Don’t ask me how I am…

Don’t ask me how I am…

*A note about this piece: This is a rant. It is not a call for help or anything else terrifying. It’s simply a free write that I found very helpful at the time to write, and it is in no way meant to be directed at anyone in particular. It’s more of a “From the inner workings of my mind” piece. It was helpful to write, and I hope it is helpful to read, if only for the comfort that someone else is going through this too.*

Don’t ask me how I am…

Don’t ask me how I am,

Because you don’t want to know.

You want to hear “I’m great,” or “I’m doing well” or “It’s hard, but I’m adjusting,” or “I’m fine.”

But I’m not great, I’m not doing well, I’m not adjusting, and I’m not fine.

I’m barely surviving, living in this hell hole of heat, and allergies, and my own heartbreak.

I’m clinging to everything around me because if I let one part go, it might all fall to ruin.

I look great on the outside, my home looks so put together, and I’m the “Perfect Wife” because to be anything less than great, or organized or perfect feels like failing. It make you pity me, and I don’t WANT your pity.

I don’t text back, or call, or see you when I visit because it hurts too much to let that feeling in. That feeling where I matter to someone and they matter to me. IT HURTS!

Everytime my phone beeps or rings, it’s a reminder that I’m far far away, that I can’t get back to you now, and you can’t get to me, and I’m ALONE.

Homesickness is a parasite that holds to my heart against all of my attempts to remove it. It’s a crippling, destructive and painful reminder that althought this place is beautiful, and these people are kind, this isn’t my place and they aren’t my people.

It feels like they will NEVER be my people.

I go out to try to distract my heart from the leeching and sucking of the homesickness that winds its way through every fiber of my being, but the mall is like MY mall, and the stores are like MY stores, and every time I try something on I’m reminded that I have no one to show it to. No one here wants to tell me if this pink sweater makes me look like piglet.

You tell me “Just make some friends, then you’ll be happier!”

Right, because when I’m looking for a friend I look for the quietest, most sullen and depressed looking creature in the room and go “There! That’s the one to be friends with!” Yea… No.

No one needs that. No one wants to bring this into their lives right now.

So don’t ask me how I’m doing, because you REALLY don’t want to know. Don’t ask me how I’m doing because “Great” and “fine” and “I’m adjusting” are just concealer to hide what’s actually happening underneath..

I’m Drowning.

ocean

 

The Dark Side; They don’t have cookies!

So this is what this blog is really about. If I only posted about the good days, or about the things that work for me, and never showed you what actually happens for me, then what good would this blog do?  I want you to know that even though it looks like it, I don’t have it all together, and I do have weaknesses, major ones.

Yesterday and today have been what I just loosely term as “Rough Days.” I’m under a ton of stress lately, with moving, my dance company’s tour, planning bridal showers, bachelorette parties, Spring Recital for Dance, and making sure I get to see everyone I want to see before I move, and I have a hard time admitting that all of that would be difficult for someone without anxiety. I spend a lot of time telling people “I can do everything a ‘Normal’ person can, I just have to do it in a different way,” but I often forget that sometimes a different way means a more difficult way too.

So what does it mean when  say “Rough Days?” For most people, a rough day means that they had something happen that upset them, or that was difficult, and so it was a harder day than a normal day, when things go pretty much the way they want them to. For me, that is a definition of a good day. Many people forget that for me, and for many people like me, anxiety doesn’t just happen on “Rough Days.” Anxiety is a battle I fight every single day, from the moment I wake up until I (hopefully) fall asleep. My “Rough Days” are the day when anxiety wins. They are the days when I lose control of my emotions, and when I lose control of myself. Everyday is exhausting, but “Rough Days” are even more so, because even when my anxiety wins, the battle isn’t over.

When I admit to myself that anxiety has won that day, a whole new struggle begins. The voice in my head that says that I’m not good enough, that I’ve failed, and that I am not worth the effort. It’s the voice that says I’m a bad wife, a bad daughter, and that I don’t deserve to be happy, all because anxiety won today. It’s when I feel hopeless, and when it hits me hard that this is forever. I will fight this battle every day, for the rest of my life, and sometimes I will lose. Sometimes it will be more than I can bear, and it won’t matter what techniques I try, it will win.

Yesterday, I had to say goodbye-for-now to a very close friend, who’s like my brother. And I know that since I am moving to Tennessee, and he is stationed in San Francisco, that we won’t see each other for a pretty long time. After hugging him goodbye, and watching him drive away, I was suddenly hit with immense anxiety, anger, and sadness. With anxiety, big emotions often become even bigger. My anger at having to move far away was escalated, and my sadness about leaving such wonderful friends and family here in Oregon was overwhelming. The tears began, and with them came shaking, ragged breathing, dizziness and all my other usual symptoms. My normal coping mechanisms were powerless against this new wave of anxiety, and it took me for quite the ride. Drew was luckily there to be a presence in the room, but rarely is anyone able to help much when I am this deep in the dark. I cried for what seemed like hours, alternating between curling up on the bed and trying to go through my nightly routine. Finally I was able to calm myself enough to call my mom, who was able to talk me the rest of the way down. (Bless her heart, she’s a genius, and I don’t know how she does it.) This morning, the anxiety is still elevated. I can feel it just behind my ribcage, waiting for me to have a weak moment so it can squeeze it’s way back in. Luckily Zipper, (my emotional support dog) is here, and is keeping very close tabs on me. Today will be hard, but it will get better as it goes, and as I recover from last night.

I’m not here to tell people that it’s all sunshine and rainbows with anxiety, because it’s not. Sometimes it really sucks. Sometimes you think that it’s not worth it. But this is the just the Dark Side of anxiety, and while it is sometimes hard to see the good in it, I will survive, and I will keep fighting. You, readers, are a big part of why I will keep on fighting. I want you to know that I’m a real human, and that this is something you CAN live with. All mental illness is a little bit different, but keep fighting, because life is worth living. This morning God gave me a ray of sunshine through my window to wake up to, and I had a little chocolate with breakfast. Today will be about self care and success, and I will keep going. Thank you for going on this journey with me, I appreciate it more than you know.

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Zipper crawls in my lap as a distraction

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Another way he helps is by asking to be walked or to play