Has it really been three months since I last wrote a blog post? I apologize. I assume that you all have been sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear how I’m doing. Have you checked my blog every day hoping for some indication that I have not been checked into the loonybin?
Honestly, it was touch-and-go for a while there, but you’ll be pleased to know that I am still among the not-yet-institutionalized faction of society. Is that one of the factions in the Divergent books? If not, it should be. They could be called “Wackness” and their symbol could be a straightjacket and their members would be ALL OF US. I think that as we age there’s probably a justification for all of us to be committed for one reason or another. I can think of about 10 reasons right now that my sisters and I could commit my mother. We could commit my father for not yet having my mother committed.
Kidding. My father could be committed for many other reasons. When he eats an English Muffin, he puts a blob of jelly in the middle of the muffin but he doesn’t spread it around. It just sits there like a clot. And he eats condiment sandwiches. Bread, relish and mustard. That’s it. He power walks in jeans. I could go on.
Over the past three months I learned that Ativan gives you amnesia. How do I know this? Well, it turns out that when I was on Ativan I had full access to my computer, iPad and iPhone. At some point during my month of stupor, I sent emails and Facebook messages to several people who would best be described as acquaintances. These messages were unsolicited by the acquaintances. These acquaintances did not ask me how I was doing. They did not know of my breakdown. So I can only imagine their reactions upon reading the overly weepy, brutally honest details of my life. I shared things with these individuals that should have NEVER, EVER been shared. I ran into one of these acquaintances at Target recently, so now I can’t go to Target.
I really blame my caretakers for this mortifying development. How could they let me have internet access knowing that I was high? I imagine that all of the residents of Colorado are deleting their Facebook accounts like I did.
Anyway, I’m good. I’m still seeing the therapist and the psychiatrist. I am no longer hiding in my closet doing sold-out performances of period dramas. Mostly they were sold out because my closet is such a mess that no one can fit in there but me.
I’ve started eating from cans without fear of botulism. I am able to walk through the canned-goods aisle at the grocery store without anxiety and then purchase (still undented) cans without first fondling them to make sure they’re perfect. I still won’t eat home-canned goods because I’m pretty sure that most home-canners are idiots. Do you can? Then I think you’re an idiot, no offense.
I’ve started being brutally honest and tacking a “no offense” onto all of my potentially offensive statements.
I’ve started ordering food at restaurants without first thinking, “What on this menu is least likely to poison me?”
I’ve stopped cutting my underwear out of a fear that they will cut off my circulation. I so wish I was making that one up. I contemplated going without underwear, but I was convinced that spiders would nest in my lady parts and that I’d give birth to a demon of Brown Recluse spiders. (“Demon” is the scientific term for a group of spiders. Or birds.)
I’ve started sticking my face in the shower water again. Did I tell you I haven’t done that for over two years because of my fear of the brain-eating amoeba? And now when The Beast sucks bath water up his nose, I can let it go. I used to not let it go. Now, like Adele Dazeem, I let it go. (I know that story is old, but did you not just pee your cut-up underwear when you saw it?)
So, other than the amnesia and having to hide from certain people, I’m good. I honestly haven’t felt this good in years. I don’t think I realized how bad I was until I got better.
I’m no longer on the Ativan but I’m still on the Zoloft and plan to be for the foreseeable future.
I’ve found energy that I didn’t know I had. I’ve been cooking meals more regularly and The Beast is no longer asking me daily, “What’s Daddy picking up for dinner?”
I’ve started eating again. I lost about 10 pounds when the funk set in. While the skinniness was lovely from the aspect of my clothes fitting without any extra fluffiness, it wasn’t a mentally healthy skinny in that my depression and anxiety made me want to decapitate my children’s Christmas puppy. The puppy is still alive and I’m back to having my upper butt (the fat that sits above my actual ass).
I’ve started getting things done around the house. Not the laundry because that sucks. But I’ve been sweeping my kitchen daily. That may sound ridiculous, but I used to not have the energy to do it. (The split infinitive in that sentence is driving me nuts, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to fix it. It’s not the only one in this post, but it’s the only one that’s bugging me. Someone fix it and get back to me.)
I’ve taken to organizing porches. I cleaned the screened porch off of my bedroom, bought a wood glider and put that sucker together. I used tools and everything. Virginia Slims Man did help at the end, but only because he got home sooner than I expected and I wasn’t quite finished and I think it was physically painful for him to watch me attempt to use his tools. He said, “I’m impressed you got the right wrench.” I didn’t tell him that it said on the box what size wrench you needed and that I tried to use several incorrect wrenches before getting the right one.
I’ve started spending more time outside. We planted a garden and I spend time there every day.
I’ve discovered that the act of picking up dog poop is therapeutic.
Yeah, that one’s kind of weird.
And in all of this I’ve learned that we all need help. Sometimes it’s from friends and family, sometimes professionals, sometimes medication. There’s a stigma attached to mental health issues, and there really shouldn’t be. We are complex individuals with miraculously powerful brains, and sometimes things get out of whack. I joke about being committed, but I’ve realized that even if I had been committed, there is nothing in that to be ashamed of or embarrassed by. Mental illness deserves sympathy, not judgment.
The point of all this is to say thank you all so much for your kind messages and thoughts. I’m doing so much better. I would say that I’m still weird, but now it’s in more of an “Oh, she’s delightfully odd” kind of way rather than a “Dear Lord, what the hell is wrong with her?” kind of way.
And that’s progress.