Adultier Adult

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I had a conversation in therapy about the fact that I don’t feel like an adult.

My therapist asked why I don’t see myself as a grown up. I started listing off reasons.

I don’t have a car.

I don’t have a job.

I’ve always needed financial help.

I’m not independent.

I can’t budget my own money successfully.

I’m not successful.

I haven’t finished college.

I can’t hold a job even when I get them.

I can’t finish anything I start.

I just kept listing off one thing after another.

I told her I felt that my son was more of an adult than I am. He is truly, the adultier adult, like we always joked about needing when he was younger.

She pointed out that I raised him.

I told her that was easy, he was an easy kid to raise, mostly. He did a lot of it himself, unfortunately, while I was busy helping us survive whatever bullshit I had gotten us into that week, or month, or year.

She asked me if I’d judge anyone else so harshly.

Of course not.

But this is me, and I’m “so smart” and “so intelligent” and I “should be making more of myself” and I’m not.

So how can I really be an adult.

I can’t even keep my sink clear of dishes. I can’t even stay caught up on school work (and it’s at a community college, it’s not like I’m working a full time job at the same time, most of the students are).  I can’t even pay my bills on my own without spending too much money and needing to be bailed out again, and again, and again.

This all sounds very whiny.

I want to be so much more than I am. I want to be functional. I want to be . . . typical, for lack of a better word.

I want to be able to spend money on things I need and not get carried away by emotional spending to the point that I end up staring at a negative bank account for the third time in a month, begging for help, again. I want to be able to focus on the things I need to focus on and stop hyperfocusing on the things that don’t matter. I want a fucking car. I want to finish school. I want to be able to work and actually hold down a job.

I want to be a fucking adult.

I want to accomplish more in life then just surviving and keeping a kid alive until 18.

I want to do more.

I just want to grow up.

Body Positivity

This is a Really Real Body Acceptance Post.

Body acceptance is hard.

It’s an ideal I’m constantly chasing.

While also trying to change my body.

It’s no secret that I want to be smaller. I want to fit into this world in better ways and I’m working hard to do so.

I want to hurt less and I’m working hard to do so.

Fuck, I’m getting surgery to do so. And I’m already working on the life changes that are going to take place after that.

But I also try to accept my body where I am right now.

Where I will be five pounds from now.

Where I will be ten pounds from now.

Where I will be, with skin sagging, fifty pounds from now.

One-hundred? I don’t know if I’ll get that far, but if I do I want to accept myself now just as much as I do then.

I know there will be challenges then too.

We always find something wrong.

For me, body acceptance is one day wanting to make shirts saying “Fat! So?” and wear them loud and proud.

But then the next day I want to hide in bed because I see pictures of me in a tank top with my arms hanging out.

My arms which always seem too big.

My arms with skin that already sags from weight I’ve lost thus far.

I see pictures and I wonder how I managed to feel so confident in a tank top when I looked like

that.

How I manage to wear them to the gym and out in public at all when I look like

that.

I pick apart every little detail.

It sends me to my safe space.

Hiding in bed with covers over my head.

Body acceptance is hard.

I’m not there yet.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be.

But hopefully I’ll keep rocking the tank tops and faking myself out.

In the back of my head.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

There are gunshots going off in the back of my head.

I’m not sure what comes first. The sound of a gunshot, or the first suicidal thought. But eventually I just start hearing the gunshots the entire time I’m stressed about whatever is bothering me.

It’s distracting.

I start trying to distract myself from the problem at hand, to metaphorically put a silencer on the gun, which keeps me from finding a solution to the problem.

And every time my mind drifts back to the problem, the gun starts firing.

And then my mind starts wandering down the list of ways to die.

Which way is the most effective? Which has the least chance of leaving a mess behind for someone else to clean up?

Wait, I don’t want to go down that train of thought, back to distracting myself.

But then I’m not focusing on fixing the problem.

Facing the problems at hand and working on a solution is the most efficient way to deal with this.  The most effective way to deal with this. But sitting down my emotional response to all of it is hard.

The gun shots are loud.

I want to run away and the easiest way my brain can come up with is death, lets just walk away from this permanently.

And stop

repeating

the same

mistakes

over and over and over

again.

But the easiest way to make it all stop is to fix the problem, but to fix the problem I need everything to shut up long enough that I can work on the solution.

Today is hard.

Today is loud.

There are gunshots going off in the back of my head.

Do I Really Have To?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Some days I get really really overwhelmed with all of the “have tos” in my life.

I have to take the dog for a walk and feed her.

I have to clean up dinner dishes from the night before.

I have to make hard boiled eggs for breakfasts for the week.

I have to start dinner in the crock pot.

I have to do DBT homework and college homework.

I have to make sure my rides are set up to get places.

Have to, have to, have to.

And that’s just the morning routine.

But.

When I homeschooled Draven, one of my big philosophies was looking at everything as a choice. And for a long while that really resonated with me.

None of us have to do a damn thing.

It’s all a series of choices.

I don’t have to walk the dog, she could just pee in the house. Or, I could re-home her.

I don’t have to clean up dinner dishes, they could just sit in the sink. Or I could go out to eat every night. Or I could find options that use less dishes. Or find ways to make more money and hire someone to do dishes for me. Or throw away the dishes each time and buy more.

I’m not saying all of these ideas are feasible, but they might be.

I definitely don’t have to make hard boiled eggs for the week.  There are certainly other options for breakfasts.

Same with crock pot dinners (see above, eating out every night is sounding better and better).

I could drop out of DBT and college and never leave the house and boom, I’ve just taken care of all of my have to’s in the morning.

I’m now dog-less, eating from the mcdonald’s dollar menu every morning and night, but also never leaving my house (how does that work?).

Maybe I’m just never eating (new weight loss plan).

But, all of my have to’s are actually choices. Just because they make more sense than the alternatives, doesn’t make them required.

And if I remember they are choices, maybe they will be a bit easier to take care of on the mornings that I just don’t want to.

And maybe some mornings I’ll just choose to let the dishes sit in the sink.

Really Real Procrastination

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

It’s also really really a procrastination post as I’m supposed to be doing school work right now and I just can’t settle my brain into that task.

You see, when I started this class, the teacher had a syllabus with a calendar.  On that calendar were due dates, nicely laid out in black and white.  This is a five week class, lots of work, short period of time.  Four modules due this week, two the next, three the week after that.  A few case studies.  It didn’t look like too much, honestly.  The teacher seems to grade pretty easily.

And then in the second week they make an announcement.

“I want to clarify some things about the due dates.  This this and this are due then, and this and this are due then. But really, work at your own pace as long as everything is turned in by the end of class, the due dates are just to help you stay on track to complete things with minimal stress.”

Fuck.

A procrastinators worst nightmare.

No real due dates.

Yesterday I was going to work on school work.

But I really needed to mail this thing, and the post office was at the mall, and I really needed some downtime to walk around, and then I needed to window shop because I was there anyway, and well, now it’s getting too late to take another Ritalin and you know I can’t focus without Ritalin, and, and, and.

And then today I was going to do school work, but first I needed to clean the kitchen and make some breakfast and really I can’t focus in a messy house, and let me check on this first, and I need to set up my rides for mobility before I forget again, and I need to menu plan before we spend too much on food, and my anxiety is really high so maybe a Ritalin isn’t the greatest idea right now, and we’re leaving soon for a derby thing so maybe I should just . . .

Fuck.

I know what I need to do. I’ve done most of the reading and I’ve even written two modules worth of work in my head.  I just need to put fingers to keys (in the digital classroom . . . not here).

But it’s so hard to just

Start.

What if I’m not perfect. What if I post to the discussion board and I don’t have just the right information. What if the other students laugh at me (throw back to the 90’s). What if I don’t get an A.

But also, everything else just seems more interesting, even cleaning the bathroom. Self directed is HARD when there isn’t a set in stone deadline looming directly overhead.

This is some really real procrastination. This is really really going to bite me in the ass if I don’t get my ass in gear.

I know better, I can do better, I am better than this.

Maybe it’s time to actually do what I’ve been talking about avoiding this entire time. Maybe I should pull up my class, pull up a word document, and write something that will actually help me work towards my ultimate goals.

Maybe.

But first . . .

I just need to . . .

Partially There

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

A year ago today I finished the Partial Hospitalization Program. I just read the post I wrote upon leaving. The post where I was unsure, not ready, didn’t think I could make it without the daily routine to back me up. I was still fighting through a mixed mood episode, still dealing with sleep problems, still not quite stable but a lot better than when I started.

I was about to start a Psych Rehabilitation Program, which was a dismal failure and not where I was meant to be at all.

I had started looking into DBT, but couldn’t start there until I let go of my feeling that I needed a more frequent program.

I hadn’t come to terms with my intrusive suicidal thoughts. I still felt I had to make them go away completely. I hadn’t realized that I could coexist with them and learn to live safely in spite of them. Learn to label them as thoughts and let them be, not let them control me. I hadn’t accepted that they will likely be a part of my illness and my life forever.

I hadn’t learned that mindfulness is more than just meditation. I hadn’t learned the countless skills that DBT has taught me.

That PHP stay was really good for me, I learned a lot and developed a few friendships that I still have today (I wish we had more time to talk and hang out).

I also ended up with my psychiatrist, who is amazing. (It’s so difficult to find amazing providers when you’re on government insurance.)

And I have come so far since then.

I have had some mixed mood episodes since the one that landed me in PHP, but nothing that has lasted as long. Some suicidal episodes but they have lasted less than a day (from what I can recall).

I’m glad I do this, writing out my thoughts and posting them. I’m glad they show up every year so I can see how far I’ve come.

I don’t think growing is something that ever stops happening, but I feel like I’m a little bit further along. I feel like, since Partial, I’ve gotten closer to where I want to be. Like maybe. . .

I’m partially there.

 

What if I fall?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Today I signed up for 4 fall classes.

The whole time I was questioning the rationality of this judgement.  I was doubting my mental state. I was wondering if it was more than I could handle. I was thinking of my past track record. I was pondering the chances of following through.

I was checking for any signs of a manic episode. Making sure my mental health wasn’t making commitments for me.

I know I have a busy fall coming up.

I should be able to schedule bariatric surgery for sometime in October or November.

I should be able to start working part time after I heal from surgery.

I will still have DBT and therapy and my other appointments and followups.

I will still need time for me. Time for self care. Time for fun. Time to make a life worth living.

So I mentally check and check again. Am I manic, am I rushing things, am I making this decision for the wrong reasons. Should I check with someone else and get them to make the decision for me. Maybe I’m not qualified to make decisions for myself.

Maybe I can’t handle this.

Maybe I can’t.

This is what it’s like. I question and second guess and never trust my own instincts. I never feel like I’m capable. I wait for the next time I’m going to fuck it all up. I wonder if I’m setting myself up for failure.

I don’t trust in myself because I’ve let myself down so many times before. Even though I haven’t had a full, long lasting hypomanic episode in quite some time, I fear that I’m making decisions based on grandiose opinions of my abilities.

But maybe I’m not. Maybe this is reasonable. Maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. Maybe I’m far more capable than I believe I am.

Maybe I just need to try.

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson