Chapel Thrill

Last weekend, I stayed with my sister at her college, Chapel Hill. She’d been asking me to come visit her all year but I would always brush the invitation off. I think the thought of being evaluated by her friends made me uneasy. Then, I got a call from her telling me that she was kidnapping me for the weekend. My first reaction was to start thinking of every excuse that may convince my stubborn sister to leave me at my comfortable campus. But as she rambled about the itinerary for the weekend, I could hear the excitement in her voice and I knew I was already on board.

Our car bumped down a gravel road and arrived at a lopsided house. Though it was a house styled from the early 1900s, it was clear that it had been colonized by millennials. An upside-down American flag was nailed proudly to the front, accompanied by several psychedelic tapestries. Bongs were lined along the porch railing like a display of glass-blown art. Blacklight seeped through the door and windows, highlighting our teeth and anything else that was white. I was greeted by a posse of misfits that were lounging on the porch, passing around a rand-rolled cigarette. I noticed a pattern of scraggly hair, unkept beards, and smiling eyes. For some unexplainable reason, I immediately felt affection for these people. Maybe it was because my intuition was telling me that they had different demons that they were escaping and this house was their safe haven. Maybe I felt like I had finally found a safe haven….that I had escaped (or at least taken a temporary vacation).

I fell in love with everyone that I talked to. Every once in a while, I would catch my sister observing me hitting it off with one of her friends, and a subtle smile would spread across her face. As much as I hate to admit, she usually knows what’s best for me, more so than I do.

The rest of the weekend consisted of tribal print, glitter, strange dance moves, perfectly flawed people, forts in the woods, and every possible style of music.

Baggy pants & a rusty bike

The worst feeling is when you think you have it all together, but it’s actually falling apart. Was anything really together in the first place? Maybe I’ve been living in my own bubble, too naive to see reality for what it is.

This is a segment I like to call: Irrational Thoughts of the Day

All of your friends, all of your motivation, and all of your confidence was short term, because that’s how you function. Did you really expect this happy streak to continue forever? You are foolish.

Your friends may be infatuated with your spontaneous and reckless nature at first, but after a while they see through all of that. They know that you’re not free, but trapped. You couldn’t change your ways if you wanted to. You’re an absolute mess and they don’t want to feel responsible for cleaning you up.

Okay, so you’ve been running every day and eating healthy. So what? You’ve done the same thing in the past. You know how this cycle will go: You’ll feel healthy and fit, you’ll start to look a little better, and then you’ll stop because you feel that you’ve done “good enough” and just let yourself go all over again. You’re too easy on yourself.

And this confidence that you have? It’s a mirage and you know it. Sure, you can say hi to as many people as you want. But you better be satisfied living a life filled with distant acquaintances, because the moment those people want to get to know you a little better you’re going to have to shut them out. I mean, you wouldn’t want them to see how insecure you really are, would you?

These thoughts have the potential to dictate your life. You have to make the conscious decision to take that power away. They’re only thoughts, nothing else. They’re not some secret reality that you’ve been hiding from yourself. Think of your mind as a rebellious teenager: It’s  going to test the waters and see how much it can get away with. Like a parent, you can’t take any crap from it (that just encourages it). In fact, LAUGH at how ridiculous these thoughts sound. When you actually take the time to write them out and read over them (like I’ve done), it really opens your eyes to how irrational you’re being.

Breath in, breath out, and stay in control.

Rainy days and happy pills

I came home from college today to talk to my therapist. Apparently my mother and her are  now in cahoots and have been discussing what they think is best for me (it would have been great to have been included in this conversation). I’m starting to regret how much I’ve confided in my mother about my “mental pollution”. She has a way of becoming overly invested in my problems as if they’re her own. But on the other hand, what did I expect? Her to listen to her daughter cry about being “suspended in between two indefinite realties” and just shrug it off like it’s high school drama? (Yes, I actually did have a breakdown about that. I’ve really got to start filtering out some of the existentialist ramble that comes out of my mouth when I’m trying to explain myself).  I suppose she’s doing what any mom would do. I just hate watching her struggle to understand me.

My therapist asked me to come home every Wednesday for a weekly session. After she got a long blank stare and no response, she changed it to every other week. I still feel weird about this. Adolescents are supposed to visit home less frequently as they mature and create a life for themselves. It seems like I’m going in the opposite direction. For the first two months of college, I barley called my parents. In fact, I was already referring to my dorm as home. But as all of my peers began to settle in, I began to unsettle. My campus was no longer an interesting, foreign place of unlimited freedom but more of a beautiful jail… a fish bowl with pretty statues and decorations for us to swim through. Every positive conception I had of college seemed like a fantasy that I had romanticized in my mind. And thus, the ongoing conflict between my two realities was born.

On a less morbid note, today was perfectly melancholy. The clouds hung heavy and gray, letting an occasional drizzle escape onto our car windshield.  It feels like I’ve been in a haze all day, as if one of the gloomy clouds decided to tag along with me to my therapists’, to the women’s clinic, and even in the car on my way back to school. Perhaps it’s sleep deprivation. Note to self: don’t drink coffee after 4:00pm

 

Project E

So here it is: My first blog. My reason for doing this? I am pathetic, therefore my favorite pass-time is writing about all of the mental garbage that pollutes my mind on the daily.

And that leads me to my next point: I want to accept myself. When I look in the mirror, I want to be happy with the person staring back at me. I’m tired of insulting myself. I’ve learned that you can criticize yourself as much as you want, but at the end of the day you’re just going to feel like a heaping pile of dog shit that drowns their worries in ice cream, meaningless relationships, drugs, alcohol, or whatever impulsive pleasure tingles your Pringle.

I’ve had some difficult experiences. We all have. I could give you a whole timeline of events starting from birth until just a week ago, and it would probably explain every flaw/insecurity/quirk that I have. But what good would that do? All I know is how I am right now. There’s no point in analyzing the past because it’s not going to change a damn thing. That’s been the hardest concept for me to accept. I don’t want to know all the reasons why I have issues, I just want to learn how to cope with them.

So who am I right now? I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ll give a quick summary: My name is Ellie. I’m 18, the youngest of four kids, and I’m currently a freshman in college.  I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression over Christmas break, after I had spent every night drinking myself into a stupor and then getting behind the wheel of a car. I do not believe that I have either one of those disorders, but try telling that to my therapist (shrinks, am-I-right?). I was put on a new antidepressant medication to hopefully clear the fog of negativity in my brain. Though I am still doubtful about my diagnoses, I will say that things have been a lot clearer since I began the happy pills. Things have definitely gone uphill since the holidays, but that just leaves me scratching around in the same old hole I’ve been in for 18 years: dissatisfaction

  • I’m tired of procrastinating happiness
  • I’m tired of sabotaging myself
  • I’m tired of putting short-term desires before my long-term goals
  • I’m tired of wishing I was anyone but myself
  • I’m tired of dwelling on the past
  • I’m tired of stressing about the future.
  • And goddammit, I’m tired of being tired.

So how do I plan to turn this new, confused leaf of mine? Three words: mind, body, and spirit. If I try to incorporate a task that exercises each of those aspects into every day, I think I’ll go to bed with a little less self-hatred (which is the ultimate goal). I’m interested to see if I can finally break my streak of making empty promises to myself.

People always say, “Things get better”. Well, if you’re reading this, then I’m assuming you’re in or have been in a position where things never got better. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to give up. That just gives you more of a reason to stop sitting around waiting for happiness to hit you in the face one day, and start chasing that bitch.