Life is kind of cray-cray right now. Midterms, internship, and the million other things I’m trying to do right now make things chaotic. What makes me happy, however, is that I haven’t had a single breakdown or flood of helpless tears. Instead, it’s been a pretty even push of get ‘er done. I’m tired and need to catch up on teh Zzz juice, but other than that I’m content.
Way different from how I was during my finals while in London. How I got so worked up for classes I didn’t care at all for was rather silly.
In short, the Wellbutrin is definitely working. I’m pissed that I refused to admit I needed it until the beginning of the school year. I wasted a lot of time boiling in my own misery. Yet I want to draw a distinct line here. The Wellbutrin is the instigator of my uptick, but it’s not a magic happy pill. I am still more than capable of self-doubt, sadness, or hesitation. Or, as when I saw an old enemy at Starbucks, blood-vessel-rupturing rage.
What is different is that I no longer feel as if everything is futile. Just that ray of hope, that brief swath through the dark, is what I needed to reassert myself. I’ve always been morbid and sardonic, but as a kiddo even if I felt life was a dark comedy, I never saw the future as foreboding or depressing. That outlook came unbidden; I didn’t even notice it creeping up.
I looked forward to things, like study abroad or, later, coming back from study abroad, not so much as an optimistic future but as a desperate escape from my current situation. The worst part was that this wasn’t me — it was no mordant philosophy or embittered realization. It was something I felt for no reason at all. As much as I tried to grasp why I felt so entrapped, I could come up with nothing. Call it a neurological imbalance, or a genetic crapshoot. I prefer to call it suckiness.
When I feel the future is futile, I fall apart — after all, if life is not an adventure or an infinite expanse of opportunity, what is the point of it all?
But as I’ve said, being satisfied and confident takes a lot more than a low-dose antidepressant. For that, I had to assemble a team. If I have actual “happy pills,” these would be the ones.
Caffeine and I have one of those relationships that looks torrid but is actually quite tender. My resistance to stimulants is crazy high, even when I’ve been off it for a long time. It never really makes me jittery. But it does give me a pleasantly charged “get shit done” attitude. My standard is two small cups in the morning, with cream, almond milk, and stevia. I also like taking a small EC stack before a hard workout. I’m positively spitting puppies and unicorns afterward.
And I promptly lose all six of my readers. Don’t knock it. Cold showers are great for giving you a jolt and they make your skin look great. I don’t hop straight into a freezing torrent though, as I’m using an acne wash and I want to make sure my pores are open. So I start warm, get myself clean, then jack it up to cold. It’s a totally badass feeling to stand there with cold water coursing down your chest and just not giving a damn. Then as you hop out, instead of cringing in the cold air, you feel warm and tingly.
You know that image of the Victorian lady sitting in front of her vanity, indolent and careless as she applies her beauty products? Probably the only way women survived all the suppression throughout the years. The Abrahamic religions were not good for feminine empowerment. Particularly where vanity is concerned. It gets a stigma, or is added to the image of someone who’s lazy and selfish. Vanity takes work. While it can go too far, bumping shoulders with avarice, I would say most people aren’t selfish enough. Mothers especially falls into this trap of caring for herself last, and being a cranky bitch by the time she gets there because she’s so exhausted taking care of everyone else. Remember airplane safety — your own oxygen mask first, then others. There is nothing wrong with putting time and effort into one’s appearance. It’s a mark of self-care and love.
We don’t need to all become Catherine Howards, but you get the drift.
My kindly mother got me a set of Origins skincare products. I’m also having fun with a book called Naturally Beautiful: Earth’s Secrets and Recipes for Skin, Body, and Spirit, which contains recipes for at-home beauty products. Yes, it is just as tree-huggery as it sounds. For me, it’s so calming at night to take 10 minutes to tone, moisturize, and get rid of eyeliner marks. Great way to wind down.
I’m usually laissez-faire toward natural products. But lately I’ve done more research into what the ingredients and standard products are and it kind of grosses me out. I don’t know if they are actually harmful or not. I just don’t like the thought of some of that stuff on my face.
Smoking gun here! I can feel the whiplash. But hold the horses. As I mentioned, Wellbutrin blunts my appetite. I have no desire to force food down my throat, so I wait until I’m hungry, which is usually later in the day. I have a few cups of coffee in the morning with splashes of grass-fed cream and almond or coconut milk. That gets me rocking and rolling and provided I’ve slept well, I’m a racehorse. Pair that with good hydration and there’s no stopping me.
Anyhoodle, I feel good for two reasons. One, I have heard that autophagy can give one an energy boost. But more so, it’s just invigorating to respect my appetite and not feel anxiety about food. Brad Pilon and Martin Berkhan really know their stuff.
Not to say all my cravings magically vanished. Habits are powerful. The only way to break them is to not do them. So sometimes I do have to say “Suck it up” if I’m getting stressed and my knee-jerk reaction involves Yogurtland. I keep sugar low besides fruit and eat pretty Paleoish, but that’s about as complicated as I make it. And if I genuinely want some froyo and it’s not out of stress or habit, then sure, I get some.
It was also nice to be ordered in to the doctor for a followup. My bloodwork came back way better than two months ago. No more liver hi-jinks, wildly fluctuating triglyceride levels, or sketchy platelet counts. Woot.
I’m a geek and proud of it. Lately I’ve been hitting up Assassin’s Creed 2. Call it daily catharsis. Video games are probably why I never hauled off and bloodied some noses in my younger years. Anyhoodle, it finally hit me one reason I get that wonderful “calm but energized” feeling from my favorite video games. It’s rather like listening to Mozart, for those who believe it improves mathematical capacities. Essentially, the video games I like tend to mirror how I think best. I’m a fan of “main plotline, open-world” type games. There’s a main story, but there are side quests and things to go after when the main quest gets tiring. Assassin’s Creed 2 is a perfect example.
For much of the game you play as an assassin on a rampage through Rennasaince Italy, uncovering a conspiracy and getting vengeance on the bastards who killed your family. This quest takes you through Florence, Venice, and beyond, and hooks up up with sexy characters like Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Catherine Sforza. Yet you can also peace out and work on restoring your family’s dilapidated villa and adjoining town. It’s awesome.
Trusting the Process
You know why I liked counting calories back in the day? It was no love of math. It was proof. Weight doesn’t fall off. It melts away millimeter by millimeter. It’s easy to not even notice it and it takes time. How do you know you’re on the right track? A scale is one way but scales are finicky and I’m too much of a pussy to weight myself regularly. Some people know exactly when they are in a deficit because their physical reactions are severe — hunger, paranoia, sleep disturbances, etc. I don’t seem to have them. Ergo, counting calories is a way of proof. Stay consistent and eventually you’ll get there. But that also means everything counts. Cookies and bites add up. Too many and the process is not being trusted. Granted, I know I’m in a deficit and don’t see the need to log things everyday. I spot check my calories once a week or so, just to be sure I’m not fooling myself. Even when eating less often it is easy to fool yourself — for example, a candy bowl at work. So it’s a system of checks. No need to meticulously keep track of every bite, but a weekly checkup keeps me calm, knowing that eventually I’ll be slim and hot again. It’s trusting the process. Which accompanies the eternally true adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Cheesy but true. I’ve been hanging out with friends more often and it’s good for me. I dunno if it’s the increased social interaction or the pot though . Considering the latter is part of the former, let’s call it a bit of both? I’m also psyched to be heading out to FoodBuzz this weekend! For those in attendance, see you soon!