Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Psychiatry myths

Thanks to a terrific blog I follow Bipolar Burble, I found a great article addressing the multiple myths about psychiatry.
The Huffington Post article Myths About Psychiatry by Nada Logan Stotland, M.D. makes some really great points and, in my opinion, cuts right at the heart of the antipsychiatry argument.

Thought I'd share it with you

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Insight or Insanity

So, when you're crazy aren't you supposed to be able to enjoy it? Aren't you supposed to be less rather than more aware of the depths of your crazy? Blissfully unaware of the level of lost your mind has meandered?
Well I guess that just makes me even more special.
Me? I'm painfully able to analyze my uncontrollable behavior and frequently even in real time. More often than not I'm able to provide insight and understanding for my behavior, I just can't seem to change it.
How fucked up is that?
Doesn't that make me even more of a mental case than originally thought?!
Who does that?
Who psychologically analyzes themselves, pretty perceptively I might add, while they're living/displaying their seriously schizo ways but still can't manage to make any headway in the madness?

Clarity comes but disease still reigns supreme.

Psychoanalysis-not getting me much of anywhere especially when I have to wait 1 and 2 months in between appointments. I was supposed to have an appointment today but had the time wrong, showed up 30 minutes late, wasn't able to be seen and the next available appointment isn't until the 3rd of February. (I've been near hysterical several times since this happened this morning)
Meds-Yeah. My most recent isn't cutting it. At all. At the higher dose I was insanely irritable, at this lower dose I'm irritable and depressed. This med was one of what my doc said were the last two options. There's only one more after this, unless we start combining and I'm not sure what the options are there...

How do you live each day knowing how completely fucked up you are and there doesn't seem to be a damn thing that can be done about it? How do you effect the lives of those you love every day with your craziness when you know they deserve better but can't give it to them?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bit of a block...

So here we are again after an absence from yours truly.
You have my apologies.
Not much I can tell you sadly. I just haven't had anything. There's been plenty going on, plenty on the brain, but nothing's coming out.
My teeny batshit brain just can't seem to think a thought thoroughly enough to articulate it out to the world.
:(
I'm working on it.
But I'm thinking of you. I could never forget to write, it's just the ability part that's gone on hiatus.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ironic or just backwards?

I've never been one to journal. It's been something I've tried several times and it's been recommended to me many times over the years as it is to almost anyone with any kind of mental illness. It's always proven a problem when it comes to consistency.
But here I am with a blog that I write on fairly regularly... What's the deal there?
I feel, for whatever reason, that there are strict rules with a journal. It has to be written in a 'Dear Diary' fashion. Or at least that's the crazy (hellloooo?!) notion in my brain. I just don't always have something to say. I've been told many times that it doesn't have to conform to any set parameters, that it's just there for whatever you want/need to get out, however it comes out.
Hello...earth to Melissa, what do you think you're doing with this blog?!
Yeah, I know, I know. But gimme a break-I am crazy remember?? I'm not expected to make sense!
If you're reading this expecting me to make any sense, you had best stop now. Take your disappointed ass somewhere else cuz you're not in it for the long haul with me here! ;)

So anywho.

I've been writing general wonderings, crazy emotional questions, random thoughts, and poetry in my hospital notebook lately and some of it is making it here on the blog and some is not because I think it's just too random or crazy or just plain doesn't make any flippin sense.
But then again, that's me in a nutshell and you love me so far....
:)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Musings

Things have changed,
  what's changed?
Everything is the same
but the same is different
Different is everything new
and everything old.
Everything old is still
here but nothing new
is gone again

Friday, November 15, 2013

So I had a good day yesterday.
I need to say that again.
I   had  a  good  day  yesterday!

I've also noticed a pattern to my mood shifts.

The days that I have to get up and get going first thing (days the littl'n has school) I am moderate in the morning. Thinking of things that I need/want to do and usually actually acting on them. More often than not I don't get back in to bed. By 1:30-2:00pm I am struggling to stay awake and engaged. Everything and everyone seems a little distant and I keep having to orient myself to what's going on. Kind of like a reality check. Is this actually what's happening right now? Around 4:00 I fake it for a few hours, usually with a headache coming on by around 7 if it wasn't there already. By 8:45 I'm tired and have a headache that doesn't seem to relent. By 9:45 I'm still tired but am awake and have a lighter mood again, ready for all that isn't going to happen until I make myself go to bed between 11:30-12:00.
This is pretty much my standard day now. The rule much more than the exception.

So what to do about this afternoon-evening lull? I feel almost dissociated from the world of reality. I mean, I'm with it enough to participate in whatever is happening, I'm appropriate, I understand, I engage but everything feels like it's outside of a bubble that I can't get through. I have to keep double and triple checking with myself that what's happening is the reality and that I'm actually taking part.
That's not normal. That can't be normal.
How do I get out of the bubble? I'm not always in the bubble. Where does this bubble come from? Where is the crazy place that keeps all the bubbles? Cuz' I'd really like to send it back.
Return to sender please. Thank You.

So that's me. Good day yesterday. Bubbled everyday. Good days have less of a bubble than bad days.

Truly yours,
Bubbles

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yeah....No

  So I'm reading a book. It's a wonderfully expressive account of one woman's journey with bipolar. She's funny and snarky and real and matter of fact. She has an excellent vocabulary and uses it with great skill.

And she totally intimidates the shit out of me.

  I've been told that I write well. I've been told, by more than one person and on more than one occasion to write my story into a book.
Not-a-gonna-happen my friends. Not after reading this book. There's no way that I can come anywhere near this woman's talent.
Afterall, it is she that has so helpfully put into words so many of the things that I have been feeling and thinking but just couldn't articulate.

And besides, no one wants to read about all the shitty things that I've lived through. I don't even wanna hear about all the shitty things that I've lived through.

  But I love writing. I love getting it down, getting it out of myself. Like somehow releasing a balloon: no one else is going to get it and that's ok. It was mine, I let it go "into the great wide open" as Tom Petty so aptly wrote. Such a great song. Boy if that isn't some pertinent prose. If you're unfamiliar with the song I highly suggest you give it a whirl.

So yeah.
There's that.
Again, out there. Outside of me. No longer held captive by that which might stifle it down into the abyss that threatens the whole.

My mind has wandered again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Not as mighty as I'd like

"The pen is mightier than the sword"

Not in this case. Especially since I'm staring down the blade of a double edged sword.
I'm stuck with a shitty ass dilemma.
Depression or side effects

Depression or increased irritability (highly unpredictable)
Depression or raging hunger
Depression or potential hyperglycemia (worst case scenario-diabetes [may or may not be reversible])
Depression or occasional headache

The doc told me to try halving the dose that way I'd still (hopefully) get some good effects from it but that the side effects would be decreased but I'm terrified. I can't afford to lose any of the good, even at the expense of the bad. I'm just too scared. I don't wanna go backward. I've had a couple of relatively good days. You can't take it away now.......

Please don't take it away

Sunday, November 10, 2013

They just aren't coming

The words, I mean.
I've been really wanting to write the past couple of days, but the words just aren't there. I've got song lyrics galore traipsing about in my brain but nothing of my own.
I'm reading beautifully written books that are articulate and descriptive in ways that I only dream but again, nothing of my own.
It occurs to me, what a friend once revealed-that I don't write once my mood lifts. And he is right. I don't.
My mood has lifted this past week or so. I'm still exhausted, but it's a fatigue not associated with the desire for isolation. Course, my appetite has also lifted. I'm eating every damn thing in sight regardless of when or what else I've had. Sugar is my main crave and boy howdy if it isn't what I seek out specifically with great skill.
I attribute all of the above to the new med (Zyprexa [actually olanzapine]).
And while my mood lifting is wonderful, it has brought along significant irritability. Not so wonderful! My sweet loving husband has been getting the worst of that, as usual.
So while I feel this lessening of the deeply entrenched darkness that pervaded everything, I also feel an increasing despair over my instantaneous and unprovoked fits of anger. A biting disgust that overrules all other thought processes and lashes out like a whip at whomever (read: my husband) is in my path. Just as quick as I become aware of it at all it has encompassed my whole being and has taken supreme reign over my intentions and actions.
Whodo thunkit? An uncontrollable action in a bipolar???
Surely not!
Such devastation.....
Pfft. Right.

So damn. My mind has yet again wandered away from the task at hand and I haven't even the foggiest of clues as to where this was going.
Shit!
Oh well. It's gone now. I guess you'll just have to settle for what actually found its way out of the loopy labyrinth that is my mind.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ugh

Bad day.
Don't know why.
Headache.
Some good spots.
Tired.
Still ridiculously hungry.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

1 S(uper)

...kid, that is.

Well, my kid now has even more letters after his name. He is officially the only (identified) 2e student at his school.
2e meaning Twice Exceptional which means that he is in both Special Ed and Gifted.
Yep. In a school that ranges from Pre-K to 6th grade, he's the only one.

Come on! You knew that if there was only going to be one, it'd be my kid! "There can be only 1" Hello?!

So now, kiddo's got more initials than a post grad student. While all of these initials and designations don't say anything about who he is, they do in a way. They are descriptors of what makes him who he is as a person.

ADHD and OCD is a 2E with an ALP and an IEP. (In english, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a Twice Exceptional student with an Advanced Learner Profile [gifted] and an Individual Education Plan [Spec. Ed.])

Ha!

I'm so proud of him. He has faced, and continues to face, so many challenges and he is doing so well.
I am my son's biggest advocate, as it should be. Sometimes, his worst critic, admittedly, but ALWAYS his biggest advocate. I will raise hell, high waters, and anything else I deem necessary to get my sweet boy whatever it is that he needs to be successful. Both in school and in life.

So there it be.

My kid rocks like only he can!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A good day

I had a pretty good day yesterday.
I still had anxiety. A fair share too since I had to meet with my disability lawyer to prepare for the hearing next month. It went well though. He gave me a good idea of what will transpire, I got to see what my Fabulous Shrinkydink wrote in my favor, and my lawyer Mike and I got to chit chat a little.
Actually, he looked through my history briefly and commented on how impressed he was given how "life has really knocked you around!"

     As a matter of fact, my therapist, just 2 hours prior had commented to me that she was so taken with my "perseverance" through everything that I have had to, and still do, deal with.
  I hope this doesn't come across as bragging. I'm definitely not doing that intentionally. I just have always found it entertaining to make professionals, especially mental health professionals, marvel at the batshit crazy wonder that is me. ;)

     As for the disability hearing, Mike said he feels pretty confident about our case. The only real variable is the judge that was assigned. He has never worked with this judge before. All the intel he has gathered on her reports that she runs around 50% awarding, meaning that she's pretty middle of the road as far as approving and disapproving the claim. That's way better than a few of the judges apparently. There is one that has around a 25% award rate. Yikes!

     Mike was also able to give me a recommendation for a different, less expensive, bankruptcy attorney. Yay! I gave her a call and we spoke today. (Check it out!!!! I made a phone call!! To an unknown person!!! .... YAY!!!!!)
  I have a meeting with her next Tuesday (eeeek) to go over everything. She's about $300 cheaper than the other attorney that we had spoken with. It just kills me how expensive it is to file for bankruptcy.
HELLO?!?
I'm broke!! That's why I'm filing for bankruptcy. How on earth do you expect me to afford to file for bankruptcy?? If I could afford that, I could freakin' pay my bills in the first place!!
Shit!
  For those unaware (I'm hoping that none of you have had to go through this), it will run anywhere from $350ish if you file yourself (scary!) to $3000 for a lawyer. Ours is middle of the road. Equally as important, she was recommended by someone I trust and is already looking out for my best interests.

Anywho... My mind has now wandered so I'm not sure where & how I was going to end this.
So this is the end.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

State of the unstable

If you know me, I'm big on choices.
I believe that you always have a choice. Not to say that it's a balanced choice, an easy choice, or a big choice, but one nonetheless. Even in the crappiest of situations, you have choices.
When facing the guillotine, you have choices. Your top pick, to get the frack outta dodge may not be one of them, but you still have options that you and only you can exercise. They don't seem like important ones, but any choice, even the smallest, is important.

I saw some thing on facebook earlier that got me thinking. It was one of those dumb things that has some bit of "wisdom" that gets shared and shared and passed around but is really just somebody's...whatever...spreading and taking hold amongst the masses who don't know how to make sense of things on their own.
Anyway.
It said "Cheating is a choice not a mistake".

Well, yeah. And no.

Of course, I'm not necessarily referring to cheating here. Cheating, in whatever sense you take it. I'm referring to the choice.

Each of us make choices. Choosing one option over an other. Choosing one option over none. Choosing nothing over anything else.
I'm thinking about choices in mental illness.
When mental illness takes over your brain, it does...just that. It takes over your brain. It takes away so many choices.
So many ...
We're still left with many, though they're certainly not as expansive. They don't usually have much of a range. It's not 'Go to law school or go to med school'. It's more like, especially when in the throes of mania, 'Run the Boston marathon tomorrow without ever having trained and buy a hotel just so you can have a choice of beds to sleep in each night or run the Boston marathon tomorrow without ever having trained and then buy 2 hotels just so you have even more of a choice of beds to sleep in each night'.
See what I mean?
There's still a choice, it's just not exactly one that covers as much ground.
When you're in the depths of depression, it's like 'Roll over and cover your head with the blankets' or 'Don't waste the energy that you don't have on something that won't make any difference anyway'.
Nowhere within either one of those scenarios is there an actual rational choice much less the ability to handle it were it actually there.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not excusing behaviors. I'm just trying to shed a little light on them.

Choice is a funny thing and must always be taken in context.
Especially...when it's not funny.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Heard....or is it herd?

I got word the other day that my disability hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 17, 2013.
Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!!

They call it a "hearing". But will I really be heard? Will my medical records be heard? Will they see me?

I guess I'm just terrified that I'll be taken as part of a cookie cutter mold of crazies.
Don't get me wrong - I'm crazy! Well all know this.
But I am my own brand of crazy damn it!
And barring any complete sedation from the drugs I will inevitably have to take to survive just getting there, hopefully the judge will see my own personal flavor of wacko and help out our struggling family.

Thoughts, love, hugs, prayers, juju, vibes....anything ya got, I sure would appreciate it all on December 17th. I'm going to need it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I forgot this part...Really?!?

Addendum to previous post---

The information about this older kiddo from oh-so-many-moon ago has not been shared with my 2 kiddos. The Boy's dad and I are unsure whether or not he's in a place that he'd be able to grasp the concept or be able to adequately deal with it at this point. The Littl'n could definitely handle it, but as we don't want The Boy to hear about it from his 3 year old sister, we haven't mentioned it to her either.

There. Maybe that's what felt missing.
Or have I still not plugged all the holes?? You tell me!

A pretty big bullet...point

  So, after that last sharing session, the next bullet point seems to be my having a 16 year old that I haven't seen in 14 years.
Not that I think you need the specifics of the process, or at least I really really hope that you don't need them as you're out of luck in getting them from me, you know what I mean. I'm already doing 2 "talks" with 2 separate kids, I'm not sure I can handle having one with you too. ;)

  Well, pretty obviously, I got knocked up at the tender age of 16 from a less than ready for the world fellow 16er. We were in a relationship, but we were 16. And we each had more than our share of shit to deal with at that point already. I had my family dynamic to deal with and was desperate for a way out, he had his shitty family dynamic to deal with and needed stability and someone to love him. He was already into drugs by that point and I knew it. He was pretty good at hiding it for the most part but as it was what I was raised with, it certainly wasn't hidden from me. I went ahead and denied it to others tho. (I'll go into more detail about our relationship in a later post)

  As is common, we weren't using any form of birth control. We knew the stakes and we gambled anyway.

  When we finally got confirmation that I was indeed pregnant (I had taken 3 at home tests, 2 of which were negative and the other didn't develop properly), he immediately "needed a break". LOL! Like that one couldn't have been called a mile away! When I got the positive results at Planned Parenthood it came with some counseling. I had already decided what the necessary course of action was and was set in my determination. So him taking a break had zero effect on the outcome except to just add to the story. ;)
  As a matter of fact, over the years, short of real abuse, I've always won the "worst ex-boyfriend" contest.
After a week long break he told me one morning that "it just isn't working". LOL
That's an interesting observation. How keen and perceptive.
Needless to say, I wasn't surprised in the slightest and took it pretty smoothly. I let it roll off my back for a while before I got all hormoney and weepy about it. But hey, it was my 1st relationship and I was pregnant so..I mean really. I was allowed.
  Anyway, over the course of the pregnancy he himself started 4 separate rumors as to why it couldn't possibly be his kid. Yeah, he went with the deny it's mine tactic.
The 1st rumor was that it couldn't possibly be his kid because I cheated on him. Well that was just freakin physically impossible. I was with him 24 hours a damn day. I practically lived at his  place. There were nights that I wouldn't even go home. Some only to shower, get new clothes, and then leave again. Gimme a break!
The 2nd and 3rd stories I always mix up their order but they were, the baby couldn't possibly be his because of all the drugs he had taken-they made him sterile. Well unless he was shooting up into his scrotum, and I mean like wayyyy up, that one's really not a front runner for truth. The 3rd being that since he used to have his scrotum pierced (all genital piercings were removed before anything happened with me I'll tell you that!) the baby couldn't possibly be his because he was sterile from the piercings. Again, unless that needle took a significant detour, not-a-gonna-happen baby!
The 4th and final rumor, and the one that went in to the legal denial of paternity, was that the baby couldn't possibly be his because he was satanic and as part of his standard rituals, the high priestess shared with him a potion that just happened to have a side effect of sterility. And he knew this by getting his doctor to do a sperm count which was ZERO.
Ummmm....riiiiiiiiight.....

Alright, so that was that.
  In the meantime, I picked out an amazing couple to adopt this very loved baby growing inside of me, we met several times, and it was wonderful. Truly. I never had even 1 second's pause about the choice of these fabulous people to raise this baby that was going to be a blessing to the world.

  So fast forward 14ish years and I reconnect with the ex, that up until that point had ALWAYS been solely referred to as The Asshole. Many people never knew his real name. But I had come a long way in those 14ish years. I finally came to accept the fact that what happened between us happened so very long ago when we were very different people in a crazy difficult situation. We were both 16 and scared. But he, of course, had drugs fueling him whereas I did not. He made the only choices he could at that point in his life. I hold no grudges or ill feelings.  As a matter of fact, he and I are now quite good friends. We've been there for each other through some major life stuff in the past almost 2 years and it's been great.
Now. He has asked me for information regarding this offspring of ours. He also prefaced his request with the statement that he fully realizes that he has no right to any of this info since he signed away his rights, in more ways than one, years ago. But he has been curious these past years and wanted to know basics. Sex, birth date, name, whereabouts, etc...
After a bit of thought I told him the date of birth but that was it. He's not aware of whether or not I have contact with the family/kiddo. I don't feel that it's my place to tell him. It will be entirely up to the kiddo in question. He understood and was grateful for what I gave him. It was at least something to tie to this unknown he's had for all these years.

  So that kind of brings us to now where I have a 16 year old that is newly aware of my existence (I just found out from Dad) and has a desire, somewhere within them, to contact me. I'm blissful, I'm anxious, I'm honored. I also have some guilt because I also learned that the kiddo has been dealing with depression and anxiety for about 3 years. Yep. The grand genes that his father and I bestowed upon this kiddo.... :( But, Dad says that they have been working on those issues and this is where we all find ourselves at the moment.

  So yeah.
  A second little dish on my life and how it has unfolded and is continuing to do so.
I'm sure that I've left some pertinent points out but my brain is having a hard time digging them out at the moment.
Feel free to ask any questions to fill in any blanks you think need filling. :) I'm always down to dish.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A hankerin' ?

So I've had this kind of itch to tell you a little bit more about me. Specifically about my past and my life as it has come to be. I'm not sure why but it's been hanging around my noggin. So I think I just might actually oblige, for those of you that may be interested in some of 'the back story'.

  I've thrown a few in the past when having to try to find a word that describes my childhood or rather a description of how it progressed such as; I was raised, I was brought up, or I grew up, etc... I was certainly not raised by anyone but myself. I did not have steady guardians nor were the unsteady ones of continual use.
I am an only child, only not. I have a most wonderful older half sister, by 5 years, that was adopted out to a very stable loving family when she was born. I met her just a few short months before our mother died back in 2007. Here comes the point when someone usually praises my mother for the smart and loving choice she made when she was oh so young. No. She had absolutely no choice in the matter. Not her decision.
Anywho. Then along comes me. I'm worth holding on to and torturing apparently. Just under a year later comes a little brother. I haven't the foggiest idea as to whether or not he's a half or full sibling. He was also adopted out when he was born. Hopefully to a similarly wonderful family as was graced with my sister.
And still, I remained.
Stuck with 2 drug and alcohol dependent parents that couldn't even stay together. They showed, at every imaginable turn, that they were completely incapable of making good decisions for themselves much less an infant in their care.
And still, I remained.
I was shuttled off to fully functioning, yet undeniably alcoholic, grandparents and an aunt/uncle/cousin at a consistently random rate. This predictable pattern of getting bounced around 'tween the fam continued until I was 10 when I was forced to choose, in front of everybody, whom I wanted to live with; my mom and the newest stepdad or the aunt/uncle/cousin grouping.
Yes indeed. 2 sets of alcoholic parents were actually physically fighting in front of me over who got to 'take' me. My mother against her older sister (that practically raised her). Forcing a 10 year old child to pick between stability and uncertainty. Between her mother, that she's "supposed" to live with, love, want to be with, and the aunt who could provide her with any and all necessities, love her, and actually acted like she wanted her around.
Like most kids would in that situation, I picked my mother even though it's not what I wanted. A kid is "supposed" to live with their parents, not their aunt and uncle (or their grandparents as had been the case several times). A kid is "supposed" to love their mom and want to be with them, want to be like them. Well, not this kid. I had learned from a very very early age that everything I saw from my mother was what NOT to do. I had learned to take care of myself from very very early on. So much so that I had had to learn how to take care of and deal with my parent.
A preschooler is NOT supposed to understand that you don't touch the little cut up straws and mirrors on the table. The scales and baggies on the shelf aren't to be played with. That you don't ask if mom's alright when you hear noises coming from the back room of a 'friend's' place. But me? I knew those things. I remember knowing those things. I can't tell you what state I lived in while in any given grade in elementary school, but I can tell you those other things.
Looking back now, while I only spent a little less than a third of my life getting tossed around to whomever would take me for whatever effing reason my mother couldn't, or didn't want to, be a mother, it has still played one of the biggest parts.
Maybe one of the hardest things is that I will NEVER get any answers to any of the bazillions of questions I could possibly ask. My mother (cancer), all 4 grandparents (cancer), 2 step grandparents (cancer too I believe), father (suicide 4 days before my 11th b-day), and 1 stepfather (ruptured ulcers as I was told), are all dead. My aunt and I no longer have a relationship other than that shared by blood. And that was an easy choice on my part. I was told a few years ago that she had stage 4 lung cancer but to my knowledge she is still alive and full of alcohol and attitude.

  So those were my humble beginnings. That's a nutshell of my Back Story. There are innumerable events within but that's the Cliff's Notes version that might give you just a little inkling into my wretched start and progression on this crazy crazy spinning ball of ours.
If you ever wonder how one gets a diagnosis list that reads like mine....there ya go.
 
  Consider yourself schooled in Crazy 101.

A little catch up..

  As mentioned in my oh so poetic post from the other day (it'd be great if you could just insert a ridiculous eye roll here), I have been fortunate enough to play the infamous (and kinda actually famous) Bipolar medication switcheroo.
  Party over here. Woo woo. Party over here. (I'm sure you read that as completely uninterested and monotone as possible, for which case...Great job!)

  My fabulous Shrinkydink -that's my new name for my awesome Psychiatrist, came to the life altering realization on this past Wednesday that I'm "one of those bipolars that can't be on antidepressants 'cuz they have the opposite effect".
  Well holy frickin' hell! What a novel concept!
  Now, I say this genuinely because it actually hadn't occured to me that the antidepressants were exacerbating my depression as opposed to just not helping it.

  So yeah. Now, I'm totally down for this with the exception that one of those damned anti-d's was also my sleep med. Crapdoodle! Now what.
I've dumped the trazodone and the Cymbalta (which I'm still having withdrawals from) and we subbed Zyprexa at 10mg. So now it's just my clonazepam and zyprexa. 2 pills. That's it. And both at bedtime which is really weird for me. Every morning I feel like I'm missing a step 'cuz I don't have any meds to take. Not that I'm complaining mind you, it's just taking some adjusting to.
  And oh yeah, I don't have anything for sleep. And it's blazingly freaking obvious.
~sigh~
  On another note, she agreed with me that I've been cinched tight in a mixed state for quite a while now.
My First!!! Go Me!!!
~vomit~
Oh, and she also agreed with me on my "Responsible Noncompliance". She agreed with my logic and rationale that the lithium was doing nothing. She actually agreed with me so much as to say that she was either (I can't remember which) disappointed or surprised that I hadn't stopped the Cymbalta too.
LOL
I responded that I was just trying to give that higher dose a fair chance to which she said "..well, ok. Fair enough."
Talk about trust huh?!
See why I love my fabulous Shrinkydink???

Anywhoo...
That's a little catch up on me. And for those of you that missed reading between the lines,
*Exhausted
*Dizzy
*Crazy

Yeah, I'd say that covers it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My inner poet reeks, er, I mean eeks out...

  The night comes swiftly even as the light never dawned
Darkness is not quiet through the light
The end is visible though the birth not so long past

An original from yours truly that just seeped its short path through my brain.
And believe it or not, a second followed...

  So nearly painful and affronting, the reverberation felt from the faint fluttering of an eyelash or the grand gesture to stand upright
The sharp pang of an unsaid thought to the quiet yet somehow cacophonous jolt of a breath
Unassuming
Impersonal
Disparate

Resonation


  The latter being an attempt to express my torture throughout my current, prescribed, drug withdrawal.
Any thoughts or comments?

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Quote to Share...


                Encompass'd with a thousand dangers,
Weary, faint, trembling with a thousand terrors...
I...in a fleshly tomb, am
     Buried above ground.

                 -William Cowper
                     (1731-1800) English poet that wrote the self described "lines written during a period
                       of insanity" after one of his suicide attempts.


This speaks volumes to me....and for me, right now.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Responsibly Noncompliant

This is a real thing, I swear!
Well, in my world it is.

  This is my newest label and the fact that it's self imposed is neither here nor there. Please don't bother yourself with that at this time. I'm not.

  So I've dubbed myself Responsibly Noncompliant because I've stopped my lithium. Without doctor consult, much less consent.
  But here's my reasoning.

I am on 2 antidepressants and I'm still depressed. I don't see the point in taking a mood stabilizer that is designed to keep me from going manic when I'm clearly not even close to that end of the scale. Then of course, there's the fact that the last time my lithium level was drawn I was at the very bottom of the therapeutic range which means it may well have not been doing anything at all even if I HAD needed it. So, I'm minus 3 pills every night for now. If there's a change in behavior then I'll reevaluate. I'm aware. I'm being responsible about my irresponsibility. My husband is aware of my actions and understands my point. He is standing by me in my choice and is also maintaining an awareness regarding my moods and behaviors.

I got the staff to slip me in with my Psychiatrist next Wednesday where I will, of course, disclose to her my noncompliance. I will also be discussing with her her thoughts on ECT and ECT for me.

So...that's me.
Not following directions...as usual!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

No Mummies Here...

Ok, so as bat shit crazy as I am, I'm feeling a bit better about myself at the moment.
  I picked up another armful of books at the library the other day. Amongst the mass was The Mummy at the Dining Room Table  Eminent Therapists Reveal Their Most Unusual Cases by Jeffrey A. Kottler & Jon Carlson.
Dude!
  The 1st 'chapter' had me cracking up. I mean, with a title like The Man Who Wanted His Nose Cut Off ...come on!
  So, anyway. If you have any interest in psychology or the human condition (given the fact that you're reading this, that's a bit needless to mention), definitely give this book a good going through. I am about to start 'chapter' 5. I started a couple hours ago and can't put it down.
If nothing else, it sure will make you feel better about being you!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Is this moderate or 'write a new text book'?

There's all of this...shit! in my head and I have no idea what to do with it. Not much of it seems to make a whole lot of sense, particularly when considered together.

  One of the big floaters in my brain recently is my total inclination to stop my Lithium and see what happens. I feel like it's not doing anything. I mean, I know it's a mood stabilizer so it's not a true antidepressant, but given the antidepressants I'm on and I'm still depressed, I don't think we're really in need of a mood stabilizer. Why should I take 3 more damn pills (that leave a nasty taste) than I have to? I figure, stop everything and then treat what comes up...
  Which brings me to another point. What is it that's going on anyway? Is this Bipolar? Is this BPD? Is this Major Depressive Disorder?
  What the hell kind of crazy am I?
  I understand that I'm crazy. I'm good with that. Truly. I just want to know what kind of crazy so that we can deal with it better. Cuz the way we're dealing with things now definitely isn't working!! So, to me, it's a natural and reasonable conclusion to draw that we're not dealing with the right things.
 As I mentioned in a previous post, I am incredibly interested in pursuing ECT. I've done quite a bit of research (books, articles, studies, discussions with nurses, etc...) and everything that I have found proves that I'm a good candidate. I have found a local hospital that does it and they work closely with the patient's Psychiatrist for continuity of care which is great. Now, all that remains is to talk to my Psychiatrist. My next appointment, the soonest she had (and they still slipped me in), isn't until Oct. 23rd. It feels like a lifetime away at this point. A lifetime stuck in this....gray. This confusion. This land of unknown. This painless pain.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lost

Confused
Adrift
Broken
Stuck
Alone

I hate this. I hate this. I'm so damn confused. Nothing seems right. I don't know what I'm doing. What am I doing?

Fuck

Monday, October 7, 2013

Some Reading Materials

And now I bring to you a book list.
One or two that I've read, one or two that I'm currently navigating, and a couple that I am going to be cracking soon.
You may get a common theme. Let's get started.

  I recently made my way through Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking. Talk about a crack up. It was brief, mildly informative, and laugh out loud funny. Not to mention you get that reality-tv-kind-of-hollywood-dish entertainment. It was her 1st memoir (she came out with a 2nd in 2011 that I will be getting from the library called Shockaholic).
Ok.
  I am currently, although very slowly, reading Dan Millman's Way of The Peaceful Warrior. It has been hard for me to focus lately but so far I am absolutely enjoying it. The husband has read it and loved it.
  I am also, somewhat begrudgingly, getting through Linda Andre's Doctors of Deception   What They Don't Want You To Know About Shock Treatment. I was hoping this book would be more informative. Instead, it's just an angry bitter woman being as negative as possible and using other people's negative experiences and past research to slam ECT. If you're looking for a resource to talk yourself or someone else out of ECT, this is the book for you!
  The Body Remembers Casebook by Babette Rothschild is also one that I am trying to read/skim/glean information from at a very slow pace. This one was a recommendation from a former therapist. It's designed more for practitioners but she knew it would be appropriate for me. This volume is about treatments for PTSD and trauma.
  I have made it about 1/2 way through, although certainly not any time recently, a book I highly recommend called I Hate You-Don't Leave Me   Understanding The Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman, MD, and Hal Strauss. This was originally published in 1989 and was so phenomenally written that it went through an update and revision in 2010. It is still a prominent resource for clinicians and highly popular with patients. It was written so that the clinician, the patient and the friend/family could all successfully learn from it. It's incredibly interesting even if you or someone you know doesn't have BPD. It'll have you looking at people in a new light.
  Speaking of Dr. Kreisman and Mr. Strauss, I have, but have not yet delved into another of theirs by the name of Sometimes I Act Crazy   Living With Borderline Personality Disorder. I'm interested to see what this one will offer additionally.
  My recent library trip also yielded The Tapping Cure by Roberta Temes, PhD. This is a technique that a former therapist taught me that seemed to help me for a while. The same therapist that recommended The Body Remembers Casebook that I was seeing prior to my breakdown last year. No, I have no idea what that has anything to do with squat, but out of my wacked out brain it came. Just for you! Woo hoo!
Moving on...
  The library also sent me home with (like a teacher with homework or something) Living With Someone Who's Living With Bipolar Disorder by Chelsea Lowe and Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD. Husband says it's good so far. He's read through chapter 2 but has also skipped to a couple of specific sections, 1 on ECT.
  I have 2 books that just came in to the library that are waiting for pick up. One is Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy by Kitty Dukakis and Larry Tye. I'm looking forward to this one being educational and informative. The other is Night Falls Fast   Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison. She also wrote one of the books that actually changed my life, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods And Madness. She is a leading resource on Bipolar being a clinical psychologist that has suffered with it for years.

So there you go. Some great reads on the subject of the shit that can go funk'd in our brains, and certainly has mine, and how to deal with it.
Enjoy!

There is no "good day" in battle

So I was recently reading a blog I newly discovered and came across a good post entitled "I'm Too Tired to Keep Fighting Bipolar Disorder".
Boy if that isn't the understatement of the year?!
One of the primary things that stood out for me was a line in one of the comments that read (something incredibly close to); they think when I have a good day that it's all over and I'm fine.
Yeah.
That's something I battle with every day. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be in a situation or two, most days, that at least gives the impression of "a good day" or of some improvement at all. It however, is merely that. An impression of something better. I don't have good days anymore. I haven't had a good day in a long time. I get good times. Brief periods, nothing that lasts more than a couple of hours at most. And then it's back to the same feelings of lifelessness, frustration, unhappiness, sadness, constant fatigue, anxiety, feeling like my brain has disconnected because I can't put 3 coherent words together. Then of course there's the irritability. That one is probably my husband's favorite! The poor poor sweet loving man that gets 99% of my wrath from the unpredictable fount of pain and anger.
And still he remains... <3
Not that I'm not grateful for every good second I have. I absolutely am. Every one. But when you get to enjoy yourself and then the very next moment can feel like you'd rather not live, it gets pretty damned difficult to let it truly absorb and have any kind of effect. You may or may not understand that, but it's true. The minute to minute battle wears you right the fuck out. There's just no other way to put it.
So there's my little inside nugget for ya...for whatever it's worth.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Phone calls

Hey, hi, and crazy goes it.

So I made a couple of phone calls Tuesday. One to my Psychiatrist to talk about ECT (I had to leave a message of course) and the other to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. The lawyer and I have been playing phone tag for a few weeks now. I didn't actually expect her to answer so when she did, my already present anxiety shot through the roof.
You'd think I'd actually be prepared to talk to a person when I make a phone call huh?!
Yeah...that would be too easy.
So this lawyer, that I get a good feeling from, said that we're very good candidates for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And from what she says, it'll better our credit, especially the hubby's, almost immediately. Granted, there will still be a bankruptcy on there, but the debt to income ratio will be better. So that's good.
Course, since it's me, I have to make it difficult. I know it's a good idea and will be beneficial as we have a bunch of medical debt that we're unable to pay (yes, it's all mine). But I also know that we're going to be incurring more in the not so distant future. My pacemaker is 8 years old and due for a replacement more than likely within the next 6 months. Maybe 8. As well as the costs of the not-so-cheap ECT if it turns out I'm a candidate for it. So yeah, it'll help us out 6 months from now (when we finish paying the lawyer's fee) but then where are we at afterward and we're still accruing more debt?
I don't know.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Don't worry about things that haven't even happened yet. Don't stress out over the future. Don't invite more pain/stress/anxiety into your life than is already present.
I know all that stuff.
I still have to think about the future though. I have to have these things in mind when making major life changing decisions. We have kids effected here...
Anyway.
Those were my fun and exciting, oh-my-god-I-have-to-take-a-pill-cuz-I'm-freaking-out, events on Tuesday.
What'd you do last Tuesday??  ;)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Me? Resistant??

You must be thinking of someone else!!
Well, you may be, but I unfortunately am not.

Treatment Resistant Depression. 3 words I've been reading a bit about recently in my own little quest for the answer to "Well now what the hell do we try?". I mean really. I'm on my 3rd antidepressant this year. Not counting my other meds of course. There's a whole class of antidepressants that are off limits since I've had the same reaction to 2 of them (I've gotten lock jaw from both Paxil and Zoloft [which I had been on successfully for years before retrying it]). No more SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) for me.
Remeron, an SNRI (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor), made me gain 10lbs. in 9 days... That was a regular blast!
Wellbutrin, which affects both dopamine and norepinephrine, made me lose 30lbs. in about 2 months. Talk about a good time there! Not really. It's not nearly as fun as it sounds. It was horrible.
Effexor came next, which is also an SNRI, but that didn't bring my appetite back nor did it do anything for the depression so...
Now we're onto Cymbalta, another SNRI. Still no appetite really but no weight loss either. I thought that it was boosting my mood but now I'm less sure. It also may be increasing my anxiety. All of this together with the fact that I'm on Lithium (a mood stabilizer), Trazodone (another SNRI), and Clonazepam (a Benzo).
And yes, I'm still depressed.
It's not that I want to die. I don't. I'm not planning on killing myself! Put the phone down, relax, I'm safe. But I really don't particularly want to be alive either. Living through all of the shit that we've been through in the past year and a half has kinda brought me to a place that I just don't wanna do it anymore. Not that that's stopped us from getting more shit just piled on and on... That may or may not make any sense to you but it's the best way I can describe it.
I haven't done therapy more than a few times this year really. Not for lack of interest or desire but lack of childcare. In the meantime, I was forced to choose between my therapist and my Psychiatrist. I refused at first but I have since chosen to stick with my Psychiatrist and get a new therapist. I have yet to see her and by now, I'm not all that interested in it. It's just one more damn thing I have to work in and deal with. And I've been doing my best to utilize the stress management techniques I know but that hasn't gotten me anywhere. Honestly, at this point, I'm ready to ask my Psych about ECT, what most of you know as shock therapy or shock treatments. It's still widely used as it's been refined from what it started out as. It's used today for Treatment Resistant Depression (there are those 3 words again!). And I must say, after doing the reading, I'm not appalled or turned off. I mean hell, my memory is already turning to shit so I've got that already. Granted, the thought of losing any memories of the kids sure does make me hesitate, but it's not a definite no. Course, I don't even know that I'm a candidate. I don't know if I've led the resistance long enough or if I need to go all Sarah Connor style. Then there's always my pacemaker to consider. Cuz you know, it's always something with me! If it's not the ever-malfunctioning heart, it's the totally fucked up brain. Wooo! Partay!
So that's where I'm at. Ready to stick my finger in a light socket to get a little relief. LOL (Oh it was funny, come on!)
A little insight maybe? A little education maybe? A little "I feel so much better about my life now!" maybe??
Whatever I can do to help!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Conglomeration of Crap

And a fine evening to you! I hope that you're not feeling anywhere near as overwhelmed or clueless or helpless as I am. Every thought I can spare is sent your way with love and goodness because I desperately hope that not everyone is going through the mucky trenches that we are.
I'll warn you now; this is going to be a dump fest. I'm just going to throw it all out there in hopes that it will help me feel just a teeny bit of relief. I need to get it (it being the ridiculous load of wreckage I'm about to crumble under) out. The best way I can think of, which isn't saying much at the moment, is to lay it all out there, verbal vomit style.
Let the bitching commence!
Let's see, we're struggling financially. HA!!  We can't pay our bills, food stamps ended last month, Medicaid ends this month (for the Husband and I) which means there will probably be more medical debt getting added into the mix soon as my pacemaker is due for replacement in the near future. We're looking into bankruptcy to try to save us from certain doom.
My disability case is up to be scheduled with a judge but that could be anywhere from a month to eight from now. The last medical records that were sent in were said to be in my favor, but who the hell knows. (I told you about that huh?!)
The big kiddo has school issues all his own. He's been tested for both Special Education and Gifted/Talented (we find out the decisions on Oct. 10). He's had academic issues since Kindergarten and we've worked very very hard to help him be as successful as he's been but he needs more and I'm busting my butt to venture down every avenue to make sure we don't miss anything that might help him. He has severe ADHD and is almost as heavily medicated as I am but only because it works! There's a significant improvement with the medications. He has no learning disabilities. On the contrary, he tests Advanced or near Advanced in everything but writing. At the beginning of last year (4th grade) he was reading 156 words per minute and his comprehension matched it. He's incredibly intelligent but has other issues that we just haven't quite nailed down. A mild Asperger's is one thought we've had. He has no identified Sensory issues but I think there's something there. He also has anxiety, the poor sweet boy. My sweet loving boy is getting to be as big of a wreck as his crazy mama and he's only 10!
What else?!?
Oh yeah! My car died a couple weeks ago. Wooooooo! It's quite possibly an easy fix (I already replaced the fuel pump relay to no avail) but we just haven't the money for the cheap parts. So now instead of at least having four 20 year old doors and an actual back seat (even if littl'n had almost no leg room), we're stuck in an extended cab pick-up truck that's not in complete repair. The littl'n and her big car seat is in the passenger seat while the big kiddo sits in the little jump seats behind. That's also where my almost 6 foot 230lb. husband crams in anytime we have to go anywhere on the weekends because if I'm a passenger for very long I get car sick. Damn freakin' good thing that he just recently got a work van to commute with huh?!?!?!
I delved into the dismal world of my PTSD in the last post so we don't need to dig that dog up again...
I'm pretty sure there's more but my brain just isn't willing to cooperate any further.
I'm actually so stressed that I'm calm and barely even able to register it all. That's probably not good huh?? Eh. That's what meds are for!! Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
Well, that's me out for the night. Until next time...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's been a while...

It's been a while, dear readers, since I've come to you with my wannabe witty repartee. So very many things have happened in life. Illness, death, decent into depression (again), growth, exciting opportunities, ongoing ethics investigations, you name it.

Between medication changes, medication toxicities (cardiologist's bad) and medication screw ups (my bad), my body is frickin exhausted! I'm still trying to recover from my med mess up a week ago. **Helpful hint for the day--Don't accidentally take your night time meds in the morning! NOT a good thing. Nor is it an easy thing to bounce back from...

Now on to a concise(ish) clue-in:

My sweet husband had to say goodbye to a longtime friend last month who died of a heart attack at the age of 36. I don't recall who said it but one of us or our friends very accurately stated, "We're too young to be having friends die of heart attacks."

PTSD has been rearing it's really fuckin' ugly head lately by letting me have the joy of an almost constant barrage of horrible memories. Yay! Many of them being memories that I had worked on, and successfully so until now, with 2 sessions of EMDR a couple years ago. I've tried one of the techniques I learned to try to help decrease these really crummy memories but I've yet to succeed.
The thoughts I've been so fortunate to be graced with again are some of the many from my rape in 2007. Thankfully, to date, I don't remember the actual action but I do remember everything that transpired once I woke up from the drug induced sleep. And hey, how lucky for me that I happened across the letter from the D.A.'s office telling me that they had dropped the case due to insufficient evidence just the other day. (They dropped the case about 2 years ago now but it was found while I searched for something else)
-If there's anyone that would like to talk on this subject, please feel free to email me at blatantbonnie@hotmail.com

We've struggled with our sweet little girl being sick time and again since March. Croup, Respiratory Infections, "Reactive Airway" which was finally just flat out called Asthma recently. Her providers agreed with us that our old nasty ass "crack shack" cat urine saturated apartment carpet was most likely a very large contributing factor and wrote a note stating such. Well, we prepared for a battle with management but didn't have one. They acquiesced, rather quickly as a matter of fact, and we have brand new carpet and padding in our apartment. The rejoicing was done in tears and never ending smiles. So far no new illness for the littl'n but it's only been a month. We're hoping for the best but still ready for what we've gotten used to which is lots of chest x-rays, steroids and breathing treatments.
And speaking of the little gorgeous one, we are thrilled to report that she is currently attending a Gifted Private School in their Pre-K class. She's in real school, not just some preschool. She has Spanish class twice a week, she's writing her name beautifully, and she seems to be a shining star in her wonderful teacher's eye. It's an absolute joy watching her in class. The learning environment is exceptional and absolutely a dream come true. This school fits our littl'n in every way. Who she is as a person and how she learns. It's more wonderful than I can express. :)
So Yay there!!

All the medical records have finally been completed and submitted to Social Security for my appeal. We were informed a month or so ago that my case is up to be scheduled with a judge so now it's just a waiting game... Oh the joy. The rapture. The exquisite bliss..... *barf*
I was told that the last questionnaires that were submitted by my therapist and Psychiatrist were favorable for me which is good but I'm still totally freaking out about the whole thing. 1st off, I'M GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO COURT!!!!!! Holy frickin crap! And talk to a judge!! Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to have this done and over with!

I'm still waiting to hear about the ethics investigation on the 1st lawyer I had for my disability case. Call me crazy (HA!) but I had an issue with them filing motions on my behalf without my knowledge or consent. It was helpful that they filed my appeal for me but after I had told them multiple times that I was terminating our 'relationship' and would file the appeal myself.... Yeah. Not amused. So I filed a complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility which turned into an investigation by the Ethics Investigator. And yet again...we're in a waiting game.
Wooo!

~Deep Breath~

There's soo much more but I'm thinkin' that oughta do it for now.
I'll let you recover from that disturbing discharge of data before I bombard you with the sickening surplus.
Damn! I love alliteration! ;)









Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Taking a step back..and Not tripping

So here I am. I find myself, thanks to the inquiries of one of my best friends, sitting in front of the computer for the first time in awhile. I realized that I hadn't written in some time, and then disturbingly, I realized that it's because it hasn't occurred to me to do.

Whoa.

I love writing. I like to think that I am at least decent at it. Why have I completely forgotten about it? Could this have anything to do with the fact that I've also completely abandoned my legal/disability 'goings on' (which I really must update you on)? How about the fact that I've felt an increased desire to spend money lately? Not that I've spent out of control or anything, and it's not like we have anything to spend really, but still. How about that my confidence has taken a little upturn in the past couple of weeks again?

Could these be signs of hypomania/mania building? Or maybe just an odd coupling of things happening? Does this have anything to do with the release of stress and renewed sense of freedom thanks to getting another vehicle again? Maybe just a natural mood elevation coming through thanks to a complete adjustment to meds? If this is hypomania/mania, it's going to mean a med tweak which I'm NOT excited about. I just got settled on what I'm on.

So here I am. In front of my little green laptop, trying to take a step back to survey the situation without tripping over myself or any of the crap I've left abandoned in my wake.

I'm going to stay mindful over the next few days and weeks and see how things progress.
I'm also going to start writing out an update for you on the disability debacle that is now turning into a potential legal fiasco.

There you have my update. A whole bunch of ".........wha..???"

;)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tormented By Two Little Letters

It's been ever so long it seems, that I've been awaiting a determination from our dear Social Security Administration. Well I finally received word from them. On February 7, as a matter of fact. They were indeed, as they warn so frequently happens, denials. One each for SSI (social security income) and SSDI (disability).
The letters say "...you are not disabled or blind under our rules". They go on to say, after listing a diagnosis that's not mine as well as a provider that's not mine, "While your mental health may cause you some concern, you are able to think, reason and act on your behalf. The evidence indicates you are capable of doing work not requiring a great deal of training."

Let me give you some words here:
Rejection
Disapproval
Dismissing
Veto
Deprival
Negation
Prohibition
Dispute
Opposition
...
Pain

N O. Two letters that weren't even written but have managed to bring so much pain.
When I read the letters, even though I know it's not personal, which is the problem, I had a very hard time letting go. I instantly felt severe rejection. These letters weren't just telling me that I wasn't 'disabled under their rules', they were telling me that there was nothing wrong with me. All I 'heard' when I read them was; There's nothing wrong with you. Suck it up. Quit looking for attention.
There's nothing wrong with you.
 
My mental health may cause me some concern. Hm. Yeah. It causes me some concern. Spending the better part of a month in a mental institution due to my mental health caused me some concern. Not being able to make it through the day without wanting to kill myself without medication has caused some concern. Having to take medication (known to cause dependence) just to be able to pick up my phone without a full fledged anxiety attack has caused me some concern. Being able to take care of my kids illicits some not-so-mild concern.The complete and total lack of ability to walk into some place I don't know without a full on anxiety attack causes concern. Not being able to take care of errands or tasks, or letting things lapse because I can't go somewhere or use the phone to address them has caused some concern.
But I'm "able to think, reason and act" on my behalf. Right!
My meds have gotten me to a pretty functional place. For now. What if I accidentally miss a dose? What if I can't pay for them? What if, as is incredibly common, they need tweaking and I'm thrown off? What if .....?
For goodness' sake, I am almost completely incapable of getting up before 9:30 in the morning because of my medications and even that's a big stretch. And no, it doesn't matter what time I take them and go to bed. I've tried.
~Sigh~
So now I have to go through the appeal process, which here in the state of Colorado, means you request a hearing. According to a lawyer's website, who I hope will take on my appeal, it can take up to 2 years to get a hearing date. 2 more + years potentially. 2 more years of not being able to contribute in any way to our financial situation. 2 more years of feeling like a complete and total effing loser. Of feeling like shit because there's all this stuff that I have to deal with but it doesn't merit recognition from the government. Because according to them, it's not significant enough... I'm not significant enough...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cuz it's just that easy...

So I'm driving in the car today and a song comes on that I've always had a little bit of a love/hate type relationship with. I've always liked the song but never liked listening to it because it makes me cry. (and he's too whiny)
I'm talking about the song Everybody Cries by REM




While I've listened to the words a million times, today they really struck me.
Of course everybody cries. Of course everybody hurts.
How is that supposed to help someone in the moment though? And the whole "When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on"
Right. Cuz it's just that easy.
Oh, some random guy that may or may not have any friggin clue about what I'm going through says to hang on cuz everybody else hurts sometimes too. Ok.

Whatever!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

No singularity here

S T R E S S

Something that escapes no one. Not even our children. Stress is always something that can be managed better, by everyone.
Managing stress while living with Bipolar is challenging at best. Managing stress while living with Borderline Personality Disorder is even a step above, or is that below? People with BPD already tend to have a reduced tolerance to stress. The presence of BPD has been known to increase the symptoms of other co-occurring diseases/disorders. And guess what else increases the symptoms of all other diseases/disorders??

Yepper do! You guessed it!

Stress!

And let's talk about overwhelmed right now!!!

I've been having a rough week or so thanks to the inter-connectedness of all of the above ridiculousness. My little immediate family of 3 is at the lowest point we've ever been.
I feel like the actual picture in your mind's eye of the camel's back just before that miniscule golden straw makes its dire landing. It's that intense a fragility that plagues me. Even a shattered eggshell is stronger than I am lately. At any given moment, I feel near to collapsing into a pile of tears and slobbering gibberish.
Our finances are dire. Not strained, not barely break even, dire. Paying rent, as well as the other bills, has become more than a challenge this month. It became an un-possibility. (How ya likin' that one?!?) On our own that is. For the 1st time in my adult life I'm having to turn almost entirely to charity. Either that of strangers or of family and friends. I've been evaluating food banks and even the potential for homeless shelters in the case that we can't make rent.
Yes, it's that bad.
My MS stricken husband is working diligently at a job (5-7 days a week) that barely pays over minimum wage and goes to school 4 nights a week so that he can have an education with which to secure greater financial stability for us.
We, anxiously, await a determination from Social Security regarding SSDI (disability) and SSI (social security income) for me owing to my inability to work a job as a result of the Bipolar, Depression, and Anxiety. The last being possibly the most major player.

So there we are. A brief glimpse into the stresses that are wreaking absolute havoc on a war-torn mind.

Somebody please tell me, where's the party???

Friday, February 1, 2013

Battle Wounds

So a good, very compassionate, friend & I were discussing a young person that we both care for very very deeply yesterday who has had a very difficult childhood, rather similar to mine as a matter of fact, and has some mental illness and a lot of issues. He said that "She has a screw loose". After he and I went back and forth a couple of times, he asked "Then what's wrong with her?". I said that she's damaged but was having a hard time articulating any explanation. Well, this morning, I was thinking about it again;
A way to describe mental illness. And then a picture entered my mind that I, personally, think is quite apt.

Living with mental illness, specifically my references of Bipolar, Depression, PTSD, Anxiety, and Borderline Personality, is like living life on a battlefield. In every direction there are unseen pits of unfathomable depth into which no light can enter and no escape seems possible. There are rows upon rows of razor sharp spikes ready to rip open both old and new wounds, hidden only until you're already upon them. Dense and dizzying smoke and darkness that can feel smothering and unending. Obstacles of every kind are scattered around waiting in ambush. There's uncertainty and fear and true despair even when, and sometimes especially when, the rare light shows through. You try to trust your instincts when all else has been robbed of you only to be burned by the illusion of light. The basic tactics that you were shown in the beginning "to guide you" lead you further and further into the darkness with less and less hope of ever making it to "the other side". The "normal" side.

I realize to many that this is an incredibly dark picture, especially if you know someone that has one of these, or other, diseases and has seemed/is functional.
I am here to assure you that each and every one of those people has had to maneuver this battlefield at some point, to some degree, and probably always will. Even while they're continuing on at school, work, or at home.
Sometimes the same battlefield is doused in light which is deceptive and blinding and just as painful and difficult.

Don't look at those who live with mental illness as being broken. Just realize that we are lost, trying to traverse a sometimes dark and painful minefield, all the while being told that it's "not that bad".
We have battle wounds...

Monday, January 28, 2013

The things I get them to say...

Good Monday evening to you.

This is a just a really quick post that I had to drop in here about my therapy appointment on this past Monday.

My therapist and I are in her office discussing my anxiety, and how, thanks to my medication (namely my Trazodone), my day-to-day anxiety has really decreased. I mention to her that my startle reflex, which has always been pretty exaggerated, has just been worsening since the summer. How I not only jump, but scream at the slightest and most benign thing like my husband sneezing anywhere in my vicinity, the maintenance man knocking on the door when I knew he'd be coming, etc...
So I'm telling her this and the conversation continues as follows:
Deb-"So have you applied for disability?"
Me-"Yes, I'm just waiting for a determination."
Deb- ...thinking..."Good! You need it!!"
LOL!!!
Deb-"I'm sorry. Sometimes I think out loud. I'm sorry." as she's laughing
Me-laughing "It's quite alright Deb. You just made my day!"

I love when I get mental health professionals to say things like that!

Now, if only she had the power....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Where to begin??

And how for that matter?

With a quick disclaimer, or notice.

***I am in no way complaining, whining, or in search or desire of pity.
Let me say that again.
I Am Not Looking For Pity. If something that you read on this, or any subsequent post, makes you want to express any, please don't. Sympathy is fine. Empathy too. I welcome your comments, thoughts, stories, questions as well. But no pity.***

I'm going to assume for the moment that you've read the intro. (Notice key opportunity here to go and read it before continuing if I've assumed incorrectly.)

I guess I'll start with this past summer (2012). That's when life changed forever.
May 25, 2012 to be specific.
That was the day I was admitted to the mental hospital..... The 1st time of 2 in less than a month actually. It's not that there had been anything innately horrid about that day so far. Well, nothing specific anyway. As a matter of fact, a dear friend's daughter's graduation party was on the agenda. It was exciting. She's a beautiful and intelligent joy of a young woman and it was wonderful to get to celebrate her accomplishments as well as what lay ahead of her.
But I was 'off' that day. I had been 'off' for months. Pretty much the entire year so far.

Now I had been diagnosed as having Bipolar II (NOS) (click here for a fair breakdown of Bipolar if you're unfamiliar) way back in 2001. The 1st time I remember thinking about suicide, I was 10 or 11. I got a knife from the kitchen and slept with it under my pillow for a week. I wanted to, but the fear of pain was too great. If I had really really been searching for a way, I would have realized that I had plenty of drugs within my grasp to do a mighty successful job. There were other incidents as the years passed too. I was no stranger to depression. (Stick with me, I swear that this is relevant.)

This was different. This was all consuming in a way that you knew something was wrong but hadn't the foggiest idea as to what it really was. I wasn't laying in bed all day long. I was still functioning. Pretty well as a matter of fact. But it was all a bit...painful. But without any pain.
Well, Friday the 25th was much of the same, only not. How's that for specific and articulate, huh? I had a little less patience with the kiddos (9 and 2 at the time) and I completely lost it with the hubby for way less than any rational reason. I just felt... bleh. So much so that I just couldn't stick it out at the grad party. I excused us to my friend who knew that there was something very wrong, and out we went. I and the kids to my truck, the husband to his, to all meet at home. That was when it really started to build. I don't know how or why. I don't remember the specifics. I do remember getting home and getting so pissed off, at both the kids and the husband, that I was throwing a fit. A temper tantrum. It was ridiculous. The husband wasn't being normal but I couldn't unclench enough to really figure it out. I threw enough of a fit that I made him take the kids inside and I was leaving. I had to get the hell away. I had already screamed and started crying. So off I went. And all I could think of was where I could go that had a wall I could drive the truck into? Or where was a bridge that I could drive off of? I was so done.
I had been thinking about suicide for months but I felt this overwhelming sense of obligation stopping me. I couldn't die, I was too needed. Not desired, just needed. A convenience issue really. Well today, that was gone. The huge weight of obligation that had kept me from acting on these pretty overwhelming thoughts was gone. I had realized that the misery that I brought to my family was just not worth what little convenience I served. They could figure it out without me. It would be infinitely better than what they had now. Sure, it would be difficult. There would be some initial pain, but they would most certainly learn to get over it. They would move on. This just wasn't worth it. For anyone.
While I was out driving, I ended up on the phone with the husband. I don't remember how. I remember hanging up on him at least once. It was while we were on the phone though that he dropped the bombshell that he had just been laid off. His whole department was eliminated. So we now had no income and would have no insurance in another 6 days. Our sole income just ended. My MS afflicted husband and my can't-do-what-I'm-supposed-to heart (not to mention my obvious mental issues) now had no insurance. Our sweet little one, thankfully, has no health issues so didn't lose quite as much and my older kiddo could be picked up by his dad.
At this point the sense of obligation came back to me for a minute or two. I headed back to the house so that we could talk about all of this. While it was discussed, at great length, I don't remember much of it. I wasn't exactly 'checked-in'. My inability to handle it all was the primary player and that sense of obligation was disappearing rapidly.
After I don't remember how long, I finally decided I was done. It was just too much. My crying and yelling and complete lack of control was scaring my sweet little one. I didn't want to do it anymore. For me, for them. Nothing. This wasn't ok. It wasn't worth it.
So, resolved, but still emotional, I got up and went to the bathroom. I had several prescriptions, and enough of them, that I was reasonably sure that waking up wasn't going to be an issue. I opened up the medicine cabinet and went to take them all out. Well, either subconsciously or coincidentally, I became incredibly clumsy and dropped the bottles into the sink. Within 10 seconds the husband was trying to push his way into our non-lockable bathroom. After a significant fight over the door, I lost and was faced with a scared husband demanding to know what I was doing.
Now here again, I'm pretty fuzzy on the details but after a bit of discussion, a phone call was made to the mental hospital and they told me to pack a bag and come in (after they had a private conversation with the husband). I called the ex to let him know that we would be bringing the little one by, and off we went.
About 2-3 hours after that phone call, I was a patient at a mental hospital. For a total of 5 days (this time).
While I will save some of the experience for another time, I will say that it was an experience that changed my life. As did the day that led to it. And the day I was discharged.
It was a combination of some of the stereotypical ideas we all have of 'the looney bin' and the opposite of them with everything in the middle.

There it is. The catalyst to this venture of mine. Well, a description of the day that started me on the present fork of the road that I'm on now, anyway.

It was this day that changed it all. Changed my illnesses, changed my diagnoses, changed my abilities and my desires. Changed my outlook and my journey.

Changed my determination.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Let's begin properly, shall we?

My name is Melissa. I am an orphan, a multiple trauma victim, an ex-wife, and a karate mom.

I also have, in no particular order, Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Anxiety. Major Depressive Disorder is also on several lists, but as it's a component of the Bipolar, I don't see much point.

This blog is about me and what it's like to live. You'll read about my family, about my past, and about my present. This blog is about a few things for me. About trying desperately to get back to the 'old me' that could complete coherent thoughts and articulate myself. That part of me has been referred to in the past tense for over half a year. I feel like it might actually be returning, thanks to my wonderful medications, and my desire to stimulate and utilize is great.
It's also about catharsis. Being a kind of assistant to my therapist, if you will.
The last aspect is not a defined goal, but would be a bonus. The possibility of helping anyone else. Whether that be someone else living with any one of the above diseases, someone who knows someone who lives with them, or anyone that wants a first hand look at life with these diseases. Maybe some insight, some wisdom gleaned from experience, or maybe just the opportunity to laugh with a fellow human as they transcribe their daily tribulations in their own crazy world.

Which brings me to a warning of sorts.
I use the words Crazy and Insane frequently. Not as derogatives. It's just one of my ways of laughing at the absurdity of the situation. I need to make light of it all. That's just how I roll.

So there you have the intro.

Welcome to the delirium!