Mental Health Day

The thing about mental health is that you have good days and bad days. Some days you can deal with it and some days you can’t. But the biggest thing is that you can’t call in sick when you can’t pull your shit together. When you’re splitting at the seams and you are so exhausted from holding it together and you just can’t anymore. As far as everyone else knows, though? You have a migraine.

The thing about mental health is that it isn’t taken seriously. I know this isn’t news to anyone. It’s at least not news to anyone that has a mental illness. But to everyone else that doesn’t know what it’s like? It’s invisible. They don’t understand how crippling it is. If you can’t see the damage or if you haven’t felt the damage, it just isn’t as bad as we say it is, right? Most people know what it’s like to go through a break up so you can sympathize. Most people have suffered a physical, painful injury – a broken bone, a laceration – so they understand. But when you feel out of control and like you can’t reign your feelings back in, they don’t get that.

It’s anxiety. Not, “I’m a little nervous about my exam today, my stomach won’t stop turning.” It’s throwing up, it’s crying, it’s worrying the second you learn there is something that poses the threat of stress in your future until you are too full of things to worry about that you break down. It’s keeping yourself awake at night worrying about every little thing you have ever done that you are unhappy about. It’s imagining every possible outcome to a conversation that has never and probably never will happen, with results ranging from maybe a little bliss to total devastation. It’s so much time.

It’s depression. Not a bad day, it’s an empty day. It’s insurmountable sadness that you can’t see past. You can’t see the top of the sadness mountain and you have zero desire to even try to figure out if it’s possible to climb. It’s when you start crying and you aren’t even sure why but you can’t stop. It’s a faucet that sprung a leak and you’re just leaking every sadness, but it’s not even cathartic. It’s not just having a good cry, it’s like the sadness just multiplies inside you until it overflows out, but you don’t feel any less sad. It’s literally like the movie, Inside Out, and how Sadness is just a constant mopey character. But it’s without Joy and Anger and Fear and Disgust to help even things out for you. It’s just Sadness.

It’s fear. Fear of where you’ll end up, fear of being alone forever because no one understands. Fear of how people will see you. Fear of losing your friends, your job, your apartment, your everything, because you are the way you are.

It’s apathy. It’s not getting off the couch, it’s not doing any chores or running any errands, because you can’t find the motivation. It’s not showering, it’s not eating, it’s just existing in bed or on the couch, to numb to do anything else.

It’s shame. It’s being ashamed of who you are, ashamed that you aren’t normal. It’s not looking forward to your boyfriend coming home and realizing that not only did you stay home from work, but you didn’t do anything all day and you’re embarrassed at your uselessness. It’s not wanting anyone to find out, not wanting anyone to see how cracked and broken you are.

It’s getting ready in the morning and driving to work, but being unable to stop crying. So you turn around, go home, and say you have a migraine.

More gun control isn’t a solution.

The population of the United States is roughly 322 million and there are approximately 101.05 firearms for every 100 people. There’s no question that’s a lot of guns. The reported percentage of households with one or more guns (both legal and illegal) in 2014 is 31%, which is actually tied for the lowest percentage (2010 saw 31.1% of households with guns) since 1973 with 47% of homes in possession of firearms, and well below the highest rate of 50.4% in 1977. So there has been a pretty steady decline of households in possession of guns since the 70’s and yet we are seeing more gun violence now than we did then. Are we sure the gun is the problem?

Don’t worry, gun enthusiasts hear you. “We need stricter gun laws, more gun control!”

Okay. California has the toughest gun control laws in the country, ranking number one on this gun law score card, implementing new fancy schmancy smart gun laws in 2014. Tell that to the victims of the San Bernardino shooting the other day. The four guns used were purchased legally. California gun laws require that you pass a background check, obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate which includes a written test, and wait 10 days to complete the transaction, among several other restrictions. This same source goes on to say; “In 2013, California had the 9th lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Even with this relatively low ranking, California still suffered 3,026 deaths from firearms in that single year. Additionally, in 2013, at least 6,035 others were hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal gunshot wounds in California.” California was still ranked number one on the gun law score card of 2013, by the way. And yet despite all their laws to protect their residents, more than 9,000 persons were shot that year.

States were scored using a point system and graded accordingly. “States earned points for other smart laws, such as prohibiting domestic violence offenders from accessing guns, limiting bulk firearms purchases, and regulating gun dealers. States lost points for laws that weaken public safety, such as permitting hidden, loaded guns in schools and bars, removing the duty to retreat outside the home, and allowing concealed weapons in public without a permit.”

So let’s look at the states who scored F’s. Vermont ranked at 41, which is quite low. However, it’s rate of gun death ranks it at 39, which is quite high. Okay, okay, Vermont is small, you say, a population of 626,562 (2014). So let’s look at South Dakota, a relatively average-sized state with a population of 853,175 (2014). They ranked 43, with the rate of gun deaths ranking it at 34. Still pretty high up there.

Now let’s look at actual deaths. The CDC data for 2013 states that of the 16,121 homicides, 11,208 are a result of firearms (however it does not specify if said homicides were civilian homicides or included police-involved shootings, or what percentage of those deaths are in self-defense, drug related, or due to robbery). Of the 41,149 suicides in 2013, 21,175 are a result of firearms. On a related rabbit trail, many people claim that stronger gun control would prevent suicide, which is just ridiculous. If a person is intent on committing suicide, they will do so with or without a gun. Do you want to help prevent suicide? Then stop treating mental illnesses like a fake illness. Statistics show that those who attempted suicide with a gun and survived were less likely to attempt suicide again. Wouldn’t you say that’s because the individual finally started to receive help for their illness? Oh, you really are depressed and want to die, maybe we should do something to help you not feel this way!

Anyways, if you google the number of gun deaths in 2013, you are more likely to get a number close to 32,000, which makes for a shaky ground to argue on as ~20,000 of those deaths are suicides. The gun law score card also includes suicide by gun in its numbers, stating, “Firearms were used in 19,392 suicides in the U.S. in 2010, constituting almost 62% of all gun deaths.” 62% of ALL gun deaths in 2010 were SUICIDE, not homicide! The percentage doesn’t change much in 2013 with roughly 65% of all gun deaths being a result of suicide. Are guns and “lack” of gun laws responsible for suicide too? People suffering from a debilitating mental illness such as depression wouldn’t kill themselves if they simply couldn’t access guns, right?

Now, the CDC doesn’t have data for 2014 or 2015, but an estimation of gun deaths in 2014 is 12,569, which does include police-involved shooting incidents. I realize this site tallies all gun incidents so not every officer-involved incident will have resulted in death and therefore we do not know the actual number of deaths by police VS deaths by civilians, but we all know cops kill people, (I know people who get up in arms about that too but that is a different argument) so it is important to understand that to argue on these numbers is to know you are arguing on an estimate with no clear break down of percentages of cause. The Gun Violence Archive’s report of gun deaths in 2015 is 12,228, again including police-involved incidents, which leads me to safely assume that the total in 2013 from the CDC reports also includes police shootings. Furthermore, while we have had more mass shootings in 2015 than we are used to, according to the FBI, the number of murders via firearm hasn’t varied too much in the previous four years, in fact it has slightly decreased. The number of homicides in general haven’t varied much either in that same time frame and the number of crimes committed in general have in fact significantly decreased from 2009-2013. Now while the CDC website and the FBI website state different numbers, (I am assuming because the FBI isn’t including officer-related shootings) they do both show the same thing; we have not seen a significant increase in gun death in recent years.

We all know that people like to compare the United States to other countries, so let’s do that. Obama says (and no, we will NOT go into your feelings on Obama as president, that is a different debate) that mass shootings do not happen in other countries like they do in ours. Well, we have a hell of a lot more people in our country than most countries. We aren’t factoring in population when it comes to rampage shootings. If you factor in shootings per person, the US drops down the list to number 6 surprisingly quickly. We are just better marksmen here, so sure, that makes the fatality rate a little higher but not the rate of gun violence in general, and isn’t that the problem? Gun violence? It’s also important to note that the top 5 countries (Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel, and Switzerland) on the index have restrictive gun policies. You may also notice that if you scroll to the bottom, Austria is pretty low on the list of rampage shootings and they also have permissive firearm regulations. You can also find charts that show yet again, we are pretty mid-range when it comes to violence and homicide, not the leading country in violence as the media would have you believe.

Furthermore, we have so many issues in this country that not every other country is going to have. That’s not to undermine the issues of other countries but we are different. Americans are different. Koreans, for example, go to school year round, six-days a week. They take education very seriously. Here, you’re lucky to graduate college. Hell, you’re lucky to go to college at all. Family values in the United Kingdom are different than the family values here, their children don’t suffer child abuse like ours do. So while they may not have the same number of gun deaths, we have more issues than simply “lack of gun control.”

We also live in a country that likes to let the church invade matters of the state and validates religious beliefs, no matter how much they infringe on others, like our fight on gay marriage and abortion. The shooting at the Colorado Planned Parenthood was the result of a religious nutjob who is described as being anti-abortion as well as anti-government. Terrorist attacks are also often due to a crazed religious belief and a strong aversion to the US government, and we have seen a significant increase in terrorist attacks that should not be included in homicide or even mass shooting statistics because that is an entirely different issue.

We also, as a country, do not understand mental illness. Sure, several states do not sell guns to people with mental illness but isn’t that only focusing on those on the extreme, obvious side of illness? What about the weird, quiet, loner kids at school they always tell you to look out for? Are they properly handled? Are they from a loving home or a broken family? Is anyone trying to find that kid help? Without them having to feel broken or isolated or less of a person for feeling the way they do? Of 160 mass public shootings between 1915 and 2013, 97 of the shooters either showed signs of a mental illness or were diagnosed with one, most often paranoid schizophrenia. We also know that most mass shooters are male. We live in a society where a man cannot feel sad or depressed or have any feelings at all without being told he’s less of a man. What would change if this was no longer an issue, and if those with mental illness could more easily get the help they needed without having to feel weak or unmanly or isolated?

The shooter at Marysville Pilchuck High School was mentally ill. Could the shooting at Marysville Pilchuck been avoided if his family had contained their guns differently? Or would he have found another way? The simple fact is that we don’t know. As an aside, I graduated from MP, that one does hit close to home so I am not too distant from the issue. The shooters at Columbine were deranged. Additionally, the Columbine massacre included bombs, so even if the parties responsible couldn’t access guns, (which let’s be realistic, they probably could have) they still would have done a LOT of damage. And I’m pretty sure bombs are entirely illegal.

We have gangs in the United States shooting people over turf-wars. If you google “drug shooting 2015,” you will find many articles of people dying from drug deals gone bad. Oh wait, aren’t hard drugs illegal too? Drugs kill people all the time. The CDC states, “In 2013, 43,982 deaths were due to drug poisoning.” And I wonder what percent of fatal shootings are drug or gang related? Gun laws haven’t prevented that type of gun-related deaths so far, unlawful citizens will always get their illegal weapons one or another, won’t they? It seems naive to think they won’t.

On the note of comparing the US to other countries and why that’s silly, in 2013-2014, an estimated 3.1% of the adult population (age 16-59) of England and Wales were described as “frequent drug users.” Compare that to 9.4% of the population (age 12+) being illicit drug users in 2013 in the US. We have more gun deaths but we also have more drugs (and more child abuse). Hmm…

We are also a society who despises our government. Hell, other countries despise our government! I have several friends on Facebook who reside in Canada or Australia. I have noticed they tend to get more worked up over government happenings in the United States than they do over what is happening in their own country. Our government inspires rebellion in many people, what affect does that have on gun use in the US? On terrorist attacks? Is it not safe to assume that if people didn’t hate our government so much, the general increase in happiness would result in a decrease in shootings?

I haven’t even touched on how law-abiding gun owners can and have prevented crime with their guns (and yes, I’m totally aware that the anti-gun folk hate hearing all this but that doesn’t take away from it’s relevancy). There’s no knowing how many deaths would happen during a robbery if the robber wasn’t shot by the homeowner. Robbers are also more likely to make victims of households without firearms. Additionally, we don’t know how many rapes would be prevented if everyone carried a weapon openly. A rapist or mugger won’t target a person walking down the street with a shoulder holster, that gun does protect you! Lastly, of all the gun owners in the US, what percentage of them do you think go out and kill people? No matter how anti-gun you are, you have to admit that number is probably pretty small.

I’m not saying there should be absolutely no gun laws. I don’t think it’s a problem to have to pass a background check to be sure you don’t have a violent history. I’m not even necessarily saying you shouldn’t need a permit to own or carry a firearm, but it definitely shouldn’t be more obnoxious than obtaining a driver’s license, and I think every state should allow open and concealed carry. But the idiots, you say! Well there are idiots in every aspect of life, you will never be able to protect the world from them. I also believe that my right to own a gun and use it to defend me or mine, as well as my right to take that gun and bring home dinner, should not be infringed upon, and I should not have to go through a waiting period to purchase a firearm. Lastly, everyone is so concerned about mass shootings right now, but the states without these laws in place are not necessarily the states involved in mass shootings.

The truth is, gun control doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked in the past with other countries and there’s no actual reason to believe it would work here. In fact, the number of gun-related deaths would increase if the US enacted a ban, which has proven true for other countries who enacted a gun ban. But those other countries have less gun-related homicides than we do! That’s true, but consider all the problems we have with our society and how that affects the statistics. You cannot say that because whatever country has strict gun laws and a low gun crime rate that the US would yield the same results if the same laws were implemented, because every non-american will tell you that Americans are not the same as they are. And while you can argue my opinion all day long, you cannot argue facts.

“We don’t have a gun problem in the United States, we have a cultural problem.”

 

Broken

It’s weird to be broken on the outside when you’re also broken on the inside. Although I guess I’m not so broken on the outside, that’s still pretty inside too, it’d be pretty easy to believe I’m totally fine. But trust me, broken backs are no joke. I’m a lot tougher than most people give me credit for. Sure, I may whine and complain over a paper cut but when it comes to real pain, like when I’m lying in the sand of the arena exactly where I landed and haven’t moved in over 10 minutes because I couldn’t, I am tough as nails. I didn’t cry until I lost my vision and most of my hearing and even then, I cried more because of fear than pain. At the hospital was a whole different story, I kept being moved around, rolled over, getting into and then out of the CT machine. That had me screaming. A lot. That hurt. That was real pain.

It’s interesting too, because you do find out who your real friends are in situations like that. I am lucky that most of the people I spend time with regularly are all real friends. I’ve had lots of help, lots of visitors, lots of “gifts” to keep me entertained while I sit on the couch or lay in bed for weeks. It hasn’t even been two full weeks yet and I am bored. So that is nice. However, it ties in to that guilt I had mentioned before. I am lucky in a lot of ways, but the funny thing about depression is that it doesn’t matter how lucky you are, it doesn’t change the depression. So I feel guilty for feeling so depressed but there’s nothing I can do about it. And no matter how many TV series or documentaries I watch or books I read, I can’t help but sit and think all the time and I’m going even more crazy than usual.

But I am incredibly grateful that I have reached that blissful state of numbness. I’ve been anxious for this callous to build around my broken heart, so I could stop feeling all the feelings so strongly, and I am so grateful that it’s finally happened. I was able to distance myself from the root of some of my pain and build that wall back up between my feelings and my ability to feel them. That doesn’t stop some of them from slipping through the cracks though. The angry, the bitter, the confused, the heartbroken. The reality check that is the rest of my life. But it’s a nice break from the pain constantly leaking out my tear ducts.

I am more broken on the inside than the outside. My heart, my soul, they just feel shattered into sharp little pieces. I’m nothing but frayed endings and incomplete parts. And what’s even worse is that I still hope for something better. At least kind of. I’m scared to really want anything too much because I’m too scared and it’s too likely that it’ll never happen. But I’d love to be broken in front of someone, on a regular basis, to be with someone who can wrap their arms around me through the worst of it, and god to have someone still want me in my truly fractured state, someone who knows all the unseemly parts of me and isn’t afraid, who doesn’t run away from it. But here comes that reality check; most of them will run away from it. From me.

I’m too afraid to want it that much, if I want it too much, it’s that much harder for me when it doesn’t happen. I’d settle for something smaller. I’d settle for someone just knowing what they need to know and staying. I can do the rest of it alone, I’ve been managing for the most part and I can keep squashing it down, if someone could just stay, with their arms wrapped around me. If someone could face the surface and still find something worth sticking around for. It may not be everything, but my, wouldn’t it be lovely?

Cry

I had to stop being stubborn and make a decision that I wish I didn’t have to make but is very much in my best interest. I shouldn’t be the one having to make a change, I am not and never was the problem, but I can’t do it anymore. So I have to move. And that’s stupid, I shouldn’t have to uproot myself, go through all the additional stress of finding a place, move my cats… It’s my stubbornness that has kept me here as long as I have. But I am clearly not respected, I clearly don’t matter, and I can’t be miserable at home. Homebodies cannot hate being home, it doesn’t work. My “landlord” roommate was super sweet and supportive and understanding which is nice, although it also infuriates me because, again, I shouldn’t be the one that leaves. I like it here. Or at least I used to. And I’m really gonna miss my one roommate.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so many feelings. I feel like I’m feeling everything, and it’s too much. I’m feeling too much. It’s like that meme of Woody and Buzz Lightyear with a caption that reads, “feelings, feelings everywhere.” Except this isn’t funny. It’s horrible. I’d kill for apathy. Everything is just too strong, too intense, it’s paralyzing. I cried for most of the day yesterday. I couldn’t control it, I just sat on the couch and cried. And cried.

I’m lonely, if you want to get to the point. I’m really, desperately, disgustingly… lonely. I’d kill for a long hug. I’d kill extra to snuggle up to a man. I know, my happiness should not revolve around anyone but me, blah blah blah. But it is what it fucking is, okay? I know it’ll make me feel better. I’m tired of people telling me that I’m responsible for how I feel and no one can make me feel anything without my permission. Do you have any idea how ludicrous that sounds to someone battling depression? Do you really think I’m choosing to feel so fucking sad all the time? Don’t you think if I could just “be happy,” I would do that? So I want what works. I want what will make me feel good. I know it’s not the healthiest route to take and I know that it won’t really solve anything, because once the high wears off I’ll be right back where I started. But for a little while, I’ll feel better. I’ve felt unwanted for so long, a feeling made stronger after recent events, so if I get what I want, for a little while, I can feel a tiny bit better.

I haven’t read the book [yet] but I know my love language is touch. I want to touch and I want to be touched. Words of affirmation is up there too, but I have always been more bothered by lack of touch in a relationship. There isn’t much more in this world that I find more pleasant than laying in bed with someone and running my fingers up and down their chest or their back, drawing patterns. And I really, really want them to do the same. So it’s all I want, I want to lay in strong, hairy arms and feels fingertips draw patterns on my back. I want to forget how sad I am, for a little while.

One of the things they don’t tell you about depression is the guilt that can come along with it. I have great people in my life. Friends who will always let me come hang out, who’s doors are always open for me. Friends who will leave work early and drive an hour and half to come hang out with me because I’m having a terrible, weepy day. I even have one wonderful roommate who just gave me a hug because he knows I’m having a hard time. Those things, all of those things, they all mean so much to me. They make me feel warm. But sadly, those warm feelings are fleeting, they slip away all too quickly. Those great moments with great friends aren’t good enough, they don’t fix me. And that makes me feel so guilty, and selfish. I’m having a hard time being there for anyone else, I’m having a hard time getting out of my head.

I’d kill for numbness. Apathy. For time to pass more quickly. For that snuggle. I want so badly to feel better but I don’t know how to do it. All I can do is sit on the couch. And cry.

Mixed Media

Yup.

Well… I didn’t keep my mouth shut. Do I ever? I’m not sure it’s better or worse, but I like getting it off my chest. I’m still anxious and miserable, but I’m not battling with myself anymore about why I shouldn’t bother. It’s done, nothing I can do about it now. Although I do realize it was dumb and not actually worth it.

I’m not entirely satisfied with the answers I got but at least I did get some. I also got to make sure someone knew they shared responsibility. I feel like I stood up for myself and I am happy about that. I am also happy that I made them feel bad. They should feel bad.

I have my therapy appointment tonight. I can’t believe this is what my life has come to. I still struggle to wrap my head around how much crazy has seeped through the cracks. I’ve had such a strong will for so long. I feel so weak all of a sudden.

I don’t know where to start with her. It’s going to be a shit show no matter what. I imagine there will be a lot of crying. Either that or I’ll seem like a total bitch. Because I’m feeling a little bitchy. I’m so nervous! I just hope it goes well. I really, really need this to go well…

Leaving Unsaid Unspoken

I’m not very good at keeping my mouth shut. I always have so much that I want to say and I’m amazed at how much I’m actually able to keep in. Especially when you consider what actually comes out of my mouth. Who would have thought I was really holding back, right?

But the problem is that I want to say everything. I want SO DAMN BADLY to say EVERYTHING. When I don’t get it out, I just feel anxious and flustered and like I’m going to explode. I’m hoping typing it out will help but I’m not so sure.

Because I want to say that I hate you for what you did to me. I hate that you gave me exactly what I wanted and then took it away. And I want to know why you thought it was okay. I want to know why you didn’t consider talking to me about it on one of the many times it came up, when we were sitting right there staring at each other and talking about it. You didn’t say anything! You didn’t even respect me enough to tell me, you just went on about your business like I was never a thing, I never even got a passing thought that like, I don’t know, maybe you should keep me in the loop. I want to know why I didn’t matter enough to you to warrant a conversation. I want to know why you didn’t think I was good enough. I want to know what’s going through your mind when you flaunt your bullshit in front of me all the time. Do you feel guilty? Are you doing it to prove a point? To make yourself feel better? Or are you really that much of an inconsiderate asshole?

I also hate that I miss you. I hate that we had so much fun and I enjoyed myself so thoroughly and now I’m just not. My life went from everything going surprisingly well, I was so happy with what was happening in my life, to being really, really shitty. Just like that. And I hate that you had so much of an effect. I hate that I’m not getting what I want anymore, I hate that you decided you knew how I felt better than I did. I hate that you took my happiness away from me and I hate that you were a big part of that happiness.

Because the thing is, none of this means what everyone would think it means. People, you included, will think you know how I’m feeling but the thing is, you don’t have a clue. You have no idea what is going through my head, you have no idea what my intentions are or were. You don’t know anything.

It just blows my mind how quickly things can change. There’s a Nickelback song [shut up, I like them and I’m not ashamed] about feeling too damn good, because when you feel too good, things are bound to go wrong. It’s so emo but whatever, that’s my life at the moment. And it’s true, things can never go too well without shit hitting the fan. And when it rains, it pours. Another incredibly accurate cliche, because my life isn’t just emo, it’s also a cliche.

Ugh. I don’t know I’m hoping trying to write things out will help. I have my doubts but it was worth a shot, right? Not everything needs to be said out loud. Right?

Desperate.

I took a really long shower this morning. And by “shower,” what I really mean is I sat down in the shower, knees pulled up to my chin, crying, for a very long time. I feel so broken. I feel myself getting more and more desperate to feel better. All I want is to feel better and I find myself thinking I would do anything to feel better. I’m grasping at straws, clinging to anything that might help me feel better for just a little bit. And I am terrified.

I’m also starting to hate myself and I don’t know how to deal with that. I hate myself because people affect me so much. They always say no one can hurt your feelings or make you feel insignificant without your permission. Quite frankly, I call bullshit. I don’t know anyone who can just not be hurt by the things people say and how people treat them. I hate when people act like I don’t matter, and I don’t know how to not take that personally. If someone is gonna treat me like shit on their shoe, someone that I thought cared about me in at least a small way that the average person should care about another person they are “intimate” with, how am I not supposed to be hurt and offended and angry? When someone doesn’t even respect me enough to extend common courtesy, to just flaunt their bullshit in front of me without any thought to my feelings whatsoever, how am I supposed to not be upset?

So I feel hurt. I feel insignificant and worthless and like I don’t fucking matter. To anyone. I feel like I don’t deserve anyone’s respect. Because no matter how much I think I’m standing up for myself, apparently I’m not, so clearly, I am not worthy of anyone’s respect. I feel under-valued and unappreciated, and I don’t know how to make anyone see my worth. Reason would suggest that the only people worth having in my life are the ones who just realized it, but where does reason actually fit into life? Since when are things fair or reasonable or make any sense at all?

I wish I had the ability to say everything I need to say. I hate unfinished business, and I really hate when people get to think they won when they didn’t. I hate when people walk around like they aren’t giant douchebags. I think they should know that they’re a piece of shit. They should know that they hurt someone and it isn’t okay. People shouldn’t get to walk by me every day like they didn’t treat me like crap, like I’m the one being crazy and unreasonable for calling them out on their shit. Quite frankly, no one else is gonna stick up for me, so I have to at least act like I care enough about myself to stick up for myself, so I won’t lay down and take it. I don’t have it in me to go whimpering off to lick my wounds, which is one of the very few things I do like about myself right now.

I also wish I had learned by now to really keep my distance. I try so hard not to let anyone get that close to me. I don’t ever want someone to see my vulnerable, to see me weak. I don’t want people to see my at my worst because all they are going to do is judge me for it. How do I know that? Because everyone who has ever seen me at my worse has held it against me. Heaven forbid I ever have a moment of weakness and I just want some comfort. It’s not like I’m ever unclear about what I want or what I’m looking for. I’m no mystery. I don’t even ask for much. I ask for very little. And during all this, I try to keep everyone at arm’s length. I don’t want anyone near my heart. I don’t want to ever let someone close enough to hurt me, but somehow they always slip through the cracks. I am weak. I have a softness I can’t seem to harden. A softness that lets me see the great and wonderful things in someone. The things that I enjoy, that I find endearing, things that I use to learn about someone, to get to know them. And then I start to care and I just enjoy what’s happening. It seldom means that I want more from the situation, it just means that I am finding them more enjoyable to be around and that I’d like to be around them. This just bites me in the ass because it always translates somehow that I want more, that I’m asking too much. But I’m not. Can’t I just like someone? Can’t I just like being around them? I’m so honest all the time, can’t you just trust me to be honest about what it means? So while many would argue that this softness is somehow a good thing, to remain soft in a harsh world, it is truly a terrible thing. It hurts me, it causes me pain, it gives me no escape from the constant torment of having so. Many. Feelings.

I am also getting reckless. I don’t care about work, I’m getting lazy and I don’t care. Or I guess more accurately, I work very hard to avoid doing the work I don’t want to do. I don’t want to be around people. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to deal with it. I’m also trying out retail therapy, I’m buying things I can’t actually afford, consequences be damned, because I’m desperate to feel just a little bit better. And the new shirt makes me feel better, even if only for an hour. It’s an hour while I don’t feel like I need to cry. An hour free of the hopelessness. I know I sound like an emo teenager but I feel like an emo teenager. And trust me, realizing I sound like a whiny, mopey teenager doesn’t help anything.

As I said, I’m getting desperate. Desperate for anything that will help. I ache for numbness. Or for someone who can actually comfort me. I yearn for a cuddle, for someone to hold me for an hour, who will let me just cry and be weak and just… let me be. I want to feel like I matter, even if just briefly. I’ve been dealing with so much, I have this very intense fear that no man will ever touch me or want me again and I have a pretty legit reason to feel this way, and I want so desperately to be wrong. There’s a lot of desperate.

One Year

It is slowly creeping up on one year. One year without my love. One year without my heart. One year since my world stopped turning.

I remember what it felt like getting the first text that Ricci had hurt herself. It was late Friday night, I was housesitting out of town, it was my last night there but there was no way I could get there. But I knew something was wrong. I was in a panic all night, tossing and turning all night, I didn’t get any sleep. I was so nauseous by the time I had to get up for work, I had to puke. I got through a couple hours of work before my boss let me go early so I could get to the barn.

The vet was called and we thought she was fine, but then the next day… we all know that story.

So when I was asked if I could housesit at the same place again at the very same time this year, I didn’t know what to say. I housesit for this friend all the time, I know they rely on me and it’s some extra cash. So at first I said sure, but I had to text her this morning and say I’m sorry, I can’t do it. I almost let myself feel weak for that but I stopped myself. This is not weakness. Ricci was… everything. It isn’t anywhere near enough time for me to be over her loss, I don’t think any amount of time will. I already asked for the day off so I can just lay around and drink all day.

It’s still so hard to not have her here. It’s hard when what used to be everything you ran to when you were sad or stressed or angry isn’t around anymore. Ricci was my therapy. Just a few minutes at the barn enjoying her company was enough to give me the highest high. I sat and watched her for hours sometimes, letting my heart settle into a blissful rhythm, crying until I couldn’t cry anymore, ranting and raving when I was angry, or dancing around the barn, singing loudly and obnoxiously to the music on my iPod while she looked at me like I was a fool.

She was just the greatest. The most wonderful creation to have every been put on this planet. I’ll never stop missing her.

Therapy.

I finally made an appointment to see a therapist. I don’t know how I’m going to do this because apparently insurance still thinks mental health and mental illness is a crock so won’t cover it, and it’s like, $90 a session. I have too much crazy for a single 50-minute session!

But anyways, I make the appointment, and apparently everything is done through technology nowadays. I don’t like that. I don’t like making appointments online because I am worried it will be missed or won’t go through. I would so much rather be talking to an actual person that is like, “yes, you have made your appointment.”

So there’s all this questionnaire stuff that I have to answer and some of the questions are really weird to me. I was asked to describe my relationship with food. I get it, some people have an unhealthy relationship with food. I don’t eat everything, I don’t have a weird relationship with food. I have a slightly over-appreciative relationship with it but I just enjoy eating good food. And then I was asked if I experienced anxiety. Yes, I experience anxiety. Please describe. …Um… I get anxious? I answered the question, I described what seems to cause it, but I felt like I needed a little more of a question. I was also asked what I will be doing differently in my life when therapy is successful. What kind of question is that? I don’t fucking know. Be happy?

So the appointment is next Monday and I don’t even know where I’m going to start. I know where everything stems from. I know how my past affects my day-to-day life. But I also have more recent shit that I want to deal with now. I learned how to deal with my daddy issues, I’m not happy and I can’t continue the way I am, but I know how to cope with it. What I haven’t learned how to cope with is the new shit. I want to start in the now. I need to know what to do about what’s happening to me now. However, I feel like the reaction the therapist will have is to deal with the root of the issue, which I agree with in theory, I really do. I’ve trained enough horses to get it. But I want a band-aid first!

I’m really nervous. I’m excited but I’m nervous. And anxious, of course. It’s been a long time since I went to therapy. I was an angsty teenager in 10th grade. Although it’s not like I’m new to spilling my guts to random strangers, this is a public blog. But I don’t know. I don’t want to hear something I don’t want to hear. I don’t know what I want to hear though… I guess I want to feel validated. Isn’t that what everyone wants?

The One That Gets Away

I don’t write enough. That needs to change.

I’ve thought a lot about “The One” and “Mr. Right” and “The One That Got Away” over the last few years. I wonder how true it is. I wonder if my thoughts on the matter will change as I grow older. Surely it will, it’s not like I’m knocking on heaven’s door. Right?

It’s been years. Actual years. But I’ve never been able to shake him. This isn’t my first post about him and I doubt it will be my last. I’m out somewhere having a great time and I find myself wishing he was there to share it with me. I see something and think how much he’d enjoy it or laugh at it. I’m feeling sick and I wish he were there to help me. I’m depressed and I wish he was there to cuddle with me while watching ridiculous, weird movies. I’ll be sitting there daydreaming about him just showing up at my door or at work and I wish it would come true.

I just know, deep down, that if he were simply sharing my life with me, I’d feel better. And not always in that, “I’m sad and he’ll make me feel better,” way. In that, “This is so fun and it would be even MORE fun if he were here, he would enjoy this so much!” He’s everywhere. And I liked myself so much when he was a part of my life. I felt like I had myself figured out, I learned about myself and I changed and found ways that I wanted to be better.

I wish we had found each other later. I think things would have been different if we weren’t so young when we met. We would have been more mature, healthier, we wouldn’t have destroyed each other like we did. So I have to wonder if we will “find each other” again later. When we are more mature, when we are healthier people. But I can’t count on that, so I have to keep on keepin’ on and just… see. I’m tired of “just seeing.”

Whenever I think about my future, my husband-house-kids future, I see stability. I see familiarity and partnership and hopefully adorable children. I see myself happy. I honestly do see that. What I don’t see is head over heels love. I don’t see being in love. I don’t see passion. I don’t see that connection I had with him. I don’t expect that. I don’t think I need that to be happy, I think I can be perfectly content without it, but it isn’t really pleasant to think about. Especially because I had that.

But then I remind myself that I am just shy of my 26th birthday, not my 86th. I have forever. Forever and ever to fall in love again. Really truly in love. I saw a post on Word Porn [a Facebook page everyone should “like,” by the way] that said something along the lines of, “Give a big round of applause for your second love, because they taught you love still exists after you thought it never could again.” I’m ready for that second love.

That brings up so much other stuff though. I am honestly, truly, NOT interested in a relationship right now. I don’t want a boyfriend, I don’t want someone all over me, I don’t want to let anyone close to me. Part of that, hell almost all of that, is because the one who got away also managed to destroy so much of my ability to trust in anyone else. To let someone else close to me is like… *shudders* I just don’t want that. But I sure as hell can’t find that second love without like… dating. And dating is a most horrid form of torture. Not to mention a recent, unfortunate diagnosis that affects everything and completely changes the game. None of this sounds like anything I want to do. I really want it to just… happen, you know? I don’t want to have to work for it, I want to stumble into love. I want to be surprised by it. I want it to happen in such a way that it just occurs to me one day that, holy shit, this is it, huh?

But there’s still a small part of me that thinks I already had it, and a bigger part that wants me to get that one back.