We’re All a Little Crazy

My anxiety’s not as bad as it used to be, but I know that some of you have it that bad and worse. Hold on. You feel alone but you’re not.

maney smiles back

These are things I tell myself when I feel an anxiety attack coming on, which happens about once on good days.

  • You are invisible. People who look at you can’t really see you.
  • Humans can smell fear. As long as you don’t act afraid, they won’t hurt you.
  • Name off as many words as you can that begin with C but make the S sound. Cistern, circular, celestial…
  • Notice people’s shoes.
  • Count in Binary on your fingers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
  • Don’t step on the cracks.
  • Sing happy songs. “You Are My Sunshine,” “Danny Boy,” “Into the West,” “If All the Raindrops…”
  • Make believe you’re someone else, someone who’s normal and happy.
  • Hide in the bathroom until your brain stops humming.
  • Crying in bathroom stalls is allowed. Just get quiet when other shoes shuffle inside.
  • Hugging yourself is allowed.
  • Don’t smile unless you want to. They can’t take that…

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Here’s Looking at You, Hope

Here’s to crying yourself to sleep with the Finding Nemo theme playing, grounding you in unreachable hope.

Here’s to sleeping in out of fear of depression, only to realize that the day is bright and full of hope, and you feel better.

Dear readers, don’t you ever give up. Life seems like too great a burden to bear some days, even for me. But it is always worth those sunrises when you feel okay.

Hold on.

Poetry Friday: Doubt

I recently found this post in my old drafts. I don’t remember why I wrote it, but I like it.

Doubt

It depends on the day how I feel about us; about you. There are so many secret complications, internal struggles, that it’s enough to make it all not worth it.

Can I trust you? Can you trust me?

Can I trust that the future will be better than today?

If I need to vent or cry or worry, will my words reach your heart? I have darkness inside me, you know, black and heaving and hungry and cold. Maybe I will never lose it.

Can you love the darkness in me? Can you love my sadness and my pain? Can you accept the ugliness, or when I feel ugly? Can you accept my beauty, even when I see it clearer than you?

My mind is a mess of mistrust. I know what you want me to feel but you have to understand, lots of times I can’t or won’t. This is reality. This is me right now. I can see so much of myself that you will never understand or appreciate, not the way things are right now.

I bottle my emotions. I splatter my emotions across the pavement, bright and wide and red enough for helicopters to see.

I am tame, quiet, so soft and meek. I am wild, annoying, prickly and harsh.

I doubt you can handle me.

I don’t know if I will keep you.

Lesson Learned

I never feel quite as alive as when I’m being rebuked for something.

It’s like all of my blood freezes in place; my breathing shallow; my eyes wide and nearly watering.

(It’s awful.)

Truly, every other moment in life is blissful dreams compared to how a perfectionist feels when being asked to improve.

The problem this time is that I have no filter.

I don’t know when to stop.

And I sometimes even take a kind of sick pleasure from seeing people squirm when I break conversational norms.

I’ve been told many times by loving friends and family (and my therapist) that there is a place and a time to share my story; a right and a wrong way to convey information. I am quite accustomed to the solemn head shake that means: “Have you no shame?”

My parents, siblings, and husband have taken to ignoring my crass and provocative commentary, noting wisely that usually I just want a reaction from them. It certainly takes the fun out of being blunt, but it hasn’t stopped me yet.

What isn’t fun is when I take my genuine, teasing, curious personality into situations that I perceive as safe and welcoming, when in fact I should have checked “Miss Blunt” at the door. My reasoning? “Miss Blunt” is fun, but she can lead to a rebuke.

As I’ve been thawing out my frozen blood all day with hot tears, blankets, and cocoa, I’ve officially learned that there is a time to be genuine Maney, and there is a time to be someone else. It’s a skill I needed to learn, and painful though it has been (and will be), rest assured that I will try to remain vulnerable, sincere, and genuine as I write to you, dear readers.

Keep being brave as much as you can. I still have anxiety and depression on the daily, but I’m still going and I hope you are too.

S-A-F-E-T-Y Nap

That moment when it is amazing weather in February and all the neighborhood kids and moms are playing outside but you have a cold and your head had been hurting for hours and all food tastes like dirt and you can’t muster the courage to enjoy the day because of course you are still depressed and this stupidly amazing weather is not helping.

Time to hide in bed.

(Safety Dance, Men Without Hats)

Hope: I Am Enough

I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but I have problems.

Looking at Facebook, is sometimes seems like I’m the only one. But I don’t post every time I have a bad day, and I guess neither do you.

What I don’t post are days that I cry solely because my brain chemicals are imbalanced. I don’t Facebook that my husband and I already have recurring issues and arguments, something I don’t think people expect from newlyweds. You won’t find my internal battle on your home page, the “I feel fat fat FAT” versus the “I am beautiful no matter what!” All that and more, and you’ll never see a word of it (unless you read this blog, because yeah).

I have problems, and I am growing up. My birthday is coming up pretty soon, as well as the new year. Usually everyone’s gaze turns forward to anticipate the changes that the new year will bring. But right now, I’m looking inward.

Depression does this stupid thing where it robs me of energy plus any hope for the future. And I fall victim to this kind of thought pattern, letting it follow me into days when I would otherwise feel fine. I forget that I’m in my early twenties with most of my life ahead of me. I am a glowing starball of potential, but I forget, and I lose that hope.

So today I am most grateful for the desire to improve, albeit steadily. Although I still have problems and make mistakes it feels like every other minute, I hope I will not lose sight of my current infinite worth and my greater potential. Because remember, you do not decide your worth. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you and believe in you and you belong to them, so you are of infinite worth. At the same time, you can keep improving every day because everyone can learn to live and love better.

This is what hope is to me: Knowing I am good enough, and then trying to be better.

It’s hard, but I try when I can.

 

 

President Drumpf

I didn’t want Drumpf to win but he did.

That night it felt like someone had died. I have received that news late at night before, and it felt similar. About all I could do was get into bed and hope that it was a bad dream.

It wasn’t.

But I’ve been lucky. I’ve been able to hide in our apartment for the most part. Kinda readjusting to this world. Facebook has fifty thousand opinions on how I should be feeling or behaving, but none of them really fit my current internal reality. So I don’t listen to any of the advice.

God has blessed me with an illness for the past few days, so I’ve been distracted by feeling physically miserable and tired. It’s better than thinking hard about disappointment, acceptance, action. “Drink liquids, Maney,” I tell myself. “Get rest. The election results aren’t as immediate and critical as your physical health.”

So that’s been nice.

For those of you who are happy about the results, that is awesome. For those are you who are sad about the results, that sucks. I’m in the sad group. I was really excited to have a female president as cool as Hillary Clinton. :/

The most important thing is for you to take care of yourself. I feel like a lot of my readers are in the mental illness club. There are plus sides of course, like increased empathy, but the down sides can include terrible things like depression and suicide.

I love you all and I want all of you to be safe. Take care of yourself if you are having a hard time right now, whether or not it is related to the election. Talk to someone. Take a break from reality. Eat a PB&J sandwich. Whatever you need to do to feel safe and loved, do it. And if you don’t feel safe and loved, I’m so sorry. Just know that I love you.

Peace, love, etc.