A Little Off the Rails

I am existing in two states.

The first is perpetual dread and intense desire to escape. I have come up with no less than four ways I could slip away and disappear for several days or more, depending on how I felt.

The second is numbness and stillness. Taking enough or laying still for long enough for sleep to take over so I don’t have to deal with the dread. A sleeping Katie can’t make any rash decisions.

Tonight, I’ve had two drinks and gotten through another unit of classwork. I’ve been tossing and turning over the choice of going out to a party that I can’t even afford to get into, where I risk feeling at best overcrowded and worst just plain unwanted, or staying here, continuing to numb things out and getting things done.

Even my impulsiveness is fraught with indecision and second-guessing.

In my head, I show up and every head turns. I look good, I’m there as my own date and everybody wishes I was theirs. In my head, I show up an anxious, clownish slob. In my head, I show up and can’t even get in in the first place. In my head, I go and find my presence wasn’t really wanted in the first place. In my head, I don’t go at all and sleep until someone bothers to wake me up tomorrow for Pride. In my head, I run away in hopes these feelings can’t keep up with me. In my head, I fall asleep and wake up feeling perfectly fine. In my head, I don’t wake up.

Processing these feelings and thoughts out loud makes me feel crazier. I feel over-dramatic and egotistical, but the little reminder on my phone told me I hadn’t written in 4 days. So I write. In my head, it’s good writing. In my head, it doesn’t get read anyways.

Advertisements

Strange and Powerful

Actor Ben Platt won a Tony Award last night for his portrayal of the titular character in the musical Dear Evan Hansen, a musical about a boy with severe social anxiety disorder. For the musical’s performance during the Tony’s, he blew everyone away once again with the song I’ve talked about on here before, Waving Through a Window. His incredible voice, along with his heart-wrenchingly accurate depiction of social axiety, had my parents and I in tears (not that it’s hard or new for me at this point) as we watched the lyrics mirrored in brilliant choreography. Evan rushing to be in the crowd’s line of sight and the crowd turning their backs at the precise moment at which he could be seen by them, if only they hadn’t turned away. It was a powerful statement made with music and lyrics, just as intended.

During his acceptance speech, he had a message for every person in the world that needed to hear it. He said “the best thing you can be is you because what makes you strange is what makes you powerful.”

It’s exactly the message Dear Evan Hansen tries to make. That if you’re lost, you will be found. If you are strange, you are still valid. If you are scared, you are not alone and you will always find someone to help you feel brave. There’s a reason the show’s poster holds the key hashtag “you will be found”.

They were words that Ben Platt knew so many people needed to hear. That it’s okay to be you and it’s okay to be different. He offered empowerment when people are feeling vulnerable and exposed. It was something I know I needed to hear.

Take it to heart, Lemons and Spoonies. “What makes you strange is what makes you powerful.”

I Have No Idea What My Body Is Doing

Seriously, people. I don’t have a freakin’ clue. It’s been weird, which is something when I think my body is doing weird things. 

I’ve been crying. At everything. Every. Little. Thing. I’ve been snippy and impatient, crazy motivated, but crushingly depressed. I’ve been running between oversleeping and not sleeping at all in equal, but random turns without any regards to when I take my medications or at what dosages. 

Did I mention the crying? Because dear God, guys, the crying. 

I’m three weeks ahead in my class, but still feel like I can’t take a break. Everything has honestly felt like the kind of nightmare where it isn’t all the horrible stuff, but rather a series of feel good moments interspersed with terror and crying. It’s been months of this, but it feels like it’s finally reaching critical mass. I don’t know where the bomb is, but I feel it, hear it, know its ticking in here somewhere. 

Tonight is the Tony Awards. One of the musicals up for several awards is Dear Evan Hansen, a show about a kid with crippling social anxiety and (spoiler alert) suicidal thoughts acheiving his dream by accident because of a lie. I’ll be watching with my parents, which I’m almost upset about because I HATE crying in front of them for some reason. Given that I cried over a sweet harmony in the Trolls movie this week, I’m not even going to pretend I won’t be reduced to ugly bawling by some point tonight. 

Probably because puppies or something.

Working with the Unknown

My last post, Mute, raised a lot of concern from my loved ones that follow the blog. They recognized a shut down in progress and became worried. There was probably good reason to worry, I wasn’t in a good place. I’m not really in a much better place, but a few conversations with people that I trust deeply led me to the decision that these are the times I should be writing. You can easily find articles about getting through the tough stuff or tips and tricks for surviving a bad day, but nobody wants to talk about the ugliness. As Jesse, who I recently shared with all of you in The Social Posts Return!, pointed out to me: “if you aren’t uncomfortable, you aren’t growing emotionally or as a writer.”

She’s a really smart cookie, guys. I’m super lucky to have her around.

So here I am, doing exactly what I said I didn’t want to do anymore. I’m expressing myself in a very public way despite feeling like it’s the worst idea to do so. Writing is so much fun, guys. Really.

To sum it up, I have no idea what’s happening with me. I do know that I am questioning everything. I am talking with my worship leader tomorrow to discuss some major feelings and life-altering decisions. I am questioning myself, I am questioning my sanity and my reasoning for every action I take. In an unusual turn of events, none of this seems to be preventing me from getting done the things that need to get done.

I am questioning my faith not in the sense that I question the reason for my faith or my place in a faith based community. I am not questioning if I believe. Rather, I am questioning the very nature, being, and definition of God. It feels too big for me to be questioning at all, much less to feel so sure about this, that I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so steady about anything before.

I am struggling to confide in those that I know support me without question and without strings attached. I still trust them, but The Imposter insists that I’m going on about the same topics too much, that I’m obsessing, and that nobody wants to hear about it anymore. School, faith, health. That’s all I’m about, obviously. Who wants a friend that can only talk about, at most, like five topics? The fact that its been pointed out to me that I’ve been stuck on a particular set of topics doesn’t make it easy for me to tell The Imposter where to shove its opinion.

School has officially started and I’m two full weeks ahead of schedule with assignments, yet I’m still mildly panicking about the bigger projects and that the class I’m currently taking isn’t even one that’s particularly challenging to me. Personal Wellness, when you’re whole life is a game of “what will make me sick today” is kind of a moot point and, after partial hospitalization for my depression in which every day for two weeks was full of nothing but talking about emotional, intellectual, and spiritual wellness…let’s just say nothing is particularly new.

An interesting response, thus far, has been the slight feeling of panic, pain, or grief when physical health is discussed, which has been pretty much everything we’ve focused on thus far and will focus on for the next two weeks. Unit Two contains required reading about cardiorespiratory fitness and an assignment to turn in an exercise and food log. I laugh bitterly and resist the urge to scribble on the textbook pages. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it almost feels like a trigger, and I hate it.

I’ll have more interesting things to talk about in the future (hopefully). Until then, even if things are ugly, keep living the best life you can, Lemons and Spoonies. I’m right beside you, no matter how bad it is.

Mute

“If you’ve fallen in a forest and there’s nobody around, do you ever really crash or even make a sound? Did I even make a sound? It’s like I never made a sound. Will I ever make a sound?”

I’ve typed these lyrics three times today and felt my face burn hot each time. The last several months and the many struggles they have contained have left me with few words and many feelings, most of which I cannot begin to process without feeling burdensome.

Despite the childish nature of my anger, I feel as though it is valid. While some of the conflicts have been resolved and others sit in corners, purposely ignored, I have arrived at the conclusion that the best course of action seems to be keeping my thoughts to myself.

As a writer, blogger, and advocate for emotional health, this is problematic at best and crippling at worst.

Misunderstandings, poor translation of tone, and downright ignorance have been the base of each scenario that has effectively slapped down any feeling of safety for my expression of concerns, thoughts, and feelings. In essence, I feel I have been made incapable of self-expression in any meaningful or positive way or, alternatively, that self-expression will only yield platitudes or complete shut down. Bringing up problems does not result in discussing solutions, it results in ignorance, anger, or being shut out entirely.

Having just today seen the work load that awaits me over the next year and some months for my education, this doesn’t feel like a bad time to withdraw. Allowing myself to move to quiet contemplation and letting negative feelings convert into a spiteful kind of motivation may not be the way I intended to get through this accelerated program, but given the amount of work I have completed in one day of this emotionally removed mentality, I’m not about to complain.

Lemons and Spoons will likely be quiet for quite some time. As I rediscover how best to communicate in a way that allows me to feel safe and valid, I’ll update and likely share. Unfortunately, a blog dedicated to working through feelings in a public setting doesn’t find itself feeling welcome when expressing yourself at all feels like a risk.