What Happens When You Disappear?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning: Suicidal Stuff.

What happens when you stop showing up?

When your Facebook page goes silent?

When you know longer appear at the places you frequent?

What happens when you disappear?

You can say your goodbyes to those that are close to you.

You can remind them you’ll always love them.

You can find little ways to remind them they did all they could do.

But what happens when you stop showing up?

When your memory quietly fades away?

When your Facebook friends slowly dwindle down?

Unfriending so they can forget?

When people move forward without you?

What happens when you disappear?

What happens when you fade away?

When you stop speaking your truth?

When your story is past tense?

When people speak of who you were?

Who you could have been?

(It’s a bunch of bullshit anyway.)

What happens when the fire leaves your eyes?

What happens when your skin is cold?

What happens when you stop showing up?

What happens when the groups go on without you?

When they never know what happened?

They are better off for not knowing.

They don’t even wonder.

You’re just not there anymore.

What happens when I stop breathing?

When I close my eyes and sleep?

What happens if I follow through?

It all falls down

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning: Suicidal Stuff.

I feel that knot in the middle of my chest.

Panic rising.

I’m supposed to be leaving for an appointment right now and I can’t even bring myself to call and cancel.

It should be easy.

I’ve distracted myself all morning with a project that I now want to throw away because it isn’t perfect.

I want to throw my life away.

I feel like I have thrown my life away.

I feel like no matter how hard I try it all falls down.

I’ve learned so many skills, so many things that are supposed to stop me from getting like this. Almost a year spent in DBT, and now I can barely bring myself to go to that. I’m not doing the homework.

I’m not functioning.

I’m watching it all fall down.

I’m supposed to be starting work in the fall, but how does one start work when she shuts down like this?

I once had a doctor tell me I was expecting too much of myself by wanting to work again.  Maybe they were right, maybe this is it, all I will ever be.

Maybe this really is all too much.

I’m tired of fighting, tired of telling the thoughts that I need to live for one more day, and one more, and one more.

I’m tired.

Just want to crawl back in bed but that will let so many people down.

So I sit here full of nothing, full of thoughts that tell me that I’m nothing, that I will always be nothing, that it will never be more than this because it will always come back to this no matter what happens in between.

Everything in my life is a roller coaster and I have yet to follow through with anything. What makes me think that’s going to change. I keep trying so hard and falling down again and again and again and again and again and again.

And again.

Watching it all fall down.

I have had the same hopes and dreams for 20 years and I’m no closer to them, swimming against the tide.

Maybe it’s time to stop fighting.

Maybe it’s time to let go.

Anhedonia

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning: Past suicidal thoughts and plans. Past self harm thoughts and plans.

Completely flat affect.

Complete absence of feeling.

Nothing.

The world wasn’t black because the world barely existed.

I felt no connection to life, no reason to keep living.

I couldn’t feel love.

I wasn’t afraid of dying.

I had plans and didn’t care if they worked or not.

Didn’t care what was left behind.

Didn’t care what mess was left to clean up.

I can’t remember a depressive episode like that before. I’ve had dark times where I felt like there was nothing, but there was still a feeling of dread within the nothing, I was still sad. This time, there was just

nothing.

I could tell that Wonder Woman was scared, but I couldn’t feel it.

I knew, somewhere, that I had to care, that there was a reason to care. I knew logically that she loved me, and I knew I logically that I loved her, but I couldn’t feel the emotion called love, I couldn’t recall ever feeling it, or what it might have felt like.

Maybe death would make me feel something.

Maybe sliding out of the car door and rolling down the highway would make me feel something.

Maybe sliding a knife across my skin would make me feel something.

Could anything make me feel something?

I knew that was a dangerous place for me to be, possibly the most dangerous place for me to be.

I didn’t care if I died, didn’t care that I was suicidal.

I got an extra appointment with my therapist. She asked that I not be alone for the weekend, asked that I get myself to the gym, stay busy, push myself to keep going until I saw her again, until I saw the doctor.

And now the weekend has passed.

Things aren’t so empty now.

I can see color again.

I see the world again.

I can feel fear again.

I feel love again.

I smile again.

I’m not sure what made me hold on through the absence of feeling. I’m not quite sure how I managed to reach out to others when I couldn’t even stay connected with myself. But I’m glad I did.

I’m glad I’m still here.

I hope I never experience that again.

Feeling depressed is better than not feeling at all.

That’s What My Therapist Say

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning: Suicidal thoughts and loose plans.

Yesterday, plans as I saw them, got derailed due to

one

stupid

letter.

A letter that someone I count on should have written months ago.

And now I’m in a holding pattern.

I don’t do change well.

Even when the change is just in my expected time line.

 

I’ve already been in a bad place, barely hanging on, just keeping the gunshots quiet.

“Shhhhh, it’s going to be alright.”

Dishes piling up before I beat them back down again.

Cheering myself on each night that I cook.

I’m worthy of another day of fresh air.

I am productive.

I am worth something.

 

But I can’t make it to the gym, I can barely make it out of bed, I’m making it to essential appointments but rescheduling the rest.

Does that cavity really need to be filled this week?

Nah, it can wait until their next available.

School work has spiraled out of control, I don’t know if I can catch up in this final week I have left.

 

And then I crawl out of bed and go into an appointment to find out their missing

one

stupid

letter.

 

I mean, in the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. It’s the beginning of the month and as long as she gets this letter in within the next few weeks, I can schedule my last appointment and everything will be on track. But this is a delay, a wrench in the process, something I just couldn’t handle in my already depressed state. I could see six months of work crumbling in front of me. I could see the whole process falling apart, again.

I came home.

I climbed into bed.

I screamed.

I started wondering what would happen if I just took every pill in the house. None of them would kill me on their own, we’ve locked all of the toxic quantities away, but if I just took everything we had around here, every fucking last pill, would the mixture be enough.

I mean.

I haven’t cooked in days, the kitchen is a fucking disaster, the trash cans are overflowing, I’m not sure of the last time I showered.

I’m useless.

And now even this is falling apart, again.

I took an Ativan at the urging of a very wonderful friend.  Something to stop the thoughts from climbing all over each other and escalating.

I passed out into dreamless sleep.

I wake up to a Wonder-ful Woman holding Starbucks.  I swear she’s an oasis or some shit.

I’m not sure if I’m overjoyed to be holding Starbucks or miserable because reality is back.

(But come on, Starbucks)

Reality, the dishes in the sink, the kitchen where I don’t know what to cook and it’s dinner time.

I’m useless.

I’ll order pizza with money that I don’t really have to spend, but we’ve gotta eat.

I’ll spiral down the road of self hatred over how bad I am with money while we wait for it to arrive.

And eventually I’ll pass out for the night, still wondering if every pill in the house will do the job completely.

 

I wake up way too early. The house is silent except for the prancing of little dog feet.

There’s barely enough room on the kitchen counters to make her food.

I’m useless.

I hear the chords to a song in the back of my head but can’t quite place it.

I feed the dog. I feed myself some oatmeal and a hard boiled egg that I made earlier in the week, before I became so useless.

Oh yeah, it wasn’t that long ago that I was doing things.

I hum along to the song in the back of my head.

I take the dog out, I make myself some coffee and absentmindedly drink it.

I start thinking about the shower that I desperately need and that maybe, I think, I might be able to take this morning.

I look up some crafty stuff on the computer. Make a mental note of some supplies I need, but don’t impulsively buy them.

“Everything’s gonna be alright”

The song in the back of my head starts to come into focus as I climb into the shower.

“Everything’s gonna be okay”

I think of some little stuff I might be able to make later with supplies I still have at home.

“It’s gonna be a good, good life”

And maybe I can even start to tackle that kitchen.

“That’s what my therapist say”

I’m still not out of the dark. I feel it pulling at me from all sides.

“Everything’s gonna be alright”

I still have a ton of schoolwork that I feel completely overwhelmed by, and I’m not sure where to start.

“Everything’s gonna be just fine”

I still don’t want to leave my house or go to the gym.

“It’s gonna be a good, good life.”

But, maybe I should keep holding on for a bit longer.  Maybe

one

stupid

letter

isn’t the end of the world.

And maybe I’m not quite useless.

I take my meds

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’ve been on psychiatric medications since I was 16 years old.

I’ve been on them for my entire adult life.

I know I will be on them until I die.

Most of the time, I’m the first person to tell others “take your meds, they work, even when they don’t work perfectly, they are there for a reason, keep working with the doctors until you find the right ones.” I always refill my meds on time, always refill my pill sorter, I rarely miss a dose, take them every morning and every night.

But sometimes.

Rarely.

But sometimes

I don’t want to.

I’m tired.

So many medications, and the pill sorter is empty and I just don’t want to fill it up again.

and again

and again.

Especially when life seems so dim and dull and pointless anyway.

I just want to stop.

Take a break.

Put them away for awhile.

But I know.

I know.

I KNOW.

That isn’t pretty.

I might be okay for a little while, maybe a few weeks, maybe even a few months.

But I have stability right now, even if it isn’t perfect. I don’t want to risk it. I don’t want to put myself through that, my family through that, My Love through that.

I’ve been there before.

It isn’t pretty.

So I pull out the bag with the bottles of pills.

I sort them one at a time.

And I take my fucking meds.

 

But it doesn’t seem like grief.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

But also a Really Real Widow Post.

One of those ones that blur the lines because I’m not sure where depression ends and grief begins, or if grief is even a part of this.

Brains are dumb.

I just spent 18 hours in bed, taking Benadryl part way through it so that I could force myself to sleep for as long as possible. I still want to be there, in that warm, safe, space, but my back is hurting too much to get comfortable and I can’t ignore it any longer.

Three years ago was the Celebration of Life for Parker.

Three years ago, today, we dug a heart in the sand on a beach in Florida and spread Parker’s ashes.

Three years ago today I watched her wash out to sea.

I knew this date was coming up, but couldn’t remember the exact day. Early on, people told me the dates would begin to fade and I couldn’t imagine that ever happening, but it has.

This doesn’t feel like grief. It feels like depression. I knew this date was coming but I didn’t feel particularly upset about this as I’ve fought with depression this past week. Maybe it was the cause, but maybe it was just chemical.

Brains are dumb.

I just spent 18 hours in bed.

I try so hard not to let the brain goblins win like that. Curled up in bed staring at the ceiling, watching the numbers on the clock change.

I didn’t cook dinner.

I didn’t feed the dog.

I didn’t feed myself.

I just laid there watching time tick by.

At some point I got up to take Benadryl, forcing myself into a stupor and hated the fact that we only had a few in the bottle. Knowing in the back of my head that even a whole bottle wasn’t likely to kill me. (I’ve researched these kinds of things.) Also knowing that I didn’t really want to die I just wanted this feeling of nothingness mixed with anxiety to go away.

I just needed a break from everything.

I needed a break from my head.

Brains are dumb.

Maybe that’s all Parker wanted that night. Sometimes I wonder. Did she really want to die or do she just want a break. Did she expect me to find her and get her to the hospital? Did she really think this through?

It doesn’t really matter now, so I try not to go down that road.

I try to distract myself, I try to stay busy, I try to keep going so I don’t have time to think.

But sometimes I end up in bed for 18 hours.

Three years ago we dug a heart in the sand.

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Wow, that was a full month.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Facebook just showed me my July Moments video.  You know, the one where they make a compilation of a bunch of things that you did and pictures that you took in the previous month and put them all together in a template.

This has been a rough week or so.

But watching that video I realized just how much I’ve done this month.

Just how much I’ve accomplished, just through living my life.

Just how different that is compared to a few years ago.

And I know, I know, that I talk about this pretty often, but sometimes I need reminding. I’ve come a really, really long way.

A few years ago I couldn’t walk around the block without running out of air. Making it to my monthly doctors appointments was about the only thing I did outside of the house. I lived at my desk. I didn’t go places alone, even doctors appointments. Some days, even for weeks, I couldn’t leave the house at all because of anxiety.

And now, I look at all I did in July, and I am amazed that I’m the same person.

You couldn’t have told 3 years ago me, who hadn’t started going to the gym yet, that I’d be going almost every day.

You couldn’t have told, 3 years ago me, who freaked out flying to Florida for Parker’s Celebration of Life, that I’d be flying alone and really being mostly okay with it (minus fat people problems, but that was another post).

You couldn’t have told 3 years ago me, still thick in the trauma that life kept dealing me, that I’d see Hamilton because good things could happen to me.

You couldn’t have told 3 years ago me that I’d have this much control over my reactions to emotions.

That I’d go this long without yelling.

That I could be in a relationship without fighting.

You couldn’t have told 3 years ago me, still completely miserable, that I could be fighting through a depressive episode, and still be happy on some level.

You couldn’t have told 3 years ago me that I’d be living my best life 3 years later.

And that I still think it’ll get even better one day.

So.

I may not have that car.

And I may not be finished school.

And I may not have a job.

But I packed a whole lot of stuff into this past month, which is a really big deal, because at one point in my life, I couldn’t have done that.

And I’ve come so, so far.  I’m sure I’ll keep going.