Worse than I think I am…

It’s strange when my actions don’t really match what I think my emotions are. I have been off lately and I’ve been trying to figure it out. I haven’t been up for talking to most people, especially not one on one. Conversations about myself are still down to “How are you doing?” “Oh, I’m okay.” We all know I’m not but I’m okay enough to get away with it.

I can’t get away with it at therapy though. I don’t remember if I gave him a “name” or not, but for today, we shall call him Jim. Jim doesn’t let me get away with “I’m okay.” It’s pretty much his job to call me out on that. So, I started going through the fact that hygiene is getting more difficult to handle again and I’m losing interest in most of my games and my shows that I usually love. It hits me. These are signs of depression.

Some of this stems from being so sick as a side effect of my body getting used to a medication again. A lot, actually, because besides ‘feeling sick’ – I’m also isolated right now because leaving the house for more than an hour or two makes me even more sick the following day. I can’t change this. I need the medication for now until we can at least discuss other options. I need tests done for that. I am working on it all the best I can…

However, I’m still more depressed than I thought I was. This doesn’t usually happen to me. I’m usually much more self aware, much more able to gauge my own emotions. Being sick for a month will screw with your perception of everything though, I think, including yourself.  I am safe, I am not in danger of any type of harm to self or others, I’m just not quite emotionally available to people right now. Not as much as usual.

I will drink my peppermint tea (which I am so tired of but it helps), and I will snuggle with the cat. I will find new games to play for now for distraction and new shows to hold my attention until I’m more myself again. There’s just a lot of stress and sadness and grief in my life recently and I need to take time to process it.

I hope if you find yourself in a similar position, see signs of depression in yourself before you really “feel” them, that you give yourself permission for self care. Don’t just wait for it to get worse, do whatever you can to stay even or move forward, so when it passes, you’re ready to keep going in life.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

The Fallen Soldiers

do not always fall in combat. You hear about a number of soldiers from your country dying in a war torn section of land that’s not your own. What you hear less about are the soldiers that die every day once they have come back home.

In many countries, Remembrance Day falls on what we in America call Veteran’s Day. It is the day that we honor those that have come home that are still with us. Memorial Day is this weekend for us and it is when we honor those that fallen. The fallen veterans from my life did not die in a far off place, they did not even die during the war they served in. Or perhaps a piece of them did and that is why they ended their life.

I can’t pretend to know the motives of my biological father or my friend Teresa. I can not say that their deaths were a result of the battlefield itself or of navigating the battlefield in their mind once home. I can, however, tell you I have yet to come across the family of a veteran suicide in ANY country that has said “Our country is doing everything they can for those that gave everything for our country.” We can’t control the budgets of the government but we can control our money, our time and our voices.

Not everyone has money to spare, but if you do, look around at the lives of the veterans in your country and find a place to donate it where it will do the most good. If you have the time and ability, find a place to give of yourself, to volunteer. If all you have is your voice – let it be heard. Talk about it. Use social media, write to your government. Let people know this issue is important.

For us, in America, this is not the weekend to thank a veteran for service. It is the time to stop and honor those that died for us, for our freedoms, for our rights, for our way of life. It is the day to honor those that fell in combat as well as those that have passed on outside of it. For me, it is the weekend I honor the fallen in my life and the time that I hope I will not have to switch anyone from Veteran’s Day to Memorial Day in my thoughts next year.

I would post a picture with this, but the reality is if it takes a picture of flag and a uniform with a crying family to move you, then my words won’t have any effect.

*In memory of David and Teresa*

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Invalidation.

Yesterday, I was told that I don’t care about anyone but myself. This wasn’t by some random acquaintance or anonymous internet troll. I got told this by my mother. Last week we got into an argument, yesterday after a week of not speaking, same argument. She was telling me how to handle my doctors. I was telling her that I had it handled.

Any of you with chronic mental illness or chronic pain, you know the multitude of appointments it comes with. You know that sometimes you need to change treatment plans or doctors. I need to change psychiatrists and I am also going to a neurologist on Monday to work on a treatment plan, if possible, for my brain pressure that causes migraines. I’ve had all of this going on for weeks to months. The psychiatric issue has been half handled, the neurology is scheduled. Somehow I was being told that I’m not handling it correctly, that I’m not listening and that – and this one gets me good – I’m going to the wrong doctor for my brain. The reason that last one gets me is that she’s known about this appointment for six weeks.

Sometimes, yes, I do ask for help when it comes to where to go when I am unable to do it myself. This time, however, I had a plan. I had appointments. I hadn’t asked for anything. For some reason, this plan that my mother had been made aware of weeks earlier was not good enough.

This has happened before about a lot of things in life. It’s probably happened to you as well. You make a decision and people support you and back it and then they change their mind. Maybe it’s about a job and your best friend doesn’t think you should quit even though you already put in your notice. Maybe it’s about a guy and your dad doesn’t approve when you get engaged… Whatever it is, all of the sudden it’s as if your choices aren’t good enough. Obviously, being treated this way is going to create disagreements.

Sometimes the change of heart is because of something that is happening or has happened in the other person’s life. It’s okay to change your mind and change your views. It’s not okay to invalidate someone else’s choices because you change your mind though. It’s not fair to either of you. If you want them to hear you, you may need to hear them too.

I work hard to advocate for myself. I work hard to advocate for others. I am assertive when it comes to anyone’s healthcare. I want us to find the professionals we need to get the treatments that are necessary. I have also spent the better part of seven years running peer support on facebook. I have stayed with family to help care for them when they were unable. I have acted as extreme emotional support for people who have been unable to get it professionally. I have shown up on the doorstep of a suicidal friend so they would not be alone. I do these things partly because I can, I have the knowledge and capacity. I do them because it helps me cope with not working. I do them because I love.

So, now, I’ve been treated like I can’t deal with my own medical treatment and told I don’t care about anyone but myself. Honestly, I have been in pain for over a month almost daily. My medication was incorrect due to a differing opinion with a doctor, and a friend of mine has passed away. I don’t really have the emotional capacity to handle the problems of others that I usually do. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care. It simply means that I need to practice self care right now and have boundaries.

I draw the line at anyone invalidating my choices in life, my choices in healthcare and my opinions on how our interactions are going. Why am I telling all of you this? Because people WILL invalidate you in life, and I want you to see that it’s okay to stop letting them. This is me trying to explain to you that it is okay to make your own choices and your decisions ARE good enough.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Simple Gestures, Complex Meanings

Sometimes “I love you” doesn’t come out as three words. Sometimes it’s not a hug or snuggling before bed. Sometimes “I love you” is not passionate kisses or a quickie before work. It’s not only found in a kiss on your forehead from your dad or your mom cuddling with you on the couch.

I love you takes a thousand forms. When you hear something a million times or do something repeatedly, sometimes you wonder if it’s love or just routine. If you watch and listen, though, you can find it in other words, in other actions.

I have a doctor’s appointment today and I am not pleased with how things are  going with him. I am having mood issues that I wholeheartedly attribute to a change in medication that I don’t think should have happened. C was with me five years ago when I had to find a new psychiatrist. He helped me by speaking with them when I no longer could and walked out. He knows today will be hard for me.

“Am I going to have to talk to this guy today?” In these words, I hear “I love you” because there’s really no other reason for him to even offer… He knows me enough to know this will be a hard day, enough to know I may not remain calm, enough to know I might need help, and enough to know that by the time I do, I may not be able to ask, so his question is a preemptive offer. It shows he knows all these things about me and cares enough to offer assistance because asking may be too hard.

I love you may be cooking you your favorite dinner, or knowing you need comfort food instead. Sometimes, it is simply asking how your day went, or checking in about future plans to make sure you’re all still on the same page. It could be knowing you won’t be home for Easter because it’s an important family day for you and it is knowing that he has to work that day and not giving him crap about requesting off.

I love you is not always “8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning…” It is a thousand gestures, a simple cup of coffee, a question. It is your favorite movie when you’re sad or reminding you to take a shower. Maybe it’s reminding you to take your meds (while NOT arguing – seriously please don’t ask us if we’ve taken our meds when we’re arguing), or reminding you to eat.

I love you is everywhere, please don’t forget to open your hearts to receive it.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Today hurts… so,

Can it just be enough?

Can it be enough for you if all I do today is love you? If all I do today is smile through the pain and give you a kiss? If I can’t think straight through the pain and I’m not sure I want to not think straight through the pills? Can it be enough if I just exist today?

If I can’t be there for you when you message me? Or if it’s been weeks and we should talk but I can’t dial? If I see that you’re hurting but I can’t explain that I care? If I am here and you know I’m here but I feel a million miles away?

Can it be enough that even through the pain I am still pushing to move forward?

I know there are things I should do, or would do if I were having a better day. I could shower, or maybe tell you that everything is going to be okay. If it were another day, I could do more than puzzle games and passing out. If it were a better day, I could actually giggle at your jokes, reassure you through your stress, and remind you how strong you are.

If it were a better day… but it isn’t. So, can it be enough for you if all I do is make it through to tomorrow?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

No, thanks.

We’re told to do so many things throughout the days. We’re told what to do on social media and by friends, by relatives, by strangers passing by. The reality is we don’t have to do what they say and we don’t owe them an explanation.

I really don’t have to (and neither do you, if you choose not to):

  • Smile! I’m pretty anyway, thank you. I am pretty when I’m pensive and sad and angry even if they show on my face. I’m pretty in a store, and I’m pretty in a picture, even when I don’t turn up the corners on my mouth.
  • Just think positive! I have depression issues, it’s not always in my control. Sometimes I am going to be negative, and sometimes being realistic isn’t positive, and thinking happy thoughts won’t make me fly like Peter Pan.
  • Stop worrying! Sometimes my anxiety doesn’t let that happen, sometimes I have things that concern me even when I can’t affect the outcome. I’m allowed to have things on my mind that upset me.
  • Cheer up! I am allowed to be sad or gloomy or grieving and FEEL my own feelings. If I could just ‘cheer up’ on command, I wouldn’t take so many medications.
  • Stop smoking. Okay, yes, it’s really bad for my health, and I really don’t care that you think i’m prettier without a cigarette, and I’m sorry for all of your losses, but this is my body and my decision. I will do it when I’m ready and your little speeches aren’t making me quit any sooner.
  • Lose Weight.  For some people losing weight is a medical issue. For some it’s aesthetics. For some of us, we like how we are now just fine! Or maybe we’ll do it when we’re good and ready to find a lifestyle that not just helps lose weight but that we feel we can maintain. I’m glad that those diet pills worked for you, they’re really not an option for me. I’m happy for your progress at a gym but I am not comfortable going to one. This is personal and not your decision, it’s mine.

 

I could go on, but quite honestly, it might get a little repetitive as some of the things that you may say out of habit, or because they’ve been said to you so often, they all have the same answers. No. This is my body, my mind, my choice. I’m totally okay with the fact that you’re vegan or christian, that you love to smile or you’re ready for bikini season, it doesn’t mean I want to change the way I live my life or even that ten seconds of my day.

I don’t want to, I don’t have to, and I don’t need to tell you why. Honestly, I shouldn’t be forced into that position and neither should anyone else. Throughout your day, consider that others simply are not you and maybe we don’t fit society’s mold of ‘normal’ and maybe we don’t want to put on a false happy mask just to please you. Maybe we’re tired, depressed, anxious, sad or simply have resting bitch face.

We’re allowed to ignore your unfair demands… and some of us are simply tired of smiling. What do you hate being told to do most?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~