As I mentioned in my weekly wrap up on Sunday, I’m starting therapy again this week. Since I went to rehab in 2016 I have been to many different therapists and participated in multiple intensive outpatient programs (mainly, DBT). I have not been in counseling though for almost a year. I have tried to see a couple different people but I didn’t stick with it because I always felt such negative energy when I was working with these therapists. It’s important for me to be able to have some sort of connection with someone in order to open up and be vulnerable.
I am anxious to start therapy again for a few reasons. Starting completely new with someone means I need to explain my life. I know it’s necessary in order for the therapist to understand me and help but I always leave initial sessions feeling like crap. This often leads to me not wanting to go back, even though I know it will be beneficial. I need to remember that feeling down in therapy is part of the process.
I am also a bit anxious because the therapist I am going to be working with is a man. I have a lot of trauma history and have a very hard time being around men alone (besides my partner and father) let alone opening up to them about my life. I have been able to email back and forth and talk to my new therapist on the phone so I feel a little better than if I were to just walk in without any prior communication.
Sometimes I feel like therapy is pointless. I have tried and failed so many times and never seem to feel any better. I work in the mental health field so I know that therapy works in conjunction with medication and that it is definitely necessary for me in order to process trauma but I am still skeptical.
Back to work this week after having a week off to visit my partner’s family. As much as I get burnt out at work, I do better when I have a schedule/routine to follow.
I had an appointment this week with a new psychologist that I ended up having to reschedule due to a work conflict. I was really looking forward to it and was actually ready. If I don’t do things when I originally want/plan to I often end up canceling or just not showing up. I work myself up and get way too anxious over this kind of thing. So waiting an extra week to see this therapist is stressing me out.
I think part of my anxiety around the whole therapy situation stems from the fact that I’ve had to switch therapists three times and psychiatrists four times in the last couple years. I have such a hard time opening up to and trusting people so having to start all over again gets beyond frustrating. Another huge deal for me is that this new therapist is a man. That may sound silly but I have some significant trauma and tend to only see female providers. This guy specializes in personality disorders and trauma so I think it will be worth it.
I am contemplating coming up with some sort of list of what my issues are and questions I have before I go so I don’t just answer ‘I’m fine’ to everything. I am really looking to see what he thinks I should be taking for medication and what is actually wrong with me. I will make sure to update everyone Thursday on how it went!
“There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. You want one and I want one, but there isn’t one. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.”
-Marya Hornbacher, Wasted
What a long week! My boyfriend and I spent three days back and forth to the bank and a used car dealership in order to get him a new work truck. I swear if something can go wrong for me, it will. We bought the truck about two hours from our house and it drove GREAT all the way home. The next morning all these dash lights were flashing and the truck had no power. We took it to a dealer close by to look at and they said it needed $2500 worth of work after we just dropped 12k the day before. UGHHHHHH of course. Then as we are leaving the dealership of course a rock smashes the brand new windshield (yes, that’s the type of luck I have). Now imagine a girl with borderline and bipolar 2 and her short tempered boyfriend trying to stay calm during all of this. What an ordeal!
So we’ve been dealing with what to do about the truck and replacing a window in my car that randomly broke in the cold last week. Hopefully it all gets sorted out soon. Yesterday I attended my cousins funeral who died by suicide last week. This was one of the hardest funerals I’ve been and my heart still hurts. I was very anxious going to the funeral because I have a very hard time in crowds and I knew it would be packed. One of my close friends died by suicide at the same age my sophomore year of college as well so I knew there would be emotions and memories surfacing. I am glad I made it though as I saw a lot of family I haven’t seen in a while. I am really going to focus this year on reaching out to my cousins more instead of only seeing each other at funerals. We need more positivity.
I took a few days off from work this week as yesterday was my boyfriends 30th birthday and we are spending the weekend in Connecticut with his family. Another HUGE trigger for me. I love him and his family so much but I am comfortable at home with my dog (and that’s about it). Plus I have track marks and scars all over me from back when I was using and self-harming and I get self conscious around people I don’t see regularly. I am going to try to relax and have a nice weekend though.
I’ve decided to start adding a weekly summary type of post like this one to my blog. Just the highlights and struggles of my week I guess. Plus one of my favorite quotes I’ve read that week! The one above is from Wasted by Marya Hornbacher. I reread this book for the fifth time (at least) this week. I Love Marya and have read all her books. Madness is my other favorite, I definitely recommend.
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.
Thank you for visiting my blog! I thought I’d write a quick introduction post with a little bit about myself and my plans for this site. My name is Krystal, I’m 27 years old and I live in Vermont, U.S. I have struggled with mental illness and addiction since I was around twelve years old. I have been diagnosed with many disorders over the past fifteen years including generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar 2 disorder, major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. Although I have definitely met the diagnostic requirements for each of these disorders, I have found that fixating on my diagnosis isn’t all that helpful anymore. So for the time being I am not putting a label on it.
Writing has always been a passion of mine and a way to cope when I am not doing well. I plan to use this blog to document my journey: the good, the bad and everything in between. I want to start honest conversations about mental health and maybe help someone else who is struggling. I read a lot of nonfiction about mental illness/psychology and will most likely write book recommendations/reviews when I find something especially interesting or helpful.
P.S. – The adorable pitbull pictured above is Lincoln. You will see a lot of him as he is my favorite guy ever and constantly snuggled up next to me.