Friday, May 19, 2017

There is more to mental illness then depression

There is more to mental illness then depression. More then the crippling sadness and inability to move some days. There is anger, a rage so hot it makes you sweat and distracts you for days. There is intermittent happiness so high you can touch the moon and you can feel it drip out of your grasp so quickly. There is fear and anxiety that will come up and slap you in the face and punch you in the stomach when you are mid sentence explaining to your boss the intricacies of networking. There is the palatable desire to make someone understand that you have something wrong with your head and no matter how many times you 'get better' your always going to be back right here in this moment and screaming internally. You don't really want anyone to know how screwed up you are...but you do want them to know....but you cant explain it to them......but you want them to can they possibly understand, you think.
Mental illness. Its confusing, it hurts, and its impossible for anyone to know really how someone else is feeling, no matter how many people say they they understand you and have felt the same way before. Sometimes it seems like a person is just doing it for attention. Guess what? They are. Because that is part of their illness, the deep down need to have people see them, and without it they fall and fall and fall and can't pull themselves back up. Them getting your attention doesn't make their illness less real or less sucky, it just makes it visible. Is a cancerous mole less cancerous then blood cancer or brain cancer just because you saw the mole change color or some shit? Of course not. A person who cuts and then shows a person, or someone who tries/not tries to commit suicide isn't less ill, they still need help.
I want to shake people and teenager's parents who say "I think she is just doing it for attention", or a person who manages to commit suicide and their friends and family say "i don't think he actually meant to kill himself, he just wanted attention". OMG if I could sit down every single one of those people and slap them across the face and then have a long talk with them, I could save 100 lives i think. Please, please, please. They are still dead, they are still bleeding on the bathroom floor after they cut their bodies, so what does the reason they did it matter at that point!? They needed your help and you brushed them off because you saw their reaching out at 'drama' or something.
Mental illness is more then being really really sad. There is a million wants to be mentally ill. There is a million thoughts that goes through someone head when they reach the end of their rope and not all of them are "i am just so depressed and nobody loves me".
If your at the end of your rope, I don't care if even your head says its just for attention! Call, chat, something, get help. Your life is worth living, your illness is worth getting help for. Fuck the haters.
Depression lies.
Mental illness lies.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"OMG, how did you get so good at this!"

"Wow Katy, how did you get so good at this?" "Well, I fucked up a lot and learned from my mistakes." ::laugh track plays::
Other answers to "How did you get so good at this"
"Google and a dream"
"cause you are so bad at it I had to figure out something"
"cause I am not good at anything else so I focus really hard at this"
"I'm not, I just click really fast so it looks like I know what I'm doing"

Generally I get this question when I am fixing someones computer. I guess I have gotten this question other times, I cant think of anything at this moment, but i am sure i am pretty good at something else and managed to impress someone at some point in my life. But for real, Google and a dream and a lot of trial and error. You can learn to be good at anything if you get on the internet, search what you want to do until you get to a written or video tutorial, watch it all the way through and then try to accomplish your goal, fuck up, and then try and try again until you get it right (often several tutorials are required before the goal is reached).
Now the hardest part of all that is the fucking up. If you are prone to anxiety (like me), its a huge deal when you screw something up and need to continue moving forward despite that screw up. Like, mountain climbing in Alaska huge. My stomach starts twisting at the thought of facing my husband/friend/boss/coworker and being like "listen, i screwed up, and now there is going to be 80 billion times more work in order to accomplish a very small task." Yea. Scary. Even worse when you screw up the same thing twice. That happens too. But at the end of the day, once you admit your mistake, its done. I mean, the mistake is made, you cant undo it, and the consequence is going to happen, just hope for the best. Being a nice person before the mistake happens helps, and being on good terms with the person who has to deal with the fall out with you is also good. Also, being known as the person who fixes other peoples mistakes all the time helps too.
So wait, whats the lesson really here?
You are going to fuck up at some point, its inevitable, you just have to keep on keepin on?
Or is it that not being an asshole has a lot of benefits, like that the chances of being forgiven for inevitable mistakes is much higher?
Or is it that you can learn to do anything with Google, a dream, and the ability to recover from inevitable fuck ups?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mothers Day. My 3 moms.

I am 31 years old, and about the enter the part of my life where motherhood is a distinct possibility in my near future. Or not. Who knows what the future holds. But until then, i have my 3 mothers that I watch and learn from every day. Yes, 3.

My sweet, loving, awesome mother-in-law. I love my mother-in-law and happily live pretty close by her. We talk often, and I love it. She is a great girl-friend, and has welcomed me as a part of the family for as long as I have been around. I am by no means a 'refined' girl, but watching my mother-in-law has taught me how its supposed to look when someone is. No, she isn't the high heels, make-up required, always perfect kind of classy, she is the kind of women who doesn't need all of that. She has Taste (and a great eye for beautiful jewelry), and she treats people well and knows how to be polite and give the right gifts and say the right things and offer drinks at the right times and send thank you cards and all those things I am totally oblivious of, but she is teaching me. She is sweet and genuine and has a kindness that runs deep and true in her. When you look at her home, and see her dressed up, you can't help but admire her. She has a lot of qualities I admire actually, and I am happy to spend many years getting to know her and all of those qualities and absorbing what I can from her. She has raised 3 insanely smart, crazy, sons who are all successful and kind heart-ted men and I can only hope to attain that type of success in my own life.

My Step-mom. I hate calling her that, its not the right title for what she is to me and my sister. Lets just call her L. I am her daughter, and she is my mom as much as the mother I share blood is. I thank the stars for her daily. She is a feisty, red-headed pistol who can tear you down with a look and spit fire from her lips. She is strong and good and does not give 2 shits. If a million people were to bow at her feet she wouldn't care, and she wouldn't notice if those same people cursed her name to hell. She takes care of my dad and saves kittens from storm drains at 3 am (that happened literally last week). I can always count on her, no matter what. And I mean no matter what, like she is the most loyal, loving person ever. She has been in mine and my sisters lives a long time and she has influenced us both tremendously. I learn strength from her, I learn work ethic from her, I learn about bull-dosing through problems despite the world trying to hold you back. I learn about sharp-tongued laughter from her and dry sarcasm that makes people feel uncomfortable and its funny. I learn about kindness to animals and how to deal with a million little paws running around your feet while holding a snake in your pocket while you try to get ready for work. I hope my legacy will be like hers, a strong, loving, quick-witted and kind women who can be counted on no matter what.

My mom. Oh my mom. I love my mom. My mom and I have had valleys and peaks in our relationship, but I guess that pretty much any mother-daughter relationship. I am lucky that she understands mine and my sisters relationship with L, and has always encouraged it and never talked down about her. As I have gotten older is when my mother and I's relationship has gotten good. I had to grow to understand her and who she was and how she became the women she is before i could like her as much as i do now. But i also think she has changed as a person a lot too as I have gotten older. Where she once would question herself, she has grown to embrace herself, where she once seemed to shy away from something, she has learned to confront it. My mom has learned to embrace her own style and artistic soul and that's something i admire in her. I learn from her how to keep growing as a person and never stop trying to be more. I also learn from her that mistakes will be made, no matter how hard you try. She has taught me to move beyond those mistakes, even if moving on means laying flat on the floor and crying about it for a minute first. My mom is hard to describe in words, she is just her, and i am happy and proud to call her my mom.

I am a lucky, lucky women to have 3 moms. And 3 amazing, wonderful, good, smart, and kind, moms at that. And I think I am a pretty smart girl for appreciating them for it too. My moms aren't perfect, but neither is anyone else. I learn from them and have become a better person because of them. So Happy Mothers Day, to my sweet Mother-in-law, to my feisty beautiful L who is one of my favorite humans ever, and to my Mom, who is also my friend. I love all 3 of you very very much.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A to Z challenge Over Bro

How about A to Y challenge survivor :) 
I am still saying I survived the A to Z challenge even though I only made it from A to Y. Z was beyond my mental capacity. Last month was a tough one for me, I'm not ready to talk about details on the internets here, but the A to Z challenge both made it easier to get through and harder. I need a vacation.
Here is some other things that are getting me through tremulous times:

  • My recent love of Make-up. I love the way I can make my face match who I want to be that day. I also love the weekends where I can let my hair be a crazy mess and my face be makeup free. Defining a line between public me and private me has been a really freeing experience.
  • Books, and most especially Neil Gaiman. I had not read any Neil Gaiman before, heaven only knows why. I love his writing and there is lots of it for me to get through.
  • Other Bloggers. The A to Z challenge gave me that gift. Reading other blogs and losing myself in their thoughts has been lovely. And the Challenge gave up some really awesomely thought provoking writing. And some funny shit to. 
  • New stuff to do at work. I had to wrestle it out of my bosses hands, but I have some new stuff i am dealing with at work. I love learning new things. 
  • Sexy weekend getaway with Hunny! We went to Pocono Palace Resort in PA. It wasn't till the very end of the month, but it turned out to be the most necessary perfect thing we could have done for ourselves. We had sexy time, then we would wonder out and our one night package included dinner and breakfast, so we would go eat. There was a great little bar and a fun game room. It was just a lot of stress free wondering and sexy time in a heart shaped hot tub. Loved it!
So here to fingers crossed for May being easier. For May to give me a place to start and a direction for my feet to start going. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y for Compulsively making things worse

Y for Compulsively making things worse 
(A to Z challenge, Y has me stuck, so....compulsively ends in Y. Sorry that's all I got. )
Should get this tattooed to the back of my hand.
Ha! If only I could stop compulsively making things worse. I am the queen of making this worse, which often leads to someone saying to me in a rather frustrated or angry voice "WHAT THE HELL KATY!". Seriously, I am not good at much in the world, but this is something I am really really good at. This is why I fix computers for a living, not just because I require spell check for my writing, but because I am a expert at making them way more broken. Fortunately its one of the few things I can fix after I make it worse (and most people have no idea how bad I often screw them up before i fix them). I am also really good about not repeating my mistakes over and over again, but then again, it is amazing how many different mistakes one can make in life.

Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for Example

X is for Example
So X is for Example is cheating a little, i know, cause Example starts with E, but my blog has always been about the themes going on in my life and I write about what is going on in my head at the moment and Example is the word of the day.
You can't fix everything in the world around you, you can't fix your best friends depression, you can't make everyone act a certain way or do certain things. But when you are faced with similar challenges, you can be an example.
When my depression and bipolar threatens to take over my life, I try and catch myself and practice my coping skills the best I can in those moments. Sometimes exercise starts to lift the fog, or just going out in the woods and screaming or having a good cry in the shower will refresh my brain enough to show me the cracks in the veil that allow me to fight my way back to being OK.
Now; I am pretty terrible at helping others through their issues. I totally wish I was better about it, but honestly, I am the worst. When someone comes to me with their stuff, I freeze up. I empathize with them, sympathize super much, but the words that leave my mouth are never the right ones for some reason. Maybe its my innate social awkwardness, maybe I empathize too much, I don't know. So, I just try to tell people how I deal with things, which often just makes me seem like I'm talking about myself rather then the other person's issues. But its the only thing I know how to do. I tell them the example of me. When I am living through my own bad days, I remind myself that other people are watching, or they will be, and they need to see that someone somewhere got through this and is ok now. X is for Example, because its the only way i know how to help sometimes.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for Who are you

W is for Who are you?
OK, just for the record, this post theme was thought up when I was stoned in my shed talking to Ms Meow. Now that i am writing it, i am not stoned at all and wondering what the hell i was thinking. Anyway.....
Who are you? Who am I? When I used to go to a therapist, that question, or some variation of it, was the first question they asked. I mean, lots of times when you meet someone this is the first question they ask. At least I do. I am super awkward when I meet people and if I start feeling weird and can't run away or find someone i know to cling to, I blurt shit out. One of my default word vomits is "So who are you?" The answer is usually different depending on the situation.
For a therapist: "Well I am Katy, i live around here. I am married to a really great guy and I have 2 cats." I do not intro with my past mental health issues. I have mentioned here before, I stopped going to therapists because once they hear about my past I turn into a fascinating object of study instead of a person who is there because she desperately needs someone to talk to that can suggest reasonable coping skills and can give unbiased opinions on just how crazy she is acting.
For a new persona at a party: "I'm Katy, i live around here, i am married and i have 2 cats. They are really cute, wanna see pictures!?"
For a new Co-worker: "Hi, I am Katy, i am the IT person, I fix all the stuff that has a plug. Don't be afraid to call me if you have any questions, I can answer a lot of things or i can help you find someone that can."
See? Several different types of answers to Who are you. But what is the answer when you ask yourself Who you are. Who is the person you are trying to be. Do you even know? Do you like that person? I try to live a life that when I look in the mirror and ask myself that, I am proud of the answer, I want to be proud of the person in the mirror and I should really like her. Sometimes i get lost, and i forget that i should be asking myself who i am, and not defining who i am by what others expect me to be. I did that once and what i saw in the mirror was not someone i liked. So i changed. It was hard and it hurt a lot because I lost a lot of people who i thought were my friends. I have done this change several times, its called growing up I believe. Now I like myself. I like my authentic personality, I like my response to who i am. I have written before the answer to Who am i in my post "Being a Women in IT" and I liked it a lot. I forgot to mention in it though, I have 2 cats, wanna see pictures?!!
I am just Katy. I am a special ed student who was hospitalized twice for mental issues as a teenager. As an adult I had worked my way up to be an IT Manager at a nation wide company despite being discriminated against for being a women. I started out in IT without a college degree and then only going to school online. I own my own house and pay my mortgage on time, I have bought and paid off a car on my own, I have lived by myself in the past and I paid the down payment on my house out of my own savings. I am in a healthy marriage to a Union Boilermaker and we are planning on starting a family soon. I have good friends, I have a family and in-laws that love me. I curse, I get crazy sometimes, and I often make mistakes. I have a lot to learn about life and everything, but I am a strong, proud women and I don't give a fuck what anyone else thinks about me.

A quote from Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (one of my very favorite books of all time). A moment where a whale had to answer the question "Who am I" in a very short span of time. Here is a link to the Youtube video of the movie version of this moment. 

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.

And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.

Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.

Er, excuse me, who am I?


Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?

What do I mean by who am I?

Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.

Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?


Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …

Or is it the wind?

There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?

And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?

And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.”

― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy