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.

Adultier Adult

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I had a conversation in therapy about the fact that I don’t feel like an adult.

My therapist asked why I don’t see myself as a grown up. I started listing off reasons.

I don’t have a car.

I don’t have a job.

I’ve always needed financial help.

I’m not independent.

I can’t budget my own money successfully.

I’m not successful.

I haven’t finished college.

I can’t hold a job even when I get them.

I can’t finish anything I start.

I just kept listing off one thing after another.

I told her I felt that my son was more of an adult than I am. He is truly, the adultier adult, like we always joked about needing when he was younger.

She pointed out that I raised him.

I told her that was easy, he was an easy kid to raise, mostly. He did a lot of it himself, unfortunately, while I was busy helping us survive whatever bullshit I had gotten us into that week, or month, or year.

She asked me if I’d judge anyone else so harshly.

Of course not.

But this is me, and I’m “so smart” and “so intelligent” and I “should be making more of myself” and I’m not.

So how can I really be an adult.

I can’t even keep my sink clear of dishes. I can’t even stay caught up on school work (and it’s at a community college, it’s not like I’m working a full time job at the same time, most of the students are).  I can’t even pay my bills on my own without spending too much money and needing to be bailed out again, and again, and again.

This all sounds very whiny.

I want to be so much more than I am. I want to be functional. I want to be . . . typical, for lack of a better word.

I want to be able to spend money on things I need and not get carried away by emotional spending to the point that I end up staring at a negative bank account for the third time in a month, begging for help, again. I want to be able to focus on the things I need to focus on and stop hyperfocusing on the things that don’t matter. I want a fucking car. I want to finish school. I want to be able to work and actually hold down a job.

I want to be a fucking adult.

I want to accomplish more in life then just surviving and keeping a kid alive until 18.

I want to do more.

I just want to grow up.

Body Positivity

This is a Really Real Body Acceptance Post.

Body acceptance is hard.

It’s an ideal I’m constantly chasing.

While also trying to change my body.

It’s no secret that I want to be smaller. I want to fit into this world in better ways and I’m working hard to do so.

I want to hurt less and I’m working hard to do so.

Fuck, I’m getting surgery to do so. And I’m already working on the life changes that are going to take place after that.

But I also try to accept my body where I am right now.

Where I will be five pounds from now.

Where I will be ten pounds from now.

Where I will be, with skin sagging, fifty pounds from now.

One-hundred? I don’t know if I’ll get that far, but if I do I want to accept myself now just as much as I do then.

I know there will be challenges then too.

We always find something wrong.

For me, body acceptance is one day wanting to make shirts saying “Fat! So?” and wear them loud and proud.

But then the next day I want to hide in bed because I see pictures of me in a tank top with my arms hanging out.

My arms which always seem too big.

My arms with skin that already sags from weight I’ve lost thus far.

I see pictures and I wonder how I managed to feel so confident in a tank top when I looked like

that.

How I manage to wear them to the gym and out in public at all when I look like

that.

I pick apart every little detail.

It sends me to my safe space.

Hiding in bed with covers over my head.

Body acceptance is hard.

I’m not there yet.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be.

But hopefully I’ll keep rocking the tank tops and faking myself out.

In the back of my head.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

There are gunshots going off in the back of my head.

I’m not sure what comes first. The sound of a gunshot, or the first suicidal thought. But eventually I just start hearing the gunshots the entire time I’m stressed about whatever is bothering me.

It’s distracting.

I start trying to distract myself from the problem at hand, to metaphorically put a silencer on the gun, which keeps me from finding a solution to the problem.

And every time my mind drifts back to the problem, the gun starts firing.

And then my mind starts wandering down the list of ways to die.

Which way is the most effective? Which has the least chance of leaving a mess behind for someone else to clean up?

Wait, I don’t want to go down that train of thought, back to distracting myself.

But then I’m not focusing on fixing the problem.

Facing the problems at hand and working on a solution is the most efficient way to deal with this.  The most effective way to deal with this. But sitting down my emotional response to all of it is hard.

The gun shots are loud.

I want to run away and the easiest way my brain can come up with is death, lets just walk away from this permanently.

And stop

repeating

the same

mistakes

over and over and over

again.

But the easiest way to make it all stop is to fix the problem, but to fix the problem I need everything to shut up long enough that I can work on the solution.

Today is hard.

Today is loud.

There are gunshots going off in the back of my head.

Do I Really Have To?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Some days I get really really overwhelmed with all of the “have tos” in my life.

I have to take the dog for a walk and feed her.

I have to clean up dinner dishes from the night before.

I have to make hard boiled eggs for breakfasts for the week.

I have to start dinner in the crock pot.

I have to do DBT homework and college homework.

I have to make sure my rides are set up to get places.

Have to, have to, have to.

And that’s just the morning routine.

But.

When I homeschooled Draven, one of my big philosophies was looking at everything as a choice. And for a long while that really resonated with me.

None of us have to do a damn thing.

It’s all a series of choices.

I don’t have to walk the dog, she could just pee in the house. Or, I could re-home her.

I don’t have to clean up dinner dishes, they could just sit in the sink. Or I could go out to eat every night. Or I could find options that use less dishes. Or find ways to make more money and hire someone to do dishes for me. Or throw away the dishes each time and buy more.

I’m not saying all of these ideas are feasible, but they might be.

I definitely don’t have to make hard boiled eggs for the week.  There are certainly other options for breakfasts.

Same with crock pot dinners (see above, eating out every night is sounding better and better).

I could drop out of DBT and college and never leave the house and boom, I’ve just taken care of all of my have to’s in the morning.

I’m now dog-less, eating from the mcdonald’s dollar menu every morning and night, but also never leaving my house (how does that work?).

Maybe I’m just never eating (new weight loss plan).

But, all of my have to’s are actually choices. Just because they make more sense than the alternatives, doesn’t make them required.

And if I remember they are choices, maybe they will be a bit easier to take care of on the mornings that I just don’t want to.

And maybe some mornings I’ll just choose to let the dishes sit in the sink.

Really Real Procrastination

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

It’s also really really a procrastination post as I’m supposed to be doing school work right now and I just can’t settle my brain into that task.

You see, when I started this class, the teacher had a syllabus with a calendar.  On that calendar were due dates, nicely laid out in black and white.  This is a five week class, lots of work, short period of time.  Four modules due this week, two the next, three the week after that.  A few case studies.  It didn’t look like too much, honestly.  The teacher seems to grade pretty easily.

And then in the second week they make an announcement.

“I want to clarify some things about the due dates.  This this and this are due then, and this and this are due then. But really, work at your own pace as long as everything is turned in by the end of class, the due dates are just to help you stay on track to complete things with minimal stress.”

Fuck.

A procrastinators worst nightmare.

No real due dates.

Yesterday I was going to work on school work.

But I really needed to mail this thing, and the post office was at the mall, and I really needed some downtime to walk around, and then I needed to window shop because I was there anyway, and well, now it’s getting too late to take another Ritalin and you know I can’t focus without Ritalin, and, and, and.

And then today I was going to do school work, but first I needed to clean the kitchen and make some breakfast and really I can’t focus in a messy house, and let me check on this first, and I need to set up my rides for mobility before I forget again, and I need to menu plan before we spend too much on food, and my anxiety is really high so maybe a Ritalin isn’t the greatest idea right now, and we’re leaving soon for a derby thing so maybe I should just . . .

Fuck.

I know what I need to do. I’ve done most of the reading and I’ve even written two modules worth of work in my head.  I just need to put fingers to keys (in the digital classroom . . . not here).

But it’s so hard to just

Start.

What if I’m not perfect. What if I post to the discussion board and I don’t have just the right information. What if the other students laugh at me (throw back to the 90’s). What if I don’t get an A.

But also, everything else just seems more interesting, even cleaning the bathroom. Self directed is HARD when there isn’t a set in stone deadline looming directly overhead.

This is some really real procrastination. This is really really going to bite me in the ass if I don’t get my ass in gear.

I know better, I can do better, I am better than this.

Maybe it’s time to actually do what I’ve been talking about avoiding this entire time. Maybe I should pull up my class, pull up a word document, and write something that will actually help me work towards my ultimate goals.

Maybe.

But first . . .

I just need to . . .