Creating your own Perfect Storm

July is this beast of a month for me. I struggle, I fall, and then I just pray I get back up again.

July 31st, 2010 was a turning point in my life, I didn’t know it then, but I definitely know it now. My sister Tiffanie passed away suddenly at the age of 27. Her death took a toll on me, and it is not something I have ever recovered from.

July 28th, 2012, my cousin Greg passed away suddenly, and even though it had been many years since I saw him he was apart of my child hood that I remembered very fondly.

July 6th, 2015, my Grandpa Stan passed away after a long struggle with MS. He was such a big part of my life growing up, and the way he made any person feel like they were the most important person in the world is something this world is in desperate need of right now.

I usually start in June building myself up, getting ready to face the month. I go out more, I enjoy the sun, I spend time doing things that I love, and spending time with people that make me laugh. This June I didn’t get to do that, instead I spent the month reeling at the loss of my awesome nephew. My defenses are down and I am brewing the perfect storm for a mental break down.

My anxiety is at about a 9 almost every single day. My Depression is holding steady around a 5 or 6, most days, but I have seen a few days that spike to 10. Those days where my anxiety is a 9 and my depression is a 10, are the worst days to be around me. I get angry for no reason, I cry at everything, I can’t keep my breathing even, I don’t sleep, and I constantly berate myself for being me.

With all of these things happening, I convince myself that no one likes me, not even my co workers whom I spend the most time with in my daily life. I feel like I am a burden on my husband and I push him away. I stop going out. I go days without sleeping, then sleep for days on end. Doing anything feels like too much work. My house becomes a pit of disarray, then I struggle because I want the house to be cleaned, and I feel like I should be able to do it myself, but I can’t because it gets too out of control. I constantly worry about my daughter, and how I hope she isn’t anything like me. I lock myself in the bathroom, and cry in the shower. My inner dialog is always about something I should be doing more of. I should be losing more weight, I should be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend. I should be happy because I have so many things others don’t. I am constantly telling myself how awful I am.

As this perfect storm brews, I am trying to hold it back with all the coping mechanisms I have learned. Being overly cheerful and speaking love into the world is one of those things. Hearing positive reinforcement from my husband (which he is awesome at!). Spending time with our little family, and with my friends. Actively making myself go out to be with friends or with the family. Writing lists of things I am thankful for. Deep breathing, and reminding myself that I have a 100% success rate of getting through tough times. Resting when I feel overwhelmed. Focusing on one task at a time. Writing.

This is reality for me. This is reality for a lot of people that suffer with mental illness. I just want to remind anyone that is reading this that has a perfect storm brewing in them, that you are not alone. If you need to share my umbrella, I will share it with you. Tough times don’t get to win, tough people do.

January Writing Challenge: Day 1 & 2

I am a day late starting this challenge. I had thought of writing on a more consistent basis because it helps me to get the words out so they don’t cling to my subconscious in a vicious manner, sometimes trying to destroy my good thoughts or to distract from the happiness I am trying to live in, in the moment.

Surely writing a page a day won’t be too difficult, even if it is utter nonsense that no one else cares about, I am committed to getting it out of my head and onto the page.

These long winter days play havoc on my mind, and my depression. Add to that a schedule at work of 12 hour shifts all over the place and 60+ hour work weeks and I have become a huge ball of emotions. I don’t see my husband enough, I don’t see my daughter enough, nor do I see my friends enough. I feel the time I do spend with any of them is not quality time because I am not myself, I feel over tired most days. The long dark days pull at my psyche telling me to hibernate until the long days of summer are here again.

The holidays are and honestly will always be hard for me. I have this push and pull in my heart. This push to make the holidays the best with my little family and make our own traditions. Then there is the pull wanting me to retreat into memories of past holidays, that usually make me feel like I am missing so many important things. I hate missing the holidays with my nephews and my niece because my sisters and I said we would always spend the holidays together with our kids. I know these hopes and dreams that you have when you are a small child shouldn’t hold you in an emotional prison when you are older, but when my sister died, I feel so locked into these things. Each year that I am not able to stick to this agreement we made before we were even old enough to start thinking about our own kids , I feel like I fall farther and farther away from my family.

I put this pressure on myself, that no one else puts on me, and then it puts me into this tailspin of over thinking, and feeling like I am not doing enough. The thing is…I am the only one even thinking about these things. No one else is worrying about this, or feeling guilty about not spending holidays with me. Everyone around me, and my other family is perfectly content with how it is working out. I just need to come to terms with this and move on, why can’t I manage to do this?

I was speaking with a friend tonight about my daughter too. My daughter is a smart, funny, beautiful soul. She cares deeply and hurts deeply. I am afraid she is like me in that way. Since moving to the new school this year I see her blossoming more into this person that I know she is going to be for the rest of her life. She is wonderful, and she is learning something new every day. She LIKES to read now, she likes to draw and write and is very creative. Then why do I worry about her constantly? She has a few great friends and they do get together quite often, but I am afraid she isn’t going to be a very social person. Which she is perfectly content with her life and who she is. Why do I worry about these things? I was always a social butterfly, but Trev was like Maddie is, he is a very likable guy and everyone loves him. I sometimes think that in the quiet my mind just likes to make me think that things can’t possibly be that good, so I must self sabotage.

It is a constant struggle to keep my mind on a positive road, but I do try every single day to not travel down the path of negativity. Sometimes life is hard, but my life is no where near as hard as a lot of people have it. I have to let the bad stuff roll off, and let the good things fill my mind and heart. It’s just exhausting having to remind myself of this every single darn day. Here we are though. New Year, 2017, I vow to make it a more positive year from the inside out.