Daily Archives: January 7, 2014

12 degrees below functional

Mother Nature dumped 8 inches of snow and minus 12 degree temps on us. For two days, I did nothing. Well actually Sunday I did nothing. Yesterday I did make sure the car would start and did some housework. It feels like climbing a mountain to do the simplest things and honestly, it’s annoying. Want to feel more depressed? Take a blow to your self esteem by being so minimally functional even you yourself think you’re a loser.

Today brought little choice. Dug the car out of the snow. Went to the grocery store. That was a treat. I get there and my mind goes blank because being around others makes me feel so freaked out. Throw in the 4 year old Tasmanian devil and the simple errand threatens to send you to a locked ward.

I have been irritable, grumpy, quick to anger and  I HATE it. I don’t wanna be this way. Being this way makes me feel lousy. Yet even as I write this my kid is talking a mile a minute, yelling, threatening to kill me, squirming on the bed railing and ignoring everything I say. This makes me irritable. I threaten to ground her she says “Do it!” I stand her against the wall, she beats her fists against the wall until the clock falls to the floor. Why would I be stressed with a well behaved angel like this? But the angel face is all she shows everyone else and I just look like this immature and selfish woman who can;t handle a normal hyper kid.

I have cared for many other kids and NONE behaved this way toward me so I reject the notion it’;s just me being incapable of handling the situation. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the answer is. Everyone and their dog has stellar advice and I have tried it all. Because the angel obeys them they think the problem is with me. I’m not the greatest supermom but I make an effort only to have it stomped on daily and I am still here trying so my devotion cant be faulted.

I just wish I had stronger nerves, I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to noise, wish I was more patient, wish wish wish.

I don’t think the Cymbalta is working this time, at all. Yet half a year ago it was the wonder drug from heaven for me. What happened? I don;t want to start a new one,ffs. But I don’t accept that it is normal to feel this way and I do not accept that it can’t get better.

Two days of semi suck. One day of suckiness-ish. Makes me question if the dual mood stabilizer thing is doing anything since I can’t seem to maintain the same mood more than a few hours.

Frustrating.


Isolation

Thank you once again to the website Our Buddy System for recognizing  my writing. 
 
Do you ever find yourself stuck?  Not really interested in seeing people or even just taking a quick trip to the store?  Does it begin to feel like the only way you want to live?  In all honesty, I would say that isolating myself is one of my biggest road blocks.  Especially this time of year, I find myself never leaving the house.  I hate this weather, and because the weather puts me in a bad mood, I feel like I am entitled to spend 24/7 inside my house.  I keep telling myself that everyone will understand. 

I let commitments slip away because I can’t face the idea of leaving the house.  I start to get down on myself and my appearance, and swear that once I lose a few pounds, I will be OK to see people again.  It all feels very normal to me, and as long as I can wake up in the morning, and say to myself, “I don’t have anywhere that I have to go today”, I feel fine. 

Suddenly, I realize that I have spent so much time alone that being around other people causes me a great deal of anxiety.  I am terrified because I have taught myself that avoidance is best.  Panic attacks set in, and I feel as if I can no longer cope.  It’s a vicious cycle, it really is.  Once the fog clears a little, and you realize that you have been deliberately avoiding life for whatever reason, the guilt begins to kick in, and now you are more depressed than you were before. 

Does any of this sound familiar?  Have you heard from family or professionals that you are prone to this behavior, but set it aside thinking they don’t know what they are talking about?  You, my friend, like me are isolating yourself. 

Do I have all of the answers?  No, of course not.

I do however have years of experience, yet I find myself walking down the same path, year after year.  Anything feels better than anxiety.  Even being completely alone.  There are days when I long to be completely alone, but once I find myself in that position, I am so desperately depressed because I feel as if my illness is driving people away. 

How do you find your way out of the dark? Baby steps….quite literally.  I start with showering and getting dressed.  Possibly doing my hair and make up for once.  Once that mountain is conquered, I decide whether I have accomplished enough, or do I feel strong enough to take on a little bit more? 
Do I need anything from the drug store up the road?  Maybe the car needs to be washed, or we need paper towel.  However small the reason, if it gets you out of the house, even for half an hour, know that you have met your goal.  Head on back home, knowing that you have succeeded for today, and perhaps tomorrow you can try again.  Maybe stay out a little longer. 

I often wait for my husband to come home, so that I can go out with him.  Especially in winter, when the driving is bad.  If I am struggling, and begin to feel panicked, he can talk me through it.  Find that one person who “gets” you.  No matter who it is.  Ask them if they will accompany you on a short trip.  Do not let yourself back out.  Have them meet you at your house. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to feel as if I am saying because you have isolated yourself, that you are now a bad person.  I am not a bad person, and I quite frankly succumb to the need to isolate a few times a year.  I just want you to find a way out of this hole you have crawled into.  This behavior isn’t healthy for any of us.  You don’t want to look back on life with regret.  None of us wants to feel as if we have failed at anything.  So, set yourself on a course for success.

It will be a struggle……as most things are when you are battling depression.  The struggle is what makes you stronger.  Feel proud of yourself for recognizing that you have this problem.  I am happy that I have brought my isolation to light.  If you can’t do it today, especially due to the winter weather, make a realistic goal for yourself.  I can tell you that when you return home from your errands, and you take a moment to think, you will feel a sense of relief.  Now you know you CAN

SEX with a side of Mental Illness

ImageThere people probably don’t have a mental illness…fuckers..

 You know what the worst problem has been for my relationship while dealing with this mental illness?

SEX

Sex for me has become non-existent. It has become so far in the back of my mind, Pluto isn’t ANYWHERE NEAR IT! and why is this? I never can think of anything sexual at all. My mind is either angry, depressed, sad, or on the go. What time do I have to slow it down and think about having sex?

My husband is so patient, but even patience has its limits. The other day I told him it was okay to see other people sexually, because I can’t give him what he needs/likes right now. How ABSURD! He told me he’s never do that, but how can I keep our sex lives active, and still try to deal with that’s going on with me?

I use to love sex. I use to be good at it. Now, I clam up every time he touches me. I feel blah even sitting here typing about it. Sex has become so foreign…

Is this my mind getting in the way?

How do you handle SEX with a mentally-illed person?


Sick day

Oh dear.  I was all set to write this fantastic post about sevens, and I suddenly got whacked with the headache from hell.  Plus I’ve been coughing all day.  Plus it’s zero degrees and dropping, and my windows are drafty, and….I’m going to take something narcotic and go to bed.  Hopefully, whatever this is will be over tomorrow and I can write my fantastic post on sevens.  Take care and be well, bloggie friends!


Let Me Use Humor

I’ve always been a bit of a ham.
Smiling may be Buddy the Elf’s favorite, but laughing is mine. I enjoy watching shows like 30 Rock, The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Portlandia, South Park, Family Guy, and Modern Family. I live for parody and satire, but I can also appreciate a solid fart joke. I come from a family of funny people who appreciate laughter – it’s the only thing I love about my extended family.
In high school, I was known for my participation at improv. When I was on stage, I wasn’t worried about looking cute or pretty; I did whatever the scene called for. I loved that I could make people laugh. I tried stand-up comedy a few times my junior year of high school, but I failed. Besides the fact that I stood still like a choir girl and refused to move around the stage, my material was my biggest problem. It wasn’t until my last performance that I really stumbled upon something funny, something worth laughing about.
It was mental health.
When I told jokes about my anxiety, about being in therapy, about depression, that’s when people laughed. I have a feeling that they weren’t laughing out of some sick, schadenfreude-fueled inner cruelty. They were laughing because they could relate. After all, one in four people deal with mental illness, and we have all witnessed it. Since mental health is something so relatable, shouldn’t I be allowed to joke about it?
At that time, I lacked the confidence to pull off a whole set about mental illness. I think I could do it now, but I’m not sure. I don’t want to be seen as abusing the knowledge I have acquired and the relationships that have formed during my journey. I don’t want to be seen as laughing at people with mental illness. I am not an enemy of those who fight mental illness on a daily basis. I am their ally. But I would like the opportunity to spread the message of what we go through with humor.
As we work to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness, we have several tools. We have legislation, literature, and laughter. I don’t think we should forget about the third simply because it’s less poetic than the other two.
Joking about mental illness can be uncomfortable; I’ve noticed this first-hand at home. My dad will laugh at almost anything, but when I crack a joke about one of my symptoms, he is solemn. Now, this might be because my joke sucks, but I think I also make him a bit uncomfortable. I think as a society we’re not used to seeing people make fun of their own disabilities. I appreciate my roommate, Kathleen, because she lets me make jokes about feeding my leftover meds to the Towson University squirrels to see if they gain weight as rapidly as I did. She even laughs sometimes. 
When I tell jokes about my mental health experience, I would be lying if I said I did it only to start a conversation. It also makes me feel better. Let me use humor to describe what is happening to my mind and my body. Let me take a break from feeling ashamed and angry. Let me try to make you laugh when I’m hurting inside.
Bottom line: Mental illness does not respect barriers such as culture or country. Everyone is susceptible. Let’s use our shared language, laughter, to help fight the disease and its stigma.