“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?

 

Advertisements

If Only People…..or I, Could Understand

I wrote some about this in my last post, and I’m not even sure if anyone even read it because I didn’t get a single like on it. I’m not here to get likes or shares or follows or whatever, but I’m here to share what’s going on in my life and hopefully gain some much needed support from others who understand….. and when I didn’t get any likes on that last post? Like I said, I just didn’t know if anyone even read it at all. I’m not going to groan about it, that’s not my purpose here, I’m just here for support. 

Anyways, the last couple of weeks have not been that great emotionally for me and I honestly couldn’t tell you why. Besides my therapist being gone until April 15th, nothing major or whatever has happened. I don’t like to think I rely on my therapist, but I’m finding right now I definitely look to her for the most support and as a sounding board. I didn’t realize how much I look forward to seeing her each week and just talking and working on things, it’s a release and it’s working. The last 2 weeks while she’s been gone have been really hard. My nightmares are vivid and frequent and the suicidal thoughts have increased from just passing thoughts to actually sitting and thinking about how I’d say goodbye to people, how I’d leave things so as to make it easier on those I leave behind. See, I don’t want to die because I’m not loved, I know there are people who love me, it’s just that I can’t seem to love myself, I can’t seem to believe I’m worthy. I won’t do anything, I promise. I just am stuck in this depression cycle. 

There are some people at my church who I shared just a little bit with; about the nightmares and how they are happening more and all that. They have been praying for me, and they told me they have been praying every day since I told them. I find it so hard to beleive that I am worth enough to them that they would take the time to do that. Wow. 

My new job is going really well, I’m enjoying it mostly (of course there are things I don’t like too) and I’m starting to get into the swing of things better. 

Thank you too, all of you who are reading this, as I write here because I don’t feel alone. It’s not like a diary in the sense that no one ever reads it, but I do use it as a journal in what I actually write, and I want people to read it, it makes me feel heard not just like I’m writing in a book to hide. 

I don’t know if any of that makes sense or even means anything to anyone. Anyways, I hope you all have a great night. 

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 All You Can Do Is Just Keep Going…..Because On The Inside Everything Is Falling Apart Slowly.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’m not the best at writing consistently on this page. I write when I feel like something is really pressing on me to come out. I wish I had the ability to just come on here every week and write about what’s going on in my life, but I just don’t …..no matter how much I try, I just don’t do it. Sorry about that.

But here I am, writing another post, letting people I have never even met into the deepest parts of my mind, my heart, my soul. I write because it helps me to know that what is going on inside of me is valid…..it’s real, because maybe if I could just put it out there, into words, it would not just feel like this overwhelming amount of emotion within me……no instead it is real, it’s out there for others to acknowledge and let me know that it’s ok. It’s ok to feel the way I feel, to have the thoughts I have, and it’s ok to not be ok.

I’ve let you all know before that in therapy I’m working on accepting the sexual abuse of my uncle when I was a child. I’m working on looking into it, going deep within it all to get it all out there and to no longer let this abuse affect my daily life, my choices, my feelings about myself etc. It’s a long process, a process that is not easy, not now, not ever. This process entails me looking back to some of the darkest times in my life, to memories that have affected my life up to this point. This process is not just something that I can say I did and all of a sudden things are better. No, this is a process that will lead me to being able to live my daily life with these memories still, but not let them change my way of living. If that makes any sense at all. I am going through this process so that I can finally take the power back from my uncle who abused me so long ago.

This process has not been easy so far…..I didn’t expect it to be, but I’m not sure I was ready for the overwhelming amount of emotion it would bring with it and the level of depression and guilt and all things I don’t know there was a way to prepare for. I know I have a lot of support going through this, but I don’t think any amount of support would make me feel better. I feel like I have to keep going, keep pushing forward, going on with daily activities such as work as if there was nothing going on. But the reality of it is, I can’t just leave these discussions in my therapists office. I leave there and I have it on my mind. I try to set it aside but it doesn’t work. I have been dissociating at times and I am missing chunks of time because I have mentally stepped out of the moment as an escape. I go to work and I have a few coworkers that know what I’m working on, but that doesn’t give me permission to do my job any less than I would if I were doing alright. I feel like I need my job to keep going, I need the structure, the interactions, but it’s taking a huge effort just to get through the 6 hour shifts without crying in the bathroom, or detaching when someone is talking to me……like I can participate in a conversation with someone but then have no idea what we talked about or anything.

I feel like my insides are struggling to keep up. Struggling to not just burst out and go off on people, whether it’s through anger, or tears, or whatever. I feel like I just have to put such an effort to get through the day. I have to be “ok” when really I’m not. I have to keep on that mask, that smile, that fun personality, and all the while my heart is hurting, my soul is struggling, screaming on the inside but smiling on the outside. Then feeling exhausted at the end of the day and as if I completed nothing.

I don’t know how many of you have ever felt this way, but I know I cannot be alone in this. I just want this all to go away. I want to jump ahead a year when hopefully I’m all done going through this all in therapy……I want to feel better. I want to have hope again.

 

When God Takes A Friend Home Way Too Soon….

A friend of mine, AJ, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor 18 months ago. He took it with the best attitude I have ever known anyone to take news like that. He fought hard every day, and had the best smile on his face all the time. He was a joker, always teasing others and making them laugh. He was a father to a young boy who just turned 4 in the last two weeks. He was a hard worker, genuine, and selfless, always making sure others were doing ok. His mom is one of my best friends. AJ died this past Friday, November 25 early in the morning with his family around him as he took his last breath and went home to Jesus. He is in the best place he can be now. A place of no pain, plenty of love, and a view that no one could ever imagine. He is with his whole family, taking care of them still, and filling their hearts with love. That doesn’t make it any easier for those he left behind. His family is a wreck, which is to be expected, and his son just keeps asking where daddy is. The fact is, none of us understand why God wanted AJ home, why He took him in this way, but we do know that AJ fought a good fight. He showed all around him what true love is, what it means to live a full life, and how to live for today not yesterday or tomorrow. Please keep AJ’s family in your prayers, they have a lot of support but no amount of support will make this loss any easier, only God and time can help heal these wounds.

When The World Is Completely Overwhelming And A Scary Place To be….But You Can’t Escape Into Your Own Mind Because It’s Just As Scary.

I wake up each day and I sit and I watch the morning news. I hear of people getting shot, by cops, by family, by gang members or people on the street……I hear of teachers striking and kids losing out on the education they deserve. I see homeless people on the streets with a cup for change, I see people walk or drive right past them, myself included, hesitant to even make eye contact. I sit at home and hear my parents arguing, my mom crying asking why she’s even here. I hear her tell me Illinois is not where she wants to be……even though her family is here. I see my dad working his but off every day to provide for myself and my mom, and to take care of his own parents who are aging and in poor health. I question what it is I’m doing in my life. Where am I headed in life, do I have a purpose, a future, and skills to lead me to a job later on that will not only meet my financial needs of living, but my emotional needs…..will it help me to reach my goals, my meaning.

All these things go on daily, and the violence and everything, I can’t just ignore, but somehow it seems as if I am. I seem to have become immune to people killing people, to people living on the streets, and arguing in the house. I, along with the rest of society, have seemed to become immune to it. We all seem to pass it all by, say things like “I can’t fix it, someone else will.” Or we try to ignore and escape it by going into our own heads, places of calm and relief. Heh…..yeah ……I wish I could say I could escape, even just for a moment, to my own little world in my head, where things were calmer, more purposeful and peaceful. I can’t say that though. Because when I try to escape to my head I find a world of anxiety, depression, and fear of the future and my well being. I start questioning where I am in life, where I think I should be and where I am compared to others my age. I start thinking about ways to make the anxiety settle down……self injury is always the first automatic thought, and then it’s hard to get rid of. I drive to work, and pass railroad tracks, on a good day I just ignore them, on rougher days I think about parking my car on the tracks, or walking on the tracks with headphones on so loud I wouldn’t hear a train coming. These are things that even though I am in recovery from mental illness, they show up daily. I use my internal energy to convince myself those aren’t things I want to do…..some days it’s easier to convince myself than others……and I am constantly trying to live with a purpose……but I’m not always so clear on what that purpose is.

Why would God put me on this earth during the time He has. Why am I living in a world where it seems things are crumbling around me, what is it God wants me to do? How am I, just one person, supposed to make a change? How do I change the world around me when just trying to change the world within me is so hard? I don’t know. I don’t know why, and I probably never will. All I know is This is the world I’m living in, and I need to live daily for Christ and if I do that, then His purpose becomes MY purpose, and that is truly a wonderful thing.

When your friend has cancer and it’s only a matter of weeks……

One of my biggest supports, her son has brain cancer. He is only 4 years older than me and I have known him for a long time. He is a good friend too, and I think so highly of him. He is a great guy, married, and has a 3 year old son. He loves to go hunting and the White Sox (I’ll forgive him for that)…..He is always thinking of everyone else and he always has a great big smile on his face. I’ve never known him to be mean to others and it is evident how much he loves his family. He was diagnosed over a year ago with an inoperable brain tumor and over the last couple of weeks they found he has a lot of fluid surrounding his brain and the tumors have spread down his spine. They are only giving him a matter of weeks to live. He decided still to do chemo and radiation so as to do everything he can to stay alive for his little boy….even though it is less than a 1% chance the treatments will even do anything helpful. I feel helpless. His mom is someone who has supported me through so much, so many times in the hospital for psych issues and all that….and now, it’s my turn to support her and her family and I feel lost, helpless, scared, and completely unsure as to how to help and support them. I have told her I’m here for her, only a phone call away at any given time. I have given her hugs and sent random text messages just saying I’m thinking of her and her family. But it just doesn’t seem like enough……I don’t know that anything truly would be enough. I can’t imagine being in her position, knowing that at any time her boy could die. I just want to make things better, help her and her son. I want to know why this is happening, why it has to be him and why it has to be this way. I know those are only things God can answer, but it just seems so wrong. Please, if you are reading this, pray for my friend and the family. Pray for hope, peace, and comfort to come over them.