The Dangling Carrot

The last few months of my pregnancy were exceptionally hard on me. I was taking my medication, but felt as though it was no longer helping. After much struggle and trepidation, I spoke with my doctor and had my medication switched. It has been both a blessing, and a curse.

My new meds have helped my behaviour towards others. I have started volunteering at my daughter’s school, and I am enjoying it more than I thought I would! Normally when I start something I quickly become overwhelmed and abandon the endeavour. Recently I have realised that I look forward to going each week, and I have even become friendly with a few of the other parents. Don’t get me wrong, I still sweat, I still say stupid things, and I don’t consider myself friends with any of them, but I am finding it easier to work past my anxieties and do what I’ve signed up to do. My daughter is thrilled that I’m at her school, and my daughter being proud of me is enough motivation to keep plugging.

I have still had down days, and the grey skies get to me – but I am coping. Perhaps thriving? Near thriving. So what happens when I get used to feeling good?

Enter: anxiety.

I know that I self-sabotage, and I am still not sure how to break the cycle. Part of me so badly just wants to be a functional, regular adult who can pay the bills, chauffeur the kids, go to yoga, have friends that I don’t get tired of; but the other part of me knows that I will never be that person. I will inevitably do something destructive to remind myself that I am alive. Defective, but alive. I don’t want to, my go-to method of destruction is binge-spending. I feel bad about who I am, so I spend everything in the hopes that my children will forgive me in my illness. Buying things is also how I show love. If someone buys me a gift, it translates to love, because I know that that person was thinking of me. My dad bought my love for a few years, I’m guessing that’s where I get it from. I am creating a void in my children that they don’t have or need because I’m trying to fill the hole that I have. I am trying to make a conscious effort to curb this behaviour, but with Christmas around the corner, I’m finding it difficult.
The normalcy that I seek is the carrot dangling in front of my face, and every time I get too close I trip over my own feet. I know that currently I do not possess the tools to deal with these behaviours, and I will be going back to my psychiatrist to discuss it – which brings me to my next problem: I often lie to the psychiatrist. Lie, or lie by omission; I know it’s the same thing. Does anyone else have this problem? I know that I shouldn’t, but part of me needs to keep that wall up, I don’t want them to know how broken I really am, so I leave things out or tell them that I’m feeling better than I am. I leave feeling ashamed and pathetic, but when I’m in the moment I’m so worried about their judgement that I can’t control myself. I know that they probably aren’t judging me, at least not to my face, but I am projecting my own judgements on to them and that’s more than enough to keep my darker feelings to myself.
I am going to try my best to be more open in this round of therapy, but this is also a tool that I am lacking. I am hopeful that keeping a blog is helping me learn to be more open, and I do really feel uncensored on here. Thankfully I have yet to receive any negative feedback causing me to retreat into half-truths.

Mental illness is terrifying to me, and I am constantly afraid of finding new levels of low in which to sink. Being self-aware can be devastating, and keeps the hamster wheel that is my anxiety spinning at break-neck speeds.

There isn’t a moral or happy ending or life-changing revelation at the end of this post – I’m just a shitty mental defective trying to be as normal as possible and not fuck my family up in the process.

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2 thoughts on “The Dangling Carrot

  1. “Mental illness is terrifying to me, and I am constantly afraid of finding new levels of low in which to sink. Being self-aware can be devastating, and keeps the hamster wheel that is my anxiety spinning at break-neck speeds.” Ain’t that the truth? Aren’t we all trying to live a normal life? Keep up the good fight. I’m there with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Meant to comment yesterday, but it was one of those days. Once again I felt like you crawled into my brain and saw what deep, dark thoughts were stored there, specifically with this section,

    “I often lie to the psychiatrist. Lie, or lie by omission; I know it’s the same thing. Does anyone else have this problem? ”

    ALL THE TIME!!!!

    *That* is why I hate going to my psychiatrist, despite the fact that he’s a kind, compassionate person and the best pdoc I have ever seen. (And sadly I’ve seen quite a few.) I’ve actually spoken a little bit with him about this issue of my inability to not be totally upfront with him. I know this is a little different than where you were going with the topic, hope you don’t mind my sharing this. Basically, I am terrified that If I say “the wrong thing” in our session, he could place me on a 5150 psych. hold, and get me locked up. Because of that possibility with any psychiatrist, for that matter, I vigilantly censor all my thoughts. It really, really sucks.

    I do tell him about problems I’m having but I feel like I’m a total liar. I’ve mention in passing the derealization, the depersonalization that I experience, but because he obviously hasn’t experienced those nightmare conditions he doesn’t realize how dire they are for me. Derealization & depersonalization are why I don’t want to meditate, and he keeps pushing the meditation on me as he does it and swears it would help me with my anxiety. Oh well. At least I haven’t been acutely suicidal in a long time, & I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone else, and I know that’s pretty much the only reason he could put me on a 5150 (“danger to herself or others”) but I still suffer with the irrational fear that it could happen anyway.

    Re: gifts – I *totally* understood about that as gifts have been a primary way for my mom to show me her love. I do the same thing with my kids whenever I can….

    Anyway, I’m so glad your new meds have helped with your behavior with others & that you’re thriving!! (Or “near thriving!) That’s encouraging to read. I really hope your upcoming sessions with your psychiatrist go well!!! I hope you might write about it but of course there is no pressure from me for you to do that!

    Thanks again for another outstanding post,, and I look forward to reading your next post tonight!!!

    take care, Dyane

    Like

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