That Sinking Feeling

It comes from almost nowhere.   Previous thoughts were joyful, content, happy, the feeling of “everything-gonna-be-ok” running free.  The sun has set on those thoughts, and in their place is negativity and uncertainty and noisy feelings of fear.  The “ups” never last too long, around here.

What I wouldn’t give to have the last few hours back, the last few days, the week…ha!  I never seem to enjoy the “up” as much as I should.  I take it for granted, because it always comes back, but I seem to remember that it goes away, too.

It doesn’t go away in a roar or even a remotely noticeable way.  It skitters like grains of sand across the ground, until it accumulates in a pile large enough for me to recognize that those feelings are back.  The feelings that I thought would be gone, at least for awhile longer.

This crockery that I am working on right now, the idea of mental health recovery.  Who am I even kidding?  How foolish of me to finally decide to buy-in to the idea, that someday, I wouldn’t have to worry about any symptoms.  Does that really happen to people in reality, or is it just something for the self-help workbook?  Or are people just fooling themselves?  I think that is more likely.

This time is slightly different, because this time I recall exactly what I was thinking when the negative thoughts started to roll in.  The thought in my head, singular, standing alone — “I am going to worry about myself and what I need, and stop putting everyone else first.”  That was the thought, the idea that sparked all of this downhill slide.

Just as I knew the downhill slide would come, and I would have to stay busy refuting all of the garbage in my head, I know with certainty that the “up” will come back.  It might be an hour and it might be an hour or a week or a month, but my money is on an hour or a day, because there is so much up and down in my brain right now.  No mood state is lasting very long.

So I’ll talk with LarBear and cry my eyes out and then maybe understand a little better what is going on.  What is underlying.  I have my suspicions, namely my poor physical health of late and the fact that I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  Let’s hope that’s what it is, and maybe I can even find some middle ground, and not just go “up.”  I simply thought it might be helpful me to document the exact “what” of the downward slide because hey, maybe someday I can change it.

There are bad feelings right now, but there is also hope, and hope must be fought for with every shred of self that one has.  Without hope, there is nothing, and with it, everything.

Wordless Wednesdays — Its the Little Things

Sometimes, the smallest things can bring inordinate amounts of joy.  I broke into song when this showed up on my door step yesterday!  Now I can actually write down addresses and phone numbers instead of asking people again and again for their contact information.  What a concept!

13153522_1180558961978497_789984419_n

Let Go of This Beautiful Day

I am involved in what feels like non-stop programming to address my mental health issues.  Mondays are my DBT group day, and I joyfully did my homework and filled out my diary card over the weekend, really looking forward to group today because:

  1.  It is probably my biggest form of in-person social interaction over the course of the week
  2. Last week’s group and the few before it were really interesting and fun and we are working on interpersonal skills right now, which happens to be my favorite
  3. I had several things I had wanted to share today, and was also curious to see how my peers’ weeks had shaped up.

Unfortunately, the admin for therapy services called this morning around nine to let me know that group today was cancelled, as the therapist that leads was out sick.  I caught my judgmental thoughts right as they happened — “she probably partied too hard over the weekend” — and tried to reframe it in a way that I wouldn’t feel pissed off or disappointed.  I regret to say that I let the news really spoil my mood for a few hours, but thankfully I didn’t let it wreck my day.

I hate having a schedule that is at the mercy of others’ failings and frailties.  It seems to happen once a week, or maybe every two, that something I am counting on happening (like a group or  a meeting or something similar) doesn’t happen because of something outside my area of control.  No control issue comments or ribbings, the struggle is real.  I work hard, AND need to do better at accepting things as they come, and knowing (with certainty) that things are not always going to clip along at a pace that I can appreciate.

I think the hyper-sensitivity to feeling let down by others stems from experiences over the years of being let down by important people in my life.  I’m not naming names or pinpointing specific period of time, but when I really think about it, one thing I have learned in life is that I cannot trust other people to come through CONSISTENTLY.

So yes, it may be more fair to say that there has been quite a bit of inconsistency in other people, in my life, in other’s hearts for the majority of my life.  Here’s the thing — I am fully ready to radically accept that I cannot change this quality in other people.  I am fully ready to focus on doing only what I can do to maintain my schedule, and to be flexible and fair with other people, as they come in and out of my life.

As for the events of today, my DBT class getting rescheduled and me ending up in a funk over it, I will move on.  I will not harbor any ill will toward the therapist, because, hey…shit happens.  I will take the opportunity to review my diary card and homework with someone who understands it and can provide feedback (such as at my therapy appointment on Wednesday).

At 8:00 p.m., I am reflecting back on my day, and while it didn’t go nearly as planned, while some things fell through and my mood was not to my liking, I can look at it nonjudgmentally and say, “Rosa, today was just a day.  It wasn’t a bad day and it wasn’t a great day, but it was a day that something was learned and there were many very small victories and very few negative points.”

Let’s face it — any day that I get out of bed and brush my hair and leave my house and am upright for the majority of said day, is an okay-enough day by me.

let it go

Ten Things of “Keepin’ It Sane” Thankful

10thankful-bannerWe all have our little tricks that keep us going in the worst of times.  I choose to use this Ten Things of Thankful to highlight the ten things that keep me sane which I am most thankful for.  Don’t forget to go check out Lizzi at Considerings, the originator of this little blog hop, and to link your own at the end of her page.

Sometimes a little gratitude list (even if its for the really, really small stuff) can bring about a big positive change in your attitude.  I try to do this blog hop once a week, (which is also perfect because then I don’t have to think too hard about what to write about), but the reason I do it over and over, is simple…it WORKS for me.

  1. Unlikely, but included nonetheless, super-heavy-duty ponytail holders save my sanity every time.  There is nothing worse than having whispies or big chunks of hair touching your face all day.  (and yes, when I said touching, I put my fingers up in the air and wiggled)  I know I am not alone in having hair that can drive one straight up the wall, although I admit that it’s a bit strange to be my number one item on this list, but I have taken down and put my hair up about nine times today.  The long hair struggle…it is real, y’all!
  2. indigo-wild-zum-body-0091_8(1)Anything lavender-scented.  My current favorite is a lavender-lilac candle my dad bought me,and I would swear to you that using the lavender lotion by Zum can sometimes be about the only thing that will calm my raging anxiety.  Or at least that was the case yesterday.  Heaven knows it will be something else tomorrow.
  3. Kizzie.  Kizzie belly rubs and Kizzie kisses and Kizzie barking happily at me and feeding Kizzie treats and Kizzie, Kizzie, Kizzie.  If she wasn’t so wild, she could be a certified therapy dog, but she is my therapy dog, so that is what matters.  She knows when I am sad and when I am anxious and plants herself in my lap.  She licks my tears away, and will lay calmly at my feet through almost anything.  I really don’t know what I would do without her at times.Kizzie4.  And Kizzie leads straight into Lucy, the standard poodle that I have opened Lucyour home to, who used to live with my mom.  She is so darn happy here, it’s amazing — she and Kizzie play and leap around like puppies half the time.  With the addition of a little carprofen (which I am also grateful for), her arthritis is kept at a minimum and she can focus on being the Princess that she truly is.

5.  That I have managed to actually blog a few times this week.  It has been cathartic and freeing and enjoyable and lovely to interact again.  I hope I can keep that stuck in my head and repeat over and over.

6.  5-Things-New-Bloggers-Can-ReTeach-You-www.lovethehereandnow.com_-800x533Fairly related, I have found several new bloggers that I am excited to follow.  I hadn’t added a new blogger to follow in a really long time, but some super awesome people have stopped by this ol’ place and I am excited to put time and effort into it, like I used to.

 

 

7.  The fact that LarBear and I both believe in buying the actual CD of an artist’s music.  We buy ours mostly from Amazon, and have found some real winners lately with Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion, Cam, Keb Mo, Jana Kramer, and Kacey Musgraves.  Just Google, you will find…they are all spectactular!  And seeing as music is one of the main things that calms me down, I just consider that we are buying cheap therapy.

8.  It’s that time for the Interpersonal Effectiveness Tool, “FAST”, to rear it’s head and I am READY.  I have several situations where I do not want to over-apologize, where it is important for me to get across my point of view without losing my self-respect.  I have already tried it out a few times, but I am building up to a really big FAST that will be unveiled soon.

9.  I am thankful that I have reasonable insurance and that medications are filled as they should be and I can get in to see my treaters when need be.

10.  I am thankful for friends who are only an email away, who never give up on me even when I have been gone for a really long time, and who I can start BS’ing with just like old times the moment I am back in the picture.  Thank you.

66fb283d15da2f9c1e4ddbc5dd9fb7e0

 

 

Fractured Personality

Sometimes I feel like different people live within my body.  The strong Rosa, the weak Rosa, the angry Rosa, the meek Rosa, the funny Rosa.  There are more, but those are the ones that come out the most.  I’m not suggesting that I have multiple personality disorder, I am merely stating that I can feel so markedly different from moment to moment, that I don’t know how else to explain it.

I want the tough and strong Rosa to always persevere, but sometimes it feel like she won’t.  Sometimes the flailing Rosa takes over, and any sense of hope is lost.  It’s that Rosa that’s drowning in a foot of water, and just needs to stand up.  Sometimes she can hardly be convinced to stand, even get on her knees, even though that would “save” her.  This Rosa has easy access to the “give up” button, where every small and inconsequential thing is exceptionally difficult.

I find myself stuck in this mode far too much of the time, and the only thing that brings me out of this particular funk is to write down on paper all of the “evidence” I have for not remaining in this frame of mind.

And then the tough and strong Rosa gets to break ties with the flailing Rosa, and all can be well for a bit.  The funny Rosa that likes to tell jokes and be sarcastic and get others to laugh even makes an appearance, for awhile.  I wonder, as I am writing, what I could do to make all of the different Rosa’s into one more cohesive persona.

So much of my problems are black and white, this or that, all or nothing.  This is a way of thinking that has plagued me forever.  I rarely see any middle ground on an issue.  I am all in or all out, and then vacillate between the two, never landing in the middle.  This is the dialectic, so they say.  This is why DBT works for me, this is why I must constantly strive to put the fractured Rosa back together, to make her whole.

This is why I do this, this is why I write — to straighten these things out in my head, and to marry the parts of Rosa back together.

“The Scientist”

Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry
You don’t know how lovely you are

I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh, let’s go back to the start

Running in circles
Coming up tails
Heads on a science apart

Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

Oh, take me back to the start

I was just guessing
At numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart

Questions of science
Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart

Tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh, and I rush to the start

Running in circles
Chasing our tails
Coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh, it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

I’m going back to the start

Oh [x4]

Can’t Touch This

Up and down and all around, as you know if you’ve been reading.  The past two days, the depression has really stabilized, but I have been left with soul-crushing anxiety.  Anxiety that absolutely nothing touches — not a single DBT skill has gone untried, a PRN gone untested, a theory, a trick, an avoidance, nothing.  I don’t remember the last time I had such intractable anxiety.

Usually, there is something that will work.  I can fool my brain for long enough to fall asleep or sweep the unpleasantness far enough under the rug that it doesn’t peek out for a few hours.  I haven’t been able to do this lately, and the added near-unbearable irritability that has come with it…well, I just don’t know.  I just don’t know about anything right now.

Well, that’s not altogether true, I suppose.  I know I’m not ready to give up and I know I’m determined to not hurt the people around me who love me most with this irrational irritability and anxiety.  I’ll keep trying this and that because, all it takes is one thing to ease it for awhile, then maybe I can sleep for awhile, or at least rest, and then the irritability can go away.

The anxiety has been the worst in the mid-morning and the beginnings of the evening.  I keep find myself trying to find reason behind a most unreasonable emotion.  As if I am dissecting anxiety, and if I can figure out how it’s heart beats, then I can clip the right blood source and it will die.  I am far too rational, too logical, too black-and-white in my thinking.

Perhaps there is no what/when/why/whatever to this, and my trying to dissect it further makes it worse.  Perhaps that.  The thought that I am making this worse by all of my struggling seems to hit home, and I ponder to myself that maybe I need to rest and float upon these waves of anxiety, instead of trying to kick my legs and flail my arms in an attempt to stay above water.  You know, like JulieTwo always said, depression is an ocean, and if you float you survive, and if you fight, you die.

Food for thought, right there, and maybe QoB was right in suggesting that I spew it all out here on this blog.  Because, the fight or float thing makes sense to me, but I need to retrain myself to float.  Floating is hard, y’all.  Maybe this is also just like my most recent favorite gem — that it is so frustrating to watch someone flail in knee-deep water, believing they will drown, when all they need is to stand up.

I’m gonna try that.  I’m gonna float and I’m gonna stand up, and I will persevere in the end, mostly because I am too stubborn not to.

“Rosie’s Lullaby”

She walked by the ocean,
And waited for a star,
To carry her away.

Feelin’ so small,
At the bottom of the world,
Lookin’ up to God.

She tries to take deep breaths,
To smell the salty sea,
As it moves over her feet.

The water pulls so strong,
And no-one is around,
And the moon is looking down.

Sayin’,
Rosie – come with me,
Close your eyes – and dream.

The big ships are rollin’,
And lightin’ up the night,
And she calls out, but they just her pass by.

The waves are crashin’,
But not making a sound,
Just mouthing along.

Sayin’,
Rosie – come with me,
Close your eyes and dream,
Close your eyes and dream,
Close your eyes and dream.

Throw a Bunch of Thoughts into the Pot

sunshine in three days

It has been a very up-and-down three days since I released from the residential crisis center.  To start with, the weather has been crap, or (to be more accurate) severe, and I am tired of rain, tired of thunder, and very tired of keeping up with two dogs who suffer from varying degrees of thunder and storm phobia.  I told my mom I was going to order them and myself a doggie thundershirt.  Yes, they really are driving me that crazy (ier???).

After reading a friend’s post about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I realized that some of my angst might be coming from a lack of sunlight, so I have my sunlamp blazing now, and I just pray it doesn’t throw me into a manic spiral.  It seems like the last month or so, I have experienced the true ick of rapid cycling, and to say it hasn’t been fun is an understatement.  Right now, this moment, I am desperate to feel just a little better, so in front of the sunlamp I will sit, until the bipolar devil on my left shoulder releases it’s talons from my flesh a bit.

I spoke with my peer mentor yesterday, and the conversation that I was worried about went just fine.  We are going to start meeting twice per week for 90 minutes each session, which is what I wanted.  She states that she never received any word that I was at the crisis house, including the Trust Quotes (9)voicemails I sent her and her unit secretary.  I don’t believe her.  I completely think she is lying, but it just shows that you can’t trust people.  Which is sad, because before all of that happened, I had been thinking about trusting her more than the average human being.  Now, I’m not so sure.  It isn’t easy for me to trust people in the first place, and my faith in people is easily lost.  What is different about me, is that I do give people many, many, many chances.  So, while I am not trusting her so much at the moment, she is going to get another chance.

Now that I have pushed through the suicidal ideation and self-harm thoughts of the past little while, I find I am stuck with huge spikes in my anxiety level.  I have spoken with a few people about it, and my therapist today even wanted me to go into the hospital.  I am not going into the hospital unless I am at a danger to harm myself, and I’m not, so therefore I will figure out the anxiety problem while I am living at home.

I’ve read a few interesting articles on evening anxiety, including this one because it talks directly about anxiety specifically in the evenings.  Every evening between four and five o’clock, I am having a very severe anxiety spike.  This has happened with regularity for over a week, since before I was in the crisis residence, and has happened at other times in my life as well.  I have a hard time when it gets dark outside, but its light at that time right now, although I do notice a further anxiety spike as the sun falls.  My mom and I jokingly have said for years that I have “sundowners,” which is a worsening of symptoms typical in Alzheimer’s patients at dusk.

Obviously I don’t have Alzheimer’s, but I have never been able to figure out why evenings are so difficult for me, other than maybe for trauma reasons.  I think it also has to do with my fear of the dark, which hasFear-of-the-Darkbecome more pronounced as I age for some reason.  Those little things that go “bump!” in the night…full body shiver.  I do believe all of that also relates to my issues with sleep and near-constant nightmares.  It is ALL related, I do believe.  I just have to figure out how to ease my unease.

 

image by listzblog.com