The Cotton Anniversary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_anniversary

It has been over two years since I started this blog in my Internet and Web Page Design class. So, I’m going to do what I did on my one year blogging anniversary (blogiversary?), relating 33 ways I have changed/33 things I have done in the past year.

1. I have engaged in therapy to treat depression and anxiety.

2. I have become, not of my own will, single again.

Wow I kind of started off really depressing. I promise it will not all be that bad!

3. I attended my first All Time Low Concert, which was friggin awesome. I started listening to more alternative/alternative rock music.

4. I won a $2,500 four-year scholarship from my dad’s union.

5. I got my first summer job, which was painting buildings for the town’s school district. Basically our paint crew went to different schools and repainted hallways, rooms, cafeterias, gyms, parking lots, etc. It was a really great job, 40 hours a week, and a little bit over minimum wage. This year if I do it again I’ll be paid even more!

6. I survived AP English. That is a huge accomplishment. Not only that, but I improved my writing skills tremendously.

7. I applied to seven different colleges: I was not accepted to Dartmouth College or Johns Hopkins University (woah big surprise there), but was accepted to the University of Rochester, Gettysburg College, The College of New Jersey, Pittsburgh University, and Arcadia University.

8. We attempted to visit TCNJ but I was having an emotional low and my stomach felt bad (which could have been a side effect of the emotional low), so we ended up driving up there, driving around the campus, and coming home. We also visited Gettysburg where I got a fantastic feeling, and the University of Rochester, where I had thought I would be attending but when I got there the feeling was not right.

9. Ultimately, I decided to accept admission to Gettysburg College, and am extremely pleased with my decision.

10. I “played” soccer on the Varsity squad; in reality I was a benchwarmer, and soccer made me feel inferior and terrible about myself almost every day, so I am quite happy I will not have to deal with that pressure and negativity anymore. It was not the other players who were negative at all-they were all fantastic-it was just my own low self esteem causing itself to sink lower.

11. I received 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and have made it a life goal to visit as many of these places as possible.

12. I have gotten addicted to gaming videos on YouTube, and regularly follow everyone in Smosh Games. I have also begun watching Achievement Hunter, including Red vs. Blue. I am currently about to start the fifth season.

13. I have also become obsessed with vlogs, some of them including WatchUsLiveandStuff and MostlyMelanie, to the point where during my day I narrate my life as if I am doing a vlog. I have been considering how I would feel vlogging versus blogging. Should I try it? I do not know if I have the right presentation skills or technology, but maybe I can upgrade my camera before college and try it.

14. I survived 18 years on this planet. That also means I upgraded my license and can drive more than one person at a time.

15. For the NHS induction ceremony this year, the teacher I nominated to speak at the ceremony, my AP English teacher, was chosen. Subsequently, I was given the opportunity to write an introduction for her and speak at the ceremony, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because she is such an important mentor for me.

16. I lost my Mommom (my dad’s mom), which has been a complicated and very sad experience.

17. My ex and I came this close to winning our last Science League competition. We were only 8 points, or two questions, behind the dominant school at these competitions, and our two schools had essentially slaughtered everyone else. It was a fantastic way to end one of my favorite extracurricular activities.

18. I felt lonely, unmotivated, hateful, sad and a conglomeration of other negative emotions. I have essentially become a pessimist, which is a bit ironic or funny or whatever because I used to be the most optimistic person I knew.

19. I became a lab tech for my Chemistry teacher. Though most of the work she has given us has been menial, and the fact people always ask my ex for assistance makes me jealous still, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and how chill it is to hang out with the two Chemistry teachers during my SRE and lunch.

20. I saw Frozen, which was really personal for me because of the depression and anxiety Elsa experiences. We also blame Disney for promoting Frozen so much they decided to control the weather and make it the snowiest winter we’ve had in years.

21. Other than on this blog and my sister blog on Tumblr, I still do not share my writing pieces with other people. However, I have given my best friends and my ex (well, when we were together) permission to view my blog.

22. I took German IV (finally), and am so excited to pursue German as a minor in college.

23. I came this close to passing a 2100 on my SATs, but I think a 2090 excellent. Yeah this part of the list is pretty arrogant, but considering how low my self-esteem is, I hope you all will forgive it. Even though it is a worthless number that in no way gauges how smart you really are.

24. I did not attend the senior trip because my two friends did not go; I was not as upset as I thought I would be. I will get to Disney World…eventually.

25. I have decided, for the moment, I want to major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology while minoring in German; I could possibly add a minor in Neuroscience or English.

26. I have been expanding my comfort zone as far as food goes. Previously I have been a picky eater, but I have been trying new foods whenever I get the chance, worrying most of my family to the point that they will put a hand to my forehead to see if I am feverish.

27. I unfortunately engaged in self-harm, though I have been cut-free for months now. I think that deserves a =).

28. I tried to start learning for the knowledge instead of the grade, and to ingrain information in my mind for long-term learning rather than the short-term, forget-about-it-after-the-test thing I have been doing for most of my academic life. AP Chemistry made this sentiment a lot harder.

29. I attended Black and Gold Night, in which the entire high school is separated by last name and the Black and Gold teams duke it out, first in study hall activities like Pictionary and Wii Bowling, and then on Black and Gold Night, where they have a lot of spirit and athletic competitions. And, for the first time in YEARS, Gold Team (my team) won.

30. We successfully pranked my AP English teacher on April Fool’s Day and made her believe none of us had done our homework. It was one of the most amusing events I have ever witnessed.

31. I started watching Attack on Titan. I am not sure if I am in love with it yet (I have only seen the first three episodes), but I really want to find it subbed instead of dubbed, which is all I can seem to find. I abhor dubbed; it feels weird watching anime without the emotion of the original voice actors. Plus dramatic statements in English just sound awkward to me.

32. I ate at Panera for the first time ever, and have discovered their magical macaroni and cheese. Seriously, the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. The macaroni, which I think is just spaghetti shells, is soft and the cheese is so gooey, a small cup of that with a piece of bread is enough dinner for me (but then again, I like eating multiple small meals).

33. Though my friends circle has, I suppose, shrunk a little, I still have the best friends in the world and love them dearly. For example, I was emotionally distraught this morning and just laid around the house all day. After telling them what was wrong, they came home over my house for a quick visit to hug me and tell me I’m perfect. They are the reason I have the energy to finish this blog (and hopefully complete other tasks throughout the day).

Well, that is probably the longest list I have written in awhile, so thank you if you actually read through all of it! Happy two years, Just Me and My Thoughts, and here’s to another year of blogging awesomeness!

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Then…it hit me

Guys, it’s my senior year!

Notwithstanding how obvious this fact may seem, for the past two months, the severity of what senior year means had not sunk in until yesterday morning.

I woke up around 5am because my mom was yelling upstairs and talking to my sister and I as if we were awake , and I could not fall back asleep. My thoughts began to tumble and twirl, as they normally do whenever one gets a short period of free time to do nothing but think, and my consciousness finally rested on our final soccer meeting of the season that afternoon. We would turn in all of our equipment, vote for some end-of-year awards to be presented at the banquet in December, and the underclassmen would vote for Varsity captains next year and get a packet for off-season workouts.

I began to think about how my last year of high school soccer is truly over, except for this meeting and the aforementioned banquet. I had not previously dwelled on this fact, being too overwhelmed with my struggles to feel competent and like a part of the team, so this revelation was equivalent to a bittersweet slap on the face.

My mind then switched to remind myself that this is my last year in high school period. After this year, I will not live in my house apart for breaks, and will not see my family as often. My high school friends will not surround me 24/7, and the semi-friends and acquaintances in my life will (probably) utterly dissipate. I won’t take any more high school classes, I won’t play high school soccer, and I’ll be living in a completely new place. I’ll make new friends and be introduced to new things. I’ll be taking higher level classes and will be given more choice than ever in which courses I’ll have. I’ll have to start blazing a path for myself in the real world.  It’s such a crazy thought!

Again, it was one of those bittersweet moments. I will absolutely, truly miss this part of my life. Moving on to new things, and letting go of the old, is…pretty scary. However, I refuse to depress myself more because time is passing by so quickly, and I have limited time in high school left. I can only make the next few months the best I can possibly make them, because life is relentless and will not stop. Additionally, college is (supposed to be) awesome, and I am equally excited to pursue higher education and essentially build a new life, hopefully bettering myself in the process.

Lately my depression and anxiety has been hindering my ability to live up my last year as a high school student, but after this mini epiphany, I am determined to enjoy this last year.

As far as my college applications go, I’ve actually managed to squeeze some time in to work on the remaining parts, and now I should have more time to complete them without soccer six days a week. I finally chose the topic for my college essay too. I will be discussing my experience with the New Jersey Scholars program, when, during a group interview, I was humiliated by a Harvard graduate/Princeton professor. I mean, I think that’s pretty unique.

Also, I’m visiting Arcadia University tomorrow! It should be pretty fun-my Aunt went there when it was Beaver college, and she’s going with us, so that should be pretty cute.

Stay tuned-soon I’m going to need people’s opinions on a very important survey!

Howdy

I love greeting people with howdy. So, howdy y’all, I have not blogged in a long time, due to a mixture of so much to do in so little time, between schoolwork and soccer, and, when I do have spare time, often being too unmotivated to write, which is quite upsetting.

I do not know if readers have recognized this yet, but I have been seeing a psychologist for the treatment of  depression  and anxiety (I could go back and see if I ever blatantly mentioned this, but I’m far too lackadaisical). Last night was a pretty exhausting session, but I’m attempting to be hopeful and say I’m recovering and moving forward.

Interjection for a funny little story:

One day I was at the psychologist, and I brought up how even when I make minute mistakes, they can make me feel stupid in the most upsetting way possible. After discussing the matter for a few minutes, she began to ask me some seemingly random questions. She inquired if, whenever I have to clean a room (her example was a living room), I was upset if everything was not put back in exactly the same spot as I had found it. I of course, responded no, because it does not bother me.

Then she asked if I kept my room neat, which I overtly laughed at, because my room could be considered a war zone some days.

At first, I was vaguely interested in why she was asking me these questions, wondering if this was going to become some grand metaphor that held the key to curing depression and conveyed the meaning of life. She continued to question me. Did I count in an unusual way? If I stepped on a crack did I have to step back and go over it again without stepping on the crack?

Then I’m like…wait…does she think I have OCD? I sort of laughed internally at the thought, and whatever path she was treading upon she must have abandoned after I answered the questions, because she did not bring it up again. But just now I looked up legitimate symptoms of OCD, and I actually have some of them…but then again, for a time I was also convinced I have borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder, so it’s not like self diagnosis is useful in any way.

The End.

Homecoming was a little over a week ago, I think (the past month or so is a big blur). I went with my girlfriends who took quite some time to get ready, and then we had to wait for my one friend’s parental units to arrive to ogle her, so we were sort of late. My boyfriend had to wait outside in the cold (poor guy). But it was fun and I danced a lot with my boyfriend and with my friends. My boyfriend and I have been going out for about a year now; though we do not have an official start date, we were first most evidently a couple at the homecoming dance last year.

My one best friend went with a boy who was apparently flirting with a ton of girls-and did not recognize the fact all the girls were friends and would inform each other of his shenanigans. So, whenever he attempted to dance with her, I would place my hands on his chest, gently push him away, stand between them, and dance with her. And it worked quite nicely, especially with my other best friend also partaking in this activity.

Before the dance I warned my boyfriend of the situation, and I told him that, if I saw the kid, I would need to him to hold me back (to, yanno, prevent me from murdering him). So, as we were waiting in line to get into the dance, I turned and saw the boy, and started slapping the crap out of my boyfriend, telling him repeatedly to “hold me back”…it took him a moment to understand, so it was just me grabbing his arm and shouting at him to “hold me back”. Must have been an amusing scene. During the dance he kept turning us so I was as far away from the boy as possible.

All I can say is good riddance to a bad seed.

So what else have I been up to? Soccer mostly. I have (mostly) accepted my position as team benchwarmer (along with a fellow senior), and now it’s the postseason, so there are a few more players the coach brought up from Junior Varsity to theoretically play with us, but they usually just sit the bench with me. However, I have been chosen as a penalty kicker if the need arises, which is a frightening thought, especially after today when, during practice, I only made one out of four shots.

My team was ranked 16th out of 16 seeds in our group, and we faced the number one team on Tuesday.

And won. =D

It was an amazing thing to behold-even if I did not get to play, I felt like a part of the team. We move on to the second round tomorrow and play a pretty tough team. I’m just praying it does not go to penalty kicks.

Well, enough rambling for one night. Hopefully I’ll have more time soon to blog consistently. Tchuss!

Feeling Guilty About Getting Injured

This past week has been really sucky for me mood-wise. Whereas I usually have only a day or two of feeling depressed and unmotivated, this entire past week-from the evening of Friday the 13th to I guess now still-has been consistently morose.

I credit a part of this to the fact that I have yet another injury plaguing my attempts to become a better soccer player and obtain some playing time in the Varsity games. So far I’ve only have five minutes in one game, and in another the team was very below our level so we took an early lead and all the subs got to go in for the majority of the game.

But my back has been bothering me. The pain is on the lower right side, sort of also at the top of my butt muscle. It started hurting at Friday’s practice, and has been bothering me ever since. I played during practice Saturday, Monday, a warm up for a game I did not play in on Tuesday and the game I played a lot in on Wednesday. I technically can run and kick, but I physically cannot sprint at 100%, which upsets me because, especially in games, I don’t want to let my team down.

I also started getting upset because I thought my coach wouldn’t recognize my injury and conclude I was simply not working hard enough and being lazy, which is the opposite of what I want to do. That’s one of my only real strengths on the soccer field-working hard, and recovering. And I’ve been working on communication because I’m very quiet.

So during Thursday’s practice I told coach my back hurt, and because I had never experienced this type of pain before, she wanted me to see our athletic trainer. One question she asked surprised me; she inquired if I had been under more stress than usual lately, and I began to wonder if it had anything to do with my undiagnosed depression.

He told me to ice and rest and see how the next day-a game went. However, I knew I wouldn’t be able to play to my potential and so I told the coach during the warm up that my back hurt, and so I sat out that game. When I saw the athletic trainer again he condemned me to sit out Friday’s and Saturday’s practice, which meant I couldn’t go on the infamous Varsity 5 mile run, which I was legitimately sad about. It’s like a only-Varsity thing that I have never been a part of,  and that I was looking forward to being able to recall and say “yes, I did that”.

So while sitting in practice, I get this terrible feeling of guilt. Why does this always happen to me? Why am I the one sitting out all the time? Why doesn’t my body work the way everyone else’s does? Why can’t I handle playing soccer? Am I being a baby?

I understand that it shouldn’t be my fault, but sometimes it could be. Sometimes injuries come from not stretching or not being physically fit enough. Whenever people ask me about my back now, I’m ashamed and bashful. Like, “Please don’t look at me, I’m sorry I’m hurt”.

The Doctor’s Visit

***Note: Any dialogue is from memory and therefore is probably not exact wording. Also, order of events might be wrong, but all of this did happen sooo yeah***

If this is your first time reading a post of mine or you just don’t follow me avidly, I wrote my mother a note telling her that I essentially think I might be some kind of depressed. In response, she decided to set up a doctor’s appointment for me with my regular family doctor. It was rescheduled because of soccer to this morning.

So today when my mom picked me up and we went to the doctors, I was so nervous I wanted to just completely skip it. However, I didn’t voice my nerves (though it would have helped, at least then I might have known how much my mom had already told the doctor) and sat patiently dreading the inevitable while watching Rachael Ray in the waiting room.

We got in the examining room and waited for a bit, then she came in, all cheery and such. My doctor has a slight accent (Polish, I believe), and is really nice, as far as I know. She sat down and asked me how it was going, and me being me, I was so close to crying already that I just shrugged awkwardly.

She scanned over some notes in my file and said, “Well, you think you’re depressed, right?”. Pause. Silence. “Can you tell me how you feel?”.

So, in a shaky, about-to-cry voice, I told her that, though it wasn’t every day, I felt unmotivated to do things. In no particular order, she asked me how long this has been happening, and I told her since about April. She asked me some questions, like if I felt like crying sometimes, and I shook my head quite forcefully at that one.

She also asked if something had triggered it, or if it just came on its own. I’m sorry to say that I lied, because something (might) have triggered it, but I couldn’t bring it up. So I just said no. She asked me a few more questions, about if I had been bullied, sexually harassed, or having trouble with my knee, soccer, school, etc, all of which I replied with a firm negative.

Then she inquired, “Do you want to hurt yourself?”

Now, this was a very moving, chilling,  and personal way of putting that question. Not “have you self-harmed, had suicidal thoughts, made plans for suicide, etc” like how any of the other clinical questionnaires would probably put it. It wasn’t clinical feeling at all.

And I couldn’t answer because I knew the answer.

So I shrugged again, and by now I had started gently crying. She told me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my symptoms and that I needed to tell her so that I could get treated, because this was like any other disease that she needed to know about. I simply shrugged again.

Then she said (more so talking to my mother now, who sat with me the entire time) that she would refer me to both a psychologist and a psychiatrist. My mom had to ask the difference: from what I gathered, the psychologist is someone I would talk to for a decent span of time each week about my emotions and such, while the psychiatrist specializes in dealing with mental health and wellness, though I would see them for a shorter amount of time/longer span between appointments.

My doctor also suggested that I start medication.

And I was like WOAH THERE. What? You’re just gonna throw me on some meds?

My mother was also hesitant. She got that “eh” look on her face and asked if that was necessary and what they would do exactly. My doctor responded that, because I had been feeling this way since April, which is five months, that I might need the medication to make me feel better.

Then my mom started asking about side effects, because of those commercials we all know where the list of side effects for some type of drug takes up about half the ad. My doctor said we can start with just the psychologist/psychiatrist and see  if they suggest medication. She also mentioned that the biggest thing they have to monitor in teenagers is if the medication makes the disorder worse, which is what I am so deathly afraid of.

Because both my mother and I were showing concern of how quickly this seemed to escalate, she had to ask me again to assure her that I’ve been feeling consistently bad, and she asked for the percentage of days when I feel good and when I feel bad. I answered that for a few days I’ll feel fine, but then I’ll feel bad for a few days, so it’s about a 50-50 ratio. This seemed to be enough for her.

My mom then asked if the psychologist and psychiatrist would be covered under our insurance (and I internally laughed). Also, when she first mentioned psychologist, I flash-backed to “The Room” when Johnny goes “But you’re a psychologist” and I started giggling on the inside.

Finally, she did some normal doctor-ey stuff and then she decided we would do some blood work to check if I have any chemical imbalances and such. I made my mommy hold my hand while she took blood.

We left the office with a referral to the aforementioned psychologist/psychiatrist. My doctor said that she has referred patients (especially younger ones) to this particular psychologist before and that she was excellent, which I’m sure any doctor would say but it made me feel better all the same. I’m also scheduled to go back to see my regular doctor in about a month so she can check on my progress.

On the way back to the car, my mom talked about how different people she knew went to see psychologists during their tough times, and that I shouldn’t worry about this.

I was slightly worried, but the real issue in my mind was “wait…that’s how it goes? No diagnostic tests to try to figure out if its chronic or major depression or bipolar disorder or something else? What if I’m wrong and making a big fuss over nothing?”.

I mean, please leave some comments if you can about this type of stuff. How are you diagnosed with depression? Is it all based on what you feel, or do you need solid evidence, such as chemical imbalances, or somewhere in between?

Then I started thinking about what I would tell my friends. I simply told them today that I had blood work done, and only my boyfriend questioned why, and I didn’t give him an answer. I don’t know how much they know, and I’m wondering if there will be a good time to tell them or if I should just bring it up when I get the chance.

Thank you for reading this extra long post, I just wanted to talk about this, even though I guess it’s pretty personal. Again, comments would be greatly appreciated.

Going To The Doctors This Morning…

Because our soccer game got pushed into overtime the night I was supposed to talk to my doctor, my mom rescheduled it for this morning, and I’m super nervous.

I mean, I don’t know if my mom already told the doctor what was going on or if she’s going to make me tell her when we get there. How do I explain best how I feel? What is she gonna make me do?

I’m assuming some blood tests will be done/scheduled, but I don’t know what else to expect. This past week I’ve been okay, except on Tuesday after a soccer game where I didn’t get ANY playing time, so there was sort of a reason I wanted to mope around and do nothing.

Then last night I felt really bad because we lost a soccer game we didn’t deserve to lose. I only got about 5 minutes of playing time, but then at the end of game speech the coach scolded all of the subs for not being fit enough or willing enough to work hard, essentially saying she couldn’t trust us to play to our full potential and that, because she was struggling to get players off the bench, the girls on the field were tired and that was a major reason we lost.

At the time I wasn’t feeling too bad, but last night I had a terrible soccer dream. I didn’t get to bed until midnight last night because of my homework and studying and the soccer game AGAIN went into overtime.

So I’m nervous and tired, and now I have to go to school.

Obligatory Last First Day of High School Post

So today was my very last first day of high school. Essentially, my first day of senior year.

Driving to school was pretty cool, though when I walked out into the parking lot after school there were so many cars and people that it was a little overwhelming. It’s fun blasting music with my sister in the morning though.

All my classes are amazing, with the exception of gym, which is average at the worst.

My best friend is in my lunch, study hall, and three of my four classes. My other best friend has one class and then lunch with me. Me and my boyfriend don’t have any classes together, though we do have lunch and study hall together. He’s probably going to be lab teching, which i was also considering doing. Essentially as a lab tech you do menial labor for the science teachers, but I figured it would look good on a college app since I’m planning on going into biology.

My teachers are all fantastic. My Anatomy and Physiology teacher is hilarious, and my gym teacher is the nicer of the senior gym teachers. My AP English teacher was my English teacher last year, and though she demands a lot of us, she is phenomenal. AP English, the class I’ve been looking forward to since freshman year, is made better with her presence. My AP Chem teacher is really chill.

I felt like I was actually close to people too. I’ve had issues with loneliness, but I felt pretty much at home strolling through the crowded hallways. I visited and had conversations with old teachers and friends I hadn’t seen over the summer, and it was really nice.

So I’m very optimistic for this year. There’s a lot to do, but I’m going to work my hardest and make the most of the single year I have left in high school. It’s starting to sink in that I’m a senior (finally).

Alright, I better go start that 2 hour homework assignment our AP English teacher already gave us…we are supposed to expect this every night, which is really going to suck while I still have soccer. I really wanted to do this blog post though.

Good luck to everyone else starting school, and especially to my fellow seniors and freshman like my little sister.

If I seemingly disappear, blame AP English!