Quotes Rarely Speak to Me

…but this one grabbed my attention today. Mental health is so complex and so stigmatized, but I think we’ve come a long way. Don’t be afraid to admit who you are and what you struggle with – it may give someone else the courage to seek help too.

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Handle with Care

There’s only one doctor that manages the outpatient program I’m in. We have to see him once a week, even though he doesn’t actually do anything – he doesn’t manage our meds or even really know who we are. We are just billing hours to him. He works all over the metro area and is always – yes, always, late.

I understand he is brilliant. I appreciate that he got me into this program, even if he didn’t actually mean to (he labeled me a “problem patient” because the HOSPITAL made a medication error and I caught it, the nurses got mad, and I had seizures that were swept under the rug as a result, but I digress). Anyway he didn’t want me “annoying” these nurses, but has since put some of his long-term patients in here that annoy the nurses and every other person in the group, to the point some are considering dropping out.

So today he was 2 hours late, and accused me of just using this as a babysitting service. Because I didn’t know when I was leaving. I don’t know because it usually lasts longer than I’ll be in town! The nurses haven’t told me for sure what’s happening.

But really it IS a babysitting service for me in some ways – I need some structure and a few hours of people helping me cope with life until my parents can come get me. My mom said my only goal right now is to stay alive until we get back to their house and get more treatment options. But I’ve done so much more – according to staff there I’m doing fantastic, going above and beyond using what I’ve learned, and I think it has really helped too.

So why does he have to be such a jerk about it? I just kind of mumbled, “That’s not what I meant,” and he’s like, “Oh you’re just not saying it right again? Okay.” Then the nurse encouraged me to tell him about the myoclonic jerks I’ve been getting…he said to see my neurologist.

Thanks, that was a very helpful visit…but seriously, if you know you’re working with depressed anxious paranoid patients, why not just pretend to give a damn?

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Timing is Key

This may not have been the *best* time to start a blog, in the middle of uprooting my life from my home of 15 years and going to a new state, having just gotten out of the mental hospital for a bipolar / suicidal episode due to overwhelming and medical problems.

But hey, we gotta start somewhere. I suppose there’s never a “right time” for anything. Just gotta do it.

I’m still going to my outpatient program but basically sleeping the rest of my day away, then Netflixing through the midnight hours. While I do legitimately have a sleep disorder to blame this on, I think I’m just avoiding life. When I’m awake I’m nervous about the future and depressed about the present. I still have intrusive, obsessive thoughts, and while I’ve learned to stuff them down some, it’s still hard.

Also I have a sinus infection and sores on my tongue (autoimmune thing) so it hurts to talk, eat, or drink. I just wish we could go back to when I was only sort of sickly, but still mostly functional. Now I basically feel like I’ve been in a car wreck every day. My body aches – mainly my back but just trying to alleviate that makes other things hurt, I’m mentally exhausted, and I can’t seem to catch up on life.

And on top of it all, I hate change. Well, change that I didn’t ask for or approve. Or really big change. Like moving. But even little things like adding and removing people to class or a bus route or my roommate coming back in town…a store being out of something I wanted, just everything.

Let’s face it: I’m used to getting my way.

A guy I’ve enjoyed being in IOP with had his last day today. I’m glad he is “better” but I want him to stay for selfish reasons. He took his mom and me to his church for a jazz night last weekend, and this weekend we are going to a book fair and church, so at least it’s not the last time I’ll see him.

But my other friends, it’s hard saying goodbye, knowing it will probably be a while. Some threw me a party and it was awesome – got a book with well-wishes and pictures, some crafty things to do, etc.

But yeah, too many emotions and I can’t handle them all at once so I just sleep to avoid thinking about it all…but then sometimes I can’t sleep.
Where’s the Propofol when you need it?

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Waiting for the Bus

I know God has me learning patience, but apparently I’m not learning it very well because we keep going over it again and again!

I’m currently waiting outside for the paratransit bus to come pick me up and take me to my PHP group. It’s like a step-down from being hospitalized, and is “intensive outpatient therapy,” but you get to sleep at home, keep your shoelaces, etcetera.

Anyway, I’m waiting for the bus. I spend collective hours waiting for the bus because I’m diligent like that. Oh and they’ll leave after 5 minutes. But it’s interesting, if you put the phone down, to just people watch and look at nature.

Remember when we were kids and spent hours outside, mesmerized by ladybugs and roly polies? In my after-school program we would save our juice cups and go to the corner of the playground and dig up worms. There were birds and planes in the sky, and we noticed each one. We would pick flowers an make daisy chains and press leaves into books. We would fight bees for honeysuckles!

Now all we do is look at our phones, oblivious not only to the natural world around us, but to other humans too. Kids stay inside all day and aren’t allowed to get dirty, because that could give them some crazy super virus and they could die.

Anyway, it’s beautiful out here today, before the sun is fully awake, but I hear it is supposed to get up to 110 with heat index?! So I think I’ll stop writing and enjoy this time.

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Disturbing Dreams

I wish I could have deep, dark, empty sleep every night. Or even every nap would be fine.

I just woke up from a nap (if you can call sleeping from 3pm-9:30pm a “nap”) with horrible shreds of vivid dream memories. In real life, two weeks from now my parents are coming to get me to move in with them for a while, since I’m basically not able to take care of myself anymore physically, which has made me an emotional wreck, so I just got out of a week-long stay at a mental hospital. They’re being fantastic about it.

But in my dream, they tricked me. They found a Christian version of a mental hospital/respite sort of place and when we got there, it was immediately obvious to me that it was far from that. There were lots of Chinese dragons around (I suspect because I’ve been making a lot of origami that bit was just thrown in for fun) but also everyone was armed, and it was basically a boot camp for bad teens marketed as a Christian camp for the weary soul. But no one else could see the problem. My stepdad liked the idea, and my mom sort of has a tendency to be pro anything that SAYS it’s Christian.

They took our dogs (my Shih Tzu, parents’ Maltese) and put them in a dog run. I fought like hell but the guards held me back. They said I had to fight this one guy to get them. They gave me some metal reinforcement for my left arm (I guess because that arm is weak my mind did that – thanks mind) so I used that arm to attack and my right to block. I must have been in my chair, because the guy was towering over me, and I couldn’t use my legs, even though he could. 

Somehow I got to the dogs, but they let them out of the fence, and they were going across traffic. At that point, with their dog’s life at risk, my parents jumped into action and we all started running after, with military staff running after us. One of them got to the Maltese first and broke her neck. End scene.

Since that place obviously wasn’t for us, they found a new institution, and while weird, it wasn’t scary. Someone stole my iPad while I was there, but some of my IRL church friends got the media to cover it and I got it back. You had to buy everything you needed, and it all matched (totally fed into my OCD though right?) – clothes, underwear, cups, toiletries, etc. But someone put me on a tube feed instead, because I was too fat to get food (they were big on everyone matching one another too) so that hurt my feelings kind of a lot. And they seemed to be teaching you to sell direct marketing stuff (a la Mary Kay) so that was just…strange. End scene.

Finally, I was somewhere cold, like Alaska. some guy had a viral video of a really deep well he stuck a gnome down, then froze him down there, thawed, and brought him up, along with the camera. I didn’t really understand. But I was there and going down in the chamber. When I got cold he brought me up, and it was a little scary because I couldn’t use my legs to hold myself while he undid the harness and wrapped another something around me to pull me out. When he did, I landed on the couch, which was white, and I had apparently just started my period. I was really embarrassed but he and his wife were great and I quickly cleaned it up. Probably because IRL my roommate has a white couch I’m basically not allowed to sit on because she thinks I’m a dirty hippy, except the thing is already horribly dirty and from the 90s, so it’s just hilarious). As I was doing that, my biological dad stormed in, screaming, saying he was taking over and demanding to know where the money was. he was trying to rip me out of my chair, and see what happened to the couch, and drag me out of the house. IRL, this would not be atypical of how he usually acts.

And now I’ve woken up just in time to take my night meds and go back to bed! 

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Again with the Writing

I thought this post was lost but now it has been found!

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my new blog! This is just an introductory post so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I decided to start a blog again because I keep hearing from friends and family, as well as practical strangers, that I should. I have always enjoyed writing, but have slacked since graduating from college. I was very avid on LiveJournal, where everyone DIDN’T know your name, and posts weren’t expected to be constrained to 140 characters. Now thanks to “social media” I have NO privacy, no respite when I’m feeling crazy and need other people around who don’t necessarily know me in real life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Facebook, I just think sometimes it’s not the most appropriate place to talk about some of the stuff I will discuss here.

Over the next few months I plan to be writing and sharing posts about my life in general. I live with a lot of weird issues. I promise I’m still fun. I hurt my back 3 years ago and now use a wheelchair and am in chronic pain. I just turned 30. It’s getting to the point that I can’t really take care of myself anymore, and I’ve started having seizures so I’m not allowed to drive (weird right? crazy law) until I’m 6 months seizure free. Also I deal with mental illness (partially as a result of losing my identity, my job, my home, etc from getting hurt) but partially because I’m just lucky that way. One neurologist (I have 5 neuro-specialists) laughs at me and my ability to have somehow hit the genetic lottery…so many strange things go on with me. So never a dull moment, but I usually deal with stuff humorously.

I’m about to move home with my parents so they can help me with “activities of daily living” and get SSDI set up (seizures are wearing me out) and just…clean up my life in general. They live on the beach so it’s actually a nice little winter respite. Depending on how more intense rehab goes, and how much I like having palm trees in my back yard, I may move back to the city on my own, stay in their house, or something in between (like assisted living). It’s been suggested that I kind of chronicle the story, as well as some of the stuff I’m dealing with in therapy, so I can see how I’ve grown, and maybe others can benefit from sharing feelings or illnesses or cool wheelchair tricks. Because honestly, when I get all excited about Aaron Fotheringham stunt movies, well, not a lot of people get it!

That’s it for now! If you’d like to be kept updated with my posts “Like” this post or subscribe to my blog.

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