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Demons and Dialogue

It’s happening again. I find myself slipping into the abyss that is my mind.

8e34429318843818d49d164da68e1ca6I don’t think I will ever truly understand what gets me to this point. Things have been going really well. Getting ready to head to KY for work, which is always a good thing. Christmas is right around the corner, it’s been snowing (yayyy!!), I have removed the toxic people from my life which was a breath of fresh air. It’s all been good! Out of nowhere, it seems like I wake up one day and everything going on that I thought I was unbothered, or talked myself through hits me like a truck. (Whenever that metaphor is made I visualize one of those chicken-carrying trucks crashing and just feathers everywhere! why? no idea! It’s hilarious though!)

Once the chicken-truck smashes into me I end up sleeping all day, not eating, and crying at the drop of a hat. I hate who I see in the mirror. I lose my patience easier, I make decision based on my mood instead of using my brain. When all of that happens, my Lupus flairs and I end up actually sick- sometimes to the point of spending time in the hospital for my heart and such which puts me in an actual depression because than I really do feel broken.

It’s like a train wreck without the train 

There is no reason I should feel this way. NONE. Yet, there my demons are- waiting with open arms to take me around the dance floor of my brain. Whispering in my ear between every step that I’m not good enough, that I’m broken and unloveable, that I’m a horrible mom because I’m there, with them, instead of being the patient, loving mom we all are programmed to think is the only “right” mom.

I have no idea why I end up here. I know that only I have the power to stop the dance, to leave the door of my mind like Alice does Wonderland.

The hard part is once I’m here, it feels like home.79a69c8de978cf2739a76096893b8599

It’s hard to let go of the demons inside, they were holding you when no one would. 

5 years of therapy and medication has made leaps and bounds in my quality of life.  It has saved my life countless times. It has helped me through some of the worst times. It’s never the times that require me reaching into my therapy knowledge to get by that put me into this spell. This comes out of nowhere, triggered by apparently nothing. I haven’t missed meds. I have’t changed meds. Im not suicidal, Nothing has triggered me… Nothing has happened that I can see to put me here….yet, here I am keeping time with my monsters. It confuses my friends, it makes me a horrible mother, it makes to “too much to handle” for almost everyone around me. Cyclothymia is one thing- this….this is something that feel so different.

I live with the fear of not stopping the dance. Not finding the door back to reality which leaves me living with my minds inner dialog narrating my life for me. I worry that because I don’t know what causes this, I won’t be able to stop it. I worry they are right. What if I am a monster? What if I am unfixable and unloveable? What if I am like a curse to those who get too close?

I hate it. I hate who I am when this happens. I want to be the happiness I know I have. I want to be okay. I want to be the mom mini demon deserves. The friend my true friends deserve. To love without worry, to smile and mean it, to laugh from my soul and not from my mind.

This doesn’t define me. This won’t win. I’m a warrior. I’m successful. I am worthy. I’m scarier than any of my demons.

I have to find the door…

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I am a Warrior

img_5100December 9, 2016 I got my semi-colon tattoo.

I shared it with the world with a post that read”  This is one of my most meaningful tattoos. Life has put me back in an insanely dark place, and it seemed appropriate that I remember I have been given not one, not two, but THREE chances to live my life. I cannot allow things to break me down, affect my happiness, or prevent me from pushing forward. No matter how badly I want to crawl into a hole and avoid the world, that is not the answer. I am stronger than the bullshit. I am not defined by these bumps and bruises. My story isn’t over.”

Little did I know, this would not be my last run-in with suicidal thoughts. It’s never really a “woe is me” or a “the world would be better without me” kind of thing, it’s always a “this is too much”, “I am so tired of fighting”, “I used to be able to handle this”. So many people look at suicide as something “selfish” or “stupid”…and while most of those people are people who have been hurt by someone who did just that- it’s boils down to one thing… to the suicidal, suicide seems like it is the only answer.

My tendencies come from my inability to  manage my stress paired with fibromyalgia. (Yes, I’m medicated. Yes, I see a therapist every other week, and have seen one since 2012. Yes, I see a psychiatrist once a month, and have since 2012.) My issue however, isn’t something like depression or anxiety… I have a trauma caused chemical imbalance. That imbalance does crazy things to my brain that result in stuff like sleeplessness, sleepiness, mood swings, and of course-my inability to handle high amounts of stress. The ONE thing that I worked best under. The ONE thing that fueled my success. I loved stress. I thrived in stress.  After my last deployment to Afghanistan, my ability to manage my stress spiraled downward and than was met with a diagnosis of Chemical issues AND Fibromyalgia all within weeks of each other.

I decided December 9, 2016 that I was no longer going to fight silently or allow others to fight silently. I was going to speak out, stand up, and tell my story to help others realize that there is more to mental health than what we think. There is more to things like suicidal tendencies and depression and anxiety than what people picture when they hear those words. I am a Mom, a Fur Mom, I work full time, I do freelance web design and marketing, I run a non-profit for Veterans and I work for a non-profit for Female Marines. I have multiple degrees. I blog. I read. I sit under the stars. I sleep in. I drink coffee. I live a very normal and successful life. At times though, my brain decides “this one week I’m going haywire” and it does. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does- it’s life threatening. I ALWAYS reach out. I ALWAYS apply what I learned in my years of therapy. I ALWAYS ensure someone knows I’m not doing well and in my opinion, most importantly, I speak out- normally on social media or via my blog. I let others know “Hey, I look normal and happy but right now… I’m not doing so hot. I am human and struggle just like you”.

I don’t do it for attention. I don’t do it because I’m weak. I don’t even do it because I am
depressed. It is a medical thing, and something people need to be aware of that happens and can happen to anyone. I get in a weird mood and it kind of spirals2e88394980fbc1bf6e44b3d539247c96 down from there. I can normally tell on onset and head it off long before it gets bad- and I see my therapist a little more until things are back to “normal”…but sometimes, it just happens. I end up sobbing in the shower realizing how tired I am of not being normal, not being the old me, how I miss being as versatile and resilient as I was. How I hate the pain. How I want my life back.  All of those feelings triggered by feeling “off” which is triggered by a chemical drop in my brain paired with my fibromyalgia, and I just break.

The stigma around talking about mental health issues is just mind blowing to me. It’s the stuff no one wants to admit or talk about and when someone does, it’s like the whole world comes to one of those rusty halts that makes noise and stuff falls off of. Everyone starts to whisper and shake their head. They start “feeling sorry” in the way of pity, not worry. It turns into alienation, distrust, and a barrier between those who don’t understand. Not put up by the sufferer, but by those who don’t grasp what is happening instead of asking, talking, sitting down and trying to figure it out. People whisper behind your back and treat you like a ticking time bomb. The only way to stop the stigma is to stop feeding the stigma. Stop making it not okay to be open about issues. Stop making people feel like they are wrong for voicing their experience, emotions, or struggles. There is NOTHING wrong with being open about any of that. Sometimes, just saying the words or typing the words is an outlet. Don’t deny someone the outlet they need or deserve. Don’t deny someone who may need to see someone else’s words to understand their own struggle better, or to motivate them to get the help they need. I have THREE years worth of once every 2 weeks therapy under my belt. I learned that “manning” up to my emotions, not bottling them up, SEEING in writing what I am dealing with, and than breaking it down and realizing what happened is my best medicine. To be told by anyone, ever that that is unacceptable, frowned upon, or “weird” is aiding in the stigma. Stop. Feeding. The. Stigma.

Since I have started speaking out about my struggles, the outpour of messages I receive here, on social media, and via email about the difference I have made in someones life, or how much I have helped them is so overwhelming. PLEASE reach out. PLEASE speak up. I now dedicate my life to coaching/mentoring Veterans who want to find holistic alternatives and learn skills to improve their quality of life in hopes of reducing the number of Veteran Suicides.

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This post is in response to The Daily Post’s Discover Challenge