No More “Matt Damon”ing through Life

As of now I am free from this summer semester. I finished my final exam for photojournalism which was only 12 questions of matching terms, short answers, and fill in the blanks whereas the review sheet made it look like it was going to be 12 pages worth of shit. I was like, “Ok that was easy….”

Then I pay my tuition for the fall. Holy hell! I hope to God my refund kicks in faster than this private loan did. Speaking of, the loan check finally made it to my Mom. But she can’t do shit about it until I get back home because apparently I have to sign it first. Meanwhile I have -$149.50 in my account. Motherfucker what?!!

I can’t even buy pizza or a cup of coffee with that. Oh and I have little to no food at right now. Once again I’m in that Matt Damon situation, “I got to science the hell out of this shit!”

So I call my Mom and tell her whats up. Mostly to tell her that I need cash now! But also to let her know that I’m done with classes and I’m happy with my new home. I have farm animals that live next door to me. Cows, goats, donkeys!! The goats even stumbled into our front yard and starting eating up the grass. I’m like, “Welp….there’s our lawn maintenance right there!”

I dropped a class that was in my schedule in favor of something better. I got a full schedule that’s worth 12 credit hours, but I put myself on the waiting list for this one class that’s required for my degree. I hope to get into it so I can drop one class that I added as just a filler. Other than that, it’s a nice looking schedule. Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be my light days and I’ll only have to go to one class on Fridays so that’s almost a free day!

My financial aid is finally back to normal! No obstructions whatsoever! Those guys at the main office had me doing all sorts of circus acts just to get back on their good side! I feel like I did everything except take part of an Pagan orgy just to get that cash to payback my Mom.

Finally I feel like I’m crashing down completely. I’m finally feeling full blown exhaustion from these last three months. I had to power through this shit and act like it wasn’t phasing me one bit. Now is the part where I fall to my bed and feel like dying. Metaphorically, not suicidal.

I miraculously managed to scrounge up what food I did have left over and make some udon noodle soup. Which ended up tasting kinda bland. Not my best work. My defense I had no soy sauce and no money to get some. Oh and I managed to burn my hands with the soup being scalding hot. I was so hungry, I rushed to get the bowl to the table to eat, and the next thing I know I feel the soup splash into my hands. I rushed over to the sink and washed them under cold water. I filled up this large bowl with ice water and kept my left hand plunged in it while eating my bland noodle soup.

The money my Mom deposited doesn’t kick in until tomorrow morning. Who the fuck makes up these stupid processes? Money should be made available ASAP. I’m ranting. Clearly I’m ranting.

Anyone whose read one of my previous posts, “Being Real” will get this reference. The last few days I felt familiar knots being tied up in my stomach and sense of dread hanging over me. I felt like I was getting ready to deal with my personal Babadook again. Remember that? I panicked because I was afraid to open up some emails, go online to pay my tuition, or do anything else that any normal person is able to do without any kind of problems? That’s what was going on in my mind. It didn’t help that I was dealing with one big assignment after another until recently. I had it in my mind that I missed the tuition deadline like I did before even though I have been keeping up with my student email this entire summer. Universities have to deliver a warning that says “Your classes are gonna get dropped if you don’t pay up now.” I didn’t see anything like that in my inbox, but I still felt the dread.

The Babadook is speaking to me, feeding me more distorted lies…

“It’s over…”
“You’ve lost…”
“It was all for nothing…”

In my mind I balled up both my fists and punched the shit out of that son of a bitch and watched him fall down hard like a tower of bricks. Then I went on and did my thing, knocked down every thing that blows my anxieties out of control.

Final exam. Done.
Call up Mommy for money. Done
Return my one textbook. Done
Tuition payment. Done.
Schedule change. Done
Add/wait list another class. Done.
Contact a soul sucking professor that I’m not crazy about so I can make up for bombing her class. Done.

If I could, I’d be eating the biggest slices of pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, and banana peppers right now. Then chase them down with beer. I still think beer tastes like bottled up piss but it still gets the job done. Makes me chill the fuck out. Until I’m at a point where I can stop pinching pennies I have to hope that my noodle soup keeps me full for the night. Otherwise….I got a box of Cheeze-Its that are somewhat stale that I can down.

I feel like this was the summer that I rocked the cliche of a starving artist and college student. It’s not like I embraced it by choice though.

I go back to my hometown on Thursday. Tomorrow I want to have one day of peace to myself before going back, dealing with parents and cousins that ask one too many questions, a father who sucks the life out of the room and gets pissed off drinking water, and being surrounded by a bunch of kids who are obsessed with bunnies, Skylanders, and fidget spinners. By the way I fucking hate those things. That shit doesn’t kill anxiety. That’s what nutella is for!!

Oooo Nutella…..*finds a jar and digs in*

While I’m at home though I’m gonna chill and finally take the time to enjoy the things that make me fucking happy.

1. Spending time with my cousins and their kids.
2. Playful bickering with my Mom
3. Watching WWE events. I waited a VERY long time for NXT Takeover Brooklyn and that Mae Young Classic goddamnit!!
4. Binge watching Once Upon a Time. I’m working on a story that involves fairy tales for inspiration. So I’m marathoning the show and calling it research. When in reality I’m oogling Captain Hook. Colin O’Donoghue….*fans himself*
5. Going to G Mart. I’ve been craving the Korean food there for weeks. I want bibimbap, gimbap, bulgogi, japchae, all of it!!
6. I want to sit down and keep writing the things I love writing about nonstop without having anything hang over my head for the next two weeks.
7. Get back into gaming. Preferably get into a title that’s not Persona 5.
8. Eat food that I didn’t buy with my own money because parents can’t do shit to stop me so I’m gonna take advantage of it because I’m sick of ‘Matt Damon”ing my way through life!! No!! I want to Homer Simpson through the buffet lines! Shamelessly stuff my face like Pam Poovey! And make food that’s so good that it drives a person into a fevered pitch of uncontrollable ecstasy that’s so intense that their clothes will explode like in Shokugeki no Soma!!! And that’s what will get me a spot on Chef’s Table….

Good times are about to be had. Now is a good time to sign off. I just finished the last of that nutella. Now after all that food talk I’m probably gonna go ahead and finish off those Cheese Its.

Later days

Summer Semester/Sandpaper Dildo

So I was on edge because of this big ass photo story assignment that we were supposed to do. I had ideas on what to do, but things didn’t go as planned. I had a Plan B in case my original idea didn’t work out. And when that didn’t happen I had to resort to a Plan C. Rare situation I find myself into, believe it or not.

So I did the assignment in the best way I knew how. The instructions weren’t so clear and it didn’t help that I had a lot going on in my mind because a day without anxiety and depressing thoughts is asking for too much it seems.

Taking the photos wasn’t the hard part. Once I had something to capture in photos I figured the worse was finally over. But no….we had to take those images and put them in a multimedia slideshow, whatever the fuck. Which was supposed to include a video, music in the background, and images that tell a story.

What was my story? My roommate cutting hair. That’s it. Oh and the music had to be royalty free. So no popular music. I hated all that generic shit that was offered so I opted for a track from one of my many video game OSTs that I have in my collection. The professor said no popular music. Not everyone is into video games the way I am.I know what the track is, they weren’t going to know shit (seeing as though they’re a bunch of mindless zombies anyway). So technically I didn’t break any rules. Besides it’s not as though as I though I’m gonna claim ownership of the music anyway and get anything out of it.

Finally presentation day…

I uploaded my completed assignment. It’s shit, but I uploaded it anyway. I’m trying to keep myself in check. Then everyone else shows their presentations and of course they do a much better job then I did. And that’s when my insecurities are stirring up inside of me like this monstrous whirlpool. Now I’m dreading having my stuff shown to the entire class. But as it turns out I didn’t have to. Because I didn’t upload it properly. Yeah…there’s a proper way to upload it….MOTHERFUCKER WHAT?!

My presentation didn’t include a video of anything. All it was a boring, tacky photo slideshow with music from Shoji Meguro (composer for the Persona game series, for you non-gaming nerds reading this) playing in the background to give it some beat.

So after returning the camera gear the professor opted to let us leave early because what else is there left to do? I was able to upload my assignment in the “proper way” and not have to worry about it being shown to the class. So I dodged a bullet there. I can put it in the back of my mind while I focus on my final exams and finally kiss this summer semester goodbye.

It’s been one thing after another. I’ve been challenged mentally and emotionally. To quote Deadpool, “It’s been as much fun as a sandpaper dildo.”

So I didn’t get to do the good work that I would’ve like to have done on my photo assignment. But at least I tried. At least I turned in something. A half ass, crappy looking something is better than having nothing at all. And during those presentations in class I gave myself a pep-talk inside my mind.

“Yeah yeah, shit happened. So what?”
“This bitch isn’t gonna flay you alive for doing something.”
“You did the best you could have done.”
“Her instructions were complete bullshit anyway.”
“You can beat yourself up and feel like crap about everything or you can just say ‘Fuck it’ and move on.”

So I said “fuck it” and I choose to move on. Plus despite how tough this summer semester has been there’s been a lot of good that’s come out of it. That’s what I choose to focus on.

Let’s list out the highlights of summer 2017.
1. I got the help I needed in counseling.
2. I dealt with the financial crisis and got the money needed to pay back my mom.
3. I came back from my previous failures and I still have a shot at graduating in spring 2018.
4. I made the choice to live even though there were moments where I wanted to curl up into a ball and just die.
5. I’m done with my math. That’s a huge victory for me.
6. I moved out of the Cottages of Boone.
7. I got the house that I wanted and was able to move into it.
8. I have come out of my shell a little bit. I can’t deny this.
9. I didn’t quit or run away from anything despite whatever fears almost crippled me.
10. My academic standing is improving. The probation isn’t gonna stop me now.
11. I did enjoy taking photos. So I brought an old hobby back to life.
12. I’m writing again.
13. I’m still alive.
14. I’m going home to see my family again.
15. I’m getting a clean slate for the fall semester.
16. Fall is coming….pumpkin spice everything, cooler weather, better clothes to wear, new releases of games, new premieres of everything, more WWE events.
17. My new manager whose renting the house is cute….
18. My so called “Demons” have grown weaker. They are losing their power over me.
19. I powered through a lot of things that kept challenging me.
20. I played the shit out of Persona 5. I got the Compendium completed, mastered the social links, beat the shit out of those twins, wasted the reaper, and I’m two trophies away from my first platinum ever.

This second session is about to end. I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked to in photojournalism, but I stuck it out to the bitter end. I still have the other class that I know I passed. We’re writing op-eds and being given extra credit for submitting it for publication. The professor in that class really likes mine and is encouraging me to submit it. I think I just might because that would be cool for me.

I didn’t get everything I wanted from this summer but I’m going to press on and work even harder than ever.

Here are my intentions that I share with the Universe.

1. I will continue to live.
2. I will graduate in spring 2018.
3. I will keep getting better.
4. I will continue writing.
5. I will keep cooking.
6. I will keep taking photos.
7. I will go back to loving films and anime.
8. I will keep gaming.
9. I will break out of my shell and smash it completely.
10. I will become more beautiful than I already am.
11. I will find that special someone to love and share my life with.
12. I will make my life better than it is now.
13. I will have a life where I don’t have to struggle and fight against myself or anything else.

It won’t be easy. But I know that I have the ability to make it all happen. I refuse to back to the way things were before all this.

An Update on My Life

So, I finally did it. I moved into my new home, Sparonest. Yay!! I was the first to move in and get set up. It was an eventful day. It was such a rush to pack up all of my stuff and leave the Cottages of Boone. I gave the main office both middle fingers as I left for the new house.

My parents got to see the inside of the place for the very first time. My mom loves it. My dad on the other hand…he fucking hates it. It was a constant bitchfest with him. Of course, I expected nothing less from my old man. He is the type of guy that gets pissed off just drinking water after all. He stubbed his toe twice while walking around the house. I don’t feel sorry for him. His own fault for having two left feet and zero patience for anything.

I had to downsize like 60% of my stuff when I moved in. I took what I needed and would make the most use of and gave the rest to my parents for them to take back home. I have the smallest room with a slanted ceiling in the second floor, but that doesn’t bother me. My roommates are already super cool. My female roommate has been so nice to me and she helped a lot when it came to organizing the room and settling some of my stuff in other parts of the house. She’s got a cat who’s a little attention whore, but I’m actually grown attached to the little fur ball.

My other roommate has a big ass dog. Remember watching the original Ghostbusters film? Remember Zuul? Yeah, he’s that big. And he’s only 16 months. But he’s not a bad dog. He’s all right.

Oh yeah and my manager is a total cutie. Both me and the chick wanted to seduce him. Sadly, though it appears he’s taken. But hey, I can still dream.

I love it here. It’s only been a little more than a week, but I’m already a lot happier here than I ever was at the Cottages. I’ve washed my hands clean of that place permanently.

I’m almost done with this summer semester, thank God. This entire summer has been nothing but madness. The only thing that can make up for that is pumpkin spiced everything, cooler weather, and not having to deal with the constant time crunch of assignments in a five-week session.

I still have my moments where stress and anxiety build up. I’m doing the best I can to power through it all. It doesn’t help that I concluded counseling offered at the school. Plus, the stress of moving and the constant photo assignments. I’m a little behind with my photography, but mercifully my professor isn’t a complete monster and she’s offering me the chance to turn in my stuff late. Right now, that’s my primary stressor. There was also the matter of my tight financial situation. But it’s finally getting better. My private loan refund is finally kicking in so I can pay my mom back the money that I owe her and I go back to using financial aid like I normally do. That was giving me the most problems.

Now all I have left to do is to power through the rest of this summer session and complete the rest of my photo assignments. I do love taking pictures, but I hate the technical side of it all.

“Remember everybody to go at it through this angle. Don’t use that setting, use this setting. Make sure that flash bounces off the wall. Your photo better includes a living subject, but no felines! Humans only!”

Gimme a fucking break…

It doesn’t help that I got slim pickings for photo subjects. Boone is a small town after all. How small? I’d say as small as ET’s nonexistent nut sack. But I’m going to manage something. I’ve been through worse challenges after all. And it’s almost time for the fall semester. I just need to grit my teeth and power through things until then. I’m tougher than I was before. And I continue to keep getting stronger with the positive momentum that I got building up. I refuse to go back to the person that I was before any of this. I’ve already come too far.

So that’s where I am in my life right now. Update complete! Now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna cook some tuna fried rice and get my photo equipment ready for tomorrow! Later days!

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!!

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…

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