The Comparison Trap: Self Anhilation Of The Psyche

Posted in depression with tags , , , , , , on May 22, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

A commercial sparked something in me. A dad talking about all the things he wanted to teach his kids. And I thought, well, I suppose I should teach my kid to bake and cook at some point…and I got images of boxed cake mix and brownie mix…accompanied by that stupid little voice pointing out, “Your mom and sister make their stuff from scratch most of the time, you’re not teaching your kid anything with box mixes.”

And so the comparison trap continues.

I suppose it’s an inevitable thing we do, as humans, compare ourselves to others. Maybe to gain perspective, maybe to motivate ourselves to do better, to strive for more. More often, I think it’s a form of self anhilation of the psyche. Knowing we can only be who we are and some of us are wired differently so we’re never going to be like so and so. It’s so easy to decide on that basis that you’re simply unworthy to live, or you’re a waste of space. Subpar, subhuman, lesser.

One of the first things you learn in therapy is that it’s unhealthy to make such comparisons. They encourage you to just be the better version of yourself without regard to who is superman or superwoman in whatever way. You can only be you, and you can strive to be a better version of you, but you can’t be someone else no matter how much you may desire it.

Thing is, outside of therapy, life doesn’t work this way.

People are constantly comparing you to others. In my case, my dad is constantly pitting me against my sister. She works, she’s a superb housekeeper, an excellent cook and baker, she’s pretty, she’s friendly. Then against their neighbor, who works full time and has a 4 year old son she is raising alone (except she has a bf who helps out a lot) so I am somehow less than both of them in his eyes.

In my own eyes when my mental state permits…I don’t view myself as competing with others thus needing the comparison. I am doing my own thing. I am focused on being a good mom, trying to teach my kid to be a decent human being and value more than just things with price tags. And in my case, I am doing it all alone. With the constant put downs and no positive reinforcement and battling my mental imbalances and financial struggles. It’s hard, it’s thankless, and occasionally, hell to the yeah, I’d like to hear, “You’re doing a good job.”

From my family, that simply does not happen on either side. Unless I snap and point out their negativity and lack of support then they might grudgingly say, “Yeah, you must be doing something right, Spook adores her mom.” THEN come the put downs about not working, or my anxiety and depression maybe harming my kid, or her not having every luxury is somehow neglectful.Oh, my and dad’s favorite rant, people on disability, because in his world, there’s no such thing, just laziness.

Last night he and stepmonster treated my 8 year old to a lecture about their harsh fathers and upbringing in which they were put to work driving trucks or working in fields detassling corn as soon as school let out from the time they were her age or younger. And yeah, they’re not being dramatic, that was their childhood in the boondocks being raised by men who weren’t their bioligical fathers so they were treated very harshly. (In my dad’s case, it was rural country in the ’50’s, long before it was considered a crime to beat your kids or work them at such a young age, but she’s 3 years younger than me, you gotta wonder where the child protective services were for her back then, it was the fucking 80’s…And yeah, my dad is 71, she’s 42, ewww, but whatever works for them.)

It just hit me that while I definitely want my kid to do some chores and learn not to be an entitled snowflake…them shoving that old world rural bullshit down her throat, like it was ever sane or normal to make 7 year old drive a truck or work in a field, pisses me off. Their abusive childhoods have no role in my kid’s life. I’m sorry they went through that, but terrifying a little kid isn’t what I call stellar grandparenting.

But that brought about more comparisons and dad basically making it like I had this charmed upbringing simply because I wasn’t working the fields when I was in single digits. I had a job at 16, I moved out on my own at 17, and I have fought tooth and nail to be on my own. There was no snowflake entitlement here. That was my sister, who was never forced to work. She got a waterbed, she got guitars and snakes and full breed $300 dogs and igaunas even though she had a record for robbery and car theft before she was 18. And it’s not jealousy,it’s fact. I was out of there and doing my own thing and not living under comparisons so there was nothing to be jealous of. Just, if he wants to illuminate golden childhoods, it wasn’t mine. Not saying mine was awful, but it wasn’t all mommy buying my stuff every time I took some pills cos I was told no. (To my sister’s credit, she eventually got her shit together in a big way, even if she still lives with mom.)

I just fail to see how comparisons do anyone any good. They are harmful, at least for me. I guess I don’t have a very strong psyche on some matters. And yet, here I am, still doing my own thing, so while they may rob me of self esteem constantly, they sure don’t keep me from trying to keep up my battles.

So, counseling, yeah, the whole ‘be the best version of you, no comparisons’ is a good thing to follow.

At the same time, I wish all my counselors had schooled me on 35 years of the world at large forcing their comparisons on me to the point I can’t help but fall victim to doing so myself.

Everyone else is out there, happy to anhilate my psyche. I don’t need to help them.

Sound paranoid?

You just gotta meet my family to get it.

Life under constant criticism with nary a good word spoken about you leads to paranoia, wariness, mistrust, and a great sense of dislike towards those who do more harm than good. Especially when it’s family.

Unconditional love isn’t something I’ve ever known and probably isn’t something I’ll ever know how to give to anyone but my kid and cats.

Damaged though my psyche may be at their hands and my own…

I’m a fighter and I’m going to keep fighting.

If only to spite them all.

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No Escape From Mental Chaos

Posted in anxiety disorders with tags , , , , on May 22, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

I am feeling especially whiney, but also bitchy and ranty. I’ve been blessed with unusually awesome physical health, for the most part, which means my mental battles generally get all my energy. Yet once a month for ten miserable days, my hormones go bonkers, my body ceases to be a mild annoyance to be ignored, and every.damn.thing hurts and pisses me off or makes me cry.

I am sick of the monthly invasion of the body snatching hormones. The last two days I’ve even taken naps-which I DON’T do, sans the clockwork psychotic orange monthly curse. The pain has had my abdomen feeling like a thousand oompa loompas are punching my ovaries and shredding my organs, driving spears into my spine. Bad enough when your emotions are all over the map, but when your body is in hell, too, it makes it difficult to feel human, let alone behave like one.

I am accustomed to a very quiet life-by choice. Because of my anxiety disorders, too much stimuli overwhelms me and makes my moods and anxiety worse. While most people find socialization a comfort, or even fun and nourishing (wtf?), for me avoidance is as important to my mental health as any medication. Since the move to Armpit and living down the street from my dad and his crew…I can barely go a single day without them all in my business and honestly…they’re loud, they all talk at once, they are overly critical, have zero tact, and on top of that, they’re often racist and offensive. Small doses is the only way to take them.

In town, I had that luxury. They’d go a month without seeing me or Spook and it was blissful. I had control there, because they only came to town once a week or so and they were far too busy to be bothered with us. I liked it that way.

The ‘new normal’ has them stopping in constantly without calling, telling me my house smells bad or this isn’t clean enough or my yard looks shitty or I am lazy and need this job and get over my mental issues. They’re toxic and no amount of speaking up makes them back off in the least. If I let my kid go to their house so I don’t have to endure them ( and she likes it there cos they have dogs and neighbor kids, so she’s not suffering), then stepmonster sends her home with her clothes washed because my laundry soap is cheap and doesn’t smell good so she’s ‘helping’. It’s fucking insulting, pardon me if I don’t have a man also bringing in income so I can blow $22 on laundry soap and booster beads and fabric softener. She’s been doing this for years. Yet if you say one word about the way they live (their shed looks like something out of Sanford and Son, and I mean a junkyard, not anything sinister) they go off.

I cannot stand hypocrites, especially people who can’t admit that’s what they are.

I despise the new normal. They’ve been in my face every day for 9 days now. I am ready to blow up on them.

Throw in that my kid is about to get out of school and she’s already started in on how she’s bored, bored, bored, hates me for moving us here cos she always had plenty of kids to play with at the trailer park but the people here won’t let their kids play with her cos they don’t know me…I feel like a volcano about to erupt all around.

I look forward only to sleep and the occasional ‘golden day’, which happens about twice a month.

I can’t get my feet under me when every 20 days my body and mind riot, resulting in so much cognitive dissonance and physical misery.

Mental chaos has become a nightmare I can’t waken from.

The money stuff just makes it worse. I had to borrow money from my younger brother just to mail a letter. OMG, how humiliating. No doubt he went and told dad and I’ll get a lecture on managing money but you can’t manage what ain’t there. And I HAVE been trying to find alternate sources of income, but I am a stranger in this town so no one wants me babysitting their snowflakes, and gas stations may be hard up for part timers, but if you can’t even pass their basis math test because you have numeric dyslexia…

BUT I keep reminding myself of the three kids between dad, mom, and stepmonster, even if I am disabled and don’t work- I am the ONLY one who has gotten out on my own, and stayed that way. I TRY to make ends meet without living with mommy or daddy and ten other people. And my brother lives rent free with dad and stepmonster, whatever he earns mowing lawns or whatever, he gets to keep and spend as he wants (he bought an X Box last week) so it’s not like he’s budgeting. My sister lives with mom and her mother in law, plus my nephew’s fiance, so they have four incomes in one house.

I am disabled, a single mom, facing all these negative changes, and still-upright and trying to do right by my child, as much as I can for myself. (Trust me, fundraisers bring me no pride, only shame, but when you’re trying to help yourself and people aren’t finding you worthy of earning your way…you’ll do some surprising things to stay afloat.) I am TRYING.

And a week from now once the hormones settle, I should have two good weeks, at least physically. By then I will have seen the shrink for the last time before likely being shunted back to doc nurse (it’s a nightmare, thinking about going back to that noob) and while I’m hardly doing great…hopefully reporting that Cymbalta is making me feel somewhat better will result in a dose increase.

For now…I just want to tuck my daughter in, then curl up in bed and ride out the current wave of cramps and backache. I’ve overdosed on ibuprofen today, hate taking more pills than my psych meds but it was necessary. When I nap and can’t even stream favorite shows because I am hurting so bad…And all I want and need is peace but the very people who love me are the noisy presence pushing me toward the edge…

I’m pretty strong to still be upright and fighting. Even if I feel like a big wuss who should just…Well, I won’t go there because I know it’s hormones and low mood and bad thought bullshit but still…When the negative devours the positive and you’re still sticking it out…

It’s pretty badass, in my opinion.

Yeah, yeah, I’m not patting myself on the back. It makes the backache and cramps worse.

DIY Therapy: Return To Fort Blankie

Posted in anxiety disorders, depression with tags , , , on May 20, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

My hormones are having their monthly pre-riot, causing my face to break out and my moods to flare up like a 14 year old’s. The cramps make my innards feel like they are being run through a paper shredder. I am accomplishing nothing yet feeling exhausted and drained, everything aches as if I ran a marathon. All of this could factor in to my current mental state being splat. It could be the newest med simply isn’t at a max dose so I am stalled here in gray space.

I think it’s a lot of both of those things, and I also think I’ve hit my reality overdose point. Dealing with my overly critical dad invading my home and insulting things, my kid having a friend over yesterday for 4 hours of bickering and demands for food I can’t afford to be sharing, reading about yet another school shooting, more political corruption, more hatred being spewed against anyone remotely different…

I’ve been trying very hard lately to see the beauty in the world, to not let the ugliness eclipse the good stuff, but today…the Susie Sunshine thing isn’t working.

I am on edge, in pain, feeling wiped out, and filled with self hatred for even indulging my own piss ant feelings when all of this horrid stuff is going on out there. How dare I speak up when I simply don’t matter! My problems are nothing in comparison to what’s happening in the world right now.

But we can each say that at any given time in our lives because, spewing sunshine or not, ugliness exists and sadly, there are times when it is prevalent. When it overshadows the vast beauty of life and can fill even the most apathetic with an inexplicable sadness and empathy towards those in the midst of the heinous goings on.

My heart goes out to the victims and families of EVERY school shooting. I am ashamed to be an American every time I read about the way ICE is tearing apart immigrant families not because they’ve incited crime or terrorism, but because they came to this country ‘the wrong way’. I cringe when inadvertently soaking up the current climate of hate against immigrants (legal or otherwise), Muslims, gays, trans people- It’s not right for people to harbor so much hatred against others for simply being different. The current political climate toward women and reproductive rights is under attack and it’s terrifying, as a woman.

As one born in 1973 (on the very day Roe V Wade made abortion legal) I grew up with mixed emotions on the topic. As if wondering, would my parents have aborted me due to non ideal financial timing for a child if it had been legal the year before? Over time, though, I began to see things differently. It’s a personal choice, and while not one I think I’d make myself, I’m appalled by how many politicians and so called do gooders want to jump into chime in on what isn’t their damned business and take away an individual’s rights to choose.

I consider myself fortunate for the years in which I was young and growing up and forming my own opinions. I’ve been so very lucky to watch social climate change, to witness people opening minds and hearts and embracing that which some consider ‘abnormal’ or ‘deviant’. Even with homophobic parents who were also a bit racist against all non whites…I valued whatever diversity I was exposed to. I learned about it, I asked those I knew about it, I embraced their battle as my own.

Never have I been more proud of my generation, and the turning tides of our great country than when I see a commercial with a celebrity like John Cena promoting the very diversity of the LGBT community. Or watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, Instinct- and seeing how well they handle such hot button topics as transgender people, bisexual people, lesbians, gays, even interractial couples. That for me has been a personal high, seeing what I have believed in and support all along become not some dirty little secret but to actually be included simply as part of our beautiful diverse culture. And that culture’s beauty hinges on us embracing not just fellow Americans or heterosexuals, or certain religions…

The truest test of our character, not just as Americans, but as the human race, is our ability to open our minds and hearts and realize we can cooexist without the hatred, without total agreement, but with absolute understanding and respect. We’re making progress and for that…I am proud to be part of the human race and to be an American.

Sorry to get off track, but the hormones are really yanking my emotions and train of thought all over the place. After all the ugliness, it felt good to latch onto something positive, something that doesn’t make me feel that we are all doomed to go down in history as hate mongering narrow minded idgets.

Having said all of this and purged…

I am prescribing a continuation of a long held DIY therapy method many of us here on wordpress have utilized for many years. Fort Blankie time. Take to your safe space, wrap up in your favorite blanket, and ride out whatever has you feeling so out of sorts and useless.It’s like comfort food for your entire body, minus calories. And it sounds nuts but I know damn well it has helped many of us many times. Maybe it goes back to that whole infant swaddling thing where we feel safest? IDK. But it works for me and I’m going to utilize it. Plus, I already own my blankets and have my safe room, so technically, this therapy is of no charge and doesn’t require prior authorization by some ass clown at the insurance company.

Today is going to be one of those mentally dark physically uncomfortable days for me, and rather than bellyache and fight it and get even more flustered…

I’m returning to Fort Blankie in hopes it will fortify my mind and soul, offer me comfort I need right now, and hey, tomorrow’s another day.

But today…my mind and soul mourn. For all the civility and lives that have been lost and disrupted and destroyed, not just my own.

Never underestimate Fort Blankie’s magical powers.

It won’t however, fetch you food and water, so you’re on your own with that necessity.

No therapy is perfect.

The Voices Inside Your Head That Aren’t Imaginary

Posted in depression with tags , , , on May 18, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

First things first. Because this is my blog and I am allowed to set the things I find most important.

I updated our story today, a simple read costs you maybe ninety seconds, just look for the most recent update.

I wrote a couple of posts this week I was particularly proud of and of course, they languished so I am going to post links to part one and part two of Stripped Down Naked. If you’re going to read some posts but not others (and yes, I am a flood poster some days, no one can keep up), at least read those two. They are no holds barred honest regurgitations of unmasked emotion.

Stripped Down Naked

Stripped Down Naked:Part Two

I don’t normally encourage people to backtrack, but I put a lot of myself, minus sarcastic tough girl masks, into those posts so it might be worth a read if you truly want to understand me a little better.

—–
Yesterday was an uphill battle to get to town and run errands, and of course, I forgot several of the very things went for-and I had a list. But six stores including Hellmart…lucky all I forgot was a couple of things and not wound up committed to the Rubber Ramada. My kid went to grandpa’s to play for a few hours and of course, I had all this stuff I was going to do but…Much as Cymbalta is making a difference, I still feel the depressive inertia, not to mention that all out exhaustion and cramps of my PMDD so…I binge watched shows (a comedy, shock shock!) and then her absence and waiting for them to return her sidetracked my plans to nuke myself a frozen lasagna for supper. By the time she got home, my resources had dwindled. I managed to bathe her, get her to bed, then I bathed (twice in one week, woo hoo!) and then it was time to try to sleep without melatonin. I am starting to think it may be what makes me hit snooze six times every morning. But ninety minutes of toss and turn…I caved and took 3mg. And ha, snooze and I carried on our affair this morning. Hate that crap. Hit snooze once or twice, fine. Six times? Something is amiss.

So far today I have accomplished nothing other than the finale of Grey’s Anatomy and catching up on the episodes of 9-1-1 I missed. Oh, I did put a load of laundry in the wash. Maybe once I purge all the shitstorm in my mind I will accomplish more.

I thought today was going to be calmer because at first it was gray and cool out. Now the sun keeps playing peek a boo and people have their lawnmowers out which plays hell on my noise sensitivity (the other day it was people using band saws, chainsaws, table saws, grrr, so much noise.) I am trying to roll with it, cos I don’t have a choice but it still grates on my nerves.

I have often referenced the ‘noise’ and ‘little voices’ in my head in this blog. Occurred to me I might be doing a dual disservice. It’s not mockery of those with disorders that do include auditory hallucinations, nor does it mean I have them.

The voices and noise I hear are real, but they belong to people. Family, friends, strangers, acquaintances, articles I have read, shows I have watched. Most of them are not saying positive things and living with that constant barrage of criticism and reminders of how inferior I am is tough.

I keep indulging my Google-itus (ya know, since I can’t hit the library anymore as a non resident without shelling out $60 for the year), looking for ways to thicken my skin, to toughen up, to not let these assholes get inside my head with their insults and unhealthy comments and negative opinions. I swear, I was more of a bad ass at 14 than I am now at 45. Back then, even being bullied on a daily basis and living with overly critical screaming parents, I wasn’t so vulnerable to them getting inside my head and making me feel insecure, unsure, and doubt myself and my own strengths and motives.

I’m not entirely sure when my armor fell off and I did start soaking it all up like a sponge. It doesn’t mean I believe it, though courtesy of so much damn talk therapy, I’m reluctant to not at least entertain their notions as I could lack self awareness and be in denial of my own bullshit. For every way therapy helped me learn better coping mechanisms on some stuff, I think it also tore down the very armor that kept me from becoming this wishy washing bucket of self doubt.

It’s not like I am even hypersensitive. I consider it a compliment to be called a bitch because, hey, I rock the bitch thing sometimes, intentional or not. I don’t even get that bent when called weird or crazy. But when people start chattering in my ear, and that chattering sticks around in my brain, whispering that I am lazy, shiftless, useless, don’t want to get better…They’re dead wrong. I am none of those things. So why do I let them get in my head, and why do I let it bother me?

Because the mind is a lot like the immune system. Much like you can’t fight off infection with a weakened immune system, when your mind is under siege by depression and anxiety, you lose your Teflon coating and things no longer slide off. They stick and they cake on and you have to soak them and scrub them and still can’t get all the icky bits to come off.

One more reason many bipolar people prefer mania or hypomania even with the bad outcomes. Feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof and too happy beats the hell out of constant self doubt and being mentally poisoned by people who may mean well, but obviously have no grasp of mental health or of those of us battling mental health issues.

Anyone else get ‘the voices’ like I do? I’d love to hear from you. Maybe together we could bolster each other and come up with ways to combat the counteproductive input the voices from well meaning people feed us.

Today my dad’s voice is in my head, telling me about job openings. Never mind I’m not qualified for them, have been on disability many years, and have bad references for reliability. Never mind that I am still struggling and hardly in a stable place and even the doctor agrees this isn’t the right time to venture into the job market. No, my dad cares nothing about facts, just making it clear I am lazy and useless in his eyes and a majority of the world shares his view so until I ‘get over it’ (mental illness) and get a job…I am a disappointment and an embarrassment.

I can the same to him because I wanted a dad who loved me as is, didn’t flinch when I hugged him, and didn’t get distant and edge away when I was upset and cried.

Guess we both got let down. But I can’t get in his head the way he can mine. Some people just don’t have the conscience or ability to feel empathy or see that their own path might not be the right path for others.

I’m on my own with the voices and put downs and expectations.

Therapy did as much a number on my head as my dysfunctional family, otherwise I’d be stronger than this. If this is the professionals’ idea of emotional maturity and progress…I give them an F.

Silver lining- Cymbalta has helped enough that while down, I am not shattered. I will take any improvement I can get.

My Name Is Mud

Posted in depression with tags , , , on May 17, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

(Let us not mention the Primus song of the same name, such an awful awful band, like worse-than-Backstreet-Boys awful.)

This is not a post about low self esteem or self loathing.

Rather, it is a post about the weight of depression and how it impacts your motivation contrary to your own desires and choices. Whe factoring in the ninja like swiftness and surprise of anxiety attacks and mood dips minus triggers…

It is a lot like when your feet get trapped in thick, wet mud and it makes that suction sound when you lift a foot, then you pry the other one up, only to find every place you need to step to get to your destination is a giant mud hole…That sixty second jaunt on dry ground becomes a five minute chore of frustration, exhaustion, and well, it pisses you off cos now your shoes (and sometimes socks) are all messy, maybe your shoes leak so your feet are also damp.

THAT.

That’s how depression and anxiety of the ninja variety feel.

So many things I want to get done, need to get done, and yet after last week’s hypomanic burst and sense of accomplishments…I am back down to hormonal drudgery with those mental health ninjas sneaking up on me. I manage to pull one foot out of the mud, only to realize it sucked off my shoe and I lost my balance and now my foot is planted in the mud again in my sock.

The ultimate insult to injury is to try so hard over and over and rarely succeed. And the body blow is that everyone around you discounts your minor victories, those small successes you cling to, because they want to see mega success. They can do it, so can you, move your ass!

I try to set small goals each day. Yesterday the goal was to take a bath (nailed it!), run an errand, and fill ice cube trays. Today’s goal was to binge watch The Arrangement, make sure my kid was homeworked and fed, and well…not let my brother bully me into letting him use the net when all I wanted was a quiet evening.

I am pleased to say that the spineless jellyfish syndrome I’ve been experiencing when it comes to dealing with dad’s faction of the family hasn’t made a miraculous turn around, but I HAVE started speaking up, drawing boundaries, and reminding myself-and him- that I am footing the bills here, not them, so if I simply don’t want someone here, I can’t be bullied into it. And it’s a small thing, but I am soo proud of myself for locating at least a portion of my spine, which means that part of me isn’t dead and buried. I 3 weeks on Cymbalta has brought a positive change like that, what could be possible with a dose increase and more time on it? It gives me hope.

But yeah, I’ve been bitching for days about the housework that needs done and EVERY day I go face it down and tell myself I am going to get this done…but both feet are suction cupped in the depressive inertia mud so I just wave the white flag and say ‘maybe later’. Then ‘maybe tomorrow.”

In another positive mental state change, I used to apologize for days when I post multiple times because ‘flood posting’ annoys people into shunning your blog. I’m not sorry for writing when I am able to write. This is my therapy, read it, don’t. The stuff I am truly proud of never gets recognized anyway so back to writing for myself with no public. Cos writing for the public with no sense of self simply isn’t gonna happen for me.

—-
And now (don’t get your panties in a bunch, PETA, it’s a metaphor) to beat the dead horse with the awful ‘f’ word…For those who can’t be bothered to even read our story on an external site…Allow me to copy and paste the transparent income versus expenses cost analysis I posted on that site to show how dare I have the gall to ask strangers for money.

Income $812

Rent $400 ($325 due on deposit, rent is current)
Gas and Electric $225 (varies from season, but averaged)
Water and Sewer $75
Trash $20 ($130 just to start service)
Car Insurance $47
That brings the total to $767- without internet, phone, household supplies, cat food, gas.

Due dates have all changed, which brings about late fees. My kid has no summer clothes. The cats need flea treatments. And the security deposit thing is a constant worry because senile landlord can decide to forget the agreement he made to let me make periodic payments when able thus have us evicted.

The move was not by choice. I would never have uprooted us without the appropriate savings to cover everything. We found ourselves in an impossible situation and this is where we are. I am looking for ways to earn side income, hoping the income we lost is quickly restored, but until then…Yeah, we could use a few acts of kindness. And frankly, someone willing to let the payments be made directly to landlord/utilities as opposed to being handed cash indicates how sincere I am being.

Even a share shows you care so ponder that much.

Thank you. I am now going to wait for melatonin to kick in. I don’t mind it when the sleep ninjas visit. Just wish they’d keep me asleep more than 3 hours at a time. Must be a ninja union thing, can’t grant too much mercy or something without losing medical benefits.

Stripped Down Naked:Part Two

Posted in mental health with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

This is Part One if you missed it.

Did you know that my Debbie Downer personality has an alter ego? I call her Susie Sunshine and she annoys the hell out of me. But it is in keeping with my shelf-full-of-skulls-pet net-full-of-Furbies style. I’d like to say all the ‘negative’ comes from depression but I’ve been a little dark and ghoulish since I was 6 years old. Some are girl scouts, I’ve always been a ghoul scout.

Sometimes…

I laugh.

I like to watch College Humor videos on youtube. Of course, the horror parodies and anything making fun of Apple products are my favorite. Oh, and “If Google Was A Guy’, my kid and I both love those. (Don’t ask me to explain my severe hatred of Apple stuff, I’m not even sure myself, though I think it has something to do with my upbringing of paying too much for stuff that’s not very special outside its brand name.)

I read theoatmeal.com. That dude is funny as hell. And the comic about your cat trying to kill you is way too true.

Sometimes, I visit fark.com. People get pretty creative with their titles and the articles are often interesting.

I watch sitcoms. The Middle, Mom, Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Superstore. And yes, I laugh out loud sometimes. And sometimes I laugh so hard, I have to hold my sides. Other times, I just half smile because my spirit isn’t feeling too humorous.

The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is one of my favorite funny movies. I also love the horror parodies like Scary Movie, Vampires Suck, and a lot of stoner films. That last one is probably growing up during the heydey of Cheech and Chong, but then again, Harold and Kumar are just funny without pot.

Susie Sunshine may not come out to play very often and she certainly doesn’t appear much in this blog, but she is here, part of me. Just not a part I’m all that fond of. I think it’s an attachment issue. Because when I feel good, I never want it to stop. But then if I feel too good, I get scared it’s the start of a manic episode and I could do so much damage…So I muffle and muzzle the very part of myself that might actually draw others to me and make them see I’m not such a bad chick.

I play kickball in flip flops with my kid. I splash around in kiddie pools and run through sprinklers when my mood is amenable. I’ll jump on the swings or slide at the park with her. I even have a character in her dollhouse I named Drunken Giraffe because we were playing one day and I was in a winter depression and distracted and she accused me of being no fun to play with. So the plastic giraffe became drunken or hopped up on energy drink and suddenly, she’s laughing her butt off and I am the best playmate ever.

Drunken Giraffe in his snazzy cut off shorts stolen from a Barbie.

The point of this post isn’t that I am cured or that life is all fun and games.

The point is that I am not just depression and desperation. I have more going on than the negative even if it’s a low background hum.

There is positive here.

I’m just glad Debbie Downer is here to smack sense into Susie Sunshine when she starts getting too damn happy. No one needs to be that cheerful, damn it, it’s unnatural.

Stripped Down Naked

Posted in mental health with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

(EMOTIONALLY NAKED, move along, perverts who thought otherwise.)

I like to think I am pretty transparent in my blog about my feelings but then, I have to come to grips with my coping mechanisms of sarcasm and macabre humor, not to mention mood-fueled rants often masking the true emotions that might actually resonate with others. Those coping mechanisms have kept me alive my whole life at times when I was being so mentally beat down I could have easily exited stage left never to return again. I treasure my mechanisms even when others don’t get it, or doctors or therapists say they’re not healthy. They’re mine and they work for me.

At the same time I realize they can mask a great many things about me that might actually be likeable. In the interest of transparency…Allow me to remove my masks and strip down emotionally bare.

I wasn’t always this angry sarcastic bitch monster. Once upon a time, I was a vivacious girl who loved watching Madonna and Cyndi Lauper on MTV and mimicking their fashion. I loved cherry Slush Puppies from the gas station. Walking to this corner hole in the wall mom and pop stand with a dollar in coins and coming out with a paper bag full of penny candy. I loved staying up late, drinking Mountain Dew, eating nacho cheese Doritos with beef jerky, watching cheesy slasher flicks. I relished warm summer nights when we had an old horse trough as a pool and the water would be so warm under moonlight and I was so free, unwatched, unjudged, just splashing and having fun.

The flip side of this would come, of course, when the depressions hit and I’d retreat within myself because no one wanted to hang with Debbie Downer holed up in her bedroom listening to sad or angry music.

It wouldn’t be til many years later I’d find out that the vivacious side of me that pondered no consequences and just lived life to the fullest when I could was actually part of a mental disorder. Mania or hypomania. I was flabbergasted. Being happy and loving life is MENTAL DISORDER,WTF? I just couldn’t reconcile with what the professionals were saying about extremes. To me, happy was happy, I didn’t know you could be ‘too happy.’

Wasn’t til after too many cycles of too happy and too sad with way too few episodes of stable that I saw the damage being done to my life, and my mind. I wanted nothing to do with medication, convinced it was all artifact of a dysfunctional family and childhood bullying. Eventually, though, I had to face that happy behavior or not- it was a problem.

Money-or more aptly, spending it, became what made me feel happy and alive. Eating would take its place when it ran out. Then when money for food ran out, it would become sexual extremes. I’d draw people to me, then become some other person and drive them away. Over and over and over. And I’d always go running to the counselor, asking why, what is wrong with me, why can’t I stop???? Why can’t you just say it’s okay to be too happy and let me ruin my life naturally instead of it happening anyway even with the damned pills? Little did I know at the time thatn while the counselors had diagnosed me manic depressive, their ancient, inept shrink labeled me dysthymic and kept feeding me antidepressants that sparked the mania episodes. It would be over 12 years before I’d find a correct diagnosis and mood stabilizers.

In doing so, I felt like I finally had an explanation for so many things. But I also felt like the vivaceous part of me was dead and gone. Depression or not, everything that had made me fun and creative seemed to get sucked up by the stabilizer meds. To some extent, I still believe that, though Lamictal is the only one I can tolerate without horrid side effects and being numb.

I have been so caught up in this cycle of mood swings and anxiety and dates that ended with me throwing up after a panic attack. Hard to see the up side of life when that is your life.

So bare naked truth.

We need money. What I value most, though, what I have always value most…are words. I guess as an avid reader and writer it makes sense. I got my first pen pals when I was 15 and my name was published in Metal Edge magazine looking for other music fans to write. Over the years, I lost touch with dozens of people, then submitted my name again, and made new pen pal friends. I wasn’t a snob, I even wrote to inmates. And some of those inmates may have been working an angle, they may have been puppy smothering goat molesting scum for all I know but…words. And some would send me artwork of dragons and such and I was in awe because I always wanted to be able to draw and…I simply can’t, even my stick people suck.

Once the internet became a thing, letter writing has died off more and more. I can’t remember the last time someone sent me a handwritten snail mail letter.

During the move, I came across my stash from an old friend I met in a mental health chat room. He would write me even when he crashed and burned and had to go into the psych hospital. I haven’t heard from him in 8 years and I miss him so very much. He struggled so hard. Every part of me hopes the silence is because he found his magic cocktail and got his life on track and not some…darker reason. But I still have his beautiful words, his amazing artwork, his stark naked thoughts and feelings that he chose not to just share on line with me, but to pay postage and send to me.

Of all the things found during the move…it’s his letters that I treasure the most.

It is difficult for me to bond with people but when I do…it’s also hard for me to unbond.8 years without a word and I still love that boy like he’s my child. What others see as words on paper, I see as a beautiful treasure I can keep for the rest of my life. Knowing at least for a bit, someone cared as much for me as I did for them.

But technology has changed everything. Much as I love the internet…I am sickened by ebooks. I want paper, ink, pages, bookmarks, I want the entire writing and reading experience sometimes. It may make me a relic but this is who I am. These are the things I treasure when I am not overly focused on money and depression and anxiety and just trying not to fail my kid.

My family was non demonstrative of any feelings except anger and hatred.

So I’ve spent my life searching for someone who feels things deeply, like I do, not just the negative. These feelings, when put on paper with pen, become a thing of everlasting beauty.

If this makes me hokey, so be it. This is me, stripped emotionally naked. I am not a money grubbing bitch beast under it all.

But since letter writing has gone the way of landlines and social media basically turns everyone into 160 character simpletons…what I value most is what I cannot have. It is sad but I am trying to change with the times.

I will never forget this is who I am, though. Retro, relic, old school, nerd-whatever label you wanna slap on me. Some values should never be trends, they should just be who you are deep down.