Just as Expected

Ahhh, just as I expected

I’m becoming lost amongst those

In my generation and those-

after my generation.

I’m merely a grain

Not even of sand

but of an atom

Set adrift amidst the world.

Insignificant and useless

If I could go back

To the days when I was young

To the days when I had nothing

Maybe then…
Maybe then, I would have something

The ache is strong

Tugging at my heart

Begging me to vanish

Amidst the floorboards of time

I’m worthless-

nothingness

What does it mean

To be nothing

When everyone else

Is something?

Ah, just as expected

I’m lost again

Chocolate

I’m on my way to a chocolate factory! It’s called Harper Macaw and while I’m excited to explore the process of making gourmet chocolate and getting the opportunity to taste the- oh. Wait. I can’t taste the chocolate.

Because of my peanut/tree nut allergy, I have to be extremely careful when it comes to eating gourmet chocolate. Lately I’ve been a little less cautious in my pursuits of the decadent cacao, but my anxiety is gnawing at the back of my brain again, reminding me that I don’t really fancy stabbing myself with my epi-pen or going into a benadryl induced coma.

Not too mention yesterday was my methotrexate day; which means today and tomorrow are going to be my most symptomatic days. I’m nervous about getting dizzy and the intense fatigue dragging from my heels like deadweights. I want to enjoy this trip, but my anxiety is screaming at me to curl into a protective ball and roll away.

I’m hoping that, at the very least, I can manage to get some fine chocolate for my mother. Something to make her days a little less bitter and irritating. Especially since, once I go home in May, she’ll be stuck with me till August.

Disabled?

Am I disabled? Am I really?

Just a simple comment from my mother and my whole world is shifted.

“You’re not disabled! Unless that’s what you’re striving for!”

I feel like my stomach and heart fell to the ground when she said that. I could only smile and move on. How do you explain yourself? How do you defend your validity? How do you say confidently that you’re disabled when it’s the last thing anybody wants?

My mother, by all rights, can be called disabled. But she rejects the word like some filthy beast. She doesn’t have to struggle to prove her disability to the world; they already see it. She’s on long-term disability leave/retired and on social security. She takes countless medications, high dosages of chemo, and struggles every single day to function.
But she doesn’t consider herself disabled.

I have anxiety and depression. Clinically, I’ve been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, and PTSD. I’ve been in therapy for a variety of reasons since I was in sixth grade. I’ve taken several different anti-depressants and anxiety drugs since high school.
While I also have asthma, peanut/tree nut allergies, and severe eczema, I’ve had those all my life. I’ve always had an emergency inhaler on hand, an epi-pen nearby, and have always been under a strict regime of lotions and topical steroids. Before I went to the hospital for suicidal ideation and a failed suicide attempt, I got by. I went through the days like a robot and functioned.

It’s 2018 and I’ve learned a lot about disabilities. I’ve learned so much since 2015, things I never thought I’d have the privilege of knowing. I learned about Psychiatric Service Dogs and, through multiple groups, about so many other things Service Dogs do. I learned about dog training, disabilities, mental and physical disorders, chronic illness, the spoonie theory, etc. I learned about POTS, EDS, Dysautonomia, etc. I learned that if somebody is in a wheelchair it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t walk. I learned about different mobility tools, tricks, tips, hints, guides, and so much more when it came to coping and functioning as a human.

But am I disabled?
Things have changed. I still have panic attacks, but they happen every three months or so. I’m still suicidal and I struggle not to cry about 80% of the day. I still have flashbacks, paranoia, hypervigilance, and a flinch reflex that makes people look at me oddly. But I don’t have deep, in-depth flashbacks where I’m not aware of where I am. I don’t have nightmares and never have. I can go to work with minimal problem, holding a part-time job like I always have. I can talk to people and, sometimes, I can even talk to a random stranger as if it wasn’t a big deal. Anxiety still catches at my throat and stutters my words. Panic still causes me to hyperventilate as I sob hysterically about something easily fixed. Disassociation still causes me to discover new methods to try and stay focused. My asthma still causes my lungs to seize up and wheeze, leaving my chest sore. I’ve never run into eating a peanut/tree nut, but I always keep my epi-pen handy anyway. I’m on Methotrexate for my eczema and it seems to be helping somewhat, with easy to handle side effects.

Do I think I’m disabled? I don’t know… I think something within me wants to be though. Something that is so desperately tired of trying so much harder than anybody else. I feel like every achievement I make is nothing compared to those around me. I feel like I’m always constantly several steps behind my peers. I just want to be able to explain to everybody without giving my full medical workup WHY everything is so much harder. But even reading back on this post makes me sick to my stomach. I feel like I’m trying to convince you, reader, that I really am disabled. I don’t even feel like I can confidently write this without trying to get you to empathize with me. I can’t be unbiased, disjointed, or separated.

I’ve tried living normally. I’ve tried living without the constant reminder in the back of my head that I’m disabled and that’s why I’m struggling. I fear it’s become an automatic thought process though, something I just can’t shake loose. Is it because I want a service dog? Is it because I want validation? Is it because I just want attention? Why am I so determined to prove to the world that I’m disabled? What is the driving factor, the driving force, behind this intense desire to be validated when it comes to whether or not I’m disabled? Why do I even want to be considered disabled? I feel like a fake, a fraud. I feel like a cuckoo within the nest, crying desperately for food as my siblings starve beneath my fat body.

All it took was a few words from my mother, and suddenly my world is once again left in shambles.

Gun Control

I can’t stop crying. I’m so angry and so scared.

This needs to stop. Enough is enough, and enough was 18 years ago. What is wrong with our government?! Why can’t they see the carnage that we see? My heart aches and screams for those lost, injured, and traumatized during the Parkland shooting.

It’s way past the time we stand and fight back. It’s way past the damn time to do something.

Loss

In the aftermath of so much loss, my own loss has been reflected back at me.

I’ve lost… a lot of friends. Good friends, best friends, potential friends. And no matter what I do or say, I always seem to mess up somewhere and I’m immediately cut off. I can’t fix my mistakes. I can’t strive to be better.

And honestly? Maybe I deserve it. But I wish I could make things right. I just want to make my friends happy. I just want to be the person they can rely on. But I’m flawed. I’m poor, in debt, and living in my parents house. Very little I own is actually mine.

I just want to actually have friends for once. It’s been so long since I’ve actually been able to make a friend, and even longer since I’ve kept a friend. I see kids all over the place, enjoying time with their friends. I see adults, enjoying dates with their friends. I hear stories and conversations that leave me feeling more empty and alone than before.

I dunno what I wanted to say….

What is a Friend?

What is a friend?

According to the Merriam-Webster, friend means;

  • one attached to another by affection or esteem
  • one that is not hostile
  • one that is of the same nation, party, or group
  • a favored companion

The etymology of the word is of the Middle English frend, from Old English frēond; akin to Old High German friunt friend, Old English frēon to love, frēo free.

So, by all rights, a friend should mean someone that you care for or someone that you are free to be yourself around. For some reason, however, I seem to have lost the innate ability to make a friend.
I remember when I was younger, about elementary school age, I used to make friends with no problem. All I had to do was inquire about their age, name, and ask the five-word question; Want to be my friend? At the time, it seemed so easy and made perfect sense. Granted, I didn’t actually have very many friends when I was younger. I was often bullied, teased, or ignored in favor of someone else. I’m not sure if it’s because of a personal character flaw, but that hasn’t changed much in my older age. Now, as an adult, I look for a few certain values within potential friends.

The problem is, the word friend doesn’t quite encapsulate the entirety of what being my friend actually is. For me, a friend is a family member. A friend is someone I would be willing to donate a kidney too or lose a limb to save.  A friend is someone that I empathize deeply with and feel immense grief, remorse, and sorrow over not being able to help. When I am rendered useless and helpless before a friend, I am at my weakest and most self-destructive.  I want nothing more than to be the person that gives it all for that person. All I ask in return is honesty. Sure, I have expectations, but all of those expectations pale in comparison to the absolution that, in order to be my friend, you must be honest.

I know a lot of people. People that consider me their friends. While the word’s definition has changed over time, acquaintance is the best word I could use for those people. These people I never spend time with outside of work/classes. These people never message me or make an effort to reach out to me. On the off-chance that they do, very rarely does the conversation go past simple pleasantries. Most people would consider this a friend and move on. But I yearn for a best friend. I yearn for a childhood friend that’s seen me throughout all my walks of life. I yearn for someone who could share such a deep and intimate bond with me, yet not be my lover.

That’s another thing; a friend for me has a hazy separation between lover. I’m asexual and I struggle with physical touch, so I don’t really have the typical expectations of a partner in a relationship. Because of this, there are often times when the term friend and partner become hazy and aren’t exactly separate.
After all, what makes a friend different from a partner when you take away the sexual aspect of it and normalize romance amongst friends? Wouldn’t taking my friend out to go see the movies and then eat dinner be considered a date amongst most people? Why does a partner have to be mutually exclusive from a friend? I think this is a primary reason for why I am also panamorous, or open to a polyamorous relationship. When someone becomes a friend to me, they become someone that I am willing to devote almost my entire being towards.

I have a partner. We’ve been dating for a year now, but we’ve been best friends for 5 years. In that time period, I’ve encountered multiple individuals that I may have come to consider a partner if they hadn’t severed connections with me. Currently, I have a friend that I call my “squish”, or a non-sexual companion. We’re not dating, and she wouldn’t consider me her partner. However, I would do all that I possibly could to make her happy. I would have no qualms about asking her to also be my partner alongside my current partner. Granted, I would need my current partner’s consent as well as hers to form a consentual triad. This is slightly off-topic though.

The main point being, a friend to me may not necessarily be a friend to you. So when I come forward with the offer of friendship, it’s not just an offer of company but an offer of a family. It’s an offer of my heart and my being.

A Life

What am I doing with my life?

This is a question that constantly plagues me throughout my days. As a 21 one-year-old college student, I hear that question more often than I care to hear it. Ever since I was 12 and taking the standardized test in middle school that told you what your career was, I’ve had that question tossed at me in one way or another. What do you want to be when you grow up, what do you want to do for a career, what career job are you aiming for, what’s your major and why, etc. Sometimes it seems like I’ll never escape that question; especially from myself.

What am I doing with my life? I feel like I’m so far behind everyone. There are so many things I dream of being apart of, but so few that I’ve actually had the privilege to do. I haven’t lost those 70lbs I’ve been saying I’ll lose for the last 11 years. I haven’t decided on a career that I actually have a passion for. I haven’t gotten my shit together. I feel like I’m slowly slipping behind everyone, swimming through oil while everyone else is swimming in water.

I’ve been surrounded by excellence so many times that it’s hard to look back and stare at myself. This obese, pathetic, whining mess that can’t get past the concept that maybe things need to be worked for. I want to say I’m lazy and don’t put the work in, but there are times when I really do. But it’s not enough…
I don’t know, honestly. I just feel like everything is slipping through my fingers and I can’t grasp it fast enough. I want to be successful. I want to be well-known. I want to enjoy my job and live a stable and comfortable life. I just want to be happy. There are too many nights I have spent crying myself to sleep. Too many times where I’ve contemplated whether or not staying here was worth it. After all, what am I doing with my life? Do I even have a future? Is that certain? Maybe all those things that people told me weren’t as true as they wished them to be. I’m not happy. Things haven’t gotten better. Instead, things have just shifted slightly in perspective, shedding a light on new problems.

Im 21 years old. I’m not straight, cis, or abled. Im a junior in college floundering amidst loan debt like so many others. I have no career in mind for the English major I’m slaving away for. I have no idea what I’m going to do once I get out of college, much less what I’m going to do tomorrow morning. I guess, in a way, you could say I’m wasting my life away. I couldn’t agree more, but now I have a question for you; how? How do I change that without completely and utterly destroying the safest path to normality? And is it worth it?