Mental Health, Rambles, Things Happening RN

MENTAL HEALTH IS CHIC, YOU GUYS

In typical fashion, I had a perfect title before I had anything else even written.

I just sent an email to a potential new psychiatrist (in the event it works out and I eventually tell you about this, hi hon!). While I was in school, I utilized our student health services and saw the same psychiatrist on-and-off for about three years. Always check out the resources available to you, especially when you’re at school—I’ve heard some horror stories about SHS, but I’ve always had good experiences.

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Body Health, Mental Health, Politics

THE SENATE RELEASES THEIR HEALTHCARE BILL

Read my articles about the CBO analysis for the House bill here and the March AHCA bill here

In other news, before we get started—President Trump took to Twitter today to confirm that there were no tape-recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey; tapes he insinuated weeks ago he had.


Written when I was going to write about using self-tanner in preparation for New York Pride, and the realization that the healthy, sun-kissed glow I actually needed was for my soul—but more pressing matters have arisen.

This morning—Thursday June 22, 2017—the new healthcare plan was released after a cloud of mystery while it was being written in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a small group of colleagues. The bill’s mystery was protested by Democrats and Republicans alike, who feared that this bill would be introduced and forced into a hasty vote before anyone had a chance to read it. according to CNN, the bill will have a one-week-turnaround, meaning that McConnell hopes to get it voted on within a week.

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Inspirational, Life, Mental Health

FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOLDEN RATIO

Partially inspired by my latest podcast interest Who? Weekly (I think I’m going to leave “obsessed” and “obsession” in 2016), I decided that I need to follow more celebrities on Instagram. Let me back up and explain myself, because this is going to be a wild ride.

In order to obtain a better ratio—thusly avoiding social media humiliation and ostracizing—I often unfollow celebrities whom I follow on social media platforms. I do this because A) they’re never going to follow me back, and I firmly believe in a “Follow for follow” maxim, and more importantly B) I’m afraid that if I unfollow people I know that they’ll somehow realize and unfollow me, thus ruining all the careful calibrations I made to achieve the ratio.

Side bar: has anyone factored the “Golden Ratio” into Instagram ratios? Just a thought.

Side bar update: my ratio is not the Golden Ratio. And I did math to prove this. Is this interesting? The golden ratio is that the ratio between the two individual numbers is the same between the ratio between the total sum and the larger of the individual numbers. The ratio between my individual sums (followers vs. following) is 0.501, and the ratio between the total sum and the greater individual is 0.666. Oh my gosh, I just wrote that out and how spooky!! So, like, how do I get the the golden ratio? If more people follow me without me following anyone (unlikely) the first ratio will decrease, so I need to follow more people without other people following me (very likely). Therefore, I’m perfectly warranted in following garbage celebrity accounts, because I’m in pursuit of the Golden Ratio!

I can’t believe that I just used math in a productive way. I might be the next (what’s his name, the guy who was in The Theory of Everything?) Stephen Hawking! Wow, that just mitigated any progress I thought I had made, because I only knew him from the Eddie Redmayne movie (a name which I knew instantly).

But in the pursuit of the perfect ratio (let’s think of a different name for it, since it’s not the Golden ratio…Silver is too high…Bronze is bourgeoisie…Tin! The Tin Ratio!) I unfollowed every semi-interesting non-friend account. That led to my Discover page becoming increasingly scattered as it, panicking, tried to find edgy fun accounts for me to look at. And I was not pleased. At all.

Before I decided to play God, my “Discover” was full of fat-to-fit Instagrams, hot dudes working out, photos of the Kardashians, and delicious potato products. Now, I only really have pictures of the Kardashians (AND NOT EVEN KIM), and pictures of this one hot gay that a few people I know follow, so he’s always there—some sort of karmic retribution for me somehow, I’m certain.

There are “suggested” videos for you to watch in a constant stream. Mine were usually grouped into the categories of “Boston Terriers” (<3) “Extreme Weight Loss” (-_-), “Make-Up Tutorials” (thanks Kylie; no seriously, thank you so much for all you do), and then just random food-making videos or cake-decorating. I was living the life, and I didn’t even know it, is the crazy part. I had so much going for me. Then I decided to tamper with my ratio, and I lost everything. But isn’t that always the case? Wolf of Wall Street, Picture of Dorian Gray, etc.

And as 2016 ends and 2017 is poised like a loosened gargoyle hanging above you off a dilapidated cathedral in a French noir film, I think it’s important that we give ourselves as much joy as possible in the face of…you know. Everything.

(As I’m writing this, a bunch of no-name robot Instagrams are following me, thus driving me deeper away from my Golden Ratio dreams) 

I followed a few YouTubers I watch (I watch luxury haul videos as a method of stilling my anxiety, which might be the gayest thing about me currently), some “celebrities (?)” like Chrissy Teigen (I know she’s like a celebrity, but is she a celebrity-celebrity? I didn’t even know who John Legend was until “All of You”; like, I really like her, but I like that she’s kinda solidly B-list even though she’s friends with A-list people), some reality television ‘stars’, A BUNCH OF FOOD BLOGS, and Taylor Swift. The last one is truly so dark, that I don’t even know why I did, but I think it’s the best thing for me rn.

When I was a kid/young teenager—and my best friend can attest to this (he doesn’t like the pseudonym I gave him but I haven’t thought of a new one yet)—my iPod (classic, duh) I had a total random collection of music. I don’t know if there is a statute of limitations on this, but I used Limewire when I was young. I would download everything and anything so that if someone looked on my iPod, they would think that I was cool.

And I thought that I had shaken that habit, but I did the same thing with my Instagram. I didn’t want to follow the girly fashion bloggers I like, or the horrifyingly funny joke Instagram accounts. I was curating my following list for someone who doesn’t exist and doesn’t care. And for what? So that someone someday would think I was cool? I want to be happy and enjoy something stupid and fun if that’s what I want, not look at a boring Instagram feed or an iPod (well, not an iPod because it’s 2016) of unlistenable music.

I just watched a great video about the Law of Attraction, and I think that it’s something I’m going to take into the new year. I’ve been repeating, in various articles, that 2017 is going to be hard. It will be. That’s not crazy for me to say. But how I deal with it, how I react to it, is up to me. And I know that these could just be empty words, and I could go on operating from my base level, which is pessimistic. But fuck that, you guys.

Fuck it.

I’m going to be positive. I’m going to see out the golden ratio of good energy in my life, and I encourage everyone else to A) also seek it out and B) send it/$20 my way. Much appreciated. But in all seriousness, I’m really going to seriously try. I know people in my life who are always getting good things their way, and it’s not because they’re sitting on their asses. It’s because they’re striving towards it.

There’s a great series of books called the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. In them, she deals with this idea of “thisness” and “thatness.” It’s in specific relation to essentially witches who can manipulate matter by accessing the similarities in molecular structure—am I the smartest fucking person or what?—but there’s a great quote that is also touted as an aphorism (seriously so fucking smart):

Like calls to like.

Putting out good energy calls to good energy. Positivity breeds positivity.

This got surprisingly deep for a post originally about how I followed a bunch of Foodstagrams, but I’m not hating the place it went. Have a great day! (See what I did there? I’m outputting positivity!)

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Source: Giphy// I want more of this in 2017

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celebrity, Mental Health, pop culture

DROWNED IN MOONLIGHT

Written before the death of Debbie Reynolds at 84 years old, a Hollywood legend and mother to Carrie Fisher. Reynolds was known for Singin’ in the Rain, The Debbie Reynolds Show, and Halloweentown. Reynolds was the president of the Thalians, which was dedicated to mental health causes, and received the Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2016.

Carrie Fisher, 60, died on the 27 of December 2016, drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra. Her words, not mine.

Fisher wrote that obituary for herself in her 2008 memoir, Wishful Drinking. The book was adapted from her one-woman stage show, and featured a story from her days shooting Star Wars. George Lucas went up to her and told her that she shouldn’t be wearing a bra.

“Okay, I’ll bite. Why?”

Because, he explained, apparently your body—due to the weightlessness of space—expands while your clothing—or more particularly your bra—do not, thus strangling you.

“Now I think that this would make a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra,” Fisher wrote.

Fisher spoke publicly about her bipolar disorder and her addiction to cocaine and prescription medication. In 2001, she discussed her drug addiction as self-medication with Psychology Today, particularly the use of drugs like Percodan to curtail the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. In 2006, she was a part of the BBC documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. She published her memoir in 2008 and discussed her experiences with electroconvulsive therapy on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

In 2016, Harvard College awarded her its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism for “her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism,” which have “advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy.”

It’s important that Fisher got her last wishes concerning her obituary. It’s important that she’s remembered how she wanted to be. It’s important that she was in control of her story.

So often people with mental illness deal with events outside of their control, inside their heads. We struggle to get to a base level that other people operate from effortlessly. We work so much harder, every day, to get the same things. And sometimes we fall fucking short. We don’t succeed in the way we wanted to.

Carrie Fisher succeeded in the life she wanted. She was an actress, a woman, a parent, a writer, and an advocate. She brought so much light and laughter to a topic that sometimes, sadly, has so little of either. She showed that you can be funny and sharp and there, even if you are struggling with mental illness.

She proved that you can be more than. She was more than Princess Leia. She was more than an actress. She was more than her illness. She was more than her addiction. People will try to label you; to shove you into boxes; to dissect you, understand you, curtail you. But Carrie Fisher showed that you could exist beyond the expectations of people and society. And you can fucking rock it.

She lived a life of advocacy, of humor, of strength, and she died, drowned in moonlight and strangled by her own bra.

I want to extend my sympathies to Fisher’s daughter Billie, and her brother Todd, and her half-siblings, Joely and Tricia.

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Mental Health, Rambles, Things Happening RN

STRESSED, UNSTRESSED

I’m stressed, and I need that to be okay.

I didn’t realize I was stressed until I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s office today. Emotion after emotion, thought after thought, rose up and spilled out of me like I was a cup in the sink overflowing from a tap that was left on accidentally. I was stressed, I was under stress, I was stress. My entire body was made up of the coiling gray wires that I envision stress to be.

I feel like it’s not okay to be stressed. We’re allowed to be “stressed” but not Stressed. We’re not allowed to be Stressed because we’re conditioned to believe it’s a symptom of not working hard enough. If you’re doing poorly in a class, it’s because you’re not applying yourself enough. If something fails in the romantic sense, it’s you. If you can’t find a job or an internship, it’s because you’re not striving towards it with enough vigor.

We’re allowed to be stressed but it must pass. It must be something that can be neatly dealt with. We’re not allowed to be weak with it, weak from it. And I’m weak from it. It’s breaking into my sleeping, my waking, my head.

I’m stressed about a lot of things. Some are personal and I’m not discussing. Some are classes that I just finished up, some are familial, some are the overarching overhangs of life after graduation. I’m stressed but I’m not allowed to be Stressed. Particularly about jobs. Millennials are classed as lazy. We’re not getting jobs because we expect things to be handed to us. We’re too addicted to our phones. We’re self-obsessed and expectant of praise.

We’re told that we need to be the best to get jobs, and even if we’re the best, that might not be enough. You need to get an internship. Already have one? You need one more. Then one more. It’s never ending. We’re also told that there are no jobs; that we’re fucked. So we’re fucked either way: if we work hard and don’t get anything, it’s because the job market can’t sustain us. If we work hard and don’t get anything, it’s because we’re too idealistic. We expect too much too soon.

So that’s making me stressed. I’m stressed that I just finished a class where I was told, over and over, that my career choices were not valid. That what I wanted to do was not realistic. That “real journalists” didn’t do what I did. What I do.

I’m stressed and Stressed and I’m hoping it’ll pass and I know that it will.

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Life, Mental Health

CALLING IN SICK WITH DEPRESSION

Sometimes it’s really, really unfair to have depression. Like, duh—obviously, but bear with me.

Sometimes it’s really unfair that I can’t just call out of a meeting “sick with depression.” It makes me really, really mad. And I’m using “really” a lot because…because that’s the only way I can describe it. It sucks. It’s annoying. And it doesn’t stop sucking.

It’s hard explaining it to people; it’s hard saying to someone, “I have depression and it’s bad right now but it’s not like ‘bad bad’ so stop looking at me like I’m a puppy.” With other things, you can explain them in a few words.

“I have a stomachache.” “I have the flu.” “I’m hungover.”

But I can’t just say something like that and have it explained away easily. Most people don’t process things like that—they don’t have the experience to understand. Everyone’s had a cold; everyone’s had a stomachache. But not everyone’s had depression. So you can’t just explain it away.

“Sorry, I would totally come to the meeting but I keep getting sad at unrelated things and then I want to smash a window.”

“Sorry, I want to hang out but I’m going to burrow under a pile of blankets and not move for multiple hours.”

“Sorry, I can’t meet up today—I’m feeling tumultuous.”

I have good days and I have bad days. Being on medication means that my bad days are fewer now—they almost become like bad dreams. Half-remembered and explained away. And I don’t realize a bad day until I’m knee-deep in it. And it’s not that I want sympathy or a pass or anything like that. I just wish we had the vocabulary for us to express ourselves. I wish I could make it clear without couching it as a blanket “mental health day” or lie and say that I’m sick with something else.

I’ve got a touch of depression. Sorry, can’t come to your meeting.

I can still function; I’m not incapacitated. But I’m weak; and I’m sad. It’s not forever, but it’s now. This now sucks completely. This now is me wanting to kind of cry and watch covers of songs from Hamilton and just not have to worry about work or school or romance or jobs. But I can’t say that.

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Humor, Mental Health

SELF-CARE: SOME TIPS, TRICKS, AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Written after eating Talenti coffee gelato and trying not to hate myself. 

See that right there, that “trying not to hate myself” was a great act of self-care. I’m already off to a fantastic start. Go you, me!

Monday I wrote about my anxiety-ridden weekend, so I thought it would be nice to write something medium-positive to take the sting out of pouring my emotions out for the homies. It was either this or go in the complete opposite creative direction to make you forget completely that I can ever be a sensitive human/sentient robot.

So I was doing my daily ritual of light incense, meditation and cleaning out my “YouTube Watch Later” playlist, which at some points is longer than my list of friends (short list of friends or long list of to-be-watched videos? You be the judge), and I watched a video of Tyler Oakley’s called “Five Easy Ways To Self-Care” or something like that—idk I’ll put it below, don’t make me look it up rn—and that triggered/inspired/thinspired me to do something similar, but a little more…me.


A lot of times when I see self-care things, they’re by “nice” people and all of the suggestions are helpful but not very appropriate for someone who spends as much time praying that “vibing” people with negative thoughts will make their lives worse.

See I also just watched the season two premiere of Difficult People, which if you’re not watching, you should be, and if you are watching, stop taking my thing, and that’s much more me—a couple of 7/10s running around, being mean/funny to people. For a lot of people like me—hot but mean—we can’t really identify with traditionally “nice” people. So here is the self-care guide you need if you’re a little bit of a dick and a lot of a mess.

Obviously there are the obvious things—obvi duh—like exercise (because exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands, duh!), drinking lots of water and eating healthily, and getting plenty of sleep. But you didn’t come here for a regular self-care guide—you came here for the Naomi Campbell of self-care guides (dangerous, beautiful, unpredictable).

1). Scream so loud: This is actually (semi)therapist approved. I once had a therapist who suggested that, as a way to get out my deep-seated anger, I get into my car and scream. Loudly. For as long as I could. When I, repressed as I am, finally did it, I was amazed at how good I felt. The primal and visceral reaction of screaming out loud, or into a pillow, or silent-screaming, is shockingly effective. It releases tension, it untwists the anger coils in your chest, and it’s so flagrantly weird that you have to laugh. At least, that’s what it makes me do. Alternatively, you could fake-laugh-scream at something, which always makes me actual laugh. Because I can find nothing real-funny until I find it ironic-funny. I’m a millennial.

2). Throw out your scale (or if it’s expensive just don’t use it): Seriously, if it’s money, just put it out of sight. I’m on a budget too. When I was at school, I didn’t have a scale and it actually really improved my mood. I know this because when I got home for the summer and discovered our fancy digital scale, I became obsessed with weighing myself. A lot of the anxiety-driven part of my depression manifests in body obsession and that translates to needing to know how much I weigh at any point. So I decided to stop weighing myself again and just let myself live. And it really helps. Numerical weight is such a scam anyway; a number can’t tell me how I feel about myself, or how the weight carries itself. I can be at my heaviest, but if I feel good, then that number is irrelevant.

A lot of self-care is cutting out unnecessary stress and stressors in your life, and trying not to give a shit about your weight—within reason—just seems like a no-brainer.

3). Pep talk: I don’t know how most people think, but I don’t think in words as much as I do in images and visceral emotions. Like, I don’t think, “Oh I’m nervous about work.” I feel it much more deeply and see it play out before me. And because of that, I don’t really have any sort of internal dialogue with myself. So when I’m feeling like I need to self-care, I’ll have a pep talk for myself, out loud in the mirror. In his video, Tyler actually said to treat yourself like your best friend, and that means to be nice to yourself and to lift yourself up. Alternately, I constantly sing out loud to myself. I’m not a good singer, but I do it when I walk, or do dishes, or fold laundry. Singing is a good, very healing thing to do. Emote, bitches.

4). Unfollow unhealthy social media accounts: I talked about this a little in my last post, but I can’t stress enough what a difference it has made. I’m not just talking about unfollowing boyz who you think are out of your league but are actually too emotionally withdrawn to like you; this totally works for cleaning out your social media followings. Unfriend that person you haven’t seen in forever; don’t force yourself to click through the Snap story of a colleague from four years ago who you only follow in the faint hopes of a shirtless moment. A lot of self-care is surrounding yourself with positivity and people you love; ditch the acquaintances.

 5). Watch videos of people falling: Funny as shit.

There are other, simpler things—good music, time spent outdoors, snuggling with cute animals. Then are other, more extensive things—a good therapist, self-reflection, journaling. It all depends on what you need. Also always remember to try to look on the positive…is the most annoying thing that anyone can ever say to anyone, but it’s honestly true. Even if you don’t have depression, it’s so easy to be stuck in the rut of negativity; taking active steps to appreciate things around you—nice eyebrows, the sunlight effusing a green leaf, old people holding hands—can change the roadways of your brain and rewire you for a happier outlook. Idk if that’s true; I read that somewhere.

If all else fails, start small. Smile. Take deep breaths. Close your eyes and just sit. And then read through all of my blog and tell me how smart, but how humble, and how funny, but how unintimidating, I am. Also someone sponsor me!!! Give me that $$$ so I don’t have to write “60 Ways To Get Your Sexy Back” listicles for the rest of my life!

Also I’ve been frequently changing up my header image to convince myself that I have some semblance of control over my life. What do you think??

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Source: Danny McCarthy via The Wunderkindof

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