I am trying.

How many times do you say this? How many times do you tell your doctor, your best friend, your family… “I am trying.” Only they can’t see it. “Are you?” … Yes, really, I am. It’s just there’s this constant fighting going on in my head, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry you can’t see it. I’m sorry you keep asking. I am sorry you don’t believe me. I am sorry it’s been years and I am still fighting.

For some people, depression is linked to an event, such as loss of a job or a relationship. Sometimes just moving forward can help these people out of their depression. This seems to make them think that it is that simple for everyone. “Chin up, this will pass.” It will pass, but for many of us, it comes back.

If you’ve had a depressive episode and managed to come out of it and not return, please don’t assume that everyone has that ability. For some, there is trauma, from war, from abuse… This does not just go away by “getting over it.” You don’t just “move on.” For some, there are chemical imbalances in the brain. Please don’t tell me that you did it without meds, so can I. I can’t. I’ve tried.

I can’t always just ‘cheer up’ – I have learned to pretend to but even that has become so exhausting, I can’t do it often. I can’t always ‘just relax’ because my brain doesn’t understand how to stop throwing thoughts at me sometimes. I’m sorry you don’t understand this.

Someone’s going to read this and think I was talking about them in particular. I’m not. Please know that. This is something that those of us with mental health issues deal with on a regular basis just by interacting with people. Sometimes this is why we don’t want to interact with people.

If we tell you we are trying, please try to understand that the processes we’re going through aren’t visible to you but they are very real. We haven’t given up. We fight every day. We are trying.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Obsession and Procrastination

So my insurance has been switching. Can we just talk a moment about how hard it can be to get the help you need? I’m still waiting on one of the tests needed for my brain pressure but I have to clear up the billing from the MRI. I have to talk to my Neuro about billing… I need to “give prescriptions” to my new insurance company from a doctor I don’t even see anymore. Thinking about all of this gives me panic attacks…

So why am I forcing myself to write it? Because it gets it out of my head. It puts it somewhere different. This is a way to see what I’m handling without obsessing because I know if I put it aside for a moment, this will be here to remind me.

I have subconscious selective memory. I think many of us with anxiety do. When we’re afraid of doing something, we either obsess, or we shove it so far back that by the time we think of it, it’s probably too late to do anything. I don’t mean to do this. I don’t WANT to do this, but I know that I do it.

I wish others understood that it wasn’t intentional. I think sometimes those close to me forget that my brain doesn’t work the way theirs does. I think sometimes they don’t realize that maybe my brain works precisely as theirs does. Relating to people can be hard.

I still don’t have a new psychiatrist. I still don’t have an appointment with the neuro-ophthalmologist that I want to see. I still need to take a shower. I need to do all of these random things and it’s 11:30 at night… not really a time to do any of them.

What is one thing that you have been putting off that you can try to do this week?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Still worse than I think…

It’s been days because I haven’t been able to get a hold of myself. I can string a few words here and there, perhaps a facebook status but even those seem rare for me at the moment. Our apartment is clean, I am clean (I showered, go me! woohoo!) and the cat has food and water. Beyond that, I can’t focus on a show or a game…

I want to feel motivated to do SOMETHING. I want to feel motivated to do ANYTHING. I don’t. I barely had the motivation to make the cup of coffee that’s fueling this post. I’m still not sure how I managed to do that much.

Yesterday I was nauseous again. My fiance had one day off and I felt like I ruined it. I know that I’m still more depressed than I think I am because I feel like I’m ruining everything lately. I know I’m not. My logical mind is like, “Just stop, you’re doing fine!” My emotional mind is off somewhere crying in the corner again.

My friends have done a pretty good job a teaching me to stop apologizing for self care, so I hope you all are doing better than you think you are, even if it’s just for the day.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

First Impressions…

It’s a little different in person than online. Sometimes when you meet a person, you just feel off, and sometimes it’s a really good idea to listen to that feeling. Sometimes you feel like you’ve known them for lifetimes, and it’s good to listen to that too.

Online, however, first impressions can be completely off base. Just because the first time you interact with someone, you’re on opposite sides of a debate, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have things in common. It doesn’t mean you can’t become dear friends. Sometimes the first time you interact with someone is on a friend’s post and you agree with everything they say… but when you talk one on one, you realize that maybe that one thing was all you had in common.

I know most people know this, but I want to bring it up because I want to remind you to give people a chance when your first thought is, “Omg, what is wrong with this asshole?” Leave your mind open enough to be surprised by the kindness or empathy or complete and total dedication to the same fandoms … We are all multi-faceted.

I am not saying to let people disrespect you, or to ignore insults and attacks… I am just saying that a disagreement can forge a friendship if you let it.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

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~

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~