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I’m barely holding onto the strings of sanity. I’ve been the caretaker of someone else, losing precious sleep, ignoring my own needs, and getting angrier and angrier.  Today I feel like the anger will snap.

I am at the end of my rope.  At the end of my patience and when I try to communicate this I’m ignored.  Or worse I’m met with an exasperated sigh and “oh not this again” or the old standby “you need help”.

Yes, yes I do need help.  I need to be taken care of, as selfish as that sounds.  I need to be listened to.  I need more help than typing my words into the blankness will ever provide.

But I don’t want to pay someone to sit there and judge me.

I want my mom & dad.  I want my sisters.  I want a friend. I want connection.  I just want a hug.
I’m crying in the bathroom at work, shaking and afraid and alone.
I want to know that it’ll be ok.

Someone please, tell me it will.  Even if it’s a lie.

“Stay” by Lisa Loeb and the Nine Stories has always been one of my favorite songs.  In the summer of 1994, I was on top of the world.  It was the summer before my senior year, I had an amazing best friend, a car, and no job.  That song was the theme of the summer for us.  We listened to it constantly, singing along at the top of our lungs as we cruised the streets of town.  That summer we were invincible and we conquered the world together.

I heard this song on Sunday and thought of my high school best friend.  I went on Facebook to message her and tell her that I was thinking about her.  We had drifted, since I moved away when I dropped out of college and life moved on.  We spoke on our birthdays and holidays just to catch up.

She was killed in a car accident in December.  I didn’t notice that it had been so long since we’d spoken.  I’m still devastated when I think about it, but then I feel a little selfish too.  Do I have a right to grieve even though we weren’t close anymore?  I feel for her sisters and her fiancé who are still struggling every day to deal with that loss.  Her facebook wall is a tribute to her life and all the people whose lives she touched.  And I said something on the wall, as if she could check it, as if she could still see it.

If I had a last moment to talk to her, I don’t even know what I’d say.  She was like a sister to me, and though we fought over the dumbest crap, I loved her more than I probably ever told her.  She was there through the really awesome and the really shit times.  High school was tough for me, as I didn’t really fit in with any cliques. It all changed when I met her, and we became our own little elite clique with a few other friends.  We claimed a table in the the lunchroom, had inside jokes, and protected each other from the meanies that made fun of us.  I felt invincible when we were together, because she was always so strong where I was weak.

I will miss you bestest friend of America.  It’s been 15 years since I hugged you goodbye, and I’m sad I won’t get a chance to do so again.

 

 

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Yes I realize, It’s been a long time since I’ve felt strong and inspired enough to write.  I have had a billion thoughts in my head, and each one disappears before I get the confidence to commit them to the screen.  I feel like I should put that as a disclaimer here “Posts infrequently due to lack of confidence”.

I get inspired at the oddest times – mostly when I am nowhere near a computer or any sort of writing implement.  I come up with what I think are amazing ideas and can’t wait to get somewhere to jot them down.  But by the time I can actually sit down and write, the thoughts are gone and they’re replaced with an all too familiar feeling of dread.

I’ve never been a confident person.  It’s not to say that I don’t think that I’m good at things, but I’m constantly comparing myself to other people.  I’ve always found people that are better and smarter and more talented than myself.  The conversation in my head goes like this – “Hey, you’re really good at x, you should do that more!  But this person Y is a lot better at x than you, so why should you even try? You’ll never be as good as Y”.  And lately it’s gone even a step further “Furthermore, Y probably thinks that your work is crap and that you’re a horrible person for even attempting to do something like that.  Why bother?  You’ll just fail or quit like everything else”.  With that battle going on in my brain, the confident part of myself becomes smaller and smaller, shrivelling up into apathy.

The rational part of myself recognises this battle but doesn’t ever step in to call shenanigans.  I can see it going on and since the confidence is gone, I feel absolutely powerless to stop it.  I have to keep fighting every single day to accomplish anything.  This takes perfectionism and polarized thinking to an entirely different level where I’m afraid to enjoy my own life. I’ve blamed the depression for the fact that I can’t enjoy things I used to love.  And while the wonky chemicals in my brain probably have a lot to do with it, I think my confidence level is probably the bigger culprit.

Sometimes is never quite enough
If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love

Be a good girl
You’ve gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn’t good enough
To make us proud
~ Alanis Morissette “Perfect”

If I trace the journey that my life has taken thus far, I’ll see many forks in the road where I made a choice to quit because I was scared.  I was scared of not being perfect, of not being good enough.  Fear has kept me from trying anything outside my comfort zone.  And I’m afraid to even pat myself on the back for the times when I did leap.  I trusted enough to fall in love.  I moved across the ocean to follow my heart.  I went for a job I didn’t think I’d ever get.  I am strong, but not confident in my own strength.

I used to love writing.  I did it all the time, scribbling on any spare piece of paper I could get my hands on.  When I got my first computer, I was banging away at the keyboard pouring my heart out to the empty pages.  Then I found Livejournal and started sharing.  Sharing feels like it was the worst thing that could have happened to my writing.  I started limiting what I said based on what I thought other people would want to hear.  I started over-editing and over-analyzing every word. I tried to brand myself as an interesting and funny person.  A good friend of mine (at the time) told me that my writing was crap, and I wasn’t an actual writer at all.  She said I was a fraud who would never succeed, certainly not enough to make a career out of it.  And as a result of that critique, my confidence weakened and I stopped.  I stopped sharing.  I stopped writing all together. I only wrote when I had to, when the words were so powerful they were ripping through me.  But I stopped sharing those moments too.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs by strong and brave activists lately and they have awakened in me those same longings to share.  I’ve started keeping a notebook of things I want to blog about.  There are currently 3 or 4 pages of bullet points of things that are important to me that I feel like I need to share.  Topics that are important for me to explore for my own good, and maybe inspire someone else into seeing things in a different way.  I’ve been mad at myself for making excuses as to why I’m not actually WRITING about them.  Today’s topic was not on the list.  But if I can’t conquer this fear, none of these ideas will ever be anything more than bullet points in the spiral notebook in my handbag.

I am in the middle of a full-blown panic attack while I’m sitting at my desk at work, and I’m trying to calm down.  My heart feels like it’s going to either race itself to death or stop, and I can’t get enough air into my lungs.  I know my face is red and I’m starting to sweat, and there’s no way I can even leave my desk because I don’t know if I can stand.  I’m just hoping no one comes over to try to talk to me, because I seriously will burst into tears the second I try to speak.

There’s no explanation for it, but I just want to get out. And go where exactly?  Home?  Right, so I leave, only to have to get on 3 buses which cause me to panic more.  I got off a bus last week because I couldn’t breathe.  And I took the one that takes twice as long because it was more empty.  If I could walk home the 9 miles, I would.  And getting a car wouldn’t solve it either, because I would panic about driving here – Driving at night, driving in the rain, the roundabouts, getting lost, or driving on the wrong side of the road.  If I just don’t feel like I can handle driving I can’t just get out of the car and find another way home.

And then when I finally get to our place, the panic of all that needs to be done is waiting for me there.  My husband invited people to come out with us tomorrow for our anniversary, but then for everyone to come back to ours.  There is no way the house is even fit for us living there, much less having people over.  Seriously, hives are starting to break out on my skin, and I have to just keep writing and maybe I can ride it out.

All I want to do is hide.  Sleep.  Sleep and not wake up for a few days when this feeling passes.  I want to stop feeling like I’m falling apart.

My co-worker just spoke to me and I was able to act normal even though I feel like my brain is going to fall out of my head.  I can fake it very well.  But it’s a really lonely thing.  Faking it and keeping people at a distance.  In case they find out…find out what? 

I want to reach out to the people that love me instead of pushing them away.  When I “get like this”, I shut everyone out.  I don’t want to talk to anyone, and I don’t want to confide in anyone.  Friends who have been around a while refer to this as “hermiting”.  But it seems I have been doing this for years this time.  Not letting anyone get too close, because I’m too afraid of…what?  Disappointing them?  Disappointing myself?

My husband suggested that I get out and visit people over the next few weekends.  The thought of it horrifies me and brings me to tears.  I can barely even face him, how am I to deal with seeing other people?  I know these people are friends and I love spending time with them, but why would they still want to?  I’m a really shitty friend who isn’t there for the people that love me.  I will end up hurting them too.  I shut people out because I’m petrified.

I love the friends we’re seeing tomorrow but I can barely even breathe thinking about it.  Why do I consider myself a social person if I am having all this anxiety about seeing people that I know already like me?  Because they haven’t seen me as I see myself.  As a completely crazy person who has stupid phobias.  A crazy person wearing a normal person’s outfit.  A high functioning lunatic.

I feel like the darkness is closing in on me, and I just need to survive the next 3 hours until I can get to my bed and close my eyes and try to escape from myself.