I haven’t posted in so long that I actually had to log in to WordPress.
I normally find myself coming to this space when I’m also busy with other things. Habit. It’s the battlecry of my generation, or something, that WE CAN MULTITASK ALL THE THINGS. I now find that idea exhausting. Do we always have to be doing a THING? Is it okay to just be for a moment? Can I put my phone away?
When I am not busy, though, is when the world seems its bleakest. When my brain is not occupied with ALL THE THINGS, melancholy tends to settle in.
So. I tend to choose the THINGS, but will occasionally turn off anything that requires to be turned on.
Spring’s appearance has been interrupted a handful of times now by snowfall, but I think it might finally be here. Most of the recent snow melted yesterday. I’ve got that anxious feeling I get when the air starts to smell a certain way and the days lengthen. The ground is still frozen, and the wind still has a bit of bite to it, but everything is slowly coming out of slumber.
I don’t think I will ever tire of sitting on this river bank. I am thankful to be here in this time and place, with the option to occasionally unplug.
Happy New Year, friends! I hope you have fulfilling NYE plans. Personally, I’m looking forward to some time alone with books and a bottle of wine. Tj won’t be home this year, but I’m making the best of it. We were lucky all through the month of December, and managed to celebrate the holidays with both our families.
I thought it might be nice to take a look back at my favorite posts from 2015. Perhaps this will serve as the motivation I so desperately need in the coming year.
In January, I posted this sugar lip scrub DIY. I don’t know how many project/recipe posts will happen in 2016. We’ll see. Does the internet really need more DIY?
The month of February featured my best Stitch Fix yet! McCoy still doesn’t know how he feels about being a model. I’m right there with him. Also, my hair grew lots! I need to get a trim soon.
In March, I shared some snowy snapshots. I also wrote a post on how to care for your black clothing, which got a surprising number of hits. I guess
I’m I was doing it right. Having adopted more of a minimalist attitude when it comes to buying clothes (combined with the fact I no longer work in a thrift store), I’ve learned that I need to take care of what I have.
April was retail-therapy heavy, but I like this post featuring vegan friendly and 5-free gray nail polishes. I still think spring and summer shades are the worst. I’m happy to be in winter mode, right now. Layer up!
In May, I shared some travel tips for the antisocial, which was maybe just a bit cheeky, but still important.
In July I was feeling more settled into my new town, and I took a walk along North Berwick’s Neoutaquet River trails. I also shared a little bit about my depression, which was kind of a scary thing to do. I hope it helped some people. These are the kinds of posts I’d like to share more of.
In September, I posted some panorama shots that Tj took from our trip to Quoddy Head.
We went to Maui in October! I shared a few photos. It was big.
I was feeling incredibly thankful in November.
And I still feel that way. It’s been a challenging year, but certainly a good one. I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone, and it was worth it. Here’s to 2016. ♥
We’re going to pretend that the word “right” is in quotation marks.
There are a lot of things they don’t tell you if you’re a teenage girl with an eating disorder. In fact, if your anxiety prevents you from seeking any kind of serious professional help, they won’t tell you anything. Because there is no “they.” So maybe they do tell you. I don’t know.
But I will tell you.
They don’t tell you that over a decade of alternately starving yourself and purging will wreck your metabolism. And your teeth. You will very rarely smile for photographs (or agree to be photographed, for that matter) for that very reason. They don’t tell you that even when you’re back to a healthier weight, this behavior will probably carry on well into your twenties, especially if it’s symptomatic of your anxiety and depression (and not because of a need to fit in/feel pretty). And they definitely don’t tell you that when you’re thirty, and you weigh more than you ever have, following a “diet plan” of any sort will be impossibly difficult. Because your brain doesn’t actually know how to measure intake without going completely and utterly bonkers.
That’s a thing that’s happening right now. I am a little embarrassed about it.
I am demonstrably out of shape, and I am physically uncomfortable with my current weight. These are facts. Diabetes runs in my family. My mum was overweight. Those are additional facts. A normal, healthy human being ought to be able to come up with a workable, reasonable plan of attack regarding these issues without turning into an obsessive weirdo. I kind of assumed, now that I’m a for serious adult, that I would be able to handle keeping very loose tabs on my eating habits. Very loose is apparently not a thing that exists in my brain. What started out as an innocent exercise in eating “right,” in the course of two days, snowballed into a game of cutting numbers wherever possible, and planning my meals down to the last calorie. Those of you who know me well will tell me that I should have known better. You are correct. I’ve been down this road before. Thankfully, by day three, my for serious adult brain recognized the potential problem, and all food/exercise tracking apps have since been removed from my phone. So on a positive note, I’ve definitely changed for the better. Because in the past, I would have just continued with the obsessive behavior. At least I have that going for me. That’s why I can write about this, now. It’s embarrassing and frustrating, but it’s okay. I’m okay.
Now, I could make the argument that our whole modern food system is out of control, and that food tracking and calorie counting is inherently disordered. And I have, will continue to. But that doesn’t really solve anything. And there are a million people who will tell me I’m wrong. You do you.
So I am at kind of a weird crossroads, right now. I actually need to lose some weight for the first time in my life, and I have to be careful to do it in a way that’s going to be safe. It has very clearly (and quickly) been determined that for my sanity’s sake, I can not track anything. I can make better choices when it comes to food, and to be more active, but I have a really hard time wrapping my brain around not keeping track of any of that. Like how does that even work!? I am a born list-maker. Despite being in a generally good state of mind (I talked about that here), the habits that I spent years of my life cultivating are really darn hard to break. For now, I’ve decided to put some gentle limits on myself (like chill out on the wine and snacking), and make more of an effort to be physically active in ways that do not require measurement. Activities like hiking and going for walks or short runs actually seem okay, as I find these kind of relaxing. I’m also making more of an effort to drink enough water and consistently take my supplements. Without iron, I’m completely useless.
In the end, it all comes down to trusting my body, which is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time. I do know that right now, I don’t feel right in the space I occupy, and I sense that feeling itself, for possibly the first time ever, to be genuine and not part of that weirdo eating disordered brain. That’s almost an accomplishment in itself.
I got this. I think.
Thanks for listening/reading. I appreciate you.
I want to talk depression for a minute.
I know, what a downer. Sad trombone.
Here’s a thing. It’s kind of important. A depressed person isn’t always unhappy, and depressed people aren’t “negative.” They don’t need an attitude adjustment, and they don’t need to simply be thankful because “other people have it worse.” Gosh, you’re right. Can you imagine? That suddenly makes everything all better. Thank you.
Depression isn’t a mood. In fact, depressed people do have actual moods, too. You know, like normal people. Depressed people have good days and bad days, good and bad moments, even. Sometimes my world is completely black. Sometimes it is beautiful and glowing! Yes, I can be happy. But usually the world is a little gray. I am okay with that. I am okay with okay. That’s a tough one for people to understand. I get that.
The important thing for me is that my general world outlook doesn’t really change. I tend to think that people are mostly good, even on my black days. I can tolerate social interaction on mostly a day to day basis. I function. I’ve held down jobs, and nurtured relationships. I am kind to others, and I am generally a positive person. But guess what? My positive attitude doesn’t make my depression or my anxiety disappear, because “good vibes” aren’t a cure.
Depression can become manageable, certainly, but it doesn’t really go away. Therapy and medication can help. Sometimes. For some people.
I used to believe that my inconsistent and fluctuating bleak sadness and incapacitating anxiety were due to some fault of my own, something I had somehow done wrong and had to figure out a way to set right. I wasn’t doing enough good for enough people. Basically, I spent a lot of my time feeling confused and guilty (which is why that whole “other people have it worse than you” thing doesn’t help). When I was younger, I convinced myself that nightly panic attacks about the fear of my own death were probably normal and nothing worth mentioning to anyone. In fact, I didn’t mention them to anyone, ever, until only a few years ago. Apparently it’s not normal. Surprise.
Thinking about the process required to find an actual solution, if one exists for me, sends me into a whirlwind panic. I have learned to trust myself. I don’t leave the house on bad days. I’ve altered my diet a bit. I’m better about remembering to take a daily iron supplement, because my anemia makes the physical symptoms of depression worse (yes, there are physical symptoms). Like I said, I function. And I am okay. I guess I just want people to know that functioning and being okay can sometimes be enough. My darkest days are few and far between, and I have learned how to cope. I do, in fact, find happiness in the smallest things. I smile when I feel like smiling!
I am appreciative, thankful. I try to put good things out into the world. Lots of (not all, because I can’t and will not speak for every person) other depressed people do the same. But we are still depressed. And honestly, that’s okay. It’s your mind; it’s your body; it’s your life. It’s not anyone else’s. And you get one.
This was pre-bath McCoy (so dusty!). I think he knew something was up. Post-bath McCoy is not talking to me, despite being provided with top notch organic lettuce.
The first plant (a Nephthytis, aka Arrowhead Plant) was rescued when somebody donated it at work a couple months ago. Yes, somebody donated a plant to a thrift store. Don’t do that. I wasn’t sure how to go about saving it. Normally a good soak and some time in the sun does wonders, but this particular friend is of the low light, medium water variety. I waited and fretted and watered gently, and then waited some more. Its twin is not recovering quite as quickly, unfortunately, but I have my fingers crossed.
My succulents are looking leggy, I know. I’m waiting until I move to do something about that. I’ve been researching propagating a bit. I’m hoping to give it a go.
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Naomi, and this space is made of girldust. This blog is a picture of my comfortably scattered life on the coast of Maine. I'm trying to be a slightly better version of myself every day. I like old houses, reading, the ocean, ghost stories, and museums. You can learn a little bit more about me here. Follow along elsewhere, or get in touch: