Going MIA, Avoiding Everything, and Almost Crashing my Car

I haven’t been on here to read or write my own post in some time. The reason behind it is simple, I did not want to face all of my problems and I wasn’t in a place where I could read about anyone else having a difficult time. It sounds like a cheap cop-out, but it’s honest. I’ve been hiding in my shell for the past few months. When I’m in my shell life pretty much just goes on while I stand back and watch passively.

The only thing that has kept me happy since my last post is my relationship with my boyfriend. Even work, which I know I love very much is not bringing me much pleasure.  I’m coasting by and not really seeing anything. Everything just feels drab and gray.

I started going to a new place for therapy… well actually I am only in the beginning stages of doing so but props for trying right? They suggested a new diagnosis, though at this point I feel like I have heard it all. They agreed with my MDD but believe I could have Borderline Personality Disorder as well. I don’t know what that means, it scares the shit out of me and the more I read about it the more it makes sense which scares me more. So here I am, waiting 22 more days for the first real meeting with a clinician after intake and hoping that I make it that long.

The other day I broke down and told my boyfriend how suicidal I really am. He knew I had history of being suicidal but I have always kept him relatively in the dark about how deep it goes currently. This was even more painful than the conversation I had with my mother about being sexually assaulted/self-harm. We both cried for two hours and I felt so guilty.

I still feel guilty. Even more so after almost crashing my car. It was a standard young driver fuck up really. Slide on snow and brake instead of going with the drift. Braking caused me to go into a full spin and end up off the highway in a ditch. Miraculously I didn’t actually hit anything and I was fine minus needing to be towed out of the ditch. But emotionally, I am still not fine.

As I lost control of the car I accepted it. I was ready for whatever was coming to me. I remember thinking, “Well, this is it.” I was ready to crash. I wanted to die. I still want to die. I think most people leave a situation like that happy that nothing serious happened but I guess that’s how broken I am. 

I’ve tried to kill myself in the past but this was something else. I’m scared and I don’t know how to leave this dark place.

Apple Pie and Razors

So I have been having a tough couple weeks. I’ve begun to self harm again after months of finding other ways to manage my depression. I tried so hard not to but I couldn’t find another way to cope. It isn’t a good method, I’m aware of this and trying to find other ways in the future but for right now it’s unavoidable. 

I know many people have a lot of misconceptions about self-harm.  Most people I know say that self-harm is for attention but I’d say it is almost exactly the opposite. For me, I worry people will find out about self-harm and impose themselves on my life and my issues or that people will think I need to be institutionalized.  I’ve spent the night in a hospital psych ward before and I don’t intend to do it again. As a side note, the entire time I was there the hospital never sent a councilor to speak with me and I was allowed to sit there all night and think about how much I hated my life.

For me self-harm gives me some sort of control over a life that feels like it is spiraling out of control. Yes, there are ways in which it can be life threatening but that’s not what I intend to at this point in my life. For me, it is something I do when I feel like I can’t focus on anything but the bad. It grounds me in some weird way although I know it sounds bad. I’m working on it. I need a better method to calm down though.

But there is good in my life. The past few days I have been happier than I have in a while. My boyfriend came to see me, we watched Psycho from 1960, we went apple picking and then we baked a banging gluten free pie. I feel like a simpler person when I’m with him. I don’t quite understand how this all clocks together in my brain but somehow I forget most of the bad things when I spend time with him. And the things I don’t forget we can talk about and he shares his opinions with me and somehow those problems feel smaller too. 

I often worry that I am not as good to him as he is to me. I try to be. I just feel guilty that I am always sharing my issues with him and that sometimes I am calling him in the middle of night during a panic attack. But he is always there and I have given him several chances to run away but he has stayed.

So there are ups and downs and I don’t quite know what to make of it.  I think the best quote to explain it is, “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” -Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky.

Be loud af.

Love Carly

Trying to Move On

T/W: Depression and Information about Suicide Attempts

Last night was a bad night for my mental health.  Everything about the day had been average and nothing out of the norm but once I turned off the TV for the night and climbed into my bed for the night I started to dwell on my issues.  That’s the worst part of the day for me because it quickly becomes the most dangerous part of the day.  It has been in those hours of the night, when I am meant to be sleeping, that I have tried to take my life three times in the past.

The first was with prescription drugs and shortly after I doubted my intentions and made myself get sick.  The second was also with prescriptions sleeping medicine, I did not take enough but I did pass out and somehow, I miraculously woke up.  When I woke up I was in a rage and I lashed out at someone I had once been close with before I passed out again. The third time was shortly after my 21st birthday.  I was drunk and had begun to doubt everything about my life again.  I felt alone and miserable and i could not stop reliving my trauma and I cut myself very deeply in numerous places.

The night of the third attempt I did not try to stop the bleeding as I lay naked in my bed.  I merely let myself fall asleep, or pass out, or whatever you would call it.  I did wake up though and I was so scared.  I was hungover, I didn’t know if I felt so awful because of the drinking or because of the harm I had physically caused my body.

I called my mother.  And I have already written about how terribly that went.  I never did get back into therapy after my last attempt, I saw my primary doctor and she put me on some medications but once my mother switched jobs we had a gap in our insurance for three months.  I couldn’t afford the medication out of pocket so I stopped taking it.  This didn’t affect me at first but lately, I am wishing that I could be taking my medication again and that I could be seeing a therapist.

My insurance is meant to be starting again.  But therapy appointments are a tricky thing and it is often difficult to get an appointment.  I will certainly try.  I know how important it is to find someone to disclose these thoughts to in a clinical setting.

And so here I am after a night of sobbing into my pillow until five in the morning.  I am exhausted and I feel feeble.  I feel completely alone.  I know that I am not alone, I know that I have people on my side.  I know that my boyfriend supports me with more love than I have ever experienced.  I know that my friends stay loyal to me.  But what I do not know is how much love I can give to myself.

 

Love Carly

Not Safe

T/W: Depression and Suicidality

I’m feeling quite fragile these past few days. Lonely. Feeling like I just don’t know what to do with my life or where to turn.

Of course, I know that I am not alone but it feels that way when my head gets so fogged up with doubt and self-hatred. I haven’t been able to breathe properly all day. It isn’t congestion and I’ve never had allergies or asthma. It’s like I’ve swallowed a pit and I’ve been choking on it all day.

I’ve felt as if my body is obtrusive in other’s space and I feel pretty paranoid lately. I’m continuously questioning myself and who I am and why I am.

I’m content to lay in bed, to pretend that the world is not continuing to move on around me. I know that I need to get up and keep moving and somehow I do, though I don’t know where that strength comes from.

I’ve tried to kill myself multiple times in the past. Once I got close. The next day I called my mother and asked her to come see me and I told her everything. I told her how I was raped and how everything hurt and life was hard. And she scolded me and told me to never cut myself again. She told me to come home and I did. She told me she would take care of me and get me into therapy, she didn’t. She ignored me all summer and never asked how I was at any point. Later she would accuse me of lying to get attention. 

So much of my pain relates back to my mother. Yes, much of it has to do with my rape but I’m still trying to cover up the scars of my childhood.

I want to reach out now that I am feeling so helpless, but I cannot and I will not. I know she cannot and will not help me.

Still, I feel alone. I know that I have people in my corner but I am feeling so fragile and alone lately. I’m just trying to remind myself that the fact that I have been able to get out of bed and do things is a miracle, but I don’t know if I can keep doing it.

Everything hurts.

Weed vs. Alcohol

Here’s a fun little post.  I won’t be getting into the legality of weed or the long-term effects of either drug but only my feelings on each.
My mother is an alcoholic.  A mother who cares deeply about her family when she is sober but would sell them down the river for a fourth gin and tonic.  I grew up in fear of drinking that I would become like her, emotionally and physically abusive and financially exploitative.  But my first week in college someone offered me some horrendous vanilla Burnetts as a pre-game before we went to my first college party and I accepted.  Note: On this night and particular I got stupid drunk from passing a handle of Jack Daniels and a 2 liter of coke between 4 strangers before I stole around 50 bobby-pins from some poor girl’s bathroom.  I look back on this night fondly for some reason even though I ended up challenging my friend to drink more (after she had vomited) and ended up sitting on the floor of a community bathroom to brush my teeth but ya know… make memories guys (and also be safe, never drink and drive or walk alone).

But alcohol, being a depressant, more often made me feel worse about my depression.  I would often cry about this or that and the next day I would be utterly useless to the world (except when we won the championship, on that night in particular I went ham and got up the next day to perform in a play… I have it on DVD and I am TERRIFIED to watch it).  Anyway, after I was raped I tried to stay away from drinking, mostly because I stayed away from my friends, but also because it made me feel like ass.

Let’s skip to my first boyfriend after the assault, he was an angry man who made a point to start and argument with me every two or three days.  He was the worst boyfriend I ever had (he once left me and my blackout roommate 2 miles from my dorm with a dead cellphone and my roommate when MIA and then he crashed his car and blamed me for it/got me to pay for it… more on that in another post someday).  All he ever wanted to do was come over on a Friday night at 9:30 to be at our friends place by 10 in order to get wasted, come back, fuck, wake up at 6am and leave so we drank alot.

At that point in my life I was incredibly depressed so when we drank I often got blackout drunk and cried.  Admittedly, most of the time I cried because he would call me some sort of nasty name, make fun of my faults, and/or try to distance me from my friends (who in his defense, did turn out to be complete jerks in the end).  I was starting to feel like my mother.  I took a (permanent) break from my boyfriend and a break from drinking.  The improvements in my life were almost immediate.  For one thing I spent far less money on alcohol and didn’t have the terrible hangovers.

Skipping forward to my current wonderfully supportive boyfriend: I met him by accident and quickly found out that he was a pot-head.  His roommate would try to sell this as a fault but before long we were taking hits out of the ice bong (RIP) and watching Disney’s El Dorado.  Before we began courting (more on this later) I had smoked a total of 3 or 4 times and now I smoke every time we see each other except for when I had to pass a drug test for my job.

So now that we have established that I am a full-blown pothead… weed makes me feel 1000x better than alcohol ever did.  Sure, I had a few nights of the spins and feeling ill but those nights were innumerable when I primarily only drank.

I think that I’m a happier person when I smoke weed and that it helps me to find joy in the small things and remember to laugh.  Not to mention that I feel more creative when I am high and sex feels awesome. Not to encourage anyone to break the law but if you struggle with depression weed may help you out a bit.

Anyway, alcohol is fun sometimes if you’re with some friends in a safe environment but more people get injured or die from consuming alcohol and weed just gives you the munchies and makes the world fucking hilarious.

The weed is loud guys.

Love Carly

The Stigma of Having Mental Illness/Disabilities and A Job

(You can skip the first two paragraphs, I’m rambling.)

When I first entered college I was an English/pre-teaching then to speech therapy, and finally to women’s studies.  I’ve been through quite a few changes but I think it has been for the best.  I didn’t know that I wanted to work with at-risk youth until I went into therapy myself.  A counselor who made an impression on me was a LCSW and I began to question whether or not I could apply my own experiences to helping other people so I reached out to my advisor and switched my major.

I applied to several group homes and heard back from three.  Two were within the same non-profit and one was far too claustrophobic for me.  I knew as I arrived for my interview that this was not somewhere I wanted to work, it was far to formal and obtrusively clinical.  Even the secretary seemed miserable and that seemed like a cue to me that people who worked there were unhappy.  I attempted to reach out to one of the other group homes, but they never returned my calls.  Ultimately the second home reached out to me and I immediately jumped at the opportunity.

It took a bit of time to get established there but once I did, it was home.  Now, I work full-time with 10 to 15 hours of overtime a week.  I can’t be too specific due to HIPAA but what I will say is that the teens I work are inspirational.  They have good days and bad days, and when that isn’t the case they have reallllly bad days but I get it.  I really understand it.  I’ve been there, in fact, I am there now.

So let’s talk about the misconception that I was constantly made aware of during the pre-employment physical screening.  I went through a series of questions about my mental health, about how I deal with crisis, have I ever had thoughts of hurting myself/hurting others, or suicide.  We all know that I could not be honest or I would fail the screen.  Thankfully, he didn’t notice my scars but did make a point of harassing me about a wound on my calf from tripping over a rusted cooking grate while camping.  This started a new session of question, asking me if I self-inflicted the deep vertical cut along my tibia (something which I went to get a Tetanus shot for…would I really cut my calf of all places with something rusty and get a Tetanus shot?  No…).  But the interrogation continued.

We see it all the time as we apply to jobs, “Such & Such is an equal opportunity employer buuuuuuuuuut are you depressed, do you have an disabilities, do you have PTSD, are you a veteran.”  So, we know that most companies need to fill a quota of people with disabilities, and is followed by 80-100 more questions that are all the same 5 questions phrased differently.  We all lie on those things and say what the employer is looking for, “No I am normal” and go on to answer all the questions in ways that don’t reflect us correctly but there it is.  In this job market, we can’t afford to have any neuro-divergence or disabilities, just ask the very same doctor who gave me hell about my leg.

Apparently, the doctor was also put off by the fact that I had, had a total spinal fusion for Scoliosis when I was younger.  Now, I have had people tell me that this is a disability but I never believed it.  I still do not consider this to be a disability but the doctor tried to tell me that I would be unable to my job as a result of my job.  We argued about this quite a bit and I made sure to disprove him during the lifting portion of the physical.  Finally he dropped but continued to harass me over the phone about getting him a note from the orthopedic surgeon who fused my spine.  Needless to say, I did not contact the doctor who performed my surgery over ten years ago and told him to stuff it.  Surprisingly, he did.

The stigma attached to mental illness and disabilities is utterly ridiculous.  I am no less capable of completely the duties of my job.  I make a point to leave my issues behind me when I get out of my car in the driveway.  I dedicate myself to the teenagers I work with and apply my knowledge and experience in small ways.  When one of the girls here talks to me about how she feels lonely and abandoned or how she feels depressed because of a mean boy at school or any variation of hopelessness that she encounters I explain to her that I have been in a similar position.  She’ll ask me what happened and why I understand what she is going through and I will tell her that she does not need to worry about it, but that I know how she feels.  When I tell her this it seems like she finds some solace in this and this is how I do my job in light of (not despite) the trauma and depression I have experienced.

It’s a tough world out there when it comes to getting a job with a mental illness, and it is unfortunate that we must hide it as if we are ashamed.  But we need to just keep trying to raise awareness of the stigma and making other people think about it and question why they feel this way.

 

Be even louder than the stigma.

Love Carly