I'm someone who feels like I only deserve a certain amount of happiness. If I received my quota, I shouldn't expect any more happiness for a little while. Of course that sounds ridiculous and not technically true, but my subconscious does truly put a cap on how much happiness I think I'm worthy of. I've had a lot going on recently. Obviously my book launch and signings and I've had a lot of fun events planned with my "bubble" of friends. We celebrated my Nana's life last night with close family since she didn't get a proper funeral last year. During this time I've done a really good job of taking care of my body. Eating right, exercising, splurging on occasion but nothing out of control. It's like when things are good with me, they're really good. I just hate that there's always this inevitable drop.
It makes it hard to enjoy the highs sometimes. I felt it creeping in late last week when I started feeling insecure about a volunteer project, but this morning it really hit me hard. It's so disappointing because while I know it will eventually come, I always hope deep down that maybe I've had my last down time. I mean if I wasn't medicated, this feeling would be amplified by 100, but it's still there and it makes me second guess myself.
My down times make me emotional and sensitive and insecure. I do have tools in my "mental health tool belt" to help me through these times, but it's important to understand that these tools just help me react to these feelings more rationally and logically. It doesn't mean the feelings go away or that they're not still painful. I'm just better at combating illogical thoughts and being productive in spite of these feelings .
Those of us who experience mental illness deal with these feelings all the time while making you laugh or working on an important project or shooting the shit in the elevator or talking about your problems. It's just something I'm used to but try to give myself grace for now. I haven't reached out to my support system about this most recent bout yet. I will. I just want to sit alone with this for a little while. I'll text my mom before I post because I do like to give her a heads up.
That is the first thing I do when I start feeling this way. I reach out to my support system which the speed dial of that system is my mom. If my symptoms were stronger, I'd schedule an emergency appointment with my psychiatrist, but I see her next week and I can handle this level of pain.
The flip side of this is that sometimes I'm sad because of a real life situation but I'm really good at hiding my issues even from myself so it's like deciphering a code. A few months ago, I was really depressed and nothing could snap me out of it. After a lot of self reflection and talking with my therapist, I realized that something had triggered my abandonment issues and my trauma response just shut me down completely. In fact, I have had a couple of things trigger my fear of rejection in the past week so that could also be it. So I play this fun little game called "is it a trauma response or bipolar?" A lot of times I end up figuring it out by doing what I'm doing right now, writing. However, usually I'm writing in a journal, not on a completely public forum. You're welcome, I guess.
Now all that being said, while trauma and illness is not our fault, managing it is our responsibility. Keep in mind though that healthcare, especially mental healthcare is more accessible to some more than others so just take that into consideration before judging anyone. It can be hard to love someone who doesn't do what they can to get psychological help because instead of them having a seizure due to failure to medicate, they manipulate you and/or lash out at you and turn into a complete nightmare due to failure to medicate. So I applaud those of you who have stuck around before their loved one sought help for their mental illness. I know it's not easy.
I know this has been a very chaotic blog post and I appreciate those who have stuck with it to the end. Hopefully I'm helping to educate, validate and normalize. Feel free to reach out to me in the "Get in touch" section of my website or comment here. Also, I'd really appreciate it if you would share this to your social media pages so I can spread awareness with my story. Thanks!