Self Care is Really Hard

Today I saw my Psychiatrist and for about the fourth time in our 10 year relationship, I was 100% truthful with her. Things have been tough lately. Really tough. When I’m at work, I feel like a fraud. I don’t think I’m doing  good job being a children’s librarian and I constantly worry about letting my coworkers down, especially my sweet , compassionate, fun job-share partner. I overthink everything. Everything. When I am at the circulation desk, I find it even harder to focus and most of the time it takes effort to understand what people are trying to tell me/ask me. Luckily we have very kind patrons who are patient and forgiving.

I’ve had to call off a few times because of sleep disturbances and I know I’ve been a bit off lately. I just pray with all of my heart that I have been kind to my coworkers and not rude, or mean, or impatient. I am so thankful for the friendship of Crystal. Crystal is compassionate, patient, reassuring…everything you could dream of in a friend, let alone a coworker. She constantly reassures me that things are good at work, she encourages me to take care of myself, and she does so with a genuine, accepting heart. She is a beacon of light in dark times…sometimes I can’t believe how blessed and lucky I am to have her in my life.

So, my appointment today. My mood is getting harder to control and thoughts of self-harm/wanting to disappear/not wanting to be here are getting worse, stronger, and more dangerous. My diagnoses are PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and the last and I would say “strongest” is a bit of a mystery of sorts. I respect my Psychiatrist and Psychologist for not wanting to simply give me a label  because “thats just what you do.” We aren’t quite sure if it is Bipolar I with psychotic features, or Schizoaffective Disorder. But that’s okay. They are similar enough in regards to treatment practices.

But I told Dr. Blakeslee everything. How my moods are becoming uncontrollable, how I have learned to numb myself almost completely because the feelings, the hurt, are too much and I can’t do it any longer. I don’t know how to function properly anymore.

I always hesitate to talk about not wanting to be here, but maybe by my sharing it will help someone. I can hope. Since around October, I pray I don’t wake up, I imagine how wonderful it would be if I could leave everything and everyone behind and start over fresh. But I don’t have the funds for that. I also find my thoughts of not wanting to be here are becoming more complex, with plans forming and a means to and end becoming clearer. I figure my loved ones would be sad for a while and miss me, but after 6 months or a year everything would go back to normal.

For the fourth time, I was authentic in front of Dr. Blakeslee. I know she has me figured out and knows when I am not being truthful, but I still think I can fool her. Not any more. It’s not worth it. Today’s appointment went so well and she put herself out there expressing her feelings about me and what it would be like if I weren’t here. Her declaration kind of shocked me into reality. I am so grateful for her compassion and transparency today. It made a huge impact on my heart.

I now have 2 more medications and I feel good about it. I don’t feel good about being off from work until February 6, but I’m going to have to get over it. If I spend my time off worrying about work and everyone thinking I’m a jerk, then I won’t do much healing. I just wish I could let them know how much they mean to me and that I hate not being there. But, as hard as it is, I have to practice self-care.

If you are in a situation similar to mine, first  let me say how sorry I am for the suffering you are experiencing. My heart truly goes out to you and I wish for you nothing than the best, nothing but brightness and love. Find healthy ways to care for yourself like coloring, watching a favorite show (my new favorite is the Mindy Show), a feel good movie, blogging or writing in a journal (I’m going to take this time to amp up my blog presence because it something I really enjoy but have neglected because my depression sucks the joy out of everything), cuddle with a pet, go to the zoo, allow yourself to buy a makeup item that is in your budget, or read a good book. Surround yourself with people who love and accept you unconditionally.

If you know me personally and read this, I will be okay. I know I don’t need to apologize, but I do. To my coworkers, I am sorry I am not there. I am already working only 3 days a week, surely I should be able to work that and still practice self care (this is what I am telling myself). I feel ashamed for abandoning you and making extra work for everyone, especially our boss. I have only been with you for about 6 months. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly and a special thank you to my job-share partner who truly is such a dear, kind person who kicks arse at being a children’s librarian! And thank you to Crystal. So much love and gratefulness to you. I hope I can be as good a friend to you as you have been, and continue to be, to me.

Mom, thank you for asking the right questions. You are generous, selfless, kind, loving, accepting of me unconditionally. You have seen me at my worst, yet you still want to be around me. You are an angel. 🙂 Van, I know you won’t read this, but thank you. I know your life pre-Brooke was pretty normal and I’ve kind of turned that upside down, but you never make me feel ashamed for who I am and I feel confident that you are not embarrassed of me. Thank you for trying to understand a monster that is at times unexplainable, maddening, and cruel. And by monster I mean the mental illnesses, although I am sure I have been quite a monster at times. Thank you for loving me through the literal highs and lows, and for trying to understand my friend psychosis, who baffles even those who devote their lives to studying it. You are doing a masterful job. 🙂

This is super long. Thank you for reading. I just wanted to get out my thoughts. Feel free to ask me any questions because I am not too sure that this makes much sense.

Best wishes for a lovely day.
Brooke

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6 thoughts on “Self Care is Really Hard

  1. This is really beautiful, it takes a lot of courage to write something like this and it makes me believe that you are well on your way to starting to heal because you are willing to be so true with this. Sending positive thoughts, love, and hope your way. This post made me cry, but it also felt like there is something so wonderfully hopeful hidden in these words. Words like this show a beautiful heart, I hope for you to continue to heal, and to remain hopeful even when you are feeling dark.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought your post was perfect. You really helped me see what you are experiencing. If you need someone to be with you or go to the zoo; I’m always available. I would miss you all the time if you weren’t here. Your animal nurses sound wonderful and I’m happy they are there for you. Work understands your need to be home, never fear. I think you are like Wonder Woman you are tall, beautiful, apply makeup exquisitely, defender of the underdogs, very smart and would look great in a cape! I love you my precious darling niece!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great explanation of such a painful journey. Although you are concerned it didn’t make sense-the opposite is true-it made perfect sense and painted a picture that helps those who have similar experiences to feel understood and those who don’t to understand.

    I understand the struggle with not wanting to “be” and my heart goes out to you. It’s exhausting. Much love to you friend. My heart is tracking…

    Like

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