Healing Isn’t A One Time Thing

As my recent posts have shown, I haven’t been in a good place emotionally. My issues and demons have re-surfaced in a huge way, causing me to doubt all the healing that I thought had taken place within me over the past few years.

The other evening I stumbled upon a performance (which you can find at the end of this post) from Demi Lovato. It was a case of the right place, the right time. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the night. I just felt utterly and completely broken. This video is the most powerful live performance I’ve ever seen. I felt it down to my core and have never connected as deeply to any other song as I did this one, and with the emotion channeled into it.

My therapy session on Wednesday was a raw, emotional one. From the beginning my therapist pointed out that I seem very emotional. I just didn’t want to hold anything back. I didn’t have the strength to either. Turns out the emotions I’m feeling around her pregnancy are partly jealousy that this little baby is going to have her as a mommy, and the situation has also opened up all those old wounds around my own childhood. Memories and emotions I just couldn’t hide or run from.

This performance wasn’t just relatable to me now, but fit as the anthem to my childhood and adolescent years too. The words are almost identical to my own countless pleas, especially when I was a teen. If I hadn’t burned all the pages of my diary back then, it would be littered with it. “Please send me anyone.” “Is there anyone?”, “No-one’s listening”, “can anyone hear me?” So that evening, the lyrics went down deep into my soul. It perfectly captured what I was feeling. I completely broke down. The story behind the song is just as powerful. She wrote it a few days before her overdose. Her story is actually very inspiring.

We all have demons that we are battling. We have relapses. That doesn’t make us weak. It doesn’t mean healing hasn’t taken place. It means we’re human. And even when it seems like we won’t be okay, that we won’t make it through, we can and we do. She’s still here. I’m still here. You’re still here.

“Reach out to somebody”. We see and hear that message so often. But it isn’t that easy. Sometimes we don’t want to burden others. Other times when we do reach out, we get hurt, or end up feeling worse or made to feel guilty for our feelings and thoughts. But we all need and deserve to have someone truly listen to us. To hear us. And it’s okay to reach out. It’s also okay that sometimes we reach out to the wrong people. It doesn’t mean we made a mistake. It just means that the other person maybe doesn’t have the ability/capacity to be a support. That’s something that I still struggle with. Blaming myself, feeling ashamed, feeling like I’m the entire problem when a cry for help goes unanswered or ends badly.

The suicidal ideation is still there. The darkness still huge. I’m not out of the woods. But I wanted to write this post anyway. For me, and for others also struggling right now who may be reading this.

A Day Has No Meaning Anymore

My days feel meaningless. So does my life.

No matter what I do, where I go, it’s there. The emptiness.

Spending time with my regular two friends isn’t the same. Whereas before that would give me a mood boost, it does nothing for me anymore. I feel okay with them in the moment, but there’s a disconnect between the person I’m trying to be when I’m with them (the friend they know) and the person who just doesn’t want to be breathing anymore. I don’t even know which night it was this week (feels like last week) that we went out. Immediately when I arrived, all I could think about was that I desperately needed a glass of wine and couldn’t think until the order came. It’s like the only way I could get through that night was by drinking.

The day after I wrote my previous post, I tried to arrange a time with M to go pick the puppy up, like we had discussed, but once again I couldn’t get hold of her that day and she didn’t bother calling me back or replying to my message (a few days later I did get to go pick puppy up and spend a few hours with her). And instead of the familiar feeling of disappointment, I just felt resigned, defeated. As if nothing can hurt me anymore.

Something feels horribly wrong inside.

With each hour that passes, the darkness grows. My efforts to try to keep that darkness at bay are like a blunt tool. Useless. And I’m done trying.

“You Don’t Really Want to Die, You Want Connection”

Maybe my therapist is right.

After all, why am I still here? Why am I still holding on? What exactly am I holding on for? Part of it is because I don’t have the courage to try to end things. The fear of failing and coming out alive but in a worse state terrifies me. Then there’s the handful of people who I know it will affect. Even if in the moment I feel no-one will even notice, or if they do, they’ll get over it quickly. But what my therapist said also made a lot of sense when she said it. It resonated.

The way a hug from someone special (and I don’t mean just with romantic partners) has the ability to snap me out of the suicidal space in my mind and put me on a high. The way a simple touch of the hand can make me feel warm and safe. Now, thanks to humans messing with nature, we’re in a time when even a quick hug is cautioned against.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m really struggling with this whole living alone thing. The days are okay. It’s the evenings that are the worst. That’s when the loneliness and bad thoughts peak. I’d give anything to have someone here, doing their own thing, or us doing something together. I just want to feel another presence here.

I miss living with M. It was so good for me. She was good for me. I miss having her and doggy in my every day life. And when M was away for a week or two, I still had doggy, so wasn’t truly alone. What I want more than anything is my own dog. Sometimes it feels like that’s never going to happen.

Earlier this evening, the tears that had been building and threatening to escape for weeks finally made their way out. It was excruciating. At one point I felt like I was going to die. I had to keep mentally saying to myself that no one has died from crying before (as far as I know). That went on for quite a while, and at some point I knew I needed to speak to someone right then. Obviously my therapist was out (we had a video call check in this afternoon – which I’m grateful for since she’s actually on leave). I also considered A, my previous therapist, but that was also not an option. The only other person that came to mind was M. It was after 8pm, so didn’t know whether it was appropriate to call her then, but I took the chance anyway. She didn’t answer at first, but she called back almost immediately and we spoke for over an hour. Those who know me, know I hate talking on the phone. But I really needed that. She made me laugh, talked about doggy, and just random stuff. Her daughter in law is staying with her for two weeks, but M said that I must come spend the weekend once she leaves. And my favourite part was when she said I should come say a quick hi to her tomorrow and meet her daughter in law, and then I can take doggy for the day. I haven’t been to the beach in months, so am planning on going for a long walk with her there.

I’m still very emotional, but at least I have something to look forward to tomorrow.

It’s been a tough few months. I feel like I’m in limbo. Stuck. There’s no certainty about when I’ll be moving to Sweden, other than the plan is before the end of the year (if the borders open up by then). So I might be spending Christmas alone. It’s all so unsettling.

Everyone around me seems to be moving forward. Getting engaged, falling pregnant. And then there’s me. Longing for that someone special, and feeling like that’s another thing that will never happen for me.

But hey, I’m still breathing.

Where Nothing Exists

Caught up in a place where only a part of me exists. There is no past. No future. Not even a “now”.

“We could be stars if we could imagine life was real.” What does this even mean? I don’t know, but it makes sense somehow. To some distant entity within another part.

The human race, so far removed. Too many shadows. An impenetrable darkness. There is no hero, for she was only an illusion.

Sleeping Sun

Things are changing again. It’s supposedly a good change, so why am I left so confused? What are all these feelings?

A heaviness has settled deep inside my body and soul.

The words are lost in my head; explanations and sense hidden.

Why does it feel like my time is coming to an end?

Don’t know what this is supposed to be. Just messed around.

Angry and Alone

I’m so fucking angry that I feel like breaking everything in this damn house! Damn M for telling me when she did that I needed to move out, rather than listen to her psychiatrist and wait until my therapist is back! She was being so selfish.

Now I’m alone here, looking after her dog (of course you know I love her), with no support. I don’t feel equipped right now to look after myself, let alone another being. But I don’t have a choice. I have no idea when M will be back (it was an open flight ticket). One of my friends is away in another part of the country for work and won’t be back until the end of next month. The other one is studying and working full time so doesn’t have time. The other one, who lives less than 10 minutes away, takes days to respond to a message (she never answers her phone), and still hasn’t agreed to meet up for coffee, despite knowing I need a friend right now.

My life just feels hopeless. I haven’t been this depressed in such a long time. And I’m alone. Because I’m a useless, worthless excuse for a human. Fuck this life!

But I’m Not Like You

Two Thursday’s ago I went out for dinner with my best friends’ Megan and Ethan. We had a lovely time. Ethan invited me to a pizza evening that Saturday, and Megan, knowing me really well by now, told him that it might be too much for me. There were going to be 4 other people there. People I’ve never met. But I told them I’d let them know, and decided on the Saturday morning that I was going to be brave and go for it. After all, I don’t see them very often as they live quite far away.

I don’t like driving that way. The area they live in is scary, and the last 15 minutes of that road is anxiety-inducing, especially with the traffic lights every 500m or so. I always make sure I have my taser within easy reach and ready to go. Thankfully I got there safely, relieved but still on high alert. I made sure to get there an hour before everyone else was due to arrive so I could prepare mentally and relax a little with my friends. I had to sleep over as Ethan wouldn’t let me drive that road at night.

It was an insane evening, and the instant I met Megan’s cousin, I didn’t like her one bit. The rest of the evening only intensified that dislike. Megan doesn’t like having her around either (she saw her last 2 years ago). This girl was out of control, over-the-top, obnoxious and vulgar, and way too loud. Throughout the evening I disappeared for 20-30 minutes to the room with my noise-cancelling headphones. I had come prepared, although in hindsight I should have followed my instincts that morning and not gone at all. But the thing with me is I’m never sure what’s instinct and what’s just plain fear or anxiety.

By 1:30am I just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to go to bed. All I actually wanted to do was go home. Megan had also had enough by then and we sat in the room chatting. She was regretting the whole evening and also wanted it to be over. We both went to bed. But the music and people continued on. I would just doze off and then wake with a start.

The party was still going on by 5am. I realized I wasn’t going to get any sleep and went to make coffee. Megan came out of her room as well, and told a very drunk Ethan that it’s time to end the party and go to sleep. Ethan is a teddy bear even when drunk out of his mind (which is something he’s only been twice before – we’ve known him for over 20 years now).

With total silence now, but my body still buzzing on the inside (I hate this feeling), I sat in bed reading for about 30 minutes and then figured it was safe to try to sleep again. As I was dozing off, my room door opened, and in walked Ethan, with a “it’s okay Meg, go back to sleep” and stumbled over to the bed. He crashed down next to me, proceeding to pull all the blankets away from me. I lay there in shock for a few seconds. Then came the snoring. That was me. Done. I jumped up and decided that it was time for me to go. There was no way I would be getting any sleep with a snoring guy next to me, thinking I’m Megan. I wasn’t irritated, but more amused at what had just happened. Ethan was very embarrassed and apologetic when I told him this, but now we can laugh about it.

When I got home I only managed a 3 hour nap. But it was something at least. Since then, I’ve still been trying to recover. Yes, it’s taking a long time. The biggest reason for this is that I haven’t given myself the rest I need. Sure, I’ve slept 8+ hours for most nights, with a few exceptions thanks to nightmares, but the problem is during the day. My way of recuperating from social, sensory, physical and emotional/mental overload and tiredness is to hide from the world for a while.

That’s something a lot of people don’t understand. I’ve been struggling with depression for a while now, and it only seemed to get worse the days after the party. M (the lady I stay with) knows how I’ve been feeling, and encourages me to go out and do things. For example, wants to take me out for coffee or says I should go to the library or bookstores (both places I like). She believes that spending too much time at home makes depression worse. And it does. For her. But not for me. Not when I feel overwhelmed. When I feel overwhelmed and I leave the house, things don’t go well for me. When I’m already overwhelmed, it doesn’t take much to push me over the edge. In other words, panic attacks/meltdowns/breakdowns. I need quiet, and as little sensory stimuli and socializing as possible, or my depression gets worse.

There have been so many times in my life where I didn’t leave the house for days, and emerged feeling refreshed and so much better. That’s how I cope with life and the world. When I was still living with my dad, I would sometimes take an entire week “away from the world”. They would often argue with me that it’s not healthy. Well, it’s not healthy for me to always be going out and doing things. It’s the same with M. Her friend came over the one day, it was almost 12pm and I was still in bed (reading). She told me “up, up, you can’t stay in bed all day, that’s why you’re not feeling well”. Just for the record, I don’t stay in bed all day. I still do things like washing my dishes, cleaning my room (if I’m up to the task that day), having a cup of coffee in the morning with M, but I just don’t want to go anywhere.

I understand that for a lot of people going out with friends and doing things help them fight their depression. And I know those telling me to do these things have good intentions, but it doesn’t help me. I feel like yelling “but I’m not like you!” I feel this pressure to conform, scared to upset anyone. But much more than that, scared to be seen as “lazy”.

I’ve told M how I recover and start feeling better, and she says she understands, but I don’t think she truly gets it. After all, we’re individuals with different experiences and views of the world. Can we ever truly understand someone else?

Emmengard’s Suicide Scale

I’ve been dealing with suicidal ideation for the past two weeks. It varies in intensity, and aside from a few “happy” moments here and there, is almost constantly in the background. I try to keep myself distracted where I can. I’ve been going to group again, mostly because I feel it’s a source of support in a way, especially with my therapist being away. During the last one I had a sort of mini breakdown directly afterward and before going home, reached out to the psychologist who had led the group. We sat and spoke for a little while, and I left feeling a bit better having gotten some of the emotion and thoughts out. It’s not easy for me to open up in group, especially when it’s as big as it was that evening, so I’m grateful to that therapist for making some time for me afterward.

The next day I came across this image. It’s not always easy to explain to people (or even myself) how bad I’m really feeling, so this “scale” is helpful. I find images and cartoons so much easier to understand, as it tends to make abstract concepts easier to grasp. I’ve basically been on the 6th block, and even though it’s overwhelming at times, I can cope with it. I know that when I’m getting further along, it’s time to get help.

What do you think? You can view the full sized image on the website listed below (opens in a new tab/window).

Emmengards Suicide Scale
Source: https://emmengard.com/2019/05/07/suicide-scale/

Time

The work day went by so quickly. It felt as though I had just gotten there, then it was time to leave. When I got home and up until now time just seems to be dragging. It’s usually the opposite.

I’m super bored, which is rare. There’s usually so much I want to do and it seems like there isn’t enough time to fit it all in. There’s all the usual things I do that keep me occupied and that I enjoy, but tonight I don’t feel like doing any of them. I forced myself to read a little bit, but couldn’t focus. There wasn’t anything on my mind, I would just zone out often, so threw that aside. Watched an episode of a series I enjoy, but same thing happened. I just want it to be bedtime already. Have to wait to take my meds.

I think I may be depressed, but I don’t quite know why. Something feels off, both inside me and in the world.

Fine, Then Not

It’s been a busy, but good week. I took the whole of today to myself for some rest and relaxation. Yet, I feel depressed. I felt fine this morning and afternoon. But somewhere along the way that changed.

It seems that after a busy period, once I allow myself some time to recuperate, I hit a low. Even if it was a good kind of busy. I had to force myself today to not do any work, even though I felt the urge to. Did some work last night so that I could have a break today.

Maybe if I had done some work today I wouldn’t be feeling this way right now. But I also know that I tend to burn out pretty quickly, so need to prioritize self-care. I have a meeting with a client tomorrow and the week is going to be another busy one. So I have to learn to balance my life, which isn’t an easy thing to do.

I hate feeling this way. Of just wanting to disappear. Of wanting life to end. Especially when there doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation for experiencing this depression. But I guess it’s never logical anyway.