five: you're safe with me


sometimes i find myself surrounded by enough friends and family who are able to gently coax me into the right decisions for my mental health and mental fitness.
(i really dig the term mental fitness.  i'll probably be using it a lot from now on). 
right now the right thing for me to do is write about my sadness. because i am feeling sad and i have been feeling sad for the past year and especially the past month and right now i just need help, and people to smile at me and tell me it is going to be okay.

this is how i feel. 
when i wake up in the morning i feel like my entire body is swollen with lead.
it feels like there is a cement block smashed on my head that tries to keep me in bed.
then i get up.  i get out of my bed.  i want you to know that i really honest to god do absolutely everything i can to feel better.  so i get out of bed.  then i take nessie for a walk.  i walk briskly so endorphins can bop around and do their thing but it doesn't always help.  the sun is nice too, but not enough.  sometimes it feels like nothing is enough.
i feel like complete nothingness.  i feel ugly and fat and garbage-like, which is this new term i coined for when you feel like garbage.  when you have been busy doing nothing for a year it is easy to feel like you are the drain in the sink of the world and you consumeconsumeconsume without ever giving back.  after a while it starts to feel like you don't deserve tears anymore.  i am just so tired of trying medications that don't work.  i want something to work.  desperately.  this is how that feels.  
sometimes when i walk nessie i start crying.  once i fell to the ground and started crying and the person next to me looked at me like i was a maniac and i wondered how some people can just not cry, because there are so many things to cry about.  i suppose the same can be said for smiling, but it doesn't feel like it. 
honestly the only thing to say is that i'm just really hurtin' and need a hug or seven.  but that's not the point of this post.  onwards.

i was at unleash the noise last weekend, and one of the (many) things we spoke about was who is responsible for the mental health and mental fitness of everyone.  i differed from one of the opinions at my table, and figured out what i believe.  there is a point when you are ill at which you feel like a burden.  i have a feeling this isn't limited to depression, but is something you feel when you are ill with any number of debilitating diseases or sicknesses.  it is just really unbearable to think that while the world keeps spinning around you (and some how you manage to do the necessary things to stay alive, like breathe and eat) you are suspended in this timeless state of nothingness.  that is a strange feeling.  this is something i figured out this weekend, among many other things, at the brilliant unleash the noise conference.  because even though i was depressed out of my mind, ideas were flowing in and out of me and it seems like some of them have stuck.
my mind was stuck on the question of who is responsible for our mental fitness?  some people at my table thought it was us and only us, some people thought it was us and our friends, while others maintained it is a combination of us, our friends, and our community.  i will tell you right now if i am the only one who is responsible for my mental health i would not be doing so well.  i have leaned on my friends like nothing else during the time i have been sick, and their support has kept me here.  
but what about if my sickness is too much for people? surely it is too much for me, and it's bound to be taxing for the people closest to me.  maybe they have mental health issues of their own that they need to focus on, and any mention from me makes it that much harder for them. 

so here is my conclusion: it's about a safe place.  it is all about safe communities.  the responsibility for my mental fitness isn't yours or mine or something that belongs to someone: it is something that comes from safe dialogue.  it is something that comes when i am allowed to speak about my sadness within a community that loves me, because they love me.  and today i reached a point where i have to hand the responsibility to my community - i have to take this titanic leap of faith and tell you i am really honestly just still very sick and i just need a lot of lovin.  
all i know is that i need you right now.  i am coming into the darkest part of my life and i really need support.  i need strangers to tell me they love me and it will be okay, and i need friends to hold me and i just need people to tell me that i'll be safe with them.  and i think that's ultimately what we're looking for when we talk about livin' stigma-free.  

the lovely ellie from lady cove wrote me a message once about my blog and she wrote you're safe with me
and that has stuck with me for a long time
you're safe with me




i just want you to know that i'll be okay. that this is a good thing and this is a good step in understanding my sadness and how far it can take me. i don't want you to worry and i'm sorry if you do.


(for those who follow my promises to feel better soon, i will get there eventually.  depression is full of lots of little bumps along the way.  all i can say is keep waiting, like i do).  

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