Yawn.

Yawning cheetah cub © by Tambako the Jaguar

Yep, that’s pretty much how I feel right now. Exhausted. Mentally and physically.

See, I had to take a cab today, because the bus strike is still on. I’m currently waiting for Tim’s to open so I can get a tea and something to eat, because I’ve pretty much been up since 4:00 – after getting to sleep around 1:30. I couldn’t avoid coming to school today; I have two assignments due, as well as having to take a midterm for my Marketing course. So to try to avoid being late for my 8:30 class, I decided I needed to try and skip the traffic (see this Twitter post from Haligonia to get an idea of what I mean) in case it was still bad. Because of this, I took a cab at 6:30. For an 8:30 class. On the bright side, I only had to pay around $20 for it, when I expected it to be much more. On the downside, that trip would have cost me $2.25 at most (and I’m ignoring the fact that I have a U-Pass and that my bus fares are paid for with my tuition – and heavily discounted), if the buses weren’t on strike. Ehh, it’s only nearly 10 times the amount. Clearly, for an unemployed student, that’s totally doable.

I’m trying to keep a bit more upbeat than I have been, because I know how low I got earlier in the week. Monday evening I had a full-blown anxiety attack because of some issues we had dealing with carpools and taxis and Mark’s job, and between the release of that (yes, it’s a bit of a release, even though it’s miserable) coupled with the fact that I let myself post about my depression definitely made me feel a bit more human, and more alive. Yesterday, I tackled all the assignments that I needed to do for today, and tried to relax. Today, it’s around 12 hours of classes (oof!) followed by a second cab drive home (yuck), and then I’m free until Friday. Friday, I’m stuck coming back here again, whether the buses are or not – I have another midterm.

I guess, even though I said I didn’t want to put too much in about my opinion when it comes to the bus strike, it’s impossible to avoid it entirely. I think I’m probably biased, since it happened right when I needed buses the most for exams, but it feels unfair. Why should an entire city suffer? I’m jealous of people who can actually carpool – or who even have cars at this point. As much as I was glad to sell my car, I do miss it a bit. Oh, well. Maybe things will look up in the near future. One can only hope, right?

The Scary Post

items we carry © by jronaldlee

I have avoided talking about this since the blog was restarted because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try to keep things upbeat and positive all the time, instead of dwelling on the negative stuff going on with me. However, that came at a bad time, because I had so many bad things going on that I didn’t have much to say – which explains all the posts about what other people had to say. Not that I want to stop doing my Friday Favourites, but I don’t want that to be the bulk of what I write about.

Instead, I’m going to come clean. Most of the people reading this have known me for some time, and already know that I have severe depression. The problem is, I haven’t been coping with it very well. I just kept taking more classes, and giving myself more of a burden – then hating myself and giving myself horrible guilt-trips every time I couldn’t handle it all. Last semester, I skipped half my classes – not because I was sick, but because there were so many days that getting out of bed in the morning took more energy than I had.

The worst part is that I get so frustrated about it all. While I know it’s not my fault, and I can’t control it, I just wish I could fight past it. So many people are dealing with so many things, and here I am sad about everything and nothing, all at the same time. It’s exhausting.

I finally had enough of it, though – I went to see a psychologist last week about some therapy. I hated making the appointment, though. It felt like giving up the control that I should have over my brain, and over my emotions, and over my life. The therapy will help – I know this – but it’s hard for me. I don’t remember what it’s like to not feel sad or anxious all the time, and I don’t know what it’ll be like when things start to change.

I’ll probably talk a little bit about what I’m feeling throughout this process, because otherwise I might not get everything out the way I need to. Not only that, but this blog will dry up horribly if I just try to hide all the bad stuff. Like I said – anxiety and depression aren’t things that I can exactly help. I can only learn how to deal with them, which is what I’m trying to do.

The big problem now is the Metro Transit strike. Not only will I have to pay nearly $100 in cab fares next week alone for the two midterms that I have, but I’ll be missing most of my classes, and I am not able to make another appointment with the counselling centre or with the doctor that I need to see to evaluate whether I need medication until it’s done. I hate that once I finally put one foot forward toward “fixing” what’s going on with me, something jumps in to throw a wrench in it. That said, I’m not willing to walk four and a half hours, across a bridge and on the waterfront, in below-freezing temperatures. I can’t imagine that’d be any better for my health than postponing my appointment until the strike is over with.

Note that I’m not putting my opinion in about the strike. It’s not that I don’t have one – I do, and poor Mark has had to hear it – it’s that I don’t want to rant about something like that any more than about how it affects me. There’s obviously something going on under the surface of those negotiations that we’re not being told. I just wish they’d done this in the summer, instead of in the winter. Our city is pretty screwed up until this gets fixed.

Friday Favourites

quotes © by emmasen

I had a bit of a rough week this week, which I’ll be posting about next week in a bit more detail. (Sorry for being all cryptic on ya! I promise it’ll make sense soon.) It’s weeks like these, though, where reading encouraging posts on the internet and seeing how happy people are helps – a lot. Here are some of my favourites for the week!

What fantastic, uplifting things have you read this week?

My Favourite Minecrafters

The Village in Minecraft © by post-apocalyptic research institute

I have to admit: I watch a lot of Minecraft videos on YouTube. I especially like the series videos, like Let’s Play-style or long challenge survival maps. Here are some of my favourites!

Etho’s Lab: He’s got a fantastic Let’s Play series and he’s playing through one of Vechs’ survival maps, Legendary. It’s interesting, because every time I watch one of his videos, I learn something new!

Docm77: I picture him a bit as the “mad scientist” of the Minecraft world. He’s always trying new things and pushing Minecraft to its limits, and in the meantime, has built an amazing world in his World Tour series!

Zisteau: I’ve watched through all the current videos for his Legendary series (the same map that Etho, above, is playing through) and am filling my time now watching through his Kaizo Caverns series. He approaches the maps in a different way: intent to break all the rules. The best part is that the kind of maps he’s playing actually reward that behaviour, so it always ends up working out.

Avidya Zen: This is a channel I watch not only for his “Avidya’s Adventures” series (a Minecraft Let’s Play), but also for his old Terraria series, since that’s a game I’m getting more and more into these days. (More on this later!) He’s also got fantastic tutorials that really break things down to a manageable level.

Vechs: I’ve already mentioned him twice, since he’s the creator of the Legendary and Kaizo Cavern map – among many other amazing maps. However, he’s taken it to the next level, and is playing through one of his newest maps, with a developer commentary along the way. It’s so awesome to see what kind of thought goes into making the amazing maps and traps and structures.

Do you watch any Minecraft videos on YouTube? I’m always on the lookout for good new channels!

Relax.

relax © by twicepix

It seems that 2012 is the year of “choosing a word”. So many of the blogs that I read have people choosing their one word for 2012, explaining that it’s the one thing they’ll focus on instead of a New Year’s resolution.

For example, Goddess Leonie is focusing on “fun”. Anna of Curvy Yoga is focusing on the word soften. Jo from August Empress has chosen the word Flourish. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

For me, I think I need to relax more. In focusing on this idea of relaxing, though, I think putting expectations out there to be the most relaxed person ever would be counterintuitive, so I’m trying to go about this in the easiest way possible. Mark always catches me when I start to stress, stops me, and tells me to relax. I need to remember to do this on my own.

As humans, breathing is obviously one of the first things we intuitively know how to do. It’s much harder to remember to stop and do so when you need it most, though. Once I start tensing up, I stop breathing slowly and calmly, my headaches flare up, and I end up in a situation where I’ve had the same migraine for a week and don’t know how to get over it. No amount of headache pills help, but sometimes sleep does. It’s obvious why: I’m relaxed.

So this year (and future years, too!) I plan to relax. I can handle everything that comes to me if I just take it on one step at a time.

Friday Favourites

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Our cat Lilo is pretty funny. She acts mean, but she’s a softie. In fact, most of the time, if she and Stitch (our other cat) are playing, she’s the one who instigated it! It’s moments like these that really warm my heart though – she had no idea I’d wander in and see them cuddling. All together now: Awwwwwwwww. And now on to some fun links!

I’m a total pushover sometimes, but I loved this article from Lifehacker about How to Say No (Without Being an Asshole).

I may have quit playing World of Warcraft for now, and I may be focusing less on trying to lose weight than I was before, but I can always appreciate a good comparison between real life and an RPG. Bonus points for the focus on baby steps – killing a couple of (figurative) rats never seems too difficult!

As someone who doesn’t have tons of friends, I value the ones that I have more than they probably even realize. I completely agree with this article about the value of female friendship – no matter how happy I am in my relationship, there are some things that require a female friend.

I love cupcakes. I think someone should make me some of these gorgeous colourful cupcakes. I’d be forever grateful!

I often find myself looking at other women and how put together they seem, and wonder how they do it. It turns out, I’m not the only one!

Just a reminder to myself, as well as to all the other awesome women out there: You are Lovable at Any Size.

Depression Monster

Happy Birthday To Me © by mendhak

This past weekend, my awful depression reared its head again. I sometimes have it managed pretty well, and sometimes I get blindsided by it. This weekend, though, was neither of those. I knew it was coming – I felt a bit sad and lazy, and felt like something was “off”. Mark was going to spend Sunday out playing cards, but I chose to stay in and wallow a bit instead.

It’s weird, sometimes, to put it into words. I try to explain exactly how I’m feeling and why I do what I do, but it’s difficult. I stayed home because I knew I’d be sensitive and needy if I went out, and I wanted Mark to have a day where he got to enjoy himself without worrying about keeping me entertained.

As expected, I sat on the couch and stared at my computer screen. I was on day 12 of a horrible migraine, which I believe was caused by tension and anxiety, so at one point I turned off the computer and took a two-hour nap. I ate when I felt hungry, and showered two or three times to try to relieve the pressure behind my eyes. All the while, though, I felt empty.

It’s a weird thing, feeling empty. I felt like I didn’t have people, and like I didn’t have a purpose. It was almost as if I just didn’t matter. Logically, I know that these things are untrue. But when I’m feeling down, there’s no stopping me from feeling a bit like an island, alone in a giant sea of people.

It’s interesting, though, because Mark came home and knew what I needed. He listed off all the people who wondered where I was and why I wasn’t there, and that helped – a lot. It reminded me that people actually do notice when I’m missing, and that I’m not just one of those people that they only remember when I’m right in front of them.

Of course, he then listened to me cry for two hours about how unfair it was that I feel this way, when I just want to feel “normal”. I told him it’s like a bully inside my head, picking on me all the time. The only problem is that when the bully is in your head, you can’t make it go away as easily.

One good thing is coming of this, though. I’m going to be seeing a counsellor in the next few weeks to try to work through this. I’m hoping to get enough out of the fog to try to see an actual doctor, too, so wish me luck.

Friday Favourites

Captain Flash © by matt hutchinson

I saw a man in a top hat on the bus this week, and it made my day. No, it made my week. I couldn’t believe it! After all the complaining I have about the way people dress these days (more on this later, I promise) and with all the people I see in sweatpants and baseball caps, it was so nice to see someone wearing an actual article of clothing. Every time I started feeling anxious, I thought about the top hat! It’s a good way to start the week.

Here are a few other things that I loved this week:

Well-Dressed Men – this article showed up just a day after seeing Mr. Top Hat (mentioned above) and I was so excited. It’s nice to see men who are put-together and fashionable. Is there anything more attractive? Maybe not…

6 Simple Yoga Stretches for Daily De-Stressing – I did just three of these and immediately felt tired, like the tension had rapidly exited my body. Amazing!

On Being a Plus-Size Girl in a Skinny Girl World made me smile. I often see girls (sometimes even bigger than myself) who carry themselves with such confidence that I wonder what their secret is. Clearly, they just learned how to love themselves. It shows!

The Most Useful Grammar Post Ever. How handy is this? I’m in a business communication class right now and spend more time thinking about grammar and things than I probably will ever need to again, but it’s nice to have a handy reference.

Jen from My Smiling Heart says ENOUGH. I’m inclined to agree.