Taking on the World

First off, I just want to thank everyone for all their love and support after I posted My Journey Through Depression and Back. I was so nervous about putting it out there, because it’s the most personal thing I’ve ever written, but the reception was amazing. I heard so many stories similar to mine–guys, you are NOT ALONE! Keep telling your stories, and reaching out.

Now that I am healthy, my brain is going in a thousand different directions. I want to take on EVERYTHING. I started this post to apologize for not having a review up today, but the reason I don’t have one, is because I am doing SO MUCH on the back end of the blog that you cannot see. I have a regular job that pays the bills, but when I am not doing that, my brain just doesn’t stop. It just continually sucks in information, and if I am not feeding it, it yells at me. It’s like a baby or a cat. I am so excited that I feel this way. I have never loved learning as much as I do right now.

Here’s just a taste of what I am working on right now:

Every day I read a chapter from The Ramayana, a section from The Treasury of Poems (which is usually 4-8 poems), and a chapter from whatever book adultbooklr has chosen for the month.

I am also taking a class on Coursera–The Psychology of Popularity–so I do a module of that.

I have a few Youtubers I make sure to catch up on at lunch.

And then of course there’s whatever book I am reading for me (and for you)! Right now it’s Les Miserables…which is why there is no review today. It is a bit of a monster and is taking me longer than I expected to get through. This is not a one day-er!

 

I just started a big project yesterday that I’m quite excited…and nervous…about. I’m hoping to have it completed by the beginning of next month, but I’m not going to make any promises. It’s a pretty large undertaking, and something I’ve never done before, so we’ll see! I’ll let you guys know when I have more information to give you 😉

 

Anyway, just wanted to give you something for today, and a little window into my daily life. Phew. It’s a lot. But, I’m loving it, absorbing it all. I’m sure I won’t be able to keep on this pace forever, but I’m going to take it all in as long as I can!

My Journey Through Depression and Back

I’ve wanted to share this post for a while now. I originally wrote it in May, but shortly after I did, my grandfather passed away and so my recovery took a pretty heavy hit. By now I’ve talked to a few of you about this, at least bits and pieces. I’ve even gotten closer to a few new friends who have or are going through similar things. I wrote this to cleanse my soul of the darkness, but I am sharing it so others can benefit from it. I want you to know that there is light at the end of it. It hasn’t been easy to get here, and I’m still working every day to stay in the light, but I’m here, and it’s beautiful.

I have depression. To be specific, I had a Major Depressive Episode in late February that tumbled me over the edge into darkness. There are a lot of factors that led to that episode—I am not going to discuss them all here.

I am going to start by telling you that I have had anxiety for several years. Mostly, I can deal with it, but around the holidays last year it started ramping up to uncontrollable levels. That was the first red flag that something was wrong, but I shrugged it off. It didn’t go away. It only got worse, and I started having some weird obsessive behaviors I’d never had before—racing thoughts that my body just couldn’t keep up with. If you’re a regular follower on this blog, you know that’s when I started pushing myself to read harder books, “study books,” I called them. That’s only a tip of the iceberg. I was trying to be better at everything. Full-on perfectionist mode. Lists EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t stop, and I was ramping up to a crash.

In February, my anxiety really hit a peak, along with a truck load of stress. And then, at the very end of the month, my cat Smokey, who I had raised from a kitten to 16, got very sick and I had to put her down. That was the tipping point. The grief of losing my best friend and furbaby just tore apart any last strength I had. As much as I love Dallas, I hadn’t built up much of a support system here yet, and without friends to reach out to, I just broke.

At first, it just felt like grief. I tried really hard to shrug it off. She was just a cat, right? Why do I feel this devastated? My husband and best friend (who lives several states away) tried to reassure me, but I couldn’t pull myself up. It just got worse instead of better. My motivation for work and yoga fell away. I slept a LOT. I work from home, so the obligation to get up and drag myself into the next room is all that kept me from calling in every day. Cleaning was impossible in any room but that one—where my almost contradictory manic anxiety kept me rearranging drawers and shelves daily. My normal multitasking focus was at a grinding halt—and I didn’t care. I was hardly even reading or blogging (even though my racing perfectionist brain was screaming FAILURE FAILURE!). I stared at my books and lists trying to find the motivation.

I read the first 20% of Moby-Dick three times. I watched a LOT of Gilmore Girls in bed eating pizza my friend ordered me (from Florida) so I would remember to eat something. I didn’t go to yoga for weeks at a time, or would skip classes regularly.

The thing was—there was still a part of me deep inside who wanted to be normal. She wanted to go to yoga with her favorite instructors. She wanted to read and review the books on the list she’d so carefully made for March. And since when is eating ever a problem? Not to mention the added stress of watching the problems at work and not being able to focus enough to fix them, and putting all the household duties on my husband.

But I couldn’t make myself care. And so the two parts of me were at war with each other. This fostered so much self-hatred and self-doubt that it consumed everything. This is the hardest part of my illness to conquer. Normal Haley is a fairly confident person. But I have been reduced to shreds of that now.

I was never actually suicidal. I am grateful that while the darkness consumed me, it could have been much worse. I did suffer from what I was told is “Passive Suicidal Thoughts”—which scared the living hell out of me, and is what led me to get help. These thoughts—like taking a couple of Advil for a headache and then thinking “What if I just took the whole bottle?”—were not a plan, and were never wanted. They popped into my head randomly and usually left me sobbing on the floor. I didn’t take that Advil by the way, headache be damned.

Scary as they were, I know those passive thoughts are a normal part of the monster. And those thoughts and feelings scared me into reaching out for help. With the encouragement and support of my husband, I contacted my work’s Employee Assistance Program for a counselor. My counselor was helpful in breaking down the cause of what I was going through and gave me the diagnosis of what is going on. She also included R in one of the sessions so he could more easily understand what I was going through.

We determined that medication would be helpful, both for my depression and anxiety. It took a couple of tries to find the right anti-depressant that worked for me, but thankfully I have a fantastic physician, and when we found the right one it was like turning on a light.

I still have a lot of work to do, and after several months most of my days are pretty great. Every once in a while I’ll have a few days where I wake up and go “oooooh no, ooooh no.” But for the most part, I’m doing much better. My yoga practice has strengthened again, and I’m reading enough that I can do blog posts most every day. I’m feeling much more organized, and I’m even taking a free psychology class online just because.


This is a very long post, I know, but I have just a few more things to say before I’m done.

I did leave some details out on purpose. I’m not going to disclose all of the original triggers for personal reasons, so please don’t ask. Keep in mind that while I am much stronger and am mostly out of depression, my anxiety is still a constant battle. Please be respectful of that.

I am not going to list the names of my medications, mostly because different meds work for different people. I don’t want you to make decisions based on what works for me—I think part of our problem today is everything is advertised now. Don’t just try what you see. Talk to your doctor, he/she may have ideas of what is best for your situation. Also, if something isn’t working for you after a few weeks, tell them. Don’t stay on a medication that makes you feel worse! My first AD made me want to sleep for 18+ hours a day, and the minute I walked in to my doctor’s office, he knew we needed to change it. When we did, suddenly the lights came on, almost to the point where I was disoriented because I didn’t know where all the energy came from and I overcorrected a bit. Things have levelled off now.

I have done a lot of reading on mental illness over the years—it is a personal interest/passion of mine. I have also had depression before, although I did not seek help at the time. Self-diagnosis can be a helpful thing when the symptoms are mild—you can find all sorts of resources online now. But there came a point when I couldn’t combat the monster myself anymore. Sometimes it’s just too big. And that is OK! Depression is an illness, just like the flu. Sometimes, we can defend ourselves. But other times, we need a doctor’s care and medicine, before we can fight it off. That doesn’t make us weak. It makes us human.


 

How can you get help? There’s so many different ways!

I went through my Employee Assistance Program. Most larger companies have some sort of system like this through their benefits program, and usually they are set up so employees can get help without the HR and managers knowing about it.

Colleges also have similar programs set up. Depression and anxiety are so common where students are in unstructured, stressful environments away from home. I know mine had a whole counseling center for that purpose.

For those younger people, talk to your parents if you can. If not—find a mentor. Guys, I PROMISE there is an adult out there who has noticed a change in you, even if you don’t realize it. A teacher, a religious leader, your favorite librarian. Someone. Reach out to them. They can help.

Depression is SO hard. And everyone has their own monster to fight. There is pain, there is apathy, there is self-hatred, and there is all consuming darkness. But I promise, at the end, there is light. I know because I can see it. I’m not all the way out standing in it yet, but it’s there, and it’s getting closer. And so I reach for it, every day.

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I can’t do a post about depression without giving you the most important resources–where to go if you REALLY need help right away. Guys, there is absolutely no shame in admitting that you cannot do it alone anymore. *raises hand* I had to admit it. Below are some hotlines if you are in crisis, or know someone in crisis.

I’ve listed a lot of numbers below, but did you know there’s also now a chat set up? For people with anxiety, it’s pretty great. I don’t know about you, but I really hate calling people (pretty ironic for someone who talks on the phone all day, huh?)

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/lifelinechat.aspx

 

Blogoversary

I just realized, when I tore my calendar page off today, that my first blogoversary passed in April completely unnoticed. I had quite a bit going on at the time, and I completely forgot about it!

It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing for over a year. I’ve had blogs before, about food mostly, restaurant reviews, travel. All of them fell by the wayside. I lacked motivation and inspiration, subject matter, audience. I knew I wanted to write, but I just didn’t know what to put out there.

When I started I Lay Reading, it was part of my Happiness Project. I wanted to read more, read harder, read better. Part of that goal was to interact with other people about what I was reading, and write more in depth about what I was learning. And so, this blog was born. I never expected to write every day, or for very many people to see it. I certainly didn’t expect for any of my posts to go viral on Reddit or Pinterest. But those things have happened. And every time they do I sit here and just stare at my computer in wonder. People like me, they really really like me! It’s such a joy to share my love of reading with each and every one of you. Thank you, for joining me in this journey.

A little bit about me, for those who have found the blog along the way:

I’m a recent transplant to Dallas, by way of Indianapolis. We’ve been here just under a year now, and are learning to love this big, hot metropolis. I’ve been reading since before I can remember–and I read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on. Seriously, everything. My TBR is in the thousands, so I am not always reading the most current books (although I try to keep up), but I’m constantly cycling through to read what I think is most interesting. I am also trying to complete the Boxall’s 1000 Books to Read Before you Die, so you’ll see me reference that quite often. I love recommendations, so if you see me read something and think of something I should read next, let me know in the comments! I do read every comment, guys, and I love chatting with you. Twitter is my favorite mode of communication, but Instagram and Tumblr are great places too!

Again, I just want to thank all of my followers, and all of the bookish friends I have made in the last year. You make reading and blogging so much fun!

For My Grandaddy

Grandaddy.

 

My favorite person in the entire world.

 

Since I can remember, we had a special bond. Maybe it’s because I was first, or maybe there was just something between us that I can’t name. But whatever it was, it was THERE. You were my Grandaddy. Solid, upstanding, loving, funny, and going to outlive us all.

 

Why? Because you were the most stubborn person I’ve ever known in my entire life. If there was something you wanted, by george you were gonna make it happen. And if you felt that something was right, well, you stood unshaking in your conviction.

 

That created a family full of stubborn, opinionated, strong-willed people. The P. blood in us does not waver much. We even have a pout that we master early when we don’t get our way. Even the newest of us waited so long that is mama couldn’t be here today. But around 830 last night, my new nephew was born, giving Grandaddy one more grandson.

 

But even with all that stubbornness, you were also one of the most loving men I’ve ever known. You were the patriarch of our family, and you wore that badge with honor, praying over every meal, hugging the grandkids—making sure every one of us knew we were loved, shown through gifts, mementos, trips. We all got rings on our 16th birthday—mine doesn’t quite fit anymore, but it’s here.

 

One of my favorite memories is going to the Kentucky Horse Park for my 13th birthday. A whole weekend just for me. My favorite horse was Romeo, a red and white dapple that I got to ride on the trail with you. And we ate blackberry cobbler in the cafeteria—your favorite.

 

The love of Grandaddy’s life was…KENTUCKY BASKETBALL. Sorry Nana, you were probably a close second. Since long before I came into the picture, he was obsessed. And even while I was born into a Boilermaker family, Kentucky Blue trumped all. He even bought a Tennessee-loving boyfriend of mine a Kentucky hat once, because heaven forbid he wear orange near Grandaddy. But then, I accidentally committed the ultimate crime. I planned my wedding in October. That’s right…I did it. I made him choose—his beloved granddaughter’s wedding…or the Midnight Madness basketball practice he had been going to for decades with my uncle. It’s been a running joke in the family ever since. At least…I hope it’s a joke. I’ve been forgiven for that, right Uncle S? *fingers crossed*

 

Still, a few years later, when that marriage ended, and I felt I had let everyone down—it was my Grandaddy who was there to take me out to lunch and make sure I was taking care of myself. It was a tradition carried over from college, and it meant the world to me, especially then.

 

It was on those dates when I really got to know my Grandaddy. He was such a great storyteller when you got to know him one on one, and he had so many to tell—from growing up in Chicago, to meeting Nana and living in Kentucky. He loved to travel and could remember landmarks from any road trip he’d ever been on. And by landmark…I really mean BBQ joints.

 

It wasn’t really until I met Richard that I realized my whole life I had been looking for a man like my Grandaddy. I joked before, Nana, but he sure loved you. I grew up with a model of true love and friendship every time I saw Ed look at Carol—when I came in the kitchen early in the morning, and saw them sharing the newspaper, he with his cheerios and bananas, Nana with her tea; or in the afternoons when he’d rub her back so sweetly before her nap. He was a helpful, guiding, affectionate husband—and he was always teasing her about something with that ornery twinkle in his eye. And Nana would usually give it right back to him. That’s what I wanted—their partnership. I don’t remember a difficult moment, or a happy one, where they were not together. And so I thank you both, for being such great role models for us all.

 

Richard and I were home in February for a late Christmas, and we spent and afternoon visiting Grandaddy on our way north. Nana asked if he knew who I was and, with that same ornery twinkle in his eye, he winked and insisted my name was Elaine…at the same time he hugged me. I am absolutely certain he knew exactly who I was, and was just ragging Nana on—because he asked us a lot of questions about Dallas and work and, of course, BBQ.

 

My last conversation with my Grandaddy, my favorite person in the world, was about a hole in the wall joint called Blalocks, between Dallas and Texarcana. We pulled it up on our phones and it was just as he remembered. He was, of course, stubbornly determined that he was going to get better and we were going to go get BBQ there next summer. I said, “Absolutely. You come see us in Texas and we will go to Blalocks for BBQ when you feel better!”

 

Grandaddy, I will always love you. You will always be my most favorite person. And I know you will be there when Richard and I stop in Mt. Pleasant, TX on our way home, for that feel good BBQ. Think they’ll have any cobbler?

March Photo Challenge: Reading Place

When we moved to Texas, part of the transition was for me to pack up my cubicle in Indy, and begin working from home. I am luckier than most–my company had just begun reducing their office footprint and allowing our employees to telecommute, and so when my husband’s job transferred him, I didn’t have to start all over.

My office is now our bright second bedroom, overlooking the neighborhood. I have a giant picture window instead of gray cube walls, and I have nothing but piece and quiet to work in all day. Husband aside…for the most part. It’s quite a lovely situation!

I also get quite a lot of reading done at this desk whenever I am not working, and it is where all these blogs are written. I’ve shown you guys my reading couch, so I thought I’d show you my other reading place:  my desk.

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I have all my essentials around me at all times:  journal, laptop (I can’t show you my work computers, so those are off screen. The desk is really quite huge.), books of course. On my board are all the lists to keep track of challenges and goals. Baseball baseball baseball.

Hope you enjoyed a peek into this blogger’s life. Where do you like to read?

Food Philosophy

Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter knows I love to eat.

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Good food, in my book, beats everything. So many memories come out of a good meal. There’s always good conversation–whether you are eating with family, or sitting alone at a pub, talking to a bartender, or fellow beer nerds.

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Everyone’s got to eat, and everyone has a strong opinion about their food. And when the conversation veers away from what is on the plate, topics range anywhere from life to books to politics and back again.

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I will almost never pass on the opportunity for a great meal. And that means I am never going to be a skinny woman. But hey, if good food and better conversation means I am not what society thinks is “beautiful,” than screw them.

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Pass the beer and cheese please.

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Thanks for being patient with me this week! I’m back from vacation, and I have a BUNCH of stuff to post in the next week or so. It was hard being away from the blog, I kept journaling posts to write! 🙂

Stay tuned!

TreesofReverie December Readathon – Daily Challenge #1 – Introduction

Show or explain to us what your collection of books looks like. Do you have a specific way or order to how you like to keep your books?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am mildly obsessive about certain things. My reading habits are where I am the most compulsive, probably because it is the one thing in my life that has been the most constant.

My books HAVE to be arranged alphabetically by author, then title. There is no other way to do it, in my mind. They have always been this way, and they will remain this way. Every time I get a new book, it immediately gets shelved, and that can be a painstaking process sometimes, because everything has to get shifted–especially if that book is towards the beginning of the alphabet!

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There are a few exceptions to the alphabetic rule…but very few.

I have a To Be Read shelf now, but those books are also in order by author, of course.

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I also have pulled some “reference” and “miscellaneous” books out of the regular collection, mostly because they just didn’t fit into any real order and they were messing up the aesthetics…and most likely they are going to end up in a closet soon, because I’m running out of space in my two bookcases.

Do you have a moment in your life where your love of books and reading became significantly evident? Is there a particular thing, event or person that influenced your passion for books?

I don’t remember not reading. My love for books is more like breathing than an actual hobby. My mom told me once that when I was little, before Kindergarten, she came upstairs and found me sitting on the floor reading one of her romances. I looked at her and said, “Mommy, this book has people kissing, and they aren’t married. You shouldn’t read this.” I can remember sitting at the base of our giant bookshelves up there and just being surrounded by books, pulling them all off the shelves so I could look at them all.

What sort of book or world is your favourite to get lost in?

I love fantasy the most–but it has to be the kind of fantasy that is rooted in historical legend. Books like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. You know the kind I mean. The worlds that feel like you could almost step into it yourself.

I also really enjoy historical fiction based on real people, where the author has done extensive research. I want to be so transfixed that I feel like I am actually there, walking with the person.

What book/s would you recommend to others so that they could have a chance to get lost in your personal ‘bookish world’?

Any of the books I’ve already mentioned. The Thorn Birds, of course. The Secret GardenThe Slow Regard for Silent Things is another one of my more recent favorites, but they’d also need to read the rest of the Kingkiller Chronicles first.

 

Movin On–Indy to Dallas

We’ve been in Dallas almost three months now. That’s crazy to think about sometimes. I grew up in Indiana, and while I moved gradually from the north down to Indy, I never left the state. And now, we are living so far from home that sometimes it feels like a whole other planet.

There are a bunch of differences between Indiana and Texas, and a lot of similarities too. I meant to write this post sooner, and just kept putting it off. I don’t know why. It just never felt right. Still doesn’t, really.

Here’s some differences:

1. The tap water is never ever cold. This is a huge annoyance to me. I can’t just go get a drink from the faucet, I have to let the pitcher get cold in the fridge before it’s drinkable. I guess because the ground (and in turn the pipes) is warmer?

2. The roads don’t have potholes…just ridges. And mannnnn are they bumpy. They don’t use salt here from what I understand, so they don’t get the big gouges in the asphalt like Indiana does. Over time it just kind of shifts and creases into itself.

3. And speaking of roads….all of the sudden….SEMIs!!!! Funny story with this one. The freeways here are insane. They just build roads on top of roads on top of roads. So when you go on an onramp, you might have another on ramp crossing next to you, with cars coming the opposite direction. If you aren’t expecting it, it can be pretty jarring. One night, we were coming back from the movies, and hit one of these. R was driving, and all of the sudden, there was this semi coming RIGHT AT US. It looked like it was on our bridge. We thought we were going to die. But no, it was on the bridge next to us, but it was so scary. Driving here is taking a bit to get used to.

 

4. Children in bars. This has got to be one of my biggest annoyances. Until 9, children are allowed in bars. So all my favorite hangouts, where I go to be an adult, become family restaurants essentially. Which, on one hand, is great because our best friends have a 1 year old (who is an absolute joy when we go out), so they are able to come out with us more often. On the other, it means that there are 8 year olds running around being idiots while I’m trying to have a peaceful adult evening. For me, there’s a difference between Bar and Family Restaurant.

5. SPEED BUMPS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. There are these things called Frontage Roads that make entering and exiting highways so much easier. Thank you Texas for Frontage Roads.

7. I have trucker arm from sitting by my window in my office. Not even kidding. One of my arms is noticeably frecklier/tanner/sunburnt than the other.

8. Clouds are rare. It may be a little overcast in the morning, but by 10-11 am, it will be completely blue sky. And when it rains, it will rain straight down with very little wind. We had one really big storm with 90 MPH winds, but the air is just so still here.

 

My favorite thing about living in Dallas so far is that there is always something to do. There is always a festival going on–really just about every weekend. R is out of town this weekend, but Untappd is having a beer festival that we would have gone to probably if he was here. We’ve been to a Chipotle festival, there’s a big whiskey tasting coming up. There’s certainly no shortage of restaurants for us to check out. We also live right next door to the Dallas Arboretum, which is a big garden architecture place. I’ve even joined a yoga studio, which is something I’ve never considered doing until we moved here. We live right on a big lake with a walking path all the way around, and though we haven’t researched it yet, I think there are canoe/kayak rentals and stuff like that. There’s also a much bigger reservoir not too far from us.

Also, the people here are super friendly. You can’t go to a grocery store or sit at a bar without someone striking up a conversation with you. For someone who grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone…that’s my honey. I may be an introvert, but I also feel more awkward in social situations if I just sit at a bar and DON’T talk to the bartender, or the person sitting alone next to me. That’s just so weird to me. Because back home…I probably KNEW that bartender or that person sitting next to me. So when the girl in line behind me the other day at Target started laughing because she had a stack full of freezer meals and made fun of herself for being single, of course I chimed in about how not too long ago I was buying exactly the same thing! We were so distracted, the cashier had to cough to get my attention when it was my turn in line! Whoops!

It still doesn’t completely feel like home yet. My apartment does. I love our townhouse, with my office and the porch overlooking the neighborhood. But I’m still getting used to living in Texas. I’m trying to get out more often on my own, and I think once R’s store opens, that will help–we’ll get into a real routine, and I’ll stop by the store on my way back from yoga, like I used to do on my way home from work. We’re getting there. It was a bigger adjustment than I expected it to be, but it hasn’t necessarily been a bad one, just different.

I do really love that there is a taco stand on every block. Thank you lord for TexMex.

Witches’ Brew

One many pros about working from home is having access to my Keurig. I can’t have caffeine, so I was never able to have coffee at work. I still don’t drink it every day, but I treat myself once or twice a week with some yummy creamer.

Peppermint tea is another favorite of mine. Any kind of herbal tea, really!

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Isn’t my headset hair just fabulous? Haha!

Perfectionitis

I am a perfectionist.

I got it from my mother, but it manifested in a completely different way from hers. She LOVES to clean, and she always looks fantastic. Me–I am completely OCD about very particular things:  my books are alphabetical by author, then title; I am constantly making lists; my pens are separated by type and quality. I’m even making a list of WHY I’m OCD. Areas of my life are neat and tidy–like my office. Everything has to have it’s exact place or I am thrown completely out of wack.

At work, I obsess. I remember calls for weeks at least. Few names escape me, details are soaked up like a sponge. When people ask me questions or for help, I often either know the answer or where to go for help. I’m not trying to brag there, it’s just because I feel I have to be perfect. I feel very deficient if I don’t know how to solve something. My job is very much about critical thinking and puzzles, and I will agonize over the tough ones or if I think I’ve made a mistake. I also have to have everything complete before I leave at the end of the day. It bugs the crap out of me if I can’t get my work done before I clock out at the end of the day. Open cases drive me crazy.

The big downside to all of this is that I am a perfectionist to the point that if there is something I can’t do perfectly, I won’t do it. This sometimes comes across as laziness, but that isn’t the whole picture. Not really. My introvert nature does enable me to sit still for long periods of time, and I do love to read. But really, I am never satisfied with what I do, and it completely frustrates me. In my head, I should be able to pick up a guitar and play like Jimi Hendrix. Or a paint brush and create a Monet masterpiece. Why does my pen not flow into Rowling billions? My brain knows that these things take years of hard work and practice, but I feel like I should just instantly be perfect.

Even picking up a sponge to clean a bathroom is hard for me sometimes. Why isn’t it instantly spotless? I’ve scrubbed all afternoon and it’s still streaky! It’s why I would rather fold laundry into piles and put them away all at once. It’s a system, so that the shirts and underwear and tanks all go into the drawers in their perfect little piles. I’m sure it’s silly, but it’s what makes sense in my head.

I wish sometimes that I had gained the type of perfectionalism that makes me want to be super healthy and fashionable all the time. Because, actually, I do really want to be those things. I just don’t know how to be that kind of perfect perfectly. And so, I’ll obsess if my books are in the right order and I’ll stack the notebook paper on my desk just one more time so that it lines up just right. And you know all of my work will be done before I clock out. Because that, I can do. Perfectly. Or at least as close as I can get.

It’s just who I am. I am a perfectionist.