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 all year. Becoming depressed again.

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.

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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.

Get my phototherapy lamp out.

Here it is, assholes. Fall has arrived.

It is cold, gloomy, and rainy outside, which I’m sure all you bums who love to dwell indoors are thrilled about. Me? Not so much. I feel trapped and I hate it. I got paid yesterday, however, and promptly ordered waterproof outdoor gear to accommodate this shit-weather and my need to be outside doing something. Hiking boots, a nice windbreaker, and some gnarly waterproof pants will be on their way to me soon. I also ordered a raincoat for my pup, Bruiser.

You know what I get tired of hearing? I thought about this as I was ordering the aforementioned garments. Whenever weather and seasons are being discussed, I enthusiastically rave about how much I love warm weather, sunshine, and summer. I am so sick of hearing this response:

“But when it’s cold, you can always add more clothes.”

Okay, going bitch-mode now.

The people who say that to me are the same people who fucking wear jeans all throughout summer. And closed-toe shoes, and undershirts, and dark clothing. It works both ways, geniuses! Take some layers off, dress for the season. Get some fucking confidence and show some skin!

Adding more clothes?! No, why would I want to do that? I want to take in the sun, I love me some vitamin D, my skin wants to breathe. Piling on the layers feels bulky, it makes me feel overweight, I cannot move as freely, and it adds to the amount of laundry I must do. What’s so great about any of that?!

For those who live in Texas and look forward to the fall… Um, how long have you lived here? You must know by now that we don’t get those idealistic, picturesque autumns seen in postcards and such. Be mindful of the weather this season. Pay actual attention. Keep track of how many nice days we truly get. I mean sunny skies, golden hues in the trees, cool, but comfortable temperatures. Get back to me on that, mmmkay?

But if you like this doom and gloom weather, I don’t know. We must have very different personalities.

I suppose I’ll make some jewelry and do some remote volunteer work today. It would be better if I was doing it outside.

Blah.

Sociopolitical gal.

Facebook has become this platform for people about my age living vicariously through the cuteness of their children or the staged happiness of their romantic partnerships or the solicited pick-me-ups that are received via reactions or comments.

That’s fine. You do you.

But don’t give me grief because my posts are “too” political. Life is political. Whether you are a woke participant in our democracy or not, you are affected. I am just trying to wake people the fuck up before matters worsen.

You dig?

My time.

Welp. Summer has met its official end and although I am sad about no more pool days, lake time, playing in fountains, drinking cold beers, eating snow cones… I am happy that my summer was a fantastic one! It was everything I needed and more. Here’s my recap:

Father’s Day: it was also the day that the Mexico National Team beat defending World Cup champion Germany! I watched the game and spent the day with my family, of course. Gosh, we were so happy! This photo is a recreation of a photo my brother, Dad, and I took over thirty years ago at Six Flags. Such sweet memories!

In June, I attended the Texas State Democratic Convention as a delegate for my senate district. It was a great day of caucusing and listening to inspiring speeches by the leaders in our great state. I left feeling proud to be a Democrat and an activist!

Once again, watching Mexico play in the World Cup. Mom joined my Dad and me for this photo. The game was early in the morning, but we went to a sports bar that was PACKED and ready to go. There are a few special occasions that bring me to have alcohol at 10 am. This was one of them!

Summer isn’t summer without baseball.

My brother and his girlfriend are having a baby! For the gender reveal, my brother pitched a powder-filled baseball to my nephew. He took a swing and revealed that I am getting another nephew! I am soooooooo excited. Another little baseball (…and sports in general) fan is on his way!

I cannot BELIEVE I have not posted this. I met Beto O’Rourke, y’all! You know… the man I have been working away for because I really want him to be our senator. We met up for a bike ride in my beloved home of East Dallas, around White Rock Lake. Afterwards, he held a mini town hall. Being the extrovert that I am, I asked for the megaphone and asked people to volunteer to canvass for him! I mentioned my event, of course. After Beto was done taking questions, I went over to say hi and he personally thanked me for all my work. It was awesome!!!

Everyone is having babies! These are my high school besties, Claudia and Cynthia (Wizzo). Cynthia came to town for a weekend to throw a baby shower for Claudia. It is always a joy when the three of us are able to get together!

Pool party with my work crew! I cannot say it enough: I just love them and am so grateful to be a part of this team!

I don’t ask much for my birthday. This year, I asked my family to take me to see the new Mamma Mia! movie. My parents are both ABBA fans and as a result, so are my brother and I. And… my nephew now, too! How hilarious was it to hear all three guys singing and laughing along throughout the entire movie?! It was such a great time!

Birthday dinner after work! Yes, I worked on my birthday and it was a CRAZY day. But these lovely folks wanted to have dinner with me and with my dear friend Megan. It also happened to be her last day working at the hospital! She and I both had margaritas purchased for us. Much needed! hahaha

The final birthday celebration: lunch with my Kitty Ring Club Gal Pals. I love them so much!

At Julie’s baby shower that I threw for her! This ended up being a wonderful reunion of friends who had not all been together as a group in years. I must say, I am very grateful that both Spencer and Julie introduced me to this awesome crew (many are not even pictured because we slacked and didn’t get a photo earlier!). I am even more grateful that all their friends took me in and that I am now a part of the crew as well. Baby Leo made his arrival on September 5th, by the way! 🙂

Celebrating Ashlee’s 30th! It was so nice to have Nicole out and to catch up with both Ashlee and Jacob. They are one of my favorite couples… such cuties!

I work with the awesomest people! Corey is an actress, y’all! Nicole, Bodhi, and I got to see her perform as Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. I may be an extrovert, but I don’t know that I could ever take the stage night after night in front of sold-out audiences! Kudos to her!

screenshot_2018-09-22-09-34-23-1-392629019.png

Another summer evening, another baseball game. And running through a water fountain with Jude! This is why I love hanging out with kids… It gives me an excuse to be a kid, too!

Aaahhh, the best team building event EVER! This obstacle coarse floats over Lake Grapevine and is loads of fun! Climbing walls, monkey bars, slides, trampolines… SO… MUCH… FUN.

I got to wander around the Dallas Museum of Art with Nadia! It was on a weekday so there weren’t any crowds. Afterwards, we had lunch in downtown. It was such a relaxing day of girl time.

Cooling off by jumping in fountains? Lucky for me, I have friends who will do that with me!

My oh-so-talented friend Tee, a local hip-hop artist, penned a track about animal adoption. She invited me to the shoot for the music video!

Hanging out with Cent, Charlene, and Tee. I met each of these ladies when I started my career, back at the SPCA of Texas over a decade ago. While I have moved on to veterinary specialty medicine, these gals continue to work in animal welfare and sheltering. I am beyond proud of the work they continue to do to help our animal friends!

Holy hell, this night was epic. The only thing that compares would be the New Orleans trip with Cristina. Ethan, Jade, and I went to the Matt and Kim concert, danced like crazy, somehow shoved our way to the front of the stage, then got separated when we each decided to mosh. I was shoved around, pushed into sweaty bodies, ended up with my arms around strangers, Jade got picked up to crowd surf… SO EPIC. Then we ended up at a dive bar for karaoke. LOL. I swear I felt the youngest I have felt in a long time. I need more nights like these with these two friends in particular. I love them both to pieces!

I call them my bebs. They may be younger than me, but when you click with friends, you are just grateful for it and make the friendship work. These two make life so much more fun and exciting for me. And I give them big sister advice as much as I can. ❤

We did it! Mom and I went to the Pride Parade and gave out hugs. So many sweet people stopped by and took us up on our offer. One young man told us about how much he missed his mother and held on tightly to my Mom during their embrace with one another. Mom was nearly in tears. I lost count of how many people she ended up hugging, but my estimate would be nearly a hundred! It was Mom’s first time at the parade and she definitely enjoyed it! She was out there dancing and catching beads! LOL We both left covered in glitter from all the hugs. I also left proud of what a loving, open-minded mother I have. She is my world.

Trivia night with the crazy vegans! After trivia, music and dancing. After music and dancing, closed out the bar. After closing out the bar, hashbrown burgers at Whataburger. Man, I love these kids!

Last but not least: this past weekend in San Antonio. Cristina and I made the trip there for a veterinary conference. We stayed at a swanky hotel in downtown (her company paid for it) and feasted all along the Riverwalk throughout the weekend. This photo is from a beer garden outside downtown where a Beto vs Cruz debate watch party was held. Good times supporting our main man, and thrilled to see that San Antonio is turnt up for him as well!

Amazing summer. I cannot complain. Life is so good, y’all.

Life is everything I want it to be and I am actually looking forward to the next few months. It’s like I have been positioning myself to be at the best place possible before the winter hits again. There is also a lot of news involving me, involving the people I love, that fills me with joy and excitement, but I cannot share it here. Not now at least.

Bye Summer 2018. Thank you for reminding me of how good life can be.

Family ties.

I had to Google this.

So Angélica, Abish, Alfredo, Alondra, Antonio, Josué, Valeria, Sebastian, José, Mauricio, Galia, Salma, Crystal, Diana, Damaris, Desiray, Delilah, Ulysses, Zeus, Cain, Daria, Armando, John Carlos, Camilla, Aidan, Austin, Melina, Pablo, Renata, Emiliano, Sky, and Dante are all my first cousins once removed.

Noah is my first cousin twice removed.

Isaac, Wesley, Steven, and Evelyn are my second cousins once removed.

The kiddos first listed above are each other’s second cousins, some from my Dad’s side, some from my Mom’s. All of them are my nephews’ (Anthony and Abel’s) second cousins.

Got it. See why I don’t need kids of my own? There are plenty in my family, with more on the way.

I love my people.

Just smiling over here.

Today has been a good day. Um, strike that. It’s been pretty damn great.

I received an email a couple hours ago stating that I have been chosen and approved to canvass for Beto at a show in Deep Ellum next month! The venue will be letting me in early before doors open to the public, and will also provide a table for me to set up at. The campaign is sending literature and other goodies for me to distribute (bumper stickers, buttons, etc.). I will be doing all the talking on behalf of Beto, inviting concert goers to join us and get out to vote! The exact date of the show is October 5th, just a month prior to Election Day. Putting in work during such a crucial time period is enormously critical!

I am so fucking stoked, y’all! Knocking on doors has been great and all, but this will be a new experience for me and I am doing it alone. Ugh, I cannot wait!

With this opportunity, I have decided to forgo Austin City Limits because they fall on the same weekend. I am not even upset about it because really – let’s face it – my life revolves around getting this man elected. This has been the case nearly the entire year, at least since I recovered from my depression. Oh! and as an added bonus that weekend: Dallas will be hosting its very own music festival featuring three of my favorite bands! The Polyphonic Spree, Spoon, and Sparta will all be playing right here in my hometown with tickets only costing ten bucks. Waaaaaaay more affordable than traveling to Austin and paying hundreds for passes to ACL. Hahaha.

But wait! There’s more…

This particular event, The Buffalo Tree Festival, is not only a music festival. It is also being advertised as a political engagement festival aimed at encouraging attendees to take action and get involved leading up to Election Day. Guess who’s going to be there… Good ol’ Beto himself! This will be – I don’t know – my tenth time or so seeing him, but it just does not get old because he is crazy-inspiring. I may also pick up a shift to register voters while I am there. I need to contact the organizer about the current need for registrars. Woot woot.

I am ready for all this.

In other fantabulous news that also has me smiling, my marvelous coworker/friend/partner-in-crime Leigh Ann made the sweetest post on Facebook today in which she called me “an amazing supervisor”. This is deeply humbling because she happens to be the most senior technician in the department that I supervise, so for her to say that… it floors me. In a good way.

On top of that, yesterday, two other team members told me that I am “the best supervisor” they “have ever had”, which was also absolutely sweet. Moments later, my boss came into the ICU to ask me to set up my voicemail (I deactivated it a couple years ago because I simply despise receiving and having to listen to voice messages!).

I told him that I truly did not want to and he replied,

“When you are a hospital manager, you are going to have to be able to receive voicemails.”

Aawww. He believes that I will manage my own hospital one day! What a compliment! I ended up activating my voicemail last night.

Finally, I never shared this, but a couple weeks ago, the senior doctor on our team sent me a text message after-hours stating she was grateful for all my hard work and that “we definitely have the best leader”. I did not share this with anyone because it could be taken as a jab towards my dear friend Sarah who is also a supervisor. To be clear, I would not be in my position without Sarah. Not only did she push me towards applying to be a supervisor, but she has been the greatest mentor and friend to me ever since I started working at the hospital. She is the person I turn to if I ever need advice for handling sensitive situations at work, and I can always count on her if I just need to vent sometimes. We often go out for lunch together to talk friend-to-friend and supervisor-to-supervisor. I am beyond grateful for her and would be way more excited about Phoenix if she was going too.

Wow. Two posts in one day. I am diggin’ being back into blogging.

Take care, and register to vote!