Daily Archives: March 20, 2013

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Neutral, Muted

About the only feeling I can ascribe to myself right now is tired. Well, that’s not even right… worn out, perhaps? Exhausted? It’s some shade in between, and I’m too neutral to care about it. That isn’t to say that I’m poorly or that the bipolar is dancing a cruel dance on my brain… I’m just here, and here is quiet and still. I generally can’t complain about such. And I’m not now, though I do sigh slightly at how leaden I feel. Is it a lingering sickness? Most likely.

But all in all, it is existing. It will suffice for now.


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Not Much To Say

The title really says it all. It’s been uneventful as winter lingers and springtime teases. It’s not a particularly cheery …

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Shrink Appt: Victorious with prejudice

After much anxiety and dread…I saw the shrink today. For once, I actually asserted myself. I asked the nurse to help me speak up and I didn’t even need her help because for whatever reason, my “I am woman” switch was working and I roared.

I suggested Vistaril (whatever it is) and she said it was just going to fail because it is a weaker medication and the Klonopin is stronger and I should just have a higher dose.

I told her Xanax was the only thing that has ever worked and I have gone down in dose over the years, not up. Plus, the Klonopin does not help me, at all. She, of course, has never heard of anyone not responding to Klonopin.

I am an anomaly, what can I say?

I got my Xanax back, temporarily. And she increased the Cymbalta, apparently having no notes on how it made me hypomanic last time at a higher dose. I didn’t say a word. Because I’m not against hypomania.

I feel victorious, even though she was NOT happy about the Xanax. She said I am addicted. I disagree. I can go 18 plus hours on one 0.5 mg dose. She says it just masks things and does not act as a prophylactic. Again, I disagree, because I can slide most days on one dose and it does ward off the panic. I rarely take a xanax just because I am mid panic. She then said all these types of anti depressants are supposed to lessen anxiety and panic. They never have for me, ever. Not one of them.

But it occurred to me this morning that there is no way for these mental health professionals to know because they don’t take these meds, they don’t experience the side effects, the successes, the failures. They know book statistics and what should happen and what happens in a percentage of people. They don’t know how it works individually on separate brain chemistries. It’s like taking advice on pregnancy and childbirth from a man or a woman who has never been through it. Until you’ve worn those shoes, you have no clue. So I can’t entirely fault them for being clueless.

Still, it feels like a victory. And if things don’t change, then I will gladly fall upon my sword and say I was wrong, the problem wasn’t the klonopin. Experience has taught me otherwise but I am not so arrogant as to be unable to admit being wrong.

I have little doubt she is holding a grudge but she was amenable and I feel like a boulder has been lifted off of me.

I had to come home before going to the shop and write about it.

Now he is beckoning and I don’t want to go because it’s 23 degrees out which means the shop will be a fucking iceberg and he has nothing for me to do but I suppose I owe him, he has done a lot for me.

I’d much rather stay home and egad, do housework. What the fuck is wrong with me???? I am not a haus frau. The Cymbalta must be working heavy duty to make me want to do housework.

Alas, I am off into the petri dish without enthusiasm but armed with a script for Xanax.

Expect the worst, and get surprised. It’s a wonderful way to start the day.

Flash in the Pan; Aroused

This week’s Flash in the Pan  - Flash Fiction Challenge ;   Red from The M3 Blog  is offering up the challenge and anyone can join the fun,  Just link your [...]

Flash in the Pan; Aroused

This week’s Flash in the Pan  - Flash Fiction Challenge ;   Red from The M3 Blog  is offering up the challenge and anyone can join the fun,  Just link your [...]

Noga The Wonderdog: my anchor to reality

Noga the Wonder Dog

Meet Noga.  She’s my Psychiatric Service Dog.  What service does she provide for me?   She keeps me grounded in reality.

You see, many years ago I was raped.  Not once, but many times.  And that has provided me with a whopping case of PTSD:  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The way I coped with being a homeless street kid who got raped a lot was to dissociate.  To leave my body behind, while horrible things were being done to it, and go floating away to Somewhere Else.  It became a habit with my brain, to dissociate from anything threatening; and at last my brain started doing it all on its own, in response to triggers that I may not even be aware of.

And even now, forty years later, I often find that I have been “gone” for hours at a time.  I often have no idea what happened to trigger the episode.  But Noga can tell when I have dissociated, and she jumps up on my legs and “bops” me with her feet, and if necessary, pulls at my pants leg to bring me back to the here-and-now.

And then there are the nightmares.  In my last post I showed you a picture of all the pills I have to take in order to get through the night.  But even with all those drugs, some nights (like last night, for example) I will dream, or hallucinate, or both, that someone has climbed through the window and is standing over me.  B.N. (Before Noga), I could spend hours in a half-dream, half-waking state of paralysis, waiting for the intruder to make his move.  But Noga is a fierce 13 pound watch dog, and she bites!  Now if I have a nightmare I can reach over and if Noga is sleeping beside my left shoulder as she always does, I know there is nothing to fear and I can safely go back to sleep.  Here is Noga keeping the bed warm:

Noga refuses to get out of bed on a rainy morning!

Whose bed do you think this is, anyway?

There are other things she does for me, besides being my Service Dog.  She keeps my right elbow at the proper height for typing by curling up under it, for instance.  That plaid thing is my elbow.


Plus, she’s just my cute little buddy.


Noga hates getting her hair wet.

Photos courtesy of my Samsung Galaxy SIII phone.



I saw the counselor today. It went okay for awhile. I think when she said the shrink just needs to “higher” my klonopin dose, she lost me. If the big concern was me being on too high a dose of xanax, what would be the point of highering the klonopin? Isn’t that a step back, especially in light of the fact that for seven years, my xanax dosage has continued to go down, not up. I am willing to do lower. So raising the klonopin seems like the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

I flat out told her sometimes when I am copping an attitude, I don’t like her. I added that’s it’s all on me, but I don’t entirely believe that. I think 80% is me, but 20% is that she’s just kind of hit or miss as a therapist.

After the appointment, Scumbag Brain started in with the suspicion and paranoia. I wonder if she’s really on my side, if she believes a word I say, if she just says what the center’s “positive” attitude approach dictates. I don’t know where it comes from. And what’s more is it seems really stupid because I’ve done nothing but be honest so if she doesn’t believe me, then that’s on her, not me. I have bared my entire ugly soul to this woman with every ounce of sincerity and honesty in my body. Including some of my not so fine moments I’d prefer to forget but feel obligated to own up to.

There was talk of my fear of being hospitalized and she chastised me when I mentioned the cost of such a thing, told me not to worry about that part of it. Have you met me? Most of my shopping is done at Dollar Tree and yard sales, the bottom line is ALWAYS a concern for me. Especially since I think hospitalization is a fucking exercise in futility unless you are violent, suicidal, or non functioning. I live in terror of seeing the shrink and not being able to say I am all better. I don’t want to be hospitalized. I am coping, albeit without much grace. I need my meds adjusted, not exactly something I require being locked up to do. I’ve been battling this shit for 20 years now. I’m a pro. Besides which, if the day ever came where I needed a hospital, I would have zero qualms admitting it.

I am not there yet, but the pressure to say I am better when I am not and having that looming fear of hospitalization just add to my anxiety and depression.

The counselor asked me if I thought talking to her was helping at all. I told her I have always gotten a lot out of counseling because nothing is going to be worked out in the 9 allotted minutes for a med management appointment.

Scumbag brain inched the thought under the door: “maybe she’s sick of listening to you whine and that was her way of seeing if she could ditch you.”

Then I remind myself that I broke down in tears today and told her I am so frustrated and hopeless that I am pondering giving up counseling and going off all the damn meds. And she told me she wasn’t going to let me do that.

I have no idea what is going on with my brain. Why can’t it be cool kind of crazy, like tell me aliens are listening to my thoughts so I need to don a tinfoil hat?

I went to the shop, without any enthusiasm. I hate being there anymore. He keeps it so cold in there and all I can do is watch the clock waiting until I can leave and go home where it is warm.

Waiting to go home with all the swirling thoughts on what I could be doing…

Only to get home and be so drained by the time I get my kid to bed, all I want to do is crawl int0 bed because I know I am required to go do it all over again tomorrow. Even though I have pretty much accomplished all the work he has for me, and now I am just there for his amusement. Because he can’t hack being by himself. A trait that sickens me. Perhaps because I prefer being alone and can’t relate to people who want to be around others.

My defect, I know.

Now it’s 8pm and the clock is ticking. My shrink appt is 8 am sharp in the morning. The counselor told me to make a list and take it with me so if I get too panic stricken I can consult the list. My mood is so low, I am barely typing this, my mind is spinning and my anxiety is off the charts and I just don’t see the point of it all. Frankly, you don’t need a doctor to buy booze. It doesn’t solve anything but hey, neither do the meds. At least when numb with booze the anxiety goes away.

I have tried so damn hard. Switched to decaf, started eating more vegetables, I barely drink anymore.

I am doing everything I am supposed to be doing to help myself.

Unfortunately, it feels like I am the only one pulling for me. My whole life in a nutshell.

Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

I hate appointments, especially shrink appointments. My stomach has been a cramped up knot since about two pm in anticipation. One of my biggest triggers is being ignored. I need to feel heard and included in things affecting my life…and with psychiatrists, you’re barely a damn participant. A benched player. You are at the mercy of the doctor’s edicts.

With my current hair trigger temper, I am scared.

Scared of burning bridges or acting impulsively or…making a bigger mess of my life than it already is.

I will feel so much better once the appointment is over. I am gonna run the Vistoral or whatever by her, see what she says. I am willing to try something new.

I just don’t want to feel this way anymore. My mood is beginning to lift, I am looking forward to yard sale season and getting out more because it’s not cold…

Yet my brain is so paranoid and I am so panicky and suspicious and scared of everything…

It cancels out the other.

I think it’s time to curl up in bed. My scumbag brain hurts.

Maybe if I go to bed now, I will be asleep by midnight. I do not get to sleep easily the night before appointments because of the spinning mind.

When I was a kid, I used to love the playground merry go rounds and sit and spin toys.

Now…I just wish everything, including my mind, would stop spinning. I want off this ride. NOW.