Slip Sliding Away

This one has snuck up on me.

I always start thinking I’m overly tired or getting sick and then realize I’m sliding down that slope.

I’ve been feeling fat lately. Let’s be honest, I am overweight, but the magic of working out is that even if I haven’t lost weight I feel thinner and sexier and prettier. It’s like being on drugs!

Lately I’ve been slacking. We just moved so I was busy for a while packing up the old house and our new place is much, much smaller so my workout area is still full of boxes. There just never seemed to be time. And of course, I don’t make alternative plans, like going for a walk. I just give myself a pass and eat crap and sit on the couch.

Now, I feel like that crap I’ve been eating.

Yesterday I asked Eric if I felt ugly because I haven’t been working out and he said that maybe that was the case.

So, it’s time to stop slacking!

This weekend we will set up the workout area and, more importantly, I will use it, God dammit!

Side Note: 

Words keep being underlined in this post and I can’t figure out why. Usually when I type a word that I know isn’t a word I know it. You know? Today, I feel like I’m really, really tired and words that seem real aren’t. Maybe.

Side Note II: 

This – http://explore.org/live-cams/player/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls

I’ve been watching this today. Some of these salmon don’t even seem to be trying. C’mon! How are you going to get up a waterfall by jumping straight up at the base. You need to take that shit at an angle dude!  Get up some speed and give ‘er!  Also, BEARS! 🙂

Mental Illness is My Jam

I have a delightful rotating background on my desktop here at work.

There are two warring images that I see from time to time and I feel I need to write about them. So there.

The first is this:

Happiness2

Am I? Do I? On a really good day! 😀

I like this because on a really good day I feel as though it’s actually true.

If I’m just tired or bored and I start to grump out I can remember this and think of the good stuff and attempt to be happy.

Or at least … attempt the attempt?

Does that count?

Positive attitude and all that rot!

 

The second is this:

JLaw

I love her. Full on girl crush. ❤

When I saw this one I had to save it so I could see it and remember.

I have read Jenny Lawson’s “Furiously Happy” so I know I read it there, but this time it had a picture! 🙂 And I probably needed to see it and absorb it into my silly brain.

I then did what any 21st Century human would do and I posted it on Facebook with the comment, “YES!!”

Later on someone said to me that only people with depression would understand it and I sort of mumbled that yes, that’s probably true even though part of me was saying, NO! THAT’S NOT RIGHT!

My brain held on to this and I started thinking about it more and more and feeling like it isn’t right but not really knowing why.

So here I am, 3 months later, blogging about it because that’s how I talk to the world and I need to get this out of my brain.

This is what I think.  It is definitely possible that only people with a mental illness would understand the sentiment in the picture above. BUT I think that if we shared this stuff with the world then maybe more people would understand how to understand. If that makes sense.

I am teetering on the brink of screaming to the whole world something along the lines of, “Yes, I am broken! I have a mental illness! Sometimes I can’t get out of bed and sometimes even showering takes a massive effort of will. Other days I feel totally fine! I’m tired of pretending and if you don’t understand you can suck it!”

It’s still scary because people will judge. But I think there are other people who will try to learn and understand and help.

That’s why I shared that picture. It’s a tiny “eff you” to those who would judge and a tiny “let’s talk” to those who want to understand.

Imagine if we talked about this stuff freely. If everyone knew that some people felt this way and it wasn’t their fault and they can’t just cheer up.

Imagine if we helped the world to understand where we are coming from and that when we withdraw from the world it’s not because we’re being rude or we’re angry, but because the world has become too much for us at that moment and we need a break.

Imagine feeling like you don’t ever have to pretend!

You can call in sick and say that you’re having a hard time with your depression right now and you need a few days and your work would be okay with that.

Imagine all these people that we educated could recognize the signs in their friends and loved ones and give them the help they need. Even if that help is simply letting them watch Supernatural in bed and bringing them Doritos.

Imagine not feeling oddly uncomfortable and that you need to say something when a Bell commercial for talking about mental illness comes on the TV. hehe I did say something. Everyone in the room already knew that mental illness is my jam so it really wasn’t a big deal, even though I feel like sometimes not everyone knows if it’s safe to comment. It is!

This is all part of why I started blogging in the first place. I want a place to write about whatever I fancy, but I also want to stop hiding and pretending.

This is me.

Suck it!

What, Me Worry?

I’ve been thinking about anxiety lately. More specifically, how it relates to me.

Before I started exorcising my depression demons it was so overwhelming that I never gave a thought to the part that anxiety played in the whole deal. Even now, I’m just starting to explore that side of my … okay, let’s take a short detour here: I didn’t know what words to use there and writing “mental illness” felt wrong. I was trying to think of any words other than those for two reasons:

1. I don’t want people to think that’s all I am and that they should feel bad for me.

2. I feel as though by saying “mental illness” that it weakens me. But eff that! Eff it all!! Let’s do this right, and be proud and own it! Here we go…

Before I started exorcising my depression demons, it was so overwhelming that I never gave a thought to the part that anxiety played in the whole deal. Even now, I’m just starting to explore that side of my mental illness (eff you world!). I would tell people that I don’t go out a lot because of social anxiety, but I was always being sort of half serious. The weird part is, I think I’m right.

It’s not crippling anxiety and I think that’s why I never truly acknowledged it. I have a sort of “stage fright anxiety”. If I have to go out and do something I get all wound up thinking about it and I get grumpy. But once I’m there I’m usually fine. Usually. There are always exceptions.

I’m not good with changing plans either. I need to mentally prepare for what I’m doing and if it changes I freak out slightly. Just slightly. Normally that means I end up being rude to someone. I would guess that someone is usually Eric. Poor Eric. He’s a Saint!

Last weekend my mom reminded me that when I was a kid I would always get sick if there was an exciting event coming up. I figured it was just bad luck. It’s hard to think of little kid me having anxiety! Sometimes I want to go back in time and give kid me a hug and tell her it gets better. She was so lonely and confused. But that’s another story!

Look at Kid Me. She's so cute!

Look at Kid Me. She’s so cute!

I don’t have crazy panic attacks where I have to curl up in a ball and hide, but I recently recalled an episode I had years ago, which I will call my “non-panic panic attack”.

I was at work, changing lives, and all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe. I used my puffer, but it didn’t help and I started to freak out a bit. I went into the bathroom and called my boyfriend, who told me to breathe. Not helpful. This was not Eric. I feel I should make that clear. Eric is a Saint.

I ended up going to a walk-in clinic near my work. By the time I got in to see a doctor I was okay. The appointment went something like this:

Doctor: It sounds like you had a panic attack.

Me: No. I don’t have those.

Doctor: Sometimes they occur when you’re worrying about something, or you’re feeling stressed.

Me: I’m not stressed about anything.

Doctor: Sometimes you don’t realize you are until you have a panic attack.

Me: Nope.

Doctor: I’ll prescribe you these pills that will help you calm down. They might make you drowsy.

Me: But I don’t have panic attacks.

Doctor: Take this prescription and get out.

I went home and took a pill and had a nice nap on the couch. I never actually thought it was a panic attack. Perhaps it was. It wasn’t debilitating, but it did freak me out. I never went to my regular doctor to discuss it. I probably should have.

When I review my life with this in mind there are other instances I can think of where the same thing happened. So many revelations lately! Depression and anxiety! Who’s the luckiest girl in the world?

There seriously needs to be a font that indicates sarcasm. Maybe I’ll invent one.

By the way … today I’m winning!

Mild Depression Passing Through My Brain

I had intended my first post about depression to be a well-crafted, elegant and inspiring essay on my struggles with the bastard.  I recently read Jenny Lawson’s books – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) and Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things. You must read these if you struggle with any type of mental illness or know someone who does.  Or even if you don’t. Just read them.

I read them both on vacation and I felt liberated and inspired and I thought, “I should blog about stuff like this! If I can help even one person then it’s totally worth it!”

I have written and rewritten this phantom post numerous times in my head. Not prepared to write anything down until it was perfect. Or, if I’m honest with myself, too scared to start writing because it’s terrifying to say some things out loud and to risk having people you know (or slightly know, or work with, or met once, or might meet) see your weakness.  Because that’s how it feels as I sit here today and write this.

Today I am losing.

A lot of days I win and I go on with life. I go to work, I exercise, I shower!

This week I was sneak attacked. Just a small one, but enough to keep me home from work and to fill my head with bad thoughts about people and things I love. I hate that. It’s like there’s a demon in my head telling me lies about life and stopping me from seeing how beautiful it is and how wonderful some people are.

I made it to work today, but that’s because my fear of disappointing people gave me the strength to get out of bed and go. Inspiring, I know.

I’m sitting here with a pain in my right side that I’ve had on and off since May. Ultrasounds, CT Scans, Colonoscopy … all normal. I did my own research and found something I think could be the cause and my Doctor agrees. Sadly, there’s not much we can do about it.

Eating better might help with the pain. So yesterday I had pizza. Now I’m in pain and I hate myself for being weak and not being able to do simple things that come so easy to other people. And the depression whispers to me the whole time that I’ll never make the changes I want. My health will never improve. Everything will be a struggle. Might as well just go back to bed and ignore the world.

One thing Jenny Lawson wrote that stuck with me is that depression lies. I had never looked at it that way before. It always felt like depression was a window into my darkest self and laid all that shit bare for me to see and be hopeless about. But no, it lies! It’s true! She’s right and it lies and reading that made me so happy because I felt like I had a new tool to fight this asshole thing that tries to ruin me on a regular basis.

I’m trying to remember that today. I will get through it. I should go home and exercise. Don’t let it win!

I feel better for writing this. Maybe if I talk about it, it takes away some of its power. Eff you, depression demon!

Maybe by the end of today I will win.