New Year, New Dynamic

Mom died.

It’s been about seven weeks since her passing.  Time seems to go buy at different speeds at the same time.  I’ve hit new levels of stooopid I never knew I could.  I’m still not eating right, sleeping well or taking care of myself as I should.  The only thing I’ve been capable of doing is making crochets shawls.  I can count to 8, I can sit and watch it grow and not have to do anything else.  Since December 1, her last time to the hospital, I’ve made seven shawls.  One is my “house hold” shawl because I would rather wrap up than turn up the heat.  I seem to  keep going back to the hook for comfort.  They feel like hugs.  I’m trying to make one for all the women/girls in the family for the boat ride out to skater Mom’s ashes.  Hopefully I will be more back in the world by April.

I  haven’t really cried yet.  Maybe writing this out might break open the flood gates and release the torrent of tears that are just waiting for the opportunity to flow.  I don’t know why it seems so hard to express myself that way.  It could be the general fear of crying; if I start I won’t be able to stop.  Or it could be the medication is still providing the buffer that keeps me from completely dissolving into a puddle.  I’ve gotten the basics down in my journal but not really the emotions.  I wonder if I’m actually going to have any.  I mean, it’s not like this is out of the blue.  I’ve spent the last 12 years taking care of her as she, well not exactly slowly, declined.  The last three to five years have been the hardest, and living with her and taking care of her really tore the wellspring of hope out of me several times.  It did happen really fast, in the hospital on the 1st, back home by the 5th, then dead by the 10th.  There wasn’t  a rally coherent good by on her end due to the hypoxia from the lack of oxygen.

My team of professionals and myself have held the theory/belief that part if not most of my depression and anxiety was due to my environment.  Maybe I’m overmedicated now that the environment has changed or maybe I’m so completely overwhelmed (I had my car broken into after the memorial service and I drove myself to see my sister C. run in the Carlsbad marathon, I lost my job when I lost my mother, going back to school in February, and creditors filing suit).  I’m overwhelmed.  I guess I should stop trying to push myself so hard and try to do things one day, one task, one blog post at a time.

I’ve had some dark days, but in general I still have the light and hope for my future, so I don’t believe I’m back in the void, although, truth be told crawling back into that warm dark place to hide sounds really inviting..  I’ve had more bouts of anxiety than depression, I’m becoming more aware of my desire to take care of myself (like eat, bathe, change clothes, etc.)  In some ways I feel like I’ve been reborn into this world but I’m going to have to fend for myself.  I’ve got to find a job that pays well enough for me to write until the nectar of creativity runs dry.

My nephew gave me the best advise yesterday.  I didn’t want to go home, it felt like a trap so he told me when he feels that way he goes out into the world and tries to find something beautiful.  So, I went home briefly and grabbed Sammy and we took a trip to the coast and watched the boats in the marina and on the way home on Highway 35, I got pictures of a beautiful sunset over the foothills in the valley.  It was beautiful and my anxiety was calmed.

Time Is Not Kind

Well, I’ve been gone.  I choose to blame my itty-bitty computers hesitation to merge onto the virtual highway.  It was far more work than I felt I could deal with most times…..and sometimes just getting back into the habit of facing my feelings into the ether.

So, for the feelings…..

I am still on the light side of the void, skipping along the bleeding edge of it, but I’ve not fallen back in.  I still have hope, I have dreams….reachable ones…..so I’m okay…or fine as we the afflicted say.  At least there is more hope and dreams to keep me from surrating my self to la la  land.  That said I’m tired, I go through times of anger and frustration and then a affectless dumbness that feels like home.  I’ve gone down on my meds, then gone up a little, but I think it’s time to bring it down again, which means more unruly feelings to tangle with.  I’m not looking forward to dealing with that, but that is the goal…to feel.

Time seems to be pressing down on me, like time is running out with it’s fading ticks and tocks using my spine as a xylophone so I feel intimately the menacing vibrations throughout my whole body.  I wish I could put the world on hold while I go through the last of this never ending form of self/family/friends/world analysis.  I’m trying of trying to figure out if this is something I should be doing, if I’s where I’m supposed to be, if it’s where I’m supposed to go……and knowing this job that I’m doing isn’t done until it’s done, but needing to get out and getting a job, terrified I will melt into a shadow of myself if I get another fulltime job.  Yes, I will have more help this time, but will I, really?

My new plan terrifies me.  The plan is to get a stay-at-home job, working on customer support or something like that…I have a computer that can keep up with me now, and I have a monitor and I can make the office space in my room comfortable and ergo-safe the only problem is my desk is in the same room with my bed and the safest place I know t be is in my bed.

Maybe I am back in the darkness…I dunno.  Trying not to obsess about myself online only made me obsess about myself in the fog of life and only scared myself more.  All the while there is this subsonic rumble coming at me from all directions….Tick…Tock….Tick….Tock.

Clipping Time’s Wings

Everyone knows that time flies, and I’m getting to that rounded age to see it zoom by at super-sonic speeds.  I was looking at the calendar of this blog, how many times I wrote in one month, how when I was in crisis there would be a darkened square two to three times a week, and when things were masquerading as ‘normal’ it was lighter.  Then I saw when I birthed this baby my jaw dropped.  May 2011!!  It’s been over five years, and before that it was about five years before with round one.  I’ve been trying to grapple with this for over ten years now.

The goal of this blog was to find my way back into the light but to make sure I didn’t trip the dark fantastic again if at all possible. I know life isn’t going to be all sunshine and flowers, there will be bouts of sunburn and allergies too. Now where once there was blackness and anger there is hope and joy . I am not cured, I don’t know if there is a cure, but this is working for me, the writing thing, I just wish it didn’t need to take so freaking long. I guess I should work on my instant gratification issues too

The new goal is to re-post the enteries and figure out a plan of attack in the event of a fresh hell in the void and to shore up the processes I found helpful. Time willing it shouldn’t take another FIVE YEARS!

Reverse Pride

Reverse pride isn’t humility.  Humility is humility.  Reverse pride is when you are prideful of the fact you aren’t better than anyone else.  We all know this idiom:

Pride goeth before the fall.

I didn’t think that really applied to me because I was on the floor, I would never be ‘worthy’ of the grace of God, to take part of the sacrifice Christ provided for me.  Which is why my thoughts when I do something less than Christ-like I hear, “It doesn’t matter, I’m going to hell anyway”  I wrote it off to self-esteem problems.  I’ve been reading a book called “The Miracle of Forgiveness” and in the beginning it talks about pride.  It talked about how pride is also telling God who/what/where/why anything that isn’t in your responsibility to change or judgement you can pass.  I realized in a moment of clarity I hadn’t just been telling myself I’m bad and unworthy but I’ve been telling Christ I’m bad and unworthy and the grace He secured with his blood isn’t going to save me.  EVERYONE will have a share of His grace, no matter what they’ve been in this life.  Life is eternal, growth is eternal, the Grace of Christ is eternal.  With this knowledge came the realization of there is absolutely nothing I can do about my future, well, other than be the best person I can be.  No matter how messed up I perceive myself to be.  I have no control, and I am not perfect and neither of those are within my grasp or prevue anyway so I’m trying to figure out how I can better utilize the time feeling like an eternal-bug-in-the-radiator kind of person.  I’m moving forward towards my future again, it’s nice.

This begs the question: Why do I feel this way?  I’m not a bad person (in comparison to like Hitler, Dahmer, and the ilk).  They’re going to receive grace.  I’m not ‘useless’ or a ‘waste of clay’.  Where do these thoughts come from?  Is it that sometimes when someone corrects you by calling you stupid, where every other time it just bounces off your psychic armor until one day the chink is displayed and you are mortally wounded?  I’ve called myself stupid most of the time when I do something wrong, from burning dinner and blowing a tire to stubbing my toe on something I’ve left on the floor.  I’m far from stupid.  I still compare myself to others and, yes, that’s wrong, but I’m finding out all the useless information I seem to gather has made me rather intelligent.  Not to be prideful, but my last IQ test (online) I hit in the high 120’s.  If I could do math it might be a little higher but I suck at math.  How can I be so easily fooled and so completely without guile that I would believe everything bad and evil that I am told both inside and outside my head?  The bigger question is, how to I seal up that chink so the darts of negativity aren’t hitting the pink flesh beneath?  I am correcting my thoughts when I become aware of them, I try to keep positive quotes handy on my phone, my notebook, my walls, but how can I paper the inside of my head with them?  Any suggestions?  Please share.

Slip Sliding Away

In a lot of ways I’m still trying to stop the slip so please bear with me, I’ve tried to write this a few times and it just comes out in disjointed gibberish.  I will try to keep everything as simple as I can without too much fluff, which is when I get generally get lost.

I don’t remember what day last week I slept through my early AM pills.  Because it was late I didn’t take them but I did take the one I should have taken after breakfast.  It had been close to a full week since I was taking all my meds early, morning and evening pills.  I was barely holding on.

Tuesday I finished my CNA course and we had a certification program where we were all presented our papers which is my ticket to take the state test to start a new path.  It wasn’t that big of a deal to me until it was.  I made a point of getting a picture so I could put it in my journal.  I looked horrible.  The crush of the room was bothering me and ramping up my already jarred psyche so when it was over and the eating began I left.  I knew if I started to eat I wouldn’t stop and no one and nothing would be spared.  And there was food waiting for me at home and I could binge to my hearts contempt.  What I forgot to mention is that though I laid out my meds the night before, I didn’t take them…..and you can repeat that all the way to Saturday morning but by then it was too late.

Thanksgiving for my family was on Friday.  I was in a full blown anger hurricane and no one was safe.  I stayed in the corner and pretended I was ‘tired’….well, tired of all of them.  I ate only what I wanted; turkey, potatoes and dressing.  I was kind to the kids, although the youngest was put on my lap and when he felt the disruption in my aura he began to cry and try to get away from me….I really couldn’t blame him.

Saturday I took my pills again but my heart was racing, my breath was shallow, my blood pressure was all over the place and I just wanted to scream – I took a tranquilizer….and tranquil I did become.   My emotions flattened out and I slept for three hours, but my mind still hasn’t returned, it still can’t grasp anything and hold onto it for a long time.  Words slip off the tip of my tongue, ideas float just out of reach and my memory pulls up the wrong information and my mouth can’t stop it from tumbling out.

I’m back on my three doses a day.  I don’t know if I need to continue to slip to get back down to stable ground or if I need to start the climb again to where I was.  I just hope which ever it is it doesn’t take me back to a place I don’t want and can’t be again.   If there is any take away from this whole hellish experience is: DON’T GO OFF YOUR MEDS.  I’m not well, I’m not better, I’m not quitting.

Be Careful of Your Habits

Be careful of your thoughts for they will become your actions.

Be careful of your actions for they will become your habits.

Be careful of your habits for they will become your character.

I have a nasty habit of pushing things to tomorrow on my ToDo list.  I don’t think I’m unique in that, but I have noticed things on my task list that shouldn’t be, these things should be second nature to someone of my years and education….like showering.  For the record, I don’t smell bad, I think if I did I wouldn’t have a problem remembering to shower.  It’s just by the end of the day I’m too tired and I tend to drag my feet during the day until I have no time before I have to go to school…..(yes I’m in school now….for another blog).  When my pits start to stink I used a flowery underarm solid to control it, when my hair wants to stand on end because of the grease and product I slap on a cute casual or more formal hat.   This was a problem during the depth of my depression, and it seems to have become a solid hang-on habit.  I have everyone terrified in the family to point it out for fear I will take it the wrong way, but then, that conversation would go something like “don’t you ever bathe?” with a wrinkled up nose, a disgusted demeanor and shocked stance.   And I’m not suppose to take it personally, of course.

I thought for a while that when I moved over the line back to the light that all my bad hygene, sleep, and eating habits would go away and I’d be ‘normal’ again.  I’m really starting to hate that word ‘normal’, there really isn’t any such thing as normal.  But it seems the habits I had then are habits that I have now.  Along with trying to rebuild my stamina and not get overwhelmed on a regular basis I have to re-educate myself on practicing good citizenship skills and eating habits.  So annoying.  I just want to be cured, I wanted to cross into the light and be a shining example of what surviving depression is like.  I wanted to be done with this bull crap so I can move on.  But it seems like there is a lot of aftermath that needs to be tended to.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I am starting to be a house keeper.  Not just someone that turns off the lights when the house needs to be clean, but an actual cleaner….with bleach and everything.  I’m not a fan of the bathroom, I try to keep the toilet clean but beyond that I’m stymied as to how to get the boys dirty foot prints off the bottom of the tub and I really don’t want to try.  I’ve claimed the kitchen as my own and I keep it in working order during the week and let the dishes pile up during the three day weekend, but I am cooking, I’m cleaning and I’m doing all the Molly Mormon stuff I swore I’d never do.  And, I’m enjoying keeping my kitchen the was I want it.  I’ve decorated it with my copper bottom pots and pans, I steam clean the floor regularly and vacuum instead of sweep because the broom is useless.  My room is still in disarray but I’m making it functional.  It’s still hard for me to work in there without the bed monster grabbing me and lulling me to sleep.

So, I started the thought process of changing my mind; thinking about the things I need to do.  I need them to grow into actions and actions into habit and try to reverse the damage done from my days of darkness and anger.  Too bad I can’t wash my brain and make it all better.  I’m sure it would sting a bit but I’d eventually get used to it and be able to move on faster.  Not that fasting is better, it really isn’t.  But the sooner I can get this stage behind me the sooner I can move onward and upward into my plans.  That’s what I’m excited to do!

 

Crossing the Line

Sorry, I’ve been distant, silent even.  Mostly because I did something wonderful and it confused me.  Let me explain…..

I went on vacation with my family, it was a wedding onboard a cruise ship and we were invited to join the happy couple for the honeymoon.  We all had our own rooms of course.  I brought a long two books; one pleasure and one enlightening.  I chose the Enlightening book first.  Before the end of the first day at sea I grabbed my book and went up to the top deck, sunglass/reading glasses in hand and a hat and read.   Within the first ten pages I came across a statement (that I can’t quote because it’s not exactly what I read but what I needed to hear) to the effect of:

There comes a time when introspection becomes indulgent.

It struck me so perfectly at that moment and I realized, every aspect of me said it was time to move on and move forward.  There was nothing more I could do with the deep dives into who, what, and why that makes me who, what, and why I’ve become.  I needed to put myself out there and try to put into place what I have learned, to build on the foundation that I have laid and hopefully not have any dead bodies hidden in the cement.  At many points in life we need to stop and do the self evaluation/inventory/mind-tripping that helps us move to the next level, but I feel like I’m all caught up now….

Crossing that line, the invisible line between the two worlds instigated a miraculous change in my psyche: I’m happy, I’m hope-filled, I have more energy, I am making plans for my future and are anxiously waiting to put that plan into motion.  (Mom is still doing well, so things are still as they were).  Crossing that line also gave me the push I needed to start  whittling down my meds.  I’m off one of my anxiety pills completely, I’ve cut my Lexapro in half, I’m still taking all my puppy uppers (Welbutrin).

I don’t know if I’m ready to go down another 10mg on my Lexapro.  This last jump down brought up the realization that I don’t really have the skills that I thought I had when  I was fully medicated, and emotions are starting to break through the chemical barricades.  I’m getting caught in the angry loops, but I have more success of talking myself out of them before I spin out of control.  I get overwhelmed and stymied easily , but if I just plug away at it, it gets done.  I’ve had to put some exercises into place so I could deal with the mental stuff, one of those is writing every day.  Which brings me back to the confusion….

For the longest time I used this blog as an integral part of my self exploration.  Anything too private was taken care of in my journal, and I’m back to journaling now too, but if continual introspection is self indulgent, it’s not something I should be engaging in if I want to move forward in my life.  And I’ve made some major strides in my life from March to now, but I didn’t know if I should start a new blog post-depression to write all the plans and the executions with both successes and failures or if I should just continue here; or should I do it at all?  I miss it, so I need to keep doing it .  I found that blogging my personal truths out into the world is an act of courage and bravery that makes me feel more courageous and brave in the real world. I think it’s not self indulgent if it isn’t wallowing in the dark but instead sharing the joy and excitement of rediscovering my life now that I’m outside the void.

Any input from my readers would be helpful.  Please,

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries