Be Still

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.

But I did.

First I woke up Wonder Woman and asked her to hold me and remind me that it was just depression and that I really did need to get up and go to the gym.

(I realize how lucky I am to have a woman who doesn’t get mad at me when I wake her up for those sorts of reminders. She even threw a “You’ll feel better afterwards” in there.)

And then I packed my bag with clothes for DBT and I went to the gym with Bat Woman and I did the things.

(And Wonder Woman wasn’t wrong. I felt a bit better afterwards.)

And then I went to DBT and participated fully.

And then I sat reading chapters and articles for school while waiting for mobility.

But I still feel like I’m just going through the motions.

I still feel like I’m walking through a fog.

Now that I’m home I want to go take a nap, and I can’t tell if that would be great self care, or if it would be giving into depression. It really could go either way.

I guess it depends on if I get up when I wake up the first time, or if I lay there for 3 hours wallowing in self pity about how this depression

just

won’t

let

go.

I appreciate the fact that my moods have stabilized on my current medications, however, I kind of miss the hypomania breaking the monotony of the depression.

The other one is, I definitely don’t miss actual crises occurring in my life. I’m so glad I’ve had this past year or two where I haven’t spent most of my time in therapy putting out fires and have instead been able to spend time healing from all of the trauma. But, I miss the rush of crisis mode.

I miss the adrenaline and emotional response that was needed to survive that sort of thing.

Maybe that’s part of my depression. Maybe I was just so used to living in crisis mode for so long that now when I stop, when there isn’t something to fix, a fire to put out, something to be reacting to . . .

Maybe I’m still learning how to just

be still.

I’ll get there.

Racing the Clock

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m racing the clock with this post.

It’s 14 minutes till therapy and that’s not counting the time it’ll take me to walk from the coffee shop, but I feel the need to get this out of my head before I walk into that office.

So I’m writing.

Today is going to be a hard session.

I know it.

I already know what we’re going to talk about, I’ve known since last night. It’s a hard topic but one I need to work on deeply.

Self worth.

I don’t feel wanted because I don’t feel deserving of that sort of affection. So even though Wonder Women shows me that sort of attention I don’t always see it.

Well, that’s not even it. I see it, but I don’t internalize it.

I see it as something she’s doing out of obligation. Something she’s doing because she has to. Not something she’s doing because she actually wants me or finds my body attractive.

I guess it isn’t self worth exactly.

It’s more body image, but not even that exactly. It’s so complicated.

I’ve lost 20 lbs in the last month (and before someone says that’s too much, my doctors are on board.  Noom is the shit and I highly recommend that program to anyone.). I feel like I’m becoming more attractive. I feel sexy, I feel sexual. But I don’t feel like anyone else could possibly see me that way.

Anyway, 3 minutes till therapy and I still have to walk to the building.  Guess I should get going.

Today’s session is going to be hard but needed.

I have a love/hate relationship with therapy.

Was It Ever Different

This is a Really Real . . .Something? . . . Post.

Maybe Relationship.

Maybe Widow.

But no matter what the subject is, it’s Really Real.

You should all know by now that I check Facebook memories and Timehop every single day, without fail. It lets me see how far I’ve come, lets me see the amazing things I’ve done with Wonder Woman and Kidlet and Batwoman, and before that it shows me little gifts in the forms of messages left behind on my wall to and from Parker.

A year ago I was in a partial hospitalization program. I was in a severe mixed mood episode, was both suicidal and manic. Wonder Woman had been staying with me for 2 months but was officially moving her stuff in.

Now, a year later, I’m reading those posts and remembering when we first moved Wonder Woman’s bed into the house and got rid of mine. Remembering all of my stress over the moving happening too fast and not fast enough. Wanting her stuff here now but holy shit her stuff is invading my space and changing the way I live.

It all feels like it’s from another lifetime.

It’s only been a year but it feels like she’s been here forever.

I can’t imagine this house without her shoes (so many shoes) all over the floor in the living room.

I can’t imagine not knowing the recipes I’ve learned to cook because it’s food she likes.

I can’t imagine coming home and not seeing Trillian (her sweet kitty) in the tub.

I can’t imagine waking up or going to bed without cuddles, almost every single time. 

So many cuddles.

But at the same time, I absolutely can imagine the day that this all goes away.

I have, almost the benefit, of knowing that life can change in an instant.

Sorry friends, this is where the sweet sappy post gets grim and dark.

I still check her breathing, I still panic when she’s late, I still wonder who I would call, I still wonder if they would know to call me if she wasn’t home.

I almost can’t imagine a day that she wasn’t here but at the same time I’m constantly aware that any day this could all be taken away.

But I try, so hard, not to live like I know, while always living like I know.

The benefit to widowhood is that I appreciate all of those little things that I mentioned before. I even appreciate things that would have annoyed me in life before death.

I wish everyone could learn the lessons without the loss.

What can you be more appreciative of?

Logistically

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today is a day of logistics.

I woke up super early and popped out of bed. I’m definitely feeling better emotionally because I don’t dread the day as soon as I open my eyes.

Another sign that I’m doing better is that I’m working on “doing all the things.” I start an accelerated 6 week college course next week and they opened some of the course work early so I started working on that. I also did more work on plane tickets for an upcoming trip. I scheduled some appointments and also sent off an email asking my primary care NP for a letter of support before she leaves the practice.

Busy, busy, busy.

And if feels much better than sitting around staring at a computer screen scrolling Facebook endlessly.

Unfortunately when I’m stuck in that low grade depression all I really can do is sit and stare at the screen. I can’t find the motivation or interest in anything else. I want to be interested, I really do, but nothing grabs my attention.

Of course, even though I’m interested in doing stuff now, doesn’t mean I can figure out what, exactly I should be doing once I run out of logistical stuff to work through. I want to craft more stuff, but can’t figure figure out what to craft. I can only cook so many dishes. I can only plan meals so far ahead. Only so much school work has been opened.

I could clean more of the house but, lets not get carried away here, I’m not quite that bored.

I did finally color my hair. It was so faded it wasn’t even pastel anymore, it was, well, I’m not sure what it was but it was kinda gross. Now it’s bright and vibrant and you can see me coming from a few miles away.

Now I get to sweat pink and purple at the gym for the next week. I’m always afraid a drip of bright pink is going to run down my face while I’m on the elliptical. That’s the one problem with these bright colors, but I can’t imagine anything but my signature pink and purple.

Have you ever done anything wild with your hair?

Quiet Voice of Defeat

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post, but also a Really Real Health Post.

CW: Talk of weight and food.

The quiet voice is back. The one that tells me it would be so much easier to just end it all.

Wednesdays are hard and even with my sister in town yesterday it was a long hard day. I came home after she left and climbed in bed without saying goodnight to Wonder Woman and pulled the covers up over my head.

I was irrationally angry over things that we just haven’t had time for.

Or maybe we haven’t made the time.

But either way I wanted to lash out and I wasn’t in a place to have a rational conversation so I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head and didn’t even stir when Wonder Woman came to bed hours later.

But that’s not why the voice is back.

I had a doctors appointment today and realized I’m looking for a quick fix when there isn’t one. I’m not willing to do the work right now because I feel like I have to work extra hard for minimal results and it’s just not fair.

When I was riding the wave of mania for almost a year it was hard work but at the same time it was easy. And there was all this external validation because in the midst of the hardest thing I’d ever been through I was making all these strides towards self improvement on so many different fronts.

Including losing weight.

But now I’m not manic, and now it is just hard work without all of the positive feedback and without even having anything to show for it.

I’m back in another weight loss surgery program and this one knows the problems I had with the last surgeon so I doubt I’ll have the same problem. Except the last time I was all about working the program and losing weight leading up to it, and really into how successful I was going to be pre and post surgery.

I gave a fuck and it showed.

This time I don’t really give a fuck. I just know I can’t keep living like this, and this is one program that won’t give me the amount of shit the last program gave me. It’s why I chose this program, it has minimal requirements.

See, I know surgery isn’t a quick fix. I know surgery is just a tool and if I don’t do the work it won’t work. I know it isn’t the easy way out.

And I also know that right now my heart isn’t in it.

And my heart isn’t in it because even while I was working so fucking hard, I just started gaining the weight back because I’m fighting against PCOS and I’m fighting against medications.

I don’t even know where to start with my food intake. There are so many things that need to change and I’m so overwhelmed about how to change them. I keep saying I’m going to do this or that differently but there are so many different areas that I end up not following through with any of them.

I’ve quit doing cardio at the gym because what’s the point of working myself to the point of exhaustion on the machines when I’m not getting a single benefit. I still go for strength training a few days a week because I feel the difference with that when I stop, I still walk a mile or two a few nights a week because walking made a huge difference in my life when I started, but even that I’m not all that consistent with.

I worked my ass off . . . and gained 25 lbs due to a medication change. Once that stabilized I kept working my ass off and my weight didn’t change. Now I’ve slacked way off for the last month and my weight didn’t change.

It makes me feel like the effort is useless.

I’m supposed to go for 4 more monthly nutrition appointments and then I can schedule surgery, but if I can’t get my heart into this, there’s no point in scheduling a surgery date.

Depression and poor self image are playing into this big time.

I care about how difficult my weight makes my life, but I hate my body so doing loving and caring things for it is difficult.

Self sabotage via food.

I’ve been here before, for a lot of years. Mania and post traumatic growth made it easy to overcome this cycle but it’s possible to overcome it even without that.

I need to get my heart back in the game.

I need to make changes.

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.

One Year Ago and Today

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today my Facebook memories reminded me that one year ago I wrote a big, long, really real mental health post about suicidal thoughts I was having.

It was hard to go back and read those dark words from that dark space.

It took me back to that time where I got a message from a friend at just the right time to help me.  A message letting me know that she was thinking of me, even though she had no idea I was in such a dark space.

This is one of the reasons I do what I do.  So that a year from now I can see these words and remember where I was.  I can see my growth and my progress.  See the dark and also the light.  I can also see how far my writing has come in that time.

Today I’m fighting depression, but the dark, suicidal thoughts are mostly quiet, only peeking their heads out but not taking hold.  I have a plan to handle the pain that I’m in, which will hopefully give me some relief through the trip this weekend.

I still fight suicidal thoughts sometimes, nothing has really changed there, they still get really dark, really fast and I’m still learning how to sit with them without them becoming so dangerous.

I think I’ve gained a lot of skills in the last year, through my time in partial, and my time in DBT, but at the same time.  I handle the flow of my moods a lot better.

Things may not change as far as my moods shifting and the suicidal thoughts coming, but how I handle them has changed and will continue to change and get better.  I’m growing and learning and doing better.

And I still have amazing support around me, for which I’m quite thankful.