Have a Very Mentally Ill Christmas

screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-6-40-18-pmI hope you’ll forgive me for any cynicism in this post. I’m trying really, really hard to be positive and use every coping skill I ever picked in counseling. DBT, ACT, etc. I’m running through all of them in my head, remembering mindfulness, and working really hard to take things 30 minutes at a time.

I’m alone this Christmas. Very, very alone.

And my medication isn’t working, and my mood swings are very near out of control, and I genuinely do not want to exist tonight. I don’t want to die – there are far too many good things coming my way next month – but, tonight and tomorrow, I don’t want to exist in any form.

My dad, who is the only real family I have left, is 7 hours away. Every conversation we have on the phone swings dramatically from nostalgic to hostile within about 10 minutes. I’m trying to be someone he knows, but this f******g borderline personality disorder is threatening to catapult me back into total isolation. I’m angry and I’m sad and I can’t even find the words to express how badly it hurts.

I can’t sleep, which is what I typically do during depressive episodes. Instead, I lay awake and stare out the window as the snow comes down. I’m restless in the most exhausted way possible. I don’t want to eat or get out of bed, but I am fortunate enough to have an emotional service animal that doesn’t allow me to stay in one place for too long. He brings me a toy to throw or jumps on my chest or runs in circles to get my attention. I’ve admitted this only a handful of times, but this dog is the only reason I’m still alive. Those big, brown eyes are so heartbroken every time I walk out the door. He needs me as much as I need him, and so every time the thought of suicide crosses my mind, I think of him and how I am all he has.Screen Shot 2016-12-24 at 6.50.58 PM.png

That keeps me hanging on tonight.

This holiday season – hell, this year – has been my absolute nightmare. The new year, hopefully, brings some relief. Maybe moving, getting a new job, and taking my classes online is just what I need. Maybe leaving this state, and the people in it, behind is the best thing I can do for myself.

I don’t know, though. I don’t have the answers tonight. I just know that 30 minutes at a time is all I can take. For now, I’ll listen to music and write and color and do small things to stay occupied. After that, maybe I’ll take Bear outside and let him run in the snow for awhile. Whatever helps. Whatever gets me through the next 24 hours.

I hope that you’re having a good Christmas, at the very least. If you’re struggling, know that you are very much not alone. Depression worsens around the holidays for a lot of people. There are others laying under their blankets tonight, holding back tears or perhaps full on sobbing, and fighting a battle no one else can see. You aren’t fighting alone. I promise.

I’m sorry this is all over the place, but that’s where I am at this point. 30 minutes at a time. Maybe Monday will bring relief.

Until then, I’m keeping my head above water and I hope you are, too.

Merry Christmas.

All my love,

Emma

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