Drained and Uninspired

I am drained. If there was a way to measure the amount of energy, willpower, and motivation that resides within me it would alarm even the calmest of souls. I am not immune to this feeling, being bipolar has been a great mentor in showing me the lifestyle of the chemically imbalanced. With that being said, I thought my severe lows and my extreme highs were of the past, but it looks my brain is trying to humble me once again. 

Microdosing has truly made a significant difference in my quality of life. By reading the first paragraph this might come as a surprise, but truly, life has been better than it ever has. I have found stability, balance, and joy. I have been more introspective than I have ever been and focused to make what I desire manifest into my reality. I don’t just wish for a difference, I make it happen. When I do find myself falling into a low, I can usually get myself out pretty quickly. The same goes when I start to experience some moments of mania, although I can’t really recall my last true manic episode. So that is why this time I am scared. Because I can’t get out. 

I have been feeling myself drift for a little while now, and my depression and anxiety has been having fun trying to show me what I have been missing. I know that some of it stems from my career path. I was supposed to be an author. I have half of a manuscript that I poured my entire soul into, and now I just lack the inspiration and energy to complete it. I was working with a publisher, we were in conversation about the publication process, book tour, the art. Everything. But I needed a paycheck now, so I had to put my dream on hold. And now I feel as if my energy is being wasted. I love creating and building up a story. I enjoy nothing more than developing a twist that no one was expecting. I become giddy when I create a character that is relatable, and to show their journey. I want my readers to feel everything from the safety of a cemetery to the sadness that a character may feel to the jolt of excitement that shoots through them from the climax of the tale. I want to leave an impression on those who take the time to read what I poured myself into. That is what I love. That is what makes life sweet for me. Despite knowing this, there is not enough of me to do my job, take care of my animals, take care of my husband, take care of other tasks that I need to complete to stay alive, and take care of myself in the form of creativity. 

To make a long story short, I feel stuck. I feel stuck creatively, mentally, and passionately. I feel as though my soul has once again detached itself from this vessel and now I am walking around doing everything that I am supposed to be doing but without gratification. I don’t feel fulfilled, I don’t feel happy, and I just feel stuck.

Suicidal ideation is an unwelcome friend of mine. Although I have been able to keep it at bay for the most part since November, it recently has been at the forefront of the battle lines inside of my head. It became apparent that I was in battle once again last week when I was lying in bed, using everything I had to convince myself not to do what I really wanted to do. The problem with being suicidal is you don’t know what to listen to. Your mind is telling you that you are so exhausted that you can’t carry on any longer, but your heart is pleading for you to give yourself another chance. The thought of dying is the peace that you are looking for at that moment, but taking your last breath in this lifetime is just as terrifying. You want both outcomes, but it’s almost as if you don’t want to be responsible for that decision. 

When I say that the only reason why I am here is because of my animals, I truly mean it. Anytime I have almost done anything, my furbabies can sense it, and they shield me from myself. Last week, all six of my babies recognized the agony that I was in and did everything in their power to comfort me. My dogs are always there to put their weight on me to help soothe my anxiety. My cats are never too far away to jump to my aid and lick my tears away. When I feel them, I can breathe again. They continue to watch over me time after time. 

I think, for the most part, I am authentically me. I am unapologetically sarcastic, dry, a little cold, lazy, honest, overbearing, controlling, loving, caring, sweet, an interesting mix of spontaneous, and someone who needs to plan ahead. I am quirky and odd. I can see the big picture of the universe and use the secrets that I have access to guide me through my life lessons. I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist. I look at patterns and I tend to be realistic with my approach to things. These are just a few things that put together the puzzle of me, Brookana. 

There are certain places in my life when I feel like I can’t fully be me. I find myself masking at work, and by the end of the day, I am just absolutely fucking tired. At work, I am soft-spoken, tender, respectful, and kind. And while all of those traits aren’t necessarily bad, they definitely aren’t all of me. By not being everything that I am, I am not being authentic, and that grows tiresome. 

I know within time I will get out of this low. I know I will start creating worlds and stories again, and one day, hopefully not too far from now, my manuscript will be complete and someone will be thinking about my words after they read the final page of my story. 

Mental health is scarier than any scary story I have ever written, but I am determined to keep fighting no matter what wounds I might inflict on myself. 

My Mind and the Lack of a Middle Ground

Hi everyone. It has been a while. Nobody likes to hear excuses for anything, and I am included in that, but I would just like to give you a super brief explanation of my whereabouts. I opened a new business, The Witches Abode, and it sure has kept me busy. I love it though. I get to be creative and work on my craft and interact with amazing people on a daily basis. Everything that I have ever wanted as a small business owner is coming to fruition, and every day I wake up feeling more and more fortunate. I also have been working behind the scenes on a super-secret project which I hope to be announcing within the next month or two. Now, unfortunately, with all of this good in my life, there also needs to be some bad, because there always needs to be some sort of balance. 

One thing that is truly starting to trouble me is I feel like I have never been properly diagnosed when it comes to my mental illness. First, I was diagnosed with depression. Then I was diagnosed with severe depression and bipolar disorder. Then I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. Then, my most recent diagnosis is clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD. You see, I never thought that bipolar disorder was something that I had because I never really thought that I had manic episodes. I was always just very depressed with suicidal tendencies, but I never went up and down with my emotions. I am starting to realize that maybe I have had manic episodes, but I just never knew what they were.

The past couple of months have been a rollercoaster. I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been taking my medications, which include Lexapro and Abilify, regularly. I don’t know what it is. I feel like I am starting to feel better so I stop taking them, and then I wonder why I come crashing down. I have started questioning life again. I have started having major anxiety attacks because I feel like I am not doing anything perfectly. I lay on the couch sometimes and list off all of the things that I should be doing but I can’t bring myself to do them. I have thought about self-harming. I haven’t purposely done anything to myself in about a year now, but there have been moments where I was shaking because I wanted to so bad. So instead of hurting myself in a negative way, one night while I couldn’t sleep, I bought a stick and poke tattoo kit. And when that kit arrived in the mail was when I knew something was wrong.

You see, I feel so much pressure that it almost feels indescribable. I am trying to work on The Witches Abode, I am trying to work on my secret project, I am trying to maintain my home and tend to my plethora of animals. I am trying to take care of my husband and try to have a social life that I can be happy with. And I am also trying to take care of myself. Well due to the pressure that I feel and my obvious lack of coping skills, I started to crumble. I became fragile. So instead of hurting myself in a negative way, I started tattooing myself. Then, before I knew it, three weeks went by and I have gained fifteen new tattoos. Fifteen tattoos that I did to myself as an inexperienced tattoo artist. And that is not to mention the three new piercings that I have gotten (by professionals) within the past two weeks. Let’s go back to the tattoos though. Now I am fortunate that I love every single one with the exception of one, and I have already been in contact with my tattoo guy to get that atrocity covered up, but fifteen tattoos in three weeks is worrisome due to what it represents. Each of those fifteen tattoos was done to prevent myself from self-harming. 

I believe that I have been in a manic episode, and I believe that I am finally starting to come down. I have spent money that I should not have spent, I have done things to my body that I probably should have spaced out more, and, to be frank, my sex drive has been even higher than it already is. I just know something is different, and I really think that there is something going on.

I have been talking to my therapist about this, and we have devised a plan to help me with my coping skills. Luckily, I do have a lot of work that I need to focus on, so instead of tattooing myself, I will just work on my business and on my secret project instead. I am behind on my project, so I need to use my time wisely to catch up on that. Also, I have a huge event that I am doing for The Witches Abode in December, and I need to work on that. I also have a new contract as a freelance writer so the assignments will help keep me busy. Luckily, I have work to occupy my mind. 

I think the thing that is scary to me is the fact that I am never just living and enjoying life. I am either so depressed that I can’t leave my bedroom or I am so elated that it doesn’t feel like reality. And when I feel like I am not in reality there is a part of me that tells myself to calm down, but I almost lose control over myself and my actions. It is an odd experience and I feel like a lot of people like feeling manic but I hate it. I hate to not feel control over myself. 

Anyways, I am working towards being more balanced when it comes to my mental illness, and I remain hopeful that one day I can feel somewhat normal if normal even exists.