No, I don’t wanna.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today has been long and difficult.

I’m tired and overwhelmed.

I sit alone at my desk.

Not even 8 in the evening.

My bed is calling my name.

It’s my safe space.

I can be sad there.

I can hide under the covers there.

I can let myself be fully depressed there.

I can lean into it there.

I fight back, whining out loud “No, I don’t wanna.”

I don’t want to give in and crawl into my bed.

I don’t want to feel like this again.

I’m fighting so hard.

I’m taking the medication.

I’m going to my program.

And depression is wrapping its arms around me again.

The thoughts are whispering in my ears again.

I’m wondering how safe it is to be alone.

I say it louder “No, I don’t want to.”

I don’t want to feel like this.

I don’t want to fight this fight.

Again.

I don’t want to fight my brain so I can get out of bed.

I don’t want to fight my brain to stay engaged with life.

I don’t want to fight my brain for the right to live.

The right to exist.

I don’t want to fight my brain for survival.

I’m doing the right things.

I’m staying out of bed.

I’m finding things to stay occupied with.

I’m redirecting my thoughts.

But I feel so very tired right now.

“I don’t want to.”

I don’t want to ride this roller coaster again.

I don’t want to be at this amusement park.

I don’t want to be in this movie.

I don’t want to be part of this play.

Why can’t I set this book down.

Do I have to stay in this library?

Can someone cancel my subscription?

I already have too many issues.

“I don’t want to.”

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?

 

 

Will to live.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I used to have this feeling, when sitting in therapy, or the psychiatrists office, or at PHP, that they knew something that I don’t know. Like there’s some big secret they aren’t telling me, something happening in the conversations behind the scenes.

Like they know the outcome and just weren’t letting me in on it.

That feeling was so strong last year.

I haven’t thought about it in awhile.

But back then, last time I was here, I wanted to scream at them.

“Tell me, what does the ending of this story look like.”

“Does the main character live, or does she die?”

“What type of story is this?”

I hadn’t thought about that in a long time.

I’ve been feeling like I’ve taken 20 steps back.

Like I’m right where I started.

Like the past year has been useless.

But somehow, in the midst of this crisis.

Even while buying bottles of pills.

Even while checking into the hospital.

Even while sitting in the rooms at Partial.

Even though I don’t know what the ending of the story is.

I know the main character makes it out alive.

Of course, it’s kind of funny (and horrifying) that today they let me in on a little secret.

The last time I was sitting in the rooms at Partial, they weren’t sure what the ending of the story was going to be.

They had their own doubts.

Not that I was in immediate danger, they would have gotten me safe, but that overall, I hadn’t solidified my will to live.

I remember being that person. I remember the wish to die being so strong that I could feel death surround me. I remember that darkness. I remember feeling no connection with life.

I remember.

Suicidal thoughts are different now. Even at their worst. Even in absolute crisis. Even when I’m truly in danger.

It doesn’t make them any less dangerous.

They could still make me just as dead.

But there’s a will to live that wasn’t there before.

There’s a fight.

There’s a chance.

There’s a light.

There’s hope behind it.

Yeah, shit still sucks sometimes and I’m honestly not sure just how far I’ll be able to go with this fucked up brain of mine.

But at least we aren’t questioning my chance at survival anymore.

And I guess that’s some pretty significant growth.

In the grand scheme of things.

Bounce Back

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I started an all day, 5 days a week, Partial Hospitalization Program last Wednesday.

The school semester started today.

Therapy every Friday afternoon.

Derby and NAMI Wednesday nights.

I need to get back to the Gym.

Somewhere in there I need to clean the house and grocery shop and cook dinner and pack my lunch.

I keep expecting myself to be 100%.

This weekend I got so mad at myself because Friday I ended up melting down. I was exhausted, emotionally and physically. I was overwhelmed. I was realizing that there was so much that needed to be done with school starting and here I was away for the weekend.

But the alternative was staying home alone for three days which didn’t feel like the greatest idea either.

So while I was in the car trying to nap I was also beating myself up. The crisis was over, why couldn’t I handle this?

Because I’m not 100%. I’m not even 50%. I’m not suddenly, overnight, all better, just because they let me come home.

They only let me come home because I’m safe.

But that doesn’t mean the thoughts are gone.

That doesn’t mean this mood episode has totally passed, even though I try to act like it has.

The good news is, Saturday and Sunday were a lot better. I was able to relax into the flow of a tournament. I met some new people. I saw some people I hadn’t seen in awhile. I watched some great derby.

I enjoyed myself.

But the knowledge of what was coming as soon as I got home was still looming over my head. I looked at my classes online a few times. Tried to read some of the coursework. The words got jumbled in my brain. My focus isn’t quite where it should be, quite where I need it to be.

I’m overwhelmed.

And that’s okay.

Because I’m not 100%. I’m not even 50%. I’m not suddenly, overnight, all better, just because they let me come home.

I still have a lot of healing left to do.

I need to cut myself some slack.

No one is expecting perfection.

Except me.

Except me.

Except.

Me.

Maybe this isn’t the semester to worry about deans list and honors programs. Maybe this isn’t the semester to return to full time classes. Maybe passable work and part time classes are just fine.

Maybe a messy house and Instacart and frozen meals.

Maybe it’s time to reconsider some priorities, even if just for now.

Maybe I’m allowed to be less than 100%. Maybe even less than 50%. Maybe I’m not expected to be suddenly, overnight, all better.

Healing takes time.

Working on myself has to be the top priority.

Otherwise, I’ll never bounce back.

Day Four

(These are a series of posts I hand wrote while I was inpatient on the crisis unit)

Trigger Warning: Suicidal Stuff

August 19, 2019 Four days on the unit.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

The unit is quiet at 4:30 in the morning. The sound is only broken by the quiet um of the floor machine. I guess they have to get cleaned sometime.

My back and legs hurt from sleeping on this shitty mattress. I’m taking my tramadol more often here.

The meds they give me for sleep have both good and bad sides.  It’s great that I fall asleep easily and sleep deeply. It sucks that I wake up after 6 hours and can’t always get back to sleep.

But the unit is quiet at 4:30am and the quiet is nice. I don’t get much of that in here.

I should enjoy it while I can.

Love, Derby

img_0888
This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And a Really Real Community Post.

And a Really Real Support Post.

And a Really Real Roller Derby Post.

Yesterday I didn’t want to go to Derby.  You see, Derby was the last place I was before I went to the hospital, so I was nervous about returning.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel being there again.  I didn’t really give anyone that reason.  I made other excuses.

No one pressured me.

And, I showed up, I was late, but I showed up.

I was shocked when the league started clapping and welcoming me back. I was also embarrassed and unsure of how to react so I kind of buried myself in the bench I was heading towards.

It was completely unexpected. Yeah, I know most of the people on our league and chat with them. But I’ve always considered myself to be on the outskirts. Not really fitting in. Not really a part of it. That background cast that doesn’t need an understudy because no one would notice if they were missing.

So I was shocked when after practice everyone asked for hugs and told me they were glad to have me back.

This isn’t the reaction someone gets after a mental health crisis. It’s swept under the rug, it’s hush hush, it’s “keep her safe and watch her but don’t mention why.”

This was “we want you here and we’re glad you’re alive, thank you for getting help.” Loud and clear and in the open.

And then at the end of practice they gave me a card, perfectly suited for me, and signed by so much of the league. And then a journal with notes inside from so many different people, telling me how loved and valued I am, telling me why they need me here, telling me what they love about me.

At first I felt like it was too much fuss over nothing, like, it’s just me, what’s the big deal. I’m fine.

But the thing is, I wasn’t fine and I’m still not fine. This was an emergency situation and I just spent nearly a week in the hospital over it. I’m still healing from it.

I needed and still need these tangible reminders that I matter.

I think we all do, I think we all deserve to have tangible reminders that we matter.

I’m thankful to be part of the roller derby community, and Charm City Roller Derby in particular.

I guess I’m not as much of an outsider as I thought I was.

I love you all, CCRD.

Thank you for making me smile.