Categories
Mental illness

Meet The Fear Family

I didn’t think I could do anything to advocate for mental health.

I have issues. 

There are days, and sometimes weeks that I can’t bring myself to walk outside. It takes a very strong motivator, like seeing my kids, or when it becomes vital for me to eat. You know, to stay alive.

The age of online shopping is heaven for a person with agoraphobia. Amazon, eBay, and my new favorite, the Walmart Grocery Pick-Up service, make life so much easier for me; I have a lot less anxiety as well. 

The first time I ordered my groceries online, I was so thrilled to be shopping for food and breathing normally at the same time. A short time later, I received an email informing me I could pick up my groceries. 

I told the app I was on my way, apparently they can watch your trip in real time through GPS. Once I arrived a message popped up asking which stall I was in. A couple minutes later a woman walked out to my car with my groceries, she even put them in my car for me, it was amazing. When I returned home, I informed my boyfriend I was never stepping foot inside a WalMart ever again. 

Agoraphobia is such a strange thing. It’s hard to describe the way it feels exactly but I’ll try.

There is a town in the brain called the Amygdala and this neuron called Mr. Fear and his wife Nonsensical Fear live there. When I should be afraid, Mr. Fear uses his neurotransmitter which is kinda like a loudspeaker, and tells all of the other neurons that I’m scared. Every now and then however, Nonsensical gets on the loudspeaker and says some crazy shit. All the neurons know it’s inaccurate information, but what Nonsensical does is plant a seed of doubt. So these happy, healthy neurons who were perfectly content, now think it’s possible that a huge crack will open up and swallow me whole if I open my front door. I don’t know. That’s the only way I know to describe it. 

Sometimes, if I am late to an event or late for plans with someone, it’s simply because I am struggling to leave my apartment. When my brain is functioning correctly, I am never late. I hate being late for something. If I’m having anxiety over leaving the house, plus anxiety over being late, I will usually end up cancelling whatever I had planned, cry for awhile, then just go to bed, hoping that will push some kind of reset button and I will wake up normal and happy. 

The times agoraphobia is really bad are when I’m depressed, which makes sense. Depression already makes me not want to do anything. Combine depression and agoraphobia and you might as well forget about me leaving my apartment. I would probably have starved to death by now if Postmates and Doordash didn’t exist. 

Hopefully after reading this, agoraphobia makes a little more sense, although you might be confused instead. There is so much about mental illness that doesn’t make sense and thanks to a loudmouth named Nonsensical, I’m as confusing as they come. Oh well. 

You can’t have everything. 

 

Categories
Mental illness

My Emotional Freedom


A short time before Keith and I got married, I had a severe depressive episode and attempted to kill myself. Keith saved my life and I was transported to the hospital where I stayed a week, then to the nuthouse for a week.

Not many people know about that incident. It’s a time of my life I wish I could forget. However, I can’t escape it because it’s still a very real part of my every day existence. I struggle with suicidal ideation more than I like to admit.

My husband’s death changed my outlook on suicide for a short time, although I had hoped it would be permanent. Understanding what it’s like for the love of your life to simply, “check out”, made me despise suicide, and eventually led to me feeling very angry with my dead husband. I felt abandoned and was utterly shattered. My husband was gone almost a year when I met my boyfriend and I thought I was doing ok. I had no clue what was coming.

For some reason, the beginning of year two without Keith triggered something in me and I have been practically bedridden ever since. That was in November.

It’s been 8 months and I have rarely left the confines of my bedroom. I feel like I am a slave to my emotions and cannot control them. I cry at the drop of a hat, then I can turn around and be as mean as a striped snake. That’s not me… I’m not mean, I’ve never been mean.

Today I was laying in bed feeling particularly sorry for myself when I had a thought. I am going to take back my emotional freedom. It’s mine to do with what I wish and I want freedom. I feel so silly because I have known all along that I have the power to create emotional harmony within myself but the epiphany had to bitch slap me because that’s how I like it. I like the rough stuff. I’m taking the power back damn it. I’m fucking this duck!

My poor, poor boyfriend. Why he loves me or even likes me is a mystery to me. He gets incredibly frustrated with me and I don’t blame him. If I’m alone with me for more than five minutes I’m wanting to pull the escape hatch myself but I can’t escape me.

He doesn’t really understand mental illness and although I’m trying to help him, I’m having a breakdown at the same time. So imagine me reading a well written article explaining how to train your Manic depressive, in a shirt, no pants, wild hair, possibly a hint of mustard on my lip and stopping every couple of minutes to ugly cry. It’s not pretty. He doesn’t run for the hills either. He really listens to me blabber on and tries to understand. He loves me and assures me all the time he is not going anywhere.

I need to get my emotional freedom back and realize my man is not leaving. He’s definitely not leaving the planet until the universe calls for him. I deserve happiness. I have to tell myself that over and over. I deserve happiness…

Categories
Mental illness

My Depression

I HATE DEPRESSION…
My mental illness is anything but quiet. In spending a short time with me you would start noticing strange things. The first thing you might notice is my inability to leave my room. My boyfriend has had friends over several times before I met them. And I was home. I often wonder how he explains this to people. He probably tells people he’s trapped in this crazy hellhole with me against his will and to please help him escape! He’s the “Paul Sheldon” and I’m the “Annie Wilkes” in this scenario. In fact, my boyfriend has the ability to piss me off to the point where I could probably break his legs to keep him from escaping if he catches me in the wrong mood. (Perhaps that should be struck from this post)
My symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder are at times so severe it’s terrifying for me. I can only imagine how horrible it can be for him or anyone else in my little world. The symptoms are usually the same when I am in the throes of this mental state.
Lethargy
No appetite, or I eat everything in site.
Cranky
Weepy
Panicky
Hopeless
Negative mindset
Memory loss
Ability to fly off the fucking handle (I’m sure this is my boyfriends favorite).
In short, I am a wonderful person to be around.

I’m a mess right now. My meds aren’t working (if I remember to take them), I have been avoiding my therapist along with the rest of my mental health team, my family and I aren’t really speaking right now, and my house is a disaster. I feel myself unraveling. It’s a horrible situation only worsening with every passing week.
The worst part of this episode right now is how incredibly overwhelmed I feel. This feeling only gets worse due to my inability to do anything. Things keep piling on. I go further into debt, my house gets messier, dirtier, and I avoid everyone, including my children. It gets to the point that it’s embarrassing to reach out because it’s been so long. I’m ashamed. The shame adds to my downward spiral and leads to the mother of all shitty feelings. GUILT… I feel like the worlds most awful mother. I should be able to pull myself up by my bootstraps and face my life. So why can’t I? How can I be aware of what I need to do yet be so powerless to do anything about it? If anyone figures this out, let a bitch know.
I really need to find a part-time job somewhere. This brings a whole new set of stress and anxiety. What if I simply cannot do it? The thought of failing at a little part-time job horrifies me. I’m not sure I can handle another failure. What I would love to do is write for pay! That seems unattainable since I basically journal my thoughts and feelings for the world. I’m not really writing anything of real substance. I’m so afraid to fail that I do nothing and that leaves me with my second most terrible feeling. Uselessness…
I have to get it together, and I know I will. Thank God I have the love and devotion of this man. I don’t know what I would do without him. So, to all of you suffering right now and wallowing in your own bullshit, know that you are not alone. We will get better and these feelings are temporary. Repeat that to yourself over, and over again. It will get better. It has to, right??