Burden

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I feel like a burden,

A load everyone else must carry.

I feel needy.

(Even while she reminds me “You’re not needy. You have needs.” Well, I have too many needs.)

I am too much.

Emotionally I take up a lot of space.

Physically I take up a lot of space.

I am not always self sufficient,

Even with the most basic tasks,

I’m sent into overwhelm so easily and I shut down.

I feel like a burden.

A load everyone else must carry.

I feel needy.

I am too much.

But even while feeling like a burden,

I still need help.

I see you, I hear you.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m the public one.

The one who speaks up.

The one who screams my story for all to hear.

The one that everyone says is so brave.

I don’t think it’s bravery.

I’m the one getting all of the support.

I’m the one getting all of the help.

I know there are so many others in the world.

Those that suffer in silence.

Those that don’t want to tell anyone what’s going on.

Those that won’t say how bad it really is.

Those that read along and see themselves in my words.

Those that are on the edge but just can’t break down, afraid of what will happen if they do.

Those that have broken down, but no one knows.

Those that are holding themselves together with smiles and laughs

And makeup

And perfect hair.

I see you.

I know you’re out there.

I know you’re the brave ones.

Without anyone to talk to.

Still putting one foot in front of the other.

Holding on for dear life.

Begging yourself to make it one more day.

And as you kiss your babies to bed each night.

Silently hoping you’re there to see them in the morning.

I hear you,

Even when you don’t have words to say.

 

Where do I begin?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

This post started out as a post about something completely different. But as I was writing, the topic morphed, and I realized that I needed to process through something.

Where do my illnesses end and I begin?

And not in a “I am not my illness” kind of way, but in a “I need to take responsibility for my actions and not let my illness take the blame for all of it”

I talk a lot about how I do or don’t do things because of my list of labels. The depression will keep me from cleaning the kitchen, executive dysfunction from ADHD will get in the way of doing the dishes, mania will have me spending all of the money, or anxiety will cause me to cancel plans with friends.

Any of them can send me running to my bed with covers over my head.

Maybe my kitchen is a wreck because I don’t feel like cleaning, maybe bipolar has nothing to do with it.

Maybe my sink is full of dishes right now because I’m just being lazy. Maybe it’s not executive dysfunction.

Maybe I want to spend money because I’m just bad with money. Maybe it’s my own fault and not the bipolar. Maybe I just need more self control.

Maybe I cancel plans with friends because I’ve become more introverted and I’m more comfortable being alone.

Maybe, sometimes, the illness is easy to blame, but maybe it’s just as much my personality as anything.

But, I wonder if it matters.

No matter why I’m not cleaning, I need to figure out a way to get the kitchen clean and the dishes done. It doesn’t matter if its because of my illness or because I’m a lazy lump that day, I need to find a way through it so the job gets done.

And I need to do it with kindness and compassion towards myself.

Same with the money, and finding ways to follow through on plans.

Blaming myself isn’t doing anyone any good.

I also wonder how much these things became part of my personality because of my illnesses.

Where do I end and the illnesses begin?

 

 

I take my meds

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’ve been on psychiatric medications since I was 16 years old.

I’ve been on them for my entire adult life.

I know I will be on them until I die.

Most of the time, I’m the first person to tell others “take your meds, they work, even when they don’t work perfectly, they are there for a reason, keep working with the doctors until you find the right ones.” I always refill my meds on time, always refill my pill sorter, I rarely miss a dose, take them every morning and every night.

But sometimes.

Rarely.

But sometimes

I don’t want to.

I’m tired.

So many medications, and the pill sorter is empty and I just don’t want to fill it up again.

and again

and again.

Especially when life seems so dim and dull and pointless anyway.

I just want to stop.

Take a break.

Put them away for awhile.

But I know.

I know.

I KNOW.

That isn’t pretty.

I might be okay for a little while, maybe a few weeks, maybe even a few months.

But I have stability right now, even if it isn’t perfect. I don’t want to risk it. I don’t want to put myself through that, my family through that, My Love through that.

I’ve been there before.

It isn’t pretty.

So I pull out the bag with the bottles of pills.

I sort them one at a time.

And I take my fucking meds.

 

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.

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 . . .