Three more from the old archives.
Conversations With My (Imagined) Therapist: A Series…part 1
Sitting here trying to channel my therapist because I don’t see her Til Tuesday (prettttty pretttty pretttty sure that’s a bad band) and I’m sure she is overwhelmed on her own and with her gaggle of non-typicals.
So, what do you wanna work on today?
*Life. Everything that is going on in the country right now.
Sitting in the middle of the uncertainty is torturous right now.*
Well, you’ve always had a problem with uncertainty and anything you can’t get the facts around, right? How is this any different, Sara?
*It’s bigger. Which makes the consequences and choices bigger proportionately. Too big some times for me to even bring it forward to think rationally.*
That’s okay. That’s normal. Everybody does this when they are overwhelmed or afraid.
*I know. I’m okay when I can look at it logically. But I am so precarious when it comes to stress. And so many people are afraid and it feels like fear-measles…they’re just spreading it. STAY THE FUCK HOME WITH THE FEAR. Come out when you are willing to discuss treatment options and ways to stop the outbreak.*
It’s good that you are recognizing when your fear has taken over and can step back. But, not everyone can, Sara. You know that.
*I DO know that. And I don’t fault them. I fault the fear salesmen. And myself for not being able to help. For not knowing how to help when my efforts have failed for so long. And I feel unheard.*
Ahhhhh. And what does that bring up for you? Because I know this has been a recurring issue in your life, feeling as if your words aren’t valid and nobody really listens or wants to understand.
*It is hard to keep that distance. Between who I used to be and who I try to be today. But it’s magnified here. My biggest fear is that a lot of people and some friends are “stuck in the fear” right now. And I can’t connect. And as the missed connections pile up, I begin to be pushed back across the line into “otherness”. And I know that pain intimately and try to never “other” others. So it hurts, personally and it scares me that I see this pattern emerging where perceived teams or tribes are getting smaller and smaller until we begin to lose trust and hope.
Fear and a feeling of having right on your side can make a person do truly horrible things. An ex-member of The Weather Underground said something like that about his own actions during his involvement. *
That’s a lot. Are you taking care of yourself? Have you found that thing you can do to be and feel productive so you don’t get lost in the fear and hide at home? You have been functioning really well these past few years.
*Honestly, it is harder to do some things. I want to stay inside unless necessary. I know it isn’t healthy. I haven’t been able to work as much as I should and want to be. And I feel irritable and exhausted with the kids. I am trying to focus on one on one time with them more though. And I have been looking for those concrete ways to help others. Because it *does* help.*
You can’t do much more than you are doing, Sara. I know you want to help others through that fear. Because you know how it feels to get stuck in that place and what it can do to you. Just keep reminding them that you are here if they need it and you understand. But you have to take care of yourself, too. It sounds like you are getting pulled into it at times and you can’t afford that right now.
So I need you to monitor that. And step away before your get overwhelmed.
You’re doing great though. You really are. And you know how much I love hearing your perspective. I’m sure others feel the same way.
The boys doing alright?
*yes. They’re doing pretty great. Growing up too fast*
I hear that. Take care of yourself and call if you need anything.
So, umm. That’s embarrassing.
But if you need to talk about anything, I’m here.
The Lies Depression Tells
This is a bit hard for me to post, but I think it is essential that people hear/read the kinds of internal dialogue that depression sufferers can face occasionally, weekly, daily, or all day some times. It is important to know that there are many people who fight a battle silently in their minds, trying to decipher what the correct perspective is; the one that they fight to see and others assure them is true, or the following.
This is not a cry for help or a cry for attention. Nobody is in imminent danger.
[In fact, this site was glitchy when I wanted to post this, so it is from earlier this week. But nobody was in danger then either.]
If you ever worry about the well-being of a friend or family member [or even an acquaintance], ask them even if it feels uncomfortable. Go by and visit. Give them hugs if they like hugs. Because this is what they hear in their heads from time to time.
“I don’t want to be a thing anymore. I want all the reals and unreals to quiet themselves (respectively and respectfully) and just allow me to be a nothing for a bit.
I need to not feel the pressure from you or him or that other one to amount to anything other than the randomness that is truth. I need to just sit and not be for a while. Can someone grant me the One Wish™?
I have tried for so long to just amount to a human being which is capable of existence solely for its own satisfaction and amusement. This isn’t a thing is it? This must be one of those lies we are sold. I am less than real and I want to become. But, being pulled in the multitude of directions and being touched by the multitude of hands manipulating my actions, I cannot.
I have made an attempt, and it seems as though I have been doomed to remain unreal and quickly becoming unfit even for the service of the reals.
My reals are suffering and they can’t stop letting me know. My reals are suffering and I would give up my becoming if I could fix that. But giving up my becoming hasn’t fixed anything. Except the idea in their minds that I am unworthy. And my body has heard and is responding. It is breaking like the mind to which it gives a home. And no singularity approaches (not that this mind would aspire to become real or unreal in digitization of life).
I broke when they tried to simply bend me and they liked the sound that it made; unaware of what the rhythmic snap songs had meant, they continued to play my bones and my synapses like percussives. And here we are, sitting in the middle of an echo chamber of my inadequacies and listening to the breakdown of mind that was never perhaps genius and crazy (certainly) all along.
And I did this.
I did it all.
And we all suffer.
So pray for the reals.
The unreals and the inadequates have lost hope enough to know that prayers be useless.
The reals are yes.
And the yes holds the worth.”
A Note on Mental Health Waves
I want to talk for a moment about mental health and mental un-health.
“Insanity”, (and I am going to use this not-so-politically-correct-apparently-pejorative term because it is the one that makes linguistic sense.), looks different from person to person. I have not been “well” recently…at all. My facebook feed might make some people argue about this. My facebook feed, like many others’, is capable of deception. I don’t mean to be deceptive…but you don’t want to see puffy eyed selfies of me trying to force myself to get dressed or hold a conversation with a toddler. Trust me. I also don’t know what I am allowed to admit without some well-intentioned friend having CPS come check on us.
My kids are safe, healthy, fed, clean, and we have people checking on us. Feel free to bring us a casserole or cookies some time if you are truly concerned. We can chat, though I may or may not sob.
I have grown accustomed to relative “wellness” over the past almost 5 years, as such, I feel a bit like poor Algernon slipping back from previously gained strengths. I can tell you that if the idea of this notion when you read the book was torturous, you don’t want to live it. I don’t want to be *here* right now. Knowing how it was just a couple of months ago and thinking that if I kept doing everything “right” I would never be back here again.
But that isn’t how this works.
Mental Health does NOT exist on a linear trajectory.
The past few months have come with a lot of new and increased stresses as well as some significant anniversaries of some significantly bad experiences from my history. So, I have hit a large wave. My first TRULY large wave since things really evened out after getting sober and I was NOT prepared for the weepiness, and the moodiness, and the utter exhaustion. I was not prepared for my brain to start telling me I was worthless again and for me to not be able to recognize that as the depression.
Don’t ever assume that (or ever EVER tell) someone they must be neglecting their treatment plan or trying hard enough if they are experiencing symptoms at a more noticeable rate. Maybe they are. But this shit changes. It adapts. And some day, after doing everything seemingly correct, you end up crying in a closet; well rested, exercised, self-cared, and positive. Just….depressed.
So you try to funnel for as long as possible. The keep moving method. You try to make your world smaller and more manageable. As small as possible until hopefully your coping strategies start working again or you find new ones that do. And you just keep walking through the bits of it that you can.
So my insanity looks like murals and ignoring things that are not necessary or immediately helpful to minimize stressors. It will likely look very different for someone else. We do what we can with what we have at each moment. I believe this is true for every one of us; sane or insane. Some days my best isn’t going to seem good enough to someone, and I am sorry if that someone is you. But I am trying to float and I have to save enough room for the boys.
I might look happy. I might be happy parts of the day. I might sleep for a few hours while my kiddo watches bilingual shows and naps.
I probably feel like a bad mom.
I probably could use a hug.
But I will make it through this wave.
I feel like I finally am making it over that crest. And hopefully soon I will be able to fully articulate the impact of these anniversaries. The lasting impact of the events and the bitter remembrances as they echo back through my life now.
But know that today, we are okay. I am okay.