It Comes Back

The thing about depression is that no matter how much work you put in, how far you come, it will come back.

I’ve felt it sucking at me again these past days. Felt it dragging at the corners of my mind. I woke up today and there it was. I am also in the grip of a Fibro flare. For those lucky enough not to know what that is, it basically means my entire body is in pain for no damn reason. Are they connected? Hell yeah.

Depression is a little parasite. She waits for something else to bring me down and there she is. Right on my life line, sucking all the feelings away.

Until I am not happy, or sad. I’m back in the grey wasteland of nothing. Everything is leached of joy. I am flattened. I am nothing. But I refuse. Im in a desert leached of all emotion. But I ain’t stuck here.

So I go to work. This is my job after all, keeping the Bonnie Bot alive. I watch my favourite shows. I reach out to my friends who get it. I tell husband. I get good with being sick. I do the things I like doing. I go through the motions. In my case, if I succumb and just lie down, I will get worse.

I start being kind to myself. I bring my best self talk forward. C’mon Bon, you know the drill. Are you safe? Do you need help? Is this manageable?

I take steps. If I want to get better I have to fight for it. I feed my face with good food. Listen to good music. Do things that make me feel… something. Hide the sharps. Put the razors away. Bury my face in my dogs neck and just hold on.

This is the price I pay to be me. My brain gives me creativity, it makes me different, intuitive, imaginative. And sometimes, it tries to kill me. Everything is a balance I guess. I still like being me. But the tax is bitch.

So I will hang on. I will hug my children and breathe them in. I will rest my head on husband’s shoulder. I will wait for it to pass. Hold on Bon, just hold on. Wait for the times to get better. Have faith that they will.

I will stay. I will not let this be the end of me. Because brain, you dear, fucked up mess, the times they are a changing. My smile will come back before you kill me. Just watch.

Stay weird peeps. Just stay.

X Bon

I Lied and said I was Ok.

If I ever let you think this was easy, I lied.

If you look at me and think I won the war against depression, I lied.

If I gave you the impression that I’m ok, then I said it wrong. Because every morning anxiety still pries my eyes open, while depression wants them to close.

Walking into any room, any time makes my heart thud so hard I want to turn and run. It does not matter if that room is filled with loved ones or strangers. I want to run away, and I’ll feel good doing it. I like it better when I’m on my own, but I hate feeling alone. I need the people in my life so much that if they realized exactly how much, it would shock them. The people I love are my anchor. They keep me here. They make me want to stay. So if I tell you I can do this on my own, I’m lying.

BPD still wrestles with me, every day is hard. If you think I’m not holding a clamped hand over its mouth, just to hear you speak, then I’m telling it wrong. I’m straining against the claws of a monster just to make it through the day. Some days I lose. Some days it forces me to watch the world pass like everyone got a pretty invitation to stand in the sunshine, while I’m stuck behind the glass and can’t feel it’s warmth.

Some days are good days. I’m starting to be able to string more than one together at a time. I was starting to rock through an entire week…

Then Fibro came along to add her 5 cents worth to the whole mess. She is the fiercest dictator I’ve washed up against so far. She tortures so invisibly that no one can see the scars. She’s an expert in making you forget she’s got her chains around me every minute. She hides in plain sight. She sees my good days and she laughs while she takes my feet from under me.

I didn’t chose to fight these battles. I’m no angel through it all. I can be so cruel it would suck your breath out. I’m so angry I’ll scream at the sky when I run out of things to be mad about. Resentment is my poison. It shows on my face, in the holes punched through plaster, in the burned bridges I leave in my wake. It could be so much fucking worse, but that doesn’t help me on the days I want to bash my head against a wall just to make it all stop.

The damndest thing keeps happening though. I keep feeling my lips curling up at the corners, my feet keep tapping, my heart bangs and I rise again. I tell my wrong brain to shut the fuck up and carry on. I’m learning to walk without limping as Fibro rattles through my central nervous system. I tell depression to shove it, even when anxiety puts a tremor in my voice. I turn the key in the ignition with shaking hands. I keep on going.

Recovery looks different for everyone. And it’s not fixed. It changes as I do. It’s a god damned bloody spectrum, and I’ve learned to be ok with that. But if I ever told you I was ok, that it was easy, then I bloody lied. I didn’t tell my story right.

I don’t want anyone to stumble across my blog and go well look at that, we can be fixed. Because we can’t. But we CAN manage life with all this nonsense. A good life even. I can never go back to the person I was ‘before’. I can be happy. I’m facing forward with anticipation for the first time in years. But let’s none of us pretend ‘happy’ is an attainable, fixed state. Cos that simply isn’t how life works. Adjust expectations, get comfy with the new version, make peace with it. When you look at me, know how much I’ve had to fight just to be stood there, looking right back at you.

My smile is real. That part I never lied about. This world might force me to my knees more often than I’d like, but I still have no poker face. The laugh is honest, the grin pure me. My strongest feature isn’t something I expected. I thought my weapon would be humour. It’s not. The force that keeps me going is pure, bull headed stubbornness. I’m a sore loser, so whenever my ailments think they’ve got me, I’ll up-end the game board right in their face and walk on.

Every time something comes along and tells me it’s going to take something away from me, I get up and fight to take it back. I’m that plucky little kid in the school yard. You’re watching her drag herself up off the gravel, nose bleeding, to turn around and spit on her bullies. Just when you think she hasn’t got it in her, she throws sand in their eyes and runs away. I didn’t know I had this much fight in me. I’m not a brave person. I fold like a piece of paper. I hate confrontation. And it’s not because I don’t want to argue over my change, or send a crappy meal back to the chef. It’s because I’m already tired of fighting.

The point of all this work, this endless battle? I found something to fight for. I didn’t know that. I thought I had nothing left to lose. Apparently even in my rawest, most flawed moments, I won’t lose my grip on the world. I lift my bowed head, scream FUCK YOU at roaring volumes and I stay. Every blow I expect to be the last straw… somehow isn’t.

This is mine. My ruined mind and broken body. It’s Mine. This life I live is Mine. The things I seek are Mine. The people I love are somehow Mine too. So maybe I’m not that brave little girl wrestling with her bullies. Maybe I’ve had enough. Maybe I’m also that stubborn, tantrum chucking little shit in the supermarket. Jumping up and down, turning heads, shamelessly screaming MINE, MINE, MINE!

So yeah, I lied. I let you think I wasn’t completely broken by all of this. I showed you the days I found my reason to stay alive, and I hid under the covers on the days when I couldn’t. Some days I rally do want it all to stop.

And yet.

The world keeps spinning, and I keep spinning with it. I will fight, fall down, get up and do it all again. One day if you look over your shoulder and I’m not there, at least you will know that I never give up. I gave until I had nothing left. I fought for every day I had here. I tried.

Stay weird peeps, stay here.

X Bon

Get up girl

So I had a massively awesome weekend.

A friend was flying to Sydney, stopping off in Orange for fuel. And he offered us a lift. Do we want to scoop up the kids and zip off to Orange to visit the fam? Um, yes obviously let’s do that!

It was very very worth it. My first time in a small plane and all the awesomeness that is flying at 400 k’s, 10,000 feet up. You feel every wing shift and can see the ground the whole time – AMAZING!

Spent time with cousins I hardly get to see, the kids had a ball and I got plenty of bubba cuddles in. I am one happy lady.

Downside of awesomeness? My body will always ask me to pay for it. I have to learn to accept the pay off for doing anything that uses a lot of brain power and physical doing.

Today my eyes won’t work properly, because like all my other muscles they are freakin tired. Imagine that all your muscles, nerves and even your skin were just fucking done with today. Now tell yourself to get up and go. You’re basically suffering from body wide, intense flu symptoms and you’ve just told the old body unit that it needs to put in a full day at Uni today. Body and mind are gonna have an argument about that for sure.

I know I’ll pay for it later. I know all the self care options are sitting at home in a tool box I rejected today. I know I’m facing an 8 hour day armed with stubbornness, headphones and a kick arse playlist. It’s not enough, but I can get by until my pre-planned day off. I hope. I will hang on by my fingertips until my day off and hand out gold stars all the way.

Until then, I will dance this broken body of mine to school. I’ll be grateful I can do it. I will thank this poor old bod of mine for rising when she didn’t want to. I’ll treat myself to a bath at the end of the week. I’ll keep up my meds and check in for a physio sesh. I’ll do all the back ground blah blah blah it takes to face up to each day. Because as much as I argue and roar and cry and scream with frustration sometimes, I’m still here. My body still works. My brain is firing on most cylinders most days. What more can I ask for? It’s a bad day, but I’ve had worse.

So this week I know I’m asking a lot. I know there’s a physical list of consequences, some I’m getting ready for. Some might be a surprise package. I’m borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, but I just really want to be here. It matters to me.

So Fibro, with respect, please back the fuck up and just let me have three days. Three days, and then you can kick my arse for four.

As always for me… when in doubt – dance. Get em headphones on and boogie my arse into the car.

I can.

Or I can’t.

But I’ll still try.

Stay weird peeps,

X Bon

Down and Up

It’s been a rough week. Fibro is kicking my butt cos apparently it hates any sort of weather change… and it chucks the biggest tantrum if that weather change is Winter!

But it’s been good to go down. Because then I know I can and I WILL come back up again. Even if it’s tough and really sucky and it makes me literally cry… I have to know I will come out of it.

This is not going to be a long winded post, cos frankly I don’t have the wind for it! It’s just a post about a shitty couple of weeks. It’s about knowing it’s ok not to be ok. And not just because that’s a really catchy phrase. Because it’s true.

So, I’ve been properly down for 3 days straight, which isn’t that long physically, but Ive been feeling it loom for a couple of weeks… and that plays havoc with me mentally. Because when my body says ‘lie down and don’t move’! And my brain says ‘shhhhh you’re so tired you can’t speak English, time to sleep’…. it’s really fucking tempting to give in and let lovely lovely depression take the wheel. Because if the Black Dog takes over, I promise you I will sleeep. For daaaaays. And probably enjoy it.

BUT getting that beast leashed again is too damn hard.

So I get up. I feel out my bones and ask them if it’s a dancing morning. It is! Oh hells yeah!

I grab my big arse head phones. The ones that mean I can’t even hear my own pulse or breath.

I make my bed as I get my feet under me and start to pump up the music.

I listen to three songs.

1: We’re Killing Strangers by Marilyn Manson

Because it has a wicked fucken beat and he can soothe the angry beast. I can’t dance for shit, but I do anyway. And my body doesn’t move the way I’d like it to… so I’ve taken to doing a sort of interpretive dance. It uses all my muscles, it’s bang on the beat and it feels really good. I may look like an electrocuted pidgeon, but I feel as powerful and Childish Gambino.

2: Better Son/ Daughter by Rilo Kiley

Ohhhhh yeahhhh. Let’s bring it down, take it in and streeeeetch it out! This song gets under my skin in the best way. From the outside this sounds like yoga. I LOVE yoga, but again my body dictates what we do today. I’m cool with it, you silly old thing. So I take this bod o’ mine through a heavily restricted/personalized stretch sesh. And it feels gooooood. Take that OT, I AM doing what you suggested! Just… in my own way. Gold star!

3: Why Can’t I Touch It? By Buzzcocks

This one means it’s time to get up before I fall asleep on the floor. Get my inner, slightly less spry, Punk Bitch up and moving. Put the kettle on. Help my very old cat Nev through his morning routine.

I have to act like an adoring butler during this, or he gets offended and won’t eat. And I have to keep the other cats away from his food without making it look like I am. Oh, and give him privacy but be ready to open the door because after food comes the enormous need to evacuate… I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say we both regret it if I’m not paying attention.

I move through the house while the kettle makes it’s racket, just checking everything is ok, cos I’m gonna crash out in 5, 4, 3…

I make my cuppa. Tea should be made in calmness. I settle for raging loud mindfulness. I do it while I boogie to whatever comes next on my headphones. Then I sit. One must have 15 minutes to sit with a cuppa. Which is drunk black in case the sitting takes a bit longer and I need to nuke it hot again. Or drink it cold. Whichever.

And now I plan my day. My neck is saying NO MORE GIANT HEADPHONES! My heart wants to run and run. My aching body and says Calm Down. So we’ll get dressed, this oddball team of broken brain, bad ass chic and failing body. I’ll get us under the heated blanket. Bark up the laptop and do… something.

Or read.

Or watch Netflix.

Or wander around in the internet for a while, hug the cats, wait for the pain to fade.

Cos it’ll fade. If I’m careful, patient and work on not going crazy while I wait, it will bugger off long enough for me to walk the dogs. Or go to a market. Or whatever. Just be a big, pink haired weirdo outside in the world for a bit.

Not today. Maybe tomorrow. You all know how I feel about tomorrow… ūüé∂ ūüĆě

Do you have Annie singing in your head yet? Has she done that bit where she says… The sun’ll come out… tomorrow? It’s so good. Oh, ready for my favourite part… You’re always a daaaaayyy awaaaayyyyy!!!!!!!

Hope you have that stuck in your head now. You’re very welcome.

Hoo – roo peeps,

Stay Weird,

X Bon

Who Am I?

I’ve been wrestling with my demons over this again recently and these are the thoughts that I could grab hold of tightly enough to scribble down…

Who Am I?

Am I… Kind? Loving? Funny? Loyal?

I’d like to say yes… but does it show? Can you see it? Can I show the world what is in this poor old heart of mine?

Am I…

Just my rage and fury?

When I am the rage monster I whirl and twirl and burn the world around me. My hurt and pain spin around me like the fires of hell. I’m dancing with my demons and all we want to do is burn, burn, burn.

My anxious heart beats, beats. The blood in my veins is fire. It consumes. I feel powerful and free. The rage inside finds its way out and

out

it

pours.

I could light the world on fire when I am angry and happily burn myself right along with it.

But the fire never lasts. When I’ve stopped spinning, when I’m standing on the shattered pile of everything I have broken, what do I have left? Who am I then?

Deflated, deflating…

Breathe in, breathe out.

Look around. I’ve burned it all down, but I’m not rising like the powerful dragon I imagined I was. I’m standing here alone like a god damn fool. I haven’t set the world on fire. I’ve only hurt myself.

Who am I now?

Who am I when that anger turns inwards?

When all I can hear is my own voice lying in my ear…

Who am I when she whispers, whispers, whispers. She’s the hardest to escape. Is she me?

Is she me when she tells me everything I’m afraid of?

My own voice telling me I’m awful, ugly, unwanted, broken, useless, cruel.

Who am I when she tells me I’m no good, not worth all this effort, all this fuss. That my own children would be better of without me, that my husband would be happier…

Oh, how she lies, that voice of mine. Lies and lies and lies until it starts to sound like truth.

Until the only thing that will make her just SHUT UP is that cool blade across my skin.

Yet even then, still she whispers…

Coward, coward, coward. Deeper, deeper, deeper.

But I never can, because maybe she’s right. Maybe I am a coward.

Who am I now? When all I have left is trembling bones in the aftermath of her attack, my hands full of blood and an aching, sorry heart.

Who am I when she’s silent?

I am alone in the sudden quiet. Even more lost than before.

Who am I now?

I am a woman who made a promise to myself not to do it again.

I am keeping that promise I made. I am working my therapy. Working, working, working to be ok. I’m holding myself tight, keeping my head above water.

I am my own best friend and my own worst enemy. I’m one year down with no cutting, now I’m two…

I’m waltzing with my demons and I’m winning.

Who am I now?

After all of this fucking work and effort and trying and failing. After all of this falling down and getting back up again. Who do I see when I look in the mirror?

Who am I?

I am… that girl who flirted so closely with death, who thinks too much about the nothing. Who can almost hear the eternal quiet ringing in her ears. Forever peaceful, almost free.

I am… the dragon inside who roars. That fire breather who defends me from the body blows. I am the one who knows that sometimes only the loudest scream can soothe that old familiar heart ache. I am the roar. I am the quiet afterwards.

I am… growing with all my pain. I am taking it with me. I am still here living. Still searching. Fixing my mistakes. Forgiving and loving and learning to move forward.

I am… the mother that loves with her whole heart, who is trying my dears, always always trying.

I am… the wife that would hold up the universe just so my beautiful husband could stretch his arms wide, wide, wide enough to dance.

I am… the little girl who only ever wanted to see the beauty of the world. I am the woman whose heart broke when she saw the world had wounds she couldn’t love hard enough to fix.

I am the child, I am the mother.

I am human.

I bleed, I fight, I get angry, I get calm.

I am wrong, I am right, I am broken, I am mended.

I am all of them and none of them.

I’m still trying.

I am here.

X Bon

I have depression, it does not have me.

I always want to post about mental illness, while I’m in the midst of it. ¬†I kinda want to show people what it looks like from the inside. ¬†This crash I’m having right now is ‘mild’ as far as suicidal thoughts or actual psychotic breaks go. ¬†I would label this one as a depressive episode, without the accompanying psychosis. ¬†Small mercies aye? Actually putting pen to paper is almost impossible when I’m sick though. ¬†And yet I can always post to Facebook. It’s my lifeline. ¬†So here’s a little snippet of my life over the past few days. ¬†I hope it shows the value of honesty, courage and reaching out. ¬†You aren’t alone. Some of these are my posts, and some of them are my tribe responding and holding my head above water for me.

Facebook post by me, Thursday night:

Down the rabbit hole I go. Stupid brain. Been hit hard with my stupid depression. I’m trying to use all the tricks of the trade I’ve learned and been taught, but it’s hard slog. On the precipice of deciding whether to tough it out and try to retrain my brain… or run to the doc and go back on meds. Good damn, it’s a heck of choice! Bye bye Bonnie and hello medicated Zombie —- or go through every aching moment, bad thought and shitty mood, hoping it will pass… stupid brain chemicals!!!!

it won't be ok

Then the awesome people around me comment things like this. ¬†Bless their little hearts. They’re right there with me. They make me feel less alone and they remind to keep on living. Something as simple as sending a heart emoji of a Wonder Woman gif makes more difference than you probably think.

Friend Comment:

On the days I really struggle with anxiety and depression, I’ve found myself muttering this little speech. I may crumble, but not this day.¬†Bonnie, not this day. We have your back¬†

aragon

And they left me some awesome meme’s too…

 

Later Thursday night I posted this:

It’s ok that I’m not ok. I will be, in a little while. Depression and anxiety is one hellova mix. It’s like having soul deep weariness and inertia, mixed with an overactive brain and a persistent, panicked dread. So kind of like being awake in a nightmare and not able to move.
The trick is to reach out, which used to be so much harder. Now I have this phone in my hand, and say what you will about tech, it connects me to people, grounds me and stops me from being totally cut off. You guys are right there, at the touch of some little buttons.
It’ll take some time, but I’m not alone, I can ride this out. Thanks for listening and sending memes and love. I’m a lucky chick.

darkness must pass

I also posted a few quick pics on Instagram, cos I live in social media world…

motherfuckers

IG Caption I wrote right before bed:

Some days depression sneaks up and hits me over the head like a shovel full of concrete. It’ll take me a while to get back up. ¬†But I always do. ¬†Because once my ‘bad brain’ told me I couldn’t and I’m gonna prove her wrong every damn time.

#igetknockeddownbutigetupagain #iwillalwaysgetbackup @bonnknowsbest

This is what I thought Friday would be, me in bed with the covers over my head. Which is totally ok and necessary sometimes:

Hey all! Thanks for all the love. I’m currently in bed, listening to podcasts, resting my noggin, covered in cats. Of course Rose is right up close. It’s a shitty brain time, but imma¬†be alright. I have depression, it does not have me.
Love ya’s¬†xoxoxo

** Rose is my soul cat. ¬†She’ me, in cat form, and always knows when I need a cuddle.

everything will be ok

By Friday lunchtime though, I had risen… a bit:

This is how my day looks today… and yeah, I’m in bed. It’s nice here though. I’m doing stuff I love, I got dressed and here’s the huge difference to crashes of the past —- I know, actually truly KNOW, that this will pass. I just need to ride it out, ignore my ‘bad brain’ and just keep on. I’ve learned a lot in the last year and I will keep fighting. I’ll have good days, bad days, and really really bad days. Days where it physically hurts to keep going. But fuck it, I’m here for a reason. Maybe it’s just to show the world what living like this looks like and that’s it not all tears and pills and cutting and dying. Sometimes, it’s just laying low and waiting for the storm to pass.

So yeah. ¬†That’s a brief little look inside the life of someone like me. ¬†It’s not like this for everyone. ¬†And there are some things I’m not ready to share. ¬†I will say that over the past few days I’ve cried more than I’d like to, laughed long and hard, been sent some lovely messages I haven’t shared here (just cos I’m really crap at asking permission), taken the meds I need and allowed myself some time to just let the dust settle a bit. I’m not ok. ¬†This might be a brief stint in a downward mood shift, or it could be a tipping point into something longer and shittier. ¬†I don’t know. ¬†Brain chemistry is weird. ¬†I do know that I’ll be alright. ¬†I’ll be here for a long time yet and I will still be me. ¬†I also have friends and family and cats and dope meme’s and podcasts and music and crochet and and and… more reasons than I can count. ¬†Reasons to stay alive. Thank you.

xoxox Bon.

brain chemistry