Friday, October 24, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Dare

Today I'm writing for Five Minute Friday. I haven't done this in awhile, and I definitely wrote longer than 5 minutes :) Writing feels good. 

You can write along and follow Kate's prompts and her blog by clicking below:

Today's prompt: Dare.


As a girl, I hated playing the game Truth or Dare. I dreaded that time of night at the birthday sleepover, snug in my pajamas, that my friends would whip out the "Truth or Dare card." I could sense it coming. My stomach would start to twist in knots, butterflies would begin to flutter, and an unsettling queasiness began to rise in my belly. All over a stupid game of Truth or Dare

Living with OCD, dares were not my thing. At all. They still aren't. My whole life I have had to push myself to take risks. As I've gotten older, it's gotten much easier to shove myself in the direction of adventure; however, as I kid, I wanted nothing to do with it. Rules soothed me. They were predictable. If you followed them, they would always lead to a tried and true outcome: no one would get in trouble, no one would get hurt, and no one would die.

Of course that last part has a little OCD-flair added in. To me, not following the rules could also, unequivocally, end up in illness or death. A huge leap, I know. OCD does not understand the relative distance between Deviation A (getting in trouble) and Deviation B (dying from not following the rules). In my little kid, OCD brain, contracting gangrene, having all my limbs amputated because they rotted, and then dying from a horrible infection caused by the gangrene was not a far jump from getting in trouble by my mother for yelling at my little sister--all because I didn't follow the rules.

Me (in the middle) with my sisters at about age 11 or 12. (Those bangs!)

This adherence to the rules always hurt in me in my ability to play Truth or Dare with my friends. I was never the cool one who took on the dare. I was the one who stared, eyes at the floor, hoping no one would choose me to decide whether I wanted to break the rules. I never wanted to break the rules.

At one such sleepover in 5th grade, my friends decided that everyone at the party had to complete a dare. No if's, and's, or but's, everyone. Being the rule follower that I was, I didn't want to go against the birthday girl's request. 

All of my friends knew I never chose a dare in the game of Truth of Dare, so I, of course, became their obvious first target. The birthday girl decided to come up with some disgusting concoction of  food smashed together in her hand: cottage cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, hot sauce, and some kind of lunch meat. Giggling the entire time, she told me that she dared me to eat five bites of the disgusting mess and then smear some on my friend's face (who fell asleep earlier in the night).

The queasiness began to rise into my throat, not just because the mess she dared me to eat stunk to the high heavens, but for three reasons:

1) In my house, I would never waste so much food. My mom had three little girls to feed.

2) I was taught to treat others the way you wanted to be treated and did not want to wipe any of that slop on my friend's face.

3) Who knew what kind of disease you could get by mixing so much cheese together!

I knew as soon as I saw her working in the kitchen that I was not going to go through with my dare. My friends were laughing and giggling, egging me on, chanting "do it!" over and over. I was mortified. The sting of tears formed in my eyes. Not knowing what else to do, I blurted out as loudly as I could, "I'm allergic to cheese!"

The room went silent. I knew my friends had seen me eat slices of pizza, a slice of cheese on my sandwich at lunch, my favorite food was French onion soup, for God's sake. No one moved. The birthday girl broke the silence, "Are you really?"

"Yeah," my meek voice barely audible.

"Why didn't you say that in the first place?" she asked.

From that moment on, I learned my lesson: before a game of Truth or Dare, tell your friends that you're allergic to cheese and never feel bad turning down a dare.


Love and happiness <3 Holly

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Today, I'm Hopeful

I am in no way being overly optimistic, but I decided that I am going to take what I can get. Today I'm feeling pretty good. I don't know if it's a combination of different things, or there is one thing to pinpoint in particular for my moderate mood tonight, but I'll take it. 

Maybe the stars aligned in all the right places. Maybe I'm getting a little help from my dad. I'm guessing it's the fact that my doctor lowered the dose of my migraine medication over the last two weeks and that it's almost the weekend--those two things in particular may be what are pulling me through this night.

Tonight I have hope because I did not get home from work and fall asleep all afternoon into the night. I had the energy (minimal as it was, but it was there!) to post in my bookshop, throw in some laundry, and type this blog. That is far more than I've had the motivation to do over the course of a few days, let alone one evening. 

I am hoping this is a sign of a move upwards: in my mood, my energy level. A move upwards and onwards towards becoming myself again. To slowly starting to feel something again. I am not only tired: physically, emotionally, and mentally. I am so tired of not feeling anything anymore--not wanting to do anything enjoyable, fun, or good for myself. I haven't read a book in a long time. I haven't taken a walk with my dog. I haven't felt happy doing any of my hobbies in awhile. I want to want to go to a movie, to sit down with a new book, to write. 

I know that my happy will slowly come back. I know it will wane in and out as my mood goes up and down--I know I will have ups and downs. I am just ready for a few ups along with the downs.

Today was one. And I am hopeful because of it. 

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'm Here, Just Not Myself

I haven't been around much lately. These past few months I haven't been myself, and it's because I am in uncharted territory. I never in a million years would have imagined myself in this place right now, but I am here. I am trying to deal with it, but things are not getting easier at the moment.

The last few months have been extremely challenging. I feel like I have been walking through three feet of water every day, slowly making my way through my life, never really getting anywhere. I feel myself going through the motions, but not feeling anything else. I don't feel happy or sad. I am just here. Some days are better than others, but most days are just space. One moment in time connected to another. Most days I try to drag myself out of bed and hope that I have the energy to make it through until the next. My legs are tired from wading through the water. I want out, but right now I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few months ago, my doctor changed my headache medication. Over time I noticed a change in my energy. It slowly started going downhill until I had none. It is a challenge to push myself hard enough to get out of bed, get through the day, and come home to do something other than sleep. I sleep, but don't feel well rested. I have no appetite. I don't care to do the things that I love--thus the lack of blogs lately. I am emotionally and physically drained. I do not like the way I feel at this time in my life.

I am depressed. 

Taking this new medication has put my life into a tailspin that I wasn't expecting. I have never in my life felt so stagnant and low. This is not me, but it is me at this moment in my life. That is a hard thing for me to wrap my head around, but I am dealing with it. My happy has come in and out of my life the last few months. At times it has eluded me completely. It's still there somewhere; I'm working on it.

It's a ton of bricks that I carry with me every day, but I'm working on it.

It's hard to hold onto hopefulness, but I grabbed the tattered cord as it rushed by.

I'm going to get through this like I have so many other things.

I'm here. Just not myself at the moment. It's been a rough few months, but I'm working on it.


Love and happiness <3