Posts Tagged ‘family’

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Writing it out and calling bs on monsters

June 1, 2016

The thing about my anxiety is, it creeps. It slithers up my ankles, itching the backs of my knees, creates knots in my back and tangles in my tummy, it makes my fingertips tingle, my temples throb, and my brain spin. And then it reaches around into my ear and laughs. It laughs because i sit there helplessly wondering what just happened to start this whole thing and sometimes i just don’t know. Or it laughs because sometimes it decides to burrow and make itself at home for days at a time while every noise makes me jump and while other’s people’s comments send me reeling. i worry about everything i say or do during those days, terrified to feel the creeping.

 

i can feel it in my shoulder blades right now. Tightening muscles as it moves. Brain in full spin. And, sure, i can name little things that may have started the whole thing but i don’t know what started the ready to disappear, want to curl up, crying hysterically, ready to be done with this shit anxiety.

 

Maybe it’s the fact that every time i have to talk about my family. . . the real ones, not the chosen. i feel sick. And that makes me feel like a failure because they are supposed to be out of my life but clearly they still have such power over me. Power i’m not sure how to take back. Because it’s one thing to physically walk away and it’s another to get that out of your head. And i feel like even more of a failure because i suck at talking in the first place. then throw in feeling physically ill and like i’ve fucked up because i can’t get these people out of my head or take back the power they have over me. And i’m ready to just shut down completely. i have yet to win in that situation which makes me dread it. And that makes it this vicious cycle that i can’t seem to get out of.

 

Maybe it’s just a matter of repetition and seeing that i can get through these conversations. And with each conversation comes more power back in my hands. i don’t know if that’s how it works. Maybe it could? Maybe it could lead to days and weeks of feeling like shit and wondering if i’ll ever breathe normally again. Maybe both?

 

So i sit here trying to write out my thoughts as my head spins, and my leg shakes, and i feel nauseous, and i want to be doing other things. Because that’s always the answer, write it out. i wish it were really that easy. i wish i didn’t have to sit here time and time again with tears streaming down my face forcing myself to get my thoughts out in words rather than other ways. i wish i didn’t have to have other people pushing me to do so instead of myself too.

 

But i guess that’s what life is, sometimes you’re the one pushing yourself and sometimes you’re the one being pushed by someone else and i have to keep learning that there is nothing wrong with that. It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to get that push from someone else when i can’t give it to myself. i just need to be able to listen past the drone of the anxiety and the depression monsters and hear the reality of the situation. And that’s not always easy.

 

Monsters like to pull you down and keep you isolated. That failure feeling is like food for them, they just keep coming back for more and more. And they just get louder and louder every single time. Writing it out, i guess, is my way of breaking that isolation. Of calling bullshit on monsters. i just need a reminder to do so sometimes. i need some help to do that calling out.

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Saying goodbye to the biggest piece of my heart.

October 15, 2015

i’ve talked before about how i believe the world works the way it is supposed to.

i’m having more than a little trouble understanding it at the moment. i know we aren’t always going to understand- and it may take time to see the big picture. But quite honestly, at this moment in time, i don’t want a big picture, i don’t want the future to come with answers, all i want is to turn back time.

September 12 was one of the worst days of my life. And i am trying to constantly remind myself of the year and a half of magic that led up to that day.

You see, 2013 was a year of ginormous changes in my life. They were good changes but hard ones. They happened in a way that i wasn’t emotionally prepared for and the depression monster became my closest frienemy. But in December of that year while i was struggling to make it through each day i learned that there might be a light in my future in the form of an emotional support animal.

i have always had a connection with animals- dogs especially. Growing up in the household i did my dogs were my protectors, my confidantes, and the greatest source of love. In college i had a pet fish who died, some friends wanted to know what would make me feel better as i sobbed. All i wanted was my dog. They couldn’t give me this so they went and bought me one of those electronic dogs that was so popular for a bit.

i spoke with my doctor, she agreed this was a good plan and something that would help me. And at some point in January of 2014, i started seriously looking at Petfinder to see who was out there. i saw so many faces and stories that touched my heart and then one night i stopped. i saw a face looking at me and i knew. i knew with no doubt i had found the answer i had been looking for.

On January 14 i drove about an hour and a half, it had snowed recently. Usually i am terrified to drive on slippery roads, i’ll avoid it at all costs but it felt like the middle of summer to me that day. When i pulled up to the shelter my heart was pounding in my ears, my mouth felt dry. i was anxious and excited. i started panicking that someone had come for her earlier that morning.

i walked in and let them know which dog i was there to see and the woman said, “Are you sure?” She went on to tell me how this dog was too wild for all the people who had come for her before. How she had been at the shelter for over 6 months- had had a major surgery. She finally let me know she would bring her out and i could see what i thought, she had a look of doubt and amusement on her face. Like she knew once i saw this animal i would turn around and walk out the door.

They brought her out and she jumped up to sniff me, i sat on the ground and she crawled into my lap, rolled on her back and looked up like she were saying, “rub my tummy and let’s go home.” And that’s what we did.

In the car she was nervous at first, she didn’t want to explore anything but the floor of the passenger’s seat. And then i started singing along with my music. She crawled up to the seat and started licking my face, she would stop and stare when a song changed and when i started singing more kisses. She started watching the other cars on the road- she loved them. Even when we stopped to pick her up some new treats and toys she wanted to stay in the parking lot and just watch the cars driving.

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The next day i gave her a bath and she fell asleep in my arms while drying off. i knew that this was the best relationship i had ever opened the door to.

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My Maguire was named after Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting. Those of you who have read my previous posts know how much that movie means to me. Sean Maguire says things that hit my brain in ways other words have never been able to. And since she was my emotional support dog she was like a little therapist herself. i thought it was fitting.

The difference in my well being was astronomical. There are so many people who can tell you this. Not only did i have someone constantly beside me to face whatever demons crawled into my head but i had someone there who i knew i had to be there for. i had to get up each day to get food and water and trips outside. i couldn’t hide away the way i could before.

When i tore my ACL Maguire would greet me like normal but when it came time to snuggle she would rest with her head on my knee like she was protecting it from anything else happening. We practiced jumping through a hula hoop while i was recovering from surgery so she would still get exercise and fun while i wasn’t able to do as much.

She loved her aunties. One day one of them came to visit and i kept trying to do other things so Maguire would spend time with her. It wasn’t until i sat down and she was able to fully greet me and make sure i was okay that she went and crawled into someone else’s lap.

She refused to sleep without touching me. In the winter she was under the blankets curled up right next to me and in the summer when she got warm, she would stretch her paws so they were touching part of me and then fall asleep.

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To say i was in love would be an understatement. My heart has never been filled with the love and magical-ness of anything like this before. At my college reunion people commented about her in the same way i asked and commented about their children. i was so proud. My Girl Scouts would ask to see pictures. And almost everyone i ran into at work mentioned her. She was my world, my light, my heart.

So when i got home on September 12, i didn’t know that my world was going to change. Maguire greeted me like always- we had our mom just got home from work talk and snuggle in her chair and then came to snuggle more in bed. About an hour or so later everything changed. i knew something was wrong, i thought maybe she had a tummy bug. We went to the vet and by the time we arrived she had gotten even worse. After way to much time waiting and running tests they suggested i take her to the emergency vet. We sped out there to find that no one had any answers. She was deteriorating more and more and i was trying to be strong but i couldn’t stop crying. We decided to try a course of treatment and see what happened. A few hours later i got a call telling me that she had only gotten worse. The doctor said she had never seen anything like it in a dog. Whatever was happening was in her brain and it wasn’t stopping. My heart was breaking- i’ve never felt anything like it. And i said yes when she asked if i wanted to stop her suffering. i drove out in a blur of tears and they brought her in on a table, she couldn’t walk anymore, she was blind in one eye. She was trying to dig into the air as they put her on the ground and told me i could have as much time with her as i wanted. i curled up next to her and started talking while the tears poured out. Her paws stopped and rested on my tummy. i apologized to her for the day and for anything else i might have done to cause her suffering like this. i told her how much i loved her over and over and over again. i gave her kisses and i hid my face in her neck and sobbed while begging her not to leave me. i don’t know how long i was there- it never would have been enough time. i got up to get the doctor and she started digging again. The doctor came in and i curled up next to her again and held her while the shot was injected. i held her after. i didn’t know if i was going to be able to let go.

And now there is nothing. No clicking of nails on the wood floor. No protective barking when the neighbors get loud. Everywhere i look is a reminder. And all i can think is, why? Why her? Why me? Why in that way?  Because as whiny and cliche as it sounds, it isn’t fair. And the truth is, i need her. i still need her so much.

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Sometimes i have a good day, or hour, or few minutes, and then something reminds me and i can feel my heart being torn all over again. It never stops hurting.

Some people don’t understand, to them she was a dog. She wasn’t a dog to me. She was everything. You don’t ask someone who has lost a spouse or a child if they are going to go find a new one but they ask me that. i can’t look at a picture of any dog without making comparisons to Maguire or cursing it for not being her right now- i know that in time my heart will be open again but right now it is grieving and i don’t know when my next step in that process is.

It’s taken a few times sitting in front of this screen to be able to get this far. It has been a daily struggle to deal with the world and my own brain. i don’t have a pair of paws jumping onto my tummy in the morning to force me out of bed. i don’t have eyes looking at me or a body getting comfy on my head when i want to reach for a sharp object. And thus far i’ve been able to avoid those objects but i worry about how long that will last.

i’ve been shutting the world out, shutting people out. It isn’t so much that i want to be alone, though that is the only way i know how to put words to it. It is more like none of the world is Maguire and i don’t know how to talk about everything very well yet. All the words and the emotions feel like mush and i don’t know how to take that mush and turn it into a conversation or a moment in time with another being.

i’ve talked in the past about fighting this monster- there is a part of me, right now, that thinks. . . what’s the point? Because the things and people i love all just go away. Everybody leaves, my heart is always going to be crushed over and over and over again. So why try and fight? Why ask for help when i’m just going to end up alone anyway?

i’m lucky to have people in my life who don’t let me listen to that very long. But it’s a struggle. It’s hard work to fight while you feel so defeated. And hard to push through when you don’t see anything at the end to be fighting for. No amount of hard work or fight will bring Maguire back.

So i struggle, every single day. And this along with my fucking uterus has made for one of the most mentally and physically painful months that i can remember. i’ve been trying to take each day one moment at a time- that’s all i can do right now. Grief takes time. Our society doesn’t allow for that. We hear time and time again that you can take as much time as you need, and that in time things will feel better but there is no magic Delorean out there providing this time for us. We are expected to take that time around the schedule of everyone else- grieve as long as you want, as long as you don’t miss work and perform to normal standards. Grieve in your way, as long as you are still a functioning member of society. The pressure is enormous and makes my head want to explode.

i’m not saying this to call out any particular person or group. But it is hard enough to deal with mental health bullshit every single day. There are still so many taboos and fears. When you add a traumatic experience on top and are made to feel like those things don’t matter- that you just aren’t strong enough or trying hard enough it’s a recipe for disaster. i know this, i’ve eaten disaster more times than i’d like to remember.

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i’ve taken some steps to get help through all this and i’m trying to be proud of myself for that. i know Maguire would be.

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Me and not thinking are going to be best friends. . . if we ever meet.

November 25, 2013

Sometimes the words that we need most to say are the hardest to get out. Sometimes we can taste them in our mouth and they are so bitter that we spit them out. Other times they just get stuck until we swallow them back down. It is hard to tell your story without some of those moments. Or in some cases a lot of those moments. It can get easier but it takes a lot of time a patience. 

 

There are things that i could say to people but they wouldn’t understand. Not for lack of trying but because they have never had to wear those shoes. And sometimes you just need someone who has. Sometimes there is just nothing to say to make things better even though that’s all you want. 

 

i’m trying not to think tonight. i’m not doing very well at that. i think i suck at pretty much everything right now. i shouldn’t even publish this but i am doing that whole dumb writing through it thing. Maybe tomorrow i’ll be happy about it. 

 

i just hate feeling so conflicted. i hate watching the world work the way it should and lining my life up with other people’s in a way that is awesome and yet still feeling that dark cloud. i hate looking at my christmas decorations which i love so much and wanting to cry. Depression and anxiety fucking suck. It’s like i can see and touch the good but i can’t hold onto it. That makes me feel like the worst person ever. It makes me feel like i don’t appreciate the things i have and the people in my life but i do. i do so much. Even when i try and push them away because i want to do it before they do. Even when they don’t understand things. i appreciate them so much. i just want to appreciate them without feeling like Pigpen from the Peanuts with a cloud of depression surrounding me. i don’t want to have to fake a smile when i’m doing something i really do like but can’t find the enjoyment in.

 

i know a lot of this is holiday related because things have changed in my life and this is the first year i’ll be alone on the holidays not because there are states separating me. It is for the best. i know this. But right now it just sucks.

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panic, and tears, and rambles, oh my

November 16, 2013

i am trying to hear a certain voice telling me to write it out. And even though i’m having trouble hearing it i’m trying to do it. And i’m trying to picture the words on the screen and the feel of the keys on my fingers as a replacement for the cool metal i want right now because i know that will help me breathe. And i know that will make my heart stop pounding and make the room stop spinning and closing in. And the can’t stop moving and don’t want to move feeling and the tears.

 

i don’t know why it came on tonight. i don’t know where it came from. Well i guess that isn’t true but i don’t know why it rushed in and blindsided me like this all at once. i’ve had a pretty shitty week in a lot of ways and there have been a lot of unexpected things and ups and downs. And i knew i was feeling it. But i didn’t know that it was going to just open its mouth and try to swallow me whole when i came upstairs from lunch.

 

i don’t even know why i’m writing this. i don’t want to write this. i know, i really know that it does help but all i want right now is either that razor blade or to just crawl under the covers and disappear. i try not to listen to all of the negative things that have been ingrained in me for so long but right now that’s all i can hear and it’s so loud.

 

Just write it out. Just write it out. i don’t know how to write what is in my head out. i don’t know how to turn these tears into words. i can’t seem to turn pain into sentences and paragraphs. And i can’t seem to find solace in any of the people i know i could talk to. i don’t want to pick up the phone like this. i don’t want to type a text message because i don’t even know what it would say. Let’s be real i don’t fucking want to ask for help. Partially because i don’t want to need help. Partially because people who see the reality of me tend to leave. And i don’t know if i could take that right now. i don’t want people to know that i’m a complete fucking nutjob. i want to put on a face and make snarky comments and pretend that i have it all together.

 

Which i suppose is a ridiculous thing to say as i write this somewhere that anyone can read. But that’s the truth and every time i go to hit publish i think about erasing everything. Sometimes i do. And then i try to remember that same voice that tells me to write it out telling me that maybe this might make some sort of difference not just to me and i do it. And i try to remember that this isn’t all i am. Even though it feels like it sometimes. And i try to remember the words of some of my favorite people telling me good things and silly things and just things i need to hear.

 

None of it is working right now but at least i’m trying. That has to count for something.

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When the world throws a curve and all you have is Alanis.

November 14, 2013

i’ve been avoiding the blog not because i wanted to but because i have tendinitis in my wrist and it has been acting up so i’ve been trying not to use it when i don’t need to, especially for things that irritate it like lots of typing. But things are just jumbled right now and i need to get some of the knots out of my brain.

 

Sometimes people affect you in ways you don’t expect. Sometimes in ways they don’t even know about. And because of that they can also hurt you in ways you don’t expect or that they don’t know about. It’s hard to confront someone to tell them that you are hurt when they don’t even know what the fuck you are talking about. i tend to be the one who cares more. i tend to be the one who holds on. i know it has to do with my fear of abandonment. But as much as i withdraw and try to crawl in a hole i am fiercely loyal to the people i love. Unfortunately that seems to mean that it hurts more when something happens to cause waves or a rift in the relationship.

 

i have been trying to impress on someone the necessity to build up a wall of strength so that not everything seems personal. Because more often than not it isn’t. Most of the time it is our brain and our negative inner voice twisting those words and actions into a completely different video than everyone else saw. (i’m not great at this myself but i’m good at spewing the concept.) But then the thing is i’ve been working so hard for so long to not have a wall up. To not be so alone when my emotions get to be too much to handle. Or to not sit in silence until i explode. i’ve been working so hard on letting people in. So basically all of this means there is another balance i have to learn to strike. i’m not so good at balancing and i can’t even blame my inner ears on this one (walking is all on them though). i need to get rid of enough of that protective barrier so that i’m not alone but not so much that i don’t have any shield to protect me. It seems to be trial and error to see which pieces can go and which need to stay. That, of course, means it’s not really a fun process. Then again a whole lot of necessary things aren’t really all that fun.

 

Sometimes it just seems like it would be easier to just put all the walls back up and be alone. i feel really alone a lot of the time anyway so it wouldn’t be that different. But i also know that other things come with being alone. The thought that razor blades can be used as friends and the wondering if i can feel anything anymore. The feeling that all those demons inside my head have won. That all the people who have helped contribute to my demons have won. And the harsh realization that i can’t fix anything in the world if i let the darkness take over.

 

So i try and fight it. There are some days where i feel invincible like i’ve made progress and made a difference in someone else’s day, and that i’m going to keep going and going and going until i reach whatever the end of this race is. Then there are others where everything just feels stagnant, like i’m breathing that thick summer air that doesn’t move and feels like you haven’t actually taken a breath. And there are days that just feel like i’m drowning, or like i’m in quicksand and panicking. Everything goes wrong, i can’t fix anything with myself or anyone else, and i just feel useless and broken. i want to not let things that people say or do play a part in which day i’m having but i do. And sometimes it is the lack of saying things that feels like a giant hand holding me underwater while i decide whether i should struggle to get oxygen or just give up.

 

i’m at a place where i know logically is probably a good place for me to be. But emotionally is just hurting right now. Maybe it’s the newness of things, maybe it’s the holidays, i don’t know. i am trying desperately to put the voices of two of the best people i know on repeat to remind myself that i am not the problem in this situation. That i am worth something in this world and that i am loved by people. i don’t want to hear my own self destructive thoughts but they are so loud and ingrained that it’s like a scratch in the music where it just repeats those phrases over and over.

 

Perfection in unattainable and yet i struggle every minute of the day with trying to achieve it and crumbling a little when i don’t. Wondering how things would be different if i could just reach that point. Playing Alanis Morisette’s song over and over in my head and trying to find that balance between the perfection and the pain.

 

i will get through all of these obstacles. it might take me a bajillion and twelve years but i will. i have to. i don’t want my first reaction to be, “why?” when someone tells me they care about me. And i don’t want my first reaction to emotional trauma to be to think about the feeling of that blade in my hand even if i’m not using it. i’m ready to tiptoe through this, maybe while wearing a helmet.

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i’m looking for baggage that goes with mine

August 23, 2013

There are certain people in the world who can say things and they mean so much more than if someone else were to say them.

 

On the other hand those people tend to be able to hurt you more with the things they say or more often don’t say.

 

My heart hurts for so many reasons. i have decisions to make. i don’t want to make any of these decisions. i don’t want certain things to change. 

 

i know that is a pointless wish. Things change. Life is one big constant change. i am ever-changing so i can’t expect other people not to be. And while there are some people who i wish more than anything to change there are others who i want to stay the way they are so i can maintain the relationship i have with them in that moment when it feels right. 

 

And the thing is, i know that one of the best things about any relationship is how it changes and grows. It’s just that sometimes i feel like it grows faster than i do and i get left behind. 

 

Had a bit of a flash from my past today. It made me wonder what is wrong with me that some people come into my life and i think they are perfect (not literally, but you know) and things go horribly wrong. i do everything i can to fix things and these people just turn out to be not good people. i’m trying not to exagerate- i have multiple sources backing me up in the fact that these were really sort of shitty people. But i worked so hard to hold onto that relationship and make everything better because i thought that if i could just change something about me that things would be all better. And, of course, they weren’t and those people ended up out of my life. But then i see them or hear about them later on down the road and they seem to be different people and i wonder why they couldn’t be that with me. What did i do wrong that made them treat me like that and what didn’t i do that made it get better.

 

i know, and i’m grateful that these people aren’t in my life. i really am. But at the same time when i see them looking happy i feel a slight twinge of why isn’t that me? What is so wrong with me that i am still sitting here alone?

 

Honestly if i were anyone out there i probably wouldn’t want to come near me either. i’m fucked up. i know, i know. . . we’re all fucked up. But apparently i am more so and i wear it like a tattoo on my forehead. 

It’s hard to balance wanting to disappear and be alone with being so damn lonely. They aren’t conflicting desires. They sit alongside each other peacefully both tugging at my heart and brain equally.

 

Oh writing, you leave me tangled.

 

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disappearing from everywhere except here for a while.

August 20, 2013

Thinking about disappearing.

 

Write it out they say.

 

Writing helps you, they say.

 

And i’m stuck in  head over heels tumble down a rabbit hole of things that i can’t tell are real or not.

 

Does writing help me? Is this just another lie i’ve told myself? Another lie i’ve told everyone else to make myself believe it? It takes these words- probably not even well put together words- and sticks them on paper that no one will read. Or throws them to the interwebs where maybe a few people will read them and i can look at my blog stats and say oh, x number of people came to my blog.

 

Does any of this make me feel less alone? Not especially. X number of people read my words and went on with their lives. There is no connection in that.

 

It’s cathartic. Yes, this one might be true. It is, in fact, a way to take some of the crazies in my head and pick them apart into sentences kind of like magnetic poetry. It makes me focus on one thing rather than feeling overwhelmed by all the tiny pieces. And then i stop and it starts again. It keeps my hands busy. i can’t use a razor blade and type well at the same time. i guess this counts as some sort of healthy release even when i’m thinking about the blade the entire time i’m typing.

 

Maybe the words don’t get me anywhere because i don’t let them. i’m admittedly terrified of everything that might come out if i were to really sit down and somehow be able to shut of the self censor i have. i’m scared of what to do with those words if or when i ever let them out. And i’m really scared to show people those words because words change things.

 

The tears haven’t stopped. i want them to stop. i need them to stop. i need everything to stop.