How do I survive my own mind?

I am a survivor.  I have thought those words so many times during my life time. I have survived things that many have never had to endure.  And I say that knowing that there are people out there who have endured worst than me.

And my heart goes out to anyone who are struggling with any sort of struggle.

I have gotten back up, dusted myself off, screamed inside my head to “shut up and survive”.

I have not always been the kindest person to myself.

That was probably an understatement.

Actually no, that IS an understatement.

I am one of my biggest and harshest critics.  For everything.

For my writing.  For my coping skills.  For everything that is going on inside my “pretty little head”.  I criticize everything.  Every aspect of my being has been at one point or another picked apart and critiqued by me.

And it has been harsh….to say the least.

Somehow I have not only survived the things that life has thrown at me, but I have had to try to survive the way my mind picked the situation apart, bit by bit, layer by layer.

Surviving my own mind…..How does one even do that?

Feelings from deep inside

In the beginning, when I needed you the most, you were there for me. You held my hand, you held my heart, you held me. You told me that you would always be there for me. I told you everything, my deepest darkest secrets. You knew. You knew what you were getting into when you took me into your arms and into your life.

And you promised.

You promised you would always be there for me.

You promised that you would always hold me.

You promised that you would always listen to me.

You promised that you would always talk to me.

You promised….

But I was very afraid. I was afraid of how incredibly fucked up I was.

I was afraid I would hurt you and in the future I just proved how worthless I was in that department. I did hurt you, and I took responsibility for that and I beat myself up every day over how incredibly fucked up and stupid I was.

I was afraid because I could keep my own secrets, but having someone else know them meant that it was possible for someone else to tell them.

For the longest time I was afraid that you would tell my secrets. And you did to some extent. But of course I forgave you, because you were my everything.

It meant that this giant wall that I had put up all around me could crumble even more at any possible moment.

It meant that someone cared, and they cared deeply about me.

I could not understand that, I had never had it before. No one was ever there for me like you were. No one cared to get deep enough into my mind to try to figure out what was going on in there. Except doctors and therapists. And that was their jobs.

But you, you meant it when you said you wanted to be there, you meant it when you asked how I felt, you really, truly wanted to know what was going on inside me and you did everything in your power to help.

It was hard what I put you through. I know that. I did not mean to put you through anything like that. But it was hard what I went through too.

I did not ask to be dealt this hand in life. I did not ask to have mental illness passed on to me through some fucked up genes in my family.

I did not ask to always have to struggle and fight with the things that go on inside my mind.

I did not ask to be sexually abused, molested, raped.

I did not want these things, I DO NOT want these things.

And I damn well do not want the memories, the flash backs, the nightmares that are associated with them.

But unfortunately after years and years they are still there fresh in my mind. And I wish they would just fuck off and I could forget it. Truly.

I cannot even go to certain places without being triggered, I cannot see certain things without being triggered. Stupid things that should not bother me end up being something that causes my body to shake and my heart to beat faster and faster. I wish this would just go the fuck away.

In more recent years I have been afraid in a different way. I have been afraid that we are living some lie. That the closeness that we once had is gone.

And I realize that you are sick too and I try to not cause you any extra stress and I hold things in instead of talking to you about them.

And this is causing me stress.

It is like blowing up a balloon, there is only so much air that can fit before the balloon explodes.

I no longer tell you my dreams, my inspirations, my fears.

I hold things in, pushing them deeper and deeper down some deep dark endless pit.

Then I explode. I hurt. I cry. I swear. I pretend not to care.

But truth is, I care too deeply, because if I did not, it would not hurt.

And it hurts.

A lot.

I don’t mean to be a burden. And that hurts too. Because I am afraid that if I tell you anything or bring up anything that I am going through that this will be the cause of another seizure. That I will be the one to make it happen.

So I hold it in. I struggle. I hate myself. And there are days that I barely live.

Then I know that there is so much more of the time that I am so in love with you that I just want to hold you and do anything for you.

When I say “I love you” it is not out of familiarity, it is because each and every time I say it, I truly mean the words. “I love you” does not come out of my mouth unless I mean it, and then it comes from my heart, somewhere deep within in, with a deep honest feeling.

And I do love you, but I am struggling right now, in ways that I cannot even begin to explain. In ways that you have told me you cannot handle.

And I am sorry if I need validation. That is me, it has always been me, ever since we have been together, and nothing has changed there, nothing.

…….

So I spent the majority of yesterday and the majority of today sleeping.  I slept 11 hours Tuesday night, then another two Wednesday afternoon then another 3 (slept off an on) Wednesday evening.  By 11:30 Wednesday night I was in bed, and I would say by 12:30 asleep.  I Never woke up until about 11 this morning.  By 1:15 I was back in bed and slept till after 5.

I woke up in a extremely bad mood.

I have cried off an on several times since yesterday.  My emotions are all over the place today. I have been dreaming really bad dreams.

I feel like I have checked out of reality for 2 days and everything around me is a mess.  And everything inside me is in a huge shamble.  Crumbling.  I am hurting, I am crying inside and outside, I am frustrated and I just want to crawl under a rock and cease to be.

I do not know why.

I got upset with my husband over dumb things, I know they are dumb things but I cannot stop myself.

I told him that when I am upset and stuff and something is wrong it would be nice to just ask how I am and want a genuine answer.  I also told him that I wish at some point in his life that he has to deal with mental illness within himself because its no a picnic, its harsh.

Truth be told I do not wish mental illness on anyone, I just wish that he would understand sometimes.

I feel in the recent years, that we have drifted….or maybe its just my jaded mind today.

Small update

Small update.

Slept 11 hours.  Got up for and hour and a half.  Went back to sleep for 2 hours. Got up for 4 hours or so.  Had a hot bath and then dozed in and out of it for 3 hours.  This is now 3 1/2 hours later and I am still tired.  I just took my nighttime meds, see how it goes.

Apparently when the hubby came to bed around 2 am I spoke 25 or so words to him which he could not understand because they came out like gibberish.  I however have no recollection of any of that.  Do not even remember him coming to bed.

I honestly did not expect the med to make me sleep, I did not feel the need to sleep.  But I guess my body was ready to sleep.

Today I have felt a slew of emotions.  From tiredness as I have already mentioned, to groggy, foggy, tingly, and very frustrated.  I have even cried.

I am not sure what to feel right now…

I am calm, yet I am frantic.

I am calm, yet I am frantic. Some of the manic madness from yesterday has subsided in some ways but heightened in others. My brain is a mess. My thoughts are chaos. But my speech has slowed down some, or when I catch myself speeding up I try to suppress it.

This, most often does not work. But still I try. This is a weird time. I normally do not have this much self-insight into what is going on with me when I begin to get manic. Lately I have been more in tune to my mental illness.

It has been over 3 years since my diagnosis. Maybe things have just fallen into a place where I can see it for some weird reason or another. Most times I am pretty far into a hypomanic or manic episode before I know. Looking back I can see it, because retrospect as you all know, can be a very powerful thing. Looking back I can almost always pinpoint the first signs, however subtle they are.

But last time and this time I have been more noticing of what is happening to my mind. I have noticed the speeding up sooner than I have in the past. I guess a large part of that is the no sleep thing that is going on with me right now.

I have no choice but to notice things because what else am I going to be doing all hours of the night? Except pick apart what is going on inside me and write, and then write some more. Or cleaning at 3:00AM can be a nice big flashing red light. Like some indicator beacon going off inside my head warning me of where this is headed.

Writing seems to be the only thing that is really keeping me grounded lately. From one extreme to the next. I cycled a lot faster this time than I have in a really long time. My mania back in March came and did not stay as long as some other times, but then I guess I was sick, and my doctor and I managed to manage it faster than the last time.

Then depression crept crashed in, instead of balance.

No nice little neat balanced mood before cycling back into mania or depression. Or at least not much balance before the switch.

This past month or so, probably closer to 8 weeks have brought more anxiety than I have had since 2013. I have no idea where it came from initially. But I guess I know with the family things we have going on, I can understand why it has stayed. It is every day now, no days break. I hate the feeling.

I feel like I want to check out of my body and brain for a day. Just crawl right out of my skin and not have to deal with what I am feeling. No tingly feeling just under the surface, getting stronger. No insomnia. No intrusive thoughts. No manic brain, where everything seems to be occupying the same space at the same time, all vying for my complete attention.

The only thing benefiting from my hypomania/mania right now, is my writing. And I am not even sure if that is benefiting or if it is just me believing that my manic writing is better than my every day writing. If it is because I tend to churn out more writing when I feel this way.

It’s almost like when manic and talking too much, I find myself posting to Facebook more often than I normally would, and I seem to not be able to help posting to my blog once I get something written.

Then I get nervous that I am irritating my readers because of my frequent posts. I then try to remind myself that my readers read my blog for a reason, because they can relate or they enjoy my writing or some other reason within themselves, which means I most likely am not irritating them as much as my mind tells me I am. So I try not to worry about that. But worrying is something I am good at, and I apologize if I am indeed irritating anyone.

The mania is keeping me completely drawn in to the writing. It is making feel like I really do have some sort of talent which in turn is making me want to publish so bad that it almost hurts.

And so begins the manic chore of researching publishers, types of publishers. Would I self-publish or otherwise? Do I even have enough manageable, coherent articles to even begin to think about this idea in a more possible way….or am I delusional in thinking I could even possibly bring my writings together in book form?

Is this some manic brain idea forcing me to start a project that I know I will not finish? Getting excited over the prospects only to have them dashed and squashed once I begin to get balanced again?

Sometimes I hate this part of this disorder. Because I get such good ideas, or maybe good is not the word I am looking for. They are intrusive ideas that I act on, only to completely abandon them once the balance comes back into play.

But mania is where all my good ideas are concocted.

I have a mental illness and it sucks

I read this today and I found myself shaking my head “yes” through so many of the points that the author made.

I too am mad that I have been dealt the hand of mental illness. I am mad that I have to take medications, I am mad that every single decision I EVER make revolves around my mental illness.

Sure we say it will not define us, and for the most part it doesn’t, but still my decisions are made with the reflections of mental illness, or with the thought of how it will affect me.

I rarely want to leave my house. Once I get out of my house I usually feel fine, but the thought of leaving haunts me. I no longer want to participate in activities that involve people, or plastering on a fake smile to get through the ordeal.
I am always terrified that one day my husband is going to have enough and not want to deal with me or my mental illness anymore. Its been 15 years, and I am sure it has taken a tole on him. I am beyond scared about that.
When rage fills me I end up saying things I almost instantly regret. I cool down, I cry, and then I want to cuddle, but who the heck wants to cuddle with the raging demon that was just inside me.

I love her ending of this passage, so please take a moment to read.

Mad girl's lament

I’m fucking mad.

I’m mad that I have to take pills everyday. I’m mad that they don’t work fast enough. I’m mad that they have side effects. I’m mad that they stop working. I’m mad that I currently can’t run because of my meds. I’m really fucking pissed that I feel like a burden to my husband, despite his reassurances that I’m not. I’m mad that he’s afraid to leave me alone. I’m even angrier that I’m afraid to be alone. I’m mad that it seems that my husband and I have a weekly conversation about whether or not we should go to the hospital. I’m mad at how mad I am. I’m mad that I can’t handle stress. I’m mad that I can’t stay up late. I’m mad that I spend what seems like half my life in doctors’ offices. And I’m mad that I’ve had so many blood tests in the past…

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Wholly or not at all.

A long time ago…well truthfully a not so very long time ago….even a short while ago,  I would have cared, and I would have cared deeply.  I would have frantically tried to fix whatever the problem was and smooth it over.  Because I was a fixer.  That is what I did. I was always afraid of confrontation.  I did everything in my power to make sure everyone around me were taken care of and that no one was hurting because of something I did or something I said.

I always took a step back from myself to fix someone else’s problem. After all I never cared about myself as deeply as I cared about other people.  It was mostly because I knew I was not worth the trouble.  Why take time to try to fix the unfixable?

I used to want to be liked.  I used to want to be accepted.  But oftentimes I felt out of place.  I always cared too deeply about what other people thought about me.

I was afraid to say no.  I was also afraid to ask for help when I needed it the most.

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes held on to grudges, and I sometimes cried over them.  But I always tried to smooth them over as best as possible.

Nowadays I have learned to try to help myself a little more.  When I am ‘sick’ I choose not to put myself in situations that make me feel more agitated or make the hypomania/mania symptoms more visible.  I try to hide them and confine myself to my house when I am able to.  But when I try to hide the symptoms it causes the irritation and agitation to become worst and I tend to get more and more frustrated with my surroundings and even more so with myself.

It feels like I need to crawl out of my body to get some relief.

I have learned that I am who I am and I am beginning to not care what people think about me anymore.  I have let go of the feelings of wanting to belong, of needing to be liked and accepted.

I am who I am, accept me wholly or not at all.

I no longer give a shit!!

So I sit, and I write.

I wish I knew how to properly explain what I am feeling right now.  I keep wanting to write.  But the words won’t form the way I want them to.  The writing does not measure up to the standard that I have set in my head for posting on here.  But yet the urges to write are so strong that I keep finding myself drawn back to the keyboard to write here, or drawn to my journal to scratch illegible sentences into the pages in blue ink.  I know I will take out that same journal and read over it at a later date and think about how the writing does not look like my own, and try to pick out some of the words that were written in a scramble.

This happens more often than not.  My writing changes from mood to mood, the style and even the font.  It was first noticed about 15 years ago by a therapist.  She asked if I had ever noticed that my writing changed from mood to mood, day to day. I hadn’t noticed up until that point, but as I started to read through my journals it was very obvious. Mania or depression played a part in the way the words were written, in my choices of descriptive wording, and how my paragraphs were styled.

Sometimes when I was angry the wording and paragraph structure was angry too.  It was visible.  You could look at it and know that I was angry when I wrote it without even reading the words.

My journals were personal.  For me.  Well really for my psychiatrist and therapist.  They deserve the credit for me and my writing.  Without them I would never have known that writing was my creative outlet.  I am very grateful for the gift that I found because of necessity to express my feelings to them because I found it hard to talk.  Writing and then reading it to them was easier because I could disassociate from the fact that I was reading my own story.

So many things that I needed to express to my psychiatrist, but my mouth would not speak the words.  My writing became my voice.  It described scenarios that I was unable to articulate otherwise.

This became a way of expression for me.  I get drawn to paper to write, or more recently I get drawn to the computer to write out what I am feeling inside.  Which is why I keep getting drawn back to this editor, I need to express myself and the urge to write is so strong it is like craving something.

So I sit, and I write.