Tired

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I’m tired.

I started to write out a list of all of the things I’m tired of, but it’s really hard to articulate.

I’m tired on a physical level, we still haven’t quite figured out what’s making me sleep so damn much.

But I’m also tired of the world.

Tired of the news.

Tired of COVID.

Tired of politics.

Tired of feeling like this country is going to explode over the coming weeks.

Tired of being afraid.

Tired

of being tired.

Tonight, I’m endlessly scrolling facebook.

Knowing I should put some effort into being creative.

Knowing I should

do

something.

But I’m tired.

We had to get up “early” this morning.

Early for me.

Clearing out the spare room and loads of old furniture and boxes in the basement.

Finally turning the spare room into an office.

Something that should have been done months and months ago.

I got so much done in the last 48 hours, but it has left me tired to the bone.

Worn out.

In pain.

I used spoons that weren’t really available to me.

Taking them from tomorrow, and probably the day after that.

I’m tired.

I have family that is so wrapped up in the MAGA lies.

Conspiracy theorists.

I’ve found myself pulling further and further away from them.

Backing away slowly.

Trying to maintain the peace while also maintaining my sanity.

It’s sad.

We were once close.

And now I can’t even be my true self to them.

They don’t get it.

And they have no interest in getting it.

And I’m sad.

All in all, I’m doing really well.

The dishes are done.

The stove is clean.

The trash cans are empty.

I’m not really

depressed

but I still don’t feel like I’m

living.

I’m stuck in this web of exhaustion that is taking over my entire body.

We’re decreasing my nightmare med, hoping that helps.

Trying to walk a fine line, keeping me nightmare free,

while hopefully releasing me from the grips of this exhaustion.

I’m tired.

I’m ready for this phase of my life to be over.

I’m ready to move on to where we can see each other again.

To where my calendar isn’t blank for days and days.

I’m ready to have enough energy to return to some sort of work.

I’m ready to make my own money again.

I’m ready to see what’s next.

I’m tired of what is now.

I’m tired.

He’s a human

This is a Really Real Trauma post.

I had more dreams about my dad last night.

I’m doing some serious processing around his death, how he died, how he lived, etc.

In these dreams he was actually human.

Like, he actually admitted he was fallible.

He admitted that he had fears.

He made a mistake in the dream, and my whole body tensed.

I was waiting for the explosion.

I was waiting for him to find some reason to blame it on me.

But he didn’t.

He laughed it off and said it was a silly mistake.

We’d just start over.

That night he had gone to bed without taking care of his hair.

I have no idea what that means, really,

but he woke up with a head full of frizzy hair that was standing on its end.

He said he’d have to shave it to fix it.

I told him I had shampoo that would help make it curly again.

He said “The only thing more fearful than shaving my head, is using weird shampoo.”

My dad used the same soap and shampoo for as long as I can remember.

When his old style herbal essence (in the green bottle) was being phased out, he bought a case of it, and was very grumpy about switching to their new product.

He used Zest, but only until the bars were half used. Then they ended up somewhere in a drawer to be used in the shower, or something.

Maybe just to fill up drawers, they were everywhere in his house.

When someone around me gets hurt, I laugh.

Not because I’m being an asshole,

not because I think it’s funny,

but because I’m anxious.

It’s a nervous laugh.

I’m waiting for the explosion.

I’m waiting for the yelling and the screaming.

I’m waiting for it to be somehow blamed on me.

He was such an abusive asshole.

And he never realized it.

He treated everyone around him like shit, to the point that I know I’m having a dream because he’s acting human.

Instead of acting like a monster.

But monsters are fictional.

And he was really, really, real.

Looking Back

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

And a Really Real Trauma post.

And a Really Real Growth post.

I look back at year after year of “this past year” posts that I have made.

Those where I was struggling to hold on through extreme poverty.

Those where I was homeless,

where I was staying with others,

where I’ve had my own place.

Those where Parker and I were holding on to each other for dear life,

as the world threw everything it could at us.

Those where I broke free from codependency,

where I learned to stand on my own two feet.

where I learned I could do anything.

Those where I learned it was okay to lean on my community around me.

This year all of those lessons were necessary to get me through.

I started off the year working for the first time in longer than I can remember.

I felt accomplished.

I felt like I had overcome so much.

This year I put my feelings and my abuse aside,

I went to care for my dying father.

A father who didn’t really deserve that care.

But I did it for me.

This year I learned that sometimes,

we get punished for a good deed.

My world was shattered with a single gunshot.

But,

I survived.

I’m coming out on the other side.

Slowly.

I learned that I can make really hard decisions.

That I can save my own life.

I learned,

again,

that I have an amazing community around me.

I learned,

again,

that I am loved beyond measure.

This year was hard.

Harder than most.

Covid was only part of it.

The lack of in person socialization.

The struggle to find safe ways to stay connected.

So,

much,

Zoom.

Bonfires.

Flames keeping us warm while we stay 6 foot apart.

I learned that it’s easy to fall back into old habits.

And hard to climb back out of them.

I learned,

again,

that love will get us through.

Time flies

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

Has it really been almost a week since I’ve written?

The week has flown by, while also dragging along.

There isn’t much, good or bad, happening in my life right now.

It’s hard to figure out what to write about when that happens.

But writing is good for me.

I’m not really depressed anymore.

But, I’m bored.

PHP is over and I’m not working yet and one day just runs into the next.

We leave the house a few times a week just to keep getting out.

I craft.

And craft.

And craft.

And sit around thinking about things to craft.

And scroll facebook,

which I’m trying not to do as often.

I got used to having something to work on around the clock.

Holiday cards and holiday gifts.

All made with love.

They are finished and in the mail.

A few wrapped presents sitting on my desk waiting for a socially distant meet up with local friends for an exhange.

Trying to decide what to make for Wonder Woman.

I want to give her something, but she sees everything I make.

I’m not really sure what to buy her either.

Holidays are hard for me.

I want to give the perfect thing.

I’m afraid the stuff I make just isn’t good enough.

I grew up in a family where we got more, More, MORE every year.

So much,

Stuff.

Not that I didn’t appreciate it.

I had fun playing with everything that was given to me.

But I remember the year that my friend basically hung up on me as I was going through my list of what I got.

She was tired of hearing it.

I was too young to realize not every Santa brought that much.

I had to fight that urge when Kidlet was growing up.

I wanted the presents to overflow under the tree.

But that just wasn’t feasible.

And he didn’t need that much

stuff.

I still remember the Christmas where Toys For Tots was all he got.

I remember the Christmas when everything he got was donated by friends.

I remember the Christmas where everything he got was hand made by my father and I, in my father’s shop.

I remember the Christmas after Parker died, trying to get him the perfect gifts to make up for our loss.

Finding those same gifts years later, still packed in the bags that he brought them home in.

Never used.

Never played with.

Those were hard times.

But we managed to find reasons to smile each year.

We had a good life.

A hard life.

But still a good life.

I’m still sleeping too much.

And I can’t figure out why.

I try so hard to get up in the morning,

sometimes I even succeed.

But I can’t keep my eyes open and end up back in bed.

I’m working on it with my therapist and my pdoc and we haven’t found the reason yet.

I’m working on having another sleep study.

I dream all night, waking up on and off as each dream comes and goes.

Sometimes falling asleep right back where I left off.

I talk in my sleep.

I scream out in my sleep.

I don’t think I’m sleeping deeply enough.

But I’m not sure how to fix that.

Overall,

things are pretty good right now.

Things are pretty good.

Cabin in the Woods

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

This is the first time I’ve been on my computer since Thursday.

We’ve used our phones to keep up with the world, and Wonder Woman has kept up with her Animal Crossing chores on the switch, but mostly our phones have been used for streaming music and taking photos as we’ve had a relatively unplugged weekend.

Sitting in the cabin working independently on crafts or reading.

Cozy in a very small space together.

You might think, being enclosed in two tiny rooms, with one comfy chair between us, that we would start tripping over each other.

But it hasn’t happened.

We work so well together.

I enjoy working side by side, but doing our own thing.

Wonder Woman has been working on her loom, learning a new style and quietly listening to podcasts.

I’ve read more than half of a new book written by a friend.

I’ll probably finish it today.

Other than hitting the grocery store for some last minute essentials (and birthday cupcakes) we haven’t left the area of the cabin.

We’ve taken a short walk around the lake, looking for trails that the owner mentioned but not finding any.

Mostly we’ve just been content to sit quietly.

We’ve played a game or two.

We’ve eaten great meals.

I’ve spent more time cooking and doing dishes than I can explain.

But I’ve enjoyed it.

We planned to order food out tonight.

A birthday dinner from a restaurant that came recommended.

But, we found out too late that they’re closed on Sunday.

Most of the town is.

But we’ll eat left over chili, that spent our first night here simmering in a crock pot.

We’ll do a birthday dinner once we’re home again.

We plan to take the long way home.

Doubling the time our trip takes so that we can go across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

The water is my happy place and I haven’t been across that expanse of road in many many years.

I didn’t get to a beach for my birthday, the rentals near the water were too expensive, even during the off season,

but I’ll get to spend some time surrounded by water.

A 6 hour road trip to finish off my birthday weekend.

Slow and relaxing with a cute little dog settled on my lap for the drive.

She’s such a good travelling dog.

This weekend has been a great way to reset.

A good time to start figuring out what’s next.

Now that I’m done with PHP and I can’t quite start working again.

Time to figure out what to do with my days, time to decide who 40 year old me is going to be.

This has been a great weekend,

but I’m also looking forward to going home.

Day 18

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

Today was my day off.

No PHP.

No social plans.

No doctors appointments.

I spent most of the day bored.

Unable to settle on any of the million things I could be doing.

I still have cards to make.

I still have cleaning to do.

I have a million and one projects on the computer I could be working on.

But nothing held my interest.

The inability to enjoy things is part of the lingering depression.

But it’s not as bad as it was.

We went out and got bagels for lunch.

We tried to get coffee but our normal Starbucks was closed for the afternoon.

I’ve already taken my night meds, then remembered I hadn’t yet written today.

I have PHP tomorrow, then a walk with a friend, followed by my yearly checkup.

Super busy all day.

Hopefully it’ll keep me from taking so many naps.

I’m fading fast tonight.

The sleep meds swirling around in my brain making me drowsy.

Hopefully I sleep through without tossing and turning.

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

Day 12

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

Things are so up and down with this lingering depression.

Today, I took a shower, I worked on weeding a complicated crafting project, I plan to do dishes and cook dinner later.

But I slept far too much and I rescheduled a doctors appointment that would have had me leaving the house.

Baby steps. Forward movement is still forward movement no matter how small.

Last night when I went to bed I was having horrible flashbacks of the last week of my dads life immediately followed by the gunshot and seeing the aftermath. It just kept playing on repeat.

I almost got up.

But then I remembered one of the new skills I learned on the trauma unit.

Containment.

Mentally putting the thoughts in a container and filing it away to deal with later, like in therapy.

I grabbed my mental cardboard box, put the thoughts inside, taped it up and put it on a shelf in a closet and shut the door.

The thoughts quieted for awhile.

They came back and I did it again.

And again.

And again.

With a longer break between each recurrence.

Eventually I dozed off with a peaceful mind.

I’m glad I’m getting a chance to practice this skill, and learn to trust it, before I’m using it with intrusive suicidal thoughts.

I had weird complicated dreams last night. In the dream I couldn’t quite speak full words even though I knew what I wanted to say.

I was struggling to get the words out.

I fought and fought to make myself heard. Pushing against vocal cords that didn’t want to cooperate.

Wonder Woman said I was talking in my sleep and that it was gibberish.

Heh.

It was also the first dream where I was wearing a mask. It’s funny that masks are showing up there now.

Today I decided to go down to 3 days a week at PHP. I feel like even that program is more than I need right now, but I’m not ready to go back to work, and it gives me something to do during the day.

Still fighting to get through the depression, but it isn’t as much of a fight as it once was.

One step at a time.

Day 3

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I’m definitely depressed.

I slept till 11, and went down for a 2 hour nap at 3.

When I was in the hospital, they lowered the antidepressant I’ve been on for a few years, and started me on a new one, with plans to completely switch over the coming month or so.

Unfortunately, the effects of the old antidepressant are already diminishing, while it will take weeks for the new antidepressant to take over.

At least I know why I’m sinking.

And at least I’m not suicidal.

I desperately need a shower. The idea of cooking tonight seems daunting. And I knew if I went for a walk, I wouldn’t do the other two things because I’m just out of energy.

And spoons.

Stupid depression.

But at least I understand the underlying reasoning for it.

I’m sure the election isn’t helping. I’m taking a head in the sand approach to it. My anxiety won’t change the outcome. I did what I could do.

Mostly it’s working.

Tomorrow is Parker’s birthday. Typically, the week leading up to it is the hardest, with the actual day being calm and serene.

This year that familiar dread isn’t there. Of course I know what day it is. Of course it’s sad that she’s not here to celebrate.

But I’m much more used to the Parker shaped hole in my heart. The edges have smoothed and I rarely trip over them anymore.

That in itself makes me feel sad. I always tell people, grief is all of the love you won’t get to continue giving to your lost loved one.

Does grieving less mean I’m running out of love for her?

Of course not, but I still have pangs of guilt.

Tomorrow, hopefully, Kidlet and I will meet up on video chat and eat our slices of cheesecake in remembrance of her.

If he has time.

If not, I’ll eat my own slice and spend a few moments in quiet reflection.

I miss her. Even though the grief isn’t as raw as it once was, she’s still a part of my heart.

And I’m sure in its own way the grief is playing a part in my depression right now.

I still only feel like I’m going through fog, and not through quicksand, but the fog is getting thicker.

Blah.

Day 2

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

I’m suffering from a lack of motivation today.

After putting it off for hours, I made myself go to the grocery store. It was hard to get dressed, hard to get out of the door.

But it was harder to make it through the store. So much stimuli.

So, so much.

I’ve just spent almost all of the past month on locked units. Where they keep things as calm and quiet as possible.

Stores aren’t calm or quiet.

So many different lights and colors and objects.

Lines are long and people are impatient.

But I did it.

And I came home completely exhausted. I yawned my way through group therapy that I didn’t really have the energy to attend.

It exhausted me more.

I left early because I couldn’t handle it anymore.

I was too worn out, too over stimulated.

And then I was staring at a sink full of dishes.

One at a time I worked my way through them.

I didn’t want to.

I didn’t have the energy to.

But I did. And I felt good when they were finished.

But I didn’t go for a walk. The idea of getting dressed again, and then going out in the cold, when I can barely keep my eyes open. Just seemed like too much.

Too much.

I may not be suicidal, but I’m still depressed.

Mildly depressed, but still depressed. Just enough that I feel like I’m walking through a fog, not quite enough that I feel like I’m trudging through quicksand.

It’s bearable, but I’ll be really happy if the new medication changes it over the coming weeks.

I guess we’ll see.

I started beating myself up for not walking. A suicidal thought flashed through my mind but I was able to put it down without engaging. It was quick, it was quiet, but it was there.

I have to start dinner soon, another thing I don’t have energy for, but I can’t afford to keep ordering out. It’s expensive and I haven’t cooked since I got home.

Cooking used to bring me joy, now it just feels like a chore.

I want my excitement back. My love of things. I don’t want everything to feel like work.

I don’t want to have to push myself to do the smallest tasks.

Even crafting takes pushing and prodding. I enjoy it once I get going, but getting started is

so

damn

hard.

It could be worse. I could feel nothing (I’ve been there). I could be suicidal (I’ve been there, too, way too recently).

I want to go back to work, but I’m not there yet. So Monday I start PHP again.

It feels so far away, an entire week to find things to occupy my time.

But the smallest things still exhaust me, maybe it’s good that I get a quiet week without constant demands.

Thank you all for listening. I appreciate the support.

3 hours

This is a Really Real Mental Health post.

It’s 3 hours until I have to check-in.

I’m counting down the strangest things.

One last dose of my evening meds at home.

One last time taking my morning ones.

One last pet of the pupper.

One last pet of the kitties.

One last cuddle.

One last bowl of pho.

One last coffee.

One last post.

One last message on messenger.

One last text.

Counting down.

Holding all of these things dear.

I’ve asked myself, why is this so hard when so often I want myself dead.

Why does 2 months of my life seem harder than the end?

Why?

Well, I won’t be around to witness the aftermath of the end.

I won’t feel anything after that moment.

And I have to feel all of this.

I have to feel all of the next two months.

Deeply delving into my brain and hoping to scoop out the parts that ask for death.

Hoping to put more space between mood swings.

Hoping to give myself a chance at long term euthymia.

That midline of “normality” where I’m not depressed, and not manic, and not both at the same time.

And it may not work.

That’s true.

But I owe myself the chance.

I owe myself this work.

This opportunity.

And I’m glad I finally see it for what it is.

I just had to stop thinking through everyone else.

Worrying about what you would want me to do.

Worrying about letting someone down.

When in the end, I’m the only one that matters.

This is my chance at life.

My chance at recovery.

My chance at stability.

Me.

In less than 3 hours I have to check-in.

And I’m at peace.