mental illness

The Devil and God Are Raging Inside of Me.

Ten years doesn’t seem like a long time. When you still refer to everything in the past as 2006. Ten years ago, man. Ten years ago. 2006 was such a pivotal year of growing up for me. I find myself going back to that year in photographs, nostalgia, and through listening to albums that seem like came out yesterday.

Ten years ago, I sat in my parents guest bedroom, staring out the window. I laid in my bed watching the clouds go from grey to slate. Hearing every cloud rupture with anger and sadness, as the rain fell from the sky. In a room I didn’t grow up in. In a room, I felt like I kept coming back too. I was in-between places, still trying to figure out what I wanted. This wasn’t home but Fresno wasn’t home either. Where do I belong? Where do I fit in?

Ten years ago, I didn’t want to go back to school. Even though I knew getting older meant it would be harder for me to do things. My odds were against me. I was finding myself fearful of people and a fear of my peers is what always told me not to go back to school. It takes me 10 minutes to get out of my car to do simple tasks, without feeling like the world was against me. I didn’t realize I was sick. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t normal.

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Ten years ago, I let the wrong people in. I let people hurt me. I let people use me. I let people cloud my judgement of what good really was. Instead I harbored a pain so great that caused me to cut open my outsides, to understand what my insides were feeling. I was burning in this vessel of a body, with this need to please everyone. To be there for everyone, while people have done nothing but watch me fade in the background.

Ten years ago, I thought I was going to marry a variety of different people. A drummer in one band, a bass player in another. Plotting how one day they would look at me differently then they had in the past. That I wouldn’t be self-conscious. I wouldn’t be awkward. They would look straight into me, as I have looked up at them, many times before.

Ten years ago, I feel in love too easily. Always someone different. Always people I shouldn’t have loved. But I wanted to love as I always felt in the deep depths of my heart. How they play out in movies and we see on the big screen. I was hopeless in wanting something I wasn’t prepared to understand. In a way I used people. I just wanted what everyone else had. A hand to hold to keep themselves from falling apart. Because sad was better than lonely. And now I can’t remember the name of the first boy I kissed.

Ten years ago,  I wanted amazing things to happen to me. I wanted to stand in an open place and watch life happen to me. In a big city, miles away from my mediocre small town. Far from the same people I see every day. Maybe if for once instead of running, I would finally allow things to happen. Watch love open doors, see my careers unfold, watch myself change from strange into something beautiful. I waited forever for things to happen. I waited for people to move. I waited for things to happen. I waited too long and feel as if I am running out of time.

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Ten years ago, an album came out that changed my life. I didn’t think it would. Many albums come and go and still I remember this as if it was yesterday. From the weather changing from the warm fall days to the chill of cold of the soon to be winter months. How it felt wrong to buy it from some mass production corporation, how I needed to purchase the album how I had purchased all their albums. Straight from the band, straight from the source. How I ripped open the package and watched my life change in front of my eyes. No one understands how that feels. How something so simple as opening a padded envelope could change your life in so many magical ways. How I needed to get out of my house and play every song loudly. Loud enough to where my insides would wake up. How every cigarette I smoked, I exhaled out the smoke and watched the smoke slowly leave my lungs open to the cold air. The rain kept falling, as this soundtrack continued to play. How perfect this seemed. My favorite band, playing the songs that for that moment I didn’t understand. It didn’t matter how many times the windshield wipers wiped my windshield clear, the rain still managed to leave a mark. Which is how I feel about this album. No matter how many times I try to wipe this away, a small mark still remains. I could write forever about every line in the songs. I could. I have. But today, I want to live in it’s memory.

Ten years ago, I didn’t understand. Ten years later, I finally know. We are not suppose to fit in. We are not suppose to be normal. Sometimes you don’t realize how bad you’re hurting until the years pass and you become someone else. Someone completely different then the person you were ten years ago. Its hard to come out of the darkness and back into the light. It’s hard to understand that even though we feel completely alone, we are never truly alone. Even when you think you can’t start over, life throws you something completely unexpected.

Today, I watch the rain fall from the sky to the tops of each tree and rooftop, from some place far from home. I think back on those memories. I think back to my sentiments and feelings.  Ten years ago, I had no idea where I was going. I stopped believing in love. I stopped believing in myself in the years in took to get here. I stopped wanting to marry the boys that would never love me. I stopped dying for a hand to hold. Ten years ago, seemed like such a long time ago. Now, I sit here wondering what happens next.

Ten years ago, man.

10 years.

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Self portrait with Chopped hair.

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We grow our hair like weeds for people that will never love us. To later chop off all the dead weight, once they leave us. This time, I wanted to do the leaving. I wanted to cut the man at the source, and resort to every dramatic episode I could think of. Because it was never his choice. It was my choice, my decision, and it was my turn to leave this time.

If you cut your hair, I will leave you.

How I watched every strand of hair grow to the middle of my back. How happy he seemed as he ran his fingers through it, paid no mind to the person before him. It’s when I think I have him, that he leaves without notice. His ghost that trails behind then lingers once he leaves. It’s when I think I have won, that I have lost everything before me.

When you believe you love someone, you’ll fall for anything. Even something simple as leaving every strand of hair on your head, just as they like it. I loved him, from the deep parts of my soul, to every long strand of hair that fell across my back. I watched as my hair became my shield, my armor from the world. My way of hiding these feelings of doubts and worries. My hair continued to grow into a tangled, tousled, mess. I continued to listen to his threats, as empty as the love he gave me. No matter how long my hair grew, he never came back.

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I wanted him back for all the superficial reasons I hated. I wanted to stop this numbing suffocated feeling of being alone that drugs nor alcohol could fill. My hair continued to grow and I continued to wait. He said I was perfect and to never change. If I cut my hair, he would only leave me. He would never come back. And I continued to wait. Until the weight of my hair became the weight of my worries. Until my hair became heavy, that I could no longer hold my head up to the sky. We do these foolish things for love but at what cost does it love us back? At what cost do people understand that we are people underneath all that hair? That our hair doesn’t make you love us any less. There were days I wanted to rip every strand from my head. Tear apart the existence of what I believed he wanted. Because for a brief moment I was perfect to you, don’t I ever think of changing.

I watch as the strands of hair fall to the ground. Inch by inch. The memories of you and the ghosts before you. If you cut your hair, I will leave you.  I try to keep myself composed. Hold the tears back. Love was never what held us together. The strands of dead hair that laid before my feet; bear witness to this change that comes over me. I am more exposed to the world without my shield. I am showing the world who I really am, beneath the hair.

 

When the final strand of hair falls, I will forget you. Someone will come in and sweep away the memories scattered on the floor. It won’t be me this time. For the first time, I have stopped listening to ghosts.

 

Shake it out.

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I should have written this a long time ago. The minute my heart changed, and we went our separate ways. Like a broken record, I yearn for the tragic melodies of yesterday. The pain that cuts you straight down to the core. Bleeding through your veins and making your heart beat faster. I love the hurt, I need the pain. This sick desire for self destruction never leaves. But at this moment it has started to escape me.

You can take everything you want from this. Every letter, every word, every sentence, every verb. Everything. Let it manifest itself into what you want to believe. Because if I cared even an ounce about you, I wouldn’t feel the need to rid myself of you.

I do not break for you.
I do not cry for you.
I do not love who or what I believed you were.

You’re the needle that scratches my record player, wanting to hear only my favorite song. At this moment, everything sounds differently now. Even you look different now. The past always stays in the past, no matter how many times a ghost haunts you. The ghost lingers then drifts away, just around the same time the melody ends. Ending with the memories, ending with the sadness and all the tears.

Its through this pain that I thought a million things about you.

I thought I loved you.
I thought I missed you.
I thought I would self-destruct without you.

Thinking only leads to dreams that never truly existed. An end to our story. Waking from the blissful dreams into our badly lit reality. Its then we find ourselves back at the start. Back to the beginning.

Scratch that.

We can’t take things back to the start. We have maxed out our ideas of new beginnings. What’s done is done and every girl after me is just filler space. Because men like you hate the voided vacancy of present tense.

I will shake you out from underneath my skin. Out from every inch of my bones, into the dusty mist where you belong. Because I am doing just fine without you. Every night is another night to forget you. I watch as memories turn to dust and leave behind all these scattered thoughts about you.

I am doing just fine.
I am doing just fine.
Just you wait and see.

Some place good.

People have a funny way of disappearing. Coming in and out of your life as seasons change. I met you in the summer, and you lasted through fall and winter. By spring we couldn’t run away fast enough. We were so limited in our time together, and some days I feel like you couldn’t leave fast enough. You disappeared and expecting this all to go away. That leaving was easier than the need to stay. The winds of spring blew you away and the only thing I have left to show for it, are these scars of the coldest winter.

You weren’t suppose to leave, I was. I was suppose to tell you everything I felt and walk away from everything. You were suppose to have your heart frozen to stone and unable to sleep for weeks on end. You were suppose to replay my words until they become a recurring dream to you. To feel these words long after I have left. Haunting you like fog and disappearing through the clouds. You were suppose to be left with the corpse of who I used to be. But you left. You left and didn’t hesitate to look back. Here I am haunted by every word, as your face comes across every person I meet. You didn’t love me. As much as you implied it, you never once said those words. You seemed warm like fall but you were cold like winter. Never said a single word, unless it was to hurt me. I realize that now. After all these years I realized that what we had wasn’t love. And as much as I thought I loved you, in the end I knew deep down I didn’t. And it tore me apart. Because I wanted desperately to be with someone, to have that comfort in someone, but I knew it wasn’t you. I just wish it took me sooner to realize than later.

You were like all the seasons. Changing leaves to adapt to the ever changing weather. You only like someone for the moment when it’s convenient for you. Until you fly away and find someone new. I was a fool that believed in summer love that would last through fall, winter, and spring. I was stupid to believe that you would stay, when all you do is change color to who ever you want to adapt too. But this time I leave you in the summer. In the blistering sun and the swelling heat. Leave you begging for the fall and holding on for the winter. I can change just like you do. Only I change for myself and not anyone else. Thats something you haven’t grown accustom to yet.

You can watch the leaves fall. Changing colors from green to gold to brown to rust. Watch the winter rains swallow up the valleys and leave you gasping for more. I am not coming back, just so you know. I am not coming back. My summer skin has healed, now all I am left with is gold.

7/2/2011

What’s wrong baby?

Why are you single?
Why haven’t you dated anyone?
Why aren’t you dating?

So on and so forth.

If I had a nickel for every time I have been asked the above questions. People make it sound so easy. Falling down, dusting yourself off and then trying again. I know everyone means well. At the risk of sounding crazy, I just let people assume what they want to believe. Its easier for people to believe what they want about me, then having to tell them how I really feel. Because how I feel people seldom understand. I feel scared, I feel crazy, and most times I feel completely broken.

Broken in the sense that my past has broken me into a different person. Instead of shaping me into a better version of myself. I find it harder to trust people, because the past has a funny way of coming back to haunt me. When people have hurt you, it takes a while to come back from. I watch how easy it is for my peers to jump from relationship to relationship. Meanwhile, I watch myself still haunted by the past, with it’s broken words and promises. Hurt does that to you. It breaks and bleeds everything you touch. It claws at your insides, until the raw emotion eats at your soul. I was never like this before. I loved this illusion that love gave you. I loved the sappy love songs, the cliche films that remind you what love should look and feel like. I loved this idea of love and the beautiful orchestrated soundtrack it came with. Now I feel like a completely different person. This illusion of love has broken up my insides and rebuilt itself a different person.

How do you tell a stranger you feel broken? How do you describe it in a way that doesn’t scare off the other person? That pieces of you are slowly going back together again, but the pieces have left you shattered and cynical about love. When people ask you the same questions, how do answer truthfully without sounding tragic?

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to tell a complete stranger that someone broke me down completely. With words that are still tattooed on the inside of my heart and creep out onto my skin. The past is the past, but how can you be honest with someone, when you can’t be honest with yourself. Some days it hurts like hell and I want to claw every piece of flesh on my body. I want to scream out every obscenity until it doesn’t hurt anymore. Because thats what hurt feels like. Even after six years, the words don’t feel so vividly anymore, but they still haunt me. They’re faint insignificant words that still linger after the smoke has cleared. I know that not every one is like that. I know people won’t hurt me as bad as my past was. Still, it hurts and I can’t pretend that it doesn’t.

I feel as if these fingers continue to point at me, and I haven’t a clue what to say when people ask me why I don’t put myself out there. You might as well just state “What’s wrong with you?“. I don’t know how to answer those questions without being honest. Then at the same time, I have this need to keep guarded about my feelings. Trusting people is hard. Especially when your heart has been through a lot. I don’t know how to start a conversation with a stranger and not feel completely broken. People want the truth. People want you to be open and honest.  I know that. Deep down, I know that. I want to be open. I want to say everything I have in my heart. I want a level of trust to return, where I can feel open to be honest. It’s hard for me to be open. It’s hard for me to say how I feel, and instead I change the subject completely.

I am not asking for anyone to pick up my pieces. I just want people to understand that its not easy. It just takes some time to feel like myself again. If it takes me a day, a month, or a year, I know I will feel like myself again. Some days are easier than others. I am not sure if this answers anyones questions or judgments about me, but here it is. These are my cards on the table. Take it or leave it.

12/7/2015

10/17/2015 – Day Thirty – Two

I cried when I made french toast today. Cried like the damn world was conspiring against me. Feeling like I had nothing left to give. Buckets upon buckets of stupid tears that meant absolutely nothing. I wish I could fully explain how things like this happen. How a wave of uncertainty can just paralyze your insides and make you feel a variety of different emotions. I have made french toast multiple times in my youth and adult life. Its the one thing I can make that becomes like I am conducting a symphony. Today, I just couldn’t fucking get it together.

I felt off today. Something wasn’t right in my head. I went to bed with anger, woke up feeling hurt and distraught. I hate those days. Days were you can’t seem to pinpoint where the anger comes from anymore. Lately, I just wake up with this feeling of being the worst person in the world. I know I am not a terrible person but some days I wake up thinking I am the absolute worst. This is not me coming in here to ask for sympathy of any sort. Some days I feel like I can’t get it together and other days I can do just about anything I want to. This is where I feel like I am driving myself crazy. Who honestly thinks this about themselves? Who feels like they are the worst person in the world? Because, that’s how I feel all the time. At this point, I am not sure if this is my anxiety or my depression, getting the best of me. When you wake up in a weird funk it clouds over you the whole day. Simple tasks seem harder than usual. I found my hands shaking more and my stomach more upset than normal. I cracked an egg too hard and watched how the fragile tiny pieces of the shell, sat in the egg whites. Later, I put too much cinnamon, too much vanilla, and so on. I didn’t have enough batter on one side of the bread. I burnt the other side of the bread. Simple tasks that made me more anxious than anything. My hands continued to shake, which made my heart beat faster. Before I knew it, the tears started forming and I just started to cry. What I hate the most is when you’re in your own personal bubble everything is a trigger. From the tiny fragments of egg shells in the egg whites, to burning the bread on one side. I felt like the worst person on the planet and I could feel everyone watching me. I hate when people notice and exclaim “If you can’t or don’t want to do the task, I will do it”.

No.

I don’t need someone to clean up my mess. I don’t need anyone to finish my tasks. I don’t need anyone to make me feel worse than I already feel. So I cried. I cried in the batter, I cried in the butter, I cried in the french toast that burnt on one side. All I can manage to think was this probably tastes like garbage but its my garbage that I made. I just want to cry in silence and finish what I started.

50 Bucks.

Money means nothing when you have it. When you’re struggling, even the tiniest mishaps cause you to break. I have never been one to never have money. Even when I don’t have it, it still doesn’t affect me. However, I am no stranger to human emotions and human errors. If I had it my way, I just wouldn’t complain about anything. I wouldn’t put my heart out there to get broken and all that other nonsense. Of course everything all started when I lost a 50 dollar bill, somewhere between my room and my car. The more I searched for it, the further away it went from me.

Its not that I lost money, not that I shouldn’t be losing money. Its that moment when everything in life feels like it’s hanging on by a thread. One more thing to add to the list of unlucky messes. This never ending cycle of bad luck that continues to follow me. 50 bucks is nothing, but at that moment it was everything. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Before I knew it, it opened up my heart and brain to all sorts of heartbreaking things. Because this would happen to me. Of course it would happen to me. Why wouldn’t this happen to me? Of course when I need something it’s not there. Then the water works form and I am back where I started from. It’s so easy for people to believe because I never say anything I don’t feel my emotions. I am only human, if only they knew how I really felt. I find myself getting upset when people tell me I don’t understand or I haven’t been in their situation. Then I find myself feeling rather selfish.

Really? Because you lived my life right?

The more things happen in my life I think about these cards I was dealt. I think about the number of times I have to fall to get right back up again. I wonder how much longer until the scabs on my knees heal, til it’s back where I started from. I am upset. I am upset that I feel like no matter what I do, I am stuck thinking that I have to deal with all this bullshit. Like clockwork people need me when it’s convenient for them. People spew out all their bullshit and I take it. But I’m the bad guy? I am always the bad guy.

When you’re hurting you think of every fucked up thing that has happened to you. The people that used you, the people that want something from you, the people that have such a miserable life that they make you feel just as they are. I am fucking tired of it. Everyone else plays this victim card very well and I am always the villain. I allowed these people to take advantage of the good in my life to be left with nothing. I know everything is one big test, but these same people continue to find me. Then come the mountain of apologizes. How can you say sorry to something that’s already been said? Something that’s already formed such a huge scar in my heart. But I am the bad guy? These same people just get this huge “get out of jail” card, and I am left with all the bullshit ashes of old life. Why do I have to clean up the pieces, and everyone else starts fresh and new?

I am just tired of being this second or third choice to people. I am tired of always having to be the punching bag. I am tired of the same thing happening over and over again. Sometimes I wonder what’s even worth it anymore. Everything I do just gets fucked up in the end. I am not saying that everyone else has it easier, its just sometimes I think people forget that everyone has feelings too. With everything that’s happened this past year it’s hard not to look at the bigger picture. Shit sucks right now but maybe in a year from now it will all change. I guess even if I have to cry my eyes out in a parking garage, it shows I still have feelings. I fell hard today but I am the one that gets back up again. That’s life. Life is one huge mix up of emotions but in the end it does get better.

All this because I lost 50 bucks. It’s funny how emotions work.

6/7/2013

I wrote this after a very bad terrible day of losing 50 bucks (which I later found underneath my drivers seat of my car). After I posted this, I was sent home from work for being a terrible mess. I spent the whole weekend then week, in a huge shade of sadness. I am happy to report that things did change after that. Anything can be a trigger to open up a mountain of sadness and emotion. I am no stranger to that but people always find it rather surprising. I can hide emotions just like the next person, but I am not immune to them. It’s all just a process of understand what makes us who we are. Things in life do get better, only if we want them too. I can’t help if I have a bad day, it just makes a good day even better. 

9/10/2015 – Day Twenty – Four

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The weather has been changing. Before you know it, it’ll go from sunny days to overcasts skies. From summer skin to winter coats and layers. I hate the summer and it’s over exposure of skin, that I never feel comfortable showing. I am in no way a prude but my insecurities seem to make me more conservative. It’s a piece of myself I never like to show. Its this never ending process of learning to love your body, when you’re still in the process of accepting this skin.

I could lose all the weight and still feel self conscious of my skin, and the abnormalities of my body. I’ve watched my body go from big to medium to large again. I’ve watched my skin stretch and rest on different parts of my body. And all I’ve wanted is to cover up never show the world. Hide under layers of clothes to distract myself from what’s underneath. I wonder if I will ever get over this feeling. If being so body conscious changes over the years. They say it changes when you get older, but what if it doesn’t. I have to pretend to be comfortable and accepting, when I just want to rip my skin off. Take this image I see of myself that I know no one else can see, and pretend it doesn’t exist. I want to hide behind trees and behind overcast skies. Where shadows can mask my body and its abnormalities. We are praised for our bones and our skin that stretches over our skeletons. Sometimes when the weather changes you can’t help but remember this is a process. Bodies have this ability to change but I don’t feel like that.

I have become so comfortable with hiding at home and avoiding the outside world. Avoiding a million different emotions, in favor of hiding in this misery and self pity. It’s the heat that drives me crazy. That makes me believe I can’t be myself.  I can’t hide from the heat, I only expose myself more to keep from being hot. But in the cold, I hide behind layers of fabric to hide what I don’t love about myself.  I’ll never be perfect and I’ll never be pretty. I’ll be stuck under this skin that stretches for as long as I can see. One day I’ll be more accepting, but in this unforgiving heat, I can’t see myself pretending.

Inside out.

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I stare out of windows so often, I forget I am inside. Forget that I am stuck inside when the world is outside living. How lively my surroundings that screech and scream in vibrant colors. And I find myself too afraid to notice. Afraid of the world that continues to go on, day after day. The vibrant colors that beckon me to come outside, but I am too afraid to listen. Too afraid to go.

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It was the inside that allured me. The inside that called me home. The inside that kept me like an outsider, just wanting to go home. I am on the inside but I often feel like the outsider. That I am looking inside at everyone else. The sun goes from glowing to dim, and I watch light jump from building to house, through trees and even this window. The light it glows golden sparkling within the pinks and the violets of the afternoon. It beckons me. Calls out to me, to outstretch my hands to reach out and touch the sky. But still I sit, still I stay. You can call me out but I won’t play, call me out but here I stay.

I stare out windows so often I forget I am inside, but inside I stay.

8/25/2015

9/9/2015 – Day Twenty – Three.

I could spend countless hours being upset for all the wrong reasons. Most of the times I do just that. Become angry for things beyond my control, or angry for things I shouldn’t be angry about. I often forget there are other things bigger in this world. My hate and my anger over power all my light and I turn completely dark. I am the monster that is green with envy for a million different things. At this point, I don’t even know why anymore.

When you are hurting you forget about human kindness. When the paranoia of the world happens, you tend to forget about the kindness of humanity. You become angry with your surroundings, that has caused you to look differently at people. That life is meant to be used and hurt, and you’ve become very good at playing the victim. Lately I’ve played my victim role with pristine condition. I feel like everyone hates me for obvious reasons that I can’t understand. Hates me for every little thing that’s caused me to be paranoid toward everything and everyone. Everything I do is wrong. Everything everyone else does is always right. I can’t sleep when its these thoughts that keep me up at night. I watch people become ghosts to me and because I am too fucked up to listen, I allow them to be. At the same time, I don’t want my negativity to transfer to them. So I keep a close distance away from everyone until I no longer feel I am doing harm to anyone else.

Every so often people make you forget that. A smile from a stranger, a hello from a friend, something that shows you’re alive. Something that makes you feel alive, that people can crash into you and make you feel something. Something, anything. From this numbing feeling inside that takes away all your light. It’s not that I feel dead inside. I just feel sick. That a body snatcher has taken reign of my body and oozing out this sickening feeling. I hate it. It’s weird how simple conversations can change your whole mood. I feel angry for so many things beyond my control. Angry for the fact that I am angry. Upset over the fact that I can’t control how I feel anymore. Is this who I really am? Is this what sadness can do to a person? Make them a shell of their former self. I can’t be honest with people, with out terrifying them with reality. My reality is far more complicated then I show. All I do is go through the motions and cover everything up the best that I can.

I didn’t believe that anything could take away this anger. I was so overwhelmed with this feeling of darkness, I didn’t believe the light could come in. Somehow words snap you out of your feelings and before you know it you’re smiling again. Laughing, thinking, feeling human again. When you are seconds away from a meltdown, someone says the words to snap you out of that feeling. You feel it from your toes to your fingertips. Anything but the feeling you felt before. It’s weird how nice people are to you when you’re seconds away from a meltdown. As if they can sense all your problems and take them away from you. I guess I have been so used to everything going wrong that when things go right, I am afraid of what to do. All it takes is a few words from a stranger to bring me back to life. Sometimes that’s all we need to feel alive. Something to take away all this dark, even if it’s just for a little bit.

I didn’t have a meltdown today. I am slowly starting to feel like myself again.