Day 18

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

Today was my day off.

No PHP.

No social plans.

No doctors appointments.

I spent most of the day bored.

Unable to settle on any of the million things I could be doing.

I still have cards to make.

I still have cleaning to do.

I have a million and one projects on the computer I could be working on.

But nothing held my interest.

The inability to enjoy things is part of the lingering depression.

But it’s not as bad as it was.

We went out and got bagels for lunch.

We tried to get coffee but our normal Starbucks was closed for the afternoon.

I’ve already taken my night meds, then remembered I hadn’t yet written today.

I have PHP tomorrow, then a walk with a friend, followed by my yearly checkup.

Super busy all day.

Hopefully it’ll keep me from taking so many naps.

I’m fading fast tonight.

The sleep meds swirling around in my brain making me drowsy.

Hopefully I sleep through without tossing and turning.

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

Day 17

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

Today has been productive.

It feels good.

I had PHP this morning.

I over slept.

I almost didn’t go at all.

But I did.

Afterwards I had coffee with a high school friend. Someone I probably haven’t seen since we graduated.

Or maybe in my Denny’s days right after high school.

Conversation flowed easily, and my ever present anxiety was quiet for a change.

We sat outside.

The cold wind threatening to blow our drinks over.

But it was nice to be around someone as worried about safety as I am.

We talked a lot about Covid.

About how our lives have changed.

And how it will never go back to the normal that was.

There will forever be a new normal.

It felt nice to socialize.

When I got home I was worn out.

The smallest things do that now.

But the coffee kept me going.

I spent this evening filling envelopes with already created cards.

I’ve made 64 so far.

I need to make another 33.

I’m having so much fun with them, so much love is going into these pieces of paper.

And I’m surrounded by so much love.

I remember being in school, horribly bullied, with no idea what was wrong with me.

Or what I was doing wrong.

Now, I’m surrounded by a support system bigger than most people have.

All of you that read my posts.

Some silently.

Some reacting.

Some commenting.

The people inviting me out for coffee and walks.

The people keeping me company over zoom or at bonfires.

It’s nice to be so loved.

It’s nice to be able to feel that love.

Instead of being surrounded by a fog that won’t let it in.

I’m feeling better every day.

I’m sure rough times will come again, but I’m also sure I can handle them.

For now, though, I’m going to enjoy the clear blue skies.

Day 16

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I skipped a day.

Nothing was really happening and I couldn’t figure out a topic to write about, so I kept waiting for inspiration.

And thought about it one last time as I was dozing off.

It gets boring for me to write “day in the life” posts day after day with no real content.

No real direction.

Especially when each day, looks like the day before, and the day before, and the day before.

Quarantine life is so damn boring.

I’ve taken two naps today, short naps, but still, laying down and dozing off.

I’m just not feeling 100%.

Partially its still depression, partially it’s that boredom of every day feeling like the last.

Today was a good day though.

I had PHP this morning, and group therapy was really productive.

I love when I end a group feeling like I have more insight than I did when it started.

After PHP I went for a walk with a derby friend. Someone who I haven’t seen since last season.

There hasn’t really been a season this year.

We walked slowly, stopping often for her dog to sniff around, and just talked.

We stayed distant from each other on the path, giving each other air hugs from 6 feet away before we left.

This new normal is odd, but finding safe ways to socialize is important.

I have coffee with another friend tomorrow, and then we’re repeating today’s walk on Thursday.

Sunday, Wonder Woman and I are having a friend over for another bonfire.

Quite a socially busy week for me, and it feels so good.

It feels good to have interest in this again.

It feels good to push myself not to cancel, because depression and anxiety want to get in the way.

But I’m not letting them.

I’m worth the fight.

I’m working on making socially distant plans with friends for next week.

I’ll be alone for a few days, and while I’m looking forward to the “me time,” I also don’t want to open myself up for the thoughts to creep back in.

Quiet is good, but getting myself stuck in the house isn’t.

I also have plans to turn up the music and get some serious cleaning done around here.

From months of staying at home, to long stretches of depression, my house is worse than it’s ever been.

I plan to get it back under control while she’s gone.

Organize my space to organize my mind.

I feel so much better though. I feel like the meds are working, I feel more like,

me.

Day 14

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I’ve been working on cards all day.

Slept in and then jumped right in finishing cards I started yesterday.

I got tired of being in the house so I left for a drive alone out to a Starbucks (duh) that was further away than my normal one.

I just wanted to be out of the house.

That’s an improvement.

Now to get myself back to walking.

But it’s getting better.

Slowly.

Too slowly.

But I need to be patient.

I don’t really have much to write about today. But I’m 14 days in and I’d hate to miss a day now.

My machine is cutting a material that has to be cut at a low speed.

Normally it’s loud and almost jarring, but right now it’s a musical rhythm. Calming, soothing.

Makes me want to go to sleep. But it’s too late for a nap, too early for bed.

I’ve been tired all day.

But also restless.

And somewhat creative, but I’m getting bored of that.

Not really sure what to work on next that will interest me.

I’m still blah.

But it’s getting better.

Slowly.

Too slowly.

But I need to be patient.

I’ve been having more flashbacks about my dad.

Memories of the week he was home.

Getting frustrated with him for making my job harder.

For being so fucking stubborn.

Fucking asshole.

And every memory ends with the gunshot.

I keep packing them away in my virtual box.

Taping it closed and putting it on the shelf.

It helps for a little while, but inevitably it comes back.

Another memory from that week.

Another gunshot.

It will get better.

Slowly.

Too slowly.

But I need to be patient.

Healing takes time.

Day 13

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I almost forgot to write today.

I spent the morning in PHP, followed by leaving the house for some errands, and then jumping right into crafting.

It feels good to be productive.

I had a phone appointment with my pdoc today, she said I’m still not my normal chatty stuff.

Partially it’s because life is boring right now.

I don’t leave the house often as it is, but now I’m even more worried about going out.

Numbers are spiking.

And there are still people who don’t believe in this virus, I have a hard time associating with them.

They are putting the lives of themselves and others at risk, and they don’t care.

I’m going to be alone for Thanksgiving, and I’m okay with that.

I’m not going to go searching out a friendsgiving, maybe I’ll meet up with some people via zoom, but I’m okay being in my own little bubble where I’m not taking a chance on making the numbers higher.

There are two people in my PHP who lost loved ones to Covid. Two people out of the 9 or 10 of us there.

One woman became a widow, another lost a child, younger than me.

Because of a “fake virus” that people aren’t taking seriously.

It breaks my heart. It scares me.

It scares me.

I’m more depressed being at home all of the time.

I miss derby.

I miss gatherings.

I miss going out without fear.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out more.

I guess this post wasn’t all that much about mental health, but at the same time, this is affecting all of our mental health.

This is a slow sort of trauma for all of us.

Or at least those of us who are taking it seriously.

Day 12

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

Things are so up and down with this lingering depression.

Today, I took a shower, I worked on weeding a complicated crafting project, I plan to do dishes and cook dinner later.

But I slept far too much and I rescheduled a doctors appointment that would have had me leaving the house.

Baby steps. Forward movement is still forward movement no matter how small.

Last night when I went to bed I was having horrible flashbacks of the last week of my dads life immediately followed by the gunshot and seeing the aftermath. It just kept playing on repeat.

I almost got up.

But then I remembered one of the new skills I learned on the trauma unit.

Containment.

Mentally putting the thoughts in a container and filing it away to deal with later, like in therapy.

I grabbed my mental cardboard box, put the thoughts inside, taped it up and put it on a shelf in a closet and shut the door.

The thoughts quieted for awhile.

They came back and I did it again.

And again.

And again.

With a longer break between each recurrence.

Eventually I dozed off with a peaceful mind.

I’m glad I’m getting a chance to practice this skill, and learn to trust it, before I’m using it with intrusive suicidal thoughts.

I had weird complicated dreams last night. In the dream I couldn’t quite speak full words even though I knew what I wanted to say.

I was struggling to get the words out.

I fought and fought to make myself heard. Pushing against vocal cords that didn’t want to cooperate.

Wonder Woman said I was talking in my sleep and that it was gibberish.

Heh.

It was also the first dream where I was wearing a mask. It’s funny that masks are showing up there now.

Today I decided to go down to 3 days a week at PHP. I feel like even that program is more than I need right now, but I’m not ready to go back to work, and it gives me something to do during the day.

Still fighting to get through the depression, but it isn’t as much of a fight as it once was.

One step at a time.

Day 11

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I forgot about my therapy appointment tonight.

She messaged me when I was 15 minutes late, but I didn’t see it until I was almost 30 minutes late.

She saw me anyway.

In the 6ish years I’ve been seeing this therapist, I think this is the first time I’ve forgotten and been late.

I’m thankful that she checked on me so that I didn’t miss it completely.

There wasn’t a lot to talk about. Life has been pretty uneventful.

I’m flip flopping back and forth between depressed, and functional. Things are getting better.

Slowly.

I’m crafting.

Slowly.

My sink is empty, but tonight we ordered out because I didn’t have the energy left over to cook.

My machine is cutting an intricate project that will take me hours to weed (removing the negative space).

I’m looking forward to the meditative process.

I’m enjoying writing every day, but I don’t have anything major to write about.

Just random ramblings about my day.

Random thoughts.

Random.

I’m tired today, but I’m avoiding a nap.

I want to sleep tonight.

I slept well last night, waking up this morning fully rested for a change.

But I still slept too much. I had told myself if I woke up early, I could get Starbucks before PHP.

I didn’t get Starbucks.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Day 10

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I couldn’t sleep last night.

Even after avoiding a nap yesterday, and taking my multiple night time sleep medicaitions

I laid there wide awake for hours.

I finally got up and did some designing for a new card.

Eventually, at 6am I was able to lay back down and sleep, but I tossed and turned.

My alarm went off at 9.

I snoozed.

I snoozed.

I snoozed.

Eventually I sent a message to someone at PHP telling them I wouldn’t be joining today, I just needed sleep.

I couldn’t figure out why I had such a hard time sleeping last night.

Oh, yeah.

I had a nice big cup of chai in the evening.

Chai has caffeine and I didn’t even think about it because it had been so long since I had it.

I feel bad for missing my groups, but sleep is also important for my mental health and I would not have gotten much out of the program if I was so tired.

Today still feels like a better day. The fog isn’t there. Maybe I’m turning the corner and things will continue to improve.

Maybe the meds are kicking in.

I’ve put together about half of my holiday cards for the season. I’m so much further ahead than I was last year, and I have more cards to make this year.

I’m excited to send them out.

Excitement feels good.

Day 9

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

Today is one of those days that I’m not really sure what to talk about. But also, it’s the 9th day in a row of me writing and I feel like I might actually make it to one post a day all month.

I woke up early this morning, to start PHP (partial hospitalization program). Well, early for me, I’ve been sleeping till noon (or later) and today I was up and ready to go before 10.

PHP was exhausting, it’s so mentally draining even though it’s only a few hours long. I wanted a nap afterwards but had drank too much coffee to sleep.

That’s probably a good thing, I need to stop napping so much during the day.

I’ve been working on a really neat holiday card. I’m enjoying this particular design. I spent the afternoon getting the pieces cut out, and assembling the first one.

Three more to go.

Group group (group therapy) was at 530, and even though I felt too emotionally drained to attend, I did.

I feel like the fog is lifting, at least a little. I was able to do dishes today without fighting myself over it. I’m not dreading the idea of cooking dinner.

But I’m still tired.

Drained.

It’s been a long day with too much coffee.

Too much talking.

Too much vulnerability.

I’ll spend the evening putting together the rest of the cards, and maybe starting another one.

It’s nice to get a little bit of feeling like myself.

Here’s hoping it lasts.

Day 8

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I woke up today feeling like it was a better day.

It was a late start, but I felt good.

I made my morning coffee, my morning smoothie, and I sat down to craft.

I cut out the pieces for four copies of one of the more intricate cards I’m doing.

I washed the dishes.

I was feeling really good.

And I put the first card together.

And started to drag. The pieces for 3 more were sitting there and I just didn’t want to start on them.

I climbed in bed to cuddle with Wonder Woman.

And she decided to take a nap.

I stayed in bed, awake, for over two hours. Not tired enough to sleep, but too blah to be out of bed.

I just booked a cabin on a lake for my 40th birthday. A 4 day vacation that I’m both looking forward to,

and not all that excited about.

I mean, I am definitely happy that we get to go away.

That I’m home to celebrate my 40th.

But I just can’t feel the joy.

It’s stuck behind the fog.

Now the pieces for 3 more cards are staring at me.

Pieces that will surely be knocked around by a playful kitten if I don’t put them together.

So even though I feel no interest, I’m going to grab the glue and start assembling.

Hopefully some joy will find me while I’m working.

Hopefully I can find my way out of this fog.