Things are Hard

That’s what she said.

TW: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

I’m typing this on my phone while trying to fall asleep because I feel really shitty and I just need to talk about it. I talked about my ex in counselling today and have been sad ever since. It’s been 11 months since the breakup; when will this end?

I feel like I’ll never feel better, and I’ll always be in this much pain. I know my recent restriction is playing a role, so I need to stop doing that, but ugh.

Maybe I’ll feel differently after a couple days of eating more, but I don’t really want to live right now. There’s so much pain and it never ends. Everything is pain. But death is nothing and that’s scary so we won’t do that. But it seems like a decent deal from where I am.

I’m sorry for this depressing post.

Sarah

Quick Gay Vent

This post won’t be eloquently written. Okay, none of my posts are eloquently written. But this is material I was going to share in text-venting-to-friend format and subsequently decided I would spare said friend and vent this to the world. Well, my tens of followers.

My point is, my thoughts are not organized in any way, and the purpose of this post is for me to describe my current feelings in order to make sense of them. Basically, it’s all about me. I’m sorry.

Let’s jump in. As I’ve alluded to in earlier posts, I identify as gay/lesbian, but am not entirely sure I’m not bisexual. I’ve felt this way for about two years, so it might be a while before I finally figure it out. But it leads to a lot of inner turmoil.

Firstly, I feel like a liar. All the time. When I tell people I’m gay, there’s a nagging voice in my head telling me I haven’t told the whole truth. But the whole truth isn’t concise enough for daily conversation. If there were one word to describe how I feel, I would gladly use it. But there isn’t. Maybe reverse bi-curious? Although I think “bi-curious” implies you are in the process of exploring your possible bisexuality, which I am definitely not. I just live my life and hope that I figure this out at some point.

I should mention that I don’t want to be bisexual.

That sounds terrible, and it is terrible, but it’s true. Bisexual people deal with way more shit than gay and lesbian people at this point (at least in this society). I love fitting the lesbian stereotype of cat-loving, introverted homo who wears converse and men’s shirts on the daily. But the stereotypes for bisexuals are all negative. They’re seen as greedy, slutty, and unsure of their sexuality. Some people see them as half-gays who aren’t really part of the LGBTQ+ community. I love the way my gayness is becoming a larger part of m identity, but because of the stereotypes, people won’t perceive me the way I want to be perceived if it turns out I am bisexual. So anyways, all this is going on in my head.

But I hate feeling like a liar. I would rather know I’m bisexual and unlearn my internalized biphobia (which I need to do regardless), than never know. I’m often terrified that, after screaming from the rooftops about how gay I am, I will fall in love with a man. By the way, I know it might seem like I’m attaching too much of my identity to my queerness, but I am coming to love it and I feel like I have found my people.

I’m starting to experience feelings that I haven’t felt since grade 7, when I began (and then officially decided to end) questioning my sexuality. I felt dirty and unlovable. I remember once telling two close friends that I wasn’t sure if I was straight. I thought they wouldn’t want to be friends with me after I told them that. I couldn’t love myself or expect other people to love me if I wasn’t straight.

These feelings are resurfacing as I battle with not knowing, feeling like a liar, fearing biphobia, and wondering if I’m denying my existent bisexuality due to internalized biphobia. I feel dirty. I feel unloveable.

I didn’t even feel this way when I found out I liked women. And I thought that made me bi at the time. Maybe spending more time among the LGBTQ+ community has made me fear the ostracizing that exists within the community.

Anyways, this all came to mind because I was talking to a man on a dating app. Sometimes I change my settings on dating apps so I see both men and women, sort of to test whether I’m attracted to men. Usually, doing this reaffirms my lesbianism because you find some interesting characters on Tinder. Today, I wondered for the first time whether I’m trying to make myself straighter by talking to men and trying to feel attracted to them. I never considered that homophobia could play a role in all these thoughts. I just don’t know what to think. Here are some contradicting pieces of evidence:

The only relationship I have ever cared about/ sex I have ever enjoyed was with a woman.

I only dated three men, and they were all kind of meh, so maybe that’s why.

I used to be super convinced I was ultra-straight. I would have conversations about how straight I was.

But that’s the most homosexual thing I have ever heard of, minus Mike Piazza’s press conference to tell everyone he was straight.

I currently want to date a woman, and do not want to date a man.

I am still having trouble letting anyone in after my breakup, so maybe I want to date a woman and a man equally but because I think I’m gay I’m looking for a girlfriend but I would be equally into a boyfriend?

I’m definitely more attracted to women than to men. And I don’t mean that I find women attractive more often than I find men attractive; I mean I would feel like I’m settling if I was with a man.

I was attracted to Bennett in season one of Orange is the New Black. Like 10/10 would sleep with. But wouldn’t date. Even if he wasn’t a shitty person, I wouldn’t want to go around living life with him. (I know this is a fictional character, by the way.)

I don’t know. There’s probably a million other things and they swirl around my brain all day and I don’t know. I have “tried on” the label of bisexuality in the past, and it just didn’t feel right, but maybe that’s the internalized biphobia? I feel like a dirty, tainted gay just talking to men on dating sites. I should stress that I don’t feel any of these things towards other bisexuals; I just… I don’t know)

There are a million other things I could say about this, but I need to get ready for queer pub night. This post did not end up being quick at all whoops.

Sarah

Lonely

I’ve been dealing with constant feelings of loneliness since my breakup last September. I miss always having someone around, someone to give me cuddles and buy me ice cream when I’m upset. To this day, I call my ex repeatedly in desperate attempts to feel anything close to those feelings, but she never responds.

And I should clarify that while I feel lonely, I am not alone. I have good relationships with my mom, my stepdad, and my sister. I’m thinking about distancing myself further from my dad, but that is what it is. I recently ended 2 important friendships, but I am still friends with people from school and have acquired a gaggle of gays to hang out with. There are people around me. I just don’t feel like they see me.

It has now been longer since my breakup than the relationship actually lasted, but it still affects me. I imagine I’ll have abandonment issues to work through for years to come. I am having fun going on dates, but when I think about having a girlfriend, I only want Jenn. Not even Jenn though. There were a million things wrong with our relationship that I ignored because I was in love. So I imagined a Jenn that doesn’t exist, and I still do that today. She brought a lot of negativity into my life, but for one brief second, she made me feel less alone.

I don’t think this post has any real thesis. Usually, when I sit down and write, my thoughts form some sort of coherent structure, but maybe that isn’t the case today. I guess the point is that I’m lonely and I miss Jenn and those things are very much related. I’m in a writing mood, so I might post again later. Until then,

Sarah

Sad

I know my blog is filled with negativity, and for that I apologize. These days, I actually am happy a lot of the time. But the motivation to write a new post often comes from feeling so miserable that I desperately seek some form of connection with other humans. So here I am.

I don’t know what it is. I haven’t been waking up (i. e. taking my meds) at the same time everyday, so maybe it’s that. I found out today that I might not be able to take a course I want to take next year. My sister went to the ER with suicidal thoughts last week. I have almost fully cut two close friends out of my life, so I am lonely af.

I probably feel so shitty because all these factors have culminated in a perfect storm of loneliness and misery. I have two peripheral friends that I am trying to get closer to, and I don’t really talk to anybody else. For a while, I was inexplicably okay with this, but I’m starting to feel so alone. And I feel the worst when I’m already miserable, because I just want to curl up in someone’s arms and have them cuddle me and make me feel better. I have called my ex as recently as last week, even though she never ever responds and I do not want that relationship back in any form. I just need someone. Anyone. I’m trying to be strong on my own but I am getting so tired.

Toronto Pride is this weekend, so I might meet new people. But I think I probably won’t. And I’m perceiving a pattern where people get to know me, realize how annoying I am, then leave. I can’t tell if it’s real, because it sounds like a classic social anxiety distortion, but the evidence is fairly convincing.

Sorry. I don’t even have the energy to write. I am just done. In a figurative sense. (I’m not in danger of harming blah blah blah)

Sarah

A Positive Update

Hello, the internet.

I’ve definitely been neglecting this blog lately. Whoops. Cue the usual “I’ve been busy/ I’m low-key a piece of shit/etc” thing. Formalities, formalities, blah, formalities.

I was eager to get right into this post, but now I don’t know where to start. To be honest, I’m not writing this because anything especially update-worthy has happened recently. Although, now that I think about it, that’s true. But I am writing this evening because I finished my evening routines a little earlier than usual and I still have some time before the Seroquel knocks me out.

Typically, I am motivated to blog by misery. So I guess it’s a good thing that tonight I’m writing because of happenstance instead. Because I actually have some really great things to share.

Good Thing #1: I am a happy person.

Okay, I don’t know for sure what it means to be a happy person, because I’ve never been one, but I’m certainly not a sad person anymore. And it’s a really weird feeling, but it’s a good weird feeling. I’ve been fighting mental illness for so long that it has become my identity. I was the sad, cynical, sarcastic, beautifully-broken asshole. I’m still a sarcastic asshole, and I am acutely aware of the problems in the world, but I also have a sense of purpose to solve those problems and the hope that it can be done. I don’t know if it’s the daily meditating (yes, I’m that person), challenging my social anxiety, or making Dominique a smaller part of my life. But whatever the reason, I’m pretty pleased.

Good Thing #2: I am dating.

For a while, I got stuck in a pattern of ending my contact with someone as soon as there was any potential for anything. My therapist said I was scared of getting hurt again, which sounds better than me lacking any social capabilities, so I’ll take it. Eventually, I gave up on dating altogether. At one point, I was going to casually sleep with one of my guy friends just to feel some shitty, bootlegged version of love for ten minutes. But recently, I’ve really been trying to put myself out there and meet people. I went on a date recently, and the plan is for us to go out again. I don’t know for sure what I want at this point, but I’m having fun. So, there’s that.

Good Thing #3: I got a job today.

This is actually amazing, but I don’t think my excitement level accurately reflects it yet. Just getting a job is a miracle and a huge financial relief. But it involves limited contact with other people, and actually sounds really fun. I’ve had jobs that I have “liked” in the sense that I was able to experience moments of happiness while working at them. But I think I will ACTUALLY like this job. Like the people in TV shows that I never relate to. You like the thing you’re forced to do at a desk for half your waking hours? Okay…

But yeah, finding a job means my Summer is figured out, and now I just have to do the things for a few months.
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I actually feel so grateful for where my life is right now. For the first time in a long time, things are going well. Eight months ago, I was constantly suicidal, and now I’m here. I can function in school and can find employment. I go to social things and enjoy them. I spend my time talking to people who want happiness as much as I do. I’m doing all the things. I’m really doing them.

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that I have cured myself of all mental illness with the power of positive thinking. More accurately, I have greatly reduced my symptoms of mental illness to a level where I can function, by working very hard for a very long time. I’ve been eating well (and enough). I’ve been going to the gym. I’ve been meditating, despite not really loving it. I made the terrifying decision to move out of my old place. I am pushing myself to endure anxiety-provoking situations many times per week. And at some point, all these actions got me somewhere pretty cool.

It has taken me quite a while to write this, and by now the Seroquel HAS kicked in, so that’s all for tonight. Hopefully I’ll have more good updates soon.

Sarah

The things I learned in Undergrad

My undergraduate experience hasn’t been very conventional. And I’ve hated myself for that since I returned to school in Fall 2015.

But I just finished a 10-minute guided meditation on self-forgiveness (because apparently I’m a person who meditates now), and as cringey and fluffy as it sounds, I realized something important. Namely, that I have learned so much more since I started university in 2012 than I ever could have if things had gone differently.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if I had graduated in 2016 with my friends from high school. If I hadn’t switched programs. If I didn’t take time off for eating disorder treatment. Maybe things would have been easier, but they wouldn’t have been better. Because I went to university to learn, and that’s what I did.

2012-2013

I began first-year as an anxious but generally happy super-Christian. I went to church twice a week, I volunteered with a youth group, and I planned to declare Religious Studies as my major in second year. I hardly know that 17-year-old version of me now. I feel compassion for her, because I remember that Christianity gave her a purpose and a community, before it gave her crippling self-hatred for being a sinner and stifled her dreams. I feel compassion for her, but I barely know her. These days, she rarely crosses my mind. Anyways, at some point, this girl decided God was telling her to become a nurse. When I didn’t get into the Nursing program for the following year, I decided to major in Psychology for my second year then transfer into Accelerated Nursing.

2013-2014

At the end of Summer 2013, after university education and life experience left me doubting Christianity for months, I made the decision that I was no longer a Christian. When I went back to school in September, all my friends thought I was going to hell, I had no hobbies or interests outside the church, and I had no direction or purpose for my life. I tried turning to science to give me some sense of meaning. I thought if I learned HOW our species and our planet ended up where they are now, I would also know WHY. I wanted to switch into Biology. Then Biochem. Then general Life Sciences. Then physics. Eventually, I decided to stay in psychology after all and do something to help those with mental illness. I developed Bulimia in the Fall, and barely attended any classes in the Winter. I went to the Psych ER three times with suicidal thoughts. At some point, I thought a change of scenery might help, so I applied to double major in Math and Writing at a different university in January 2015. Over the Summer, I experienced a trauma and my eating disorder became restrictive and took over everything. (When I talk about this, I like to clarify that my eating disorder COINCIDENTALLY became worse and more restrictive at the same time, but restrictive eating disorders are not generally more or less severe than other eating disorders)

2014-2015

Just typing in those years brings me immense sadness. This year must have been the most miserable in my life to date. In the Fall, I couldn’t work, and I was waiting until January to return to school. I watched documentaries under a blanket in my room all day, and had energy/motivation for little else. All I cared about was food and calories and weight. And to be honest, I probably needed it at that time, because everything else had gone to shit. I accepted a referral to a Day Hospital program, because I thought I would be magically better in 8 weeks and go back to school like nothing happened. I started attending classes in February, and relapsed immediately. I still only cared about food and calories and weight. I dropped all my classes in late March or early April because I didn’t have the mental capacity to learn anything. I returned to the Day Hospital program in April. While there, I decided to return to my original university, as it was closer to my home so my parents would be nearby and the trigger of commuting would be gone. This school doesn’t have a writing program, so I intended to double-major in Math and English.

2015-2016

I managed to mostly maintain my recovery through the Summer. I met Jenn in the Fall. She made me happy and was a great motivation for recovery. I’m still getting over our breakup, so I’ll just say the recovery stuck and Jenn did not. I also decided to only major in Math, as that meant graduating with a BSc instead of a BA, and the English courses at this school are not remotely writing-related.

2016-2017

Jenn broke up with me a few days before classes started in September, so I started the term suicidal. I was in the hospital a few times for overdosing, and was very nearly admitted as a psychiatric inpatient. I managed to get my shit together just in time, and got through the term. In the Winter, my roommate was admitted inpatient, and everything was about her for months. I sound unsupportive and I honestly am, but I had zero support and she was incredibly selfish during this time. I don’t want to get into the details, but our friendship became very toxic, and it was all very difficult for me. I made no changes to my program this year, believe it or not.

After 6 years of undergrad, I will (if all goes to plan) finally receive my degree in 2018. That degree will tell the world that I came to university and I learned about math. And I used to take comfort in knowing it wouldn’t say anything else. Like the fact that it took me 6 years to achieve, or the fact that I changed my mind on my program 20394 times, or the fact that I entered school wanting to be a missionary, or the fact that I lost a year of school to complete eating disorder treatment. But today, I kind of wish my degree wouldn’t just say I learned math. I wish it would say that I learned where I stand on religion, how to survive when I don’t want to, how to cope in unhealthy ways, how to cope in healthy ways, how to break and then put myself back together, how to love, the fact that I love women, what heartbreak feels like, how to put my life back together a second time, what I really want to do with my life, and how to work towards the life I really want. Because I learned all those things, and looking back, I wouldn’t change my path one bit, because those struggles and setbacks and detours made me grow into the person I am today. And I learned things about myself and the world that I will use for the rest of my life. So my undergrad hasn’t been conventional, but thank god it hasn’t been.

Sarah

Let’s Talk about Death

Last night, I was in a really strange mood. After listening to hours of Kimya Dawson songs, I started feeling abnormally peaceful. I’m not a person who feels peaceful unless something is horribly, horribly wrong. So that was weird.

When the peace began to subside, I started desperately trying to figure out how to bring it back. I didn’t need it back right away, I just needed to know how to access it again. I wrote the following note in my phone:

peace

Kimya Dawson
Everything has made me who I am?
One with the universe?
Song writing?

It looks like a mason jar and a Lululemon bag (the ones with the “inspirational” quotes) made a love child, and it was this note. Essentially, these were my ideas of what had caused that peaceful feeling.

I just listened to a couple Kimya Dawson songs again. And I might have figured out what it was about her songs that made me feel so calm.

She talks about death.

She sings about the death of her friends, the death of her loved ones, and alludes to her own eventual end.

I think about death all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. And not in a suicidal way. Okay, sometimes in a suicidal way. But mostly in a “We’re all going to die one day, so what’s the point?” way. It makes me feel depressed. Which sometimes makes me feel suicidal. And terrified to die. Simultaneously.  It’s all an exciting whirlwind of death and sadness. That would be a great title for my future memoir. Anyways…

I think I’ve been depressed since I was 13, but my depression became severe just after I left Christianity. I knew what happened when we died; I knew what my purpose was; I knew why the world existed. And then I didn’t. I watched a bunch of documentaries on the origin of the universe, looking to Stephen Hawking to tell me why I existed. But it turns out, that’s not really that guy’s job.

The point is, I’ve spent a lot of time since then contemplating death. And life. And the meaning behind all of it. And the lack of meaning. But I think about it in my head, because otherwise I bum people out.

As a society, we’ve decided that even though death is the one thing we all have in common, we are not going to talk about it. I will die. You will die. Everyone we love will die, and we’re supposed to go on working out and studying and paying bills like that isn’t true. And when somebody we know does die, it’s impossible to comprehend. It fucks us right up, because people don’t die. People are here and we know them, and they can’t just not be here anymore. What the hell?

So I guess there was something relieving in hearing someone sing about death. It made me feel like it’s okay that everybody is going to die. That sounds morbid, but I mean it feels okay that everything is temporary. We can spend the time we have connecting with others and feeling inspired and talking about how fucking weird it is that one day, we won’t exist. And when that day comes, the world will go on. Unless you die in some sort of Armageddon-style end-of-the-world situation, in which case it won’t. But the matter and the anti-matter will do whatever it did when… okay I didn’t pay enough attention when I watched those documentaries. I digress.

The point of this post is that, as it turns out, talking about death brings me incredible peace. And I think that as a species, we should do it more. I’m so fucking weird.

Sarah