One Little Piece of Bone

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Parker tripped off a step.

She was taking Siah out for a walk, something that fell on her shoulders far more often than mine, and Siah went the wrong way around the porch rail. Parker lost her footing and tripped off the edge of the porch.

She broke the tip of her bone, in a non weight bearing area that normally causes some pain but doesn’t even keep people off of their feet. Most people don’t even realize they broke it.

But hers never healed and 3 years ago today she went into surgery to have it removed and have some ligaments and tendons moved around so everything would heal properly.

I took some pictures and a video of her that day in the pre-surgery room.

She hated me taking her picture.

I’m kinda glad she did because it allowed me to get “the Parker look” on video.

She was still wearing the boot from surgery the day she died.

These next few weeks are a series of memories leading up to the day she died. These next few weeks are the final moments. The tension, the struggle. Things just weren’t right and I didn’t see it.

But it wasn’t my job to.

I can’t believe it’s been a full three years.

But I can’t believe it’s only been three years.

Time is a dichotomy.

I’ve felt this grief building in my gut since the beginning of the month, I knew it was coming.

But I’m not sad right now. I’m grieving for sure, but it’s not the gut punching sadness.

It’s hard to explain.

I miss her. I miss who she was and who she would be now.

I miss the Parker look when I would do something supremely unhelpful to the situation.

But I’m not sad. This isn’t that kind of grief.

I’m at peace with where life is right now.

But I also know that may change over the coming weeks as it gets closer to June 8th.

I hope she’s at peace where ever she is.

I don’t have a specific believe in an afterlife, but I don’t have a non-belief either. I know she’s somewhere even if it’s just the ashes in a box. She still exists either as matter or a soul, somewhere.

I hope she’s at peace, where ever that is.

She spent too much of her life not at peace.

One little piece of bone.

That’s all she broke.

 

 

Oh no . . . That’s today.

scientific calculator ii

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

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.

Shining light on all my dark splotches

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I just left therapy where we talked a lot about body image and why I am no longer able to be body positive like I once was.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit.  I hate the skin that I am in.

At one point I worked out and I felt stronger, I lost weight, I felt I had control and was able to change the shape of this body of mine.

Now I have no control.

Medications have taken that control from me.

The same medication that reduced my suicidal thoughts has increased my weight and changed the distribution of my weight so that my abdomen is larger.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit.  I hate the skin I am in.

I have an auto-inflammatory condition called hidradenitis suppurativa.

It causes painful abscesses, wounds, and tracts to develop in hair follicles and sweat glands in my underarms, breasts and groin.  When they heal they leave behind scar tissue.

My body is attacking itself.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

Parker once asked me if I had to tell people I had HS. She was affirming that it was something to be ashamed of, something to hide.

I am afraid of sex, afraid of being seen naked because I’m fat and covered in sores and scar tissue. I can’t imagine that anyone, even Wonder Woman, would want to look at me. I hide my body. I have to fight against my own brain whenever I undress in front of her.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

Even clothed I hate looking at myself in the mirror, my clothes no longer fit correctly, I’ve had to buy larger shirts. All I can see is my rolls and my fat. I see the parts of me that don’t fit in seats correctly.

“You’re pull up two chairs kinda big” is what my father once said.

I am pissed off at the body I inhabit. I hate the skin I am in.

I miss the days when I felt strong. I miss feeling beautiful.

I want to love the body I inhabit. Why can’t I love the skin I am in?

Maybe shining light on all of these dark thoughts is the beginning to loving myself again.

 

What If?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Anxiety is a bitch.

I’m in South Carolina this weekend, at my soon-to-be in-law’s, spending the Easter holiday with family.  But I’m anxious. What if I’m too much? What if I’m not enough? What if, what if, what if?

For the most part, I’m having fun.  Her mom is a wonderful person and it’s a blast to hear old family stories and learn about people I may never have a chance to meet.  It’s fun to learn where Wonder Woman came from.

But still I’m anxious.  

What if I say the wrong thing?  What if I act too weird? What if they don’t like me?

I asked Wonder Woman, before we got off the plane, “Will their opinion of me change how you feel about me?”  “Of course not!”

But anxiety is a bitch.

Soon we’ll head to Easter Dinner.  Nieces and Nephews and Sisters. More family, most of whom I’ve met before, but still I’m anxious.

What if I’m too much?  What if I’m not enough?

What if they’ve read all of the things I’ve posted on facebook and already decided that they can’t handle this much crazy?

What if none of this really matters anyway?

What if I just go and be myself and have a good time?

What if I just, for this once, stop worrying about all of the what if’s and instead focus on enjoying myself, being myself, and letting people take me or leave me as I am?

What if?

Happy Easter everyone!

So much to do, So little time.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I still hurt today.  I woke up feeling like my hip had let up, but as the day has gone on, it has gotten worse and worse.

Now I’m back to not being able to get comfortable, and feeling like I’m going to cry.

I emailed my doctor and asked her if she’d send me for imaging without an office visit.  It seems dumb to go in just to have her say “We need Xrays and if that doesn’t show anything we need an MRI.”

But I said this was a mental health post.

I feel defeated.

I’ve been doing really well with going back to the gym and walking almost every night and today I went to the gym and I feel like I’m paying for it.

The gym is a necessary component of my self care.  It is a necessary component of my mental health care, right up there with meds and therapy.  And right now this hip pain is threatening my ability to access the gym.

I’m also catastrophizing a lot which isn’t helping me deal with the pain as it is right now.  I’m so used to being dismissed when I talk to doctors about my pain, that I’m already seeing a scenario where I have to learn to live around this intense pain.  I’m already imagining what life will be like if this has to become my new normal.

I mean, I just went through this with back pain.  They sent me to a few months of physical therapy, no imaging was done, and when that didn’t help I was told it was just back pain, it was normal, especially in someone my size, and I’d just have to learn to deal with it.  Keep going to the gym, keep doing what I’m doing.  It’s all that can be done, really.

I’m just a fat crazy woman who is exaggerating.

And even writing this I feel like I’m whining.

But I feel defeated.  I don’t even know what’s wrong and I’d almost rather lay down and die then go fight the doctors to get proper treatment that I know I won’t get anyway.

Pain definitely takes a toll on my mental health.  I’m tired of it.

I’m tired.

Pieces

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Also a Really Real Writing Post.

I pride myself on being open and vulnerable.

I share so much of myself, so much of who I am and what I think, here, with fingers to keys.

But the words on your screen are carefully chosen.  Each letter has been read and reread, thought and overthought, edited and clarified.

While you are seeing the real truth, straight from my heart, and soul, and mind, you are also seeing something that I have worried about, and sometimes agonized over, before hitting send.

Is this clear enough?

Will it be received in the way it is being sent?

Can my words be twisted into meanings that I don’t intend?

I often plan out the written pieces in my head before putting fingers to keys.  Then after writing I spend time reading them in various voices, the voices of my friends and loved ones, and attempting to predict your reactions to the words on the screen.

Will I be understood?

Often it’s this playacting in my head that keeps me from writing about certain topics or certain people.  My intention is never to cause harm to a person or relationship.

I want to help people, including myself, through the words I put on the screen.

I write about hard subjects and difficult topics.  Sometimes scary, sometimes sad.  I don’t want to cause undue stress because a comma could have been better placed or a different word could have been chosen.

I may not ever be concise in my wording; I will always use ten words where two would have done, but I always try to be clear.

However, each of you will take what you need from what I have to say.  Each of you will find your own lessons in my words.  Each of you will form your own relationship with the letters I have put on the screen, just as I have.

These words are so much more than individual letters,

they are pieces of me.

Speak Up, I Can’t Hear You

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’ve talked before about “shining light into all the dark spaces.”  Often, that’s what writing is for me, a way to shine light into the deep dark areas of my mental illness and remove the power that goes along with hiding it.  It’s a HUGE part of what I believe in.  Removing the stigma by “Sharing my story and speaking my truth.”

Except, when I’m suicidal, the fog grabs hold of me and silences me.  It tells me, if I reach out I’ll be attention seeking, or bothering people with my whining.  It tells me people don’t want to hear that I’m fighting those demons again, for the umpteenth time this year.  It tells me I have to do it alone, quietly, without bothering anyone else.  It tells me no one else has the time or energy to deal with my crazy.

But this is dumb.

The second I share my struggles…

The second I put finger to keys and hit send…

The second I put sound to lips to be heard by another’s ear…

…my pain lessens.  The load is lifted slightly.

It’s almost like, shining light into all the dark spaces, makes those spaces a little less dark.  (Who woulda thought!?!)

But first I have to be able to see my way out, enough, to find my own voice.

Sometimes people are reaching in, and I can’t even find my voice to tell them.

Sometimes I don’t even know what I need to say, except, “Help”, and I don’t know what help I need, except someone to just be there.

I know, when I’m in that space I can totally understand why Parker didn’t speak up.  It’s hard to reach out from within that void.  It’s hard to find my way out of the fog far enough to ask for help.

I think it takes a different sort of strength to ask for that kind of help, to admit to that kind of pain, over and over and over again.

For now, those thoughts are quiet.  I have no doubt that they’ll find their way back at some point.  All I can do is prepare myself to do battle again, and to reach out to lighten the load a bit.