Emotional Vampire

I guess one could say I am an emotional vampire. Not that I drain people of energy, I just find myself feeding on it at times. If others are down, I go down with the sinking ship, too. Well, sometimes. Mania doesn’t have boundaries and sometimes, life is just…content and your mood stays up.
Today…The energy around me was pure bad juju from all around. It’s not my favorite. And it’s not my fault or theirs.
But without anything to feed on and nourish my mind with…The ship is sinking and I’m not going down with it, I am like a rat jumping off the ship and trying to swim to shore.
I’m not like abandoning people simply because their low energy is sapping mine. Just…taking a step back, trying to tap into my own energy to keep myself afloat.
And other than boredom, today hasn’t been so bad. At least Kenny was at the shop and gave some comic relief and good vibes.
Coming home…not so much. Seeing a friend struggle and drown is tough. You can’t save them from mental illness. Best you can do is try to save them from themselves.
And at some point,you just gotta say…You’re as much of the problem as the mental crap. Perhaps cruel, but after watching the cycle of same behavior for years and years…It’s time to speak up. It’s time to toss a lifesaver.

Nothing can change unless you have the will to make it change. It is soo easy to say, oh, it’s the depression, I just can’t fight it.
You may not be able to beat it, but you can fight it. It just takes effort. Honest effort. You have to ignore your desire to isolate and sleep and TRY even harder. Some days, the depression will devour you. And other days, you’re on the cusp, and you either give it permission to drown you or start swimming hard as you can.

I am swimming right now. Mainly because the ultimate sin would be to fail my kid. Also, I don’t have a submissive bone in my body and while the lows are telling me I have no choice but to give in to them…
It’s primal scream time.
My happiness does not need to depend on those around me. I should learn to feed off my own energy.
I need to set one goal and complete it on the days when I tell myself I can’t do this.
And on the darkest days…I have to embrace what small things I can find to keep my afloat.
Purring cat. Soft, warm blanket. Good show. Good book. Good song. My kid’s chatter and smile. The possibility that things could get better.
There is always some tiny thing to cling to, even when your mind says it’s all shit. Giving into that part of yourself is self defeating.It’s self enabling. You are allowing yourself to drown. It has taken so many years, and a mirror image of my own flaws in the actions of others, to face this. No one wants to admit they are part of their own problem.
We all want to give into the depression, to surrender to the pain. But every time we do that, we are adding to the problem. I’m not talking a vegetative day here or there as self defeating. But when it goes on day after day…It is a problem. Half assed effort doesn’t count. Your heart has to be in it. You have to WANT to fight.

Some days I want to fight with everything I am.
Other days I just want to wave the white flag.
The one constant has been my determination not to fail my daughter. It keeps me going, just as having a pet cat has always kept me going. It’s different when you have more than yourself depending on you.
Besides, it’s all I’ve ever known, being a caregiver. Almost always at my own detriment. Programming runs deep.
I am luckier than most to be the way I am, to be so devoted to my kid, my cats, keeping myself afloat.
It’s easy to surrender when you’ve only got yourself.

It’s not right, though.

I look back and think, wow, someone really should have tattooed “LUMP” on my forehead. Because that’s what I was. I did my little task here and there like the counselor told me but it was always half hearted necessity. It wasn’t trying so much as being beholden.

Perspective is an odd thing. So is looking at yourself and examining your own behavior.
It’s true, we can never cure ourselves. Sometimes the mental shit will commandeer and take over.
What is in our control is the choice to fight it. To defy. To rebel.

I would soo love to just sleep all the time when my mind is in the dark place.
I’ve actually been there, done that.
Until someone gave me a wake up slap to the face and psyche.
Nothing like your own father telling you what a useless loser you are to make the inner rebel cry out…and want to prove ’em wrong.

I succeed sometimes. Other times, I fail.
I keep trying, I keep fighting. For every time I give in…there are days when I put up the best fight I can.
And occasionally, I defeat.
That makes it worth while.

Until the next mood swing says otherwise.
Until the panic seizes and grips me like a boa constrictor wrapping around a rat.

But because the mirror has been held up in front of my eyes…I know I have to try even harder. Because to be submissive to my own dysfunction is unacceptable and frankly, abhorrent.

I’m a fighter.
Even if it’s my own mind I have to do battle with.
This is mental illness.
And I am a survivor.

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