Disease 1 – Job 0

I’m a school teacher. I’ve been doing it for 27 years. And I lost. At least that is the way it feels. I fought this entire year and I finally couldn’t do it anymore. I was teaching high school math in an inner-city school in the midwest. It’s not Chicago – I’ve taught there. I’d take it over where I am.

I just couldn’t do it anymore. I looked around at all the other teachers and thought that …. well, I thought a lot of really negative shit about myself. And, in the end, I’m just not strong enough to deal with the crap the kids were slingin’.

We have academies in the 9th grade  where I was. And, I had the lowest functioning group. 1st grade reading level forced by my state to teach them Algebra. It’s tough when the curriculum is a reading based curriculum. But that isn’t even the problem. The discipline issues are nuts. And in the end…. I just couldn’t deal with them. I just couldn’t handle it anymore.

The anxiety was too overpowering and I was unable to walk into my room. A room full of 14 year olds. Intellectually I was furious with myself knowing that I was letting kids dictate my future. I felt like a little kid. I still feel like one now.

My illness won. After 27 years of battling mornings of anxiety and fear… it finally took over and I have finally lost.

Everyone tells me that my health is more important. I realize that it is. But when you fight daily for so long it feels like you have lost everything. I don’t care what anyone says. And there isn’t a medicine in the world that can fix that.

I don’t know if I will go back. I don’t know if I can… the option has to be there by law. So much is wrapped up into that…. I’m sure they don’t want me back. What emotions will be there next year……. I can’t really deal with it right now. I’m just not strong enough for it.

I just don’t know…… I know that I feel like I have lost to a disease that I have been fighting my entire life.  That is all I know right now.

 

Looking into the mirror…

During one of many group sessions a therapist suggested to all of us that we keep a picture of ourselves with us at all times. The picture had to be of us when we were really little – 3 or 4. And, we when we were feeling self destructive or depressed or talking particularly shitty to ourselves, we had to take it out and look at it…. and then ask ourselves if we would treat that little person in the picture that way.

Mine was a picture of me in kindergarten – which of course I can’t find at the moment. It was that little person that I wouldn’t want anyone treating like shit.

The idea behind the dance in the video was that he see himself as his younger self for just a moment… long enough to pull himself up out of a dark moment and carry on.

Every now and then I can still do this.

………………………………… When I want to.

When I want to. I think those words are so powerful with this disease for me.

I stayed home from work yesterday. Because I wanted to.

So easily I slip into an excuse that I need the day off to get my head straight. I’m not “feeling” well. My medicine isn’t right. I’m just not right in my head or my skin.

But the bottom line is… I just don’t want to do it. I take the easy way out.

I am so fortunate. I mean seriously fortunate. I have struggled in my past. I have scars inside and out to prove it – not that it’s necessary to have them – or to need to prove it. By the grace of whoever or whatever (totally different post) I have come through some serious situations. I am on the upside of my disease for now. And I am grateful for sure. And, because of that there is no reason for me to slack.

So easily I can use a day like yesterday to start slipping backwards… letting my head get in the way.  Listening to the negativity… rolling over and going back to sleep instead of moving forward and taking charge.

I needed to get up and look into the mirror and see my little self saying… “Get the hell outta bed and go! You have worked to hard to slide”. 

I realize that this isn’t scary and edgy – comparatively. But it is my edgy for today. I know myself and I know that I can turn a corner in about 2 seconds if I’m not careful.

Excuses are easy for me to make – easy for me to follow through on and really most people expect them from me.

I don’t want to let my little person down.

It’s hard to see her. But, she is there. She’s… he’s… there in all of us if we want to look.

But looking into the mirror is really hard…..

The Paranoia Patrol

What if I decided to trust him 100%?

What if I decided to never talk to that person ever again? 

What if I decided to walk into that meeting like it didn’t matter if those people thought my hair was a hot mess and my chosen outfit came out of an 1980’s throwback closet – except I didn’t know I was throwin’ back? 

What if …

What if I woke up one morning and chose to accept that I could?  That I could control the Paranoia Patol? 

I have had issues all my life. Welcome to the club. But, Paranoia has been the biggest Bitch of them all. 

It has created the most anxiety. It has caused more problems with relationships – of all kinds. It has ruined multiple jobs…. It has controlled my life in so many ways. 

It just comes barreling into my life like a bulldozer and says “No, no, no! I don’t care what you think! You are wrong!” 

I don’t care how in “control” of my bipolar/borderline I think I am -obviously I’m not it takes over. In fact, the better I feel, the worse my paranoia gets. 

It’s like mental health has to be outta whack all the time…. Something has to be messed up. 

Or maybe paranoia just naturally comes out of that? After fighting it for so many years your like “no way can I be feeling good! Something has to be fucked up. Let me find it!” And, if I can’t find I’ll create the shit! Oh, I am good at that!

So lately, I have been repeating those two phrases above to myself when I start to question my boyfriend – or when I have that urge to talk to the person who is really not good for me. Is it helping? Long term? No clue. My anxiety sure seems to subside though. And, we all understand how awesome it is to NOT have to deal with that little bitch of a problem. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here to write. Feels good to be back and get some things down. 

Peace. 

https://youtu.be/6GtPW4nB3Ro

Anxiety… timeless anxiety

 

Sarah’s “Angel” is timeless also…

Hope you took the time to watch Gaby dance through her interpretation of the crappy little annoyance we all know and hate so much – no love!

Oh…. dear, dear anxiety!

Now the holidays are upon us. We are suppose to flip out at these times?

Anxiety… such a little bitch!

Maybe we can find our Angels this season instead!

🙂

 

Fear isn’t driving anymore!

It is no secret that my life revolves around men. It always has.

Last February I broke up with my last relationship that lasted two years. I did continue to see him throughout the summer even though he started a new relationship. I have issues with letting go of things – mostly men.

I fish with him. It is a hobby of mine … pretty serious one and a very precious one. I compete in bass tournaments. He’s one of my partners.

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That’s not him in the picture. That was last weekend at a Breast Cancer fund raiser I fished in. We did pretty well in it, but I fished for the charity of it and was proud to say that the tournament raised a lot of money for the cause!

Onto the point of this entry…. I have been fishing a lot with my eX. We have been talking a lot about us. What was right… what was wrong… We love each other very much still and I knew that. But, most importantly, we like each other so much.

We’ve had all summer to do whatever we wanted. He decided to “move on” and enjoy his summer. I was just going to try to live and figure myself out.

So we talked this weekend while we were fishing.. There’s no where to go when you are on a 19 foot Ranger boat. As I babbled, which is what I do a lot of when I fish. I’m not sure how any of my partners deal with it. Although they say they love it. Keeps them from over-analyzing too much on the water….  I realized that this summer all the hell that I went through I came out on this other side of myself….. not afraid of who I am anymore….

Yep… that was the big revelation that I made on the Ranger… out in the middle of the river…that day.  I’m not afraid of my crazy anymore. I’m not afraid of what people think. I’m not afraid of putting myself out there for someone love.. I’m not afraid of loving myself anymore. I’m not afraid of trusting my judgement anymore. I’m not afraid of being alone with myself….. I’m. not. afraid. of. my. mental. illness. anymore!

I’ve been hiding behind all of this for so long.

No one could love me.

I couldn’t love me.

I couldn’t trust me.

No one could trust me……. and as long and I thought those things about myself …. I was stuck…… but, I have been feeling so much better lately… and I realized that… with the help of my meds and my doctors and MYSELF…. I just didn’t know what was up… new meds? Something had seriously changed.

The key was that I had changed. I was taking care of myself. I wasn’t afraid anymore.

Fear wasn’t driving my decisions any longer. I was.

I don’t know that I am ready to get back with Lee. My bipolar impulsiveness says, YES YES YES! But, I’m cautious. We have talked a lot about things. He has opened up more in a month then he did in the two years we were together. I have found a medicine combination that is working so well.

It just feels so good to not be afraid right now. That’s all I know. 🙂

In my dark times….

In my dark times I’ll be going back to the street
Promising everything I do not mean
In my dark times, baby this is all I could be
Don’t think my mother could love me for me
In my dark times, in my dark times

I promise you… that in my dark times, only my mother can love me.

I have entered another dark time.

More new meds.
More crazy spinning in my head.
More pushing people away.

Oh for the love of mental health!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here to write.

Ya know how it’s gets. How “you – me – I” go to that place and crawl around… in the dark times. And then ya come out for a breath of fresh air and realize … “oh holy shit, it’s October!” Yeah. Me too.. that’s exactly what has happened here with me. Except I’m still in the midst of it all.

I think that’s what happens if you are lucky enough to grow older with a diagnosis… I think you learn to recognize that it’s all happening… and once in a while you are lucky enough to hold on and reach out to reality. Or just let go of the fucked-upness of it all and breath.

I celebrated my 49th birthday this year and my 30th year of diagnosis. 30 years of meds… and doctors not knowing exactly how to treat these ever loving dark times!

Ah, but they do come and they do go! God bless them – the dark times and the doctors, and meds, the crazy head spinning and the pushing more and more people away. Yes they come… and yes they go.

It’s all a funny little circus.

This ain’t the right time for you to fall in love with me
Baby I’m just being honest
And I know my lies could not make you believe
We’re running in circles that’s why

Dear Manic Pixie Dream Girl Stock Character

OMG! Hmmmm. Manic Pixie Dream Girl, I am.

Sincerely, Chelsea

Dear Manic Pixie Dream Girl Stock Character,

We need to talk.

You have a problem, and it’s a rather serious one.

For years, I was blind to your issues.  In fact, I have dedicated a large chunk of my life to attempting to be just like you.  Not just like Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown or just like Natalie Portman in Garden State, but just like you, the ultimate combination of all of the characters who fall in your spectrum.  I wanted to be the girl who appreciated life more than the people around her did, who relished nature, who approached difficult and awkward circumstances with Reckless Abandon.  I wanted to be the girl who lived carpe diem rather than just spewing it forth like the cliche that it is, who danced in parking lots, in the rain, in the woods, in the middle of walking her dogs just…

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