Just Two Chicks!

Just Two Chicks!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mental Illness and Sunsets

I went back and forth on whether or not I should write a post tonight. I mean, I'm so busy doing other things. Okay, not really. In reality, it's not even 9:00 and I'm sitting here in bed... NOT tired at all (the girl is at a leadership retreat, and the boy is already in bed, exhausted from his). As a matter of fact, I haven't been tired all day. I've been crazy... doing things around this house, that really didn't need doing. I cleaned out my closet... this actually really needed to be done though. I had clothes in there I hadn't worn for years. My thinking was I may eventually need them, or possibly fit into them. For sure a hoarder's mentality. Seriously, I do still have two pair of size 5 jeans... absolutely adorable, expensive jeans, but who am I fooling. I'd look skeletal if I were to try to fit into those again.

I look back now, at pictures from about 2004, and I'm shocked. I was way too thin, between sizes 1-3, yet I remember thinking then, that I was "fat." Now I'm between a size 8 and 10 and I struggle like crazy. It's not really about "fat" so much as it is that my body is changing SO much as I age. The bad thing about my own negative self-evalutation is that people may think I look at anyone my size, or bigger, and think they're big. I don't. Not at all... I don't see in others, the negative things I see in myself.

Enough about that... I want to talk about something else.
I want to talk about mental illness. Someone posted a question yesterday, "For those who are mentally ill, what will happen if you decide to stop taking your medicine?" I still remember that question, mainly because of how it was phrased. I guess I have a very skewed idea of what mental illness looks like.

In my little ADD/ADHD/OCD head, mental illness is my mother. A paranoid schizophrenic who thinks everyone is after her, talking about her, plotting against her. Her eyes have that "look." Her movements aren't smooth. She can't go anywhere, or do anything in public without causing some sort of scene, and she can't possibly hold a job. She's been this way since I was a kid, and I have no sympathy, empathy, or gratitude. Had she actually raised me, or allowed one single household/person to raise me, I would be able to look back on my childhood, and know she did her best, but I just can't do that. This topic, by the way, is going to be a whole blog on it's own, one day... BUT, for now, she is my definition of true mental illness.

I don't look at depression, bi-polar, or anxiety disorder as mental illnesses. SO many people suffer from one or more of the above named, that I'm beginning to think that you have a disorder if you don't suffer from any of these things.

I question whether or not I suffer from depression. I mean, I'm the kind of person who falls into a major funk, then I start to have little panic attacks over nothing, and I know it's nothing, but knowing doesn't help. This is why I avoid sad, overly-stressful forms of entertainment. Right now, everyone is SO excited about The Hunger Games. I just don't think I can handle that right now, and that makes me feel  stupid!! BUT, but, you can pop in a good old fashioned action adventure movie like Lethal Weapon, or I can read books by Sue Grafton or Janet Evanovich, and be just fine. I like silliness... it helps me.

In my moments of depressed panic, I am non-stop cleaning, organizing, go, go, go. My way of feeling in control is to clean. These past few weeks, the house has never looked better. I at least want Xanax to help when I feel like this, but the wife doesn't want me on anything. I'm meeting a friend for lunch next week, and she's going to give me some books and cd's for the car to help me relax through a panic attack, since the car is usually where they hit. Probably because I'm sitting still for a period of time, without at least three distractions (computer, phone, television). My friend said her husband finally relented on the meds because she isn't nearly as grumpy when she has them. Maybe, after my all-day house cleaning spree, and fitful mood, the wife will relent? Probably not... the house has never looked better, and there hasn't been a thing in the laundry hamper in days. Yep... it's all real here folks. Real crazy...

On that note, I'm leaving you with some pictures of tonight's sky...


middle child said...

Good post. And when I got to the part about Janet Evonovich, well even though I am the oposite of health conscience, I know I should follow this blog. I am with you about the label mental illness, not because I don't want that label due to depression and anxiety but because it just seems wrong. Bi-polar, maybe. I am not bi-polar so I can't say. And I can sneak you some Xanax if you want but if the wife asks, I will deny everything!

Aeria said...

I think mental illness gets thrown around too much. Paranoid schizophrenia definitely fits (my idead of) the real mental illness catagory though! I can't imagine...

I am there with you on avoiding sad or overly stressful entertainment- I can't handle that either. Takes me days to get over a depressing movie or book (well, a book I wouldn't be able to get through). That's not stupid, that is smart because you know yourself well enough to avoid such things!

Beautiful sunsets!! :)

Rob-bear said...

Having lived with depression for years, I just sighed when I read your post. Yeah, that stuff happens.

I was pretty low today, partly because of physical pain. Largely because of physical pain. Were it not for my medications, I might not have been able to function at all.

True, medications are not the answer to mental illness, or any illness. But they are part of the answer. So, until I have much better skills for coping with physical and mental pain, medications will be part of my life. And I will not be chased off them.