The Return of Emma

Heather Hamilton Rose Panic Attacks anxiety bipolarEventually, the everyday stressors add up and you start to make mountains out of molehills. The tiniest little inconvenience sets off the balance of the day. These little things start to wake Emma up over time. She starts to take over the cognitive thinking. She turns every thought into something negative. She starts to think things and feel things that are not my own.

Then it’s a war between Heather and Emma. And eventually, one of them has to give up. I always want to just curl up in a ball and die. I want to find a release to the pain I feel. Death is such a sweet release, but I won’t do it. I won’t let Emma win. That’s her game. To get me to give up. She is part of the demons I face.

She is the one who wants me to take the magic pill. She’s the one who wants me to cut. The one who starts to put things into my head. She is the one who makes me feel worthless. I’m an adult. I treat Emma like the child she is. I don’t let her control me. But she makes me weak. Sometimes, she wears me down to the point where I give in to the tricks and the lies. She makes me emotional and makes me feel stupid.

I hate Emma. But she’s a part of me. I hate part of myself. When she starts to wear me down enough, I start to feel trapped. I’m claustrophobic. I can’t breathe. I can’t think. The air to my lungs becomes thin and I need to inhale faster to get more air. It keeps constricting, and it gets harder to breathe. I give up an panic. I’m suffocating. I feel like my insides are being crushed. Like I can’t take any more pressure or I’ll die. And then, that’s all I want. For this pain to end. And I feel cold, but I’m sweating. I’m hyperventilating and choking while I want to scream for the pain to end. For it to kill me. It hurts. Everything hurts.

Once it seems I’m dead, Emma is laughing. Making me feel stupid for feeling. Stupid girl. She won. Another little piece she takes. How many pieces of me does she need before she stops? And what game does she play to keep wanting to take more from me? She is the game master and makes up the rules. She changes them at her will, and punishes with disasters when things aren’t chaotic enough for her.

I live at an 8. How bad is it? Depression is 7, anxiety is 10. Emma is thriving. Heather is drowning. Emma 1, Heather 0.

Plastic Bag

I hate this. I hate it when I can’t stop it. When I know it’s coming and there isn’t anything I can do. I feel like the tears fall silently for no reason and there’s no stopping it. I’m not sad about anything. Nothing is wrong. It’s just me. I’m wrong. I’m broken. I can’t explain it and I can’t win. I never feel good enough. I feel like I’m always suffocating. Like I can’t breathe.

Deep breaths don’t help. I try to breathe deep and slow, but it doesn’t help. The deeper I breathe, the more I feel like I can’t. The more I feel like I’m trying to breathe life into a dead husk. It feels like I’m dead inside.

Deep sadness that I can’t stop, I can’t change. The deep depression that never stops. It doesn’t go away, I just have to live with it. It comes on so fast. It’s like I was fine the second before, and then it just hits me, and it feels like there are worse things than death. Death is a release from the invisible pain.

It hurts. It hurts so much to live. I wish sometimes I could step out and come back when it feels better.

It starts with the muscle aches. The misalignment in my spine, the aching in my jaw, and the headaches. Then it continues onto aches throughout my whole body. Then anxiety, and then the irritability. After that comes nausea. Each step, I know it’s coming. Then it’s like someone hit me. I’m overwhelmed with the feeling of lack of self worth, no energy, and it feels like everyone I know would be better off without me. A waste of space. A mistake. A failure. In the way. A problem.

I feel like a problem with no solution. Broken, with no way to fix me unless I’m totally replaced. I feel like my heart is broken. For no reason, which makes me feel even worse. There is no answer, no solution, and I feel like I have a mental plastic bag over my head and I’m underwater. Like I’m choking on toxic air, and everything is so happy around me, except for me. It’s like I don’t fit in in the world. It feels like I bring down every person who is around me. Like I always come up short. Always making mistakes, creating problems, complicating for everyone else. The tears won’t stop, and I can’t make them stop. I feel like to help everyone else, I have to stay away. Keep my ‘downer’ personality away from the world. I should just hide in a closet until my ‘sunshine self’ comes out again.

I try to put on a happy face and fake it. But it hurts more when I have to try to be ‘stable’. I hate this.I_can__t_Breathe__by_EllyDelice_large

This Feeling

This feeling. I hate this feeling. I hate how much hurt I have to feel. I wish my wounds weren’t so deep.

Feeling of loss. The last 10 months have been so incredibly hard for me. It feels like I have lost so much.

Heartache.

My insides being ripped apart. They clench and tense, it hurts. Every muscle hurts.

I can’t think. I can’t focus.

It hurts to breathe. It literally hurts to be alive.

This feeling of wanting to shrink into the floor. I know people would miss me if I died.. but sometimes, I still don’t feel I deserve to exist. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to be. Sometimes. Like now.

Panic. Pain. Tears. Screaming.

I wish I could ‘snap out of it’ or ‘just smile’ or whatever else people say. ‘Just be happy’ they say. Oh, ok. Thanks. I’ll do that now.

It doesn’t work like that. It hurts to be alive. It hurts to breathe

Wanting to shrivel up into a dead husk. No one misses a dead husk. Lack of self worth. I’m not anything. Logically, I know that’s not true. I have these feelings sometimes anyway. There’s my second self telling me I’m nothing. That’s telling me every single hurtful thing anyone has ever said. Then there’s me. Telling me it’s not true. And then there’s everyone else. And they are telling me it’s not true. I believe them…but for a second, I believe I’m nothing. In that moment, I’m nothing.

IT’S SO FRUSTRATING! Sometimes, I have anxiety attacks because I can’t change this. I hate it so much. I can’t stop them, I can’t stop this feeling. It comes whenever there is a trauma or a trigger. I don’t want comfort or sympathy. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I can do for myself to fix this.

I’m scared to sleep. Scared to dream. Scared to wake up to this reality. Scared to see the demons again.

I want to reset. I want to rest my tired body. Every muscle aches. But I can’t.

I don’t know what I want. I don’t want to sleep, but I don’t want to be. If I sleep, I cease to exist for a while.

I am so strong, and then I’m so weak. Feelings make me weak. Rip them out. Dope me up. Drug me. Stop the feelings.

I hurt so much. It’s like it will never end. I hate my world half the time.

Rapid Cycling

We all make mistakes. We all sometimes feel stupid. We all sometimes keep doing things we know we shouldn’t. And eventually, it comes crashing down. Occasionally, this crash is life altering. We feel like we will never be the same. For me, this is a trigger. It triggers rapid cycling.

Rapid Cycling

Rapid cycling. What is this? Well, in my own terms, rapid cycling means I am swinging from one mood to the next with little to no warning. Manic hyperactivity, lack of impulse control, crazy happy, I can CLEAN THE WORLD attitude. That’s the fun part. Rapid cycling also includes incredible lows. This means lack of self worth, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, panic attacks. Let’s not forget the toll this takes on the body. The physical pain of being up and down so often. I get horrible stomach cramps, knots, I sometimes vomit, sore or tight muscles, irritability, and fatigue.

I’m experiencing all that pain now. Sore neck, sore back, tight shoulders, cramps, irritability, fatigue, knots from anxiety, can’t focus… I’m trying to just concentrate and get through it. But this part sucks.

Whenever I go through a trauma, immense stress, or a big decision, it triggers a cycle. I know I have one coming on when I can’t sleep very well, or when I have knots in my stomach. It also seems like my triggers come all at once. Not just one big event, but multiple.

I like to think I can handle it all the time. I like to think I’m a badass and I don’t need help. I don’t need people, I don’t need to be taken care of. I don’t need support or friends. I’m hardcore and can handle anything by myself.

I’m lying to myself. I do need help sometimes. I need support. When I’m in my ‘downs’ I want to disappear from the world. I want to hide and just wait it out. I also have to admit I enjoy the support. I appreciate it, and really feel loved. I feel guilty a lot when someone supports me, or when someone takes care of me. I should be able to do it by myself. Right? I don’t ever want to be co-dependent. I want to live my life without relying on other people to take care of me. I can do this. Even when I’m in my worst down peaks.. I can do it. I just have to wait it out. Waiting feels like forever. It’s exhausting. And yet… having to wait it out with someone who wants to be there for you makes it so much less daunting.

emotional roller coasterRight now, I’m ‘level’. In between a cycle. I had one of the most severe downs I have ever had… and I’m proud of myself. Yes, I had quite a few thoughts of suicide, but then I immediately thought “ok, stop. Go do something”. Almost a day after that cycle, started the rapid cycling of manic and severe anxiety/panic. After that… it’s always either full blown manic, or deep depression. I hate this part. I just wait for it…because it’s happening. And there isn’t anything I can do about it. Sometimes, my manic cycles are so much worse than my depression. But other times, the depression is suffocating. It’s like I’m getting on a roller coaster, and it’s different every time.

Welcome to the Heather Train.

Drowning with Demons

heather_hamilton_bipolar_depression_suicideIt’s a web of feelings you can’t understand unless you have gone through a period where you felt the feeling of complete sadness, despair and loneliness. Sometimes, this onsets for no reason at all. Other times, it’s because of a trauma, an event, or stress. It feels like dying is less painful than being alive. You wish for death to end the suffering. To end the pain. To stop feeling so damn awful.

Physical pain sometimes accompanies the mental anguish. But the physical side is nothing compared to what this level of depression feels like. Pain feels good. This hurts worse than any cut, bruise, bite, or broken bone. It’s like your heart is dead. To feel any physical pain is relieving. For just a moment, you don’t have to feel the inside pain.

Crying is a sign there is still hope to climb out of this hell hole. Crying means you’re still in there … somewhere. I’ve been crying. That means I’m healing. It’s an outlet. Crying is an outlet of all the energy my body can’t handle anymore. Panic stricken attacks, hyperventilation and crying release some of the tension inside my body. And I feel a little better.

depression_drowning_bipolar_suicideScreams rip through my body while I writhe around, hoping all the pain and hurt I feel will disappear. So much hurt, so much pain. Letting it out is sometimes the hardest thing you can do, but letting it go eventually will feel better.

Sleep comes and will overtake your sore and exhausted body. I dread sleep when I am in these state of minds. Dreams invade my sleep, and usually they aren’t good. I tried turning off the dreams using drugs before, but then I just dealt with the demons. Since I don’t take the drugs anymore, I don’t see the demons… most of the time. When I am in a deep depression, I do see them. I hear them. They talk about me. They torture me. If I don’t move, if I stay still, they don’t bother me. If I get up, adjust my body position, breathe too loud, or talk to them, they assault me with their whispers.

It feels like this will never end. But it’s happened before, I know I’ll get over it. Logically, I know. But inside, I never know how much I can take. I’m drowning again.

Roll of the Dice

Have you ever had that feeling where you are so going through so many emotions at once, where you feel like you might puke? A physical response to an emotional problem. That feeling has been coming and going all day.

That feeling like you want to do everything. And at the same time, want to do nothing. You want to change the world with new ideas… but getting out of bed seems like a monumental task.

Or being painfully excited at the same time where you are run down and depressed. A brand new journey is about to unfold and things are changing, growing, expanding… but you can’t seem to mentally get past the fact that you don’t want to do anything at this given moment.

Where something really good just happened, but all you can think about is that one bad thing. Negative feelings always trump positive feelings. It takes 10 good things to make up for 1 bad thing. POSITIVITY… change can happen, it’s not always a bad thing.

You think you are hungry, but really, it’s nausea.  That feeling right before you throw up.

That moment when you wish you were medicated so you didn’t feel so overwhelmed, but at the same time, glad that you aren’t because you want to feel the high. The highs are so worth it.

bipolar_disorder_not_in_control_of_feelingsWhere the only thing you want is the thing you can’t have.

The feeling of loneliness, but at the same time, knowing how much you are loved.

It’s where depression and the manic cycle collide. It’s this black box where everything changes from one second to the next. It’s a spiral of devastation and wonder. A roll of the dice is how much control I have over how I’m feeling. It’s like I’m being controlled by the Game Master in Dungeons and Dragons. He decides my fate. All I can do is act and hope for the best. Roll the dice.

It’s exhausting, and invigorating. Both feelings fighting each other. A battle you can’t control. The feelings come in waves. One after another. The first one may be immense joy and happiness and excitement. The next ,despair, sadness, and depression. A second later, the third hits, and it is determination and drive. The cycle continues through all the emotions. Back and forth until I can’t stand it anymore.

The shaking starts. The fever sets in and vomiting is inevitable. I have no reason to be overwhelmed or overcome by emotion. I should be able to handle it. Why does this happen at the most inopportune moments?

Saying I’m living a roller coaster is an understatement. What is this even called?! Is there a name for this insanity!? Can’t sleep.. so I’m writing.

Feeling is Good

Sometimes, certain events will knock us down. Hard.

Other events will make us feel like we are sky high and can do anything. And then we do.

And then we realize we are all just people. We all have issues, we all have stories, traumas, and it can always be worse.

Sometimes, you have to take a step back and realize you have to let some things go. As hard as it may be. You’ll know the time to move on, and you’ll know when you are strong Depression Sayings Grievingenough to stand up again and face the challenges that come with being human in this fucked up world.

So much pain. So much emotion. Memories and the stories sometimes get in the way of us moving forward on with our lives. But I can’t see it that way. I don’t see it as getting in the way. I see them as rocks and potholes in the road on our way somewhere.

I have always believed the journey is more important than the destination. And when it seems like you are finally getting close to being there, the road or the conditions change. You face an unexpected storm, and your route is altered.

Sometimes, you get derailed. You crash. I crashed. And sometimes, you never really recover from these crashes. The scars will be there forever. Some people won’t understand why you can’t move on after the injuries are healed. It’s a phantom pain. The actual wound isn’t there anymore, but the memory of it happening is still so mentally jarring.

When other people don’t understand, it hurts us more. All we want is someone to listen. Don’t try to fix anything, just listen to us vent and remember and cry and break down. No one can fix it. I don’t want anyone to fix it.

I’m past the point of screaming, and I’m at the point where I’m using distractions to help me heal. Movies, friends, cooking, games, working out, and working very hard to stay in a balanced state of mind.

Those little things that sent me wanting to jump off the edge before just have me irritated now. I’m healing. Slowly. And I’m starting to notice the world around me again.

Heather Hamilton Project K9 Depression BiPolar

This is the beginning of the healing feelings. 🙂

This thing has been one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. Losing the person I spent my entire adult life with. Going through the death of a marriage. I wish these feelings upon no one. I am generally a very happy person. Being broken is exhausting, and it’s even worse when people tell you to get over it, move on, forget about it. The numbing pain gets so excruciatingly sharp. I have lost so much, I can’t turn off my feelings. What I needed to heal was time and space to breathe by myself.

When I shut down, when I am hurting to the point where it feels like my heart is about to literally break, I don’t need people to tell me it’s going to be fine in the future. I know, but that doesn’t make me feel better now. I want to take time, meditate, be alone, and think. Mentally heal. I was torn apart.

Alright, I’m a nerd and this is totally a geeky reference, but this is what I can relate to. My Hyrule was turned into the Dark World. Everything was the same, but demented. Monsters and demons invested all my thoughts. It seemed I had tasks to complete, even though I didn’t agree with everything. I did them because I was progressing in my healing. I was escalating through the murky swamp that was my cognitive thinking. Nothing made sense. And then, finally, I feel a little bit of peace.

I can breathe, I can think, I can be. I can go as fast or as slow as I need to. I’m not rushed, I’m not ushered into making a decision. I’m me again. Though, I still have moments of the dark world, I can finally function normally and I don’t have a feeling of uselessness anymore.  I’m starting to breathe on my own again.

I look up and realize the sky is blue. I haven’t seen the sky in so long. I haven’t actually felt the rain or a breeze. I know it’s there, but I didn’t pay attention. I can feel again. And feeling is good.Rainbow After the Storm Depression Blog

Seeing the Light

I have finally started to come out of my ‘down’ and have reached the ‘manic joy’ stage. I’m overly excited about everything, I can do everything, and I can take on the world.  It’s better because I’m productive and I can finally get stuff done. But at the same time, this stage is exhausting too, because I have to do everything. I have to, or I feel jittery, incomplete, insane.

I have started to come into this stage at a good time though. My house is totally spotless, I’m almost all the way unpacked, my dogs are exercised, bathed, and trained every day. And I still have time to play every day and do something fun.

It’s a good feeling to not be miserable, but I didn’t sleep before because I have nightmares. Now, I can’t sleep because my brain won’t turn off, and I have to keep doing things. Short post today.

 

Anger in a dark place

It comes in cycles. Sadness, hopelessness, the feeling of wanting to curl up and die. Then, comes the pissed off, no bullshit attitude where I don’t take anyone’s shit. I’m angry and hurt and mad at everything. I’m depressed, but pissed. I don’t sleep, which makes everything more maddening. I’m touchy, and can’t seem to actually cheer up. I have moments where I’m not in as much pain as normal.  I want to punch something. Violent video games and/or alcohol aren’t helping. Walks, baths, training, meditating, reading, nothing helps. My normal stress relievers aren’t working.

I’m productive when I’m pissed though. I can’t sleep, so I clean and pack, I advertise my business, I get shit done. I’m bold and assertive, sometimes abrasive. Not necessarily a good thing, and sometimes I use too much pressure when working a dog. In knowing this, I have chosen not to work with severely difficult dogs right now. Oh yeah, I get brave too. So, here’s my announcement.

I’m getting a divorce. My husband has moved out, and I’m moving out in the next few weeks. It’s too complicated to get into anything as to why right now, and honestly, I don’t want to talk about it. Bottom line, my security blanket is gone. My comfort level is at zero. My life is a mess, I feel like I’m floating, watching my life be torn apart. My business, my finances, my house, my mental state of mind, all dissolving.

I’m moving in with my best friends for the time being. I will still train, but I don’t do boarding, daycare, as many board and trains, or group classes. I may be able to start up group classes later in the summer, but right now, I need to focus on getting my life back together. I’m just focusing on private sessions right now, and making sure I always have at least one board and train for the next few months. I’m unhappy about having to do this, but I need to move out, and I need to move on.  And I am with the only people who make me happy. Of all the options I had, this is the best one. I need support more than I need anything right now, and I can still work and do what I love. Hopefully I’ll climb back up to the top of the cliff again…

So, as I mentioned previously, I’m shattered. I’m strong though, too. I can get through it, even though it seems I’m getting deeper and deeper in a sinking black hole. I’m not the first one to go through this, and other people have had way worse situations. I shouldn’t even be sad. There are starving kids in China, and people who don’t even have homes. I should buck up.

Invisible Battle Scars

No one can see them. No one knows they are there unless they know you or if you have told them. You don’t want to tell people. You wish it was an external wound, like an amputated leg. Then, you wouldn’t have to explain. You put on a face to hide the scars so you don’t have to talk about it.

Why do we hide it? Are we ashamed? Are we scared someone will ask us how we are? Are we too proud to accept help? Whatever the reason, we do it.

Sometimes, we get so into pretending we’re fine, that we trick ourselves. We tell people we are fine, and actually believe it for a minute. Then, after they are gone, we realize we aren’t fine. Then, the feeling is back, and we are, yet again… alone.

I feel whiney, depressed, and pathetic. A burden to everyone around me. A charity case. No one really actually wants to help, but they do out of a feeling of obligation. They pity you. Maybe this is the depression talking, but that is the reason I have such a hard time accepting help. I don’t feel like anyone would actually want to help me. Why would they want a project friend? I’m broken, and to fix me takes too much work. I try to distance myself. I don’t want to drag anyone down with me. I should do this alone. This road is too dark to bring anyone else along. It would be a disservice to them.

Sleeping. I don’t do this much anymore. However, I fall asleep at the most inopportune times… like at the movies, at the salon when I’m getting my hair done, when I’m trying to work, or when I’m making dinner. One time this week, I fell asleep in the shower.

I don’t want to be this way. But I don’t know how to get up again. I’ve been kicked in the guts, and I don’t have the energy. “Do something for you” means sit around and feel mopey. I don’t want to do anything for me. I don’t want to do anything at all. I do the bare minimum to get me through the day. I’m not living. I’m surviving.

I’ll admit it now. I’m shattered.