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.

Blanket Fort

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

TW: Suicdal Thoughts. Guns. Possibly disturbing descriptions.

I spent most of yesterday evening in bed, under my blankets.

Wide awake, but shutting the world out.

Suicidal thoughts swirling around, like stars in the galaxy.

I had plans and means but couldn’t hold onto a thought long enough to have the drive to put anything into action.

I guess my scatter brain saved me from becoming any real danger to myself.

Either way it was uncomfortable and I was afraid to get out of bed because then the means would be too accessible.

And when I’d lose track of my suicidal thoughts I didn’t want to get out of bed because I was just to defeated to move.

I kept hearing a gun shot going off in my head.

Not that I have access to guns, I know better, but I just kept hearing the sound reverberating in my head.

It’s what happens when the thoughts get bad. It’s been the same since middle school. The thoughts would get bad and I knew there was a loaded gun in my dad’s night stand drawer and I could hear it going off in my head.

And I’d fight against letting it happen.

I wonder what it feels like when the barrel is pressed against your skull?

I wonder what it sounds like when the gun goes off?

Does it sound different when the vibrations are right there up close?

Do you even have time to hear it?

I wonder if I would screw that up too and live and just be a burden on everyone around me.

It really is better that I don’t have access to guns.

And the thing is, I’m not actually having a horrible morning. I woke up, I measured out my food and logged it in a new program I’m trying. I’m planning on being all crafty and making shit in a little bit.

But still, the dark thoughts are just swirling around.

I’d kinda rather be dead.

I wish it was a therapy day, not that therapy is a quick fix but I always feel safer when she reassures me that these thoughts aren’t going to kill me. That I don’t need to be locked away to be safe from myself. That this isn’t a crisis.

It feels like a crisis but also doesn’t.

They are just there, quietly hanging over my shoulder.

I feel like I can almost have a conversation with them.

“Hey, what’s up? Please don’t let the cat out as you come and go.”

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.

Watching Me Fall

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning:  Talk of past suicidal thoughts

I’m thankful that I started writing my story like this, and I’m thankful that I share my journey on Facebook where every day it reminds me where I was a year ago.

A year ago I was on a very quick spiral downwards.  I was in a very dark place and it wasn’t getting better.

I’ve been watching it happen, through my memories, day by day, since early March.  Post after post about suicidal thoughts, holding on, trying to decide what treatment option was best.

I forgot about the fear though.  I felt that the wrong move would certainty end in death.  I felt like I had to choose the right direction because I wouldn’t have a second chance.

I forgot how deep and how dark it was.  How much control it had.

The suicidal thoughts haven’t gone away.  I get periods where they are less severe and I’m able to easily flick them into the background.  Then there are periods when I thought they were still just as bad as they had been a year ago.  However, reading the post today I realized that there isn’t as much fear as there was.

I’m able to see a future even while I want to die.

I’m able to see mutliple options and I don’t feel as trapped.

A year ago I wrote that during the worst of it, I couldn’t even see far enough forward to imagine someone finding me and worrying about what that would do to them.  I couldn’t see past death.

Now, I’ve realized, even while I’m wanting to die and working out plans, I worry about what will happen when Wonder Woman finds me.  What will happen if it doesn’t work.  What will happen past the attempt.

I think about the future even while I’m thinking about the finality of death.

My therapist kept saying I was future oriented during my suicidal periods and I understood what she meant, but this makes me remember how much I wasn’t future oriented a year ago.

It makes me realize how far I’ve come.

And while my suicidal thoughts are still dangerous now, it makes me realize just how dangerous they were a year ago.

I can remember being there.  I can still put myself in that place and feel that emptiness and that desire to just be gone.  I remember the longing for wellness and the desire to stop fighting for it.

I remember how tired I was and also how driven.

I remember the terror of making the wrong choice.

Sometimes I think I’ve lost all of my progress when I spend a night fighting my own brain.  I think these skills I’ve learned are useless and I’m not fighting hard enough or learning fast enough.

And then I see a post like this and realize how far I’ve come in the past year.

How even in the worst of the darkness, my growth shows.

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.