#food

I have a bad habit of not eating. Tired, exhausted, busy, happy, sad, stressed, anxious, whatever. I fell out of the habit of cooking a year ago.

I’m staring down three weeks of nonstop work where I’ll be beyond exhausted and have zero desire to do anything. Especially cook. So this time I decided to be proactive because the last thing I need is to pass out in 90 degree weather while I’m supposed to be in charge of 13 six year olds.

I spent today cooking things that I can freeze. I officially have enough food in my freezer for a good month and a half. Now I just have to remember to eat it.

#challengeaccepted

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Journaling

And I’m not talking on here. I mean stream of consciousness pen to paper word vomit that you don’t read until two days later and all you can think is “Holy shit! Is that really what happens in my brain?”

That’s why I’ve been sorta quiet on here; I’ve been doing that for the past three weeks in an effort to get a handle on my sanity. In a little under three weeks I’ve filled half of a Moleskine notebook. I’m 99.9% sure I’ve cycled through all possible moods in that time.

But you learn things doing that. A lot of things, and many times it is uncomfortable things. I didn’t realize how extreme and obsessive my moods were until I found myself writing 3-4 times a day, and every few days I read over the entire journal.

I better understand what my mixed moods look like, how the agitation affects my life and how often I obsess over things and actually lose time. It can range from relatively benign things (planners and pens – I know I’m a nerd) to things that are not so “safe”. The only reason the planners and pens are benign is because I can keep myself from spending money. If it weren’t for that it could be a disaster.

Journaling like this prevents my memory from glossing over the bad (or good) parts. It enables me to create a timeline to give to my therapist. And my psychiatrist, who, by the way, won’t let me go more than a month without a med check right now. I think how quickly I “recovered” from when I was suicidal a few months ago and some of the symptoms I tell them now are sending up some serious red flags. After I looked through my journal I totally agree.

Regardless, this is one of those times when the unplanned and unexpected saves my ass yet again. I will fill up 74539 notebooks if it means I can get this figured out sooner, or at least let’s me know when I need to speak up for help.

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Humph

Let’s put this simply.

I’ve been depressed for the last I don’t know how many months. A year maybe? I have no idea.

Until this week. I’m cooking. I’m cleaning. I’m socializing. All those normal human things.

But I’m also obsessing. To the point where I forget to do laundry and shower and make my best friends birthday present (whose party is tomorrow btw and I’m going to have to show up empty handed. NOT COOL. I’ll figure something out.)

I’ve always been drawn to stationary and planners and journals. I use them for a while and then I abandon them…..just the way it goes. But at some point earlier this week I happened upon the whole concept of Midori Travelers Notebooks. Since then I’ve been obsessed with them. I have spent HOURS reading and looking at YouTube videos and pictures. I’ve looked on amazon comparing brands and I swear I’ve combed through every Etsy store. Like I’ve gotten home from work, made dinner and then proceeded to spend the next 4-5 hours staring at my iPad trying to figure out what I want to buy. This is the 3rd or 4th day I’ve done this. Never mind that I don’t really need it and would most likely not actually use it. But it’s like I need to act on it RIGHT NOW.

I don’t know if it’s a big deal or not, but it feels HUGE. I haven’t felt this obsessed with something since college or sometime around then.

But that, plus the restlessness and irritability and the anxiety that slams me if I give myself 2 seconds to breath……right now this is what my mood swings look like. Plus the negative loop in my head started earlier this week.

I keep trying to tell myself that this is normal. That everyone is like this. Or I’m over exaggerating. All because it’s not the dramatic, erratic, risky behavior you always hear about.

I wanted to stop feeling depressed because the meds were working, not because I was swinging in the other direction.

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20 questions

I feel like my posts have become judgmental, impulsive and bitter. So I’m trying something a little different.

What’s the toughest decision you made today?

Seeing that it’s only 9am, I’ll go with yesterday. Attempting to not be bitter about my job.

What’s the toughest decision you made this year?

Giving myself permission to acknowledge that I may not have picked the best field this time around.

What’s the toughest decision you ever made?

Leaving teaching. Hands down.

What have you forgotten?

What my life felt like before I was diagnosed with bipolar. The memory of feeling like I was normal and had potential for a life with marriage, kids, and a decent career is quickly fading away.

If you were guaranteed the answer to one question, what would it be?

What direction my career should go in.

What’s it like being you right now?

Intense. Confusing. Uncertainty.

What makes you nostalgic?

People that are successful and going somewhere in life. I miss that feeling.

If you had two hours left on earth what would you do?

Spend it with my family.

What’s the most beautiful word in the world?

Patience

Who makes you laugh more than anyone?

My dad

What did your father teach you?

What it means to be a good person, how to work hard, how to laugh, and don’t let anyone mess with you.

What did your mother teach you?

How to help people.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

Jeez, I don’t know. Maybe the ones that are meaningful?

Best gift you ever received?

The thoughtful ones…ones that make me realize that someone cares about me.

How many times a day do you look in the mirror?

Less and less as I get older. I’m not entirely thrilled with how I look…

What do you bring most to a friendship?

In general I don’t think I’m that great of a friend, but on my good days I guess empathy? Sometimes?

If 100 people in your age group were selected randomly, how many do you think they’d find leading a happier life than you?

Well if you go by what people post on Facebook all of them. In reality though I’d say a good number…I’m pretty fantastic at feeling bad about myself.

What is or was your best subject in school?

I should say history because that’s what I majored in, but if you look at what my grades were (and the classes that were easiest for me) in high school and college I’m going to go with calc, chemistry, and physics.

What activity do you do that makes you feel most like yourself?

Teaching. Why did I leave teaching again?

What makes you feel supported?

Someone truly understanding my struggles with mental health.

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The wall has been hit.

The last month has been non-stop. My therapist asked me when I thought I’d hit a wall.

Well. Now. The wall has been hit. Yesterday was the end of the marathon and in the last 24 hours two of my volunteers bailed on me, I found out I can’t take a day off for my friends birthday party because it’s a weekend, and my friends are making all these plans for weekends that I can’t participate in because I work. And I have been reminded that not only do I have to work weekends, I have to work weekends by myself so I’m isolated from everyone. I’m put into impossible situations where I have to do 5 things at once because other people aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

I’m bitter, angry, and frustrated. I’m constantly biting my tongue so I don’t get myself in trouble.

This job is killing me.

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Jealousy

Four months ago I turned 30.

This is not a post about how I feel old. This is not a post about how I miss my youth. This is a post about regret and jealousy.

My 30th birthday was quiet. Very quiet. My parents came up the weekend before and we went to dinner. Then another day I went to their house and we had cake. That was it. I tried to tell myself that’s what I wanted. I didn’t advertise my birthday. The day of my birthday my mom texted me happy birthday. She didn’t call. My sister didn’t call or text. My dad didn’t call or text. My grandma didn’t call. This was the first year they didn’t. I tried to ignore the fact that they didn’t.

This week, a really good friend of mine had her 30th birthday. Another friend of hers took her to the Bahamas (this friend of hers has a condo down there). She’s having a big party in a few weeks.

And then this week it hit me.

I’m jealous. Jealous to the point I’m a little angry. She’s going to the Bahamas and I don’t even get a phone call. She did invite me over for my birthday, on the day of, but only after I told her I wasn’t doing anything. It felt like a pity-invite.

When I turned 25 my family made a big deal out of it-doing the same thing they did for my sister. They got us 25 gifts. (Don’t get excited….they wrapped up things like chapstick post-it’s and snacks. I wasn’t disappointed, that’s how we roll and it was funny).

This year? Nothing.

This whole thing reminds me of when I was younger when my parents wouldn’t do things and then pin it on me by saying “we didn’t think it’s what you wanted” without bothering to ask me.

Don’t get me wrong, my family loves me and has gone above and beyond the call of duty, but the fact that my birthday went by relatively unnoticed hurts.

It has sent me down the rabbit hole of realizing everything I haven’t done and the years I feel I lost because I struggled so much. It made me realize I’m embarrassed by my job.

So while I try to be happy for my friend, I can’t ignore the jealousy I feel.

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Dinner Time!

So a thing happened. I made dinner by myself tonight. I went the store yesterday with a grocery list for dinners I planned out. And then I actually made the dinner.

I remember telling my old therapist (which means I’m talking about last August, if not earlier) that I knew the depression came back because I stopped meal planning and cooking like I’ve always done. I haven’t gone to the grocery store with a list and made dinner since I don’t even know. I would cook every now and again, but not anything I planned out and I almost certainly didn’t have leftovers. Don’t ask me what I’ve eaten since I wasn’t cooking. I haven’t a clue.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to follow through with this. Regardless, I’m getting a glimpse of who I was and want to be. There is something so satisfying about being able to take care of yourself….wanting to take care of yourself.

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Things and stuff

  1. No one has ever asked me if I was married. Except this week. Four people asked me in two days. And no, they were not eligible guys. When I say no there is this awkward silence.
  2. My therapist poked all the right buttons today to dredge up the fact that I feel bad about being single. Thanks man.
  3. I’ve been exceptionally ok these past few weeks because I haven’t had the time to not be ok. As work winds down I’ll be running head on into a brick wall. Prepare for the crash. Just sayin’.
  4. The community band I’m in is playing at the state mental health hospital.
  5. I’m frustrated and angry with and jealous of just about everyone. As things calm down at work and I’m not working 60 hour weeks anymore, I’ll just become bitter.
  6. I’m afraid I’ll take that anger out on myself.
  7. Everything and everyone makes me feel bad about myself. All I can see is everything that isn’t.
  8. Giving myself 30 seconds to think makes me realize I’m not as ok as I thought I was. Dark thoughts are lurking in the corners.

Dammit.

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Too much.

I get the feeling that there is going to be a lot of me posting in the near future. Over the past two days my brain is picking up speed, and everything I normally use to cope with it isn’t working. So in an effort not to overshare with my friends, I’m writing here. Y’all can ignore and scroll through it, my friends can’t and I don’t want them to walk away.

I’m anxious, full of tightly wound energy, slightly panicked, and there is an urgency to everything I think of. I’m not able to hold onto any thoughts because they are moving too fast. And I have no control over it. I forget what I was going to say in the next sentence. Everything is disjointed and my focus is shot. Even as I write this I have to read over it 5000 times because I’m missing chunks of sentences and it makes no sense. Everything is about me.

Worst of all, I feel impulsive. The kind where I overshare and have no filter because I feel like everything is important and must be dealt with RIGHT NOW. And when I hold it in I get agitated and angry. Things that are benign hold such a great importance in my head, and when I share, people look at me and wonder why I think it’s such a big deal. As it comes out of my mouth I realize that maybe I was overreacting but it’s too late.

Two days ago suicidal ideation popped into my head with no warning. I was able to push it back but I feel like it’s just sitting in the back of my head, daring me to think about it.

Yesterday, on top of everything else, I found out that we the community band I am in is playing at the state mental health hospital. For whatever reason that sent me into overdrive. I think that it would have happened anyways, but this just sped the process up. I feel the need to tell EVERYONE. But I can’t.

I hate this. Everything is moving so fast. I have NO patience. I feel like I’m going to say stupid things to people and either confuse them or piss them off.

The depressive thoughts are still there, but it’s angry. I need to burn off excess energy, but I can’t get myself to do anything about it.

So yeah, where it said mixed episode on my summary sheet? I totally get it now.

But here I sit, getting myself ready for work, preparing to shove all of this down so I can do my job. But man, is it hard.

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Holy shit moment #2

All my life people have commented on my size and weight. My entire immediate family is small. We are tall, but small. It’s just the way we are. And I’ve always been the smallest, and I figured that was just the way things are. Plus the whole time I was growing up it was well known that I ate a normal amount.

BUT

Every therapist I’ve ever had (including the useless ones) would eventually ask me about my eating habits. Sometimes I could see where they were coming from, sometimes I would brush it off. Sometimes I would even be like “OK, I guess I see your point”.

This morning though, like my realization about my diagnosis, it hit me hard. The nurse weighed me and then point blank asked me three different ways if I was eating. She walked into the office, I heard whispering and the very first thing the psychiatrist asked me was if I was eating. I told both of them I was. It was like when they were asking me if I wanted to go inpatient. They had “that look”…the one where they know what is going on, but are patiently waiting for me to put the pieces together because they know that until I do they will accomplish nothing. Anyone who has been in a therapist or psychiatrist office knows what I’m talking about.

So I went back and thought about all the things therapists told me and all the things I’ve never told therapists. I thought about all the things I’ve done and haven’t done. I thought about all the times I’ve tried to make sense of their concerns, where I wanted to believe them, but when it came down to it I didn’t.

Scales don’t lie, and I can see it in the mirror, but I haven’t accepted it and I definitely don’t believe it. This still feels like my normal and I don’t see the problem.

And like my other post, I recognize this is complicated and contradictory. I’ve talked about food issues before, but I would brush it off and eventually ignore it. And even now I’m telling myself it is a non-issue.

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