Panic

Really real mental health post . . .

This was supposed to stop once the death date passed. I’m doing all of the right things, I’m going to PHP, I’m doing the work, I’m even going to the gym. I’m staying active, I’m staying busy, why is there a fucking elephant on my chest.

Why am I so fucking angry.

Why do I feel like I can’t fucking breathe.

Why can’t I fucking breathe.

I don’t know what’s worse, having a panic attack and not knowing, or having one, knowing, and still not being able to stop it.

Laying in bed and feeling my chest tighten, not wanting to fight against myself to breathe, knowing thats just going to make it worse, and at the same time feeling the need to fight.

It looks so peaceful on the outside but on the inside my brain is screaming. How many years did it take me to learn to stay calm through that?

The good news is, I’m learning to fight against my own instincts to fight. And by that I mean fighting in general. I’m not fighting myself, I’m not fighting the people around me, and I’m not fighting to breathe when my body panics. The bad thing is, my body is responding by making me panic.

More work to be done, more groups, more tears, more long days and exhausting nights, many many more panic attacks I’m sure.

This fucking sucks, but it’s still better than the alternative.

Making The Call

Sometimes being a self saving warrior princess means making the call to get help, even if it feels like failure.

I made that call this morning, and this afternoon I started at a mental health partial hospitalization program. While the mundane world is working I’ll be in many different group therapies and medication management and coming home at night to cuddle my girl and all of the four legged things.

I am back to going from fine and productive to lethargic to angry to suicidal to so anxious I can’t breathe at a moments notice, often it’s a combination of all of them.

I hate this.

But at least I’m alive to hate it and right now that’s what’s most important. I’m sure at some point I will fully realize that this is okay but right now being back in this program feels horrible and I want to fight it but I know I can’t.

The only way I see to fight it is to end it and that isn’t an option either.

I need to be healthy again.

Not only is this caused in part by trauma, but the whole situation feels triggering and traumatizing.

This is so much harder now.

I. Hate. This.

I want my badass self back.

Tension

Really real widow post:

The memory posts are getting closer and closer to the two year mark but I’ve felt it in my chest for weeks. My anxiety is making me nauseas and as much as I know I need to live and thrive and not revert to survival mode it’s taking everything in me just to put one foot in front of the other.

I feel like I’m functioning within this constant whirlwind. I’m making the motions, I’m doing the things but my head is screaming to get out. Run. Every noise is danger. Every sudden movement is something I need to react to. I’m on edge. I want to puke. My brain is so so loud. I’m afraid of messing it all up.

Everything feels like tension and tension is palpable even where it has nothing to do with me. But tension is triggering as fuck for me.

(Trigger warning: Talk about Parker’s actual death here (but not suicide really)…. more than some will be comfortable hearing but not actually graphic, just the kind of shit our society doesn’t talk about)
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Parker and I fought before she died. The kind of verbal fight that had us going to our own corners to chill out. Except, the only “real” conversation after that was a text she sent me saying “I love you, I’m sorry”

Later when I went to bed and she was already sleeping I remembered thinking “she must be okay, she must understand, the tension is gone.” But typically it never mattered if she was sleeping. If we were fighting the tension stayed until we talked it out.

The next morning when I went to wake her I realized she was dead.

Ghost wives are no longer angry and so there wasn’t tension.

Tension is hugely triggering and while it’s always been a problem for me, I hate seeing people around me upset. Now, that tension in the air, that fight or flight response….

Right now I shut down. I’m on edge and I don’t know how to respond. Stores make me feel agoraphobic again, I want to lock myself in the house and not leave.

I am feeling everybody’s everything’s.

What if it’s my fault. What will the outcome be.

When will the next feeling of tension cause the next snowball of events like that time did?

My body is waiting for that need to react.

And meanwhile I’m sitting in a car, typing this, posting it, so I can put on a totally okay face and NSO another derby event because while all of this is happening and I’m trying so so hard not to lean too much on anyone, especially those closest to me because that’s how people die, that’s how I push them away, that’s how I become too much….

I keep putting one foot in front of the other and trying to live and thrive and not just survive because I have seen the alternative.

Tension fucking sucks.

Widowing Ain’t Easy.

(No time to edit, pardon typos please)

5.17.18 part 2

So, I went, drove into the parking lot, left, came back, sat in the car for 15 minutes, and then finally talked myself into actually going in, even though I was late.

My boss was amazing as usual and spent about 30 minutes just chatting with me, and pointed out to me how amazing it was that I kept in touch with her each day I was supposed to work, even while trying to keep myself out of the crisis unit (and at the time she had no idea it was that bad). I took the time I needed to get back on stable ground, and still came back once I was doing better.

That’s the part I wouldn’t have stuck with before. . .I never would have gone back.

And the thing is, when I decided I was ready for something like work earlier this year, I knew that I wanted to go with volunteer instead of paid work, first, because of the chance of something like this happening. And I knew that working in this field, and in the right office would be important because a supportive environment will make the difference for me. A paid job would most likely had to fire me at this point, but this was really good practice at how to handle a situation like this and next time (if there is a next time) I may be able to push through a little better, or come back a little sooner, and at least I know I can go back.

The same thing with school, I’ve been working towards my bachelors degree for 20 years now, and just now crossed the halfway mark. I never went back after I failed out of a semester of classes . . and i never managed to drop the classes if I was getting over my head (controlled crash and burn) . . and I keep going back, figuring out what I can change and trying again. I’m only moving inches at a time, but I keep trying. Eventually I’ll get there.

My boss just kept reminding me that I’ve come so far, and that I’m doing it one inch at a time but still making huge progress. I’m fighting against my brain every moment of every day.

Two years ago I couldn’t leave the apartment alone, and I couldn’t be left home alone for any significant period of time.

Two years ago I couldn’t walk around the block without stopping to catch my breath. I couldn’t walk up to my apartment without using the rails to drag me up.

Almost 2 years ago my world stopped turning, the bottom dropped out,

and I realized I could fly.

I used to post every time I walked a block, every time I went to the gym, every time I went to an appointment alone or got on a city bus. Now those are things I do without thinking twice.

And I know what I need to keep moving towards my goals. I knew what I needed when I took this volunteer job at United Way, and I know what I need to keep doing now. I’m getting there, one step at a time, even when some of those steps feel like they are backwards.

I just have to keep doing it.

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.

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.

Turbulent

Trigger Warning: Suicidal Shit. Mental Health Crap. “Hey Tina . . Don’t Die” Stuff.

My brain is so so so loud.

Angry angry thoughts. Directed outward and directed inward and It’s all based on being so overwhelmed with the number of changes even though I want it all.

My brain is still retreating to old habits, old coping mechanisms that are supremely unhelpful. I once heard a quote “it’s comfortable in a warm pile of shit” Even if a situation sucks it’s often far easier than actually changing it because change is incredibly turbulent.

Right now I’ve hit a very turbulent period of growth and change and my brain is pissed. I want ALL of the things that are ahead. I want this growth. I want to continue to become the amazing person I’m meant to be. I want to finally be myself instead of living in the shell of me.

But right now the turbulence is trying to tear me apart and I’m trying not to lash outward or take it out on myself.

The frequency of my suicidal ideations just keeps increasing. I’m back to having safety plans that include other people to keep me safe from myself. I’m basically fighting to get myself out of the house every day when really I just want to curl up in a ball and stop existing.

My therapist and I are exploring a number of different options including increasing therapy and I may end up back in some sort of out patient intensive program.

Yep, this fucking sucks, but, staying alive is kind of important because I do want whats next.

Sometimes this means gut wrenching sobs late at night, that end in laughter when I realize I woke Wonder Woman up, and that, no she doesn’t mind, but it’s still weird and embarrassing to have someone right there holding me. I hate that I’m going through this again.

I hate the images I’m seeing, flashes of death and dying and not being sure if I want to run from it or to it and hating that I even question the decision. I know what it feels like to be left behind, I hate that in the moment, I don’t even have the mental energy to consider those that would be. All I can think of is stopping the pain I’m in. It’s not a rational thing, but the guilt when I come out of it . . .holy fuck, I can’t even describe what the guilt on top of every thing else is like.

“If she was his real mom, she wouldn’t have done that” Right . . . . then how am I even considering it?

I found Parker . . and at some point after the ideations get bad, I always go to “Holy fuck . . . how would I put someone through that.” and that’s on top of visualizing myself there first.

It’s not just being suicidal, it’s not just wanting to die . . . it’s then beating myself up for all of it, and going round and round and round. And feeling like if I don’t pick the right form of treatment moving forward, this is how it’s going to play out, and I will end up dead and someone will find me and they will live this and it will all repeat.

I’m sharing this because I know I’m not the only one that goes through this and maybe if someone else knows that they aren’t alone, they will keep fighting too. Maybe they will know they are a little less crazy than they think they are.

For that matter, maybe someone will remind me that I’m not alone, and that I’m not as crazy as I think I am . . . because even though I logically understand why all this is happening, and I’m supposed to know I will pull out of it, again. . . .

Sometimes it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one. I know I have so so many people out there, but my brain is so so loud.

And right now that warm pile of shit would be comfortable to crawl back into.