Sometimes when I want to write an entry I start thinking about what has been in my head for the day and it seems like it is more of the same crazy and that becomes frustrating because I don’t want to be forever crazy. Sometimes I start to think that things are getting better and then I have a whole lot of Bad Head Days in a row and I’m floundering and wondering if I will ever find a way to be what I should be.
A Bad Head Day is kind of like a Bad Hair Day. Despite best efforts it is just so hard to make my thoughts and feelings not blow away and be a knotted mess. They squeeze at my throat and my chest and push heavily on the top of my tummy and make me feel so inadequate, useless, unable to be and do all the things I wish I could. Sometimes for me but mostly for Daniel or the kids. The problem is also that the two aspects of my illness feed into each other. Things make me anxious, scared, terrified and because of that fear I can’t just go about life like a normal person. Then my inability to be a normal person makes me feel depressed. Then I feel more worried that struggling with those feelings, I will be someone unfamiliar that Daniel or the children or my mum does not want to have to deal with. Then I feel more depressed at the thought of not being wanted or needed. Then it’s a fifty-fifty between whether I will be filled with fight or filled with the sense that I should just give up and let them be free from the burden of me. Or sometimes it is both because even when I feel the second way I hate that for them to be free of me, I would be free of them, and that would be worse than anything.
So anyway. Sometimes I don’t want to write the same things and I’d imagine that nobody really wants to read the same depressing shit all the time either. But I think my mum might be the only person who really reads this anyway and it’s not like anyone else is actually being forced to read it. And I feel that way about telling people or telling Daniel that I am having a bad moment or a bad week or a bad whatever. I know he already knows that I am crazy but him knowing and me calling attention to it are two different things. I don’t want to be his broken wife. I want to be his awesome wife. I don’t want him to work hard at his job all day and then have to deal with my failings when he comes home. I look forward to him getting home because I feel better when he is there and I can talk to him or do things with him or watch something with him or even just do something by myself while he is doing something else but sitting next to me. And I want him to be able to look forward to coming home for the same things. Talking about all the things I worry about and all the ways in which I feel pathetic and unworthy of being his wife and our children’s mother is not really fun times.
I didn’t realise when I was younger just how hard it could be to live in the world like this sometimes. I’ve always felt this way, inadequate, less, wrong. But it only affected me before. If something was too hard then it was ok to not do it. There was nothing I wanted to do so much that it was worth the internal seasick tornado to do it. Well, there was one thing. And I managed that mainly because the thought of not taking that chance and missing out on how amazing it would be with Daniel was more terrifying than the thought of doing it. But now when I have other people who rely on me I don’t want to disappoint them. I don’t want to say no. Everytime they need something I feel unable to give it is a choice between making them angry or disappointed or somehow trying to do it and feeling the anxiety, the shivering self-consciousness, the fucking uselessness and trying to not let that show and keep it under control enough that I don’t need to spend an extended period hiding in a dark place afterwards. Sometimes I risk the angry people (and some of my family members have quite prodigious tempers) but usually it is the second option. Being Atlas. Wondering if one day it will be too heavy.
i’m feeling a little… tight in the chest this morning. anxious, i guess. scared. hopeless. the usual.
i don’t know if it’s me… actually, it is me, but what i mean is i don’t know if it’s part of me inherently or if it’s behaviour that was conditioned into me after years of being told and shown when i was young.. that everything i do is wrong and everything wrong is my fault. and i do try really hard to remind myself that it isn’t true but sometimes the devil voice is a bit louder than the angel voice. and that’s when i feel a desperate need for your voice.. your actions that are louder than words, louder than all the other voices. your hands and your lips and your other parts, telling me with every touch and every groan that i’m not wrong and that i am worthy. and i can believe you because i trust you and i believe, inside me, deeper than the parts of me that are affected by the bumps and challenges of life and the complexities of neurotransmitters and hormones.. i believe that you could only touch me and love me like you do if i was something wonderful. and because you do touch me and love me i believe it, a little bit. enough to smooth over those bumps and balance the chemicals in my brain and my body, for a while, at least.
sometimes. or maybe a lot of times.. i am my own worst enemy. or maybe all the times. because what is wrong with me is what makes it so very hard to ask for what i need. on a good day, i can do that.. show you, tell you, that i want – need – to be joined to you, to show you that i think you’re amazing and beautiful and strong and brave and gentle and loving and hope that you feel that and know it, and know that i will feel that back from you. and that helps to keep me having more good days, it keeps me steady and i take less steps backwards than i do forwards. but on a bad day, when i have struggled and fought with my own mind about doing the things i must do, when i am tired at the end of a day and so exhausted from the battle.. when i most need you to hold me and remind and reassure me that you are with me, part of me, always ready to catch me if i stumble.. i have no energy left to tell you that i am stumbling.
i didnt actually mean for this to be depressing. i wanted you to know that.. that while i am having a bad head day, i keep trying because of you. because i want to be better for you, because you show me that i am worth it. and i am so grateful and thankful for you, even when i really don’t understand sometimes how you can put up with a person as flawed and broken as me. i hope that when i am the real me, not pulled down by my demons; when i am silly and hippy and witty and flirty and optimistic and naive.. i hope that i show you strongly and loudly enough how much i love you and how happy i am to share my life with you. how important you are. my air, my water, my sunlight, my daniel.
i love you.
jeg elsker dig.
A lot of people are in the habit of also asking how you are when they greet you. I am not. I worry sometimes that they think I’m being rude, but I’m not.
I hate being asked how I am, because I know that they generally expect me to say something like ‘fine’ or ‘good’ or maybe even ‘great’. But I can’t answer like that.. because very often I’m not. Or I’m not necessarily not good but how I am cannot be summed up into a simple word. So I am left floundering wondering how exactly I should answer, because I don’t want to lie, because that would be rude, but I also don’t really want to give a truthful answer because I’m pretty sure that’s not what they actually want to hear. And depending on who it is asking, there’s a good chance that I might not really be comfortable with explaining the whole truthful answer to them. Revealing the extent of my struggles is not something I can do with everyone. So if I manage to get past this hurdle and mumble out a ‘fine thanks’ or similar, I’m still off kilter from the momentary panic caused by trying to figure out the right answer to give, that I generally forget that the social convention is now for me to return the enquiry until after they’ve already walked past or moved on or whatever.
So then I’m left wondering if they are now walking away thinking that I’m rude, or maybe just strange, and that bothers me because I’m not rude (well, sometimes I am, but in these cases I am not trying to be), I’m actually a nice, polite person.. it’s just that they were the ones that flustered me by asking me a question for which there is no simple answer. And that in turn makes me feel annoyed at them for putting me in that position in the first place.
Hence the reason that I don’t ask people how they are, even if I am the first one to extend a greeting or even if I have more than a passing interest in their wellbeing, like with Daniel or my Mum or someone else who is a friend rather than just an acquaintance. I don’t want to inadvertently cause someone else the same inner discomfort that I get caused every time someone asks me how I am. And I am reasonably sure that for the people that I do care about, if there is something I need to know about that is upsetting or annoying or making them sick.. they’ll tell me anyway. (Some of them will even tell me multiple times. Not mentioning any names.
Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to not have to struggle. To ask everyone you greet how they are because you genuinely have no concept that for some people it’s not a simple enquiry but an interrogation that sparks off a mini panic on the inside because they don’t know how to answer. I wonder, because I can’t imagine. I really cannot comprehend being so unencumbered by the inadequacies of my own intellect that these interactions could be so simple and honest that as soon as you’ve asked and heard the positive answer, you’ve already moved onto the next topic since that one didn’t require any further action by you.
What do these people do with their brains the rest of the time, when they are not struggling against themselves? What else could I do with my brain if so much of it wasn’t dedicated to just managing to do the things I have to do?
i am waiting for my turn to see the head doctor. i screwed up and got here an hour earlier than i was supposed to be.
this morning, while we were gathering enough energy and motivation to get up and get in the shower..
me: i am kind of.. something.. about taking lithium. apprehensive? but that isn’t quite the right word.. what I knew of lithium before this led me to think that it was the kind of drug that only really crazy people take.
daniel looked at me with a sort of self-evident well, yes look.
but i didn’t think that i was that crazy.
but it kind of made me think: have i underestimated the severity of this condition that affects me? is that why i have struggled so much, because i have thought that i wasn’t ‘that bad’, because i thought that there were people way, way worse than me – people who get committed, people that need straight jackets and medicine in cups that they watch you take to make sure you take it, people who live in rooms with padded walls. people who need lithium.
i don’t think i’m anywhere near needing all of that stuff, but maybe the space separating me from people who are suffering that badly is not as wide as i thought. maybe i am just lucky because despite it all i have known deep inside that it is not right and not me and wanted to feel like i do on good days, every day.
it’s later now. evening.
i’m not going to be becoming a battery just yet. daniel understood this when i said it to him. i was somewhat surprised at that he got that to be honest. :)
turns out that a blood test the head doctor sent me for showed that i am deficient in iron and vitamin b12 and he thinks that i should have that fixed first because that could account for a part of why i have been so bad lately. vitamin b12 is apparently quite important in things the brain does. it could be that with those fixed and going to get some more counselling, the efexor that i am taking will do the job that it used to be doing effectively, again. or it might not.. and in that case we can consider giving the lithium a go in a month or two. i also have to get another blood test to check for a bunch of other things to try to find out why i have this deficiency. i think i need to have iron supplements to address that part too.. apparently i have heaps of empty capacity for iron in my cells but just not actually enough of the iron. something like that anyway. i asked for a copy of the results so that i could google all the acronyms afterwards (i didn’t say that bit about the googling, of course) but he said he was going to send one to my gp and seemed to think that fulfilled the request. but apart from those two things everything else was good, i have no anaemia, my neutrophils are as good as my mother’s (post neulasta), my cholesterol is good, my thyroid is good.
so i am going back to luke now, to have the iron and b12 things taken care of and to organise getting some counselling happening. may have to wait until next week to see him now, since it will take a couple of days for blood test results to get to him and by then it will be thursday or friday, and thursday is nanna’s medicine day™.
didn’t feel very good this afternoon and evening. it is tiring articulating the mental things and i had a headache and sore neck, i think that is from the chairs in the waiting room at the hospital. then when certain young persons started being disagreeable… well, that didn’t go well.
please note: we frequently refer to ourselves as “crazy”. this may not be the accepted vernacular for people suffering from mental illnesses, but it’s not meant in a bad way. i guess it’s vaguely like the way gay people reinvented ‘queer’ to their own purposes rather than the derogatory way it was first intended. so please no offense being taken.