Motivation may be the first thing to go.

It starts with “I’ll write something later.” It continues on with things like “I’ll just do it tomorrow.” “Maybe I’ll do it this weekend.” Weeks go by and you don’t even really realize that you’re slowly going down. It’s not that I’m lazy… I’m just slowly sliding into depression.

I stopped talking to people on Facebook. I stopped talking to people in other chat platforms. I stopped playing Ingress. I slowed way down on my Clash Royale (for those just joining us, these are games I play on my phone close to the point of obsession).

I stopped caring. I ended an almost 8 year friendship. I told people exactly what I was thinking even if they didn’t ask because I couldn’t just pretend anymore. I probably upset family, maybe friends… I don’t intentionally hurt them, but I can’t take on the emotional burden of lying to them either.

I don’t even feel like writing this. I just know I should. I know that somewhere there is someone who is flipping through posts wondering where their motivation went… and I want them to know that it’s not just them.

Anxiety can paralyze us and stop us dead in our tracks, but depression works a little differently. It often just slowly takes away the enjoyment of everything you love… It’s called anhedonia… and it’s not just you, it’s not your fault, and it will pass.

It just really fucking blows when it’s here. Be kind to yourselves, the best you can.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Worse than I think I am…

It’s strange when my actions don’t really match what I think my emotions are. I have been off lately and I’ve been trying to figure it out. I haven’t been up for talking to most people, especially not one on one. Conversations about myself are still down to “How are you doing?” “Oh, I’m okay.” We all know I’m not but I’m okay enough to get away with it.

I can’t get away with it at therapy though. I don’t remember if I gave him a “name” or not, but for today, we shall call him Jim. Jim doesn’t let me get away with “I’m okay.” It’s pretty much his job to call me out on that. So, I started going through the fact that hygiene is getting more difficult to handle again and I’m losing interest in most of my games and my shows that I usually love. It hits me. These are signs of depression.

Some of this stems from being so sick as a side effect of my body getting used to a medication again. A lot, actually, because besides ‘feeling sick’ – I’m also isolated right now because leaving the house for more than an hour or two makes me even more sick the following day. I can’t change this. I need the medication for now until we can at least discuss other options. I need tests done for that. I am working on it all the best I can…

However, I’m still more depressed than I thought I was. This doesn’t usually happen to me. I’m usually much more self aware, much more able to gauge my own emotions. Being sick for a month will screw with your perception of everything though, I think, including yourself.  I am safe, I am not in danger of any type of harm to self or others, I’m just not quite emotionally available to people right now. Not as much as usual.

I will drink my peppermint tea (which I am so tired of but it helps), and I will snuggle with the cat. I will find new games to play for now for distraction and new shows to hold my attention until I’m more myself again. There’s just a lot of stress and sadness and grief in my life recently and I need to take time to process it.

I hope if you find yourself in a similar position, see signs of depression in yourself before you really “feel” them, that you give yourself permission for self care. Don’t just wait for it to get worse, do whatever you can to stay even or move forward, so when it passes, you’re ready to keep going in life.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

5 Things to Stop on Social Media

(aka “a few ways to get less people to unfollow you”)

There are obviously more than five, but earlier today a bunch of women made me remember that I am awesome and that I matter, so I wanted to pass on some wisdom that I feel matters.

1. Guilt trip “cut and paste, don’t share” posts. Yes, I really am one of your REAL friends, I do love my mother and I support those who have fought and are fighting cancer. No, me cut and pasting a status doesn’t prove any of these things. I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed at people that insinuate that I don’t care because I don’t follow the herd.

2. Answering security questions inside of innocuous surveys. Often questions like “What was your first car? The name of your first pet? Your first school? Where were you born?” come up in “cute, fun, ‘I was bored’ surveys. Not all at once, but if someone wanted your information, chances are you’re posting it without thinking about where it can be used… like to access a bank account, hack your email or other accounts by “forgetting your password.”

3. Using the word “trigger” casually. A trigger is something that severely affects someone’s emotions. They may have a severe panic attack, a painful one that makes them feel as if they’re having a heart attack. They may fly into a dissociative rage where they lash out and remember nothing. They may have flashbacks of assault, or times when they’ve self harmed. A trigger is NOT a concept that offends you, or irritates you. Using it that way is an insult to those of us who have actual severe reactions because of our past or mental health. It’s not cute. It’s not funny.

4. Reposting fake hack warnings. It’s really easy to check if a “new hack” is real or simply a chain letter that’s been going around for years. Snopes is an easy place to check whether or not a hack/threat/change in your privacy policy is real. If you google a couple lines from it, you can find out from other sites as well. Most of these have been going on since people emailed them around through AOL. They’re annoying and there’s no reason in today’s world to generate any more fear.

5. Comparing your life to what you see around you. You’re seeing what people want you to see. This isn’t their whole life. It rarely includes all of their struggles, it often highlights small things to make them seem important, and there’s often unintentional misrepresentation. I’m sure your friend Suzy looks like she has it all with her smiling children and her handsome husband. I can’t think of a friend named Suzy, so we’re going with that.. What you don’t see is that Suzy’s just fed up with trying to get ready for work while getting the kids ready for school and her husband is exhausted from the night shift and can’t help. They haven’t made love in a year and Suzy is considering filing for divorce because drifting apart has become arguing daily and she hates her life. She envies that you can go out with the girls and have a drink with dinner without feeling judged.

Honestly, there are many things to give up and many reasons why, but a couple of these were weighing on my mind today. I am a member of a facebook group and I posted that I felt like I didn’t belong. Those women I mentioned in the beginning reassured me in ten ways that I do belong, and I matter. I just wanted to share the feeling that someone gives a damn about how you feel and the ones around you feel. Since social media is often how we relate to each other, I thought this may be a way to share that feeling. Know your loved, show others they are as well.  Also, please add your own “Things to stop on social media” in the comments!

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

No, thanks.

We’re told to do so many things throughout the days. We’re told what to do on social media and by friends, by relatives, by strangers passing by. The reality is we don’t have to do what they say and we don’t owe them an explanation.

I really don’t have to (and neither do you, if you choose not to):

  • Smile! I’m pretty anyway, thank you. I am pretty when I’m pensive and sad and angry even if they show on my face. I’m pretty in a store, and I’m pretty in a picture, even when I don’t turn up the corners on my mouth.
  • Just think positive! I have depression issues, it’s not always in my control. Sometimes I am going to be negative, and sometimes being realistic isn’t positive, and thinking happy thoughts won’t make me fly like Peter Pan.
  • Stop worrying! Sometimes my anxiety doesn’t let that happen, sometimes I have things that concern me even when I can’t affect the outcome. I’m allowed to have things on my mind that upset me.
  • Cheer up! I am allowed to be sad or gloomy or grieving and FEEL my own feelings. If I could just ‘cheer up’ on command, I wouldn’t take so many medications.
  • Stop smoking. Okay, yes, it’s really bad for my health, and I really don’t care that you think i’m prettier without a cigarette, and I’m sorry for all of your losses, but this is my body and my decision. I will do it when I’m ready and your little speeches aren’t making me quit any sooner.
  • Lose Weight.  For some people losing weight is a medical issue. For some it’s aesthetics. For some of us, we like how we are now just fine! Or maybe we’ll do it when we’re good and ready to find a lifestyle that not just helps lose weight but that we feel we can maintain. I’m glad that those diet pills worked for you, they’re really not an option for me. I’m happy for your progress at a gym but I am not comfortable going to one. This is personal and not your decision, it’s mine.

 

I could go on, but quite honestly, it might get a little repetitive as some of the things that you may say out of habit, or because they’ve been said to you so often, they all have the same answers. No. This is my body, my mind, my choice. I’m totally okay with the fact that you’re vegan or christian, that you love to smile or you’re ready for bikini season, it doesn’t mean I want to change the way I live my life or even that ten seconds of my day.

I don’t want to, I don’t have to, and I don’t need to tell you why. Honestly, I shouldn’t be forced into that position and neither should anyone else. Throughout your day, consider that others simply are not you and maybe we don’t fit society’s mold of ‘normal’ and maybe we don’t want to put on a false happy mask just to please you. Maybe we’re tired, depressed, anxious, sad or simply have resting bitch face.

We’re allowed to ignore your unfair demands… and some of us are simply tired of smiling. What do you hate being told to do most?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Honesty versus Insult

 

Mainly it all comes down to intention.

I refer to myself as brutally honest, and I have a couple of friends that are the same way. If I ask for their opinion or their help, they will tell me the truth. It may be something I don’t want to hear. It may be the same advice they’ve given me before and an admonishment for refusing to listen. If they ask me for my opinion, I give it. Sometimes it may seem rude or insulting, but if all we hear is what we want to, we don’t grow.

Honesty isn’t about trying to hurt someone. It’s not about some sort of emotional sadism. There are people who intentionally antagonize others trying to elicit hate or hurt but mainly confrontation. This is not what brutal honesty is about, even if they start with a truthful statement. Brutal honesty is about helping someone move forward. Whether it’s about their appearance, their love life, their heath (physical or mental), it’s about giving an objective response.

Judging others is never the intention of my type of honesty. I have been judged plenty in my life. I’ve been judged for my mental illness issues, which include depression and anxiety. My appearance, my behavior and whether or not they’re appropriate for a specific place or time of day. Yes, mommy, I know my lipstick is too dark for the daytime… She has long since accepted my choices as far as that’s concerned. I’m not always “socially acceptable” and I’m okay with that. My appearance isn’t aesthetically pleasing to all people, and it doesn’t have to be. I don’t live my life for others. You shouldn’t either.

If, however, I ask someone how I look, I want them to tell me whether or not they like it. I prefer hearing things like “It’s not my style, but if that’s what you want to wear, go for it” rather than just, “You look fine.” Maybe I do just go for it, maybe I take a second look in the mirror. Either way, it’s an opinion I asked for, so lashing out rarely happens even if I feel offended.

There is, of course, the negative side of honesty. Sometimes it’s unintentional. One day someone said to me,”Wow you really do have more grey hair than me!” Now, I’ve always been self conscious about my grey hair, I started finding them at age 12. I felt so hurt that my immediate reaction was “Did you gain weight?” I lashed out intending to be hurtful because I wanted her to feel how I felt. Now, she didn’t mean to hurt me and I wasn’t being honest when I responded. When I feel insulted, I tend to react harshly. It’s something I’m working on. It’s something that given the volatile nature of the internet, we should probably all work on.

After my first post, someone commented negatively about my hair on my Facebook page. I got angry for a short while. My friends did as well. Many of them lashed back out at the person, as did I. I’ve since found a lot of humor in the entire ordeal. I love the way my hair looks in that picture. It doesn’t matter who else agrees. I am amused (and a little embarrassed) that I reacted so poorly. I’ve spent more time laughing at someone believing I wanted an opinion on my looks than I spent angry.

I’ve said never ask a question if you don’t want the answer. If you, like me, make random objective observations, be careful when and how you share them. They are not always welcome. Losing friends, hurting family members is not fun and coming back from it can feel impossible. So please, whether it’s a conversation with your sister or a comment to a stranger on social media, be careful because what you say may matter. Whether they’re over it in ten minutes or it stabs like a knife for years, words can hurt.

If I say something that feels insulting, please tell me. I know I come off as harsh and that’s why I call my honesty “brutal” but I do not try to be hurtful. Freedom of speech means you don’t get arrested for being an antagonistic asshole, but it does not mean I will allow you to direct it at me or anyone else I care about.

Be kind to each other, be honest when you can. Thank you for being here with me. I know it’s a choice to spend your time reading my thoughts and opinions and I appreciate your decision to do so.

Much love,

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Awkward Beginnings and more.

cam008971There’s always a beginning. It’s awkward and you don’t always know how to take that first step. Sometimes it’s when you meet someone for the first time, you think you click with them but then you fumble around in your head wondering, do I ask for their number? Do I ask them to grab coffee sometime? Maybe you get the words out, maybe you get lucky and they get the words out so you don’t have to. Maybe you’re starting a new job, you walk in and feel under-dressed (or overdressed). You worry that your coworkers are going to have this first impression of a slob (or a snob). That’s what this moment is for me. I’m sitting here wondering if you’re going to get past this first post or think this isn’t worth your time. That’s me there… if you can’t get past the weird hair and make up, we probably won’t make it far.

First impressions are hard, but they’re not everything. I’ve learned a lot from interactions with people across the world. I’ve learned how to fall in love and fall out of it. I’ve learned how to live with mental illness and not just survive but really live. I’ve learned how to help people with their jobs, relationships, coping skills, families and how all of these things work with each other. I have learned how to give peer support and relationship advice and even helped people learn to understand their family in order to get their family to understand them better.

Unfortunately since there are many law suits in the world, and let’s face it, I can’t afford one, disclaimers are a necessity. I am NOT A DOCTOR. I have never been a doctor, I’m not planning on ever becoming one. NO advice here should EVER take the place of a medical professional. If you decide to follow advice that you see here, please know that you’re an adult and it is YOUR choice to do so and I am not responsible for any outcome. If you see information about a medication, it is based on personal experience and not meant to be any sort of advertisement – actually this goes for anything – I’m not here to sell you cures. I’m here to offer wisdom from experience, mine and those that have known me. I may add to or edit this specific post as needed to reduce liability but please, just be responsible and understand that this is not a place to come in lieu of any professional.

I do give good advice though. If you ask anyone that’s known me for a bit, they’ll tell you. It’s not the advice you want to hear. I’ve always been brutally honest, hence the name. This leads to people getting upset with me sometimes, and it has ruined friendships. People believe honesty is refreshing, until it’s something they don’t want to hear. Some people are able to incorporate constructive criticism. These are the people who tend to stick around.

One of my rules – don’t ask a question you don’t want the answer to. This seems like a simple concept, but people forget that the honest answer isn’t always the easy answer. I don’t do little white lies. I don’t do enabling. I welcome you all to ask me questions and I will answer you. Perhaps not right away, but I do intend to answer as much as possible when I am able to. I do have emotional limits… but I will do my best to work with you if you want to work with me.

So this is the awkward beginning of a journey with a 36-year-old woman with mental illness who wants to try to help bring a little sanity to your world. I hope, in time, you’ll come to trust me and we’ll abandon the road less traveled for a path we create together.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~