Awkward things I’ll definitely do at my support group

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As a young millennial who’s tried several different ways to find help for their anxiety/depression/suicidal tendencies, and has yet to find an effective and affordable solution, finding a support group has both induced relief and anxiety, because there’s not much else beyond this. This has to be it.

But what’s the worst that could happen? Instead of thinking of ways I could get in my own way in this respect, I’m mostly just worried about making a fool of myself.

I’m going to smile uncomfortably while speaking.giphy

I’m going to cry during someone else’s share and try to hide it.giphy (1)

I’m going to want to hug a stranger, but will ask first.giphy (2)

Can I bring doughnuts? Not just for myself, but for everyone.

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I’m going to fight feeling terrible about my pathetic story after hearing someone’s really powerful one.

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I’m going to be self-conscious talking about suicide with my husband in the room.giphy (4)

I’m going to want to flake out and not attend one, or multiple nights, but I’ll go anyway.giphy (5)

It’s going to be aggravating, embarrassing and painful, but no matter how much awkward or how much derp I am, it has to work.

6 amusing things about depression

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In honor of stopping my pills and feeling semi-normal for the first time in a while, here are the things I’ve just embraced about depression, and even find somewhat amusing.

When you know you’re only getting compliments because people don’t know how else to talk to you.

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When your mom says “your self esteem” in reference to your mental illness.

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When someone tries to talk to you while you’re working through an anxiety attack.

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“How are you doing?”

dunno

When someone can relate to your brain.

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When you finally relax and your body handles it by twitching.

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Whiplash: When you get a promotion and engaged within two weeks

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So, you know how I said I was in a rut? I’m not anymore. I’m actually losing my mind with absolute happiness, because in the last two weeks, I’ve gotten a fantastic promotion after only working here for a month…

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… And then, the most amazing man in the whole entire world asked me to marry him, and I was like…

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I cannot explain how ridiculously, overwhelmingly, mind-blowingly happy I am right now. I’ve had the goofiest smile on my face for three days now, and it’s not going away anytime soon. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted, this job is everything I’ve ever wanted and combined it’s better than winning the lottery.

My hope is that everyone else has at least one day in which they are so stupidly happy that people randomly catch you smiling and it makes them smile (yes, that’s happened several times to me).

And that’s all.

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Things I can’t do now that I’ve graduated college

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I may be 23 and a college graduate, but every single time those commercials come on with the dancing binders and all the cues that people need to get their lives back together again, I get so excited. In grade school, it meant getting new clothes and school supplies (honestly, I was more excited for school supplies), and in college, it meant new school supplies and a premeditated hatred for a class based on its syllabus.

Now, it means putting on a jacket before going to work.

Knowing that I’m officially done with having nothing to do on a Tuesday except sit at a desk and fantasize about what I’m going to eat after class has me missing certain things about college.

1. There’s no more hype about hitting the town hard on our first night back at college.

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2. It is no longer acceptable for me to spread all my new folders and binders on my floor and spend several hours deciding how I want to color code them with my classes.

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3. Those three-hour naps I used to take after my noon class, with Sex and the City on low volume and the promise of Subway when I woke up, those will never happen again.

 

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4. The “I just rolled out of bed in my sweatpants and baseball t-shirt” look doesn’t fly in the work place, even on the West Coast. And actually, even in public it isn’t completely acceptable. When you do that after college, you’re kind of on the same playing field as those people who wear onesies to Walmart.

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5. You can’t “skip” work the way you’d “skip” class. Even if you email your boss that morning, even if your tummy hurts, even if there’s a fire, because you’re getting paid.

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6.  And finally, once you walk across the stage, you lose all ability to party, or stay up later than 10 p.m. on a weeknight. You have to work in the morning, you’re an adult.

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I’m a changed woman… Kind of

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I apologize for the lag between posts, it’s just that I’ve been so busy figuring out this “real person” thing, and getting used to having to tuck in every shirt. But I’ve also learned that I’m a changed woman since moving to the west coast… And then there are some points I cannot budge on.

Things I will not change:

1.The correct pronunciation of Lancaster (LANC-ist-er). I hear Lancaster thrown around a lot because of being closer to Lancaster, Calif., but they don’t say it right (LAN-cast-er). It’s just not natural. If I came over here and just went all Chandler and said, “Oh, I SO want to to go to CAL-if-orni-A” I would be shunned faster than you could say tsunami. Which also happens here.

It’s cool, east coast. No need to prepare me for the most terrifying weather disaster the world has ever known. When Alaska was at risk for a tsunami a couple weeks ago, everyone in my office was asking whether or not we would get one in Oregon. My reaction? I went on weather.com, looked at the 10-day forecast and said, “Well, it doesn’t look like it’ll affect us.” I was thinking about a hurricane. A hurricane, east coast. That’s what you’ve done to me. What happens when Alaska gets a tsunami? Oregon gets a tsunami. Not rain. If one state gets a natural disaster, it ruins it for the entire coast.

So, yeah, I’ll keep Lancaster in my way, west coast. You keep your tsunamis.

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2. My snobbish taste in farmers’ markets. In Pa., we have Amish pastries and strong coffee. In Oregon, we have flowers and organic vegetables. Do I fully grasp the meaning of organic after living here for almost two months? Not even close. Do I want to? Offer me a large cup of coffee at a ridiculously low price and we can talk.

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3. Saying Pa. when referring to Pennsylvania. It’s all I have left of home. I’ve also realized that Pa. is the only state I’m aware of in which its natives refer to it by it’s postal abbreviation. No one out here says OR, or CA, and I think they think we’re weird for thinking so highly of ourselves to use our state’s postal abbreviation like the whole world should know it. I mean, they should, but still.

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Things I have begun to change:

1. Coincidentally, I gave up coffee. I don’t know if it was the lack of a good strong coffee that didn’t cost $5 that got me off of it, but ever since I stopped drinking it I’ve never fallen asleep earlier in my life.

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2. I no longer desperately need to go five over the speed limit at all times. Maybe the reason everyone on the east coast needs to drive so fast is because it’s not as pretty as the west coast. All I know is that now, before I simultaneously honk my horn and give whomever the bird, I look out at the bay/ocean/field/mountains/port/flowers and think, I’m only five minutes away from a McDonald’s breakfast burrito.

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3. I’ve stopped expecting people to be nice. Yes, I brought some of that east coast cynicism with me, but it’s been helpful. When you expect either no response to your “thank you” or “nice to meet you,” a rude response or an opinion you did not, in any way, shape or form invite, you’re actually surprised and that much more grateful for the nice people you come across. Albeit, a little suspicious, but yeah.

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And that is what two months in Oregon has taught me.

 

Will you be my friend?

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i have no friends

Downside to moving to a place where no one knows you: You don’t know anyone either.

Here’s a list of people I’ve almost become friends with since moving here.

  1. My banking lady. She’s nice, she’s young, she dresses nice and she has two tiny dogs. She’s the perfect package. Only thing is– she’s my banking lady. I don’t know why, but that just doesn’t seem right. I’d feel like she was keeping track of my checking account balance while we were at the bar. I’d try to buy her a drink and she’d be like, “No, it’s cool, really. You can’t afford it.”
  2. A state official. She’s old, but she’s feisty. She calls once a week, but that’s because she has an obligation to the press. She likes my writing too. But… she’s old. I can’t take that to the bar. That just wouldn’t be fair.
  3. An old man. I met him at a meeting for a town group. He’s funny, he doesn’t take flack, he knows how to spell my name and he called me “a beautiful young lady,” and let’s be real, that’s all that matters. But… he’s old. I can’t take that to the bar. That just wouldn’t be fair.

And really, outside of work, all I’ve wanted to do to this point is just watch “Orange Is The New Black” and pig out on cheap potato chips before passing out for the night.

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I should put an ad out, but I can’t put one in my own paper, because I can’t seem any sadder of a person than I probably already do to the entire staff. Today I ate a pizza sandwich… in my office… by myself… with a pizza sandwich. That’s two pieces of pizza. Put together. To make a sandwich. Made of pizza.

all by myself

 

It’s only been three weeks, right? It’ll get better, right? I’ll eventually be able to stay up later and go find myself a sassy friend at the farmer’s market some weekend. Is that how you make friends? I don’t know, other than supporting local businesses, I can’t see what else a farmer’s market would be good for. I’ll try there.

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Things I’ve learned since becoming a real person

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I’ve been a full-time, working resident of a tiny Oregon beach town for a little over a week now and there are some glaring side effects of moving across the country and starting a job that I noticed/have to handle more maturely.

1. Here, the speed limit is the absolute limit. In Pennsylvania, going five or ten over the speed limit is usually safe. But people here are terrified of reaching the speed limit, which makes for an interesting commute in the morning. And guess what. It’s only going to get SLOWER once the tourists begin arriving in the summer.

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2. There is never enough money, but even more so when you just carted your life across the country and your first paycheck isn’t coming for a month. Dinner around here is turning into a Donner party situation. My boyfriend’s mother is sending us boxes of elbow macaroni. Boxes. Plural. She’s shipping, literally, oodles of noodles 2,600 miles to feed us.

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3. The three-hour time difference has seriously impaired my partying abilities. One glass of wine and an episode of “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?” and I’m out by 8:30.

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4. Finals are absolutely nothing compared to a newspaper deadline. Finals never had me running room to room and then back to the original room because my boss is trying to intercom me in every single room of the building just as I leave it. Finals never put me in charge of proof-reading, editing, proof-reading and editing again and then sending to print 30 pages that a county will rely on for their week’s news. Also, I never really cared about my finals grades as much as I cared about the suggestions my boss sends me the day after we print and half of them are things I need to do differently. Finals never made me want to crawl under a rock and die.

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You’d think with all this that I’m unhappy, but this is what I’ve been waiting for all my life. I like that I’m doing what I always wanted and that it’s driving me crazy. I like that I live in a town that’s forcing me to dial back my road rage. I love that I’m exhausted every night because that means I’m doing something worth while. But the best part of all of it is that I get to do all of this with someone who’s going through the same thing, and I love.

I just have to remember that the next time I’m stuck behind a school bus going 20 in a 45.

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