The Price of Sanity

I’ve made really not very pleasant discovery last week and that is what it costs to have long-term therapy.

I was seeing therapist for almost a year in my university town and it was great, it helped me a lot and the therapist was amazing. And it was covered by my insurance, which was also great help. Unfortunately, everything ends and so did my therapy, because in June I moved back to my home. So I went to see my psychiatrist here and asked for recommendation of new therapist, because the last one advised me to continue with the sessions. And I learned that I could get insurance payed one, but only short-term, which means about ten sessions and that’s it. If I want long term, I have to pay for it myself and it’s not small amount.

Personally, I think I could afford at least two sessions per month, that’s not the problem. I have the money, so I’m ok. But it got me thinking about the whole big picture. Imagine someone is having really bad depression and/or anxiety and it prevents them from having a regular job and supporting themselves. They are short of money and they are told that they get only ten sessions covered by insurance and if they want or need long-term therapy, they have to pay for it full. Which they can’t, because they can’t have a full-time job, so they don’t have the money to pay for the therapy that could help the get full-time job and get money and so on.

I guess other insurance companies might have better options, but honestly, I don’t believe it much. The one in my college town was probably only covered because it was in a support center for children and young adults. And I don’t know what is the solution, what is the way to get the help and support mentally ill people need. I just know it makes me sad and angry…

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I Guess I’m the Black Sheep

If you follow my posts even just a little bit, you can see a trail of one particular thing. I don’t feel very comfortable on family gatherings, more or boyfriend’s. They usually end up talking about everything that’s bad and it’s mentally exhausting for me and the anxiety I get from that isn’t really worth the effort of enduring it. Take today, for example.

My grandpa is turning 85 on Wednesday, so we went to visit him and grandma, congratulate him and spend some time with them. And my sister, father and mother managed to show their best ability, which is complaining. Especially my sister and my mother.

I asked my grandma for address of my aunt and cousin, because I want to send them wedding announcement, when we finish them. My grandma asked, if we’re going to send them soon, she was just curious. So my mother answered before me, that we’re surely wouldn’t be sending them so soon, because the wedding is in August. Yes, in August, when people plan vacations, and on Friday, workday that requires working people to take the day off for us. Logically, I want to let them soon, before most of them have the summer filled with various travels and won’t be able to come. But my mum was like I was nuts and went on how it’s so early and why do I want to send not the announcement to people I don’t expect to actually attend the wedding, why not send it later. Which totally makes sense, really… Bazinga, it doesn’t! There are so many things to do that I really don’t want to remember, who got the invitation in March and who should get it in summer or something. My mother finally shut up when I got pretty pissed and just said that I’m not going to complicate it by sending it in parts. Not that that was the end.

Somehow, they got to my mother’s favorite topic, which is how horrible our town is. I’m not gonna say it’s perfect, no place probably is, but she complains so often about this that I’m so fed up with it! And not only her, my dad is glad I have wedding in church, because he won’t have to have the mayor marry me. I don’t mind him saying this, except in the last several months, I’ve heard it so many times I’m really fed up with that too. My mum is expert in complaining, but she gets so pointlessly angry about this issue, that I just want to yell at her, that if she’s so angry with all this, that she should stop complaining and do something about it! She also always add how terrible our local post office is, that they’re incompetent and she has to wait there long time for the people to find her packages and so on. Surprisingly, I rarely have these problems, or perhaps I don’t notice them so much, but she’s angry about it every single time. I guess you really get what you expect, don’t you, mother?

Oh and the latest hit, the immigrant crisis in Europe, I can’t forget that! I’m sort of in the middle, I know there are people just trying to abuse the system, also perhaps terrorists and so on, but there are also people in real danger, running from war and ruined homes, who just want place to live and work in peace. But my sister and parents are so filled with media coverage of this issue, that they see terrorist on every corner. And they talk about it, a lot. Today, my sister tried to “convert” me with some stories her friend from England told her and when I wasn’t eager to join her, even dared to oppose he, she got more and more agitated, until I had to simply say that I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I have a feeling that they think the world is ending or something. Doesn’t help that today my sister read the “sensational” news about England perhaps leaving the European Union…

At that point, I was tired with them and upset, so I just told that I’m tired with them talking disasters and complaining and decided to change the topic. I mean, it was my grandpa’s celebration and they couldn’t just keep their mouths shut! They seemed hurt that I interrupted their litanies, but at least I stopped them. It’s “funny” that my mother sometimes complains that I don’t spend enough time with them, that I talk to them and so on, but honestly, spending time with them is exhausting. I can’t have normal conversation with them! Well, I can with my dad, when we’re alone, which is rarely, but with my sister or my mother? Yeah, sure… It’s like walking in a maze, where you don’t know what to say, where to turn, so you wouldn’t step on some hidden trap and set the complains in motions. So I pretty much stopped trying to walk the maze at all.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend’s family is very similar in this aspect, which is why I try to leave their gatherings as soon as possible. It’s sad, because I’ve always wanted to belong to my family and when that failed, I was desperate to fit in my boyfriend’s family, but I’m so tired of trying. I’m tired of feeling uncomfortable and anxious… My psychologist helped this a lot. We were working on my problem with the families a lot these past weeks, she was trying to tell me I can be myself, that I don’t have to desperately try to fit somewhere I simply cannot. She knows how my I’ve tried to suppress myself over the years, just to fit, just to be loved and good enough, but honestly, I have not energy left for trying. It also helped that when I discussed this is my facebook support group, I’ve realized how many people feel the same way I do. It’s hard, because my sister seems to fit just fine with my parents and my boyfriend’s family have pretty close bond, so for long long looooong time, I felt that there’s something wrong with me for not being able to fit in. I guess I’m ready to really be myself, I just hope it will last, because it hurts me so much to feel that I’m always standing out of every group, like I’m some dysfunctional human being.

Just Another Day With Anxiety

These two days have been pretty exhausting, especially today. Yesterday I got migraine, so I mostly slept, but today, I felt my anxiety reaching higher and higher, which is not much fun, to be honest.

My heart is racing, from morning until now, which has some really nice side effects. For example, I’m hungry all the time, because somehow my body feels I have really big energy output, I’m tired, because it feels like I’m running whole day, I have trouble breathing, for the same reason and I’m super restless whole day. I guess it’s adrenalin or something, but honestly, it’s exhausting. I have trouble concentrating on anything, because I feel that everything is too slow and it takes too much time. I have trouble talking, because I can’t catch my breath. Time moves slowly all day, nothing makes me happy, because I feel nervous and on edge all the time, nervous and restless.

Yeah, that’s one of the symptoms of my anxiety, although it’s not as painfull and swift as other versions, it’s equally exhausting, because everything takes much more energy. And all the conflicts and problems are harder to solve. My mum had one of her “I know everything better” moods today, I normally hate those, but today I just wanted to smash something. Then at the movie theatre, there were problems and my dad was getting nervous and angry and I felt bad, because it was my idea we go see new Star Wars together today… I tried taking pill to calm down, but it didn’t help much. It helps with big swift attacks, but I guess not with this kind.

So most of the day, I just felt restless, nervous, now I also feel physically sick and light-headed, I feel exhausted, yet not really tired, I know there are things I should and could do, yet I have trouble concentrating on those things or even remembering what are those things… What fun, really.

I’m on Facebook :-)

My goal for this blog is to be a place where people can learn about depression, anxiety and also a place, where I can clear my head and leave all the thoughts that spin in my head most of the time. I’m also aware that there are many more mental health issues and invisible illnesses that I can’t write about, because I don’t experience them, but I still want people to understand them too, as I am trying all the time. Which is where my Facebook page comes in. My blog posts are shared there automatically, but I also share there articles or pictures I find on other pages on Facebook that I think are good and educational. In the future, I would like to share there things from around the net, not only from other pages on Facebook, I just don’t have time for it yet, because most of my time and energy right now goes to finishing my studies in time. But in the future, I want my Facebook page to be a place, where you can find help and support with your problems and also a place to learn. And a place where I share my oh-so-important thoughts and things I do, obviously :-). So if you want, go like it and it might lead you to other pages that might interest you and give you some more insight into the complicated world that is mental health and invisible illness.

Sort of Confession

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.

2012-06-14-Unease

Putting Pieces of My Life Back Together

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.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Friendship Dies.

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.