Am I the only one feeling this way? No, seriously. I can't be the only one. Right?

So, I've really been fighting my anxiety and depression. SERIOUSLY. FIGHTING.

So many days lost to the irrational belief that I couldn't pull this off. Which only lead to countless days lost, and productivity that I can't get back.

ENOUGH.

I refuse to be held hostage by my anxiety, fears, past traumas, and depression.

As of this day on, I reclaim my life. Not just in word, but in deed.

It's so much easier for me to hang out on Facebook all day, watching, observing, jumping in when we want, and then leaping out when it gets awkward or boring. Judging. Speaking Forth. Finding a cause du jour, because HOW HARD CAN THAT BE, ACTUALLY, NOWADAYS?

Meanwhile, my own personal  Rome burns.

No.

I'm going to focus on that which I have control over. At least, I'm going to TRY.

When I worked in substance abuse treatment, we used to ( chant, "If you do what you do, you'll get what you get."

Well, that saying doesn't only go for addicts and and alcoholics. It goes for everyone.

So after my epiphany tonight, I walked upstairs, and I felt good. I'd figured out a big obstacle (my self-defeating thoughts), and I knew I needed to scan and save my son's school application.

But then, my depressed brain told me: "Chill. You'll scan and send it tomorrow. Probably. And if you don't get to it tomorrow, the next day, for sure."

Meanwhile, my anxiety was all like:
'HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS YOU GUYS WE'RE ALL GOING TO LITERALLY DIE A HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE FUCKING DEATH THAT PROBABLY INVOLVES ARACHNIDS, KNIVES, FIRE, AND ENDING YOUR DAYS IN A CARDBOARD BOX. WE. MUST. ACT. NOW."

It was then that my depression whispered: "That sounds scary and overwhelming. Let's let tomorrow figure that out."

Then, when my tomorrow showed up, ready to kick ass, but my anxiety growled: "We already have SO MUCH SHIT TO DO OMG HOW ARE YOU EVER GOING TO GET IT ALL DONE AND WHERE WILL WE START BECAUSE JUST SO YOU KNOW IT'S ALL EQUALLY IMPORTANT IN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAYS SO HOW THE FUCK ARE WE SUPPOSED TO FIGURE OUT WHERE TO START?????

In the end, I calmed down both sides of my brain, and I fucking DID THE THING. I scanned all three pages of his application. One page was a large tarantula drawing he'd done. He insisted I include it in the application, so I did. Those teachers are so lucky. He gave me TEN drawings that he thought I should fax to this school.

Speaking as a clinically depressed, anxious, ADHD individual who is also a mental health therapist, I believe that education and therapy can only go so far. Taking absolute responsibility for our own well being is where it's at.

This is the state of my brain right now. We are, collectively, loosing our shit.

BUT.

It's all going to be ok. Not because situations have changed, but because my world view has changed.

If I want different, I have to BE different. And it won't happen daily. Or consistently.

But it WILL HAPPEN.

Dear Kelli

My friend Kelli Stapleton is in jail, and will be sentenced tomorrow, for a crime she committed a year ago. She could get anything from Time Served to Life In Prison.

I've put off writing her for an entire year, but I've never stopped thinking about her. Not one day passes that I don't miss her smile, her cheerleader posts, her passionate conviction that Issy COULD get better, and her generous spirit. 

My friend. My sister. My cheerleader. My inspiration. She has been all of these things to me, and more.


For the past two days I've been wearing a t-shirt that Kelli sent me two years ago. It's for a drive-in up in Northern Michigan, and I fell in love with it when I saw a pic of Issy wearing it. So Kelli sent me one as a surprise.
I love that shirt.
__________________________________________________
Dear Kelli,
For over two years, I made sure I subscribed to your facebook posts. I loved the back and forth banter between us. Whenever I think of you, I see you in that Hawaiian dress, with flowers in your hair, and your tongue sticking out. That feels like a hundred million years ago.
I only know a portion of what you've been through. There's no way ANYONE can ever know what you and your family have been through. I know you were terrified of living in an apartment with Issy. Alone. Two hours away from Matt. All because of a school meeting gone wrong.
Fuck.
I've felt horrible for the past year, because I hadn't written to you, and I know how important it is to you to know that people still love you, despite your poor choice (Remember, I love you, Kells<3). And I failed you in that.
Because I didn't know how to say this:
I love you. 
I will never stop loving you, or proclaiming you as my friend.
I will never stop telling people that what happened isn't black and white, and that life can change on a dime for ANYONE.
It's not ok, what you did. I hate what you were going through, but what you did is not ok. Not ever. I believe you weren't in your right mind at that time, but it still isn't ok. And I know you know that.
I love you.
I'm so fucking glad you're alive.
I'm double fucking glad that Issy is alive and healthy.
I love you.
I didn't write a letter to the judge, because I honestly don't know what your sentence should be. Because what you did was terrible.
But I love you so much.
I hope and pray that you get a just, yet FAIR sentence. I want you to come out. I want you in my world again. I want to see a picture of you with your bright blonde hair shining in the sun.
I love you.