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!!"
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!