I try to remember back to what it was like to be 14. Where I was and what my world was like. It was a tumultuous time, transitioning from living with my father to go to my mom’s. I was caught up in the politics of small town school life. As an outsider, and unwelcome. 14 was not a good year. On so many levels. So when I stop today and think of this lost soul. I think of how good I had it. I was riding horses, and being a teenager. Mouthing off to my parents and being nasty. Never once thinking about anyone but myself. I didn’t have a clue. My heart aches for her family. She was taken way too soon, under the worst of circumstances. For a child to be robbed of so much, so quickly. To adapt to a life restricted, difficult and powerless. She was a very special young lady. Godspeed Liv….
Well I did it. I survived dinner with a large group and lots of kids. I don’t do kids, and I don’t much like large groups. But I managed. But what really happened differently was whenever asked “how are you?” or “How’s the farm”? I didn’t say much, but it wasn’t sugar-coated. When asked how I was, I just shrugged and said surviving. Don’t know, but it most have seemed legit, since nobody pushed it. Who knew being honest would back people off that much? or maybe it is because I am thin and looking worn out, or it was all in my eyes. I hid nothing tonight. I just didn’t have it in me. I was pretty anxious and racy most of the day. The increased provigil has me feeling out of sorts. It is a strange feeling. Kind of like my skin is crawling. Not pleasant, especially with a healthy side of anxiety. Just more frustration, more worry. I worked hard to just stay present. But all it took was my aunt asking if I was okay, to start to crumble that. Surrounded by all these people I didn’t feel remotely safe enough. But I knew what my heart was feeling. I know she knew it wasn’t okay. I’m not that hard to read.
I know I am just exhausted, and part of that was my conveying just how exhausted I am. But part of it was me wanting desperately to reach out. It is the hardest part for me. Just reaching out and letting someone in. I work so hard to keep up appearances. Keep everyone else thinking it is fine. Not sure when I learned to do that, or why it is so very important. Not important, critical to me. I fight so hard to keep it like that. It isn’t like I was yelled at for showing emotions, or smacked upside the head when I cried. It wasn’t like that. Where is this steadfast resolve to keep a stiff upper lip coming from? Honestly it is hurting me, far more than it is helping me. I’d far prefer to feel and react in real-time, rather than hours or days or years later.
When did emotions become something to be feared? Why this hide and seek with them? Regardless, tonight my heart is heavy with sadness. I am suffering in plain sight, but I won’t let anyone know that. Not even my partner. I hate this….all of it.
today has started much like the past couple mornings. My eyes open and my brain thinks- not another one, i just can’t do this. That is the very first formed thought that crossing into my conscious mind. I wonder what moments before, my sleeping brain had been doing. Was it blissful and happy in the oblivion of sleep. Was it dreaming? Often in that first moment I will close my eyes again in hopes of repeating that start with a different one. One more positive, or more inviting. I want nothing more than to have something different. Even indifference would be preferable. Anything but dread. Because I know in that split second that I will wrestle with my emotions for the next 12 hours, till I once again set my head on the pillow. I’m sure other people have the same experience, but I feel so alone in this. When sleep becomes a far better option.
I could not change the beginning. It didn’t much matter how many times I opened and closed by eyes. It remained the same. I pulled myself upright and started my day. I told myself a few days back that I would get through this week. and I will. Often times unsure of how, but I will. This hasn’t beaten me yet.
As I sat on a beautiful renovated porch talking to friends from polo last night, all my brain could think of was they have no idea. I am feet away, but I might as well be on mars. I can’t kill myself. they would spend the rest of their lives wondering why they didn’t see anything wrong. It is often that I have come into this thought process. It isn’t just the thoughts and impulses surrounding suicidality. It is all the thoughts of what will happen after. What is the aftermath. I take it as a positive that I am even thinking along these lines. I’m sure most people wouldn’t understand why. For me it means I am not buried in the planning and obsessing. I can still see out, and see how severely it will affect everyone in my life. Near and far. It is better to think about this, then not. One of the other things that has really tempered my impulses was the multiple posts I read on FB over the past week. It is National Suicide Awareness Week. I have read more than a few from survivors left to try to find answers. The angry, the sorrowful, the torn, the destroyed people left behind. In the past, when I hit a certain threshold all that fades from view. Any thoughts about those left is diminished to some bullshit line- they’ll be okay without me. Or worse yet, they’ll be better without me. How a mind can do that is remarkable. In the pursuit of death it can trivialize one of the most earth shattering behaviors. One of my FB friends (don’t know her- have about 2500 friends) posted a brutal angry straightforward post. Written to her brother, who had killed himself last year. I gave it much thought, and do think about it now. There is a reason I saw that post. Of all the piles of shit I scroll thru everyday, posted from all those 2500 people, I saw that post. Just 5 sentences, no picture, nothing glaring. Even if you don’t believe things happen for a reason, it was coincidence I saw that post in the midst of a very edgy impulsive run. I am glad I saw it, better yet I’m glad I SAW it. My heart felt it. I’m not that far gone. I am not beyond that threshold. If I can just hold on, it will be okay. I rode it out and I can do it again. Each hour I get through is one more step in the right direction. Those blinkers seem to be working. Forward, not back, no looking around. Not looking for a way out. That is what I need to keep on doing.
I am making an effort in every minute to not let my mind take me to the worst of places. It is working. I am not letting it happen. I am okay. I am okay. I am stronger than my impulses. I am not beholden to my thoughts. They are just thoughts. They are not orders or directives. It will get better. I will survive this. I have survived horrors. I can LIVE….
It’s been such a strange couple days. I look back and each seems so different. From overly emotional and tearful to completely numb to exhausted and physically worn down. It seems to be changing so rapidly. I don’t know what to expect. I’m worried what tomorrow will bring. Not is the sense, what will actually happen, but what I will feel like. It seems so all over the place.
Today is not as good as yesterday. Since we are already well at the bottom of the scale, it worries me. As I wrote earlier I will continue to plod along. Putting one foot in front of the other. Getting thru this hour of this day. Having no idea what the next hour might bring. I have to get my shit together for tomorrow, so I can put on a game face for the family. Normally we go and eat, make small talk. Most of these people we won’t see again until the Spring. It never changes, year after year. I do want to see my cousin, as it has been too long. It isn’t that I don’t want to see anyone else. That isn’t it. It just seems like so huge an effort. Then again just getting to the barn is a huge effort. Maybe I should drag my sorry excuse for a jew ass to temple. I don’t even know where the nearest one is. Some days of reflection might help. As I have said before, I am not religious. Though I don’t really see how it can get much worse. Some time spent in prayer might help. When I think of Rosh hashana I think of repenting. I know that isn’t quite it, as that is what follows during the 10 days till Yom Kippur. It is about promise and about rebirth. To be made anew from yourself. I wish I could do that. Leave me behind, at least the parts of me that want me dead. Is that possible? Can they be teased from the whole? I doubt that. I don’t know that you can be down the path I have been without some remnant. But why such a harsh and inflexible one? I do not know if I will ever know a life without suicidal thoughts and impulses. I cannot see out of the now, so I won’t even try. I am in this hour of this day remember. No back and no forward, just the now. I cannot allow myself to try to grasp what is coming, or what has been. It is far too much right now. With the racehorses they use a piece of equipment called “blinkers”. They reduce the animal’s field of vision, often to the side or back. The only option for them to see is to look straight ahead. It takes away distractions and focuses them on the task at hand. I am putting on my emotional blinkers- Everything around me and behind me is out of view and out of mind. I just need to keep my head down and keep going. No stopping, no considering impulses or thoughts. No cozying up to the darkness and the mayhem. No picturing a future without me in it. Nope, none of that. Just slow and steady…
When I opened my eyes this morning I actually had a brief moment of light. Not happiness per se, but a weird sense of relief. As impulsive as I felt yesterday, I had told myself just wait. When I saw that first bit of light, I was glad I had made that choice. I know I am buried under this pile of shit right now. Yesterday was a rough day, as was last week and the week before that and the week before that. There reaches a point when even the strongest just can’t cope. I might be strong, but it just seems so fucking big. I still don’t understand why my mind works the way it does. Why is suicide there? When did it arrive as an option in my mind? I know I was quite young. Is there a reason? Some aspect of my personality? some flaw? It is such an awful insidious thing. Like some tiny dark seed that sits there untouched year after year. Occasionally throwing up a shoot from the depths. I am never without it. It comes to me uncalled for. Why does it? I don’t want this. I don’t want to see these images that play silently at the backs of my retinas. I don’t want to think of the aftermath, and the eventualities. I hate this, all of it. I don’t want it. There is nothing soothing in this now. Once yes, but now it is not. I talked about being miserable, not depressed. But I was wrong. I know looking at it now, I am depressed. The lack of appetite, the weight loss, the not giving a shit. Not wanting to play polo. Distancing myself from everyone around me. These are all red flags. I just brushed them aside. Talked myself into thinking it was just the stress. Or is it stress? I don’t fucking know anymore- what is me, in my mind and what is external. It all blurs. I don’t know what those around me see. I am not sure what this looks like from the outside. I am adrift and disconnected from everyone. I know I have to open my mouth and communicate, but I find my self mute. No words come. Nothing but silence. I don’t know why I am not suicidal today. I don’t know where it went, or when it will come back. As quickly as it rose up in my mind, it has vanished. I was honest with Beatrice today when she asked me. I was not suicidal. I can sense it there in the background, but I am not inundated by images and thoughts. I take it as positive I awoke glad to be here this morning. There is hope in that. I don’t know how to keep it all at bay, while we sort thru all this stuff. I have confidence that I can, especially with the seroquel. Somehow it takes that racy edge off it. It seems to make things better. I know Beatrice and Virgil probably want me in the hospital, but I will not consent to that. I am not willing to change the meds again, or have them fry my brain like they so seem to quickly jump to. It won’t matter. Nothing here is changeable right now. Short of miracles. it is what it is. I just have to put one foot in front of the other and somehow get thru each hour. I can’t look at it as day by day, that is far too big. Minute by minute and hour by hour. I beat this yesterday, and I will continue to. I’m not ready to give in. I will write what comes to me, good or bad. This is my voice right now. It might be tough, but I will not censor this. I promised myself that when I started this blog. It is me, good, bad and indifferent.
Seems as hard as I try to make things right, they seem to go farther adrift. I was only trying to make things work. Maybe it was the wrong approach. I went back and read the emails, nothing seemed all that inciting. But here I am dealing with a rough situation. Do I back up, and make things right? or do I leave it as it is?
I am feeling so lost right now. I, now, more than ever want to run. The farther the better. I want no part in this anymore. I’m not sure where I’d go, or what I’d do. It is hard to get past the urge to bail. Rather than react, I stand still. Very still. My mind somehow hoping that will make it better. Kind of like when you know you’re going to throw up. Suddenly you make yourself as still as possible. I am sitting here in this stillness. My mind running, fast and hard. But my body is still. No gym, no riding, no nothing. I can hardly bring myself to blink. It is a strange, surreal feeling. I know if I so much as move, I’ll be gone.
Where? I don’t know. But in the reality of it, there is nowhere. Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. I have nothing, but this farm. Not like I can go off anywhere. I don’t know that it would even help at this point. Were I to take a few days to regroup, it would be meaningless. I would return to the same. All the mess, and the stress and the bills. All the horses to feed and the funds to raise.
I think to myself how do we extricate ourselves from this? What do we do with these animals? where do we put them? What do we do with the property? Most importantly, what about us? Is there an us, in the absence of all this? It just seems like it is all questions and no answers. Adrift in a sea of needs that are not met. Pulled under by the endless reminder of the enormity of all that is coming apart and all that needs repair. Whether it be financial, emotional or actual maintenance.
This is where endurance is tested. The day in and day out. It never ceases. The phone calls never stop, the envelopes pile up. Looking out the window brings more anxiety, as the first of the leaves hit the ground. It only gets harder from here. Winter is no farms friend, be it the people, the equipment, or the animals. We, as usual, were slow to react to the diminished pasture. Some of the horses need more feed, and more forage. They need to be moved, and diets adjusted. We are no longer driving this thing, it is driving us. Our actions are reactive, no longer proactive. I feel behind at every turn. I see it, all of it. I know what is happening, I just can’t seem to change the tide. I sit here, still, knowing how important it is to move, but cannot bring myself to. I just need to be still a bit longer.
Today didn’t get off to a very swift start. No matter what I did I could only pull my pillow over my head and fall back asleep. By the time I had a cup of coffee it was after 11. So, now in addition to feeling shitty and miserable, now I was feeling guilty. That little voice in my head informing me I was a piece of shit for staying in bed. I made my way downstairs and quickly realized why bed seemed like such a good idea. As was the case yesterday, I was tearful and sad. I felt so little control over it. As much as I tried to be numb and shut it off, I failed. I spoke with the vet office manager, and I could do nothing to stop crying and be effective. So much for that. I think I got some of my point across. I headed to the gym, hoping for some peace. Instead, I was sore and stiff. Every muscle in my body tight and uncomfortable. I dragged myself thru 45 minutes, but it was about all my back could take. It has been like this for a couple of months, and I have just been ignoring it. Normally the fitter I am, the better it is. This is different. I should get it checked, but I know what the xrays looked like 10 years ago. I can only imagine how it looks like now. I’m hoping it settles a bit. The stress isn’t helping, and the farm work just compounds matters. Everything is heavy lifting. Dealing with the daily pain isn’t what I need. I have been so unmotivated, and my horses aren’t fit enough, I’m tempted to not even bother with polo this year. My partner keeps telling me I need to play, for the sake of my head. It is true. It does help keep me sane. But, I can barely ride my horses right now, let alone play polo. The season is still a month away, so hopefully my back will be a bit better by then.
There is so much wrong, guess the back is the least of it. The bird attacked my partner, tearing up her hand really bad. The old cat is going to be put to sleep tonight. He stopped eating, and is blind and ancient. I’m not attached to him, but my partner is. It is just one more crappy thing to cope with. I really don’t know how much more I can deal with. I’m already at the outer edge. As I sit here typing, staring at a black TV screen, it is pretty evident I’m not coping very well. A non working satellite should not be cause of meltdown, but tonight is different. So, guess I’ll just sit here and cry. I was hoping to watch a little TV and unwind. Clearly, the new remote had other plans. I was a bit unhappy when my partner switched companies, but it saved quite a bit of money. I was convinced it would be a pain in the ass. Surprisingly the whole install went quickly while I was at the gym. Though here I am completely unable to get the fucking thing to do anything. Guess it was a pain in the ass after all. I hope tomorrow goes a little better, and that I can get myself together a bit. I know Virgil is right, I do need to feel this stuff, and to process it. I don’t like it. I get a bit worried when emotions become this intrusive. I’d much prefer to keep them in check. When I cannot do that they scare me. I know all too well what they can do, and how powerful they can become. I do not want to feel overwhelmed and frightened by them. I always want it on my terms, but sadly these past few weeks have been anything but under control. It has not been on my terms. I am feeling everything I could not, while in the midst of chaos. I wish I could go back and spend some more time with Lilo. Before we put a needle in her neck. Just some more time to tell her how much I loved her, and how much she meant to me. But she is gone, I won’t get that chance. I miss her greatly, but even more so I hate that I said goodbye from such a cold clinical place. I didn’t let myself feel it, and they know that. Horses sense things even more acutely than dogs, or humans. They are constantly reading what is going on around them. I’m sorry for that. But she knew she was loved and respected. We just didn’t have enough time. I could never have foreseen how little time we’d have.
It was an odd day. Not too bad to start. Decent session with Beatrice, but it seemed to shift rapidly as the day progressed. By mid afternoon I was fighting tears and this overwhelming sensation of being smothered. Smothered by everything that has gone so very wrong. I don’t tend to be tearful, so it usually sends some alarm bells off in my head. Angry yes, tearful no. My usual numb default setting was failing miserably. Since I was trying to be professional and deal with the farrier, I actually left to run an “errand”, just to get out of the barn. I don’t like anyone to see me fall apart, least of all someone I have a working relationship with. Seeing the vet bill for our dead horse really seemed to set things off. I was angry that they really nailed us. I don’t expect hand outs, I do expect courtesy. Losing Lilo was just devastating, but seeing the bill really sent me reeling. I am fearful of where I am finding myself over these past few hours. Not that I am suicidal, because I am not. It is this feeling of being leveled, in so many respects. I still feel that pull to disappear and run. Find somewhere far from here. It isn’t possible, I can’t just drop everything. or could I? Could I just disappear? I’m exhausted and burned out. I know that. As I stood in the hallway tonight upset and crying, my partner came in from outside. She made no effort to ask why, or even to comfort me. We have drifted miles apart. I’m not looking for sympathy, or even empathy. Just for something to register. Her denial hangs in the air like a thick fog. She can’t even see what is right in front of her. I’m suffering, just as I know she is, but there is no connection. It is sad. I don’t know how to make this right. I don’t know where to go from here.
No real change over the past couple days. Not much seems to make me happy. Spending much of my time irritable. I’d love to be able to shift the whole picture. Flip it around entirely. Everything seems to be negatives, problems, issues, road blocks. Nothing seems possible. I hate this. Though I am not sure how to change it, since so much of it is firmly anchored in issues here. I think we need a break, not from the horses, but from each other. But how is that possible, in the midst of all this shit.
So I find myself thinking about how to make space, how to get distance and perspective. Maybe I am just so caught up in the daily chaos and problems that I am letting that seamlessly find its way into our relationship. Is it just the stress? or is it us? The lines are so blurred. I wish I knew the answer. Honestly, I’m not sure I care, and that is the problem. It isn’t just the horses that don’t resonant with me. It appears to be everything. I find myself falling back into that familiar spot, is it my fault? This isn’t a very good spot for me to visit, but I come right back to it, over and over and over. A day or so ago, I was pissed and angry at everyone for questioning me, forever saying hold on. I am still angry, but it is so easy to doubt myself. Am I yet again depressed and sliding toward inertia? Am I the one standing still while everyone else is fighting to move forward? I don’t think so. Sure, I’m miserable. But miserable is different from depressed. One is just a crappy life, the other is a mental illness. I know it is easy to think they are one in the same. They are not. My life sucks right now. I have more stress than I can cope with, and I have dealt with awful things these past few weeks. Miserable is acceptable. If I were skipping along singing that would be bizarre. So, yes I am miserable, unmotivated and angry. That isn’t sick, it is probably quite appropriate given the circumstances.
I don’t want to constantly doubt my head and where it is at. It is one of the scars left behind, when the depression leaves. When the treatments are done, and the hospital visits lay in the past, it sits there in the background. It leaves doubt and wondering. I don’t want to wonder. I don’t want to doubt myself.
I’ve found myself in this strange irritable place these last few days since things have settled. I’m not really sure why. Mainly just pissy and unhappy. Guess it is the return to the inevitable. The fact that we are in the very same spot before all the chaos of last week. I’ve returned to the gym hoping that would settle my head a bit. It is fine while I am there, but when I walk out the door everything just settles back on my shoulders. As if I never had felt any better. My partner and I argue endlessly, so I have taken to just not saying anything. I like the refuge in silence. It is somehow comforting. Weird. I just don’t have anything to say. All anyone ever says is “hold on” ” things will get better”. Like I am the only one that isn’t on board. Thing is, I’m not. I see problems not solutions. Worries rather than expectations. I’ve dug myself into this trench, and can’t seem to get out. If we go back to what I wrote about a few days ago, it seems obvious. If I don’t feel any passion, why would I move. I am stuck. In my relationship, in my work, and my life. I know I am “stronger” but I am standing still. I am tired and frustrated. It may be because how I am feeling isn’t validated. I’m not talking about therapy. I’m talking about my relationship. It is the usual “you’ll be okay” pat on the back crap. I’m not crazy. I’m not nuts for feeling unsure and worried. Those feelings don’t make me insane, They make me RATIONAL. Any normal human being in this situation would be worried. I’m not fucking crazy. Should I just bury my head in the sand and pretend everything is okay? Take my meds and just shuffle along, try not to look around too much? That goes against every grain. I don’t just shut up and look the other way. I am not like that. It is always “chose what you want” as if it is my decision alone. It is my problem alone that creates these ripples in the an otherwise still pond. Sorry, that is a fucking crock of shit. This isn’t a tranquil pond. Our life is as turbulent as it gets. Last week was a good example. I wish it were a quiet pond. I wish I were the crazy one making waves. It isn’t that simple, and I’m just not that sick. Sure, there have been points in time when one could say I was a little unhinged. There have been times when all the decisions have been made for me, because I was not in a place to make them myself. But that doesn’t mean I need to be reminded of that regularly, nor is now one of those moments. I am coherent and rational. Nobody is running electrical current through my skull. My medications are fairly benign, none altering my ability to process information. Sure, I may be a little dumber than I was before, but I am no idiot. I am seeing this situation for what it is- a shit storm. I’m just tired of everyone tiptoeing around me, worried. Fuck it- I’m not the problem here. This financial disaster is the problem. Trying to support a herd of 30 horses. That is the problem. Our inability to generate enough donations per year. THAT is the problem. My sanity, or lack thereof is NOT the problem.