So there’s a part of my life that I’ve been subconsciously neglecting, and I can’t be sure as to why. I’m not bothered by it, but I think I should still talk about it because last week it was incredibly relevant.

Last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. For quite a few years, this week was incredibly important to me because I struggled so hard with my eating disorder, even when I thought I had it under control. Sometimes I still question whether I had an eating disorder at all. I constantly have to remind myself that it’s a mental illness and isn’t the physical appearance part of it. Reading about the struggles and transformations of others really gave me a sense of belonging, and I am thankful that a week like this exists. Awareness for this illness is so glossed over, but it is extremely relevant in this day and age of fitness and fad diets and social media.

Regardless of my story, this week is significant to so many men and women in the world. This illness is toxic and terrible, and it hurts so many incredible people. All I want in life is for every single person to be happy with their bodies and to treat them well–that’s far easier said than done, but I can still hope for it, right?

So many people hide their stories because of the stigma against mental illness, and that shouldn’t be the case. I was open about my struggles on this blog, but I also didn’t tell anyone about it for a long time. This was a place to tell my story without having any potential consequences from my real life. And I think that it’s wonderful for people who are struggling to have an outlet to share their thoughts and feelings. NEDA Week is an opportunity to for these people to open up about their stories. And it’s also an opportunity for those unable to share (for whatever reason) to see that they are not alone in this. Knowing you’re not alone is one of the most important parts of recovery.

Sometimes I still struggle with disordered thoughts and worrying too much about my body, but I feel so much stronger. And maybe that’s why I sort of failed to give an update on this topic. It would feel a bit hypocritical to not say anything at all.

Quite simply, I would like to send my love for those in recovery from any and all eating disorders, as well as those who are still neck deep and need just some love and support. I have a lot of encouragement from my friends and family, and that really makes a difference. So if a kind stranger can give you the love and positivity you might need just to get through the day, let me be that stranger.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet, but I’m always open for conversation about anything I’ve talked about on the blog. Throwing my good thoughts out there for all of you. You can do this. You are strong.

And in case you forget about that, watch this gem of a video!



Dear Future Employers…

Dear Future Employers,

I have a mental illness.

It’s powerful and draining, and it’s been with me for more than half of my life. I have days where I feel like I’m going to crumble, and everything is going to come crashing down on me at any moment. My heart pounds constantly from my anxiety, and if you look at me and my eyes are red, it probably means that I might cry. There are times when all I want to do is stay in bed. The world is a heavy place, and it doesn’t need one more burden on it.

Because I can be a burden. Nobody wants to be around someone they have to carry around mentally and emotionally. These are the days it takes me the longest to get up. I don’t know how to get up.

Sometimes I feel sick to my stomach for no reason at all. I’m just nauseated and my body hurts. It feels like there’s a hole that’s sucking out my insides. It’s painful and draining. I want to snap at people for the simplest things. I want to be alone. I can’t take being in the real world, and I need to get away to my own world. Silence. Darkness. Isolation.

But I am strong. So, so strong. I don’t crumble when I feel like I might. I let my heart pound and my eyes sting, but I don’t cry and I don’t panic. I get out of bed every day, regardless of how I feel. I get up, and I face the day head-on. Unless I’m going to the library or the gym, I put effort into the way I look.

I am strong. I’m never late–even when I stay in bed a bit too long. I will always be there. I don’t need to be carried by anyone else, I hold myself up. On my own and well.

I am strong. Even when I feel sick, I keep going. I keep moving forward. The hole in my insides doesn’t stand a chance. I hype myself up to stop the draining feeling. I don’t snap at people. I keep any Bad Thoughts to myself. Nobody is the wiser.

I am strong. I am smart and capable. I am a good student. I (would like to think I) am a good friend. I work hard to be a positive person even though my mind is against me sometimes. I am a reliable person, and I will always be wherever I’m needed. I try to bring light to every room I walk in, and I want every person I meet to feel strong and welcome. I am more powerful than my mental illness. And because of that, I can do anything.

Depression and anxiety are a part of me, but they don’t control me. I don’t let them. They hurt me, and they hurt my relationships and my confidence and my body. But I will never stop fighting them. I have learned to overcome these hardships in my life, and I know how to deal with these things that once seemed so vital to who I am.

So my Future Employers, if you’ve read this blog and you’ve read my story, don’t let my mental illness scare you. It doesn’t scare me. I’m not a flight risk, I’m not crazy, and I’m not going to cause you problems. Remember my strength and my heart and my ability to overcome obstacles.

I am not my mental illness. It does not own me. It never will.

Sincerely, Future Employee


Life continues to surprise me lately, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. This quarter has had my emotions all over the place, and I’m still struggling grade-wise in a class I spend more time preparing for than my other three classes combined. I took a midterm an hour ago about Plato’s philosophy of the soul, and registered for classes right before that. I may only need two more classes to graduate (eeep!!) but does that make me any less anxious to press that green “enroll” button? Not a chance.

It gets worse. My tire blew out on the freeway in more or less the middle of nowhere Tuesday morning so I missed a class I had a group project in. And completely ruined my tire–torn and ripped up. In a car as old and rickety as mine, it’s always stressful to drive long distances. I’m careful, though. Maybe I wasn’t careful enough this time because I was only an hour from being home when I started to completely and almost uncontrollably drift into the other lane. Luckily no one was around me, so I got over to the shoulder safely, but I couldn’t help but completely burst into tears. It was terrible. I called my dad and AAA, texted my group about the dilemma, and emailed my professor nearly begging not to get participation points off–of course, this is the class I’m doing poorly in. I did make it home, only a half hour after class started, so I planned on going for the remainder to be there with my group, but as soon as I walked out the door, my group members told me they were going up to present that moment, so I walked back inside and laid down. We had already filmed the video anyway, so it wasn’t like I needed to be there. I wanted to see what everyone else had worked on, but I was constantly on the verge of tears and I really just needed to curl up in my bed.

And I’m depressed again, so there’s that.

But this week turning out to be a seven-day weekend (since my Wednesday class didn’t meet, we had an online assignment instead) was one of the best things for me. I really needed that time to just be. Of course, I did homework and I studied, but it was still very relaxing.

I got to spend the whole weekend with Matthew, and since he also got Monday off, we got an extra day together. An extra twenty-four hours of snuggles, yummy tea, and New Girl (I’m determined to get him to like all my favorite shows). Even though it was freezing in his apartment, it was still such a nice time. We went mini golfing (where I was only a sore loser because he got a hole-in-one on all three volcano holes!!!!!!!) and spent probably too much time in Goodwill. I got a cute blazer and a few t-shirts out of it, though, and Matthew purchased his new favorite item: a puffy vest. He didn’t take it off the whole rest of the weekend–it was pretty funny.

Other than the big hiccup with my car, Friday through Wednesday was wonderful. Today was harder. A philosophy midterm and registration did not bode well for my anxiety, and I felt stressed out all day. All evening, I have been feeling like I’m about to cry–for no other reason than it was a taxing day. Funny that I’ll be doing my taxes with my dad this weekend? Eh, bad joke.

I got all the classes I needed and wanted, and I think I did decently enough on my midterm, but my heart still pounds and my stomach still churns. I have anxiety whenever I think about getting in my car. I worry about speaking up in my writing class–even though that’s something I hope I am good at. The words in my philosophy readings get all jumbled up and lose all their meaning. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat because I think about one bad thing that has happened. Over the weekend, I couldn’t fall asleep at Matthew’s because I forgot my outfit for our video presentation (to film a few more scenes) and I had to figure out a way to make something else work–a cut up plain black shirt from Goodwill did it pretty well. I wake up at 3 am with thoughts about my homework for the next day or for classes I took years ago or conversations I’ll never have.

No matter how many things are going right in my life, there’s something in my head to make all those things wrong. It’s been pretty hard to balance things out. I have a good support system, though, and that helps. My friends have really been there for me about this lately, and I’m very grateful. Matthew is always encouraging about what I’m doing, even if it’s just homework. I called my dad yesterday and he raved about my writing to me (and said he has new music recommendations!). It’s all great, it really is. It’s also just hard.

But I think I might finally start seeing a therapist. I’ve thought about it in the past, seriously and not. I always thought it made me feel like I was weak in some way, that I was stronger fighting on my own. But I can admit now that asking for help is the hardest part and it makes you strong. It’s okay to ask for it. And if it’s going to help me, then I have to try.

I’m having a lot of ups and downs, to say the least.

But my dad is visiting this weekend, and I’m very excited! It should be a fun time–even though we’re doing taxes and getting new tires and replacing my air filter. We’re also doing happy hour and having a nice dinner and doing other fun things. Life is really hard right now, but I’m still making the best of it. At least, I’m trying to.

Thanks for listening.


I’m Still Standing

Remember last week when I was being incredibly dramatic about my life crisis/meltdown? Me too, and I’m still being sort of dramatic, but I am generally feeling much better about the situation. I was having a hard time with my philosophy class, overhearing people talking about jobs they’re accepting–and rejecting according to the boy walking behind me the other day, could you imagine having so many offers you have to reject them?? I certainly can’t–and I was worried that my writing was, well, shit.

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Since then, I have taken a philosophy midterm, which I actually feel pretty good about, overheard another guy talking about a job he was considering that was offering him “in the $95,000 a year range” like OKAY, and talked to my Writer Friend Sean about my story/senior project, which actually made me feel so much better. As much as I love my Frat Rats, Spookies, Matthew, etc friends, they just don’t quite get it when it comes to my passion for writing. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they just don’t have the same passions.

I was feeling incredibly dejected about the beginning to my third chapter after discussing it in class, and it made me completely rethink my passions and skills. I didn’t even have an inkling on how to fix it–or if I even should. I talked to Sean about it, and about his story/writing, and he encouraged me to keep going. He believed in my story and my characters, and, most importantly, my writing ability. So this past weekend when I was at Matthew’s I spent all day Saturday completely rethinking, revising, and rewriting chapter three–while watching Schitt’s Creek in the background.

Sidenote: I HIGHLY recommend that show!!

I was stressing big time about it, unsure about where I was going with it and figuring out how to fuse my background/history with the present plot. How was this possibly going to work? I had no idea. But I kept at it, reading and writing and believing in myself, and I think I came up with a great solution. As much as it originally didn’t sit well with me and the direction I was going for with my pacing and structure, I really like how it turned out. It is just a draft, of course, but I read through it again yesterday (because I needed a break from it for a few days), and I actually do think it’s much better. The suspense from the previous chapter continues and I was able to fuse most of the information into the action. I didn’t get to all of it, but since I know the next chapter is a set up for what’s to come, I can see how it fits there.

I’m actually excited about where it’s going!

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I’m still freaking out about it, of course, but I’m having slightly less of a crisis about it. My crisis mode is being saved for understanding Plato for our next section in philosophy and finding a job for after graduation. Still completely freaking out about my future, as usual! But I’m not crying about it, which is far better than the last two weeks.

Plus, I have an exciting two weekends ahead of me, and I can’t be stressing! I need to enjoy this time. This weekend we are throwing our second annual Groundhogs Day Redemption fiesta, but this time there is a twist because it is also National Tater Tot Day. Nobody takes tots as seriously as we do–except Napoleon Dynamite. I’m stoked to just be able to relax this weekend. I’m trying to get ahead on my schoolwork so I can enjoy it. My friends are planning to be blacked out all weekend because we have a big “Italian Wedding” event on Friday and Sunday is the Superbowl so it’s a jam-packed few days. I don’t plan to be blacked out because I know I’ll feel terrible and I hate feeling nauseated more than anything in the entire world, but I do plan on indulging a bit. Maybe this is an excuse to get that avocado bacon cheeseburger I’ve been thinking about………

The following weekend is our Semi Formal, and I’m very much looking forward to getting all dressed up for a fun night! I’m in it for the cute pictures and the french fries that will inevitably be available at the venue. Matthew and I haven’t really taken a lot of pictures together lately, so I’m excited for a new one. He’s never been to one of these events before, so it should be pretty interesting. Even I feel out of my element at them sometimes, so it’ll be an experience for both of us.

I am trying to be optimistic about all the things that are happening–but also trying not to stress out about all the studying/schoolwork/writing I won’t be getting done because I’ll be participating in Life Things. I’m still trying to find the balance. But after feeling good about my philosophy midterm, it has been easier to find comfort in that balance. But one week ago I was failing a class–straight failing (sorry, Mom).

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How could I be at such a low point so early in the quarter, you ask? Because the class is solely based on participation, and I am terrible when it comes to that. However, this week, things have really been looking up! Somehow, in one week’s time, I have brought up my grade a whopping 20%! At this rate, I can pull out a decent grade, so I’m pretty jazzed about that.

So basically, I am still in crisis mode, but I’m working through it. I am becoming more comfortable turning this not so great situation into one that I can benefit from. It’s a learning process, as I have so discovered. I’ve always known (well, since coming to college always) that I am still learning and growing, but that usually comes to my mind after a win. I’ve felt like I’m on a bit of a losing streak, and I realize I can learn from this now to turn it into a winning streak. I think I’m already starting to–considering my grade boost!

Today in my philosophy class, we went over this scenario in which we get the option to Matrix-esque plug into a virtual reality in which we are always happy–it’s so realistic we would never know the difference. If we had that opportunity, would we take it?

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Of course, it had something to do with Plato’s philosophical argument about the always-connected pleasure and pain, meaning that we can’t have one unless we know the other. In this case it would be happiness and sadness. But if I’ve learned anything from life–and the movie Inside Out–it’s that you can’t have joy without sadness. That was my original argument in this exercise, but my professor said that the people plugging me into this virtual reality could give me that little bit of sadness to provide me that growth I get from sadness because it will ultimately lead me to happiness. If that was the case, then would I agree to “plug in” to this world? Maybe?

But then I thought: well, I’ve been through so much in my life to get me to this point, and even though I would still run the risk of being unhappy overall in life (which my crisis is making me think might happen), I’ve seen my life this far through. I’ve gone through twelve years of depression, and even more of anxiety. I’m proud of where I’ve gotten in my life, how much I’ve learned, so why shouldn’t I see this path through? My final answer to this virtual reality is no.

And yes, that’s overthinking it maybe, and bringing in things that are not typical to the normal person. It’s even a bit dramatic. But philosophy’s purpose is to make you truly think about the things you believe and why you believe them. And as much as I didn’t expect it to, this class has really gotten to me in a few ways. I’m actually a little bit into it. That doesn’t make the readings any easier to comprehend, but that’s not the point–they make sense in lecture and that’s what matters. And I’m actually interacting and using some of these concepts in my life, and I’m sure that’s my professor’s goal.

I may hate this crisis I’m going through because it’s really made me question my goals and the path I’ve taken in life, but it’s a learning process.

And now that I’ve rambled on for about fifteen hundred words about pointless revelations and thoughts that make no sense to anyone but myself, I will take any of you who have read this far out of your misery and sign off here. This is my public diary, isn’t it?

‘Til next time!


So It Goes…

The weather is off. My allergies are here. School is terrible. I am never going to do anything with my life. This is it, everyone. This is…

The Winter Quarter-Quarter Life Crisis.

Winter Quarter is honestly the worst quarter of all the quarters. I’ve always like the quarter system and being able to jump from class to class a lot quicker than my Semester Friends. But there is something about this Ten-Week-Plus-Finals stint of the year that really makes me question my entire existence. Is that dramatic? Probably. But that is a major side effect of the Winter Quarter-Quarter Life Crisis.

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I’ve been second-guessing my passions and my skills. Sometimes I am totally confident in my writing, but it is times like these when I feel like I have zero talent. Like I have no place running a blog or writing stories or even journaling! I’ve been working on my senior project, a super cool spy story I’ve been dying to write, and for a while I felt like I was doing well. I thought I was really getting somewhere.

But here I am, wanting to give up on it. Getting criticism is always difficult, but after this particular chapter beginning that I had put so much faith in got so many negative comments, I felt like a failure. I’d failed myself as a writer and myself as a competent student. And then I wondered if I was ever good at this at all. Like I said, it was pretty dramatic, but that’s what being defeated feels like.

It just makes me feel like my entire school career has been a waste. I could have done something like math or business, but I loved writing. I’m only good at writing. Or so I thought. Now I can’t even say that. I still love it so much. Reading and writing have had such a huge impact on my life, and all I’ve ever wanted to make the same impact on someone else. It’s just hard to see that when I’m struggling so hard with a story I care so much about.

On top of that, one of my classes is completely participation based, and we all know how my anxiety doesn’t like when I try to participate in class. Even when I want to say something, it never comes out sounding coherent or intelligent–I can’t even say that it makes sense at all. So it is hard to come into a class where 95% of the students easily say profound things about the books we’re reading, while I can’t even articulate my annotations. My whole grade depends on a skill I have continually been unable to acquire.

In short, I’m just having a hard time.

It is common for us Quarter System Students to feel the Winter Quarter Blues. Every year I find myself in such a slump. So many of my friends and classmates are in the same boat. It is completely normal to hit such a terrible and draining low. I knew this was going to happen! But alas, it still hit me like a big red bus.

It’s awful to feel like this when I’ve spent so much of my life fighting darkness. This is when it so easily sneaks up on me–even though I am expecting it. Somehow it still surprises me. I can fight this Bad Feeling, but it still hurts. It still drains.

I won’t go into a long and boring tangent comparing this slump to my depression–because depression totally makes it worse–but that’s not the point. The point is that this hard. School is hard. Life is hard. Figuring out the future is hard.

And I have to be honest when it’s hard. It’s not going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time, even though I am so comfortable in my recovery. I am still going to have these terrible times, and I have to be open about that. I have to hold myself accountable for the ups and the downs of this rollercoaster of a life.

So I’m going through a Winter Quarter-Quarter Life Crisis and it is absolutely terrible and I’ve cried a lot. But I will get through it, as I do.