Nostalgic Boners and Toxic Fandoms

Warning: The following is an uber nerd rant that might go on for a long time. You’ve been warned. Now it’s time to get my geek on.

I joined up with some fan forums last night. Quite unlike me because I’ve done my best to avoid mingling with fandoms. I used to kick it with the nerd clique which I liked to call “Nerdcore” or “The Nerd Herd” because I figured it’s only natural to want to be around people with similar interests. Did we end up getting along? Yes for the most part. Were there conflicts based on individual tastes, thoughts, and opinions? Yuuuuuuup…..

There are some cancerous people in the nerd community. Straight up. I always end up running into them. It’s an inevitability. It’s a problem when they come in swarms like insects. It becomes an even bigger problem when it seems like you’re under constant attack for the things that you like.

I’m guilty of liking a lot of stuff that’s not popular with other people. Where do I begin?

The anime series, Blood-C. Not for everyone, especially if you’re the squeamish type. It had so much gore that it made Elfen Lied look like a Disney film by comparison. But it actually had a plot that played a good psychological example of Nature vs Nurture and combining it with the whole “Truman Show” scenario. Could it have been executed in a different way? Yes, absolutely. But I think people were so turned off because viewers just had zero patience and didn’t pay attention to what was happening in the episodes that built up toward the end. There were hints everywhere, clear as day. Plus during the last episode there’s a lot more information that’s dropped on everyone’s laps but people don’t get the whole picture. They don’t get the whole picture because they didn’t take the time to put all the puzzle pieces together.

I liked the Ghostbusters and Power Ranger movies that recently came out. Were they perfect? No, of course they’re not perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection. That’s an illusion that people use to set themselves up for disappointment. Are they gonna win any Oscars? I fucking doubt it. But they don’t deserve all the hate that they get from movie viewers and Rotten Tomatoes. The Ghostbusters backlash is purely sexist, nothing more than that. Was it better than the original films back in the 80’s? No, but it wasn’t a complete shit show. It wasn’t a total flop. It could’ve been so much worse than people make it out to be. The same thing with the Power Rangers movie. Rotten Tomatoes labeled it a “box office failure”. Who did the reviewing? Toxic fans who grew up into jaded cynical adults or jaded cynical adults that never watched the original show at all? I loved both those films. I walked out of the movie theater with no regrets and I didn’t feel like my childhood was shat on.

I like some of the more unpopular Final Fantasy titles. My first FF game was Final Fantasy 8 and I fucking loved playing it. It was the second RPG I ever played. That first walkthrough was memorable to me because there was so much trial and error from how I played it and it made the battles especially difficult. Both factors made it all the more gratifying when I finally did beat the game. Is FF8 the best title in the franchise? Does it have the most compelling characters? The biggest replay value? The most amazing plot? No to all of that. But I love FF8 for sentimental reasons. Plus at the time I was playing it I wasn’t looking for any of that in the first place and I didn’t know any of the stuff back then that I know now. So I didn’t label Squall as an emo. Or the romance with Rinoa as uninspired? And I’m not so nerdy that I try to dissect the plot and complain at everything like….”How do you compress time? That doesn’t seem so terrifying…”

Oh yeah and when I was reading the manga, “Claymore”, it pissed someone off so bad that they yelled at me, “That’s just a rip off of Berserk! No, it’s just Berserk with boobs!”

Do you see the pattern here? This is what I call “Pulling a Jon Joel”. Because there was this one asshole in the Nerd Herd circle named Jon Joel who would walk up to you, start up a conversation like so, “What anime/video games are you into?” You proceed to give him an answer and then he responds with, “That’s fucking bullshit! I can’t stand that stuff! I can’t stand those characters! The protagonist is a complete faggot and you’re a faggot for even liking that show!”

Because the whole point of Jon Joel conversing with you is to tear apart everything you love and talk about what he loves because no way he would ever pick a bad anything. He was the sort of extreme weeb who loved to hear the sound of his own voice, bask in the smell of his own shit, and had a butter face that even his own mother would love to throw a brick at. He’s just one of many people who I feel epitomizes that toxic fandom behavior.

Whatever happened with “To each his/her own”? Or common human decency for that matter. I joined up with these forums on some dumb whim and I see so much of that toxic fandom going on just skimming through the site. I almost want to rant in a forum about how the Ghostbusters or Power Rangers movie didn’t suck but I know it’s gonna attract people who will disagree. And the last thing that I want is to have to breathe in more poison than I’ve already have for most of my life.

See? Told ya I was gonna rant. Lately I’ve been indulging myself in a lot of things from my childhood. Nerdy things like Sailor Moon, reading fan fiction, playing retro playstation games, etc. It’s partly depression treatment, going back to my roots and reviving interests that were dying out. The other reason is that naturally they’re all creative fuel for me.

I’m trying to get more serious about my fiction writing. I don’t want to invite anyone else into this fold because past experience tells me that’s not a good idea. People won’t operate on the same wavelength as me and I need to be able to trust myself when I’m writing, especially if I have any chance of making a career out of it. Some of my creative projects are gonna be based off those nerdy nostalgic things that I love so much.

I find myself constantly making a lot of announcements for intentions, but here I go. It won’t be the last time I’ll be doing this. One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with while trying to write is constantly fearing that my ideas aren’t good enough or I’m always giving up on things before I ever truly give them a chance. This is a bad habit that I’m trying to get out of. There’s also the many other facets that come from wanting to write, but that’s the stuff for a whole other blog entry (although I’m fairly certain one of my older posts already covered that). I want to lead a depression free life which I believe can be achieved through writing. I want to write my stories without anymore fear, shame, or self-hate aimed at myself and I need to be comfortable in my own skin to do that. I need to be comfortable with myself by being real with my shit. (Being Real…oh look there’s another throwback to a previous post.)

My New Intentions
1. I want to enjoy the things that make me feel alive.
2. I want to better love myself without reservation.
3. I want to be able to voice my thoughts and opinions without fear.
4. I want to write for me and worry about all the other stuff later.
5. I want to complete at least one creative project before I end up finishing things at App State.
6. I want to break out of self-harming thoughts that have been tying me down.
7. I want to engage with people who aren’t so toxic and leave me to do my own thing without judgement.
8. I want to be comfortable with myself.
9. I want to go after everything that I want without fear in my heart.
10. I want to take better care of myself.
11. I want to live intentionally.
12. I want to forgive myself for never being good enough in the eyes of others or even to myself. Forgive myself for every little thing that I’ve perceived as a failure or defeat. Forgive myself for being different from others. Forgive myself from making progress at my own pace. Finally forgive myself for ever getting lost in life.

I’m done. Later days.

My Own Little World

I’ve been quite the reclusive writer as of late. An escape from reality for me was long overdue anyway. I found a bunch of old drafts and ideas that I had jotted down for the many stories that I never finished or barely started. I feel like I’m reconnecting with old friends whenever I read up on old characters and feeling like I’m reconnecting with my own self as well.

It was always my plan to get back to my writing roots and start back from scratch with my stories and other creative projects. When things in reality turn incredibly ugly like with what’s been happening after the Charlottesville incident and the like it makes it easier to escape. It makes me imagine a world that I’d rather be apart of and people I’d vastly prefer than the people I know.

Of course these escapes can only last for so long. There’s always something in my reality that’s always calling me back against my will; academic responsibilities, people who need me, the fact that I’m going to have my hands filled with other stuff like paying off bills and debts, finding a real job, being a normal functioning member of society….ya’know? All that good stuff.

I’ve been keeping my distance from other people in my life. Including friends I’ve had before I left for Boone. At first I didn’t want to have to deal with people and hear about how great their lives were when I was struggling for the longest time with everything. But now it’s the opposite. Some of them are having their own share of problems as well. If I were the same person I was three years ago then I’d take the time to listen, to help them unload their burden. But I’m not that person anymore. I’ve got problems of my own to worry about. The current state of the world sure doesn’t help either. I don’t need a constant reminder of how horrible things are with Trump in the White House, a bunch of Neo-Nazi shit heads looking to cause trouble, or whatever other issue of the week keeps going on; police brutality, ISIS, and the constant starvation and poverty in Venezuela where my family is from. I see all of this on my social media so I’m forced to disconnect.

The world as I know it now is a toxic place to live in for people like me that deal with depression and anxiety and for those that don’t. I don’t want to run away from reality because I know I have to learn to deal with it all. But I’m only one person with limited means of doing so and my patience can only last for so long.

Normally I’d be questioning myself and overthink things like, “Does this make me a bad person?” “Am I a coward?” Or something to that effect.

But I know that’s not the case. I’m making a choice based on self-preservation. If the world is toxic then it makes sense that someone doesn’t want to be exposed to it. And I genuinely don’t care if anyone disagrees with me on this. This is for me, not for them. Besides even if I wan’t to do something to change the world on an epic scale I can’t do that when I’m not even 100% in the clear with my own issues.

All I have is myself, my writing, and an imagination that’s the closest thing I have to a cure-all. I used to believe that indulging myself in my writing consistently meant that I was just running away from everything; the state of the world, the things that fuel my depression, being single and lonely, drowning in crippling debt, and overall things not going my way. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Losing myself in my own world could be beneficial. I’m not just talking about getting a head start on my writing career. But perhaps in writing I’ll find answers to questions about myself that have bothered me for the longest time and learn how to better understand the reality I live in and better cope with the things that challenge me. That’s what I believe anyway.

In my own little world there are things that come straight from the fantasy novels. Monsters, sorcery, giant mechs, superheroes, etc etc. Sometimes I think a world where these things are included automatically mean I’d be living in a better reality. At least then things would make more sense. There’d be heroes fighting the good fight against the villains and make them pay for their crimes. I wouldn’t be struggling to figure what’s truly right or wrong. I’d know which side to fight on.

In my own little world people are not judged on their religion, their gender, who they’re attracted to, the color of their skin, the languages they speak, or whatever interests they have. People are not defined by their struggles or anything else that makes them feel like dirt about themselves. People are defined by their desires and the actions that they take to make those desires into reality.

People wouldn’t have to struggle over things like money, food, medicine, education, and if anyone or anything gets in the way of these things then they’d go down.

In my own little world that I’m trying to make into a reality…
I’m happy with a man that I love and want to spend the rest of my days with. I’m successful in my career as a writer. I live in a beautiful home. I’ve graduated from App State. I’m depression-free.

Thats all got to say tonight. Later.

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…

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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.

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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.

Being Real.

These last few days have had on me on edge in a serious way. Yesterday I dodged what would have been serious bullet to me. My “Cold Feet” and anxieties were spiking up. It made it difficult to do stuff that needed attention like paying my tuition.

I admit that I’m a bad procrastinator. I own up to that. But I had neglected my student email for I don’t know how long. And I didn’t want to log in and check on anything. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but I was afraid of what I might see. As if I was afraid that some Babadook-looking monstrosity was going to leap out from the computer screen and eat my face off. The same is also true for paying up the tuition online. That same fear was just crushing and consuming me. My insides were tied in painful knots, my head felt like it was being smashed against a rock, and my joints were aching like I had been beaten to the floor by my so-called Babadook.

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I didn’t understand the logic behind any of it. I had to coach myself into logging online to get the stuff done. I had to psych myself up as if I was getting ready for a WWE title match inside a steel cage. With extreme rules and no disqualification rules. And in my mind I already felt and thought I was looking like this….

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So I finally said, “Fuck this noise! Let’s do the damn thing already! Get it over with!” And then I find out that I’m too late. I missed the payment deadline by just one day. At that point I went to my student email. I had like 80 something unopened messages. No monsters except for the ones occupying my mind came leaping out the screen, so put that in the plus column. I see the email that says my schedule was cancelled. But in that message it read, “If you want to re-register you can at 12:01 AM.”

I looked up the classes and I saw that there were still seats available. Which meant that I still had a shot. It was 9:00 PM. So I set up a timer for midnight. I put on a little Netflix binge to kill the time and relax. I scolded myself for taking so long to pay up and for being a neurotic mess.

“Dude, get your shit together man!”
“Stop being such a giant panty waist!”
“You can fix this! You can handle this! It’s not a monster, it’s not a failure, it’s just a hiccup.”
“I will not lose my shit. I will not lose my shit. IwillnotlosemyshitIwillnotlosemyshitIwillnotlosemyshit….”

The alarm goes off. I take a few deep breaths because again, I’m psyching myself up. I even did stretches. But THEN…..it turns out I’ve got a hold placed on me. Then came out my new catchphrase, “Motherfucker, WHAT?!!”

The hold was placed on me by the EIT (Early Intervention Team). I go back to my email. Turns out they sent me two letters. That hold had been put into effect since early this month and I didn’t know anything. So even if I payed before the deadline I still would’ve been blocked off. My Babadook is clawing right at me. I feel the wounds, my blood pouring out, the battlefield is a mess. I opened up the letter and the way it read went something like this;

“Hi. A caring faculty/staff member alerted us about you. We want you to know that we’re here to help you. Please get in contact with us. Until you do a hold has been placed on your grades and registration. Please call us during our business hours between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.”

At this point I’m really fighting in my mind and I do my best calm myself down in reality. Deep breaths in, deep breaths out. I make a new battle plan.

“I’m gonna get some sleep now. When I wake up I’m gonna fix myself some breakfast and coffee. I call these guys the minute that office opens up. Explain to them what’s happened. Get that hold removed.”

So I do get some sleep. But of course it wasn’t a pleasant sleep. My parents always wake up early. And of course I wake up when they do…..at 5:00 AM. And then I can’t go back to sleep. I don’t leave my room. Nobody knows the situation, I don’t want to tell anyone about this. I want to handle this on my own and I was already having a hard enough time maintaining a decent poker face. Both my parents aren’t gone until 7:30 or so. I get up and I do what I say I was going to do. I set up a timer on my phone so I don’t wuss out.

Babadook wants to go a couple more rounds in my head. I’m somewhat more rested. He’s going low and I’m going high with everything I got. We exchange dialogue…

You’re going to fail….everything has already fallen into ruin…you have no more hope….

I’m hollering back, “Says you ugly!! These people want to help me!@ It proves that not everyone is some heartless robot like you’ve always told me! They want me to continue my journey!!”

The alarm goes off. I brace myself. I say, “Give it five more minutes. Let the guys in the office get settled in. You might get a machine anyway…”

It’s 9:05 AM. I talk myself out of giving them ten more minutes and I make the call while I still have some nerve. One ring…two rings….three rings….

“Hello you’ve reached the Appalachian State’s EIT office. This is Belinda how may I help you?”

I bite my tongue to keep myself from saying, “Holy shit!! She’s a live human!”

I then explain to Belinda my situation. She was nice, she was calm, she wasn’t being a hatchet faced bitch about anything. I’m still on edge though. I’m nervous. I even fumbled when she asked me what my phone number was so she could get back to me again. I said, “Hang on!” Five seconds pass and I remember. I felt like I had to dig out the info from a shallow grave in my mind.

Belinda elaborates that EIT is there to give me help. I tell her I’m not in Boone but I can be there Monday to meet with them, but I needed that hold taken off first.

I let her know, “I’m in a tight enough spot as is and this is not helping me at all. I’m not placing blame on you or anything, I’m just voicing my frustrations.”

Belinda is understanding, she says she’s going to discuss this with her people, we’ve got a schedule down for Monday and Tuesday in the afternoon. I’m told to expect them to reach me back soon either by phone call or e-mail. I say, “Thank you”. She says, “Happy to help. Please have a nice day.”

So now I had to play the waiting game. I’m doing my best to keep calm and not focus on the negative and convincing myself, “They just want to help out. Let them help. They are not going to meet up with me to expel me or execute me.”

I’m listening to music, I’m watching Netflix, I make a post called “The Happy List” trying to accentuate the positive so that the negative can stop having power over me. It did help, but the hours are flying by. There’s no new messages in my inbox. Oh but I’m getting news about the new house and the manager is preparing the lease. So if I wasn’t sure about getting the house before it’s looking like I am now.

The clock reads 4:00 PM. One hour until the EIT closes the down. Phone goes off and its another lady from App State, not Belinda, but she was nice and cool to me. She’s confirming the appointment time and she’s lifting the hold temporarily so I can go ahead and re-register and pay. The hold would be lifted for 24 hours. I can finally breathe, the knots in my stomach are being untied, and I’m pretty sure that I just beat the shit out of my Babadook.

I didn’t need 24 hours. All I needed was five minutes. I jumped right on it. I punched in the CRNS for a quick registration. I got them. My spot in those classes weren’t taken. I rush to the checkout. I put in all that information and confirmed payment. The deed was done.

But then I still felt a little bit of unease. Normally I get a receipt emailed to me. I read the net balance, it’s say zero. But that wasn’t enough proof for me. Something in my mind was just not processing and registering the information. I even sent an email to the student accounts office to double check if that payment went though without any problems. And they got back to me. I even got a PDF that showed off everything.

Finally I calm down. I drink a nice glass of wine to relax and I start playing The Legend of Dragoon on my Playstation 3. I feel like I just won a serious battle. But now that the smoke has cleared up in my mind I’m just now realizing how ridiculous my reaction to all of this really was.

I thought I understood everything there was to my depression. I thought I understood all my main cognitive distortions and all the things that trigger them. I thought I had good strategies to countering those triggers.

Finally I just said out loud to myself, “What the actual and existing fuck is up with me? I’m getting triggered by the silliest tiny shit ever!!”

It’s not easy for me to share the exact details about stuff like this. But this is what I deal with. That Babadook analogy I made isn’t a joke. It’s bad enough when I interpret things as a failure, but more often I turn things into a monster. Then I battle them tooth and nail with whatever is handy. I don’t share this part with anybody. Anytime I say I’m fighting my demons I make sure everyone knows I’m speaking figuratively. But there are times when the figurative feels literal.

I’m sharing this because I need to be real about everything. I need to put it all out there. Because it helps me take a good honest look at myself and gives me a good idea on what I have to do. It was a horrible mistake to keep quiet about anything. The last time I showed this much candor my so-called friends I had at the time kept calling me an “attention whore” or “drama queen” or “playing the victim” or whatever. And those are the g-rated labels I’ve had slapped on me. They think that they’re being helpful, that they’re showing tough love, but it’s not. Even if they thought they’re intentions were good all it did was stigmatize things which pretty much just placed a gag order on me when all I was doing at the time was something that was helping me. It was therapeutic for me, but it was just too much for them. And it was annoying for them. Which is ironic because they’re into a lot of shit that is several times more annoying, stupid, and tacky like fucking CakeFart videos (I shit you not, that’s an actual thing).

I never wanted to be “that guy” who talks about mental health problems and everything that comes with it from the lows of bad days to the highs of recovering from failures and trying to live a better life. But if being real with my shit, doing what I believe is helpful for me, and blogging about it here or sharing it on a Facebook post or whatever makes me in “that guy” then FUCK IT. I am “that guy”.

I know I’m not always right about things, but at least I’m always real. If I’m going to have any shot at leading a life with better mental health and reaching my goals I need to be real about my shit. I need to own up to it. I need to face myself. I have to play the hand that’s being dealt to me.

I’d rather be real then be fake as all Hell.

My Happy List

I’ve been “that guy” who talks nonstop about depression and anxiety and the things that trigger it to put me on edge. I need to take the time to get out of the darkness. I’m playing out some music that I haven’t listened to in a long time. It’s gotten me feeling all nostalgic and shit. Then I re-watched this video on HartBeat’s YouTube channel (I highly suggest subscribing) where she lists all things that make her happy. So I thought it a good idea to do the same thing. This really needs no further explanation so here I go!

There will be a crap ton of photos. Not sorry for that.

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This is Jewels. She was my best friend and hands down the coolest dog in the world ever. She wasn’t my dog. I took care of her when her owners were traveling. My Mom got me the gig. I was like “What are you, nuts?! I don’t know anything about dogs! Let alone taking care of them!” My Mom said she’d help out and that the dog sitting money would go straight to me. Then I met her and it was love at first sight. She was the sweetest thing ever. And she was so well behaved too. She didn’t bark or jump up on any furniture and she listened to me as if I were her owner. I took care of her for a huge part of the summer in 2012. It was one of the best times I ever had. Taking care of her was always a joy. Especially during Christmas time. She wasn’t mine, but I loved her like she were my own and she loved me back in return. She was a better friend than anyone I had ever known. Jewels died from cancer back in February. But I have nothing but the most beautiful memories of her. Sometimes I can still smell her on me. I look back on all the times she followed me around, kept me company in the kitchen, and always rolling over the floor and asking for belly rubs. I miss her dearly. But it’s thanks to her that I realize that I am capable of loving someone other than myself and can be loved in return unconditionally.

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Coffee! Because without it I’d have no reason to get up in the morning. Wired is better than tired, twitching is better than bitching, death before decaf!

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This fucking beautiful frozen delight!! It’s like an organism that goes off in your mouth in every spoonful. Not lying!

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I love anime! Especially Miyazaki films. They’re some of the best things I’ve ever seen. Other anime titles that I love include, but are not limited to; Sailor Moon, Akame Ga Kill, Inuyasha, and The Slayers. There’s a lot more, but I want to keep this part short and sweet.

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My video game collection! I’m an avid gamer and I’m proud of it! Most people I knew from childhood were always into Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Nothing wrong with those titles, I like them but I didn’t get into them until later. While everyone was into Tolkienn or Rawling’s works I lost myself in games like Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Dragoon, Chrono Cross, Valkyrie Profile. These titles, for me, weren’t just fun games to play at the time, but I fell in love with the presentation of everything they had. Interesting characters, compelling plots (I was 14 when I played these games, shut up), beautiful music, and a worlds that I loved escaping into when reality sucked. I collect titles like they’re Pokemon and I collect game consoles like they’re the Dragon Balls! Except for Xbox One. I’m not into the Microsoft franchise and plus they don’t offer up a lot of titles that I’m interested in. And even when there is a good game coming out on XboxOne that I’d like to play it’s also available for PS4. I am a Sony boy!

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Pokemon and pocky! Because reasons….

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The WWE! I love pro-wrestling! I watched it every week as another way of escaping reality and getting out of my head. My top favorite superstars are Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Sami Zayn, Tyler Bate, TMDK, The Revival, and Finn Balor (who by the way is my future husband. He just doesn’t know it yet). I especially love the WWE games because there is an entire community dedicated to creating their own wrestling promotions, superstars, championship belts, etc. This is a photo of one of my own creations that I’m particularly proud of. I want to make my own promotion and put it on YouTube, but time management is an issue. One of these days it’s going to happen. Probably with the release of WWE 2k18.

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Anything that came out of Dorothy Zbornak’s mouth on Golden Girls. Golden Girls in general. Shameless binging of Golden Girls via HULU….need I go on?

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Seeing random shit like this that always has my sides hurting from laughing so hard.

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Everyone has childhood superheroes. Almost everyone will say Batman, Green Lantern, or the X-Men. Yeah they’re great heroes, but for me it’s always been the Power Rangers. I’ve been with them from the very beginning (which should be a huge hint as to how old I really am). I’ve kept it a secret from a lot of people to avoid ridicule while growing up. My closest friends know about this because we’d always play as Power Rangers ourselves. We’d create our own villains, monsters, zords, and act out our own Ranger characters. This played a huge impact on my creativity when I was younger. The Power Rangers were always one of the few constant things I’ve had that brought me much needed comfort whenever I had to move away and transfer to a new school and just couldn’t connect with people. Plus getting up on Saturday mornings to catch a new episode was always something to look forward to. And yes, I’ve seen the new Power Rangers movie and I FUCKING LOVED IT!! Rotten Tomatoes and all the haters can just SUCK IT!! I walked out of that theater as a very happy vintage nerd! While I’m at it I also watched and enjoyed the OTHER Power Rangers movies from the 1990’s. YES, even Turbo! I also enjoyed the rebooted Ghostbusters movie and enjoyed it for what it was! Gonna stop here before this rant eats up the rest of the post!!

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Hand written drafts! It feels so good to work that pen across the paper and fill up the page space! I’m actually preferring that than staring at a blank Word document for hours and wanting to beat the shit out of that blinking cursor which I always feels is mocking me!!

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My cooking apron! Anytime I put it on I’m like, “Yeah baby!! Let’s chef things up tonight!”

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Good pizza! Because reasons…

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Snow. I know I like to piss and moan about all the things that are wrong with Boone and Appalachian State. But they do get beautiful snow. It reminds me of life in Ohio where I was born. I love playing in the snow. I love wearing my winter’s best clothing. All the best looking clothes are meant for cold weather, let’s be real. I love being snowed in and drinking good coffee and being with people I care about. I love watching the snow fall. I especially love all the summer people suffer because they can’t show off their muscle guns or bikini bods. I’m like, “Uh oh!! Time to get a personality, STAT!”

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These little guys! These are my cousin’s kids. The one on the far left is Sammy, Charlie in the center, and the girl is Katarina. I never thought I’d be good with kids. I have a hard enough time dealing with people closer to my own age. But these kids like Jewels have helped me learn and grow so much. They love me and I love them to death. One day when I was having a really bad day and the suicidal thoughts kept creeping in I got a surprise FaceTime call from my cousin and it was Katarina who wanted to call. Not to say “Hi”, but to say “Please come back! Please come over!” It made me come back to my senses. She’s a little saint for making that call. I’ll never forget the timing. It makes me want to work harder to make myself better and be there for those kids.

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Last but certainly not least is my Mom. Here she is with Jewels, spoiling her. My Mom is the sweetest person alive, but she’s also one of the strongest people that I know. If she says that I’m the strong one it’s only because I got my strength from her. She’s my biggest reason for wanting to work harder and get better. I’ve disappointed her in the past and always had a hard time forgiving myself for it. I want to stop being such a huge screw up. I want to be successful in life. I want a family of my own that she’d love to welcome into her life. I know I always have her support, no matter what. Which is why I want to keep going forward and keep fighting. I came clean to my Mom about my depression and told her that I wanted to hurt myself and die. It made her cry hearing that. It was another huge wake up call. Even if I went ahead and ended things so I wouldn’t have to feel pain my Mom, my cousins, and those kids would be destroyed. I don’t want to be the reason that they cry or hurt. I’m going to turn things around for me and them. I’m gonna fight my nightmares like a real warrior and I’m going to come out on top.

That’s all I got for now. I’m probably going to do a continuation of this list at some point because when it comes down to it there is a lot of things that make me happy. I’ve kept myself closed off from it all because I became so addicted to my own misery. I want to be happy, I deserve to be happy, there are reasons to be happy all around me just like there is for everyone else. Only major difference is that those things don’t come from the end of a beer bottle, a bong, or anyone that’s lives by “hooking up” with the first person that they see.

Until then, later days!

Read me the Signs. Tell me my Fortune

If you’re someone who is not into spirituality or supernatural belief then this blog is probably not for you. If you’re someone who is so grounded into reality and you only believe in what you see in front of you then this blog is not for you.

I’ve been getting signs for the last ten years now. Rephrasing; I may have been receiving signs my entire life, but I didn’t start paying attention to them until ten years ago.

Back when I was at my worst and mentally hit rock bottom is when I started to really notice them. The signs kept coming to me in different ways, but I always felt this sort of “resonance” (for lack of a better word) from them. At the time they would always tell me that things were going to get better. That I wouldn’t be stuck in the same sucky situation I was in at the time.

These signs were persistent. Try to imagine having pop up ads or spam mail taking up space in your brain. That’s how persistent they were. I thought I was going crazy. I was already depressed and living in a sucky reality. I thought believing in something out of this world wasn’t very helpful. I go to therapy and everything seemed quiet for almost a month. And then they kept coming back. At that point I was like, “Screw this! You want me to follow? Fine, I’ll follow!”

I figured that if I did that then maybe it would finally stop and I could go back to living in reality in the best way that I could. Somewhere along the way I had been convinced that it wasn’t my mind playing tricks on me. That it’s something bigger than anything else, trying to guide me. I remember back then that I was at my happiest. I was at my strongest. Remember the little analogy I made of dealing with anxieties to fighting monsters. Well that’s where I was slaying them one after another. Built up a serious undefeated streak. Like….Goldberg in WCW/WWE (past Goldberg) or Asuka in NXT. Or Ronda Rousey in the UFC (before the KO from Holly Holms, of course). Plus I really was leading a depression free life for close to two years. So not only was I at my strongest, but I was at my happiest.

But the Universe didn’t prepare me for everything. Eventually I got knocked down. I crashed and hit the ground hard. I kept taking one hard hit after another. I was defeated. And I felt like the person that I was, the better version of myself, had been stolen from me. The Universe then fell silent for a really long time and I was forced to go at everything blindly. What caused all this to happen? More like, what didn’t cause it to happen? I could write about what might have been the cause for at least ten more entries if I felt like it. But I don’t want to focus on what happened, what I cannot undo.

Sometime back late March (at best guess) I start getting signs again. I’m supposed to just “stay with it”. During this time I was struggling with suicidal thoughts in Boone. Obviously nobody wants me to die, human or otherwise. I’d have thought that I should be instantly back to my old self again, but more “powered up” somehow.

My mom and my cousins say that I’m the strong one. But I honestly don’t feel it. One serious downside to these signs is the mysterious nature behind them that leaves me with more questions when I’m already confused as is. And I’m not the same person that I was before all this. I feel like I’m always “blocked” by something. I think more than likely I’m the one “blocking” myself from everything. I’ve built these walls around me to guard myself from anything that I had viewed as a possible threat to me, which seems to be like everything.

I am still getting the signs. I am so deep into this that I cannot ignore them. I cannot pretend like they haven’t played a part in my life, in bringing back the good that did outweigh the bad. I’m the person I am now because I followed them when I had nothing else to go on. I am the person I am now precisely because of who I was. People don’t just change, they continue on from that point.

I think the message that I’m supposed to be getting is meant to trigger a change in my cognition. Since moving to Boone I thought I had lost the person that I was and all the strength and wisdom I had accumulated at the point. I thought I had “lost my powers”. But the truth is that I never lost anything. It’s all still inside me. It’s just waiting to be tapped into. It wants to wake up. It wants expression. It wants sweet release.

I am so done with being my own worst enemy. I hate on others for either getting in my way, questioning everything I do, undermining me, weighing me down, but in reality I might just be projecting from my own doubts and weaknesses.

If I’m able to release all that’s in me and use it to succeed, awesome. If that’s not it and I’m supposed to just start over from scratch again, I will do it. Either way there is nowhere else to go except forward.