I am writing to write today. I don’t have a specific topic on my mind but a lot has happened this week that I’d like to reflect on. I have been feeling very down recently for no specific reason but I guess depression can take a toll. You wouldn’t think that staying at home isolating myself from the entire world would be exhausting, but it totally is. I have been managing to get myself to work when I’m scheduled but I am not all that productive while there. I feel like I was at least managing up until Sunday.
Sunday morning my 21 year old cousin committed suicide. I think I was in absolute shock at first because of how much I did not expect this. All I could think of was how he always looked so happy, how much potential he had and all of the great things I knew he would have accomplished in life. I have lost people to suicide in the past and I work in the mental health field so I have been through this but I still couldn’t wrap my head around it.
It wasn’t until I was listening to a podcast about feeling lonely while also being surrounded by people that it started to make more sense. From the outside when people look at me and my life they would not know that I suffer the way I do. I can only imagine my cousin was suffering silently. This almost makes my heart hurt even more because I know how he felt. I know what it’s like to feel helpless, hopeless, like nothing can or will get better and that ending it is the only option. I still feel this way often. To know that someone so close to me could have been having similar thoughts and I didn’t know and couldn’t reach out to help breaks me.
I never realized the extent of mental illness in my family until recently. I know I need to take care of myself and try to have some sort of optimistic look on life but it can be so difficult. I feel like I am drowning and the rain just won’t stop.
I am beyond frustrated with myself this week (well the last few weeks I guess). I can’t seem to get out of my own head and just make better decisions. I know what I need to do in order to get my life back together but for some reason I can’t (or won’t) put one foot in front of the other.
As I’ve previously mentioned I’ve struggled with addiction on top of my mental illness for quite some time. I have always had very destructive coping mechanisms (self harm, eating disorders, promiscuity) but the drug use is one that has affected my life the most over the last few years.
I detoxed from opiates a couple months ago and have not used them since but am still struggling immensely with other substances. Heroin was going to kill me quickly so I am thankful that I am off that shit but sometimes it feels like everything else is just as bad. It may not kill me immediately but what it is doing to my emotional and mental health seems just as detrimental.
I haven’t used today and don’t plan to. Hopefully I will wake up tomorrow and feel the same way. I can’t stand the thought of being a drug addict for the rest of my life. There is so much more I want to do and accomplish. I am trying to find things that keep me busy and make me happy without self-medicating. I am writing and reading and cleaned my whole house today so that’s a start.
I know this post is not the most uplifting but it’s where I’m at.
I am not normally one to take up a lot of time setting new years resolutions. I HATE failing and I tend to set unrealistic/unattainable goals for myself – you can see how those two things don’t mix well together. This year though I want to reflect a bit on the last year and set some priorities for myself for the upcoming months.
2018 was not my year. I started off the year ambitious, taking on way too much and eventually burned myself out. Life spiraled slowly from there.
I started sinking into one of the worst depressions I’ve had in my lifetime. I do not feel that I am out of it completely yet, but I am definitely getting there. I struggled to stay connected to my support system, my relationship was very rocky, I stopped getting out of bed except to go to work and let my dog out. After having two years clean from drugs and alcohol I relapsed and began using IV heroin again. I lost myself. It was a painful year.
November I detoxed and began taking my psychiatric medications again. It has been about seven weeks now and although I don’t feel that this mix is working I plan to continue taking them until the next time I see my psychiatrist. I tend to start thinking I can handle everything on my own.. I’ll stop taking meds, stop reaching out for help from friends and family, quit counseling, etc. I’m sure you can guess what the end result usually is.
Goals for the upcoming year:
Write every day (whether it’s a blog post, journaling, or working on my memoir
Continue exercising daily (this definitely helps my mood)
Less isolation, more connection
Get outside – I have always loved the outdoors (hiking, kayaking, running, swimming) but did not do a whole lot of it over the last year
Read 52 books (1 per week at least) and write book reviews/recommendations on my blog if and when they are related to mental health.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I do not want to overwhelm myself with tons of goals so I’m keeping my list short. What are your goals for the new year?? Comment below or send me an email, I would love to connect.