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Living with Mental Illness

I’m back. Ready to talk about more deep things since I can’t sleep. So hi everyone 🥲

Trigger warning: I am going to be talking about mental health and suicidal ideation, so if that is a trigger for you, please just skip this post. I completely understand and I love you regardless.

Here goes. I have been struggling hard the last few days. My depression reared it’s ugly head and it’s more severe than it’s been since January of 2020. I keep feeling like it’d be easier to be dead than deal with how sad and hopeless I feel. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do anything to hurt myself, that’s just how I feel in this moment. I don’t know what triggered the depression, but it’s so bad. I am getting upset and crying over things that shouldn’t upset someone. I don’t want to eat. I can’t sleep. And I just feel alone.

Obviously there is a theme here with good ol’ Reebs. I always feel alone. I could be in a room full of people and I would never feel seen, I’d feel invisible and like an outsider. I don’t feel like I’m anyone’s favorite person, I don’t feel like I matter to anyone really and I definitely don’t feel like I’d be missed if I was gone. Which logically I know (well I hope) is not true. But I have such a hard time breaking out of these super depressive episodes. It typically takes awhile and a few mental breakdowns to get back to a place where I feel good.

My health anxiety is super bad right now too. I’m worried about everything. I mean, obviously you can’t have depression without her best friend anxiety too. But this feeling like I’m going to die with every little pain is terrifying. It’s like constantly being told that every thing you feel in your body is a disease that is going to kill you. It’s awful. I feel broken enough, and having my brain tell me tiny marks on my body are some crazy illness, or doctors are going to find cancer if I go just for a check up, it’s driving me crazy. I’m terrified all the time. My heart feels like it’s going to burst out of my chest because I’ve had an on going panic attack since like 6 pm on Friday. We are now at 2 am on Tuesday… this feeling is miserable. And nothing I do seems to help. Add in the sensory over load and insane irritability that I’m trying my hardest to control, even though every little thing is setting me off… I just want to be normal. Not to mention, I’m dealing with flash backs and feelings of intense fear, which is how I felt when I was working through my C-PTSD.

And the absolute worst part of it all is I don’t feel like anyone understands how I’m feeling. I had two of my best friends help me out today, if either of you read this (Kay bug and Jordo) I love you so much and I appreciate everything you do for me. But even with those friends by my side, I feel so alone.

I don’t feel like a normal human. I feel broken. I feel like I won’t ever find love. I feel like every step I’m taking to further my career is all for nothing. I feel like nothing I do is right. I feel like I’m upsetting every person in my life. My body dysmorphia is also out here making me feel like every part of me is ugly. I just don’t feel happy. The only emotions I feel like I can feel right now are anger and despair. I feel so incredibly hopeless. I don’t feel like I’m doing a damn thing in my life the way I’m supposed to be doing it.

These feelings are taking over. And I know, I know it’s all just how my brain is hardwired and once it runs it’s course I will be fine. But in the moment I’m writing this, I just don’t feel like I want to be alive. Or if I am alive, I just want to lay in my bed and cry. What I really want is people to come snuggle with me and just be in my silence, but I know this isn’t logical because it’s not someone else’s depression and I wouldn’t ask a single person to share those feelings with me. Another thing, dealing with mental illness isn’t for the weak, although it makes us feel weak. I know deep down I am so strong. I have overcome so many obstacles that would have destroyed someone else. I’ve pushed through every hardship because I know in the end it will be worth it. So why, right now, am I feeling like the weakest, foulest human on plant earth.

Obviously you guys know, I struggle the most with the sense of being alone. Normally it doesn’t bother me, because I love just napping on my couch with my pets. But then I get like this and I just feel so isolated. I posted a damn video of me crying that over 40 people saw and not a single person reached out to me. And before you say anything, no I wasn’t doing it to get a response or attention, I genuinely just wanted to post the story of the toads. But seeing that many people knowing I’m struggling and not a single person just saying they understand or they were here, just further validated that I am alone.

I wanna say good news just to be the self deprecating bitch I am. This time around my depression is making me feel like I haven’t made a single meaningful connection to anyone. It’s making me feel like I’m failing at trying to better my life. It’s making me feel dumb because I can’t concentrate on anything. It’s making me feel lazy, because I feel fat. It’s just making me feel awful. I don’t know why this time is so bad. I couldn’t tell you what it is that’s bothering me. All I know is I feel lost. I feel like I’ve lost myself again. I don’t feel like I can connect with the happy me anymore. I know I will, don’t worry. I just don’t feel any sort of happiness right now. all I really want right now is support, and I don’t really feel like I have it. Even though I have my select few people whom I love with my entire heart. I still don’t feel happy.

I am so sad. I am exhausted. I’m struggling to achieve my goals. I just don’t feel like me. And I don’t know how to fix it.

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Striving for Perfection

Do you guys ever feel like you’re trying so hard for an outcome that you aren’t even aware of?

This last year I have been through multiple mental break downs, tons of therapy and a lot of internal work. I’m sure so many other people have too, considering the state of the world this last year. I just feel like I lost my mind a little bit. Everything was halted, I was laid off (as many other people were), I moved 20 hours away from any friends or family (aside from my immediate family). It was a lot of big changes in a very short amount of time. And as someone who does not like change at all, it was a lot.

Honestly though, all of these crazy changes kind of helped me out. I had a very severe mental breakdown last May. I’m talking crying every single day, hyperventilating, panic attacks that lasted for weeks. It was awful. So I did the only logical thing I could think of, I cried of course. But then decided I needed some intense therapy. So I found someone online who seemed like she could be the perfect fit and I made myself an appointment.

She specialized in Cognitive Processing Therapy. This therapy was no joke, we basically completely rewired the way my brain processed things. She ended up diagnosing me with PTSD, so from there we dove into my past trauma and dug up emotions and trauma I didn’t even know I had (do not recommend this therapy to people if you aren’t okay with feeling worse before you feel better). I am not going to go into detail here about the trauma, because it’s no one’s business, but know it was HARD to relive and discuss, even with someone I hired to help. During this time though, we discovered that I had this inherent need for perfection, constant perfection.

I guess I have kind of known since around 7th grade that I strive for this unattainable perfection because I went to school the day my house burnt down. I was so “dedicated” to those grades and there was no way I was missing school if I didn’t have too (to anyone who knew me in high school you probably think this is wild because I hardly ever went to school). Which looking back on it now is insanely problematic considering we lost our actual home but I digress. In therapy, I learned all these reasons why I was the way I was. My need for constant control, my need for acceptance, my codependent relationship with literally anyone I was close with and my constant need to be perfect.

The whole needing to be perfect thing would actually send me into full blown panics. If I got in trouble for any reason by literally anyone, bosses, teachers, anyone who wasn’t my mom (I will discuss this is a moment) I would make myself so sick with worry I would start to get physically sick. I had to constantly be reassured in romantic relationships, and constantly get praise at my jobs or school to feel like I wasn’t a failure. The only relationship were I didn’t struggle with this constant need to be perfect was the relationship with my mom. I put that poor women through hell my entire life, but no matter what I did, I knew she would always love me and have my back. So this whole need to be perfect thing was less overwhelming when I would talk to my mom, but then I developed this codependent relationship where I needed my mom’s approval for everything. And that actually just stopped being so detrimental this last year.

I used to be so obsessed with this idea of being perfect that if I would fail at something, I wouldn’t even continue doing it. I would straight up quit because quitting, in my mind, was better than trying and being a failure. It was so bad that if I failed a single test in my college courses, I just completely gave up in the class altogether. If I did poorly for one day at my job, I just stopped caring and would just screw off the entire time I was there. I had this toxic mentality about being a failure, when failing is just a basic part of life. Sometimes you have to be perfectly imperfect.

I had such a hard time accepting that imperfection was the norm and perfection was unattainable. It took 13 weeks of intense therapy to finally realize this. I still even struggle with it sometimes, but mostly I can accept criticism and use it to be better instead of it sending me into a constant state of panic. It’s so crazy to think that a pandemic sending my life into uncertainty was the key to me being the absolute best version of myself.

Did any of you have something similar happen during this last year? I would love to chat about all things life realization during a trying timeI