The Fact of the Matter

To be honest, I am a huge geek. I may not show it very often. i mean, my friends know I love musical theater, but I am more than just that kind of geek.

I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love Inuyasha. I love anime and manga and magic and the supernatural. I watch a buttload of TV. TV is a form of escape for me, as is reading and writing. It takes me away from life and allows me to live some other life instead.

This is not me saying I’d like to live in those worlds. Buffy dies twice. The guys on Supernatural have died more. I don’t want to battle demons. I don’t want my life to be on the line. But escaping my own problems for fictional problems of someone else, problems that are usually solved in the end, that makes me happy.

I watch cartoon as, yes I have crushes on fictional characters. I can say the lines along with some of the shows I am watching. I sing along to showtunes. And I used to be afraid of letting people know this about me. Even some of my dearest friends have made fun of my hobbies. But I’m not ashamed. I finally learned how to love myself; every single quirk.

I get to go to Comic Con this Friday and Saturday and I am beyond excited. I am going to Meet Dick Van Dyke, John Barrowman, and Eliza Dusku. Maybe John Cusack, I haven’t decided on that. I am going to go to nerdy panels about TV shows, actors, and writing. I am going to dress up as Peter Pan and Mulan. I am going to spend a lot of money on fan art.

Because, who runs the world? Nerds!

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What’s Up Doc?

I was diagnosed with depression as I served an LDS Mission in Brooklyn, New York. People say that serving a mission sort of ages you. That it is so much stress that it make unknown conditions flare up. I am sure I had depression before this. In high school I was quiet. I always felt like I was going to die somehow, though taking my own life was not interesting to me. ( Nice to know that I wasn’t always suicidal)

I was an emotional mess on my mission, even while I was in the missionary training center. I should have just left then instead of actually going to New York. But it was New York… how could I not go? I was only in New York for 4 months. I had a great companion and we shared an apartment with two other sisters who were also cool. I hated the mission basically right away, mostly because I was supposed to be a Spanish speaking missionary and I couldn’t learn the language to save my life.

I was stressed and upset and felt like a failure. I don’t remember how I ended up going to Manhattan to meet with a therapist from the church. I met with him a few times and he put me on some meds. THAT is a fun story. When I got back to Utah and met with my doctor he told me that the therapist had started me on a WAY high dosage. So of course I had side effects. Some days after starting my meds I was teaching with my companion when I felt sick. She said I looked pale, which is hard to do if you are black. I said I had to go home and it was SO hard to walk. When I did walk my legs were so shaky that each step I wobbled and my companion had to hold me up. I spent two days in bed and even then I was still wobbly.

I met with the therapist again and I decided that I needed to go home. I was hallucinating on occasion because of my meds and I kept thinking how grand it would be to step in front of a bus or fall from a subway platform. My family tried to keep my from leaving. I even spoke with my parents on the phone (that is usually reserved for holidays). Apparently the whole ward was praying for me. How fun that everyone knew my private business. I felt like they were trying to guilt me into staying so I decided to pray and get a response. After praying I still felt like leaving was my best option, so I got on a plane and came home.

If I hadn’t had depression I might have stayed. I would have faked being a believing Mormon and would have kept at it because I didn’t want to upset my parents. But because of depression I have learned more about myself. I have become stronger as a result of my weaknesses. I have learned to love myself and do what is best for me. So, it has been a rough ride, but I think I am the better for it.

Locked Away Again

The second time I was sent to a mental hospital it was my choice. One of the requirements for me leaving the first hospital was that I needed a therapist so I’d been meeting with a guy through LDS services. I spoke to him and made the choice to be hospitalized. This happened after my second suicide attempt.

I don’t quite remember what made this one happen. I was depressed about money, I know that. I got home to my apartment and got into a short argument with my room mate. Then I went and downed a bunch of pills after looking up on the internet how much it would take to kill me. Then I went to my room and lay down to die. Thankfully my stomach had other ideas. I threw them all up, told my room mate what I had done, he called my sister who took me to see my therapist.

My sister drove me up to Murray, a different mental hospital than the last one, and signed me in. This experience was a lot better. It was still the same locked away situation, but I made progress with my group therapy sessions and they gave me new meds to try that worked 9 (I am still on them now).

What I remember most was this girl, we will call her Jill. She was in for suicide attempts but she had also been living on the street. Her parents kicked her out for drug abuse. She was the crazy girl this stay, where as I was the crazy one at my last hospital. She seemed to have split personality disorder and had a problem with stealing. One night she stole from a very angry girl and hid in our room , she was my room mate, and I had to talk her down and into giving the stuff back while the workers tried to calm down the angry girl. I kind of took care of her during my stay.

This was a short stay as well, maybe five days, but I made a lot of progress that time. I didn’t feel like I was in jail, I got along with everyone there, and I did as I was told.

The third time I didn’t go to the hospital, though I should have. I had a huge fight with my room mate and with my best friend. I slept at my parent’s house and three of my sisters slept over to watch me. I had told them I decided I was going to kill myself close to Halloween, so I was basically on suicide watch, though Halloween was a month off. I got tired of being watched and wanted to run away, but my sister Katie jumped onto my car and called the cops so I wouldn’t go anywhere. Finally, I was allowed to go as long as she went with me and I pulled a Britney and buzzed my hair off at a salon.

I should have gone to a hospital then, but my family helped me get under control. It was at this time when I figured out that I was filled with guilt and anger towards myself for things I had done in my past. I felt that God shouldn’t love me because of what I had done and also that I wasn’t a good person in God’s eyes because I wasn’t doing the things I should.

This was the time when I decided that I didn’t believe in God at all… and that worked for me. Not having a judgemental all seeing being in my life made it easier to LIVE. And what have a done since then? I have become mentally stable. I’ve been able to go back to things I enjoyed, like theater and writing. This was all back in 2015 and I have never felt better.

I don’t go to therapy anymore, it is too much money and my medication balances me very well, but I do remember one thing a therapist said. I needed to focus on taking care of myself, even if it seemed selfish. Because I can’t care for others, like I like to do, if I can’t take care of myself. So I make choices that make me happy. I take my meds. I spend time with family and friends. And I don’t see myself being hospitalized every again.

Next Week: Getting diagnosed with depression while serving an LDS mission.

My Own Girl, Interrupted

I didn’t want to go to the mental hospital. But I’d said the wrong things when the cop pulled me over on the way to attempt suicide. He took me to a regular hospital where they asked me questions again and I was too honest. I wasn’t really aware of things at the time. I’d just gotten my first tattoo and I was more concerned with getting something to put on it so it didn’t go without moisture. I was also concerned about what they were doing with my car that they’d left on the side of the road because I couldn’t afford to get it towed or anything.

My parents came to the hospital and we joked around, because that is what my family does. My mom was upset but my dad got me a pirate eye patch and we laughed and took pictures. I was at the hospital for a couple hours and then they told me I had to go to the mental hospital and it was required of anyone who tried to take their own life. I talked with them some more because I had work to get to. I had a job. I couldn’t just be in the hospital. The guy, a therapist I think, said it was required that I stay for 24 hours. So I figured I could last 24 hours. (He lied BTW. I’m still mad at that.)

They had an ambulance bring me down from Heber to go to the mental hospital that is actually only blocks from my own house, on 800 in Orem between Harmons and the Riverwoods. The guys knew I was worried about money and said they’d find a way to cut costs for me. (I got billed $1,500 which I don’t think is cutting costs to me.) When we got to the hospital they wheeled me in because I was strapped to the bed. Once I was passed the door which locked behind me I was let off the bed and taken to a small room where another therapist talked to me. They had me fill out some paper work and then walked me down the hall when I stripped down to my underwear and they searched me to make sure I had nothing that could harm myself. Then I had to put on the hospital gown and socks.

The first day I cooperated. I went to group therapy and I went to breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria. The woman were in their own section and we had to have two people walk us to the cafeteria as they unlocked doors on the way. Think Orange is the New Black, but with less freedom. I met with ANOTHER therapist and I reminded them that I was only to be held for 24 hours because I had work. That therapist said that the hold was longer then 24 hours and they would have to see where I stood after a few days.

I freaked the fuck out. I am not proud of my behavior. I think I was still a bit crazed from my suicide attempt and in a new place that made me feel like I was even more crazy. That night I ripped strings off of my blanket when no one was looking and I hid them in my socks. I got in the shower and tried to form some sort of noose with the strings and tried to kill myself. (the strings broke of course). I went back to my room and tried to barricade the door. Everything was bolted to the ground and wall though so I basically took off the plastic mattresses and piled them in front of the door. Another embarrassing thing, one of my brother’s friends worked there and they sent him to push into my room and stand there and watch me. I started yelling “You’re the ones killing me because I need to go to work. If I can’t make money I get depressed and that makes me want to kill myself. You’re killing me by making me stay here!”

This is where things get crazy. I started to rip up the blanket I slept with and screamed at the top of my lungs. They decided to sedate me. It took four people holding me down to give me an injection in my butt and then everything became a blur. I was put into a room with just a mattress and someone was assigned to watch me at all times. I wasn’t allowed out of our little area so they brought me food. Apparently I attended group therapy, but I don’t really remember probably the next 24- 48 hours because of the drugs they gave me.

I stayed there for five days. It wasn’t productive at all because I was forced to be there and all I could think about was how I couldn’t afford this. Money is a BIG trigger for me obviously. They finally let me go because I didn’t have insurance. I hated it there. It was a place that kept a variety of people, (suicidal, anorexic, addiction recovery) and I thought they were all weird. We basically had our bedrooms and on community room to hang in, so I felt caged. We had to attend group therapy. We had to take our meds. There were too many things forced on us and no enough freedom. For someone as stubborn as I am, it wasn’t a good environment and it didn’t help, which is why I had another attempt. But that story will be next week.

Excommunication

I have made the choice. I think I have. See, I don’t hate Mormons. I grew up Mormon and I believe it made me a good person. I believe that it has helped to hold my family together in tough times. I think that most religions do that. A belief in God helps people in life and helps them through times of sorrow. It helps them build a foundation which they can build upon.

My family thinks I will come back to the church eventually. I know they are holding on to hope. I know that my parents’ friends think the same. But I have made my choice. I cannot be a part of a religion that basically encourages people to suppress their true self be it gay or feminist. Guess what? I don’t want to get married and have kids. Guess what? I have a brother and friends who are gay and I don’t condemn them or think that they are being influenced by Satan.

I feel like people need to be true to themselves. And this is my truth. I may have to go to church each week as my “rent” but I’ve been atheist for a couple years now and I’ve never been happier. My choice is my choice and it doesn’t hurt anyone to be who I really am, so I am gonna go through with this. Just so people understand and take me seriously.

Heaven or Hell

I have never been a strong person. I take things hard. I cry..a lot. I get angry. I get depressed. Small things set me off.

But I am growing each day. I am changing each day. I may not be a perfect person, but I am striving for my own version of perfection. I may not believe that I am going to a Heaven or a  Hell, or even that those thing exist, but I can be a good person.

Just because I don’t believe there is some all mighty being judging me doesn’t mean that I will make bad choices. Just because I am not working towards a goal of Heaven doesn’t mean I am a bad person. In fact, I think it makes me better.

See, here is how I see it. Church goers are good people. But a lot of them are good people because they have to be. They need to be good so they can get to heaven. They want to make God proud. I’m not saying I am better than these people, but I don’t have an end goal in sight. I am a good person because I love people. I am a good person and show it through my actions because I want to. There is no prize for me in the end to reach for. I do good things just because.

Some people think I’d be much better off if I believed in a God. I would never be alone because I’d have Christ and God. I’d always be loved. I’d have someone who knew what I was going through or feeling. But you know what? I am loved by my family and friends. I’ve got the unconditional love of a dog. I am learning to love myself every day.

And not having a God to rely on makes me turn to my fellow man. I become closer with people who have been through what I have been through. It makes me become more aware of myself and of the people around me, which makes me more empathetic. It makes me HAVE to be stronger.

“I know that I’m perfect, even though I’m fucked up
Hymn for the hymnless, don’t need no forgiveness
‘Cause if there’s a heaven, don’t care if we get in
This is a hymn, hymn, hymn for how we live, live, live” -Kesha

And to be honest, I don’t want to believe in a God who allows such horrible things in the world. I don’t want to believe in a God who allows people the agency to commit murders and abuse and suicide. I know some people reading this will say that life is a test. It is meant to be hard so we can make the right choices ” and return to live with our Heavenly Father”. If you need to believe that to justify the actions of people in the world, then good for you. I need to believe in nothing but man, because then I can blame man for the stupid things they do.

I make my own choices, right or wrong. I am not influenced by some good or evil spirit. So you can blame me for the stupid things that I’ve done. I can blame me. And then I will turn around and make things as right as I can in this horrible world we live in.

 

 

Rant that’s may make me lose friends

Here is the truth. I don’t like being black. I’ve wanted to be white most of my life. Most of my family is white. Most of my friends are white. I wanted to fit it. Sometimes I still do.

One time a boy I had a crush on said his brother said “I’ll kill my self if you ever marry a black girl”. My own brothers have been stopped by the cops for being suspicious looking. I have to worry about what I am doing constantly so the same doesn’t happen to me.

I’ve never really identified as black. I mean, I don’t fit the stereotypes and I hate that people expect me to. I don’t riff. I don’t sing pop. I’m not sassy. I’m not a diva. I don’t act like I’m from the hood. But I hate that people look at me and assume these things and then I open my mouth and they learn differently.

I’ve had people lecture me on how I should be more black. “You should learn more about your people” “you should learn how to care for your black hair” “you should do this or that” it is fucking frustrating.

i hate being an artistic black woman. People expect me to be writing books with black main characters. And if I don’t, black people get mad because I should be writing something for them. I hate that I am an actress who is black. It opens some doors for some shows, and slams most of them shut.

I just don’t know what to do. I was born this color and I can’t change it. But I don’t think I am African American. And I think I am done, completely done, trying to be. Which may means I don’t write black characters. I won’t act black roles. And I won’t listen to black artists. I don’t hate black people. I have black friends. I just hate myself.

Ever Changing

Every second is one of self discovery.

Every moment is a chance to grow; to change.

Every day is the day you may find out who you are

and every day who you are may be different than who you were.

I believe that I have found myself, but who knows who or what I am?

Not me and definitely not anyone else.

I will be changing for the rest of my life. I will develop until I am dead.

I may be a writer now. I may be a singer. I may act.

I may be an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a friend.

What other roles will I take on in this journey without end?

All I can say is, I’m thankful for the chances I have

to learn and grow change for the better.

Each day may have it’s ups and downs. Each day I may take a step back or forward.

But life is a progression. Life is a climb.

Life is a never ending battle to prove you are alive.

Grow with me. Change with me. I will love who ever you decide to be.

I am not throwing away my shot

I am a quitter.

That isn’t a goal or anything, it is just what I do. I don’t know the real reason why. Maybe I just know I’m not the best, so why try? Why give myself fully to something if there is no guarantee that I will succeed?

I used to be skinnier. I was more active as a kid thanks to dance and cheer and horse back riding. But I quit everything in high school and became absorbed in books and TV. Slowly the weight piled on. I do think that these last 80 pounds that I gained in 2015 and haven’t been able to shed are mostly due to my depression medicine though. If I really focused on diet and exercise I could get rid of them, but it is a slow process and I tend to give up on things quickly.

I always wanted to be a singer, but not enough to really try. I can’t read music. I think that is one of my greatest insecurities. I took piano and violin, which I quit, and have taken a few months of vocal lessons plus my years in choir and musical theater and I still can’t sight read. I mean, I can tell when a note goes up but I don’t know where it is going to. I can guess, which is easier when I am singing melody. Funny thing, I used to sing tenor and alto, but because I wanted melody I trained myself to be a soprano. So now I sing higher than I did when I was younger.

I always wanted to be a writer too, but I was never dedicated. I’d write my little fantasy stories and my fan fiction, but I was never settled on my ideas so I never got very far. In middle school I read books by people who were not much older than me and I compared myself to them and got scared that I wasn’t good enough.

Not being good enough has held me back in so many ways and in so many things.

I want to change. I am changing, slowly. I may not read music, but I try very hard to know my parts when I am in choir or in a show, so I make up for that set back. I may not have a dancer’s body, but I will give it my all and try to get in slightly better shape so I can do the moves in the show the way they want them. (I have an audition this weekend that has a dance portion and I swear I’ll give it my all). I am working on my trilogy. True, I haven’t written this summer due to being very busy with school, but I am focused and know what I have to do to finish the first book.

I am changing. Bit by bit and inch by inch. I used to think I had missed my opportunities in life. I am not exactly a kid anymore, I don’t have my whole life ahead of me, I don’t have years to perfect my craft. I have fallen behind. But I am only 28. That may be old in the eyes of some people, but I am still in my 20’s. And then when I’m not, 30 is the new 20. If I work hard on my goals then my age won’t matter.

No matter how old you are, it is never too late to go after what you want. It is never too late to achieve your dreams or find new passions. We are humans and we are always learning and changing and developing.

The Numb Zone

Depression can sneak up on you. It can be sudden and without warning. Then there are days like today. You feel it creeping in like a cat towards a mouse and you do everything in your power to stop the inevitable, but sometimes you don’t succeed. That time, when the cat is creeping and before it pounces, I think of that as the Numb Zone.

Now, I don’t mean completely numb. It is just hard to fight through the cloud of numb to feel emotions. It is draining. Today is a Numb Zone day. Why? Maybe because I am tired? Maybe stressed or disappointed with myself? It could be a number of things, my triggers are not always easy to identify.

Numb Zone days make me quiet. I am sitting at work and I have barely talked to my work friends. I am “going through the motions. Walking through the part. Nothing seems to penetrate my heart” (Buffy the musical). On these days I feel very much like an empty shell. It takes a lot to make me smile and when I do it isn’t usually genuine. I lose interest in things I love, such as music and books or even TV. You’d think a numb mind wouldn’t care about being numbed even more by staring at a screen, but it doesn’t hold my attention.

On these days I’d usually like to curl up and sleep. Or I’d watch a bunch on TV and not feel anything. But I’m an adult. I have things to do and bills to pay. I have a full work day and then another 2 1/2 hours of a math class before I get to go home and curl up with my puppy.

The Numb Zone is not dangerous to me. It is only when I feel too many emotions that I actually want to self harm or kill myself, and those days hardly come anymore. No, the numb zone is just annoying because I want to have fun. I want to be a good person to be around. I want the energy to enjoy life.

I may snap out of it today. I might go get some hugs from my nieces, they usually can break me out of the zone a little bit. I will try not to over eat. It is really easy to over eat when you’re numb, but being fat is a depression trigger and I need to try and work on that. No, I am not in danger today. Numb days are easier to control. But if you ever see me in a Numb Zone, don’t worry. I’ll snap out of it somehow and know that it has nothing to do with you…maybe.