Drive

I had to drive up to my mom’s today, so I could be with her for a meeting tomorrow and take care of a few things for her. It’s not always good for my mental health to be around her, but I do try to appreciate the time I do get to spend with her as she ages. We’ve always had a rather rocky relationship, not helped by teenage angst, my dad dying when I was 19 and me taking over most of the things she should have been responsible for, and then me resenting that for the last 10+ years. So I know I can’t do everything, and I can’t even be here all the time for her. I feel guilty for that, but I have to live my own life too. I spent way too long letting her dictate what would happen that I have to struggle and fight to do it now.

The drive up here also put a few other things in perspective for me. Because it has been presented to me that I’m not as forthcoming with some of my friends when something is bothering or if there’s something going on. A lot of that is it’s a survival instinct for me. I wasn’t allowed to talk about how I felt or how I was coping with things growing up so I learned to hide it away to deal with it later. That is not a healthy way of dealing with things. So I have to adjust and remember that I can rely on those closest to me when I am lost in my own head. They’ve proven that I can time and time again, I just get set in my ways.

I also got to play a bunch of music I hadn’t listened to in forever. It was refreshing to listen to some of the music I did in high school. And I’ll even say I laughed in the car when three very specific songs that a friend of mine and I have a love/hate relationship with came on one right after the other. The irony of those 3 songs playing back to back right now is just amazing. It reminded me that I’m not as alone as I think I am at times.

So now I sit here in Iowa, taking care of things before leaving again on Tuesday. I know I’ll be back here again, probably sooner rather than later, but that’s ok. I have people I can count on that will support me, no matter my mood, no matter how much I waiver on decisions, and they actually care about me for who I am. And for right now, that’s enough.

~T

Self-Doubt

I stared at a blank page, for too long. Deciding what to write, if I should even write, am I doing anything productive with this besides getting out my thoughts? Doubt creeps in at the worst moments in our lives and feeds on the emotions to get past our defenses.

I doubt a lot of things right now. I doubt myself- my fragile friendships, potential relationships, working, cooking, doing what’s right by my mom, I honestly fully doubt I should even be existing at this point. I’m a walking contradiction. I do my best to show everyone kindness, compassion, that someone cares. Yet I can’t even give myself those three things, let alone deserve those things from someone else.

Every day I seem to battle the monsters of my mental illnesses. Every day I fear I lose a little more of myself to them. My depression and anxiety eat away at me. Destroying the things I love and people I care about in their wake. Those two things are slowly destroying my ability to care about others- and it frightens me. My compassion and empathy have always been strong points for me. Things that even the worst circumstances haven’t crumbled, yet something I can’t control does it without a look at the damage. The pieces that have to be picked up, aren’t ones that I want to pick up. In them, I just see me at my worst, a selfish coward who can’t be bothered to even smile at anyone.

The self-doubt has crept in and made itself at home in my head. I don’t know how to keep fighting it at this point, but I still have to try. If not for myself, then for others because I know I’m not in this or doing this alone.

All it takes is a spark to light a fire. One small, simple thing can create unimaginable change.

~T

 

 

More Anxiety Dreams

These dreams keep coming back…only they’re starting to get worse. I’m almost always afraid to go to sleep because I know the dreams will happen. Nothing I’ve tried has helped to drive it away. Calming teas, meditation, even staying up so I’m so exhausted…none of it has worked so far.

Dreams have morphed a little from last time I wrote about them. There’s still no ending to them. There’s just a lot more confusion. A lot more being lost in caves. More conversation too, but I never remember what was talked about. I can remember the scenery, the time of day, the way dream me felt but not the important thing. It’s disheartening.

I’ve only been getting an hour or two at a time of sleep. I wake up confused and afraid. I can’t catch my breath sometimes afterwards. I know my subconscious is trying to tell me something, I just don’t know what the hell that is.

So I sit here awake, into the early morning hours. Watching and waiting as the world passes me by. Waiting for sleep to take control and the nightmares to come. I just want a few days of reprieve. Just to get a solid 4 hours of sleep without being startled awake before this drives me crazy.

Kindness is one of the few gifts anyone can give without ever having to struggle to repay. It’s something we should all be giving a little more freely in times like these.

~T

Weathering Storms

Sometimes I try to take on more than I know I can handle. I know I multi-task well. But not well enough it’d seem. I’ve been watching a show on Netflix with a friend, I was listening to it tonight while I played a video game and chatted with someone else. I was doing my best to split my attention but I missed some bigger moments of the show.  Which sucks, but I was ok with that. My friend never expressed that he wanted me to have my undivided attention there, or even just focused on spending time with them. Instead, I was left feeling hurt because I unintentionally hurt them by not paying as much attention as I should have.

I’m human. I make mistakes, but is it so wrong to expect some of these things to be communicated to me? If someone wants to spend time with me and have my undivided attention shouldn’t I know that instead of just assuming it? So instead I end the day feeling defeated. Knowing I once again let someone down, by not thinking of everyone else’s feelings instead of just my own.

I’ve also apparently said things I don’t remember that I’m doing too now. I can’t make up for the fact that I don’t remember saying those things with that intent, but now I know not to say anything even if I’m worried. It’s not my place and I need to relearn that.

So I once again batten down the hatches and wait for this part of the storm to pass. It’s the first bump like this in a while, and hopefully, it’ll be the only one. Be kind to yourself and others. It’s something small that we can all do that creates a lasting impact.

~T

Disappointment

So it’s not often that I feel like I’m a disappointment to myself or to others. Today though? I’ve felt that way. And I know realistically that I’m not disappointing anyone (except maybe my Mom), but I still can’t shake the feeling.

I purposely laid in bed until almost noon today. I didn’t sleep well and just didn’t want to get up or be responsible. From there I was a disappointment by getting fast food for lunch followed by sitting on my bum and not doing a darn thing that was productive.

I finally did grill dinner, and a few other things for a couple of days while my friend/roommate and I continue our futile attempts at meal planning. This is something that’s an ongoing struggle since we moved in together over a year ago. But I’m going to keep trying because something has to stick before I start working. Now, where was I? Oh yeah being a disappointment.

I managed to burn the bacon I was trying to grill. I then threw caution to the wind a few hours later and bought more junk. Because nothing says that I’m trying to lose weight and eating low carb like sugary sodas and candy.  On top of that, I’m trying to keep moving forward but I just can’t. I hurt. I’m sad and I’m just a failure. Or that’s what it feels like right now.

These feelings will pass, soon I hope. Until then I just have to keep trying to remember to be as kind to myself as I am to others.

~T

I’ve spent the last 24 or so hours in a funk. Part of me knows it’s because I’m sad that things didn’t work out the way I would have liked. Another part of me is angry and upset at the fact this person said they wanted me to be me then made me feel bad for it. I wish I had wise words today- or really any words. But I have none. I’ve been grumpy, snapping at my amazing friend who’s dealing with their own issues. I haven’t been there for them today and that hurts too. Because it’s not who I am to not be there for other people. I also know that my friend is upset because I still had some people messaging from something I’ve posted elsewhere, and I wish like hell they could find some others to talk to as well.

But I can honestly say he’s my person. He understands and tries to lift me up even when I don’t want it. He doesn’t push if I get quiet. He accepts me for me. As flawed as I am, and will continue to be. But he knows I needed to take today to get perspective. So today was my one day. My one day of feeling off. My one day of allowing to feel the self-pity and just general heartbrokenness. Tomorrow is new. A new start, a new chance, a new attempt.

I can’t let my own self-doubt get the better of me.

~T

Being Selfish

Is it always wrong to be selfish? The more giving that someone is of themselves the less likely they are to feel it’s ok to be selfish in some aspects. I know I fall squarely into this mindset. I don’t believe that I should have any of the good things I do in my life because I didn’t do enough to earn them. It’s that way with relationships for me too.

I firmly believe that no one person is going to 100% fulfill all of your needs, wants and desires. It’s just statistically impossible for me. At that same time, how much do we compromise for the people we love? Do you compromise who you are deep down, or do you compromise the feelings you have for someone? Do I sacrifice who I am deep down, and sacrifice my love for another? Or do I let it all play out by putting all of the pieces on the board and see where things go? Which could lead to everything ending and I then miss out all the way around. There are so many possibilities and variables that I don’t even want to or have the capacity to think of them all.

In the end, I end up losing. I lost someone I cared deeply about. Because I was honest about my feelings for the first time in a while. I can’t take back the loss of trust caused, but at the same time, I have to be true to myself. I’ll get back up after this knockdown, a little more bruised, but with some more perspective on things. Hopefully, there is someone out there who can love me-not just the idea in their head of me, but the person I am- the kindhearted, caring, loving person that has some pretty damn big flaws.

But until then, I just keep fighting for the good things and doing my best to be kind in spite of it all.

~T

Anxiety and Battling My Dreams

My anxiety has been astronomically high lately. I’m on edge about jobs, living spaces, the future, the past, and everything in between. My familial tremors in my arms have been worse the last few days than they have been in quite a while. They are almost at the rate/duration when I was diagnosed with them. Are they related to my anxiety/depression/stress? No idea- my neurologist at the time said to just have a drink when one started, and that should take care of it. My family is full of functional and not so functional alcoholics. My grandparents owned a bar at one point, one of my uncles ultimately died from his drinking. That’s not advice a doctor should give so lightly. So I just deal with them as they come. It only slows down my typing, makes it hard to chop/cut things up at times but otherwise, it’s just a nuisance. But it makes me self-conscious. I still don’t want to be the freak who can’t always control my limbs.

So as I get ready to start a lot of new things, I know I can’t hide it forever. I know coworkers will see and ask questions. That brings a whole new level of anxiety. I don’t like being the center of attention or put on the spot about something that’s happening to me. That anxiety creeps into everything. Is moving really such a good idea? Are you sure that this is the area you want to be in for a little while? You claim to want stable but have you looked at yourself in the mirror- the only thing stable about yourself is the weight you are and the predictability of the fact you’re going to get hurt again one way or the other.

I try to keep myself together and strong for the people around me. But the mask is slipping. I don’t know how much longer I can be like this. I’ll keep trying until it either weighs me down to where I can’t do it anymore or until the chaos passes and things get better.

I keep dreaming that I’m falling into a dark, wet pit. In that pit is a monster I can’t see. I only hear it.  It occasionally whispers menacingly at me in a language I don’t understand but from the tone, it makes me scared. I yell for help, hoping someone will walk by and hear my pleas, clawing at the dirt and root bound walls.  I scream until my throat is raw, and no sounds come out. Suddenly, there’s the sound of something being dragged through the muck and water, before something tosses the large rectangular box at my feet. 

The creature snarls, “get in the box” before kicking the lid off at me. I find a renewal of my voice and scream some more as the muddy water splashes onto me, covering me in more filth. The creature sighs, “Why do the pretty one’s struggle?”

My vision goes black, and I wake up panicked in the box. I beat on it with my fists, and kick with my feet. It doesn’t budge. The thuds of my arms and legs making contact are the only sounds I hear. The top end of the box lifts slightly, as I began to get drug through this hell to god knows where.  I know there’s no airflow into the box, so if I can’t get out soon I’ll just be dying one way or the other. I try to calm myself, without taking deep breaths. I don’t know how long I’m being dragged through this place. It seems to go on and on. And that part of my dream just goes and never seems to end. 

 

Now I have no idea what to make of my dreams, let alone the other things my brain throws at me. All I know is if I go the rest of my life without having that dream again, it’ll be too soon. The only problem with that thought? I’ve had it the last 4 nights in a row.

Maybe tonight’s dreams will be better. And if they aren’t there’s always some kind of hope out there right?

~T

Upheaval

For the 3rd time in 1 month, I’ve packed and moved… It’s probably not my smartest of decisions but I feel it’s the right one. I’m where I feel I am needed the most. I’m sure there are some out there who would disagree, and tell me this was a dumb decision or that they’ll tell me ‘I told you so’ if it blows up. But here’s the thing. I don’t think it will blow up this time. There’s been a lot of heart-to-hearts about why I’m here and what it means that I am even after the things that were said about me to someone else. I’m ultimately here because I am too kind of a person. I give too many chances, but when I’m at the end of my capabilities, I will walk away. I was ready to walk away. The person I’m here helping saw that. Knew that I only can do so much and that they were out to just hurt me because they had been hurt too.

Only time will tell if this was a good or bad move. I’m hoping good. Because it is my best friend. The person who helped put my pieces back together right after my separation and ultimate divorce from my ex-husband. The person is a part of my life because I value all of the good I have seen of them, and all of the good I know they’re capable of. At a time when I was at my lowest, and some medical issues came up, they took care of me. They made sure my bills were paid- not wanting anything but an eventual payback but there was no rigid timeline. This is my time that I can pay them back. Between helping with bills, cooking, making sure that they are doing the things they need to I can start to pay back what I feel they are owed.

Part of the decision to move again was that my mom was doing better without me there than she was with me there. She’s moving around better, is eating more, has more energy and is just overall in better spirits. While she doesn’t fully understand why I’m doing what I’m doing, she supports me in it (which is something she doesn’t do often.) So I plan to go back for her appointments as I can, the ones I can’t I plan to call the offices and check what is going on. So there can’t be any more miscommunication, and so that the important medical information isn’t kept from me.

Will my time in Decatur be permanent? Probably not. I’m sure that I want to move away from here, and find a place that is a good fit for me, my family (what’s here now and what is still in the future) and live that happily ever after we all dream of. I know nothing is that easy, and there will be a lot of work, stress, and tears. But it will be worth it.

We all deserve good things. We just have to be willing to put the work in for them.

~T

Day? Who Knew Numbering Things Would Get Old So Fast?

Alright, so obviously the number thing is going out the window. I sometimes have a hard enough time keeping track of who I am, where I’m going and what I’m doing that things get a little sideways for me at times. Today, while not a bad day, just leaves me exhausted looking at numbers and the short amount of time I’ve been at things. I love writing, and I love getting my thoughts out but sometimes, it’s impossible for me to fully wrap my head around an idea and see it through. Today is one of those days.

So this may be a little all over the place- because I don’t edit and parse things down. I just write, make sure it looks good and my grammar isn’t totally atrocious and call it good. So you get my off the cuff, thoughts that are plaguing me right now. In no particular order of importance.

First off, I’ve been in Illinois helping a friend. What with or why isn’t my story to tell. It’s not been easy, but it’s been worth it.  I drove for 6 hours because my friend needed me. Insane? Maybe. But if nothing else I’m loyal to a damn fault. He and I have had many ups an downs in the time we’ve known one another, but we work past it. I know he’d be there for me if I needed him, just like I am here for him.

I know I’ve struggled a lot in the last couple of days with a few things. My anxiety has been through the roof. Not just about me and my situation, but for my friend. My depression through a curve ball at me that I didn’t see coming. I’m still not completely out of that one, but I can deal with it. It isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with feeling like this, and it won’t be the last either. I’m scared of leaving here tomorrow (Saturday.) I’m scared to leave my friend alone, not because he can’t handle it. I know full well he can. But because I can help now, and carve out time now, but I can’t promise that later. I have a job to find, an apartment to get and things to do in Iowa. But he understands, and I know that he’ll be okay in the long run even if things are tough right now.

On top of those fun issues, I have a long, boring 6-hour drive ahead of me tomorrow to go back. I am dreading it. I hate traveling alone. Music and podcasts only get me so far. I’m hopeful I can find some people to talk on the phone to and spend the day chatting or catching up with others. But if I can’t, it is what it is. When I get back I resume taking care of my mom and the joy that is. I know she’s been fine since I left on Tuesday, but I know I need to get back.

The other big thing right now, racing through my head and thoughts? Relationships. I’m in one. It’s been great so far. I’m a little scared because of the quickness things have moved, but at the same time, it feels right. It feels more right than my marriage ever did. I’ve only told one friend (and they’re happy I’m happy) but I know I can’t tell my mom. She’ll just criticize me and my decisions assuming I haven’t learned anything. Despite all of that, I’m happy. That is something I haven’t felt in a long, long time. I feel cared for. I know he would support me if I needed it. And you know what? It feels good.

Sometimes we just have to let ourselves feel the good things, and let ourselves get recharged so we can keep doing positive things.

~T