Mental Health: Not Enough Spoons

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Today has been hard.

Today has been terrible.

I am writing this post well after the time I have blocked out for blog related items. Which is fine, schedules change.

I referenced spoon theory a long time ago in another post. I shared this article on Spoon Theory. Now, there is a segment of the Spoon Theory population that says this is crap, which it is, if you are blaming whatever you account your spoons to cover for the why you can’t get things done.

So, what is spoon theory. Is is basically saying that everyone has a limited number of spoons, each and everyday. That number of spoons can vary day to day. It is intangible and fluid. Everything you do in a day uses spoons. For someone on a certain day, talking to a strange may use a lot of spoons for another person it may even give them a spoon. But in the end, we all have a finite amount of spoons. Of patience. Of energy.

Today, my spoons vanished. Hard and fast.

And it sucked.

Mr. Wanderlust and I were just hanging out watching Grey’s Anatomy. We love that show so much! We are way behind and saw the episode where Callie is pregnant and in a car accident. They showed the car accident many times in a very short period of time.

In 2011 I was in a head on car accident. A lady blew threw a stop sign at 55 MPH. Turned onto a highway, the wrong way, and continued to accelerate. Right into the front end of the car I was a passenger in. A Cadillac vs a little ol’ Chevy. We were thrown across two lanes of traffic into a guardrail that smashed the passenger side of the car. The engine was shoved into my legs.

Shockingly, I was really the only one injured. My friend driving ended up with minor bruising. The person that hit us broke a toe. Her passenger was fine. I had lacerations to the face, arms and legs. My knee cap was fully exposed where my skin had been removed. My back was broken with spinal cord damage. I am able to walk, I was very, very lucky.

The worst part for me, is I seem to be left with mental trauma from the accident. For a while everyone just chalked it up to normal. I mean, who wouldn’t be afraid of being a passenger in a car after that. Who wouldn’t have nightmares. Who wouldn’t be on edge. Just a lot of who wouldn’t type of scenarios.

But here we are, nearly 5 years later and I am still that way. I am a terrible passenger. I hate it. I panic. I still have nightmares. When I am driving I am constantly assessing the cars around me. Hyper aware of where other vehicles are. Assessing how to avoid an accident if it were to happen at this point or that point, in my daily drives.

Watching this episode of Grey’s sent me into one of the strangest…I guess…panic attacks I have ever had. I was laying on the couch, snuggled up with a fluffy blankets, because yes! Best binge watching position ever! Then, the accident happened. Okay, I flinched. I remember flinching. Then they showed it again, and again and again. I froze. I felt the tears streaming down my face. But I couldn’t move. I couldn’t move for what felt like a long, long time. I just cried and laid there frozen.

Mr. Wanderlust is amazing and cuddled me. He did his best to help me. This has never, ever happened before. He tried to get me to wiggle my toes and I couldn’t for the longest time. He rubbed my hands to loosen them and unclasped them. I was left with these red welts where my fingers had been.

I had almost no spoons left after that.

It was scary. But here is the thing. I don’t mind being this way. I am working towards getting better and plan on going to counseling when I get back from visiting family. What scares me more than anything is how people view people like me. There are hundred, thousands, of people that struggle like I do. Some, that struggle more than I do. My brother struggled more than I do. I lost my brother because of his struggle.

22 veterans take their lives, everyday. That is worse. But, instead of reducing the stigma behind mental health we just ignore it. Hope it will go away.  That isn’t how this works. It is here. Everyone will struggle with depression, anxiety, etc at some point in their life. Share your experience with depression, no matter how brief. Be the shoulder for your friends. When you know something traumatic has happened in their life be there for them. The support means the world. When they are ready they will open up. Be aware of signs of depression and suicidal tendencies.

And don’t forget…someone has felt how you feel right now.

We all have a limited number of spoons. Some days we have a lot. Some days we have few. some days they get used up on a moments notice.

**This post was kind of hard for me to write…so full disclosure on it being a bit of a jumbled mess. Just trying to be honest and stand behind what I believe. Being open about mental health. It shouldn’t be something that we shove under a rug. Being open and talking about mental health is a good thing. Hopefully we can get more people to understand. Days like today are so far and few between. I have struggles daily, but not to this degree. Not to where I can’t move. A normal day of struggle is like having the anxiety lingering over me. I am able to go through my day, be happy, be productive and mostly have a normal day. Days where I just want to run and hide and feel like I can’t do a thing…those days are terrible. But, for me, they aren’t the bulk of my days. I am thankful for that because I know that some peoples days are more often than not bad ones.

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