Fear the Bathroom

toilet“OMG! They’re letting MEN use the GIRLS room! What is this world coming to?”

Hopefully, a quick and painless end via meteor, but I feel like we won’t be so lucky.

That quoted nonsense above is the rallying cry of the pearl clutchers on Facebook as of late. The idea that *gasp* transgender people might need to pee while out in public is apparently cause for great concern. The need to pee while out and about is a great concern of mine as well, but only because public bathrooms have a tendency to be fucking gross.

It seems that people who have never met a transgender person, never educated themselves on transgender people, and therefore have no fucking clue how it works are convinced that the ONLY reason a transgender person would go into a public restroom is to commit heinous acts of violation against others and not to, ya know, take a piss.

First, let’s clear up a few things and do a little education here. Here are some definitions you need to know.

A cisgender person is someone whose gender corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth

A transgender person is someone whose gender identity doesn’t correspond to their biological sex assigned at birth or someone who does not conform to societal gender norms or roles.

A transvestite is a person, especially a male, who assumes the dress and manner usually associated with the opposite sex.

A sexual predator is someone who would dress as the opposite sex for the specific purpose of entering a bathroom for voyeurism or to commit sexual assault.

Oh, hey, were you one of those guys that made a joke that you’d totally dress up as a chick so you could go into the girl’s bathroom because your working knowledge of life apparently comes from repeated viewings of teen sex comedies? Congratulations! You’re a sexual predator!

“But I was just joking! I wouldn’t actually do it!”

I don’t give a fuck. You’re part of the fucking problem, Beavis.

There is a HUGE bathroom problem. The problem is that men will gather their torches and pitchforks to protect their womens from the big, bad trannies lurking in bathroom stalls, but at the same time would scrutinize every detail of a woman’s account of actually being sexually assaulted by a cis male because this sort of accusation could destroy a man’s life, you know. The same man rending his clothes about the idea of a transgendered person peeing in the stall next to his wife at Target will automatically say that any woman accusing a celebrity of rape is lying and only doing it for the money. The men outraged about a trans woman needing to pee while out and about in public are the same ones that will tell you that “boys will be boys” and “she shouldn’t have drank so much” and “if you don’t want that kind of attention, don’t wear those clothes”.

Am I singling out the men here? Yeah, but I’m going to admit that there are women that feel the same fucking way and shame on them, too.

There’s another BIG bathroom problem that’s hardly getting a mention at all. You’re all so worried about what’s going on in the women’s room, but what about the men’s? What about the transgender women that would be forced to use the men’s room due to their sex assigned at birth? What about them?

That’s a rhetorical question because I already know what you bathroom defenders would say about them. You’d say, “Fuck them. They get what they deserve if they go into a men’s room because that’s what happens when you’re a freak.” My pants aren’t on fire, so you know I’m not lying.

And that’s just it, isn’t it, kids? Trans folks are more likely to be sexually assaulted, more likely to be physically assaulted, more likely to be murdered by cis folks than the other way around.

Because this battle of the bathrooms isn’t about protecting women from sexual predators. If that were true, if that were really the endgame, then public bathrooms would not be your chosen battle ground. College campuses and right inside the home would be the places to start.

No, this isn’t about protecting women from sexual predators. This is about protecting your ignorance, protecting your narrative, protecting your view of the world. The idea that someone exists outside your scope of understanding makes you uncomfortable, threatens you, scares you, and therefore, must not be allowed to thrive, to exist.

This isn’t about keeping women safe in the bathroom. It’s about keeping transgender people out of society, out of view, to make it harder for them to exist, to be normal, to be like everyone else. Because that’s what they really want, you know. They don’t want to destroy the sanctity of the public bathroom (God, if that were only a real thing, then maybe they’d be cleaner); they want to be treated with the decency and respect you would treat any human that needs to go the can when they’re out running errands, that you would treat any human anywhere, regardless of circumstance. They want to be like everyone else.

Guess what? They are. You’ve probably already interacted with one. You’ve probably already peed next to one. And you didn’t know it. Why? Because the transgender folks are trying to protect themselves from YOU.

And in the end, that’s what this whole fucking debacle is about, isn’t it?

You.

You and your ignorant bullshit (courtesy flush that deuce, if you please).

If you’re that concerned about the inner workings of the women’s public restroom (Seriously, what the fuck do you think happens in there? What are YOU doing in there that’s so goddamn interesting?), maybe YOU should only pee at home.

The rest of us, trans and cis, are happy to pee together in peace.

So long as you don’t piss on the seat.

 

*Definitions for cisgender, transgender, and transvestite were taken from dictionary.com. The definition for sexual predator was created specifically for this post, but still pretty accurate, no?

In Case of Nuclear War…Smoke

nuclear cigarette“Oh, this, yeah. It’s in case nuclear war breaks out. I gave it up a long time ago. It’s part habit, part superstition. It’s, you know, a writer thing.” –Mike Enslin (John Cusack) explaining the cigarette behind his ear to Mr. Olin (Samuel L. Jackson) in 1408.

I have a pack of emergency cigarettes.

I officially quit smoking like six and a half years ago (June 20, 2009; it’s one of the few dates I remember and not because of the significance, but because I have an easy way to remember it) and since then I’ve smoke a few cigarettes, usually in social situations with a certain group of people. I bum one for old time’s sake, smoke it, feel disappointed that it doesn’t have the same calming buzz effect that it used to, and I’m good. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still feel that craving. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still dream about smoking. It doesn’t mean that I’ve gotten over the habit of wanting a cigarette as soon as I get in the car or after I eat. It doesn’t mean that I don’t really, really want a cigarette when I’m anxious, stressed, or feeling blue. It just means that I didn’t really need that cigarette right then.

But sometimes I do.

I have not been shy in saying that smoking was a form of self-medication for me, primarily to help me deal with stress and anxiety. I never crave a cigarette more than when I’m stressed. I just want that poison in my lungs, I want to feel that exhale of smoke because a certain measure of stress goes out with that polluted air. When I get stressed, the first thing I think about is lighting a cigarette. But I don’t.

Until I do.

I have yet to find a completely successful alternative way for me to deal with stress, anxiety, or depression. This is in no way knocking the methods I have found. Meditating and chanting and yoga and dancing and drawing have all been great and a vast majority of the time, they get the job done.

Until they don’t.

This past holiday gauntlet was just miserable for me for no discernible reason. The only thing I can think of is that my usual holiday blues got an extra boost from the lack of sunlight. Whatever the issue, by the time New Year’s Eve hit, I was at the end of my rope and that thing was tied in a noose. Nothing worked to back me off that ledge. Nothing.  All I wanted was a cigarette.

I had one hidden away in my dresser. I’d used it as a prop for a Halloween costume one year and never threw it out. I knew it was in there. I knew it could save me.

Saturday after New Year’s Day, I was going out with some friends. I decided that when I left the house, that cigarette would be coming with me and I’d smoke it in the car on the way to dinner. Sure, I’d probably bum one or two off of one of the girls later on in the evening, but that would be social. This was business. Serious business.

I smuggled that cancer stick and lighter (even after I quit smoking, I’ve always had a lighter around) out of the house in my coat pocket and lit it up as soon as I pulled out of the driveway. I inhaled that death smoke and I exhaled everything that had been clinging to my nerves for the past two months. That old, healing magic was back. I enjoyed that cigarette more than any I’ve smoked since I quit smoking six and a half years ago because it did what they all did before I quit. It made me feel better.

Last week, I bought a pack of cigarettes and hid them in my dresser. Why hide them? Two reasons. One, people will line up around the block to tell you how bad smoking is for you and how disappointed they are that you fell off the wagon even if you really haven’t. Fuck that noise. I don’t expect you to like what I do or even understand it, but it would be most appreciated if you could just shut the fuck up about it. You don’t have to say a word. Believe me. I KNOW.

Two, I know where they are and that’s all that matters. Like a fire exit or alarm or extinguisher, I know where it is and I know how to get to it and I know how to work it when I absolutely need it.  It’s that emergency plan they always told you that you should have when you were in grade school.

The next time I feel myself going nuclear, I’ll break that glass.

If You Can’t Love Me Fat…

polka dotsIf you can’t love me fat, you’ll never love me thin. Because if I lost all of the weight that society says I should, the only thing that would change would be the size of my pants and the number on the scale. I won’t be any prettier. My eyes will still be the same weird, trash can gray color and my nose will still be too witch-like and so will my laugh. My hair will still be too thin and fine to grow out into a luxurious mane and my skin will still be too pale and I still won’t look good as a blonde. I’ll still have my scars and my stretchmarks and spots of bad skin and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that my boobs will still be uneven. I’ll still be funny and given to fits of the blues and I’ll say shit that I shouldn’t because I still won’t be that great with tact. I’ll still have a temper that comes out of nowhere and I’ll still hide all of my secrets as deep down as I can because the idea of being vulnerable is a level of trust that I haven’t been able to achieve with anyone yet. I’ll still be selfish and I’ll still be greedy and I’ll still be sacrificing and I’ll still be giving. I’ll still be the shoulder to cry on and the clown to cheer you up. I’ll still struggle and I’ll still fail and I’ll still take more than my share of the responsibility and my share of the blame. None of that changes. I’ll still be the same person. The contents of this bag will not have changed, wouldn’t even have shifted. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me thin.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me old. I’ll age. Time and gravity will take a toll on my body. It’s already started. I’ve got a few lines I didn’t have before. I started getting gray hair at 28. I sag in places now and that’s only going to keep happening. Gravity is everywhere. I’m not going to constantly nip tuck things back into place, smooth my face and take a beauty belt-sander to my skin to eliminate those signs of life. I’m going to get a point when I go full silver and I quit coloring my hair because it’s too much of a hassle and an expense and I know I’m not fooling anyone. There will come a time, an inevitable point in my existence should I live long enough, that I will no longer be young. Hell, if you ask around, some folks will already tell you I’m there. Past my prime. I’m already too old to be desirable, to be loved, to be anything. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me old.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me sick. Everyone will tell you that being fat is “unhealthy”, but thin people get sick. Thin people get colds, they get the flu, they get strep and mono and pneumonia. They get cancer. They get arthritis and back strains and vitamin deficiencies from eating like shit. They suffer from depression and anxiety and PTSD and OCD and ADD. They get debilitating diseases that rob them of their strength and capabilities and they’ll need someone to take care of them until they eventually wither away and death finally takes them to a better place. They were actually sick, not just perceived to be that way because of a billion dollar diet industry and a bunch of medical professionals that lost their souls ages ago. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me sick.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me openly. You know that old saying. “Fucking a fat girl is like riding a moped. It’s a lot of fun, but you don’t want your friends to see you do it.” It’s not done, loving a fat girl out in the open, is it? Your friends will make fun of you. Society will tell you in a bombardment of messages from TV shows to movies to magazines to books that you’re wrong, that loving a fat girl is wrong, that you deserve to be the butt of the jokes because of it. It’s characterized as a fetish, something to be kept hidden, don’t let anyone know what kind of a deviant you are. Because it takes a lot of strength to spit in the face of society like that, to have to constantly put up with the jokes and remarks and insults, to decide every time someone opens their mouth how you’re going to deal with their bullshit, to love someone fat anyway, and to do it right out there in the blinding light of day where everyone can see when it would be so much easier to keep it all hidden away in the dark and let your ego remain intact. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love openly.

Let’s face it, baby.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never, ever love me.

I’ll Just Write Around You

flame box elder penMany of the successful writers talk about writing without being disturbed, with the door closed so to speak. Writing time should be treated as sacred and interruptions should be of the emergency variety only and kept to the bare minimum (sort of goes without saying that emergency situations in general should be kept to the bare minimum). They will happily tell you that this is a very important part of their success as writers.

I agree with them. My writing time is sacred. I take my writing seriously. Like all writers, I’m a good procrastinator, but I’ve managed to curb that somewhat, and having two day jobs helps because I can only write during specific times and that definitely makes a difference. My writing time is important.

However, I’m the only one in my house that thinks so.

I write with my door closed, but it does not stay closed. The people in my house cannot stand a closed door.

I live in a house with my dad and a friend. During the day, the two of them will make multiple trips into my room to talk to me. They talk to me about things they’ve read on the Internet, episodes of TV shows (that I don’t watch and don’t want to watch), whatever is going on in the news, celebrity gossip, the latest political bullshit, this, that, and the other. Sometimes the conversation is only a few minutes; sometimes “I just need to tell you one thing” turns into thirty minutes to two hours. This happens every day. And it happens when I’m writing.

It’s happening right now as I’m typing this blog post, actually. My roommate has been talking to me about Project Runway (that I don’t watch), asking questions about the movie I’ve got on (The Ghoul), asking about arranging a movie date with her and my nieces, telling me about what the cats did upstairs.

I pretty much wrote everything until this point while she talked to me. That’s how I end up having to get my work done a lot of the time. I just write around the people in my house. Because if I don’t, I will get nothing done.

I can’t do this all the time. Sometimes, whatever I’m working on requires more attention than I can manage while listening to someone else talk and sometimes, whatever someone else is talking about requires more attention than I can manage while writing. Which is pretty frustrating because that means I either don’t get everything done that I want to get done in the allotted time or I end up working much later than I anticipated and other things I wanted to do don’t get done.

Why don’t I say something to them? Well, I have. But, since my writing schedule is inconsistent due to my day jobs and the demands of whatever project or projects I’m working on during any given day, they can’t tell if I’m working or not. And if I tell them I’m working, they either get offended that I don’t want to hear about the latest episode of Bar Rescue or about what Abby Lee Miller did now, or they assure me that whatever they have to say will “only take a minute” and talk to me anyway.

Why don’t I go somewhere else and write? I would, but I’m actually not really comfortable writing in public spaces. I would prefer to write in the space I’m most comfortable in as I tend to be the most productive there and that place is…my room.

Which sometimes reminds me of a bus terminal during bad weather and all of the buses are late: you can’t escape from the conversations.

My dad and my friend aren’t bad people. It’s not that they don’t care that I’m trying to write. It’s not like they’re purposely trying to sabotage me in my efforts.

It’s just that my writing time isn’t important to them. But it’s sacred to me.

So, I write around them.

Are You a Good Fatty?

Fat girl bikiniThis is a mindset that I have struggled with and one I’m working very hard to correct. Why? Because the Good Fatty is bullshit, that’s why.

Here’s how it works.

People make generalizations about fat people. They’re lazy. They eat like garbage. They’re unhealthy. You know, the same song and dance folks have been performing since before Jane Fonda made jazzercise a thing.

Immediately, my reaction is, “Not all fatties! I’m not lazy. I exercise. I do yoga. I belly dance. I count my steps. I lift weights. And I eat healthy! I rarely eat fast food. I eat vegetarian meals several times a week. I don’t eat a lot of processed food. And my health has been more affected by not having regular access to affordable healthcare than by my weight.”

Now, all of those things are true and generalizations are garbage. But, the fact that I feel the urge to defend my honor and separate myself from those other, “bad” fatties is bullshit. I shouldn’t feel that way. I shouldn’t actually have to do that at all.

Why?

Because there are thin people whose only exercise is walking out to their car so they can drive to a fast food joint. There are thin people whose diets consist of not much more than Starbucks and cigarettes and cupcakes. No “good” thin person has ever felt the need to distance themselves from those “bad” thin people by saying, “I’m not like them! I run twenty miles a week and take a spin class and do hot yoga. I eat gluten-free vegan. I’ve never drank or smoked and I haven’t set foot inside a Starbucks in my life!”

No, no thin person, good or bad, feels the need to defend their life choices because they are, by default, “healthy” just because they’re thin. Regardless of their choices, they’re treated with basic human respect. They don’t have to worry about anyone judging their choice of fries over salad. They don’t feel the need to remind everyone that they walked their five miles yesterday and today is just an off day. They don’t feel the need to say, “But I’m not like them.” They know it doesn’t matter. They will still get that basic human respect.

That simple respect isn’t extended to all fatties, just the “good” ones and only if they prove that they really are “good”.

So, riddle me this, Batman, why is that?

Why is some lazy, Whopper-eating thin person treated with more respect than a fat person who does the same thing? Why is perceived health the basis for simple respect? Why does a fat person not deserve respect because they’re not “healthy”?

Who the fuck came up with that rule?

Here’s the real skinny, Minnie, until proven otherwise, we all are entitled to basic human respect. All of us. Even the “bad” fatties.

I’m not going to draw that line between me and the “bad” fatties anymore. I’m going to work really hard not to do it. If I don’t draw that line between me and the smokers and the drinkers and the “bad” thin people, then there’s no need for that line to exist between me and other fatties. Their health choices are theirs, such as mine are mine. End of.

The respect thing, though, that’s non-negotiable.

Regardless of my weight, regardless of what I eat, regardless of how much I move, I refuse to accept anything less than simple respect.

I insist upon that.

Why The Timeless Man Got Postponed and Other Life Lessons

Cheaters and ChupacabrasI was supposed to self-publish The Timeless Man last month and the reason why I didn’t publish it is because it didn’t have a cover.

It’s like this.

A friend did the cover for the first Ivy Russell novella, Cheaters and Chupacabras. I decided that I wanted the other three novellas to use the same background, but a different symbol for each novella (for Cheaters it was the wedding rings). I asked this friend if they could do the symbols for the other three novellas earlier this year and they agreed.

But between illness and humidity (because that affects art when you’re working with water colors, kids) and communication issues, it’s now July and the cover still isn’t done. I’m not sure when it’s going to get done or what I’m going to do when it gets done since this has sort of jacked up my entire self-publishing timeline, not to mention it’s not just this cover that needs to not be plagued by humidity, but the next two as well and I don’t feel like it would be a good idea for me to try to publish anything until I have every cover done. And so, we limbo.

The last time I inquired about the covers, which was Tuesday night, in the course of our conversation, my friend said to me, “I thought you got mad and just did it yourself anyway.”

See, that’s the life lesson I’ve taken away from every interaction I’ve had like this and there have been a lot in my existence. People I work with or ask for help from or ask favors of don’t come through for me often, so I just end up doing it myself, if I’m able to do it at all. It’s now such a common occurrence that people just expect it to end this way.

And it’s all my fault.

When you come out of the birth canal (or in my case, c-section incision) as a preordained responsible, independent human, then that’s your label for life. People go to you for help and you help them because you can and that’s what the world tells responsible, independent humans to do.

But when the script gets flipped and the responsible, independent human needs help, nobody knows their lines anymore. They don’t know how to react. Because the responsible, independent humans have a tendency to attract and surround themselves with somewhat flaky, dependent humans that just aren’t up to the task of helping. They want to, but they just can’t. Because reasons. Or they will, but it’s on their timeline, which is completely out-of-sync with your timeline, and that’s just too damn bad because you should just be grateful that they’re helping you at all.

So, I don’t ask for favors very often because I know the likelihood of being blown off or disappointed is pretty high and when I do ask for a favor hoping that maybe this time will be that one time things are different and they end up being the same, yeah, I tend to stop asking and keep on slogging through life on my own, doing everything the hard way because it’s been made pretty obvious that I’m a responsible, independent human and therefore shouldn’t not require much in the way of help. So, yeah, I either get pissed and do it myself, or I find myself in limbo, at the mercy of someone else’s timeline.

Which sucks.

‘Cause it makes my books late.

 

Disclaimer: I love my friends, I really do! Even though some of them aren’t the greatest at helping me out when I need it, they still have other qualities that are absolutely marvelous. All of my friends have their faults, as do I (and I have more than most), but they’re all really good people.

I wouldn’t be friends with them if they weren’t.

Give me some credit here.

Being Fat on Twitter

Full fat aviThe past couple of weeks, I started getting a lot of friendly interaction from guys on Twitter. Friendly to the point of being straight up creeper. In one case I was pretty sure I was being measured for a skin suit and the guy doing it was kind of underwhelming and I was seriously bummed by the anti-climax there.

But, I digress, as I so often do.

At first, I couldn’t figure out why I was getting all of this attention. I wasn’t tweeting anything differently than I normally did. If anything, I’d been tweeting less than usual.

And then it hit me.

I had put up a new avi a few days after New Year’s Eve. A head and shoulders selfie of me wearing a white cami (that’s a kind of tank top, fellas) that I’d tinted to blue to give it a wintry look. I liked it. I thought it fit the January feel and I was looking for something I could have for a while before I got bored and decided to change it. Sounds pretty legit right? Nothing weird. Nothing overtly sexy. Nothing overtly anything, I thought.

Except the angle, the framing of the picture, well, you couldn’t tell that I’m fat.

January aviAhh! That’s it!

Guys think the “fat girl belly dancing” line in my bio is some sort of self-deprecation thing when they see that pic. I actually had one guy tell me that I’m “not that big”. Thanks, dude. Didn’t ask for your pitiful reassurance, but okay then.

As soon as I figured this out, I changed my avi to the full-figured shot at the top of the post. And I made a vow. Only full-fat avis (avies? avi’s? I still don’t know how to spell that) from now on.

First of all, that does cut down on some of the questionable attention, except for the odd chubby chaser.

Second of all, I don’t want the people that follow me, that read my tweets to forget that I’m legit fat and not “OMG I’M SO FAT!!!” fat. That when I talk about my weight, even when I joke about it, I’m talking about my actual state of existence. I’m not fishing for a compliment. This is my actual being, kids. I am fat. Legit fat. For real. And I’m going to comment upon it from time to time.

I don’t want guys to be misled because I put up a picture of my pretty face and they miss out on the rolls in the bakery and cottage cheese in the dairy section. I want them to know that I am more than likely a girl they wouldn’t give the time of day to on the street because she’s a “fatty”.

This is a public service, my friends.

I just can’t be responsible for anymore broken hearts.

35 Now

birthday hatI’m going to be honest with you about something.

Yesterday, when I officially turned 35, I was more put out about the fact that I had to run errands and go grocery shopping than I was about turning 35.

When it comes to my birthday, I am like a toddler. It’s mine, mine, mine! I don’t have to! It’s my birthday! I get to do whatever I want! And I don’t want to be a grown-up and do grown-up things!

Which brings me to my next reflective point about turning 35.

I am now on the downward slide to 40 (“Hands up! Test your nuts!” as we used to say while riding roller coasters) and as such I’m sure there are people looking at me, possibly wanting to poke me, wondering what the hell is wrong with me. I’m 35 now. I’m supposed to be a grown-up. I’m supposed to be this, that, and the other with a real job and a mortgage and bills and all the trappings of adulthood. I’m supposed to be striving to meet society’s expectations of a woman of my advanced age (and weight, but that’s a different post). What am I doing?

This is actually something I’ve reflected on quite a bit in the month leading up to my birthday.  I gave serious consideration to the fact that I’m still dodging a big part of the standard adult business and that maybe I should consider, you know, straightening up and flying right.

But I just can’t make myself do it, kids. I knew it back when I was 12. I remember being supremely unhappy at the prospect of being 13 because that would mean I was a teenager and after teenager was adult and there was so much of that life stage that I didn’t find appealing. I liked being a kid and I’ve always been very bitter about the whole growing up thing.

Here’s the thing. I KNOW I can adult. I could adult with the best of them. I’m very good at responsibility. I’m so good at responsibility that I’ve been known to take on responsibilities that aren’t even mine. I’m very reliable and dependable and organized. I’m mature. I’ve been mature since I was little. I have all of the qualifications to be a good and proper adult according to society’s standards.

I just don’t want to BE an adult.

After years of doing things I hated in order to live up to someone else’s standards, trying to please other people, I realized that I have no desire to adult. It’s an epic drag and it’s not for me.

I’d rather do things my way, if you don’t mind.

So if that means being 35 and not being grown-up, that’s perfectly cool with me.

The Anxiety Monster

Kiki's red hairI have a mild problem with anxiety. Back in the day, smoking is what helped me medicate it. I smoked when I got anxious. The nicotine helped when I’d get that sudden flare of what I called “fuck up anxiety”, that sure fire feeling that I had just fucked up even if I hadn’t, or if I had, it was so insignificant that an ant wouldn’t notice it because it was such a small thing. Just the act of getting the cigarette out of the pack, lighting it up, taking the first inhale, smoking that sucker down, helped take the edge off of that.

I don’t smoke anymore, but I still have that fuck up anxiety.

I’m having it right now, actually, as I type this.

It likes to settle in my shoulders mostly and ride up the back of my neck. My brain likes to replay whatever it is that I’ve done or think I’ve done until it’s so huge and wound up so tight my head would spin off if it were to let go. It makes me want to primal scream in an attempt to release the pressure in my head and drown out the voices assaulting my character.

It’s really annoying. I’ve yet to come up with decent coping mechanism in the five years since I quit smoking. Meditation helps, but funnily enough, when the anxiety acts up, I don’t want to meditate. Kind of defeats the purpose there, huh?

Now, I know that compared to some of my friends, I’m getting off easy. Their anxiety and the resulting attacks can be debilitating and that’s pretty awful. I do acknowledge that I’m lucky in that respect that it isn’t worse for me. I can actually still function despite the anxiety.

But it’s still annoying.

I don’t need any help from my brain when it comes to screwing things up. I can do bad and feel bad all by myself over legit things. I don’t need to blow up tiny seconds and non-existent moments into a disaster.

Sometimes, it’s a once in a while thing. I can go weeks and not have a problem. And then I have times when it’s basically an all the time feeling that can go on for weeks. It lightens up, but never really goes away. It’s the latter that I’ve been dealing with lately. It makes me a right irritable bitch because the constant anxiety puts me on edge and within a day I hate everything, everyone, and your mother, too.

I haven’t exactly figured out the triggers for it. I think some of it is stress. I think some of it could be hormonal. I think some of it could just be. I don’t think I always need a trigger.

I do need a better coping method to riding it out, though. Because this habit of doing nothing but feeling bad and being irritated and not meditating isn’t working.

Stupid anxiety monster hanging around the closets of my mind.

Crisis Averted…Mostly

ThinkingI’ve had my bout of existential episode and I’m feeling better now. It took some long, hard thinking and some meditating and some avoidance and some more thinking and some prioritizing, but for the most part, I think the crisis has been averted.

The biggest hurdle was asking myself if I want to continue with my writing career. The answer to that is yes. I like to write, I’m going to do it anyway, I might as well try to make some money off of it. That said, I’ve come to accept that I’m not the kind of writer that will be able to support herself exclusively through writing. I lack what it takes to do that. And that’s fine! Well, it’s not really fine, but I need to accept it as fine because there’s not much I can do to change it and accepting is better than being all salty about it.

So with that lined out, other things have sort have slotted into place. I’m still a writer at the end of all things, I’ve just now wised up to the fact that I can and should be more things. This isn’t a failure. This is me reassessing my writing career and coming up with different goals that are more realistic. This is me reassessing my life at present and re-prioritizing things and coming up with goals that are more realistic. That’s necessity, not failure.

And you can believe me because I know a thing or twelve about failure.

Once I sort of got all of this hashed out, I realized that I felt better. Not necessarily happier. Definitely not content. But better. I had my “What the fuck am I doing here?” picnic and now I can get back on the path to my greatness, whatever that is.

I also came to the conclusion that if I don’t stop every once in a while and assess my state of being, I’m going to end up chugging along out of habit or stubbornness instead of really paying attention to what I need and what I want and changing to accommodate that. And that would be a real drag. It’s okay to change. Like the song said, it’s the only thing that stays the same.

No, I can’t remember which song. My brain is a jumble of song lyrics and pop culture trivia.

Anyway, I’m back in the saddle and marching to a beat of a different drummer and taking it one day at a time and whole bunch of other cliches that illustrate poorly that I’m not giving up, just moving on.

That’s the trick.

To keep moving.