How We Are

I haven't blogged in a sweaty minute. A year, actually. If you don't follow me on Twitter, you hopefully think I am an extremely sane, extremely well-balanced, sober yoga queen.

I will start with the good things: I have a dog now and his name is Terry Funk and he is my big, dumb, licky idiot. I am preparing to run a half-marathon with my friend Hannah in May at gottdang Disney World. I am quitting smoking, which is very hard, and I am sometimes not doing awesome, but I'm definitely smoking less. I am 18 months sober.

On to the rest.

This morning, before 7 AM, I figuratively projectile puked my fear all over Ryan so aggressively that I actually followed him out to his car and talked at him through the window as he reversed and yelled, "IT'S 6:50 IN THE GODDAMN MORNING," not in an angry way, but in a bemused sort of onlooker way, the way he usually deals with my mental illness.

I'm in the Intensive Outpatient Program at Finley Hospital trying to deal with my bad brain, which has not and will not get better. Chronic, yo: the name of the game with my mental illness and my autoimmune disorder. The doctor tells me I will always have symptoms, it's just how I choose to sift through those symptoms, a statement that overwhelms and paralyzes me, but here we are. The list of my diagnoses has somehow gotten longer and more complicated, but I'm still bolting awake at 6:30 in the morning with Big Giant thoughts about why I should die. Nothing means much when I can't breathe.

I decided to go to IOP after a severe anxiety episode wherein I hacked at my arm with a pair of scissors and a screw in an effort to stop something from happening, though I'm still not sure what. I am going to IOP in an effort to avoid hospitalization. Because hospitals suck, first of all, and also because all they'd do is say, "Hey, you're sad, huh?" And I would say, "Yes, I know, I have been since my farthest memory, thank you."

IOP is like school but with other sad and scared people. They pass out pieces of paper with pictures and bullet points and we talk about things like Core Beliefs and Automatic Negative Thoughts and Self-Compassion. It's really good for me. It feels like I'm dealing with great big ol' science, as it's Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which is based on thinking, not feeling.

I'm in the middle of another anxiety episode, an episode that's gone on so far for 12 days, but I've been making lists about what I'm doing right! I've been treating my symptoms and analyzing my body like a science experiment! I've been asking for help! I've been using my medications appropriately! I've been treating myself like a friend!

But also I'm tired and I'm not answering my phone and I'm having a hard time being coherent and I don't feel very well.I'd really like to stop spinning. I'd like to get off the ride, please.

Here is what I know: We should not look at things that do not exist. We should not over-explain. We should have a glass of water. Everyone deserves space to accommodate their symptoms. A person is more than an action or event. If we are "trying," we are "doing" without giving ourselves credit. Taking walks is good.

Here is what I want: A full, unworried heart.