It is What It Is, and It isn’t That Easy

I’ve talked numerous times here about having General Anxiety Disorder and High Functioning Depression. They’re not easy subjects to live with, and they’re not always easy to understand, or to explain, because they’re not usually obvious and visible to most people.

They don’t reach out and slap you in the face like some mental illnesses, instead, those who live with them, usually suffer in silence, for many reasons.

I don’t ever want to be anyone’s burden or obligation, so I don’t talk much about it to people, unless I know them really, really well, and even then…most of the people in my life don’t hear about it. They might catch a glimpse, but then I stuff it back away, almost like a guilty flash of wardrobe malfunction. 

I am chronically independent, and prefer to solve my own problems. I’ve been this way my whole life, and used to be worse when I was younger. I will actually ask for help in dire circumstances now, where I would once have just sat and cried over not being able to do it myself. 

Anxiety never has a reason. It is illogical. This is the first thing you have to know. It is the feeling I have when I step outside my office in the winter, & sway…thinking that I am going to slip on the snow/ice, and crack my head on the cement/pavement. It doesn’t matter what type of footwear I have on, or whether the sidewalk has been cleaned. I know I could so easily fall… I get dizzy, I have to take small, careful steps all the way to my truck, concentrating the whole way just to make sure I get there safely.

It is knowing that bad things happen after dark, especially to women, so refusing to go out in public, alone, after work. I won’t go to Walmart after work during the winter, because it’s dark, and I’m alone. I simply won’t do it. It’s hard enough to go to the grocery store, & that gets my heart racing like a 5-mile sprint. My anxiety meds can’t keep up, so I try to avoid triggers as much as possible. I know, for the most part, what sets me off, & try to avoid them.

I have people who make fun of me for these things. 

It really doesn’t fucking help.

Depression doesn’t have to have a reason. People ask me all the time – “What’s wrong? Why are you down?” And I don’t have an answer… I have to make something up. Because there really is no answer. I’m just depressed. That’s all there is to it. I can’t see “up” right now, I have no good emotions, I have to wear “numb” on my face, because the alternative has me in bed staring at a wall.

And nothing you say is going to change it.

Please don’t send me motivational memes, or uplifting jpegs, or try to turn that frown upside down with funny gifs. 

I can still fake laughter, you’ll think you’ve succeeded, walk away with head held high as though you’re the next Freud or Dr. Phil…

And I’ll go right back to my blank, expressionless million-mile stare as soon as your back is turned.

Anxiety and depression are taking a toll on me in many ways. 

I don’t sleep right, my insomnia is worse than ever. Part of that is from working on quitting smoking, I know, but I’m not giving up on that. 

My hair is falling out from stress. Sure, I’ve always had an abundance of hair, but I’ve had way too much ending up in the sink and shower these days. 

I broke a tooth over the holidays. I know it’s from clenching my jaws so much in my sleep. I find myself clenching my jaw throughout the day…another sign of my anxiety. 

I’m researching ways to treat my depression naturally, because I really don’t want to take more stoner meds. But, because of my food allergies, I have to watch what I can & can’t take there, too. 

I do know that I have to start taking a multivitamin, for a multitude of reasons, I’m short on nutrients I need. So, hopefully, that might make a difference…but we’ll see. It takes time.

There are days, when I feel as though I am a stony beach, covered in a gritty sand, the tide washing layers of me away, slowly… Until one of these days, there will be nothing left, but the raw, cold rock, no feeling, no emotion at all, just dead stone…


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The Ghost In The House

Just this week…

I’ve had an electric bill delivered to my mail box, with my address, but not my name on the envelope.

I wrote “Return to sender, no such person at this address” on it & threw it back in the mail.

And – 

Today, when I got home from work, there was a package on my front step, delivered by UPS, that had my address, but someone else’s name, and a COMPANY NAME on the box.

I had to call UPS to have a driver return & pick up the box.

Twice in one week?

Maybe the ghost in the house is me…..

Just Some Thoughts

I’m still not processing things very well.

I sit in silence most nights, reading. I haven’t even been working out, even though I know I should, I just don’t have the motivation. I come home from work, & I immediately burrow under my blanket with my Kindle & dig into whatever I’m currently reading, only pausing to eat, shower, & go to bed. 

Maybe taking a short break for a phone call, if one happens to come through. 

But, there’s no spark, no gumption, no fire of get-up-and-go there, right now. 

I’m on the down side of depression, with a large slice of anxiety mixed in. 

I feel numb, most of the time, as though I’m no one. Nothing. Nothing matters, nothing changes, and no one sees it.

I hide, I camouflage very well within my masks. It’s a game I learned a long time ago, and I’m good at it.

No one knocks on my door.

The ones who call are all long distance, so they don’t see the day-to-day emotional distance I’ve erected between myself and the rest of the world. 

The locals don’t call.

There are some, that only know me through here, anymore, even though they are local. The only time they think of me is if I write here, but, then I fade from their thoughts as quickly as the words vanish from view off their screens.

I am transitory entertainment…

There are days when I feel like a drive through. You pull up, receive an order, a dose of whatever’s on the menu for that day…and drive on. You don’t look back or wonder about how the girl in the window is getting along. You’ve gotten what you came for, & you’re done. 

Moving on.

Everyone is always moving on.

I sit in the window, watching, expressionless, waiting for the next car.

The Little Match Girl

I had a stocking hung up on the wall, waiting for his arrival, hanging empty in anticipation of being added to – waiting to be filled with joy and the presents of the season.

My daughter took it down yesterday, carefully rearranging the hooks on the wall to look as though there was nothing missing, no void, waiting for its fulfillment.

She didn’t want me to have to do it.

Again.

Goddess, I love that girl.

I had thought about removing that stocking…I was trying to avoid it, actually, and hadn’t quite decided what I was going to do. Leave it, and have to explain to everyone why it hangs empty? Or take it down, and get the “looks”? 

Either way, I know my parents will be full of questions, ones I don’t really want to answer just yet, and some I don’t know the answer to just yet.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, and I really don’t feel like talking about it, out loud, not right now. It hurts, and like an animal with a wound, I’d like to go off into a hidden place, by myself, and bleed quietly, thank you.

What makes it more bitter to swallow is the holidays… lonely enough as is, now?

I’m nothing more than the Little Match Girl…sitting out in the cold, lighting matches (what a metaphor for a dating site, Hunh?),  trying to stay warm for a little while, & seeing hope in the flames. Hope that never blooms into reality and warmth. Each and every time I strike a match, I end up getting burned, but can’t stop from lighting the next as the previous one gutters out. Soon, my heart will give out, tired from the exertion, it will lay down to rest, and freeze, not to get back up again.

Goodnight, dear friends, for a little while.

Until the holiday is over, at least, I don’t think I can be here.

Ashes Ashes…

My anxiety is high again. I’m stressed out and almost constantly on the verge of either snapping or bursting into tears.

(Singing in my head “I’m a little teapot…”)

I was talking to a coworker today about my teapot theory – how everyone needs a way to vent…or, like a teapot with a cork stuck in the end, when it gets hot enough – shrapnel everywhere… 

First – I’ve been working on quitting smoking. No, not cold turkey, because I know myself, & I know that would never work for me. I’d cheat, get pissed at myself, & say “fuckit” and go back to half a pack a day like always.

So, I’ve been wearing myself down slowly. I’ve gotten down to about 4 cigarettes a day, & I’m smoking 3 of those after work, at night. During my most stressful part of the day? – I’m clean. I have 1 cigarette in the morning, on my way to work – then I don’t smoke again till after I get home. 

It’s really not easy. There are side effects I wasn’t expecting. But then, what should I have expected after smoking for almost 30 years? 

Headaches. I’ve had an almost constant, splintering headache for the last 2 weeks and some change, since I started this process.

Exhaustion. I’m so tired. ALL. THE. TIME.

Diminished focus. Ugh. Zombie. Crap on a cracker, it’s like a constant thick fog inside my head. That’s part of the reason I haven’t been writing here. Zero brain.

Stomach cramps. Just no.

Hunger. Wanting to constantly graze through the day… And having to refocus my discipline, because I’m still trying to eat healthy & still have 20 lbs. to go to get to my goal weight. I’m trying to drink more water to make myself feel full…but my stomach knows I’m mocking it.

People who’ve never smoked, or who only smoke on rare occasions, don’t understand just how difficult the quitting process can be. It’s not just “putting down the pack & walking away”. 

But enough about that.

Second… I’m still waiting to get confirmation and “proof” that 💙 is coming for his visit. Things have taken a serious turn, he’s started becoming much more serious about us…using the “L” word, which I’m not ready to use just yet. 

I went through so much with E, when he broke promise after promise, telling me time and again that he was coming, then backing out at the last minute with an excuse. I can’t take that again. 

I know I really shouldn’t compare the 2 men… And I’m not, not really. I’m just seeing similarities in the situation. This makes me so anxious and stressed out. My anxiety keeps whispering to me that I’m going to be Carrie at the Prom, and he’s not going to show, it’s all going to be some horrible hoax, or a joke, & I’ll be the butt of it. 

And speaking of butts…I need a cigarette…

Ashes ashes…