Long story short, here I am getting ready to propose my dissertation. I just finished my written comprehensive exams. "How do you DO it all?" Or "How do you do it ALL?" Whatever version of the question is on the tip of your tongue, in the back of your mind, let me put it to rest.
Little pink pills.
This is your mind on little pink pills. It goes something like this: for the first time since I have had children, I felt a happy, peaceful feeling while snuggling with my babies, instead of a panicked, terrible feeling like someone is about to strangle me. When I look at my dog, I feel a nice feeling on the inside, instead of feeling like my skin in crawling from the inside out. I can't describe it in too many words, because it mostly comes in overall feelings that maybe only people who have struggled with mental illness will understand.
I have gone to therapy, I have prayed the prayers, I have exorcised demons, and something is still not right in my head. It makes me curl up on the floor in a fetal position, pressing my face against the cold floor, just willing the room to stop spinning. It makes me plan a bus ride far away from my life and responsibilities, thinking all the while that "they'll be better without me here."
This is how I DO IT ALL. I don't. And I take medicine that helps my brain remember what pleasure is, what "happy" feels like. My husband does all of the house work. I don't see any friends. I don't have a social life. My "all" is considerably reduced compared to previous years. Praying, "God, just let me finish this dissertation."
It's important for me to write this because of all the "judgy feelings" that circulate on social media. All of the feelings of inadequacy looking at what someone else does or does not do. All of the feelings of superiority at what I do better or more of than someone else. And in reality, you don't even know me. I don't really know you. Whatever I'm good at is probably not as impressive as you imagine. And my bad side, I'm sure, is a whole lot worse than you think. You should know about the little pink pills because that's part of what makes me work right now.
What kind of image do you protect about yourself? What do you imagine others do that makes you feel inferior or superior? How does that impact your view of yourself? I hope you feel free to share.