The letter.

a1667520a89346916164e38c30645470This is the letter I sent him.

I know you aren’t able to read this at this point, but I hope by the time you are, you can focus on it and really try to hear what I have to say with an open mind.

As I sit here after a night like we just had – the worst possible fight I’ve ever had with anyone… I can’t help but question everything. I question the decisions I’ve made, the relationships and friendships I’ve had, and just the life I’m living as a whole.

I want you to know I absolutely adore you, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You got me through some hard times, you motivated me to do things I wouldn’t have otherwise done and I believe you helped shape me into who I am. I can’t express how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me financially, as I’m sure my life would be upside down without you.

Unfortunately over the last almost 4 years, my personal life has completely changed, and I don’t mean personal as in “relationships, etc” but the way I view myself. I’ve always had anxiety, but as you know, it’s peaked since we’ve been together. I was never depressed, but unfortunately I was “blessed” with that too. I don’t believe dating you CAUSED these things, because that’s just not how mental health works… but obviously us being together and my family’s reaction, the pressure to be “arm candy” etc adds to it, but isn’t to blame. I am not blaming you.

Depression and anxiety are probably two of the worst things I could ever wish on someone. Oftentimes it’s like I’m on the outside looking in. I KNOW I should be doing better at keeping up with things around the house, or at work, or appreciating you, or taking care of the dogs, but my body and the mindset it carries just can’t get up the motivation to do it. It’s like I forget how to be “okay”. My body is weak and numb, my mind is spiraling a thousand thoughts into one single moment and I want to be able to explain everything- get everything off my chest no matter how long it takes and feel that 10,000 lb weight lift off my chest but how can I make sense of something to someone else, that I can’t make sense of myself?

Being that I’m on bipolar-depressive medication, I can’t fight the fact that there is some bipolar in me. Having great days where all I want to do is enjoy the sunshine, clean the house, take the dogs for walks, get little presents to make you happy, do things for other people, etc is amazing. You have no idea what an amazing feeling it is when you’ve really been at rock bottom. But unfortunately, that rock bottom comes back up sooner than for most people without some kind of depression/anxiety/bipolar disorder. It feels like you have every single person in the room looking at you and watching every move. It feels like everyone is depending on you, and if you fuck up, or even LOOK confused, everything will come tumbling down. It’s just PRESSURE. It just feels like you have to hold everything together for the world to turn…. but you don’t even know what it is that you have to hold together.

I have tried my HARDEST and paid a LOT of money to try to “fix” me. I don’t want to be this person. I don’t even know who this person is. I feel like I have completely lost myself.

Depression and anxiety is terrifying. The scariest part is the feeling of hopelessness. I have tried so many things and NOTHING is helping. All I can say that helps me is my dogs, and you – when you give me your full attention; like the first time we went to Vegas, and we were sitting in the airport in the admirals club drinking bloody Mary’s and you were cracking jokes and smiling like I’ve never seen you smile… you made me laugh more that day than I’ve ever genuinely laughed.. and I’ll never forget it… you were someone I had never met and it was the best breath of fresh air I have ever experienced. Or days where you really make an effort to put your phone away, joke with me, touch me, hug me…. I selfishly want that all the time, and I know it’s unrealistic. You shouldn’t be my only source of happiness but how can I feel like I’ll find something just as good when you’re the best I’ve ever found?

Like I said, there are days I’m fine. I’m great. I’m happy, and all is good in the world. But sometimes I wake up and a switch turns off. I am left with only the deep dark fears I didn’t even know I had. Like I am sinking and struggling to swim up for air even though I know I’ve swam before… I just can’t quite reach the top. I feel like I am gasping for air, screaming for help all the while everyone is looking at me confused with no motivation or intention to help. Like everyone wonders why I can’t reach the top when they are all doing it just fine.

To be honest? I hit my low more often than you think. Suicide is not something I ignore until I’m mid panic attack for the 3rd day in a row. I’d say it’s almost a daily thought. Not always that I want to do it, but that I could, and how I would. A lot of times, 99% of me just wants to die and spare myself the heartache that occurs almost nonstop, but that 1% always gets me. That 1% is terrified of the things I will miss and those who will miss me… which really, honestly, just consists of you, my dogs, and my nephews.

Another to be honest? I started this letter off not quite knowing where it would end. I didn’t know if tonight was the night I hit the lowest low, and I just needed to help myself get out of this hell I am constantly living in. There is no one who understands it, no one who can or ever will…. I’m not sure anyone even wants to try to understand it. It is not a switch I willingly can turn on and off, and it’s not something that only comes when there’s a reason to be anxious or upset. Depression makes me sad, it makes me mad, it makes me irritable, it makes me impossible to deal with at times, I absolutely 100% admit that, and 100% despise that.

If I told you to stop being OCD, you washed your hands 4x today already so not everything will make you sick, you’re being dramatic… would that change how you feel about germs? What if I said it every single time you wash your hands or shower? What if I said it even just… twice a day? Would that make an impact? No. Because that’s how fucked up mental health is. No matter what anyone says or does, it doesn’t change the way your brain works. My brain just happens to be more fucked up than yours is.

I want to be with you. I want to be your wife. But this is the last time I will deal with you making me feel bad for having anxiety or depression. We didn’t get along tonight. Couples clash; couples have days they just aren’t on the same wavelength. I sincerely apologize for anything I said or did that was out of line. I hope we never have another altercation like we did tonight.

I’m still not sure where this night will end for me. I’ve spent the last hour writing this, hoping you will be able to read the entire thing without falling asleep. I may be here when you get home, or I might take a night to deal with myself by myself somewhere else. I am not excusing anything I said or did because I am depressed. But please take into account that you have NO idea what struggles I deal with mentally, and you never will. This is not a competition between who deals with what more – I know you deal with stress from work. Absolutely. And that puts you on edge sometimes. I just hope you can decipher the difference between the stresses you have, and the mental instability I have.

To put it frankly? It feels like I’m a murderer; I killed the girl I used to be… and I don’t know how.

 

Photo credit: healthyplace.com (found on Pinterest)

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Altercation.

I find I write best when I feel strong emotions about something. Anything, really. I am not “blessed” with the ability to sit down, any time of day in any kind of mindset and just type away. But is anyone really that lucky?

Last night, my fiancé and I got into the worst fight we have ever been in. Coming up on 4 years together, and it spiraled out of control. The night before, I felt my anxiety and especially my depression creeping back up at a uncomfortably fast pace. I told him, I told him what I needed from him, and left it at that… hoping he would really take my words into account this time.

We don’t fight often. We fight every time I am drinking, but when I am sober, we get along pretty much 100% of the time. For some reason, last night was different. I feel like this time, my depression has made me very irritable. I feel like my levels are

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off somewhere and I can’t even them out to feel “normal” again. I am slowly and unfortunately coming to the realization that he will never understand the battle that goes on in my mind… the emotions or the “side effects” of having these stupid mental illnesses. I try my best to share articles, talk to him about it and tell him what I need.

I’ve realized he, and my dogs, are the only things that really, truly make me happy. There are certain instances that I savor, that I try to escape to when the emotions are taking over me… but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

After the fight we had last night, he left to work at a bar he recently purchased and just opened. It has been a struggle on our relationship. How can the one thing that makes me truly happy be so busy, continuously adding things to his plate and not considering what I need from him? Does that make me selfish?

Once he left, I took the time to get all my anger out, and finally sit down and just write. I just needed to get out all the feelings I had built up, and make my one last attempt to explain the battle I have, every single day.

 

Photo credit: healthyplace.com

Catch up.

depression-quote-hp-28-3-1It’s been just over one year since I have posted to my blog. Why did I stop writing? I honestly don’t have the answer to that. Writing is the one thing that helps me get out the thoughts I cannot otherwise express. When I try to explain things in a conversation, all that comes to mind is a jumble of words and what feels like static, blurring the words I so badly want to express.
My life has changed in the last year. The love of my life and I moved into a beautiful home, have two incredible dog children, and are now engaged. I am happy. I am happy on the outside. I have everything I ever wanted. I love my life. Does the depression and anxiety go away? Sometimes. Does it stop me from living my life the way I should? Sometimes.
I am currently on a bipolar depressive medication and for the most part, it has really done it’s job. Over the holidays, as to be expected, I had a lot of anxiety dealing with my family and the struggles we have had since I began my journey with my partner. They have never accepted him or our relationship, and I am sad to say they never will. I love my family. But it is a reality I think I’ve finally accepted.

I am vowing to myself, at this moment, to keep up with my writing. Whether this is read by no one, or 100 people, I will do it for myself and never let doubt get in the way.

 

Photo credit: healthyplace.com

5.17.16

Waking up without a loud alarm, without the love of my life jumping up to start his 12 hour work day or without a sudden realization of a forgotten appointment, I woke up on the right side of the bed today. Half asleep, rubbing his head, playing with his hair like he always begs me to do, legs intertwined with the temperature just right from the light breeze coming through the windows. Once the day gets started, he leaves for a business trip for one night and I will see him in 36 hours. I feel the sneakiness of the anxiety coming up, wondering what could happen since it’s cloudy and gloomy outside and he has two plane rides ahead of him, but I quickly push those feelings aside and continue with my positive mood I haven’t had in weeks. I put myself together, comfortable clothes, pretty makeup, and hit the road to run errands I’ve been putting off for the past week to dwell in bed. Four and a half hours later and I get home, clean the kitchen, and sit down to watch a TV show before I continue my cleaning of the house. Less than 5 minutes of sitting down, the anxiety begins to set in. My chest is heavy. My head hurts. Was I just in denial those few hours I felt free from the prison? Was I distracted? Is that the key? Should I just keep myself as busy as possible at all waking hours and hope that the anxiety never catches up to me? When can I just have one full day where I don’t feel so disabled?

When?

When do we know if we actually are “crazy” and have this crippling anxiety and depression so many claim to have? Do doctors just diagnose quickly so they can move on to the next patient, bringing in as much of a paycheck as possible? When is it appropriate to go to a psychiatric hospital and ask for a serious evaluation? Will they think you’re over reacting? Will they think the same as everyone else does? “She just wants attention.” How confusing is it to have anxiety and to be so unsure of everything, to go and do something potentially life changing like seeking help? Anxiety ridden, depressed people need assistance doing every day things, so who will be there to push me to where I may need to be?

 

Doubt.

Why can’t I enjoy something, such as writing, without having a fear of rejection? I want to share my writings with the world in hopes to help those who don’t understand these disabilities, and to help those who have been struggling know they’re not alone. We are never alone, but that’s one of the main struggles I cannot eliminate from my mind. Isolation. Like no one understands, no one cares to really dig deep and assess the problems I’m having. Again, I feel like I’m drowning. If I tell the world, will I just be an attention seeker? Will I just be someone who needs constant reassurance for my own personal bank? Do I fight the stigma that is what more anxiety ridden people do, or do I stay low and continue to have “what-if’s”?

Anxiety and depression ruin the best days of my life. I am incredibly lucky, surrounded by a great apartment, full from a good meal, laying on the couch with the one who makes me happiest, yet here I am with doubts popping up in my mind. “Does he even want to lay here with me?” “Would he rather be alone?” “Does he think about how much he enjoys being away from me when we’re apart?” “Am I just a burden to his life that he hasn’t decided how to eliminate?” Why can’t my mind let me be happy and free for even just an hour? How am I supposed to enjoy holidays, vacations, the best days of my life with this crippling disorder?

What if?

“Get over it.” “It’s just one bad day, we all have them.” “Think about what a great life you do have.” “Why are you so unappreciative?” Those thoughts scroll through my mind daily as I also hear them coming from outsiders who have no idea the burden anxiety and depression really is. I can sit and write down 50 things I am thankful to have in my life, but that doesn’t stop the physical pressure on my chest, it doesn’t stop the labored breathing and it most definitely doesn’t halt the realization that any of those things can be taken away from me at any moment. Anxiety is “what-if?”. One thousand “what-if’s” to every item on that list. “What if the plane crashes?” “What if my text message is the one that makes him swerve off the road?” “I accidentally didn’t smile at the store clerk today, she seemed like she was having a bad day. What if I could have made it better?” “A depressed friend texted me today for help…. Did I respond too late? What if I could have been the last hope of strength for her to save her life?” “Do I tell my significant other I love him enough? Not enough? Too much? Does he truly understand the feelings I have for him? Is he going to find someone else because I am a different person with this anxiety? Does he understand that although I may not say it, he has changed my life and I couldn’t imagine anyone else loving me the way he loves me? In what way can I portray it to him when I’m constantly paralyzed, can’t get out of bed, can’t talk about anything but the negativity that constantly surrounds me?”

Drowning.

What are your thoughts on suicide? Do you think it’s selfish of the person? Do you mourn at the thought of someone being so unhappy that they felt there was no way out? Are you somewhere in between? Coming from someone who has seriously considered ending their own life, I don’t know if I can muster up the words to explain what it feels like to be at rock bottom with no way out. You feel like you are under water, reaching up, almost can see the top, but you have a weight keeping you just under so there’s no way you can get the tiniest bit of air. You are suffocating. You feel as though no one cares, no one understands, no one will want to deal with the stress and the hassle of your disability if you decide to stick it out, whether it be just for one more day or one more year, your problems shouldn’t be put on someone else’s shoulders – even if that is the one thing you feel you DO need…. Support and understanding from a trustworthy person. The feeling of NOT feeling all alone. The anxiety mixes and twists things into an abnormal sense of reality where you can’t possibly figure one right decision and what direction to take your literal life. End it, and end all the suffering? But would that destroy my family? Or don’t end it, and continue to suffer inside myself with no future in sight of getting above that water for just one deep breath?

3 Red Bull’s and an Ambien.

Depression and anxiety feels like drinking 3 large Red Bull’s and taking an Ambien at the same time. The Red Bull gets your heart rate up, gets you jittery, fluttering feeling in your chest, random thoughts running through your mind about who knows what, and who knows where the thoughts even come from. Then the Ambien sets in and almost paralyzes you, unable to get up and get anything done, even on a relaxing day, it’s sometimes just hard to get up and use the restroom. How is it so hard to just get up and do a simple task? Why does my mind just want to block out everything and sleep as often and as long as possible? That 5 second period where you wake up from a good night of rest and the anxiety and depression hasn’t hit yet, is one of the most peaceful, freeing moments I’ve ever experienced. But once that 5 seconds is over, it hits you like a ton of bricks, literally taking your breath away. Some may ask, “What are you anxious about?”. Why can I not even pull together a sentence explaining what thoughts are going through my head? Why is it so hard to form a sentence?  Wouldn’t most feel a weight lifted off their chest once they are able? Why can’t I do it?

Attention Seeking.

Going back and reliving my childhood, I always felt loved and cared for. I was just a small, shy, sweet girl who did a lot of observing. I was rarely the center of attention. I remember certain situations my parents would ask if I wanted to run simple errands with them. WalMart, grocery store, dry cleaning. I told them, “No, I would rather stay home.” Then sitting in the window, watching their car pull out of our windy driveway wondering if that might be the last time I ever see my parent… by chance of some tragic car accident or random act of violence, them being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Wondering if I said, “I love you” before they left, wondering if I should wave them down to tell them I changed my mind, like me coming along in some way could save them from any tragic happenings.

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder about a year ago, and depression very recently. I was seeing a therapist for about a year before my first visit with a psychiatrist. I had encountered mental illness through some close to me, but I never thought there was anything “wrong” with me. I always had some sort of strong infatuation with wanting to help, or wanting to be the one to save them. I have always had a huge interest in Psychology. It never occurred to me that I could struggle just as much as I had seen others struggle before me.

I don’t feel as though sharing your personal mental health with friends, family, acquaintances, etc., is a bad thing but anxiety, depression, and some other mental health disorders somehow have a bad stigma. Oftentimes if someone posts on Facebook about being depressed or having anxiety, the majority of feedback will be that the person was just “attention seeking”. They cut their wrists for attention. They cry themselves to sleep every single night because they are not receiving the attention they so badly desire. Depression and anxiety is as real as any other disorder. If someone with Tourette’s tics every 3 minutes, are they ticking for attention? If someone with dyslexia needs extra help reading, are they doing it just for attention? Why can’t depression and anxiety be taken seriously like other disorders?