The Thing About Forever

The thing about forever is:
It’s never long enough,
I want to stumble through infinity
With all the things I love.

I wish seconds lasted minutes
And that minutes lasted weeks,
And that years were really decades
And you’d share all yours with me.

When I hear the ticking of a clock
The sound fills me with dread,
One second closer, forever’s ending,
Warning tick-tocks in my head.

You said our love would last a life
But that’s really just too quick,
Don’t you hear the ominous clock?
Can’t you hear it tick?

Our time is running out my love,
Every passing second is a death,
So I want to hear you promise, love,
Tell me with your next breath:

“The thing about forever, dear,
It can end out of the blue,
But I’d rather spend my short forever
With no one else but you.”

My Story

tattoo

Again, one of the things I’ve hinted at but never actually said anywhere online. I’ve strongly hinted at it in many, many instances, but today is Bell Let’s Talk, so I wanted to open up a little bit about myself. This is my story.

I started self-harming when I was thirteen years old.

I was the tall one that the boys made fun of. My nickname was CN Tower, and I fucking hated it with a passion. One day I fell over in gym class and people laughed and started singing “CN Tower’s falling down” over and over. Once, I made myself sick in order to miss school because of the ridicule I had received the prior day.

No one ever asked me to dance at dances. No one ever asked how I was feeling. No one ever invited me to hang out. My best friend was moving schools and my family was going through financial problems. I couldn’t afford new clothes. I had girls in my class and in upper year class come up to me daily and tell me I needed to stop wearing the same two outfits to school.

One day, I grew fed up with people teasing me about my long hair and I cut it to my shoulders. No one even noticed at school the next day except my teacher.

That night, I went home and I cried. I had dealt with bullying and rejection my entire life and I had felt sad before, but this was a new feeling: numbness. I had a sharp, metal nail file next to my bed, and I picked it up.

I’m sorry, but this story is about to become graphic.

I pushed the metal tip into the skin on my upper left arm and tugged down, hard. Suddenly, all I was was a flash of red and it honestly stopped me. I threw the file down, appalled at what I had done. I didn’t know what “cutting” was at the time; the only mental illness we had ever talked about in health class was anorexia and bulimia. This was new to me, and I had no idea what it was.

I never felt any pain initially when I would cut. My adrenaline would run so high that all I would feel was relief. I can’t describe it well, but it was like there was this pressure building up under my skin, ready to burst, and I released it.

I continued to cut from that day forward. My arms were too visible and I was asked too many questions when I would cut there, so I started cutting my hips. In the summer, I would cut my ankles.

At first, I used my old nail file but after about a year it grew rusty, and I started using scissors. Then, knives. Eventually, it got to the point where I would use anything I could get my hands on (as you’ll see later).

It got worse. I began to be ridiculed in high school for my strangeness and for my cutting. When girls noticed, they spread rumours. When boys noticed, they called me an attention whore. So I made it my job to keep people from noticing.

I started jumping from bad relationship to bad relationship, bouncing from abusers to cheaters to liars to everyone in between. I needed “love”, and I was desperately looking for it anywhere I could find it. These relationships always ended badly, which never helped my situation.

Once, I cut myself on my hip so badly I needed stitches, which I never got. It healed terribly, and it’s a big ugly reminder ever time I look in the mirror that THAT was the point I should have gone for help.

My most toxic relationship ended in October of 2013 when the guy I had been seeing on and off for two years cheated on his girlfriend with me without my knowledge. Suddenly, she and all her friends were telling me to kill myself, and the boy just abandoned me. So I decided to take her advice and I swallowed about 16 Advil with some vodka, which I threw up an hour later.

I was cutting every single day at that point, mostly on my wrists. I was self medicating with anything I could find. I was trying to kill myself slowly, so I could feel something before I went.

Once, I left lecture to lock myself in the bathroom. I grabbed the wooden doorstopper and began to rack at my wrist. My skin was splintered and bloody by the time I finished, and seeing the mess I had made only made me feel worse about myself. I thought I was a coward, I thought I was weak.

Some friends of mine heard me crying in my room one day and walked in on me cutting. They forced me to get help, even when I didn’t want to. I told my parents that same week and my don convinced me to go the the university therapist. I was diagnosed in March of 2014 with PTSD, social anxiety and dysthymia.

It has been 1 year, 2 months and 1 week to the day since the last time I self-harmed.

I want to get a few things clear about self-harm at this point: don’t romanticize it. It fucking sucks. You hate yourself for doing it because you know that while this may not feel like it’s hurting you, you know it’s hurting everyone who loves you.

Don’t think it solves anything; it may feel like a solution but it’s a temporary one. It’s like putting Band-Aid on a bullet wound, it does nothing. It gets worse when not looked after. It’s living in hell for weeks at a time.

I wrote some reasons as to why I thought I was self-harming as part of my therapy once: “1. Feeling something is better than feeling nothing 2. It’s a distraction from the other pain 3. I want to look on the outside the way I feel on the inside 4. I want a reminder 5. I’m trying to cut away the pieces of myself that I hate” (I wrote those November 4, 2014 – two weeks before the last time I cut).

The last thing I’d like to say is that while I don’t self-harm anymore, there are days that I miss it, and I don’t think that will ever go away. I hated myself for five years, five long and terrible years that I wanted to die. These were the years I should have spent discovering myself as a person and developing mentally and physically, but instead, I spent them hating myself and hiding away from the world. I’m never going to get that time back.

Never, EVER believe that hurting yourself is a solution. You’re killing those who love you.

If you’ve read through this entire thing, thank you. I’m sorry if you feel like you need to judge me after this, but I don’t care; I’ve spent too much of my life giving a fuck about what other people think.

Why I’m Scared to Admit I’m Christian

I’m Christian. I celebrate Christmas and Easter, I pray, I’ve gone to church. I fully support gay rights/ marriage, I’m pro-choice and I’ve never believed in Heaven.

But because of people like this jerk (http://nycpastor.com/2014/12/29/10-women-christian-men-should-not-marry/) my religion has a terrible stigma of close-mindedness and ignorance attached to it.

I hate the fact that un-acceptance has become synonymous with Christianity, but unfortunately many Christians are less open-minded about current issues than I am. I support your rights to complain about abortion or whatever, but I don’t agree.

In the above article, the author has stated that women who are feminists (AKA anyone who wants equality) should not be married by Christian men because “Any woman who tries to usurp her husband’s authority or even claims to be a co-leader with her man is gravely dishonouring the God who created her to be subject and obedient to her husband (Eph 5:22, Col 3:18, 1 Pet 3:1)”.

Furthermore, because I want to spend my life travelling (AKA be a “wanderlust” according to this article), I’m also not suitable for marriage.

This is bullshit.

I’m angry at articles like these for being so incredibly backwards. Women and men are equal (and no, before anyone asks I don’t believe the Bible’s rendition of Creationism. Sorry about proof) and if I want to travel the world then I should be able to do so, hopefully with a family one day.

If THIS is what Christian men are being told to marry, please God let me fall in love with a Muslim or a Jew or ANYONE ELSE. If I can’t be who I am and be accepted by my own religion, there’s a problem here.

No other religion has had this much negative backlash (with the exception of a few places in the Middle East where our Western thought process tries to tell women they shouldn’t cover their faces because it’s “repression” when it may just be religion).

To summarize, this is why I’m so afraid when i tell people I’m Christian: it has become the norm to hate us and deem us as un-accepting bigots. Some Christians are, and they use religion as an excuse as to why women are sooooo inferior to men (bullshit) when really, it’s just their own stupid personalities. Not all of us are like this.

I talk about the Duggars a lot on this blog (from the show 19 Kids and Counting) because I used to have a lot of respect for them for being one of the first openly Christian families on mainstream television in this era of religion-bashing. That was before I started looking into some of their real principles and realized that Michelle Duggar has been quoted as saying transgender people shouldn’t have civil rights. That was before I realized they preach hate and call women who get abortions “murderers”. That was before I realized they mask their intolerance behind religion, and I’m not okay with that.

I’m not like those people. I will respect you if you chose to protest abortions (not so much gay rights because I honestly believe you guys have GOT to get with the picture; let people love whoever they want). I will not respect you if you are just another reason why I’m ashamed to call myself Christian.

Life of a Wanderlust

I’ve recently been missing places, namely Costa Rica. I went there last summer to work with sea turtle rehabilitation and to teach English to children in Liberia. I miss it so much, and that’s why I decided to write this.

Sunsets here are glorious,
but they don’t light the world on fire
and cast shadows like forgotten memories.

The mountains here are breathtaking,
but they don’t kiss the sky
and melt with the stars.

The food here is delicious,
but my mouth doesn’t sing
and my lips don’t tremble as I eat.

The trees here are skyscrapers,
but unfortunately,
so are the skyscrapers.

The people here are polite,
but they will not approach me,
play with my hair, hold me.

The nights here are cold
and I’m forgetting the smell
of the ocean and the rain.

The days here are lonely,
and my feet are already itching
to leave.

And I wonder if a wanderlust
can ever truly be happy
where she is.

11 Signs That Mean You’re In Love

I hate posts like these. I hate them because of how stupid they are.

I found this article (http://elitedaily.com/dating/11-silly-ridiculous-signs-might-mean-youre-love/864846/) and I hate it. None of those things mean I’m in love, unless I’m in love with about 30 people.

So I propose an alternate list…

1. You never get tired of looking at them.
You have ever curve and freckle of their face memorized by heart. You know their facial expressions and what they mean. You’ve noticed everything from the way they bite their lip when they’re trying not to laugh to the way they rub their eyes lazily in the mornings.

2. They take the air from the room when they leave.
You don’t feel complete when they aren’t around. You can only breathe freely when they are beside you, otherwise you feel like you’re underwater. Everything is less vibrant.

3. You know everything about them, but you always want to know more.
You know that he loves William Blake poetry or that her favourite band is The Trews, but you want to know if they prefer spinach over cabbage, who they think would win in a fight between Superman and Batman. You want to know their reasons for smiling and for crying. You want to know the pattern of their heartbeat.

4. People have noticed a change in you.
You smile at nothingness now, and that’s something you never did before. People say you’ve changed, and you know it’s for the better. You love this change because you love who brought it on. You’re happy because you’re discovering yourself anew.

5. You fight.
If you fight, it means you care. Even violent storms have rainbows at the end, and you know you will always make up. Passion can be shown through fights and through love.

6. Sex isn’t a priority.
But it’s always a bonus.

7. Everything they do is beautiful.
The classic example being “the way she pushed back her hair” or “the way he bit his lip when he was concentrating”. But you don’t just love them when they do cute things like this, no. You love the way they look loading the dishwasher or the way they say your name. You admire all the little things they do that make you so crazy.

8. Speaking of crazy…
You’re under a daze, lost somewhere in a magical new world and you’re not sure you ever want to be found. You’re mad with love, not just the expression, but you’re drunk on the thought of your lover. You’re so happy you feel quite literally insane.

9. Songs make sense.
Cheesy Taylor Swift lyrics play in your head on repeat and you think, “Finally, I understand!” or, “This song is entirely about the way I feel!”. You hum along, lost in the melody.

10. You’re so proud of them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the way they asked for a raise at work or if it’s the way they take out the trash, every little thing they do makes you so proud. You want to take them by the hand, march into the streets and yell, “This is mine, and I’m so, so happy!” just to let everyone know how lucky you are.

11. You’re more terrified than you have ever been in your entire life.
You’ve given them the power to hurt you more than a blade or bullet ever could. And that thought alone is enough to tear you apart, piece by piece, until there is nothing left but a heart full of fear.

Sunny Afternoons

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon on a mild spring day. She sat looking out the window, wearing a sweater, too large and too hot for the climate, and she had it wrapped about herself, like a hug, swallowing her whole. She was smiling, but fat tears were in her eyes.

He saw her from the doorway and was about to walk past when the light caught on one of her tears and he paused. Uncertain, he entered the room wearing a mask of concern and worry.

She did not acknowledge his presence as he stood behind her for long moments. He opened his mouth several times to ask what was wrong, but he found the words lost in his throat.

Finally, he cleared his throat from his recycled words. “It’s a beautiful day,” he said, the words thick on his tongue.

She blinked and two tears rolled down the slopes of her cheekbones. “I despise sunny days,” she said softly, smile never wavering.

At a loss for words, he waited for her to continue.

“Afternoons like this are the kinds where lovers meet, when picnics are held, when families play together. They are the kinds of afternoons where birds sing and where laughter can be heard emitting from everywhere. They remind me of laziness and good food and music that would play on the radio during long car rides. They are a time for napping and a time for kissing.”

She turned and looked at him, smile falling from her face like a rain drop. “Afternoons like these remind me of afternoons I spent with him. They remind me of emptiness and forgetfulness and wasted hopes. You look out there and tell me you see a sunny afternoon, but all I see is cloudy evenings where he called me by the wrong name. I see rainy mournings when I would wake up to an empty bed beside me. I see windy nights where I was thankful for the sound against my window because the silence grew too loud. I don’t see sunny afternoons anymore; I see a thousand memories.”

And he looked out the window and imagined that yes, the sky had grown darker, the wind had picked up, the birds had stopped chirping as her words touched his ears. He rubbed her shoulders and let her cry for a few moments, unable to tell her that she is the reason he still sees sunny afternoons.

Living with Dysthymia

I recently made a post describing what it’s like living with social anxiety to educate you all on what people like me have to go through on a regular basis. Now, I want to talk about being dysthymic because I know so few people understand dysthymia and how it affects me.

Dysthymia, also known as chronic/ neurotic depression, is a mood disorder. It affects my mood similarly to the way a person with bipolar disorder switches moods, but dysthymia is most often compared to depression with only a few differences: it’s less severe and the symptoms last longer.

The problem with dysthymia is that it often goes undiagnosed for years at a time. It was at least five years before I was diagnosed in March of last year. By that time, I had already begun to believe what I had been experiencing was a part of who I was as a person. I thought I was the problem.

I knew there was something wrong when, as of last year, I was sleeping about 18 – 20 hours a day and barely eating anything except painkillers. It’s not that I wanted to hurt myself. . . I was just beyond caring.

Symptoms of dysthymia include low energy and a low capacity for pleasure in life. When you have dysthymia, you withdraw into yourself. Friends begun noticing how much I seemed to be avoiding them, because it was easier to be alone. I preferred it; I still do.

Here’s something else you probably didn’t know: 75% of people with dysthymic disorder also have an anxiety disorder, like myself.

Dysthymia is something that comes in waves, and on days like today, I feel more like I’m drowning than floating.

Now that I’m diagnosed, there is only so much I can do. I don’t want to take medication because I’m terrified it will leave me with more the mind of a zombie afterward than I had before. I could take therapy, but I don’t have that kind of money and the therapists at my university don’t have that kind of time. I’d rather they see those who really, really need it.

So what do I do? I distract myself, almost always by retreating into worlds that don’t exist. I read novels about King Henry VIII, I binge-watch shows on Netflix, I write my own poems and stories. . . I do anything to forget how numb I feel sometimes.

Believe it or not, this is actually a relatively healthy way to handle dysthymia. It’s healthier than self-harming or self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. It’s better than continuing my streak of sleeping all day and having a diet consisting of water and Tylenol. It’s better, but it’s not perfect.

Some days, I’m fine. I can smile and laugh and go out with friends and flirt with boys and do whatever I feel like doing. On days like today, I don’t want to leave my room. I try to have a nice, long cry in the shower to help relieve some of the stress I feel, and this usually helps. But it’s never good enough.

The biggest stigma I’ve had to deal with is people, including my several people close to me, telling me I’m okay, that I’m doing this for the attention. As someone with dysthymia, believe me when I say that attention is the last thing in the world I want right now.

1.5% of the world’s population has dysthymia. If you think you have it or know someone who might, please contact a doctor.

Symptoms:

– depressed mood for prolonged periods.
– low self-esteem.
– low energy, tiredness.
– sleep irregularities.
– changes in appetite.
– poor concentration.