My Days in Mud

I feel as though most days I'm swimming through mud. This is neither a good or bad thing, it's just my state of being. I've accepted that having mental illnesses (yes, I'm using the plural) means almost everyday is going to be muddy in some way, shape or form.

Some days I just wanna walk through it to get somewhere, not really caring if I get my clothes dirty on the way, I just want to get through it and get it done. These are the days I can't be bothered with crap being around me, I just know I have to trudge through to make it through the day.

Other days I walk carefully, gingerly stepping over muddier spots and doing my best to hold the hems of my pants up and away from the grime. I get anxious and nervous, struggling a lot some days just to leave my house because I'm terrified of the minefield that is society.

Then there are days I get stuck, my feet sink in and I can't budge an inch no matter how I pull or scream for help. It sucks when I get so stuck in my head that neither I nor anyone else can pull me out, frustration at my mental health is something I continue to struggle with.

The worst are days I decide to fuck it and lay in the mud, feeling it seep through my clothing till it hits my skin and covers me whole. That deflation of defeat can be crippling, those days I have to take time alone to figure out where my head and heart are at. I believe these are the days when my head and heart fall out of sync, which dampens my spirit.

Occasionally I'll roll around in the mud, not really giving a damn about the mess but not caring enough to stand up and get out of it. There are weird days where my depression clings to me like a wet blanket, but I really can't find myself to care all that much about it. I'll somehow have the energy to go do random activities to occupy myself from my head, like dancing on my favorite hiking trail or going to a movie all by myself.

Then a day comes and I'll get back up and start fighting my way through it again, knowing I'll likely get dirty along the way but nevertheless persist. Some days I wake up and just know I have to get things done, and that's what I end up doing.

I can never tell you what kind of mud I'll encounter on any given day. Occasionally I'll have a day be going fine and dandy when suddenly I take a step and my feet slip right out from below my and land my ass in a muddy puddle. Other days the ground is dry and sturdy enough for me to skip and dance through, not giving a damn about tripping or falling.

Life is muddy. Most days we'll be lucky and the mud will settle down and the water's surface becomes clear again. Others things get stirred up and thick so it's impossible to move forward without making a bigger mess. Life is about as clear as mud, we just have to figure out what to do with it whenever it's encountered.

Follow on twitter @JoyPearson

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Generated Poetry: The Formulation of Love

I’m on this kick where I use a word generator to give me 6 random words that I incorporate into a poem. I imagine I’ll be posting many of these, so bear with me (or not…. this is my website after all. So if you don’t like this, fuck you, go somewhere else to read garbage poetry that stinks more than mine!)

Generated words: Afternoon, Imposter, wept, Serum, Formulation, Deplorable.


The formulation of love can be rather tricky

It suffers from a deplorable lack of compassion

It’s also often ironically witty…

A cure-all serum does not exist

Safe for the hours in the afternoon I’ve wept

Over memories of when I was last kissed.

I feel like an imposter in my own head

Pretending I don’t have these memories

Of you, me, and our love you killed, dead.



For more spontaneous stupidity, follow my twitter @JoyPearson

Word Generator Inspiration

Lately I’ve had a desperate need to write, but I suffer from a lack of inspiration these days. To give myself a kickstart, I used a random word generator online to give me a set of six words that I would then craft into a poem. The words I received were ‘extract’, ‘betrayal’, ‘contagious’, ‘messenger’, ‘union’, and ‘smart’. 

Using these six words, I came up with the following poem:

To extract thoughts and ideas from my mind

Seems so impossible, I take it as a sign.

A betrayal from my hand to my brain

A tenuous union that’s driving me insane.

If I were smart, I’d find hobbies more contagious

Things I can do that will be more advantageous

Someone get a reliable messenger for my hand and head

Before things remain silent, sadly left unsaid. 

For more poetic ridiculousness, follow me on twitter @JoyPearson

The Chase and the Fall of Squeaker the Mouse

I think a fair share of us have witnessed a moment similar to this one.

I was settling down in bed for the night when I heard TC come up the stairs and into the bedroom. I started calling for her to come up on the bed (she always responds to my invitation). Her head peaked over the side, and I saw she wasn’t alone.

By matter of circumstance (AKA I was taking selfies) I had my camera on and turned to snap the above pic just before she leapt up on to the bed (hey, I did invite her after all…)


For those of you who’ve never truly ‘experienced’ cats, they like to bring their humans gifts. Given how much I dote on TC more than the other three cats, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise she wanted to return the love. But a simple cuddle would have sufficed!

Seeing the mouse I, of course, yelled “OH SHIT!” And leapt out the bed, shooing TC off the bed towards the door, so she could devour her gift elsewhere….. then she dropped the mouse.

I swear to every deity with my hand on a stack of Jenny Lawson books that when TC dropped that mouse, the little shit turned it’s head and smirked at me. Before the full “IT’S ALIVE!” Thought was coherent in my head, the bastard dashed under my parents’ bed.

I could tell from the glee on TC’s face that a grand hunt was about to take place resulting in a massacre under my mother’s bed. So I picked her up and (gently) threw her out of the bedroom and shut the door.

Squeaker (I dubbed him) scurried out underneath the bed and went for the TV cabinet. Fortunately, the cabinet is situated in the corner, so I had the little fella trapped.

 


Using towels and a pair of jeans, I blocked Squeakers exits while I waited for my brother to arrive. When Will got there, an Oscar worthy chase took place.

Will took some amazing dives, full body launches that would have had John McClane proud. The shower I’d taken earlier had been rendered null by the sweat stains all over my pajamas as I dashed up and down the stairs getting tools for extraction.

Unfortunately, after Squeaker dosappeared under the murphy bed in the spare room, he met an accidental end by hiding under a board that my brother stepped on (and rocked back and forth on to prove he wasn’t under it, I believe I said something along the lines of “JESUS FUCK AND HOLY HELL OH GOD!” When I lifted the board and saw the semi-flattened carcass) thus ending Squeaker.

He put up a valiant chase, Will and I really tried our best to get him out alive. After Will left, I went looking for TC. I found her hiding under my car, looking a little nervous. Once inside, and back where it all started in the bed, I cuddled her close and giggled, “Thank you for the gift, little warrior. I know you meant for the mouse to be a present, but getting Will and I to reenact the movie Mouse Hunt [one of our favorite films] might have been the best gift you’ve ever given me.”

RIP Squeaker

#ThxBirthControl

I graduated high school at 18, full of scholarships and excitement for the next part of my life. I went to the University of Puget Sound and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in theater. I took several psychology courses post-grad, leading me to my current job working for a school district co-running the extended day program at an Elementary school. I have many hobbies that include any form of art, playing my ukulele, writing about mental health on my blog, walking through the Juanita Wetlands while counting bird calls, collecting comics, and watching/rewatching movies. I have a wonderful apartment that has my touch on every square foot, I keep beautiful plants named Herman and Leonard on my window sill next to my stack of books I plan to read. All this to say, #ThxBirthControl for allowing me to decide when and where I am prepared to start a family. Please donate to Planned Parenthood, who deserve a huge shoutout for providing birth control to women for decades.

#NotAllGirls

Women are ‘supposed’ to be ‘small’ and ‘quiet’. I’m 5 foot 9 inches with an affinity for heels, I got some wedges that add 7 inches to my natural Amazonian height. I also fluctuate anywhere between a size 10 to a size 14 depending on how much I care enough that month to make the effort to go to the gym. ‘Quiet’ is not in my vocabulary, I have a diaphragm and I know how to utilize it to my best advantage. Once when asked to describe me, a former friend only wrote “LOUD”, at the time I took that with great insult, but now I find it is one of my greatest strengths. To generalize women down to one size and sound standard is a joke, being ‘big’ and ‘loud’ is way more fun anyways.

A glimpse into how my mental health works

I lost my phone. For some people, this is a huge catastrophe where lives are at stake and state secrets are about to be revealed from the archives hidden deep in the recesses of undeleted text messages taking up data space. For some, it’s a minor inconvenience that means getting a shiny piece of new technology. I consider these the two extremes for phone loss.

Me? I am neither extreme, I just feel like a failure. This is how I feel any time something small goes wrong. Today when I discovered my phone was missing, I was chill. I calmly went back to the classroom I work in and looked through, then I went back to my car and sifted through my purse and between the seats, nothing came up. Now I’ve got pressure on my chest, something is wrong and it’s my fault. I go back again to my classroom to search once more, this time with more drawer slamming and doors being flung open and closed harder.

I go back to my car again, wondering if my coworker accidentally took it. I ease a bit thinking that was a real possibility, which then took the pressure off my chest of my failure. I started driving home, only I started realizing that I had no alarm clock in my apartment. My phone had always been my alarm. Pressure on my chest again, I’m a failure because I never thought to get a basic alarm clock to keep in case of power outages.

I get home quicker than usual, more to do with my speeding through yellow lights so I could get to my computer and email my coworker and boss. My computer is linked to my text messages, so I contact my boss and ask him to check in with my coworker. She doesn’t have the phone. Fuck my life.

Pressure increases, tenfold this time. I stomp out of my apartment and down the stairs into the underground garage, this time tearing my car apart looking for my phone. Cracks, crevices, pockets, I even looked in the trunk even though I hadn’t opened it in well over a week. Pressure spreads from my chest to my head, I can feel my eyes heat with the potential of an anxiety attack, but I shake my head hard to ignore the sensations of tears building.

I get back to my apartment and take to my laptop with more key slamming and cursing under my breath; I can’t access my iCloud account to use Find My Phone. Cue hyperventilating and pacing. My hands are combing and gripping my hair as I try to keep breathing through the pressure, but failure has set it’s nasty claws in. How could I be so irresponsible? How could I have not had it in my purse when I left? Why don’t you have backup plans for this? Why don’t you have a landline? Why don’t you remember your iCloud security questions? Why are you so thoughtless and stupid?

My boyfriend, who’s just landed after having been in London for the weekend, is doing all he can to make it seem like it’s no big deal. I know it’s not a big deal. I know there are hundreds dead in Haiti, I know Donald Trump is spreading rape culture, I know Black Lives Matter, I know there are refugees taken from their homes trying to find a place to live in a country where ‘charitable christians’ want to turn them away. I know there are a million worst things going on right now than the temporary loss of my phone. It’s not about my phone, it never was. It’s about the fact that I have never been able to allow myself to make mistakes without punishing myself internally.

One small misstep, and my anxiety is all over me. The other day a coworker kindly corrected the way I was communicating with a special needs student. It wasn’t a major mistake I was making, it was a simple correction of rhetoric to use, but in my chest and mind I felt like I’d ruined this students life. I beat myself up for the years of psych classes I had taken where I’d learned proper communication with special needs students, I cried in the bathroom because I feel like a terrible instructor and role model.

On the outside of these moments, I recognize that I am simply a human making small normal mistakes that others have. I see that I’m not a failure, but in those moments of common missteps, my anxiety’s smoke chokes me until I can’t breathe. The bitch is standing behind my shoulder whispering “Oh look at that, you fucked up again. How original.” And there is literally nothing I can do to stop it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for me when it comes to mental and emotional health problems. Most people have written me off as a drama queen, unfortunately I went through most of college with little to no help when I and a friend were being bullied. The few times I tried explaining what I was going through, I got as far as “The people in the drama department are-” and almost always I would get some variation of the sarcastic comment “Drama in the drama department! How surprising!” Because people didn’t take me seriously then, I now struggle to tell people when I am upset or hurt because I’m afraid they’ll once again write me off as being dramatic. How is it just being dramatic when it’s reducing me to tears in a bathroom at work? What about when I’m lying awake in the middle of the night going through every single thing I fucked up that day? How is that just being dramatic?

Of course I’ve stopped telling people when things get to me. I excuse myself politely to have a moment alone, which is really all I need mostly. I can get a handle on myself and step out from the darkness I easily find myself falling into, but talking about it is a whole different story. Thankfully through this blog I’ve been able to feel more open and honest about my feelings and struggles. I’ve always found I can process my feelings more deeply and successfully when I can write out what I’m going through and what it’s making me feel. The fact that people happen to read and relate to what I write on here is just a lovely compliment, as I really never expect anyone to take what I say seriously.

My mental health makes it near impossible for me to deal with mistakes I make, no matter how big or small. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop making mistakes, nor that I am a failure as a human being. It just means that I work harder than most at forgiving myself and moving forward, and I take a lot of pride in that. So for those of you who also feel like complete utter fucking failures, you’re so not alone. I’m right there failing with you, albeit with a little more style perhaps.