Mood

Things have clicked

And here I sit

Stability in hand

 

Neuroses soothed

Muscles relaxed

Still waters cleared of sand

 

The path ahead

Stretches seen

In my mind’s clear eye

 

Peace has settled

In my head

A state no one can buy

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Ducks

I went walking in the nearby park during my lunch break today. At the start of it I felt awful – that aching, empty feeling that I can never seem to describe. But as I moved deeper into the park the serenity of the place began to soothe and centre me.

I sat in a shaded area by a pond, and watched turtles swimming beneath the surface. Three ducks drifted by among fallen petals and leaves, their pinks and yellows gorgeously bright against the dark green water, and I realized something profound.

My time in Taiwan is limited, and so far I’ve spent the majority of it worrying that I’m not doing things right – at work, in my relationship, in preparation for my future. I have been so wrapped up in my own fears that I’ve hardly seen the beauty around me.

I want to start noticing things and being in each day, instead of merely getting through it. I want to experience the current moment, be it good or bad or even nothing at all, rather than obsessing over those that lie ahead. I want to breathe more. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for over a year.

Validation

Validation – the cry for it is everywhere you look. Like my selfie, retweet my words, read my blog. See me. Hear me. Accept me. We are all, in some way, desperately seeking the approval of others. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about feelings – shocker right? Me, talk about feelings… how surprising (^_^)

When people come to us with their woes and heartache the natural instinct is to want to help. The majority of us possess empathy, and seeing someone we care about in distress upsets us. We want to fix their problems and make the bad feelings go away. I myself have done this many times throughout my life. However, I have slowly come to realize that, while this is a noble endeavor, the way you go about helping someone is of vital importance.

For me, one of the main reasons I don’t always reach out to people is because often their way of trying to help actually makes me feel worse. No one can change or solve another’s issues, nor should they have to. That is only something we can each try to figure out for ourselves.

What someone who is going through hell really needs is not a flurry of fixits, but a form of validation. They need someone to care enough to recognize and acknowledge their pain. What they don’t need is to be told to look on the bright side. They need someone willing to listen and simply be there while they battle whatever is hurting them.

You can’t fight my monster for me, but you can support me while I learn to do it myself.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been battling and just wanted to hear the words “I’m sorry you’re hurting, it sucks but I still love you and will always be here”. Those words are so comforting and powerful.

So often I hear people say things like “everyone has struggles”, thinking that they are putting things into perspective. Thanks for your groundbreaking insight, but that actually does nothing to alleviate mine (as I assume you may have intended). Saying something like that only invalidates my pain, and makes me feel guilty for feeling it in the first place.

Yes, everyone suffers. Yes, millions of people have it worse than me. Guess what? I still feel like shit. Your “logical” reasoning does not serve as a magic cure for my depression. You mean well I know, but all you are doing is exposing your lack of understanding about what is going on inside my head.

But here’s the kicker – I’m not asking you to understand it (hell I don’t understand it half the time). All I’m asking for is you to love me enough to sit with me in the dark a while.

Back when I worked at a crisis line we were taught in training to “walk beside” our callers. Meaning, don’t run ahead of them and force a solution on them (even if you think you see one), but stay with them in all their pain and discomfort. Guide them to find their own solutions – ones that work for them, not you.

It’s not easy to do, and we may fail as much as we succeed, but sticking by someone as they figure things out is one of the kindest things we can do as human beings.

Update

As the title of my previous post suggests, I have recently turned 27. I thought it an appropriate time for an update here.

My mood has been relatively stable for going on 5 weeks now (aside from two really awful days at the start of the month, following being physically ill with tonsillitis). This explains my lack of writing. I’m not very creative when I’m stable. It’s not that I can’t write – just that it’s not as effortless. I really have to work at it (not a bad thing) and often I feel like whatever I come up with is stale and forced. Anyway…

I’ve been dealing with some issues in my personal life of late, particularly involving my relationship. It’s been unbelievably stressful, but has helped to firmly cement the difference between sadness and depression in my mind. Yes I am sad – but sadness has an identifiable cause and will eventually buzz off.

These recent challenges have also highlighted the true value of open, honest communication. Therapy has helped pave the way for that. I’ve been going weekly, sometimes alone – sometimes with my partner. His patience, understanding and willingness to work with me to figure things out have only made me love him more. I know we will see better times, together.

The past two days have not been good. My anxiety has been hanging around (as usual) despite my level mood, but this week it has skyrocketed. It’s been presenting as intense irritation and random weepy spells.

The physical symptoms are exhausting. Anyone who likes to think it’s just a mental thing can tell that to my constant headaches, to my ever aching jaw, to my upset stomach, to my tense muscles and knotted up back, to the distracting hot and tingly flushes that flare up daily on the back of my neck and shoulders (a completely new experience for me), and to my painfully pounding heart that wakes me each morning without fail.

I am in what seems like never-ending bodily pain, and have been waking up drained and sore. I’m not depressed though, and so I thank Cthulhu for small mercies.

I don’t know when I will write again. It saddens me to admit that my inspiration seems to have left me, but if that’s the price I have to pay for stability then so be it. I’ll learn to work around it – some day when I’m less tired.

I hope all my readers are well. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. I appreciate it more than I can express.

Peace always

~ Kelly Love

27

I used to think my fate

Was to be just like you two

But something sets us far apart

And differs me from you

 

That difference simply being

That I refuse to hide

From myself or from my faults

(The me that lives inside)

 

In the mirror I commit to look

And face just what I see

I accept responsibility

To build a better me

 

No longer shall I run or dodge

This duty at my door

Denial is no friend of mine

It doesn’t stay here anymore

Normal

Let me relate to you

A story if I may

Imagine waking every morn

Feeling the same way

 

Your heart is pounding, screaming

Get up! Get up! Get up!

Your brain is hurting, whispering

Give up. Give up. Give up.

 

The war goes on, relentless

And you cannot find the will

To move your limbs or play the part

Of normal, well and still

 

And yet you crawl on through

With a boulder on your head

Knowing when it’s over

You can limp off back to bed

 

No one sees your struggle

(Or at least that’s what you say)

The strength it takes to make it

Through each and every day

 

What kind of life is one

Where average is the goal?

To walk the line of undisturbed

Never feeling in your soul

 

Eat right, sleep well and exercise

Your will to be quite sane

But know your world will never be

Completely free from pain

 

“We all feel it too,

We swear you aren’t alone.”

If that’s true I pity you

Our hearts are made of stone

The Messenger 

I stumbled upon this song again last Friday, after years of not listening to or even remembering it. It’s been playing on repeat ever since (to say I get obsessed with stuff is an understatement). 

Some days it makes me feel strong, most it makes me cry. The lyrics are so beautiful, and are sung with such feeling it breaks my already broken heart. 

I’ve been in a depressed state for over a month now. Some days are easier than others, but most are really fucking hard. Either way, listening to this is helping me process things (as music always does). 

Warning Signs 

I know my depression is making a comeback when certain things start to happen. Before I really began researching and tracking my illness I just took these signs as a part of my (almost) everyday life… I thought they were normal. Apparently not. 

Firstly, and most noticeably, I start to dread waking up. Mornings have always been the hardest part of the day for me (unsurprisingly I am a night owl), but when I feel depressed they are sheer pain. I open my eyes and my first thought is always “fuck, I’m alive”. There is a cement block on my chest (anxiety), which makes getting up that much more difficult. Sticking to my routine is vital though, and even when I’m on the verge of tears I pull myself out of bed. 

Secondly, sound and touch start to annoy me. I’m talking revulsion. I’m talking rage inducing irritation of unreasonable proportions. “Do you have to swallow that juice so fucking loudly? Must you breathe so heavily? Do you have to sit so fucking close to me?” These are the kinds of thoughts that run through my head daily. Ordinary things that others wouldn’t notice crawl under my skin and drive me mad. I have to constantly restrain myself from verbally snapping or lashing out. It’s awful (for me and those around me), and most of the time the only thing that helps is if I remove myself from the situation (not always possible). 

Thirdly, everything seems like a chore and I am constantly tired. It doesn’t matter if it’s something I enjoy – I have no energy or interest. I feel like I’m on autopilot, just going through the motions to get through the day. Everything seems pointless. My mood tends to be quite reactive, so when nice things happen or I complete a task I do feel good temporarily. I always go back to feeling shitty though. Daily tasks, such as feeding myself properly, doing laundry, grocery shopping and keeping up with basic hygiene, become utterly exhausting. 

Lastly, I simply have no hope for the future. My life seems like one long, lonely road that is never going to get better. Sometimes I can’t even see my future – the fog is that thick. Other times I’m convinced that it’s just going to be worse than the present. It’s difficult but I have to remind myself that the fog will eventually clear (please hurry up I’m suffocating) and things will start to look better. 

These are only some of the things that accompany my depression, but they are among the ones that stand out the most to me. I hate the fact that this is such a big part of my life. I resent this illness so fucking much. 

I Am Breaking

I am breaking

Bit by bit

Pieces falling

As I sit

 

I am breaking

Day by day

Empty heart

Nothing to say

 

I am breaking

Hear me cry

Avert your gaze

Walk on by

 

I am breaking

Can’t you see?

Shattered hopes

Remain of me

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