Part 2

I’m honestly thinking of making this a segment on my blog, but the lack of traffic has me concerned that I would be shouting to the world wile no one is listening. Which is sort of what I’ve been doing. 

I want to get my take on my mental illness out there. I want to share with the world what my struggle is. I know that sounds like some serious first world problems because there are plenty of people ho have it worse. Although now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think the term “first world problems” is the right phrase to use any more. Because there are people who live in a “first world” who don’t have the same experience as others. But that’s not what I want to talk about here. Not because its not something that I’m concerned about, because it is, but its not a topic that I feel I have enough knowledge on to write about. 

Mental health, however, is something I feel comfortable discussing; because everyone’s experience is so different that I feel like there is no right or wrong way to go about this. Like what I might feel one day could be one persons high, or my lows could be someone’s rock bottom. The point is, depression and anxiety are horrific beasts that come in all shapes and sizes to fit each person differently. 

My anxiety triggers are different than others and it rears its had diffent each day. For example, today I had a panicked thought: “What happens if my friend falls or gets hurt while her grandson is the only person there with her? Would he run down to our camper because he knows us? Would he know to call 911 in an emergency? What if she locked the camper? Would he know enough to unlock it?” I should point out that this came out of nowhere, like my friend does not have a history of falling, and she is quite young for a grandmother. There was no basis for this panic. And yet it came to me and worked its way into my brain. 

 Often have random, unfounded fears like this. I run panic scenarios in my head, most of the time its things that would never happen in real life. But that’s the way that my anxiety works. It’s a mysterious bitch. However, that’s not the only thing that gives me anxiety. Sometimes it could be too many people, or too much stimulation (i.e. too loud of music/yelling/noises), but sometimes its hits out of nowhere with a wave of anxiety. 

Sometimes its a movie or a show that hits me. It makes me feel something and then I get anxious. I’m sort of a control freak so when I’m not in control of my body or thoughts, I panic. Which is why I don’t drink or do drugs anymore; not that I was ever very heavy into them, I dabbled. My need to be in control is something that I’ve talked to therapists about before, and the only thing I was told was a to try and relax. I guess the shrinks I was seeing are fucking quacks because they of all people should know that it’s very hard to control your emotions when you have mental health issues.

I’ve tried to let go and get loose a couple of times, but it was only very brief AND before my doctor up’d my dosage. On top of that, I’m now on a slew of other medications for my numerous ailments (PCOS, arthritis, chronic back pain, etc.). I basically am the most sober person. Most of my friends see me as a pretty easy going person, to them I’m “chill.” But little do they know that I fight a battle every day to seem normal. I wish it was something that was easy to fix or something that could go away on its own, but it wont. It’s honestly so exhausting to put on my happy face every day and shine like the bright star that I am. So that’s why when I’m down, I’m really down. 

My close friends can always tell when something is wrong. Those are the people that I spend most of my time with. Even some of my coworkers can tell. Because normally, I’m the life of the party- and I don’t mean that to toot my own horn or anything, but its true. I have been the person that can hold groups together, the person who can make anyone feel comfortable. I’ve often thought of the spoon theory when talking about the mask that I put on when I’m with my friends and family. If you don’t know or ave never heard of the spoon theory, I’ll leave a link for you here. Basically, every day you have a set amount of spoons, do the dishes and that’s a spoon, walk the dog and that’s 2. If you run out of spoons you are so wiped out that you can’t even stand it. Sometimes you an borrow them from the next day, but heaven forbid you have something to do the next day and need those spoons. So its sort of like that for me but my amount of spoons changes from day to day. Some days I have an infinite amount of spoons but others I find myself barely holding myself up. Most of the time, its not the physical exhaustion that gets me though, its the mental. 

Being happy ALL THE TIME is fucking draining- I don’t know how normal people do it. If you’re one of those people, please tell me your ways? Or if you’re like me, what do you do when the spoons have all run out but you have a whole list of shit to do. Lets help each other, ok?

xoxo 

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My anit-crazy pills and my mental illness

I hate using the word “crazy” but sometimes when it calls for it, there’s not other way to describe it. The worst is when you’re in your therapists office and they ask you how you’ve been feeling, its hard not to say “crazy.” Sometimes I say that I feel chaotic, or my brain is going all helterskelter on my ass. But mostly I tell them that I feel crazy, which always ends with a look of panic from my therapist when I say it for the first time. After that first time though, she understands that I don’t mean crazy in the sense that I’m manic or something, but more like I’m feeling scattered. So I take pills to manage the chaos in my brain.

But it’s not just what my brain feels like that makes me feel this way, it’s the quirks; and let me tell you, they are weird. I mean, I know mine aren’t as odd as some, but to people who don’t deal with someone who has a mental illness on a regular basis its pretty weird. So some friends and some family members might not realize that to me, this is normal.

I sometimes find myself questioning my actions. Like why do I do the crazy things that I do? Like hide my face and think no one can see me and feel instantly safe? When I do this, I think that its to hide my eyes. When I’m feeling anxious, I feel like my eyes will give me away or something. I’m basically trying to hide the crazy. Not that any normal person can tell when I’m feeling this way though. Matt can, he can always tell when I’m feeling off. I guess it’s because we’ve been together so long.

Another thing that I do is chew on the inside on my mouth. Which I guess isn’t all that weird, I’m sure most people do that. I also pick my cuticles, which I guess isn’t that weird at all, I know a lot of people who do that. There are a lot of other weird things that I do that probably don’t seem too weird to other people. So maybe they’re not that weird? Maybe its just being unique?

What was it that Jenny Lawson said about being unique? “Don’t just be some random person. Be the MOST random person.” Meaning we’re all unique and have quirks but if you have the rough ones like mental illness, fucking own it. I guess that’s what I’m working on… 

xoxo

Mild panic

I’m having an anxiety attack as I write this. It came out of no where, like most of them do. There was nothing to trigger this at all.

My day was a normal day, I worked a half at one job to cover for someone then came home to help my neighbors move into their new camper.

Matt and I went for lunch at China House and then went grocery shopping. Everything felt normal. I didn’t have any anxiety all day.

And then we get home and BAM it hits me. As I’m lying in bed. Trying to fix my phone thats been giving me shit the last week.

For some reason, when I’m having an anxiety attack, I don’t want to tell anyone when it’s happening. I just sit in my silence until it passes. This is a very mild version of what has happened in the past and for that I am grateful.

Maybe it’s the stress of always going-going-going?

Maybe its because we’re moving campsites and I’m scared to be closer to the “weekend” sites?

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been raining all day.

Or maybe its because I realized how over weight I am.

Or maybe its none of those things. Its closer to feeling guilty about something. Like the fact that I’m resting instead of going to the gym (even though I still have a cracked rib). Or because I should be cleaning out my car, even though it’s raining.

Whatever the reason, I knew that I wanted to come on here and talk about it to see if it would help me. And it actually is.

The worst part about having an anxiety attack, aside from being deep in its throws, is afterwards I am exhausted. Its like running a marathon without leaving my bed.

I think I’ll nap now.

xoxo

Guilty as charged

I know a while ago I spoke about the feeling in my gut that I always thought was anxiety. Well I’ve been thinking on it. A lot actually. I’ve always thought it was anxiety. I even talked about it with my therapist. I thought that it was something inside of me that was anxious because I wasn’t doing anything. Because I was stagnant.
Well as it turns out, it’s not anxiety. At least not directly. Every time I have gotten this feeling in the last few weeks, I’ve thought about why I would feel this way. What could be causing it? And I feel stupid for not realizing this until just now. But it’s guilt. I’ve been feeling guilty all these years. Guilty for sleeping in. Guilty for still being in bed at 9am. Guilty for not being dressed at noon.  
I have no idea why. There’s no reason to really be guilty for all of these things. Unless I was late for work or something important. But sometimes I even get that feeling at work or while I’m out doing important things.

I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to figure this out. I have been feeling guilty for over 20 years. For what though? What does an 8 year old have to be guilty about? And I’m not talking like oh I kicked my friend in the shin and I feel guilty. I mean like deep seeded guilt. Like I was guilty for being so happy or comfortable or safe when others don’t have hat luxury. What 8 year old has that thought pattern?!?

Anyways, I just wanted to share this with someone because I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my chest now that I know the word to call this feeling. It’s like knowing what it is made it lose its power and grasp on me. I beat it and I couldn’t be happier!

-DF

Dear Gym, I miss you.

Good afternoon everyone!

Today I want to talk about my life before my back injury.

I used to go to the gym 5-7 days a week for at least an hour. I loved my gym. Working out made me sane. I felt like I wasn’t “crazy.” I had an outlet for my extra energy.

Fast forward to January ’16 and my doctor tells me that I can’t go to the gym anymore. My heart was broken. I turned to food to comfort me. Since then, I have gained 25lbs. I am even more depressed and anxious than I was before.

I don’t know why I didn’t dawn on me until this morning that my lack of physical activity is why my illness is getting worse. I can walk right now but I can’t walk from my house to anywhere. I live on a slanted road and slanted roads are a no-no according to my surgeon. I have been hitting 3,000+ steps according to my Fitbit. But before I used to hit 15k+.

Its a very weird feeling for me not going to the gym everyday.

I love fitness. I love running. I love lifting weights. Which is weird for people to hear me say. I know none of you know me or know what I look like, but let me try and paint a picture…

I’m 5’6″, 250+lbs, I carry most of my weight in my belly, I have a “high-butt” which really just makes my butt look like its broken up into two parts- high and low. I have fatty upper arms. Basically other than my arms and my gut, I am not “fat.” I am a healthy though. Which is something else that shocks people when I say that.

Of course I love my bad snacks; Lays, Twizzlers, and Reese’s just to name a few. But I rarely drink soda, most of my meals include fruits and veggies, water is my favorite drink (ok and coffee), I eat lean meats and like no red meat.

Sometime in January, I woke up one morning in serious pain. Because I had herniated discs before, I knew what it was so it was another 2 months before I went to see my doctor. Basically from there I got 4 cortisone injections before they realized that surgery was my only option. When I saw my doctor in January, she told me that I had to stop going to the gym. It broke my f-ing heart.

OK, there is a moral to this story…

The photo attached to this post has been something that’s motivated me for a few years now. I want to (once I’m recovered and healed) to get back to my working out and be someone that people look up to for motivation. That’s my goal. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. I want to do something with my life that people look up to me for.

Sorry for kind of a rambling post, M and I were having so much fun last night chasing each other, play fighting and tickling each other that I was hurting today. So I took a Norco (something I hadn’t done in like a week) so I’m really “high” right now.

OK, time to keep packing up the house. I’m also meeting up with someone to sell something from Letgo and then my parents are coming over for dinner and we’re gonna pack up my kitchen.

-DF