Pt. 1: Is This Really My Life? Pt. 2: Yes. And that’s okay.

I wrote part of this yesterday and was so ashamed of it that I password protected the draft.

Last night was a better night; my kids have an amazing ability to  cut straight through to my core and remind me how love feels.  I guess they pull me out of my own head, and I need that, cause my head is not always nice to me.

I wrote the second part this morning.  I am hoping that by sharing this post, maybe someone who is in the dark might see how quickly the clouds can pass. Alternately, I hope that those of you who do not suffer from depression and anxiety may get a little bit better understanding of the intensity of feeling, the fear, the anger, and the self-disgust that some of us deal with all too often.

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*** MILD TRIGGER WARNING — TALK OF SUICIDE***

Alternate title:  I’m fucking broken. 

I think that it is Mental Health Awareness month.  Or maybe it’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Month.  Or maybe it’s none of those things and I am just behind on my months the way I’m behind on everything else in life.  Who knows.

Anyway.  Things are not good in the brain here lately.  I’ve noticed that a lot of the bloggers I follow seem similarly out of order.  Seems like a good time for a Canvas of the Minds post, even though my head is telling me that it will be stupid, it won’t help me or anyone else, and I should probably just stop writing altogether.  Fuck you, head.  We are obviously not on the same team right now, so you can just shut up.

Without further ado, I present a day in the life of me, my chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and potty mouth.

Monday, May 19, 2014

6:06 a.m.  Wake up.  Hobble to living room.  Want to cry because everything hurts and there’s no coffee.  Make coffee.  Wake up kids.  Take meds.  Realize that because I was sick yesterday I did not take my meds and now today is going to suck really badly.  Realize that because I was sick yesterday I did not do any laundry and this morning is going to suck badly.  Try to find clothes for children.  SUCCESS! Kind of.  At least they are not naked.  Comb daughter’s hair even though it hurts and I can hardly hold the comb.  Get hugs.  Realize that because I was sick yesterday we did not do her project and I am a failure.  Write note to teacher that likely does not even make sense.  Realize that teacher probably already knows that I am a fuckup and send note even though it doesn’t make sense.  Realize that I don’t have any cash, so kids have no lunch money.  Think about all the things I had planned on doing yesterday and feel like a failure because I was sick and didn’t do any of them.

7:00 a.m.  Everyone leaves.  Drink coffee, smoke cigarette, curse at self.  Think about what I need to do today.  Get overwhelmed and cry.  Try to get someone to take lunch money to kids.  Get irrationally angry at doctor’s office for making me get up to answer an automated message.  Pee about 15 times.  Hold head in hands.  Stare at wall.  Feed cat.  Play Candy Crush. Watch video on Facebook that makes me cry.  Go outside, sit in shade, think that I should spend more time in the sun.  Go inside.

8:00 a.m. Check email, various messages, read blogs, prepare for phone call.  Do some other stuff which I can’t remember but I’m sure I did.

9:00 a.m.  Make stressful phone call.  Shake so hard I almost drop phone.  Cry.  Decide I should lay back down because everything hurts and I am sad.  Lay down.  Everything still hurts and I am still sad.  Clench teeth and try to go to sleep.  Get up because I have to pee.  Again.  Lay down under electric blanket even though I’m hot.  Cry.  Feel nauseous and worried.  Think about a million things that I should not think about if I want to fall asleep.  Bills, kids, failure, bad mother, bad mother, bad wife, bad person, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts.  Pee again.  Curse at self because I can’t even sleep right.

10:30 a.m.  Get up.  Make more coffee.  Put on bra.  This doesn’t help.   Take medicine.  Everything hurts.  Ponder how I can live the rest of my life feeling this shitty.  Think about doing laundry.  Drink more coffee.  Look at bills.  Read blogs.  Get feelings hurt for no reason.  Get irrationally angry at cat toy.  Worry how I will be able to act happy when the kids get home.  Feel bad because I know they know I am sad.  Practice smiling.  Cry.

1:00 p.m.  Decide to write this stupid blog.  Arms hurt so bad that I can’t type after first paragraph.  Curse myself, silently this time because I think I’ve been upsetting my cat with all the yelling.  Wonder how the fuck I am supposed to get anything accomplished when I feel so shitty.  Think if I was going to kill myself, I would eat a lot of meat first.  Read article about stupid meat allergy.  Eat a cup of peaches.  Smell a funny smell in kitchen and think I should clean the kitchen so it looks like it did Saturday, but then I got sick Sunday so maybe I should rest.  I hate resting.  Wonder how come I only feel like a worthwhile human being if I have accomplished something.  Wonder if just existing is this hard for anyone else?

1:30 p.m.  Realize kids will be home in three hours.  Think I should listen to some music or go for a walk to cheer me up.  Don’t do either of those things.  Think about calling my dad but know I will just cry.  Mom calls, points out that I haven’t eaten anything but one cup of peaches in the last two days.  Eat another cup of peaches.

That is as far as I’ve made it today, and looking back over that, it’s disgusting.  I don’t know what I expect to accomplish with this.  I think my initial thought was that maybe someone who didn’t have depression, anxiety, or pain could read it and get an idea of what it is like, but now that just sounds like the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.  I’m pretty sure I told myself I was going to post it anyway, because my brain can’t be trusted right now, but what if the bad idea was writing this in the first place?  This is just so stupid.

After I wrote that, I proceeded to have a full-blown, hunker down in the floor, shaking, heart pounding, terrifying panic attack.  Laid in floor and practiced breathing exercises until I could get meds, then laid in bed and focused on breathing in the good, out the bad.

***************************************************************************

Part 2

When the kids got home yesterday, things got considerably better.  Thing 2 came home from school not feeling well and after a big hug, he went straight to bed.  I hope he is not feeling the same way I’m feeling.  My mom made us dinner and talked to me for a while and also gave me a big hug.  Thing 3 fell asleep on my lap watching the Bachelorette, after we chose some pictures of her to send to school and picked a favorite book for her to take.  Thing 1 is so funny.  He cracks me up all the time.  We made some jokes about the guys on the Bachelorette, and he offered to carry Thing 3 to bed; so sweet, always watching out for me.  Husband came home and I filled him in on the Bachelorette and then we watched Jimmy Kimmel.  Godzilla, people?  Really?  Oh, that was hilarious.  Then I went to bed and it only took me probably an hour to fall asleep.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

6:25 a.m.  Husband wakes me up.  I don’t speak to him.  Go get coffee and meds.  Everything hurts.  Get Thing 3 dressed and brush her hair, wake up Things 1 and 2, and am happy to tell them they have clean clothes in the dryer.  I am happy that we did Thing 3’s homework last night.  Husband shares video of movie trailer — I will watch anything with a talking raccoon, especially one who has to adjust his balls.  (I’ve got issues.)

7:15 a.m. Everyone leaves. It was a good morning.  I drink coffee, look at email and Facebook and messages.  Get sleepy.

8:00 a.m.  Go back to bed and sleep like a baby for 2 hours, even though the phone woke me up midway.

10:00 a.m.  Drink coffee.  Think about stuff I need to talk to the doctor about.  Think about making a list.  Play Candy Crush.  Think that maybe it’s okay that my brain is so fucked up sometimes, since a lot of highly creative, talented people struggle with mental illness.  Decide to add this to my post from yesterday that I never posted and even password protected because I was so ashamed of it.  Marvel at the difference a day makes.  Feel thankful that the tide turned once again and that I am still here on the beach.  Think about trying to build something stronger to hold onto for next time.

About Steph

I like words. I suspect I would like sanity, but I really have no way of knowing. I can be reasonable, but not often. View all posts by Steph

43 responses to “Pt. 1: Is This Really My Life? Pt. 2: Yes. And that’s okay.

  • Michelle

    I wish…I REAAAALLLLYYY WISH I could drink coffee with you and we could moan to each other about how awful everything is until we get so absurd that we laugh.

    Or we cry.

    Either way, I wish I could be there for a few minutes and tell you that everything will be okay.

    Thanks for sharing this, even if it did get a little dusty in my cubicle. But I cry over everything these days anyway.

    And fuck depression in the face.

  • Twindaddy

    (hugs) Hey, I have a lot of downtime while I’m at work. If you ever need to chat, just hit me up.

  • Mental Mama

    Twindaddy is a slacker, I have legit free time. Sometimes. But I’m also happy to chat if you need someone. 😉

    And really, why the hell didn’t you share the raccoon video? That sounds totes awesum!

  • The Hopeful Herbalist

    Wish I could give you a hug and try not to hurt you! So lookout here comes a cyber hug xx

  • onechicklette

    This feels empty but know it’s said with meaning: do hang in there and keep believing that better days are ahead. Try to change your thoughts in a way that they aren’t so hard on yourself. You’re obviously loved just as you are.

  • merbear74

    Wow, Steph. This could be my life, only with different curse words. I am blown away by this post, and your raw honesty and humor.

    • Steph

      Thanks Merry, and I’m sorry that you know so well what I’m talking about. Right before I saw this comment, on my email WordPress recommended a post you wrote, A Day in the Life of Depression (something like that) from 2012 I think. I’m going to go read it again now that I’m on the PC, but how funny (or sad) that we basically wrote it the same way…an hour at a time. One foot in front of the other, right? 🙂

  • samara

    Steph-
    you mentioned what you were going through, and I suggested I might stop by your blog.
    I’m glad I did.
    Wow. I had no idea what you go through. You have the cheeriest gravatar.
    I know that sounds asinine, but I didn’t know you deal with chronic pain. That sucks so bad.
    I suffer from occasional depression. When I do, my whole body hurts. I posted about it last winter. I felt exposed and vulnerable in a way that was not comfortable for me. I don’t know if I could do it again.
    I think you’re very brave.
    xo,
    S

  • bethteliho

    Depression and anxiety are incredibly important topics for me. I’m so proud of you for publishing this when some of your instincts were telling you not to! GAWD do I ever have days like this?!?! And what the hell is going on recently – is it something in the water? Cuz SO many people have been suffering this month, including me a week or so ago. Seriously, like we don’t have enough problems, we have to periodically feel like total worthless assholes.

    I heart you to pieces. So glad you wrote this. *HUGS*

    • Steph

      Oh, Beth, thank you! I HATE that you feel like this sometimes — you are too sweet! And I know, it is just everywhere. I totally think the moon is somehow responsible. I needed that hug, lady. You are the best.

  • The Farmer's Daughter

    Great post girl! Always feels good to know I’m not alone. I get the feeling of total uselessness when I get nothing accomplished, it can wear a person down so much. Feels like a hole you can’t get out of. That damned vicious cycle. Take care you!

  • Aussa Lorens

    Damn. I’m glad you posted this instead of letting in languish in a protected draft. We have to tell all our stories, even the ones that are dark or don’t feel tidy, because those are often the ones that other people are needing to hear.

    I kept picking out parts that most resonated with me and it got to be kind of difficult, but I’ve settled on this:
    “Wonder how come I only feel like a worthwhile human being if I have accomplished something. Wonder if just existing is this hard for anyone else?”

    I think these things– especially the top one– all the freaking time. Take heart, and be well!

  • maurnas

    I am so glad you are better and back. Also, your comments prompt makes me giggle every time I read it.

  • removingstitches

    I think you are amazingly brave for writing so rawly and openly. I know that it won’t make a difference to your pain, but you should know that opening yourself up to the world like this is making someone else’s journey a little easier because they know they are not alone. Without wanting to be patronising, have you ever looked at Danny Baker’s stuff on “Depression is not destiny”? It helped me a lot to start moving forward from a more recent depressive phase. I pray you one day find yourself at the top of the mountain of depression, in the meantime, be kind to yourself; sounds like you’ve got enough stuff going on without beating yourself up too xxxx

    • Steph

      It does make a difference just hearing that — that you think sharing this could help someone else. I have not read anything by Baker, but I’ll check into it. I started some new meds a few days ago and I already feel better. I have more energy and feel more like myself than I have in a long while. Thanks so much for commenting! Makes me feel less alone. 🙂

  • Deanna Herrmann

    I’m so sorry I’m just getting here. I think it was so brave of you to post this and I absolutely think that it’s important and that it will help people. I wish we could coffee together. I had my first panic attack on Friday. Total meltdown and most of it was for very similar reasons. Some days the pain is just too much. Then on good days,when I try to be active, the pain reminds me that I suck. Chronic pain is a total life suck. I get it. I do. And I’m just so glad you’re here and managing to find humor and peace somehow. I’m always…..ALWAYS…here for you. Thank you for sharing this and helping to remind people that a day CAN make a difference. Big hugs to you! xoxox

    • Steph

      Aw, Deanna, thank you. I know you understand. It’s hard to talk about without feeling like I’m just super whiny! I am (like you) a total type A and I like to be busy and doing things and accomplishing stuff…and I just don’t do well when I can’t. BUT I am feeling so much better, new meds, and things are looking up. Fingers crossed, for me and you! xoxo

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