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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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.

Rise. Shine. Wait.

Writing this early in the morning. By my standards, that is. Dodging the shame like I took the red pill last night. Whoosh, whoosh, I bend over backwards and it flies by… almost as deadly as bullets.

I am playing the waiting game. Possibly one of the worst games, but that’s beside the point. I may not have much in the way of a routine at this juncture of my life, but the morning part of what I do have goes something like this: I get up, go to the washroom, get dressed and check the time. If it’s too early then I kill time, usually just browsing or checking the weather or something. If it’s the right time then I call my mom.

My mom is my closest friend. We sync up extremely well in terms of temperament and sense of humour. We are mutually supportive of our respective mental illnesses. She’s there for me, I’m there for her. I talk to her almost every day in the morning and we often do things together, including meeting at Tim Hortons (the coffee place… in case that detail is lost) for breakfast. It’s easy for us to do this, as she lives only four blocks down the street from me.

But it’s a little early to call just yet. So I have to wait, which I am not always good at. Sometimes when I have to wait it seems like nothing interests me anymore but getting to the thing I’m waiting for.

For today’s circumstances, one would think it would be the opposite. That I wouldn’t mind waiting, all things considered. “All things” in this case are the chores I have committed to starting, along with my mom’s help. I am planning to start a purge of sorts, getting rid of almost everything that I haven’t looked at/used over the past year. To give an idea what this means: it’s clothes I haven’t worn or don’t fit, craft supplies I haven’t used, decorations I didn’t take out, movies I’ll never watch etc., etc… oh and boxes. Far too many boxes.

Now I said “start” this purge. I by no means expect to get it all done in one day and I don’t expect I could do it alone. It’s that motivational momentum. I don’t have much of it and it very quickly fizzles out. Even someone just being there with a suggestion as to what comes next is vitally important. So if my mom doesn’t feel up to helping today, it probably won’t begin today. I’ll have to wait, call her and find out.

For the time being I continue to dodge the shame and guilt projectiles that are launched when I consider that it’s my fault I need to do this purge in the first place. It seems I’m managing to dodge pretty well, mostly by telling myself it’s more important to do something about the mess than to assign blame.

That works? Yes, sometimes I luck out and that simple bit of self-talk actually works. Well, works enough to make me feel better, as far as spurring any constructive action that remains to be seen.