grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So something bad happened last night. The thing itself is insignificant, just a small thing that wouldn't have bothered a mentally healthy person, one of those slight daily disappointments. Anyway, it's not worth mentioning. That's not the point.

The point is it was late at night and I was tired from rushing around over the past few days, and that plunged me briefly into horrible, horrible depression. I went from happy to depressed in less than 2.5 seconds. It was impressive.

It starts with exhaustion -- moodiness. I took a relaxing hot shower, trying to make the moodiness go away, and I felt a little better. Then me and my sister Skyped our parents and they all started laying plans for tomorrow, and I suddenly got so exhausted I retreated into my bedroom and shut the door.

There, with the lights off, I curled up on my bed in a little ball of misery and cried. I don't know why I was crying. There was nothing, except for how I felt, to cry about.

Here's the thing about depressed people: they don't want comfort. What they want is understanding. I literally Googled search images of depression, and the depressing messages in the pictures cycled me lower and lower into depression. It's cyclical. I started having suicidal thoughts.

I knew in the part of my mind that was rational and logical that I needed to reach out to someone -- that this was the only way to make things better. So, taking a deep breath, I went out into the living room and told my sister how I was feeling. It was hard. Very hard. And very scary.

By the way? Never reject a depressed person who has reached out to you. They may never reach out to anyone again.

My sister didn't reject me. She talked me through it, gave me a hug, and told me everything was going to be okay. I hugged her back and let a few tears leak into her shirt.

Then we had dessert -- birthday cake, pie, and wine -- and went to bed. I slept in unusually late this morning, and I woke up today and I feel perfectly fine. Maybe a little tired and irritable, but basically fine.

Bipolar disorder is weird.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Me, my sister, and my closest friend all had lunch together yesterday. We went to an Italian place and ate too much spaghetti and pizza and chatted. Then we went shopping around the nearby mall -- my friend bought some stuff from Old Navy.

We took our friend back to our place, where we sat around and watched movies (The Fault in Our Stars, Kill Your Darlings on Netflix). We were originally only supposed to finish Kill Your Darlings, which is about Allen Ginsberg as a young man, but then we got to the part where the two boys pretend to hang themselves, then fall off the chairs they're standing on and almost really hang themselves, then free themselves... and then laugh about it.

My friend and I, who both suffer from mental illness and have both been suicidal, felt so sick that we turned the TV off. We turned on The Fault in Our Stars instead and talked about how Augustus Waters doesn't use words like "metaphor" or "soliloquy" correctly. English major problems.

Anyway, there was lots of laughter and Googling hot celebrity guys, lots of movie analysis. It was fun!

Then we went with my friend's husband to a nighttime showing of Concussion with Will Smith, which was playing in the next town over. I don't have much to criticize. The movie was superb. Will Smith did the performance of a lifetime, and the movie was REALLY intense. Unlike with Kill Your Darlings, there was suicide in this one, but it definitely wasn't joked about.

I did like the message to Omalu's speech at the end, that people just need to know this is a risk in playing football. I enjoy football as much as the next small-town country gal, but I agree. People have to know the risks of what they're doing -- you can't just shut that up.

We had an interesting talk on the drive home later that night in the car, me and my friends. It all started with someone commenting in amazement that Omalu spent over 20,000 dollars on this personal research project into CTE. Then my friend's husband pointed out that with the houses Omalu owned and the cars he drove, as a doctor with several degrees, that might not have been such a big deal for him. He made the example of someone he knew: both he and his wife made about a hundred thousand a year, and this man decided independently to spend ten thousand a year to pay for the childcare of the daughter of a friend who was struggling. When he finally told his wife about it at the end of the year, she shrugged it off. Said she'd spent that much on a horse earlier this year. When you get wealthy enough, ten or twenty thousand doesn't really mean anything, the way it would to most ordinary people. We're not even talking about the top one percent here. Maybe, like, the top ten or twenty percent.

That's how we got to talking about how people spend their money. We talked about an experiment Howard Stern did -- he and his show gave a homeless man forty thousand dollars. The only stipulation was that they got to see over the course of one year how the man spent the forty thousand dollars. It turned out? The man bought a really nice coat and a hotel stay through the winter. But a year later, he was back in the same position he'd always been. It did not seem to have occurred to him that for forty thousand dollars, he could pay for a year of college and dorm living while looking for a job. For forty thousand, he could have bought a house -- not a great house, but a house. It's all about how you spend your money.

My friend's husband put it best with a quote from a book he'd once read. There's an old homeless man talking, and he says: "There are two kinds of poor. God's poor and the Devil's poor. God's poor are people like orphans and widows and those who would benefit from Christian charity. But then you have the Devil's poor, vagrants like me, who you can't help no matter what you try."

Unfortunately, there's a grain of truth in that.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Tonight for New Year's Eve, we'll have shepherd's pie for dinner, then red wine and a tray of cheese and salami with crackers. We'll watch the Dick Clark show, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, and see the ball drop in Times Square at midnight from the safety and comfort of the TV in our living room. The countdown is always so exciting!

No wild celebrations, just a quiet evening at home curled up with a glass of wine and my family, and that's the way I prefer it.

Here are 5 things I learned in 2015:

- You can't save people who don't want to be saved. I had a friend who got caught up in over drinking and partying. Over and over again, she continued to gravitate toward people who treated her like shit. She eventually dropped out of school and I never heard from her again. I think she was ashamed. I tried over and over again to help her associate with kinder people, and do fun activities that didn't involve getting drunk, but she wouldn't have any of it. Some people you just can't save.

- You can seem really close to someone, but the two of you can go down completely different paths in life and you may never see them again. That happens a lot at college age. But it shouldn’t keep you from making new friends.

- It’s never too late to change your life around and make it healthier. Health often leads to happiness.

- Not every date leads to instant romance -- even if it seems like the first date went really well.

- It is absolutely possible for a guy to be reasonable and treat you well, and you should expect that, and even demand it. EVEN and ESPECIALLY when it comes to sex.

(For more on my relationship goals and what I've learned to expect from a relationship this year, I refer you to this magnificent article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natasha-craig/6-phrases-more-important-_b_6679492.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women§ion=women&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046

Enjoy.)

And now here is my New Years resolution: to find my strong inner voice and to use it without guilt. I was inspired by this article. So much of it resonated with me:

www.huffingtonpost.com/sara-lindberg/why-my-new-years-resolution-is-to-gain_b_8881892.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women%3Futm_hp_ref%3Dwomen&ir=Women&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046

I remember the first time I was ever called bossy. I was in elementary school and it was cooking day, so me and my friends were making pancakes. Kids kept crowding around the cooking table and impeding our work, so I began shooing them back and getting them all in a straight line. I will never forget the way my friends treated me with complete disgust. "We're done," they said, emphasizing the 'done', and I remember this crippling feeling of shame sweeping through me. The way they looked at me was very cold. The sad thing is, it was other girls who made me feel that way.

I always see that as a kind of beginning, because ever since I have always felt guilt, hesitancy, and uncertainty whenever I get too opinionated, or say something that might upset someone -- even if it's the way I really think. All too often in my life, I have stayed silent, not wanting to create waves. In high school, I was so careful about ordering people around that in the photography class I took, a girl accused me of having "no vision" because I was terrified of ordering my models to do what I wanted them to do.

Well I'm done with all that! This year, I will try the perhaps long process of finding my inner voice and using it to voice my opinions and instructions without guilt. Now, keep in mind, speaking your mind doesn't necessarily mean you have to be rude. I'm not talking about deliberately hurting anyone's feelings. I'm simply saying that I'm tired of staying silent -- tired of being embarrassed -- and tired of caring what other people think about me!

I'm finished!

So this year that is my goal. And while I'm at it, here is a toast -- a toast to a strong new year, and a new beginning!

With Love,

Grimrose Eilwynn

PS: Enter this door, but be warned: you will not come out in the same condition as you were when you entered it.

grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Good recipe. Messy, but delicious, and as a plus, it's healthy! (The recipe is from "The Food Lovers: Make it Paleo" by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, for those who are interested. There's some excellent explanations in there on what paleo eating is.) Here's what we made for Christmas dinner tonight:

- Rinse and slice 1 tomato into tiny slices and 1 onion into larger slices.

- Pull the stems off of 4 large portobello mushrooms. The recipe says to remove the gills, which we didn't understand at all. So I'm gonna modify: just keep the gills on. It's a lot easier. They won't kill ya. The main idea is to make sure the mushroom cap is flat.

- Put 1 pound of ground beef into a medium-sized bowl and combine it with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until spices are evenly distributed.

- Preheat the grill to high heat and spray so the food doesn't stick.

- Grill the mushroom caps first -- 3 minutes per side. The recipe says just to grill the mushroom for 3 minutes period, but we found a double-sided cooking made the mushroom all the more delicious.

- Form the meat into four patties and grill the patties second -- 4 minutes per side. The recipe says 5, but we found 4 didn't burn the burgers or overcook them. It also says to grill the patties first, but we didn't listen to that because hello, cross contamination?

- Now here's how to eat all this. Put the mushroom cap flat on a plate, gill side up. On top of that, put lettuce and a tomato slice. On top of that, put the burger. And on top of that, put some onion. And voila!

Some notes:

The recipe said to grill the onion, but you don't have to. Onion can be eaten raw, and you don't want to cook onion, trust me. I tried it once when I was making a recipe a Japanese pen pal recommended to me -- even the dog was crying. And he was in another room!

You may be wondering: Where's the ketchup and mustard? Where's the bun? I was dubious at first myself, eating a burger without these seemingly essential ingredients. But actually? The recipe doesn't need them. It's delicious all on its own.

And once again, Merry Christmas!
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Thanksgiving was yesterday. Here's how I celebrated.

I got up earlier than usual (for a holiday) to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV with my sister. Then we went over to a friend's house to spend the day there.

I watched football and had some white wine. (I do allow myself the occasional beer or glass of wine on holidays.) We had dinner early: turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, stuffing, corn, rolls, and between everyone who brought extra food we had about eight pies for dessert. The stuffing was especially delicious, and it was nice eating dinner among a big group of people, even if it wasn't my family.

We sat around and watched America's Funniest Home Videos afterward. When I got home, more football.

So basically, it was a too-much-food-and-TV day. Truly American.

The family we had Thanksgiving with was the family of one of my sister's friends. They were nice to invite us over, but there were a lot of big personalities in that household and they were pretty mean to each other. It was interesting to watch. I was honestly more comfortable sitting at home with my sister.

Still, we got to have a Thanksgiving dinner with a big family and I should be grateful for that.

What am I thankful for? My whole life. Even the bad stuff. My family, my friends, my schooling, my privileged place in a global society... I am grateful for having a life, because the alternative is worse. As someone who has previously been suicidal, I have a special depth of gratefulness for everything good in my life and for my opportunity to keep healthy and to see those good things clearly.

So happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Birthday

Nov. 25th, 2015 02:24 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
My 22nd birthday was November 24th!

I got lots of cool stuff from my family and friends. A coffee Christmas ornament, some new music, a manga volume, a faux Hogwarts letter, and the entire Smallville series on DVD.

My sister took me out to lunch and took me out shopping. I bought an Ed Sheeran T shirt from Hot Topic on her money. My entire Mom's side of the family (who I'm closer to) called to wish me a happy birthday, and I got lots of birthday wishes on Facebook.

My sister made me steak for dinner, and we also had apple pie. (I prefer pie over cake.)

There's crazy stuff going on in the world right now. The Syrian war against ISIS, the Paris terrorist attacks, and the tensions between Turkey and Russia because Turkey shot down a Russian war plane coming over its territory.

So my birthday wish, even though it sounds cheesy, is for peace to come to all parties and the world to all come together for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As always, I thank the world for another year, and put myself in the hands of God.

Spectre

Nov. 15th, 2015 03:42 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went to see Spectre in theaters on Saturday, with my sister and a friend. I'm here to write a review.

First, I've got to admit, I love Daniel Craig as James Bond. He and the director really got together and made something special with this series. He's human and realistic while still being Bond and I love that.

The other supporting roles in this series are also really good, though, and that continued in this movie. Fiennes was especially fantastic. And there was an interesting lead female this time, interesting for a variety of reasons: she does important things, she doesn't fall into bed with Bond immediately, she understands Bond and, most importantly, SPOILER ALERT, she survives at the end.

And now I have to admit something: I did not like her and Bond ending up together.

First, there's the fact that James Bond has some very serious issues involving getting into bed with women. I'm not sure if him ending up with one woman is realistic at all. But more than that, it felt FORCED. Their relationship felt forced and it was not built up enough.

I also must admit that the plot was a little weak. I didn't get enough of a reason for WHY Christoph Waltz's character has done all these horrible things, and how he's orchestrated them. The subplot between M and C was a little better, I thought -- more details and rationale were added.

And of course, as always with Bond, it was high adrenaline and high octane and millions-of-dollar pieces of equipment were used, discarded, and completely totaled. So that was nice. The action was good. Some of the dry quips were greatly placed at all the right high-stress moments.

What I'm saying is there were good characters and action, but the actual plot felt a bit lost in the details. I'm still putting it under "favorites", though, because Daniel Craig and James Bond.

Anyway, now it's Sunday and I'm having Vietnamese coffee and watching football at home with Cowboy Bebop Dude. He brought over a little Vietnamese coffee maker, a coffee grinder, and some condensed milk. Vietnamese coffee is sweet, but very good.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I hung out with my friend -- the one I went to see Paper Towns with -- again tonight. It'll probably be the last time I spend any one on one time with her before I move away permanently.

I went over to her house and we made breakfast for dinner together. We had veggie-laden scrambled eggs, grapes, and toasted bagels. Her family was there, which made it a little awkward, but they're really friendly people. Their house is an eclectic mess and they have horses out back. Just your typical working class country home.

After "dinner", my friend and I watched August Rush and ate from a bag of chocolates. Her brother watched with us. We laughed and made jokes, and my friend and I both agreed Jonathan Rhys Meyers is really hot. (We think it's partially the accent. Aaron Johnson and Christian Bale are really hot, too.)

My friend and her brother drove me home at the end of the night, which I thought was really nice of them. "My father's probably in his armchair, with his shoes off, sleeping, so it would be nice if you could drive me home," I joked.

I had a fun time!
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Today, me and my mother and sister decided to make some gluten free pancakes.

Me and my sister started out in the kitchen together. The bag said to use 1 cup of mix, and we had 2 bags. I shouted to my mother, "Do you want me to just use 2 cups of mix?!"

She said, "Throw in both bags!"

I asked her at least twice if she was sure she wanted me to do that. Mom kept saying yes, sounding increasingly annoyed. She knew that with gluten pancakes, you needed two bags of mix, and she wasn't listening to me and assumed I was just confused.

So at last, shrugging, I poured in both bags of mix. We put in the usual amount of other ingredients, times two, but it was still weirdly dry. And then Mom came out and read the package and she realized... I'd been right. We were only supposed to use one cup of mix per bag for gluten free pancakes. We'd just made six or seven cups of mix in place of the usual one or two.

Not wanting to throw away all that mix, and chuckling to ourselves and teasing Mom endlessly, we put the mix in a giant 10-by-10 metal bowl that filled the whole stove, and then added in all the other ingredients, times four. I kept calling out the correct measurements and my mother and sister kept doubting me before realizing I was right. Oh ye of little faith.

What we ended up making was well over two dozen gluten free pancakes. They were pretty tasty, though. We added in blueberries, pecans, cinnamon, honey, and vanilla. Gluten pancakes are usually too sweet for me, but these were just about perfect. All I did was slap on a little butter and I made it through two easily.

So that was our excitement for the day. As my sister says, "Bad decisions make good stories."

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Hopeless Dreamer

March 2016

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