when you can’t be in crisis.

I wish that I could accept support when it was offered to me. I’m engaging in a lot of behaviours, even as I reassure all of my friends that I am completely fine; that I am in a good space to be the support.

Some context is that for the past 3ish months, I have been the main support of some close friends. And I have done as much as possible to do this. For the past month specifically, I have held myself together in order to hold all of them together. And it’s exhausting. It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized I couldn’t keep going like this.

I have what’s called Dysthymia or what some call “High-Functioning Depression” and oh I am so high-functioning. So much that I like to deny it most of the time but I recognize the dangers of that because of the lack of care I have towards myself. For the past month, I have been doing everything at 100% full-throttle in fear that someone may see through a crack or I may have too much time to think. Basically, if I’m not moving forward or being productive, I’m not doing anything worthwhile.

So imagine the dangers of when your friends are in crisis and you put all of your mental strength into supporting them because it’s all you know how to do and then you are running low on steam but have a full time placement (starting tomorrow) AND a part time job and parents to keep happy and friends to reassure. Would you be able to do it all? Probably not…

Yet here I am, trying to do it all. And I am breaking. I have not been in crisis for months…minus one night when my drug use got really bad.

For the first month or so after treatment, I was living with my parents and spent most of my time in bed with little to no energy.  And then I left for the youth shelter where I spent most of my time sleeping in a commons area or searching for jobs…and using drugs. And then I moved back to my parents for 2 weeks and forced myself to get a part time job so that I had a reason to leave the house and I was miserable. And then I moved back into the shelter, worked my job, used almost everyday, and supported my friends. And then I quit my job, began using everyday…basically, got introduced to harder drugs; used to not feel and then crashed so badly that I would use right after. And then I applied for a full time job training/placement program, slept everyday, and tried to cut down on using. Eventually, I got so high that I couldn’t feel my face because it was so numb from being so high…it was terrifying.

And then I got sober because of the job program, because my friends needed me, because I was so tired of trying to numb everything and FINALLY had some goals.

Here is my current list of goals:

  • College in the Fall (2018)
  • Recovery from my eating disorder
  • Housing/Save for an apartment
  • Hold at least 1 job
  • Continue photography
  • Work for at least 1 publication
  • Rebuild my relationship w/ parents
  • Work through trauma
  • Visit my grandfather
  • Stay out of the hospital

Seems pretty easy but it’s actually terrifying how difficult this feels right now. I feel like I’m climbing the side of a cliff. I can’t be in crisis because others need me right now. I hate when people ask me what I need because I honestly don’t know. I can’t express my depressive thoughts because they don’t exist. My passive suicidal thoughts are second nature to me at this point. Nothing is changing but I have to stay okay because I don’t know what else to do.


Here are some webpages that might help you understand what this is like or maybe you can relate to:

What Are the Signs of ‘High-Functioning’ Depression and Could You Have It?

Read This If You Say ‘I’m Okay’ (And You’re Not, Really) Because You Don’t Want To Be A Burden

The Dangers Of High-Functioning Depression And Anxiety

 

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resurrection.

It only seems fitting that as we celebrated the Jesus’ resurrection, I was resurrecting my eating disorder from the grave in which I buried it only months ago. Except I didn’t really bury it, did I?

From the moment my feet hit the ground, I was running. I was trying to move the boulder from the mountain. A grave I didn’t spend enough time on. Instead of burying my eating disorder, I buried myself. Pushed myself inside a crevice. Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Instead of healing, I found suffering. Instead of sunlight, a black hole. There’s no such thing as beauty here. Silence kept. There was no word to share. No help to be given. Black holes are too destructive. I dug my grave long ago but I didn’t think I was worthy of saving.

The Bible says “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wiped from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town” (Luke 10:9-12)He believes that the power to heal, is in all those who believe. I’ve never believed in healing.

So instead, I have learned how to shrink away. Morph into someone so fragile and small that disappearing seems like the only real option to me. I heard once that God heals through both explainable and unexplainable ways. I guess they meant through science and through prayer. I’ve never asked someone to pray for me; too wary of asking for help – reaching out doesn’t seem to be my thing.

Another way to spell FAITH is R-I-S-K. I heard this in Alpha (Episode 15 | Does God Heal Today?) last night; I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from such an amazing program. Maybe this is something that I can believe in. For me, believing that God has the power to heal through others (both explainably and unexplainably) is a risk. I find it difficult to believe in healing through prayer because I don’t understand how some are chosen to be healed while some are not. In the book of Hebrews (11:1) it says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” 

A risk that I take everyday, is to believe that by the Grace of God things will get better with time. They say that the body heals itself, however it’s all through God. And I hope that through time and the space that I am allowed to embody, I will heal. Keeping hope gives power to believe in the risk-taking that will assure my healing.

I can’t heal without taking risks to better myself everyday. I breathe, pray, and believe that better things are coming.

He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

hit the restart.

I keep restarting this blog post like one of these times, the magic will fly through my fingertips and I’ll finally get what I’m trying to say onto this page – the answer is that it won’t. No matter how hard I try to be poetic about what I am feeling these days, it comes out as if I just write ‘blah’ over and over again. So I guess this is starting over. And over. And over.

I’ve found some good music recently so that’s cool. A lot of new stuff came out on January 26th which was weird but I’ll run with it. That’s also the day that things restarted again. I left home on January 15th and returned on January 26th. I did a lot of thinking and searching while I was gone. I mean I wasn’t really gone but I was gone. I went to a youth shelter and tried to sort some parts of me out. Except I didn’t really sort anything out other than to realize that I have been pretending for so long that I know exactly what I need and don’t want to give that power to anyone else. And that I’ve been running for a while from anything that might actually help me.

Hard to explain but the only solid diagnosis I can run with right now is my eating disorder. I was never fully diagnosed with depression and my GAD (anxiety) was diagnosed at a very young age. So really, nothing is set in stone because mental health fluctuates with time…as does anything else !! really !!  So now I am home and hoping to get a real solid diagnosis and some direction of what to treat it with. I’ve been throwing towels on a flood FOR YEARS and let me tell you something, it’s NOT working. So I’m looking for something that might work better. Something that might hold.

I’ve been losing faith in myself, my parents, the system and God for a while now. I’m really unsure of where I’m going or what I’m doing right now. I’ve been running from what I think is one answer to another and its just making things worse right now. Nothing is getting better and it’s exhausting and all I do is KEEP IT TO MYSELF. How are people so open with everything except what is really happening???????

This is about the time in a post where I would pledge to something but I can’t because I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring or the next day or the next day. I’m not sure how to live for the day but I sure as heck cannot live for whatever life is going to throw in my face. It’s just not ideal.

I just want to be #livingmybestlife and right now, that’s just taking small steps forward. Kicking ass slowly. 

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(cred)

 

sobriety is not just not drinking.

Today I am going to write the way I have not been able to write in the past few weeks; honestly.

I went to a meeting this evening, only knowing a few familiar faces. I am new to sobriety. No matter how many months I have under my belt, I do not consider myself significantly sober nor do I think I may ever. Tomorrow is my 6 months sober. Something I definitely never saw coming before today. These past months have been just that, the past. I can no longer look back and think about all the things that I did wrong because those cannot be changed.

Tonight, I opened up about something I had been dealing with for weeks, maybe even months; willfulness.

I have been halfassing my sobriety for months now. There is no other way to put it. In treatment, I was only sober because I had to be. Honestly that was the only thing that kept me from picking up a drink. And after that, it’s only been because of the amount of time that has lapsed since I stopped. But back to the willfulness okay?

My sobriety has not been about taking my will back from a higher power. It has been blaming every bad thing that comes to me on someone else. I have blamed my family for all my shortcomings. I blamed my early discharge on my lack of control & the team for believing my lies about being safe that weekend. I blamed my parents for the lack of control I have in my life right now. I blamed my friends for wanting to drink at a party. I blamed the guy who brought his beer into the crowd. I have blamed everyone except myself and my addictions for my own shortcomings.

These past two weeks have certainly not been easy AND I have not done anything to make it easier on myself. I have purposely put myself in vulnerable situations and continued to risk my sobriety for others to have a good time. No matter how many times I try to justify my actions, there is no good that comes from any situation.

On Friday, I attended a friends birthday party knowing alcohol would be available. And although I can attest to staying dry, I did use as a way of feeling something else.

On Saturday, I attended an all ages concert knowing alcohol would be available. And although I did keep my sobriety, I was offered it multiple times. I know that without the friends who knew of my sobriety being there, I probably would have accepted it.

On Sunday, I celebrated my birthday with 10 other people of whom I was the only sober person and decided upon as the designated drive. I did keep my sobriety but not without constant thoughts of relapse.

Finally tonight, I got myself to a meeting where I honestly shared these faults with others at AA. I shared about my shortcomings, the untimely struggles of my sobriety, and my lack of willingness to commit fully to the program. Sharing is hard. I don’t enjoy sharing my struggles with others.

Step 3 is accepting the help of God or of a higher power. I like to pretend that I have done so, yet I struggle to ask for support when needed. I can only fully commit to this rigorous program when I start to work wholeheartedly towards my own sobriety. This belief that all is well if I attend meetings and admit my powerlessness goes nowhere if I don’t work towards a better life value.

Today I am accepting the help I deserve. Today I am making a self-conscious decision to stay sober. Today I am grateful to be sober.

Gratitude List (December 25, 2017):

  1. Tonight’s meeting
  2. The ride home a kind soul gave me
  3. My warm bed
  4. A hot meal
  5. My sobriety

“Cast all you anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13

I’m not sure what to write these days. A lot has happened since I last posted here. For starters, I was discharged from treatment 3 days ago against my decisions. I was told that I was no longer ‘willing’ or trying. I had broken a contract that I signed when I returned in October after my 48hr Therapeutic Pass. I broke it because my brain was so loud and turned around that I decided to take a small overdose on Tylenol (8 @ 500mg) and that gave them grounds to discharge me. It wasn’t a premeditated decision. I had been struggling for a few weeks and had even returned early from a pass the night before because I caught myself engaging in safety behaviours (eg. checking where all the pharmacies were located).

Now I am home. The holidays are the worst part of the year for me; something that I stressed to the staff over and over again. I am home to deal with the holidays with absolutely no support from anyone. Yes my family exists and yes I could try to explain to them what I am feeling inside but my family does not do emotions. No matter how many times I breakdown, they won’t understand why I am feeling the way I am. So instead, I have learned how to shrink away. Morph into someone so fragile and small that disappearing seems like the only real option to me.

If there’s anything I don’t miss, it’s the constant feelings of guilt and shame. It’s the travelling between home and hospital. It’s filling free time without becoming overly irritated with co-patients. It’s trying to prove how willing I am even though I feel like a fraud.

Being there made me feel like I was beginning to move forward and then it was ripped away. The only word I had to describe that feeling, was defeat. I am defeated. And unfortunately I have continued to let this situation knock me down. I weighed myself for the first time in 4 months today and I am not happy with the number but I also was not surprised. It’s my set point. Last night, I attended support group and opened up about my fear of being homeless in the New Year because living at home is so difficult. I have tried to pull things together and reach some aftercare. I have appointments set up. I have things I can do and yet all I am thinking about is how to plot my relapse.

It’s already begun. I have missed meals and lied to my parents faces. I have weighed myself. I have re-downloaded all of the apps that ruined my life in the past few years. I have stopped taking my anti-depressants. I have logged back into MPA. I have resurrected my eating disorder from the grave in which I buried it a few months ago.

 

addict? alcoholic? both.

I’m home this weekend for a change. This time it’s different though, I’m not trying to figure out what I want out of treatment and I’m not neck deep in an eating disorder. I am home because I am doing well, I am recovering. And it’s strange, I feel heavy yet light. I feel like my hopes have been lifted, that my dreams are no longer muted.

I’ve been reading the Steps in hopes that I will begin working towards something more. I haven’t been able to say it in a meeting yet. I can’t even fathom saying it to my therapist but I can put it here. Something to look back on in a few years.

Back when I came home in November, my mother had gone through my room and searched for all the things that I had hidden. And when I came home, I found the items that she had not found; the blades and laxatives. So this time, she came to my room and I took it all out, I handed it all over. I surrendered to recovery, whole-heartedly. It was hard. So hard that I wanted to cry or scream a few times. It was when I found the last cigarette that her trust in me really crumbled. She was disappointed and worried; I understood. I had been smoking on and off since grade nine, I was relying on alcohol to get through some days since grade eleven, and I was using marijuana just to cope with the underlying chaos. All of this took a toll on me, all the missing memories, empty wallets. If you thought just having an eating disorder was bad, imagine restricting so hard and then getting high just to eat before coming down and purging just to light another cigarette to ease the empty feeling and drinking to forget it all again. This was my life for a while; on and off for years.

The worst is the justification: “I’m a responsible addict. I’m a responsible alcoholic.”

There is no way to be both responsible and an addict. There is no way to be responsible and an alcoholic. It’s not a lifestyle worth living. It’s fucking hell. It’s planning out your day just to use without being caught or needing to go home. It’s missing social outings because you’re too weak or hungover to move. It’s having to do more and more each time just to numb any feelings. It’s the pain you feel when you come down.

I was warned for years of the dangers behind addictions. I was first addicted to the pain, and then to the numbness. I was never able to believe that I was worthy of anything else but the pain. I still struggle to see that I am worth it on a day to day basis. I was told it was hereditary, and I replied that it “wouldn’t happen to me”. I was the good kid. I was the responsible kid.

Addiction and mental health walk hand in hand. Both are deadly. Both can be silent killers. But they are best friends. At some point, I forgot what it was like to actually feel anything. I’ve missed so much because I was just working to numb the pain; a full time job. Something I couldn’t quit, EVER.

Somedays I am ashamed of what I have done and the fact that I can never pick up a drink without falling down a rabbit hole. I’ve dug myself out as best I can by myself and now I surrender everything to a higher power and begin a journey to feeling. I know I can’t do it alone any longer, too many slips and relapses to point it out. I can only be me; unapologetically. I can’t reminisce for who I was in the past and I can’t worry about who I am going to be tomorrow but just for today, I can be myself.

I was 4 months sober last week. It’s going to a long and hard journey but here I am, doing it.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” – 1 John 1:9

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” – James 4:10

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