How to stop a mental breakdown

Step one: you don’t. The ebb and flow of emotions sometimes just need to happen. I wish I knew how to fix it. I wish I could look at myself in the mirror and just go: “Hey look, you’ve got your life together!”

Unfortunately, I don’t. In fact, I don’t even have today together. I’m looking at being broke for the next two weeks, my love life is not what I want, I live in a shitty basement in a house full of boys. I may or may not have mice in my room, and I’m currently writing with snot pouring out of my nose (awesome visual, I know) while I quietly sob hysterically.

In a way I know it has to look comical from the outside. Here is a semi-successful twenty-something year old who is complaining about stuff that truly does not matter. I have it easy. I know I do.

It’s hard to look past my current moment and get past the woe-is-me part. I want someone to hug me. I want my parents to help me out. Heck, I want my dog to become potty trained, but I also know that he’s a product of my own doing.

So what do I do? I write. I write so I can gain some semblance of sanity and refocus my energy into something else. I think mental breakdowns are your body’s way of saying, “Deal with the stuff in the box you’ve shoved to the back of your brain!!!”

It doesn’t help when you just mentally catalogue issues away to deal with later. If you’re like me, you just end up snot-bubbling (a phrase so eloquently used by my father) while watching the recap of a Grey’s Anatomy episode.

It sometimes helps to talk aloud and name five positive things in your life. It can help, though candidly it doesn’t always work for me.

Step two: Once you’ve calmed down enough to at least stop crying, focus on the next thing you have to do for the day. You can’t focus on all your problems at once, sometimes you just have to go one step at a time..

I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone. I know that this helps me to breathe. Writing helps me to remember myself. It helps me to stop crying. At least as long as my fingers keep moving.

Living life is hard. Being a twenty-something year old trying to balance all aspects of life can be really hard. It’s okay… I think. I think it’s okay to cry. I think it’s okay to be upset that your parents won’t help. I think it’s okay to feel utterly alone even when you know that you’ve got a lot of people willing to be there for you.

Try to breathe and stay calm for the next ten seconds. According to the wise words of Kimmy Schmidt, “You can do anything for ten seconds.”

I don’t even know if all of this makes sense, but at least I know I can breathe for the next ten seconds…

One thousand one… one thousand two….

I am not Jillian Michaels…

Alright. I admit it. I am out of shape. I know this because the first time I ran a few weeks ago I’m pretty sure I could hear my lungs screaming curse words at me. My “extra cushion” around my outer-thighs danced to their own beat as I jogged. Daydreams of bacon cheeseburgers and cheesecake floated through my brain as I struggled for air…
Okay, perhaps it wasn’t that dramatic but my body completely hated me as I forced it to move. For me, working out hasn’t been something that I’ve been consistent with as I’ve grown up. I’ve constantly struggled with self image and always comparing myself to friends who were tinier than me, even if they had completely different body types. With the new medication I was prescribed, I was told that a side effect would be weight gain.
As a twentysomething year old struggling with gaining confidence, the idea of gaining weight on top of how heavy I already am scared me. It shook what confidence I have.
So instead of sitting around and watching myself become more unhealthy, I decided to get myself fit. I didn’t workout to get the shape I desired. I decided to workout to be as healthy as I can be while still maintaining a diet and lifestyle that I could live happily with. 
I’ve been working out for about 4 weeks now and slowly but surely I can tell a difference. My weight hasn’t gone down, but for the first time since I was in 7th grade I was able to run a mile. I’ve now gotten to the point where I can run it in 12 minutes, which for me is a huge victory!! My goal is 10 minutes and 40 seconds. Slowly but surely I’ll get there. I’ve begun switching between running and yoga. 
Yoga is the shiznit, let me tell you. As a woman whose mind is constantly going in a million different directions, this is the first time that I’ve been able to quiet my mind and focus. My mom always makes fun of me because I walk out with a big goofy grin. I just get so relaxed! The women in there and the instructors have been so welcoming and helpful as I’ve learned all of the moves. At first I had the hardest time moving at certain angles, but lately in the past week I’ve noticed certain positions getting easier. 
Don’t get me wrong, wall yoga is still a hard class. I was unaware of certain muscles in my rump region until I did poses against the wall. Word of advice: find your happy place!
I think the hardest thing about working out and sticking with it is remembering that it takes time. It takes time to get to where you want to be and you have to stay committed even when you just don’t feel like it. I’m definitely not Jillian Michaels and chances are I will never get myself that fit. But that’s okay. Weight is not something to focus on. It’s your gravitational pull and I have to remind myself of that all the time. If you have to focus on a number, focus on the body fat percentage. Turn that weight into 150 pounds of muscle instead of cushion. 
At the end of the day, I will still be a food junkie. I’m a Funkie. But I’m accomplishing goals in my fitness that I haven’t been able to do in years. I think that’s the most important accomplishment.  

 

When to Let Go

Relationships are hard. Knowing when to let go is even harder. How exactly do you know when it’s time to let something go and move on? Well, I’ve seen the signs in my relationship, but short of being hit in the head with literal signs I feel like I’ve been ignoring all the metaphorical ones.

For me, I have the tendency to hold on to something even when it’s probably no longer healthy to stick around. Why? It’s because I hate giving up on a relationship. It’s not that I’m looking for Mr. Right at this point in my life. Shoot, I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m in my twenties! It’s because I saw failed relationships growing up and I desperately want to be the type of person to work through problems so that way when I am to the point where I’m ready to be married I can make it last.

Relationships, however, seem to be my weak spot whether it’s being romantically involved with someone, a friendship, or a relationship with a family member. In reflecting over the past year and a half, I’ve noticed that there were certainly signs that I should have listened to, but in the midst of my depression I didn’t really take a stand when I should have. It’s not to say that my past relationship was a particularly terrible one (though if you ask my best friend or my dad I’m sure they’d have something to say), I just allowed him to think that I was okay with certain undesirable behaviors when I should have stood up for myself.

I think in relationships there are a few key signs into realizing when it’s time to move on:

  1. There’s distrust
    • For me, I probably should have broken it off with him the minute I stopped trusting him. I didn’t want to though. I felt like I was being paranoid and that I had nothing to worry about when in reality I was just ignoring his behaviors and his growing secrecy.
  2. Your friends stopping liking your significant other
    • About halfway through my relationship, the guy I was with owned up to doing some things that really broke my heart. Me being a dummy, however, stayed with him and forgave him. My friends didn’t see it as something to forgive. I didn’t want to listen to their thoughts on him, mostly because I didn’t want to admit that I was staying in something bad. At the time I felt like they just didn’t understand the dynamics of our relationship and that it wasn’t worth explaining.
  3. You’re no longer happy with him
    • It took me a ridiculously long time to accept it, but towards the end I just wasn’t happy. I didn’t trust him. I began to hate myself for staying with him, but also truly believed that what I felt for him was love and I wanted to give the type of love that I read about in church. The only time we really got along was when we were physically intimate, but otherwise we argued all the time and I could see his lack of trust towards me, which infuriated me. Why didn’t he trust me? It’s not like I had done anything to him other than get the courage to stand up for myself every once in a while. I couldn’t brag about him to friends anymore, because the times he tried to be a good guy felt like they were an afterthought after months and months of dealing with his mood swings and verbal abuse.

 

It wasn’t until I had a very dear friend be a perfect gentleman towards me and compliment me on my goofiness, that I realized I deserved better. I had been told that for months, but it took me a long time to truly believe it. If a friend that I had known for years, who saw me grow up during my awkward phase, could find me beautiful and funny because of my quirkiness rather than in spite of all of those things, then why couldn’t the guy I’d been dating?

It was certainly a valuable lesson that I feel will help me in future relationships. Ladies, if you’ve ever been in my shoes, it’s important to remember this: You should never date a guy with the mindset that he’s out of your league. He should be proud to date you and flaunt it. If you ever feel like you’re not worthy of him and he’s made you feel that way, run! It’s something I have to constantly remind myself. I am worth more than a man who only found me worth caring for when it was convenient for him.

I am nerdy, curvy, goofy, and damn proud of it!!

I look forward to the future to focus on myself and become independent and happy for me. I know that the next man I date will appreciate it and I can stay in it for as long as it’s healthy. Growing up is hard. This whole “adult relationship” thing is hard too, but I feel like I learned a lot and I’m ready to pick myself up and see what’s in store for me.

 

Kids really do say the funniest things… Part 3!

First off, I have way too much fun with these posts! Secondly, I laugh because you just can’t make up the things that kids say. I work in customer service, so I interact with parents and their children. I also travel too, so the things you hear in public restrooms are hilarious….

Little girl and her mom a few stalls over… :

Her Mom: “Honey this isn’t play time. You need to poop.”

Girl: “Well I can’t go right now. I just can’t.”

H.M. : “You told me you had to go in the car. Why can’t you go?”

G: “Because I’m still mad at you.”

Little boy at the grocery store:

Boy: “Guess what?”

Me: “What?”

Boy: “I get to see my grandparents tonight.”

Me: “Oh how fun! Are you excited?”

Boy: “Yeah, but I can’t play rough with my grandpa.”

Me: “Why not?”

Boy: “He has diarrhea.”

His mom: “……….yep. You were listening to me and Grandma earlier weren’t you?”

My little brother listening to “I Bet My Life” by Imagine Dragons… :

As the chorus comes up

Brother: “I- I bit my wife! I bit my wife for youuuuuuu!”

Me: “Dude, it’s I bet my life not I bit my wife.”

My little sister: “Ewwwwww you have a wife?”

Brother: “NO! Gross. Girls are gross. I am NOT married.”

I seriously wish that “Kids say the Darnest Things” was still on TV. The things that I hear from children tend to be some of the funniest things I hear, especially at work.

Have any funny stories? Please, please share them! Kids really are the best.

Sweet Potatoes are Violent…

Well I must say I have a new level of respect for every grocery bagger I’ve ever met. Today I finished my first day of work at a supermarket and good grief was it more effort than I had ever imagined. I loved it, but boy was it taxing.

I learned a very valuable lesson today as well:

Klutzes and produce just don’t mix.

As I type this, I’m holding up an ice pack to my lip, nursing the busted lip I incurred while quickly bagging a particular customer’s groceries. There was a line growing behind her, so I was just trying to get done.

Now mind you, I had been training and working for the better part of the afternoon and I had not had a single incident yet (aside from forgetting to ask a few times if they wanted paper or plastic). I had been bustling from one customer to the next, and I had no problem whatsoever.

So obviously the produce had to initiate me into the supermarket club. As I was bagging this particular lady’s groceries, the bag of sweet potatoes was handed to me by the cashier. I swung the potatoes over to the plastic bag, but I apparently was not aware of how close my face was to the bag. As it swung my bottom lip caught the brunt of 1.27 pounds of flying sweet spuds.

Thankfully the customer and the cashier seemed not to notice the tiny bit of blood on my lip and the small bruise forming around it. I smiled at the customer, tucking my lip in a bit so my injury wasn’t evident. My manager came up to me after I put her cart up and I gladly took the cue to go home for the day since my shift was over.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been so eager to put the groceries in the bag, but hey, at least I can say I have an exciting job. Grocery baggers are super hard workers and my coworkers, while I haven’t officially met everyone, seem to enjoy helping the customers. It makes me really excited to work there.

I wonder if anyone else has been beat up by the perishables, but I don’t think it would be a great idea to ask them…

Local coffee shops

Have you ever found a place where your soul just feels complete? I don’t mean the feeling after a good sermon, but when you find something that resonates with who you are?

Well I found that place. And no, it isn’t church.

Don’t get me wrong, I grew up going to church and felt strong in my convictions, but the people and the atmosphere never brought continual emotion to me. It felt like it was the right thing to do.

Growing up and making the decision to not go to church anymore was like telling my mother her cooking was horrible (it’s not, but if I told her that it’d be scary). For me, music resonates with me.

I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop in town, surrounded by a multitude of different people all brought together by one thing: music.

This little hole-in-the-wall place is something else. You walk in and there is atmosphere. The coffee is an experience, the staff is great, and the guy playing guitar seals the deal.

It is not often that something moves me to write, let alone purge my soul, but all of this is simply breathtaking. To witness the human experience in action, to see people brought together to listen to a local band, well it’s simply magic.

The music itself is cool. There’s so much passion in the musicians’ eyes and you can tell they love what they do. They’re inspired by their love for music, not tainted by greed or the pursuit of fame. They love what they do.

The people here come in all different forms. There’s a guy here rocking his fedora and a cocktail, a guy rocking his frat-tastic clothing, and women in cardigans and dresses. It’s corny, but I love it.

I love introducing friends to other friends and seeing the human experience, it fills my soul.

This post was kind of a soul purge, but thank you for reading!

When did kindness in men become surprising?

I like men. I really do. They’re great at cuddling and making me smile and all that cheesy-gooey stuff.

However, in college it’s become a norm for men to approach me for nothing more than “a good time” or a relationship with no titles…and that bothers me.

Of course, I didn’t realize it bothered me until I met someone who was different. It’s making me rethink my choice in men…

For story’s sake, we’ll call him Chris. I can’t say I’ve had an epiphany and fallen for the guy, we only met a few days ago. In fact, I don’t find him physically attractive. He’s good looking, but not my usual type. However, I met him when I went out dancing the other day.

It wasn’t any grand moment, he just asked me to dance and I accepted. He was actually not the best at two-stepping, but he was trying and it was funny. We started talking and immediately hit it off. It probably didn’t help that we started talking about Lord of the Rings (my favorite trilogy) and nerding out about it.

It was wonderful.

We ended up dancing the whole time and it was great. I hadn’t really ever had the opportunity to put all of my personality out there at once and have it just accepted. It was nice. I know that sounds really corny, but hey, it’s true.

I am taken with him not because of his looks, but rather his intelligence. We hung out again today with friends and we just talked for two hours. It felt like minutes. He has a certain charisma that is very interesting and alluring.

Men, just know, intelligence and a great personality is very attractive.

Now granted, the idea of dating him is a little “eh” at the moment. I just know I like being around him and he surprised me with his genuine character. He was talking and flirting and instead of saying something dirty or “seductive”, he simply asked if he could take me to dinner…

Why did I find this so surprising…

When did it become commonplace in college for courting to be obsolete and wild hookups or easy relationships to become a thing? It sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a little wildness in my life, but that idea of courtship and friendship first was something I had almost believed was a girlish fantasy.

To find it in someone, regardless if he ends up just as a close friend or something more, is so incredibly refreshing.

So to the men out there, particularly the college men, don’t be afraid to woo a women with kindness. It’s one of the best feelings to be immediately respected without having to say that.

Boundaries are nice and personally, I think it’s much more attractive to have a man flirt and say he wants to take me to dinner than say he wants to seduce me or something of that nature.

Now I’m not saying these men are rare, but women, we have to encourage them not to be the jerkish buttmunches that are breaking our hearts!

To all the nice guys, don’t give that up. There are those of us who really like that.

Apology notes and goats

Well I knew the start up of the semester would be busy… but I didn’t know it’d be this busy. It’s actually pretty exhilarating though. I started a new position as a writer for a newspaper and since training day it’s been “life in the fast lane” for me! However, the downside to this new job is the lack of social life I have now. 

I’ll admit it. I am definitely a social butterfly. I love to be around people and get to know people’s stories, so getting off of work and knowing everyone is already busy kind of bums me out. I don’t mind too much though. I get to catch up on episodes of Dexter.

Yes, my name is Alexis and I am addicted to Dexter. I have a problem… Haha! 

I just wanted to let all my readers know that I haven’t abandoned my blog… It’ll just be a bit before I can post frequently.

Oh the consequences of life!

 

On a random note, I do have a story to tell you. I got to go to a farm the other day. Like a farm with chickens and goats and cows.. It was awesome!!!

It was actually my aunt and uncle’s farm, but they call it a glorified petting zoo. It was pretty fantastic. They had a baby goat and I taught it to butt my knuckles whenever I yelled, “fist bump!”

The little guy is supposed to be meat for dinner eventually though. I’m sure he’d be tasty, but a fist bumping goat is just too cute. There’s my liberal act for the year. 

Save the goats!!! 

However, the cows they have make the best steaks I’ve ever tasted in my life. Just throwing that out there..

I got to pick eggs for the first time. I was honestly afraid of the chickens. Urban girls and chickens don’t mix.. but I did it! It was so much fun and now I have farm fresh eggs sitting in my fridge. 

I have to say my aunt and uncle’s farm is very admirable. They grow their own vegetables, herbs, and have their own meat. The landscape at their place is gorgeous and I love it. It’s one of those places to go and unwind. If I ever have the time one day, I’d totally get a farm with goats, but probably not chickens… Just saying… Those little things freak me out.

Dear dentist…I don’t like you.

I have a thing about going to the dentist. Now don’t get me wrong, my dentist and his assistants are sweet as can be. I’m sure we’d all get along great over a cup of coffee. However, several obscenities tend to cross my mind when they’re poking and prodding in my mouth.

I’ve always had a thing about going to the dentist. I’m fairly certain I need an anxiety prescription just to go. That or a couple shots of something and I’d be good to go. The anxiety didn’t help this past week when I had to get sealant put on my teeth and a lingual frenectomy.

The sealant was to cover up the craters I had worn into my teeth. Grinding is bad. Needless to say, having a tiny mouth and the world’s most sensitive gag reflex (I know because my dentist told me so) didn’t really workout smoothly. The sealant ought to have been a 20-30 minute procedure at best…

Ha! Clearly they never met me.

The dentist literally wished the assistant good luck. I had gagged while he prepped my teeth for the sealant and my mouth was too small to put the tongue restrainer in without tripping that reflex. It. Was. Horrible. The assistant had a hard time doing anything to my teeth without causing me to gag. My mouth was like a really annoying game of Operation. To make it worse, the fact that I was making it take longer stressed me out and I felt bad that she had to deal with me panicking. She then tried to pass me off to another assistant who politely declined.

I wanted to cry.

After she finished, I remembered that I had to talk to my dentist about a lingual frenectomy. He told me he could do it right then. Whoop-dee-friggin’-doo.

Now let me explain what in the world a frenectomy is. I was mildly tongue tied, which meant that the little flap of tissue that connected the under-part of my tongue to the bottom of my mouth was just a little too high up. A frenectomy involves cutting that tissue to let the tongue loose. With a laser. While you’re awake.

Oh that was doing wonders for my anxiety.

However, I had no desire to come back later in the week to get it done, so I chose to get it over with. At first, he tried to use a topical gel numbing medicine around the tissue. Then he used the laser a bit to see if I could feel it.

I could.

Then the really fun part came. He stuck a needle with numbing medication into each side of my tongue and waited. And boy did that stuff work! I felt a slight sensation as he worked and then it was over. My lips and tongue were numb.

“Stick your tongue out,” he said when it was over.

I had no idea if it actually worked. I couldn’t feel a thing. He told me I would be a little sore later, but for the time my tongue would feel okay until the numbness wore off.

As I got out of the dentist I called my stepmom to tell her I was done. As I heard myself talk I burst into laughter. I sounded like Daffy Duck’s sister. I was fascinated. The whole drive home I tried singing and it came out goofy as heck. I kept poking my tongue too. I’m pretty certain the nice elderly lady in the car next to me at the light thought I was on something. I’d poke my tongue and bite at it with my teeth a bit. I don’t know why, but it was so interesting to me.

Later on I discovered the dentist had lied to me. My tongue was not “a little sore.” It burned where it had been cut. Dear lord it hurt. Not to mention I had to stick my tongue out and lift it to the roof of my mouth in order to keep the tissue from healing back the way it was. That didn’t feel particularly good either. I tried to avoid talking and eating anything super chewy for a few days as well. That was painful.

Needless to say, the experience did nothing to solve my anxiety of going to the dentist’s office. I would totally take that numbing medication for anything they have to do to me next time though. That stuff was the bomb. I couldn’t feel my mouth. The anxiety disappeared.

Lucky me though, I have a follow up appointment this week! Yay. I’m so excited…not. And just so you know, my tongue still hurts…that lying jerk.

Four eyes are sexier than two

Glasses: The universal symbol for the socially awkward nerd or the uptight librarian. When I think of glasses I think of the intellectuals, the Comicon fanatics, the hipsters, and those particularly proficient in the game of Magic.

In my head….I was not the one to wear glasses. I denied my inner nerdiness. However, it seemed as if the universe was aiming to make me embrace it.

I had an eye exam appointment scheduled last week and I was sure my vision was just fine. Growing up with my mom, the concept of annual eye exams were not a thing she thought to be important so I never had one. Visiting my dad led me to an eye exam which I thought was overrated, but went anyway.

At the exam they made me stick my head in what looked to be a torture device. It was. I pressed my eye into the machine where they proceeded to blind me with a bright green light. Apparently they were taking pictures of the inside of my eyes but I think they just like to watch us walk around with our vision impaired….

Once I got through with the initial tests the doctor had me look at letters and read them off. Surely no one can read those last two lines right? Wrong. She adjusted my vision with lenses and oh dear god I could see! The letters were clearer, the world was new, and the slow realization I was getting glasses began to dawn on me.

I picked out my frames with a mix of mild frustration and fascination. I chose a simple pair that would match with any outfit and went on my way to wait for the new pair.

Yesterday I got the call that they were ready and I carefully picked out an outfit that I knew would go well with them. Yeah…I did that. When I got them I put them on and sat in my car for a good ten minutes just staring.

Dear lord I look like a librarian, I thought to myself. I stared a bit longer…

Throughout the day I continued to stare. I was fascinated with the new me. I continued to like it more and more. In fact, I decided I was at least a sexy librarian. Besides, as I watched BBC’s Sherlock Holmes Irene Adler herself said that “brainy was the new sexy.” And the glasses made me look brainy. So clearly, the glasses made me look more attractive.

I’ve learned something with my new glasses. I embrace it. In fact, I like the way I look with glasses better than without them. Plus, I’m a blogger and a journalism major, so I definitely fit the role.

So here’s to all those who wear glasses. Raise your cups of coffee or whatever you’re drinking at the moment you hipsters, you Magic aficionados, you intellectuals, and you Comicon fanatics! Raise your cups in union as the group of people who looks sexy, because damn we all look good!

Four eyes are definitely sexier than two…but for those who don’t wear glasses, well, you’re sexy too.