Thanks, China

Dear Therapist,

I was going to be real fucking cool and write a post based on the question “How does that make you feel?” It wasn’t going to make me better, but it was going to look like this blog was fucking pulled together, but I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m too anxious to do that.

Arguably this is my fault, but someone in China tried to hijack my Facebook account. I got a notification and then Facebook had me change my password. That happened early yesterday morning. Last night, someone logged me out of my Instagram. They didn’t change the password. I did after I logged back in. I was tinkering with my phone settings, so maybe I inadvertently did it? Everything that’s trying to keep me sane and rational is saying it’s a possibility, but reality is fucking drawling, “That doesn’t happen in real life. You didn’t log you out, so someone else had to. You don’t just randomly get logged out. It’s never happened before.”

And I know I’m probably to blame. I was looking up shit on my phone that I shouldn’t have been. I clicked on that stupid link without thinking. Identity theft doesn’t happen to me. It happens to other people. EXCEPT, someone has some information on me. Someone in China knows I exist, which causes anxiety on different levels. What really freaks me out is that I do all of my banking on my phone. I don’t know enough about technology to know if my phone is safe. I’ve been checking my bank accounts every hour to make sure no random charges are applied. Should I get my credit score? Should I wait a couple of weeks before I get it to give them a chance to make charges? That sounds weird, but hear me out. If I get it now and then they make charges later, I’ll have assured myself everything’s okay when it really isn’t.

Basically, I’m fucked. Even if my identity is safe, I’m in a downward spiral of anxiety. My stomach is beginning to have that acid-y, shredded feeling. I’m losing sleep. Shame is creeping up my spine. I want to lash out in jokes, like, “ha ha I can laugh this off. Ha. HA. HAHAHA.” *insane laughter intensifies* This is not like a presentation. There’s no definite end where I’ll feel better after the big event. The big event might not happen. Or, it will and it’s just going to be an outright fecal blizzard for probably years, and it will be something that haunts me for the rest of my life. Barring that I don’t do anything stupid, that’s several decades.

I just don’t have the time or strength to deal with it. And, I’m Lutheran. I trust in God, but also I’m a bit of a sinful twat. I know I should just trust in God, and I wish I could do so with blissful abandon. But part of me is like, being a Christian doesn’t mean everything is fluffy and wonderful and perfect. Sometimes it means you’re brought pretty low to rely more fully on God. What if He’s trying to get me to rely more on Him? I’m not ready for that. Can’t we skip the test and just have an open book quiz instead? I’m a terrible Christian. I’m working on it. In theory. Whatever.

I still have a ten hour work day to muddle through that involves one meeting, two interviews, and someone’s annual review that won’t be pretty and I’m the one leading it. Can I just starting screaming now, or is it like drinking where you should probably wait until after noon so you don’t feel quite as shameful? Or is it five? I can’t remember.

Think fondly of me as I wallow in my own despair.



Take Cover

Hell-er Therapist,

I worked eleven and a half hours yesterday. If I was smart enough to be a nurse or a doctor or something like that, maybe a half-day shift would seem life appropriate. At very least, I’d be making good enough money to concede long hours. I am but a humble Director of Operations for a small spa, so it just feels aggravatingly long.

My ability to interact with people gets sketchy as well. When I’m perfect rested and have utmost energy, I can function like a normal human being. I can function so well that I fool myself into thinking nothing is wrong with me. Mental illness is a figment of my imagination! And then the day wears on. I expend all of my energy into maintaining that semblance of sanity. As my energy wanes, though, my capabilities decrease.

At full energy, I can do it all. But it all takes effort. When I lose any bit of energy, I have to reevaluate what I’m physically capable of doing. I have to prioritize what aspects of normal behavior are the most important and drop the non essential. Smiling is withheld for only really funny moments or when I need to reassure someone. Longevity is impossible. The time I can spend with any one person is cut shorter and shorter. Eye contact, attention span, emotional stability, expressing compassion for fellow humans, sometimes actual compassion for humans – it all just slips away.

I don’t become this writhing, foaming, sort of humanoid. It’s more like I’m walking around in a shell of who I know I should be. I’m a college graduate. I graduated college with honors. I’ve worked for this spa for only three years, starting as a concierge, and now I’ve been the Director of Operations for almost a year. I pay my bills. I’m travelling to Europe in the fall. I know I should be competent and able to interact with  coworkers, but sometimes I fucking can’t.

Yesterday, I was making sure everything was being closed down properly. Dishes were being washed. Laundry was folded and put away. Practitioners were taking out their trash and closing down their rooms. I walk around for thirty minutes, checking every inch of the spa before I lock up and leave. Part of this trek was walking down a hallway. It’s a wide hallway. You could technically stand four people shoulder to shoulder and walk them down the hall with no effort. But one of the owners has this plant set up. There’s also a couch. Equipment is hidden there so guests don’t see it. The hallway is shrunk so that two people can cross paths at an uncomfortably close distance when trying to walk by each other.

Well, uncomfortable for me, which was proven once again last night. A practitioner was coming towards me, heading to the break room. Two practitioners were behind me, leaving for the night. I could physically feel everyone’s presence, their beings, the bags they carried. I felt it pressing on me. But rather than feeling buried under it, my brain said, “Oh my God, you’re too huge of an inconvenience to be here right now. You’re in everyone’s way. They wish you’d just get out of the way.”

Less than two seconds after seeing the practitioner walking towards me and realizing two were behind me, I stepped onto the fucking couch. I stood there and let them pass. Two of them laughed and made a comment. I couldn’t quite hear it because of the anxiety thundering around in my head, but I know it was about me.

I wish I could explain in words what’s happening to me in those moments. I wish I could explain the actual fear of them I have and the absolute hatred of myself that’s happening in those moments. It’s not constant, but it’s there and very real for me. They see their boss standing out of the way on a couch and it’s funny. I get that it’s funny. Bosses don’t so that. It’s odd, and therefore humorous. If they bring it up in the next couple of days, I’ll probably laugh with them (hating myself quietly on the inside, obviously). Still, that panic and avoidance in those small moments are awful. It’s those little moments that really make social anxiety difficult for me. They are so small, but they always happen. When I talk about them to people who don’t have social anxiety, they always say shit like, “What’s the big deal? Just do the thing.” I don’t know what the big deal is! I don’t know why my body acts like I’m stepping on a land mine. I wish a fucking could just do the thing.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m a lot worse off than I want to believe, coupled with the inability to not outright lie other human beings about my level of illness.

Catch you next session.



Good Day

Dear Therapist,

I know that I strongly implied that an explanation about the name of my blog was coming. It’s not this session though. Keep holding your breath wherever you are. I really thought it was important, more important than obscure pop culture references, to tell you that I did the dishes. All of them – including the dish with cake crusted onto it, which on principle is usually ignored and avoided.

I know for certain the last time I did dishes was March 10th. I was a little toasted from day drinking, but tried to get them done before my friend came over to make truffles with me. That’s also the last time I cleaned my apartment. My motivation to clean my whole apartment at once is directly related to impending socialization within my home.

Obviously, I didn’t do the dishes right away. I’m not one to waste effort on cleaning a couple of dishes at a time. Dishes aren’t my favorite chore, so I’d rather do them once a week, rather than every day, otherwise I’d feel like I’m doing dishes all of the time. Only, I didn’t do them after a week. I let them sit. Worse than that, I let them stink. I had a huge mixing bowl from making truffles. It was filled with stagnant water and food particles. Bacteria was alive a well. It smelled like spoiled food whenever I stood too close to the sink, which was every morning when I made myself a cup of coffee.

I’m not a dirty person. I watch those hoarder shows and wonder how it gets that far. I’m not excessive, but I keep it clean and tidy on a regular basis. But, I’ve also been sunk with depression. It’s been bone deep – the sort of depression you only hear about from other people while you think to yourself, “Is that even real? I’m glad my depression isn’t that bad.” I’ve slept for half the week. My productivity at work has been in shambles. It was dangerous and for a moment scary, but today I did the dishes.

I don’t know if I’m naturally coming out of the down swing into an upswing of emotion. As I grow older, I don’t actually think I have the strength of character or the mental stability involved in pulling myself up by my bootstraps. I guess we can’t discount anything, still… I’m going to count it as a good day though. I went outside. I got a haircut. My stylist and I are planning on dying part of my hair turquoise and green. Mostly, he needs a willing body and I’m a sucker for both hair dye and turquoise. And I washed those nasty dishes. It was a full dish washing session: the dishes are clean, counters cleared off, and bits of trash that had been accumulating were thrown away.

I wanted to start off my first official letter telling you that good days happen. Even though I’m still feeling pulled down and tired, good days exist. it’s really easy to focus on the bad. I want to talk all about what’s wrong with me. I want to try and figure out everything I’m doing wrong so that I can stop doing it and never have to feel this way ever again. I fall into the negative spiral downwards ALL of the time.

But, Christ, just for my own sanity, I want to at least acknowledge the good in my life. I need to remember what good days are, and that I have them. They aren’t ambiguous hopes in the future or figments of my imagination that could happen to me if I find a way to not be me. I would like to both know that my life – like everyone else’s – contains the full spectrum of human emotion. I’m not trying to cut out the bad and insert only the good. I’m just trying to shift the balance so that the good is in the forefront and the bad is tolerated in small occasional doses between large moments of good. I could be hoping for too much, but since you aren’t saying anything, I’m going to take that as your tacit agreement that I’m right, you support me, and you secretly think I’m awesome.

Well, I think our time’s up for today. I’ll catch you next session.



Don’t Be Stupid.

Oh shit.

I’ve done this. Can I say that setting up this blog was so physically tiring that I want to go take a nap now? I should have planned this better. Actually, I should have not followed my crazy existential crisis compulsion while in a massive depressive state.

But, here we are.

I’ll explain the title of the blog later. Probably after a good nap. You don’t need to know my reasoning, but I feel compelled to explain myself and it will tie in. Trust me. Or don’t. In fact, don’t read this blog.

I’m going to run away now. This feels like too much social interaction for the moment. I’m panicking about the photo choice, the blog theme, what millions of people who don’t know this blog exists are thinking about my choices concerning the set up of this blog. I’m anxious to the point of my head exploding. Honesty clause: could be the migraine as well. We can’t discount anything.

At least I stopped myself from titling this first post as “Is this thing on?” or “Can anyone hear me?” or variations of the two, which I’d briefly considered before remembering I hate myself enough already. This was supposed to help alleviate stress and not add to it.