March 24, 2015

Some Honesty About My Issues


This is hard to write, and a part of me doesn’t want to. I spend a lot of effort on the illusion that everything is okay, and that I am happy, and when I pull that mask off, I tend to fall apart in spectacular ways. It’s scary, to be honest. But all this building up a facade is not solving the problem. Another year has passed, and I still struggle with all this garbage, again and again. I should face it head on, and I should be honest. And if you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly my friend, and I owe it to you to be honest.

When I say that, I don’t mean I’ve been lying, exactly. You’re my friends. I’m not lying to you. It’s not a lie, the things I talk about and do and care about and get excited about. I am all those things, no doubt. But I am often throwing them up in front of you as a distraction, making them more public than I perhaps should, and praying that you don’t see the depressed ball behind the curtain. If I do lie, it’s only by omission, and it’s only about this stuff, really. I’m sorry if that’s painful to hear.

So last night, for hours, I basically argued with my boyfriend. I was going to kill myself, and he needed to promise me he’d take care of Mr. Q. He wouldn’t promise that, of course. Not while I was like that. But we talked and fought and finally I tired myself out and went to sleep. I woke up today not much better, though I’m getting stuff done, I suppose. I think back on last night and it is just… I am horrible for doing those things. For thinking them, and saying them out loud, and making them real. I shouldn’t have. But there it is.

I wish I could say that was uncommon, but honestly, it’s really not. Last night was especially bad, yes. Normally I have suicidal thoughts, but I am not motivated to go through with them. Last night I had nothing like that holding me back. But I have these sorts of nights, moments, periods, or what have you, fairly regularly. I often call them panic attacks, or just attacks, but I don’t know what they are, perse. Maybe there’s a specific name for them. I don’t know. They’re often triggered by my anxiety (I’m always anxious about everything) getting out of control, often because a plan or a schedule I have set up doesn’t work out or is otherwise changed. I know it’s going to happen before it does, usually. I can feel myself start to fall apart. There’s a pressure in the back of my head a lot of the time, or I just get really tense. If I can, I go to bed when this happens, to quarantine myself, and because when I sleep it’s normally gone after. That’s not always an option. Sometimes I try to read, to refocus. This doesn’t always work, but sometimes it helps me hold off until I can go to sleep.

When it happens, I lose a lot of control. I shiver and shake. I often can’t talk. I repeat words and phrases over and over again when I try. Some common ones are “I’m sorry,” or “I’m awful,” or “No,” or “I can’t.” I can sing though, and I often sing songs about how happy everyone will be when I’m dead and how much I deserve it. If I can talk, I am normally constantly mumbling about my many imagined slights against the world and my own uselessness. I twitch my hands constantly, contort them hard, kind of painfully, because it makes me feel like I have some control. If I’m hiding a hand behind my back, I am probably doing this. I cry over nothing, so hard that I can’t breathe, and panic even more. I often try to bash my head against the wall out of some strange belief that this will make me calm down. I succeed more than I should, especially when I think I won’t get caught. It doesn’t normally calm me down for more than a few seconds. I’m kind of glad that’s all I do, because I’m sure if I didn’t have a fear of knives I’d probably do worse.

My life is a lot better than it used to be. This used to happen almost nightly, and I’d lock myself in my room and just shiver and cry. Nowadays, I’d put it at maybe once every two weeks? But sometimes I have little chain combos of several nights in a row, when life is hard, and I’ll often have close calls, where I feel it happening, but manage to calm down in time.

There’s not a lot my boyfriend can do when this is going on. He tries. He puts up with a lot, and I owe him a lot. I do a lot better because he is there, and I have something to focus on, and he has basically figured out when I am going to have problems and will just tell me I should go to bed before things happen. He’s often notices me mumbling, or my breathing messing up, before I do. I can’t believe he puts up with this, but he does. It means more to me than I know.

When I’m around people, I hide this. Even if I am having a bad day, I bury it, most of the time. I can’t let myself be seen out of it. I want to be someone who is not a burden. This stuff will make my friends sad. It will make them upset. I have to keep it together around them, so they don’t know. I have no problem acting. I will be panicking, be around someone and seem perfectly fine for hours, but the moment I’m alone again, I will go right back to panic. I don’t know what that says about me. Maybe that’s a really bad sign that I can do that, and hide everything so easily.

But I need to be honest. I need to be honest about my problems.

I’m not really okay. Not as often as I should be. It’s not all the time, and I stopped it from controlling all of my life a long time ago, and that’s why I’m here today. But I’m not okay a lot of the time. I wanted you to know. You’re my friends. I love you.

I’m not going to give up, and I have wonderful people here in person to support me. You don’t need to worry about me, I promise. But I just wanted to remove one more mask that I used to need to survive, but does me no good now. One more coping mechanism that has persisted, but probably has no place in the life I’m trying to build. I hope that’s okay.

Again, I love you. Thanks for listening and caring about me. It means more to me than I can say.

You know, we all have issues; I suffer from PTSD and deal with dreams, anxiety and stress that come on for no reason. It’s taken me 16 years, three tours and a wonderful wife to decide that I can’t do it by myself. I’ve been going to the VA out here in OK to help combat some of the pressure and feelings I’ve been going through. Cara has been my rock and understands because her father served as you know. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but people do care. Just know, Cara and I support you and we are your friends and family. I’m a douche at times, but I mean no harm; typically it’s me working through some things and I’m wearing a mask. As of right now the VA has me on some medication to combat the things I’m going through. I’m not going to lie, it sucks; but every day I remind myself that it’s Cara and I and I have to push through.

Comment by Moose — March 24, 2015 @ 7:46 pm

It’s very brave of you to tell us about this. I know there’s not much I can do, maybe that anyone can do, except to tell you we love you too, and want to see you happy and healthy, and you have all our support and well wishes. Big blanket hugs!

Comment by Violet — March 24, 2015 @ 10:49 pm

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