Resume of Depression (and Housing), Part 1; or, My Dumpster Fire Life

Let me tell you, things are going well!!!

Did I throw you off there with that title?

I am happy! I can’t say enough how happy I feel. And I attribute it all to moving houses. Ok maybe there’s a little more to it than that, but wow! I feel like a different person! I hope I don’t make my ex-roommates sad by this post because I love them all so very much.

But I (finally) realized what living with so many people was doing to me(more on that later).

It’s been over a month now and I feel calmer, more relaxed, more energized, like I’m coming back to myself after a very long time away.

I tried writing a blog post last year in March, still in the thick of grief and loss and depression and it ended up being a “resume for depression.” It went like this–in resume style, recent “occupations” first (w/recent additions):

  • Final Severance with partner, December 2019. This time was easier (for me), because I finally learned my lesson. And a new one. This was not about my father-wound after all! (see below). Turns out it was all about my mother! Go figure. For a genderqueer, I sure have my head stuck waaaay up the ass of the gender binary! Because most of my lovers over the past several years happened to have penises and also identify as men, I figured it had to be about my dad, right? Nope. The sniveling, spineless, beautiful, middle-of-the-road-gender-men I tend to date and am attracted to, and then subsequently break up with and go back to, is my attempt to work out my mother-wound, my cry to get her to love me. Also, side note, most of my amab bfs are also queer. Just a note 😉
  • Rejoined with partner, September-December 2019. 9 MONTHS! I am astounded at myself, too. I don’t move on easily.
  • Broke up with partner, December 2018-August 2019. Yes folks, that is a 9 month separation!
  • Moved Back to Heartthrob, October 2018-January 2020. I debated for a long time, I didn’t want to move again. But Qoqo! So I made the move, had a bunch of lovely house shows, felt like I got some of my music community and mojo back and then felt closed in again by having 5 ROOMMATES!!!
  • Moved to a House with 5 Dogs, February-October 2018. I had two lovely rooms in a house with an older woman and her two little quirky older terriers and her daughter’s dog. I also had a lovely younger roommate who is still my friend, and she also had a dog. Then she sublet to a young boy with a very annoying ADHD corgi puppy who was just crazy. But I kept stepping in dog piss and shit and it *pissed* me off. So I left. And no, I did not sit down face to face with her and tell her how I felt about stepping in dog piss. I texted her very angry about it and then she would text me back about taking out the compost and recycling. LOLOLOL.
  • Got Top Surgery, of a sort, August 2018. This was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. I couldn’t decide on what I really wanted. I kept debating back and forth, do I want to just lop them all off? Do I want to try to save the nipples? I have extremely sensitive nipples. Or can I go for an in between, genderqueer look? I tried for the in between but it didn’t work out. And the whole process–because I was freaking out and had extreme anxiety about all of it–put a lot of strain on my relationship. I almost broke up with the boy. Right before surgery, as Dr. Schmidek was drawing the lines on my chest, I almost said, “No, wait! Just do DI w/free nipple grafts!” But I thought it was too late. I kind of wish I had said it though. I was so scared. And wow, my body went through a lot for that surgery. When I woke up, I was so disappointed that they weren’t smaller. She took as much as she could, about half of my giant-sized breasts, but it still wasn’t enough for me and my silly gender-feels. I’m not eager to do it again, though I think about it often. Maybe I will next year. It’s just that I finally feel like I got my body back from that experience.
  • Got Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs, January 2018-August 2019. In 2018, I counted 7-8 different things I did for money, CONCURRENTLY. Nanny, dog sitter, babysitter, tutor, Lyft driver, college professor, freelance social media writer, barista/salad maker/host/bartender/dishwasher at Sunlight Cafe. This is the fucked up “gig economy” we live in now, where the average person always needs a side hustle just to make ends meet (I still have side hustles, just so you know). When Cascadia College cut all my classes in Spring where I taught English 101 and 102 (also, I hated it, and I’m not a great teacher, hello organization?), I moved into social services. I worked as a case manager in Tacoma for the summer with young people being sex trafficked. When the drive finally got to me (and the world of social justice warrior non-profit white women, lol) I scored a job with YouthCare as a Youth Counselor for 16-17 year olds in a group home. And I love it! At first I didn’t, right now I do, I’m sure I’ll hate it again later, and then love it again, too.
  • Moved back to Seattle to Grieve, December 2017. When the grief came screaming out as eczema through my hands, then I knew I had to quit the weed farm in Oregon and go back to Seattle. I sat in my partner’s room alone for a month, in shock, staring at my red, cracked hands as they slowly healed over days from magical 0.05% Hydrocortisone cream. I looked for jobs, went on interviews, moved my body very slowly and with much anxiety.
  • My dad died November 1st, 2017-Present. You might think that’s a long time ago, but it’s not. The grief comes in waves. Someone actually said to me, just six months after, “Oh, but that was a while ago!” I was stunned. Really? Six fucking months? You call that a long time ago? On top of that, this all happened while I was living and working on a weed farm in Southern Oregon. I flew back to Michigan in the middle of that abominable experience, then went back to work, my hands broke out with the worst grief-eczema I’ve ever had.
  • My grandma died just 6 months before that, May 2017. This wasn’t as hard because we had an ok relationship and she had lived a long, happy and fulfilled life. But I still miss her. I was in Spain at the time and I had to travel across the world to see her one last time. I’m grateful for that.
  • I moved to Spain, September 2016-June 2017. I left my whole life and world and community to live on the other side of the world, to try to embrace my travel adventure lust and see the world. It ripped all the stability out from under me, every art-heart connection I’d built over the previous years, and left me aching and naked and yes, severely depressed. But hey, I got to see the world?
  • Sinus Surgery Every Five Years, 2005-Present. I’ve now had four sinus surgeries as of the date of this writing. (Counting top surgery, that’s five surgeries!). At least two of those surgeries resulted in me being able to smell again! Woo hoo! I have this *very special* disease called AERD (Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease) or Samter’s Triad. It’s an inflammatory trifecta disease of asthma, aspirin sensitivity(read: horrible reactions to NSAIDS) and polyps that grow incessantly in my sinuses. But wow, the stress of going into surgery and then healing, it can be a lot. I think I tend to brush it off these days, like, “Ah, ain’t no thang! I do this (literally) every five years!” But this time I was like, “Uh, should I be contemplating my mortality? Oh, I’m anxious! Wow! Huh!”
  • MFA in Creative Writing, and living in Bellingham, WA, September 2012-January 2015. I was lucky enough to go to grad school and get an MFA in Creative Writing. I also dated this person who triggered my white-cis-straight-male trauma like, whoa. I think I’m finally recovered from grad school? Maybe? Still triggered by straight men though (but more on that later, and some new insights!).
  • Breakdown, May-June 2010. Before that I had joined a band, was on the verge of becoming a drunk (or was I just a drunk?), was working at QFC for entirely way too long under florescent lights and oppressive overlords, and then I had a breakdown.
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I’ve felt like my life has been one dumpster fire after another.

Or as one millennial put it:

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Well, I used to think adulthood was needing to schedule everything out two weeks in advance. Now I realize that adulthood is never remembering when you scheduled anything and having no more time to schedule or reschedule, or ever see your friends again. But also,

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Ok just kidding. Sort of. Moving on.

After that long resume of depression (I’ve been told by a reputable source that if you have a Masters degree, you get two pages. And now that I’m nigh on to 40 –I’ll be 38 this year!–I think I deserve to fill at least three pages of dumpster-fire life events.), I can finally say I’m doing really, really well!!! Is it the four cups of coffee with sugary almond creamer, cheesy scrambled eggs, two *organic* toaster pastries, and half a stale chocolate chip cookie I had this morning? Maybe.

But also, I’m just doing so well for once! My head is above water! I’m blogging about it! And it’s February!!! I’ve only slept 6 hours AND I’M DOING WELL!!! The gods are alive!

For those of you who know me, you know that this is a modern day miracle.

But in all seriousness, long before the winter happened, I decided to be proactive (ADULT) this year about my mental health and stop being in denial about what I am. I have dysthymia and this shit happens every fucking year. So I got back on medications, (again, hmm, I’m noticing a pattern: break up, get back together, break up, get back together…), OD’ed on Vitamin D, tried to exercise, even joined a gym (again), got a personal trainer, went on all the diets, broke up with all the diets (again). Broke up with the person. MOVED! Went to Witch School. Got a therapist that does EMDR. And it’s all really helped!

And I have also begun to work on my spiritual path more. I’ve been taking a class facilitated by Katy Pavlis called Oracular and Ritual Healing, (aka witch school). I had been thinking about training under someone to help me grow my psychic abilities, and this training jumped out at me last year. I attribute my work in this class to helping me shift my mindset and get clear about the direction I’m moving in, and also the impetus or movement for breaking up recently and then moving out of Heartthrob so quickly. Boom bam! It was like, Wait a minute! This is not serving me. And I’ve known it for a long time, I’ve just been in denial about it. When I’m getting feedback and spiritual readings from people on a regular basis and checking in with myself more often, getting quiet (and praying!) and trying to be honest with myself, I can’t look away anymore, I can’t avoid it.

I’ve lived with so many people all my life…It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just…

Well, I’ve started to realize the other ways in which we recreate our childhood hardships and trauma. Living with so many people out of necessity was, well, necessary. But living with so many people because I just thought that was the way it had to be, that’s just re-traumatizing myself. I don’t have to live that way anymore.

Living with five other humans made me feel like I was in hypersensitivity mode all the time. I didn’t even notice it because it’s been my life for at least the last three years, if not my entire life.

I got a reading from someone in my class about my housing situation, and in the vision she saw me walking a path, falling down and then being picked up by some people, but then falling down again from exhaustion. Then I was taken to a cottage by some people and when I looked into the cupboards they were completely bare (at this part, both of us started to cry as she relayed the vision). I left the cottage and found a peaceful meadow where I lay down in the tall grass and flowers (I imagined little daisies) and deer were feeding in the field.

That vision was so clear for me. I knew immediately that I needed to move. I couldn’t do it anymore, I needed to listen to my body, my psyche. So I did.

Now I live in a beautiful, spacious two bedroom basement apartment with only one other person, a dreamy younger lesbian! She has a dog and a partner who also has a dog. Two dogs! Two lesbians! The other day I had the thought, as two of her lesbian friends came over who are getting married, “Wow! I’ve stumbled into a den of lesbians! Score!”

Best part is, she’s gone a lot and she seems to have really good personal boundaries! Yay adulthood!

So anyway, all that to say, wow, I’m exhausted, I’ve been running around for all these years, re-traumatizing myself, reliving my crazy chaos childhood and now I’m doing what’s right for myself and calming the fuck down. And it feels so good. I’m looking forward to this year. My only real goals this year are to chill the fuck out, rest, heal, take care of my body, and get in a better financial state. And of course do all the other good for me stuff, like therapy and stuff.

What’s your goal for this year?

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