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

no part-timer… just F**king honest

This song finds me… And, I return to it. Never have I returned to it with so much pain and fear and sense of loss as I have this time… at least to my knowledge. If you’ve read much of me, you know I am not a religious person and spend most of my time fighting it. And so is the case still as I write this… I discovered this song when a pastor of mine tried to help me understand that God wasn’t going to take my illness away from me – regardless of how hard I worked or how “good” I was. But, he told me that God would always be sitting next me while I journeyed through it. To be “fucking honest”, that pissed me off because in my opinion I was doing everything I knew to make it go away and I didn’t want him to just sit there and watch me… Fuck that! There were plenty of people watching me go through it!

Today I’m good with “holding me”. Fuckin’ someone needs to hold me together.

For 48 years of my life I have been complaining about this disease and what it takes from me. How miserable I am… How I go out and make bad decision after bad decision because of it. The losses. The pain I cause others and myself. The things I can’t do because of it. I can’t get up and go to work in the morning. I can’t be around other people. I don’t have what other people do to get me through the hardships. The excuses I have made because of it. Poor, poor me.

We’ve all come to points in our illness where we have made deals with God – or our higher power. I know we have. People “without” illness do it all the time.

I’m not here making a deal. I don’t “believe” like that at all. I never will. I just know that I believe that I handed over everything that I have ever worked on and for to someone I don’t even know and it could very well be over for me. Just like that! Just like that –  for no reason… Gone.

No, no deals. Of course, I don’t want to lose everything, no. But, what I have come to realize is that I do have so much. All the times that Therapy Man wanted me to write those Gratefulness Journals and I bitched because I couldn’t/didn’t think I had anything to be grateful for…. What was I thinking?

I understand that there is a certain biology to my illness. But, there is also a certain mentality to it as well.

I come to my journal today and am talking about me – my journey. I know we all function at different levels and are capable of doing different things for ourselves. I just know that I’ve taken my disease for granted far too many times.

And last night I get to a place where I’m mostly sure that I will never teach again. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t move. I was shaking to my core. Vomitting. Crying…. sobbing. I crawled to my bathtub because that is a “coping” skill – if that makes sense to anyone. I slithered in – with my phone near. I had given up. I had come to this conclusion that everything that I thought I never had – I actually had all along and had only been taking it for granted. I refused to beg God for a second chance. I feel – honestly – he knows that if I deserve it he will give it to me. “Begging” for something I’ve had all along doesn’t make any sense to me?

That’s when it happened… my go-to in the past when I’m in that space had always been Jason (Danger Boy). And, wouldn’t you fucking know it, after 4 months of absolutely – completely – NOTHING – NOT A WORD… he told me he was never going to speak to me again… yeah, no. There he was. Pretty sure you can put the pieces together… I’d only be making excuses if I went further.

And so it boils down to me sitting here wondering what I am “asking” for today.

Who am I asking?
Who do people ask?
Or Change? Can I change?
Do I even get the opportunity or right to change now?
Can I even let myself change? Or have it in me to do so?
What the fuck do I believe in?

You’re Univited… yeah, no not really… come on in

“Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
And like any hot-blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave
But you, you’re not allowed
You’re uninvited
An unfortunate slight”

Except that’s not true at all. Show me some attention and I will show it back.
Doesn’t seem to matter these days who you are even. Tramp? Awe… I don’t particularly like that term. And in all seriousness, well, it’s not that serious because I’m not sleepin’ with any of ’em – this time around. Just looking. Lookin’ around thinkin’ about what I could do. Think that’s why I need the relationship I’m in because it’s keeping me from being that tramp – sorta…  Thus… your uninvited by default! Lotta defaults in my life!

Wow!

“Must be strangely exciting
To watch the stoic squirm
Must be somewhat heartening
To watch shepherd meet shepherd
But you you’re not allowed
You’re uninvited
An unfortunate slight”

You could consider me “strangely exciting” for sure! Let’s get a little honest here. It’s not a good thing to have the thoughts that I do and rely on a relationship to keep me from acting on them…. Except that the relationship is as unhealthy as they come. So, let me talk a short bit (short, short bit) about my therapy sessions because that’s all we talk about in them. How unhealthy not only I am, but how unhealthy the actual relationship I am in is…

I’m just not strong enough to end it. That’s the consensus between Therapy Man and I. (Did I use “I” correctly? And, that was my short bit)

Fucking sucks to be bipolar. Sucks to have borderline personality. Sucks to have anything that keeps you from being able to be strong enough to stand up for yourself and take what you need for yourself! Not that I need sex from strangers.

Wow!

This just went in the wrong direction!!! I’m just saying… I have this disease… half the time I’m so bent that I’m looking for validation ALWAYS in the wrong places and when I FINALLY wake up from the fucking fog of it all I realize I don’t even need it because I’m fine the way I am. Then I find out I got myself in a situation that I can’t get out of………….. do ya feel me people??? Wait, don’t feel me! That’s what gets me in trouble! Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

“Like any uncharted territory
I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like
You have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed
You’re uninvited
An unfortunate slight”

Uncharted territory? Not any longer…. I think it’s all been charted! Just sayin! It’s the thrill. Ya know? No, not the sex part… It’s the finding it. The game! The search! I could give a shit about it once I’ve gotten it. It’s the hunt! And, I’ve perfected it as of late. Do I sound proud? Eh, that’s the borderline part of me… Betty! She’s proud. Nah, fuck that. It’s me. I need to own up to my shit. I’m not proud of it at the moment. But, have some hot dude smile my way and I think I might have a chance… Look out, it’s on!

“I don’t think you unworthy
I need a moment to deliberate.”

Goals Day with the Therapist….

Too cheery? Ehh… well, yeah… but we are at the end of the year and I HAD to go through the SET YOUR 2015 GOALS with Therapy Man today so…. TOO FREAKIN’ BAD!

Seriously.

The actual point is to all of this… and for all OF US… is… we lived! Fuck yeah we did. I mean, we are here, right? We didn’t necessarily do it in quite the fashion that One Republic may have. But, shit… we lived. And, if you did it like I did  – it probably HURT LIKE HELL sometimes. Ok, most of the time. Uh, yeah. MOST OF THE TIME.

But, shit, when hasn’t it hurt? Therapy Man asked me today if I planned on being miserable the rest of my life? Hmmmm… no, really, I said “Hmmmm” back to him. After 48 years of being miserable all of the time it’s more of a lifestyle than a decision, I think. Then he quoted something spectacular from “The Happiness Trap“. (no, really… it was spectacular I just forget what it was)

So, the song says….

I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

I wonder, did I own every second of my life this year? Kidding… I know the answer to that question. It’s a resounding NO FUCKING WAY!  And so, maybe that’s my goal? I don’t need to worry about running around seeing everything. Shit, just opening my eyes to what is within me would be a great start. BUT!!! Wait for it…. What would be HUGE for me would be to actually start owning my life. And, not just the healthy parts either… all of it. It’s all me. To suggest that I’m not in control of my sick part??? Ehhhh… The jury will forever be out on that one. Regardless, I am me – healthy decision or not. I figure if I am healthy enough to come here and “talk” about it. I can certainly take ownership of it. And, I should.

Ok… That’s all I got. Fucking Goals Day with the Therapist. Never a happy experience.