No Drama

The most common thing I have heard about panic attacks are that panic attacks are always ‘quite a show’ and that they are dramatic. They’re not, usually; however, that doesn’t mean that they are not any less terrifying, painful, or have any less of an effect on a person. Mine have never been super dramatic or that I can remember.
I have had panic attacks since I was five years old. I get them multiple times per day and what is worse, is that I can’t predict them. I feel out of control. On top of dealing with panic attacks, I deal with depression, eating disorders, and hallucinations . My life has been, what seems, an everlasting battle between self-control and the urge to just let go; go into an insanity spiral.

A good portion of people ask me to describe a panic attack because they find it hard to believe, and I don’t blame them, that I have that many a day. A panic attack for me is as if someone is crushing my heart, while punching me in the stomach, then squeezing my head, and all I want to do is run away screaming or throw things.Yet I am terrified of moving. When I do have a panic attack, my hallucinations goes into overdrive: I see and hear things that only make it worse because I have yet figured out how to control that. On occasion, my seeing things will trigger a panic attack; aside from the random ones.

I am doing my best to deal with all of this with a sense of grace and intelligence. It is hard but I am lucky enough to have the help of my family and friends. That is what this blog will be about: my journey to finding control over my own mind. Hopefully it will work and maybe it will help someone else like me as well.

 

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The Gift of Education

For me, school has always been laced with an overwhelming sense of failure and fear. Then this year, I changed my major from the Physical Therapy track (which ultimately would not have given me the ability to get job, even after earning a bachelors) to ATEC for Animation, and I felt joy–unstoppablewhen I thought of school. I do not remember when I last felt that.
So, when I see students openly falling asleep, doodling, or looking at social media in class, I tend to get mad because I spent five damn years in hell. A hell I didn’t get to really choose and one that landed me in awful situations. I see students who got to choose and are mocking that gift, and I want to scream at them.
    You take for granted this opportunity that I was denied for five years. You cannot comprehend the absolute despair and dread that comes with knowing that you are working so hard, losing years, for a life that makes you wish for death. When you get to choose what you study, your mind is your own. When you don’t, it feels owned and so does your future.
It was a downright awful road to where I am now. I had to fight for something as simple as having joy in my life. I fought to prove that my path is not a mistake. I fought to prove that I can achieve so much more than a giving up. Most importantly, though, I do not take this ability to say, “I decide to learn this and do this with my life” for granted and I never will.

I do not blow off class.

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“Snake Eyes” (c) CKM

Sacred Heart Garden

As few of you know, I have waged war upon the ten-thousand square foot beast that is The Sacred Heart Garden (or known as Mom’s Garden, THE Garden, “Oh, fuckinghellno,” The Weedy Hell-hole, or The Reason we Hate Saturdays.) Why? For this reason.

On Tuesday I sat up and wrapped my arms around my stomach and did not like the way it felt. I began to wish I was one of those people who could commit and go to the gym. Who had the willpower to get their desired body. It was at that moment of self-pity that I just so happened to glance behind me, looking out my window doors, and saw The Weedy Hell-hole. It clicked, like someone flicking me on the back of the head: Your gym, and the greatest workout, is right there and it is in the sun. I decided right then that I was going make that garden Better Home and Gardens cover story worthy.
I immediately went to HEB and got the supplies I would need to stand the heat: five bags of ice, a pack of Gatorade, and two gallons of sport water. Then I went to the local garden store and got what I’d need to revive the garden: organic bug repellent, organic plant disease prevent and kill. When I came home I told my mom that I’d need to borrow the truck (or Diesel Beast). I got the large ice-chest, loaded it up, and put it along with the garden supplies in the truck. This was just Phase One of my plan. Phase Two? Super soak the ground to make the weeds come up easily and attack the garden with such mighty vengeance to make Thor seem demure. It worked. Those weeds didn’t stand a chance.
I still have a long, long, long way to go  but I am winning. I could go on to write about the deep emotional reason I am doing this but I think I will write that post when the garden is finished. For now, it is because I want to be more athletic looking and to have applicable strength again.

Part 1 Review of: ISV Radio with Jaime Roque

This is two part review. I am reviewing the first part half of Standards of Beauty and the Nutrition of the Mind, an ISV podcast.

As a person who has been subjected to, and let’s be blunt, media-brainwashing on standards of beauty, I can honestly say that listening to ISV, In Summa Vigilia, with Jaime Roque was refreshing. I agreed with the underlying statement of the first half of the show that we are beautiful and unique because of what’s inside; however that’s not to say we are not also beautiful on the outside. We are, even if we don’t fall into what the media tells us is beautiful.
Jaime Roque and his frequent guest, Alvaro Acevedo, followed with how the majority race, Caucasian, is portrayed as the standard of beauty. Jaime expressed his wish that there was an equal mix of races in the media and no Photoshop. I agree with this whole-heartedly. I myself wish there were more average looking people in the media, especially movies and television. People are beautiful in their own way, but come on—who looks that good all the time?!
Back to race and the media; I thought of something interesting: If you asked people of different races, you’d be told that the media portrays the opposite of the interviewee’s race as the ideal of beauty.  It makes me wonder if the media is pitting us against each other, even in the realms of beauty.

This is the kind of podcast/radio show I like to take my time listening to because it is food-for-thought. It deserves your attention. So far, Readers, my opinion is you should give it a listen.

Show: http://www.insummavigilia.com/

Standards of Beauty and the Nutrition of the Mind: http://www.insummavigilia.com/podcasts/2015/1/3/standards-of-beauty-and-the-nutrition-of-the-mind

Host: @JAIMEROQUE on Twitter

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcast-in-summa-vigilia/id955288294?mt=2

Art

Art is hard. Any form of it, and I think that is a worldwide accepted fact. Lately I have to remind myself this and shut out the heavy heart that follows criticism. I have to fight through wanting to give up, drop the brush and pencil, again. Long ago, I forgot what it felt like to have fun with, to enjoy, art and not want to cry because I didn’t get a “wow” or “that’s really good!” I actually began to hide my artwork because I felt the need to protect myself; I poured all my emotions at the time into my pieces and to be told that they needed to be corrected translated into something else.
What I got was that I drew too many skeletons. My work was too stylized.
I started to get angry. I wanted to shout that they weren’t saying Picasso worked in cubism too often, Monet painted too many landscapes, Jacob Lawrence did too many collages, and Andy Goldsworthy should do something other than Land Art.
My escape, my way out of pain, who I was through paint didn’t need to be corrected. There is no correct personality.  I held onto that thought for a very long time but I also stopped drawing and slowly I have stopped painting.
However… I am beginning again but this time I am seeking help from books. Books don’t tell you what to draw and how often you should draw it– they show you methods of how to draw. That’s what’s important. So I will draw as many messed up faces, skeletons, stylized scenes, and paint non-symmetrical paintings as I damn well please.

Buttons

It took me almost a month to go to Button’s grave. I had convinced myself that I was mostly recovered but seeing that rosebush and how the dirt was still fresh brought me to my knees. I had been wondering why my health was getting worse and my answer came in tears. Grief.
I have heard even a few of my friends say about their pets “It’s just a dog/cat” and it disgusts me. That “just a pet” would die for you. It watches over you at night. It goes to you when you weep. What does it ask for in return? Very, very little. My family has never seen our pets as just pets but members of the family. They are our babies and we hurt when they hurt. That is where I failed mine. I failed Buttons.
You see, Buttons was very determined to explore the porch area but no farther and for the past couple of years the coyotes, which we had left alone, had become bold. One in particular. That one chased Buttons from the front door and around the house. No one in the house saw this happen but the evidence was everywhere.
My mother found him in a coyote den, and to be honest, when I saw him wrapped in that brown satin I do not think I have ever cried so loudly or screamed. I don’t remember hearing screaming actually. I didn’t want to look at him. I didn’t want to see him hurt. I did not want to think of how afraid he must of been.
When we did have to bury him, I did have to hold him and in that moment I wanted to be alone. I wanted to say I’m sorry, sweetheart. I am so sorry I couldn’t be what scared your fears away. I am sorry I wasn’t there. I am so sorry you were afraid.    I have not said those words to anyone. I have thought them over and over again. It’s the images of him being afraid and alone that hurt the most. People talk about anger being a further step in the process of grief but the anger I have is towards myself but I’m sorry goes through my mind the most.

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We are Worth “I love You”

I have given up saying “most of you don’t care” because that phrase entails that there are in fact a few that do. Why? I discovered that most only listen for the chance to give their opinion to make themselves feel better. So they can give themselves a pat on the back.

People wait for the chance to say, “Try harder,”You just need to do this,“I don’t know what to tell you, I’ve tried everything!
In the end, they care about getting on with their lives. Will they remember the pain in your eyes? No. They will remember how you’re such a burden and how much they do for you. In reality, they don’t remember you. They remember their effort with you.
They’ll  try to comfort you with thing you could find in a Hallmark Card— “You’re kind, beautiful, worthwhile, special, funny, strong, creative…” blah blah blah.
I have found that if those are the first words because use to comfort or describe me, I might has well have a bunch printed Pinterest motivational pictures at my funeral instead of a half-ass speech.
I want a stranger to bury me. I don’t want all that shit that is supposed to make others feel better—flowers and music. Just burn me and put my ashes in the sea.

The thing that means more than nights out or gifts are the words, “I love you.” Not as a goodbye but as a reminder. A hug when they cannot be there. Proof that you mean more to them than a project they’re working on. Than a TV show they can watch on their iphones. The news on AOL. Another piece of music.
We are worth those words. We are worth hearing them everyday. We shouldn’t have to be at breaking point or already broken to deserve them because maybe if we heard them more in the first place, we wouldn’t break so often.

Oil Cleansing Method

Since I have a photoshoot (yes, someone actually wants to photograph me as a model) I decided I needed to take care of my skin and lips. My skin was pinple ridden and red while my lips are flaky. I tried the Oil Cleansing Method which is where, for my skin type that is prone to acne and dry, I take 3:1 ratio of castor oil and olive oil.
First, I get  my oil ready and then I open my pores by pressing a hot rag to my face. After that, I run the oil mixture into my face for a minute in circles. Then I take a steaming rag and place it over my face for about a minute, maybe two. After all that, I wipe off the oil and put Jojoba oil on as a moisturizer.

Here is me the first day:

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And here is me today 

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This stuff is amazing. I have heard about OCM but have been wary of it. My skin is flaky, oily, and dry. Why would I want something like castor oil on my face because I once put it in my hair and it was a mess. However, this stuff works! So does the fabulous olive oil and sugar lip scrub from Pinterest! 

If you had my problems– nothing worked–I suggest you try to OSM.