The Recovery Plan

So I haven’t been able to write anything here for a while. I haven’t been able to create anything in a while either. Not on my WWE game, not for my story universe, not in the kitchen, or anywhere else. I’ve been sticking to my medication, I’ve continued going to counseling, and it looks like I’ll be doing the same over the summer time.

This semester completely blew. It’s almost identical to what happened to me last year. I thought that getting help when I did would mean that I’d have everything nipped in the bud. But that’s not how it turned out. But it’s a good thing I did reach out for help when I did. Otherwise I’d probably would’ve been dead by now.

But it’s okay. Mentally, I’m doing all right. At some point I’m going to have a stronger dosage of Zoloft prescribed to me. Emotionally, I feel like a complete wreck. I wish I could explain the reason why. But I can’t seem to explain to myself. I was hoping that by writing something here that it would offer up some clarity. This is the best thing that I can do in an attempt to purge out everything.

I have my last counseling session tomorrow. This will mark the first time that I’ve used up all ten sessions offered. That’s the rule here at App State. You only get ten sessions per semester. Afterwards you’re supposed to go look elsewhere for help where it’s not free. But if it comes down to that I have no problems with it.

I’m trying to get a handle on what I’m feeling. My emotions are in a whirlwind and I’m doing everything I can to not allow them to influence my thinking. I’ve been feeling this way since last week and it’s drained so much energy out of me.

I keep picking up fear, anger, sadness, indecision, confusion, and shame.

I’m scared of what’s going to happen next. I’m scared that my depression will be the end of me. I’m scared of not knowing how I’ll be able to function in life on a daily basis.

I’m angry at myself for being this way. I’m angry that nothing has gone according to my vision. I’m angry at the world that keeps fueling my inner demons faster than I can blink. I’m angry at people for not being to understand how I think and feel. I get even angrier when they say something that will minimize what I’m going through.

I’m sad because it feels like I’m nowhere close to where I want to be. I’m sad because it feels like my dreams have become impossible to realize at this point. I’m sad because it feels like there’s no end to this struggle, no matter how hard I try.

I feel lost and confused. I don’t know which path to take and where it will lead me, to a brighter future or to a darker pit. I don’t know how to be stronger than I’ve already been. I don’t know how to undo all the negativity that’s been hardwired into my mind. Sometimes I don’t even know how to believe in anything good and beautiful. And if depression is supposed to be a catalyst for great new change then I don’t know if I should be looking forward to it or not.

I’m scared of changing, but I’m also scared of never changing.

I try not to dwell on the things I haven’t accomplished on my journey or the many setbacks I’ve encountered along the way. But there’s still this sense of deep shame that’s nesting inside of me.

In my mind’s eye I was supposed to be living the lifestyle that would make everyone be envious of me. It’s me that’s supposed to have bragging rights, a person to love and call mine, see the world, and be successful in everything I set out to do. No matter how much time has passed I feel this bitterness.

No more. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I don’t want to die, but I also don’t want to keep living a life where I am always feeling this way. If something hasty change then all of this mess needs to change. And that can’t happen unless I change.

So I’m in the same spot that I was in last year. I had to pick myself up from rock bottom and move forward to something better. No matter how much I piss and moan the things that I desire will not be handed to me.

I have a lot of work that’s ahead of me, but I can’t accomplish anything as I am now in my current state. Not as long as I keep feeling sorry for myself, not with my warped cognition, and not by staying still or not being true to myself.

So I’m coming up with a “Recovery Plan”. For now I’m gonna get the basics down and then I’m going to jump into things head first. Once I’ve taken the plunge I’ll know where to go from there and what adjustments have to be made. I have to keep this as flexible as possible so I’ll be able to adapt on the go.

Before I’m able to do anything I need to accept where I’m at now. I have to acknowledge everything that I’m feeling. I know why I feel the way that I do and I can tell myself that it’s okay to have these emotions. They are what make me human.

And yeah, depression has been a bitch in my life for many years now. But right now I’m seeing the good that has come from it all. Depression has matured me in ways I never thought was possible. It’s given me insight. It’s made me grounded. It’s made me empathic. It’s made me stronger. It awakened and molded this warrior spirit that I never knew existed until I made the choice to live and go after what I want. I still have that. I never lost it. Getting lost in the darkness of my depression has only made me believe that it was gone and made me believe that I’ve been powerless this entire time.

I’ve been treating my depression as a curse for the longest time. Not everyday is always a good day, but I’d be lying if I said nothing has come from it. I’ve been beaten down and I’ve been able to come back from my defeats. I’ve been able to overcome numerous fears and challenges precisely because of my experiences with depression and because I tried killing myself. I’ve been fighting it nonstop, but it keeps coming back. Maybe that’s where the source of my problems truly lie within.

It doesn’t matter if I like it or not. This depression and all that has come from it have become a vital part of me. So I can’t be rid of it. I can’t forcibly remove it from myself. I can’t suppress it. I can’t kill it. I have to live with it. I have to make my peace with it. I have to accept it as a part of me and love it in the same way that I want to love other parts of myself.

Depression is a part of me. But that doesn’t suggest that it gets to rule over me or define me who I am as a person. It’s just one of infinite factors to my self. I can draw strength from it. I can use it to propel myself forward. I can use it as my shield and sword. I can use it as my own power. I just have to learn to not allow it have power over me.

I think maybe I’ve found the clarity that I needed.

I accept it as a part of me. But that doesn’t suggest that I’m going to stop medication, counseling, or allow myself to drown in the darkness.

I meant to share details of my “Recovery Plan”, but I think this covers the first phase. I’ll get around to explaining the rest later. For now, I need to let all of this sink in.

Take care everyone.

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Second Wind

This semester is coming to a close, but there is still a lot that needs to be done. For someone like me it always feels like an epic battle. The sort of battle that will either make or break things. This perception casts a heavy weight on my mind. Not to mention makes for inner demons to grow larger, meaner, and more powerful.

This time is a little different from all the other times. If any of you remember from the earliest posts I’ve talked a little bit of my spirituality, how I’ve been receiving signs for many years. These last few months have been no different. I won’t get into too much detail on how these signs came to me, but for the most part they’ve all pointed to something positive, greater, and dare I say a depression-free life, something I want more than anything.

I’m realizing now that when the signs first came to me I became passive and fatalistic. I just accepted what was presented to me without question. This set me up for constant disappointment. I expected the good things to simply be handed to me and if the signs pointed to something bad I merely shrugged and said, “Oh well. I can’t stop it from happening.”

Perhaps that’s why I’ve been forced to endure all the hardships that occurred over the last few years. It was so I’d be able to find my fighting spirit and decide for myself what I truly wanted for myself. It forced me to think differently, change my perceptions about the world around me.

There’ve been days where I felt so drained that I thought I was barely holding onto my existence by a thread. There have also been days where it seems as thought I’m not alive or exist at all. No life, no afterlife. Pure oblivion.

But the more I think about the good that is promised to me the more I feel as though I’ve gained a revitalized spirit. Simply put I’ve found my second wind. But that doesn’t mean I can relax just yet. Just because something is promised to me doesn’t mean I don’t have to work hard and pour effort into anything. I’m only now realizing this as well.

I’ve carried this perception that the dreams that I’ve been pursuing was always under some sort of time limit. I imagined the same thing for everything else as well. But now it seems as though time doesn’t matter anymore. Which means that it’s not too late.

So I’m gathering everything that’s in me. All my greatest hopes and desires, my conviction and faith, and even my pains and regrets to propel me to go forward, to empower me, and finally uncloud my eyes from anything that’s confused or obstructed me.

It feels similar to when I wrote my intentions to rise up from the rock bottom I was in back in April. There’s the sort of pain that is associated with growth. Clearly I’m not done growing yet. I’m not done becoming stronger and wiser. My challenges have yet to end.

But here is a new intention I want to make clear right now. It’s a depression-free life that I seek, but it’s a mistake to simply wait for it to be handed to me. It’s a mistake to wait for anything to be given to me like it’s a prize. Nothing that I’ve been doing has been about collecting prizes. My life isn’t a playstation game where accomplishments are measured by trophies being earned or scores being weighed. The life that I’m living now is worth more than that. The life that I seek is worth so much more. I will live as though I have the life that I want, as if all my dreams have been realized.

Otherwise I’m living like I’m always wanting something and always being cheated. I would be living life unsatisfied and feeding myself misconceived notions of how things are supposed to be. It’s no different from a smoker who tries to quit and always goes back to lighting up. It’s a bad habit I’ve carried with me for years and it hasn’t brought me any good at all. So it has to go. Just like I’ve been wanting my depression to go.

This year is coming to a close. I don’t want to start up 2018 carrying 2017 issues. This is the best way to guarantee that. I’m done being stuck in the same horrible habits and going through the same thing in a never-ending fashion. This is what’s been driving me insane. This is the very definition of insanity.

This will mark a new beginning for me and ,hopefully, be the permanent end to my nightmares. It’s possibly a huge leap. But I have to risk it. Because if I don’t make the jump now then when?

It’s now or never and I refuse to stand in my own way.

My given name is Alex. But people know me as “Pen”.

Here is the reason why I took the name Pen. It’s not just because I’m a writer or because I wanted to make a play on “pen names”. Those are factors, but not the biggest reasons why. It’s because I believe that no matter what your belief system is, whatever God you pray to, or if you believe in magic or not your fate is always in your own hands.

Every breath is like a new word. Every day is a new page. Every year is a new chapter. You are the protagonist of your own story and you write your own fate when you decide to take control of your life.

And that’s why I wanted to take on the name, so I can always remember this simple truth and stop perceiving the things I desire as impossible to have. That’s all the magic in life I will ever need.

And I’m off. Love and peace.

Flash Flood of Anxiety

So it’s been a minute since I’ve written anything. I actually thought about quitting writing this blog because things aren’t what they used to be. I figure, “Well what’s the point? I’m gonna write about how blessed every part of my life is and just rub it in everyone’s faces?”

Well that’s no longer the case. This week was rough. It got off to a bad start when there was this freak thunderstorm that brought in all this heavy rain. It was horrible. Boone was practically flooded. School should’ve been cancelled that day. I had an instinct that told me to not go to my later classes, but then my female roommate was like, “Well you’re already here. You might as well go.”

Last time I ever go against my instincts again. My best jeans and sneakers were drenched. I had to walk around with soggy socks the whole day. People were stranded in school because bus routes were getting closed off. Water was seeping into other people’s apartments. And they still didn’t cancel classes. There wasn’t even an email that warned everyone about the bus routes getting closed off which, call me crazy, might seem like pretty good information to know when you’re living through The Perfect Storm! I was on my way to my last class of the day (which lasts from 5:00-6:15), I had just bought a decent sized umbrella, I had my bag closed up, I walked to class, and when I got in I found that my notebooks got wet while in the bag. That’s including the special notebook I have where I had been jotting down all my ideas during my big writing craze. I even had good drafts written in there. I was pissed!!!

My nerves started acting up. I wasn’t just pissed off. I was sad. I felt like the work I put into that book was lost to me somehow. Plus my laptop was in the bag to during that storm. It wasn’t wet and it works the same as ever (Thank God…), but if something had happened to it then things would’ve been worse. I have tons of drafts saved up in neat little folders. I had started writing a short story featuring one of my crushes from the WWE (Sami Zayn, in case anyone’s curious) and had managed to reach 9 pages with over 3000 words. That’s fucking biblical for me!! Especially after making a come back from writer’s block and the infamous Nightmare Syndrome.

I thought I was getting ready to have an emotional breakdown in the middle of class so I got up and excused myself to the restroom. I needed to collect myself, wash my face a little, and take deep breaths. Not 10 seconds after I stepped out into the hallway the clouds break apart and the sun is shining….AFTER the damage had been done. Now I’m even more pissed off!!

I wrote a Facebook status that read,

Dear Universe,

NOT FUNNY MOTHERFUCKER!!!!

Sincerely,
Alex/Pen

After that I tried to Uber my way back home, but had no such luck. There were no drivers working on that particular night thanks to Mother Nature. At this point I’m convinced that Mother Nature was a hatchet faced bitch troll that looked like Anne Coulter. So I walked to the bus stop. I wait like 20 minutes in the cold, wet, dark night. The driver almost missed my stop. After that I had to walk back home. Let me further emphasize that it was dark, cold, and wet that night and I didn’t feel comfortable walking that particular night. Especially when there are no goddamn street lights put up around the neighborhood!! There aren’t even any sidewalks!! Oh but there’s plenty of assholes that love to speed through those streets like they own the town! I’m lucky I didn’t get run over. I was dead tired that night.

Mercifully the special notebook wasn’t beyond ruin. It’s totally salvageable. There was just a huge water stain that freaked me out when I saw it the first time that let me think that it had been completely ruined. I survived that day and the rest of the week was dry. It was cold, but dry.

My stress levels were rising. I had projects after project that needed to be worked on. Mountains of work with deadlines fast approaching. Sleep was scarce. I have coffee where my blood should be. That should paint an accurate picture of what my caffeine consumption has been like lately. I’m able to get them out of the way though. I’m even able to keep writing my stuff too.

My anxieties were spiking up too. It was the first time in a very long time that it had happened. And let me tell you something…I still don’t fucking like it!!
That shit with the professor I was crushing on doesn’t count. That pales in comparison. By the way I don’t remember mentioning this or not, but I’ll repeat myself. I’m over that motherfucker!! I was wrestling with my personal Babadook and other monsters living in my head. I was able to silence them, but I still feel this uneasiness nesting inside of me.

It doesn’t help that I’m trying my hardest to work on this feature article for that class I got an incomplete on. I was on a roll with my fiction writing. Now all of sudden I’m bamboozled and can’t fart out even one shitty sentence despite the fact that I went out of my way to do my interview, put it on a voice recorder, and got all the relevant information. It’s not even an epic article! My professor encouraged me to go after the low hanging fruit to write something. And I did! I’m writing about a noodle bar, for fuck’s sake!!

I will not lose my shit. I will not lose my shit. I will not lose my shit.
IwillnotmyshitIwillnotlosemyshitIwillnotlosemyshit….

I haven’t had to use that mantra in a while. I didn’t miss it.

I know I’m able to get through all this. I know I’m stronger than all this. I know that I’m not going to fall back to rock bottom again. In reality not everything was horrible.

The more I’ve written the more I feel like I’m lead back to my real self again. I’ve become more social with people. I’ve discovered that I’m actually funny, I like making people laugh. I’m allowing my hair to grow back which is proves to me that I’m at a point where I’m more comfortable with myself. I’m working on loving myself more and I’ve made progress.

I’m going to power through this last assignment, turn it in, get more of my fiction writing done, and then binge watch Stranger Things!

Signing off now!

The Fox and the Blue Bird

Remember when I said that I get signs from the Universe? These signs will come to me in a variety of forms, but no matter what the form it takes it will always get my attention. It’s very rare when they come to me in my dreams (even with the Dream Man), but that’s what happened.

I dreamt that I saw a blue bird and a fox. They came to me in separate scenes. First I saw the blue bird. It’s entire body wasn’t blue, just its wings. But my my mind registered it as a “blue bird” even though the rest of it was black. I was in someone else’s backyard and there it was. It flew and landed on the ground before me.

A little bit after that I saw a fox. Again, I was in the backyard of someone else. I remember because I saw laundry being hung out to dry. I was sitting on this back porch and this fox just walked up to me. It stared at me for a while. And then it helped its way into the house since the backdoor was opened. Someone made a comment about the animal, but they weren’t worried about it coming in. It came out the backdoor almost as soon as it went in. I remember this fox was smiling at me. It smiled at me the same way my favorite dog Jewels would.

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As soon as I was able to wake up I went ahead and looked up what symbolism that they hold.

As far as the blue bird is concerned it’s a definite sign of happiness, a spiritual freedom, and psychological liberation. It coincides with some of my more recent posts. So I can’t ignore it. And I certainly cannot deny that I do feel better about a lot of things. I’ve been tight lipped about it. But I really do feel great. ev

But then there’s the fox. Generally the fox is supposed to represent a tricker. But then things got complicated when I kept seeing different scenarios involving a fox like, “If you dreamt that you killed a fox…” or “If you domesticated a fox…”

In this dream I wasn’t scared of the fox that I saw and the fox smiled at me like Jewels used to which makes me think that it was genuine. I honestly don’t know what to think of it. I’d prefer to not believe that there’s a trickster in my life or that there’s going to be one in the future. I’m just coming out of my shell here and getting past my trust issues. I don’t want to be suspicious of every person I come across now. That’d be like taking ten giant steps back when I’m finally making good steps forward.

Because I had a pleasant experience of looking at the fox then its supposed to mean that positive changes are afoot. I want to believe that this is true. The way things are going now even if there is a trickster somewhere in the foreseeable future he or she cannot undo all the good that’s happening right now unless there are something other than human.

So the better part of my day has revolved around trying to interpret this dream because evidently the Powers That Be seem to think that I’m some walking supernatural braintrust. Oh yeah and while I was waiting for the bus this morning I saw a butterfly for like the millionth time since last year. Except during this time last year the butterflies were dark colored and now they’re getting brighter colors. I keep getting a strange feeling overtime I see one.

Symbolism behind that revolved around resurrection, moving through different phases, transformation, and the world of the soul. “The world of the soul….” What, like the human unconscious? Great, then I’m officially living in the world of Persona then. Maybe I’ll become a Phantom Thief of Hearts. Wonder what my costume would be like? Or my Persona for that matter….

Nerd moment’s over!! Focus!! *slaps himself silly*

So yeah that’s happened. The signs have been very active this past year. Things started off bleak before, but if I’m reading these signs properly then things can only get better from this point on. That’s all fine and dandy, but that doesn’t change the fact that every time I get these signs I’m always left confused trying to make sense of it all.

I guess I’m supposed to just walk on faith and risk total annihilation. I’m just afraid that if I interpret things in the wrong way then…I’ll be punished somehow, all the progress I’ve made will become undone. I’ve had this irrational fear before. Maybe this is all so I can conquer it. I can rule out the “Dream Man” coming to find me. If I start thinking about stuff like that now then it goes against what I had posted over the weekend. I still need to focus on me. I need to focus on loving myself more. I need to get to the point where I can say, “Hey! I’d date me!”

It’d be so much easier if I had some kinda guide for all this. *eyes roll* But nooooooooo…..

Anyway that’s it for now. I’ll figure something out. Someway, somehow.

My Dream Man

It’s a quiet and lazy Sunday here at the Nest. The leaves are falling down, the wind is blowing, the weather is finally calling for long sleeves, hoodies, beanies, and long pants. All of which are my favorite things in the world to wear. I’m doing all that I can to keep myself from drowning in my own thoughts.

I’ve splashed my hands in peppermint oil. I’ve got the soundtrack from Nier Automata playing as I type. I’m brainstorming how to properly word how two lovers actually “Netflix and Chill” in a story that I began writing two weeks ago and left at 593 words. I’m choosing to write when I could be studying for this exam that I have tomorrow afternoon.

The last few days have left me in a daze and I’m doing everything that I can to bounce back from it so I can regain my senses. A few days I posted about how I have this crush on one of my professors. And then I started to think about all my other failed romances. And how at one point there was this recurring dream I’ve had where I did meet the love of my life.

This “Dream Man” is nobody that I know in real life. But he started appearing in my dreams years ago. I can’t quite make out the details of his face. The memory of it is really hazy. But I remember that he was taller than me. He had to be at least 6″0 or 6″1. His skin tone was tanned and light brown colored. I think he was Hispanic or some Mediterranean descent. He had dark hair cut at a short length. His body had a muscular, lean build to it. I remembering imagining him as a swimmer or a runner during his high school years.

I remember the warmth I’d feel when he took me into his arms and held me. I remember the way his lips tasted like something sweet. I remember him always assuring me in those dreams that everything would turn out all right in the end. I remember always feeling happy with him. I remember feeling safe. I remember the whole thing felt like a fairy tale.

I’d imagine the dates we’d have. A walk through this grand aquarium, enjoying ourselves to frequent coffee dates, having a boring evening at a home we’d share together, and how we’d reach the “happily ever after” we both wanted for ourselves.

The dreams and the images came to me after I tried killing myself and I was done with therapy back in 2009. Before that I had the worse luck with romance. But I felt in my bones that this “Dream Man” was the one for me.

I remember thinking that he would be reward if I kept improving myself, if I never fell back into depression again, and if I chose to stay alive. I remember how badly I wanted it to be real. I remember thinking that if I found this “Dream Man” then that would be that; the end of my long journey, the magical solution that would end all things depressing and painful, and that I’d finally be at peace. I’d finally be allowed to be happy.

At some point those dreams stopped. But I still retained those daydreams of date nights complete with dinner and a movie, laughing at corny jokes, fighting over dumb stuff like any normal couple does only to have great make-up sex later.

I still yearn for the “Dream Man” to come into my life and all that comes with it. But now I’m beginning to think that all this time I’ve been wanting it for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve been coming to terms with a lot of things since I started up this blog. I had to pick myself up to go to therapy, to go to class, do the work that needed to be done. I’m the one that found the house to move into, I found the roommates, I was persistent in moving into someplace better than the Cottages. I fought off my “Nightmare Syndrome” day in and day out. I fought my own battles and saved myself. And this isn’t some recent epiphany. I’ve been managing to handle myself for a really long time now, even before coming to Boone. Whereas before I thought I needed someone to save me from my predicaments; mental, emotional, or otherwise.

But no. I managed to do a lot of things on my own when I remember the times where I couldn’t do simple, ordinary things that people unlike me have no problems doing at all. Like learning to cook, being able to write, being able to take chances and go for things. These were all things that I thought were impossible to do at one point. But I made them possible.

Yeah I’ve had my ups and downs, but it made me a better person. It made me stronger. It made me wiser. All that I experienced after the suicide attempt accumulated and made me into the person that I am now. I thought I had that lost that part of myself when I first came to Boone, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. That’s the “old self” I spoke of before. I never lost it. And that proves that I’m not broken or damaged in the way that I convinced myself that I was. And it means that no matter what comes my way I will be all right, with or without my “Dream Man”.

And as for him…I’m going through a lot of personal changes right now. I need to stay focused on me and keep getting better, stronger, and wiser. Because in all honesty the way things are now I wouldn’t date me. Which makes it more crucial that I stay focused on me and work on self love. That’s all I got to say.