Tag Archives: bipolar

Hitting the Wall Hard

There are things one can learn to do, and then there are things ones naturally abilities, or lack there of, limit them from doing. Today, I feel incredibly lost, afraid, and unsure of my next steps. I was hoping by this part of my life I’d have my shit together. Not so. It appears no one really has their shit together, just some people are better at faking it until it starts to make a bit more sense.

I am deeply saddened by the situation. I know I spend too much time caught up in what I am unable to do so my productivity on the things I am able to do is reduced as well. It’s not an ideal situation to say the least. I’m contemplating a complete career change but I’m terrified and while I have many interests, I don’t know where I’d actually be sustainably successful. I do know that the only thing that makes me happy is helping other people. The highlight of my last week was helping a woman from another country who didn’t speak English understand how to use the ticketing machine at the train station.

While I am inspired by helping people, when I feel my job does not actually help anyone it makes me go bonkers. When I see that instead of helping I am actually hurting other people, I drop into a deep depression. While I’m not sure I would have been consistently responsible enough to be a doctor or anything, I fear that my actual calling was some form of healthcare, but I never understood myself enough to pursue much of anything. I just rolled with the punches, and the punches sent me along this bumpy, somewhat lucrative ride which leads me where I am today – completely lost, afraid, alone, and hating myself more and more for not just getting my shit together.

Yet at the end of the day it’s clear that I do not have what it takes to be successful in this role. I’ve had the great fortune to be able to experience leadership and see that I am not built to be this kind of leader. It’s rather astounding that I have managed to get this far, though I am an imposter and cannot succeed further. While I know this sounds overly dramatic, the reality is that I’m too sensitive for business. I also cannot make fast decisions and spend too much time overanalyzing things I shouldn’t while too little time under analyzing things I should [analyze.] How much can I really improve? When do I put up the white flag and surrender? And, where do I go once I do?

 

 

What Did You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

When I was a little girl, I never for a moment envisioned myself as a grown woman. I’m not sure how many kids actually picture themselves as grow ups, so maybe this isn’t that strange. I could easily imagine myself as a teenager, but not any form of an adult – not a working woman, not a mother, not anything other than an awkward child.

Maybe if I had some vision for myself as an adult, this all wouldn’t be so hard. If I had grown up watching a mother put on a suit each morning and go into the office, coming home with stories about her own boss and sharing her tactics for handling adult life. My mother, like many mothers of babies born in the 1980s, was a stay-at-home mother.

She was a helicopter mother because she didn’t have anything better to do. Her entire life consisted of bragging about the accomplishments of her children. Every tiny win was a huge victory the world needed to know about. Every struggle was ignored. Emotions outside of anger and anxiety were not allowed in the household. No one knew how to handle such an emotional, insecure child. I never learned how to handle myself.

This weekend, I saw the movie Birdman, which is a film about a man who has basically lost his shit because life didn’t turn out quite the way he expected. While his psychological illness is one of delusion, I could relate to the feeling of hopelessness and angst surrounding all aspects of life not particularly epic. Perhaps it was the two-drink brunch and stresses of my work that brought me to tears through the film, along with my own compulsive self obsession, but I felt as if I were drowning. The film tossed many personally uncomfortable themes together – regarding life, parental misguidance, and the need to be not just loved but admired.

Gasping for air as I shoved a bag of drunkenly purchased move theater candy into my mouth, I didn’t want my friends who were also at the movie to my right to notice that I was having a minor emotional meltdown. I escaped to the woman’s restroom once the credits began to roll and muffled my overly dramatic tears with a few fraudulent flushes.

I’m far too sensitive. Both my boyfriend and a friend have said this in a different combination of words and looks of concern. Despite getting myself into professional situations where I take the brunt of deprecation, it is my own fault for allowing others actions to push me down so quickly and so hard. My boyfriend, like my last therapist, reminds me that so much of ones mental state has to do with their own internal monologues. He says that I need to actually believe that. I believe that if I believed whatever it was I was saying to myself – but just switching the talk track in my mind from “god I am so terrible at this” to “I tried my best and I think what I provided was actually good” is not going to change the fact that I believe I am so terrible at it.

Or, I have no ability to gauge what good enough is, since the only good I’ve ever learned is the one which can be paraded about for the neighborhood to see. It was artwork which wasn’t extraordinary but pretty good for a teenager. It was performing a solo at the school talent show despite being partially done deaf, and all of the photos which could come from the occasion. When one is not rewarded for being average or being just as good as the next person, it can effect a child in different ways. For some, they work harder, always feeling better than everyone else, but never quite being fulfilled. For me, I lost the tastebuds for the modicum of success that one must survive on in adult life.

The advice I received is not to let things said to me at work effect me at such a deep level. If my boss is not going to be happy with the work I produce, then either I figure out how to produce better work, acknowledge no amount of work will every satisfy him and do my best, or I look for another job. There is no point in just wallowing in self hatred because despite how much effort I put into my job I feel like I can’t produce what is needed for success. And, while I rarely discuss my emotional turmoil with those I know outside of those who read this blog, I can’t let myself slip into the land of suicidal ideation. Even though I’d never actually kill myself, it’s not at all productive to spend the remaining minutes of my life when I’m not at work or doing work fantasizing about the beauty of just being done with the world, since that’s the end result of all this anyway.

While I never pictured myself as an adult, today the picture I have of myself as the adult I hope to become has nothing to do with professional success. Today, my only sense of satisfaction comes from seeing my networth increase towards my annual goal. I do not find happiness or satisfaction in anything else, except perhaps exceeding my clearly quantifiable quarterly goals at work. Since when did I become so boring? I can’t make small talk because I have no hobbies. I don’t have time for hobbies beyond occasionally pouring my heart out in an anonymous psychological illness journal disguised as a personal finance blog. I tried to sign up for a club in the evening during the week after work but then my boss required me to meet in the evening and so I was unable to go to the club. So much for trying to build some sort of non-professional “life” for myself.

I fully acknowledge that I’m getting paid extremely well at this point in my life and I don’t want to fuck it up. I’m learning a lot and even though each day brings its meltdowns and takes weeks off of my life due to the stress that I let build up in my chest, I am in a very good place for many reasons. If I screw this up, I don’t know if I’ll ever have such a good opportunity again. I keep reminding myself this is not a forever thing, this is a focus and just move mountains now thing so I can open doors for the rest of my life and have options thing. I know I’m so fortunate to be in this place, yet I seek to find some resolution to the emptiness, the wanderlust for the epic, the acknowledgement that after all these years of thinking life was more exciting on the other side of the great youth-adult divide, the reality is that life is just a series of repetitions until our bodies fail to reboot for yet another go at it.

Is it so horribly wrong to want my parents to be impressed with my accomplishments? My father constantly reminds me that I can’t hold down a job, even though I’ve informed him time and again that spending 2-4 years in one company is completely normal for my industry. There are days when I just want to tell him exactly how much money I’m making because perhaps that would be enough to impress him, but that would open up a whole new can of worms. I’d forever regret having explained to him how I’m making the same if not more than most MBA graduates my age, despite having only an undergraduate degree in something unrelated to business — it would turn into some guilt session about how I should buy them nicer gifts, or how I should be purchasing a house now instead of renting. Worse yet, when the day comes that I leave this role, and if I was to decide to pursue something that pays less, which would be likely, I’d never hear the end of it. So I keep my mouth shut. I think to myself, every time I receive a paycheck, how proud they’d be if they only knew how far I’ve come.

Then I think to myself, damn, it’s sad that your parents aren’t proud of you for, you know, being in a stable relationship, or being “happy,” or having a job in the first place, or that you even care so much about what they think, even though you’re now a living specimen of a grown woman.

The whole overly dramatic depressed rambles aren’t very productive, but they’re what goes on in my mind day in and day out, nonetheless. I wish I could turn all of this energy into something useful. I think of all the great authors who have suffered with their own inner demons, who feel deeply enough to express the intricacies of human joy and suffering, yet create fiction with lessons for humanity that far outlive their demons. It is wrong to romanticized the disturbed creative mind, but it is at least calming to acknowledge that most of the world’s greatest poets, painters, and writers would probably feel just as tortured attempting to neatly fit into the box of corporate executive #280258019.

For all my incapacity for embracing the lull of routine, I’ve managed to force myself into a box in which I clearly do not fit. Every morning of everyday I roll out of bed, wipe my eyes wide open, and fold myself into myself until I look halfway presentable as some grown up woman going about her day. And I fight through my life with the hope that maybe someday, somehow, I’ll no longer feel so far removed from the world around me, that I’ll wake up and know what it’s like to be “normal,” and not waste so many precious seconds drawing out a romantic fantasies where either I’m some great savior or gone.

Becoming an Executive Malfunctioning

It’s a rough transition from individual contributor to executive, especially for someone with ADHD. While I’ve gotten to the point in life where I value my innate abilities, I also acknowledge that there are many things vital for moving up in the workforce that do not come naturally to me. I am currently at the point where either I figure out how to fake it well enough that no one realizes this, or giving up.

I don’t want to give up. The opportunity I have today is so great, so exciting, so overwhelmingly awesome that I end up getting to the end of every day and kicking myself for not doing it better. Because I know the best executives know how to be those ducks with their feet kicking hard under water but their faces never flinching. They manage to instantaneously prioritize thousands of projects or project particles while also not slipping up on any details. They are human gods.

There is a reality to my existence, which, at best, puts me into the absent minded professor type category and at worst has me tripping from job to job impressing on one project but failing magnificently on the next. The trick, I’ve learned, is an executive must learn how to make friends and influence people. She must have such charisma that even if other people come up with a great idea and execute on it flawlessly, she will somehow take part of the credit without hoarding all the credit to herself, and seem somehow to effortlessly manage so many moving parts at once. And while she embraces conflict in the right moments, she avoids it in all others. She is everything I’m not and will never be. Continue reading

Hello 31.

Well, I’ve made it. Another year around the sun. Another 365 days of ups and downs, laughter and tears, deep depressions and manic outpouring of not-so-situationaly-appropriate glee. It has been a year of growth and change, saying goodbye to one job and another, embarking on a shaky yet exciting advancement in my career; moving in – finally – with my boyfriend of 8 years; losing my grandfather and attending my first funeral; and — starting — to accept that aging is going to happen, and is happening, to my own flesh despite still wanting to believe that I’m forever-young invincible.

So I have 1/32 of a grey hair now, a few more wrinkles in my forehead due to my chronic state of worry, and a couple of more breaths between freak outs to remind myself I’ve been in those unpleasant shoes before and managed to survive to see another happy day. I’ve taken steps to seek the right kind of help — hired an ADHD coach — focusing on treating the symptoms vs the root cause of my psyche which, no matter how well I psychoanalyze and understand, is never going to dramatically change. I guess you can say at 31 I’ve accepted that I have a chronic condition known as “me.”

Am I 100% satisfied with myself? God no. I have a lot of work to do. I’m always pushing myself to improve all while pondering how that may be possible given my constant state of neurosis. I’m longing to become a mother despite being terrified of how that fits in with this life I’ve managed to create for myself as a business executive and otherwise responsibility-free adult, all things considered – no mortgage, no car payments, no kids, no debts – just save, save, save, and push through the lows so I can try my best to enjoy the highs. It’s the best I’ve been able do so far, but I still have a lot to give and still have a lot of getting my shit together to do.

10 years ago I had this crazy goal to save $250,000 by age 30. I didn’t really think far past that, other than a seemingly impossible objective to save $500k before I have my first child. At the time I had $10k in the bank and didn’t even have a boyfriend so it was all a crapshoot of dreams. Today I have my guy and I’m nearing a solid $300k in networth as I say hello to 31. I’m in a good spot to achieve my $500k before my first kid goal. On paper my life is pretty damn spiffy. But every day is still a struggle with all the highs and lows.

In my 30s, now that I’m actually “in” my 30s vs just starting them, I want to achieve some kind of stability. Perhaps this means medication is a requirement vs a nice to have, but I need to find consistency in my routines and slow down enough to find serenity in the everyday. Perhaps I can do that. As opposed to my 20s and before when I longed for a bit of a crazy, uncertain, constantly changing life, now I yearn for consistency, routine, and regularity. I know I’ve always hungered for the later but a fear of not picking the right route of settling down kept me bouncing from one path to the next. I was terribly lost and only the rush of impractical choice would make me feel momentarily alive and free – but the lack of stability punched me in the gut day after day after day. In my 30s I’ll admit open heartedly that I’m tired of trying to be different and letting a fear of being “just like everyone else” run my life. Maybe being just like everyone else… (even though that’s not really possible anyway) is not that bad.

What’s throwing me off most tonight is that I graduated college in 2005 when I was 21. It was easy to accept 10 years removed since high school graduation — high school was the end of my childhood — but college… that doesn’t seem that far in the past in many respects. In others it seems like a lifetime ago. Still, it was actually 10 years ago. 10 years ago at this time I was in my senior year, falling into a very dark depression that I’d spring out of only after moving to the west coast and pushing through a year of one failure after another, picking my pieces up again every time I fell apart. Senior year of college is a blur – I was lonely, confused, unsure of where I was headed, and just trying to give myself some framework to follow, some sign to guide the way. I had just returned from my first trip abroad, a summer in eastern europe studying and traveling, and continued a relationship with my boyfriend at the time who had moved to a city on the east coast for the year, and who I visited fairly frequently as a treat to escape my life and throw myself squarely into his which I never did fit. It took a move to the west coast and a serious heart-to-heart shortly following the move that we mutually agreed we weren’t right for each other. And there I was, completely alone, with no framework or guide or must-do for life’s next steps. All I knew was that I couldn’t fail – permanently. I had to get up and keep going. And so I did.

Well, so now I’m 31. I have a goal to have my first child by 34 at the latest and the fact that that’s three years away probably scares me the most… especially because 34 isn’t even a “young” age to have a kid and I’d like to have at least two. It’s crazy how fast time flies once you’re in your mid 20s. I guess it’s strange because childhood is this extremely slow moving set of years where you’re growing and learning so quickly that every day can seem like a millennium… and suddenly you’re thrust through a magnetic launcher and boom you’re rapidly accelerating towards the rest of forever and you can’t stop it… you just have to try to breathe and appreciate the sights and sounds and wonder as you rapidly approach the end of your ride. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way at 35 and 40 and 50 and 60 and beyond, and even more so. And miss the days when time was long, the nights where the sun seemed like it would never set, the mornings rushing out the door and chasing after the school bus in excitement because of a certain topic to be discussed in class or an after school activity to be held that day.

My goal for this year is to find some sort of similar excitement in my life again -in a sane, healthy way. I’ve lost a sense of happiness, a sense of wonder, a sense of joy. Life has become a calculator of finances and hours in the day to fill with work and getting stuff done. While these are first world, middle class problems they are my problems nonetheless. I’m looking to establish my own independent sense of adventure and peace with solitude. I know this year will bring about lots of change, perhaps more than the shifts in the last 365 days, and I hope I’m ready for it. I approach my 31st year with wide eyes, an open heart and an open mind. Come on 31, bring it.

 

 

 

 

Welcome Home: Tick Tock Tick Tock

One of the things I had in mind when I lost my job was spending a chunk of time with my family — the time that I rarely have to see them. I could, I thought, apply to jobs aggressively from my parent’s house and also look for a position on the east coast at the same time. My ideal goal was to have a job with a start date during my visit so I could focus just on quality family time – I mean, the most quality family time I can have with my little circus of a family.

The older I get and the more I visit my parents, the more I realize just how my psyche is completely off kilter because of their crazy, and process it a little better. It’s not always so easy though. Yesterday I was extremely depressed and found myself alone in my childhood house with tears pouring down my cheeks unable to handle both being sick, the anxiety from job negotiations, and the passing of time.

My grandfather is ill in the hospital and all of his six children have flown out to be with him and my grandmother. It sounds like this may be it. He fell, broke his shoulder, and his condition has quickly regressed. I’m an hour away from the hospital but I can’t visit because of this stupid cold that I’ve gotten myself due to all the stress and not sleeping. I’m getting better and I’m probably not contagious but the last thing I’d want to do is visit him in the hospital and for him to come down with a cold that may or may not have been my fault, only to become ever further ill and to get the blame for it. I also don’t want to miss out on the last opportunity I have to see him. I may go visit today but I’m not sure what to do.

And while I did manage to secure job offers before coming out to visit my family I did not finalize an agreement and start date, so I’m left wrecked with this horrid anxiety that’s pushing me into a deep depression. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been stuck in bed for two days trying to kick this cold. In the back of my mind I’m also freaking out about turning 31 in two months. I feel like maybe things are partially falling into place in my life and yet they aren’t quite locked in yet. I know from the outside things look hopeful but every day is a struggle with depression. Every day I have to remind myself that I should be happy to be alive and not the other way around. I wonder often if I have bipolar and try to remember my life’s ups and downs and try to pin where I am on the spectrum now, in 2014, this year, in the grand scheme of time. For the moment that would be down, quite down.

At breakfast my father asked my mother to pass the maple syrup. My mother, who hadn’t used the maple syrup in a good fifteen minutes, took it and poured it on her pancakes as soon as he asked her to pass the syrup. He, in typical my dad fashion, got extremely annoyed at her and started to fume. Her thought process is that she’d use the syrup first and then hand it to him so he could keep it on his side of the table, as if it would be as hard as climbing Mt. Everest to ask for it back should she need more. His thought process that she was doing this just to spite him, as he asked for the syrup so she was going out of her way to be rude to him. My mother is a lot of things but malicious in intent she is not. I was worried that he was about to make a giant scene as he often does, but luckily he wasn’t in the mood. My parents are just these two big children who never learned how to think about anyone but themselves. If I take it all in from an outsider’s view it’s quite entertaining. There they are, back and forth, every day of their lives, bickering about all the things that don’t matter because they can’t take a moment to think about the other person and their well being. I walked downstairs this morning and found a giant vat of ice cream upside down on the kitchen floor. My father says he asked my mother to put it away last night. She says she didn’t hear him. So it melted and someone knocked it over onto the floor. It’s always the other’s fault.

Last time I visited my mother accidentally left the laundry room sink running when she went upstairs to do something and it overflowed. She wanted to call the company that charged her $2000 last time to dry out the carpeting but I was there so I found a company that would do it for $500. My father came home and of course was angry at her but it was what it was. A few weeks ago, apparently, she flooded the sink again. Another $500. Another frustrated and angry dad. What a farce! Those two. And that is who taught me how to be a human being. It’s amazing that I have empathy and awareness at all.

A year into remodeling the bathrooms in the house it’s still the topic du jour. They don’t seem to enjoy discussing bathroom design as every bit of the conversation turns into a fight. “Tile to the ceiling?” “No, that’s a terrible idea!” “Do it yourself then.” “You won’t like what I come up with.” And on and on and on. You’d think that my father with his terminal cancer and who knows how long left to live would be doing something other than spending all of his remaining time remodeling a house, but I guess it keeps his mind off reality. It’s something to do. It’s his money and he can do with it what he wants, he just doesn’t seem to enjoy it much at all with how much stress it causes.

As I wandered around my – parents – house yesterday, I found little that I remembered. They’ve changed so much. The trees in the backyard separating our neighbor’s yards and ours – the ones I hid under as a child when I was sad and needed to get away from things – have been cut down – leaving a huge lawn but no privacy. The kitchen has been completely redone and walls knocked down with a huge modern living room that is home to a large TV, a new bathroom, laundry room, and garage made usable for cars but filled with junk and made unusable again. The living room  has new carpeting and the wallpaper has been replaced with a hideous blue paint that clashes with the sofa and curtains that remain from my childhood. Upstairs the only thing that remains is my bedroom, which I’ve selfishly fought to keep in the same arrangement it has been since I was seven years old. I know it’s terribly immature to want to keep things the way they are, but as everything changes and I’m forced into the rest of my adulthood, I feel somehow oddly comforted by returning to sameness even if it was a place where I experienced many years of depression and solitude.

I don’t really feel like I have a home anymore — I’ve been living in apartments for a good 12 years now — and without home comes a jolting sensation of constantly being off kilter. I’ve found a home in my boyfriend who I plan to spend the rest of my life with – in his arms where I can be quiet and at peace with stillness, and in his eyes where we can have a thousand hilarious conversations without a word. But I still feel the lack of a home, still look to my childhood house – where I lived until I was 17 from the day I was born – as something that is partially mine, even though it isn’t at all. If my parents wanted to they could redo my room and make it into the adult guest room it should be, not one decorated with early 1990s wallpaper covered in remnants of adolescent collage and sticky tack.

It’s this lack of stability and just growing older which is causing my current depression. It is life. Everyone goes through it and I’m no more or less special than the next person who confronts their own aging process and watching others around them grow older and pass, places change and become unrecognizable, the safety of home diminishing as adult life teaches us we are on our own and it’s up to us to make the life we want, no one else will be able to do it for us. It’s exciting to have the freedom to make the life that I want but terrifying to accept that it’s my responsibility and to let go from the safety net. I’m old now. I mean, not old, old. But 31 is an adult. It’s the age many women have children or are about to. It’s not this murky extended adolescence, it’s straight up adulthood, complete with an aching body which can no longer deal with a red eye flight and spring into action the next day or sitting on an uncomfortable chair for hours without straining her back. It is life.

What I want now, more than anything at all, is to find peace with cutting this string to my past, to stop only finding contentment in being the center of attention, that childhood fancy which drove me to where I am today. I just want to be the type of person to give and care and love. I want a home to make my own and a family and friends and enough money where I can invite them over for dinner and cook amazing healthy meals and entertain and travel and see the world.

…I want to somehow truly make peace with my parent’s crazy, to be thankful that somehow I’m nearly 31 and both of my parents are still alive despite ration saying that one of them would have likely killed the other by now. I am the product of narcissists and so is my sister and we’re both dealing with it in our own ways, both depressed, both fighting for a chance at a good and happy life. I have gotten so far and yet so often I fall back and I look ahead at all the challenges in front of me and I gasp for air, panicked, trying to comprehend how I can handle all that is the future, never mind the present. This is my depression. This is my life. I am ready to change but I’m still trapped in this quicksand. It tugs me down into the earth and I can’t move. I know I just need to lift my damn leg up and take a step but all of the sudden I just forget how to walk. I need to relearn all over again.

Is it Impostor Syndrome or Just ADHD Reality?

Another interview, another scrunching up my face in horror at something all too honest that I say as I’m asked about my experience and weaknesses. But let’s be real – if I were a hiring manager for most of these jobs I would not hire me. The few that don’t see this during the interview process – the only ones who would ever offer me an opportunity – are inexperienced in hiring or somehow unable to see the truth. It’s not just impostor syndrome, I’m just not that intelligent or reliable. Occasionally I have a brilliant idea and execute well, but most of the time I just get super anxious and waste time because I’m too scared to make decisions. Sometimes I come to work late because I’m depressed and have trouble getting out of bed. I can’t multi-task because having too many things to do at once and too many decisions to make equals one very stressed out and unproductive me. This thread really says it all.

So how am I supposed to convince anyone to hire me? I just look around at all of my peers in the business world and most of them just have their shit together. Some are really smart and able to get stuff done like superheros. Others are just able to execute really well, communicate goals and exceed them. All of this, others say, one can learn to do. Anyone can be on top of their shit. Anyone can learn process and get stuff done. Anyone can make decisions, test ideas and pick the best ones to continue with. Anyone can do this – except I can’t. I just can’t.

I don’t know where to go from here. Even starter interviews for junior-level positions somehow seem to end with “you’re not experienced enough.” That is after 10 years in the workforce. I’m not making this up. And it’s true — I have such a smattering of experiences but no one solid skillset that fits any job description. Ultimately it doesn’t matter anyway because if I did get a job I’d just end up disappointing them. I really don’t know what to do.

I am fortunate in that I have a good amount of savings to survive on for a little while, but eventually I need to get a job. Junior level roles, if I could get one, often require more of the detail-oriented work that I’m bad at due to my ADHD. But senior level roles still require the ability to be detail-oriented and set bigger picture strategy while ensuring the day-to-day gets done.

Interviewing is awful. I’m sure it’s wonderful for people like my friend who are just so good at what they do and know it. Everyone who interviews him falls in hiring love because he’s just professionally perfect, from his Ivy degree to his experience and contributions to all his companies along the way. I’m happy for him, and for my other friends who are doing well professionally, but also jealous, jealous because that will never be me. I can maybe fake it for a month or two but it won’t last.

This is why I think I really should leave business… but I’m not sure what else out there I can do. I feel like somehow I have a bit of intelligence inside my crazy distracted head but that’s worthless with all of this anxiety and inability to execute. To whom this may concern, please don’t hire me, I’m a hot mess.

 

Floating with The Fault in Our Unemployed Stars

Despite purchasing a Kindle last year for my trip to Thailand, I hadn’t gotten around to using it for much beyond travel guides until this recent period of unemployment. Between then and now I’ve downloaded a library of inconsistently-themed books on a whim, since books are much cheaper to impulse buy and excuse oneself for at the sake of becoming literate and literary.

Given I tend to shop to offset the feelings surrounding negative occurrences in my life, I downloaded a few more books at Amazon’s suggestion hoping that I’d get through all of them and be able to say I had accomplished reading more in a few weeks than I had in the last 30 years. Instead, for the most part, these books are just collecting pixel dust on virtual bookshelves.

In two weeks of unemployment I’ve forced myself through 50% of the historical fiction tale The Daughters of Mars which, in all of its historical accuracy about being an Australian army nurse in World War I, hasn’t quite aroused my speed reading chip. Another book I downloaded on a whim — The Fault in Our Stars — seemed like a wise trade in honor of the accomplishment of getting half way through the other book – a quick-read, tragic young adult novel where the main character — a 16 year old girl from Indiana — has stage IV lung cancer and spends the book living and dying simultaneously while being as normal a teenager one can be while living and dying respectively simultaneously. I figured I’d read the book before one day soon watching the movie on an airplane.

Continue reading

On Being an Overly Sensitive Potentially Bipolar Person

At 11am, I glanced around looking for any possible way to escape – not the room – but my life. My heart was heavy with a twisted mixture of sadness and anxiety. By 3pm I had regained my composure. At 4 I felt empowered and free, like I was given a jolt of confidence in the form of a crown and I was ready to rule the world. By 6 I felt hopeless again, miserable, and unable to lift my spirits.

There is clearly something very wrong with my moods. I just often get so overwhelmed that every little thing effects me so strongly. It’s distracting and keeps me from being happy and/or productive at times, and I’d like to somehow change this about myself. But I honestly can’t. You know people say just stop being so paranoid or anxious, just stop thinking so much, just change the way you think about things and you’ll be fine. It’s not so easy. Continue reading

Pretzels and Aging, and Money and Roller Coasters

If it seems like I’m posting an awfully lot lately about my fears of my adulthood simultaneously while being an adult, you’re quite astute. I am, it feels, either at a crossroads or the end of a formerly cyclical journey where I’ve gone through first-world chaos and landed back where I began.

At 17, I left home for college, not because I wanted to go to college, or knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew what I didn’t want to be. I knew I didn’t want to live in a house with parents screaming at each other night and day. But I also was well educated in the suffocation of stagnant suburban life. The long nights with crickets chirping. The circumference connecting one mall to another mall to another mall which stood for the area in which my life took place, sans occasional outings to the big city. Even New York felt small in comparison to the whole world, its looming skyscrapers twinkling into the night sky, and thousands of people dispersing from subway stations and walking every which direction, was just a speck of a world that was far from reach. Continue reading