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.

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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.

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.

Stress Engine

I need a third gear. Right now I have gear one: pessimism and gear two: apathy. It would be nice to find a third gear labeled something along the lines of “optimism” or “determination.” Either would be appreciated.

It seems my reactions to anything remotely stress-inducing are locked in those two gears. The pessimism can include guilt, shame, fear and despair. The guilt and shame can often lead to the despair. In turn, the apathy is often a secondary state that locks in after feeling one of these pessimistic emotions. It’s an avoidance reaction. I begin to reject emotions to preserve some sense of calm.

Ultimately, even if I manage to achieve this calm, it doesn’t last. I haven’t dealt with the problem- with the trigger that required activating this two-geared “stress engine.” So things cool down until such a time as it becomes impossible to ignore/avoid the trigger and then the engine starts again.

In a way I am sometimes bitter about this level of clarity that I can achieve. I see exactly what I am doing to myself and then I don’t stop doing it. I know that’s it easier to have insight than it is to have change and I know that insight is at least progress but knowing and feeling something are not always the same. The logic can be sound, but the visceral reaction to the logic can still veer in another direction.

From a logic standpoint, I get that I need to keep trying. I get that patterns aren’t unlearned from just one instance. I get that repetition is a necessary part of managing my illness. I get it. But at the same time it feels so tiring. It feels like I’m racking up more and more failures instead of successes. It feels like a struggle without end.