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.

Brain, Brain, Go Away

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

My brain is an asshole.

A quiet asshole, but still, an asshole.

This has been an incredible weekend. Calm and quiet. Sitting around the house playing video games side by side with my girl. Something that we don’t do often. Both of us doing our own thing in the same make believe world.

It’s nice to be fully engaged in a game again. It’s nice to be interested in something, anything, again.

But then, in the back of my head is this little voice

It starts telling me I’m never going to be anything but a failure. I’m never going to make it. I’m never going to be enough. I’m never going to be skinny enough, stable enough, pretty enough. I’m never going to have enough money. I’m never going to be successful at anything.

It tells me I should just stop trying.

It tells me I should just die.

It tries to convince me everyone would be better off, everyone would be happier.

I push it away, I go about my day. I ignore the voice. But it’s still there, quietly, whispering in the back of my head.

Brains can be assholes sometimes.

This weekend has been amazing. Cuddles galore, and little moments when Wonder Woman walks by me in the kitchen and steals a kiss or rubs against me.

I tell her “You make me so happy”

“Good, because you deserve happy”

And the voice in the back of my head speaks up again. Telling me I don’t deserve this. Telling me it won’t last. Telling me that any day I’ll fuck it up, or that somehow it will be taken away from me. The voice reminds me of all the sadness in my life, tells me that’s what I deserve, that’s where I belong.

That’s why I should die.

Brains can be assholes sometimes.

This has been a really good weekend. Quiet and low key, the kind of weekend that I almost feel guilty for having. Nothing got done, except for a trip to the gym, and some cooking.

But I also spent the whole weekend quietly fighting a battle in my head.

I know the quiet voice is a liar. I know I’m making huge progress in my life and that my life worth isn’t even based on the progress I make. I know I deserve happy and that what I’ve been through in my past is just one part of my life and there’s so much more to live.

But, my brain is an asshole.

Brain, brain, go away.

Come back when you can play nice.

 

Wednesdays are Hard

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Wednesdays are hard.

I leave the house at 930 in the morning and start with gym and get home at 1030 at night after derby. The middle of the day is filled with DBT and NAMI and school work during my down times and transportation issues and eating on the go.

Wednesdays are hard.

By the end of the day I’m emotionally and physically exhausted.

This week they moved NAMI to a new building and I couldn’t find food locally so I went way too long without eating. It just added to the complete feeling of overwhelm by the end of the day.

Wednesdays are hard.

Yesterday was harder than most, and I came home at the end of the day and felt completely overwhelmed and couldn’t tell if I was seeing real problems or thought distortions but I knew my emotions were bigger than me and I couldn’t contain them. I wanted to lash out. Well, not really, I just I needed them out of my head.

I went and laid with the covers over my head. My bed is my safe space. My cave in the covers is my place to be unsure of things and still be okay.

I told Wonder Woman about my fears and my insecurities. I vented out all of the emotions that were bigger than me until they seemed a bit more manageable.

I cried.

Wednesdays are hard.

This morning the last thing I wanted to do was get up.and go to the gym. I spent the morning in bed thinking of a million excuses, a million reasons why I just couldn’t go today.

I just needed a break from life after yesterday.

Wednesdays are hard.

But instead I got my gym clothes on before I sat down for my morning coffee, getting one step closer, making it a little more difficult to back out.

I’m still not quite sure how to fix Wednesdays. But it doesn’t have to bleed over into Thursday, too.

Head In The Sand

This is a Really Real Post.

I’ve had this post floating around in my head for most of the day.

Little bits and pieces of it coming to me, but for the most part I’ve been unsure how to put it into words. Now that I’m putting fingers to keys I keep writing and erasing because nothing I put seems to fit quite right. Nothing really gets to the point I’m trying to make.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t figured out what point I’m trying to make.

This week as soon as Wonder Woman shared the article pointing out that J.K. Rowling is a TERF, I deleted the Harry Potter game I had just started enjoying. I’m kinda bummed that I haven’t read some of the newer books, but now I never will. I won’t get into the politics of it, I won’t get into an argument about it, I just won’t support a person who follows that many people who hate my fiancee just for existing. I won’t support a person who very likely, herself, hates my fiancee just for existing.

For those who aren’t aware of the terminology, TERF is Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. They have a lot of hatred towards trans people, trans women specifically. I don’t really want to spend this post writing about it, but feel free to do your own research.

Before I started dating Wonder Woman I wouldn’t have worried about this, though. It wouldn’t have been a blip on my radar.

Just like before I came out as some version of queer, I ate at Chick-fil-a, and didn’t think twice.

Just like before I lost my wife to suicide I used the phrases committed suicide and Russian Roulette and did the finger gun to the head bit.

Once we know better we do better, hopefully.

Sometimes, well, often, we learn more because the world hands us a big helping of life experience and we have to take our head out of the sand.

I’ve gotten a few messages from friends who feel that, because I’m trans-adjacent, I’m a good person to ask about Harry Potter this, or J.K. Rowling that. I appreciate that the discussion is being had. I’m glad they care enough to think about it instead of moving blindly forward with their head still buried. Please keep the discussion going. But the fact is, each of us has to decide what we’re comfortable with. Just because I deleted my game and won’t read the books I haven’t read yet, doesn’t mean you’ll make the same decision. And I won’t tell you to.

But I also won’t tell you it’s fine if you keep doing it.

I’m still not sure what my point is.

But it really pisses me off that now I need to figure out how to separate the author from the world I spent my pregnancy engrossed in. I have fond memories of reading those books, fond memories of falling asleep to the movies with my late wife.

But that doesn’t change what I’ve learned.

And now that I know better, I’ll do better.

Defining Myself

This is a Really Real . . .

Well, I’m not sure how to categorize it actually.

It’s maybe a Really Real Dating Post and kind of a Really Real Identity Crisis Post.

Wonder Woman and I are polyamorus (simply put, we can openly and separately date other people) even though we’ve been functionally monogamous for the majority of our relationship.

This isn’t really about that, but it’s about defining myself for a dating profile and I figured I’d mention the whole polyamory thing before someone thinks we’re either breaking up or that I’m cheating in a very strange out in the open way. Neither of which is happening here.

Online dating means having a profile.

Which means I need to define myself.

Which is fucking hard.

I go to the gym almost daily, but I’m not really all that into fitness.

I write almost daily, but I don’t really know anything about writing.

I love coffee, but can’t really discuss any of the finer details or even explain what I like (Starbucks is fine, thank you very much).

I love cooking, but couldn’t tell you my favorite meal.

I enjoy officiating with derby, but don’t really do derby.

I’m a widow and that changed my life in HUGE ways, but I’m not only a dead woman’s wife.

I can have long conversations about weekly doctors appointments and DBT classes and therapy, and what’s it’s like to survive with not enough money and too much trauma.

I can’t keep up with politics or anything else in the news. I don’t read or watch TV or follow any current pop culture. I’m not big into board games or even video games. I can fake my way through conversations about music but mostly have no idea who sang which songs but I might know a few of the lyrics.

And all of this seems like a really negative way to describe myself but every time I think about who I am as a whole, that’s all I see.

All the things I’m not.

So, even though I don’t believe one person can meet all of my needs and I wouldn’t want her to even if she could.  And even though I strongly believe in polyamory as the right choice for me. I still haven’t really put much effort into dating, partially because I can’t figure out how to put myself out there authentically.

I can’t really figure out who I am.

And it makes me sad.

Wonder Woman obviously sees something in me. I have friends who obviously want to spend time around me so I obviously have good qualities. But being a good friend, a good listener, a kind person, those things aren’t really who I am and what I like to do.

Those things aren’t the kinds of things you use to describe yourself to another person.

Dating is hard!

Things To Do When I’m Alone

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

That’s it! I’m tired of spending my alone time laying around in bed moping like some lost puppy.

I totally get it, missing Wonder Woman is like grief all over again but I can’t keep doing this. It puts me into a dangerous position especially when suicidal intrusive thoughts work their way into the mix. It’s time for a plan of attack.

I need a list of things to do.

This feels silly, why does a 38 year old woman need to sit down and write out a list of interesting things to do when she’s alone? But the fact is, once I’m alone, my mind goes blank and gets filled with nothing but sad and grief and bored and a shit load of spiraling thoughts that often land on suicide. If the way out of this mess is a list of things to do, then lets start making that list!

Creative Stuff

  • design shirts (even if I can’t make them)
  • design stickers (even if I don’t know where to stick them)
  • look up new shirt/sticker designs
  • chainmaille
  • diamond painting
  • etched glass

Cooking

  • figure out how to make a current recipe healthier
  • find new healthy recipes
  • cook something Wonder Woman doesn’t like (EAT ALL OF THE SEAFOOD!!!!!)

Cleaning

  • who am I kidding, if I’m in the mood to clean, there is no shortage and I don’t need a list

Self Care

  • finally use one of those lush bath bombs (I am my own special occasion)
  • read one of the psych books
  • read one of the grief books
  • go for a long walk, alone

Entertainment

  • get over phobia of Xbox and watch Netflix
  • get over phobia of Xbox and play video games (finally get into Kingdom Hearts)
  • play one of my many video games on the computer

 

I’m sure there are dozens more ideas I can add, but this is a good start. If you can think of anything I don’t have here let me know so I can keep this growing.