Sad, Scared, Scarred; Serene

Here’s a snippet of what my head was telling me last night. I’m estimating that these thoughts all took place in about a five minute period:

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post on what not to say to a depressed/anxious/suicidal person, when they’re in the thick of things. I hope today’s post helps to give more insight into how people (like me,) think, even when we’re NOT in a deep depression. I hope it helps someone cope with their “loud” head.

When I get sad, I almost always feel scared and self-critical. It takes abundant, repeated practice of coping strategies for me to realize that I’m just sad and in actuality, okay. No matter, I can get pretty panicked by it.

Last night, I felt sad. Over the past year or so, when I feel sad I am oftentimes missing my former super energetic and enthusiastic approach to virtually everything. (Okay, I have never been enthusiastic about anything related to taxes or health insurance enrollment, but almost everything else.) I miss the “old me,” and when I’m sad, I usually feel my scars; both literally and figuratively and my worst self-critic emerges ruthlessly.

Before I realize I’m not in a deep depression, my head questions and criticizes a million things, real or imagined. It can be a mean place upstairs.

Here’s a snippet of what my head was telling me last night. I’m estimating that these thoughts all took place in about a five minute period:

*Also, you’ll notice that sometimes, my “head voice/s,” speak in the first person and sometimes in the third person. While this is somewhat paraphrased based on how I remember it, this is pretty close to how it actually was last night:

  • I used to to whiz through spreadsheets/budgets/documents. What used to take me 10 minutes can take an hour or even longer.
  • I used to be a better writer and artist. I’m so sad.
  • What if I stopped taking these meds? Maybe I should.
  • Pam, you’ve already grieved your “old self.” Just get over it! WTF is your problem!
  • I still get sad. Why am I taking these meds if I’m still sad?
  • What about my weight? I just look at food and my stomach bloats. (one med in particular that causes weight gain.)
  • Good job eating clean (except for the last week or so.) You’re doing great!
  • When will I feel really good? Will I ever feel really good?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • Is this what I got sober for? (Sobriety date: 3/20/98)
  • I wish I could be a better mother; a normal mother.
  • What in the hell is “normal?”
  • What in the hell am I doing?
  • Why can’t I be a better daughter?
  • Am I going to die soon? Do I actually care?
    • I do care. I can’t wait to use my new camera and do stuff with my family.
  • Just breathe, Pam. Everything is fine.
  • Go outside and breathe.
  • Walk around the block; change the scenery up a bit.
  • Hug yourself, Pam.
  • Go off your meds and get some sparkle back.
  • Many bipolar people go off of their meds.
    • Don’t do it, Pam. It never ends well.
  • If I feel sad, why am I on these meds?
  • I’m a little sad I’m not going to Israel.
  • It’s probably good I’m not going to Israel. That’s Juliette’s prom weekend!
  • Why don’t I feel like drinking? I mean, “yay!” I’m lucky to be relieved of this particular obsession. 24+ years of sobriety is nothing to sneeze at.
  • What am I doing here?
  • What am I so nervous about? I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin!
  • I should do laundry.
  • Maybe I’ll start the dishwasher and clean the table and stovetop.
  • Should I go for a drive? Probably not while I’m feeling like this.
  • Why can’t I keep a cleaner house? I’m a shitty homemaker.
  • I’ll take the dogs out. That will help.
  • I’m so proud of my girls but am always such an embarrassment.
  • Why would anyone love me?
  • Why don’t I believe that anyone outside of my mom and dad, really loves me?
  • Why can’t they (my kids,) put dirty dishes in the dishwasher and clean the cat box? Am I asking for too much?
  • Shit. I hate crying. What am I even crying about?
  • Shut up, head. SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP!
  • Can’t anyone help me to not feel sad?
  • Keep your shit together, Pam.
  • I can’t take this pressure.
  • I’m pissed about being under so much pressure for more than a decade.
  • Fuck you, Pam. I mean it. Get your shit together!
  • You’re not good at anything anymore except for being a fucking pain in the ass and burden to all who have to stomach you. You make me sick.
  • Something has to change. It just has to.
  • I don’t want to go outside right now. I’ll just stay here and try to sleep.
  • I’m hungry. Maybe I should heat up some matzo ball soup.
    • Don’t do it, fatty.
      • Stop it, Pam. You’re doing great!
  • What if I died in my sleep?
    • SHUT UP! It would suck!
  • My body aches.
  • Maybe a mani/pedi would make me feel better.
  • Maybe I should skip my meds tonight.
    • No. Take them.
  • Am I just a bad person? Am I failing or past that point and have already failed?
  • Breathe, Pam. Breathe.
  • Your head is lying to you. When you’re mean to yourself, you’re lying to yourself.
  • Breathe in, breathe out.
  • All is well. It’s not perfect, but it’s all okay.
  • You are better in other ways you didn’t even know of since you started these meds. In a way, that’s kinda cool.
  • You’re developing new muscles and that’s great.
  • You’re actually a really kind and loving person.
  • “Perky” is kind of ridiculous at your age anyway.
  • There is much to learn and tons you still want to learn.
  • You absolutely love taking pictures and even though you’re not as good of a writer as you used to be, you still have a voice. At least you have a voice that you’re using with honesty.
  • I wish someone would pay me to write and take pictures. That would be so cool.
  • You’re not coated in bullshit as you try to hide all your struggles.
  • Juliette and Charlotte love you so much. Duh.
  • You’re a loving mother.
  • Stay present. Be here now.
  • It’s okay to be sad. It’s good to release it.
  • Breathe in, breathe out.
  • Breathe in, breathe out.
  • Breathe in, breathe out.
  • Better. Still. Calm. Serene.
  • I’m good. Just a little sad but proud that it didn’t take too long for me to calm myself down. My “sad, panicky time” is improving.
  • I should have reached out to someone. It would have been easier that way.
  • I think I’m getting a headache.

What I listed above is actually really close to the experience I had with my head last night and all within about five minutes. Whoa.

I woke up this morning with the same headache I went to bed with. (I did take my meds before I went to sleep.) Lucky for me, my headache is getting better now.

To be honest, it’s really embarrassing and scary to let anyone peek into my head, but maybe other people (blog readers,) have “conversations” like this in their heads too. I personally know some people who have noisy heads like me. I’m grateful to know them and to know that I’m not alone. If your head is super noisy or even a little bit noisy, I hope reading this will remind YOU that you’re not alone.

I’d also like to note that what I didn’t do in this five-minute-festival-of-head- fun, is reach out to someone else. Oftentimes, this is how I quickly get past my own mishegoss. It NEVER fails me to find out how somebody else is doing, even if at first, I have challenges in quieting my head down. It especially helps to chat with my other friends who have “super-noisy heads.”

There’s help out there and even nearby. If there’s one takeaway from this post, it’s this — coping strategies really do work and reaching out to someone else can help you. Had I done that last night, I wouldn’t have experienced even five minutes of head chaos. I might still have been sad, scared and scarred, but my serenity would have washed over me more quickly with the help of a friend.

As we all can and many do, I get by with a little help from my friends. It is the most helpful vehicle to becoming friends with myself.

Every. Single. Time.

Call me. Text me. PM me. I’m here for you too.

Author: PKW

Writer, Speaker, Facilitator, Trainer, Fundraiser, Strategist, Listener, and Lover of Humans. My love for humans and relationship building are a part of every single thing I do, except for maybe using the bathroom.

4 thoughts on “Sad, Scared, Scarred; Serene”

  1. You’ve got a friend. In me. I know someone I’d like to share this blog with along with myself. So raw, so real. Will help me sleep. Love you.

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