Showing posts from 2016

Helloooooooo 2017

One of my goals for 2016 was to try out six new hiking/walking trails. A few of them were planned for this past summer when husband and I were on our road trip with the Avett Brothers. Unfortunately, as you all know, our summer and fall didn't go exactly as scheduled. Things happen.

We completed that goal this week. Yesterday actually. Although cutting it a little close, it's been a great way to say goodbye to a damned difficult year.

Fountain Hills Overlook Trail 

Butcher Jones 

Papago Park

Silly Mountain

The Day will Come, The Sun will Rise and We'll be Fine

I've eaten more in the last week than I did in all of August. It's unreal to think back and see where I was... who I was. I can't stress that enough, especially to myself. Panic attacks arrived regularly alongside the most basic tasks of my life: eating, sleeping, showering, and going to the bathroom in addition to bigger hurdles like leaving the house and being alone. Talk about uncomfortable. Mentally, I had all but given up. I had no real understanding of what I was going through and I hated hearing how "it would all get better" because I simply didn't believe it. The only real solace, if I had any at all, was in looking to the next day in hopes I would feel better. Those hopes still continue, but now they're a little differently focused.

After dropping three of five classes this last semester I spent most of that "extra" time turning inward. Since I was incapable of much else I basically put myself through an anxiety boot camp, reading all …

I'm Still Breathing

The irony in my song choice lies in my inability (or belief that I was incapable) of actually breathing last night. I tend to write these posts over a couple of days. It takes me time to think about what I want to say and how I want to say it even if my "readership" is me along with some friends and family. I chose this video a few days ago.

Just like everyone else, I have my good and bad days. Lately, I've had some really, really good days. According to my "Rate My Mood" app, I enjoyed nine days in a row without worry of physical concerns, with time well spent, and with my mood genuinely in the happy range. It is the longest stretch of "good" days I have experienced since the summer. My days surrounding those nine days weren't bad either. The rating scale is 1-5 and "fours" surrounded each side of the "fives" that I tracked, according to my graph. To say it simply, it was wonderful. I felt like myself again. It gave me promis…

Just a Little Unwell

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The stages of grief. The way I see it, I'm somewhere in between bargaining and depression over a loss, only it's not the loss of a friend or a family member it's the loss of me. It's really the only way I can explain how I'm feeling these days.

It's like I'm a version of myself. Even when I feel "good" it's as if I'm using a different scale. Every time I compare "me now" to the person I feel I used to be I end up feeling depressed, and lonely, and I scare myself with thoughts that this is how the rest of my life is going to be. I can't help it.

My physical issues have mostly dissipated. I still experience weird muscle sensations in my arms and legs, and the heat still seems to bother me; but otherwise I've been able to gradually erase my bulleted list of physical concerns that invaded my life over the summer because of those stupid pills I was taking. I'm eating an…

Over a month ago...

Over a month ago I was barely sleeping.

Over a month ago I felt uncomfortable walking in my own neighborhood. Not to walk the pups. Not to go to the mailbox.

Over a month ago I didn't want to be left alone anywhere. I didn't even want to stand in the pool by myself if no one was in the backyard. I didn't want to be in the house if my dad or husband were right out back. I didn't go anywhere by myself.

Over a month ago it was near impossible for me to eat.

Over a month ago I brought my water bottle with me bed, to grocery stores, to restaurants.

Over a month ago I had to stop watching This is the End because the sound and content were too much for me to cope with.

My days over a month ago can collectively be considered as the worst...ever.

I'm not the same person I was before all of this started. I'm weak physically. Every day I have to make myself eat. Every day it seems my mind and body are struggling in some new way. Just as I grow accustomed t…

Bee Sting: Semi-Survivor (Part 2)

What a mess. What a fucking mess.

If I could have known that my being stung by a bee would have spiraled me into this, this ridiculous version of myself, trust that I never would have gone to the river that day. (You can read about it here.) It's been almost three months and my body (and mind) are just now showing promise of my returning to the person I was.

I thought I'd have written this post weeks ago...months soon as I got better, but it's obviously taking much longer than I ever imagined. In regards to physical ailments to have ever plagued my body...I've never encountered anything like this. Because of this, I've been hesitant to invest any more time and energy thinking about it. When I feel good I simply don't want to think about how awful I have felt over these last few months.

Have you seen David After Dentist? Of course you have. Start the video at 1:35 and you'll have an extremely accurate representation of my thoughts and feelings over …

Buzz Buzz Mother Fucker (Part 1)

Today (along with each day this past week) I am introducing myself to some new corner of one of the computer labs on ASU's main campus as I wait for my husband to finish his class. He has dubbed this time and my departure from the house as "summer camp". The thing is, and I'm about to get real real here, I'm scared to stay home by myself.

What the fuck right?

For many a day now I've shadowed Tyler's every move like a Type A intern willing to do anything to land the job. Anything. He goes to the gym. I go to the gym. He goes to school. I go to a lab immediately next door to his class. He goes to bed. I go to bed. You get the picture.

I won't spend a ton of time explaining how completely abnormal this behavior is because I have to imagine that anyone actually reading this already understands this to be highly unusual for me. I will simply say I typically covet my alone time. I can easily occupy myself for hours...days...weeks even, without ever interact…

Batten Down the Hatches--"One Year" Down

Have you ever been asked something so many times that your response somehow becomes naturally scripted? The words are released without any real effort as if they're nothing more than just noises emitted spontaneously. Chances are they sound real enough because at some point you meant believed in what you were saying, but somewhere along the way the feelings that built those words have long since dissipated, leaving an irrefutable hollowness. But yet you still say them.

I absolutely despise talking about my future plans because of this. I understand that most people who ask are genuinely curious, and that's what makes it hard for me when I try to condense any ideas I have into just a few words in an attempt to abate the question.

As Bill Burr would say, I'm living the dream. This last year I returned to school full time in hopes I can turn what was simply a hobby of sorts into something more. I don't have a real clear destination envisioned yet. Some days I'…

English Teacher Garage Sale

Dear teacher friends and friends of teachers (home-school parents included)-

The time has come for me to pull away at that big thread hanging from my security blanket. I am letting go of all of the resources I have collected over the years. Unfortunately, I can't just give it all away (because you know, I don't have a job anymore).

There is definitely sentiment oozing out of a lot of this "stuff" and I'd love to see the items find homes inside friends' classrooms or in the hands of a new teacher who may not have a classroom yet. There isn't a ton left because I've already pared down substantially (only keeping the supplies I knew I'd need if I went back to teaching English). These items are obviously not new, but I am notorious for um...let's just say "keeping supplies in good shape". (Just ask any students I've had!)

So, please share this if you know someone who might be interested. I will be in Washington briefly in late July s…

Because I may not live to be 80

How often do you think about your life and the choices you make? Do you ever think about what "living life" means and do you then determine if your life and that concept coincide? I think I do too much.

While serving coffee the other day at the local senior center I caught a few glimpses of an older man sitting out in the sun feeding popcorn to the birds and squirrels. Fuck it, it was nice out. I decided to break free of my coffee serving shackles for a few minutes and join him. I'm guessing he was in his 80's. He said I was welcome to sit next to him as long as I didn't talk or move.

As minutes passed he broke both rules by leaning toward me and telling me about the cactus this particular bird is extremely intelligent, way smarter than the quails that are so pervasive to the area. (I still love those adorable tufts of hair on the tops of their little quail heads and how they walk across the top of our fence in single file, smart or not). He said he u…

Baby Steps

Today is my first day of classes at ASU. Last year at this time I had just finished my first "return to college" class. That winter-session was followed by a pretty intensive Anatomy and Physiology course that I completed while finishing my last semester as a teacher. Over the summer I took a couple classes including chemistry. This was actually a big deal for me and don't tell anybody, but I cried a lot. Although I ended the summer course with 100%, Chemistry has been the bane of my existence for years. In high school, it was the only class that I'd ever received a D in. I just didn't get it and I didn't know how to make myself ask for help. I don't think I actually believed I would fail. I think I just assumed I'd eventually understand the material, but I didn't.

Fast forward almost twenty years and it was the science and math components that minimized my desire to change careers. I took one nutrition class in 2011, kind of as a means to decide …