On Edge

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I just took an Ativan for the first time in I’m not sure how long.

I had an anxiety attack at the after party this evening but I didn’t take one then.

Probably because I never think of them when I’m in the middle of something like that. I’m just thinking of getting the fuck out of whatever situation I’m in.

In that case the situation was ending up at a table full of people I didn’t know because the choice was unknown people or sitting at a high top table, and I have a hard time sitting on those chairs.

#fatpeopleproblems

So I had an anxiety attack and walked out.  Eventually someone I know happened upon me and talked to me long enough that I calmed down and was able to go back in.

I felt like an ass.

But, I didn’t take an Ativan then.

I made it through the after party.

I got a coffee that looked really, really, good.

Because apparently I like making myself more anxious.

And because maybe I’m a dumb ass.

So the whole ride home my anxiety showed up as paranoia. I could see car accidents with every move Wonder Woman made.

And the whole ride home my anxiety showed up as anger. I started finding reasons to be upset. Started thinking up things that could bother me.

I was silently seething while knowing if I opened my mouth a bunch of undeserved rage was going to spill forth.

But I couldn’t reach my purse, so I couldn’t take an Ativan then.

I just kept quiet for the hour ride home, ruminating over all of the things that don’t typically bother me but become perfect targets for my brain to zero in on when I need a reason to be angry.

But when we came into the house I saw all of the things I’ve left undone and started directing the anger towards myself.

The dishes in the kitchen are piled from the sink to the stove. Dinner dishes from last night were just pushed aside so that I could make more dishes this morning.

The trash can is full, with a second brought in for backup.

My kitchen has a mountain of dishes.

My kitchen has a mountain of trash.

I directed the anger inwards and felt myself ready to explode in all directions. I envisioned dishes flying. I could feel a scream building in my lungs.

I just took an Ativan for the first time in I’m not sure how long.

Today was a long day.

Lonely, I’m So Lonely, I Have Anxiety, So I’m Not Alone.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today, I ended up being just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

You see, I won’t skate anymore. I fell 8 months ago, or so, and got a bad concussion. It wasn’t my first concussion on skates. I’m not stable enough and my weight plays a large part in that.

I can’t risk knocking my head around again this soon. It takes the brain a really long time to fully heal.

Besides that, I just want to be smaller and stronger the next time I get up on 8 wheels.

Anyway, this made me just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

There were other people at the party that didn’t skate, but they weren’t there from derby, and they seemed to know other people at the party.

The only people that I knew at the party were from derby, and all of the derby people, including Wonder Woman, were skating the whole time.

At least Wonder Woman skated up to the wall to say hi to me every once in awhile.

But I was still just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

I couldn’t bring myself to walk up to one of the groups of people I didn’t know. And by the end, when derby people started taking breaks, I was so wrapped up in my own anxiety that I couldn’t even walk over to talk to them.

I had started to feel like I was back in grade school. Always on the outside of the crowd. Always left out. Always alone except for the thoughts in my head that wouldn’t shut up.

I convinced myself they didn’t want me around.

I decided I was just like that kid sitting all alone in the corner of the party.

I Guess You’re Just What I Needed

women on roller skates

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This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m feeling much much better.

I’m back to wanting to live and thrive and not hanging on just to survive.

I got an 84 on my final exam and that mixed with the perfect score on my main essay in the class means I think I pulled off an A. Now I get a month off before summer semester starts.

The real game changer was going to officiate roller derby last night.

Leading up to it I was thinking about backing out because my brain was just too foggy and too depressed. But Wonder Woman is head NSO and I really didn’t want to let her (and everyone else, but especially her) down, so I pushed through.

And I’m glad I did.

Everyone there is so supportive there.

Whether they read my posts or not, so many of them tell me they are happy to see me, they say hi, they make me feel included.

I may not put on skates but I feel like I’m an important part of something.

It’s nice to feel included.

I’m proud of myself for how well I got through this particular depressive/suicidal episode. I spent a lot of time in bed, but I also kept moving forward with things that had to be done. I kept cooking, I kept things from becoming too disastrous around the house, I didn’t cancel plans.

I kept doing things that made me feel productive.

Not that it would make me less of a person if I had let more slip, it is an illness after all, and I can only do the best I can do.

But this time I did my best, and my best was pretty damn good.

It was a really dark place, but I was able to see it for what it was, a blip on the radar instead of a permanent place I was stuck in forever. I was able to see my thoughts as thoughts, for the most part. As much as I didn’t want to, I was able to sit with it without fighting against it and making it worse.

That’s really it, I rode it out and didn’t make it worse. I even did things to make it better which is just icing on the cake.

I’m fighting some anxiety today about a party I’m supposed to go to this evening. It’s a skating party and after my last concussion I won’t put on skates again anytime soon. I am anxious that I’ll be the only one sitting out. But I want to go to support my friend who is graduating and to hang out with the friends I do know. It’s important to me to be there.

Plus, anxiety keeps getting in the way of me attending stuff like this and it doesn’t get to have that control today.

Yeah, I’m feeling much much better.

Oh no . . . That’s today.

scientific calculator ii

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This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Mentally, I still feel like shit.

But a little less like shit then I felt yesterday, so that’s a plus, I guess.

The difference between, I really want to die

and

I just don’t want to live.

And for those who have never been here, there’s a distinctive difference.

Today is a good day for that difference, because today I have a final exam to go take for my health class.

A final exam that I may not have shown up for yesterday, but today I’ll at least show up.

I all but aced my English class.  Two points shy of a perfect score.  I’m still waiting on a few grades to come back from health, but I think I’ll pull at least a b, depends on how I do on this final that I didn’t study for.

Yesterday was rough. I spent most of the day in bed with covers over my head. I got up to cook but didn’t clean and my sink is overflowing with dishes.

We had dill pickle chicken wings for dinner which were both amazing and time consuming. Even though I baked them, my house smells like fried food, which is kind of annoying.

When I’m depressed like that I’m also super triggery, although I hate the word trigger. But the wrong sound from a video game or the wrong scene in a movie will go straight through me and I’ll need to run and hide, or I’ll want to fight back against it. But I can’t find my words to ask Wonder Woman to turn the TV down or that I can’t handle that movie right now. Sometimes I’ll put headphones in so that I’m not a bother, so that I can just zone out into my own world at the computer.

Other times I run away to the bedroom, into my safe space. Under my down comforter with the covers pulled up over my head. Just enough light filters through that it’s not completely dark in there. The sound is muffled like when there’s a few feet of snow outside.

I feel safe.

I always quietly hope that Wonder Woman will eventually come and check on me even if I can’t quite tell her all of what is wrong.

She is part of my safe space.

I also hate that I just walk away without telling her that I’m going. Words are hard when I feel like that. I want to shrink into my own skin.

I don’t want to admit that I need to hide from the world and speaking it out loud makes it too real.

Makes it too noticeable.

Makes me feel like I’m over reacting.

Like I’m being a drama queen.

But today is better. Today the sounds aren’t quite as loud and I don’t need to run.

Today I don’t want to die.

I’m just not quite sure I’m ready to live.

Shining light on all my dark splotches

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I just left therapy where we talked a lot about body image and why I am no longer able to be body positive like I once was.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit.  I hate the skin that I am in.

At one point I worked out and I felt stronger, I lost weight, I felt I had control and was able to change the shape of this body of mine.

Now I have no control.

Medications have taken that control from me.

The same medication that reduced my suicidal thoughts has increased my weight and changed the distribution of my weight so that my abdomen is larger.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit.  I hate the skin I am in.

I have an auto-inflammatory condition called hidradenitis suppurativa.

It causes painful abscesses, wounds, and tracts to develop in hair follicles and sweat glands in my underarms, breasts and groin.  When they heal they leave behind scar tissue.

My body is attacking itself.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

Parker once asked me if I had to tell people I had HS. She was affirming that it was something to be ashamed of, something to hide.

I am afraid of sex, afraid of being seen naked because I’m fat and covered in sores and scar tissue. I can’t imagine that anyone, even Wonder Woman, would want to look at me. I hide my body. I have to fight against my own brain whenever I undress in front of her.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

Even clothed I hate looking at myself in the mirror, my clothes no longer fit correctly, I’ve had to buy larger shirts. All I can see is my rolls and my fat. I see the parts of me that don’t fit in seats correctly.

“You’re pull up two chairs kinda big” is what my father once said.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

I miss the days when I felt strong. I miss feeling beautiful.

I want to love the body I inhabit. Why can’t I love the skin I am in?

Maybe shining light on all of these dark thoughts is the beginning to loving myself again.

 

I Can Feel It Coming In The Air Tonight

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

It all starts with this feeling.

In my gut.

In my chest.

In the back of my throat.

Behind my eyes.

I start to notice.

Things that would evoke empathy cause me to become annoyed.

I want to lash out.

I want to be willful and uncooperative.

I feel like a tantrum is about to explode from my body.

But it all starts with that feeling.

That feeling scares me.

What will follow.

Can I stop it here, before it goes any further.

Can I stop the spiral before it truly starts.

Wonder Woman asks if I want to talk and I spend a few minutes on the phone walking in circles in front of the library.  It’s helpful to hear her voice.  She’s the calm to my chaos in times like this.

I remember a time that 17 year old me would spend hours on a payphone in front of the college library.  I was grounded from the phone at home so I’d skip my college class to spend time on the phone with my boyfriend or my girlfriend or maybe both.

I remember that I got this same feeling back then.

It started the same way.

I remember seeing the same cycles, instinctively knowing when they were going to get worse but not knowing what to do about it.

I’m no longer that 17 year old kid.

I have a lot more skills, a lot more tools.  I have a much better support system and I no longer have to hide at a payphone to reach them.

I can feel that feeling.

In my gut.

In my chest.

In the back of my throat.

Behind my eyes.

But it doesn’t mean I’m going to spiral again.

It just means it’s a good time to practice my skills.

Things Are Cool

This is a Really Real Relationship Post.

We just don’t fight.

I’m becoming more comfortable with that.

In the last 2 weeks we’ve, unexpectedly, spent 12 hours in the airport, we’ve had some really difficult talks about difficult relationship topics, and we’ve brought up the AC units from the basement (we’re in a second story apartment here).

We just don’t fight.

We talk.

It still feels strange to do unwanted and difficult things and not have an attitude of resentment making the whole thing more difficult.

It still feels strange to spend days worrying about a conversation and then have that conversation go smoothly, with resolutions to problems planned out.  And then to have follow through.

It still feels strange to be allowed to be myself, my stubborn, head strong, gotta do it my way even if it won’t work, self.  And to have someone there to happily try it another way when that doesn’t work.

It still feels strange to not fight.

I try to script out conversations in my head ahead of time, it’s an anxiety thing, and often those conversations include the fights that I “know” are going to happen.   Blame games and one upping and screaming just to let off tension that doesn’t even relate to the situation at hand.

But it’s not reality.

Reality is, we communicate to the best of our ability, which for me is sometimes much harder then I ever realized.  It’s hard to speak up and say what I need instead of expecting her to just know.

But communication goes so well in our relationship.

Wonder Woman and I have something beautiful.

And it’s pretty cool.

But that might just be the air conditioners we just put in.