24/7

So, I’ve been working and pushing myself on trying to claw my way out of my depression that I’ve been in since last October.

Yes, since October.

Normally, the winter months are notoriously bad for me, dark and cold. Long nights, and very little sunlight, which is an awful combination for someone with depression.

But – I can usually start to pull myself out of it once Spring starts.

When the sun starts to return, and things start to “green up”, when things start blooming again, normally, so do I.

*sigh*

Not this year.

Here we are, already in the middle of July, and I’m still struggling to see the point.

You know? The point in getting up in the morning. The point in doing the things. The point in breathing.

That point.

I keep doing it, just in case I catch it, one of these days.

But I don’t feel it.

ANYWAY,

This week, I decided it was time to pull my head out of my ass and start doing some of the real work around here.

I’ve been having a difficult time keeping up on the yardwork this year, between depression, arthritis, and my lawnmower not working the way it used to ( battery-operated, the battery is not charging like it used to, & those suckers are kinda spendy), I’ve fallen behind.

Basically, my yard looked like an overgrown, abandoned lot.

I broke down & bought a small battery-powered weed trimmer, because that’s what my arthritis can handle. It only runs for about a half hour, but that works.

My hedge trimmer? Well, I have to do what I can, in small chunks. I’m still working on it. This is difficult for me to do, as I hate leaving a job unfinished, and tend to push myself until the job is fucking done. Never mind if the body is broken at the end, which it would be.

My back yard…is a work in progress.

That’s all I’m going to say.

It’s all I can say.

And after yesterday, which was spent doing indoor work, cleaning house with OnlySon…

Today is a self-care day.

It has to be.

Yeah, I pushed too hard- I won’t deny it. Yeah, I’m feeling a little broken today.

So I’m taking today off.

Doesn’t mean I’m not still thinking about all the shit I still have left to do.

Ugh.

The brain keeps going.

24/7.

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Stop Dis-counting Me

I’ve been depressed for a long time.

I HAVE depression. It doesn’t just go away magickally, by itself.

Add my Generalized Anxiety Disorder into the mix, and it’s really a hot mess on the bad days.

And, I get it, it’s uncomfortable.

It’s difficult to talk about, especially when you don’t understand it, when you’ve never been through it yourself.

It’s not just being sad.

It’s not just being down today, because you have [insert legitimate reason here – breakup, funeral, bad grade, bad hair, flat tire] going on.

It’s not just a random feeling, one day, of anxiousness, or panic, because you have something big coming up.

This is ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. For weeks, months…..years…

I get it.

It’s hard to be around someone who has trouble enjoying life.

It’s hard being around someone who doesn’t socialize much, or at all, really.

It’s hard to be around someone who is always down on herself, uses self-deprecating jokes as a shield, and who is usually too tired to do all the really fun stuff.

It’s hard to be around someone who is quiet, most of the time, because she’s living so much in her own head. Mainly because that’s where she socializes. Because everyone else has already left to find the “interesting” people.

It’s hard to be around someone who wants to go home early, because she’s been watching everyone else enjoying themselves, out with their dates/spouses/S.O.’s, and is now on the verge of an internal meltdown, but doesn’t want anyone else to know – so she smiles tightly, says “Nope! Just tired/ gotta go home & feed the cats / do the laundry /” whatever reason gets her out quickest.

So you just stop asking her to go places.

You stop inviting her anywhere.

Because it’s uncomfortable.

I get it.

Even though, when you’re the one that’s having problems, I’m always there. Willing to lend a confidential ear, a shoulder, a tissue.

But that’s ok. I don’t keep score.

Because I know what pain feels like, I don’t want anyone else to have to experience it.

Because I know the crush of depression, I don’t want anyone else to have to live under it.

Because I know the constant dread of anxiety, I don’t want anyone else to have to fear it.

Just – stop dis-counting me.

I matter.

I’m not invisible.

And my feelings get hurt too. No matter what I might say in the moment.

Last weekend, OnlySon & I were arguing about addictions & video games, but something I said to him has stuck.

“Gaming addictions, drug addiction, alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, you name it, they’re ALL chemical imbalances that cause physical and mental problems.

JUST LIKE DIABETES.

No one blames a diabetic for BEING diabetic.

Why do people blame someone with Depression for being Depressed??

I take my medications, but they don’t work perfectly. They don’t magically stop me from being depressed, or anxious.

They do stop me from being tense all the time, grinding my teeth in my sleep, oh – and they’ve stopped me from killing myself.

It’s the little things.

We, as a society, need to STOP dis-counting mental illnesses, and the people who have them.

They need to be seen as just as valid as diabetes, hypertension, etc. They are all medical conditions. They should all be treated as such.

Stop treating me as less than.

And maybe, just maybe, I’d stop seeing myself that way.

There’s Nothing Wrong With It

There’s nothing wrong with being “in the dark” for a while.

Even the sun sets every night.

There’s nothing wrong with being “down”, sometimes.

What goes up, must come down.

There’s nothing wrong with experiencing every mood that crosses your day.

It’s a sign that you’re mentally healthy if you are actually feeling things as they happen.

There’s nothing wrong with being in a good mood one moment, and not the next.

Even the ocean has tides it must adhere to.

Life is a cycle, live it as it comes to you.

If it’s dark…maybe you’re meant to learn to use your other senses for a while. Or maybe you’re meant to become the light. Only you will know what that darkness means for you.

When the light returns…

Rejoice in the colors that surround you. Because this cycle, too, shall pass.

EVERY moment is temporary.

Don’t forget this.

Bottled up

I haven’t been sleeping well, some nights I don’t sleep at all. Literally.

As in, I’ve been pulling all-nighters, because I know I won’t be able to sleep.

I just lay in bed and stare at the walls, then get up, read a bit, try again to lay down, fail miserably, feel fucking stupid, and go back to my chair to read some more until it’s time to get ready for work.

No, this does not make for good days. I end up crashing in there, somewhere.

I get sick, like I did this week.

I try to stop the cycle, I’ve tried exercise, I put down the phone so I’m not staring at social media right before bed. I haven’t watched TV in, fuck, weeks.

I don’t drink caffeine, and I’ve stopped smoking. (Except for the odd stress smoke)

It’s my brain.

I’m all wrapped around my stress right now. I’ve got decisions that I’m supposed to be making, and things I’m supposed to be doing, that I’m not doing and my heart is starting to race just thinking about it.

I think I’m putting off the decisions and the things…because either way I end up deciding… someone I care about is going to feel hurt.

And that’s something I can’t stand to do.

Goddess, I know! All of this talk is so fucking vague… I can’t even come right out and just say it.

Everything is so bottled up inside me right now, and I feel as though I’m a chunk of cesium in water.

I haven’t been able to talk to anyone, either. Oh…stupid, surface shit, sure. I talk to the coworkers, but that’s work stuff, my mask is firmly nailed on, there.

But, to talk about scratching that surface? Letting anyone see what’s going on behind door number 1? That’s a big nopesicle.

I know I need to change something. Something’s going to have to give, or my brain will break, and not in a good way. (Is there a good way for that to happen? Like a pinata, would candy fall out? Streamers?)

I just…

Don’t know how to get out of this bottle without cracking the glass.

So then there was this…

I know I’ve been talking a lot about being depressed, lately. I know it can get to be repetitive, but… That’s what happens with depression cycles.

You cycle, and cycle, and cycle…until something finally brings you out of it.

I’m not there yet.

laughing softly and ironically under my breath…

I just seem to keep getting pulled in by new cycles of dark.

*I recently realized that when my old phone had its “stroke” & I had to get my new one, I lost a good portion of the phone numbers in my address book. One of the numbers was my ex-husband, which I find ironic, but now, if my son is in trouble, I can’t get ahold of the ex to reach him. I don’t really want to ask my son for his number…but I probably should. Fuck.

I didn’t realize I’d lost these numbers until just recently…because I’d isolated myself so well, I don’t receive calls or texts from anyone but family anymore, really. Chosen family counts here.

*I was going to go to a drag show this last weekend, but my mom called with bad family news.

Her baby brother, my Uncle J, has had throat cancer for a while. He went through chemo & radiation, & they thought he’d gone into remission.

Well, it’s now back, and is in another place. He’s back in chemo, but is not doing as well this time around.

On top of that, his son, my cousin C, also has cancer. He has a very rare, and virulent, form of lung cancer.

They live in Iowa, and are treating in Rochester, which is an exemplary facility…

But, according to Mom, C has ONE CHANCE at treatment. If this treatment doesn’t work…

Folks…he’s only 31.

31.

My uncle and my cousin.

Father and son…both dealing with life-threatening diseases.

Where is the fucking sunshine again?

When it’s Dark, Look for Stars

I’m having a really hard time starting this post, because I’m crying while typing, so please forgive typos… I really want to get this out in one shot, though, so I’m gonna keep going.

Tomorrow is the 10-year anniversary of my sister/friend Midnite’s death.

It’s a big milestone, but it still doesn’t feel as though it’s been that long. It feels like yesterday, the way my pain rates right now.

I knew I was going to be walking into a dark place emotionally tonight when I got home.

And then, I stopped to get my mail.

Now, to back up a few days.

There’s a woman whose blog I follow, Jenny Lawson, otherwise known as The Bloggess .

On March 20th, she posted a blog about reaching out to others, and trying to bring some sunshine into their day. She opened her comments to her followers, and let us decide if we wanted to participate too, sending love to each other.

I admit, I picked a few, and sent some things out.

And, I participated, but didn’t really expect anything.

But – of all days…

Today…

I got 8 pieces – 8 PIECES of MAIL FROM STRANGERS.

Telling me I was worthy.

Telling me to keep going.

Telling me I was worth it.

Jenny Lawson…you don’t know me. You’ll probably never see this post, or know what you’ve really done for so many of your readers with your blog.

But, I’ll tell you this.

You will never know just how far your words can reach.

All the way into the darkness.