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.

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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

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.

LOOK AT ME NOW!

I saw Jacob last night, asked him if he was turning 40 this year and if we were gonna celebrate. He told me he’s turning 41. The big 4-0 was last year.

Oops.

“Sorry,” I said. “I missed it because I was going through my stupid depression.”

“Yeah, way to go and ruin things!”

We laughed.

I loved that he knew [without me saying anything] that I am at such a good point now, jokes about my depression are okay. They’re better than okay… They’re actually good. Laughter makes such wonderful medicine and Jacob is one of those people who always delivers. He cracks me up like none other with his hilarious anecdotes and off-the-wall comments. I wish he had a blog for all the ridiculous stories and jokes he has to tell. It would be pretty damn epic, I’d imagine.

Anyway… Yes, I am laughing. I am laughing at you, depression, because I beat you, I conquered. You were nothing against me and my army. We are all laughing. They helped me get through your shit and now, we see the difference these last six months have made. It’s astounding.

I didn’t give up on myself. I never will. I knew deep inside that I’d get here.

I am so grateful.

Caught in a blackout.

I was in my comfort zone
I was singing selfish songs
I’ve been taking for granted everyone understood how easy trouble comes
But it’s not enough anymore
We can’t just turn around and close the door on the world
It’s asking uneasy questions
We should be asking ourselves uneasy questions

Frank Turner released a new album, Be More Kind, a couple months ago. Of course, I anticipated its release with much excitement – not only is he my favorite musician, but the album was recorded here in DFW and I had already listened to him play some of it during an acoustic show last summer. After listening to the album in its entirety a few times, it became clear that my favorite song on its track list is Blackout. The lyrics above are from that track’s third and final verse.

When I recently went through my depressive season, I often referred to that phase as “the darkness”. In Blackout, Frank sings and admits to being afraid of a darkness, which I am certain is metaphorical for him as well. But the song is an optimistic one, one in which he offers to help others find the light, yet reminds them to bring a candle as well. Help one another because we can’t do it alone. Ask for help, but remember to put some of your own effort in also. I didn’t get through the blackout on my own, and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do so either. It can be done, however! Just look at me.

As for that third verse – man! The album as a whole is very much Frank’s commentary on the sociopolitical state we live in, particularly following the election of Donald Trump. There is even a track entitled Make America Great Again… “By making racists ashamed again – let’s make compassion in fashion again”. In previous albums, he writes about his dreams, relationships, his friends, his travels, how much music means to him, mental health, and so forth. “Selfish songs” as he calls them. He was in his comfort zone.

I was, too.

It’s time to get out, though, and get uneasy. He knows it, I know it, do you?

Y’all – being an activist is not always easy work. It can be exhausting and draining. It has become quite time consuming [things did not work out with either of the men I have dated this year because of time and timing, actually] and all other plans revolve around it. But I can’t stop. There is too much at stake.

As uncomfortable as it may be, WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.

We can’t sit around and hope for the best. We can’t expect others to do the work for us. We have to be the change. No more being selfish. If we can afford the time to go all grassroots, then we owe it to this world to do the damn thing!

Awesome and enthusiastic volunteers!

I did the damn thing last weekend.

I led my first canvassing event! Twelve wonderful volunteers showed up to join me in the neighborhood I grew up in, at the park at the end of my parents’ street, across from the high school I graduated from. The place that will always be home to me.

After starting off with a brief training session and pep talk, we all separated to spread out through the neighborhood. We went from block to block, knocking on doors to speak to neighbors about Beto O’Rourke. We explained why we canvassed for him, had some people commit to vote, and even signed folks up to volunteer in the future!

After a couple hours, most of us met up back at the park and discussed our experiences. It went so well! The majority were first-time volunteers, and the experience was such a positive one, that they want to do it again! They even asked me to host another event! So bad ass.

Yes, it was hot. Yes, we could’ve been sleeping in or relaxing or partaking in summer fun. Yes, there is still a lot of time left until Election Day.

None of that matters. Think about all that has happened since Trump was elected. Think about how it affects you, your loved ones, and the disenfranchised. Get angry, and know that you can do something about it. You are powerful. We are powerful. There is power in numbers.

So, I implore you: Please join me and others. It’s a crucial time we are living in.

Bring a burning candle with you.


I leave you with the fantastic music video for Blackout. Enjoy.

Photos worth some words.

Friends, strangers, anyone who comes across my blog and is up for reading it:

I am doing so great. I am completely off my anti-depressants and have been for nearly a month now. I am thankful they helped me get through the tough times and that I now know that if I ever need them, they can work for me. However, there is a small amount of added freedom that comes with not having to take them every day and for this, I am even more thankful.

Over the past two months, geeze, I have been having a wonderful time! I have been enjoying life, doing what I love, accepting what this universe has to offer, and surrounding myself with all things positive. What was the worst start to a year I have ever had has turned into what is becoming the best year ever! There continue to be bumps along the road, and I am not discrediting them entirely, but for the most part… I just do not care! I am here to be happy, happiness is me. It is decided.

Here are some photos documenting the best times:

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My favorite musician, Frank Turner, crowd surfing at his show. His songs “Get Better” and “The Next Storm” truly resonated with me as I navigated through my dark times. I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best… we can get better because we’re not dead yet. Yes, as long as I am still breathing, I can get better. They threw me a whirlwind, and I spat back the sea. I took a battering, but I got thicker skin and the best people I know are looking out for me. Fuck yeah. I am a badass, down but never out, and the best army imaginable at my back. I don’t wanna spend the whole of my life indoors, laying low and waiting on the next storm. I don’t wanna spend the whole of my life inside. I wanna step out and face the sunshine. Pretty self explanatory. Although life may get rough again in the future, I am going to live my time unabashedly. There will be no lamenting.

Nadia and me at the Slowdive show where I danced the night away!

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Sometimes, I want to do fun stuff, but cannot imagine who would want to do them with me. I unexpectedly scored a free buddy pass for Six Flags, made a post on Facebook in search of someone to join me, and actually ended up having several folks interested! It turned out to be a perfect day because there weren’t any lines. We rode everything within two hours!

My work fam. I am so grateful for them, and ridiculously honored to be their leader and liaison. This is us at a new live music venue in town, enjoying some of my favorite music: The Beatles!

No summer is complete without pool parties! Last summer, Nicole and I were floating around my pool while she was super-pregnant. This year, Bodhi is here and joining the fun! It is crazy how much can happen in a year, and even in shorter time periods. At this time last year, I had NO idea what the next six months had in store for me. Bodhi was the constant source of light through it all. Maybe that’s why I love him so damn much.

I recently got to see another one of my favorite bands whose music also lifts me up when I need it most: The Polyphonic Spree. Hey, it’s the sun, and it makes me smile all around, all around! I could cry listening to that song. The sun is what I miss most when I go through my seasonal depression. I am so happy summer got an early start here in Texas and I hope it stays!

My best friend and I made a random trip to New Orleans! This is us on one of their famous streetcars. What a wonderful, relaxing, yet fun getaway. This is what I need to do with my life… TRAVEL!

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Here I am on Bourbon Street! Before I left on my trip, my boss told me to have a great time and drink a hurricane for him. Done and done!

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Besties on Bourbon!

Jackson Square in the French Quarter. We did so much walking, I feel like I know my way around there pretty well now!

This was from our first night in The Big Easy. We had pretty much just landed and were ready to go! It has been decided: she and I make the perfect travel buddies!

Trivia Night with new friends! They have been inviting me out for months now, but they always go to the bar that my ex frequents. I finally decided that I did not give a fuck and went anyway. There will be no holding me back anymore!

Holy Wave’s Memorial Day show in East Dallas. I am pretty sure this bicycle shop was once Service Bar, where I spent many a drunken night in my early twenties. It was a bit surreal to be back, see it transformed… and not be wasted! I have come a long way in the last decade. Back then, I was a bit on the directionless side and felt intimidated by life. The Daisy from those days would absolutely look up to the Daisy I am now.

Goat Yoga is a thing. I am more than happy to participate, although I would rather play with the goats than do yoga, let’s be real. Again, it’s important to find the joy and do what I love. I love being outdoors, being around animals, and spending time with friends. What a wonderful way to do life!

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Blurry, but cute.

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When you are in your 30s, and your friends are in serious relationships, married, having kids… You end up hanging out with a younger crowd. And that’s okay. Aren’t they pressshhhh?

Officially became a member of Krava Maga DFW’s Run Club!

Birthday hangs with this beauty! I often feel guilty for not spending enough time with all my friends. The truth is, they are my friends for a reason. They would never hold such a thing against me. We just pick up where we left off and have a great time!

Mother’s Day with the best crew imaginable. They are the greatest people I know and I am fortunate enough to know them since the day I was born! If we could pick families, I would pick them. They are more than I could ever ask for.

I won free tickets to a music festival and lucky for me, my lovely cousin joined me!

Running a 5K to benefit the place where I got my career started: The SPCA of Texas! My, how it has grown! It will always hold a special place in my heart, as will the animals and people I met while working there!

Love this baby and this pup as if they were my own!

Me and my Bodhi!

This was my first time at Six Flags in YEARS. I am definitely happy that I bought a season pass!

Six Flags just reminds me to have fun and be a kid again! That’s all I need sometimes.

Do you have a job that introduces you to people you know will be lifelong friends? I do!

My chicas.

When I was feeling lost, my mind was lying to me, telling me that I did not have a purpose in life. This is what I do, though, this is my purpose, this is why I am here. I am an activist, constantly working to make this country and world a better place for both my fellow human beings and the rest of my fellow earthlings, the animals.

A fun night with friends inspired me to get creative again. Yet another thing that was missing from my life. That freedom and inspiration to create! I have found it again, and love it!

The last time I wore a jacket this season!

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Although I have met him several times before, this was my first time seeing him since my depression struck. I got to thank him for his music and he was as sweet as ever. Frank Turner, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s a good thing I am an extrovert and able to make friends easily. I showed up to volunteer for the Beto O’Rourke campaign and quickly grouped up with these wonderful women. As we walked through South Dallas to canvass, it became apparent that we are all natural-born leaders and problem-solvers, which made for a very successful day!

I want to do all I can to ensure that this man becomes our senator. I am currently organizing my own event for next month and truly looking forward to being a leader in this campaign!

All smiles. I reunited with the lady who was having a rough time on Valentine’s Day. I wrote about her in a previous entry. It was so good to see her thriving, and she was thrilled to see me doing great as well! The bad times can’t hold us down!

KMDFWRC!!!

Kayaking! It bears repeating: I love being outdoors. Siobhain is awesome and is more than willing to join me on my adventures. I grew up just a couple of miles from White Rock Lake, which is truly a gem in the center of the city. I was happy to show my New York friend around!

What a wonderful group of empowered women, ready to take charge and take their safety into their own hands!

It is always wonderful to meet people who will be complete goobers like you. Life is short, goof around, and have some fun!!!

I am smiling just re-living it all. I knew it, that spring would be my savior and drag me out of the awful funk I was in. Now summer is officially around the corner and I am absolutely thrilled. Soon, my birthday will also arrive and the wishes I receive on that day are always so sweet and moving.

I said it a few months back and I will say it again now: FORWARD AND ONWARD, LADY!

Time to bloom.

It has been over a decade since I decided that life is too short to have kids. Now I’m starting to think that life may also be too short to train for marathons all the damn time.

I am well.

I am kicking my mental illness’s butt. I have been for the past two months. Looking back, I think the major turning point was Valentine’s Day, actually, a day I thought I would dread.

I met a woman about my age who was absolutely broken that night. She was distraught, crying, overwhelmed, and afraid. I saw so much of my former self in her and it hit me how far I had already come at that point. The contrast between us was eye-opening… I was comforting her! I was feeling well enough already to be supportive of someone else!

I realized that if I could improve by that amount in that short span of time, I could just keep doing so and be much better sooner rather than later.

And here I am.

I am enjoying life, enjoying my friendships, enjoying being myself. I AM MYSELF AGAIN! I am certainly enjoying the spring season, the warmer days, the sunnier skies, the greener trees.

I am happy again.

I have cut toxic people out of my life, I am not going out of my way to be nice to people who don’t deserve my energy, I am excluding those who I don’t necessarily want present in all the fun things that I do. What a difference! So this is growing up?

I am down to just one medication and looking forward to starting to wean myself off it in just two months, right around the official beginning of summer, my favorite season.

I am only seeing my therapist once a month now. I saw her once in March, once this month, and have a scheduled session early in May. After this next one? I don’t know. Stretch it out to six weeks? I cannot even believe I am thinking about it. When all this started, I was seeing her twice a week and would have gone even more frequently if time (both our schedules) allowed it! When I couldn’t see her, I would text her. Gosh, she’s been amazing. I am so lucky she was the first therapist I reached out to and was immediately a perfect match for me.

Anyhow, thank you so much for reading. Keep your heads up. I appreciate your support.

You can’t spell monumental without mental.

Today was monumental for me.

I’m laying on my couch, my freshly shampooed hair in a wrap, I’m wearing my super soft bathrobe, tucked underneath my favorite, most cozy blanket. I currently have three conversations going, via text messaging. This makes me feel good.

I had plans for today. Exciting plans. They had to be scratched thanks to the awful, terrible, no-good weather we are having, though. Booooo! Thunderstorms, incessant rain, and temperatures hovering around freezing all day. I woke up, got dressed, and headed to my parents’ to visit my pup and go shopping.

By the way, you know my incredible parents? The ones I mention every now and then? They have been keeping my dog at their place and taking care of him for me all month! In my completely biased opinion, they are the closest thing to angels and to saints that exist.

Early this month, when I talked to my doctor about how much trouble I was having with sleep, she told me to pay attention to all the little things that kept and/or woke me up. Noises, lights, the temperature, distractions, whatever.

I was sad to realize that more than anything else, my dog was affecting my sleep. From wanting to look out the window at night, and thus messing with the blinds [noisy]; to making himself comfortable on my bed, which leaves me with little space to get comfortable myself; to keeping me up late or waking me up early because he needs to go outside… All of this impedes me from getting a good night’s rest.

I had to do something. I live in a studio apartment, so keeping him in another room isn’t an option. I suppose I could crate him, but he’s eleven years old and has never been crated in his life [I assume this because he was an outdoor, junkyard dog until I adopted him last year]. I had to improve my sleep, though. I knew it was a key to me getting better.

And so, my parents continue to be my heroes. Parents don’t stop being parents when their kids turn eighteen and are out of the house. Not the good ones, at least. Here I am, age thirty-three, at my most desperate hour, and my parents are once again at my rescue. I asked if Bruiser could stay with them as I work to become healthy again, and without hesitation, they agreed to it.

I do not feel guilty about it because he’s in great hands. He is getting more attention than he does here alone all day, waiting for me to get home. And I simply have to get better. It will be to his benefit, too, to have a healthy momma who will take him on long walks, short runs, and trips to the dog park.

I love him so much. It was good to spend most of the day with him. The awful, terrible, no-good weather called for naps, so we lounged in my parents’ living room and dozed off for over an hour. Sleep is sleep and I was grateful to get it!

Mom made me lunch when I woke up, delicious as always. I often say she is the best cook I know, and I mean it. She is so creative, and pays such close attention to detail. She also cooks with her heart. She expresses love to others my feeding them, and I am convinced this is why everything she makes is simply amazing. I ate until I was full, which is another huge step for me.

We went shopping. 🙂

I got home a little after five, tidied up a bit, worked out (!!!!!!!), and showered.

Then… That sinking feeling of loneliness started creeping, about an hour ago. Why? Why would it? I literally spent all day with my favorite person, and with my pup, but loneliness still prevailed. It makes no sense.

As my mind started to spin out of control, I remembered that my therapist and I decided to skip our session this week. That’s how well I was doing when she and I last spoke! Today is Wednesday. I would’ve gone today, but I didn’t.

I SKIPPED A WEEK.

Maybe I shouldn’t have? Maybe I should text her? What would she tell me to do?

I thought about calling my usuals – Cristina, Sarah, Cent, Cheryl, Julie – but I stopped myself, told myself to snap out of it, to appreciate the solitude. Breathe, Daisy.

The solitude did not last long. Cheryl texted me. Then I texted Nadia. Then Bri texted me as well. And just like that, I remembered that I am NOT alone. People do need me, just like I need them. What a wonderful reminder.

Monumental:

  • I slept/napped.
  • I ate very well.
  • I exercised.
  • I skipped therapy.
  • I helped my friends.

Deep breath. I like where this is going. You’ll be home soon, Bruiser Boy.

Still going.

I had to go back and read my last entry to remind myself of where I was on my journey.

I was exhausted. Depleted. Demoralized. Defeated. Afraid. Angry. Desperate. Overwhelmed.

Yet determined.

At no point has giving up on myself been an option. I am doing absolutely everything I can to feel better. I’ve continued my therapy sessions, I diligently complete the tasks in my workbooks, I take my medications without fail, I reach out to my army as soon as I sense negative thoughts (and with them negative feelings) coming on. Sleep has become a priority, and there has been MUCH improvement thanks to the benzodiazepine I have on hand now, and my less wacky work schedule.

I am giving this everything I’ve got.

And it’s actually working.

I have now gone two weeks without crying, and I have been sleeping at home (for a while, I was staying at my Grandma’s) alone (I’ve also had friends and cousins stay with me at my place).

I have more energy, I am laughing again, I am feeling more like myself again.

During our last session, my therapist told me that she is starting to see my true personality shine through, and that she can tell that I have a great sense of humor and that I love to laugh. Ugh – it’s flooring when strangers notice these things about me! Yes! Laughter is so important to me, I love making others laugh, and I love being around those who make me laugh! What wonderful medicine… welcome back!

One of the people I laugh – and sometimes simply giggle – with is my coworker (now friend) Cheryl. I don’t typically see much of her at work, and when that is the case, we tend to call each other or hang out at the end of the week just to catch up. Last weekend, we went to see her brother-in-law, a local musician, play a benefit show at a brewery on the outskirts of the DFW area. Yesterday afternoon, we were on the phone with each other for over an hour! On both occasions, we laughed and laughed and laughed. We commiserate over work, because we can’t help ourselves, and over all the shit that life continues to throw at us (I won’t reveal her details, but personally, I was the victim of identity theft last week… Joy!). And then we just laugh about it. I was seriously on the verge of tears yesterday! A different kind of tears. 🙂

I already love that lady.

There have been other little things that have been bright points on my journey recently. The hospital radiologist meeting my brother and saying to my brother, “You have an awesome sister,” or something along those lines. The emergency doctors both thanking me for my hard work all throughout the week. Having been able to help my friend Julie with tasks that were insurmountable for her to do on her own (more about that in a later post). Staying at my Grandma’s this weekend not because I needed to, but because she needed me to (my aunt and cousins who usually stay with her were out of town).

It all felt good.

Unfortunately, because life is life, there was also darkness last week. No, not the stupid identity theft (although if that had happened just a couple weeks ago, I may have fallen apart!), but other news. Another mass shooting at a school and a member of our social vegan group being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

There is a common suggestion in the books I have been turning to as I navigate through this bout of mental illness. I have come to expect it, entire chapters or activities dedicated to it. Turn to religion and spirituality, they all say.

Well, I’m atheist. Religion is not my thing. I sometimes wish that I could believe in a god. That would totally make things easier. I get it, I get why people believe.

But it’s not me.

I then saw a post on Pinterest (addicted, by the way) stating that Buddhism is not a religion, but a practice. Hmmmm – this is something I may actually be able to get into. Many pins and two books downloaded onto my Kindle later, I am giving it a go. It may be another piece of the puzzle towards getting better.

I decided to start with one simple task: stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply, focus on someone, send them your love.

My love is being sent to Florida and to a local cancer treatment center.

Peace and blessings, my friends. And love. Thank you for joining me and for your support.

-Daisy