Numb

It’s been 5 days now, and I still feel as though I’m walking through some sort of nightmare…

I know I have to get my shit together, I have things to do, chores that won’t do themselves (obvi…I live alone.), a job that requires my full attention for 8 hours a day, 3 pets that need care & love. 

I have children that still need their mom to occasionally check in with them, even tho they no longer live under my roof. Parents that deserve that same checking in, even tho I haven’t lived under theirs for decades. Friends who deserve attention, because they care enough to check in with me.

I ain’t got time for this, I got shit to do.

And yet…I’m just…numb.

Underneath the work-mask…my face is a blank gaze, a “thousand-mile stare”.

I’ve come to a turning point.

And yet…

I’m not sure which way I’ll turn, just yet.

All I know?

Things are becoming much clearer to me. 

What’s truly important. 

To hold onto the moments that ring that little “bell” inside my head that tells me “this is something you need to remember…this…This…is a cherished memory”. That we only get to go through this life once, we only get these moments once, and then they’re GONE. 

DON’T FUCKING SQUANDER THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU’RE GIVEN TO SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT.

They won’t be here forever.

Who’s truly important in my life.

The people who’ve stayed, through all the bullshit, good times and bad, light and dark, held me while I cried & joined me while I laughed.  

The fair-weathers will find the door. Swiftly.

I don’t have time for that, anymore.

I’ve given up on Love.

Beloved Nephew says it’s just not time…yet… That there’s someone out there for me who’ll see how great I am & will realize I’m too good to let walk away.

I scoff inside my head & wonder to myself… “Then why’d they all leave?”

But again…I ain’t got time for this…I’ve got shit to do.

I have things I need to accomplish before I leave.

And the clock is ticking…..

Crawling

The darkness inside my head is so absolute right now, it’s difficult to identify the light.

Please don’t assume that I will take the “copycat” option, because I won’t, I can’t. 

But right now…I can’t say that it hasn’t crossed my mind once or twice.

I’ve thought about the subject of suicide for the majority of the last 2 days, since hearing about Chester over the radio. 

I’ve been locked in a cycle of numbness, shock, deep depression and tears, and something approaching normalcy- which is the mask I have to wear out in public and for work, so I can keep my job.

But, alone…my brain is stuck in a cycle of horrific awfulness, sadness over the loss I feel because of Chester’s death; it’s an overwhelming void inside.

Only one person in my life really gets how I feel about this band, these people who belong to this group, Linkin Park – my Beloved Nephew. Because he feels the same way about them. He knows, because he’s been through some of the same type of shit, and has had the same type of reactions to their music.

How the music gets under your skin, inside your head, and takes you someplace else. Telling you that it’s completely OK to feel angry, to BE angry, and to USE that anger to fuel yourself, to use it in your fight to make it past your demons, to surround yourself with all the emotions you feel, both good and bad, To wear them like a GODDAMN CAPE and USE THEM to pull yourself out of the black.

It’s OK. I don’t expect anyone else to get it.  Music is subjective, it’s art, and not everyone is going to feel the same about the artists others enjoy. 

And given what I remember and have experienced of grief, I know that loss takes time to work through. 

(Insert psychobabble logic here)

But, fuck.

It hurts.

It hurts so goddamn much.

And the only one I can reach out to who understands is hundreds of miles away.

So I go through this alone.

Fuck.

Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

There’s something inside me
That pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self control I fear
Is never ending, controlling

I can’t seem to find myself again
My walls are closing in
(Without a sense of confidence)
(I’m convinced that there’s)
(Just too much pressure to take)
I’ve felt this way before so insecure

-except from Crawling, by Linkin Park

Shadow #FamChallenge

I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and High-Functioning Depression.

This has cast a large and looming Shadow over a good portion of my life, and it’s not something that a lot of people understand.

GAD isn’t just feeling anxious over stressful things in your life…it’s feeling stressed all the time about everything. It’s a sense of dread, of tight anticipation that something bad is coming, right around the corner, every second of every day. 

It’s illogical and it’s irrational. 

It’s a chemical imbalance that requires meds, balanced nutrition & exercise to mitigate & treat – but there is no “cure”. No magic pill, & no ultimate therapy that makes it go away forever.

And it’s not something you can “fix” by saying “Just don’t worry about it, it’ll all work out. Let it go, why don’t you?” 

I take my meds, & get along pretty well most of the time, anymore, as far as that’s concerned. I still have panic attacks every now and again, but they’re fewer and farther between now, since I started taking better control of my meds & managing my stress in other ways with music, exercise, reading, writing, & my other coping techniques.

My depression, on the other hand…

It’s a sneaky bastard.

High functioning depression is hard to spot in a lot of cases, because the people who live with it are just that good at hiding it.

Here are some of the warning signs that go along with HFD:

1.Difficulty experiencing joy: I know how this will probably sound…but…while I can be happy from time to time, laughing & smiling, going on about my day, I can’t remember the last time I Experienced Joy. True moments where I actually let go of myself and just relished in the joy of a moment? Nope, couldn’t say – it’s been that long. It’s always tinged with the dread of “knowing” that it’s not real.

2. Relentless criticality — of self and others: For me, this is moreso about being self-critical. I know that I do a lot of self a deprecating humor. This is not always healthy. 

3. Constant self-doubt: Yep. 

4. Diminished energy: Mass yep. I’m tired all the time. I try to push through it, because I have to…but there are days I – just crash.

5. Irritability or excessive anger: I try to keep this in check, but yes. I know this is there. There is a well of anger inside of me, that, sometimes, spills to the surface.

6. Small things feel like huge things: And they build up…

7. Feelings of guilt and worry over the past and the future: oh god, remembering things I did from years ago, overanalyzing conversations inside my head, rereading texts and emails to catch “hidden” meanings & subtext…

8. Relying on your coping strategies more and more: I constantly shift my strategies to try to find something that will work, because after a while…they stop working.

9. Generalized sadness: It doesn’t ever go away completely. Not ever.

10. Seeking perfection: In myself, not so much in others. I am my own worst critic in many ways, I know this. 

11. Inability to rest and slow down: My brain never stops. Even in my sleep, obviously, because I’ve been dealing with insomnia for years now. I can fall asleep, but can’t stay asleep, waking 3 and 4 times a night, often from nightmares. And “crash days” don’t seem to garner much in the way of recuperation, it’s more just getting to a point where I can cling by my fingernails again for the next few days.

If you met me for the first time on the street, you’d probably never guess these things about me. 

That’s the nature of High Functioning Depression. “High” being the operative word there, because I do get out of bed every day, go to work, make small talk, handle my life…for the most part…

The depression just sits in the shadow, patient, waiting…

Until I’m alone, usually on the weekends, or at night, when I’m really tired but can’t sleep. 

When my defenses are down.

GAD AND HFD are companions, they mesh well together, and can get so tangled up in each other that they often get misdiagnosed. And the stigma that goes with them is not fun, either.

My ex used to call people with mental disorders like GAD & Depression “weak-minded”.

There’s more than one reason why we’re divorced.

But it’not a weakness of the mind.

It’s a chemical imbalance. And in me, it’s a combination of chemical imbalances & past traumas that cause my issues. I take meds for the one. I work through the other.

Blogging is a help with that.

But the Shadow of GAD and HFD still holds steady over my head, & I know it’s something I’ll live with my whole life. 

As long as I have to sit in the Shadow… maybe I can start trying to think of it as Shade instead…

And at least welcome the fact that it keeps me out of the direct, and damaging UV rays that cause skin cancer?

Well, hell…it’s a theory…

Empty the Nest?

How long do I tend the nest for a child who has already flown?

Here I sit, feeling like the worst mother in the world, right now. Tears pooling in my eyes as I type this, because I told OnlySon that I am planning on leaving North Dakota in a year, and he’s angry, albeit trying not to show it. 

He wants everything to remain the same forever, but that can’t happen. Life stagnates if left to sit too long with no forward motion.

And I have been sitting still for many years now, waiting for something to change.

I’m not happy here, anymore.

Too many heartaches and heartbreaks.

Not enough reasons to look forward to getting out of bed every morning.

So, why should I stay?

For a son who has moved in with his father & is now going to be starting a new life of his own, getting a job, being busy with that & dropping by when he needs a shower or to pick up something else I’m storing in my basement or his bedroom?

For a job, which, yes, I enjoy my work – but, let’s face facts, isn’t a life?

Let’s see… Hmm…

What else does North Dakota have to offer me?

Two ex- husbands, one within city limits, and the other an hour away… No, that’s OK.

I’ll pass.

No one has been able to come up with a compelling, or even logical, reason why I should stay beyond my timeline.

I can’t live for my children’s benefit forever. There comes a time when they have to spread their own wings and leave the nest.

This is the way of life.

Why should I stay?

Tell me. When I feel as though there’s nothing left here for me…

Why?