22 Months

I’ve been having a rough time. I’ve been sick physically pretty much nonstop (I’m working with doctors actively) and my depression/anxiety have been through the roof.

Last night I was borderline suicidal. I didn’t have a plan or intent, but I kept wishing I’d just blink out of existence. I knew it could spiral really quickly so I prepared, which felt weird. I reached out to family to make sure Whimzy had somewhere to go if I couldn’t get ahold of Ty quick enough. I had an entire list of specific coping mechanisms. My best friend and Ty both knew what was going on. I took a Naltrexone (a med that would stop the good feeling drinking gives you) even though I wasn’t having the urge to drink I wanted to be safe. At the last minute while I was feeling so horrible I felt like I did pretty well.

I did realize my crisis plan had a few missing pieces, though. I need to make a list of things to pack because I won’t be in a mind space to think about that. I need a list of meds and my insurance info, just in case. I need that very specific coping list easily available with the supplies easily accessible. I need to write out who to contact. I need to write down my best friends phone number because I don’t have it memorized. Basically I just need to write it ALL down. Not only for me, but for my support system. Having this all prepared with make the process much less hectic if I ever do need to go to the hospital. If you have any questions about it, feel free to reach out!

Enough of that. Guess what?!? Today is 22 months sober! I’m super excited about it, or at least as excited as I can be in this depressed state. I’m proud of myself. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get here, to be honest. It took so much freaking suffering to get here that I am trying to be as appreciative as possible and not take it for granted.

Hope you all are healthy and safe from all of the natural disasters and Covid!

2021…. Blech

2020. Glad it is over, but I know this doesn’t mean it is going to magically fix every thing. Everything is still the same.

Honestly, the beginning of last year was amazing. I was motivated and ready to take in the world. Then I got mono AND strep. Had to take another month off of work and by the middle of January I was back and ready to get back on track. Routines, cleaning, cooking, self-care, motivation, productive, waking up early, etc…

Then BAM! Sometime in the beginning of April a depressive episode hit.

Then, YAY! 1 YEAR SOBER! Treated myself to a few things off my Amazon wishlist and Ty bought me a new pair of Converses and a stuffed chicken. The chicken was a nod to The Bloggess and an online support group that got together because we all love Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess). Their unconditional support and Jenny’s blog was a huge part of my recovery. I think they were actually kind of my version of a recovery support group. I love them all so hard.

After a few days of giddiness it crashed and back to depressed. The days dragged on. Then my 33rd bday. My friends sent me a sash and a tiara and I wore a neon rainbow tutu and wore all the glitter. It lasted long enough to take pictures. Then I stripped back down and his under blankets on the couch. I was supposed to go get my birthday cake. I absolutely love cake, and I couldn’t even do that. Ty and Whimzy went and got it and bought me a stuffed goat. He is snuggly.

Continued depression… continued depression. Wait! I don’t feel horrible! Maybe it is lifting. 3 days later: psyche! Depression continues.

At this point I really need to add in how the world affected this. First burned up koalas. An eye opening series of events that have seriously educated me so much about racism and what POC go through. It hurts my heart. So much history we weren’t told. So much violence and subjugation. My town went up in flames after a black man was shot in the back 7 times by a cop. A 17-year old vigilante murdered two people and severely injured another. I learned about some questionable practices and events my police department has and how racist our sheriff is. Which is weird, but not surprising. He was the cop at my high school out in the county and apparently he wasn’t great there either. I never had any issues, but I never really dealt with him.

Riots everywhere. More murders by police on video. People running protesters over. Children being pepper sprayed. White supremacists. An evil and short sighted president encouraging violence. A governor almost kidnapped and shot by right wing extremists. Watching the entire world burn in another record setting wildfire season or be blown away by a record number of hurricanes.

Covid-19. A completely failed example of how to not slow a pandemic down. Anti-maskers. People not caring if their actions lead to the death of others. New York burying bodies in parks because they ran out of room. Refrigerated trucks across the country filled with Covid-19 victims. Covid having long-term effects. Covid-deniers. The president downplaying it on tape, didn’t change anything. An insane phenomenon of people still supporting Trump, even today. Almost 350,000 people dead. Gone. Forever. People who could still be here for their loved ones if better decisions had been made by a plethora of people. There is plenty blame to spread. Insanity. That’s what it has been. Insanity. Inequity in healthcare of people of color and white people. More POC dying than white people, despite being a smaller population. ER’s having to start making decisions on who will get care because there isn’t enough equipment, staff, or room. More people dying because of it and medical professionals dying trying to help people, being traumatized to help people. Putting their families lives at risk to help while people gaslight and say that they are lying and it isn’t that bad. It is just like the flu.

EPA restrictions lifted. Sacred indigenous people’s burial sites dug up for a wall that is being built because of hate and racism. Indigenous land being ruined. Indigenous people dying in scary numbers. The first time Doctors Without Borders has ever had to come to the United States to help the Navajo Nation survive.

QAnon and insanely dangerous and nonsensical conspiracy theories. The Evangelicals worshipping Trump who tear gassed a crowd to take a picture with a Bible that wasn’t his in front of a church that didn’t want him there. People in power making decisions that are seriously hurting people and making the rest of the world pity us. Out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Out of WHO. Falsifying scientific data. Politics take over the CDC. Lies about everything. So much fear, violence, hatred, and death. So much desperation.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. Women across the country are scared of how that will affect our health and how we decide to take care of our own bodies. Scared of religious principles taking over instead of the principles the country was based on. Tears. So many tears.

AOC and Bernie. Politicians that care, are smart, and are fighting for everyone. Intelligence and feisty, making me proud to be in their side. There are more like them. Diversity growing in the government. More compassion coming through. Eventually it will overcome the hate and selfishness that we have bright now.

Joe Biden is president-elect. He won. Trump still hasn’t concedes and is still declaring voting fraud despite almost all of this legal actions failing. Twitter fact checking him. People believing him. His encouragement of the Proud Boys possibly leading to violence at Biden’s inauguration. More violence across the country during protests. Portland going crazy.

Economy crashing. Record high unemployment. People becoming homeless. The absolute minimum being done by the government to help small businesses and families. Virtual school. The strength of our educators. Food banks. Hungry.

The opposite of all that being shown across the country in people trying to help each other. Despite all of the vileness in the world right now there is so much beauty and love. People coming together to demand better lives for POC and to fight racism, prejudice, and hate. Learning so we can be better allies. LGBTQ+ communities afraid of their rights being taken away. Their families preparing for the worst and setting up legal protection and ways to escape.

Nazis. Excuse my language, but people actually fucking calling themselves Nazis. Flags of hate flying with pride. Confederate flags being outlawed. History of hatred and oppression being exposed and meaures taken to remedy the reminders of the pain people endured because of hate.

Family. Watching Whimzy grow into herself. Her, me, and and my absolute best friend eating sushi AND HER LIKING IT! Watching her art improve and improve. Watching her totally rock virtual school. Hearing her giggling in the next room face timing her friends.

Talking to my best friend every single day. It is amazing. I can’t even express how much the conversations mean to me.

Ty, seeing me stay sober, and his patience and support growing. Him helping more while I can’t even get out of bed.

Just so much. So much has changed, getting so much worse and so much better. I haven’t been hospitalized this year. I haven’t sprained an ankle this year. I got to start updating my dining room furniture and seriously declutter and organize a good chunk of it.

Here we go again. The start to a year that could turn things around. Not this second, but eventually. Things will never be the same again. 2020 has damaged the fabric of so many things. It will need seen as a year that was a turning point. Hopefully, despites continued issues it can be seen as a catalyst that pushed forward the elimination of prejudice and practices that happen because of it. There can be good that comes out of the tragedies we’ve had in 2020. It will just take love over hate.

AHHHHHHH!!!!!

That is not a good type of “AHHHH!”. Not at all. First though, trigger warning: suicidal ideation, medical issues, loss of hope (sort of), screaming into the void, and desperation.

I’ve been pretty sick and lost my dream job. Yay! No, but seriously, not good. Not good at all. The sickness is causing me to be unconscious a good portion of most days and exhausted enough to sleep most of the rest of the time. You know what isn’t good for depression? Staying in bed. You know what’s bad for how I feel physically? Being out of bed. See the issue? Also, I was supposed to have a doctor’s appointment this morning. I’m getting up, getting ready to go and the tell-tale signs of my episodes (when end in me being unable to stay awake and being unconscious for at least a half-hour, usually more). I haven’t been driving because of what could happen if this occurred with me behind the wheel. So, I was planning on getting an Uber, but I was not going to get in an Uber and pass out on the way to the doctor’s. I imagine it would be a big to-do that probably still wouldn’t accomplish much. I needed to go to the doctor for this issue, but this issue is stopping me from going to the doctor. Rock and a hard place (Not “Roc and a Hard Place by Piers Anthony. No fun creatures or puns).

I stayed home and slept. Almost all day. By the time I was feeling good enough to move around, another episode started. It is a vicious cycle and it is slowly killing my spirit.

Pity party train coming! *Toot toot*

So, Ive been struggling for over half my life with mental illness and then addiction for a good chunk of the time. Finally find the med/therapist/situation to help and move me forward. Then, depression busts in like the Kool-Aid man. Not the completely destructive type depression that leads me to wanting to end things, but a softer kind that just slowly eats away and lifts just enough, often enough to keep me treading water instead of drowning.

That, in and of itself was making it hard to get out of bed or function as a human being. I’ve basically just been a really high energy jello-mold. So, then I start literally being unable to stay away after a series of scary symptoms. Doctors this far have been less helpful than my cat. At least he cuddles.

Preface before this next part: I am safe. I am not currently in danger of hurting myself. What is the point? Why should I fight with my entire being to move forward when my own brain and body are determined to keep me stuck? No matter what I do, something happens. I am just sick of fighting on so many fronts with so little success. Every, single day I am fighting myself, and to be quite honest, I’m losing against myself. I am floating (not spiraling, big difference. One gives me time to plan and cope) downwards like a feather. It might be getting to the point I should start discussing hospitalization for my head. With Covid and having medical issues, I’m not sure how plausible it is, to be hone honest.

Welp. Gonna order a few books off Amazon for a tiny blip of happy chemicals before sleep….

More to come….I’m sure…..

Full Circle

In May of 2019, May 4th, 3 days before my birthday I entered my last partial hospitalizion program. It was 7 hours a day 5 days a week. It was required because I had relapsed and tried to commit suicide on April 22nd.

At the time I was homeless and waiting for the time before I could reapply for the Oxford House.

My family was wonderful and helped me through it quite a bit. They let me stay there for a bit, drove me around, helped financially, and were really supportive. I’m so grateful for their help. They also took my daughter overnight for over a year while I was at Oxford and Ty worked nights. Then, still once I moved home, they kept doing it until I was able to prove myself. Once Covid hit I was able to have her back home and haven’t messed it up. Besides just taking care of her, they helped with clothes, school supplies, and various other needs. She had her own bedroom and playroom, plus a video game area in the basement. It was so instrumental in me being able to stay sober and healthy.

Ty also was wonderful despite the fact he wanted a divorce. He helped me get to work and back to wherever I was staying. He let me go home for baths. He eventually let me stay over and then stay over alone when our cat got injured. By December, right before Christmas, I moved back in. I am about to have a 1 year anniversary of being home. We celebrated our 7 year anniversary this past May and it will be 12 years together on January 1st, 2021.

The forgiveness that some people in my life have given me is astounding. I don’t deserve it, but I am so thankful for it.

I was full of guilt and shame, and just generally miserable. I mentioned in my last blog that the hospital I was in switched my meds and helped track their effect. I switched meds at the very end of April and by mid-May they were kicking in and changing my entire life. The depression and anxiety started to fade and my intense emotions became more manageable. I started at KUSD on May 9th. By October I was hired full time at Whimzy’s school. Full-time was a huge deal. I ended up finishing the intensive outpatient program (IOP) in July.

Now I am just under 20 months sober.

While I was at that hospital, at the end of the first part of the program, the partial hospitalizion, my therapist gave me her card and told me that when I was ready to give her a call. She said that I was an example of a patient that could be really helpful and that she would love to have me come in and talk to a group.

I kept her card in my wallet this whole time. I finally contacted them a few weeks ago. I just spoke with her. Once Covid has calmed down and they are having groups in person she would love to have me come in. I thanked her for her part in helping me through it all. She said that hearing that type of stuff helps her to continue and have that ability to keep going.

I’m super excited and super proud. Back in, I believe, September of 2019 I volunteered to speak at a local organization about the Oxford program. I went in thinking it was going to be like a 15 minute thing and I ended up having to speak for an hour. Much to my surprise, I did awesome. I think it was great practice for doing some speaking at this hospital. 

It really just is full circle. I am ending up back at the place that set me on the right path to help others that are where I was. It makes me incredibly proud and happy that I’ve been able to move forward, but still be able to do this.

My depression and anxiety have come back pretty strong and I’m working through it, but I have been able to cope with the intense emotions. The waves of panic hardly ever occur anymore and when they do, I don’t self-destruct.

I guess my point of this is that no matter how many times you screw up, you can do better. You can move forward and make your life better, whether it be substance abuse or mental illness, or even both. It might take a long time and there might be lots of mistakes, but as long as you keep trying, you can do it. Trauma can be dealt with and you can heal.

I want to be as supportive as I can. If you ever need to reach out I have my social media information in one of the tabs above. Don’t forget there are also suicide hotlines and text lines. The nation wide text line is 741741. Just text and they have crisis workers ready. I don’t have the phone suicide number handy, but it is super easy to find. Just type suicide in Google (incognito mode, if needed) and it is the first thing that pops up.

You can do this.

Video Reaction to Rehab Video from Vice

First of all, this is copied directly from my personal facebook. I went on a tirade after seeing this video. Also, because it is on FB and the privacy settings, I couldn’t use a link. I did the next best thing. Screenshot.

Hopefully this helps.

Okay, here is the tirade I went on after watching this. It isn’t my best writing and there is no structure. It is my brain vomiting out information because there is so much I want to say about this.

Tirade:

Okay, I have a lot to say about this, obviously. First, I went to a hospital (that is an important distinction) called Roger’s Memorial Hospital. They have programs for most mental health issues, including addiction. I did several intensive and partial hospitalizion program (both are outpatient), a residential program, and 2 impatient programs. I have also had several inpatient stays at a local hospital and half of a stay at one of the fancy rehabs in Florida. Yes, there were horses. Lol.
Roger’s changed my life, period. My residential program wasn’t exclusive to addiction but addressed all of my issues. What I learned in those 37 days has been priceless. We had insurance, it is around 3,000 a night.  The second (and last) inpatient stay, also duel diagnosis (mental health and addiction) is what really changed my life. After being diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and my regular psychiatrist refusing to adjust my meds, the doctor there changed my meds and I think it has been one of the huge reasons I’ve stayed sober this long. For the record, I switched psychiatrists before I was even out of the hospital.
The fancy schmancy rehab? There was an insurance issue and they tried to get me to sign a promissory note saying I’d pay it all back so I could stay. Let’s not say how much a night there was. Did not sign the note. On a plane back to Wisconsin. Also I hate heat and it was in Florida. I was glad to go home. They focused on the 12 step program for the psychotherapy parts and the 12 step program has never worked for me. I use other peer groups like Women for Sobriety. I think that other paths outside of the 12-step program should be normalized and offered, even out of hospitals and rehabs. There were a ton of reasons it didn’t work for me, but that is neither here nor there. Inpatient, which often includes detox, usually is very short-term and tries to give guidance for outside of the walls afterwards, but I am not completely convinced that they are all that effective, other than they gave me other resources to look for. Roger’s, however, has different campuses in different areas and I was able to step down, from “living” there, to a program that had hours like school where you learned more and there was a continuation of med oversight. Then, after that there was a part time program at night that weened you into society and still had some medication overseeing. From what I saw, they wouldn’t release you from the program unless you have a doctor and therapist outside of Roger’s. And they often got permission to share their information to the outside care to help keep the transition smooth and effective.
I might actually go back to Roger’s and speak to a group there sometime soon, as a successful recovery.
Yes, mental health care is super difficult to find in most places and that is a huge factor in the epidemic. Anyone who insults addicts has absolutely no empathy or understanding of how hard it can be to get sober without medical care. I couldn’t have done it, seriously.
The lack of options shown to addicts and available to them as far as peer support groups often is only 12-step program. The closest in-person meeting (even before Covid) for Women for Sobriety was almost an hour away. They, thankfully, had online forums, meetings, and other options, again even before Covid. For awhile it was several meetings a day and then a check in on their forums first thing in the morning (after meds. Lol). I was lucky enough to have a recovery coach that told me about them when I complained about the 12-step programs.
Also, addiction is still considered a moral failing by a lot of people, despite the fact it is medically and scientifically a disease. People say that addiction is a choice…”they took the first drug! They would be fine if they hadn’t!”. In case you didn’t know, I’m in Wisconsin. Our baseball team is the Brewers… drinking is a rite of passage. Did I have to drink? No, but it was normal. I also cannot tell you how many times I’ve walked in on people doing lines of coke in bar bathrooms. I never did, but I can imagine that people, wasted, decide to try. Addiction affects just about every system in your body. It makes it so that a person is physically unable to stop without becoming ridiculously ill, in some cases the detox can kill you. So, you do drugs to avoid the detox. Anywho, it isn’t a choice. Absolutely no one grabs a beer and says “You know what? I want to need beer in my system enough that I get hospitalized, lose jobs, mess up my marriage, have legal troubles….” No one.
I’m rambling, but there is just so much to unpack from this that wasn’t explained fully and didn’t come from an addict’s perspective.
With addiction being such an issue in our country, there should be more education ( probably told only by professionals and addicts themselves. DARE isn’t effective, trust me. Lol) not only warning and teaching for people to not have the issue in the future as well as resources and explanations about during and after. Not to mention some sort of information on compassion. Tbf, though, alot of people need compassion, so that could be multipurpose. Lol.
I’m going to be 20 months sober on the 22nd. I can break down to you what made my sobriety stick this time, but I’ve already written enough. My depression has been giving me hella writer’s block, so this was great. Message me. I’m happy to talk about it….well not happy to talk about it, but happy to help educate and support. There is a difference. Lol. If you’re still reading, you probably have too much time on your hands 😉 Thanks for sticking through it.

Second ending for blog: I have an addiction category below if you want to check it out. Also, feel free to message me on my blog FB page, Twitter, Instagram, or my email (optimismandcaffeine@yahoo.com). All of the links are at the top in the social tab. If something doesn’t work, let me know. You also have the option of leaving a comment on here.

Go ahead and like this post and follow my blog, too. There is a lot of raw information and emotions about mental health and addiction, among other things. Heck, even better! Share!

You rock. You are loved. You got this. Go drink some water. Eat something that a horse or rabbit would eat. Take your meds. Tell your parents you love them. Cuddle something fuzzy (or scaly. Whatever floats your goat).

The Endorphins After

After my minor breakdown last night, I cried for a good hour, took a bath, started a movie, and passed out. I was super exhausted this morning because those breakdowns are exhausting. They, for me, are kinda a way to deal with the buildup of negative emotions that I usually don’t notice. Then, after it is all out, the endorphins kick in, and it ends up being a cathartic experience. I was conflicted on if I should have posted it last night, but it is part of mental illness. I promised I’d show every aspect of it, so I let my brain spill out onto the screen last night.

That being said, a lot of interesting and promising things are happening to me right now. I got the Recovery Coach job at my local mental health community resource organization. I’m in the middle of training right now and will start looking for another part time job after Christmas because this current position is extremely part time and I need to supplement that income.

I also set up a 30 minute deep tissue/trigger point massage for tomorrow. My brain has been so horrible lately that my muscles are hard as concrete. The chiropractor I tried only used the least scientific method for his practice and I didn’t find out until the last appt. He also wanted me to come in 3x/week for 6 weeks at $35 a pop. Yeah, not happening, especially for 5 minutes of service. So, I found a trigger point masseuse that also does this scraping technique that I really want to experience. He is also a Reiki guy, so it should be interesting. $30 for 30 minutes. Even 1x/week would be close in price to a single week at the chiropractor. I am honestly so excited. It is going to hurt, but it will be worth it to get some of this tension out of my body.

Two last things. I applied for Peer Support Certification Training last Friday. It is a 3 week course that teaches you about Peer Support and how to be the best one you can be. That is basically my position right now, so it should be helpful. Then I would take a certification exam and get certified! It would be so exciting. (Plus, my job offers a lot of Professional Development opportunities, HECK YEAH!!) Secondly, I also am in the process of applying for a volunteer position at an organization, Emotions Matter, Inc. They specialize in Borderline Personality Disorder advocacy. I was also informed that there is a chance for employment at some point. It basically sounds perfect, to be honest.

So, this is all insane to me. I am working on a career. Not a job, but a career, and taking tons of extra work on to make it a reality. I am insanely nervous and not anywhere near 100% confident in myself.

Tomorrow is 19 months sober. Seriously. It is beyond my comprehension of how I got here. It is also 19 months since my last forced hospitalization, and even longer since I’ve sprained a muscle. To be honest, that one is almost the most impressive.

Besides that, I have been super depressed and had plenty of absolutely horrid anxiety episodes. I haven’t imploded, self-destructed, relapsed, or gotten to place that feels hopeless, though. I haven’t had any serious suicide ideation and when it creeps up I reach out. I’ve gotten pretty good at asking for help and I’m proud of myself for that. I’ve even gotten comfortable with the idea that at some point, I might have to go to the hospital, but before the crisis, so that I don’t get to that point.

This is all growth and progress. I start my new planner in January, and this honestly feels like it might end up being a good year. Even with Covid, I might be able to accomplish quite a lot.

Tonight, though, I am still exhausted from last night and am getting a migraine. I’m gonna take a bath, put something comfy on, and do something relaxing.

The mood swing from crying for an hour, letting all of the bad stuff out, and feeling horrid to being cautiously optimistic in about 12 hours is normal for me. It is my life. I’m getting better, but being stable is a 100% effort 100% of the time. It is exhausting.

Alright, good night folks! What are you up to on this Friday night? Being safe and healthy, I hope.

The Trauma and Mistakes Train

I’ve accomplished quite a bit in my life despite lots of obstacles. I have hardly ever felt proud of these accomplishments or celebrated them. I think the biggest one that I’ve acknowledged is being sober for a year. It is a good thing, but there are more things that should be on that list.

I never crossed the stage for either my high school or college graduation. In fact, I didn’t do much of anything for either of them. You know why? I felt like I did them later than I should have and I felt like the reason I didn’t get them done when “they are supposed to be done” shows a moral failing on my part. All I can remember feeling is that maybe this made me a little bit more worthy, but not a lot. It has taken me 6 years to get into the field of psychology for work because of personal crises. Almost exclusively self-made personal crises. I just kept putting myself in to these situations and behaving in ways that kinda’ negated the degree because I couldn’t do anything with it because I wasn’t stable enough. I am excited about this job, but not necessarily proud because, once again, I feel like this is a late start and that it isn’t good enough.

I was able to get my daughter speech intervention early enough to get her out of speech therapy in Kindergarten and then into the gifted program by second grade. Why am I not proud of that? Well, I am ridiculously proud of her, but I feel like that is the singular thing that I’ve really done right with her. The rest of her good stuff wasn’t because of me. In fact, I blame myself almost completely for the bad stuff.

I bought a house, well, me and my husband bought a house. I’m not proud of that because within a year of living there I had relapsed and arrested and subsequently had to move out and pay my own rent. With my husband helping me out, we had issues with the mortgage and had to file bankruptcy. We have gone through the beginning process and have been paying on that for almost a year now, but it is something that I blame myself for, again. I haven’t done projects. I haven’t done this, that, or the other thing that I was “supposed to do”. My project list and to do lists just keep getting longer as my guilt and shame build.

I got sober, but not before I tore my life apart and hurt everyone I cared about. Not before I pushed people I genuinely love and miss away. Not before several hospitalizations, physical scars, spending 4 days in jail and getting a record. Not before I was so far out that I couldn’t see the shore and let myself drown. Not before it took 5 years of trying to quit and how many years of of making a fool of myself before that. Yes, I’m sober now, but I know that a lot of those blackouts I had weren’t blackouts for other people and I understand that I was such a terrible person that people aren’t willing to be a part of my life anymore or are so distant that it doesn’t feel secure anymore. I don’t blame them. How could I? I acted like a mean lunatic.

I even question my strengths. I feel like none of my strengths are strong enough to be useful or actual strengths. For this, I have imposter syndrome. I am not good enough at any of what I do for them to be a big enough deal to feel proud of. Reading? Haven’t hit my book goal in years. This blog? I’m not consistent or having growth with it. Geek? I’m not hardcore enough. Unicorns and glitter? Not anymore.

Nothing is good enough because it is all too little too late.

Honestly, these feelings have been there for a lot of my life. I never admitted their source, even inside my own head for more than small increments of time and when I did I would lay down and cry for a very long time. Hell, writing this is making it hard to not cry.

Bottom line: I don’t feel good enough. Not for anything specific, just not enough. I wish I had made better choices. I wish I was better, in general. I wish I could be proud of myself. I wish I had done more for me to look back at with a feeling of accomplishment. I wish I hadn’t wasted my 20’s being a hot mess and squandering that time when I could have been growing. I just wish I was more, or that I had been more. It gives me this hole in my heart. It feels like I’ll never outpace my past. No matter what I do it won’t take away those bad decisions or how mediocre and negative I feel about what I’ve done in my life.

I miss my mom right now. I don’t say that often because she wasn’t that source of nurturing for a long time that moms usually are. I don’t go to her memory for comfort. It wasn’t her fault. She was sick. I didn’t do good enough for her, but she never once blamed me. Never. I don’t know why all of a sudden I’m sobbing and wishing I could see her, but I am. I guess sometimes everything just kinda’ catches up and makes me feel like I was run over by the “trauma and life mistakes” train.

I honestly doubt that any of these feelings will go away. I’m pretty sure that this is just it. I can’t do enough good things to make up for my past. I don’t feel worthy of celebrating my good.

Finally! Something Silly!

I went to the neurologist and chiropractor today and one of the big takeaways from both is that I have absolutely no balance whatsoever. You know the sobriety “walk a straight line” test? Nope. Can’t do it. Stand on one leg like a flamingo? Nope, not even a little.

I’m at home wearing Ty’s pajama pants. I need to do laundry. And I’m walking, as one does, in a normal fashion. Little did I know that there were a couple small holes at the bottom of the left leg of the pants. Still walking, my right big toe gets caught in the one of left leg’s little ripped holes. If I hadn’t been turned towards a wall and caught myself, I’d be hurting pretty bad right now.

More examples of my wobbliness? I had a broken ankle and I tripped and sprained the other one. Within a week of each other I feel twice down the same stairs and severely sprained both ankles. I was once walking and just pitched forward, didn’t even try to catch myself and hit my head on a barstool. No, I hadn’t been drinking. Once, when me and Ty first started dating, we were in a parking lot and I just randomly fell. Didn’t trip, just fell. When I was about 22 and pregnant I went out with some friends and I was the obvious designated driver. I went to go drop my friend off and let her dog out (she was even wobblier than me at that moment). I was wearing boots. The dog pulled (barely), I lost balance and I could barely get the boot off quick enough because my ankle swelled up so big and so quick. So, let’s recap that one. Her, drunk – doesn’t hurt herself. Me, not drunk – ends up injured.

Also, just for fun, the same exact thing just happened again. Toe in the little ripped hole and almost falling. Caught myself on the bed. These pants or my toe is evil. You be the judge. I’m betting on the toe.

I am safely on the bed and won’t hurt myself…. hopefully. Ooh, and one time I sprained my arm. You guessed it, walking down a smooth hallway. Yep.

It is very exciting, though, I think I’m in the longest period of my life that I haven’t had any sprains or anything of the sort. If my right big toe has anything to do with it, that won’t be for very long.

Share your clumsy stories!

I’m Totally Not Freaking Out, in a Good Way

Last night I had an interview with a local organization that is the center for mental health resources and services for people who don’t have insurance or still can’t afford it even with insurance. This is the third time I’ve interviewed with them for three different positions and countless applications. It is a perfect role and is super part-time, but I would be getting my foot in the door.

It would be a step further down the career path that I went to school for, have the experience for, and would be confident in my ability.

My other positions have always been things that I’ve taken out of either necessity or I’ve kind of fallen into and tried to go into with enthusiasm and hope. I’m so grateful for those jobs. I learned so much.

They are reaching out to my references already and I am confident in the references I have used, so at this point it is a waiting game. I am pretty sure I rocked the interview. It is so much easier to gauge how I did when I was entirely confident in my ability and fit for the position. I also found the next training for the Wisconsin Peer Support certification training courses starts and have reminders and alarms and all sorts of things to be get my application in as soon as humanly possible when the website goes live with the applications. It would be another step in the right direction.

Also, updates on my ridiculous mental health. This perked me up a bit, not going to lie, but I am not counting my eggs until tomorrow if it is an actual spike or just a tease. I talked to my psychiatrist last night and we adjusted some meds and added a new one along with her recommending calling a neurologist. Of course, that makes me nervous, but it is kind of a “just in case” situation. Tonight I have an alumni group for MRT where we discuss where we are with continuing applying what we learned in MRT. I have been using it, so it is just having to find my book after I checked it last week. Physically I was able to get into physical therapy now that the remote customer service didn’t work out. Wait…did I cover that? So, there were widespread tech issues for at least of half of the 3 weeks I was there, and the second two weeks I wasn’t in training I only was actually working for half of the time because of more tech issues. It was just getting ridiculous and I wasn’t able to perform the job effectively, so I resigned. Gearing up to send emails if I don’t get paid tonight and then again in 2 weeks. Anywho….

More political posts coming along with a post about how absolutely wonderful and odd my daughter is.

Last, but not least, another reason I am freaking out a bit is that today is 18 months sober. It hasn’t quite hit as hard as the year soberversary, but it is still a pretty big deal and I’m trying to do my best to celebrate the milestone and focus on the progress. If I don’t do that, I could become complacent and that is a risk factor in relapse.

A Psychiatrist is a Doctor

And sometimes, so are therapists, but this is about me calling my psychiatrist at 8 pm on a Sunday, knowing full well I won’t get a call back until tomorrow.

I called because I, at this moment, need to call while I need it and I feel capable of making a phone call. Phone calls are like kryptonite for a lot of people with mental health issues.

I called because something isn’t working somewhere and my medications could be part of that. I called because that is what you are supposed to do when you have a chronic illness and symptoms aren’t resolving. I left a message and now just need to make myself answer when they call back, which is a whole other issue.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors. I think that gets forgotten alot. Their specialty organ is the brain. My brain is not neurotypical and I need help with the symptoms that I deal with because of that. Period.

I’ll update as things progress, but I felt like I really needed to remind people that it is a logical thing to do when symptoms aren’t resolving.

I also want to mention that this isn’t an emergency. In an emergency situation I would be using crisis lines or calling 911. I am not in any actual danger right now even though my anxiety is screaming at me at hard as it can.