Avery’s Favorite Murder

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

Since I have moved to Colorado I have spent most of my time looking for jobs and listening to old episodes of the podcast “My Favorite Murder” (full disclosure: I am listening to it as I type this.) If you haven’t heard the podcast, I highly recommend it. It’s about exactly what the title would suggest which is, the favorite murder cases and stories of comedians Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. If you’ve heard the podcast then you know that they will do mini episodes where they read listener submitted home town murder stories. Listening to these old episodes got me thinking about the crime related things that I or my close friends and family have experienced growing up in Billings Montana. This is a compiled post of those stories. 

DISCLAIMER: This post is a fucking bummer. I’m telling you now. If you get uncomfortable about murder, just scroll down to the last story, have a good laugh at my bizarre life and then move on. Okay, on with the post.

Story #1 The Serial Rapist: When I initially asked myself the question: What is my hometown murder/crime story? a few things immediately came to mind (I’ll save the most interesting one for the end of this post). The first one took place one summer either at the end of middle school or the beginning of high school. I have mentioned my childhood friend group previously on the blog, but for those that don’t know we pretty much had free reign throughout the entire neighborhood. However, this particular summer, my mom told me and my sister that we needed to be careful and come home earlier because there was a serial rapist in Billings. Billings is a pretty sleepy town so this scale of crime was pretty unheard of. Before he had been identified and caught they were publishing articles in the newspaper about how to stay safe as a woman. This pretty much was the extent of my knowledge on the subject so I took to google. Like I said, Billings is pretty uneventful, so I found the story with a single search. The Rapist’s name was Toby Griego and in the spring of 2013 to the late summer of 2013, when he was caught he invaded the homes of, and raped 3 women, and attempted to rape a fourth. Which explains why everyone was so freaked out when it happened. He wasn’t just raping people he was stalking them, then breaking into their homes and then raping them. In the case of one victim, he had delivered a mattress to her house and then came back a week later and attacked her.  He wore gloves and pretty much covered up all evidence, so it took them awhile to catch him. He was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to 22 consecutive life terms without parole. He appealed to the Montana Supreme Court in 2014 but they agreed 5-0 that his trial was fair and he’s been in prison ever since. A job well done by the Montana court system for once.

Story #2 The Carpet Killer: In late 2017, a decapitated body was found wrapped in a carpet on a dirt trail on the west end of Billings and his head was found wrapped in a towel a few feet away. The body belonged to Myron Wesley Knight and prior to this blog post my only knowledge of the case was from driving with my friend down a quiet road when she suddenly said “hey this is where they found that headless body isn’t it?” I got the rest of the story from my dad. “He won some money at a casino. The man gave his winnings to the casino attendant and told her if anything happens to him a couple of transients were to blame. They went to the hobo camp and killed him.” he said. The two “transients” he had named, Donald Cherry and Jeffrey Haverty, had already been arrested for different things by the time the police had received the information. They both claim to have nothing to do with the murder but Cherry’s girlfriend told the police  she had came back to the camp from the gas station to find the dead body and Haverty decapitating it. What gets me the most about this case is that in the end Knight only had six dollars on him. Why would you murder someone prior to knowing how much money they had, if money was your end goal. The two men are set to appear in court later this year.

Story #3 Just a Real Tragedy: I’m going to keep this one brief because it’s just incredibly sad. A few years back in 2015 when I was in high school, a kid that I had gone to school with since 1st grade accidentally shot his friend who was throwing rocks from outside his window. He thought he was an intruder and shot his gun out the window hitting him in the head and killing him. The kid who was shot also went to our school and I remember we had a school wide assembly, and it was the only the only time everyone actually went to a school assembly. It made national news, and was ultimately ruled an accident. The whole thing was incredibly sad and awful. The kid that shot him clearly felt absolutely terrible and this case surprisingly did not change the fact that in Montana we still hand every child a gun the second they exit the womb.

Story #4 Missing Sidney Teacher: Back when I was in middle school we would always talk about current events in our history class and I remember as a class, following the case of a missing teacher from Sidney Montana. Looking back, it seems maybe they shouldn’t be discussing missing persons cases with 12 year olds and that this probably has nothing to do with my constant fear of being murdered. Anyway, they eventually found the body of Sherry Arnold, who was a math teacher for 18 years. She had been missing for nearly 3 months. She was found in North Dakota, in a shallow grave. The two men responsible for her murder were Lester Van Waters Jr. and Michael Spell, who were apparently looking for work in the oil fields and also coked out of their minds when they decided to carry out the random attack. They strangled her then purchased a shovel at Walmart to bury her with, which they later returned… and Walmart accepted that return. Waters received 80 years and Spell recieved 100 but both will be eligible for parole in the coming years.

Story #5 Jeanette Atwater Murder: When I was searching for content for this post I was texting my dad who told me about the unsolved murder of a woman found in a burning car in the 80s… Except it wasn’t the 80s it was January 16th of 2000 (there were a lot of other unsolved murders of women in the 80s though, so it’s an understandable mistake.) Jeanette Atwater was found in the trunk of her burning car, burned to the point that she had to be identified by her dental records later. She died of smoke inhalation so it was assumed she was still alive when the car was lit on fire. She had been at a bar with coworkers all night the night before and didn’t leave with anyone but couldn’t be seen leaving the bar on the security cameras, which is one of the reasons the case remains unsolved. Her 3 children were in Washington at the time with her ex husband who was extensively questioned and not considered a suspect. HOWEVER, there was a man that purchased 1 dollar of gas and a book of matches at a convenience store a couple minutes away from where she was found, just a few hours before authorities arrived at the scene. where matches were found that seemed similar to the ones in the convenience store. The store clerk was stoned or something because they had no idea what the man might look like, just that he was wearing strong cologne. They had the man on security footage but no one could ever identify him. The case is still unsolved to this day.

Story #6 Peeping Tom: I have saved this one for last because it is the only one that I am directly involved in and if you’re my friend then you have probably already heard it because I love to tell this story to anyone that will listen. It goes like this. In my parent’s house, the window of my old bedroom faced out towards the street, and it was on the first floor so anyone walking down the sidewalk could clearly see it. Our house also didn’t have any air conditioning, so I had a window fan, and only had a sheer blind over the top  half of the window. My bed was next to the window with the head in the corner of the room and the bottom against the window. My room arrangement clearly revolved around avoiding the heat and not avoiding what happened to me that summer when I was 16 (maybe 17 now that I think about it). There was a lot of gravel on that side of the house (I have no idea why) and I always thought I could hear someone walking on it at night. However, I have been incredibly paranoid and neurotic my whole life, so I brushed it off as an animal or the wind or something. UNTIL one night I was laying in bed reading, ignoring the weird gravel noises when through the fan (it was turned off that night) a voice said “Why don’t you touch yourself little girl.” Although I was 16 (or 17), I always have been quite small and look younger than I am so this voice probably assumed I was 14 or 15. For all my neurotic research on murder and the like, my first reaction was to throw my comforter over my head to hide, even though that is stupid and unproductive. I realized this after a moment and used all the courage I’ve ever held in my small heart to run out my bedroom door and wake up my parents. My dad went outside immediately with a shovel but the creep had already left, my dad did however see a door close at a house across the street and a light on inside. We called the cops and needless to say I slept on the couch for the next week. I also bought blackout curtains and never opened my window again. I would rather sleep in a puddle of sweat than being watched by a pervert. The scariest thing about the whole situation was that I had heard the gravel sounds outside before so whoever it was could have been watching me for awhile before this event and even scarier… after… but that’s a story for another day.

If you have any interest in hearing that story or any of the other cases and murders connected to Montana that I found while researching the details of these ones, like this post or let me know in a comment! Also if you have a crime/murder related story that you remember you can send it to me on social media. I would love to hear it!

A Really Big Excuse

Personal, Writing

While, I have seemingly dropped off the the face of the earth this past month, I promise you my life has been anything but uneventful. My sporadic internet hiatus was unintentional and accidentally a lot longer than it should have been. My social media has been half-dead with the occasional OOTD post and a strangely active tumblr page. This isn’t a new thing for me. If I could pick one word to describe my brain to body connection it would be apathetic.

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about personality disorders, is that when your not sad, your happy. Another big one, is that when good or exciting things happen you automatically feel good or excited. These two misconceptions honestly haunt my conversations, so let me spell it out for you. A pill cannot make you happy. Pills treat symptoms, they’re not a cure.

For those that are curious; I take Effexor and Wellbutrin (both in fairly high doses).  The Effexor stabilizes my mood and the Wellbutrin (supposedly) gives me more energy. Although the Effexor prevents me from having a breakdown every hour, it works on both ends of the spectrum, meaning that it’s hard for me to experience intense feelings of joy or excitement, and I think that’s what most people don’t understand. For a lot of people, that might not seem worth it, and I understand that. Sometimes the highs are good enough to help you get through the lows. Other times the lows are so overwhelming that you never even get a high. I’m fine with my pill regimen right now. For me, it is much more important to have the consistency of my mood but it’s really frustrating to have people get mad at you for not being excited enough. It’s like since I’m taking meds, I’m no longer supposed to show symptoms of my disorder, which is honestly ridiculous and also exhausting.

In the last month my life has had some drastic changes, and while I think change is good and necessary it also means that my brain has kind of been on autopilot for weeks. I wake up and do the things I need to do and then sit on my phone or go back to bed. The constant fear of having something happen, that could divert me from important tasks, such as a depressive episode, is greater than the fomo of daily social life. And this is why, I haven’t posted in a month or two.

I realize this post is one big, tangled excuse for why my mental illness is keeping me from doing things. I also realize that this whole post is counterproductive to the point of blogging which is to help move forward despite my mental illness. But I’m self-aware ok? And sometimes that just has to be enough for everyone. I’m a large pile of vomit as far as my brain is concerned. But the first step to cleaning up a large pile of vomit, is to realize there’s a large pile of vomit there in the first place.

Art Journaling

Personal, Writing

Disclaimer: Not all of the art in my journals is my original work. Some were recreated from images I found online. I in no way take creative credit for these drawings and give it fully to the creator of the original work.

I have been keeping journals and sketchbooks for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I began to completely finish them. When we were younger my mom showed me sister and me how to make collage journals and a few years later, I elaborated on that idea by starting my  first art journal. It was red, with thin blank pages, and I found it up in my mom’s art stuff. It had french writing down the side that meant draft book and with the addition of a couple stickers, it was incorporated into my daily life. All though I consider it the first journal I finished it is in fact blank for the last ten pages because the binding broke from overuse. Since this journal that began in 2015, I have completed two others and am in the middle of my fourth.

IMG_1154

from left to right: oldest to newest

Everyone is always impressed by how full they are and I attribute that to the fact that I don’t give myself a lot of limits with them. Except one which is that I’m never allowed to rip pages out. If there are pages I absolutely hate, then I cover them up with scrap paper drawings when the journal is complete. Other than that I keep my journals completely free. Sometimes other people draw in them, I write lists in them, and I doodle in them when I am on important phone calls. Besides my work notebook and my planner, my art journal is the only journal I have so it literally holds everything.

I think that once I let go of the need for my journals to be chronological and aesthetically pleasing, I was able to fill them, and usually by the time they were done I was pretty pleased with the final result. It’s nice to just have something that has no limits. Something that can hold all of my bullshit in one small place.

I also became a lot more comfortable with expressing my feelings and more confident in my drawing skills. Art journaling was one of the main ways I combated my social anxiety in high school.

I love looking into other people’s journals, so I thought maybe you would like a peak into mine.

Happy July everyone! Look out for lots of new things on the blog this month!

30 Before 30

Personal, Writing

Here are 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.

  1. be published somewhere that’s not this blog or a school publication
  2. start my own podcast or be a part of one
  3. read 100 books (or more) over a 12 month period
  4. travel to Europe
  5. stand in every U.S state at least once
  6. have a Youtube channel to partner with this blog and my other writings
  7. get my degree and have $0 in student loan debt
  8. get full sleeves of tattoos on both my arms
  9. travel to Japan
  10. read all the “classic” books I’ve wanted to read.
  11. give some kind of public “talk” like a speech or a panel
  12. have a 401k or similar saving plan
  13. produce at least one of my screenplays
  14. have some semblance of a healthy diet
  15. get a pet (preferably a dog)
  16. give more to charity and have a strong role in a cause I believe in
  17. learn how to cook actual meals that aren’t ramen and cereal
  18. live more sustainably and create less waste
  19. learn to speak at least one other language fluently
  20. ride a horse
  21. start playing music again
  22. visit Canada
  23. live alone for awhile
  24. watch all the t.v. shows in my Netflix list
  25. meet Kathleen Hanna
  26. write at least one full length book
  27. buy a sports car
  28. buy a dishwasher
  29. go to Sasquatch or Bonaroo or both
  30. buy an espresso machine

Turning 20

Personal, Writing

Almost 20 years I’ve been on this planet and I’m still sitting by idiots in coffee shops, that are trying to explain why the earth is flat. It’s definitely round. Just so we’re all clear on that. Last year for my birthday I wrote a poem about being 19 so, because I am feeling less creative this year but still wanted to make it a yearly thing, here is a list of 20 things I learned in the past decade.

  1. The earth is flat. JUST KIDDING. But if people believe that they’re not going to change they’re minds so don’t even bother trying to explain it.
  2. That goes for most things that people believe.
  3. Don’t punch cars. You won’t win, the car will.
  4. If you’re trying to decide between getting coffee or getting to school on time, always pick getting coffee.
  5. School is hard once it’s not required.
  6.  The best way to make friends is to message them and hang out with them until they just eventually adapt to your annoying presence.
  7. You can’t tell your car is making a weird noise if you turn your music up louder.
  8. Time goes by very slowly and very quickly at the same time.
  9. People leave but they also usually get replaced by new people.
  10. I don’t know it all. Just most of it.
  11. People can make you feel like shit to the point where eventually you just are shit.
  12. Ice cream fixes most things, except your triglyceride levels.
  13. If someone hits you, always hit back
  14. Boys are actually stupid. No joke.
  15. Love is an even worse disease than life.
  16. Music helps always.
  17. Healing is never linear.
  18. Pain is never permanent.
  19. Pretending to be something you’re not is exhausting and hardly ever worth it. Unless it’s Halloween or something I guess.
  20. The only person responsible for your pain and healing is you.

While I can’t say I’m looking forward to the next decade, I can say I’m willing to live it. I can also say that I am thankful for the stuff the past ten years has brought me. From a “gap toothed” 10 year old to a “gap toothed because she broke her retainer shortly after getting her braces off” adult, I’m a completely different person with a completely different perspective on life. I’m sure that when I turn 30 I’ll say the exact same thing because I think that all life really is, is learning and moving on.

 

Religion

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

The kids behind me in the coffee shop were trying to find a bible verse to describe love and all I can think is that the bible can’t describe love. The connection between someone and an idealistic figure whom they have never met and the connection between two humans, are two very different things. As I thought about this, the conversation behind me progressed into one about mental health and how everyone who was depressed, simply needed god in there life, and this is where I start to have a problem with religion.

I was raised agnostic in a state that is predominately christian, so from a young age I was exposed to the division between those that believe in god and those that don’t. The first time I was told I was going to hell was by my classmate in first grade, and I remember going home and asking my mom if I was going to hell because I didn’t believe in god. This was the first of many incidents involving religion in my public education, including arguments with teachers over the use of religion in teaching materials and many fights with other students over whether or not there was a god. What I think is funny, is that they were always started by the people that claimed to be the good ones. The followers of this god, who are supposed to be accepting of everyone and who are committed to a guide that is supposed to be one of love and caring, not me, the Satan loving abomination of an Atheist.

I started identifying as an Atheist when I was 16 which means simply that I don’t believe there is a god. Look, I get it ok, there are a lot of people that in order to have a meaning in their life, need to feel that they are headed for something greater. I also want to mention that I have no issues with people doing good things, and living there lives with belief in a higher power. The thing I have an issue with is organized groups that use a text and fear to control a group of people into spreading something the world doesn’t need. When a religion needs to put down others beliefs and spread hate for people that aren’t like them ,that’s not religion anymore, it’s just a power trip.

I think we all know God didn’t hate the gays, or black people, or anyone that believed in anything that wasn’t him. If god was this all knowing, loving, image he’s supposed to be then he would not be susceptible to such human emotions like hate. I think a lot of people lose sight of what their religion is supposed to be. People use religion to fuel hate and hurt others and somehow still put it on people like me, who simply choose to accept an ending at the end of life.

I remember when I was young, that even though me and my sister didn’t believe in god, my mom taught us a lot about the Buddhist and Hindu religions. We learned about enlightenment and karma, and were raised on ideals of love and caring towards our fellow humans. I would even argue that my mother is a better person than any god fearing christian, because she believes in the world, and her small role of taking care of it, which I think is an ideal that gets lost among the things god did and didn’t say.

 

 

Coffee Convo

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

Ok, so it’s not really a coffee this time. It’s actually a green tea with honey and an asiago bagel but that’s only because it’s 8,000 degrees here today and I couldn’t be bothered to drink anything that wasn’t refreshing. It’s only May and I’m already so over sun. I mean I’m not asking for 7 foot snow again, I would just like it if it was always 60 degrees and cloudy.

Since I am posting regularly again I figured I should give you a bit of an update and since I haven’t done a coffee convo in a hot minute, I figured I would share my asiago bagel with you all.

For starters, I am turning 20 in a few weeks which feels bizarre. A lot of me still feels like I’m only 14 and the other part of me is coming to terms with the fact that my sister graduates in a couple days. YES MAISY JAM HAS A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. I’m honestly probably more proud of her than I was of myself. She works insanely hard and is also incredibly smart in ways I have never been and I can’t wait to see where her life takes her now that she has been released from prison/the public school system.

Summer has also officially begun which means lots of plans are being made. I am making a trip to Idaho over the 4th of July with my family as well as trying to figure out all of the logistics of moving, which, if everything goes to plan, should be happening in late August.

My asiago bagel and tea

My asiago bagel and green tea.

I’m trying to find time to spend with all the people I’ve known for years as well as make connections with new people and it really brings to light just how many people come and go in your life. There are people that I still have genuine love for that I haven’t seen in years. It really puts into perspective how much time we set aside for things that don’t give us the love that family and friends give. We put work, money, and material things over interactions that could change our lives and that’s crazy to me.

I haven’t been reading hardly at all this year, which is frustrating because there’s so much I’ve been wanting to read. I think I need to work more on prioritizing the things I love over the things I have to do. I put work over a lot of things, and while I do generally like my job, My life has taught me that I need to make time to do things I like because, I don’t get to re-do life, and I should probably spend it doing things I love.

I’m also working on not caring what other people think about my life. I generally don’t care what others think when it comes to the way I look or act, especially when it comes to strangers. Lately though, I’ve been focusing on not needing validation from the people I’m close to. Even the people I love aren’t going to understand me and I need to accept that and be ok with it.

These are just a couple things that have been thinking about lately. If you have anything to add, I always appreciate your comments and messages, and if you want to see more photos like the one in this post, please follow me on instagram @avejam_ . Thank you for reading and you will hear from me on Monday!

– Avery

The Ice That Cracks In Your Lungs

Personal, poetry, Writing

So this is the first compilation of poetry that I wrote for second semester. I hope you enjoy!

Winter

I’m feeling a lot.

The icy numbness melting.

This is almost worse.

 

Which way would hurt less?

Feeling no pain or all of it?

 

Mermaid

Stuck underwater.

Voices of those above speak,

Muffled without pain.

 

Why can’t anyone care when

I can’t ever seem to stop.

 

She go lost somewhere

Now she only floats around,

Faking who she was.

 

Poem for a Yandere

Standing there across the yard,

A girl with a knife in her hands.

 

Slowly stepping closer,

This girl holds your life in her hands.

 

Imagining sticky red blood flowing out,

Veins pouring into her hands.

 

Seeing pain mirrored in her eyes,

Memories of you holding her hands.

 

Coming to hurt you like you hurt her,

Heart barely beating in her hands.

 

It’s too bad you didn’t think to call,

Her phone sitting silently in her hands.

 

It’s too bad no one will help you now

Today you die by my hands.
Ouch.

That’s my heart lying on the floor.

A limp organ pulsing unsteadily

Dripping in a puddle of my blood.

 

Sticky and

Dirty and

Oh so alone.

 

That’s my empty chest cavity.

A hole gorged where that heart was

My ribcage

 

Cracked and

Bruised and

Hurting to breathe.

 

Pick it up.

Force that ugly thing back in your chest

Choke through the pain in your lungs

 

But I can’t and

It wont fit and

This hole is too big to be filled.

 

Who’s gruesome heart is that.

Filled with swollen veins.

How’d it get so torn up and cold.

 

The scars and

The aches and

My heart still lying on the floor.
Have Fun Throwing Your Petty Little Fucking Fit Avery

 

New Message: sorry the only thing

You have to deal with is

 

Mental illness. I’m sorry

Too, that I can’t function

Like a normal human but

 

Believe me when I say that

I wish I could take care of that

Baby that you leave alone instead

 

Of taking care of the crying child

That is my mind. Give me something

I can control. New message:

 

take your fake ass shit somewhere

else everyone sees through it anyways.

I wish I was faking, so I could feel

 

The pain your words are

Supposed to inflict but I don’t

And I won’t so

 

I hope you like being alone because

I do. It has become my home.
Vacation Pt. 1

It was raining

The rain dripping down the car window

Like the rain dripping down my cheeks

Mom staring with worry

 

Bright red emergency, and my hand being held

Like a small child who might wander

Sat in a chair as they pulled up sweater sleeves

sticking to severed skin with dried blood

 

Nurses eyes filled with pity

Led to a room and placed in a bed

Removed of clothing and belongings

Fragile, pale, staring at the ceiling

 

Hours passing

Eyes dry up and gasps grow silent

My brain feeling like it has melted

Green-blue scrubs on a shivering body.

 

Down the hall

Someone is crying in pain

The world continues around

But time stood still in my tiny room

 

Two in the morning

How are you feeling?

mom sits in the corner crying

I explain the feelings in the brain that turned against me

 

More waiting

Picking at scabs forming in long clean lines

It starts to rain again when I hear what I already knew for the past 5 years

We recommend you be committed.

Note From The Devil, My Lover

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

A gift to those in pain

Your sad solemn words that entice

Umbrellas protecting those in the rain.

 

Nothing you ever write is nice

Because you do it to sustain

To fight against the constant malice

That I stuck inside your brain.

 

How did it feel when you started to slice

When you pierced those precious veins

The blood that dripped from that vice

It left a very large stain.

 

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

Heart dark and deep and maimed

Happiness will never suffice

Because I made you to be insane.

 

Vacation Pt. 2

Eyes blurry, ears ringing

We’ll give you a minute to get ready

No phones allowed. your mom can bring more clothes the next day.

Here’s phone numbers and your socks, I promise you’ll be ok

 

Are you ready

You have to go in a wheelchair. Why? Because you’re sick.

Eyes filled with pity staring sadly at me

Skin becomes itchy. Ok I guess I’m ready

 

Through winding hallways

The nurse and the security guard talk about who didn’t come to work that day

Their lives so normal, and mine so crushed

Eyes glazed over but out of tears to cry

 

Nurse said I like your socks

My socks said bitches get stuff done

I didn’t get stuff done

If I had I wouldn’t be in this elevator

 

Finally sat in a dimly lit room

3 a.m. with rules set out in front of me

Paper titled “Your Fall Prevention Plan”

Too late for that, I’ve already hit the ground.

 

 

Doing College With Depression

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

If you’re like me, then you are a person that the modern world was not made for. When they were building the schools, and the jobs, and the basic human interaction they forgot a whole group of us who, you know, can’t function. How are you supposed to go places if you can’t move from your bed? How can you learn new things when your in the middle of disassociating? How are you supposed to write a paper about what you want in life when all you really want is to die? Well here are the answers…not really answers though. Here are the ways to kind of make things easier maybe!

  1.  Doing The Most – Everybody has good days and bad days. In my case, I have highly productive days and what I like to call, “slug days.” One of my number one tips for acquiring a higher education with a mental disorder is to get ahead on the good days. If you are feeling productive one day, and have already finished your homework, do tomorrows too. Take advantage of every moment that you feel like being busy to do all the shit that you know you won’t when your curled up in a ball eating ice cream and crying.
  2. Keep It Manageable – There are tons of classes that I want to take and it would be great to get all my courses out of the way as fast as possible but I know how my brain works. I know that if I was to take a full 15 credits I would get overwhelmed and ultimately give up. If you know you don’t do well when you have a large amount of work then don’t give yourself large amounts of work.
  3. Make A Routine – It really helps me if I make a plan for my morning in advance because then I’m more likely to do it. If I come up with something I want to eat for breakfast and what I’m going to wear then I’m a lot more likely to actually get out of bed.
  4. Don’t Skip – This isn’t really a tip that I follow because I skip a lot, but I find that if I skip school, it is very likely that I will skip the next day too. However, If I go then I usually end up going the next day as well. If I do skip I always try to find something class related to work on at home.
  5. Using College As Therapy – you obviously have to write a lot of papers for college and sometimes you can tie your paper topics in with your mental illness. It’s a lot easier to write a good paper when the paper is making you feel better as you go. Writing stuff out always makes me feel better and if it also helps me finish my homework, then why not kill two birds with one stone.
  6. Know Your Mental Limits – This kind of ties in with tip #2, but it’s important to know what your brain can and can’t do. Know what times of the day you work better, and how long your attention span will last. If you cater your schedule to your needs then you will have a lot more success.
  7. Use College As An Excuse – Personally, I find that sometimes I can convince my brain out of a depressive episode if there is something else I know I have to do. If I tell myself, “Hey, you can’t take a 6 hour depression nap right now because your paper is due in six hours,” sometimes that’s it takes for my brain to come back to earth and get some stuff done.
  8. E-mail – There’s this handy dandy messaging tool, where you can just e-mail your teachers and classmates to get answers about your class or find out what you missed. This way you never have to make eye contact or worry about your voice being shaky.
  9. Online Classes – If you are someone who can work from home and still manage your time wisely, then online classes are ideal for depressed people. It’s a class you can do straight from your bed on days when you are feeling crappy and always be caught up on subject matter.
  10. Know That It’s Okay To Fail Sometimes – Sometimes we fuck up, or procrastinate a day to long, or forget to study. That’s Okay. We can’t always do everything perfect. Just because you messed up something doesn’t mean that it’s all over. Just say “well fuck,” and put everything into your next assignment or class.

So there are 10 tips for going to school with a mental illness. I hope you find some of these tips helpful. Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments and share this post with people you think it could help them. See you Wednesday!

Holy Heck She Lives: Florida and Future Content

Personal, Travels

So I want to start by saying that it’s only been two months since I last posted which in comparison to some of my other hiatuses is not that long. However, after a spike of followers and a comment made by my Grandpa about how I should start posting again, I decided I should probably write this.

If you’re new here, welcome. please don’t leave, I promise to be better. I tell this to almost everyone in my life and it’s almost never true so do with that information what you will.

Over Easter, I took a trip to visit my grandparent’s in Florida where the weather was amazing and I didn’t have to go to work or school. Now I’m back in Montana, where I have to do all those things and it’s also snowing…in April. What the actual fuck Montana.

Here are some highlight’s from the trip:

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I dyed my hair blonde.

Now that I’m back in Billings, it’s back to the daily grind of college which I actually haven’t attended in a few days because I feel empty and like lying in bed all day. (Wow Avery, you haven’t changed a bit.) I have decided that with the end of the school year coming up I will be posting every Monday, Friday, and Sunday and I have put it in writing here so you all can yell at me when I inevitably don’t post.

Some content I have on my to-do list includes:

  • A new coffee convo
  • College with depression
  • Books I’ve read so far this year
  • journal flip-through
  • 2nd semester poetry compilation

I love feedback so let me know what you would like to see next on the blog and also since their are so many new subscribers tell me something about yourself in the comments! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you on Monday!