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. 

Friendships

Do you find your self worth by the number of people who are actively involved in your life? Does the number of phone numbers in your contact list define how likable you are? I used to question this frequently, but the more I have grown as a person, the more I have realized it isn’t about the amount of people I have in my life but how special my relationships are with the people that I value. 

I have never been one to have a lot of friendships. I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily a “loner,” but I do think I enjoy solitude more than the average person. I have this tendency of feeling overwhelmed when I am with people for a large amount of time, to the point where I almost feel suffocated. I find it incredibly uncomfortable and awkward to try to maintain conversations with people who I don’t know well or strangers, or even family members who I don’t have a relationship with. I know this is going to sound terrible, but I also find it anxiety inducing and off putting when people start asking me personal questions. I have recently been informed that I come across as cold to people who I don’t see very often, and although I was slightly insulted at first, after some self-reflection I have realized that that is true. I have put myself in an internal barricade that prevents others from getting in, and boy is it industrial strength.

With that being said, there are a handful of people who I cherish with every ounce of my being. Caille, my best friend, is someone who will always be a significant part of my life. We have been close for well over a decade, and I truly feel like we will be best friends until we are grey-haired sassy old ladies just counting down the days until our eventual death. She knows every little thing about me, including the number of times I defecate in a day, and I have never felt so close to anyone in my entire life. (Other than Stephen of course.) Joel is another really good friend of mine, and he is also Caille’s fiance. I have known Joel for eight years and I am so grateful that he and Caille are together because they both bring each other so much happiness. Joel is incredibly funny, logical, and I love our debates and talks. I also can fart in front of him which brings me a lot of bliss. Then of course there is Stephen, my husband, who I love so incredibly much. Stephen is my partner, my absolute best friend, and the love of my life. We laugh so hard together, we tackle hardships together, we stare in awe at our animals together, and life is just good when I am living it with him.

My friendship “group” is minute, but words cannot describe how fulfilled I am. Caille, Joel, and Stephen all bring different things into my life that fill my heart with joy. When I think about the people in my life I am able to sigh with relief because I truly don’t know what I did in my past life to deserve the friendships that I have. With how amazing these people are I have a slight suspicion that I saved a town or even a city from destruction. If you can sit back and reflect on the relationships that you have and feel like you don’t need anything else from anyone, then you know that you are fulfilled. That is how I feel. I love my family, I love and cherish my friends, and I don’t feel lonely. All the love that I could ever need is being given to me every day, and for that I am grateful. 

Now just because I am happy and fulfilled by the few people that are in my life doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek out a large amount of acquaintances or friendships, but what I think is important is to figure out who lifts you up, who you can trust, who is genuine, because those are the people that bring value and light into your life. Friendships with people who don’t value you as much as you value them should be given a second thought, because at the end of the day we involve people in our lives who have a huge impact on us and I would rather beam with joy than sulk in sadness. 

Just remember: quality over quantity.