My Morning After Pill


Sitting on the floor

Staring out the window

Wiping off the polish

Lost in a trance

Listening to GaGa

Post Superbowl

Acetone morning

Child on her left

Controllers and LeBron

Has no clue mama’s gone

Looking straight ahead

She listens and nods

One say he’ll remember

Mama in her towel

Singing

Painting

Dancing

Her portable speaker

Words give her life

Feeling sexy today

She never knows

Yesterday

Today

Both afraid

But born this way

Her eyes touch the screen

But she can’t see shit

Training herself to separate

What’s love got to do with it

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Famous Last Words

She missed her calling.

Although she’s still breathing,

It doesn’t seem real.

She wonders what it would feel like to sing on a stage,

To dance without fear,

To scream without rage.

She is not the woman she imagined she’d grow up to be.

The picture framed in the little girl’s mind.

She screams to herself,

Or maybe she’s just talking.

She cannot tell difference.

She only hopes upon her next attempt someone will hear.

Why won’t her voice come out?

She is being swallowed up by the crowd.

If she knew who she was,

She might find her way out.

Don’t think she could if she tried,

Too much shame inside.

Her ears burn upon the calling of her name.

How much does it cost to be free?

Where does she turn when there’s no one to trust?

Judgement or Betrayal.

She must pick her poison.

What is Stopping Me From Being Me?

bipolar

 

 

I feel as though this Mental Illness is killing me more from the outside than the inside.  It is my disability, and it resides in me.  I cannot hide it nor do I want to in my own home. The longer I keep my emotions caged inside my brain, the longer it will take to get better.  I may have my diagnoses for the rest of my life, but the manifestations they take can go anywhere on the spectrum.  I need to be able to scream if I want, to cry if I want, to be in a bad mood, to be stressed out, etc…

 

However, I feel pressured to live as a completely healthy person.  I resent that.  And that resentment grows every morning I wake up to face another day.  The resentment I feel, though, is not totally valid because my family knows me and loves me the way I am.  But the daily struggle I feel to keep my mental illness under control is overwhelming.  In fact I am sure it’s making my issues worse.

 

I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs, but I can’t.  I need to cry, but I won’t be able to stop.  I care what people think.  I hate that.  I am embarrassed about everything.  I don’t want to be judged.  There is already such a huge stigma about mental illness and addiction.  I am sure my family could handle it, but I am afraid to break free.

 

I drank one beer so far today, a beer from what I call my “emergency stash” in the garage.  My girlfriend was visibly irritated with me when I went to get it.  I am supposed to be lowering my alcohol intake, which I have.  I didn’t care about her irritation.  In that moment, I knew that beer was the only thing which would keep me hanging on.  She is also in charge of the last Vicodin I will probably ever see in my life.  My back is screaming with pain.  My eyes are pushing back tears. I am clenching my teeth.  Nothing helps.  I just want to be alone.  I want to drink.

 

I wrote something similar in my last post. My intent is not to be redundant. I honestly want to know how I can get better, or just simply live, when I can’t be me?  I want to self medicate and am pissed that I am being kept under lock and key.  What if I just went “crazy” on my family and did what I wanted, like scream and throw shit?  I imagine it all the time.  I am not so sure that would go over very well.

 

I found one of my son’s stuffed animals in the donation pile behind the door of the laundry room.  Normally, I wouldn’t care. My kids are old enough to be discarding of toys.  But this little guy?  A giraffe.  A cool looking giraffe with green and white striped hooves.  I have always loved this stuffed animal.  I salvaged him from the donation bag and took him to my room.  I named him Franklin.  I talk to him and hold him up to my girlfriend as if Franklin is talking to her.  This morning she said I was starting to worry her, that she was losing me. It made her feel like a pedophile, like she was sleeping with a child.  That, in turn, made me feel belittled. Alone.  I trusted her with that part of me and she shattered it.  What if there is a meaning to my new stuffed animal likeness. Maybe Franklin is the only one who will listen.  He has green and white stripes on his feet.  He is different just like me.  He was about to be thrown away.  I want to be thrown away.

Franklin

I feel like my girlfriend is getting tired of listening to me complain.  At least that is what I imagine it sounds like to her.  I can’t smile. I can’t laugh. Why live?

PTSD or OCD ?

isolation

I have the urge to repeatedly bang my palms against my temples as hard as I can.  Maybe I need a helmet.  I want to scream, but I am far too concerned of what those around me will think.. a muzzle, a sound proof room perhaps?   How about a strong dose of “grow a pair of balls and stand up for yourself.”

I feel suicidal again. I can’t leave my room except for basic necessities.  My house mates were gone for a couple days on a trip.  I had the house to myself.  I loved it.  With one exception.  I couldn’t relax.  I cleaned the house from top to bottom. No one noticed, but that’s not the point.   This is no exaggeration. I literally went through 7 Mr. Clean magic erasers cleaning smudges off the walls.  I washed windows.  I searched the entire house for ceiling cobwebs with the vacuum in my hands.  I even cleaned the vent on the ceiling!  I am fully aware that it is spring, but this was no spring cleaning.  This is an obsession.  I rarely can enjoy my living room anymore because I share it with others.  This is my choice to remain in my bedroom. I am not used to living with other adults.  I am not blaming them. But, instead of enjoying my time alone, I spent 2 days bent over scrubbing and cleaning.  That’s just not normal.  How can other people sit and enjoy themselves, going along with their daily activities surrounded by dust, lint, and smudged kitchen counters?

So, during my last therapy appointment, I mentioned how I had intended to sit down and write. I explained how I never got the chance because every time I would attempt to sit down, I noticed crumbs on the floor, sticky shit on the counter, and well, by this point I may as well vacuum. I have always been this way, a little obsessive about cleanliness,  but it’s getting worse. I live with 5 other people. One is away, the one who helps me. I am essentially cleaning up after 4 children.  I am tired.

Upon mentioning this to my therapist, I used the term O.C.D.  I said it hesitantly because I never thought my obsessions were as extreme as those I have heard of in relation to this disorder.  I don’t tap or count things. He said those were extreme cases.  He also informed me that O.C.D. and P.T.S.D. are often connected.  I am apparently trying to evade myself by distracting myself.  The bagel crumbs on the floor that catch my eye, stopping me in my tracks, is my mind diverting from what I really need to do… work on me…. be me. I had never thought of that before. I won’t buy bagels anymore. Croissants? Out of the question. It sends me into a tailspin.

I am somehow satisfying myself by being angry with everyone else for making a mess.  It gives my brain a distraction. A diversion.  An excuse.  I am really fucking angry.  That much I know.

Everything hurts.  My joints, my back, my head and my heart.  I cry at just the thought of crying.  I am so tired of being sick and tired…oh yeah, the old AA saying.  It’s truth in its most raw and painful form.  Since I’m referencing AA slogans… “Do it Sober.”  I can’t do that one yet.  I want to though. I still need to drink a few beers in the afternoon to cope.  Everything seems and is so hard right now.  I have lived in my room for over two months.  I stare out my window.  I glance in the mirror.  I try to write when I can’t watch any more Netflix.  I am tearing myself down without my own knowledge.  It doesn’t make sense.  I don’t make sense.  I hurt.  I want to die.  I have tried more times than I can count on one hand. That’s one of two reason I won’t try again.  I am afraid to fail.  It doesn’t get more humiliating than a failed suicide attempt. The other reason is my kids.  I know it sounds cliche to say that.  But they have already lost their father.  I can’t leave them without their mom. They can see crystal clear how miserable and angry I am.  I want to fix that.  I want help. I want to be happy for them.  Faking a smile for your children hurts the soul.

I am afraid because help means uncovering myself.  I don’t have the first clue who I am.  My mother and my ex-husband shredded any recognizable piece of the original me. Yes, that sums up my entire life.  And when I see the original me, I probably won’t even know her.  It’s exciting and petrifying at the same time.  Whatever amazing woman is unleashed, she will be new to me, and I will need to learn how to live again.  This is exactly why I am stuck in this depression.  Change is disabling.  So is pain, but I am at least familiar with pain.

 

Therapy and Beer

alcoholic

I have not written in a while.  I have been too depressed to leave my room.  Walking down the hall toward civilization has gradually become more painful.  Isolation breeds depression.  It is easier to stay in bed and watch Netflix than it is to actually sit upright and read or write.  I feel guilty when I cannot write.  Because that’s what I love doing.  Depression has stolen what I love.  I know if I just begin writing, the words will eventually flow.   But that has become more a distant ideation than an action.

Last week, I was going to begin on a story for you.  I noticed my hands shaking and my body sweating.  Alcohol withdrawal.  It took 2 beers to to bring me back to my normal state. I did not have the energy to write.  I could blame it on not having a desk or a writing space, but that’s possibly an excuse.  Sometimes the process seems huge and it should not be.  So, I decided to lay in bed with my notepad and take notes on how I felt, jot down any intriguing thoughts.  My yellow legal pad I keep next me is filled with illegible hope and reflection.  It’s challenging to scribble as fast as I think.

I went therapy the next day.  I cried.  A little.   Something I rarely do in therapy.  I fight the tears.  I know if I let out one big breath as a tear rolls down my cheek, I’ll end up bawling on the floor convulsing in a puddle of tears.  When I got home, I cried for real.  I am becoming conscious of so much.  My therapist and I cover a lot of areas.  We touch on many subjects ,though just skimming the surface thus far. And I leave feeling overwhelmed.  Still in tears I ran to the kitchen.  I drank 6 beers rather quickly.  I needed to shove that pain back down.  Then, I had 2 Margaritas.

I am an alcoholic.  I have known this for years. I need to stop drinking and using so I can feel, really and truly understand what’s happening to me now, and how it’s tied to what happened to me before.  One would think the sweats and shakes would deter me from drinking.  Ironic.  Fix it, but fuck it… The addiction always over powers the rational thought.  Always.  No exceptions.

Is my need for self medication more than my need for sanity and health?  Do I not respect authority enough to abstain from harming myself?  Apparently, I don’t respect myself enough.  I need to feel pain.  I do feel pain.  I am not sure that is an intact statement, because I have failed to allow myself the experience of  wrestling with my pain, letting it resonate, and eventually walking away from it a changed woman.  I squirm at the thought of pain.  I immediately reach for alcohol, pills, drugs, some form of self soothe.

After therapy, even in tears, I feel great.  Because I still feel as though I am in the room with him.  But the farther I drive, the panic sets in of being alone with myself.  Despite that in my session, I learned something about myself, my past, my present, my future… despite being told I am brilliant, that I am survivor, that I am strong, I cannot accept it.  Rather than soak in the truth, I run from it.  It’s uncomfortable.  I need to drink.  I cannot sit in my  own affliction. Though, that is my goal.

Not only did I reach for a drink, when I stopped to put gas in the car after therapy, I opened the trunk and took two beers from the 12 pack I bought the night before while drunk.  I put them in the front with me.   I planned on drinking them at home.  I wrapped the bottles up in two plastic bags and carefully placed them in one bag side by side so they would not clank together as I entered the house. This is classic addict behavior.  I could not let my house guests know I drank beer for lunch.  I drove less than a mile before opening one of the beers.  I knew the consequences if I were to get caught, but only pondered them for a few moments before giving in to my selfish addict.  Honestly, it feels like medication and I am overdue for my dose.  It’s an urge I can’t resist. I could have been pulled over.  Where would I put the bottle?  And my breath?  Before I approached home, I pulled to the side of the road onto a gravel lot in front of a church.  It’s a Samoan church, so it does not count.  Just kidding.  I find it sadly ironic that I chose a church to calculate my alcoholic manipulation.

I drank the second beer.  I pulled the lever to access the trunk.  I exchanged the two empty bottles for two unopened bottles, wrapping them carefully in the same manner as I did the back at the gas station.   I made it home, past my housemates, and down the hall to my room with no clanking.   I sat perched in my usual spot on my bed. I turn on the TV and drank until I could not feel the pain.  Only guilt.  I hope I can stop this on my own.  Like I said, my goal is to be comfortable in my pain so I can deal with myself.

Why is it that Heath Ledger can die from a pill and alcohol stupor and I can’t?  I risk it all the time.  I pop more Valium, Vicodin, and alcohol than most could handle.  I should have been dead a long time ago.  Statistically, I should not be here.  I need to wake up figuratively or one day I won’t wake up literally.  The pain is so much that often I want to do die.  Self destructing is a great way to punish myself for everything I have done and feel guilty about.  I’ll save that for another day.

I Will Rise

pheonixWhat is wrong with me today? The sun is shining and not a cloud in the sky.  This is the first day this year the temperature has reached 70 degrees..  I love spring and summer. I complain about the incessant rain and gray clouds that hover over us most of the year.  Today is what I long for all winter. I should at least go a walk.  Even if it’s out to the mailbox.  I keep telling myself how much better I will feel.  I see smiling neighbors walking up and down the street with their dogs. I have been in my room most of the day, reading, scrolling through emails and facebook, and on my laptop.  I took a nap even after a full night’s sleep. I feel this pull in my gut, like a heaviness.  I don’t want to smile.  I don’t want to talk.  Why today?  Why on this beautiful day?

I am supposed to be training for a 12 mile obstacle course coming up in September.  I would consider myself a workout junkie.  I haven’t worked out in a few months.  My shins and legs hurt from previous injuries and I am afraid that if I start to jog, it will hurt too much and then I’ll really be depressed.  I tell myself everyday, today is the day to start jogging.  At least go out punch the bag a few minutes, lift up a dumbbell.  I haven’t.

Some of you, my allies in the war with mental illness, might conclude that my depression is worsening because of my recent medication change.

Others may say it’s because I am just unhappy with my life.  I don’t believe that to be true. Maybe it’s because I stay in the room all the time.  I suppose that is a possibility.

I posted something the other day about an observation I had regarding my son.  That he seemed sad and I wrote about my concern.  My family and friends adore him and his loving energy.   My facebook friends can see from pictures and the hilarious things he says, he is a happy kid.  He just has the occasional bad day. Don’t we all?  My concern was heightened only because he hasn’t seen his father.  This is the longest stretch of time my kids have gone without a visit.  Since December.  He violated a protection order. What can I do?  So yeah, my kids are going to feel bad from time to time.  I was venting just as I am now.

Well, one person, decided to chime into the conversation who I was really hoping wouldn’t see it.  She did, and proceeded to tell me that my son was unhappy in his circumstances, that I was a poor mother, and bullied me by throwing her religious beliefs at me. Which is a complete joke to me, because she is the biggest hypocrite I have ever known.  I have known her for almost 20 years and never once seen her pray.  I held my tongue and used my manners with her yesterday.  Something she failed to do.

So is it possible that she has affected me in such a way to leave me stuck in bed for an entire day?  I would like to think she doesn’t have the power to control me like that.  But here I am and I don’t want to get up.  The whole drama of it exhausted me.  I never intended for that story to end up on facebook. I had a gut feeling that it would backfire if my ex husband’s family saw it.  I need to stick with my gut more often.  What about the heavy weight pulling at my gut right now?  What do I do with that?

I am going to forget about that horrible woman and her wicked tongue.  I am not sure I am ready to get up.  I will wait for my kids to get home.  They are sure to put a smile on my face and give me a reason to get up.

 

What I learned from this:

 

Everybody hurts sometimes.

 

I will write what I want unfiltered.

If you don’t like it, stop reading it and move on.

 

My children are beautiful and precious individuals.

 

They have feelings and emotions just like us adults.

 

I will not assume where their feelings are coming from without talking to them first, just as I would not like someone assuming what my feelings are about without consulting me.

 

I will not let hypocritical, judgemental people affect me.  They are not worth it.

 

I am doing a phenomenal job raising my children, who are happier and more loved than they have ever been.

 

I am glad this incident happened because I have learned who the “real” people are in my life.

 

 

Hollow

depressed childWhile listening to a song in the car today, I realized how very worried I am about my son.  I interpret the song to be about not wanting to let someone leave you.  When I hear it, I think of someone taking their own life.  I myself have had many suicide attempts.  The first at 14 years old and the last 4 or 5 years ago. I was a sad child.  It feels like I was born this way. However, not having a father in my life since the age of one may have played a role in my joylessness. I have suicidal thoughts all the time and recognize my son’s demeanor.  He has become grumpy, argumentative and distant. He is only 9 years old and has lost his father.  Not dead, but gone.  I have an 11 year daughter as well.  She is easy and pleasant compared to her brother.  I always imagined this to manifest itself the opposite way.  My father left when I was a year old and I pined over him for years without even knowing him.  Of course my daughter misses her dad too, she asks occasionally when she’ll see him again, but her composure is, well, that of an older sibling.  She is very mature for her age.  Maybe her lack of a father will reveal itself later on.  I will address those issues and needs when they arise.  Presently, however, my concern is for my son.

As always with anyone, his mood is bound to have ups and downs.  Some days my son appears emotionally stable, others not so much.  It’s as though he wishes he could just hide in the corner.  He will not talk to me and does not respond when I engage him.  He pulls the covers over his head as if he is ashamed of his own feelings.  I know this reaction as I have done it myself when expected to answer someone and I simply don’t have it in me.  It’s like reaching up your sleeve for that ever flowing and colorful handkerchief like clowns do, and your sleeve is hollow.  Hollow. That’s the appropriate word.  There’s just nothing inside, but too much to sort through at the same time, leaving you listless and tired and feeling hollow.  So I get it.  I really do.

I don’t want him to hurt.  I don’t know what to say to him.  I can’t make it better.  I need him to know that I understand what he is feeling and where he is coming from.  I don’t want him to do what I did as a teenager.  I don’t want to lose him.  What if he gets really depressed and I can’t reach him?  What if he gets caught up in a group of friends who are toxic for him?  What if he grows up to hate me because his dad had to leave?  I need to put every ounce of energy I have into making sure he knows he is loved and understood. I don’t want to lose a child, just as I am sure they couldn’t bear to lose me.  I will never attempt suicide again because I know I am all my children have.  It is so unpredictable being a parent.  I have many difficult, yet beautiful, years ahead of me with these two amazing children.  And to imagine one of them being so sad that they couldn’t say anything breaks my heart.  My world would stop.  It’s a daily journey.  I will take this one problem, one bad mood, one tear, one awesome feat at a time.