Maximum Effort!!

I swear some assignments are given as a form of torture. One of my current projects involve making a geometric cone out of paper. There are instructions on how to do that. In the real world where normal people rule supreme something like this shouldn’t be a problem, right? It shouldn’t produce a bead of sweat, right? Ideally, yes. But for someone like me who turns into a feeble, crippled, nervous wreck when they so much as a see an text alert about the power bill, don’t have enough rice to cook with, or get a phone call from their mom of all people…..you see where I’m going with this?

This is for my math class too. Which begs a question….when in the hell am I ever going to need this stuff in my life? I want to make a career in writing, no number crunching whatsoever! The only real math I’ll ever need is basic addition and subtraction. Like, “how much do I need to pay for my electric bill?” “how much shopping off Amazon can I afford to treat myself to?” “how many slices of pizza can I eat in one sitting? how many leftover slices do I want to save for tomorrow?”

THAT’S ALL.

Again, I really hope that the grade comes down to effort that’s put into it. Cause like I said before everyone in class is absolutely clueless about what to do. Okay my nerves are dropping from an 11 to something manageable now. I should be able to manage something. It’s going to be a crap job for sure though, but right now all I care about is getting it done.

My current academic problems combined with everyday stress, hemorrhaging my finances, nonexistent love life, and my oh-so-lovely-not-at-all-debilitating-depression has naturally put me in a very foul mood.

I just want to sit down and write fiction! That’s all I’ve ever wanted! I have had little to no time for myself to do anything like it. I got ideas occupying space in my mind like an episode of Hoarders, but I can’t sit down and take the time to put it down on paper because there’s always something that’s in my way. School is my biggest obstruction right now which is funny because the whole point of me going to school in the first place is so I could have a better life for myself. I can blog all day till my heart is content, I could write my most secret of secrets in my little black journals describing what hot dream I had of Charlie Hunnam, but when it comes to writing down fictional characters on fictional adventures fighting a bunch of fictional villains and monsters…..now it’s a problem!

With all that does go in my head there’s plenty of stuff that I can use for my characters to deal with. But now I can’t even make any new characters. I’ve gotten out of touch with my old characters too. I don’t know what makes them tick anymore, what their motivations are, or hell even what their favorite meal is.

I don’t take the time to really do anything for myself other than cooking, gaming, and sleeping. But even when I am doing this stuff there’s always something hanging over my head like, “Am I going to pass this class?” “Will I ever graduate?” “Will I be fortunate enough to score a day job?” “How am I ever going to pay off my student loan debts….?”

Okay….here’s what I’m going to do next.

I’m going to stop ranting and whining.
I’m going to do the stupid projects in the best way I can.
I’m going to pay my power bill.
I’m going to treat myself to some fried chicken or a hamburger steak or something.
I’m going to make it through this last week.
I’m going to pay my tuition…somehow….
I’m going back home for much needed R&R.
I’m going to go buy the new Power Rangers movie on Blu-Ray and probably watch it until I’ve got every line memorized or until I have the strong desire to write some fan fiction.
I’m coming back to keep the positive momentum when the second summer session starts up and then I’m going to move the fuck out of the Cottages of Boone.

Whatever depression and anxiety I feel between now and then I’m just going to power through it and get whatever peace of mind I can have. Yeah I made the choice to get medicated, but even so I know there are gonna be times where I have to bite the bullet and push through.

So here I go with MAXIMUM EFFORT!!

Advertisements

Then and Now

I have one more week of this first summer session left. I’d be lying if I said I had little to no anxiety. I can’t even recall a time where I was perfectly calm and had absolutely nothing to worry about, big or small. I’m always on edge about something.

This has always lead me to poke fun at myself and say, “Why am I not on meds? I was made for meds! Clearly I was born to keep the pharmaceuticals in business!”

Which is why I’ve made a decision. I’ve endured this struggle with depression for eight long years without resorting to medication. I thought I could handle everything without it. But right now I am at a point where everything is triggering me and I’m always feeling things spike up to a level 12. I think I’ve gone as far as I can on my own strength. So I’ve opted to try out medication at a low dosage. This is will be nothing more but a trial run for me. It’s not a decision that I made lightly. I don’t expect my problems to magically go away with one pill. But I would love for my anxiety and depression to drop from a 12 to a 7, something more manageable. That might make all the difference for me. I’ve held on to the fantasy that I can lead a depression free life. But if I’m going to be realistic there is the possibility that this is something that I have to learn to live with and I need all the I can get.

I have nothing against people who have to use medication of any kind. I just think that in some cases it should be used as a last resort. Plus I always believed that admitting that I would need it would prove that I am weak or completely hopeless. Let me point out that I’ve endured this depression for eight years. Add up all the seconds, minutes, hours, months, weeks, and days. And yet I’m still here and I made the choice to live. No one can ever label me as weak. I’ve already proven to myself that I’m pretty damn tough when I have to be. Besides this is only a trial run. And if I start feeling weird side effects that’ll be my cue to stop.

I’ve been put on some financial probation or whatever. I did everything that I’m supposed to do. I clicked on the stupid link that made me feel like I would’ve been walking into unspeakable horrors. I printed and filled the appeal form out saying, “This is what happened to me last term. I take responsibility. I’m in counseling and I’m doing all that I can to come back from everything.” Because the people who make this form obnoxiously wrote this question, “What are you doing to guarantee success?” Which I feel is code for, “Why the hell should we help you and give you any money?” I then proceeded to walk all the way to the financial aid office, which is really far from any of the class building, in scorching dry summer heat (in Boone, NC of all places). I had to power through my anxiety that would’ve in most cases completely cripple me. I figured “That’s it! Hard parts over!” But nope…apparently it can take weeks for the appeal to go through. WEEKS. In the summer semesters, which only last a month. I didn’t get alerted about any of this until the very middle of it……these fuckers and their bureaucratic Micky Mouse bullshit really pisses me off.

But I can’t do anything else about it. I’ve done all that I can. I’ve done everything that I’m supposed to do do and it comes down to playing the waiting game…..AGAIN.

I’m doing all right in my classes, but I can’t help but feel stressed out about exams. I got a bad grade in one of my latest exams and I was really bummed out about it. I emailed the teacher and told her about this and I asked, “what are my chances of walking out with a passing grade?” She assures me that everything will be all right. I don’t know if she meant it or she was just trying to calm me down. I told her about my depression. Granted she doesn’t know EVERYTHING about it, but she knows about it. She says she will take it into account.

Oh and I have two ridiculous projects for that same class too. One of which absolutely no one in class understands anything about. At this point I have to believe that the grades will come down to effort put into it. Do I even want to do this project? Hell to the no. But it seems like being forced to do things I don’t want to do is the name of the game. So I have to grin and bare it just like with everything else all while studying for final exams, getting ready to move out, waiting for the appeal to be approved, and preparing for whatever challenges will come my way. Because that is the nature of my journey. That’s how it’s always been from day one.

A long time ago everything seemed impossible for me. I always kept myself locked up in my bedroom and I kept my distance away from everyone. I was always afraid to do something, anything, for fear of failure. Back then I struggled to understand anything, including myself. I would rarely go out into the world and experience anything for myself. Because I was afraid of anything and everything that it had, good or bad.

I can’t help but reflect on that person that I used to be. Back then I never would have thought that I’d be where I’m at now. It was a struggle to break out of the shell I had around myself back then, but I did it. It was a struggle to make the choice to live in a world that’d inevitably would grow ugly and offer more hardships, but I still made the choice to live in it.

Everything that seemed impossible to me long ago, I made it possible. The world that I live in is far from perfect, but it’s a world where I have more possibilities presented to me than before.

I didn’t think that I’d make into any university, but I’m here at Appalachian State. I didn’t think that I’d be able to live on my own without family or friends to always hold my hand, but it turns out that I can handle myself just fine. I didn’t think I could cook anything without setting fire to the kitchen or the whole house, but I actually make for a decent cook. I used to think that I would never be able to get over this one guy that I was in love with, but I managed to do just that. I didn’t think I could do this or that, but I proved to myself that I can.

I’ve had big victories, I’ve had small victories, but the point is I’m not the person that I used to be that believed that everything was impossible to do. A huge part about this depression that I’m dealing with now is that it’s made me feel like I’m changing back into that person again, something I never wanted. During some posts I mentioned that I wanted to go back to being the person that I was before, but I was referring to before moving to Boone where I had friends to go to the movies with, drink coffee with, where everyone liked the same things, and no one was treated like a martian. Not to mention I was more likely to find a future husband over there than I am here.

It’s been a rocky journey for me. I’ve taken some serious hits, but despite all that I’m still here. No matter how much the “suicidal muscle” in my brain likes to kick in, I still want to live. I’m not where I want to be in my life, but it’s still so much better than where I used to be.

I was having second thoughts about everything. About wanting a depression free life and wanting to be happy. It felt like I was getting ready to give up on all of that, but compared to how things used to be and previous challenges everything else seems minuscule at best.

I think I’ve found my second wind. Best not let it go to waste. Later days!

Warrior “Monk”

Anyone remember this show? Tony Shalhoub played this dude named Adrian Monk who suffers from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and an endless list of phobias. He was afraid of everything. Even milk for some reason. Don’t know if they covered the reason why. Maybe it was just a running gag. Despite all this he was a genius detective. He had this attention to detail all the other cops on the show lacked. He was always able to find the clues, piece them together, and finally catch the bad guys. He managed to do all of this despite of the OCD or whatever phobia of the week he had to face head on. He was always being forced into situation that challenged him and he had to seriously nut up and endure.

When my anxiety and depression act up I keep thinking that I’ve suddenly turned into Monk. And I mean that in a negative light. Monk was always driving people up the wall with his fears and obsessive compulsion. Even his therapists had trouble dealing with him sometimes and could only handle him in small doses. I feel like Monk in situations where I feel like I get triggered by stupid shit like the ones I’ve mentioned before, I have difficulties doing what normal people have no problems with at all, and sometimes driving people insane with my issues, be it family or friends.

I shared this with my counselor in a previous session. I vented out my frustrations about it and he was understanding. But then he asked me this, “Why exactly would that be a bad thing?” I thought I had already answered that while I was ranting about it.

Just like when he brought up the analogy on the mind as a muscle something about the Monk analogy I made with him is sticking with me. This was last week and now I’m beginning to seriously think about it and I have all these thoughts about it.

Even though Monk had numerous phobias that would obstruct him he accomplished so many things that I would’ve considered impossible if I were him. He did have friends, good friends. Yeah, he drove them crazy sometimes but they accepted him as he was. Monk’s OCD allowed him to pay better attention to things and made him an excellent detective, it didn’t have to be a bad thing for him. Monk had a wonderful wife in Trudy who loved him just as he was. Monk worked tirelessly for years searching for clues to solve Trudy’s murder and when he did Monk still had his happy ending. He found out that Trudy had a daughter before marrying him and was able to meet her in the very last episode.

Here’s a crazy theory. What if instead of fighting my “Monk-ish” side, I embrace it? I bitch and moan about how I feel like a freak sometimes and unable to be normal like everybody else. But then there’s a part of me that says, “Fuck normal”. BTW I totally have a t-shirt that reads, “Normal People Scare Me”. I saw it on the first episode of American Horror Story and I thought, “Oh yes! It will be mine!” I even got it in purple. Trying to fit in with the mundane crowd is so exhausting and utterly pointless. Nothing about me has ever been “normal”. There are days where I don’t even feel like I live a “quasi-normal” existence.

I come from a Venezuelan family and I grew up as the pet gringo. I refused to speak the language and I barely ate any of the food. I’m still not a fan of some of the food. It’s only interesting and exotic for people who never had to grow up in a Spanish-speaking household and be forced to smell and eat it at every occasion; holidays, birthdays, family gatherings, baby showers, etc. I’m the least tanned in my family too and I see no point in it. I don’t see the appeal in sizzling in the sun and getting cooked like a rotisserie chicken. I mean look at Trump’s complexion. It’s not doing him favors. But then again his skin tone is more what I call “Dorito Raped”.

I’m gay and I am willing embrace only so many cliches. I’m probably the only gay guy who doesn’t give a single, solitary fuck about Rupaul’s Drag Race, quote “Mean Girls”, or own a single Madonna album. Oh I am not gifted with song and dance either. Take one good look at me and you can clearly see that I’m not a gym rat either.

I live in my own world. I find more comfort in the story worlds and characters I create, in WWE, video games, anime, films, cooking, and imagination. I cope with reality through the use of my imagination. I see myself as a warrior, I see my skills as powers that I naturally possess, I see my challenges as monsters that I have to fight and take down. It’s an unorthodox way to deal with stuff, but we all have our ways to cope. I could be coping in ways that are self-destructive with drug habits or self-mutilation or God knows what else. I see what people don’t see or never want to see out of fear, conformity, or sheer laziness. That’s a quote from the movie Patch Adams by the way, when Patch spoke with Arthur Mendelson at the mental institution.

I suffer from depression and anxiety. But there has been some good that comes from it. It’s attributed to my imagination and wicked sense of humor. God only knows that if my entire life was nothing but sugar and rainbows then I’d have absolutely nothing to write about. It’s made me stronger, a lot stronger than I was eight years ago when I wanted to kill myself. It’s made me realize how much I want certain things. And when I say “I want” I mean it in the same way people feel intense hunger. Its helped make me into the person that I am today. Its always made me have to take a good look at myself in the most honest way possible. Whenever I get lost I always take a trip back to me. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s always been instrumental in getting back to the right path.

I’m a warrior in my own right. I fight one battle after another within my mind. I’m a neurotic mess. I’m not normal and I’m tired of trying to be when it’s never been in the cards for me. I feel things more intensely than others, I know things they don’t have any clue of, I can do things that other can’t, and get labeled a “freak” for all of it when I find that to be a lot more preferable than being boring and fake.

If being a “freak” is what separates me from everybody else then I will proudly wave my freak flag. I will happily accept who I am and live with whatever consequences come with it. Because if I act otherwise then I’ll never be able to make peace with myself and not have the true happiness that I’ve been seeking. So I embrace my identity as a Warrior “Monk”.

The Mind as a Muscle

So let’s recap on my last few days. I was feeling good about the exams I took last week. I got my results on the math exam the next day. I did good! I did really good! After that exam day I felt so good. My entire weekend was a huge happy high. I treated myself to a Wild Bill Burger at Macado’s. It was my first time eating there. Not a bad place, my only complaint is that the table I sat at was sticky. I went back to the apartment and cooked up something real nice and tasty. I binged the new season of Orange is the New Black (loved this new season btw!) and played the hell out of more Persona 5 (turns out it’s not completely out my system). It was the first time I felt happiness with no strings attached. And I was able to sleep in till 9:00 and it was fucking amazing!

But then….

Monday came. I woke up way too early. I woke up at maybe 4 or 5:00 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I felt very meh. I had this feeling of impending doom hanging over my head. At first I figured it was just the usual blahs that you get from Mondays being Mondays. But then I got the exam score for my other class. It wasn’t so good. I forgot my math homework for that day too. Mercifully the law professor was very understanding on why people didn’t do so good on the first test. He even offered to “discount” that low grade. The catch is that I have to do better the next time. The same is true for everybody else in that class. I have a good feeling of where I went wrong. I know what to expect for next time. My math teacher is very cool. She said it was okay to turn in everything a day late. And I did. One of the assignments was to take the picture of someone who we find to be beautiful and take measurements to see if it’s close to Phi.

I chose Finn Balor’s face btw. My favorite superstar in the WWE. He has the face of a Hollywood movie star, the body of an underwear model, and he has a nerdy side…

Celebrity Sightings in New York City - August 22, 2016

I mean look at this gorgeous man! Look at him!! He’s this good looking, he’s nice, he’s strong, and he loves playing with legos on top of other nerdy stuff! Do you realize how fucking rare that is?! He’s a fucking unicorn!!

I even added “My Future Husband” on the assignment. I had to show some restraint from saying, “My Irish Unicorn.” “My Finnamon Bun”. “My Little Sweet Ass.” I held back…*pats himself on back* And the teacher liked him. Of course she didn’t know what the WWE is. This was earlier today. Back to what happened on Monday.

I felt bothered by the low score on the other exam. I had to stop myself from getting lost in depressing thought. That feeling of impending doom kept hanging over me the whole day. So when I got back from classes I hit the kitchen and spent two hours cooking and making a bento lunch and dinner for the night. I treated myself to my favorite sorbet too.

Then I opened up my student email. Remember that one entry where I had to deal with crap like opening up my student email, re-register for classes, and deal with the early intervention team? Fighting my personal Babadook? Yeah, the same thing happened again. I saw that I had outstanding requirements for my financial aid. I knew it was because of how bad I did in the spring semester. At this point that impending doom was trying to take over. I’m fighting the negativity in me. I’m doing the best I can to neutralize thoughts and feelings before I get dragged down to the dark place that I’ve been trying to get out from. I felt like I was playing mental dodgeball. My mind was racing a million miles a second. Everything in my mind felt it was becoming warped and sounded like gibberish. I wrote things down. I listed out what was going through my mind. I wanted to make sense of it.

As I wrote it all down, I kept feeling this sort of impact. The feeling of letting things out, purging it on paper actually hurt. Then I remembered cognitive behavior therapy. I was able to identify the cognitive distortions. I was able to calm myself down. I was bothered by all of it. So I opted to talk about it in today’s session.

Something that my counselor said is sticking with me. I explained to him everything that happened. I elaborated that impending doom feeling is the same feelingI would get during the spring semester. Feeling like everything was beginning to fall apart, can’t be made better again, and how I felt like dying every time. And then he said something like this…

“The part of your brain that thinks about suicide is like a muscle. Even though you haven’t been using that muscle for a while it’s not usual to feel it act up. Feel like it has power over you. Think of it like a bad habit that’s hard to quit, like smoking. You will have your slips.”

And now that I’ve had time to fully process what he said I realize that the other part of myself, the other me that wants to fight this and make everything better again, that old self that I keep wanting to return to must also be like a muscle as well. The only difference is that it’s been atrophied. It’s out of shape. Even though things are in a positive direction I feel like that ‘mind muscle’ isn’t at full strength. Plus that negative mantra, “I’m not allowed to be happy”, wasn’t doing me favors either. But now that I see things in this way I have a very good idea of what to do next and how to think. Now that I know this I feel like I have the upper hand. And plus this does coincide with a previous revelation, I never lost my power. I never lost my old self. It’s just waiting to be tapped into and be released. Now I’m back in control. I’m ready to do whatever is necessary.

Oh yeah and that financial aid thing. I worked up the nerve after the session. I told my counselor that I’d jump right into it and quipped, “If some creature bursts out from the screen and eats my face off then oh well.” I did it. I have some extra paper work to fill out and give to the office. I’ve already got it printed out. So that ends that nightmare.

Now I need to get back to studying. Wish me luck dearest readers because nothing is going to stand in my way again. So I’m gonna conclude with this…

12510408_429407213930155_433810897427148945_n

Crumbling Walls

It’s been a minute since I’ve updated hasn’t it? I had to lay off for a little while so I could deal with stuff in school and reality. Good news is that things are going well. I just finished taking two exams, back to back. I feel good about them. Although the first exam kinda blindsided me.

This was for communication law. The professor said to be ready for all types of questions, a little bit of multiple choice, short answer, and fill in the blanks. I’ve been going to my classes, I’ve been attentive, I’ve taken good notes, I figured “I got this shit.”

But then it turns out the whole thing was fill in the blank. And of course of all times for my mind to turn blank it happened when I couldn’t remember the names of cases we discussed in class. I was hoping that it would be a little bit of multiple choice or identifying cases with like a word bank or whatever, but no such luck. I don’t think I bombed that exam, but it didn’t go as I would’ve hoped. Next week I’ll be ready for sure. There’s an exam every Thursday for this class. The next exam was on my weaker subject, math. But I was prepared for it. It was the same deal with the law class. Took good notes, paid attention, etc.

I woke up with a plan. I grabbed this little plushie I have of a Pokeball. I’ve been using it as a stress reliever all day long. I even wore a Pokemon Trainer t-shirt to match. My way of celebrating the announcement of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. I was the last one to exit the class room. Not because I struggled with the exam, but because I had to double check every damn thing. I want to think that I did good, but I won’t know the results until tomorrow. But there’s a part of me that can’t shake off the good feeling.

I had my appointment with my counselor the other day. Remember my previous entry about how I wallowed in the fact that I’m “not allowed to be happy”? Yeah, we had a ball with that one. Totally called it.

I have a lot more clarity now than I’ve had in a very long time. Partly due to continuous blogging and also to counseling services offered here.

“I’m not allowed to by happy”. I’ve had this mantra stuck with me since before I showed up in Boone. I thought that after I went into counseling here the first time that all my problems would be put behind me. I put behind the malice I was feeling at the time before so it’s not as though counseling was a wasted effort. What I’ve been going through the last few months is something different. I’m still not entirely sure why or what made me so sad and want to die during the spring semester. I’m still trying to find answers. To be perfectly honest I don’t know if I’m going to feel 100% all right until I have an answer to everything.

This messed up mantra I’ve been carrying with me obviously isn’t helping. It’s made me build up a lot of walls to surround myself with. Too many things played a factor in reinforcing those walls. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, so if it seems like I’m on repeat, sorry. Bad habit of mine. But yeah, I’ve got walls. I don’t know how high they go up, but I can feel them surrounding me. Even when I should be happy I can’t help but feel as though my defenses have to be up at all times. I think maybe they’re starting to come down. Maybe not all the way down, but there’s a definite change. Maybe I’m finally giving myself permission to be happy.

I need to do away with that mantra permanently. Is it the root of all my problems? I don’t know yet. Clearly it’s not helping. I’d love to delve deep into things until I have an answer, but the last thing I need at this moment is to have another “analysis paralysis” moment. It’s not as if that ever helped anyway.

I have reasons to be happy. I signed the lease and made the deposit on the house and so has everyone one else. I got the notice from the manager on Monday. Now it feels official. Add that to surviving my first few days of the new semester and braving some exams and I think I’m a little overdue for a victory celebration. I owe myself that much at least. The rest of the stuff I’m going to deal with it. But for now I am too mentally exhausted and drained to even attempt diving into my vast sea of dense thoughts. I’ve got a bottle of wine and some udon noodle soup and my Playstation is calling out to me like a siren’s song. Oh yeah and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna murder my pillow well into the morning because I’ve been waking up too early for the last two weeks. I need to sleep in and enjoy myself.

Until then, later days!

Monsters and Heroes.

So I ended up going straight to bed after last night’s post. I thought about Jewels. I made a post on my Facebook at 11:11 PM that I wish I had her with me. Then I just broke down and cried my eyes out. I waited a while before going to sleep. I swear the worse part of crying is not the tears or the lump you get in your throat, but the snot build up in your nose. Nobody cries pretty. Not even Jennifer Lawrence.

I was able to sleep and then I saw Jewels. She was by my side again, followed me around the house, and asked for belly rubs just like she always had. I woke up and I was hugging one of my pillows. I was stroking it as if she were in bed with me.

18767938_1756697271288535_5883078163639009239_n

I opted to try to make the most of my Saturday to make up for yesterday. Was I successful? Well if the idea of being successful is to not go into hysterics like yesterday then I guess yeah I succeeded. I didn’t do a whole lot though.It doesn’t help that my activities are so limited when the University’s schedule is so dramatically different during the summer time.

I just went left the Cottages for a few hours and did my usual trek through West King Street, ate at Our Daily Bread, and did some window shopping. But I wasn’t feeling any real elevation in my moods at all.

There was nothing. No sadness, no irritability, no happiness, or anything else. I don’t know if it was calmness or numbness. When I’m not having a meltdown I shut down. I become comfortably numb in the same way I’d imagine a drug addict does when they get their fix. I don’t like having meltdowns, but I also don’t like the feeling of being cut off from everything either. It scares me.

My teacher gave my class this assignment. We were supposed to make a poem using Fibonacci numbers in the same way a haiku is made. You make three lines and make a sentence that has a certain number of syllables. I had written…

5 syllables) I am a writer
8 syllables) People ask me what do I write?
13 syllables) I say “whatever the funny voices tell me to”

8 syllables) Another world lives in my mind
13 syllables) With dragons, monsters, magic, and warriors as well
21 syllables) My characters are my friends, we share all the same struggles, searching for happy endings.

I escaped into my other world for the story that I’m working on. I try my hand at making a world map, but I hate everything I’ve drawn. I haven’t seriously drawn anything since 8th grade art class. Oh but I see the monsters and demons that exist in that world. That’s hardly surprising. I’ve spent a huge part of my life treating my depression, anxiety, and every thing that comes with it as an ongoing battle with monsters. All the times where I felt like I had failed I imagined them as battles lost to those monsters.

I see these creatures wreaking havoc, terrorizing the innocents and feeding off of them. And then I see the heroes of that world doing their best to fend them off. But they are severely outnumbered.

I think it reflects my state of mind. Why so many monsters and not enough heroes? It’s because somewhere along the way I’ve allowed the bad to outweigh the good. And then it made me think about what I brought up in the previous post, about not being allowed to be happy.

I’ve got my work cut out for me. Me cage en diez….

If things in my life can conjure monsters and violent battles then the same thing must be true with heroes and peaceful, happy endings. I don’t want to be addicted to my own misery. I don’t want to swallow anymore bitterness. I don’t want to live in a dark world anymore. So I pick up my pen and I write. My characters draw out their weapons and they fight.

High Strung Tsunami

What kind of day has today been? The title says it all. I woke up early this morning. I woke up a little bit last 7:00 AM. I was lying in my own bed, feeling slightly nervous about going. I wasn’t having second thoughts or anything, but there was still nervousness present. I felt like seawater. I was calm, but picking up turbulence. I managed to get up, fix myself some coffee, and I was able to soothe my nerves away. Then I hopped on the 8:30 bus. My appointment would start up an hour later, but I wanted to get moving right away.

I showed up, took a seat in the waiting room, and sure enough I met up with my assigned counselor, someone different from the last time I was there. The session went without a hitch. I left the room with my head still attached. I posted up a picture that said, “Keep calm. I’m not dead yet.” Showing off my gallows humor as usual. The ocean waves calm down…

I make my way to class. I stopped halfway when I realized that I left my textbook at the Cottages and thought, “Wait a sec….my homework wasn’t in there…riiiight?” I almost panic! I didn’t want to be forgetting a simple assignment on the first week of class. I looked in my binder. It wasn’t there. I was ready to hop on a bus and go get it if I had to. But then it turns out the homework was in my bag, just not the binder. I take a deep breath. The waves are calm again.

I check my email. The manager for the new house had sent messages. He said he wanted deposits and signatures by the days end. I hadn’t signed yet. My mom, the guarantor, hadn’t signed yet. Plus I hadn’t gotten the money I needed yet. I almost panic and call my Mom. She says, “Hijo. I’ll be stopping by the bank at 2:00 and you’ll get your money. Ask the manager to hold onto your check until Monday before he does anything. And don’t sign anything until you call me.”

The waves calm down. I emailed the manager and I let him know whats up. Class is about to start up. I’m glad I brought chocolate snacks with me. It would be like my xanax for the next 2 hours and 40 minutes. The manager does get back to me. And he’s cool. He’s really cool.

He says, “Hey Alex. Sure I’ll hold onto your check by Monday. I’ll resend you your lease if you don’t have it.” Mom lets me know that she’s made the deposit. I had told him that I’d hop back to the Cottages to grab my checkbook and would meet him back on campus so I could give it to him in person.

I make myself comfortable in the library. It’s 3:30. I’ve got my phone and mac with me. I’m killing time doing whatever. It’s almost 4:30 and I almost don’t hear from him. During that waiting time the waves are getting turbulent again. Finally I go on Facebook chat and I find his cell number. Instead of waiting for the guy to email me back I was gonna text him. I probably waited close to 20 minutes before getting a response. We set up a meeting spot. I signed the check and I handed it right to him. The leases would be resent to me and my Mom for us to sign individually.

The waves calm down. I go back to the Cottages. My bedroom door is locked and I’m pretty sure my keys were left in there. I call up the main office. There was a hiccup. Apparently the dumb blonde thought I said I needed the front door unlocked. I had to call back the main office and repeat, “BEDROOM DOOR. LOCKED. SEND SOMEONE. NOW.”

It had already been a long day and I really had to pee at that point so I was slightly irritated. The waves were turbulent, but I managed to calm down. Finally I got a call back from my Mom. My ringtone really caught me off guard.

Suddenly there’s a problem with the lease. Because of the move in and move out dates. Even though I already made myself clear that the manager said it’s possible to move in sooner and that I would have better luck finding a sublease for the house than I ever had for the Cottages of Boone. Because clearly no one wants to live at the Cottages unless they absolutely have no choice, like “Gun to your head, you have no choice.”

BUT that’s not good enough for my Mom. She keeps saying that the document should have the dates changed and that I did a sloppy job even though she knew I’ve done everything from finding this house, picking out the roommates, keeping in contact with the manager, asking questions like if it were possible to move in sooner, pump him for information, kept him updated on new roommates wanting to move in when previous choices kept backing out on me, and stayed on top of everything for weeks. AND YET….I still did a sloppy job in her eyes.

NOW the ocean waves are raging. I feel like I’m being blindsided. I feel like this is the part where the universe says, “Psych!! You can’t have this house! You can’t be happy!!”

I think I’m close to losing everything after coming so far. What my Mom said had me rattled. I text the manager a whole new bunch of questions. Even requesting a whole new updated lease. So now I have to wait for him to back to me AGAIN. Just when I thought that everything was over.

The phone rings again. My ringtone made my ears feel like they were exploding and made me nearly jump out of my skin. I tell my Mom that I’m waiting for his response. I’m on edge and it’s showing. She knows that I’m agitated. I tell her that today had been a long day, I was finally feeling good until she bombarded me with those questions and then called me sloppy. She half-heartedly apologizes and then asks, “I’m not signing for everyone in the house right?”

I rolled my eyes, I let out this loud huff, I want to smash my head against the wall and I yell, “NO!!! You’re just a guarantor! You’re just a back up in case I don’t pay my rent! Which you know never happens! And even if it did you would only pay for ME and not the whole FUCKING HOUSE!!”

The waves keep raging.

“Hijo! Calm down!!”

“NO!! I will not calm down!! You know I’m so close to getting that house!! You know how much I want it!!”

Still raging. Rising to new levels.

I say a few things and she says, “Ok! I’m signing right now! How do I sign….?”

Through clenched teeth I tell her, “IT’S DIGITAL…..”

The waves are crashing everywhere.

You can see everybody’s signature on the document. Mom says, “You haven’t signed yet.”

And now I’m really fed up, “Because you told me not to until AFTER I called you first!! I was listening to you, carajo!!”

“Si….you’re listening to me like you’re supposed to…”

“SIGN THE DAMN THING ALREADY!!!”

“Ok ok…I’m signing it now…”

We hang up. The deed is done. All parties have signed. It’s finally official. The phone rings AGAIN……

At this point I really FUCKING HATE that ringtone. It’s the manager. Yeah, NOW he gets back to me. Turns out he would’ve done as I asked. It would’ve started the whole process all over again. But he would’ve done it. He says that he’ll gladly talk to my parents if they have any other concerns. From now on I’m leaving it all to HIM…..

NO MAS MALDITAS PREGUNTAS, POR FAVOR!!!!!!

If I didn’t need counseling before I sure as hell do now.

A high strung tsunami. That’s what this whole day has been like. It’s 10:22 PM. How the actual fuck am I supposed to manage to salvage what’s left of this day? There’s not enough alcohol in this house to chill me out right now. There’s not enough alcohol….something I thought I’d never have to say while living at the Cottages.

I should be happy now. Shouldn’t I? I can barely bring myself to celebrate after working so hard to get that house. I have a problem with discounting positives, waiting for the worse case scenario, everything feels dulled and I’m too exhausted to celebrate.

I think there’s something behind this that I need to bring up during my next appointment. Something that I have noticed since before coming to Boone.

During the summertime of 2014 I was waiting to hear back from Appalachian State to see if I had been accepted or not. I had been rejected the year before. I had to pick myself from the ground after that. I remember I had rose colored glasses about everything behind the idea of living a life in Boone. I was on edge the entire summer. I was constantly at my wit’s end. I barely left the house. I wanted to be there when I got the letter in the mail. It was self-torture.

Finally it was September 8th. I still hadn’t heard anything. That was when my Mom and I found out about my Dad’s affair. I didn’t stumble upon this by accident. Mom found the evidence on his phone that he left at the house while he went out. My Mom came to me with the phone and said, “You’re going to help me and you’re not going to say no.” She dragged me into things, not giving me any other choice. Things changed for the worse. The world I knew at that point felt like it had been distorted.

Finally the day after I found out that I had been accepted. What should’ve been a happy moment for me was stolen from me. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be happy.

“I’m not allowed to be happy…”

That phrase came to mind when everything else went wrong. Mike’s betrayal, living in the Cottages, not being able to leave the Cottages when I wanted to so many times, not having actual friends to call my own in Boone, not being able to move on from those dark places in my life….

My cognition had been warped and I had convinced myself that happiness was a luxury I wasn’t allowed to have because it would be dulled or taken from me again in the same way.

Oh yeah….my counselor and I are going to have a ball with this one. I’m supposed to just try a new recipe for a short term goal, but now I’m coming back with THIS. Oh boy….

No take backs. This is my truth. I don’t know if it’s the root of all my problems. But it can’t go ignored.

10:46 PM….
I’m gonna go and try to salvage what’s left of this day. And if that doesn’t work then I will go nuts tomorrow.