Figuring Out Passion

One thing I struggle with on a daily basis, moreso over the past four months since my break-up & most of my life shifted in a different direction, is what I’m passionate about nowadays.

In the midst of the pandemic, my normal passion, boxing, is put to a halt. Coaching children in the art of boxing isn’t something I can just up & go do right now. That’s left me a bit stranded. I have, however, volunteered more of my time to another volunteer opportunity & I do hope the work with that picks up.

Passion, it’s an odd thing really. One day you have it, one day you don’t. It’s OK though, sometimes feeling passionate isn’t natural. For me, it’s understandable that it’s difficult to feel passionate about anything right now. My life, along with all of your lives, shifted in a crazy way. Those who used to spend their evenings with friends, having drinks, etc. are all now… somewhat stuck in their homes if they’re listening to social distancing guidelines. I sometimes fail at that, but if I didn’t go out in public (gym, grocery store, sometimes the bar for a soccer match), I would go ABSOLUTELY INSANE.

So let’s get back to passion. If you read my last post, you know that I also struggle with focus. That’s definitely on display here.

I’m almost 30. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that in the past, but that eats at me. Not because I think I’m old, but due to the fact that I don’t feel passionate about a single thing in life right now. At the age of 30, or just a bit younger, I thought I’d have it all figured out by now. Luckily I acknowledge that’s a myth & no one really has anything figured out in life. We’re all just winging it. Yes, you may have a plan, but there’s a good chance that doesn’t go exactly your way. I speak from experience, it definitely doesn’t go 100% our way when we have a plan.

Holy shit, I’ve somehow managed to get away from the topic at hand again. PULL IT TOGETHER, BLOGGER.

Passion. I don’t have it right now. I wish I did. I need something to keep me going. I am not dangerous when I’m bored, but holy shit do I treat my body like hell when I have nothing to do. Nothing to really look forward to.

It’s important to note that I most likely have plenty to look forward to, but that’s the funny thing about depression & anxiety & whatever else you could be dealing with – those little demons don’t give you much help in feeling good about yourself. They don’t help you find a passion, pursue a passion, or stick to a passion. They’re barriers. And maybe before I worry myself with what I’m passionate about, I should really look at why I’m not happy with myself.

Welp, don’t know if I said anything of value in this post. I hope you’re passionate about something in life, even if it’s something you consider small. It’s so very important to be excited about something in life. When you aren’t, everything just repeats. It’s all the same. Every day is the damn same.

Find a passion. Stick with it. Follow that shit. And if you have any outside the box ideas for a passion, LET ME KNOW. I am in dire need of a new passion. Hell, maybe even a passion project.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Requesting Advice

I’ve spoken positively, I think, a few times on this blog about psychiatry and therapy. They’ve been good to me at times, but they’ve also made me feel helpless at times.

Today’s another day where I don’t have many thoughts outside of my own filth. Today started with a trip to see my psychiatrist & that visit ended horribly. First, I was seven minutes late, which meant they couldn’t tell me the results of my EEG that I took two weeks ago. That pissed me off. Also, the doctor was eight minutes late so it didn’t make much sense in the first place.

I didn’t handle that well. I blew up, kinda, in typical me fashion. I have so much disgust for how mental health is treated that I sometimes attack those who work in the space. Again, not fine moments for me. I’m always disappointed in myself when I resort to that style of … problem solving? I don’t know.

Anyway, I need your advice. Today I was prescribed two new medications based off a cotton swab test that checks how well your liver is metabolizing the medication. Funny thing is, the medication I was on was metabolizing just fine & it showed in the test results, however, I never felt any better on the meds.

My psychiatrist told me today that he’s here to “prescribe medication” and “there’s not much else I can do” – it really sucks hearing that. It does. I know it’s the truth, but I wish it wasn’t. I have to wait another 30 days to see if these medications do anything, and there’s no telling if they will or not.

So here’s my question(s), and hopefully someone responds with a tidbit of advice. How do you handle negative feelings towards psychiatrists/therapists? How does switching medication impact you? Have you found any other way outside of medication to help yourself have more & more better moments each day?

I just can’t figure it out. And it’s scary to not know. It really is.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Accepting Help

Sometimes you have to let go of your pride, your guilt, & just accept help.

No, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to myself. This is a hard thing for me to grasp.

As my neighbor behind me plays the national anthem at 7:12 PM CST (no idea why he plays it three times a day), I sit here on a tiny cushion in the middle of my freshly mowed lawn (oh boy do I love a freshly mowed lawn). I don’t want to hear the anthem followed by some talk radio show (again, why? Just why? Listen to it inside, listen to it with headphones, but don’t blare it across the fucking neighborhood), but it’s not that bad. I can still somewhat focus on what I’m writing about, I swear. It’s not like I’ve…

Shit.

Anyway, let’s get back to my problem of accepting help – specifically medical & financial help. It’s hard. I don’t know which one is more difficult for me – medical help means I’m weak (to me) & financial help means I’m weak (to me). However, I’ve been told that some of the deepest regrets come from not accepting a genuine attempt of someone trying to help you (yeah, I confused myself with that sentence, too). I kinda believe it. I also kinda hate the thought of being weak. I mean, I already feel that enough each & every day. Last thing I want to do is add to that feeling.

But maybe I’m just a fucking idiot. And maybe realizing that fact isn’t terrible in this circumstance. Why would my pride, my ego, any guilt be any reason I turn down help right now? I fucking need help. You’re reading this blog, you can tell I’m all over the damn place.

I’m being offered help & my stupid ass was pushing it away. Until I didn’t. I finally said yes. I said the word “yes.” I didn’t say it loudly. I didn’t say it proudly. But I said it. I said it. And I’m grateful not just for the support around me, the help I’m receiving, but also that I came to the right conclusion on this matter. I didn’t let my pride stand in my way for too long.

Never turn down help because you think you’re bigger than that. You aren’t. We’re all small here. That’s a reason we do better when we’re around others. People help people, I’ll say it till I die.

I really have no clue what you’ll pull from this blog. Honestly I don’t. I find myself writing just to write now, which is… refreshing. My buddy always says to end everything with a positive. I think I’ll stop here.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

A Tip for Those Self-Defeating Types

It’s not like we like to feel bad about ourselves, talk bad about ourselves, and mope around all day (or do we?). But I learned not too long ago that unless we make one small change in how we talk about ourselves internally and, more importantly, how we talk about ourselves to our support system, it all falls apart. All of it.

I recently got out of a relationship. Many things factored into that, mostly my self-defeating and destructive other side. Also, I didn’t help myself when my good side was out, and all it took was one helpful tip from one of my best friends to shift that slightly. Oh, don’t think I got the girl back from this tip. It’s not that great of a tip, but still worth your time… I think.

It’s really quite simple. If you’re like me, you corner a friend or a relative that you trust and just GO OFF. It could be mass texts about how terrible you are, how you’ll always be alone, how no one can help you (it’s true, no one can… except yourself – you’ll probably get tired of me saying that). I mean it’s honestly quite amazing the terrible ways I can think to describe myself and how that other side manipulates me when it’s in control. I mean I say some scary fucking shit. It scares me, so I can only imagine what it does to my support system.

But my buddy had an idea. He actually gave me somewhat of an ultimatum, and I’ve thanked him for that. He made me make a decision. And what he asked wasn’t all that hard.

For me to continue to complain to him, bitch about this or that, and moan about how things could be exponentially better if I just had a different fucking mind, he needed me to provide a one positive thing about myself at the very end of my venting. That’s it. Just one.

An example (picture it as a text):
Me: I don’t know what the fuck to do, man, I’m losing a bit of myself every single day
Friend: something along the lines of “tell me more”
Me: I’m just an utter piece of shit. It’s honestly that simple. It sucks to think about, but maybe I’ll be like this forever. And if I’m like this forever, who the hell is gonna wanna stick around me?
Friend: listening
Me: I mean, I just fucking suck. I can’t even get through a single day without one meltdown. I can’t do ANYTHING. It’s like my mind is just fucking with me non-stop. I don’t know how much I can handle anymore.
Friend: OK, now tell me one positive thing about yourself. Just one.

That last line, that prompt to say one positive thing about myself, it sometimes made me laugh. But he told me if I didn’t start to say at least one positive thing about myself, he wasn’t going to be able to help/listen any longer. Man, I’m glad he told me to do that. Initially I wasn’t taking it that seriously and I’d plug in things like “I made a sandwich today” as my positive, but it still meant I was trying – or at least listened to what a valuable person in my life said to me. Sooner than later, I started to include it on a regular basis, and said more empowering things about myself that, in turn, would sometimes bust me out of the other side jail. I still sometimes slip up and forget to say that positive, but the thought always comes through, thanks to practice and a really, really good friend.

Again, I don’t know if this will work for you. I didn’t think it would work for me. But it kinda does. It’s definitely supplemental, along with most everything when it comes to treating/handling mental illness. And if you haven’t tried this already, try it. Even after reading this blog, just say one positive thing about yourself. It’s worth a shot, isn’t it? And wouldn’t it be nice if it just made any type of difference for you at all? I mean, we don’t have much more to lose here.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

The Stigma with Mental Health Meds (don’t let it stop you)

Yesterday I had a wet net on my head. After that, a cotton swab rubbed on the left and right side of the inside of my mouth.

No, I wasn’t taken hostage (that would’ve been a massive plot twist in this blog). I had an EEG (An EEG tracks and records brain wave patterns) and a DNA cotton swab test. Why? Well, supposedly they help dwindle down what a psych thinks is best for you in terms of medication. It’s weird. The EEG was really, really weird. You wait to hear the “target tone” and you click a button once you do, but more often than not, they plug other noises in there – such as farts, burps, and babies crying. It really isn’t pleasant.

As for the cotton swab thing? Eh, no big deal. Neither were that big of a deal. But they are helping me figure out something that is a big deal.

I used to be against meds for a couple reasons:
1) I absolutely hated psychiatrists, they just seem like shitty people most of the time.
2) It never made sense how if my family has a history of pancreatic cancer then I should be prescribed Med A, or if my family didn’t, I should be prescribed Med B – you can explain it all you want to me, include scientific facts if you want, it still doesn’t make sense to me.

Then I happened to fall into a very, very dark place and I had nowhere to turn. I had to do what was right for me, what was right for the people around me, and what’s going to keep me going in the future (in a small way).

Meds aren’t all that bad. Actually, since I started taking my depression medication a couple months back, my sex drive actually kicked up. Also, I don’t really know what the fuck the med does, which I think is a good thing? I don’t feel it hovering over my brain, clouding up my thoughts, you know – all the bad shit people tell you meds do to you. Sometimes they don’t, especially if you find the right ones and you somehow find a good psychiatrist. I only had to go through five to find one decent one…

So what the fuck am I saying in this tangent? I’m saying never rule anything out. Yeah, it sucks to admit that you’re on depression medication, anxiety medication, all that, but it sucks even more to suffer heavily from depression and anxiety, doesn’t it? Fuckin’ suck it up. You aren’t bigger than the next person and neither am I. We all need help – maybe meds aren’t for you, but don’t think for a second that this depression will just go away all by itself. This BPD will just magically poof and leave you for good. That anxiety that makes that heart pump? It’s not going away unless you do something.

That’s what we all have to learn. It’s not the meds that help us (well, they do, but that’s not what I mean), it’s not the therapy that helps us (again, it does help us), and it’s not the psychiatrist that helps us (meh, I’ll stick to my hatred with psychiatrists, they just drive me nuts). What helps us is us. Not just you, but your collective group, that support system I’ve talked about, even if it’s just your cute lil’ dog.

My support system told me it was OK to be medicated. They assured me that I’m not fucking stupid and I won’t fucking lose myself if I do take meds. And guess what, they were right.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Admission

Phew. Today was quite some day.

You ever have one of those things called an epiphany? That’s one of the few words I have to spellcheck, by the way. Those “Aha! I just experienced some sort of enlightenment” moments. Yeah, I had one. It’s something you’d assume to be positive, but sometimes that’s just not the way it goes.

Enlightenment comes from epiphanies, and sometimes enlightenment feels like the exact opposite – darkness. Today I maybe mentioned to a few people I believe I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, or as I’ll refer it to in this blog, BPD. BPD isn’t something I was really aware of, but after watching videos from this guy named Joe Tracini, it all felt too familiar. (Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to include the video at the bottom of the post.)

I’ve been battling depression and anxiety for 15 years. 15 fuckin’ years, similar to Joe. Yes, I have spells of … non-depression, but that’s not the point here. The point is it always comes back. You think you have it figured out, you’ve been through countless hours with your therapist, you’ve finally accepted the fact it might be in your best interest to see a phony psychiatrist. Yeah, you give in, at least that’s how it felt for me.

Breaking news: It’s not giving in. It’s asking for help. It’s something I wish my younger self would’ve pushed for more, and not just that, but knowledge surrounding mental illness. Isn’t it funny that all it took was one absolutely honest and terrific TWITTER video to open my eyes? I mean, I’ve had three accidental overdoses, my sibling passed, my mother suffered a major, life-altering accident. Not to toot my own horn, but that’s some bad shit – and that’s not even half of it. (This is what you do when you’re like me, you one-up people with the bad shit in your life. Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense to me either but I still do it.) But even still, I never looked inside, it was always about what happened in my past, my relationships, etc., until Joe posted a fucking video on Twitter.

I’ve lashed out on people because I was envious they felt so damn good and I didn’t. I’ve flipped off grandmas for driving slow on the interstate because honestly, sometimes the other side just wants to be super fucking mean. I used to break into my own mother’s safe to steal drugs, no weird explanation here, I just wanted drugs. What the fuck, right? (Yes, it’s OK to hate me for that. I hate me for that.)

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I’m driving at here. Well, you’re kinda seeing it first-hand. There’s things moving around in my mind a million and one miles per hour almost every second of the day, leading me into tangents of nonsense. But that’s the thing – sometimes those tangents of nonsense don’t come from this side of me, and that’s where that whole “epiphany” thing slides into the equation.

Remember how I mentioned depression, anxiety, all that bullshit always comes back? Well, it’s because it’s always there for me. For some unknown reason; maybe trauma, maybe drug usage, or maybe just bad luck, I managed to mangle my brain so bad that now I think I have two sides of me (now you get the name of the site… I mean, it was pretty fucking obvious). That’s what BPD is. As Joe Tracini put in another Twitter video, and I’m somewhat paraphrasing here, “It’s like I have a terrorist inside my head that booked an Air BnB 15 years ago and won’t leave. Yeah, he’ll go into another room sometimes, but he’s always there.”

It’s true. It’s so very true. That other side, I refuse to give it a pronoun because fuck that thing, racks my brain with bullshit majority of the time. Emptiness, shame, self-destruction… all things the other side has mastered over the years. But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Sometimes my best problem solving comes from the other side. Sometimes my emotions are strengthened (not always a good thing), and sometimes I learn new things about myself… like that I might have BPD (the epiphany if you haven’t already understood that).

I was told to make this site because maybe it might help some of you who feel the way I feel. Even if you don’t feel the way I feel, maybe this will help you. I mean, shit, I’ll take all the help I can get, so maybe this will help me, too. I don’t promise daily content here, I promise honest content. It won’t all be … what’s the saying? Hold on, let me Google something. Yeah, it’s not always going to be sunshine and roses (I personally think roses and sunshine rolls better off the tongue). Actually, most likely it’ll be quite the opposite. But I hope my brutal honesty doesn’t drive you away. Sometimes we need to be brutal with ourselves, sometimes we need to beat ourselves up – it’s OK to do that, just make sure to take the time to recover.

It’s not OK to do that all the time, though. When that good side comes out, cherish that shit. Cherish it. Make the absolute most of it, and don’t let it slip away without making some progress against that other side. What have I been doing when my good side finally decides to show the fuck up? Well, I started meditating a little bit, it kinda helps. I read more often, that does help. And I write quite a bit now, which, as an English major, I should be doing anyway – so yes, that helps, too. Also, don’t judge me on my damn grammar or sentence structure. This is a fucking blog, not an editorial from the New York Times.

But those activities/exercises I mentioned might not work for you. Speaking of exercise, I use that as a tool to get rid of the other side. Hitting a heavy bag while the other side is controlling you… man, you can do some serious damage. But getting that anger out, that frustration out, is so very important. By any means necessary, beat that motherfucker out of you the best way you know how.

Sometimes it’s easiest just to think about your good side and appreciate how good that fucking person really is.

And if you can’t get the other side out of you, if you are really struggling, reach out to anyone. Anyone at all. They may not understand you. Actually, 99.5% of the time they won’t understand you. But if they listen, that’s better than nothing. My father listens to me constantly, has for 15 years, and still has no clue what the hell I’m going through. But what does he do best? He listens. He doesn’t try to tell me that I need to do this or I need to do that. He. Just. Listens. Find that person in your life – they are out there, even if your other side is telling you otherwise.

That reminds me. You all are going through this shit, too. At least some shit, maybe not this particular batch. If you aren’t taking time out of your day to help someone out, how do you think you’ll ever find someone to help you out when you need it most? It’s not a one-way street. People need people.

So yes, this is my admission to Borderline Personality Disorder. Have I been diagnosed yet? No. Do I want to ask my psychiatrist about this? Hell no. But I might. And if I do, it’ll be because of the people that help me push against the other side.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Joe’s video:

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