Archive for the mental illness Category

Snap- A poem about Mental Illness

Posted in mental health, mental illness, poetry with tags , on July 1, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

snapoutofit

What The Mental Healthcare Professionals Don’t Tell You

Posted in mental health, mental illness with tags , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

THEY JUST DON’T KNOW.

We’re taught to respect doctors because they’re educated, they’re experienced, science is science…But when it comes to mental healthcare, for every one thing that’s been learned over the last hundred years, there’s a dozen of questions they still have no answers for. A lot of counselors and psychiatrists do NOT admit this to patients. And the ones who do, downplay it because they have their precious DSM that tells them which cluster of symptoms qualifies you for a disorder.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Meaning, lots of research of lots of people and a consensus on what the masses suffer which qualifies as disorder A, B, C, D. It is not the least bit comforting to know when I talk to a psych professional, I am little more than one more number, one more statistic. Not an individual. Not someone with different genetics, physiology, different past experiences that left an imprint. Nope. Just. A. Statistic.

Also not publicized by the professionals are their own personal experiences, biases, beliefs. Some still use rorschach tests and consider it combative if you tell them it looks like someone spilled ink on paper. Some are old school and think Freud had legitimate points rather than just some sort of obsession with phallic symbols and mommy. Some are against medications. Some do nothing but push pills and “hope” a counselor keeps you from killing yourself. It’s a mixed bag, and for many of us, we’re kind of stuck with what we can get when you consider the average cost of a ten minute med check is over a hundred dollars.

This means we are also stuck with whatever their issues are, their beliefs, their experiences. If they knew a string a patients who were faking it or simply addicted to substances and creating their own mental issues…YOU get stuck with that, no right to individuality. Mental healthcare professionals are HUMAN. They go into the field for the right reasons for the most part, but make no mistake. THEY ARE JUST AS FUCKED UP AS THE REST OF US. Your male doctor might have issues with females and objectivity can be tainted by such feelings. Your female counselor may hate brunettes and not take you as seriously as a blonde client. That psychologist with all the alphabets behind their name, all the experience and beaming smile…may think all mental illness is behavioral and treat you as such.

It’s easy to feel doomed so most just choose not to think of the reality of what I am saying. And I get it. We’re programmed from an early age that questioning those in authority- doctors, cops, et al- is some sort of defiance issue. But it’s all a case of “who watches the watchmen.” If you don’t question your doctor and stand up for yourself, who will advocate for you? I’m not talking defiance for no reason. But if you don’t feel you are being listened to, you have EVERY right to speak up. Few of us would put up with a rude, dismissive cashier at the store. Yet none of us think twice when deferring to doctors and such.

Professionals may have the education, the training, the experience…But they are fallible, same as we are. Which is why it’s important to SPEAK UP. And if the doctor brushes you off, speak up louder. I’m that situation right now with my doctor. He is insisting Trileptal is the right choice over my faithful Lamictal and I do not agree. The trileptal has made me feel as bad as Lithium, which was the whole point in switching to Lamictal. Did he think raise the dose? Nope. Just toss out the flavor of the week mood stabilizer. I am shocked by how many people are on Trileptal and yet this is my first doctor to ever even mention it to me. Which means…along with the Latuda and Seroquel, the flavor of the week has changed. Because the STATISTICS say X amount of people respond better to this than the others. Not because Z works better for patient Morgue. Nope. Flavor.Of. The. Weak.(Not a misspell.)

I have no intention of caving in to this doctor. I will speak up because I’ve proven to myself part of my problem is Trileptal. Does this make it a bad medication? Hell, no, lots of people respond very well, have no problems, and it helps. But for me, if side effects prove to be a hindrance and the medication doesn’t work so well…Deal breaker, even if the doctor is the expert. Because none of his education and experience entitle him to know me better than I know myself. I am a patient of mental healthcare. I am not feeble minded, lacking in intelligence, and unable to gauge when things are worse rather than better. Will he listen? Who knows. But I am to the point where I’d rather go off all meds than take Trileptal. I was blaming the Latarda aftermath but the last couple of weeks of nightmares and numbness, feeling disconnected…I don’t care if three million people surveyed didn’t experience it, I AM.

It’s insulting, really, to be put through this living hell because psychiatry is an inexact science. Twenty years ago, I was on Effexor for almost a year. It quit working. My doctor told me to just stop taking it. I started coming unglued, hallucinating. I called his office. They insisted it was my imagination, there’s no withdrawal from anti depressants.

Nowadays, tapering off SSRI’s is common because they do know there can be withdrawal in some patients.

My new doctor, unfortunately, is of the mind that there’s no withdrawal from SSRI’s and you can take your dose once a day at any time and the levels in your blood will remain the same. Which is at odds with what the ten doctors before him said. And honestly, I like his way better, I suck at remembering to do this at 8 a.m., that at noon, this at five, that atten pm…Once a day works for me. But am I getting the full benefit? Mind you, this is the one who said Latuda had very few side effects, suicidal thoughts wasn’t one of them, and there was no aftermath. Once again, it’s based on STATISTICS. I just happened to be one of the unfortunate souls who reacted outside those stats and was basically told I made it all up. This doctor is super nice, friendly, not a jerk at all. Yet I find myself questioning his medical advice. Not out of disrespect, but out of my own research and experience. I don’t think this guy is even ten years younger than me, which means in spite of his education and all…I’ve got ten more years experience living with mental illness and treating it.

I have a right to be skeptical, to have concerns, to ask questions, to do my own research. Because while he may be a wonderful human being and a great doctor for the statistics…It doesn’t make him one that is going to help me. Do I hold it against him? No. Doctors are entitled to be individuals, have their own beliefs, biases, and operate within the nicely wrapped box of the DSM and the cases they’ve treated. I think I’m giving him more benefit of the doubt than he’s giving me or else I wouldn’t walk out feeling like I’m somehow troubling him by not caving to his every edict. He has the experience and statistics to go by. I have only my own personal experience. Until you’ve fallen victim to the horrendous side effects experienced by too few to be considered “serious”…You don’t really know, you’re just guessing based on numbers and studies.

The point of this post is…Remember doctors are only human. They make mistakes, have biases, and your best interest is often just the party line. Psychiatry doesn’t really know how the brain works so intricately as far as mental illness goes. You can’t expect an expert on what is essentially a guessing game. What you can do is, be an advocate for yourself. Speak up. If you’re not being heard, speak up more loudly. And if that doesn’t work, reach out to the staff, the nurses, receptionists. I did and it got their attention. I don’t regret it. Rather being a number, I suddenly became a name with a voice who wasn’t going to be quashed.

I wish this post were better written, filled with studies and facts and numbers. Actually, I don’t. Because we get enough of all that from our “treatment”. This post is one individual’s point of view. Because we are allowed to have one even if our years of mental healthcare tries to deny us of one with threats of non compliance and being “irrational.” So repost this anywhere you think it needs to be heard. We are the patients, but we are also the ones PAYING for their services. That does not include rudeness, dismissal, or having to accept their treatment making us worse as opposed to better.

Speak up. Be heard. Politely. Calmly. Leave the sporks at home.

 

 

“You Just Don’t Want To Be Happy”

Posted in biolar disorder, mental illness with tags , , , , on June 9, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

If I had a dime for every time some well meaning schmuck has said that to me,  (and by well meaning, I mean, utterly clueless) I could buy Neverland Ranch.  “You just don’t want to be happy.”

Hmmm….Ranks right up there with the shrink who told me the Zoloft wasn’t working because I didn’t want it to work. I am super fucking magical if I can control the success of a medication with negative thought alone.

But maybe the idgets are right. I DON’T want to be happy.

I am bipolar two. All my happy experiences are tied to manic episodes where I was “too happy”. I made impulsive decisions, I did things out of character for myself, I had no self awareness, no concept of consequences, I didn’t care who I hurt because I WAS TOO HAPPY.

The mistakes I made while too happy haunt me to this day. So yeah…I don’t want to be happy. Not like that, ever again. It does happen, manic episodes come and go even when medicated. I had a two week period in March when my Prozac was increased and I went manic. The crashing fall from that made me resent the brief respite of happiness.  Plus, I did some things that I normally would not do. Like live in the petri dish and have faith in another human being. Once again, it bit me on the ass. And leg. And face. And I have festering psychological anti people rabies now. Fuck mania, fuck the happiness.

What I REALLY want is STABILITY. I don’t need to feel happy. I don’t need to be rich or have possessions or go fun places or have a relationship to validate me to the point of happiness. That shit is fleeting for the bipolar mind. Stability, and being consistently well, now that’s a dream I could happily embrace. My entire life has been instability and no matter how hard I try, it never changes for more than a few months at a time. This has done so much damage to my self confidence, especially when even the professionals there to help me act like I’m being some drama queen. For every one that has seen the hell I go through and commiserated, there are two that have been completely dismissive, if not outright cruel. So not even in my psychiatric care do I have stability.

We all want what escapes and eludes us most. Most people, it’s wealth.I wouldn’t turn down a winning lottery ticket.  But I am smart enough to know money isn’t going to cure me. Nor is true love and other fairytales, a fancy car, fancy house, nice things. I have an illness. Money can treat it, not cure it. And the cure so often is as bad if not worse than the illness…No, money wouldn’t fix a thing. It would help reduce stress and increase options of treatment…It wouldn’t give me what I want most.

Contentment. I can live with bad luck, shit happens, et al. I can roll with the punches life throws. I’m not so naive that I think life is rainbows and puppies. I am also not stupid enough to think it’s only bad stuff.

The thing is, with mental illness…Stability is so fleeting, you can be manic and laugh at a funeral, or you can be stable and react normally, or you can be depressed and the world is a blackened cesspool, or so anxious you think the shadows on the wall are out to get you. Distorted thought precipitates everything. So telling me to “cheer up”, “lighten up”, “be happy”, “Be grateful for what you do have…”

That’s as helpful for mental illness as berating and overweight person and expecting it to “motivate” them to lose weight. Tough love is not always the answer. I have never told anyone to tell a chronically ill patient with Lupus or such to “suck it up, be happy.” Yet for mental illness, it’s the party line.

Guess what? IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE HAPPY. IT IS OKAY TO NOT EVEN WANT TO BE HAPPY.

Sometimes, just aiming for stability and contentment lead to happiness, and that’s good enough for me.

Postnote-

If I did have the money to buy Neverland ranch, I’d totally make it the Volatile Femmes headquarters so we could ride roller coasters, pet llamas, hole up and avoid the world, or throw massive Mardi Gras Manic Parties. Much love to me fellow femmes- Blah, Sass, Diane, Tessa,Zoe. And though not a femme, Chris, you’re invited to join our Mental Health Retreat too! Gotta have dreams,right?

Mental Illness: Who I am Versus Who I Want To Be

Posted in biolar disorder, mental illness with tags , , , , on May 27, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

distorted-mirror

Mental illness is a lot like looking into a mirror and seeing what you want to be. You look away for a moment, then reality is looking back at you. That kitten may view himself as a fierce lion, king of the jungle, but…Best he can hope for is to grow into a good sized domestic cat. WE ARE WHAT WE ARE.

Do I cede that mental illness has to define and limit us? Absolutely not.

When I am manic, I see that lion in the mirror and forget I am but a kitten. I feel fierce and powerful and unstoppable. Intrepid.

When depressed…I see this hollowed out husk with no light left behind the eyes and lines of a tortured existence etched into what used to be a lively pretty face.

What we are and what we want to be are two very different things. And to liken the mentally ill to someone without mental illness who likely *can* become whatever they put their mind to…is insulting. A sick mind cannot become a well mind by willpower and effort. We can manage, we can improve, we can just maintain and keep going…But the part of us that is responsible for every function is ill and to deny this is a hindrance is asinine.

sick-person

As a manic teenager, I had so many dreams and goals and flights of fancy. My dad told me to get a job schlupping coffee in an office, people like us didn’t become anything else. I told him I was going to be a star. Never mind I can’t sing or dance or well, do anything with any consistency. I’m a good writer, but even that hinges on my clarity at the time. Mental illness does not bring consistent clarity so even that which I am good at and enjoy is affected. At that time, I rebelled even against my own self doubt and especially against my gloom and doom father. I told myself I was going to be the one in a million, I’d beat the odds, I would become more than my station in life declared I could be. I certainly wanted it desperately enough.

Then would come the depressive bouts. Months and months in a dark place feeling no hope, no joy, being beaten down by my own mind. I’d come to terms with my limitations and decide maybe schlupping coffee’s not so bad. Except, I tried that in the form of waiting tables, and my longest period of stability was about seven months. FYI, you make great tips when manic. Depressives who force smiles and look ready to bolt…Not so much. Still…I tried.

Come manic phase…Lather, rinse, repeat.

I thought I was just a flake until the mental health diagnosis. Of course, it was the wrong one, I was given the wrong meds, and never did get better for more than a couple of months at a time. Least then I knew I wasn’t stupid or immature.  Notions of grandeur are a hallmark of mania as much as hopelessness is a hallmark of depression.

If you had asked me twenty years ago what I’d be doing now…I’d have said I’d be a published author, maybe still broke, but I’d have at least pursued the one dream I know I stand a chance at fulfilling. I could not have seen all that would come my way to hinder that dream. (One of the biggest hurdles being stuck in a small town and of course, literary agents charging seventy five bucks an hour just to read a chapter or two.) Then my husband at the time had two brain surgeries in a six month space. My needs took second place. I was still struggling with my own issues. There was never a point where I said, “I can’t do this, I won’t even try.” No. There was just the reality of life reminding me I had other priorities, other responsibilities. I was okay with that. I could do my writing thing later on.

It was all so clear in my manic mind. I could see myself, wearing the nicer clothes I can’t afford, well groomed and made up, my house clean, my car new, my life a balance of personal and professional. Until the mania wore off and the depression swooped in. Even then, I never admitted defeat. It was just another bump in the road, I could postpone until my mind was in a better place.

Once I had that bad reaction to Nardil and spent a week in the hospital with the doctors unsure if I’d ever come to…That was when everything changed, for the worse. Almost like my will to live was sucked out of me during that week I was out of it. I started getting numbers mixed up, saying the wrong words, forgetting where something was when I’d been there a dozen times. I was different.

The mental illness, however, was not. The cycles came and went. Except the manic episodes were briefer and the depressions were longer, deeper, darker. I was no longer my smart sunny self even in the manic episodes. There was something different about me, about how I was able to feel. It was always like joy was covered in layers of gauze and it wasn’t simply the depression. I wasn’t the same person anymore, which gave credence to the shrink’s flippant remark about, “There may have been brain damage.”

I kept writing. Unfortunately, it was all tainted by my depressed mind state or if I was manic, it was run on sentences even I couldn’t tolerate. I kept TRYING. I even wrote poems that got published. No pay, though. Truthfully, I am not a poetry person. Writing it makes me feel like a hypocrite. Novels have always been my goal. And I have at least ten full manuscripts I’ve written over the years, including a couple a New York literary agent was interested in. IF I could pay for her time, which I couldn’t.

In 2006 I found the most amazing doctor. She diagnosed me bipolar and gave me mood stabilizers. I thought, finally, I can have my life back, or start living one for a change.

Mood stabilizers helped immensely. Except the depressions remained the same. Doctors don’t like to give anti depressants to bipolar patients so my doctor saddled me with enough sleeping pills to put an elephant down on a nightly basis. Still, for the ten hours I was awake, I was minimally functional and not suicidal. It was something.

The bottom line is…Life requires consistency. It’s the one thing I can’t seem to manage. I try. I envision where I want to be in life, how I can make changes, what I can do to ward off the depressions…Nothing works. I had a plan four years ago. I really thought that time it was going to stick. I was determined, the meds seemed to be working…And all it took was one seasonal affect depression to put me back into the gutter, back on the medi go round. Side effects, failures, brief periods of functionality. My best intentions count for nothing.

I never wanted to be a 42 year old woman who struggles just to bathe and put on clothes or clean the house. I never wanted to be on disability, I always worked from the time I was sixteen, even if it was only during the manic episodes for a couple of months. I tried. I had dreams. In my current months long depression and its anhedonia, I currently can’t focus on anything but daily survival. You want me to make a five year plan of goals to aim for? That’s not gonna happen. I can barely make a plan for five minutes from now.

Oddly back in February when my prozac was increased, I went absolutely manic for three weeks and thought I was cured and could kick the world’s ass.

This disorder is cruel. It is a hindrance. It is the bane of my existence. Yet it’s the only hand of cards I was dealt.

But make no mistake…Who I wanted to be has nothing to do with what I am now. I can make some changes, adjust my attitude. I cannot, however, cure the bipolar. It is what it is.

I never wanted to be this husk of a human being. Yet here I am and much as I loathe it, I keep doing battle.  Maybe focusing less on what I once wanted to be,or what others think I should or could be…I need to  focus on the fact that no matter how many times life and mental illness have beaten me down…

I have the fortitude to get back up. I keep trying. That takes strength the non mentally ill will never ever possess or grasp.

Does A Mental Health Diagnosis Do Us Any Favors?

Posted in mental health, mental illness with tags , , , , , , , on May 26, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

“She’s a member of the prozac club…”  Yeah, that’s a lawyer’s way of discrediting witnesses.

Guess what? You’ve just shrunk your jury pool to elementary school children and Scientologists because a large percentage of the population has been on in the past, or is currently on, a med like prozac. It’s not a sin, it’s not incompetence. I am pretty resentful that so much as taking an anti depressant warrants such labeling, as if anyone who could “catch” depression is somehow inept.

 

Prior to being diagnosed with any mental health problem, I was just considered “weird” “awkward” or “eccentric.” And I was actually okay with that, figuring that my dysfunctional life had lead me to that place of dysfunction. Deep down, though, I always knew *something* was off in my brain. It didn’t matter how much I bullied myself, or how much I changed my behavior. The cycles were the same. Up, down, briefly stable, to the moon high, and back into the gutter low. Always anxious, always panicking even without a trigger. Something was wrong with me that wasn’t my fault.

But then came the counselors. I turned down meds. I talked until I was blue in the face. Still, the cycles remained the same. So I acquiesced to medication. The cycles remained the same, except the depression were worse and the manic episodes longer and more severe.

That happens when you give straight anti depressants to a bipolar patient.

Fast forward to 2006 when I was finally diagnosed as bipolar and given mood stabilizers. Suddenly, I wasn’t spending money like water on shit I didn’t need and I had no desire to. I wasn’t goofy happy for no reason, taking chances, making impulsive decisions. I was no longer screaming mad and throwing things, nor was I bawling and hiding in closets. It felt like, wow, this makes a difference.

Except…It’s never cured the depressions. I’m to the point where I’ve tried 3/4 of the anti depressants in the pharmacy. First gen, second gen, SSRI, SNRI, MAOI. The doctors look at me with revulsion, I’ve tried so many, as if I chose for them to work briefly and quit or not work at all or give heinous side effects. I am a pain in their side because I don’t fit inside their neat little box of “it works for a million other people, the problem is you.”

They don’t consider a complex multiple diagnosis. Nor do they consider all the meds they have you on for said disorders and how they might or might not combine for best results. They only care of there’s a chance for a dangerous interaction. For all they know, giving Zoloft to someone with a hormonal imbalance may make them more depressed. They don’t know, yet they still seem to place blame and responsibility on the patient.

So here I am, 13 years on disability, still jumping through hoops trying to prove I am indeed disabled, while med after med fails and counseling does absolutely no good because my biggest problem isn’t my personality. It’s what my mind state is that affects my personality. If I am in a depression, it stands to reason I am not going to be shiny happy people. If I am manic, then I’m going to be intrepid and limitless only to come down and fail once again. That’s not my personality. But back when I didn’t know what mental illness was and it could be blamed on my personality..At least I had some sense of control and dignity. I wasn’t a member of the Prozac club, my very intelligence being questioned and tainted. I was just “the weird girl.” And frankly, society’s so cruel, being the weird girl is a lot better than being the bipolar chick. People believe in weirdness. You’d be surprised by how few believe in mental illness.

I guess, if the shoe were on the other foot, I’d think the same way. Anyone who’s tried over 20 medications and only ever had good results with four…Obviously, they’re just looking for a pill to fix them. It’s to the point where I feel responsible for making my doctors happy by lying and saying the meds work when they don’t. That’s sad. I don’t want to fail anyone, not myself, not my kid, not my doctor. And yet, time after time, there it is. I arm myself with research, information, the experience of others, I provide journal entries to give a peek inside my daily mind…And still, I am made to feel like somehow it’s my fault for not responding to what a million others do. And face it, if that were how it worked, they wouldn’t need dozens of different formulas for the medications. (My old shrink said the only one that should be on the formulary at all was Zoloft and that shit made me suicidally depressed.) I feel like it’s a losing battle. I’m not looking for a cure in a pill, I just want to feel better, enjoy the things I used to, and make it STICK.

Did a diagnosis do me any favors?

I’m not sure it did, from a self esteem point of view. Yeah, I have the diagnosis and it explains much of my dysfunction. But I’m still viewed as “a member of the prozac club”, like somehow having imbalanced brain chemicals is some sort of mental hindrance to intelligence. I have no doubts that I am fairly smart. I was in gifted classes in school, honor roll,et al. I’m not dumb.

I do, however, have a disability, and it’s not simply being a member of the “prozac club”. If your body is sick, people tell you to take the time to heal and they make concessions for whatever is hindering you from keeping up with the able bodied.

If your mind is sick, somehow you’re just irrelevant and lazy. Never mind that the brain is the epicenter that runs every response in our bodies, physical and emotional.

Can you imagine if a computer had a virus that affected every aspect of its functionality? Oh, no, must remove it, must fix it, can’t run a computer if it’s corrupted.

The human brain is a computer. Mental illness is the virus. We’re not running properly and our meds are our anti virus program. Except no matter how much you update, there’s always some little asshole creating a new virus to infect your brain.

In some ways, I am grateful for my mental health diagnosis. I know it’s not just me being some loser. And mood stabilizers stave off the worst parts like the crying and screaming and doing impulsive self harming things.

In other ways…It’s like having a biohazard label stuck to my forehead for the rest of my life.

I blame society, and its collective ignorance and lack of compassion, for that.

Punishing people for seeking help with an illness is abhorrent.

Left Far Behind-Mental Illness

Posted in mental illness with tags , , , , on May 17, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

I did little today. Though once I gave myself permission to be a vegetable and set my small goals as meeting the lady at the church and cooking spaghetti for supper…I did wash the dishes. Woo hoo. The trip out was twenty minutes tops, and it felt like an hour facing drive by shootings and I have no idea why the anxiety was so high. It was one stop. Empty church, one lady I’ve dealt with for two years. I guess my own discomfort was the austere church, the cheerful church lady, my kid confessing to her about dropping six rolls of toilet paper into the toilet while describing how she was attempting to clean her booty…Um..TMI, dear. I am horribly ill at ease around religious people, cheerful people, and upper crust people. (Okay, my people skills are nil on any front but more so with those I feel are looking down on me.) Was she looking down on me? Church going good people don’t do that…Of course, they do. And every time I’ve used the pantry has always come the, “Why are you still not working?”

Leaving the house is bad juju. People who don’t grasp mental illness are bad juju. I’m tired of explaining my lack of employment, my struggle with illnesses and meds and side effects and mood cycles and depressions. It’s not like anyone gets it. They view it as some personality defect. I wish it were. I’m good at changing or at least turning the volume down on my personality traits that are icky. This bipolar and anxiety shit have a mind of their own and it’s Harvard educated going against my GED,

I returned, cooked spaghetti which delighted the uzi child. She gave me no space today, even trailing me to the bathroom and talking outside the door. It was high humidity today, the kind where you feel moisture in the air and on your skin, and she wanted to climb me like a tree and use me like furniture which just made me overheat more. I had to bring out the satan voice by hour seven and forty minute yappy shrieky period. It got me three minutes of silence. Then the Uzi opened fire again.  It’s probably the hardest part of it all. Seeming like an emotionally unavailable unaffectionate bitch beast to a needy child. I just…She spends maybe two hours in her own bed at night, so she even sleeps with me. Every moment not in school she is with me. How much more together can we be aside from become conjoined twins? It’s like no matter how much I give, it’s never enough and I am running on empty as is.

I was ready for my crypt two hours ago. Fortunately, I got interested in a book (which I think I’ve read before, it seems familiar, and yet all the meds have turned my memory banks into swiss fucking cheese.) I am FORCING myself to defy the call of my comfort zone and remain in the living room . Least til ten p.m. This nightly panic insisting I retreat to my safe crypt by 7:30 p.m. has gotten old.

I bathed the spawn but have yet to get my sasquatchy self into the shower. I want to finish reading this Jonathan Kellerman book tonight. Evil scumbag brain is telling me I NEED to be in safe bedroom, dim lights, calming Forensic Files in the background, toss, turn, count backwards from 1000 until the sleep comes. I am flipping it off. It is giving me the evil eye. Now I have time to reflect and ponder…

Spook asked me earlier why I never signed her up for this educational website where she could have earned classroom points. And ya know…I couldn’t answer beyond, “Mommy just got really far behind.” That’s where you live with mental, far behind. It’s a land of its own, filled with what ifs, and should haves and could haves and why didn’t Is. You lose so much of yourself, your life, your soul, and it’s second handed onto those around you so in addition to your living hell you also get an all expenses paid never ending guilt trip.

I think of all my failures as a mom. Inconsistent discipline. Impatience. Bouts of being so anxious and paranoid I don’t let her go out to play. Too panicked to take her to friends’ birthday parties or carnivals or even the park. Missed school events (I’ve done better this year, but still dropped the ball a lot.) Hell, I still owe the school that technology fee, and there are only nine days left and I don’t get a check before then. I nearly missed pre registering her, got it in the nick of time. (Pre register, then register, wtf, computers are making life redundant as fuck, least with paper, you only had to apply once, in August.) All the skate nights I can’t afford to take her to, the Girl Scout thing, the dance class, the summer camp that costs $25 bucks a day…I’m sure at times depending on my mood cycle I come off as inattentive or lacking affect towards my child. I know I am impatient and irritable. (To my credit, not once did I discipline her physically throughout the Latuda ordeal and if ever I was going to snap that way, it would have been when filled with that white hot rage for nothing.)

Far Behind. That’s just how it feels. All the false starts and stops. Get a job. Lose a job. Feel better, fall back down the rabbit hole. Gain steely nerves, become overwhelmed with paranoia and skin crawling anxiety. Rinse, lather, repeat. All my dreams, intentions, goals, desires, shot to hell on every front. There was never a point where I gave up or quit trying. There are just times you hit the wall. And you have to go back to square one, start over, and this time you’ve got more baggage you bring to the table. And I am raising a child. Being both mom and dad. I want to yank out clumps of hair and curl up in the closet and scream how unfair it is that her father gets to walk out and not do a fucking thing for four years meanwhile I am hanging by a thread and still trying to do right by her….

I despise mental illness. It has cost me so much. And the sunshine spewers are always going to be, “It’s never too late” but ya know what? When you’ve had brain damage to the extent that I have where even at your most manic you’re still no longer a shadow of who you once were…It is too late. I can never get that back, no matter how shiny happy my attitude. It’s gone. I have to deal with what I am left with.

And I am left far behind.

Mental Ilness Is A Neverending Flu

Posted in mental illness with tags , , , , , on April 30, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

(Title inspired by my beloved lord and master of squirrel wrath.)

It’s true. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, it was horrible.”
Hmm…”Makes you too sick to enjoy anything but not sick enough to want to die.”
(Latter part debatable at times.)

YESSSS, That is, in my infinite evil wisdom, what I want for every single person who doubts the validity of mental illness. 365 days of the flu with fluids spewing out both ends, entire body aching, head throbbing, fever, no appetite…

Mental illness is exactly that. Some days are the “chained to the toilet how can I have not expelled any internal organs yet” kind. Others are the tired achy kind. And the comes the “I think I am on the mend” where you’re still low on energy but compared to the worst of it…it’s all good.
Unlike the flu, mental illness never truly goes away. It’s just a daily infection of the mind that varies in severity.
And unlike flu shots, we can’t inoculate ourselves.

So yeah, yesterday. I think it was the first time in weeks I haven’t posted a single thing. Maybe because I puked up 3 or 4 posts Tuesday, maybe things are just too grim…In every way.
I’m muddling through. But the sadness of those around me grieving the loss of Bruce isn’t enough to kick depression’s ass. If anything, it’s one more point in my column of “life is fucking futile.”
None of us get out alive.
Yet when someone dies so tragically, simply doing a kind deed, it makes you realize that YOU are still alive and you should be fucking grateful and relish every moment because someone always has it worse and HOW DARE YOU BE SO SELFISH AS TO BE DEPRESSED WHEN SUCH AWFUL THINGS ARE GOING ON IN REALITY?

And zero fucks are given by depression.

I’m on this ledge. I am being a mom. I am being a friend to R. I am trying to keep my shit together even as my allergies and sinus issues have me tied to a tissue box horking up, sneezing, dripping (you’re welcome for that visual.)The pressure from the sinuses is like a cage screwed around my skull ala something from Saw. The housework has once again gotten out of control.
I haven’t bathed since..Um…Sunday. Or was it Monday?
I’m doing the depressive zombie shuffle. Going through the motions. Not entirely numb to everything yet…It’s all wrapped in this gauze and my emotions are coated in novacaine…It’s not as bad as the Lithium “apathy in a pill” was. But similar.

Me, me, me. I. I. I. I, me, I, me, I, me.
It’s all about me.
Hey, if I could live a mind that has nothing to do with me, I’d consider it winning the lottery. But as this is what I am stuck with…

I keep doing the therapy mind hoodoo tricks. “It’s sad someone died. You should feel sad. But you don’t need to let it worsen your depression.”
Depression flips this thought off with both fingers.
My depression’s worsened all on its own. This is just…tragedy reminding me that there’s no balance in the universe. Worthless people who contribute nothing live on and on and a nice guy tries to help a neighbor cut up some firewood and he dies in a freak accident…
Then comes the socially infused low self esteem: “You don’t work, you don’t contribute, so where do you get off saying that about anyone else?”
And on this one, IF I can shut out all the rude insensitive people who think mental illness is a scam, I remind myself…Okay, I am not stable enough for employment. BUT I am taking care of my child, keeping a roof over our head, making sure she gets fed and educated. I am contributing to her life by being a present parent. That’s more than some (including her sperm donor) do.

Fuck you, depression. I respect your almighty powers to distort and convince me that I should just go walk in front of a bus…But…yeah, fuckest thou.

(And yet that ball of depressive pus and misery remains, sticking his tongue out at me like a five year old on a playground.)

Why is it depression is viewed as some kind of ingratitude?
It’s not that I am ungrateful for what I do have. It’s not that I think my pain is any worse than others’.
I have an illness.
The flu, only in virulent mental form.

I am supposed to go hold R’s hand at the shop. Yet I need to bathe. My stomach is in a pretzel. I see all the nasty housework I need to do. And tonight is my kid’s spring carnival which has me petrified (not of having a panic attack, but of ya know, the bad panic attacks that result in me throwing up on people and things. Explain to me how I can
“think” my way out of vomiting? And it’s not even my own humiliation I care about, because geesh, once you’ve puked over the side of a boat on a first date…You’ve experienced the worst in humiliation.
I worry about making my kid a pariah amongst her school friends. Or worse, the narrow minded parents deciding their kid can’t play with mine because I am obviously a nutcase.
And no amount of cognitive positive bullshit spewage is going to make it better. It’s a valid fear. I’ve already got a couple of kids in the trailer park whose parents won’t let them play with my kid because they think since I had a female friend stay with me a few months, I am a lesbian thus unfit for their kids to be around.
The ignorance makes me not want them around my kid. Not to mention those are the devil girls and I don’t miss their destruction and demands at all. But seeing them run loose and my kid tries to talk to them and wants to play and they say, “Our parents won’t let us play here anymore…”
I get it. People are ignorant fucks. With that kind of mentality, I want to move a man and a woman in with me, and maybe a donkey. Let them talk about that. Cos it’s none of your fucking business.
But worse…taking it out on my five year old?
My misanthropy is based on hard evidence. It’s not pessimism or being anti social. It’s just a lifetime of encountering utterly shitty people.
And while you can be homophobic (stupid) if you want and make whatever assumptions about me you want but…when it comes down on my kid, I get stabby.
I’ve gotten off point.
Still…School carnival. Gym full of loud kids and preppy parents (Or worse, the “wrong side of town” brawlers who are training the next gen of bullies.) It’s not going to be easy for me. And frankly, every fiber of my being wants to say fuck it. BUT I have robbed my kid of so much childhood normality with my anxieties and depressions and even my sparse manic bouts…
I can fall apart afterwards. It’s ninety minutes out of the day. I will just need a LOT of Xanax.
But then guess what…
I get to turn around and do it again Tuesday, because she got this end of year party for her reading throughout the year.
And it’s all about me.
Fuck you, scumbag brain.
It knows I am unraveling and every single thing I have to force myself to do just pushes me one step closer to that edge…

I’m alive. I should be dancing a jig and sniffing flowers and using the ends of a rainbow to jump rope.

The eternal flu that is depression gives zero fucks.