So Many Things

Life has been busy since the last post. At least, busy for me.

*I got a new-to-me car. I knew my little pickup wouldn’t make it through another winter without some extensive garage time, & I didn’t have the wherewithal for that, plus, it was just going to keep nickel & diming me to the poorhouse. So –

I got some financing for Rosmerta – Roz, for short.

Rosmerta is a Goddess of luck and prosperity, so here’s to bringing this into my life. She’s a dream I’ve had since I was 6 years old. Having a Jeep, that is.

My mom’s cousin, Julie, came to live with us for a while when I was about that age. She was attending community college in the town next door, & had a boyfriend named Randy.

Randy – had a Jeep.

It was one of those soft-sided Jeeps that you could zip the windows up and down, or take it off completely, and to me, it was the coolest thing – EVER.

Of course, that was partly because Randy was a great guy. He was nice, truly nice, & liked little kids.

The summer I remember them dating, Julie & Randy took me to Valley Fair, in Shakopee, just outside the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN.

I remember getting a giant tissue-paper flower on a stick (so fricking cool, I had that thing for YEARS), riding the ferris wheel, and sitting on the chair of the Jolly Green Giant with Little Green, while someone took my picture. I remember thinking that this was the best day ever, & that it just didn’t get any better than that.

So, because of one happy childhood memory, a really good day, yes, but just one day, nonetheless, Jeeps have become a part of my secret wishlist in life.

And now, I have one.

Which, also, kind of scares me, to be honest.

I have people telling me all the time that I deserve to have something good in my life. That after all the shitty things that have happened, and after how hard I’ve worked over the last few years to overcome a lot of it, I deserve to have something, at least ONE thing, good.

But, I’ve never had anything last.

So, this new, good thing, scares me…

I don’t want it to go away, too.

So many things have happened, I just – I just want one good thing to last.

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Party of one

Trigger Warning…*

If you don’t want, or like, to read about a severe depressive episode – STOP READING NOW.

Fair warning.

Today was one of those days when you’re glad to say that it’s over.

This week has been building quickly to a crescendo, & I was expecting more, something like a “temper snap”, out of myself. But, instead…

When I got home tonight –

The bottom fell out.

It’s not ok.

I’m not ok, right now.

There’s an elephant sitting on my chest, my head is clogged from sobbing, my head is pounding – again, from the crying. When I got out of the shower tonight, hoping that the water would help, make me feel better (it didn’t ) I had snot running down my face.

My eyes, bloodshot, are having a hard time focusing on my phone so I can type this post, so please excuse any typos.

Point to the cause of my depressive episode? The catalyst?

I can’t.

There are a lot of things going on right now that contribute, but I can’t just name one & say it’s the culprit.

What makes this day any worse than any other?

*shrug*

I dunno.

But, I’m sitting here, suddenly completely understanding how it comes about that some people end up overdosing when they suffer from mental illnesses.

(I won’t take more than I’m prescribed, calm down)

But, I get it. I totally get it.

If one pill can help with your symptoms when they’re mild…then what do you do when they’re severe ?

Mental illness logic says “Take more and you’ll feel better.”

Mental illness logic says “Take one of this AND one of that, & you’ll feel SO much better!”

(I’m still not going to, calm down)

But, it’s so hard, sitting here, trying to work my way through this on my own, trying not to bother anyone with my pity party.

I refuse to be anyone’s burden.

No one is here, which makes it so much easier to just let the tears run.

But, deep in my heart, I wish there was someone who would just put their arms around me & tell me it would be ok.

It won’t happen.

So, I’ll tough this out – like I do everything.

Pity party hat put away…

It Won’t Quite Be Today

Monday I found out that my ex-boss from my old job at “that place” died. She was 82.

She had health issues, which I would be willing to bet contributed to her passing away, but honestly, I think she was ready to go be with her husband, who passed many years before.

I’ve written before about her. About how I think she wanted to stop time when her husband passed, & was bitter over the fact that the rest of the world wouldn’t cooperate.

I… have… feelings… about this woman. And no, they’re not pleasant feelings.

Yes, I’m still angry.

Because of things she said & did, because of things she stood aside and allowed to be said to me by others, when, as my employer, she should have stood up for me – this was the span of time when I had to start talking to my doctor about anxiety, & finding the right medication for it, because it spiralled out of control.

Maybe it would have happened eventually, anyway? Maybe not? But, the stress this woman put me under at my job, due to her direct influence and due to her selfish neglect, I truly believe she caused a chain reaction for me that ended up with panic attacks and severe anxiety.

Both have now been tempered, thank Goddess, but it was really bad, back then.

I’ve had a couple people tell me I should just “let it go”, now that she’s gone. And that I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.

That day is not today.

I will start to let go of the anger I have towards her, because I am still in the healing process.

But it won’t happen today.

I won’t let myself become bitter with this, or hold this grudge. I’m not good at grudges.

And I know the sharp, hot taste of anger in my mouth, the heat of it rising like magma in my chest, making me shake with it as I used to drive past her other business & would flip it the bird.

Yes, I used to flip her other business off…every time I drove by it. EVERY. TIME.

For those who don’t live in my city, or know which business she ran, it sat on one of the main thorough-fares in our city, and I drove past it at least once a week, if not 3 or 4 times.

That’s a lot of middle fingers.

But I know that spicy, angry tang… doesn’t last.

It fades.

Unless you fuel it, religiously topping it with the coal it needs to keep embers ablaze in your gut for years.

Leaving you with the bitter fallout of ash on your tongue.

You speak nothing but that bitter taste, for that’s all you know, constantly regurgitating it from within, constantly stoking that furnace of hatred and regret, leaving you nothing but gray.

No color, no joy, no future.

I do know the difference between temporary anger, and permanent bitterness.

Even if my anger has been 10 years in the healing, and still – the scabs crack & bleed a little when scraped.

I’m working on healing.

But – It won’t quite be today.

The Journalist & the Journey

I want to place a caveat here, because I write a lot about my depression & my anxiety.

I am not looking for sympathy when I write about these things.

I write about my anxiety and my depression to get them out of my head, to make them leave my body in the only way I know…because I’m so damned uncomfortable talking out loud about it.

I honestly get very shy and squeamish whenever someone brings it up to me in person, and will more than likely blow the conversation off.

(There is a small, very small, number of people who can get me to talk about sensitive subjects without shutting down, getting irritable, or making jokes about it & laughing it off)

But, I can write them down, here.

Even knowing that there are people out there, who know me in my real, everyday life, who read these entries, I can still put these raw, personal posts here, and somehow – feel comfortable with it.

I don’t know how that works, but it does.

It’s my form of self-therapy.

I’m the journalist, and this is my journey. No particular destination in mind.

The Edge of Panic

I’ve been sitting on the edge of a panic attack since this afternoon…

Since I noticed in my missed calls that I have auto-rejected calls from E in my phone again.

I thought I was done hearing from him, that he’d finally gotten the idea that I wasn’t going to talk to him anymore.

What do I have to do?

My phone automatically rejects his calls, shunting them directly to voicemail, which he never leaves, thank the Goddess.

I’ve set my phone to send any texts to spam, which means I never see them, they disappear from my phone, never to be read.

I don’t receive his emails, and he hasn’t sent any, that I know of, because they too, go directly to my spam box.

I thought this was all over with.

And yet, today, I had a missed call while I was driving, so I checked my call log when I got to work, thinking it might be one of my kids, or my parents…

(It was no one I knew, so it wasn’t important)

But, I found 4 auto-rejected calls between Saturday and today.

And tonight, I had another.

After missing a call from my Nephew, I checked my call log again, and there it was.

The same number. The only number on my auto-reject list.

He swore to me once that he would come here, no matter what, to see me, even if I turned him away, he was still going to come, just to meet me & to try to change my mind.

Yes, he knows where I live, I was in a relationship with him for 4&1/2 years, even if it was only long-distance, it was still a relationship.

And the pain, and the panic, these thoughts incite…are very real.

He broke me so badly. I’m still struggling with severe trust issues because of him.

And the edge of panic slices through me like a knife…and I bleed all over again.

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…