For You

This one is for you. Thank you for everything you have ever done.

I have been going through old photos and thinking a lot this morning. Thinking a lot about how so many people in my life are so incredible and I don’t give them enough credit for putting up with me and dealing with all that I am. I have decided to put these thoughts down for you to read and hopefully to remember along with me.
I am sitting on my couch looking through old photographs of some of my dearest friends, even if those friends only lasted a short time, giving me farewell hugs as I had to move on due to personal health circumstances. When I had to leave Ferris State University for my own mental health, my friends were there to support me the whole way through. We went out to eat as a final “goodbye” and gathered around for pictures and hugs in front of Vandercook Hall where we all first met. These wonderful people helped my mom and I load up our cars with all of my belongings and these friends were as sweet as could be. I remember on the drive back home I began to cry; I cried because I was sad of course, but also because I was overwhelmed by all the love these people had given me. We all went through breakups together and building and breaking down of friendships, we did all of this side by side. Drinking cheap beers while watching cartoons on Wednesday nights may be seemingly pointless memories, but those are the ones that will not be forgotten.
I sit and scroll through my phone some more and find pictures from graduation. The year was 2015 and I was lucky enough to have family in my life who loved me enough to come spend some time celebrating my graduation with me, even when that meant coming from across the country. These are family members I rarely got to see, but they put the extra effort in just to come to Michigan to celebrate my achievement, even when they didn’t need to. I am forever thankful for them and that one large act of kindness that they made just for me.
Just earlier this week, work was slow and we had nothing better to do than crack some jokes with each other and talk about how much we despised our job. We drew up a picture of how we view the world and I took a photograph of it for both of us to remember. A small, yet memorable moment I had at 9am in the backroom of a retail sporting goods store. Sometimes it can be much too simple for me to forget how difficult it can be for others to put up with me. To my coworkers, I don’t think you all get enough credit for dealing with my 1pm weirdness that happens at the end of a 6am shift. So thank you for that. Also, thank you for letting me vent out to you everything that I find wrong in my life, even when I am sure you don’t want to hear any of it. You listen to me complain about pointless nonsense and you still want to be my friend. Now that, that is something to cherish.
The year was 2015, we are both in our favorite Red Wings gear, repping Henrick Zetterberg’s jersey and his famous #40. We are on our way to a playoff game. This is the year we graduated and the year we were way too excited to grow up. For sure graduating from high school was pretty cool, but I think we can both agree that wanting to grow up was a huge mistake. To my best friend who has been there with me from my brightest, happiest, most joyous moments all the way down to my darkest, lowest moments, I say thank you. Thank you so, SO much. I know I say this all the time, but Skylar you are my number one and I would not have made it as far as I have if I didn’t have you by my side. With all the inside jokes we have, and all the secrets only we know, I know we are bound to stick around with each other even when we are old and decrepit. 
The last picture I find is one of my mom, dad, brother, and I all together. We are at my grandmothers funeral. We are smiling and we are happy. We have celebrated the wonderful life that my grandma had, and even though such a sad time is what brought us together, I think we look pretty great. Dressed up just as grandma liked. This last thank you is to my wonderful mom, dad, and both brothers. You are all a little crazy but I love you, and I am so happy somehow I was chosen to be your obnoxious daughter and annoying little sister. You have given me all I’ve ever needed in my life so far, even when you didn’t need to. Special side-note to my mom for being by my side when I was in the hospital and holding my hand when I needed it the most. I may not say it enough, but I love you so much and I know that with everything I will ever go through, I will not be alone. You will always have my back and be by my side. 
I find it funny how even just a small picture on a cell phone can bring back such beautiful memories. I personally feel that going back on these good times is something that we as a people do not seem to do enough. Coming from someone who is usually quite down on herself, I even try to look on the brighter side of things when life seems like it’s being a little too unfair. When the world seems dark and scary, take a closer look at your life; you may not have it all, but you can make good things out of what you do have.

The Disposition of an Insomniac

Lack of sleep is my heroin

If I have not fallen asleep by one a.m. there is no need to worry. Most nights I am up watching TV anyway. One a.m. is a decent time for me, there’s no need to stress; but before I know it, two a.m. rolls around. Now, this is still ok, but I know at this point my eyes and mind need to rest. I try to close my eyes and count sheep but the only things I end up counting are all the responsibilities that come when I wake. My mind races to jobs I need to finish that are not even my responsibility, such as what needs to be done at work tomorrow when I won’t even be there. I fade off into miscellaneous thought. Contemplating on why we as a human species are alive, and I feel like I need to solve that question before morning comes around.

Before I know it, the number four on my phone begins to stalk me. Each minute that grows closer is another step forward that four a.m. takes towards me. I lay in my bed, the back of my head resting on my pillow, body under one blanket because it’s too warm to be fully covered. My hands over my face, fingers trying to force my eyes shut; this isn’t working. Maybe my body is too warm to fall asleep, I get up to turn on the fan that sits on my windowsill. Well, shit. I’ve gotten myself down an even deeper hole. Now that I’ve gotten up and walked two feet to the window, my legs are fully awake. I want to take them out for miles and eventually, I will give in. Everyone tells me to do a small exercise if I’m tired. Yeah, fuck that thought.

How the hell is it already six a.m.? The streets are loud of cars, filled with tired people on their way to work, and I am outside of my house sitting on the front porch. I have not slept, not a single moment. At this point why even bother trying to sleep? The world is awake, so I might as well be too.

Is this mania or is this just insomnia? Even with no sleep, my mind is wild and alive, my hands need to be moving at the speed of sound. I am unstoppable. I can do anything. Nothing will hold me back. I don’t even need sleep at this point. I am Wonder Woman. No…no, I am my own woman. I am big, strong, and confident; I am powerful. I am power.

Later in the morning, I crash. All my walls of strength I have built have come tumbling down to my feet. What happened? Where did my power go? I never really had any power. Power, you see, is simply a word. I am weak, but weak isn’t just a word to me. No, weak is my middle name. I live and breathe each letter of the word. Depression has come back and I am weak. The cycle will begin again. I will be low for quite some time to the point it will feel ok. I will become content with this depression. The small time of tranquility will only last for so long and it will soon pass.

Days go by and my energy will begin to rise once again. This new burst of energy is unfamiliar to my body as I have been down for so long. My hands shake and I am unsteady, but I believe this is probably just anxiety. This hill my mind is climbing is wearing me down. My body won’t stop. Soon enough I have reached the peak, the high of all highs. No drug could ever feel as good as this one right now at the top of this mountain my mind has climbed. I have peaked and oh boy is it beautiful. I am everything I want to be. There is no such thing as being “weak.”

I crave for this kind of rush each time I wake. I enjoy the way it feels, but it hurts me. I talk too much and don’t listen enough, I make bad decisions, become reckless and careless of others. I become a person I don’t know and someone I don’t really want to be.

Peace

Most days the silence of the world kills me; I can hear my own thoughts. I try my best to turn these thoughts off because they always find themselves in a dark place. Today is different. I am coming down from an episode and my mind is calm. I am no longer at the top of a large mountain as an avalanche begins. This is real life and I am in my car driving down a long stretch of road, not sure where I am headed, but that’s ok. I let the music play through the speakers of my car, though this time it’s not to drown out my mind. The music is there for me to enjoy. I listen to each note flow through the vehicle. Through the seams of the seats, bouncing off the windows and coming back to the drums of my ears. This sort of calmness feels good. My mind is at rest.

My hands are still shaking from the tips of my fingers down to where my arm ends and my hand begins, but this is progress. My body wants to keep moving at the speed my mind usually does. I know this feeling of mental content won’t last forever, but for these few moments I will enjoy it and take the silence for the beauty that it is. The blood that runs through my veins will take some time to learn how to be at peace. The episodes of extreme highs and utterly low lows will continue for the rest of my life, but my mind and body will learn to manage these feelings. My mind will be at peace with itself.

When Everything Has Become “Too Good”

When we become used to our past being a horrid tragedy, sometimes trying to move forward and enjoying life can be difficult. We can even think this action is impossible.

Sometimes I can’t help but want everything to go to shit again. I want everything to go back to a bad place where I am hurting myself: drinking too much, letting unknown pills enter my body, adding new scars to my skin. Everything has been too good to be true. I’ve let my anxiety come back, but it doesn’t seem to ever be “bad enough.” Nothing is ever enough.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the good moments in life. Laughing with my best friend until our stomachs can’t take it anymore. I enjoy driving my car for hours listing to my favorite pop songs that are much more popular than they should be. Sitting in coffee shops listening to women above the age of fifty talk about how horrible their experience was at the last coffee shop they went to. Critiquing each drink made as if they were to write a review on it. These are the little things I don’t mind experiencing in life, though I know this won’t last forever.

The unknown of happiness frightens the hell out of me. How long it will last? Expecting the worst is easier. Expecting the worst makes it simpler to get through the hard times. When presuming nothing good to come out of life, I will be less likely to get my heart torn to pieces. When suspecting that no one loves me, it’s easier to handle a bad breakup; I see it coming. I don’t fall in love. I know it will let me down anyway. Though I suppose I contradict myself, being afraid of love, but expecting to get my heart broken. Maybe this is why I find myself stuck in life. I never know where to go from here. I’m at a stop sign in the middle of a highway. I should be moving forward but I am at a standstill.

Everyone else zips around me, honking car horns and throwing middle fingers left and right. I don’t react. I am staring into a black hole afraid to move forward. Life has me stumped. Why does everyone else seem to know how to push the gas pedal down, but I’m stuck on the brake?

Superman

He is stronger than I ever could be.

I sit at the top of the stairs of my home looking into my parent’s room. It has been almost four years since the event happened. As I stare into the bedroom, memories of horror and fear come rushing back into my mind. I feel nervous; I don’t want to go into a panic over something that happened so long ago. I stand up and make my way down the stairs, each step feeling heavier than the last. There is a weight being carried on my shoulders becoming heavier each time gravity is one step closer. This feeling of walking away from the memories frightens me, but what scares me more is what I will find at the bottom of the staircase.

My dad is downstairs. He is whom I fear. I don’t fear him because of anything he has done, as he is no evil being. What I fear is myself hurting him, even for just a moment. Hurting his feelings breaks my heart, I’ve done him wrong and he is in pain. Dad is resilient and can power through any battle that comes his way, but I am not as strong.

Dad is Superman, making it through a horrid tragedy and still trying his best to live every day; but his mind still aches. I watched his body deny him for hours. Watching that moment caused me pain, though I feel guilty for that kind of hurt. My mind didn’t get taken away from me like dads did. I’ve watched him mentally ache every day and none of it is his fault. When we get into an argument and anger comes over me, I have become the demon who stole his life. He gets frustrated and tells me everything about how he feels and an overwhelming amount of guilt swarms me like a thousand bees. My thoughts become the honey and the bees are my vices. They sting and pierce into my skin. It hurts. Everything hurts. But I would rather take on all of the pain than seeing my dad struggle another day.