Oh No, All Alone.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today is one of those days where the only thing on my calendar is my date with gym.

Side note: Gym sure is a lucky person, they get to see me almost every day but I’m not quite sure I enjoy our dates. I’ve considered breaking up with them because sometimes I feel like the relationship is causing me pain, but I guess there are benefits in the long run.

Anyway, as I was saying. Today the only thing I have going on is a trip to the gym in a few minutes (yay for best friends who are also gym buddies and the accountability that goes along with that).  After the gym I have a long day of nothing except school work.

Lots of sitting around the house.

Lots of quiet.

Lots of time for my brain to get wrapped up in this depression.

This is the prime time for a problem.

I hate that being still and alone becomes such a problem for my brain.

And it’ll be worse later this week.

Wonder Woman is going out of town for a long weekend and as much as I’d love to say I’m a strong independent woman, I’m also scared of where my brain is going to go during my time alone. I have a whole four day weekend with no real plans, no real desire to make plans, every desire to hibernate, and every bit of knowledge that sitting still will let my brain wander into dangerous territory.

It’s too easy to let suicidal thoughts take hold when I’m alone and still.

But I’m always reminded of the days that I needed a babysitter because Parker was leaving town. I hate feeling like I’m still like that. I hate feeling like nothing has changed.

Maybe this time will be different. Maybe I’ll be just fine. Maybe I’ll suddenly be interested in everything around the house and I won’t have a problem.

Not likely.

I’ve grown so much but yet sometimes I feel like nothing has changed.

I’m a strong, independent, scared-to-be-alone, woman.

Brains are dumb.

Where’d I go?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I feel like my writing fell off the face of the earth.

It was an every day thing for me. Every event was one more topic to write about. I felt like a piece of me was missing if I didn’t sit down and knock out a post each day.

And overnight my interest waned.

But writing is an important part of who I am and this is just a symptom of my depression. Allowing myself to avoid putting fingers to keys is one more way I’m allowing the depression to win.

I saw my psychiatrist today. I asked her if we could increase my Lamictal.  Last time it helped.

She handed me a lab slip.

But I don’t want to wait for a stupid blood test. I want to feel better now. I want to feel better a week ago, two weeks ago, maybe it’s been a month or longer.

This constant, although minimal, depression is draining. I spend part of my days feeling like I’m crawling through quicksand. I’m not quite being sucked under, I’m maybe not in danger, but it feels like I could be.

I’m still doing what has to be done but I also spend time being resentful. There’s a quiet voice in the back of my head asking why I’m the only one doing the things that I normally want to the only one doing. (Well now, that sentence was as clear as mud, but it made sense to me.)

Those things that need doing seem like so much work right now.

But the same quiet voice keeps me from asking for help.

The same quiet voice makes me want to pick fights.

It makes me angry over things that I would normally shrug off.

But I know that quiet voice is the voice of depression. It’s the same voice that keeps me from writing.

The same voice that makes me want to crawl in bed because nothing seems interesting and the bed just seems so comfortable. Even though all I do is stare at the image of the clock projected onto the ceiling.  I watch and wait for the minutes to change.

Sometimes minutes turn into hours.

Sometimes hours turn into days.  Days without writing.

But once I put my fingers to keys again, I see that I still have a lot to say.

I can’t let this depression take my words, take my voice, take this part of me.

It’s too important that I speak my story and share my truth.

It’s too important that I keep shining a light into all the dark spaces.

Notifications

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m an Inbox Zero kinda person.

The kinda person that can’t stand those little notification bubbles anywhere.

The kinda person that will leave someone one read just because I have to click on their message to make the notification bubble go away even if I don’t have the time or energy to respond right then.

Right now I have well over 300 unread emails in my gmail account.

Blog posts and important messages and not so important messages and advertisements.

Things I clear out and take care of the second they hit my account.

Right now they are backing up more and more and more.

I don’t really care.

I mean, I guess I do care, I’m in a state of functional depression. It’s not quite dragging me under but I can’t quite stay on top either. I keep dropping some of the balls I’m trying to juggle.

I’m making it to the gym and eating a healthy diet and getting to my appointments but ugh, do I really have to clean the house? Do I really have to take care of my email? Do I really feel like focusing on my blog? Do I really feel like taking care of every day mandatory self care stuff?

Just how mandatory is it?

Can I put that shower off just one more day?

I have phone calls I’ve needed to make. Benefits I really need to apply for.

I keep saying I’ll take care of that tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

I don’t think I realize how much depression is taking its toll on me until I type it out like this because really, I feel fine. I still feel like I’m finding joy in life, I guess. I’m not actually miserable. I don’t feel sad. I’m not crying.

Mostly I’m not suicidal.

But in between activities my bed keeps calling my name and I fight to stay out of it. Such a comforting nest of blankets to wrap myself in.

It’s funny how depression can hide itself in the middle of a seemingly typical mood.

But over 300 unread emails isn’t typical for me.

And right now I don’t really care.

 

Racing the Clock pt 2

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m racing the clock again.

This time I’m supposed to be heading out the door to the gym with Bat Woman, which is the start of my long ass, exhausting, emotionally draining, Wednesday.

But I warned her I was running a few minutes late and she’ll wait for me.

Therapy yesterday was hard as I suspected.

But it was also easy.

The words flowed easily, but I kept trying to veer off topic onto other things and she had to keep bringing me back. As much as this is about me, it’s also about getting my needs met within my relationship which requires me speaking up about my needs.

And that is hard for me.

Speaking up about my needs could lead to conflict and I avoid conflict like the plague.

And I’m not sure how self worth and body image became yet another conversation about how much I need to speak up.

Another conversation about changing boundaries within a long term relationship.

Another conversation about things being wonderful and not quite right at the same time.

Another conversation about how it can be both and that is okay.

I’m really good at looking at the positive and stuffing my feelings, and my needs, and that works for a time.  Sometimes for a long time. And then things boil over and for days and days the feelings and the repressed needs seem to bubble up. This used to mean a pattern of a seemingly perfect life for weeks at a time followed by days or weeks of ugly fighting over and over again as I pointed out all of the things that were wrong.

And then I would go back to ignoring them and things would or wouldn’t change.

Yesterday Wonder Woman started crying because she felt like we’d had hard talks 3 days in a row. Like I’d gotten angry or frustrated or sad with her over something each day.

This is that pattern coming back again.  The benefit this time around is that there isn’t ugly fighting. I don’t scream and yell and nag and there isn’t passive aggressive bullshit while I work it out of my system.

But it’s still not fair to Wonder Woman.

And it’s not fair to me.

She gets blind sided, being told that things aren’t okay.  Being told that things I’d previously explicitly said were fine or even great, are very much not okay.

So, I still need to figure out what to do about not feeling wanted, and a lot of that is learning to love myself where I’m at, and also a big big part of it is just depression.

So, we didn’t focus on it a lot at therapy, and instead we focused on how much I need to speak up.

Therapy is always a love/hate relationship but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Racing the Clock

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m racing the clock with this post.

It’s 14 minutes till therapy and that’s not counting the time it’ll take me to walk from the coffee shop, but I feel the need to get this out of my head before I walk into that office.

So I’m writing.

Today is going to be a hard session.

I know it.

I already know what we’re going to talk about, I’ve known since last night. It’s a hard topic but one I need to work on deeply.

Self worth.

I don’t feel wanted because I don’t feel deserving of that sort of affection. So even though Wonder Women shows me that sort of attention I don’t always see it.

Well, that’s not even it. I see it, but I don’t internalize it.

I see it as something she’s doing out of obligation. Something she’s doing because she has to. Not something she’s doing because she actually wants me or finds my body attractive.

I guess it isn’t self worth exactly.

It’s more body image, but not even that exactly. It’s so complicated.

I’ve lost 20 lbs in the last month (and before someone says that’s too much, my doctors are on board.  Noom is the shit and I highly recommend that program to anyone.). I feel like I’m becoming more attractive. I feel sexy, I feel sexual. But I don’t feel like anyone else could possibly see me that way.

Anyway, 3 minutes till therapy and I still have to walk to the building.  Guess I should get going.

Today’s session is going to be hard but needed.

I have a love/hate relationship with therapy.

Before and After

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Today is that day.

The day that’s on the death certificate.

The day my new normal began.

For me, the 7th is always the hardest.  The 7th is the day the fight happened, the day she went to bed angry, the day I heard her take her meds, the day I went to bed on the couch. In my head, the 7th will always be the day she died.

The 8th is a day of quiet reflection.

In my head I see my house filling with paramedics and police. It plays out like a sick silent movie in front of me. I see their lips moving but there are no words.

The 8th is calm.

The 8th is when my new normal began.

I never would have chosen this.

I thought Parker was my Always and Forever, Forever and Always.

I never would have chosen this.

But I’m happy in my new normal, and as much as I want her back in this world, the best thing I can do for her is continue to live my best life.

Today Wonder Woman and I were going to go to the beach. It’s what we did last year and it was kind of perfect. The beach is my safe space.

But it’s a weekend and it’s beautiful out, which means everyone else is going to be at the beach, and I’m just not feeling that.

Today is a day of quiet reflection.

Instead we did some shopping for a few projects I’m working on, and I bought stuff to make a new recipe for dinner and we’re spending time together quietly around the house.

This is my new normal.

This morning when Wonder Woman took our pup out, she found a firefly sitting on a package that she was about to bring upstairs. She sent me a picture and let me know that Parker was trying to get inside.

While we were at the craft store she picked out a lantern and said I should make a firefly decal for the side and put a candle in it.

I love that she leaves space for Parker in our relationship. I don’t have to hide my grief. I don’t have to hide the love that didn’t die when Parker did.

This is my new normal.

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years while at the same time I can’t believe it’s only been 3 years. An eternity and an instant.

Today is that day.

I miss you my firefly.

Is That You?

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Dear Parker,

Just typing those words brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last heard your voice.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last saw you breathing.

You’ve missed too much.

Kidlet’s grown up now. He moved out to Seattle and lives with his girlfriend. You would be SO Fucking proud of the man he has become. He’s doing so much better than we ever did and I can only see him going further.

I’ve been fighting harder than we ever did when you were alive. That’s the one thing you gave to me by leaving. The will to go on. I realized what was at stake and I gave it everything. I’ve gotten so much healthier mentally and physically. As my favorite niece on your side would put it, I’ve pulled so many damn weeds and I’ve grown a lot of flowers in their place.

Speaking of my favorite niece on your side, you should see her now. She’s doing so well, but I’m sure she writes you her own letters. She’s such an amazing writer and her voice  . . oh, her voice. I can’t wait to attend her first major concert. She’s done so much work on herself since you’ve been gone.

There’s a firefly that’s been hanging out on my porch pretty much around the clock for the past week. Is that you? I don’t even know if I believe it could be you but the thing seems to be there every morning and every night when I take Siah out and it just won’t leave me alone, so maybe, just maybe . . .

I’m sorry that our last words were so hurtful. I’m sorry I was so angry. I’m sorry we went through so much and didn’t have any outlet except for each other. I wish I could take it all back.

And I wish you could have seen that it would get better. I wish you could be here to see the other side. I wish you wouldn’t have lost your battle with this soul sucking bullshit.

But I get it, I really do.

Sometimes I’m not sure how I keep going either.

I miss you, and I love you.