“If Not Now, If Not Now, Tell Me When…..” – Carrie Newcomer

First of all……med changes SUCK. I’m going through a med change because I’ve been struggling with my depression…….well…..It’s in the very beginning stages of the change which means very low doses of the medications and weaning off of the old one ……..which also means the depression will get worse for some time before it gets better. I feel so ……….. exhausted. Emotionally, physically, and just all around. I feel like no matter what I do or say nothing is helping. My thoughts are whirling around self injury and suicide and I just feel so alone in a lot of ways. I know I’m not. I know I have my parents, my grandma, my best friend Johanna, and I have been utilizing them. Talking to them and communicating what’s going on. I guess the better term would be I feel empty, I feel worthless, I feel depressed.

I told my ECT doctor these things on Friday at treatment and he is having me come in 2x this coming week for 2 treatments instead of just one. He wanted to put me inpatient but I told him no. I told him, I’m using my skills, I’m utilizing my supports and I am working hard at everything my doctor and therapist are having me do. He agreed and let me stay outpatient. I have a feeling at some point I will end up in an outpatient program though. I don’t know when, but I can see it coming.

My parents are at a retirement party right now. I’m home by myself. It’s eerie, quiet, and yet so loud because my thoughts are bombarding me. I keep thinking about grabbing a knife, a razor, a lighter anything I could use to just give myself some relief……..a relief I haven’t given to myself in this way since August of 2012. I don’t want to relapse, I don’t want to end that streak of not hurting myself, but this is getting overwhelming. I feel like crying, but nothing will come out. I feel like screaming, but I’m just not strong enough. I need a hug, someone to tell me it’s going to be alright, that I can do this, and that I am capable. My friend Johanna does this for me. She texts me every day. I wish there was a way I could tell her how appreciated she is by me. There are just no words to describe it. She’s the best friend I could ever ask for, and hopefully I help her at least a fraction of how much she helps me.

My boss from NAMI asked me to breakfast this coming Wednesday. I know she’s going to ask me what I’ve been up to, what jobs I’ve applied for, and how the job search is going. I really don’t want to get into that conversation with anyone let alone her. I just want to go and have breakfast, hear why she blew up on one of the other office workers and just talk about random things. I don’t want to feel judged which I know I will. I just don’t want to.

I really want to cry right now. Random thought I know. This whole post is discombobulated I know…….but my mind is just all over the place right now and I can’t stop it.

Please God, just hold me in your arms and hold me close and let me be surrounded by Your love and grace. God, I know you are with me and I know You created me for a reason, but I just feel so lost right now, I feel so scared and I feel like I can’t go on. I have been praying for you to just take me in my sleep Lord. I just want this all to be over. I just want this depression and anxiety to end. What am I doing wrong? I am working so hard, doing everything my doctor and therapist says I take my meds, I do the ECT, and I still feel so down. I love helping others Lord, listening to them and encouraging them. Why can’t I encourage myself?

I don’t know who reads this blog, but if you do, I’m sorry for being so depressing. I use this like a journal and just release everything through it. Thank you to all who read it and “listen” to what I have to say.

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Those Days Everything Is Just a Tornado Around You…… In Your Head

Today has been one of those days that I can’t explain really well what’s exactly going on inside my head. All I know is it is like a tornado of emotions, thoughts, and wanting to cry but nothing coming out. Earlier, my mom told me my dad needed me to do something for him before he got home later after work. For some reason it triggered in me this bout of anger and frustration that I just went off on my mom. I got angry and said he should be able to do it when he got home, that it’s not my responsibility, and that if he wanted me to do something he should have asked me not had mom ask me. Now, if you know me, you know that reaction is NOTHING at all like me. That anger and frustration just came out of nowhere, it all happened so fast and I took out all the emotions that I have been feeling all day of hopelessness and loneliness and depression and anxiety, on my mom and dad. I did end up doing the task he needed me to do, but I was angry the entire time. Then, after I was finished, the guilt struck. I felt terrible for the way I reacted and for not being able to explain why I reacted the way I did. I wanted so bad to cry, but nothing was coming out. I felt alone. I felt scared, and I felt anxious and depressed. I texted my dad apologizing for the way I reacted ….. he didn’t even know I had reacted that way because my mom hadn’t told him and he wasn’t here to see it. I just felt like I had to apologize. I told my mom I was sorry too. But I still had this tornado of thoughts in my head, and of course this would be the day my therapist needed to cancel our appointment …..now, it was because of a family emergency, so I completely understand and don’t blame her, but it sucks it just happened to be today.

I texted my best friend Johanna. I told her how I was feeling today. That I was really struggling today. That I just feel like I am on the edge…..angry but wanting to cry all at the same time, and unable to explain the why. I knew she would understand what I meant. She always does. She truly is a blessing to me and I am lucky to have her in my life. We have this way of just supporting each other and just being there at all the right times. She’s a great friend and I am grateful for her.

I see my psychiatrist again tomorrow. This is a good thing. I hope all these emotions and thoughts slow down by then, but I also know I can tell her everything I have told you all here in this blog and she will help in some way. I also have another ECT treatment on Friday this week. I have all the supports, but my brain just doesn’t want to cooperate and slow down, or let me feel better. I hate this mental illness/ depression and anxiety crap. I know a lot of you out there understand that feeling. I hate that I feel like I have control to a certain point, but then it just is out my reach and I lose all control. I know I have come a long way from where I was just a few years ago, but it feels just as hard. The thoughts of self harm and suicide have never gone away and while I don’t engage in those thoughts they still cause me to struggle. I can’t lie, I have come really close in the past couple of months to falling back into the self harm way of coping. It’s really hard to not engage when I KNOW 100% that it will make me feel better…….even if it’s only for a short while. I know that doesn’t make much sense to a lot of people, but to those of you who have used self harm as a coping skill before you know what I am talking about. It’s like smoking in a way……. you know it’s bad for you, that it’s not a healthy skill, but it works to calm you down or relax you and feel better, even if only for a short while.

I just need to get through today, tomorrow is a new day and I know that. I will deal with it when it comes. I just need a hug, from a friend, from my dad, from anyone who I know gets it. I need to believe in myself……which I know isn’t going to happen, at least not today. I need to keep walking forward and not get stuck where I am. It’s all easier said than done that’s for sure. I need to love myself……..I haven’t loved myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t feel worthy of it. I feel ugly. I feel unworthy, and I feel as if I will be alone forever, with only a few friends and my family (with the exception of my sister) there for me. My brain tells me the world would be a better place without me that I don’t have anything worthy to offer. These are the thoughts that go through my head.

I pray God holds me close and holds all of my family and friends close too.

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.

“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.

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.