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

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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.

It’s lifting

And just like that, the anxiety is slowly lifting. There’s still the thoughts of what I need to do in the morning and which students I need to talk to, but the overall crushing, headache-inducing anxiety has almost faded.

I’m back on medication; just antidepressants this time, and counseling. My coworkers are amazing, and I’m making some strides with my student’s behaviors.

The weights will lift, things will get better, I will start to enjoy this job at some point.

My teachers brain is slowly coming back and the constant state of panic is dissipating.

As much as I hate the ocean, I can sure relate to the waves.

Not a choice

I don’t want to be writing tonight.

I will not quit my job. I did take sick day yesterday with my supervisor’s advice, which means I did tell her about the panic disorder and the back-to-back panic attacks I had all of that night and into the next morning.

She said she told our overall principal about the panic attacks, which I am okay with. I ended up telling my supervisor and TA about the bipolar in addition to the panic disorder. I told them that I feel so overwhelmed with planning and the behaviors so my TA agreed to take over planning for 2 of the 7 classes, and my supervisor assigned a float staff to our classroom for most of the day to help with behaviors and help teach. I didn’t have a panic attack at school, though in the morning it felt like I would. Some of the stress is relieved and I think it’s all from the support at school and the way my coworkers and supervisors responded to my disclosure.

I’ve never told a workplace about my disorders before. The thing is; I’ve never had to. I’ve not always been the best teacher, but I’ve covered up my low moments to where I didn’t need to admit to any reason behind strange behavior.

It scares me that I can’t control the panic disorder. Is it the job that’s so intense that’s bringing out the worst in the disorder? Is it just that I’m older and the disorders are now starting to take effect and take over my life more, like is there any way to stop how intense these feelings and thoughts are becoming? Is it just a depressive or hypomanic episode that I’ve never had panic attacks attached to so I didn’t realize it was the bipolar all along? What the fuck is happening and how do I stop it?

I saw a new counselor today, but didn’t feel comfortable disclosing more than just the stress happening at school. That seemed like the most immediate need and I didn’t feel like I had much time. I should probably talk about the rape next week. That would be smart to open up the other triggers.

And I’m back on medication. Just the antidepressants from before; the new doctor prescribed me another months worth. He says it should help with the anxiety and depression (obviously).

I just want this intense anxiety to be over with. All the things I really know about myself are just above a surface I can’t quite keep my head above. All of the anxiety delusions of not being good enough, being a terrible teacher, not controlling my student’s behaviors, being weak, being too fucked up to maintain a career…are the thoughts pulling me under, minute after minute.

I feel so desperately at a loss for how to make the anxiety and hopelessness stop.

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 – Timeline

July 7, 2018

December 12, 2016: I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Panic Disorder

June 1, 2017: I came out to my family about having both disorders

December 31, 2017: I came out to my sister as bisexual

January 1, 2018: I came out to my parents as bisexual

July 6, 2018: I admitted to myself I’d been raped on February 11, 2011, I used the R word

July 7, 2018: I admitted to myself that I’m not bisexual, I’m gay

 

 

It’s a process and it’s always updating.

Leg work

On my end will be the mental stuff

Like telling myself I’m good enough.

I want you to make me strong

So everyone else knows it.

But really, I’ve joined 2 running groups, a biking group, 1 yoga studio, and 1 gym with hopefully 1 personal trainer.

Time and place

When was a time where you came the closest to killing yourself?

A lightening storm in ’08…

Not when you were still just thinking about it.

A college dorm in ’11…

But when you almost left.

A kitchen floor in ’16…

So only a few times, that’s no so bad…

Relief

There was a statement I read off a suicide prevention blog back in high school.

“If you kill your self then you will never be around long enough to feel the relief of death, your last moments on earth will be in pain.”

Every time a suicide idealization came back into my thoughts I’d remember this sentence and it would instantly bring me back to reality again. I wish I could remember what site I was on or had some way of letting that person know just how powerful that sentence was, just how many times it saved my life over the last 10 years.

Family

Me to my dad as he continued to talk over me: “YOU DON’T GET A VOICE. YOU DON’T GET A VOICE.”

Him: “I always like your natural hair better. Why did you have to dye it so reddish?”

*It’s not red, but with box dye (after a bad professional job that turned the back of my hair orange), it’s the closest I could come to my natural reddish brown color*

Him: “It looks like you have a worm in your ear.”

*Daith piercing, which I was extremely open and upfront about the purpose of getting it to help with my anxiety/panic disorder* He still doesn’t believe I have either disorder.

Him: “You know, I’ll always be willing to pay to have those tattoos removed.”

I got them so I could fucking cope with my world. My world of bipolar and ptsd and queerness and independence and anxiety.

I got them to fucking cope and none of these things are a joke to me. 


Everything he criticizes me about are all the things I’ve done to help myself, but I’ve tried to be as respectful as I can about them. My tattoos are mostly hidden, I don’t talk about my mental health openly anymore, my hair is always dyed a natural hair color (also for work), and I am fucking stable, always.

I just want, deep down, I just want my dad and mom to be proud of me. I want them to be proud of all of me, not just the things I’ve done and the independence/space I’ve created. I won’t get them to love the tattoos or hair dye or girlfriends I bring home or even accept that I’m gay. I really wish they would, but at the very least, I wish they wouldn’t openly tell me how disappointed they are. I wish they’d keep those comments, those thoughts, to themselves.

I dread hearing how much of me they don’t like.