Friday Open Thread: You Deserve to Feel Better

Hello gentle summer rains! Welcome to the Friday Open Thread. It is so good to see you. How are you? How is your cat? I can’t wait to hear all about it.

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care and like, believing I deserve to feel better. I just got prescribed an anti-depressant for the first time after my therapist looked me in the eye and said “It doesn’t have to be this hard.” Y’all, who knew? It has always been this hard. It’s only been a week but I’m already finding it easier to get out of bed in the morning, and I’m more motivated to get out of my house and do things. I rearranged a bunch of my furniture. I’ve been writing. I finished re-reading Harry Potter because #summer and I cried SO MUCH when [name omitted] dies. (Feel free to guess in the comments, with spoiler warnings, which death would be the one to make me sob uncontrollably every time.)

In short, I’m feeling more like myself than I have since I moved back to Texas, except perhaps at camp where I am inevitably the most myself possible.

It is pretty cool!

So what about you, lovelies? How are you feeling? Are you wearing enough sunscreen? Have you bought your very favorite snack food at the grocery store lately? What is your favorite snack food???

As always, pet pictures, selfies and crush confessions are highly encouraged. I’m so excited to hang out with y’all!


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Adrian is a writer, a Texan and a sometimes-heretical Presbyterian. They write about bisexuality, gender, religion, politics, music and a whole lot of feelings at Autostraddle and wherever fine words are sold. They have a dog named after Alison Bechdel. Follow Adrian on Twitter @audreywhitetx.

Adrian has written 140 articles for us.

177 Comments

  1. Hi everyone.
    Well. The week finishes with bad news. It’s hard to process, and it feels like I barely got ‘over’ Orlando, and now it’s back to grieving for France. Sometimes it feels like things are going to get worse and worse and there is nothing we can do. A friend of mine said this is why we have to focus on these radical acts of care that we can show to those around us. So I want to give you all a hug and tell you that you are all wonderful.

    On another note ! I’m preparing my trip to the US in August :D. I’ll be spending three weeks travelling between NYC and Chicago, with stops in Philly, DC and Ann Arbor. I’m so excited !!! I’ve got friends to host me everywhere EXCEPT NYC. I’ve been trying to look for queer couch surfers who could host me and show me the good spots but I’ve had no luck so far :/.

    Anybody here interested ? :D. I’ll be in NYC from August 9th until the 15th. I’m a pretty great cook and promise to share food and culture, good stories and passion of all things queer.

    I’m headed to London tonight to meet up with friends, and we’ll go to the beach on Saturday, have a picnic and do some kitesurfing. It’s gonna be brilliant. I hope you all have a great one too.

    LOVE.

  2. AH! I’m so glad to hear antidepressants are helping you! I took some for a while during a really hard time in my life, and it’s true. Things don’t have to be that hard.

    So I’ve been attending a queer women’s meetup for about a month now and… a girl from there is now flirting with me on Facebook :O I’m not sure if I am ready to have a summer fling as I *just* had my big breakup back in May and I’m a very emotional person when it comes to dating and sex. But she’s a cutie. Idk! Ahhh!

  3. Hiya everyone. In the last few days I’ve come down with a gross cold and used it as an excuse to turn on my oven and eat lot of unsummery foods (mashed potatoes, baked vegetables, soups).

    The name of the game lately has been job hunting. It can feel really frustrating having a ton of side hustles/temp jobs/occasional work situations because even though I just got a really awesome freelance gig, my search isn’t over! It’s never over!

    Also, I’ve started signing up for my grad classes, freaking out about how soon they start, freaking out about finding my way around a new campus, freaking in general, and gathering all my art crap together to move into my brand new, private studio at school 🙂

  4. Happy Friday, humanfolk! I <3 you. I hope you are as safe as you can be and I hope your anger is clean-burning and I hope you are cuddling puppies or kittens. I hope you go to a creek and lie in the cool bright water, or find another way to restore your deep wells. I'm so happy that you're here and I'm here. I wish you deep breaths and summer cuddles. I wish everything for you.

  5. It’s inventory at work tomorrow and I had to dog my boss all day cause someone accidentally scheduled me two eight-hour shifts when I’m only supposed to have one, which, I get it, I’m great, but I’m just not that great and I need sleep sometime! But they cancelled the shift that would have kept me from going to roller derby, so it’s a win win for me really

  6. I have my first (kinda??) date?? thing since a pretty bad breakup today so pls wish me luck! im wearing my lucky necklance called “the lady killer” so that’s rad. anyways. i’ve pretty much only been doing acro/aerial and that is awesome!!

  7. How are you dealing with the heat/ humidity here in the lone star state?!!!! I want to the dry heat back. I hate this bipolar heat that we have in Texas.

    Anyhow, I know how you feel about the anti-depressant thing. My doctor prescribed me one because the Adderall I am taking isn’t that effective. She wants to try a comb of anti-depressant and stimulants and if it doesn’t work, I guess she will just give me a higher dose of stimulants? She said something about I have anxiety and depression but I don’t feel like that is the case. I am not really taking the anti-depressant though. I am too scared.

    Oh, yesterday was my birthday! I did nothing! 😀 I worked! 😀 I can rent a car now with no problem! 😀 And I AM CLOSER TO 30! 🙁 AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So yeah. Another day is gone and I can’t wait for the next. I figured to keep pushing my self to greater aspirations and to not be so negative. I am wondering what year number 25 will bring.

    I hope everyone has been doing okay. School is almost here guys! I am taking Accounting right now! Debits must equal Credits you guys! Assets=Liabilities + Stockholder’s Equity you guys! It’s all being drilled in to my brain!!!!!! I HAD SUGAR NOT TOO LONG AGO YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Hey fans with the roller skate jams,

    OH MAN SELF CARE.

    I have been wacky busy the last few months, which means I have been working really hard not to procrastinate on certain things, so that when its time for me to have nonsense and shenanigans, I can do that without worrying about getting shit done. Like, work when I’m gonna work and then don’t check my email for three days when that’s the plan.

    I have also been living off the tjs deli because my office is right around the corner and that is not typically how I roll, but it is making my life work right now.

    There is also a wealth of chocolate covered things that are a pleasant indulgence, though lately the chocolate feels kind of waxy to me? I am really into shrimp chips lately, also throwing them on top of meal-type-things, because it’s good.

    Otherwise, I think things are good? My honey and I are taking a break from couples counseling because things are really solid, but we’ll miss our person! It’s so helpful, but we’re also feelin good about flying without a net for awhile.

    i have been mostly wearing enough sunscreen except for this one day where I didn’t and I went for a long bike ride in the sun and was promptly red all over for the next several days.

    And I’m gonna read the autobiography from the members of heart once I get it from the library tonight! Woo!

    Otherwise my self care looks a lot like trying my best and then being like “well I tried my best” and not worrying about shit 24/7 after I did what I could. And wearing super comfy clothes. Idk how people do it all the time wearing shit that’s so uncomfortable! You deserve for your feet not to hurt honey! You don’t have to wear crocs but please be nice to your feet!

    Oh also I saw a doc for the first time in forever, and I was super scared they would be shitty and body shamey, but she was totally nice, and she was a naturopath but a really grounded one who didn’t push crystals. (Crystals are chill but I don’t want that from my doctor doctor).

    Happy weekend babes! Get lots of sleep and eat yummy snacks! You deserve it!

  9. I’m so, so glad antidepressants are helping you. Getting out from under that cloud feels amazing and I’m glad you get to experience that.

    The world has been super-shitty lately, so I’ve been spending some time making “take what you need” posters (inspired by @lolau). It’s not quite as effective online, but I invite you to virtually take what you need anyway:

    I am also providing you with an Oscar, who has Opinions about this week.

    (Shameless promo: he has a new-ish IG page at @oscarpennyandreid)

    As for the HP death, I’m guessing it’s SPOILER Fred. It’s probably due in part to the meta/fanfic I’ve read on Tumblr (especially wrt George’s reaction), but just thinking about his death guts me. It’s almost worse than Sirius’./SPOILER.

  10. Well, I wrote a post, but it didn’t post. I’ll try again.

    Hi Audrey! I’m glad that the anti-depressants are helping you. I imagine it’s as hot and humid in Texas as it is here. And then when it rains, it feels like a sauna outside. With regards to Harry Potter, did you cry when Dobby died? I did.

    I’ve been playing a game off of Steam called Nightfall: Escape. For the most part, it’s a standard survival/horror game, where you play the part of Ara Cruz, a journalist investigated a creepy old mansion. So, you’ve got cheap jump scares, no idea what’s going on, lots of really dark places, and rooms that look they haven’t been cleaned in the past 50 years or so, ha ha. The ghosts and demons are from Philippines culture, like the Aswang and the Manananggal, which is pretty interesting to me. Honestly, I feel like Ara Cruz should just get out of the mansion, and call the lady Ghostbusters to come in and take care of things. =)

  11. Fourth attempt. R.E. Self care; I want to run about and play Pokemon go, and see Ghostbusters, and nap with my wife, and eat nice food. Sadly people want me to do things like attend weddings, be their friend, act like a grown up. Frankly it’s grinding me down. Hence 4 attempts at writing this in a way which wasn’t completely morose. Have great weekends folks, I wish you good weather, all the Pokemon you desire, consensual hugs and all your self care needs to be met.

  12. Wow. I literally did just get back from the grocery store where I bought my all favorite snack foods. (I had to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn to drive a coworker to the airport, which is near Trader Joe’s, so naturally I had to stop there because its 45 minutes from my house and I don’t go there as often as I like). I accidentally spent $75 at TJ’s when I just meant to buy some dried fruit and trail mix. Oops. At least I’ll have really good snacks for the next few weeks…

  13. Hello everyone! It´s so nice to read from you again and hear about all the ways you take good care of yourselves! I neglected my selfcare routine a bit these past 2 weeks and should probably start fresh. My selfcare mostly consists of sleeping enough (like…9-10 hours… everything less is not enough for me most of the time) and making daily notes about two things that I handled well/two things that were positive about me during that day. I am way to mean and harsh and negative towards myself and just recently realised how mean I often “talk” to myself in my head if I run into something/am clumsy etc.. (which happens pretty often.) So I want to slowly learn to be a better friend for myself. All I have to ask is: How would I treat my best friend(s) in this situation and what would I tell them? So this is an interesting process and I guess it takes time…

    The other thing I did last month and didn´t continue: I (temporarily) gave up sugar. It was (after the first ca. 5-6 days) really easy – I just didn´t buy anything with sugar. And I had a lot less migraines, than I normaly have. But that might have been a coincidence. But still – I generally felt better. So I will try to return to that habit (well… as soon as I have drunk my last 3 soft drinks, which I have in stock right now…)

    And – only kind of self care related but a really great thing I´m excited about: I enrolled myself up for a sign language course for beginners which starts in about a month! 🙂 I´ve wanted to start learning sign language for so long and now I´ll finally do it! 🙂 So thats probably also a way of self care – doing the things you really like to do! 🙂

    • I want to second the power of writing down the things about yourself that are positive and good things you did and things that made you feel happy! It is so helpful and my favorite journaling exercise.

      I hope your sign language class goes well! That’s so awesome.

      • Yeah, I like this exercise too, it´s really helpful! Sometimes I already feel like my perspective changes and I focus on the more positive things and am kind of looking for good things to say/think about myself (most of the time its the other way around).

        Thank you! I am so excited about my sign language class! 🙂

  14. Glad the meds are helping! I know going on anti-anxiety meds helped me tremendously- suddenly I was no longer just coping, and actually *being*.

    It’s been a bit of an up-and-down week here. One of my recent obsessions- speaking of self-care- is that I’ve started taking introductory burlesque lessons at a local studio. The studio is super LGBT-friendly (at least two of the instructors are out queers), and is explicitly built on a foundation of body positivity (the idea being that feeling comfortable showing off your body is the ultimate manifestation in confidence in it), and its associated with a performing troupe that features several dancers who very deliberately don’t try to fit into normative beauty standards.

    It’s been a really great experience for me- partially because it’s allowed me to reconnect and really learn how to move in my body (something I tried to avoid doing for most of my life, because dysphoria), and to really affirm my womanhood and femininity in a radical way. It’s also been good to remind me that there *are* women (cis and trans) who have wide shoulders like me, narrow hips like me, and shallow breasts like me, which has really helped me develop a more positive body image.

    The biggest highlight is that a couple weeks ago the studio had a workshop on how to do vintage pin-up-girl style makeup and hair, culminating in a photoshoot. I got to be one of the demo models for the makeup artist to work on, and today I got the photos back*. I had no idea how gorgeous I could look- I literally almost cried. It was amazing.

    The other good news is that my fiancee and I are getting really pumped about wedding stuff (2.5 months to go!), and she also found out she’s been giving two weeks off in August for a vacation. While she’ll be gone at a conference for part of it, and it also overlaps with my grad school orientation, we’re hoping to squeeze in at least a few daytrips or other adventures.

    The bad news is that I’ve been running the numbers, and discovered that with the salary I’ll be making as a TA this coming semester, my finances are going to be pretty tight. While I can cover all of the critical day-to-day expenses- food, gas, my share of the rent, etc- I probably won’t be able to cover most of my transition-related costs (electrolysis, voice lessons, etc).

    Previously I’d been funding my transition out of a not-huge-but-not-necessarily-trivial-either inheritance my grandfather left me (yeah, I know, I got really lucky on that account), but recently my mom (who’s otherwise supportive of me being trans) has been increasingly difficult about getting money from the trust transferred to me. Apparently, she’s concerned that I won’t be able to survive on my own, and wants me to prove to her my ability to be financially self-sufficient and have my act together (though given that I’m 29 and a PhD student, my suspicion is that this is her just projecting her own financial insecurities on to me; my mom has *serious* issues with enmeshment when it comes to me).

    The good news is that inheritance will be transferred directly to me when I turn 30, in less than a year, but in the meantime, I’m wondering if I’ll have to put some aspects of transition on hold while I cut back all but the most basic expenses. I’m also trying to figure out ways to make some more money on the side- I’m considering doing part-time tutoring (either online, or through my university), but I’d love to hear other suggestions.

    Sigh. Being trans can be a real pain sometimes.

    *In case you want to see one of the pics (and of course you do), go here: http://exsandohsphotography.pixieset.com/tessa/p/NTg5NzY4NTE1-OTM3MTE5ODM3/ (*marginally* SWF)

    • Wow Tessa these photos are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

      I hope your financial worries become more manageable and/or that your mom chills out a bit. You are kicking ass and it sounds like you have so much to look forward to!! Is the burlesque troupe coming to the wedding??

      • Heh, I thought about it, but I don’t know if I know them well enough at this point (I’ve only been taking lessons for about two months) for it to be non-awkward for them. There are definitely a few I wouldn’t mind being there, though.

    • Editing (work by those less skilled in academic English, or even high schooler’s admission essays). This is funding my dog’s psychoactive drugs. Dog-walking, cat-sitting, participate in studies on campus (psych, linguistics, etc). These often have the option where you can decline some work when you are likelier to be busy, like grading deluges after exams.

  15. It’s really hot in NYC. I’m sitting in a coffee shop, and I’m so exhausted. I forget how tiring it is to walk around in 90+ degree weather with humidity. I want to take a nap, but I’m doing a double feature at the movies this evening with my sister (The Secret Life of Pets and Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates). I’m obviously most excited about The Secret Life of Pets, mostly because of my eternal need to know what my dog is thinking at any given time.

    If I were to adapt The Danish Girl into a musical for my musical theatre writing class, and cast a trans woman in the title role (not a cis dude), would it be a good idea for an adaptation? I still want to adapt Carol, but I’m searching for other possibilities. Please note that this is for academic purposes, so I don’t need to worry about getting the rights to adapt.

    • I want to see Secret Life Of Pets just to confirm that it is in fact exactly the same plot at Toy Story but with pets instead of toys.

      I didn’t see The Danish Girl but it seems like reclaiming that story and centering actual trans women in the retelling could be pretty cool, from what I understand about the film.

    • Oh hey, I saw that film at a sneak preview. honestly, along with casting a man as a trans woman, a big problem with it was that the script seemed to make Lilli’s cis wife the major figure for audience identification. Partly this was just because Alicia Vikander acted the hell out of the part and walked away with the whole movie, but I think a good adaptation would be less about discovering “oh my god, my spouse is trans!” and more about “hey, I am trans!” if that makes sense?

  16. How’s everyone’s week? I again came out as genderqueer to my parents this week. They asked if I have gender or not, I said I am my own gender. I didn’t really feel like elaborating, but I think they weren’t happy with that. I know who I am and to take a Judas Priest lyrics out of context(songs about depression), “This is my life, this is my life, I’ll decide not you.”

    Saturday I spent my time on one of my favorite roads(which happens to be in Malibu) at night with a good music, & spirited drive. Then stopped at place etched into a picnic table, Black Trans Lives Matter. Table wasn’t there anymore. 🙁 But, did spend my night solo just star gazing, dancing, and being a high queer. It was relaxing and great, specially since I wasn’t too far from city, yet saw more stars than average.
    Sunday I went hiking in a nature preserve, but sadly didn’t see any wildlife besides a snake, and two people horseback. A bit disappointed as I was hoping to see some birds. Went to a friends place to go to a BLM event in the LBC, which was predominately white(should have gone to the Inglewood one where marchers stopped the flow for traffic on the busy 405 and later on made the peace sign). I made a black trans lives matter poster. Also went to happy hour at Mary’s where I had a nice convo with a black trans masculine person. It was a great way to unwind since I had jury duty Monday. Rest of the week was mundane.

    From my Saturday endeavor.

    Sunday hike

    Said snake I saw

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • Parents are hard but I’m proud of you for speaking your truth! It sounds like you are doing awesome and positive things these days. Also these pictures are wonderful! What kind of camera do you use?

      • For these it’s a Fuji X-E1 with the 27mm pancake. I’m trying to save up for one of those third party ultra wide lenses, which are pretty affordable on amazon(think less than $350). Cause 27mm(40mm in film/full frame cameras) even in pano isn’t wide enough to capture the view. Also doesn’t hurt I’m slowly learning how to improve my skill.

    • Hey Al, congrats on talking to your parents! Even if they don’t understand yet and/or aren’t thrilled, I’m glad you were able to speak your truth (as overused as that phrase can feel, it still seems like the best one). Do you think they’d be open to reading some info on being genderqueer if you forwarded it to them?

  17. I was recently turned down for a job at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association so I have been trying to practice some self care while also balancing applying for jobs and planning my move with my partner! I am moving into her apartment complex which doesn’t allow pets and I’m bummed about that because I’d really like a cat or a pair of guinea pigs.

    I hate the 90 degree weather and I’m going to drool at Kate McKinnon at Ghostbusters tonight in 3D might I add and maybe even get some ice cream!

    I hope everyone is staying cool literally and figuratively B)

  18. I got a new job! I’m leaving a stressful life of balancing two part-time jobs that only paid about $10 an hour and sometimes up to three weeks with no day off to a normal full-time job at $14 an hour 😀 WHOO

  19. I got a job this week!!! I’m super excited and I should start in a week. I also need to find a new apartment – which is good though because I’ll be moving out of my parents’ place.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!

  20. These are a couple of sentences to avoid spoilers for Harry Potter, although if a person hasn’t read them by now, I doubt they ever will! It’s never too late though, they’re so much fun! The first time I read book six though, I was pretty depressed, and when characters started dying, it did not help.

    Ok Audrey, was it Hedwig?

  21. Hello, all you lovelies. I hope you’re taking care of yourselves this summer; it feels far too much like the start of HP7, and I just want to wish you all the strongest brightest patronuses.

    This week, I am reading Hawking’s “A brief history of time”, and I am SO EXCITED about it. I have a million questions, and am considering enrolling in a physics course for Fall .

    I realize I’m quarter of a century late on this one, so does anyone have any recommendations for Physics reading?

    Also, I really really want to find out why Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is not considered just a measurement issue leading to quantum mechanics being based on a default probability spectrum. When I’ve tried to look it up, I’ve just found “because” as an answer, which is making me feel like a toddler.

    I did have a lovely coversation with my 90-year old grandmother about light theories this morning though <3.

    • I liked ‘Surely you’re joking, Dr. Feynman’ although it wouldn’t qualify as a feminist piece of writing by any stretch, it has some fun physics in it. MIT and Kahn Academy have a lot of pretty dang good video coursework for science / math that’s free. I liked the Hawking book though for sure I didn’t understand a lot of it; I hope you highlight some of your fave parts for us in the upcoming weeks.

    • DO IT. Physics is awesome and beautiful!

      My Physics I and II classes in undergrad used the Six Ideas That Shaped Physics textbook, which comes in 6 volumes, one for each unit (though it doesn’t include optics). I found them to be quite readable, as they were designed to be used with a flipped classroom, where students read the chapter and do a few homework problems beforehand, then work through more examples and questions in class.

    • I am a little uncertain about what to make of the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle, but it certainly does give cause for thought about how uncertain our current knowledge is in regard to the certain ways particles interact with each other. Certainly, I applaud your desire to learn and bring much more certainty to this instance of uncertainty in the universe. I am certain you agree.?

    • Also Cosmos by Carl Sagan! (Sorry for the double post, i’m getting a PhD in astrophysics so I get a little excited when physics pops up on queer websites since they’re usually so separate)

    • I really enjoyed Hyperspace by Michio Kaku. It was the book that got me hooked on casually reading about physics so I would say it was pretty good. Another book is The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean Carroll. It’s about the Higgs boson which, out of all the bosons I know about, is by far the most interesting (and the only one I know anything about).

    • Thank you ALL so much for all your wonderful comments, encouragement and suggestions!!! I will definitely try all the recommendations.
      Today I was reading about the Copenhagen Interpretation, and thinking how to my untutored mind, the difference between light as a wave or particle is like analog vs digital.

  22. First off I totally meant to reply to everyone who commented on my comment last Friday, but I suck and never got around to it. Im sorry; I promise im not ignoring you.

    This week has been a mixed bag. I’m out right now and I feel I should be getting home, and it’s giving me anxiety. I don’t know why. It happens pretty much every time, though. The upset tummy and intestines feelings suck every time, though.

    On Wednesday I went to a talk at Red Emma’s about police harassment as street harassment. I found out that there are anti-racism orgs in Baltimore that will teach and train us whites (from other whites, so no PoC are being emotionally drained) how to talk about racism with other whites– smthg that came up as needing to be done, bc obviously PoC are sick and tired of defending their humanity. The orgs are Baltimore Racial Justice Action and Showing Up for Racial Justice. Also, Hollaback’s app lets you tag what kind of harassment you have happen to you, including police harassment.

    I’ve restarted keeping track of symptoms and stuff, speaking of mental illness and health. I’ve modified a checklist over time, but I stopped using it, only restarting it now. So I can keep track of stuff like tiredness and anxiety and avoidance and lack of concentration and stuff like that again.

    I also was playing Pokemon Go today while walking haha. I’m usually a power walker, but today I was much slower, since I had to stop at pokestops and catch pokemon. :B I caught a Kingler! I’m only level 5, so I think that’s kind of a big thing.

    There’s two bookstore employees trying to get the app to work in the store hahaha.

    Also when I was asked to join a team, I shut the game off and restarted bc the pressure was too much haha;;;;; I suck at choices.

    I also got to hang out with friends on Wednesday, but I kept feeling like they wished I wasn’t there? Like. I just felt annoying and like everything that came out of my mouth was stupid. Like they would’ve had a better time without me.

    Oh, I also got my own snooter tank top! It’s really glorious. I would show you all, but photobucket on my phone is a butt. (You can get it on my redbubble if u luv snooters: my username is lossen :))

    I keep having cis men hit on me when im waiting for the bus. It’s tiring. And irritating. Sigh. Oh well.

    • oh gosh if i used a checklist i’d have to check off avoidance like 24/7. this is why i don’t use a checklist? lol

      i’ve definitely exited the game more than once to avoid having to choose a team. i’m thinking yellow ’cause that’s what my roommate chose, but i’d kinda wanted to choose blue before that, so idk. and yeah, those pokestops will definitely slow your walking down. i was trying to exercise walk and catch pokemon at the same time, and i’m not sure how effective i was, lol.

      • @carules HAHAHA right????? I keep x-ing it. Part of the reason is that i have an AC unit in my room & haven’t gotten the other one into a window downstairs yet; the other part is…. avoidance haha. I also keep x-ing the “fatigue” box & “anxiety”.

        I was gonna choose the blue one, because ice & water & i like the color blue, but i liked how the red leader was all “Pokemon are warmhearted & BETTER THAN PEOPLE” & also their silhouette was cute?? idk hahAAAH. Also i don’t want to be judged over a damn dang diddly Pokemon team; i’ve heard some people are taking it way too far. :\

        I was outside for so long doing the Poke Thing that i started to feel bad in the heat. I eventually went to a Starbucks to get a fancy cold brew vanilla thing (yum) & journal a bit. Also my thighs are a little messed up & ouch from rubbing together so much aaaa. I didn’t even go out of my way, really; i think it was kind of from walking slower than usual.

    • If you are an app person, I really like Pacifica for tracking mood/anxiety/energy/self-care and setting goals for working with things like avoidance and social anxieties. I’m a compulsive journal-er but when I get busy or am not in a great place I kind of need an obnoxious thing buzzing to remind me to take my mental/emotional/physical health seriously. It’s a freemium situation but I’ve never felt like I needed the premium features, but it’s helpful enough that I probably would. Bonus points for the tool where you can write or say things that caused strong/outsized emotional reactions or mood shifts, identify cognitive distortions, and then reframe. /unpaid commercial

      I’m pretty sure Ali wrote about it for a Sunday tech roundup, too.

  23. Hello, people! This is my first open-thread post, we’ll see how it goes. Three good things from this week:

    1. My wife and son and I went to see a taping of Late Night with Stephen Colbert! It was wonderful fun. She got a priority ticket because she’s a math teacher, and Colbert wanted to do something nice for teachers. Only two tickets, but we checked in so early that I got #4 on the standby list. And I got in! I thought this never worked, especially for a show in that much demand. But 13 of us got in. So we all three got to see it, I was in the balcony but it turned out I had a better view than my sweetie and son, who were behind the cameras for a lot of it.

    2. I wore a tank top I bought from the people who do the trans*march in SF. Since I’m still working out a lot of fear around going out in public in, like, a hippie dress, I used this to be out to a whole lot of tourists and people in Midtown on their lunch hour (my wife said she did see “a lot of double takes” ?). Was I dressed as a woman? I’m a woman, and I was dressed. But I’m 5’11”, plus I have a labrys tat on my right shoulder that I got when we visited SF in 2000, which to most people just looks like an axe, FWIW. And I wore it today to go to the bank. I’ll have to wash it soon but it’s a way for me to be out and not scared, promote visibility, and do what I’m calling “practice ignoring people”–which I’ll have to do a lot once I’m wearing something more obviously feminine, while staying aware of potential threats. It’s New York City and it’s fucking crowded, between 2-3 million commuters coming into Manhattan and leaving again every business day (or, in Texan, “bidness” day, I left Foat Wuth a long time ago and ain’t goin’ back; but I sure miss the food), all of those summer tourists, and the rest of us, who live here.
    Sorry, that got a bit convoluted—what I mean is, I need to “practice ignoring” stares and glares and snotty comments from people in general and especially construction workers if it’s between noon and one (lunchtime, they sit in a row and give off this creepy vibe, and there’s a big site near Late Night so there were a lot of them yesterday). The difference between now and 20 years ago is they used to yell slurs, now they mutter to each other as you walk past. I have to learn to ignore that stuff if I’m going to get through the day in this town in a dress. And I like the in-your-face, “axe”-tattoo way of being out, it feels like a way to gradually dial down my “spidey-sense” to a level where I can go through the day but still be aware of potential confrontations and violence. Maybe I should get a hat that says “Trans” too.

    3. My doctor gave me estradiol patches, but the damn things peel off in the shower. My sweetie is better at getting them to stick than I am, but yesterday was so hot that I think perspiration under the patch was making it less sticky. All the references on the web either state flatly that this doesn’t happen (e.g., Mayo Clinic, I think) or if it does happen just put on a new patch. The first is clearly untrue and the second assumes I can run down to the drugstore and buy some new ones OTC if I need to, just look in the hormone aisle…it doesn’t work that way, of course.
    So my sweetie finally put duct tape on it, it’s not elegant but it seems to still be working, and tomorrow I get to change it. Nineteen days in on my new transition, still some — well, I was going to say “rough patches,” ? let’s say some “bumps along the way” — but mostly I am just so happy. Still getting used to that, too. ?
    If you’re still reading this, thanks for reading it, and everyone be gentle with ourselves, this has been four weeks of brutal news and we (including me) need to do things to let ourselves feel better, as hard as that can seem. Wishing everyone joy. ✨

    • Hi Kiva! Welcome to FOT! The taping of Colbert sounds soooo fun, that’s really neat that they have priority tickets for teachers. Lol @ the duct tape…what works, works, right? A lot of the art stores (and even hardware stores) seem to have really cute rolls of duct tape in different prints, so at least there’s that…although I haven’t worn it for anything, I’m partial to my supergirl duct tape, myself 🙂

      • More gentle on your skin, maybe, but the adhesive residue lasts for-freaking-ever. Whenever I’ve worn the tape I’ve ended up having to scrape the residue off with a credit card or something – kinda defeats the “gentle on your skin” thing.

        (This isn’t aimed at you btw, I just have Feelings about medical tape thanks to some overzealous nurses)

        (Also, welcome Kiva!)

    • Regarding tape- I’m on pills, so I’ve never had to deal with patches, but I know in burlesque we use carpet tape to keep pasties on. It actually sticks pretty well (even when you’re perspiring), and it comes off without too much trouble.

  24. I’m working one of those 24hour shifts and have no cell reception nowhere and that horrible thing happened in Nice today’s and I read about it on my way to work, devastated, and now my co-worker just told me, that they had a military coup in Turkey.
    Berlin has the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey, my friends and neighbors are Turkish, most of my food is, and I really don’t know what to think.
    It’s getting to the point where when I’m offline for a few hours, or asleep, shit happens.

  25. I’m presently trying to not drown, or be crushed by, financial troubles. Despite my best efforts, it feels like I just can’t get a break. Started selling everything that isn’t vital or bolted to the floor, but there’s a long delay in online sales.

    So I’d rather focus on something that IS totally awesome, badass, and getting me through the days: after getting help from the amazing “Gladys Bikes” to find a genuinely trans-inclusive women’s cycling group in PDX, but ultimately turning up nothing but crickets, they’ve offered to help me start a new group. They see it as a gap in the PDX cycling community that needs to be filled. It’s still in early planning stages, but I’m stoked! My mind is spinning, loaded with ideas and concepts, to find ways to empower and liberate the trans community through cycling. At least, that’s the sort of monumental life-changing revelation that it’s been in my life!

  26. Hey folks!

    First time posting here, though I’ve been lurking for what feels like a really long time. The title called out to me.

    It’s my birthday today. I feel like I should be happier, but I’m not. It hasn’t been a bad day, really. I got a gift card from my awesome boss. My co-workers wished me happy birthday, as did a handful of my friends and family members online.

    My new-ish job is going well. I work from home, which is awesome, but it also leaves me a little lacking human-to-human stimulation at times. I guess I’m just feeling a little lonely if I’m completely honest. I don’t have any local friends right now, no one to celebrate with. And sure, I’m 34, I’m beyond that “just another day” age, but… I just wish I could do something fun this weekend.

    I suppose it’s time for a bit of self-care, so thanks for the reminder. Maybe I’ll take myself on a date to see Ghostbusters.

    I also have this little guy, so things aren’t too bad:

  27. What is wrong with the world?? Is it just me or does there seem to be an accelerating amount of shit happening right now? I’m just following the news from Turkey, I have a friends there and it feels surreal. And friends in Nice, who I know to be physically okay but fuck. I don’t know how to understand this world.

    I’ve also had the worst insomnia ever for the past few weeks, and I got prescribed a new sleeping pill that I can’t take with my allergy meds, and the old ones I have are not good for long term use. Who needs sleep anyway, right…? Argh, I’m crossing to very aggressive tired, I can’t remember the last time I had more than a few moments of sleep without medication.

    And I just realised that my “small fun crush” is not “small and fun” anymore, but huge and soulcrushing and most likely very, very one-sided.

    So. Maybe next week’s better? There’s good stuff happening as well, I just released my first single and all my friends are wonderful and I’ve been binge-re-watching Gilmore Girls and eating Oreos with ice cream.

    • My heart is with you and your friends in Turkey and Nice. I have friends there as well and I feel so helpless. I know how the attacks in Paris and Istanbul affected them and my heart breaks for what they are experiencing now.

      Major congratulations on your single! You will get through your insomnia! You will get through your crush! You will be better for it!
      One breath, one day at a time.

      Hugs and love!

  28. Hi y’all,

    Yes, I’m in Texas too! Just watched a great movie…”Even the Rain” on Netflix, … might want to try it.

    And , Audrey, I buy sunscreen by the 5 gallon bucket full! ???

  29. I don’t quite feel like logging in for this one but I had an okay birthday and then it slammed into the July Birthday Problems. My 18th had me stood up at a restaurant, my 21st had me avoiding some kid because they were trying to pressure me into buying them alcohol, and virtually every other has ended in disaster. This time, I did a low-key going away party and birthday as I’m moving in about a week. I knew, of course, that most would flake. That happens as standard–but apparently I was still holding out hope that at least one person would show up.

    No dice!

    Oh well. Had a cry (it’s my party, after all!) and am now having great Japanese food before seeing Ghostbusters. Could be so much worse.

    And if I decided to dwell–Turkey made sure I didn’t. At least my friends there are fine.

  30. I need to narcissistically word vomit into this thread so bad this Friday.

    1. The world feels broken. I ache for my friends in and from France and Turkey, as well as every US citizen. I don’t know how to move through my day like everything is normal.

    2. Speaking of business as usual, my office just laid off five people. I have a massive deadline in two weeks and I am fairly worried that when my deadline is done I will be cut too.

    3. I met the coolest, smartest, kindest lady of my 30 years of life . She was visiting New York and we spent four unbelievably blissful days together. Now she is back in France and I really don’t know what to do about it.

    Darling Audrey, I had a therapist say something very similar to me once. I wasn’t sure how to feel afterwards, but my struggle with depression was coming at a very inconvenient time and I didn’t want to mess up everything I had going on so I took the pills. They took me out of my negativity and self hate and put me somewhere I could get work done and get through a stressful time. I know this isn’t everyone’s experience, and that many many people struggle with depression on a much more serious level. I also know that all I thought after I’d taken the pills was “I wish I had done this sooner.” I wished I hadn’t agonized over the decision for so long, and I wished I had the pills years earlier when I was stuck in another rut without the excuse of ‘bad timing’. Life doesn’t have to be so hard.

  31. Hey! Giving yourself permission to get every kind of help available instead of white-knuckling through things can be so helpful. I’ve been on Strattera for ADD and depression and Vitamin D for a deficiency for a couple of months now. It makes everything from sleeping regularly to working to getting out of the house and doing fun things easier.

    These past two months have been a relentless, confusing torrent of great things and terrible things for me.

    Good: I finally got a real job after spending a year after college helping my family run their business through several health crises. I’m really good at my job and I’m warming up to the people. I’ve gotten out to a few queer meetups in my area and they’ve been reasonably fun even if I haven’t found my crowd yet. I have a real plan for how to turn my current job into the right kind of grad school and a profitable and fulfilling career with reasonable stress levels. And, on top of all that, I’m lucky enough to have a great apartment and I’m living within two hours of my parents, who have been a wonderful support system.

    Bad: In addition all the crap going on in the world, from Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to Nice, Turkey and the looming threat of a Trump presidency, people I love have been dropping like flies. My grandfather passed away a month ago. My favorite teacher passed away last week. My great aunt passed away today. During college, four kids my age passed away in accidents or suicide, kicking off horrible depression, withdrawal, hopelessness, etc. I’m fighting really hard to keep it together and not shut down again. It doesn’t help that although I like the tasks I’m doing for my job, I’m working for huge and possibly slightly evil law firm.

    I’m starting to feel like everything good is too fleeting to chase after. I’m never going to reduce the amount of pain in the world, only drift through life being selfish and cowardly. I’m not worth the amount of care and effort that other people have invested in me and I’m not going to live up to the expectations of people I admire. And even if I do, the world’s problems are too big for me to be able to do anything. Those are my darkest thoughts, and they haven’t won yet but they’re threatening more than they have in months.

    Stay safe, stay happy. You deserve compassion and patience. We’re going to get through this, even if I don’t feel like it right now.

    • I’m sorry for the feeling of encroaching darkness, and thank you for sharing and being here.

      Of course none of us can save the world, or make everything better…or, to put it another way, no single one of us can. Because the world, the universe is so vast, so complex. But it does not mean each of our actions has no effect. Everything we do affects someone, with ourselves being one of those someones. And you are just as glorious and beautiful and necessary as each loved one you can think of.

      So, remember, you enrich the planet, whether it’s through your comments here (and thank you for your earlier link/recommendation!!), or by smiling at someone on the street, or by taking time to relax and look after yourself; everything you do has the potential for positivity. Just like voting….one vote may not make a difference it seems, but the only way someone is elected is through everyone’s one vote…

      And when times seem dark, that is when our care and love is most appreciated, for others, and ourselves.

      Wishing you strength and love.

  32. This is good timing for me because I’ve just about finally decided to call about getting back on an antidepressant after putting it off for months. I think I just need to accept that it’s something I need in my life, even though I know I’ll probably decide to go off later. You’re right; it doesn’t have to be that hard.

  33. Hi Audrey, I’m glad you’re feeling better 🙂

    This is my first comment ever in Autostraddle and I signed up for an account just for this post!

    I spent the week trying to get over my colleague who I know is straight. I am somewhat in denial about this. Feeling down because I know she will never like me back the way I like her.
    I then spent another few days contemplating how I should get over her when I see her at work all the time.. Any ideas?

    Also, starting on medical night shift for 2 weeks on Sunday, so ought to really start lightening my mood up otherwise will be so down during the night!!

    • I started talking to a girl online who actually calls herself a lesbian and also shows some interest in me. Suddenly the whole attempting to maybe figure out if the straight girl might actually maybe also be giving off other vibes and what did she mean by and … That whole mess is NOTHING compared to how nice it is to have someone openly returning some interest. You deserve, we all deserve, to have someone flirt back!

      • @pence, thanks for your advice. I really do need to get out there and find myself someone who’s actually out and proud to love me back, instead of beating myself up looking for clues which may or may not be there. It’s taking a toll on my mental well being…

  34. I went to the snow this week! In Australia, so there was just enough to do a bit of light cross country skiing, which is mostly just lunging along chatting and eating. There was ice falling down all around us all the time from the dead trees. It was thrilling and probably dangerous, but I had asked the forest to not fall on me so I was fine!
    Also enjoying getting good sleep and doing things that make me happy.

  35. Dance of the Dragons from under.the.sunlight on 8tracks Radio.

    I feel like I’ve fallen, can’t get up and am just pretending to be getting up because I equal parts don’t want to admit to anyone even myself how bad it might actually/feel like I belong where I’ve fallen. The ground is comfy and I’m tired.
    But that playlist is awesome and makes me feel lively in a good way.

    The other thing that makes my brain feel “lively” is completely terrible. Having the childhood I did my brain works in tactical sense without purposeful intent and just “evaluates” or comes up with potential Bad Things that could happen. That someone(s) could wreak if they had the hate and disregard for other human beings.
    And since Paris it’s been like a Bad Things bingo this year in publicly accessible places with that evaluative part of my brain.

    p:me q:ground

    P -> q but logically I know this to be false even if I can’t prove it.
    God I’d never though I’d miss algebra.

    • Fffffffffffffff “t” at the end of thought.

      Sometimes I’m tempted to start using the archaic thowt and rando Middle English thogh because English is the most Franstein’s creation of the languages and why the hell not.

      Vosotros is still in use, it didn’t disappear completely from the world.
      Just most of it.

  36. I met a girl. We have been chatting on a certain dating site. I’ve never done more than share a message or two with someone before losing interest. But this girl… We’ve chatted on multiple days and I keep getting more interested. And I think she likes talking to me too.
    Suddenly I’m freaking out about how to progress with this because I really really don’t want to screw it up or scare her away but I also really want to know all of the things about her and can we just kayak off into the sunset together already???? I’m a really logical and self controlled person so the reality is I will probably move too slow. But anyway, I’m off to the Autostraddle archives to read everything I can about navigating the online dating world. I think I would be a hermit for life without the solid advice I find on here!!!
    Happy weekend everyone and thanks for listening!

  37. I’m feeling pretty great because we had our year 12 formal (senior prom) last night and it went really well. I took my bi best friend as my date and we had an awesome time together. Can there please be another autostraddle gallery for girls taking girls to prom? because I would really like to submit.
    I don’t need sunscreen as it’s winter here, but i did wear it in port douglas last week, and i still managed to get a bit of a tan 🙂 My favourite snack food would probably be mandarins or cheddar shapes. I’ve probably eaten like 10 mandarins in the past 2 days.
    I haven’t reread Harry Potter in five years. It doesn’t seem like that long though. My favourite character is probably hermione but I love tonks a lot too. And Hagrid <3
    I went to see ghostbusters today with a friend and it was so good! and i don’t know how but kate mckinnon managed to be simultaneously super hot and super funny in every single scene!! it was just such a great movie and i loved all the characters and i’m so happy because it had all of my faves in it.
    Next week we have band camp so that should be fun. I’m looking forward to quoting american pie afterwards. also tons of queer girls are going so we’re going to have a little party 🙂
    here's a selfie of me with my date from last night:

  38. i was supposed to go see ghostbusters last night, but the theater was in a mall, and a restaurant near it had a grease fire that shut that section of the mall down. so. that was too bad. since seeing the movie was out, we went to check out a tea lounge that my friend had heard about. it turned out to be pretty neat, and we had a massive amount of tea served in one of these:

    today i am going to brunch with my cousin, and tomorrow i might be hanging out for the first time with a person from okcupid i’m trying to be friends with. i just moved to dc a month ago, so i’m trying to make friends and figured okcupid was as decent a way to meet queer people as any. it is hazardous tho, cuz i’m not looking to date atm, but then cute people. definitely was tempted to completely disregard my own intentions and message a girl for date type purposes the other day.

  39. This week has been intense and made me realise I need to work harder at self-care! For the past few months I’ve been working full-time whilst trying to have the same social life I used to have, like doing something social almost every day. And I’ve just got to the stage where I am SUPER EXHAUSTED, so being social feels like hard work, and work is harder because I haven’t been resting……so I am going to prioritise spending time by myself, just reading, writing, and resting, for the next few weeks.

  40. I’d been feeling pretty down and hopeless earlier this week, worried that I won’t ever get an a job in the field I’ve studied for, won’t find a partner, won’t be able to raise a family–all the nice huge Life Goal Worries. It was manifesting in some pretty unhealthy behaviour, too. Thinking about these people I’ve had to exclude from my life–a toxic friend and an ex–and just missing them like crazy. Then feeling guilty because I know cutting contact was the Right Thing To Do, so why do I still miss them and long for them?

    Then yesterday morning I woke up with an awful cold and an idea. When I’m depressed I get obsessed with asking what the purpose of life is. Depression always said “there is no purpose”–and happier me tended to argue that the question was badly worded–like, what’s the purpose of cats?–but, if pushed, would wrap life’s purpose up in achievement, in doing work I find meaningful, in forming a family. And agh, those things seem impossible right now.

    But what the purpose of life is just to experience it deeply and broadly, and to get involved? Then all the things in my life which seemed like failures or mistakes, all the diversions or wrong turns, all the time I’ve wasted and the inessential things I’ve done–they suddenly become the very stuff that makes life worthwhile. All the bizarre details of my life come forward, gain significance. The weird, random jobs I’ve done–tarot reader, care worker, mental health support–aren’t reduced to the disorganised mess they make on my CV, they actually represent some amazing experiences, ones that radically broadened my understanding of the world. And the anguish of depression… well, I can say I’ve felt the full gamut of human emotion: those days in bed weren’t wasted, they were spent staring deep into the abyss!

    I know this is a small revelation, a kind of pintrest epiphant (epinphany?), but oh wow, it’s been a strangely fundamental shift in perspective for me. My stubborn determination and focus have been incredibly important to me… but I hadn’t realised how much they’d controlled and distorted the story I’ve been telling myself. So yeah, this is my new self-care effort. To see the purpose of life as the living of it, with as much intensity and variety and attention as possible.

    • Good for you! Seeing life as a grand jaunt where every experience is an adventure to be truly felt and lived can be super helpful. I didn’t get that realization until I read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, so good for you for getting it by yourself! I feel that random adventure CV too. So far I’ve been a lab assistant, zebrafish caretaker, theatrical carpenter, archealogical dig assistant, anti-election corruption operative and legal researcher. No fucking idea what I’m doing other than experiencing as much as possible.

  41. I’m trying to stay positive in my chosen field (film industry!) On my own this year, I’ve already booked a feature film and a commercial, which is beyond awesome. Even so, it’s so hard to watch my friends getting TED Talks, or booking big time Hollywood films. They seem to have this drive that pushes them even when they’re down–they either have no doubt, or can push through it. That’s something I’m still working on, making sure I’m proud of myself and being patient when I’m feeling like this, but not letting it excuse me from doing what I need to do and not letting it triumph.
    On top of that, I’m moving from a place I love to a place I’m not super excited about. Just trying to look forward to the rent decrease, which will help with acting travel, and telling myself that if it gets to be too much, I can always find another place. I need to start looking at life as something that is a beautiful, fluctuating up in the air kind of thing, and I think that will bring me so much more peace.

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