Mental Health, Random

Thoughts, Part 4

Apparently, yesterday’s post concerned more than one person. My bad, ya’ll. I just needed to vent.

In the past, I was never one to share my feelings. I would keep them bottled and let them fester deep until I lost my mind. I believe a lot of people are that way. I’m in my early 30s and I still struggle with sharing out of fear of what people will think or what they will say. Sometimes, I fear hearing the advice that I know I need. Sometimes, it’s lack of trust. Sometimes, it’s because I just don’t feel like talking.

I’m trying to curb that behavior.

I wrote yesterday about some deep feelings. The results of that were 1) I felt better for getting it all of my chest and 2) It helped someone else feeling the same way feel better. Unfortunately, I think it terrified some people. No need for that. We all have bad days, don’t we? Yes, I have people to talk to. Yes, I have a therapist. Yes, I’m on my meds (though I’m carefully weaning myself off of those). But, I won’t even attribute that post to mental health issues. I will attribute it to a couple of shitty things happening at the same time. You know what? That’s ok.

I’m learning to share. I’m loving this community of people that I’m getting to know through poetry, short stories, and even moreso, through their non-fictional stories. Do we question it when someone writes a very dark, concerning poem or story? Usually not. Well, I didn’t feel like putting all of that into the form a poem last night. Just wanted to get it out. I’ll have more bad days. I will share more with you. I’m baring my soul to all of you. It’s therapeutic for me and I’m actually happy to do it. We’re all going through a perpetual healing process because life constantly throws lemons and other bullshit at us.

So, yeah… yesterday was a bad day – the culmination of things on my mind. They aren’t on my mind anymore and I thank you for reading, listening, and caring. Lauren is good.

Random

Thoughts, Part 3

Perhaps if I get it all out in writing, I’ll feel better. It won’t all be in my head. So, here goes my rambling. If you read it, you’re a trooper and I love you.

I feel ugly. I cut off all my hair. Decided to go natural. Everyone loves it. I love it because I don’t have to mess with my hair in the morning. But, I’m still getting used to it and don’t always feel like myself. I’m fat. In high school, I hovered around 185 pounds. I was made fun of for my weight thoughtout all my school days. In college, I got down to 155 pounds. Then, I began to work. Take antidepressants. Take birth control. Blew up. At my largest, I was 285 pounds. I stopped taking birth control and antidepressants. Got braces. Determined I was going to lose all the weight and managed to lose 93 pounds. I wasn’t quite at my goal, but I felt great. But, my depression and anxiety started to flare up again. Back on antidepressants I went. I’ve gained almost 40 pounds back. I feel gross. I feel disgusting. I feel unattractive.

I feel worthless. I wish the majority of people I know didn’t end up hurting me. I really liked a guy. He really likes me. He has a girlfriend. So, why tell me he’s into me? I told him we shouldn’t have anymore inappropriate conversation because I genuinely liked him. He hasn’t spoken to me since. We’ve been friends for years. But, now that I think about it… have we? I’ve always been the one to care, to check on him, to make sure he was ok, to love him as a friend for who he was. Now, we’re not friends because I’ve realized he’s a piece of shit. Another son of a bitch that wanted a side piece. Not me. I’m tired of that life. I’m tired of being used. I deserve more than that. But, I can’t help but feel like I’m not worth any man’s time.

I feel tired. I’ve been lethargic in a way that I’ve never been before. I can’t even get out of bed in the morning. I started weaning myself off of antidepressants and surprisingly, I feel better. Why do we take meds to feel better when ultimately we just become accustomed to them? The doctors just say increase your dosage, try something different. Well, I’m sick of doing that. I’d rather just not take them.

I feel a myriad of other things that I cannot put into words. I’m not sure where I’m going or what I’m doing. I feel like a shadow of myself. I used to smile more. I used to enjoy life more. I had more energy. Today, I feel like I’m just bouncing on the wind, going wherever it takes me, but not caring where I end up.

Mental Health, Random

Musings, Part I Don’t Know

“Now is the winter of our discontent.”

For some reason, this line echoes in my mind, alongside the ubiquitously quoted, “Winter is coming.” Winter is almost here. I’ve never been in fear of it before.

I can’t shake this state of depression that I’ve been in for the last year or so. I thought I had, but I find myself deeper in it. These last few days, my anxiety levels have been at an all time high. A couple days ago, I had to smoke half a cigarette just so I could sit still at work. It’s done wonders for my asthma.

I f ind myself at the edge of rumination, something that I struggle very hard with. I’m constantly stuck in the past, worried about something I said or did that I can do nothing about. That no one else is thinking about. I’m considering the consequences of it and making myself sad and angry at myself. I begin to think of myself as a bad person for the things that I’ve done that just purely… well, human. I remember my current therapist making that point to me when I first started seeing her. Do you that it had never occurred to me think that I simply was making human mistakes?

I am lonely. I want to date and I don’t want to. I wish that people met more organically these days. Remember when we used to walk up to someone on the street or in a bar and say, “Hi, how are you?” Shake hands. Exchange names and numbers go from there. Now, there’s so much pressure to have the right pictures, say the right things, divulge your entire personality in the matter of a couple of words and hope that you catch someone’s interest long enough to have a half-hearted conversation with you. Then the ones’ you do meet turn out to be something entirely different than how they portrayed themselves and they hurt you. I can only do this for a few weeks or so before I get bored of it all. I’m finally at a point where I refuse to settle for any man and his bullshit just to be with someone. All I really want is someone who is loyal and trustworthy. Why is that so difficult?

I want to find a depression support group. To be honest, though, I consider this little community it’s own form of a support group.

I remember moving from Florida to North Carolina in December. The cold weather and the snow hit me hard. It took me months to get out my depressed stupor. It’s occurred to me that I might have seasonal-affective depression. This is actually why I live in Florida. People ask me why I would live in this oppressive heat. Truth is, I’m happier when the sun’s out. I notice that when I leave my desk to take a break and go for a walk, I’m able to take deep breaths that I seemed to have been unable to take while sitting in front of my computer and physically (and probably visibly) relax.

But, lately, even that doesn’t help and I trade the sunshine for sitting in my apartment all day long watching cartoons. I’ve cut so many people out of my life that I have very few friends and I hate to burden the ones that I have with this perpetual mood, these clouds that I have over my head. They’ve noticed. They want the old Lauren back. F**k. I want the old Lauren back. Some parts of her anyway. But, I’m not entirely sure who she was or is.

Sometimes I fully believe that my experiences are due to karma because I get so into my head and believe that I have failed as a person. The way we treat ourselve sis vicious. I know this, but I can’t stop.

I watch these commercials on depression with people holding up happy faces in front of their actual faces like masks. I’m wishing I could go through life like that right now. I had a coworker recently get on me about having resting bitch face. I don’t think it occurred to her just ask me if I was ok. It doesn’t really occur to anyone these days, does it?

The hardest part is not being able to get my poetry out. I want so much to become a more creative writer and reach new heights with my poetry. One accomplishment is that I will have a poem published towards the end of this month! It will be my first. But, when I get into this space, the words don’t come unless there’s alcohol or 4am insomnia (see two posts ago). I wish that my mind could function well enough to write in all types of moods. Instead, I’m subjecting you to this devastating stream of consciousness.

Please forgive me.

Mental Health

Another Day, Another Diagnosis

As the years go by, more and more gets added to the fire:

Major Depressive Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (just a little)

Depression, Severe, Recurrent (I went up a notch!)

Then, recently, I was describing some recent behavior to my therapist and she says she thinks I had a manic episode. What does the doctor say today?

Bipolar Disorder II

What does this mean? It means more meds. Sad. Pills. Can’t sleep. Pills. Impulsive. Pills. Anxiety. Pills. Throw in my acid reflux medication and I have a mini-pharmacy. Is this really the answer? I fear that it is, sometimes.

When I left group therapy I was on a high. I could’ve walked on water. I felt accomplished. I was proud that I had seen it through. I was attached mentally and emotionally to my little family of strangers that I had shared so much of my life with. I was feeling hopeful. But, slowly, that high has gone down, down, down…. to the point where I don’t want to leave my sofa anymore. Does this mean that I’m meant to be a pill-popping, therapy-attending sloth forever? It feels like it. I don’t knock either of these methods. Some of us just need it. I, personally, am a completely different person when I’m not medicated. But, sometimes I tire at the necessity of it. Sometimes, I wonder if the doctors are really listening and actively helping us to develop coping skills outside of prescriptions. I felt that way today. Rushed. The doctor was filling prescriptions within five minutes of the session. She wanted me to talk to my therapist about a possible bipolar diagnosis. She knows me, so she should be able to do it, right? I said to her, “shouldn’t you?” I think this must’ve irked her because while she went on about not knowing me, she stopped long enough to listen to my symptoms and come to an agreement with my therapist’s concern.

I don’t know what the point of me writing this post was. Simply to express frustration, I guess, with the system and with myself. I just want to be happy all the time, one big f**king ray of sunshine. But, damn, it’s hard for some of us, isn’t it?

 

Mental Health

Empty

You know those rare and random times where you have a decent day, or even a really good day? The kind of day where you got to be where you wanted to be when you wanted to be there. You were in good company. You satisfied some goals. You’re proud of your accomplishments. You did something nice for someone and made their day. You made a difference.

And then the days over. You come home. There’s no one here. And that high turns into the ultimate low, if it was ever really a high at all. Sometimes, we don’t recognize our own facades because we’re so used to wearing them.

I feel empty, depressed, down, unfulfilled, alone… and there’s some confused part of me without feeling.

What do you do when this happens?

Mental Health, Random

Awake, Part 10

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

I don’t even know. Knocks on the side of my head with my finger. Are there words in there?

My insomnia seems to coincide with the peak post time of people I follow. I’m thinking that I’m grateful for this because it gives me something to do while I sit here in bed alone, wide awake. My poor bed. It must feel somewhat distraught at rarely getting used for its purpose.

My therapist is concerned I might be experiencing mania. One more thing to add to the list of issues? We’ll find out. I do not want more meds, even if they do put me to sleep.

I went to a comedy show tonight. Loved the comic. Enjoyed my friends. Laughed. Smiled. Inconspicuously watched the clock wondering if it would be over soon. Irony. He made a Star Trek joke and became my new favorite person. 🖖🏾

Met the comic. He commented on how soft my skin is. Made a joke about how we should market it. I laughed. I smiled. I turned. I left. I stopped laughing. I stopped smiling. Am I spiraling downward again? Feeling mechanical, but unoiled. I’m the Tinman looking for the yellow brick road I must follow to my heart with that damnable dumb girl who kept making me sing. Why didn’t she ask what the shoes were for?

Awake. Wondering about all of these things and when this lack of sleep will kill me.

Random, Uncategorized

At the Bar

Wednesday evening at the bar. I had to check to make sure it was Wednesday. The days blur lately.

I’m having boneless wings in the restaurant’s special sauce. I’ve had them before. I didn’t feel like being brave today.

Tullamore and ginger beer. I have to ask for lime. Whiskey is my drink of choice, in general, but also for contemplation. The bartender has finally remembered not to fill my glass with ice.

To my right are two women exploring a jewelry catalog. One is speaking about how the jewelry can tell a story as though it is a spiritual journey. Their intense small talk about nothing makes me twitch. I wonder what, if anything, is really important to them.

The man who was sitting to my left has just left. I did not see him depart. His empty beer bottle, the condensation from it, and the signature on a soon lost piece of paper are the evidence that he was here. He was complaining about the rain. I think to myself, “It’s Florida…. Maybe get over it.”

The women have received their food. It grows cold as they are engrossed in their shopping venture. They are complaining about an acquaintance that’s super loud. I want to tell them they are annoying and they’ve killed the ambience with their unsubstantial bullshit.

“Is anyone sitting here, ma’am?” There is now a new couple to my left. He takes beer. She takes wine. Typical. They couldn’t hang with me. I look at their faces and I wouldn’t expect them to be together. They’re discussing the price of lobster rolls and whether or not they are hungry. It would seem they’ve come to the wrong place.

I’ve just realised I’m the only black person at the bar. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, I’m used to it in the South. Only an observation that only people like me tend to observe.

I am wishing someone I cared about was sitting next to me. I am wishing I would not walk back home in the rain alone. I long for the warmth of more than whiskey. I am longing for the warmth of your hand.

Mental Health, Random

Awake, Part 8

I know why the caged bird sings…

How I long to be free of my self-imposed battle with guilt. All the things I’ve done, all the ways I’ve wronged someone, all the things I’ve said, all the mistakes I’ve made, every embarrassing moment orbits the edge of thought trying to break into my brain’s gravitational field. I try to keep the thoughts at bay. Damn by interminable, long memory. It is like my grandmother’s, who at 100 years old, could spout of details of not only all of her offspring’s long ago mishaps, but her own childhood. I envy those who can easily forget and shake off the little things.

I’m afraid to sleep because I’m afraid to dream.

I’m afraid to wake because I’m afraid to think.

Where is the happy balance? Where is the freedom from this self-inflicted tyranny? Hope do I get out of this vicious cycle that keeps me caged in monotony, vulnerability, fear, and one damnably terrible sleep pattern?

The caged bird sings of freedom.

Poetry

Time/Awake, Part 6/Collaboration, Part 2

Borrowed this photo from eMAGINE for her post Season Finale. The photo spoke to me; it shows us what happens when we spend out time waiting on others. I wrote a similar poem a couple years ago for a piece called Chess (Right) by Xiong Xuan (excerpt of same poem at link).

*****

Once upon a time
Not so long ago really
That’s just how stories begin
We found each other
And were so enchanted
We looked forward in time
Saw all the possibilities
And with our hearts beating
In time together
We were galvanized into action
Accompanied by seemingly endless time
Now, wait, hold on
I thought…
I thought you were with me
Time is of the essence
But you are wasting time
Looking at the time
Ironically considering
all you have to do
all you have to do
all you have to do
If you could focus on my face
See the zest and vigor
And be so motivated again
Stop focusing on that face
Watching the hands going by
The hands go by
The hands go by
Don’t see me wringing my hands at you
I’m leaving, though
Time and I have things to do
Spread joy and love here
Some chaos there
Except… Wait…
I see my feet in the same place they were
I’ve been watching you
Watching the time
And in that time
you left me behind
In a place that time forgot
Wondering at the waste
Wondering at the loss
Now I realize that all this time
I was never supposed to go with you
Perhaps you knew
And were waiting for the right time
To leave me
You small-time crook
Walked off with my heart
Left memories
Now I’m watching you
Thinking on the time that was
whispering by on the wind
Tick, tock
Tick, tock
Tick, tick, tick
I was not listening
Not watching the interminable hands
Because I was following with you
Like Alice down the rabbit hole
Dreaming
Now, suddenly, I have all the time
But these hands don’t know which way to move…
Sometimes we try to recreate our pastimes
In our present
But it’s not what the future intended
Only time will tell that
Oh, the times…
They are changing

Mental Health, Poetry

Little Girl/Awake, Part 5/Collaboration, Part 1

Borrowed this photo from OraforLife for her poem The Locked Up Soul. Posting a poem I wrote that both her poem and photo reminded me of. Thank you, Ora! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

*****

Quite by accident one day
I was sitting on a bench alone
Staring into nothingness
Seemingly content
Then came this little girl
A familiar girl
She sat beside me
Prim and proper
Soft dark skin
Deep brown eyes
An angel almost
And in her presence
My soul felt more tattered
Then the clothes I was wearing
So I tried to ignore her
No
She tugged at my sleeve
I thought it would come off in her tiny hand
She posed her questions
“What is love?” she asked
Didn’t look at her.
“Love is waste,” I said
“Worthless, painful, never love.”
“What is hate?”
“Hate is the only true emotion.
What forces you to soldier on
What keeps you alive.”
“And what is life?”
I cringe.
“Life. Life is a trial.
It is agony.
It is blood outpoured
And never regained.
It is broken hearts and dreams.
Life is being here and dying.
Nothing more.”
When I finished
She was silent
I finally brought myself to look at her
To look deep into her eyes
There was sweetness there
There was hope
There was innocence
Would I destroy her
Wit the bitterness within me?
How could I speak these words?
How could I let her think these things?
And so I took her in my arms
And took her tiny hand
Held it tight
“Let me try this again,” I said
“Love is a splendid feeling
That should be given and felt
And though sometimes it hurts
We never give up on it
Hate is for the lost
Those who gave up on love
And so they choose anger
Life is not just what you see
It is only what you make it
So choose a path
Never look back
Do not be ashamed of it.”
When I finished
Her eyes were shining
She smiled
I looked at this child
This girl I used to be
The one who lives in me
I realized I had forgotten all I told her
I had forgotten what life could be
Forgotten happiness
I had only allowed myself to know
My rancid inner soul
No more
So I took her in my arms
Hugged her
Squeezed her
Until she was no longer there
Until I only held myself
I stood up then
With renewed spirit
A young girl’s hope
And a lust of long ago
I chose a path
A brand new road
I will not look back
I will not find shame