It’s a driving hazard, I know this. I know. Worse than texting, I look up and snap photos of our amazing sky while on my daily jaunts to and from here or there. The same amazing sky everyone else sees, only this is the only time any of us will ever see the exact same scene ever again. How does that not inspire you to capture the moment right then and there, whether at a red light or driving 60 down some windy road? This time, I was on a 4 or 5 lane street with hardly any traffic and this as far as the eye could see. I couldn’t resist! Hope you understand.
Happy Mental Illness Awareness Week to all my crazy peers out there. It’s good to know being bat shit crazy is being recognized. Cheers to being you, and you, and you, and you ❤
DID YOU KNOW….14 years ago Congress designated the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW)? This was done to recognize the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s effort in raising awareness of mental health.
Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect ANYONE, ANYWHERE, at ANY TIME. Knowing the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses will help keep you and your loved ones safe, happy, and healthy.
“Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.” (NAMI) Mental health disorders can be any of the following (for more information, click on the disorder of interest):
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Memoirs and mostly true stories of other people’s miseries and their triumphs over them. I didn’t realize the pattern of memoir porn I had in my collection until I started my Goodreads account. In it are stories of junkies, rape victims, childhood incests, paranoid schizophrenics, and serial killers. Of those who are so overwhelmed with life they can’t bear to see what happens in their own, suicide. Those who can’t face the day without a drink or who love their husbands despite the beatings, children who don’t know their real name, and parents who abuse their own children just for attention. What do these painful stories do for me? They show me that my life isn’t really all that bad. That despite how low I can get, things can ALWAYS be worse. In fact, I don’t even have an interesting life story so tragic that I must write about it (much less get it published and have thousands of people buy it). I am so very ordinary, so very mundane, and uninteresting that I gravitate 95% of the time to people with the talents I envy: artists, musicians, writers, and the like. Show me interesting, insightful, artistic, genius, and I will present to you your biggest fan.
So, hit me with any tale of woe along with a subsequent triumph and I will return the favor by relishing in the deliciousness of a story other than mine.
Have you ever felt like you were somewhere between extremely boring and absolutely batshit crazy? There is nothing diagnosable about me. Yet I know something isn’t quite right in my brain. No meds that will cure me, yet just existing everyday doesn’t seem to work either. Fucking hell. What to do. I go back and forth between being super motivated and crotchety because no one else in this damn house will do any fucking chores, to the super lazy and depressed one with my head under a blanket wishing I could just die. And it doesn’t just happen once a month. No, it’s pretty much once every week or so. I obsess over every thing, yet could give a shit about most things. I can’t even bear to have conversations with people a lot of the time and would prefer losing myself in a book, or journaling, or playing some mindless game on my phone. I’m tired of worrying about him. Why he didn’t call. Why he doesn’t care. Yet I can’t stop thinking about him. Why he led me to think he wanted more than just a Saturday night special with a very ordinary single mom. And just when I’ve convinced myself that from now on I’ll worry only about myself and my kids, there my brain goes, obsessing over the entire situation again. I’m tired. Yet why can’t I sleep. I’m over this, yet I can’t move on. I need help, yet there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me. Why can’t I be one of those women who didn’t think about the WHYs and just went about life in my own little bubble, accepting every situation for exactly what it was and having zero expectation for anything more? I want to be blind to it all. To be so shallow that I can’t fathom anything better. Sometimes I really do believe that ignorance is bliss. Knowledge is killing me slowly.
Four years of being each other’s SOS, and subsequent rebounds when the other had been dreadfully dumped, he and I decided to try and be a “real” couple. Weekdays would be spent at our respective homes, while weekends were booked with his late night gigs as a drummer and me tagging along for support (which usually meant me sitting around at a bar, smoky or otherwise, on the sidelines watching everyone else get drunk). Long story short, this arrangement didn’t last long. Being a single mom of two didn’t give me much down time and spending my precious weekends sitting at a bar mostly sober while listening to music I really didn’t care for and watching 20-somethings drink themselves into oblivion soon got extremely tiresome. I started some silly fight over something barely worth remembering and that was the last weekend he stayed over. While doing the laundry later that week, I made two of the most wonderful discoveries! Johnny Cash and Fatal T-Shirts, sized XXL. They make the best pajamas!
PS: I’m not sure if he realizes they’re missing. It’s been a year and I never plan on letting him know where they’ve been all this time. Did I say that? Oops!
It’s not to tell an imaginary story or to string together some lines of amazing poetry. I write to remember. To get the crazies out without throwing them out at some innocent. I write to show my future self that I have grown from where I thought I could never. That evolution happens. And when I’m in a better place, I oftentimes can’t even go back to the things I’ve written, or worse (better?), I don’t even recognize the voice behind the words. I do this to prove that I’ve been here before and conquered it. I’ve been through worse and have persevered. I’ve had better and shouldn’t settle. I’ve felt raw emotion and haven’t become numb. And I write to remind myself that I haven’t just fallen into this ridiculous obsession with love. It’s always been here, the trepidation then intrigue, excitement then fear, resolve then rejection. The abandonment whether real or perceived. The strength to keep going. And the secret me that got through it all without anyone else knowing. I write to remind myself I’m human and beyond my super confident exterior, I’m little more than a vulnerable silly, gullible girl who keeps searching for her ideal replica of the father who left her so young. Would I even know if I found him? That’s the big joke, I guess. Probably shouldn’t have said that.
I know I shouldn’t say this, but sometimes when you have SO much going on in your head it’s just easier to let your fingers to the walking. My wrist gets tired and I have too much in here! It needs to get out! And writing out my crazies is MUCH better than the destructive behaviors I WANT to imbibe in.
I find it interesting how many people tend to go through transition periods at the same time. And for whatever reason, I’m the first to know about it, or the one they come running to when things get overwhelming. I know I’ve said this before. And just when I think, damn I need a hobby to get out of this funk I’m in… BAM! Here comes someone in a transition period and I’m asked to help, to listen, to advise, to make sense, to justify, to counsel, and sometimes, just sit. It’s happening again and I’m so grateful for it, in the most bizarre sense. I am able to concentrate on other people’s problems instead of honing in on my own, thus giving some time and space for my own crises to heal and therefore giving my brain some much needed rest.
[insert lots of examples of people reaching out for guidance]
My point is, people are transitioning right now. And I feel it’s when I’m needed most. Regardless of how much time has gone by, the things I have felt, the emotions and anger or resentment I cycled through. This is my hobby. This is what makes me feel important. This is what makes me feel needed and confided in and trusted. No, they won’t always need me. Eventually they will be happy again and I’ll be pushed aside.
One thing that occurred to me today is the fact that I’m really happy when I’m single. I have no expectations, I’m not waiting for anyone to call or text, I’m not hoping someone will make plans, then feeling disappointed when they don’t. It’s just me and the girls, doing whatever we do, without anyone making me feel insignificant and unimportant, whether intentional or not.
What scares me… what drives me to panic, is the fear of abandonment. The slow progression of feeling someone slip away. The intensity that gradually starts to wane. The one word responses, if any at all. The fear that I’ve done something to incite this change. The self-abuse. The negative thoughts. The insecurities that creep in. All of that. That’s what scares me. That’s what I fear. My biggest. I’m ok once I’ve lost it. The actions leading up to the loss… that’s what kills me. The disappointment. Then reminding myself that I KNEW this would happen, then trying to rebuild my esteem and getting back to the place I was before the loss occurred. Easier to just avoid it right? Of course. However I’m such a sucker for a good love story that I put myself through the same dog and pony show over and over and over. One day, I know it’ll pay off. For now, I must continue being the strong person everyone else perceives me to be. By modeling that behavior, you become it. You incite change amongst others without lifting a finger. Yes it’s hard. It can be the most grueling kind of pain, but once it’s been overcome, I’m stronger for it.
So I’m grateful for the transition periods. I really am. They keep me alive and positive. Hopeful and optimistic. Without their evolution, I don’t think I’d be the person I am today. As silly as that sounds.