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“All I have for the moment is a song to pass the time,
A melody to keep me from worrying
Yeah, some simple progression to keep my
Fingers busy
And words that are sure to come back to me…”

I’ve always been a really good sleeper. I’d read for a while and fall asleep… and I’d do my best to get seven or eight hours a night.

These days I don’t sleep well at all. Sometimes I wake up and feel like I didn’t sleep at all. A lot of times I just plain can’t sleep.

“So there still is hope,
Yes I can be healed
There is someone looking for what I’ve concealed
In my secret drawers, in my pockets deep,
You will find the reasons that I can’t sleep
And you will still want me…
Will you still want me?”

I’ve been doing a lot better since I wrote my last post. I still need to get my life in order and work to make more and more progress… but I’m going in the right direction.

It’s so important to look at your life, figure out what you can and can’t control, and try to make good decisions.

Good decisions…

I’ve been doing okay with that the last few months. I did make a lot of horrible decisions before I came back here though… with effects that I still feel every day.

I’m adjusting to this new way of life… learning to live again. Learning a lot about love.

It’s hard…

but still so worth it. Love.

The way you think… the way you feel… it controls so many things. I know that if I don’t BELIEVE I can get better, I won’t. I know that if I don’t fight the anxiety, the thoughts… they’ll beat me every time. Sometimes they’ll beat me even when I do fight… but I’ll keep fighting anyway.

“So hold up your fist
To the flame in the sky
To block out the light
That’s reaching for our eyes
Cause it would blind us…”

-Bright Eyes

I’m not going to lie.

It gets exhausting… to the point where I get angry sometimes.

Angry at everything that’s happened in the last four months,

and angry at the place I’m at now.

But sometimes I think the anger is a good sign… it’s a sign of life in me. See, I didn’t feel anger once until I really started trying to get better.

But like I said, it gets really exhausting sometimes… never knowing how I’m going to feel the next moment. I can feel completely fine, motivated, inspired, even ambitious one moment and completely depressed the next for really no reason at all. When I’m low, I can tell myself that the thoughts I’m having are irrational, that the feeling is going to pass, that everything is going to be okay, that I’m strong, but it doesn’t matter. I literally begin to believe that it’s not going to be okay, that I shouldn’t have hope, that I should just give up.

But I continue to fight anyway. And I will keep fighting. And this will get better.

Maybe real hope is when you really don’t feel like things will get better, but you keep fighting anyway.

And at the same time, I can feel completely depressed one moment and then great the next. And it comes like sweet relief, and I realize all the many blessings I still have. I try to store up these moments because I’m never sure how long they will last.

But I’m not giving up hope. I’m not.

Emerson said: “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

I have honestly been making a lot of progress since I got discharged from the hospital and moved back home. When I first got out, I feared being alone. My head was really foggy. I had a hard time concentrating on what people would say to me. Night time was especially bad. As soon as dusk started approaching, this sense of dread and fear would overtake me. I would try to keep myself busy, which seemed to help, but I would never have left the house.

Now, I don’t mind being alone. My mood swings are way less severe. I’m not as tired all of the time. I can concentrate a little better and the night time anxiety is not nearly as bad. A lot of the same symptoms are there, but just not to the same extent. I feel like I have so much more strength to fight off negative thoughts when they approach. There are definitely bad days and bad moments, and I know I have most of the journey still in front of me, but so far things have progressed further than I would have thought by this time.

Along with progress, however, comes this fear… this fear that I will crash again. And can you blame me really? As far as I knew, things were going great before all of this happened. I fear that once again I will fall. Actually, I think a more likely scenario is that I would do very well first and get sort of manic again before becoming really depressed. If I started feeling more depressed I would be more likely to ask for help.

I need to learn how to trust myself again. Yes, I’m doing better, but I have nearly no responsibilities. I take my brother to work and pick him up, clean and do the dishes, run errands for my mom… that’s really it. I don’t have a job. I don’t have school. I don’t have any of the responsibilities I had before. Last week I had an appointment on a day that I usually work out. Although there was still plenty of time to work out, I worried and stressed over it all morning… thinking, will I have enough time? I ended up having more than enough time. Little things overwhelm me very quickly now… whereas before, I could handle working two shifts, commuting to school in between, and then doing a night class again after my second shift of work. And I didn’t even really stress about it.

I have the opportunity to pick up some hours at my mom’s daycare. The advantage would be that I’m sort of a shoe-in, and I wouldn’t have to work many hours. I also have a lot of experience in childcare. On the other hand, the daycare is almost always short staffed and the children run wild (according to my mom.) It could be very stressful. I told my mom that in a couple weeks I think I would be ready to do that. And I think it’s good for me to work towards a short-term goal, though at the same time it scares me that I won’t be able to do it.

I need to learn how to trust myself again. To continue building that new foundation. To trust that although life will always throw me challenges, there will always be a way out. I don’t want to come out of this fearful of another crash. I want to come out of it stronger and more at one with myself.

It’s funny how sometimes places almost become like people, taking on characteristics that are so much more than the roads, buildings, parks or other things that literally make them up.

Today I went back to where I was living when my world crashed down around me just a few weeks ago. I had to pack up my things and pick up some mail.

I was honestly looking forward to it in a way. I don’t at all mind the two hour drive, and I was looking forward to having a productive day and closing some loose ends.

But it was really hard.

I lived in Milwaukee for three and a half years. Up until the end, it was a place that signified growth for me… growth and letting go, accepting the past while distancing myself from it, becoming liberated and strong, becoming ME.

And when I would go back to my hometown to visit, I would feel all the old ghosts coming back to haunt me… and I could never stay very long. I would rush back to Milwaukee and feel relieved. I would feel home.

As I was leaving Milwaukee tonight, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It reminded me of all that I have left behind, still with no apparent reason… none that I have figured out yet anyway. My amazing roommates, my fulfilling job, my school where I was excited to learn… my friends. Milwaukee is now a stark reminder of how far and how quickly I fell. No one pushed me. In a sense, I guess I jumped. I just don’t know why.

And on the flipside, my hometown is now a place of comfort… still full of ghosts maybe, but I’m learning to be friends with them.

Sadness gripped my heart as I left Milwaukee tonight. I think it’s okay though… it’s a normal thing to feel, and I need to feel it before I can accept what has happened and is happening. The break from Milwaukee was very sudden. I was admitted into the hospital for almost a week and then came here…so my life in Milwaukee almost seemed a dream. I think it was good for me to have to be back there for a day and connect the two different realities.

I just hope that it can become a place of hope for me again.

I can’t believe how much I’ve given up… thrown away.

Are there places that symbolize something significant in your life?