Happy July, Crybabies! Every month we are doing a feature called "Crybaby of the Month", where we take one of our tender hearts and get to know them a little better. One of my very favorite parts of starting this group is having the opportunity to get to know you guys, so without further ado, allow me to introduce you to our July Crybaby, Annie!
Hi dollface, tell me what is one word to describe the kind of month you’ve been having?
Surreal. This takes on two very different meanings for me. Surreal in the sense that I was hired for a dream career job as a photo editor at the FIND Lab... my film lab of choice. It all still feels very much like a dream and not my reality. Also, surreal in the sense that I have been in a sort of summery haze with some disassociation thrown in. I've been mentally exploring dreamy states of being and what it means to exist at all.
Ok, the basics…Please tell us your age/birthdate, where you live, if you have any nicknames, your favorite color, and anything else you’d like to share!
22 years old; January 6th, 1994. Easton, MD. I haven't had any nicknames since middle school that I can remember, but I was affectionately called Anniekins and Annie Arkansas (My Myspace name was Annie Apathy... I think). I love deep pastels, earthy tones, and reds. I'm a portrait photographer who works exclusively in 35mm film and picked up photography seriously (albeit poorly) when I was fourteen. The words vicariously and perpetually make me happy. Nature is my muse. I listen to the same five albums over and over again. My Myers-Brigg personality is INFJ and I laugh at everything way too easily. I'm also really bad at introductions.
When did you first realize that you were a crybaby?
I once wrote a note to my Dad in elementary school that I was going for a walk to take a good long look at my life and that I would be back on Tuesday... Or Wednesday. I don't remember which. But right around when I was eleven/twelve, I started noticing how overwhelming my emotions were and had very little grasp of what was actually going on with myself. Puberty is mega weird as is, but the beginnings of borderline personality disorder made it mega super weird. It started with body image issues and evolved into self harm. At the time, it was a cry for help. I had no idea why I was feeling the things I was and well... I just generally cried. A lot.
How did you become a member of The Crybaby Club and what do you love most about it?
Instagram is such a magical place for connections. I follow The Sad Ghost Club really closely and went on one of those deep explorations until I came across The Crybaby Club! I love ANY space that promotes mental health visibility and normalizing emotional disorders, upsets, or generally just needing to cry.
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Can I be honest? This question makes me cringe. I've had my therapy team ask me this question wrapped in different packaging dozens of times and every time I just get blindsided. But I'm trying to do the whole not living in fear thing. My favorite thing about myself is my ability to feel as deeply as I do, but it's consequently the least favorite thing about myself. I'm extremely passionate, driven, and emotionally intelligent.
On the flip side, what is something you are not so fond of, but are working to improve?
My inability to cope with the negative side of overwhelming emotions. The best way I can explain it is a neurotypical mentally healthy human being with no trauma background has an emotional scale of 1-10 with an ability to generally rationalize. I have a 0 and then a 7-10. I'm entirely missing the middle grey areas. I also lack emotional permanence, which is either feeling as if an emotion will last forever or on the flip side, believing it doesn't exist when it isn't right in your face. It's without a doubt my biggest challenge. November will be my 2 year anniversary of being in treatment.
Tell us one moment where you cried but did the thing anyway.
Literally yesterday. I was having the worst mental health day I've had in a long, long time. I was literally sobbing on my keyboard finishing my photo edits for the day. And I did. So I bought myself a new planner and really adorable stickers on Etsy.
When it comes to crying, what kind of crier are you? Wailer, blubberer or silent crier?
It totallllllly depends. I think I go between wailer and silent crier. Again with the total opposites.
How do you practice self care?
Caramel Almond Milk Coffee Smoothies. Hot baths. My favorite meditation app on my phone. Journaling, which I have abandoned for a few months and miss so dearly.
If you had to pick the most epic crying moment of your life, good or bad, what would it be and why?
I HAVE TO PICK ONE?? This November, I had a day that was so awful that I forced myself to take the leap and try psychiatric medication. I was suicidal, truly, I had written half a note and was completely a mess. I was incoherent (not like drunk, just completely out of reality) and I just remember crying for I think six hours. I was considering inpatient for the second time in my life. I just remember saying one thing over and over again to my boyfriend Alec for hours. It was like I wasn't even on Earth. It all climaxed to me deciding that if I was going to function in my adult life, I needed to try medication. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself.
If you knew today was your last day on earth, where would you go, who would you hug, and what would you eat?
To see my parents. Then somewhere beautiful that I have never seen before with lots of wildlife. Possibly the Southwest or on a mountain or a beach anywhere. I'd probably hug everyone, but especially Alec, my parents, my closest friends, and Alec's family. I'd probably just eat a lot of guacamole. This question makes me want to cry.
Who is someone in your life that inspires you to love yourself, be yourself, or better yourself?
My boyfriend Alec! I can't imagine where I would be without him. In the beginning of our relationship, he helped me see how much I needed treatment. This year, he encouraged me to not be afraid of my passions and to start my own photography business. Now I have my dream job. Also, Jenna Brower. We've known each other since middle school and she has been there for me through all of my life's largest trials and moments. I haven't seen her in years, but her long winded motivational notes, reminders of love, and being the most selfless person I've ever met have been quintessential to me being where I am now. Also also, my Mom. She is literally the hardest working woman you can come across and I see more of her in myself every day.
What makes you quintessentially “you”?
HA I just used that word! I use the term insatiable thirst for life a lot. You can interpret that how you wish.