Monthly Archives: November 2015

Words

I’d spent the whole weekend with my long-distance fella talking about my new meds and how I was feeling and how I wasn’t feeling. I was bubbly and happy and fidgety, something Mr Awesome says he sees and knows I am getting better. When I am in a heealthy place, I move and jitter and sing. And when I’m not well, I withdraw and get snappish and stop moving. “I’m sorry,” I said to Mr LDR at one point. “I know I’m talking about all of this a lot. But… when I’m well, I like to tell the people in my life what I feel when I’m not well. Because when I’m not well, I don’t have the words to tell the people I love how I feel.”

He held me close and said, “So, when you stop talking about it, then I know to ask what’s going on and make sure you’re ok.”

It’s been 2 days shy of a month since I started taking Cymbalta. I have a check-in with my dr on Tuesday, and I’m glad to be able to report good things to her. I’m not sure if she will increase my dose, but that is something we will talk about. I almost hope she doesn’t, because it is the middle of the holidays and I don’t want to be adjusting my brain meds during such a busy and stressful season. But, if she tells me that it’s best, I’ll follow her advice. I haven’t sought out a therapist yet. That is something I still need to do. But I feel a lot of anxiety around it, partly just my usual anxiety about meeting new people and talking about myself, partly just not looking forward to finding someone whois both poly- and queer-friendly. But it’s something I need to do. I’ve given myself a free pass through the holidays about it, but it is something that definitely is a priority after the first of the year. 

I didn’t sleep much, the night I spent with Mr LDR (I want to call him Ziggy, because he used to live on the moon and now he doesn’t. Also, he likes David Bowie a lot). But, I told him the next day, it was the best night I’d ever spent with him. I curled up next to him and felt him pressed against me and I watched the fish chase each other in the bookcase fishtank, and I was completely, 100% happy. It was the first night with him that I had not heard the voice of the Bitch, telling me lies about my relationship and my feelings. Eventually, I was able to drift off to sleep, and we woke up tangled like kittens, and spent a happy day together.

Late in the afternoon, I got the message from Mr Awesome that our daughter was sick. She’d been vomiting all day. I felt bad that he’d gotten sick kid duty while I was having fun with my lover, but I didn’t feel guilty. For the first time, there wasn’t a voice telling me that I’d deserved this illness, as a punishment for the happy times.

This is where I’m at now. And I’m putting it down in words in case the darkness comes back and the bitch wins again, so I can remember what it’s like to feel like a real human and not a cast-off from the Isle of Broken Toys. 

I. Am. Happy.

I feel healthy and whole.

I am laughing again.

I dance and sing along to the music in stores. Lacking that, I do it to the music in my own head.

I don’t hurt as much. Not the soul-searing deep pain in my joints. Not the pain of despair in my midsection, whien life gets so hard I can’t breathe.

I don’t merely crave sex, but physical touch and closeness, too. I want to be held and cuddled. And I am cabable of holding and cuddling in return. I can give back rubs (Mr Awesome is very happy about this).

I no longer feel like a setback is a punishment for some other happiness. I can see them as separate things, and take each one accordingly. 

I’m sleeping between 6 and 8 hours almost every night. In my bed. With my husband. This is huge.

Mr Awesome is thrilled to have me back. He cries when he tells me how much he missed me, and how good it is to have me back again. I feel guilty for not getting help sooner, but I don’t beat myself up over it. I wasn’t in a place where I was ready to get help earlier. And that’s ok. The important thing is I have gotten help, and I’m doing better.

And I’m getting my words back. I didn’t realize how much it had hurt me to have them go missing during this last dark spell. It’s nice to have them back.

It’s nice to have me back.

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Long Distance

So, it seems I am in a  relationship again.

It’s been a different experience this time. We met online, in the fallout from my breakup with Wash. He had some questions about the poly lifestyle; I had answers, and a great big hole in my life. We started chatting through Direct Messages, sending sometimes hundreds of messages a day. He lived several states away, in the southwest. We started chatting by phone, and eventually through Skype. And always through Direct Message, until my day didn’t feel right unless I had heard from him.

I wanted to fly out and meet him, but was unable to do so.  The messages flew back and forth, most sexy and playful, but more and more often they were serious. We talked about everything and nothing,  often for hours. I opened up to him about my depression and anxiety, and when I was having a bad day, his first response was always to ask if I needed him to call. My girls at work would tease me about my younger man… he’s 11 years younger than I. I realized that I got my first job when he was in preschool.

We finally met in person in July. I was horribly nervous; clinging to my phone and obsessively reading facebook to keep a hold on the panic in my body. This was someone who’d never touched me but had seen me naked; who’d whispered in my ear dozens of times but had never held me close. 

I was scared. What if the spark we had online wasn’t there in person?

Even scarier; what if it was?

An online relationship is almost easy. There is a barrier in between you and that other person, a safety net made of the screen and the keyboard. It’s easy to whisper about your terrors and demons to someone who lives a few thousand miles away. You don’t feel as accountable, almost, because that person is so far away they almost don’t seem real. 

And suddenly he was real. He was walking past security at PDX and we were getting dinner at New Seasons and we were holding hands and laughing together. He was in my home for a magical week, and then gone again. He held me when we said goodbye at the starbucks near my work, and promised he’d come back. And at the end of August, he did. He found a job and moved up here, to a town 2 hours from Portland.

And I’m learning a few things… long distance relationships are hard but they are worth it. Two hours by car is far better than two hours by plane, and if your lover lives at the other end of a national scenic byway, the drive is quite pleasant. Stocking up kisses to hold you over til the next visit almost works. Snuggling up with your iPad after online sexy times is not nearly as satisfying as snuggling up with your lover after real-life ones. Teaching crochet via Skype is challenging but can be done.  Having the house to yourselves because the roommate is gone is pure bliss. And always charge your phone before a phone date, or it may crap out during something important. 


Help

I’m not sure when things fell apart, this time.

Things have been going well. I’m working full time now. I’m assistant managing, again,  and I really love it. The kids, they are doing well. Mr Awesome and I are doing very well. My mother is doing well, my creative life is decent enough. It’s raining again, which makes me feel almost happy with the world. I have a new relationship, which is a wonderful thing.

But still, She’s there, whispering from the corners of my mind. The Bitch, always there, always wanting to piss on everything.

She pushes herself between my husband and myself, and tells me that there isn’t a connection anymore, that he and I are struggling, creating conflict where there isn’t any.

She makes me tired and makes me hurt, so I can’t enjoy a walk around the city with my new lover.

She makes me feel that everything is my fault, that my friends’ troubles are, somehow, caused by me.

She slips in and makes me say things I regret to my children.

She makes me apathetic and lethargic at work, making me miss my goals and making me wonder if I deserve the position they’ve promoted me to.

She turns my days off into marathons of sleeping and knitting while I watch the housework build up around me, too tired to do anything more than feel bad about it. 

She makes everyday things like doing the dishes or going shopping a painful, exhausting task. 

It’s hard and it’s frustrating. I don’t know when she snuck in this time. I don’t honestly know what happened. It’s was a long and miserably hot summer this year, which is always rough on me. There have been a lot of changes,too. And even if those changes are good things, they take a toll on me, and often trigger my depression. There has been the crazy rush of NRE and the special kind of emotional roller coaster that occurs when a shiny new relationship meets major depressive episode. There’s been my new position, in a new store, with lots of new responsiblity and stress and new people.

And I stopped working out. And I started eating too much junk food and soda. And I got really sick with bronchitis and stopped taking my suppliments. And I started shopping too much and sleeping too little, and I started picking fights with my husband.

And I asked why I felt so terrible. And I asked why I was hurting all over. And I asked why I had two wonderful relationships when I didn’t deserve either. And I asked why my boss always seemed unhappy with me. And I asked why my kids got on my nerves so much, when all I wanted when I was working was to be with them. And I asked why I didn’t want to cook or write or hike anymore.

And I all I wanted was to stop feeling so broken.

Mr Awesome and I took a weekend at the Oregon coast. We walked a lot, and we talked a lot. We watched the sunset, and it was glorious. And I realized, I was tired of fighting. Not with him. We rarely fight. 
I was tired of fighting this battle alone. 

I have this amazing support group of friends and partners. People who will text me and make sure I am ok. A boss who knows what the battlefield of depression looks like from the inside. A husband who always, always is my rock and my solid ground. A partner who is always there when the sadness and the physical pain gets too huge. 

But in  my head, where the Bitch lives, I was alone. Just me and her. And I couldn’t do it alone anymore. 

I’ve never medicated for my depresion. I didn’t want to ask for help again. 

Last time I asked for help, I was body shamed. I was told losing weight and doing yoga would cure me. The time before that, I was accused of being drug-seeking. When I was a kid, I was told by my parents to suck it up. I ignored 30 years of voices telling me that i didn’t need help, and did something very very hard.

I asked my doctor for help.

I cried in her office, and I left with a prescription, and a recommendation for a therapist. I couldn’t look into the pharmasist’s eyes as she went over the three pages of adverse side effects. I saw so much pity there… although looking back, I’m sure it was acutally sympathy. 

It’s been two weeks, and I’m doing ok. I get dizzy, sometimes, and I get a weird taste in my mouth from time to time. But I don’t feel like all my joints are made of ground up glass anymore. It doesn’t hurt to get out of bed. The brain fog is starting to really lift, and I have more energy. I’m sleeping so much better, which is awesome all by itself.

And last night, I heard the best thing ever. I was reading something funny online, and Mr Awesome grinned and said “It’s so good to hear you laugh again.”


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