Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shaken, But Not Beaten

We all know that I have been in quite the funk lately. That I am dissatisfied with my marriage, my life, my job. That I just want to runaway.

All of that, every stinking piece of it - the bi-polar, the marriage, the two jobs, the kid, the guilt, the rain, the gray, the being so broke that you are not certain if there will even be power on this week or whether or not there are groceries in the house even though you are working two jobs and you never sleep and the creditors never stop calling, and February - all just took over and attacked me.

They (I still don't know who they are) say that people have two responses to attacks: fight or flight. I am not sure where I fit into that. I feel like I have been fighting, I feel like I have been a tense struggle to get past all of this, to not let myself get dragged down by yet another February and yet, here I am, closing in on the end of the worst month of the year (every year) and I am shaken and scared.

For the first time in more than 12 years, I cut myself because I couldn't take the pain inside of my head anymore. It hurts to write that sentence. It hurts to acknowledge that I really resorted to a failed technique of my twenties as a coping mechanism. It hurts to admit that I have allowed myself to get this deep back into the hole.

And, to be quite frank, it scared me straight.

I reached out to people that I know care about me. I made sure that someone who was in close proximity of me knew what I was struggling with and (without words) made absolutely sure that I wasn't going to be able to turn back to that again.

After thinking on the consensus of people that know me the best, I quit taking my antidepressant. That might not make sense to some of you, so let me explain.

When I am depressed, really depressed, I need an antidepressant to get me out of that hole, but once I am no longer chemically depressed, continuing on an antidepressant (for me) will turn me bat-shit crazy. For real. And I stop sleeping. And eating. I get bored easily and dye my hair (badly). I make rash decisions and I blow people off.

And that's just the beginning. It gets even worse, because as people notice the changes in my personality, as people start to recognize that things are not all that I am cracking them up to be, as they begin questioning my actions, I start to internalize all of that as criticism. I start attacking myself, tearing myself down, little by little, piece by piece, until I don't feel anything anymore. I stop feeling real, I stop feeling at all.

And that leads to self-harm, because if all you can ever feel is anger at yourself, all you want to do is stop that one thing that is offending you so much. Yourself.

You could say, "Stop. Don't do that." To me, that would kind of be like telling a diabetic to not have high blood sugar anymore or telling someone with high blood pressure not to feel stressed. All of those things would be impossible without treatment, and yet somehow people think that having a psychiatric disorder is different, or all in our heads.

I am not saying that I am instantly better. (If only it could be that simple.) I am saying that I am not accepting the attacks right now. I am saying that I am going to keep fighting. I am saying that even in the lowest of the lows, I can see that this month is almost over, that the sun and warmth will be back again soon.

I can see that no matter what the voices in my head may say, today, I matter. Even if it's just to me, today, I matter.

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