The Shrinkening Commences

I did it. I went through with the therapy session on Thursday. Reckon it’s past time to update you. But you should know, going in, this is going to be a bitch of a post. Avoid it if you need to.

Have some Portishead for your listening pleasure. This is what I’m listening to while I force myself to get this out.

~

Pre-Game Panic Attack

The appointment was for 1:00 PM on Thursday, so I was at work all morning leading up to it. You’d think that would be a nice distraction, but it wasn’t. Queen Bitch has impeccable timing and went on her worst rampage yet this past week. (I’ll save work for a separate post to try to keep this semi-coherent.) So I don’t know how much of my pre-appointment nausea and vomiting was from therapy anticipation and fear and how much of it was the extreme stress Queen Bitch had me under.

By the time I got myself to the counseling center, I was a bundle of nerves. I smiled at the receptionist and filled out my paperwork. Thankfully, I was alone in the waiting room. I had so much pent up anxiety, I felt I could literally bounce off of the walls…and not in a fun way. Imagine severe chest pain, heart racing, rapid breathing, roiling stomach, my leg bouncing up and down ninety to nothin’, mouth chewing on a hoodie cord, eyes scanning the room for every minute detail, hands twisting and squeezing each other. That was me, pre-therapy Thursday. It took everything I had to stop myself from bolting.

Off to an Anticlimactic Start

The counselor finally fetched me from the waiting room at around 1:05. (Yeah. That pissed me off.) Let’s call her Diane. Tall, blonde, forty-something Diane. At least she’s older than me, I thought. They nearly placed me with someone who graduated this past May. I cringed. Maybe it seems superficial, but it’s far less about age and more about experience.

Anyway. Friendly enough, on the surface. She smiled and shook my hand, led me to her office. While the waiting room makes the building look new(ish), Diane’s office was poorly appointed. Seriously, her chairs and couch had tears in the upholstery. I kind of approved, because I don’t want to be therapized by someone with a mahogany desk and all leather furniture. She said I could sit anywhere – I just took the chair facing her desk. I asked permission to place my wallet and keys on her desk, then shoved my fists in my hoodie pockets and willed myself to not bounce my leg and look around the room like a crazy person.

I began relaxing a bit at this point, because Diane spent the first few minutes filling out paperwork. A differently formatted document with the exact same information I’d already filled out at reception. Full name? Address? Social Security Number? Bust size? (Kidding, she didn’t ask for my social.) (Got you again. Look, it’s a good sign that I’m at least trying to joke, right?) Then she went over their policies and her personal qualifications. Twenty years as a counselor with this same group. Good sign, right?

I’ve been doing this for a long time, okay? And I’ve worked with every age group, but I no longer work with children. I did for many years, but I had to give that up. I work with people like you now. And don’t worry. You’re perfectly normal. You’re definitely not crazy, right? You’re not crazy. You’re just sad. You’re here because you’re sad.

I hope it doesn’t offend you when I use words like “normal” and “crazy”…

And just like fucking that, she’d formed her opinion and diagnosis of me. I walk through the motherfucking door, am able to show up and shake her hand and be calm and civil. And I’m just sad. Nothing more, nothing less. So glad this process was so fucking easy.

Then she grabs her little legal pad and starts in with her own standard list of questions, the answers to which she notes on her pad:

Have you received counseling or psychiatric treatment before? No.

Do you work? Yes, full-time.
What do you do? I sit at a computer all day.
Oh, do you like it? Yes, it’s so much fun.

*chuckles* Relationship status?
Well, it’s like this…
Children? No.

Parents? Married/divorced? Living? Location?
Uhm. Uh. Well. Uhm. See. Well. *breathes* They divorced when I was little. They’re both still alive, last I heard. Uhm. Uhm. I think. Maybe. I think. Maybe. My mom is maybe in town again. My father lives in _____.
I see. And what sort of relationship do you have with them? I don’t. *fidgets*

Siblings? One brother and one sister.


Do you want me to give you more details? I’m not sure how detailed you want my responses.

She then went into this long spiel explaining the two different ways of approaching counseling: starting from the past and working forward or starting in the present and working backward. She said that people usually had a preference, but she doesn’t. She just looked at me, and I just looked back.

All this time, Diane has been looking down at her phone. Look at me, ask a question, look at phone, note my response on the pad, look at phone, look at me, ask a question, look at phone, note my response….forget what she asked me and ask me again. Yeah.

I finally broke the awkward pause with something like:

Well, I’m not in any danger. I mean, if you want me to start by talking about my childhood, I’ll do that. If you’d rather hear about what’s going on right now, I can do that, too. I don’t know what I need or what’s best, really.

On Unprofessionalism and Suicidal Ideation

It was at this point, this crossroads of sorts, where she finally asked me what had led me to be there that day. She had her checklist and wanted to go by rote, and I wanted to know what we were doing and why. So she asked me. What led you here?

I’ve been depressed for years. And while I managed it best I could for a long time, it’s spiraled out of control over the last couple of years. And now…and now…my thoughts have gotten so dark that they scare me.

depressed-person

“Tell me what you mean by ‘dark thoughts.'”

Suicide. I think about suicide every day. And. But. Well. You see, it’s not so much that I want to kill myself. It’s that I don’t wish to be alive anymore. I don’t want to feel this way, but I can’t seem to make it stop.

“I’d call that danger.”

I’m sorry?

“You just told me that you aren’t in any danger. And now you’re telling me you think about suicide every day. Ongoing suicidal ideation is serious danger. Do you really think about it every day? Do you have a plan?

Well, I mean I think stuff. Bad stuff. You know. But I don’t have a plan. Like a specific plan. You know, written down. I don’t have a plan. No. And I would never do it. I would never act on it.

“Then tell me what you think about. Specifically. Tell me exactly what goes through your mind in your so-called dark thoughts. What do your suicidal thoughts look like?”

Well. I mean. Okay. Okay. There’s a gun. In the closet. And. Well. I think about the gun. And I think about…you know… (I’m crying now, talking softly. twisting my hands so much they’re throbbing in pain.)…I think about how it would affect other people. And I don’t want to make it hard on someone who finds me and has to clean up after me. So….so I wouldn’t do it in the house. I’d go outside. To the backyard. And…and I’d do it there. So I wouldn’t make a mess of the house or damage it or make it hard to sell after I’m dead. You know? That’s not really a plan is it? I guess that’s a plan.

But I wouldn’t do it. I’d miss or something and end up disfigured and living in a convalescent home.

She wrote “gun” and “plan” and something else on her pad. “You have a gun in the house?”

Yes.

“What else do you think? Are there other ideas?”

Well. This one. This one’s really bad, and I don’t…I don’t think I should tell you. It’s horrible. (tears are streaming down my face) But. Well. I imagine. You know. I imagine getting in my car. Getting onto the interstate late at night. Driving dangerously fast. Turning my headlights off. Closing my eyes.

But I would never do it. I swear I would never do that, because it would hurt someone else. It just pops into my mind completely unbidden.

“What else? Is there more?”

My arthritis medicine. I get it in three-month quantities. I’ve thought about taking them. All of them. At once. But I know that’s useless. I would just end up with my stomach pumped.

“Stephanie, your name is Stephanie right? Those are plans. Specific plans. And you are in serious danger.”

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, she interrupted me. She had been looking at her cell phone off and on the whole time, and at some point – while having me detail my thoughts on suicide – she interrupted me. Told me to hang on, and then texted her son.

I told her again that these are things I think about, but I’m not choosing to think about it. And I fight so hard not to entertain those thoughts or allow them to linger. But they rise up, unbidden, and I can’t always will them into silence.

On Reasons to Live and Hospitalization

“Everyone has to have a reason to live,” Diane pronounces. “You’ve demonstrated you’re strong and have a will to live. You made the appointment. You drove yourself here today. You kept the appointment. All of this was done of your own free will. Tell me what you live for. Tell me the positive things that you cling to in order to keep going and keep those thoughts at bay.”

I looked at her, my cheeks tear-stained and my eyes clouded, and I said…

I got nothin’

I don’t have family. I don’t have friends. I hate my job. I don’t want to get out of bed in the mornings. I feel sad when I wake that I made it through another night. I got nothin, Diane.

Well. I recently started blogging. And the people I’ve met there, online, are amazing and have offered so much support.

And. And. (crying and practically whispering) I have this…this vague hope that just won’t die. This vague hope that maybe, just maybe there’s a brighter future for me. A happy ending.

She scribbles “internet” on her little Stephanie page and says, “I’m talking about real life here.”

Church? No.
Social club? Like a book club? No.
Bars? No.
Professional memberships? No.
Work friends? No.
Family contact or support? No.
Really? Nothing? Nothing.

She spent the rest of the time between trying to convince me to be hospitalized (she lacks the authority to have me admitted without my consent) and defining “thoughts,” “feelings” and “behaviors” to me. Like I’m a fucking child and don’t know the fucking difference.

Again she told me I’m only sad, and there’s nothing deeply wrong with me. “You’re not crazy; don’t worry.” I tried to tell her there’s a lot more to it. I told her that sometimes I have wild mood swings and get very hyperactive, sometimes happy hyperactive and sometimes angry hyperactive. She said, “Oh, everyone does that. You’re not one of the crazies or you wouldn’t be here today.”

She really wanted me to consent to hospitalization. She said she’d take me in her car, right then and there. She said that no matter how hard people fight their thoughts, that if they’re persistent and ongoing for as long as mine have been, eventually everyone follows through.

Thoughts. Feelings. Behavior. “It is unavoidable. Eventually those thoughts and feelings result in acting out in a behavior. You can’t escape it. It’s ingrained. It is inevitable.”

But I stood my ground. In order to keep her from calling a psychiatrist and having them admit me against my will, I had to agree to some things:

  1. Get rid of the gun. Or lock it up and give someone else the key.
  2. Email her Thursday night telling her I had done so.
  3. Show up for an appointment next Wednesday at noon.
  4. Get a notebook and log my feelings. Like a motherfucking four year old. I can tell her my feelings. I know my feelings. I know my thoughts. And I know my behaviors. Stupid fucking shit.

As yet, I haven’t done any of those things. Though I have made a note in my phone, which I open occasionally and add a time and feeling to.

On Medication

She also told me that medication is unnecessary. That too many people are medicated, and it usually gives you brain damage. “You don’t need medication, because you aren’t crazy. Crazy people have brain damage. That’s what it is! It’s brain damage! But you don’t need it, because you’re normal.”

But. “Seeing as you’re suicidal, medication may not be a bad idea to get your moods regulated. Then during talk therapy, I’ll teach you TFB through CBT and you’ll get right off that crazy person medicine.”

I told her I have an appointment with a psychiatrist on December 21. She was shocked, saying it takes months to get in with one. But my insurance company found one for me. Apparently she’s only going to diagnose and medicate, though. So I don’t know how I feel about it. I’ll at least keep the appointment, though.

Final Thoughts

Diane is crap. She laser focused on one thing and refused to hear anything else about me. And her plan is bullshit and so was her motherfucking brain diagram she scribbled to show me that I’m behaving like an animal on instinct rather than a rational human being. But I know I need help, and if being accountable to that nonsense-spewing unprofessional moron helps me even a small  amount? Then it’s worth it. For now.

I just rambled a buncha shit, y’all, and probably forgot most of it. But I just couldn’t muster up the strength to write sooner. To those of you whom I’ve worried, please accept my sincerest apologies. I’ve had an absolute week from hell, and I’ve pretty much been in bed since I got off of work yesterday. I’ll do my best to catch up on emails and things soon. I miss reading y’all, too!

I’ll be back on the upswing soon, you’ll see. (I believe that. I have to.) Maybe a music party tomorrow or somethin’, hey?

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful messages and support. As always, you’re the bestest.

 

 

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Prelude to a Shrunken Head, AKA Stephanie Prepares to be Therapized

P.S. I’m pissed that “therapized” is actually a word. Seriously, I googled “therapize,” and that fucker exists! I was so proud of making it up! Google defines it as “subject to psychological therapy” which is exactly what I meant by it!

Hmph. That’s a buncha bullshit right there. Anyway, yes I totally started this post with a postscript. Deal with it.

So, as you’ve probably guessed by now, this post is about the time I made a class of third graders write haiku about pickles. Except it’s totally not about that. Didn’t you even read the fucking postscript?

I’ve been considering therapy for a long time. I’m talkin’ years. But over the last year or so, my mind has gotten so dark that it frightens me. It’s time. It’s past time that I seek help.

The phone calls were hard to make. But I got help and was also told where to go if I need urgent care. I have an appointment for next Thursday, a week from today. And…and I’m proud of myself and also freaking right the fuck out. I need to get some things off of my chest, because I still can’t think straight. I can’t think of any funny anecdotes to share or anyone to slam in a humorous way. So I need to purge some darkness. Here goes.

~

MEMO

To:          Therapist
From:    Basketcasephanie
Date:     I don’t think that’s allowed between us, but thanks.
RE:         Things I wish you knew but will never be able to tell you in forty-five minutes.

MESSAGE

Trust – I don’t trust you. I’ve never met you, and I don’t trust you. You’re a woman, first off. And I’ve never not had my trust betrayed by a woman. I know you’re a therapist, and you have rules and blah blah blah. But you’re also human. And I don’t trust humans. Especially female ones. I know there are some great ones out there. I know. But I’m scared to open up to you, and I wish you knew that. I don’t want to spill my guts to you, only to find you either can’t help me or are dismissive of me. And I will live with the fear that you’ll tell all of my secrets. I don’t think you can help me. I think you’re a waste of my time and money. But as a dear soul recently said to me, I know what I’ve got right now. And it’s not working. So why not give something else a shot? So I’m giving you a shot. Please don’t break my trust and abandon me like everyone else has.

Please prove me wrong about you.

Lost and Afraid – I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to do therapy, and I don’t know how to do life anymore. I’m afraid if you can’t help me, no one can. I did go to therapy once. I was a child, and in some set of circumstances (the details of which I’m not privy to), my mother was required to take me to therapy. She took me and my sister to a counseling center for battered and abused women and children. I know we went several times. I remember the dark wood staircase and banister. The narrow foyer. The closed doors and hushed voices. I remember shaking and being afraid to speak.

I had to do Rorschach tests – I had to do a lot of those. They asked me a lot of strange questions. But the last thing I remember about that place is when they required us to draw pictures of our family life, specifically anything that upset or worried us. My sister drew this simple, common little family picture. A house in the background and a line of stick figures holding hands. I remember backing into a corner, going mute and refusing to move. I had this mixed feeling of fear that I would be punished for disobeying and fear of the consequences of drawing what was in my head. So I shook and stayed quiet and fought the urge to pee on myself. That’s the last time I remember going.

I’m scared you’re going to make me open up wounds for you to stare at and leave them to fester and rot. You’re going to ask me to draw mental pictures for you, then you’re going to send me on my way with a bandaid and an invoice. But I don’t know how to do life anymore, so here I am.

I’m still that scared little girl, cowering in the corner and trying not to piss her pants. I will have a panic attack in your office. I’m going to shake and sob and choke and dry heave.

Please help me.

Depression – You should know I’ve been depressed for so long that I don’t remember what it’s like to be free from it. You should know that I’m severely depressed. I have suicidal ideation, and the imaginings in my head are specific, planned and visual. You should know that I have no support system in my daily life, so I’ve reached out to people online. The loneliness I feel has seeped into the marrow of my bones, spread itself out and taken over my body and my mind. It’s rooted there, and I don’t think I’ll ever be free of it.

You should know that I hate myself, and I expect you to hate me, too. You should know that sometimes, when people talk to me, instead of listening, I’m smiling on the outside but screaming “FUCKYOU FUCKYOU FUCKYOU FUCKYOU SHUTTHEFUCKUP LEAVEMEALONE” over and over in my head. This will happen when you talk to me, too. Another reason that I don’t think this talk therapy bullshit is going to work.

I’m unhappy with myself. I’m unhappy with my job. I’m unhappy with my past. I’m unhappy with my present. I’m unhappy with my stagnation. I don’t want to get out of bed in the mornings. I sleep all weekend to escape the maddening loneliness and the dark thoughts. I don’t take care of myself. My house is a wreck, my clothes are wrinkled, my hair stays in a messy ponytail, and I don’t give a fuck. I don’t give a fuck about you or anyone else or what you think or whether I live, die or grow mushrooms out of my ass.

But I do care. I’m drowning, and you’re my last hope.

CPTSD – You should know I suspect I’m suffering from CPTSD as well. I’ve never recovered from childhood abuse. I’ve never recovered from being emotionally, physically and sexually abused. And I hate myself. I hate myself for being weak. I hate myself for not getting over it. I hate myself for not speaking up when things happened. I hate myself for not holding people accountable for their crimes. I hate myself for considering it crimes, when so many suffered so much worse. And I hate myself for diminishing it. I just hate myself.

Every time I’ve seen him, even as a woman in my thirties, I feel an urge to piss my pants. I shake. My voice shakes, my body shakes. I shake all over and I have a visceral reaction. I get nauseated, tense and void my bladder. I’m scared to death that you’re going to tell me to confront him and refuse to continue treatment with me when I refuse to do so. I will not confront him. I will not go to him, regardless of what he’s going through right now. Fuck him and fuck you for suggesting it.

Please help the terrified little girl inside of me. Please don’t make me talk to him.

Bipolar Disorder – My uncle is a severe Bipolar I. My mother is Bipolar II. I’m afraid and also hoping that you will tell me I’m bipolar as well. I suspect Bipolar II, like my mother. I’m afraid, because I swore I’d never be like her. But fuck me if I haven’t turned into that depressing, reclusive, manic crazy person who shuts out the whole world. Except she’s a selfish bitch. I at least missed the boat on that, mostly.

But I’m hopeful because it would make me feel relief to know that what I experience is happening for a reason. That my severe depressive episodes, intermingled with swings high up into the rafters, laughing, playful, energetic and making grandiose plans for my life, then back down to hyper anger, then back down to deep dark suicidal depression, that all of that is happening because of a real condition.

But I’m also hoping that’s not it, because I know I have real, valid reasons for being depressed. Loneliness does things to a sensitive, emotional person like me. It fucks me up. It really fucks me up. And yet it’s hard to let anyone in because of severe trust issues. But…but…does that explain the intermittent mania and mixed episodes? The incredible difficulties with sleep?

Whatever it is, please tell me it’s treatable. I can’t stand this suffering anymore.

Social Anxiety – I can’t stand to be in public. Just being in this room with you right here and right now is making my skin crawl. Are you looking at me askance? I saw the way you looked at my size. I saw the way you looked at my unkempt hair and wrinkled shirt. I know my hoodie isn’t professional like your pressed blazer. I’d live my life within the confines of my house if I could. But I can’t. So I exit the premises, each and every day, with great reluctance and lead in my stomach.

I hate grocery shopping and put it off until there’s nothing but tap water and moldy cheese left. Because of the people. They look at me. They think hateful thoughts about me. They whisper to each other about me. They accuse the contents of my cart. They snicker at the way I walk. This is how I feel, everywhere I go, in public. I don’t have friends; I don’t talk to my neighbors; I don’t socialize with my coworkers. I don’t leave the house unless it’s mandatory – work, grocery, fuel, etc.

As I entered the door here, to this counseling center, I wondered how many people I knew saw me. I wonder if the insurance company will report to my employer that I’m a headcase. I wonder if you’ll go home and tell your spouse about the neurotic woman who wasted your time today and dirtied up your couch with her presence. I fidget, I shake, my heart races. Can you help me coexist with other humans, without thinking everyone is out to get me? Can you help me not want to literally run and hide when some coworker asks me to lunch?

Can you help me be normal?

Self-Harm – I hurt myself. Not with knives or scissors. Not with booze or pills. I pick and rip and tear at my skin. Around my nails, on my chin, on my arms, on my thighs. It’s disgusting and shameful, and I can’t fucking stop. It hurts, and it scars. I don’t like it. I’ve tried hitting myself when I do it. It doesn’t work. I’ve tried coating sores in ointment, but I just wipe it off and do it again. The scars I have will always be there, but I’m tired of making new ones. I just don’t know how to stop.

I don’t want to hurt myself anymore.

Self-Worth – I don’t feel worthy of your time. I don’t feel like I deserve to be here, when there are people in greater need and more deserving than I am. I’m afraid you’ll find me insipid and petty. I don’t want you to tell me to fucking love myself, okay? If you tell me that, I may fucking walk out. Don’t do that. You’re a therapist; don’t fucking talk down to me with canned bullshit. You don’t tell someone who thinks she’s a piece of shit that everything will be right as rain if you just start loving yourself. Don’t you think I would if I could? I don’t feel like I deserve anything good or nice or lovely or pretty or sweet. But I’m here anyway.

I’m here anyway, because no matter how fucking hard I try to kill off my last piece of hope so I don’t get hurt. Again. For the zillionth time. I can’t stop hoping. Hoping for something better. Hoping someone will prove me wrong about myself. Hoping I’m worth it. Hoping there’s a reason to this charade called life. So I’m here. Talking with you.

Please give me reason to hope.

~

Forty-five minutes isn’t enough time. And I’m upset and anxiety-ridden that I have to return to work after this. You will rip things open and send me back out into the world. Please. I’m begging you. I’m begging the universe. Please make it worth it.

Please fix me.

The Selfish Blog Post

I’ve started this post no fewer than five times now. And I keep highlighting all of the text and pressing delete. I should take that as a sign that I shouldn’t post anything today.

I don’t feel well. I mean, I’m seriously beaten down right now, y’all. And I can’t find the words to adequately express what I’m going through. I keep trying, but it’s not connecting. It doesn’t resonate. Suffice it to say I’m incredibly sad and hurt. And I feel like an abused puppy. You know that saying about kicking someone when they’re down? That’s how I feel right now. And, though it’s hard for me to give myself enough credit to say that those feelings are valid, they really are. I have every reason and right to feel the way I’m feeling right now. Except, the darkest of the thoughts are dangerous. So I need help.

Yesterday, I cried all fucking day. Well. Off and on. And your stories and posts and laughs and sweet words pulled me through. And one person in particular helped me so so much. I feel indebted to you especially, and to all of you for being awesome.

So. I’m going to be selfish right now. I need a favor. I don’t want pity – please, I mean that sincerely. I don’t want to be told to chin up; tomorrow’s a new day; it could always be worse; blah fucking blah. You know?

I want your best jokes. Even if they’re the superlame ones – those are my favorites. Like this one:

A skeleton walks into a bar.
He orders a beer.
And a mop.

Y’all, that cracks me up like you would not believe. So hit me me, please, with your jokes and puns. Ohh, I really love puns!

Oo, oo, or you could link to funny blog posts! Yours or someone else’s. Yeah, yeah. We could exploit this as an opportunity for self-promotion.

Yes, I am shamelessly and selfishly asking you to make me smile. To remind me, again, that there is good in the world.

image

 

Don’t Call Me…

Daughter.

Not fit to.
You made baths difficult to take.
It’s impossible to soak for long before memories surface.
Memories of you. Of what you did.

You gave me hang-ups about father-daughter relationships.
Why is that little girl pulling away from her father?
Does he play bath time games, too?
Does he let his dick hang out, then beat you when you notice?

Why is that teenaged girl walking four feet behind him?
Is she worried he’ll pinch her ass if she walks in front?
Maybe he’ll grab her chest and say “nice tits,” giving a lingering squeeze.
Maybe he’ll ask if she has any fuckable friends who can stay the night.

~

Sister.

Did he teach you how to do that?
Did he do things to you, too?
Is that why you did what you did to me?

How about you, little sister.
Who taught you?
How to be such a raging bitch.
How to be such a big-mouthed hypocrite.
How to be such a fucking liar. And thief.

How about the both of you?
Who would abandon their own sister.
For turning her back on him.

Why should I give a fuck?
That the son of a bitch has cancer.
Why should I scurry to his side in his eleventh hour?

I live with guilt.
Because of what he did.
Because of what you did.
I’m the one who feels guilty.
I’m the one who’ll burn for not being there for him now.

But I won’t.
I can’t.
I don’t have a family now?
Well that’s your doing. Not mine.

Fuck you. Fuck all of you.

~

Daughter.

Not fit to.
I trusted you.
You were my friend. My comfort.
What mother abandons her daughter? Repeatedly?

You were brave. Strong.
You left him, though he threatened murder.
You risked it all and left.
I thought you were so brave.

If you were like you are now, then.
You wouldn’t leave.
You’d take the beatings.
You’d allow our abuse to continue.
And you would stay.

And now you want expect me by his side.
Now you write me off.
Ungrateful daughter.
She who refuses to grow up and get over it.
Abandoning me.
For him.

Fuck you. Fuck all of you.

~

Friend.

Lover.

Wife.

Yeah. I can’t do those right now.
They’re fresher.
Newer.
Rawer.
Hurtier.

~

This isn’t meant to be poetry. I’m aware it’s not a poem. This is just how my thoughts came out. The structure I needed to write it in. The line breaks. The sections.

I’ve spent all weekend rarely straying from bed. I’ve slept through most of it. I wanted to clean house. Tend the garden. Do laundry. Dishes. Perhaps go to the park. Quite frankly, I couldn’t be fucked to leave the warm safety of the bed.

Heh. Safety. It’s funny I should use that word, because I haven’t felt safe at all. I probably would have felt safer had I followed through on the things part of me wanted to do. But that part of me was far too small and weak this weekend.

When I wasn’t using the bathroom or fetching something to drink, I was in bed. Cuddling a cat or a pillow. Sleeping and crying and crying myself to sleep.

And I couldn’t stop dreaming. A couple of the dreams were weird and funky and cool. But mostly they were painful and depressing. I couldn’t stop dreaming about them. I couldn’t stop dreaming about how they fucked me up and then about how much I’ve fucked it all up myself.

I want to be strong. During the week, I am strong. Even if it’s superficial. I’m strong at work. No one knows I’m depressed. No one knows I struggle with thoughts of inadequacy. Failure. Worthlessness. Death. Every. Fucking. Day.

I smile. I laugh. I crack jokes. I make people laugh. They think I’m witty and clever and smart and bashful and sweet. They see me blush at the slightest things, but then crack crude jokes with the guys. They see me master new software programs and help veteran workers figure things out. They see me attempting to unify departments and repair interdepartmental relations. They see me as an asset. At least these are all things I’ve been told there. At work.

But inside I’m dying. Friday afternoon, I got sadder and sadder as the clock ticked closer and closer to five. Everyone was excited, sharing weekend plans and asking each other about theirs. I dreaded the inevitable moment(s) when I’d be asked about mine. I smiled, gave a small laugh and averted my gaze, “Oh, nothing much, really. Looking forward to some downtime.”

And then five o’clock hit, and the lump in my throat grew to large to dislodge. I shook and cried all the way home.

I made sure the cats had food.

I watered the garden.

I fed myself.

I surfed blogs with The Amazing Race on in the background.

I went to bed. And didn’t really get up again until around noon today. Sunday. I’m writing this now, in bed. See, I’m still in bed. But at least I’m awake. That is a marked improvement from the rest of the weekend.

And the feeling that usually befalls me on weekends like this has struck. I regret it. Though I can’t turn back time, I regret it. I’m not necessarily beating myself up. I had neither the strength nor the desire to do anything differently. But I’m sad that that was my truth. I’m sad that I couldn’t enjoy these beautiful fall days. I’m sad that I imprisoned myself this weekend. I’m sad that I can’t stop being sad. And I’m sad that having work to look forward to in the morning is the only positive thing I’ve gotten out of this weekend. I don’t even really like my job anymore. And it makes me sad that it’s the only normal thing I have in my life. That it’s the only thing I have to look forward to. I’m sad that one day as I look back on this so-called life, I’ll only be able to say, “At least I had work. The only time I didn’t lie in bed thinking about how much I deserve to die was when I was at work.”

How fucking pathetic.
What a fucking joke.
What a fucking waste of life.

Life is precious.
Life is beautiful.
We only get one.

Stop fucking wrecking it.
Make it meaningful again.
Stop being a whiny, simpering bitch.

Get up. Get out. Live.

I’m trying.
I know it doesn’t sound like it.
But I’m trying.

I’m trying so fucking hard.

I can’t go back and edit this, y’all. I can’t. Or I’ll delete everything and go back to sleep. So, while I’m trying not to apologize for shit (I’m a professional apologizer) since this is my blog and blah blah blah, I can’t resist apologizing for any egregious errors in this post. I just can’t go back and read through this.

~Stephanie

The Versatile Blogger Award: The One Where I Follow Through

Yesterday, I told y’all that my buddy over at wwwpalfitness nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. I’m flattered and pleased as punch and embarrassed and and you get the picture! Please check out his blog – fitness folk will enjoy it, but it’s not all about fitness. So there’s something for everyone.

versatilebloggernominationsAward Rules:
If you are nominated, you have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award. You should:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award and include a link to his or her blog.
  • Select fifteen (15) blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered and/or follow regularly. (Choose blogs you find excellent!)
  • Nominate those fifteen (15) bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award, including a link to the original VBA site.
  • Notify your nominations!
  • Finally, don’t forget to tell the person who nominated you seven (7) things about yourself.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Meh:

  1. I once caught a baby possum and brought him inside. I put him in a shoebox and tried to feed him cheese. I kept petting him even when he hissed at me. I knew he was just scared. I mean, he hadn’t had time to get used his new mommy (me) yet. I used baby talk and cried when he wouldn’t eat. He looked so sad. I can’t remember what I named him, and I released him after an hour or so. I missed him so much. When I told my mother about him, I thought she was going into cardiac arrest. She begged me never to do anything like that again.
  2. I did things like that again. And again. In fact, years later, as an adult…a possum wandered up onto the porch of my little two-bedroom rental house. I fed him cat food and delighted in watching (through the peephole in the door) him argue with the stray cat over just whose porch and cat food that was. I tell myself that was the same possum from my childhood. An actual good memory coming back to me for a change.
  3. I like big butts, and I cannot lie. Okay, actually, I just really really like horrible, cheesy songs. You other brothers can’t deny. Also, I don’t have anything against big butts. Except my own. Except it does provide nice cushioning. Except enough with the exceptions.
  4. I named my cat’s butthole. It’s Senor Stinkerton. I’m actually half lying. I never named either of my cat’s buttholes. Until now. And now, it’s named Senor Stinkerton.
  5. I’m pissed that I can’t figure out how to make the little accent over the n in Senor. Things like this drive me bananas on the daily. If you see things like that, chances are I saw it, too. And, I promise you, it’s driving me even crazier than it’s driving you. And when I miss typos…if I haven’t corrected them, it’s because I didn’t catch it one of the ten thousand times I re-read for editing. I’m sick in the head.
  6. I’m sick in the head. Wait. I can’t use that one. You already know that. Uhm. My favorite band in the whole wide world, in the known universe and beyond, is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Perhaps I’ll tell you why one day. For now, the why doesn’t matter (except it always matters to me). Just the bowing. Bow down to RHCP. Do it. Now. I’m waiting.
  7. I have this cute little woven hair thingy that I bought in the gift shop of a national park. Last summer. But I promptly lost the little stick that holds it to your hair. So now, I twist my hair up, slap the little woven hair thingy over the sloppy bun and slide a black warrior pencil through it to hold it in place. People pick on me for it at work. And then I forget where my pencil has gone. Like a few minutes ago, but I had to get another because the alternative was to have my messy hair spilling down. And here’s a bonus fact: I like my hair long, but I rarely wear it down. It bothers me on my neck and in my face.

Booyah. Now that’s done, let’s do nominations, or as I shall affectionately call them: nommies. Because that makes them sound tasty.

Nommies:

Y’all I am so new to this. I mean, I’ve been reading blogs off and on for years, but I’ve only just had my WordPress cherry popped. Ew. I can’t believe I just said that. That’s fucking nasty. Anyway. So yeah. I’m gonna nominate fifteen of my new and current favorites that I think the adjective “versatile” suits. (Here’s another bonusbonus fact: this is tough for me, because I live my life worrying about things like hurt feelings. Y’all please don’t get hurt feelings if you’re not here. It would hurt my feelings. And it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. I like you plenty. Will you marry me? Can we paint each others’ toenails?) I’m sharing the award with:

  1. B.G. at Getting Through Anxiety – Anxiety, drawing, books, funnies.
  2. Melanie at This Is My Corn – Piccies, funnies, punnies, stories, lovelies.
  3. James Radcliffe – Music, books, aging, nature.
  4. Kally at Middle Me – Advice, career, stress, social media.
  5. Richard Davies at Critical Dispatches – Street art, sociology, commentary, poetry, reflection.
  6. Nick Triolo at Jasmine Dialogues – Judaism, art, travel, culture, humanity, photography.
  7. Rachel Ann at Start With Sparkles – Reflection, humanity, inspiration, rambles.
  8. Beeps at Letters Never Meant To Be Delivered – Writing, anxiety, snark, three cheers for potty mouth, TARDIS.
  9. Noirfifre at Yelhispressing – Writing, history, travel, food, passion.
  10. Margaret Bell at The Musings Of A Magpie – Food, nature, family, books, games.
  11. Claire at Wanderings (And Wonderings) – Marriage, travel, food, piccies.
  12. Yaz at The Falling Thoughts – Photography, poetry, commentary, travel.
  13. Joelcy Kay at Edge Of Humanity Magazine – Culture, humanity, politics, food, philosophy.
  14. Meg at Write Meg! – Writing, family, books, food, photography.
  15. Carisa Adrienne at Sometimes Silver Linings Are Blue – Poetry, love, family, music, heartache.

Please check ’em out; you won’t regret it. They’re all great blogs! Personally, I think you’re about to discover some new faves. 🙂

Just a little unwell

Disclaimer: This post addresses mental illness and suicidal thoughts. Please read with caution and/or avoid if you are wary of triggers. Please also know that this is an outlet for me to vent; it is not a cry for help. We’re all here, blogging, as an outlet for something or other. Sometimes mine will be deeply personal. Today is one of those days.

~

The title of my post is totally telling on myself. (I say totally a lot. Get with the times, man.)

“I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell…”

You know. That little lyric from some Matchbox 20 song? I started to be embarrassed:

(a) That I quoted a Matchbox 20 song, and
(2) That I actually kinda liked some of the songs from that one album that time.

And then I said, well you know what? Fuck it! I used to like some Matchbox 20 songs! Kiss my ass! (Yeah, I’m still blushing. Suck it.)

Sometimes (nearly every day) I become convinced that I’m losing – or have already lost – huge irreplaceable chunks of my mind. Do you ever feel that way? No? Fuck me, that’s further proof, innit?

Time for a Tasters’ Choice Moment. So get ready to be made uncomfortable, or just run. Now. And far.

Why do I feel crazy unwell? Allow me to count the ways:

  1. I talk to myself. Okay, look. I’m not the only one that does this at work. I talk to my computer or mumble to myself sometimes when I’m trying to work something out. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I mean, I stand in front of a mirror and look that bitch straight in the eyes and tell her what a no good piece of shit she is. And then I enumerate the reasons. One by painful, sickening one. And I rage and cry and shake, this wild look in my eyes. It’s sick and twisted and so fucking insanely unhealthy. And I just. Keep. Doing it.
  2. Every single day, I harbor thoughts of death. And I don’t know whether this distinction will make any sense (or any difference) to potential readers, but…it’s not that I want to kill myself. I don’t. It’s that I no longer wish to be alive. Here. On this Earth. With no meaning. No purpose.
  3. Do you ever look at a coworker and (while she’s running her mouth) scream inside your head, “GO EAT A BAG OF DICKS AND JUMP INTO A FLAMING PILE OF FLAMINGO SHIT ALREADY!” Okay, somehow I don’t think this one makes me crazy. I think this one is perfectly normal.
  4. I sometimes sit on the floor, in the corner, at home. Curled up. For an hour or more. Staring off into space and crying. Oh yeah, we’re back into abnormal territory now, baby!
  5. Lately I have nightmares or bad dreams every night. This has been going on for a few weeks now. They used to be more sporadic. But they’ve been every night of late. They’re either really fucked up superscary, dark and terrifying shit. Or they’re really fucked up shit from my childhood. Which, for some reason, my lovely little healthy brain has decided to revisit and replay in sickening detail. Over. And over. And over again. My brain is a fucking asshole.

I need to get back to nature. I’m craving it. Viscerally. I need to get the hiking boots out, dust off the tent and return to the wilderness soon. To remind myself that I have a soul. And to reconnect with it. To commune with nature and be at peace. To feel alive.

*Please know I’m neither soliciting nor hoping for sympathy or the telephone number for National Suicide Prevention. In fact, for those in need, that number is: 1 (800) 273-8255. If you feel that low, call. Call now. I will also kindly direct you to thoughtfully read this.

I just needed to vent,  y’all. I really needed to vent today. And hell, I may not be done. I may be back for more. We’ll see.

Thank you, for listening.