Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Big Sleep

So, I have been thinking a lot about this topic for the last few years, but let me preface this by saying, depression is diabolical. Depression is evil and it lies.

A few weeks ago, fashion designer, Kate Spade, took her own life. The world was devastated as they saw someone who was colorful, creative, vibrant and so full of life. Kate struggled with depression. As much has people had warm fuzzies for her, she was unable to feel that love, she felt no peace, and no one on the outskirts of her life (and beyond) had any clue she was in danger.

Not a week later, chef Anthony Bourdain took his life in a hotel room while filming his successful show in France. People who worked closely with him said he was a wonderful man. He was passionate. He cared. Yet, he felt helpless. Alone. Worthless.

Both of these people had family, children, friends. People who did not know them on a personal level looked up to them, adored them. They were successful. They had money, fame, anything anyone could want. This has been addressed. Depression attacks people no matter what their social standing is.

Depression has impacted my life in such a way that it is almost as normal as Phoenix heat. As normal as going to work. As normal as a self deprecating joke. Suicide has touched my life in a very dark way. The guilt that I feel for someone else's suicide is very real, so I can sympathize, empathize with all sides of these families. The people who succumbed to depression, the people who were left behind to try and process.

One thing that I have seen that I CANNOT get behind is how people are discussing a proper way to handle this from the outside.

My social media has been flooded by people sharing the suicide prevention line, offering general blankets of help, which, I fully believe, comes from a good place.

I have also seen many people attacking this, claiming that it is a false aid, not good enough, that someone should just know they are supposed to reach out to someone who looks like they don't need help.

My thought on that is this:

If, as someone who deals with depression, deep sadness, loneliness, if I have no idea what I need, how would I express that to others in a way so they would know how to help me?

If someone who does  not know what depression feels like, sounds like, how are they supposed to know all the lies it tells, and the mask that comes along with it?

Many people are not equipped emotionally or mentally to fix or bolster someone who is dealing with suicidal tendencies or thoughts so it was far more helpful to remind them that there is professional help out there and how easy it is to find.

Yes, we can google that number but a reminder that it is there, when there is only darkness, might be the brightest beacon someone can light. It is far too easy to have words twisted and misinterpreted. I would rather someone tell me that they don't know how to help me but they love me, please, for them, call this number so I can talk to someone who is trained to help than for someone to fumble, say something wrong, and feed the fire that is Depression.

Depression can take a benign comment and turn it into venom, burying it right into your heart. A single slip of the tongue by someone who does not know what to say can unravel the sweater.

At the end of the day, people carry guilt after someone has made this decision. There are different levels. Do not force an unnecessary guilt on someone for helping the best way that they can by admitting they are not equipped, and reminding you that there are resources for you.

We often say 'There was nothing you could have done.'

That applies in this situation, ten fold. Don't assign guilt or belittle someone for not helping as much you think they should.

If they can't see the darkness we hide, what is it we cannot see from them? It goes both ways.

Yes, people should be more educated on this subject and I think that we are really getting there. But booksmarts and experience are very different learning tools.

Some people will never know what depression truly is and we do not wish that on them.

We shouldn't wish that on them.

Let's try to be grateful that they are doing what they can to tell us we are loved, even if it is a blanket statement. That does not make it any less true. 

Take that blanket that is stitched with love, sewed by hands of those who carry needless guilt, and keep it close.

Depression is the enemy.

Not those that will never be in its line of fire.

Monday, December 4, 2017

'Do you want to know how it ends?'

My journal today, asked 'Do you want to know how it ends?'

What a question. Kind of vague depending on who you are.

Do I want to know how I die? Where I end up? How I end up? Who do I end up with, if anyone?

Today, I'm toying with the idea. Not so much knowing how I want to die, because I'm already paranoid. If I know how I will die, then I'd spend way too much time trying to avoid it.

So, that would be a no, there.

Do I want to know where I end up? Sure. Do I stay in Arizona? Do I move to a slightly cooler state? Do I move to Ireland? I know that if I get to Ireland, it would be very hard to leave. So, that could be interesting. Maybe something to hope for, if I knew. Or just learn patience as life takes detours, knowing that I will get to point B, it's just going to take its own time.

Do I want to know how I end up? Am I successful in business, do I work until the day I die at a 9-5 job? Do I open a bakery? Run a business with my family and friends? That could be cool, then I would know what skills to hone for my life.

Do I want to know who I end up with, or if I end up with someone? Who doesn't? But I wouldn't want to know this one. Understanding a timeline different than my own would be too much, so even knowing the who, I would want to know the how and when, and then  I would get stuck focusing on that.

Besides, I go into this with a little bit of insight into my life already so maybe that's why I pick apart this answer.

Career-wise, I'm not much further than I was when I started, I don't think. But I have had more opportunities than I would have, so I am grateful for that, and I'll continue fighting for the next opportunity. I have to learn how to network better, I think. Hone skills that are useful in a business sense if I'm playing on staying in the same place, different position.

Love-wise, I'm back to square one, a little worse for wear this time. My kneejerk reaction is to say that it was my own fault but this time, it actually wasn't. So, I'm gonna take a step back from this part of my life and just, put my energy elsewhere. If it happens, cool, if not, that's okay too.

I want to focus more on my friends, the ones that have made an effort to take care of me, to be in my corner. I see you, I recognize you. I'm getting to the point where I want to take care of you now too. I'm going to let those relationships grow and blossom. I need to be myself and these people have shown me that there is nothing wrong with WHO I am, so I need to learn not to hide myself anymore.

I'm starting to feel happy again, even though I feel like I haven't made much progress, and sad news kind of hurts, but I'm over the whole, going into a tailspin, bit. Some days will be harder than others, but I'm okay. I'm good.

I'm excited to spend the holidays with people I care about, who care about me, to show my love for them and for life.

But to go back to the question at hand; Do I want to know how it ends?

Nah, I'm good. I'd rather focus on today, and how to be happy today, instead of dwelling on whatever is going on tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

*insert vague title for 2017*

I'm not going to write about the bad this time. I'm not ready.

But, I will write about the hopeful things.

I've been incredibly lucky to have the job that I do. The work is not my favorite, but I do enjoy my team, the opportunity to learn and grow, the encouragement. Currently, I am waiting with bated breath for some news that, I'll be vague about until I have specific answers.

I bought a journal, a 5 year, 1 question a day journal. So I have a physical manifestation of where I am, where I've been, and where I can go. I'm very excited for that, I'll start it on the first of the year, but, today's question is this : What five words describe your mood?

Tired, anxious, sad, overwhelmed, but most importantly, hopeful.

Hopeful that I'll get a good night's sleep here soon, hopeful that I'll prove my anxiety wrong some day. Hopeful that I won't be so sad about the things that I am sad about. Hopeful that I'll rise above the overwhelming wave because, I'm doing more than treading water right now. I'm surviving.

Also, hopeful for hope's sake.

There's a light at the end of this tunnel, as there always has been and forever will be. The only dead ends are in my mind. I've gotten this far, I'm not going to stop.

I'm going to continue surrounding myself around people that truly love me, that support me, that allow me to support them, and encourage me. My village is larger than I ever could have asked and I am truly grateful for it.

I have had people come out of the woodwork for the last few weeks, to pick me up at a low point, to talk some sense into me, or even give me silent support. I can't let them down by giving in to the dark feelings that sometimes linger. I'm better than that, they know it, and I want to show them that they inspire that confidence in me,

Thank you, for reading, for supporting me, for the quiet acknowledgements. I'll be okay and this time, I believe it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mental Fragility

Okay, so it seems like most of the times I blog right now, it's on fragile nights. I have to accept that for what it is. One day, maybe a steady stream of positivity but not yet.

Tonight is a mental fragility night. I'm feeling very low. For really no reason. I feel alone even though I know I'm not. Logic doesn't matter when anxiety and depression take over your brain. Changing jobs has helped so much, I don't come home angry or upset so I am very grateful for that. But I guess that wasn't enough.

I don't know what will be enough. I hope that one day, one bad interaction won't destroy my mental state and leave me physically ill because I have to fix it and feel helpless.

I honestly think it's just a bad night but it makes me want to close myself off further. Bury myself into a dark hole in my mind until I cease to exist. These nights are hard.

I don't have any insight or witty remarks. I'm just...tired. The loud chaos upsets my mind and the silence is not okay.It scares me, because then, I have to face my own demons when I would rather keep running.

I don't know what the right answer is. Tomorrow will be another day, I'll get up, I'll go to work, I'll come home, probably lock myself in my room and take a nap before class tomorrow night, because my emotional stamina won't be back to what it needs to be yet.

But I'll get back to my normal eventually then it's a waiting game until fragility makes me splinter again.

It's a vicious circle, and each time it comes around, I try to be better about it in the future. Sometimes it helps, sometimes, my solutions, make it worse. Then I learn from it.

Well, learn as much as I can.

I'm sorry to the people who have to deal with me all the time. I try to make it as easy and painless as possible, I'm working on it. I don't want to be a burden anymore.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What does insecurity do?

I was thinking about insecurities the other day, namely, my own. But instead of wallowing, I was trying to put into words what insecurity is for me and what it does in my own life. Not for pity, but so maybe people can understand me a little bit better.

For me, insecurity means being completely comfortable with a group of people, a group of friends, but policing myself physically and vocally for an unfounded fear that everyone is looking at me, to judge, to dislike me.

The problem I struggle with is logically, I know that these people are my friends, new, old. They aren't looking at me to scrutinize. They want me to be involved and play, have fun with them, instead of being on the sidelines. If, for some reason, they are watching and judging, then they likely won't breathe a word of it to me. That says more about them than it actually does about who I am.

But logic doesn't matter to insecurities. You can tell yourself 'til you're blue in the face that you have nothing to worry about, the a nagging scream in your head, that you can't turn off, will say otherwise.

'They like me. They just want me to join in. I should join in.'

'But you're fat, they think you're weird. They're just being nice. No one really wants you around.' 

'That's not true and I know it. They seek me out.'

'Out of obligation because you're always around anyway! They can't get rid of you, so just stay put, don't talk because they don't really want to hear it.'

That's how the conversation usually goes in my head, just varies by situation. I've been learning how to ignore the voice but most of the time, I just try to pretend it isn't there, even if that's all I can do. Sometimes, the insecurities win and I just make excuses as to why I don't participate more. That's my own baggage to deal with, not anyone else's.

When I do talk to people and participate, I often have a similiar dialogue going on at all times.

'Quit rambling, they're not even listening anymore. You're holding them socially hostage! They think you're weird and you talk an awful lot.'

So, I often end up apologizing for speaking too much. If I do this, please understand that I am just trying to make everyone as comfortable as possible.

For my friends that 'put up with me,' thank you. It really does mean a lot to have friends even though I don't think I should have them. Please understand that when I make excuses, or apologize, it has to do with my own insecurities, not you. Please don't stop trying to get me to join the conversation, play the game, go out and about. I'm getting there, slowly but surely.

Thank you for being patient with me, you have more patience with myself than I have, so your patience does help smother the insecurity.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Whale is Gonna Die (No Matter What You Choose) -Rhett and Link

 I've had a lot to consider for the last few months. Lots of changes at work, some I liked and others I really didn't. I feel like I've grown as a person and my understanding for what I want from others has deepened, I would say.

 I've learned more about myself and what my skills are as well as how they can grow with even just a little bit of time.

 I'd like to say that I've made changes in my personal life but, let's be real, what personal life?

 That's part of my problem as of late. I work, I go home and sleep, watch some Youtube, go to church, work. That's pretty much my life lately. And I see others who can work and go to school at the same time as well as everything else people do. I'm having a very hard time being motivated to do more than just exist and go through the motions.

 I force myself to go out with people just to get out of my house. I always have a nice time but I never really want to go unless I've had an unusually positive day. I have plans that I would love to back out of but, at the same time, why should I? I know I'm going to regret cancelling my plans if I tried to. But then that means less sleep. Not that I need it, I just feel exhausted all the time. Emotionally more than anything. The physical tiredness that is my life is just what I see as my normal, the emotional deficiency is the thing that affects me.

 That's probably not the right term, but that's the best I got. I'm tired of drama. My personality has become that of someone that does nothing but complain. I can't sit in silence but my brain isn't some place of sunshine, so the negative comes out. I don't want to be that person. Even as I write this, I have music blaring so loud in my ears that I can't even hear myself sing along to the music. It's an awesome feeling for someone who is truly afraid of silence.

 Only a few times in my adult life have I experienced a comfortable silence. I'm terrified to be alone with my thoughts, so I constantly speak. I don't even need the attention that comes with it, I've been caught talking to myself so I can focus on anything else but the silence.

 When it's quiet, the loneliness hits, the self loathing, the doubt. The issues I've been having at work have only compounded my mental instability. If I didn't know better, I would throw around the term 'bi-polar.' But I don't have those high highs that come with it. I feel like most days I'm pretty level if I don't think too much, don't face the silence. On the days that I do force myself to sit in silence and contemplate, it takes me days to pull out of it.

 Unfortunately, today's events have put me in a place where I acknowledge that I need change and I want to go for it, but I don't want to lose the things that I know are good in my life because the bad is beating me. I can't trust that my situation is stable enough anymore. I can't keep being dismissed and disregarded when it comes to what I see as serious issues.

 I already don't tell people all the things that bounce around my think space, so when I do speak up about something that truly bothers me and I want fixed, it makes me crazy to be cut down so low so quickly. You can't pretend that you care or that you respect me when you do that.

 I need out. The worst part is, I know I'm not the only one in this situation. Some of us have already gotten out and good for them. They're happy now. I want that. I love what I do, the bonds that I have made, but I can't deal with this hypocrisy any more. I want to stand up for myself but it's very hard to talk myself up to it when I know exactly how it will go, just like it always has before.

 Don't dismiss me. I'm an adult that can be spoken to and can be reasoned with, I assume you are as well. Have the same respect for me that I brought to you. Your way or the highway? Maybe the highway leads to better roads for me now. I'll see you around because, on a personal level, I do like you. I don't respect you the way that your position demands, because you don't respect me the way my humanity demands.

 Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be the only one coming to this conclusion and maybe that will be better for you in the long run, as well as those of us that felt this didn't fit anymore. We were a dysfunctioning family, sure, but you didn't swoop in and fix us. You drove us further apart and told us to deal. You made me feel so small so many times and you probably have no idea because how could I tell you?

 You don't take things I say seriously. If you did at one point, it's certainly not anything that stuck with you, and that's fine. It is what it is. I don't need special treatment but don't pretend we're one thing when we're really not. You're not doing me any favors, not that you owe me anything but I don't owe you anything more than what I'm paid for. So, why do I want to keep going above and beyond to the point of utter exhaustion and upset when it doesn't matter?

 I don't care anymore. I'm still considering my next few steps but this isn't how I wanted my life to be. I think 'miserable' is too strong of a word but I don't think I know what peace is anymore and I need to focus on finding that for myself over doing all your honey-do's. '

 This didn't really make me feel any better, but I didn't expect it to. I just needed to get it out, and thank you to those of you who listen to me complain all the time. I know you have your own things to deal with and sometimes, I'm intense and exhausting to you. I'm sorry. I'm doing the best that I can with what I've got right now, which isn't much. So, bare with me a little longer, please.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Last Post of 2016

Oh, 2016. I hated you. I still do. You were kind of awful. At the end of the year, where Christmas spirit should be abound and everyone should be feeling the warm fuzzies, no one feels any different. The holiday feels like nothing. I have like...four friends at the end of this year.

2016, you took a lot. And unfortunately, I don't know if the next year will be much better overall.

But let me say this. I learned a lot about myself this year. I learned what I won't tolerate. I lost friends because of that and you can ask anyone who doesn't like me, they'll say I've changed and become this awful person. I don't think I have. But I don't want to be anyone's doormat anymore. I'm tired of being tired. I'm standing up for myself more and still pushing out of my comfort zone because I can't do this.

The friends I have left are ones I believe will stick around. And if not, it won't be because anyone treated anyone poorly. It would just be a change in life. That's okay. I've accepted that. I don't chase anyone anymore.

As much as sometimes, I still feel alone and struggle, I feel better. I'd rather be with very limited friends who actually like me, and I know they do, then chase after someone who is nothing but heartache.

I don't have the energy for that anymore. I need to focus on my life and me, not bending over backwards for someone who is just using me.

So, that's what I'm doing.

2017, I'll still be doing that. Learning how to take care of myself and learn even more about the world and my own mindset.

So, at the end of this year, I have to say, thank you, 2016.

You're just like those awful friends I had...punch after punch, not bothering to slow or make sure I was okay, so I had to learn to make myself okay no matter what you did. I'm still standing, somehow. I will be tomorrow, and the day after.

Goodbye, 2016. Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya,