The Opening Act of Spring.

And just like that, my favorite day of the year has arrived.

Technically, the event happens middle of the night/wee hours of the morning, but still. I am thrilled!

Daylight Saving Time.

I have made it through the past four months without needing to see my therapist, without having to take medication, and without using my phototherapy lamp. Shorter days, lower temperatures, and the absence of volunteering for Beto were all factors I thought would do me in, but BEHOLD, they did not. I kept on, and now I am heading into the happiest time of year already in high spirits.

Grandma, I am happy to say, is doing well. She’s in high spirits herself and does not appear to be sick nor show signs of slowing down. For that, I am grateful. When I first learned of her diagnosis, I immediately started grieving and mourning. I made it to the acceptance stage of that grief rather quickly, thankfully, so now, I am able to spend time with her without my heart completely breaking and without succumbing to my tears. We are joyful when we are together, which is something we both need. I know the grief will eventually return, but for now, I am not taking these happy moments for granted. As an atheist, I live for the present, and it is life circumstances such as this one that remind me why that is a good thing.

She is in Mexico this week. She loves going home. I love visiting too, even though technically, it has never been my home. There is just this warm, welcoming ambiance all about, and Grandma is well-known and adored in her little home town. I hope she enjoys her getaway. The forecast there is in the mid-80s, something I am certain she will relish. And when she returns to her home here in Dallas, she will get right to prepping her garden for the arrival of spring. Last year, we went shopping for plants and flowers together. I am hoping to do the same again soon.

With that, I am out. It should be another lovely day. Last night, some friends and I enjoyed dinner and drinks on the patio of a nearby restaurant. Today, I am off to an Irish festival that is always one of my favorite annual local events.

Thank you, life.

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Monday morning blues.

I cut myself some slack this morning. I didn’t iron my scrubs, I wore them nice and wrinkled without any shame. If my Mom were to see me, she would shake her head in disapproval. That was the law of her household when I was a kid: Go to school in perfectly pressed clothes, come home with straight As. I can report that I did well.

It’s ingrained in me, I iron all my clothes to this day, carefully and meticulously. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that a lot of people simply throw what they’re wearing into the dryer and sooth out wrinkles that way. That doesn’t work for me. It’s just not enough, I can tell, and Mom would also be able to tell.

Today, though? I don’t care.

I received some bad news yesterday. Grandma Lupe – my last living grandparent, the one I have always been closest to, the one I have bonded with the most – was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know the full details, because she’s being very secretive, but she’s in her 80s and, like my grandfather (her husband), will likely not seek any sort of treatment. I know what this means.

Do you understand why I don’t care about my stupid scrubs? I’m more concerned about breaking out in tears at any given moment. I am about to do so now sitting here waiting for this bus to leave.

I want more details. And I want to be with her.

I didn’t set any resolutions, goals, or intentions for this new year. I figured I was on a good roll last year and that I would simply keep doing what I was doing. I would maintain my focus on self-awareness, keeping those winter blues and depression at bay, controlling my thoughts. That’s it. Nothing grandiose, no deadlines, no milestones.

Now, she will be my focus. I know what I’ll be doing on my days off. If her prognosis is anything like Grandpa’s was, time is going to fly by.

Holy shit, I’m not ready.

My mind is trying to comfort me by telling me that I have been an exemplary granddaughter. I have always had a wonderful bond with her, I have visited so frequently, we have shared innumerable memories. I guess I should also take comfort in the fact that she’s a godly woman. It comforts me not because I believe she’ll just go to Heaven and meet Jesus and find my Grandpa. I’m atheist, I don’t believe any of that. But she very likely believes it, so she’ll be at peace. Right?

The bus is moving, I am crying, I have a few stops to get myself together. Maybe people will focus on my wrinkles and not notice the tears.

Does it even matter?

Good. Fun. Growth. All.

I am so ready for 2019. It’s going to be a good one, I can sense it. There is already much for me to look forward to.

First things first, my merit raise will go into effect at the beginning of the month. That’s exciting – having a little extra dough to play with. Early on, I will also need to start working on a presentation for a lecture I will be giving in Los Angeles in May. I can admittedly be a bit of an attention whore and public speaking works wonders for my ego. No lie. Both my salary raise and the opportunity to present make me feel so grateful for my job and for the career growth I have experienced since I was hired. It will actually be my four-year anniversary there next week! Crazy.

February is already jam packed with a number of shows that I want to go to: Thrice, Cursive, Poppy, John Maus, and Dropkick Murphys. Going to shows is like church or therapy for me. It just feeds my soul. Hooray for that raise, by the way, because I am ordering tickets for them all as soon as it kicks in (although I already bought my ticket for Poppy months ago).

Oh! also, a sweet little bundle of joy will be arriving in February, followed by another in May, followed by another in June! It seems that all my friends are procreating, and I am extremely happy for them, but also for myself because I see their lives and do not want to live mine that way, hahaha. I am further convinced… Hooray for being and staying childfree! Excuse me while I continue to enjoy sleep, relaxation, my hobbies, and my social life.

Dating? Oy. If I were to tell you the details of my dating life, you would think that it is messy and disastrous. The truth, though? is that it is working for me. It should not come as a surprise, I am all about being unconventional these days, doing my own thing, playing by rules that I have made up. It’s actually quite fun, and my friends who do know the details are all highly entertained. It makes me smile. We shall see where things go… I am going with the flow and making the most of it.

I am also more than ready for presidential campaigns to be announced. Let’s do this.

Y’all – I am happy.

This year started off horribly, but with determination and resilience, I managed to turn it completely around, and ended up having one of the best years of my life. All it took was an adjustment in my attitude. My therapist taught me that in order to control my feelings, I first need to control my thoughts. So that is something I have been working on all year and it has definitely done the trick. I am more in tune with myself and what I need out of life than I have ever been, and that idealist gal I was as a college student is making her way back onto the scene.

Life is good. Life is fun. Life is growth. Life is all.

December Days.

One week (plus a day) until winter’s official arrival. That’s it. Here we are.

Last year, I am pretty sure I spent December 21st crying uncontrollably. Oh, the darkness, both outdoors and in my head. It was around that date that I started researching potential therapists for myself because I just could not handle things anymore. Signs that I needed therapy? Well, other than the crying… mood swings, inability to sleep, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, feelings of doom, anxiety attacks. The crying, though. I had never cried so much in my life. So many triggers. Seemingly crying over nothing and everything.

As I started to recover from my depression early this year, there was a part of me that figured that once winter returned, I would fall right back into it. I know I wrote about it several times, even during the summer. I have lived with this fear of becoming depressed again ever since I started to recover.

I thought it might happen in October, given the fact that October is the month I lost both Canelo and Miguel.

I was fine.

I thought it might happen in November, given the fact that daylight saving time would end and the sun would start setting significantly earlier than it does in the summer.

I was fine.

Now it’s December. December with all those fucking memories – SO many fucking memories – from childhood, from young adulthood, from the Dustin years, and then the horror of last year.

Thirteen days in – I am fine.

But no, wait. No, no no no no no. I have been better than fine all three months. I am happy, I am enjoying life, I have maintained the most positive outlook, I have cultivated a fantastic social life, I have been kicking ass at work, I have bonded with my family even more so than I already was (thanks in large part to my perfect newborn nephew). I am accepting every invitation, partying, dancing, living it up. I feel great about the gifts I have purchased, the thought I put into them, the fact that I did not spend a fortune. Those who appreciate minimalism will be proud.

I feel gooooood. Really good.

This is actually the most I have enjoyed the holidays in quite a while. It’s not so bad, is it?

It’s simply been easy this time around. This December, this year. I realize that there are still eighteen days left for things to completely fuck all up, but I sincerely believe that will not happen. There is still so much to look forward, more joyful times ahead.

How is this my life? 365 days later – how is this my life?

HAPPY Holidays.

365.

It is so weird.

For months earlier this year, I dreaded this day. It’s the anniversary of the day that pushed me over the edge, into my full-blown depression. I had had episodes of anxiety in the weeks prior, since Miguel passed away, but I was managing. Then this weekend last year happened, and it was bad. Out-of-my-control bad.

The following week was better – I went to the Lady Gaga concert with my best friend Cristina and had an absolutely great time. A couple days after that, I ran a half-marathon, which made me feel strong and powerful. I felt accomplished and seeing all the other runners with their triumphant smiles made me smile as well. That was the last time I genuinely smiled, though, I would say. It was the last time I felt good and optimistic… The day of my half-marathon. A Sunday.

My mind gave me a break and allowed me to feel good for a day. Then, on Tuesday, I was triggered into my first anxiety attack, just a couple hours before I had to go to work (I was working 2pm – 11pm shifts back then). I started shaking, crying, my legs got shaky, and I began to hyperventilate. I crawled into my closet, to hide from the world, from anything that might make things worse, and called my Mom. The last time she had seen me, I was on a high from my race. So this caught her completely off guard.

Aren’t (good) mothers simply amazing? I am sure that hearing me in that state, listening to me describe what I was going through, it must have scared her. I know it must have. But she maintained her calm and talked me through the episode in a soothing way that enabled me to gather myself and make it to work. How the hell did she know how to handle this? How did she know what to say? I was a wreck! How did she pull me out of it in such a way that made me functional at least? Amazing.

I remained gathered enough to make it through each day, but I was not well. People around me started noticing that I was not myself. I was no longer the bright, positive, friendly person that everyone knew. I stopped eating, I was not sleeping well at all, I was crying every day. The things that used to make me happy no longer did. Everything was dull and dreadful. I could not find a silver lining in anything.

Just two weeks after the first anxiety attack, I went in for my first appointment with Nikki and began the process of getting better.

At my second-to-last appointment with her in June, I marveled at the fact that it had been six months since it all began. She asked how I was handling the milestone, and I responded that I was great, but I was not surprised by it. It was spring/summertime, my favorite time of year, after all.

“Ask me again in another six months, when it is fall/wintertime and the anniversary of that shitty time.”

Well, she cannot ask me again. Not unless I go see her, which I still have not done since July.

[sigh]

Here I am. Still doing and feeling great. This time… I am surprised. I suppose I anticipated being triggered again, by the memories and the time change and the colder weather. But I haven’t been. The events of last year, they are in the past. I have learned and grown from them. Toughened up and am a little more hardened, which I needed. I was so vulnerable then. How in the hell did I let myself get there?! Never again! The time change and the weather do not bother me, mainly because I have remained active and social. I have not slowed down one bit, as I tend to usually do this time of year. Nuh uh. Nope! Not this year. This year, I am not letting anything put a stop to the fun and joy.

So… yeah. No signs of depression thus far. No bouts of anxiety, either.

Here’s hoping that this continues until spring returns in all its blossoming, lively glory!

Take good care, friends.

-D

Beto for… ever.

The campaign is over. Election Day has passed. I no longer have an excuse to cancel plans or decline invitations. I have “my life” back.

It was SO close.

In the hours following the announcement of results, friends, family, colleagues, and fellow volunteers all reached out to me. They called, they texted, they tweeted wanting to make sure I was okay. You would think someone had passed away, or some other traumatic event had just occurred.

We’re proud of you, Daisy. You made a difference, Daisy. You’re the reason I voted, Daisy. You are inspiring, Daisy. You are my hero, Daisy. Hope you’re okay, Daisy. Keep going, Daisy.

It was all so sweet and much appreciated, but guys… I feel great! What we accomplished was amazing! I am fully aware of that. This state is now officially a battleground state, and we’ve only just begun. I’m enjoying this break, but I will be ready to go again for 2020. We ALL will be.

I cannot say enough about us – grassroots foot soldiers, as we’ve been called. We were relentless, we were passionate, we were devoted. And now, we’re EXPERIENCED. We have nearly tasted victory and you better believe that we are going to jump at the opportunity to put up another fight.

So instead of being sad, disappointed, and defeated, I’m actually incredibly excited. I am not sure when the campaigns will be announced, but I will be sacrificing my time once more as soon as they are. Woot!


I didn’t share this when it happened, but I did end up canvassing at a show early last month. Our Beto table was set up next to the band’s merch table, so we got a lot of traffic. I was actually able to get three new voters registered! Multiple people committed to vote for Beto and even more took Beto swag with them.

Me at the Beto table!

At one point, Graham Fink – the guitarist for the headlining band – came over. He and his band, Milo Greene, are from California and thus, could not vote for Beto. But regardless, according to Graham, they knew exactly who he was, they were aware that he was running against Ted Cruz, and they were supportive. Graham took a button.

Later on, during Milo Greene’s set, I noticed that Graham had placed the button on his guitar strap.

Graham Fink.

I snapped the photo above and shared it on Instagram. I then received a comment from the Milo Greene account…

The caption from my Instagram post with Milo Greene’s comment.

Then… I was tagged on Graham’s account…

Screenshot of Graham’s post.

I am happy to say that he still rocks the pin/button as evidenced in this video from a couple days ago:

This is just a tiny example of all the wonderful experiences I lived through while campaigning.

Thank you, Beto, for inspiring us. Thank you for all the memories, thank you for fighting to represent us, thank you for listening, thank you for appreciating us, thank you for all your hard work. Thank you for the new friends I made, the additional confidence I gained, and the respect I earned.

It’s been an absolute joy.

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

I have made it through October unscathed. The critters are fine – they are healthy, happy, and as adorable as ever – and I actually ended up having a good time throughout the month.

Canelo and Miguel’s anniversaries led to a couple somber evenings. That was unavoidable, I love and miss them both tremendously. The events leading to losing them… Gosh, I remember every single damn detail, even the minute ones. I can take and place myself back in those moments and just feel this deep, intense sympathy for my past self.

But I’m okay. I am way better off than I was a year ago.

The next challenge ahead of me will hit me tomorrow night/Sunday morning with the end of Daylight Saving Time. Last year, going outside (my favorite place to be!) at the four o’clock hour, noting that the sun was readying to set – it was a huge trigger for me. Every.single.day. It made me anxious and uneasy and I would break into hysterical crying fits. I am not looking forward to this, but I am already practicing my breathing exercises and yes, my SAD lamp is out of its storage box and sitting on my desk again, prepped and ready to go.

I haven’t gone to therapy since July, since before my birthday. Again, as of right now, I still feel okay. We shall see how I feel in December and January when all the anniversaries of my experiences last winter start arriving. I should be okay, but the second that I feel uneasy, I know what to do. I will call up Nikki (my therapist), I will see Dr. Reihsen (she prescribed my anti-anxiety meds and my anti-depressants), and I will take care of myself. I am hoping that I won’t need to, though.

This year truly is different from last year. I do feel good about myself and everything I have going for me, all I have accomplished. Not only that, but there has been so much good news (personal, not like, in-the-news news), that I cannot help but look forward to these next few months. Exciting events are coming, including the birth of my nephew THIS MONTH, so my outlook is much more positive.

Sigh. We shall see.

I am going to bed. I went out the past two previous nights even though I had to work yesterday and today, and I am simply pooped. Gotta re-energize for all the fun to be had this weekend.