How it is

I am writing instead of crying. Again. I suppose that’s a good thing? It’s better than being mired in the emotion, right? Silver lining or something. In any case I have gotten to a weird place in my mind. I am actually starting to think I should go back to the hospital.

Of course, other parts of my mind immediately counter this suggestion.

I’m not sick enough.

I don’t need my meds changed that drastically.

Other people need it more.

It won’t help.

It will make me miserable.

But hey, hey! Wait a minute, brain, you didn’t even give me the chance to say why I was thinking of it in the first place.

I think there is a possibility that being in the hospital might help me redirect my behavior. Put me “on track” in a way that I am finding it hard to do on my own.

I am really quite sunk. I am not taking care of myself very well and I am finding it very hard. Most of the time, I keep it on the periphery of my mind where it won’t hurt me. When I let myself think about it, I get upset at myself and at how things are. Sometimes I get angry, sometimes very depressed… and other times anxious.

I’ve been starting to have some very poisonous thoughts. I think about how it’s hard to like myself anymore. I think about how I don’t really like my life.

Did I say I was writing this instead of crying? Ok, well damn, make that writing this and crying. Still it feels like something I need to write. It needs to get expressed.

Earlier my mind kept doing these loops where it would survey all the bad things about what I’m doing and not doing… and it kept demanding an answer.

Why? Why are you doing this to yourself? Why don’t you fix this? Why are you letting your supports slip? Why is this so hard for you? Why?

I can’t answer. Not because I don’t have answers, but because they don’t feel like they’re good enough.

What I am swallowing is this: I have shame. And regret. And guilt. And all of these things are heavy and when I feel them it is too much. I have learned to fear these feelings. To dread them. I don’t want to be afraid but I am. My one motivation becomes soothing that fear. So I don’t manage the things I should. I turn to distractions and I avoid the pressure. And all it does is feed the very feelings I am afraid of.

I used to think that going back to the hospital would be awful. That it would mean I was a failure. Maybe I still think that, to a certain extent. All I could think of was how mind-numbing it was to be there. How badly I wanted to leave when I was there. Even so, I am looking at it with a slightly different perspective. I see that it is a resource. It contains tools and guidance. I am wondering now if they aren’t tools I could use. If maybe some time under their guidance would help.

Still I have my doubts. Mostly that they would consider admitting me. I am still holding together to a certain extent, aren’t I? I have enough clarity on my condition to verbalize it. I haven’t hurt myself and I won’t try to kill myself… and to the Health Care industry that makes me a weak priority, now doesn’t it? Besides that, if I can see that I need to change; doesn’t that mean I can take the steps myself?

Well, I can also see that I am on a loop. One that usually manifests in the evening. I get upset, I try to calm down, I convince myself that I will take some positive action… and then I wake up in the morning mostly soothed and ready to push the whole episode into the background. It is fairly easy to push it there at this point, but it is never gone for good. It can be that very night, or a few nights later; the start of the despair all over again.

Maybe tomorrow morning will be different. Maybe not. At this point I am long overdue to see Dr. R… that is the step I should try the hardest to take. Get his perspective.

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lonely and what it means

I am alone right now. I often am.  Am I lonely? What exactly is loneliness? I am struggling with this so I am turning to my dictionary for help. The entry for lonely is as follows:

1. feeling alone – feeling sad through being without friends or company
2. Isolated – isolated and rarely visited
3. Without companionship or support – done or lived through without companionship or support from other people.

Reading this explanation I believe I have hit on something significant. The fluidity of language has created some interesting nuances here. Some of which resonate with me.

Am I lonely in the first sense? Is that truly the case? I have some serious doubts. I am starting to suspect that for the most part I am lonely in the second sense. I am inclined to think that when I am sad and mostly isolated, I am not sad because I am mostly isolated.

But something is off, isn’t it?

Trying to scratch this surface brings me to some tricky territory. I am asking myself why I prefer isolation. What is it about the idea of friends that mostly makes me sad? Why is a room full of people a place I don’t want to be?

The answer seems to be “connection.” A scary, upsetting word. I have trouble with my connections. A lot of trouble. To the extent that I would rather not face it.

Mostly I am disconnected. I am disconnected from so many people that it is overwhelming. Only a few remain on threads that I can tug on… and usually the tugging is from a distance. Some people I feel are lost to me that I would rather not have lost. But I don’t have the strength to reconnect. I am wrapped up in guilt and anxiety from the state I have brought myself to.

Where does this floundering with connections come from? And what about the people I never connected to in the first place? This brings me to my sincerity trap. I hate to feel disingenuous… and the idea that I might seem that way fills me with dread. This dread is a trap. It makes me afraid to speak and afraid to act. I don’t want to risk saying something I don’t mean or doing something I don’t feel. That is why I am most comfortable alone. Everything about socializing needs to come in miniscule doses or I can’t handle it.

But I am sad that those connections I make falter. So maybe I am lonely type 1 after all. Still I think the conventional number of connections is too many for me… and ultimately it is the quality that needs to fit. The idea of being able to forge connections on my own terms seems like an impossible task. It also feels too demanding. Why should I dictate the dynamics of a relationship? What makes me more important? To make matters even more nebulous I have only a vague amount of awareness when it comes to what I want. What is the perfect scenario? What would make me happy?

It all seems to come down obstacles I have put in my own way, which is very frustrating. The way I see it, I have sadness that has isolated me… and I guess isolation that saddens me as well. They are feeding each other. It is daunting because interrupting the loop is not a simple task. I can’t just tack on new acquaintances and “break” isolation. If something inside me is pulling me away, then the connections will falter just the same.

I guess that answers my question, though. My loneliness exists… and it is a sinister loop.

Bad Thoughts Diatribe

As far as my current state, I am not sure what I want to explain, so instead I am going to try a brief exercise. I am going to put down some of the incriminations that have been running through my mind lately. I don’t know if this is a good idea, but I am inclined to think that exposing the negativity in my mind can help to weaken it. If I put it down somewhere maybe I can steal some of its power?

You are weak.

You are disgusting.

You are lazy.

You are pathetic.

You are selfish.

You are alone.

You are trapped.

Even just looking at these words… after a while, it feels strange. I suppose initially they sting because I often feel them. I can recall piling the evidence on myself to support these words. They are volatile, and I am certain I risk triggering myself or others by putting them on the page.

But there is something else. Ultimately, those bad, cruel thoughts are so…. mundane. They are boring! As a person who values creative expression above nearly everything, I am actually turned off by how uninspired the negative voices are. It’s almost laughable. There is a defense mechanism in my mind that sneers at how typical those insults are.

Come on! Is that all you can manage? Talk about lowest common denominator!

I realize this creates a dialogue between me and myself… which might seem a little crazy. But no, I don’t think that is accurate. It is not me in the sense of true identity. What I am talking back to is the poison. I am refuting the corrosive thoughts that are spawned by depression.

Whether you accept that or simply think I have begun talking to myself, I have to advocate for this activity. It seems to be helping. Last night I was flooded with the bad thoughts and they held sway. This morning, by compartmentalizing, I find I can fend them off.

The negativity is petty. I can see that when I look at all those words. It isn’t going for truth or accuracy. Just the rawest of attacks. Anything and everything that might generate more bad thoughts.

And then I quietly fell apart

I am writing this instead of lying in bed and crying. That was not working for me. Somehow I made the choice to come back to the living room and get back on the computer.

Back on the computer and back on the blog.

It’s been at least six months.

I kept seeing notifications from the site popping up in my inbox. And I would feel conflicted and uncomfortable. Now I think it’s a good thing, because I didn’t completely forget.

I have slid down from wherever I was six months ago. It’s not good.

I am fighting wars with myself. Battles between shame and avoidance. Introspective campaigns of guilt and fear. There is so much of it and it has dragged me down to dark places. I have woken up tired too many days. I have resented living my life because it demands that I cope with myself… something I can’t seem to manage.

And yet, while sinking, one hand has found a grip on a lifeline. This blog. Even these words. A voice. My voice.

I am rusty, I barely remember how to use the site. Still I want to. There are other outlets I could reach for but this is the one that I think is the most constructive. I am going to review my old posts and see if I can teach myself anything.

I am hoping this is the first of a resurgence in posts. If I can brave it, I may expand on what exactly is going on.

A Plan for Fall

I’m feeling conflicted but at the same time it seems my feelings are slipping away from me. Right now I am in a weird limbo. I have some sort of energy but I can’t seem to do much with it. There’s a barrier. I think this has to do with the dose of medication I took today? The higher dose of the newer prescription? It gave me a boost but something is still holding me back. It might be stress. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.

I don’t want to lapse too many days but I also haven’t got a solid idea what I want to talk about. I suppose one thing I could mention is that I am leaning towards the idea of participating in Nanowrimo this November. (That’s National Novel Writing Month.) I have tried it seriously two or three times in the past and I have yet to succeed. The goal is to write 50,000 words over the course of the month. I have a hard time getting more than halfway into the month before I run out of steam. Even thinking about it right now I am filled with doubt. It might be that it is the wrong time of day to be thinking about it though, as I am getting weary in general.

Still I find that I want to try. I want to see if I can improve. I feel like trying to challenge myself this way is important, especially since I have not succeeded in the past. If I can muster the will to try again where I have failed, then I am helping to reinforce that idea in other areas of my life. I need to hone my determination and my perseverance in many ways, so I feel like starting with this way is good practice. After all, this is about storytelling. This is the thing nearest and dearest to my heart.

It won’t be easy. I have a story I would like to work on…. But it is only a very vague concept in my head thus far. Barely more than a theme, a premise and a couple of flimsy characters. Nevertheless, it is the one I have wanted to flesh out for quite some time. I want to give it attention because I think it has potential. So for the next two months I am hoping to do some research and some brainstorming and get a better idea of what I will be writing come November.

Some people have a much easier time getting words down than I do. I have to try my best not to let that bother me. I think it isn’t even so much other people’s ease that frustrates me, but rather the fact that I used to have a much easier time of it myself. When I was younger I wrote out a story using every spare bit of time I had. I would write my school notes out, and then switch to my story while I waited for the next projector slide. That I used to be able to let the words fill page after page is a point that irks me.

The conundrum is that I know overthinking things in my writing is slowing me down, but at the same time I don’t want to put thoughtless words to paper either. I am also aware that my confidence sinks far too easily when I am devoted to a project. I know I tear myself down in my head but it so damn hard to keep those thoughts out.

Broken

I am not broken

We are not broken

Not a one

There is no perfect

No one so whole

But we have all felt broken

Or if not all

So many

That

Are we not the norm?

Do we not set the trend?

Do we not shape the world?

And so

We are not broken

But

Something is broken

What is it?

It is the lens

It is the mirror

It is how we see each other

It is how we see ourselves

It is how I see myself

It is point of view

And we broke it

We held it

And listened when we were told to break it

Because generations before had done it

Because our parents had done it

Because everyone else had done it

So we did

And I did too

But something happened

The view tilted

To an awkward angle

For a moment I could see differently

I saw between the cracks

I could see us

I could see everyone

I could see myself

Clearly

Unbroken

Now I try

Today

This moment

To hold it in my mind

To always remember

The truth I learned

I am not broken

We are not broken

Not a one

Despite Myself

I had a feeling I might get up way too early, but that’s what happens when you go to bed early and you’re feeling antsy. I spent a busy weekend working on my apartment. Purge, purge, purge. So many things have been thrown out. I wanted to do this before I found out and then after I found out it became a necessity. Found out what? This is hard to admit, but there are bugs in my apartment. I feel just about as awful and ashamed of this fact as I have ever been about anything, no exaggeration. I can tell myself that I’ve been sick and that this is a result of that but it doesn’t do a lot to make me feel better. I feel like a disgusting failure.

Dealing with this, and having to suddenly find the motivation to work through everything that has to be done has been very stressful. I wasn’t doing a lot, barely anything. I believe I mentioned I have next to no stamina? So that’s pitiful reserves of energy, almost zero functioning work ethic and bouts of apathy that suck all my drive to do things, no matter how important they may be.

And it doesn’t matter. Things still have to get done, despite myself. They have, I’ve come a long way in this cleaning process, but I’ve had a lot of help. If I hadn’t had my mom and my boyfriend (Jeremy) to help me with this purge I would have been screwed.

The frustrating part currently is that they were due to come in and treat for the bugs on Monday, so I plowed through the preparation with Jeremy here over the weekend to help, Mom coming in on Sunday, and a final push by myself to be ready Monday morning. Monday I left before they were due to arrive and didn’t show up again until well after the treatment was supposed to be done. I thought I was going to get home Monday night and find that things were well on their way to being normal again. No such luck. They didn’t come. They left me a note stating that they won’t be here until the 5th.

This might sound like I get more time to prepare, but really I was ready. Everything was thrown out that needed to be, everything else was bagged and the furniture was moved. Somehow, even with help, I had managed to do a lot of work myself. And now? Now I have to undo some of the prep in order to live here, without undoing all the prep that was so hard to achieve. And I have to be here, with a problem I barely see but I know is still there. I have to stew with this stress-triggering problem for a week.

So it spills over onto other areas, as things tend to do with depression and anxiety. I am cranky, sleeping a bit oddly (obviously, it’s almost 4:30 am as I write this) and feeling my creative energies are floundering. I am trying not to be completely pessimistic but it is certainly weighing me down.

I guess it’s a good thing that I am seeking out counseling. I’m looking to bridge the gap between me and what Dr. R can offer me as my psychiatrist. He is there to listen, in a sense, but on the whole he is there to establish my current condition, prescribe medication accordingly and guide me towards any other necessary steps. Counseling is not really his domain. I started to look for help for myself but if I can’t find what I need he is prepared to refer me to someone I can talk to.

This all has to do with that problem I mentioned before, the one I cried over for a while and then sort of calmed down about. It’s still relevant, and I’d like a counselor’s help in having to deal with it. I don’t mean to tease with this mention of an ambiguous “problem” but it’s still sensitive. I want to share it when I am ready but at this point I am still not ready. I think I would be more comfortable with it if the larger portion of it were resolved.

In any case, I am hoping to get in touch with a counselor in the next few weeks. There’s always the option to go to a walk-in if I can’t stand the wait, but I feel like I can hold out for now. Part of this may be that I don’t want to juggle the bug problem and the other problem at the same time. I feel like I need to compartmentalize in order to preserve myself.

Old and New Problems

Cried over a problem I was having last night… I suppose I am still having it, but I don’t know that I will cry about it again. At least not for a while. I don’t know how universal this experience is but I find there’s only so much of one emotion available at any one time. They can have their peaks but they always seem to peter off. This includes good humor and tears. Sadness comes much like a storm, with stronger and weaker patches of activity. Eventually it is time for the storm to move on.

With emotions, the way they can wax and wane to me advocates their chemical nature. Chemicals build up and cause reactions and they also dissipate, lose their potency. I know this isn’t the only component to a person’s brain activity, but this interplay of chemical levels certainly seems to be relevant. It makes me wonder what else is responsible for the ebb and flow in my mind. Does it have to do with neurons that are firing? Do they only fire the same patterns so many times in succession before they “tire” themselves?

I did cry on and off while I talked to my mom on the phone last night, but ultimately the tears did stop and there was a calm, if melancholy, feeling that took the place of my sadness. The problem is still there, it hasn’t gone away. I’m not sure if I’m ready to share it. I want to ground it in more learned, detached opinions before I truly go forward. My mom and my friends have been great supporting me with this, but I feel it needs to be looked into by a professional. Dr. R is on vacation until Monday, so it might be up to me to seek out interim counseling.

Part 2 of the purge of the apartment was underway today and I am beat. It’s sort of embarrassing how little stamina I have. I don’t like feeling sapped of energy and it seems to happen all too easily. I suppose I need to find a way to level up my stamina. Something much easier to do in an rpg than in real life. I keep dancing around the issue that is my need to see my GP but I haven’t quite gotten the courage to do it yet. Also, other things keep popping up that feel more pressing.

What is making me drag my heels, exactly? It probably stems from having body-image issues. At the root of it, two of my physical health problems require ultrasounds. This basically means having a stranger press hard against your exposed body with a plastic object over and over. And it has to be the stomach area, to boot. Probably the place that I am the most sensitive about. I’ve had it done before and it hurts on top of that. It’s awkward, embarrassing and painful. I have basically built up a huge amount of avoidance towards this issue and it is not something I can easily surmount. For the hormone/pcos issue they even did an ultrasound already, but somehow no one knows where the results went, so I have to do it again. I am also very afraid that to examine my stomach concerning the reoccurring nausea that they are going to do an upper endoscopy. Yeah. Stick a camera down my throat. I am not comfortable with that idea at all.

Add to this that I have guilt about telling the GP that I haven’t had any tests yet and talking to her seems really difficult. Sorry Dr. V, it’s not really you, it’s me and my silly fears.

Irked

In and out of my head and not finding much there. Essentially adrift. I’m also not sure exactly how I feel about it. Should I be concerned? Something to mull, but I’m not going to get worked up over it. Mostly because I don’t want to add to the things that bother me. There’s already too many of those. Seems like my temper is on the rise under certain strains. I get caught up between wanting to complain and feeling like I ought not to. Maybe I shouldn’t be bottling things up, but I try to take it under consideration that people don’t like others to complain all the time. It grates.

On the other hand, what am I doing online at all? One assumes there is going to be a certain amount of purging feelings; otherwise it kind of belies the entire purpose. It’s a tug of war, between wanting to be heard and feeling like no one wants to hear it. But I digress, by a lot. My patience is thin lately, though that doesn’t exclude being exasperated with myself. It seems like I am having a hard time shaking the downbeat. It’s most of what I think of lately and it’s most of what I hear.

Why is it that I can’t let it slide? Why does it have to irk me so much? It’s grumpiness and I don’t like it. Seems to me my mom was having a similar problem. It’s almost as if the disposition is contagious. Maybe it is. Emotions certainly seem to have a tendency to be infectious. Some kinds more than others.

I don’t know if it’s a healthy attitude to have but I tend to feel like I would rather be impervious to such an infection. Of course this does mean cutting the good out with the bad. I don’t know, sometimes that seems like a sacrifice that I’m willing to make. That seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Aren’t we, as human beings, supposed to seek out pleasure and happiness? Aren’t we supposed to take the good with the bad?

Besides that, isn’t neutral existence really just another kind of bad? How can living devoid of the positive be any sort of good? Still, I find myself wanting it. I can’t help but feel that what I’m truly after for myself- more than happiness, more than pleasure- is peace. That’s what a neutral existence would mean to me. It would be peaceful. I can’t be sure that conventional wisdom would support this attitude. Though, of course, I have a general distaste in regards to convention, whether it is wise or not.