Saturday, October 19, 2013

A letter to my adoring fans

For the past week I've not been walking around feeling wounded; I've been wounded. My anxiety has ripped open a hole in my chest so vast that I wonder if it will ever be able to close and if it does, how much of a scar will it leave? This big gaping wound is so vast that I'm quite certain it's visible on the outside.

I suffer from mental health issues. A major blow, small by comparison in any mentally healthy person's life, left me feeling like all the hard work I have done was in vain and that the end result is not as pretty as I would like it to be. My mind is a sea of obsessing thoughts and it has spread to my body. The connection between my body and my mind is so strong now that there's really not separation.

I don't feel unloved.

I am unloved.

The intellect can argue and create images in my mind of people who appreciate me and love me, the intellect can present me with arguments and examples to prove all this, yet I'm completely alone on a hastily constructed raft in a raging sea and there's no sign of rescue.

My depression has returned and it's has me in a grip so tight  that I'm certain it will never let go and that things will get worse. Its hot breath is on my face and even with closed eyes I know for certain it's preparing to swallow me whole.

What will become of me?

The first obvious choice I have to make is whether I go back on medication or not. Do I succumb and wait the four to six weeks for the gaping hole in my chest to close and allow my raft to drift to shore and back to "normality". Do I allow chemicals into my system that will even out the highs and lows, take away the pain and allow me to assimilate into humanity again? Do I allow these chemicals into me that take away pain and anxiety, that allow me to sleep but also prevent me from falling in love and looking at the sky in awe of its beauty?

There's a part of me that's completely fixated on the heartache I've suffered. There's no redemption. Part of my mind is completely and utterly unable to believe that I was done over in the way I was and it wants it fixed. It wants this terrible mistake and mix up to be righted. Bring in the rainbows and the unicorns! It's a misunderstanding. Surely.

Part of my mind wants everything that was said about me being a fantastic writer, and that comment about how I set "unrealistic goals and achieve them" (but if they're achieved they're not unrealistic I argued - "they should be" was the answer followed by a look that hinted at the worry I cause with being such an overachiever) to be worth so much more than the comment about how I appear negative nowadays. My mind has ceased the negativity comment and made a placard so big of it that it covers my whole mind scape.

There it is. My depression summed up in one short sentence.

I have tried to shove enough positive into my mind to last me a lifetime but it's like a transplant being rejected or a new beautiful dress that I just can't squeeze into.

I'm standing on the edge of a cliff and I'm comfortable there because standing there means I don't have to try to fit in or ask to be rescued. Behind me humanity, society, community and life. In front of me a raging sea of....I really don't know what but I don't fear it anymore; sometimes it even feels reassuring to think I could belong to the waves crashing into the rocks and the chaos made where water, air and stone meet.

I am completely alone. I'm the void and no one is missing my presence in the world behind me. Not a single person has looked up and seen the empty space where I used to stand, if they have they don't care that I'm not there anymore. That's what my mind is telling me.

My soul tries telling me a different story.

I'm not ready to listen to the messages my soul is trying to send me. It's out there somewhere beyond the chaos of the sea below the cliff and it's using semaphores attempting to communicate with me. I'm not listening, I'm blind to it, but it's refusing to give up. It's not telling me to go back and find my place back in the fold, in humanity, society, community and life, it's telling me to walk on through to the other side (and it's really sounding like Jim Morrison when it says it). I refuse to believe it and I'm still confused as to what is being asked of me. Who in their right mind would take the step out in the commotion of the raging sea below, a step off the cliff, and trust that somehow it will be OK.


No one is coming for me. No one is reaching out to bring me back to my place inland and in humanity. No one is bringing soft cotton wool to stuff that empty gaping hole in my chest with. No one.

No one is supposed to come. I know that with my whole being. I should feel alone and abandoned but somehow I don't, not fully and hopelessly anyway.


Maybe I'm  finally losing my mind or maybe this is the break I've been looking for. Maybe this is the rebirth, the reclaiming, the healing. Maybe it's just the opportunity. If I keep standing on the cliff nothing will change. If I turn around and go back nothing will change.

Maybe all I need to do is to jump and everything will be OK again.

It's not the time to be a coward. It's the heroes journey and I will keep coming back to this point unless I do something to finally take on the beast that's been living inside me for eternity. The fear of failing is great. The fear of failing is the only thing holding me back - ever.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I’m lost but I’m found

It’s a weird thing that single moment in time when you open your eyes and realize that what you’re doing isn’t working for you. It used to but it’s no longer enough. It’s like being with a lover who used to leave you breathless only to suddenly find you no longer long for his touch.

It’s an even weirder thing when you refuse to close your eyes to it and allow yourself to slip back into the habitual doing of it but instead you allow yourself to open further to it and to feel what’s really going on in your mind, with your feelings and in your body, allowing yourself just to watch it without judgment.

It’s uncomfortable realizing that your life is not at all what you need, not what you want but most definitely not what you need.

It’s taken me a long time to realize but this feeling I’ve had for so long that I don’t belong and having to force myself to fit in isn’t because I’m some sort of weirdo but because I have travelled into territory that’s a really poor fit for who I am. The environment isn’t one that can sustain me properly and it most certainly doesn’t feed my soul. It’s OK to venture into territory we’re not comfortable in or that doesn’t nourish us, it can teach us a lot about ourselves, but to force yourself to stay and to try to fit in is futile business. There’s no gain in pretending to be something you’re not.

Unfortunately it’s hard to walk right out on a part of your life that’s vital to your own survival. It takes planning to get out. It takes changing tack and trying to walk out slowly. It’s not a time when you should panic; it requires courage, courage to stay with it and love yourself enough to walk out of there on your own terms. It takes keeping your eyes open and continuing to watch what’s going on with your mind, feeling and how it all feels in your body.

The signs have been there for a long time but when a situation or environment starts showing you the signs that you don’t fit in, rejecting you in a way, it’s time to think about where else you need to be in order to be whole. It’s time to get selfish.

Today I’m lost but I’m found.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rant about....stuff

I really do want to paint everything in LOVE and LIGHT simply because it gives me HOPE and makes be FEEL BETTER.

That's not my destiny though.

Apparently.

I'm cursed with a mind that likes to actually look at what comes out of other people's mouths. I analyze it. If there are discrepancies that show that they're not being fully honest I find them. I can't help it. I look at the words used. I look at how they're used. I look at what the person is trying to say. I look at what they're really saying.

So, I've been hanging out on a Facebook page that is the home for a support group for anxiety. This is my fall back place. I nearly left the group a few months ago because all they did was to compare medications (not a helpful strategy for coping as such) and share more ways to be anxious (another not helpful strategy for coping as such).

I stuck around because it was useful to be able to go in there and type things like "I feel worthless and I worry insanely that a bus will fly through my bedroom window and hit me in the head" - a seemingly irrational worry - and have people type back at me saying things like "It's just your anxiety", "I know how you feel but buses don't fly so it's your anxiety", etc. Having someone with anxiety calling your anxiety out can be very helpful.

Someone dropped the Obamacare bomb in there the other day. He asked if anyone in the group was affected and so a sane and healthy discussion started, a discussion that could hardly be termed political. It was deleted by the admin because it was not about helping with anxiety. Apparently.

To me it was, of course, because it directly impacts people's ability to get treatment but that's just my socialist crap mind talking I'm sure.

What followed was a women declaring she would leave because there seemed go be a discrepancy in what was allowed and what was not. People chimed in and said "Don't leave!".

This was followed by the creator and only admin of the group saying she would leave. People chimed in and said "Don't leave!" and started to offer themselves up as co-admins. You all know how that goes I hope but if you don't I will give you an example: "Don't leave! You're an amazing woman! I would be happy to help out and admin the group for you." This is what they, some at least, really said: "And, I would give anything to have the power to shut people down when they saying something I don't agree with."

It's weird but people covet that kind of power. They don't know how to build their own page and make it popular but they see an already successful one and their desires to rule suddenly awakens. Or something like that.

So, apparently the current status is that we cannot talk about Obamacare, or about people not being paid at the moment, but we can talk about God even though it makes some people really uncomfortable and this for the same reasons we can talk about medication, and we can talk about partners cheating on us and ask should we leave them when they do (because that somehow helps us cope with anxiety?!).

Groups anywhere are hard to run but groups that are run by one person is seldom a good idea even if you have what you regard a very clear idea of what it is you find acceptable or not. Groups run by one person who has anxiety and anxiety that focuses mostly on not being liked by others, well, it's a recipe for disaster.

But this is the one that really gets me: Why is it that Americans are so sensitive about discussing this whole Obamacare thing? To me it's simple. A minority of politicians have stopped sectors of the country dead using a strategy that's not unlike a bunch of little kids holding their breath until they're blue in the face so they can get what they want. This is somehow OK and we mustn't talk about it. The more discussion the better I should think. These people don't suffer financially - others do! The more places they're called out the better! It's misuse of power.

I do agree with Obamacare even if it's none of my business but that's not the point because I agree even more with having free discussions. This constant shutting down people so that others won't get offended fucking offends me. To me it's what keeps us from talking about what really matters and it serves to keep people's eyes shut. It stops people from thinking because they start believing that they can't say or think things because it's offensive to others. This is what keeps us in the status quo.

The US is in trouble. This is one of the most powerful nations on earth. A small group of narrow minded have stopped parts of that nation from functioning properly. This is not OK. That is abuse of power and hostage taking and it's terrorism of sorts.

It pisses me off that people are told to be silent about it.

This post makes no sense but I don't care. I just have to rant.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This is kind of where I'm at with my anxiety

In case you missed the news bulletin or didn’t get the memo: I suffer from anxiety as a result of having suffered a nervous breakdown a few years ago.

I also suffer(ed) from depression. I write “suffer(ed)” because you never know if it’s going to decide to come back and haunt you. I hope it doesn’t but I don’t think if myself as out of the woods of the big black wolf just as yet.

I’ve not taken medication since June. I still have a few tablets of Xanax lurking somewhere in the house but I don’t want to take any more Xanax. As much as it kills anxiety it’s also highly addictive and even if I don’t regard myself as being at high risk of becoming addicted (whos does?) I just don’t want to go there. At all.

Plus, I want to beat anxiety. I want to body slam it into the ground, mash its face into the dirt and make it seriously hurt. Managing anxiety is hard work but this is kind of where I’m at with it:

I've learned that I can't defeat it or kill it off; I've learned that I have to compete with it and be stronger than it and when I am, that's when I have chosen to succeed.

It's ridiculous to hear people say things like "failure is not an option". Failure is the most readily available option there is at all times but I can choose failure or I can choose to be stronger than the anxiety and succeed. Yes, I stole this from Chael Sonnen and tailored it to me. What can I say? It resonated with me.

I'm not saying it's easy, far from it, but it is a choice. It's when I forget to tell myself "stand up", "move", "be grateful for something everyday", etc. that anxiety wins. When I notice that anxiety has got the upper hand I've got to tell myself again "stand up", "move", "be grateful for something", etc. and if that's hard for me I come in here and tell my story, I ask someone for help. I have to. Sometimes I can't do it on my own.

It's an ongoing battle and it's not always a fair one. My mind is a battleground and I can't for one moment stop remembering that I'm the one writing the battle story.

I have to keep at it. My voice has to be louder than the anxiety. Sometimes I have to shout. Sometimes I need someone else's help to tell it. I have to keep at it until my voice is consistently louder and stronger; until I believe it and not the anxiety.

It's hard work.

I’ve come to think of it as training for a marathon or a big fight. I have to become donkey stubborn about what goes into my mind and how I think. I have to monitor all my thoughts, learn to spot and weed out any thoughts that will hinder or slow down my recovery. I have to stalk my mind and I have to outmaneuver it. When I feel like I have no energy left and it comes to take over I have to show myself compassion but I have to be stern.

I have to be sure of what I want to achieve and I can’t waiver. I can’t let myself wander off the path. I have to fill my mind with things that are positive and that reassure – most of the time I have to saturate my mind with messages that support. I can’t allow anything toxic to get in there at this stage. I have to build a foundation so strong that nothing is going to rock it.

I have to become strong enough that when bad things happen it will hurt and it will make me sad but it will never bring me down again.

I know no other way of doing this so for now I will keep Chael’s talk with Uriah in my mind simply because it resonated and it made something stir into action. It made me move without me having to tell myself to do it.

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