Perception

So you know how everyone perceives things differently?

Something that drives me crazy is when people only focus on what they feel are flaws.

I know this girl who is beautiful. She is just over 5′ 6″, 145 lbs, and wears a size 4. Yet all she ever does is complain about her body. She has curves, but isn’t super curvy. She has a little bit of tummy chub, but who doesn’t? She always complains she has no clothes that fit her right, but when we go shopping she is so super critical that she either buys nothing or gets something and has a high chance of returning it later. She looks good in almost anything, and I tell her this, but she only sees the flaws. She complains that she is getting fat, but thankfully she doesn’t skip meals. She also doesn’t get as much exercise as she used to, but that just means she is a little less toned. She doesn’t want to workout alone, but she doesn’t take into consideration that I like to workout differently than she does. She did three years of dance in high school, which included cardio, squats, crunches, and so many other exercises.

I am just under 5′ 7″, weighed 203 at my highest, and wear a 14 or 16. My belly isn’t flat, it has chub. I have curves, more curves than her, but am still not super curvy. To find clothes that fit me, I have to either resort to plus sizes to find clothes that are cute, but actually flatter my body. It is hard for me to find clothes that look good because anything that has a tight waistband or is too tight over my stomach makes me look pregnant. I have full thighs and a belly. Though I get a little down when I see cute things that don’t fit, I take it as a sign that I am not meant to get it. Finding things that fit and flatter my body is hard, but I have tiny victories when shopping at stores. I have a good amount of clothes that I feel amazing in and some that are just comfy. I have exercise induced asthma, so working out is hard for me. I like to take long walks when the weather is nice and I am working on making better food choices now that my appetite has decreased after getting off my antidepressants. This method works for me and I have lost 10 lbs in a few months by just being mindful of what I eat, with no change in my exercise habits.I have been self conscious about my weight in the past. A relative called me fat when I was only 8. When I started antidepressants, I lost a little weight at first, but I gained almost 90 lbs in 9 years.  I now know that most of this weight gain was caused by my constantly being hungry on the antidepressants, and hope that I can continue to lose a little more weight naturally. My goal is 180-185 lbs, and then to slowly get into a routine that could help me tone up a little bit.

I am pretty happy with my body now and most of the time I feel content. I just with other people could see themselves the way I see them. You have a tummy, so what? Practically everybody does. No thigh gap, no problem! Curvy, not curvy, doesn’t matter. Either learn to love your body or learn what healthy changes you can make to get closer to your goal. I know it isn’t always that straight forward, but it is a good place to start.

 

Writing Prompt Fun #4

Finally adding another character to Kenna and Dillon’s little world. Let’s see who we meet today.

Today’s Prompt: “How have you not killed him yet?”     “He pays me not to. Weekly.”


“How have you not killed him yet?,” Evelyn laughs. We are sitting in the park, catching up. I was just telling her about some of the adventures Dillon and I went on while she was traveling with her family.

“He pays me not to. Weekly,” I tease. She stops laughing.

“What? Where can I sign up?,” all traces of joking are gone. Her ice blue eyes widen, her golden brown hair getting blown in her face as the wind blows.

“Eve, I’m just kidding. Besides, I wouldn’t allow that even if he wanted to. I can’t be bought and Dillon is so much more than just a friend to me.” I recline onto the grass and stare up at the sky. There is not a cloud in sight. I feel like I’ve known Dillon forever. I know more about him than myself sometimes. I would recognize his dark brown hair and storm grey eyes anywhere. When I am with him, I feel safe, even in this chaotic world.

“Earth to Kenna.” And like that I am brought back to right now. Sitting in the park with Eve. “You were in your own world again, weren’t you?,” she stares, “Do you think that you and Dillon might be more than friends someday?” I sit up and bring my knees close to my body.

“I don’t think so Eve. I think that would make everything between us weird and I don’t want to lose his friendship. I mean, we’ve been friends for almost three years. We tell each other everything. Well, almost everything. We respect each others boundaries, but understand that sometimes boundaries have to be crossed, like when I was super depressed last school year.” I straighten out my legs and lean back, supporting myself with my arms. “He knew that even though I told him to leave me alone, that was the last thing he should do. I love him, but not romantically. More like our souls are perfect matches, but our hearts belong to other people. We might not have found who our hearts belong to yet, but we are still young. We have time,” I tell her.

Dillon. Before I realize it, my thoughts are back on Dillon and all the things that we have done together. I can’t help but smile. Evelyn notices, but keeps it to herself this time. I can envision a future where Dillon is still my best friend, but not one where we are in love. I have felt this way practically since we met. I know I should ask Dillon about it, but what if his thoughts and feelings differ from mine? What would we do then?  I push those thoughts from my mind for now. I should be present while spending time with Eve.

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Why did Eve have to ask if I think about if me and Dillon could be more than just me and Dillon? We spend a lot of time together, but that doesn’t mean we would make a good couple. And if I ask him about it, will everything between us be awkward? am suddenly very aware of what I am wearing and how I look. Before I know it, I am arguing with my reflection as if I were arguing with my brother. “Why am I doing this? Dillon is my best friend. He doesn’t care if my hair is just plain old brown instead of golden like Evelyn’s or so dark that it is almost black like his. He doesn’t care if I wear graphic tees and leggings when we hang out. Or… or.” I stare at my reflection for a moment, tears are pooling in my eyes. Why does he even like me?

“Why does who even like you?” The sound comes from behind me, and I see Dillon walk towards me in the mirror. Did I say that out loud? I quickly dry my eyes and turn toward Dillon. “Kenna, what’s going on here?” There is concern in his voice and I can see it in his eyes too. I take a step toward him and he immediately pulls me into a hug. We just stand there for a while, until I pull away.

“Nothing,” I hesitate, “Well, nothing important really. I’m just driving myself crazy like I do every now and then. Worrying about something that important, but no matter what happens it probably won’t change my life drastically. Or at least I hope it wouldn’t.” I turn back to the mirror. I feel small, weak, and insecure. He steps closer and hugs me from behind.

He whispers into my ear, “You still didn’t answer the ‘who’ part of the question?”. He rests his chin on my shoulder. I make my eyes meet his in the mirror.

“You.” I can’t look at his face any longer, I stare at the border of the mirror instead, and when I speak my voice is quiet, “How much of that did you hear anyways?”.

“Just something about graphic tees. Wait, why I you wondering why I like you? You are my best friend, Kenna, a major part of my life, someone I love. You make my life whole.”

“That’s it. That’s what all of this started with,” I hear the sadness in my voice despite my best efforts to hide it. I turn back toward Dillon and his arms fall to his side as I continue, my words coming faster now, “I was afraid that you love me, but not in the same way I love you. And if Evelyn hadn’t asked me if I thought we, you and me, could be more than friends, then I wouldn’t have been worrying about it all day and you wouldn’t have known that I am worried that if you wanted us to be in a relationship that made us more than friends, that I would have to say no, and possibly ruin the friendship and… and I don’t want to lose you Dillon.” I move to sit on the edge of my bed and busy myself fiddling with the edge of my comforter. Dillon sits down, leaving several inches of space between us. Great, he is keeping his distance now, Way to go Kenna.

“Kenna,” he hesitates, “You could have asked me how I felt. I would have told you that I love you. I love you as a friend. I love you in my life. I love hanging out with you because around you I feel like I can be myself. I love you, but not the way you were expecting.” He laughs, and I instinctively turn to look at him. He’s smiling when he continues, “I love you with all my heart, but I don’t want to turn this into a relationship either. I am happy to just be in your life and share lots of amazing memories with you. And I hope that we both find love one day, and who knows maybe you will get married or have kids one day, or maybe I’ll get married and have kids, or maybe both of us will get married, but not to each other, or neither of us will get married, but I always felt that no matter what happens to us we would be experiencing these things as best friends. You know, the kind of best friends that are practically family. That is all I ever wanted in my relationship with you. Pure friendship.” He lays down and I do to. Everything is quiet for a moment. “Kenna, so many of my friends see how close we are, and they wish they had a relationship like ours. We have one of the purest, most natural relationships I have ever seen, and I don’t want to lose you either.” I release my breath. I hadn’t even realized that I had been holding it.

“How do you always do that?,” I say a smile spreading across my face as I turn to look at Dillon.

His eyes meet mine when he asks, “Do what?”.

“Fix everything.”

“That’s because I know you Kenna. And remember, it wasn’t always like that. The first time I tried to help, I nearly killed you with baked goods. And that is how we learned you were allergic to chestnuts.”

“That was bad, but you apologized like 500 times, so I kinda had to forgive you.”

I laugh and before I know it, all the worries I had are gone. Dillon is my best friend, and I should have been honest with him from the beginning. It would have saved me a lot of anxiety and stress. As long as I have Dillon in my life, I know that everything will be okay.

An Inspiration?

I have been told by several members of my family and some of my friends that I have inspired them. Some have been inspired by how open I am about my mental illness. Some are inspired by how passionately I talk about my experiences with mental illness. Others have told me that I am an inspiration for them to work on getting off their medication as well.

I am grateful that I could be an inspiration for them, but I still have a long way to come myself. I am off medication, which is great, but that also means that I am trying to learn to deal with my emotions on my own for the first time since diagnosis.

It means I find myself crying easier, for both good and bad things. I find myself getting irritated easily, and I tend to get upset that I let it get to me so easily.

I also find that it is often easier for me to redirect myself when I start to feel depressed and I find myself feeling better faster. I blog or listen to music or read and if the weather is nice I can go outside and take a walk.

I have realized that I have a sense of humor that has been starting to show itself lately. I can also be incredibly sassy. 🙂

I am no longer constantly overwhelmed by my depression or anxiety. I am slowly getting better at managing it. I have had more days that are neutral or good. This means I am having fewer bad days, and for once, I am starting to feel like myself.

Normal used to be that I was tired, antisocial, and depressed. I am slowly making progress. I have more energy and feel that I am starting to be more social. I am learning more about myself, my brain, and how to deal with this new “normal”.

I owe a great thank you to everyone who has supported my journey thus far and to everyone who inspired me. You have helped me make big changes and I look forward to seeing who I will become.

 

Quiet Person Seeking Quiet

If I am doing something and there is noise around me, I cannot focus. I need a quiet area, or nearly quiet, to do schoolwork and to read. If I am studying on campus, I will put in earbuds and turn on instrumental music or a movie score to drown out any noise around me. This helps most of the time. It is harder for me to avoid sensory overload at home.

It seems my sister never uses earbuds or headphones, despite having several very nice pairs, and she loves to talk. Great for her, she has things to talk about. The thing is, she will tell me a bunch of stuff when I first get home, when I just want to relax for a bit before doing homework, and then she tells our mom all the same long-winded stories when she gets home. This means I hear about everything that happens in her life, in great detail, twice. The thing is, she always decides to tell our mom these things while I’m doing homework. I usually do homework in the living room so that I am not trapped in my room all the time. I hate being trapped in my room to do homework, especially considering that my room is too small for a real desk to work at so I end up working on my bed. My sister almost never does homework in her room, so I am constantly being distracted by her talking and her music, which I can hear perfectly clear through my own earbuds and music.

During the summer is no different. I have mentioned before that I love to read, but to read and actually understand the story, I need it to be fairly quiet. Interrupt me while I am reading and I will get a little angry, especially if it is my sister trying to read things she saw on Tumblr to me. I had a tumblr, but I hated the constant stream of politics and other things I find uninteresting, so I don’t go on it anymore. Anyways, I like it to be quiet and not a lot of activity. But because my sister likes to talk, and listen to music, I have to lock myself in my room a lot if I ever want to get through a book. The only time it is even possibly quiet enough to read in the common areas of the house during the summer is if she is also reading a book or watching anime. Then later, she won’t shut up about her book/anime.

I am a quiet person. I don’t talk much, but if I have even a little bit of interest in something, I might join the conversation. I don’t care about worrying what new terrible thing is being spread through the news, or what a book I probably will never read is about, or anime. I care about the books I read, my cat, my family. Get me talking about what new changes are being made at Disneyland, or the beach, or mental illness. Ask me about me and if I feel you are genuinely interested, I will tell you what is going on in my life.

I hate small talk or hearing about things I don’t care about, but you know what, I know that there has to be someone else in the world who cares about these things that you can probably talk to. Don’t call me ignorant because I decide to not worry about things that are out of my control. I have my priorities set up in a way I like: school, family, cat, books, getting ready to apply to grad school, long term life plans. That I care about right now, plus some other short term things I am waiting for like books to be released, vacation, and movies.

 

Similar, Yet Different

I have told you guys how I have a lot of the same mental illnesses as my dad. Well, there is one thing that makes us extremely different.

He is more extroverted, loves talking to strangers and meeting new people, but he hates practically every member of our family. On both sides.

I am very much introverted. I can be outgoing, but I find it hard.I would rather stay home and read than socialize most days and I have only a few friends that I stay close with.Despite being social not being something I love, if it is for my family, I will go. I want to remain close to our family as much as possible. Even though I don’t agree with all the decisions they make, I love them with all my heart.

I try my best to make it to every event we are invited to, from birthday parties for my youngest cousins to summer visits, but it is hard with school during the year. And even if I wanted to go see them during the summer, my dad wouldn’t drive me because then he would be stuck there and my mom works a full time job.

I guess I take after my mom more in this regard because though she has lost contact with her cousins, she tries to make sure me and my sister still get to spend time with ours. I am grateful for my cousins who still invite us over for their kids birthdays and that everyone still makes an effort to have Christmas together. My sad hates these family events, but they are some of my favorite times of the year.

I don’t know when my dad went from loving our family to avoiding it like the plague, but I hope that I never take after him in that regard. I hope that I get to stay close to my family.

Writing Prompt Fun #3

I’ve been dealing with a lot of feelings today. I need something good to think about and hopefully this helps a little bit.

Today’s Prompt: “I love you from the bottom of my heart, but I don’t trust your cooking. Stay out of my kitchen.”


Dillon is rummaging through my pantry, looking for who knows what. This is actually stressing me out. “Dillon,” my voice comes out like a mother coxing her child to gently put down something very expensive, “I love you from the bottom of my heart, but I don’t trust your cooking. Stay out of my kitchen.”

“Come on Kenna, I’ve made this recipe before, I just can’t find the last ingredient I need. I guess if you are worried, you can help me, but really I got this. I used to make this recipe all the time back home. I started making it all on my own at fifteen. I you want I can call my mom and have her tell you that I’m not going to burn your apartment down.”

Ugh, my head is pounding. No use fighting with him, Dillon is too stubborn for his own good sometimes. “No no, that’s okay. I guess I can trust you this time.” He immediately perks up.

“Great! I just have to run to the grocery store real quick. You go watch a movie in your room and I will come back and cook dinner. Okay?,” he declares. He is just trying to help, and besides laying in bed is really the only thing I feel up to.

“Okay. I guess I’ll text you if I remember anything I need while you are there,” I mumble as I turn and head back to the comfort of my bed. I hear him leave and try to find something to watch.

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Okay, so I need pasta. I still can’t believe Kenna had no pasta in her apartment. We used to live off ramen in the dorms.

Grab reusable bag from the trunk.

Pasta. Pasta. Pasta.

Kenna actually didn’t have much food in her apartment. I should probably grab some other stuff for her while I’m here. Let’s see, what does Kenna normally have? I mean I eat her food all the time.

Milk, eggs, a loaf of bread, some fruit, some veggies to replace what I’m using tonight. Yeah, that seems like a good start. Oh, I’ll grab some extra bread in case she wants bread with dinner.

I got this. Now to get back and make Kenna something good.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

I go to check on Kenna when I get back and she is sound asleep with her laptop open next to her. Looks like she fell asleep trying to pick a movie. It’s okay. She really needs to rest. 

I go to the kitchen and start prepping all the veggies that I am going to use for dinner. Onion, carrot, celery, green beans. Okay, now to saute everything for a bit before I add the stock, crushed tomatoes, and pasta. This recipe is so simple, yet so yummy. I hope Kenna enjoys it. 

After everything has been added, I go to check on Kenna again. She is still sound asleep. I better go make sure not to overcook the pasta. That happened the first time I made this. I mean, it was still good, but not the same.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Dinner is done. I feel bad about it, but I have to wake Kenna up. She really needs to eat to feel better.

I walk toward her room with a bowl and several slices of bread on a tray. I place it on the nightstand and put her laptop away. “Kenna.” Nothing. “Kenna, dinner is ready.”

“Hmm?,” she mumbles.

“Dinner. You should probably sit up.” She wakes up and looks around for a minute before sitting up. She sees the clock, it says 6:03.

“How long have I been asleep? Didn’t you leave at like 4:30?,” she drawls in her half asleep state.

“Yeah, I left right around then and you were already asleep when I got back at 4:57. So you slept for at least an hour. You need it, trust me,” I tell her. She mumbles something I can’t quite make out. “Do you want your dinner?”

“Yes, please,” she whispers, ” It smells really good Dillon.” I bring her the tray and place it on her lap. “Minestrone. It makes me think of my grandpa, he used to love minestrone and would make me some whenever I got sick.” She smiles a little. “Are you going to have some? You made it after all.”

“Yes, I just couldn’t fit both bowls on the tray.” I go to retrieve my bowl and sit next to her on her bed. We eat in silence, except for the sound of spoons hitting bowls.

“Dillon, thanks. That was really good and I should have trusted you to make something delicious,” she says. All traces of sleepiness have left her voice.

“There is also plenty of soup leftover for tomorrow and I grabbed some basic groceries for you to hold you over until you feel better. I just wanted to help. Especially because you always take care of me when I get sick, and I think this is the first time you have ever gotten sick.”

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I can’t help but smile when Dillon says this because he went above and beyond when it came to taking care of me today. Then again, I guess that is why he is my best friend, he always goes above and beyond what is expected of people. Whether I am physically sick or mentally sick, he is always there for me and does everything he can to help me feel better.

“You do realize that I probably got sick because I took care of you when you were sick last week, right?,” I inquire. He looks shocked. I would get in so much trouble if my brain was always this foggy and I just said everything I thought. Now I have to fix this. “But it’s okay. I took care of you knowing that I would risk getting sick.”

“Wait, you knew you might get sick but you still took care of me? Why would you do something like that?,” he says, the shock in his voice matching the shock on his face.

“Because,” I pause looking for the right words, “because you are my best friend and I knew that if I ever got sick, you would take care of me. And I was right, you proved that to me today and you did more than I normally do for you. I mean, you made me soup from scratch and made sure I had enough groceries to last until I get better. Thank you Dillon, for everything.”

“You’re welcome Kenna.”

And we watched movies the rest of the night.

What Is Going On With My Blog?

So I have decided that my blog won’t be just about mental health. Though it is an important topic, I feel that I don’t have much to share about it right now. Lately I have been writing. Not novels or anything, just taking a prompt and writing what my brain comes up with. I am not a writer or anything, my sister is the English major, I am just having some fun and being creative for the first time in a while. And it feels amazing.

Everyone here is welcome to read any of my posts.

All the stories I write are labeled with “Writing Prompt Fun” and a number.

My mental health posts usually have a different title depending on the topics.