Unreality pt 2

The inner skies are a sickly green with yellow wisps of doubt and confusion permeating confidence bubbles everywhere.  More nightmares. Not much sleep. I seem to have a lot of nightmares when I’m manic and sleep too much when I’m depressed.

Each task seems like some kind of insurmountable thing.  I’ve had some moments of standing perfectly still while staring into the distance already today.  Not unpleasant. It’s actually a very safe feeling to be perfectly still and just watch things, but that’s not a good choice for me if I want to get anything done.

Maybe if I turn over the rocks in Unreality I’ll find the shiny rock that will hold all the answers and take me back home to Weird.

I’d rather be in Weird.  Things make more sense there.

Unreality

Sunday:

I spend a lot of time in a place I’m going to call Unreality.  I live and pay taxes in Weird, but every now and then I venture beyond Weird into Unreality. I don’t know why I do this.  I do all sorts of things to stay out of Unreality.  I take magic beans (pills), I do daily rituals (yoga), I chant spells (affirmations) to keep myself present, grounded, physically and emotionally healthy.

I think sometimes Reality just cracks underneath me and I fall through to the Other Side AKA Unreality.  I mean, that’s what Depression and Mania feel like for me. My perspective and reality are defined by my experience and understanding of the thoughts and emotions I’m having at the time.  Some magic beans are so powerful they narrow your spectrum so severely you can’t experience emotion in the present anymore. This is an unpleasant experience for me which caused severe safety consequences as a result in my early twenties.  I still struggle with accepting I need to be on some form of mood medication.  I recently admitted to a few close friends that I had been taking my anxiety medication when I was hungry but didn’t want to eat so I’d take that instead b/c then I couldn’t tell I was hungry and also didn’t care.  This was very unhealthy for me to do and now Mr. Demon is in charge of the anxiety bean.

I lost my anxiety bean priviledges to an alter who used to encourage me to binge drink.  It’s a weird life.

Unreality is a lovely shade of slate today with a hint of blue kissing the corners.  I’ve told a few persons before that if you could look in my brain it would look like an animated movie.

My hormones are in flux.  I don’t know how I feel about this as my emotions feel erratic to me.  My biggest worry is when I react strongly to these emotions because I do not feel that my behavior is consistent right now. I guess I’m still afraid of expressing too much emotion even though I do all the time.  It’s the same with chronic pain.  I feel like eventually I will reach my bitching about pain quota.

We are resting today. This is good because I pushed myself hard this week and ended up staying late Thur instead of leaving early like I’m supposed to.  I also did take a day of rest last weekend.  I’ve been stemming a full blown flare up for a few days. Ugh.

Anyway, I’m crawling out of my depression slowly but I’m still in Unreality. It’s not a great place for anyone to be really.  Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s pain, maybe it’s my trauma, maybe it’s the mental illnesses – who fucking knows?  There are lots of people who love me and know when I need a hug.  Or if I decide I’m just going to stand next to you silently and lean, I have friends who will let me lean on them.  Sometimes I just watch what’s going on.

Tuesday:

In therapy today I talked about food issues. I told her about the anxiety medication. I talked about in the peak of mother’s crazy while I lived with her in isolation it was cat needs, mother’s needs, then my needs. The times my mom would take the hamburger or tuna or whatever helper meal that was prepared and meant to last the week for both of us, have a few bites then feed the rest to the hoard of cats. I talked about the slim fast drinks, my mom telling I should get a breast reduction when my body was just starting to develop. I talked about my grandfather asking me if I was going to become obese like the people in the article on the front page of the local paper. I talked about my mom asking me if I was binge eating when I was between 10-12. Maybe I was, though I mostly remember being hungry. My therapist said if I’d been a boy it would have been viewed as a non issue. I still remember my sister being surprised to learn I had food issues as an adult since I hadn’t starved myself like she had as a child. I remember my mom standing at her closet telling me she gained weight when she was happy and lost weight when she was depressed. Having it constantly pointed out to me that I was bigger and heavier than my older sister. And kids at school are just cruel in Jr High and High School.

I do not feel like this is new information for me, more that it’s an old wound that hasn’t healed right.  I’m on hormone therapy now b/c my doctor found something wrong with me that they can treat – HORMONES.  My body basically stopped producing progesterone which led to androgen and estrogen dominance.  I’m taking stuff to lower my testosterone now, as well as boost my progesterone and half the month I take actual progesterone.  This is my first month of hormone treatment and it’s triggered depression/hypomania.  Also attempting diet change for faster recovering from fibro/progesterone deficiency triggered a cascade of old food issues that I thought I’d dealt with pretty well. Apparently not.

Words are what I have today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

 

Being Stable

That’s what being stable is like for me.

… <- That.

That’s it.  My feels are gone for now.  I don’t really feel anything beyond calm.  I understand liking and disliking certain things. I still have opinions, but there is no emotion behind them. Everything is objective.

Everything is calm.

It’s better.  It’s better than being manic.  It’s better than being depressed. It’s better than crippling anxiety.

And it’s nothing.

I can look objectively at my past emotions and actions and pick them apart with ease. Presently everything is detached and rather far away.

And that is how it is right now.

This is where I live now.  I recall the last time I was on psych meds I told the doctor when I would accidentally miss a dose I’d have the sensation of sobering up.

I’ve changed my reality so I can keep living it in with everyone else.

It’s a little sad, I think.  Better than a nervous breakdown, still kind of sad.

Oh well.

Anxiety for Days

Can’t hack it like I should be able to.  Can’t keep the racing thoughts and panic down.  Can’t stop the steady thrum of tension bubbling beneath my skin.

Wind and rain outside tell my brain that danger is imminent, even though there’s nothing to fear now. All kinds of stimuli overwhelm me.  Broken things, broken brain.

Poor, sad, broken brain.  I woke up nervous, shaky.  I felt terrified of basically everything except maybe Robit.  Increased chronic pain is contributing to my overall sense of misery.

What’s better? Is it better to be a neurotic mess, to be afraid of every moment that will come? To be paralyzed with uncertainty and the knowledge that you’re disapointing your loved ones?

Is it better to be alert, awake, and wired?  And terrified?  Is it better?

Better than what?  The deep chasm of heartache and misery that waits with bated breath every moment of every day.  Depression lingers, caressing me in my dreams, tangled with trauma and memories and fear.  I don’t want to be suicidally depressed again. I’m tired.  Is this better?

The year that I fight it with all of my might I am a total wreck and want to crawl under the carpet or a hole or anywhere I can be small and unseen. Anxiety makes me paranoid and there is so much I can get done when I don’t feel anxious but pain tells me something is wrong and anxiety makes it harder to tell my brain that no, nothing is wrong just in pain from fibro but anxiety says WHOOOOOAAAAA hold on pain is happening we should be really concerned and I have to be like, Listen anxiety, I don’t have time for you or your bullshit. I’ve got things to do. And anxiety is like, “Seriously, everything is terrible right now.”

I’m too anxious to be depressed right now. Too anxious to feel much of anything except anxiety.  Too freaked out by life to enjoy it at all.

Too this too that too much too fast.

I’ve always been “too _______” something. Too this too that too much too fast. Too whatever. I am perpetually too whatever.

*hides behind a half smile and colorful clothes*

Don’t see me, just see what I tell  you to see. It’s better that way.

 

Being Mentally Ill

Brain is going 400 mph and everything seems terrible and huge under the microscope and then BAM maybe I should go do this thing I said I was going to do then BAM choices! Options! All of them! People are talking, rain is raining!

What kind of a face am I making? Are my clothes resting perfectly against my frame? Should I lose 20lbs like I keep thinking I’ve needed to for 10 years? It’s always the same, whatever weight I’m at I’m pretty sure I need to be exactly 20 lbs lighter.  Weight is easy to focus on, we’ll focus on that. Body image issues. I feel rather ugly without my tattoos. They keep me grounded in the body. Otherwise I think I would just float away.

And fuck everything hurts today too and I wish that I was brave enough to go to the grocery store but alas the universe had other plans for my brain and perceptions of reality today.  I will be in therapy forever. And ever and ever.  Yaaaaaaay.

I hate everything right now.  Except my cat. He’s the best cat. He has been surrogate fur baby and trauma healing kitty.  I pour all the love and affection into him to try and make up for all the horrors I witnessed or partook in as a child.  I can’t go back, but I can move forward with love and compassion and be an advocate for animal rights in a healthy way, not a crazed psycho animal hoarding way.  I do not need 150 cats. I don’t need more than 2 cats. I don’t feel some strange compulsion to open my home to over 100 cats and feed my child potatoes, rice, and ramen.

No, I don’t do those things.

I am afraid of becoming her. I feel madness bubbling in the back of my mind.  I’m going to lose a day to being crazy. Go me.

Well, the doctor told me to cut my activity in half and that would help the mania.  How crazy are you if you realize how crazy you are?  Then you’re just mentally ill. It’s like w/ fibro… it’s like you become LEGIT sick once you get the diagnosis, before that all bets are off.

Whew, that was close. Narrowly avoided can o’ worms thought train.  It can get ugly sometimes, just trying to tease out all the different opinions floating around. Being the face person is like being President.  I get a say, but I’m more of a figurehead and have limited power.

I like listening to Lorde, she’s so chill.  I try to listen to chill music a lot to promote a tranquil mood.  Music also keeps me grounded and present.  Staying present is a daily challenge.  If I can find that balance I don’t really have anxiety or stress about much of anything because then I can accept each moment as it happens and builds on the next one.  It’s much easier and a calmer place for me to be.  Unfortunately I usually need to be a little  high to get there as well, but I try to take those moments with me and recreate them when I’m sober.  It’s harder, but I don’t hate myself as much for the things I haven’t done or should be doing.

Sometimes all we can do is cry and wait for things to settle back down.

Sometimes plans change. And it’s ok.

Having Fibromyalgia Sucks Giant Hairy Monkey Balls

I’m “resting” today.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.  I hate “resting” days.  I do.  I mean, I talk a big talk about body awareness and blah blah blah motivational BS blah blah blah we shall overcome blah blah – and it’s not all talk, but it’s mostly affirmations. I say the positive, body acceptance things every single fucking day because if I don’t I will start to resent my body and the world and everything will be horrible.

I don’t want everything to be horrible.  Winter is kicking my ass.  The chill has seeped into my bones and I am well on my way to being appropriately jaded for the holiday season.  I’m always exhausted. I have no extra energy. When I do feel like I have energy in the mornings, by the evenings I feel like death. Tai Chi is getting harder to do even!  Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

I have a very difficult time giving myself permission to rest.  I feel like a useless lump of a human being that is mooching off Robit. Robit loves me, but it doesn’t make those feelings go away.  I went from being a financially independent female who worked full time to part time work to transitioning into a new career and needing to be supported.

I moved out when I was sixteen, almost seventeen.  The last time anyone supported me financially was when my brother let me live in his dining room.  I still have moments where I wonder how will I ever pay Robit back for everything?  It’s not reasonable, but it’s what life has taught me.

No wasted movements, move with purpose.  That is one of my main mantras right now.  It helps, but it’s infuriating. I often envision all the things I could be doing.  Sometimes I even try to do them and quickly realize I won’t be able to finish them.  Do that enough times and it will kill your motivation for things that you haven’t seriously committed too.  I don’t feel like I do “little things” anymore. Everything is important b/c I have allotted my spoons to the cause of the thing I am choosing to do.  It had better fucking matter.

This is why I use medical marijuana

I wrote this while on my honeymoon.  I was a week and half off of cannabis at this point.  The NSAIDs and muscle relaxants weren’t helping me much and the muscle relaxants actually made it more difficult to walk and caused stress incontinence.  When I have days where I feel like maybe I’ve turned into a “stoner” because I use marijuana for pain relief, I will reread these words of agony that came to me during what should have been one of the happiest times in my life.  I’m going to keep listening to my myself and trusting my instincts. 

***

The dull, constant thrum of pain waits for our conscious mind like a lover.  It embraces us fully, touching every part of my body and sending tendrils of awareness into the deepest part of our brain.  The companionable headache that results from constantly processing the pain signals does not allow us to sleep longer than absolutely necessary.  The man we love snores softly next to us.  We’ve already had to get up twice, despite our best efforts he’s probably fully aware of that.

We’re married now, safe.  On our honeymoon even.  The nightmares don’t stop though.  Unpleasant and confused dreams torment our unconscious life while pain threatens to tear apart the conscious one.  The hemispherical headache only worsens as the seconds pass slowly.  Moments. Moments of pain, moments of hurting.  Today will have many moments, and the ones where there is little to distract us from the pain are the most isolating and miserable.

Inside the mindscape, Vren glowers at me from across the chasm.  Neglected, isolated, lonely – he projects these base feelings into me and I know today is not going to be about me.  I didn’t feel like I was hogging all of Jimmy’s attention, but there you go.  I furrow my brow in apology and turn back to the conscious world.  Communicating with the rest of us while I’m plugged in is difficult.  I get conflicting signals and inputs, sometimes I don’t process quickly enough and they briefly take over so they may fully express their desires.  None of them are designed to withstand being plugged in as long as I am.

Vren tugs on my awareness again.  Dammit, I’m busy.  I’m trying to sort out what the best course of action will be moving forward with today.  Our pain is substantial.  We’re not going to be up for much at all. Ideally we’d just rest, but that doesn’t look like an option we have.  If I don’t get more sleep and pain relief soon, our sanity will start to spiral away from us and then we’ll be extra sorry we didn’t take care of ourselves.

****

The cycle of pain is predictable.  Usually I have one or two good days per week, the rest I struggle and suffer.  Yesterday was a good day.  I knew it couldn’t last though.  Every night I strip and practice Yin Yoga on the floor, forcing my body to relax.  I stretch the deep tension that is buried in my muscles until the spasms begin.  I can control when I have the flare ups, but I can’t stop them.  I can take drugs to take the edge off, but the pain still remains. Sometimes though, I wonder if a butter knife is really any better than a pearing knife.  

When I feel the spasms begin as I lay helpless on the floor, bending at odd angles, I open my mind and accept the pain.  I will often gasp, cry, and talk myself through the worst of it.  I try to force myself to be above the pain, and sometimes I am.  Other times, it tries to consume me.  Often I am weak after yoga.  I struggle to stand.  I will half crawl, half drag myself onto the nearest soft place, be it bed or couch.  I try to do it alone, but if I cannot I ask Jimmy to help me.  He’ll hoist me up and gently set me back down.  I wait for my muscles to respond properly to my brain again.

It is a better way to suffer when you know when it will be.  As long as I don’t overdo it during the day, I may experience the worst of it quietly, privately before bed.  Every night.  I can’t skip a day, to do so would be detrimental to my routine.  My body counts on the regularity as much as I do.  It hurts my body as much as processing those pain signals hurts me.  The pain never stops, sometimes I ignore it better than others.

***

I need to sleep more, I’ve caught a cold.  Pain won’t let me.  It stabs in my shoulders and flays my lower back.  There’s a heaviness in my abdomen and everything below it protests and screams.  I wait in darkness for the pain to ease, but it’s a futile game. How long before I give up and give in to consciousness.  How long before I try to do something else besides rest, besides sleep?  The pinpricks on my arms are enough to make me wince. I feel the steady throbbing in my back, each pulse, each beat of my heart reinforces the agony that lingers there.  I am exhausted by pain.

Oh how I wish I’d been able to bring my medicine with me.  Unfortunately medical marijuana is illegal in most places still.  It doesn’t get rid of the pain, it simply brings me above it.  The muscle spasms haven’t stopped, those never stop.  It makes it easier for me to accept the pain.  I am still functional, I still manage just as well physically without it, but emotionally I’ve begun to wear thin.  Pain is all I know and it threatens to consume my very soul.  Perhaps if I spend the rest of our vacation in a hot tub?

Help me, please.  Today is pain. Tomorrow will be pain too.  My waking life is awful, even with the man I love laying next to me.  Does that make me ungrateful and wretched?  If so than I am truly a wretched beast.