Who I am versus who I’d like to be

It has been said that everyone has anxiety.  That’s why I felt normal growing up.  I thought everyone felt the same way I did.  I just couldn’t understand how they maintained their composure, and I was constantly running to the bathroom.  So, as an adult, I now watch my friends go out, whether to dinner or the grocery store, without any hesitation.  I wonder what that feels like…  I see pictures posted on Facebook of groups of people going out, spending time together, either at someone’s house or out some place and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t envious.  I’d love to be a part of that group, but being an introvert with all these mental issues certainly isn’t helping the situation.  I’ve come to realize that I can only handle socialization in tiny bits.  That’s why I don’t normally invite people over.  How exactly do you invite someone to your house and then after a short while say “Okay…I’ve had enough.  You have to leave.”?  It’s so much easier to just be here alone.  So many people take their mental health for granted.  I can bet my life that if all of those people who have called me crazy had to last one day in my head, they wouldn’t make it past the first hour.  It’s not that I’m not comfortable in my own skin…I’m not comfortable in my head!  All the things I’m constantly saying to myself without realization.  The constant tornado ripping apart anything that even comes close to a normal thought.  I know…positive affirmations.  And I know they work.  But when you fuck everything up so much, it’s kind of hard to convince yourself that you’re a good person.  That you have any value; that you actually mean something to someone.

I have resorted to inspirational reading.  My head might not be in the right place most of the time, but I want my soul to be.  I can feel myself evolving because I’ve changed my perception.  However, changing your perception when you’re having a bipolar episode is extremely hard to do.  So, for today, I truly wonder what normal feels like.  To wake up and not secretly, desperately yearn for a Xanax the moment you open your eyes.  To hold a steady job where you aren’t constantly taking a break to get through a panic attack; to just get in your car and go somewhere without any hesitation.  I cannot look ahead on the calendar.  If I know I have an appointment coming up, whether for myself or my son, I’m on edge until the day arrives.  Once it’s over, I could sleep for a week.  So tell me…  What DOES it feel like to be normal?  To be able to do all of the above and then some without anxiety as your shadow?  Without the fear of just having to get away take over without any notice; without panicking about upcoming appointments…  What does it feel like to be normal?

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And… it starts.

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.

For those of you following…

I fully intend to pick up where I left off, but as those of you with mental illness(es) can relate, today was a very trying day for me.  Going back in time has proven to be extremely difficult, opening up old wounds.  I feel extremely vulnerable putting it all out there, and since doing so, have discovered a few things about myself that I didn’t previously know/realize.  Many thanks to BoldKevin for his continuous, daily support.  It is because of him that I’m going to start a 30 day mental illness awareness challenge, and maybe I’ll learn even more about me.  However, in the meantime, I need to take a break from all of this, as it has caused me to sink… deeper than I had anticipated.  I’ll stay in touch… just need to take a breather.

~Scarlet

The hell of Junior High #2

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,

~Crazy No More smile

awareness