The Spoon Theory

I didn’t come up with this theory myself, but rather learned it from the great Jenny Lawson in her book Furiously Happy (which if you haven’t read, you should totally read it because it changed my life.)

So here we go.

Everyone has a certain amount of spoons that they swallow in a day. You use a spoon every time you get out of bed, change your clothes, eat, etc. Simple things. Although this doesn’t sound like a big deal, some people have less spoons than others. For instance, I don’t have many spoons because of my anxiety and depression. It takes a spoon for me to get out of bed, to talk to people, and to do things people don’t normally think of wasting a spoon on. But for me, it is a huge deal. Using spoons means that I’m putting my entire energy into something, and therefore I will be come tired more easily. This is why I often may take naps in the middle of the day or will refuse to go out after dinner. I have used all my spoons to do wonderful things during the day. Sometimes I have more spoons than other days so I will have the energy to do things. But other days I won’t.

For most people, when they run out of spoons, they simply call it in. However, thats mainly because people run out of spoons at an “appropriate” time, like for bed and things like that. Yet when I run out of spoons and I simply can’t go back to my room to recharge with youtube or a book, I have consequences. These consequences include irritability, exhaustion, increased feelings of depression, and most often, panic attacks. So if you may be wondering, why is Zoey retreating to her room at 7 pm? Lets go party! Its because I don’t really feel like having a panic attack and in order to stay sane, I have to recharge and restock on my spoons.

Its always funny telling people who don’t know my spoon theory, “Sorry, I can’t go out. I ran out of spoons.” My parents and my boyfriend use it for me quite a lot. When I don’t have the energy to go out, my mother says, “No spoons? Thats ok. We’ll see you later.” And it makes sense. It allows people to understand that I don’t have energy to do things and somehow makes it more excusable. I guess.

I recommend applying this theory for yourselves. Tell a person you can’t go out because you used all your spoons getting out of bed and simply making lunch. Its okay. You do what you need to do get through your day. Save all your spoons for a day when you really need them.

Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

Q&A Part 1: the basics

So I decided that maybe people want to get to know me a bit better, understand anxiety and depression a bit better, or just have burning questions. I have a list of some brief questions first, and then later we’ll get to the deep stuff. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below and I will answer them!

Lets get started with some basics.

Where are you from? 

If you haven’t read my letter to Miami, that answers the question. But I am born and raised in Miami, Florida, specifically in Coconut Grove. Now I go to school at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

What are you majoring in?

Art History and Music with a vocal performance concentration.

Did you always want to do that?

Heeeeeeellllll no. Up until my junior year of high school I 150% wanted to be an actress. My heart was sold on it. I was willing to do anything to be on Broadway. I had been in the theatre community since I was in elementary school and I had been in every play in middle and high school. And then I took an art history class and my whole life changed. I always knew I wanted to keep music in my life because I’ve been doing it since I was 5 years old. I’m still open to change in my life. Who knows? Maybe I’ll go to med school when I graduate. (Doubtful but who knows)

Favorite artist?

Really? Um… uh… nope. No honestly I don’t think I have one. I do have a favorite painting though: The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck (incase you didn’t see my post about that one)

How about music. 

When I say I like something from every genre, I am 100% serious. I really do. But my favorite band is the Decemberists, but I’m a metal head, a jazz freak, an opera enthusiast, growing EDM liker, country dancer, anything.

Have you ever been in love? 

Yep. Before my boyfriend (who I am currently in love with) I was in a relationship with a great guy for 6 years and I was definitely in love with him.

Puppies or kittens?

Are you fucking kidding me? Thats like asking me to pick a favorite child. They’re both amazingly adorable.

Did you always know you had disorders?

Well this took a turn from puppies and kittens. Nope. I had a hunch when I was in 8th grade that I was depressed because it was the first time I wanted to kill myself, but my mom convinced me that I wasn’t. I couldn’t even imagine having anxiety. I just always thought I was ridiculously hard on myself. Like REALLY hard on myself. I’ve been terrified of heights since I was 8 years old and I’ve always been a bit of a hypochondriac.

When were you diagnosed? 

I was diagnosed with a panic anxiety disorder when I was 18, a month before I went to college. I started having panic attacks in April of my senior year of high school. I was never officially diagnosed with depression until college.

What happened? 

I  was going to prom with a friend of mine. Sure I missed my boyfriend at the time, but I was determined to still have fun even without him there. However, while I was in line for photos, I suddenly couldn’t breathe. My heart was racing and I didn’t know why. I had to be escorted home because they were worried. So I came home from prom early with my shoes over my shoulder and tears in my eyes. Although it was my favorite prom look, it was definitely my least favorite prom. Then, I had 2 panic attacks later that week, one that ended up with me in a hospital. I broke up with my boyfriend that May because I was worried about my mental health, but then I continued to have them nearly weekly the entire semester.

And how about the depression?

Thats for another post friend. In short, lets just say it had to do with some really really REALLY mean girls and nearly a divorce. Also I was depressed all of my senior year of high school.

Where did okayzoeyk come from?

I’m not sure. I think that I’m “just okay” so I’m okay zoey k. The underneath title came from a snapchat my friend made of me of that photo.

Why did you decide to make a blog talking about your weird ass life?

Well, I think a lot of other people are like me and maybe feel really alone. I want to reach out to those people and show them that there are people who are as strange and weird and suffer from similar mental disorders and are still trying to get through life. Plus, there are so many misconceptions about mental health. I think if I start being more real about it, people will take it more seriously and get educated. Plus I think my life is kind of funny and nice despite it.

Thats all I got for tonight. Have a great day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

P.S. Question: Why do you always sign out like that?

Everyones day should always be filled with cute animals. Its an automatic happy thing. Why not have a day filled with kittens?

 

My psychiatrist’s “diagnosis”

So let me preface this story with some background. My psychiatrist is actually a nurse practitioner who has another nurse studying to be a nurse practitioner sit in the room with her while she talks to me and who she may turn to and consult. However, its not like regular consultation. They talk about me in 3rd person IN FRONT OF ME. So she’ll finish talking to me and then turn to her and be like,

What do you think we should prescribe her? It seems like she has some social anxiety.

Some? I think she has a lot of anxiety.

Its great. But she gives me drugs so I put up with it. Here was her deduction about my anxiety.

“Zoey, I think you have one of the oddest forms of social anxiety I’ve encountered. [yes she actually started it with THAT sentence] You have no fears about performing, talking to strangers, speaking in front of people, or meeting people like most people with social anxiety. On the surface, you look like you don’t have it. It’s your mind that has social anxiety. You do have general anxiety but its like while you’re going about doing these not so social anxiety things [she didn’t actually say that, I’m paraphrasing from memory] your mind is freaking out. You think everyone is judging you, watching you, and you think that everyone thinks you’re a horrible person. Am I right?”

Spot fucking on Cheryl, thanks.

“Well, I think this may come hand in hand with your self confidence issues which you should keep talking about in therapy. Do you have a lot of nightmares?”

Yeah I have at least one every week.

*turns to the other nurse* “Thats not normal. Right?”

*other nurse shakes her head* “That’s not normal. You shouldn’t be having nightmares anywhere near that often. I can prescribe meds for that if you want on top of the other two I have prescribed for you would you like that?”

Um, no I’m fine with my medication and my freak nightmares, thanks.

The conversation basically was lets take your general fuckery and add some more fuckery to it and smoosh it all together until you have a big “YOU’RE FUCKED UP” pie and then sprinkle it with some lexapro and lyrica and boom you got me. Plus a little sugar, spice, and every weird. I could nearly be a Powerpuff Girl basically.

Like it? Thanks 😉

Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

So here’s a thing with my anxiety…

My anxiety is a little shit sometimes. When I say sometimes I mean most of the time. When I mean most of the time I really mean always.

I’m taking lots of medication to keep my panic attacks and general horrendous voices at bay, (which has been working WONDERFULLY!!!) but that doesn’t stop the general anxiety. My mind still has little anxiety freak outs like, “Oh my god you just touched that railing and then scratched your nose you must have worms”, which my boyfriend assures me is just “normal anxiety”. (Alright, sure.)

But its not just “normal anxiety”. Because I know what life is like without my medication, I constantly live in partial fear. No one knows this because I don’t show it, but every time I walk out the door, I am afraid that I will get a panic attack because there is too many people, I’ll be too tired, I’ll find myself trapped at a height, I’ll be waiting for the bus, I’m eating a sandwich, I’m singing, I’m talking to a friend, or I’ll be sitting have a cup of tea because this is when my panic attacks happen: anytime, any where. I am terrified that I’ll be trying to interview a stranger about art when suddenly I will lose my ability to speak and will start to shake. I am scared that I will be walking back to my flat alone when suddenly I will be quivering so hard and my head will be spinning so much that I won’t be able to move.

Keep in mind, I haven’t had a panic attack in nearly a month. (knocks on wood) Yet the fear is still there.

So many therapists and psychiatrists have told me that panic attacks are often caused by fear of having other panic attacks, (which I think is actually kind of a horribly hilarious cycle) but honestly its difficult to control and its limiting. Even when I haven’t had a panic attack in a month, I have to decline going to clubs with my friends because in the past, being in a crowded space like that with a lot of music will give me a panic attack. I haven’t been since because I felt like I ruined the entire dancing experience for the rest of my friends. So of course I live in fear.

I can’t describe how fucking frustrating it is having to constantly live in fear to the point when I’m reluctant to leave my flat. I want to go to night clubs and dance all night and have fun. I want to be able to be comfortable in crowded areas. I want to be able to go out at night and not know what time I’ll get back. I want to be able to sit in a balcony and be okay with it. But I can’t. My anxiety makes me afraid. It tells me that if I get a panic attack, it will ruin everything. My night will be ruined, my friends’ nights will be ruined and all because of me. (I’m trying to train myself not to think these things, and I haven’t as much since taking new meds). Then it tells me how nice things are at the flat or how nice it is going to a museum alone is in comparison to make myself feel better. And that works, until my friends come back from said activities and said they wish I had come but I always have to say,

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think my anxiety can handle that.”

Then we get into the cycle. Ohhh yes. It doesn’t stop here this little shit.

So then I get sad thinking about how limiting my anxiety is and how it stops me from trying things which makes me depressed. Then it takes even more energy to be able to get out of bed, out of my flat, and back into the world. Then I get more anxiety about whether or not I’ll get out of the depressed state. So I must up some scraps of energy lying about, go out, actually have a good time and  I think, “Wow! Life is great! I can do anything!” Then I go do something else  in which I have to say,

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think my anxiety can handle that.” And it starts again.

Its this that has driven me to thoughts of suicide in the past because its so fucking hard to live life like this.I have to tell every teacher, every superior, every roommate this disability I have and prep them in case something happens. I have to tell them that I have this disability that makes me afraid of everything and sometimes my body freaks out for NO FUCKING REASON.

In the past, I have felt like its living life at half ass because of something that little voice is telling you. Its like someone constantly having you on a leash and telling you, “uh-uh Zoey! You can’t do that!” and then tugging you back even when you can see it. But in my life, if I cut that leash, I cut my life.

I’m on a road where I’m trying to assure myself that taking time for yourself is good because you only have enough spoons to swallow in a day. (I will explain the spoons in another post) Most of the time this works, but again, when the cycle hits, not a whole lot works at all, no matter how much medication I’m on.

Just y’know. In case you were wondering.

Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

Let’s have some real talk 2016

Hey 2016 how ya doin? Doesn’t look so good…yeah. See, its only the 14th day into this year and you’ve taken away three very dear people to my childhood and heart. Lemmy from Motorhead, David Bowie, and now Alan Rickman? 2016…what the actual fuck. Not to mention I’m 4 days into my London study abroad and I’m burning with fever when I could be at Westminister Abbey listening to evensong. And somehow you’ve managed to conjure up a tropical storm…in JANUARY?? While I mourn for these heroes, I like to share a couple of stories about each of them.

Lemmy:

My brother and I listening to motorhead a lot when we were kids. “The Ace of Spades” was one of my first introductions to metal that I actually enjoyed. When we would play multi-person solitaire, we would always sing that song whenever one of us played the ace of spades.

David Bowie:

This is actually a pretty funny story. I had known about David Bowie for a long time throughout my childhood. We were constantly playing my dad’s Best of Bowie album and dancing along to Space Oddity, Changes, and Ziggy Stardust. My father even named one of his road bikes, “The Spider from Mars” which was a nickname he used for a bit as well. However, one of my most, perhaps scarring memories, is watching him in Labyrinth.  For those of you who haven’t seen the movie and aren’t a little freaked out by puppets or super sparkly cock-pieces should totally watch it. I, however, was a little freaked out by the combination of these. It didn’t help that I watched The Dark Crystal the week before and was still a little creeped out by that.

Alan Rickman:

I have a way more personal story with Mr. Rickman. I had the pleasure of seeing him in the Broadway play, Seminar with my high school. Like any other show, we lined outside in the freezing cold to see if he would grace us with his presence, and he did. This was the conversation we had:

Me: Mr. Rickman! Mr. Rickman! May I please take a photo with you?

A.R.: No. (you have to picture this in his Snape tone) but you can take a picture of me.

And like that he beamed a big smile and moved on. (I actually cannot find my picture of him, but to prove to you that I actually met him, heres a photo taken by my friend, Ashley, when we met him) 523668_129295763868580_867888596_n.jpg

It breaks my heart to see such talented people go. They leave a legacy I shall never forget. But I guess the moral is, we should celebrate what they left in our lives instead of their deaths. Or else, what did they create their art form for? (Besides enjoying it of course)

So 2016, let’s hope you just have a really fucked up month and the rest of this year won’t be like this kay? Because I’m not sure how much more of this I can stand.

Have a day filled with kittens, okay?

Zoey K.

History was made in the life of me

I know this is a bold title, and after you’re done reading it you may be like “Wow really Zoey seriously? A painting?” but if you know me, than you know this is no ordinary painting. 945847_10208375367051329_5938385975633886065_n.jpg

This is the Arnolfini Double Portrait by Jan van Eyck from the Northern Renaissance. Now, this may look like a picture of two people who look an awful lot like Vladimir Putin, but believe me, its way more than just that. I can write an entire separate humongous blog post about the symbolism behind this painting, but in short, literally every single object in this painting has symbolism and sometimes more than one meaning.

Why does this painting matter so much to me?

This is the painting that got me into Art History. My art history teacher in high school showed this to us when I was a freshman and taught an entire lecture on it. While everyone else was either sleeping or not paying attention, I was riveted. I took obsessive amount of notes and went even further by researching it on my own. I have written about this painting and have read multiple books on it. To say that this painting changed my life is an understatement.

When I saw it, my breath leapt out of my chest. I burst into tears (my friends with me laughed). If you find it weird that I cry for paintings, its just something I do. Seeing paintings in the flesh is like meeting celebrities to me. I read all about these paintings and then I get to see them up close? Its life changing. I cry for architecture, sculptures, paintings; anything I’ve studied. And sometimes things I haven’t studied but just find particularly beautiful. I feel passionately about a lot of things ok???

What was even better is that I got to explain to my friends EVERYTHING I KNEW about this painting. It is always a delight when I can go around and educate people about art. Its what I study and live for! What was even cooler was that the guard saw how excited I was and showed us some secrets about the painting and including how you can start to see through the painting because its deteriorating. He was super sweet about it and even offered to take a picture of me and my friends with the painting.

With the exception of David Bowie, the king, being dead, today was a life changing day. RIP

Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

I’M IN LONDON

Holy fuck ya’ll.

I’m here.

It only took me 7 1/2 hours and a shit ton of anxiety over turbulence that made me believe that the plane was going to fall out of the sky. I slept for about 3 hours but when I got off that plane, I had never been more full of energy. I jumped in my cab (spent WAY too much money for that shit) and drove all the way to Kensington and went immediately back to sleep.

When I woke up, my friend Taty and I got some lunch and went straight to the Victoria and Albert Museum (because thats what Art History nerds do) and I burst into tears.

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I’m crying hysterically through all of these because thats what I do in museums. Cry and gawk. Btw, thats not actually the Column of Trajan, its a CAST of it. It was a room FILLED with plaster casts

My only qualms with this place is that it is so FUCKING expensive. Its insane. I’m quite terrified that I’m going to run out of money very quickly, but hooray for budgeting right? RIGHT??

My adventure has officially begun.

Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?

Zoey K.

P.S. I got a twitter! I’ll post more random shit about my life @okayzoeyk

A Letter to the City of Miami

Dear Miami,

Fuck you. 

Ok great now thats out of the way lets get to the point. I have not enjoyed living in you, but I guess you brought me up so I can’t hate you entirely. Throughout my twenty years of living here, I have been hit by a car once while riding my bike, experienced at least 10 hurricanes (including one that ruined my Halloween [thanks Wilma.] ), experienced both the Miami-Dade Public School system and private school, I have been bullied to the point of near suicide, was with a guy for 6 years of my life, and somehow learned how to drive with these crazy people without getting hit once. (I did run into my neighbor’s car though because I sneezed while backing up and instead of slamming on the break, I slammed on the accelerator.)

As much as I did hate being brought in this city, I think it shaped me into a pretty cool person solely because my goal in life was to try and be as UN- MIAMI as possible(often the best compliments I would get was when people tell me I don’t look like I’m from Miami [however I’m not sure if thats a stab at me being pale af or not]). Coming back to the city from literally ANY OTHER CITY was always culture shock and trying to explain this city to friends who had never been was always fun.

“Wait…you DON’T HAVE PUBLIX?!?!?! OR CHICKEN KITCHEN?!?!”

“No no please. There is a difference between Alexa and AlExa. (pronounced Ah-ley-xa)”

“No pero like..”

“Jasper, you are allowed to sing ‘Welcome to Miami’ ONCE while you are here.”

“Wait so you didn’t have to learn how to walk in heels starting at the age of 13? You don’t have to wear heels to brunch?!?! I DON’T HAVE TO WEAR HEELS TO EVERY PARTY?? THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE AT LEAST 5 INCHES?!? I DON’T HAVE TO WEAR HEELS-“*collapses*

“No guys I can’t take off my shoes at a party thats so dirty. I could be called a pata sucia.”

So on that note, here are some things I’ve learned while growing up in this crazy city/country.

  1. You learn Spanish immediately, but not from school. Shockingly, you learn actually no valuable Spanish from school, but instead from your baby sitters, cleaning ladies, and friends with their abuelas.
  2. Miami is full of the crazy rich and the very poor. It is difficult to see the poverty lines in Miami because its obscured with mansions, but its there.
  3. Miami is wonderfully diverse and I am thankful for being brought up that way.
  4. Many of the people here have a comfort box that they do not like having reshaped or broken or even like watching people reshape the box Miami has made (case: me). If you stick out, I was taught that was a bad thing; you’re a freak.
  5. Cleanliness is HUGE.
  6. There are a shocking amount of Hispanic Jews (the bar/bat mitzvahs I’ve been to…thats a whole other blog post).
  7. You don’t go to the beach as much as people think.
  8. Going to school outside of Florida is rare, going to school outside of the east coast is almost unheard of (“How could you be so far away from your family?!?”)
  9. No one knows what true humidity is like until they live here.
  10. Heels are a must, even if you’re literally going to the mall.

I am so fucking happy that I am finally leaving this city. I’m not happy to be leaving the wonderful group of friends who have helped me survive living in this city. Thank you so much to the cREw, the boys, my wonderful group of theatre friends, and the impeccable teachers I’ve had for making sure I kept most of my sanity while being raised in this city.

And with that I’m out of Miami, bitch.

Have a great day filled with kittens, okay?

Zoey K.

A conversation with my mother

Me: I need to shave parts of my head again.

Mom:…no you don’t.

Me: You’re just saying that because you don’t want me to shave my head, not because I actually don’t need to.

Mom…maybe.

Me: Well I’m going to do it anyway.

Mom: Darlin’, you’ve done what you wanted about how you look like you’re entire life, ever since you chopped all your hair off because you wanted to be the only girl without a bun in ballet.

Me: Yep. Speaking of ballet, I was thinking about getting into it.

Mom: What? Why?

Me: I don’t know. It might be fun. Plus I really want to get on pointe.

Mom: Zoey you have to dance for a really long time in order to get on pointe. I’m pretty sure you’re past your prime on that one.

Me: No way! I could totally do it.

Mom: *she basically says a lot of things meaning that there is no way I’m strong enough to do it*

Me: I think I really just want to try pointe shoes.

Mom: Well you can just buy them and hurt your huge feet and then realize you can’t dance.

Me: You’re the worst encouraging mother ever.

Mom: Oh please, this and the harp are the only two things in your damn life that I didn’t encourage you to try.

Me: I still really want to learn the harp.

Mom: Harps are disgusting. You can’t even hear them in an orchestra. What purpose do they serve other than to go “bloop bloop bloop”? Do they even make pointe shoes in your shoe size?

Me: Mom!

Mom: I’m just trying to picture your humongous big toe squished into one of those little pointe shoes. *giggles* 

Me: Oh my god mom.

 

My mother is actually the best because she’s supported me throughout my life every step of the way. And she didn’t give me everything I wanted. I’m not some spoiled brat. She just let me try everything, and let me realize for myself whether or not I could actually do it. My favorite conversation ever with my mom happened in a store when I was about 12 trying on a pair of short shorts.

I appear out of the dressing room in a pair of shorts. 

Me: What do you think?

Mom:…………..You can wear those…

Me: Yes!

Mom:…if you want to look like a whore.

*Notice: my mother does not slut shame. She is simply trying to tell her pre-teen daughter that her shorts are too short and wants to shock her out of buying them. Considering, she succeeded.* 

Have a day filled with kittens, okay?

Zoey K.

The fashion tangent

I always feel accomplished when people tell me my outfit looks great or compliment my outfit or me physically in some way. The best is when people tell me, “You look great!”. You may be thinking, what a egotistical millennial once again obsessed with themselves. I blame the instagram. But you would be wrong.

I relish these compliments because it makes me think Yes! I’ve fooled them. They’ll never know that I’m a mentally ill freak HA HA AHA HA HAHA! But if we’re talking seriously, it actually does make me feel better because it takes them off the topic of the fact that while I’m having this conversation, I’m actually trying to hide the fact that I really want to go back to my room and read.

I don’t like letting this on. It feels like I’m showing you my secret identity underneath my super hero spandex, but I guess I made this blog to stop hiding my secrets about myself and try to encourage people to do the same. So I guess this is a very vulnerable, but good place to start. I’m not who my clothes suggest I am.

 Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dress for anyone and I never have. I have always dressed for myself because I want to look good for me. I haven’t given a shit about what people think of what I wear since ever. Hell, I wore spiked chokers (we called them dog collars in the day) and my System of a Down shirt in 3rd grade and did not give a single fuck because I loved how it represented my personality. But, there is this added layer that I have discovered that allows me to take the focus off of my mind and instead pull it to my clothing and make up. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that my clothing reveals what I want people to perceive about me instead of maybe whats really there. Sometimes my clothing is really just me enjoying the idea of wearing clothes. I will always feel the best when I’m wearing a circle skirt, kitten heels, and my hair in victory rolls (because I want to look like a 50s house wife with the radical feminist mindset) but I really don’t want you to think I actually want to be a 50s house wife…

I’m going on a tangent. Let me get back to the point.

Thank you for complimenting my clothes. I have imposter syndrome which means that I mentally can not eternalize my accomplishments and I can’t take compliments well. Clothing? I take that to heart. It makes me feel like I have accomplished hiding the bad parts of my inner self and you are complimenting what I want you to perceive me as. Plus I put a lot of thought into that shit. Not for you, for me.

This post might have not made a lot of sense because I think I’m talking in circles but in summary, thank you for complimenting my clothes, my hair, my glasses whatever. They’re the only compliments I can really eternalize and they make me feel like a normal human being, if only for a little while.

Have a day filled with kittens, okay?

Zoey K.