Daily Archives: September 11, 2014

Now It Begins

Well, phase one of my Social Security odyssey has begun; I just had a 20-minute conversation with my attorney’s legal assistant that’s going to get the ball rolling on my disability claim.

It felt so awkward, talking to a stranger on the phone about my health issues. I’m OK with writing about them in this space because the Internet is so anonymous, but reading off my medication list and giving intimate details about how bipolar has affected my life and my ability to work just feels weird. I don’t know why. I’m sure this fellow has dealt with far worse issues than mine. But I’m going to have to get used to it, because this is only the beginning.

We’re going for broke on this. ALL of my medical conditions will count towards my eligibility and with any luck, prove to the powers that be that I really do need to be on Social Security. And I have to admit, if I were to review a chart like mine, I’d say it’s pretty impressive. High blood pressure. Diabetes. Asthma. Arthritis. Metabolic syndrome. Bipolar. Not to mention bad knees, bad back, chronic obesity and alcoholism. I used to joke that I wouldn’t have been admitted as a resident to my own assisted-living facility with my medical record, but I don’t think it’s very funny anymore.

So why do I feel like such an asshole for doing this?

Because it still feels like I’ve given up, even though I continue to search for jobs I think I can handle both physically and mentally. I confess that I’ve looked at a couple recently that I know I can’t handle, simply because they are familiar and they pay well. How I wish I could do that kind of work again; at least I was able to support my family and have a few bucks left over to go to the coast or see a movie once in awhile. But after losing two jobs and quitting another within a year’s time, I know I can’t get around it anymore. All the evidence points to the fact that I really am doing the right thing.

I think…..

 


Psychological caregivers add to stigma

It has occurred to me that people who are in the business of trying to help those who are mentally ill often only add to the confusion and fear of a person who is often already in many ways lost.

Counselors, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists often disagree amongst themselves. Much like many other aspect of our society and lives. For me that has only helped to make me unsure and confused. I have had professionals talk to me for 15 or 30 minutes and declare “there’s nothing wrong, everything you said is normal”. While that might be true, if I have come to you it obviously wasn’t an easy decision to come to. As with the nature of most mental illness people don’t jump to thinking they have a malfunctioning brain or emotions or whatever.

Then you have the difference in people who say everyone has a different set of personality traits. Ok, so luck of the draw (or genetics) and I got the combination that makes my life hard, relationships hard, that leaves me often feeling alone and out of control of even the simplest of emotions. Logically, that just doesn’t make sense.

Sure everyone has their own story and own path, but why should I have to live my life suffering all the time if I don’t have to. I spent a lot of years believing these “characteristics” were just who I am (which is true) but it’s frustrating when you try to control them and you can’t. I could never understand why people couldn’t accept that these things are “just the way I am”. Well, there’s a reason for that. And the reason is that I don’t have to be this way all te time. I can learn methods of coping and possibly take medication that will allow me to balance things out a little more.

I’m still learning what all of this means and what I need to do. But I do know this when a mental health professional tries to make me believe the only problems is my mixture of personality traits that’s really annoying. And leaves me feeling like I am in even less control. It leaves me feeling that I am a failure because I can’t overcome my thoughts, reactions, and emotions in some cases. It leaves me feeling like for the rest of my life I will continue to hurt people and myself without even meaning to and that my life will be the sum of my inability to control my emotions.

So I would ask that these professionals really take a step back and ask how much they are helping someone when they try to convince them one way or the other. Wouldn’t it make more sense if someone is teaching out for help to try I help them realize for themselves that either they do indeed have an issue, or that just maybe their issues aren’t as bad as what they once believed they were. If everyone was on te same page wanting people to be healthy and happy wouldn’t that be the ultimate goal in the first place.

Just something I’ve been thinking about recently while I step out into this new world.

Be blessed today!! Thanks for stopping by :-)


Lake Morning

Morning spreads like kissing mist over the lake... An hour ago, I watched the silent sun lick the water, and dance like scattered marbles on the surface.

Stormy Weather and the Return of the Paramour

It’s been a gloomy past few weeks. Migraines have been sidelining me and just when I think things are calming down, something pops up.

The Paramour and I had a major falling out months ago and we really haven’t spoken since then. The primary reasons for our argument were his alcoholism and his inability to accept my mental illness. I tell myself to forget about him, but once I care about someone, it’s nearly impossible to just turn those feelings off. So when I do run into him at work, it’s always a mess of emotions that I struggle to handle.
I heard from the Paramour’s  co worker that his drinking is worse, to the point he could lose his job. Paramour looks awful, swollen, exhausted- nothing like the handsome, mischievous guy I fell for so long ago.
Besides praying for him, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know what to do with my feelings for him. I do not want to try to save him-that is his choice and responsibility. I feel like we are both treading water and losing sight of the shoreline.

Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: addiction, help, hurt, love, mental illness

Drug Dependency

This is what I always was afraid would happen to me if I stayed on psychotropic medications for any length of time, and I was right: I have become utterly dependent on them.

I forgot my AMs again this morning, so of course by three PM I was restless and edgy. I’d called in my refill requests on Monday and the pharmacy didn’t have the Klonopin in; apparently Dr. Awesomesauce hadn’t authorized it, and since I knew tonight was my last dose, I got anxious and asked the pharmacist to fax him again even though I knew he’d be out of the office till Friday.

In the meantime, I was having all these paranoid thoughts: what if he meant to take me off of the Klonopin and just decided not to renew the prescription? He’d re-ordered all the other meds for me, why not that one?  What would happen if I came off cold turkey? Would my spare Ativan keep me from getting too wound up? What would I do if he did take me off?

It isn’t that I have any particular obsession with Klonopin. They are not “happy pills” to me, they are merely vital to my existence as a person with bipolar disorder and anxiety, and I fear the rebound symptoms that would occur if I suddenly stopped taking them. I was half-panicking just thinking about not having any till tomorrow night! I usually don’t cut things this close; I know to give the pharmacy two business days to, well, take care of business. But it would have been the same with any of the meds I depend on for my sanity…..I need ALL of them to help me manage my life. And sometimes, I really hate that.

So I wasn’t happy as Will and I drove away from the pharmacy without the Klonopin. Then I remembered that Dr. A doesn’t work that way. He’s not like some doctors I’ve had in the past who would change or discontinue medications without discussing it with me first. Not to mention the fact that we’ve never even really talked about the Klonopin, except to reaffirm my ongoing need for it. I’ve been on anti-anxiety meds for a good portion of my adult life; of course he’s not going to cut me off suddenly, even if it IS a low dose. Besides……he just doesn’t do that.

So I decided to trust the process—and my doctor—and figured if worse came to worst, I’d have Will give me an Ativan at bedtime tomorrow night and then I’d follow up on Friday morning. But as soon as we got home, I couldn’t resist taking a peek online at the patient portal where one can get all their test results and other medical information. And sure enough, it showed that my prescription has been filled after all and is ready for me.

I should never have doubted it for a minute. It’s just that when you depend on some kind of substance to survive—which means depending on somebody in authority to provide it—it’s hard to let go and let God, so to speak. I’m not good at that. Maybe it’s time to learn how.

 

 


Blog Splog

I don’t feel like writing, finding out my best friends cancer isn’t improving by reading her blog has put me in a foul mood and I can’t think of anything to say. My bipolarity and mood swings seem to be kind of trivial at the moment.

I see my shrink and therapist tomorrow, I’ll let ya know how it goes ……