When You Wonder Where The End Of The Tunnel Is Exactly…….Isn’t There Supposed To be A Light?

This blog post is going to be a lot about tough things going on right now, if you aren’t up for that, then quit reading right now.

The last few weeks have not been ones where I can see that light at the end of the tunnel….in fact, they have been leading me to feel as if there is no end to this tunnel. Now, I know that’s obviously not true, but it’s how I feel and I’m putting it all out there right now.

I haven’t been doing the best…..in anything it seems. A couple weeks ago was my cousins wedding. We had to drive 4 hours just to get there. I have always had a great relationship with my cousins on my dads side. We grew up like siblings. I do have to admit though, I didn’t want to go to this wedding. Not at all. I’ll get right to the point as to why I didn’t want to go. I suppose I was in many ways jealous. There, I said it. All my cousins and my sister, they all have either a boyfriend, fiance, or now husband. They all have someone who loves them in a way I never have known, and have come to believe I never will know. I didn’t want to go to the wedding because I knew it would be just another time where that would be thrown in my face. Petty? Perhaps, but like I’ve said before, it’s how I feel and that’s what I write about on here, my feelings. I feel ugly, dirty, because of the abuse from my uncle. I feel as if I can never be loved by any man….that I am not worth it. I can’t even love myself most of the time, how could anyone else love me?

I went to the wedding. My cousin was beautiful. She deserves the best. I know that.

My depression and anxiety have not been the best. This ongoing med change has not been easy and it’s truly having an effect on my daily life. I have however, started a new medication that has honestly decreased my nightmares tremendously and that in itself is a miracle. They aren’t gone, but they have reduced so much.

Work has been hell lately. Things have been happening that shouldn’t be happening, and because of those things people are getting laid off, hours reduced, and job roles are changing. I work for a non-profit organization and lets just say they got too big too fast and didn’t have money to support the programming and keep everything going. That’s the jest of it…..I can’t really go into everything, but I am starting to look for a new job. I just don’t know where I will find a job that can be flexible with me to be able to have every other Friday off so I can have my ECT treatments. I’ve come so far with coming off of disability and gaining insurance through this job and now, now it seems to be falling apart and I feel as if I have no control over any of it. I’m scared, frustrated, anxious, depressed, and my emotions just feel like a tornado inside while I have to be a peaceful spring day on the outside.

The self injury thoughts and impulses have come back full strength over the past few weeks and I can’t really pinpoint why. My doctor knows about it, so does my therapist. However, I didn’t tell my parents until this past weekend and that proved to be a problem. See, I have this deal with my dad especially, that I would talk about what’s going on, and how I’m feeling. That there would be no secrets. Well, Saturday, dad tells me he and mom are going to go to Wisconsin for the weekend and I freaked out. I told him they couldn’t go, I got really angry, I yelled at them and I walked out telling them “if you had any idea what was going on you would know I couldn’t be alone for a whole weekend.” I walked out and didn’t tell them where I was going or anything. I’m sure it scared the shit out of them, and looking back it was really dumb of me. I just went and parked in a parking lot but I just couldn’t be home because of how angry I was. I had no right to be that angry. How would they know what’s going on if I don’t tell them? They couldn’t. Dad texted me they cancelled the trip and that I should come home and tell them what’s going on. I went home and told them all the feelings I have been having lately. How hard it was for me to go to the wedding, how it made me feel. I told them how everything going on at work was really setting off my anxiety and stress to the point I couldn’t handle it, and the self injury thoughts were getting to the point where I didn’t feel safe being by myself for 2 days in a row. I haven’t done anything to myself, I can honestly say that. I just have been having more and more thoughts and frustration and wanting to do it to just release, to relax, to quiet the thoughts and feelings even if it’s only for a few minutes. It’s hard to explain.

I don’t know what else to say really, all I know is I can’t be thankful enough for my parents, my boss Patty, and my friend Johanna, who have all just been there through it all.

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“When The Storm Is Raging, And My Hope Is Gone….”

The title of this post is part of the lyrics to the song “Eye of the storm” by Ryan Stevenson. This song, along with a couple others, has been really hitting home to me lately. I know my blog isn’t the most uplifting blog around, but it is one of the most honest blogs anyone will ever find. I write on this blog almost as if it is my journal. I write on here rather than in a journal because I truly feel like it is a release, I feel like I am being heard…….even though I have no idea who in the world is reading this. I have tried writing in a paper journal, and it works to an extent to get things out, but I don’t feel any closure from it because it’s like, ok now all my emotions are on the paper but now what? I get no feedback from a journal. I know people write blogs for all different reasons, I just wanted to let you all know why I write the way I do, and about the topics I do. I write this blog as my story.

Now to get to my post for today. The lyrics of this song and the few other songs I have clung to over the last couple of weeks have really been hitting home hard for me. I mentioned in a previous post that about a year ago I started going to a new church, after not going to church for a couple of years. The people at this new church are amazing. I have formed friendships I believe will last a long time. I have friends who I am not embarrassed to ask to pray for me, who I also pray for. My faith has grown tremendously, and I have a whole new support system. All this, while at the same time still every day battling depression and thoughts of self harm and suicide. Thoughts I know I won’t act upon, but they cause stress and anxiety all at the same time. I am struggling with my relationship with my mom too. She has a mental illness diagnosis also, and she is at a point in her recovery where she thinks therapy is just a place to go bitch about everything but then leave for week and not work on changing anything. She has this attitude that comes across as if she believes everyone else is wrong and should do everything for her. That the way she feels is everyone else’s fault and they are the ones who need to make changes not her. I know this place well, because I was once there in my own recovery. I, however, was able to see through therapy that basically this world doesn’t revolve around me and I need to work at getting better and my recovery just as hard, if not harder than everyone else around me. I learned my recovery process is not just a process for the one with the diagnosis, but the family too……the family members are there to help and support the individual, but they too need support as the process happens. My mom, because of the depth of her depression, deals with memory loss, and it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating to tell her something and then 10 minutes later have her ask again……and then again later. I do get frustrated, and I get angry, then she gets upset because she feels bad she forgot but she also is frustrated with not remembering and she feels hopeless. Well, I get that, but what angers me the most is that she CAN fix it. The doctors have told her it’s due to her depression, but yet she’s not doing anything to move forward in getting better. Her therapist doesn’t challenge her to change or make changes, and her psychiatrist just gives meds and that’s it. Mom goes in and tells the doctor things are fine, when in reality they are NOT fine at all. She doesn’t remember things dad tells her to bring up at the doctor so she doesn’t and the vicious cycle keeps going.

I’m frustrated. It’s hard to watch my mom falling apart, and it’s hard to be around her at all. She get’s upset that I don’t want to do things with her or go places with her, or I’ll work all day and not want to do or go anywhere with her when I get home and she gets upset as if it’s something against her, not that I’m just tired from work and want to chill for a bit. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I am not at a point where I can move out of the house……trust me, if I could afford it, I would be out already. I am working on that in many ways. I am very aware that her behaviors and her depression are very triggering and influential of my own depression. I am daily trying to set a schedule and make sure I am taking care of myself first and setting boundaries and all that……but it’s still stressful, and hard…….I mean let’s face it…..Life isn’t perfect…..it’s hard.

I had a phone session with my therapist today because it’s been 3 weeks since I have seen her because she has been out of the office due to medical reasons. I won’t actually see her in a sit down session until at least a week from tomorrow……April 22. She is for sure the best therapist I have ever had….I have been working with her for over 5 years and I couldn’t ask for a better person to listen to me and have empathy towards me but yet challenge me and push me to continue to move forward and towards my goals in life and recovery in general. She doesn’t put up with any shit, she knows when I’m holding things back and she holds me accountable to things I say I am going to do. Today we talked just about what’s been happening over the last few weeks of her being gone. The last few weeks the depression has gotten worse. The nightmares have been peaking and my anxiety has not been good either. Overall, I feel like crap and I don’t know why. I honestly cannot give a reason for why the depression and everything has been getting worse. I can’t explain why I often just feel like crying but the tears just don’t want to come. I can’t give a reason for any of this. And that in itself is a frustrating thing. I just want to feel balanced. I want to wake up in the morning and be glad I woke up. I want to love myself, and see myself as others have described me to be. I want to help myself as much as I have helped others. I want to know what it is that people see in me and I want to believe what they have to say.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense or if anyone even read this to the end, but I wonder, does anyone else ever feel like  I do lately? Do any of you deal with similar things?

 

When Looking In, Everything Is Going Right…….

This has got to be one of the most common questions asked by people with depression, anxiety, or any other type of mental illness. How can everything seemingly be going so well, going so right, but yet on the inside I feel irritable, sad, angry, alone, scared, and just like it’s all falling apart? What do I believe………the way things are to everyone else, or the way my brain is telling me things are……the way my emotions are? I hate this depression crap……I know I have things going well for me……the new job is coming along. I am getting a hold of things, starting to pick up a routine, and picking up on some of the tech things I didn’t know before. I still have a LOT to learn, don’t get me wrong. It is still a bit overwhelming with the amount of things the person in this position before me left unorganized and wrong, or simply didn’t do at all even though he was supposed to be doing it regularly. I basically inherited a mess when it comes to records of things and it’s going to be a process to clean it all up. I think in a way, the depression I am experiencing lately probably has a lot to do with the stress factor from the new job, but I have to find ways to relieve this stress other than ways I would use in the past, or have used in the past. I can tell you right now, I haven’t had the urge to self-injure like I have over the past week, in a long time. Don;t get me wrong, those urges have never fully gone away, but I’m just saying it hasn’t seemed as appealing of an option as it has the last week or so. I haven’t done anything……trust me…….and I don’t plan on using that as a relief tool…..I’m just saying it isn’t making it any easier.

The past few weeks/ months, my therapist and I have also been going deeper into the sexual abuse experiences I had as a child. Therefore, the nightmares have not been getting any better either. In fact, they have gone up. It’s rare to go a night without waking up at least 3 times because of a nightmare having to do with my Uncle and the abuse. It’s like  a combination of being on a roller coaster, when your stomach drops, and being a kid who wakes up from a dream trying to scream but nothing comes out. It’s not a pleasant feeling. Along with those things, it takes a minute or so to realize once I have woken up, that it’s not real, it’s not happening again, that I am safe. Imagine having that 3-4 times every night, over and over again. This in itself is a life stressor I deal with, and have dealt with for years. I can’t remember the last time I slept through a night without having nightmares.

I just feel like I should be so happy, and in many ways I am, because I am so grateful to be where I am in my life. I am so happy I am not where I was just 5 years ago, in the hospital over and over, and unable to work at all. But at the same time, I feel like because I’ve come so far, to have a bad day is moving backwards. Now, I logically know that isn’t true, everyone has bad days, but for me, bad days are not just one day, it’s 2, 3, 4, days and I find ways to push it all down inside, and pretend like it’s all good. All because I don’t want to move backwards, I don’t want people to see me as a failure, I don’t want to see myself as a failure………heh…..I already do. I want to succeed, I want to move forward, do things the world says a 30 year old female should be doing. I want to have a boy friend, I want to get married, have a place of my own, support myself, all while at the same time feeling ugly, unworthy, and pitiful. I feel like no guy would ever love me …… because of my illness, my weight, and the “baggage” that would come with me. I just feel like I can’t even love myself, how could anyone else ever love me? I truly believe this is why I put so much of myself into helping others, because I can’t love myself, so I may as well love and help others to be happy and the best they can be, because THEY deserve it……me? I don’t. I have said this to people before and a few have tried to convince me otherwise, but words are not enough, it proves nothing, the actions of the world prove things. The way guys treated me in high school and college. The way guys treat me now. The way people who are close to me say things like, “relationships aren’t for everyone” or “you don’t need a guy to be happy”. I get that, but it’s to the point where I’ve started saying things like “I don’t want to get married, a guy would just hold me back” or “There’s no way I’d have kids” as a way to cover up the fact that on the inside I am just longing for it, Jealous of my sister and cousins who have these things. Feeling even more alone, and unlovable because it’s just come to be expected by my family that I’ll be single.

I can say one thing that is really good, and I’m truly happy to have, is my friendship with a person from work who I feel like I can call and just bitch to, or laugh with, or just talk about people from work with or anything. We are often sending texts to each other just to say hi, or checking in, and I hope she knows just how much I appreciate her, her friendship, and her honesty with me. She makes me laugh, and we talk about everything. She has a diagnosis too so I know she fully gets it. I just smile when I think about our friendship. She is an amazing person, friend, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

I saw my psychiatrist the other day, after I settle into this new job a bit more we are going to work on changing up my meds. She didn’t want to start a med change when such a big transition was going on in my life. I’m continuing to do ECT every 2 weeks, and I think it’s best that way. My therapist is off this week and next so that doesn’t make things any easier. I guess I just needed to vent things out today, sorry for the unorganized post.

We shall see what tomorrow has to bring………………just one day at a time.

When Someone You Love Dies

This past Saturday (2 days ago) my dad received a text message from a long time friends  step son saying he had passed away. It was 6:30 am and I was the one who saw the text message first. My dad was still in bed and his phone went off and I was thinking it was an alarm so I looked at the phone and while doing so I saw the text message. I stood there in shock for a second and then tried not to scream as I started to cry. This friend was the fire chief in our town for over 20 years, my dad was a cop in town at the same time. This friend was a mentor to my dad, a best friend, and to me he was a mentor, like a second dad……like if dad wasn’t available it was call this guy and he would be there. He was there for everything in town, all the events, everything. He was there for my family, my whole life. He was gruff on the outside, but a big teddy bear on the inside, he’d always greet me with a hug. He’s been sick for the past couple months, and we all knew he probably wouldn’t make it through……deep down we knew this……but on the surface level it was always, he’s going to get through, he could never die……we didn’t think about him dying and never being here again. No one thinks like that….therefore, it makes it more of a shock and a tragedy when the person does die. I’m still in a bit of shock…..his services aren’t until the end of this week. I don’t think it’s going to really settle in until I see him laying in that casket, buried in the ground, and a headstone with his name on it. I can’t even cry anymore. I can’t make the tears come down…..because I’m trying so hard to “be ok” make it as if it hasn’t really happened…….or should I say I haven’t faced it yet, accepted it, or let it truly sink in that he is gone. I loved him like family. Loved being around him. He was a great guy. I feel a bit lost, a bit scattered, and just incomplete.

 

I know this isn’t a post anyone probably wanted to read, but I had to put it out there. Document some how I was feeling in this moment. I just feel lost. Sad. Depressed, and angry all at the same time. I just want my friend back.

So Who Thinks Time Moves Way Too Fast? A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That.

So I just realized it’s been almost an entire month since I wrote on here and I can’t seem to figure out where all the time went! Christmas happened…….it was good. We were at my Aunts house and we had a pretty good time. My sister wasn’t her full on bitch self…..though glimpses of that were definitely evident…….and we all seemed to relax and just enjoy each other. That was our 1st Christmas celebration……2 of my cousins who live out of town were not able to make it to our get together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but they were both able to get up here the weekend after new years, so we had our 2nd Christmas celebration on the 8th, when we opened presents and ate lots of food.

Not too much has really happened since I wrote last on December 22nd, other than the holidays. Except …… my grandpa ended up going to the hospital the Friday before New Years. He had a 101.9 degree fever, and my grandma said he was a lot more confused than he usually is (He has dementia). So at the hospital they ran blood tests and found an uncommon bacteria in his blood. They had to find out the source of that bacteria, and so they ran more blood cultures. They, after a couple of days came to the conclusion the bacteria was coming from somewhere in his gut. Pa wasn’t complaining of any pain or anything like that, so they did a scan of his gut area and saw there was a lot of fluid surrounding his gall bladder. They decided they were going to do surgery and take out his gall bladder. They did the surgery, and the doctor said it was the most severely infected gall bladder he had ever seen. They had to put in a drain after the surgery to get all the extra fluid out. All this time Pa was laying in bed, not getting up or walking and therefore becoming weaker every day. Grandma couldn’t take him home unable to get to the bathroom on his own etc. so after a few days of recovery from the surgery, he was transferred to the rehabilitation portion of the hospital where he is still at today. They are doing physical therapy with him daily and helping him gain strength. He is a stubborn, grumpy man, and with the dementia on top of it, he is really confused as to where he is, why he’s there etc. It’s definitely hard to watch. They are hoping he will be home this coming Saturday.

Throughout this whole process of Pa being in the hospital, and at one point not being sure if he was going to make it through, things for me have been a bit of a struggle. I tend to put my family first, help them all I can, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when doing this, I stuff my own emotions down, and don’t really take care of my own emotional health. This then leads to frustrations, irritable days, and increase in impulses to self injure because I feel like there is no other way to let out all the emotion I have going on inside. I talked to my therapist about it. She helped me a lot, but while she gives me good ideas of things to do, and good advice etc, it doesn’t really make breaking this pattern any easier. I did NOT use self injury as a coping skill, though there were times when the impulses were so high I had to go to the bathroom and just cry until I could pull myself together enough to go back in the room by my family. I have been finding myself more irritable because I am fighting my own self on the inside while trying to help and deal with other people’s problems and emotions all at the same time. The outlet just isn’t there.

On top of all of this, my therapist and I are still diving into the sexual abuse of my uncle when I was little. We are working our way through the book “Courage To Heal”, which I highly recommend to others who are dealing with sexual abuse in their lives. It’s not an easy process, but I know I have support of my therapist, my dad, a co-worker, who really pushed me to look at how this abuse is affecting my life, and to start the process of dealing with it in a healthy way, and I have support of my cousin, who also experienced sexual abuse in her life by another person. I know I have this support, but I also know it’s not going to be an easy process at all, that this process will bring up things I have tried to forget, it will bring up anger, and other emotions I may not expect, but that can’t be an excuse to not explore it and take back the control.

I’m sorry to you all who read my blog that I am not the most consistent writer, but know I think of you all often, and love that you are all a part of my life. Keep on keepin’ on, and smile today, you never know who will see it and keep walking forward because of it.

 

“Loss Is Nothing Else But Change, And Change Is Natures Delight” – Marcus Aurelius

A lot has happened over the last month or so. I told you all about the loss of a dear friend, and I miss him dearly, and it just kills me to watch his mom, one of my closest friends, struggle through the loss of her son. All I can do is love her, give her hugs, encourage her and let her know that I don’t understand what it’s like to lose a child, but I can imagine the pain she is in, and I am always available to listen, or just sit quietly with her as she crys.

This past month another loss has come upon my life. Nothing quite like a death of a friend, but my psychiatrist of the past 8 years, told me he is leaving the practice and I will need to switch to another doctor. To some of you, this may seem petty, small, no big deal. But to those of you with a mental illness, you can appreciate the struggle it is to find a psychiatrist you trust, one who pushes you enough to push for your own recovery, but also knows when to pull back a bit and let you lean on them. You can understand that having a doctor who listens, and doesn’t just throw more medications at you or put you in the hospital every time you have a suicidal thought, is important, and unfortunately, is few and far between. This doctor has been with me through my darkest of times, through hospitalizations, suicide attempts, anger outbursts, but also through my successes. Through times of finding myself, and who I want to be as a person, not just as my diagnosis. He has encouraged me, helped me to succeed, but also let me fail at times so that I had the opportunity to learn, and take the reigns of my own recovery and start down the road of getting better. Him leaving the practice is really hard on me. I know the person I am switching to, just from them covering when my doctor wasn’t in/ working sometimes when I was inpatient. But the last time I was inpatient was 4 years ago, and a lot has changed since then. To be honest, I’m scared. I’m angry in some ways and feeling let down in some ways too. I know I can’t blame him, but I just wasn’t prepared for this. I feel like it’s putting me in a very vulnerable place, a place where I have to start over essentially with someone new and let them into my recovery journey. I have to learn to trust them quickly, so as not to fall backwards. Like I said, I’m scared. I just wish it wasn’t happening. I wish my doctor could stay with this practice, but I understand at the same time that people move on, it’s not all about me, I get that. I just am really not liking this at all.

When I Use My Skills To Take Care Of Myself, But It Ticks Off The Other Person……

So, as most of you know from my last couple blogs, I’ve been really struggling with the depression lately. I have had to increase the amount of ECT treatments I am having and my doctor and I are working on adjusting/changing my medications…..Which I’m sure some of you know is not an easy nor fun process to go through. Well, I went to Wisconsin this past weekend with my dad just to get away and to relax some. We spent time doing random things and just hanging out together. It was really nice, I really needed it that’s for sure. Well, when we got back home my mom let us know that the dogs had gotten skunked the night before and that she was up most of the night bathing them and all that and that she was really sore and tired. I get it, I would be the same way. It was just when she started talking snotty to me about how I wasn’t helping enough and that she was tired and that I needed to do more…….even though I was telling her I would help her as soon as I was finished with the prior commitments I had made the week before for this day. I told her I would help bathe the dogs again when I finished. She exploded on me, to which I responded with saying “why would I even want to be around you when you are acting like this?” I said, “Why?” to which she replied “If I’m that bad then why don’t you just move?” I told her “I would if I could!” Because honestly, I would not be living at home with my parents right now if I had the financial ability to leave right now. Then she yelled at me again, and I left I told her I wasn’t going to get into a fight, that I wasn’t doing this and that I was done. I was not going to get into a huge argument just because she was in a bad mood, crabby, and explosive. I have been working with my therapist on things like this and we have decided that sometimes just walking away is the best solution, that it will let me calm down without saying things that I would regret. My mom is aware of this. I walked out, and went for a drive. I drove to my dads work and went to just talk it out a bit with him, as he is usually the level headed one, and he can calm me down pretty well. I got there and mom had already called him and yelled at him telling him I was lazy and just left without telling her why and blah blah blah. I told dad what happened and he and I talked a bit. He knows mom is touchy and all that. We both went back home together and then when we got home mom acted as if nothing had even happened. like seriously? WTF? We still haven’t talked about it or anything. I’m just struggling with my relationship with mom, she has depression too and she’s at a point in her recovery that she’s not willing to work on herself, she’s in a helpless type state that it is like you can lead a horse to water but you cant make her drink type thing. She is, I think, so used to being miserable, that it’s become habit, that no matter what you say to her she has to one up you or snap back or put you down. She isn’t consciously staying miserable, but because it’s so familiar to her I think any other way is scary, and unknown. It’s not good for her, or anyone around her. No one wants to be around her anymore It’s not fun to be around her. She brings people down, whether it’s on purpose or not I don’t know. It’s not helping me though. I have been trying to use my coping skills to keep myself from sliding any further backwards and like I said, when I left the other day it pissed off my mom. Like what am I supposed to do if when I use my skills, the skills that are keeping me from using self injury, it makes people mad? I feel like it’s a no win situation. I’m working my ass off to keep myself in a good state of mind, I do not want to ever go back to where I was using self harm as a coping skill and suicidal all the time ending up in hospitals and all that. I want to keep moving forward, but I feel like at times I am being brought backwards by my own mother.