Depression/Mental Health, Life in general, When Life Happens, When Life Isn't Too Great

I am “normal”…I swear…

Mental illness SUCKS. I’ve had anxiety/depression for a while, and have been medicated on and off since 2009 (steadily since 2012 or so). I’ve had tons of ups and downs, lost a well-paying job, and (in my opinion, anyway; it could be all in my head so to speak) let several wonderful friendships lapse along the way. My behaviour over the years, in hindsight, has definitely caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people; family, friends and colleagues alike. I could drive myself INSANE wishing I could go back in time and change things, there are so many incidents I can think of! I have days where all I want to do is sleep and feel like crying all day; then the next day I feel fine and that I could conquer the world. One day feel like I hate people and don’t want to talk to *anybody*, and the next day I’ll be back to normal (whatever that is!). Some days it feels like I work as hard as I can at what I’m doing, and that that particular day’s “best” is a “normal” person’s “just ok”.

I’m writing this because today is a good day and I feel inspired. There’s no reason in particular; with me, there is sometimes no rhyme or reason to good/bad days. I think the fact that I have read so many things about mental illness in the past few days- Kate Spade’s untimely death, a post on my Facebook feed, an ad on the back of a bus for mental health help- has bolstered my confidence and made me realize that no, I am *not* alone in this. I’m not stupid, useless, or a burden. I can be lazy by nature and can often use a swift kick in the butt, but so could millions upon millions of people without a mental illness. If I try my best at what I do and treat others (AND myself) with kindness and respect (even if I REALLY think they don’t deserve it!), then I think I can do OK in this crazy world of ours. Remember, if you think you’re alone…you’re not. There are others out there just like you. 💚

 

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Depression/Mental Health, When Life Happens, When Life Isn't Too Great

More on my thoughts on depression

First off, I want to admit something; I’m not a fan of the phrase “Unless you ***, then you can’t possibly ***”. I mean, a male OB/GYN has a heck of a greater understanding of my inner parts than I do, even if he doesn’t, and never will, have them himself!

However, with depression, I’m a great believer in the fact that you don’t really have a true idea what’s it’s like dealing with it on a day-to-day basis unless you’ve been there, or are there, yourself. I’m not saying that you can’t HELP someone with depression if you don’t suffer with it; I’ve had help from several professionals in dealing with my illness. While I’m not sure (and frankly, it doesn’t matter) whether or not they themselves have suffered from a mental illness, they’ve all helped me immensely in one way or another.

I have a person in my life who thinks they (side note: as a grammar geek, I know that using ‘they’ is incorrect. However, I’m using my artistic license here in order to conserve anonymity) are supporting and helping me deal with this illness. They tell me that they did the best they could, to forget things that happened in the past…what they don’t realize is that part of my getting better is trying to get over what happened in the past, so that I don’t let it affect what happens in the present and what will happen in the future. They criticize what I wear, what I eat how I look…all in the name of “trying to help”. I’m sorry, but I’ve made it clear to this person that bullying (or what I perceive as bullying) is NOT something that helps me. However, this person continues to do this.

Something I’ve been working on is realizing that you cannot control what and how other people feel about you, and you cannot change those who are not willing and who do not want to change. I’ll give this person credit; they are willing to help me, but the problem is that they are always going to be how they are, just as I am always going to be how I am. I may get thinner, or fatter, or smarter, or more successful but my personality is a static thing. This person’s personality just does NOT go with mine, and this is very, very difficult for me to deal with. However, they’re going to be in my life for awhile, and I’m just going to have to deal with the facts and move forward, which I am working on  🙂

This post was inspired because I’m not having a good day today. I know some reasons why, and they’re both in and out of my control. That’s why I hate, HATE this illness so much; I can be fine one day, and not want to get out of bed on others. However, today I got myself out of bed and out of the house despite how I was feeling, but I’m still a bit off. One step at a time…

When Life Happens

Taking a break for a bit…

If anyone comes here from Twitter- fear not, I will be back!!! I just need to get a few things straightened out in my life, and once I’m back on track, I’ll resume posting bigger (well, hopefully smaller, actually!) and better than ever. Life is just too distracting for the moment, and I’d hate for the few human readers I have left to leave because I post yet another ranting/depressing/”no one loves me” post.

Thanks again for reading; writing is one of my few pleasures in life, and I would never, ever give it up for good. I like writing way too much to do that! 🙂 Hopefully, with my next blog post, I’ll have good news to share with everyone. So…goodbye for now.

When Life Happens, When Life Isn't Too Great

Online friendships

For the past year and a half (tomorrow, actually, will be 18 months), I have been in a relationship. For 18 of those months, things were never “right”. I knew it and he knew it, and he basically told me as much. I heard what I wanted to hear, not what he actually said, and I think I gave him a “free pass” of sorts in the relationship department. I know that I’m not innocent in the whole thing; some of the problems are definitely my fault. However, looking back, there are definitely things I would have done differently.

I am very, very grateful to a group of people on a certain message board (you know who you are!) who are helping me with this issue. It’s a process, and when you don’t have friends IRL to bounce things off of (yes, I have a therapist, but it’s not the same), it makes things difficult. So to all of you, thank you, and you haven’t seen the last of me. I’ll be bugging you til (Magic) kingdom come!  😉

Hot Topics, Life in general, When Life Happens, When Life Isn't Too Great

Hot Topic: Mental Illness

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s question…Yes, I know, the title gives it away  🙂  All of the celebrities mentioned have a mental illness of some sort, whether it be depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia…there are many, MANY different mental illnesses out there. One thing that bothers me is the label “crazy”, as in “He just went crazy one day”. Oftentimes mental illnesses are always in the background, and certain words or events set them off. I do understand, though, that we are woefully undereducated on the subject and accept that sometimes people just use words that are familiar to them because they don’t know any better terminology. I’m going to take a big leap and tell my personal story…

I remember being nervous quite often as a young child. I was afraid to dive in swimming class; I didn’t mind jumping into deep water, but something about going in face-first really bothered me. I was TERRIFIED of playing team sports because trying to remember the rules made me worry so much that I couldn’t think of anything else. I didn’t want to join choir or the track team (or any other individual sport) because I didn’t think I was good enough, and that people would laugh at me or be disappointed when I let the “team”, or the rest of the group, down. I was what you would label “gifted”, and as a result teachers gave me more responsibilities than the other kids. I remember one incident where my Grade 1 teacher asked me to take a note to another teacher’s classroom; I was so nervous about knocking on her door and having all the kids staring at me that I went back and told my teacher that the other teacher wasn’t in her classroom.

Junior high is usually a wasteland of embarrassment, heartbreak and low self-esteem for most people, but to be honest, I really enjoyed it. I started to come out of my shell; I joined band and discovered I was a GOOD clarinet player!; and I had a great group of friends. Sure, there were spats, but we were always there for each other. My grades remained high, and I even had my very first date to my Grade 8 graduation dance.

High school is where things started to really go downhill. I went into an advanced program with dreams of going into medicine, and my grades plummeted. I was sick nearly every morning, and avoided studying because doing so would make me MORE nervous about the upcoming test. I did very well with essays because I could sit and take my time, writing at my own leisure. I simply didn’t know what was wrong with me, which is not a good feeling at all.

Fast forward 8 years. I was at my third university, having switched programs twice. I had taken dozens of courses, but did not yet have a degree. I took my father out to dessert for his birthday, and he broached the subject of depression, giving his personal experiences. With each word he spoke, describing situations and feelings he had experienced, I realized that I finally had an answer to what was wrong with me.

I’m doing much, MUCH better now. I’m taking medication: Effexor, which is part of the SNRI class of antidepressants. I have also found a wonderful therapist whom I call by her first name and who has given me a lot of encouragement. I’m still working on my problems with relationships, but things aren’t going to get better overnight. And, of course, the blog helps me get some of my feelings out too. If you’re still here, thanks for reading  🙂

Life in general, When Life Happens, When Life Isn't Too Great

Life…

Things are really tough right now, in pretty well all areas of my life. Nothing is turning out like I wanted it to or how I thought it would be, and before you say/think something stupid like “It never does turn out how you think it will”, “Life is so unpredictable”, “Things happen for a reason”…bullcrap. Those are just trite words that people use to make others feel better.

All I can say that truly comforts me is that I haven’t made any really dumb, life altering choices; getting married for the wrong reason, getting married too soon, spending money on a wedding when it could have been better spent elsewhere, settling, having kids in a rocky relationship…it seems that those are not unique choices. However, I’ve been spared having to make them, and for that I’m grateful.

I’m glad to have this blog to vent my feelings, and thanks to those who write comments  🙂  I know this is just a shitty little blog that no one reads (my stats have been at 0 views for the past 3 or 4 days; hey, maybe “Shitty Little Blog” would make a great new title!), but as those who blog know, it’s good to have SOMEWHERE to vent. I’m a pretty guarded person, and have less than a handful of friends I trust with personal and private information. I stopped writing in my journal because it became too sad to look back 5, 10 years ago and see what “was” and what “could have been”, if that makes sense *sigh*.

That felt good! Oh, and one more thing before I sign off for the night…

Bill McLeod is a world-class ASSHOLE!←

and I don’t care who knows it!!!