Playing: "Scar" - Foxes

Somehow it's already nearly mid-June.  Time passes quickly and I don't know how to deal with it.

Last week I went back to work.  I told myself to take that first week back as a sign as to what to do and I had an oddly good week.  People were excited for my return, everyone was nice, and I didn't forget how to do my job while I was gone.

Sometime during the week I had dinner with Melissa in Hermosa Beach.  I found one of my favorite beers at the restaurant we went to.  It was my first alcoholic drink since April.

Yesterday I found Mike from Embassy Suites on Instagram.  I love Mikey.  He's one of the people who kept me sane during the whole James situation.  I miss hanging out with him.  Apparently he lives in Arizona now.

This morning there was a mass shooting in a gay club in Orlando.  The deadliest mass shooting in US history.

I need to clean my apartment.

Me and My Heart, We'll Make It Through

Playing: "Stone Cold" - Demi Lovato

I've spent the last few days re-reading my Posterous blog, which I kept during 2011 and 2012.  I'd started that blog after graduating from my master's program and deciding that I was tired of writing in Tumblr.  It was supposed to be a move away from writing about James, but so much of it was about him.

2011 was the year that he told me he loved me and the year we finally lived in the same city again and the year that our 2 year on-and-off relationship imploded.  I wrote so much about him beginning from the night he first pulled me into his arms at work in 2009 until the night he last told me he loved me in 2011.

After the relationship ended, I resented myself for writing so much about him.  I wasn't sure that he deserved that kind of treatment, being turned into art.  Some of the stuff that I wrote was really beautiful and loving.  I read a post last night that clawed at my gut and made me cry, about the night he asked me to marry him while we were standing at the edge of the San Diego Bay.  I wasn't crying out of want, though.  I was crying because... well, shit, I don't know.  It was one of those memories that I'd shut out after our break-up and then there it was.  It was jarring.  It made me hurt for the girl I used to be, for the girl who let him in.

And because of that, I've been feeling very reluctant to write about my latest break-up.  I don't even know if I can call it a break-up, but it felt like one as I cried to him on the phone last month.

I want to write about it.  I want to write about him, and all of the reasons I am grateful for what we had, but I'm afraid of ever resenting anything about him, or us.  So I've been keeping it all tightly sealed.  It feels like I'm going to burst.

Maybe I just need to write it out.

Keep Up

Playing: "Kids" - Childish Gambino

I went for a 7 mile run this morning.  I also went for one on Monday, but that run was absolutely awful.  Somewhere around mile 2 my heart began beating erratically and my jaw started aching.  I don't know what the two have to do with each other, but I thought I might be having a heart attack or something so I walked most of that so-called run.  Despite the fact that I walked roughly 4 miles of my 7 miler on Monday, I still clocked in at my old long run pace from just 6 months ago.  Today was better, though.  I was closer to my regular long run pace and my heart didn't decide to go off beat so I ran/jogged all of the miles.

Afterwards I did a quick strength circuit of squat presses, burpees, crunches, and reverse crunches and then felt like I might die.

But it was good.

Working out was the thing that I clung tightly to when I was trying to manage my depression myself.  In March, I ran 100 miles.  The post-run endorphin rush would help keep my mood stable for a few hours, but once it wore off, I felt terrible.  No matter how often I worked out, the feeling of normalcy would fade and I would feel like I'd failed myself.  In April, my mileage fell down to 50 miles for the month, despite the fact that I ran a half marathon that month.  This month, if I'm lucky, I should hit 50 miles again.  It helps that I've been running longer runs during the week.

Now that I'm on anti-depressants, I feel better.  The constant feeling of not wanting to be a person (that is what I call suicidal ideation without a plan) has lifted and although my energy levels aren't what they used to be, they are good enough that I feel like I can get out of bed and run 7 miles every so often.

And running is good because I am much nicer to myself when I run than during any other part of my day.  I assume it's because if I do not think encouraging thoughts, I will give up and get stuck 4 miles away from home with no way to get back aside from my own two legs.  I have to repeat motivational mantras in order to will my body to keep moving forward, regardless of how much I'd prefer to take a detour to the donut shop that always smells of sweet, carby goodness.

It feels good to be nice to myself.  It feels good to hear, "I'm proud of you for getting out and running!" or "You're doing better than you did yesterday!"--even if it's coming from inside my own head.  I have so many thoughts milling around in there all day and I feel like the majority of them are negative, except for when I'm running.  Maybe I should run more so I will keep being nice to myself.

Things I've Been Doing While Not At Work

  • Napping.  A lot.
  • Making attempts at reading more.  I finished Americanah today.
  • Binge watching television on Netflix.  I rewatched all 7 seasons of 30 Rock this month.  I also caught up on Young & Hungry, Baby Daddy, and Grace & Frankie.
  • Coloring.
  • Lying in bed.
  • Blogging.
  • Going to Disneyland.
  • Running, but not as much as I was when I was at work.  I assume it's because I don't need to run as much to keep my stress levels down.
  • Going to Largo.
  • Seeing friends.
  • A shit ton of laundry.

Chronic Fatigue

Playing: "Change" - Banks

I have been sleeping a lot in the last few days.  I have been this tired before--the kind of tired where I sleep 9 hours a night but still need several naps throughout the day--after the rape.  I remember being impossibly tired then.  I told a friend about it because she told me she was that kind of tired when she got pregnant and I was afraid I was pregnant.  But I wasn't pregnant.  It makes sense now that fatigue is one of the ways that my depression manifests itself.

I've been trying to figure out why my body is responding this way right now and I realized it's the 2 year anniversary of my first date with Kevin.  I've also been trying to sleep on the right side of my bed recently, in hopes that it will start losing its significance.  I think it's fucking me up mentally and my body is shutting down by putting me to sleep.

Thinking about it all right now is making me yawn wide and long.  I slept for 7 or so hours last night and took a 2 hour nap this afternoon, but I could easily go for another nap right now.  And if I did nap, I'm sure I'd still be able to fall asleep again at 10 or so tonight.

I think I might go take a nap now.  Even though it's almost 6 in the evening.

The Unbearable Exhaustion of Existence

Playing: "Cliff Notes" - Emarosa

I just got back from San Diego.  I went to my grandparents' apartment this afternoon to celebrate my grandma's 84th birthday.  I'm surprised I made it because the thought of staying in bed all day reading or playing Tsum Tsum on my phone seemed much more appealing.  In the end, going home was the better choice.  It was better than the last time I was home, for Ben's birthday; I didn't feel as suffocated by the presence of people.  It was good to see my family.  I'm glad that I went.

The drive there and back also gave me ample time to listen to podcasts.  I got through the second Hannah Hart episode of Not Too Deep, the second SIlicon Valley episode of Comedy Bang Bang, and part of Melissa Broder's episode of The Mental Illness Happy Hour.  Podcasts are things I listen to when I'm driving, and since I haven't been driving much of anywhere aside from therapy lately, I haven't been listening.  I'm starting to think I should probably listen to podcasts while I clean or play Tsum Tsum instead of rewatching comedies I've already seen.  Sometimes I just like having the sound of people in my apartment without actual people.  Podcasts are perfect for that.

Tomorrow is the beginning of another week of medical leave.  I have two weeks left, which both seems like a long time and not long enough.  I am hoping to actually get something--anything--done this week.  I feel like I could be doing so much with all of this free time, but I have been squandering it.  In actuality, I haven't squandered some of it.  I've been blogging (albeit poorly).  I've been reading.  I've been making attempts at a social life.  I have been doing things.  It doesn't always feel like enough though.  I'm not sure why it doesn't feel like enough though--especially because I'm sure I'm the person who gets to decide what "enough" even looks like.  Maybe I had these grand ideas of what this time off would become and it hasn't been that.  But I'm so tired.  And the thought of doing anything too involved still seems a little bit impossible.

For example: I've been sitting on the idea of doing a vlog for Mental Health Awareness Month.  I've thought about vlogging about my depression.  I've also thought about vlogging about self-care tips that I use to deal with my depression, or with general burnout if I don't want to talk specifically about my depression.  I even sat down last week and tried to film.  But it's so hard!  Talking about depression is not fun to do.  And I felt kind of scared doing it.  So I stopped.  That's when the self-care video idea came about, so I started jotting notes about it and mentally scripting it to be a kind of upbeat video about how I deal with depression, but I haven't been able to bring myself to sit in front of the camera and film.

Processing feelings is wearing me the fuck out and being a functioning human feels so hard right now.  It does, however, feel hard in a way that is different from when I knew my depression was reaching a point that I couldn't handle anymore.  It's not so much that I don't want to be a person anymore (which is how I was feeling in March) as it is that being a person just feels like it takes a lot of energy that I don't currently possess.  That seems like progress.

Now I'm sleepy so I'm going to go do that sleeping thing.

Thought Vomit

Playing: "Reaper" - Sia

I love this song a lot.  It may be the happiest song about the Grim Reaper that I've ever heard.  It also may be the only song about the Grim Reaper that I've ever heard, but that's besides the point.  It's such a great song to car dance and lip sync to.

Today was a busy day.  All of this socializing that I've been doing has been taxing me, despite the fact that I know that it's good for me.  It's an odd balance being a depressed introvert.  I think I've been using my introversion as a justification to not go out, even though it's my depression that doesn't want me to go out.  But today I feel like the introvert needs a break, with or without depression.  (I don't even know if that makes sense.)

I had group this morning and it was good.  I feel like my medication is kicking in and I'm having more clarity than I've had in months.  We've been reviewing a lot of coping mechanisms and I've realized that these are things I've been doing naturally over the last year+ to deal.  Taking this time to myself was the right decision.  I'd felt so anxious about it that first week, but it's been good to step back and do some serious self care.

In the afternoon, I took a walk to the pharmacy to pick up my medication and a creepy old construction worker whistled at me.  A lot.

And this evening I had dinner with my co-workers/some former co-workers.  It was good to see them and catch up.  It put a lot of things in perspective and was just nice to be around people who've seen and supported me through so much over the last three years.

This isn't very coherent and doesn't have a point, but I just wanted to get that stuff out.