Too big, too much

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m having the absolute hardest time sitting still. I need to be doing things with my hands, working on projects, twenty things at once.

In groups I’m fidgeting with a fidget cube or stress ball. Chewing ice. Rocking my leg.

Must.

keep

moving.

It’s not as noticeable at home, I don’t think, because I’m working on things and I’m moving anyway. But at PHP, in groups, when other people are talking, I can’t just sit there and focus.

Today one of the groups got large.

Really really large.

We ran out of chairs in the room.

So I left.

There’s no way I would have focused through that.  Too many people moving, chairs shifting. Too big, too much.

And I can’t sit still.

I don’t know why.  Is this because of the increased dose of one medication.  Is this because we’re discontinuing other, redundant, medications.

Or is this because my brain is trying to run from the healing.  It’s too uncomfortable to sit with these emotions, literally.

Ants in my pants and I can’t sit still.

Heavy.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Overall, I’m doing fairly well. Even the hard days aren’t all that hard, especially in comparison to where I was a month ago.

A month ago, it’s hard to believe it’s really only been that long since I was inpatient.

I’m doing pretty well.

And I’m still having a hard time with motivation.

I wake up in the mornings and just don’t want to get up and go to PHP even though I know I will do better by being there.

I’m late more often than not.

I give myself credit for going, because even that is a struggle.

I should be spending some time on schoolwork most nights and I know it’s not likely I’ll focus if I go home after PHP.

And I still call my Uber as soon as group lets out.

I’ve had late assignments and missed assignments and I’m still fighting hard to stay on track.

The motivation just isn’t there.

I want to do this stuff. I make great plans. I wake up on time and doze back off. I carry my school work with me everywhere I go.

The bag is heavy.

The weight is heavy.

The guilt is heavy.

The shame is heavy.

I know I am capable and I wonder if I’m not. How will I ever hold down a job if I can’t do these two things?

I know I can succeed and I wonder how long until I fail. How will I ever graduate if I keep dropping classes?

I have no motivation and I feel like shit for that.

And yet, I’m able to do some things that make me feel good. I’m still making cards for people and sending them out, making sure to get each one just right. It feels so good to brighten someone else’s day with some bits of paper that are glued together.

How do I move the motivation from one, onto the others? How do I find the drive to do what I have to do? How do I find balance?  How do I turn have to’s into want to’s?

How do I remind myself that all of this is a choice?

I could stop going to PHP, nothing is making me.

I could drop out of school for the semester, nothing is forcing me to stay.

This is a choice and therefore I also choose how much effort to put in.

I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with motivation right now.  Leftover depression? Laziness? Lack of enjoyment?

But I’ll get out what I put in, and maybe it’s time to focus on how much control I have.

And maybe that’ll also take some of the pressure away and let me make a choice based on what I want to get out of PHP and out of school.

By sitting down some of the weight, some of the guilt, some of the shame, I make it easier to carry the load and focus on what I want to achieve. Why I want to follow through.

I can do hard things, and I don’t have to add the extra weight to them.

And I know I’ve got this, cause I’m pretty much a badass.

Coffee will be my downfall.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I got 3.5 hours of broken sleep last night. I kept dozing off in groups today.

I know why, I drank coffee too late. Sometimes I can, sometimes it fucks me all up.

Last night it fucked me all up.

So today I have no energy reserves. I came home and landed in bed where I napped restlessly for an hour. I tried to stay busy after that. But it’s 8pm and I can feel my mood slipping with my energy level.

My bed is calling my name, but it’s still too early.

After having a few days of relative peace this feeling of dread coming over me is such a heavy weight.

I’m walking through fog and it’s not just because I’m tired. It’s that blanket of depression.

My reserves got too low.

Dinner still needs to be figured out and cooking is out of the question. Even ordering food seems like more than I can handle.

The bed is calling my name, but it’s not just because I’m tired. It’s my safe space, my depression space, my blankets over my head space.

What happened to the peace I was feeling yesterday? What happened to euthymia?

What happened?

I just need a good night’s sleep and hopefully this will pass again.

Exhaustion is awfully close to depression, maybe I’m just confusing the two.

Maybe.

Hopefully.

What would it look like?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

This one got long and I’m leaving it that way, because there’s some really good stuff in here.

It’s been almost a week since I wrote.  I can normally tell things are going well when I’m not writing every day.

It’s hard to write when things are just,

Okay.

I started asking for a word a week or two ago.  I asked my therapist, asked in group therapy, asked Wonder Woman. “What’s the word for baseline, midline, “normal”?  Not manic, not depressed, just, okay.”

I don’t like using the word normal. I don’t think there is a “normal.” Add to that, having a period when I’m not hypomanic and not depressed certainly isn’t normal for me.

It hasn’t really lasted any significant period, so I wouldn’t classify it as stability.

Euthymic.

According to an online medical dictionary, “Euthymia is a normal non-depressed, reasonably positive mood. It is distinguished from hyperthymia, which refers to an extremely happy mood, and dysthymia, which refers to a depressed mood. It is a term used frequently in mental status exams.”

I’m mostly euthymic right now.

My meds are working. Unfortunately I’m on some higher doses and I’m having some shitty side effects, but I’m finding ways to cope with them.

Meanwhile I’m working on some hard shit in partial. I’m digging into some core beliefs about myself that are supremely unhelpful. I’m trying to sort out the process of getting rid of them and replacing them with positive truths. I’m digging into how I’m supposed to do that.

It’s easy to say on the surface, especially when I’m doing well, “I’m not too much,” “I’m not less than,” “I’m good enough,” and ultimately “I’m allowed to be me and I’m wholly lovable as my true self.” But, when there’s an underlying belief that it’s all bullshit, that surface shine falls apart as soon as depression hits.

It becomes a spiral.

Depression makes me question my validity.

And my worthiness.

And my right to the space I take, both physically and emotionally.

And eventually my desire, and even my right to exist.

That’s so hard to look at from the outside.

How do I change it?

Telling myself “I am pretty, I am kind, I am important” is a great place to start. (Side note: I’ve never seen that movie) However, it only goes so far.

I was asked, “What does life look like without those beliefs?” “What does life look like without mental illness?”

Well, fuck.

This is all I’ve known.

Where does the illness end and I begin? What happens if you take me away from the trauma, away from the chaos, and away from the mental instability?

Who would I be if I were to achieve stability?

I keep saying, that right now it isn’t fair that my brain is being such an asshole. My life is the calmest it’s ever been. My bills are paid, I have lights and food and a stable roof over my head. My house isn’t filled with tension from the latest screaming match, or problems we are avoiding. I’m, in a lot of ways, living my best life right now.

And my brain is more unstable than it’s ever been.

Maybe it doesn’t know what stability should look like.

I mean, it’s not just one thing. It’s also that life is finally calm enough that I can process and heal from all of the trauma, and healing isn’t pretty.

But maybe it’s time to take a long, hard look at what my life would be if it weren’t the only thing I’ve ever known.

And that’s some hard shit.

No, I don’t wanna.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today has been long and difficult.

I’m tired and overwhelmed.

I sit alone at my desk.

Not even 8 in the evening.

My bed is calling my name.

It’s my safe space.

I can be sad there.

I can hide under the covers there.

I can let myself be fully depressed there.

I can lean into it there.

I fight back, whining out loud “No, I don’t wanna.”

I don’t want to give in and crawl into my bed.

I don’t want to feel like this again.

I’m fighting so hard.

I’m taking the medication.

I’m going to my program.

And depression is wrapping its arms around me again.

The thoughts are whispering in my ears again.

I’m wondering how safe it is to be alone.

I say it louder “No, I don’t want to.”

I don’t want to feel like this.

I don’t want to fight this fight.

Again.

I don’t want to fight my brain so I can get out of bed.

I don’t want to fight my brain to stay engaged with life.

I don’t want to fight my brain for the right to live.

The right to exist.

I don’t want to fight my brain for survival.

I’m doing the right things.

I’m staying out of bed.

I’m finding things to stay occupied with.

I’m redirecting my thoughts.

But I feel so very tired right now.

“I don’t want to.”

I don’t want to ride this roller coaster again.

I don’t want to be at this amusement park.

I don’t want to be in this movie.

I don’t want to be part of this play.

Why can’t I set this book down.

Do I have to stay in this library?

Can someone cancel my subscription?

I already have too many issues.

“I don’t want to.”

Burden

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I feel like a burden,

A load everyone else must carry.

I feel needy.

(Even while she reminds me “You’re not needy. You have needs.” Well, I have too many needs.)

I am too much.

Emotionally I take up a lot of space.

Physically I take up a lot of space.

I am not always self sufficient,

Even with the most basic tasks,

I’m sent into overwhelm so easily and I shut down.

I feel like a burden.

A load everyone else must carry.

I feel needy.

I am too much.

But even while feeling like a burden,

I still need help.

I see you, I hear you.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m the public one.

The one who speaks up.

The one who screams my story for all to hear.

The one that everyone says is so brave.

I don’t think it’s bravery.

I’m the one getting all of the support.

I’m the one getting all of the help.

I know there are so many others in the world.

Those that suffer in silence.

Those that don’t want to tell anyone what’s going on.

Those that won’t say how bad it really is.

Those that read along and see themselves in my words.

Those that are on the edge but just can’t break down, afraid of what will happen if they do.

Those that have broken down, but no one knows.

Those that are holding themselves together with smiles and laughs

And makeup

And perfect hair.

I see you.

I know you’re out there.

I know you’re the brave ones.

Without anyone to talk to.

Still putting one foot in front of the other.

Holding on for dear life.

Begging yourself to make it one more day.

And as you kiss your babies to bed each night.

Silently hoping you’re there to see them in the morning.

I hear you,

Even when you don’t have words to say.