growinghumans


MY WEIGHT
April 4, 2018, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Guys, great news.

 

I’m the highest weight I have ever been–minus when I was pregnant. I went to my annual pelvic exam, which is always like a giant hug, and got weighed before going into the exam room.

 

 

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT POUNDS.

I know most of you will not understand how high this is for me. Some of you will. I am 4’11 and have usually been far under 100 lbs my entire life.

But, I’m 108 lbs now. I don’t feel 108 lbs. I feel good. I go to yoga and the gym.

“It’s muscle,” my doctor told me after I expressed concerned (because I was. I was concerned) “nothing to worry about. Your BMI is still 21.”

SHE THEN, HOWEVER, SAID THE DREADED PHRASE:

“AT

YOUR

AGE”

Omg what. Omg stop. Omg no.

At my age my metabolism has a tendency to slow down.

I’m 33. I’ve had one baby.

I feel like things are just getting started.

So, I reject your slowed down metabolism, DOCTOR PAP SMEAR, and accept muscle and low BMI. I am not slowing down. No part of me will slow down at this point.

I have been unemployed for 2 years. I have yet to find a “career”. I have a novel that is 75% finished. I have a 7 year old that thinks she is 19 and I have had approximately 2.7 glasses of Chardonnay.

AND I AM ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT POUNDS.

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Observations at the End of a Winter Day
February 23, 2018, 1:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s been warm, springlike around these parts lately. The sun stays out a little longer and the children, my child, can be heard from my open bedroom window as I try to conjure up the motivation to write.

The darkness doesn’t creep in with rays of twilight and sunset like it does on actual summer days but reminds us that it is, in fact, still winter and suddenly all is dark before you had a chance to say goodbye to the sun. Light, light, then darkness covers everything.

This is often how my emotions feel. When you are bipolar there isn’t often a gradient of emotions that you go through or any sort of warning signs that you are about to switch or take a hard, sharp left. Good feelings, good feelings, and then suddenly, darkness covers everything.

It’s hard to explain to people around you who wonder how could you suddenly be in such a hole when just the other day you were laughing and genuinely smiling at life. It’s impossible to explain, actually.

People talk all the time about the floor falling out from underneath them, but that’s exactly how it feels for me. I feel like I am Alice falling down a rabbit hole but I never hit the bottom and that is the scariest of all. What does the bottom even look like if I haven’t reached it yet? Every time I feel like I hit rock bottom I know–the menacing voice in my mind reminds me–that it could be worse…and that terrifies me.

How dark can life become?

For now my sadness looks like nighttime that suddenly falls upon your town. It is dark and menacing, but you can still make out the relics of the day; the outlines of trees and houses, the grass is still there and the lights in your house still work to help you make it through the night.

But what about absolute darkness? A black hole? I fear that and I think that’s the worst part of having a mental illness like this–you know it could get worse even when you are worse than you have ever been off. You know that you are just one day away from going over yet another edge and landing in the bottom of the well like Bruce Wayne.

But maybe it’s necessary to hit that darkness at some point in your life. Maybe living in eternal translucent black is just a tease. It could get worse but people always say things are always darkest before the dawn and if you don’t hit your darkest, can you ever really, truly find your dawn? Am I stuck in semi-dark limbo?

What if my darkness that I recognize is just grey? A mixture of all the colors around me that are impossible to process sometimes and so they just mix together to form grey. I feel grey a lot of the time.

People always say things could always be worse like it’s some sort of comfort but to people like me, it’s just a threat…there is worse out there and it could cast it’s impossibly dark shadow over you faster than a winter evening.



Mentally Ill
February 18, 2018, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bipolar Carrie likes to lie in bed and stare at the wall or cry when shows are over because there is nothing left to binge watch.

Bipolar Carrie goes more days than she will specifically admit before taking a shower or taking care of herself.

Bipolar Carrie will eat cereal. Just cereal. For days.

Bipolar Carrie will obsesses over what her body looks like. How that belly that she earned after birthing an 8 pound baby never went away fully and she always looks a little bit pregnant, doesn’t she? How her arms look when they are flat at her sides, like turkey legs.

Bipolar Carrie will let laundry and dishes and dust stack up around the house.

Bipolar Carrie will try to pry herself out of bed and will sometimes succeed but will then retreat quickly back to the nest that her bed has become.

Bipolar Carrie will sometimes even think about what it would be like if she wasn’t here.

 

Bipolar Carrie isn’t Normal Carrie, but she does visit and show up probably at the worst times.

But

Bipolar Carrie is not a threat to society. 

She handles her mental illness quietly and alone like others do.

Stop making blanket statements about mentally ill people.

If we are such a threat, why don’t you

Start

Making anti-psychotic and antidepressant medication affordable to everyone.

Providing psychiatric hospitals where the ill aren’t treated like cattle. 

Taking people seriously when they report suspicious behavior on any individual (despite their mental health).

Don’t hold a whole community responsible and stigmatize them any more than they already are. These individuals are monsters. And that is not our responsibility.

That is yours.

 



Confessions of an Insomniac.
February 15, 2018, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s 2 am and I am just waking up for the first time. I’ll wake up again at 4. Then 6. Then my alarm will go off at 8 am.

The only reason I am able to even fall asleep is because I take medication for it. Trazodone. I take a lot of Trazodone. Sometimes, it doesn’t work. Some nights I lie awake straight up until 4 am, where I’ll usually just pass out into a weird dream; where the vale between subconscious and reality is a little too thing for my liking. Dinosaurs chasing me. Being on a sinking ship. People in my life dying. Awful, horrible dreams that only pause and then resume if I manage to go back to sleep.

Sometimes my brain won’t turn off.

I think about money.

I think about how my tummy sticks out a little too much.

I think about how I’m scared to take my daughter to school.

I think about what needs to be done. Why didn’t I fold the laundry? I’ll just have twice as much to do tomorrow.

What was that noise? Are we being broken into?

Will these outlet wax melter things start a fire in the house?

What would I do if we got broken into?

Grab Mia. Go into master bedroom. Lock door. Master bathroom. Lock door. Walk in closet in bathroom. Hold door closed.

Over

and over

and over again I will think of that sequence and wait was that another noise?

I lavender to help calm myself down for sleep. I anoint my body with other oils and potions and creams to help soothe my mind.

I drink weird things. The latest weird thing is water that a whole banana–with peel–has been steeped in.

It actually helps.

I also have pills to quiet my mind but I’ve been on them for so long that I have to take more than I used to and that makes me nervous.

Sometimes I lay awake and start to feel sanity dip and I understand, in that moment, how people–these celebrities–accidentally overdose on sleeping pills. When it’s night three of no sleep and it’s 3 am and all you’ve been doing is imagining what to do if someone were to break into your house, you find yourself in the bathroom; knocking over pill containers and drinking NiteQuil and looking in the mirror and thinking you can see all the bones in your face because of your sunken in eyes from the lack of rest.

It’s not the best moment. It’s not living my best life.

But it’s what I deal with.

I am fairly open about my struggles with bipolar disorder and anxiety but I tend to not mention my insomnia to people because people always always always say me too and I have to tell them all of this and they just stare back and me and say oh god Carrie how do you function and I tell them the truth and the truth is I don’t know.

I’ve tried apps to lull me to sleep; they play nice clinky music or quietly read me a story about lavender fields in provincial France. I got an eye mask to block out all light. I’ve tried not having any electronics on. These things all work when I first do them and I get hope that maybe these normal things will solve my issues.

But then I find myself back where I started from.

Watching Friends at 2 am, drinking cold banana water.



Reminders from a Small Voice
February 4, 2018, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sometimes life is a flash of annoyances and reasons to hide in bed for days at a time. Cashiers that don’t make eye contact. Feeling invisible at a restaurant. People who walk down the middle of the street even though they know you are there in your car, flailing and screaming at the top of your lungs because what is the fuck is wrong with people?

Sometimes life is staring at your grey wall in silence long after the Netflix movie has gone off. Long bouts of silence. Hours, even.

Sometimes life is wandering down to the kitchen and vacantly looking through all the food you should be eating but can’t bring yourself to. You choke down some oatmeal. Eat room temperature Spaghettios.  Drink some water. Just enough to stay on this side of the line.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes life is sobbing in your car while waiting to drop your child off at school. Hearing the seat belt unbuckle in the back. Feeling two thin arms wrap around your neck and hearing your own, very small, child coo to you “Please don’t cry. I just want you to have a good life, mommy.”

Sometimes I feel like I am forcing her to grow up too soon by letting her see me like this. What about her good life?

 

Sometimes I go off my meds for four days for no good reason and all this happens. In one day.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that I deserve a good life. Even if it is from the smallest voice, from the smallest lovely little thing, with the absolutely biggest heart.



The Light of the World
January 29, 2018, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last night my seven year old Tiny Human kept giving me hugs. “What’s with all the love, dude?”, I asked. Seven year olds are cool people who usually can’t be bothered to hug their mom that much. They have street cred to maintain, you see.

“Mom. I’ve got Jesus in my heart. I want to share it all with you. It makes me happy.”

I blinked at the response. A few times.

We, as a family, don’t go to church. Not for lack of spirituality but just lack of options and time, really. Time. Laziness, really. There it is.

My in-laws take my Tiny Human with them to church when she visits with them on some weekends and it has never bothered me. I grew up in a church and, though I may not directly agree with certain aspects of certain religions, I am a very open hearted person when it comes to beliefs.

I was not shaken to my core in disgust in this small statement.

I was humbled by it.

This very Tiny Human was telling me that she had Jesus in her heart and I believed her, you know. Seven year olds have no reason to lie about such things.

What does it mean to have Jesus in your heart?

She feels loved. Safe. Happy. Carefree with an overwhelming sense that everything is going to be okay because everything is going right to plan.

What an amazing feeling. If I ever felt even a glimpse of this feeling, I would walk around weeping happy tears for days, probably. Openly weeping. Maybe for even just one of those feelings.

My Tiny Human often shows tendencies that resemble my anxiety symptoms and I spend a lot of time beating myself up, imagining that I had passed off my horrible tendencies of anxiety and depression to this completely innocent soul.

But, maybe she’ll be alright.

Maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to maintain that feeling in her heart her whole life. Maybe this is just who she is. God, I hope this is just who she is.

Dear Tiny Human,

I don’t care who you keep in your heart. Just make sure they make you feel loved, safe, and guided.

 

If people could get past religions and beliefs and stop arguing like it’s something you can just change and focus on the feelings that you get from whatever it is you hold in your heart to be true, maybe we could all be as happy as a seven year old with Jesus in her heart.



Sweatah Weathah
December 10, 2017, 5:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There is along, prestigious history behind The Ugly Holiday Sweater, which used to be called Tacky Holiday Sweater, which used to be called The Sweater I Got My Mom From Kohls.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this sentence, but..

Back when I was in college we would have to go to a thrift store to find a tacky holiday sweater or literally just steal our mom’s. Now? You can buy them at the grocery store.

How did this happen? Why did this happen?

Let’s take a moment and trace the evolution of:

The Ugly Holiday Sweater.

 

 

First, there was Quacker Factory.

My mom used to buy these sweaters off of QVC back in the day. And she had one for EVERY HOLIDAY. Sweaters, sweatershirts, sometimes even SWEATER VESTS.

quacker-factory-holiday-pets-bracelet-sleeve-zip-front-cardigan

Ok this image won’t size correctly

whatever

but it’s covered in cats and dogs wearing little Santa hats and stuff. I think it’s called the Holiday Pets Cardigan which makes sense. BUT LOOK AT THIS GIRL. THIS GIRL IS DEAD SERIOUS ABOUT WEARING THAT SWEATER. She isn’t wearing it to a party to be ironic or win a contest. She isn’t going to drink her weight in Chardonnay while laughing at other people’s sweaters.

She’s probably going to the mall.

Wearing that sweater. With her holiday pets on them. THIS IS WEAR IT STARTED. THESE PEOPLE WERE SERIOUS.

Then, we moved on to Kohls.

Kohls was a great place to go if you really liked BIRDS. They had holiday birds on every kind of clothing they could get their little elf hands on. My mom had a full collection of FESTIVE HOLIDAY CARDINALS that she claimed she loved because CARDINALS ARE ALSO WINTER AND SHE WEAR THEM AFTER CHRISTMAS. Cardinals are also winter.

IMG_0630

Winter.

It was around the Kohls era that people started picking up on how ridiculous these sweaters are (unless you like them, then I mean beautiful and classy). People started wearing them to holiday parties ironically. Which is the best way to wear anything, I guess. But I also wear a winter hat with cat ears on it, so I may not be the best judge on this.

Soon, manufacturers took the hint and started making some intentionally SILLY holiday sweaters. Walmart,  of course, being one of the pack leaders.

Merry Foxmas Walmart

Honestly, I would wear this. Not seriously. But I would wear this. Too bad Walmart is always out of smalls; like wild packs of small people ravage the store at night and leave stupid mediums in their wake. NO ONE WANTS AN ILL FITTING TACKY HOLIDAY SWEATER, WALMART.

Next, we went a little deeper into the tacky and bordered on socially unacceptable.

This sweater doesn’t leave any room for your imagination.

It states your holiday greeting loud and clear and that greeting is HELLO I AM HERE TO GET WASTED GET OUT OF MY WAY AND I MAY NOT BE WEARING A BRA.

let's get blitzened amazon

Thanks, Amazon.

Last, and where we have arrived today, we have the final frontier where party goers boldly go where sweaters have not gone before.

women_s_drinking_game_christmas_sweater_copy_1

Congratulations, you  have officially BECOME the holiday party. I would imagine this is also a good look for someone who likes to be the center of attention.

Literally.

 

 

The Ugly Sweater trend has gone through a myriad of transformations over the years and part of me LONGS for the time where you still had to hunt for an actual ugly holiday sweater instead of just typing it into a search bar on any clothing website.

One thing is for certain, this trend is not going anywhere but up. I fear what comes next after being a party game, but hey let’s find out.