Featured
Posted in Uncategorized

Introducing “Alice Tortoise”

My name is Alice, and this is my blog, “Alice in Blunderland”. I will be posting about a large variety of subjects, including but not limited to mental illness, fandoms, recipes, puns, life skills, funny stories, recovery, and my journey on this crazy adventure of life.

Why “Alice Tortoise”?

While tortoises are fantastic and adorable, it is not through an affinity for the creatures that I chose my name. It is actually a mix between of a pun and a play-on-words. In the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the Mock Turtle is telling Alice a story:

‘Once,’ said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, ‘I was a real Turtle.’

These words were followed by a very long silence, broken only by an occasional exclamation of ‘Hjckrrh!’ from the Gryphon, and the constant heavy sobbing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was very nearly getting up and saying, ‘Thank you, sir, for your interesting story,’ but she could not help thinking there must be more to come, so she sat still and said nothing.

‘When we were little,’ the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, ‘we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle — we used to call him Tortoise — ‘

‘Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?’ Alice asked.

‘We called him Tortoise because he taught us,’ said the Mock Turtle angrily: ‘really you are very dull!’

(In Lewis Carroll’s dialect, “Tortoise” and “taught us” are pronounced the same)

I thought it fitting, as my posts should always teach you something new, change your point of view, or inspire you!

I am a pansexual punderful pundit, a friendly fandom fanatic, and an Aspie with an affinity for alliteration.

I am Alice Tortoise, and welcome to my blog!

Advertisements
Posted in Mental Illness In General, Recovery

Failure is /not/ an Option

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Self harm, depression, anxiety, suicide, abuse, child abuse, eating disorders and behaviors, exercise addiction, body image, addiction, rape

 

“Failure is not an option”

They tell us at school, reciting to us like the Pledge of Allegiance

“Failure is not an option” say posters in nearly every classroom

Failure is bad. Failure is unacceptable.

“Failure is not an option” thinks the girl staying up all night to pass that test

“Failure is not an option” thinks the boy  struggling with depression in secret

“Failure is not an option” the teacher says, passing out final exams

“Failure is not an option” thinks the kid knowing they will fail the final exam

“Failure is not an option” say our parents, pushing us to do our best in school always

“Failure is not an option” our bosses tell us, pushing us to meet a larger sale goal than last month, or the month before

“Failure is not an option” says the kid running the track every day

“Failure is not an option” the woman thinks to herself as she is hit again by her husband, believing a failed marriage is the worst that could happen

“Failure is not an option” is the mantra of the woman in the gym, lifting weights until she can hardly stand

“Failure is not an option” says the teen, knowing that they will be judged if they don’t drink until they are sick

“Failure is not an option” he thinks, feeling that he must have sex with her tonight, consensual or not, to prove his manlihood

“Failure is not an option” says the boy restricting his food intake to lose weight

“Failure is not an option” says the kid in the bathroom, convinced that their self worth is in their ability to hide their panic attacks

“Failure is not an option” the girl cries through her fingers as she throws up the meal she just forced down

“Failure is not an option” thinks the child who thinks that telling someone about the abuse makes them a bad child, a tattle-tale, a failure

“Failure is not an option” he says to himself as he drags a razor across his thigh

“Failure is not an option” says society

“Failure is not an option” the teen thinks while downing a bottle of pills

“Failure is not an option” the man thinks before a bullet replaces his thoughts

“Failure is not an option” says the woman to herself as she falls to the sidewalk far below

“Failure is not an option”

“Failure is not an option”

“Failure is not an option”

Failure is an option.

Failure Is An Option.

FAILURE IS AN OPTION.

Your worth is not in your achievements or failures.

You learn by failing. You grow by failing.

Failing is a part of life.

A failed task is not a failed person.

A person cannot be a failure.

Your failures do not define you.

Failure is normal. Failure is healthy.

Failure IS an option.

Let’s stop teaching our kids that their worth is determined by their failures.

It isn’t.

We have to stop glorifying running our mental, emotional, and physical energy into the ground just to meet deadlines

We have to stop making it seem positive to exhaust ourselves to prove our worthiness.

Exhaustion is not something to strive for, to glorify, to teach our kids to do.

Failure is okay. It is acceptable.

You are not a failure.

You are not a failure.

Posted in Mental Illness In General, Recovery

What I’ve Learned in the Week Since My Attempt

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Su*cide, Su*cide attempt, depression, anxiety

 

  • It isn’t worth it. Not if you succeed, or if you don’t, even attempting wasn’t worth it.
  • You’ll feel guilty. That’s normal. Just remember that your brain is sick and suicidal thoughts and actions are symptoms. You don’t get to choose your symptoms, just like you don’t get to choose whether to cough when you have a cold.
  • That being said, take responsibility. It wasn’t a “choice” like how people without these struggles might think it was. It likely felt like the only possible outcome, like it was inevitable. But it was still a “choice” in that you acted upon it. Maybe it felt like you couldn’t help it, you couldn’t fight it, and that’s understandable. You may not choose the thoughts, but you do choose the actions you take.
  • Your friends will be upset. They might be afraid, anxious, upset, frustrated, angry even. Those are all normal reactions. They almost lost someone that they care about and they fear that it may happen again. They are not going to just get over it or anything.
  • You aren’t a burden for worrying your friends. It just means that they care about you. They know the thoughts aren’t your fault. They are afraid to lose you and want you to stay. They care about you. That isn’t an awful thing.
  • You are going to have a lot of mixed feelings. Especially moving through the next week. My first day was weird as hell. I kept seeing everything around me following the same routine as the day before, everyone seemed fine, everyone just acted so normal. To be fair, only three or four people actually knew. But my brain took that as “everything would still be fine if you’d succeeded”. It’s lying. Your best friend would not be fine. Your teachers and professors would not be fine. Your coworkers and your classmates would not be fine. Your pets would not be fine. No one would be “fine”.
  • I started noticing through the week really small to really big things that would have been greatly affected. My circus group did a flash mob. It’s a small group and everyone knows me. That wouldn’t have happened at all if I’d succeeded. That would’ve been canceled. My theatre class wouldn’t have had a lecture on LED lighting. They would have had counselors speaking to the class, most of my friends probably would have skipped class. I took my dog to the vet. She would have had to be returned to the shelter if I had succeeded. I grabbed some key lime pie for my best friend when she missed dinner. She loves key lime pie more than most things. She wouldn’t have gotten that pie (though there would be much heavier things on her mind than pie).
  • Notice the small things. The things around you are affected by you, whether that effect is small or big. You do matter.
  • People like to say “You’re not alone” when talking about depression, self harm, or su*cide. I usually take it to mean “You aren’t the only one suffering from this”, which, while helps me feel less alone in the struggle, also makes me think thoughts like “other people have it worse” “other people need these resources more than I do” “mine isn’t as severe as theirs so I shouldn’t complain”. That isn’t it at all. What it really means, at least from how I understand it now, is “You are not the only one this affects. You are not alone in feeling this way. Your friends are here for you. You have people supporting you and caring about you and thinking about you even if they aren’t available at the moment”.
  • There is a solution to the problems you are facing. My friend didn’t understand just how bad the problem we’ve been having was affecting me until last week. Now she understands how serious it is, but I didn’t need to attempt to get that point across. I could have just told her. School staff are involved now and are going to help us resolve the issue, but again, it didn’t take an attempt to get that help. It was always available. Depression and anxiety can cloud your mind and make it impossible to find solutions. Reach out. Ask.
Posted in Mental Illness In General, Recovery

Concerning My Next Post

TRIGGER WARNING: Su*cide, Su*cidal ideation/attempt

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Hey all, just a heads up. I wrote some things a few months ago and was too afraid to publish them then, but I reread them tonight and think they’re too important to go unsaid. Basically the rundown is that I attempted suicide back at the end of September. I was able to tell someone, and they got me help and made sure I was safe, and I am doing better. But what I discuss in the post is very important and might be something that someone needs to hear. So here it is.

“She screams silently

In the classroom, in the cafeteria, in her bed

She isn’t heard

She whispers into her pages

She is told to be silent

She must raise her hand loudly in this space

She is hurt

She cries as they tell her once again

She is too loud an existence

She is angry

She pulls on her skirt

And to battle she goes.”

“To Battle She Goes”

Posted in Mental Illness In General, Recovery

A Note on “Trying”

CW: mention of eating disorders, depression

.

.

.

.

“Do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda

I’d like to be the first to say it. This is bullshit.

Seeing the world in black and white it’s easy to believe this, whether it’s from depression, anxiety, or even if you were just raised that way. It’s easy to believe that there is no spectrum, that you can only do something, or not do something.

But here’s the thing. Intent matters. Trying matters. And yes, even failing matters.

Don’t erase progress or intent by saying it doesn’t.

If you are recovering from an eating disorder and you keep trying to get better but a trigger happens and you relapse, you still made progress. You still triedThat means something.

Even if you relapse and get sick again, you still stuck it out and tried your damnest to get better. That expends a lot of emotional energy and labor, it’s really fucking hard. Sticking to a meal plan is hard. Staying away from scales and other triggers is hard. Resisting the urge to look at triggering things when you’re starting to do better is hard.

Your progress is not erased because of some fictional green alien, or people who quote said fictional green alien.

Your progress is not erased, even if you relapse, even if you fail, even if you weren’t totally successful.

The distinguishment between not trying at all and trying is so important. If you make an attempt to complete an assignment, that’s still important. If you try to open a jar and fail, it’s still better than never having tried at all. Trying is important.

You are allowed to try. It still makes a difference, whether or not you succeed. If you don’t try at all, you won’t learn, and if you don’t learn, you can’t change and grow and blossom.

Trying teaches you something. Maybe it taught you how to do something for next time. Maybe it just teaches you that you are capable of trying. That’s okay.

I believe in all of you. Whether you’re trying to recover from an eating disorder, or cope with PTSD, or struggling with anxiety, or fighting any kind of battles in your mind or in your life, I believe in you. I believe you can recover, I believe you can succeed, I believe you can be happy. I won’t say all you need to do is try, because that isn’t how these things work, trying won’t solve all your problems, but do try.

You don’t have to set the goal of “try to recover from depression” as your first goal, that’s a huge goal and it doesn’t tell you how to do it, it’s just this gigantic, intimidating goal of full recovery. Set small goals. “Today I will take a shower”. “Today I will sort my laundry into loads”. It’s okay to take small steps, it will still get you where you need to go eventually.

Try to make things easier on yourself, too. I have a laundry basket with three sections so I can sort my loads as I put my clothes in the hamper. If it’s hard to get out of bed to make food, keep small snacks next to your bed to help you with that energy, chips and those little cracker/cheese packs work wonders.

“You’ve gotta get up and try, try try.” – P!NK

 

Posted in Mental Illness In General, Recovery

Anorexia Part 1

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Eating disordered behaviors, anorexia

 

Anorexia part 1

 

A trained gymnast

Walking a tightrope for my entire life

The line between functionally ill and dysfunctionally ill

Is a thin one

 

A ballerina

Shrinking myself to be delicate, small, graceful,

Easily lifted

Still easily shattered

 

A cheerleader

The flyers were told to lose pounds of themselves

So that they could be tossed and flipped

That much more easily

But after the season their final performance

Was being tossed

To the side

 

A dancer

Spinning, spinning, spinning,

Never becoming dizzy

But i am dizzy

Today

Yesterday

Circles and spirals

Are not the same

 

Her

Strong, confident, kind, funny

My best friend

She is bigger and stronger than me

She does not break easily

She does not spin or shrink or walk or throw

But she

Is more beautiful

Than i

I

I know how to hurt myself

So that others might benefit

But she

She

She knows how to love herself

For both her benefit, and others too

I don’t know how to learn that

I’m scared

I know how to shatter

I don’t know how to mend

I don’t know how to exist

I’m scared

I’m scared

I’m

I’m

I

Teach me

Posted in Abuse, Mental Illness In General

Momma Taught Me

TRIGGER WARNING: Severe physical/emotional abuse, eating disordered behaviors, attempted murder, sexual assault, sexual abuse, body image, fatphobia, food restriction, exercise addiction, dieting, medical abuse, withholding of medication, medical gore description

.

.

.

.

.

.

Momma taught me to hate.

Momma taught me to hate myself from the moment I was born

Not wanted

Accident

Burden

I cost too much to feed

So my sisters taught me not to eat three meals a day

And if I did

Throw up

To teach me better

Momma told me it was okay

Momma told me they were right

They tried to hang me, drown me, stone me

Each time failed

Momma did nothing

One day a misspoken word at school within earshot of a teacher

Questions

Adults I don’t know asking me so many questions

Momma had to move out with my oldest sister

Her momma and her momma’s husband kept me and my other sister

Momma went away for awhile

One day there’s a letter in the mail, an invitation

Momma’s getting married

She wants us to be flower girls

Momma wants me again

For a day

To show me off

But I take it

Momma fights for custody of us again

Momma tells me I ruined it the last time

Momma tells me not to tell anyone what her husband does to me

Momma says it’s a secret

Momma says I’ll break the family apart again

Momma says I ruined her body

Momma says I made her fat

I made her boobs sag

I gave her stretch marks

I gave her acne

Momma says I made her ugly

Momma says she is jealous of my body

I hit puberty

Momma says I’m getting fat

My stomach pokes out a little now, under the belly button

Momma makes me wear loose clothing

She makes me hide it

Momma says I’m bigger than I think I am

Momma says I eat too much

I start tying a scarf around my waist

Tight tight tight to stop the growing

It hurts it leaves red marks that turn into bruises that turn into welts

I can’t tie it at the same tightness anymore I still grew

Momma tells me she loves me as she ties it for me

Tight tight tight

Momma said we needed to spend time together

We watched “The Biggest Loser” and she told me what exercises I needed to do

She told me I couldn’t eat certain things to lose weight

One week it’s dairy, the next it’s candy, the next it’s mac and cheese

I kept growing and none of her diets for me worked

I had to take medication

Momma said people use that medication to lose weight

Momma said I didn’t really need the medication

Momma wouldn’t let me take my medication

I couldn’t eat anything after a day

I couldn’t drink anything either on the next

I was throwing up and I couldn’t stand by the third

Momma had to take me to the hospital and I was given my meds

I could have died

Momma still didn’t believe I really needed it

Momma said if I was stronger my sisters couldn’t beat me anymore

Momma said to work out more

Maybe if I’m strong enough I’ll be good enough

Momma taught me that it was my fault

Momma said I antagonized her stepdad to make sexual comments to me

Momma said I was too sexy

Momma said it was my fault my boyfriend hurt me

Momma said I was the abusive one

Momma taught me to hate myself

Momma taught me to never smile

Momma taught me to starve myself

Momma taught me to work out to the point of hurting myself

I was in a fight once

Only once

My ribs were broken

Up and down either side I could run my fingers between the bones

Momma said I was faking it

Momma said if I didn’t work out I would get weak

I made myself work out every day still

Momma taught me to

Sometimes I passed out

Once I spat up blood

Momma said it was okay

Momma said I was faking it

Momma taught me to ignore my pain

Momma taught me to ignore my body’s warning signs

Momma taught me to have an eating disorder