holy crow

so for real, it’s been a time.

2020, incase you haven’t noticed, has been a veritable shit show of epic proportions. we’re in the midst of a global pandemic (yep. pandemic. like a legit outbreak type situation). we’ve been working from home since march. we’re masked when we go out. there are all sorts of restrictions about everything: you can’t eat indoors (as of tomorrow at least), no bars that don’t serve food, no more than 6 people in a party. no weddings. no parties. the holidays look like they’re going to be cancelled – just because it’s so hard for people to get together.

there have been, on more than one occasion, police officers who have shot and killed people of color (notably black folx) and not having a whole lot of anything done to them. there have been protests, sometimes violent uprisings about all of this. i don’t understand what’s so fucking hard about the idea that black lives matter. the idea that brown lives matter. the idea that trans lives matter. that queer lives matter. that all lives CAN’T matter until we recognize that these lives matter too.

oh yeah, and it’s an election year. the cheeto is still in charge – hopefully that changes next tuesday. the choice isn’t perfect, but it’s better… remember that your vote is not a valentine, you’re not pledging your undying love. we’ve got to work together.

i’d say i’ll get off my soapbox now – but you came here to see my soapbox.

the last thing i’m going to say is this: be kind. it’s not that hard at the end of the day. be kind – to others, but almost more importantly – be kind to yourself. have grace. remember we’re all on this raft floating in this shit sea together. drink your water, get some sun (especially since it’s already getting chilly here in chicago), do your stretches. we’ll get through it.


performance anxiety

i deal with a lot of anxiety when it comes to what i do.

last night was another burlesque performance. it went well – but i wanted to vomit for the whole time. i had two numbers: one with my rubenesque troupe (all my plus size ladies) and then one with the broadway folx. and they went… okay. yes, there are a million things i would’ve done differently- starting with costuming and ending with singing louder, but it’s too late now.

which is a huge thing for me.

there was no over thinking. i went out there, did my rubenesque performance (forgot a bunch of steps). they screwed up the music, so there was a weird hiccup with our false exit.

usually, that would’ve sent me into a spiral. it didn’t go right, everything was wrong, it would’ve sent me spinning for ages. but i didn’t have time to think about it. i had less than 4 minutes to change costumes, take my fake ponytail out, touch up my makeup and get back out there. to sing. in a room full of people.

i used to sing all the time. then i got very self conscious about it. i don’t even really like doing karaoke anymore – because i over think it. i’m afraid of sounding bad, so i agonize over song choice… to the point that i never pick a song and actually sing it. so singing – with people who are actually trained actors/vocalists, was really daunting to me.

but i did it. one foot in front of the other.

a tummy ache in your courage…

So we’re watching The Simpsons (as one does) and Lisa is all freaked out about Halloween – and Marge describes it to Bart as her having “a tummy ache in her courage”. Yep, that’s me – all the time. That’s a good metaphor for the anxiety – it’s a tummy ache in my courage. It’s that uncomfortableness that makes me not want to do things. Just enough of a proverbial tummy ache to make me want to stop doing things.

The next set of burlesque performances are coming up. Being in two classes means two numbers. We’re performing twice – on two nights. So four performances over two weeks. It’s two routines to remember. Lyrics to memorize. Remembering to sing and dance and strip at the same time. It’s nerve wracking and anxiety provoking. I’m not stopping. I didn’t sign up for the short 5 week session – with the holidays, I don’t even want to think about it – but I will be doing classes again after the 1st of the year. They’re talking about a solo development class that’s just Broadway… which I would be about. I have a piece in mind… I just need to put it together.

These are things I wouldn’t have done a year ago. Singing. In front of people who have paid money to see me sing. With people who are FAR more talented than I am (because they have papers to prove it – because it’s all about the papers). Part of my brain screams at me and wants to know what the hell I’m thinking – but the rest of me is just kind of tired of listening to that nonsense.

Maybe I’m losing the tummy ache for a little while.

who said you can’t go home?

I struggle a lot with impostor syndrome. No matter how hard I try, it infiltrates everything I do – everything I write personally, academically or professionally (hi, there’s a reason I haven’t written a blog post in about two years). It makes me doubt myself at work. It makes me worry about my interpersonal relationships – why would I have friends? Someone like me?

It’s bullshit folks.

I was talking to my therapist (yep, still in therapy. gonna be in therapy forever. i’m okay with it) about why i don’t keep the blog up. And the honest answer is because I don’t know if I have anything of worth to say. No, this is not me asking for reassurance- so please spare me the you have so much to say, your voice is valid stuff: rational me knows that. Rational me knows that I write and write well, that I can actually turn a phrase when I put my mind to it; however, the crazy broad that shares the brain space with rational me thinks her skills are garbage and that broad is LOUD. Like church giggles loud. It’s bad. I can’t hear over her taunting me with how trash I am.

But here I am. I’m writing this even if I think it’s a trash fire. I’ll post it and share it to Facebook and send out the link – even if I think it’s junk. Because quite honestly, at the end of the day, I’m better than the voice in my head. I can choose to listen or not. And today isn’t a listening day.

I’ve got better stuff to do.

what im thankful for

this year has been strange. to say the least.

so as i sit here after dinner and everything, i think back on the year it’s been. i mean, it’s been good – but the bad has been really hard.

let’s take stock:

  • finished my first year of grad school
  • did a few storytelling things
  • ended up in treatment for depression and my eating disorder
  • lost my job
  • came back from inpatient & residential treatment and did… well, more treatment
  • got a different job
  • continued on this whole treatment thing

there have been 2 major breakdowns- one that ended with me going to Rogers, the other that ended wth this entry.

i’m having a hard time. when things get rough – i revert to old habits: i stop eating, or i eat everything i possibly can. i shut down, because i’m so painfully afraid of feeling my feelings and being too much. and i feel like i am always too much. i feel guilty because i’m taking care of myself. i don’t listen – i’m just waiting to talk.

i’m thankful that i can see that now. that i know when my life is sliding sideways and i need to pull it together.

i’m thankful i have a husband, a good family and friends who will support me when i’m sliding off the rails and help me find my balance.

i’m thankful i have a mentor at school who gets it. who knows that this is hard, and is there to support me and make sure i succeed.

i’m thankful for my treatment team. i honestly don’t know where i’d be without them: being at rodgers changed my life, and i will always owe them a huge debt of gratitude. my regular team has been amazing at helping me keep it all together.

so there’s a lot to be thankful for. a lot to work on, but to be thankful in the moment and remember that’s all of us can do.


the trouble with discomfort

the world is an incredibly uncomfortable place to navigate. i’d like it to go back to something else.

the last month has been a veritable shit show. hurricane harvey. then irma. then maria. devistation across texas. florida. barbuda. puerto rico. earthquakes in mexico. then came what is being called the largest mass shooting in contemporary american history.

think about it. harvey went from august 25 to september 3. irma went from august 30 to september 16.  maria went from september 16 to october 3.

that’s right guys. maria was still (is still) an extropical storm when (as) i was writing this. it just keeps going. the destruction has moved, but it keeps going.

we’ve just barely been able to take a breath, and then this massacre in las vegas happens. this thing – which no one is calling terrorism (which is was, in my opinion). the news cycle keeps on spinning. the sadness never has a minute to break.

the sadness never has a minute to break.

being awake is exhausting. reading the internet is exhausting. social media is fucking exhausting. watching tv, listening to the radio, breathing – all of it. exhausting.

i realize that i’m already a little emotionally ‘fragile’. i recognize that. most of the time i embrace it.  i can’t embrace this kind of disorder.

i need a breather. i need a moment to pause and see that there are good things in the world, that it’s not all gloom and doom. that mother nature isn’t trying to fuck shit up (or, to quote a bunch of internet stuff i saw about getting someone to give te fiti the heart). that i can go out with my friends and not worry about some fucking madman shooting things up. that i can take a breath and be happy without the president making a me look like a moron because i live in america. that i can take a breath and be happy. that i can take a breath.

so we can all take a breath

it’s been so hard to breathe lately. it’s been so hard to do anything lately.

i know this can’t go on forever. but the last month has been sisyphean. the rock will be at the bottom of the hill again tomorrow. and it’ll be alright.


warning, this is a self indulgent whine. so you know, nothing new.

i’m having a rough time with the eating. this is bad. i spent a lot of time in treatment this summer, and eating has to happen for me. i’m trying so hard, and i feel like i’m failing so hard.

i’ve been fighting a headache all day, and when i don’t feel well, eating is even harder.  i got my flu shot thursday, so everything hurts. i’m doing that thing where i’m both tired and wide awake.

i know this is the anxiety. this is everything screwing with me. this is me making progress and falling back. i go back to work tomorrow, and it’s new. i mean, it’s a department i’ve worked in before – but in an office i’ve never worked in. so it’s new and old and i’m spinning.

those are tires you hear folks. everything is spinning.

so i’m going to go to bed and remind myself that tomorrow is a new day, with new chances.

every new beginning…

It’s been an oddly transitory week.

Friday marked my last day in php/iop. Insurance thought I’d made enough progress to be done, and rather than prolong the inevitable and going the self-pay route, I decided that stepping down was the move for me. So I said goodbye to Josh and the rest of my family at Rogers (hi everyone!!) and moved on.

Transition is always something. Sometimes it’s hard. It’s always interesting. This time it wasn’t hard, per say… at least it hasn’t been hard yet. It’s still early. Friday night was quiet, I was a little tearful because goodbyes are difficult for me. The weekend went well: we spent some time with family- Matt had a cousin in town who was running from Hurricane Irma- and I spent some time with friends, which as wonderful because they were missed. We spent Monday with Matt’s cousin before she made her way back to Florida… and then Monday came.

It’s been a transitory week. Monday I went to meet with my regular therapist – which was both good and nerve wracking because I haven’t seen her in two months.

As I was walking into her office, I got a phone call from my old employer. Offering me a job – my old position, in a different department. Working on the academic side versus working on the student affairs side.

So that’s where we are now. I haven’t made a decision yet – I need to talk to the person who will be my supervisor. I have some concerns… mostly about making sure I can leave for class and to go to my appointments; because let’s be very serious- I’ve come way too far forward to backslide now. And as much as I’d love to have a job right now, I need to take care of myself.

Because at the end of the day, I’m what matters.

a new day

Uncertainty is an odd thing, ladies and gentlemen.

I don’t deal well with not knowing things. Not in a ‘I need to be the smartest person in the room’ way, but in the, ‘OMG they’re looking at me, what are they thinking’ way and the ‘Oh shit – I have the short memory of a goldfish and I totally spaced and I hope I did this right so I need to check’ way. It creeps in in the ‘I hope they’re not mad at me, I should just ask and check’ way. And the ‘I know they said they’re not mad, but I should check again… you know, just to be sure’ ways.

Not knowing if I did something right or wrong kills me. It eats me up inside and just makes all the bells and whistles ring until the anxiety works itself into a frenzy… which it loves and I hate. Think of it this way, you know when you get a really shitty techno song stuck in your head and all you want to do is make it go away – that’s anxiety’s favorite song, and they turn it up on the biggest speakers they could get at Best Buy and boost the sub woofers until all you can feel is the titter of the high hat and that annoying whoooooomp in your teeth.

Uncertainty makes me second guess everything. It makes me doubt things about myself that I know are true. I mean, come on, we all know I’m funny. Yet the uncertainty makes me think things like -well, *I* think I’m funny… so that way when no one laughs at a joke, it’s because I thought something else. Or the uncertainty lets me not talk to someone because why would they want to be my friend, we we all know that I’m a fucking bad ass friend. And the uncertainty does things like ask me why I’m doing things like even bother writing this… because no one’s going to read it, and if they do read it, it’s all shitty anyway. Which is a lie- because if there is one thing I know I can do well (and lbvs, there are a lot of things I do well from make banana pudding to giving advice to just listening when someone needs to talk) and that’s write and tell a good story.

Which is how I know you’re all reading. And laughing (with me and not at me. Because I’m funny, not a laughing stock). And even if you’re not – that’s okay.

But that’s an entry for another day.

Well… that happened

It’s been a while.

I know. That sounds incredibly reductive. But, it’s true. It’s been a while. Let’s do the readers digest version of a catch up, shall we? The last time I updated, I was in Oconomowoc Wisconsin, breathing the vaguely country air and trying to get myself back together.  That was July. It’s now almost September. I’ve been home for about a month.

Since I came home, I lost my job at NEIU. It was no one’s fault, layoffs came and someone with more seniority bumped me out of my position. I actually found out in the car on the way home. The morning I woke up in my own bed, there was a certified letter from the university saying that because of reduction in workforce, I was being let go.

I started partial hospitalization (it’s a day program- sixish hours). I’ve been stepped down to what’s known as an intensive outpatient (same deal, only three hours a day). It’s all been an adjustment. A lot of who I am is wrapped up in other people (let me rephrase that. a lot of how I tend to think of myself is tied into who I am to other people, what I do for work) – now that I don’t have a job to identify as, I’m feeling really sort of lost. I’m floundering.

I’m still working on me. This week feels like it’s been a shit show. I came the closest I’ve been to a binge in almost 2 months. I threw the meal plan out the window and went back to eating so I wouldn’t have to feel things. There’s been a lot more crying (shout out to my therapist, Josh – who gets to watch me cry just about every day). People think I’m on some kind of vacation – I’m not “working”, I just go to therapy every day. But this is hard. Every day this is hard. Some of these days are harder than others. Today has been ridiculously hard and if I had it my way, I would’ve just gone back to bed and called a re-do. Or I would’ve gone through a few drive throughs and eaten it all.

Instead, I’m sitting in my living room writing. I took the dogs for a short walk earlier. I did some reading for class. Right now,  I’m wishing I could take a nap, but I know that won’t help anyone, especially me. And I’m trying to help me.

So I’m still here.