I know God Is With Me, But I Feel So Empty.

Two weeks ago I shared with my adult Sunday School class what was going on with me lately. I shared that I have been dealing with the depression and anxiety and that the thoughts of self-harm and suicide have been invading me. I told them I needed prayer, that  I was just feeling so hopeless.

After all this stuff with my job ending my symptoms increased and the depression and anxiety have really taken over. Everyone in my class has been praying for me. I know this. I know even people outside of class have been praying for me too….family, friends, etc. I can feel the love of everyone around me. I can feel God holding me, but I still feel so empty on the inside. I feel so heavy. I went to WI with my dad last weekend to try to get a change of scenery and just try to have some structure to hopefully help me feel better, even if for just a little bit of time. I have always loved going up there with my family. We get to see friends, take adventures, but this time? This time it felt like it took everything in me, all my energy to get through each day. I loved being with dad, don’t get me wrong, I just am so encompassed by this depression right now that my mind wouldn’t shut off.

Then? We got home and on Monday night my mom went into the hospital by ambulance for heart issues. I was at my grandmas house when my dad called me to let me know so I wouldn’t be worried when I got home and no one was there. Needless to say, I left grandmas and went to the hospital to meet them. They ended up keeping mom and doing tests and they couldn’t explain what was going on/ the symptoms she was having and sent her home after 2 days. I’m glad she’s home, safe, and doing better, but I’m scared for her too. I have been scared for my mom ever since her first heart attack when she was 37 and I was in the 1st grade. I’m scared of losing her. I’m scared she doesn’t know how much I love her, and I’m scared I’ll never be enough.

I went to church today and the sermon was about God being with us when we are in the fire of life, and how He protects us, is with us, and guides us. How He is the hope we need and have to trust. I know I trust God, I have been throughout all of this. If I hadn’t been trusting Him, I’d be dead already by my own hand. I can guarantee that. I can’t be more grateful for the people in the class I attend every Sunday morning. They are my parents age, but I fit in the class just fine. They have been so encouraging and praying and just surrounding me with hope. I get random emails and texts from them with prayers for my day and I can’t thank them enough. I can’t thank my parents and my best friend Johanna enough either. For just being there. For listening. For just believing in me when I can’t believe in myself. I feel guilty though. I feel like all these people are trying so hard to help me, and I’m not getting better. Things are crap right now, even though I am working my ass off to battle this depression and anxiety. I feel like a failure. I feel like I’m letting all these people down, letting God down.

How much can one person take? How much can someone be told one thing by everyone around them, and yet have their mind battle those thoughts and tell me something different…………how much can I take? I feel like I’m running on empty. Those self-injury thoughts —– they are becoming more and more appealing. It’s something I KNOW would at least stop this all for a short time. But I also know, that if I engage in that behavior, I’d really be a failure. I’d let everyone down. I’d let myself down. I’d prove to everyone that I can’t do it. I’d fall back into the process of being in and out of the hospital and I’d give up. Well, I don’t give up. I’m not that type of person. Thus the reason I’m still alive right now. It doesn’t make it any easier…..it doesn’t make the thoughts and the impulses go away. It doesn’t make me this untouchable person. No, it’s making it even harder, because I CAN’T give in. I WON’t give in. So instead, I have to fight through it all …..every thought, every impulse, every trigger and every feeling of depression and anxiety. I know coping skills, I have coping skills, but that doesn’t make any of this go away. NO…..all it does it get me through it …..well……I’m getting through, but it’s getting harder as the thoughts and feelings invade me constantly. Like I said, I’m running on empty. I don’t know how to refill. I don’t know how to make it stop. I just want this all to stop.

God, help me to know YOU are the only one who can pull me through this, give me hope that this will end, and hold me close to You as I go second by second falling apart slowly and painfully.

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“I’m Lookin’ For The Brighter Days To Come My Way”- Leeland

So I know it’s been forever since I posted last. I honestly hadn’t even thought about posting until it was suggested to me yesterday by my best friend as something to do to hopefully help me feel better some. So here we are. April 30th was my last day at my job. It was the last day I will walk through those doors for a long time. I want so desperately to go back and speak for them in the schools or hospitals, but I can’t get myself to do it because of the way everything happened and the way I am feeling right now. They told me my job was being eliminated awhile ago and that my last day would be either when I found a new job, or when they found someone for the new position they had created that was only 20 hours a week and I apparently didn’t have the skill set for (this was according to one of my co-workers I won’t name). Well, they filled the position, so here I am, sitting at home, no job, no purpose, no nothing. My depression has increased to the max, and the thoughts in my head are nonstop. I feel lonely, hopeless, and just depressed and anxious. I feel as if I wasn’t good enough. I feel as though they wanted me gone. Well, with the exception of my one supervisor Patty, I know she wanted me to stay. I feel lost. I have been looking for a new job, but at the same time feeling so unmotivated and blah. I just want this to all end. I have been having increased thoughts of self-harm, and even the suicidal thoughts have increased. There have been a couple of days where I find I can’t even get myself to leave my bed. My psychiatrist wants me in the outpatient program, but they don’t take my insurance for outpatient. She’s trying to get me in through the assistance program, but it’s a process and so far nothing. I have been taking up to 3 xanax a day just to slow my thoughts and keep down the anxiety. I have this feeling of just wanting so bad to cry, but it’s like my body just won’t let me. It’s all building up on the inside and it has no way out.

I’m pissed. I’m scared, and I’m wanting to know if and when this will get better. I started with the organization I was working for as a client back in 2009 then as a volunteer, then I was trained as a peer specialist, then I was hired full time in the position I was just let go from. So for almost 10 years I have been part of this organization and it just seemed so easy for them to say see ya. As if I had no impact on anything, as if I didn’t really matter, as if everything I have ever done meant nothing. For an organization that is supposed to be there to help people they really let me down. I don’t know what I did, or what I didn’t do. I feel stupid, not up to par. I feel confused, and really really angry. I just feel like a failure. I feel like I’m moving backwards in my own recovery and I feel, for lack of better terms, crazy.

How many of you out there have ever felt as if you just didn’t matter anymore. I know there are a lot of people outside of this job that care about me. I know this. I believe this. But the way this all happened with this job, it made me feel as if I was just disposable and like I don’t matter. It makes it really hard to hear people say they care and that I matter and believe it. Because people at this job were telling me that too, then they just basically said see ya. Patty and others around me tell me not to take it personally, but how can I not? How can I not think that this has something to do with my abilities, my skills? I wasn’t even offered the new position. I just wasn’t good enough. I’m not good enough.

I have to thank people like my friend Johanna and my parents, for just being there. For telling me good morning each day and for just encouraging me. I may not be in a state of mind where I can fully believe that it’s going to be ok, but just knowing you aren’t giving up on me too…..that means a lot. You all are the reason I am keeping going. You all are the reason I am not giving in to the thoughts in my head. It’s hard. Because I am a visual person. My thoughts aren’t just thoughts like a normal person. I see my thoughts in pictures. So when I think about self harm, I see myself doing it in my head, and it triggers me more. I don’t know how to make my thoughts not be in pictures, they have always been that way, ever since I was small. Life is a bitch and it’s not easy. I never would expect it to be easy, but I would at least like a break of some sort to just feel normal. To feel as if what I do and say is being heard, is making a difference, and to feel like I want to participate in my own life. I want to feel like I can. I want to feel like I will. I want to feel like I have and I want to feel like I’m not disposable.

Dad is making me go with him to Wisconsin this weekend. We will be leaving tomorrow afternoon. He wants to get me out of the house, the area, and just somewhere else in the hopes that it will help to disconnect from my head for awhile. I hope it works, even if just for a short period of time. I hope it doesn’t turn into a weekend of having to fake it and pretend I’m ok when I’m not….because that takes more energy than I have at this point. I don’t know when this will all be better. I don’t know when I will be able to say it wasn’t my fault. I don’t know. I wish I did. I wish I could just flip a switch and the depression and anxiety would go away. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. So for now, I just keep going, minute by minute, day by day. I trust in God and pray for hope and healing. I lean on my parents and Johanna. I just want it to all be over.

Thanks for “listening” I know this post probably means nothing to most of you reading it. It probably just sounds like a complaining session. Well, I’m just using this blog to vent it all out, so that’s just the way it is.

“Maybe This Is Just The Way It Had To Be….All These Thoughts I Can’t Ignore, Thoughts That Whisper In A Quiet Roar”– Remedy Drive ‘God I Hope So’

**SELF HARM WARNING***

I had my ECT treatment yesterday….. about an hour into my sleeping when I got home, I received a text from my supervisor saying that the Director said she will keep me on staff at the same amount of hours until I find a new job, or they fill the new position. So I am happy in one sense, because I don’t have to continue to scramble to find something by July 1st and worry about new insurance (at this moment), but at the same time I am not happy at all. I feel a mix of emotions. I feel defeated and used. I feel as if they are only keeping me on because they want to help themselves….but yet I’m not good enough to keep on for the future…..only until I find a new job or they fill the new position. I feel angry. I feel alone, and I feel like none of this is for my own benefit at all. I can almost guarantee that if they find someone before I find a new job, they won’t give me notice, that’s just the way they are. As my title of this blog says though…….Maybe this is just the way it had to be. I don’t know, but I know I don’t like it. Honestly, I’m thinking of just walking. Just up and leave the organization and not worry about the medical bills and such until they come. But I know I can’t do that. I have to “tough it out” and take what I can get and be grateful for the opportunity to still be working while looking for another position. (Man I pulled those words out of my ass lol).

Tomorrow is Father’s day. I have a feeling it will be the last Father’s day we have with my dad’s dad, my grandpa. It hurts just to think about it. I can’t imagine life without him in it. I can’t imagine what it’s going to do to my dad, my grandma, ….all of us.

I’ve been having more self-harm thoughts/ impulses lately. More so the impulses…..as I have been dealing with the thoughts every day for a long time. The impulses though, those can be different. They are the moments I’m eating with a steak knife and all of a sudden wish I had used it on myself and not my food.  Or when I use a razor in the bathroom and it takes everything within me not to use it to intentionally cut myself. The stress from work hasn’t  been helping this either. I’m glad I had ECT yesterday though, because it helped to tame them down for now. They for sure aren’t gone, but it’s not the constant, overwhelming, ongoing impulses.

Do any of you ever just feel so down, so depressed, but so grateful and blessed all at the same time? I am going for a certification called CRSS, Certified Recovery, Support Specialist. Well, it costs $125 for just the test. It was $75 just in the application fee. Well, some people at my church, they are in my Adult Sunday School class, they had asked me last week how the process was going. I told them honestly I don’t have the money to take the test right now, so I’m hoping at some job interviews I can say I have applied and just have to take the test, and that the job would pay for it. Well, these people in my class, they responded with this, “We don’t have our checkbook today, but we want to pay for your test. We want to help you.” I received a check and a card on Wednesday this past week. I cried for a long time, I’m still baffled. I just can’t believe that they did that. That they saw enough hope, purpose, and whatever else within ME to want to do that. I mentioned in the last post I just don’t feel I have a meaning, a purpose, and I don’t feel much hope at all. The only thing I can be hopeful in is Christ, which really is all I need. I am so grateful for these people in my class, so blessed to know them, and just so thankful. I just am still having a hard time figuring out why they love me when I can’t and don’t even love myself.

I’m sorry this post probably means nothing to any of you. I just use this blog as more of a journal, a way to get things out and feel heard, but not feel like I’m going to be judged or get in trouble for what I have to say. I appreciate all of my followers, and I don’t know what I’d do without the comments, or likes you all leave me.

Thank you all.

“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 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.