Daily Archives: November 6, 2014

I Broke My Therapist and Got a New Diagnosis

Warning:  This post contains possible triggers for self-harm.  If you are not safe, please don't continue.

The new diagnosis is Bipolar II and doesn't really have anything to do with me breaking my therapist.  It's something that's been tossed around as a possibility a couple of times in the past.  I think we're calling it semi-definite now.  Enough that I'm trying a new medication for it.  We'll see if that does anything to change my life.

But the real reason for this post is the whole breaking-my-therapist thing.

Let me start off by saying how much I adore my therapist, Dan.  A lot.  He's amazing and has helped me so much over the years.  He's seen me through some very difficult stuff and walked me through the dark corners of my life that I didn't want to go into.  I would recommend him to anyone.  Well, almost anyone.  Anyone who needs help but doesn't have a problem with self-harm.

You see, along with being a hero, my therapist is a person.  Just a regular human being.  With issues.  I know.  Therapists aren't supposed to have issues, huh?  But they do.  And he does.  And self-harm is the one I triggered.

For anyone who doesn't know me well or hasn't read my blog much, self-harm and I are old friends.  She's helped me get through some really heavy times.  (Not sure why I called self-harm female, but let's just run with it.)  Generally I'm a scratcher.  I use a broken plastic spoon to scratch myself (usually my arms) until I get through several layers of skin and it welts up and bleeds and stings really good.  I say good because to me, in those moments, it feels good.  Don't ask me why.  It doesn't make sense in my logical brain.  It just does.

I'm not good at knowing what will set it off.  It just happens.  I go months without doing it and then WHAM!  Out of nowhere I'm slicing my arms open.

Only this time I maybe should have seen it coming.  I've been fighting a nasty depression (with a couple days of hypomania thrown in, just for fun).  I went quite dark a few days.  Started isolating myself.  Quit getting dressed or leaving the house.  Stopped communicating with people.  Not a happy place.

I don't know what the straw was -- you know, the one that broke the camel's back.  But something happened and I knew I was going to hurt myself.  And being in that dark place when it started coming on, the idea of asking for help didn't occur to me.

But this time I didn't need to scratch.  I needed to burn.  See, it's like getting an itch.  And it's a peculiar itch.  An itch that will only be well scratched with the proper technique.  Sometimes that's the spoon.  Once in a while it calls for the curling iron.

Almost before I knew it I had a nice, big, second-degree burn on my arm.  Ugh.  I'd gone so long without doing it.  I'd been able to wear short sleeves without worrying about traumatizing my kids or others.  And then BAM!  All down the toilet.  Dang it!

Yes, it felt better in the moment.  Yes, it took away the itch.  Was it worth it?  I don't know the answer to that yet.

But then I had a therapy session.  Therapy only works if I'm honest with my therapist.  So I told him and showed him.  He wasn't happy, but we were functioning.  We were even making some progress.  Until near the end of the session.  When I, in the interest of honesty and knowing it was something I should tell him, told him I was thinking of using a blade.

And it triggered him.  And he lost his therapist brain for a bit.  And he called me a coward.

I completely shut down therapeutically.  I refused to look at him.  I started crying a lot.  I told him I was done and wanted to leave.

He could tell things had gone off the rails and tried to fix them a little, but it wasn't going to happen.  He asked when my next appointment was (because now he was very worried about me; it's never a good sign when you leave a therapy appointment in a more fragile state than when you entered).  When I told him it was in two weeks he said that was too long.  He looked at his schedule for the next week to see where he could squeeze me in.  It was packed full.  But he had an opening for the next day.  Would I take that one?  Whatever, just get me out of here.

I called my husband and told him what had happened.  He could hear how bad I was.  He tried to talk me through it.  I said I was safe (therapy code word for not-going-to-hurt-myself).  I said I was just going to go home and go to bed.  Maybe watch some Angel or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  He offered to come home.  I said he didn't need to. 

Apparently he didn't believe me, because he showed up a couple hours later (he has a two hour commute).  I needed him more than I thought and spent the rest of the night next to him.  Then he took the next day off work so he could come to my therapy session with me.

I don't often want outside help.  My husband is many things, but my strength is not usually one of them.  This time it was.  I needed him to be my buffer with my therapist.  Also not a good sign.

Usually when I take my husband to therapy with me it's because he's having a problem (we see the same therapist) or we're having a marital problem (which still usually means he's having a problem).  So as we sat down in the therapist's office he asked if there was a marital problem.  I said that we were fine.  He asked if Bill was there as support.  I said yes.  Then I looked him in the eye for the first time since he'd called me a coward and through my tears said, "I don't feel emotionally safe with you."

I chokingly explained what had happened the day before, thinking that maybe he didn't understand what he'd said or didn't mean it that way.  He said, "Yep.  I did."  Then he went on to defend it with the idea of challenging a patient.  Using the relationship between patient and therapist to push the patient into something healthier.  He said self-harm was a deal breaker for him.  It was his Achilles heal.  He said sometimes people forget that therapists are people, too, and have their own issues.  This was his.  If I couldn't commit to not do it anymore maybe it would be a good idea for him to refer me to someone else.

I've been seeing him off and on for over eight years.  The idea of starting over, of having to explain everything - my whole life story - again to someone new, was not appealing.  Was exhausting to just think about.  But I was pretty sure I couldn't work with a therapist that I knew saw me as a coward.  Someone I wouldn't feel comfortable telling when I self-harmed.  And I knew I couldn't say I was done.

I told him I needed to think about it and let my husband spend the next forty minutes asking about Bipolar II (really, just to get our money's worth; I had made the decision).  Then my husband ran out of questions.  It was time.

My therapist apologized for using such a "harsh" word.  I looked him in the eye again and said, "It wasn't harsh.  It was demeaning."  He just nodded.

We all sat in silence for a minute or two.

Then I looked him in the eye and told him I needed him to refer me to someone else.  I told him I've never not seen him as a person.  I never thought he didn't have issues.  But I have my own issues and I can't carry his, too.  I have to carry the issues of too many people in my life.  I can't carry his.

So he said he would refer me out.  He said his feelings weren't hurt.  He said I could come back if I ever needed to.  I understood completely why he reacted the way he did (I know what it's like to be triggered).  We patched things up amazingly well and respectfully.  I left with a recommendation from him (Jason) and a promise from me that I would get medication for Bipolar II ASAP.  And with a heart that was breaking, because even though I knew it was the right decision I was so sad about leaving him.

My husband and I left his office and I immediately set appointments with the new guy.

Lest I leave you with a bad feeling about my therapist, there is more.

He called me later that night to check on me and make sure I was okay.  I was.  I was actually doing great.  Much better than I'd been in days.  Because I'd done something very brave and very hard to stay true to my own needs.  I was riding a bit of a high from that.  He also said that what I'd said, about not carrying his issues, had stuck with him.  He'd been thinking about that a lot and would continue to do so.

Then he called me a few days later to apologize.  He said not only had he handled the first appointment horribly, inappropriately, but he'd botched the second one, too.  He said it's never okay to call someone names.  He acknowledged that he'd not been in his therapist mind at the time.  He said he'd spoken to some colleagues about it and understood a bit better.  He said to force me to transition to a new therapist while in the midst of a deep depression was completely wrong of him.  He said he knew that he'd shut me down when I needed to be heard.  And he was so sorry about that.

Then he said he'd also talked to his colleagues about his issue.  He said he understood self-harm better and how to see it as a symptom and to treat it as such.  He said he thought we'd done great work together over the years and still could.  He said he thought he could work with me, that he liked working with me, and wondered if there was any way we could repair the relationship.  Would I be interested in coming back?  Seeing him again?

I thought about it for a few seconds, but the decision was easy.  Because just moments before he'd called me I'd gotten out of a session with my new therapist.

I thanked him for his apology and gladly accepted it.  I told him we had done lots of good work together.  And then I told him I'd just met with Jason and wanted to try that course for a while.

He said he understood and that I would always be welcome back.  I told him it was nice to know I had a parachute, should I need one.

Will I go back?  Honestly, I think eventually I probably will.  I want to see what this new therapist has to offer.  Maybe he can help me kick the self-harm thing for good.  Maybe he can help me want to.  He thinks he can.

But I don't imagine he can possibly solve all the problems that keep me crazy.  My life is not simple and shows no signs of letting up any time soon.  I imagine I will work with him, get better for a while, leave therapy and try to make it on my own, and eventually crash and burn again (I mean that like a plane going down not depression and self-harm).  And when I do I will look for that comfortable place.  That worn pair of pants.  Because Dan and I still fit.

I Broke My Therapist and Got a New Diagnosis

Warning:  This post contains possible triggers for self-harm.  If you are not safe, please don't continue.

The new diagnosis is Bipolar II and doesn't really have anything to do with me breaking my therapist.  It's something that's been tossed around as a possibility a couple of times in the past.  I think we're calling it semi-definite now.  Enough that I'm trying a new medication for it.  We'll see if that does anything to change my life.

But the real reason for this post is the whole breaking-my-therapist thing.

Let me start off by saying how much I adore my therapist, Dan.  A lot.  He's amazing and has helped me so much over the years.  He's seen me through some very difficult stuff and walked me through the dark corners of my life that I didn't want to go into.  I would recommend him to anyone.  Well, almost anyone.  Anyone who needs help but doesn't have a problem with self-harm.

You see, along with being a hero, my therapist is a person.  Just a regular human being.  With issues.  I know.  Therapists aren't supposed to have issues, huh?  But they do.  And he does.  And self-harm is the one I triggered.

For anyone who doesn't know me well or hasn't read my blog much, self-harm and I are old friends.  She's helped me get through some really heavy times.  (Not sure why I called self-harm female, but let's just run with it.)  Generally I'm a scratcher.  I use a broken plastic spoon to scratch myself (usually my arms) until I get through several layers of skin and it welts up and bleeds and stings really good.  I say good because to me, in those moments, it feels good.  Don't ask me why.  It doesn't make sense in my logical brain.  It just does.

I'm not good at knowing what will set it off.  It just happens.  I go months without doing it and then WHAM!  Out of nowhere I'm slicing my arms open.

Only this time I maybe should have seen it coming.  I've been fighting a nasty depression (with a couple days of hypomania thrown in, just for fun).  I went quite dark a few days.  Started isolating myself.  Quit getting dressed or leaving the house.  Stopped communicating with people.  Not a happy place.

I don't know what the straw was -- you know, the one that broke the camel's back.  But something happened and I knew I was going to hurt myself.  And being in that dark place when it started coming on, the idea of asking for help didn't occur to me.

But this time I didn't need to scratch.  I needed to burn.  See, it's like getting an itch.  And it's a peculiar itch.  An itch that will only be well scratched with the proper technique.  Sometimes that's the spoon.  Once in a while it calls for the curling iron.

Almost before I knew it I had a nice, big, second-degree burn on my arm.  Ugh.  I'd gone so long without doing it.  I'd been able to wear short sleeves without worrying about traumatizing my kids or others.  And then BAM!  All down the toilet.  Dang it!

Yes, it felt better in the moment.  Yes, it took away the itch.  Was it worth it?  I don't know the answer to that yet.

But then I had a therapy session.  Therapy only works if I'm honest with my therapist.  So I told him and showed him.  He wasn't happy, but we were functioning.  We were even making some progress.  Until near the end of the session.  When I, in the interest of honesty and knowing it was something I should tell him, told him I was thinking of using a blade.

And it triggered him.  And he lost his therapist brain for a bit.  And he called me a coward.

I completely shut down therapeutically.  I refused to look at him.  I started crying a lot.  I told him I was done and wanted to leave.

He could tell things had gone off the rails and tried to fix them a little, but it wasn't going to happen.  He asked when my next appointment was (because now he was very worried about me; it's never a good sign when you leave a therapy appointment in a more fragile state than when you entered).  When I told him it was in two weeks he said that was too long.  He looked at his schedule for the next week to see where he could squeeze me in.  It was packed full.  But he had an opening for the next day.  Would I take that one?  Whatever, just get me out of here.

I called my husband and told him what had happened.  He could hear how bad I was.  He tried to talk me through it.  I said I was safe (therapy code word for not-going-to-hurt-myself).  I said I was just going to go home and go to bed.  Maybe watch some Angel or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  He offered to come home.  I said he didn't need to. 

Apparently he didn't believe me, because he showed up a couple hours later (he has a two hour commute).  I needed him more than I thought and spent the rest of the night next to him.  Then he took the next day off work so he could come to my therapy session with me.

I don't often want outside help.  My husband is many things, but my strength is not usually one of them.  This time it was.  I needed him to be my buffer with my therapist.  Also not a good sign.

Usually when I take my husband to therapy with me it's because he's having a problem (we see the same therapist) or we're having a marital problem (which still usually means he's having a problem).  So as we sat down in the therapist's office he asked if there was a marital problem.  I said that we were fine.  He asked if Bill was there as support.  I said yes.  Then I looked him in the eye for the first time since he'd called me a coward and through my tears said, "I don't feel emotionally safe with you."

I chokingly explained what had happened the day before, thinking that maybe he didn't understand what he'd said or didn't mean it that way.  He said, "Yep.  I did."  Then he went on to defend it with the idea of challenging a patient.  Using the relationship between patient and therapist to push the patient into something healthier.  He said self-harm was a deal breaker for him.  It was his Achilles heal.  He said sometimes people forget that therapists are people, too, and have their own issues.  This was his.  If I couldn't commit to not do it anymore maybe it would be a good idea for him to refer me to someone else.

I've been seeing him off and on for over eight years.  The idea of starting over, of having to explain everything - my whole life story - again to someone new, was not appealing.  Was exhausting to just think about.  But I was pretty sure I couldn't work with a therapist that I knew saw me as a coward.  Someone I wouldn't feel comfortable telling when I self-harmed.  And I knew I couldn't say I was done.

I told him I needed to think about it and let my husband spend the next forty minutes asking about Bipolar II (really, just to get our money's worth; I had made the decision).  Then my husband ran out of questions.  It was time.

My therapist apologized for using such a "harsh" word.  I looked him in the eye again and said, "It wasn't harsh.  It was demeaning."  He just nodded.

We all sat in silence for a minute or two.

Then I looked him in the eye and told him I needed him to refer me to someone else.  I told him I've never not seen him as a person.  I never thought he didn't have issues.  But I have my own issues and I can't carry his, too.  I have to carry the issues of too many people in my life.  I can't carry his.

So he said he would refer me out.  He said his feelings weren't hurt.  He said I could come back if I ever needed to.  I understood completely why he reacted the way he did (I know what it's like to be triggered).  We patched things up amazingly well and respectfully.  I left with a recommendation from him (Jason) and a promise from me that I would get medication for Bipolar II ASAP.  And with a heart that was breaking, because even though I knew it was the right decision I was so sad about leaving him.

My husband and I left his office and I immediately set appointments with the new guy.

Lest I leave you with a bad feeling about my therapist, there is more.

He called me later that night to check on me and make sure I was okay.  I was.  I was actually doing great.  Much better than I'd been in days.  Because I'd done something very brave and very hard to stay true to my own needs.  I was riding a bit of a high from that.  He also said that what I'd said, about not carrying his issues, had stuck with him.  He'd been thinking about that a lot and would continue to do so.

Then he called me a few days later to apologize.  He said not only had he handled the first appointment horribly, inappropriately, but he'd botched the second one, too.  He said it's never okay to call someone names.  He acknowledged that he'd not been in his therapist mind at the time.  He said he'd spoken to some colleagues about it and understood a bit better.  He said to force me to transition to a new therapist while in the midst of a deep depression was completely wrong of him.  He said he knew that he'd shut me down when I needed to be heard.  And he was so sorry about that.

Then he said he'd also talked to his colleagues about his issue.  He said he understood self-harm better and how to see it as a symptom and to treat it as such.  He said he thought we'd done great work together over the years and still could.  He said he thought he could work with me, that he liked working with me, and wondered if there was any way we could repair the relationship.  Would I be interested in coming back?  Seeing him again?

I thought about it for a few seconds, but the decision was easy.  Because just moments before he'd called me I'd gotten out of a session with my new therapist.

I thanked him for his apology and gladly accepted it.  I told him we had done lots of good work together.  And then I told him I'd just met with Jason and wanted to try that course for a while.

He said he understood and that I would always be welcome back.  I told him it was nice to know I had a parachute, should I need one.

Will I go back?  Honestly, I think eventually I probably will.  I want to see what this new therapist has to offer.  Maybe he can help me kick the self-harm thing for good.  Maybe he can help me want to.  He thinks he can.

But I don't imagine he can possibly solve all the problems that keep me crazy.  My life is not simple and shows no signs of letting up any time soon.  I imagine I will work with him, get better for a while, leave therapy and try to make it on my own, and eventually crash and burn again (I mean that like a plane going down not depression and self-harm).  And when I do I will look for that comfortable place.  That worn pair of pants.  Because Dan and I still fit.

Mentally Manic

Mood: subdued.
Anxiety: manageable.
Mind: racing.

Mentally manic.
I’ve yet to get off my ass and do anything aside from taking my kid to school. Still, there are the racing thoughts and this feeling that my mind is too crowded. Traffic jam of the brain.
Thing is, I am having difficulty sorting through all the noise enough to decide what I want to do.
Write?
Housework?
Watch something?
Listen to music?
Rake leaves?
I. have. no. idea.

It’s like my mind is a radio and it’s pulling multiple stations on one frequency. I don’t know what song is playing or who is yapping or if it’s a commercial.

Focus, for me, is a lot like being in one of those booths where they put money and a person inside, then turn on the blowers. You might grab up a few bills but the chaos keeps you from actually grabbing fistfuls.
I am literally in a booth swirling with thoughts and I can’t seem to grab onto just one. It’s a flood of them.

This is what has become the ultimate problem for me, the one thing the doctor has zero interest in hearing about or treating. So much of the trouble I have is due to racing thoughts and inability to concentrate, focus, and make decisions. She says it’s part of the depression. I’m on anti depressant so that will help.
It doesn’t.
The only thing that ever helped (and by helped, I mean, it turned me into a new person) was Focalin. She won’t even discuss it. So I am getting frustrated with this more than the anxiety, random panic attacks, and mood swings.

For now…I’m caught up in the vortex of my own mind and it’s making me mad as a hatter.

Mental health care in this country is a bucket of suck and fail.


Kickin’ It Up A Notch

Hey there. Bipolaronfire, Florida Edition here. I gotta tell you, I pulled off a masterful manipulation with Dr. BigHeart at my last ECT appointment. I got him to prescribe me a stimulant (angels singing). Because I have no “Get Up And Go” in the mornings. It’s like I never quite sleep off the Clozaril/Clonazepam/Progesterone BAM BAM BAM that I do at night. So I convinced Dr. BigHeart that I needed a little kick in the morning. He prescribed Vyvanse 30 mg. Today is my first day of taking it. So far, I am still in the bed. I got up (ok woke up, I haven’t gotten up) two and a half hours ago. I still have hope that I will float off this bed and start exercising in the Florida sunshine. Actually, it’s a requirement that I’ve given myself. I WILL go to the beach today and I WILL walk and I WILL ride my roomie’s bike to the beach (it’s a killer ride) Not in that order but you get the gist, right?. I’m setting a deadline of Noon to get going, I have to go to the store to buy a bike lock and a hat to protect my poor scalp from burning. Then, off to the races! I’ll let you know how it goes. How is your November 6th going? Peaches!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Exercise, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Hope, Humor, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader, Vyvanse

How To Be A Fearless Home-Re-Maker



 
 
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”

                                                -Matsuo Bashō

 

The first week of separation that will lead to divorce.  My legs are wobbly, at times threatening to buckle beneath me, but I have remained upright, breathing steadily, firm in the conviction that while it will be a difficult journey, all will be well.  I have been preparing for this—after all, I survived the dark hell of those years when I tried to die by my craziness, my drinking, and my starvation.  I almost lost my life and all that I loved, but I fought my way back and in doing so, learned that I don’t ever have to allow it to spiral into the abyss again.  All I have to do is be a willing partner with the universe, which seems, by my estimation these days, to be generally benevolent.  Stop trying to be in control, trying to force things into an unnatural direction (aka where I have predetermined they MUST go) and say “yes” to the possible ways my life might unfold instead of  always saying “no” and bucking and thrashing like some cornered wild stallion.  This is how I am trying to view my life inside divorce: instead of seeing it as an overwhelming, out-of-breath disaster, it could be a possibility for my life to unfold in unexpected, remarkable, and yes, hopeful ways 

I am in my new house.  The first time I have lived on my own, in well, forever.  I went from living with my parents, to basically living with my boyfriend in college, to living with C..  Forty-two years of eternal co-habitation, of tuning my antennae into the frequencies of other people—into their desires, their needs, their likes and dislikes.  I don’t mean this to be a criticism, merely a neutral observation.  But this habitual checking-in is a difficult mental habit to break.  It is hard, for instance, to recover what I really like—what I really want for myself for dinner, for new lamps, for a new couch.  What if I make an unwise choice?  How do I choose only for myself and without consultation?  It took me one month to decide upon my new camel-colored, tufted couch because I ran through fifteen possibilities, all varieties of camel-colored, tufted couches,  wavering between one than another then yet another.  How to finally decide without regret?  How to know myself for myself again?

This first week, the kids are with C., and I am in the house living alone, becoming acquainted with myself, learning the rooms of the house, learning how the light casts shadows across the day, learning the ways the bones of the house settle in at night, learning how not to be scared when I wake up at three a.m., and no one, not C., not the kids, is there.  I walk from room to room and think: Here I am, starting my new life.  Here I am walking through my house.  Here I am doing it, owning it, keeping myself together.  Here I am loving myself through this impossible stretch of time.  I try to make that internal voice sound loving and kind, but also a little bit stern, like my CrossFit trainer who tells me that I can add heavier weight to my barbell even when I’m about to cry and fold at the thought of it.  “Kerry,” he says, “you can always take it off if it’s really too heavy.  But I know you.  You’re a strong woman.  You can do this.”  Kind, firm, he doesn’t back down.  I have to try.  And most of the time, he’s right.  I can lift the damn weight.  I had no idea I was capable of such strength.

What I don’t have, right now in the first week alone: C. in his whirlwind of cooking in the kitchen; the companionable silence on the couch as C. and I watch some favorite show on t.v.; pet hair; laundry—one person alone barely creates what four do; the kids’ backpacks and shoes and mess of schoolbooks on the breakfast table; noise, voices, the fullness of other people; being needed every ten minutes to find a book, a sock, a light saber, a Kindle, a Nintendo DS, a Lego piece, to give a hug and a kiss. 

What I have right now in the first week alone: time; time to follow my own schedule; time to go to the gym in the morning; time to finish an editing job; time to finish all my schoolwork for NEXT week; time to go out to dinner with friends three nights in a row; time to write this blog; time to set up house and try to make it home; time to try to cook for myself instead of relying on cereal for dinner; time to listen to the internal barometer instead of hurrying past it: How do I feel?  Am I okay?  Can I be honest? 

Can I be honest.  This is the only way to proceed.  At one point in my life, I lived in a house of lies—I lied about what I ate, what I drank, how I felt, and if I was planning to die.  I don’t lie anymore which is, in part, why I am now living in my house of truth, and while it meant giving up what was comfortable and safe for the unknown and scary, it also meant putting into practice everything that I have been speaking about for the past several years in regards to having to be fearless.  It was time to take the leap and live in truth.  So here I am sitting in my new dining room, as the morning light washes over me, alone but not, for the moment, lonely.  And of course, next week, my kitchen will be filled with backpacks and shoes and a mess of schoolbooks and my house with noise and my kids’ lovely need for hugs and kisses and my search and rescue skills for lost Legos and Kindles.

 

   

 

 

 

 

Even Wayne Brady has depression

http://www.etonline.com/news/153335_wayne_brady_opens_up_about_his_depression/index.html Wayne Brady has come out and said he has battles with depression He says he is not taking medicine but visiting a therapist. I feel bad for saying this but it feel nice that celebrities are FINALLY coming out of the “Mental health” closet and telling the world about mental illness in a different …

Drowning

I’m lost.  I can’t see anything in front of me, except darkness.  The weight on my chest is unbearable and I can no longer breathe.  I’m drowning, mired in this metaphorical ocean of instability.  Most of the time, I can reach out for something to cling to.  A tiny sense of hope.  At that moment, I know that if I could just get this, this and this to follow through, everything will be OK.

Today, there is no “this” and there certainly isn’t any hope.  It’s such a simple thing, really.  A small mistake that has spread like a disease.  I’ve been awake most of the night trying to find a solution, and I am afraid I have not been successful.  For once in my life, I can’t think my way out of it. 

I’m so tired and so sad.  Why does it seem as if no matter how hard I try, I can’t get ahead of it all?  Am I having a pity party?  I don’t know.  Whose business is it, really?  If you aren’t paying my bills, or taking care of my family, I don’t care about your opinions.   I just wish I could find the strength to swim to shore, and find my way out of this mess. 

I spend so much time trying to help others so that they don’t have to follow my path, and go through these feelings of defeat, fear…failure.  I would love to be able to talk myself down from the ledge.  It’s 2:58 am, and here I’m stuck in every way.  I don’t think I can find a positive message to end this post with.  At this point in my life, nothing seems the least bit positive. 

 I have no answers to any of these questions, and for a person with control issues, that is a terrifying experience.  All I can ask is that I at least make it out of this in one piece.  I’m going to try, but whatever strength I had has long since left me. 

 

Be well, my friends. 

Still Up But Down

Sick sucks. My mood is good. I am in the mental arena of being able to do anything pretty much. This cold has me laid out like well I can’t think of anything creative. Just sick as hell and unable to do anything. Can’t even think. My nose is so plugged I can barely breathe and my throat is so sore swallowing totally sucks.

A good thing that happened is that we now have part of the garage and a basement framing done. It’s awesome! Finally seeing some work done to the house has risen my spirits. I’m excited again. That is nice.

Anyhow gonna go back to bed and rest some more. I want to feel well enough to go the lot on Friday!


Emotional Vampire

I guess one could say I am an emotional vampire. Not that I drain people of energy, I just find myself feeding on it at times. If others are down, I go down with the sinking ship, too. Well, sometimes. Mania doesn’t have boundaries and sometimes, life is just…content and your mood stays up.
Today…The energy around me was pure bad juju from all around. It’s not my favorite. And it’s not my fault or theirs.
But without anything to feed on and nourish my mind with…The ship is sinking and I’m not going down with it, I am like a rat jumping off the ship and trying to swim to shore.
I’m not like abandoning people simply because their low energy is sapping mine. Just…taking a step back, trying to tap into my own energy to keep myself afloat.
And other than boredom, today hasn’t been so bad. At least Kenny was at the shop and gave some comic relief and good vibes.
Coming home…not so much. Seeing a friend struggle and drown is tough. You can’t save them from mental illness. Best you can do is try to save them from themselves.
And at some point,you just gotta say…You’re as much of the problem as the mental crap. Perhaps cruel, but after watching the cycle of same behavior for years and years…It’s time to speak up. It’s time to toss a lifesaver.

Nothing can change unless you have the will to make it change. It is soo easy to say, oh, it’s the depression, I just can’t fight it.
You may not be able to beat it, but you can fight it. It just takes effort. Honest effort. You have to ignore your desire to isolate and sleep and TRY even harder. Some days, the depression will devour you. And other days, you’re on the cusp, and you either give it permission to drown you or start swimming hard as you can.

I am swimming right now. Mainly because the ultimate sin would be to fail my kid. Also, I don’t have a submissive bone in my body and while the lows are telling me I have no choice but to give in to them…
It’s primal scream time.
My happiness does not need to depend on those around me. I should learn to feed off my own energy.
I need to set one goal and complete it on the days when I tell myself I can’t do this.
And on the darkest days…I have to embrace what small things I can find to keep my afloat.
Purring cat. Soft, warm blanket. Good show. Good book. Good song. My kid’s chatter and smile. The possibility that things could get better.
There is always some tiny thing to cling to, even when your mind says it’s all shit. Giving into that part of yourself is self defeating.It’s self enabling. You are allowing yourself to drown. It has taken so many years, and a mirror image of my own flaws in the actions of others, to face this. No one wants to admit they are part of their own problem.
We all want to give into the depression, to surrender to the pain. But every time we do that, we are adding to the problem. I’m not talking a vegetative day here or there as self defeating. But when it goes on day after day…It is a problem. Half assed effort doesn’t count. Your heart has to be in it. You have to WANT to fight.

Some days I want to fight with everything I am.
Other days I just want to wave the white flag.
The one constant has been my determination not to fail my daughter. It keeps me going, just as having a pet cat has always kept me going. It’s different when you have more than yourself depending on you.
Besides, it’s all I’ve ever known, being a caregiver. Almost always at my own detriment. Programming runs deep.
I am luckier than most to be the way I am, to be so devoted to my kid, my cats, keeping myself afloat.
It’s easy to surrender when you’ve only got yourself.

It’s not right, though.

I look back and think, wow, someone really should have tattooed “LUMP” on my forehead. Because that’s what I was. I did my little task here and there like the counselor told me but it was always half hearted necessity. It wasn’t trying so much as being beholden.

Perspective is an odd thing. So is looking at yourself and examining your own behavior.
It’s true, we can never cure ourselves. Sometimes the mental shit will commandeer and take over.
What is in our control is the choice to fight it. To defy. To rebel.

I would soo love to just sleep all the time when my mind is in the dark place.
I’ve actually been there, done that.
Until someone gave me a wake up slap to the face and psyche.
Nothing like your own father telling you what a useless loser you are to make the inner rebel cry out…and want to prove ‘em wrong.

I succeed sometimes. Other times, I fail.
I keep trying, I keep fighting. For every time I give in…there are days when I put up the best fight I can.
And occasionally, I defeat.
That makes it worth while.

Until the next mood swing says otherwise.
Until the panic seizes and grips me like a boa constrictor wrapping around a rat.

But because the mirror has been held up in front of my eyes…I know I have to try even harder. Because to be submissive to my own dysfunction is unacceptable and frankly, abhorrent.

I’m a fighter.
Even if it’s my own mind I have to do battle with.
This is mental illness.
And I am a survivor.