Sunday, October 31, 2010

Look Around

Take a look around you. Maybe not physically but more metaphorically. What's going on with the people around you? How well do you know these people and what they're dealing with? I would have to say most of us don't really know what's going on.

For me, and a lot of people like me, something in their heads sings this song to them almost every day of their lives.

I'm sure everyone at some point or another has heard that haunting voice singing to them and telling them they're not good enough, that there is no hope for the future, and that the best thing to do would be to succumb to the gloom that depression offers.

I know I've certainly been there a lot.

When I take a look around, I see a lot of people trying to do good. There's this campaign going around to try and inspire hope: the It Gets Better project.

I've taken a part in it. I created a music video a few years ago in which, coincidentally, was about the same time I was coming out. The video is about a person coming to terms with themselves.

But then I really think about this project. Yes, I do think that it's a positive thing, and I do believe that it does inspire some hope in those who are feeling hopeless. But really, why all the effort on reaching out to those that we do not know?

Now, before you jump to any conclusions about that question, lemme clarify. I do think that people who are working on these projects are good, and they have good intentions, and that they are inspiring some hope. However, if you take a look around you, there are a lot of people you *already know* that need more of your attention.

There are people at our parties that go unnoticed, there are new classmates that go unwelcomed, old friends who have gone silent, family members who have lost their vitality, and so many others that we already have a relationship with that are simply fading away.

I have a way of trying to express my grief. And yes I know that often times it can be unhealthy. I post a facebook status, write a poem, or write in my blog. For the most part, I get people who text, write, or call asking to help and I begin to process. Maybe I'm just too stubborn to directly ask for help. But then, more often than not, I get some sort of message from someone I had previously considered a friend. It usually tells me that I am being ridiculous in my means of seeking help, that I'm dragging others down, that I need to suck it up and just get over it.

And, incredibly, these are some of the same people that are reaching out the countless unknown faces who need help. It seems that their concern lies more with being heard, and being known or popular, than with actually doing some good.

I have been working harder on finding those in my circle of friends who are feeling left out. It is truly rewarding to find someone that really just needed a friend to talk to. Their eyes light up, their smile comes back, and there is a very strong emotional connection that is built. Those connections usually last far longer than a stranger saying in passing, "things will get better".

I'm sorry if this has come across as a pity party for myself. It was not intended to do so. I simply wish to call people to pay attention to what is going on right in their very own relationships.

Find the black sheep. Find the kid at the party sitting by himself. Invite people beyond your usual circle of friends to do something fun. Be aware. We all know what it feels like to be left out, and feel like if we just disappeared, the world would go on as usual. Don't let your friends feel like that. They're your friend for a reason. Find the good in them, and *be* the good you wish to see in others.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Therapize Me!

Well I suppose an update is in order before I begin the main event this evening...! I used to think dating was all fun and happy. Well, duh, that's cause I was dating girls and there was never any drama or major romantic feelings involved with that! You'd think I would've gotten the gay clue earlier...he he he. Anyway, now I have to try and learn how to date all over again! Now there are awful feelings like jealousy, rejection, betrayal and of course lots of drama. I hate dating...

I have drugs! Wait...lemme clarify that...I have *prescription* drugs for depression now. I think it's about time I started taking these things again. Prozac was terrible. It made me feel absolutely nothing which, believe it or not, is worse than feeling sad all the time. Now I'm gonna be starting Wellbutrin tomorrow morning and see how that plays out. While I was in the psychiatrist's office, she said, "oh goodness we don't have a whole lot of time" and I wanted to cry. Seriously, felt those tears sneak attacking me from behind my eyeballs. Then I thought to myself, ya, this is probably good for you to get some medicine.

So now for the main attraction. My therapy session. Ya, I saw those shivers run down your spine.

We talked a lot about being assertive today. I have a hard time with this one. I am about as assertive as a piece of paper. I feel like I get blown all over, thrown out, and drawn on by two-year-olds who can't stay in the lines!

Ahem, so these last two weeks I have worked on being assertive and I feel like I am making progress. I was even bold enough to tell a guy straight up (if I can say that texting counts as straight up) that I wasn't interested in dating him. I was so nervous to tell him that! Bah it was scary! But it turned out ok, and in the end I don't have to worry about trying to drop subtle clues that I'm not interested that we all know guys never get anyway. You know that's doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, guys will never get clues. How's that for food for thought!

As we continued our discussion I told her about a situation that happened recently. I was with a guy, yes it was a date ok, and we were driving home. He was telling me a rather interesting story which took place in a strip club. I became very uncomfortable. Naked people in any form are just awkward ok? Deal with it.

So I listened to his story and then realized a thought flying around in my brain. Can I only date people with my same standards in order for me not to feel like I'm lowering my standards?

Of course I can look at that now and wanna smack myself in the face and be like, no! But at the time, this thought was very distressing.

From there, my thought took its course. It transformed into the "you are lowering your standards monster" followed by the "you should just jump off the deep end and do whatever you want" monster and ultimately grew into the horror of horrors--the "you're not good enough" monster which usually ends up biting off vast amounts of my delicious thunder thighs...

At this point, emotionally, I basically give up. There was a small voice in the back of my head that told me to just get up and keep going. But now, I had to shut down. So I crawled into bed and cried for half an hour. Only *then* could I actually get up. Ya I know, I have more raging hormones than most teenage girls. But those hormones probably gave me my fabulous lampshade of a booty. So I'm ok with that.

"So how does that make you feel?" I lie down on the couch and prepare to delve into my deep Oedipal complexes... Ha ha just kidding!

But we do decide to talk about it. Basically, we came to the conclusion that I am not assertive with myself. Sure, I'm doing well in being assertive with others, but not myself. So the plan of action? When I feel uncomfortable, and that thought first pops into my head, I need to remove myself from the situation for a moment. This will give me time to ask myself what I really want. The reason I ask myself what I really want is to make sure I don't use passive aggressive techniques to process the information. So instead of being like, "wow I'm really lame, you can't hang out with me because I don't do any of that," I can say to myself, "I have chosen to live this way and I trust you to respect my limits and boundaries I have set." Wow! Do you see how powerful that statement is! It's like Mr. T. Seriously....

So that's the plan! I hope it'll work. Oh another goal I made in therapy is to jog. Yes, I am succumbing to the necessary evil of exercise.

There was another thing I realized in therapy this evening. I am trying to reclaim some things I lost when I was a kid.

Before I decided to try and be super outgoing, I had a very small circle of friends. I was confident, quiet, smart, invested, passionate, caring and the best listener *ever* in the history of the universe. After I decided to be more outgoing, I lost some of those qualities. I began to expect myself to be the life of the party so that people would notice me. Oh they'd notice me, but I'd still end up feeling worse about myself than before the party. I lost a bit of empathy and some of my listening skills. Now I was in the high-paced world of texting! I needed constant communication from everyone to live!

So where have those qualities gone? Well, they're still in there, and dating these last two weeks has brought them out a bit. I've stopped texting as much. I am more interested and invested in the other person and their wants, comforts, likes and dislikes. I'm funny and dorky in a quiet way and get more out of having meaningful conversations, and quoting random movies, than talking about all the people I know and all the cool things I do. Ya I'm cool (I mean duh) but that doesn't mean I need to shove coolness down their throats!

I am getting in touch with my more natural and authentic qualities. It's like eating at one of those health food stores, but for the soul! Mmmmm, me gusta.

And there ya have it. The update on my life. I have tried to incorporate more of my sarcasm and wit that I used in the last blog post into this one. So if ever at any point you were thinking, "holy crap this kid is totally conceited" I know that I did a good job. There was a very positive response from my last blog post. And it's much more fun to read anyway.

I think I hear my bed calling me... Wait, maybe I need to go back to that therapist again... I'm coming poopsie-kins (that's my bed, not my I'm tired)!