New counselor

Ok, so tonight is huge.

Got a new counselor, something I’ve been meaning to follow through with since August, and it’s the first time I’ve been in the right place. Not location (even though I’m terrible with directions).

Since the trauma from growing up, high school, and the rapes; I haven’t told the full story to any doctor or counselor. When I was first raped, I talked to a later counselor about friend drama. When I was diagnosed, I talked to my counselor about my wavering sexuality. I tried to talk to partners about the rapes and usually ended up telling random people while drunk about the traumas or my sexuality. Nothing’s ever lined up in my life that I was able to linearly explain my life to a counselor, using direct language, and while in a decent headspace with life that I wasn’t lying to cover a severe depressive episode.

Tonight happened and I couldn’t feel stronger than this. I told her about my current work and amazing coworkers, struggling with the panic disorder and depressive mood swings, my bisexuality and dating history, the rapes, the promiscuity following, the celibacy, the diagnosed years, the moving to a new city, the family of mental health disorders, and the going about these stresses with friends instead of family.

She was extremely supportive and reassuring that I am a strong, independent person, regardless of how my family perceives me. She told me that I was experienced with my anxiety and was the first patient she’d received in a while who wasn’t in crisis, but was there to see her as a proactive measure. She made me feel smart and strong and like a survivor.

I left her office feeling thankful for her and justified of how I’ve handled things the past 10+ years. It’s a really good feeling to know you’re okay and will continue to make it.

Talking through everything tonight to her made me feel whole.

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Red heart emoji playlist

I made a playlist on Spotify that is under the red heart emoji. It’s my self love playlist for all the moments I feel love for myself.

Like Friday night when I got so drunk with coworkers then Ubered¬†to Connor’s house and had sex with a guy for the first time in 2 years. And when he stopped and sent me home midway through because he said I was too drunk just before I unloaded the rape stories and how he was my first in 2 years and all the other trauma related word vomit I could erupt in that moment. I’ve heard from him since, somehow couldn’t scare him off, or he just wants sex and can ignore the other stuff.

Also I regret going home this weekend. It was nice to see family but I really just needed to be alone. I felt distance and irritable and had no appetite and could just feel the emptiness creeping in.

My first counseling appointment is this Thursday. It’s shocking to me how much I don’t know what to do with myself now that sex is back in my life. Like how I keep forgetting how strong I’ve convinced myself I am. I have moments where I completely forget what person I’ve become since the rapes and the celibacy years and the dating different genders and coming out and working and moving and taking care of my silly brain.

I sound dramatic, but I know better than to take this lightly. No one knew for 7 years as I coped with my 2 rapes. Somehow I managed for 5 years without medication. Even within 2 years of celibacy, I found it almost impossible to get emotionally close to anyone. I feel like within all these years that I should’ve professionally faced my traumas at some point and I didn’t and so when things like sex start happening again, that I don’t know how to live as this new person and fall apart like last time.

I literally have no idea what I’m doing and I’m just hovered on the tip of another depressive episode. There’s things like exercise and friends and therapy and water and good food that I’ll do consistently this week to keep away the depression so yes, I know what to do.


Within all the fear and anxiety though, there’s also a lot of relief. I started the celibacy to detox myself from all the bad habits and self destructive behavior. It worked, and then I was too afraid to break the streak. I was too afraid I wouldn’t be able to control myself or that I’d be terrible or hurt even worse. So it became easier to just not have sex with anyone.

Breaking those 2 years reminds me of the Andrea Gibson quote/my foot tattoo; “Breathe deep and dive.”

Deep down I know that in order to continue past the trauma I would have to be able to start balancing sex in my life again instead of staying afraid of it.

And this is the self love I mean. Not the bubble bath self love, but the kind when I could be crying or depressed or panicking and all I can really manage is to calmly be thankful for making it this far and realizing that somehow I will get myself through everything else.

Remind me where that is

I don’t know how to hold myself together anymore.

I don’t recognize myself, who I’ve become in the last 6 months.

“Remind me where that is” was the name of my old blog. It’s the saying I repeat to myself when I feel lost like this. Lost at sea.

Like the waves of the sea, help me get back to me. bd6866bbe7b7547b436dad6ffb566b4a.jpg

Clear view

It’s amazing how fuzzy the world gets when I’m in a depressive episode.

About a week in is when I realized it was depression, but realizing it didn’t make it better. The depression was like a tranquilizer; slowing all my movements, my speech, blocking my memory, stealing all my energy or motivation to do anything, convincing me I was a disappointment and should just quit my job and give up…

Work is still stressful and hard. I still have little chest flutters every now and then when I think about school and going back for another full week. HOWEVER, there hasn’t been any panic attacks today at all.

I can think again. I celebrated my little sister’s birthday with her by going to a vegan lunch (her dairy allergy), taking profile pictures via informal photoshoot out at the lake, watching a new Netflix movie together, then going out for beers that night and playing scrabble at the bar. It was perfection. I still depressed and anxious, but those feelings were on the back burner the whole time I was home with her. Coming back, I attended my church, did laundry, changed my sheets, made chickpea salad for the week, relaxed with a movie, and didn’t start school work until 7:00.

I was able to relax for most of the weekend. Like, whoa, huge progress from a few days ago.

I wrote all my birthday thank you letters and mailed them along with all my bills.

I did all of this and I actually feel hungry at meal times and a little tired for bed now. I’m not done with lesson plans yet but this feels so good! I can breathe normally again and be happy about my life and feel like I can make it until May and I’m only a little, normal amount of anxious when I think about work.

I didn’t even go to the school today to do my planning because I knew I couldn’t print anything, so I’m doing it all from home.

Life is so much easier without the weighted feeling of panic attacks and depression. I can think again! The anxiety isn’t at a perfect point, but the depressive episode is mostly over so I feel like I can mostly manage life again.

BetterHelp

So, I’ve been absent from blogging partially because I’m not depressed or manic, partially because I’m freaking out about school starting soon and can’t really put those feeling down, and partially because I got a counselor through Better Help to help me carry over until the point where I can actually go see a counselor in person. My insurance through this school is different and my appointment with my new primary doctor isn’t until the end of August, so I’m not sure when I can actually get in with a counselor I like. I didn’t think I could wait until September with all the stuff on here I’ve been opening up about so I’m trying Better Help in a desperate attempt to stay okay for awhile.

I got a tiny discount, which makes it easier to be okay with, and it’s actually helping? I didn’t expect to feel relief so soon, but I do and it’s nice.

Also, 20% sure I saw Nicole at Hyvee yesterday. If she recently shaved part of her head and dyed the remaining swoop purple, then I definitely saw and purposely ignored her while having mini internal panic attacks in the gourmet cheese section.

iPhone – Some days

July 27, 2018

Some days I feel so greatly.

And fuck it. The next person I meet that I love and who I feels deserves the words is going to hear me tell them I love them.

There’s no point being afraid of those words or pretending I’m saving them for someone I’ll marry. That reason is just an excuse for protecting myself from the possible rejection.

I felt powerful last night. I realized there’s still a lot I’m afraid of and feel traumatized by and ache for, but fear is not a place I’m willing to live in, neither is regret.

Its time to do all the things, even the ones I’m afraid of.

Not sick, not better

Not sick anymore, the cold is gone. I lied, there’s still a cough, but this is definitely the fastest cold I’ve had in a while. I came home for a few days to visit.

Depression is a funny presence. My sister says things when I’m home with her like how she thinks getting sick is all a mental game and how when she just takes zinc tablets when she feels she’s getting a cold, that the cold goes away and never manifests. She thinks a lot of it is a placebo effect and if she can convince herself she doesn’t have a cold, that her body always stops being sick.

Sometimes when I come home, I lose track of time by leaving my phone in my bedroom all day and only spending my time beside my mom in the garden or running errands with my dad. Losing track of time and days is easy and though it helps lessen general stress, it doesn’t take away depression.

It’s funny to me because I used to be so in denial of the bipolar. I used to think it was a misdiagnosis or that mine wasn’t so bad and I didn’t need medication. I used to think I could be two different people; the one who had bipolar and suffered and the one who was still an independent and carefree daughter. I want to say this thinking was during the time I was still hiding my diagnosis from my family, but I felt this even recently, this need to keep my diagnosis separate from my inner definition.

Part of it is fully accepting the sex abuse and rape and true sexuality and that there’s trauma there that isn’t processed or sorted out yet. Part of it is all the realizations and becomings and general experience in now living with this diagnosis for a few years and knowing how I respond or how long these episodes generally last.

I know that when I’m depressed it lasts at least a month. I know my hypomania in full force lasts only a few days, but with high stress, can reoccur several times a year. I know that between episodes I will have mood swings between irritable and angry feelings. I know that I’m generally harsher towards my family because I trust them but also because I don’t trust them.

I know my bipolar doesn’t go away with positive thoughts.

I’m still depressed and being home doesn’t stop that. Hiding my phone all day doesn’t make me happier. Not taking antipsychotics doesn’t lessen my daily headache. Being surrounded by people doesn’t make me feel less alone. It doesn’t make me forget I have depression or bipolar or desperately need to talk to a counselor.

I know myself pretty well these days. Coming home doesn’t fix or even mask my problems. Sometimes home amplifies them. I’m coming off my cold but still in a depressed episode. Still, it feels better knowing myself even if I don’t like what I have.

Sick Saturdays

Even without a fancy mood tracker, I’m beginning to see a pattern. Weekends with little routine or social plans are not my strength. The depressed feelings are back though significantly better than last weekend.

I went out drinking with coworkers last night and got reasonably drunk before Liz picked me up (I paid for dinner) and dropped me off at my car after. We watched Westworld, which I fell asleep for part of, then went to bed.

Today, I had already signed myself up for a cooking class at the fancy grocery store where we learned how to can and preserve jam and jellies using black currants and bourbon soaked vanilla beans (serious yum). We actually met before the class to pick the currants ourselves at the community garden, which was extra cool since its open to the public whenever. Afterwards, I picked up lunch at the grocery store, headed home to listen to the MFM podcast out on the patio, then came in and crashed for a long nap.

I’ve had a sore throat and extreme tiredness all week. The tiredness may still be linked to the depressive episode, though I think I’m mostly moving past that quite quickly. The sore throat popped up around Thursday, and after having most of the high school class out sick with a respiratory cold this week, I’m pretty convinced that’s what is coming on.

The sky outside is green and stormy and its supposed to be patchy like this through tomorrow. Monday is the last day of school, with most kids not coming, and my old coworkers and I going out for Mexican after work.

Shit is good, it’s just hard being in a new place with few friends, no girlfriend, and a scratchy sore throat. But, I can hear Liz in the next room, I still need to make dinner, and just realizing all these factors makes me realize the depressive episode has mostly faded.

Tomorrow is church and an evening concert. We’re not gone at all.