Misery without reason

Its been a while.

Perhaps the frequency of my writing and my mental health are directly linked.

I’m in the midst of the worst episode of depression and anxiety that I’ve had in a while; I’ve been trying to keep pushing through but its been difficult – I think it probably feels worse than it is because for the longest time ever in my adult life I have been luxuriating in a relatively stable mental state.

I got used to not having to deal with these crippling anxieties, the paranoia, the sleepless nights, the churning brain, the relentless misery, the illogical and debilitating emotions.

Perhaps that complacency is the issue.

To start with as I climbed my way out of the abyss, the bleak, dank darkness that is mental illness I was so careful to practice good management of my mental health – I gathered endless tools and strategies to cope with each situation and became a master of who I am and how I feel. I paid close attention to any slight wobble in the stability of my mind and made sure to correct it before it got out of hand – but perhaps the longer I have remained stable and as I have grown in confidence, moved forward in my career, relationships and developed a new sense of self – I have loosened the reigns on the fundamentals of me and how to cope with this hellish affliction that will never go away; forgotten the basic management techniques that keep me stable. I have neglected and ignored all that I have learnt. Perhaps it was inevitable that a crash was on its way.

It is frightening and frustrating to be fighting my way out of a hole again after all the work to do it so many times before – will there never be a time that I can forget that I’m not quite the same as everyone else?

Today at work a call went out to say that someone had been hit by a bus… they believe he was trying to commit suicide. I’ve been there – that mindset and absolute desperation was mine once which makes it all the more difficult to listen to what other people think of that person and what they’ve done.

That could have been me – I hope I never have to feel that way again…

This setback is all the more frustrating given that for the first time my life doesn’t feel like an utter disaster, I am good at my job, my kids are happy and healthy, I am in a healthy relationship, my family is well… for so many years circumstance has been as much an issue as health – its so much easier to find reason in pain if you are surrounded by it.

I’ll carry on fighting, because I must, because I need to, want to – because I’m needed, wanted…

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Cry

I have learnt that sometimes there is nothing else to do but cry.

I am so well, my new job (3 months in!) is going brilliantly – it felt like it came with a lot of pressure in the beginning but now that I feel as though I know what I’m doing there is really no stress involved; it does come with a lot of new responsibilities but I am taking each day at a time and coping better than I would have ever imagined possible.

I’m also working with mostly men – this would have been impossible for me a few years ago. I have had such issues around men and so I was often reduced to a simpering idiot when put in any situation with them. Yet, here I am thriving – I am proud of the confident and professional woman I have fought to become.

I also feel more accomplished as a parent. I certainly don’t get everything right but I don’t feel as though I am doing too bad a job – and at almost 14 and 11 I can see the wonderful people my children are blossoming into.

Mundane tasks are no longer mountains that I have to climb. I manage my self and my home with ease…

My mental health is very stable. My moods still swing but I have a very tight hold on them; I have learned so many management techniques that help me to cope when the big stuff inevitably happens… I still work hard every day to maintain my mental health – it will never be a natural thing, but it is less of a chore now. I am so incredibly proud of how far I’ve come.

I suppose there will never be any management techniques to stop me from feeling when the big and truly disastrous things happen. Maybe those raw, painful emotions are what make us human and sometimes you just have to cry until you can’t cry anymore.

There are such a lot of things not quite right with my world. Many things to think through and so many recent tragedies dropping at my feet. So I will let the tears fall for they water the flowers of tomorrow, but I’ll hold my head up high and keep searching for the sun…

New things!

Life has been moving and changing as it invariably always does. The most immensely sad things have happened and in equal measure the most beautiful and wonderful things have occurred.

To detail all of the pain or celebration of the past few months would be to spill the pain and joy of not just myself but also others; perhaps I have finally learnt that the world and all its misery does not revolve around me… So instead of deconstructing and analysing the swing of events, as I feel so compelled to do, I will simply say that I survived it all once again.

I changed my hours at work a few months ago, I felt ready for a new challenge and the monotony of what I was doing previously had me feeling dangerously close to destruction. My brain needed some stimuli and the Open University course that I am doing didn’t really feel like the right fit – though I am dedicated to finishing it.

When a position came up in work that meant I could take on some overtime I thought it would be ideal – I start early in the morning and can take on a later shift too. I thought it would be the perfect way to help me transition from part time to full time hours. I applied for it, had an interview and got the job. I was so proud of myself! I would never have had the confidence to even apply for something like this a few years ago let alone make it through the interview process.

Change is always stressful, management of my moods and the strategies I have developed rely on very little change happening – when I moved house almost two years ago it hit me hard and took me a really long time to re-balance my moods, my foundation and security had been taken away from me. Work is the same, it is familiar – the people mostly stay the same, the routine is the same, the building is the same… it is safe. I found moving my hours stressful but because the change was minimal, in that it was within the same building and with familiar people, I managed to balance myself fairly quickly.

It was not the wondrous thing I was hoping for though… I wanted to be challenged, I needed to feel as if I could progress but all I felt was a looming dead end. I was put in a small and isolated area of the store and once I had managed to tidy and organise it, there was nothing left to do. I am proud that I managed to run it so efficiently by myself but being isolated in a quiet area of a busy store is not healthy for me at all, my paranoia has blossomed in my time there and my social skills have declined.

This would usually be the perfect excuse for a downward spiral, a deep decline into woe brought on by the misery that, despite my best efforts, I have not managed to make anything better for myself.

I didn’t give in to the decline, this is quite a feat for me! As my moods started swinging a little more frequently and both paranoia and anxiety got bored of whispering and began to shout – I began to consider applying for something new and happened to see an ad for a job that seemed pretty perfect for me, I applied, I went through a dreaded and difficult group interview, I got the job and handed in my notice.

I start in just over a week and I am so excited about this new job, I really think it will be a challenge for me – it’ll engage my brain and hopefully boost my confidence. I’m proud of myself for grasping hold of this opportunity despite now also feeling utterly terrified of having to build a new foundation of security on which to build my management techniques and the inevitable swing of moods this massive change will bring.

I feel as though this is the start of great things for me, though I am sad to leave all that I have built and the people I have come to socialise with behind.

I didn’t give up when progression didn’t work the first time… perhaps I’m still learning after all.

The future of me…

Dare I look, must I see
What likely will become of me
I saw your trials, your tribulations
I heard your gloomy declarations
You stagnate, you fester, you weep, you pester
I wait, sequester, too late an investor
Now, the end
As bleak as the start
All you’ve left, a broken heart.

Cold soul

When there was nothing life was simple.

When there is nothing I am content.

Maybe I am not made for somethings.

Maybe I am not equipped for happiness.

I see you. I see the good, normal person that you are and I cannot fathom why all the wonderfulness doesn’t make me happy – I don’t know why all the things I’ve ever wanted are not things I relish receiving now.

Maybe I am broken. I thought I was such an emotional, expressive soul but entwined with you I am cold, I am lifeless, I am barren.

I don’t know how to be the other half of you. I want to revel in the abundance of love you give me and the wholesomeness of you, but how?

I want to show you the plethora of emotion and love bubbling under the surface of me, but how?

What now?

Deserving

Do you ever wonder, when joy comes your way, if you deserve it. If perhaps the fates got it wrong and that eventually, like an errant payment to a bank account, it’ll soon be rectified and you will return to the monotony or misery of yesterday.

I wonder.

I wonder if I am allowed to be happy and who gets to decide either way. I wonder if I am in control of my own happiness and if so, is that happiness ever actually real if I am the one to allow it to filter into my life.

I wonder what happiness is and if I’m doing it the right way. I wonder if wondering that is the antithesis of happiness in itself.

I question whether I am good enough and with each slip up, episode or swinging mood, I wonder why others would go to the effort of being anywhere near me.

I feel as though I am constantly passing and failing tests simultaneously. As I please one so I disappoint another.

I feel as though I am the hard task for others to uptake. I just show up and spend enjoyable time with them and they work hard to be with me, to tolerate the many facets of me, to cope with me… Do they dread another slip into the darkness as much as I do?

Do people ever get to the point in their lives where they have absolutely no insecurities? Is it possible to just be completely secure in your own being and not worry at all about the impact of your self on the lives of other people. What do I have to offer people? I have been empty, nothing but a vessel full of melancholy, for so long…

Happiness is seeping through the cracks in my emotional armour, unbidden and foreign to me. I don’t know what to do with the light that touches my soul but it warms me from the inside out and though I might question how deserving I am of it – I know I will hold on to it as long as it will have me. Security makes an attempt to follow but it will surely take time to penetrate my untrusting mind.

Is it time to admit that things are going well and stop looking for tragedy to strike?

Am I allowed to feel?

I find myself in new, unbidden territory; the world is awash with magic and I am sat in wonder inside the cyclone of emotion that is my mind. Just what am I allowed to feel?

I have never been here before. I have thought I was many a time but now the difference is stark and harsh.

The sweep of new emotion is so gargantuan that I would be remiss not to ponder the effect it will have on my mental health. I practice such careful management of my affliction that surely this newfound bliss will throw my stability out of the window? Am I allowed to feel this happy, is it ok to allow myself to be carried away in joy? Or in allowing this am I setting myself up for a deep swing into depression?

I find that I don’t care to know the answers to these questions. Logic tells me that these emotions, these feelings, are too full, too much, too wonderful for me to ever hope to cope with. Logic tells me that this is bordering on mania and that destruction and a fall will surely follow and yet this doesn’t feel like mania – this feels like a mutual meeting of destiny, is that the mania talking?

I am going to allow this wave of emotion, if I shut it down then perhaps I close the door on the future and what point is there in stability if I am too afraid to live? If only there were some way to look forward and see if it is worth the risk of shaking my slowly built foundation… but I feel, deep in my soul, that contentment lies at the feet of this choice and so I thrown caution to the wind and I live. I really live.

 

Live

Once there was a child

She sat upon a cloud

And pondered life’s rich questions

And sometimes asked aloud

Why must they cry, why must they weep

Why do the demons come as they sleep?

She asked it of the thunderstorm

Who growled his deep reply

That joy will shortly follow the darkness of the sky
As she watched she grew perplexed

For she did not understand

They found another to share their lives

And held tightly to their hand

From her perch upon the cloud

She deigned to ask again

Why do they choose to love just one, what makes this love I see. This girl is plain and ordinary. How is this love to be?

She asked it of the rainbow

Who wove magic in the sky

Love is born within the soul

Not for the eyes of you and I
High on her cloud the child remained

There for all her days

Upon the questions of our lives

She dwelt ’til she was pained

If only I could talk a while

And help her understand

What little hope there was for her

If she never touched the land

Expiration

What a travesty it would have been

If wishes had been granted

If you’d listened to my aching pleas

Before they were recanted

 

What torment to ponder

The times that I would miss

The smiles

The tears

The laughter

That moment when we’ll kiss

 

Perhaps I’ll wish again one day

I hope that when I do

I’ll turn to you and realise

I can take a different view

 

A walk to the unknown

I want to go walking

Through verdant fields of green

Across the sweetest meadow

Aside the rolling stream

Basking in the sunshine

Dancing in the rain

Smiling at the butterflies

Whose ideas were the same

 

Nothing really matters

As I wander here with you

Not stormy clouds and rainbows

Nor stunning skies of blue

 

Say you’ll walk beside me

and never let me go

Stumble through the flora

To a place we do not know