Fifteen: You are More.

GUYS…

 

I AM SO FREAKING SORRY THAT I’VE BEEN M-I-A.

oh, my god. I feel SO terrible for basically deserting everyone that might happen to occasionally catch my ridiculous blogging habits that only ever happen when I’m on one end of the scale or the other… (aka. BIPOLAR IS FUN, KIDS.)

 

SO. Quick update.

 

Today, 2/13/18 is my TWENTY-THIRD BIRTHDAY!!!!

 

Now, I totally understand how most people would be all “eh, it’s your 23rd whoopdee freakin doo” BUT here’s the thing…

 

I NEVER- NOT A SINGLE DAY IN MY LIFE UNTIL RIGHT NOW- THOUGHT I WOULD MAKE IT THIS FAR. 

 

Forreal. I never even WANTED to until recently. I never thought anything good could come out of my measly little self.

You know that song? “What’s My Age Again?” by Blink 182?

I SWEAR. Like. I NEVER thought I could make it to the day that I would blast the song as loud as I possibly could on my 23rd birthday because I had DREAMED for so long that I would be gone before I could even graduate high school.

 

 

But here I am, at 23 years-old with a job in the career field of my dream, a boyfriend I’ve loved since I was 12, and a BOOK RELEASE ON MY BIRTHDAY.

 

That’s right. I’m 23 years old and I published my FIRST BOOK ON MY 23RD BIRTHDAY.

 

Can you believe it?! I CAN’T AND I’M THE ONE THAT WROTE IT.

 

GOD. I WROTE A BOOK. ME. YOU GUYS. ME.

 

  • The girl that tried to kill herself at 7 years old is TWENTY THREE and is IN THE CAREER FIELD OF HER DREAMS.

 

  • The girl that tried to kill herself at 12 years old is TWENTY THREE and not only loves a boy BUT LOVES HERSELF.

 

  • The girl that tried to kill herself at 17 years old is TWENTY THREE and is OFFICIALLY A PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

 

  • The girl that tried to kill herself at 22 years old is TWENTY THREE and is ACCEPTING HER DEPRESSION AND TURNING IT INTO HER BEST ASSET.

 

 

The book is a collection of thoughts and experiences in poetry form that have helped me cope with some of the things I’ve felt in this life of depression and other mental illnesses- it’s main focus being depression.

Even if any of you reading this decides not to buy my book, I hope that this blog post will inspire you to rethink the gun in your hands, the handle of jack on your nightstand, the bottle of pills in your medicine cabinet, the rope in the grocery bag… Whatever your weapon of choice– I beg of you and I pray to God that you are NOT successful in your death mission because YOU ARE MORE !!!

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Fourteen: What is a Mountain without its Valley?

So, I realised this morning that I haven’t posted in a little bit over a week and I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly I want to post…
 
Have you ever heard that thing that people say: “The bigger the issue, the smaller you write.”?
 
I know that I made this blog as a way of self-expression and self-exploration, but the more I dig, the more I want to keep buried. I’m trying to work my way out of this- I really am. But for some reason, every time I think I can move past this one particular thing… 
 
I can’t.
 
I’m just not sure I’m ready for the backlash I know I’m going to recieve for it. 
 
I know that I need to get it off of my chest. I know that the person this most directly involves (aside from me, obviously) doesn’t even try to keep up with what’s going on in my world… So they would probably never even see this, but for some reason, I just can’t let all this out.
 
And it really freaking sucks because need to. want to. Or atleast, I want to want to. I know that the only way I can move further into my healing is by getting through this particular mountain. I just can’t.
 
I feel like… Whenever I finally build up the nerve to take that first step out of my safe little valley, I look up at the mountain in front of me and all it does is grow.
How am I supposed to conquer something that just never ends? 
 
I just… It’s as if this particular mountain is my own personal Everest.

I’ve been a valley for so long- constantly being flooded and looked over and travelled through and trampled on… I’m not sure I can bare the responsibility of becoming something else. Someone else.
 
I’m so afraid of hurting other people that I never try to stop what all of this is doing to myself… I talk about it to some of the people that see all of the pain I’m in. But they knew about it all before I ever realised it, myself. 
 
I’m constantly being told that I just need to confront the mountain I’m facing… They think the mountain will become a valley too- as if that’s supposed to be a good thing.
What is a Mountain without its Valley?

Valleys are the only reason mountains thrive…
Mountains are the only reason valleys exist…

What is a mountain without a valley to compare?
Explorers climb for the thrill,
Settlers live for the comfort.
What is an explorer without a home to remember?

Once a valley has flooded all that is left
is the land of high and nowhere else to go.

What is a Valley without its Mountain?
(I… I know that, whomever is reading this, doesn’t even know what I’m talking about. But, this isn’t for anyone else, really. Like every other chapter I’ve written, I will reiterate-  this is for ME and if anyone is still reading this: thank you for tagging along, I’m sorry this journey isn’t going all that smoothly or quickly.)

Thirteen: Exhausted

I’m actually, genuinely, really struggling right now.

I uhmm… I posted fairly recently that 2018 was going to be the year that I get over my depression but now that it’s here…

I’ve realised that it’s not something that I can get over. My depression is something that I have to get through. I mean, all of my issues… they’re always there and I’ve always known that there’s not a day to come that they won’t be… but, I have always hoped otherwise. Ya know?

 

Sometimes I’m able to convince my body to work against my mind and I’ll be happy and cheerful because I’m moving around and working constantly- sleeping only when I have to because I’m alive and living and life is great. But then there’s a break and my body has a chance to rest, and that’s when my mind realises that I was only fooling myself.

All of the baskets that I had filled with all of the eggs I had managed to juggle during my hypomanic state… well, they all get dropped, and eventually, the eggs? They crack.

And right now, in this moment… I’m not sad, no, my depression isn’t sadness. My depression is tired. No, not tired: exhausted. Worse? It’s the kind of exhaustion that sleep can’t fix.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read Perks of Being a Wallflower but there’s a part of the novel that Charlie says he wants to sleep for a thousand years and lately its as if that’s all I can manage to do.

And that’s how I know I’m getting bad again.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning.”

Twelve: Feeling Feelings

So hey people that might happen to catch my blog … this one is probably gonna be fairly long and/or a two-parter. Or at least, that’s what my hands are telling me right now as the words just keep flowing out before I can even think about what I’m gonna say next.

Normally I title my chapter before I even think about typing anything else but tonight nothing really came to mind other than “just write, AnnaLily. Just write.” I’m actually currently on the phone with a long-time friend that I’m trying to figure things out with and I feel kind of bad because I’m honestly barely paying attention to everything else going on in this world outside of my keyboard and the words on the screen. Oops.

That was a major run-on sentence, BUT OH WELL. That’s just kind of how my brain is working right now because I’m still just trying to process everything that’s going on in the rest of my world. It’s almost as if my body and my brain are on different wavelengths. I want to just relax and take things slow and let the world come and go but my head just won’t stop running through everything else in the world and my heart is pounding faster than I’d like.

Even though I’m very open and “out” with my mental illnesses, the people I associate with most are still constantly taken aback when I’m not the cheerful & happy person in a situation. “What do you mean you’re not in a good mood? But you’re always so happy.” I always respond with: “I just mean I don’t feel good.” Because being physically sick is more acceptable and understandable than being emotionally ill.
Even though my friends all know that I deal with bipolar … and anxiety … and borderline personality… oh and depression (i know, its a lot… and yes, I really do have all of these things) it’s still just easier for me to excuse all of it as a “stomach problem” or a “migraine.”

Because even though I trust my friends to not judge me for my issues, it’s a natural reaction for humans to respond with pity and affection when someone else is sad. Except, with me, it’s not just being sad.

How am I supposed to explain that just because I was in a great mood five minutes ago it doesn’t mean that I’m any less sad than I was when I couldn’t bring myself to roll out of the bed this morning?

How am I supposed to explain that, no, I do not want to watch a new movie, but yes, I will watch a movie that I just watched three days ago? Am I allowed to say: ‘because right now, in this moment, I would just very much like to know that everything is okay for the next 105 minutes and I don’t have to question anything else in this world.’?

How am I supposed to explain that, yes, I did sleep 12 hours today but that doesn’t mean that I’m not still tired and want to sleep for 12 more because- no, I’m not just tired; I am exhausted because I’m continuously fighting with myself over wanting to live but still not wanting to be alive: because they are not the same damned thing, is exhausting.

Even in my own mental-illness community, I’m pushed aside because “you can’t have bipolar disorder and borderline personality. You just want attention.” Yes, that is actually a thing multiple people have said to me. Hell, people in my own family have even said I’m “acting out” because I want the attention. EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE THERE FOR THE DIAGNOSIS.

Are you fucking kidding me?! Like… Seriously? Trust me. If I wanted the attention, I would not be talking about how I’m terrified to go to sleep because I’m not even safe from my own thoughts there. The fact that I dream of suicide and over-dosing most nights of my life only to follow up with waking up to a body that I can’t control enough to stop the shaking and crying is not something I’m proud of.

Yes, I can and DO in fact have all four of these mental illnesses, and guess what, I even have PTSD on top of that. Whaaat? I know. Crazy that humans are multi-faceted beings in this crazy judgemental stigmatised world. But, since people in the community can’t even seem to comprehend it, I’ll spell it out for the whole world to read.

Bipolar disorder- a mental disorder, affects my mood and energy whereas borderline personality disorder (BPD)- an emotional disorder,  affects my personality and relationships. What that means is that because I’m bipolar, I occasionally have mood swings that are uncharacteristic, yet having BPD is constant and present at all times. PTSD is commonly associated with both illnesses because it’s based on perspective and emotions are known to skew reality, causing an abundance of “triggers.”

Having depression and anxiety on top of three already difficult disorders? Well, let’s just say, there’s not a day that my head and heart aren’t at war with one another. My old therapist was constantly trying to get me to explain what I was feeling, but I’ve never really been good at that.

I can explain why I’m feeling whatever it is that I’m feeling, but the emotion itself has always been enigmatic, well, at least… to me. When I try to describe my feelings, my body shuts down and my heart feels like it’s going to implode because I just can’t make sense of the feelings themselves.
Honestly, (and I know this is going to seem ridiculous,) part of me can’t comprehend the feelings because I just feel so many of them and even though I know I can recall what made me feel a specific way, I can’t rationalise it and then I feel guilty.

But I recently found out that part of the reason I feel guilty for feeling these feelings is that I have borderline personality and it causes my heightened emotions to take on a form of responsibility even when it doesn’t involve me specifically.

I’ve always encouraged others to feel their feelings because they’re there whether you want them to be or not.

But now… I’m having to learn for myself that feelings can’t be right or wrong. They just are.

Eleven: Reasons to be Happy

When I was in one of the worst bouts of my depression, I had a composition notebook that I liked to carry with me pretty much everywhere I went even though I hardly ever used it.

I started using the notebook in the fall of 2011 when I was a junior in high-school as a sort of journal, but really it was just a list. It was a list of “Reasons to be Happy.” Somehow it made me feel like I had something to lean on when I wasn’t comfortable.
I was using it as a clutch I guess you could call it?
At the top of the list, I have a quote that I wrote and I really can’t understand how it is that I ever let myself get this low in my life…
“Put me out of this misery- let me know why I’m still here. I need to see all the good things before I let all the bad take me away.”
I’m not very proud of the fact that this is what I had to do to cope with everything else that was going on in my life, but I also can’t help but be glad that I didn’t turn into the kind of person that statistics said I would become… Instead of constantly expecting the worst out of everything, I tried to find a glimmer of hope and happiness, even if it was just the smaller things in my life.
I haven’t written in the notebook in quite some time- I’m honestly surprised that I even stumbled upon it when I was going through my apartment. I could have sworn I had thrown it away when I got out of a crisis centre the summer of 2012… When I was first released, part of the agreement was that I would give up all my previous “coping mechanisms” to create more healthy alternatives (because obviously what I had been doing prior was not helping.)
But, anyway, onto the actual point of this whole thing …
When I opened the notebook, I was nervous to see what I would find: I couldn’t quite remember what I had been writing the last time I used it. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that my first entry was “reading”, and… Harry Potter, Rent, Church, Super-mega-choutte-et-fantastique, Shakespeare, oh, and “when Draco says “Potter,”  are a few reasons that are written down…
I’m not 100% sure what my last entry was because the last page has been ripped out between the last time I wrote in it and now… But since the whole point of this blog is being honest, if what I recall is correct… it was something along the lines of “there aren’t any reasons big enough to keep me around.”
A few days after that last entry in this notebook, in June of 2012, I had an accident that saved my life. Now, I won’t get into that particular topic just yet, that’ll come sooner or later…
It’s almost been 6 years since my last entry in the notebook, and I don’t plan on starting another, but if I were able to go back and tell my 17-year-old self a real reason to be happy… I’d have to tell her that it’s not succeeding when she tries to kill herself.
So, this particular post is to anyone looking for reasons to stick around…
If you need to keep a list of reasons to smile or to laugh or to be happy, do it. Whether its a list of rants and reasons you’re upset… Write every little thing down. Sing it loud, shout it to the rooftops, run around and dance it all out. Whatever it is that you need to do to let it all out, DO IT. If it isn’t causing any physical harm to you or others, DO IT. Don’t let it boil deep inside any longer.
Put your health first.
Be constructive and focus on your mental and emotional health.
If you feel it, if you want it, if you need it… do it, because depression is REAL and every silver lining, every little thing… ALL of it matters because YOU matter. 

 

Nine: The City of More

A few days ago, I came back to Atlanta, Georgia after spending the holidays in New York City. In the past, I was always the “grinch” of any cluster of humans, but this Christmas was the exception.

NYC had been a dream of mine for many, many years- and now that I’ve gone, I can’t help but fall out of daily conversations and let my mind wander back to the brisk, welcoming air of the city.

I’m really struggling with the idea of settling back into my old way of life- I’ve never had an issue with settling- until now.. I want so much more for this world of mine than what is offered currently. I know how selfish that must sound…
I don’t mean to come off that way.

I spoke with someone recently and if I’m being honest, I’m still trying to process the conversation myself.

I was new to the city, obviously, and I’ve always been mesmerized by the idea of Manhattan and everything that it holds. I still feel guilty about constantly having to have my attention brought back from the skyline and the majesty of the city.

Every bit of the conversation revolved around the fact that my friend was very much against New York, it was noisy and cluttered and the only way to view it was from across the river… Whereas I was convinced that there was nothing greater than the way the city sang and its inhabitants were all looking for a little bit of hope and glimmer. I wanted to be in the middle of all of it.
I was honestly trying to understand why anyone would leave – how could anyone want to be anywhere else in this world?

 

I long desperately to see and feel and do good, for myself and the people around me, but more than anything else, I want more for this world… and that’s exactly what New York City offers.

Where some people see chaos, I see impossibilities becoming possible.
Where some people hear noise, I hear the chasing of dreams.

The conversation revealed to me that that even though I felt like it was mine, it is not mine to call home.

 

Even though I belonged to New York City, the City did not yet belong to me.

But it will, soon enough, it will.