100% Success Rate For Over 35 Years

That’s right, I have kept myself alive 100% of the time for over 35 years now.  Maybe that’s a funny way of looking at things, but when you live a life that very often involves suicidal ideation or, on the flip side, very dangerous and risky behavior, you have to figure that 100% is a pretty good number at the end of a 35 year stretch.

For all of the moments of “give up” I have had in the past, the fleeting “give ups” that I have at present, and the “give ups” that I know are going to be thoughts in my future as a person who deals with mental illness, I can say that, at this very moment in time, I have no “give ups” in me, at this current time.

Of course, that could change within the next hour or week or month or whatever period of time you can conceive of.  And, it probably will.  But when things are semi-ok, when I have a day, even just a single day where I feel like I have passed through like a semi-successful human being, I need to write it down, to commemorate it, to throw it a freaking ticker-tape parade.  Sometimes I can go really long stretches without a day like today, and every great once in awhile, I will have a string of “give up” free days.  I don’t have a string of them at the moment, but I have today.

Today was a pretty good day.  I had only very fleeting thoughts of going up, and for the most part my mind just kept pushing me to go on farther, harder, faster, better, more efficient, more brave.  I went into a craft store today, and I did not totally freak out while inside, and spent the better part of 30 minutes in there.  That is no small feat, because as a general rule for the past months, I go absolutely nowhere, not even usually to appointments.

But I had a gift card, and the wise mind part of me knows that, if I have materials that inspire me, I will be more likely to do crafting-type-stuff, which, generally, makes me feel a little better.  I pushed myself to go to the craft store, and I had my lucky, ever-consistent LarBear with me, and I did ok.  I didn’t do amazing or great, but I did ok, and I ended up with some new beads that I am pretty excited about.

Even bigger than that adventure, was the fact that I went into a Kwik Shop gas station and picked out my own bottle of water and used the restroom and stayed inside the whole time, even waiting in line with LarBear to pay, and didn’t flee to the safety of the car.  This is an even bigger deal because I have never ever been inside this gas station or into any place of business in this section of town.  I pushed myself because I knew I had to.  I pushed myself because I want to get better and be able to go more places.  And maybe, just maybe, I pushed so hard because I really, really needed to pee.  Whatever the motivation, I’ll take it.

I know I do better when I use skills like build mastery and build structure, which is basically exactly what it sounds like.  Building mastery can range from doing everyday things like cooking a meal to learning a new skill.  It is basically (in my eyes), anything that you can do that you can look at and say, “that is me being productive.”  Building structure is also just like it sounds, keeping a day full and not having too much down time.

Building structure and building mastery are the two skills that are going to give me real success, in the long run, if I can keep them up.  I am looking at what I have done today and I am pleased.  I have made a plan for what I am doing tomorrow, and I have detailed it out on paper.  If I can stick with it, I will have possibly another day of success.

A more stable length of time is started with stringing one day together after another, and so I have my evening yesterday when I made a new recipe and cleaned up the house a bit, and I have today, with the shopping and getting out in public and cooking a healthy dinner.  Hopefully I am able to follow through on tomorrow’s plans, or at least some variation.

Right now, at this moment, I have no “give up” in me, and there is really nothing else I can ask for, more than that.

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Moving On: Through and After Abuse

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I happened upon this photo quote today and it struck me upside the head, blinding me for a minute.  Could this be true?  Do I get to choose who I want to be?  Of course, there are certain things I strive for, but could I do, ya know, ANYTHING?  If I wanted?

I often feel like I’m the un-cool kid at the party, drinking lemonade from a red Solo cup and hoping no one notices that I’m not getting drunk like they are.  I think I feel that way, because I’ve been there, and I just tend to extend it to other venues.  I want to hang out with the cool kids at their blog.  I want to find funny and inspiring and thought-provoking picture quotes for my little blog.  I want so-and-so to c0mment on my last FB status.

And when one of these things happen?  When one of the cool kids invites me to play?  I nearly shit myself.  But why would you choose me?  Hello there, Ms. Confident!

One of the things that can happen in an abusive relationship, is that your partner convinces you that you are no better than the dog poo on his shoe.  Everything about you is wrong.  Your hair, your friends, your job, your family.  You just suck and don’t really even deserve to live.  No one will want you but me, and I don’t even want you that much.  And as you’re begging and pleading for him to stop whatever the hellish thing is that he’s doing at the moment, you start to believe these things.  At the end of 11 months, he has totally destroyed your self-esteem and anything positive you have ever thought about yourself.

You thought your self-esteem was low before.  Well, yes, of course it was.  It’s partly how you let this go on for so long, you sack of shit!  And then those outer voices turn to inner voices and you start telling yourself that those things are true, plus more.  You have whole rants lined up, on tape, in your head, and you find that your brain wants to play them constantly.

It takes years.  Of therapy, of medication, of being surrounded by people who love you — to get even the smallest bit of relief.  Your belief in your non-existent self-worth starts to grow slowly, but can be quashed just as quickly by a sideways comment.  Every comment hurts, but you start to seek out the positive ones.  The people who are there for  you, day in and day out.  The people that don’t hurt you or beat  you down.

So here it is, I thought I’d been working on finding myself.  Turns out, when I see it in print, I have been CREATING myself.  I am Rosa, and I am Rose, and I am Rosie, but most importantly:

1) I am Auntie Rose.

2) My parents love me:  QoB and the Big Dawg, and Dad

3) I have two great dogs.

4) DSB would do anything for me.  ANYTHING.

5) I am proud to work in a bait store.  I personally feel like I am the key to organizing everything and making sure things stay in their place.  I feel useful.

6) I blog.  A lot.  I try to every day, and sometimes that’s hard, but it seems like I always find something to say.  There are even people that READ this blog.

7) My abuser has stopped trying to seek me out and I have stopped being afraid of him doing so.  I would love for him to show up on my doorstep and meet DSB and Rascal.

8) I have worked hard enough in therapy (and in life), that my trauma issues have greatly settled down.  When I don’t sleep, it’s not because I’m having trauma nightmares.

9) My psychiatrist and I have found a potent drug cocktail that appears to (mostly) keep my symptoms in check.

10) I have allowed myself to be open to friendship again.

11) I have stopped thinking of myself as gross and realized that it’s just fat, and I can still be attractive and be fat.

12) I have found compassion for those I don’t understand, those I don’t like.  I don’t need to understand and like everyone.

13) I have given up on friendships that were so clearly one-sided and unhealthy.

14) I have developed a schedule that I stick to, almost without fail, and that helps me keep my highs and lows to a minimum.

15) I feel, through many methods, like I have achieved something that feels a lot like peace and contentment.

 

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