Saturday, May 31, 2014

On Being a Shitty Friend

I am a shitty friend. I try not to ask too much from the people that I give too little to, to make up for this fact.

It is not that I don't know how to be a good friend. It is that I don't have enough space in my head or energy in my body to give it to more than a few people at any given time. This means that, for the most part, I choose to give my time and energy to those I'm closest to and, selfishly, who give the most back to me, which usually means the people I'm romantically involved with. Even when I'm doing really well and I have more open time, I seem to only manage to see anyone about once a month. When I'm not doing well... well, you can just forget seeing me. Oh, and I don't go to parties or group gatherings. The few exceptions are when I'm going for or with people that I'm romantically involved with.

I am not always there for the people I care about when I should be, or when they ask me to. Sometimes I don't know how to be. Sometimes I don't have the energy to be. Sometimes I'm sure it seems like I'm selfish. Sometimes I am.

Sometimes I get a brief window in which I have the time and energy and head space to do what I think makes me be a good friend. But sometimes you end up doing what makes them think you are a shitty friend, even shittier than before.

I hope you are not too mad at me, or that with time you might stop being mad at me and see that I was trying to do what I thought was best. While I can't say I know exactly what you are going through, I have felt hopeless and had a friend stop me from doing the only things that would actually take all hope away. Hell, I've had the same friend do it on multiple occasions. I know what it feels like to think that the world is better off without you or that you are better off without the world and not care what it is like without you. But I've also been at the funerals of two people who committed suicide, seen firsthand the toll that it took on one of those people I am a shitty friend to. There have been times that that thought was a large part of what kept me not doing the same. Even if your family is horrible, there is someone in your life who doesn't deserve that. When speaking philosophically, I don't feel like anyone should get to tell a person that they must continue living an intolerable life. When it is a terminal physical disease, I'm the first to argue for their right to end their life with as much dignity as possible, at the moment of their chosing. But mental illnesses are not so clear cut and, especially when it comes to someone I know, I have a much more difficult time giving up the hope that their life can be better. Though maybe that is because if I do that, then I can start letting myself give up hope that my life can be better. And without that hope, I am lost.

So today I'll be a shitty friend.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Untitled short 5/16/14

"Last time I saw him we packed up my things and he smiled like the first time he told me his name. And we cried with each other as we split the blame for the parts we could change. Pictures, dishes, and socks,  it's our whole life down to one box. There he was waving goodbye on the front porch alone. And I was already gone. Life is a runaway train you can't wait to jump on."-sugarland

If only I was. Won't go back til tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow.  Will probably be "at home" Tues-Thurs nights then, with any luck, out of town Fri & Sat nights.  I know this is what not living there is. I do want to give them more time to themselves, individually and together, especially after our blowout yesterday. Particularly bc maybe one less crazy person that she feels she has to take care of will give Ginger the space to take care of herself. And maybe being there less will make things more special with the Professor when I am there. But gods after being there so long it is so lonely. Maybe it's just me because I was lonely when I was there and now I'm lonely when i'm not.

"There is nothing that can take the pain away, but eventually you will find a way to live with it. There will be nightmares, and everyday when you wake up, it will be the first thing you think of, until one day, it will be the second thing." -Blacklist

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Short untitled 5/15/14

The nice thing about living on your own is that you don't have to feel self-conscious about crying yourself to sleep. Nor do you have to explain yourself to anyone when you sit in front of the tv until you fall asleep every night because you just don't feel like crying yourself to sleep tonight.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Can't Stop

I just want to collapse. I'm tired and cranky and sad and depressed. I just want to go to bed and cry and have for a significant portion of the day. 

But I don't. 

I took a nap but that was the only time I allowed myself to really rest. 

I'm afraid that if I stop, I might not start again. I will probably soon be unemployed. I am supposed to be moving out. I know that usually when the depression hits, I spend months on the couch, staring at the tv until I can start to get myself back together. But I don't have the luxury any longer. 

Or I don't feel like I do. The closest I will be able to get to what I used to do at my parents' house is what they are talking about doing anyway, setting me up in their house now and having me get a room or two who pay my parents rent while I live rent-free for a bit. Of course, I still have health insurance, a car payment, and a student loan that I have to pay, no matter what. And though I know that they are trying to help me, it sounds like a rather disappointing option after I had allowed myself to dream of having a place on my own. 

Even if I took that option, I would still at the very least have to work enough for those bills and I would have to move out of here. Neither of those things are things I can do if I just give up for a while. In my head, it seems the only other option is to just keep doing stuff. 

What I Wish I Could Tell Work

I really don't want to have to look for a job right now. What I want is to be looking for an apartment, to be applying for housing assistance on the off chance that I qualify, and/or to be looking for a roommate situation for awhile. What I want is to find a cheap but airy studio or one bedroom apartment that is just mine, where my cats and my stuff can live, where I can settle in, where I don't have to be anything to or for anyone.

But to keep my job, you want me to be able to tell you a designated person who I will be able to tell when I'm starting to not do very well, so that they can call you and tell you "Hey, she needs a bit of a break, even if she isn't in a place to ask for it herself." I get it. You want to make sure that the clients are taken care of, that I don't no-call no-show and leave everyone wondering what happened to me. And I even understand that you do care for me and you want me to take active steps in dealing with my mental illness, in making sure that I go through an easier time next time that I go through a difficult time.

Just two things.

One: You don't know what I already do for my mental illness and I don't really feel like it is any of your business. While the manager who has dealt with mental illness in her family is sympathetic, the boss ended up throwing out a bunch of the stigmas about mental illness in our conversation and I don't really feel like talking about it with her. Shit, sometimes I have a hard time talking about it with people I am close to, people I love, people I am living with. I sure as hell am not going to tell you. I'm not going to tell you that I've been on medications for 13 years. I'm not going to tell you that I picked out my health insurance plan, which you contribute nothing to by the way, specificially so that I could go to the mental health in-patient hospital that I liked the best of the three I've been to. I'm not going to tell you that I go see a psychiatrist every couple of months to tweak my meds, except that until recently I couldn't afford to think about adding another one because I didn't have health insurance to help me afford anything other than barebones generic medications. I'm not going to tell you that I've been in a therapy program for over two years where I see my therapist once a week and go to an educational therapy group once a week. I'm not going to tell you that my girlfriend, who I live with, works in mental health, understands my illness, and I still couldn't tell her. I'm not going to tell you that I didn't tell my therapist how bad it was because I didn't realize it was that bad until everything blew up because I was trying so hard to keep everything under control that I almost thought I would be able to keep it all under control long enough for things to settle down again. I'm not going to tell you these things because I'm not sure that I think it's any of your fucking business. I'm also not going to tell you these things because I worry that you'll think "Well, damn, if she's this bad with all this help, how bad is she really?"

Two: It never works like what you are wanting. It is not like I don't know that this is a chronic illness I have. It's not like I don't say the same things to other people about mental illness, that it is like any other chronic illness, like say diabetes, that must be managed and evaluated in a realistic light. But when I am bad, I am lucky when I can express to someone else that I want to hurt myself, that I have hurt myself, when I'm starting to feel suicidal, when I'm feeling full on suicidal, when I've already attempted. Hell, I had one attempt that no one knew about at the time, that no one knew about until months or maybe a year later when I was joking about it. It doesn't work like that for me. You are right that maybe it should. But guess what? That's something I don't have the head space to change right now. Right now, all I can manage to do is to keep moving, to keep getting up each day, to keep doing chores around the house, to keep going to appointments, to keep taking my meds, to keep eating, to not just decide to fall into a bottle until the money runs out, to keep applying for jobs since it doesn't look like I'm going to be going back to this one. Right now, there are moments when it is all I can do not to harm myself or start drawing up plans, so I can't really promise that I'll  make this thing that I've never been able to do in the 13 years that I've been dealing with this mental illness happen.

I have until Friday to figure out if I'm gonna lie and say that I can do it and name a person or be unemployed.