Little victories! (Shoutout Saturday)

Hey guys! So, for this week’s Shoutout Saturday, I thought we’d do something a bit different. I’ve been having a pretty rocky time with my mental health of late, but recently I’ve been starting to (sort of) get back on my feet again. Sometimes, when you struggle with anxiety or depression, you have to celebrate the little victories–and so here are mine for this week. I’d love to hear any of yours; so feel free to let me know what you’re proud of, this year or month or week or whatever, in the comments or on social media.

Making meals ahead of time

So, this is a new development, but I’m very proud of myself for it! So, my family has always been huge on making things from scratch, because my parents are cheap and so am I, which means that I don’t really have many premade breakfast foods that’ll keep me going while I’m at school, which means I’m always late, because I always try to make something nice, and then get really hungry and tired and can’t start my day until 10am by the time I’m done with dishes. It’s just it’s not the best note to start the day off on.

So lately, I’ve been trying to make meals ahead. Last night, I made some muffins, and the night before that I did breakfast burritos, and so far it’s been really nice.

When I come home from school, I’m also always super hungry, because I have this weird anxiety about eating food at school and also can’t be bothered to pack a lunch. So, instead, I’ve been putting aside dinner leftovers, so I don’t have to come home from school and frantically scroll through food blogs, and cry over a package of dry pasta. (Something I genuinely did a few weeks ago.)

I don’t know, I feel very responsible and adult, and I’m proud of myself for finally coming up with a very obvious solution to this problem.

Skincare

Okay, so this is the most cliche thing to write about–and honestly it drives me crazy when people talk about bath bombs and skincare products like they’re going to fix all your problems instantaneously, or act like everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on these fancy products. But anyway–a few days ago, I ordered this eight dollar facial cleanser thing, and a ten dollar moisturizer off Amazon, and I’ve been doing a very basic skincare routine every morning and evening. It hasn’t cured my depression yet, but it is very nice.

Oh! On a somewhat related note, I’ve also been forcing myself to remember to take my vitamins and medication by writing it down on my to-do lists, which is so obvious, but also took me three months of having this problem to think of.

Reading books

So, because I just love to make myself miserable, I have a habit of just fusing myself to a screen for, like, ten hours straight in some form or other. (Wake up, check my phone, do schoolwork on my computer, watch TV on my computer, call my friends on my phone, etc.) And although that’s not always a bad thing, it’s just not good for my mental health to be on a screen 24/7, and honestly it can become pretty self-destructive. So I’ve been trying to take some time to just, like, read on the couch for a few hours, like I used to when I was younger, before I had so much going on. I miss reading being a bigger part of my life, and it’s been really nice to get back into it.

Getting back into audio editing

So, I have this fun habit where whenever something challenges me in any way, I shut it down and avoid it all costs, because I’m deathly afraid of failure. So to be totally honest, I tend to shy away from doing things like making podcast episodes, or mixing spoken word tracks, just because it’s something I’m still learning how to do, and am far more likely to mess up than I am writing a blog post, or a story chapter. I’ve been writing or reading in some form for so long, it’s honestly just like a second instinct to me, but I’ve only been working with audio for a year now, so it’s a lot more intimidating for me. Anyway, recently I’ve been working on a spoken word track, and I’m really proud of it.

Putting myself out there (a little bit)

So, not to shamelessly self-promote, but I’ve been working on an audio drama called We Are Here–which I may or may not have been working on since March, but I didn’t want to talk about it too much in case I decided to back out of the project, and also because nothing that exciting was happening back then. Anyway! I recently put out a casting call for it, and I’m about halfway through editing season one, and I’m hoping to start producing episodes at the end of March, and yeah, it’s absolutely terrifying but also, so cool, and I’m so excited to see where I’ll go with it. If you’re interested (nudge nudge, wink wink) you can check it out here.

Okay! I think that’s about it. I have no idea what I’m gonna write about next week, at this point of the year I’m just so tired I can’t plan more than a day ahead.

I hope you all are taking care of yourselves, and doing all right. I’m sending all the hugs your way.

Lots of love,

Lorna

don’t hurt yourself

that’s what they tell me. sprawled on the floor, scrolling aimlessly. because in this world, so many people are beautiful, and perfect, and how could ever i hold a candle to that? honestly.

because i haven’t eaten. and i forgot to sleep. so my eyes are scooped-out hollows, my wrists are this close to giving out the ghost. but i’m so far away, you know? and, in the end, it’s all right. because this is my body, my life. i can set it in fire, if i like. and what are you going to do?

hold my hand? and whisper gently, oh, baby, you’re going to be fine. you can breathe, all right. just listen to me.., because i love you, i really do… and i’d do anything to make you happy

but my mind is a tired machine. but my lungs are deflated balloons. but my mind is a smoking train wreck, and sometimes, i survive the collision. but sometimes, you find my body, in the charred remains. and the doctors say there’s nothing you can do.

but i’ll pick myself up. and dust off the bullet wound, like i always do. wrap myself up, in a singed, cardigan. because you don’t have a clue.

but maybe someday, it’ll get better. maybe things will work out. but… right now, i’m just lost. and sad. and really confused.

October: the Month In Photography

I took this the morning of September 29th–I know, not technically October.

But for the purpose of this post, let’s just call it that! I always fog up the bathroom after I shower, and have to open the window up afterwards, which is totally preventable, but I do it anyway, because I’m tired–and because I forget.

I love watching the steam pour out the window, and seeing the rays of sun pour in.

As the last of summer fades, I like to go on walks right as the sun sets.

(Partially because seven o’clock is a convenient time for me, but still.) It just feels… really peaceful, I don’t know.

Around October 5th, the leaves begun to drop.

I took this on the same walk as the picture above, for context, and I thought the spindly branches looked super creepy!

I have a very love-hate relationship with autumn weather.

I mean, I get to wear sweaters, which is always a plus, but also, if I want to go walking, I have to get my life together before 6:30; since by October 11th, that’s when the sun was starting to go down. Which, even though I get up at eight, is really when my brain is starting to wake up? So for me, autumn means a lot of late-night walks with my mom. It’s freezing cold, and usually kind of rainy, but you get to see the city lights, and take vaguely spooky pictures, so it’s worth it.

I’ve been having trouble with school of late.

Not in the academic sense. I’m on top of all my courses; but I’m only doing it by the force of sheer terror. I don’t know why I care, I don’t know what the point of any of this is, and honestly… of late, I’ve just been feeling really depressed. I might not feel anxious to the degree I did before, but this kind of lonely hopelessness… well, it’s a different kind of torture. And sometimes, I just come home and cry, because it all feels… pointless. And performative. And fake. And, yeah, that’s been hard–because depression is scary, and because I don’t have the time to feel this way. I have a job, I have writing, I have so many tasks constantly up in the air, and no matter how hard I work, it never feels… good enough. As I write this, it’s only October 16th, but it feels like it’s been years since school started.

It’s been a really weird week.

I’ve been okay. I guess. At least, I’m more functional, and I finished another one of my courses–so, uh, one less course until I graduate? God, I don’t know.

I saw a friend, who for reasons, hasn’t been able to see me since August. It was really good. Sometimes, you just kinda miss someone for so long that you just get used to it. And you forget, how good it feels to just see someone in person. I don’t know when I’ll get to see her again–probably not until Christmas. But it was something; a tiny vestige of how things used to be.

I’ve been staying up, later and later. Watching TV for way too long, and putting off doing any meaningful work, which hasn’t been great. But I don’t really know what to do about it. So I’m just… trudging along, I gess, through this weird fog in my head.

Oh, yeah! I’m not trick or treating or anything, because COVID; but I am hanging out with a singular friend! We might string up a pinata in the backyard, and have a nicer-than-usual dinner or something. I’m excited! I’m gonna dress up as Rosie the Riveter for Halloween, by the way. So, uh, that’s neat I guess. (Also, inexpensive. Did I mention inexpensive?)

I’ve been going back to my roots, of late.

Thinking about the person I used to be, two years ago. If you’re older than almost-15 and reading this, you’re probably going to laugh… but I feel so old, these days. I can’t believe time has passed so quickly. I feels so old. Wasn’t it just yesterday, I was scared of the tall, invincible teen girl with earbuds in as she crossed the street. And now, I am that girl. But I’m not anywhere near invincible. (And I think I’m only around 5’7.) I’ve been writing lots of journal entries, and taking tons of photos, and going on long walks through the woods.

I feel like I’m entering a new phase of my life, right now. And as it stands, I”m not quite sure what that means. Both personally, and writing-wise.

But I’ll figure it out. There’s no rush. I have to remind myself of that, a lot.

It’s okay, to take things slowly.

I’m not running out of time.

cold coffee

i drink my coffee cold. let it sit at my desk for hours on end. as i watch another movie on netflix, or hum a song i heard on the radio.

and i cling to the lyrics. i cup them in my clammy hands, as my heart beings to pound. and the snowdrift wraps its loving arms around me, whispering sweet nothings in my ear. don’t you just want to give up? because no one wants you here…

don’t you just want to lie down, on your perfect bed. in your cute, cozy sweater. don’t you just want to lie down, and stay here forever?

sipping your coffee. as the cobwebs twine around your fingers. and the lock will snap shut on its own. the hinges will squeak, as your bedroom door slips closed.

but… i don’t mind, not really. because i don’t know what this place is. but i think it loves me.

it has to get better

you are the crash. and you are the burn. you are hypnotic blankets, you are the monochrome sun, watching as the world burns.

you are the snap, and the crackle, and the pop. you’re fine one moment and the next… you’re not.

your heart pounds. and you think you’re giving up. you have wanted nothing more in your life than for this. to. stop.

***

i will wake up to the drone of my alarm. and i will lie in bed, for what could be a few minutes. or what could be hours on end.

i will crawl out onto the floor. scroll through my phone, and always leave wanting more.

i will stare in the mirror, maybe just a little dizzy. i will make a mental list, of all the parts of myself i should probably fix. but i’m busy, busy, busy…

so i will put on a nice dress. i will ignore the dying tulips; the wilting rosemary out back. i will stare out the window on the ride to school. and i will do my best not to notice the crack of lighting down my skull. like a discount heart attack.

but it won’t last forever. right? i mean, it has to it has to it has to get better


This piece is very experimental, and maybe a bit weird, but I was in a pretty weird place when I wrote it. (Around mid-September, I think.) I was going through withdrawal symptoms, as I very poorly went off my meds. (Because apparently you shouldn’t just go cold turkey on a medication you’ve been taking for over a year, after halving your dose for two days. Who would have thought?!)

I’ve never experienced side effects, or any kind of withdrawal from medication. So although I knew it was technically a possibility, I didn’t think it would happen to me. But it did. The symptoms lasted about two weeks, but it was one of the hardest, longest, strangest two weeks I’ve ever had.

It plunged me into depression, for most of that time period. I got dizzy whenever I stood up, my mind was slow and sluggish–which absolutely drove me insane–and about every five seconds, these weird zaps went through my whole body–a bit like shivering, but if you shivered in your brain too, and your heart started pounding. Honestly, the scariest thing was that I couldn’t find good information from a medical professional on what I was supposed to do, or when this would stop–and for a while, I didn’t even realize what it was. Even once I did, I was too ashamed to tell anyone for a bit.

I had no idea when it was going to end, if this was messing up my brain long term, and I just felt so out of control. Eventually, I owned up to the fact I had gone off my meds wrong, and asked my mom to talk to a pharmacist, and a few days after that, I started to feel a little bit better.

So, in conclusion kids: do lots of research, talk to your pharmacist before you go off your meds, not just your family doctor on a phone appointment, in which his cell reception was so bad you could only make out every fifth word. (Although, to be safe, you should probably do that too.)

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings