospital could explain it to me so easily? It’s a coping mechanism when a person undergoes serious distress. How could they not see it? What doesn’t make sense? How can they so easily brush it off as a “topic still being researched”? 

I’m a mess right now. I tried to explain to Calvin how it wasn’t necessarily that I was turned away from donating plasma that has upset me, it’s the fact that I have this real disorder and it is very invasive in my life and I can’t seem to get away from it no matter how “good” I feel for a few months. All he could focus on was the fact that they turned me away. I know it isn’t easy to know why they did and I won’t say that I do, but focusing on that isn’t going to change that I still can’t donate.

I was already feeling under today. A large part of me thinks it’s because I didn’t work out. But I shouldn’t work out every day of the week. It’s important to take a rest day. That’s what I was trying to do today.

It has been 98 days since my last relapse with self-harm. 

98 days.

I’m supposed to be hanging out with friends right now. I really want to be hanging out with friends right now.

I just feel like I can’t do anything right now. I feel helpless, hopeless, disgusting, and exhausted. 

Calvin insisted that we video chat for a little bit. I couldn’t help giving him that, but I also don’t think he realizes the distress he put me under as he pressured me to do so. 

I just don’t feel good today. I just want to curl into a ball and just be left alone. 

We all have our good days and we all have our bad. 

This day just happens to be one of my particularly bad ones. 

The Next Month

Going through the motions and feeling numb.

Probably because I’m trying not to get too overwhelmed by everything I have to do in the next month.

Work 30+ hours a week. Move Calvin out. Move myself out. Call carpet cleaners for both of us. Deep clean both apartments. Keep working out. Pick up some scores. Go out and socialize at least once a week to appease my therapist. Visit my therapist weekly. Do my homework and studying for my online class. Practice mindfulness meditation every day. See my family. Enjoy summer and life a little bit. Practice my instruments. Keep in mind that I’ll be working the absolute busiest weekend for our restaurant which is when the Anime Iowa Convention is occurring and try not to die afterwards. 

I have a good feeling July is going to fly right out of my hands. 

Part of me is really okay with this.

Another part of me is scared that something’s going to give and I’m going to flop right on my ass.

I’m going to go eat lunch, work out, then do homework for the rest of the day. 

Maybe that’ll inspire me to get my ass in gear.

Substance and Grief

People. 

Just people. 

Typically after my 10:00 shifts, I go to Old Chicago for a beer or two and their happy hour. On a whim I asked a co-worker to join me. Then another co-worker invited us to his new place to drink and get stoned.

Not too hard to figure out where I went.

The co-worker who had invited us over said something intriguing though. He’d rather be drunk or stoned than sober. Sober wasn’t fun to him. It was too dull. 

He isn’t the first person I’ve encountered like this. Hell, I could be like that too had my life been just a little different. My life could still end up like that. I don’t know. 

But substance abuse is incredibly real. It’s real because reality ceases to exist. 

I was really scared to tell Calvin though what I did last night. I don’t think he took it too well either when I told him. Getting drunk is one thing to him I think. Me being stoned though hits him differently. I think it makes him more uncomfortable. 

I wonder if he’ll ever tell me what he thinks though.

That’s pretty important, I think. Especially if it really bothers him. I’d be willing to give it up for him. It’s not like I do it often. It’d be very easy to give up and I know I’d still enjoy life very much without it. 

But still, I don’t want to ask him if it bothers him. I understand being afraid to talk to someone about something of this nature especially when it’s only “negative” feedback. To me, though, I appreciate someone having the balls to confront me. That earns respect in my book. It makes me accountable for my actions and more importantly how my actions affect others.

Sorry, I’m really jumping all over the place right now because my brain can’t focus on one thing.

Another one of my friends just broke up with her boyfriend. I tried to comfort her. She says I helped eons. I looked back at my text messages. The usual, he’s an ass, doesn’t deserve you, you can do so much better, etc., etc., which is all true of course! But another thought: it doesn’t change that he hurt you and you’re hurting and that it happened. I’ll still try to be the best friend I can be, but it also makes me feel like I’m cheating you out of something. Does that make sense?

Grief happens. It happens in all sorts of forms and variations. Loss of a pet, loss of a significant other, loss of a particularly fond item, loss of a family member… loss in all sorts of forms. Death, moving, change in personality, lack of time… life progresses in such strange ways.

I guess part of me understands substance abuse more than I let on.

A New Journey

I don’t mean to brag, but I feel great.

I ran twice last week. I have also done the first three days of the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. I’ve rested three days since starting this to get myself back into a routine not too harshly.

I just had to post somewhere about my fitness. I’ve always had low self esteem especially when it comes to my body. I’m about 5’10” and weigh around 205 pounds. Most people are shocked to know I’m about the same weight as my sister even though our bodies look completely different. Every summer I start running again since the weather is nice and I have the time to kill.

I’m just tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what I see.

I’ve noticed how much happier I am after a workout too instead of how guilty I feel for skipping a workout. Yay endorphins!

I know the weight won’t just melt off and I’m not motivated by the number on the scale. Even at my fittest, I still weighed about 170 pounds. That was when I was in a sport year-round.

I’m just glad that on rainy days, I have something exercise related I can do that I don’t have to leave my house for. Especially that I already spent money on it and now I’m done paying. I like to swim and do other things, but gym memberships cost money and the campus Rec costs money to park plus travel time.

I just want to look in the mirror and not be able to point out so many “flabby” spots. I know being 100% happy with my body is an extreme goal, but I just want to be happier and healthier than I am now. I also have that body type where dieting and such doesn’t make the pounds come off, but as soon as I start working out they tend to fly off.

So here’s to another journey.

Love and In Love: Intoxicated Love Note

Went to a friend’s bar crawl tonight.

I’m a little intoxicated at the moment. 

He remembers you. 

You were creeped out because I told you what he said about you. He remembers you. You were intimidated by the others in class, but you’re cute and smart.

I took it as a compliment. A good, old friend of mine approves of you and of course he would. I knew he would. It took everything in me to not start bragging about you right then and there. I started to once, but stopped since I know people hate it when you brag about a significant other.

And boy, do I have a lot to brag about with you.

He told me about how he was ready to get down on one knee for his girlfriend. I’m so happy for him. They are absolutely adorable and great together. 

You are something else.

You just listened to me rant drunkenly for the last 30ish minutes at least. More that that. 

I miss you.

I can’t wait for December.

Neither can you for what it seems. 

You’re torn between the love of your home and having me back here. Having both in the same place will be exciting yet very calming for you. I’m excited to share that experience with you. More excited than you can know.

But to be honest, I think you’re more excited than I am.

I’m not hurt or offended or anything like that. I just hope you don’t see it as I’m not as excited as you. I’m plenty excited, trust me.

Get to leave the country for the first time, get to go with you, get to go on a plane, get to go with you…. Seriously. I’m. Pumped.

I know you’re worried about me and my anxiety. 

It’ll be like tonight. The closer I get to the bar (Hong Kong), the more my heart starts to pick up. I have second thoughts of turning around, I see the sign and my body begins to panic. I only know a few people that will be there. But I’ve committed. I’m doing this. And damn it, I’m going to enjoy it.

I had a fantastic time tonight.

I’m going to have an even better time in Hong Kong. 

Because you’ll be there. And you’re all I’ll ever want and need. Everything else is an added bonus.

I miss you like crazy. Lying in this bed in this apartment makes me miss you even more. 

I love you like crazy. 

So much to say that I know that I’m in love with you.

And that’s even crazier for me to say. 

What It’s Like To Be In Love When You Have Depression

Thought Catalog

“No one will love you until you learn to love yourself” is an easy enough phrase to believe is true. But it’s terrifying, especially when you have depression. What if you never learn? As a teenager, it made me fear for my life as an adult. I was certain I would never be capable of being in a relationship, but I was very wrong. Honestly, I do not like myself very much, and in August of 2013, a boy fell very, very much in love with me.

I have dealt with depression for as long as I can remember. I’ve been on and off medications, been to therapy, but it’s still alive and well, comfortable in its home in my bones. I can feel it every day, a tiny inkling that causes breathtaking emotional pain at the most inconvenient of times.

My depression doesn’t care that I am in a…

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This is a grind.

Today, I’m feeling insignificant.

I look around at what the people I know have accomplished. I see expanding travels. I see budding careers. I see a lot of things.

I guess I’m just feeling a little lost today.

I was just saying yesterday how I really needed to see Lisa. Well, I saw her today. I just felt like it was a bit of a wasted session.

I mean, I felt like I was just repeating things I had spoken about in previous sessions. Getting the same feedback. I was just very tired and hungry when I went in.

I don’t know.

All I know right now is that I’m back at my dad’s house and I just want to be back at my apartment with my overly-snuggly cat trying to lick my face reading a good book. I did talk to Lisa about this a bit though.

Mostly how coming home for an extended period of time is weird for me. I haven’t lived at home since before I graduated high school.

My mood is just very down today and I got a bit snippy with my stepmom.

I literally cannot stand watching movies or TV with them.

Antagonists find group of protagonists in a special location. My stepmom: “I wonder how they found out where they were?” Me: “I bet that bitch Hollywood told them where they were to spice up the action a bit. She’s such a diva.”

I got some disapproving looks from my dad.

Yeah… it’s time for me to go back to college town.

Honestly, I think the comment went over her head.

I then apologized and tried to laugh it off. Pam didn’t really understand what had just happened.

I just don’t understand why people ask rhetorical questions or speculate out loud. Is it necessary? If you don’t want an answer, don’t ask…

I’m just tired today. I think it’s time for me to envelop myself in some other reality for a while before I succumb to sleep. Then tomorrow: hit the road, go home, do something fucking productive, maybe…

This is a grind.

Dependency

I have found my brain to be incredibly naive and it’s incredibly annoying.

Maybe it’s just my mouth that’s naive.

Part of my therapy is to let go of little things that I’ve said and how people have reacted to them. What was said has been said and I can’t go back and change my words. When I tell my therapist the subject matter, she often reminds me that those are little things that most people wouldn’t remember that I said. I do though and I ruminate over them and they drive me crazy.

It’s very harmful.

Right now, my mind is on a loop over a conversation we had. I remember being tired. I remember being upset. I don’t know why exactly or when this conversation took place. I just remember what was said and how you reacted and then how I reacted and how I felt and the recreation of this conversation in my head is all too real right now.

I just get scared of commitment. I’m not okay with taking risks. Risks are just that – they don’t make guarantees. That’s what scares me. The lack of not knowing.

I told you this. You didn’t really have a response. 

I asked you where you saw this going. You said definitely through your Masters. 

Okay.

I guess I’m just going to have to be okay with that answer. 

I should reword my previous statement. I’m not afraid of commitment. I’m afraid of committing to someone or something only to be let down.

I told you that.

I don’t know, maybe you feel the same way. I know one of your concerns from your previous relationships was that you came into them with too many and too high of expectations so when it fell apart, you did too. You want to protect yourself from that. I understand that.

Of course I want to tell you that I’m not like them because I’m not like them. Of course I want to explain how much you mean to me and how I love you more than you could possibly imagine. Of course I want to tell you how and why I think our relationship is different from the rest and why I’m okay with committing to you.

I think you know these things though. 

I also hope I didn’t put too much pressure on you and me and this with that conversation. Especially with what followed.

Like I said, I don’t enjoy taking risks consciously on important things where the stakes are too damned high. Why would I commit myself to an at least 20-month long distance relationship without the guarantee of a promise?

I don’t know. The more and more I think about it the more naive I feel. I’ve just written and erased a full paragraph twice now. 

I don’t know why I feel such a rush to get married. No. I don’t. It’s hard to explain. 

It’s mostly a fear. 

I fear that without that kind of commitment, I won’t feel safe knowing that you are really mine. Knowing that you won’t leave me.

I fear that without you even saying that even just maybe after those two years you spend doing your masters you could see us getting engaged sometime in the future, you won’t stay.

And I don’t think you fully understand how much of an influence you have over my life right now. I’m not saying that this is how it will always be and I’m also saying that I’m trying to change this because having this much dependency on one person is unsafe. 

If you were to breakup with me, I would immediately hospitalize myself or make someone take me there. Either that, or I’d try to commit suicide right then and there. I know that for a fact. 

That’s a lot of pressure to put on one person. 

I’m not okay with having this kind of dependency on one person. So much of my health depends upon you and us. That’s really not okay with me. The stakes are too damned high.

It’s not necessarily that there’s so much I want to do before I die. I have a new sense of purpose, yes, but a lot of it revolves around you and where we go as people and how the world develops us as a couple and as individuals. I still don’t have a sense of personal purpose. 

I have dreams for myself and things that I want to do, but these things are all things I want to do with you or with you in the picture somehow. Like, I want to travel the world… with you. I want to go to graduate school for psychology or music therapy… because of you. I want to really pursue music therapy and have a career… so I can feel worthy of being seen as your significant other. I want to have a family… because of you and with you. 

This is absolutely crazy.

This is absolutely… crazy.

I want to have worth and have meaning and experience the world around me because of you. 

Without you in the picture, I honestly don’t see much else. Plain and simple as that.

This is one reason why I was scared to get into a relationship when I have been battling depression. It’s why Sean and I broke up. I didn’t want to depend on him because he was fragile and I couldn’t trust him with that kind of responsibility and he didn’t want to deal with it anyway. I knew, though, that getting into a relationship when I’m so fragile myself was dangerous. 

I’m grossly independent. 

My dependency upon you is my greatest weakness I feel. 

A part of me thinks that it’s okay to depend on you. A part of me knows it is necessary.

I just don’t think that depending upon you this much is necessary.

I knew it the minute you sat down in that blue chair with wooden armrests and legs that was surprisingly a recliner in my hospital room that you had no idea the effect you had upon me. The amount of control you had. The amount of control you still have.

It’s dangerous, it makes me feel uncomfortable, I don’t like it, but I don’t know what to do about it.