When dealing with mental health issues; many relationships are hard. I have trust issues, moments of freakout, moments that I need to get away from a situation, and moments that I just need someone to reach out to me. Today that is my struggle. I am desperate to have someone in my life…. especially during COVID. Sometimes I can liken myself to people of great fame or notoriety, in the fact that they also had a completely human existence. Van Gogh struggled with his mental health, he had a weird relationship with his brother, and one of his friends couldn’t deal with him anymore and left him, and often frequented a mental institute. This man cut off his ear he was in so much pain. There are times when I feel intense pain, sorrow, regret, fear, loneliness that I can understand this absolute genius in art, just not his great skill and I can let myself feel so useless, uneeded, and a burden.
However today, I will not let myself stay in that headspace, I will sit and use some oil pastels or maybe just some crayons since today I feel like I need to draw hard, so cheap crayons might be the way to go. My plan is to leave as much frustration as I can on the paper, and I plan to mimic Van Gogh in the use of darkness and circles (Starry Night includes a lot of movement by circles). Then see what is left, and journal the rest on the back. Anyone else who wants to give it a try with me please do. I will update and share with you a little into my experience and maybe you will share a little of how it went for you, or some other time you “arted” your way to coping.
Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, years, decades that you just want to erase. You just want to pretend never happen, or go back and at least make some changes while they happened. Oh, my gosh. It can feel like an endless cycle. I am always traveling in one of those vicious cycles, and I feel so lonely at times, until I remember that I have this place to come to so I do not feel so alone. That’s the cool thing about a group, is triggering the “I get that” with at least one other human, when maybe noone else seems to get it. Right now I just had a big fight out with my mother, and I am glad I said everything that I did (maybe I wish I said it more properly). However, it is difficult because now I have to wait (and waiting is so hard for my anxiety, ptsd, depression) on how she will respond. Will I loose her as a mother, as a friend, or will I finally have a better friend and mother because she understands me a little better? I don’t know at this point. And its scary and I regret what I have said now and I wish I had just not caused a problem, and after its over if my life gets more complicated and not better I’ll be so sad I wrote this. But for now, I write you my friends, I’ve called upon a backup person to help me approach her if she wants to restore our relationship. And now I’m letting it go with this writing knowing I can’t take it back, what’s done is done, and I can only hope now for restoration instead of continued misunderstandings.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
So I read today, while sitting in the chiropractors office, that
“Studies show optimists live longer than pessimists”
And of course my first thought is not, “Yeah, what a great thing … I’m livin’ forever!” No, my first thought is “Crap, they get to live a better life than me, and get to live longer.”
It’s plain to me that I may be more the latter than the former. And I just was told my life according to their study is quickly coming to an end. Man, my life sucks. And its like I want to be part of this seemingly secret society optimist that has the answers, has health, wealth, and this unforsaken gratitude instead of a tormenting critic that goes inside my head… my thoughts of course circle and cycle and go a million different directions so fast that half of them are unheard and ungrasped. Some of them are I wonder… if I can think, dredge up, force, fake this optimism and be happier than I am, can I live have just a few more moments? Is there a book I can read, a new habit to pick up, a new pill to take, or just an inevitable truth that I need to optimistically reframe. Or is that too hard and I’m too ill-fated, and I might as well give up. And…and…and…the twirl and whirl, and cyclone in my head.
And so when the chiropractor finally walks in the room, unbeknownst to him of the torment that the simple quote on his wall this week has invoked…he asks me, “How are you doing?”
And I say, “Fine.”
Okay, so its been killing me with the pain and the ways the uncontrollable bowel movements are hampering my life. Like when I had to run out of the classroom to get to the bathroom….ummmm. toooo late. I’m sure you would all prefer not to hear that detail, but, hey that’s life. So I ended up having to go to the car to change and it was a little embarrassing to say the least. Found a running outfit and taught the rest of the day in my spandex. Well, not too embarrassing yet. Hmmm… next part was administration already being mad at me, and telling many on staff that he saw me running out to my car when he thought I was suppose to be using the restroom not running errands. I told him I was gone for all of four minutes and embarrassed myself by having to tell him I pooed and had to get new clothes. I don’t think he really believed me cause he kept telling other staff not to cover for me, even though I had a doctors note that said they had to cover my bathroom breaks at least ever 1.5 hours. But I tend to think at that point I was just too much work for them and they didn’t want to deal with me. Add to the depressive, helpless feeling. Then on top of it my boss brought his dog to school that he was training to be a service dog and I watched him during the school day take it out at least three times (actually one time I was calling him to cover so I could use the bathroom he said he was to busy and I saw him out the window letting his dog get a walk and poop…but not me…that added to my sense of worthlessness…I’m mot even valued as much as a dog. Ughhh…I cried that night…why doesn’t anyone like me just cause I am a hassle and people have to cover my breaks.
Have any of you had similar work, party, family instances in which parts of you illness (irritable bowel syndrome) has a link to anxious depressed people. And if you have a story of victory or even just a vent of how you wish it would go a little better. In the end I no longer work there, so its a bit of a victory if I focus on that good of that.
What happens when you beat to the tune of a different drum?
What happens when all that you think and all that you do was changed in one moment in time?
What happens when its not just that moment, but all the moments that led up to this moment that you only just now put together?
What happens when all you want is sense of normalcy?
What happens when all you want is a sense of belonging?
What happens when your head spits out info faster than you can ever put into words?
What happens when today is the day that someone is listening to you?
What happens when today is the day that is the start of something new?
What happens when today is not just a moment, but a moment that defines all the rest?
What if today is the day you decide you are normally you?
What if today you get just piece of that into words?
I’ll tell you, but you have to first spend the day spending time with me…….
It’s time. For me. To speak. Sometimes I feel very much like I’ve been eaten by a whale for not following God’s path in my life every time that I feel the gentle urge that I should. Ponderings have led me to question everything I thought to be true (or at least always tried to). Mostly I am writing in that point of crisis, where you question everything that anyone has ever taught or said to you to be true. All of my past keeps coming back to me in my dreams or while I am trying to focus on the hear and now and … boop…past BAD memory. Its not the good ones coming back… its the bad … the ones I don’t like to think about. I am on this journey, a journey that I always believed was straight and narrow. My heart desires perfection, peace, justice. Those are my deepest desires. However I want joy, happiness, contentment. Yes, I am the girl that dreams big and her little dear head really, really tries to see how she could make our world like this. The world from my perspective…my life’s journey has taught me of a world that is scary, dangerous, and full of people with selfish intentions that will sacrifice your happiness for their desires. You see, these people have hurt me. These are the people that are still in my head to this day.
So join me today…into my head we go… one of my memories …one of my flashbacks…and in the end my mind will force me to make some new moral perspective…some reason, some purpose as to why so many years later I am still thinking about this memory (cause its not pleasant…yet one very harmless one in perspective of my life….I think that may be why my mind chose this memory).
I see this little girl, roughly eleven years old. Catholic School girl in her full uniform. Pleated, plaid skirt…mostly green and navy blue with hints of yellow and red lines as well. This girl didn’t fit in; she didn’t like the ridiculous gossip and truth or dare and constant bullying of the girl not around at the moment. Every day at recess she walked up to the front of the school where no one else played and jumped rope. Sometimes she had company and others would jump. But mostly she just jumped and practiced all kinds of fun solo moves. There was a brilliant day, a new girl came and she started hanging out with me. It was nice having a friend, she seemed a little more carefree and not so into all the other girl queen bee and followers behavior. Soon she was my best friend, and the only one I had at school (other than the neighborhood boys and girls). However, this friendship morphed into her plucking my eyebrows and saying that they are too wide and my face is ugly and I should wear my hair like this. She thought she had this life all figured out and if I did it just her way I would be all right. I didn’t like that, and I kept her in my life anyways. One day she tormented me by telling me that she was only my friend because our teacher, Mrs. Churgo, had told her to start hanging out with me since I didn’t have any friends. Often she would remind and shame me of this being the beginning of our friendship and that she was indeed much better than I. I, naively, thought that a friend was better than none. However, this meant that I’d have to sit there and endure hearing how I had thin hair, ugly hair, it doesn’t look good with my face. Ughh…she had to work so hard to make me look good until she found this one way to put my hair and she told me it was the only way that I could wear my hair that looks somewhat good. She told me my eyebrows were just ugly and I needed to pluck them. Okay I thought and I tried so hard to take care of them. Insecurity was built by that friendship. Insecurity that today I am still trying to get rid of or at least make peace with.
Thanks for joining me on the journey into my mind. I had to spend time there anyways, and its nice not feel so alone when I do it.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash