Tag Archives: mental health

Day 202: Toss Up

Recently, I’ve spent far too much time watching the sun rise. I don’t have an issue with this most of the time. Sunlight can be helpful in fighting my depression. At the same time,  anxious sleepless nights have become my new normal. I’m almost always awake when daybreak happens and I don’t want to disturb anyone’s rest, so I lie in bed and watch the light break across the windows.

Mornings can be very nice. Running through your morning routine everyday can help a person feel focused and on track. Sadly, I’m not one of those people.

When I have to get up early for work or some other engagement, there are days when I’m too full of anxiety about the upcoming day to rest properly. I’m upset when the alarm goes off. I drag myself to get ready and make my son do the same. We have to be out the door at a certain time, you know.

It’s easy to set yourself on auto pilot when you have other things to think about. Your daily schedule can be an excellent distraction from whatever emotional nonsense the brain might be preparing to unleash. The days when I don’t have the distraction are more interesting to me.

My brain hasn’t settled on a course yet, so my feelings can fluctuate between ready to go and ready to stay in bed. I might have a really good day or a really terrible one. It could honestly go either way. I can feel both in turn, fighting for control. Telling myself that I’m going to be okay only works occasionally. To be honest, I don’t feel as if it’s my decision.  I could be determined to feel one thing and end up in a totally different emotional place. It really just depends. The process can be alarmingly exhausting.

Does any of this sound familiar? Do other people’s depression and anxiety have a battle with them every day? I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Is it any wonder why people seem so frustrated and stressed first thing in the morning? Dealing with yourself can be a daunting daily event. Couple that with the normal stress of living in our society and the dangerous setup for burnout and emotional collapse is set into motion. Is it any wonder why there have so many attacks at schools and workplaces in America? People are stretched thin.

I don’t have an overarching solution. It’s difficult for me to find answers for myself sometimes. The difference between myself and others is that I’m slowly trying to break the cycle. Many people just keep pushing until something gives. Usually meaning that their physical health or personal relationships suffer as a result. I’ve done that too many times in the past and it is no way to live.

Lately, I’ve been trying to pay attention to myself and when I can tell that I’m approaching a breaking point, I want to find a good way to slow down. It’s difficult, but possible. I’m not always successful, but I’m still learning.

We all are..

Day 198: Cracked

One may recall a few days ago that I talked about slowing down and being good to yourself. Today, I can say that I need to get better about taking my own advice.

I hit a low point yesterday. Very low. The emotional stress of my life situation was already at my limit and life saw fit to throw one more thing to the pile. Something small that, on its own, wouldn’t have crushed me like it did. Unfortunately, this was the worst possible time to add more weight to my pile.

I was a wreck, weepy and angry all night. I slept a little but it was riddled with nightmares. The sun rose and I was upset about it. My husband got up for work and I wanted to cry more. My son got up for breakfast and I sent him back to his room.

I’m not in a good place. I haven’t really been in a good place for some time now. Seems like a familiar statement if you read my blog regularly, I know. Depression takes your negative feelings and experiences and amplifies them. The illness uses them to justify all the horrible messages that it throws at you constantly. Ultimately, negative thoughts become self fulfilling prophecy. I’m bad therefore bad things keep happening to me and vice versa. The cycle is exhausting.

I know I preach self care, but it’s becoming difficult to find anything that still works for me. The practice is effective and I do still believe it can help but I’m out of strategies that I can use. Hiding from the world isn’t an option right now. Things need to be taken care of and I’m the only person that can do them. Taking a walk has become a chore because of the oppressive humidity. Gardening falls into the same category. Funny movies aren’t working anymore. I play video games to pass the time, but there isn’t any real enjoyment there right now.

All of those are textbook depression symptoms. Knowing that doesn’t ease my mind at all. If anything, knowing makes it worse sometimes. I can’t always tell if the things I’m feeling are genuine or a product of how I know the disease works. Back to that self fulfilling prophecy I was talking about earlier.

*sigh*

Day 196: Self Care Reminder

Depression is a liar and a joy thief. Everybody knows this. Every day one can shake it’s grip and keep it moving is a blessing.

However, there are days when its whispers become screams and its weight becomes unbearable. You can feel the difference within yourself when this point comes. The body gets heavy. Its harder to get out of bed. Eating feels like a needless chore.

It may come to a point that you just keep pushing through these days. That may feel like a short term solution, but one becomes worn down. Everything is harder. The temper can flare and patience is very thin. One can become quite unpleasant to be around.

Remember: It’s okay to take time for yourself. It’s good for you even. Other may try to make you feel guilty about it but try not to let those voices in. One can care for others much more effectively if one’s own needs are being met.

Day 195: Pound

Something is wrong with my head and I don’t mean the regular stuff.

I’ve been having this throbbing in my ear. I think I can hear my pulse because of the built up fluid in my head. If I hold my head the other way, it drains eventually and the throbbing stops.

It doesn’t hurt but it is annoying. I tried to look up a diagnosis, but I can’t find anything solid. I called a doctor, but nothing is available until September.

Guess I get to suffer until then.

Day 193: Clarity

I tried to meditate again. I used to when I was younger but I don’t think it really helped me then. Trying to find some focus felt like something I needed to do.

Instead of feeling focused and relieved, my mind proceeded to remind me of every bit of frustration than I’ve been feeling over the past few months. I didn’t need any help in that department. Worrying is something I have no problems with.

I’m starting to think I should find another therapist. Things aren’t going well for me and the meds aren’t doing much. I hate feeling like this.

 

Day 192: Dear Lilly

Hey you,

It’s 5:11 AM. You’ve been awake since quarter till 2. Not the first time, won’t be the last. Bear with me anyway

Waking up wasn’t your fault this time but you really need to do better. Sleeping is vital to your well being and it seems like you’ve forgotten how to do it.

I know there’s a lot on your mind and if you were asleep, it wouldn’t be great. Anxiety has been riding you hard lately. Allow me to offer you a bit of advice.

Relax. Stop stressing about things out of your hands.  Things are going to be fine. Your physical health is starting to wear down. Stop worrying about it and take care of it. You’re better than this. You have people than need you. Don’t waste away in your own personal dungeons.

Please. For me?

Love,

Lilly

Day 191: Blank Pages

I’ve wanted to be a writer my whole life.

Sure, I’ve had other career plans; cowboy, pharmacist, archer, etc. but I’ve wanted to write consistently the entire time. I even wanted to major in journalism when I started college.  (Goodness, that feels forever ago now.)

This online thing is nice, but nothing beats pen and paper in my book. Pretty pens and nice stationery get me all excited. I guess the words have more meaning if I write them down. A kind of old magic, I think. Saying things aloud gives words power but writing them down gives them more strength.

I have had lots of journals over the years. Hardcover, softcover, hell even loose leaf. My early writing was mostly random daily thoughts and some poems. I entered one of them in a contest when I was in middle school, I think. It came in second place if I remember correctly.

I’ve tried to keep up with all of them over the years, but Life has a funny way of getting in the way from time to time. For example, there was a blue binder I used to have that was full of my writing from my high school days. There was also a draft of a play I was working on. (Now that I remember it, my idea would have worked better as a novel.) I left it at my mother’s place when I moved out amongst other things. That house has since been destroyed by fire and things that I once thought were invaluable are lost forever.

Time passed and I kept writing. Fanfiction was a way I could work on my craft and get out some of my fangirly feelings. I wrote X-Men and Bleach stories for years. I even wrote a few erotic stories. (Those feelings needed to get out too, you know.)  They’re still online if you want to be bothered to read them, but I don’t think I’ll go back and finish. My heart just isn’t in it anymore. Marvel is trash and Bleach is finished, show’s over.

I have a nasty habit of collecting pretty journals. If one catches my eye, I’m hard pressed to not purchase it. I have lots of them just sitting on shelves in my space. Totally empty. Untouched since I bought them. It bothers me from time to time. I used to have so many stories to tell; so many words that I needed to get out before they escaped me permanently. Now, I’m lucky if I manage to get a hundred words put together every day.  Being surrounded by all these empty pages is kind of like being reminded of my shortcomings. I bought these things with ideas in mind for them; ideas that have faded into the ether of my memories. I have mental illness to thank for that, but I’ve been using that as an excuse for too long.

My goal for myself is to stop being passive with my writing; to stop being lazy and letting my ideas fade away. It doesn’t matter anymore about how poorly organized they are or how depressing they might be. It doesn’t even matter if they never form into a real story. I have to keep flexing my creative muscle or it will die. Its come close a few times already. Losing my ability to use words is something I couldn’t live with.

I’m putting all this into the universe. Stepping out on Faith, as the church ladies say. Writing it down and giving the words the power again. I’m finally ready to do the work. I’m ready to watch doors open in front of me. I’m ready to move forward.

Day 190: Countdown

I started having anxiety dreams about work again last week. I’m always stuck in traffic and can’t get there or something happens and I can’t find the place. They’re terrible.

Today, I got the “Beginning of the school year” information e-mail. My college schedule also starts later in August. My summer is quickly coming to a close. I’m headed back to being educationally minded for the next ten months.

I wish I could say that I was looking forward to it. Having a routine again will help me in some ways, but being stressed every day is gonna suck.

I’m got to get back into a positive headspace. Going into the year with preparatory stress isn’t the way to go.

Day 188: Tiny Melons

Fighting feelings of inadequacy is a constant thing. Especially, in our constantly connected world. There’s always someone online doing something that you wish you were doing, succeeding where you feel like you’ve failed. It’s not hard to fall into the “What am I doing with my life” trap.  One wonders if anything they do makes any difference. Perhaps no one would notice if you just gave up.

Stop that. You matter to someone. Even if it’s someone that would wouldn’t expect.

I feel like that almost daily. I can fight against it some days, some days I can’t. Today was shaping up to be one of the more difficult days. I didn’t sleep well and stayed in bed too long. I still haven’t managed to eat anything. However, I did manage to go outside to my little garden. I feel terrible when I don’t at least water everything. The shriveled greenery doesn’t help my depression.

Anyway, while I was in the garden, I noticed that my watermelon plant had started blooming and upon closer inspection I found this…

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A baby watermelon!

Being active in the lives of my plants allows them to grow and thrive. Something that I can take or leave every day and I may forget from time to time. It may not matter of the macro level, but it matters to them. Something simple like this was enough for me. My actions are having a positive effect, even if the effect is small.

You are enough. Just do what you can.

Day 187: Better Days

I woke up feeling good. It’s different but I’m not asking questions. Just taking the opportunity to clean my space and do some laundry. The universe decided to give me a little break in the sadness and I’m grateful.

I’m glad that I’m able to bounce back from time to time. Using this blog to chronicle my mental health journey doesn’t seem very interesting, but talking through my problems could really help someone out. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.

In case you haven’t heard it today. You are loved. You are worthy. Don’t question people’s love for you. Just accept.