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Still Surviving

I am still surviving. Barely. This is not what life is supposed to be like. I feel like every single day is a fight. A fight to suppress the suicidal thoughts. A fight to try to be a good wife and mother. A fight to even get out of bed.

I have been taking my medication regularly. The new psychiatrist changed it again and added in an anti anxiety medicine that is supposed to help with my sleep and lessen the nightmares. I have been seeing a new counselor and I feel like we are making a lot of good progress. In the past my counselors just let me talk for an hour but this woman actually does worksheets and exercises and stuff. Yesterday we went through the progression of the suicidal thoughts (what triggers them, how I respond, and what I do) then we went through the same progression with healthy ways to react at each step. I now have this sheet of paper that tells me how to respond to triggers, thoughts, and pain.

The problem is I don’t feel well. Physically I just don’t feel well.  I am dizzy, my vision is getting worse, and I have daily headaches. I saw my family practice doctor Wednesday who treats my anemia. He tests my iron every month to catch it before it gets really bad again. He said that the symptoms are probably side effects from increasing/adding medications. He did say my heart rate has been lower every time he sees me and he was actually concerned with how low it has gotten but that he doesn’t want to do anything until they think my body has adjusted to the new medication.

 

I know this post is pretty negative and as I was reading some posts by blogs I follow this morning, they were positive and talked about healing and recovery. The problem is I’m not there yet. I haven’t recovered, I am still struggling. Hell I’m not even stable.

But I will be one day. That’s the only reason I am still alive today. I believe that one day I will be okay. One day I will wake up and not loathe my self, or my diagnosis.

I am still holding on for that one day.

one-day-i-ll-be-there-quote

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bipolar, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Relapse

Wow, I haven’t posted in so long I almost forgot I had this blog. I am back here because my disorder reared its ugly head again. I was stable for a long time. When I got pregnant Fall of 2014 I immediately went off my medication and did perfectly fine until about a year after I had my baby girl. I had a pretty bad manic episode which resulted in me trying to leave my husband and having an affair. Thankfully my husband is an amazing man and actually forgave me. We decided it was time for me to go back on medication. I was put on a bipolar antidepressant and a drug to prevent mania. I did okay on those for a bit until I started going downhill. I started a new job working third shift at a psychiatric facility (ironic I know). It was hard to see these people who were involuntarily committed by a judge for long term treatment, many of whom had the diagnosis of Bipolar. This job took a huge toll on my health and definitely added to my depression. I started writing suicidal notes (notice I said suicidal, not suicide. They were not notes to say goodbye, they were notes about suicide). I only wrote these while I was at work. I didn’t tell my husband or parents how depressed I was getting until a few weeks ago. I tried to reach out to my psychiatrist who prescribed me the medications but I couldn’t get an appointment or a call back. Finally it got to the point where my family did not think I was safe to be with my daughter alone or be left alone at all. They decided that I should be admitted to a hospital. My sister found a hospital out of town and I voluntarily committed myself.

This hospital stay was crazy. I hadn’t been at inpatient treatment since my 72 hour suicide hold when I was 16. Now I’m 21 and I was put on the adult crisis stabilization unit. I had a panic attack as soon as I got there and was given a sedative. Once they determined I was not hallucinating or going really crazy I was moved to the regular adult unit. The doctor added another antidepressant to my cocktail of medications but that made go a little crazy on the manic side. He then increased my mania drug and doubled my bipolar medication. I’m hoping this mix of drugs will keep me stable for a while. I was released from the hospital Wednesday against the doctor’s advice. He wanted to keep me a few more days but I kinda threw a hissy fit and then had my mom call (I know I’m an adult but when I’m unstable I act like a child). My mom talked to the doctor and explained the safety plan that she and my husband had put in place. She then told him that she thought if he made me stay another night that I would freak out and do something stupid (which was true). The doctor came to me and said (this is a direct quote), “Before you get mad or throw a fit, we decided to release you”. I said, “I’m totally calm” (which was only kinda true) and then he replied “We want to discharge you before you make this difficult”. So he released me with my mother’s word that she would remove all medications and knives from my house. When I got home everything was gone. My husband gives me my medication in the morning and at night and takes the bag with him to work. I still haven’t really been alone with my daughter for very long and I can’t stay home during the day when my husband is gone unless I have a plan of exactly what I’m going to do and then my husband and mom call and text to check in.

If you have never been locked in a psychiatric facility I would not recommend it. The food is terrible for one and you only have about 15 minutes to eat it once you get through the cafeteria line. We also did not get to go outside at all except for the walk in the covered, fenced in walkway to meals. All of our group therapy was held on our locked unit where we spent time talking about communication and self-esteem and relationships. Some of the sessions were actually good information but most of the time I felt too drugged to learn to much (the nurses really liked handing out sedatives). As I got less depressed over the days, I felt more agitated which is one of my first symptoms of mania. I do feel better now that I’m home with my husband and daughter. I’m definitely still fragile but I quit my job and my husband isn’t letting me do anything for a while to keep my stress down until I get more stable.

The one good thing about my time in the hospital is the people I met. I found a little group of friends. We ate all our meals together and since we had a lot of free time we kept each other occupied by talking about our problems or playing board games. The ability to be honest with people about my disorder when I keep it hidden from even my close friends was really therapeutic. Many of these people were like me and felt suicidal or attempted and came for treatment. There were a couple who were detoxing from substance abuse. It was such a judgement free zone. People wore their problems on their sleeves. There was no hiding anything. If you struggle with mental illness, I highly suggest finding a support group for people who struggle with mental disorders or a group therapy where you can talk to people who can relate to the specific struggles you face.

I’m not stable yet, but I will be one day. I don’t trust myself yet. I’m so impulsive I’m scared I would do something stupid to hurt myself so I don’t fight my family when they try to protect me. I’m going to take some time to relax and take a break from all my stress. I need to be more careful about not letting it get so out of hand before I reach out for help. I have an appointment with a new psychiatrist and counselor next week (part of the terms of being released from treatment). I’m going to do everything I can to stay safe because I want to be around for my baby girl and that’s reason enough to get better.

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Uncategorized

My First Week at School

So I went to the clinic on Monday and the test came back positive. I was pregnant. My hCG level was really low for five weeks, it was only 35. So the doctor had me come back Wednesday to check it again. She was suspicious I was having a miscarriage because of my previous miscarriage. I started bleeding Tuesday night. On Wednesday my hCG level was 11. I also found out that my blood type was negative so I needed a shot to make sure my body didn’t attack a future fetus. They said the fact that I didn’t get that last time could have contributed to this miscarriage. I’m dealing with the loss pretty well I think considering my emotional stability.

My boyfriend and I are sad, but relieved. We were not ready to have a child together. I can now put all my focus on school and work. 

I’m sort of at a loss for words at this point.

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Uncategorized

The media circus *Trigger warning*

Be careful of what you post! You may never know how it triggers someone with mental illness. Great post!

Dear Brain...

I am loathe to write this post; I almost feel as though in doing so I am adding to the very problem I am about to complain about and yet if ever I needed to write something; this is it.

It has been a tough week in the world of Bipolar disorder. I’m sure we have all been struck by the untimely death of Robin Williams; it is a tragedy. My online support group has been finding the whole thing incredibly difficult (as have I) not only the way the way the media has spun the story in as many ways as possible to make reading it all unavoidable but also the apparent ignorance in claiming he suffered with depression when it is widely known that he was a fellow Bipolar disorder sufferer… (a very different illness)  I believe they reported it this way because it is a more widely coined…

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bipolar, Mental Health

Random

So much has happened this week.

I moved all of my stuff into my new apartment. I won’t be moving over there officially until Friday but it already feels so real. I’ll be living an hour away from my boyfriend in a new city where I don’t know anyone. I’m a little bit nervous but I did meet my roommate yesterday and I really like her. So far I’ve only seen guys go in and out of our apartment building but I’m sure there are some girls hiding somewhere. 

One of my best friend’s moved away this week. That is depressing all by itself. 

My other best friend’s crush is moving to college this week. Why do I care? Oh right because last year I slept with the guy and got pregnant with his baby. Maybe one or two people even know this happened, but I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. My best friend has no idea this ever happened. She has been in love with guy for years. She told him she loved him yesterday in a note. This whole situation has made my emotions go crazy. I feel like a complete whore whenever I see my best friend. Just to be complete transparent, I did know she liked him when I slept with him. Yes, I know I am a horrible person. Go ahead and judge. In my defense, I knew they would never be a thing. 

Speaking of emotions and pregnancy…I’m 6 days late. Although my boyfriend is incredible and supportive and could completely take care of me and a baby, I can’t have a kid right now. I’m about to start my junior year of college. I’m researching grad schools. I’m moving an hour away from my boyfriend. 

I don’t want to be criticized for an unplanned pregnancy. I am completely aware that there are ways to prevent pregnancy and my boyfriend and I have not been very smart. Things sometimes just happen.

So what do you do in situations like this? I don’t even know. I feel so alone right now. My boyfriend has been on his computer game for hours and talking to my best friend on the phone just isn’t the same. I have watched so much Netflix this week to keep my mind distracted. I’ve also been doing a lot of drinking, but I’m taking a break until I find out if I’m pregnant. I even broke down this week and smoked a little weed. The only good thing I have been doing is taking my medication regularly. So I’m trying not to fall apart at this point. 

I do see my psychiatrist this week. It will be an interesting appointment because I called him a few weeks ago about hallucinating again. I saw my familiar hallucination and she told me to cut. I’m sure my psychiatrist will have lots to say about that and how I have been acting the past few weeks with the drinking and the pregnancy scare. 

Well if ya’ll get the chance send up a prayer for me. I’m just trying to stay stable. 

youth-quotes-young-change-dreams-strength

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Mental Health

Robin Williams

The world was hit with shocking news this week when comedy’s hero Robin Williams committed suicide. It now seems as though every time I get on a social media site I see someone else’s opinion about suicide. Some are good thoughts, thoughts that should be shared and can be helpful to those grieving and struggling with depression themselves. Others have been downright cruel. Posts about suicide being selfish, about the “choice” Robin Williams made, and about all the people it was hurting. Reading those posts hurt my heart. They are being written by people who have never been so deep in the darkness that they literally feel as if they have no choice. 

So this post is for people like me, those who struggle with mental illness. Who can relate to the pain Robin Williams must have felt. This post is for us who are still living. Robin William’s death was tragic, but suicide is not uncommon. In 2011 in the United States, every 13.3 minutes someone lost a life to suicide. Let us use this death as a reminder of the hurting people that surround us every day. Not just celebrities, but the people we see at school or in the grocery store. 

So what is my point? We all know someone that is hurting and struggling to make it through another day. Tell that person you love them. Tell them you care. If you or someone you know is considering suicide please call 911. Help is available. Robin Williams story ended this week, but yours doesn’t have to. 

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Uncategorized

In case you are wondering, it’s real, and we aren’t crazy

Well said!

Living Manic Depressive

“We all tend to think of the problems we are going through as some sort of personal failing – you know, if we tried harder, or if we worked better, or if we fixed some past problem in our childhood, then we can beat this. The problem is that mood swings are disease, a real disease. They aren’t just a passing phase or a down period or a character defect. They are as real a disease as diabetes or astigmatic vision.
 
We also tend not to like the idea that we might have a ‘mental’ disease, mostly because so many of the associations with this are negative. But mood swings don’t make you a crazy person. They are just a set of annoying symptoms that get in the way of living your life. They don’t stop you from graduating university, or succeeding in your job, or having friends, or being…

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