Thursday, September 24, 2015


I realized I was doing better when I started giggling at work. 

When I started looking forward to things. "Oh! That thing I want to go to is this weekend! I can't wait for the thing!"

When my sense of humor comes back in full effect. "I just heard a commercial that sounded like they said, Choose our company. Choose goats. And I don't think that can be right because they're an Internet provider? But I love goats. They're so cute and bouncy! I just... You don't usually get bonus goats with the Internet. Like, Here's your router. AND A GOAT. I mean, where would we even put a goat." (I still don't know what they said. But I really want it to be goats.)

When I remembered that it's okay to be a bit broken. Or a lot broken. And I remembered that I don't ever stay broken. I have tape and glue and stuff and I know how to use them.

When I remembered that if I need help, I just need to say help and a hell of a lot of you come running.

When I remembered that I also know how to help other people.

That's when I realized I was better. I know I will be better still. I also know? I'll be worse again, sometimes, because that's how this works.

But I'm better now. And now's where I live.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Someday, I'll Forgive You

Dear Steph,

I was dancing around the house today to a band we both liked and, frankly, I looked like a complete moron. It was ridiculous. So of course, when I was being my most campy, The Fella came in and busted me. I believe I was mid-leap, singing "Taaaaaaaaakkkke meeeeee ouuuuuuut!" when he walked in and my first thought, my literal first thought, was "ohmyGod, wait til I tell Steph."

But I can't tell you. I can't tell you anything. I can't introduce you to The Fella. We can't hang out. You can't teach me to make the perfect Bloody Mary, like you promised, or see my apartment, or scritch Lizzie B because you're gone.

It is so fucking sad.

I remember when I found out that you were gone and my immediate, panicked thought was "That's not right. I just talked to her," because I felt like I should have known if you were in that much pain, or in that much trouble. But I didn't, and I didn't, and you're not here for me to tell stupid stories to and you should be. Dammit, you should be.

Because I still don't know how to make the perfect Bloody Mary, and because a bunch of people loved you.

Including me.

So I dedicate all of my humiliating dance party moments to you. And every time I hear Atomic Tom I think of you. And every time I reach out to someone who might be having a bad day it's for you.

I wish you had said something, anything. Because then I could forgive you for being gone. 

I wish I could forgive myself for not helping you. Maybe someday I'll forgive both of us.

Until then --

Love -- all of the love, and all of the hugs,


If you are in pain, if you are thinking that you need help, call a friend. Call a family member. Or reach out to these guys:

You are important.

You are loved.

You are needed.

I promise.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Lately, I have been having the small problem of being treated badly by people who claim to have my best interest at heart. While I don't believe that to be true -- not even a little -- it is causing me to experience a nagging, unpleasant, "are you sure YOU'VE never hurt anyone" thought loop.

While I truly believe that I never hurt anyone on purpose -- well. I like to believe that no one ever hurts anyone else on purpose, because that's such an epically horrid thing to do -- I know that I have treated people badly. Or maybe not badly, really, but in a way that hurt them despite the fact that I realized it would hurt them. 

I don't know if that last bit makes sense; let me try again. Sometimes the course of action you are taking is the only course of action you CAN take, but it's going to hurt some people. Not because you want to hurt them, but because you have to make the choices you are making.

While I can't apologize for my path? I can regret -- really, truly, down to my toes regret -- that I've caused some pain on the way.

So listen. If your're reading this (and you know if you are): I am so sorry for causing you sorrow. It's not what I ever meant to do. I can't ask you to forgive me, but I can ask you to know that I never would have hurt you on purpose, and that the knowledge that I hurt you is carved onto my soul.

You deserve a million and twelve wonderful things. I want them for you. I wish them for you every day.

I hope you know that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lemon Drops

There may be a time in your life when you find yourself in a really crappy situation. 

I should say, there probably has been/may currently be/will be a time in your life when the mire you are stepping in is particularly sucktastic. The law of averages says so. I mean, if not? Good for you and what's your secret because I could use it like, whoa.

Anyway. For the rest of us.

When life isn't just handing you lemons but actually insists on pelting you with them:

Hang on.

Hang on, and try to dodge.

Eventually, sooner than you think, it will be someone else's turn in the lemon-tossing contest. We all take turns in the giant citrus throwing tank. Sometimes it will be you, and you'll be a little bruised and a lot sticky, but there will be people there with band aids and towels and maybe some tequila so you can make margaritas or another refreshing beverage. When you get to climb out, you can clink glasses and commiserate on the bruises -- because they've had them too -- and then, if you're lucky, you can help the next person who gets pushed in.

I don't enjoy being in crappy situations. No one does, I think. But if they have a benefit (and I have to believe they do) it's that they can help you to become a better person. Not just because you learn from getting through them, but also because they can teach you to be more compassionate and kinder when you see someone else struggling.

I think helping each other is why we're here.

I think compassion is one of the greatest traits we can have.

And I think lemons are delicious in the right circumstances.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Games We Play

My last long term relationship was, um...

... Well, it wasn't awesome.

There were a lot of things wrong with it. (Which is sort of like casually mentioning that Denali is tallish, or that the ocean is a little damp.) Because of its wrongness, I tend to play some fun games with myself. I call them:

Second Guess All The Decisions! (So fun!)

Wait For The Other Shoe To Drop! (A party favorite!)

Live In Terror Of Doing The Wrong Thing! (Comes with an extra helping of flinching!)

Y'all. I want to stop playing these games.

I don't know how, though. I don't know how, but I do know that they're not helping me. I know that I express some feelings poorly: anger, frustration, irritation. I have a hard time coming out with them in productive ways, so instead of doing what a healthy person would do -- like express herself positively -- it's all passive-agressive and angsty, which is all there to cover what comes with trying to express those things: abject terror.

Am I allowed to say I'm frustrated? Am I allowed to be irritated? Is it safe to be angry?

I know for a fact, beyond doubt, that the Fella wants me to say: I am frustrated when X. I am angry when Y. I need help with Z.

I also know that I need to get past the fear of being able to say those things so that I don't feel compelled to wrap them in sarcasm and aggression, like the world's meanest gifts.

I'm just still working out how.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

See You Later

I hate saying goodbye to people.

I kind of suck at it.

I've been putting off and putting off coming to terms with the idea of having to slightly loosen my grip on one of my most favorite people in the world. He's just changing jobs -- no big deal, right? -- but it means that the hours we used to spend on the phone, kvetching and problem solving, are really over.

This is a guy who, when I started seeing The Fella, wanted to know if he was good enough for me.

This is a man who, when he knew I was struggling with something, called me to make sure I was okay. We supported each other.

I don't have any biological brothers.

But I have Bill, so I know what it's like to have a brother.

And I know I still will. (I also know he'll be mortified by this if he sees it, so I'm trying to be super chill and not cry while I write.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is: love the people who are in your life. Make sure they know you care about them. Hold onto them. 

If you have to let them go, make sure you tell them you'll see them later.

And then?  Make sure that you do.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sailing Ships

I think that we've all reached a point in life where things got out of hand in some way.  The job becomes a situation. Your health is precarious. Your relationship is struggling. Your family is a battleground. 

At that point, it's easy to become a vessel -- like the kind you drink out of. A cup, if you will. Filled with all of the things: stress and doubt and worry and shame and anger. When you're at your breaking point, it's hard to find room in your life for the positives that you want to fill your soul; you can only vaguely remember what it was like to be the other kind of vessel, the seagoing kind, the kind that sets a course and travels it with intention and determination and joy and laughter.

When your boss is a jerk and you are sick of being sick and your partner can't hear you and your kids are driving you crazy, think of this:

I can become filled with this.


I can ride this wave.

You can be the vessel that is filled (and subsequently sinks), or the vessel that floats and survives to steam through another day. 

It's your choice.

And, so you know, I'm not saying it's easy. Life is ridiculously hard. Some days, just getting out of bed is a freaking triumph. I know. I've been there.


When you're facing the day, when you find yourself facing the shitstorm that life can be, ask yourself: sink or swim? Will I let this fill me and destroy me, or can I find a way to ride it out? Try to remember: you are not in this alone. Try to recall: there are people all around you, in their own boats, who will throw out lines and help to keep you from sinking. 

You are a vessel.

Ride the waves.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On Being Deserving

I have this thing that I do when I'm super stressed out, which is to want to wait on other people. I guess that there's a part of my brain that has worked out this theory that if I'm concerning myself with  delivering what other people want or need, then I can stop thinking about myself and the things that are eating my soul.

It sort of works. I am able to make the people around me happy. "Here, have some nice pens! Here, have something fun for your desk! Here, let me fetch you foods and beverages! I'll buy your lunch! I'll clean your fishbowl!"

Making other people happy makes me happy. So it should be a win-win.

Except when it's not.

The problem with burying your feelings under a giant pile of concern about how everyone else is feeling is this: your feelings are not gone. They're just covered up with a pile of other people's needs. It's like ... if you put a shoe under a pile of sweaters, the shoe still exists. It's still THERE. You're just not looking at it.

(Why you would put a shoe at the bottom of a pile of sweaters is anyone's guess. But you get my point.)

The more stressed and sad and tired I get, the harder I try to be the person other people need to have around until eventually, there is too much stressed and sad and tired to bury and then I fall apart.

I've lately been a little fall-apart-y.


Tonight, when I got home, I thought, "Damn, I've gotta make dinner." I didn't want to. I once again lamented the fact that house elves aren't really a thing and I don't have one.

Then I thought, "I'm going to make chili though. And The Fella likes chili. That will be good. He deserves a good dinner."

And then, out of nowhere I thought, "Wait.

So do I."

I deserve a nice dinner. I deserve to take the time to cook it -- because I enjoy cooking, longing for a house elf notwithstanding. I deserve to eat well made food.

I also deserve to put myself a little more forward. I don't have to be first all of the time. But I deserve to be on my freaking list. I deserve to do small things that make me happy. I deserve nice pens! And fun things for my desk!

And to pay attention to the things that are eating my soul and to be gentle with myself as I detach their angry gnawing teeth from my psyche.

I deserve to show myself the love and care that I am determined to show other people.

You deserve it, too.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tell Me if the Bloggers are Losers

Today I read a comment on social media that said: "I feel like bloggers are losers. No one cares. You're not special."

And I thought, "Well, no kidding."


When people ask me what my blog is about, I tell them it's about the random things that happen in life. And when they ask me why I write it, I say it's because I like to write.

It never occurred to me that I would blog -- or that anyone would blog -- because I believe that my life is unique or special.

It has occurred to me that I blog -- and that other people blog -- to try to erase the notion of difference on some level.


I don't think I'm special.

I think I'm articulate.


I think that if I have a gift -- if there's a thing I'm good at, if there's a point to my being here on this earth -- it's using words to make people feel like they're not all alone. When I do that, I begin to understand that I'm not alone either. None of us are. We're all here, alive, trying to do our best. It's good to talk about how sometimes my best is pretty feeble. It's good to talk about how it's hard to do your best when you're tired and afraid. And it's good to talk about how some days, you feel wrapped up in love like a blanket and doing your best feels like the easiest thing in the world.

If life is indeed a journey, sometimes it's awesome and sometimes it's shitty. The way to get through it is to talk about it and share it.

That doesn't mean I think I'm special. 

I'm not special. Not by myself.

But if we can use what we all know, together, as people, to help and hold each other up, then we're all special. If we can use our experiences to build community and commonality maybe the journey could be brighter and less frightening on some of the darker paths. 

So I'm going to keep right at it, because this is what I've got.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


I have been having a difficult time.

One of the worst things about depression is that it makes you mistrustful. If I hate me, why would anyone else love me? I'm not worthy of love, so why would anyone even say that they love me? Clearly they are lying. 

Clearly no one can be trusted.

It's difficult when you realize that the person you can trust least is actually yourself.


I have asthma, so I understand that some conditions are triggered. Cold temperatures knock my lungs out of commission. Some allergens make me cough and wheeze.

It makes sense to me, then, that there would be things that set off the chemical reaction in my brain that causes me to have a depressive episode. I understand that. I also know that I know some, but not all, of those triggers.

It doesn't make it easier. There's no rescue inhaler for your brain.


I've been having a difficult time and not wanting to talk about it. But when I found myself having dinner with The Fella and literally sobbing into my french fries I decided it was time. 

It was time because I'm not the only one who struggles like this.

It was time because I'm hurting him too.

It is time because life is a cliff and we all need to know that there are handholds to keep us from falling. Those handholds are there. They exist. And if you cannot reach one someone will happily help you but sometimes you have to ask.


I know that I am worthy of love. I know that the people who love me aren't lying about it. I know they want me here.

I also know that I am worthy of help. That I can reach out and there will be hands for me to hold onto. I know that I have to grip them, hard, and pull myself along. 

If you've ever been there, or are there now, those handholds are there for you, too. My hand is here.

Take it.

We're all going to get through it. I promise.