little stress ball

Being an only child sucks. I say this out loud while my therapist types something into her laptop and I look down at the stress squisher that I had dubbed my go-to stimmer when there. It was a bag that had orange waterbeads in it that were pleasant to squish around. Some asshole mashed them so now it just looked like orange jello in a breast implant bag, which wasn’t helping me with my agitation, so I placed it back and grabbed a harder stress ball and squeezed the hell out of it several pumps. It hurt my knuckles but at least it helped me focus a little.

We were talking about that mom had been having pain off and on for a year or more, and they had suspected that it was this bacteria in her gut that was supposed to be in her intestine…that she was going to have to do a test by breathing into a balloon and then if the bacterium showed up in her exhale, then she could be treated with antibiotics. I was really pressuring my mom to do the test, she had been denying doing the test after a couple weeks ago when she went from looking 8 months pregnant with 15 ish extra lbs of fluid in her abdomen that we nicknamed Ziggy- they drained the fluid pulling three liters from her (about 10 lbs worth) and its probably not 2 weeks later and she already has to go have another tap done. (this time we nicknamed him Clyde)

My therapist asked me if I talked to my dad about how stressed I was feeling in regards to my mom’s health, because I told her that I was worried about what it would mean if that it isn’t the bacteria. I told her I don’t talk to anyone, that I am a island when it comes to this, because I don’t know what to say. That it could be her liver acting up again and who knew what that meant…that I was worried because Grammy didn’t start showing these signs in her health until a month before she died, and sometimes my mom just comes over to cuddle me and cry and I just hold her feeling helpless and scared because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know what to do without my mom and I get that sick feeling in my stomach as my own words from when I was 20 come echoing in my head over and over.

“I hope you never have to mourn someone who isn’t dead yet.”

Because its. Fucking. Hell.

Those words I said to myself and friends when my grandmother was actively dying, and I was sitting beside her. I told them that the one thing I wish for them is that they never have to mourn someone who isn’t gone yet.

But that is what I’m doing. It’s what I’ve been doing since losing my grandmother, honestly. It seems like since my Grammy died life has spiraled out from around us over and over again and its like we can’t catch our breath. My mom is terrified. And in being terrified she has become defiant. And in becoming defiant, she won’t listen to reason. She won’t go to the doctors when she is in pain. She won’t go to the hospital. She won’t do things. Because the bills. Because of how much its going to cost her to go and do these things. I remind her that funeral costs are much more expensive and avoidable if she is able to be treated appropriately. She reminds me her end of life wishes are not for funeral services. I acknowledge her wishes. Because I am an only child. This is going to be left to me.

My therapist tells me not to panic, that it probably is going to be the bacteria and that its going to be able to be treated. I told her that she was probably right, thanked her for her vote of confidence, promised to see her next week, and checked out. Except, turns out its not bacteria.

And mom is getting another tap to remove the fluid from her stomach in a couple days as the increase in her fluid pills did nothing. They’ll test that fluid, request some blood work, and report all that to her doctor.

My mother’s humanness is loud in her laughter as she belts out “I D K MY BFF JILL.” at me from across the room when I asked her a question, her humanness is quiet and small as I ask her if she needs to cuddle and she pulls my snuggie around her shoulders and she crosses the living room and curls up on the couch and leans against me, my arm across her shoulders as she sniffles and wipes her snot on my blanket. Something I always comment on because I know it will make her laugh.

My humanness gets caught in my throat, I don’t tell her I’m scared too, though she needs to hear it. She should hear me cry for her. Instead I talk to her of stupid shit, rambling, jokes, the frog in my throat bobbing up and down allowing words to escape but still making me feel like I am choking. My eyes feel like I have shards of glass pressed into them as the tears always burn when I don’t let them fall.

After a few minutes of just existing like that, she’ll go to bed, I’ll stay up for the dog. I’ll mindlessly watch something on netflix that I’ve seen a billion times, just to drown out the all -consuming- alone-quiet that feels so bone deep. I have to take something to make me sleep lately. Anxiety meds are not helping. Hopefully a solution will come sometime soon.

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Therapy a month later…

I have been overweight all of my life. Instead of gossip magazines litering the back of our commodes in our house with the latest filthy dredges of popstars and other celebrities; ours was graced with lose-it-quick schemes and diet fads. My mom was a woman possessed for most of my childhood. It wasn’t like she didn’t try. We only had healthy snacks in my house, other kids were allowed chips and junk food snacks during snack time and I had crackers and cheese or even apple slices or gogurt. She tried her best with what she had. But every physical it was more and more dissapointment with every gain. She told me it wasn’t the gaining that made her so upset, that she loved me for exactly as I was, but that she wanted things to get easier for me. For me to be healthy. For the bullying to stop.

She was the one who held me as I collapsed dramatically into her arms and told her I hated my life, how I hated who I was. I remember her pushing back my hair that clung to my drenched face, her scrub shirt now holding a massive salt puddle across the front of her stomach. I can understand why she would press so hard after that. Weight watchers, naturalists, nutritionists. I remember the first time I was put on weight watchers I was about 8 years old.

She had me signed up for sports and activities. I played basketball on the weekends, I was on swim team, and karate. She took me to every free swim that I wanted or could go to because it was the only activity that I enjoyed doing. Being underwater. Honestly I loved the block that they used for training lifeguards, because it was too heavy for me to lift on my own, I’d grab onto it and stay down there until my head got swimmy, and then I’d climb up the ladder and do it all over again.

It wasn’t like my mom didn’t give it the good college try, but things really got out of hand after high school. When she couldn’t control what I ate anymore. Really, it started once I was 16 and making my own money because I could spend it on whatever I wanted if my bills were paid, but she controlled what food we had in the house so I was prone to sneaking it. I would constantly go on different fad diets with her, but the most I would lose would be 30 lbs and then I would never get anywhere further.

Previous blog entries I have written state that I am currently in therapy for helping me get through the Gastric bypass program. Its been a year of sliding downhill instead of succeeding. Most people are already done their surgery- and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve started the process…The three people I was “doing” this with are almost a year out of post-surgery. And I’m still here with my .2 lbs losses in a month. On a 150 lb loss goal. Yeah. I’m pretty fucking fed up and distressed. I am not looking for the easy way out, as I’ve expressed to everyone in my ‘team’ but I definitely need some help.

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve started therapy. It is digging up some very uncomfortable emotions…because therapy has failed me before, I just assumed this was going to be another one of those useless endevors, but that I could give it a try and then let my weight loss program be satisfied in me trying to make some headway. I feel like group is a complete waste of my time, but I go to it, despite having to work the third shift a couple hours afterwards. And therapy is keeping me accountable for what I am eating. Not in the way that counting calories like I was doing for the WLS program, but just writing down what time I ate, what I ate, and if I considered it binging. Because Im classified under an eating disorder…binge-type. I don’t purge, which I thought would get me out of being classified under a eating disorder, but I do restrict. I hate eating in front of people, it makes me uncomfortable and sometimes gives me anxiety. I do it, but I am uncomfortable 99% of the time, but know its just me getting in my own way. That’s the hardest part. I know what my crazy is, but yet I can’t stop the train from rolling off the goddamn tracks.

Now my therapist believes I not only have depression and anxiety, but PTSD too. I know I have it from an incident that happened a couple years ago at work, but my therapist thinks that was just the topping…that I’ve experienced trauma from bullying and a hodge podge of whatever else happened in my childhood. We’re also working on Self-esteem (ouch) and apparently having abandonment issues. That’s what we’ve peeled back and revealed in the month that I’ve been doing therapy. PTSD and Abandonment anxiety. And really really shitty self-esteem that I disguise in humor. I’m supposed to be compiling a list of nice things that my loved ones have said about me. I stare at the blank piece of paper and think to myself “I don’t have anything nice to put here.” But that’s my brain bullshitting itself. I have friends who say nice things to me all the time. Love you. I love you. We love you. I love you.

My mom says nice things to me too. I think she’s supposed to, though. Cause she’s my mom.

I guess its nice to write down that I’m told I’m loved. But I don’t think that’s the list that she’s expecting me to hand her. Its supposed to be a list that I can read back to myself on days where I feel like I’m losing grip. I’ve already mentioned to her that I don’t think that my friends should be held responsible for my happiness.

I have piss poor opinion of myself. Everyone does, though. Nothing about my story is any different than a majority of people. Most people have issues with their looks, and although I hate some things about my outward appearance like everyone else, my joke that I do is “Yeah, I’m fat. And it’s not like I have any redeeming quality to make up for that. I’m a shit person too.” We all laugh and move on.

I’ve always hated feeling weak and powerless, and therapy rubs me the wrong way over and over. Exposing the live wires to my nerves and harps on them, until I’m rubbing at my arms, playing with the stimulators on the table or trying to keep from crying over something stupid. I know its good to get it out, and its nice to talk to someone who in turn gives me feedback, who doesn’t just stare at me or gets offended when I say something ‘wrong’. I feel like I am doing this a little too late. Feeling like I am at the end of my rope or running on borrowed time. I cried both in the office for therapy, then again with the nurse. Cried on my way home, cried on the phone with my mom later that evening. Its like we are breaking open a wall that I’ve had built up for years and it makes me cringe a little bit.

One of the things my dad said to me about 8 years ago was that he was proud of me for being strong and keeping it together so that he didn’t have to deal with both my mom and I breaking down. That he couldn’t handle us both breaking down. And so I sucked it up. Been sucking it up for years. So being vulnerable and emotional- I always hated that patronizing tone he took with me about me being such a girl about things. He and I have issues. I should clarify, I have issues with him. He thinks we’re perfect. He jokes and picks on me. And when I tell him to stop, Im all of a sudden emotional and over sensitive, which he doesn’t understand since he’s been joking about this stuff since I was little, why am I suddenly acting out about it now? Because I laughed because I wanted to spend time with him, didn’t want to be seen as dramatic or problematic. But now, as an adult, I don’t have to stick around and let someone hurt my feelings anymore. But now I’m being so full of myself and sensitive. My mom sides with my dad. My feelings don’t matter anymore. Its good to have someone to talk to; since my dad has been diagnosed with MS and my mom diagnosed with her Non-alcoholic chiriosis of the liver, my mom’s completely burned out. She can’t handle anything coming from me.

I spend a lot of time awake at night reading or writing or watching netflix, sometimes late into the night because there’s nothing to be expected of me in the early morning hours. But then my anxiety takes hold because I’ve not done enough, not tried hard enough, continued to let down myself by being lazy, continued to piss my mom off by not getting shit done around my house.

The thing is, even though I struggle with mental health stuff, I am not allowed to struggle with mental health stuff. Its not an excuse not to get anything done all day. It’s not an excuse not to get out of bed. Its not an excuse to miss work or miss an assignment. That shit doesn’t fly in my house. Never has. And because it’s always been like that, when I get sucked up into my own head, I spiral out because I know that if I can’t do anything that day, its going to cause issues and an argument later on. And what can I say? Sorry Mom? I forgot to do the dishes because I laid in bed and stared at my wall while enjoying the nothing going on behind my eyes?

Sorry that the laundry piled up again and you have to switch the load because I didn’t do it, but I just couldn’t hold myself upright longer than 30 more seconds and it was either put my dog out or fall asleep on the couch? I look at the sink full of dishes and I try to show up. I do try, just not enough. I look at the dishes and want to do the dishes, but then walk away. Like a broken SIM. Why the fuck? I know its a form of depression, not taking care of yourself. Sometimes its all I can do to make myself shower. That’s disgusting. Brushing my hair? Psh…yeah right.

What makes it worse for me is that everyone else is moving on with their lives and I am fucking stuck going to therapy for a eating disorder and unable to lose this goddamn weight enough to have surgery…so that I can get a full time job to pay for a place so I can move out…but I can’t do that until I lose the weight to have surgery and AROUND AND AROUND WE GO. Meanwhile kids I helped watch and teach how to read are adulting better than I am. Moved out, traveled abroad, getting married. My friends are getting engaged and new promotions or full time jobs, or having babies. And I’m the never growing up adult child stuck at home and reporting to someone else that I’ve eaten breakfast three times this week working on four! Wow! It’s almost like I need a gold sticker! YOU DID IT. So goddamn frustrating. My life has been a series of trials and hurtles. Nothing has ever come easy for me. Some people just have it all, and I’ll never be one of those girls. Between health and situation, that’s not in my cards. I’ll just have to pull myself together, stitch myself together like always, suck it up and bluff my way through this hand of cards. I’ve always had a really good poker face.

Weight loss journey journal 1

I thought I was going to be able to write this blog in three easy parts, making sure to keep notes as I went through the process so that I could articulate what was/ is going into it. I always just wanted to say my starting point as in past tense, and show you the improvements…But it’s been a year and its only getting messier, this is a battle that I’m fighting that seems to be never ending and only at an incline in fucking sleet rain. So this is going to get messy, and maybe it will be helpful later to reflect on what this journey was, maybe I will make it to the other side, maybe I won’t…and that’s where we’re at.

I could be a contender for that show “My 600 lb life.” and saying that makes me feel all different shades of gross. I’d like to tell you that its next to impossible to forget how big you are, but some days, when I avoid all mirrors and I’m just laughing with myself, I don’t feel like an hour glass with too few sand kernels left. That’s not saying that all fat people are facing this, and its not on me to speak on behalf of their journey, this is strictly mine. It wasn’t like this happened overnight. It was a slow build, a rapid gain yes, but a slow awareness. Door jams always seemed to get smaller, bruises on my hips, stomach from bouncing into things that I underestimated my size and got the pained bump to remind myself. The horn always blares when I try to get out of my car…I always end up leaning into it while trying to exit. I am always uncomfortable, always awkward in my movements, there’s always pain. I have functioning pain, and then nonfunctioning pain; but I usually function at a 4 on a scale 1-10 (My bad leg) Besides the physical issues I have there are social issues as well, relationships being damaged, being judged by would-be employers, doctors not wanting to treat me etc. When I’m ready to dive into that hornets nest that might be a separate post…

If I don’t fall asleep right away, I can hear myself gasping for breath and it annoys me so I try breathing deeper, slower, holding my breath until my chest tightens a little. And then I panic because I get the thought “I am not breathing enough, why am I worrying about the fact that I am breathing so much?” Maybe its the side effect of thinking I take up enough space as it were. And this is just me laying in my bed, minding my own business, trying not to breathe too loudly because it might bother someone other than myself. That’s straight up fucked.

Today was messy. I thought I would process it before writing about it, but I think the only way I am going to get through and adapt to what this all is, is through writing it down. The last few months have been hard. I have been struggling. I have been trying to be honest with my friends and creating an open environment for them to tell each other when things are going bad, but I feel like in doing so I am constantly trying to pick up everyone elses’ pieces and have been neglecting my own. And I have been doing this for years. I have been a candle lit at both ends for far too long and now- I feel like I gave all the strength that I had for caring for myself out to someone else. Because I knew what it feel like to have no one to talk to, I didn’t want that for them.

I feel like I am drowning. Honestly, I keep thinking about how much better it would be if I wasn’t around. This thought comes to me in dreams half the time, sometimes its in mundane ways. Like driving my car and I zone out and all of a sudden am three exits away, remembering none of the drive…I think wow, I wonder if turning into a tree would be that easy. Like a blink. I am not an emotional person, but lately I’ve been crying. I started crying on thanksgiving when my friend said “hey I know I’m not good with mental illness, but you know, if you need a break sometime let me know.” And I actually typed back “Yes please. I need a break.” I was bawling. I need a fucking break.

My health has always been a issue, right. So I have a clotting disorder. I figured I would write about that sometime but its hard for me to write about it without being caviler and then switching randomly to panic. I am trying to do this so that this can improve. But it seems that I can’t bring myself to care enough to get through the process as I need to. When meeting with my incredibly awesome NP for the Gastric Surgery, Sara, after a long break I explained that I went off my diet hard. That I stopped caring again, and that I had warned the dietician prior that I was struggling with caring and the depression was making it hard…the dietician told me I needed to get my shit together. She was pretty fed up with me and I can understand.

Its like watching someone drown when all they have to do is stand up to save themselves. But I can’t stand up.

Sara asked me if I wanted to die and I felt my eyes well up because I didn’t want to lie. So I said I had no intent to do it, but that I was tired. That I frequently think about it. And she started crying and thanking me for being there, for trying. And I felt so sad because I felt like I was losing for admitting I was struggling. I always struggle with the dealing with emotions. Emotions are sticky for me. I feel like If I say that I’m feeling bad, I’m just asking for attention or that I am making it up. That I laugh too much to be depressed or thinking about killing myself. So she signed me up for the nonsurgical side weight loss to hit this damn thing aggressively. I’m participating in both the surgical and the nonsurgical side. I’m going to be taking different medicine, but I am currently on metformin. Something normally treating type two diabetes, but also has a side effect of weight loss.

I don’t have diabetes, I’m going to clear that up right here. I have insulin resistance, so I’m pre-diabetic which is why Metformin may help.

Since I like lists so much, I am going to formulate a health list of current issues that we are tackling here. (And this is the list that is of my current understanding)

–MORBID obesity. (Yep. Always hated the idea that anything about me but my sense of humor was morbid.)

–Anxiety disorder

Depression (of some kind. These were are going to be looking into.)

–*Potential mood disorder of some kind.*

–”Moderate Malnourishment”

Lack of vitamins

–hypothyroidism

–insulin resistance

–anemia/ iron issues

history of DVT and PE

–Factor V Leiden

Chronic Cellulitis

–Venous insufficiency

Severe sleep apnea with hyperventilation and hypoxia (I pant and not get oxygen to my brain apparently. That shoe dropped tonight.)

A eating disorder

After my last bought of Cellulitis I told my primary that I needed to see a therapist, after all I had promised Sara that I was going to seriously look into one and I also made a therapist pact with my best friend who is also drowning. I needed to hold up my end of the bargain. So I met with a woman on Halloween. She was a Psychotherapist and she decided that I needed long term therapy not just short term which is what she only does. She referred me to the CEDM, the center of eating disorder management. I looked at her surprised like REALLY? You think I have a eating disorder?

She was like “Alex, how could you not? It is not normal for someone to go over 12 hours of not eating.” I say 12, because honestly, I’m not even sure when the time frame I ate was back then. I do go 12 hours easily, but usually its longer. And I used to think that was something I could brag about. Like LOOK. I DON’T EAT ALL THE TIME. But apparently…that’s an eating disorder. Oh.

So I was willing and so gun-ho about improving everything that I called them up and scheduled an appointment. I’m like YES. Let’s keep fighting the fight! Doing so good! And then the last month of waiting for today I have increasingly got more agitated, annoyed, angry, and thinking that I was going to be wasting everyone’s time. That they were going to be wasting mine. That I was going to go in there and they were going to tell me that I didn’t have an eating disorder, recommend me another therapist and I could move on again. And for a little while it looked like that was how things were going to go. But apparently my behaviors surrounding the binge-eating disorder means that I am a candidate for their program. And they gave me the choice to either start with outpatient services and integrate slowly into Intensive outpatient services or just jump head first right into Intensive outpatient services. I chose outpatient because of my work schedule…IOP is four days a week for four hours…and eating in front of people…that sounds HORRIBLE. But I assured the program manager that should my therapist think that I need something more, that I’d listen and try it. But for right now I will try this. And so next week I start therapy and group. Oh yeah, group is part of it.

And then the week after I have two appointments for the gastric program, the nonsurgical doctor and the dietician. But I haven’t been good on my diet this week. And the guilt turns my stomach a little. I need to start doing better. The idea of not starting to do better is making me think that I am going to die before this is all said and done and it sends me into anxiety. The manager of the program tonight told me “You are too young to feel this bad, this miserable.” “You sound very tired of fighting.” “You are too young to be this tired.” And the compassion and empathy felt relieving. I signed up for appointments for the next three weeks, twice a week. I keep feeling that claustrophobic feeling that everything is too much and overwhelming and I know something is going to have to give eventually. I hope this is will give me some helpful tools.

Then they told me tonight about the sleep apnea/ hypoxia/ hyperventilation. So I am going to need a Cpap machine and my anxiety is cranking out In regards to something else being added to my list of “FUCKING HANDLE YOUR SHIT.” But I know if I sleep better, maybe I wouldn’t feel like I can’t handle anything anymore…so they are going to start working on signing me into figuring that problem out.

I’m so tired. I think if I could sleep for a month and just let this all go away, I would. But nope, I have to be accountable for my actions, and now I’m going to have to face this down. Here we go. I am not at all confident, I am freaking the fuck out, but I am going to fight and try.

“When depression stops the little things” poem 9/20/18

She’s thinking about bullets a little too much

Like counting them like her prescription to make sure they are all there.

She knows she will never use them as a one way ticket

But sometimes she thinks “it’s nice to have a back up plan.”

Her search history is mostly how to function like an adult and nearest therapists that take her insurance.

She teeters on the edge of thinking she’s over her head or just having a bad five minutes, and to breathe.

Her chest tightens cause she knows soon the breathing will stop on its own it’s a matter of time. And it’s not enough time. She’s always in a hurry the tick tick ticking of the clock erasing moments her heart will throb in her chest. She hasn’t done anything to improve this. Why does she feel hopeless because she gave up caring years ago? Why does it all hit at once?

She dreads the next day. And the next. Already tired. Tired when laying in bed. Tired when standing. Yesterday she said “wow. I’m amazed that I am able to move this tired, pained body forward in an upward position. Not very well, but doing it. Keep on doing it.”

Today she sighed and brushed her teeth after counting her prescription.

It was a little thing but it was a thing and that was all she managed to do.

Letter to the “witching hour”

The witching hour. When you are awake far too late and your emotions run away on you.

Another night of being awake late, with a looming shift approaching in the earliest of hours. Each minute ticking by like the coin hitting an empty wishing well- it echoes back into the vast hole in me. Something is missing here.

I told my mom that I’m unhappy- that it’s hard to say I’m unhappy because I’m laughing and smiling a lot of the time. My brain tells myself to suck it up. That my struggling is not noticeable. It’s not reasonable to complain that I’m struggling. My brain is doing this magic act it’s so good at going “taaadahhhh don’t you see? Look at how well we are functioning right now! Why do you keep saying you are struggling? Liar. Mental illness isn’t a fucking cute ploy for attention. Stop asking for it.” Like I didn’t just ask that person at work to repeat their desired location four times, like I didn’t make them spell their last name five times simply because I cannot fucking focus. For the life of me.

I slump in my car when I get home and have to say to myself “it’s worth it. Come on. Go.” Five times or more to motivate to walk around my dad’s truck, up the 14 stairs into the house. The whole time just screaming at myself in the echo chamber that is my head (I killed that little voice off in there years ago) that I’m fat and worthless and in pain and why can’t the pain just stop. I listen to my breathing as I drag my useless heavy body up each step and go “This next step will kill me. I can hear my heart in my ears.” My breathing hasn’t been this bad in a while. I’m so lethargic.

I want to clean my room. It smells gross. I think wow, it’s good I don’t bring anyone home cause this isn’t fuckable. This is where my depression lies stinking next to me every night. I want to clean my car for the same reason- the clutter is making my head more swamped and bogged down. But I can’t even function enough to start the process. All in all if I had the motivation, these things wouldn’t take me more than three hours. But it takes me weeks.

I feel like such a failure. Every joke about leaving home is just another strike against the clock that I’ve already set against myself. It’s a little tap on the fragile pin that I have wedged in the door of my sanity and each time I come dangerously close to losing it. I have such a fragile grip on keeping it together. It makes my parents frustrated that they can’t joke with me like this. And that makes me even more upset. Because it’s like I have to keep repeating “but I told you. I feel like a fucking failure. Please don’t. Please don’t joke. It’s a joke to you but it’s a fragile life line for me.”

My mom’s friend joked about how I said my fear that I’m not going to be a parent. That maybe I’ll adopt one day. She asked “why do you think you can’t be a parent.” I couldn’t say I’m worried I’ll die first. So i just said that it’s in my five year plan but my five year plans never go my way. And she laughed. And some little part of me broke into myself. She didn’t mean to laugh, mom said. She was laughing that her kids have five year plans too.

But my five year plan is the only hope I have for a future because sometimes I feel like I’m going to die. Five years seems reasonable. If I can get over that hump of time I’ll have made it. And laughing at it was like spitting in the fan and having it blow back on me. It really shouldn’t have hurt. All of this shouldn’t have hurt. And honestly this post is probably from a lack of crying, built up stress, trying to save my last few anxiety pills, over tired with the clock clicking ever on to five thirty on a Saturday for work and having had coffee too late in the day. All of it could be a factor and I’m just explaining away myself again.

Later it will be like I never wrote these words into the void. Im uncomfortable the way they sit here in front of me. About as uncomfortable as I’m sitting inside my skin lately.

Dear Tunnel Vision

Dear Tunnel vision,

I’m staring down the end of a tunnel. I look over my shoulder and I can still see the light enough to see the walls around me. I can still see the direction I’m going in. But that side of the tunnel is darker. I’ve long since stopped being afraid of the dark but even still I get weary. There will be light at the end of this one, right? I didn’t take the wrong turn again and ended up in a dead end? I didn’t see any signs. Of course… I can’t pay attention to reading signs even if they were there anyway. It’s hard to focus on that kind of thing lately.

Would this be considered high functioning depression if I can physically move my body on command but not make it understand? I can still do tasks but it takes longer and makes me tired trying. I desire fun but have no ambition of planning fun into it. I keep myself swamped and hate that I’m busy but hate wasting a day for myself too. Feeling selfish with my time that I have to be doing something or helping someone else. It’s not my fucking problem to fill in these missing pieces for everyone else but here I am sitting at the table coloring them in like it’s an art project that someone might just hang up on the wall some day. I spend a lot of time trying to fix other people because the more I put into others the less time I have with myself and that’s good enough to keep me trucking down that tunnel.

I feel like I’m just scratching at the walls, not moving forward except at a snails pace. They say pain and uncomfort moves you to grow. I’ve been growing out sideways and in all the areas I shouldn’t be. I’m trapped in this never ending goddamn tunnel hoping that I’ll grow into who I want to be- to make the changes I need to to make myself satisfied as I step further into it. This tunnel vision is making me dizzy and sad. It’s dark in here.

Dear Adulthood, part ii

It’s been a long time since I’ve written, about four months give or take a week. The last time I wrote to you, I mentioned my anxiety of my best friend’s future little one coming.

We had spent months and months, it seemed like an achingly long time for me to wait- and yet that last drive to the beach when she was 39 weeks, I felt it was so sudden. Like 9 months had suddenly just whirlwinded into existence and another being was coming into her life and that I didn’t know what to do.

I’ve been watching children for as long as I can remember. Stealing my baby sitter’s baby often at 9/ 10 and making sure he was fed and changed and snuggled- there were always adults present but I’ve always been baby-crazy.

And here I was, looking at my best friend’s beautiful baby bump and going “oh fuck.” Because I was anxious for her. I was anxious she was depressed and not telling me, anxious that I wasn’t being a good enough friend, anxious I was pushing her too much by letting me take her picture or leave her nest to spend time with me. Anxious I wasn’t asking the right questions. She’s a very private person, but we had always made the promise (due to history of self injury on both sides during our adolescent years) we would never lie. But that didn’t stop us from not saying anything if the right questions weren’t asked.

I was worried that I wasn’t going to be the friend she needed, was worried of bringing too much to her. As much as I try to stay out of drama, I have a lot of issues. And she is the conduit of most of my anxiousness and or issues. She’s been there through my worst times and my best, and I wanted to return the favor and didn’t fucking know if I was doing it. So I clammed up. And so did she. Which makes me sad that she faces a lot of body image issues and depression silently when I could have been a cheerleader at the very least on her behalf.

I was also worried that because I have a lot of “drama” I would be bringing too much stress that we’d have to see less of each other and I wouldn’t get to be with her all the time. Babies are time sappers, after all. Beautiful little time sappers.

Flash forward to what actually happened:

August 12th, I got a text message saying she was going into the hospital because she wasn’t sure, but she seemed to be in labor. I told her to text me when she needed me to sound the alarm to friends.

I didn’t end up getting the text that they wanted to just have her husband and her for now, and anxiety made me haul ass to the waiting room. Which her other best friend did the same! (And although we aren’t great at being friends) it was wonderful not to be the only one waiting. It was a short wait though (5? Hours?) and her dad and Step mom came and left as did her other friend due to it being very late at night and it was going to be another hour before they were settled in their rooms. Her husband asked if I was going to wait and then laughed. Of course I was. I never sleep at night.

So I waited and then when they got settled in their room, her husband plopped their tiny tiny bundle into my arms and I nearly shook. This was a piece of my heart. Vinny was perfect. Ten fingers, ten toes, smooshy face and chubby cheeks. He was a piece of my best friend in this whole entire world and he was here, safe, beautiful, and I got to hold him on the same night he was born. Although it was all me imposing on my beloved friends and their time (sorry guys) it was a magical time to be in there with them in the quiet and still, looking at them and him, on their first night as a complete family. This was the American dream in a nutshell and I was so happy and nervous excited for them.

Because it’s not my story to tell, I can’t go into how she felt, as much as I want to. I don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant, and as I said before, she’s very reserved. I wish I was able to help more there, the best I could offer is waiting till she passed out to rail at her husband about tips and tricks for anxiety and depression. He was clueless. But he was also overwhelmed being tired and cranky and anxious too. He needed to vent too, and so even though I’m a pain in his ass, I hope we got to talk some things out. I hoped I helped somehow.

But I get to see them all the time. I’m there all day, late into the evenings. I get to cuddle Vinny and sing to him and see his smile. She even had him sleep over one night while she took care of her husband who had to have surgery. The trust and the love and…its fucking amazing guys.

It’s such a beautiful blessing to be able to be bonding with your best friend while she’s a wonderful mother but also get to bond with her little too. I love her little family, so so much.

Just like 9/10 year old me- I still steal the babies, though. From everyone. I’m such a torrent of emotion but when I hold him, and he laughs or smiles or falls asleep on my chest, little hand over my heart and it stills. It’s so peaceful, a tiny life that my friend brought into this world who is her whole life in one little being, and she’s willing to share a corner of her happiness with me. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.