humor · insomnia · introspection · mental health · self-awareness · sleep · Uncategorized

Yeah, I know. I love you, too.

My brain and I have often had an adversarial relationship where sleep is involved. Yes, yes, I know my brain is part of me, but sometimes it helps to take a step back from one’s brain and realize that you don’t always work well together, even though it’s really the brain working with the brain and um, yeah this is going nowhere…

Aaaaanyway, over the years, I have documented these moments with my brain. The moments when we have not been simpatico about sleeping or waking. I’ve been writing down these small brain conversations for 6 years now, and somehow I think they will continue for ever and ever.

February 7

Me: Hokay brain we need to get up a little bit earlier than usual.
Brain: How’s this!! 3am!
Me: Nooooooo! I meant like 4:30, this is waaaay too early. Back to sleep!
Brain: How about now? This is good right?
Me: NOOOOO! Now it’s 3:10 wtf? BACK TO SLEEP!
Brain: Now?
Me: GAAAAAH! Now it’s 3:20!
Yes, this continued…

March 18

Scene – 12:30 am in my bed
Brain: Hello!!! Weird dream, huh?
Me: *hopeful* Um, yes, uh, hi, I’m going to roll over and go back to sleep.
Brain: Ah yes yes, but first! You need to think about and have imaginary conversations and arguments about this entire giant list of things! 😀
Me: But none of that is anything I can do anything about right now! What the fuck?!!?!!?
Brain: I know, delightful isn’t it? Bwahahaha!

Me: *sigh*

June 20

Me: Loo deee doo, going to sleep, lah de dah…
Brain: Imma think about every single thing that happened today, not in a bad way, but just go through it all again.
Me: But, but, I’m trying to go to sleep.
Brain: I don’t care about that, I need to think about everything that happened. Remember when that one person said that one thing? Here, let’s think about that.
Me: But I’m really tired and I have to get up early…
Brain: Nope, nope, sorry, oooh, remember that sandwich you had for lunch, let’s think about that sandwich
[TIME PASSES]
Brain: All right, I guess I’m done now, you can go to sleep
Me: Finally! Whew!
Cat: Imma play with your feet with my claws!

September 5

Me: Loo dee doo, goin’ to sleep
Brain: Hey! Know how you stayed home and leisurely played with your kid all day? Well, imma think about everything you didn’t do because you did that!

Me: But…but, I’m trying to go to sleep, I can’t do anything about any of those things right now!
Brain: Yeah, I know! But you stayed home so…
Me: (eleventy hours later) Gaaaaah! Seriously I can’t do anything about any of that shit!
Brain: Oh, almost forgot, you know that song about glory glory hallelujah teacher hit me with a ruler? You get that on mega super duper repeat too!

Me: NOOOOOO!

October 22

Brain: Wake up! Wake up!
Me: Holyshitimgonnabelate! Hey! It’s only 2 am!
Brain: I know! Cool huh!
Me: No dood, that was really mean!
Brain: Well, I scheduled the next two hours for you to think about what a horrible person you are, so get going!
Me: I don’t want to do that, that sounds terrible!
Brain: Sorry! Them’s the rules!
An hour later
Me: I’ve got it, I’ll do word games in my head, ha!
Brain: Nooooooo, then you’ll get all tired and we have an hour left!
Me: Suck it brain! Hahahaha!

October 23

The continuing saga…
Brain: Wake up! Wake up!
Me: Holyfuckingshitimgonna…hey! You did this yesterday! And at 2 am again!?! What the fuck?
Brain: I know! But today instead of laying in bed thinking about what a horrible person you are, we’re scheduled for 2 hours of really random shit.
Me: I don’t like that plan either! I mean…
Brain: Roller skates
Me: Look I don’t like this either, can’t we…
Brain: Marshmallows are weird
Me: Glargh! I don’t care about marshmallows! I just want to…
Brain: What if windows were rhombi?
Me: *sigh*

October 31

Brain: Wake up wake up wake up!
Me: Whatheholyshitisit… Hey! It’s 3:45 in the morning!
Brain: I know, cool isn’t?
Me: No, that’s the worst kind of uncool, my alarm goes off in 1/2 hour so there’s not even a full cycle if I drift back off!
Brain: Well, that’s all right because we’re scheduled to think about all your allergies and how you need to let the ER people know about them in case you ever have to have emergency surgery.
Me: That’s just ridiculous, look, I’ll just get a new MedicAlert bracelet and tell Alex.
Brain: Pffff, your paltry solutions do NOTHING about this level of anxiety bwahahaha! I’ve already released the panic chemicals, bwahahaha!
Me: Fuck you very much, brain
Brain: You’re welcome, it’s a service I prov… Hey!

November 4

Brain: Wake up! wake up!
Me: Omyfuckin…. Hey! Dood it’s only 1 am!
Brain: Muahhaha… Wait, what? 1 am?
Me: Yeah, daylight savings, you know?
Brain: Oh, huh, well, sorry about that but you are scheduled to think about that stuff from your kid’s school for the next hour or so.
Me: But I can’t do anything about that right now! I have to talk to everyone about it and they’re all asleep!
Brain: Too bad, them’s the…
Me: Ooh look! Alex is awake! I’m at least going to talk about the stuff I need to talk to her about! Woo!
Brain: Nooooooooo!

November 28

Brain: please be for thinking about every thing you’ve done wrong for the past two years!
Me: All night?
Brain: Allll night long, and now you get to think about Fifth Element mixed in with all that, bwahahaha!!
Me: *sigh*

December 19

Brain: Wake up! Wake up!
Me: Omithor I gotta get ready for… Hey! Not this shit again, it’s only 2 am!
Brain: I know! Isn’t it delightful! But this time we have TONS of shit to worry about. Let’s see… First we’ll start with a musical background of Solstice songs you’ve been practicing for your program, then we’ll worry about how some of the present stuff isn’t here yet and Yule is Saturday, and we’ll round that shit out with you thinking about how you’ve wrapped nothing yet and how the hell are you going to get that one thing on Friday.
Me: Yeah, this shit just isn’t funny anymore.

December 21

Me: Aaah, is it time to get up?
Brain: Oh yeah, totally!
Me: No it’s not! It’s 2 am!
Brain: Oh, is it? Well, we need to think about what your boss did for a couple of hours.
Me: What? No! It’s the weekend! I don’t want to think about that!
Brain: Oooh! What if she came to your diversity class! Let’s do your whole diversity speech for her!
Me: No! Wait! I don’t want to do that whole speech!
Brain: Too bad! Once you start it, you have to do the whole thing. It’s like that ‘Come Sail Away’ song by Styx.
Me: Fuuuuu… now I have my speech and that song running through my head!
Brain: You’re welcome!
Me: *sigh* I hate you, brain.
Brain: Yeah, I know. I love you, too.

 

 

 

 

child care · children · mental health · parenting · self expression · special needs · writing

I’m a parent to a special needs infant.

I’m a parent to a special needs infant. There I said it. It’s a thought that I’ve been juggling around in my brain but haven’t been brave enough to express. Before I go further let me show you the definition of special needs.

Special Needs
PLURAL NOUN
(in the context of children at school) particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioural difficulties.

‘the absorption of children with special needs into mainstream schools’

  • Oxford Dictionary

Without going deep into my background I suffer from feeling like an imposter quite often. Up until now saying I’m a parent to a special needs child scared me. Honestly it still does. Instead of being scared of what other parents might say I’m scared of how I’m going to help my child succeed. Being scared is good because now it’s motivating me to proceed with helping my son.

In severity my son’s needs are incomparably small compared to many special needs children. That doesn’t exclude him. He may present as a normal child. That doesn’t mean he is. He has made a lot of progress. This does not mean there wasn’t ever a problem. In fact his progress is an accomplishment and testament to how hard he and I have both worked.

My son at 16 months is a caring, loving, friendly, beautiful, fun, independent, determined, inquisitive, deep thinking, special needs soul. I’m honored to raise him as a single work at home mom with pride.

how to · mental health · self care · tutorial · Uncategorized

Emergency Self-Care Kit

I’ve lived with mental illness almost all of my life. It started out as depression and anxiety and bloomed into something much larger as I confronted my past. Currently, my diagnoses include depression, anxiety, autism, ADHD, trichotillomania, dermatillomania, and complex PTSD. I’ve been in mental health care for about 5 years now and, needless to say, I’ve developed a multitude of ways of dealing with my mental illnesses.

When you have major mental illness, crises will almost always come at some point in your life. When these crises do come, there are tons of ways to help combat them! You can call your local mental health hospital, contact your therapist or psychiatrist, contact a loved one, etc. But here is my favorite way of combating a crisis: an emergency self-care kit.

This emergency self-care kit can help you ride the wave of a crisis until it passes. It contains things to help ground or distract you from the impending doom rising in your head. I have used this kit many, many times, especially when the urge for self-harm arises. I’ve been battling self-harm for 8 years now and it’s never easy to contain the urges. The kit can contain anything you want but here are my ideas for the kit!

  • Lush bath bomb
  • Calming essential oils to put in a diffuser
  • A coloring book and colored pencils
  • Silly putty to keep hands busy
  • Temporary tattoos to put on spots you would normally self-harm
  • A stuffed animal to cuddle
  • A book to read
  • Letter from a loved one telling you why you should keep on living

Lush bath bombs are a great way to relax! I tend to put on some calming essential oils in a diffuser, such as Blues Buster from Plant Therapy. I also will put on some classical music or calming music from YouTube.

Coloring books are a great way to keep your hands busy and your mind focused if you’re a self-harmer like myself. I like the adult coloring books from Michael’s but they sell tons on Amazon as well!

I have found that, for me, silly putty is the best way to keep my hands busy. In a crisis, I’ll put on my favorite YouTube channel that always makes me laugh, Achievement Hunter, and play with silly putty. This takes my mind off of the chaos and keeps my hands working so I don’t self-harm.

I buy temporary tattoos from the dollar store and tend to get butterflies or hearts to remind me to stay safe. But there are temporary tattoos on Etsy that are made specifically to combat self-harm. (MentalHealthMagic on Etsy.)

One way I can be comforted if my loved ones are not accessible is to lay under my weighted blanket and cuddle my favorite stuffed animal. I can have a good cry there and let out all the emotions swirling around in my head. I got my weighted blanket from Lifetime Sensory Solutions on Amazon for much cheaper than the average weighted blanket and the quality is great! They also frequently give away weighted blankets on Facebook so it’s worth a like. My favorite stuffed animal right now is this angry llama I got from a comic con.

Books have always been my escape. Since I was a teenager, I have read fiction books to escape my life. I can imagine myself as the main character that has none of the problems I do and forget about whatever has been troubling me lately.

Letters from a loved one is probably my favorite thing in this kit. Though I don’t have letters, I save sweet text messages from my fiancé to look at when I need reassurance that life is worth living.
So, my process using this mental health kit is to first take a Lush bath while diffusing essential oils. Then, I will put on temporary tattoos to deter myself from self-harming and either color or read a book. Normally, when I color or read, I’ll do so under my weighted blanket with my stuffed animal close by. Finally, when the chaos has subsided a little bit, I’ll turn on my favorite YouTube channel, still under my weighted blanket, and have some silly putty to play with.

I hope this helps you next time you’re in a crisis. Stay safe everyone!

anxiety · art · depression · mental health · poem · self care · self expression

Self Care isn’t Pretty

Self Care Isn’t Pretty

Self care isn’t Insta-worthy pictures of fresh salads, fizzy bath bombs, and face masks.

Self care is sitting at the table for hours, tears and snot streaming down your face as you stare at the bare minimum of food you need to stay alive and will yourself to actually eat it.

Self care is painfully combing out weeks worth of tangles because it’s been too hard to get out of bed lately.

Self care is changing your smelly sheets and schlepping your laundry to the washer.

Self care is taking your meds when you want nothing more than to flush them down the toilet.

Self care is picking up the inches of debris off the floor so you can walk across your place without tripping.

Self care is sticking to your budget, not going out for lavish meals and manicures that you can’t afford.

Self care isn’t pretty. It’s survival.

anxiety · mental health · poem · self expression

Panic Attack

Sometimes a panic attack isn’t something anyone can see.
On the train in the middle of the rush hour crowd
you sit silent because you’ve learned all your life to make your self as
small
as
possible
You stare at your phone, your finger stuck
poised just barely
above the screen
it shakes a little, you notice with detachment
as your heart pounds for
2-3-4-5-10-15 minutes.
You manage somehow to get off at your stop
make it to your bus
ride to where you are almost home
all the while feeling like every particle is going to fly off and you’ll be left in an exposed naked pile of ash
that someone can blow away.
You, forever gone, forever dancing with the wind.