To Put It Bluntly, an oversharing post: 1
Who am I? On paper, I am a 33 year old woman who is married with a toddler. I have a masters degree and I live in the Midwest. If you were going to advertise to me, you'd most likely do something with coffee, snark, and leggings. Oh and sad indie music that sounds like Sufjan Stevens or Feist because my hip indie music is now 10 years old. My whole life I've loved writing and I have wanted to share what I have had to say with the world. Some of it better than others. I want to do this because I want to write things that make people think in a different way or is just a pleasant jolt of energy. Those are the things I love and the things I want to promote in my life and in my blog.
I decided to write this post, because to be perfectly frank, the last week has been devastatingly sad. A crushing sadness that I want to run from but every time you try to escape from something it punches you in the gut. The news has been awful and I feel like there is a huge misconception on sadness and what mental health means. I think it's almost a language that if you don't understand it you won't. I remember being on a date with someone and saying "don't you ever wish you could just disappear for a while? Like not think and take a break from consciousness..." He didn't ask me out again. I totally don't blame him. But the thing is, I thought that was normal. I thought everyone felt that way. They don't. I struggle with depression and anxiety. I have struggled with it since I was a child. It has nothing to do with my parents. It's just who I am. I will automatically jump to the worst case scenario. You could give me a cake and I would worry about how I looked eating it and if I said thank you soon enough. Having a child has made me so exhausted that it has actually helped with my anxiety, but I worry about everything.
The other thing is, I know what it's like to be various levels of sad. There's what Holly Golightly called the "Reds" where you have no idea why you feel the way you do and you have all this energy but you are trapped. This was a problem when I was younger and didn't know how to articulate it. To being simply overwhelmed because I push myself really really hard and then it catches up with bad sleep and bad eating habits. The hurt feeling where you are so utterly disappointed in life that you have a hard time coping. This is the majorish plan go wrong or finding out that you have been grievously lied to. To what Leo Tolstoy writes about as breathing because your body is making you. That is grief and I thought I knew what it was. I didn't until I did. The point is, sadness is real. When you are going through it you don't tell people or it manifests in different ways. For me, my skin goes nuts with eczema and my hair falls out. I binge eat like it's my job. Drinking and questionable choices with men were another hallmark of this pattern until I took it seriously as a problem and realized I was hurting myself. In one of my old journals I wrote about being in a cycle where I drank until the early morning and then would sleep in until noon. I'd wake up. Shower. Lay in my towel for a good hour just thinking. Moisturize my skin because it was going nuts. Wait for someone to call to go out drinking again. I called it "Depression: The Prequel." People who don't live in their heads are so lucky. They also feel like they can lecture us that do and they are the first to say "well that's just crazy behavior." Which you know and it doesn't help with mental health stigma.
It's a chronic condition. It's not something that makes any rational amount of sense. It preys on the irrational thoughts that you have. You will be walking down the street and be reminded of something awful you said. You will have minor existential crises that you have to run to a public bathroom to calm yourself down. If you are a woman, you aren't supposed to really have feelings right? Your mind is considered secondary to anything else about you and when you are someone who lives in your head it's not taken seriously. You can't have a normal life. To label what is wrong with you is too scary. So you get stuck in patterns refusing to believe objective reality and thinking everyone knows your secret. It's even better when you feel like your crazy is so obvious you can't hide it. It's not quirky or sexy. It's an irrational fear that something awful will happen if you don't park your car perfectly straight. Again, nothing sexy. Oh best believe my husband and I were living together before he realized I wouldn't sleep with my shoes in my room. Why? I have no idea. I just would freak out if I did. I assumed something awful would happen. Dread is real. Ask my girl Joan Didion.
The best advice I ever heard about suicide was from someone saying "think of Space Mom Carrie Fisher-spend another day living so you can tell people to f*** off." That spoke to me. Not, it will get better, because some things don't get better. You just learn to deal with them with patience and time (thanks Tolstoy). It's not easy and when you have looked in the mirror and thought "I will never be happy again" that seems impossible. Platitudes don't work because when you aren't thinking rationally other people's cheery irrationality makes you want to scream.
Here's what works, kissing your loved ones,long talks with your mains, art, baby snuggles, animal snuggles, good literary fiction, spending time cooking, walking/running, watching something so wonderfully ridiculous. Realizing you have a dark sense of humor and it's OK. Realizing that you aren't alone. Realizing you are worth being here and you are loved. Talking to yourself like you would to other people. Realizing that the world is complicated and you can't predict the future. Sometimes I feel the world is off the rails with malicious negligence. You need to focus on what you can do and you can't do everything. You are more loved than you know. Other people care as much as you. Other people worry about the things you do and they are working towards a better place.
I wanted to have this blog so I can write content that people want to see and things that brighten their day without being dishonest and saccharine. I'm blunt. But if you need help, please reach out and get it. Therapists are like dating, you won't click with everyone of them. Once you find the right one, they can save your life. They can lovingly get you rational and you can learn how to deal with your emotions by not hurting yourself. So I hope this content makes people happier, this is a challenge to myself to focus on more positive things. I can't get sucked into other people's depressing hot takes that send my mind into overdrive. I'm going to try to use social media but not in an overwhelming way. I feel like in the past few years social media has made just about everything worse.
So my therapist said the way to keep myself from focusing on things that hurt my mental health and drain my energy, I need to keep my mind occupied. I have to challenge myself so my mind doesn't get complacent. This is why I compulsively read. So I'll try to share and create content that helps with this. Please know you are not alone my sweet oddballs. You are loved.