Where the hell have I been??!

Hello there friends!

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You might be wondering why I haven’t been updating my blog, and why in the past year I have been in and out of here on a very in consistent basis.

 

Well simply put: LIFE. Life happened.

 

For a more complicated explanation then please keep reading.

 

Back in September we moved from Germany to Portugal. It was chaotic as hell before the move, and even more so after wards.

 

I am very grateful that we were able to stay with my parents while we searched for our own place. We found the most amazing place for us and then had to move ALL OF OUR JUNK from my parents’ garage to our new place. While this occurred my fiancé (Oh yea, I got engaged!!) was working on the road.

 

Also grateful for my family’s help, without whom none of this shit would have been possible, and I would have definitely lost my mind and set something on fire.

 

Then we had the holidays which were wonderful. A few battles with the cold and flu. Then January came around and my fiancé (then my boyfriend) asked me to marry him right before he headed out on the road for 10 weeks. Typically, he’s not out for that long BUT, that’s what happened at the beginning of the year.

 

That’s where my mental health went to shit. Before you come in here spewing bullshit. NO it had nothing to do with him leaving for work. I had felt my mental health decline over the span of the move because it felt like we hadn’t had a moment to stop and breathe for MONTHS. It was all a blur of packing, cleaning, unpacking, packing, moving, cleaning some more, building furniture, unpacking. Let me tell you, we STILL have some boxes upstairs because FUCK it’s been exhausting.

 

I hit a very low point, that I would rather not detail here for both my mental stability and your own. Just know it was the lowest I have hit.

 

I got some help. I have been feeling better, but also extremely frustrated.

 

Why?

 

Because I no longer knew what the fuck I was doing with my life(professionally).

With my mental health hitting a brick wall, I stopped working. I had some sprinkles of work, but it dried out. I had zero motivation to bother finding more. I am fortunate enough that I have a partner that had kept us financially stable, but IT ANGERS ME. It angers me that I dropped the ball so bad because of how my brain was communicating with me. I have no other excuse other than I felt like shit and didn’t know where to turn.

 

Now things are looking a bit better, but I am still running into some shit where people want to pay me PEANUTS for a ton of work because they think “anyone can do what you do” SURE OKAY, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

 

I am trying to be more positive about this work situation because I did get offered a really cool opportunity which I hope opens the gates to MORE opportunities. I am working on some other projects as well that I am excited about, but it will take some time before I am willing to post about any of it publicly.

 

What else has happened? We got a puppy!! Her name is Luna and she’s a German Shepherd! A beautiful girl who has been a lot of work and early mornings, but it’s been so good for me. Walks in the woods with her make me feel so much better when I start to get that anxious feeling growing in my chest.

Sadly our cat Arya is not a fan at the moment, so I have to divide up my cuddle time, but we are working on changing that.

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What’s happening with this blog?

 

I really am aiming for a more consistent update schedule! I have some backlog of reviews that I am about to post. In general, I hope you stick with me.

 

I hit a really rough patch there, but I am coming out of it stronger.

 

See you in the next post!!

 

The Snakes Start to Sing – Trump Wins,We Lose

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I wasn’t going to write this. I have been voicing my opinions on most social media platforms for the past few days. This isn’t exactly new for me, I am heavily opinionated and unapologetic. If you don’t like what I have to say, you don’t have to listen to or read my opinions.

The past two days I have seen some despicable and terrifying behavior. Trump won the election, and predictably people are scared. Because of this blog I interact online with the book community, this book community tends to be young. They are confused and scared, and I have been loud and vocal about my support for them because they need it. It’s day two and people all over the United States are being very openly harassed and treated poorly by those who think that Trump winning the election equates to them being allowed to do whatever the hell they want. They are running around using the N word like it’s candy in their mouths, and they’re grabbing the hijab off of young muslim girls because “they can” now. Or so they think.

This is what Trump’s hate rhetoric has brought forth. I am not an idiot nor am I blind. Racism has always been around. We are talking about a nation that murdered their way to owning its land, a nation of slavery that moved into an unjust system that keeps minorities down, and a nation where the education still sugar coats thanksgiving and glosses over every single one of its ugly truths. Racism has always been there, But Trump’s win has given every white male and female, every racist scumbag, every white person who’s ever said the phrase, “Not to sound racist or anything but…” a green light to think that they can go out now and openly just be racist and act on those ugly feelings however they want. Acts of harassment and violence are sprouting all over the country.

This angers me beyond words, beyond anything I could eloquently convey on this silly blog of mine. So maybe I have to do it in a less than eloquent way.

STOP telling people to calm down, and that everything will be okay. Right now, and with the acts of harassment popping up all over, nothing is okay. My heart aches for those who are now afraid to step out of their houses. With every tweet I see in this young community of someone feeling lost, alone, and sad I feel 1000 pangs of sadness for them, and then it quickly turns into rage towards those that have made them feel this way. NO ONE should feel unsafe in their home or in their own country.

Then I go onto my personal Facebook page and that rage consumes my very soul. Unhealthy? Maybe, but I can’t help it. People are that fucking stupid. I will make it clear that I have no one who supports trump on my friends list. I ended a 15 year friendship with a trump supporter months ago and I have zero regrets. But some people seem to like making jokes at the expense of others, and some like to just continuously tell people to calm down. To them I say, SHUT THE FUCK UP! You’re either wrapped up in your own ass to figure out how truly disgusting people are being at this very moment or you’re old and completely out of touch with the world today. Either way, I won’t stand for the bullshit anymore. Not that I ever did.

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See this? This popped up on my Facebook. Don’t know the original source, and I don’t care. The person who shared this wrote “Kinda true” so sir, how about you take a fucking seat so I can teach you a quick lesson. The above statement reads like the typical white excuse for horrible incidents. It’s the victim blaming bullshit that most white males nod their heads to while they jack off in their mother’s basement. “Political correctness hysteria” reads like nazi propaganda when you say it out loud. Because no, not every single joke uttered is racist, but yes plenty cross the line. If people don’t want to have something be “hysterical” at the expense of their race or religion, then it’s not fucking funny, and people don’t have to laugh at your shit. “Innocent flirt” hello their Mr.DickandBalls, you don’t get to fucking talk. You don’t have to constantly look over your shoulder when you’re out. Or when you kindly say “No thank you” to your “innocent flirtation” and the guy starts harassing you even further, or in one instance talks about how big his dick is and How I will enjoy it. So FUCK YOU and your innocent flirt. News flash Dick with ears, a culture is not a costume. If Native American’s don’t want you walking into a frat house with a native headdress while you slosh beer all over yourself and woop and hollar then they have every fucking right to call you out on it. Don’t blame the victim you giant piece of shit. That’s not how this fucking works.

You can freely say this shit and act like “no big deal” “jokes on you” because of your excessive white male privilege, but I am going to call you out on it and not give a flying fuck what you think. It’s not going to make you change because people like this basically think the world is too uptight. No, the world is just tired of being harassed, bullied, stepped on, raped, and murdered by white overly privileged shit for brains like you.

I have reached a point where I would rather burn bridges, than continue to hold back and set myself on fire just to make sure you’re warm.

I will keep being a caring, selfless, LOUD FEMINIST BITCH, and you can learn or you can fuck right off.

To those of you who feel scared and alone and need someone to talk to. I am here. Email, twitter, whatever…you can reach out to me.

LOVE & PEACE

Joana a.k.a. Metal and the Geek

A Little Louder for the People in The Back – A Look at Mental Illness

Mental_illness

I feel tired.

I feel tired all the time.

Anxiety and depression can do that, but having to explain myself a million times also does that. I get tired of getting skeptical looks, and strange waves of anger from people because I don’t and CANNOT fit into their mold of what a sick person looks like. Because I am not running a fever, I cannot be ill. Really there’s so much more bullshit that I have dealt with through out my struggles with anxiety that I felt the need to once again talk about it.

Everyone who deals with mental illness deals with it in their own way, not only that but not everyone will have the same feelings and symptoms even when they deal with the same illness. That’s always something that many people can’t seem to grasp. I cannot tell someone else’s tale of struggle, but I can tell you mine.

I was always a really shy kid. I also cried A LOT. When my parents would say that they would pick me up from say the babysitter at a set time, and they didn’t show up at that exact time, I would instantly start to sweat and I would begin to pace and ask a million questions because my mind was imagining the worst kind of car crashes in the world. At the time most people chalked it up to me being an emotional kid, but looking back I think that was just the beginning of my anxiety. I was definitely always known as the weird quiet child who liked to read. I was never a super talkative person, to this day I am not a talkative person, UNLESS of course I feel comfortable with you.

Let’s get a little darker now. I remember a time when I wasn’t aware that what I was feeling wasn’t just normal anxious feelings. In high school, I was told that I definitely had social anxiety. But it wasn’t until my early twenties, that at some point where I was having trouble breathing, I was crying nonstop for what felt like decades, and I dug my finger nails into my face that I finally realized something was really wrong with me. Since then I have sort of learned to manage it but it isn’t something with a cure. I have my really good days and I have my really bad days. I don’t hurt myself anymore, but I do still deal with panic and anxiety attacks.

The thing is, sometimes my anxiety is exacerbated by all of the negative shit that has been thrown my way in the past or even recently. I talk very openly about my struggles for a number of reasons:

  1. I want to be open with the people closest to me and also to the people I work with. Not for pity, but for understanding. There can be days where I have a hard time functioning.
  2. I want other people who are fighting this to know they are not alone.
  3. I want people who are completely ignorant about this, to learn how to deal with someone close to them and their anxiety or depression.

I also do it, because I always get asked weird shit, or talked about in a negative light because people just don’t understand. When I cancel plans with people because the thought of having to be around a group of people or public transportation is just terrifying that day, I don’t need to be told that I am flakey. I am not flakey, I am putting myself and my mental health first. I don’t feel that it is necessary to possibly be alone on a train, having an anxiety attack just to meet up for a drink. That’s not what I will ever do. Many friends stopped inviting me to places in the past, and many people were extremely rude and aggressive about me canceling plans. So when I find someone who understands without missing a beat, I try to hold onto those people. My advice to anyone who has dealt with this is to let go of the ones who tear you down over your struggles, and keep close those who let you take care of yourself first.

Recently someone said that they knew I was trouble when they first met me because I couldn’t look them in the eye when I first met them. This angered me greatly. Not because they don’t like me, not everyone has to like me, I really couldn’t give two flying dicks about that part. It angered me because when I first meet people, I tend to have a hard time making eye contact. Meeting new people causes an alarming amount of stress for me and I have a hard time making eye contact. They took that as me being –I don’t know…some kind of vixen? An evil queen wannabe? Don’t know. It’s just one of the many times someone has misunderstood something about my anxiety and twisted it to make me look bad. It’s not new for me.

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When someone has a physical illness everyone is ready to be helpful, supportive, and show empathy. As it should be. I am quite grateful that physically at the moment I am healthy. The thing is that many people don’t see anxiety and depression as a real illness. They seem to think we are all drama queens who can’t get our shit together. I wish I could be that good at acting because I would probably have an Oscar sitting on the mantle of my big ass house on a hilltop in Portugal. I hate when I have a bad moment in front of people I don’t particularly like or trust because I know from experience how they will use that against me. I also hate getting “advice” from people who have never in their lives dealt with anxiety or depression themselves. Stop telling me to do yoga or to drink tea. I’ve done those things and they don’t work for me. Everything you can possibly name, I have tried it. I already have my ways of dealing with it, but again there ISN’T a cure. You get better with time, and then you will still have a few bad days here and there. It’s just how it goes.

None of us want your pity. We want your respect and yes a little bit of empathy would be nice. If I feel so tired that I need a nap, then let me nap. My brain doesn’t function like yours. It spends hours and days sometimes trying to untangle my thoughts, and that in itself is really exhausting. Pretend my brain is running a bunch of marathons through out the week there comes a point where I just can’t take it anymore. I am drained of all energy.  I do not nap on a daily basis, but if there’s someone out there that does and needs it, then let them. This is another one of those moments where we get told that we are being lazy.

So when I am asked why I constantly talk about my anxiety, my response is because people still think I am being rude, lazy, stuck up, or generally awful all because I choose to do certain things to better my mental health or I do them because my anxiety sort of makes me do things that people find strange. I shouldn’t have to constantly explain myself, but because mental illness is still a topic that many people ignore, I HAVE TO explain myself so I can hopefully make a break through with some people.

Know that this is a REAL illness, and millions of people are struggling to move forward every single day. Stop treating us like we are liars and stop telling us to relax. I promise you, it really doesn’t work that way.

The Hardest Mountain I Will Ever Climb

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I cannot speak for anyone else. This is my story, and as such it will probably be difficult for others to understand. I decided to write this because all day I have felt really excruciatingly tired. About half an hour ago, I felt the back of my neck feel like it was underneath an open flame, I started to sweat profusely and suddenly I felt like my chest was caving in like this is it, this is certainly the time I go. I know what’s happening with the subtle signals my body begins to give me, but it has never made it any easier. I had another panic attack. In fact I am still coming down from it, my eyes still slightly blurry from the sobbing that ensues. First and foremost, I am not writing this for pity. I just needed to write it down. I follow Jenny Lawson and her two books have inspired me to share an aspect of myself that most people are aware of but that they probably don’t quite understand.

I sometimes still feel that when I have panic attacks in front of strangers that they are thinking “Oh god look at this drama queen!” I gotta say that I have even gotten it from people I know, so I can’t exactly expect strangers to understand. I honestly wish I was that good at acting. Sobbing on cue seems like something that could get me an oscar. Unfortunately, I cannot control it.

How do I explain it to you? Well for one, it feels like my mind is a giant mess of wires. You know you probably have a box somewhere with a bunch of different kinds of wires that have different purposes, but they are currently tangled together into a giant useless blob. Well, my anxiety/depression issues are me spending entire days trying to untangle those wires. I could be laying around looking extremely lazy, but the reality in my head is much much different. There I am, day in and day out trying to untangle the wires, and when the end of the day comes along, I feel exhausted. For an outsider it looks like I have done nothing at all, but now you know what it looks like. It is a frustrating situation.

The thing is, I don’t want to stop. The only time it really affected my work, was when I was given Vicodin for pain and it sent my brain chemistry into a frenzy. I was away from work for a week, and I think that might have been my worst moment. Currently, I am dealing with some serious anxiety. I feel okay, and then I don’t, and when I don’t that is when I have a hard time focusing on anything other than those damn wires. I think what helps me is that I genuinely love my job, I also know that I have understanding coworkers. School is getting tougher, but that is to be expected, and I am pushing through, and getting pretty good grades. I think of those things, and there’s always this slight moment of clarity as I panic, where I KNOW I am going to be okay. I just wish that would compute for more than a split second. I think what I really need is to be honest with myself, and get new meds. When someone has a physical ailment no one even blinks when they take medication. So I think I need to be good to myself and just go and figure out what’s best for me.

I decided to share this because like Jenny Lawson, I have decided to be Furiously Happy. Even through this struggle, I tell myself every single day “You are, and will continue to be Furiously Happy” yes, panic attacks are scary, but I am stronger every time I go through it.If you’re reading this and are having a rough time as well, just know there is no shame in asking for help. Go to a professional, and really get the help you need and deserve. Be furiously happy, because we are all climbing this mountain together.

The Dirty Thirty

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It’s March!!! And you know what that means?

No I guess you don’t. You’re probably thinking about Easter bunnies, and how to handle that hangover around your family on Easter Sunday. Good Luck with that by the way. Ah, but for me, March means my Birthday is coming. Typically I don’t make a big deal about this, but it is 2016…and I dear friends was born in 1986. Which makes me OLD. HAHA no that will simply make me 30 years old which a lot of my friends who are entering the same age seem to feel is a death sentence. I don’t know if there’s some kind of switch somewhere when you turn 30 that will automatically turn a person into a really lame and boring adult, but I think people are freaking out for no damn good reason. I for one am pretty damn sure that turning 30 doesn’t mean my entire life turns to dust. I am grateful that I am able to get older and older. I know a few people who didn’t make it this far, and I am sure their friends and family wish they had.

I am officially calling it the dirty thirty. I actually wonder how many Porn searching pervs are going to end up here because of this. Sorry sir, the <——porn is that way ——>

I know a few people who are going to tell me that I should have my bachelors degree by now, that I should be married, and HEY where are the babies? To get those out of the way now, I work at my own pace, I never knew what I wanted to do, and Life threw me some curve balls, mind your business. Marriage? Well it’s on the cards eventually, but what do you care? You won’t be invited. Babies? Take a giant leap out of my vagina! Please and thank you.

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I turn 30 on March 23rd in case you want to sing to me. You know what the beauty of being an adult is? No one can tell you SHIT about your life. You do what you want when you want. You want to walk around your place naked? DO IT! You want to eat that giant piece of birthday cake? DO IT! You want to eat that giant piece of cake while walking around naked? DO IT! Who’s going to stop you? No one, except if you walk out of the house, then the cops might.

The Dirty Thirty

When I got the idea to write this, I searched online and all I could find were things like “30 things to do before you’re 30” All of which seem really difficult to achieve in the next 22 days. or the really depressing “30 things you will regret not doing before you turn 30” Bitch you don’t know my life! So I decided on, 30 things I will try to do while in my 30’s, the dirty thirty!!

  1. Learn how to play the bass guitar
  2. Get one of my books published
  3. Stop Worrying about absolutely everything
  4. Take up Kick Boxing
  5. Visit London. SO MUCH HARRY POTTER…SO MUCH.
  6. Stop Burning myself out just to make other people happy
  7. Keep Growing my Library
  8. Find a workout that I don’t despise with every fiber in my body.
  9. Visit Barcelona
  10. Wear whatever I want. Yes that means my Super hero and Harry Potter shirts are going NOWHERE.
  11. Better my German speaking skills. Yea I understand you, but this language is a mother fucker for me, and I still have a hard time with conversations. Though I really don’t give two shits what people seem to think about that. “You’re not fluent yet?” no but you’re still an asshole.
  12. Learn coding…Because I want to.
  13. Learn How to play the drums.
  14. Visit Sweden again.
  15. Go to Wacken again.
  16. Write more
  17. Read more
  18. Visit Venice Again
  19. Get my Driver’s License here in Germany, cuz I wasn’t allowed to exchange my NJ driver’s license. While it is not necessary, I loved driving, and I miss it.
  20. Buy a house.
  21. Get a couple more Tattoos.
  22. Dye my hair a funky color. I haven’t dyed my hair for about 5 or 6 years.
  23. Find a better skin routine. I continue to break out, and need to find what really works for me.
  24. Possibly have a kid, NEVER complain about them on Facebook. Because honestly I DON’T GIVE A SHIT how tired your child makes you, you look like a fucking asshole when all you do is complain about them online.
  25. Learn Italian … also just because.
  26. Take more pictures. I have two really great cameras and I barely used them last year. That makes me sad, because I used to really love photography, and while I still do, I put it on the back burner.
  27. Put my phone away more often. I find that my phone is in my hand a lot more than I care to admit. I want to change that.
  28. Take hikes and enjoy it.
  29. See more of Germany. I have seen bits and pieces, but I would like to travel around and see more cities.
  30. Get my Bachelors move onto my Masters…LIKE A MOTHER FUCKING BOSS.

Those are the dirty thirty. Things I will aim to achieve throughout my thirties. Things maybe you achieved in your 20’s but if you think that makes you better than me, you are wrong. The truth is, there’s no time limit to reach your goals. I will fight every day to achieve my goals and dreams, because that’s just how I am.

So here’s to getting older, and growing bolder!! Age is only a number, and you shouldn’t get freaked out by it. Look at all the things you have done till this point, and look what the future holds. Don’t let ANYONE make you feel shitty about your life. I am saying this to you as much as I am saying it to myself. Life is meant to be lived, don’t let it just coast by because you think “I’m too old for that shit.” You aren’t.

March 23rd, I am coming for you!!

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The Art of Missing Out

I originally wrote this back in November while in Portugal. I decided it needed to be placed up here on my main blog. Check it out. 

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me in Portugal

I have spent most of my life outside of the land I was born in. At first not by choice and then it was a decision I made.

Sitting here at 2:00am back in Portugal. I felt the need to write something that maybe no one understands. I left when I was four, but I think I forgot my soul here. Children are forgetful, and I left a piece of myself here.

I lived in New Jersey most of my life. It was never home to me. People always laugh when I say that because when I speak English I sound American. When I Speak Portuguese I sound American. When I speak German, yes I sound American. But I am not. I never became a citizen. It was not home. Sure I made wonderful friends. I wouldn’t change a thing about that, but I’ve felt lost for a lot longer than I realized and I’ve missed out on a life I will never know because it was never meant for me to meet.

I’ve missed out on a lot of things. I have watched young cousins grow up in splashes of time. Older relatives faces tell stories that I was never a part of. Does this make me sad? Well I think there’s a bit of sadness there sure. I would trade some aspects of my past to be able to have more memories with a lot of people. Then I look at how my life has worked out and how I’m currently sitting here again, and while I call Germany home, because it is my home, my soul may always live here in Portugal.

It’s an art really, to come back and each time feel like I’m meeting some people for the first time every time. But they’re so deeply embedded into my heart either way. Now as I watch my nephew beginning to grow here into someone who I am so proud of, my little niece who smiles more than any baby I’ve ever seen, I think about all the things I will be missing out on and how that breaks my heart.

Then I think about how much closer they are now, how much closer I am to the place where my soul lives. And there’s a joy there. One I am looking forward to exploring. It’s an art. The Art of Missing out.