The Socially Anxious Artist – Me!

Posted June 27th, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

memeI have struggled with pretty crippling social anxiety since I was about 12 or 13. It started off just as shyness but instead of getting better as time went on, it got worse and worse until it started to have a serious effect on my life. In high school I drank to deal with the way I felt around most people. If I was going to a party, going to the mall or even writing a particularly stressful exam, I’d get drunk to get myself there and through whatever the situation was. You might not thinking pre-drinking for an exam would be very effective, but they never stressed me out because I didn’t know the answers, it was just sitting in a room filled with people who were supposed to be quiet and concentrating would overwhelm me to the point where I could no longer even pay attention to the exam questions! So the exams I took that I was a little intoxicated for, I did the best on.

Around grade 11, drinking even a little bit started to make me very ill. I’m still not sure what it was, but as soon as I’d have even one drink, I would get this horrendous pain in my left shoulder and I’d have to go lay down for 15 to 30 minutes until the pain would finally pass. All of a sudden that meant that I couldn’t really depend on what had been getting me through my most anxious of days. I could and would still drink at parties, I’d just plan ahead to have somewhere to lay down for my 15 to 30 minutes and then I could just keep drinking and be okay, but that wasn’t really an option for the school thing anymore or anything spur-of-the-moment that would happen to come up. Looking back I think getting that weird pain, whatever it was, was a blessing! A lot of my family has struggled with alcoholism and addictions in the past and starting to depend on booze to get me through anxious situations as early as 14 had put me on a dangerous path. By 18 I’d quit drinking completely but I’d also stopped attending most social gatherings and I’d stopped going to school.

In grade 11 I’d missed something like 45 of 90 days of class, because I still got 80s and 90s however, no one really seemed to care. I got called to the principles office once and I’d told him something awkward like I’d just started taking birth control pills, they were making me feel nauseous in the mornings so that’s why I was missing so much school. He’d asked if my mom was aware of this, I said she was, he called her but the line was busy so (looking rather flustered by the whole conversation) he’d sent me on my way back to class and I don’t think I ever spoke to him again. My first day back to school in grade 12 after the summer, I realized I was done. I remember sitting in the cafa-torium surrounded by my friends and all the other students all talking and laughing before heading to their first class, all causing this brain straining hum of noise and anxiety. I looked around, feeling so out of place, alone and unhappy and I realized in that moment, I was never coming back. I seriously got up without warning and said I was “so done with this school and was going home” and that’s just what I did. Walking out of school that morning was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.

I set myself up through the Independent Learning Center and had all of my grade 12 courses by the end of the month. I started working full time at a dying shoe store at the mall and I just worked away on my final year of high school from the comfort of my own home or at work when there were no customers (which was pretty much all of the time). I finished entire semesters in weeks, I had lots of money for someone my age and I just spent all of my time with my boyfriend and a few very close friends. I finished my grade 12 year early with all 90s (except math, I think that was like 75, stupid math) and took a few extra courses just for fun since they were only something like $45 a piece. I wasn’t dealing with my anxieties, I had just found a way to more or less  avoid them. I lost a lot of friends who didn’t understand why I was always blowing them off and I think by avoiding being in social situations my anxiety got a lot worse, but at the time I was happy.

I didn’t really mean to get into all of that in such detail, but my point is that I have been feeling this way for as long as I can remember. I did the drinking thing, the avoiding thing, I started taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication around the age of 20, but at 21 I was no longer eligible to be on my dad’s health plan and what I was taking wasn’t making a huge improvement in how I was feeling anyway (plus it was almost $500 a month without the drug plan), so I quit taking them. By 25 I was unemployed and determined to stay that way. I wanted to make money with my artistic abilities, so I did spend a lot of time practicing. I stopped going out other than a couple of times a year to see my family for special occasions, which made going out  overall, all the more difficult. I played a lot of video games but I also made a lot of progress with my art, I wrote my first novel and I started to make a little bit of money doing freelance writing on the internet. At 26 I got a well paying job at the hospital, curious as to if making $20/hour would be enough to overshadow how horrible being in that 9 to 5 environment made me feel and it was (at the time) the worst three months of my life.

I realized at that point in my life that I was not just your average person who didn’t like getting up and going to work. I would sob for hours before I’d leave the house in the morning and honestly wish I’d be in some horrible car accident or something so that I wouldn’t have to go. It did end up being a very high-stress job that I didn’t feel I was equipped or properly trained for, but I remember seriously thinking, “I’d rather be dead than spend my life doing this.” I haven’t had a “real job” since. I worked with my aunt at her in-home daycare for 4 years or so, but that was super casual part-time work, with children, in a family member’s home, so it was totally something I could handle. Now I’ve moved an hour away though, so I can no longer really depend on that for my income!

As I mentioned, I’ve wanted to make money with my art and writing for a long time now. I know it’s possible to use your skills and abilities to make money without ever working for a company because that’s what my little brother does. I watched him struggle with his social anxiety as well and he stopped going to school even earlier than I did. But he had this drive to build websites and make money online since he was like 16. He taught himself everything he needed to know and even though everyone kept telling him how unrealistic he was being and how he basically “wasn’t living his life like everyone else, so what he was doing was wrong,” he stuck it out, worked hard for himself and just bought his first (big beautiful) home, all from being self motivated and self employed. He’s the only reason why I believe that being happy and having money can actually go hand-in-hand for me. He did it and he believes in me and that makes me believe in myself! Just because I’m not punching a clock and answering to a manager doesn’t mean what I’m trying to do now is easy however, and that wasn’t really something I’d anticipated!

Lately I have been making money with my art work, what I hadn’t considered though is that in order for someone to buy your art work, you’re going to have to have some kind of social interaction with that person! Duh! And that has not been easy! I think I’ve been really lucky so far because everyone I have done work for has been really kind and really appreciative of my work, but I still have to do some deep breathing before I answer an e-mail, I have to fight back the tears before I actually go and meet a client and I have to keep trying to do the self-promotion thing when the voice inside my head keeps telling me just how badly I suck. I know my brother has faced challenges working for himself with social anxiety, but he always manages to overcome his issues for the sake of his business and that’s what I have been trying to do too. It’s very difficult and it’s been very stressful, actually making myself a facebook page for my art, ordering business cards, building a website, etc. I just feel like eventually someone’s going to be like, “Uh Jenn, you are a total fraud and suck at art, stop pestering us with your stupid drawings!” And as much as I totally believe you should be who you want to be and screw what other people think of you, I quite often become obsessed over what other people must think of me…

I guess I just wanted to share how I feel on here since I don’t believe it’s something people can easily pick up on and I’ve been dealing with it a lot lately as more people inquire about or purchase my art. People assume I am shy and I know some people have thought I was stuck up or just an air head, but that’s not really the case. Unless I am in a very comfortable and familiar setting, I am struggling. I keep pushing myself to try new things and go to events with my boyfriend, which has been really good for me I know, but it’s never easy and I don’t think it ever will be.

I do think it’s worth it though because it is a different kind of upset. When I’m going to work 40 hours a week for a company and it’s stressing me out beyond belief and making me miserable, that doesn’t feel like it’s worth it. I feel like I am wasting what little time I have on this planet by being miserable just for the sake of money. When someone has asked me a question about a sketch and answering them is stressing me out however, it feels like it is worth the stress because I am doing what I want to do and actually potentially bringing in money from it. It doesn’t make me depressed like a job does, it’s really hard and stressful, but it’s worth it. I have gotten in my own way a couple of times now, I didn’t get my form handed in in time to get a place at the market in town here this summer to sell my art because I put it off too long. It was scary and so I avoided it, but as long as things like that aren’t constantly happening, then I think I’m doing okay. I was really disappointed in myself about that one so hopefully next time I can realize how disappointed I’ll be and I’ll be able to face that fear and do what I need to do! It worked out though because I ended up selling all of the rocks I’d prepared to sell at the market just this week to one person. I think the more success like that that I start to see, the easier it’s going to be to push myself to do the really hard or really scary stuff… I’m hoping anyway!

Thanks for taking the time to read my social anxiety story and thanks for your comments and e-mails, they are always appreciated and it makes me feel so much better to hear that other people out there understand and are going through the same things as me!

Getting In My Own Way

Posted June 17th, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

stir-crazyI like doing stuff. If I sit at home and don’t go out anywhere for a couple of days it’s like I’m a Sim and I get the Stir Crazy de-buff that effects my happiness! I just start to feel down. Unfortunately the longer I stay inside, the harder it gets to actually remedy the situation and go out! I think that might be because I’m more susceptible to my old issues when I start to get down. It’s harder to go out (agoraphobia) I can’t find anything to wear that I like (negative self image) I eat to cheer myself up (binge eating) and I game out or watch Netflix for long periods to distract myself from whatever the actual problem is.

Tonight for example I found myself crying into my pillow because I wanted to go with my boyfriend to an event he’s covering that sounded really cool to me. I have been inside for the last two days though, so when he asked me over text last minute if I wanted to go, I panicked and said I wasn’t up for it. Then instead of trying to convince me to go, like he usually does, he just said that was fine because there would be a huge crowd and he wasn’t sure how well I’d deal with that anyway. I know he’s just trying to be understanding but one of the only things that feels worse than not having faith in your own ability to overcome your anxieties, is when it seems like someone you care about loses faith in them too, or gives up, or starts to leave you behind because it’s easier. It hasn’t come to that yet with us obviously, but today it was still just like throwing some salt my stupidly self-inflicted wound. If he would have shown up and told me to get dressed because we had a thing to go to like he usually does, I know I would have gone. I blame myself 100% for missing out, it just sucks that he changed his method of approach because how he used to do it, worked! I’d be down, he’d encourage me to go out, I would and then I’d feel better.

Logically I know that none of this really matters. If I want to go out, I should just go out and do something, anything! I live at the beach damnit, what right do I have to stay inside and be unhappy when the sun is shining!? Knowing what I should do isn’t difficult for me though, it’s actually doing it that’s the hard part…

For now I think I’ll just play the Sims.

 

Ready To De-Chubafy Myself!

Posted June 16th, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

In 2012 my boyfriend of 11 years and I finally split up for good. It was not an easy thing transitioning from a girl who hadn’t really done anything on her own, not go for walks or to a store or anywhere really, to someone who now had to do everything on her own if she ever wanted to leave the house. I found exercise helped me cope, so for the first few months, that’s pretty much the only thing I did. I was also too depressed to eat, so by the end of that first summer I was down 120lbs and smaller even than I’d been in high school. At this point I started to get the attention of a lot of guys that I’d been hanging around for years, but who had never shown me the slightest interest in the past, not even friendship really. It put me on guard, which probably saved me from making a lot of mistakes over the next 2 years of being single for my first time as an adult.

I’m not concerned with appearances and wanted to date someone who felt the same way. I realized that the guys I had spent time with when I was bigger who ignored me until I got thin, were definitely on the shallow side, so they were easy to avoid, but I didn’t really have a way to make sure new guys that I met weren’t just interested in me based on my looks. I decided the best way to ensure I found someone who fit my criteria was to just gain my weight back and then start dating!

I know it was horrible for me and it was more complicated than that of course. I had a really bad year, I lost my cat, my home, half my family and I stopped talking and my dad who I’d just months before finally become close with, had a very severe and life changing stroke. Food was a comfort so I let myself just go nuts pretty much. I kept up with my exercising but I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. That is until my gal bladder decided it’d had enough right around the same time that I started dating my current boyfriend. I lost weight in the months leading up to my surgery because I could eat next to nothing without it causing these crazy 8 hour gal bladder attacks that were the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life. Anyway, after the gal bladder came out and I could actually eat again, I kind of forgot that I’d intended to once again eat in a less crazy, more healthy manner and lose the weight again now that I had a boyfriend who actually liked me for me, not for how I looked.

Winter came and went however and now here we are, a year in and I’m actually a little bit bigger than I was when he and I met! Oops! I was definitely over-confident in my ability to just flip a switch in my brain and start losing weight again! Life happened, I got busy, I went on vacation, winter was rough so I started going out and exercising less. I still want what I wanted before though, I just hadn’t really thought about it until I noticed my face in my (uh.. I guess you could say many) selfies, was starting to look a bit plumper than I liked. Of course my body has changed as well, but my weight goes to my boobs, legs and butt first, so it’s easy for me to overlook!

My point is, summer is only a few days away and I want to comfortably wear all of my cute summery clothes again! I’m definitely not back up 120lbs thankfully, but I could probably lose about half of that again. I don’t actually ever step on a scale since it used to be kind of an obsession. I’d weigh myself probably about 20 times a day and if that number ever increased or it wasn’t decreasing fast enough, nothing else mattered and I was miserable. I don’t ever want a flashing number on a digital screen to have that kind of control over my life again, so I just judge my size on what clothes fit and how I’m feeling.

I’m going to start doing yoga again, walking lots, biking and being mindful of what I eat. My boyfriend wants me to be happy, so he’s all for trying to be more healthy together, but he’s made it clear that he’s happy with me no matter what I look like, which is exactly what I wanted. I found in the past that I kept on track better when I blogged about my progress so that’s what I intend to do! I just wanted to share the back-story first, since it’s definitely on the weird side and well, I like sharing, lol.

Wish me luck!

I’m Not A Rustic Cabin Girl

Posted June 12th, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

Warning : This post is way too long and probably comes across whiney, but it made me feel better to write it out! I’m pretty much over it now, lol.

June the 10th was my one year anniversary with my boyfriend. We’ve had some rough times lately and have had especially rough times on all of the “special occasions” leading up to this one, except for his birthday last Fall, which was his, “best birthday ever.” I won’t get into what happened on Xmas, or Valentines day, or my birthday back in February, but my b-day especially was almost the end of us and was most certainly my, “worst birthday ever.” The point is, there was a lot riding on our anniversary and he was well aware of that.

I systematically reminded him that our anniversary was the 10th of June on the 10th of almost every month leading up to it, because I know he’s forgetful. I gave him a subtle countdown, just so he could set money aside or get started making me something or planning something 2 months ahead of time, then 1 month ahead of time, then two weeks, then I stopped bringing it up because I didn’t want to pester him about it. A week before our anniversary he brought it up and said that what he was planning was going to cost hundreds of dollars and would set us back a bit financially. I told him to just do or get me whatever he thought I deserved but honestly I was so excited that he was actually going to spend money on me for a gift at last! He had in the past had big plans to get me something significant, told me about it, and then just didn’t go through with it, so I stuck to the modest side for his gifts, since I do tend to go overboard. I got him a really nice sushi set since we both love sushi and eat it all of the time. I drew him a big picture of our hands pressed together which turned out really nicely. Finally I learned and rehearsed a love song for the past 3 weeks to sing to him because he’s never actually heard me sing! No, he hasn’t even googled my parody songs or anything, lol. Unfortunately instead of singing to him last night, I cried myself to sleep while he tried his best to ignore me…

Our relationship has never been easy. I have worked harder than I ever have to communicate with him, to understand him, to give him a chance to fix the ways he’s messed up, to forgive him, to trust him in spite of dishonesty, to stick with him when he’s down on his luck, to encourage him, to look after him, etc etc! I don’t think what I ask in return is unreasonable. I don’t want to be yelled at, I don’t want to be lied to, I want to have sex at least 6 times in a week, I want to be treated with respect, I don’t want to be ignored and on special occasions I want some sparkly girly shit! Or at least something!

I take gift giving really seriously. If someone is important to me, I will spend all I can to get that person something I think they would like, or I spend as many hours as I have making them something. I put a lot of thought into it and because my income is kind of crazy, I start saving months in advance. I think giving someone a physical object is not more meaningful than doing something special, but it’s meaningful in a different way. For example, if you go out for dinner for a special day, you both are enjoying being out for dinner, sure one person treats the other, but it is an experience for both of you that you both want. If you give someone a physical gift, a scrapbook of your life together, a promise ring, a personalized transformers travel mug, a nice coat, dishes, chocolates, a novelized version of your e-mails back and forth from when you were getting to know each other, a painting of the two of you together, (just a few of the things I have given my boyfriend from our special occasions thus far) it’s more selfless. It’s you giving someone something in that moment that you want them to have forever, no strings attached, no matter what happens from here on out, you want them to have that thing. The only way that type of gift giving benefits yourself is by seeing it make them happy. That’s the kind of gift giving that has been missing on his side thus far but it is something we talked to death after my birthday and valentines day so I really thought he finally understood.

It’s just seemed like so far in our relationship, he’ll pretty much do everything in his power to not spend money on a gift for me for holidays. I was really excited to finally get a token of his affection for me, even if it was just a $2 necklace like from Christmas. I really was over wanting something expensive, I just wanted something thoughtful that cost him something.

I didn’t get it…

It’s going to be hard to explain how our anniversary went, so I’ll just start from the beginning and go through it chronologically. The evening before our anniversary, he told me we were going away for two nights, so to pack a bag because we were leaving in a couple of hours. I’m not great with being away from home, I over-plan, over-pack and over-think, but I made myself chill out and even though I had no idea where we were going or what we were doing, I packed my bags and was ready for our “anniversary adventure.” That night we drove out to an observatory and spent 2 and a half hours looking at different planets and stars through a telescope with just two other people. My boyfriend had thought of it last minute and set it up and had made plans for us to stay at my mom’s place afterward so that we wouldn’t have to drive the hour back home. It was really neat and an educational experience for sure but I am very shy and being in close quarters with two people I didn’t know for so long was really stressful! I toughed it out though and even used an outhouse in the pitch dark by myself while they were all still inside with the telescope! It was great but it was an experience for both of us. I think he was more excited and had more fun than I did and it didn’t cost him anything, so it didn’t quite meet my selfless gift that costs something expectation yet, but it was fun and it was still early on!

After stargazing we headed to my mom’s town and I bought us pizza. Then afterward I suggested going to the graveyard! I’m not actually a crazy person, it just so happened that the graveyard was where I told him I’d be his girlfriend and it’d been on that night exactly a year ago! I really love graveyards and scary stuff and I just thought it’d be really cool to go back and we could make it like an anniversary tradition or something. He said he was tired and that we had a big day planned for tomorrow though. I was disappointed and he could tell. He said if I really really wanted to go, that he would, but I didn’t want him to be tired the next day for whatever he had planned so I said it was fine and we went to my mom’s around midnight where we watched a movie and then fell asleep.

The next morning we slept until almost noon, so obviously we could have gone to the damn graveyard after all. We ate my mom’s food for breakfast (rice krispies and berries) and then loaded up the car and headed out. On my way out the door since my mom and step-dad apparently knew what we were doing that day, I said something along the lines of, “Oh I just hope we aren’t going to his friend’s parents place. They have these rustic cottage things and that is just so not me! He knows that though!” They hid their reactions to my statement well, because it wasn’t until we were headed in that direction that I realized that’s exactly where we were going.

I’ve spent the last three years doing my best to come out of my shell. I have gone from an agoraphobic gamer spending all of her time in Azeroth to someone who actually has a non-virtual life and says yes to stuff like a trip to Florida for 3 weeks, holding a snake, going on roller coasters, seeing new places, whatever! I am still on the girly side though. I like to be clean, I like to be comfortable, I have never peed outside, I tried camping last year and it was okay, but there were washrooms and showers and stuff. I went to a cabin last year too and it was a rather unpleasant experience. My boyfriend knows all that and he’d actually brought up the whole “rustic cabin” thing before and I’d said “Oh cool, but that’s definitely not for me!” When I found out that’s where we were staying, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. He’d said he was spending hundreds of dollars and this was basically his second family’s place. I knew they wouldn’t be charging him to stay! I swallowed my disappointment though, didn’t say word and we continued on to our next activity.

Our next stop was the Bruce Caves. We’d never talked about going, but he knows I love hiking and it was only a short distance from the cabin. I got changed in another outhouse type thing since I was wearing a floor-length dress and heels and then off into the woods we went. The caves were cool and just like how I remembered them from when I visited as a kid. I was starving though since it was now after 3pm and all I’d had that day was my bowl of cereal from mom’s. He mentioned that he should have thought to bring snacks, but I didn’t complain and did my best to enjoy the scenery despite my hunger and lingering disappointment.

After the caves we hiked back to the car and he asked me what I’d like to do for dinner. I’d never been anywhere in that area and was covered in mud from climbing all over the rocks though. I was really disappointed that he hadn’t made dinner plans since I was guessing that was the big ticket thing on the agenda since so far our excursions had all been free. I got a plain bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese from Tim Hortons for my anniversary dinner.

And that was the extent of what he had planned. I sat quietly for a few minutes as I ate my bagel, trying not to cry. I’d packed my new expensive dress I’d gotten just to wear out for our anniversary and here I was in muddy yoga pants looking at seagulls while I ate a bagel. I rallied myself and decided to make the best of the rest of the evening. We drove by a place called Spirit Rock Conservation area and I remembered my mom mentioning it being a cool place, so even though I was definitely hiked-out by that point, we did another 3 hour trek around through the woods and looked at ruins and the lookout over the water and a scary metal winding staircase down the escarpment. After that we headed back to the cabin.

At the cabin we built a fire and barbecued some pork burgers. I whacked my head multiple times on the door frame and he got me some ice but I kept my happy face on. We ate and then I gave him the sketch of our hands and the sushi set. He didn’t give me anything. A little later by the fire I asked him if he’d gotten me anything, just so I could stop wondering if he was going to surprise me with something. He said that no, he hadn’t and that today’s experiences and the observatory last night had been my gifts. Again I did my best to hide my disappointment. Really, I’d been expecting as much as soon as I figured out where we were going. It made me sad that he hadn’t thought I was worth spending any money on (other than the gas to drive around, the bagel and a bag of chips), but I told myself that at least he’d taken the day off work and was spending time with me at a campfire. Then he fell asleep in his chair by the fire around 11:30pm. I know we’d done a lot of hiking and it was cozy by the fire, but after everything and all my disappointments of the day, ending my anniversary by sitting at a campfire basically alone in the woods just overwhelmed me and I cried for a bit while he slept. He woke up around 12:45 and said he wanted to go in and watch a movie on his tablet (since there was no electricity). He put on one we’d already seen because he wanted us to laugh at it together again, but I was too down to get into it and I had to pee, which meant more out-house time. I was very sick of outhouses, I wanted to have a shower because I was filthy from hiking and I didn’t really feel like just watching a movie. When he finally suggested sex around 2:30am, I just burst into tears!

I explained that I was just uncomfortable and that I’m not a “roughing it” kind of girl. He said we’d, “never do it again” and that I should just try to calm down. The outhouse was full of spiders, I wanted to have a shower and I was bored. He’d started to nod off watching the movie and said he had a headache and was tired so I told him he could just go to sleep and that I’d try to keep my crying volume on low. He fell asleep and I cried into my pillow until about 4am when I passed out. I woke up to him snoring at 7am and packed up our stuff. He woke up at 8am, helped me finish packing, we loaded the car and headed home. He got me a muffin at Tim Horton’s for breakfast, helped me unload the car at home, then went into work even though he’d said he didn’t have to be in until later that afternoon. Then he didn’t text me back for an hour when I asked why he’d gone in.

Despite being kind of heartbroken, I tried to look at the positives of the day. We did have fun together when we were hiking and it was cool to learn about the stars and look through a telescope after all. I was down though and he can pick up on that. I didn’t want to hurt him by telling him what he’d done for me had left me feeling really sad. I just wished he’d done something he knew I’d like if he wasn’t going to spend any money, instead of planning something that he should have known that I wouldn’t be into. It made me feel like he still doesn’t know me at all and it bothers me that he’s never bought me anything that cost him more than like $15. Even though I just felt like crying in bed I went for a walk with him tonight, made him dinner and then watched some shows and a movie. We recently talked about how when he makes me sad and I stop doing stuff around the house for a couple days, that throws him off more and then he just does worse stuff. His solution was for me to just try to keep doing stuff around the house even though I’m sad. That’s what I was trying to do but around 2:45am he’d finally bothered me enough about what was wrong with me and why I was acting so distant and that it was effecting him that I told him how I felt. Of course we then fought until 5am, he fell asleep, I was too upset to sleep and nothing got resolved.

Basically I was saying lets just forget about special occasions. Then I won’t be disappointed and he had said that he’s happy getting nothing at all. He told me how he was brought up to believe that giving someone any kind of gift was good enough, no matter what it was. I understood that but disagreed and explained my view on gift giving as well, but he didn’t get it…

I’m left not really knowing what to do. I tried to just go with it and not be too sad and even once I got sad to not take it out on him because he had at least made an effort, but we still just end up fighting and I end up not being able to sleep. All these upsets and issues are starting to take a toll on me. I don’t want to do my artsy stuff when I’m down and I can’t do it when I’m upset from us fighting and not being unable to communicate. I had plans of things I wanted to work on today to bring myself out of this funk for our weekend with the kids, but it’s already 8am so instead I am just going to spend the day sleeping. I feel like nothing I do is really appreciated but I am sure he feels that way too. The first year is supposed to be the easy one, but it’s mostly been a uphill battle. I’m so sick of the sadness and the hours and hours of fighting. Maybe I’m being a b*tch not just being grateful that he did something, but I can’t help it.

I’ve made so many compromises and lowered so many of my expectations that I really just cannot try anymore. I told him that and he went to sleep…

 

Trust and the Truth

Posted June 1st, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

I used to trust everyone and then I grew up and realized that almost everyone will choose dishonesty over discomfort in their day to day lives. This is fine when it comes to friendships, but in terms of a relationship, I’ve always wanted one in which both parties were comfortable being honest to the point of embarrassment, if that be the case. So far that seems impossible, so instead I was hoping for at least a relationship where one party never knowingly flat out lies to the other, about anything for any reason! That hope was lost as well while I was away in Florida this year and now, it leaves me wondering where to go from here?

Once someone has betrayed your trust, how do you ever actually trust in them again? Even if it’s something minor, like lying about the circumstances of how you met up with an old friend, no matter what the reason for lying is, if someone is capable of looking you in the eyes, smiling reassuringly and then lying to you, then that means they are capable of doing that, remorse free (until caught, anyway). What’s the point from then on? If you’re still in the getting-to-know someone phase and you find out they have lied to you, how do you trust any aspect of who they are beyond that point? Especially since in this day and age, it’s just as easy to cover your tracks as it is to make tracks worth covering. Deleting certain messages, conversations, having alternate e-mail addresses, secret names on cellphone contacts, deleting histories, etc, etc. Even the most dim-witted of offenders can figure those things out, so if you don’t trust what someone says to you and you also don’t have any way to find out if what they say is actually true, what do you do then?

This is the situation I find myself in now unfortunately. I’ve had weird intuitive feelings about things, asked my boyfriend about them, he’s lied and then eventually I’ve figured out that he lied. So now what? It’s never been about anything significant enough that he should have lied about it in the first place, because none of it would have been a deal-breaker, but he has and so now I find myself questioning everything. Is it just all on me now? Because I chose to stay with him and try to work things out, is it my responsibility to just deal with my suspicions now? Because he did something unfortunate, now do I get to live out the rest of our relationship regularly feeling uneasy, all while he enjoys the beautiful comforts of being in a relationship with someone he feels like he can trust completely, jealousy and suspicion free? That doesn’t really seem fair to me!

I trust in him when it comes to the big things, I know he won’t do something major that would hurt me, I know he has my best interest at heart most of the time, I know he loves me and I know that I am what he currently wants in life, so are those things enough that anything else he might do and lie about shouldn’t really matter? It’s hard having such a small frame of reference! I was with my high school sweetheart for 11 years, then spent 2 years alone and now am with my current boyfriend, so I don’t have much in the way of experience dealing with how and what people lie about in relationships. My ex would lie about everything, major or small, it didn’t matter. Then eventually he broke my trust and lied about things too painful to continue on together, so we broke up. It’s hard for me to not look at my current relationship in the same light. I find myself thinking, if he lies about this, he will lie about more and more until I find myself in the exact same situation as last time, wishing I’d broken up with him the first time he lied instead of 11 years later.

Not knowing what to do leaves me in this weird limbo. I try to get over it and force myself to trust him and then something else will come to light that he wasn’t quite honest about and it will just send me back into my downward spiral of suspicion and distrust. It leaves me feeling unhappy and insecure, two things I try to avoid feeling and am not pleased to be faced with from the hands of another, especially the person who is supposed to make me happy. It leaves me questioning, are things actually good, or am I just convincing myself that they are good enough?

My Thoughts On Onion People

Posted May 28th, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

Someone once described me as an onion, which you might at first think isn’t a very nice thing to say about someone. The point this person was making however was not that I had a strong aroma, but actually that I just had a lot of layers. I know no one wants to think of themselves as hollow or simple of course, and I think everyone has layers to some degree, but when you’re the type of person who can get so caught up thinking about things that occasionally hours pass as you stare at a spot on the ceiling or that your soul is lifted when you have a multi-hour conversation with someone about the meaning of life or aliens or society… The point is that it’s just pleasing when someone notices that you’ve got stuff going on beneath the surface and is interested in learning about that stuff. Every person I’ve ever interacted with can be put into one of two categories, the first are the people who see me as an onion, this group is quite small. The rest are the people who don’t really  get me. I don’t blame them for it or think any less of them, just whatever the circumstances happen to be, they come away from our interactions having absolutely no idea who I am. It’s strange because some of the people who see me as an onion don’t like me at all and some people who really only see the surface me, I get along with great.

It’s just disappointing to me that I can’t connect on a deeper level with more people, it’s hard because I’m very quiet, I don’t really interact with many people in my life as it is and it takes a while for me to open up to people. I thrive off feeling like someone really gets me though! When you’re in some serious discussion with someone and they sum up exactly what you’re trying to say while adding their views which make perfect sense to you, that’s just the best feeling!

Thinking about it really makes me wonder what it’s like for other people. Do they find it easier to connect with others on a meaningful level than I do, or is that not really important to most people? Are just those surface social interactions that I find so troublesome enough to sustain the average person? I honestly have no idea, but it’s been my experience thus far that how I think and feel do tend to often differ from most.

It leaves me feeling rather lonely at times, especially tonight which is why I’m writing away at 5 AM instead of sleeping. I had an argument with my boyfriend about this exact thing because unfortunately he has yet to become an official member of the “gets me” group. He definitely tries at times, he’s aware I have layers, his interest and understanding of those layers however just seem to be lacking. Conversely, I totally get him. It didn’t just magically happen though, I have spent our first year together peeling back the layers of who he is, carefully, one at a time, asking hundreds of questions about every single aspect of his life, prying the honesty out of him about even his most insignificant, best, worst, humiliating and/or shameful of experiences. It’s been hard work! He has yet to put in the time to get to know me in the same manner though, and so there are still many many things that he doesn’t know about me. So of course, he doesn’t quite “get me” a lot of the time.

I’d thought moving away with him and having him as my only person to talk to for weeks at a time would begin to remedy this situation, but instead it just leaves me as I said, feeling rather alone. I’ve tried just pouring my heart out about things to him, important things, unimportant things, me, my past, my experiences, but when my words fall on sleeping ears, or distracted ears,or he just doesn’t say anything at all, it kind of hurts, so even though I try not to take it personally, I’ve been risking it less and less often now.

What it boils down to, in my opinion, is simply how much do you want to know someone. I wanted to know everything there was to know about him, so I’ve been doing my best to find out. He always says he wants to know everything about me, but he doesn’t really do anything to make that happen, so I believe it’s not very important to him. I had a blog up until a couple of weeks ago about him and I and our relationship and before that all about me and my struggle with depression and being on my own for the first time as an adult. I mean, it was pretty much my heart and soul digitalized for all to read and he knew about it, but never bothered to check it out.

The thing is, I think that’s probably pretty common. How many people out there are spending their life with someone that they know absolutely everything about? I bet the number is insanely small because either their partner isn’t comfortable being open about everything or they don’t spend the time to peel back the layers.

It’s just disappointing. I can deal with people I meet in my life not really getting me or taking the time to get to know me, or vice versa, because sometimes it is totally on me. I just would have liked my partner to be one of those people who sees me as an onion and actually really wants to peel back all of the layers and really REALLY know me. The thing is, because I now know him so well, I understand that he’s just too busy and has too much going on in his daily life to spend the time and effort on something like that.

What I have been struggling with lately though is, does understanding why someone does/doesn’t do something make it anymore okay that they do it/don’t do it? At the end of the day (or in this case, at the crack of dawn) does understanding “why” really impact the degree to which someone’s actions effect you? I’m still sitting here upset, writing away, instead of sleeping…

Mocha Buttercream Frosting Using Instant Coffee

Posted May 27th, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

I absolutely love baking and I do it fairly often! It’s a lot like art, there are the basic fundamental rules and steps to follow for all recipes, but my favorite thing is experimenting and tweaking recipes once I am familiar with them, which is just like how I am with my art. I have baked a lot of cupcakes and cakes and while they aren’t always the most spectacular looking things, they really are getting more and more delicious! A couple weeks ago I’d made a batch of Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes and wasn’t sure what kind of frosting would best compliment them. After a bit of consideration and discussion with my boyfriend, I decided to try a mocha flavor! It actually worked out really well and for chocolate cupcakes, mocha will now be my icing of choice.  I wanted to share the deliciousness with the internet because I had never thought of using instant coffee in my baking before, but it worked out really well! Here’s how I made it if anyone’s interested in trying it out!

What You Will Need

– 1 cup of butter
– 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar
– 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
– 1/4 cup of milk
– 3 tsp of instant coffee
– 1 tsp of vanilla

Preparation

Make sure the butter is soft, but not melted. Room temperature is great if you can remember to take it out of the fridge before you get started, but if you’re like me and always forget, just microwave it 7 seconds at a time until it’s soft enough to poke your finger into easily. Then put it in a large bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes. Once your butter is whipped, add the vanilla, instant coffee and cocoa powder. Mix on medium/high until there are no more chunks. Finally add in the icing sugar and milk, but not all at once. Add about a cup at a time of icing sugar and a splash of milk to make it easier to mix!

That’s it! Slather it onto your cake or cupcakes or just throw it in the fridge for later (but no later than a week or two). Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did, far too many of that dozen cupcakes ended up in my belly!

Miss Me?

Posted May 27th, 2015 by Miss Mediocre

Boiler Beach (a few minutes from me)

I had been playing with the idea of starting a new blog. I’d even written up a couple of posts and thrown them on something I whipped up on Blogger. I love THIS blog though, and well, it’s mine to do with as I please, right? So I figure why not just blog here, even if it’s not necessarily about “gaming”. It’s been a year since I’ve posted here and hey, it’s better to post something rather than nothing, right? Even if that something is just a recipe for really yummy icing I created last week? Or some long winded confusing dribble about my feelings? Miss Mediocre is me and I am Miss Mediocre, and that’s always applied to me in many more ways than just my gaming abilities. I don’t suck but I’m not all that great either, lol I am the embodiment of mediocrity, and I just want to share my averageness with the world!

In honor of my once gamer-centric persona, in this, my first new post on my old blog, I will talk about gaming. I don’t do too much of it anymore to be honest. It’s pretty sporadic really, there are times when I will play Battlefield 4 way too late into the night for days, but then a couple of weeks will pass and I won’t touch the PS4. I tried to get my boyfriend into ESO, I still love that game, being a werewolf, vampire, exploring, making armor. He’s not really an MMOer unfortunately though and it’s hard to be motivated to play when you know you’re just logging in alone to run around Tamriel. Sometimes I do, I started a new sorcerer character about a month ago, but she hasn’t gotten much attention. When my life really stresses me out and I’m at my wit’s end, I still turn to the trusty old Sims 3 to provide me with hours and hours of stress-free distraction and entertainment. That’s what I have been playing lately… a lot…

I’m sure the reasons why I have been seeking solace in the Sims so much lately will come out the more I post on here, but I didn’t want to re-start my blog by whining about everything that happens to be wrong in my life right now! Instead I will talk about some of the good things! I have just spent my first month living with my boyfriend. We’ve been together a year now and I moved an hour away from all of my family and friends to live with him in one of my favorite places, the beach! I know I have mentioned my cottage vacations on here in the past, and I now live just 10 minutes away from where I spent my summers as a child. The same beach I’ve always loved on the beautiful Lake Huron rests just a 3 minute walk from my front door, which really is a dream come true for me. I’m also almost completely over my agoraphobia, which is likely why I spend a lot less time gaming now, I actually go out and do things! Gaming was an amazing escape and substitute when I was too scared to go out other than in very specific and “safe” situations, but it’s nice to not really have that need for it anymore. Now it’s just as I said with the Sims, a great distraction when I get really stressed out or an entertaining way to pass a few lazy hours in the evening.

One of my painted rocks

The last really cool thing I want to mention is that I’m finally starting to make a bit of money as an “artist” which is something I’ve always wanted to do! I’ve never been comfortable working a conventional job or living an average life and I envy people who don’t have trouble with the 9 to 5 daily grind. It makes me insane. I just can’t do it. Anytime I’ve tried I fall into a deep despair of seeing the rest of my life slip away in 8 hour shifts doing things that really don’t matter for people who have no real appreciation for you, day after day, until I die. All is well though and things financially are definitely looking up! I got commissioned to do the label for some amazing hot sauce and also to design some caricature wedding invitations and both of the clients were so happy with the quick rough idea sketch I’d sent them that they insisted that I make no more changes and that they would take it as-is. Since I live at the beach now, I’ve also been experimenting with painting beach rocks and I’ve already sold a couple hundred dollars worth of those, which is the most exciting thing since painting them is so relaxing and enjoyable that it almost seems wrong to charge money for them. I’m not counting any unhatched chicks mind you, I still bring in far less than your average 9 to 5 worker making minimum wadge, but I have hope for the first time in a long time that in the not-so-distant future, I might just surpass them, all on my own!

This blog of course could help with that! I do intend to use it as a place to showcase some of my art and maybe get some quick commission work sketching characters or what have you. At the very least, it can be a record of my progress down the path of self-employment!

If anyone’s still out there reading this, first of all, you’re awesome and second of all, leave a comment and let me know!

<3 MM

Werewolf Quest As A Low Level – ESO

Posted April 17th, 2014 by Miss Mediocre

Getting to Reaper’s March

I was pretty excited when I found out there were Werewolves and Vampires in ESO. Originally I’d decided that my main character, Lauriella would someday be a vampire but the more I thought about it, I changed my mind. She’s a Nord Dragonknight and becoming a Werewolf seemed like a better fit for her. I’m only level 25 but I used the “teleport to player” option to get to Reaper’s March early by checking out the roster of the big trading guild that I’m part of and finding someone of level who was questing there.

I’d looked everywhere online for some information about werewolf spawn locations and times but I couldn’t really find any solid leads. There were a couple of maps that gave me a rough idea but basically I just rode around on the eastern side of the map until I found a group of people. I’d hang with them until I got bored, then I’d continue my search. I did this for a few nights, one was a full moon in game which some people seemed to think would guarantee a werewolf spawn, but there was nothing.

Where I Was Bitten

I’d more or less given up on finding a werewolf, especially at my level, so I went back to questing for a couple days. I logged on Wednesday evening around 10pm EST however and thought, maybe I’d just check one more time. I ported over to Reaper’s March and general chat was going crazy. Everyone was talking about seeing werewolves and it really didn’t sound like trolls trolling (like it had the other nights). I started cycling through the spawn locations I’d been hanging out at over the past few nights when I saw someone call out that there were some werewolves over by the Dune Wayshrine. I was pretty close by so I checked it out and sure enough there were two big werewolves beating on some player. He ran away and reset them just as I got there so I followed them and hit one when they got back to their spawn point, which was just South West of the Dune Wayshrine. There were lots of players around but they let them hit me for a good 40 seconds before someone taunted them off me. I checked my character screen and saw I had the “Sanies Lupinus” active effect, which said I’d been scratched by a werewolf.

Where To Get The Quest

I was so happy but as I stood there watching people eventually kill the werewolves I realized I had no idea what to do next. I again tried to find out online. There were a few quest guides but I was only level 25 and hadn’t discovered many Wayshrines, so when they said which one to go to, I had no idea where that was! I started just running around to all the areas of the map I hadn’t been to yet and eventually found the Rawl’kha Wayshrine right in the middle of the map. Sure enough as soon as I ran up to it I saw the NPC with the starting quest for me. She informed me I could either cure the disease at the temple or head up north to talk to the pack master. Obviously I made my way to the packmaster!

Leveling Up To Complete The Quest

If you’re working on this quest or the quest to become a Bloodfiend, they are definitely easier to complete the higher your level! Your bite/scratch will not go away once you start your respective quest line so if you’re having trouble completing it, do some fast leveling and then come back to it! If you’re anxious to start howling at the moon or drinking the blood of your foes and want to know how to level as fast as possible, you can Click Here and check out the best leveling guides currently available for ESO!

The Werewolf Quest

The quest was red for me but I knew I’d read about people as low as level 15 becoming werewolves so I wasn’t concerned. I went through a portal, Hircine changed me into a werewolf and told me to go take down suitable prey for my brethren to eat. I ran around the instanced zone which is one of the ones you have to do solo. The mobs were level 42 and you only have 2 werewolf abilities to work with, a pounce and a fear, so it was difficult surviving the area at level 25. I found a special troll that was level 42 and attacked it. It basically two-shotted me so once again I went online to try to figure out what I was doing wrong. I found a post that explained that there were actually 3 different bosses that could spawn and to reset the instance you just had to leave through the portal, wait 5 minutes and then zone back in. I tried this and was lucky enough to get the boss they suggested taking on if you were under-leveled, The mammoth. I tried to stay behind him like the post suggested but he still kicked my butt. Then I read that you could actually fight the mob before you’re transformed into a werewolf, then sprint back, get turned, go back to the corpse and complete the quest. I tried this, fought the mammoth for 10 minutes as myself, killed it and by the time I got back to the body as the werewolf, it disappeared right in front of me! I tried again, killed it after 10 minutes, made better time getting back and actually howled at the corpse like the quest wanted me to. A bunch of werewolves came out, ate the body and nothing happened. Apparently they fixed the quest so this method no longer worked.

Fight The Snow Troll

I worked on the quest for a few more hours. I fought the snake, tried the big troll again, tried the mammoth a few more times and then finally I zoned in and couldn’t find any of the three bosses I’d been bashing my furry head against for hours. After a bit of exploring I came across a little snow troll that I didn’t even realize could spawn. He was SO EASY to kill, I didn’t even need to drink a potion. Turns out this little guy is in there for us low level werewolves to fight, but none of the posts I’d read online had mentioned anything about him. He’s to the right in the pile of bones if you’re running into the zone from the shrine. I howled at the corpse, my werewolf buddies came and ate him, then I bowed to the alter of Hircine and bam, now I’m a full blooded level 25 werewolf!

I just wanted to share my story in case anyone else out there is in the same boat as I was! There was so much information I couldn’t find and even more that was incorrect so maybe this can help someone else become a member of ESO’s Team Jacob, lol.

Playing Elder Scrolls Online

Posted April 2nd, 2014 by Miss Mediocre


I have basically been looking forward to the release of this game for 12 years. From the moment I stepped into Morrowind back on the original xbox all I wanted was to be able to traverse Tamriel with fellow adventurers! And now it’s finally here. Of course I opted in for the early access pre-order since I wasn’t fortunate enough to get into the beta and had been dying to give the game a try. It’s really the first game I have been excited about since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for WoW back in 2007.

I have put in about 20 play hours so far, trying out the Dragon Knight and Templar classes, and thankfully it has yet to disappoint! It really feels like I’m playing Skyrim but just suddenly there are other people in my game. The combat is interesting, a combination of mouse clicks, abilities, dodging and blocking which makes it so your character can really handle herself once you get the hang of it. The characters look awesome and the customization reminded me a lot of Rift but better. As always, I wish there were more choices for hair, make up, etc, but I don’t know if anything has ever actually been up to my standards for that, but oh man, you should see my posterior dimensions!

Customizing your character’s spec is pretty in depth and I’m hoping there’s a way to respec eventually because the more I play and understand stuff, the more I want to change how I’ve spent my previous points! There’s three main specs for every class, then you can spec into your armor type, weapon type, guild, profession, etc! It’s overwhelming when you want to do everything at once, but I keep reminding myself that that’s what alts are for!


Questing has been fun. I went with the Aldmeri Domination and Queen Ayrenn seems cool, she even killed some stuff in a crypt with me and I was only level 7! I like when leaders don’t discriminate based on level. I had read somewhere that the questing felt really repetitive but I haven’t found that at all. Yea I am only level 10 but it’s pretty similar to to questing in any MMO… actually I’d say the quests are more unique and interesting than I’m used to. And the environment is so pretty!

I figured I’d jump into professions as soon as I could and since both my characters I have been playing are heavy armor wearers, I have been focusing on Blacksmithing. I did a lot of blacksmithing in Skyrim and it’s similar. It takes forever to level up though, I have found destroying items for mats gives me the most progress so far. You can also research magical items to learn how to put that effect onto your armor/weapons that you make, which is pretty neat. I haven’t tried any of the other professions yet because I’d have no inventory space then. Upgrading your bags is pricey for a new character and you only have 60 slots to start out!

All your characters share a bank, which is kind of worrisome for an alt-o-holic like myself. It’s already full and I only have two characters on the go right now, but you can upgrade it as you make gold as well. You can’t mail your own characters item which kind of sucks but you can send mail to other players from anywhere in the game, no standing at a pesky mailbox in ESO!

So far the only problem I have with the game is that I didn’t buy the Imperial version and have to wait until the 4th to upgrade my account, lol. Oh, and that it’s down for maintenance right now and I had been planning on playing all night. Hopefully I’ll really get the hang of things in Tamriel and start posting on here regularly again all about it!

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