The Truth About Mornings…

I want, so much, to come to the computer with a song in my heart, a smile on my face, and a kind of happiness that just spills over onto the page, or in this case, the computer. I want to have lovely things to share and sweet stories about my pugs and all of the many other things that are incredible blessings in my life — and there are many, and I know it, and I am deeply grateful — but my brain does not work the way other people’s does and this morning a mixture of anxiety, depression, fear, confusion, and sadness are nearly choking me. This is the truth about living with mental illness. One doesn’t just bound up out of bed and soar through the day.

I creep. I get my dogs out to the potty and feed them. I get them their breakfast. I give them their meds and I take mine. And finally, I sit down with a cup of coffee, and I pray. I pray to have a day that isn’t so hard. I pray to please God let me have one of those days when I rest easy in my own skin, and, even if I’m not singing my way through the day nor am I crying. I took on this September Blogalong Challenge With Effy because I badly wanted to reconnect with my blog and all the lovely people who read and comment here. I wanted to have something to offer, something more than this. I didn’t want to say, 30 days running, this is so hard and I am so scared and how am I supposed to hang on and keep moving forward? But this is the truth of my days. I am sitting here, over morning coffee, trying to breathe, and wondering how I will make it through, again. I always do, and I will, but mornings are especially hard. The whole day is stretching out before me and I don’t know how to get from here to there. There being when I can curl up with my pugs and go to sleep again.

I have therapy today, in fact I have to leave in 35 minutes. Many’s the day when I want to call and cancel because I just can’t face going out, but that is something I don’t let myself do. I have a wonderful therapist and I always feel better for having gone. Monday I had an appointment with the P.A. who manages my meds and the dose was raised on my antidepressant. I am now at the highest dose they give. I prayed for a miracle, but it’s only been two days on the higher dose. I swallow my pills, I hold my coffee mug tight in my hands, I wait for some magic whooshing through my body of a feeling of relief, release, of being okay, but it doesn’t come. These meds take awhile to get in your system. This is the 3rd time in 3 appointments that the anti-depressant has been raised. I am being closely watched.

It has come to me, as it has before, that if what I have to offer is a detailed accounting of what it’s like to live with mental illness then maybe I should stop continually saying I’m sorry for having nothing more to offer and just tell the truth as clearly as I can. I know other people suffer and feel achingly alone as I do. I know that perhaps someone who is close to them and loves them and wants to help just can’t understand. Perhaps if you suffer you can share this blog post with someone to help them understand. Maybe I can be of service. I have read Jenny Lawson’s hysterical books about mental illness and they are so funny they have made me laugh outloud when I was going through days so hard I couldn’t smile. That kind of book can be and is so helpful, but that’s not the kind of book I can write. I can only share this, what I know, how it feels, and how I struggle and pray to be other than I am, but the miracle I pray for has not been forthcoming.

The hardest thing about mental illness is that it doesn’t just affect you. It affects your family, those you love most in the world, those who are near you and dear to you. I want to be able to be cheerful and happy and productive for them. I want to be normal for them. I don’t want to be a burden on them for any reason whatsoever. I don’t want to be a Debby Downer. I don’t want to be the kind of person people avoid because I am not all jokes and laughter and fun to be around. It is why I suppose I live pretty much cut off from the world. Why I became agoraphobic. Why I have to take a pill so I can leave the house at all to do the things that must be done, and then I rush home and cuddle up with my pugs under a blanket and hide. The world is too much with me, Mr. Wordsworth. I want to belong, I long to be part of people’s joy and happiness and good times, but I am utterly terrified. I am staring at the clock, I have to leave for therapy in 18 minutes. I count them down, one by one, even when there is only one or two minutes left I cling to them and count them down, I hold my breath, I pray that maybe she will call me and cancel. But she won’t, and I will go, and I will get home as soon as I can.

Today is a good day though, a sweet day, one I look forward to all week long. My darling daughter Rachel comes over on Wednesday nights most weeks and we eat dinner together and then we watch something together. We have been watching Downton Abbey together for some time now as we could and tonight we are going to have a marathon and watch the last 3 episodes. I look so forward to this and will all day. But first I have to get out the door, I have to make it to this appointment, there are 14 minutes left before I have to go.

This is what it’s like most days. I hope the med changes might help this time, I pray for relief, and from the middle of all of this I want to reach out and help others. You are not alone, I am here, and I am struggling, but I am praying for you too if you are suffering. One day at a time, we just need to make it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. I am, right now. I hope you are too. But it’s almost time for me to go, and I am so afraid…

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…

Comments

  1. I applaud your bravery. You do not need to say sorry. It’s so hard to suffer mental illness – so hard to explain, because no one can see it. Not like you have a broken bone to heal. I congratulate you for getting up and doing anything at all considering the battles you face. You are courageous – and I can only understand some of what you are going through because of my own ‘dark times’ as I call them – though I think mine are less intense. I’ll sit in the dark with you, you are not alone.

    • Thank you so much Rachel, your kind words mean so much to me. I came tonight and there weren’t many comments so I feared I’d said too much, been too honest, it’s why I haven’t been blogging much for a long time because I don’t want to keep writing about having such a hard time and I have been for the last 6 months or so. It’s always been ups and downs but the last 6 months it’s been a struggle to see any light at all. So you commenting tonight, being here with me, means more to me than I can possibly say. I will never forget your kindness…

  2. Oh, sweet Maitri! Please don’t ever feel you have nothing to offer because you’re not in a place where there are rainbows & cotton candy 24/7! You inspire me, on days when I feel the anxiety rear it’s head & I think to myself “won’t it ever go away for good?!” Because as we both know, it’s a part of us, just as our eye color is! Once the right meds are found, who we are remains, & we need to hold ourselves gently & with acceptance. It’s definitely not a place we reach where we are without our pain. I’ve found that time, therapy & meds help us be in charge of ourselves & our challenges, instead of being controlled by them. And though there is no point of perfection or “cure” for any of us, we grow & begin to find our new normal. Stay as strong as you are, because truly, you are strong & brave! 💗❤💗❤

    • Thank you so much dear Susan, I wish I could hug you, really hug you. I know you understand where I am, I hope I didn’t say to much, not many people commented and this is what I fear but I feel I have to tell the truth in the hopes that it might help someone else who is struggling. You’re being here with me this night means more than you will ever know. Blessings and love to you…

  3. Maitri, First I want to say that you have such a beautiful way with words even in sadness and depression and all that goes on in your days. It always grips me and pulls me in and I so feel the emotions that your words convey and say. I don’t begin to say I understand I think that would be making light of what you go through on a daily basis. I find myself down and sad and what I think is depressed but I see that it can be much harder for others and it is not until we have walked in their shoes would we even start to understand and then maybe not. I suffer with pain and have for many years but I am sure this is not the same. Strange I am almost 65 years old and I still don’t have things all figured out, and I doubt that I am going to do so at this point……..but that’s ok with me now. Don’t be sorry you have nothing to be sorry about. I think it is better to share and tell your story each and everyday and if you need to tell it….than tell it again. I so wish I had the power to help you feel better I do have the power of prayer and I do believe that God is there for us. I will keep you in prayer and I hope that maybe tomorrow when you awake that maybe a little of the darkness will have turned to grey or even lighter. Baby steps and know that it will be ok you will be ok. And if you want to sit in the BIG OVER STUFFED chair with the Pugs and a Blanket than do so…..Hugs….Thinking of you and hoping that your adventure out today went ok for you…..JIM

    • Oh my sweet friend Jim,

      Thank you so much dear one. Your kindness to me always and your gentle words mean more than you can possibly know. I am so glad that you are my friend, and I’m sorry that you have suffered and been in pain. And I appreciate your prayers so much. I am getting therapy with a wonderful therapist who really looks out for me, and my meds are being managed by a very kind man, but the road ahead at times can seem bleak because it just doesn’t let up. Finally, prayer is all there is, and not just ALL there is but the most important thing there is. I believe in the power of prayer. That you would pray for me means the world to me. Thank you so much. I am sending you love and a hug this night, and yes, I am off to my chair with the blanket and the pugs. Another night has come, all will be well…

  4. As a recovering Agoraphobic I so understand those mornings. I always felt my most vulnerable and anxious in the morning. I admire you and you writing is so poignant and heartfelt. Maitri please message me on Facebook if you would like to chat. I have a few tools I use for anxiety I could share with you if this speaks to you. Jean

    • Thank you so much dear Jean, you are so kind and dear to me. We’ve only just met but you feel like a kindred spirit for sure. Thank you for being present with me here. Not many people have commented here and it makes me teary. I feel I’ve said too much, or said it too many times, and people are bored with it or wish I’d just be quiet. But I try to be sometimes painfully honest because I know how many suffer and feel alone. If I can reach and touch one other person that needs to feel less alone it will be a blessing to me. And thank you for offering for me to message you. Just now I am so overwhelmed I am rather withdrawn, but perhaps one day I’ll be able to. Thank you so much for offering…

  5. Lynn Heritage says:

    I’m a little behind but want you to know that, for me, your words are always comforting. You are truly brave to share your illness in a manner which is extremely raw, at times, yet
    so wonderfully generous. You bring us in, all the while apologizing for doing so, and even in your pain, you do your best to send light to us and make sure we are comfortable within the circle. I am so sorry for the pain you have and I wish I had a quick and easy fix, but being human, it’s just not part of my DNA. Just know that you are not alone and if somewhere I happen upon a magic wand, I will come to your house and cover you with healing fairy dust. Meanwhile, just know I love you and will keep on sending lots of peace and light your way.

    • Oh Lynn you are so dear and your kind words mean so much. I’m so happy if anything I’ve written is a comfort to you. I want so much to reach out and touch others through my words. And oh! If only you could come upon that magic wand! How marvelous that would be! Until then thank you so much because I need all the peace and light I can get. It is deeply appreciated. Sending you love and a gentle, warm hug…

  6. I love you, my friend. You are not alone, never alone. I would not say that I suffer from anything like what you deal with- but days can be hard for me too. There are times when I can’t face it. I don’t give into it, but it is there dogging me all the way. That little notion that I could just stop trying so hard, go back to bed or to my comfy chair and stop.
    I deal with the “public” all day, every single day. There are very few people I have encountered who do nit feel the same at one time or another. To have that be EVERY day seems impossible, yet because of you- I know that it is possible and real. I admire your ability to put into words all the thoughts and emotions you experience. I truly admire your gumption, to get up and face your fears constantly. Don’t stop. Do it, do it scared, but do it! It is important.

    • Oh dear sweet Alissa, how good it is to hear from you! I will never forget the time you came to visit all those years ago. I still smile when I think of it and I still think of Violet! I am so sorry that you have days that are hard, I admire you, I don’t know how you deal with the public everyday but you have a wonderful business and I hope everything is going well. I still dream of that Magic Shawl but I am lightyears away from ever being able to make one. I will wear it in my dreams. And thank you so much for your kind words, it means so much to me that my writing has meant something to you. I want so much to reach out to others and make a difference. I am sending you so much love and blowing you a kiss from here to you. Take special care my dear friend…

  7. It is the dailyness that you have to share, and that is gold. You need nothing more. You need not be whole (NO ONE IS). You need not be healed (NO ONE IS). You need only be you (NO ONE ELSE CAN BE).

    • Thank you so much dear Cathryn. You make me feel like I do have something to offer, that my life does have merit even amidst the brokenness, fear, and pain, and that helps give me a purpose and a reason to go on. You don’t know how much your kind notes mean to me. Thank you so much honey…

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