Thursday, April 16, 2015

Midnight Type: The Mental Health Stigma

Let me start by saying that this post is my simple thoughts and personal experience and not meant to be a research essay or psychology correct. It's just me and the keyboard.

I've had a couple breakdowns that my boss witnessed and was told about (by me). Talked to her privately and showed my mental weakness. I am regretting this decision.

You never show weakness, especially at work and especially to your boss and even more especially when it involves your mental health. Ugh.

I feel I've lost her respect and faith in me, lost any view she had of me as a strong professional in control. I am now regretting and feeling ostracized and on the "outs" with her.

Mental health is just misunderstood if understood at all unless you've experienced it first hand. Again, this is my opinion. No one "gets" depression. No one "gets" night terrors and panic attacks. Unless you've had them.

Even coworkers. Other females I thought I could confide in, I am regretting doing so for all the same reasons as my boss. And part of me just wants to say "fuck it."

I am in the beginning stages of looking for another job. I am not doing what I was told I'd be doing. Everyone from the top to the bottom is resigning. They know something I do not, but I was told to "get out now." So I am.

Still, part of me knows this job hunting has something to do with my regrets, my weakness shown, my reputation shot. Part of me just knows. Because that's what I do. I fuck up what's important then run to the hills for a fresh start.

I'm tired now, literally and in aspect to this mental health struggle of mine. Sure, I'm strides ahead to where I once was, with hope and even bouts of excitement about my life and life in general. But still, the regrets of showing my weakness remain, with the "old" Klately peeking her head over the fence into this new home I've built.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Juice to Lose

I'm on day 3 of a 7 day juice detox. I cheated today and had boiled eggs with a piece of whole grain bread. The terrible headache I had subsided. I believe this food was necessary. I had a pretty intense workout this evening, burning off that forbidden food. I'm doing okay otherwise. I miss food, and eating, and I realize how much more I truly appreciate having anything I want to eat.

I signed up for rowing classes - 30 days for $30. I like it so far, and can see myself becoming addicted. A monthly membership is outrageous, but the workouts push me to my limit, so maybe the expense is worth it.

More to come...and time to finish my beet, carrot, apple, and ginger juice.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Midnight Type: Disturbing Creation

I sure am tired of writing these cleverly named blog posts this late/early, depending on how you view the day.

I made up a story in my head, which helped to calm me. But this story was anything but calm. It involved captivity and torture, pain and despair. But it calmed me. Why?

Maybe it's the New York Times next bestseller. What does the world need more of - triumph over minor (arguably)  events, or triump over grotesque circumstance such as what I created in my mind tonight?

Even Silence Has an End was my inspiration for this horror tale. Captive in the jungle, puss-ridden feet raw and infected from miles of walking. Forced to play Russian Roulette with the only comrades you've come to know. Lashings for minor infractions. Shitting next to your tent. Vomiting from the parasite-infested water you were forced to drink. Hearing your fellow captives writh in pain and sadness at night. This all makes for a compelling story. Yet I am disturbed to have created such a monstrous tale.

Do horror novelists feel this same guilt and wonder? I'm led and intrigued to expand on this story. Creativity comes in many forms. And this form just happens to be morbid.

I have terrible night tremors. Disturbing dreams to say the least. Perhaps this story is calming because it's putting the power of such a story in my hands. I've taken these nightmares and did something with them, instead of remaining in fear of falling asleep.

My shame and worry over this tumultuous tale has lessened, and I'm ready to fall asleep powerful and in control.

Here's to hoping I expand on my story...and get some rest tonight.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Midnight Type: Let's Get the Day Started

So I couldn't sleep tonight...well yesterday to be exact. So I thought, "Let's just get the day started. I can blog. I can craft. I can get on my Etsy account and adjust some listings. I can take my Vyvanse." There. That's it. The big one. Vyvanse.

As I sit here typing to whoever wants to read someone's sleepless ramblings, this is where my mind starts going crazy. Did I really just want to take my medication that makes me feel good? Why do I want to feel good? Why do I not feel good? Am I excited about the day (Monday, really?)? WHAT AM I! Oh how I have asked this question over and over and over.....

Is anyone else struggling with their ADHD medication? Dumb question. It's one of the most abused drugs out there. Because it makes you feel so good, good enough to blog at THREE IN THE MORNING. I have to start getting ready for work in about an hour. Now that makes me tired.

Maybe I'll just lay in bed and enjoy the good feeling and think of rainbows and unicorns. Okay, maybe not unicorns. My blog readers? I currently have 11 followers. In 5 years I've managed to get 11 followers. If you're reading this, and like this post, or don't like it, follow me.

Wow. I've resorted to bluntly asking people to follow me. I really do have good stuff to read, aside from these ramblings. So check me out, while I try to check out and get an hour of rest.

Not happening. Who am I kidding?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Midnight Type: Truths and Troubles

It's midnight and I can't sleep. I have a lot on my mind and drugs (prescribed) in my body so I'm just going to ramble. Not every post has to be eloquent, right?

My sister is getting married to a man she's only known 6 months and who has a criminal record dating back to 2008. He has been arrested and in prison every year. My sister has 3 kids, daughters, by 2 different men, and I suspect she may possibly be pregnant again. Why rush to the alter? "We want to do everything in the right order, to live right by God," she says. He's a newfound believer, a changed man he tells the family. Well, tells my dad and stepmom because they are the only ones who have ever met him as well as my other sister and brother-in-law. Met 6 months ago, engaged for 1 week, marriage this Friday.

I worry for her and her kids. They've moved from apartment to apartment every year, from boyfriend to boyfriend. It reminds me so much of my childhood. It's like their lives are being determined as I write. At least now, and for the next several years until, hopefully, they realize there's more to life than your mother's fucked up problems. I've been in and out of counseling, on and off medication my whole life, due to trauma and neglect as a child. It's apparent my fears and worries for my nieces stem from my personal experiences.

I, too, went from boyfriend to boyfriend, apartment to apartment, city to city for quite some time. Part of me was "living it up" while the other part of me was dying. Drinking, drugs, and datiing make one hell of a mix. But I've grown. Stabilized. I still stumble, fall face down sometimes. But it's temporary and not disabling as it once was. But still, I fall. I hate that I fall.

Fall means fail in my book. And the thought of failing at anything, especially now that the stakes are so high - successful career, soon-to-be Mrs., and my progress. It's almost like I'm a recovering addict. My stability is my sobriety. And maybe a little bit of actual recovery from addiction - alcohol, men, self-sabotage and anger. I've made progress. I hope my nieces will progress and free themselves of their circumstance. Your life is not defined by circumstance. Persistence, forgiveness, patience, unconditional love for yourself, your whole self -- this is my life experience.

I've been thinking of people from my past who I have hurt, who I have let down. Particularly beach boy. I really loved him. Maybe it was artificial and fairytale-ish, but I felt real love. And a night of heavy drinking and my small self showing it's ugly face ruined it. Everything happens the way it should, in the order it should as determined by God. I'm supposed to be here, but still, my hurting heart hurt others. I'm thinking of my nieces and long ago classmates -- all I can do is pray and hope that is why they are in my thoughts. Maybe it's my progress taking me back, not in a bad way but taking me back to times that have since past, people I have come across, and who made some sort of impression on me -- it's this impression I need to figure out. Why is the red headed boy who's mom was my English teacher in third grade in my head? His name was Andy. And Andrew whose dad was a dentist and would visit our classroom and give us floss and those chewy red pills that showed if you had cavities. Stuart Little for goodness's sakes -- I'm thinking of Stuart Little -- not even a real man! But I do know why -- Mrs. Gordon gave me an old copy of Stuart Little in first grade and wrote "Keep on reading!" I haven't let her down.

Then there's -- dun dun dun -- my mother. She's falling fast and hard and alone, with no one to keep her company except her small self and her dog Bandit. She has pushed away her three daughters, lost her home, and is living alone in an apartment -- just as her mother did, and her mother's mother. I have broken the curse, as has my youngest sister. But this middle sister is following in her footsteps faster than she can run. But my nieces, those three little girls, so impressionable and vulnerable. Will they break the curse of the one who has not broken her own?

This is my truth. My life as I live it now.

May you live your own truth well.

--KL--

Friday, February 27, 2015

Nouwen Again

As I grow sleepy from my nighttime medication, I felt the need to pick up a Nouwen book from my book collection, to get some sense of clarity from my current feelings of neglect, misunderstanding and guilt for my recent actions and thoughts. I chose Making All Things New.

Does it matter where these feelings originated? I think not, so I will not divulge. But I am experiencing not-so-pleasant feelings, which after reading just a few Nouwen passages, I find that this is part of the human condition.

He begins his book by talking about our Fulfillment and Non-fulfillment. Fulfillment isn’t positive, as he refers to it in this section. It is rather being fulfilled with worry, guilt and depression. Filled with everyday tasks, rushing from one thing to do to the next, but never really feeling that all of those “things” that fill our lives, actually fulfill us.

I am unfulfilled daily, by the second and the minute. Work has me insanely busy, moving from project to project while criticizing myself throughout the day. Worrying if I’m quick enough, intuitive enough, good enough. Worry. This is the focus of the first chapter in Nouwen’s book, Making All Things New.


I plan to continue reading this book tomorrow, and reflecting on the words I read. Until then, I won’t worry if someone reads this.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Triumph is....

-Your inner beauty discovered, realized, celebrated.
-Letting go, truly, and basking in your new-found lightness.
-Taking your wall down, brick by heavy brick, and being amazed at what's on the other side.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Steps in All Directons

Sometimes I feel like I take 10 steps forward and then 2 steps back. And while I'm still moving forward and making progress, it's those 2 steps that hold so much pain and anger and frustration. Recently it affected my job - a fear I've had for quite some time. Just no motivation or sense of importance or urgency with my projects. Leaving early or working from home when my boss was out. Just blah. Blah means so many things and is a perfect explanation of my feelings.

I'm going to counseling and I think this is stirring up some long-covered dirt. Counseling is tough. Sometimes I enjoy it, I go into a session with enthusiasm. But sometimes I get bored, even sleepy and antsy for my session to end.

I'm so tired of this "sometimes" business. Can't I please be "all the time", steady in my emotions and experiences? That's not too much to ask or desire or seek. I want these 2 steps to dissolve. To end. Sure,  it used to be 2 forward and 3 back, and slowly the ratio of steps forward was in my favor. Even still, any step backward is frustrating. I fear I'll snap. And recently I have. By the grace of God, I have the most forgiving man I could ever need in my struggles and journey to a better life that has to exist. It just has to get better than this. There has to be more joy, more creativity, more stability. If there isn't, what's the damn point in all of this work?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Got Anger?

I had a revelation in a counseling session a couple weeks ago. For the first time, my counselor did the EMDR method. It was odd at first but I enjoyed it.

She gave me a week to think of a very painful event in my life. In all honesty, I had a hard time deciding which event to pick. I have so many bad memories of my childhood. I get sad when I think about it.

So, the event I chose was when I was in 5th grade. Me, my two sisters and my mom were living in this cramped two-bedroom apartment. I didn't have my own room or even share a room with a sibling. I had to share a room with my mom. Talk about friggin' awkward. There was never any privacy and I never could escape her. So the event goes like this: I have my friend Kristi over for a sleep over. It's the next morning and me and Kristi are watching television. The remote control was next to my mom on the kitchen table. I apparently responded to my mother about something, I don't remember what, in a way that she didn't like. She threw the controller at me and it landed right next to me. I picked it up and pushed it away, and all hell broke loose.

She was yelling at me, in front of my friend that I'm ungrateful and selfish and she knows I'm mad because my dad wasn't around. This goes on and I begin crying,  all while my poor friend has to listen to my mother belittle me. What could I possibly said to instigate this behavior on her part? I really wish I could remember. I don't know how this event ended. Did my friend have a parent pick her up? Did we take her home? Did she walk home? I don't remember that either.

So during this EMDR session, we go through this event like it's a scene that I am a part of and we go through it layer by layer. Sights, sounds, feelings, thoughts, what did I feel looking back on it, what do I feel now as I remember it. Just broke that shit down to its bones. As we are talking, I have a buzzer in each hand, and they each vibrate at different times, lengths, and intensities. It's odd but soothing at the same time.

As we walk through this event, I get in touch at how angry I am. I always thought I was sad and depressed which I am, but anger? I never thought of myself as an angry person. But it was there and I wanted to say awful (yet true) things to her. I pictured myself as this large shadow with teeth looming over her just yelling nasty truths of who she was. I was angry.

Now that I know I hold so much anger inside, I'm curious as to how this revelation will affect me. Will I become less angry? Will I find more anger? Will I discover more emotions I didn't know I held inside? Likely a combination of each. But I do know I want to try this EMDR method again.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Play That Funky Music

It's a defeated feeling when you make a wrong choice. Especially if you know it's wrong as you do it. Deep inside you know it's not right, but you compromise and say "just this one time" or you justify your choice with what obviously are silly reasons. Silly and ridiculous to the "average" person. In that moment, why can't we step into the shoes of an "average" person?  What draws us in to making the choice we know is wrong?

This is a struggle I have. From taking the HOV in the mornings when it's just me in the car to taking that extra pill I'm not prescribed. With the HOV I said one morning "I'm running so late, just today and I won't do it again." With my medication I say "just this one pill right now. I won't take another. And it won't hurt me."

But those choices to hurt you. Maybe not in the natural. But it hurts your soul. You compromise your integrity and weaken your character. You may long forget that choice you made, but the consequences I just spoke of soak into your skin, penetrate into your veins and organs. I'm not being dramatic or tragic. I'm just being honest. Speaking my truth as I know it to be.

Again I go back to why. Self sabotage. Not caring for myself as I need to care and nurture my physical and emotional self. It's a cycle of repeating the care and attention you've received, or not received, in the past. You are in the moment, not thinking about your future but rather stuck in your past. The cycle of it doesn't matter, not really. But it does matter. To move forward you must understand that everything matters. Most importantly yourself.

I matter. I am deserving of love and care. And the most significant level of love and care begins and ends with what I give myself. That's what sticks to my soul. That's the record that plays in my mind when no one can hear and when no one's around.

I must change the record. Play a different tune. Find a song that is soothing and loving and that builds me up. So when the time comes and I'm in that moment about to make a choice, I hear that record in the background.

Cliche. Too many puns. Whatever. I'm choosing my music and these thoughts are the intro.