Tired of Hearing You are Not Your Illness

In reality, I know that there is more to me than my diagnosis. I love to read and dance. I want to help people who have been what I have been through.

Yet there are the everyday struggles that only my illness brings. The symptoms that I would not have if I did not have this illness.

The insomnia and nightmares. Hypervigilance and the fear and anxiety of being around large crowds. The flashbacks and body memories from the traumas of the past. All of the medications that I need to take everyday just to function. The constant fear of my ex taking me back to court because my symptoms have flared up to the point that I need to go inpatient. 

Because I have a mental illness, there are jobs that I cannot qualify for. When I go to a hospital, I am looked at differently. I cannot hide my med list.

Then ther is the fibromyalgia. The fact that others view me as weak and not able to fully be physically there, even though that is what I have been every time they have seen me. There are the meds to control that and the limitations that they bring.

No, I am not my illness, yet my illness impacts my life everyday and limits what I can do even though I try to find a way around the limitations.

To Many Directions

Things are constantly changing in everyone’s life. Having PTSD makes those changes harder. I do not like to be surprised with events or last minute changes. It takes me long enough to mentally prepare for what is going on.

The kids are a great example. Spring sports have started up. This means that the regular visitation schedule is messed up and things are never set. A great example is this weekend. At first, it was discussed that I would just meet the kids at the field on Saturday. Now that it might rain on Friday, my ex has decided that they may be dropped off at their regular time. That changes things. Now I have to worry about dinner and getting them to their game in the morning. 

Then my daughter had said that she wanted to stay with me this summer. After a few gifts from my ex and his wife that is no longer the case. I just want the agreement to go the way it should for once. Instead, I feel like my ex skirts the boundaries of what was agreed upon. 

I am still waiting to see if I got accepted to a four year school for next semester. Even if I do get accepted, I have to figure out a way to pay for school. I hope I qualify for a loan! 

Today I have school. Once again, things are piling up and I would rather be at home able to journal or color. Right now, I need to try and cope. I want a break, yet life is not giving me one.

Trying to be Positive Today

Today, I am trying to be positive. At least I am not in the hospital and I am working on my struggles with my therapist. I have not been inpatient at either the trauma unit or an eating disorder unit for over a year.

Each day brings struggle and negative thoughts, yet I have gotton through those days without self-harm. I am almost through my first semester back at school and am getting closer to performing on stage again for the first time in 20 years.

I am posting on here everyday. Granted, the posts may not be the most uplifting, yet they are about what is going on with me. I have begun to delve into art again and am using dance as a way of expressing myself.

Even with the loss of one member of my treatment team I am getting through one day at a time. Tomorrow, I may be back to less positive words, but today I wanted to do something different.

A surprise #May Trigger#

My ex lives in ahuge house an hour away from me. There is a pool, a swing set, a trampoline, go carts, video games, and all of the other things that kids and teens love.

Last night, my daughter told me that she wanted to come and stay with me this summer. I was shocked that she said that. According to my ex, this will pass. She is only mad at him. I am not so sure about that.

My oldest still thinks about hurting himself. Over the past few times that my kids have stayed, I have noticed my daughter eating less and less. I brought it up to her the other night. She gave me all of the typical excuses. Then I said that it was not about the food, I wanted to know what was going on to make her so upset. She had a look of surprise on her face. She told me that she would talk to me the next time that she came over. 

All of this and I am struggling with thoughts of self-harm. My eating disorder is back and I am trying to use all of my skills. As this is going on, I do not have a psychiatrist until July. My therapist is trying, yet there is only so much that can go on in an hour.

Yesterday, I went to journal a little. I started out thinking that it would just be a couple of lines. It wound up being 6 pages. Then, last night, I saw a picture on someone’s media page from middle school. It brought back the constant days of being bullied by the other students and then going home to an unhealthy house.

It seems like the bullies and abusers can forget what they did. They go on with life and do not look back. On the other side, it is like yesterday for me. The flashbacks and body memories are there. Maybe my abusers really do not remember. Their actions did not hurt or impact them. They said the words or gave the beating and it was over. 

Sometimes, I wish that I could just forget, yet I cannot. Now, I have two kids who need me to be there for them as they go through their own struggles. At least I know that I can be there for them. At least I know they have someone to turn too. The worst thing is feeling alone and isolated.

Feeling Alone

I don’t know what it is. I have a loving husband and people around me that I can talk too, yet I feel alone.

They do not understand what a flashback or panic attack is like. Others do not know that the slightest noise bothers me or that it is a struggle to get up and get going because my mind is fighting itself.

Trying to explain symptoms is hard. Even though others often try, they come up short. This is not going on with their body and mind everyday. Sometimes, they do not understand that I cannot turn it off.

Right now I feel alone. I feel like the only person who got this illness is gone and they are not coming back. Parts feel abandoned. We are trying in therapy, yet sometimes it all just seems like to much.

I have to wait until July to see another psychiatrist. I am scared about needing a med change before then, or even worse for my meds to run out.

Debating

As many of you know who follow my blog, I am involved with a local mental health organization. One activity I am involved in is telling my story to others.

Yesterday, there was an email sent out that there is a new location that wants regular speakers. At first, it sounded great. Telling my story twice a month would get so much out there and maybe allow someone else to come forward.

Then I took overnight to think about it. I have applied to start a degree in social work. The content of the classes may be challenging and I am sure that there are going to plenty of assignments. 

Stress triggers so much. Even though I want to get out there and tell my story, I think that it is best if I focus on school and my ultimate goal. 

I am still going to think about this some more, yet I need to make sure to fit in time for self care. 

I Needed the Rest

What my mind wants to do and what my body can do are two different things. I really pushed myself to hard last week in dance class and my knees were screaming to take a break.

Yesterday, I tied to stay off of them as much as possible. Today, they feel so much better. I am still bruised and banged up, yet that will heal.

I really need to start to think about my limits. I hate to say no or to know that since I have an illness I cannot do as much as I could before I was sick. 

Monday, I need to remember to take care of me in class. If I need to take a break then that has to be ok.

A Break

Today I get a break from everything. I am doing laundry and just hanging out at the house. My knee seems to be less swollen today, yet there is still pain.

A day to stay off of my knee and just be who I am. I will take it!! Tomorrow starts another crazy time of scheduled events and I cannot wait for some of them since the kids are involved. Today, I am just going to enjoy the quiet. 

Symptom Increase ##May Trigger#

My symptoms are increasing more and more each day. The past and present are getting muddled. I am trying to use coping skills.

My eating disorder is starting to become out of control again. There is the cycle of binging and restricting. Which seems endless. I wish it was just as simple as follow the meal plan.

Then my marriage is being affected. I easily feel abandoned and unwanted. There seems to be a constant need for attention when my symptoms are up.

Then there is the hyper-vigilance, not sleeping, flashbacks and all of the other wonderful symptoms. I am trying not to go into the hospital.

On top of everything. The stress is causing my fibromyalgia symptoms to increase. I noticed after a dance class the other day that my knee was bothering me. I should probably go to the doctor yet I am scared of what they will tell me. Even more I am scared that I will need to start to use my cane again.

For years I have not shown much emotion in therapy. All I did yesterday was cry. It has helped to start to draw again. I keep my journal with me wherever I go. 

I need to take care of myself right now, yet I am scared to ask for what I need.

FINE

Fine. It is what I know I say to most people when they ask how I am doing. That is what most of society wants to hear. The good news. What is going right. We can just look at something like social media to get a glimpse of that phenomena. Trips, parties, firsts, anniversaries. 

Then there is my fine. The fine that I use to cover up all of the hurt and pain. What I use to avoid letting anyone know that I am dying inside. The fine that masks the thoughts of self harm and loneliness. 

I wish that I could ask for help. That I could say that I just need time with someone to go for lunch or coffee. That there are good things happening, yet there are also challenges. 

Fine is a four letter word that I have come to rely on. For years I thought that I had to be fine. Even in therapy. That perception is just starting to be undone. So maybe I need to find another word other than fine. Not that everyone needs to know what is going on. Fine just does not do it. That is something to think about!