Collateral Damage

One of the worst things about having my cocktail of mental illness/being me is that I can’t control when I hurt people. I mean, I suppose that’s probably true for everyone, but this morning, it wasn’t a matter of me being careless and saying something cruel. Instead, I got thrown off, and started melting down within the first 20 minutes of being awake.

Two impossible situations stood before me and I needed to merge them but couldn’t. Time passed. I was stressing out and hurting The Flutenist, and I knew it, and I got more angry at myself and more ashamed of being caught in this struggle at all, and I got more paralyzed and more frantic and…

It was bad.

Sometimes, stress can empower us- give us extra energy (more blood flow), extra clarity (more oxygen to the brain), and more motivation (tension fuels action). For me, there are days when all of those processes work, but I can’t find an outlet. The energy and tension funnel inwards, my body shuts down, and my mind just becomes a whirlpool of rapid, frantic thoughts. 

Nothing gets done. I know I’m stuck but I don’t know how to get out. Or if I can.

But it’s internal; no one but me can affect it or communicate that it’s happening. But I don’t know what to do!

So I almost made him late to work today and I sent him an email while he was at work, explaining everything that had been running through my mind. (I usually regain writing before speech, so it’s my go to response.) I wanted him to know that I knew that I was hurting him and making things worse for him and that I took that seriously. I don’t know why. 

It’s been a few hours and I can’t see how that could have helped anything.

I’m so stupid.

Yeah- today has been very bad in terms of self-talk. I’m back-sliding and I hate it but I don’t know what to do. I just!

Argh!

I wish I were normal.

Or that I could tell where my depression stops and where I start.

Or that I knew what I was capable of.

Everything, every tiny thing, is this epic struggle between being too hard on myself and not pushing myself to grow. I never know whether I’m doing it right or not.

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Day 49 With Dora

It’s so cold here. The wind is just awful. It seems like half of the day I’ve had numb and/or painful ears. I’m dancing around the edge of frostbite, at least I think so. Mom said your skin hurts, then goes numb, then hurts again? (Or was that the other way around? ­čĄö) I’m too cold; I don’t remember.

Dora is just sniffing around the house like she’s looking for a potty spot. Which is why we were just outside for 15-20 minutes. For the 4th time today.


I can’t take it. She’s whining again. 

I AM SO COLD. WHY WON’T SHE JUST GO WHEN WE’RE OUTSIDE?! 

The longer we are out, the angrier and more tired I get, then the more I pull at her leash and snap at her. I can’t keep doing this. 

It’s so cold. 

I want to be a responsible owner and a good caretaker but the wind just saps my strength and leaves me empty. On days like this one, we stay out until I can’t handle it anymore, and then I stagger back home without being able to maintain good leash control or pay attention to what she’s doing.

15 mph wind. It’s just brutal when it’s below freezing. On days like this, my emotional support dog just makes things worse, honestly. It’s more the weather’s fault than hers, but I still get stressed out either way.

Painting My Distress

Sometimes, I paint through an issue. I focus on a feeling, a situation, an experience, and I try to capture it. This usually results in a semi-abstract, semi-representational image that connects with me in the desired way.

Right now, however, I am wrestling with postmodernism… Or at least, with the bipartisan Facebook rage fights currently underway on several topics┬áin my social circle. “I’m right. You’re wrong. I get to call names and make insults because my position is obviously the best. I say┬áthat I care about respecting people’s rights, but I really, really don’t care about yours-┬ábecause you disagree with me.” Both sides are doing this to each other, and I just… I just can’t take it any more.

No. Until you all learn to talk like respectful people who realize that everyone has feelings and worth, even those people who vehemently disagree with you, until then, I’m out.

I’m not on either side, so I feel the hatred, pain, and fear oozing off of both sides, without gaining the support of either. No one has my back, and it’s just…

Gah! I need to read more dictionaries to find the words to describe this horrid little emotion.

Anyway, I’m painting it.


This is an old therapy canvas- used for temporary expressions and self exploration. It’s been painted over several times, as I move past my last issue.


End of day one. Here are my handprints, rough and frantic, as I try to cling to something solid. Over top, there are two diametrically opposed viewpoints on a topic, colliding in the center as they call each other names, pull hair, and push one another down onto the playground gravel.


End of day two. Now, there is more chaos involved- perhaps the spiral is a metanarrative, or maybe a charismatic speaker. The dots and dashes are colors that were missing visually, and don’t mean much. I notice that there is more order in this addition than there was before, but it was just how I felt; it’s not a statement or anything.

Accepting Her Imperfection

This is the third time my cat Kuno has knocked down our curtains and the second curtain rod she’s broken. It’s really frustrating because it’s one of those things that go wrong that is completely outside of my control. I usually get frantic when things just explode in my face like this.

There’s nothing I can do, really. She wants to see out the windows, which is fine. I’ve never seen her pull them down, so I don’t know how to accommodate her. I cannot prevent it from happening again without getting rid of my curtains, and I want to keep my curtains because they’re lively.

I feel powerless, and powerlessness makes me panic. I run back and forth between my two bad options and want to cry because it’s lose-lose. So I panic and shut down. It seems like it’s all I can do.

I have left those curtains on the floor for a few hours, just… Too overwhelmed to deal with them. But I will do what I can. I will bend back the rod and rehang the curtains. I will leave them more open so she can get to the windowsill. And I will hope for the best.

And just keep going.