Today

Two weeks ago my doctor changed my depression medicine. Today I broke down and begged God to kill me.

Logically I know that it is just the reaction from the meds that is making me feel like this, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I feel so much emotional pain that I just want to die. I had a panic attack and hyperventilated. I sobbed for at least and hour and haven’t been able to stop crying since. I want to die, and I also want to hurt myself. I just want this pain to end. I haven’t felt like this in a long time and I dont know how to make it stop.

Why does medicine that is supposed to help depression have to take you to such a dark, horrible place first? And how am I going to get through this?

Decisions

I hate thinking the same thoughts but not being able to move past them or come to a resolution.

Regarding my mother, I keep thinking 3 things: I’m not strong enough to have her in my life, I’m never going to move past this without facing her, and if she dies I will have regrets forever. Those three thoughts have been swirling in my subconscious like a hurricane crossing the gulf. Twisting, seething, and brewing. Not close to land yet, but the possibility still exists.

This may be the most important decision of my adult life, letting her back in or closing her out forever.

Catching up

My mother has been reaching out. She sent me that letter awhile ago, and I emailed her back and pretty much laid it all down – my feelings and frustrations. My anger, and bad feelings about myself because of her, etc.
Since then she has emailed me a few times (like my birthday). I emailed her for her birthday. She replied and said it was the best present she could receive (me telling her happy birthday).
At one point I told her if she really wants to try to have a relationship, we should do it with a therapist present. I also told her I’m not paying for it. She can. Maybe that’s petty, but I’ve incurred enough trouble to my daily life on account of her. She said she thought it was a great idea, but her finances were tight and it would have to wait a bit.
I guess my hangup is how much damage she did to me as a child, and taking that risk of getting crushed by her again. I’m also terrified of her, so the thought of seeing her in person is crazy. When she emails me and the name pops up on my phone I have a mini panic moment.
If I don’t try this, when she eventually dies, I know I’ll have regrets and what ifs. Do I want to risk that? Death is final, so no taking it back.
I also have had this hole in my heart my whole life, knowing I missed out on a loving parent. I’ve crammed lots of other stuff into that hole, but it doesn’t work. So I could maybe heal that if this goes well.
I also feel like I can’t heal without forgiving her, and I feel like I can’t forgive her without facing her.

Is that all worth the risk of getting completely annihilated by her? Because I remember all of the pain she’s caused. I know she still has the power to completely take me back to how I felt as a child, and I just don’t know if I’m strong enough for that.

I forgot, she also confirmed via email that all of the abuse was her. For some reason I believed that it was fueled by my step dad. Maybe it’s easier to think that. Here’s what she had to say when I asked, “Jennifer,
I remember trying to talk to you and I could not understand why you would not listen to me. Brett and I talked about you and we both felt you needed some discipline. At first we had you stand in the corner and it seemed to work. As you got older this did not work. I felt I tried everything. At one point Brett told me I was going over board with the punishments, and I would regret it someday but I continued to do it anyways, after that he stopped being involved. So no, he was not the reason for all the punishments.

As I write this I realize how messed up my thinking was at that time. I was 28 years old when I found out I was depressed, and had extreme mood swings. My mood swings were the cause for the punishments. I felt like I was going out of my mind with anger, and I took it out on you. For this, I could tell you I am sorry for 100 years and I know it would not make things any better for you. I am very sorry for the pain that I have caused you. I do regret it – very much so. I have missed so much of your life.

As I mentioned in my previous letter the molestation tore me apart and still does sometimes. I can not imagine what I have done to you.

I hope I have answered your questions.”

When I read that, I feel empathetic. I know that I’ve hurt people because of my damage. Not children, obviously. But exes, and even Liz has felt the result of that pain and anger from my childhood. So I get it. I understand that she was ill, and hurt from what my grandfather did to her. But I still feel entitled to be angry, and that makes me not want to forgive.

She confirmed that she cannot afford to pay for therapy for us. I kind of went off on her. I told her about how hard it was having to leave foster care at 18 without anything to my name. How for many years I scraped and pinched to try to pay bills and eat. How hard it was to put myself through college. I told her that I wasn’t sure I could keep talking to her.

The Gift of Anxiety: 7 Ways to Get the Message and Find Peace

The Gift of Anxiety: 7 Ways to Get the Message and Find Peace

I read this today and it gave me a new appreciation and insight into my anxiety. I thought I would share for everyone out there who struggles with anxiety.

The Gift of Anxiety: 7 Ways to Get the Message and Find Peace

 

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron

If there’s one thing that has led me the greatest amount of re-invention, it’s anxiety. By anxiety I don’t mean worry or concern. Anxiety is a different animal that grabs a hold of you and halts you in your tracks.

We tend to reject its milder forms and are really terrified by its intense moments, like with panic attacks. It’s difficult to see when we’re fighting with anxiety that it can have any benefit, but it does.

Anxiety comes with some great treasures hidden inside, and they can be yours if you know how to get to them. First, you have to stop fighting and listen to the anxiety for clues.

Getting the Message

The greatest truth about anxiety is that it is a message. Anxiety is not the real issue. It’s the voice of something else lying beneath that’s calling out to you.

Most people who experience anxiety try to go after the symptoms more than its cause and try to fight it off as if it were the only thing to deal with.

That’s not how to go about it if you ever want to know how it happened, why it’s there, and how you can gain long-term freedom from it.

STOP! YOU’RE HURTING!

The anxiety message is simple; it’s just three words: STOP! YOU’RE HURTING!

When an experience like anxiety is pleading for you to stop and notice that you’re hurting, and you know this, your next step is to find that hurt. Its severity is proportionate to the scope of what you have to address—so if you feel like you’re going to die, look for something big!

Its methods of stopping you are varied and some of the common ones are: spinning thoughts, feeling disassociated, heavy breathing, and a racing heart. Whatever works so that you’ll finally pay attention, it will customize for you.

The loudest stop message can appear as a panic attack and causes a sensation that you feel like you’re going to die. Dying is the ultimate definition of stopping within our physical experience, and that’s why we can feel that way.

The good news is that it’s an illusion. Anxiety will not hurt you in that way; but until you catch on, start listening, and heal the source of the messages, it will keep trying to spin you around so that you’re facing it long enough to hear what it’s trying to say.

“Hey! I’m talking to you! Is she still ignoring me? UGH! Ok body, it’s your turn. Make her feel like her heart will explode. HA! You stopped working overtime didn’t you? Gotcha! Now look…we need to talk…What? Now you’re hiding in a movie? Oh no you didn’t! PANIC ATTACK!”

Energy Conservation

Anxiety can feel cyclic as it persists, and it’s easy to feel haunted or trapped by it. You’re always in control though. The body, a part of nature, always seeks a point of balance and rest. When anxiety becomes cyclic and seemingly out of your control, it’s still just a part of you.

It’s being maintained by you, for you, until it gets enough of your attention for healing to take place. Whatever you keep doing or ignoring (maybe the things that led to its nascence) will continue to recreate it until you go about things differently.

This is an important realization because it can help you shift from feeling victimized to feeling empowered. It can only continue as long as you delay tending to what’s beneath the message. Anxiety cannot cause you to feel discomfort forever. It will motivate you to heal, and then leave once you do.

Who/What Sent the Message?

Anxiety messages can come from anything negative you’ve chosen to carry forward. It can be a traumatic or painful event left unresolved (usually through having had an attitude of sucking-it-up, being tough, trying to forget etc.).

It can be someone or something you have yet to forgive, or a long running perception of lack that has hindered your growth for too long.

My anxiety disorder came from high insecurity, an excessive need for validation, a frantic quest for completion through relationships, and an inability to acknowledge who I really was.

I ran around trying to please others and attempting to be who they wanted me to be. On the anniversary of a particularly painful breakup, where I convinced myself I had become less than a full person, I had my first panic attack.

It completely bowled me over and continued to do so for 4 years as it tried to get me stop and heal.

It worked. The experience of an anxiety so severe that I couldn’t leave my apartment was completely successful in making me turn my gaze away from the outside world to my inner world, where I seriously needed to focus. I could finally heal and grow.

Who I became next was a happy, empowered, compassionate person who was more focused on matters of the heart and fulfilling myself than approval from others. Anxiety became my greatest life-shifting gift, and I’m forever grateful.

Receiving the Message

Spending time with anxiety to discover the source of the message and what you have to heal can be achieved in many ways. You have to find what works best for you, but here’s a great series of approaches that seem to help everybody:

1. Welcome it.

Make friends and peace with anxiety immediately. Talk to yourself and the anxiety reassuringly: It’s ok. I’m listening. I want to hear what you have to say. I know you’re just trying to get my attention and that the more directly and peacefully I listen, the sooner you’ll stop repeating yourself.

Fighting with anxiety or resisting it will cause it to persist.

2. Write about it.

I know it’s trite to journal since it’s a suggested solution to most personal troubles, but the slower pace of writing and full engagement of your senses helps you travel down the path of the anxiety message to its source.

We don’t always know where our anxiety is coming from, so we have to take the time to dig and poke. Plus, we’re literal people. Our thoughts are literal. By using a linguistic mechanism the analogy of anxiety message becomes more clear and easier to work with.

3. Laugh.

Bring more laughter in your life. It will help you take life less seriously.

4. Love.

Express love for people, places, and things that you cherish. Be a greater beacon of love.

5. Help others with their anxiety.

The more people you help with anxiety, the greater a vocabulary you’ll develop, and this will help empower your inner dialog for when you’re sitting with anxiety.

6. Meditate.

Anxiety races thoughts and can be very distracting. With a rushing mind, it’s hard to hear the anxiety message and follow it back to its source. Meditation helps tremendously.

If you can learn to notice your thoughts without attaching to them—seeing them as cars passing by as you stand on the edge of a busy highway—you’ll become better at picking out what really matters in this moment.

7. Realize that you are enough.

Be accountable, no matter how much “such and such/so and so did” to you. It doesn’t matter. Now is what we have to work with. Tomorrow is what we have to create.

Realize that you are your own solution. You have what you need to look clearly; to hear and to heal. Anxiety is a message born within you, speaking to you through you, and therefore it’s within you to heal.

Receiving the Gifts

By learning about anxiety, spending time with it and finally holding in your hand, you can enjoy the next step: You can relax your grip, and let it fall away. It will have served its purpose. You will have loved that part of yourself and it won’t need to get your attention with such a difficult message again.

You will be connected. That’s the first gift.

The second gift is that feeling connected and with realizing that you’re enough can lead you to a cycle of inner fullness. It can give you an easy-to-remember awareness that you’re up for this, whatever the next exciting challenge or painful event may be.

The third gift of anxiety is that it gets you to recognize your own power with, instead of power over, yourself and your life.

All you had to do was listen…

 

 

A bit of inspiration

Today I am feeling really positive and motivated to inspire and help all of my followers to feel that they are not alone. I know I am some random person at some random IP address floating out there in cyberspace but I want to be MORE. I want everyone to feel like there is someone out there that understands their depression and anxiety. Understands that it’s okay to not be okay all of the time.  It is okay to fall apart, to not be perfect all of the time. It is okay to stumble sometimes in this great big walk of life. I understand what it feels like to not be able to live your life to the fullest because you are afraid to leave the house. I understand how depression can become so overwhelming that it takes all of your strength just to get out of bed each day. I understand the mental exhaustion that flashbacks, depression and anxiety cause. I understand feeling worthless, unnecessary and a waste of time and space. Here’s the thing though, this is the toll that depression takes on our lives. These are the outright lies that depression tells us. Every single person, young and old alike have a purpose in this world. No matter if you are a millionaire or do not even have two pennies to rub together, you MATTER. You bring something special to this world and serve a vital role. You can never know the role you serve in someone else’s life, or what is right around the corner. You can never predict what moment is seconds away from happening that you may miss if you give up now. I know how it feels when everything seems impossible and you are in the trenches, just fighting to survive. I’ve been there and am often still there. My hope is that these words inspire you to feel wanted, needed and that you are not alone. I may be a complete stranger, but I care about you. You inspire me to be better and to reach out. If you need someone to talk to, I am here. All it takes is an email (riseofthephoenixblog@gmail.com). Just take a chance and reach out.

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Depression Lies

To everyone out there that feels like they don’t matter, they aren’t important and no one cares, I share this with you: “You have value. You have worth. You are loved. Trust the voices of those who love you. Trust the enormous chorus of voices that say only one thing: You matter. Depression lies. We must tell the truth.”

I found this originally on blackspotsite: http://blackspotsite.com/2016/03/28/depression-lies/

I thought I would also share the article she references:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/03/23/i-told-the-truth-in-my-sisters-obituary-so-that-others-might-choose-to-live/

Take the time to read the blog and the article, it changed how I think.