Comfort

I’m not quite sure how I feel today. My psychiatrist asked me how things were going, how my mood was, and I said neutral. I’m not depressed, I’m not joyful, I just am. I feel like I’m in the mode of just existing again. I know it’s the medication.

I also notice a lot of loneliness creeping in. When I’m home at night by myself, at least. It’s as if I constantly need to be around people, and I’m not a people person. In fact, people wear me down too quickly. I dissociate and distance myself from them. But lately I’ve been needing to be around good company, constantly, as if I’m distracting myself from something.

That’s what it feels like. As if all the old emotions that are being brought up in therapy for the first time are riding the waves and the tide is bringing them onto shore. Only the shore is not equipped to handle these kinds of wave breaks, nor what the waves drag in.

I feel that I’m having to relearn who I am, what I believe in, and a good friend pointed out to me that after such a fall, it’s like starting a new relationship with yourself. And in starting a new relationship you need patience, kindness, compassion, and many other things I need to learn to show to myself.

This is going to be a short post today. I just don’t feel like writing about myself tonight, or anyone else for that matter. I miss bits and pieces of the life I had before the psychosis. I miss the old relationship I had with myself, even though the old relationship I had with myself wasn’t healthy. But it was comfortable. And that’s the painful part: losing that comfort.

And that’s today’s mental truth.

 

Loss

Eleven years old was the first time I wanted to kill myself.

I remember the day pretty well. We were living with a family in their house behind Burger King. We’d been there maybe a few weeks, and had a room to ourselves–my mother, father, and me. It was better than where we were a few weeks before, which was some hotels and a tent. The woman who owned–or rented, I’m not sure which–the house worked as a worker at an animal shelter and liked adopting and fostering different kinds of animals. At one point there was at least four+ dogs in the house, one of them as large as a medium sized bear. The PitBull puppy they brought home they named DeBo (think about the movie Friday) was six months old and he helped me overcome my fear of dogs. I’ve loved Pitbulls every since. They are a bunch of sweeties.

But the day I wanted to kill myself DeBo wasn’t there. I was with a small white kitten who loved me. I can’t remember what they’d named him. But he curled up next to me on a bench they had shoved underneath a tree in the front yard. I was listening to fucking Chamillionaire’s “Rain”, writing, and crying. I remember the words coming into my head: I should kill myself. What did I have? I didn’t have a home, I’d lost all my stuff (what we couldn’t fit in a small storage unit, we had to toss in the dump, including my bed), I didn’t have friends at that point, my father was drinking a lot, and my mother worked all the time. I didn’t see prospects of the future, and I certainly couldn’t see me sitting here at 23 writing about this.

I remember feeling hopeless, feeling worthless, feeling confused, and listening to a depressing song really wasn’t helping. I don’t remember what I did the rest of that day, a lot of crying, a lot of writing, a lot of music. It’s like the moment is just a snapshot in time.

This was before the woman’s daughters and her friends slashed the tires of our car and put a sign on our door that said they didn’t want us there. Because we really wanted to be there, with her mother drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels and taking pills and threatening to kill herself every weekend. Yeah, great environment, I really, really wanted to stay there.

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Anyway, we lost that car to their ignorance.

I think I’m thinking about these things because my therapist called our conversation out on being too logical. I don’t speak with a lot of emotion often, or include a lot of emotion when I talk about things that have happened to me, or things I have done, or pain I’ve been through. I think it’s a coping mechanism I learned over the years that needs to be broken. But it’s interesting to feel as I write this the same sense of loss I felt as a child. It’s weird for it still to linger and still to be so ingrained. It feels like I’m eleven again, sitting on that bench with that cat. It feels like I just learned they slashed our tires and one more thing that I loved dearly (it was a 1972 Ranchero) was being left behind and therefore taken away from me. Something I’ll never get back. It sounds silly, but I didn’t think three years of running around living from place to place could have this much of an impact on me as an adult ten years later. That’s trauma, I guess.

I suppose this is why I don’t think about things emotionally, or talk about them emotionally, I can never handle the emotions that surface. I’m trying to stay present to finish this post, but the tears are heavy and the dissociation is real. Emotional flashbacks, I’ve learned these are called.

I guess the conversation yesterday that I overhead about people’s depression and when it started got me thinking about my own depression. It’s interesting that these feelings mimic those feelings of loss I had when I started getting paranoid and lost all my academic abilities. There’s been a lot of loss in my life, over and over again, as I’m sure it is in many people’s lives, and I’m curious how other people deal with it in a healthy way. I’m not sure I know how. I don’t think I ever learned.

When did your depression start? How have you dealt with it? How do you deal with loss? Those are questions I wonder about you, reader.

And that’s today’s mental truth: loss is a bitch.

Two Little Pills

I have a poem for you all today about something I’ve been struggling with on an astronomical level. It’s something that’s been hounding me since I first started on this journey when I was 16 or 17. Take a read.

Take it, they say, and I do.

It’s for the better, they say, and I pretend

to believe them.

But there’s no better medicine than human connection,

than walks in nature

where the fireflies conjure

and the Cougars roar.

There’s no better medicine than a domestic cat’s purr,

than a puppy’s head rub,

or the bloom of a rose.

But take it, they said, and I do,

for I understand the consequences of moods

that are self destructive,

that cause more pain than happiness,

that force me to believe

everyone is against me,

even as the evidence proves otherwise.

Two little pills will not dictate my life

but they hound my moral conscience mercilessly:

“You’re feeding the demon, Big Pharma,

going against what you believe in,

what Karma

will that produce at the end of your life span

here on Earth?

You’re hurting your liver, your kidneys, your organs.

How will your heart feel after 21 years of torture

by two little pills?

Don’t you remember Prolonged QT,

or have you forgotten you’re getting a science degree?

It can cause a fatal Arrhythmia after prolonged use of anti-psychotics

and who knows this but you?

A psychiatrist won’t tell you,

a physician won’t tell you

and yet you take those two little pills

against your very own will.

This is all the voice in my head

the one that used to constantly want me dead.

Now he begs for me to save my life

by throwing away those two little pills

that cause me so much moral strife.

 

Check out this poem and more on my Booksie account here.

Snitches Everywhere

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I have been absent.

I feel as if I said that last time. Did I? I can’t remember anything.

These past few days have been trying. They’ve been tough and I’ve been struggling, and the more I reach out for help it seems the more people recoil. I enjoy their enthusiasm and their hope for me, I’m sure I absolutely deserve it. I mean, I’m never anyone’s shoulder to cry on or anyone’s personal confidant, ever.

If you couldn’t tell, that’s sarcasm.

With work picking up, it becomes apparent how important this position is to the people I work with and how important perfectionism is to this department. You can’t afford to make a mistake when you and your partner are stomping your away across the street with twenty thousand dollars between the two of you.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have picked a department that plays off of one my greatest weakness that also happens to be one of my greatest strengths. I’ve hated my perfectionism and my sensitivity to criticism ever since I realized the toll it takes on your mental health. Having to be right all the time is a lot of pressure on yourself. A pressure you create that you ultimately find yourself blaming others for. How covertly conceited.

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At any rate, the friend I got hired made a mistake and pulled an extra hundred from one of the machines my department manages. They had to do a lot of editing and balancing to get everything back to normal. I was the last new employee not to make a mistake yet.

I didn’t hold onto that title for too long. 

The first night I was on my own without a trainer over my shoulder, I took every precaution. I read my notes as I processed bills and coin and paper work. If I was 99.99999 percent sure of something, I didn’t take a chance and asked one of the leads/managers to help me. As much as that takes a toll on my social anxiety disorder, the thought of making a major mistake and the toll that would have on 1) my self esteem and 2) my perfectonistic self-loathing scared me much worse.

At the end of the night I left feeling generally pleased with myself. One goal I had for myself in getting this job was developing a sense of independence and demolishing my dependent nature and after that night, it seemed as if things were going just the way I planned.

Honestly, I should have just stepped in front of a car at that thought. Does anything ever go as anyone plans? Thinking that way is just a recipe for disaster, let’s be honest here people. The moment you blurt words like that to the universe is the moment Murphy’s law is stapled to your back.

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I already haven’t been feeling my greatest. My depression is settling in the more dissatisfied I am with school  and the direction my life is heading. So when I heard I made a major mistake that one night, the only night I felt decent about myself, I fell into a pit. And I’ve been here for a few days now.

The mistake? A computer error. I processed ONE DIME, TEN CENTS, and the fucking computer I was using printed it on three other receipts, receipts that I didn’t process any coin on at all, and my dumbass check marked the ten cents as if it were 0.00.

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You’re supposed to see 0.00 when you don’t process coin. Somehow 0.10 got past my vision. It backed up morning shift three hours. They need to have everything balanced by 7 a.m (an hour after they clock in) and my mistake cost them a lot of hours and caused a lot of headaches. My director was not pleased and so far two of the morning shift people will not speak to me or even look at me.

For the remainder of my first day back after my mistake, the director also avoided eye contact with me. I thought it all a little childish. He speaks with me now but my trainer warned me the more mistakes I make, the more he dislikes you.

Well for fucks sake, excuse my fucking humanity. 

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As I said, my depression was already creeping up on me and it hit me hard after I realized I was suddenly the most hated new employee of the cash room. For a computer error.

I had no problem admitting that I should have caught the mistake. But my trainer stuck up for me: she never told them I was cleared to process things on my own, someone should have been watching me. And it wasn’t technically my fault; I expected to see 0.00 so that was what I saw, even when the numbers read 0.10. I understand I should have caught it. But their computer system shouldn’t be that shitty.

The last few days I’ve been drifting into blissful suicidal fantasies. I’m not someone who is hell bent on having a good job or any of that. I enjoy thinking and being by myself and I hate being pressured into positions I’m not comfortable with, into drama, into all that petty bullshit they should have left behind in elementary school. I miss the days I could write for hours or take my camera for a walk. Now I don’t have the energy for any of it.

I’m just not happy.

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I struggle with finding happiness ever, really. I am positive, I always try to direct myself in that direction for other people’s sake, not mine. It never helps me. But it seems to help others to see someone stronger and more positive than they are. I envy them greatly.

Even if I sat in a customized studio fit to write for days on end, I wouldn’t find happiness. It’s unattainable for me. The only time I feel an ounce of happiness is when I’m with my boyfriend. But even then there are times the dullness creeps in and I find myself fighting hard to not ruin his day.

But inside I’m dull, blank, empty.

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And as a seasoned self-harmer, that usually means it’s time to burn something or cut something. I don’t do it often anymore, but when I do the marks are rather large and severe and I cover them with sleeves or pants or shirts or whatever.

Today, while putting on a backpack to get ready to take some cash to the upper levels, my sleeve got hoisted up by a backpack sleeve (despite my careful efforts to never let any outsiders find out the truth about me) and one of the shift leads saw. I know he saw because I spun around, absolutely mortified, and found him staring directly at me. I gave him the look I rarely give people: tell someone and I fucking murder you.

He looked down instantly. I took my belongings and left as swiftly as possible. I’ve never been caught in such a way. In fact, I started panicking. I blanked out for a few minutes and the only thing I remember is sitting back in the cash office whispering to myself. That’s when happens when I get frustrated: thoughts flood my brain and the only way I feel I can stop them is by telling myself to shut the fuck up out loud. It has to be out loud. Obviously that’s not acceptable in a work environment, so I whisper it or breathe in loud or clench my teeth and twitch my head to the right and roll my eyes.

Don’t ask how, but it all helps.

This particular lead shift is a snitch. My trainer says so. Anything you say he passes on to the director, so you’ve always got to be careful around him. Whether or not he told the other shift leads and director, I don’t know yet. But I’m sure he will. What will happen then? Stigma, stigma, and more stigma. 

I’m intelligent. I learn quickly. But I’ve never been happy or satisfied and if I am, it’s artificial, short lived, and abrupt. Then it’s gone and I’m left to this black abyss.