Posted in Mental Health

My nightmares have leveled up…

I’m pretty sure that I have talked before on this blog about the fact that nightmares are normal for me. All of my dreams all seem to have a nightmarish quality to them, something just slightly off around the edges. I dream of things that most people would consider nightmares, being hunted in post apocalyptic settings for example, but since I also tend to have some sort of magical powers or something along those lines in these dreams, I don’t usually consider them nightmares. They are more like epic movies for me.

Something has started to change though. My nightmares have started to incorporate the very room that I am sleeping in. So when I wake up I am not able to distinguish dream from reality. Twice in the last couple of months this has resulted in me actually jumping out of bed. The first time it happened I actually went out to the living room where my husband was getting ready for work and led him into the bedroom telling him that “Something was happening.” Only when I tried to elaborate I couldn’t because what made perfect sense in the dream could not be explained as I slowly separated dream from waking.

And then again this morning I woke up saying “No, no, no, no, no!” and jumped out of bed because I was convinced that the bed itself was starting to open up like a trap door to drop me into somewhere else. I stood at the end of the bed for a minute or two slowly registering that there was no danger.

I’ve heard it said before that people sitting bolt upright in bed from a dream isn’t something that actually happens, that it’s just something that happens in movies. Apparently whoever said that was wrong because that and more has happened to me at least twice now.

I’d like my normal nightmares back now please. My in-laws are supposed to be coming out for a visit in a couple of months and I’d rather not burst out into the living room where they are sleeping like a crazy person because of a nightmare that won’t let go…

Posted in Blogging, Mental Health, Writing Challenges

I feel like I crashed a party…

I’ve always had issues with feeling like nobody really likes me or actually wants to be my friend. 

I do well for a while, enjoying the friendships that I’ve cultivated, and then the doubt starts to creep in.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone that I met through Nano Poblano, and getting to know people that I met before it better as well.

I started to feel like I’ve found my people, my tribe… My Blokin as Ra calls it. 

I basked in the happiness and warmth of belonging.

And then the thoughts of “… but you don’t really belong…” started again.

I started to feel like I invited myself to y’all’s party and that you’re all just too polite to ask me to leave. 

My brain doesn’t care about the fact that Ra specifically and enthusiastically invited me to join #TeamTinyPeppers.

It’s certain that I probably received the invitation by mistake.

My brain tells me that everyone probably found my daily link up posts on the Cheer Peppers Facebook group towards the end of November to be annoying. That they probably were hoping that someone who actually belonged there would take over.

No matter that Bradley set it up specifically so that I could do those posts. Or that Bradley and Ra both thanked me for doing them after November ended and they had a chance to breathe.

My depression is very good at telling me that there is no reason why people would actually want to interact with me. 

I’m trying to fight it, but self doubt and low self esteem are hard things to beat.

This post isn’t me looking for sympathy, it’s me being real and sharing my struggle because I know I’m not alone in dealing with feelings like this. 

If you are also going through this, you are not alone.

Posted in Blogging, Mental Health, Writing Challenges

A strange delusion…

There’s this thing that happens to me when I’m half awake sometimes. I don’t know why it started, but it’s something that’s stuck around for a number of years. 

Sometimes when I’m half awake I become convinced that my apartment, and my bedroom especially, are a public place. Not that they transform into another place, but that they are someplace that people can come and go from freely. It even goes so far as that if my husband is still sleeping in bed with me I am uncertain if he is really him or a stranger. Because in my delusions state I think that my bed is something that many people share at once. That random people can come in and just climb into my bed with me and go to sleep. There are times when my brain insists that there might be as many as 4-5 people in my queen size bed. This had stuck with me even after moving twice.

I don’t know how my brain decided that this was going to be a thing. All of the apartments that I’ve lived in have very much been private spaces. We even have a security system that is almost always armed at our current place. Perhaps it was because of that one time in a previous apartment that a maintenance man let himself in while I was still asleep in bed. He came nowhere near my bedroom, he just said hello to the cats I had at the time, did what he needed to do in my utility room and let himself back out. I liked that maintenance man, but the experience still freaked me out some as I silently watched from my barely cracked bedroom door. 

So logically I know that the delusion is just that, a delusion, but that doesn’t keep my brain from deciding sometimes that my bedroom and Grand Central Station are one in the same. 

Posted in Blogging, Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Stay at Home Wife

Lonely by design…

A few days ago on Facebook Ra was talking about how she wanted to write a post about loneliness and asked if any of us had written posts on the subject. I’m not sure if I have written a post about it before, but it got me thinking about the way I’ve got my life set up.

I started writing a post early yesterday morning but ended up trashing it. Then I read Holly’s post on the subject of loneliness and decided to give mine another try.

My husband and I live hundreds of miles away from all of our friends and family. We originally lived in Connecticut but moved all the way out to Utah a little more than 12 years ago. All of the friends that we’ve made out here have been through my husband’s work. Those friendships can be hard to keep up though because I don’t socialize. I’m 100% an introvert. We now literally live right across the street from where my husband and his co-workers/friends work and I have still yet to actually invite my husband’s coworker/ friend that I’ve made via Facebook over on her way home from work. It’s not that I don’t want to see her, but the thought of inviting someone over causes anxiety for me. The nice thing is that she can totally relate, because she deals with anxiety herself.

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I do not have a job. I haven’t had a job since the beginning of my marriage almost 14 years ago. I’ve tried to work before, but it never ends well. My anxiety, bipolar disorder or panic disorder always end up causing me to leave all my jobs. I am extremely lucky that my husband is able to support us both.

So, I don’t socialize and I don’t work outside the home for the sake of my mental health, add to that that I also hate talking on the phone and that leaves social media, texting, email and interacting on blogs as my ways to connect with other people.

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Only sometimes even that is too much. Sometimes I go full hermit mode and drop off the face of the earth for a while.

But none of this is loneliness, this is how I’ve set up my life to survive since I have not received treatment for any of my mental health issues for over a decade. And because I’m an introvert and generally don’t really like people. It may not look healthy to you, but I’m doing a hell of a lot better than I ever did on medications.

The loneliness comes in when I come back to social media or my blog and no one’s around anymore. The people who used to read and comment on my blog aren’t there anymore. I can’t blame them, I’m the one who went radio silence for months.
So I try to reach out to other bloggers, I make a conscious effort to actually comment on their posts instead of my usual “liking and lurking” but I feel awkward and like I don’t belong. I feel like an outsider among the blogging friends/family. I feel like no one actually wants me there, but they’re too polite to tell me that I just don’t fit in anymore because I’ve fallen into the blogging black hole one too many times.
It’s nothing that anyone says or does, and I know it’s all in my head. I’m just very socially awkward and never know how to go about the whole “making friends” thing.

Especially since on some level I feel like I don’t deserve any friends anyway, because I know I’m just going to disappear again in the future at some point.

And that is a very lonely feeling.

Posted in Childless by Choice, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

I really am doing okay, but…

I really am doing okay, but it’s not easy.

I am more stable now than I was when I was seeing doctors and was medicated, but anxiety, panic and depression are still things that I deal with daily.

I have learned how to manage them, but managing them means having strict control over my environment. Which is not always possible.

The way that I have structured my life to manage my disorders is not always respected or understood by others. I am judged for my choice to not work. That I am a stay at home wife, even though I do not have children. I am judged for the fact that I do not even like kids and therefore obviously have no interest in having children.

I am not a social person, but some people cannot understand or respect that. I am told that I would feel better if I got out and socialized more by people who have no idea what socializing takes out of me. Not only am I one hundred percent introvert, but I have extreme anxiety. I do enjoy going out and socializing every so often, but I always pay a price for it. Which is why I love messaging and texting people (in moderation), I am able to socialize but I am also able to still be alone at the same time.

Hang up and text

It’s not that I don’t love my friends, but I have to love myself more and take care of myself. I know that this might make me a terrible friend, but I am who I am. Even if I am medicated again at some point, the medication will never completely “fix” all the things that other people think are wrong with me.

I’m always going to be an introvert, sorrynotsorry.

There are days when I wake full of purpose and can easily get up and start my day, and there are days where I feel as though I am a prisoner to that purpose or that everything is pointless. There are some mornings when just the thought of my normal daily routine is overwhelming. Where the thought of having to decide what to wear that day is paralyzing. I fear that at some point things are going to get bad enough for long enough that I will have to be hospitalized again.

The fear of hospitalization is a crippling fear.

I am aware that paranoia and mild delusions are part of my life because of my bipolar disorder. Because I know that I am prone to these things I can try to keep them under control and label them for what they are. I do fear that one day I will not recognize my delusions for what they are, that my hold on reality will slip without me realizing it. I do hope that if that ever happens that I will be able to find help quickly and that my husband and I will be able to afford it.

It shouldn’t be that way, I shouldn’t be worried about being able to afford treatment if my mental health deteriorates. I may seek treatment again before it ever gets to that point, if it ever does, but unfortunately being able to pay for that treatment has to be a primary concern.

I am honestly also somewhat reluctant to seek treatment again because I am afraid to start taking medications again. Some of the times when I was at my worst was while I was trying to find the right combination of medications to stabilize me.

It was hell.

I know that things have probably come a long way in the over a decade since I last took medications, but I am afraid that medications will only upset what balance I have found instead of help me keep it.  I do wish that I had a bit more control over my anxiety and panic, but I don’t want that at the expense of exacerbating my bipolar disorder.

Besides, I heard somewhere that some study found that people who are excessive worriers are more than likely creative geniuses.

I’m a creative genius, people. Deal with it.

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Blogging, Mental Health, Relationships

Oh… Hey, would you look at that, I’ve still got a blog…

It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything in this blog. I wasn’t sure if I would ever come back to it and I may never have come back at all if it weren’t for the fact that I made friends through this site that I have had contact with via other forms of social media during my absence.

I’m not sure exactly what caused me to walk away from my blog in the first place. But the longer I was away, the harder it seemed to come back.

And then recently I started reading Rara’s blog posts on both her sites about coming back to blogging after being imprisoned for 438 days. After all she suffered, and all she lost, she is finding her way back.

So, if she can do it, so can I.

I had just barely started to actively follow Rara when she was no longer able to continue blogging for a while, but her’s was one of the blogs that I went and binge read back through the archives. I was anxiously awaiting the day that my friends on social media announced that she was free again at last. And it hit me like a ton of bricks when I instead read the words that her husband had died while she was still in prison. So much unfairness that it just can’t be comprehended.

But she’s back to blogging, and I want to try to come back too.

But if I am going to come back, there will have to be a few ground rules. I realize that the most popular and searched posts on my blog are the ones about me cutting off ties with my sister. They were the most commented on by people who were going through similar situations themselves before I closed comments. I do not regret writing those posts, and I hope that people will take comfort that there are others’ who are going through things like what they are going through, but I can not give people advice on how to handle their situations anymore. I am not qualified to give advice and constantly talking about my sister, or randomly being reminded of her via people bringing up those posts and asking for my advice is not healthy for me at this time. So, unless I bring it up myself, those posts are off limits for discussion. I am trying to move on with my life, and I can’t do that while looking backward.

Another ground rule, be patient with me and please don’t be upset if I am not able to keep up with your blogs. There’s a lot going on in my life that has me feeling very overwhelmed, and I just can’t add staying completely up to date with all the blogs I follow to that list.

And related to that last one, please don’t be offended if I take a long time to respond to/approve any comments you may make, or if I never respond at all. I’m sometimes very bad about social interaction.

Posted in Food, Mental Health, Weight

National Eating Disorder Awareness week 2014

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I never thought that actually losing some weight would trigger anorexic thoughts. Most of the time when I feel like I need to start restricting my diet it’s when I notice that I have gained some weight. But when I noticed that I had lost some weight a couple months ago I started having thoughts of restricting my diet to see just how low I could get my weight to go. I didn’t act on these thoughts and thought that I had come to terms with the fact that my body was losing weight and would eventually stabilize.

Until I happened to weigh myself a few days ago that is. The scale said 149 lbs and I freaked out about the fact that I was in the 140s and immediately started wondering if I restricted my diet, could I get my scale to say 145? It’s only 4 more lbs. And it has kind of been one of my “goal” weights and a weight that I never thought I’d actually see. I say one of my goal weights, because I know that as soon as I hit that I’d be focusing on getting down to 135, and then 125, and then 115…

Distorted Body Image

But here’s another way of looking at it. I am only 4 lbs away from 145 lbs. Why is that not good enough? Why is seeing a specific number on my scale so goddamn important?

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And why, when I see that my body has been naturally losing weight on it’s own do I not take away the lesson that I don’t need to starve myself in order to lose weight? And even if I did get down to a certain weight because I starved myself, what then? I wouldn’t be able to maintain that weight, and in fact would probably gain more weight back once I did start eating because my body will think that it needs to compensate for the fact that there isn’t enough food available for me to eat.

I have come too far to go back to disordered eating. I do not need it in my life. My life is better without it.

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