Another one of my very own #YesAllWomen moments

ImageGen

Today I received a phone call from a guy.

I was weary to answer the call because my last encounter with him ended with him yelling at me that I’m a bitch because I had been avoiding hanging out with him, and him hitting me with a glow stick so hard that I had a welt for two days.

He had been calling me incessantly—15 times in one day. I kept ignoring the call, or having my friends answer because I was so sick of telling him that I didn’t want to hang out. One of my friends ended up pitying him and telling him where I was.

When he found me, I was cuddling with someone else on a couch, which made him very, very angry. I knew he was jealous, and I get it. The kid liked me, but we had no actual relationship other than the fact that a month prior we had hooked up once or twice (be it the intoxicants or the quality of the company, it wasn’t particularly memorable).

He not only tried to get violent with me, but also the person I was cuddling with. It was at that point when I decided to leave for my own safety—even though my friend’s house was where I was planning on staying the night because I was in town visiting.

He then texted me accusing me of getting him involved in drama that he didn’t want to be “dragged into.” All this after I tried desperately to avoid him for 10 hours while he did everything he could to hunt me down.

Fast forward to today when he called me. He said he was calling to apologize. I was glad that he was taking a step in recognizing that he fucked up—but it devolved into him saying that he was pissed that I was with someone who was “not as cool as him.”

It was at this point where I (literally) said “I am not your property and I can have sex with whomever I want.”

His response was “I know, but…” whereupon he continued to man-splain to me that he did have rights to my body over other men because he was cooler than them.

If that’s not male entitlement and rape culture than I don’t know what is.

#YesAllWomen

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Sleep Walking

These past couple months almost feel like they never even happened. It’s like a dream. A recurring one. I remember it well enough, but it’s still fuzzy around the edges. I feel like I’ve been asleep since last June. Nothing I’ve done was really real or mattered, even though it did and it does.

I suppose that’s what depression is. Sleep walking through life. Sometimes you have nightmares. Sometimes you have beautiful golden dreams—only to realize that they were clouds on the wind. But mostly it’s just dark and grey. And you can never quite pinpoint where you got there or just how long you’ve been there.

Waking up hurts so bad. It is a deep and painful ache that finds its way from your lungs to your fingertips. It is the worst part. But if you remember to stretch your atrophied limbs and walk off the numbness in your hips—you can find the vividity and veritude of waking life. It might not be the golden dream of a sleep walker, but it’s real and awake.

An Open Letter to my Friends, Family, Colleagues and Peers

I am withdrawing from the semester.

For some of you this may come as a shock, others a disappointment, and a few may have seen this coming.

While I am very close to graduating this semester, (as many of you have been so obnoxiously reminding me) my grades have suffered because of my battle with depression and anxiety. It got to the point where not only did I not feel capable of salvaging my grades, but I no longer had the motivation to try.

That’s the thing with depression. Motivation and excitement and desire dry up. I lost 10 lbs in two weeks. The majority of my caloric intake was alcohol.  I got sicker and smaller, forgetting the people and things I used to love. This was my February.

I would like to say for the record, that even though this crisis was triggered by a break up, I was depressed long before I met that person. I do not blame him for my depression and anxiety. We crossed paths at a very fragile time. It could have been anyone and I would have shattered just as sharply. I wish him the best.

Making the choice to withdraw from the semester has been one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made. It was not one that was made lightly. This is not me giving up on school—this is me recognizing that I am important. My mental health is more important than graduating on time. Sure, I could try and finish out the semester—but at what cost?

Before I made this choice I hoped that I would get hit by a car every day so that I would have a “legitimate” excuse to withdraw. After deciding to withdraw, I’m able to get out of bed. My anxiety is gone. I am no longer paralyzed because I have control over my future again. I have a feeling that my depression will never leave me completely, but it’s like a buzzing sound—one that I’m able to tune out after hearing it for so long. Now that I’m sitting here writing, the buzz has begun to fade into the distance.

Now, since I’ve started telling people that I’m withdrawing I’ve gotten some of the same questions over and over again so here’s a quick FAQ section:

Q: Are you sure????

A: Yes. I have discussed this decision with multiple counselors through UHS, two advisors and an academic dean. This is not a severe case of Senoritis.

Q: Are you dropping out?

A: No. I will be returning in the fall to finish my degree.

Q: Are you going back to LA for the summer until next fall?

A: No. I will be staying in Madison for the remainder of the semester and through the summer.

Q: What will you be doing instead of class?

A: I’m looking for a job in Madison. I’ll let you know when I get one. Other than that, I’ve been writing a lot (submitting to ThoughtCatalog.com), learning ukulele with my main girl Alana, and even learning a bit of code through Codeacademy.com.

Q: How can I support you?

A: 1) Please don’t question my choice to withdraw, trust my ability to make  decisions for myself. 2) Talk to me, if you feel comfortable doing so. Even if it’s just a text, lunch or catching up over coffee. Spending time with people I care about makes me feel much, much better. 3) If you’re uncomfortable with my decision, or think that you’ve got too much on your own plate to have me involved in your life, please take care of yourself. I won’t be offended.

Last but not least, I would like to ask that everyone remember that mental illnesses are legitimate ailments and that we treat them as such.

For my sisters, brothers, and otherwise identified siblings who are experiencing mental illness, remember that you are important. And that I believe in you.

 UHS Mental Health Crisis Line: 608-265-5600

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

-Hailey

How do you deal with the dirty secret of mental illness in a memoir?

Awesome article about disclosure. I think the advice in this piece extends beyond the limits of writing.

Live to Write - Write to Live

Mental illness, these days it runs rife in all of our lives, if not most of our families and for some of us, it might even be a way of life. While it may be charming to write about Aunt Dot’s confusing a hat stand for a man, or mom’s forgetting for the second time that day where she left her keys (that would be me) it’s not really fun to document a person’s slide into the deep dark pits of mental illness.

A twisted road  Photo credit: Marc Nozell A twisted road
Photo credit: Marc Nozell

Where days are spent under covers and when thoughts go to slicing through delicate wrist tissue.

Who wants to hear about that, right? Unless, of course, there is a message we can learn from it.

And yet, if, IF, there is a rise above that mental illness, we can often find ourselves with a new hero. Case in point, the…

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Beyond the Blog: Developing Your Online Presence as a Writer

The Daily Post

We recently highlighted ways that some of you integrate Tumblr into your online routine and use this platform to complement your work on WordPress.com, which is your online hub. Since the internet is a very big playground, let’s talk about other ways to develop your web presence and personal brand strategically, as well as use WordPress.com to promote your writing in a way that makes sense for you.

View original post 1,051 more words

If you’re day as been anything like mine, it’s gone a little like this: A gifset

When you wake up late and jump out of the shower like

mermaid

You walk into your first power lecture of the day like

spongebob1

When your professor brings donuts as an apology for assigning too much homework

yes-wait-wtf

When she says something offensive in the first five minutes

wvnOO

Watching a movie for the rest of the class like

sleepy

When she calls on you when you’re not paying attention

omg

But she’s actually calling on another person with the same name as you

relief

The class finally ends, but you have another power lecture in the same exact room

please

Writing inspiration from Tim Ferriss and Neil Strauss

In my writing adventures I’ve had many ups and downs and drop offs (obviously). But one day I hope to be like these guys–living the dream by writing and thinking everyday and making money off of it. It’s a long video (over an hour), but it’s totally worth it and super interesting.

Gotta thank my buddy iamalexbirkett for forwarding this video to me.