Daily Archives: August 28, 2014

Small Towns

I live in a small town. In Arkansas. I was looking into mental health groups on google and I found a national depression and bipolar peer led support group. There isn’t a chapter even close to me. For more info you can go
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home

Anyway, I go next week to start with my new doctor and I know more changes will soon be coming but I want to do this. I want to be a part of something. I want to be there for someone else who is suffering in my small town in Arkansas.

I was listening to Air 1 this afternoon and they were talking about how God doesn’t cause our pain but He uses it to bring us to a platform that will do the most good for Him. Maybe that sounds terrible to some people. But to me those words plugged 20 strings in my heart. I have spent countless hours wondering why I am here. What God wants from me? And how I can use the way He created me in the best way.

I am absolutely blown away by what I have the opportunity to do. What a lifetime of struggles, and anger, and gut wrenching emotional pain has brought to me. Oddly, I feel honored to be able to be a voice and a loud one(maybe that’s the narcissistic personality disorder coming out ;-)). But even if that’s true, I refuse to stay silent. And I refuse to sit by and let one person be alone if I can help it. There’s about 5 psychiatrist in this little town. The best one, if you go by word of mouth, is over five months out on appointments. Ugh!! That just makes me sad. People need a place to go and people to know them and love them. It is my goal to be that person. It may take me a while to get everything together and the support I need. But I will do it. I will succeed and I will build a platform out of my pain that I will do my best to use to glorify God and help to show people His love.

I am so blessed and I can’t wait to continue this journey!!

Be blessed until next time!!


Low Down and Crazy

It's a bad one. I'm having one of those curl-up-in-a-ball-on-the-floor-and-stop-answering-the-phone weeks. Knowing it's a chemical imbalance doesn't make much goddamned difference... See, that's how depression works.

BOHICA

For the uninitiated, that’s a military acronym for Bend Over, Here It Comes Again. And here it came all right, this time in the form of blood clots in Will’s lungs. They found them on his routine follow-up CT scan yesterday. We learned of this when his oncologist Dr. Wonderful (not to be confused with Dr. Awesomesauce, but he IS wonderful in his own way) called me at 4:45 PM and told me to take him to the ER and tell them about what had been seen on the CT, because he needed treatment right away.

Of course this struck fear into my heart, because I know about PEs (pulmonary emboli) and they are serious. They usually originate in the deep veins of the legs, and when they break off and travel to the vital organs such as the lungs, heart, or brain, they can be life-threatening. Will was out on a walk with our dog, Zinnie, so I called him on his cell phone and basically told him to get his butt home STAT. So off we went, me trying to stay cool because I was scared enough for the both of us, and they ushered him right in.

The ER physician, however, wasn’t impressed. “These have been there for awhile,” he said. “You’ll need anticoagulation (medical therapy that dissolves blood clots) but there’s no imminent danger. We’ll do an ultrasound of your legs, and if there’s no clots we’ll send you home after we start you on some blood thinners.”

Instantly, relief flooded us both. Will hadn’t wanted to admit it, but he was scared shitless and even angry at his body for betraying him again. He’s been doing fantastic lately, with plenty of energy for his projects and his daily walks with Zin, and in fact there had been GOOD news associated with yesterday’s CT—the tumors have shrunk a little more, and there are no new ones. Hurray!

But it seems like it’s always something, and I had a private moment of sadness in the ER restroom when I realized that the future is going to be filled with times like this. It was a reminder that Will is still dealing with a catastrophic disease that is eventually going to win, no matter what we throw at it. We are always going to have to be on the lookout for new problems, new aches and pains, new diagnoses. We are always going to have to guard against falls and pneumonia (he had those too earlier this year). And of course, we are always going to have to watch the cancer itself, lest it grow new tentacles and begin to take over vital organs.

Today, however, he is full of life and high spirits, despite the fact that I’m going to have to give him shots in the belly for the next few days. He’s going to his model club meeting tonight just like he always does on Thursdays, and life will go on as if nothing had happened.

I like his way of thinking. Maybe I should try it myself. :-)


Can Mental Illness be cured for anyone?

This is a hard question for me. I know the general answer is no. But then you have those people that are walking around and talking about how they were able to heal themselves and there are the people that believe that mental illness doesn’t truly exist at all. But that it’s simply a combination of characteristics that are different from the majority of people.

I’m not totally sure that all of these things can’t exist. But I will say that it’s hard for me to swallow that someone who is truly bipolar or had Major Depression can just decide to heal themselves. I will say this. I do believe that people can be healed, especially from depression, even clinical depression and that pretty much everyone could have to deal with that at some point in their lives.

Before I continue please understand these are my thoughts and opinions, I would never claim to know what someone else has been through and what their experience has been. These things are just things that are hard for me to understand and get on board with.

Now, do I believe my diet and what I put into my body has an impact on my illness? Absolutely! Do I believe that I really need to start trying to create better habits so that I can be more stable. Yes!!! Do I think that these things alone will allow me to control my emotions over time. No, I don’t. If I am in between episodes or even hypomanic this could possibly help. But when I am in the depths of depression or mania there is no way these things can do what I need them to do. I literally feel crazy. I’m that person that holds their head and tells herself to SHUT UP!!! And this isn’t something that has happened once or twice, or happens when major life changes have happened and there’s a reason for my mind to be spinning out.

I do truly believe that most people, at times, have the symptoms that I live with on an almost daily basis. So many people don’t understand why it is different for me. And sometimes when people say “I’ve done that too” I wonder if I really am trying to invent something that isn’t really there. Then I remember that these moments aren’t here and there and didn’t come because I lost my job, my Dad died, and I got evicted all in a short period of time. ( FYI, none of those things have happened, it’s just an example). If that situation occurs it makes sense that a person would feel down and alone and that their negative thoughts could easily spiral out of control. And no one can say or tell someone how long it should take them to “snap out of it”, or “feel better”. But I truly believe in those situations that feeling better and getting back to normal will come. Sometimes people can do it themselves through personal awareness. Sometimes those people need help through medication or counseling, even if it’s for a short period of time. Sometimes people simply need to learn new habits and new ways to handle the circumstances that surround them. If you are never taught the appropriate, safe, healthy way of responding to a given situation how can you expect to act in that way.

I say these things simply to say that there are so many different ways that these issues can come about and manifest themselves. I would never wish for someone to be diagnosed with a mental illness if they don’t actual have it. If they just need to learn better coping skills, or relationship skills. It’s sometimes so hard to be able to recognize the difference. It just breaks my heart for someone to be told and believe that they are doomed when in fact that isn’t the case. That the behaviors they have learned can be changed. Will it be hard?? Sure it will. I don’t find the journey I am on as an easy road. But I also realize that for me my issues aren’t triggered by trauma or a dysfunctional childhood or anything like that. The best explaination for me is that it is a real physical chemical imbalance. And it doesn’t matter how much therapy I go through I truly don’t believe that alone will be helpful. Don’t get me wrong, I will do the work and I will do my best to learn more about myself in a way that will allow things to hopefully be a little easier for me and my family. But I am for the first time in my life truly terrified of what is coming. I don’t want my emotions to spin out, I don’t want to now know what’s going to happen when I wake up tomorrow, or in 5 minutes for that matter. Because the first time in my life I understand that while it feels normal to me it actually isn’t and it just makes things harder for everyone.

I want to be healed. I want to be better. But part of my journey is to accept that is probably never going to happen. That I will struggle and have to be constantly aware of myself and what is going on around me in order to stay stable. I also want for anyone else who can be healed, for them to be healed. For them to feel good and live life in a way that is healthy and wonderful. I would really never claim to know for sure if someone could be healed from being bipolar. But it’s just something that is hard for me to even entertain as a thought because I know how much and for how long I have been fighting with myself. And I know how it just has never worked, except maybe for a short period of time. But then it all comes back and it’s like the bottom falls out and I’m lost again. And sometimes for no reason. I won’t try to take away from someone else’s journey and story and sometimes I wish that people would treat me the same way. They would understand that what I have is real, and no matter what worked for you I’m going to struggle for the rest of my life with this. The good news for me is, there is a reason. There is a reason I have struggled for so long. There’s a reason I have felt alone, and even felt crazy at times. No one can take that away from me. And I can embrace it and move forward knowing that I can now try to take a little more control over something that I didn’t have enough understanding of to try to control before.

If you have been healed. I am so so happy for you. If you struggle daily and wonder if you will ever be better at all.. I’m right there with you!!! We can all walk this journey together and together we can make sure people understand everybody’s story is different and everyone should be aware of what is going around them and be actively involved in their treatment so that it works in the best way possible for each individual person.

Until next time…BE Blessed!!!!


The Big Move

Allo folks!

Hopefully people have realized that I’ve moved domain. I didn’t get to do it as cleanly as I wanted to because… heh… I sort of accidentally decimated the back end on the old domain and couldn’t get it ticking over again. The upshot is that it did make me get off my arse and get this set up and shinified, so hooray for that. I’d said to myself when I changed the name of the blog to The Scarlet B that I would move it to this domain as soon as it became available. I didn’t; I dithered for a few months before finally scooping it up. But now it’s mine all mine, hee hee.


Of course, this all comes with a huge side of ire and no patience. Thankfully, my big girl was at holiday club most of the day, and the little one was quietly dozing. I’d gotten most of it done before I had to get Lilbit from the aforementioned, but you know how it is — there’s always tiny loose ends nagging at the brain, making the anxiety screw up in to a fevered pitch. It also doesn’t help that the internet here is waaaay slower than at our old place; the upload speed is practically non-existent. We’ll reputedly have faster, ‘better’ internet by the end of the year… but we’ll see.


I feel like I’ve been sleeping too deeply lately. Like, deep sleep is good on the surface (*rimshot*), but it takes a while to claw out of, and comes with a heavy dusting of dream residue for hours after. With that spot of delusion the other week, I’m wary a bit. I’ve not had anything like that since, but those of us with serious mental illnesses know how it goes — gotta watch and evaluate everything to the n-millionth degree. Not that it stops anything from happening, but yanno, at least you can say as everything catches on fire, ‘Yup, I noticed that thing that wasn’t going so well.’

It’s still mainly good though. The novelty of having a new house hasn’t worn off yet, and I find myself baking and cleaning and keeping things organized. Or perhaps it’s that it’s finally, properly home. Our home, ‘designed’ by us to suit us. I’m not sure it’s a sensation I’ve actually ever encountered before with all the moving I’ve done previously. And while I loved our old place, we both knew that it would not be our final destination. So we didn’t really do anything but occupy the space. Plus yanno… space to craft and bake. Bliss. I suspect I will soon be littering the counter with rising bread, ha ha.

Anyways, hopefully the move didn’t lose too many of y’all, and well, I’ll hopefully see everyone when I manage to make the blog rounds!

<3

10 Things You Should Say To A Depressed Person

We have all seen the lists of things a person, albeit well-meaning, should never say to a depressed person. We also know that periodically experiencing crippling depression can be a symptom of a relapse into illness.Hopefully, if you have either … Continue reading

Where Did Our Year Go?

 

Wow. I can't believe I survived another year and have this as documentation. I have also lost the weight I gained from medications and am back down or lower than last year's weight. I should be able to celebrate with some fucking whiskey. The shitty thing is I still can't get outside, and I shake more like a fucking freezing chihuahua again. But I love, LOVE this generic Topomax. It has taken my appetite away, and kitchen grazing habit to comfort myself, or for something to do away, oh so far away!

Everything has shrunk, even my wrists. My boobs have too, now I'm between sizes and fuck, bras are very expensive, folks! I washed a bunch of silly old smaller clothes I used to wear, wore one of the t-shirts to Sin City 2 (great flick!), and I still felt fat. Stupid stupid stupid, I know. I'm down to a size 2, and just as I've always been, I'm still ashamed. Doesn't matter if I get down to a fucking 0, not that I'm trying. I'll still feel like a fucking big fat ZERO. Never call kids or other young people fat or ugly or some other awful thing. It just may stick with them for a fucking lifetime.

I went hunting through dusty boxes of stuff stored in the bedroom, and some drawers rarely opened. I was looking for some machine oil. There should have been some where my sewing machine was stored away. Instead, I found crayons made in Mexico, a tiny plaque of a chihuahua with "pepe" written on it, a $2 bill, a flask shaped like a coffin with a tiny funnel, a fancy solar watch with tiny diamonds, a sharpie, and some jewelry I'd been missing for a long time. No machine oil. I did keep the watch, the sharpie, an old ipod, and a little notepad I found, and made a note of the location of the jewelry. Nothing fancy, just silver, crystal, jet.

I intend to wear that stupid expensive watch I bought while on a manic binge, throw on some black pearls (gift), and force myself outside within the next few days. It's crazy hot in here in the evenings, baking like a fucking oven. The spouse just ignores me, showers, then hits the sack early. Fuck.

"Family Guy" has totally ruined The Cramp's version of "Surfin' Bird" for me.

That damn story about the little 9 year old girl... Parent(s) thought it would be a great idea to teach her how to use and Uzi. Went full automatic, lost control, killed the instructor. Now that little girl will have to live with the fact that she took the life of a man for the rest of her life all because of HER STUPID FUCKING PARENTS. She ought to be taken away from them, poor thing... It breaks my heart... no reason, no excuse... that poor baby... Man, that is abuse. What were they trying to do? Turn her into a little fuckin' "child soldier"? Give her PTSD and god knows what else?!

I skipped the treadmill and was fighting off anxiety and thoughts of PTSD today. Flashes of red. Reminded me of Hitchcock's "Marnie", one of my fave movies of his, and Sean Connery (sp?).

It's a good thing there's no Popeye's in town, otherwise I might just make it there. Those are probably the only fast food commercials that get to me just a little... I didn't bother eating much today. I thought I'd have some veggies and then some extra protein packed yogurt, but I had a bite or 4 of green beans, and just lost interest. Hard to eat when you're not hungry now. It's wonderful. I will be eating something tomorrow though. Yogurt for sure. I need the protein, and it's nice and cold! Wish we had strawberries to throw on top for extra pesticides and flavor. Mmmm...

My cat somehow found my red nail polish the other day, bless her little heart. Now I can finally do my toenails and wear sandals.

Looks like we won't be getting a door to this slumlord's garage/shooting gallery. I think the new job duties of the security "guards" now include cleaning up the garage, and properly disposing of all the used needles. Haven't heard from the manager/slumlord's bitch, of course... Haven't seen the alleged drug dealer that served up the death threat either.

You can't scare a person with bipolar who's attempted suicide many times in the past by threatening them with death! It's fucking hilarious, really. It's more of a matter of the fact that I'm not going to let that piece of shit make good on his threat. That's MY choice, not his, motherfucker. I'm not afraid of some man. I've had the beat down from a man that was supposed to love and accept me. I grew to fight back, and there was no more real fear. I'll never forget that first time I got hold of his belt and hit him with his own belt, the buckle end, and asked him how he liked it.

Long time ago, another lifetime ago. I can't imagine trying to explain all that shit to my kid, or if she'd even believe me. Which reminds me of another thing I found while digging around: a strawberry Jello lip gloss she gave me. It's around here somewhere... :) All I have to do is think of her sweet face and her smile, or me making her laugh hysterically over the craziest thing/voice, and it makes me smile now. Just keep on remembering that face, not the red flashes.

I better hit the sack and get in front of that fan that's blasting in there. Up early, and try try try again to make it outside alone, through the front door, if only for a moment or so. Make time for it, and quit screwing around.