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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

The F word .... and yea, I mean that one.

287 days, two admissions; one inpatient, one outpatient, two plane rides, over $7,000 spent on therapy and counting, $ 22 dollars a month on meds, $ 200 in physician co-pays, and 18 blog posts. That is the past nine months quantified. I'm tired and over it. Remember, I am American and stubborn and on occasion inpatient.

This week I said the proverbial F it. I am done. I am exhausted from weekly therapy sessions. Exhausted from lack of control. Exhausted from not being cured. Exhausted for knowing I still have so much work to do. I spent nine months growing humans, hell, I spent nine months in 2012 and nine months in 2013, growing humans. That was less work and I can promise you that does not do great things to your body or psyche. Maybe that was different, I knew the end game. Squishy little loves to hold. First words. First steps.

My son has special needs and has the biggest heart. His big blue eyes, freckle nose and dark brown hair just make the day better. Outbursts, fits, tears, wrestling in the middle of old trail over a dentist appointment...and he can still melt your heart. Both my kids call me "mama." I'm not sure how it started, but when their sleepy little voices whisper their last "mama" of the day, it can almost erase the antics of the day. Almost. And everyday I wake up for the next dose of antics and the 7,456,987 times I will hear "mama." They even zoom me at work now. Yeah technology ? Bring back the etch a sketch.

My reasons for exhaustion don't provide comfort. I could go into philosophical reasoning on why it does or should or could, but that ain't me. There are not squishy little loves to hold. Its steamer trunks full of baggage that could give Madeline Astor a run for her money. I can't even begin to convey how long it takes to unpack all that. I'm not sure I ever will. I tend to just re stack my baggage in new formations. See if I can find a more solid more balanced approach. Turns out, I am real good at letting things build up. Not so great at off loading. Maybe I need to invest in a fork lift.

I seem to have lost my ability to have an opinion at some point. The ability to speak up, for, or against something. I just get frustrated or irritated with the situation and let it build. Keep my feelings to myself and move on. Well, kind of. If truly know me, you know I am a terrible liar. Poker is not my game. You also may be reading this and say to yourself since when does she keep her opinion to herself. Its been a long 20 months. Don't worry though, my delight in overachieving never waned. I just perhaps overachieved the wrong things. Like, sweet talking my way out of a psych admission in less than 48 hours. I even earned the use of crayons in my room within 18 hours. I was a model inmate. I also didn't argue with popsicles. On paper I looked like i had my act together, I even worked at the same hospital. I waltzed out before 10AM and never looked back. In reality I should have ran back or at least power walked. I needed help; however I opted for the Robert Frost approach and picked the road less traveled.

I started this blog as a way to sort of rip the band aid off. Get it out there without having to repeat the story 800 times. Nobody was pressuring me to share what was going on or went on. I spent months not sharing details of what was going on. I saw how well that worked out for me. So I wanted to try something different this time around. Today a colleague shared with me how proud they were of me for writing this blog. It kind of took me off guard. I know my blog touches on some taboo topics and highly stigmatized topics. I also know sharing this publicly could come back negatively. I could come off as a risk. That I am troubled. Not worth the investment. I am also 35 and am In a industry that understands life differently than most. We believe in second chances. We understand there are set backs. We understand the exhaustion that comes with fighting a chronic illness.

I also know that if I am ever judged professionally for my honesty and vulnerability, than perhaps I am working for the wrong people and places. I can promise you that calling your boss to share your actions and need to attend 30 day inpatient therapy is humbling. I still have that boss. I still remember that phone call. It was right after I said good bye to my children for a month, which was on my daughters 6th birthday. Im telling you, I could give an episode of Dr. Phil a run for its money. Instead I suppose I will dazzle you with my writing prowess. Who am I kidding, I know there are some of you who turn to this blog for entertainment waiting for the next season of your Netflix show to drop. This isn't a failed attempt at self-deprecation. This is just reality. You just can't help but look at the train wreck.

Therapy is at times a constant reminder of what happened. A constant reminder of when the train went off the track. As referenced above, my triggers are cumulative. I let all the things build and marinade until the walls come tumbling down. And this is not in the same sense as Joshua and Jericho. Unless my conquest of depression is liken to the conquest Canaan....except less bloodshed and prostitutes. I am also fairly certain this analogy has every Sunday school teacher of mine shaking their heads. A beloved Sunday school story mixed with mortal and venial sins. Like I said overachiever. Or I need to pay more attention on Sundays.....

Perhaps my wanting to say F it to all the things is all due to control. I have no idea on how or when this story will end. How many more weeks, months, years, will this be my world? It is a challenge to stake stock. Figure out where I am on what I am feeling. What my priorities are. 2020 has been hard, 2020 was going to be hard for me even without COVID. COVID was just the cherry on top.

I have a list of things that I need to work on and growth with. I have some strengths to reshape. Where to start on that list isn't a simple decision. Many things are intertwined, one step forward, one step left, two steps back. My own personal remix of the cupid shuffle. I used to have an obnoxious amount of confidence and would have no qualms rattling off how wonderful I was. More importantly I believed every. thing. I. said. I was awesome and knew it. I'm not sure where that went. I've become the " oh sure, just doing my job," "oh thanks, I wasn't sure how this shirt looked," oh no worries, just let me know when it works for you." I have gained almost 50 lbs since October due to medications. We seem to have finally hit the right combination and I've lost 12 lbs but still... I know that also messes with my confidence. Especially for someone who is a fairly healthy eater. It is almost as though I am waiting for that one moment, that ah ha moment for things to finally click. Or will this be like my triggers and its through cumulative sessions and experiences that I finally hit my stride. Find my swagger again.

To be perfectly clear, I have never really had swagger, I'm not that cool. But I could command a cocktail party and a boardroom in the same day. I knew who I was and what I wanted and had the shoes to match. I came to play. I came to win, if you were lucky, i'd enter into a tie. Now, I am passionate yet not outward in my convictions. What will people think?? What would people say?? I'll just agree or let them drive. This isn't me. I'm educated and highly skilled. My resume ain't to shabby either. Again, on paper I look pretty good. Now I guess we have to try and figure out how to take those known and tangible skills and believe them once again.

Try and figure out how to start believing in myself again....

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