Getting Lost December 9, 2018

Losing sight of my little victories. Holiday pressure. I feel obligated. To give, donate, exchange gifts. I have a hard time keeping up with my needs and the needs of my dog. I feel selfish. Everyone is happily exchanging gifts, etc. Dragging myself to the grocery store is so full of anxiety and exhaustion. How do I do more?

Victory – dog’s infection seems to have healed up. Victory – I managed to take her in to two vet visits. Victory – I wake up and go to work every day; I eat meals; I’ve gone walk/jogging a few times; I’ve kept my orchids alive; I do laundry every week.

Celebrate! Somehow, celebration is a nasty word right now. Full of implied societal pressure that I am supposed to be “all about family” when I have none; “surrounded by holiday cheer” when I want so badly to cry; be full of goodwill and happiness in this “season to be jolly” – I’m on meds. Crying is difficult, too.

I feel exhausted. I am not doing a good job of helping myself.

I KNOW THAT I AM NOT IN THE BEST PLACE AND THAT MY FEELINGS MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE BUT:

I FEEL LIKE A TOXIC PERSON. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO BE PART OF MY FAMILY? WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO SHARE THEIR LIFE WITH MINE? WHERE DID I DISAPPEAR TO? WAS MY ENTIRE LIFE JUST A BIG PRETENSE? TOMORROW I NEED TO KEEP ON – WAKING UP, SMILING EVEN WHEN I DON’T WANT TO, DO WHATEVER I HAVE TO DO AT WORK, ETC., ETC. NOBODY KNOWS HOW TIRED I AM. THE TRUTH PUSHES PEOPLE AWAY. SO I SMILE AND LIE. I LIE AND PRETEND SO THAT I CAN KEEP A JOB; SURVIVE WHILE I DOGGEDLY PLUG AWAY AT FINDING THE HAPPINESS THAT I KNOW I AM ABLE TO CREATE FROM WITHIN. I HAVENT GIVEN UP ON THIS ROLLER COASTER RIDE YET, BUT SOMETIMES I JUST GET SO DAMNED TIRED.

Victories – Goals? November 25, 2018

Despite some frustration and, for lack of a better word, ennui? – continue with my “normal” life. Victory – a somewhat normal life. That I have been able to do this is amazing. The holidays are always a challenge. Media’s presentation of what we are supposed to do to celebrate holidays. I am alone. I have no family anymore. But I still have me. I work hard to be happy with myself. I’ve survived this long. Now that is something to celebrate…

Peace and Freedom…

I don’t know how badly I want some things. I certainly don’t want to make anyone’s life more complicated, nor do I ever want to hurt anyone. Maybe that is what is holding me back. I think I would have found another flotation device for Jack. I can’t grasp the concept of “whatever it takes” – I want to find my happiness. It is truly a matter of what pain and hardship I am willing to go through to achieve a goal; and I am not willing to sit on the edge of breaking down due to anxiety, or hurting other people’s feelings. Which is why I write. I can put down my fears and I hope nobody gets hurt or sad on my rollercoaster life. Because real people do. I work so hard every fucking day. Just to have some good periods of time when I am having happy days. I work fucking hard to be “normal” and sometimes I get tired.

Addendum…The Sound of Silence

I revisited Disturbed’s cover of “The Sound of Silence,” which crushed me the first time I heard it and continues to break me down into tears each time I play it.

For those of you who never heard/saw the video, I’ve tried to add it to this post (not really good at that).

Simon and Garfunkel’s original was, and still is, a beautiful song. I don’t think they ever thought about how prophetic it would be. Head over to Starbucks, grab a cup of whatever, and look around. I think the original evoked sadness, but Disturbed’s brings out terrible feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anger.

Put down that phone, tablet, laptop, or whatever. Be an authentic human being again. Have a conversation with a fellow human being. I would love to have a real conversation with you.

How to be brave? November 18, 2018

Victories:  Continue to wake up, get out of bed, PUT ON SOME MAKEUP, go to work EVERYDAY. I want more victories. I want to be more brave.

So here’s the question: How does a person who basically lives in fear of everything overcome the excuses I make that keep me from doing the thing I want? Nike says, “just do it,” and while that worked when I was younger, I am more fearful. Fear of never having more adventures because I find reasons not to. Fear that I won’t be able to do these things alone.

If anyone out there has suggestions, be my guest – opening up to the peanut gallery. I have an article written by someone who works with the dying. One of the regrets that keeps coming up is that of not living the life one wanted, but living the life that was expected. Who killed my dreams? Why was being excellent in academics all that mattered? I wanted so much more. I want to do everything now – but I am afraid. It does not help that my peers (and I am a 58 y.o. asian female) have quite different tastes. I like leather jackets; I would love blue or purple streaks in my hair; I listen to Disturbed and 30 Seconds to Mars, and Pink, and Jeff Buckley; I have yet to find work that pays the bills (health insurance included) that I can get excited about; I am unable to cultivate a social network; I am still looking for my passion – when I think I’ve found it, something happens and I do not have the courage to continue.

I would love to celebrate and fly to Vegas, by myself, go see 30 Seconds to Mars live, see someplace beautiful I’ve never been to before, and fly home. By myself. Nobody to judge me. Nobody to put up any barriers to what I want. Be selfish. Have an adventure. I don’t know how to do this.

How can you laugh? Because I’m still alive…November 11, 2018

Every laugh is a victory. Every laugh is a gift. Something to savor. I am so very grateful I developed or overdeveloped a sense of humor. Cynical, silly, deadpan, slapstick – it’s all good. I truly believe that if not for prescription medication and a sense of humor I would not be alive today.

Anxiety brings out a strange side of me. Once it gets to panic attack stage, it’s not funny. I got into a MVA. NOT MY FAULT. I think I sort of started to go into shock after the police left. Nobody hurt. Car still works fine. But I thought I was going to pass out and die. I couldn’t find a safe place to pull over. I had a soda which I purchased before starting the drive home. Finally found a small side street and pulled in. Not the nicest neighborhood. I’ve seen many police cars parked on this street quite a few times while driving past. It didn’t register. I sipped my soda and popped a pill. Meanwhile, a HUGE man with a bushy black beard, not wearing a shirt, body covered in tattoos like a yakuza, comes over to my car. At this point, I DO NOT CARE if he wants to steal everything I own. He taps on my window and signals to roll down the window. As my window goes down he gently asks, “sistah, you okay? You like for me call 911?” I almost cried with relief. I told him I just needed to sit for a while. He pointed to his house. “I live over there. You honk your horn if you need help, okay?” I thanked him. Sipped my soda until I was breathing normally, stopped shaking, exhausted but no longer feeling like I was dying. It was the most respectful interaction I’ve had during a full blown panic attack. If I can, I get out and slowly pace. I’ve certainly learned how to dry swallow pills. It must be obvious that something is wrong, as I start to slowly pace back and forth. Looking down at my feet. Fumbling in my purse for the pill bottle. Those that know I have these issues, will let me know that they’ll check back on me. They are aware that it will pass and if it does not pass, they will get me over to an ER. I have NEVER had a stranger come up to me and offer to help. I have noticed that everyone sort of tries to look away. I caught someone¬† staring, once. She looked afraid. Ironic. I was surrounded by medical personnel. My evil twin, who does not have any mental or emotional problems wanted to say, “excuse me, I feel like I’m dying right now. You wanna help?”

When it is just high anxiety, well, if you ever watched old I Love Lucy (Lucille Ball) episodes – I go all out Lucy. I get wigged out about being late. I was trying to get somewhere before they closed, and had very little time. So I started doing deep, slow breathing. My brother covered the clock in the car with his hand so I would not know how much time I had to get there. We started laughing. Creative methods of reducing anxiety. I appreciate that. It must be funny to see me freak out.

I want to write a book. An apt title might be, Mental Illnesses are NOT Contagious. The follow up would be, The Depressed do NOT Die Laughing.

People talk about the stigma. Probably one of the reasons I’ve never married. Even dating was always difficult. I think that most people, despite not being ignorant of the fact that sick does not equal crazy, still don’t want/need or are unable to deal with it. The only long-term relationships I’ve ever had were not healthy ones. I know I am not easy to cope with when I can’t cope with myself. But it is funny. Conversations with those who admit to having depression or panic attacks, or some kind of illness:

“How are you doing?”

“I’m not really well right now. Going through a rough time. Hey, make me laugh!”

Cardinal rule of the mentally and emotionally ill: Don’t ask unless you really want to know.

The “chronics” – those who are on meds for life; have bad days (and these are the days when getting out of bed takes about as much effort as running a marathon – yes, I know, I’ve run a number of them) once in a while; have low periods of feeling like we are not really living, but only existing. We excel in acting. We have to. It takes special people to stay around us. When we lose everyone else and the exhaustion of pretending to be happy and “normal” – that’s when we end it. But I don’t think it’s possible to do yourself in if you can still laugh.

Victory: managed to do two loads of laundry and go grocery shopping, in addition to getting up and dressed, and putting on some makeup.

Celebration: junk food – Ruffles. I really need to find healthier ways to celebrate. Read more of my book on mindfulness.

 

 

 

Write not of what you will do, but what you have done. November 6, 2018

Victory: It’s been difficult at work. So I am very, very proud of myself – I continue to wake up, get ready, and make it in to work every day. I find stuff to laugh about. Some things at home are getting out of control – can’t find things. Decluttering will become necessary or I may have a meltdown. Same with doing a thorough cleaning. Now THAT would be a huge victory. Continuing with gratefulness. Every single day, I think I need to reflect on the fact that I could be more ill, I could be unable to work or find gainful employment, and/or I could lose everything and be left homeless. Partly lucky, and to give myself credit, the survival skills of a cockroach. A lot of things are still too difficult for me to manage; some because of anxiety and fear, other things are stress triggers and I have not been able to develop good stress coping skills. So I am grateful that I have the opportunity to continue to learn and become better at: meditation, developing strategies to overcome fears, doing the things I know are helpful for my mental and physical health.

Celebrate: Watch a good movie tonight!

Find My Way Back to ME. November 4, 2018

Apparently, it’s been a while. Maybe that is the reason why I’m starting to let things slide. But, here’s to victories: Made it through another rather long week at work. Continuing to wake up, get out of bed (Saturday was unfortunate, but perhaps I needed the extra rest), get dressed, and while it might not be everyday, continuing to write about my victories. I am grateful to have a job, a roof over my head, the means to take care of myself (some days, self care is difficult), and mostly, I wake up in the morning. I need to be grateful for life. There is still so much I want to do. I haven’t been able to motivate myself to actually do these things, but I am still alive and there is another day and another chance. There are times that I worry – will I able to overcome the fears and sadness? Will I die scared and regretful?

Celebrate: Popsicles. And I found a baby “GEICO” gecko living on my lanai. So cute!baby gecko 20181104_LI

Write. Be Victorious. Be Grateful. October 30, 2018

The greatest victory is that I continue to write. I am grateful that I wake up every morning. I get out of bed. I brush my teeth. Even if it is a struggle, I get dressed, run my fingers through my hair (regular cuts, color, and bleach…no fuss, less than one minute and it looks okay), do a little makeup, go to work (today, in the pouring rain), come home, make sure the dog is clean, fed, pooped and peed, and medicated, watch a little Netflix, make sure I have gas in the car, and groceries, and my prescriptions…and the list goes on for quite a while more. If I write it all down, it could take a hell of a long time. I actually do much more every day than I give myself credit for.

As Mike Myers on SNL, or Dieter, would say, “Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!”

Discipline – Write Consistently – October 27, 2018

Like everything else, I seem to lag behind and struggle to find the get-up-and-go to do things by schedule. I get bored on a regular schedule. Maybe that’s one of the reasons taking meds bothers me A LOT.

Victories: made it through an entire week of work…which means I showered and did my skin care every evening; woke up at 5:30AM every morning; brushed by teeth twice a day (I have to admit that I did not floss every day); got dressed in work clothes; made sure the dog had food and water and medication; put on some makeup; watched some Netflix; shopped for groceries; prepared meals – by no means everything involved in daily activities for living, but I say, WOW!

BTW – get a bluetooth headphone and tune in to Pandora or something. EDM or something like David Guetta is good. Dance like noone is watching. Something about it is good for the soul.

Celebration: getting my hair done tomorrow and looking for rescue orchids today.

Fear – October 24, 2018

I live a life in fear…of everything. Living is fearful, yet I do it. Drive a car. Leave the house. Talk to people. I fear death, too. Living and dying are almost interchangeable for me.

I live in those moments when my brain is not filled with fearful thoughts. “What if, what if, what if…” and mostly the what ifs never happen. Yet, the what ifs are sometimes paralyzing. In the day to day realities, necessities, and – this is what adds to the depression – joys, I am sometimes unable to be present in my life because my brain has no more space to experience these things. Dreading washing the dishes; obsessing about it; procrastinating – when I finally get around to it, it was not such a bad task. Why the same thought processes? Reformatting thought patterns require much hard work.

So today’s victories: Woke up and went to work. Made sure I took care of some financial stuff. Bought groceries!!! Fixed a very tasty and healthy dinner. Going to relax and read before I go to bed. I’ll think of a nice celebration tomorrow. I want to go to bed.