Tag: support

Thanksgiving

As I sit here with my mom, a turkey cooking in the oven, and all the sides ready to go in the oven soon, I’m left to reflect. Reflect on the last few years, reflect on times spent with family and friends and left to reflect on how my attitude and issues have weighed on myself and others. Yes, despite the almost constant state of depression and anxiety I’ve been in recently, there are still things to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for my friends. The very few of them that I do have and can count on. They bring me happiness, keep me grounded and let me know that it’s okay to be down, as long as we pick ourselves back up. There have been some ups and downs with all of them this last year, most significantly my best friend. I’m thankful for his patience, his kindness, and that we’ve both come out of a pretty dark place with a better understanding of each other and our friendship than we’ve had in a while.

My family, while mostly small and not people I put myself around frequently, I know there are some of them I can count on. When my mom got sick a couple of months ago, there were a few who reached out and few who helped. I’m grateful that they could when I could not get away to help.

There are so many other small things that I’m thankful for- rainy days, snow, the comfort of being in a warm house, not starving and mostly the ability to get my health- both mental and physical, back to some semblance of normal. I may never be what I once was, but I can get healthy, take care of the issues I have, and nurture the strength I have inside.

I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving and start to the holiday season.

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

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

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 4- Keeping Myself Accountable

Why am I doing things with a day count in them? It’s to help hold myself accountable. I want to see a streak of numbers that don’t have too many gaps or spaces. The purpose of my blog is it’s a place for me to work through my thoughts and feelings and document what I’m feeling, doing or seeing. If I help others along the way, that’s even better but it is not what I’m out for. It’s not my greater reason for this. I just want to be able to not gaslight myself or let others gaslight me about the things I am trying to experience for myself.

I have a hard time staying accountable to myself. I want to lose weight- but can’t keep track of calories or other things more than a few days before I give up. I like to keep a physical journal and calendar- I write important dates down but forget to write the small things down I’d like to remember. I want to be able to celebrate some of the smaller milestones I’ve ignored in the past.

Like today for instance- I’ve eaten like garbage, had more caffeine than I’ve had in weeks and just kind of lazed around. But I can also see the things I have done today- I helped a friend with a few things and am able to return home tomorrow with a bit more confidence that they aren’t going to get too bad too quickly again. I also found a little more resolve for just taking one of the jobs I’ve applied for instead of waiting things out for something better. I can always look for better- but I need something to pay the bills now. I have also tried to promise myself that I would try to stop eating like garbage once I get back home and not fall back into it if I have to come back to Illinois. I also have decided I need to force myself into some better sleep habits. I can’t always stay up half the night and be awake at too early o’clock in the morning. Lots of changes I want to make, the hard part is sticking to them.

So I hope to continue the day # format for a while- but if I quit, I know it’s not the end of the world either. As long as I get my thoughts and memories down- that’s the more important thing.

~T

Day 1- And There’s Just Not Enough Spoons

I’ll be the first to admit I wear my feelings on my sleeve and run headfirst into situations I have no business being in. I have a very long history of doing that, and I don’t plan to change that part of me. I like helping people, offering them support even if I am on the verge of my own breakdown. I don’t ask for that help in return, because I know most people can’t give me that time I need to feel more like myself. But today, I just don’t have enough spoons for a lot of others. I use the Spoon Theory a little differently than most. A lot of people use it for doing basic everyday things. I use it for interactions because they can wear me out depending on how emotionally driven they are.

A friend feeling suicidal? I’m generally the first one to hop in my car and do what I can to ease their pain, and just listen. Doesn’t matter if it puts me into danger or not. I go in, talk to them, let them talk, yell, vent, scream, whatever it takes. I help get them back into an ok state of mind and push them towards getting the help that they do need and deserve that I just can’t give.  I give them the normal suicide prevention hotlines, and there are some great texting options as well. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say there were times I’ve reached out to them for support for myself in some very dark times. It was some great crisis support staff that encouraged me to seek out therapy for own self-destructive behavior.

A different friend just needs someone to listen to their problems, no matter how big or small they are. I lend my ear and we spend time together with me just listening and offering bits of advice as I can. I don’t force my opinion and I don’t just straight out tell them that their problems are insignificant. I value that time with others because it helps give me perspective on some of my own problems and I can work through them with someone else.

Then there’s a third friend I have. We barely speak, just occasional messages on social media with the occasional visit if we are in each other’s vicinity. We live states apart but have been friends since we were kids. It’s all a different type of support, that no one can try to take away and we’ve lost touch at various times but always end up finding one another and picking back up like no time has passed and no distance is there.

In my own struggles with life, depression and just being overwhelmed, I’ve discovered that I can’t offer help to those I care about most if I don’t have enough spoons to take care of myself first. Today, I almost didn’t have enough spoons. I stayed up very late last night (ok it was into the very early morning hours before I finally slept a little), but a special someone I cared about needed my support. It was when I was woken up by the first friend with a phone call that I quickly shifted from having plenty to not having enough. Once the phone calls resolved and I talked with that special someone I started getting those spoons back. They showed they cared. They showed that the care and love weren’t just one-sided. And I quickly regained my footing for the day and was able to get a few of the things done that I really needed to.

But back to the subject at hand here. Sometimes all it takes a little kindness to someone we don’t even know. Other times it’s a smile and a friendly word to the cashier at the store we’re at. Just be kind. It doesn’t matter what your stance it, what your income is, what your politics are. It’s free to be kind and show compassion.

We all need some kind of support in our lives. I’ve finally found someone who understands that I give so much of myself so freely because I don’t know any other way to be. Even when it means I slowly destroy myself in the process. We have to help one another find the good things in life.

Be kind to each other. The world needs more of that.

~T

Information/Resources

Suicide Prevention:

1-800-273-8255

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Crisis Text Line:

Text HOME to 741741

https://www.crisistextline.org/

LBGTQ

1-866-488-7836

or text START to 678678

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

There are other groups that offer help out there, and I’ll be happy to include them here.

But if you or a loved one are in crisis, please reach out to your local first responders/ call 911 or your local emergency number.