So How DO I live???

I have spent a good amount of time thinking about my last post. About how I don’t really “LIVE”.  And the goal of my DBT group is to “have a life worth living”.

So HOW do I live? How do I go out and find happiness, how do I find joy?  I think I have something like a sleep mask over my eyes.  Not only can I not see what’s right in front of my face, I can’t see far enough to find things I enjoy.

I was going to make this post a lot longer, talking about all the things I “used” to enjoy.  All the things that helped me live.  But the more I thought about the things I lost, the tighter I felt blinded from seeing joy.

This, I need to figure out.

A Million Dreams…

Somedays are better than others. The past week or so has been rough.  I’m sad again.  It’s a life of ups and downs. But I don’t really want to get into that today because there is something else on my mind…

Today, my little one was walking around singing the song “A Millions Dreams” from The Greatest Showman movie.  She’s never seen the movie so I had to ask her where she heard it, and she told me our friend’s car.  This friend drove her to and from Vacation Bible School last week.  I smiled.

I love that song. But I love even more that she loves that song. To me, that song epitomizes her. She is a dreamer, a free spirit, just an all around pretty awesome person.

I look forward to seeing her grow, I hope she never stops dreaming.  I want to see her dreams realized in big ways.

There is something about her, when I look at her, I see it.  I see her whole life laid out in front of me.  I just hope she has the courage I never did. But no matter what her dreams are, what they become or who she becomes she will always shine brighter than the sun. Always.

For those who haven’t heard the song: https://youtu.be/-rxgAh1bnHU

 

Envy.

I get it. I know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I know the grass is greener where you water it. I know all the platitudes.  But for today, I am going to let this emotion define the moment.  Envy is real.  Envy is a negative emotion, I get that.  But I can’t lie and say I don’t have envy in me.

Several people close to me are planning trips to see Mickey Mouse, others building their dream house, others the craft room of their dreams, still other making PRs in 5Ks, Half Marathons or Marathons.  Yes I know people show their highlight real.  Yes, I know that God has a purpose for my life, and I am right where I am supposed to be.  But sometimes you just have to acknowledge that your life sucks right now.  That you don’t have your crap together and you are 40.  That you can’t do the things you want to do.  That you are stuck.  I feel trapped.  I feel like things will never get better.  Like I am on a street and no matter which way I turn, no matter what street I go down, I get no where.

I am preoccupied with the thought that at 40 years old I am no where near where I thought I would be.  And the rest of me is preoccupied with my kids growing up.  We are talking driver’s ed, college, with big one, and little one turns 8 soon.  Eight is a big kid.  It won’t be long before she is tired of toys and dolls.  Everytime I think about the passage of time I am reminded of a line from Star Trek Generations:  “Someone once told me that time is predator that stalks you all your life”.  I agree. I wish there were a way to freeze time now and then.  It would make the unbearable days more bearable.

Im really struggling this week.  I probably should’t have written that all out.  But my heart hurts, physically hurts in my chest. I feel broken.

 

So Many Titles…

I had so many different ideas for what to title this blog. But none of them felt quite right.

First of all, I have been reluctant to post- (disclaimer: this part is about a comment on my blog- but has nothing to do with the poster of said comment, nor does it mean I am upset with the commenter)- because recently after a more positive post a comment was made that it was nice to see something positive posted. Immediately I clammed up.  I felt like “crap, people are sick of my problems”.  But In the end I decided to just take the comment as I know it was written- as a message showing happiness for my fleeting moment of positivity.

I struggle with constructive criticism, I over analyze what people say.  What everyone else thinks means more than what I think.

But I can’t hold this all in any more.  This has been a hard week.  I can’t give you a reason, because I don’t know. I have been sad and depressed all week.  Like major regression in my symptoms.  My OCD has been over the top- to the point that I offended a person in my DBT group because I moved my seat when I heard that she had been sick- and so I explained to the group if I do stuff like that, it’s me, not them.

And I’m just tired. So tired. Tired of this life.  It never gets better. It seems like I stand up and a big bully pushes me down, over and over.  And I am tired of getting up. I have tried so hard in the past month to try to do things to “make me feel better “.  But it doesn’t work.

And I have found that even dreaming about possibilities has it’s consequences.  I keep thinking about Marilla Cuthbert, and the things she used to say to Anne when Anne would let her imagination run wild, have romantic notions etc.  It’s not practical.  It’s not useful.  Never in my life has there been anyone who encourages me to dream.  They just point out the reality.  “I get it mom I will never be on star search” (6 or 7 year old me),  “I get it (insert name here) I am not as pretty as (insert name here)” (14-16 year old me).  “I know I will never amount to much dad”.  “I know I don’t shine mom”.  “I know I can’t manage money because I have a shopping compulsion- maybe it shouldn’t be my responsibility.”  “I know my bucket list will still be undone when I die”.

I get it.  This.  This is it. It’s never going to get better, and I will stop dreaming, hoping and wishing for it to get better. I see now that it does no good, because I will never change, I will always be a compulsive overeater, with a shopping problem, and a mental illness. I have always, and will always be weak.

When I was a kid my best friend and I came up with a phrase:

“Reality is too real for us, we live in the abstract”.

Looking at it with 30 or so years of knowledge I didn’t have then- it really was more like- our reality sucks, so we choose to wish/hope/dream of how it will be better “someday”.

But I think what I have learned over the past 2 years since my breakdown- for some people- someday never comes.  For some people, it’s scraping by, barely keeping your nose above the water line forever. For some people- they’ll always wonder “what’s the point?”

And if all that isn’t enough- the school isn’t following the IEP as written for my oldest.  Here we go.  It’s giving me PTSD flashbacks of our last fight when he was in 3rd grade, and I don’t know if I have it in me.  I don’t know if I can do it again…..

Saw Mary Poppins this week.  She added another med to my list. A mood stabilizer… probably a good idea.  Ive had 2 panic attacks in the past 2 days.  It’s been a couple months since I had a full on attack.  The craps hitting the fan again and I don’t know where to hide to dodge all the crap coming my way…..

Sorry for the downer post.  I just can’t keep it in anymore….

Been a while again…

Sometimes coming back to write is hard.  For so long it was the same thing day in and day out.  I was angry, irritable and grouchy or I was sad.  I was yelling or I was crying.   I was resenting my life, wishing for a new one.  Playing the “if only” game.  Angry at our circumstances, angry at the world.

The past week there has been a tiny shift.  Almost imperceptible.  I wasn’t angry every day, I wasn’t sad every day.  I didn’t cry every day. Am I still depressed, yes.  Am I still angry/sad yes.  But I am not as deep in the pit as I was.  Will it last? I don’t know.  I don’t have any expectations for that anymore, I always thought I would have been “better” by now.

My new counselor is great.  I can’t even describe what it is I like about her, but she seems to get me.  She listens to me, she gives me homework assignments that I can actually do- the first time was watch “What about Bob?”, and this week it was to watch “Comedians, in cars, getting coffee”.  Really funny! She also had me read a book called, “Taming your Gremlin”.  It talks about the little voice inside of you, the one who tells you that you can’t do something, that you are a failure, that you are a loser… all the negative thoughts, that it’s a gremlin, who’s sole job is to make you feel awful. It was a great book, it gave me a lot to think about.  It talks about mindfulness, about just noticing that voice, not fighting against that gremlin.

And I have to say, as I was reading the book, it was a lot to take in, a lot to think about.  BUT I did take something from it.  I have noticed the gremlin’s voice a couple times.  It hasn’t helped me not believe the lies, but I notice- and that’s progress.

I found some old letters, and a scrapbook from when my husband and I were first together.  I found some things I had written, and I was reminded of my love for writing.  It got me thinking about my dream to write a novel.  My dream to be an author.  I started dreaming again, but of course the gremlin had to throw in its two cents and tell me I am not good enough, no way I am going to be successful, that I just can’t do it.

I start DBT group therapy in a couple weeks, (dialectical behavioral therapy).  I am looking forward to seeing what it’s all about, but at the same time I am nervous, I’m not great with groups of people.

Tonight my oldest is at his first school dance.  It’s so hard to believe he’s in high school, time passes so quickly.

It’s nice to not have posted so much doom and gloom for once.

Until next time….

Social Media

A couple months ago, I don’t know maybe back in October or so, I took a break from Facebook, I was finding myself feeling more and more envious, more and more depressed, more and more resentful, of the things I was seeing on my newsfeed.  People’s highlight reels were making my behind the scenes look like a hot mess, made me feel even more poor than we are, even more like I was failing my children.

Then come around Christmas – maybe before- I reactivated my account.  I was ok for a little while.  It was nice to see what was going on with my friends and family again.  But then the feelings started creeping back in.  The jealousy, the resentment, the envy, the sadness.

Today I was scrolling through my newsfeed, and I found myself LOOKING for things to make me feel those feelings.  Looking at specific people’s newsfeeds knowing what I saw would make me sad or jealous, or resentful.  I don’t understand why.  Why do I go to places I know will made me hurt?  Am I a sadist?  Do I want to hurt? Do I want to be sad?

This weekend little one is away at her grandparents’ house. Big one is home, and we had a huge blowout this morning, of course.  Hubby and I should go on a date, we talked about it, we didn’t find a movie we wanted to see, but after the news of the disability- we just didn’t feel like it.  We watched some tv- Community and then I slept for a good portion of the afternoon- even though I slept till 9:40 this morning, and had slept 8.5 hours last night.

I wish I wanted to go out.  I wish I wanted to do something fun.  I wish I knew what I would enjoy.  My 40th birthday is coming up.  Before the disability thing I told hubby I wanted to do something memorable- I didn’t know what, but something special and memorable, because I am dreading it I wanted to make it special.  But now, we don’t have the money to do anything at all, and I am remembering that every birthday is a shit show.  So now I told hubby I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to even celebrate at all.  If we stay home, and half-assed celebrate, it will just be “sad”.  So I would rather just let it go.  I don’t want to turn 40 so let’s let the day pass without fanfare.  Why don’t I want to turn forty?  Because to me it feels “old”.  It feels like my life is closer to being over than not.  It feels like it’s too late for any dreams.  It’s too late to make enough changes that I could have the life I want.  I know some people disagree, but from where I am standing my life outlook looks pretty bleak.

 

Poverty

People in Poverty: A part of the general population of a given area, who do not have adequate resources to live fully independent lives.  These people tend to need help in the areas of Food, Healthcare, Education and sometimes even cash benefits (as in TANF-Temporary Aid for Needy Families).  Also a part of the general population that many people discriminate against, make unjust assumptions about, and have attitudes that cause those in a state of poverty shame.

This was my definition.  I didn’t look it up.  I spoke from my heart and my experience. My family is poor.  Am I ashamed to say that? A little. Am I ashamed when I pull out my electronic benefits card (EBT- not sure what the T stands for) to pay for purchases of food, or other things because we collect TANF?  Yes.

I am mentally ill.  You all know that.  I have recently added personality disorder to my ever growing list of mental ailments.  So that would be major depressive disorder, severe, recurrent, treatment resistant; OCD; PTSD; Trauma; Severe Generalized anxiety disorder. I can not work. There are days I can’t leave my house.

My husband is sick.  Do we know exactly what’s wrong with him? No. He has seen so many doctor’s but it always ends up the same, herniated disc at L5S1, some sort of cyst on his S2 vertebra, desiccation of the L4 disc. Fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, major depressive disorder, and I can’t remember the rest of the list. But it’s long.

My husband first became sick in Oct 2013.  He continued to get worse until June of 2014, when he was working at a car dealership as a mechanic and almost dropped a mustang off the lift.  It was at that point he realized he shouldn’t be working.  His exhaustion and pain were too intolerable. He went out on short term disability, and eventually lost his job.

We looked at the bright side of it, and he started his own business in January 2015, and tried really hard to run it all alone for 2 years 2 months.  He was successful, turning a profit each of those years, however, the pain and exhaustion worsened, the depression at his situation worsened, he herniated the disc, and in March of 2017 decided he couldn’t keep up and he closed the business.  This was a blow to us.  Financially of course, but also emotionally.  I still tear up when I drive by the place, or think about the stack of business cards he has.

Today he went to see a new rheumatologist.  She was rude, condescending, unaware of his medical history, and made snap assumptions.  Just because she never received a copy of his two most recent MRIs she basically told him he was a liar.  She told him that “chronic pain” is subjective and he should go back to work, and work through the pain.  This all within minutes of meeting him.  He feels she looked that he was on medicaid, and out of work and therefore poor and lazy.  She said he doesn’t have fibromyalgia despite the fact that she didn’t even examine him or do the pressure point test.  Despite 4 other doctors diagnosing him with fibromyalgia.

To say I was angry about this appointment is an understatement.  But there isn’t anything I can do about it.  There is nothing he can do about it.  I am so sick of the rhetoric that vilifies the poor.  We are not all lazy, free-loaders.  Some of us are fighting physical or mental battles that you can’t see.  You all know what they say about assumptions….

We are still waiting on the decision for disability.  We’ve been waiting for almost a year. I know this can be a long process, but after today’s visit we are discouraged and just want this all over.

I know I have said it before, and probably a lot lately, but this is not the life we planned for.  Not the life we imagined when we were two young starry-eye kids planning their future. Never did we think we would be poor, we didn’t imagine to both be disabled in one way or another, we didn’t imagine so many things.

We are trying to adapt, to find new dreams, but it’s hard in the face of the adversities we have encountered.  We are trying to just trust in God and His perfect plan.  But when you are kicked repeatedly and you are already down, it takes it’s toll.

And for me that looks like indulging in one of my three compulsions- self harm, spending money we don’t have or compulsively eating.  Today my drug of choice was self harm.  The insides of my lower arm are carved up.  Im not sure why physical pain helps when I am hurting so badly, but it does, for a little while. And now a several hours later, the anger has subsided some, but a deep rooted, soul-crushing sadness has overcome me. I wish that we would catch a break, we need it.