Like riding a bike

David Sedaris has this great story about getting a Fitbit and basically how his OCD is mainly what keeps pushing him to not only hit his step goal but blow it out of the water completely. Give it a read after you’re done with this.

I got a Fitbit last Christmas. I’d been having trouble with my motivation since getting back to the world of the employed and needed something to keep me accountable when it came to working out – in the summer I’d been fine because, well, summer, and I think knowing I could go any time of day I wanted made it easier. I fit everything else in around the gym, rather than the gym in around everything else.

I wore it a lot, at first. And then quickly realized how sedentary my life was.

And then we went to Denver and walked literally everywhere. Like, such as, up a mountain. And down and back up Red Rocks Amphitheater. NBD.

That was the first time I hit the recommended step goal for the day. 10,000. Hit it every day we were there. And felt super healthy.

And then I came home, took it off for a shower one day and promptly forgot about it for a few months.

WHOOPS.

I mentioned in one of my recent posts that the past several months have been weird because I’ve kinda plateaued on my depression and anxiety meds. The dosage I had been on for years was no longer cutting it, so we were movin’ on up – in addition to doing some other testing to make sure that all it was was those unbalanced brain chemicals and nothing else.

So. Update.

I had some blood tests, they all came back normal. I’m scheduled for a sleep study – because my sleeping has been all fucked up – sometime in December, I think.

I started my new medicine dosage about 3 weeks ago, and… you guys.

I put my Fitbit back on.. so there’s that.

And then I started, for the 1931049th time, Couch to 5K/attempting running three times a week. Because I actually want to. I want to go to the gym. I want to go take a walk instead of immediately crawl into bed after work. I want to go to the Walking Bridge during lunchtime…

Note about the title of this post – riding a bike after you haven’t in a while is not that easy. Ashley and I did it in London after many years of non-biking and we almost fell at least 5 times each. And accidentally trespassed at least 3 because we couldn’t get control of the things. So yeah, that’s what running/medicating feels like for me. You get back to it and it’s weird at first – you get some good stories out of it – and then it becomes alright again.

Running’s still hard AF for me, don’t get me wrong. Because boobs and breathing, basically. But I’m keeping at it. And signing up for a 5K ASAP – looking at one Thanksgiving Day morning, in fact. I’m looking at getting some new shoes because my current ones are old and my achilles hurts after wearing them a while on my runs.

Aside – that may not be from the shoe, it may be from a fall I had on Oaks Night because I was drunk in a maxi dress. But to be fair, I look hot in that maxi dress and have also tripped in it a number of times sober. I was on crutches and in a knee brace for a couple weeks after, and I think that may have a little to do with the pain too.

I’m about to hit 10,000 steps in a day for the first time since that Denver trip – and upping the medicine dosage – and while I won’t be necessarily going to the extremes Sedaris did, it and the running/gym visits have become slightly addicting so I think I’ll keep it up.

Wherein I was an angry elf for a lil bit

b0bbdc26772b5e12507ad056c742ca4a

There are a LOT of fun side effects to having anxiety and depression simultaneously.
1. That thing where your legs almost never stop moving when you’re sitting still – If this helped my running at all, I’d be at a marathon level right now instead of 5K.
2. All of the thoughts all of the time. They really ramp up right about midnight.
3. Feeling like you just want to sleep, but also feeling guilty about doing that because you could/should be doing something productive. And then worrying that you would be judged for just wanting to sleep and not get anything done.
4. Random, unexplainable agitation and ANGER.

The anger, man. My God. That came out of fucking nowhere. It’s a recent development, by the way, so that’s fun.

I guess it was about a month ago that it started? Literally no idea what set me off. But all of the sudden, I was mad. I was grumpy. All. The. Time.

And, let’s be honest, my face can’t really hide any emotion. So here I was, annoyed at just about everything everyone was saying or doing and completely unable to hide it. Also, completely unable to explain why I was getting so annoyed. So that’s fun.

Aside: Despite the fact that I have a serious life-long case of Resting Bitch Face, I am really not mad that often. Especially now that I don’t work in the newspaper business/for the devil incarnate anymore.

Thank God for regularly scheduled maintenance with the therapist that came up at just the right time. Sometimes I really understand Bill Murray in “What About Bob?” because I feel like if she was just on call constantly for me to run things by, I’d be so much better off.

And that, my friends, is why I am in therapy. Ha.

But for real – my appointment couldn’t have been timed better. I was damn near breaking point (though what that would have looked like, I honestly don’t know) when I went to see her.

Luckily, she understood what I was talking about (because duh, she always does) and assured me that I wasn’t going crazy(er). She said that sometimes this happens with this illness, because it’s fun and unpredictable like that. And also, since I’ve been on the medicine at the same dosage for about 6 or 7 years now, I’ve probably built up a tolerance, and it’s no longer working the way it should.

FUN!

She also asked some questions about if some certain things bothered me she knew were going on in my life and wouldn’t ya know it, they were! I hadn’t told anyone I was feeling that way about those situations (purposefully keeping it vague here to not hurt feelings) yet she read my damn mind and figured me out. That’s why I pay her the big bucks.

Anyway. The end result of that therapy session was the (probably due to placebo effect) feeling that I was already doing better. I wasn’t getting more crazy, I just needed the chemicals adjusted again. She made me promise to talk to my doctor about upping my dosage and we’d see where we were when I saw her next.

Not long after the appointment with her, I made one with my GP, who, as it turns out, is on double the amount of Prozac I am, so she totally got it. And she was worried about me.

When you go to your physician’s office requesting anti-depressant related things, they give you a mental health checklist of sorts.

It says things like:
“I have no interest in things that used to interest me.”
“I am tired a lot of the time.”
“I have trouble sleeping.”
“I can’t concentrate.”
“I feel angry/agitated/overwhelmed a lot of the time.”
And so on and so on.

You rank it 0 to 3 with 0 being “Not a problem” and 3 being “LITERALLY ALWAYS.” They aren’t really concerned if you stay at 9 or below. I got a 16.

So. Here’s where we are. I’ve been bumped up to a higher dosage of Prozac for a couple months. I’ve got labs scheduled to look at my blood and my chemicals and make sure depression is the only thing effing me up. I have a sleep study coming at some point in the near future and a plan to check back in with all my doctors after a little bit.

I do feel better having a plan, and I’ll let you know how it all works out.

And I already feel a lot less angry. I guess I just had to tell someone I was pissed. Who knew.

If only depression was that easy.

#tbt, a little early

I cannot believe it’s been a year. I cannot believe how much has changed in that year.

365 days ago, I walked away from a steady paycheck, health insurance and a chance to go to the Derby for free every year (ha), because none of those things were worth me staying in a job I hated.

363 days ago, I became partially employed at what is now my awesome, wonderful, fun full-time job.

You all have heard me talk about that day and that job and what it was doing to me psychologically. For those that haven’t – here’s the post I wrote not long after I left:  On hold.

Today, I went to lunch with five close girl friends, none of whom I would have met (possibly, who really knows though?) were it not for that job I hated. Only one of the six of us still works there, and even she’s a week away from leaving.

As we caught up on our lives and jobs and everything that’s happened since we previously got together, I just kind of sat there and took it all in.

I’ve been bitter about my previous job. Obviously. And, I believe, rightfully so, because of some of the things I went through. But it was never and will never be a total loss of those four years of my life. I got some of the best friends I could ever want from that place (partially because of shared trauma) and all of them are worth every bit of the shit I endured. I cannot imagine my life without them.

One year later. And where am I?

In a much better place. If you’d have told me on this day last year how good things would be a year away? I’d have been skeptical. Because I am was a pessimist.

Not anymore.

A lot can happen in a year. I can’t wait to see what’s to come in the next 365 days.

Wherein I learn a lot about history and once again consider my dreams of being in a musical

You guys.

I am going to go ahead and call for my own intervention. I can’t stop listening to Hamilton.

Trust me, I have tried. There were a few days where I listened to Lemonade on repeat just to remind myself there is other music out there. But it didn’t last.

I mean, look at this:

http://video.vulture.com/video/Alexander-Hamilton-at-the-2016

That’s the first song of the musical. How could you not want more?

I blame my sisters. They were like, “Oh hey you should listen to this Hamilton musical. It’s all hip-hop and so good and stuff.” And now I have at least the first half (before intermission) memorized. Probably. Their fault. Just like the cheese incident of 2013.

This Buzzfeed article sums a lot of it up..

I bought the book Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote about putting the musical together and haven’t read it yet and it’s taking all kinds of willpower to not start it before I’m finished with the other one I’m reading right now.

Speaking of – I’m kind of in love with him now. I think I like every Tweet he writes..

But anyway, all of this musical theatre has reminded me of one of my kind-of-secret-but-not-really-secret dreams, which is to be in a musical.

We’ve grown up listening to or attending several musicals  – Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Cabaret, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jersey Boys, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Hairspray, Evita, Guys and Dolls, Newsies, Wicked…

I’ve always appreciated them from an audience perspective. But after a while I started wanting to be part of the show.

It started with the chorus. I wasn’t ready for the spotlight, but did want to be on the stage. I wanted to be part of the company in a show, any show.

It wasn’t until Les Mis that I really wanted to be front and center-ish. At first, I wanted to be Madame Thenardier, because the two of them had the most fun song in the whole show. Then I got into a little funk and wanted to be Eponine, because unrequited love and all that. And because ‘On My Own’ is maybe one of the best songs ever.

For Chicago, I started out wanting to be another girl in the jail because ‘Cell Block Tango,’ yo. Then Mama Morton. Because I wanted the best songs.

For Wicked, I would obviously be Elphaba. Because I can hit that damn note in Defying Gravity – mainly when I’m in my car alone, giving Broadway concerts to nobody.

I want to add here that these are singing company roles only because yo’ girl can’t dance. That’s part of why I quit dance when I was 9. (Also ‘cause softball was much cooler and more fun.)

So who do I want to be in Hamilton? Probably Angelica. She’s got some good songs, a good rap (and we know how good I am at rapping) and there’s that whole Eponine quality in the show – going back to my Broadway roots, if you will.

My life is so exciting…

Please help.

We’re worried about you, Justin Timberlake

Now that my sisters and I are older and all out of the house, it’s harder to get the whole fam-damily together for a vacation. Schedules are all over the place and Sami and Austin are in a different city now and Rachel and Chuckie were and it’s just…life.

The last time we were all together for a vacation was 2009. The first weekend we were gone, Michael Jackson died.

Fast-forward to a couple weeks ago. We all reunited in Denver, to visit Sami and Austin for four days.

And Prince died.

We are now afraid to go on another vacation because we have this unexplainable power. Our collective energies outside of Louisville, Kentucky are too strong and a major pop star pays the price.

I think we’re going to Gulf Shores next summer and I’m genuinely concerned that if we can all go, who is in danger.

Other than the passing of sweet, talented Prince, our four-and-a-half dayish jaunt to Denver was all kinds of awesome. We visited Boulder (Hippie HQ), Golden (The Cutest) and Red Rocks (I’m in love). And climbed a mountain and ate good food and had all kinds of fun together.

And did not smoke any weed despite landing in Denver on 4.20. #regrets

I compiled a list of quotes that you’ll see pop up here and there on the blog, so stay tuned.

For now though, let me show you our trip – it’s much easier (and prettier) to do through pictures.

Enjoy!

The Hardest Thing

For the past year, I’ve started and stopped writing this post. Couldn’t bring myself to do it, say it, whatever…

It’s not that I wasn’t constantly thinking about it because I was. I am. All the time.

Around this time a year ago, I made a hard choice. I said goodbye to Charlie, the first dog that was just mine, the first roommate in the first house that was just mine. And it broke my damn heart.

Charlie and I had a rough start. Correction – Charlie had a rough start. A really rough one. Before he even got to me. Me, the one who so badly wanted to fix him, make him better, give him a good life.

He came to me in September 2014. When I heard about him and saw his face I thought: “This is it. This is my dog.” I knew he had anxiety, knew he had some fear, but thought I could love him enough to make him better.

So I tried to. God I tried. I didn’t make him sleep in the crate he was petrified of because he’d been obviously locked in there constantly and was fearful of it. I was gentle with him in how I treated and talked to him, trying to make up for the way he cowered after he’d done something he knew was bad because before me, he’d gotten hit.

Aside – Anyone who hurts any animal is a fucking coward and awful human being and deserves to have the same abuse they inflict on an animal done to them. End of aside.

We took classes. He improved so much and learned and did so well by the end of the two months of classes he won the “Most Improved” Award.

But there were times it was still hard. Times he’d tear things up because he was terrified, no matter how sweetly or calmly I talked to him or dealt with him.

Early on someone said it wouldn’t mean I was a horrible person if I gave up on him. He had a lot of problems, more than I could fix on my own – with my schedule and income and my own worsening depression and anxiety.

I remember a night I sat on the floor of my kitchen, crying as Charlie licked the tears off my face and tried to climb in my lap to comfort me. I buried my head in his neck, sobbing, and said “I’m not going to give up on you.”

And I never did. I tried so hard with him. I did all I could possibly do to make my home better for him, my schedule better for him, life better for him. All the while my own life was a mess – I HATED (yes, all caps) my job. I wasn’t happy. And as unfair as it all was to me, it was even more unfair to him. He deserved better.

In the week or so around my birthday last year, I’d come to the end of a particularly rough stretch of time with him. He’d been tearing things up through the house which were getting more expensive to replace. He was having to be left alone longer and longer because I worked for a tyrant who didn’t care about anyone’s time or life but her own. I called my parents and cried and they reassured me over and over that there were places I could contact about Charlie that would get him exactly what he needed and insure that he was in good hands.

So I called GRRAND. They’re an amazing organization that takes in dogs that need new homes and doesn’t let them go to those new homes until they are sure it’s the best thing for them. In the meantime, they live in a foster home, with someone dedicated to working with them and loving them and taking care of them. I told them Charlie’s story and through tears all the reasons (in my opinion only) I felt like I’d failed him. They said they’d take him in within the week.

It was shit timing. My parents were out of town, my sisters were unavailable as well … I almost had to take and drop him off on my own, the thought of which terrified me even more because I would likely have been a blubbering mess stuck in their parking lot for two days because I was crying too hard to drive. Luckily, my friend Katherine, who had been through something similar with a pet recently, was able to go with me. And for that I will always be grateful to her.

I can count on one hand the number of times I have cried that hard – and all of the other times were funerals of loved ones. And even as people kept telling me over and over that I was doing the right thing and what was best for him, it still hurt like hell. In my eyes, I had failed him. I couldn’t fix him. I couldn’t help him enough. I said my goodbyes and my sorrys and over and over that I loved him so much. And after a while, I left.

So it’s been a year. I think about him all the time. I wonder how he’s doing and have actually recently heard. I feel like I’m at a much better place in life now – mentally/emotionally, financially… to have a pet again. I applied, through GRRAND, to potentially give a home to another dog sometime (hopefully) in the near future. In one of the phone calls with them, I’ve found out that Charlie is headed to Wisconsin, to a family that will be working with him more on his anxiety and fearfulness, which has apparently not improved much in the year he’s been in the current foster home.

When I was unemployed for a while last summer, I stupidly thought I’d made a mistake and given him up too early. But then I realized at the time I was barely able to buy groceries for myself, even though I had all the time in the world for him now, I still couldn’t provide what was needed.

It’s taken this whole year to come to terms with the fact that I did do the right thing. That no matter how much it hurt to let him go, it was what I needed to do. Loving him wouldn’t fix his issues. I couldn’t do it alone, and I didn’t have the resources available for what he needed and will continue to need as he grows up and hopefully gets better. Deciding to let him go was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but ultimately for both of us, the right one. I hate that it came to that, but I love that I had the time I did with him.

I miss his goofy face and personality all the time…

I hope he ends up with a family who can give him everything he needs to get better and live a long, happy life. I’m sad it isn’t with me, but I’m glad we’re part of each other’s story.

Love and miss you, Charlie Buddy.

Sounds familiar

This is the final entry in a long-running series – texts from textsfromlastnight.com that sound like they should/could be from my friends. We’ve had a good run, but I think it’s time I move on to other fun features for you guys.

So, please enjoy.

(609): I literally ate pizza on a toilet and made up reasons as to why you should make out with that boy. I am unstoppable.

(612): In other news, I just threw up my burrito and am currently on all fours literally crawling back to my bed

(703): Sexting is killing my work productivity but it’s okay because I’m self-employed

(650): Living alone for four weeks has given me unrealistic expectations of pantslessness.

(+44): I AHVE A WINE BUCKETTTTTTT

(408): Every person I’ve ever had sex with is in Chipotle right now.

(774): Someone just asked me if I was chewing red hot gum…. I’m LITERALLY SWEATING OUT FIREBALL.

(571): He’s nice to look at and knows the difference between your and you’re. I win.

(513): And I just got smacked in the face by my cat. Apparently I’m supposed to be awake now.

(215): I convinced her that there were two p’s in Chipotle – the 2nd one was silent.

(773): Please remind me tomorrow that I ate a loaf of jimmy johns bread on the toilet 5 mins ago

(709): So, if you eat too many protein bars, you will shit your pants. This I learnt today….. at work.

(608): I’m still home, my life isn’t together. Currently drying my pants

(859): Also, my old intern Lizzie whom you fed pizza to last night wants to hang out with you

(708): THE FASTEST WAY TO MY HEART IS THROUGH FAMILY SIZED BAGS OF GENERIC BRAND CHEESE BALLS

(810): The power of my boobs compel you

(828): I fell asleep while eating jimmy johns last night and then woke up at 5am and continued to eat it

(321): A person can only vomit Fireball so much before they quit it forever

(617): You just get me

(443): I’m the wind beneath your wings, bitch

(505): We’re too hungover to prance.

(305): I’m sad about how hungover I’m gonna feel tomorrow.

(403): Clearly you’ve confused me for someone who has their shit together, and honestly I have no idea how you did that.

(989): I just thought about how many drinks I had last night and threw up.

(508): I’m currently deliberating if I’m going to be too drunk on New Years to handle wearing false eyelashes.

(734): Margaritas just taste better when they’re bigger than your head

(812): Never underestimate the power of loudly proclaiming you want to make out with someone

847): He’s interpretive dancing to Crazy by Britney Spears and expressing his feelings for either me or the guy next to us

(208): He also reminds me slightly of a pirate which i find strangely attractive 

(315): Some guy named spider just bought me 5 shots

(612): A party without a piñata is not a party I want to attend.

(484): dad is drunk and texting us pictures of bread

(847): I can’t open my mouth wide enough to make full use of this snapchat filter

(256): Sometimes I refuse to go through a door until someone holds it open for me because I’m a fucking lady.

(720): I’m torn between wanting to wear lipstick and wanting to make out with strangers