Daily Archives: September 10, 2014

Help My World is Chaos

Chaos Reigns

We’ve been in the process of renovating our house over the last three years. My husband and I made the HUGE mistake of buying materials for several major projects up front, making decisions on the spot that should have been deferred and made one project at a time. We ended up with a house and garage filled with materials — cabinetry, paint, flooring, tile. We still have not finished painting the interior walls. Our framed artwork and photos lean up against walls or lay in piles on tabletops or in boxes. We have painted most of the downstairs when the interior painting was put on hold so that my husband could install hardwood floors. Then we renovated our bathrooms. Our dry-rotted exterior siding has been replaced. Last Sunday we primed the exterior paint. We also must eventually re-landscape the backyard. Our dogs enjoy the raised open beds too much. Too much fun to dig, bury, and redig. We’ve decided to eventually cede the backyard to our dogs.

Sound overwhelming and chaotic? It is. You should have seen our house when the living room was for months FULL of boxes of oak flooring. Our dining room table sharing space with bathroom cabinetry. Then, my husband decided to buy a HUGE weight set through Craigslist. Forgive me, I’m venting. The weight set is 8 ft long by 7 ft high by 7 ft wide. It is absolutely ridiculous. My husband and son are NOT serious body builders. My husband was a runner. My son is into downhill mountain bike riding. They are both lean and long-legged. My son insists on working on his bikes in the house. So, I’m embarrassed to have anyone over. EVER. I don’t see the point in cleaning because I feel so overwhelmed and buried by the chaos.

Filed under: Acceptance, Family, Marriage, Mental Health, Parenting, Posted Thoughts, Triggers to Mood Cycling Tagged: chaos, home renovations, overwhelmed

Bane Of My Existence

Last night was a bit tough. Anxiety, racing thoughts, paranoia, a need to retreat from human contact. It eventually wore me down and I visited Mangoritaville. Just one, though, to slow down my brain. Because the 2.0 mg of xanax wasn’t touching it. I can’t even explain why I was so out of sorts. I eventually calmed and slowed the thoughts. Only to keep waking up every two hours. Frustrating as hell but it’s how most of my nights have been going. I have a surplus of trazadone but I am loathe to take them because they make me basically dead to the world and gives me a hangover from hell. I can’t risk my kid needing me and me being in coma land. So I run at a sleep detriment and honestly, it’s no different than before I had a kid. I’ve always hovered between insomnia and somnolence my whole life.

Today felt like it was going to be a decent day mentally in spite of the continuing torrential downpour.
Then R called which this brilliant idea for me to get a different car. He wants me to mow a lawn the side of a football field out of town with a push mower. And thing is, he offered this job to my dad and his crew and they do a summer mowing gig. They have three mowers, three people, and even they turned it down because the grass is two feet tall and would tear up their equipment, not to mention travel costs and gas eating up the profit.
So how is one woman with a push mower supposed to do the job????? And I said as much and he got all pissy and sulky with me. Yeah, I know I need money toward a car. But if I have to rent a mower, put gas in it, then in my car for the 20 mile drive then spent about 12 hours actually mowing this hayfield…That makes no sense at all.
He of course played it off like I am this lazy spoiled brat.
And so I called my dad to ask for an objective opinion. AM I being lazy and ungrateful? Having turned the job down himself due to cost/benefit analysis, he said R is basically off his nut.
Still, here I sit, self confidence taking a beating and anxiety soaring because R is now pissed off at me for “turning down a chance to earn money for a car”.
My self esteem, outside of depressions, is generally pretty good. I am far from confident or conceited but I see my many good qualities and think I am okay.
Only when other people seep into my brain with their petty judgments and myopic views does my inferiority complex kick in.
People tend to be the bane of my existence.
And I know I shouldn’t let the insidious fucks make me feel this way, I am basically granting them permission to do it.
I’ve just spent so much of my life in between manic, stable, depressed, and it has caused me to be self absorbed and unfair and petty. I want to do better, be better.
So my current thing is being logical and fair rather than allowing my moods to control things.
This is where the insecurity comes in. AM I being fair? Am I being taken advantage of or manipulated. (And one thing shrinks and counselors can’t grasp because everything is some personality disorder- you get screwed over repeatedly throughout your whole life, you are always wary and it doesn’t help when your fears and paranoia are proven right.)

I’m not letting this episode ruin my day but it definitely put a dent in my armor.

And so the anxiety go round starts spinning because all I want is to do the right thing and be better than I was before. And I am never sure if I am accomplishing that. Because I am surrounded by people whose only idea of fairness is me caving into their expectations.

Thank God I never lost my rebellious streak or these fuckers would have devoured my soul already.

My Personal Experiences with Suicide TRIGGER

suicide prevention monthToday is World Suicide Prevention Day.  According to WHO, nearly 3,000 people on average commit suicide daily. Suicide rates are at an all time high for veterans. In addition, for every person who commits suicide, 20 or more others attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year!

Before I get started, if you are contemplating suicide, there is help out there!  Suicide Hotline   International Hotlines

In honor of this day, I have decided to share my personal experiences. I would guess that most people know at least one person who has attempted suicide or unfortunately lost someone to suicide.

The recent death of Robin Williams has drawn a lot of attention to suicide. Depression is a lonely thing and misunderstood.  We need to raise more awareness about depression, mental illness, and suicide.  We need to talk about it! Therefore, I am doing what I can do to raise awareness and will share not only about two people I know who committed suicide, but also my own personal attempt. (My first experience was when I attempted to kill myself, but will talk about that last.)

My second experience with suicide was when a neighbor/friend was found on the ground near a tall building with marks around his neck.  I remember how devastated I was.  I was shocked to hear of his death and in the way he did it.  He must have felt very lonely.  I had not seen him in awhile, but really didn’t see him as a person who would do such a thing.  It just goes to show we have no idea what people are going through. I wonder now if he had gotten help if it would have changed anything. I did not judge his as I understood that dark, hopeless feeling. You don’t want to hurt your family, but yet the pain is so great that you just don’t see another way out.

My third  experience with suicide was when I learned of a family friend’s death.  He had eaten dinner with his family.  They had a regular conversation and there was no sign of any distress.  His parents had no idea that pain he was in.  He went upstairs into his room and shot himself. I can’t imagine the horror his parents went through when they heard the gun shot and the events that followed. Not to sound graphic, but it is a reality:  I remember hearing about how they had to hire someone to clean up all the blood.  Our family had moved away at that point and weren’t in as much contact as we once had. However, I had fond memories of us all playing together. I remembered his parents as happy people who loved their four kids.  I did see them years later. It was sad to see how much their life had changed. They had to move on, but I know they never got over it. How can you?  They had become alcoholics to deal with the pain and were no longer working due to the depression that overcame their lives.

For the person who kills themselves, it feels like it is the only way out.  Are they being selfish or a coward? Some may think so and I can see their point.  However, I don’t think so.  Oftentimes, they feel like the world would be a better place without them and this is part of the depression.  It is a symptom of the disease that they have just not been able to overcome.  There are a lot of what ifs? and people who loved them left behind. It is really sad that the pain trumped the feeling of wanting to stay alive for the people they loved.

I am not proud of my attempt and have spent 25 years thinking about what I could have possibly put my family through. That is why I have never attempted it again.  At the time, I was not being selfish as I was so deeply depressed my mind was just capable of rationalizing anything. I did not want to hurt my family, but I just did not see any way out  and really believed that they would be better without me.   I know some people think that is cowardly to take your own life. However, as sick as this may sound, it took  a lot of courage to finally decide to end it all.  I still can remember like it was yesterday.

I was sitting at the table and had two bottles of pills laid out in front of me.  I took handfuls at a time and took them with water.  I went into my room and laid down on my bed knowing I would not wake up.  In fact, when I did wake up throwing everything up, I really was disappointed.  The pain was going to continue.  That was how dark things were. Now I think that I was lucky that my life was spared.  I think how much I would have missed if I had succeeded in taking my own life.  However, at the time I was so discouraged and disappointed.

I decided to tell my story to raise awareness, but to show a different side of me that I don’t share very often.  It is a reality that there is a suicide every 40 seconds. We need to talk about it! We need to share with others the devastation that families left behind endure.  It is important to tell the stories of how people who attempted to take their own lives regret it later.  Talking about it can be triggering to others.  However, if we don’t talk about it, the rate will increase.

“Depression does not discriminate, cannot be bargained with and shows no mercy. Depression does not care how wonderful your life is or how may people you’ve touched. Robin Williams seemed to have it all: He was adored by fans, loved by family and friends and had fame and fortune…As a society, we need to hear these collective cries for help, take depression seriously as a public health issue and eradicate the stigma of mental illness. It must be a public health priority.” ~Michael Friedman

suicide prevention day

Battle For The Net

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening […]

Pulling the Plug

I am What I amAfter my session with Luke Skywalker yesterday morning, I decided it was time to call it quits on my stint as a Peer Support Specialist.  I’m quite proud of myself for hanging in as long as I did, and for staying relatively stable through the stress and uncertainty.  I learned a lot about what I need and what I will tolerate.  But, I have bronchitis now, and that means being sick for at least a month.  I was waiting for something to tip the balance on whether to stay or go, and this is it.

The part of me that thinks in black and white wants to consider this a failure, but I’m not having any of that.  I may be returning to a less stressful life, but I’m not the same person I was when this whole job journey started.  I’m more flexible and resilient than I was.  I bring all that back with me.  And, who knows?  There still might be a job out there for me.  But, first, there’s bed and Kleenex.

Some Days are Better than Others…

And they really are. 

Some days I wake up, refreshed, positive, ready to attack the world. I clean and cook and…hell…even look at the work I have done such far on my PhD. 

Then there are days like today. 

I’m sore. My stomach hurts. I have gastrointestinal cramping. I’ve got dreadful sciatica down the back of my right leg after an attempt at weeding. My hands and feet have swollen up like balloons – an edema allegedly caused by one of my medications. I can taste blood in my mouth. I notice, more than other days, my hair falling out for no other reason other than how unhealthy I am. My skin is patchy, bruised and refuses to heal. I wear track pants because I still can’t bear the feel of anything around my waist. I’m dog tired, and have set up my little boy in front of Finding Nemo, because I just can’t face any noise. And what gets me the most is that I am stuck at home, feeling like crap, while everyone else seems to be out there getting on with their lives and doing SOMETHING. Anything! 

But….and this is a big BUT….I am home. With my family. In my own bed. I’m not psychotic or suicidal or even depressed. I have had visiting nurses for the past fortnight and they finished up today. A recent blood test showed my eosinophil count has gone down (still twice as much as normal, but better than four times the norm!). Things are, slowly, moving in the right direction. Touch wood. 

I just need to learn to accept the bad days. There will be bad days. I can’t expect to spend nearly five months in hospital and then come home brand spanking new. It’s that dreadful period of convalescence, where you want independence and normality, but you are just not quite there yet. 

Each day I try to count my blessings, because the reality is that while I am living my life someone else out there is fighting for theirs. I have a roof over my head and a wonderfully supportive network of family and friends. My body and mind are healing, even if it is frustratingly slowly. And I do have a future. A future outside of a psychiatric facility – which is more than I can say for some of the other patients in there. 

Today is a hard day, but maybe tomorrow will be better. 

Rain, Rain Go Away

It’s been storming here all day. Some places are getting up to 5 inches of rain. There are severe storm warnings, flood warnings and just a general sense of unease amongst the animals and myself.

I find it very difficult to sleep during a thunderstorm at night since I became aware that tornados can happen in the dark. For some reason I never thought they could. Yet they do, joy!

I do love the sound of rain though. It is relaxing and makes me think of romance. I’m not sure why. Though living with your MIL is not romantic at all.

I have been craving some romance, I wish that I knew how to teach hubby how to be romantic.

Falling rains, some wine, a fire with soft conversation. Just something simple..

Anyhow rain you can stay but don’t be brewing up any scary ass wstorms.