Never forget that… 

Never forget that who you are isn’t entangled in depression or Bipolar. They are simply illnesses that don’t allow you to be you. 

If you are afraid of taking medication because it’ll make you less of who you are, remember that this is what your mental illness wants you to believe. 

My Fear of Dying [[plus, some news]]

Ever since I got on my mixture of medications I’ve been free of my suicidal thoughts.

I wanted to kill myself every day for about three years. I would stay up at night while everyone else in the world slept and plan my death. I’d pick locations, read news stories about things other kids did to end their lives and plan accordingly.

Now… life is a lot less dramatic.

I am, however, extremely paranoid. I can’t walk alone (day or night, really), and when I’m home alone I’m always anxious. At night, I’ll lay in fear sometimes because I’m completely convinced that someone is going to kill me.

I’m afraid to die.

Genuinely afraid to die.

The idea of death is terrifying to me. How will I die? Will someone harm me and kill me? Will I get into a gruesome car accident? Will my life get cut short? Why am I so convinced that I’m going to die young?

These are the things that keep me up at night now.

The idea of death used to make my mouth water. It was a thirst that I wanted to quench more than anything.

Now I want to be as far away from it as possible.

I turned to google.

“What to do if you’re afraid of dying.”

A few things came up. An anxiety test, a huffpost article and a wikipedia page about Sigmund Freud’s thoughts on the matter.

Thanatophobia

“Sigmund Freud hypothesized that people express a fear of death, called thanatophobia. He saw this as a disguise for a deeper source of concern. It was not actually death that people feared, because in Freud’s view nobody believes in their own death. The unconscious does not deal with the passage of time or with negations, which does not calculate amount of time left in one’s life. Furthermore, that which one does fear cannot be death itself, because one has never died. People who express death-related fears, actually are trying to deal with unresolved childhood conflicts that they cannot come to terms with or express emotion towards.”

Not only is there a name for this, but there’s a reason for it as well.

My childhood trauma.

Here it comes again to bite me in the ass.

It seems that with or without medication, my childhood trauma comes out of the woodwork. It is exhausting. There are a few things that happen every day due to said trauma.

  • I have to put my clothes on right away after I take a shower.
  • Sometimes after sex I shake and sweat until I can be calmed down.
  • I’m extremely uncomfortable being alone in a room with a man or men.
  • Entering a church makes me uneasy and talking about God or religion tends to bring me to tears.
  • I MUST lock my door when I go to bed no matter what.
  •  I usually feel that most men are thinking of harming me one way or another.
  • I’m afraid of someone kidnapping or killing me.
  • I’m afraid of death or dying in general.

I’m sure there are other things about myself that I don’t even know are related to my childhood trauma yet.

I need to go back to therapy.

I’m happy to announce that on December 1st, My Husband, Kam, and I are moving to Chicago. I’m moving back, he’s moving there for the first time. I miss my family and friends, and my therapist, Theresa. It’s time to go home.

Kam and I are so excited to be moving forward in our life together!

This feels really right. Like I’m supposed to be back in the windy city. I’m so pumped. We may not stay there forever, but for now this feels like the best step to take for us. (Maybe someday we’ll live in New York. That’s our goal.)

Anyway, I’m going back to Theresa. If you’ve followed my blog since the beginning, you’ll remember how great she was and how I missed her so much when I moved. To this day I’ve still never found a therapist I’ve connected with as much as her.

When I first started going to her I was extremely suicidal and always depressed. She had to get me out of that emergency stage before any real deep digging could happen.

By the time I was stable I had decided to move to Austin. No real healing from my past was able to happen.

Now … it will.

I’m determined to get this trauma off my back and live the crap out of whatever time I have left.

Any hey, I may live to be 101. You just never know.

-Jess

What to do when you feel like a burden on others 

Depression can be pretty scary. It’s especially scary when you’re alone in your room at 3:30am fighting a war against yourself to stay alive while the rest of the world sleeps soundly.

Intense, I know.

It’s hard to depend on others because you don’t want to be a burden.

When you do finally let someone in you hold onto them for dear life because they are the only other person that has been inside your head. They are the only ones that know everything.

Suddenly you can’t stop. Every other conversation (or maybe even more) revolves around your depression. What set you off that day, all of the negative things you have to say about yourself and the world around you, all of the things you’re feeling. Over and over and over again.

Then eventually, like any human being who is being barraged with that kind of information all day long, grows restless.

It’s a difficult maze to get out of. You hear yourself babbling away about it and you desperately want to make yourself stop. You tell yourself that you’ve already said that before, or that you can see the annoyance on their face, or that you hate yourself for not being able to stop.

It happens to all of us. It will happen to all of us.

The key is using coping skills to help yourself, and your loved ones deal with this mental illness that is, as you know, out of your control.


Coping Skill #1: Doing things for others. Sometimes when you have depression you feel like everyone ends up taking care of you. Saving you. What about taking care of others? Buy your friend a meaningful gift, or write them a thank you note for being supportive. Take them to dinner. Help them with a chore.

This helps for two reasons. The first being that helping others gives you a sense of self worth, something that people with depression struggle with. The second being that your loved one will feel appreciated and cared for. It now went from being one sided- to very well balanced.

Coping Skill #2. Don’t let depression run your life. Take your depression by the hair and kick its ass. Nobody, not even depression, is allowed to control you. When you feel super low, remind yourself that you don’t always feel this way. I know it’s one of the most difficult things to do, but it is doable.

You ever have a really bad hour of depression brain and then when its over you suddenly realize that everything isn’t as bad as it seemed? Go into your low points knowing this will help in the long run.

Coping Skill #3. Find other ways to fill up time. When I was in the hospital and didn’t have my best friend there to talk to, I painted. I’m pretty terrible at it, but that’s not the point of painting. It was therapeutic for me. It felt great.

And afterwards I felt a little less heavy. A little less burdened with depression. It didn’t last long of course, but that’s depression for you. It worked better for me than talking on and on because I didn’t feel guilty afterwards.

Coping skill #4. You are allowed to think different thoughts. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Instead of using every moment of your time with this person stressing about depression, use it as a little vacation away from it. Let yourself be normal you. Joking, laughing, being whatever version of you you want to be.


Now, if there is a day you just really need to talk about it, then go for it! Your loved ones are called loved ones for a reason. They care. This list is for when you really feel like you have burned your friend/mom/dad/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/sister/brother/etc out.

I hope this helps. This is just what worked for me, but everyone is different. I encourage you to discover what coping skills work for you!

-Jess

What should you do when you don’t want to be anywhere or do anything?

Some days I don’t know how to live my life.

I don’t feel sad or depressed. I don’t feel happy or fulfilled.

I feel indifferent.

Like whatever happens, happens. I just don’t care.

I don’t want to be anywhere or do anything.

I don’t really know where this passiveness comes from. I suppose I could use it for good when it comes about. Just let stupid moments in my day roll off. Get through the rest of it on auto-pilot.

It can happen at any time. I feel like anything I do doesn’t really matter because not only do I feel indifferent, but so does the world.

Sometimes it feels like no one wants to hear what you want to say, or take the time to see what you’re doing. And why should they? In this world we live in everyone is born on their own and dies on their own. Whether it be by their own hand or not, they die and are alone.

I know this sounds like the most cliché question in the world but it’s very true.

What does it all mean?

Im sure I’m not the only one who’s asked this. Why do we sit here doing the same shit every single day? Why are some of us clocking in, clocking out, desperate for a day off, desperate to feel something in this mundane lifestyle?

Getting diagnosed and going to therapy has helped me get a handle on my depression. But now that it’s more manageable I’ve wondered where to go next. What to do next. This can’t be it.

Even on days where I’m doing things I know are contributing to my future… It feels like so much work… And for what? To get to that point and still feel unhappy because I’m chemically convinced to?

That feels awful. What if I get to what should be the peak of my happiness and…  It’s all the same?

On days like those I automatically start to blame myself. Why can’t I just live my life and do the things I have to do like everyone else? Why do I feel so entitled to live happily 24/7 365? I really need to get over myself.

Some days I feel like I don’t want to dream anymore. Every time I have a dream, I go for it, and if it works I end up being unhappy again, and if it doesn’t it brings me down like nothing else.

It’s never enough.

I feel stuck. Every time this happens I have this weird lingering feeling that death is just simpler.

But… Other days…

I look at my life and it actually makes sense.

There’s a clear path. A moment of understanding. A moment of –

Dare I say it –

Happiness.

Maybe even joy.

Yknow what I call that Rollercoaster?

Depression.

Yeah.

Some days you just have to hold your breath and get through it. There’s not much else to do.

Other days it’s easier to get out of your funk.

One handy trick that I’ve been using is my shower rule.

Whenever I feel low, or super indifferent, I take a shower.

A shower always makes me feel 20% better.

It’s funny, I don’t even really enjoy showers. Some people love them. I prefer naps.

But for some reason the feeling after I take a shower is wonderful. I feel like for a moment I really took care of myself. I cleaned myself, brushed my hair, brushed my teeth (I do that in the shower. Feels like two birds), and put some clean clothes on. I feel like I did something no matter how simple it was

And even though I say it’s simple, I know the sometimes something as “simple” as a shower feels intimidating.

You start to think about every tiny step before you even start.

Muster up the rest of your energy to get out of bed, walk to the bathroom, take clothes off, turn on the shower, wait for it to get warm, get in, shampoo, condition, body wash, brush teeth (if you’re like me) get out, dry off (which takes years), find clean clothes (which is hard if your depression has been fucking you over a lot lately), put them on, brush hair.

…. Shiiiiiiit.

But if you think of each step as you do it…  It doesn’t feel so bad.

Like in F. R. I. E. N. D. S.  When Ross was trying to get a very nervous Chandler married.

If you haven’t seen F. R. I. E. N. D. S. Then wtf are you reading this for?! Go watch that shit. It’s on Netflix. Go. Now. Seriously.

Except in his case a shower felt easy. For us a shower can sometimes feel like a fucking marathon.

I get it. I really do. But seriously, try the one thing at a time method. It takes a lot of pressure off of you.

Once I get out of the shower… Suddenly things don’t feel so…  Hopeless.

I encourage you to try it. Even if it’s not a shower. Try something that will make you feel like you helped yourself in some way.

Cook something, watch a show or a YouTube video you like, read a book, etc.

If you feel like you’re on a roll you can help other people. Makes you feel good, too.

If you ever feel like a burden (you’re not), call a friend and listen to their story. Let them talk. Give someone a ride somewhere, make something for someone, send your mom a card, etc.

These are the perfect days to do things that you don’t necessarily have to do that day.

You don’t care what happens that day anyway. Use it to be selfless, or selfish!

The day is yours.

Shit…  Sleep all damn day if you want.

Who gives a shit, right? You don’t! It’s indifference day!

If you have a trick that works, please share it in the comments below. We are all here for each other.

I’m Getting Married!! 

That’s right! I’m getting married on May 6th to the man of my dreams. No fake names here. My future husband, Kameron Nix and I are tying the knot! A little over a month from now I’ll be Mrs. Jessica Nix! Kameron, I love you so much. You’re my world.

I finally found my forever. If you’ve followed this blog since the beginning you know how important that is to me.

 More on all of this later. Love y’all! 

-Jess

Doing what you want vs. What you think is right. 

In other words doing what your heart tells you despite what your brain tells you. 

Technically it’s all your brain. One part wants something but the other part has issues with it. Could be guilt, fear, sadness, etc.

I don’t know the mechanical part of it. I don’t know what the parts of the brain are called or how to explain it properly. All I know is that this is where I am right now.

I want something. Someone. Me. 

I want myself back.

But I feel guilty, I’m scared, and the thought of change makes me sad. 

So in the words of How I Met Your Mother…  “What do you do? … Go.” 

Augh. 

I don’t know what to do. 

All I know is that I want to be single again. 

Not to mess around with anyone. Not to ruin my relationship. Not even to have a better life than I do. My life is great. 

He loves me and I love him. We have jobs that pay the bills and we have two cats. His son loves me and I love him, too. 

But I don’t love who I’m becoming. 

Or rather…  Who I’m trying to be. 

I feel too young to be living the life I’m living.

Maybe that’s immature…. But I suppose that’s the point.. 

I’m not there yet. 

But isn’t this what my parents always wanted of me? Be with someone that loves me and build a life together? 

Yes. But I’m just not ready to take that step. 

I used to think at this age I’d be married. I specifically remember day dreaming about it as a little kid.

I’d be married by 22, have two kids by 25, own a home and be a soccer mom. 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that life, but I’m going to be 24 this month and I feel so far away from wanting those things.

I always say that if I’m more excited for the wedding than I am the marriage then I’m not ready. 

I. Am. Not. Ready. 

I’m not even sure that I want kids anymore. But that’s the beauty of being my age. You don’t have to take yourself too seriously. 

So I can choose to continue this road and (excuse my anxiety) get divorced later in life because I was living a lie. I can ruin his life and my own and make things so much worse than necessary. 

Or I can do what I want.

Ah…there’s my guilty brain again. 

I suppose I don’t have to figure it out today. I’ll leave today for self care and reflection. 

Jess. 

So… I’m writing a book

I know that I’ve mentioned before that I was writing short stories on my blog for a future book I may write, but there haven’t been many specifics. After months of deliberating whether or not I wanted to do it, whether or not it would make sense, whether or not I thought it was important to share, etc. I have decided to do it.

I’m writing a book.

I’m currently sitting in the business center of my apartment complex, sipping on coffee and taking notes in an old beat up notebook as I scour through 235 posts on this blog whilst wearing my burgundy rimmed glasses (very writer-esque).

235 posts. Wow. It has been a year and 4 months now since day one of my blog and somehow I’ve still managed to write combinations of letters on a post that resonates with people all over the world.

That is beautiful.

This is why this book is important. I am still working things out, but it’s obvious that the book will be a collection of short stories and pretty much anything else I find relevant to my recovery. I don’t want to focus on love or romantic relationships as much as I do childhood and family relationships, mostly because I really want this book to be taken seriously, and tween-20 something love isn’t always received in the best light, no matter how real it feels.

I already have to break that barrier down for depression in this book. That’s more than enough to keep me busy.

I’m going over old posts that will create the outline for my book. The skeleton that is what I want this book to be. How I want it to feel. What I want to tell the world.

I will be editing a lot of those posts to sound less blogg-y and more book-y. I know, my genius way with words is showing.

I don’t really care if nothing happens with it. Even if one person picks it up and it changes something for them I’ll be happy.

I have to try. That’s the same thing I said with this blog and it has been such a wonderful success. I’ll still be blogging of course, it is the whole reason I even have material.

Thank you, WordPress followers, for giving me the courage to do this.

This book will be dedicated to you.

-Jess

Savor every normal moment

Looking back on my old posts I felt like a clueless fool. A year ago I was on cloud nine and feeling better. All I could seem to do was write about how wonderful it felt to get my life back. How happy and independent I was. 

I thought I had all the answers and I spewed those out to the world to try and make it a better place.

What a braggy bitch.

But yknow, now that I am trying to get better again I’ve realized something. 

That version of me is who I aspire to be again. 

I’m jealous of my past self.

But how could I not be? That girl was fun, sassy, happy, talented, and actually wanted to be alive.

And honestly I bet to the rest of the world I still am those things. But it doesn’t matter unless I know them to be true.

And I don’t. Not yet.

Reading back on my posts I feel jealous, but I also realize that this girl, this wonderful version of me, she played her cards just right.

She lived, damnit. She worked, she played, she cared, she accomplished things, and she loved. 

She savored every moment of normal and told the world about it.

Even work. Work became fun because she knew it was a part of normal life.

And yeah, she bragged, but who wouldn’t? Life finally made sense. It finally had meaning. She finally felt comfortable in her own skin.

There are days when I don’t feel so low. I actually feel kind of okay sometimes. 

On those days I get so confused on how to feel. Sometimes I panic. I freak out about feeling somewhat normal and I waste it all. Sometimes it makes me sad. I know it’s only temporary and that fact gets me down.

My feelings are valid, but in those instances I have choices. 

And I want to choose to enjoy those moments. I don’t feel perfect or happy or manic. I just feel a little more normal. 

But that is a gift.

-Jess

The Devil in an Unflattering Costume [[an excerpt from a larger story]]

2004

“Quien canta esa canción?”

“Extreme”

“Mejor déjalos cantarlo.”

I shielded my developing body as best I could. Since he married my mom I had gotten better at it. The trick is wrapping one arm over your chest under the opposite armpit and the other arm extended to the opposite shoulder. Covers you where it counts and gives you a sense of security, even at 11 years old.

My lower privates would have to settle for the soapy water.

“I’m taking a bath. Leave me alone.”

“No me hablas así. Es no fair. Yo soy tu papa.”

“You’re not my dad.”

________________________________________
2006

Dress up week at middle school was fun. I enjoyed making up my costumes and showing my friends. That day was superhero theme. I used a Wonder Woman costume my mom got me for Halloween a few years back.

“Cam on, Darse prisa.”

“I’m ready.”

“In the car.”

I forgot to grab a sweater and sweatpants. I always wore them when he gave me a ride. But I forgot it. Even after two years I still forgot sometimes.

“I like it.”

“What?”

Tu costume. Te miras very sexy.”

Reaching over to the notch on the radio, he somehow accidentally grabbed my leg instead. He was always accidentally grabbing something.

“Don’t touch me.”

I knew I shouldn’t have said that. Be quiet — that was my new angle. He lunged forward and wrapped his hands around my neck.

“No me hablas así.”

I choked out a few raspy okays before he let me go. 

“little bitch.”

When he was finished he dropped me off. He dropped me off an hour late and I couldn’t breathe. I leaned against the back doors of the building and tried to catch my breath, but It was miles away. Clutching my chest with tears in my eyes I didn’t understand why it had to be me. Why he had to pick my family. 

I watched my father physically abuse my brother every single day.

I supposed it was my turn now.
Maybe I’m overreacting.

I must be. Him and my mom always say I can be so dramatic.

I knew it wasn’t right. I knew he wasn’t right. 

But maybe I wasn’t either. Maybe I was messed up and needed to be punished. 

Maybe the universe set this up.

Maybe God knew I was no good too and decided to do something about it.

After all my mom met him at our church. He was in cahoots with The Lord I thought loved me.

Maybe the worst was over.

Maybe I’ve suffered enough.

Maybe God will have mercy on me.

Then again maybe he won’t. 

Day one back on Meds

That’s right… Here we go again.

Except this time it’s different. I am on a mood stabilizer. Lamotrigine.

The psychiatrist mentioned a rule of three.

If three SSRI’s fail on you then there may be multiple diagnoses involved.

He thinks I also have bi polar components.

… I’m not even sure what to think of that right now so I’ll get into it later.

Look if it makes me feel anything like Wellbutrin made me feel for those 6 months then it is more than worth it.

Also with my insurance it’s $5.50 for 60 pills so money can’t be an excuse like it was with Wellbutrin. 

Here we go.

I’ll keep you updated. 

-Jess-