Hello, my lovelies! Thank you for being here because I have a super important, super exciting announcement to make. I am nominated for Blogger Of The Year at the MH Blog Awards this year! But there is a catch, I need your help! From now until June 4, you can go to the MH Blog Awards website and vote for Amber @ The Winter Of My Discontent for Blogger Of The Year!
Hey y’all! I hope this update finds you well. Today I come to you with no real plan, only to write something, anything, at this point. As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been absent of any new content for the last 2 or 3 weeks. There is a reason for that…many reasons, actually. I’ve decided to tell you about them.
Well, I did it. I think I can officially say that I am in mental health recovery. I’ve graduated from Dr. W and am now on an as-needed basis. I’m still struggling to get my ADHD under control. The medicine isn’t lasting as long as I’d like through the day and the crash can be pretty rough. I get either really irritable or really weeping. The irritability is bad…it feels like there’s a big cat inside of me, just pacing back and forth. But, I’m back on the relaxation techniques and I’ve felt better the last couple of nights and I’m getting my meds adjusted tomorrow.
Other than that, I’ve been feeling pretty good. Though I had a lot of nerves about going back to work, my anxiety stayed low which is a really good sign for me. I feel strong and confident. I know I’ve got this; I’ve always had this, even at my lowest.
I will still see Dr. R for ADHD and grief and Elizabeth to finish up my EMDR therapy. But even those appointments will start to dwindle as the time goes. I think I might be completely out of therapy by the Fall. When I first started with Dr. W, in 2018, I laughed when she said her goal was to get me to where I didn’t need her. I didn’t think it was possible. There was too much pain; too much disorder. We did it, though.
If you read the blog regularly, you know that I don’t use people’s names when telling parts of my story and, a lot of the time, I don’t go into great detail about some of the things that have happened to me. I did with Dick and Dandy because, I think we can all agree, they deserved it. Otherwise, I stay vague. This is by design. The focus of this blog is telling my mental health story while also educating people about the disorders that I grapple with. It is not meant to be a call-out or my personal diary.
I give the information that I give when I think it is relevant to the information I am trying to pass on. For 2 weeks, at the beginning of May, I re-published my mental health story from the very beginning (my childhood) until today (my recovery). They were the first pieces I ever published on The Winter Of My Discontent and they had been archived since October. I decided to post them again for Mental Health Month. These were written before my diagnosis when literally all I had was my story and they were personal.
Long story short, I’ve had 2 different people recognize themselves in my story over the last couple of weeks and they did not like it. One of them chose to confront me and one of them chose to cut communication. For what it’s worth, I hadn’t spoken to the latter in 2 years, to begin with. Anyway, this brings up a lot of emotions for me…and a bit of a conundrum. One of them actually asked me to take it down or edit. I’ve honestly felt some type of way about it.
The thing is, everything that I tell you is the truth. There are always 2 sides to every story, but this is my side. My experience is the only one I can speak to. I know my own intentions, alone. But, some of the things I tell you are painful. Not just for me, but for people that I love. To hear them framed in a new light, from a different set of eyes, can be unsettling. These are relationships that I either care about or I cared about at one time. One I walked away from, and one that I’ve grasped for and clung to for all of my life.
I’m not taking down any of my posts; I’m not editing them. Honestly, what I’ve said here is tame compared to what I could say. My words are important and they are helping people. I get messages every week, telling me that I’ve touched someone in some way; they’ve felt seen or they learned something they never knew. I know from my own experience that seeing yourself in another person’s story is healing. It can’t be put into words how much it stitched up my soul when I started this journey.
I knew when I started this blog last May that I would run into this eventually. In fact, I agonized over it. I’ve always written very honestly and I didn’t feel at the time that I could be completely honest. I decided to start writing and I’d figure it out. I have figured out a lot and the more I figure out, the more comfortable speaking my truth to you. For the first time in my life, I have confidence in my voice.
So I’m going to continue using it just like I have been. SAW, if you’re reading, nice try.
Stress. I’ve had a lot of it. Obviously, the above-mentioned was pretty stressful. But I had a lot more than that happening. I’ve been on leave and the short-term disability company kept denying my claim. They hadn’t paid me since March. All of my bills were either due or overdue. My return to work was looming over my head and I really didn’t know what to expect so, naturally, I expected the absolute worst. I found out my mom has a basal cell that she has to have removed next month. It felt like the stress was piling up.
I had a couple of nights where I felt like it was all coming unglued, the crash from my meds making it much worse in the evenings. The worst of it, though, was that I couldn’t write. I haven’t written anything new in 3 weeks. I have about 5 drafts going, but they just didn’t feel right and I couldn’t get any of them finished. I tried journaling, music, and nature. I tried to read other blogs. I did research, but couldn’t write.
A lot happened this week. First, I realized that mom is going to be okay. Likely they will be able to get all of the cancer and she should heal nicely. I’m still extremely nervous…this is my mom, for goodness sake. She’s my biggest fan, my best friend, my mommy! But I feel confident that she is going to pull through this nicely. Love you, mom!
I also finally went back to work on Monday and it’s actually gone better than I imagined. Everyone has been kind and helpful. I won’t go far as to say that I’m glad to be back, but I didn’t die and I really thought I might. So, I’ve been feeling the stress of that melt away.
Yesterday, I found out that short-term approved my claim. So did long-term. So I will be getting 2 months of back pay. I woke up this morning to the first part of it and I was able to get my bills caught up and groceries in the house. You cannot imagine the sigh of relief I was able to breathe.
Then today….I was able to write.
Remember, it’s okay to take a break whenever times get tough, busy, and stressful. It’s okay to feel like you’re about to lose it during those times. It’s okay to not feel strong every single second. And, most importantly, it’s okay if you can’t write for a while…or whatever your outlet may be. It will come back when your mind is less burdened and your soul feels freer.
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Love and light. Keep fighting the good fight! 💜💜
Writing about living with ADHD and mental illness and my journey down a thriving path forward. Breaking stigmas and creating community, one post at a time.