Sunday, August 14, 2016

Feeling Feelings


It's been a while.

Life has changed a lot. I got let go from the big girl job, I moved to Boulder from the Bay recently, and I am adjusting. Naturally, I'm also totally fucking depressed and anxious. As someone who already battles those feelings on a daily basis, gigantic changes are not easy. I'm homesick for the last few months in California, when I was #funemployed and doing whatever I wanted, and in my healthiest adult relationship to date (who knows if that's saying much, though, at this point).

Now I'm in Boulder. I don't have a paying job, I'm terrified about money, my manfriend moved to Maine for a new job and we are...I don't know what we are. Friends but more but not actually? We are in a new chapter and I have never had a relationship go to this space. It's terrifying, and requires adjustment and a lot of talking. I miss my friends in California and New York. I have my BFF here as my roommate, and another awesome roommate, and some other friends in the area. But, they all have lives and other things going on. And I'm just kind of here, processing on my own.

I cried most of the drive from California to Colorado. Gigantic, disgusting outbursts that scared Gomez and myself. I've cried nearly every day for weeks. This was a necessary change, I know, and staying in California would not have been any easier. I had no real place to live, no job that could sustain me, and no prospects on the horizon. I'm on the second step of applications for two separate writing jobs here already. I applied to more yesterday. I'm trying, very hard, to focus on myself and moving forward. And I will feel better for a while, and think hey, maybe I can do this. And then something minuscule pulls me backward and drags me through broken shards of memories and I break down.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I think on social media, we all have a tendency to just show the best things going on, to brag about all the great things and hide the parts of ourselves that are tender and aching. We don't want others to know when we are sad, when our thoughts go dark; we are afraid of ridicule and judgment. Nobody is happy 100% of the time. I used to pretend to be happy all the time. I remember, one day, just getting over that fact. It was in high school, I was having a dark day, and I didn't hide it with a fake smile. SO MANY people came up to me to say, "What's wrong? Why aren't you smiling? You're always smiling! Be happy!" That's, uh, not how that works, guys. But I'll never forget that moment (and have probably mentioned it before), and I think it's important that we show our authentic selves to the world. Current Nicole is anxious and depressed; plastering a fake smile on won't help that.

Friday and Saturday I actually had really good days and felt a lot better. Until late last night, and for most of today, when I've been in a horrible mood, regretting so many things and crying a lot. Healing isn't linear, and I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. I'm just trying to accept these emotions, deal with them as they arise, and keep going. I told my roommate that I was gonna go to my room and cry, then make myself look pretty and get out of the house for a while. She told me that was a great idea, that actually recognizing and letting yourself feel your emotions is the healthiest thing you can do. So I cried, and screamed into a pillow, and cried. Then I did deep, rhythmic yoga-esque breathing. Now I'm writing this. It helps.

I've called my mom crying almost every day, sometimes two or three times, telling her I'm not sure I can do this. So much upheaval at once is hard on anyone, and is especially tough for those of us who struggle with anxiety already. She's been a saint, and has given me some wonderful advice, and a lot of tough love (and regular love too). She told me to break my negative thought patterns that have been ingrained in me since childhood. I'm not afraid to be alone, I don't need a relationship, but I am afraid of being left behind, of being forgotten, of being unimportant to someone I care about deeply. This goes not just for romantic relationships, but also friendships. And it has happened to me far too often, which makes the fear of it happening even worse. I also feel guilty for even existing sometimes. Guilt and anxiety are two of my most-felt emotions, fun fact! But she has reminded me that guilt doesn't get you anywhere. Neither does worrying about everything. I don't have to be productive and smiley every single day, but I do need to work on breaking negative thought and behavior patterns I've had for...forever, it seems like.

Why do you need to know all of this? Well, you don't. If you're even still reading this far, brava! I just think we all need to be more honest about where we are, what we are going through, and what we need. I need to think and feel for myself. I need to not worry so much about others, and pleasing other people, and focus on the tasks ahead in my own life. I need my friends to understand that my emotions are turbulent, but I still love you all so damn much. I need you guys to occasionally text and message me with, "Hey, Nicole, you're okay. I love you. I'm here. You alright? Need anything? Look at this funny cat video!" Even if I don't respond right away, it will help, and I thank you for it. Or, just good general thoughts in my direction. Those are appreciated immensely. You found something small that reminds you of me and you want to send it? I'll give you my address. I'll return the favor when I have more money and energy, because I love giving random gifts to people, and I think we should all do it more often. If we are close friends, let's FaceTime or Skype and I'll show you around our cute house! And probably cry. I apparently look pretty when I cry, so, there's that!

What am I doing about the situation? I'm crying. I'm processing. I'm breathing. I am, slowly, growing and healing. I'm watching favorite movies and TV shows. I'm writing in a journal. I'm trying to remember to eat. (I'm really bad about that anyway, and TERRIBLE about it if I'm already depressed. I went too long without eating yesterday, around 8 hours, which probably helped trigger the later awful feelings I had. You can also remind me to eat, if you'd like.) I'm cooking for myself again, which has been alright. I made delicious salmon the other night. I got some nice produce from the farmer's market yesterday. I'm buying myself flowers and silly things for my room to make me happy, like a cheesy mirror from Target that says, "You are so loved," and a lamp that's a golden unicorn head (NEEDED NECESSARY YES). I'm drinking a fair amount, I admit, which is not the healthiest way of doing things, but splitting a bottle of wine with my BFF and talking about life makes me feel better, even if only for a moment. Or splitting multiple bottles with a couple friends and crashing on their couch and cuddling their cat who looks like a bear, that's good too.

Don't worry, I'm also back on Tinder. I hate it. There's been so much grossness in just over a week that I'm already sick of it. But I also know I am not ready to date, because I am a mess. I don't want to date someone just to have someone there, or because I'm insecure about myself. That's not a relationship; that's bullshit. That's using someone, and I won't do it. That being said, I've got some great screenshots of profiles and a couple of chats with some creeps that will make for a wonderful Tinder Moments soon. I was going to do that now, actually, but I felt the need to update and be forthright about how I am and what is actually going on with me. Basically, I'm focusing on myself (or trying to) and attempting to move forward in a relatively healthy fashion. Some days I can't get out of bed, or out of the house. Some days I can't sit still. My sleeping schedule is all fucked up. But, this is life. This is a period of change, of adjustment, of growth (hopefully). Nothing is static; everything moves. To quote the great Cher in Mermaids: "Life IS change, Charlotte."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

This is also not a plea for you to feel sorry for me, and I hope it doesn't come across that way. My life has not been easy, but I don't expect pity. I am not a victim; I'm a person. We all go through things and experience them differently; this is just a hard place I am in. I'm just asking for peace, love, and understanding, which is all I ever really want anyway. What's so wrong with that?

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