The Ups & Downs of Being Mentally Ill

I have not written on here for a while because of how up and down my mental health has been. Especially over the past week, I have had some really low days. On Saturday I couldn’t get out of bed,  shower or muster the energy to open Netflix to watch a movie to calm my anxiety.

My first post on here was about how my mental health was in a good place. For months I felt really good! I didn’t have any suicidal thoughts or urges to hurt myself in any way. I had energy, I felt that things were finally going my way.

Sure I still had my depression and anxiety but I felt that I was in control instead of them controlling me.

Then all of a sudden the tables turned (or the turn tables, if you’re a fan of The Office).

My brain decided to tell me all sorts of horrible things it knows will make me fall to my knees. It went from whispering to shouting in the last few days that the world would be better without me in it. That nobody at all would miss me but rather breathe a sigh of relief.

Writing that out makes me cringe but from reading the posts on here, I know I’m not the only person who is feeling or has felt this way.

When I’ve been doing well and then my mental illness tackles me to the ground without warning, I’m taken off guard. I have to remember how to handle these situations. How do I calm myself down when I’m shaking with anxiety? How do I stop these negative thoughts from drowning me? Why don’t I have a drop of energy?

I have my eyes looking forward to therapy today where I hope I can get myself situated again.

I hope that if you’re going through these ups and downs too, you can find peace and make it through this challenging time.

Stay strong, everyone!

When Family Makes You Feel Alone During the Holidays

I know I’m not alone when I say I don’t like the holidays. Everyone has their reasons. Family gatherings always reminded me of or created more bad memories. I moved away from home to get away from family. It never felt like family. Living on my own, and no family, watching everyone else enjoying the holidays with their loved ones; this only reminded me of what I didn’t have. For a few years, I didn’t have friends around the holidays. If I could, I worked on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Working was better than feeling lonely at home.

As I got older, I developed a kind of family with some friends and coworkers, but this took a long time to build. I had a place to eat on Thanksgiving. I had someone to exchange gifts with on Christmas. After a while, I realized this new family was only a step up from my biological family. It’s difficult feeling alone when you’re surrounded by people; people who are supposed to be there for you but never notice you because they’re trapped within their own mind and problems. Sometimes you can’t find people you click with. People vibrate at different frequencies.

Moving on, getting older, once again I thought I had found a family. The harsh reality that I’ll never be a part of the family as I would like to be is just as painful as feeling like nothing around my other family. I know I have people who care for me. I know they would be there if everything was falling apart. But people who care for you can still make you feel alone or not important without meaning to. There’s no malicious intent. They’re going through problems too. Other’s feelings are forgotten when you’re caught up in your own.

If I can, I still work on Christmas. There are too many unhappy memories around that holiday. At the moment, I’m trying to decipher how much fault is mine in dealing with anyone else. Do they inadvertently make me feel unimportant because I make them feel that way? I’ve started looking back at myself every time I feel wronged. I have to be careful otherwise I’ll fall into the habit of assuming I deserve poor treatment. When do I start assuming I deserve happy memories during the holidays? When do I feel like people want me around for the holidays? This year wasn’t bad. Each year gets a little better. 

Falling Back Into Depression

A month ago I wrote about how I wasn’t feeling depressed, that I was able to feel happy and be productive (check it out here). It was really great while it lasted but I have started falling back down into the hole of depression.

It hit me yesterday evening, just tripping me up. I began to lose control over my emotions  during a stupid little thing with my boyfriend. I began to cry, something I often do when I feel out of control and when I feel like I have done something wrong. I cried even though he tried to tell me everything was fine but that voice in my head told me otherwise.

I woke up this morning figuring yesterday was just a fluke, that everything would be better today. I was very much wrong. My brain kept conjuring up feelings of guilt and telling me that my boyfriend doesn’t love me anymore because I am the way I am. I began sobbing, shouting into my bed that everything is all my fault. That it is my fault he is unhappy and that I am ruining my relationship even though this isn’t true. We have been together for nearly 2 years and are planning to live together in 2019.

In that fit of sobbing I knew my brain felt weird. That something wasn’t quite right, something was off. I felt depression grabbing me, dragging me back down into the imaginary hole where it lives. I’m back to where I was a few months ago. Feeling empty, sad, lazy and that I am not good enough for anyone or anything.

It is such a stark contrast from where I was yesterday afternoon. Depression gives zero f***s about when it wants to punch you in my stomach and drag you back to where you were trying to escape.

I feel disappointed in myself to be back in this depressive state. It feels unfair that I have to return to this state of being after being truly happy for over a month.