U is for Unmotivated

u embroiderSo I’ve been putting off doing most things lately, including writing blog posts. Why? Because I just couldn’t get myself to do anything. To the point of spending two days in bed. Yep, you read that right. Two. Days. In. Bed.

I’m not even sure why I’ve been so unmotivated or depressed or whatever you want to call it. I don’t actually feel bad. Most of the time. Most of the time I feel like an inarticulate word ending in “h”: eh, ich, blah. It’s only when I try to get myself to do things that the bad thoughts and feelings come up (they involve my own uselessness, death, and anything else negative you can imagine).

I read somewhere that if you just start something, anything, your motivation will show up and you’ll feel better. So I chose to start this blog post. Let’s see, dear readers, what happens.

 

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I came across this picture the other day and couldn’t help but stop and wonder. Who was Ms. Eliza M. Stillman? And why isn’t there a death date? Is she a vampire? An immortal of some kind? Based on the engraving of what I’m assuming are shamrocks, either she or her husband were Irish. Or admirers of Ireland. Or they really just liked shamrocks. Or those are supposed to be something else and the artist messed up.

Of course, there’s probably a simple explanation for everything I’m wondering. When she died her family probably couldn’t afford to have her death date engraved (we had a similar problem). But it’s more fun, don’t you think, to image that Ms. Eliza is off somewhere, baking cookies, and enjoying her 178th year of existence.

 

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Speaking of immortal, this picture jumped out at me too. Doesn’t she look creepy? I can’t help but wonder how those black streaks got there. Intentional or…?

 

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This is just pretty.

 

fat cat

As y’all know, I’m fat. Circus-fat-lady fat. And I love cats. Yep, I’m the cliché.

 

Image from mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/macro-photos-show-amazing-details-of-everyday-objects

Image from mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/macro-photos-show-amazing-details-of-everyday-objects

This falls under the title of “Isn’t science cool?” This is a single grain of sugar. Cool, right?

 

quote struggle

This picture might look familiar as I’ve used it in a previous post. But hey, I still like it and this is my blog. Love the tail.

 

Okay. So I wrote. I posted. I looked at pretty pictures. Do I feel any “better”? Not really. I just feel hungry.

 

Maybe I’ll go back to bed.

 

black white cat


 

Take care.

Bonnie

X is for X Factor

x xmas fancyWhen I was a kid, my best friend and I used to play this game nearly every day. We pretended we were princesses and we had to “compete” to win our princes in a pageant-like competition. So we would dress up, put on makeup, dance, sing, and sometimes put on a play. And of course, we each won a prince. The prince himself didn’t really matter. The whole thing was just an excuse to pretend that we had “it.” That elusive something that would make someone take one look at us, gasp, and say “Her! That’s the one I’ve been looking for!”

Image from commons.wikimedia.org

Image from commons.wikimedia.org

Now that I’m an adult I know that that kind of “something” is rare. Marilyn Monroe had it. Cary Grant had it. Katy Perry has it. Johnny Depp has it. I don’t have it. At least when it comes to that kind of celebrity charisma.

But what I’m still looking for, at the age of forty-something, is the X factor. I’m looking for that certain elusive something that allows someone, despite all the problems or issues in their life, to do better, to be better. I’m looking for whatever it is that makes someone push through what seem to be unsurmountable odds and make the world a place I want to be in.

About five years ago, I discovered the author Therese J. Borchard. At the time I was combing

Image from thereseborchardblog.com

Image from thereseborchardblog.com

the internet for answers to a spiritual quest and Ms. Borchard had a blog on the website Beliefnet which dealt with spirituality and mental illness. I fell in love with her writing, but more I fell in love with her story. You see, Ms. Borchard has Bipolar (you can find more on that here) and yet has what most of us would consider a normal life. She’s married, has kids, works, writes, has a master’s degree, has published books, and (what may be the hardest thing) fights her mental illness every day. She has the X factor.

According to one of her blog posts (found here), every day she swims, keeps a gratitude journal, lists her accomplishments, makes herself laugh, meditates, takes all kinds of supplements, watches her diet, sits under a sun lamp, and prays. Every. Day. I can’t even do those things every week. Again, the X factor.

So why does she have the ability to fight so hard? Or maybe how does she have the ability to fight? Is it the support that she has from family and friends? Or is it something in her makeup, her DNA? Is there a gene for the X factor?

And she’s not the only one. There are thousands of people out there who, often on a daily basis, fight battles that would put me under. Cancer, domestic violence, political and religious violence, schizophrenia, PTSD, fibromyalgia, cardiac disease, Crohn’s disease, AIDS, Cystic Fibrosis, MS, Lupus, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), the list goes on and on. And they fight. They have the X factor.

As you know, I have a chronic illness too: Major Depressive Disorder (more on that here). And I fight it…bed gray sometimes. Not on a daily basis. I don’t try to fight it with exercise or changes to my diet. There are whole weeks that I spend in bed, not making an effort. Not attempting to have a normal life. Not fighting. Sometimes I’m just too tired, too exhausted by living with the stupid illness to even make an attempt.

But there are other times, times when I could fight it. Times when my energy is up, and I can smile, and I can see the beauty of this world. Those are the times when I could establish the habits and behaviors that fight the disease. Those are the times that those with the X factor push themselves to do what they can, to be what they can. And often they succeed. Ms. Borchard does, and she has a family, friends, and, on top of all she does on a daily basis, has started a community for those with chronic treatment-resistant mood disorders, Project Beyond Blue. How does she do it?

And how can I not? I don’t have a spouse or kids to take care of. I have nothing to distract me, not work, not family, not even a cat, to distract me from fighting my illness. But I don’t. I don’t. I don’t have the X factor.

But maybe, maybe, I can find it.

Find the X factor and fight for my life.


Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to give more? Or are you adding more charitable donations to your plate as part of Lent? If so, please consider donating to Ms. Borchard’s Project Beyond Blue. Details on how to do so can be found here.

On behalf of all those who benefit from her work, Thank You.

ProjectBeyondBlueNingmastheadalternative3

Image found at community.projectbeyondblue.com

 


Take care.

Bonnie

Z is for Zero

~~~~~TRIGGER WARNING~~~~~

Food, bingeing, nutritional numbers, and suicide mentioned.

frozen barbed wire
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you’re in the US, you’re probably aware that the Midwest, where I live, is currently in the deep freeze. We’ve had wind chills below zero all week and the last two days it’s been so cold schools have closed because the wind chill was thirty below (frostbite could happen within minutes of being outside.)

Now normally, I have no problem staying home. Except for today. Today I wanted to binge. I wanted chocolate, sugar, junk. Of course, anything carbohydrate (carbs)-related is supposed to be “bad” for me. I have Type II Diabetes (click here for info on Diabetes) after all. Did I care, nope. I just wanted to eat what I wanted to eat.

I did try though, not to give into that little devil on my shoulder that nattered at me to go out and get all those carby goodies. I ignored him all day. Until I couldn’t.

So I bundled up and walked to the closest store and bought a bunch of junk food. For the sake of clarity, let me tell you exactly what I ate, the nutritional facts of each item (taken from their packages), and how long it took me to eat it all…

6pm

One 12oz bottle of OJ. This is not a normal binge food for me. I drank it because I can feel a cold coming timeFlieson. Calories: 160; Fat: 0g (grams); Carbs: 37g; Protein: 2g.

One pint of Premium Ice Cream (vanilla with fudge streaks and peanut butter cups mixed in). Calories: 680; Fat: 44g; Carbs: 72g; Protein: 8g.

6:55pm

One 11oz bag of Nacho Chips. Calories: 1540g; Fat: 88g; Carbs: 176g; Protein: 22g.

One large Peanut Butter Cup. Calories: 200; Fat: 12g; Carbs: 22g; Protein: 5g.

9:20pm

Two Chocolate Cupcakes. Calories: 330; Fat: 12g; Carbs: 53g; Protein: 2g.

One large Peanut Butter Cup. Calories: 200; Fat: 12g; Carbs: 22g; Protein: 5g.

One Brownie. Calories: 500; Fat: 26g; Carbs: 66g; Protein: 5g.

11:20pm

One 6oz bag of Pizza-flavored filled Pretzel Snacks. Calories: 780; Fat: 30g; Carbs: 114g; Protein: 12g.

So our grand totals for this evening of bingeing are: Calories: 4390; Fat: 224g (46% of calories); Carbs: 562g (51% of calories); Protein: 61g (5% of calories). Yeah, I know that’s more than 100%. I’ve never been good at math.

sugar

And this isn’t even all I ate today, just what I’ve eaten since 6pm. And I may eat more, like the other things I bought on my below zero shopping trip: another brownie, a 4oz bag of chocolate covered pretzels, a large banana-nut muffin, a large cheese streusel muffin, three milk-chocolate truffles, and a 4oz bag of hard candies (chocolate flavored). I’m gonna try not to eat anything else, but there are no guarantees. Not with me anyway.

I’m assuming some of you are thinking, “Huh? What does all that mean?” To answer that question, let me tell you a bit about what I’ve been told I “should” eat…

Calories: The last time I saw a nutritionist who specialized in eating disorders, I was over 400 pounds. She told me to eat roughly 3000 calories since I was used to eating at least 4000 a day. I’m not quite so heavy now (I lost a bit when I became unemployed and couldn’t eat at fast food places all the time), so I did a web search. According to calorieking.com, I should eat between 1900-2100 calories if I want to lose weight and 2650-2850 calories to maintain it.nutritionfacts

So this binge took me over my daily allotted calories by 1390 to 2490 calories, depending on which advice you’re looking at. And that doesn’t even include the food I had earlier in the day (no binges, just regular meals.)

Fat: Because my cholesterol (believe it or not) is fine I’ve never paid much attention to how many fat grams I should or should not eat. Basically I’ve been told to get roughly 30% of my calories from fat. This binge pushed me 16% (at least) over that.

Carbs: This is the biggie. Because carbs digest into sugar first, they affect your blood sugar fastest. So with Diabetes this is the number everyone focuses on. There is no number recommended by the American Diabetes Association. They always say that the number is “individual.” However, the most common numbers I’ve been given is between 30-45g per meal and 0-15g per snack, or between 40-60% of your calories. Of course, those carbs should all be of the whole-grain-complex variety, not the simple-sugar-junk-food kind I just ate.

Looking at just the numbers, it looks like I did okay, right? 51% is right there in the middle. Yay me! Nope, not yay me. Because I know that when I eat a lot of food in a very short time, especially junk food, my blood sugars go very, very high. And the higher your blood sugars go (averaged out) the more damage you do to your body. At my last blood test my blood sugars ran, on average, twice to three times what they should be. Yeah, not good. What I should be doing is eating low-carb. Like 20-40% of my calories.

Protein: Once again, this is an area that is not focused on much when it comes to Diabetes treatment, other than to say to eat a little bit at each meal as it off-sets the carbs. So, if I was eating 30% fat, and 40-60% carbs, I should eat 10-30% of my calories in protein. This binge put me at a minimum of 5% under what I should be.

plate

Confused? So am I. And for this reason, I’m going to see a Diabetes Educator. Eventually. When I talk myself into it.

The truth of the matter is, I don’t pay as much attention to my diet as I should, even when I’m not bingeing. I may, or may not, eat the right percentages of fat, carbs, and protein. Often I eat based on what’s cheap and filling (thanks poverty!)

Now a few months ago, a friend of mine made me promise to pay more attention to my physical health. She bought me a blood glucose meter so I can test my blood sugars at home and gave me some cash so I could pay for my Diabetes meds. And I have tried. A bit. A lot of the time I “forget” to test my blood. But I have tried. I now eat more salad (my blood sugar likes those). And I do pay more attention. When I can.

However, I can’t always handle it. Like today. It was cold, I’d been stuck inside for days because of the wind chill, and I just wanted to feel something other than suicidal. And food pulls me out of that mood fastest by raising my blood sugar and putting me on a sugar-high. For those hours when my blood sugar is dangerously high, I feel—not happy, but close. I feel…well, normal.

That voice in the back of my head that tells me I’m a horrible person, that I’m the scum-of-the-earth, that I shouldn’t be alive, gets quiet. It’s easier to laugh, smile, feel anything other a crushing sense of hopelessness. On a sugar-high I feel like I might just be able to be a productive member of society. I can achieve my dreams. Maybe even be attractive.

Of course, I pay for it afterward in both long and short term ways. In the short term I get headaches, stomach-aches, and digestive problems. In the long-term, my Diabetes could cause me to lose limbs, go blind, have a heart-attack, or a stroke.

But frankly, if I’m fighting death daily, what does it matter if I die now from suicide or latter from a Diabetes-related complication. Either way, I’ve killed myself.

I am zero.

It’s just my choice to see how long before it happens.


Take care.

Bonnie

J is for Jealousy

j abcalphabet-letter-jWarning!!! This post may be triggering for those with eating disorders and/or a mood disorder.

It’s finally happened. Guilt over not posting has won out over anxiety about writing about a particular subject. You see, I promised myself when I started this blog that I would write about whatever was going on with me at whatever time it happens, no flinching, no hiding. Sorry about the silence on the blog. Here goes, a post about jealousy…

I’ve been feeling really jealous lately and it’s been bothering me. Most of the time I’m okay with whatever pangs of jealousy come up because they’re really normal kinds of jealousy. What I mean by that is that most of the time I’m jealous of really normal, understandable, transitory things. When I feel a stab of jealousy over someone’s job, it’s perfectly understandable since I’m unemployed and desperate for a job. The same goes for when I get jealous over people with money, looks, children, and so forth. These are all things that I want in the future or things I know I’ll never be able to have. I can understand and forgive myself for them. I acknowledge that pang and move on.

However, recently I’ve found myself jealous over things that are kinda…well, icky. And it makes me think there’s something wrong with me (more than normal that is).

Here, in no particular order, are things I’ve been jealous over lately that I’ve got a problem with and/or can’t quite get past:

People with Bipolar Disorder. Now, I’ve got what they call Unipolar Disorder in the psych biz. That means my

Image from health.com

Image seen on health.com

moods just get really low. If you’ve got Bipolar Disorder, your moods would go from high (manic) to low (depression). As you might have guessed, this disorder used to be called Manic Depression. (If you want more info on this disorder, click here).

Why am I jealous of these people? Let me list the ways:

  1.   They get to feel good. At some point in their lives, people diagnosed with Bipolar have a manic period. Granted, that mania may be mild or extreme, but at least they get to feel something more than the horrific depression I get sometimes.
  2.   They get a lot of attention. I subscribe to the Facebook pages of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), their website is here, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, their website is here, and a website called HealthyPlace, their website is here. Sometimes it seems as if most of the posts/articles I see in Facebook are about Bipolar. Not plain old, I-only-get-really-really-down, Unipolar Depression.
  3.   A lot of celebrities have been “coming out” as Bipolar. It almost seems as if it’s the new “sexy” diagnosis. So it gets a lot of attention in the media.

The worst part of it is that I know that I’m blessed in a way to only have the boring diagnosis of Unipolar Depression. People who have Bipolar have a much harder time getting diagnosed and treated, have a much higher rate of suicide, and overall have the worst of the two diseases.

And yet, I’m jealous. It just makes me feel like I’m a selfish person because I’ve got the boring diagnosis. Ick.

People with Anorexia and/or Bulimia. You’d think the one thing I wouldn’t be jealous of would be someone withcat eating a worse eating disorder than I’ve got. For those new to my blog, I’ve got Binge Eating Disorder (for an overview of all three disorders, click here). I just eat…and eat…and eat. A lot. I don’t throw it up or over-exercise to compensate. Hence my lovely circus-lady-fat-physique.

So why am I jealous? Let me list the ways:

  1.   Just like people with Bipolar, those with anorexia and bulimia get a lot more attention than those who just binge. Think about it, how many times have you seen a movie of the week, or Lifetime movie, about someone with Binge Eating Disorder? Bet you can’t think of one. And yet, there are plenty of movies about anorexia and bulimia. Celebrities who have anorexia and/or bulimia are profiled all the time in the media. Very few celebrities even admit to binging without purging or dieting in some manner to off-set their binges. Yep, starving, throwing up, and over-exercising seem very sexy. Just eating until your stomach can’t take anymore, not so sexy.
  2.   Anorexia and, to some extent, bulimia, is very visible. And when people see them and understand what they’re doing, they (most of the time) react with some modicum of sympathy or respect. It’s pretty easy to understand that someone who is starving themselves or throwing up all the time is in need of some help. Not so much bingers. We’re often the butt (no pun intended) of jokes. We’re told that we just need to stop eating and get off the couch. Let me tell you, it is not that simple. If I could’ve done it, I would’ve done it twenty years ago.
  3.   Control. Anorexics, and to some extent, bulimics, have some modicum of control over their eating. All three
    Image seen on www.glogster.com/

    Image seen on glogster.com

    disorders are constantly thinking about food, but at least anorexics/bulimics have enough discipline to stop or compensate. I can’t seem to stop or even attempt to off-set it in the way they do. Granted, I don’t want to throw up or abuse laxatives (not that abusing laxatives actually works, more on that here) but at least bulimics are making an attempt to control their weight. And anorexics have the ultimate in control. They starve themselves. The exact opposite of how I deal with food and my emotions. Often I wish I had that control. But I don’t.

  4.   Believe it or not, there are actual websites out there that are all about helping those with anorexia and bulimia to continue their eating disorder behaviors. Often called pro-ana (ana=anorexia) and pro-mia (mia=bulimia) websites, they’re all about getting deeper and deeper into these awful diseases. Are there any pro-binge websites? Not that I’ve ever heard of.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not advocating anyone, including myself, try to become anorexic or bulimic. Both

anorexics and bulimics have a much harder time recovering than bingers. Both are much more likely to die from their diseases than a binger. They are awful, horrific, terrifying diseases.

And yet, I’m jealous of them. Ick.

How sick am I that I’m jealous of people with these diseases/disorders that are so much worse than what I’ve got? Why can’t I just be glad that I don’t have it as bad as those sufferers?

Maybe it’s because those people have illnesses/disorders that are often much more visible. And they get more sympathy. If you see a person going through a manic phase, you can tell they’ve got an illness. An anorexic is obviously sick. My illnesses seem invisible. With enough effort, I can smile through my depression. I eat alone. People out on the street are much more likely to yell the name of a famous weight-loss company at me than to think I might need to be hospitalized. My size is out there for everyone to see, but most just think I’m an undisciplined, lazy, person not worth their respect.

And sometimes I feel that way about myself. If I had a disease that would kill me quicker (anorexia) or was more fun (bipolar), would I respect myself more? I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t think much of myself for being jealous of those people who have those diseases/disorders. I know it’s wrong. Those people suffer so much, have a much harder time, are in so much more danger than I am. And everytime I feel jealous of them, despite the fact that I remind myself of this, I still can’t make that jealousy go away.

How icky is that?


 

image from DBSA

image from DBSA

If you need help with any of the above mentioned diseases/disorders, please don’t wait. The sooner you

get help the better. Here are some hotlines (all for the USA):

National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): (800) 826-3632

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: (800) 950-6264

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) Helpline: 630-577-1330 (Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Central Time)

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA): 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Eastern Time)


 

Blessings to all of you.

Be well.

R is for Relationships

r recycledSince this is the week dedicated to all things heart shaped (aka Valentine’s Day week), I thought I’d write a bit about my issues with relationships.

I am horrible at all kinds of relationships other than your superficial kinds. If you want to talk about stuff while at work, I’m your gal (or I would be if I was employed). I’ll talk about anything other than politics (and/or religion if you’re not able to be open-minded/respectful of others’ opinions). If you want to tell me all about your life, spill your secrets, discuss your sex life, whatever, I’m good to go. I’ve got a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and may actually be able to give you some insight or help with whatever you’re going through. No problem. Just don’t expect me to tell you more than the superficial stuff about my own life.

Sure I’ll tell you a bit about my parents, brother, grandmother, and so on. I might tell you stories about growing up heart conversationpoor in a mostly affluent suburb or about taking care of my dying grandmother. I’ll tell you about the safe stuff in my life: career dreams, places I want to travel to or live. But I’ll never get to the meat of anything unless you divulge it first. And even then I’ll stay at the surface. For example: I’ll tell you that I suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a relative, but I won’t tell you who, what happened, or how it was resolved. I might tell you that I suffered guilt and shame over it, that I never told certain people about it, that I’m still somewhat angry about it, or that it took about thirty years for it to become a “minor” part of my life. But I’ll never tell you the details. You’ll never know that my shame isn’t that it happened, but that it hurt those who never knew about it.

In the past, when I’ve told people about some of this superficial stuff, they’ve told me that I’m “open” and that they feel close to me. I nod and thank them for their thoughts but inside I know that it’s just a sham. I know that I’m incapable of real relationships.

How do I know this? Because, to me, when it comes right down to it, real relationships are those that survive outside of the boundaries of the structures of modern life.

Two years ago I worked at a job with a woman who was having trouble in her marriage. She told me about some of her struggles with a previous marriage where her husband was abusive, verbally and sexually. She said that her past made her hesitant to trust her current husband. I divulged to her the superficial details of my own sexual abuse, correlated it to some stuff I learned in school, and gave her advice about talking to her current husband. She took my advice and said it helped. Later she told me that my openness helped her to realize certain things about her relationships. After I quit that job, I never saw or heard from that person again. To me, that was not a real relationship. Was it a worthwhile relationship? Sure, she got something out of it and I enjoyed helping her. But it was superficial. It was the only kind of relationship I am capable of. Other modern life structures that my relationships don’t survive past are school, apartment buildings, even online support groups. After I’m done with a class, graduated from college, moved from a building, left a group, those relationships don’t last. They’re gone. Like they never even happened.

I’m aware that some of those types of relationships are meant to fade away. My counselor tells me this and I read about them in school. But if those are the only kind of relationships I’m capable of, what does that say about me?

The other day I sat down and tried to think of who I’m always honest with (outside of psychiatrists, counselors, heart metaltherapists, etc). I counted seven people: my high school best friend, that friend’s parents, my brother and sister-in-law, a cousin, and a neighbor. Only one of those people is within walking distance of me. Two are in another state all together. And I only speak to one, my neighbor, on a regular basis.

Yes, all of them (and more) are Facebook friends and yes, I can text, email and/or speak to them by phone pretty much anytime. But I don’t. Even when I know I should. I’ll reach for the phone or keyboard and something will stop me. Something dark and ugly will rise inside me and I’ll put the phone or keyboard down.

Sometimes I think that dark and ugly thing is my mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, and/or the eating disorder). And sometimes I might be right because those things seem to clog up my brain and throat until I can’t communicate with anyone other than God.

But other times I think that dark and ugly thing is just me. My innards are so disgusting that I don’t want to expose them to the light, to my friends and family, to anyone with even a little bit of goodness in them. So I shove that ickyness deep down with food. I keep relationships superficial. I keep everyone away from my ugliness.

It’s safer.

Maybe for them.

But mostly for me.

I’ve accepted my inability to have real relationships with anyone other than those seven people. Mostly. Sometimes I surprise myself and make new friends. Like my neighbor, I’ve told her details about my sexual abuse, about my mental health issues, about my previous struggles with cleaning, and so forth. For some reason, I haven’t scared her away.

I think she may be Superwoman.

I know she’s extraordinary.

We’ll see if my relationship with her will last after one of us moves away. I don’t have much faith that it will last, but then again I also didn’t have much faith that I’d live past thirty either so it might. I hope it does. Because if it does, that means maybe I’m capable of a real relationship. One that lasts beyond the boundary of our building.

And then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be capable of having more of those relationships.

And then maybe, just maybe, I could date, have a romantic relationship, marry. I haven’t dated since high school (I’ll be 41 this year.)

Would you date, or marry, the circus-lady fat gal?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

I’m not holding my breath. I’ll be satisfied with becoming capable of having real relationships. Down deep, I know I’m not meant for a romantic relationship. All that disgusting ugliness may be tolerable in friendships (superficial or not) but it would be impossible in a day-to-day-till-death-do-you-part relationship. After all, you can get away from a friend and wash off that gross scum. A romantic partner (in my case, a man) is required to live with it, carry a bit of it in their heart, meld it to their soul.

I couldn’t ask any man to do that.

Does that mean I don’t miss those types of intimate relationships? Not on your life. At one point, when my biological clock was ticking with the power of Big Ben, I thought the yearning, the loneliness, would kill me. I cried at the sight of a baby, leaned toward the TV when watching romantic comedies, sobbed myself into migraines.

Even now, years after my biological clock short-circuited, I still yearn for closeness. There are days, weeks even, when I just want someone to hold me. Someone to tell me it’s gonna be okay. Someone who would worry with me about bills, broken down cars, unemployment. Someone to hold my hand under the dining room table when my social anxiety kicks in. Someone to bring me an apple when I’m binging on chocolate. Someone to look me in the eye and tell me I’m important, worthy, loved.

I want that someone. But I don’t think he exists. At least not for me. I only know one man out there who is that kind of gentleman, who would have that kind of patience, that kind of acceptance, that kind of pure-heartedness. He’s my high school best friend’s father and currently married to her mother. They have a son, but unfortunately he doesn’t take after his father. I doubt very much there’s another guy out there like him.

So I’m assuming I’m gonna live out the rest of my life alone. Slowly working on having real relationships but never having that ultimate relationship that makes life worth living.

It’ll be lonely.

It’ll suck.

But I’m used to that.

I’ll just have to content myself with a cat.

cat sofa

Happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate!

Blessings to all of you.

Be well.

T is for Today vs. Yesterday (and Tomorrow)

t fancyToday was okay. Yesterday was bad (but not horrible. Horrible is when I think of death).

Today I only slept 10 hours. Yesterday I slept 18.

Today I gave myself a sponge bath (a shower was too much), got dressed, combed my hair. Yesterday I spent the day in my nightgown, unwashed, uncombed.

Today I ate something of nutritional value. Yesterday I binged.

Today I looked for a job and organized my craft supplies. Yesterday I spent the day in bed.

Today I can write. Yesterday I could not.

Today my brain is clear and my thoughts move quickly. Yesterday my brain was full of gross, green pond scum. My thoughts got stuck, dug trenches, grew poisonous roots.

If this is your picture, please let me know so I can give you credit.

If this is your picture, please let me know so I can give you credit.

Today I challenged my negative thoughts and attempted to reframe them. Yesterday I fell into the negativity abyss.

Today I can smile (but not grin). If someone calls, I can fake normalcy. Yesterday I could not speak.

Today I can feel. If it is funny, I can laugh (but not giggle). If it is sad, I can cry. Yesterday I was numb.

Today I can dream, I can plan (but not do), I can think. Yesterday I had nightmares, sludged through the day, could not think.

Today I have hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better. Perhaps tomorrow I will have enough energy to shower, to go for a walk, to be productive. Maybe tomorrow will be a day when I can grin and giggle, laugh and cry, dance and see the beauty of the world.

Tomorrow will probably not be great. Great is too much to ask for. Great days are days of belly laughs and happy tears, children and cats, blue skies and warm sunshine, unsolicited hugs and gentle kisses. Great days have boundless energy, completed projects, gainful employment. Great days are out of my reach.

Today I have hope that tomorrow will be good, not great but good. Because today was better than yesterday.

***

This post is a part my pledge of commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. Please click here for more information about this pledge.

 blog for mental health 2014

Blessings to you all.

Be well.

M is for Mental Health

m recycledI promised myself that my next blog post wasn’t going to be another musing on the mental health merry-go-round, but I read this & discovered that there was a Blog for Mental Health 2014 project. If you’ve been following my posts, then you’re well aware that I’ve got a mental health condition, more than one in fact. So I thought I’d join in on the project. Here’s my pledge:

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.” (Tallulah “Lulu” Stark, founder of Blog for Mental Health 2014)

Frankly this is a big step for me, as I never thought I’d be one of those bloggers who joined any kind of blogging projects &/or blog-link-along kinda thing. But mental health is a huge thing for me, so here I am. You can read more about the project here.blog for mental health 2014

To bring any new readers up to date, I have “Reoccurring Major Depressive Disorder with Suicidal Ideation”, “Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” (otherwise known as “she’s got it but we can’t give it a category”), and “Binge Eating Disorder.” If you want to learn all the dirty details about my hospitalizations click here, here, here, and here. If you want to read a post specifically about suicide, click here, or bingeing, click here. A bit about my family can be found here, here, and here. And other bits about my mental health can be found here, here, and here.

So here’s what’s new about the state of my mental health:

1. My counselor is leaving me. Well, not just me, she’s leaving the facility I go to. Unfortunately, it’s the only place in the area an unemployed, uninsured person can go to and still get help, so I can’t follow her to wherever she ends up going. To make it worse, it’s just as we were starting to get somewhere. My last session with her is this week. I’ve no idea why she waited this long to tell me, but I hate that I don’t have much time to adjust to it. She says she has to go because she’s got to “model” what she tells us to do. I’m not exactly sure what that means, and she can’t really tell me anything else because of the whole client-counselor separation thing. I’m guessing there’s something major going on in her life and she’s gotta take care of herself in order to take care of something/someone else.

crying baby

Nope this isn’t me.

As a full grown adult, I’m happy for her that she’s taking care of herself. As a messed up person, I AM PISSED OFF!! This is gonna be the third counselor (not counting the intake and crisis counselors) I’ve been assigned at this facility. This is also following a pattern that started a couple of years ago where just when I think I’m getting somewhere with a counselor or major issue in my life, that counselor or person who is helping me leaves. And I have to start all over.

Why? Why do I have to have these problems? I don’t get it and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of having to explain myself and my life over and over again to yet another person. Frankly, I just want to throw things. This leads to:

2. My depression seems to be getting worse. I think it’s because I’ve been missing some of my meds, or it could be because my unemployment was cut off (at least until congress re-authorizes Emergency Unemployment again). Or it could be because the weather sucks. Or it could be because I suck.

Wait, I’m not supposed to say that. Okay, time to use my CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) skills: “sucks” is a negative word so I’ve gotta replace it with something positive. Um… Let’s say “it could be because I’m currently in a difficult situation that anyone would have a hard time with.”

sleeping baby

Still not me.

Not nearly as fulfilling as saying “sucks.” Sigh.

In any case, I’ve been sleeping a lot. 18 hours last night, 12 the night before. And I’ve been spending money that I shouldn’t be spending on stuff I don’t really need (this is one of my ways of distracting myself). I’m still bingeing, but not any more than before my mood started dipping. Oh, yeah, it started dipping right around the holidays. Coincidence? I think not.

3. My anxiety level has gone up. This one is easy to address. It happened because a drunk guy wandered into my building and was creeping up the stairs next to my apartment. He turned out to be harmless, but it triggered all my safety anxieties. And it doesn’t help that one of the abuse incidents in my past happened right after someone crept up a flight of stairs right next to the room I was in. I’m doing all the CBT stuff that I’ve practiced about this and I can see it working. I’m thinking at least this’ll get better soon.

Coming up next week: probably a post about writing (cause I’m sick of staring at my navel).

Kittens. Just cause they're cute.

Kittens. Just cause they’re cute. And I
LOVE cats.

Blessings to you all.

Be well.