Yesterday, I threw away my medicine

 

My daily medicineI for real threw it away and not on purpose. I was just so scattered, I’d balled it up in the store bag and threw it out. I couldn’t sleep thinking about where I’d put it. At 3 am, I woke up to find my medicine deep in the garbage and then had to go out to check to makes sure the freezer was still working.

That is unfortunately how anxiety works. It keeps me up, even with the medicine, worrying about things I can control so that I don’t lose my marbles over the things I can’t.

I can control the freezer melting. I cannot control the rest.

A lot of my life just feels so out of control. Like I am in a runaway car that someone else has control over. And they’ve taken all the wrong turns. I’m not even seatbelted in the back seat and I am being violently flung around, without so much as a worry about my safety. I feel as though I am calling out where I want to go and what I need and the driver isn’t hearing me. And the bruises created by it never seem to heal. I don’t understand why no one can hear me. I don’t understand why my needs and wants don’t matter.

I feel very, very out of control.

I am sure if you use Facebook or a smart phone you know all about the “memories” apps and such. I used to just love Timehop. Something I looked forward to peeking at every day. I had to delete it. All those memories are now tainted and I can hardly stand to look at this history that I thought was so good. It turns out, it was much different. Everyone remembers all these things different, all I can remember is what was happening when I wasn’t looking. My anxiety is to blame for that too, to a point. I was so anxious and sad all the time, I missed what was happening right in front of my face.

The last month or so I had done well at coping. Taking yoga and taking time for self-care but this last week has been tremendously difficult. I don’t know if it’s the lack of good sleep (I am sleeping, I fall asleep easily. I do not stay asleep) or that I have snuck a few cookies in here and there. It might be that I haven’t had a chance to breathe in-between juggling the new jobs and the kids and the stuff I do from home. It might be that it’s the anniversary of things. It might be that there is still a unfillable hole. It could be the impending doom I feel. The waiting for the shoe to drop. I might be the anxiety telling me I am an awful human for this to have happened. I don’t know. I don’t know why I can’t shake the feels.

Another kind of medicine

I am struggling to get back on track. I have a two-week break from therapy. First, she is on vacation and then we are. I should have asked for another kind of medicine the last time I was there too but there are still little voices telling me how bad it is to take the meds. But, fuck, I am tired of feeling sad and worse yet, trying to hide it. Like it’s fun to be the girl who showers to muffle the sounds? And the sounds are awful. When your own sounds scare you, it’s bad. And this isn’t to say there haven’t been happy moments. There have been. But it was like a switch turned on this week. I wish I could find the trigger so I can avoid it.

I think people see me as always sad or upset or anxious and then when I am “happy”, it’s just a façade. It’s not. Honestly, there is much happy in my life. So very much. I write for therapy. I have for years. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any joy. There is. It’s just something I need to get out and share. I’ve always done it. Mostly because I thought it might help someone else but mostly, it’s helped me. Until recently. I keep typing hoping it will help me turn the corner on all this but what I keep seeing is the window I gave to cruel people and how they used it to destroy parts of my life. I often have wondered if I should only share my highlights. Because what have I done by sharing my sad?

A friend said this week, “it’s like they got everything you ever wanted” and the truth is they did. I lost so much fighting for it all back too. It’s no wonder I feel sad and out of control. I lost so much of what was important to me. And it’s painful and sad. And for what? I don’t really know. I feel lucky that I have some people I can bounce all these feelings off with. Even when it results in me crying in the makeup aisle at Target. I worry though, that I am starting to sound so much like a broken record, that they’ll stop listening. I have to figure out how to get out of this hole, alone, before I actually am alone.

I don’t feel brave or strong these days. And I am tired of the rollercoaster of emotions.

 

Who in the hell is that?

Drew and Me

My Drew. Gosh, he was the cutest baby. When I was pregnant with him, they thought something wasn’t right with his kidneys. I saw the ultrasound techs face and knew. Kevin thought I was disappointed that he was a boy. I wasn’t. I knew by her face, we’d get a call.

We did. And a level two ultrasound. But he was fine. Is fine. Thankfully.

This is my favorite photo of the two of us. Even though my posture is off and I have wild hair. You can see I am happy and healthy. That I love where I am. Who I am. What I was. I made that Mei Tei. I was finally falling into motherhood. Accepting that it was what I wanted to do, even though I’d felt like I had bumbled my way through it up until then. We were babies ourselves when we’d started our family. I never realized how much I’d miss those days.

I started to lose myself shortly after this. We packed up our whole life and moved to Pennsylvania hoping this would be a fresh start and our home. It’s been challenging at best. I’ve lost as much as I have gained. Maybe more. Sometimes I find myself thinking that the move here was the biggest mistake of my life. Kevin has tried to help me see the silver lining but it’s hard to see the joy when you’re so muddled up in the sadness. He reminds me that all that happened could have happened there. I tend to disagree.

I lost myself here.

It started with my friends. The fall out of a mother’s group, I watched one by one as we parted ways. I felt ashamed and shunned, my church shortly followed and eventually my faith. Which I am coming to terms with and learning to love my new-found ability to question everything. Even when it makes people uncomfortable. But once I’d lost most of my friend base and my church, I started to let myself go too. In about 5 years I gained 50 pounds. Putting me at a weight I am too afraid to even say. I can’t figure out how except maybe sugar but it happened. And I stopped letting people take my photo and I stopped letting anyone touch me. I could barely look at myself. I wore the same ratty clothes and I never left. When I did it was in a long sweater and I hid in the corner, hoping no one would see me there.

There is almost no record I existed the last 5 years.

And in that five years, the demons in my head, they won. Over and over, telling me that I sucked at everything. Everything. Parenting, loving, crafting, talking, friending. I put the camera down, the paint brushes. I stopped trying. The demons told me I was unloved and unlovable. Sometimes they still do.  I heard in everyone’s voices I was a bad mother and a bad friend. A bad child and a bad sister. I was a bad wife. I wasn’t worthy and I wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t kind or smart or helpful. I was worthless.

Worthless.

I let bad people tell me that too. I still do.

Worthless. I can hear them as they mock my lack of a job. Not knowing how much I carry. And it’s a lot. I just chose not to prove it to you. I take care of everyone. Everything. Thanklessly. Always.

But I am taking the steps to reclaim my worth. And I’ve lost so much weight and gained so much strength. And I did it the right way. With diet and exercise. The scale tells me I am working hard. So do the measurements and the feelings inside. But when I look in the mirror I see the same sad, chubby, ugly girl and I think, “who the hell is that?” I still see the wrongs and none of the rights.

That's me! Sunflower fields

Brains are cruel things sometimes. My body image is so tied up in this idea of what broke me that all I can think is I must have just been a hideous monster for what happened to me. Comparison is the thief of joy and to be pushed aside for something so truly ugly, well, it does a number on you. And no amount of weight loss is going to fix it. And I don’t know how to change it inside my head.

How do I see the beautiful people tell me I have? How do I see the arm divet without wondering if my arms are really that big or if it’s just the camera angle? How do I convince myself that I am worthy and beautiful and kind and smart? How do I love myself?

How do I start to love myself?

How do I stop listening to the demons? I can feel happy and then, bam, the sad comes back. I’ve covered myself in armor trying to avoid the triggers and yet, they still creep in, reminding me. There will always be this hole. It’s unfillable now. And I want to stop thinking about it and wanting. I want to stop wanting and worrying and thinking and reverting back to the old girl, April’s girl. I want to be new… and shiny and happy and in love with myself.

I just want to be whole. I want to look in the mirror and not question what I am seeing. I want to stop worrying and just go with the flow. I just want some happy, more often and less this. I don’t want to have to work so hard not to feel so sad. Happy shouldn’t be so hard. Even though I know it’s worth the work. Happy should be easy. I know my happiness is there… the work is removing the rest.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” — Helen Keller

 

 

A question of karma; what did I do

Forgive me for I am not acting myself
But these bees in my breath have to come out
Well you give me no reason to doubt your word
But I still somehow still have my reasons
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to scare you at all
I’m just trying to drain all this bad blood

This week was a tough one. I find myself going through waves of highs and lows. This week, I spent fighting my way out of the low tide. I didn’t win much but I kept fighting. I am still fighting. This morning, I ran the water as hot as I could and cried the same primal cry I’d had in April, remembering what’d I’d lost this time last year and what I’d lost this April. Sometimes it feels like the sad is winning; even though I am fighting with everything I have. Even though there is so much more sunshine than there was. Sometimes, the clouds steal my sun. There was so much rain this week.

I felt so alone.

I visited with the psychiatrist in charge of my medicine trying to muster up the energy to overcome the embarrassment I felt, for wanting something else. Something in addition to the anxiety meds. I wasn’t brave enough and left without anything else. I immediately regretted it. It was just so hard to say when I am really so not into meds. But I can’t always decide if the sad is circumstance or truly depression. But what does it matter? I need someone to help me with my sad. I looked at the therapist after, lungs full of words but my mouth closed down because some weeks, this one especially, I feel ashamed of the feels I am feeling.

Instead, I said, in the middle of the war, what did I do? What did I do to deserve this?

But no one can answer.

No one can tell me why I have this August shaped hole in my heart that cannot be filled. And why it’s paired with a hole that is shaped like April and many other months before. No one can tell me what I did to deserve all this.

Instead, they say nothing. I did nothing or literally nothing. When they say literally nothing which hurts more than saying something wrong. Because when people say nothing? It feels like you don’t deserve their time, their words. It fills the August shaped hole with worthlessness and the April shaped hole with despair.

What ever did I do to feel so worthless? Why are my good days so tainted with despair?

I want my sunshine back. To fill my arms with it. To get the rainbow at the end of this storm.

There is no rainbow for me. Someone else got everything I wanted, without any of the work.

Mental illness. I guess. Is that why I have such good weeks and then such low ones? Is it mental illness or is it me?

The summer is almost over and it seems like it passed in a blur. We didn’t do anything we wanted and still, it was gone in a flash. I added a second job to the first new job. Both I am still so excited about but I confess, the logistics of it all are scary. Sometimes it just feels like they’re not enough hours. I know there aren’t when I look at my paper list of to do. I was already busy. But I can’t say no to either. Both could be so good. But I with school starting soon, I am just worried how I will get it all done. I am not Wonder Woman and let’s face it, help is hard. Really hard.

We’re looking to move away. Well, at least I am. This isn’t home anymore. Was it ever?  A reminder of something pops up at every corner. But still, the thought of going away makes me so sad that the lump in my throat feels like it’s the size of Jupiter. I don’t think I can deal with much more change. But I don’t think I can stay here.

Tomorrow is Monday. I hope tomorrow I get my sunshine back. I’m looking for it. It’s there. I just need to find my footing in all this mud.