Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's not you, it's me.

I feel like venting, but not really. I think what I'm feeling is, for lack of a better term, emotional bulemia.

I want to purge a whole bunch of shit and just spill it all and bring you fully up to speed on exactly what I'm dealing with, but A) it would take forfuckingever, B) I don't like when I get like this and I don't really want Penny Dark to take over this blog, and C) I'm not sure everyone would handle the information well.

I feel like you all know me. Really. And I love feeling like I can write about just about anything on here and either you'll keep reading, or you'll decide that I write about stuff that makes you uncomfortable, and if so, hopefully you'll check back from time to time and see if my life has slowed down to something more palatable for you.

One of my more sporadic readers actually told me the reason why he reads only sporadically is because he equates the feeling he got while reading my blog to the feeling one gets when one discovers one is sitting in gum. I'm still not exactly sure what the fuck that meant, but he thought he was eloquent, so whatever.

Look, here's the thing, kids -
I'm not here to blow sunshine up anybody's ass.

Right now it's 3:45 in the a.m. and, I say this with all the candor that keeps you coming back, I'm pretty fucked up mentally. I told R yesterday that I thought something inpatient might be necessary for me. I meant it more so I could focus and not be distracted by kids bickering or stressed about getting there on time, but R read it as She's Become a Danger to Herself and Others. There's some past history figuring in to his reaction, in fairness to him, but that's shit I'm not going to get into on here, like, ever - unless it becomes necessary.

He asked if I was having dark thoughts. And the truthful answer? Yes, I was. The even more truthful answer is that I have them all the time. Didn't know that, didja? I'm a Crying-On-The-Inside kind of clown because I'd rather be a clown than a Drama Queen. The clown has more friends. Who wants to hang with Drama Queen? Unless she, like, has cute clothes or something.

As for the dark thoughts, I wouldn't put myself on suicide watch or anything like that. I didn't want to die, exactly, but I desperately wanted a break from life. I wanted to clock out for a few hours, sleep it off, and clock back in eventually, refreshed and relaxed.

I wanted to get off of the merry-go-round of my life for a few minutes. Does that make sense? Kinda like telling the gym teacher you've got really bad leg cramps because you don't really see the point of running laps - I wanted to bench myself. And if I had to show Coach a bloody bone sticking out of my leg so she'd see I was totally serious, then here's my fuckin fibula, sister. I'm sittin' this one out. Fuck you. Have a nice day.

That's kinda the mentality I was dealing with. It's juvenile, sure, but there ya go. And you know what kept me from taking several Xannies and just passing out? The mental image I created of my three children wandering around a church (they're at yet another VBS this week - two, in fact) wondering why their Mommy hasn't come to pick them up. And then fast forward to the mental image of each of them relaying that same story to their own individual therapists. My kids, without their even knowing it, kept me from doing something incredibly stupid.

So R took a vacation day, without really clearing it with me or asking me if I wanted or needed him to (which bugged me - I would have told him no because it wasn't going to do me any long-term good if he rescued me every time I was having a dark day). And he and I took the kids on a Metrolink Adventure Day. It was hard for me to get into it at first, but it the kids were so great. And R was patient and cheerful. I got a blister on my toe from walking down to Laclede's Landing to see how high the river was.

But apart from that, it was a great day. Really. Got the kids home in time for their evening VBS with Anti-Stella's kids, which gave me and R some alone time. Did some talking, which was difficult, but good. Productive and healthy.

But still, I'm worried about tomorrow (or, I guess, the today that will begin in a couple of hours). He can't take off every day just to hang out with me when I'm sad. My friends have jobby-jobs. So I'll be alone with my demons, once again.

It won't surprise you to hear that I haven't taken my meds for a couple of months. Not on purpose, but periodically I get out of the habit for one reason or another, and I feel like I'm handling life pretty well, and then BOOM. I am back to the Should I Go Back on the Meds argument I have with myself every once in a while. It's probably why the Xannie hit me so hard at Chez Inlaw the other day.

When I'm looking at Raw Me, Sad Me, Ugly Me (aka Penny Dark), I can't help thinking THIS is who the meds are suppressing. Is THIS the real me? Do the meds make me somebody I wouldn't and couldn't be otherwise? Even if it makes me nicer to be around, is that the right way to go through life, as someone other than who I am naturally? You guys have seen me unmedicated. You've seen me lower than this.

I guess I don't like when I feel that self-reflection has been forced on me. I literally stood in front of the mirror yesterday thinking, My God, is my face always this puffy? How does nobody tell me when I look this puffy?? No, that's not the kind of reflection I'm talking about, really, that was just a coincidence.

Lemme talk about full-spectrum friends. I don't want it to sound like I hold back certain elements of my life from certain people, but I do kinda filter some stuff out of some of my conversations. We all do it. The Baptist Church Moms would shit themselves blind if they heard me say the words Shut Up (Remember that? That was fuckin hilarious). My parents, who only see a sliver of the PK spectrum, would shit themselves blind if they ever read this blog.

This blog, as it is, is pretty much full-spectrum. I do Nerf it down for the masses to a certain extent, but apart from politics, there's not a lot I don't write about, really. The people that read my blog know me.

I think.

My problem is, when I get away from people, I start to question who I am. When you see yourself in the way other people react to you, and no one's around, are you really there? It's truly scary to me. Truly.

Two of my full-spectrum friends told me the same thing a couple of days ago - basically, that I need to get some shit together before we can hang out again. Well, one was total full-spectrum, the closest full-spectrum friend I have had in years, apart from R. That was a heartbreaker.

The other was a newer friend, but I was blissfully caught up in the awesome possibilities and sensed enormous potential for full-spectrum access. I was really looking forward to that overwhelmingly liberating sensation that comes from such a relationship. I was giddy about that one.

The kicker, though - I was telling Heartbreaker Full-Spectrum about the loss of Giddy Full-Spectrum when Heartbreaker decided Giddy was right. THAT sucked. Dumped twice within about 30 minutes.

I believe that the people who said this to me care about me and genuinely have my best interest at heart. And I don't disagree with their reasons. So there's that. But it doesn't make it suck any less. I don't know when I'm going to get my shit together. And how am I going to know when I've got it together? Who else has enough of the full-spectrum backstory to help me see if I'm at least on the right track?

And yeah, I wish I could be the sort of person who can look back and be happy for the time I had with them, but I'm just not a "We'll always have Paris" person. No way. Is that supposed to make me feel better? So what if we'll always have Paris? What the fuck good does that do me now?

I always hated the end of Casablanca.


Ferris Family said...

You have my number, you don't scare me! Call anytime, day or night, I mean it.
I would love to be your inner scrotum err sanctum.

SiressYorkie said...

As someone who knows exactly what you mean by Dark Thoughts (maybe not the same ones, but yes, I know them quite well) I can say they're upsetting, enraging, cruel, and make you feel like you're splitting in half, like you mentioned. You have the functioning PK, and the one that lurks just under your forehead and has the real power.

I found that CBT helped me tremendously (cognitive behavioural therapy). You learn mechanisms for dealing with those thoughts and not letting them rule you, even when they're incredibly painful.

The worst part about anxiety is feeling like you're going to lose control and do all the horrid things your mind is churning out. CBT can help with that too, but it takes work. Right now your thoughts are mastering you when it should be the other way round.

BTW, the image in the mirror isn't accurate because it's only one dimensional. Remember that when you're mentally tearing yourself down over what you see.

You can PM me anytime you like, Penny, and vent away full-spectrum if you like. I can handle a lot, and we might have some shared'd be surprised. I could use the distraction from the packing and the panicking about packing.

Remember: you are stronger than the sum of your flaws.

Amy in StL said...

Hey, I feel you. I've had times when the only thing keeping me from checking out for a bit is having to figure out what to do with the dog. Because I can't just randomly bring him to a friend/relative's house without an explanation and I can't just let him wander around the house while I'm out of it. He deserves better. That's when I know it's time to re-medicate. I hate being on meds, but the only other thing that keeps me up is daily heavy exercise. And honestly? I do NOT have the energy for that when I'm feeling dark.

knitnthings said...

I feel your pain and I admire you for putting it out there.

I regulary want to take a vaca from my life. Thankfully (or not) I don't have kids so I manage to do so on a fairly regular basis. I turn off the phone, the pc, the tv and just decompress. Because I do it often I mangage to cope fairly well even it it's just an hour or two of me time. After all - whose more important than you? If your not happy - no one else can be either - don't be afraid lock the kids in a closet & take a minute ;)

Trillian42 said...

Honey, I don't know what to say. I know exactly what you mean about a Dark Penny, because there's a Dark Trillian, too. Most of the time, she's buried pretty deep, but once in a while it gets pretty f'ing ugly.

If you need me, you know how to find me.


Meghann said...

I think inside everyone there is a dark someone. I read often here, but I don't comment often, because that's not me. But know, that there is someone else out there that understands...darkness is hard.

Beverly said...

I know what you mean about the meds. I have fooled myself in the past into thinking that I didn't have to have them to be content. Then I realize how much the crazy gets in the way of even everyday activities. For me, taking meds is almost like taking a deep breath. I can breathe and live and experience things without the crazy yelling in my ear and weighing me down.

I hope that you can find a solution for yourself, be that medication, therapy, a long vacation away from your life, whatever. I'll be thinking of you.

Poops said...

I bet you'd be surprised at how many of us have Dark Sides. I have Dark Poops and she can be very destructive. And I don't know it's the Dark Side until later when I'm back in the light and see what she did.

Not a split personality exactly, just an inability to see how my "bad mood" affects others. I once was in a bad mood for 3.5 years almost non-stop. A little therapy and some meds would have gone a long way. Sometimes I found myself enjoying my Dark Side and I let it have its way with me.

Which is bad enough when you don't have kids. Horrible when you do.

So you try to manually force the Dark Side down and it leads to stress, or anxiety, or self-medicating in a Very Bad Way.

Like Yorkie, I have ways I cope that I'd share with you if you like. You know how to find me, too.

I think it's a sign of genius. Seriously. The most brilliant people I know are the most fucked-up, and don't we know it.

Penny Karma said...

I think a little Milk of Magnesia might help you with Dark Poops.

shiguy4076 said...

I have been exactly where you are right now. You need to stay on your meds. Because going on and off them really messes with the chemicals in your brain and can actually make your episodes (that's what I call mine) worse. I've also been through CBT. It makes your disease make sense or at least it did for me. I totally appalaude you for being so courageous and sharign this with us. A lot of us go though this stuff and don't share adn that can make it worse too. Keep R always updated. I've begged my husband to stay home with me because I was afraid of being alone. I will have you in my thoughts.

Skye said...

Been there, and hear you. Come to think of it, I'm kinda there right now. So at least you have company in the suckitude.

Cora Zane said...

I hated the end of Casablanca too. :(

Yeah, I know, I don't post here very often. (What can I say, I'm lazy, dammit.) But I do drop by to read no matter what.

Here's something - and I understand if you don't post this - I know maybe 2 people who actually "have their shit together" as it were, and they are just as neurotic and miserable as everyone else I know, just in a different way.

As for the dark thoughts, what are you doing/do you do when you are the happiest? Sometimes I have to do that and try to get back to where I was. It's so easy to get side tracked with all the bs that falls into our laps on a day to day basis. But there are times I just gotta remind myself to let some stuff go.

Best wishes, PK.

Nell said...

There's a dark Chicken too. The one who wonders if anyone would come to the funeral. Feels free to vent to us whenever. I know sharing isn't easy but a lot of times I think it's more therapeutic than anything else. That being said, stay on the meds. They really do help.

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

As so many of us have said, I've been where you are. The difference is, I took it an extra step. I tried to eat the gun. I tried to OD on pills and booze. Just my luck that I have a high tolerance for substances and the damn gun was so old, it wouldn't fire.

I've been there a lot - more so in the past few years than at any other time in my life. Sometimes, you wonder why you even bother to try and muster the strength it takes to wake up and get out of bed. I wonder that a lot. But I do, and I continue to, and I work on it.

If I can be of any help, please drop me an email. I have very large shoulders, have been on this fucking earth a lot longer than I ever expected, and don't run away from people who have darkness with them.

I like the dark. The fucking sun hurts my eyes.

ZantiMissKnit said...

The Dark Zanti drinks Jim Beam, flirts with other girls' boyfriends, picks fights, then goes home alone to cry herself asleep and contemplate suicide. Now that I'm married, Dark Zanti eats a lot, stays in bed, and worries her husband sick. I try to keep Dark Zanti at bay.

(((hugs))) to you.

Cindy in Happy Valley said...

My dark and regular sides (I don't think I have a light side, unless you call it "cynical side" and I'm rather attached to that side) are so close they are interchangeable, so I've never experienced what you are. That being said I've lived with people who do and it's both hellish and heartbreaking at the same time.

Please take a trip to a psychiatrist (really, not a psychologist right off the bat), get evaluated, and get back into therapy. There are lots of strategies/treatments (some quite new) that are preferable to what you are experiencing. And I know taking meds sucks, but hell who among us doesn't take daily meds for SOMETHING!

You are not alone. And you're more "normal" than you know.

turtlegirl76 said...

I can't say that I understand. I can't say that I've been there. But I can say that I have a family member that does that with her medication and I can say without a doubt that being ON the medication brings you to a chemical balance that better represents who you truly are than no meds and allowing your body to be so upside down on the inside that you have those dark moments. And so what if I can't say I've been there or understand. I can say that I love you either way and I'm glad that you're so "full spectrum" with us here.

Penny Karma said...

Have we guessed whose voice is glaringly absent?

Ed said...

There was a time when I thought that my life felt like it was a movie and not one that I liked.

You have people that love you and would rather you stayed you, foibles and all.

So, take your meds (like I have to) and keep writing for yours and our own good.

And if all fails, order a crate of power panties and wear them all the time.

Remember that we all love you.


Dame Wendy said...

This lady walks into a shop that sells expensive Persian Rugs. she spots the perfect rug and walks over to inspect it. As she bends to feel the texture of the rug she farts loudly. Dying of embarrassment, she looks around nervously to see if anyone has noticed her 'little accident'.

Standing behind her is a salesman and he says, "Hi! How can I help you today?"

Stammering, she asks, "How much does this rug cost?"

"Lady if you farted just touching it, you're gonna crap your pants when you hear what the price is."

(Are you laughing? They say some mumbo jumbo about laughter being the best medicine. *hugs*)

Anonymous said...

The worst part about the dark side is how seductive it can be. "stay here - it's easier than dealing with life...who wants to take meds anyway - then I'm not's so unfair, why can't you just be happy...etc." The only problem is the dark side makes it impossible to deal with anything in real life. I was in tears this week because my flight home was delayed an hour and I didn't get on the standby flight.

Time to get back on the meds - the dark side is a lousy lover. I'm calling the psychiatrist on Monday.

I hear ya and feel your pain. The panties still make you brilliant.