I’m struggling…

I’ve been teetering on the edge of that deep dark pit. I’ve felt it for weeks. My anxiety has been at an all time high. I’ve been struggling to not fall in. It is taking everything I have to just get by. I am going through the motions on auto-pilot. It’s a constant cycle. Just when things seem to shine with light I’m hit with that darkness.

Reading about another high profile suicide hasn’t helped. I am heartbroken. Again, it hits way too close to home.

I’m not actively suicidal at the moment, but I’ve been there. I’ve fought with those thoughts and feelings. I’ve faced those demons. I’ve struggled with the desire to just have the pain end. To be able to finally find some peace.

It’s still hard to shake that feeling of loneliness. That’s what depression does. It lies to you. It tells you that you are alone even when you are surrounded. It tells you that you don’t deserve the people who care about you. Or that the people you care about would be better off without you.

Yet, here I am, wearing my all too familiar mask. Playing out the act I perfected as a child. The one that tells the world I am ok. The one that tells the world I have it all together. The fake smile, the fake laughs, the fake happiness.

This part of the cycle is always hard. I am lucky to have a fairly good support system at home. He helps me through the struggle. He pushes me to keep fighting every time. He forces me to keep my balance on this edge without letting me fall too far in.

I will be ok again. I will continue to fight my demons as long as I can.

We need to be more open about mental illness. Not be afraid of our struggles. It’s okay to not be okay.

If you are struggling, please, open up. Ask for help. Talk to someone. Talk to me.

This is a safe place.

“Dare to reach out your hand into darkness, to pull another hand into light.” – Norman B. Rice

Schools out for Summer…

Well, technically they have a couple days but I rarely send them the last week so we are done. Finished. Finite!

Summer is always stressful for me because we are all together in close quarters. The kids tend to not listen. They fight with each other. They make messes they don’t pick up. It’s all a lot to deal with.

As I’ve said before I don’t handle stress very well, and all of them home all day stressing each other out stresses me out.

Yesterday was our first day of Summer and it went pretty well at first,  but by the end of the day we were all maxed out. They weren’t listening, I had to yell to get them to do anything. It was a little rough.

There isn’t much to do in our area, as for family activities. We have a few small splash pads and parks but they aren’t very big and after a while it gets boring. I guess since they are finally older we may have to start going to the bigger cities around us to find some entertainment.

Anyway, we are ready to take Summer head on. I know I will stress a lot having them all home, as I always do, but hopefully this one goes better than usual. I’ve been doing pretty well and having more better days. The husband is back on his regular schedule so he will be around more, too. That helps as he is surprisingly good emotional support.

I want to have as many good days as possible. I want my little Turkeys to remember a happy mom. I want their memories to good ones.

I know it has been quiet lately

I’ve been busy. Distracted. Happy.

Well as happy as I can be. I’m still not quite sure what happy truly is. Sure, I’ve had fleeting moments of happiness or something resembling it. It never stays though.

It has been a busy couple of months. We finished out our first year of dance and full year of tumbling. We had our first dance recital and gym show. The last week of that was hectic but worth it. The kids did fantastic and it was great to see all their hard work pay off.

We have all been sick off an on for the last month also. So that’s kept us busy trying to get everyone healthy again. These allergies really kick our butts.

I’ve been in planning mode for the littlest turkey’s birthday party. I truly enjoy planning these parties so it’s always a nice distraction.

So the hustle and bustle of the last month or so has had me in good spirits. When I’m busy I have less time to live in my head and let that dark cloud hang over my head.

Now that things are settling down some I can feel it. I’ve had a lingering sadness following me the last few days. I’ve felt its presence slowly creeping in. I’m trying hard to keep it at bay but it’s a fight I don’t always win.

Shout out to my husband

I have to give him a shout out.

He’s been here for me through the ups and downs and the highs and lows.

He reads the articles I send him that describe my mental illness more fluidly than I ever could. He is willing to learn everything he can to be better for me when I need him.

Even though I usually don’t openly come to him. I tend to take my emotional pain and struggle out on him. I internalize.

Still, he is there. He recognizes. He bugs me until I open up even just a little.

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t sick but I’m still learning what foods I can handle since my gallbladder removal and the food I ate the day before was not one of them. Well, I was not eating. I was acting uninterested in eating and I was being kind of mopey.

He offered me food. He offered to make or go to town to get me food. He offered to share his food. I refused. He became concerned. He asked if I was feeling down and depressed and maybe that was why I was feeling funky.

I cleared it up that it was just tummy troubles and everything was well currently. He still set me up in bed to relax and binge watch my show and not be bothered, just in case.

I really don’t give this man enough credit.

Finding myself

I think I am finally figuring out who I am.

I have always had anxiety. I have always been incredibly shy. I have always had low self esteem. I have always been a people pleaser. I have always cared too much about the opinions of others.

All of this has always kept me from expressing myself. It has kept me from being who might be the true me. I still don’t know who that person is but I’m excited to be free enough to try to finally find her.

Last year I dyed colorful streaks in my hair. This is something I’ve always wanted but been too afraid to do because I feel like I would be judged negatively. Even if people weren’t actually judging me I felt that judgment. It is something I’ve always done. I perceive every thing as a judgment. I’m pretty sure it stems from the anxiety issues.

So this and the shyness has always kept me from doing things that draw attention. Like dying my hair fun colors.

I’ve made it a goal this year to step out of that comfort zone.

I am dying the tips of my hair purple soon.

I even got a tattoo. Something I have wanted to do since I was fairly young. Every time I got to a point where I might actually get one that perceived judgment would sneak in and make me change my mind.

Enough is enough though.

To see change in my life I have to be the change.

So, that is what I am doing this year.

So far I’ve managed to feel happier than I have in a very long time. My moods have been fairly stable lately, which helps I think.

My relationship with food

It isn’t very pretty. I struggle with balance. Depending on the trigger I either overeat for comfort or restrict out of emotional pain.

I have never found a happy medium. When stress over takes me and I feel the dip I turn to food for solace. I don’t really get comfort from it though because too many years of abusing food has wreaked havoc on my body. I am overweight, sluggish, and tired all of the time. I have always struggled with body image and self esteem issues as well so it only keeps me in a constant state of self loathing and hate. Then I tend to flip the switch and restrict food for a while because that worked for me when I was a teen. Or so is how I felt.

It is a vicious cycle.

Every year I say the same. This year is my year. I will break the cycle and overcome. I will lose the weight, and every year ends the same. I stay stuck in the cycle.

I stay stressed, with raising babies and dealing with my own self. I continue to eat my pain and feelings. And I stay down. I stay sad. I stay tired.

Yet, here we are again. New year, new me. Right?

I’m still working on it. But, I really am tired of it all. I really want to break this cycle. I want to find my happy again.

Thus, part of the reason I decided to start this blogging thing to begin with. As a sort of journaling therapy for myself.

Here’s to a new me. Maybe?

Stress and my depression..

Stress is a trigger for me. When I stress out my depression symptoms come out. I am always stressed. I do not handle stress very well either.

It is super stressful being a mom. Whether we work away from home or stay home. It is hard. I stay at home. While all four of mine are in school this year I have still found it hard. This back to school season has had it’s added stressor for me. I had surgery right as the kids started school. I was basically out of commission for almost a month and dependent on my mother and husband. Our routines were shot. I was sleeping even less than usual. I missed a major milestone with my youngest.

Add to that we had the threat of hurricane Harvey upon us. We were stuck inside for almost a week with worries of whether or not we would feel it’s wrath.

So, on top of my usual stay at home mom and wife stress I had all of that added in. May I remind you, stress and I don’t get along well. When I am stressed, I freak out over every little thing. My perfectionism comes out. My anger issues abound. I get snappy and stay cranky. I have trouble sleeping. I get sad. I sometimes start to feel hopeless. I feel like an utter failure. Try as I might to not, I end up taking some of my stress out on the kids. I yell. I fuss more. I snap whenever they do anything “wrong”. It isn’t fair to them. I know it isn’t their faults but I can’t help it. I react before I have a chance to think, because I am just so tired from constantly being stressed out and stuck inside my head.

My depression tells me what a failure I am at everything. It can’t let go of the fact I am not perfect. It constantly badgers me for not having the house spotless. It makes me feel guilty for needing to rest. It tells me I am worthless. It tells me I am a horrible mother and my kids deserve so much better than what they received. It tells me my husband deserves a better wife. One who isn’t crazy. A wife who can keep the house spotless and care for the children and have a four course meal prepared every night. My depression tells me I am a crappy friend and a bad daughter.

Some days it takes everything I have just to get out if my bed. I can feel the stress and despair and all these random emotions deep in my bones. It feels like they could break at any given moment from all the weight that is on my body. Everything feels heavy. So heavy.

I haven’t fallen back into that darkness lately but it is a scary place I have been before. I use everything I have to not get to that place. Some days are harder than others. When the stress and the weight of everything seems like too much.

I am lucky. My husband has started picking up on the cues. He sees the toll the stress of life has taken on me. He has started to notice when my outbursts become more frequent. He is able to recognize when everything is too much and I internalize yet again. While I hate his pestering in the moment I am thankful he is here to help pull me away from that dark place. I don’t appreciate him enough.

The last week I was thrown back into taking care of my family on my own again since my surgery. I haven’t handled that transition with the grace i intended to. The stress of doing everything on my own again got the better of me. The past couple of days have been a little rough. I have been snappy and cranky.

Today started out pretty well though. My goal for today is to do better than yesterday. As is my goal for every day.