Oh, hello.

It’s been a few days since I’ve last updated my blog, so I figure I ought to do that.

I am sick.

I have a virus of some type. I’m sneezing a lot, having to blow my nose, have aches all over, and want to sleep constantly. Yesterday, I woke up at 10:30 a.m., was up til noon, then slept til 2:30 p.m.. Today, I slept til 11:30 am. If Adam hadn’t started pinging me with Words With Friends moves, I probably would have kept sleeping. To give you some perspective, bedtime is 11. That’s a lot of zzz’s.

The thing is this: I have my second audition with the band tomorrow night.  I don’t know, at this point, if I should email them and see about rescheduling. I don’t know if I should hold out hope that I’ll be better by then, or if it’s a pipe dream.  I’m better today than I was yesterday, and I’m sleeping loads, so I think it’s conceivable that I could be better…  I feel like I’m gambling right now.

Whenever I get sick, my MS symptoms kick up… so I’m dealing with a lot of fatigue, cognitive fog, pins and needles in my feet, and neuropathic pain in my legs and back. It doesn’t make for the best mood.

No therapy for me this week.

So my awesome therapist, K, is sick this week too. She woke me up at 8 a.m. to cancel tonight’s appointment. I think we have the same thing, only she has a high fever. That means that it’s up to me to celebrate the accomplishments that I’ve made this week on my own. I get to pat myself on the back for basically silencing the voice that’s been telling me to kill myself.

I’m hesitant to be too proud of myself.  The voice has only been gone for a few days, but it’s been good to not have to fight it. I like not thinking awful things about myself.  I like not giving my self-doubt the power to run amok. I like remembering that aside from being in control of my actions, I can be in control of what I do with my thoughts.  I may not be able to be in control of what thoughts occur, but I can be in control of what I do with them.

Sitting in the Dark is a Bad Idea.

I know better than to be doing what I’m doing right now. I’m sitting in a completely dark room, with only the light from a single window to illuminate the room. It’s depressing as hell, since, like most days in winter, it’s gloomy and grey outside.

I’m upset as I can be right now, after finding out that the Chronic Disease Fund accepted my application but is out of funds, and that the Assistance Fund never even received my application but still is out of funds – meaning that I have no copay assistance and still cannot afford the nearly $600 copay for 1 month’s worth of my multiple sclerosis medication. Copaxone is too damned expensive.  So, I have to reapply with the Assistance Fund, and then begin the fun-fest that is calling both the Chronic Disease fund and the Assistance Fund on a daily basis to check for funding.  There’s nothing quite like a daily dose of begging and rejection to remind you of your worthlessness – financially speaking, of course.

Fuck this noise, I’m going back to bed.

Seriously. Today can eat a big old bag of dicks. I don’t feel like learning the songs I need to learn for the audition. I don’t care about anything. I don’t want to do the laundry or the dishes or take out the trash. I kind of hate everything because I’m hurting all over. I can’t even be bothered to make myself food. I had a protein shake for breakfast and called it art.  I think the fact that I’m able to say, “Fuck it, I’m going back to bed.” as opposed to, “I want to die.” is progress. At least right now, I don’t think any of this shit is my fault.

Happiness: Achieved

I spend so much time talking about depression on here, I think it’s important to write about when I’m happy too.

The Audition Rocked.

Tonight, I auditioned for a local rock band. It was made clear that the group was together for shits and giggles, part-time gigging, and not to make the big time – but I was okay with that. I was in it for the fun too. We played several songs together, and even ended up playing several more songs on the fly that we hadn’t prepared for.  I rocked their originals, and I think overall, I did well.

Do I think they’re going to end up choosing me to be their singer? Who knows!  I don’t know whether or not we meshed all that well as a group. I don’t think we were terribly awkward; I might be reading things wrong. But, overall, I don’t care! I had a ton of fun playing with them!

What was fantastic about tonight was this: I felt confident.  I got to sing. I was able to make music with other people.  I had the opportunity to improvise. I was challenged. I had fun.

I didn’t let anything stop me.

I almost didn’t go to the audition tonight.  I had a sore throat today. I was pretty down on myself. I was tired before the audition. I was nervous about going, and I felt bad about how I looked.  But I dyed my hair, I put on make-up, wore flattering clothes, and I went anyway.  While I was there, they asked me to perform songs that I had only heard once or twice and didn’t even know well, and I just tried my best and had fun anyway!  I am so glad that I did!

There’s nothing like challenging yourself and noticing that you can rise to the occasion. It’s even better when your husband is there to watch you succeed, and afterward to tell you, repeatedly that he is proud of you.

I am worth fighting for. This kind of happiness is worth fighting for.

If I can take anything away from tonight, it’s the knowledge that happiness, equal to the level of depression that I’ve been feeling, is attainable. And more than that, I have what it takes to get it.  It requires me to be honest with the desires I have for my life and determined about chasing them.

So when I say that I want to be a part of a rock band, I mean it.  Is it the one I auditioned with tonight? Maybe. I’ll find out if they’re interested in me sometime in the next week or so.

The Devil’s At My Throat

He’s Trying to Choke the Sound Out Of Me

Tomorrow night is my audition, so today is all about learning the band’s songs, as well as 3 of the 5 songs that I chose (the band said, “No,” to Hole and Florence) and trying to memorize lyrics and melody but not overtax my vocal chords.

There are not words to describe the kind of obnoxious, feels-like-teenage angst that I feel today.  To say that the task of learning these songs feels impossible would be to drastically oversimplify.  It’s as though, because the reality of something genuinely good happening in my life, because my own willingness to try is present, the demon in my head is pitching a conniption fit.

Can depression have a temper tantrum?  It’s certainly exerting its presence today, making it harder to do everything.

The thoughts, “You should call off the audition.” and “Kill yourself. Seriously, why are you even alive?” have run through my head more times than I care to admit today.

I go back to the list of questions for derailing automatic negative thoughts – and remind myself that if a friend was in a similar situation, I would be supportive of them.  I look to my friends on Facebook who have been incredibly supportive of me today and remind myself that I just need to keep practicing, and to continue to treat myself compassionately.

Am I Trying To Tell Myself Something?

As I go through the lyrics to the songs that I’m performing tomorrow, they are depressing as hell. Have you ever read the lyrics to Fiona Apple‘s “Fast As You Can?” They are seriously like peeking into my head right now.

I let the beast in too soon,
I don’t know how to live
Without my hand on his throat;
I fight him always and still
Oh darling, it’s so sweet,
you think you know how crazy
How crazy I am
You say you don’t spook easy, you won’t go, but I know
And I pray that you will
Fast as you can, baby
run, free yourself of me
Fast as you can

Luckily, I don’t identify with Garbage‘s”Only Happy When It Rains” or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps” or my head might explode from irony.

I Don’t Understand This Depression

I think the hardest time I’m having is that I don’t understand why I am so sad. I can’t control it. I don’t understand why some part of me thinks I should die. Why it thinks I’m done with life when I haven’t even had kids yet, and I’m only in my early 30s. Why it thinks I’m worthless when I can easily provide evidence to the contrary. I don’t understand how it manages to stop me from caring for myself in very basic ways, despite the fact that it’s not hard to shower or brush your teeth or make food for yourself. I don’t understand how I can cognitively hold the thoughts “I know I have worth and that I should live” and feel the opposite.  I’m so exhausted from struggling with myself to just do the basics of life.  I don’t know why I think it would be easier to deal with if I understood it.  I just want to be done with it.

Maybe I should quit dwelling on it and do some mindless chores.

Ask, And The Universe Answers – Sometimes Very Quickly.

It was only days ago that I dared to dream of a future where I returned to music and got to sing with a band.

Yesterday, I went on Chicago’s Craigslist and answered several ads for bands looking for singers, and included some mp3s of my singing, and as of last night, I have an audition this weekend with an established rock band who is looking to replace their vocalist.

The fact that all of the sudden, I have songs to prepare and a good reason to practice, kind of blows my mind.  It feels like life itself is saying, “Alright!  You finally got with the program! Here’s where you’re supposed to be headed. This is who you always have been. This is who you’re supposed to be!”

Now, I know that I might not end up being in this band. I’m not putting the cart before the horse here… but I would be ignoring that wheels very quickly got in motion once I owned up to who I wanted to be.

Not Getting In My Own Way This Time

One thing I’m very proud of here, is that I haven’t blocked my own path on this one yet.  I haven’t told the band about my MS or seizure disorder, and I’m not going to say anything to them unless it comes up because my body does something untoward.  I have been using my disability as a reason not to do things, and I’m trying to break myself of that bad habit.  So I have conditions… it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a life.

The one thing that I am afraid of in regards to this audition is something that I cannot change by this weekend: my weight. I work out regularly. (At least 3 times a week!) I eat healthfully (when I remember to eat), but I am overweight.  And worrying about how people look at me is not going to help my confidence level in this audition.  I seriously am going to have to think about what to wear.

Great, But What Are You Going To Sing?

Here are the songs that I chose:

Garbage – Only Happy When It Rains

Fiona Apple – Fast As You Can
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
Hole – Celebrity Skin
Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
And now, rather than continuing to blog, or think about it, I really ought to get to practicing.

Breaking the Habit of Being Sad

Exile in Shameville

It’s easy, though sometimes uncomfortable to not grow as a person. Sitting in Shameville, not trying new things, at least you know where you stand with yourself.  It’s not hard to do the same, seemingly pointless things every day… to watch the days pass and to feel your self-respect slowly slip away, especially when you didn’t have much for yourself to begin with.

But eventually you get to a point where you realize that entropy cannot continue. Life simply does not abide that sort of stalemate of the soul.

And so you get to where I am right now.

You realize you’ve forgotten how to have fun. You spend too much time stuck in your head. The calculus of “importance” and “purposefulness” of every action you contemplate paralyses your actions. You recognize your unwillingness to make messes for fear of imperfection and dislike of cleaning up after them. You see how you’ve worked yourself into a million mental trick boxes, such that you cannot progress towards any meaningful goal, over and over again, and realize that if you do not make some difficult changes to your way of thinking and way of acting, you’re not going to have a life worth living. Or any life at all, when even eating falls into the category of “things you aren’t doing for yourself regularly anymore.”

Too Much Information?

There are times when I question the sanity or correctness of writing about my messy mind and life in this blog – but then I think of all the speeches I’ve heard by Brene Brown about shame and about vulnerability… and I keep going.

I have to think that by opening up and sharing that I can somehow help someone or connect on a real level with others.  All I know is that it comes from the heart, and that writing, for whatever reason, is the one “pipe” of humanity that is not clogged for me. So, I let it flow… and I hope that good things will come from it.

What I do know is this: when I write, I am not lonely. When I write, I do not feel that I lack purpose. When I write, I feel like I make sense somehow — that if I have to exist as I do, at least I exist for this.

Having Fun

Does that mean that I’m having fun writing?  Or does that mean that it’s fulfilling on some deeper level?  All I know is that I feel like I’m digging for some kind of deeper insight — some sort of buried treasure — something to make all of this “worth it.” Like I’m trying to bring meaning to my existence through daily reporting.

I do wonder what I can do to up my “fun” quotient, though, in all honesty. I want to know how I can stop judging my every action and just let myself live and try new things… be messy and make mistakes without flipping out on myself. I can be patient with other people. I know I should extend that friendliness to myself.  But there I go again saying the “s” word.

Current Default Setting: Sad, for no apparent reason

I want to break the habit of being sad.  I recognize that my life situation is very good. I have a wonderful, loving husband and am living in conditions where I do not have to financially provide for myself. I am surrounded by musical instruments to practice, books to read, video games to play, TV to watch, sewing to learn, good food to cook, and yoga to practice. I have nothing but opportunity to practice being grateful and happy.  Yet, every day, shame stops me from practicing instruments, anxiety stops me from cooking, and lame excuses stop me from the rest.

My challenge, right now, is changing my mindset and actions so that I can flourish.

So far, I’ve stopped wanting to kill myself.  I think I’m headed in the right direction.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Empty With Purpose

As I listen to Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” for at least the millionth time, I find myself thinking about Chapter 11 of the Tao of Rae.

The pertinent lyrics of the song go, “Don’t you worry, child, because Heaven’s got a plan for you.”

Lately, I’ve been mourning the emptiness of my current state in life, instead of thinking about how a hollow is precious.  It’s there to be filled – and in the case of life, it’s there to be filled with experiences that matter to you.

Last night, I was talking on the phone with my brother, Daniel (who may be younger than me, but in many ways is wiser), when I told him that I felt like I was “on the long road to nowhere.” He responded by saying, “We all are. That’s life.

His words struck me hard in the chest as truth.  Life has no point!  That’s the whole point! It’s what you make of it! How could I have forgotten that important and simple truth??? It made me wonder what it is, exactly, that I am yearning for — why I feel that I am so sorely lacking while others flourish.

I came to the realization, as I lay WIDE-awake around 3 in the morning last night, that in some sort of sick tit-for-tat way, I’ve been comparing myself to everyone I know.  I erroneously have been holding the belief that if we ever did anything together (especially school), I “should” be able to do what the other person could do (like winning Grammys, or being a successful attorney, or being a parent).  And that’s beyond absurd.  It’s as though some childish part of me couldn’t differentiate my self from any other person and give any other person credit for their life, skills, work, and destiny. It just believes, “If they can do it, so can I.” And that’s such deeply flawed thinking. It can only lead to feeling guilty and unworthy.

I mean, I went to Berklee College of Music – it spills over with Grammy winners. One of my fraternity brothers had one of his songs sung by Beyonce during the Super Bowl yesterday.  When she sang Halo, my eyes welled with tears of pride for him. I felt lucky just to know him.  Songwriting success on that level is not going to happen for me ever.  It’s like winning the lottery.  That doesn’t make my life less valuable.

Heaven still has a plan for me.  I might not know what it is, but that plan still exists. Because I do.  And I fulfill it just by living.

That being said, I think it’s about time I started having some fun.



Daring to Dream

One of the hardest things about getting through life, recently, for me has been that I have felt like there is nothing to look forward to — that life is an endless string of Facebook, chores, and watching TV, which has left me feeling ultimately unfulfilled.

I think the worst part of my depression has been that I haven’t even been allowing myself to hope for anything in the future.  That’s no way to live.

So today, I sat down with Adam and I asked him, “Do you have any dreams for the future?” to which he quickly and easily said, “Yes!”

I asked him if I could write down his dreams and mine on a piece of paper so that I could look at them, and he said he thought that was a good idea, because in my darker times, I can ask myself if my thoughts and actions are bringing me any closer to my dreams.

The great thing about dreams is that they don’t have to be practical. Dreams are just about expressing your heart’s true desire. And you can’t judge your heart’s true desire – the heart wants what it wants.

So this morning, I dared to dream — as wildly as I could feel. And suddenly, I had goals – real, achievable goals.

And they may take a while to accomplish, but at least I have something to look towards.

My current dreams:

  • To be a part of a rock band
  • To be physically fit
  • To like myself
  • To have a job

And of course, there are the dreams of homeownership and motherhood… but those are gonna take a little longer, I think.

At least right now, I have some direction.