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.

We Look Like You

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’ve heard it a few times before.

“You don’t look like you’re crazy.”

But what exactly does mental illness look like?

I sat in my DBT group today and couldn’t stay focused. I spent some time looking around at our group of 10 people, 12 if you count the instructors (who, as Social Workers, most likely have diagnoses of their own, it’s pretty common) and we are all different shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds and education levels. This class is taught in modules with a few of us switching out every month and with me on my 37th week, I’ve seen a lot of people come through here. We all look different, we all have different stories.

None of us “look crazy.”

Well, maybe a few of us, especially those of us with pink and purple hair, and bright pink unicorn covered skirts and sparkly rainbow Docs.

That’s me, maybe I look a little crazy.

The other day on mobility there was a huge mix up and I got stuck on the bus without a drop off scheduled. “It’s really important that I don’t miss my therapy appointment, is this fixable quickly?”

“What? Are you one of those bipolar people, turn into the she-hulk or something, start hitting people with trash cans?” I told him it wasn’t quite like that. He says, “I don’t know, you look like you’ve got a streak in ya.”

What exactly does that streak look like? And we won’t go into just how wrong that entire conversation was, fuck that nonsense.

But, mental illness doesn’t have a look, and I’m amazed that there are people who think it does. It’s part of the stigma that still attached. You’re crazy therefore you must be visibly ill, visibly disheveled, you must wear it like a scarlet letter.

What exactly does mental illness look like?

It looks just like me.

It looks just like my neighbor down the street.

It looks just like that law student.

It looks just like that therapist.

It looks just like that EMT.

It looks just like your doctor.

It looks just like you.

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!

Be Still

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.

But I did.

First I woke up Wonder Woman and asked her to hold me and remind me that it was just depression and that I really did need to get up and go to the gym.

(I realize how lucky I am to have a woman who doesn’t get mad at me when I wake her up for those sorts of reminders. She even threw a “You’ll feel better afterwards” in there.)

And then I packed my bag with clothes for DBT and I went to the gym with Bat Woman and I did the things.

(And Wonder Woman wasn’t wrong. I felt a bit better afterwards.)

And then I went to DBT and participated fully.

And then I sat reading chapters and articles for school while waiting for mobility.

But I still feel like I’m just going through the motions.

I still feel like I’m walking through a fog.

Now that I’m home I want to go take a nap, and I can’t tell if that would be great self care, or if it would be giving into depression. It really could go either way.

I guess it depends on if I get up when I wake up the first time, or if I lay there for 3 hours wallowing in self pity about how this depression

just

won’t

let

go.

I appreciate the fact that my moods have stabilized on my current medications, however, I kind of miss the hypomania breaking the monotony of the depression.

The other one is, I definitely don’t miss actual crises occurring in my life. I’m so glad I’ve had this past year or two where I haven’t spent most of my time in therapy putting out fires and have instead been able to spend time healing from all of the trauma. But, I miss the rush of crisis mode.

I miss the adrenaline and emotional response that was needed to survive that sort of thing.

Maybe that’s part of my depression. Maybe I was just so used to living in crisis mode for so long that now when I stop, when there isn’t something to fix, a fire to put out, something to be reacting to . . .

Maybe I’m still learning how to just

be still.

I’ll get there.

Racing the Clock pt 2

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m racing the clock again.

This time I’m supposed to be heading out the door to the gym with Bat Woman, which is the start of my long ass, exhausting, emotionally draining, Wednesday.

But I warned her I was running a few minutes late and she’ll wait for me.

Therapy yesterday was hard as I suspected.

But it was also easy.

The words flowed easily, but I kept trying to veer off topic onto other things and she had to keep bringing me back. As much as this is about me, it’s also about getting my needs met within my relationship which requires me speaking up about my needs.

And that is hard for me.

Speaking up about my needs could lead to conflict and I avoid conflict like the plague.

And I’m not sure how self worth and body image became yet another conversation about how much I need to speak up.

Another conversation about changing boundaries within a long term relationship.

Another conversation about things being wonderful and not quite right at the same time.

Another conversation about how it can be both and that is okay.

I’m really good at looking at the positive and stuffing my feelings, and my needs, and that works for a time.  Sometimes for a long time. And then things boil over and for days and days the feelings and the repressed needs seem to bubble up. This used to mean a pattern of a seemingly perfect life for weeks at a time followed by days or weeks of ugly fighting over and over again as I pointed out all of the things that were wrong.

And then I would go back to ignoring them and things would or wouldn’t change.

Yesterday Wonder Woman started crying because she felt like we’d had hard talks 3 days in a row. Like I’d gotten angry or frustrated or sad with her over something each day.

This is that pattern coming back again.  The benefit this time around is that there isn’t ugly fighting. I don’t scream and yell and nag and there isn’t passive aggressive bullshit while I work it out of my system.

But it’s still not fair to Wonder Woman.

And it’s not fair to me.

She gets blind sided, being told that things aren’t okay.  Being told that things I’d previously explicitly said were fine or even great, are very much not okay.

So, I still need to figure out what to do about not feeling wanted, and a lot of that is learning to love myself where I’m at, and also a big big part of it is just depression.

So, we didn’t focus on it a lot at therapy, and instead we focused on how much I need to speak up.

Therapy is always a love/hate relationship but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Racing the Clock

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m racing the clock with this post.

It’s 14 minutes till therapy and that’s not counting the time it’ll take me to walk from the coffee shop, but I feel the need to get this out of my head before I walk into that office.

So I’m writing.

Today is going to be a hard session.

I know it.

I already know what we’re going to talk about, I’ve known since last night. It’s a hard topic but one I need to work on deeply.

Self worth.

I don’t feel wanted because I don’t feel deserving of that sort of affection. So even though Wonder Women shows me that sort of attention I don’t always see it.

Well, that’s not even it. I see it, but I don’t internalize it.

I see it as something she’s doing out of obligation. Something she’s doing because she has to. Not something she’s doing because she actually wants me or finds my body attractive.

I guess it isn’t self worth exactly.

It’s more body image, but not even that exactly. It’s so complicated.

I’ve lost 20 lbs in the last month (and before someone says that’s too much, my doctors are on board.  Noom is the shit and I highly recommend that program to anyone.). I feel like I’m becoming more attractive. I feel sexy, I feel sexual. But I don’t feel like anyone else could possibly see me that way.

Anyway, 3 minutes till therapy and I still have to walk to the building.  Guess I should get going.

Today’s session is going to be hard but needed.

I have a love/hate relationship with therapy.

Question of the Day: Wednesday Check-In

Today’s Question Is:

How are you doing so far this week?

This has been a pretty good week so far. Monday was therapy and pdoc and I handled that busy day pretty well. Today is my really full day which often leaves me feeling overwhelmed.

I went to the gym at 10 this morning and then my gym buddy and I grabbed a quick lunch. That’s followed by DBT from 1-3, which is exhausting by itself. Then I’ll take mobility to the library where I have a NAMI support group from 6-730 and then I rush to Roller Derby which doesn’t end till 10.

I have dinner in the crockpot which we won’t get to eat until after we get home from Derby.

I’m hoping I can use my coping mechanisms to get through the day without the emotional meltdown that is pretty typical for my Wednesdays.

But, we’re halfway through the week.

How are you doing so far this week?