Posted in ASHLEY IN WONDERLAND, FUNERAL SERVICE, MENTAL HEALTH, SCHOOL, writing

MILLENIAL DISENCHANTMENT

I didn’t necessarily mean to wait nearly six months to update this ole thing, but time slipped up on me – and I guess emotionally I wasn’t really in the mood to share all that much. Since graduating last August, life has been a slippery slope of highs and lows, and I feel like I’ve been running as fast as my legs would carry me the whole time. One might call this avoidance … and one would probably technically be right.

I sort of tend to fall somewhere between vastly oversharing and then feeling ashamed for sharing in the first place, so I get weird, clam up, and decide it may be best not to share at all. And to be honest, I’ve been down on myself a lot lately – the whole social media FOMO spirit has begun rattling doorknobs and opening cabinet doors in my chest again. And then it’s the same thing as always – I’m not doing enough. My life doesn’t look important or impressive enough. My Instagram isn’t cool and I don’t have many followers. I bet they can all tell that I’ve gained weight. Who would ever care about me?  And when you get SO deep into that line of thinking, you sort of start to wonder why even bother doing anything at all, if none of it matters. It’s like I become the ghost that hides in my chest – I get so afraid that no one can see me that I make it so. I try not to let this become habit, but avoiding it can be difficult – especially when I have too much free time.

So, last we spoke in 2017, I had a little mental breakdown, learned some lessons, and was moving on resolutely with hope for a better 2018. I am grateful to say that I feel very emotionally different, here in 2018, and a lot of my old mental problems are not currently active. I don’t have many suicidal thoughts. I try to rationalize what I say to someone before I say it – etc and so on. That said – nothing has really been how I expected or wanted it to be. I don’t really say that angrily, or bitterly – it’s just a fact – y’know, like the sky is blue, grass is green, whatever. I mean, sure – I have my moments where I just pray for the apocalypse to come and for the whole world to be swept under the rug like ugly dust, but that’s the thing about life – today may feel like trash, but tomorrow may be the treasure I’ve been waiting for. So, I guess I just keep toddling along and hoping for the best, because what else can you do?

For as much “bad” as I’ve had in past months, there has been wonderful & good, too – which is something that I’ve got to start remembering more. I live a lucky and fortunate life, despite my problems – and sometimes my problems make me even more fortunate, because I get to see the world a different way than a lot of others do. Though I suffered a hard hit in January, when I failed my science national board exam (passed Arts, thankfully!), and have been suffering from the fallout from a spider bite in late February that has led to months of the unknown and difficult treatment for what turned into a terrible case of cellulitis, good things have happened, too. I’ve also just started school again to get my bachelor’s degree in Psychology (I’m persuing grief counseling), and have scheduled a retake date for my failed exam. I have bad health and good health, but mostly everything is okay – or will be. I’m looking forward to seeing Harry Styles in like, JUST A FEW DAYS (omg!!!!!), and am taking a weeklong vacation to Portland/Washington with my best friend, Whitney, and her sister. Not to mention the continued support that I have had from friends and family while I’ve been ill – I swear to you, my mother is the posterchild for why you should never have children, as she has been here with me through every painful moment and every unsure and terrified thought, and taking care of me on days when I’ve barely been able to walk or get out of bed has only doubled her workload – yet she has shouldered it all with grace.

I’ve been down on myself for being so inactive for the last few months, but I’ve got to allow myself to get over that – I’ve had a crazy infection that has knocked me out of the ring! I need to heal and get better so that I can move forward in my life. Not sit here and whine and complain about the time that I’ve missed. It feels so hard and sad to be living a sort of back burner life, where I don’t really fit in with the pace that everyone else is keeping – but it isn’t forever. And it isn’t punishment, and life life isn’t bad. It just … masquerades that way sometimes. Or maybe we just allow ourselves to see things a certain way when things get hard. A pity party is much easier to throw than a gratitude party, and I have a tendency to be selfish and petulant and count my woes instead of finding the good in a scummy situation. I don’t know if those traits will ever go away, but I can be mindful of them. And not to sound like a cheesy calendar – I do believe that bad things happen to us for a reason. It sucks more than you can possibly imagine, sure – but when that reason makes itself known, the payoff is worth the struggle. Or at least it damn well better be (I’m looking at you, terrible spider monster).

In a semi-related note, Tom used a phrase tonight that I liked a lot – “millennial disenchantment”. I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase since he used it, and I think he’s right on the nose – I do feel disenchantment, most of the time. Even when things are “okay”, there’s this part of me that feels like an alien wearing a human suit because I just don’t fit into my life. I think one of the most difficult parts about this year has been feeling so totally out of control of my own future, because my future is not a straight and narrow path by any means. There are so many obstacles in my way – gotta get the national board exams taken. Gotta finish my apprenticeship. Gotta work somewhere else in the meantime just to get by until an apprenticeship opportunity presents itself. Gotta have a backup plan in case it never does. I have been functionally depressed for quite a while now, and my apathy level is off the charts. I straddle the line between having been raised and told that I could do anything I ever wanted, and the reality that life just isn’t that way all the time. It never occurred to me that doing well in school and in your profession wasn’t enough – naive as it sounds. It leaves me in this weird little pocket of the world that feels sad and lonely and makes me very unsure of anything I’m ever doing. But I do keep doing – and I guess that’s all that I can be grateful for. The minute that I lay down completely – and there have been times, very recently, that I’ve considered it – is when I know that I’ve let the world get my goose. And no one is getting my goose but me.

So, I’ll head into my second week of school with my (naturally) super cute school accessories. I’ll keep on keeping on, as far as treatment and healing from spidergate 2018 goes. I’ll study for, take, and pass that damn national board exam. The future isn’t mine to speak for, but those are the things that I can control. And if the wind has to blow me around a little bit to help me loosen up so I land where I’m meant to be, well, I guess that was never up to me in the first place anyway, now was it?

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Author:

I'm a 32 year old mortician and cosmetologist who is currently battling lymphedema after a gnarly spider bite. I am fat, wear a lot of makeup, live with my mother, brother, and three cats, go to Disney World a lot, and am undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and pre menstrual dysphoric disorder. My head may be a mess some days, but my heart (typically) means pretty well.

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