I’m not Depressed…am I?

Mental disorders aren’t uncommon among people with chronic illness. But I don’t have a chronic Illness…not really, so I’m not depressed.

That’s what I kept telling myself–for months I’ve acknowledged I have limitations but since I’m not on every day medications, lead a healthy life style and I’m a happy person so I’m not really sick. I lie to myself and everyone I see every day because I thought it would make me stronger.

But denying your illness doesn’t make you stronger–it makes you dumb.

I’ve been having a really hard time these past few weeks, emotionally and physically. I’ve known I’ve had anxiety for a while, but I have my own stress management plan so I never sought professional help. My dad kept saying I’m depressed, but I don’t feel depressed so I ignored him. I don’t have many phsycial symptoms everyday, and the few that I do have I’ve been living with them since I was 16 so I hardly notice them any more.

But now that I am in need of dyer help, it’s unavailable to me. Because I didn’t seek out help months ago when I noticed these feelings weren’t going away, that the panic attacks came more frequently and I often felt inferior to everyone around me, I have no one to turn to when I need to the most. Yes, I have family and friends, but I feel they’re biased and can’t offer any real advice on how to manage my symptoms. I’ve denied medication for years because I thought it would make me stronger and now I know how stupid that was. I’m proud that for four years I was able to manage my symptoms naturally, but diseases progress, symptoms become more severe and this is hard on your body. It’s okay to ask for help, it’s healthy.

Me, I have a pride issue. I don’t ask for help and now that I need it I don’t know how to ask for it. Part of me wants sympathy and the other part wants to suck it up until I can afford professional counseling in case I need to be put on medication. I have friends who have the same issues and they are ten times better for the help they receive, I even helped them get to appointments, reminded them to take pills, to eat and made sure they slept well. I put so much effort into taking care of everyone else I failed to take care of myself.

Guys, if you need help..ask for it. Please. Don’t knock off counseling or therapy because of stigmas, they’re there to help you. I know they’re costly, I know some insurance doesn’t cover psychiatric medicine, but there are other ways. Your regular doctor can prescribe meds if you need them, most campuses have free counseling services for students and there are several free or low cost community centers that offer therapy for just this reason. Please don’t be like me and wait till the last minute. I’m struggling every day to deal with the hardships of life and I shouldn’t be. Everyone struggles but not to the point of a mental break down. I’ve been keeping things bottled up for years, things that happened to me as a child, things I regret and habits I can’t get rid of and each day they ebb away at my happiness and create barriers around me that keep me from forming the relationships I desire.

It’s okay to ask for help. If I can do it, so can you. And remember you are not alone.

Love always,

Kat

Love in the Valley Part 1

Lindy looked down at her dying phone one more time. Not that she had any notifications– because she didn’t–she just needed something to do. She had let her friend Ethan drag her off to Mesa to hand with some friends and their stooped up cars. She didn’t want to tell her friend that she was bored out of her mind, tired and a little frustrated so she just kept mindlessly scrolling through twitter and Pinterest.

All night she had listened to her friend Ethan and his friends talk car to one another and she could barely keep up. V6 verses V8, manifolds, VTEC engines and IFO. Lindy liked to drive, and she could drift her fathers old 98 Miata like a pro on the mountain passes up towards Prescott but she didn’t know anything more than to check her oil every 3000 miles and to never ever leave an automatic in neutral.

Guns. Guns and computers–that was a topic the small blonde could school every male here in, but no one brought up firing pins or core processors. It was all catalytic converters, exhaust systems and burnouts.

“Can we go now?” Lindy whispered to Ethan after stifling a yawn.

“Don’t tell me your tired already?” her dark headed friend teased, nudging her with his shoulder.

They had been sitting on the passenger side of Ethan’s car, Lindy in the seat with her feet handing out the door and Ethan perched on the edge of the door frame just beside her.

“No, tired was two hours ago, now I’m just cranky.” Lindy felt like this was a reasonable request, it was already two A.M. and she had a big day of shopping planned for the next day. Ethan laughed.

“Nah man,” Ethan’s friend replied getting to his feet. “I gotta head home myself, Mace is gonna be pissed if I stay out all night again.”

Ethan stood to shake his friends hand, “Alright Man, it was good seein ya!”

“Bye!” Lindy called as, Kade, Ethan’s friend got into his old yellow Honda SR and spun out of the parking lot.

Ethan shook his head as he rounded the front of his Honda Civic SI, “Show off.”

The drive back to Scottsdale was anything but boring, and Ethan tool the long way round back to the 202 just to watch Lindy cackle as he serenaded her with every R. Kelley song Spotify would play.

The dark haired car fanatic mumbled profanities to himself as he eased up the hill to Lindy’s villa on Harvard street.

“Why didn’t you take the Hayden entrance, goof?”

“Because the park entrance is prettier,” Ethan replied once he eased his lowered car up onto the road.

Lindy chuckled and shook her head. She noticed that the lights were still on inside her small villa, her grandmother must still be awake.

“Thanks for tonight,” Lindy said, “I enjoyed it.”

“No you didn’t,” Ethan smiled, “But thanks for coming.”

Lindy flashed her brilliant white teeth. “Your welcome.”

Lindy said her goodbyes and let herself out of the car. As she neared her door she heart Ethan exit the car as well. Shit, shit, shit! She thought to herself. What is he doing?

“What are you doing?”

“Kissing you goodnight,” Ethan replied.

Kiss? Ethan and Lindy had only met a few weeks ago–at work. This wasn’t supposed to be a date, why would he kiss her? Lindy’s heart began to race inside her chest. Not that she didn’t want Ethan to kiss her, it’s just that they worked together and it would be weird and awkward and all the other bad things her Grandmother had warned her about. But before the blonde could protest Ethan planted the most awkward, but sweetest kiss on her cheek, probably because she was still halfway facing her door then sashayed back to his car and zoomed off.

“Thought this wasn’t a date?” Lindy’s grandmother inquired playfully from the couch.

“It wasn’t supposed to be,” Lindy confessed, plopping down on the grey couch beside her dad’s mother.

“He obviously thought it was.”

“What are you even doing awake?”

Lindy’s grandmother looked at her with amusement, “I wanted to be awake to say ‘I told you so’.”

“Are you happy now?”

“Yes.”

“Good, then go to bed.”

“Don’t give me attitude little one,” her grandmother chastised.

“Yes ma’am, I’m sorry.”

“You’re forgiven.” her grandmother replied as she got to her feet and headed up the stairs to her loft. “Don’t forget we’re meeting Andie at ten! Goodnight !”

With a loud sigh, Lindy peeled herself off the couch and went to her room. She found her grandmother’s cat, Pepper, sprawled out on her duvet. Lindy must have woken her when she pushed the bedroom door open and Pepper looked at Lindy with disgust.

“Oh, don’t look at me that way,” Lindy snapped. Pepper blinked lethargically and set her head back down on the duvet. Pepper. was going to be extra annoyed when Lindy tried to crawl into bed.

“Lindy!” Lindy’s grandmother cried the next morning from the kitchen.

“Ma’am?” Lindy was still in her room, trying to brush the dry shampoo out of her blonde hair. It wasn’t going very well.

“We’re leaving in ten minutes! Are you going to drink this or what?” The blonde had completely forgotten about the coffee she poured herself earlier that morning.

“I’ll take it  with me!” Lindy replied as she pulled the top half of her hair into a messy top knot.

Shopping in Scottsdale  was a big deal. Fashion Square was the largest mall in the state and the people of Scottsdale (Snottsdale) were very proud of it. The mall was practically it’s own city, located in the center of town just north of Old Town and Lindy had every intention of spending the whole day cruising the mall with her adorable grandmother and slightly famous auntie. She couldn’t go wearing just anything, but she had little options seeing as she hadn’t done laundry in two weeks. She had planned on doing it last night, but Ethan hadn’t told her they would be out so late.

The small blonde, finished with her hair, pulled on a classic white shirt and a dark green plaid mini skirt and rushed out of her bedroom to grab her shoes. The grunge look was her go to on rushed mornings, it also went very well with yesterday’s eyeliner and the vegan doc martins she left by the back door.

Her grandmother commended her on her 15 minute ensemble then rushed her out the back door to the car port where Lindy’s aunt’s range rover waited for them.

“So, who’s this Ethan and when do I get to meet him?” Lindy’s Aunt Andie asked playfully as she slammed the back passenger door closed.

Lindy gave her grandmother a ferocious look. “Grandma!”

“What?”

Lindy shook her head, “He’s a friend, and there’s nothing to tell. Can we please just go shopping?”

“You should invite him for lunch! I made reservations at the Four Winds, one more won’t be a problem.”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not bringing a guy from work to meet my grandmother and aunt from Vegas.”

“Ashamed of us are you?” My grandmother asked, smining a devilish smile through the rearview mirror.

“Not at all. The two of you are intimidating is all.”

“How am I intimidating?”

I looked at my aunt with sarcastic eyes. She was beautiful, naturally ash blonde, high cheekbones, glowing skin, fake double d’s and legs for days. She was a model for crying out loud and her husband owned two clubs in Vegas and a security company. If the Range Rover didn’t spell it out for you, then her two Lexus’s and five bedroom house might. My grandmother had aged, but was still beautiful. Her curly brown hair was pulled into a french twist that she magically did herself, her perfect white teeth could blind a cop in the next lane if they caught the Arizona sun just right and she strutted around in her Jimmy Choo’s like every carpet was the red carpet. The two of them had lived in Scottsdale their whole lives and it showed.

Andie got my drift and rolled her eyes, “If he could handle a night out with you, I think he can handle lunch with the two of us, now call him.”

My aunt Andie had this look, it was terrifying yet humorous. And it’s how she always got her way. My dad says I have the look, but mine was nothing compared to hers. So I took out my phone, dialed Ethan’s number an invited him to lunch.

 

Missing London

This morning I awoke to a brilliant sunny morning and I hated it. Why is the sun ALWAYS out? What ever happened to rainy winters? It’s still fall, but apart of me feels that the sky should be gray just on principle.

I also grabbed my custom London Fog mug I picked up in a pottery shop in Bristol this morning for my tea and I suddenly realized why I was so blue. For months I’ve been talking about going to London, and nothing here (other than my new job) has gone according to plan so I just don’t see why I’m still here. I find myself talking about England all the time, the weather, the people, the food…every thing! I to this day cannot believe that a city captured my heart the way London did. Now, even in Phoenix I feel lost, like I don’t belong.

I’ve been looking at grad programs in the UK but sadly most are research bases and I don’t do research. I’m a hands on learner. So I may have to settle for a US grad program and speed through it and just get a kick ass job in England somewhere. Mulan’s dad tells me that MI6 is hiring (LOL).

Everything about the UK has always fascinated me, and being able to go there and make friends was amazing. I really felt like I fit in there opposed to the country town I live in where everyone runs around in cowboy boots, saggy buckle jeans and a knock off Ralph Lauren shirts. (Seriously, that’s not even attractive at all!) There are many things I love about my home town[s], but sadly none of them felt me. I loved being in Phoenix, but it was too hot. I haven’t tried out Portland, Seattle, Boston or New York for very long but I definitely didn’t get the same vibes from any of those beautiful cities.

I know I ramble on about England a lot, and it’s because my heart aches for it. Yes, my family is here but the only times I remember ever being truly happy was when I was away on my own. When I was in Phoenix last summer, and in LA and then as I traveled in Europe I was, completely, irrecoverably and thoroughly happy. I was independent, walked everywhere, felt safe and I had my phone switched off to save battery for all the pictures I was taking and so it wouldn’t constantly try and use signal for things (international data is expensive!). The tube is dirty-but fantastic and I never ran out of things to do! Even in Phoenix there was always a cafe with live music, an art gallery or bookstore I could go browse. I was never bored. Here, my  problem is that I come home, I bathe, then I watch Netflix/attempt to write then I go to bed. On days off I venture out to do things but I have to drive 45 mins each way.

Let’s face it. I wasn’t meant for the country. I need the city. I need London (or any similar suburb).

Can a single, young royal male read this and whisk me away? I don’t need much… just a small flat and wifi.

JK guys, I’ll get there on my own! There’s plenty of cyber jobs to be found. I may even break down and work for a private company or do forensic accounting. Who knows… the world is at my feet!

OXOXO

Kat

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

So this isn’t the post I had planned for today but this is something I really feel I should say.

Depression/anxiety sucks.

Depression and anxiety run in my family and I’ve always struggled with it. It’s never been a serious problem until recently though. With my new job I’ve been so much happier, I have more friends than I’ve ever had and I’m doing things outside of my comfort zone. But today, that little black shadow crept up on me and I couldn’t make him go away. Even while we were laughing at work, after I ran and ran through a couple of my old contemporary routines–he was still there. I took a nice bath, watched some funny TV and drank some tea and still…my chest hurts, I feel icky and well…I’m sad.

Allow me to quote L here, “It’s okay to not be okay”. There will be days when I feel like this because that just how it is. I’ve been medication free for a while now, I only take the occasional pain killer when I need it. I fully support the healthy life style–I do yoga, I’m a vegetarian, I foam roll and I drink loads of water and herbal tea.

I caught myself looking in the mirror, criticizing every tiny little thing about myself. At work I kept screwing up everything, made tiny mistakes that I shouldn’t have made, found it difficult to focus, and kept mentally kicking myself for not being good enough. I felt so inferior to everyone else there, even the new people. I started re reading all of my material, asking questions I knew the answer to and taking notes. This is NOT okay. It is okay to mess up, no one is perfect and the fact that I let that ruin my whole day isn’t okay. I helped a friend out this morning by volunteering to be ‘evaluated’ for her psych class. It was just a test with lots of puzzles, questions, weird visual things and there were so many sections I did so horribly on I couldn’t believe it. Even after she told me that the test is designed to be failed and that I did way better than most people I was still like, ‘no, this is not okay. I can do better!’ And I could have done better had I had something to study but that wasn’t the point of the test.

You should always strive to be better, but you have to accept who you are. Me, I’m a bit ditzy and the brain fog hits me hard around 4/5 p.m.–which was when I made over half those tiny mistakes. It’s hard to live with any chronic illness. There are times when I feel completely alone even though I’m surrounded by all my friends, times when I feel like I’m the only one I can trust when I know my support system is always there for me. Depression is a hard thing to cope with, and there is nothing wrong with medication. I’ve strived to overcome all my spoonie trouble naturally and here lately that hasn’t been as easy as it used to be. I’ve taken a hard hit to my pride realizing that I can’t do some of the things I used to do and that to continue doing other things I’m going to need help.

I’m not where I wanted to be in life, I’m still stuck in the same shabby apartment in a horrible po-dunk town where there is literally NOTHING to do. But my family is here, my friends are here, and my job is here. Lots of this depression anxiety stuff is because I haven’t been able to see my sisters in a while. I used to see them every weekend now I’m lucky to see them a few times a month. My grandpa has been away working, my friends all moved back home–so I am a little more alone than usual but I still have my dad and my other friends.

So when you feel down, just try and remember the good things in life. Remind yourself what your good at, give yourself something to look forward to or just do something nice for yourself. It wont fix the problem but it will get you through to that next sunrise and tomorrow will be a better day.

I love you guys! Thanks so much for letting me ramble. I’ve been a little more blue that normal, and naturally that leaked into my writing so I haven’t done much creative writing in the past month or so, but I’m trying to rectify that! Just keep checking in and I’ll have something fun up soon!

Love always,

OXOXO

Kat!

The Fundamentals of Southern Manners: Yes Sir’s and Yes Ma’am’s

“Yes?” “Yes what?” “Yes Ma’am.”

I live in the South–Texas to be exact–it’s not a secret even though i don’t often broadcast it. I don’t particularly like the South, but growing up here was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

You’ve all heart of Southern Hospitality right? Well we take that VERY seriously here in the South. I have so many family who aren’t blood related but they are family and you will never, ever convince me otherwise.

Another thing that you’ve probably heard of that is a REALLY BIG DEAL here in the South is manners. I’m not talking debutante, salad fork, no elbows on the table sort of manners (I have that sort of family too on my dad’s side). I’m talking about the notorious and oh-so-important “Yes Ma’am” and “Yes Sir’s.” I know loads of people, especially in the north find it offensive because that makes them think that you think that they’re old. But I was raised in the South, it is a habit, get over it already. My manners are what have gotten me so far in life. Do you want to know how i was able to travel so much? How I was able to see all the amazing things I’ve seen? I talked to people and made an impression–a damn good one too. People eat my manners up, they love it. Most can’t believe how well-mannered I am and this is what makes me stand out. I can’t tell you how many compliment by boss[s] get because I simply smile and say “yes ma’am” or “yes sir”. Good customer service is as simple as that in my book. Great customer service however goes much, much deeper than that, however.

Growing up I was not allowed to say “what?” “huh?” or “yeah.” If I said such things I would be rewarded with an arm fat pinch from my mother and she would stare me down until I said what she had taught mt to say. As much trouble as I got into as a child for not saying ma’am and sir, I don’t think back on it negatively. I am very grateful for my raising and though I have no plans to stay in the south, I will teach my children to say their “ma’am’s” and “sir’s”. It’s a sign of respect and kids that are well mannered get to do SO much more than those naughty kids that are always grounded for being disrespectful.

I know, some of you northerners just don’t get what the big deal is. Well the big deal is this: You are in the south honey, this is just how we are. Everyone is a “honey,” or a “sweetheart,” we drink sweet tea and we say “yes ma’am.”

If you’re moving here you would think that we southerners would be forgiving of your ‘lack of manners’ and sadly not many are. I don’t care either way, my dad was raised in California and Colorado so never enforced the ‘sir’ rule unless we were around my mom’s family. If you want my advice and you have no desire to learn ‘southern manners’ then just ignore the rude old people who get mad at your for being ill-mannered. It’s a really big deal in small towns and a not so big deal in bigger cities.

Now, if you do was to learn Southern manners, how would you use “ma’am” and “sir” in normal everyday conversation? I literally replace “huh” “what” “yeah” and the optional “okay” with either “yes ma’am” or “yes sir.” Sometimes I just say Ma’am or Sir depending on the conversation. I’ll add some examples down below to kinda get you started but it just takes practice. I say ma’am and sir in texting, emails, on the phone, and in person. The South has a language all it’s own and it will take you submersing yourself in our culture to really understand it.

Here we go.

Example 1:

Mom: Kat?

Me: Ma’am? (Instead of ‘what’ or ‘yea’)

Mom: Can you come unload the dishwasher?

Me: Yes ma’am.

Example 2: Phone Conversation (Let’s assume I’m calling my campus advisor.)

Secretary: Hello?

Me: Yes Ma’am, may I speak to Dr. Smith please?

Secretary: One moment please

Dr. Smith: Dr. Smith speaking

Me: Yes sir, this is Kat Wilde, I was hoping you would have time to meet with me today to discuss my schedule for next semester?

Example 3:

Dad: mumbles something intelligible at me.

Me: Sir? (to prompt him to repeat himself)

Dad: Your socks don’t match. (He hates it when my socks don’t match, which is EVERY day. He’ll get over it.)

Example 4: This one seriously happened to me at work this week

Angry Customer: Will this machine charge me for an inquiry?

Me: yes ma’am, it’s a two dollar charge to use the machine.

Customer: That is ridiculous! Your superiors need a whooping, charging people to use a machine!

Me:*laughs nervously* yes ma’am, I understand.

These are extremely rudimentary conversations, but I think you get the picture. I’ll admit I say it all the time and it gets repetitious but that’s just how it is. Even if it’s a friend just saying, “be careful driving home” I always reply with “yes sir/ma’am, I will!” Even in texts, it’s part of my lifestyle and I use it everywhere I go, even in the UK and Italy. I don’t care how old you are, who you are, or what you look like, you are a ma’am or a sir to me–end of story. I am 23 years old and I still get scalded by my mother and her family for not saying it. I even make my sisters say it to me so that when they’re around our family they will say it and stay out of trouble.

As much as I hate the South, I love what it taught me and it’s something I would recommend starting to everyone just because it’s such a shocker to a lot of people. It makes’ you stand out, seem more professional and makes people remember you. It’s also very polite. I will never, ever get mad at someone else that doesn’t belong to my family for not saying “sir” or “ma’am”. If you weren’t brought up that way, you weren’t brought up that way–no big deal. Sadly, not everyone in the South is as understanding as I, so prepare yourself.

If you’re still not getting it, which is normal, I have some creative writing that I will post that have better examples. Just no judging, okay?

Love always,

OXOXO

Kat.

 

Toilet Paper Laughs

We all know I’m a big clutz, and if you didn’t…well now ya know.

So if anyone was going to having something traumatic happen to them in the bathroom it would be me, hands down. So, I take a bathroom break at work and do my business as normal. No excitement there. Then, as I go for the toilet paper the entire TP holder thingy comes off the stall wall into my bare lap. I let out a shriek, jerk back and hit the flush bar and the TP rolls go rolling away leaving me horrified and toilet paper-less.

The lady in the stall next to me cracks up and her little girl grabs a toilet paper roll and sticks her head under the stall. I smile back, not wanting to be rude and take the toilet paper roll from her, finish my business and haul ass out of the bathroom back to work. I go on about my day and as soon as I clock out from work I speed home to shower then of course blog about my awful experience in the bathroom stall because—let’s face it—it was pretty hilarious.

I swear I didn’t pull that hard on the toilet paper, the thing just popped open then came off the wall!

But it gave me something to blog about. I hope you had a good laugh, I know my sister did when I told her.

Love you, WildeKats! Have a good week!

OXOXO

Kat