New Year, Same Old Shit


Bringing in 2018 with a K-pop mug of champagne (not 100% filled, of course).

It was August when I decided that 2017 was a total wash, garbage, take it back to the store and try to persuade them to let me exchange it for a better year even though I’ve already used more than half of it because this one is clearly broken. The nail in the coffin was a boy, let’s call him K. We’d gone out maybe five or six times over the course of a month, and now, on the day he was supposed to come over to my house for the first time, he’d asked me to call him on the phone when I got home from work. I dialed him as soon as I parked in the driveway and when K picked up, he delivered the news that I really shouldn’t have been surprised to hear simply based on the patterns of my entire life. You know, the type that starts, “You’re a great girl, but…,” and ends with me saying, “uh-huh, okay, yeah, sure, thank you,” in an effort to get him to stop spouting polite bullshit so I can calmly hang up before I burst into tears.

I sobbed in my car for a few minutes, giving myself some time to feel feelings, because I knew that momentarily I’d have to go into the house and explain the situation to my mother, and I wanted to be composed when I did so. (We weren’t planning on a full “meet the parents” moment, but since I live in my mother’s house, I feel it’s only polite to tell her when I’m having guests over.)

I wasn’t crying because I felt so attached to K in particular. In fact, I’d actually started out sort of on the fence, but he was growing on me, and I’d started to feel that maybe the run of bad luck I’d been having since the spring was coming to an end. But no, yet another thing had fallen apart on me. Hooray.

I was crying because of the feeling that filled me to the brim: “Haven’t I already suffered enough this year?”

I know that the issues I’m about to describe will come across as kind of stupid and whiny and very “white privilege, first world problems” when compared to people that are actually suffering real hardship. I know I’m very fortunate to have a roof over my head, a job, enough food to eat, and family and friends that I can rely on for love and support. I am so, so grateful. But, fuck, 2017 was a real humdinger for me. I didn’t really accomplish anything beyond mere survival. The only good, new thing that I brought from 2016 to 2017 and actually got to leave the year with was my car.

Spring 2017 especially sucked. Let me list the ways:

  • We had to put our dog down.
  • I was in the same room as my biological mother for the first time in 20 years, at the funeral of the great-grandmother I barely knew, that I only attended because I love my grandma. I didn’t have to talk to bio-mother, but the whole situation was still pretty upsetting and anxiety inducing. (Surprise! I’m adopted! Haven’t really talked about it on the internet before. I’ll tell the story another time.)
  • At the beginning of April, after being wonderful in numerous ways including being an excellent support/distraction during the above listed bullshit, my boyfriend suddenly broke up with me after four months. I had never been so emotionally or physically honest and open with anyone I’d dated, and he’d also treated me better than anyone I’d gone out with. I was very blindsided, and did not take it well. At all.

There’s an embarrassing pattern in my life of me falling almost completely to pieces in most aspects of my life after my romantic relationships dissolve. My theory is that the boys make me feel so nice that I forget how shitty I feel about other parts of my life. When they’re gone I wind up standing with the shattered glass of my heart scattered all around my feet, waiting to cut me open while I look over what’s left going, “Fuck, right, this is what my life really is. I’d completely forgotten.” And then while I’m distracted by that revelation Depression digs her barbed hooks into me.

Anyway, dramatics aside, boyfriend ditched me at the beginning of April. My job became immensely less tolerable without anything to look forward to in the off hours (besides seeing my friends, who are great, but not the same as a boyfriend). I was already job searching then, because in March I’d been asked (read: told) not to make any plans to go away in August as our calendar coordinator was taking a three week vacation out of the country and they needed me to cover for her. Doing the scheduling is easily my least favorite thing I’ve ever been asked to do at my job; coordinating 12 lawyers is stressful and anxiety inducing because if you fuck up the calendar it can have repercussions for an entire case. So even though I had very little going for me, I did at least have a goal: “Get a new job by August.”

I sent out resumes and applications for all kinds of secretarial work in my area (minus NYC, because they might have a lot of jobs, but I’m not crazy about the city or that fucking commute). By this point, you can probably guess what happened between March and August. Nada. Not even one. single. interview. Or phone call. Great.

So, now we’ve come back to August, where I started this whole rigmarole. When K told me over the phone that he didn’t want to date anymore I was already a week into covering the calendar. I was a wreck; I’d been sneaking off to the bathroom at least once a day to cry out my stress. I can’t think of a time I’ve been more unhappy at work. I felt like an extreme failure for having five months to secure a new job to save me from this mess, but not being able to do it. And then I had received this other sort of rejection, the declaration that I was a great girl, but K didn’t feel that I would be long term relationship material for him. As I mentioned way back at the beginning of this post, I wasn’t too attached to K yet, but he was fun to be around, and that was what I needed at that point.

I collected myself, and went inside, but broke down again when I told my mom what had happened, making sure to explain that K was really only a minor thing in a string of disappointments. Through my tears I declared, “2017 is a cursed year.” Mom ordered us Chinese food, splurging on fried cheese wontons because I was very sad. By the time the food arrived, I already mostly didn’t feel sad about K anymore, but I was still very fucking done with 2017.

2017 did have a few more disappointments and frustrations in store for me (for instance, I hurt my back doing filing in October and haven’t been right since). But mostly, the rest of the year has just been very stagnant. Which is its own blessing in a way, but is also a fucking exhausting drag.

I’m trying to be hopeful about 2018, but it’s so hard, guys. I’m struggling to be optimistic when my day to day existence is still the same as it was before the clock struck midnight and I flipped my calendar over to January. And I know it’s on me to make changes, but my most desired changes require outside forces to cooperate with me as well, and since they haven’t yet, I’m stuck.

I turn 27 at the end of the month, and I just feel like my future is a grey void, that I’ll never have the things I want (which are, all things considered, very simple, and yet no matter how I try, the universe refuses to let me have them). I want 27 to be better than 26 so badly. But I’m terrified it’ll just be more of the same and I don’t know if I can stand that.


“When are you due?”

It was Saturday afternoon, and I was stuck at the car dealership, as not only was my regular maintenance being done, they were also dealing with a flat tire that had turned up on my car the day before. One other woman was waiting at the same time as me and, as happens sometimes, small talk sprouted.

I misheard her at first. “I’m a receptionist,” I replied, thinking she’d asked, “What do you do?” And then she repeated herself.

“No, I asked, when are you due?”

I felt blood rush to my face. “Oh, no, I’m not pregnant,” I told her.

The woman I shared the car dealership waiting room with turned into a fountain of apologies, which I in my shocked state quickly accepted, eager to end the interaction.

In my surprise I didn’t have it in me to be offended or mad at her. I carry a lot of my weight in my stomach and when I sit/slouch it kind of gets all pushed together and forward in a way that could perhaps look like there’s a baby inside, especially in certain clothes. This is what I was wearing at the time (the picture is from last year).


This dress used to be a favorite of mine, before some shit happened this spring and the happy memories attached to it became painful. I still bust it out from time to time, because it’s still cute, and also work appropriate. But that empire waist cuts me off under the bust and emphasizes my stomach, again, especially when I’m sitting down.

Thankfully, I wasn’t trapped in waiting room purgatory with that woman for much longer. When I left the dealership, the first thing I did was park in the lot of the Home Depot next door to return a phone call from my mom. And then when I got off the phone I was hit with a wave of emotion, now that I no longer had to put on composed front for strangers. I’m not too proud to say that I started crying in my car.

I had occasionally joked to myself and others about the chance that someone might mistake me for a pregnant person. But now that such a thing had happened to me, embarrassment and shame overrode my “crack a joke to lighten the mood” reflex. I texted my friends about it and they reassured me, but I still felt pretty terrible.

I’m not a fucking idiot. I know I’m fat, but very rarely do I feel bad about it. I’ve reached a place in my life where I feel good about my body just the way it is, and think that anyone who has anything negative to say about all 240-ish pounds of me can fuck right the fuck off. (Although I do keep health concerns in the back of my head and try to make good choices as best I can, naturally, because while I love my body, I know obesity is not healthy.)

But somehow this one woman’s inquiry about a baby that doesn’t (and hopefully will never) exist turned my self-esteem on its ear. I felt incredibly self-conscious. I wondered how many other people had ever looked at me and though the same thing she did. I thought about how there were probably a number of people out there who had probably talked smack about me, at least in their own heads, because of how much space I take up.

I felt fat, in the most disgusting way.

I don’t know why people feel the right to ask about the bodies of people that are strangers, or who they don’t really know well personally. I have one coworker who will occasionally ask me if I’ve lost weight, phrasing it in a kindly “you’re looking really great” kind of way. I know that I haven’t; whatever I happen to be wearing on the days that she asks must just be particularly flattering. It just makes me feel kind of awkward, because I’m receiving praise for something I haven’t even done or really have any serious plan for pursuing.

And it seems that with pregnant people it’s twofold. The coworker I’m closest to is pregnant with her second child right now, and she was showing me pictures from the baby shower the office threw for her first child and in one of them basically all the other secretaries were crowded around touching her stomach. From my outside perspective watching her pregnancy, it feels like once you’ve got a baby in you everyone is so excited that you’re continuing the human race that they feel entitled to ask you invasive questions.

What if I had been pregnant but I’d miscarried? Or I’d recently carried to term, but then the baby was stillborn, or born with medical issues? Or if I was just fat, but trying desperately to conceive without success? She’s lucky she asked me if I was expecting, someone who’s only overweight and not interested in starting a ruckus, instead of someone who might’ve had a larger reaction.

But anyway, I digress. Let’s just discuss the rest of my day.

I had originally planned to grab an early dinner from one of the restaurants up by the dealership, but considering crying had made my face all red and awful that was out of the question, even at the shitty diner, because what if I ran into someone I knew? And besides I was suddenly torn between two competing urges: order and eat a whole pizza or not eat anything for the whole rest of the night.

I settled on something in between. I drove home, crying on and off along the way. I changed my clothes and washed my face, browsed the internet a little bit to calm myself down. And then I went to my favorite local burrito place and got my usual shrimp burrito, which is only just slightly too much food for me. I still felt emotionally wrecked, but not as emotionally wrecked as I knew I would’ve been if I’d just stayed home and dwelled on my thoughts.

After dinner, I had a really specific craving for rice pudding, so I went to the nearest grocery store, feeling every feeling from Sabrina Benaim’s poem “The Loneliest Sweet Potato” as I wandered the aisles.


The trouble with rice pudding is that only one brand really makes it, and they only sell it in a giant tub, or in packets of 6 pudding cups, which really is more rice pudding than I ever want during my weird, occasional rice pudding craving times. Basically after I eat a little, then I’m good, and then I’m left with way too much extra. But then I spotted it.


Single serving rice pudding. It wasn’t great, to be honest. The grains were bigger and harder than I would’ve liked. But it was good enough for what I needed in that moment.

I don’t really have a good moral or anything to wrap this up with. Just…please think before you speak. Don’t ask people weird questions that aren’t any of your business. That’s all.


World Mental Health Day


(Selfie taken on my worst mental health day of 2017. Why did I take this? I don’t recall.)

Today is apparently World Mental Health Day. It’s made me remember a conversation I had once with an ex-boyfriend. This post is coming a little late in the day here in New Jersey, but I wanted to share this anyway.

He said, “You always talk about your anxietty and depression, but I never see it.” I sensed an implied message, namely, “So, it’s not really that big a deal, is it?”

I replied, “Just because it isn’t visible, or isn’t happening around you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

He eventually wound up ending the relationship exactly a week after Anxious Krys made her first appearance in front of him. My logical brain said it was a coincidence. My illogical brain was concerned that was at least part of the cause and wondered which other people in my life I might drive away by being a basket case. (I just want to make it clear — I’m not using illogical as a negative term here, it’s just the terminology I personally use to identify the thoughts that I know are floating around in my head because of depression and anxiety, and to separate them from my clearer thoughts.)

When it comes to my mental health issues, I make it a point to be as open as I can be with as many of the people in my life that I feel I can. Maybe I’ll never have an anxiety attack around a specific person. Maybe the most they’ll get of my lows is a text message that says, “please send me memes or a funny video because I’m down today.” But I want people in my life to know that this is a part of me that exists because if it does pop up, I don’t them to be taken aback. I know there are people out there who don’t want to be around a “crazy girl,” who wouldn’t want to be my friend because sometimes I can get “too negative,” who wouldn’t want to date me because sometimes I’m occasionally emotionally unstable. So I just feel like giving people a heads up is the polite thing to do.

My mental health issues are not even that severe when compared to those of other people. I can only imagine how much more difficult life might be for those who have struggles greater than mine.

Not everyone can be open like I am, for one reason or another. And not all mental health problems have visible manifestations. So just be kind to people, and patient with them, because you don’t know what they’re dealing with inside.

Five Things I Like About Myself

Still feeling in bit of a mental health slump, so let’s do some self-affirmation!

1. I can’t bake from scratch, but I am a wizard of box mixes, and I am always willing to make one for you, whether it’s to celebrate something or whether you’re sad and need some cheering up. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound that impressive, but believe me, I’ve seen some box baking go very wrong in my time, but mine almost always come out great! Pictured are some Funfetti cupcakes I made for a friend’s birthday a couple years ago, after he asked, “Krystal, can you bake something super gay for my birthday?” My decorating skills could admittedly use some work, but the tastes of the cakes was much appreciated.


2. I’m not afraid to go on adventures by myself. Some people don’t like to go to the movies alone, or go to restaurants alone, or go on trips alone. I used to feel awkward about those things too, but I’ve worked myself up to being comfortable on my own. In fact, sometimes I even prefer to do things alone, because then I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s wants or needs and don’t have to worry about them being inconvenienced by mine. Because being annoying is a thing that I do worry about (hopefully I’ll learn not to someday). 20161004_121211

(Me with my Cossack cousin one an impromptu solo trip to the Museum of Natural History in NYC. Yes, I do have one tiny sliver of Russian blood in me.)

3. I have a great sense of humor. Or at least I think so. My brothers are super fond of quoting at me that Futurama line, “Your jokes are bad and you should feel bad!” But I laugh at my dumb jokes and humorous observations, and some other people do too, so there. 20160924_235227

(A old photo from a family trip in which me and my younger brother are pretending to be afraid of a stationary helicopter. This pose was my idea, as he was just a young innocent child at the time of this trip.)

4. I have a great capacity to give love and support. Even when I feel like garbage and dislike myself, I can still see the bright spots in other people. Even though I don’t always know what advice to give, you can still vent to me if you’re having a hard time. Once I decide to care about you, I’m your homedog until you give me a very good reason not to be, even if I’m crappy about keeping in touch with people who are far away. This point has kind of turned into several points, but they’re kind of all under the same general umbrella, so whatever.


(My best friend’s two cats, who I love very much, and are my honorary stepsons.)

5. I’m freaking cute. It might be vain to say that, but honestly, I don’t give a damn. I didn’t always feel this way; I definitely had a pretty awkward puberty, same as anyone, and didn’t really learn to like myself and “feel myself” as the kids say, until I’d nearly graduated from college. And I do have days where I look in the mirror and go, “ugh.” But those are getting fewer and farther between, especially since I’ve finally settled on how I like to dress myself and what kinds of clothes I think are flattering for my figure.

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(First Krystmas [get it?] vs. one of my most recent DSLR selfies. Cute af since 1991.)

What’s something that you like about yourself?

Much love,



Week three of the blog and I’m already feeling like everything I have to say is super trite, unoriginal, and not worth writing, that the way I write is overblown and unwelcoming. Who would even want to read my heap of cliches? I could try to dial back my writing style, but then it wouldn’t be me, wouldn’t be my voice.

Probably adding to these feelings of inadequacy is the fact that I’ve been feeling pretty low for the past week or so. When my mood crashes, I always hesitate to call it being in a depression, because who has money to get diagnosed in therapy when there are school loans to pay? But probably that’s what it is. And I probably have proper anxiety as well too, which just makes for a delicious, occasionally debilitating mental cocktail.


(The woods behind my house. Not a recent picture, but somehow reflective of my feelings.)

My low isn’t constant. It comes and goes in cycles (but not always in sync with that cycle, if you catch my drift). Sometimes it’s pops up out of nowhere. Sometimes the things in my life that I’m less than happy about cling to me, like when you’ve got a hair in your shirt tickling you but you can’t get it out.

My current low is an external factors low. For one, I really don’t like my job. I’ve been trying since March to find a new one. I haven’t even been called for one single interview. The past months have just been repeated silent rejection, and sometimes it wears me down more than others.

For two, I’m lonely. It’s a weird kind of lonely where I can be in a room full of my friends and feel like I’m on the other side of the Grand Canyon from them even though I know they love me, and I know I’m welcome. And it definitely doesn’t help that most of my friends are coupled up right now, to the point where if we’re hanging out someone’s significant other is almost always there. This isn’t a bad thing; my friends’ girlfriends are great people. It just makes me feel particularly angsty about a certain lack in my life.

I’ve never been the kind of girl who needs a boyfriend to feel complete. I have my hobbies, I have my friends and family. But seeing my friends holding hands, or snuggling up with their girlfriends on the couch when we all watch a movie together can make me feel a bit jealous, a bit like I’ve just opened up an old wound and poured lemon juice on it – bitter and painful. (And yes, I have talked about this with my friends.)

But these feelings shall pass, as they always do. I will be fine, until the next cycle. Hopefully I can solve my job problem in the meantime, so at least I’ll have something new and positive in my life to motivate me and keep my head above the depths, but it’s looking doubtful. And winter is on its way, a time of year when I tend to have more frequent lows because of the lack of sun.

I feel like such a whiny punk, but this is my place to talk about what I want to, even if it is unappealing, and I needed to get these thoughts out of my head.