Figuring it out, and why I wish I never did

They say that knowledge is power.  But I tend to think that ignorance is bliss.  Not knowing that you don’t know is a wonderful thing.  Sometimes knowing the truth brings pain…. I don’t always think that knowledge is power.

I had a good holiday, for all the right reasons.  I enjoyed time with family and friends.  I got to spend the days with my daughter and the hubs, and togetherness is truly what Christmas is about, for me.

But… in one fell swoop, I was suddenly reminded why I have a sincere disdain for the season.  I don’t want to share all of it, but it was related to the sexual abuse I endured for years as a child.  Suffice it to say that I really had no memory of the awfulness until Saturday night.  And it all came back to me.  With one swift movement, I went from trying to enjoy the day to really being consumed by the memories of one of the worst atrocities I’ve ever lived through.  It hurt.  I hurt.  I still hurt.  I cried and cried and cried.

I went on, through the weekend.  I mostly slept.  Besides still being on the recovering end of bronchitis (which is, in itself, exhausting), I just felt like sleep was the better choice.  I was tired. But I tried to be amicable.  Cheery was probably more than I could manage, but pleasant was as far as I could make it.

Xanax has helped control the mood swings.  Thankfully.  But unless there is a pill that makes you forget things, I sort of have to soldier through it, for now.

I fall between anger and sadness and guilt and self-loathing and disappointment and emptiness.

In a hole_Courtesy of Amy Holsinger

This is what I feel like.

For any of you who have faced depression and anxiety,you know what an oppressive companion it can be in your life.  I’m trying not to listen to the terrible things that are playing in my head.  But coming to terms with the terrible things that others have done to you can be a challenge.  I get the whole “forgiveness” thing.  Truth-be-told, I don’t want to.  Forgiveness is defined as releasing someone from retribution or debt; concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake.

Here’s the thing: I won’t ever stop demanding retribution.  I won’t ever release him from it.  I won’t ever conclude resentment.  I won’t, and I will not.  I know all about the bullshit, “Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.”  Nope.  Forgiveness is also something you give to someone who deserves it.  And he doesn’t.

And I’m angry about it.  Still.  Knowledge isn’t always power.  I was fine in the blissful ignorance that I kept company with.  As far as I was concerned, I just didn’t like the holiday.  It was fine with me.  But now I know.  I wish I didn’t.  Knowledge isn’t always power.

“They say time heals everything, but I’m still waiting.”

P.S.  My apologies to my readers.  How much does it suck to read this boo-hoo sad story?  I’ll get back to semi-normal soon.  I promise.

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When you’ve got nothin’, you’ve got nothin’ to lose

**Just to start out, for those who’ve visited my blog before: check the sweet new logo I designed. I also messed around with the background, too. I’m super happy with it. And now my blog feels a little more like mine. I thought of it in an anxiety-riddled sleepless night. Yup…this is what I think about at 3am while I’m wide awake staring darkness in the face: logos. I actually think of other things, too. People… but that’s not this post.

This post is about my job. I haven’t documented how awful my job is, because it really isn’t. The reason I am looking for a new job (unsuccessfully, so far), is because the pressure of what’s expected of me has been too much to bear. So you might be wondering what I do. I’m in marketing (and design), trying to expand a business that’s been slowly dying. Additionally, I haven’t been given the time or tools to be successful. And the worst part is that I actually hold myself accountable to those unrealistic expectations.

But now I’m starting to lose my hold on my give-a-damn. I just don’t care, anymore, about that place. It’s so unhealthy. And today, I told my boss that I was taking meds so I could handle working there. It was somewhat liberating. He said, “We need to get you off Xanax. You shouldn’t have to take that.”

…..At first I could feel the irritation creep up my back and take residence in my neck… but I simply said, “You’re right. I shouldn’t. But we should take a break from the ideal world we think we should live in, and look at the reality we actually live in.” Score one for me. And that empowered me. I actually felt better than I have in a while. I told him, plainly and directly, that I didn’t blame him. I don’t. But that my limit had been reached a while ago, and it’s not acceptable for me to live with the pressure and unrealistic expectations and slowly lose the battle everyday. Until that changes, I have to do what’s best for me. And I’m proud of that.

A special shout out to the amazing friend that always believes in me. It’s been because of that love and support that I’ve been able to continue and push through some of the deep, dark places I’ve been in.

The last couple of days have been better. Knowing that I have direction has released me from some of the weight that was crushing me.

That and……… I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been drinking my fair share of milk, lately. Yum. I see a new ad campaign ahead for dairy farmers:
“Milk….it keeps you out of the loony bin.”

Why it’s the little things that matter

I’d be lying if I said that since the meds everything has been smooth sailing. In case anyone stumbled onto this blog because they’re looking for info on what they’re taking or interested in taking, I’m taking Celexa for anxiety. I take one 20mg pill every day. I also have Xanax, which I use irregularly to help cope when I’m feeling really overwhelmed.

It’s been a month. I officially started my second month today. It hasn’t been easy. So if you’re looking at this and thinking that the pill will make your life better right away, it probably won’t. That’s not to say that I haven’t noticed changes in the last month. I have. And it’s been a good thing, overall. Before the meds, I was regularly having total, very public, meltdowns at work. I’ve managed to control my frustrations since. I still get frustrated. I still have my moments. That’s what the Xanax is for. And yeah… I’ve taken one here and there. It helps.

My BFF said, “It doesn’t make sadness and anger and disappointment and frustration go away. It just makes it easier to deal with.” Yup. That’s exactly right.

I’m acutely aware of the triggers. I’m also very in tune with what my body does to signal me before I get to my breaking point. I have a safe place I can manage these moments in, and that makes all the difference. Just knowing I can say, “I’m feeling bad today” or “I feel crazy” without judgement or babysitting. I’m having very off days. And a lot of them. I am having physical manifestations of anxiety: autonomous deep breathing, jaw clenching… things like that. Things that I very well may have been doing *before* the meds, and now I’m just aware of them. It’s hard. This is hard. Because I feel totally outside of myself. I don’t like that feeling.

People can say the stupidest things. “Just get over it.” “Happiness is a choice.” “It’s all in your head.” And you know what? They don’t make it easier. Don’t think, for one second, I haven’t said, “Just choose to be happy. This is all in your imagination.” Reality steps in, though, and I’m reminded that this is bigger than “choice.”

It’s the little things that get me. Big stuff? I got that. Maybe it’s because we’re hard-wired to manage the big things that hit. But the little things creep in and before you know it, they’ve rooted in and taken over.

It got me thinking about what triggers me. And I have a few things, off the top of my head, that I see are sparking those feelings. But…. I’ve also decided that I’m not going to share most of them here, with the exception of this one thing: Seeing the issues/non-issues in other’s lives get me. When I read about someone who has been triggered to eat dysfunctionally, it makes me question my own habits and then I’m back to them. Conversely, when I read or talk with someone who’s like, “Yeah, life is super wonderful and everything’s great and I’m so happy.” That does it, too. And not because misery loves company. I don’t want everyone to feel like I do. God! What a horrible, sad world this would be! No, it’s not that. Instead, it becomes a comparison game. “Why is she/he/they/everyone so fucking happy and I’m stuck in a hole that is slowly collapsing on me every day?” It isn’t that they are happy. It’s that I’ve taken to comparing myself to everyone in an effort to identify with anything that may feel normal.

On the flip side… you know what’s really saving my ass? The little things. I know, right? Funny how that works.

  • Skinny Peppermint Mocha Latte – that makes me happy.
  • BFF #1 time. Heart.
  • My safe place, which is literally saving me from totally losing my mind.
  • Writing. A little. A lot. Whatever. About anything.
  • Music.
  • A kind word. (Pay it forward…. say something nice to someone today.)
  • Fleece sheets.
  • A hug.

They’re keeping me going. They are giving me hope and strength.

This is about to ramble for a minute. Stick with me, here, folks. If any of you have ever driven in fog, or walked in fog, while it can be beautiful, it can also be quite confusing. You see, when there’s no fog, you know you’re on the right path/road because you can *see* the landmarks that tell you where you are. Without those landmarks identifying your progress, you’re left wondering where you are and how much further you have to go.

I don’t know where I’m at. I feel like I’m walking through a fog. I can’t see any sign of progress, because there are no landmarks to tell me how far along I am. And I don’t know how much further. So I lean, quite heavily, on any light to guide me. Often times, it’s a friendly voice, calling out to me. That voice is leading me. And thank God. Because I seem to have lost the cognizance to lead myself.

It’ll get better. The doc said give it another month. So I’m gonna. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime… if you are feeling the way I am, or have felt… know that you’re not alone. Be patient. Let the meds do their work. And build your support system for when things are tough. You will get better. I promise. In the meantime… just stay the course.