Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Knowing what's wrong with me doesn't really help me feel better.

I can feel my depression getting bad again.  Not as bad as it sometimes gets, but bad enough.  And I know that I have no real reason to be depressed.  I know that the way I feel is caused by some screwed up chemical reaction in my brain.  But knowing what is causing me to feel this way doesn't fix the way I feel, anymore than knowing that I have a broken leg fixes the broken leg.

I feel so helpless against this disease.  There is nothing that I can do to fix myself.  There is very little that can even mitigate the worst of it.  All I can do is endure.  And enduring is not really the same as living.  I wish I could live an ordinary life.  Actually, I wish that I could live an extraordinary life, but an ordinary life would be a vast improvement over the way I live now.

My depression makes me feel helpless and hopeless.  My anxiety makes me afraid to even try to change things, and my sleep disorder means that I feel even more alienated from humanity because I am so out of sync with the rest of the world.

So even though I know exactly what's wrong with me, I still can't fix it.  Even broken legs heal in time, but I am not healing.  I may actually be getting worse.  It's hard to tell.  I guess I just have to keep enduring until I can't endure any more. 

And this isn't even a particularly bad day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today is a bad day

Today is a bad day... a really bad day.  I keep trying to function normally, but all the time this huge fucking weight of depression is pressing me down, down, down.  I keep having suicidal thoughts.  And not just thoughts, impulses.  I keep wondering how hard it would be  to cut my neck deeply enough so that I would bleed out quickly and relatively painlessly.  I have pain pills and muscle relaxants from when I hurt my leg, and I wonder if those are strong enough that if I swallowed both bottles with a bottle of vodka, if that would put me out of my misery permanently.

The impulses ebb and flow.  Sometimes they are easier to resist.  Sometimes, I have to really struggle not to act out the thoughts in my head. 

I wonder if my husband and my very, very few friends would be better off without me.

I wonder when I'll stop wondering and take the steps to actually find out.

Maybe not today...

But maybe...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Clockwork Dream

Last night I had a dream where my body was no longer human.  Instead it was made up up of clockwork mechanisms.  But these clockwork mechanisms were broken.  I could function, barely, but I couldn't function properly.  This being approached me and said that if I fulfilled certain quests, then my body would be magically repaired.

I tried and tried to fulfill the quests the being set me, but always, I failed.  I failed because my broken clockwork body simply couldn't do what needed to be done.  I kept telling the being that because my body was broken, I couldn't do the quests properly, but the being just kept insisting that the only way to get my body repaired was to complete the quests.

I kept trying and kept trying, but eventually my body broke down so badly that I couldn't even try anymore, and I lay there broken and crying.

I woke up as the powers that be were lowering my broken body into a burning cauldron to reduce my parts back to molten metal.

Despite the rather cool steampunk imagery, this was not a pleasant dream.  My "real" body is broken and has been for some time.  I've been almost continually sick or injured for almost five years now.  Most recently, I tripped and fell while trying to fence off a part of my pasture where the septic system had imploded.  I fell on one welded wire fence panel while carrying another panel.  I landed on the panel I tripped over, and the panel I was carrying fell on top of me.

I ended up covered in deep bruises, with two sprained ankles and a broken kneecap.  Just a hairline fracture of the patella, but still...  I also re-damaged and/or damaged more severely the muscles in my right hip and leg which were still not completely healed from being thrown from my horse two years ago.  The broken tailbone that I received then, has also still not completely healed.  (And may never completely heal, from what I've read online.) 

Over the past five years, I've gained 20 pounds of weight, and I've lost the physical fitness that I had worked to maintain all my life.  Every time, I get well enough to start exercising again and begin to trim down and tone up, something else happens.  I get whiplash, I have to have abdominal surgery, I get thrown from my horse, I come down with pleurisy, I trip and break my knee.  It seems as if I will never be allowed to get healthy again.

I'm tired.

I'm tired of being sick and injured and overweight and out of shape.

This dream is quite easy to understand in light of what's been going on in my life.  I just wish that it had had a happier ending.

Art by Vladimir Vitkovsky
Clockwork World by Vladimir Vitkovsky

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Year is not Starting Out Well

So far in the first week of the new year, my septic system has imploded which is going to cost thousands and take over a week to repair, if it even can be repaired and doesn't have to be completely replaced, which would cost tens of thousands.  In trying to move fence panels around to keep the critters from getting mired in the imploded septic system, I fell on a fence panel while another fence panel fell on me and managed to sprain both my ankles and break my knee.  It's just a hairline fracture of the patella, but it's still painful and annoying.  And finally, my horse has come up dead lame.  Not quite three legged lame, but not far from it.

This is not a good start to the year.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weird Dreams

The dream started when I was in a space suit aboard my friend Richard's space ship. I don't remember exactly how I ended up there, but it was as if they had simply come and gotten me one morning, threw me in a space suit and launched me into space. In the dream, I hadn't had a chance to take a shower before getting into the space suit and I felt all dirty and grimy. And weirdly, Richard's space ship was not aired up inside, so everybody had to stay inside their suits. Of course, you can't take a shower inside a space suit, so I knew I just had to stay dirty and grimy for as long as we were in space.

There were lots of people on board, about thirty or so. In my dream, I knew them all, but other than Richard, I don't actually know any of them in real life. But strangely, even with all these “friends” around, I still felt very isolated. The space suits effectively kept me from making contact with anyone else. I could talk to them, but I couldn't touch them. The suits were built in such a way that you couldn't even feel pressure through them.

Everyone else was very excited about being in space. I was sort of excited, but I also just felt grimy, out of place and alone, even in the midst of all these other people. And for some reason, one of the girls was trying to convince me to let her highlight my hair.

It was a very weird dream and I felt very grimy, unprepared and isolated.

Then it morphed into a sort of jousting tournament, renaissance festival sort of thing. I was supposed to be camping with my husband, but I couldn't find him. I kept wandering around trying to find him, but no one knew where he was. Someone finally told me where my tent was, and this insanely good looking young man led me and a woman and her child to our tents. The woman was falling all over herself because of how good looking the guy was, so I teased him about being treated differently because of his looks. He grinned and didn't seem to be bothered by her attention.

When he finally pointed out my tent, I went and checked and sure enough, Hubby's and my name were listed on it, but two girl's names were also listed. When I tried to get inside our tent, I ended up having to through two guy's tent where they were already asleep in a pair of hammocks. Then once I got to “my” tent, I had to get on my hands and knees and crawl into it. There was this heavy blanket like thing pressing down on my back as I crawled. It also hung down around me in such a way that I couldn't see where I was going.

I could hear the voices of the two girls that I supposed were the other two names on the tag in front of the tent, but I couldn't see anyone. I just had to keep crawling underneath that heavy blanket.

And then I woke up.

In both dreams, I felt lost, unprepared and isolated for the most part. I have to wonder what exactly is going on in my subconscious.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Hate the Holidays

I hate the holidays.  I don't merely find them stressful or tedious.  I truly, madly, hate them.  I have hated them since I was about nine years old.  Several things happened when I was nine that changed my life forever -- and definitely NOT for the better.

Anyway, from the time I was nine until I was twenty-five, when my mother finally died late on Christmas Day, the holidays were an absolute horror for me.  I hated all the fuss, all the stress.  I hated having to interact with an extended family that made no secret of their disdain for me.  I didn't like them either, but I at least didn't talk badly about them.  Not then, anyway.  Nowadays, I have no problem expressing how much I disliked them.

After my mother died, things got a little better.  I felt no obligation to spend the holidays with those who would enjoy my absence more than my presence.  I still hated the holidays.  But now, I didn't have to pretend to enjoy them.  I could growl at the Christmas decorations in the stores.  I could not buy a single present for anyone other than myself.  I could spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone with a good book and a cup of mulled cider.  I was not happy.  But at least, I was alone and didn't have to hide my unhappiness.

Gradually, as the years passed, I began to be a little less stressed about the holidays.  I managed to make friends with a few people who actually liked me as I actually was.  They made it their purpose to create happy holiday memories for me.  I still didn't like the holidays, but they did succeed to such an extent that I no longer found myself growling at the Christmas decorations in the store.  Those few years between developing those friendships and meeting my husband were probably the least stressful holidays I ever experienced.  I wasn't alone, but nothing was really expected of me either.  I could just be myself and hang out with my friends.

Then I met my husband.  I love my husband.  If it weren't for him, I probably would have committed suicide years ago.  I even like most of his immediate family.  I love his sister like the sister I wish I had had growing up.  I adore his father.  I even like the man his sister is marrying this spring.  He and I are developing a very nice friendship.  His mother... well... you know what they say about mother-in-laws.  She doesn't like me.  I don't like her.  I try and be polite to her.  She finds ways to subtly and not-so-subtly insult me.  However, she could be much worse.  So I can't complain too much.

His extended family isn't that bad either.  I don't have much of anything in common with them, but they are friendly towards me, and I try to be as friendly to them as I can be.  I'm just not naturally a very sociable person.

However, because hubby does have a family -- a family that is as into celebrating Christmas as most American families -- I am expected to participate in the Christmas madness.  If I don't go to family Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, then hubby is pestered with questions of where I am and why aren't I there, which puts a lot of stress on him, and consequently on me.  (He doesn't "take it out on me" or anything like that.  It's just that when he's stressed -- especially when he's stressed because of me in some way -- it makes me feel bad.)  However, if I go to these parties, I have to pretend to enjoy them, which puts even more stress on me.  So, no matter what I do, I end up stressed.

And then there are the traditions of his immediate family.  His mother is very religious.  She demands that the immediate family go to a Christmas Eve church service -- despite the fact that no one but her really cares about it.  I was raised Christian, but now have very negative feelings about anything to do with organized religion.  I hate going to that church service.  I am being hypocritical. I do not believe.  I am putting on the appearance of belief in order to propitiate hubby's mother.  And no matter how much it disturbs his mother, I simply cannot take communion.  That would not just be hypocritical on my part, it would be a profanation of a symbol that the rest of those at the church truly believe in.  I simply can't do that.  I may not believe, but I do not want in any way to degrade the beliefs of others.

Finally, there is the Christmas morning giving of presents.  I actually like giving presents.  I like shopping and finding things that I think will make people happy.  I tend to buy lots of presents.  However, no matter how much I enjoy giving presents, mother-in-law generally finds some way to make the gift exchange stressful and unpleasant.  She subtly insults the giver's gift acumen.  She talks about how sister's fiance' isn't really part of the family.  She insults the way I dress.  She always finds some way to insinuate negativity into the situation.  The one part of Christmas that I might possibly be able to actually enjoy, she manages to make frustrating and tense. 

It is now officially Christmas Eve and I am dreading the upcoming 36 hours.   I wish I could just spend the time with my husband and with the people that I actually like.  I know hubby loves his mother.  Despite the fact that she frequently makes him miserable in various ways.  She's his mother, and despite her many faults, she does love him.  So he has to love her.

She has breast cancer.  She's had the surgery and she's undergoing chemo and things are going as well as they can be.  But the fact that she's sick is making my husband extremely stressed this year, and is bringing up all sorts of negative memories in me regarding my own mother's very long term illness.

You're not supposed to speak badly of someone who is bravely struggling against cancer or any other life-threatening illness.  Even if you don't like them, you're supposed to be all supportive and everything, and I just can't be.  I've never liked her.  I didn't like her before she got sick, and just because she is now ill does not make me like her.  It just makes her presence even more stressful for me.  I hate this.  I hate this.  I hate this.

I can't wait for the holidays to be over.

I hate the holidays.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So much for all those years of therapy paying off.

Today something stressful happened to me, and I had a huge panic attack. For once, the thing that set me off would have even upset a normal person. I actually had a reason to feel distressed. Of course, I didn't just feel distressed. I had a huge fucking panic attack.

I totally freaked out. I couldn't breathe, my heart was trying to beat itself out of my chest, my blood pressure rocketed to the moon and my head felt like it would explode. And while I was going through all of this, I had to try and fix the problem that had caused this panic attack in the first place. Which meant dealing with people.

As you know, even when I'm at my best, I don't deal with people all that well. I really tried to not let my panic attack affect my communication with the people I needed to talk to to fix the problem, but I'm afraid I wasn't completely successful. I ended up yelling at someone over the phone and sent some emails that maybe weren't completely polite.

Fortunately, the situation was resolved very quickly. And I really appreciate how helpful and competent the people were who fixed things. Even though to me, every moment that I was waiting for things to be resolved felt like hours.

After the problem was corrected, and I had checked over the emails that I had sent and determined that although they were a bit abrupt, they weren't all that bad, I was still in really bad shape.

I went out back and spent time with my critters, which can usually calm me down. It helped, but nothing was going to stop my body from the physiological over-reaction it was engaged in.

For several hours after everything was resolved, my heart was still pounding, my blood pressure was still spiking, I was still having trouble breathing and I had the most intense stress headache. I was also crying uncontrollably. Not huge wracking sobs or anything like that, just tears dripping from my eyes and the occasional sad gasp.

And in case you've never understood why women love their cats so much. As I was laying on my bed crying, several of my cats came and rubbed up against me or curled up next to me. One even licked the tears from my face.

I know that though the thing that happened did deserve an emotional response, it did not deserve this extreme anxiety reaction. I knew that even as I was panicking. But did it help? No.

This is my life. Even when I know that my reactions are far beyond what they should be, that doesn't change what is going on. Knowing that you are over-reacting and not being able to stop it, just makes things even worse.

This is why I am a recluse. I am incapable of dealing with the everyday stresses that normal people encounter in their every day lives.

I thought that limiting my interaction with the outside world by creating an online identity or two that only dealt with the rest of the world through cyberspace would protect me from these kinds of stresses. It does limit them, but apparently, it cannot completely prevent them.