Masks

I took a few really great pictures this weekend of me smiling and having a great time.

They weren’t a lie, but they were taken during the moments where I was able to put on the mask that I wore for about half of the weekend. The other half of the weekend I spent hiding in the car, or in the hotel room, too tired to keep my eyes open. Falling asleep across the bed with my shoes still on because depression has set in so fully that, while I know there are reasons to live, I can’t always feel them.

Riding home, Wonder Woman points out an amazing city skyline, Philly I think, and normally my heart would want to explode with the beauty of it, right now, I appreciate that she pulled me out of my own head to tell me, but I can’t FEEL it the way I normally can and that makes me so so sad.

I can wear the mask and smile and fool lots of people but I can’t make myself feel the way my face appears to be feeling.

Apathy is a horrible emotion.

A beautiful sky still looks beautiful and I can appreciate the colors and the beauty that is the sunset. I’m glad I’m alive to see it, but I also would be just as happy if I wouldn’t wake up to see another one.

And that makes me sad. It also terrifies me.

But I put on the mask all weekend because it wasn’t about me. I knew enough to keep myself safe. I had lots of friends supporting me from afar..

One of them saw one of my selfies and was shocked when I told her how I was really feeling. Guess how many rejected selfies it took for me to capture one where the mask was adequately covering my real feelings.

The mask is exhausting for me, and the more I wear it, the harder it becomes to reach out. The harder it becomes to tell people I’m in danger.

I’m starting to understand how those who wear it all the time can’t reach up and find a hand to grab. Maybe it’s time to take the mask off for awhile. Maybe it’s becoming too comfortable. Pretending is exhausting but it’s almost easier than being vulnerable and telling someone just how nice it might be to drift away.

Falling Apart or Falling Together?

The last couple of days has been a special kind of hell.

The kind that doesn’t really feel like a true hell but at the same time it does.  I’m just kind of here.  I feel hypomanic, I rated my depression at a zero yesterday, but the depression crashed in hard as I realized I was way sleep deprived.

I went to PHP and left from lunch because I was too tired to stay awake, I was getting too pissy and irritable and I couldn’t even keep my eyes open.  I feel judged and at the same time I’m judging everyone, not just there but everywhere.  It’s a symptom of my mixed episodes, I’m withdrawing.  Next is the suicidal thoughts.  It happens this way every time.

I went to my free meeting with the trainer last night.  First strike was her insistence that with enough exercise and physical health I could get off psych meds.  “That’s not how this works.”

Then the fat and size shaming.  Which I retorted with, “I don’t want to be small like you.”  She didn’t like that, she doesn’t consider herself small, and really didn’t like it when I called her tiny.  Fuck her.

Later she said “I thought you said you were a widow, you’re dating?”

You know what . . . fuck you.

It could be because I’m oversensitive and feeling judged anyway, but holy shit, don’t do that.  I deserve happiness and I’m so glad I have Wonder Woman.  I can be a widow and in love again.

Being over sensitive like this sucks so so badly because I feel like everything and everyone is trying to attack me and I respond in kind.  It makes life harder than it has to be but it’s not like I can stop just because I know it’s happening.  It takes time to get back out of this mood and in the mean time I want to isolate which is the worst thing I can do for myself.

I went to bed early and managed to sleep for 10 hours.  I woke up feeling drugged because of the amount of sleep but it was so so needed.  Two – four hours of sleep night after night isn’t enough especially with super full and emotional days.

Today I just want to crawl into bed and sleep more, but instead I got up, fed the animals, and soon I’ll get dressed and head to therapy before a full day of PHP, maybe breakfast with my girl beforehand.  Tonight I’ll either NSO or at least sit there and spend time with my derby people who I miss being around.

I’m tired of this fight.  I’m so so tired of the fucking roller coaster.  Sometimes I just want to demolish the whole fucking amusement park and let someone else clean up the mess.

But Parker already did that to me, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to do that to someone else.

Reach

This week has been rough.  In between the smiles and the grieving through joy, there have been two celebrities that have died by suicide.  This means my Facebook feed has been filled with the public outcry of “please reach out for help” and “check on them they can’t reach out” as well as the quick, re-shared blogs and blurbs of suicide helplines and text lines.

Compassion porn filling my screen like some sort of virus.

These conversations need to be had.  Those numbers need to be prominent and saved in everyone’s phones but the question is, how many people who shared those numbers actually saved them in their phones so they have them quickly available if they, or someone close to them needs them.

Not many of us who struggle even save the numbers until we are in trouble.  We always think, not us, never us.

And when it comes to reaching out, or reaching in, it’s a two way street.

image011

I am responsible for my own shit.  And Parker was responsible for her own shit.

Six months before she died we had a fight.  She came out of the room and I happened to see her grab the box of medications, I checked on her and she told me she was getting the homeopathic anxiety medication.  The next day she checked herself in to the inpatient crisis unit and admitted that she had been planning on overdosing.  I found a hoard of medications while she was inpatient and I trashed them.

There were more fights between that day and the day she died.  None of those triggered that response.  The day she died, the medication was in the room and I heard her take them, but I had no reason to suspect it was anything more than her regular night time meds.

It was her responsibility to reach out while it was also the loving thing to do to reach in.  It was not my responsibility to save her, that was only something she could do.

And now, here we are 2 years later.  I’m fighting these thoughts most days.  I’m living with an amazing woman who is in the exact position I was in.  It’s my job to reach out and it’s the loving thing for her to do to reach in when she’s in a position to do so.  If in the end I lose my battle with this damn list of labels, that’s on my shoulders, not because she didn’t see the signs, or do enough, or check on me.

My shit is my responsibility.  It’s wonderful when the people around me support me as they are able, but they have their own shit, and that is their responsibility and unless I speak up, they don’t know what I need.

Unless I dig my way out of my black hole long enough to hold a hand up, they can’t reach down and grab it.

Now, go save the crisis numbers in your phone, you don’t know when you or someone close to you will need them.

Yes, you.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number
1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line
741-741

 

 

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.

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.

Not what you think . . .

There’s a post I’ve shared a lot of times on Facebook, titled “I’m suicidal, and no, it’s not what you think.”  It’s about one of the grey areas of suicide, with constant suicidal ideations that never go away, even when there is no real plan.

I lived in that area for years.

Sometimes things would build up and it got so bad and so loud that I was afraid of myself and afraid to be alone. There had been attempts and there had been self injury. There were hospitalizations. Parker and Kidlet spent so many years walking on eggshells because I was sick.

And then she died and I very publicly pulled my ass out of the depths of hell and got better.

Except, I forgot the part where you don’t get better from this shit. You get stronger, you learn better coping methods, but you may never fully get better. This will always be part of who I am. I may always backslide, and there is always a chance that I may end up back in the hospital. It may even happen sooner rather than later.

Safe is better than dead, I guess.

I’m back in that space where every little thing knocks me back. It’s a constant roller coaster right now. And some days are very deep and very dark. I want them to change meds and FIX ME.

But it’s not a medication thing. It’s not an exercise it out thing. It’s a brain chemicals fucking suck thing and right now I just need to ride it out and try to keep moving forward at the same time.

I scream so loud on here about how much we need to remove the stigma and scream our stories out loud, but one of the hardest things in the world for me today was spending the entire day in bed, dishes piled up, my house in this crazy disorganized state where I left it mid project from this weekend . . . while Wonder Woman came in and out doing what she needed to do. I couldn’t stand that she was seeing me that depressed, that dark, that done. I wanted to tell her to get out and not come back till I was my normal level of crazy. She wasn’t supposed to see me this way. I wasn’t supposed to be this way any more.

I am petrified of this space I’m in. I’m petrified of backsliding to that person I was . . . I’ve said so many times “I want Parker back in this world, but I do not want the person I was back.” and right now, I feel like that person I was.

But at the same time, it’s also that whole “I’m suicidal and it’s not what you think.” Because I do still want a tomorrow. I don’t want to keep doing this, and I hate who I am when I’m like this, and I hate how I feel when I’m like this, but I don’t want to act on it either.

I still want a tomorrow, even if it means that there will be more tomorrows that feel like this.

Hopefully I can keep remembering that even in the middle of the fog that closes in during the worst of it.

But for now, the dishes are done again, and I ate for the first time today, and tomorrow will hopefully feel a little better.