Eleanore Vs. Getting Better

Dearest humans,

It is only Wednesday and the week has already torn into me. The stresses of mental and physical chronic illness are not easy to handle any week (Click this Cheatcode to learn exactly what I suffer from), though I try my best, but every now and then those stresses, plus life stresses, plus everything else equal a broken, frightened Eleanore.

I tried for hours yesterday to film my video for the week, but the lighting was all wrong and I didn’t look right and the words just would not come out of my mouth correctly. I went to my job and pretended to be normal, came back home, and after a day of numbness, suddenly felt everything.

As the numb hopelessness descended upon me yesterday, I kept hearing the words of one of my very closet friends in my head.The week after my grandfather died,  I was losing my mind because it was filled with not only the regular anxiety and depression but also intense, heartbreaking grief, I was crying to him about how I just couldn’t seem to handle my life anymore. I told him a phrase I have said constantly in the past year:

This is all too much for just one girl to handle.

When words are insufficient to describe my pain, and I feel as if I am rotting away, this is what I tell people. I don’t know how I formed the phrase, but it has been useful.

My darling friend, a sweet and endlessly compassionate person who has several times cried for me himself, replied:

I don’t even know what to say. I feel like life gets better for everyone, and it has for me, but with you, things just never seem to improve. It never seems to get better for you.

I think anyone telling me this would feel far from great, but it hurt even more coming from someone so close to me, especially one who is ever the optimist. I broke an optimist, you guys.

I know he didn’t mean the phrase to hurt me, he was simply being open and honest as I always encourage my friends to do. Yet these words have since been on repeat in my head, and get louder the weaker and less capable I become.

I have said this a thousand times before and I will say it a thousand times again. This past year my life has changed more than ever, and a good deal of that change has been for the worse. Much of the change has been for good, too, but because I am a ridiculous animal called a human, the negative must always outshine the positive in my brain. Being a puppy would be so much easier.

If someone asked me to name everything wrong with my life, I would easily list off at least a dozen reasons. If I were asked to do the same with everything right in my life, I would falter. This doesn’t mean that I am not grateful for the goodness in my life or that I am insatiable (I actually wrote a whole post about this and I encourage you to read it here when you are finished with this one). It does mean that I am suffering in several very large ways.

In the times that I feel hopeless I am discouraged and blinded by darkness. I tell myself that no matter how hard I work, I will never be good enough, and that all that I create will never be accepted or appreciated by the world. I tell myself I’ll never be as healthy as I’d like to be or as pretty as I dream of looking, and that I am perpetually doomed to be miserable no matter what I do. What I am saying is, to myself, I’m a total asshole, which is sad considering I am very different towards others.

Despite aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall that, I still refuse to believe that I really am doomed. As I said in my last video (again, if you haven’t seen it, watch here, because it’s great and I am not bias at all) in the past year  I have began to see my life as an extremely odd video game. long, long ago (as in the 90’s), in a galaxy far, far away (as in The Bay Area), I played a game called Pitfall! 

In the game you play as this little asshole named Pitfall Harry, who has to run through the jungle to collect items, but a range of obstacles get in the way. Tar pits, water holes, creatures, you know, jungle things. At one point, I remember 8 year old me wanting to throw my PlayStation One out the fucking window because I could just not get across this one particularly massive tar pit. It was one of the most infuriating things 8 year old me had faced in a video game; however, I just kept jumping again, and again, and again and againandagainandagainagainagainagain okay I think you get the point.

Now 17 years later after tiny Eleanore played Pitfall! on the very first Playstation, I surprisingly find adult Eleanore in the same situation. This past year I feel like I just keep trying to jump over the tar pits but I never reach the other side. I just keep failing, falling, then trying again.

There is that famous phrase that says that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. In many ways, I agree with this reasoning, but in many other ways I also don’t. Sometimes you’ve exhausted all your options and there is only one way left to go. Other times, the hardest way still is the best way, and every now and then, you really do have no other choice but one single option. Not having options can make a person feel helpless and hopeless, as if they’re never going to succeed because there’s no logical way to do so.

Currently, I’ve either run out of options or never had any to begin with in terms of dealing with everything wrong with my life. And so, I just keep jumping and falling, jumping and falling, until finally, one day, I hit that other side and begin running.

For all my hopelessness, all my fear and all my pain, I really still do believe that things will get better. They just have to, even if it takes a million more falls.

Psh. And they say video games don’t teach you anything.

Hey you,
what’s with those eyes, what you been thinkin’?
Hey girl, spreadin’ your wings,
The world’s awaitin’ to let you in.
That smile, a mile away, the colors collide.
Hey you, pick up the reigns,
And come through my window, and don’t be shy.

 

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6 thoughts on “Eleanore Vs. Getting Better

  1. you sound like a writer for “The Mighty.” Are you? Why did you not name your condition (ssss)? I have “Bipolar Comorbid Inc Disease Central. They just keep piling up. I read a “The Mighty” Article about How it felt to be the only one whose life just stalled out while everyone else went right along with theirs. And I totally ‘get’ that it can seem like a continually deteriorating situation. This breaks Dad’s heart but he’s done all he can. Still, the family stigma, the distancing, his forbidding me to contact his new family for fear of ‘infecting’ them with my manic depression and other problems…it’s sad. I write for bphope.com, The Mighty is sitting on a Tardive Dyskinesia story, I’ve autoimmune stuff like psoriatic arthritis (combined with the muscle spasms of tardive whoopee!) and anyway, I’m grateful for what I have left. I really am. It’s advocacy and can get kinda imbalanced. I make videos too. One publisher wants more and another one, once I sent her my links, said they’d cut off the amount of people they want doing videos and were doing analytics on that. I think they did this because I sent them a TardiveDyskinesia video and of who their sponsor is. Their only advertiser. Anyway I am so glad I took the time to read your post. Tardive Dyskinesia compounded with psoriatic arthritis? That’s what I struggling with. Aunt died Lupus at 30, Mother, get this, cured of RA w/Edgar Cayce diet and spiritual guidance, meditation…no cortisone, no targeted immunotherapy, nada. Closet thing to a miracle that I have ever witnessed. See this link below? It was an accident on my mouse but this publisher…I asked them yesterday, after six mos of providing free content, if I can write a tardive story. I still have not heard back. It might be a game changer. If they don’t let me write about that, then they don’t see me. I’m not an alarmist and know how to be balanced and fair. I just don’t know if they’ll let me be that. And that’s a deal breaker. If you click my link, you empower me to go further. Allison ….I’m walking away from the computer now and I’m opening up that link in your blog. I don’t know how to interlink like that. Thanx again.
    http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-mood-cycles-stop-fighting-and-win/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello there! Thank you for such a wonderful response. I am not a writer for The Mighty; when I first began getting serious about writing it was my intention to try to write for an already well established blog, or several, with the hopes of maybe even getting paid a little. However, as I grow older I am realizing that I am not very good at following restrictions and rules, or at being competitive…or at being told what to do in general. So, it it was best for me to start from zero and work my way up on my own. I have read articles on The Mighty, though, and I think it is a fabulous site. As for my conditions, I have an extensive list, so I created my “Cheat Code” Page on my blog. I usually sneak it into my post but every now and then I forget. If you’d like to view it, you can see it here! https://sicklystardust.wordpress.com/cheatcode/
      I am so extremely sorry to hear about your struggles. I also had an entirely unsupportive family; when I had panic attacks and actually didn’t hide them my mother would threaten to call the cops on me and “lock you away in a mental hospital where you’ll stay for the rest of your life.” I had to constantly run away from home, was constantly abused, and even had my friends take care of me after surgeries because my family either didn’t care or I couldn’t tell them about it at all. I’ve now disowned everyone but my grandmother and sister. I’m sorry to hear about your aunt, but that is truly wonderful about your mother. I do yoga and it isn’t a miracle cure but it certainly helps me get through the day as meds and other treatments never have. I am also sorry you are struggling so much with these sites. While I don’t look down at all on you, I did promise myself after doing it for quite a while that I would never give anyone free content or write for shamefully low wages. I (as well as yourself, I’m sure) pour my heart out into everything I create, and it’s insulting how businesses treat many people such as ourselves. I truly wish you the best, my dear friend. I really do believe though we have been stalled for so long that as long as we keep fighting it really will get better.

      Like

  2. Hello Eleanor,
    I haven’t been reading your blog for that long, but the time I’ve spent here has truly been amazing. You have a way with words; you’re able to capture complicated situations and emtions on the page in a way that is both eloquent and accesable. It makes me kind of jealous haha 🙂

    But I just wanted to say that I really appreciate you writing this. While I can’t possibly understand everything you’ve expereinced, I can definetly understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been there before, too, many times, so many times it feels like I live there sometimes. And I really needed to read this. so thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Kiana! Thank you for such an incredibly sweet response. It honestly brought me a few tears. It is such an amazing feeling when people not only like what I write but can genuinely relate to it. The reason I write and make my videos is for this exact reason; to make everyone who is struggling (with anything, not only the issues identical to mine) feel less alone and as if someone else “gets it.” I am thrilled to have such wonderful people take the time to read a post of mine. All I can say is thank you in return! ❤ P.s, your line in your intro, "Not in a charming Zooey Deschanel 'Oh my god did I trip over my ukelele AGAIN?' kind of way," made me burst out in laughter! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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