So, my neighbor comes over and asks if I have quarters she can borrow so she can do laundry. Of course I do. I give her the quarters but she sits… with her 3 year old. Then she comes up with this brilliant idea that I go shopping with her. She just has to get a few things. Will I please, please, please go to the store with her? What part of “I DON’T LIKE TO LEAVE MY HOUSE!” is so hard to comprehend? Knowing she’s going to bug me until I say yes, my anxiety has spiked, I already feel sick, and I don’t think I’ll be able to produce anything worth reading today. Why???? Why does this shit have to happen to ME? Why was I the chosen one to be blessed with all of these freaking issues?? Why can’t people understand that I just want to be left alone, in my own comfort zone, away from the monsters of the world? And in the meantime, I’ve still yet to find a doctor who will accept my insurance, making things progressively worse. So, I guess the question is… how in the world can I be optimistic when there is a tornado whipping through my head? I can’t form a single coherent thought, as my mind is overcome with this pending trip. I trust her. She’s a very good friend and has been for a long time. I know that if I say I have to go; I have to get out of this store, she’ll leave. So, why all this totally unnecessary panic? I just don’t get it. I have sworn off Xanax during the day and I’m getting through each minute on my own. It freaking SUCKS!! And NOW, since the anxiety is sitting nice and comfy in my brain, I can feel my stomach bubbling, which ultimately means I’m going to be physically ill for the remainder of the afternoon. So… I guess this is crazy. Welcome to my head.
By the time most of us reach junior high, we know we belong to a certain clique. We have established friendships, sports we’re interested in, our first crushes, etc. Nope. Not me. I was lost. Wandering around aimlessly with no idea of what was expected of me. Why was I the only one having to leave class to “use the bathroom” but really to get through a panic attack? My mom had told me everyone has anxiety, but it seemed that I was the only one suffering. I was friends with everyone. Or maybe friendly is a better way to describe it. I don’t feel as though I had a real friend until my last year of high school, but we’ll get to that later.
So, basically junior high was a time for my anxiety to grow in monster proportions, latching onto my veins, running like fluid through my brain, all throughout my body. It is my belief that this is when the depression was born. I knew I was different, but couldn’t explain why. My sister and brother were in the senior high, and they were popular. They were going out with their friends all the time, partying and having fun. I was content to stay in my room alone, listening to the radio or reading a book, but again, wondering why I was so different. The loneliness set in after awhile, and soon, I was crying for no apparent reason. My parents can tell you… I nailed a sleeping bag over my window and sat in the dark. I was very uncomfortable in my own skin and so badly wanted to be anyone but me.
In 8th grade, a senior expressed an interest in me. I was 12 or 13 and he was 18. I don’t know what he said to my parents, but whatever it was, my mom loved him and allowed him to bring me home from school in his truck so that I didn’t have to take the bus. We’d never go directly home though. He’d take a back road and park and do things to me that made me VERY uncomfortable. According to him, this was all normal. This is what people do. He’d ask me and beg me for a hummer, and I was so confused. A hummer to me was a truck. Why would this guy be asking me for a truck? I was in 8th grade. I didn’t have ANY money. All I knew is that what he did to me physically, hurt, and it didn’t make me feel good. My instincts told me to end the relationship, but how? I’d never broken up with someone before. Well, he did it for me. He gave me an ultimatum. He said “Put out or get out.” See ya!! No way was I having sex at 12 years old! I may not have been the brightest bulb in the shed but I knew that was wrong.
So, to sum it all up, Junior High for me was nothing more than a breeding ground for all of these disorders to gain possession of my mind and body; establish themselves and get nice and cozy. I’m 36 and they’re very much still here. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, the depression has gotten a good hold of me. However, because I am a single mom, falling apart is not an option. I’ve yet to find a psychiatrist that accepts my insurance, so I suffer in silence, as I don’t want my child to see this part. It would kill him. Junior High were just a few of the worst years of my life. There is plenty more to come, so stay tuned.
Until next time,
I was 7 years old when I had my first panic attack. My mom assumed it was me just having car sickness as we were driving at the time. They have been with me on a daily basis ever since. Seven is unusual for panic attacks to present themselves, as they usually show up in the late teen years. However, I was also 7 years old when the boy down the street sexually abused me on a pretty regular basis as well. So, I can see the correlation.
I had conversations with my mom about the way I felt (my anxiety) and she said everyone has anxiety. So, in my 7 year old mind, everyone felt the way I did. Add to that the thought that the sexual abuse was my fault too. That’s a pretty big burden for a 7 year old to be carrying around.
No one ever mentioned anxiety, I wasn’t taken to a doctor. I don’t even think there was such a diagnosis at the time. So, I grew up alone inside and very afraid. Not much has changed. I could be in a room full of people, and because of all my diagnoses, still feel very much alone. It’s only others who suffer from mental illness that I can really relate to. And my boyfriend. He’s the first person in my life (aside from my parents) to educate himself on all that’s wrong with me, and he accepts me for who I am.
Anger and hatred are learned behaviors. I learned them early on when I got made fun of for being different. When I hear of people snapping and going on a killing spree, I get it. Others sit back and say “How could they?” Are you really that blind? Obviously the person doing the killing was in need of help. Help he or she wasn’t being offered. I snapped too… I didn’t kill anyone, but we all react differently. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve contemplated taking my own life, because my ex’s had me convinced I was nothing but a burden to my family.
Then I changed my perception. I started reading books on the power of positive thinking, being optimistic, etc. and I’m so grateful that I never followed through. I have so much life inside of me! There are places I want to go and things I want to do. They kicked me while I was down, and I believed them. Now? Now I look at them and know they both need mental help. But, since I’m not a doctor, there’s not much I can do. I will not call them names. I will not make fun of them or their mental illness. I will however stand my ground and defend myself. If you have to hide behind a fake email account and leave me anonymous hate mail, I have no use for you. I ignore you. I don’t absorb your words or your negativity at all. You see, it’s because of your taunting and name calling that I’m so much stronger, so I guess a thanks to you both are in order. My determination is far stronger than your attempts to break me. Yup. I may be mentally ill, but I’m mentally stronger than the two of you combined.
I am exhausted. I would love to write more, but this past week has been very trying. I’m going to take a nap now, but possibly be back later. I’ll pick up right where I left off. I’d like you all to get a sense of what living inside of my mind on a daily basis is like. I would like this to be a real experience for all of you, so that you are in fact educated. Maybe you don’t realize how much damage YOU are doing by calling someone crazy, or making fun of someone who is severely depressed. If this blog helps ONE person, whether through education or because they can relate, my job here is done.
Until then, for those of you suffering, please know that daily positive affirmations do in fact work, and you should start practicing them RIGHT NOW. A diagnosis does not define you unless you allow it to. What is your passion in life? Start focusing on THAT and remove any and all negativity from your life. You are here for a reason. There’s a plan in place for you. You just have to figure out what that is.
I have spent years being called every name in the book. For many of those years, I actually believed I was all of these horrible things (crazy, mad, lunatic, freak, etc,) until not so long ago. I met a new doctor who helped me determine that I am NONE of these things. I’m an individual (society isn’t comfortable with individuality) and I am unique, as I can promise you, you’ll never meet anyone like me. I don’t possess any super powers, although I was born with a gift. Occasionally I receive messages from people who have passed. I’ve learned that this is not something I can get rid of. I’ve tried to ignore it, and it worked for a long time. However, after all these years, it’s still right here. It just stays dormant until I decide to embrace it. So, I went out on a limb and passed along a few messages and if they weren’t all 100% accurate, I’d have to say maybe I am a little crazy. I have also been the brunt of several cruel jokes about mental illness. The sole purpose of this blog is to shed some light on mental illness and educate people. I’m not shy. I’m not shy at all. In fact, I’m a bit of a social butterfly…with social phobia. Awesome. Good one Universe. Good one. I have panic attacks everyday, depression when it feels like stopping by and hanging around for a while, PTSD, major anxiety, Bi-polar disorder, agoraphobia and the curse of being extremely naïve. Yup… I wear my heart on my sleeve and welcome everyone, until they cross me. In today’s day and age, it really should be the other way around, but what can I say? Maybe it’s my desperation for company. Maybe it’s because I’d like to think that there are still some good people in the world. I’m old enough to know better but young enough to care. Please… know that I’m determined to remain “single” until the day comes where I can acknowledge I fully know myself. Unless or until that day, I can’t be bothered trying to figure someone else out, or solve their problems. I apologize if that comes off as rude, but I have yet to meet a single person to date who doesn’t have ulterior motives. So, if you are at all interested in learning about mental illness, buckle your seatbelts. I can promise you it’s going to be one hell of a ride!