True Freedom

It’s very freeing, being out from under the yoke of your oppressor.

This was the very first sentence used to start this blog, and now it’s never been truer. When I started this blog, I had only made the mental decision to rid the toxic person from my life. I hadn’t deleted contact info, or social media contacts. I was always worrying about having to reply to awkward texts and having to be polite in them, even though I didn’t want to.

Now I don’t have to do any of that. I’ve deleted the contact info and social media contacts. I no longer expect to get any more texts, especially after I didn’t respond to the last one, though for now I’m keeping it as a reminder of what manipulation looks like. I am truly free.

Which means I can focus all my energy on my hobbies, my gaming, my writing! I’m on my second to last major character profile, which is proving difficult because he’s a mercenary. But I’m still there! My elemental ripple blanket is going so well also. I’ve moved onto the green, though I haven’t taken a full photo with the green on it.

And I’m working on my Final Fantasy gaming challenge, just got past Nibelheim in FF7 and I’m hoping today I can get to disc 2. However my cousin and her girlfriend are up for the weekend, and I don’t know how much time they’ll be spending up here visiting so maybe I won’t get to disc 2. But I’m still going to try.

And with that, my lovelies, I bid you adieu and never forget that you are the key to your own happiness. No one can make you unhappy unless you let them. Be true to yourself, let your nerd flag fly high, and rejoice in whatever makes you happiest. Much love ❤

Lost and Found

Now that things have calmed down a little and I’m more level headed, allow me to give you a little context for my recent explosion.

Monday morning I was sent a group text by Gia about getting together for a summer hangout time, since all four of us were home/in the state (we have a mutual friend who’s going to school in Arizona right now). Along the way of deciding dates and such, I made a simple, polite request for Gia to clean her apartment because of my health issues (allergies, mostly). I even included a remark that my allergies had been getting worse and that anything from animal hair to dust to pollen was aggravating my sinuses. And I knew firsthand that I wouldn’t enjoy myself if I had to spend most of the weekend with an ice pack to my face. Here’s where the first of the sparks fly.

Gia’s first response was half-heartedly sincere, but she had to point out that she ALWAYS tries to clean her place before guests arrive. Note the key word “tries.” Then she added that she’ll shave her cats and hire a maid service, and not to be surprised if her cats magically had all their hair back come the weekend we had settled on. If you can’t tell, this was heavy sarcasm. First off, the fact that she had to point out that she always tries to clean her place annoyed me because it’s a lie, unless cleaning house doesn’t include dishes or taking out the recyclables. Second, I can take a joke, but the sarcasm regarding her cats and a maid service was not only unnecessary but also showed me her true unwillingness to take my request seriously. For those of you who’ve had sinus infections or have allergies and no medication seems to offer relief, it’s no fun having your face hurt and not being able to do anything about it.

In any case, I ignored the sarcasm because I know that’s how her personality is. Next came the discussion of who would pick up who, what routes to take, etc. and after much discussion and a period of silence, I decided to make an executive decision: to have Jerad pick me up late afternoon that Friday so we could go up to Gia’s, and Gia could pick up our other friend around the time he was done with work. Well, earlier Gia had mentioned that she could get off work at noon and in my executive decision, I mentioned that she could use that extra time to clean her apartment before getting our other friend, not in a mean sort of way. I just know she’s busy with a full time job and she’s very tired after work and I understand that sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do something. Plus I’ve heard her mention to me several times she “ran out of time” or “didn’t have the energy” to clean the place up. So my suggestion to use the afternoon to clean was meant to be helpful, not hurtful.

Gia takes it as hurtful and responds with a photo that said, “Bitch, don’t tell me what to do,” and that I am not ok with her place and if the other two can think of a better place to meet, that would be great. To which I responded that I just wouldn’t come if she was going to be that way about a simple request. It should also be noted that I’ve been having an anxiety attack for about an hour and both of my parents have seen it and been trying to council and console me.

The next day Gia sends a message to all of us to “disregard and cancel all plans made yesterday. I forgot I had babysitting duties that weekend.” My first thought: Are you fucking kidding me? You triggered an anxiety attack on me for nothing?! And of course, this is where I snapped and deleted her from all my emails, my phone, and my social media. And then the narcissistic manipulator comes out and sends me a long text the following morning with this great sob story about how I’m immature for taking her off my social media and that I’m not the only one with medical issues; how this could’ve been resolved by a little self awareness and we could’ve talked it out like mature adults. But the way she wrote it makes it sound like she’s the victim, the only one with hurt feelings, and she pulled Jerad into it by saying something along the lines of having to mention her own health issues because “a little birdy whom apparently speaks for you had to lecture me since you apparently do not comprehend sarcasm anymore.”

I mentioned before that I recognized her sarcasm and ignored it. However, the fact that she blatantly attacked Jerad for no reason really irritated me. First of all I’m sure he wasn’t actually lecturing her. He’s too nice a guy for that. And second, I didn’t ask him to speak for me. He did that all himself, for which I thanked him in genuine appreciation for because sometimes it’s hard for me to speak at all, especially during an attack. I’m glad he wanted to be an advocate for me.

Since receiving this long text, I have not responded or risen to meet her challenge. I’ve had several long internal thoughts of writing a revenge letter or something about karma being a bitch, but up until now, I haven’t written anything down. It should also be noted that she pulled this same kind of thing when we were living together and having all the tension. She messaged me a big long spiel about everything we were both feeling at the time and when I responded via the messenger that I felt the exact same way, her retort, in all caps, was “And yet no words!” I don’t remember what else she put with that but I was hysterical and bawling my eyes out because I was desperate to end the fighting and once I calmed myself down enough, I managed to go out to the living room by her and apologize, even though I wasn’t the only one at fault. (I never got an apology from her.)

So I know where this trap goes and although I may have lost a 10 year friendship, I’ve found something more important. Confidence, self respect, and freedom from my tormentor. Being that this year is meant to be about taking care of myself and finding new things about myself, letting go of this abusive friendship is refreshing and freeing, and I feel so much lighter now that it’s finally over. It might’ve been messy and volatile, but it’s done and over with, and that’s what matters. No one has the right to bring you down and make you out to be the bad guy when you’ve done nothing wrong, though I will admit I wasn’t perfect either and things could’ve been handled better. But your reaction to a situation shows what kind of person you are, and if you need to walk away before things explode, to avoid getting burned, then don’t be afraid to walk away. Some things just aren’t worth it.

Breaking Point

I’m at a very low point right now. Even though I have a lot to be grateful for, I’m feeling like parts of myself are being chipped away and it’s frightening. I’ve been an emotional wreck all day and am having to fight very hard to keep from rushing to the store to buy something I don’t even just because it’s on sale. I even took an hour and a half drive with no destination in mind just to try and calm down. It didn’t help, but I was mostly ok while I was out driving so I guess there’s that. I feel like I’ve reached my breaking point, and quite possibly my limit.

Like I told my best friend this morning, I’m sick of all the work related emails, which have doubled in the past few months. I’m sick of coming away from both emails and conference calls feeling more scolded than uplifted and encouraged. I was actually upset last night by an email that felt like a personal attack and it’s still bothering me now. I know it shouldn’t, but it read like I was being scolded for doing my fucking job. And this is happening a lot more often lately. Not because I’m doing a bad job, but because I miss one or two tiny little things. I understand they want perfection every time, but no one’s perfect no matter how hard they may try, and I’m a perfectionist so I understand and struggle with that daily.

I’ve been struggling to concentrate all day, all week, possibly all year even…that’s how bad it’s gotten. I’ve been on the verge of an anxiety attack and have even had small bursts of uninhibited crying, like releases of emotion just washing over me to give me some kind of release from all this stress. I’m caught between this vortex of opposing energies, between wanting to do everything and nothing all at once, which will lead to nothing getting done at all. I don’t even know how I’m putting together coherent thoughts right now. The only solace I have right now is my music, my best friend, and being alone.

I’m beyond exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally…it doesn’t help that we had relatives over last night who stayed until midnight and I was trying to sleep, having gone to bed at 11:30 to try and calm down after reading that stupid email shortly beforehand. I have such terrible eye strain that I need to alternate between my two pairs of glasses on a daily basis now, and the only way to really rest my eyes is to sleep or do absolutely nothing but stare at the ceiling. I’ve tried doing my other hobbies without my glasses and the only way that works, and it’s not a given every time, is if I haven’t already been wearing them all day for work. And even though my headaches have mostly gone away now, I still feel like I can’t catch a break. I know people say it has to get worse before it can get better, but I feel like my switch is stuck in the “worse” position and it’ll never get better.

Weight Loss: The Never-ending Struggle

Let’s face it: not everyone is happy with their bodies, and unless you were gifted with the metabolism of a five year old and can get away with eating whatever you want, whenever you want, and as much as you want, you may have dealt with, or know someone who’s dealt with, the struggle of weight loss at least once. I’ll admit I’ve been struggling with it my whole life and it never really seemed to bother me until middle school. And then in college it really started to bother me, because I spent a lot of time alone for six or more months and did a lot of stress eating. None of my clothes fit and I had to keep going up in sizes. I wasn’t really happy with anything about myself.

Then halfway through my sophomore year of college, my doctor at the time told me to lose 50 pounds in 6 months. I was like, yeah right, lady. First off, since I was literally fighting genetics, it was going to be more of a cliff scaling battle for me than a gentle, sloping, uphill battle. Second, the most exercise I did on a daily basis was walking from one end of campus to the other. But I decided I at least needed to try. So I started eating a little healthier (or as healthy as school food goes) and I tried taking the stairs more often, which in my case, meant walking up five flights and taking the elevator the rest of the way since I lived on the tenth floor. And I talked my roommate (Gia) into going to our health and wellness center for weekly Zumba classes. Which turned out to be a lot of fun. I absolutely loved them. By the end of the semester, I had managed to lose 20 pounds and I was super proud of myself for that. I tried to keep it up the rest of my college life.

Fast forward to after graduation. Gia and I found an apartment together and because of where she worked, she discovered this smoothie place which was supposed to be really good for you and the smoothies were like meal replacements. I had a good job at the time and decided to try this fad diet. Well, as it turns out, it was just a fad. I managed to get back down to my high school weight and was wearing clothing sizes I had never worn before. But after I lost my job and could no longer afford to pay for the stuff, I gained back everything I had lost, plus a few extra pounds, just from eating real food instead of drinking two of my meals. It was awful. And then on top of that, the falling out had begun and I was stressed out and stress eating again, even though I was still trying to work out in my room by doing stuff like pushups, sit-ups, etc. Now, since living at home, I’ve managed to keep a (semi) regular routine, though it varies week to week and I’ve found two things I never thought I would enjoy as much as I do. Yoga and Pilates. Yoga is more for pain relief and stretching tight muscles and Pilates is for toning, weight loss, and general overall fitness.

That being said, over the past five months I’ve noticed a trend. I’m neither losing nor gaining weight. I’m maintaining it. Which, honestly, after 10+ years is kind of a relief. Am I happy with my current weight? No. But I’m stronger than I was then, I’m more flexible than I’ve ever been, and I’ve also been able to step back a little and find what makes me beautiful in my own eyes, which I’ve never been able to do until the past few years. I’m chubby. My best friend will say I’m not but I am. I like to think I’m cuddly and plush, and besides my sinus problems, which were gifted to me by my mother, I’m the healthiest one in my family, aside from being overweight. But I keep pushing myself to try and be better. Most days, that means just finding the energy or the will to work out, and most times I feel better afterwards, albeit sore and sweaty. And I think what’s hardest about learning to love yourself, is seeing what’s beyond the mirror and into what makes you special. Your shape and weight do not define who you are. I’m overweight and I love to work out and eat healthy foods like salads and fruits and veggies, but I also like my junk food. I’m addicted to Pringles and chocolate. But my weight isn’t going to define me. It’ll just push me to be stronger and to do better for myself, because I’m the only one who can. Fad diets are only good if you stay on them. And only you can decide what makes you happy, if you’re willing to look past the mirror and see the beauty within. Much love and respect ❤

Undeniable Proof…Plus an Announcement!

Remember a few posts back when I mentioned I got an unexpected text from Gia wanting to get together and hang out when she came home next? Well, turns out she didn’t want it all that badly because the day she came home has come and gone, and I didn’t get a single text from her. The only reason I know that is because I glanced at her Facebook page, having hidden her from my news feed, and she had already left this morning on her family vacation.

Looks like I was right to abandon this sinking ship.

This little event has given me undeniable proof that I had clearly been putting more effort into this friendship than she was and that the only time she wanted to, or claimed she wanted to see me was when she was already in the area for something else. I mean I get it, it’s a long drive from here to there, but that’s beside the point. Jared is still a ways away and he made time to come visit me just because he wanted to. This friendship street works two ways.

Needless to say, I’m glad I didn’t get a text. I went on an adventure this morning just to avoid her because I couldn’t remember what day she said she was coming home and yes, I may have been expecting a text, but I was also planning on ways to make myself unavailable. Clearly this friendship has run its course.

**

Now for the announcement: As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I stumbled upon a post by one of the literary agents I follow and it said she was looking for interns to commit 10 hours a month for six months, ideally. I read through the specifications of what she was looking for and after discussing it with my best friend, I decided to make the leap and apply for it. Now I know interns don’t get paid usually, but I see this as an opportunity to learn more about the publishing world and also potentially get hands-on coaching lessons from the agent to better my writing. I’m both nervous and excited, because I don’t know what the future holds for me with regards to this internship, but I’m hoping and praying I get it. I’m hoping it’s a stepping stone to the career I’ve always wanted.

Back to Normal

**Possible Trigger Warning. Please read with caution.**

This past week has been a bit nightmarish for me, partly because both of my parents were home on vacation, there wasn’t a lot to do at work, and I wasn’t feeling all that great from Thursday through today (I’m still a little under the weather, but functioning more normally). One of the oh so fun advantages of having a dust allergy is when you play in the dust for spring cleaning, your sinuses flare up for several days. And in my case, literally nothing helps the pain in my face go away, and the one time I tried to take painkillers, I ended up throwing them back up five minutes later because the nausea was so bad. Though I did feel better after that…On top of all this, I’ve been overly lethargic and sleepy and lacking all energy to do much of anything, and I haven’t been able to figure out why, though right now I’m feeling more like myself. It’s possible it was the disruption in my usual schedule, which is the most likely trigger, and this past week got me really thinking on what my unique anxiety related triggers are.

First and foremost, as much as I love them to death, my parents can both be triggers, especially if they are together. For me, their energies can clash, which puts a lot of strain on my mental state. Dad is generally more laidback, calm, and likes to watch tv a lot, but at a volume that is louder than I usually prefer. Mom can be kind of all over the place and chaotic, trying to do half a dozen things all at once and then getting more agitated when she hasn’t gotten any of them done. Having them both together can be like standing in a hurricane of energy with no protection and I found myself more often than not looking for solitude to refocus and re-energize myself. That being said, on any given day, I can be either one of those similar energies. I’ll have days where I want to be super productive and get lots of things done, and then I’ll have days where I just want to lay down and catch up on whatever shows I have recorded.

Second has got to be work, and sometimes lack thereof. For a work from home job, you wouldn’t think it would be all that stressful, but at times it really is. We have deadlines to meet, quality standards to meet in specific time limits, etc.  And when there’s a lack of work, it really upsets my schedule, because I can’t just assume nothing is going to come in during the day. I have to leave my schedule open so I can check periodically through the day for any work that comes through. Like today. I’ll be checking periodically throughout the day. And last July, work was the cause of my two worst anxiety attacks, because they happened within 12 hours of each other, which had never happened before, and has not happened since. The only thing that really helps here is, when there’s no work, to find something to occupy my time, like crocheting, video games, reading, writing, etc. And when there’s a lot of work, it helps to take mini breaks throughout the day not only to give my eyes a rest, but also my mind.

The rest of my triggers are more situational and less all-encompassing. Like large crowds, which I tend to avoid if I can, though doing chores like grocery shopping can be a bit overwhelming if I don’t have a plan for it (like listening to music while I shop). Other triggers can include loud noises (especially if I’ve been sitting in silence or quiet music all day), being around people I don’t know, being around loud and extremely abrasive people, any kind of change to my schedule (not just work related, but things like an impromptu lunch date or unexpected visitors), being around a former abuser (Gia), making phone calls, doctor visits, and pretty much anything that makes me feel pressured to do something or be someone I’m not.

The calming “antidotes” for each of these situations are as varied as the situations themselves. Stuff like phone calls and doctor visits, the best way to get over the anxiety is just to go through with it, which I know doesn’t always work for everyone. However, with phone calls, I generally keep them under three minutes. Journaling and listening to music are my biggest forms of therapy, because I can listen to my soothing (or not so soothing) music and write down everything I’m thinking, just to get it out of my head and stop myself from circling back on it and obsessing over it. Video games are another great form of stress relief for me, as is having my best friend to talk to.

So as this week starts with my parents going back to work, I’m looking forward to going back to a more normal daily routine and less stress on this happy hermit. ❤

What Motivates You?

Today’s post is about motivation and in part, procrastination. I am a master procrastinator, I can find a dozen different excuses or tasks to put ahead of something that could be very simple but not something I really want to do.

For instance, the game I’m currently working on is not one I particularly like in the Final Fantasy franchise, but as part of my year long run, I have to play it all the way through. Now, I did better on getting further in the game today than I did yesterday and I think part of that is from the caffeine kick from a Mountain Dew Livewire I drank this morning (which I don’t normally do; I’m not huge on caffeine.). But a couple weeks ago, I could not find the energy or desire to play this game. I think part of me was just burned out because I had blown through the three prior to it and it was all I had been playing for two months. So yes, it is possible I was just burned out by the series.

That being said, after struggling through a week of not wanting to play this game, and having watched Jared play something different while he was visiting me, I decided to start my own run of the same game he was playing. As of right now, I’m about two-thirds done with that game, but it’s easy enough to pick up where I left off (because it actually tells you what your next task is on the load screen) so I’m not worried about forgetting my place. And I think playing something a little more interaction helped clear my head of the cobwebs and dust clouding it from playing these other games so now I’m more motivated to play, even though I don’t really want to sometimes. Like I said earlier, it’s not one of my favorites in the series; if you asked me to rank them, this one would probably be in the bottom five. It’s not a bad game, just not one I enjoy either.

If you’ve been following along from the start of this blog, you’ll also know that I have been trying to schedule more writing time into my daily schedule because, again, my writing generally was taking a back seat to everything else and I couldn’t let that happen anymore. And while some days I forget it entirely, and thus make time for it the next day, I have been keeping up with my writing, even if I’m not posting something here. Like for example, right now, or rather earlier in the day, I was working on a detailed outline/synopsis for my personal novel because I discovered that both my bestie Arabella and I were very confused by all the varying changes (since I’ve been working on this since high school and it has gone through at least 15 different drafts). Plus there have been new, deeper character developments that have to get incorporated, which will be a challenge in and of itself. So I started that on Friday and was working more on it today, only to find out I screwed up the new stuff today and had to start over because I missed some crucial stuff while I was putting down information on the next chapters.

Needless to say, completely finishing this novel is going to take a hell of a lot more work than finishing a video game, but I know it’ll be worth it once I put my nose to the grindstone and put my best effort forward. Even though I have a dozen other smaller projects to work on…But that’ll be a post for another night.

Over to you! What motivates you to do something you don’t want to do? Or even something you do want to do? I’m curious to know! Much love ❤

**

So after posting that first half, it occurred to me that I didn’t really answer the question about what motivates me! I guess what motivates me most is the feeling of accomplishment, of having done something you didn’t think you could or were told you couldn’t do. That’s probably more for the writing aspect of it. For the gaming, it’s more about being able to move on to the next game and the next game. Once I get to the games I enjoy playing and haven’t played in a while, it’ll be easier to play longer and more often because I’ll want to. As opposed to having to play because of the time crunch. For other, smaller projects, my motivation is getting them done quickly to move on to bigger projects that might be more fun to do, or not, depending on the project. Or in the case of working out, feeling good afterwards, and more flexible and/or strong. It’s all about feeling good, no matter what you’re working towards. If you don’t feel good about something, put it aside and come back to it later. So there you have it! What motivates me. Have a good night! ❤