humor · insomnia · introspection · mental health · self-awareness · sleep · Uncategorized

Yeah, I know. I love you, too.

My brain and I have often had an adversarial relationship where sleep is involved. Yes, yes, I know my brain is part of me, but sometimes it helps to take a step back from one’s brain and realize that you don’t always work well together, even though it’s really the brain working with the brain and um, yeah this is going nowhere…

Aaaaanyway, over the years, I have documented these moments with my brain. The moments when we have not been simpatico about sleeping or waking. I’ve been writing down these small brain conversations for 6 years now, and somehow I think they will continue for ever and ever.

February 7

Me: Hokay brain we need to get up a little bit earlier than usual.
Brain: How’s this!! 3am!
Me: Nooooooo! I meant like 4:30, this is waaaay too early. Back to sleep!
Brain: How about now? This is good right?
Me: NOOOOO! Now it’s 3:10 wtf? BACK TO SLEEP!
Brain: Now?
Me: GAAAAAH! Now it’s 3:20!
Yes, this continued…

March 18

Scene – 12:30 am in my bed
Brain: Hello!!! Weird dream, huh?
Me: *hopeful* Um, yes, uh, hi, I’m going to roll over and go back to sleep.
Brain: Ah yes yes, but first! You need to think about and have imaginary conversations and arguments about this entire giant list of things! 😀
Me: But none of that is anything I can do anything about right now! What the fuck?!!?!!?
Brain: I know, delightful isn’t it? Bwahahaha!

Me: *sigh*

June 20

Me: Loo deee doo, going to sleep, lah de dah…
Brain: Imma think about every single thing that happened today, not in a bad way, but just go through it all again.
Me: But, but, I’m trying to go to sleep.
Brain: I don’t care about that, I need to think about everything that happened. Remember when that one person said that one thing? Here, let’s think about that.
Me: But I’m really tired and I have to get up early…
Brain: Nope, nope, sorry, oooh, remember that sandwich you had for lunch, let’s think about that sandwich
[TIME PASSES]
Brain: All right, I guess I’m done now, you can go to sleep
Me: Finally! Whew!
Cat: Imma play with your feet with my claws!

September 5

Me: Loo dee doo, goin’ to sleep
Brain: Hey! Know how you stayed home and leisurely played with your kid all day? Well, imma think about everything you didn’t do because you did that!

Me: But…but, I’m trying to go to sleep, I can’t do anything about any of those things right now!
Brain: Yeah, I know! But you stayed home so…
Me: (eleventy hours later) Gaaaaah! Seriously I can’t do anything about any of that shit!
Brain: Oh, almost forgot, you know that song about glory glory hallelujah teacher hit me with a ruler? You get that on mega super duper repeat too!

Me: NOOOOOO!

October 22

Brain: Wake up! Wake up!
Me: Holyshitimgonnabelate! Hey! It’s only 2 am!
Brain: I know! Cool huh!
Me: No dood, that was really mean!
Brain: Well, I scheduled the next two hours for you to think about what a horrible person you are, so get going!
Me: I don’t want to do that, that sounds terrible!
Brain: Sorry! Them’s the rules!
An hour later
Me: I’ve got it, I’ll do word games in my head, ha!
Brain: Nooooooo, then you’ll get all tired and we have an hour left!
Me: Suck it brain! Hahahaha!

October 23

The continuing saga…
Brain: Wake up! Wake up!
Me: Holyfuckingshitimgonna…hey! You did this yesterday! And at 2 am again!?! What the fuck?
Brain: I know! But today instead of laying in bed thinking about what a horrible person you are, we’re scheduled for 2 hours of really random shit.
Me: I don’t like that plan either! I mean…
Brain: Roller skates
Me: Look I don’t like this either, can’t we…
Brain: Marshmallows are weird
Me: Glargh! I don’t care about marshmallows! I just want to…
Brain: What if windows were rhombi?
Me: *sigh*

October 31

Brain: Wake up wake up wake up!
Me: Whatheholyshitisit… Hey! It’s 3:45 in the morning!
Brain: I know, cool isn’t?
Me: No, that’s the worst kind of uncool, my alarm goes off in 1/2 hour so there’s not even a full cycle if I drift back off!
Brain: Well, that’s all right because we’re scheduled to think about all your allergies and how you need to let the ER people know about them in case you ever have to have emergency surgery.
Me: That’s just ridiculous, look, I’ll just get a new MedicAlert bracelet and tell Alex.
Brain: Pffff, your paltry solutions do NOTHING about this level of anxiety bwahahaha! I’ve already released the panic chemicals, bwahahaha!
Me: Fuck you very much, brain
Brain: You’re welcome, it’s a service I prov… Hey!

November 4

Brain: Wake up! wake up!
Me: Omyfuckin…. Hey! Dood it’s only 1 am!
Brain: Muahhaha… Wait, what? 1 am?
Me: Yeah, daylight savings, you know?
Brain: Oh, huh, well, sorry about that but you are scheduled to think about that stuff from your kid’s school for the next hour or so.
Me: But I can’t do anything about that right now! I have to talk to everyone about it and they’re all asleep!
Brain: Too bad, them’s the…
Me: Ooh look! Alex is awake! I’m at least going to talk about the stuff I need to talk to her about! Woo!
Brain: Nooooooooo!

November 28

Brain: please be for thinking about every thing you’ve done wrong for the past two years!
Me: All night?
Brain: Allll night long, and now you get to think about Fifth Element mixed in with all that, bwahahaha!!
Me: *sigh*

December 19

Brain: Wake up! Wake up!
Me: Omithor I gotta get ready for… Hey! Not this shit again, it’s only 2 am!
Brain: I know! Isn’t it delightful! But this time we have TONS of shit to worry about. Let’s see… First we’ll start with a musical background of Solstice songs you’ve been practicing for your program, then we’ll worry about how some of the present stuff isn’t here yet and Yule is Saturday, and we’ll round that shit out with you thinking about how you’ve wrapped nothing yet and how the hell are you going to get that one thing on Friday.
Me: Yeah, this shit just isn’t funny anymore.

December 21

Me: Aaah, is it time to get up?
Brain: Oh yeah, totally!
Me: No it’s not! It’s 2 am!
Brain: Oh, is it? Well, we need to think about what your boss did for a couple of hours.
Me: What? No! It’s the weekend! I don’t want to think about that!
Brain: Oooh! What if she came to your diversity class! Let’s do your whole diversity speech for her!
Me: No! Wait! I don’t want to do that whole speech!
Brain: Too bad! Once you start it, you have to do the whole thing. It’s like that ‘Come Sail Away’ song by Styx.
Me: Fuuuuu… now I have my speech and that song running through my head!
Brain: You’re welcome!
Me: *sigh* I hate you, brain.
Brain: Yeah, I know. I love you, too.

 

 

 

 

genderfluid · introspection · nonbinary · poem · self-awareness · self-discovery · who am I · writing

Who am I?

For so long, I hid who I am, from myself and everyone around me.

I realized something about me was different.

I’m not like other humans, not even sure I AM human.

Figuring out who I am has been a confusing uneven pothole-ridden path of discovery

I tried being straight and cisgender (identifies with the gender assigned at birth) first, I mean that’s what we’re supposed to do, right?

Then I tried a cis lesbian, nope, not quite right.

What about a trans man? Maybe that’s me?

Do I want to be more masculine? Well, yes, but also glittery.

I want to dye my hair all kinds of colors.

I want to wear three piece pinstripe suits.

But sometimes I like wearing sparkly dresses and skirts.

Sometimes I wear all black and nothing else.

Makeup? I do like eyeliner with wings, dark black eyeliner or sparkly eyeliner.

But men don’t wear eyeliner, do they?

I don’t feel like I can do any of that or all of that..

And sometimes, I don’t have the energy to do it at all.

Trying to be what I want when I’m being told to be different every second of every day is rough.

I am constantly pushing back against what society tells me to be.

Society says I should be heterosexual, or at the very least a lesbian,

but no, I push against that and I am bisexual.

Society says I should be a woman because that’s what I was assigned at birth,

but no, I go against that and I am trans nonbinary genderfluid genderbereft.

Society says I should be thin and exercise all the time,

but no, I am fat, I enjoy food, and can’t usually exercise, thanks pain and arthritis.

Society says I should be neurotypical,

but no, I am not only all kinds of mentally ill, but also autistic and flappy and stimmy.

It feels like every fucking aspect of my life is me pushing back against what society says I should be or do or have

and let me tell you

it’s

mother

fucking

exhausting.

Sometimes I just want to give in and be what I’m being told to be.

It would be so much “easier.”

But when I do that, I hate myself more than I can describe.

And I realize I wouldn’t be me.

Being authentic to yourself gives you strength.

So now I just need to figure out who the fuck I actually am. 

 

art · cartoon · comic · creativity · how to · Inktober · self expression · Uncategorized · writing

A Simple Thing You Can Do to Art Up Your Life!

I never claimed to be an artist, some people have said I am, but I’ve never felt particularly arty.  Maybe some of that is because I see other people who can whoosh down to a canvas and create an amazing painting or careen over to a piece of paper and write a story that captivates. But I enjoy doing art, and I enjoy the feeling of being involved in something arty. Problem is, there’s this life thing that interferes, like constantly. So, what’s a person to do when they want to art, don’t have time to art, have a family, a job, a cat who wants you to know they really ought to be fed on a constant basis, and need to do sundry self-care things like eating food, bathing, etc? Well, I don’t know what YOU should do, but I know what I tried.

I got my first idea back in September 2017. Some of my friends are comic artists and other artists. They were gearing up for Inktober. For those who don’t know, Inktober (inktober.com) was started in 2009 by Jake Parker. It is a challenge where you make an ink drawing for each day in October using a prompt list. Prompts for 2017 included words like divided, ship, squeak, and crooked. I decided to give Inktober a try, but I would do a 2-3 minute sketch rather than trying to do some big art thing. And I would try to do whatever came to mind and most importantly, try to have fun with it. My drawings ranged from super quick sketches to more complicated drawings (days when I actually had 10 or so minutes to spare).

And I did it! I got behind a couple times, but was able to catch up. I did a little art almost every single day of October and it felt really good!

As October was coming to an end, I realized I didn’t want to stop, but I also didn’t want to keep doing the same thing. November is NaNoWriMo (nanowrimo.org) which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge every November where you can sign up and try to write a 50,000 word novel in that month. I did do it one year, but knew there was no way I would be able to this year (see above explanation about the busyness of my life!). So, I decided to start a different thing using the art of writing this time. I created a list of prompts for each day in November and started #TinyWriter.

RArt4

For every day in November, I wrote a 2-3 sentence fiction story. Some were better than others, but I was still arting! Every day! It felt amazing. Here are a few examples:

#TinyWriter Nov 1 “Pants”

It turns out it was the pants. I never thought pants could do something like that, but they could. So, I put them on, felt super happy in them, and walked out the door into a new life.

#TinyWriter Nov 15 “Moon”

“It’s my favorite, the moon” they said dreamily, “so beautiful and round and powerful. The moon gives me power.”

“It does? I just kind of look at it sometimes, but I never cared much about it.”

“Well, no one’s perfect, my friend,” they said gazily at the moony, “no one’s perfect.”

#TinyWriter Nov 24 “Dragon”

“You look like you’re draggin’ ha! Am I right?”

“Really? You know I could actually eat you, don’t you?”

“Pfff, you won’t eat me, you’re totally a vegetarian dragon.”

*Sigh* “I know”

You get the idea. It was a lot of fun! I didn’t do anything formal for the months after that, but I have continued with a monthly art theme. In December, I decided to learn how to do woodburning and woodburned ornaments for family and friends for the holidays. I decided to focus on coloring in my coloring books in January. For February, I have been working through a therapeutic coloring book I have that has exercises to help with survival (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/582580124/seven-strengths-a-coloring-book-for-resiliency).

I have been really proud of being so arty, for a person who never felt like much of an artist. And doing something simple has made it easy to stick with it. So, how about it? Want to join me?

anxiety · mental health · poem · self expression

Panic Attack

Sometimes a panic attack isn’t something anyone can see.
On the train in the middle of the rush hour crowd
you sit silent because you’ve learned all your life to make your self as
small
as
possible
You stare at your phone, your finger stuck
poised just barely
above the screen
it shakes a little, you notice with detachment
as your heart pounds for
2-3-4-5-10-15 minutes.
You manage somehow to get off at your stop
make it to your bus
ride to where you are almost home
all the while feeling like every particle is going to fly off and you’ll be left in an exposed naked pile of ash
that someone can blow away.
You, forever gone, forever dancing with the wind.