Day by Day

I graduated Cornell University yesterday. I have been pushing and holding on to make it to that day and it finally came and passed.

Now what?

I miss my therapist, S, like there is no tomorrow. She helped me hold on to hope and it just felt good knowing that someone understood me and continued to care for me all the more.

Last night I awoke in the middle of the night by one of my usual anxiety attacks. Chest pains, shallow breathing, and just the overall feeling that you want to run away from yourself but you can’t.

As I cried myself back to sleep, I had a weird dream that started out with one of my friends approaching me to give me a massage as she usually does. However, as she got closer she didn’t approach the massage in her usual comical manner. Then I saw myself in present time, on my top bunk, falling asleep and it was as if I heard God said relax. Then suddenly I felt a pressing yet comforting weight on my back as if I were being hugged. As the hug got tighter my anxiety began to subside and I drifted off into sleep, comforted.

S recommended a while ago that I invest in a weighted blanket to aid during those nights that my anxiety is overwhelming. With graduation gone, I fear that like this morning, my subsequent mornings will be spent convincing myself to fight the nothingness inside of me to live with nothing to look forward to living for.

But thank you God for being my motivator in the day, and my weighted blanket at night.

This song is not a Spiritual song, but it’s been putting a smile on my face when I think of God as my cheerleader.

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Iron Sharpens Iron

I have the greatest friends and one of the parts of me or this stupid disorder that I hate is when I withdraw from those closest to me and begin believing that I am all alone.

It’s senior week, and my friends convinced me to stay to celebrate our last days together. Since I expected to be home this week, I scheduled no therapy this week. This morning I woke up so wrong and in tears after realizing that it was only Tuesday. I felt so drained, and weak and attempted to be proud of myself for fighting with myself to stay above water, only to realize I’ve only been fighting for one day. That one day took so much out of me and the thought of having to live for so many more days to come started plunging me deeper. Usually my medication balances things out for me but not today, by 4 o clock I found myself in my bed weak.

There is a senior highlighter rave tonight and my friends didn’t realize anything was up with me today till I said I couldn’t go. I had nothing inside of me and I knew that going would mean an inevitable breakdown because that’s what happens when I get maxed out.

After sitting me up and insisting I come because they no longer felt comfortable leaving me alone, I told them I hope they were able to handle me when I breakdown in public. And they looked at each other and started laughing and said they could handle it, not only because they’ve done it plenty of times before but added that if anyone asked they would just say the vodka is getting to me and I’m graduating and so i’m emotional to be leaving and to be unemployed, and at that they added shoot we will break down with you too because we all unemployed, to which I laughed and started getting dressed.

For tonight I came from a 10 to 30 with the help of my friends and I want to think about how am I supposed to keep trudging through what seems like a very hopeless road to recovery, but I won’t….not tonight.

Denying Denial

One thing my therapists all know is that I rarely ever acknowledge being mentally ill. Me and denial are best friends when it comes to this facet of my life. Whenever I hear or read about how hard it is to live with depression or other mood disorders I further reaffirm my belief that I am not mentally ill because it hasn’t been hard. The facts of this past year and a half are evidence that my productivity and level of functioning have significantly decreased. However, I just tell myself it’s not because I am ill but because I am just excessively lazy and spoiled. I mean after all, I managed to finish my Cornell degree, and if I were mentally ill I should not have been able to do that right. Never mind the countless accommodations made on my behalf by my professors, and the tri-weekly counseling sessions just to get me to the finish line. I just tell myself that I was just making up excuses and was allowing the burden of my workload (all 3 classes<- sarcasm) to make me lazy and a victim of senioritis.

Thursday I officially finished my Cornell career. I literally have nothing stressful to do but hang out with friends and enjoy my last moments before graduation. But when I wake up I still can’t get out of bed. I still feel the painful emptiness in my core, painful because it feels like a hallowing of my stomach. All I feel able to do is squeeze my knees to my chest in hopes that the tighter I squeeze I’ll be able to touch something inside of me and feel that I am not empty. I wake up in the middle of the night in shallow breaths, with the same feeling you get on a roller coaster drop, over and over and over again, that all I can do is cry.

So what’s my excuse now? I’m still too lazy to face my stressful week of eating and having fun? I still can’t be mentally ill though because once my friends get me out of the bed and I’m hanging out with them distracted, then I am fine and as normal and healthy looking as can be. Never mind that as soon as I’m alone i feel myself slipping into a pit inside of myself. I’m ok though.

I’m fine, i’m ok, i’m just being dramatic.

Picking up the Pieces

This post will be disordered because my thoughts are disordered. I use to journal all the time. Without journaling I always felt like I was never quite anchored to anything. In fact this blog was started because my best friend noted how significant journaling was to my well being.

So, why have I stopped?

Over the past couple of months, I have fought desperately to receive validation from someone, the kind of validation that one is often supposed to experience from parents growing up. Journaling was my way of working out with God what I believe about things; it was my way of validating myself. It never filled me but it kept me sane. So when faced with the opportunity to receive that kind of love and validation from someone my heart pounced on it. I thought that this was finally my chance to be nurtured and loved into the woman I am suppose to be. I thought that finally someone would believe me instead of just wanting to contain me so that I wouldn’t be an inconvenient bother.

When the I love you’s began to change, I fought for them to come back. When threatened with separation, I cried them back into my life. I found myself faced again with the worst invalidation, because it was one that hit my core because it attacked my faith. I learned early on to numb myself to my family’s invalidation, I never gave my friends that kind of power to begin with, but when it came to the church models that God placed in my life, I struggled the most, and I struggled hard.

I hate myself, I always have. So when church members tried to love me I thought God was loving me. When they started to grow exasperated with me then I thought I was allowing the devil to have to much of a foothold in my life, and thats why these people are leaving me, they can’t be around where evil is. And when they gave up on me then it was always me. I am too difficult, I am too angry, I am too mean, I am too bad. I watched them praise, I watched them worship, I watched them claim surrender, so if they were giving up on me, with such entitlement, then I knew it was because I was less than human, I knew it was because I didn’t count as one of the souls that required saving because they must’ve finally realized that I was soulless. I internalized their rejection and never dared allow myself to fall into Gods love, because embracing His love, would for me mean that I would be calling them a liar. Worst, it meant that I am human and that who I am is simply too hard to matter long enough to someone before they leave me.

So why am I journaling now?

Two weeks ago my quest for validation ended when it left me broken in a very painful way. I hear inside of me that same little crying voice that wants to fight again to be loved. But my brain has noticed the I love’s you dwindle to extinction. My brain has noticed the carefully strung together words that signals to me that I have been given up on. My brain notices that there is no one to blame, and fighting only to be repeatedly given up on as more of me in unveiled, will incite blame in me, and if I am busy blaming someone then I place the burden on them to fix me, instead of me fixing me.

So without journaling, I lay in bed believing that I swallowed 24 pills because I was pmsing. I lay in bed believing that my pain isn’t real without the validation of doctors or statistics. I lay in bed believing that the demons are just plaguing me because i’m not praying hard enough.

Journaling is going to force me to do the most painful part of my recovery, which is loving what so many people have shown me is unlovable. And I’m sinking, I’m sinking really hard, but as per my last post, I want to be beautifully in over my head by sinking as a result of stepping out to press into God, not people.

“further and further my heart moves away from the shore”