One Year Ago and Today

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today my Facebook memories reminded me that one year ago I wrote a big, long, really real mental health post about suicidal thoughts I was having.

It was hard to go back and read those dark words from that dark space.

It took me back to that time where I got a message from a friend at just the right time to help me.  A message letting me know that she was thinking of me, even though she had no idea I was in such a dark space.

This is one of the reasons I do what I do.  So that a year from now I can see these words and remember where I was.  I can see my growth and my progress.  See the dark and also the light.  I can also see how far my writing has come in that time.

Today I’m fighting depression, but the dark, suicidal thoughts are mostly quiet, only peeking their heads out but not taking hold.  I have a plan to handle the pain that I’m in, which will hopefully give me some relief through the trip this weekend.

I still fight suicidal thoughts sometimes, nothing has really changed there, they still get really dark, really fast and I’m still learning how to sit with them without them becoming so dangerous.

I think I’ve gained a lot of skills in the last year, through my time in partial, and my time in DBT, but at the same time.  I handle the flow of my moods a lot better.

Things may not change as far as my moods shifting and the suicidal thoughts coming, but how I handle them has changed and will continue to change and get better.  I’m growing and learning and doing better.

And I still have amazing support around me, for which I’m quite thankful.

So much to do, So little time.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I still hurt today.  I woke up feeling like my hip had let up, but as the day has gone on, it has gotten worse and worse.

Now I’m back to not being able to get comfortable, and feeling like I’m going to cry.

I emailed my doctor and asked her if she’d send me for imaging without an office visit.  It seems dumb to go in just to have her say “We need Xrays and if that doesn’t show anything we need an MRI.”

But I said this was a mental health post.

I feel defeated.

I’ve been doing really well with going back to the gym and walking almost every night and today I went to the gym and I feel like I’m paying for it.

The gym is a necessary component of my self care.  It is a necessary component of my mental health care, right up there with meds and therapy.  And right now this hip pain is threatening my ability to access the gym.

I’m also catastrophizing a lot which isn’t helping me deal with the pain as it is right now.  I’m so used to being dismissed when I talk to doctors about my pain, that I’m already seeing a scenario where I have to learn to live around this intense pain.  I’m already imagining what life will be like if this has to become my new normal.

I mean, I just went through this with back pain.  They sent me to a few months of physical therapy, no imaging was done, and when that didn’t help I was told it was just back pain, it was normal, especially in someone my size, and I’d just have to learn to deal with it.  Keep going to the gym, keep doing what I’m doing.  It’s all that can be done, really.

I’m just a fat crazy woman who is exaggerating.

And even writing this I feel like I’m whining.

But I feel defeated.  I don’t even know what’s wrong and I’d almost rather lay down and die then go fight the doctors to get proper treatment that I know I won’t get anyway.

Pain definitely takes a toll on my mental health.  I’m tired of it.

I’m tired.


This is a Really Real Chronic Pain Post.

I talk about my mental health openly and honestly and have no problem being real and raw and honest.

I feel like my words help me and help others.  I shine light into all the dark spaces, I speak my story and share my truth because it might save lives, including my own.

If nothing else, it helps ease the pain of living with my mental illnesses.

But for some reason, I don’t seem to feel the same way about my physical health.

Speaking up about my mental health has become easy, speaking up about my chronic pain is harder.  I feel like I’m whining.  I spend a lot of time hiding behind a mask of “okay.”  And honestly, I’ve learned how to make that mask my reality.

The daily pain is part of my normal.

All of my everythings hurt.  And that is normal.

Between my fibromyalgia and my inflammatory arthritis, I expect my joints to hurt.  I expect to feel all of the bones in my hands rubbing against each other every time I move my fingers.  I expect to feel each of the bones in my wrist shifting and turning and creaking together.  I expect to feel the sickening pull of nerves when I stretch my arms.

I expect to wake up in the morning and sometimes stumble for the first few steps as my feet become accustomed to the ground again.  I expect to hobble down the steps as I take the dog out for the first time, praying I don’t stumble and fall because my legs don’t yet feel like they’ll support me.

I expect the pain and drainage of the sores from my hidradenitis suppurativa.  I expect it to show up in uncomfortable places that rub when I walk or workout.  I expect it to flare at the most inopportune times.

Those, and so many other pains are part of my normal.

But sometimes new pain shows up and it’s hard to keep up the mask of “okay” when something new starts to hurt.

This past week or two my hip joint has been hurting.  It’s a pulling, sickening nerve pain accompanied by the feeling that something is just out of place, just not working quite right.  I’ve been able to workout around it at the gym, walk a few miles at night around it, and just generally keep acting like it wasn’t there even though it hurt.

Until today.

Today it’s enough to bring me to tears.  Sitting still hurts, every bump we hit in the car was agony.

It’s enough that I’ve considered an ER to see if the hip joint is somehow out of place.

I spend so much time in pain and I’m used to it.  When something new comes along there’s this fear that goes along with it.  Am I going to have to learn to assimilate this into my normal.

Right now my mask has slipped.

I’m not okay.

I’m in pain.  Real, physical, pain.  And it sucks.

And I know when I go to get it looked at I’ll just be a fat, crazy, woman who is overreacting.

But, that’s a whole different topic for another day.


This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Also a Really Real Writing Post.

I pride myself on being open and vulnerable.

I share so much of myself, so much of who I am and what I think, here, with fingers to keys.

But the words on your screen are carefully chosen.  Each letter has been read and reread, thought and overthought, edited and clarified.

While you are seeing the real truth, straight from my heart, and soul, and mind, you are also seeing something that I have worried about, and sometimes agonized over, before hitting send.

Is this clear enough?

Will it be received in the way it is being sent?

Can my words be twisted into meanings that I don’t intend?

I often plan out the written pieces in my head before putting fingers to keys.  Then after writing I spend time reading them in various voices, the voices of my friends and loved ones, and attempting to predict your reactions to the words on the screen.

Will I be understood?

Often it’s this playacting in my head that keeps me from writing about certain topics or certain people.  My intention is never to cause harm to a person or relationship.

I want to help people, including myself, through the words I put on the screen.

I write about hard subjects and difficult topics.  Sometimes scary, sometimes sad.  I don’t want to cause undue stress because a comma could have been better placed or a different word could have been chosen.

I may not ever be concise in my wording; I will always use ten words where two would have done, but I always try to be clear.

However, each of you will take what you need from what I have to say.  Each of you will find your own lessons in my words.  Each of you will form your own relationship with the letters I have put on the screen, just as I have.

These words are so much more than individual letters,

they are pieces of me.

Speak Up, I Can’t Hear You

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’ve talked before about “shining light into all the dark spaces.”  Often, that’s what writing is for me, a way to shine light into the deep dark areas of my mental illness and remove the power that goes along with hiding it.  It’s a HUGE part of what I believe in.  Removing the stigma by “Sharing my story and speaking my truth.”

Except, when I’m suicidal, the fog grabs hold of me and silences me.  It tells me, if I reach out I’ll be attention seeking, or bothering people with my whining.  It tells me people don’t want to hear that I’m fighting those demons again, for the umpteenth time this year.  It tells me I have to do it alone, quietly, without bothering anyone else.  It tells me no one else has the time or energy to deal with my crazy.

But this is dumb.

The second I share my struggles…

The second I put finger to keys and hit send…

The second I put sound to lips to be heard by another’s ear…

…my pain lessens.  The load is lifted slightly.

It’s almost like, shining light into all the dark spaces, makes those spaces a little less dark.  (Who woulda thought!?!)

But first I have to be able to see my way out, enough, to find my own voice.

Sometimes people are reaching in, and I can’t even find my voice to tell them.

Sometimes I don’t even know what I need to say, except, “Help”, and I don’t know what help I need, except someone to just be there.

I know, when I’m in that space I can totally understand why Parker didn’t speak up.  It’s hard to reach out from within that void.  It’s hard to find my way out of the fog far enough to ask for help.

I think it takes a different sort of strength to ask for that kind of help, to admit to that kind of pain, over and over and over again.

For now, those thoughts are quiet.  I have no doubt that they’ll find their way back at some point.  All I can do is prepare myself to do battle again, and to reach out to lighten the load a bit.


Given Up

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And a Really Real Widow Post.

One of those ones that maybe blurs the lines a bit.

Yesterday, one of the people who run the DBT group said, basically, with so much that has been thrown at me in my life, it’s great that I have such a positive outlook, and that I keep getting back up.  A lot of other people would have just given up.

Well no shit.  I only got 2 out of the 3 of us out alive.

That’s not saying that Parker gave up, because I refuse to believe that.  But she couldn’t keep fighting anymore.

People say that my words help them and others.  People say that I’m inspirational.  People say that I’m strong.  People say that I’m doing better than I think I am.

Mostly, I’m just doing everything I can figure out to do to stay, fucking, alive.

Because I know the alternative and right now, out of the family that went through that hell, more of us have lived then have died, and I’d rather not flip the ratio.

What does giving up look like anyway?

Is it even death, really?

We HAD given up!  Parker and I spent a lot of years in a state of giving up.  We weren’t living, we were just waiting for death, not moving forward, completely stagnated.  There was no hope, was no joy, was no reason to keep going but we didn’t even care enough, most of the time, to look for a way to die.

Until she did care enough to look for a way to die and she succeeded.

Which gave me a reason to care enough to look for reasons to actually live.

I hate that it took Parker’s death for me to see how important life is.  At the beginning, I often said that she died so I didn’t, because I was headed down that road.

So, I guess I get what they mean when they say someone else would have given up.  But it’s not really an option for me anymore.  Been there, done that, and now, I’m living for two of us.

I’m carrying the weight of a dead woman on my back because I have to keep living, really living, for her too.

Giving up isn’t an option.

DBT Graduate

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I graduated from DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) today.

For 6 months I’ve spent 2 hours every Wednesday, working, intently, on skills to better myself and my mental health.

For 6 months I’ve focused on homework every week that has me practicing specific skills we learned in class that week.

For 6 months I’ve been adding more and more skills to my toolbox, making them part of my every day life and routine.

For 6 months this group has changed my life for the better.

And today I graduated.

Today they went around the room and talked about how I had impacted the lives of each person in the group.  Two of us were graduating, two of us who had started together 6 months ago.

I would completely recommend DBT to anyone who has high emotional reactivity.  Honestly, I think they are skills that should be taught in school, but since they aren’t, those of us who have mental health shit, need DBT skills in our lives.

So, today I graduated, and today I also made the decision to repeat the entire 6 month program to pick up any pieces I missed along the way.  They actually recommend you do it twice for just that reason.  You spend the first 6 months getting used to the basics of the skills, and the second time around you can learn things a bit more in depth as you pick up on everything you missed and repeat the coursework.

Why not?  It’s not like I have anything better to do on Wednesday afternoons.

I’m kidding, there’s a lot of reasons for me to do this again and I’ve put a lot of thought into it.  I had planned to take the next section or two off, and then go back, but this next section is distress tolerance, and considering how wildly my moods have been swinging, it’s a good idea to get a refresher on this section right now.

So, here’s to more DBT!



This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning:  Suicidal Stuff.

Normally it gets this bad and all I can do is cry.

Those soul cleansing tears that sometimes wash away the pain and sometimes draw me under, drowning.

But all I can do is cry.

And this time I can’t.

The tears won’t come.

And I think in a way that’s worse.

It feels like I’m faking it.  Like I’m making up the thoughts in my own head because there aren’t tears with them.  It’s just matter of fact, it just is.

Today I want to die because I am tired of always fighting the will to die, and here are the ways I could do it, and here are the reasons those ways wouldn’t work, and here are the ways I could work around those problems, and here are the other ways I could die.

Very black and white.

No tears, no real sadness about the ideas and the plan.  No real sadness at all.

Just, fact.

Death is an option.

Except when I peek my head up for air I don’t want death to be an option.

Right now, I’m in that in between state.  I wish death were an easier option.

I wish I didn’t care about Wonder Woman finding me, I wish I didn’t care about the years of grief that would follow.  I wish I didn’t care about Kidlet losing a second mom and what that would do to his future.  I wish I didn’t care about the friends I’d leave behind and they grief they’d feel.

I wish it were easier to access a simple, painless, fool proof method of death.

I wish I could just flip a switch and be gone without a care.

But I also know I do care about all of those things.  And because of that I’ll sit here and fight with these fucking thoughts.  I’ll live in this hell that my brain puts me through.  I’ll be torn up from the inside as my brain tries to kill me and I fight to stay alive.  And even more, as I fight to keep doing the things I’m supposed to be doing each day while ignoring the fact that my brain just wants me to lay down and give up.

It’s not fair.

And I don’t want to HEAR that life isn’t fair.  Because honestly, this is fucking bullshit.  I didn’t do a fucking thing to deserve to have these thoughts ripping me apart.  I’m doing all of the right things, I’m going to therapy, I’m taking my meds, I’m learning the skills, I’m Doing. All. Of. The. Hard. Work.

And still.

My brain is trying to kill me.

It’s trying to take me out.

And honestly, it would be easier to let it win.

Bouncy Bouncy Bouncy

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Parker had a tattoo of Tigger on her calf.  I can almost see it but not quite, one of many images of her that are in the back of my mind but I can’t quite recall them.  Kinda pisses me off, kinda hurts.  I remember she wanted an Eeyore on the other side to make up the bipolar set.

I’ve been a productive little T-I-double guh-er the last few days as I’ve left depression land and moved into hypomania town.  I swear I’m getting whiplash from all this shit.

I didn’t overspend this time, I did clean most of the house (including some areas that hadn’t been cleaned in a year), rip down some of the wall decorations (vinyl stuff) wash the walls from it, frame and put up tons of pictures, make a bunch of vinyl stuff with the Cameo and play around with it more, plus stay caught up with school.

Not bad considering that Thursday I was fighting asshole brain just to stay alive.

The one nice thing about bouncing from depressed right into hypomania is that it lets me catch back up on all of the things I fell behind on.

Now I’m kinda sitting and looking around going “What’s next?”  I want to keep going but I’m out of things to do for the moment.

I saw my pdoc last week.  We didn’t really change much, but since I refilled my meds I can take the higher dose of Abilify which in theory should keep the suicidal thoughts quiet, and should keep the mania toned down.  We shall see.  She also ordered blood work (which I actually went and did, go me with the adulting) to see if my Lamictal (mood stabilizer) is at the right dose.  If it isn’t, we’ll adjust it.  If it is, we’re going to consider adding another one.

Because I totally need another pill bottle in my, already full, gallon sized, ziploc bag.

But if it helps stop this bipolar coaster I’ve been on, then it’s worth it.

Round and round and up and down.

Bouncy trouncy
Bouncy pouncy
Fun fun fun fun fun!

Someone slow my brain down please?

Fighting Hard

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

TW:  Suicidal thoughts, loose talk of plans, hints at death.

I feel like I’m in a war zone.

One minute it’s quiet and calm and everything is peaceful and fine and the next I’m being bombarded with ugly thoughts that just won’t quit.

Not good enough, never going to succeed.  Never going to make it, what’s the point.

Of course that isn’t what I’m pushing for.

When it comes to my relationship, my wonderful, loving, amazing relationship, I start thinking about running, thinking about how we would both be better off if I just left now, save her the ridiculousness of dealing with me and who I am when I’m like this.

Of course that isn’t what I want.

My brain starts searching for ways out.  Ways to die.  Reasons that everyone would be better off without me in this world.  What’s the most complete way to finish the job.  How can I make sure I end it.  I go so far as to look things up online when ideas cross my mind.   “Overdose on xyz” “how much xyz is fatal” “death by xyz”  I wouldn’t want to leave the job half done.  I think about the note I would leave on the door, telling Wonder Woman to call 911 instead of coming in.  I wouldn’t want her to see my body.

Of course, I don’t really want to die.

These thoughts are my enemy.  I hate that they are there.  The problem is, sometimes I start to believe them.  Sometimes they take hold and I fall down the rabbit hole.  It’s a deadly path.

The less I want to think something, the more the thoughts come.

Sometimes I can ignore them.  Sometimes I can just let them be thoughts, let them pass through without them taking hold.  Sometimes they aren’t even there.

But right now they are loud, and ignoring them feels impossible.  Right now they feel like they are attacking me from every angle and the more I fight the worse they are.  I can’t find my way to accepting that they are just thoughts and just let them be.  I can’t find my way to peace with them because they feel so ugly and so hurtful, and sometimes they feel so true and so real.  They feel so scary and so tangible.  They are so inconceivable and so possible.

And I’ve seen where they lead, I’ve felt the cold, stiff, outcome with my own two hands.

I don’t want to die and yet sometimes I do.

I just want it all to stop.