Tag Archives: mental health

Antidepressants for ALL!

People are so easy to share (with me, because my superpower is communication) that they were (KEYWORD!) on antidepressants but the got off of them.

I don’t know if I should complain that you told me and then quickly told me that you got off them OR be happy that you told me you were on antidepressants..

This all coming after I confessed that I’m feeling really depressed and that’s probably why I lost 30 pounds..

Does and has everyone taken antidepressants? And if so WHY ISN’T mental illnesses widely talked about and understand…ed?!

I’m not on antidepressants.

I should be.

I’m not on anything..(well)..but who am I to judge her anyway? Mental illness, whatever face and shape it takes, is real.

Maybe I’m just jealous she got OFF them when some people can never stop taking them, or can’t get them in he first place. ✌🏿

Toss. Turn. Sleep. Wake. Toss. Turn. Sleep. Wake. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

My first kid free weekend in who knows how long. After a tumultuous year of unexpected change after change, a crippling months long depression, and overloaded anxiety circuits…I should be fast asleep at 4:19 a.m. Instead, I am sitting up watching Major Crimes, drowning in sinus drainage, thoroghly disgusted by just how extreme my disrupted sleep pattern has become.

I fell asleep sometime before 11 p.m….And I woke at 12:30, then 1:30, and again a little after 2 a.m. So I got up for a bit, turned on some news thing on PBS about foreign news stories and I moved to lay at the foot of the bed. More toss and turn, more racing mind and thudding heart in spite of a second 6 mg dose of melatonin, so in went more Xanax. And I nodded off.

Only to wake at ten til 4, wide awake, misrable in my drainage, and said, oh screw this.

I’ve always had sleep disorders-insomnia, somnolence, trouble falling asleep, oversleeping, not sleeping enough…But this disrupted cycle since my child was born 9 years ago…it’s insane. It’s exhausting. And everything I am hearing and reading says that this lack of rejuvenating rest could be making my depression and anxiety worse. Oddly, it’s the aspect of my disorders the professionals seem least concerned with. Probably because I refuse to take their old school sleeping pills like Trazadone because hey, I have a kid and need to be alert, not bombed out, and I can’t sleep 12 hours a day and spent two hours shaking off the damn headache hangover those sleeping pills give me.

So I try the ‘lights out, calming sounds only’method. Counting backwards, visualizing the STOP signing, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, no food or caffeinated drinks after 7 p.m. take my Xanax to calm my brain an hour before my melatonin…I am getting more exercise, more fresh air, more sunlight. I AM DOING EVERYTHING TO HELP MYSELF EXCEPT TAKING THEIR DAMN COMA PILLS and nothing helps, nothing works.

I tried the hypnotic sleep med route back when I had a decent doc who gave me samples. I’d wake up on the bathroom floor with no memory of walking there so thankfully, insurance wouldn’t pay for that crap and the samples ran out.

I tried their weak ass Vistaril and Restoril hoping if nothing else it’d help with my plethora of allergies and rioting histamines. Both took forever to kick in and didn’t keep me asleep but did give me headaches.

I’ve had a golden day or two this week. The days where nothing great happens but my mind feels steadier and even when something sucky does happen, my steady mind is able to cope with a modicum of lucidity and dignity. Golden days.

The nights, though, the start and stop sleep, over and over and over…Is is any wonder I am always on edge, always tired, never feel revived enough to leap out of bed, happy to face the day?

If you told someone your phone only charges to 40% and goes dead after a couple hours of use, they’d say buy a new battery so it’d charge fully and work better.

But if you’re a lowly person who can never recharge properly to work optimally…meh, no biggie. Your fault for not wanting to take pills that make you bombed out and hungover.

And by the way, even with those coma drugs and sleeping 12 hours a day, I was still always tired because even taking them for years, that morning hangover never would lessen or go away. That’s no way to live any more than this sleep/wake cycle.

I am frustrated. I should be elated, I have another entire day and night knowing my kid is safe and having fun with her grandma and aunt. My time. I was going to do this and that around the house, and hey, if I can’t sleep, I can day nap without a kid to watch. Except dad and stepmonster are going out of town and my brother is staying home to babysit their neighor’s dog…and dad and stepmonster, assholes they are, said, “Your brother is going to be home alone with (husky pup) so he’s probably going to bring him over to your house so you can help out.”

My brother turns 23 in July. How hard is it to go without mommy and daddy for 3 or 4 hours and take care of a damned puppy? Infringing on me quiet time without regard to my feelings is one more reason I have so much resentment for them. They give zero fucks about what I might have planned. Or even I have no plans, hey, I’d like ONE bloody day without another living soul aside from my cats in my proximity.

But hey, I’m 45, paying to live here without their help, and apparently, I’m still a child whom they can inform has to hang around to help her little brother. With a dog. And hey, that dog is awesome, but 15 days in a row those people have been in my face…enough is fucking enough. I say so, they laugh, snort, and ignore me. Were I a wealthy sociopath, I’d hire someone to kneecap them just so they couldn’t get around as easily and bug the fuck out of me.

I am disappointed in myself sometimes for not being a sociopath. Those are some of the happiest most successful people on the planet. Damn having a soul and conscience all to hell.

That concludes my early morning rant. MAYBE if I were ever able to sleep for more than 3 solid hours I wouldn’t be so rant-y. Don’t think I’m ever gonna be able to mythbust that one since it’s more likely I’ll win Publisher’s Clearing House money than get 6 solid hours sleep in my lifetime.

The Perception Misconception

I’ve long said there’s very little truth, only personal perception. The problem with personal perception is, often, there is no malicious intent. We are all human, prone to bias based on our own experiences, so often our truth is very different from what is scientific fact, or fact proven with evidence. Now this could launch me into a political tirade but instead…

If I say, “I remember you doing this, and I said that…” Well, that is my personal memory and perception of the matter.

You can say, “No, you took it out of context, you didn’t hear me correctly…” And that would be your truth, your perception.

But if a video camera captured that same exchange and showed either you, I, or both were wrong and it unfolded differently…that’s fact. That’s proveable truth, not fallible human perception.

So short of every moment of your existence being video taped, there are going to be many, many times when perception on either side of the fence is simply wrong or a misunderstanding or breakdown in communication. And it’s okay because, hey, only human, we make mistakes, blah blah blah.

The ONE time when I do, however, find different perceptions to be very dangerous is when you have a legitimately diagnosed mental disorder, but those around you don’t mere debunk it but flat out refuse to believe it could possibly be for real. This is when perceptions can become harbingers of doom.

My family, AKA THE ORIGINAL harbingers of doom, perpetually doubt, question, dismiss, debunk, scoff- any negative reaction to mental illness one can have, my entire family practices. No matter the long mental disorder history on both sides, or the fact that my mom, me, my sister, my brother, my great grandmother-all spent time in treatment or in a psych hospital for the disorders-changes perception. Hell, even my mom and sister declared themselves cured and only weak people need medication, I need to get over myself.

Battling this daily- perception ceases to be benign and becomes a malignancy. Frankly, it beats the hell out of your self esteem because these are the very people who are supposed to love and accept you, as you are, no matter what and yet they make you feel as rejected and dejected as the masses. It takes a strong psyche to face this daily battle and not lose your mind or be overwhelmed with self doubt and self hatred.

It may hurt a little less but facing the same sort of invalidation from friends and romantic partners never gets easier. You warn them, this is my condition(s), this is how it can get bad, they swear they are strong enough and care enough to weather it out…then time after time, abandon ship because they had no idea you were so difficult.

Much as the rejection stings, I can’t help but laugh derisively. Wussies. They get to walk away cos it’s too tough. I don’t get that luxury. Furthermore, I basically slap myself with a ‘toxic’ skull and crossbones as well as a ‘biohazard’ label as warnings and still..the cockroaches scurry off. Oh, wait. That’s MY PERCEPTION, not fact. They’re not really bugs and they have every right to flee and not be dragged down by whatever shit I have going on. But I perceive their abandonment less as them trying to spare themselves and more as persecuting me for that which isn’t in my control. And they perceive my disorders as some sort of personal affront on them, as if they bring out the worst in me or I hate them so I’m moody or high strung. (Again, when greeted with a skull and crossbones and biohazard symbol, take a beat and THINK.)

And there’s the rub. Perception deception.

While everyone perceives me as negative and pessimistic, I truly do tend to view most negative views towards those with mental diagnoses as simple ignorance, rather than something evil or personal. People get scared of what they don’t know or understand and they lash out or tense up. Ignorance, however, can be resolved with some information and communication. I’d like to think *most* are willing to be educated and learn more facts before a final judgment. But the bottom line is, there will always be those who simply will never come around. And while they may judge me as crazy, I feel pity for them. Some are born not very bright and due to educational lacking or some sort of impairment, they can’t really become the next Einstein.

Ignorance, however- that is a choice. And if you are presented with facts and personal experiences and still choose to be ignorant and hold ignorant views…you are to be pitied. Nothing sadder than choosing to be dumb when the information is right in front of you.

But, hey, again…perception deception. Maybe the masses that are asses (gotta love L7 for that title) have it right and my perception is all wrong.

Maybe pegacorns are real, politicians aren’t corrupt, and body odor smells pleasant.

Not fucking likely.

But I am humble enough to entertain the merest possibility that my perception could be wrong. If so…

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE PEGACORNS BE REAL.

Gas is up to $3.15 a gallon and I can’t handle being in Armpit, I need transportation. 😉

Now.

I feel weirder than ever.

I’m tired but yet hype

I’m thinking about things that need to be done, then switching it, switching, forgetting about the it, coming back to it.

I’m feeling my weight loss and I feel like I’m feeling myself too much. Time to get out of control.

I’m doing things I should NOT be doing.

I’m just tired y’all.

Bad Synapses

I eventually recovered from yesterday’s panic ninjas and near public meltdown. Even made another trip to town to get something I forgot that my kid needed for end of school, some party they’re having. The difference between trip one’s freak out versus trip two when I was totally in control of my mental state. I even got a little more sleep than usual and honestly, I think it’s because I’ve burned out on watching Ion (they’re repeating episodes of shows they just showed two weeks ago, wth?) and I braved running the laptop all night so I could fall asleep to Forensic Files.

I woke up a few times, of course, but went right back to sleep. That narrator’s voice (he passed away, may he rest in peace) is just soothing even if the topics of the show aren’t what one would consider comforting during sleep. It works for me. I have GOT to get the $60 to get a used computer tower so I can return to my old routine of falling asleep to shows of my choice that lull me. I love my laptop for streaming and surfing and email, but these things aren’t made to run 18 hours a day and after watching an episode of 9-1-1 where a lady’s laptop caught on fire…My fear and paranoia of running the laptop too hard have metastasized.

Today started out with hitting snooze six times and eventually dragging myself out of bed. My kid was up on her own and dressed and in good spirits. Oh, the end of school, I remember it well, it made me so happy, I too, was up and ready to get it over with.

Almost immediately, the anxiety and panic set in, though. Tomorrow is the last day of school. Three months of my kid and me 24-7 and even with a tablet, TV, dvds, vhs tapes, books, art supplies, outdoor toys…The kid can’t stay focused and interested more than 15 minutes then we launch into hours of “I’m bored!” Toss in how often her little neighbor friend will probably be over, and of course, he’s only 5 and a handful so she wants me outside watching them and with my allergies and nervous hives- three months of being outside does not sound like a good time. Just three minutes waiting for the bus the other day resulted in me getting four bug bites, which turned into raised itchy welts all over my legs.

So the anxiety induced hives have kicked in today. I don’t know why I am suddenly freaking out, it’s not my first summer with the ADHD bored bunny. But it is our first summer in Armpit and there are no activities in town for the kids and I can’t afford the drive to town for programs there so…Enter churning stomach ache from nerves. Maybe I can take a Pepcid to calm the stomach acid, whether it works is always a toss up.

I’m just sick of living with bad brain synapses. There is something wrong with my brain and body for the anxiety to impact me so randomly yet so extremely. Most anxiety disorders, people hyperventilate, feel woozy, but breathing exercises bring them out of it over time. For me, it’s hours after the onset of an anxiety attack to recover and regain equilibrium. The stomach aches, trips to the bathroom, nausea, dizzness, sweating…My synapses just seem determined to keep me fight or flight mode and do it randomly, not just with usual triggers.

So once again, anyone have any information on the use of beta blockers to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety disorder? REALLY curious.

So I updated the fundraiser site and as promised, I included receipts accounting for every cent. I am going to keep it going because, well, the move put us under financially but the expenses, usual and extra, keep coming.

Care and share, donate, whatever way you can help. A huge thanks to those who donated, it’s a kindness that helped us immensely and we will never forget it.

And for today’s ‘aww’ moment…my stepmonster got me a couple of silicon baking pans at a yard sale and of course, I am not Bettry Crocker, in no rush to bake so I left them on the desk…And Hex curled up inside them. Why bother buying cat beds when cookwear works just as well?

Ninja Anxiety Pounces

A friend (? she pretty much ignores me these days, so former friend? Meh, she’s got her own mental shit going on, I won’t make it all about me) would often nod off while we chatted on line and she’d called it ninja sleep. Comes from out of nowhere and launches an attack, you’re down before you know what hit you.

THAT. That’s my anxiety.

After a very rough night trying to sleep in spite of physical pain and irritating cats either trying to lay on my head or murder me, I got about 4 hours of sleep, interrupted into about 6 seperate pieces. Needless to say, start of the curse, exhaustion, and the humidity suddenly rising after a few cool rainy days…my discomfort is palpable. Still, after 4 days trapped here in Armpit, I thought a chance to go to town (thank you to those who donated, I paid car insurance on time for the first time in 3 months, you guys are amazing!!!) would be a welcome change.

Instead…I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach on my way out the door. I figured it’d go away once I was out and about. Instead, like a gang of ninjas it swept in, and metastasized like a cancer. Bad juju, I call it, when I get those gut feelings that something bad is going to happen in the absence of any proof. Needing to make multiple stops, including Hellmart (for cat food and litter, and oh, a cheap new litter box cos I cracked the old one when I was trying to chisel and clean it out), just made it worse. Like I was racing a ticking clock. The one saving grace was the self check out at Hellmart didn’t fuck up on me for once and I was out of there pretty fast. Onto the next and next stop.

Gas is up to $2.99 a gallon. I balked at $2.69. It was a moderate issue living in town but out of town…egad, I am literally stranded by dollar signs, considering one trip to town to the necessary stores is 28 miles round trip. Only 16 of that is highway, so I’m looking at about $5-$6 a trip. (Broken gas gauge, iffy other gauges, not sure what kind of mileage I am actually getting.) And the place where I usually get gas has had a cash only sign for a week and frankly, I am too lazy to drive 6 miles to the ATM that doesn’t charge me for withdrawals, so I just get it wherever now and that contributes to my anxiety. I have this thing about using the same place, the same gas pump, every time. If this routine is disrupted, well, more bad juju.

It’s ridiculous, I know.

I was supposed to get something for my kid at the dollar store, but…it was all I could do to make the necessary stops then flee town like flames were chasing my bumper. The inner voice just kept telling me I needed to get home NOW. Back to my safe space. In my crypt. Which these days isn’t so peaceful or safe thanks to my interloping fraternal family faction but it’s still better than being out in the open feeling like I have a target on me. I got done what had to be done-pay insurance, get milk and cat stuff, gas, and I was supposed to get my med refills but I said fuck that, I NEED out of this bad mental space, I need my crypt. (That’s what my dad has always called my homes cos my light sensitivity dictates dark curtains to soothe me from screeching sunlight during my high anxiety periods.)

Now I am in my safe(ish) space, praying my brother doesn’t barge in to use the internet (seriously, people, is a call or text first too fucking much to ask????), everything’s out of the car, insurance is paid for another month and we have milk for our cereal and stuff. I can breathe. I took 2mg Xanax, to my chagrin, but once the anxiety ninjas attack…Bad Thoughts aren’t far behind and if Xanax wards them off…So be it. Though I am must admit to being curious about the use of beta blockers for the physical symptoms of anxiety attacks. My insurance wouldn’t pay, no doubt, and whatever quacktor I am forced to see at the center for psych health wouldn’t be on board, but if anyone who reads this has tried beta blockers or knows someone who has for anxiety, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

It’s old hat, knowing full well I am not going to die from panic attacks and generalized anxiety, even though it’s terrifying, crippling, and miserable.

It’s the physical symptoms that hinder my ability to cope. Today alone resulted in foul smelling sweat, churning stomach necessatating urgent trips to the bathroom, trembling, paranoia, feeling my heart pounding in my head and throat…Xanax has been my wonder drug for calming my mind from the anxiety and panic, but the physical stuff is immune to it, no matter what the doctors say. There’s how a med should work, how it works for millions, and then there’s how it actually works for some of us. I’ve tried all the benzos and non benzos and only Xanax calms my mind, quiets the paranoia and fear, and doesn’t render me a drooling half comatose simpleton. (Which reminds me of a draft, well, a title I saved, wanting to explore why so many people experience cognitive impairment from benzos like Klonopin, Xanax, etcs, because honestly, it makes my mental clarity sharpen. Another post.)

So, yeah, panic and anxiety attacks aren’t going to kill me, this I know, I accept it.

But when you’re looking for work or trying to make friends, or god forbid, meet someone and try to date and form a relationship…the random trips running to the bathroom doubled over with gastric distress, the stinky body drenching sweat, the paranoia- not attractive. Definitely does not make people want to be around you, let alone hire you for a job. I’ve tried excessive bathing, layering on body washes, lotions, sprays, prescription anti perspirants, absorbent powders, deep breathing, the STOP sign method to slow my mind….I’ve tried EVERYTHING and still the physical symptoms come. I’d had high hopes, based on what others had told me about good experiences with gabapentin, that that might have been my magic drug for anxiety. Instead, it was an epic fail that even jacked up my blood pressure all the while heightening anxiety and decreasing my cognitive function and lucidity.

So, anyone? Information on the efficacy of beta blockers to treat anxiety? I understand its primary use is for social anxiety, with the end goal of being able to face that anxiety without the beta blockers, I am desperate here. Feedback is always appreciated, I don’t ask for it incessantly. Chime in if you have any info, firsthand or secondhand or whatever.

I am calming down. Safe space and Xanax, my heroes.

The most important thing is that in spite of my gut instinct and bad juju on my way out the door…I didn’t flake out and decide to stay home. I faced the fear…until it manifested as icky physical stuff and impacted my clarity, which are not things that work out well in traffic or public places. I didn’t avoid, I faced it. I just did so like the devil was hot on my heels and rushed back to my safe space.

Oh…For anyone not familiar with the above mentioned stop sign method for anxiety attacks…I can’t remember which therapist taught me that one, but basically you picture a big red stop sign in your mind and focus on that. Because anxiety disorders totally respect therapeutic tricks and obey. NOT. But I try it. And sometimes at night when the racing thoughts set in and the anxiety rises, I utilize the stop sign method, only I tweaked it to suit my own needs. I picture that big red sign, I picture those big STOP letters, but I repeat a mantra I concocted from the letters. S.T.O.P Serenity Tranquilty Offer Peace. STOP. And some nights it helps soothe the savage beast that is my spinning mind and it’s just a first step toward calming down enough to sleep but I think sometimes it helps. Then comes the counting. I count backwards from 1000, in odd numbers. 999, 997,995, all the way down to the number one. If I am still awake, I start back over at 999 and just keep doing it.

The flustering part of that is that my mind wanders so I’ll find myself counting the same sequence two or three times before realizing, hey, I already did all the odd numbers from 699 to 601….But I’ve been using this method for about 15 years and it helps, if not to sleep but to at least keep my mind focused on counting instead of worrying about, well, every tiny thing. I also picture an old school thermometer that’s red from the top to the bottom and red is my anxiety and stress, so I have to picture the red slowly lowering to the bottom, then I work my way up filling it in with blue, because, well, for whatever reason, blue is a soothing color for me.

I am aware how nutty I sound, but it’s just a hodgepodge of things learned in therapy that while not a cure, they can be of help sometimes. Mostly, though, safe space, dim lighting, low noise, and people free zones are what help the most.

I think the anxiety ninjas have left the building at least for now. I can’t help but feel like an epic failure, though. It would have taken all of five minutes to grab my refills at the pharmacy but…that inner voice was unrelenting, telling me to get the fuck out of dodge and back to my safe space.

I had enough trouble in town being outside my safe space for more than an hour. My escape hatch was always that I was rarely more than 15 minutes from being able to flee back to my crypt. Now I don’t have that quick escape hatch option and it’s terrifying. Living outside of town is feeding my anxiety disorder. If leaving my safe space is the trigger, and not being able to quickly return to it amplifies it…living in Armpit may render me unable to cope with trips to town very often. With gas so expensive, this might be a good thing, but then being further crippled by my disorder and turned into an uber hermit here isn’t healthy, at all.

I’m hoping today was a fluke, stemming from hormonal and physical agony, lack of restful sleep, financial strain, the fact I’ve had my family faction in my face 9 days straight…This cannot be the new norm. Up til today, the trips to town felt like jail breaks or being paroled. Except ya know for driving a car with a broken gas gauge and the other gauges are either broken or possessed by an automotive demon that makes me them go all over the place even when the car is in park. I don’t want to be an uber hermit. It feeds the anxiety and depression, fills me with guilt and self loathing, makes me feel weak.

The one constant that is very real and inescapable are the nasty physical symptoms that accompany my anxiety. They’re embarrassing, they hinder me in so many ways, and while it’s easy for the professionals and peanut gallery to tell me it’s not that big of a deal…I am pretty sure someone wanting to work showing up drenched in sweat and reeking in spite of a carefully designed hygiene routine to not smell bad, and the abupt bathroom trips…doesn’t instill confidence or scream stability, hire this woman! No excuses, just facts. I’ve been ditched by friends and dates because my physical symptoms embarrassed them and dealing with me was too much trouble for them.

Employers have to be even more discriminating.

At least the depressive cloud isn’t enveloping me today. Just the anxiety ninjas.

Final note…My kid has a freaky phobia book (I had no idea people could be fearful of long words!) but a show I watched said the DSM hasn’t considered these things phobias since the 80’s. What used to be a fearful phobia of snakes or clowns or enclosed spaces…are all now considered anxiety disorders.

Seems like a disservice to those of us with free floating generalized anxiety disorders. We don’t fear simply one thing. We don’t always have triggers.

I know the diagnostic manual has to change and thankfully, it has and continues to do so, because I was not on board with women being called hysterical when depressed or anxious, and being gay as some sort of mental illness, are you off your nut? BUT at the same time, this whole new ‘behavioral health’ slant seems dangerous and unhelpful to many of us. Not doing so well adapating to that one. Mental illness isn’t exactly a glowing description but at least it acknowledges the problem stems from imbalanced chemicals as opposed to poor behavior.

All that venom now spewed…I am going to sit back (lay back, my spine is killing me when the cramps aren’t) and breathe and then try to face some housework. I want a helper monkey. And a therapy goat. And a floor mopping Roomba. Dishwasher. A dryer that doesn’t take 4 hours to dry one load. And most of all…one.good.night’s.sleep.

I am a demanding little snowflake, I know. But really, a therapy pygmy goat and sleep would be awesome.

I am going to update the fundraising page later, with receipts and every cent accounted for-just as I vowed. We’re not out of the woods, but the kind people who cared enough to donate…they made a big difference for me and Spook and we are eternally grateful. Free pegacorn rides for those awesome people!

Our Story.

The Comparison Trap: Self Anhilation Of The Psyche

A commercial sparked something in me. A dad talking about all the things he wanted to teach his kids. And I thought, well, I suppose I should teach my kid to bake and cook at some point…and I got images of boxed cake mix and brownie mix…accompanied by that stupid little voice pointing out, “Your mom and sister make their stuff from scratch most of the time, you’re not teaching your kid anything with box mixes.”

And so the comparison trap continues.

I suppose it’s an inevitable thing we do, as humans, compare ourselves to others. Maybe to gain perspective, maybe to motivate ourselves to do better, to strive for more. More often, I think it’s a form of self anhilation of the psyche. Knowing we can only be who we are and some of us are wired differently so we’re never going to be like so and so. It’s so easy to decide on that basis that you’re simply unworthy to live, or you’re a waste of space. Subpar, subhuman, lesser.

One of the first things you learn in therapy is that it’s unhealthy to make such comparisons. They encourage you to just be the better version of yourself without regard to who is superman or superwoman in whatever way. You can only be you, and you can strive to be a better version of you, but you can’t be someone else no matter how much you may desire it.

Thing is, outside of therapy, life doesn’t work this way.

People are constantly comparing you to others. In my case, my dad is constantly pitting me against my sister. She works, she’s a superb housekeeper, an excellent cook and baker, she’s pretty, she’s friendly. Then against their neighbor, who works full time and has a 4 year old son she is raising alone (except she has a bf who helps out a lot) so I am somehow less than both of them in his eyes.

In my own eyes when my mental state permits…I don’t view myself as competing with others thus needing the comparison. I am doing my own thing. I am focused on being a good mom, trying to teach my kid to be a decent human being and value more than just things with price tags. And in my case, I am doing it all alone. With the constant put downs and no positive reinforcement and battling my mental imbalances and financial struggles. It’s hard, it’s thankless, and occasionally, hell to the yeah, I’d like to hear, “You’re doing a good job.”

From my family, that simply does not happen on either side. Unless I snap and point out their negativity and lack of support then they might grudgingly say, “Yeah, you must be doing something right, Spook adores her mom.” THEN come the put downs about not working, or my anxiety and depression maybe harming my kid, or her not having every luxury is somehow neglectful.Oh, my and dad’s favorite rant, people on disability, because in his world, there’s no such thing, just laziness.

Last night he and stepmonster treated my 8 year old to a lecture about their harsh fathers and upbringing in which they were put to work driving trucks or working in fields detassling corn as soon as school let out from the time they were her age or younger. And yeah, they’re not being dramatic, that was their childhood in the boondocks being raised by men who weren’t their bioligical fathers so they were treated very harshly. (In my dad’s case, it was rural country in the ’50’s, long before it was considered a crime to beat your kids or work them at such a young age, but she’s 3 years younger than me, you gotta wonder where the child protective services were for her back then, it was the fucking 80’s…And yeah, my dad is 71, she’s 42, ewww, but whatever works for them.)

It just hit me that while I definitely want my kid to do some chores and learn not to be an entitled snowflake…them shoving that old world rural bullshit down her throat, like it was ever sane or normal to make 7 year old drive a truck or work in a field, pisses me off. Their abusive childhoods have no role in my kid’s life. I’m sorry they went through that, but terrifying a little kid isn’t what I call stellar grandparenting.

But that brought about more comparisons and dad basically making it like I had this charmed upbringing simply because I wasn’t working the fields when I was in single digits. I had a job at 16, I moved out on my own at 17, and I have fought tooth and nail to be on my own. There was no snowflake entitlement here. That was my sister, who was never forced to work. She got a waterbed, she got guitars and snakes and full breed $300 dogs and igaunas even though she had a record for robbery and car theft before she was 18. And it’s not jealousy,it’s fact. I was out of there and doing my own thing and not living under comparisons so there was nothing to be jealous of. Just, if he wants to illuminate golden childhoods, it wasn’t mine. Not saying mine was awful, but it wasn’t all mommy buying my stuff every time I took some pills cos I was told no. (To my sister’s credit, she eventually got her shit together in a big way, even if she still lives with mom.)

I just fail to see how comparisons do anyone any good. They are harmful, at least for me. I guess I don’t have a very strong psyche on some matters. And yet, here I am, still doing my own thing, so while they may rob me of self esteem constantly, they sure don’t keep me from trying to keep up my battles.

So, counseling, yeah, the whole ‘be the best version of you, no comparisons’ is a good thing to follow.

At the same time, I wish all my counselors had schooled me on 35 years of the world at large forcing their comparisons on me to the point I can’t help but fall victim to doing so myself.

Everyone else is out there, happy to anhilate my psyche. I don’t need to help them.

Sound paranoid?

You just gotta meet my family to get it.

Life under constant criticism with nary a good word spoken about you leads to paranoia, wariness, mistrust, and a great sense of dislike towards those who do more harm than good. Especially when it’s family.

Unconditional love isn’t something I’ve ever known and probably isn’t something I’ll ever know how to give to anyone but my kid and cats.

Damaged though my psyche may be at their hands and my own…

I’m a fighter and I’m going to keep fighting.

If only to spite them all.

No Escape From Mental Chaos

I am feeling especially whiney, but also bitchy and ranty. I’ve been blessed with unusually awesome physical health, for the most part, which means my mental battles generally get all my energy. Yet once a month for ten miserable days, my hormones go bonkers, my body ceases to be a mild annoyance to be ignored, and every.damn.thing hurts and pisses me off or makes me cry.

I am sick of the monthly invasion of the body snatching hormones. The last two days I’ve even taken naps-which I DON’T do, sans the clockwork psychotic orange monthly curse. The pain has had my abdomen feeling like a thousand oompa loompas are punching my ovaries and shredding my organs, driving spears into my spine. Bad enough when your emotions are all over the map, but when your body is in hell, too, it makes it difficult to feel human, let alone behave like one.

I am accustomed to a very quiet life-by choice. Because of my anxiety disorders, too much stimuli overwhelms me and makes my moods and anxiety worse. While most people find socialization a comfort, or even fun and nourishing (wtf?), for me avoidance is as important to my mental health as any medication. Since the move to Armpit and living down the street from my dad and his crew…I can barely go a single day without them all in my business and honestly…they’re loud, they all talk at once, they are overly critical, have zero tact, and on top of that, they’re often racist and offensive. Small doses is the only way to take them.

In town, I had that luxury. They’d go a month without seeing me or Spook and it was blissful. I had control there, because they only came to town once a week or so and they were far too busy to be bothered with us. I liked it that way.

The ‘new normal’ has them stopping in constantly without calling, telling me my house smells bad or this isn’t clean enough or my yard looks shitty or I am lazy and need this job and get over my mental issues. They’re toxic and no amount of speaking up makes them back off in the least. If I let my kid go to their house so I don’t have to endure them ( and she likes it there cos they have dogs and neighbor kids, so she’s not suffering), then stepmonster sends her home with her clothes washed because my laundry soap is cheap and doesn’t smell good so she’s ‘helping’. It’s fucking insulting, pardon me if I don’t have a man also bringing in income so I can blow $22 on laundry soap and booster beads and fabric softener. She’s been doing this for years. Yet if you say one word about the way they live (their shed looks like something out of Sanford and Son, and I mean a junkyard, not anything sinister) they go off.

I cannot stand hypocrites, especially people who can’t admit that’s what they are.

I despise the new normal. They’ve been in my face every day for 9 days now. I am ready to blow up on them.

Throw in that my kid is about to get out of school and she’s already started in on how she’s bored, bored, bored, hates me for moving us here cos she always had plenty of kids to play with at the trailer park but the people here won’t let their kids play with her cos they don’t know me…I feel like a volcano about to erupt all around.

I look forward only to sleep and the occasional ‘golden day’, which happens about twice a month.

I can’t get my feet under me when every 20 days my body and mind riot, resulting in so much cognitive dissonance and physical misery.

Mental chaos has become a nightmare I can’t waken from.

The money stuff just makes it worse. I had to borrow money from my younger brother just to mail a letter. OMG, how humiliating. No doubt he went and told dad and I’ll get a lecture on managing money but you can’t manage what ain’t there. And I HAVE been trying to find alternate sources of income, but I am a stranger in this town so no one wants me babysitting their snowflakes, and gas stations may be hard up for part timers, but if you can’t even pass their basis math test because you have numeric dyslexia…

BUT I keep reminding myself of the three kids between dad, mom, and stepmonster, even if I am disabled and don’t work- I am the ONLY one who has gotten out on my own, and stayed that way. I TRY to make ends meet without living with mommy or daddy and ten other people. And my brother lives rent free with dad and stepmonster, whatever he earns mowing lawns or whatever, he gets to keep and spend as he wants (he bought an X Box last week) so it’s not like he’s budgeting. My sister lives with mom and her mother in law, plus my nephew’s fiance, so they have four incomes in one house.

I am disabled, a single mom, facing all these negative changes, and still-upright and trying to do right by my child, as much as I can for myself. (Trust me, fundraisers bring me no pride, only shame, but when you’re trying to help yourself and people aren’t finding you worthy of earning your way…you’ll do some surprising things to stay afloat.) I am TRYING.

And a week from now once the hormones settle, I should have two good weeks, at least physically. By then I will have seen the shrink for the last time before likely being shunted back to doc nurse (it’s a nightmare, thinking about going back to that noob) and while I’m hardly doing great…hopefully reporting that Cymbalta is making me feel somewhat better will result in a dose increase.

For now…I just want to tuck my daughter in, then curl up in bed and ride out the current wave of cramps and backache. I’ve overdosed on ibuprofen today, hate taking more pills than my psych meds but it was necessary. When I nap and can’t even stream favorite shows because I am hurting so bad…And all I want and need is peace but the very people who love me are the noisy presence pushing me toward the edge…

I’m pretty strong to still be upright and fighting. Even if I feel like a big wuss who should just…Well, I won’t go there because I know it’s hormones and low mood and bad thought bullshit but still…When the negative devours the positive and you’re still sticking it out…

It’s pretty badass, in my opinion.

Yeah, yeah, I’m not patting myself on the back. It makes the backache and cramps worse.

A lot of periods no commas.

Here I am again. Here I am again. Writing on the stupid blog because my fucking brain doesn’t want to cooperate anymore. This is stupid. And everywhere I freaking look there wants to be someone who has killed themselves over mental illness. That has stabbed their children. I don’t know what is going on. I don’t know if the universe is telling me to go stab my child and husband. Or I kill myself. I know it’s not saying that. But what the fuck. I am going crazy and I don’t know how to stop this roller coaster.

PS. I’m not gonna kill my husband child but God dammit.

DIY Therapy: Return To Fort Blankie

My hormones are having their monthly pre-riot, causing my face to break out and my moods to flare up like a 14 year old’s. The cramps make my innards feel like they are being run through a paper shredder. I am accomplishing nothing yet feeling exhausted and drained, everything aches as if I ran a marathon. All of this could factor in to my current mental state being splat. It could be the newest med simply isn’t at a max dose so I am stalled here in gray space.

I think it’s a lot of both of those things, and I also think I’ve hit my reality overdose point. Dealing with my overly critical dad invading my home and insulting things, my kid having a friend over yesterday for 4 hours of bickering and demands for food I can’t afford to be sharing, reading about yet another school shooting, more political corruption, more hatred being spewed against anyone remotely different…

I’ve been trying very hard lately to see the beauty in the world, to not let the ugliness eclipse the good stuff, but today…the Susie Sunshine thing isn’t working.

I am on edge, in pain, feeling wiped out, and filled with self hatred for even indulging my own piss ant feelings when all of this horrid stuff is going on out there. How dare I speak up when I simply don’t matter! My problems are nothing in comparison to what’s happening in the world right now.

But we can each say that at any given time in our lives because, spewing sunshine or not, ugliness exists and sadly, there are times when it is prevalent. When it overshadows the vast beauty of life and can fill even the most apathetic with an inexplicable sadness and empathy towards those in the midst of the heinous goings on.

My heart goes out to the victims and families of EVERY school shooting. I am ashamed to be an American every time I read about the way ICE is tearing apart immigrant families not because they’ve incited crime or terrorism, but because they came to this country ‘the wrong way’. I cringe when inadvertently soaking up the current climate of hate against immigrants (legal or otherwise), Muslims, gays, trans people- It’s not right for people to harbor so much hatred against others for simply being different. The current political climate toward women and reproductive rights is under attack and it’s terrifying, as a woman.

As one born in 1973 (on the very day Roe V Wade made abortion legal) I grew up with mixed emotions on the topic. As if wondering, would my parents have aborted me due to non ideal financial timing for a child if it had been legal the year before? Over time, though, I began to see things differently. It’s a personal choice, and while not one I think I’d make myself, I’m appalled by how many politicians and so called do gooders want to jump into chime in on what isn’t their damned business and take away an individual’s rights to choose.

I consider myself fortunate for the years in which I was young and growing up and forming my own opinions. I’ve been so very lucky to watch social climate change, to witness people opening minds and hearts and embracing that which some consider ‘abnormal’ or ‘deviant’. Even with homophobic parents who were also a bit racist against all non whites…I valued whatever diversity I was exposed to. I learned about it, I asked those I knew about it, I embraced their battle as my own.

Never have I been more proud of my generation, and the turning tides of our great country than when I see a commercial with a celebrity like John Cena promoting the very diversity of the LGBT community. Or watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, Instinct- and seeing how well they handle such hot button topics as transgender people, bisexual people, lesbians, gays, even interractial couples. That for me has been a personal high, seeing what I have believed in and support all along become not some dirty little secret but to actually be included simply as part of our beautiful diverse culture. And that culture’s beauty hinges on us embracing not just fellow Americans or heterosexuals, or certain religions…

The truest test of our character, not just as Americans, but as the human race, is our ability to open our minds and hearts and realize we can cooexist without the hatred, without total agreement, but with absolute understanding and respect. We’re making progress and for that…I am proud to be part of the human race and to be an American.

Sorry to get off track, but the hormones are really yanking my emotions and train of thought all over the place. After all the ugliness, it felt good to latch onto something positive, something that doesn’t make me feel that we are all doomed to go down in history as hate mongering narrow minded idgets.

Having said all of this and purged…

I am prescribing a continuation of a long held DIY therapy method many of us here on wordpress have utilized for many years. Fort Blankie time. Take to your safe space, wrap up in your favorite blanket, and ride out whatever has you feeling so out of sorts and useless.It’s like comfort food for your entire body, minus calories. And it sounds nuts but I know damn well it has helped many of us many times. Maybe it goes back to that whole infant swaddling thing where we feel safest? IDK. But it works for me and I’m going to utilize it. Plus, I already own my blankets and have my safe room, so technically, this therapy is of no charge and doesn’t require prior authorization by some ass clown at the insurance company.

Today is going to be one of those mentally dark physically uncomfortable days for me, and rather than bellyache and fight it and get even more flustered…

I’m returning to Fort Blankie in hopes it will fortify my mind and soul, offer me comfort I need right now, and hey, tomorrow’s another day.

But today…my mind and soul mourn. For all the civility and lives that have been lost and disrupted and destroyed, not just my own.

Never underestimate Fort Blankie’s magical powers.

It won’t however, fetch you food and water, so you’re on your own with that necessity.

No therapy is perfect.