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?

Blanket Fort

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

TW: Suicdal Thoughts. Guns. Possibly disturbing descriptions.

I spent most of yesterday evening in bed, under my blankets.

Wide awake, but shutting the world out.

Suicidal thoughts swirling around, like stars in the galaxy.

I had plans and means but couldn’t hold onto a thought long enough to have the drive to put anything into action.

I guess my scatter brain saved me from becoming any real danger to myself.

Either way it was uncomfortable and I was afraid to get out of bed because then the means would be too accessible.

And when I’d lose track of my suicidal thoughts I didn’t want to get out of bed because I was just to defeated to move.

I kept hearing a gun shot going off in my head.

Not that I have access to guns, I know better, but I just kept hearing the sound reverberating in my head.

It’s what happens when the thoughts get bad. It’s been the same since middle school. The thoughts would get bad and I knew there was a loaded gun in my dad’s night stand drawer and I could hear it going off in my head.

And I’d fight against letting it happen.

I wonder what it feels like when the barrel is pressed against your skull?

I wonder what it sounds like when the gun goes off?

Does it sound different when the vibrations are right there up close?

Do you even have time to hear it?

I wonder if I would screw that up too and live and just be a burden on everyone around me.

It really is better that I don’t have access to guns.

And the thing is, I’m not actually having a horrible morning. I woke up, I measured out my food and logged it in a new program I’m trying. I’m planning on being all crafty and making shit in a little bit.

But still, the dark thoughts are just swirling around.

I’d kinda rather be dead.

I wish it was a therapy day, not that therapy is a quick fix but I always feel safer when she reassures me that these thoughts aren’t going to kill me. That I don’t need to be locked away to be safe from myself. That this isn’t a crisis.

It feels like a crisis but also doesn’t.

They are just there, quietly hanging over my shoulder.

I feel like I can almost have a conversation with them.

“Hey, what’s up? Please don’t let the cat out as you come and go.”

Watching Me Fall

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning:  Talk of past suicidal thoughts

I’m thankful that I started writing my story like this, and I’m thankful that I share my journey on Facebook where every day it reminds me where I was a year ago.

A year ago I was on a very quick spiral downwards.  I was in a very dark place and it wasn’t getting better.

I’ve been watching it happen, through my memories, day by day, since early March.  Post after post about suicidal thoughts, holding on, trying to decide what treatment option was best.

I forgot about the fear though.  I felt that the wrong move would certainty end in death.  I felt like I had to choose the right direction because I wouldn’t have a second chance.

I forgot how deep and how dark it was.  How much control it had.

The suicidal thoughts haven’t gone away.  I get periods where they are less severe and I’m able to easily flick them into the background.  Then there are periods when I thought they were still just as bad as they had been a year ago.  However, reading the post today I realized that there isn’t as much fear as there was.

I’m able to see a future even while I want to die.

I’m able to see mutliple options and I don’t feel as trapped.

A year ago I wrote that during the worst of it, I couldn’t even see far enough forward to imagine someone finding me and worrying about what that would do to them.  I couldn’t see past death.

Now, I’ve realized, even while I’m wanting to die and working out plans, I worry about what will happen when Wonder Woman finds me.  What will happen if it doesn’t work.  What will happen past the attempt.

I think about the future even while I’m thinking about the finality of death.

My therapist kept saying I was future oriented during my suicidal periods and I understood what she meant, but this makes me remember how much I wasn’t future oriented a year ago.

It makes me realize how far I’ve come.

And while my suicidal thoughts are still dangerous now, it makes me realize just how dangerous they were a year ago.

I can remember being there.  I can still put myself in that place and feel that emptiness and that desire to just be gone.  I remember the longing for wellness and the desire to stop fighting for it.

I remember how tired I was and also how driven.

I remember the terror of making the wrong choice.

Sometimes I think I’ve lost all of my progress when I spend a night fighting my own brain.  I think these skills I’ve learned are useless and I’m not fighting hard enough or learning fast enough.

And then I see a post like this and realize how far I’ve come in the past year.

How even in the worst of the darkness, my growth shows.

One Year Ago and Today

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today my Facebook memories reminded me that one year ago I wrote a big, long, really real mental health post about suicidal thoughts I was having.

It was hard to go back and read those dark words from that dark space.

It took me back to that time where I got a message from a friend at just the right time to help me.  A message letting me know that she was thinking of me, even though she had no idea I was in such a dark space.

This is one of the reasons I do what I do.  So that a year from now I can see these words and remember where I was.  I can see my growth and my progress.  See the dark and also the light.  I can also see how far my writing has come in that time.

Today I’m fighting depression, but the dark, suicidal thoughts are mostly quiet, only peeking their heads out but not taking hold.  I have a plan to handle the pain that I’m in, which will hopefully give me some relief through the trip this weekend.

I still fight suicidal thoughts sometimes, nothing has really changed there, they still get really dark, really fast and I’m still learning how to sit with them without them becoming so dangerous.

I think I’ve gained a lot of skills in the last year, through my time in partial, and my time in DBT, but at the same time.  I handle the flow of my moods a lot better.

Things may not change as far as my moods shifting and the suicidal thoughts coming, but how I handle them has changed and will continue to change and get better.  I’m growing and learning and doing better.

And I still have amazing support around me, for which I’m quite thankful.

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.

DBT Graduate

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I graduated from DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) today.

For 6 months I’ve spent 2 hours every Wednesday, working, intently, on skills to better myself and my mental health.

For 6 months I’ve focused on homework every week that has me practicing specific skills we learned in class that week.

For 6 months I’ve been adding more and more skills to my toolbox, making them part of my every day life and routine.

For 6 months this group has changed my life for the better.

And today I graduated.

Today they went around the room and talked about how I had impacted the lives of each person in the group.  Two of us were graduating, two of us who had started together 6 months ago.

I would completely recommend DBT to anyone who has high emotional reactivity.  Honestly, I think they are skills that should be taught in school, but since they aren’t, those of us who have mental health shit, need DBT skills in our lives.

So, today I graduated, and today I also made the decision to repeat the entire 6 month program to pick up any pieces I missed along the way.  They actually recommend you do it twice for just that reason.  You spend the first 6 months getting used to the basics of the skills, and the second time around you can learn things a bit more in depth as you pick up on everything you missed and repeat the coursework.

Why not?  It’s not like I have anything better to do on Wednesday afternoons.

I’m kidding, there’s a lot of reasons for me to do this again and I’ve put a lot of thought into it.  I had planned to take the next section or two off, and then go back, but this next section is distress tolerance, and considering how wildly my moods have been swinging, it’s a good idea to get a refresher on this section right now.

So, here’s to more DBT!

 

The good kind of boring.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m not really sure how many days it’s been since my last post.

Only a day or two, I guess, but it feels much longer than that.  I’m on more solid ground again, can’t even believe that I was so low, so recently.

Today I officiated at a derby bout and there were a few people who asked how I was doing, then, when I said I was doing good, they gave me that look.  That look like, “What aren’t you telling us?”

I don’t exactly understand it either, two days ago my brain was trying to kill me.  Two days ago walking out into traffic seemed like a perfectly logical plan.  And now, I’m fine.  Nothing has changed.  No medication changes, no major life changes, nothing.

Welcome to life with mental illness.  Don’t like what’s on the mood channel?  Wait a few minutes, it’ll change!

Except it doesn’t always happen that way.

Sometimes, you really want it to change and it doesn’t.  Sometimes, you really want it to stay where it is, and it changes.  Sometimes, you are intensely suicidal one day, and then back to boring old mixed mood symptoms the next.

I’m happy with this kind of boring.  This is the good kind of boring.

The dishes are piling up in the sink because I’m pushing hard enough to find the motivation to cook, but I’m having a hard time finding the motivation to clean up afterwards.

I’m okay with that.

I’m getting hyperfocused on projects that take me all day, and then looking for the next project, and the next, and I must do all of the things.

I’m okay with that.

My sleep is either too much or too little.

I’m okay with that.

I’m still struggling to stick to a budget and I really can explain exactly why it’s perfectly logical for me to buy everything.

I’m okay with that.

I have to talk myself into showering and even brushing my teeth.

I’m okay with that.

I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks or more.

I’m not really okay with that, but I’m not ready to change it either.

This is the good kind of boring.  This is the kind of boring that isn’t trying to kill me.

I see my pdoc on Tuesday and I’m sure we’ll talk about all of this.  I have a nice, month worth of notes for her.  I have no idea if we’ll change medications or not, but at least we can talk about what options there are and if we want to consider changing something.  Some of this isn’t really fixable.  Unfortunately, some of this is just riding it out, weathering the storm, and using my skills to make the best of it.

This is the good kind of boring, though.  I’ll take it.