How Far I’ve Really Come

This starts as a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And ends as a Really Real Widow Post.

I can’t really believe how far I’ve come.

Each day that I work, I can’t believe I’m really doing this. I can’t believe I actually earned this money. I can’t believe how much earning this money really means. I can’t explain how good it feels.

Each problem I solve, each new task I conquer, and each fear I overcome, I’m amazed that this is who I am now. That this is what I am accomplishing.

I remember when I realized I couldn’t work anymore.  I remember the shit storm that lead up to that moment. I remember the heartbreak that came along with applying for disability.

I remember.

At the worst of this, I couldn’t leave my house. I couldn’t be left alone.

I remember.

And the truth is, I will probably end up back in the hospital some day. I will probably do another round or three of the partial hospital program. I will have countless more hours of therapy.

But I’ve come so so far.

So far.

I can see myself going further. I can see myself working full time. I can see myself becoming more comfortable in my own skin. I can see myself getting better at ignoring the constant anxiety running through my head.

It’s a big deal that I can see a future with further recovery.

It’s a big deal that I’m seeing a future without disability.

Without being disabled.

And there’s another side to this.

I remember watching Parker push through her own struggles to go to work and support the three of us while she was barely making it emotionally and physically.

I remember.

I love my life and I know everything that has happened has brought me to where I am now.

But still, I wonder.

If I could have worked before. If I could have shared some of the load. If I could have helped more. If I could have taken some of the weight off of her shoulders.

Would she still be alive?

If we had the money to pay the bills. If we had the money to keep the lights on. If we had the money to avoid the eviction notices. If we had the money to keep food in the fridge.

Would she still be alive?

I’ve come so far, and I’m doing so well. And I know her death is a big part of what pushed me towards my recovery. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am if things hadn’t happened exactly as they have.

Every success, every bit of growth, with every push towards recovery, is served with a small side dish of sadness.

But I can’t really believe how far I’ve come.

And I can’t wait to see how far I go.

In My Dreams

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

I don’t dream about her that often anymore. To be honest, I never did have all that many dreams about her.

This one was about missing her. This one was about how long it’s been since I’ve talked to her. This one was about how impossible it is to get to her.

The details don’t really matter all that much, I guess. But I remember the moment in the dream where I realized “It’s been too long since I’ve sent her a message. It’s been too long since I’ve called her.”

It’s been too long.

I was afraid she’d be hurt by my distance. I was afraid she’d move on. I was afraid she’d forget me.

I’m afraid I’ll forget her.

I remember, in my dream, wanting to send her something in a video game we played.

In a video game where I left her a hidden message the night she died. A message that’s still there waiting for her to find it.

In a video game that played a part in her Eulogy.

I remember wanting to send her something.

Something that should have been instant. But instead the game said it would take days.

It would take days because it was hard to get to where she was.

It was hard to reach her.

I woke up and my chest hurt. I truly physically hurt. It was dark in the room and I could just barely make out Wonder Woman sleeping peacefully beside me. I wanted so badly to wake her, to ask her to hold me, to ask her to comfort me.

It’s still a very strange feeling to want my fiancee to comfort me over the memory of my dead wife.

I didn’t wake her then.

I laid there and contemplated getting up and starting my day. I was still thinking about it when I woke up a few hours later.

It was really hard to get moving this morning.

I told Wonder Woman about my dream. She held me for a moment before settling back in for more sleep.

It’s hours and hours later and I still feel that ache in my chest. The ache that was such a big part of the early days of widowhood. The ache that isn’t as constant and is never as intense. The ache that still catches me off guard sometimes.

It’s been too long since I’ve sent her a message.

It’s been too long since I’ve called her.

It’s been too long.

I miss her.

Steroids

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Last Monday I got a cortisone shot in my knee.

Steroids.

According to the posts I’ve written, last Tuesday night and Wednesday is when the anger, the suicidal, and the self harm thoughts started.

Steroids.

I wonder.

I had been super stable on these meds, work had been going great, and I was using healthy coping methods when I wobbled a little bit.

But I went off the deep end, and I wonder if it was the steroids.

Having a reason would make me feel so much better.  I see my pdoc in about an hour and I’d really rather not make med changes if there’s a reason for this hiccup. I’d rather not mess with the stability that has been in place for awhile. I’m going ot ask her if she thinks a localized steroid shot could have effected my entire system.

They said it would effect my blood sugars, so I’m almost positive it could.

That was one hell of a roller coaster.

But I’m feeling better today.

Today’s update.

My brain is being slightly less murder-y (internally and externally). I was late to start work but I still have done the work thing for at least a couple of hours.

Wonder Woman made us breakfast which made me happy. Bacon makes everything better, especially bacon made by someone else.

Group therapy tonight and individual therapy tomorrow.

I’ll make it through this.

Unstable

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I feel really unstable. One minute I’m searching for letters with a friends kid at a derby match and the next I’m throwing a gallon of milk down a flight of stairs because the bag ripped. The milk was followed by the bag of cat litter and ended with me throwing my phone across the stairwell.

And then I was making pizzas and gathering brightly colored paper for a craft project.

And then I was going to bed. And then deciding to take a walk because I can’t quiet my mind from the thoughts that want me to die. Or at least to bleed.

I’ve never been a cutter, where is this thought coming from.

And I feel alone. I know Wonder Woman has to take care of her own mental health but I feel alone and abandoned and it’s making the thoughts louder.

Maybe I broke her too. I was too much for Parker and it killed her and I’m being too much again.

And as glad as I am that she sets boundaries and takes space my brain twists it and turns it into something negative.

It makes me angry.

If she doesn’t want me then I don’t need her.

And I fight back against those thoughts like I fight back against the thoughts that say I need to die and the thoughts that want me to take the knife from beside my bed and see how it feels in my arm.

Maybe the blood would make the thoughts stop.

I wonder how close I am to another hospital stay. I wonder if I can hold it together this time. I wonder if I have any chance of keeping a job.

I wonder why it always comes back to this.

I wonder how long until the meds make me sleep.

Wheeeeeee

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

TW: Suicidal thoughts, self harm, pretty intense stuff.

The other shoe dropped.

Last night I took too many anti-anxiety meds and benadryl and sleep meds. Not because I wanted to die, and not enough to kill me, but because I wanted to sleep through the part where I wanted to die.

I wanted to drift away into nothingness, for just a few hours, hoping the feelings would be gone when I woke up.

I tried to put my fist through a wall. Not because I was angry, but because the feelings inside me were too much to hold onto and I needed a way to let them out.  Fist into wall felt less harmful than knife into skin.

I had to fight that urge while hoping the meds would kick in quickly.

While wondering if I cared if they killed me.

While knowing they wouldn’t and being fine with that too.

The speed and intensity with which this overcame me was overwhelming. I didn’t want to fight it, but I knew I had to.

The easiest way to fight was to sleep.

I wanted to be held, I wanted to be comforted. I wanted to be told it would all be okay. I wanted to know I was safe. But this wasn’t a night for that. This was a night for self soothing, handling my own emotions, alone.

Alone.

Feeling forgotten.

Hopeless.

Alone.

This morning the sun seemed too bright and too harsh. I slept straight through for the first time in months. I didn’t want to open my eyes. I didn’t want to face the fact that the thoughts were still there.

And then it hit me.

I have to work.

I didn’t have the will to put one foot in front of the other and I have to sit at my desk and input numbers and make phone calls and churn out statements and create order from chaos.

I’m consumed by my own chaos.

My thoughts are swirling through mud. I can’t absorb half of what people are saying to me. I’m taking notes, not fast enough, my brain can’t keep up.

But I’m doing it. One foot in front of the other. Pushing key after key, turning invoices into statements. Crunching the numbers. Sending out emails.

My brain doesn’t want me to live for another second. My brain hears the familiar gunshots in the back of my head. My brain wants me to lay down and give up.

It wonders what’s the point in all of this.

But today my brain didn’t win. I did.

I may not have been at 100%, I may have done less than my normal.

But I showed up.

Today I won.

I can do this.

Not even waiting.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Things are going well.

Look at that. I said it. And, I’m not even waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Things are going well.

I’m enjoying this moment.

I mean, I could complain about little things, life isn’t perfect.  There isn’t enough time to work and write and craft and gym and make it to appointments and take of the house and and and.

But, things are going well.

I’ve walked away from derby. I started to dread every event, every practice. Even seeing the friends I have there wasn’t enough to overcome the blahs I felt about the entire thing.

So I decided to stop participating before I hate it.

Derby will always be there when I’m ready to go back.  If I’m ready to go back. But I doubt this is goodbye for good.

I’ll miss all of the friends I have there.

And, things are going well.

Like, there’s not a whole lot to write about, but I miss writing. It’s so much easier to write when I’m over the top hypomanic or when I’m so far under depression.

But, things are going well.