My Most Prized Possession

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Today’s Daily Post is: “Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?” 

Anyone who knows me well, knows what that would be. And that’s my teddy bear, Pookie.

Pookie

Pookie

He is as old and ragged as he looks. This picture is really poor quality, but bear with me (haha- see what I did there?), that’s all I have, mmkay? I left my cell phone at home today, and I actually have one on there of him. Don’t ask.

Little background on The Pookster- I was born in Alaska. While we were there, my dad got two of these pot-bellied bears for my sister and I. When I was in Kindergarten I wanted to take this bear to school for show-and-tell because I LOVED the bear. I wanted to BE the bear. Rather than take mine, I took my sisters because I didn’t want anything to happen to mine. I remember taking it outside for recess, setting it up against a tree and leaving it there. I remembered later at some point, and it was gone. GONE! I had to give mine to her since I had gone and gotten hers abducted. I do remember thinking the punishment was a bit harsh, but I relinquished the bear to her. I’m pretty sure a little piece of me died that day.

After we moved in with my dad (I was about 12), my sister and I were going through some boxes and in hers was Pookie! If memory serves, I think I had to do a little coaxing in order for her to let me have him. But, she IS the best seester ever- and she gave him back! Let me tell you how happy she made me that day 🙂 From that day forward, he has been on my bed at all times. He’s even taken a few vacations with me. A little bit sad, but true. His head actually had to be sown back on, and he’s had a few other operations. He’s actually due for another, but he’s getting a little old, and I’m not sure how he’d pull through yet another surgery.

Clearly, I am still incredibly attached to him today. I sleep with him in the crook of my arm just so every night. He’s probably a big reason why I am still single. Well, maybe not big, but I bet he probably has something to do with it. He actually doesn’t have anything to do with it. He’s a teddy bear, so that’d be weird. Geez.

I found this picture on WikiCommons. Credit goes to Mike Richey. He has a striking resemblance to Pookie. And the picture has much better clarity as well. You can see clearly the ears I rub until I fall asleep, and that have heard all my secrets and sorrows. The eyes that I swear could see right into my soul. And the smile that shows he loves me, no matter what. Actually, Pookie’s smile has all but fallen off. The yarn has given way, and it’s more of a stern, sometimes sad smile, but I’m sure his heart is still smiling.

Close-up of a teddy bear

I know I can’t be the only one with a weird attachment to an animal filled with fluff. Do any of you have something that you should have given up, but haven’t?

 

Say What Now??

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I saw this  yesterday on one of the blogs I read on a regular basis, knocked over by a feather, and it really struck me. It’s some of these thoughts I struggle with on a daily basis. Not all of them, but most. It’s a constant battle that I feel like I will never win. Sometimes it’s a struggle to just have a genuine smile. Seeing this photo makes me sad that others feel this way (so. many. others.) but on some level, glad I’m not alone. Even when I feel alone.

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She says it best on her post: “This is what depression does to us. This is bullshit.”

Parties or Peace?

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So the question asked over here at The Daily Post was:

Do parties and crowds fill you with energy, or send you scurrying for peace and quiet?

If I were an animal, this is what I’d be. Easy to hide myself from the rest of the world.

Anyone who knows me even a little bit would have to wonder what the heck was wrong with my if I wanted to go to a raging party. I have never really been the ‘party’ type of girl. Or rather, I’ve never been a large crowd party type of girl (we all go through our phases, ya know?) Crowds are one of my least favorite surroundings, with large parties a close second. Large crowds make me nervous, anxious and a little bit panic-stricken at times. And parties do nothing for me. I’d rather stay home and read a book or watch a movie, than have to get dressed up and go make small talk with a bunch of people I’d rather not talk to.

I’ve always been shy and introverted. Some of my friends now will say “You’re so NOT shy!” But that’s because there are few people that I feel 100% comfortable letting loose and being myself around (my seester is my number 1, just FYI). So no, I may not be shy around them now, but guaranteed I was shy until I was comfortable enough to reach that stage of…unshyness? Is that even a word? It is now. It takes me a while to trust people enough to be myself. I’ve never been outspoken, or outgoing, or anything else that requires an out to be put in the front of it. If I could, I’d be a hermit crab so I could just climb inside my shell when I wanted to be left alone. I’d make a killer crab- I’d hermit the heck out of my life. I would.

So the answer is this; Parties and crowds do not fill me with energy. They fill me anxiety, and dread. They would most definitely send me scurrying for peace and quiet, just as fast as my little shell would let me carry myself.

Reflections…

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leaf-leaves-streams-water-reflectionsOK, I’ve been really struggling lately to come up with some posts. I’ve been busy, yes, but my mind has been even busier. My thoughts have been tripping and falling over themselves, trying to be the first ones heard. They’ve kept me awake at night, and distracted me while I’m sitting at my desk working. They have been relentless, and driving me mad. Most women will agree with me, I think, that the less we know about something, the harder it is to deal with it. I’ve been dealing with a particular situation for the last couple of weeks, and I don’t have a clue what is going on. I’m sort of hanging in the balance here, not knowing what direction I’m headed. Do I keep waiting infinitely, or do I turn around let it go and give up? I know the never-ending silence is not because of me, but sometimes people don’t understand that the decisions they choose to make do affect other people. I go back and forth between anger, hurt, and absolute missing someone in 2.2 seconds. Before I can finish my thoughts on why I am angry, I’m sad because I miss them. Before that has time to settle, I’m hurt and angry again. It’s absolutely exhausting. The more I try to put the situation out of my head, the more embedded it becomes. And it all boils down to being confused because of lack of communication and I have no idea what in the heck is going on. I hate it. Hate.

Also, I have a birthday coming up this Friday. I’m going to be 34. When I was younger, I thought that 34 was ancient. I knew that when I was that old, I’d have at least 2 kids, a handsome husband, a beautiful house (with a white picket fence thankyouverymuch) and a dog. I also would have an amazing career in who knows what, and basically we’d be happy all the live long day. We all know that’s a pipe dream, but I honestly thought that by now, my life would be different. I’m grateful for the amazing job that I have; not many people I know genuinely look forward and enjoy going to work everyday. I have THE most amazing son who makes my life infinitely better every day. Also, my family is amazing. Like seriously, I don’t know how I’d survive without their amazing support. But then sometimes all I can see is the other stuff. How I struggle every single day with depression. Or the thoughts about myself that I fight against everyday and try to ‘prove myself’ wrong. Or how sometimes it’s easier to just push people away from me with a fake smile because I don’t want to let them in, and get hurt. I’m afraid to be with people, and afraid to be alone. It’s like I want myself to be miserable. I don’t, not really, but you’d never be able to tell that. So every birthday that I have I feel a little bit like I’ve failed myself yet again this year. Am I really being everything that I can be?

I certainly didn’t intend for this post to be such a pity party for myself. I read a fellow bloggers post today about her reflections about her life on her birthday last month, and it got me to thinking. Once I started typing, well the word vomit just wouldn’t stop flowing. So I apologize if this is a little more of a ‘downer’ post than you had originally anticipated; it certainly was to me as well. Please tell me that I’m not the only one out there who constantly tortures herself on a daily basis about EVERYthing….

These are the thoughts that I think…

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(I’m really nervous about putting this post out there. Like I’ve been sitting on it for days, terrified to click that publish button. I did a guest post here at Thoughts of a Lunatic, and have had a pretty warm response. Giving me that extra boost of courage I need to hit the publish button. A little bit because I’m afraid of what others are going to think, and a little bit because I hate putting myself out there. Fear of the backlash or repercussions of what I have said. What will people think if they only knew what I really thought and felt like on the inside? And this type of post doesn’t really fit with the theme of what I’ve been posting about. But someone told me recently that it can be amazingly freeing to write down this ultra personal stuff and get it out of our system. And I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s talking about.)

I have been depressed and anxious for as long as I can remember. Sometimes more than others, sometimes not at all. For a while I was taking Wellbutrin to help me with it, and it helped. A lot. It was hard for me to go in and talk to my doctor about wanting to be on some sort of medication, but it was even harder walking around dealing with myself and my thoughts. I was walking around all the time trying to hide my tears and being angry, instead of  happy and smiling. And tired. I was always so tired. But more than anything, I just hated myself. All of me. Let’s back up, maybe I should start at the beginning.

I grew up living with just my sister and mom. My parents divorced when I was quite young, and I remember that every other weekend that we got to spend with my dad was always my favorite time of all. I couldn’t wait until that Friday night at 6:00 to go and spend the weekend with him. But when we weren’t with him, we were with my mom. And growing up with my mom wasn’t the most pleasant experience. She was an alcoholic, she was bi-polar, and she was un-medicated. She was mean, and she was abusive. She was a very angry person and she took that out on my sister and I. We stayed with her until I was 12 (my sis was 18 I think) and then we moved into my dad’s, and finally the big secret was out, everybody knew. Unfortunately by that time, the damage was already done. For years I had heard nothing but how fat, and stupid, and ugly I was. Eventually I believed it, because hey she was my mom, and she must be telling the truth. My self-esteem was naught from the get-go, and it certainly wasn’t improved much (or at all) over the years. After I graduated high school, I moved to Chicago to become a nanny. A few incidents occurred which led me to drowning all of my sorrows from the past 15 years and current events in alcohol, drugs and men. Bad, and definitely not the right way to cope with life for sure. I got pregnant with my now 11-year-old, and he has completely turned my life around, and I firmly believe saved me from further going down a dark and narrow path of destruction. I found out when I was 7 months pregnant that my then-boyfriend for the last three years was also expecting a child with someone else; 2 months before I was due. So that was awesome. I moved back to Ohio and started a new life with my son, with LOTS of help from my dad and step-mom (who I only call step-mom here to differentiate between her and my ‘real’ mom. My step-mom has been more of a mom to me than my real one, and I call her ‘mom’, she’s amazing). I had hit an all-time low a few years ago, and that is when I went in to my doctor to ask for some medication. It helped and I could definitely feel myself coming out of the fog and climbing back out of that dark black hole. I lost my insurance about a year after I started and therefore lost my prescriptions. I felt great for quite a while and recently in the past few weeks, I can feel the depression trying to sneak and creep its way back into my life. I found a picture a few days ago from when I was about 5. On the back my mom had written my name, and then this caption: “Ugly as can be”. Pretty awesome, right?

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I struggle with thoughts day in and day out. I convince myself time and time again that I am single because I am too fat and ugly to actually get a boyfriend. That I’m awful at my job, and too stupid to actually figure things out here. And once I can see the light again, it doesn’t take much to pull me back down again. When people close to me never ask about whats going on in my life, big or small. Or make comments to make me feel like they not only aren’t happy with the positive things in my life, but actually wish I would fail at things. They acknowledge nothing positive in my life. Or take the hour conversation I had last night with a friend and in the entire conversation (via text- can that even be considered an actual conversation?) he didn’t ask me ONCE how I was or what I had been up to. Not once. It was just all about him and what was going on in his life. Made me feel as if I’m not even worth the breath (or thumb typing) to ask. Surely he doesn’t care enough about me as a person to even ask. Three steps back down in the black hole after taking one step out. Realistically I know that these thoughts aren’t true and it’s a bunch of rubbish (mostly. A few people in my life give me reason to believe otherwise). The problem is making sure my thoughts stay realistic. And not believing all the crap that is rolling around in my head at any given moment. “Fat” “Stupid” “Unlovable” “Worthless” “Social moron” “Awkward” And so many more things that I don’t even want to write down, or see on paper. A little bit because seeing is believing, but mostly because the language is pretty bad- I don’t want to offend the interwebz. I struggle with anxiety as much as I do the thoughts running rampant through my head. I have problems sleeping. I lie awake and just worry. I can’t sit still. I always think I am doing something wrong and am nervous on a regular basis. It’s annoying and I hate it.

I love reading Thoughts of a Lunatic, first because she makes me laugh. Secondly, she has recently posted some serious posts in the same general area of this, making me brave enough to confront my inner demons if you will. Or at least writing them down for the whole wide world to see. Finally, it’s nice to see that there are others like me out there in this cold hard world. I know that there are, but it’s comforting seeing other people struggle with the same things as I do. And by comforting I don’t mean I get a sick sense of pleasure seeing others struggle in their daily lives, but more like a sense of support, albeit a small one. A lot of ‘normal’ people don’t understand what it’s like to be in the mind and body of a depressed person. We don’t choose to be like this nor do we enjoy it. If we could ‘snap out of it’ or ‘get over it’ or ‘cheer up’ we would. Sometimes we just can’t, no matter how hard we try or how bad we want to. Just like someone with a cold one can’t stop coughing, we can’t stop our thoughts or our moods or our tears.