Losing My Safe Space

Since 1997 when my parents built my family home, my room has been my special place. I am safe here among all that is familiar. My four walls stained with blue sticky tack from years of hanging posters up and my cozy bed that I share with my cats.

Whenever I am feeling anxious or depressed I have always had the freedom to come to my room. Once I lay down in my bed, I feel safe. I feel comfortable in every way.

As I’ve written in a post earlier this summer, I am moving out on my mom’s house. My boyfriend and I are creating a home together starting with signing all the papers next week.

Am I depressed and anxious because of the change? Hell yes.
Am I already longing for the comfort of my home? You bet.
Do I already miss my cats? More than I am willing to admit!

This is a big change for me. Big changes and me usually means a roller coaster of anxiety then deep valleys of depression. The cycle eventually stops once I get used to the change but it’s getting through it that is the hard part.

What has always helped me through those big changes was the sanctuary of my room. If I had a bad day at school I would rush up to my room to play with my Barbies, dive into a good book or write a little story.

I laid in my bed during countless nights when I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep and the days when I couldn’t find the energy to stay awake due to my depression. My four walls have seen it all.

My room has been my safety blanket for so long that I fear losing it. I’m trying my best to cherish every moment I have left in here. But the more I think about it, the sadder I get.

How do you handle big changes? Is your room your safe space? If not, where is?

 

Also sorry for not posting super often recently. I am sure I will have a lot to write about in these upcoming months as I attempt to adjust to my new life.

Change Gives Me Anxiety

My last post and this one are going to be a little contradictory because circumstances have changed. I previously said that I am mentally ready to take a break from therapy, that I am in a good place to be independent.

Now I can’t wait to see my therapist on Monday morning because my anxiety is weighing on me. It’s not the worst I’ve ever experienced but I feel that the anxiety is growing each day. I really want to talk through what’s happening in my mind. I want to cry in her office and spill my guts.

“What is making you so anxious?” you may be asking.

Change.

Change has always been something that I hate whether it’s good or bad. One of the best times of my life was living in England but I was depressed for a big bit of it. I did a lot of isolating myself and watching every Wes Anderson film alone in my flat.

As I may have mentioned on here before, I am moving out of my childhood home and into a house with my boyfriend of 2.5 years. The thought of not being in my comfort zone that I have been in for almost all of my life makes me so scared.

I’m walking around the house taking in every inch of it. The carpet beneath my bare feet. The view of the street outside my window. The beautiful counter top in my bathroom. All of it so familiar to me.

I need to grow up which comes with a lot of discomfort, something that also makes me anxious. I will have to adjust to so many new things and leave many of my comforts behind. Mainly my cats, I will deeply miss not having them sleep with me every night.

I’m only moving a few streets away from my mom’s house where I live now but once I move all of my things out, I won’t have any true comfort to return to. My bedroom has always been my solace, my safe place. Without everything in it, it’s just a room.

It’s the equivalent of taking away my baby blanket.

There are lots of things I’m looking forward to in my new house such as truly feeling like an adult instead of a teenager, spending more time with my boyfriend, cooking in my own kitchen and having a porch.

A few years ago I wrote a poem about how my mind is like the night sky. That the darkness is my depression, anxiety and all of the bad stuff while the stars are the happiness and positive stuff. I look up and I focus on the darkness instead of admiring the twinkling stars above. I’ve rarely been the one to look on the bright side.

Does change make you anxious and/or depressed? If so, how do you cope with this? I’ve never seemed to find a way to positively cope with change so I’m open to all ideas!

Running Towards Hugs.

I am making moves towards my next goal of moving back home after moving out of state a year ago. I applied and applied for jobs until I finally found something that would suit me. I felt immediate relief in signing the offer letter. I know it was the right choice. It isn’t because I fear not having a roof over my head, a lease ending, a job I am at risk of losing or anything of the sort. I just am relieved to be headed back to something familiar. I let my mental health care fall by the wayside and that it has never been so apparent that what I had been doing was working.

I moved here to remove myself from stressful situations that I was in. I was constantly guilt ridden (because of my own issues) and putting a lot of strain on myself to appease others. I know that moving doesn’t solve all your problems, but being far enough away where I couldn’t volunteer to be the fixer did. What I didn’t know is that I would be moving in with family who don’t hug, who don’t really socialize the way I am used to, and to be frank have a drinking problem. Alcohol has never really been my scene. I have always been aware enough of my own issues to know that alcohol will only worsen them. Being around it is depressing and lonely. On one side, I have a dad who indulges often and I now know why the phrase “functional alcoholic” is a very real thing. He holds a job and he isn’t angry or anything, but it sure pisses off his wife and that negativity is stifling.

I haven’t been hugged or had human contact aside from a handshake it 93 days. NINETY THREE DAYS. You don’t realize the impact such a small gesture makes until you don’t have it. I only hear I love you occasionally (aside from when I call my mom). I don’t see anyone except on the weekends even though I live with them because our hours are so different.

All of this has just piled up and then I stopped taking my medicine. Most of us have been there and thought we were okay, but we probably also had people who said “hey, you aren’t yourself” or asked if we were still taking care of ourself. That doesn’t happen here and my self care abandonment has gone unmentioned if it was noticed.

12 days until I move. I am packing up my stuff and my cat and headed to the land of love.

Take care of yourself wherever you are. Take your medicine. Go to your doctor. Hug someone you haven’t in awhile. Ask someone how they are doing. It sounds so cliche and I really just want to punch people in the stomach when I see their half hearted post about being there for anyone who needs it on facebook. I get it though. I understand the sentiment. I just hope that we can all think of how we feel and how we hide it.

I’m Better Than This.

I took a step forward today. I applied about a year ago to become a speaker for the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) speaker’s bureau. I suffer from PTSD and it has taken me the past ten years to cope with that, although I am unsure if you can ever fully cope with a trauma such as sexual abuse. I received an email inviting me to their speaker’s bureau summit! Once you attend the summit, you are then asked to speak at engagements hosted at high schools and the like. I found that writing about the things that I have experienced throughout my trauma and rollercoaster of a ride with bipolar have really helped me cope. I have shared my experience with friends over the years to coax them out of making some of the mistakes I did that left me vulnerable. Now, I hope to share this with others in an effort to do the same.

Much like The Bipolar Writer, RAINN is a safe space for sexual abuse survivors and without either I am not sure what I would do. I attend a group sponsored by RAINN, and The Bipolar Writer has been my sort of mental health group. Having moved so far from my main support system this really has been my life line. The past 9 months have been full of depressive spirals. Between not having access to competent mental health care to just not having someone to recognize the signs of me falling into a manic-depressive episode it has been the hardest time of my life.

When I got that email, I felt a burst of hope and something to look forward to. It was then that I realized that I have to do something that I felt so much shame for considering, I have to move back home. I love Texas. I love the trees and being away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I love how people here are seemingly much more kind. I love the pressures lifted off my shoulders because I am too far away from those close to me to worry about any conflict.

I have developed a lot of new bad habits in this move. I have almost completely isolated myself. Some of it intentional and some from having a lack of social life in a new place with no familiar places. I only really leave my house to go to work where I rarely interact with coworkers because if I am being honest, I am scared. The health care field is over saturated with potential workers here and due to that the pay is significantly less than it was at home. I am broke. I can’t afford the gas to drive an hour to my mental health doc, let alone the cost of the visit because I don’t have health insurance. So I have been off my medication and I really am not the nicest without it.

I stopped writing. I have a lot to say, but the motivation isn’t there. The motivation has been lost on a lot of things. I stopped keeping in touch with most of my friends back home and I dropped out of school. I am only five classes away from finishing my Master’s degree and I just couldn’t do it….or I wouldn’t. That isn’t me. I came to Texas to figure out what I wanted, who I am without the routine I was used to. I figured it out.

I am a social butterfly who loves nothing more than to hear every thought that her friends have because I genuinely love and care about them. I ENJOY seeing my mom multiple times a week and grabbing dinner with my sister on a Tuesday night because I know she is broke but loves take out. I like being at home and cooking (even though I am bad at it) for people. I often have so much to write about that I have word documents saved on my laptop because I can’t go posting it all at once. I have an intense passion for health care and have always strived to give the care that we all deserve, and lately I can barely make myself go to work, let alone give 110%.

I am going home. I have two interviews coming up and am starting to look at apartments for when I get there. I have boxes in my car so that I can start packing. I reenrolled in school and am ready to start writing again. I called my doctor back home so that I can get back on my medicine. I need to take care of myself.

This post is scatter brained and that really isn’t me. I think it is important that we strive to continue to share even when it isn’t pretty and polished. It is important for others to see what the truth it, it is important to bring awareness. Most importantly, it is important for me. I need to be honest with others because it helps me to be honest with myself. I am not okay. I have to stop telling myself that. I can’t carry on in this new normal because frankly it is getting out of hand.