Warrior Wednesday

Warrior Wednesday | Mental Health Days

In true Warrior Wednesday fashion, I took a day off of work. I don’t do it often, because I don’t like to. I feel like I’m contributing to the stigma against people living with mental illnesses… but today I took a leap of faith. I thought I’d be in bed all day, struggling to function.

I still messed up a lot of stuff today, but I also managed to clean two parts of my home that haven’t been touched in—no exaggeration—over a year. I have more space, less crap, and surprisingly I find I feel less mental clutter.

I hope we all have days like these more often. ❀

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Warrior Wednesday

Warrior Wednesday | Open Doors

For the first five years of my recovery, I slept with all of the doors closed.

The front door had to be closed and locked and opened and unlocked and closed and locked and opened and checked and closed and locked and checked.

The bathroom door had to be closed, the closet door had to be closed, the drawers and cabinets had to be closed.

I did not sleep in any space that had an opening, a doorway, a deep dark space that would grow in the night and swallow me whole. I don’t know, now, what I thought was hiding inside of my drawers, but whatever it was—it wasn’t getting me as I slept.

I know in hindsight that this is not an uncommon symptom. It’s a symptom that’s harder to explain, one that’s less known by the general public and therefore less accepted. It’s not typically viewed as a symptom so much as it’s viewed as a personality quirk, like not eating yellow food or only dating people whose names begin with the letter “R”.

But it is a symptom. I have an illness, and keeping the doors closed is a symptom.

❀ ✩ ✿ ✩ ❀

At Christmas, I was given a cat. She wanted to sleep with me, in the bedroom. She needed to have access to her box, in the bathroom. A less stubborn person, a person fewer years into recovery might have just moved the litter out of the bathroom at night. Me? I just cracked the door.

I didn’t sleep for three days.

It’s been a year and a half since I’ve slept with all the doors closed. I sleep with open cabinets and open drawers. The socks aren’t out to get me. I still go through the whole routine with the front door, more cautious now than paranoid. My cat has no idea what the difference is. I do.

❀ ✩ ✿ ✩ ❀

I made a bad choice last night. I made a bad choice this morning, watched it snowball into a series of bad choices. I’m pissed at myself for starting this whole thing, and I’m pissed at myself for acting in ways I feel like I can’t control. I knew it was a bad choice. I made it anyway, made excuses for how it was beyond my control. It wasn’t.

Bad choices snowball. Good choices snowball, too. And just because a door is less open today than it was yesterday doesn’t mean it has to be closed tomorrow.

I’m going to go crack the door. ❀

Warrior Wednesday

Warrior Wednesday | Sometimes I Have Bad Days

I’m not doing so hot. I wish things were better, but I’m at a point now where progress is at a crawl, and some weeks feel like I’m taking more steps backward than I’ve taken forward in recent months. I’m still trying. I’m still working.

I’m finding out that self care is a lot less fun than social media would have you believe. People like to pretend that it’s bath bombs and comfy sweaters. I prefer showers and it’s too damn hot for sweaters. Self care is cleaning your home this weekend. And next weekend. And the weekend after that. And the following weekend. Apparently, adulthood is one never-ending span of not being able to keep a fucking studio clean! No shit.

I’ve been having a hard time sleeping, and a hard time eating, and a hard time remembering to take my meds on time (because I’m not eating regular meals). I’m trying my damnedest to still spend time with people I like, because I know that if I start to backslide then I start to withdraw from my friends and family and that blows because then I’m depressed and semi-medicated and alone. I’m trying to make myself eat. I think I might set an alarm tonight to make sure I go to bed at a reasonable hour.

I flossed today. I brushed my teeth. I ate breakfast. It’s three fifteen and I haven’t had lunch. (pill break….) Venlafaxine tastes like shit, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

I’m doing my laundry. I hate laundry almost as much as I hate doing dishes, so any time I can accomplish that particular chore is a reason to celebrate. I just have to remember to hang the clothes up when they’re dry.

Some days I am well, and I don’t need to take inventory of what percentage of Basic Daily Hygiene I’ve accomplished. I’m not having a lot of those days recently. I’m having to take inventory of what’s slipping, and grab those pieces even tighter. Some days you just have to hold on desperately to whatever you have and hope you make it through the other side of this. ❀