THE LAST 2 DAYS HAVE BEEN A “WORK MYSELF INTO EXHAUSTION” EVENT. PTSD, MDD were kicking my butt.
The last 2 days have been a bit rough on the mental health side of my life. I started struggling on Saturday because it was my brothers birthday and I don’t know where or if he even “is”. He’s been gone for 12 years.
Major Depressive Disorder is described as having feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, and morbid thoughts, just to name a few. As described HERE via Mayo Clinic.
(click on any underlined word to get more details and descriptions.)
The mental health diagnoses that I have cycle. I’ll be good for a few days, then it’s like the dark cloud of doom arrives. I cry for no reason, feel like I have failed my family and friends, feel guilty for things that I haven’t done wrong, feel like I’m ugly, like my body is too fat, or that I walk funny. I understand where these feelings come from, logically, but I can’t stop them from happening.
So I cope. If the weather is nice I go outside. I go outside as much as possible to get out in nature and away from people and town anyway. These last few days, the weather has been nice and I poured myself into my Jeep mini camper project. I worked on hanging a new cattle panel gate that needed some adjustments. I got the tractor out and pulled up unnecessary t-posts to ready for new electric fence line. I moved a round bale in preparation for when Sadie finishes the current one.
I bashed my hand when the ratchet slipped off of a bolt… THAT hurt like a little whiney bitch…had to do some breathing to get through that. Whacked my ankle with the end of a log chain that I was using to pull up t-posts… that one hurt too. I’m a clutz sometimes.
The physical pain of those things oddly allows me to direct my emotional pain into something that I can deal with. I don’t hurt myself on purpose, but when I do, it’s like there’s something tangible for me to work through. A few years ago, I had picked up an unhealthy coping skill of intentionally hurting myself. I know, that’s not good, and I was able to work through that with my therapist and I do not do that anymore.
Working myself into a dither is a thing I do sometimes to get emotions out. It’s probably not the healthiest, but I am in fairly good shape for my age, so it doesn’t “hurt” me, and allows my mind to shut the fuck up, and my body to expend energy, and I get shit done.
The joy from these past few days? When I’m out at the ranch working on things, I let Sadie out for her walkabout. She’s got 180 acres she can run around on. I sometimes just sit and watch her, and she’s always watching me and what I’m doing. When she’s feeling her oats, she’ll take off and just run…. I love to watch her do that with her mane and tail flying in the air. One of these times I’ll get it on video, but most of the time I just smile and it fills my heart with joy.
Also all of our cats at the ranch… they are like little dogs, following me around, hanging out in my jeep when I’m working on it. That brings me joy as well. The birds singing, the crow I’ve befriended caw-cawing at me to bring him or her a snack. The other night I had my jeep set up enough for me to stay in it, and I opened the back hatch, watched the sunset with no interference from buildings, and after the sun went down, heard the coyotes singing the song of their people.
Even though I’m physically exhausted, I feel somewhat emotionally calmer. Or not as depressed and not having as many morbid thoughts, like I’d be better off not on this planet.
My therapist and I have worked out coping skills for when this happens, and these are a couple of them. In almost 8 years of therapy with the same trauma therapist, I know now that I will never be able to eliminate these mental health issues. (Ptsd, cptsd, mdd, bpd, gad, and tbi from head trauma). So we’ve set up a list of ways I can cope, with protocol when things get really bad and all of the tools in my toolbox aren’t working. I have crisis on speed dial.
And that is ok.
Accepting myself the way I am now, is something that I am still working on, but getting better. It does get frustrating to know that this is just the way I am, and that I will have to always have these cycles of ups and downs, morbid thoughts, anxiety, flashbacks, etc.
It just gets tiring sometimes. Some days I’m so tired of fighting it. So so tired.
But I’ve been given another day on this planet. So I’m accepting it with a grateful heart, and taking it one hour, one minute at a time.
Thanks for coming to my ted talk. Lol
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Keywords: suicide, 988, mental health, get help, struggling, exhaustion, coping skills, self harm