Waiting for today...: December 2015

Monday, December 28

Fear of Flying

"Well some say life will beat you down... Break your heart, steal your crown..." 
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

I guess it’s official.  My mood has lifted.  But it’s odd though.  I don’t know how I feel about it yet.  I’m happy… of course!  I’m doing better at work.  I’m getting organized at home to the point of being able to have someone come in and give everything a good scrubbing.  And although scared shitless about taking my certification exam for a second time, I’m also hopeful that I can pass if I study on my days off.  Which I have been doing.  Consistently.

But then again I’m skeptical.  It’s a feeling I’ve felt before.  In the past it kept me paralyzed with fear.  I got past it, eventually.  This time?  Nah.  There’s no fear, just reality.  The reality that the end of a low mood swing is just the beginning of a different type of fight.   And that I can’t allow this upswing to give me false hope or make me complacent.  Nor can I risk falling back into the pit by holding myself to expectations that, while reasonable in a world where I’m not at the mercy of my mental illness, are completely unattainable otherwise: cleaning my apartment from top to bottom, spot cleaning daily to keep it from chaos, continuing my study of Matthew on days off, reading a devotional every day, praying twice a day, calling loved ones most days of the week,  having a least one lunch date per week...  

Yeah.  I’ve been here before.  Had the same conversations in my head at the end of a low.  No matter how good the pep-talk or how crystal clear the forecast,  I ended up in the same place: doing too much… pushing myself too hard… forgetting that depression doesn’t go away it just lets go for awhile… always lurking... waiting for me to forget and then BAM!  I am afraid.  I’m afraid to spread my wings; fearful that I’ll never leave the ground.  Or if I do, I’ll simply fall again.  Fail, again.  That thought in itself knocks my mood down a few notches.  So I think to myself, “why try?”.

But I'm so tired of dancing with Sabotage.  I’m over it.  So what’s my strategy this time.  What’s there left to try.  I guess to take it one day at a time.  Don’t think I’ve tried that yet.  For a dreamer that’s hard to do.  What about a free-spirit?  Something I would love to be.  They don’t allow the circumstances that surround them bring them down or change them.   How the hell would I manage to do that?  I’ve become a natural control freak; a personality flaw that is difficult to undo.  So, it’s one day at a time then.  Be easy on myself.  And non-judgemental.  But keep moving forward.

One day at a time.

Be easy on myself.


Keep moving forward.

One day at a time...

Monday, December 7

Friday the 6th: Lower

I’ve had the worse anxiety lately.

Hasn’t been as bad since right before my diagnosis… I think.  It started on my birthday and continued into the following weekend.  Of course it had to be a work weekend.   The day started off good too!  And then all hell broke loose after the hospital case managers left at 4pm.  There was too much going on around me at once:  a case they left me, multiple pages for hospital discharges, a clinician in and out of my office, which wouldn’t’ve been terrible if he didn’t talk me to death or talk ridiculously loud on the phone.   

I got so overwhelmed.  Felt myself losing control.  I was either gonna curse someone out or break something.  So I left the hospital and sat in my car for 20 minutes, listened to some music and did some deep breathing.  When I came back to the office I decided that I was done.  I finished up a couple of notes and bolted for the time clock.  I’ve got to get back to practicing mindfulness again.   I need it in order to learn to conquer my stress.  But like everything else that will improve my mood and stave off swings, I hesitate.

Like seeing my therapist.
I finally saw her a couple weeks ago.  It took me so long to make an appointment because I just didn’t feel like talking to anyone.  I already know what I need to do… it was just a matter of doing it.  And at that time, even now, I’d rather distract myself with maladaptive coping.  I don’t like this present and I don’t want to be here.  So I create my own.  Although false and damaging in the long run, it’s an easy way to forget.  But I digress.  

I missed her.  I felt better after I talked and she primarily listened.  Just like all the other times I staggered into her office fresh into a low mood.  I saw her again last week too.  She reminded me that I needed to give myself a kick in the rear: get out and walk, do some mindfulness meditation, even if only for 10 minutes and she applauded my continuing to write.  She didn’t reprimand me because of my means of escape, one of those being something I hadn’t talked about before.  I appreciated that.  I know what I have to do.

I have found one good distraction.
And it has helped to feed my soul.  I’ve set Google alerts for all news related to mental illness in Virginia and I’ve been sharing it through social media.  The more of them I read the more empowered I feel to be more involved in the fight for mental health and against stigma.  Eventually.  

Reading more also brought to my attention several bills sitting on Capitol Hill that will impact mental health reform:

I’ve always been interested in the legislative progress.  I’ve just not had a good enough reason to learn more about it.  Mental illness touches the lives of us all in one form or another yet it’s not a healthcare priority in this country.  Seems like it's not a priority at all.  The sponsors and co-sponsors of these bills, and others, are pushing to make it one.  I want to be more involved.  All I can seem to manage right now is to learn and share in the hope of raising awareness.  It’s a start though.  

In the meantime, depression continues to skew…
and cloud my view of all the goodness there is in this world.  Including the goodness in myself.  I’ve been so unkind to myself these last few months.  The maladaptive coping in itself is an insult to my body and spirit.  I’ve come to hate what I see when I look in the mirror.  I’ve allowed the images I see in the media to add insult to injury.  I know it’s not real but I continue to say to myself “is this all beauty is? Well I don’t have it so I guess I’m not beautiful… never was never will be.”  I’ve let those thoughts drag my self-esteem further into the ground.  

But it’s not just my appearance.   It’s also the darkness and conflict I see in my eyes.  I feel toxic.  Like, all I can do is ruin relationships.  Which is why I stay to myself; never allow myself to get too close to people.  If I was blessed to be in a romantic relationship, I would no doubt kill it.  I would literally make my partner sick.  For this reason my misery doesn’t love nor does it want company.  If I have to be alive, I’m better off alone.  For now at least.