Will the real me please stand up?

Who am I?

I don’t really know.

The past few years I have been working on figuring that out.

I’ve spent my whole life never feeling like I belonged in my body or my own life. I have always felt out of place. And I have always tried to be what I felt society, my family, friends, peers expected.

I couldn’t allow myself the freedom to be whatever real me there was bubbling at the surface. I cared far too much about others opinions or my perceived notion of those opinions.

I spent a lot of time growing up disassociating. I would feel like I was a bystander watching my life live out. I would lose hours. I felt like I wasn’t really me within that existence. Then I would snap out of that haze and be shocked by reality. It was dizzying and sometimes frightening. Or I would get so lost in a daydream of a different life, a life I felt was more befitting, then I would be pulled back abrubtly to reality.

I never knew what it was then. I never told anyone about it. As I grew older those moments happened less. I made conscience effort to be in the real world. Then, I put allI had into fitting into the box if what I should be.

So, I spent my life trying to be those things I perceived society said I should be.

As an adult it is still hard not to fall into those habits. I still feel as if I am supposed to be in that box, but I am trying to be more me. Whoever she is. I have been enjoying the things I like without worrying too much how others would think of it. I have been dying my hair different colors and trying out different hairstyles. I’m choosing clothing that I like and feel comfortable in. I try different makeup colors when I actually wear it.

Amazingly, I have gotten positive feedback. Not that I have asked for it, but I’m realizing maybe all of the judgement and expectation I have always felt was just my head being it’s cruel self.

It’s been rough..

The last couple months parricularly.

My demons have been winning. I am fighting but desperately losing.

I’ve been stressing over reauthorization so the kid can get back into his therapy group.

Said kid has been, well let’s be honest, a complete arse at school so far.

It’s like he is taking this preteen angst, I don’t care about anything, ugh! My life sucks, I can do whatever the heck I want business and completely milking it for all its worth.

He has 80s movie teen angst down pat, let’s just say that.

He is barely even into this tweenagedom. What gives?!

I don’t know what to do. His teachee keeps asking for ideas but, really, I have none. Right now we are just along for the ride waiting for something to give. What can you do? Hold on and hope it doesn’t last long? Wait out the moment it is outgrown?

Are all tweenagers like this? Maybe just not as extreme?

We’re learning as we go. Blatantly failing but learning.

And just hoping we all come out unscathed.

All the while, I am trying not to drown in darkness.

‘Tis my life though

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.