Happy? Me? Strange, new feeling! : )

I am actually happy and content with my life right now!   It is a wonderful, if not scary, feeling.  I haven't felt this good in so long that I can't even remember when it was.  I find it sad that whenever I am simply happy I don't trust my feelings.  I have to analyze "am I too happy?", but no, I have zero hypomanic symptoms.  I really am simply happy.  Then I start worrying and even warning people about how depressed I can get and probably will be again soon.  Surely this can't last?  And I know it won't.  Eventually, for everyone, something situational will happen to bring me way down.  But even still, that is normal, right?  What is NOT normal is the way I process it and where it leads me. 

I am dreading, absolutely dreading the winter, and it is almost here in Chicago.  I was pretty depressed last winter, probably from January - March or maybe April.  Things started turning around when the time changed and there was more daylight.  I don't know how I could possibly warn anyone close to me any more than I have about my depression.  I do not want to lose ANYONE I am close to right now, that I have grown so fond of, because of it.  Last year I got Seasonal Affective Disorder which was finally diagnosed when I was able to force myself to see my psychiatrist.  The thing is - I wasn't even able to do that UNTIL I started feeling better, when winter was ending and the weather was getting warmer.  I got maybe the most antisocial I had ever been.  I didn't reply to anyone's texts, emails, anything on facebook, the phone (but I hate talking on the phone), and completely isolating myself to the point where I couldn't even leave the house to make a scheduled psychiatrist appointment.  If I had the tiniest thought that I could actually go grocery shopping, I grabbed it, no matter how I looked, showered, anything about my appearance.  I knew if I didn't jump at that moment, it would go away.  No idea how many cancelled and no shows for the psychiatrist and my therapist during that time, it is countless. I am so very grateful that neither of them terminated me as I have read happens a lot to psychiatric patients for not showing up, sometimes just one visit.  But on those stories, I just have to wonder what more of the story do I not know?

So now I am incredibly happy and content, but also very worried and scared about winter.    It's horrible to worry about when the next big depression is coming, but I feel really good and don't want it to stop.  Why can't I just be normal, with regular ups and downs, where people listen to upbeat music, get out of the house for an activity and be with friends, exercise, and that lifts their mood?  Is that really all it takes for them?  It must be, because people have sent emails and comments asking why didn't I just do those things?  So hard for them to understand that of course, I try everything I can possibly think of, but even though it works for them, it doesn't for me.  It must be hard to understand something they haven't felt or experienced and I am sure they think I am simply feeling sorry about myself and should snap out of it.  If given the opportunity, I do try my best to explain how it feels and why, but I don't know if I have ever helped anyone to understand.  That is also hard - trying to describe a feeling that someone else has never had, doesn't understand nor comprehend. and find it impossible to believe.

I love, love, love having my own business (however small), AND I finally made my first sale to a stranger, and so far, they haven't left a negative review!  No, not a positive one either, but I am counting no negative review as a positive!  I was convinced that they would be horrified and upset when they received my creation, and am still not sure they are not.  But I am REALLY putting myself out there for all types of criticism, and that is okay (unless it can be viewed by anyone on my etsy shop, and then I will probably cry for days!).  I need to know how and where to improve and have been giving wreaths away to family members hoping and BEGGING for any feedback at all.  I don't have hardly any confidence in my work right now.  They all say they love everything so much, but I really don't trust anything positive anyone says and believe there MUST be a motive or reason they are not telling me the truth.

I made a new, already best, friend!  We met, of all places, the dog park!  Bailey is great at helping me make new friends.  We have done all sorts of things together, text each other all the time, run together three times a week, and signed up to do a 5k together on Sunday.  She is probably the most perfect friend for me I have ever had!  She makes me feel good about myself, but SHE actually told ME that I make her so happy.  It is mutual!  We must have met each other at the right time for both of us.  But it just feels too perfect and I haven't had a best friend in at least a decade.  I am convinced it will end somehow, but haven't figured out how I will sabotage THIS relationship like it seems I do to every single one.  I tried to sabotage my relationship with my husband countless times, but he is stubborn and has stuck by me. I hope I no longer do that to him.  But I have no proof that this new friendship won't end like all of my other relationships have eventually done and I will be so sad to see her go.

But every single relationship (except with my mother and brother, but I don't think that is a door that will ever be left open for me) has incredibly and dramatically improved and have absolutely NO idea why.  I do know that *my* attitude towards people has completely changed.  I can't even pinpoint why or how this happened, but I no longer hold grudges against anyone, apologized to anyone that I believed I owed one too and now am actually good friends with people that neither of us had spoken to in years.  It is mind boggling.

Why?  Why have I changed so much?  I wish I knew.  Suddenly people tell me the nicest things about myself, about me as a person, not things like appearance or things I own, but my actual personality.  Surely they are just being nice, but I don't know what their motive could be and I am really trying to figure it out!  I do know that for whatever reason, it is very important to me to try to make people feel good or better about themselves.  Yes, I totally know how corny and stupid it sounds, like some kind of  goody goody thing someone would preach to everyone that they should do.  I hate even writing about it, the perception someone might have of me even saying that, like I think I am better than someone else.  I am SO NOT!  I have a laundry list of flaws, but for some reason, I have no problem right now just saying what they are to anyone, completely owning them. Okay, so I tell people that I am depressed, not bipolar.  I am still scared to death to tell people that. 

But when I am depressed, no one usually knows.  People who are very depressed and even suicidal are masters at hiding it.  I know this only too well!  How do I know what any single person has going on in their lives, regardless of how they act?  I don't!  Maybe all someone needs to feel a bit better, if even for a moment, is a sincere, genuine compliment or to be treated with kindness, or even a simple smile!  That is effortless, probably for just about anyone but it may not occur to everyone.  But how would I ever be able to know if this total stranger I am speaking to isn't planning suicide when they get home?  What they are going through that could be the most difficult thing in their lives?  All I can do is try and never know if I made a difference to anyone at all.  I know this sounds very idealist and probably trying to convince people I am this great person, but all anyone would have to do was look back in my blog to know how very flawed, imperfect, and how I am often not nice or even a good person.  Do I think I am now?  No, not really, but all I can do is what has been pressed in my mind and heart as something I want and feel I absolutely must do.  To NOT do that, that would make me very unhappy.  So...I am just doing what seems to be what I want and need to do right now, not that anyone else in the entire world should do it as well.  Maybe it is not even important or needed, no idea.

A post would be way too long if I listed all of my flaws, things I want to change about myself but struggle and fail all of the time. There are many, many occasions where my husband has said he thought I was advantage of him or doing things just to hurt him.  I swear this is not true and even asked my psychiatrist about things that I do unintentionally but find it absolutely impossible to change.  For instance, I always forget to turn lights off, I am a messy person, I leave cabinet doors open and even the refrigerator door, I am a slob.  She said that is simply my personality, nothing is wrong with me, nothing can chemically fix that.  What if there was a pill we could take that would fix all of our flaws?  I guess we wouldn't be human then, able to make mistakes and learn from them.  Yet I can't seem to improve the things I listed AT ALL and don't even realize at the time, until it is pointed out to me, that I have even done those things!

Maybe this all comes with age, no clue.  All of a sudden I just don't have much pride and openly admit my flaws that I would never had shared with anyone in the past.  Why should anyone see a façade, not the real me?  I don't try to be seen as perfect nor do I even want that.  I wouldn't be a genuine and sincere person if I pretended to be.  That would be an Oscar worthy performance to achieve!  I don't hide much - just straight out tell people, if the moment arises and needs to be said - to tell anyone something that would have been so embarrassing before.  "I have hearing loss and sometimes wear hearing aids. I am so sorry I am not able to hear you very well right now".  I totally could not hear at a restaurant not that long ago and just admitted it to the girl I was talking to.  Found out she had already suspected it, but not only that, both she and her husband thought she had a hearing loss as well!  I was able to walk her through the whole process of getting tested and if there is a loss, what happens from there.  What hearing aids are like, what they look like, etc.  It was nice to have an honest, open conversation about it without being judged like I always thought I would be.

I feel like I have been writing for hours and this must be incredibly long!  Here is a picture of the wreath I sold.  When I made it, I didn't even like it and questioned myself if I should take it apart and make something else.  For some reason (maybe someone can tell me WHY?) it has almost one thousand repins on Pinterest in just a few weeks.  Obviously I do not always have same taste as whoever my customers are! 

This is what sold: (any and all product photo tips would happily and appreciatively be accepted!)

And here is what seems so trendy right now, the monogrammed wreath.  Still working to find the most secure way possible to attach that letter!!!!


Meg Burchell said...

Hey, I just wanted to say your blog is really inspiring and I completely understand where you're coming from. I've just set up my new blog which like you, I talk about my struggle with mental health and the stigma around it. If you could give me a follow and your opinion, I would be greatful :)


Jen Daisybee said...

I see you haven't posted in a long time, but I always liked your blog, and I'm really glad you kept it online! I hope you're doing well! Please check out my blog too, if you can. It's at www.suicidalnomore.com.

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