Smorgasbord of Feelings

We think about this blog a lot, believe it or not.

Earlier this year, Yvonne had to get her gallbladder removed and she contemplated writing about it, but it takes a while to decide on the angle at which you’d like to take it, and then it takes too much to actually write the piece, should you ever make the first decision. I have small ideas for posts, but have the same issue of it taking too much effort or wondering if it’s related enough to the purpose of this blog. At what point does it become a journal rather than a blog regarding our feelings about health? But then again, if we’re here talking about mental health, doesn’t a glimpse into the mind of a mentally ill person, regardless of how loosely “about health” the post is, related to mental health?

(From Parks and Rec:

Leslie Knope: “That’s not really the attitude I expect from an award winner.”

Ron Swanson: “Everything I do is the attitude of an award winner, because I’ve won an award.”)

I did make a tumblr for this blog that’s pretty much just reblogged posts regarding depression/anxiety, so hopefully that’s more relatable for the sad people than just this blog.

I thought about blogging at the two-year Noticing of my dad, but I think I didn’t have much to say. We don’t really talk about how sad we are anymore, but we talk about him freely, and we live our lives as usual, but we still low-key hate that he isn’t here. We think about him every day and his presence is sorely missed, but we can function and make new memories without being super sad. I started a new job two months ago and I had a lot of feelings; it’s a new chapter in my life since I’m done school, my first day was the day before what would have been his 61st birthday, the two-year Noticing was soon after, and whenever I have good news or wish I could get his advice, I’m mad at the world of taking him away. I’m still a sucker at weddings who can’t stand speeches and Thank Yous to Our Parents and first dances and I need a few minutes to hide away and cry and this will only get worse as more of my friends get married. I experience a typhoon of mixed emotions when I see fathers with their daughters and I am bitter, but I function normally and acknowledge the feelings and move on.

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Peonies will always remind me of my father

 I have a lot of thoughts, but I don’t always have feelings, so I think about this image a lot:

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I think about writing about body issues, too. Obviously, again, I never have gotten around to it, but I think about it. I think it’s a tricky thing because I do have thin limbs but I’m self-conscious about most of my body, partially because I have eczema, and I’m not exercising right now because I live in the suburbs (I don’t drive and I’m not paying $7 roundtrip on top of a gym membership) so there’s a lot that I’m unhappy with. So at least I can appear to fit in with society, but I don’t truly feel like I do. (I have friends partying in Vegas right now and the videos they post make me feel like that’s Hell on Earth; I don’t think the one-piece bathing suit that I reluctantly recently purchased would be suitable for pool parties containing the thinnest and exposed bodies dancing to music that I hate.) Do I have body dysmorphia or do I just have regular low self-esteem? Goodness, I don’t know and I don’t care for labels; all I know is that I hate my body and this might have happened whether or not I had depression.

I think about documenting the downward spirals that can happen in my mind when I receive bad news. I think about how strongly and unheathily I tie my feelings about my love life and career trajectory, wondering how or when or if ever I can separate them and/or believe in myself to have something good. I wonder if a let down will always make me go down the same path, if I will always tie a rejection or loss to every past rejection. I wonder how long I’d have to be in a relationship – with either a company or a romantic partner – in order to feel safe or if I’d have the spiral even if we had a great few years together. I wonder if I’ll always be like this or if one day I’ll trust the world to be kind.

I also think about how much I love my friends and family for their acceptance of how shitty I am and my needs. I feel like they deserve shout outs to always understanding when someone needs down time or not giving pitying looks or not creating a sad silence when I talk about my dad (including when they find out that my most recent tattoo is a tribute to our gardening together). I love that I can talk about my need for a one-piece bathing suit in order to feel comfortable at the beach and there’s no rush of “oh You’Re FInE” or “but you’re skinny, you can’t feel bad about your body”. I hate that I do it but love that they’re understanding when I ignore messages, even when they’re trying to catch up and are messaging strictly out of love and wanting to maintain the friendship but that type of talking requires a type and amount of energy that I just don’t have. And sometimes when I think about how I love my friends for this, I wonder if anyone says, “That’s not special; that’s just what being a friend is”, but it’s somewhat akin to when we exclaim, “Oh that’s so good, what a relief!” when we find out that the Baby Daddy is sticking with his pregnant girlfriend and not ditching her; it seems like a low bar, but many still walk into it.

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I still think about my personality in the working world, the role of depression in the work place. I think about how professionalism feels cold and distant and how much more people care about the status quo and formalities than I do. I wonder if I won’t be able to go as far up in the working world as I would have before my depression manifested because I can’t fake caring about subservience and the hierarchy as I used to. I remain as detail-oriented, meticulous, and hard-working as I ever was, but I embrace making a personal connection and colloquial communication over the expected formal nature of workplace interactions, and I wonder if that priority of humanity over hierarchy will hinder my progression in my career. Companies, especially those of libraries and archives, pride themselves on customer service and interpersonal relationships and human connections and yet we strive for sanitized interactions, continuing a facade of pleasantries, and filtering who we are in order to provide these excellent services. And here I am, HR’s wet dream for representation, an intersection of various marginalized groups, but being someone who can’t bring themselves to care about the trivialities of how good it is to e-meet somebody with warm wishes, I fear that in order to excel, it is best to homogenize myself to what I am expected to be.

I love the company that I’m currently at and especially because it’s full of young’uns and it makes an effort to know who we are and make us happy, I feel safe to be a fairly honest version of myself. But I know that I’m lucky. It will break my heart to leave this company when my contract ends and I’ll have to resume presenting a filtered version of myself to the world in order to attain and retain a job.

So, again, a lot of thoughts, not enough to write full blog posts, but together, enough.

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