Monday, September 28, 2015

I Refuse To Feel Guilty For This One Thing

I have been timid about what I post on here. I'm afraid I may offend someone with something I say about, well, anything. I'm afraid people will be insulted by my language. Well, guess what? I give no more shits about what people think. I post these entries for me. Me alone. I don't know if anyone reads these. Maybe nobody, maybe three people, maybe eleven bajillionty. From now own, I will not feel guilty about anything I say on here. This is for ME. I have to get this shit outta my head or it will drive me insane(r).

I have bipolar. I'm not going to capitalize it because that just gives it more importance. Notice I said I have bipolar, not I am bipolar. I have the shittiest kind because I don't even get the manic episodes. I bet I could get some shit DONE on a mania bend. But alas, I just have the depressive one. I also have anxiety, severe depression, and ADD (I had to capitalize that one or you'd think I was speaking mathematically). Oh, and to top it off, I'm an addict. In recovery, but still an addict. None of this shit is curable. Manageable with medication, but never curable.

So, what does all this mean? Well, for starters I'm on a shit-ton of medications, some of which actually work. Others, though, are not doing their jobs and I am firing their asses as soon as I get back into my shrink's office. I understand that not all meds and med combinations work for everyone. It sucks, but I get it. The goal is to find the right pharmaceutical cocktail that works the best for me.

I was seeing a therapist, but since I lost my job (long story) I can't afford to anymore. There are some interns that will see me for free and I am waiting on a callback with an appointment. I have also been going to some support groups, mainly DBSA (depression/bipolar support alliance). Those are always free. Sometimes they help, just being around people who are/have been/will be where I'm at. Sometimes you get some seriously fucked up individuals there. I'm not in a position to judge, but in my unprofessional opinion some of these people need to be locked up on a Thorazine drip. Just sayin'.

I have terrible insomnia when I'm feeling okay and I could sleep for days when I'm not doing so well. Lately it's been a whacked combination of the two. Ever since my birthday a week and a half ago, I've been teetering on the edge of The Black. I had a bright spot this past Friday when I got to meet my hero Jenny Lawson who is just as whackadoodle as I am. She is able to put a humorous spin on all the terrible mental illness-y things. She makes me laugh when I want to cry. Anyway, so Friday was pretty good. Saturday morning, though, is another story. I could feel myself slipping away. Yesterday was worse. Today has been like yesterday.

I feel like I want to burst into tears every minute. I don't know why I'm so sad, but I am. I can look at all the things I should be grateful for and I can't see anything beyond myself. It's like I'm standing in a vortex of hell watching life pass me by at warp speed. The worst part is I don't think anyone can see me. I'm screaming in my head, but no one hears me. It's like being paralyzed, only you are aware of everything and you hurt all the way down to your soul.

I know that I'm going to have bad days. Bad weeks, even. I also know, logically, this will end eventually and I will start to see the light again. But right now, this moment, I'm in a dark box and I'm suffocating. Sometimes the universe just can't help but cunt punt you while you're down. The universe is a catty bitch. I try to deflect some of the pain with humor, but really my sarcasm is a defense mechanism. It's one I'm really good at, though.

Okay, so the point of this asinine ramble is this: I'm generally selfish by nature but usually feel guilty about it. Well, for this one thing, these entries I'm sending out into the bitchy universe, I'm going to say what I want and not feel guilty about it. If there is anyone out there who hears me and is offended, you don't have to read this. You can go find a blog about rainbows and kittens riding unicorns. This is not one of those blogs. Here you will find mostly dark and sarcastic posts and cursing.

I'm taking this thing, this one tiny little thing, and making it mine. Mine all mine. The universe can suck it.

Friday, September 25, 2015

I Refuse To Be Defined By My Disease(s)... Anymore

When people are sick, we say they HAVE cancer, or they HAVE the flu. It's absurd to say they ARE cancer/the flu/a broken leg. This is not the case for those of us who struggle with addiction and/or mental illness.

I am Bipolar.
I am ADD.
I am anxiety.
I am depression.
I am OCD.
I am addictions.


I may HAVE all of these things broken inside of me, but I am NOT these things. I refuse to BE these things anymore. They are lifelong afflictions. They cannot be cured. They effect every aspect of my life. Not just my life, but the lives of those who live with me and love me. Some love me in spite of these afflictions and some love me because of them.

I appreciate the love and support I get from my husband, daughter, and mother. They are my biggest cheerleaders and champions. I get support and encouragement from others in my family, but those are the three biggest. I've seen how dealing with me and my diseases have affected them. I've seen the worry in my husband's eyes when he knows I'm having a bad day. I've felt, from a thousand miles away, the concern from my mom when I'm not having a good day. Those closest to me can tell.

I haven't spiraled downward in a few months so my husband feels like he's walking on eggshells just waiting for The Black to descend. Honestly, I'm always afraid that it will, too.

Although I have those who love me and support me tremendously, they can never know what it feels like inside my head. Sometimes I think my skin is too tight and I'm just going to burst into nothingness. There are times, especially at night, when my brain is so busy that I can't go to sleep until it's almost time to get up. Some days just getting out of bed is giving it my all. And then there are those most dreaded days of the numbness. Nothing matters, nothing is worth doing, what's the point because it's all going to be the same another day. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not for a week, or a month, or a year. There is only nothingness inside of me, but every part of me hurts. These are the days I dread the most.

I often wonder if Terry and Maddie would be better off without me. He is so good and generous and handsome. He could totally find a non-broken wife. And Maddie is outgoing, and smart and wonderful and NOT broken. I feel like I'm going to be the one to break her. Words cannot express how anxious and terrified I am that she will end up like me. Broken on the inside. Feeling like a fraud all the time. Worrying CONSTANTLY if I'm going to relapse, either with the major depression or with the addiction. I'm so exhausted from having to be on guard all. the. time.

Meds are helping. I'm on mood stabilizing, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medications.But I often worry if it's enough. What will be enough? Will anything ever be enough? I just don't know.

What I do know is that I don't want to harm myself, or run away, or take drugs. Today. I can't worry about anything except for today because I become so overwhelmed that I just want to hide under a table. And nobody likes to hide under tables. It's very uncomfortable and there are dust bunnies that want to chew my toes off.

So. What does all of this mean? Beats the shit outta me, but I figure if all of this is out there in the universe it's NOT rattling around in my already crowded to capacity brain.

am  have Bipolar.
I am  have ADD.
I am  have anxiety.
I am  have depression.
I am  have OCD.
I am  have addictions.

Suck it, labels!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Open Letter to My Brain

Dear Brain,
Oh how I love you. You are so fast and are able to provide me with even the most difficult crossword clues. You are quick to retort something funny or sarcastic. There are so many reasons why I love you... But.

I understand that you are busy making and replenishing cells. I also get that your neurons are firing all. The. Time. I get it. You're busy. Well, so am I. When I lay down at night, that is your cue to shut the hell up. I shouldn't have to put you to sleep with tranquilizers or anti-anxiety medication. You should be so worn out from working hard all day that you WANT to take some time off. After all, you do help me slog through 5 classes and have to remember a shit ton of stuff so I can pass tests. (Thanks for that.)

There are other things you do throughout the day, too. Like keep a running grocery list. And remembering to pick up Maddie at school. You do important shit. But I believe that in order to keep functioning at our current level, you are going to have to LET ME GET SOME SLEEP. Don't keep waking me up every 2 hours to tell me something new. Just wait until morning. Also, if we could, I don't know, maybe sleep more than 4.5 hours a night that would be great.

I appreciate all you do for me. You work so hard maintaining your gray matter and keeping that white matter spongy. You deserve some time off. So for feck's sake, please let me sleep tonight.

Yours always,
The Rest Of You

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack

Ok. So it's been a year and a half since my last post. A ton of shit has happened since then. I'll do my best to (quickly) recap all the important stuff for the last 18 months.

I don't really remember.

I can tell you what has happened in the last couple of months, though.

I almost lost my marriage, my sanity, and possibly my life. I spiraled into such a deep depression I didn't see a way out. I was addicted to pain pills, in debt up to my eyeballs and hiding all of this from my husband. I was living a double life and it eventually caught up to me. I lost my dream job because of so many absences (due to the physical symptoms of the depression). I lost my husband's trust, and very nearly my marriage. I had long since given up any respect I had for myself. I was in deep and felt like everyone would be better off without me. I felt like I would be better off without me. Part of those feelings can be attributed to withdrawal from the pills. Other parts are just because, as my (sort of) friend and (definite) hero Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) says, "Depression Lies". And it does. It lies so it can suck the humanity, hope and life out of you. I know this because I kept a razor blade in a drawer beside my bed and had Googled how many Klonopins I could take that would put me to sleep. Permanently. I was finally scared enough for my self to reach out for help.

This part I will preface by saying I have never believed in therapy. I didn't want someone to ask me how everything made me feeeeeel.  Pissed off is what it mostly made me feel. At this point, though, I figured I didn't have anything to lose. I should also say that in 2005 or 2006 Terry had to put me in a psych facility because I couldn't get out of bed for three days. The shrink there diagnosed me as Bipolar, but I've been fighting that label since then.

So now it's July and Maddie is in Tennessee for the month. It's just me and Terry at home with all of this baggage I've created and hauled around for most of my life. It's not easy having conversations with the one you love the most and telling him about how I've spent so much of my time and energy lying to him and hiding who I was from him. Luckily, I married a kind, patient, understanding saint of a man who has more faith in me than I do in myself. He also loves me more that I love myself. (Which, face it, isn't that hard since I mostly loathe myself.)

He does research and looks for resources for people like me. Bipolar. There. I said it. I have Bipolar. And not even the "good kind". I don't have manic episodes. I'm either depressed or REALLY depressed. He found some support groups that we have been attending. And yes, he goes too. We found a really good counselor and I've been seeing her for about 5 weeks. I also opened up completely to my psychiatrist. I had been seeing him for several months just for depression meds. He had no idea about the addiction issues, the bipolar diagnosis years ago, or my double-agent lifestyle. He just wrote me prescriptions for two depression medications, I said thank you, and went on my (not so) merry way. It wasn't until my most recent appointment that I came clean.

He has since changed my depression medicine, added a mood stabilizer, and added an anti-anxiety medication. Things are finally starting to look up. I am not completely there yet, but I do feel like I'm getting better. My therapist says that it's very healthy to journal. I write so much for school that I don't like to write for me. Also, my brain is way faster than I can write. Typing, however. That I'm okay with. So, from now on, this blog will be my journal. My outlet for all the shit running around in my head. There's more room out here than there is in there, so maybe if I get most of it out, I can finally sleep more than 3-4 hours a night. I have sleeping pills but they make it really hard to get up in the mornings.

So here we are. I have been pill-free since 7/7. I have been going to therapy every week for 5-6 weeks. I have been attending support groups and doing worksheets I download from the internet. I lost my job, but have been looking for another. I am doing okay in school and at least for now, enrolled full time. I am working on rebuilding the trust in my relationships with my husband and daughter. I have become transparent and no longer feel that I need to hide anything about myself. To anyone. Most of my family has completely counted me out and they wonder why Terry hasn't left me yet. Truthfully, I've wondered that myself. I would have left me by now. Those who are still involved in my life have been nothing but supportive. If my husband is considered my spine, my mom would be the vertebrae. They both held me up when I couldn't do it myself. (I'm in school to, eventually, become a forensic anthropologist... so I heart bones.)

I try not to have unrealistic expectations about my disease(s). I know I will never be "cured". I also know that the addiction, depression, anxiety and bipolar can be managed well enough for me to FINALLY be able to enjoy life. I'm not comfortable in my own skin yet, but I do hope to be one day. I understand that there will be setbacks and relapses. I now know what to look for and have told Terry the signs. I've had my meds increased and that is helping my mood tremendously. There are still several days where I have to make myself get out of bed because I know, if I continue to lay there, it will just get harder. I have stopped trying to do better for Terry and Maddie and instead I'm trying to do better for me. There's a lot of really awful shit that I have to come to terms with but I have to take it a little at a time so I don't get overwhelmed and feel hopeless. Patsy, my therapist, is all about hope. I can't say I'm very hopeful, but at least I'm no longer in the bottom of a pit and not able to see the light.

I know this was kind of depressing and rambly, but coherent thoughts are just too elusive yet. I have to write stream-of-consciousness or I lose it all. I used to pride myself on my writing and memory abilities and these days seem to have none. But at least I'm not in the bed, right?

Other miscellaneous news: I got a dog. Her name is Roxie Crow, she is a 2 year old chihuahua, and she is totes adorbs. We adopted her a few weeks ago. She is not the usual yappy chihuahua and is a very good girl. She is potty trained, spayed, and loves to cuddle. She already knows her name and loves to ride in the car to go get Maddie (Sissy) after school every day. She has made herself at home by claiming a blanket and a spot on the couch that is hers. She fills a tiny part of my Grinch-like heart that has been missing since we had to give Oscar up when we moved here. She doesn't replace him, just helps fill a little of the hole he left. Also, I'm almost 38 years old and I just got my first tattoo a few weeks ago. Terry found this really cool site: so I got a semicolon tattoo on the inside of my left wrist. My thought process for getting it there was I'd be less likely to slice open that vein if I paid to have something put there. Wouldn't want to waste money like that, would we? Anyway, if you have or know someone who has been/is struggling with any kind of mental illness, it's a really good site. The premise is that a semicolon is used when an author could have ended a sentence but chose not to. Get it? I am the author and my life is the sentence. Deep, I know.

Okay, so to recap.... I'm totes whackadoodle but I'm getting the best help I can find. I'm kicking ass in school (so far). I'm looking for a job (or a rich relative). I've been clean for almost 2 months, which is longer than I have been for a long time. I have no suicidal/homicidal tendencies (today) and no desire to take a pill (other than the ones currently prescribed to me). I'm not, nor will I ever be, an optimist. I'm a die-hard realist. But for today, and face it, today is all that matters, I'm not Eeyore and I consciously try to not be a pessimist.

So, take what you want to from this ramble and do with it what you will. I'm not sure if I'm even MORE whackadoodle because I'm writing this like I'm talking to someone because I don't even know if anyone other than me, and maybe Terry, will read it. But, whatever. This shit isn't in my head anymore, so I feel a little better already....