Thursday, April 25, 2019

Honesty

Months have gone by since I've written. It's not that these last few months haven't been eventful. It's just that my brain is way better at focusing on the negative than the positive. The highlight of April has been my Mr. Freddie's victory, which is also terrifying because I'm in the Pride show at a major queer destination in DC, and I know I have to knock it out of the park with this one. However, I've also noticed my mental health deteriorating rather quickly. If I'm not actively engaged with something or someone, I feel the immediate urge to scream/cry/harm myself in some way. That harm sometimes takes the form of considering drastic decisions, while it sometimes manifests more physically. Even when trying to engage in tasks, I'm incredibly distracted and unfocused. I feel like I'm constantly battling my emotions, and I need some kind of break. I was looking forward to this weekend to get that chance, but I will most likely be working instead. I'm trying to avoid going to the hospital until after Pride. I feel like I can do this, somehow. I've made it this far, and I consider these few months to have been a success. I'll be reaching out to some support systems soon enough because I know I won't be able to keep doing this on my own.

I'm trying to figure out the factors contributing to these semi-recent changes. I'm getting bored with my job, and there is no guarantee that this last round of applications to grad school will work out for me. Even if I am accepted, most of these programs don't provide funding, which means I will have to figure out a way to pay for it. I'm not even sure I'll be allowed to get additional loans, but I wanted to avoid thinking about that until I receive a decision. I work from home, so I'm isolated all the time. I feel no connection to this place, although there are a few people who make it worthwhile. Part of me fears that I'll never feel as connected to my home as I used to. I feel stuck. Life feels stagnant at best. What should excite me just terrifies me most of the time. These feelings are so strong that they interfere with almost everything I do. I haven't been processing speech well lately either. I keep asking people to repeat themselves or missing key conversation points. That alone makes me wonder if I'd even be able to handle grad school. I'm feeling overwhelmed at this very moment, and I just had to remind myself to breathe normally. The feeling in my chest/stomach just won't go away. I'm having a harder and harder time knocking myself out at night. Most of all, I fear talking about these things because there isn't really a good "reason" for any of these feelings. They just are, and I feel like there is very little I or anyone else can do at this point. The only thing that I seem to know is that going to the hospital has always provided at least some relief. If I do end up going, I won't be doing ECT anymore. I like my memories, even if a lot of them are pretty terrible. I don't want to lose any more parts of my life.

I want to keep writing because it's something to do to keep the feelings at bay, but what else can I say that I haven't already? I feel like I say the same things over and over again, year after year. I know I will never "get better", but isn't some level of recovery possible? I don't want to feel this terrible for the rest of my life. I want to feel in control again. I want to feel motivated and excited. I don't want to feel paralyzed or be incapable of doing the smallest tasks or making the simplest of decisions. I want to stop lying to everyone about how I feel. I want them to actually know that I've been doing pretty shitty, and that any help at all is appreciated. I want to find a therapist that doesn't suck. I want to find a doctor whose office I can actually get to during the day. My fiance's schedule has shifted, so I may be able to make another appointment with my old doctor. He's nice enough, but I don't think he really knows enough about me or what I've been feeling to help me. I always struggle with words during appointments, and most therapists/doctors have refused to read things I've written to describe my symptoms. Living in this area has proven rather stressful when trying to deal with my mental health. Transportation also kind of blows, but it's nice enough now where I can get to a few places on my bike, provided I don't get hit by a car. Having my gym right across the street has definitely saved me on more than one occasion. I'm doing better now, but I was starting to lose focus in the gym too. I'm still not where I feel like my mind should be, and that's how I know things aren't right. I've always been able to escape from the world for that little bit of time. It's always been calming. Now it just doesn't seem to be enough. I worry about medication changes, especially right before big events like Pride. I don't know how to deal with all of this.

Maybe this is the first step in dealing with it. I'm not trying to hide the fact that I'm not okay. I'm not going to be unflinchingly optimistic anymore. I need to be honest with myself if I have any hope of avoiding the worst. I need to be honest with the people who care about me. I do have some hope. I haven't gone this long without hospitalization in 5 years. Getting to that 2-year mark in November would mean quite a bit to me, but I won't be upset if that doesn't happen. Sometimes it's just necessary. I have my shows to keep me going right now. I may be terrified, but focusing on my performances and costumes lets me make it through some of the harder parts of the day. I just have to learn to manage the terror I feel about not being good enough.

I think I'm done rambling for now. I keep saying that I will write more, so maybe I should actually start doing that.

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