mental health awareness month

April 24, 2016

in addition to the flowers, may brings many things to our conscious' surface...

may day, may the fourth be with you (for star wars geeks such as myself), cinco de mayo, mother's day, v-e day, armed forces day and memorial day, of course... and then there are the more unusual designations of lumpy rug day (the third), no socks day (the eighth), lost sock memorial day (the ninth) (apparently we need two days for honoring socks), clean up your room day (also the ninth), limerick day (the twelfth), frog jumping day (the thirteenth) and dance like a chicken day (the fourteenth).

there's weeks dedicated to nurses and police and emergency medical services. it's a month dedicated to foster care, barbecue, bicycles, hamburgers, blood pressure and salad... among other things. according to this site and the ever-reliable wikipedia.

it's also mental health awareness month.

i question the need for such a thing. of course, my mental health isn't the soundest. anxiety and depression association of america made a list of facts and statistics regarding the most common types of mental disorders.

i've been seeing this therapist, and i love her. she is amazing. but she can only do much to help me. she can only offer so much counsel... can only hear so much of my story... can only contribute so much to an attempt at recovery.

if i'm not willing to make the effort... to do the homework she's assigned, tasks that are not difficult things, yall... read a pamphlet. walk for twenty minutes one day a week... write little notes to myself of positive affirmations... recognize when my thoughts are tanking and change their course... if i'm too reluctant or too disinterested in doing the work... then what good does visiting with her do? i'm wasting her time. i'm wasting mine.

i've told her the ugliest stuff... things i've never told anyone... and she still thinks i'm awesome, which i love. but my thoughts have been circling around the knowledge that i'm not learning from my mistakes. that i'm still making the wrong choices, even though i know better.

my brain is categorizing all the ways my mind is damaged. wikipedia's got a comprehensive list of all the mental disorders, and i'm sure were i to read the symptoms of each, i could say i'm plagued by the majority of them. the mental anguish from which i suffer could be caused by a genetic predisposition. it could be because i incurred trauma during birth, resulting in that mild case of cerebral palsy which has necessitated a handful of medical procedures and treatments and disrupted, to a minimal degree, my brain's ability to command my thoughts and actions.

but i honestly believe the bulk of it is that i've spent too much time by myself... from the time i was to eight to now. i never really learned how to interact with others. i never learned how to get out of my head... because that was the only place i had to go in my childhood and adolescence, and whenever i try to venture out of it, i'm awkward and clumsy, and so like the hermit, i scurry back inside.

what i want to say... what i really, really want to say is we're all a little bit crazy in our own ways. and dedicating a month to recognizing the crazy in hopes that the recognition could inspire others to care... designating a month to all the ways a person can be classified as crazy... how does that help a person cope? because i promise you, the last thing i need to be doing is looking at information about histrionic, narcissistic and dependent personality disorders.

the last thing i want ANYONE doing is finding ways to label someone. part of the reason my mind is what it is is because too many people labeled me too many things in my childhood, and so often. i can't peel them off. they're tattooes.

sometimes i think i'm a lot less messed up than i feel like i am (like when i am visiting with her or spending time with my friends). and others, i feel like i'm too messed up to be a part of this world (like today). but i also think everybody has days where they might feel like that, even if it's just for a second. EVERYBODY.

i'm not trying to sound like i'm belittling the importance of this. i swear i'm not. there are most assuredly people in need of the help specialists can provide. it's just that i'd rather focus on the flowers and the fun. because ultimately, that's how you cope with this shit. thinking about it doesn't do any good. distracting me with things like frog jumping and dancing like a chicken... laughter really is the best medicine, yall. that and the good times friends can provide... like when you're celebrating may the fourth be with you and cinco de mayo. just be good to each other, dammit. i feel like if we were to do that, if we focused on the GOOD in people rather than in what makes them BAD, the world would be a much better place.

someone who's good for me

April 23, 2016

i should be getting in the shower right now. should've done that half an hour ago, actually because this thing i'm going to starts in sixty-three minutes, and i've to wear a damned dress and heels and paint my face, and it takes me about twice as long as it does other girls to mess with that shit. the things we do to make ourselves pretty...

i should be getting in the shower, but i gave blood this morning, and i think the loss of some of the stuff flowing through my veins paired with all the damned rain we've gotten this week added to the fact that i was listening to prince's let's go crazy, when doves cry and purple rain... pile all that onto my already depressed shoulders and... 

there's good news. i probably should've started with that. two of my poems, the second and the third in this here post, were selected for publication in montgomery college's swirl: literature and arts journal. i think it comes out next month. those poems, they are the best things i've ever written, in my oh, so humble opinion, and i love that someone else has thought enough of them to ink them on paper. 

they are also the saddest things i've written. it gives me pleasure to know that i've taken something hideous--the death of my brother and the death of the only romantic relationship that's ever mattered to me--and made something beautiful of them. it pleases me that i could pull those words from me. it pleases me that the writing of them was so incredibly effortless. it pleases me that maybe more of the world might think them beautiful.

it pains me to know that i've written such beautiful things about two men to whom i've been horribly unkind. it's never occurred to me before... until today... that maybe my use of these tragedies is vanity on my part, still... too proud to have loved my brother when he needed me to, i have to make it sound like i loved him immensely... and i did for most of my life, but not when he needed me to.

and the other? he was a scientist of sorts--an electrical engineer. and i loved that i, the artistic one, could capture the attention of someone so much more intellectual. oh my god, that man was clever. and he had the most beautiful, green eyes. seriously. they were stunning. i've not seen such beauty since. i loved the sound of his voice. i loved how when he held me, i didn't hurt. i loved that when i was with him i was the best possible version of myself. i was in love with him. but i could not love him. because you don't shatter things when you love someone. you don't think of yourself. and all i could think of was how much i loved who i was when i was with him. i should've been thinking of him. but i couldn't. and now that's all i do. everyday, i am reminded of him. and it's been more than a decade since i lost him. since my hands, shaking from the fear of losing him and oblivious to just how fragile his opinion of me was, clutched too tightly what i felt and broke it. that coldplay album, a rush of blood to the head, every time i hear green eyes and the scientist and warning sign, i'm thrown back into the month after i'd lost him. next to my brother's passing, that is the worst period of my life. it trumps the decade of ugliness i experienced as an adolescent. and yall, that decade was fucking hideous.

he told me later that i should find someone who's good for me.

i've been trying. i swear to god i have.

but the ones i find are the ones who think it's okay to fight with me about my family or cut a date short because they've to meet a "friend" or unload all of their own family drama onto the dinner table while on a first date. they're the ones who only want me around to suit their purposes and meet their needs. 

and i'm probably getting what i deserve, come to think of it, for having been so selfish and careless with that one man. 

i think i'm going to have to read these poems in front of an audience at montgomery college one day in the coming weeks. i've been practicing. and i can read the one about my brother well enough. but the other.. when i say those words aloud, i sink just as i had on that night i'd been lying with him. i sink, still, because i'm trying and failing to find the good.

random quarter: the q&a edition-april

April 16, 2016

one. what are you a geek about? film.

two. what do you crave? at present? fried shrimp.

three. what was the last bad movie you watched? how to be single.

four. in three words describe your love life? pathetic. nonexistent. disappointing.

five. what question makes you anxious? why isn't this finished yet?

six. you have no patience for explaining technology to my parents.

seven. what expression do you overuse? you know what i mean?

eight. how much time do you spend commuting? thirty minutes total.

nine. you woke up at nine a.m.

ten. what was your last credit card purchase? nyquil and dr. pepper.

eleven. camping or hotel? hotel.

twelve. are you able to tell when you've had enough? yep.

thirteen. do you have any new friends? yep.

fourteen. are you happy with your choices today? meh.

fifteen. what is your biggest dream? the twins' happiness and well-being.

sixteen. you want new denim comforter.

seventeen. write down the name of someone you had a good conversation with recently. greg davis.

eighteen. what makes you feel wonderful? a good night's sleep.

nineteen. one word for today? catch-up.

twenty. what's the most valuable thing you own? antique icebox my great-uncle restored.

twenty-one. what famous living person would you want to meet for drinks? ricky gervais.

twenty-two. who do you count on? you mean whom. my parents.

twenty-three. who is the last call in your missed call list? my parents.

twenty-four. what's the most honest thing you've said today? she's a bitch. :]

twenty-five. how do you feel about your body? meh.

fifty flicks before fifty

April 6, 2016

erin is on a quest to watch fifty films before her fiftieth birthday.

fuck. i laughed when i typed fiftieth. like hahah... you're gonna be old then. and then i remembered... my birthday's before hers. it's not so funny, anymore...

anyway. she asked me to make a list of fifty films i feel are worthy of the attention. i know she's seen at least one i would recommend, dedication, so for yall, i say if you've not seen that movie yet, you should totally do so. it's about a children's author and his illustrator, and it starts in a porn theater. good stuff -- wholly and completely irreverent and wonderfully original. also amy sedaris has a cameo.

anyway. fifty... and i'm omitting things like the lord of the rings, the notebook, star wars, schindler's list, shawshank redemption, silence of the lambs and when harry met sally because honestly... who hasn't seen those? if it's you, ESPECIALLY YOU, ERIN, well... then... that's just lame as shit, and you should WATCH THOSE, dammit.

about time
apollo thirteen
a beautiful mind
charlotte gray
cinderella man
the client
the count of monte cristo
dead poets society

donnie brasco
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
the family stone
a few good men
(five hundred) days of summer
for love of the game
fried green tomatoes
gangster squad
the great raid
good will hunting

the help
the hundred foot journey
life as a house
lone survivor
memoirs of a geisha
mr. magorium's wonder emporium
murder in the first

the painted veil
people like us
playing by heart
pump up the volume
a river runs through it
saving private ryan
the secret life of walter mitty

spy game
star trek
steel magnolias
a time to kill
the way way back
we are marshall
you're not you

so... my challenge to you, dear readers, is to make me a list of films to watch before i reach that damned milestone. what's your must-see movie list made of?