Monday, May 23, 2016

Inside my head

(Please don't read this if you're not interested in reading about mental illness in general, or mine in particular.  No-one will judge you if you don't read it.  No-one will even know.)

The past few weeks have been particularly rough. It's hard not to get discouraged, hard to remember that progress is cylical, not linear.

Mostly the first thought in my head in the mornings is "I wish I were dead."  I lie there for several minutes, sometimes even an hour, summoning up the energy to stand up.  That's just the first hurdle.  Then there's the bathroom, with its mirror, and the internal thoughts turn to my physical faults.  A shower is the only way to get out of the bathroom quickly, but showers are often triggering for me, so no matter how many times I resolve to shower just this once, I end up in the tub - and then I need to summon up the energy to stand up again.

Mostly I'm late for things, unless someone else in my house needs to be somewhere on time - the mother in me takes over then, and doesn't put up with this mental illness impacting my kids any more than it already has (and will), at least where there are things within my control.

There's been so much rage.  So very much rage.   "Anger is a secondary emotion", J tells me, and I think the primary emotion is either fear or insecurity or both.  I have coping skills. I have to find the energy to use them, and to fight the internal voice that protests "But I WANT TO BE FURIOUS."  I don't want to lose my job, however, or alienate my family, so I repress the rage.  And that comes out in other ways.  Anger is energy that has to go somewhere - this weekend the results of that will require me to wear long sleeves for a few weeks.

Yesterday afternoon I texted a few friends, asked for prayer.  Declined the resultant offered conversations because I don't know what the trigger is, or the triggers are, this time, I just know it's a rough patch.  And I'm really tired of rough patches, really so very tired of the mental energy it takes to remain on an even keel.

This morning, Brad was home because of the long weekend.  After he had already gotten up, I lay in the bed, begging God to send help,  And then I texted Brad from the bedroom "Nobody will care if I die."  The thing that is so hard to explain, and even incredibly hard to understand for myself, is that I *know* it's not true, and yet at the same time, I completely believe it. 

Brad came upstairs, and asked what he could do that would signify to me, and any insiders that might be struggling, that he cared.  And when I didn't know, he stayed with me, brainstorming, until we had a plan, and then he took me on a drive through the country with my homework (I need to write an essay that talks about politics.  I try to avoid politics.  This works well until I have to write essays.)  We found a good-sized flock of yellow-headed blackbirds, some nesting bluebirds, maybe a pair of buffleheaded ducks, if that's what they were -

I don't wish I were dead right this second.  The sun is coming out.

Because?  I asked for help.  I don't think that it's possible to separate Brad's reaction from the prayer - I've texted him things like that before, and he's texted back, instead of coming to find me.  Today I needed him to come and find me - how did he know?  What made the difference?

And I'm reminded, by my friend's reactions yesterday, and Brad's reaction today - while I am everlastingly tired of being needy, of not being mentally whole, of not being healed - the people who care about me are not tired of me.  They are not tired of standing in the gap, and not one of them would stand at my coffin saying "I'm really glad she didn't ask for help,"

And I think that's the point of this post.  I'm not the only person who doesn't want to ask for help: and I want to say this to all of you:   There is at least one person in your life who will walk through this fire with you.  It's just that, sometimes, they don't know the flames are there until you tell them.

Ask for help, ask for help, ask for help.   Just ask.

And if you don't know who to ask, ask me.  I'm getting really good at fire-walking.

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