Mindful Caffeination?

Every night for weeks I’ve been having bad dreams, and they seem to be getting more frequent and vivid. Nights filled with scenes of war, disease, pain. Watching loved ones suffer only to find myself paralyzed and unable to help. So many friends and family members have died in my arms in dreams, I can’t even recall them all. And it’s not some epic story line, but just snippets. Just the moment of dream torture and then it cuts off and starts the next. 

I can’t get away from them and so try to sleep as little as possible. I know it’s not healthy but I can’t seem to become lucid in the dreams so don’t know what else to do. I am coping well outside of sleep though. Meditating a bit, listening to music, spending time doing crafts with the kids, breathing and releasing the pressure when I start to panic. But I can’t bring myself to do these things in my sleep.

Today was a more panicky day and I had some moments of hiding at work. Today I couldn’t bring myself to meditate, my mind just couldn’t for some reason. I was so exhausted so I sat in half lotus and sipped my coffee. I needed the caffeine, I needed the break. It might not help the mind long term like mindful meditation does, but it helped me get through the day. And now I can hide at home where I feel safer and more at ease. Though I am still drinking coffee, cause lord knows I don’t much want to sleep.

I considered making this title just the facepalm emoji

So I had therapy this morning, I thought it was scheduled for 10am, turns out it was for 11am. Good start so far 👍. So I got to the office and there were lizards outside the office door. So I sat on the bench 10 feet away and texted my therapist “there are lizards outside your door and I’m pretty sure they’re going to attack if I walk that far. I may or may not be able to get in.” Then I discovered I was scheduled for 11am and she wasn’t there yet. But she said she’d hurry, and I said I’d keep an eye on the lizards. 

Then the lizards split into a triangle formation around me and one of them started digging rocks. I freaked out and drove off to get coffee while I waited. Hit a Starbucks drive through and was on my way back and got completely lost 🤦‍♀️.  While circling a nearby airport trying to find my way back to the street she texted me that she was here. I was already pulled over seeing if I could find the address to turn on GPS and so texted back “the lizards were gathering rocks so I went for coffee and now I’m lost” I of course followed that with “I’m pretty sure your office is in an alternate universe” 

Needless to say, my therapy session started in a rather interesting way. But at least my parking spot was available for this appointment. 

You stole my tree!

Well, not you specifically. And technically it’s not MY tree. And it wasn’t actually stolen, I mean it’s still where it was. Maybe I should start again….

So I’ve mentioned before that I have to park in the same spot (or row in busier parking lots) every time I go somewhere. So I go to my psychiatrist appointment today, yeah? Well most people park on the other side of the building so I always park on the nearly empty side next to a little tree. I’ve been going there almost two years now and have parked in that spot next to the tree every single appointment. Today I get there and and there are multiple cars on my side including one NEXT TO MY TREE. I’ve already had high anxiety all week, and now I can’t park in my spot which always makes me start to panic when going places. So I go into my psyc appointment anxiously snapping the rubber bands I had on my wrist and trying not to sound crazy. Cause I don’t want my psychiatrist to think I’m crazy, apparently? Anyway, we decided to add a mild dose of a new med I haven’t tried before. Non-addictive per my request. We’ll see what happens.

Shifts of mood

I’m shifting from depression to anxiety which sucks but also gives hope. This is common for me when I’m about to feel better. What gives me hope the most though isn’t that I’m likely to feel better soon, but that I recognize it. For so many years I did not recognize my cycles, and it made them more intense and frightening. I felt more desperate and wanted to give up so often. Through 2 years of therapy I am just now finally getting to understand my own mind, my mental monster. I’m so proud of this, and so glad that I stuck with treatment. 


I want to encourage all who face these mental monsters to stick with treatment. You may not see results for quite a while, but stick to it anyway. You didn’t learn to tie your shoes, or ride a bike, or add fractions over night (ok, fractions are a bad example, I’m not sure I ever really learned that). You learned through constant effort. Therapy is the same. Stick to it, keep trying, keep learning. And when you have sessions where you’re yelling at your therapist that “this shit is stupid!” And she asks “what do you want to do?” Schedule your next appointment. That is what you want to do, even if you don’t recognize it right away. Stick to it. I believe in you and your ability to win this fight, and I believe in using all the resources available to you. 
Namaste y’all – I bow to the divine in you

Late night coffee


Finally back on all my meds, though my momentary dark phase hit before running out for a few days so the meds are certainly not an instant fix. However they put the mask back on so I can get through my days. I haven’t been posting much as I am mentally exhausted to the point of physically exhausted and have been all week. 

The exhaustion is making my dreams come through weird again and giving me zero control over them, so I am now waking up just as exhausted as when I went to bed. So tonight I drank coffee, a lot of coffee, and am staying up as late as possible. Not healthy, I know. I can hear my therapist in my head “you need to be getting sleep. It is important.” I know. But sometimes, well often times, sleep is worse than wake. I can’t control my mind during sleep. I don’t have my rubber bands to remind me to not be judgmental. I don’t have my husband to comfort me or make me laugh, usually in my dreams he is away for some reason, my mind leaves me to fend for myself. I don’t have control over my actions which is why I smoke in my dreams though I never have in real life, I drink more in my dreams, I fall silent in my dreams nearly forgetting how to speak. These are only the things I can put into words while awake because they are “normal”. My mind goes far worse, but I can’t open up on that because my mind should not be capable of that type of… scenarios I guess is the only way to put it. My mind needs my control so the monster doesn’t appear. During sleep I loose that control. 

I don’t have a normal weekend coffee date in me. For that I am sorry. But I take comfort in the idea that you may be out there. That I’m not alone in my self imposed insomnia. And tomorrow I shall start new.

Can’t help but laugh

I’ve recently decided that I should stop using the phrase “I can’t help but laugh” because I have become very suddenly aware that it is nearly always towards a person and their problems. It honestly frustrates me that I didn’t think about that before. I work so hard to be sensitive to others, so how did I think it was an okay phrase to use when I see someone struggling?

I was in a leadership training at work earlier this week and during a break was chatting with some coworkers. Now by “coworkers” I mean they hold similar positions to me but we’ve never actually worked together or really know each other. So we started talking about topics from the training, a big one being stress management as a leader. One of these supervisors told me that she is amazed at how people can get so stressed and so emotional. “Why can’t they just deal with it and move on instead of letting it effect their day? I can’t help but laugh!” And in that moment I felt that she was literally laughing at me.

I am someone that needs to be taught stress management. I am pre-programmed to be highly emotional. I handle it well, I am high functioning, I can get through my days with success…. usually. But every few years it hits too hard. I loose my grip on stress relief techniques and have a breakdown. Sometimes I just need a quick stay-cation and med adjustment to get back to life, on rare occasions I need a short stay in a hospital. But I take care of it and get back on track. Why is that something to laugh at?

I’m sure I’m reading far too much into it, and should just shrug it all off like a normal person hearing a common saying, but it did make me think. So now if I find myself thinking “I can’t help but laugh” I will work harder to be understanding of what I don’t know about the person and their situation.

If we were having coffee…

 If we were having coffee we would be hiding in the corner of the living room with the aromatherapy diffuser going. My husband and I have been enjoying a mix of pine and lemongrass recently, I’m not sure the benefits of either of them, but holy crap it smells good.

If we were having coffee I would thank you for your support this week. I know I’ve been quiet. I know I haven’t responded to comments as I usually do. But I read them. I read them over and over again to remind my brain that I am not alone, and that I can fight. I don’t know what brought on this sudden depression, I have yet to find a trigger, but I will fight through none the less. And your kindness, humor, and support are making that so much easier.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how my children have been laughing in their sleep recently. Funny dreams are a sign of a happy mind and a lack of stress. I am so glad to know that they are in such a great state of mind, even if my mind can’t join right now. Sleep laughter is now a goal for me. And I wish the funniest of dreams and loudest of sleep laughs for each of you.

Dark times

Out of nowhere I’ve hit another dark time. I don’t know if it’s stress induced, med related, or just a season of my brain. But my monster has come out to play and it is effecting everything. 

I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a month. I want to release the pressure in my arms. I want to cry and scream and hit things. But I’ve been practicing DBT and self care exactly for these moments. So I still meditate, still tell myself “it’s temporary” whether I believe it or not, and I still try to adjust my judgemental thoughts as much as possible. 

The lack of sleep and the monster marathon running through my head are making this hard. But I’ll get through. I’m a stubborn bitch like that. I hope.

Like a mime in a box

Most of the week I have felt trapped. Not like trapped at home, but like stuck in the outside world without escape. Coming home each night feels like freedom. Leaving in the morning is near terrifying. At work I feel the walls closing in and I begin to panic as I worry if I still have my escape route, if I can actually get out if I go into full panic mode. 

I was trying to explain this to my husband and the best I could describe is that I’m like a mime in a box. I’m trapped and the box is so close around me. You can’t see the box though, in fact the box doesn’t even exsist outside of my own mind. But you can see my fear and my stress. While I work so hard to hide my panic, some bits creep out and are visible, which makes the fear all the more real and intense. 

I hope to be the mime leaning on the table and eating grapes soon, but for now I will hide in the safety of my home as much as possible until the walls of the outside world stop closing in.

That’s what copiers are for right?

So I forgot my pills this morning. And felt continuously more wonky as the day went on. About 2pm I was ready to curl up into fetal position behind the office copier and have a full blown panic attack. That’s not really considered “professional” though, so I hid in the bathroom for 10 minutes instead and spent the rest of the work day with my earbuds in. Most people assume earbuds means I have a lot of paperwork and need music to keep me going, so it’s not questioned. I made it through the day… mostly… but got home dizzy and with 16 rubber bands on my right wrist to remind me of my failures. Or at least my perceived failures. But it’s temporary, right? The dizzy, the panic, the fear, the anger, the judgement of myself, it’s all temporary. Please remind me that it is temporary. I’m not sure I can trust my brain today, but I’m certain I can trust yours.