My Mental Story- Part 3

This is the latest installment in a personal story by Linds B. A lot of people call her Rainbow. I’m grateful to call her my friend.

My therapist had asked me several times if I had wanted to consider medication, and every time I gave her the same answer, “I want to see how much ability I have to cope and figure this out on my own.” It was probably one of the best choices I could have made.

I wanted to know more, I looked into my illnesses much deeper, some suggestions on how to cope with them, how to really issue “self-care”. I came to realize it isn’t all about bath bombs, and relaxing music; (while those things do help a great deal) it’s about knowing how to be by yourself, not alone. In an effort to break my mental cycle I was stuck in, I started conquering one issue at a time, starting at the current root of the problem. Her, she had been living rent free in the back of my mind for too long and I was just too tired to let that continue. My initial idea was to become friends with her, be on good grounds. “If we’re civil, it’ll make things so much easier.”

No, no; bad idea. The more involved in her life I was, the more miserable I became. I’d see how “happy” she was with someone else, and truth be told, I did not want to see that; and yet, I all but forced myself into a “friendship” with her, for a good couple of months. While that was a stupid idea, again, it was one of those moments where something good came from it, like a flower blooming in a winter storm. I got to see her from another perspective, I had taken off those rose-colored goggles and saw everything. Let me tell you how incredibly satisfying that was, I felt like I could break those shackles she had on me. That was it, the first major step in my recovery process had been taken, but I was far from fixed, I still had so much work to do.

Again, coping methods are very important, so it was high time I figured that out. As I had said earlier, a major part of healing and growing is knowing how to be comfortable in your own company. Upon moving to my own place, I found exactly that. In spite of the fact I do indeed have roommates, I was still by myself. It felt natural, and oh-so comfortable. After a while I decided it would be time to reestablish the connections I had frayed so foolishly. To my surprise it went better than I expected, I slowly regained my ability to be social. I appreciated the company of my friends so much more, not only because I had been without them for such a long time, but because I can be by myself and be happy! That’s it, it was coming back to me. Happiness. I was taking so many steps I never fathomed I could ever have taken, that alone was enough to motivate me to continue, to carry on. Make no mistake, in the midst of all this development, I stumbled, I fell, I had several days a week where I couldn’t drive myself to get out of bed, so I called out of work.

“One day, my mind won’t be this chaotic.”

Behold, one of the positive things I told myself that I believed. Overcoming all of this madness was doable.

As time went on, I continued to become more miserable with my vendor job, something about it wasn’t fulfilling, my “bad days” started becoming more prevalent all over again. I knew I needed to get a new job, but once again I found myself in a comfortable spot and I was not mentally ready to start over yet again. As much as I wanted to be shocked by it, once again the universe decided it was not going to let me settle a second time for something that makes me miserable; on one of the many conference calls I had to endure for this job, my absolute bitch of a boss told all of us that the company we worked product for was dropping their contract with the company that hired me, thus eliminating my position. At first, I was terrified, as if there weren’t several other job opportunities out there. I took time to reflect on this. The saying “when opportunity knocks, open the door” or however it goes, yeah, I have to call bullshit, opportunity doesn’t just knock at the door, it kicks that bitch down. Upon knowing my time with this terrible company was coming to a close, I was already improving mentally and physically. I stopped feeling nauseous and waking up at the ass-crack of dawn. Some days I felt like I could take on anything. In lieu of that, I decided to get myself plane tickets to Portland Oregon to visit my sister. Let me start this off by saying the idea of flying by myself got my anxiety by the balls (metaphorically speaking of course). But life is all about taking risks, and stepping out of your comfort zone, right? I know people always say that, but I never actually imagined that I would be one of those people. If you would have told me maybe a year or more ago that I would be flying alone, all the way across the country (with a layover) I would have laughed in your face.

14 thoughts on “My Mental Story- Part 3”

  1. Linds,

    Here’s to learning and growing. And in those moments when you just need a shoulder to lean on, here’s to the friends who will be there to see it through.

    Love,

    Marco

    Like

  2. Linds,
    As trite as this might sound, I understand. In 1998, I was able to leave a relationship, in which I had been involved, with two pairs of underwear, a ripped diploma, and my life. For four years I was living with the man of my dreams, and for four years I was both emotionally and physically abused. With each new day I thought, Oh it’s a new day it will be better, and each evening a new wound with which to deal. At the time I was living in Miami Beach, and even there, there was little to no support for same-sex domestic abuse, and I was very, very, fortunate that I was able to call my parents and leave.

    It took ten years of intense therapy to even consider making the first step of a new journey. Each step is a struggle, but one that I am able to now make with a wonderful man to whom I am married, and with whom I have had a relationship now for almost 15 years. I am, at 54, finally going back to graduate school.

    The point is this, you are amazing, the fact that you’ve been able to write about the ordeal is even more amazing. Your message has great meaning! Thank You for sharing and for letting this old man be friends with one of the cool kids.

    Hugs Hugs Hugs!

    Billy Boy!

    post scriptum : There is a French writer you need to read : Édouard Louis. He has written three novels and is one of the new French intellectuals of the modern era, in the footsteps of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Louis is at the avant garde of the fight for LGBT rights, the marginalized, the forgotten. He’s all of 25, but a true force. All of his works have been translated in English, and during the academic year he teaches writing classes at Dartmouth, and gives lectures at Harvard and MIT. I mention him to you, because I think his style would speak to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Billy,

      This is Marco. I just have to let you know, once again, how much it means to us that you read this blog. I loved our little chat yesterday, because it just thrills me to be around people who get it the way you get it.

      You’re such a special individual and it’s a blessing to have made your acquaintance.

      Love and Peace

      Like

  3. LInds,

    This was brilliant. Your writing is beautiful and honest and frankly, at such a tender age, you are blessed to have had the strength to turn your life around for YOU. They say you have to learn to love yourself, and be comfortable with yourself before you can move forward in a healthy way. I think it’s true. And when we realise that we are not lonely when we are alone, it is a wonderful bonus.

    Kudos to you, kiddo! And, though I’m new to your life, you can count me as one of your supporters,

    Love and no more rent free-loaders,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

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