I did it!!!!

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So…….this will be causing some confusion for my most recent followers and those who journeyed with me for awhile are probably thinking ‘um what did she do now?’ It is well known that I fly all over the place and have the strangest thoughts and feelings. This though, this needed to be done.

I crashed hard this passed Winter. I will not reiterate all I went through, for those who would like to know there are multiple blogs written and posted under Depression. I had a drug addiction problem, I was depressed. I did not believe in myself and it all came to a head when I took 30+ pills on December 23rd.

For three months, I did not work. At a job. I worked at myself. Hard. I looked at what caused me to do this. I looked at what I needed to do to make sure that it never happened again. I looked at my life. At what I wanted and needed to do.

T is my number one priority. And being in charge at work left me little time for him. Even when we were together I was always thinking about what had to be done, how it could be done. Staff issues. You name it, I dealt with it. I was short changing him.

My writing. This is my passion. This is what I am meant to do. I have known since I was 6 years old, if not sooner, that I wanted to be a writer. And than life got in the way. I need to reclaim that.

My mental health. While not all issues were work related, my need to appease male authority figures and be perfect related to my past, but I was projecting it forward. And it was killing me.

When I went back I went back with an open mind. No responsibility. See how things went. And you know what? I loved it. The not being responsible part. The not having to manage people. Or follow up with issues. Or making sure this, that and the next thing were done. I go to work, I work, and I come home. With energy for T and my own desires. Hmmmmmmmmmm……..

The last couple of days, my blood pressure has been elevated. I have been playing scene after scene over in my head about telling my boss I was stepping down. And I knew it had to be now. There was no more waiting. I was making myself ill and irritable because I thought I needed to wait. I didn’t.

I discussed this all with T before hand. Some might think what the heck? Talking to a 9 3/4 year old and asking his opinion? Hell ya! This is his life being affected too and I think that as parents we sometimes forget that. I explained to him that my stepping down meant time in morning but would have to work a little later in evening. He looked at me and said, ‘mom I want more time.’ That decided me right than and there.

Let’s get back on track. Today I went to my boss and asked if he had time for me. Finally around 4ish or so he did. I went to his office and while I teared up a little I explained I needed to step aside. T needs me more and that is what matters. The picture at the very top is me right after I gave my notice of stepping down. The second one is of me this evening after I have told everyone I know that I had done it.

There are a few who think that I am going to regret this but they are wrong. T, my mental health and my writing, that is what is important now.

I finally did it! I finally put not only T but myself first and damn but does it feel amazing.

 

 

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Good Enough Woman

Friday I was talking with M. She was not feeling well and had decided to go home. I cheered this decision. Because as I have learned ignoring your own needs and those of your body is detrimental to your mental and physical well-being.
At first she attempted to downplay how she was feeling. Her heart was doing some funky things. She was not sick sick. Not contagious. I was a little ticked off and told her that whether mentally, physically or emotionally ill, you have to take time for yourself. That being stupid like that is greatly overrated. To which she asked if I had never worked when I was sick.
Yes, I have. I often feel guilty that I am calling in sick. I pushed myself through at least two months of depression before I finally hit my rock bottom. I have been made to feel that I should work through any illness that I might have. That if my child is sick I am required to make other arrangements. I must be there. Well hell guess what? I no longer choose to allow someone else to decide whether I am healthy enough to work or not.  I will no longer not be with T when he is ill. Children need you. I still want my mom when I am sick. So she can tuck me in and make things all better. It doesn’t really but I can pretend.
My response may have been a little extreme. I mean we were texting and I could have edited but my text went to her as though she was sitting in the room with me.
“I have and where the fuck did that get me? Emotionally and mentally ill. Breaking down because I thought I had to be superwoman.’
And there is the crux of it. I thought I could burn my candle at both ends and get away with it. It is not possible. It is not healthy,  I thought that if I was superwoman, if I was perfect that everything would fall into place and my world would begin to make sense. But it didn’t. Again, Superwoman is overrated. Being her requires a lot of personal sacrafice and being there for everyone but yourself.
Personally I prefer to be ‘The Good Enough Woman’.
The Good Enough Woman:
My son thinks that I am an amazing person. He believes in me. He believes in my writing.
I have learned who my supporters and friends truely are.
I have found myself again. The real me. Not the one who used alcohol and drugs to escape her pain.
I have found strength.
I have reprioritized my wants and desires.
I am reaching for the stars.
I wake each morning feeling satisfied and wonderful.
I am settling the past and living in the today.
I am learning, each and every day, new things about myself.
I am able to own my feelings.
I am able to now see when I allow others to affect my mindset and self. (They whoever they may be do not have the right to make me feel as though my best is not good enough) And I will calmly explain that this is how I feel and I do not appreciate it.
I am good enough for myself. I am good enough for T. I am good enough for the people that orbit in my life.
No one is perfect. I don’t care what you believe. No amount of striving and reaching will ever be enough. You are always going to fall short.
And when you fall short the recriminations, the disgust, the need to push beyond your limits will fell you like the mighty oak. And perfection is overrated. We all have flaws. We all have imperfections. And that is what makes this beautiful world of ours so magnificent.

All signs point to…..

I had to run out this morning to grab a few items. Went to Canadian Tire. I have a spot removal machine and have been searching high and low for the cleaning liquid and Oxy boost liquid. Canadian Tire was my last resort. I needed a few other things too. Laundry detergent. A key cut. I headed off to the Automotive department to have the key cut where they no longer do this. I need to go to the Paint department. Needless to say each department is a store length apart. I was juggling the two liquid containers and the pack of Tide pods.
I am left handed. Being left handed means that I cannot draw a straight line. Now before all the left handers of the world revolt and start pitching the wronghanded scissors at me this is not a phenomenon that all left handers share. But it was the only excuse that my shop teacher was willing to accept when he could not figure out why, even with a T ruler, my lines were still crooked. Slanted. Which means that all the pictures in my house when hung together, are not artistically positioned that way, I am as inept at that as well.
I admire people whose homes are put together with color schemes. The cushions tieing into the drapery to the who knows what else. The ones who could paint murals on their walls. Free hand cute sayings on the walls. Me, I am not sure what you would call my style. I mean I only got a real bed frame the summer of 2016. For several months my mattress was on the floor. Got an actual comforter set, matching, for my birthday this year. That is it though. I am a comfort person. Clothes. How I live. What I eat. I am ecclectic I guess one would say. Both with my style and my personality.
That being said let’s get back to Canadian Tire. I am heading towards the Paint deparment when suddenly right there, in my path is a roundy round display stand with sayings on it. Usually I would breeze by. These are the type of things that are going to be the individual letters and like hell I can make them straight on the wall. But than I glanced down and ‘If you can dream it you can do it’ pops up at me. Hmmmmmmmm okay so like the candle telling me that I am worthy of my dreams here is another nudge. I pick up the package and flip it over, figuring that I could make it work somehow. Imagine how delighted I was to discover they are peel and stick. And only $2. Grabbed it and stepped back.
My eyes fell on the next one. ‘Change your thoughts and you Change your World’. Wow, that was all I could think. Of course I had to pick that one up as well.
When I got home, the first thing I did was peel and stick. The Dream is on the bathroom mirror. So that every time I am in there I will see it and read it. It is a mantra for me to follow. And I am in the bathroom often, our washer and dryer are also in there. Change is above the computer. I sit facing it on the couch. Every time I lift my eyes I see it and read it. And cry.
I don’t know why I am crying. I am happy. I am slowly getting myself ready to go back to work. T and me, we are working at building our relationship stronger and closer. I myself am getting stronger.  My mental health is good and I know what I must do to maintain it.
The universe is obviously trying its damndest to tell me something. And I am going to listen.20180312_1106061684248282.jpg

Win or Lose

With quiet disregard
I leave it all behind
floating away
so the pain
no longer can hold.
Tears unfallen
litter my lashes
a tiny sneer
adorns my lips,
blackness welling up
ready to eat.
Huddled in the corner
easing away from the scare
death would be far easier
than staying here.
Fighting for a life
for a dream
that I have had since a child
maybe I will win
maybe I will lose
but at least I will have tried.
©Jay-lyn Doerksen
January 18/18

The Voices Within

***Picture via Pintrest***

With tongue laced in acid

words drip venom down my chest

held deep within your binding spell

unable to tear myself away.

You rip me apart

words laden with bile and hatred

etching everlasting the loathing

that I carry within myself.

Voices dripping with disdain

a roar within my brain

ripping and tearing

the fragile fabric of ego

causing me to crumple in pain.

I raise my head

tears fleeing down my cheeks

defiant in the face of your abuse

pummelled by your voice no more.

 

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

September 16/17

Who I am

“You haven’t seen the raving me. The belligerent me that pushes the limits. The dark and despairing me that can’t stop crying. I don’t share those facets with people because look what happens when I do.”

I have been doing a lot of thinking and redefining myself this week. I am not only my illness, I am a wonderful vibrant woman with a lot to offer. But what exactly is that?

I do not know who I am. Who at the very core of me, is me. I have always been somebody;  child, daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother. Co-worker. Boss. Those are all designations that describe a being but they do not describe me.

The first time I should have been diagnosed with depression, in looking back with my great wisdom and knowledge of behavior, was in my early teen years. Oh the rage that I exhibited, the anger, the hatred, the words that streamed from my mouth ripping into the souls and hearts of those nearest to me. I indulged in self-destructive behavior, attempted suicide, not successfully nor even whole heartedly once my imagination kicked in. For in one moment I lay in a coffin looking up at the haggard and weeping features of my mom and my brother, and knew that I could never inflict that pain on them.

The demons that I fought throughout this time, while not the same demons others faced, were still just that. Demons that had some how found their way into my brain and their words were chillingly accurate with regards to how I felt. A failure, unworthy of love, so stupid, the ruiner of all that is good. I did not know than that it was a tape on a loop. Words spoken to me as a child that buried deep in my psyche would reappear when things got tough and I was unsure of my ability to handle the situations around me.

The second time was when I lost my daughter. I was five months pregnant. She was still born. I remember a lot of drugs, a doctor who wanted me to carry my child to term or rather until my body went into labor on its own. Despite the drugs I was coherent enough to tell that doctor that there was no way I was going to carry my dead child in my body awaiting nature’s course. No one knew what I was going through. I pulled into myself, slept twelve to thirteen hours a day, stayed up at night reading until my eyes burned. I was afraid to live, to be alive. I could not move forward nor was I willing to accept the help that others offered to me.

I wrapped myself in pain and misery. I refused to speak of her. I cried a myriad of tears for her and pushed my than companion away as he tried to comfort me. Again the words that cut flew from my mouth, darts finding the target and puncturing, tearing away the love and relationship we had.

My early twenties forward becomes a blur. I self-medicated, alcohol, drugs, men, anything that would fill the void that yawned within me. I looked everywhere for satisfaction, for fulfillment that can only be found when you look within. When you accept that those warts and funny bumps are all you, good, bad, facets of your being that become melded into the core essential being of self.

My thirties are a longer story. Marriage, a child, the first diagnosis of depression. Counselling and a better understanding of what was going on within my head. But even with medication it was not getting better. I was still seeking, still yearning for that elusive something.

Three years ago this summer I crashed. A variety of external circumstances colluded with my growing despair and belief that I could not do anything right, lead to a deep depression. I awoke one Saturday afternoon after a night of drinking and the blackness was there gathering around. I despised myself. I sat on the toilet, wrapped in a towel, shuddering sobs wracking my body and chanted over and over how I hated myself.

Monday I saw the doctor and was immediately placed on medication and sent off. Tuesday saw me unable to function. I had consumed muscle relaxants with my ativan and I could not even remember my name. How I got home I have no idea. Wednesday I was on leave. My than boss exacerbating the feelings of ruin and unworthiness.

It took two weeks for me to stop crying and sleeping all the time. My son worried nonstop about me. Trying desperately to make me feel better, to cheer me up. I would fall asleep on the couch at 7 p.m. and not awaken until 9 or 10 a.m. the next morning. I had no desire to eat. I took my pills, I counted the days and I began counselling. Slowly but surely, I began the road to recovery.

I faced some of those demons who had been getting a free ride all these years. I forgave and released the hold my father had on me. Even in death he was still whispering his vile words into my ears. I allowed myself the freedom, the ability to be angry with my mom for things that occurred and we did not speak for months. I needed time to grieve and heal. I began to realize that I was a good and decent person. That the looped tape and those others who tried so hard to put me in a box of their devising, it was alright to ignore them, to move forward and leave them behind.

So well was I doing that I stopped taking my medication in October of 2015, and for awhile there it was good. I was doing well. And than began that slow and inevitable dive into the waters of pain, fear, self medicating, the disbelief in self and worth drilling through the facade I had erected. And I fell. But that is okay. I had a safety net this time. I became aware of what I was doing, how I was sabotaging myself and I needed to stop. A visit to the doctor and the conclusion that this was to be the last time. No matter how great I feel, no matter how well the world connects around me, I must remain on my medication. I do not want to fall further, I do not want my son to feel as though he needs to be my caretaker.

This continues to be a journey of wonder and exploration. To finally see who I am. To see once the layers of all the characters that I am are peeled away; who I am at the core of my being. A writer, a dreamer, a prankster. A reader, a designer, a mother of one. The facets of me are varying and bright, dark and dangerous, and I look forward to seeing how they will all merge, becoming me. I await me, with hope and bated breath.

 

 

 

 

 

I will be……

You watch me, standing on the edge of the abyss

not hearing, not listening to the words that you cry

I only hear the voices within me,

criticizing, mocking drawing blades across my soul

making me weep.

I lose myself in blackness and despair

I see no one in the mirror,

Just the shadow of myself.

And I weep, and I rage, but no one does keep.

With fragile thoughts and moonbeam whispers

I claw my way forward to the light

I will not allow the beast to claim me

I will not allow it to beat me out of spite.

Your embrace is welcomed and needed

but I feel your fright; to understand the devil I face,

One must be willing to see beyond the norm

and to writhe with the pain of history past

To subjugate yourself to loathing and misunderstanding.

But I stand before you, proud as I can be

I will not bow, I will not cower.

I will not beat this illness, for its claws are deep within

but I will learn to live with it, and maybe;

soothe it to sleep.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

March 14/17