Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Box

This community has been there for me before and I know I haven't written or read much lately, and I'm sorry, but I have to ask for support again.
I graduated and I ended up finding a fantastic job with a company that has a fantastic reputation in the community and fantastic benefits and time off.
I have my own office now, two in fact.
I should be so happy right?
My dream of being a therapist has come true and yet I've been two of the last four nights sobbing because I am depressed despite taking my low dose antidepressant and I'm beyond anxious.
I cry and cry and then an hour later I want to again.
Sleep is my only reprieve.
Sitting in various chairs looking at my two supervisors and my clinical director of my program as they go over the documentation system, secure email, mandatory reporting, the support group information I have to get together, the domestic violence male and female offender groups I'll be cofacilitating, the number of direct client hours I'll need...
so much information and I can't see clients until my provisional license comes back, whic I couldn't send in until now when I was able to find a job and supervisors.
On my lunch break I shut my office door and laid on my couch curled in a ball. Five comes around and I'm exhausted.
Gone is that promise of working out right after work.
I can't seem to clean.
I get tired , too tired to cook.
I just curl into my dog or boyfriend and cry and miss my job with low responsibility where I wasn't so scared and overwhelmed.
This feels like I'm trapped in a box of hurricane anxiety and empty sadness of depression and I'm pounding on the walls to let me out.
I'm begging my boyfriend to make it stop.
I'm burying my face in my dogs fur holding him tight.
And the next day I go to work with a fake smile on my face, the picture of a put together new therapist.
Coping skills, meds, self care routines that aren't working.
And it won't go away.
Looking around, I see I'm still in the box.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Is Anyone Out There

There thought that maybe I wasn't able to connect with people because I was in school and I had this idea that I needed to pursue my passion before anything.
Finally I succeeded and I graduated with my masters in counseling and then come the job hunt, which I'm still on. 
My days have been filled working at the treatment center giving everything I can (in a healthy way) to the substance abuse population. 
I look around a realize my life has become just that: giving. 
I go to work my eight hour shift with teens that don't care about consequences yet and adults who know all too well. 
Stories that could fill pages and interactions that have had me holding back teas. 
I come home to my loving boyfriend and dog and he reminds me of why I chose this path when I'm down and reminds me of how proud he is. 
Then I look around. 
I spent all my time giving and yet everyone I can be friends with has their own lives. 
Boyfriends.
Husbands.
Children.
I long for a girl's day and yet only see how people are through a facade of social media. 
I reach out when I'm struggling with my depression and lack of money hoping for encouragement and am told that they're busy hold on. 
Truth be told I play therapist to a lot of people who say they're my friends. 
And I'm an idiot because I want so badly to connect with people that I can have a two way relationship with and so I listen. 
I listen and listen and then they have to go or they can't talk because of work or this and that. 
I find myself empty. 
The people I do talk with and have a fulfilling relationship with are friends that live back in my home town four hours away and I wish that I could just see them. 
I wish that the people I know here would treat me as a human and not just as a therapist. 
When I draw the line they apologize and promise and yet it never changes, but I don't want to be alone with only my boyfriend.
He's my best friend but I want to just have a female friend I can rely on to put in that effort and come over. 
I know it's silly and I know I'm whining, but I look around and wonder how life got so empty.
I wonder how everything became instagram and Facebook.
How we didn't have to remember birthdays because Facebook says it and we don't have to ask about something because I think deep inside we crave someone caring so we post a photo or a status. 
We don't connect and we don't give our most valuable resource: time 
How did it all get so empty?
Is anybody out there?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Oh The Places You Will Go

It's been some time since I've written and I'm not sure if anyone is still out there, but I thought maybe I would look back and write about some of the things that have gone on in my absence.

At the end of last year I met the most amazing man and we decided to move in together after only two months together. Now, normally I would never be impulsive, although I am prone to impulsive decisions. We are coming up on a year together and it's still just as amazing. As soon as he can save up, he will be buying a ring and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I wish you could see that content smile I get every time I think of or talk about him.

In the middle of March, I went to Colombia to see one of my friends, which, coincidentally I met on the internet when I needed a Spanish tutor about four and a half years ago. I'm sure that also seems like a sketchy decision, but he's become one of my best friends. I would like to say that from here on out I apologize for the volume of photos, but I want to share the experience with anyone still out there reading.

The first photo is from the top of a huge, 675 step to the top rock. The view is absolutely breath taking, as were the stairs, and we had a beer with mango in it from the top. To get to this town we had to take a bus and a truck and I was the only clearly white American around, but the people were really friendly. The weather was beautiful, there were little stands with arrepas (some sort of corn tortilla looking thing that varied in taste from each region) and everything was so cheap. 
This is just one of the street art murals in Bogota, the town that my friend lives. He gives a tour where he tells you about the artist and cultural inspirations for the art work. If you're ever in Bogota, I highly recommend anyone going on this tour, which is donations only. He is extremely knowledgable and passionate about culture. Also, graffiti art is not a crime there as it is in the US and so there are some absolutely beautiful paintings and sculpture pieces around town. 


This is the view atop of the metro cable in Medellin, a huge city where we stayed with his aunt, uncle, and two cousins. I must say, I was overwhelmed by the kindness of his family. My speaking Spanish was almost non existent due to lack of use from being in grad school, but he relayed everything we hoped to say to each other. I think one of my favorite parts of this ten day trip was staying with his family and observing some of the cultural differences, like the woman taking care of everyone first. I tried to help because as most American kids know, if you aren't helping your mom to clean up, you're probably going to get a disapproving look and maybe a snarky comment. Another interesting fact was that the poor and rich lived intermingled in this city, unlike many of the cities that we are all from where there's a clear difference of who lives where. I would also recommend going here because the streets are beautiful. There's an unkemptness to the grass, but the streets and medians are covered in these lush, vibrant plants, flowers, and trees. Dream streets everywhere. 
This is the rock I climbed to the top of in Guatape, where the first picture was taken from. I'm sorry that they are out of order. :)


We went to Cartagena, which was actually my least favorite part of the trip. It's more of a Caribbean town and extremely hot and humid. The architecture was beautiful, but this is the place where I think I contracted something like E coli and returned home to be stuck in the bathroom for ten days. The arrepas were spot on though and the fish served at dinner had teeth still. 
Since Cartagena was not good to my digestive tract, my friend went to the fruit market on his own and brought back a plethora of fruits for me to try. His wonderful mother was there for Easter weekend and she cut up the fruit and showed me how to eat or break into each kind. Love his mom. She gave me the coolest, scariest key chain with a giant ant from Colombia in it and a really neat woven bag from the indigenous people. 


We climbed to the top of a castle in Cartagena, which was extremely hot and where I continued to find that Vans were not good walk wear. 


More street art. 

I put this picture up because while I am extremely sun burnt, I am drinking alcohol by the beach in a freaking pineapple. A real pineapple drink. We also went jet skiing and we found out that when thrown off into the ocean, I'm the better swimmer and would probably last at sea longer. 

I returned home with some crazy stomach anger, but I truly fell in love with the Colombian people. Seriously the kindest, friendliest people. They are also extremely politically minded and while in other places it's not appropriate table talk, it IS there. Also, they're not happy about the cocaine stereotype and they want you to go see for yourself how awesome it is. The showers are weird and when you use hot water you have to have the pressure low, the fruits and juices are out of this world, and if you go, go to Crepes y Waffles for a scoop of blackberry ice cream and then a scoop of guanabana. Seriously. I'm in love with guanabana, which you can't get in the US. Also, I saw an avocado the size of my forearm, which I don't like, but it was still cool. I really learned the importance of language and communication as well and how alone you can feel when a culture is so vastly different. 

I finished out my semester of grad school and I went to an internship interview for a treatment center and then in May I went to Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic for a Holocaust history trip. How am I affording these trips you ask yourself? Colombia is super cheap in every way and I saved for an entire year to go to Europe. Now I'm broke. We'll say I'm rich in experience. :) 


We went to Auschwitz and I can't fully rely how amazing that experience was. You felt such a heaviness and at times wanted to cry or were overcome with anxiety. It was a beautiful, peaceful day, and it almost didn't seem right in that place, and yet it was perfect. This experience will be forever etched in my heart. 
These are actual nail scratches in the gas chambers... :'(


The astronomical clock in Prague! Another check off my bucket list. It was amazing. The people in the Czech Republic were not actually that nice or friendly, which is disappointing as I'm Czech, but the architecture was breath taking. 

More beautiful Prague architecture. 

Krakow at night. We went to a Jazz bar and ate fantastic dumplings and had huge glasses of beer. The Czech Republic and Poland were extremely cheap compared to the dollar and we had amazing food and drink for cheap. 

Me in Prague, just looking at the city and taking obligatory selfies. Sorry these are out of country order. My computer made it too tedious to reorganize. :)

Faces of Warsaw.

Here is just a really cool picture in Berlin. What a cool city. Seriously. Go. 

The Brandenburg Gate!

This was a castle I had homemade peach schnaps at. This place was like the set of a movie. I also walked thirteen miles that day. 

I had too many photos to put here of course, but I rode a train and found out I get really motion sick on trains-shout out to Dramamine-and I've seen the Berlin Wall. I had wonderful candy and food, I saw the Reichstag building and the house the Wannasee conference took place in. I have seen such beautiful and amazing places this year and I'm really blessed. I always wanted to travel not just because of the beauty and culture or the history, but also because I think it's good to be uncomfortable. You throw yourself into a new environment and then you find out how strong and resourceful you can really be. I met some cool people and it makes me appreciate my slower paced Midwest city, free water at restaurants, and free bathrooms all over America. 

After my adventures I started interning, which went from hopeful to not what I thought it was going to be at all. It's now October and I finally have a client I work with with another therapist. I'm nervous that I won't be a good therapist when I get out and I'm still afraid to do solo sessions and everything a therapist has to do in general, but if there's one thing I've taken from this experience, it's learning more about having stronger boundaries and confrontations in group and individual sessions. I can actually confront something and not feel bad or like it will affect them liking me. I still fear that I'm not good for this job and that I don't have what it takes. It's scary to think that I graduate in December and how much I still have to learn, but I really really hope that someday I get there, which everyone says I will after getting more experience. Actually, many professionals I've asked say that it took them at least a year to feel fully confident so at least people I really admire and respect were where I am. 

Thursday I take my licensure exam, which has made me extremely anxious. I'm studying like crazy, I got on depression medicine to get out of the seasonal slump, and while I'm still prone to bouts of sadness and general life anxiety, things are manageable. 

So, there's an update on my life. If anyone took the time to read this thanks. :) Life has been changing and 2016 has been a ride, but I hope that when it slows down I can start to do more creative work. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Monsters

Monsters meet below the summer's eve
Eat, breath, writhe, scream
Cordial hellos sliced through steel teeth
Walk among, never bring
Fog to the peripherals
For a short while pretend to be meek.
Slink in the wake
Casting dark shadows
Tease the mind
When vulnerability leaves them mellow

Cut it, break it mortal skin
Tantalize with earthly sin
Hoping they don't notice simple thigh lace hemlines
Sewed together with hemlock trees and wintery pine
The breeze floats echos of sympathy
Will you notice platonic rag bones
In shades of harsh tones
And girls making their way on bended knees?

Ashes,  Ashes,  we all fall down
Down to the bottom of bottle and pipe until we all drown.
Hone your skills of tongue and lips
Come one, come all
For it is well known that worthiness is in your hips
Crack the vase to water the flowers
Slow knife pendulum counting out your final hours
Good intentions slipping away
Only to turn up sour and vague

Run little girl
As fast as you can
Be a good pet
And play hide and seek
Dry your eyes, I can see in the dark where they leak

Now my breath is hot and close
Creeps from your neck
Down to your toes
I'll take you away into the forest
Prune insecurities like a silent florist
Pry at the locks where your soul you keep
Feel the soft soil,  make it your home
I'll keep you safe, my dear, empty and warm
Among the redwoods
Where your monsters are
The place you hide where your darkness was born.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fourth Step

I missed home tonight
Laying in my apartment deck straining to see tiny pin pricks of stars
Competing with restless city lights.
Longing for the vast ocean of fields and pastures waving like proverbial prairie waves.
I always thought how soft the grasses looked
Until I laid down and felt the scratching against my bare arms and legs.
"Remember us when you are grown.
Remember us when you are gone."
The crisp stillness pillowed on humid summer air.
Calves murmur bedtime protests to their mothers
While locusts hum midnight lullabies.
And the hardwood underneath me tugs my heart strings back down,
Down to urban loneliness.
I looked to find myself in a new place, a new country, aspirations attained
But I still feel like a child when my father texted me to say that he went to AA last night.
That he has renewed his commitment to the Lord and that his pastor believes God will use his testimony.
That God will restore his marriage with my stepmother
Besides the fourteen months of probation and domestic violence classes.
I wanted to ask him how the fourth step would go,
When he must inventory the hurts and make amends.
His daughter, at the other end of the state,
Going to graduate school, traveling the world, jn a good relationship and working.
I wonder if he thinks I'm fine in true denial fashion.
Because it hurts me when I think about how I want to tell him that God wants him to make amends with his daughter
And that sobriety, not his estranged second wife should be the focus.
Someone I think I know that he'll never truly tell me he's sorry, holding a list in his hands with tears streaming down his face.
It could have been worse but it hurt enough
Enough to make my heart twinge a bit when we talk.
Enough to make me sad in my hotel in Berlin that he doesn't know I'm there because we haven't talked in a month and a half.
Enough that I wish he'd ask me about my boyfriend and how well it's going
Or my internship and the things that I hear that make me wonder at the depth of human suffering and resiliency.
I want him to do the fourth step.
I want him to know it hurt.
But when I tell him I have some unresolved feelings he tells me that he's sorry and he hasn't been perfect but he did his best
And I can't hate him because it's true,
But it can still hurt
And I can still feel alone in my hurt
And lay on my deck wishing I could just rest in the serenity of a night at home.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Breath Deep

Let us stop now
Breath deep, breath deep
Warm winds of muggy change
Breath full,  breath full
Cups of alabaster dreams
Wake up, wake up
Lulled to sleep by morning sun

Eyes shaken,  waken
Noonday song, Noonday song
Come hither, wither
You bask in wrongs, bask in wrongs
Hold your chest now
Feel it throb, feel it throb
Take the light, ignore the plight
Before it's lost, before it's lost

Stepping on cracks to break the bough
Hush,  hush
Settle in easy to your cotton covered place
So safe,  so safe
Knit regrets amongst lies justified
Mend inside, mend inside
Whisper softly
The day has come to fly, come to fly

Saturday, May 7, 2016

...

I'm always sorry that moment you get home
Because today I spent curled up in a ball
Watching the sun drift down the wall
And the other yesterdays.
Today I thought I'd watch the sun come up
Change of pace
Since I kept company with the moon
Dry quiet leaving my skin cold.
I haven't thought a unique thought in days,
The pauses leaving me bewildered,
Had I even been thinking at all?
Two days ago I cried into your pillow
Because the weight was too much
But my friend called me because she had a feeling she needed to call.
I haven't slept at the right time of the day in at least two weeks
I haven't worked out consistently in a little more than three.
I was sorry when you came home today because I've been so depressed that I've laid looking at the wall,
Filling space
And you ask me what's wrong so concerned but nothing is
It just hurts.
I want to run and run but can't find my motivation.
I want to read and research but I can't stay focused.
I want to do more than sleep, shower, take care of the dog, and sit quietly.
I want to not feel the self inflicted pressure of getting a lot done or appearing as though I did before you get home.
I want to sleep at midnight and get up at nine thirty
Instead of five in the morning until one in the afternoon.
I want someone to listen, but I don't ever know what I would say.
Just the feeling of someone near to ease it when it's most difficult.
I want to tell you I'm sorry,
Because you love me unconditionally
And I'm still illogically afraid everyone will think that I, the future therapist,
Am unable to fight off my own depression, therefore crazy.