Sadness Around the Edge of My Brain

June 25, 2019

My life is good. I have two nieces and a nephew who I love more than life itself. I just traveled for two weeks and learned to scuba dive. I have a career that I love and is incredibly fulfilling. I have free time to read and knit and live in a beautiful area.

But there’s sadness around the edge of my brain.

You know when you have a floater in your eye, but you can’t see it directly, just around the edge of your vision?

Nothing lasts. I love my dog very much but she’s aging and one day I’ll have to deal with her loss. I love every minute with my nieces and nephew but they’re not my kids and I have to work around other people’s schedules and have little control over when I get to see them. I am happily single and love living and traveling alone but have strong pangs of loneliness when I see people who are in wonderful partnerships or watch certain movies or TV shows.

The sadness is nebulous and not life-threatening (yes, I believe sadness can be life-threatening), but it is there.

Just around the edges, but it’s there.

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Down Time

May 20, 2019

Does anyone else have a serious problem appreciating down time? Or an inability to relax?

I’m great at it on vacation. I can lie in the sun (or actually in the shade near the sun), read, knit, float in warm water, linger over meals, and relax to my heart’s content. But at home, it’s very different.

Because of the work I do (school-year focused) and the fact that I’m self-employed, I generally have a lot more down time in the summer. And let me tell you, I am really bad at enjoying down time. (Aside from sleeping. I’m great at sleeping, but one should only do that so much).

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Instead of thinking, “Oh, I have a few free hours before I have to work again! I could go for a walk or read a book or have some tea!” I go straight to, “I can’t believe I’m losing money by not working in those hours. I’m just wasting time.”

Why does down time equate to wasting time in my mind?

I live in a beautiful place. Some of things I could do when I don’t have clients include:

-eating out at many many delicious restaurants nearby (many of which are inexpensive)

-having an nice cup of tea

-hiking

-walking the dog

-knitting or reading on the beach

-doing yoga

-writing

And yet what I find myself doing is just sitting around wasting time on the computer or napping excessively or just bemoaning the fact that I’m not making money right now.

How are you with down time? Any ideas? Does it trigger anyone’s depression or anxiety?


Depression PTSD

May 13, 2019

I’ve been doing really well lately but I keep thinking about how I used to feel.

And I used to feel really really bad.

I spent days crying. I would just cry and cry and cry and think I had to stop sometime but I wouldn’t. I would keep going with my life while I cried. I would shower and cry. Read and cry. Drive and cry. I just could not stop. My heart was breaking and I didn’t know why.

I wanted to die. I never had a plan, and I never attempted anything, but I would think of all the years I had left to live and feel hopeless. I didn’t want to live anymore.

I was so sad and hopeless that it was a black hole sucking me down and I never ever thought I’d get out. It’s funny to write about it now when I don’t feel that way – it’s hard to even remember how bad it was and the words seem kind of empty.

You know how you can’t remember physical pain clearly but you can still be traumatized by it? That’s how this is. And I cannot get those years back.


Sleeping Away Anxiety

April 27, 2019

Funny, when this was actually happening, I couldn’t write about it. It was too hard, even though I would have helped. I guess that’s not funny, but probably pretty normal.

Has anyone else woken up with so much anxiety that you really can’t do anything except close your eyes, scrunch into a ball, and get further under the covers? Now that I think about it, I have had that issue with depression too, just not recently.

When I had a “regular” job, I always managed to get up for work. Always. Now that I am self-employed, it’s harder, so it’s a good thing I’m better. But still, on those bad days, I can be in bed for 12+ hours, just trying to avoid the feelings and avoid getting up.

Of course, that makes it worse. Because now I have more unfinished tasks and more dread and more isolation. But at the time, it’s the only thing I can do.

Anyone else have this issue?


Hidden Anxiety

March 31, 2019

I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately. About big things: working on my next book, climate change, and the future of my business. But also very small things. Misplacing a lip balm, for example, makes me anxious. Or having a list of a few minor errands to do. And sometimes it’s just nothing at all. There’s no reason for the anxiety.

And I don’t have time to give into it, but also there’s no point to it. If I am anxious about errands and I don’t do them, that doesn’t help me. And I’ve looked into anti-anxiety meds but of course they’re all (or almost all) addictive and sedating.

So I just keep going. Today I am going to talk about my book at somebody’s house. I know it will be fine. I have done this dozens of times already and never had a bad experience. I don’t even get very nervous about public speaking and have spoken to an audience of several hundred. But I have this anxiety that won’t go away.

All I want to do is put on my pajamas (it’s not even 5 pm) and ignore it. I want to use sleep as an escape or watch a TV show or do some mindless work that I can get lost in. I want to think of an excuse.

And of course, I can’t do that. I have to put on my public persona hat and put on makeup and smile and talk to people about a cause I believe in, and I know that it will end up being enjoyable for me and a positive experience overall. But the desire to skip it is SO strong.

And this happens every day. EVERY day. When I have tutoring students — who I LOVE and are a major joy in my life — I get anxious about seeing them. When I have to drive somewhere, same thing. When I have fun plans — a hike or visiting friends, yep, it kicks in. I get anxious if I am trying to plan something and anxious if I have nothing planned.

I self-medicated sometimes by eating sugar, which does calm me down. But then it makes it worse again. And I know it will but I can’t seem to stop. I sleep too much sometimes to get rid of this feeling and sometimes I can’t sleep because of this feeling.

I’m learning to live with it. I would rather not – I would rather transcend it and live without it. Do any of you have this? How do you deal with it?


When Nothing Feels Good Enough

March 8, 2019

I’m trying to remind myself that brain chemistry lies to me. Often it’s depression; currently I think it’s a little depression and mostly anxiety. It feels like nothing — NOTHING — I’m doing is good enough.

I’m a teacher (tutoring now) and I love it and am very good at it. But lately I’ve been feeling distracted and squirrelly (again, probably anxiety) and I don’t think the kids pick up on it but it makes me feel not good enough.

I’m an auntie, and I’m a REALLY DAMN GOOD AUNTIE. But when I don’t see the kids for weeks, I feel like I’m not doing enough. I miss them for sure. I miss them so much it hurts my heart sometimes. But more than that, I feel not good enough.

I’m a writer and I have a book published! But I’m working on two others and they’re going REALLY slowly (partially because I’m so busy and partially because of factors outside of my control) and that feels like a failure. I’m not good enough as a writer.

I am a great friend. I value friendships highly and make time for them. But my schedule is weird enough that it’s hard for me to see them regularly, and I feel like I’m not a good enough friend.

And on, and on, and on. that’s not even including the things that I’m actually really bad at, like exercising and eating well! These are my STRENGTHS and I don’t feel good enough.

It’s exhausting and demoralizing.

 


In Our Right Minds

February 24, 2019

Wow. Please read this.

The “in my right mind” part was chilling to me. That’s what depression does. We’re not in our right minds.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/read-michael-gersons-sermon-sharing-his-struggle-with-depression