5.17.18 part 1

I’m trying like hell to do the thing.

I put United Way on hold for a bit while i pulled my brain out of it’s own ass during dumb brain week.

Now I’m trying to get back in this week and dumb brain is telling me dumb things about how they don’t want me and I’m not going to be able to make it and I’m having a hard time getting out of my own way.

I logically know this is dumb brain, mental health stuff, but that’s just making it worse right now . . . stuck in a fucking loop.

Anger

Remember how Sesame Street used to have a letter of the day?

Apparently I have an emotion of the week.

This weeks emotion is: Anger!

I’m ducking overwhelmed and it’s showing up as anger (and duck you iPhone I never Never NEVER mean DUCK)

The fucked up part is I’m controlling it enough that it’s probably not meds. It’s probably not anything that someone can fix.

Right now I’m angry about things in the house or people on the street or my ankle hurting but I know on a larger scale I’m angry because I’m just overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with the past and all of the processing that I’m working through again and again and again.

And at the same time there’s a house full of shit that needs to be done and I’m trying to figure out how to keep the cat from eating the dogs food and how to make the cat eat since I moved her food now that the dog has decided she will eat cat food and all of it just makes me so so angry.

Angry is the emotion of the week.

Last night I walked it out for an hour or so. Today I will find another way to deal with it. Meanwhile I’ll just keep hoping it doesn’t turn into suicidal shit again.

This mental health crap isn’t for the weak.

The Mighty – Why We Must Discuss Suicide Openly

This article from The Mighty, along with a bit of my own insight below, is your 8th of the month post.

Why We Must Discuss Suicide Openly

“It’s unfortunate that when an individual tries to express their suicidal thoughts, they are quickly labeled as crazy, psychotic or attention-seeking. Yet once the individual actually takes their own life, they are labeled again as selfish. “They could have sought help” is often heard. What could be worse than saying someone is selfish because they died by suicide, having never known what they were feeling?”

 I have this bridge as both a suicide survivor and someone who has survived my own attempts and fights my own thoughts.

So many of the things talked about in this article are true. The way we talk about those who died vs the way we talk about and to those who are struggling . . .

And I hear and heard both because of who I am. And often the things that were said that are supposed to make me feel better about her losing her battle, make it harder to fight my own. And the things that are said to guilt me into fighting harder make her look like a horrible person because she couldn’t fight hard enough.

And the fact is, we just need to be allowed and encouraged to talk openly. I was able to go to derby this weekend because I knew I had a supportive group around me and if it got bad I could say I needed a break. I even had people asking if I was okay without trying to push me out of what I was doing.

I was able to email my boss and say I’m stepping down hours cause my mental health is slipping and she thanked me for my openness and asked how she could best support me.

This isn’t any different than diabetes or heart disease or cancer. It requires treatment and management and follow ups. And we need to be able to talk about it.

If someone dies from suicide, those left behind need meal trains, and support and comfort, not hushed whispers and “she shouldn’t be saying her wife died like that” ( true story).

I don’t post my struggles for pity. I post it each time it gets bad for 2 reasons. Because for one, it helps me to type it out and be heard.

And for two, I keep hearing how it helps others to see me be vocal. People who didn’t know it could look like this, people who are afraid to speak up. People who are afraid to ask for help.

Parker was the quiet one.

Parker is why we must discuss suicide openly.

Big

Quite often I post about the bad side of feeling everything so deeply. The dark side of mental illness, the grieving side of widowhood.

What I don’t post about as often, is the positive ways I see the world because of it.

One reason that things go from great, to dangerous so quickly with me, is that I feel everything big. I don’t see in grey, or in multiple shades of a color. I see the brightest shade there is, or I see a vast nothingness.

I feel pain as if that is all that exists in this world but that means I feel love and joy the same way. Normally that love and joy is almost overwhelming in its intensity, it’s as bright as the clothes I normally wear.

But, sometimes I find peace in a moment, and it connects things in a way that is just right. My thoughts slow down, and I know I’m in the right place. It happens during quiet moments or in the middle of a crowd. It can happen when I’m still or moving. It happens in both happy moments and grieving ones.

I feel those peaceful moments in a way that is just as big, and grand.

I’ve heard it said before that we wouldn’t wish widowhood on anyone, but we’d wish the lessons we’ve learned on everyone.

Similarly, I wish that everyone could see the world the way I see it now without suffering that sort of loss. I think that’s also true of someone who has lived with any chronic mental health condition. When the fog clears for any period of time, we have a different perspective.

I really am enjoying my life right now, even though I am dealing with some really big emotions, and some really big processing.

Life is good.

Power

After an amazing weekend away, I’ve realized that my anxiety in public has virtually vanished. There were multiple times that I went off completely alone in NYC in crowds, without a thought.

I went and retrieved a pizza when they suddenly couldn’t deliver it and throughout the weekend I had no issue figuring out the subway and actually enjoyed getting lost and missing stops and backtracking. It was a puzzle, a game.

I survived one of my worst fears a year ago, and so those people in that giant city have no power over me anymore.

But now those close to me have 100 times more power than they can ever imagine. And it’s power they don’t want, and power I don’t want to give them and it’s become a whole different kind of anxiety that I’m now battling. These trains are just as loud as the trains that used to tell me I couldn’t leave the house.

I know loss, and not in the “we can’t be friends anymore” kind of way, and not even in the “this isn’t working out” kind of way. We had a fight, a stupid fight over stupid shit and she went to bed and did not wake up. And while I know I had nothing to do with Parker’s death, I cannot quiet that voice that tells me I did . . . . it’s part of the process . . .

Because of that, the social anxiety that was always there is now 100 times louder. The fear that everyone else is going to leave gets louder and louder.

Every time someone is angry with me not only do I feel that tension and need to run from it, but I’m internally petrified . . what if I don’t have a chance to make amends. What if there is no tomorrow to say “I’m sorry, this was stupid” after they calm down.

Because of it I end up sometimes becoming incredibly irratic and overbearing and talking over them and even over myself to try and fix problems that aren’t even there because in my mind . .

If I don’t put out those fires I’m going to lose more people.

And i LOVE my people. I love my tribe. With every bit of my being.

I am both thankful for, and sorry to those who have been so close to me this past year. I know I am a lot. And I know that by now, you thought it would not be so much to be so close to someone who you have given so much to. And I do appreciate you, more than you could ever know. I wasn’t on even ground to begin with, and a year ago that ground disappeared. I’m quite thankful that I realized I could fly, but you guys have done more than your fair share of carrying.

I am intense . . and I am trying to get better. All month I have been trying to figure out how things feel so right in some ways, and so wrong in other ways.

What Doesn’t Kill

So, here’s the deal. I’m not going to be one of those people that say God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle. Because, seriously . . look at my life.

However, I was one that said this phrase, a lot. But, each one of these things that kept hitting me, kept making me more of the me I was meant to be. And then, after I recovered from each major thing I would look back and say I wouldn’t change a thing because it put me where I am today, and I’m right where I am meant to be.

Now, before I say this next phrase, please realize.

I Want Parker Back. I want my wife back. There is NO denying that.

However. That situation made me who I am and put me where I am right this second. So no, a year ago, I wasn’t already strong enough, because I wasn’t who I was meant to be yet. If everything would not have happened I would not be where I am this second.

And I’m right where I am meant to be.

And I love me. And that, is an amazing feeling.