June 12, 2018 by Courtney
This past week has been full of reflection.
With the high profile suicides that are happening, my friend asked me if I was okay. She was concerned since I lost my brother to suicide and because of my own struggle with mental illness (it has been really hard since my brother died especially, though I have struggled with anxiety most of my life and depression since Karis was born).
Then I have experienced suicidal ideations, inpatient, outpatient, bipolar 2 diagnosis along with generalized anxiety disorder, outpatient again, rehab, and just lots of torment from severe anxiety/panic attacks/depression. I am finally doing well and I attribute it to the right meds and using tools that I’ve learned through counseling over the years (I started about 5 years ago) and inpatient/outpatient/rehab. Also, I feel that this was God’s way to get me to the place that I am now. He uses lots of things and people!
I have fun across several memes or graphics that spoke to me and have had lots of conversations around the topic.
This one is huge for me because I have been un-friended and rejected many times for my mental illness. One in particular still hurts quite a bit. She said I was too negative and disappeared from my life. When I finally got in touch with her I decided that I didn’t want her in my life anymore.
I have a hard time with friendships because of my vulnerability and openness. I know people feel uncomfortable with me sometimes because they aren’t used to people being so open and honest about life. I share what’s on my mind and hard, without holding back. This is who I am and have always been. Before Facebook and Blogspot (and now WordPress), I shared on MySpace and Xanga. I don’t know how to keep it in! And I have found that God uses it often. Some people don’t like it, and I am learning to live with it.
I often say these things to myself. And I’ve heard it from others.
Something else that is hard is that one of the girls that I went to rehab with died a few days ago. I don’t know 100% how she died, but I’m worried it was an overdose. Since I don’t know for sure, I shouldn’t make any assumptions. It was harder on me than I would think it would be because I don’t know her very well. I just would never have seen it happening to her. Her husband is distraught and she has a little boy. It’s so so sad.
Yesterday I wrote this on my Facebook:
I had a kind of rough day today. My mental health is starting to suffer a bit.
Ethan doesn’t do well without routine and/or without the constant ability to play with friends and those things are both lacking. Pretty much all of his friends are out of town or at camp. I woke up super late today which threw off his routine. He was a mess. Well he has been but today was worse. He’s all over the place, talking non stop, causing fights, and just really anxious.
A few other things that have been hard are that I’m working part time for Camp AND trying to run my business. I’m also trying to keep a clean house with kids home (they do at least help and I truly can’t let this go for my mental health and Ethan’s). Trying to keep up with laundry and sucking at it these days. I haven’t had routine because I struggle to get up in the morning. I’ve also been trying to eat more nutritious food and changing some habits, but it hasn’t gone well.
I realized that my expectations probably need to be adjusted. The habit changes need to happen more slowly, and one at a time (like Balance 365 teaches). Robert also reminds me to focus on what’s important to me, and for now getting conditioned again to be able to hike is important since we’re camping in the mountains ⛰ in July. But I’m starting so slowly. Also I wanted to eat mostly whole foods, but I’m somewhat in survival mode with the kids so I’ll do the best that I can. They will be okay. Movies and tablets are okay.
I have some good steps to work toward in my business thanks to my sponsor. I don’t feel like I’m floundering for now. I’m only working retail one more day this week. Thursday will be a chill day and Friday we’re going to town. This weekend we will have some kids hanging out with us, which will help with Ethan.
I hate that my brain needs constant work. I mean I guess we all do, but I’m fighting hard to not struggle deeply with depression and anxiety again. So I am doing anything possible to keep from going there. Also I haven’t been to my 12 Step meeting in quite a while and I’m going Thursday. It will be so good.
This about sums up my summer so far.
Things I’m doing well: We read every day. We do chores every day, even if they aren’t in a perfect order. I started walking to places around camp instead of driving (my Balance 365 goal is a minimum of 5 minutes a day right now… I will add to the minimum once I hit 90% success).
Today I woke up at 4:50, and despite the fact that I didn’t get to sleep till about midnight, I got my butt out of bed. So far I have made coffee, planned my day in my Happy Planner, chatted with ladies about how I can get a sale today, made a grocery list, and worked on this blog post. Next I plan to work on my Bible study and prayer journal. When the kids wake up, I plan to make breakfast and do our daily chores (mine include dishes and laundry) and our daily reading (just 20 minutes right now, but I’m thinking about adding an additional 5 minutes). Ethan and I both need that routine for our mental health.
I plan to shower, dry my hair, and get a lot done for my business this morning including lots of messaging and a live promoting our Addiction palettes.
Anyway… Despite difficulty, I know I can do this. God has given me what I need and I continue to work hard to overcome. It takes so much work some days. Making mental health a priority sometimes takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it.