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….

You Just Can’t Make This Up…

I met a man that I fell in love with. A man that against all of my walls and defenses, I fell head over heels for. But then he died. No, I don’t mean I found out that he cheated and that he was dead to me, I mean he passed away 2 hours after my last text message to him. I wish that was the end. I wish that it was a tragic point that I was able to mourn the man I loved. But it didn’t happen that way…

It has been three months since he died. I can still remember the day vividly. I had just switched jobs and he sent me a text while he was at work. He was the type of man to wake me up every morning with a good morning text telling me how much he loved me and missed me. He worked as a cell tower service technician and had messaged me as he was going up the tower. I texted him two hours after that only to find out that two minutes prior to the text he fell. I found it odd that day that he never responded. I waited and called, but he never answered. I didn’t find out until two days later that he had passed away.

I was devastated. I lost it. I couldn’t believe that the man I had started to talk about marriage with was gone. I didn’t get to say goodbye. The worst part was that we hadn’t yet met each other’s families, so they didn’t know about me. I had to reach out via Facebook.

I messaged his mother and she allowed me to go to the funeral… Some days I wish I would have never gone. Then I wouldn’t have found out what I did. When I got there, I noticed a girl my age sitting not too far from the front. She was crying. A picture of the two of them sat next to the casket. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. He was a gorgeous man that women tended to gravitate towards, so I just assumed she was another one of his good friends.

She got up to speak and told the crowd about how she met him and how she loved him. I sat there in silence, crying in part because the man I loved was gone, and crying because suddenly I knew who she was.

Later that day I messaged her on Facebook only to find out that he had been dating both of us at the same time. He had told us he wanted to marry both of us and he had even met her family. It was a whole different aspect of heartbreak. I still don’t know how I feel about all of it.

How do you handle finding out that the man you thought you were going to share your life with was saying the same exact things to another woman? To add a little icing to the cake, I found out from a mutual friend that eight other women had come forward claiming to have been dating him.

It made me sick to my stomach.

Grief was hard enough without adding anger into it. However, I learned something. I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was. I learned that death could not crumple the woman I was.

I went to his grave later and told him what I thought about his lies. I had to smile. The man I thought to be slightly naive and a little uneducated was actually the best liar I had ever met.

He fooled me, but I cannot say I hate him for what he did. It’d be pointless, haha… He’s dead.

The funny thing is, I still miss him sometimes. If he were alive I would have broken up with him and never spoke to him again, but there is something about the permanence of death that gets to me. I had never dealt with death until he died.

I dealt with death in a scientific way. I studied it. I studied what happened to bodies when they die and when they’re buried. I studied a little deeper into my faith and took a serious look at the existence of Heaven and Hell. Still can’t say I’m sold on the idea, but I don’t like the idea that the man I knew is just completely gone.

It seems a waste of life and personality for the essence of a person to simply vanish after death.

 

I rant now, partly to vent and partly to let out the grief that I have a hard time putting into vocal words. It’s hard to understand grief and loss and love when everything is gone so suddenly.

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.

 

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!

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.  

The Jean Problem

I love jeans. They’re my solution to many simple problems. If I don’t want to shave my legs? Jeans. If I want to show off a cute shirt? Jeans. If my uterus is throwing a tantrum because I haven’t fertilized my eggs? Dark jeans.

Regardless of the occasion, jeans tend to be my “go-to” pants choice. That is, of course, so long as they fit…

My weight likes to yo-yo over the year. During the fall and winter, school leads me to stress and lose weight (it’s opposite I know). During the summer, well, I’m at home eating my parents’ food…one does not simply pass up seconds of Italian food! I’d love to say stuffing my face is balanced with equally epic workout plans, but that just doesn’t happen.

And inevitably the morning comes when I go to throw on a pair of jeans and this happens:

  1. There’s tightness around my thighs as I pull them up.
  2. My butt takes up the space where I could once put my hands in my back pockets.
  3. Buttoning them suddenly becomes a yoga exercise and a denial phase…

–        “Suck it in!” Stomach sucked in, posture rigid and slightly bending backwards…the extra jump to pull them up…

–        “Maybe I’m bloated….” “Have I pooped today? No. They’ll fit after I go.”

The worst part? They do not fit after I go to the bathroom. The struggle is real.

Of course then it comes to having to shop for jeans that will fit my well-fed body. That’s when the self-loathing and inner sobbing begins. It all comes down to the number. I hate that stupid number on the tag. No matter if it makes me look good that number makes me walk out of that dressing room mildly depressed. It’s equivalent to the pain I feel after math tests.

Dealing with that number is a battle I face. I’d love to be a size four or something small like that. My reality though is that I will never achieve that size healthily. I am a proud Hispanic who has the butt and boobs to match the ethnicity. That J-Lo butt just does not fit in a small size.

Guess what? It’s okay. That fact is something I have to remember on a constant basis. It’s okay if I never fit into tiny jeans. I ought to embrace the body I have. I may eat a little bit more than I ought to, but I am beautiful just the way I am.

As I write this post, the new song “Try” by Colbie Caillat is playing. If you haven’t already watched the music video I’d definitely recommend it.

At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to buy a new pair of jeans. Live life to the fullest, enjoy that favorite dish of yours, and don’t be afraid to embrace the body you have. It’s beautiful just the way it is.

Hey if you want some more really awesome blogs to read just check out some of these. They’re really great reads and the bloggers are pretty cool as well:

  1. Green Embers
  2. Ronovanwrites
  3. Feliciakimmel
  4. Maria9saif
  5. Bmyshot

***Youtube video is Kristin Schrot’s not mine.

The phases of roommate relations

Ah the dorm life. It’s just great. Privacy becomes a thing of the past. You get to shower in stalls while someone else’ shower water splashes your toes from the adjoining stalls, listen to the sound of alcohol saturated women stumble in the hallway trying to find their rooms, and best of all you get to poop in community style bathrooms….

And being women we know exactly who is stinking it up by the shoes you’re wearing (Ugg season is everyone’s savior in the bathroom). Privacy is really nonexistent.

However, the most interesting thing about college is the roommate situation. More often than not you’re going to end up with a stranger. Being squished in a 10 foot by 15 foot room is so much fun. Especially when the periods sync. Then it gets really fun.

Now let me just say that my roommate and I get along great now. In fact, she’s one of my closest friends…but it wasn’t always that way. Our roommate relationship went through three phases:

  1. The “Let’s be best buddies forever!!!” phase
  2. The “I’m about to shank a b***h!” phase
  3. The “No shame…” phase

The first phase lasted for a grand total of a month and a half. We got along famously. If either of us were hungry we’d go get something to eat. If either of us wanted to do something fun we’d go out and do stuff together and then of course return to our room where we got to spend even more time with each other. We shared a tv, microwave, and a mini fridge. It was like living in a Bob Marley song, it was all happiness…

Minus the cannabis. Just saying.

And then of course phase two hit… We got tired of each other. Really, really tired of each other. It’s one thing if you’re upset with someone and you can separate yourself for a while, but no, being mad at each other meant angrily staring at opposite walls.

The lack of communication and constant tension continued to build until one day things exploded over a sweater… through angry text messages…

Yeah, real mature right? My generation in a nutshell…

Anyways, we went overboard. Everything that was hers went on one side of the room and everything that was mine went on the other. It was as if we had erected the Berlin wall between us. We weren’t going to do anything, but we sure as hell were going to be as intimidating and silently angry as possible. This continued the rest of first semester. I got my own fridge and microwave, and the tension stayed there.

Thankfully we had a month off for winter break and had the chance to get away from each other. When we came back from break things were still awkward. The room was still split down the middle and covered with ice( a metaphor for the awkwardness that was still there). It wasn’t until we had a nice random conversation about why our boobs annoyed us that things finally calmed between us.

Yes, boobs saved us. And yes to the men reading this, we women do in fact talk about our boobs. On a somewhat regular basis actually.

This is when phase three hit…

After our argument and the newly-made friendship that followed, nothing was off limits. We simply didn’t care. We talked about everything. There was no subject left untouched. And don’t even get me started on how comfortable we got. I could walk in the room from taking a shower and toss my towel to the side and search for clothes without her ever even blinking in surprise.

We simply had no shame around each other. We lived in the same room and after being stuck with that person for several months you just learn to not care.

It was great. I could go pants-less to bed and not feel awkward about it.

By the end of the year we were close friends and I was sorry that our roommate life was ending. She was getting an apartment one place and I was moving to a different one. To this day she is still one of my closest friends.

Having a roommate is hard, but it teaches a great lesson. You learn how to deal with people you might not otherwise interact with on a day to day basis.

On a completely random note, shout out to Ronovanwrites for helping to get my blog out there. His blog content is really cool and has something for everyone. He’s also one of the most polite and kind bloggers I’ve had the chance to come in contact with. Check him out!