Step out of line.

I thanked Chris for not projecting onto me his feelings toward my dad, when my dad is in the middle of a psychotic episode.

I prefaced that it was a ridiculous thing to thank someone for. At the same time, it’s the experience I am familiar with when it comes to my family. This is what my ex husband taught me. So five years into this relationship and it still disarms me that he is supportive and non-judgmental and doesn’t lump me with my kin. Doesn’t shame me for where I come from and who my parents are or how much I care for my friends.

A couple months into dating Chris I spent the night with an ex boyfriend in the emergency room. I took him to the emergency room actually. The next day I was telling Chris about it, and I was kinda nervous. He didn’t understand why. He said I was helping a friend. That it was a good thing. An admirable thing. It was one of the things he loved about me. And my brain couldn’t wrap around it. Instead of insinuating I did it for sex or that my ex was just doing it to get in my pants, here was a man who appreciated my goodness.

Five years later and I’m still not used to it. Five years of goodness later and the shittiness of my 10 year relationship with my ex-husband still comes to mind first. Not always, but often. I wonder sometimes if one day it won’t.

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I can see inside you.

The best thing about having a parent with mental illness is that you are always given opportunities to practice “rolling with the punches” and navigating disappointment and creating new, non-heartbreaking, but also honest, ways to explain to your kids why once again someone failed to show up for them.

First, it was me trying to navigate a visit with less than a week’s notice. I gotta say, I kicked ass in that department. I rallied the troops, made roses out of cat poop and turned all that gray into sunshine. And now here I sit. He’s three and a half hours late, with his phone turned off. No word. He could be injured or wounded or dead, but 38 years of experience tells me he’s just sick.

Every little thing.

I went to a doctor last week. Anyone who knows me, knows this is significant. I don’t do doctors. I don’t like doctors. I don’t trust doctors. I saw an obgyn when I was pregnant and I take my son to his checkups, and even all that gives me anxiety.

But I have insurance, and a doctor everyone speaks highly of is on said insurance, and so I sucked it up and made an appointment and waited the six weeks and finally went to the doctor.

And I was incredibly disappointed.

I was hoping to feel heard, and I didn’t. I was hoping for a meaningful prognosis, and got the same old story. I was hoping to feel hopeful, and left empty handed.

Well, not completely empty handed. I left with two prescriptions. One, I was told was an anti-inflammatory, and the other I was told was like a mild muscle relaxer, so that I could sleep on my left side without pain, which is something I haven’t done in over two years.

I was given IT band exercises to do, which I’m already very well versed in, (and I found it strange she mentioned my iliotibial band by name not once), and a follow-up appointment with the promise of feeling completely restored. I wanted to be hopeful. Her attitude sure made it seem like everything was wrapped up all neat and tidy with a little bow on top.

When I left I looked at the prescriptions she ordered for me and I immediately deflated. The anti inflammatory she prescribed was a steroid. A steroid I had specifically told her another doctor tried to “fix me” with, which had done nothing.

I decided to switch gears and re-evaluate. Maybe this was what I needed right now. Maybe it didn’t work eight years ago, but it’s the jumpstart I need today. I am committed to following through with this and knowing I did everything I could.

So I sucked it up.

I decided to get the medicine. I’d do the exercises. I’d give it my all. She wasn’t the doctor I was expecting or hoping for, but I wasn’t going to let it stand in my way.

Later the pharmacy called and left a message about an insurance issue. Just another curveball the universe was throwing my way to challenge my commitment. No worries. I resolved it and all was good. And then I googled the second prescription the doctor ordered.

Sigh.

At the appointment, she had asked me how I sleep and I said fine, good, 7 hours minimum. I also said I only sleep on my right side because I can’t put pressure on the left. She said she was going to prescribe a muscle relaxer. I told her I am very sensitive to medication and didn’t want anything. She said it was just to help me sleep (remember the “I sleep fine” part?) and “we’re going to get you sleeping on your left side again!” and I thought, “that would be great!

Fast forward to the Google search.

She prescribed me a freaking anti-depressant. The whole wide world blinks in confusion.

So I spent another while reevaluating and being angry and frustrated. I felt betrayed. Here is this woman who met with me for barely 15 minutes, who is supposed to have a responsibility to each human being she meets with and she thought it would be okay to fuck with my perfectly functioning brain.

I was insulted and hurt and so freaking astounded.

This woman had no idea the challenges I’ve overcome with depression and ppd and anxiety and ocd. She didn’t know the years of trauma I’ve fought or the binge eating disorder. She didn’t know my story or what I’ve been through. She didn’t know that there was a significant time in my life I needed the anti depressants to help me find my way to equilibrium. She didn’t know the months I spent titrating off of said medication, while anxiously waiting to find out if my brain could retain equilibrium on its own.

She had no clue. And she recklessly prescribed this medication to me without thought or even the decency of telling telling me what it was.

Finally I came back to myself. And I remembered that I can trust me. And I made the decision to follow all of this through, within reason. I decided I’d take the anti inflammatory. Hopefully it would jumpstart the healing of my IT band syndome.  Hopefully IT band syndrome is the thing that’s the matter with my body. Time will tell.

I won’t even fill the anti depressant. The pharmacy can keep it. And I’ll start taking turmeric, a good anti inflammatory, as well as magnesium. And I’ll do the exercisss every day and we’ll see.

I went to the doctor, which I’m proud of, and I trusted myself, which I’m even more proud of. And I have a plan. Today that finally feels good.

Strong as the oceans and I couldn’t explain why.

I was just reminded of a time that a less evolved me was genuinely afraid at the loss of herself, for whenever I finally did evolve.

I would refer to myself in the third person to differentiate between the me that I was and the me I wanted to get to.

I wasn’t in a good place at the time. I was desperate to not feel so stuck. I was desperate to feel like I had control of my life. I was desperate to find my voice. Yet I was terrified for the me that would disappear, would get left behind, would be forgotten.

I was shrouded in sadness at the impending loss of her. That she, in some quasi alternate universe would be all alone. Every day I was mourning for her and I was overcome with such grief that I couldn’t evolve from her.

I was listening to a seminar on responsibility and accountability and moving away from victim mentality and I so greatly wanted that life, yet was devastated that in order to have it, a part of me essentially had to die. I pictured it as a scared child on a playground and just. walking. away. from her at her most vulnerable. I pictured personal growth as having two sides and one of them was tragedy.

I’m not sure when the black and white of it all calmed. Not focusing on every micromanaged thought helped. Focusing on what I would gain helped. I’m sure it would have helped too had I thought to consider that I could take the girl with me, instead of leaving her behind. And I suppose I did consider it. But it wasn’t an option. It was too heavy a burden to bear.

Of course, in the end, I did take her with me. You can’t just leave yourself behind. It takes a lot of personal growth to figure that part out.

Doing the unstuck.

Nothing particularly terrible happened yesterday. I had moments of agitation with my daughter. She has this way of crawling under my skin and shaking my calm. Her words often feel accusatory instead of curious. She questions every action I take, down to how I’ve oiled a pan. She constantly tells her 20mo brother to stop doing things not even mildly dangerous and warns “be careful” ad nauseum. She tells her 10yo brother that he’s dumb for doing or thinking something and whines over and over to leave her alone.

And I want all of it to not hurt so much.

Being critical of her for doing all these things is not going to teach her to stop being critical. Setting a good example hasn’t seemed to help. Ignoring these things and praising the good hasn’t seemed to do much. I want her to care, but I can’t make her care. I want her to be kind, but I can’t force her to do it. So, I’m just at a loss. Which leads me to yesterday.

Nothing terrible happened. It was a regular day. With regular interactions. And I navigated through the best I could.

Then last night Chris asked me, “What was a way you overcame something today?” And I thought back to all the things that happened and I couldn’t think of one productive way I overcame anything. I mean, there was nothing *wrong* with anything I did, but also nothing felt particularly right. I got through it and how I did it was unremarkable.

This morning as the gloom and hormones of the day tried to take hold, I decided I wanted to have a more fulfilling answer if Chris asked again. Hell, even if he *didn’t* ask again! So instead of focusing on my standstill with my daughter or all the things that didn’t get done this week, I just started doing stuff.

I cleaned both bathrooms and washed towels and stripped the beds and brought all the linens downstairs to be washed. I drank four glasses of water and made an amazing late breakfast and cleaned all the dishes from the day. I played ball with L and fed all the animals and cleaned off the dragon’s cage, which always collects all the stuff.

Today I overcame the gloom by replacing my destructive thoughts with constructive action.

All the pandemonium and all the madness.

I think I just need to suck it up and accept that in this moment of my life, I’m in a place of needing to vent. It’s not my intention to complain. And amidst the everything I remain ever grateful.

At the same time, fucking hell. It is hard right now. And every time I put myself out there, I feel like I’m met with clique-yness and exclusion.

And homelife is rough right now. I simultaneously feel like I’m on autopilot and trying soooo hard to keep everything even and progressing and accomplished.

I’m really proud of myself that I’ve kept so much clean since August. This is pretty unprecedented. But gosh it takes a lot of effort.

And then my husband, who is navigating a plethora of illnesses and injuries, seems to be sabotaging my evenings. He’s not meaning to. I don’t take it personally. It just adds an extra weight.

And I’m so tired.

Onward I want to go though. Today I successfully completed day two of my Whole30. I feel like I’m doing it alone. But if alone is how it is, I’ll accomplish it anyway.

For now, sleep.

Another demon that devours our time in Eden.

I am so lonely. Like embarrassingly lonely. I don’t know how to fix it. Because at this point I feel desperate for a friend. Desperate never looks good on anyone. And desperate isn’t really my norm. So, I feel entirely stuck. And striking up a new friendship with someone as we bond over my desperate loneliness? Well…..I don’t want that relationship to stagnate on lonely, and yet…evolving from that hole would be a miracle of epic proportions.

So. I remain stuck in the loneliness.