Never forget that… 

Never forget that who you are isn’t entangled in depression or Bipolar. They are simply illnesses that don’t allow you to be you. 

If you are afraid of taking medication because it’ll make you less of who you are, remember that this is what your mental illness wants you to believe. 

Medicated Zombie

Some days I find myself spacing out a lot, or not laughing at things that I usually find funny. People often ask me if I’m okay, and I don’t know what to say to them. I walk around without a smile on my face, but I feel fine inside.

These are the moments that make me feel like a medicated zombie.

It’s true, I don’t have suicidal thoughts anymore. Gone are the gloomy days and the painful nights I’d grown accustomed to. Gone is the need to use coping skill after coping skill just to stay afloat. I no longer feel everything on the spectrum, from manically happy to extremely depressed.

I’m really thankful for that, but the drawback is that those emotions have been replaced with a dull lingering boredom.

I feel colorblind.

I feel like everyone else can see the reds and blues and yellows and greens of the world and all I see is gray.

gray.

I miss the colors. I wonder if I’m missing out on those beautiful magentas and marigolds.

Even if I have to see the dark colors sometimes, isn’t it worth it to get to see the bright ones?

I feel like part of my brain has access to all of those things, but the other part refuses to react. That’s what the medication does to me.

Part of me wants to laugh or cry, but a much stronger part refuses to. Part of me wants to explode, but I don’t have the will to do it anymore.

I do, however, have the will to get things done and be responsible.

It’s so boring.

At least the Jess I was before medication had a personality.

I feel like mine is completely gone. Like I’ve lost my originality. My creativity. Like I’ve been stripped of everything that made me, me.

It seems devastating, but to tell you the truth, all I’m feeling about it right now is indifference. That’s how I feel about most things lately.

So where do I go from here? I’m not sure, honestly.

I could keep living my medicated life without fear of losing my job, losing my friends, hurting my husband, feeling so low that I can’t function.

Or I could go back to all of that and feel like myself again.

Is Bipolar who I am though? Or is that a lie that it’s telling me to lure me back into its arms?

All I know is that I don’t have to have all the answers today. Today I can relax and let go of my worries. I’m off from work for the rest of the evening and I plan on spending some quality time with my wonderful husband.

Jess

 

I’m Getting Married!! 

That’s right! I’m getting married on May 6th to the man of my dreams. No fake names here. My future husband, Kameron Nix and I are tying the knot! A little over a month from now I’ll be Mrs. Jessica Nix! Kameron, I love you so much. You’re my world.

I finally found my forever. If you’ve followed this blog since the beginning you know how important that is to me.

 More on all of this later. Love y’all! 

-Jess

When you mess up, all is not lost

Listen… People do dumb shit.

People make mistakes. Not just mistakes they never thought they’d make, but also mistakes that they are prone to making over and over again.

Everytime we make these mistakes it makes us feel worse. Makes us feel like we can’t even do the simplest things.

I know I’ve written on making mistakes and ruminating thoughts before. I mentioned planning do improve the situation in the future. Making a specific plan to allow yourself to make better choices when the time comes.

But how about that dread you feel right after you make the mistake? Feeling like there’s nothing you can actively to at the moment to make it better? Feeling like even if you plan to do better you’re just going to make the mistake again so there’s no point in trying.

That shit hurts.

Let’s break this down:

I skipped both of my classes this week. It isn’t something I planned. It isn’t even something I wanted. The time rolled around and I just didn’t go. As it was happening I turned off that voice inside me that asked me what I was doing.

“why am I doing this to myself? I feel so guilty. I feel like a failure. I bet next week I’m going to do the same shit.”

This inner dialog came up whenever I thought about working out as well. I didn’t work out this week. The last time I worked out was Sunday. Not the worst, and I haven’t gained any weight because I’ve been pretty good with counting my calories. But I definitely don’t feel active enough.

It’s weird. It could be so simple. As Nike says, I could “just do it.”

Why don’t I? Why don’t I just work out and feel good about myself? Why don’t I just drive to class and sit my butt in a chair and listen to the teacher? Listen to  the voice in my head begging me to help myself.

But here’s the thing..  I have done that.

I have pushed myself before.
I have tried hard.
I have succeeded.
I have gotten the job done.

It’s not like I never work out or go to class. And this isn’t to say that I’m perfect or because I’ve done it in the past I should let myself off the hook. It means that if I did it last week, I can do it next week.

Giving up because I messed up this week wouldn’t make sense.

I fucked up so I’m just going to keep fucking up and continue to make myself feel this way.

I’ll stop working out and eat more and every time I put food to my mouth I’ll hate myself.
I’ll drop this class and every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the semester I’ll feel this pang of guilt and jealousy towards the other students who didn’t give up.

The rational (and sometimes difficult to see for a depressed person) plan is to try to do better next week. And remind yourself why you started.

I started workong out because I wanted to look fit when I go home in August to visit friends and family.

During my workouts I feel shitty but afterwards I feel really good about myself. Like I overcame my body’s reluctance to do it. I feel strong and happy.

Every time I see the scale lower I feel like my effort was for a reason

When I’m in class and I am understanding the lesson I feel smart and accomplished. When I pass tests with flying colors I’m on top of the world.

When I wasn’t in school I was miserable. I felt out of place. I knew I belonged in a class and I belonged on this track.

If you fail, don’t just throw in the towel. Do you know just how many days are left in your life to succeed?

No. You don’t.

So don’t assume you’ll use that time to fail.
Assume that eventually with some effort you’ll get back on track.

I can’t remember who said it but I read this phrase recently “if you had a flat tire, you wouldn’t just slash the other three.”

Genius.

Don’t hurt yourself when you’re already hurting.

Get back on that goddamn horse because you deserve to be happy.

I personally, am gonna work out TONIGHT.

YES, TONIGHT. Because as much as my head tells me it’s not true, I know that every workout counts. And the sooner I do it again the more workouts I’ll have on my side.

And this weekend I’m gonna study on my own and cover what I missed. Skipping two classes doesn’t make me a failure.

Listening to the voice in my head that tells me I can’t do it does.

You deserve to do better.
You deserve to feel better.

Go get it. Whatever it is.

-Jess

The Dr. Phil Show and triggers

I can’t give any advice on how to deal with triggers. It’s one of the few things I have no answer for. One of the few things I’m never prepared for.

My reaction to triggers whether it be an emotional reaction or a physical reaction is involuntary. I’m sure there are coping skills to fight off a bad trigger reaction but I can’t seem to bring myself to work on it. When they happen I just wait it out. It almost feels easier than acknowledging them.

It’s weird. Feeling dirty when I just got out if the shower. Having to put clothes on my still wet body. Wrapping myself in a blanket or pushing my face into Andy’s chest while I try to take deep breaths and let it pass.

It’s weird to be around my immediate family and feel this wave of disgust wash over every inch of me. I’m disgusting and everyone can see it.

It’s weird to watch a Dr. Phil episode and be able to relate with girls who’s family didn’t believe that they were abused by other family members.

But this isn’t about my family. This is about the aftermath.

I remember getting interviewed in this office. It had a window where my mom and a doctor could watch me. Judge me. I felt like I had done something bad by confiding in my school’s social worker with a problem I had had for two years.

A problem named Jesus Gonzalez.

A problem with a name that I haven’t said out loud in years.

Even writing it feels weird.

When I think of him my mind feels 9 again. I feel like that helpless defenseless little girl who just wanted someone to care about her.

The one who listened to music in her room at a very low volume and cried at a very low volume.

The one who wore a pair of shorts and a pair of sweatpants to bed along with a long sleeve shirt, a t shirt and a nightgown on top.

The one who would wedge a chair against her doorknob at night until he said she wasn’t allowed to do that anymore.

The one who knows what the blood in her lips tastes like.

The one who was touched, but not badly enough apparently.

You see, when they interrogated me and asked me what he used and if he put what he used inside me and I said no they assumed I had lied about the whole thing.

But why would a fifth grader lie? A fifth grade girl doesn’t usually know what that grown up stuff is about, much less how to accuse someone of doing said stuff to her.

“No, I was home sick and he was rubbing lotion on me while I pretended to be asleep. I always pretend to be asleep because I hate talking to him. He hurts me and makes me feel scared. He touched only the outside and before he could do more I told him to stop. He has hit me before, too.”

“…oh.”

Two days later I had to apologize to him when he came back home. I had to apologize to him.

Im not mad at my mom anymore. We all do stupid things. And to be mad at her now would be pointless. I’d be mad at a ghost. Because my mom is a completely different person now.

Im mad at the people who said through their actions that my abuser wasn’t abusive enough for them to care.

About two years ago I found myself in a psychiatric hospital. I remember meeting with a psychologist. Dr Dimwitty. And no, that’s not a fake name. It was the perfect name.

He asked me where my depression stems from.

“childhood trauma. ”
” What kind.”
“Mental, physical, sexual.”

“What kind of sexual trauma?”

“My stepfather molested me.”

“did he rape you?”

“no.”

“oh okay, so it wasn’t that bad.”

It’s that kind of language that is absolutely damaging to a person. Luckily for me I am very used to checking in with myself and my situation and it didn’t worsen my depression.

If anything…  It made me stronger.

But for a while there I started thinking that my abuse wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t so bad. Eventually I started to feel like I had never really been abused.

Then I saw this Dr Phil episode. One woman had been molested and raped,  and the other had been molested.

She was just like me. She was traumatized by these occurrences. I was traumatized by those occurrences.

I was diagnosed with depression in 2013. And if my step dad didn’t take part in creating that perfect storm for me then I don’t know what did.

It’s not okay that he would constantly walk in on me while I was changing.

It’s not okay that he would call me sexy, and a whore, and a bitch, and a sinner, and a woman.

It’s not okay that he pressured my boyfriend and I into having sex when I was sixteen.

It’s not okay that he watched us having sex through a window and his excuses were not valid when we caught him.

It is not okay that he struck me in the face.

It’s not okay that he touched me at all.

It’s. not. okay.

And honestly…  I find comfort in that.

So no cps, you don’t get to go home and feel like you did a good job with me. And no Dr. Dimwitty, you don’t get to tell me what degree of abuse is bad enough for you.

And no, Jesus Gonzalez, you do not get to live the rest of your life thinking what you did…

…. was okay.

Jess.

Where did we go? [[A poem]]

 

You were my dream before I even knew you.

I hoped you’d be out there somewhere and that for now we were just trying to get ourselves together. Trying to love ourselves and accept our flaws so that we’d be ready for each other when the time came.

And then the time came.

All of those moments when I felt like you may not exist washed away. When I took that road trip with my mom she held a missing person’s poster close to her heart. As she held it close and soaked it with her tears one, by one, by one…

I wondered if we shared more than just the same blood.

But then I saw your face, and for the first time – for the very first time – I felt reassured. I felt calm.

When I looked at you, I saw everything.

My heart beating quickly, the beauty in myself. I saw you looking at me the way no one else ever had.

The way I always wanted someone to look at me.

The way I looked at you, too.

Your smile sent an electric current through me.

Do you remember the night we made that fort in my apartment? It was filled with christmas lights and warm blankets. We bought wine and ordered pizza, dedicated to a night in. You smiled over me as I laid on the bed,Leon Bridges singing in the background. We had conversations and learned about each other. We laughed and you touched my face as gently as I had always wanted someone to.

And that was us. When the opportunity presented itself, we’d spend time together. That’s just what we wanted.

Now we can only seem to spend time together if there’s something around to entertain us. The TV, our phones, our own problems, our egos. So we order pizza and drink wine. We dedicate to stay in, but not because we want to be together.

Truth is we don’t want to go anywhere. Home is just the easiest place to exist.

We sit next to each other, but we don’t speak. We wish we could…. and we definitely could. But we don’t.

Why don’t we just speak?

Why don’t I just speak to you right now?

Perhaps because I don’t like talking to myself.

You sit with your denial, and I sit with my guilt.

We don’t try to work it out anymore.

We don’t even fight. We bicker. We stopped communicating. We stopped trying.

You stopped trying.

Right now there’s a fort in our apartment that I built by myself, just for fun. Every time I look at it my only desire is to take it down and clean the room.

Cleanse myself of the messiness that has transpired.

Our kisses don’t feel real anymore. They feel more like folding a shirt

When I look at you. I don’t see myself anymore. I don’t see you anymore.

I don’t see us anymore.

You don’t look at me at all anymore.

I laid in bed with myself and thought about it for a while. Cried about it for a while. Sighed about it for a while. kicked myself to walk through the door and cursed myself for even considering it.

I wish I could go back in time for even a minute to tell you what’s going on.

You’d hold me like you used to and let me cry in your arms. I wouldn’t feel like I lost you. I would ask him to knock some sense into you.

To listen to me. To hear my words. To absorb my words. To not take me for granted.

But I couldn’t do that. So I’d have to go on a mission to rescue you myself.

I tried peeling the layers back to see if I could find you. See if I could bring you home. I put up posters and signs so that maybe someone could tell me where you were. I didn’t happen to see any of me as I was taping them to trees and poles.

I tried looking through the magnifying glass you bought as part of our Sherlock and Watson costumes. I still couldn’t find you.

Hard as I’ve tried I don’t see us anymore.

All I see are empty bodies that walk around and say things that we would never say. Do things that we would never do.

Bodies that we no longer control.

Bodies that sleep next to each other every night but somehow feel like they’re alone.

Where did we go?

 

Celebrity Kristen Bell Opening up about Anxiety And Depression

Folks, please watch this video if you feel ashamed about having anxiety or depression (or both). Honestly, it really doesn’t even matter what mental illness you have. This video shows Kristen Bell (one of my favorite actresses) explaining that there is no shame in getting help.

Watching this brought my mood up today. I hope it does the same for you.

 

Jess

To: Andy [Revised Version]

So… a while back I published a pretty little post called To: Andy on this blog. It was posted in March 2015, about two months after Andy and I started dating.

Yes, we loved each other that fast. It just happened.

— and we still do.

That post-however- hadn’t been updated since then. I read it today and it just didn’t feel like us anymore. We’re different people now and our relationship is different.

I used to think that was a bad thing. I always used to say that people should always stay in the honeymoon phase if they love each other. After careful consideration, I’ve realized that the honeymoon phase is just people feeling something genuine that is based on nothing.

I really felt like I loved who I knew him to be, but I didn’t know Andy well enough to say anything that really meant something. There wasn’t anything real to write yet.

So I meandered around, using a lot of cheesy lines and broad thoughts about love to try to describe the feelings that I had. I couldn’t find the words. I suppose the words I wrote were the right words at the time.

The honeymoon phase is just a facade. When it’s lifted and you still feel good about that person, that’s when the realness begins.

Now we’ve been together almost a year and a half. It may not be a huge accomplishment but I only mention it because after this amount of time, I feel that I know Andy enough to revise my previous post.

Maybe in 3 years I’ll revise it again. Maybe in 3 years there won’t be anything to write about us but memories.

All I know is that today I still love him and I am so glad I now have some real words to write.

Below is the revised version in black along with my old post in grey. Some words have changed, and some haven’t.

Here goes–

Continue reading

New blog url

Unitedindepression.wordpress.com

This blog is strictly for depression advice. I started it with a friend, Eliza, who also suffers from depression.

This blog may be for my personal stuff. I’m still deciding. Might delete it.

I know i’ve had some really loyal followers since day one. I want to continue to have you in my life. If you’d like to please follow me on this new journey!

Jess

Out with the old, in with the new

My new blog! Specifically geared toward depression and anxiety advice.

I JUST made it so it’s literally nothing yet.

But if you’d like to continue following me you can subscribe!

unitedindepression.wordpress.com

Cleaning up the inventory

Today I am going to go through my archives and delete irrelevant stuff. Well, not delete. More like keep for myself. I have recently had a few people ask for my site address for help with depression. I want them to be able to read the posts relevant to that. My personal life stuff may be moved to a different blog. I dont know. All I know is that I want this one to be for advice. I really want to help others. I really want to do this. Besides, now that I’m doing better my life isn’t so dramatic anyway.

Jess

This week’s coping skill: “So What?”

I feel like I don’t even want to understand what is going on with me today. After over three years of constantly checking in with myself I’ve grown incredibly tired of it.

Usually it stems from some bizarre and irrational line of thinking anyway, and it goes away a lot faster than it builds. Even so, it still sucks. It still makes life hard. I suppose life is hard for everyone though.

It doesn’t really have to be that big a deal either. Today I couldn’t check out a math textbook from the library or student center that I pay for in my tuition because I don’t have my student ID yet. I’m never on campus when the office is open due to work.

All I wanted to do was the last two sections of my math homework. That’s it. I’m doing so well and I want to keep it that way. I felt neglected. I felt betrayed. I just want to be a good student. I’m trying so hard to be a good student. I study and turn things in on time. I got a 98% on my first test of the semester and I actually listen in class. I’m a very different student now than I was back in Chicago.

I care now.

And that’s why I hid in a quiet corner of the campus building and cried a little. So here I am in all my glory. Nose is runny. My face patterned in red splotches, my contacts going in and out of focus. All because I wanted to do my homework.

But… So what?

So what if I don’t turn in 2 assignments when the homework portion is 20% and I have done everything else so far?

So what if I need my ID and didn’t have it this time? I will get it and when I do I’m gonna check shit out all over the place just because I can.

So what if I feel sad right now? I didn’t earlier. I felt fine, and I’ll feel fine again soon.

So what if I have to cry a little? That’s absolutely okay. And hey, what a cool thing to experience. Actual sadness because I want to be the perfect student. I’ve never felt that way before. I’m growing up. Grown ups cry, people.

It also doesn’t hurt to remember everything else that is going right in life. Compared to all of that this is nothing. This is an isolated event. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I always have access to the resources I need. Besides, there is always extra credit.

My main focus should be to understand the material. If I understand it then I know I’ll ace those tests despite not having two little sections turned in. And if I understand the material then it means I’m getting ready to move on to my next class.

I’ve accomplished a lot so far this year. The greatest of those accomplishments being that I actually went back to school and am kicking ass. I’m not worthless because of these two assignments. I’m not falling into a deep depression just because I was upset. I’m still in control. I still have a say in how I react to things that happen to me.

Thank you for reading. Writing a post always helps me. That’s why my posts usually start out angry and heavy and then become more rational towards the end. This blog is a resource for coping with depression in every day life, but what most people don’t know is that I’m usually giving myself the advice to begin with.

I feel better. Not great or perfect or shiny. Better. I’m still kind of pissed at life, but I’ve shifted the anger from myself to the situation.

The moment you feel like the world is abandoning you, you’d better make sure that you’re not abandoning yourself, too.

-Jess

 

Familiar Feelings Can Be Misleading

procon Sheet1

Recently some really messed up things have happened, specifically with my (now former) place of employment. Basically they have a policy that says because I don’t work there anymore they don’t have to pay me the bonus money I earned the month before. The bonus money we earn is given to us the month after we earn it. I made $500 of bonus money in december, and I haven’t seen a dime. On top of that they still haven’t paid me my regular paycheck either. It was due on friday.

To add insult to injury part of that money was going to be used to pay rent, get a new washer, and celebrate my birthday (yesterday).

We are now going to have to borrow money in order to just pay rent.

I’m kind of in the middle of filing an unpaid wage claim and talking to a lawyer. My co workers have alienated me and refuse to help with evidence in any way, and my supervisor whom I trusted won’t answer my calls.

It felt eerily familiar.

Feeling like the world hates me. Feeling like I’m a loser. Feeling like I’m hurting Andy in the process (it’s his money, too). Feeling like the past three months of showing up to work every day on time and trying so hard was just a ruse.

Feeling like I’m back to my old, negative self again.

Feeling like I should have planned better. demanded every single pay statement (sometimes they sent them, sometimes they didn’t), made copies of all the policies that I read in the office, picked up my binder full of all the relevant information to help my case, etc. etc. etc.

But probably the most upsetting feeling was the one that led me to thinking if I would’ve successfully ended my life at some point this wouldn’t be happening. Andy could pay his rent because he wasn’t depending on someone else’s money or spending his on someone. Guilt. Shame. Remorse.

But… Why did I feel guilty? It’s not my fault that the company I work for isn’t paying me the money that I rightfully deserve. It’s not my fault that a customer who gave out his personal information was threatening to sue because I spoke to someone who verified all his information. It’s not even my fault that my co workers are mad at me because they didn’t make goal this week and blame me somehow (we had one week left to make goal and regardless of my presence there’s no way it would’ve happened).

You know what would be my fault, though? If I let my emotions go into a downward spiral.

Now that I have meds I have the ability to get myself out of that line of thinking. I can hate myself and feel like I can’t catch a break. I’ll assume that everyone I know and love will be disappointed in me. I’ll find ways to belittle myself when no one around me is.

I’ll self sabotage and ruin every other aspect of my life (quit school, end relationship, cut off family/friends, lay in bed all day, possibly end up committing suicide because that is where all of it leads to).

Or…

I could realize that money isn’t everything. Money can be made again. I am more valuable than money, and the people that love me know that. I can realize that I’m doing everything I can to recover from this really unfortunate setback. Within 5 days I already had a new job that paid more than the other, I decided to not let this get to me on my birthday and instead of going all out like we wanted, we had some friends over and spent $20 on beer and snacks. Had a great time. I continue to do my schoolwork and show up to class. I am working with a lawyer and filing a claim to try and get what’s mine, but am also aware that sometimes shit isn’t fair and it may not work out.

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Khaleesi was probably having a worse day than me tbh. Just look at what her mommy did to her.

I can also determine who’s opinion matters to me. Co-workers that I didn’t even know four months ago and never truly connected with? A company that isn’t decent enough to abide by Texas Employment Laws? No. No, the people who matter are the ones that constantly love me through everything I go through. Sure, Andy’s life would be different if I was no longer in it, but I don’t think he’d rather have rent money without having to borrow it than have me.

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I can take a step back and view my life as if it’s a pro and con list. I can determine that the good outweighs the bad right now. It’s so easy to list all the bad going on. Almost addicting. Try listing all the good. You may be surprised.

I can stop blaming myself and instead celebrate myself for getting through this and staying strong. I can remember that the downsides to what happened are only temporary. When we have our money back on track in a month or two we can buy a washer, experience those birthday plans we originally planned on, and this experience will be long gone.

I can enjoy my life.

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Things are always worse than they seem when they’re currently your biggest struggle. Sometimes I forget that I’ve been through so much worse because it feels so far away. A few months ago I dealt with what I thought was the worst thing I’ve ever been through. Dealing with Lucas’s mom and her knowing about my depression. That feels long gone now. I rarely even think about it. That’s just how it goes.

I just want to stress that even though the situation feels like something you’ve been through before, it doesn’t mean that you are the same person you used to be. Give yourself more credit than that.

Also remember this. You ARE allowed to think different thoughts. Hating yourself and constantly assessing the situation isn’t going to change anything. You might as well enjoy yourself if shit is about to hit the fan. You only get to experience today once and then it’s gone. It is your choice to throw it in the trash or take advantage of it.

Focusing on one isolated problem in your life makes you forget all the good and awesome things going on. Take a look again, and this time not through binoculars.

Jess

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Introducing: The Depression Podcast

Well, here it is.

I didn’t really know what to call it, honestly.

Never Ask What If came to mind of course, but I’ve kind of always had an issue with that name since it doesn’t really explain anything. I’ll just have to live with it on my blog. It’s alright, though. That’s the name my readers have followed so it stays!

Then I was thinking about naming it something catchy like “Just Jessica” as in I want to be known for me, not my depression, but that just felt too personal to me.

I want others to be able to see this podcast as pieces of their stories too, because so many of us share similar moments.

So in order to be clear and concise (and easier to find on search engines) I decided to go for the most obvious choice:

The Depression Podcast.

so, here it is.

“It’s a good day to be alive.”

On a day like this… A day where every single person in this country has the right to marry who they want to no matter what race or gender…

I’ve got to say that it’s a good day to be alive.

Now, no matter when I’m gone, I’ll always have the fact that I was alive the day same sex marriage was legalized.

I feel proud to be part of this time in history.

-Jess

I’m Scared.

I can’t even imagine what my life would be like right now if I had let fear dictate it. So happy to be me.

Never Ask "What If?"

Here’s the thing… I don’t think anyone ever really knows how they’ll react to any given situation. It isn’t until the moment you experience it that you find out. And even then the reaction is fleeting, because it adapts to new situations as they happen.

116 days ago when I boarded a Megabus back to Chicago, I could hear Austin, Texas calling my name. Shouting it, even. As my bus left the outskirts of the city, could not bear having to be apart from it for any amount of time. This would be my home. This would be my future. I was sure of it.

46 days ago, as I sat in a tiny cubicle making dreaded sales calls and realizing that I couldn’t possibly do this for the rest of my life, I wished deeply to be in the warm Austin sun. Hidden in my snack box under my…

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