Hurt

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’ve posted other times recently about how anger is a trigger for me, and how I’ve surrounded myself with people who I can communicate with and that makes it a bit easier.

Being able to say, I’m frustrated about this. And discussing it. Realizing it’s okay to get angry even if what I’m angry about isn’t that big of a deal, because that’s the purpose of communication. Talking it out.

Silencing my anger and frustration doesn’t work and builds resentment. Eventually that resentment explodes and that’s where the screaming and yelling comes in.

I don’t want to be that person anymore, and the only way not to be that person is to change my habits.

So I talk about what’s wrong, early. I tell people when I’m frustrated, and why. I open up the lines of communication.

The problem is, not everyone wants to communicate that way. When I say I’m frustrated about something, they get angry at me for being angry. As if I’m not allowed to be frustrated.

I spent years in a relationship like that.

I’ve spent a lifetime living in relationships like that.

Walking away and waiting for someone to make the next move is hard. Not knowing if they’ll ever be ready to meet me where I’m at is hard. Losing friends over growth is hard.

Losing someone after a fight, again, is hard.

It brings up all sorts of things for me and I spent part of today worrying about the day that this new relationship period ends for Wonder Woman and I and we get into our first ‘real’ fight. I worry about losing her over it. People like to leave me after fighting with me. They die, they walk away, they move across the country.

But I’m worth the work I’ve put into this growth and moving backwards because of a lack of communication in a friendship isn’t helpful. I deserve more.

My friendships deserve more.

But it still hurts.

Called Out

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

My coffee is way too hot to drink.

And I became an Aunt again overnight last night, as my sister gave birth to another nephew.

And sometimes it’s really easy to write about some things that are happening in my life, like the coffee I’m drinking, or the baby my sister had, and really hard to write about others because I don’t want to involve the people or situation involved.

And that’s the problem with this being a public journal is that sometimes I want to get things of my chest, in the way that I do, but sometimes that would mean putting current situations out there in a way that doesn’t seem fair.

Or even if I wrote about the issues in a way that didn’t name anyone, I would wonder if there was an underlying passive aggressive tone to my writing, as if I were continuing a fight, one sided, through my words on the screen. 

This isn’t the first time this has happened.  I come across situations regularly that I want to write about, but they are too current and too involved and it would call someone out for me to write on it so I start a draft and then drop it.  Later when I come back to it I can’t remember enough detail to finish it.

I need to get a better system of writing and storing entries so that maybe these “in the moment” ones can be written, but then posted down the line, when the moment has passed and I don’t have something to write about. 

Writing this is important to me and to my mental health, and I’ve found that when I have something I want to write, but feel that I can’t, I’ll completely stop writing for a day or two, and face a sort of writers block around it. 

Kind of like when I need to process something and I can’t see anything else until I work through that.  You know, like that. . . 

It’s almost like I use my writing as a place to process things and by stopping the writing process I’m trying to stop my process of processing.  (Say that 5 times fast).

In the mean time, I have other ways I work out hard emotions, and I’ll focus on them to get around and through this.  

Overwhelmed

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

 

I’m overwhelmed

I feel it starting in my gut.

Crawling into my chest.

It fills my lungs.

Threatens to escape in a yell

With every single breath.

I’m overwhelmed.

 

I’m overwhelmed.

I want to run.

The easiest way to run is to die.

The easiest way to run is to leave.

The easiest way to run is to hide.

Everyone leaves in the end.

I’m overwhelmed.

 

I’m overwhelmed.

I start seeing all the things that are wrong.

I start seeing ways that I’m failing.

I start seeing needs that aren’t being met.

I start seeing conversations I can’t seem to have.

I start seeing things that upset me.

I’m overwhelmed.

 

I’m overwhelmed

All of it’s coming so fast.

Life seemed just fine before.

Why is it bothering me now.

Am I just looking for trouble.

Are things really just fine.

I’m overwhelmed.

 

I’m overwhelmed.

Sitting with difficult feelings.

Finding peace with the chaos inside.

Distance from the emotions.

Waiting before I react.

It’s okay to not be okay.

I’m overwhelmed.

Thankful

Really Real Thanksgiving Post

I had a hard time figuring out how to write this one, even though I knew what I wanted to say.

Thanksgiving is really hard for me.  It’s one of my favorite, but also least favorite holidays of the year.  It holds the best memories, but also the some of the hardest.

I mean, it’s a holiday and that’s kind of what happens around holidays, we link a lot of memories to these “special days” and it makes sense that some of them aren’t going to be great.  Maybe a lot of them.  But hopefully we have some good ones.

I remember the first holiday meal that I offered to host was a Thanksgiving, probably 14 years ago.  I didn’t own any sort of mixer except for one of those hand crank mixers and I made mashed potatoes from scratch using one of those.  I got one hell of an arm work out.

My older sister bought me my stand mixer for Christmas that year and it was the start of us bonding online, over a love of cooking.  I still have that Kitchen Aid.  It’s one of the things I carried through countless moves and stored through homelessness and carried across state lines.  It means the world to me because of the bond it represents between my sister and I.  (This is another one of those things she may have no clue about, Hi Sis!)

It also reminds me of that first Thanksgiving that I hosted.   That first Thanksgiving is also where I found the recipe for my turkey.

I’m so thankful every year I get to make the turkey.

Everyone loves my turkey.

But some years I didn’t get to make the turkey.

One year we were too broke to buy dinner so we went to a soup kitchen instead.

One year we were in a hotel provided by the Red Cross, eating dinner out of Styrofoam containers sent over by a church, because we’d had a house fire 2 days before.

And holidays are still hard.  Thanksgiving was the first major holiday without Parker.  It hit me today that this is the 3rd one without her and that just seems impossible that it’s been that long.

This year it’s the first major holiday with Kidlet all grown up and moved out.

But I’m always happier when I get to make the turkey, and it’s kind of funny when we are going to someones house and I offer to bring a turkey, but they are normally kind of thankful, I think.

And I make a really damn good turkey (as the anxiety hits that I’m going to fuck it up this year, but that’s a pretty typical anxiety for me).

But I’m thankful that I’m spending the day with friends and with the woman I love.

I’m thankful that I get to make the turkey.

Case of the Blah

Really Real Mental Health Post

The pharmacy is back ordered on my main anxiety medication, Buspirone.  Luckily I knew before I ran out so last week I took half my normal dose but this last few days I’m totally out.  They have no idea when it’ll be back in stock.

And I’m fighting constant low grade anxiety now.

Everything I do is a little bit harder.

Batwoman and I will go to stretch at the gym and I’m worried about exactly where our mats are located because we might be in the way of someone else and they might walk past us.

Things that I was just saying were a non-issue a few weeks ago.

Better living through chemistry, except things like this happen, and needing medication to function properly means I depend on the manufacturer to make the drugs.

This is why I used to hoard medications.

Except I stopped hoarding them when the back stock of medications became tempting as an overdose technique.  I had months of this medication at one point.  It was a 3x a day medication and I regularly forgot the afternoon dose so I ended up with plenty extra.  I got rid of all of it.

And right now I’m thankful for the people I have in my life.

My anxiety is so bad it’s causing depression.  It’s causing me to want to walk away from the things that I know will work.

Instead I’ve got Wonder Woman who held me this morning at butt early AM while I broke down because I’m convinced that the gym is pointless because I’m not losing weight and my body isn’t changing and I don’t feel stronger and I’m losing all of my motivation.  And she just let me get it out and just held me while I got if off my chest and out into the air so it stopped eating me alive.

And then when I was ready to back out of going to the gym today Batwoman listened to me complain about how I’m not losing weight and my body isn’t changing and I don’t feel stronger and I’m losing my motivation and she reminded me that we made it through that last class even though we thought we were gonna die, and we didn’t die, and we came back the next day, so I am getting stronger, and I am changing, and it is working.  And then she asked if she needed to carry me to the gym kicking and screaming, because we both know that once I go and work it out I’ll feel better and the anxiety will maybe let up a bit.

But first I sat down to write, because I know that putting my fingers to the keys and processing this all through type is one of the ways I can help myself.

It’s not fair that I’m so dependent some manufacturer who doesn’t even know me.  It’s not fair that my stability is based on some tiny little rectangle pill.  And it’s not fair that without it I’m feeling constant nausea from this never ending feeling of impending doom.

But all I can do is rely on what’s available to me in these moments.  Those around me who love me, and doing what I know works even when I don’t want to.

Conflicting

Really Real Mental Health Post

Or at least, it sort of falls under mental health but I sort of think everyone does it.

I have this really bad habit of trying to wait till the perfect time to bring a difficult discussion up.

Like I’ve said before, conflict is really difficult for me.  It goes back to my childhood when conflict didn’t happen without some form of emotional explosion.  I see things in super bright colors so even minor yelling seemed like fireworks and arms waving seemed like pots and pans flying.  I can’t tell you how bad it actually got because in my head it was all horrible.  And I don’t know how much of that horrible was different from what other children experienced.  I don’t know how much of it was just me being “too sensitive” and how much of it was a really toxic environment.

And as an adult I became the yeller and I dated and later married people who were really good at keeping up with the yelling and the arm waving and we made our own fireworks.

And now, I’m so afraid of those fireworks that when something bothers me I hold back.  And I know I’ve written about some of this before, but processing isn’t a once and done, so here we go again.

I hold back because the person has something difficult going on in their life, so I won’t talk about the thing bothering me, because it might be too much on them, and therefore make it more likely to explode, so I’ll wait.  And then I wait because there’s another stressful thing, or because I’m not in the right mood and I’m more likely to become upset.

It’s a really hard lesson for me to learn that hard conversations don’t have to mean fights.

I think, It’s an even harder lesson for me to learn that I’m allowed to be upset about things.  To me, being angry or upset means I’m going to yell and scream because that’s what anger looks like.

To be frustrated and stay calm means some sort of passive aggressiveness or plotting or silent treatment.  It can’t mean I’m angry and I understand, I’m frustrated and I’m okay with that.  Except now, that’s exactly what is does mean for me.

Even separating those feelings, anger, frustration, upset. . . . and the underlying anxiety that I feel because of them,  they all have little nuances that I was never able to figure out because I was too busy reacting instead of reflecting.

But knowing this stuff also means that I’m even more likely to hold back because I work through the emotions and decide that it’s not worth acting on or even talking about.

Finding the balance, working through these emotions while still verbalizing what’s bothering me without waiting for the perfect time, is really really hard.

It creates its own type of conflict, an internal one.

I’m relearning a lifetime of unhealthy skills and it won’t happen overnight.

But it’s happening.

Friends

Really Real Life Post

Yesterday I had an intake for a therapy group that is starting next week.  I’m super excited about this as I’ve been trying to find and get into a Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills group for a few years now and it’s finally happening.

These groups are a mix between an educational, skills based group, and group therapy.  I’ll learn how to work through negative thought patterns, intrusive thoughts (like my suicidal thoughts tend to be), extreme emotions, and also how to cope with trauma.  Lots of mindfulness and living in the moment kind of stuff.  The group facilitators are specifically trained in DBT skills and overall it tends to have really good outcomes.

It’s a 42 week commitment, once a week, 2 hour groups.   Bring it on!

Anyway, that’s not really what this is about though.  One of the intake questions was about my friends.  “Who are your most supportive friends and family?”

And I realized that, in person, I have a lot of people, but that my closest friends are all online and spread around the globe.  Most of them I met online first, even if I’ve since met them in person.  Most of them I’ve never met in person but I’ve known online for more than a decade.

The biggest part of my tribe are my online friends who I reach through a screen.  They are my best and closest friends even though they are so far away.  They are part of my chosen family, even though I’ve never sat in the same physical space with them.  They are the ones I can’t wait to tell the newest and greatest news to, even though I will only hear their excitement through the words that show up on my screen.

It’s not that I don’t have any in person, people.  But most of them I haven’t known as long, and those friendships have changed drastically over time.  Friendships wax and wane and it seems that online, it’s easier to handle that change in dynamics.  The difference in communication makes it a bit easier to deal with life changes as well.

For whatever reason, there’s a specific group of friends that I’ve known for about 18 years and we’ve been through thick and thin together.

I know I’m lucky to have the support network I do.  My girlfriend, my derby friends, my other local friends, my family who all support me in different ways no matter if they are local or far away.  I think one of the most significant differences the past 2.5 years has been the support network I’ve built around me.

But don’t discount online friendships, they’re as real as anything else, and I know during some of my worst times they have been a lifesaver, and during some of my best times, they have cheered the loudest.