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Category Archives: Battles I’ve picked

Meh, guilt post.

Wow, it’s been a while…I suck at this ‘routine’ posting shit. Probably why my dream of being paid to write will never come to fruition, but I digress. I think I’m here today because I feel guilty. I’ve invested so much time, energy and tears into this damn blog, I feel neglectful after a while without posting. Why? I mean, it is an inanimate object, not needing food or water, but somehow I feel as if I’ve let this poor little blog down by not posting for so long. Hmm, I really dunno. Maybe it’s because I was raised Catholic, and Catholics feel guilty over just about anything. Maybe it’s because it affords me the opportunity to do something that I LOVE to do – write – but because I don’t think I’m any good at it, it simply reminds me that I try too hard. Maybe I just like to share my story in an act of self-inflicted therapy or maybe I hope that it shows a side of depression that a lot of people don’t know about, but should… Eh. It’s probably just the Catholic guilt.

There used to be a time where I would turn to this site to get the shit that was filling up my head, out. Discuss the pain and grief I was feeling without being judged or told “You should just be able to deal with it.” Finding some release in writing it down, chronicling it in a way, in the hope that one day I could look back and think “It really was that bad.” I know that sounds morbid, but as anyone who has suffered with depression knows, there is a relief found by being able to say those words. First, it disproves our memory and gives you some perspective over what you remember versus what actually was. My personal memory turned a lot of scenarios into me being the victim but the things I chose to write about on here never changed their story. It proves you have been through worse, and you’re still sitting here today. It shows that you ARE made of stronger stuff than many think, and it is a way to identify past feelings and experiences without having to relive them. Because reliving is hard. Too hard.

From January 2009 through July of 2012, I attended therapy with a wonderful woman who helped me understand myself better than what I had learned during the 20 some odd years of life I had at that point. She taught me many things but one of the biggest ones, I think, was how to let shit go. Like, seriously, LET. IT. GO. Stop thinking about it, stop saying “Well, I really am over it, but it just makes me so {insert descriptive emotion here}!” because that means you are NOT over that shit, at all.   And that’s not letting go – that’s dwelling, and dwelling was another HUGE issue for me. I’d run scenarios over in my head 50 ways to Sunday and come up with every plausible way a situation could play out, then dwell on the worst one that I could dream up, cycling myself into a feeling of uselessness and just general awfulness, adding to my already depressed mood and well, let’s just say it sucked. I’d tell myself that I traumatized myself for good reason, so that I could “be prepared” for anything that came my way, but the truth is, I think I caused myself MORE stress trying to plan for everything than I do now but just letting it be. Be whatever it’s going to be, just let it be and turn into what it will be. Allowing things to happen tales way less energy to get through and I’ve made it through several situations of just letting things BE at this point, and have always found the other side without an issue. And since I didn’t dwell on it until my eyes burned, I had more energy left to enjoy life a little bit. Somewhere between all of that, I think I kinda stopped being depressed all the time. I still have days where I feel shitty and sad and then I have portions of days where it starts out bad, but I flip from that to happy, because I would rather be happy. I don’t dwell on feeling depressed and, dude it’s kinda cool, all of a sudden someone can make you laugh, and you feel a little bit better. Some days, it doesn’t work, but some days it does…

So yeah, guilt. Maybe I felt guilty to leave a post on this blog because I’m not the depressed, anxious, scared, scarred person I was when I started it and when I spent so many nights crying over my keyboard as I typed a post. I feel untrue to the pages found before this. Somehow I feel like this blog wants me to be a hot mess and it won’t accept me any other way. But maybe that’s just the crazy talking…maybe it’s really about sharing this part of my life with people so that someone, somewhere may see this thing for what it is and find some hope, or some solace in the fact that they are not alone. Maybe me sharing all of this with essentially anyone who somehow comes by this page, is just what was meant to be.

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Complacency Kills

Today I got a little reality check cashed that I wasn’t expecting.

I thought I was doing so well with my depression and my coping issues for months and months and months now. I’m no longer on antidepressants, my therapist released me from ongoing therapy, and my life has been on quite the upswing. But today was proof that even when everything seems to be going right, shit can still creep up on you and flip you ass over tin cups.

I work with a girl who frustrates me to the point that I have become obsessed with everything she does wrong, just to shake my head, tsk-tsk in her direction and say things like “I don’t know how she still has a job”  behind her back. Her lack of work, while I bust my ass, and the way I feel that management has allowed her behavior with no consequence, straight up makes me resentful. You see, I have a job where I do what I’m supposed to do, my manager and I sit down every couple of weeks to go over my case load, and unless someone starts jumping up and down in the meantime, I’m pretty much left to my own devices otherwise, and expected to just do my job. This girl I work with takes advantage of our freedom and often spends more time during the day texting or surfing the internet than she does actually WORKING and I’ve become too concerned with what she does, or doesn’t do, each day that I’ve been making snide comments to fellow coworkers. Apparently others have heard my comments and went to my manager about them, thus resulting in a call today. I can be an awful bitch at times, for sure, and heaven help those who get on my bad side as I can say some nasty stuff with proper motivation – and you best believe that this girl gives me proper motivation. Through all of this, I have not lost control of my caseload and I do not have issues with unhappy or neglected clients, but I have certainly delved into the zone of negativity which is a place I strove for a very long time to climb out of. It’s a place I haven’t been in a while, and slipping back into it was so easy, it kind of scares me.

I feel a lot of shame, too. Shame for being so petty about this girl, shame for being naive enough to think that management had no clue of her shenanigans, and shame that I made my manager waste some of her precious time just to tell me that I needed to get a grip. I can’t believe that I’ve forgotten where I was when I started this blog years ago – miserable, negative, hating everything, feeling nothing and being just plain depressed and anxious – and how long and hard I struggled and cried and learned and fought and what I implemented in an attempt to change all of that. And here, I have allowed one co-worker, in a matter of a few months, to ruin that for me and start to take away what I worked SO HARD to obtain.

My manager was ultimately right, and I thanked her for bringing this to my attention. Sometimes, it’s hard to see how extreme a situation has become until an outsider points it out. I promised her that I would let it all go, and starting tomorrow, i intend to do just that. I’m going to let go of the resentment, let go of the shame and let go of the negativity – I don’t want to be that person again because at this point in my life, I have too much to lose.

 

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Daddy Issues

I’m going off of memory here because I’m lazy and don’t like to incorporate research (BLECK) into blogging, but I believe it was Freud, and Oedipus, that theorized our first loves are our opposing sex parent when we are babies and young children. Little boys love their mothers and little girls love their fathers truer and deeper than they think they’ll ever love anyone else, and the reaction of said parent is more important to how we shape our views of ourselves than I, and most people I’d wager, ever realize. Whether this is true or not, I can’t tell you, but I know for me, my father and our relationship has proven to be the catalyst for most of my crazy issues as an adult.

My parents divorced when I was about 5, and most of the memories that I have of the time before are not so peachy. Lots of yelling, lots of fighting and lots of pissed off dad. His anger was scary, he’d yell and scream and throw shit, and as a 5 and less year old kid, I had a decision to make – be afraid of my own father, or try to do things that didn’t make him angry. Queue the emergence of my brilliant wit. I learned quickly that when dad was laughing, he wasn’t yelling and the choice for me was obvious – I wanted a laughy dad, not a screamy one. Besides, a couple of hits on the ass with a wooden spoon would have even made Jesus renounce his religion, if it had happened to him as a three year old.

Flash forward to my adult life and the main lesson that that little girl learned – do whatever it takes to avoid confrontation and make sure everyone is happy in order to avoid chaos and fear. To this day, I make jokes in tense situations to avoid the anger or sadness that may present itself otherwise. Laughter beat out dads anger, but the laughter was just masking my fear, not displacing it. Don’t get me wrong, I love laughing and having a good time, but I pushed myself into being that way as a child because it was a way better option than being screamed at and cracked over the ass with a wooden spoon by my dad because I spilled some milk on the kitchen floor. Remember – 5 years old and less….

Our relationship as adults is less of a relationship and more of a requirement. He expects me to honor and obey, and forgive him when he tells me that depression is something I should be able to handle myself, and that it’s ‘stupid’ that I am on antidepressants. He wants me to go out of my way for him and give him the unconditional love that he’s never given me. He wants me to yearn for his affection that he withholds like it’s the last jar of peanut butter on earth. Yet, despite all of that, I still try to make him happy. I still try to be uplifting and funny and I still try to be that little girl who he used to get so much enjoyment out of  – but as an adult, it’s harder for me to suppress the fact that I’ve never felt my dad loved me for who I am, only for the laughter I could create. I’ve always felt he loved me just because I could make him not be angry, and that isn’t the unconditional love that a child needs from their father. It’s made me derive my self worth through how I can make others feel – if I can’t make people turn that frown upside down, then I’m worthless. If I can’t solve a problem for someone, I’m a piece of shit, and so on and so on.  I want him to be happy, I want him to enjoy life, but every time that I try to bring that to him, he shoots me down. He makes sure every conversation ends with a ‘reality check’, which leaves me feeling like the world is terrible and not worth being a part of. He’s so resistant to letting go of his negativity and constant belittling that he makes no effort to ease our strained relationship, despite the fact that he is acutely aware that it exists. And that makes me sad for him, and sad for me because there is so much more to this thing called life than just hating on it and bitching about the bad shit that happens to us all sometimes. I want to have a relationship with my father that is healthy and loving and where I feel he accepts me and that I am good enough to be called his daughter, but I’m realizing through age and therapy that that just isn’t going to happen. He’s always going to think I could do more, or be better, or thinner or prettier or a harder worker, but not in an encouraging kind of way, more like a ‘you are not good enough’ one.

Tonight in my therapy session, I realized that my dads happiness is not my responsibility, and it’s OK that that makes me sad. I cannot live my life for him, and I cannot allow him to drag me down when I find something to be positive about. I love my dad, and I always will, but I don’t LOVE my dad, and I wish that I could.

 

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Feast or famine

It seems that I only feel like blogging when I’m hating on myself via some deep-seated emotional issue that has been triggered by a thought or some outside event. This post shall be no different from the norm.

Failure is a word that triggers a strong emotional and mental response from me. It could be failure to complete a task appropriately or the failure of a relationship – it doesn’t matter, either way, I end up feeling like a fuck up who can’t do anything right or correct in life. This is a feeling that has followed me around longer than I’ve probably even been aware of it, and it’s become a topic of interest over my last few therapy sessions.

Each time I recount the failure of a relationship, or that one time I applied for something and was denied, or when I just allow people to take advantage of me, I end up a bleary eyed mess and full of emotional turmoil. Mistakes are failures, the inability to mesh with a single person for the rest of my life is a failure and you bet your ass that I’ve failed at life because I’ve never accomplished the dreams I had as a stupid child. It’s enough to drive a person into a downward spiral of depressive sludge.

Today, as I was having a moment of incredible weakness to my BFF, I kind of realized that in some deep, dark, psychotherapy place in the recesses of my mind, my parents divorce has warped my perception of relationships and their levels of success or failure. I’m sure it’s much more involved than that and I’m sure it has a lot more to do with the whole inability to deal with or discuss emotions that my entire family possesses, but I’ve never really thought of my parents divorce in a negative way until today. It’s one of those situations where the more you learn about yourself, why you react the way that you do to certain things, and where those feelings of inner turmoil and blackness actually COME from, that you can’t help but start to look at events in your life differently.Some end up being more detrimental while others end up having that silver lining to them. My BFF pointed out that relationships take two people and that I cannot blame myself for the end of every relationship because I AM AWESOME. So, in a moment of clarity, I’ve realized that I AM awesome, and have apparently been setting my sights too low, hence the fizzle of each of my past relationships. Awesome shines brightly and some people just burn faster than others. To truly be happy in life, I need to aim high and find someone who’s awesome matches my own, instead of dialing down my aura to fit others.

 

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Lesson #4,624 or Why therapy is a good thing

I had yet another interesting session with my therapist this week. Perhaps it was due to my emotional state as of late, or the phase of the moon, or the status of my menstrual cycle, but she seemed…….short with me. As if she felt I was lacking forward momentum; hung up in some sort of way. And I am, but I just can’t get past it enough to literally GET past it. I try, then I figure I’ll fail, then I quit. Quitting is always easier than failing, I figure. But I feel like my struggle to change is starting to frustrate her, which  makes me feel kinda shitty. I mean, it;s gotta take a special talent to frustrate a therapist, ya know?

I have this one constant complaint and it’s a real roadblock in my emotional development. My therapist is fond of using a metaphor regarding how I view myself through a distorted filter. I see others differently than I see myself, and I often pound on myself like a bully. So she’s started this new thing with me that begins with “If one of your friends was dealing with {whatever issue of the moment}, what would YOU tell THEM?” And I gotta admit, it helps!

This weeks session focused heavily on my biggest issue and she pretty much told me that it was time to shit, or get the hell off the pot. Obviously, she put it much more eloquently, and in some sort of psychotherapy terminology, so it sounded less harsh, but the fact remains – she’s right. I USE this against myself, and stop myself from having to make the changes that I need to make to be HAPPY. Why would a person deny themselves happiness? Why would they purposefully put everyone else ahead of themselves? Why would I want to set myself up for failure? BECAUSE I’M CRAZY. I mean seriously, how long have you known me?

Truthfully though, I realize that she’s absolutely right. It’s hard to be 30 years old and feel like a child being scolded, and I’m sure she never meant for it to come across that way, but it shocked me enough to start making some choices and getting some shit done. I’m hopeful that the momentum lasts, and so far, each time I’ve started to have my doubts, some thing has been happening to bring them back up; but I’m not counting any chickens, yet. Just a few eggs.

 

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WARNING: Adult Blog Content; If you’ve never dropped the ‘F’ bomb in public, you don’t want to be here.

Ok, so this is a totally true story, with parts that I forgot left out. I do seriously cuss a lot in the real world, but I do try to not FORCE my naughty tongue upon others without their express notification. So if you read this and you’re offended: GOOD. You deserve to be after I TOLD you not to!

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Yesterday I had a session with my therapist, and as usual, I left feeling slightly uneasy emotionally, and relatively confused overall. I was pretty lost in thought and I do get overly sensitive when emotionally heightened. So, I was home later than usual, the dogs were desperate to go pee and I had to pee myself. I remember responding to a test message, then I started dinner for me and the dogs. By the time I realized my phone was not where I left it, I can not tell you how much time had lapsed, as I was so lost in the rumblings in my head that I literally lost track of time.

I spent about 45 minutes back-tracking ever step I took in the hour that I had been home. Please keep in mind that all of this happened while ENTIRELY SOBER. I was under no influence of any kind, other than that of my therapy session. I started to lose my shit after I tore the couch apart for the third time, and for some goddess forsaken reason, I called my mother.

She is best described as being stoic. I mean, at least, that’s the best word that I can come up with. I consider it a damn good description, too. Anyway, she’s got this grounded-ness about her that I need sometimes because my emotions can go so haywire, I have what I would consider a panic attack. Except instead of having trouble breathing, I get PISSED OFF. I think it’s my curse to bear as I am blessed (READ: CURSED) with both Italian, and German heritages, among others. Despite the fact that I’m like, 1/4 or less each, I still find that some of those particular heritage’s stereotypes DO tend to be true. And I am a living example of the ones regarding short fuses and Hiroshima rivaling outbursts of anger. You can see how my mother’s unshakable-ness would come in handy to a person like me?

So, I’m on the phone with my mother screaming IT’S JUST FUCKING GONE. Yes, I said FUCKING on the phone to my mother, several times in fact, and she totally let me get away with it. WITHOUT A SCOLDING! I push the limit with her and how many times i can say FUCK in a sentence, sometimes. She seems to be more accepting of the word if I literally scream it. I think she realizes I’m having one of those insanely ridiculous, uncontrollable, stupid, unreasonable, for no good reason I-hate-the-world attacks. And as long as I stay under, say, 6 as an average. She lets me. Yeah, I know it’s crazy that I play insane games while having a totally unnecessary anger attack, but hey, that’s what crazy people do. So – I’m on the phone with my mother screaming IT’S JUST FUCKING GONE and she says HOW CAN IT BE GONE? and I said IT JUST IS!? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW! HOW THE FUCK DOES A PHONE JUST DISA-FUCKING-PEAR?!  I AM CALLING IT FROM MY HOUSE PHONE, MOTHER! I CAN’T HEAR IT RINGING, MOTHER! And she says, oh calm down. What, do you think the boogey man took it? ::DRAMATIC PAUSE:: Mother, I love you and your typical sarcastic humor, but today is NOT the day for it. So, please, you’re totally not helping.

However, after a few minutes of her suggesting the random places around my house, like the fridge, the oven, the sink in the bathroom, the dining room table, the freezer, the lazy susan, the upper cabinets, the microwave, the mailbox, etc – all of which I had already checked – I WAS feeling calmer and was able to listen to her silly plan of just taking a chill for a minute and then resume the search with a mellower state of mind. She said take a walk around outside a minute, and then look around again, then call me back. So I walked around outside, came inside, got on the floor and looked underneath everything that HAS an underneath and I saw a glint of shiny underneath, of all things, my TV stand! WTF?

Hello?. ::my step father, the math and numbers guy, answers:: HI. Hi. Sooooo. I found my phone. Oh yeah? Where was it? Pffftttthhht. Underneath the tv stand. Well how did it get there? How the hell should I know? Did you kick it, or drop it then trip over it and it shot under there? I don’t know, seriously, if I knew it was there, I wouldn’t have spent an hour looking for the damn thing. Well, did one of the cats play with it and bat it under there. Really? I seriously do not know how it got there. I couldn’t even get my hand under there – so i mean, I didn’t PUT it there. OK, well, I think if you think about it long enough, you’ll remember how it got there.

Yeah, I didn’t have a response then, either. But at least I wasn’t pissed off any more. I’ll take that as a success.

 

Dilate: to describe or develop at length

My therapist asked me today if I felt like I was in any better of a place than I was the last time I saw her. She wasn’t actually referring to my overall well-being at that moment, she was alluding to the issues I’ve been having regarding some unrequited feelings I had for my ex. As I’ve discussed here, he and I were going to try to do the ‘friend’ thing, although never in my history of breakups have I ever maintained a friendship with one of my ex’s. Ex’s are ex’s for a reason, and I’ve never really felt the need to check up on any of them. Most were not good men – one had a serious drug problem, one had a serious liked-to-throw-me-around problem, another was a delinquent, a fourth was emotionally unstable and others had their own issues that I’ve all but repressed. But this one was different – he and I started as friends, developed romantic feelings towards each other and after an arduous road, we got together. The first half of our relationship was the happiest I’ve ever been; the second half was the most depressed.

He moved out about a year after he moved in, and I’ve spent the last 10 months or so wondering what the hell went wrong. How could something so great, turn into something so miserable, in a years time? It’s painful to clean out the old emails and text messages with the words of doom in them and it’s harder still to think of what used to be. But I was a different person then, and he is a different person now. Despite the issues of our relationship, he expressed interest in wanting to try to remain friends and in hindsight, I think I agreed to venture outside of my norm because it was HIM. Any one else and I would have told them to check their own oil and get the hell out of my face. But since it was HIM, I couldn’t say no. Despite the fact that I still cared for him deeply; despite the fact that I KNEW it was going to be excruciatingly difficult for me; despite the fact that I realized I was doing it more for him, than me.

On my way to work today, I was listening to the cd’s that have been in my dashboard since I bought my car, and came across an old favorite. It used to make me tear up out of sadness and remorse, but today, it made me feel….DIFFERENT. Like, instead of being the ‘you’ that the singer sings to, I was the singer, singing to you. I wasn’t crying over the proverbial spilled milk, instead, I was just letting it go…Letting go of the what-if’s and the why’s and the what could I have done differently, and instead, recognizing that sometimes, you just have to walk away.

So this afternoon, when my therapist asked me if I felt like I was in a better place emotionally, I told her that I felt like I was making progress. Not better, per say, but on my way there. The friendship door is still open, but I’m not going to be pushing any issues or following up with HIM, and I expect that if he truly wants to be my friend, he’ll treat me like one and not just want to chat in order to appease his own curiosity. I mean, he can read my blog to do THAT (and I know that you do….), but a real friend goes deeper than the superficial. A real friend would know more of what’s going on in my life than what I choose to broadcast to the masses, and a real friend want to be there for me when I needed them. Anything less just isn’t ‘friendship’, in my eyes.