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Pain and growth

I could go on for a while, but instead I think I’ll keep it stupidly simple. I think all of the growth, lessons learned, things we decide to do better, everything we decide to be…all of it comes from a broken heart. And it never goes away. Sometimes it stops you where you are, and you feel like you could choke on the pain. And you realize all of it… everything on your mind, your anxieties, the ways you want to grow, it all comes back to this. Something we can’t fix, something we can never have. All we can do it move forward. And it’s fucking hard.

Starting over

Today I got my garden ready.  I know, big deal…right?  Well, it kind of is for me.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know the last couple years or so have been really hard.  If you haven’t, long story short I got divorced.  It didn’t actually happen until January of this year, but it’s been a hell of a process leading up to it.  Understandably, I lost interest in a lot of things I used to love, and gardening was one of those things.  Last year I briefly made an attempt to weed my raised beds, but I gave up before too much longer.  I didn’t do anything with the garden at work that my ex and I put together.  I basically stopped caring about everything.

I recently thought that another summer would pass without my garden.  I didn’t even start seeds this year, so anything I do plant will be started late, or I’ll just have to avoid certain plants altogether.  I decided that I needed to garden though, so I spent the last few days (particularly today) weeding my raised beds.  Some had weeds damn near as tall as me.  All but one were so thick with weeds I poked around with garden tools first to make sure no snakes were hiding in them (I’ve had a few blue racers hanging around my back yard lately).  It was a hell of a project, and incredibly tiring, but I finally got it done.  I wish I’d taken “before” pictures just to show how bad it was in comparison to how fucking awesome it is now.

I feel a bit silly getting all philosophical and shit, but I feel like I’ve made so much progress I may as well get a bit philosophical.  It’s awesome to slowly start getting my life back.  Shit’s hard sometimes.  I’m not suddenly “better”.  I’m still grieving the loss of my marriage.  My ex recently moved out, making this all real.  I’m living alone for the first time in my adult life, which comes with its own set of challenges (including working through old baggage).  Things are very hard financially, to the point I may need to ask for help soon.  I’ve been avoiding that like the plague, but pretty soon I’ll have no choice.

But in spite of all that, I feel like I’m coming to life again.  It comes and goes, especially since I already deal with anxiety and depression.  And admittedly, I’m kind of hating my job right now.  There’s a lot of stress, and I hate third shift.  I start full-time somewhere else in just under a month, and it’s second shift.  Much more doable.  I’ll become even more myself pretty soon…I just have to be patient.

So, to the point.  Sometimes, life feels impossible.  There are challenges facing us, and we feel like we’ll never be able to step up the way we need to.  Maybe we fear we won’t even survive it.  That’s where I was.  I never would have expected the betrayal I went through, least of all like I could have survived it.  I never thought I could handle working full-time because of my mental health.  Hell, I hated the simple, every day weeding in a garden.  Especially because it was something I had to beg my ex to help me with (and barely got help at all).  The big things and the smaller things are possible.  I survived.  I still have a home, I have my dogs, and I’m still trying to accomplish my goals.  I went through a ton of shit all at once, while working full-time thirds, of all shifts to be working while going through stuff.  I started growing all the friendships I’d been neglecting.  I started to feel like I actually had a community.  I even found love again, and I wasn’t even looking.  A friend of a few years turned into a partner, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  So much is still hard, but a lot is going right, too.  A big part of me died when everything happened, and as my sweetie would say, I “resurrected”.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we can survive all the things we may not see coming, everything we fear we may not survive.  We can accomplish daunting tasks, even if we do it on our own.  I know so many of us struggle for so many reasons.  All I can say is this: find that tiny little shred of hope that’s buried in you and hold onto it for dear life.  Nurture it.  Hold on even when it feels like all is lost.  As long as you have a tiny bit of hope, as long as you have your life, you have something to hold on to.  Keep moving.

I thought I’d share some pictures from today.  My best girls and my dirty hippie feet while taking a break, my chickens, a giant spider (bigger than a quarter) I found in my raised beds, a toad I found, and the end result of the work.  It still needs touching up, but it’s so much better than it was.


Inspiration

It’s okay to start over. It’s beyond acceptable to recognize you deserve better than what you’ve experienced before and expect no less. It’s healthy to have boundaries. It’s fine to want to live your life the way you want to live it (not advocating selfishness, but rather, healthy attachment). It’s best to surround yourself with others who help you see your potential and pull you out of your comfort zone instead of people that drag you down or help you stagnate. All we have is now. Take your life and do the best you possibly can to shape it into what you’ve always dreamed of, not just what’s “good enough”.

I’m feeling inspired after a first-time appointment today. Reflecting on so many things I’ve come to learn over the last couple years… unfortunately the hard way. But better now than never.

On that note, I’ve been awake too damn long. Bedtime for me soon. Live your lives as fully and authentically as possible, friends. 

a new life

It’s with some hesitation that I write this post.  Much like the hesitation we may feel when starting a new life.  Starting anew can be awesome.  Maybe we chose it with the plan that things will drastically improve.  Maybe we were thrown into it without a choice.  And maybe my last sentence is incredibly disempowering.

Sometimes, some really shitty things happen.  All the things that were done that led to me deciding I needed to get divorced were incredibly shitty.  My world was turned on it’s head, and I still don’t understand.  Now that my ex has moved out (just this past weekend) it’s a huge transition that’s thrown me into a very similar spot emotionally that I was in a year ago.  We haven’t been together for a year, though we’ve remained close friends.  I feel like we’ve split all over again.  It’s odd, though not incredibly surprising I guess.  My therapist validated how normal she thinks this is to feel such things.

So when these shitty things happen that we didn’t choose, we still have a choice.  We can choose whether or not we will step up to the challenge and stretch ourselves more than we ever thought possible, or we can let ourselves crumble.  Sometimes we will automatically fall apart before we can grow.  I almost did.  Hell, in some ways I did.  But I kept moving and I did what I needed to do.

I must admit that it may or may not be a huge fault of mine that I struggle when observing others in their lives.  I’ve survived a hell I never thought possible, and I’ll be honest, the shit continues to fly lately in some ways.  But dammit, I’m not going down without fighting like hell.  It frustrates me to no end to see others struggle when they, quite literally, have just about everything handed to them.  Don’t get me wrong…I know what it’s like to be that person where my biggest fucking obstacle in life is myself and all the shit I need to process.  That is still an issue…but life forced me to make a choice, and I decided it was time to grow up.

It’s not helpful to say to someone, “grow up” or “get your fucking shit together”, but that sure doesn’t get rid of the urge to want to say it.  It’s not my style, I don’t go around saying such things, but I’m sure it comes through in other ways.  I want to inspire people by how I conduct myself in my personal life and also at work, but to be completely honest, I feel so weighed down by the burden of being that inspiration.  It feels like a burden sometimes.  Someone used to be inspired by me, but it faded, and all the things they once found inspiring they grew to resent me for.  And I grew to resent them because they never really wanted to grow.  They just thought they did until the novelty wore off, and so was the journey of living a lie for a huge chunk of my life.  And I didn’t even know it.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with inspiring other people, or being inspired by others.  The key, however, is to find reason within ourselves.  If we can’t find it there, our motivation won’t last.  Quite honestly, I stagnated much of my adult life.  I never really knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I was grateful to only be working part time so I could focus on hobbies, holding the home together, and trying to figure myself out.  My ex was very supportive, so that helped.  Well, life happened.  I had no choice but to start working full time, including a bunch of overtime.  I don’t have the time I used to for self-exploration.  This transition forced me out of my stagnation.  While I unfortunately don’t have the time I used to for certain things, it’s really encouraged a ridiculous amount of personal growth.  I absolutely have an amazing support system that has helped me through, particularly emotionally.  One of these individuals is somebody who has gone through quite a bit in her life, and I’ve always admired her for her strength.  I’ve always looked at her and thought, if she can do it, then so can I.  While my incredibly shitty experiences honestly can’t compare with hers, I still think this of others: if I can do it…hell, if she can do it, so can you.  Buck up and step up.  And if you don’t want to, get out of the way of those of us who do…you’re only holding us back.

I wish I could more genuinely come from a place of gentleness when conveying such things.  Sometimes I do, from what I hear.  Other times I’m just over it.  I’m tired of fighting, but you don’t see me quitting.  I don’t have the luxury of having others pay my bills for me.  Sure, I have a couple people that tell me they can help if need be.  But I know they bust their asses, and I’m not going to ask for help unless I’m genuinely doing everything I can.  I don’t have the conscience to half ass my way through life and take from others who are working harder.  I just can’t.  I have a job and I show up for it.  I can’t afford not to.  Hell, even taking PTO feels like a luxury because I get paid for my status hours (32 a week), not the usual 40 or more I pick up.  I haven’t been to work since last Wednesday night and I go back tonight. This PTO was a luxury, but much needed.  I was truly reaching a breaking point (mentally of course) and I’m still a bit on edge.

I just struggle with what I see.  I push myself to a breaking point and don’t want to ask for help, and I see other barely push themselves at all, and they ask for help or are very willing to take whatever is handed to them.  I don’t get it at all, and it upsets me so much that some people operate this way.  Life is hard, yes.  Really fucking hard.  I should know.  But you will never, ever really be “ready” to make big changes.  Sometimes you just have to fucking do it because circumstances require it, or being a better person, or depending less on others, or even being able to help others.

Sometimes positive things inspire such changes…for my dad, having me inspired him to break certain habits.  Sometimes new relationships inspire it.  Sometimes a friend who’s already been in your life, and they just say or do the right thing.  Or a promotion.  Or a job change.  Or a move.  Sometimes negative things inspire such changes, too.  As is most obvious for me, my divorce inspired me.  Sometimes, you just decide that it’s time to be better, for whatever reason.

So, there’s my slightly asshole-y rant on personal growth.  Please forgive me, I’m just a bit beyond burnt out lately.  I’m hoping to be more inspirational again soon and less bitter about everything.  It’s worth saying that I’m well aware I still have a ton of room to grow.  One of my biggest goals at this point is developing some kind of actual fucking plan for my life besides just trying to get by.  To be fair though, I’ve had a lot of shit happen in the last year and a half to two years.  I’ve handled it all well.  I think it’s okay to let my mind rest and not make any serious decisions quite yet.

So, what inspires you?  What has forced you to grow, whether it was positive or negative?  If you have some big changes you need to make but haven’t done so yet, what are you waiting for?  What will it take for you to move forward?

Edit: I’ve put some thought into what I’ve written. Of course, I felt like my frustration with what I observe around me was valid, so I wrote about it. That said, it’s important for me to remember that I was once like this…At least to a degree. I never liked asking for help or taking advantage of others, but I had a limited understanding of certain things. I wasn’t as strong as I am now because I didn’t need to be. Sure, I wasn’t ready, and never could have been, for the events that forced me to prove my strength. But that’s what it took to slap me awake. Really, it shouldn’t take that. We shouldn’t become complacent, take our good fortune and those around us for granted, etc. But it happens. That’s what it took for me, just as it took anger from me to motivate my ex to get things done a lot of the time. It shouldn’t take that. But I’m also reflecting on that, as well as how I was immediately shown anger at times as a means to motivate me to change. It’s not healthy, but it’s what happened. 

So, I guess I wanted to acknowledge that I see that potentially unhealthy way of handling shit, even in my writing. I know it needs work. And I wanted to ask that you, my readers, feel just as capable of sharing your feedback with me as I feel comfortable sharing my anger with you…whether or not this anger is completely fair.

Thank you again for reading.

on trying to relax

I was originally supposed to work a few hours at my part-time job this afternoon, but I guess I wasn’t needed.  So instead, I have some time to myself I hadn’t originally planned on having.  Before leaving for work this afternoon, my boyfriend told me that he’d really like to see me relax.  He’d like to see me take time to myself and just be.  I know he’s right…I desperately, desperately need to do that.

Something has been very wrong with me lately.  I could attribute this to a few things.  My ex husband is moving out this weekend.  That’s a huge transition for me, emotionally and financially.  I work all the damn time.  My dogs have both had health issues lately.  I’m under a lot of financial stress.  A lot of my coworkers are going through things, which of course affects them at work, and affects their coworkers.  Some of the people I’m closest to are struggling, which of course affects me.  Some of my closest relationships are strained, in part because of our struggles and also how those play off each other.  There’s a lot going on.

That said, another thing brought up when dude and I talked today was my anxiety.  I told him that I feel it’s completely understandable to be anxious with everything going on, but the extent of that anxiety is extreme.  He seemed to agree with that notion.  I discussed the possibility of trying psychiatric meds again.  I’m scared to for so many reasons.  And I’ve always felt like meds should be a last resort.  For me personally (I really have to stress that I mean this only toward myself and not others), I’ve feared that meds would be taking the “easy” way out, that what I really need to do is focus on behaviorial shit.  Well, it’s definitely true that I have some things to work on.  But, logically speaking, wouldn’t that be just a little easier if my moods weren’t so extreme?  Damn, it’s the first time I’ve ever said that about myself.  Some people would probably celebrate if they saw this.  Some would probably even include the sarcastic, “I’ve been trying to tell you this!”  Thanks, but I needed to get to a point where I realized this for myself.  And there it is.  So yeah.

I should probably reign myself in before I become too unfocused.  See, I was thinking about all of this on my way home from my brief trip to work.  Thinking about what I wanted to write, and my mind raced with ideas.  So many ideas that it became overwhelming and I felt myself starting to panic.  I thought about how this panic has exacerbated already difficult situations over the last few days.  I thought about how my panic made someone else’s anxiety worse.  I thought about my reaction to how they responded later that day by not being there when I needed them.  I definitely don’t condone their avoidance when I needed them, but the way I’ve reacted to that ever since hasn’t helped.  There is nothing wrong about needing closure, comfort, reassurance that I won’t be treated that way again.  But there is a right and wrong way to resolve it.  There’s also a right and a wrong time.  I’m learning.  My anxiety, or whatever this is, makes me need answers, closure, reassurance, comfort, and everything else, right now.  If I don’t get it, or I get a negative reaction when I ask for it, it throws me into a worse panic.  This isn’t conducive to solving problems, especially when you’re trying to resolve things with someone who deals with very similar issues.  I need to figure this out, and I feel like I need to figure that out right now, too.  It’s incredibly stressful to feel like I need a plan.

So, I’ll use that to transition to what I intended to write about in the first place: how do I relax?  I considered going outside and working in the “garden” (or at least, what will be the garden).  It’s gorgeous outside, it needs to get done, and I find working outside to be relaxing.  At the same time, it’s something I *need* to get done, so is it really relaxing?  Can anything truly be relaxing if there’s a sense of obligation behind it?  I guess not completely.  But it can help me relax more to know I have a little bit less work to do.  Which brought me to something else.  Whenever I have “down time”, I almost never chill the fuck out as planned.  I end up doing something I need to do.  My reasoning?  Well, it needs to get done so that I can relax easier later.  But later never comes because I’m always finding something else to do, so I’m never relaxing.  I have a very, very hard time letting myself relax because there’s always something to do, nobody else is going to do it, and I feel it will help my anxiety be less severe if I’m not letting “to do’s” pile up.  I guess I need to be honest, though: those list of “to do’s” will never go away, no matter how busy I keep myself.  There will always be something else.  And even if nothing else is readily apparent, by god I’ll find something else.  It’s how I operate.  So maybe, just maybe, I need to allow myself to relax more.

I should honestly probably try to sleep a bit pretty soon before I go to work tonight.  I start to come unraveled without enough sleep.  I think I’m going to call my psychiatrist’s office.  And maybe even play guitar.  I haven’t played guitar in too long…another sure sign I’m not okay.  It honestly feels a bit like work right now because I’m trying to learn a new part, and it’s a little complicated.  And my mood happened to take a shit at the same time, to the point that I almost cancelled the lesson where he wrote down the new part.  I was so depressed I was barely functional.  That was about a month ago.

I’ll be honest, my anxiety scares me when it gets to this point.  My mind races, and it can either be very good or very bad.  I can come up with a ton of awesome ideas and get really motivated and accomplish some really cool shit, or it’s completely destructive.  It can cause tension in relationships, I can get stuck in “worst case scenario” thinking and basically create the very situations I’m afraid of.  It makes me afraid, including afraid for the future.  It makes me clingy, to the point that I grasp for something or someone to hold onto.  I have an intense need for order, answers, solutions, etc.  To the point that I probably come off as controlling, or overbearing at the very least.  I absolutely hate it, and I don’t know how to stop.  When it’s bad enough, it turns into a severe depression.  And I’ve definitely been experiencing that lately.

I feel ridiculous saying that I plan to relax, that I have to even plan out relaxation time.  I know some of this is the culture.  Always have to be moving, always have to have a plan.  But part of it is how I am.  I want to get better.  I need to get better.  I have a lot of work to do in therapy.  I have some work I should do on my own (DBT, WRAP).  But maybe, for right now, I should just allow myself to unwind and try not to think about everything I need to do.

I hope that maybe this was insightful to some of you.  Please feel free to share your own experiences.

The hardest part about being high-functioning in spite of my anxiety and depression is that people have high expectations. That, and they don’t realize when you’re beginning to break down. Admittedly, it’s probably been obvious lately. I’ve been more quiet at work, and my coworkers have noticed. I’ve also been way, way more sensitive lately.

I have a lot going on in my personal life. This next week especially will be pretty hard, and I didn’t start out the week (or my last day of work for a couple days) right. It’s just been a really shitty day to be honest. It’s been a shitty time lately in general, and I’ve been grasping for light wherever I can find it.

It’s hard. I go to work and I feel like I’m expected to perform as usual, including carry the weight of others, because it’s just what I’ve always done. Well, I’m not strong enough anymore. I’m just not. I contacted Crisis Text Line a couple weeks ago while at work. The last few days, I wake up exhausted from my depression and think about how badly I just want to go back to sleep and just not wake up. I’m tired of the constant struggle. I’m tired of all the nowhere my life is going. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of existing. It’s really hard to see a light these days.

So, I’m expected to bust my ass and carry the weight of certain people at work. In my personal life, I feel like a lot of people think I’m better than I really am. I’m expected to be a rock when I’m drowning. I can’t hold myself up anymore, least of all anyone else. That doesn’t stop me from trying, but I feel like I fail. I feel like I let everyone down. And I don’t know if it’s really because I’m failing that much or because people expect too much from me, because my all is all I give no matter how bad I’m doing.

I feel like I’m not allowed to break. I’m not allowed to fall so hard that I need someone else to help me stand. I’m not allowed to lean on people as heavily as they lean on me. I don’t deserve time, patience, understanding, or just a fucking break to not be as strong as I usually am. I’m not okay, and I don’t know how to communicate it because I don’t feel like people hear the way I am communicating it. I’m just not strong right now. I’m not okay. I need to breathe. Emotionally I don’t feel like I can anymore, and even physically I’m trying to catch my breath. I feel dead. I’m not okay. I need the space to not be okay, I need to take care of myself, I need help. 

Dude said the other day I seem to use this blog more as a diary. His is more focused on recovery. Mine, not so much. Only sometimes. I wish I could be more recovery-focused, but I’m just not right now. I often hope I can share​ my struggles and help others feel less alone. And right now, to be honest, I want to feel less alone. I feel so, so incredibly alone. High-functioning doesn’t mean invincible. It doesn’t mean unbreakable. Because I feel like I’m breaking.

When I write posts like this, I tend to write on a whim.  A little forethought goes into it, but usually I just tend to get a flood of emotions or ideas that I just need to put down somewhere so I can move forward.  This is one of those moments.

I have a lot I need to do.  Who doesn’t?  It’s a neverending fact of life.  My divorce was final in January, and I have yet to take care of the quit claim deed.  I tried…the day I got divorced.  I got a lot of things done that day, but not without coming home and having a good cry first.  I was quite ambitious to be honest, given what a shitty day it was.  The quit claim deed was the one big thing I didn’t take care of, mainly because all the people I went to for guidance didn’t know how the hell to help me.  So, onward.  I have to find someone.  I have to get my taxes done.  I need to go to the Boost store and figure out how the hell to get some kind of working voicemail on my phone.  I’m likely not going to keep the two vehicles I said I’d keep, I’ll just keep the truck and give my ex my car.  His is in shambles.  Mainly through his own poor driving choices, but still.  What do I need two vehicles for?  Plus the SOS just revoked the plate on the truck because by the time they got their asses around to checking to see if it was insured, I’d already put the insurance back on my car.  Instead of dealing with the back and forth mess, I may as well only  have one vehicle to worry about.  And hope to hell nothing happens to the truck for a long, long time.  I’m broke.

“Broke” just about sums up how I feel in a lot of ways right now.  Financially, emotionally, completely fucking broke.  I did well for about half of January, most of February, and half of March.  Here I go again.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about resilience.  As depression does to us, I find myself thinking the usual philosophical shit.  What is this life of mine?  Where is it going?  What happened to the activist I used to be, and should I join other activists again?  Will I ever be happy?  Will anything ever make sense?  Will I be okay?

I think about all of the shit I went through starting in October 2015.  I was always emotionally fragile, even before that.  Even though I’d been through some things that really did mess me up emotionally, I’d lived a relatively “simple” life.  I looked at other people and all the shit they had to deal with on a daily basis and felt like a shit for breaking so easily over so little.

Well, I learned a lot about myself starting that October when my marriage started falling apart.  I learned even more when I got another blow in December, and more yet the following March (just over a year ago) when I decided to get divorced after getting more shit dropped on me.  Never had I felt so close to going to the hospital and asking to be placed somewhere. Every day I wanted to die, and every day I was pretty sure that I would.  I thought about how I would do it, and I wasn’t sure whether or not I “had the guts” to do it.  But the fact that the thoughts were so persistent scared the hell out of me.  Somehow, I made it.  I didn’t want to go to a psych hospital for an unspecified amount of time and miss work, but most importantly (for me), I didn’t want to depend on someone else to take care of my dogs for however long until I got out.  My ex assured me he would, my mom said she would, but the dogs also helped pull me through.  Claudia is so completely dependent on me because of her health issues.  And she’s my shadow.  Willow comforts me every time I’m not well.  I didn’t know how I’d do without them around.  Working in a crisis home and knowing how the system works also made me not want to go.  I wouldn’t be too compliant with meds.  I’m a wuss when it comes to side effects, and it seems like I always experience the harshest ones right off the bat.  I don’t want to deal with a smartass psychiatrist telling me I need to stay on something that makes me feel like sleeping 12+ hours a day, or something that makes me nauseous, or something that makes me feel nothing at all.  When I’m well, and even when I’m not, I’m always moving.  I can’t have something slow me down like that.  How’s that an antidepressant when it depresses you more?  No thanks.

So, somehow I got through it.  Lots of crying, lots of writing, screaming into a pillow, crying some more, talking, and just forcing myself to keep moving.  There was a lot of forcing myself to keep moving.  I really, truly don’t know how I did it.  I talked to my mom a lot, but I was wearing her down.  It would, quite honestly, wear anyone down.  She honestly wasn’t always kind, though, in how she told me I was wearing her down.  It got to a point where, months later (this past December to be specific) I realized I had to put more space between her and I for self-preservation.  Even when I was doing well, if I had one bad day after holding myself together for a long time, I got shamed for it.  Epically shamed and made to feel like something was wrong with me.  I can’t handle that anymore.  So it was a rough year.  My two closest relationships changed, for the worst.  All of this, as well as other shifts made to accommodate the bigger changes, forced me to grow.

With all of the pain also came a lot of comfort.  I learned who my friends were.  Quite honestly, they were there all along.  I was just so wrapped up in my marriage that I didn’t have much of a life outside of it.  I realized just how bad this had gotten and worked to change it.  I became closer with a lot of my friends.  Nikki was (and continues to be) my closest friend.  Even though we don’t really hang out outside of work, she has a presence in my daily life.  We talk pretty much every day, we support each other through shit, and she really helps me feel like I’m not alone.  I’ve always admired her strength, and I continue to.  She’s always been someone who’s inspired me to push through hard times.  I’ve watched her through her struggles and thought, if she can do it, so can I.  I’ve had so many other friends step up and be here for me.  Friends who’d make time to check in with me and see if I’m okay, friends who’ll try to help me safety plan.  Friends who cheer me on and help me to remember that brighter days are ahead.  Friends who went out of their way to be around me when I wasn’t well.  One of them is now my partner.

He and I are both learning so much about ourselves, and each other, and strive to build a healthy relationship.  It’s challenging at times because we both struggle personally and we both want to support each other, even when we’re struggling.  We’re both learning a lot.  I feel awful for what a mess I’ve been lately, and for how it’s affecting him.  He’s very supportive (without being enabling) and incredibly loving.  We’re figuring some things out, and while we stumble at times, I think we’re doing pretty damn good overall.  He’s everything I’ve wanted, though he can be intimidating at times.  Not in a bad way, and not because he’s forceful in any way.  He just challenges me to be the best version of myself…partially because he actively challenges me, and partially just because of who he is.  I want to be better anyway, but being with someone like him really makes me want to be the best I can possibly be.  He deserves it.

So, I’ve had a lot of bad things happen, but also a lot of good.  Both of them can be challenging because both bad and good situations can force us to grow.  Needless to say, I’ve been pushed outside of my comfort zone in countless ways.  I’ve learned I’m stronger than I would have ever thought possible.  I’ve learned what it means to be resilient.  Sadly, I’ve been struggling to find that resilience lately.  For whatever reason I’ve been sinking into another depression, and my anxiety has been downright awful.  I’ve found myself feeling, once again, like everything is futile.  I’ve been panicking about random things that aren’t cause for panic.  I’ve been clingy and untrusting.  I’ve been angry and bitter.  I’ve been a lot of things.  I don’t know what’s going on, but it makes me so mad at myself because of how it’s affecting literally everything.  I don’t feel like myself at work, and I struggle working with people that don’t have the same work ethic as me because I’m already overwhelmed with the simplest of tasks.  My mental health is definitely taking a toll on my boyfriend, and I feel like I don’t deserve him (which he says is “nonsense”).  I feel this overwhelming desperation, helplessness, hopelessness…so many bad things.  My friends continue to be amazing and supportive.  My partner’s love and unending support is incredibly healing.  But obviously, something inside of me needs to be fixed, and only I can figure out what and how.  I’m trying.

Part of what bothers me so much lately is something that’s completely out of my control.  You know how I’m talking about resilience, and how I learned I’m stronger than I ever thought possible?  You know how I talked about previously feeling like a shit because life was decent and I still struggled?  Well, I’m dealing with some people lately who are also struggling.  Many of them have shit going on.  Technically, they all have shit going on. But for a couple, I just can’t understand how it’s all so debilitating for them.  Their current state may be the result of bad choices they made, and now they’re dealing with it.  I try to empathize, but I struggle.  Honestly, I’ve been that person who’s made bad choices and then had it really affect my mental health because I felt like an asshole.  I guess it’s hard to relate, though, because they have breathing room.  A lot of it.  Sometimes more than enough.  I don’t.  I work, all the damn time to be quite honest.  Contrary to what some particularly gutsy people have said, I don’t just “get used to” working all the time like I do.  Nobody gets used to not having the space to just fucking exist, especially when you’re dealing with mental health issues on top of it.  I’ve been working around 50 hours a week for the past month, third shift no less.  I’m trying to cut myself down to 40-45 hours a week lately, even though there will be financial consequences for that.  I truly believe, however, that there will be mental health consequences more serious than my current state if I don’t let myself breathe really soon.  I’m not well, at all.  Everything is about balance.  This is a lesson I’ve been working on learning for over a year, and Damhan and I both consider it a priority now.  I’m glad we can understand each other like this.

I’m trying to learn to check myself.  I’m trying to be patient with those who haven’t learned to develop the resilience I’ve been forced to develop.  I try to remember that I was once them.  I do really wish, though, that people realized you don’t develop resilience when you’re damn good and ready.  You have to do it when life is happening.  You have to step up and stand with those around you, help them out, and make yourself do things that are challenging.  It’s the only way to grow.  There’s such a thing as being easy on yourself when fragile so you don’t break, but there’s also something to be said for bending and stretching yourself so that useful growth can occur.  It won’t be comfortable, but it will be worth it.  I can’t teach this to anyone…it’s something they have to learn for themselves, just like I did.  All I can really do is check myself, live my life, and support others however they need to be supported and try to be a decent example of a good person.  I fall short, a lot.  But I try.

I’m trying to be patient with myself.  I’m trying not to hate myself when I inevitably fuck up.  I try to check myself and realize when I’m repeating old, toxic patterns.  I try to admit when I’m wrong and correct myself.  I’m trying not to be a burden to those around me, even though I feel like one anyway.  I so want someone to just walk with me, in my physical presence, in my daily life and help me through.  Just be present.  Sounds legit I guess, but also possibly codependent.  So I try not to be too clingy.  I tried reaching out to a few people when I was falling apart at work the other night (thankfully everyone was sleeping or I would have had to pull myself together somehow).  Nobody responded, so I texted the crisis text line.  Even that took a while for a response, partially because Boost is shit and doesn’t appear to support it.  So I sent them a facebook message and got help that way.  I felt pathetic, literally wanting to say, “help” because I didn’t know what else to say.  It was the only word that came to mind that summed up exactly how desperate I felt in that moment, but I didn’t want to seem dramatic.  So I dumped my recent worries on this dude instead and told him how hopeless I felt.  The conversation started out a little weird (he inserted his own judgment, which was not only unnecessary but a strange one) and I questioned him on it, and it quickly improved after that.  The conversation helped me get through that crisis, and then I was just numb.  Better than completely panicking and feeling like I was going to crumble.

I guess all I can say is this: we’re resilient.  More than we think.  We need to fight…and fight like hell.  Reach out, learn, grow, and push ourselves.

I know I’ve talked about a lot in this post, and it’s a little rambly (which I guess is my style these days).  Please feel free, as always, to share your experiences and lessons learned.