Thursday, February 25, 2016

Some things are worse than mental illness

I am not going to go into a lot of detail here; it wouldn't be right.

But I need to say that things that look happy on the outside are not often happy for real. You know, things like relationships, family, bills, or whatever. Things people don't see.

It is extremely upsetting to me when we have to borrow money from family to survive. And we've had to do that several times. More than once this past year when my husband was laid off.

It's difficult for me to admit when things aren't perfect. When there are things I haven't wanted to see or admit are problems. But now I can see them. Now I have to face them, and now I have to deal with them.

Dealing with issues is hard. It's tearful, it's a mix of anger and frustration, humiliation and fear.

I wish I could vent more here. I wish I could be specific and not have judgments poured out. I wish I could cite my imperfections and others that have impacted my life. Things that make coping with my mental illness even harder.

Things that make reality hard. Today I feel that weight. Today I kind of wish I still had my blinders on. I'm tired of being strong. But so help me, I will be. And I will take necessary steps.

I just hope it's soon enough and worth the effort.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I wish and hope for my daughters

There are words and emotions I want to say and spell out, but they won't form into a coherent whole. I'm going to try anyway.

My oldest daughter is married and has had her first child. My first grandbaby. It's amazing and wonderful and challenging and hard. She's struggling with college and a baby who won't sleep. The hormones of her post-partum female body are not making things any easier.

I remember that stage. It's hard to watch her struggle. It's also impossible not to get goofy happy about that little life she's brought into the world who I love so much.

She has a husband who adores, cherishes, and loves her. She hates it when she cannot sleep next to him and is still completely besotted, even when her marriage gets hard.

My second daughter is now engaged. She's changing colleges so she can live near him until they get married. When, we don't know for sure. I hope sooner rather than later, but we'll see.

Again, this daughter has a guy who absolutely adores her. She misses him when they are apart. She has given him her whole heart, and he's earned it.

I love that these guys love my daughters. That they build each other up, that they support each other's goals. I've watched them compromise, and work together to face challenges. Ok, granted, a whole year of marriage for child #1 is not a whole lot of time. But it's a very healthy start, I think.

Child #2 isn't even in a marriage yet, but she's had relationship practice before this. And oh my goodness did she sample the dating pool. The way she and her fiance have faced their differences and their situations has been impressive and amazing to me.

The point I'm trying to get at, I think, is that I am so very glad that my girls have ended up with young men who love them, respect them, and who are compassionate and caring about their feelings, their goals, and who they are.

I hope my other three daughters end up with men like that.  I hope my son grows up to be a man like that.

I know things don't always work out. I know, quite well, that some people have well-concealed masks that aren't discovered until after the wedding vows have been said.

I sincerely and desperately hope that my girls have keepers. That they have chosen wisely and that their mates have chosen well in return. I hope my girls are just as amazing to their men.

I wish for them all the happiness that it's possible to have. Life will not be kind. Every single one of my kids is going to have ups, downs, and roller-coaster rides from hell. Marriage is an opportunity to become a master at forgiveness and compromise. It's certainly not easy.

I hope for my girls that it's worth it.

We all know that people change. One or the other in the unions are capable of making dumb and hurtful choices. Things happen. Not all marriages last; some last when they shouldn't.

I hope. I hope that these pieces of my heart walking around out there in the world get their happy endings.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

This thing I call living

I'm sitting here feeling the effects of missing a dose because I spilled the water on my bedside table yesterday. I forgot to go back and take the meds after I made it to the kitchen when my day started. Today: nausea, my extremities feel constantly tingly/on fire, lucid dreams, and super dizzy. 
It makes me see the ramifications of being on medicine in the first place. I feel my mortality, the tenuous connection I have to sanity, and my frailties. 
While I know I need my psychotropic drugs, the side effects are a fairly big deal. I often wish I didn't have to take them. I wish I had a reliable memory.
Clinical depression 90% of the time requires medication. That's just the way of it. But there are some people who do beautifully on homeopathic, footzoning, diet changes, sunshine regimes, etc. It's definitely worth looking into the non-drug stuff, for sure. I did. Of course, I ended up in the psyche ward because my Bi-Polar Depression isn't the kind of challenge that is going to go away just because I'm stubborn and was raised to think pharma is evil.
There are mental tricks, tips, mantras, breathing techniques, and all other kinds of coping strategies that are awesome and helpful. I use these all the time. 
So many different tools for the so many different versions of mental illness. Not one person's depression is the same as another's. Not one person's Bi-Polar is the same as another's. Same with anxiety, and any of the other mental illnesses that go into this list.
I know there are people who are positive that if I'd just do this one thing, I'd be healed. Today, while making myself get up and deal with the eating, moving, kidlet wrangling, and loss of most of the day, I look at my life and realize that there are a great many things that I have the power to change. .
Yet there are some things that I have no control over. Some things that would require a miracle or two to fix. And while I personally believe that miracles can and do happen, often daily, I have been told 'No' to the removal of this particular challenge. It's something that frustrates me, inspires me, paralyzes me, and kicks me into action just to prove that I'm not a hopeless lump. It's terrifying at moments, humiliating at times when my failures seem so enormous. Humbling at having to rely on others to pick up the slack.
But amazingly enough, it's also rewarding. The amount of people who contact me and tell me how encouraging it is that I'm willing to talk about it. That I show my insides. The fears, the urges - like wanting to run away, or face the wall let the darkness consume me. Or the *need* that sometimes comes to the forefront of my mind, the one that says to take that long walk and disappear into the bottom of the lake that's just over yonder. 
Things I *have* to discuss so they don't become truth. I'm still here. Today that alone feels like a miracle. 
Rob has to have his meds to stay alive. Physically, his body will reject his kidney, and his body will stop functioning if he doesn't have his medication.
My medication is also necessary for my survival. I don't have a transplant, diabetes, or some other horrible disease that is slowly eating away at my ability to live. My body isn't failing. I can breathe, eat, walk, talk, taste my food, not worry about my blood sugar (now that I'm off the risperdal,) etc. 
But without my meds, I won't survive. The chemicals in my brain will change my mental state of mind, my ability to discern truth vs lie in my own thoughts, and my interpretation of communication with others. It will affect my motivation, energy levels, and ability to reason in a logical fashion. It's happened before, affecting my decisions and choices which felt right at the time. 
I suppose I'm being self-involved and unable to focus on those around me today. I have a friend in rehabilitation I should go visit. He had a knee replaced a while back, and then had to have surgery again after part of it tore. Yet driving today would be a very stupid choice, and well... I'm not going to get into the other why's and wherefores of not getting there. But I know he loves company, and I should get over there.
But at the moment, just interacting with my kids feels like the most I can do for serving those around me. I hope on some level it counts.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Someone sick = called in early on Monday. Someone quit = stayed late on Weds. Also had Blue & Gold for Wil and New Beginnings for Mina and Jada yesterday (Weds) Forgot to take xanex before the Blue & Gold... that was hard, but I got through it. At least New Beginnings was quiet.

I think I fell asleep as soon as I hit the bed last night. Still have two more days of work this week. I am trying really hard to dig up some enthusiasm while I'm there. As Howard Taylor puts it, "Be the dancing monkey for the public.

Once upon a time, I worked 40+ hours a week. (When you're salaried, no one counts overtime.) For a couple of years I had two jobs and worked I don't even know how many hours a week. Now here I am finding 20ish hours a struggle.

Honestly? This week I have truly wondered if working is a good idea. Deep down I do love it, but wow is it hard. Thankfully next week I only work three days.

And yet I find myself wanting to get back into more involvement with my kids. I wanted to approach the Cub Master last night and tell him all the stuff we used to do when I was cub master. Wasn't sure how that would go over, so I kept my mouth shut. If you know me, you probably know how hard that was. I tend to want to take over when I feel like I'm good at something. I was good at being a pack leader. It was hard, but I loved it. There's nothing so fun as getting to be a 9yr old boy for a few hours a week.

Of course, that being said, I know there will be times when I can't function. Those days are part of my life now and I can almost accept it. However, I crave the involvement. Which is NOT simplifying my life, but it's something I want to do.

A little girl came over and asked me about Girl Scouts at the Blue and Gold. I have no clue how she knew to talk to *me* of the 60+ people there. Neither did her dad, but he took down all the information so he could enroll her.

I miss scouts. I miss the activities, the smiles on the girls and boys faces when they achieve something they didn't know they could do.

And frankly, it feels like it would be a great escape from... well... stuff that would be inappropriate to talk about on FB, but is super massive stressful that I don't know how to deal with. Crap that my psychiatrist challenged me to turn into something fun like I did with Christmas. I think the man is insane and mean for expecting me to be able to do it.

And honestly, I'm a complete coward. So much so, that when I missed my appointment on Tuesday, I still haven't rescheduled. I don't want to report that I have no idea how to do his stupid homework. Not only that, but I don't want to. After six weeks, I still have zero clue where to even start. Not smart of me, and I need to suck it up and set an appointment because the man manages my meds and my state of mind.

But AAARGH I hate admitting that I don't even want to try this challenge. It's a flat "Nope, not gonna do this one and you can't make me. I don't want to find a way to make it better; it's simply easier to continue to endure, so there. How about we forget I even brought this subject up.

Wow, that was a victim complex right there. Yeesh. If you read through that, you get extra stars for patience.

I'm gonna summon the strength to shower and get through my short four hour stint in the fitting room. I CAN make eye contact and smile at people for four hours. It's nice to see people smile back.

One of my co-workers said, "How do you get people to willingly let you count their clothes out? They always get mad at me." -- This surprised me, because I couldn't imagine any alternate scenarios.

Well, except for those few that are determined to be angry and upset. They generally start out that way no matter what is said or done. I honestly don't get a lot of those, but they happen. They hate that I slow them down by counting in, and they really hate that I slow them down by counting out. Oh AND the fact that their clothes have to touch the T-bar. That's even worse for those folks. Darn. I'm gonna do it anyway.

So why don't my people normally have an issue with counting in and counting out? I dunno. I make it funny? I laugh about it? They can sense that I'm not giving them an option, it's just the way it is? Smiling about it is funner? I swear to them I went to first grade and learned how to count or do basic math?

The fitting room is MY domain and it's a happy place for me. Maybe they can sense that? My life is hard enough and I hope I can make other people feel loved when they're having a bad day? Especially when clothes don't fit right, or they're having to try out bigger sizes and that's depressing? I have no idea.

I like people, and they tend to like me back. It's just a thing. My friend Lee commented once about it, and it was a pretty awesome compliment.

Now, don't get me wrong, I KNOW my take-charge attitude totally offends some people. And wow can I be a know-it-all sometimes. I try to apologize and make it better when I'm aware of it.

And obviously I have personality conflicts with some people. Let's be real here, it happens to everyone. And when it does my attitude is, "Well, I know God loves them. He can love them over THERE, preferably not next to me." I know you know how that is. Everyone does. Some people just suck to be around no matter how hard you try.

Anyway, I need to go shower now. Love all y'al.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Oh I feel like I suck right now

The pitfall of having *me* as the homeschool 'leader' whatever thing I'm supposed to be, is that I forgot I have an entirely different email I'm supposed to be checking.

75 messages from teachers. 75.

If I could remember to check the dang thing, I could remember to push/remind/do my freaking JOB.

Granted, I cannot make the child's choices, but ohmyholycrap, I feel like an immense failure right now. What kind of mother stays oblivious to attempted communication from teachers?????

One more alarm I need to set on my phone as a reminder. Well, assuming the worst doesn't happen. Oh, I can't even tell you how bad it will be if the worst happens. On the plus side, grades are currently pulled up in all but two of the classes, and one of those is waiting for assignments to be graded. If you knew my daughter, you'd know why I was stressing over this. It's a very big deal. And don't tell me public school would be better. Just don't. Again, you don't know my daughter.

this is what my phone looks like:
*alarm: Take your meds
*alarm: get out of bed and shower for work - or heck, shower for hygiene.
*alarm: make dinner
*alarm: Hey, feed yourself lunch/breakfast
*alarm: it's time to read to kids
*alarm: bedtime for kids
*alarm: did you do your writing today?
*alarm: did you do your sketching today?
*work alarm: Break's over. Lunch is over. (timer set for 15 or 30 mins)
*new alarm: Check the homeschool email
*new alarm: check assignments (fridays) - because it's my JOB. And not only do they check child's work, they check to make sure I am being involved and helping.

Alarms because I can't remember a damn thing because my brain doesn't function anymore. And the aphasia, that's annoying, too.

*sigh* The best I can do at this point is try to do better. I can't fix the past. No one can. But uuuuuugh my new brain is frustrating. How am I supposed to be an example of responsibility when I can't remember basic things without reminders?

I KNOW the depression is going to take this and make the guilt and feeling of failure even worse. And if I don't deal with it soon, the anxiety will kick in. I know I'm going to have to stay on top of that so it doesn't spiral down. But I guess right now I'm allowed to feel that way for a few minutes or however long until I handle the guilt and use it as a stepping stool instead of a holycrapISUCK!!!!!

And trust me:  consequences. Oooooh consequences. I may never let this child out of the house until she's 30.