Mental Health Waves
I want to talk for a moment about mental health and mental un-health.
"Insanity", (and I am going to use this not-so-politically-correct-apparently-pejorative term because it is the one that makes linguistic sense.), looks different from person to person. I have not been "well" recently...at all. My facebook feed might make some people argue about this. My facebook feed, like many others', is capable of deception. I don't mean to be deceptive...but you don't want to see puffy eyed selfies of me trying to force myself to get dressed or hold a conversation with a toddler. Trust me. I also don't know what I am allowed to admit without some well-intentioned friend having CPS come check on us.
My kids are safe, healthy, fed, clean, and we have people checking on us. Feel free to bring us a casserole or cookies some time if you are truly concerned. We can chat, though I may or may not sob.
I have grown accustomed to relative "wellness" over the past almost 5 years, as such, I feel a bit like poor Algernon slipping back from previously gained strengths. I can tell you that if the idea of this notion when you read the book was torturous, you don't want to live it. I don't want to be *here* right now. Knowing how it was just a couple of months ago and thinking that if I kept doing everything "right" I would never be back here again.
But that isn't how this works.
Mental Health does NOT exist on a linear trajectory.
The past few months have come with a lot of new and increased stresses as well as some significant anniversaries of some significantly bad experiences from my history. So, I have hit a large wave. My first TRULY large wave since things really evened out after getting sober and I was NOT prepared for the weepiness, and the moodiness, and the utter exhaustion. I was not prepared for my brain to start telling me I was worthless again and for me to not be able to recognize that as the depression.
Don't ever assume that (or ever EVER tell) someone they must be neglecting their treatment plan or trying hard enough if they are experiencing symptoms at a more noticeable rate. Maybe they are. But this shit changes. It adapts. And some day, after doing everything seemingly correct, you end up crying in a closet; well rested, exercised, self-cared, and positive. Just....depressed.
So you try to funnel for as long as possible. The keep moving method. You try to make your world smaller and more manageable. As small as possible until hopefully your coping strategies start working again or you find new ones that do. And you just keep walking through the bits of it that you can.
So my insanity looks like murals and ignoring things that are not necessary or immediately helpful to minimize stressors. It will likely look very different for someone else. We do what we can with what we have at each moment. I believe this is true for every one of us; sane or insane. Some days my best isn’t going to seem good enough to someone, and I am sorry if that someone is you. But I am trying to float and I have to save enough room for the boys.
I might look happy. I might be happy parts of the day. I might sleep for a few hours while my kiddo watches bilingual shows and naps.
I probably feel like a bad mom.
I probably could use a hug.
But I will make it through this wave.
I feel like I finally am making it over that crest. And hopefully soon I will be able to fully articulate the impact of these anniversaries. The lasting impact of the events and the bitter remberances as they echo back through my life now.
But know that today, we are okay. I am okay.