mixing

I held it together for the last three weeks that I have pretty much fallen apart right now. I’ve been drugging myself every time I wake up so I can go back to sleep. Sleep is the only thing that saves me from myself. I finally got up and poured myself a bourbon and coke, binging on chocolate and chips. I’m googling to find out how many clonazepams I can consume in a day without dying. Not that I care… well maybe I do. I’ve been constantly bombarded with suicidal thoughts but I don’t want to die. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been there can truly understand. I don’t know what I want anymore.

Listening to sad songs and I’m drunk after one drink (I’m a cheap date). Maybe a few more pills won’t hurt and I can go back to sleep. Goodnight!

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overwhelmed

When I was gone, Z had the house thoroughly cleaned because I just suck at being a wife. He put all my stuff in boxes and placed it in the guest room that I also use as an office. My job is to go through everything and throw the shit I don’t need or use. There’s so many boxes and I am very overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start so I just sit here staring at them. I hate how I can’t get simple things like this done. I hate how I shut down when I deem something too much. It’s like I’m drowning, but the ledge is right there and I just need to hold on to it and pull myself out but I can’t.

And when I’m overwhelmed, my mind does this thing where it goes immediately to suicide. If you kill yourself, you won’t have to deal with it. I hate that every time I face a problem, no matter how small, my first thought is to die. I don’t even fight it anymore. I just let the thought come, shrug and keep going. But sometimes it’s loud and I can’t shrug it off. I’m convinced that my eventual death will be by my own hands. I don’t see myself being old – I’d hate to be alone and a burden. And I just see life getting more and more difficult as I age. So maybe I’ll have another 10-20 years… I don’t know. Because then I wonder why I even bother to keep fighting. Why not end it now instead of enduring the torture of life?

My only reason – I don’t want to hurt the ones who love me. But when I am in the deep dark place, even that no longer becomes a reason to live because they’ll be better off without me in the long run. Depression is a motherfucker that constantly lies to me and my brain is too weak to decipher its lies and I HATE HATE HATE it!!!

I survived

heart-made-of-hearts
I’m back home safe and sound. The last three weeks has been a whirlwind of emotions, both good and bad. I went through so many ups and downs and now I’m just exhausted in all ways, emotionally, mentally and physically. My mother sure knows how to take me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. In the midst of being there, I found out about the death of Anthony Bourdain. The news about Kate Spade saddened me but Bourdain’s death really threw me for a loop. I was embarrassed that a celebrity death was affecting me so much and it didn’t help that I wasn’t in the best mental health state at that moment. I pretty much spiraled down and tried really hard to claw my way out. My saving grace was that I was not going to end my life in someone else’s home, especially with a toddler in the house. I did get a hold of my therapist and with her helped, made my way out. I limited time with my mother, only engaging with her in small bits, setting boundaries (which was difficult) and making a conscious effort to spend time with people who lifted my spirits. By doing this, I made the rest of my trip much more enjoyable.

When I began this trip back, I did it with the thought that I was going back to say goodbye to everyone before I return back and end my life. I am always anxious when flying but on the flights there, I told myself that if I died on the plane, it would be a good thing so every time turbulence was bad I just sighed with relief that maybe this would be it.. except I know that chances of dying in an airplane accident is close to none. But anyway, death was on my mind as I made it back and went through the first week there. Being with my mother who would cycle between saying and doing hurtful things and then saying and doing loving things was confusing and tiring. Old childhood stress dreams started resurfacing, ones I haven’t had in years. But despite the bad, there was so many good.

And so now as I look back, I realize that I have learned a good bit. What I learned was that there are so many people who took time off their busy life to spend it with me. They made me feel special and loved and lifted me in ways they cannot imagine. I still cannot understand why they would love me, because depression lies and tells me that I am undeserving of any love from anyone. Yet here they were, planning things to do with me and loving me for who I am. It blew my mind away and the thought of hurting them by ending my life made me sad.

And returning now I no longer wish to die. I don’t know how long this will last. Suicidal ideation plagues me constantly but I am holding on to the memory of the love I have received. Maybe it’ll get me through the next crisis, maybe it won’t but for now it’s all I’ve got.

rather be dead

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been struggling really badly lately. Today felt like torture. I finally was able to motivate myself to start packing a little. I got some laundry done. I made some progress until I just felt absolutely exhausted and sudden moves were making my vision go black. Yes it’s fucking wonderful. I am a mess when I should be excited. I can’t eat, can’t sleep and all I’m ashamed to say that all I want to do is hurt myself. I contemplated with the razor for a good bit and fought the urge to slice my skin open. Instead I took a burning hot shower and ignore the hunger pangs that’s constantly sending waves of pain and tremors down my body.

I just want to die. That’s all that has been on my mind today. How many klonopins and hydrocodone can I down with a big glass of whiskey to end the pain? Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill myself. I’ll leave that for after this trip. I also have an emergency phone session with my therapist later tonight. So I’ll still be alive tomorrow unfortunately.

My godmother contacted me today. She told me how excited my godfather and her are to see me. When I was little, my parents and my godparents were close (my godfather is my dad’s brother). Then one day, when I was 10 I got to stay over at their house – just me, without my sister. I don’t remember why. My mother goes through all the rules she had for me with her – the usual, food has to be halved, no snacks, no feeding me when I lie and say I’m hungry.. yada yada. When my mother left, I remember her asking me if I’d like cake and cut me a huge slice that I devoured. The 3 days I was there was like a fairy tale. She cleaned me up and spent hours fixing my tangled hair and getting the caked on dandruff off my scalp. I never felt so loved. And then my mother came back and I heard them talking with hushed voices, then my mother called for me and dragged me out the house. She cut ties with my godparents, only allowing me to see them briefly during Christmas. As an adult now, I make sure to visit them whenever I’m back to show my gratitude for their love.

The past is the past and I can’t change it. I just hate that it’s been haunting me lately and I can’t seem to shake it off. The useless, fat, ugly, stupid kid I was told I was. The burden I was told I was. The kid that was better off dead. Why didn’t she just kill me? It would have saved me a lifetime of pain because right now I wouldn’t mind being dead.

home

I’m still here, not that anyone cares whether I’m alive or dead but anyways. I leave for home in 2 days. I am not packed yet. I have been riddled with a ridiculous amount of anxiety. Heart racing, constant fear, and I’m finding myself disassociating a lot more. At one point, I completely lost awareness of where I was and what I was doing (I was watching TV) and it scared the shit out of me. I just need to get on with this trip and get it over with.

Thursday, I did something nice for myself. I got blue and purple highlights on my hair. It was a feat because I hate having to make small talk with the hairdresser but a co-worker introduced me to this one and she would leave me alone while I had to sit and let the bleach do it’s work before the color went in. I really appreciated not having to talk about nothing. I’m really happy with the end product. Of course, I post it on FB and my mother messages me with “Why did you ruin your hair?” Just a sneak peak of what’s to come when I go home.

I’m bracing myself for the weight comments to hit as soon as I see her. Even though I’ve lost 50lbs in the last year, I am still uncomfortable in my body and I am still struggling with eating and being healthy. In the back of my mind, I want to weigh as little as I possibly can before I go home. Even then I know my self esteem (or whatever little of it I have) will be crushed as soon as my mother lays eyes on me.

So why am I putting myself through this especially when it’s causing my mental health to tank? The short answer – I’m a coward. I have not been able to go no contact because I know that my mother will convince everyone that I am the bad daughter and I will lose any family who currently actually cares for me. I know.. if they really loved me they wouldn’t care what she says but my mother has a way of getting people on her side. During one of the first time I was in the hospital after a suicide attempt, she convinced the psychologist on staff that I was lying about everything. I was basically told that I was wasting their time and sent home. More years of torment before I tried to end my life again. fun times…

But I also refuse to allow her to take this from me. I want to see my father who is not doing well health wise. I want to meet my cousin’s (who I grew up with) new baby who is now a 2yr old. I want to spend time with my sister and old friends I haven’t seen in years. I want to eat food that I’ve missed. She is but a small portion of all the things I want to do when I am there but she has taken up most of my thoughts that I cannot enjoy the excitement of the trip. I hate that I allow myself to be this way. I hate that I cannot control my emotions. I hate that I feel this way.

So regardless, on Wednesday I embark on a 3 plane ride, 26hr journey home. Yes you read that right. I moved across continents to get away from my mother. The journey itself is torturous and I could use all the good vibes I can get to get through that and the 20 days I am there and the journey back. I’m trying to take it one step at a time because it is very overwhelming and I start to panic a little when I think about the big picture. So baby steps it will be.

I’ll try to update some when I’m there but I’m not sure how my internet situation will be so we’ll see.

superficial looks

In a little less than 2 weeks, I will be going back home for a visit. These days leading up to it has been filled with both excitement and dread. I don’t go home often, but every time I do, I come back with declining mental health. The choice topic of conversation both my mother and grandmother always chooses is a discussion about my weight. And then we wonder why I developed an eating disorder as a teenager.

The last time I went home, my grandmother pretty much told me that I had better lose all that excess weight as I looked horrible and my husband would leave me for a better looking woman. My mother knows better to tiptoe around the subject but she never fails to get a word in about my weight at some point. By the end of my visit, I always end up self conscious about my body, the self loathing starts to escalate and the cycle continues.

When I was around 6 or 7, my mother declared that I was too fat. I was at the high end of normal weight for my height and growing up in Asia that meant I was bigger than most of my peers. Not only did my mother call me fat, so did other adults and my teachers. Everyone would tell me how I needed to lose weight… EVERYONE!

So the dieting started. My mother always took the opportunity to embarrass me when we ate with others. While everyone gets a plate of rice, she would scoop up the same amount for me and then make a big deal about cutting my portion into half while explaining to everyone that I needed to lose weight. I was always so embarrassed. I’d barely eat in front of others during the day, then hide food that I’d binge on in the middle of the night. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I started binging and purging after starving myself for days. It was a horrible cycle that I fought very hard to overcome, that I sometimes find myself going back to when my mental health is unstable. Everyone praised my underweight frame. They’d tell me how beautiful I looked and I’d eat it all up while I was dying inside. At the height of my eating disorder, I stopped eating, worked out 2 hours every day, and when I ended up eating, I would purge and abuse laxative. I was always tired, many days I could barely stay awake, my teeth was horrible from my stomach acid but I was thin and everyone loved me for it (or so I thought). When I left home and swapped under eating to over eating, I gained 50lbs in one year. I dreaded going home because of this. I’ve missed out on many things because I couldn’t bear the thought of going home looking the way I did.

Well, I have lost 46lbs. I am at the high end of “normal weight” which is relative because the BMI chart is BS. I have defined calf muscles from all the running I do. I sometimes actually like the way I look. But I’m bracing myself for the comments that will come when I return. I have been so anxious about this that I have fallen back into the trap of starving and binging. I have fallen back into rigid rules around food that I used to have to feel in control. I am only allowed to eat certain food, and I only have 30 minutes a day to eat. I am watching myself become sick again and I can’t stop myself.

My therapist thinks I should cancel my trip home but I don’t want to. I want to meet my cousin’s kids, I want to spend time with old friends I have not seen for years, I want to visit with family members who I care about. Cancelling this trip means I am letting them win and I am determined not to.

But then I am awake in the middle of the night filled with self hate and the darkness is drowning me and I can’t breathe. And then I wonder… what is the point of living because right now all I see is pain and suffering.

to live for

These days I walk a fine line, trying to stay afloat while I feel like I’m drowning. I cannot find a reason for my feelings. The constant dread that something bad will happen, the sinking feeling in my chest and the overwhelming bleakness of it all. I fight them every day and it bothers me that I cannot find a tangible reason why I feel this way. But that’s what depression does. My brain is sick.

The thing about Dysthymia is that you learn to live with it. The low grade depression that haunts you every day, always lurking even on good days. Sometimes I ask myself why I should keep fighting them day after day. Some days it’s easy to fight it off. I have something to look forward to, or my mood is clear and light. Those days are littered in among basic low days and heavy dark days.

Right now I’m sitting at the computer typing this while it thunders outside. I love a good thunderstorm at night. It calms me and helps me sleep. And I realize that no matter how hard it is to fight the demons off, the reason I keep doing it is because of the little things in life. Those fleeting moments of joy and happiness and love. A view that takes your breath away. A meal that overloads your senses. The feeling at the end of a good book. The excitement of the next episode of your favorite show. The calm when you are safe among people you love. Those moments are what I live for.

cycle

I’ve been noticing lately that depression comes in waves. I have been using a mood app to track my moods since January and I am noticing a trend. First I am tired, then sad, then depression sets in for a couple days and I come out of it. I have a few normal days and then the cycle starts again.

I’m still struggling this week and probably will continue to be until Tuesday or Wednesday. I feel like I’m losing control so I control my eating. I think my last meal was Tuesday maybe… I don’t know. I’m tired and I just want this to end.

The reason I know that my medication is working is because if I was feeling this way without it, I would already be in a suicidal crisis. So while I want out, I know that I don’t want to die and I can still think straight enough to not act out of impulse.

I do think I need to talk to my psychiatrist about something for anxiety but I can’t afford the $110 to see him right now. My trip home is fast approaching and I think I’ll be alright until I get back in mid June.

I wish things were easier or better, but in the grand scheme of things, I am at least not at the place I was a few months ago. We celebrate the little things.

losing

The past week saw a huge dip in my mood. As Mother’s Day approaches, I can feel myself falling deeper and deeper into the darkness. I do this every year. I hate it.

But lately another problem has crept up. One I need to put a stop to but I feel like I’m losing control. I barely eat anymore, and when I do horrible feelings of guilt and anxiety creeps up. When I’m hungry, I berate myself and when I feel sad, I punish myself by not eating. I am going down the slippery slope of an eating disorder and the familiarity of it all is scaring me.

I tell myself to stop, controlling this doesn’t change anything. But the deeper I go, the harder it is to see the light. In the past week itself, I dropped 6lbs and everybody at work is telling me how great I look. I smile at them and say thank you because they don’t know how much I want to die.

I’m tired of fighting. I’m not suicidal but I just want everything to stop for a little bit so I can catch my breath. But there is no rest and I am too weak.

There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story

I enjoyed reading ashleyleia‘s story and since I have not been writing a lot lately, I thought this would be a good topic to write on.

“There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” is an anti-stigma campaign started by Sue at My Loud Bipolar Whispers… hope for Mental Health Month this May. So here’s my story.

I write anonymously as B at Convolute Me. I find writing about what’s going on in my head is therapeutic in itself. I am a special education teacher and work with students with various disabilities and mental health issues. Because of my line of work, I stay anonymous because unfortunately, even though I work with children who suffer from various mental health ailments, the stigma is still very alive and well. A teacher lost her job after the community found out about her mental health diagnosis. Humans are brutal! My job is challenging and sometimes detrimental to my own mental health, but I love the kids I work with and feel that I am able to make a difference because I understand where they are coming from, having been there myself. I strive to be the adult I needed when I was their age for them.

I am 38 years old and have been married to my best friend for 14 years. We made the decision not to have children because mental illness runs in both of our families and I still continue to struggle. I enjoy running and love running races because I get to be with others but by myself at the same time (I know, it’s weird). I also enjoy hiking and painting.

I grew up in a household where my mother regretted her choice to have children. She struggled to cope and I received the brunt of her anger. My childhood was not all bad, but I lived with constant emotional abuse topped with physical abuse when my mother lost her temper. I have been called many things by my mother who even suggested I save everyone the misery and kill myself. While the physical wounds have healed, the emotional and psychological wounds have not. I struggle with constant negative and intrusive thoughts.

The first time I had suicidal thoughts, I was 8 years old. I was already filled with self hate by that age from being constantly told that I was a burden. Through my childhood and teenage years, I fought constantly with suicidal thoughts. I attempted suicide 3 times during those years. After my second attempt, my mother relented and sent me to a counselor who fought for me (I can never thank her enough). After threats of having the authorities involved, she finally agreed for me to see a psychiatrist.

At 17, I was diagnosed with dysthymia. I thought that depression and mental illness was a “young person disease.” I thought I would outgrow it as I got older. But mental illness does not discriminate. What I’ve learned is that my condition, unlike a major depression episode will require life long management. Major depression episodes can happen with dysthymia and is known as double depression. I have relapsed with double depression several times throughout my 20s and 30s. My last relapse was last year and I’m learning that if I don’t take care of my mental health, I would eventually end up a suicide statistic.

With the help of medication and therapy, I am slowly learning to live with dysthymia. I’ve learned that I am the only one who can and must advocate for myself. This means, seeking help, being honest about how I’m feeling and recognizing signs that I need to take a break to look after my mental health. It still isn’t easy for me and I continue to struggle with self care and suicidal thoughts. Society doesn’t understand mental illness and taking time off work to care for your mental health is still frowned upon, especially in my line of work. I try to be open about my mental illness, but I am wary because of the stigma I have experienced. My condition is not as debilitating as many other mental illness and yet I have experienced the stigma many times myself. My dream is that one day mental health will be just as important as physical health.

So this is my story. If you are struggling please reach out. You are worth it!