The past few days have not been the greatest. I’ve been both super anxious and fairly depressed. I guess it is probably what most people would call a mixed state in the bipolar community. I feel on edge all the time. My brain is constantly telling me something is wrong and that I need to fix it, but I don’t know what it is. The depression is telling me that I am worthless, no one really likes me anyway, and everything I do is pointless.
The depression is making me feel never good enough. It is times like these that no matter what I achieved, I would probably still feel a failure. If I suddenly won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry or had my art showcased at the Louvre, I would still find fault with it and myself in this particular mood. It is a hellish feeling.
This depression is interlaced with anxiety that pushes me to want to achieve, achieve, achieve right now, but in this state I am so all over the place that it is hard to concentrate on anything for long. Not to mention that the depression makes me feel like it is all futile anyhow, even as my whirling mind is telling me that I’m not trying hard enough.
All of this is heightening my chronic pain. I hurt so bad deep in my muscles, I feel like I have been tortured on the medieval rack.
The last few days have been rough. I’ve been dealing with dark, obsessive thoughts that I know aren’t healthy for me to dwell on. Dark thoughts of restlessness, dark thoughts of jealousy and resentment, dark thoughts about relationships and craving attention, and dark thoughts about life and death. Craving attention might not sound like such a bad thing, but the negative part is some of the twisted ways my brain comes up with to get it. Luckily, I don’t act on these dark thoughts, so I must have a good amount of self-control, but the obsessiveness of the thought patterns bother me.
I feel a little bit like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at times (which I actually reread recently for the first time since childhood). There is a really good side to me, but there is definitely a dark side as well, and when that dark side becomes obsessive and stuck in a groove, the intensity of my thoughts and emotions can become a bit frightening to myself.
I’m not entirely sure what causes these bouts of dark fantasizing. The ocd? The C-PTSD? Mood disorder? The anxious/avoidant attachment style I developed from a dysfunctional family system?
Today I’ve been trying to stay busy in an attempt to distract myself and it has helped some, but my brain is like a boomerang that just keeps circling back around to the same place again and again. It is exhausting to be honest.
This hasn’t been a great week for me. I’ve been struggling with headaches, earaches, fatigue, and stomach issues physically, and then on top of that I’ve been rather depressed and lethargic. Last weekend we were supposed to go to a baby animals festival I always love, but I didn’t feel up to it either day. Tomorrow is my 16th wedding anniversary, but I don’t feel much like celebrating, even though I am very thankful for my wonderful husband.
We also found out that my husband’s health insurance through his work is going up $100 a month and that I might actually be dropped from the plan now that I have SSDI and can get Medicare. I’m not sure how that might affect my current healthcare and doctors. I really hate our healthcare system here in America.
I guess a couple of good things I can concentrate on are that I just hit over 2,000 Instagram followers, and am only 5 subscribers away from 1,000 followers here on WordPress! If you don’t follow me already, please help me reach that goal!!! I would be most grateful and it would make me smile.
Today my husband and I went to go see one of his students dance in a special recital:
Seeing all the cute little kids dressed up in their costumes and dancing made me really miss having kids around. I used to be almost constantly surrounded by kids between foster parenting, volunteering with the kids at our old church, and working in the school system as a teacher’s assistant/aide. My favorite age of kids to work with were always the younger ones, 3-4 years old to around 6 or 7, although I bonded well with kids of almost any age.
At this point, I don’t know if my physical/mental health will ever consistently improve to the point that I can do those things again, but I miss them. I am thankful for the experiences and memories though.
Here are a couple recent ACEO artist trading cards I made when I was struggling through a nasty depressive episode. I find creating art like this is therapeutic, even if I don’t feel like doing it at first.
Check out my art currently for sale on my Ebay store!
Had my EEG yesterday morning. It wasn’t too bad. The flashing strobe light part was almost kind of like what I imagine doing psychedelic drugs would be like – all the swirling lights and patterns…it was kind of crazy. I was supposed to nap for like 15 minutes or so, but just couldn’t fall asleep. I’m hoping I won’t have to do the home sleep study, but I guess we’ll see what the doctor thinks. The gel they put on my hair to keep the electrodes connected drove me crazy, so I had to come right home and wash it out.
Other than that, not much exciting is going on. I am attempting to embrace a mostly gluten-free diet in hopes that it helps my digestive and chronic inflammatory issues, but it is hard because many of my favorite foods (pasta, pizza, bread, cereal, cookies, etc.) have to be eliminated or replaced with gluten-free substitutes which don’t always taste as good or have the same texture. As an autistic gal, food texture matters A LOT to me and it takes a good long while for me to get used to changes. Thank goodness a few mainstream cereals are already gluten free (like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, most Chex varieties, Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles, and a few more).
My mood today is rather blah. Just not feeling much of anything, except tired.
While I was painting this acrylic picture last night, trying to capture the burgeoning depression I could feel weighing on me, the REM song Shiny Happy People came on the satellite channel I was listening to. I felt that song perfectly captured how I was feeling, as I always felt it was a rather tongue-in-cheek, mockery of a song. I decided to name the artwork after the song, so here is my version of Shiny Happy People:
Check out all my art currently for sale on my ebay store.
Every once in a while I have a dream where I realize in the middle of it that I am dreaming and I have the ability to take the dream over and do whatever I want to do. Last night this happened again. I became aware that I was dreaming and that nothing I saw around me was real, but instead of deciding to fly off to some other land or into outer space, I decided to stick around the environment I was already in and see what my sleeping mind had conjured up out of nothing.
It was actually rather fascinating to study the “set” of my dream. I noticed all the little details – the plants (color/shape/flowers), I noticed how a few rocks were randomly scattered over the ground and even counted them, wondering if the number had any significance. I felt the textures around me, including puffy cotton balls growing off to the side, marveling at how real it felt to my touch, even though I knew none of it was real.
I wish I remembered every single detail that I studied, but like most dreams, once I woke up, bits of it started to fade like wisps of smoke. I do remember it was an outdoor setting obviously and there was a small bridge and a stream of water. I would almost say it was a little like a Monet water garden painting.
It always interested me that I’ve heard some experts claim we don’t dream in color, but if that is true, they obviously have never visited my dreams!!! I feel texture, pain, and pleasure in my dreams. I taste. I smell. I hear. When I am there, it is just as real as where I am right this minute.
Here is what I wrote on my Facebook page today, I think it pretty much sums it all up:
Six long years, and I finally won my SSDI case! Fully favorable! Feel like crying and screaming. Been sick and in pain so long, sometimes I wanted to give up hope and die, but glad I hung in there.
All those people who doubted me or thought I was just being “lazy” or “dramatic” can kiss my ass. To all those who have showed love, empathy, and encouragement, thank you so much for helping to keep me alive and fighting.
My fellow bloggers here on WordPress definitely fall into the second category of supportive, encouraging people, so thank you all so much!!!
By the way, the decision was just made yesterday and my lawyer was the one who called and told me, so it will still be a little while before I get the back pay or monthly payments started, but I’m on my way!