Daily Archives: March 5, 2016

Some Days, I Can’t Leave My House

As a rule, I don’t tend to write about things when I’m in the midst of them. I write about my struggles after I’ve done some processing, some reflecting, and it isn’t too painful to share.

Which is all just to say, writing this today is going to hurt.

I have agoraphobia.

I am afraid to leave my house without someone accompanying me. I don’t visit my friends’ houses because it’s too panic-inducing to get there. I go to the same restaurant to hang out because nowhere else feels safe.

If I want to go somewhere new, my partner R has to go with me repeatedly to help me practice – sometimes dozens upon dozens of times – before I can work up the courage to go by myself.

I cancel on people constantly because I think I’ll be brave enough to see them, but then I break down an hour before when I realize that I’ll have to leave my apartment alone.

Since living in California, I’ve never once gone grocery shopping by myself. I’ve never once gone to the doctor by myself. And not once have I gone to a pharmacist by myself.

If I run out of food, or I’m sick, or I need medicine, I wait until someone can go with me – even if it’s at the expense of my own health or sanity.

I’ve turned down interviews with big publications, passed up the chance to meet phenomenal activists and writers, cancelled speaking engagements at big universities, and otherwise fucked up career opportunities because instead of pursuing them, I was in my bathroom vomiting because I was terrified of going outside.

No matter how badly I want to go to the birthday party, or how desperately I want to leave my apartment for some fresh air, or how terrific that event promises to be, I am trapped.

I am sitting by my window at the end of nearly every day, watching my social media light up with happy faces – wondering, worrying if I will ever know the kind of freedom that they know.

Freedom, like when you can walk out your door without it being a complete and utter fiasco.

Freedom, like when you aren’t suicidal just because you missed your train stop and you’re convinced you are in imminent danger because you’ve never been in this part of town before.

Freedom, like when your friend wants to spontaneously grab coffee and it doesn’t make you hyperventilate at the thought.

Freedom, like being able to go somewhere without the petrifying fear that your anxiety will creep up on you and no one will be there to help you when you snap.

For the longest time, I made excuses. I told myself I couldn’t leave because I’m “just an anxious person.” I told myself I just didn’t like being alone. I told myself moving to a new city is always scary. I told myself that I just didn’t like being around people.

Time and time again, I told myself there was a logical reason for why I hadn’t left my place in a week.

My friends asked me, “I always see you with your partner. Do you ever go anywhere by yourself?” No.

My friends asked me, “I haven’t seen you in a while. Is everything okay?” No.

My friends asked me, “I noticed all your selfies are in your apartment. Do you ever leave?” No.

Why?

Because I am afraid.

Do you know what it’s like to be afraid of yourself?

To be convinced that you aren’t safe if you’re left to your own devices, that at any moment the panic will take over and you’ll be rendered an inconsolable, chaotic mess?

Do you know the longing of wanting to go to the beach, just to remember what the tide feels like when it glides across your feet? To want nothing more than to stroll down to that new cafe, the one you’ve pictured in your mind a thousand times?

Wanting to meet your friends at the park, so you can lay in the grass and feel the sun on your back? Wishing you could join them at that queer club so you could dance the night away, sweaty and laughing and alive, surrounded by electric bodies and beautiful souls?

Talking yourself up, saying that you’re going to do it this time, that there’s no logical reason why you can’t – you RSVP with a “yes” while shaking your head “no” – knowing that it’s inevitable, that disappointment of being alone again, of missing out.

Too afraid to admit the truth, just to say, “I can’t.”

Too afraid to tell your friends, “I’m not as strong as you thought.

And so everyone goes to the beach, to the cafe, to the park, to the club, while you are curled up beneath the covers, promising yourself “next time” but knowing that there will never, ever be a “next time” until you say those three little words:

I need help.

Just to go to graduate school, my partner had to accompany me across the city – two busses, an hour’s trek – three days a week to my classes. Still, I wouldn’t say it. I dropped out.

Just to get to the psychiatrist’s office, my partner had to go with me then, too – four stops on the train, a shuttle – and no matter how many times we practiced, I couldn’t do it alone. Still, I wouldn’t say it. I haven’t seen that doctor in months.

I ran out of groceries and I was too scared to ask someone to drive me. I ate whatever I could find in the back of the cupboard and sometimes I didn’t eat at all. Still, I wouldn’t say it. I ordered my groceries online.

Last week, I typed into a search bar, “I can’t leave my house alone,” knowing full well that it was going to tell me what I already knew.

I can tell myself until I’m blue in the face, until this lie feels close enough to the truth, until I run out of food again or run out of pills again, that everything is fine. I can tell myself that it’s the city, or it’s the bus, or it’s the people – I can tell myself a hundred thousand times that it isn’t me.

But it is me.

I’ve slowly started telling my friends. Now, I’m telling the world. In part because maybe, in holding myself publicly accountable, I’ll actually reach out and get the help that I need (I’m working on it, I promise).

But I’m writing about this, too, because I know somebody out there is going to Google “I can’t leave my house.”

And if that person is you, this is your sign.

 


Damn It All!

Today I had plans to go see my Toy-Boy and man, was I excited! I got a mani/pedi, dyed my hair, shaved my legs, all the things a gal does when she knows she’s gonna get lucky.  I even bought a bottle of Grey Goose to bring as a gift to the host (a selfish gift because I love expensive vodka).  Lo and behold, it was not to be!  Toy-Boy contacted me and let me know that he was laid off from his job yesterday.  Oh!  I was so sympathetic!  How can I help?  Do you need to talk?  I think we should still keep our plans, though, you need to keep your positive energy going (read: Don’t you want a blow job?).  Damn it all, he somehow resisted my charms.  So here I am, all spruced up with no place to go and a nice bottle of vodka, chanting “You can’t drink alone” as I contemplate what I’ll do this evening.  What a waste of effort!  I’m seriously considering taking myself out for a drink, just because I feel so fresh and new and…delicious?  Who wants to go out?  Drinks are on me.


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

Awesome Alibi Two: I didn’t kill her, I was on the roof killing those nuns

Alibi number two is a line taken from an episode of Rizzolli and Isles. I liked it. I remembered it for two days. It’s a keeper.

The last couple of days have sucked, mainly because I have been Crampus, not to be confused with Krampus. This month the oompa loompas have treated me to two days of sheer hell and pain, which is extreme even for my normal extreme. Then Thursday night my kid woke me up SEVEN times so yesterday after dropping her off…Rather than shower and go do R’s bidding…I fell asleep. Then had to rush in to the shop, feeling shitty for falling asleep but also in so much pain I wanted everything to shrivel up and die.

I gotta stop being such a ray of freaking sunshine or people will be blinded.

In spite of my depressive and crampus intertia, we went to hang out with Mrs R last night and Spook got to play with L and J when the elitist parents stopped by. In what can only be described as “classy as fuck” style…Mrs R was giving L her birthday gift and Spook asked why she wasn’t invited, so Ursula saved face by saying, “Oh, you can guys are invited, I just sent the invitations on Facebook and you don’t use it…”

Niiiiice. Because I saw the printed invitation on the fridge in the kitchen. My kid hasn’t been invited to L’s party in four years cos last time she went she had a screaming mimi that none of the gifts were hers and R’s stepfather PAID me two dollars (go buy her a toy) to take her disruptive butt away. FFS, she was THREE.

Whatever. The invitations that don’t exist said no gifts, donate to a homeless charity in town. That seems so humanitarian doesn’t it? It also reminds me of Mommy Dearest where Joan Crawford made her kids pick one gift and give the rest to charity. Ya know, in between the wire hanger beatings. (Maybe my mom shouldn’t have let me watch that movie when I was 7, I still can’t look at wire hangers without a little cringe of memory.) Spook doesn’t understand this charity thing (and while it looks good on the surface for the elitists are such giving kind human beings who want you to give money to the homeless yet make fun of “low class” people, like me, for living in a trailer park.) Grrr. I said I’d take Spook. I like L and J. I always prefer the kids. Not in a pervy way, but in a way where I’d much rather eat plastic food and read pop up books than discuss Say Yes To The Dress or talk about those sleazy people who buy second hand clothing…

I am not looking forward to this shindig. But hey, I’ll finally get to lay eyes on my chariot, Jezebel, as she is parked in Ursula’s yard. (R wants to work on it there cos his son in law has more tools or some shit, IDK, they’re both tools if you ask me.) Spook and I went to Dollar Tree and I tried to explain the charity thing but…She’s six and gives zero fucks. So I let her get L a sparkly card with animals on it and some Frozen stickers. Fuck the elitists. Because if you don’t donate/gift, you’re cheap, but if you do and it doesn’t cost a lot, you’re cheap. Fuck a bag, can’t win with people.

I guess after serving an hour at the party, I am gonna drop Spook off for a sleepover at my mom’s then Mrs R is taking me out for Mexican and Margaritas, her treat. Her normal friend she goes with has plans so I am the fill in. Yay. Again…Not looking forward to it, but I figure if I hang out with R (because ya know, he can’t be alone and slums it when everyone else is busy) but not her, she will think it’s hinky. There’s no wonkiness but my own brain but fuck it…Free meal and she’s driving and stuff. Whatever. Least coming off the Cymbalta I am less strung out and able to laugh a little and not be so…well, fucked up.

Proof being, Spook won a free pizza for the school book-it thing and I had a small balance left on a gift card so we actually went to Pizza Hut for lunch today. I made sure it was like two minutes after the door opened cos I don’t do crowds and all…Spook wasn’t awful. It was okay.

Awful is, the docs preach “Don’t go off your meds, don’t miss doses, blah blah blah blergety blarg.”  Pharmacy called to let me know they can’t have my lithium in until Monday. Oh, and they can’t fill the others cos the dr office hasn’t gotten back to them about the refills even though I made the request yesterday morning. Niiiice, doctor’s office. I have to be compliant but you all get to be fucktards and it’s okay to fuck with my meds. I do it, and I just don’t want to be better.

Fuck a bag.

And if you are wondering where this “fuck a bag” thing stems from…Check out “Precious Plum” on youtube. It’s a Honey Boo Boo parody and OMG, I watched the entire playlist twice it was just that damned funny. I even have my kid quoting the opening credits cos well, I’m probably not gonna win any mom awards but damn, it is good to laugh again….

I am also painfully aware that this sudden burst in humor and willingness to deal with the dish is a result of my meds being wonky. I haven’t had  a full lithium dose in six days. I’m weaning off cymblotto. I have the horrormones going on. This could be a hypo jolt and I may spend the next week curled up in the bathtub in the dark sobbing into a blankie…(Yes, it’s happened many times.) I am starving for pure vegetation, no dish or dwellers but my mind is feeling up to those challenges and I am going with the flow for now. Let the crash come when it does. It always does with bipolar, no matter what the sunshine spewers say. It’s the price of functionality, especially over functionality. I am writing checks my ass can’t cash here but we’ll see if overdraft protection kicks in.

Other than the internet being all wonky due to the start of the month “upgrades”…I guess I have nothing else to rant about. For now.

I have a feeling more time in the dish will change that.

On a final note…For all my readers (all six of you) who use your little smart phones and its auto correct that is hysterical if not scary…Go to youtube and check out “Auto Correct Love Song”. I thought of every typo and auto correction ever made on your behalf, Sass and Diane.

Fuck a fancy bag.

 


If Money Was No Object…

Today in one of my Master's in Social Work (MSW) graduate school classes, we had an interesting writing exercise. My professor asked us:
"If you had ten million dollars, what would you do with your life? What would change? What would stay the same?"
I didn't even have to think about my answer. I immediately wrote down that I would:

  • Pay off my student loan debt and my boyfriend's student loan debt
  • Start trust funds for my nephews and cousins who are under the age of 18
  • Found an all-boys' middle and high school 
  • Found a holistic wellness center that offers mental health counseling, acupuncture and yoga
  • Travel
  • Finish my MSW degree
My professor than told us that what we wrote down is what we should be doing with our lives right now.

I felt great when she said that, because founding a wellness center is one of my social work career goals (the other is to be a therapist for college students on a college campus). I feel like I'm on the right track to actualize my goals. This exercise was a nice reality check.

However, my professor said that just because you write something down doesn't mean it's going to come true. But it can point you in the direction that your life should go.

What would you do if you came into ten million dollars? So, what should you be doing right now?

If Money Was No Object…

Today in one of my Master's in Social Work (MSW) graduate school classes, we had an interesting writing exercise. My professor asked us:
"If you had ten million dollars, what would you do with your life? What would change? What would stay the same?"
I didn't even have to think about my answer. I immediately wrote down that I would:

  • Pay off my student loan debt and my boyfriend's student loan debt
  • Start trust funds for my nephews and cousins who are under the age of 18
  • Found an all-boys' middle and high school 
  • Found a holistic wellness center that offers mental health counseling, acupuncture and yoga
  • Travel
  • Finish my MSW degree
My professor than told us that what we wrote down is what we should be doing with our lives right now.

I felt great when she said that, because founding a wellness center is one of my social work career goals (the other is to be a therapist for college students on a college campus). I feel like I'm on the right track to actualize my goals. This exercise was a nice reality check.

However, my professor said that just because you write something down doesn't mean it's going to come true. But it can point you in the direction that your life should go.

What would you do if you came into ten million dollars? So, what should you be doing right now?

Do you want my vote? Let me know why!

election 2016I think it is important for a president to listen to what the people say. It is very frustrating that I can’t find a voice.
I have written numerous letters, emails, made phone calls and tried to communicate with the media and politicians for years.
I did hear back from a few governors one year when I was working on a project. I also received a personal letter from Clinton who was no longer in office. I have also had the support of my own governor.
However, my voice just does not get heard like it should.  I suspect why and know for a fact that it is not just my voice that is unheard, but many people like me.
I have a mental illness. I am an American who graduated from college and worked as a teacher and manager even though I struggle with a severe mental illness. I have never committed a crime.
I am a human being and deserve the time of a candidate/president and the media as much as someone who is unemployed, worried about health care, concerned about national security and is disappointed in Washington.
I love my country and want it to be better. However, I don’t see that happening unless mental illness is talked about and there are actual steps that are taken to help with the failed mental health system.
The candidates need to stop dodging questions about mental health and the media needs to start asking about mental health. We want solutions. By we, I don’t just need mean the mentally ill or their families or the professionals who work at psychiatric hospitals and prison guards who are seeing revolving doors.
EVERY American is affected by mental illness in some way.  National tragedies are just one way, but did you know that 1 in 4 people in the United States have a mental illness?
I have contacted you via your form, left a message on your phone, have repeatedly referred to you on Twitter. I even for the first time ever contributed to a campaign.
I am an independent voter and live in NC so I am not sure if my vote will even matter. What I do know is that you do have a chance if you are willing to listen to the mentally ill and demand other candidates to do so also. I have to admit, you were never my first pick. However, you now are the only one I feel can possibly change the mental health system. You are the only one who has talked about it to my knowledge other than awful things other candidates have said.
I have been impressed with how you turned the budget around in Washington, have contributed so much to Ohio’s success and am hoping you can do the same in Washington.
PLEASE respond to me as I have ways to reach thousands of people who suffer from mental illness and since we represent 25% of the voters we would be a great group to target.
I have said on the form I filled out and on the phone that I would be willing to help you in anyway by sharing my story and endorsing you.  I just need you to talk to me and soon as more primaries are coming up and I would like to start getting the word out asap that Kasich will fight for the mentally ill and make the mental health system better. We want someone who is going to solve it not just talk about it being a problem.
My latest blog that I have shared to at least 200,000 people is
A Whole New Ball Game in March  It starts out by quoting you.
Patrick Kennedy who has bipolar disorder is a  follower of mine on FB and I have corresponded with many other celebrities who have a mental illnesses or are advocates. I also know other people who are great advocates locally and nationally. I have been on my local board that helps those with mental illnesses, organized an event that revolved around mental health (Embrace Life Day) I also have been involved in ad have contacts in  NAMI, Mental Health America and DBSA and Bring Change 2 Mind
I can get the word out- BELIEVE ME- I may have a mental illness, but I can make a difference. The stigma needs to stop!  I am a human who has fought a hard fight and deserve the right to tell my story and actually have the media and politicians hear it.
I think it is important that a president/candidate hear the voices of the people.  If you don’t respond to people (the mentally ill) we feel like our voices don’t matter. We might have a mental illness, but we have just as much right to vote as someone  who does not. Do you want our vote?  Please say yes. I hope to hear from you soon as more primaries are coming up and I can help you get the word out to the 25% of voters who have a mental illness and want to support someone who cares about them. If I don’t hear from you soon, I will have to assume you don’t care about the mental health system like I thought you did and you don’t want to talk about the taboo subject of mental illness and want to contribute to the stigma by not talking about it.  I am not sure who I will vote for as I am not sure if anyone else cares about us like I think you do.  So, please contact me.  I sent you my contact information in the email I sent you and the phone call I made to your headquarters.
Picture Credit https://paxchristiusa.org
Picture Credit https://paxchristiusa.org

Discontinued My Ass

I saw my psych again this week. She was confused as to why we’d booked so close together and though it a mistake at first, and then we pieced it together. To her, a change in Zoloft should take two weeks (which was the approximate gap between appointments), while to me it should be more like a month. Considering the depression hasn’t gone anywhere, I can say two weeks deeefinitely didn’t do anything (or the change in dose didn’t do anything). We re-emphasised that I should be on the extended release Seroquel, and that the worst of the depression started again after I got put on normal release. One of the doctors at our surgery told my husband that Seroquel XL had been pulled and that’s why I had to be changed to normal, but I called bollocks then and call bollocks now; the only ‘problem’ with it is it costs like, 90% more than ‘normal’ Seroquel. There’s also this insistence that normal release should be fine, especially if taken at the same time, that it should work fine over a 24 hour period… hah. No. Even in my currently borderline obese state, I still have a super-fast metabolism, and I would speculate that I get through the normal release quite quickly. We’ll see.

But yes, so like as said, discontinued my ass. We took the written prescription from Dr. K to the supermarket with us, where we had it in our hands in like, 10 minutes. Now, I was bemused that it was the first time I’d been handed a batch with an emphasis on the expiry date. That didn’t worry me too much, ’cause like… it’s not going to be the most common drug pharmacies are handing out. If it had been pulled you’d think that they would have said something there, yanno?

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll restart myself on it tomorrow, ’cause I refill my pill box for the night tonight after I take what’s in there. I figure I should have an answer before I see Dr. K in April. Yes, to my vast amazement, she said a month out, and it’s already been booked and fallen into my hot sweaty hands. The only downside is it’s the same time I’m supposed to have a friend visiting who I’ve not seen in years, but hopefully I can reschedule that. I don’t trust my luck in getting appointments in timely fashions enough to try to reschedule. I want this depression licked as soon as possible, yo.

Hope y’all are doing alright out there.

<3

Discontinued My Ass

I saw my psych again this week. She was confused as to why we’d booked so close together and though it a mistake at first, and then we pieced it together. To her, a change in Zoloft should take two weeks (which was the approximate gap between appointments), while to me it should be more like a month. Considering the depression hasn’t gone anywhere, I can say two weeks deeefinitely didn’t do anything (or the change in dose didn’t do anything). We re-emphasised that I should be on the extended release Seroquel, and that the worst of the depression started again after I got put on normal release. One of the doctors at our surgery told my husband that Seroquel XL had been pulled and that’s why I had to be changed to normal, but I called bollocks then and call bollocks now; the only ‘problem’ with it is it costs like, 90% more than ‘normal’ Seroquel. There’s also this insistence that normal release should be fine, especially if taken at the same time, that it should work fine over a 24 hour period… hah. No. Even in my currently borderline obese state, I still have a super-fast metabolism, and I would speculate that I get through the normal release quite quickly. We’ll see.

But yes, so like as said, discontinued my ass. We took the written prescription from Dr. K to the supermarket with us, where we had it in our hands in like, 10 minutes. Now, I was bemused that it was the first time I’d been handed a batch with an emphasis on the expiry date. That didn’t worry me too much, ’cause like… it’s not going to be the most common drug pharmacies are handing out. If it had been pulled you’d think that they would have said something there, yanno?

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll restart myself on it tomorrow, ’cause I refill my pill box for the night tonight after I take what’s in there. I figure I should have an answer before I see Dr. K in April. Yes, to my vast amazement, she said a month out, and it’s already been booked and fallen into my hot sweaty hands. The only downside is it’s the same time I’m supposed to have a friend visiting who I’ve not seen in years, but hopefully I can reschedule that. I don’t trust my luck in getting appointments in timely fashions enough to try to reschedule. I want this depression licked as soon as possible, yo.

Hope y’all are doing alright out there.

<3

Discontinued My Ass

I saw my psych again this week. She was confused as to why we’d booked so close together and though it a mistake at first, and then we pieced it together. To her, a change in Zoloft should take two weeks (which was the approximate gap between appointments), while to me it should be more like a month. Considering the depression hasn’t gone anywhere, I can say two weeks deeefinitely didn’t do anything (or the change in dose didn’t do anything). We re-emphasised that I should be on the extended release Seroquel, and that the worst of the depression started again after I got put on normal release. One of the doctors at our surgery told my husband that Seroquel XL had been pulled and that’s why I had to be changed to normal, but I called bollocks then and call bollocks now; the only ‘problem’ with it is it costs like, 90% more than ‘normal’ Seroquel. There’s also this insistence that normal release should be fine, especially if taken at the same time, that it should work fine over a 24 hour period… hah. No. Even in my currently borderline obese state, I still have a super-fast metabolism, and I would speculate that I get through the normal release quite quickly. We’ll see.

But yes, so like as said, discontinued my ass. We took the written prescription from Dr. K to the supermarket with us, where we had it in our hands in like, 10 minutes. Now, I was bemused that it was the first time I’d been handed a batch with an emphasis on the expiry date. That didn’t worry me too much, ’cause like… it’s not going to be the most common drug pharmacies are handing out. If it had been pulled you’d think that they would have said something there, yanno?

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll restart myself on it tomorrow, ’cause I refill my pill box for the night tonight after I take what’s in there. I figure I should have an answer before I see Dr. K in April. Yes, to my vast amazement, she said a month out, and it’s already been booked and fallen into my hot sweaty hands. The only downside is it’s the same time I’m supposed to have a friend visiting who I’ve not seen in years, but hopefully I can reschedule that. I don’t trust my luck in getting appointments in timely fashions enough to try to reschedule. I want this depression licked as soon as possible, yo.

Hope y’all are doing alright out there.

<3

Happy Birthday, Pisces

Pisces Drifting

pisces

Goodness, I’m late with this felicitation!  I have good reasons, which I will share soon.  For now, may all the little fishies out there swim in their dreams for another year.