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....

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