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.

Day Three

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

Trigger Warning: Suicidal Stuff.

August 18, 2019 7:05 pm  Three Days on the unit.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today feels better.

The thoughts have settled into a dull roar instead of screaming in the back of my head.

The unit is still loud.

I can’t get a moment of silence no matter where I go.

Twenty-five beds, filled to capacity, eight people came in overnight.

Everyone has their own brand of crazy.

Some of them are easier to ignore than others.

I try not to judge. I try not to judge the people who are judging.

I try not to judge myself.

Today feels better.

I’m talking more, interacting more. I ask Wonder Woman for one of my skirts. I want real clothes.

I feel human.

I’m still so tired. Mental illness is exhausting. I’m not quite there yet. But,

Today feels better.

 

The Second Morning

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

Trigger Warning: Suicidal Stuff

August 17, 2019 7:00 pm  48 hours on the Unit

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Mood slowly rising but thoughts still whisper in the back of my head.

Safety surrounds me but plans still try and take shape.

It’s how I know I’m not ready.

Walking the halls, endless laps, straight lines, dead ends,

turn around and start again.

“2 south B it’s time for morning goals group.”

We somberly make our way to the activity room. Some of us doing the shuffle of too many meds, not enough sleep or simply lack of motivation to pick our feet up off the ground.

Depression is exhausting.

“My name is Tina my mood is a two I don’t have a goal.

The words come out in one rushed sentence.

“Why is your mood so low?”

“Because the thoughts won’t go away, my brain won’t cooperate.”

They move on to the next person.

Count down to the next meal. I’m eating too much in here and I know it, but there’s nothing else to do. Nothing else that I really get control over.

I need to get control over that though.

Maybe this isn’t the time to worry about weight. Maybe I can let that go for right now.

Visitors after lunch, the highlight of my day. One hours where I get to see a familiar face or two. And it starts and finishes with a hug.

I miss touch.

Even after just a few days I miss the comfort of cuddling with Wonder Woman. I miss hugging my friends. My brain is trying to kill me and I can’t curl up beside the woman I love.

But my brain is still trying to kill me.

That’s how I know I’m not ready.

Anhedonia

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning: Past suicidal thoughts and plans. Past self harm thoughts and plans.

Completely flat affect.

Complete absence of feeling.

Nothing.

The world wasn’t black because the world barely existed.

I felt no connection to life, no reason to keep living.

I couldn’t feel love.

I wasn’t afraid of dying.

I had plans and didn’t care if they worked or not.

Didn’t care what was left behind.

Didn’t care what mess was left to clean up.

I can’t remember a depressive episode like that before. I’ve had dark times where I felt like there was nothing, but there was still a feeling of dread within the nothing, I was still sad. This time, there was just

nothing.

I could tell that Wonder Woman was scared, but I couldn’t feel it.

I knew, somewhere, that I had to care, that there was a reason to care. I knew logically that she loved me, and I knew I logically that I loved her, but I couldn’t feel the emotion called love, I couldn’t recall ever feeling it, or what it might have felt like.

Maybe death would make me feel something.

Maybe sliding out of the car door and rolling down the highway would make me feel something.

Maybe sliding a knife across my skin would make me feel something.

Could anything make me feel something?

I knew that was a dangerous place for me to be, possibly the most dangerous place for me to be.

I didn’t care if I died, didn’t care that I was suicidal.

I got an extra appointment with my therapist. She asked that I not be alone for the weekend, asked that I get myself to the gym, stay busy, push myself to keep going until I saw her again, until I saw the doctor.

And now the weekend has passed.

Things aren’t so empty now.

I can see color again.

I see the world again.

I can feel fear again.

I feel love again.

I smile again.

I’m not sure what made me hold on through the absence of feeling. I’m not quite sure how I managed to reach out to others when I couldn’t even stay connected with myself. But I’m glad I did.

I’m glad I’m still here.

I hope I never experience that again.

Feeling depressed is better than not feeling at all.

That’s What My Therapist Say

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning: Suicidal thoughts and loose plans.

Yesterday, plans as I saw them, got derailed due to

one

stupid

letter.

A letter that someone I count on should have written months ago.

And now I’m in a holding pattern.

I don’t do change well.

Even when the change is just in my expected time line.

 

I’ve already been in a bad place, barely hanging on, just keeping the gunshots quiet.

“Shhhhh, it’s going to be alright.”

Dishes piling up before I beat them back down again.

Cheering myself on each night that I cook.

I’m worthy of another day of fresh air.

I am productive.

I am worth something.

 

But I can’t make it to the gym, I can barely make it out of bed, I’m making it to essential appointments but rescheduling the rest.

Does that cavity really need to be filled this week?

Nah, it can wait until their next available.

School work has spiraled out of control, I don’t know if I can catch up in this final week I have left.

 

And then I crawl out of bed and go into an appointment to find out their missing

one

stupid

letter.

 

I mean, in the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. It’s the beginning of the month and as long as she gets this letter in within the next few weeks, I can schedule my last appointment and everything will be on track. But this is a delay, a wrench in the process, something I just couldn’t handle in my already depressed state. I could see six months of work crumbling in front of me. I could see the whole process falling apart, again.

I came home.

I climbed into bed.

I screamed.

I started wondering what would happen if I just took every pill in the house. None of them would kill me on their own, we’ve locked all of the toxic quantities away, but if I just took everything we had around here, every fucking last pill, would the mixture be enough.

I mean.

I haven’t cooked in days, the kitchen is a fucking disaster, the trash cans are overflowing, I’m not sure of the last time I showered.

I’m useless.

And now even this is falling apart, again.

I took an Ativan at the urging of a very wonderful friend.  Something to stop the thoughts from climbing all over each other and escalating.

I passed out into dreamless sleep.

I wake up to a Wonder-ful Woman holding Starbucks.  I swear she’s an oasis or some shit.

I’m not sure if I’m overjoyed to be holding Starbucks or miserable because reality is back.

(But come on, Starbucks)

Reality, the dishes in the sink, the kitchen where I don’t know what to cook and it’s dinner time.

I’m useless.

I’ll order pizza with money that I don’t really have to spend, but we’ve gotta eat.

I’ll spiral down the road of self hatred over how bad I am with money while we wait for it to arrive.

And eventually I’ll pass out for the night, still wondering if every pill in the house will do the job completely.

 

I wake up way too early. The house is silent except for the prancing of little dog feet.

There’s barely enough room on the kitchen counters to make her food.

I’m useless.

I hear the chords to a song in the back of my head but can’t quite place it.

I feed the dog. I feed myself some oatmeal and a hard boiled egg that I made earlier in the week, before I became so useless.

Oh yeah, it wasn’t that long ago that I was doing things.

I hum along to the song in the back of my head.

I take the dog out, I make myself some coffee and absentmindedly drink it.

I start thinking about the shower that I desperately need and that maybe, I think, I might be able to take this morning.

I look up some crafty stuff on the computer. Make a mental note of some supplies I need, but don’t impulsively buy them.

“Everything’s gonna be alright”

The song in the back of my head starts to come into focus as I climb into the shower.

“Everything’s gonna be okay”

I think of some little stuff I might be able to make later with supplies I still have at home.

“It’s gonna be a good, good life”

And maybe I can even start to tackle that kitchen.

“That’s what my therapist say”

I’m still not out of the dark. I feel it pulling at me from all sides.

“Everything’s gonna be alright”

I still have a ton of schoolwork that I feel completely overwhelmed by, and I’m not sure where to start.

“Everything’s gonna be just fine”

I still don’t want to leave my house or go to the gym.

“It’s gonna be a good, good life.”

But, maybe I should keep holding on for a bit longer.  Maybe

one

stupid

letter

isn’t the end of the world.

And maybe I’m not quite useless.

But it doesn’t seem like grief.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

But also a Really Real Widow Post.

One of those ones that blur the lines because I’m not sure where depression ends and grief begins, or if grief is even a part of this.

Brains are dumb.

I just spent 18 hours in bed, taking Benadryl part way through it so that I could force myself to sleep for as long as possible. I still want to be there, in that warm, safe, space, but my back is hurting too much to get comfortable and I can’t ignore it any longer.

Three years ago was the Celebration of Life for Parker.

Three years ago, today, we dug a heart in the sand on a beach in Florida and spread Parker’s ashes.

Three years ago today I watched her wash out to sea.

I knew this date was coming up, but couldn’t remember the exact day. Early on, people told me the dates would begin to fade and I couldn’t imagine that ever happening, but it has.

This doesn’t feel like grief. It feels like depression. I knew this date was coming but I didn’t feel particularly upset about this as I’ve fought with depression this past week. Maybe it was the cause, but maybe it was just chemical.

Brains are dumb.

I just spent 18 hours in bed.

I try so hard not to let the brain goblins win like that. Curled up in bed staring at the ceiling, watching the numbers on the clock change.

I didn’t cook dinner.

I didn’t feed the dog.

I didn’t feed myself.

I just laid there watching time tick by.

At some point I got up to take Benadryl, forcing myself into a stupor and hated the fact that we only had a few in the bottle. Knowing in the back of my head that even a whole bottle wasn’t likely to kill me. (I’ve researched these kinds of things.) Also knowing that I didn’t really want to die I just wanted this feeling of nothingness mixed with anxiety to go away.

I just needed a break from everything.

I needed a break from my head.

Brains are dumb.

Maybe that’s all Parker wanted that night. Sometimes I wonder. Did she really want to die or do she just want a break. Did she expect me to find her and get her to the hospital? Did she really think this through?

It doesn’t really matter now, so I try not to go down that road.

I try to distract myself, I try to stay busy, I try to keep going so I don’t have time to think.

But sometimes I end up in bed for 18 hours.

Three years ago we dug a heart in the sand.

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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.