Those who know me longer know I drink quite a lot, I know they joke about it, often in front of me. I try to laugh it off, but yeah, they’re right. It’s just that sometimes it’s the only thing that numbs the pain or anxiety. And then there are entire weeks when I pretty much don’t drink at all and I don’t even feel the need to. And then there are days between, when I do pretty ok, yet I still feel like I need some safety blanket, because I can never know when things get bad again and I can’t sleep and I feel like I’ll jump out of my skin and it’s overwhelming. And there is a choice how to cope, I hurt myself or I drink. Or I take a pill to calm down, pill that can very easily be addictive. Not much of a good choices, I know, especially when alcohol can give me one hell of a migraine.
I guess these days I mostly live in a denial, I refuse to look to future, I refuse to talk about it, refuse to think about it. I do talk, when asked, otherwise… I don’t, I can’t, because when I can’t stop and my heads starts spinning from fear.
I have to finish my diploma thesis in two months, I haven’t written much so far, because I was working all summer and didn’t have time. I’m so stressed that I have problems concentrating, I have anxiety attacks pretty much every day and the rest of the time I’m depressed, tired, feeling like it doesn’t matter anyway and remembering everyday chores and responsibilities is getting more and more difficult. I would sleep pretty much all the time, which doesn’t help either. All the time I think I need to work, faster and faster, to finish it in time and it scares me even more. Several times this last week I felt very close to breakdown, like I can’t take the pressure anymore, I don’t care what happens and I just want to sleep and let the rest of the world be. And I worry it will get worse, last time I was finishing school I was cutting severely, I was absolutelly down and I have no idea how I actually managed to do it, because I was in a mist, exhausted, empty, just going through the motion hoping I would make it somehow. Now the pressure is here again, hightened by the fact that I pay for every semester quite a lot of money now. Well, my parents do, which is why the pressure is even worse, I can’t disappoint them and I can’t make them pay one more semester because I’m not able to finish in time.
After finishing the school I have to move back to my home-town… I haven’t lived there for five years, it’s much smaller city than the one I live in now, I don’t have many friends there, not many job opportunities for me… Me and my boyfriend decided to move back there, because it was the practical decision. Well, for me anyway. We can live in the flat his parents own, which would mean saving money on the rent, our families are there to help and all, but I’m still not sure I want it. Or to be precise, I do want it and I don’t. Moving back after several years to smaller town scares me. I like the city, but I also like the one where I’m now. I like that in the big city I have lived for several years, everything is near. And opened till late hours, plenty of shops to choose from when I need something. And my friends are here, or at least most of the ones I have left now. My home-town is… quiet in comparison. And I’m so used to the current place that moving back is scary, everything will change, my life, I won’t be a student, I will be an adult and I’m not sure I know how to be an adult. From what I see, it means lot of stress, unhappiness, exhaustion, worries and not much of anything else. And just thinking about it I feel the rush of anxiety coming in… It doesn’t help much that at some point I’ll have to tell my parents that I won’t live with them before me and my boyfriend move in together. I just can’t, I love them, but I seriously can’t imagine living back at home for several months before he finishes his studies, even few days can be too much sometimes. And also… at times I feel like I wasn’t given a chance to really decide where I want to live, moving back was practical and smart and important for my partner, so I just went with it. And I know it’s good and I’ll probably like it, but at times I feel that my life is not in my hands, that I live in cage where I have to do what’s right, what’s expected of me, what’s appropriate without any room for me to do what I want. And I guess most of my dislike for moving back comes from this feeling, it was the right thing, the smart thing, the thing that everyone expected us to do, the thing I knew my partner wanted and I couldn’t face the pressure I felt.
And I’m getting married next summer, we need to plan it and I’m terrified I’ll somehow screw it up. I’ll be too anxious, too depressed, as fat as I am and looking terrible and disgusting in my dress, my family will have an argument… Or my mum will talk too much to the preparations that I will just give up arguing with her and she’ll make me feel terrible and selfish… She has already said that she should have a voice in any decisions, sice they’ll pay for it. And that If I invited her brother, she wouldn’t come. And she is master of making me feel guilty and ungrateful, although to be fair, my oversized sense of guilt helps her a lot.
And job… what if I don’t find any or am not able to stay in it. So far I got depressed and crushed in any job I’ve had. According to my parents, I’m too demanding, because I actually want a job that gives me some meaning, because I want to be happy and satisfied with what I do. I can work for myself, but that takes time and I don’t want my partner to take care of me while I’m finding myself or something. I don’t want to be his burden.
And then children… pills and pregnancy? Nothing better than withdrawal, depressions together with general hormonal storm of expecting a baby.
And what if we won’t have money, what if we screw up our relationship, what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what ifwhat if what if what if what if what if what if what if what if whatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhat ifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatif………
And just like that my head starts spinning, the fears I keep at bay most of the time just come from everywhere, screaming, making me want to curl up, hide or just disappear, because what is the point of stressful unhappy life. And doesn’t matter that it’s ridiculous and unrealistic and overreacting, that only makes me feel worse, like I’m just a weak coward that cannot just live life like everybody else, because other people are obviousy able to live without problems… The worst part it keeping the fears at bay, ignoring them, because once I let them in, I break. And I can’t afford that, I need to keep going, keep moving, because I have to finish my thesis in time and…here we go again, it’s like a hamster in a wheel…
I had a very strange experience today. I went to visit my grandmother, nothing special about that, it’s usually a not very interesting hour or two of talk about everything and nothing. Especially since my mother stopped talking to her parents and I got the feeling they actually don’t know how to approach me. Well, this afternoon was different and very different and it changed my life a lot, to be honest. I think, that I’m finally putting pieces of my life back together.
For some background here, several years ago, my grandparents decided to give their cottage to their son. They just told that to my mum and expected her to accept it without any problems. My mum didn’t accept it, she was hurt, because she felt it as another thing in a long line of neglect. She felt that she was robbed of her second home and that her brother was the preffered one, something she had felt her whole life. And my uncle had some problems of his own at the time…he still has. So they argued, very badly, and she cut her family out, pretty much completely. It was a time my heart, my soul and my life shattered into pieces so small I thought I would never be able to put them back together. I thought my family was loving and close, but suddenly it wasn’t so and my life changed, a lot. I no longer believed in happy families and I didn’t know what to do. I crashed the floor harder than I ever thought possible. My mum told me some things about her childhood and teenage years that explained a lot about her having difficulty expressing feelings for me and my sister and whole lot of stuff. I wanted to ask my grandparents for years, how they felt and feel. Don’t they mind that we aren’t a family anymore? But I was terrified and didn’t know how to start such a conversation. Today, I got the answer. It wasn’t easy and it was painful, but it opened new door for me.
I came to my grandmother and we talked as usual. My life, my future plans, my new tattoo and everything was as usual until my college fee came across and I mentioned I have a bit of reduction for health reasons and she asked what health reasons. So I decided not to pretend anymore and just told her about my problems, about my depression and anxiety. She told me some stuff my mother told me, that all people have problems and so on, but she was also more understanding. She said that probably nobody really understands if they don’t have the experience, which is more than my mum ever said. And then she started talking, a lot, about my mum and their problems. She gave me the point of view I needed so much. I won’t go in many details, because it was personal, but I understood, I felt, how hurt she was. She and my grandfather were trying to do the right thing as they saw it and my mum just cut them off. I feel bitter… I understand both of them, both their sides, I know they are both hurt and yet I cannot do anything. I cannot tell one or the other to talk to the other side. They are grown-ups…but it hurts to think that my grandmother might die and never feel that her daughter loves her. And I think she does, that’s why she’s always so mean… And I wonder, why life has to be so complicated… I wish to fix this, but I can’t, I can’t tell them to just talk to each other, when both feel they did nothing wrong.
I also told my grandmother, how I felt about it, that it hurt me how things fell apart. That we were happy family and suddenly we weren’t. That I was confused and that it still hurts. That I’m afraid of my own wedding, because I’m worried that they’ll argue there. That it hurts that I can’t invite all my family, because my mum would literally kill me, if I invited my uncle and aunt. Or she would refuse to go. She said so when she thought I’m thinking about it. Well, not the killing part, but she was pretty shocked… I’m the last one to defend my mum, because I know how difficult she can be. I know she has hard time admitting her mistakes and she remebers every single bad thing someone told her or done to her. However, I do get her, I get her point of view as much as I get my grandma. Her daughter just cut her off, she doesn’t call and doesn’t care, she’s acting like she’s not interested, and all for some piece of property. My mum sees it differently, but again, I don’t want to put myself in the middle of this.
Weird thing is, I talked about the real reasons I quitted my job last week and about the real things I want to do with my life. I was open about how her I about what I felt and I wasn’t judged… My grandmother listened to me and even acted like she understood! Did she really? I don’t know, but she was at least trying to be supportive, she listened to my fears about my future, my problems, I told her honestly why I have problems connecting with my sister and for the first in looooong time, someone from my family actually listened. Really listened. Perhaps not agreed and I didn’t agree with everything she said, but she did listen! And I realised one thing, not only is my mum very much like her mother, even though she don’t want to admit it, but I’m very much like my grandmother. And this day, maybe, was a beginning. The day we both might be able to put our lives back together. I feel so, not as the child I used to be, but as an adult woman. It hurts to let go of past illusions, but it feel lifting to get this new relationship. I decided today to try and give this a chance. Call my grandmother more often, talk to her when she’s back in town and just try. It’s worth the effort, if I can put my life back together. It won’t ever be the same. I will always feel hurt at my boyfriend’s family parties, where they are all happy and together, but I have chance. A chance to have someone in my family, who gets me or at least tries to. And who supports me openly, with all her heart. Because that’s what my grandmother told me, that she loves and that she will support me if I ever need anything.
I hope I shed some light into her life today and that we gave each other hope that at least the two of us together can have a realtionship. I still feel confused about my feelings and not sure what to think, but at least there’s hope. A hope I might be able to put myself and my life back together.
Today I’ve found out a great new project for raising awareness about mental disorders. It is not written in this picture, but the original post also said that this is a new project, which is why there are not all disorders. So if you have something that does not have any color yet, you can just create your own and photograph it.
You can choose one heart that describes you most right now or you can draw all the hearts that you feel describe your experience, it’s totally up to you. I decided to include all hearts that describe my history with mental disorder. The black liner is not to highlight my suicidal history, I just wanted to make the hearts more visible.
If you want to, join me and other in this project, draw heart or hearts, add the hashtag and don’t hide behind the stigma anymore!
Will it always be like this? I stop seeing someone and somehow any feelings we had for each other just vanish into the air? I’m not sure how many times I can survive this, I feel shredded inside. I always just wanted to belong, to be loved and accepted, but for some reason, every time I thought I had it, I woke up to realize that it was just a dream.
It’s not that I don’t have friends, I have, it’s just… I always wished for a group of people to go out, have fun, spend time and just be a part of something. I kind of lost my best friend, because our ways separated. K., I know you will probably read this and I just want to say that I don’t blame you, even if it sounds like it. It doesn’t mean that I don’t miss our talks and laughs about anything and everything, talking about boys, life, problems, supporting each other. I miss it, terribly, and the gap between now is painful. But I don’t blame you or me, I guess that’s just life works… You grow up and lose things dear to you. Or may be I should have tried harder to keep in touch.
I remember I had a group of friends at high school, we went to movies, had parties, but it didn’t work out in the end. Problems emerged, my depressions got worse at the time and they ended up psychologically bullying me. Later, they blamed me, because I was depressed and for that obviously not deserving to be believed. Yeah, my so called friends told my parents about suicidal thoughts I had had year before and used it against me, that it was actually my own fault, the way they behaved, and also that I shouldn’t be believed, because I’m not normal. I guess that’s when I stopped trusting other people, it took me months to persuade my mum that I’m ok. It wasn’t truth, but seeing her so shocked and hurt, I just couldn’t tell her. Unfortunatelly this also prevented me from telling them the truth sooner then last year, I was afraid to hurt them again. And I learned an important lesson about people. When you open up, you get stabbed in the back. Funny that I was good enough for those people to help them with their problems, but when I needed help, they kicked me out of the group. I sometimes wonder, what would happen, if they supported and helped me instead. How different I would be…
I thought university would be different, because that’s were you form your friendships for life, right? Well, yes and no. I made new friendships, but most of them ended, when we graduated. I got together with some classmates pretty early the first year at university and it was great. We went to pubs, talked about school and everything, I thought that this was it, these people were the ones, my group to belong to. It worked pretty great, I guess. Although before graduation, I sometimes felt like a third wheel again, but I thought that I was just stressed out and imagining things. But after getting our bachelor’s degree, they mostly continued in the same program for master’s, but I went to study something else. I’m still in the same town, at the same school and faculty, but since then, they never invited me anywhere. And I know they do things, because I still have them on facebook and I see the photos. Do I blame them? I guess not. Does it hurt anyway? Yes, it does, a lot.
Is this how world works? You stop spending almost every day with someone and the relationship just fades away? Or is it my fault? Am I this weird person, that nobody wants to be around? It cannot be that we just forget people we used to care about, right? It must be my fault, somehow. Otherwise, it seems cruel and lonely to live like this. And don’t worry, I’m not suicidal when I say this, just mentally exhausted, hurt, lonely, lost and… I just cannot understand this. I just want to belong somewhere, to know there are people who care, not feel like I could just leave and barely anybody would notice. Do I just pick wrong people? Or do they somehow feel that I’m different and they just remove me without even thinking about it? Will I always feel this way? Will it always hurt this much or will I grow cold and get used to this? Am I the only one who feels like this? I’m exhausted, confused and abandoned. I guess I wish just too much when I want to belong somewhere, although I thought that it was a simple wish.
I am at home after almost two months and let’s just say that it is demanding. Not that my family is to be blamed for that, really. I was having anxiety problems since Thursday and no way to deal with it in healthy way, like crying or trying to solve the problems that trigger me. I was at work on Thursday, eleven hours dealing with customers in bookshop, no privacy, just smiles and helpful welcoming attitude. And it got worse yesterday, I faced some mistakes I made, in various areas, I got depressed and anxious, but couldnt deal with it, because I came home and my mum wanted to see me and talk to me…
Don’t get me wrong, my mum has been great these days. She huggs me, makes me feel welcome and loved, she was interested in the wedding rings I liked, my work, how I feel, if I’m ok or my problems got worse… Really, she has been loving so much that I’m almost ashamed for feeling this way. I don’t know what triggered me, I guess many things just appeared, but I just feel ready to explode, full of fear that I’m trying to keep at bay. It didn’t help that one of my facebook friends tried to explain to me, that we are in the third world war and Europe is just blind to see it and that there are some prophecies about doom or what… That was the last thing I need it to get over the line, because after that I needed to medicate myself to gain control again. I still feel afraid and anxious, but at least it’s not so overwhelming.
I need to write a short paper to school and note down some points for my diploma thesis, so that my supervisor can go through it and decide if I can continue in that direction. Because I work almost full time and I still need to finish my studies in autumn, which does not scare me at all, really, absolutely not, why would you think I’m terrified of that…
So that’s my vent for today, I hope it will easy some of the tension in me. I have some other things I want to write about, but I lack energy and ability to concentrate. I thought I would do so much work today, but I guess not.
Today I’m going to share two videos made by a youtuber Marinashutup, where she talks about her experience with depression. I agree almost completely with her and I will comment more down after the videos.
The first video is true in the sense that after starting taking antidepressants, you can experience a lot of energy and positive feelings, because your brain is on fire, metaphorically speaking. I know this, because I experienced it too, after taking the pills several weeks, I felt like I was bathing in sunshine and positive feelings every single second. It was great, but it didn’t last forever. Back then my psychiatrist told me that this is normal experience, way to kill my buzz… It is kind of naive, but I like the numbers she mentions, about the number of people affected and treated. It’s scary and sad.
I agree a lot with Marina with what she says in the second video. It is hard to admit to yourself, that you’re not ok. Getting diagnosed and treated is not easy, there is a lot of stigma. I mentioned in my previous post that I waited too long because I was afraid of the label “mentally ill”. And also, because I read about this, of course, but I had never thought it could happen to me. What she calls a relapse in the video, it’s what I call a roller-coaster in my blog. I go up and I go down and it can be really exhausting. In my case, the relapse can take from several hours to several days or weeks. Usually I can spot it, I get too tired, too emotional, too restless and anxious, sad and feel really bad… Really, after years with this disorder, I usually get the message. I can even spot it in my blog, the very bad and sad posts I put here, those are the moments when I relapse. It’s not permanent, I get back eventually, but it is exhausting.
I also like that she stresses the problem of disbelieve. Mental problems tend to be dismissed, especially in teenagers. I wrote a post, which you can find here, when I was really sad and emotional after reading a discussion on a page dealing with mental disorders. I admit, when I read about people dealing with similar issues, I get teary a lot. It hurts me that so many people go through this, nobody deserves this! And saying to them they just made it up? That’s the worst, don’t do that. Somehow, some people think I need to flaunt my disorder to feel special, yeah… It feels really special to know my brain is not working as it should, I feel like a totally special person.
I think Marina makes good points and I admire her courage to share her experience.