A Tropical Depression

Hello friends!

Man oh man it’s been a while! Things have definitely got away from me as I am now starting to enter the, “I have no life because grad school” mentality.

We’ve already struck our first show, we’re in tech for another, and we’re in the 3rd build week for my show. I am drafting better and better everyday, but I’m still no pro. Not even close.

We’ve passed midterms now, my welding project was a bit of a disappointment for me, but I certainly learned a lot, which is really the whole point. We had one week to make something and I decided I wanted to make a wind chime that looked like a jelly fish. When I started the project, my boss said that he didn’t think it would be able to happen how I wanted it to, and boy was he right.

Unfortunately I never listen, especially to nay sayers, and went along with it anyways. I wasn’t able to work on it as much as I had hoped since some things got in my way with the build of my upcoming show. So it ended up looking VERY organic, but it sounds great. I kept telling people to just close their eyes when they look at it, because the intonation of the copper tubes I used sounded really lovely.

Right now my life feels very messy. The stress from my show is really getting to me, and I’ve had 3 panic attacks in less than 12 hours. It’s enough that it makes me want to talk to a doctor about this again, but all of the anxiety medicine makes me feel like a zombie and I would hate that more I think.

Plus the last time I talked to a doctor about this, I didn’t get the greatest response. I actually completely forgot about this interaction until recently when I was looking through my medical history to send to UConn. I was looking through at the notes from the appointment I made about my overwhelming anxiety after my ex and I broke up after being together for almost 7 years. The diagnosis was, “Anxiety, extreme depression, obesity.”

COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL

Like, I know I’m no model of health, but let’s calm down. Also, I’m coming to you to talk about how I don’t want to be alive anymore, but yeah let’s dig a deeper hole about how overweight I am. That’ll totally help.

How do some people have medical degrees?

That being said, I am currently laying in my bed eating cheese. But also, self care. After all of my anxiety today, I got home, took a bath, poured myself a glass of wine, and now I’m here to talk it out. Of course living a healthy life style can certainly improve mental health, but right now I just don’t think some carrots and yoga is going to do the trick.

I do feel lucky that I can identify when I am having a panic attack atleast. Kimberly was saying that one of her friends is starting to have some but doesn’t know how to handle herself, which is super understandable. When I first started having attacks, I had no clue what was going on, and so I would try to act as normal as possible, which would really just make it worse.

Now I can feel my heart rate elevate, I start to sweat, I get this knot in my chest and that’s when I know I need to excuse myself. I like to go to the bathroom, bend down holding onto the sink so my arms are above my head, and then I cry if I need to and get back to breathing regular again. Then I splash cold water on my face, chest and neck. It usually takes about 5-10 minutes for me to return to normal, but I’ve found it the best way to calm myself down.

I also feel lucky to have surrounded myself with new friends at school who understand that this is a problem I face, and who give me the space and love to overcome it. They all know that I hate hugs, so they do this thing where they reach out their hand and put it on my forehead, and that is weirdly comforting.

Alas, I have faith that tomorrow will be a brighter and better day.

Today I leave you with the words from not a song, but my favorite podcast, “Jordan Jesse Go!” This was their catch phrase from last year. “Go punch a blimp!”

Love,

Aubrey

Emotions… am I right?

Hello friends!

Before I start this post, I just wanted to firstly thank everyone who has reached out with their love and support for me and this blog. It was amazingly overwhelming the amount of personal messages that I’ve been receiving about how my first post related to so many of you. If my experiences and words can help anyone, even just for a second, then that is truly amazing and I am so honored.

So today I thought we could continue chronologically into this new journey for me. I sort of ended my story yesterday with moving back to my parents house back around Thanksgiving. I just want to give a warning here that this is going to become very personal, candid, and upsetting. At least for this part, on a different day I will tell you all about how I screach-cried from joy from seeing a picture of a mini horse.

While I am so blessed to have parents who were willing and able to let me move back in with them, it certainly faced its challenges. I hadn’t lived with them full-time in almost 10 years, and it definitely felt like I had failed. I knew no one in Syracuse anymore, so now I was 27, getting a divorce, living with my parents, unemployed, with no friends around me, and very, very sad. I made a playlist called “sad piano” and would just listen to it on repeat. People told me not to do that, that it would make things worse, but man, no one wants to listen to Ke$ha when their upset; You need Adele, 4 blankets covering you, a bottle of wine, an oversized t-shirt that says, “Kiss me, I’m polish” that you’ve now spilled wine all over, a block of cheese, and another blanket for good measure.

My sister said that I cried myself to sleep most nights. I don’t really remember the specifics of that time, I just remember this overwhelming sadness that I never thought I would get over. I had this pit in my stomach that burned into my throat, and it just sat there, day and night. I have experienced a lot of traumatic, heart-wrenching times in my life before this, but this was uncharted territory; sad doesn’t accurately describe how horrible I was feeling, and I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. Truly, not to gloss over this, but depression and feeling hopeless is such a heavy burden that no matter how much love or compassion people show you, it just doesn’t help.

I am so grateful to all of my friends, but I know that I wouldn’t have gotten through this period of my life without my parents. They were so selfless and loving and supported me in ways I never knew I would need. I feel like I need to spend the rest of my life thanking them and finding ways to show them how much they mean to me because I truly don’t know what I would’ve done if they hadn’t done everything that they did for me. I’m sitting on my couch sobbing as I write this because I just… I just love Lori and Dave Ellis so god damn much. Thank you for shaping me into the woman I am today.

 

——————————15 minute intermission to find more tissues————————-

 

Okay, I’m back. I want to use this platform to say all of the things that I need to say, and so admitting that I was afflicted with that much pain is very difficult. If you’re still with me here, then I want to thank you. Thank you now, and thank you for reaching out back then when I so desperately needed it. If I didn’t respond to you, please know that I just couldn’t find the words then. If I did reach out to you, thank you for being there for me in my time of crisis. Your love saved me. Truly.

Thankfully, I was able to find my footing. But now I am experiencing anxiety for the first time… Yes I know, I feel very lucky to have just started this fun adventure of having a knot in my stomach, cold-sweats, nausea, palpitations, and an impending feeling of doom.

Apparently, for 27 years, I just did and said whatever I wanted, felt no consequence, and didn’t give any fucks about what anyone thought about me ever. Ahhh… what a simpler time.

Now, when I go out with a guy, I end up having to suddenly leave because I think I may start throwing up, and then all of my built up stress causes kidney stones! Huzzah! Great evolutionary trait, Aubrey!

Eventually though, I did get a job, and I was going to graduate school interviews, and feeling more and more like my old self. I have no tried and true method to how this happened; I can certainly tell you that it didn’t happen over night. It took months for me to feel comfortable in my own skin again. But one day, someone in my family looked at me and said, “Hey, the old Aubrey is back!” Thank god. From what I experienced, there is no wrong way to grieve. Your feelings and emotions are truly unique to you, and whatever you need to do to make yourself feel whole, then you should do that. I cried alot, drank more, reached out to friends, and leaned on my family 110%.

Occasionally I would have small realizations about my previous life and whenever that happened, I would write them down in a notebook. Often, they were things about my ex, but more often then not, they were reasons why I was better off. Soon they turned into qualities I wanted in my next partner. I had compromised so much in my previous relationship, that I now had a list of non-negotiables. I’ll share some with you; I can’t remember everything right off of the top of my head, of course I only remember the very silly ones, but to me, they are very important.

  1. They have to want to dance with me.
  2. They have to want to wear hilarious halloween costumes.
  3. They will never tell me that I’m too loud.

 

In January I had finally built up the courage to take on the adventure that is dating apps! What a weird thing guys! They didn’t have these things back in 2010, and man oh man, do I dislike them. Alas, at the end of January, I went on my first date in almost 7 years.

How do you even know when you’re ready to date again!? Was I ready? Did I even want to go? What do you talk about? Will it be weird if I meow at him? What if I get too drunk because I have no tolerance anymore and I laugh and whiskey comes out of my nose?

In my next post, I’m going to divulge what it’s like to date again, talk about the absurdities of tindr, tell you about the four guys that I’ve gone out with, and I don’t know, probably go on about how Jameson is the best whiskey? Yeah, that sounds right.

Thank you for going on today’s emotional roller coaster with me. We got through the tough part, now onto my hilarities and hi-jinks.

But for tonight, I will leave you with the words from Adele. Even though her songs have a a sad piano vibe to them, she still helped me in my time of need. “I can’t keep up with your turning tables. Under your thumb, I can’t breathe. So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me.”

 

Love,

Aubrey