Mild hope

I’m having a mild sensation of hope, and I’m not sure whether I want to give in to it. My friend asked me to move in with her. It’s only for six months, so it’s temporary, but she is so full of love. Her son lives with her part-time and he is very lively, and I have a feeling that would be good for me too. It would be good for me to be a part of a family. It is something I have missed. I want to feel like I belong somewhere and like I’m a part of a family.

Green machine

I finally went to Costco. I’ve had a membership for three years but in the last one year I hadn’t used it. I think I’m ready to start paying attention to my diet. I bought one of those green drinks. It’s a big bottle and says, finish within seven days of opening. My goodness. There’s no way I can finish that huge bottle in seven days! Unless I drink it every day. It’s supposed to be good for you. It has kale and apple and kiwi and several other unpalatable things in it. It tastes just like it looks: not good. It’s green and it tastes green and I’d rather plug my nose while downing it. But it’s the only way I’ll get my greens in. I otherwise don’t eat anything green.

My roommate is in bed. I’ll be thankful for that because I hate it when she’s up. I just hate having to share my living space with other people. Don’t have a choice right now. I am feeling that green drink hit hard in my stomach.

The thing is, I don’t have a difficult life. I have to keep telling myself that. Yes, it used to be full of difficult things, moments, situations. But all that is in the past. I actually have a pretty easy life, compared to some. I don’t have children to be responsible for, although sometimes I think I would rather have others to take care of, with taking care of myself as a by-product because I don’t do well at taking care of myself to begin with. My job is, for the most part, easy, though it may seem challenging at times. The most challenging part is when boredom hits and I have to do menial tasks that don’t challenge me.

My life feels difficult. It feels heavy, and oppressive, and challenging. Often I find it difficult to get through one day. I find myself wanting to hide out in my car during breaks at work, because I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be anywhere. I just don’t want to be. Then, for moments and small glimpses, I see hope in babies sitting in shopping carts, innocent beings that need to be protected and loved and cherished. There is no exchange of love in my life. The closest I come to love is loving my therapist because he is patient and kind and always there for me, once a week every week.

Why is it that I can’t get out of bed? That’s my big question. It’s what therapy discussions revolve around. I don’t get out of bed for myself but I do get out of bed for others, like for going to work. I miss social engagements because of being in bed. I keep to myself. I isolate. Somehow I feel protected and safe in bed, but it’s also beginning to be the source of nightmares. I do have nice dreams, of chocolate cake and things like that, but I also have bad thoughts that perpetuate my conscience. How do I keep myself safe from all of the bad people out there? Stay in bed all day?

I’m going to drink tonight. It’s not the smartest thing for me to do, but it’s what I’m going to do.

Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving to me. I’m alone. I’ve been alone all day. In fact, I stayed in bed all day. I just got up to microwave a frozen meal and then I spent an hour in an online chat room trying to connect with strangers so that I wouldn’t feel so lonely. Sometimes I like being alone. Not with others. I have my bed to keep my company. And my teddy bear, in my 30’s. I do still sleep with my stuffed animal.

I’m glad I didn’t have alcohol tonight. It would have just messed with my dehydrated constitution, which is delicately balanced on me having not eaten all day until the evening. I was going to go to the store to get a bottle of wine, but decided against it, because that would mean me having to actually go out there, into the cold night, and I’m perfectly happy sitting here in my warm blanket. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy company. But the company I was supposed to have didn’t end up working out, and I had no backup plans. I think I’m going to be spending the next three days, alone in bed. I wish I didn’t do that. But I cannot think of anything I’d rather do, than be in bed. It’s a lonely and meaningless life, that way.

Learning how to live again

I tend to hate myself. Really. I don’t like myself. I see of myself as a bad person. It’s not helpful with my outlook on life. I seem to think I have this really hard life, when in actuality, I don’t have a hard life right now. It used to be difficult, but now it’s perhaps just the memory of the difficulties that I am living with. But I see myself as a bad person because I was told I am bad. Of the six years that I was married, all throughout those years, I was told I am a “bad girl” by my ex-husband. He beat me down. He wore me down on the self worth. And now it’s my job to build that back up again. I’m not a bank robber and I’m not a murderer. I stole a few things when I was a kid. My brother and I stole toys from each other. But that’s about the worst I’ve done. I was always a good student, and a good citizen. I’m actually a good person, noble, humble (maybe too much), kind, respectful, caring, generous, concerned for others’ well-being sort of person. I do well with taking care of others. I’m a nice person. I just don’t believe it.

I was told I was a bad person. That is in the past. I need to start thinking of myself as good, and as deserving. I deserve good things in life. I treated myself to sushi and sake tonight. It was really delicious. I had seaweed salad as well. I’m really glad I can afford to go out to dinner, because some people cannot afford that. Food is a big expense in my life. I just need to live on my own again one day, and that means rent will be a big expense one day too. I am a good person. Keep telling myself that and maybe one day I will believe it.

Question of the hospital

Do I go? Do I not go? The question has been on my mind. Of course, I really want to be in the hospital. I see it as kind of a sanctuary from real life. In reality, it’s not that. It’s for acutely suicidal people, and we should keep the bed availability for those who really need it. But what if I am in crisis? What if I do really need it? It’s hard to tell these days. I so just want my life to be over with, or easier. One of the two. My mom would see it as a failure if I went. I think my brother wouldn’t judge. My therapist is trying to help keep me out of the hospital. If I wanted to be taken care of, go to a four star hotel and resort and order room service. That would be cheaper too. Cheaper than going into the hospital. The hospital is over $1,000 per night. It’s not about what people think. It’s about what I need. What I need is help.

What I need is a medication change. I’m on Latuda and Lexapro. I’ve been on the same medications for over six months, and for the last few months, I can’t get out of bed on the weekends. Try harder, they say. Why can you get up for work but not for yourself on the weekends? I spent all weekend in bed again. Friday night through Monday morning. It was miserable. I ignored all text messages and phone calls. I declined three social engagements. I could have been out enjoying the weekend. I could have gone for a hike in the wide open air. I could have had coffee at a coffee shop. But instead I stayed in bed and let all of those opportunities pass by me.

I want to spend this holiday weekend in the hospital so work won’t miss me. They won’t even know I was gone. If the hospital discharges me within a few days. I can’t afford to miss work because I don’t want to get fired. My health insurance is with them. I need to keep that. I don’t want to have to find a new job again. That was stressful. I’ll keep the one I have, thank you very much. The job isn’t that hard. Tolerating it is. I don’t like it, but it’s a job and for now it pays my bills. I need to be able to afford to live and to be independent. I don’t know how people manage to live on disability, but I’ve never been on it. My disability got denied and I have to not be working to apply anyway. If I can work, I don’t need it. But, oh, would I like to have a mental break from life and not have to work. Maybe work is part of my healing journey? Maybe through work I find a way to wellness? I feel worse on the weekends when I have nothing to do. I can’t even pick up a book to read. I started reading a book last week, the one from the little library at work, second hand books. But I couldn’t even pick up that while I was wasting away the weekend hibernating in my bed. I just layed there and waited for the hours to pass, wishing they wouldn’t. Wishing life would just stand still forever, and that time wouldn’t progress. Haven’t you ever felt that way? Well, that’s my way of wishing I weren’t alive. But I’m sure you, reader, can relate on some level.

Just writing this helps me to feel a little better. To have it written out on virtual ‘paper’. I still don’t know if I’m going to go inpatient. I’ll discuss that with my therapist tomorrow. I’m so glad to have him. It’s such a normal thing for someone in DBSA to go inpatient. It shouldn’t be normal for me, on my scale of what is ‘normal’. I stopped going to the hospital eleven months ago. Other people can go, but not me. I do need a medication change, and I haven’t gotten in to see a psychiatrist. My Dr. will take cash only, because of the bankruptcy. I could afford to pay cash, and maybe I should, but then what is the point of having health insurance if you’re paying, in addition to the $400 per month in PPO health plan, $150 per visit to the doctor? I’d rather go inpatient at $1,000 a night and not have to deal with any of this stuff. It’s too much for me. A friend is going to call my insurance for me tomorrow, and pretend to be me, and try to get me in to see a doctor. I hope it works.

These are the kinds of things that mental patients such as myself have to deal with. These are the thoughts which transgress my mind and these are the frustrations which surmount my well-being.

Fear

There’s no denying it. I have fear in my gut. It is raw and edgy and has me not thinking straight. It’s actually a generalized anxiety. There’s no reason for it other than that I don’t like my life and I keep thinking, I could end it now. Just because I’m a pretty woman doesn’t mean that I can’t just up and kill myself. If I tried, though, I’d end up in the hospital. With major bills to pay off and a long hospital stay. Hopefully. Me and one of my friends that I met in the hospital, we joke about it. Being in the hospital, even though they tell you what to do most of the time, is great. You get three meals a day. Your medications are dispensed to you on time. You don’t have to take care of yourself because most of it is done for you. That’s what I need. A nice long stay in a loving home where I’m looked after and nothing is expected of me other than to eat and to shower. I could do with that for six months and then some. I desperately want to be taken care of. What’s so wrong with that?

Over the past weeks, I’ve been able to deal with work less and less. My productivity is waning. I take longer breaks and often find myself staring at the computer thinking about something else other than work. I eat the same thing for lunch every day and at $10 a day the food is a major expense. Most people at work bring their own lunch. Today after my first hour at work I snuck out to my car to take a nap in the back seat because I didn’t get enough sleep last night. Tonight I can finally sleep again for 12 hours or more. I didn’t finish my daily tasks at work and it took me almost two weeks to get through a relatively short call list because I wasn’t focusing. I hate answering the phone in a cheerful voice. At some point someone is going to notice that I hate my job. It will show. I took an extra half hour at lunch.

I am dehydrated and poorly nourished. The salmon I eat at lunch fills in for the nutrition gaps I would otherwise have. I don’t exercise even though I recently committed to a year-long gym membership. Just in case…

I left work early. I basically didn’t work today even though I was there. Just because I passed my 90 days doesn’t mean they cannot fire me at their discretion. I’m just trying to find a way to live. Hanging on for dear life. “Do your job with passion, find a way” I was told recently by someone who is not in-the-know. He doesn’t know that a year ago I was undergoing ECT treatment because I desperately wanted to die. Now I don’t always want to die.

Theater friend. He knows my struggle. Why does he then berate me every once in awhile? Make fun of my mental illness? Joke at my expense? I don’t understand it. Maybe it’s because he’s fond of me and I won’t return the affection. I’m a hard one to get through to. When a man talks to me, I have to assume it’s because they want something. It’s not just for the pure pleasure of having a conversation. They’re always trying to steer somewhere that I just don’t want to go to.

I thought I would be using fake names for everyone in my life for the blog’s sake, but it’s just too difficult to keep track of which name I used for whom, so I’ll just have to give nicknames and other references.

I’ve been reading a book. At work they have a library of discarded paperbacks that anyone is allowed to pick up and take home. I finally took advantage of it since I’m too scared, somehow, to go to the actual library. There would be more variety of books elsewhere, but I’m going with what I can handle. I can handle taking a book off of a shelf while I’m at work, and slipping it into my purse. I think it’s better than sleeping. I was thinking of going home and sleeping tonight, right after work, or pretending to sleep and lying in my bed with eyes closed waiting for bedtime to come. It’s not productive, but it’s my way of coping. I hide in my bed. Even if this home isn’t mine, the bed is, and I feel it’s the safest place I have. In bed, I don’t have to talk to anyone. I barely have to be alive. I need to be back there now.

Taking care of myself

Dinner was quick. Decadently creamy brie cheese spilling over crackers. No vegetables. No microwaving. Simple. Plain. Yes, I could have gone to the gym. Yes, I could eat healthier foods. But why? Why not just do what I want to do while I can in life? I have no one else that I’m responsible for other than myself. And even that, I do a mediocre job at. Taking care of myself is something that I’m still learning about. It’s something I had to learn anew three years ago. Because being in that relationship that I got out of was putting myself in harm’s way every day. It was not taking care of myself. I wasn’t able to. My therapist took care of me as best as he could during those years. And then I had to learn how to rebuild my life. I am strong. That’s what I have to tell myself.

I have more than 40 years left. What am I going to do with those years? Can I do something meaningful? My focus for the past eleven months has been staying out of the hospital. I don’t think I’ll truly believe I can stay out until five years has passed. I spent so much time in the hospital last year. I have a job now. It’s the first job I’ve had in about five years. That’s huge. Although, I tend to minimize the accomplishment and don’t see it as much of a feat. I see the things that I’m not accomplishing, which is that my cash flow is tight and I don’t have much money, that I am not doing a job which I enjoy, that I don’t like living in general, and that I don’t have many people around me. It takes time to improve on all of these aspects and I have all the time in the world, but I see my time as limited. I live from day to day and week to week, and somehow time continues to pass by, although I wish it wouldn’t. I am glad that I am no longer in my 20’s, but I am not yet comfortable with being in my 30’s.

I don’t have debt. I wiped that out with my bankruptcy. But I also don’t have any money saved for retirement. I haven’t bought a house yet. I don’t have a master’s degree. I feel like I don’t have family. And I’m lonely. I’m so lonely that I give my number out to almost any man who asks for it, and then regret giving my number out. Just tonight I had to tell a guy that I’m not interested in seeing him. I met him once. Not attractive at all. He kept calling me, persistently, and I continued to ignore the calls. Finally, I picked up tonight and told him I’m not interested. That was bold, he said. I know. I say it like it is. Take it personally or not, but stop calling me!

People my age have been married for five years and are starting to have kids. That’s how it was supposed to be. Thank God I didn’t become pregnant when we tried. That would have made life much harder. Sometimes I wish I could do my life over again. Be three years old and have a dad who doesn’t die, and grow up with both parents who are loving, caring, understanding, communicative, emotionally respectful, good at setting boundaries, supportive, physically affectionate. I want all of those things. I can’t have them. My mom did the best she could given the circumstances and she really did a fantastic job. She made a great income, provided for us, took us on vacations, managed to get us to see family even though we were in different countries, and that can get to be expensive, traveling. But I wanted to stay in one place and never go anywhere and have the same friends always.

The main thing is: I’m okay. That has been my theme. I’m okay. No one is hurting me right now. Nothing bad is happening to me. Everything is under control. My emotions are for the most part regulated. Things seem to be stable. I have this recurring thought, that I wish I didn’t have to work. I don’t like working. But that’s not true. I don’t like the job that I am doing, but if I found something I liked, I would enjoy going to work. If I didn’t work, I would never get out of bed, I would feel more depressed, I wouldn’t eat, and I would feel suicidal. Guaranteed within a week of not working all of those things would come up.

A friend called me. He wants to see me and wants to give me a big hug. Why do I not remember him as being a friend? I mean, we knew each other for two years, knew of each other, but we were not really friends. More like, acquaintances. And now I’m wary and I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into by agreeing to see him. He has a small child and he invited me to go to the park with them. I love children. But I don’t want to get “involved”. What am I doing? I’m desperate for reasons not to stay in bed on the weekends, and so, I’ll explore this relationship and see what it’s about. I have to set clear boundaries. I think setting boundaries is important and it’s something that people with depression might have a hard time with.

And then there’s my theater friend who is 15 years older than me and wanted to date me. This is also recent. Can’t I just have friends and not date people? Boundaries! Things got awkward, boundaries got blurred. I have to reinforce those boundaries.

My roommate is home now and I have to go hide in my room so that I can have some sense of privacy and not have to deal with being out in the open. I wish I had my own place and didn’t have to share my space with others. I would feel so much more comfortable. Good night.