Drips and Drabs

I’m not doing very well.
I know i committed to writing through the bad, but i’m not sure that’s a good idea at this point. I can devolve so quickly, like i think i am, now. I don’t think this helps anyone, except maybe me.
If you continue reading, be very clear that I live with serious, multiple diagnosis mental illness, and i’m not doing well right now. You may be triggered by the tone of my writing here. That can be good/helpful if you have a solid support system, but it can be problematic/downright dangerous if you don’t. You’re probably already juggling enough. Get some help before you go any further with this post. It’ll still be here when you’re better prepared.

I have a great support system. So while i’m in an awful emotional place right now, it’s safe for me to feel and think the way I am right now, because I have trustworthy people and protected spaces around me, at this very moment. They cover me, and offer acceptance and understanding.

This is all i can write for now. Just know that things could, and probably will, get rough. The last time i was this vulnerable, i shut down my blog and pretended like it never happened, that i hadn’t shown my soft underbelly to anyone who cared to pay attention.

I’ve been on a bender, and i’ve upset my son, and i’m stressing out my husband. I haven’t been able to cook for a week, and i’m fairly sure i smell bad. Today i made hamburger soup in my Instant Pot, and i’m going to ask my husband to help me shower off my booze and sweat stench, because the bathtub is the scariest place in my house. So today is a success. Maybe i can achieve just a little bit more tomorrow. I have a dear friend who is going to babysit me at her house with cheesy movies. Maybe i can even make supper again. Gotta love my pressure cooker.

I’m not going to be sharing details of what happened to me. It’s awful and private, and it’s not what i made this place for. I made it to share with you that you can overcome terrible things. To share how quirky and weird my brain is, and to share how hard it’s been for me to figure out how to be alive and functional while being a victim of long term, traumatic abuse that split my brain apart into fragments – but i did it, and i’m going to keep doing it. And if i can, maybe you can too.

I will try my hardest to write some more tomorrow. It ain’t gonna be anything spectacular, in fact it’s gonna be maudlin and histrionic and very, very young, because that’s how i feel right now. Very young and very small.
And a bit smelly.

Where Metaphors Collide

Something is happening to me in my life and i’m very afraid to talk about it. I am afraid because it will make it all more real. By sharing it here, with even the couple of readers that i have, i will be giving these new thoughts and feelings fertile soil in which to grow.

I think i’m changing direction. Somewhat subtly, because i’ve been headed in that general direction, but i’m being drawn more strongly towards something. I’ve been heading towards something like a true north, but i seem to be experiencing some declination. Oh, little magnet-me. I’m afraid. I’m afraid because this rubber-meets-the-road thing i’ve been giving so much blog time to, has tricked me. This concept that invited my brain to entertain it.

Hey there H’s Brain, nice to see you and won’t you come on in and have yourself a seat?
Have a hot cuppa and oh, i’ve made us some nice bikkies… I heard you have a weakness for homemade shortbread. I fear they don’t measure up to yours, you have a reputation, but won’t you try them anyway and tell me honestly what you think? We can talk about anything you wish… Dear, you look starved for conversation.

<insertherwarmsmileandwinkhere>

I am desperate for conversation. I’ve wanted for a good jaw for a long time. Miss RMR read me well and set me up perfectly. I talked. And i talked. I talked about what she meant to me, and i yakked about many other things, both various and sundry.
She listened raptly, the atmosphere was so welcoming and it invited me to take a load off. And take one off i did. In fact, i took off many. I pontificated about how glorious it was to be so functional, so present and in charge of not just myself, but my Peanut Gallery. I marveled at how well i was handling it all.
Oh, how i did go on.
Yes, the seas had gotten quite rough, hadn’t they? But i had held the deck with some sturdy legs had i not? Lookit me!
Oh i fairly crowed like the Top Castle himself.

<insertmyresignedsighhere>

Tricky wench.
She reeled me in like a big fat old fish that’s always been able to slip the hook before.
Before now, anyway.
Once i was done, done talking, done exhausting every last word out of my apparently full-to-bursting bag of wind, so through with words coming out of my face i must have resembled a closed bellows, she began to speak.

And now i fear i am caught. Reeled in. Flopping on the deck. Fallen out of the Crow’s Nest. I’m in her web and she is rolling me carefully up in her strong and sticky silk…

Yeah, sorry. I like metaphors. I promise i’m done for now.
I think if i make it poetic it will be easier. Prettier. Less terrifying.
We’ll see, i guess. I’ll let you know.

What i’m trying to say is that this concept i have of the rubber and the road has gotten bigger. I saw it as a representation of all the work i’d done to get myself well – to pull myself out of the swamp of anxiety and pity and despair and mourning and pain and rage that i’d been slogging around in and get on dry land. And further, i saw it as that point when a strong wind hits, threatening to blow me backwards, back into the filthy bog and its ever-present miasma.

(Oops. Metaphor again. Sorry.)

Anyway, i see now it wasn’t just about getting functional. I see now that “getting well” isn’t just about not acting crazy, and it’s not only about being functional. Learning to live a happy and productive life while living with this brain has suddenly become MORE than just those things. The definition has become bigger, and broader, and more detailed, and if you’ll pardon me for just a moment…

Holy motherfuckingfucketyfuck.

I’ve been feeling this way for a while. Feeling like what i’ve accomplished is not enough, or rather, no longer enough. It’s no longer enough that i haven’t been committed in over 2yrs, and it’s no longer sufficient that my house and my body are clean, and it’s not enough that my children forgive me for my past transgressions and neglect and lack of presentness in their lives.
It’s not enough.
Wellness is now requiring MORE. And not just MORE, Wellness has made it clear through her spokesperson, Miss RMR, that if i do not do MORE, i risk losing what i now possess.
(Yeah, metaphor. Sue me. Iamwhatiam. Heh.)

I will spare you more cursing, just consider it implicit.

I am afraid i will fail. Utterly and spectacularly. I am terrified that i won’t be able to produce any greater or more impressive accomplishments than those which i have already achieved.

I am sososo very scared that i will be consumed by fear and laziness.
I am sick at the thought that i am doomed to be my mother’s daughter.

More on this later, but for now, i wish everyone

Love and Peace,
Always,
~H~

Talk, and the World Talks With You

Listen, and you’ll no longer be alone.

As you may have noticed, i’m quite focused on speaking. I wanna know what i’m saying, why i’m saying it, and is it appropriate for the time, place, and audience. We’ve all seen the terrible damage that words can do – both to us, and by us. I could go on about wars and suicides and divorces and such… But you know.

Well i’m tired of it.

I can only change myself, and so this is what i’m about these days. I want to be responsible for what comes out of my mouth. I’ve been going about it in much the way i’ve done with everything else that i’ve had success with changing and improving. I take small, slow, steady steps forward. I keep it as simple as possible. I tweak it to maintain balance, especially when it comes to my thinking – so, no obsessing, but no ignoring, either.

I’ve been paring down the amount i speak. It starts with asking myself whether or not what i’m saying really needs to be said. If it does, then does it have to be me? For a small step, it’s proven to be the harshest editor. I’ve been shocked at how often the answer is “No”. My opinion on everything isn’t often required. Like, OFTEN. There are those times when it clearly doesn’t need to be said, but i wanna say it anyway. My desire to express myself and be known is definitely one of the criteria i use for whether or not to speak. I’m not getting super deep about it all.

My reasons for talking less are myriad:

  1. Speaking less makes it easier to hear the constant chatter going on inside my head. Knowing what i’m telling myself is an extremely important part of managing my mental illness.
  2. I think there’s a lot of talk pollution out there, and i don’t want to add to the near constant noise. Everyone deserves to be heard, yes. About everything all the time? Maybe not. I think some things that are both worth saying and hearing are being lost in the unending drone.
  3. Employing an economy of words can give them more weight, and hey, i definitely want to be heard. I know how i react when someone pours out a constant stream of words. (Nod, smile, and repeat until you get asked a question, and then freak out and try to fake answer and not get caught for completely tuning them out.) While i do think there’s a place for pointless, meandering, unremarkable conversation, i’m striving for more meaning. I’m getting older and have far less time to waste, as is the way of things.
  4. A lot of talk can wind me up. In conversation, it triggers all sorts of behaviours and concerns. I want to be liked and accepted and understood, so that can set my mind to racing over what to say and how to say it, which can often distance me from the people i’m trying to engage. It’s like sometimes i’m above myself, trying to be my own puppeteer. That is stressful.
  5. Over the last few years i’ve talked a lot a lot a lot. I had a lot of things that needed me to say them. I’m tired now, and so’s my husband.
  6. Talking less is an integral part of moving away from the wreckage of my past and embracing the here and now. It leaves me free to listen, which draws me away from that black hole inside me, that broken place that is only need, and unconsciously devours any and all that gets too close. When i’m listening, i’m open and turned outward; i can be a friend and a helper and really participate in the living going on around me.

Without getting too philosophical, i think we’re drowning in a sea of audio feedback. So many are talking and so few are listening. I was given the incredible, life-saving gift of a dedicated listener. He’s the #1 reason i can now be silent on the outside, and enjoy a modicum of peace on the inside. I think it’s now an important part of my continued improvement to share the gift with other people. We all want to be heard, even if all someone has to say is, “I’d like to be left alone, please.” Some people need to spout a lot of verbal diarrhoea before they’re able to get to the weighty words that they’ve been longing to say, and some have never said much about anything because they’ve never had an opportunity.

Well, i’m ready to listen. It’s your turn now. Speak. Speak until i hear you.