The Post Where We Catch Up!

Because I’ve Been Busy…

Busy at my 9-5ing. 
Busy with family stuff.
Busy helping TeenThing start her road to running 🙂

Mom and TeenThing on her 2nd run!
These feet were made for runnin’!

Busy figuring everything out.
I am on vacation this week and have spent the first part of this week keeping myself busy with appointments and crocheting (my sanity saver) and today I am taking time to rebuild home base.
When you are sick with a mental illness, sometimes you need to sit back and reassess your coping skills.  Sometimes you develop habits that you think are your coping skills, but they’re not.  Mostly they are distractions.
It’s hard to keep focused when the switch is flipped.  The one track mind that takes over is hard to derail.  It has a voice of it’s own.  An agenda of it’s own.
Funny thing is, I know it’s happening.
I can feel the cocoon that starts to wrap around me when my stress level rises. I fidget.  I need to do something with my hands…and not necessarily the task at hand.  I need to find an escape.  Something I can lose myself in.  Thankfully it isn’t drugs or alcohol.  It’s just plain old “what else can I be doing that isn’t what I really should be doing?”.  There are times I can pull back, and times that I can’t.

But, you’re running.  Isn’t that helping?

Yes.  Until I strained my calf.
The intense NEED to run away from my stress, my illness……it was overwhelming.  I ran too much too fast.
So much for running smart!  FACE PALM.
One of the good things about running with TeenThing is that she is keeping my pace and kilometres low.  This is allowing my calf to heal and is giving TeenThing a good start to this sport.  I love running with her.  She is doing great and knows when she can push herself and when she needs a break.

Doesn’t all this unorganized chaos inside your head make it hard to keep moving forward?

You are damn right it does.
Some days I just want to sit down and cry, because I can’t get things straight.
Some days my coping skills don’t help.  These are the days I want to escape.  But I can’t.  So I have to ride the roller coaster the best way I know how.  These are my hardest days.  Days that make me feel like I am treading water and someone has a hold of my feet. The days I do and say everything wrong.  The days that people look at me like “What the hell?”.  The days I can’t say “It is not a good day for me.”   Why can’t I say it?  Because people will see THAT always.  Not the focused, driven, has her shit together me.  They will always remember the chaotic, flustered, brain dead me.  The girl at the mall, or a store, that is trying desperately to GET OUT.  The thoughts, the people, the noise, all competing for space.  Space I do not have in my head.  Space that is taken up by all the negative energy that my mental illness manifests when I am not winning the daily fight.
Days that I am not myself.
Even with all of the talking, all of the wonderful people coming out and sharing their stories about their struggles, all of the focus on mental health, the campaigns, the awareness, there is still a stigma.  People that will still look at me different, not want to “upset” me.
I don’t always feel comfortable saying I am having a bad day.  People hear “bad day” and associate it with “uh oh, is she having a breakdown?”.
There is still so much more that needs to be done.  In the community, in the workplace, within media. More Mental Health First Aid needs to be rolled out.

Why?  Can’t you just take meds or meditate?

Sometimes meds just keep our heads above water.  They numb our feelings.  We need help on our bad days.  Not necessarily “hospital” help.  Just someone to say “Okay, let’s head out for a few minutes, grab a coffee, and tell me how you REALLY are.  Maybe we can figure something out.  Get you back on track.”  
Sometimes this is all that is needed.
I know we are all busy these days.  Deadlines, appointments, etc.  But sometimes, that 5-15 minutes can help someone.  Make them feel that they matter.  Make them feel that they are not going down the rabbit hole alone.  That there is someone there that cares.  Someone that sees what is underneath the chaos.  That will not focus on the “remember when you (insert a bad day here)”.
NOTE: You can’t “fix” us.  We are the captain of this crazy train.  We know where the brakes are.  We just need to be guided.  We need to refocus.

We are all human.

We all have bad days.
We all want to escape.
We all want to be seen for who we really are.  Not what we “have”.
So for now, I will rebuild home base.
Run with TeenThing to build up our kilometre base.
Set up future running dates with my BRF, because I miss her.
Keep sharing my experiences when I can.  Keep the conversation going.
Not all mental illness is “scary”.  
A lot of us are just lost, confused, and need a hand to come out of the fog to lead us home.
Don’t be afraid to be that hand.