Daily Archives: February 6, 2017

Guess Who’s Back?

Ready. Set. Sail! Good afternoon everyone! Jess is back! Risen from the Goddamn grave! Long time, no see. Oh man. I just want to apologize for dropping off the face of the planet. Things have been so damn crazy lately and I needed some time to sort through all of my thoughts. For those of … More Guess Who’s Back?

Open Road

54,589 That was the most motor vehicular related deaths ever recorded in a single year in the USA, in 1972. The federal government proclaimed motor vehicular deaths as a public health issue and has since thrown billions of dollars at the problem. And it worked! Not only have those deaths sharply decreased to 32,675 in […]

Mom’s Surgery

THis morning my mom had cataract surgery in Madison, up on the other side of Jackson. I drove up and met them at the outpatient clinic they were having it done at and stayed with her until they took her back then waited for her out front with my daddy.  We talked when he felt like it and didn’t when he didn’t–talked to some of the other patients as well so we kept occupied,. I had mean to take a book for me and a magazine for him but didn’t pick them up on my way out, so that was a loss on may part.

I have a piece up for workshop this week for my class–it’s the shorter assignment because I ran out of stuff to say on the topic.  Of course, the other girl wrote on and on and on and makes me look bad.  But we are supposed to do a 800-1200 word essay as well as two longer ones so I don’t feel too bad about it.  WE will see.

Have my reading to do this afternoon since I didn’t get it in the morning.  But it will be fine.  I can get it all done. I did the right thing by going to see Mom because I otherwise would have just sat around the house and worried about her.  SO that’s okay, too.

 


Why having a mental illness makes you strong

strength-quotes-picture

I have been putting the final touches on a book I am writing, “Bipolar Disorder My Biggest Competitor.”  It has made me look deeply into myself as a character in a story.  It is the strangest thing reading about this character and knowing it is me.  But this experience has had a profound impact on how I see myself–sometimes victim, sometimes hero, and yes sometimes villain.  But always strong.

If you live with a mental illness you know exactly what I am talking about.  The times when you lie in bed feeling miserable and wish the depression would stop haunting you.  And then you do it–you make yourself get up and get out among the living.  In that moment you beat it.  You won.

How about the times when you thought you might never get well again, but kept battling and recovered?  Even in those darkest moments you found the beacon of hope glaring through the fog.

Then there are those times when you get “the look” from other people who know you live with a mental illness.  It strikes the chord of paranoia and you wonder, “What is she thinking about me?”  But you coach yourself through it and tell yourself, “It is okay.  I really don’t know what she was thinking.”  You overcome the negative thoughts.  You beat “the look.”

What about those days when the trusted family member makes a joke about your mental health?  You feel horrible but can’t get any compassion from the people closest to you.  But you hang in there and keep fighting.  You hope tomorrow will be better.

Believing mental illness makes you strong is opposite of what people have told us about it.  Remember every battle you have had to fight, every bit of shame and guilt you have faced head on, and every medication you have to take just to feel somewhat “normal,” these are the things that make you strong.  Stronger than you may think you are.

 


Better

valentine-cookies

Tues:

So I am up fairly early as my husband is going in for a physical. He’s all grumpy about having to fast before his blood work.

I feel pretty good this morning. I am hoping to go and do some car shopping today, followed by a trip to my bipolar support group. This will probably all wear me out quite a bit.

My husband and I rolled up our sleeves, got brave, and went in Danny’s room yesterday to clean it out and organize it. (I had asked Danny yesterday morning if this was okay to do.) Oh, wow, it was quite a mess. It wasn’t “dirty”, just really messy with stuff everywhere and nothing that had a place. So we fixed it up, flipped the mattress, sorted and washed all the clothes, and organized all of the electronics.

My plan is to just breeze in there every couple of days and put stuff away that has gotten loose. I want to help him learn to put stuff back. I think it will help his depression to live in a neater environment. My other two kids have neat rooms. Danny’s has always been a mess, but I didn’t think that was too uncommon so I let it go. A “pick your battles” kind of thing. Anyway, I feel good about all of the work that we did. It looks great. He said he loved it and “was appreciative”. That is high praise from Danny.

You know I went back and read some blog entries from exactly a year ago. My daughter had had a meltdown and was staying home for a week! I can’t believe it repeated EXACTLY one year ago! So now we know this is a tough time of year for her apparently. I hope she goes back to work soon, but she is having none of it. Her doctor signed her off for four weeks of leave, but said she won’t need it. She said my daughter will feel better much sooner.

My daughter is cleaning the kitchen right now and is really slamming stuff around. My husband and I decided that if she is staying home, she can handle the dishes. She even cried a couple of minutes ago. I’m not sure if I feel sympathetic or not. I know dishes are crappy, but she can’t lay in her room all day either. I also guess if she has the energy to slam stuff around, that is a good sign.

Wed:

I feel good today! Went to see my new psychiatrist today and liked her again. She gave me more Rexulti, Lamictal, and Klonopin. I came home and really have nothing to do today. I should take a walk or go to yoga. I ordered a couple of cheap indoor/outdoor rugs to freshen up the house and patio.

Daughter seems to be feeling much better. Husband went in with her to the therapist yesterday and said he really likes this woman. She is no nonsense and plans to get my daughter back to work soon. We like that idea.

Thurs:

I feel good again today! I am almost scared to say this in case there is another crisis and I plunge into feeling like crap again.

I just got back from my CBT therapist. Talked about “helping” kids versus “enabling” kids. I need to just help more, but my enabling wasn’t too bad. It’s late in their lives to be learning these lessons, but I just parented the opposite of my mother. I had no attention or support, so I overdid it with my kids. Plus I have my husband to bounce things off of and he keeps things balanced.

Daughter is feeling a lot better. I attribute this to a few things: Seroquel, lithium, and a good therapist. I think her dad and I and her psychiatrist and therapist think she should get back to work, but I am not sure how she feels about it. I do think she will rapidly get bored sitting around the house.

Talked to Danny yesterday. He agreed to have the Lexapro script written tomorrow at the doctor. I told him he didn’t have to fill it or take it, just get the script. I also am giving him a notebook and some questions to ask her such as: what supplements could I take for depression? how much and what kind of exercise? what kinds of foods for a vegetarian? This might be enabling him but I don’t really care. He won’t write down anything unless I help him with the questions and he has a notebook to write in. There is no point in wasting anyone’s time.

Want to talk to my other therapist about my weight. I gained 1/2 pound in two weeks, which isn’t bad, but I should be losing. Of all the goals I have set for myself by August, this is the one I am falling down on the most.

Boy, we see a lot of psychiatrists and therapists! But I guess that is the price you pay for having severe bipolar, plus a daughter with bipolar, and a son with depression. At least we are trying to get help.

UPDATE:

Was proud of myself as I took my daughter and went to yoga. I feel a lot better- less anxious and stressed. Tonight we are having grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Hopefully will be a calm night.

FRI:

Don’t feel really good or bad this morning….just sort of baseline. I am a little bit anxious about some things. We are driving today out of town to a gem and rock show. We’re staying the weekend and coming back Sunday. Of course, I am anxious about riding all that way in a car. My husband’s friend is coming too. He is very nice and supportive and pleasant to be around.

I’m also nervous about leaving my son and daughter at home. I don’t want either of them to have an emotional crisis while I am gone. My stable middle son has agreed to stay home all weekend and “babysit” them. I’ve asked him to take them out a bit and do a thing or two with them. He also is in control of my daughter’s Klonopin (her doctor said one of us should hold it for a while).

It’s a little lame to feel anxious about leaving the kids. First, anyone can text me at anytime. Second, they are adults and my daughter is feeling better. Finally, we are only 2 hours away and can come home quickly if needed.

I’m not crazy about gems and rocks so we have it set up like this. Today we will drive down and all go rock shopping. Late this afternoon we will check into our hotel. Tomorrow I will visit the hotel spa for a facial and massage and a round on the treadmill. I will also have room service lunch! Then Sunday we will check out and shop for more rocks and head home.

I went crazy yesterday eating. I saw my therapist yesterday and we agreed I’d write down anything I ate other than the diet shakes. For some reason, I went into a food frenzy. It doesn’t help that we have Girl Scout cookies everywhere! I plan to cut way back on the food today BUT with our travel to the gem show it will be hard. Eating out is very tough.

Sat:

Not a good day or situation. I canceled my trip to the gem show and just sent my husband ahead of me.

My son Danny announced that he wanted to get a gun for self-protection as some of his gigs are in bad areas of town. He is afraid someone will try to steal his electronic equipment. I told him NO guns in my house or in the car. I am terrified of guns. Plus, with this depression it is not a good mix. After much yelling and fighting, he agreed not to get a gun. I don’t know if I can believe him. I told him to always walk in groups to his car at night and he would be safe. I also said “Do you really want to shoot and possibly kill someone or be killed over some electronic equipment?” That is just crazy.

He also had supposedly been posting “dark” things on his Facebook. A friend of my husband’s told us this. But my daughter got on there and told us that all of the darker posts were a while ago and that lately he seemed enthused about his music and advertising for his shows. So I don’t know what to think.

He saw his psychiatrist yesterday and got a script written for Lexapro. This is a step forward. I called his therapist about all this  and she says she will meet him on the weekend or talk to him anytime. She says not to worry, she thinks most of this is just trying to hassle me. If we could just get him to somehow fill the script and take the Lexapro.

The anger from him is really setting me back…not to mention the rest of the family. We are considering moving him to a dorm for the rest of the semester. I can’t live like this.

UPDATE:

Danny spent the night at a friend’s after a late gig. He came home to shower and change for his next show. I avoided him by going upstairs…did not want to fight. He came up and said “I love you mom”, and gave me a hug. I told him I loved him too and to PLEASE think about the Lexapro for his anger. He made a face but said he would think about it. He went to his show and came back here and is fast asleep.

Hopefully, the gun talk was just talk, but it’s something more to worry about. I get so frustrated with getting my head above water and then feeling like the kids are sinking it again.

Mon:

It’s early here and I am already feeling pretty sad and tired. I need to go have breakfast with a girlfriend. It is her last day off work for a little while.

Later I should go to yoga and on to my women’s group. I don’t know if I will make it….I feel so down.

Very sad that this blog went from pretty happy to pretty sad. I resent the two kids that are causing the trouble. The third kid is a gem. He went yesterday to the store and got Super Bowl food and also a pot roast for tonight.

I just feel like crying.

My husband came home from the gem show all excited and happy. It was hard to be enthused about a couple of rocks.

hope you’re having a better week-

love, lily

 

Downward spiral

Tomorrow I am going to walk into my place of employment for 17 years and give notice.  I’ve been negotiating a position w a vendor for a month or so.  I have the opportunity to work part time for a little while.  I’m hoping this will help my mental health.  I received the job offer on Friday.  I’m in a bit of a depressive spiral and can’t find the joy in the news. Thank goodness I get some time off between jobs.

My marriage feels off. Sometimes it’s like we are best friends holding hands while walking on air. Other times it feels like we are two razors nipping at each other. Each little cut stings.  I think for me, it’s ten times worse.  I can’t sleep. I worry I’m a burden.  Then I begin to think he is much better off without me.

Ive been unable to write lately. I stare at my blinking cursor on the empty page. I got nothing.  I have lost all motivation and interest. I just sit on the couch and stare.  My only real desire is to sleep.  I’m not exercising. I’m not eating healthy.  I feel like a sloth.

Blah blah blah