The Puppet’s Maze

“Let’s see how you like it, shall we?” The Creator’s voice echoed from above.

The man stood frozen in place as the scene before him changed. The walls materialized first, the cold grey concrete rising toward an unseen ceiling. He’d watched this place spring into existence many times before and as much as he hated to say it, he was fascinated every time. The floor would change next. It was a lovely bed of grass at the moment, but soon it would be littered with broken glass and those small primary colored plastic blocks the human children loved.

The worst part was always the light, though. Usually, the clearing was lit by some form of ambient light; that changed when The Creator took over. It would be pitch black in a matter of moments.

Lastly, his own appearance would change, how this happened the man couldn’t understand. He had always considered himself a separate entity from the Creator, but he knew that soon enough, he would be stripped of his shoes, leaving his feet vulnerable to the glass scattered along his path. His dark suit, Italian made – not that the cost mattered here – replaced with shorts and one of those heinous ribbed white cotton tank tops.

It was always the same, the only thing that changed was the path he was forced to walk if he wanted out – once he regained control of his body, anyway. While he waited for The Creator to release her hold on him, he reminisced over the beginning of this all. Back then, he was able to find his way relatively quickly, but like everything that time touched, this too had evolved. The Maze had started out simple enough. He had even told The Creator as much, calling this an exercise in futility. The Creator had only laughed and changed the path again. The longer this had gone on, the harder the paths became – what used to take minutes was now hours of endless twists and turns.

Pop.

There went the lights.

“As Effie Trinket would say, ‘may the odds be ever in your favor’….Asshole.”

A small clang told him that the flashlight was on the floor at his feet and the path was set, The Creator released her hold on him – now he just had to find his way out.

He stooped and let his fingers dance over the ground, seeking out the metal of the flashlight. Finding it, the man straightened, standing to his full height and steeling himself to take that first step forward.

As his foot settled on top of the glass and plastic blocks, he felt the first shard break skin. His face twisted into a grimace and a growl escaped his mouth. He pressed on, the floor hadn’t always been like this. The first walk through this maze, the floor had been strewn with twigs, sticks, and rocks. He’d still had shoes, then. It was nothing, he had even laughed and danced a jig over them, mocking The Creator. The next time the maze had appeared, there had been random spots of quicksand. He’d found ways around it, there was still light then, and the sticks became his own sort of divining rods. Again, he had laughed at The Creator. The next version of the maze was not only dark, but he’d lost his shoes, and the quicksand had been replaced with childrens’ toys.

The changes didn’t stop there. The walls started out as shrubbery, which he had climbed. Then they were made of concrete and were too tall to scale. He had tried his damnedest anyway, and now they were covered with barbed wire.

The man continued his trek, stopping every few steps, searching for a way to cheat the maze. It took him a moment to realize there was soft earth was under his feet. Scanning the beam from the flashlight over the floor he noticed spots where the glass and toys were replaced with mounds of fresh dirt.

A smile broke out on his face, as he turned his face toward the blanket of darkness that stretched over him. “Oops, looks like someone isn’t paying attention anymore. You should know better by-” His words broke off as sharp stinging pains and a burning feeling broke out over his feet and lower legs.

A chuckle resonated around the maze, “Fire ants, Asshole. I thought they were a nice touch. Didn’t want you to think I’d forgotten about you. Hurts, don’t it?”

The man jumped back from the dirt mound and shined the beam on it. Thousands of skittering insects poured out of the hole. His screams of agony mingled with The Creators howls of laughter, creating a cacophony of sounds. He swatted and swiped at his own flesh.

Undeterred, the ants climbed higher – the pain radiating from his lower extremities becoming almost unbearable. Searching for a way to rid himself of the pests, he moved quickly through the twists and turns ahead of him.

A quick left found him standing in front of a small pond of crisp cool water. Without thinking, he dropped his flashlight and flung himself into the depths. He waited for the pain to abate, but quickly realized the stinging and burning was getting worse.

A muffled noise floated through the water to his ears. Pushing hard off the bottom, his head broke the surface to the sound of laughter everywhere. The man dragged his body onto the rocks surrounding the water as The Creator’s voice broke through the laughter.

“I don’t think I ever told you how much I love the ocean. It’s good for many things – sexy beach hair is all the rage topside. Unfortunately for you, Asshole, saltwater stings like a bitch if you have open wounds.”

The man lay on his back, in pain and breathing heavily. He knew he needed to focus to be able to navigate his way out of this hell.

The voice spoke from the darkness again, “I’m gonna help you out this once, mainly because I have big things planned for you. Purely selfish motivations here. Remember what the doctor said? You know, the one you called a hack? 4-7-8. In through the nose for four, hold it for seven, then exhale through your mouth for eight. Come on, up and at ‘em, Big Guy!” The Creator continued with false enthusiasm. “The fun isn’t over yet, and trust me you’re going to want to start moving soon.”

He could hear the amusement in The Creator’s voice, and thought about ignoring her, but his body seemed to follow the instructions without his consent. His heart was slowing down, and the pain seemed to be lessening. Flipping himself over, he pushed up onto his knees. Struggling to his feet, he gave the pain a moment to further subside, then, bending at the waist, the man scooped up the flashlight. Sweeping the beam around the perimeter of the pond, he stopped on the far wall. Even with the light, he could barely make out what it was, but there was definitely something moving.

With a start, he understood the game had changed again. There was something other than him in this maze. Something alive.

The Creator laughed from above him. “Uh-oh, Asshole. Looks like you have company.”

He was moving before he even processed what was happening. Pausing for a second to gain his bearings, he used the flashlight to light the darkness surrounding him. The path ahead was clear, at least as far as the light touched. The path to his right, where he’d come from didn’t look much different. He moved the beam of light along the floor, nothing unusual that he could see. It wasn’t until he lifted the beam from the floor that he saw them.

Fire ants the size of Pomeranians, with mandibles as big as his hands. With no time to think logically, he took the path straight ahead. He knew he needed to get out of there, to stay ahead of the things that were chasing him.

“Run, Forrest, run,” The Creator taunted him. “Don’t look now, Asshole, but your friends are gaining on you. I’m not trying to tell you how you should escape here, but I think you should consider moving a little quicker. Have you ever been bit by a fire ant that size? Imagine the swarm they’d create. The tiny ones hurt like a bitch; it just stands to reason the pain would get bigger with them.”

The man clutched his hand to his chest but kept moving. She’d never pushed him this far before.

“Your chest hurts, huh? Feels like your heart’s gonna beat right out of your chest. That happens when your fight or flight response kicks in, basically it changes the force of your heartbeat. Don’t worry you won’t die, fear can’t kill you, right?”

His racing heart was affecting his breathing, he was panting and knew he was slowing down.

“Your breathing seems to be changing, buddy. I bet it feels like there’s an elephant on your chest. Not being able to take a deep breath is really going to affect your escape,” her voice turned mocking. “4-7-8, Asshole, 4-7-8.”

The running man threw a quick glance over his shoulder, he could still see movement in the darkness. The walls were moving.

“You do realize there’s no escape this time, right? What did you call it before? ‘An exercise in futility’? Don’t you see what’s happening? Always boasting about how smart you are, but when it comes right down to it, you’re thick as pigshit. Oh, right. How could I know what you’re feeling?”

The realization slapped the man in the face. Anxiety. The feelings he was so good at creating in others, he had somehow missed in himself. His pace slowed until he was no longer sprinting.

“Welcome to the party. Took you long enough. Bet you didn’t even realize that the skittering creepy crawlies stopped about ten minutes ago. Fun fact: there was only two of them, it really is amazing how well the power of suggestion works on an already frazzled mind.”

He stopped and looked around. He was back at the beginning.

“It’s easy to change the rules when you’re the one making them,” the voice didn’t sound as far away now.

Spinning, the man saw her for the first time.

Seven years ago, when he decided to make her mind his new home, he had thought her weak. That had been his mistake. Back then, she was timid and easy to manipulate, but now there was a fierce and vibrant glow surrounding her.

Looking into her green eyes, he smiled at the defiance he found there. Even now she was daring him to try her.

Neither one spoke, but an understanding was formed in the silence. They were each here for a reason. He had assumed he held all the power, and in his arrogance, had underestimated his opponent. Lesson learned, he’d never make that mistake again.

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Quick Before the Hyena Come

 

Meerkats.jpg
Accurate depiction of inside of my brain, also what the title is from.

 

Hiya friends, so I’m being told that I need to write this blog post right hoofin now! Are ya ready? Let’s rap. (Buckle up kids…this is gonna be a ride.)

So, December has been a tunnel month. I can hear you asking, “Biblio…what in great tarnation is a hoofin tunnel week?”

First off, look at you using fancy language. Of course, I’ll answer your question, my little chingus (definitely not how to make that word plural, but we are going with it). [EDIT: the plural of one chingu is apparently chingudeul *five points to you if you know the language, post on that coming soon*] Tunnel times are essentially when the Asshole throws a fucking house party in my brain and invites all his asshole friends. They come in with their ice luge and start doing keg stands, breaking all the priceless ashtrays I made in kindergarten (side note: why were we allowed to make fucking ashtrays???). I am plunged into infinite darkness, and I can’t really see any sign of light at the end…is my tunnel metaphor making sense now? I’m basically cruising through said tunnel and who knows how long I’m gonna be there. I live here now, forward my mail.

For those wanting to send me something, the address is:

Biblio Feels

123 Tunnel Way

Assholeville, AH 91119

Accepting all baked goods and who knows maybe my Harry Potter acceptance letter will finally find me.

This is a shitshow already…but I did warn you. I’m like Shrek, okay? I’m a hoofin onion, my dudes, and I have layers, just go with it. Lord knows, I am.

Hold on, I’m forgetting something else I was supposed to put in this…gotta ask Hobbs.

 

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You know you said it like the show.

 

Okay, apparently I need to also say that I’ve taken to using the word “beech” in place of “bitch,” and when asked why by Hobbs I answered, “I find the term offensive to female dogs.” This tunnel shit needs to end soon, otherwise, I fear for my marriage. I think he’s starting to realize that under my cool as a cucumber exterior I’m really just a massive weirdo.

I feel like if I post this, I’ll either get a lot of people telling me to lay off the drugs, or

secret tunnel.jpg
“Secret, secret, secret, secret tunnel!”

people wondering if this is how I actually act. I’ll answer these currently unasked questions now: I’m not on drugs, I have anxiety people, I’m paranoid enough. Secondly, this is the real me. Awkward, anxious, random and unfiltered…plus books, I mean, what more could you want.

 

Oh, this reminds me of another lovely thing I’ve been doing recently. Y’know how “AF” was a thing…is a thing…I mean, I still do it but that doesn’t really help its cool factor. Well, now there is that whole thing where people are living their best fucking life…I have shortened that to BFL. Though Hobbs thinks it should be BFLB…Best Fuckin Life, Beech! (Merch coming soon! Link in the description below! Okay, I need to stay away from YouTube.)

I think this is enough of the inside of my brain for one day. I really hope you enjoyed this, and remember…BFLB, chingudeul. Until next time…

A Busy Week in Review

Hiya friends, welcome back. Firstly, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been MIA for a few days, but I swear I have a good reason. Preparing for guests is a big job, and it’s my first time doing it, so to say that I’ve been a little busy is a major understatement. I also had some other things happen this week and I’ll discuss those more in the post.

Saturday

Getting prepared for our guests has finally forced Hobbs and I to finish getting our house in order. Woohoo! I’ve only been begging him to help me decorate for 6 hoofin months. Better late than never, I suppose.

54846157097__C255D5CC-8C71-4002-8679-F77FFD930C5D
The Expensive Covers

My morning was pretty routine, cleaning, homework, and then some more cleaning. When Hobbs got home from work, we went to Lowe’s and spent an obscene amount of money on light switch and outlet covers (seriously, why are those things so fucking expensive, and why do we have so many outlets in a house that’s 118 years old?).

Hobbs edit: I have to say that we also bought a weed whacker, and he would also like you to know that he plans on getting a leaf blower when the time comes. He’s very proud of his growing arsenal of lawn care products.

Personally, I cannot wait to see his face when he comes home from work one day and there is a six and a half foot tall (and eight foot long) inflatable dinosaur sprinkler in the

Roger
I think he looks like a Roger.

backyard for our friends’ kids to play in. (Side note: I’ve decided to name the sprinkler Roger, I told you I personify everything.)

When we got back from Lowe’s, we spent a good hour and a half putting all of the light switch/outlet covers on. I had a little blip during this, which really pissed me off. Mainly because I had been walking around the store for about an hour and not even a peep from the Asshole. Walk in my own fucking house and then he decides to start his shit. It was one of those times where I just pushed past him and kept it moving while he proceeded to throw his toys out of the pram because I wasn’t paying him enough attention.

Sunday

 

Panic cloudI was a little anxious today. On the scale, I’d say I was probably coming in at a 7 or 8. What made it really annoying was that I really couldn’t figure out why. It probably didn’t help that Panic showed up at around noon and decided we were having a day together. Sometimes, I think I can handle both, anxiety and panic, really well when they’re separate, but when they decide to gang up on me? Yeah, fucking forget it.

I tried to push myself through as best I could, that day, if for no other reason than I had a ton of stuff to get done between homework and housework. I did end up getting more done than I expected, but I struggled a bit through everything I did.

It didn’t end there either, because why would it? When we went to bed that night, I had so much trouble falling asleep. It was probably around 4 am before I finally drifted off. I tried everything to get to my brain to shut down before then, but nothing worked. I don’t know if this happens to you guys, but whenever I can’t sleep there inevitably comes a time when I just get mad about it. I did alright until about 2 am, and then spent the next two hours getting aggravated. I know getting pissed about it won’t help, but I seriously can’t help it. Honestly, I’m positive the only reason I fell asleep then was just the fact that my body shut down. What a shitty day.

One thing that did happen on Sunday (between the homework and housework), is that I got it in my head to apply for a job. Now, my anxiety and panic has definitely hindered me in this aspect of my life. I haven’t worked in a while, basically because I couldn’t get myself to physically leave the house. Every time I walked out the front door, I would be massively panicky and anxious and basically unable to do anything, so I just avoided leaving the house altogether. Not being able to leave the house, meant that getting a job out of the house was out of the question. I went ahead and applied though, and just figured I might hear something back this time.

Later that night, Hobbs and I had to go to Lowe’s again to pick up a new breaker box for Liarsthe house (ours is only a 100 amp, and that means no running the stove and the dryer at the same time. Buy a house, they said. It’ll be fun, they said…). A trip to Lowe’s meant that I needed to shut the Asshole and panic down so I could get my shit done, and that’s exactly what I did. I even went out to dinner, granted by the end of the meal, I was crawling out of my skin to get home, but still.

Monday

 

On Monday, I woke up tired as hell. I got very little sleep and the sleep I did get was nowhere near good. It’s safe to say I was a little pissy, okay…A LOT pissy. This entire day was spent working through my homework. I was convinced that if I just kept my mind busy, I would be able to keep out of the grips of the Asshole. Shockingly, it did help, just not completely. I ended up having a few blips throughout the day, nothing seriously major but I just didn’t feel right. I’m pretty sure that makes no sense to anyone. Let me explain.

Feeling offHave you ever just felt off? That’s how I felt all day on Monday. I honestly don’t know if it was due to the lack of sleep or the Asshole just hanging around. It almost felt like I couldn’t get my brain and body on the same page. All. Damn. Day.

Interesting little thing that happened on Monday, was an email asking if I can schedule a time to take a test for that job I applied for. On one hand, I was super excited that they thought I could be a fit for this job. On the other, it just added to my anxiety. I fought with myself on whether or not to actually go through with scheduling it, and in the end I decided to go for it. After scheduling the test for the next day, I got to deal with the Asshole trying to make me bail on it. All of this definitely made it hard for me to sleep again that night.

Tuesday

 

Test day…oh man, I was rough this day. I tried my hardest to keep my brain away from the idea that, not only am I taking this test today, which if I bomb there goes the job, but also that I have to drive to Massachusetts to take it. If I let my brain wander, I would end up freaking out, and telling Hobbs I wasn’t going, to his credit he just said, “okay.”

In the end, I drove to Mass and took the test. Funnily enough, I didn’t panic while I was there. I was anxious on the drive up, but I just kept going. I did have a moment, while walking in the rain to the test. It gave me time to actually focus on the Asshole…never a good thing. He was having himself a grand ole time trying to convince me this whole thing was a waste of time. (He might not be wrong, but I don’t need him to remind me.) Once I was in there and got in to take the test, I had him locked tight in his maze, Legos.jpgcomplete with barbed wire walls and lego floors (he really hates it and that gives me some sort of sick pleasure).

After taking the test, there was a major blip. I went the wrong way out of the building. I wasn’t paying attention, and ended up getting a little lost trying to find the car. I’ve never been great at reading the GPS map on my phone (I might have called my mom when I got home and bitched about never being put in Girl Scouts – I blame that entirely), and that led to me being lost walking around a city I didn’t know. It didn’t last very long, but it was definitely long enough for Panic to slide in and take over. Thankfully, I’m a master at hiding my fear after years of practice, and no one in the streets noticed that I was freaking the fuck out. I finally found the car and Hobbs – who had been patiently waiting for me – and got the hell outta Dodge. I didn’t even bother telling him that I got a little lost or had a panic attack in the rain until we got home.

That night, I drowned my post anxiety feelings in some video games (Tom Clancy’s The Division to be exact), shutting my brain down to save the people of New York City.

Wednesday

 

I was finally feeling back to “normal.” I really buckled down and got most of my homework done and I decorated the ground floor of the house. Alert the news media, Gutter Brainpeople, there are things on our walls now – about fucking time, to be honest. I was super proud of myself, I drilled and hammered like a boss (did anyone else’s brain take a trip in the gutter? No? Just mine then?). Hobbs was the ever present moral support, helping me decide where things went but other than that I was on my own for the actual hanging.

On the whole, my day was pretty good, save for the accidental scratching of the paint in our dining room (oops). I took some me time yesterday too, I just vegged the hoof out for the rest of the night, played some more Division and then went to bed. Guess what? I was actually asleep by like 1 in the morning…that’s a good day, my friends.

Thursday

Which finally brings us to today (cue seat dancing). I had an okay day, not great but definitely not one of the worst days I’ve ever had. I think it’s just because I have a lot going on right now. I found myself feeling rather panicky throughout the day, but it wasn’t unbearable. I got more done on my homework and then puttered around most of the day.

The Asshole stayed relatively quiet through the daylight hours, but as soon as night fell, I My nightsguess he decided it was game time. I spent a lot of the night battling and trying to get caught up on my blog. I don’t even know why he showed up, honestly. I did some thinking about it, and it could be a number of things, from preparing for our guests to worrying about this job I applied for. I’m basically too tired to fight him tonight, so I’m just going to attempt to sleep this away. Wish me luck!

It’s been an interesting week, and I’m glad I’m finally caught up here. You guys know the drill by now, there are two numbers down at the bottom, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline, use them if you need them. See you lovely lot tomorrow.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

My Fucked Up Brain and Little Arms

Hiya friends, welcome back. Ugh, I’m angry with myself. Here I am, having to apologize for missing a post, again. Honestly, on Thursday I just couldn’t sit at my computer for any longer than it took to finish my homework, then on Friday I was so busy, I just didn’t have the time to sit – period. I swear, I will finish these next two weeks strong.

Let’s get right into my last two days. Remember the other day, how I said I could just see Asshole sitting there, acting like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth? Yeah, I was fucking right. He came out swinging Thursday morning and was a thorn in my side all hoofin day.

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Now you see it, right?

Every morning I wake up at about 6am to give the Furry Overlord his insulin. Some mornings I go back to sleep for a bit, other days I just stay up, it really depends on the night before and how I’m feeling. Well, Thursday I woke up late and as I sat up, I felt the dizziness start. That was when I knew Asshole was gonna be around all day. Every person with anxiety will tell you that there is one symptom that always shows up first, for me it’s dizziness. If I get dizzy, it’s a fair assumption that I’m going to spend the day/night anxious or panicky. I proceeded to pinball my way down the stairs to administer the Meowser’s meds. While standing in the kitchen I felt the next telltale signs of the Asshole’s presence, the nausea and the racing heart. In that moment, I knew going back to sleep was out of the question.

I basically spent most of Thursday trying to get my homework done as fast as I could so I could just go relax. I also spent a great deal of time pleading with the universe to stop spinning my house so fast. By the time Hobbs got home, I’d had enough, I was over the spinning and I was just ready to lay in my bed and sleep. We got takeout because I couldn’t stand up to cook (it was fucking annoying). By the time we went to bed, I had decided to just write the day off and try to make Friday better. I laid there, propped up and doing puzzles on my laptop, until the sweet relief of sleep claimed me.

Cut to Friday morning. Wake up. Assess the dizziness…it’s gone! Yes! I happy danced in

My wish
My spirit animal

my bedroom and then all the way down the stairs. My day was full to the brim of cleaning and moving things in preparation for our house guests. (T-minus 19 days until they arrive, and I can barely contain my excitement!!! Tiff says three exclamation points is overkill, I say she doesn’t understand my excitement.) I got my kitchen and bathroom cleaned, while Hobbs and his friend moved some furniture that was too heavy for me and my T-Rex arms (they’re basically just there for show and to carry babies).

All in all, between Thursday and Friday, I had two very different days. One was spent battling with my mind, the other was so busy I don’t think I sat most of the day. This is how my life goes. No two days are ever the same. At times it’s fucking annoying, but there are some times I don’t actually mind it. Don’t get me wrong, the anxiety and panic suck, but at least my life is never boring.

I hate to cut this short, but I have some homework to finish before I get to go to bed tonight. You guys know the drill by now, there are two numbers down at the bottom, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline, use them if you need them. See you lovely lot tomorrow.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The Day of Darkness

Hiya friends, welcome back. As I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to have a good day (in regards to the Asshole and Panic). I was right, too. I woke up at a perfect Sunny dayfour, and I felt I could take on the world. This feeling happens so few and far between that when it does I fucking revel in it.

I took my happy feeling and got a ton of shit done today. This morning I got up and got a good bit of my homework done. Then I prepped some stuff for dinner and cleaned a few rooms. I also got to work on getting our guest room ready for our first ever house guest in our new place. It really was a great day. In fact, dare I say, I had the perfect four day.

I asked a friend tonight if it was weird that good days always made me reflect on the bad ones. She assures me that this happens to everyone. It’s almost like I can see the Asshole in my memory warehouse, feet kicked up on the table, checking his manicure and saying, “Enjoy it while it lasts, girl. I’ll just sit here biding my time, I’ll wait for the perfect moment to knock you down again.” Then, as he looks at the dark mass hovering near him, he laughs. Man, he really is an asshole.

In my reflective state tonight, I got to thinking about the worst time I’ve ever had with Partly sunnymy anxiety and panic. Which inevitably reminded me that, in that time, I never thought I’d come out on the other side. Whenever Hobbs and I discuss this period of time, we just call it ‘The Dark Time’. Obviously, it’s not really my favorite thing in the world to talk about. I mean, I’d much rather talk about my family and friends, or my pets. Actually, I’d really rather poke hot nails into my eyes, then go back there again, which is exactly why I’ve decided to talk about it now. I feel this need to tell people about how bad it can get, how bad I can get.

I can say with all honesty, there are very few people in my life who know about this. In fact, I can literally count them one hand. The only reason I’ve kept this bit quite close to Partly cloudythe vest is because people look at you differently the second you tell them. There is a moment after the words come out, that you notice the look in their eyes changes. You are no longer what they thought you once were, and instead they now know all the darkness that lives inside you.

Okay, I’ve procrastinated long enough, let’s do this.

Four, maybe five now, years ago, Hobbs and I were living with some of his family. (It was a duplex, we had the ground floor, and they lived above us.) When I tell you that there Raincloudsare reasons people tell you to not live with relatives, there really are. I was still rather new in my dealings with anxiety and panic, and I’ve said before, I was struggling. The only way I can describe the struggle that I was dealing with is like this: have you ever felt like you were doing everything in your power to keep your head above water, and yet you know that it’s futile? That there is something dragging you to the depths? This is how I felt everyday when I woke up. I never had four days then, and looking back on it, I was certain I never would have a good day again. Between the anxiety/panic and living with people who were constantly finding ways to belittle me, I was drowning, and I knew it.

What people leave out when they talk about anxiety, is the idea that depression is kind of like it’s best friend. The despair I felt was tangible; it took shape in every single thing I did. I couldn’t laugh without being shitfaced. I was actively pushing every person in my life away, including my parents and Hobbs. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with anyone, and judging by the words I was hearing at the time, no one wanted anything to Stormydo with me. In that time, I was seeing my life in shades of grey; nothing made me happy. I knew on some level this was happening because I was actually believing the words I was hearing, but I couldn’t drag myself out of it. I tried not to listen to them and to block them out, but nothing worked. I was constantly hearing how horrible I was, stupid, fat, worthless (I actually described myself that way to my mother one night and I’m positive she was trying to climb through the phone to throttle me).

I should clarify, Hobbs was not saying these things to me; his family that lived above us were. During this time though, Hobbs was afraid to say anything for fear we would get kicked out and then what would we do?. (Looking back, I don’t blame him for his fears, and I don’t blame him for not saying anything. He was just as confused as I was.)

I had been dealing with this for a while, and one morning I woke up and honestly dark skiesgreeted the depression. I knew something was different. I went through the day like I usually would, cleaning, laundry, cooking. Later in the day, after Hobbs came home, I stepped onto the porch for something and I heard some of his family talking about me. “The girl is no good, she’s just dragging him down.” The last things I heard were “white trash,” and that was it. I was done. I knew I couldn’t face these people anymore. I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in a mirror then. I remember sitting down to dinner with Hobbs and really giving it my all, he actually said, “You seem better today, that’s amazing.” I wasn’t better, I was gone. I drank my face off that night, I needed the liquid courage.

He went to bed, and I laid there, listening to him snore for a good hour and half, just wondering how he could sleep so peacefully when inside I was so broken I couldn’t remember who I’d been when I was happy. He had no idea, at the time, how lost I was. I darker skiesgot out of bed and went to the bathroom. I wasn’t even crying, I just felt numb. I don’t know if any of you have ever felt that but god, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I opened the cabinet near the sink and searched for the pills, they weren’t there. Now I know that Hobbs has gotten rid of them without knowing what I had planned. I was fucking angry, and I took the fact that I couldn’t find them to mean I needed another way out. I thought about breaking the mirror, I mean, they do that in movies all the time, it can’t be that hard. My next thought was how I didn’t want Hobbs to have to wake up to that. It would be much better for him if it looked like I just went to sleep, no gore, he didn’t deserve that.

I sat there contemplating how I could do this, and thinking to myself that maybe I couldn’t do this. My mom always told me suicide was a cowards way out, but I was also certain my mother had never felt like this. It literally hurt to be there. I didn’t see any other options. I had told people I was unhappy, but I hadn’t really pushed the issue. I left the bathroom and stood in the doorway of my bedroom. He was still snoring. I paced the The Darknessfloor that night, trying to figure out how I was going to do this. One half of me was begging for the calm that would follow, while the other was telling me to fight. It wasn’t until Hobbs walked into the living room and asked why I was still awake that I realized I had stayed up all night fighting with myself. In that moment, I looked at him and just knew I couldn’t go through with it.

I spent the rest of that day, while he was at work, trying to find another option. When he walked through the door that night, I had a solution but I wasn’t sure he would go for it. He barely made it through the door and I said, “We need to move.” He was definitely confused and asked why. I explained that no one could live in a place like this. He said we didn’t have an option. I knew I was going to have to tell him the truth, so I ripped the metaphorical bandaid off. The next words that flew out my face were some of the hardest I’ve ever said, “I was up all night trying to find the pills from the cabinet.” His face was blank for a second and I saw the moment he realized what I was saying. In true Hobbs fashion he said, “Find the place.”

Light BreaksI started seeing a new therapist within the week, on Hobbs insistence. We also started looking at new places. It took a little while, but we found a new place. We never told them we were leaving, just started packing and one weekend, moved out. It wasn’t until we had moved into the new apartment that he finally got the courage to say, “You were going to take them if you found them, weren’t you?” I gave him the only answer I could, “Yes.”

I’m not saying it’s always this easy to get past that point. It wasn’t overnight that those feelings stopped, I had to purge them. I basically cut myself open and purged the darkness that I could get to. Hobbs knows that this is a reality for me, and since that moment things have changed with more than just me. We don’t talk to those people anymore, and I never once asked him to stop, Hobbs made that decision on his own. I knew that certain people had to know, like my parents, so they were told. My mother raged at me, as I knew she would. My dad just doesn’t discuss it, I think it hurts him.

Personally, I try to block this out, my life looked so fucking bleak then. I hlights in the darkadn’t ever been to that place before, and thankfully, I’ve not been back since. I know that talking about it helped me, and I’m not saying that’s all it took, but it helped. If you are, or you know someone who is, in that place right now…reach out. Reach out to anyone, I don’t care if it’s a significant other, a friend, or a fucking stranger, no one deserves to go through that alone. The dark is scary when you’re alone. Sometimes it helps to ask a friend for a flashlight. I’ve got one if someone needs it.

You guys know the drill by now, there are two numbers down at the bottom, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline, use them if you need them. See you lovely lot tomorrow.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Learning to Celebrate the Small Things

Hiya friends, welcome back. I have exciting stuff to say today (well, maybe not exciting for you, but for me, it’s hoofing massive). I went shopping. Twice. Once yesterday and once today, BY MYSELF. You probably just read that and made the wtf face at your screen, but seriously, this is a victory for me. A small one, but a victory nonetheless.

linusUsually, I do not leave the house without my security blanket – otherwise known as Hobbs. (He tends to act as a buffer between me and the world…actually it’s more like he keeps me anchored so I don’t drown in the anxiety or panic.) As we all know, he has been home this week because he’s sick, so he couldn’t very well go to the store with me, could he? Unfortunately, his not being able to go didn’t change the fact that we needed shit from said store, so I had to suck it up and go buy said shit.

Backstory time, gather round kids. Up until two months ago I did not have a car, and had not had one for a good 5 years maybe, so, technically, there was a very valid reason for me never venturing out on my own. The true reason, however, is that I was avoiding the outside world because I loathe havingFinish Him panic attacks in public. I can usually keep the Asshole at bay long enough to pop in someplace and grab a few things; I mean, he talks shit the whole time, but generally, I can control it for a bit. (Side note: if anyone could see inside my memory warehouse they would laugh at the scene. It’s basically just the Asshole and I having a Mortal Kombat style face off, with the warehouse employees shouting “finish him.”) It’s really just the panic attacks that come out of fucking nowhere that ruins the real world for me. For a long time, I couldn’t bring myself to risk it; it wasn’t worth it. Y’know when people say the risk is worth the reward? Yeah, not here. I have seen enough brain wranglers to know that I was dealing with a mild form of agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia.jpgUp until a few months ago, I avoided leaving the house at all cost.

Up until two days ago, I avoided leaving the house alone.

But, I did it. Two different stores, in two days, all alone. I made it with no panic attacks in public. I mean, the Asshole chatted shit the whole time, but I stuck him in a maze with barbed wire on the walls and legos strewn across the floor. He was not happy, but it kept him occupied long enough for me to get the shit I needed and get out. I’m not even gonna lie, I walked through the front door of my house and happy danced my ass all the way to my kitchen to put away the groceries. It was a small victory, but it was a massive moment in my journey.

In other news for the day, I have been feeling pretty…okay. Hobbs is on the mend which means the anxiety over that has sort of melted away. I’m feeling better every day, so that’s faded too. The weather is finally getting nicer, which for some reason, always affects my anxiety (if anyone knows anything about why this is, please let me know). I cooked a delicious dinner (minus the weird grain mix we tried that reminded me of birdseed). It was the closest I’ve been to a four day in like a week and a half, so that’s pretty damn good. All in all, it’s been a really good day.

Writing these every night gives me time to reflect and it’s making me realize A Bad Day.pngthat, even when shit goes sideways, I’m not doing too bad. What’s that saying, “it’s a bad day, not a bad life”? I’m gonna get that shit embroidered on a pillow, and put it where I can see it every day to remind myself. (For those wondering, an embroidered pillow with the saying of your choice, is anywhere from $18.99 to $ 32.99. That’s vaguely affordable if you ask me.) Alright, it’s almost tomorrow now, so I should probably try to unwind and get to sleep before 3 am.

You guys know the drill by now, there are two numbers down at the bottom, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline, use them if you need them. See you lovely lot tomorrow.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The Delicate Balance

Hiya friends, welcome back. Sorry that you got two posts so close together, but oh man it’s been an interesting couple of days. So, Hobbs came home sick yesterday, and he ended up staying home from work today too. I also said that, at times, my anxiety extends past me being sick and onto people I love.

Let me explain.

Charlie BrownBasically when Hobbs gets sick, I absolutely lose it. I’m pretty sure that the way anxiety works makes no fucking sense. The thought process with this is much like the lemon thought process. For instance, take how today went. Hobbs is home sick. What if it’s worse than what I had? That’ll mess with his blood sugar, which means he could end up in the hospital. People die in hospitals. Great! Oh, don’t forget the fact that he clearly caught this from me. It’s my fault he’s sick now, which means it’ll be my fault he ends up in the hospital. Then it’s my fault if anything happens to him.

Seriously, this is a very annoying way to live sometimes.

Logically, I know this isn’t how things work, but again, there really isn’t anything logical about mental illness. I try really hard to remind myself, when I’m off on these worst case scenario jaunts, that what I’m thinking is completely plausible. I mean, they could Normal Timetechnically happen. The chance that it will happen, is very slim, and even if it did, I can’t possibly hold myself responsible for how germs work (those things are evil). I’m pretty sure this won’t make sense to anyone who doesn’t have anxiety, but the reason behind reminding myself that it could happen, is to keep myself from going off on the “You’re a fucking nutter” quest. Basically, it’s to stop the “Yup, I’m crazy” thoughts. Thinking you’re crazy does absolutely nothing to fucking help the situation. It’s better for me to acknowledge the ideas could happen but they probably won’t.

In an attempt to keep my racing thoughts under control, I tried to stay busy today, but Hobbs still heard, “Are you okay?” a million times. To put this in perspective, he probably heard it a thousand times an hour. I ask that question a lot, even when he’s not sick, but it got to the point today where he was answering before I even finished the question. Oops. I’d apologize for it, but, I mean, at least I care, right?

To his credit he doesn’t get all pissy about it anymore. When we first started dating I’d ask constantly, and by the end of our night he would be so frustrated with me that he’d inevitably bite my head off for the last one. It wasn’t until post diagnosis that we both realized what was happening. I was doing what the doctors call “reassurance seeking.” Seriously, that’s a real fucking thing. Basically, it means exactly what it says. When I’m anxious, my brain forces me to ask the same types of questions over. And over. And over. For me this usually manifests in questions like, “Are you okay?” “Is everything okay?” “Do/are you feeling alright?” “Are you upset?” “Did I make you mad?” I can only imagine how annoying it must be to be on the receiving end of these questions, especially when I’m asking them every 15 minutes.

Now, I’m not saying that’s the only way this reassurance thing manifests for me. At the beginning, I would incessantly ask Hobbs if he thought I was crazy, or if he thought I was really sick and it wasn’t just anxiety or panic. I thought this would go away in time, but it’s one of the things I haven’t been able to shake. Please don’t think I’m complaining about this because I’m not. I mean, if this is the worst thing that happens to me when I’m anxious/panicky, I’ll fucking take it. Granted, it’s annoying as shit for Hobbs, but he knows that if he just keeps answering, it helps my brain calm the fuck down and it could also help to cut off a massive panic attack.

The other really annoying thing about this, is that there are times that all the he helpsreassurances in the world can’t fucking stop it. There have been times when Hobbs has gotten sick and I’ve spent all night having one panic attack after another. I feel so fucking bad for Hobbs on those nights. He’s the one who’s sick and yet he spends hours trying to convince me that he’s okay. I’ll say it again for the people in the back, anxiety can be a real asshole sometimes.

One of the good things about this time around, is that I know what he is going through – I literally have first hand knowledge. This knowledge doesn’t stop me from asking him the same stupid question a million times, but at least now I can believe his answers. (Wow, that sounds really bad when I read it back. It’s not that I don’t believe what he tells me, it’s just that the knowing helps it sink into my brain and the Asshole can’t twist it around.)

In humorous, but not entirely unrelated news, we both called our moms on Sunday and told them to stay away, or they’d be leaving with a lot more than just the cards we bought. The reacted completely differently, of course. Mama Hobbs said, “Of course, call me when you feel better.” Mama Biblio threatened the germs to try and take her down. I’m not saying my mom went all Ray Parker Jr., but I definitely had the song from Ghostbusters in my head. (Yup, it’s official, I’m getting better.)

Okay, it’s very late now…well, not really, but I’m still on the mend and I’d like to continue the uphill motion. You guys have got to know the drill by now. There are two numbers at the bottom, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline, use them if you need them. See you lovely lot tomorrow.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)