Archive for the ‘Mental Illness’ Category

“It sure is quiet, Sarge.”

“Yeah, TOO quiet. I don’t like it.”

Suddenly, the air around them fills with the sounds of gunfire, mortars, hand grenades, and cries of “BANZAI! BANZAI!” as another night begins on Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, or any one of a dozen islands that dot the Pacific Ocean.

That’s Just How it Feels Some Days

My doctor adjusted my medications last month. It’s a delicate dance we share a few times every two or three years. Sometimes we’ll increase one dosage and reduce another; sometimes we’ll add something new until everything is in balance once again.

But once everything is moving along swimmingly, once things start to hum and purr, that’s when I begin to worry.

That’s when the dark side of my mind whispers, “It sure is quiet, Sarge.”

When I’m doing well, I almost forget that this blog exists. That’s why I haven’t posted in a long time. But when the shadows start to roll in, I know it’s time to start writing again.

Not that I haven’t been writing: this isn’t my only blog, nor is it my only writing project. But more than any other writing project, this is my therapy.

Not therapy in the sense of “Oh, woe is me! Pity me and give me your sympathy! Come join my pity party!” Nope, I’m just not that kind of girl. Instead, I write to clear my head, and a little voice whispering in my ear is saying, “You just might be helping someone else. Maybe one of your readers is facing similar problems, and reading about how you’re meeting yours encourages them to face their own issues.”

I decided many years ago that if I can reach just one person, if I can convince a single soul to keep going, not stopping, and not giving up hope, then I would consider that my own life hasn’t been wasted.

Thanks for reading.

STFU

When it’s umpteen degrees in my bedroom, I’ll take my laptop downstairs to write. Most of the time, it works…but there’s a problem: our house is often the unwilling host to freeloaders, moochers, and other disreputable sorts.

They’re not really bad people, but they insist on trying to talk to me when it’s obvious that I’m working. I really don’t need to get a blow-by-blow description of whatever television show you watched last night.

I’m probably better-informed about local news than you are, so I don’t need to repeating half-truths and rumors.

And while my landlord is perfectly content to have you here—and it should be a clue to how welcome you really are when he disappears into his upstairs bedroom whenever you overstay your welcome (usually 10 minutes after you get here)—neither one of us appreciate you blasting out your crappy taste in music on his computer.

I’m 30 years older than you are and I don’t enjoy the same taste in music as y0u do. That’s why you have a fucking smart-phone. USE IT.

In short, pull your heads out of your collective asses and realize that you are not the only people in the house. Have some consideration for others—especially since it’s NOT YOUR HOUSE!

And why don’t I copy the landlord and retreat to my bedroom? A couple of reasons:

  1. I pay rent to live here. You don’t.
  2. Then there is the matter of things disappearing whenever you’re left unattended in the house. I just don’t feel safe with you here.
  3. The two of us who live here do things a certain way for certain reasons: we DO NOT need you coming in and changing things. If there’s a window closed, LEAVE IT CLOSED! I know this is a difficult concept, but THIS IS NOT YOUR HOUSE!
  4. I get $15 a month in food stamps, so please don’t eat my food!

But The Really Big Thing is This

I am trying to deal with several mental issues. Among them are social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. It’s hard for me to be around people. THIS HOUSE IS MY SANCTUARY, my safe space. You have invaded it, and I no longer feel safe in my own house!

So I’m going to propose a solution: I’m going to have a serious discussion with my landlord about your freeloading ways and how they are affecting my health and well-being.

And on another note: STOP STORING YOUR WHOLE WATERMELON IN THE REFRIGERATOR!  It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and it takes up space that I—who actually pay money to be here—desperately need for my own food.

BLOG: (noun)
1. a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.

2. a single entry or post on such a website:
She regularly contributes a blog to the magazine’s website.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/blogging

JOURNAL:
The definition of journal is a diary you keep of daily events or of your thoughts or a publication dealing with a specific industry or field.
http://www.yourdictionary.com/journal#Siti5uupUCzDVOrm.99

My standard disclaimer applies: These are my own thoughts about things that work for me. They may or may not apply to you.

Blogging and journaling are two forms of therapy that work for me, with this difference: what I post on my blog are random thoughts and ideas I feel comfortable with sharing with others. My journal, on the other hand, are my deepest thoughts that I keep to myself. They’re not things I’m comfortable sharing with anyone else.

Both methods help me keep centered. From time to time, I may go back to my journal and discover something I am comfortable in sharing, and so I’ll post it on my blog.

For more information about the health benefits of journaling, I’d recommend “A new reason for keeping a diary,” or “Journaling for Mental Health.”

I’ll admit I’m biased in favor of the URMC article, because that’s where I’ve been going for my mental health help for the past 8 years, and because I know one of the reviewers of the article.

Regardless, take a look at both articles and see if they offer any insights for you.

When George Harrison wrote those words, he was writing a love song. I haven’t written any love songs lately; in fact, I haven’t written anything lately. No blogs, no journals, no texts, no emails.

It’s been a rough few months. December started with my mother’s birthday, which was followed a few days later by the anniversary of her death. I spent Christmas and New Year’s alone. Next week marks the first anniversary of my father’s death, and March will have been his birthday.

I spent most of January in the deepest, darkest depression I’ve ever lived through. I didn’t leave the house during the entire month, and I only left my room for meals. I was numb. I felt nothing.

Three days ago, I was finally able to feel something. I cried at the end of a silly movie on Netflix. Last night, I cried again. It felt as if I was finally waking from a nightmare. At last, I felt something.

Today I left the house and went shopping for groceries. I stopped at the bank and withdrew my rent money. I am a functioning human being again.

And finally I can write again. Baby steps for now, but it’s a start.

So What’s The Point?

The point, trivial as it may seem, is that things do get better. It may take time—in my case, three months—but I survived.

This is not to make light of other people’s suffering; on the contrary, each major depressive episode I experience leaves me with greater understanding of and compassion for the suffering of others. All I’m saying is try to hold on, seek professional help, and survive.

Well, to be honest, it wasn’t a sleepless night. It was a sleepless morning. No matter how I try, I can’t seem to sleep beyond 6 a.m. And that includes even if I go to bed at 3 a.m.

depression is

And THAT, dear friends, is what it’s like. Invisible. Insidious. I’ve moved beyond the suicide stage; tried that, didn’t work. Now I’ve arrived at the point where I wish I had never been born.

— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 19-28)

Futility rules my moods.

My own depression is compounded by the fact that I’m transgender.

not all its cracked up to be

It’s another reason I isolate and tend to stay indoors.

That’s it for now. Talk to you later.