Filling the Emptiness

For myself, so much of depression is feeling a sense of emptiness, as if there is a literal void inside of me. I picture it as a dark space that is so black it sucks in any light that tries to reach inside and turns that light to nothing. Depression isnt always about actually feeling certain emotions, like sadness for example. Sometimes it is lacking the emotions, lacking the ability to care, to give a damn, that is what really becomes a struggle.

I have been working with my therapist on different ideas to cope with depression. One of the main ones is exercise. This isnt a new idea for anyone that is struggling. It is well known that exercise increases endorphins and makes body and mind feel better. However, this kind of backfired for me. I walked almost everyday for 3 weeks for about 30 minutes at a time, but on the end of the third week I broke my ankle! I was dumbfounded, I mean who breaks their ankle by simply walking and tripping over their own feet? Me, this girl. Now its months later and I’m mostly healed, so I’m doing yoga. Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. I’m enjoying it, but seriously, I’m waiting to see how I’m going to break something else.

I also began doing a gratitude journal. I love journaling and I keep one by me at all times so this isnt a stretch. What I do is when I am feeling down, or bored or lonely, I write down 5 things I’m grateful for. But the rule is that they have to be different things each time. I cant just say the same 5 things over and over. And, surprisingly, this can be hard sometimes. I really have to think about new things and what I appreciate. But, honestly, it works great for getting my head to start thinking in a more positive way, or at least stop the negative thought processes that hound me sometimes.

Today I’m doing pretty well. I’m feeling content with where I’m at right now. At least at this exact moment. Now, an hour from now, I could be feeling completely different. I’m hoping not, though.

One step at a time.

Depression on sunny days

It seems that everyone thinks that the cold winter months and lack of sunshine have a negative effect on emotions… That the season can cause a depression. I know this is true for many people, however, for me, winter is my favorite time of year (by the way, I live in the SE of the United States so it never gets too wintery here).

For me, I don’t like the constant sun. I especially don’t like the heat. Where I live, the heat is heavy and damp with moisture. One step outside and I feel like I’m already bathed in sweat. Its incredibly uncomfortable for me. I also like covering myself up. I do not like wearing shorts and t-shirts. I’m definitely a hoodie and jeans kinda girl. And yet, the very atmosphere I live in during spring, summer and most of fall practically forces me into less covering clothing or else I will be facing the very real possibility of heat stroke.

The sun seems to be trying to convince me to be happy. Like, “Look at these beautiful colors and leaves that glint golden in my light.” Can’t I just have some more storm clouds instead? Maybe some thunder and lightning with cold gusts of wind that create a great indoor environment perfect for reading under a blanket with a steaming cup of tea?

The sun is shining today on January 25, 2020 and its actually kinda warm outside. Why does this make me so depressed? I feel like something is wrong but I just can’t put my finger on what it is. Its like the sky is faking me out trying to convince me to be happy but I can’t fall for it. Maybe my brain just stubbornly wants to hold tight to depression on days like this.

Right now, I just wish it would rain.

On getting to therapy…

So, yeah, I made it to therapy on Thursday, January 9, 2020. I made it. However, I did not shower before I left my house and honestly, I wasn’t sure that I was even going to leave my house until I was in my car pulling out of the driveway.

A small step leads to another small step which leads to big leaps. A friend told me that. I may not have showered and dressed nicely for therapy but I did clean up and put on fresh clothes. “Got dressed today: check!” My therapist is amazing and she doesn’t judge me for this. She agrees that when my depression is so so bad, like it is now, that just leaving the house and getting to therapy is amazing.

I told her, my therapist, that next week I’m expecting her to pay me for coming. Definitely joking, but I feel like anyone going through such severe depression for any reason should get awards for any and all small accomplishments. For example, I put my coffee mug in the dishwasher and that really took effort! I know that’s terrible to admit, but geez, the dishes do not matter to me at all right now. My priority at this moment is to just simply get through today.

So, I’m saying to anyone who may also be going through depression for any reason… “A small step will lead to another small step, which will lead to big leaps.” If your just going to stay in bed today, try doing some stretches and drink some water. These little things can help your body feel better. And if your tackling anything outside of your den of safety, you’ll be okay. It will be okay.

On depression…

Its Wednesday, January 8th… 2020…

I’ve been really depressed since right after Christmas. I’m not suicidal by any means, however, I did have one day so bad that I just wished to die rather than keep feeling. That was a bad day, but I’m very lucky that that is not everyday for me.

This depression feels too big. It feels too large. With a shape that is inadequate. This depression is not easy to keep inside of me so that it doesn’t effect other people. Its like my weak body is somehow carrying a large piece of ugly furniture and I’m stumbling and everybody walking by me is getting hit and nudged by this strange huge thing I’m carrying that I can’t even put down.

That is what really sucks about depression, one of the things that suck. Its that I can’t relax or take a break from it. Maybe sleeping could be considered a break? But I can’t sleep through this. Waking up, even if I were to somehow sleep for a month, this depression would be there, waiting.

People have asked me before what severe depression feels like. They want to know… Do they have it? What should they watch out for? How can they tell other people have it? Well, I do not know. I can tell people how I personally feel though. I feel like I’ve lost something. I feel like I’m suffering a loss, like I lost an important person in my life. Something I am looking for and I will never find. I feel sadness but I’m not sad. I just feel like something is wrong and I can’t name it or find it or fix it. But it feels like this constantly, even the people and pets and the books I read, they try but cannot fill this space in me. And I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that there is no magic pill, or doctor, or therapist, or anything that can be found and given to me that solves the problem. I’m not saying there is no help to be found. Honestly, anyone trying to help is helping just by their attempt or their presence.

So today, today I’m trying. I did some writing today, im reading more than I’ve been able to all week, I’m able to care today enough to simply put a cup in the dishwasher rather than leave it on the table. I’m trying today. And, right now, that is enough. I’m okay with these small steps.

One step at a time, one second at a time. And that’s okay.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, A Review

Well… I was NOT expecting this at all. It is a great book to add to and continue the story of the grishaverse, no doubt about that. But, is it good for my mental health and sanity? That’s a different question and I’ll ask my therapist tomorrow! 🙃

Okay, so King Nikolai is still literally battling his inner and sometimes outer demon. That’s a huge part of this story. It really made me think of myself battling demons from my past that creep into my present life and make me feel bad. Its good to face your demons, everyone knows that, but is it also good to try and accept them too? Make room for the demon in your heart. Not to feed it and help it grow but to just be who you are, the good and the bad.

Zoya, my favorite Grisha that I honestly think I could never get along with, is also dealing with her past in a very different way. She is trying to accept how she loved and followed a man, The Darkling, that caused so much pain and suffering for everyone. Including a personal loss for Zoya. I really got to see past her tough exterior to her, can I say this, gentle soul? Well, don’t worry! She will always kick everyone’s ass no matter what, mine too. I think we should start a Zoya Boot camp, get into Grisha shape.

Nina is also a huge part of this story, but she is in Fjerda the whole time. She is undercover with a few other Ravkan Grisha trying to sneak Grisha away from Fjerdan’s evil clutches. And omg are they EVIL!! Wow. Just read it. She is finally coming to peace with losing Mathias while still remaining full of that confidence that I love so much. This part of the book is really intense, read and find out. RAFO.

I loved this book though! However much stress it caused BC Leigh Bardugo just isn’t messing around here. And omg the ending. Just unreal. If you haven’t read this and you love the Grishaverse… Just do it, my friend.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Bag of Bones by Stephen King,  A Review

Another great Halloween read! This book was so creepy that as I lay in bed at night reading, I was seriously scared of being grabbed by some kind of skeletal hand and dragged to the floor.  I rarely get that scared by anything.

This is a combination of stories, told from the point of view of a bestselling author. After his wife suddenly dies, Mike Noonan spends the next 4 years suffering from panic attacks that put a halt to his ability to write. To try and combat the panic and writer’s block, Mike moves back to his lake house named Sarah Laughs in the TR. A town so small that it doesn’t even have a proper name. And yes, all of this takes place in Maine.

Mike gets caught up in the lives of 3 women, but only one of them is alive. Mike meets the young and beautiful Mattie after rescuing her 3 year old daughter, Kyra. He also realizes when he settles in his lake house, that Sarah Laughs is haunted, not just by Jo, his wife, but by the enigmatic singer Sarah herself. I’ll just say that this is a world of trouble and it is all somehow connected.

“At night your thoughts have an unpleasant way of slipping their collars and running free.”

– Stephen King,  Bag of Bones

This is a haunting tale of small town politics and what happens when someone, or something, tries to take control of a place’s mass mind. A town caught in the oppressive heat of summer, and perhaps driven mad by control and money, not to mention other possibilities.

A great spooky read and what is now one of my favorites by Stephen King. I highly recommend this, just be sure to leave your lights on!

Thanks for reading my review!

Happy Reading!!

Update on Mom and Myself! ✌🤟🤘

Mom has exactly a week and a half of radiation left. She is doing so well with it! This honestly surprises me just because I always expect the worst but also I’m just so happy. I may partially be so happy because I really didn’t expect this to go so easily. Mom uses Aloe Vera gel, unscented just straight up Aloe, and she really has no burns or redness so far. She does experience some fatigue and some short lived headaches occasionally after her treatment but it’s nothing severe. Nothing that can be compared to chemotherapy. Of course, like I said, mom’s got a week and a half left so I will see if she remains feeling as good as she does. I will update again after she completes her radiation.

I am doing well. For the past week and off and on earlier, I have been driving mom to her radiation treatments. I have no problem with this, I enjoy being up early and I also enjoy the feeling I get when I know I’m successfully helping mom. I’ve been going through a depression lately, which makes everything so much harder. I find myself drifting off into bad thoughts about random events from the past and also things that bother me but really are not a big deal. I catch myself doing this while reading and it bothers me a lot. I will be staring at the page and yet, on the inside, I am somewhere completely different and also somewhere with a very negative feeling. This scares me. It scares me because of my fear of becoming embittered. I do not want this negativity to overcome me and turn me into a person that I do not want to be.

I will say that mom and I are helping each other equally. Not only does it help me to help her, but my mom is a great person to talk to and we are both able to empathize with one another right now. This empathy, a very real understanding of our separate and yet similar issues, is also surprising to me. It’s a very pleasant surprise and I really appreciate this gift we have been given at this time to have the ability to not just care for, but to compliment our care with such complete understanding. It is a wonderful feeling.

I hope anyone else who is getting through Chemotherapy and radiation has a helper and also, as a person struggling with Bipolar 1 disorder, I understand how lucky I am to have someone like my mom and the rest of my family to simply be there.

More updates coming soon. Thanks for reading! I wish the best for everyone out there. No matter what it is your going through, please hold on to hope.

XOXO