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I am back, after an embarrassing....no, I'm not going to call it that. A necessary 3-day stay in the psych ward again. Something I used to know when I was younger that it was okay to need help, over and over again, no matter how long it took, no longer how intensive the treatment. I need to know that again. By power of repetition, I will say this to myself until I believe it again.

The good news is that I went in before I did anything harmful to myself. The thoughts were there, the will was there, but I woke up Jesse, sobbed in his arms, and then asked him to take me to a place where I knew that I'd be safe from myself.

The last couple of times I've been in there, I've been trying to utilize the support and learning that the psych ward gives. I've been going to ALL the groups. I've been in constant contact with my Clinical Care Coordinator. I've talked openly to my nurses, to my doctor, trying the yoga, the mindful exercises, asking questions DURING group.

Because I remembered that was what it was like before. There was no single, grand revelation. There was no shining moment of the clouds parting and the angels sounding their trumpets. It was brief moments of illumination through months or years of white-knuckling it, until it all became habit. I'm trying to find concepts to explore rather than concepts to dismiss.

Concepts such as re-exploring the grieving process and learning a few new things about it. Things such as it's okay to always grieve the loss of something (such as my health or a loss of identity), so long as I work towards not living IN the grief. That acceptance can mean still experiencing sadness. That peace can still include moments of sorrow or confusion.

I'd not known that, or else I'd forgotten that.

Concepts such as applying active mindfulness through the insomnia (a thing I utilized with some effect this morning, waking up from intense and scary dreams at 3:30 AM).

I'd not known that, or else I'd forgotten that.

Concepts such as remembering how I used to heal required work, and as tired as I may be now, it is either work or resigning myself to the sixth floor every month. (As it has been since January.) Concepts that require pulling myself through the malaise, against every self-destructive instinct, and having...faith that with enough practice, IT. WILL. WORK.

Concepts such as replacing the word "hope" with "faith". Not faith in God. Not faith even in myself. But faith in the process. I've discovered over my life that be it the road of destruction or of health, that process has never failed to materialize results, depending on which way I was dashing towards.

Big concepts. Nebulous concepts. Concepts that must be broken down into smaller pieces. Borrowing from Jessica Jones, this morning I recalled, in closest detail, the four major streets I grew up near. The gas station edging Lenzer Boulevard. The house down the street that I was convinced had witches living it in, as they managed to keep their grass lawn emerald green even through blistering 120 degree summers.

And I managed to fall back asleep after that. Concepts broken into smaller pieces. Problems solved in even smaller pieces.

Like Captain Lockely said in Babylon 5, if you're in a burning building and have to jump out the window, that gives you another 2 seconds to figure out the solution to the next problem, and then another 2 seconds to figure out the NEXT problem.

I want to be able to, a year from now, meet someone in similar straits and say "Oh yeah, the year of The Red Wolf? (The latin-translation of the full medical term of lupus.) That shit was ROUGH. I totally lost my shit there for a while. I mean, REALLY lost it. But I got through it and I'm still getting through it."

That's a nebulous, large concept, littered with all kinds of problems to get through. But broken down, it just means mindfulness exercises, breathing, and yes (*SIGH*) some application of positive thinking.

Concepts. Problems. Pieces.
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Writing this out to Pat made me brave enough to put it here.

I want to beg someone to save me. To save me from myself.

I've never wanted to say that before. I've never felt as if I wasn't strong enough to save myself.

I sometimes feel so weak and so ashamed. So much more than for anything I've ever done to anyone else. Selfish, huh? That I would feel the most ashamed at not how I've hurt others, but that I am unsure if I can continue.

No one else but me can save me. If there's one thing a lifetime of trauma has taught me, it is that. I know this.

But sometimes I just want to scream that someone else do it for me, because I'm tired of saving myself.
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4:30 AM. As Jesse's friends are also night owls, sometimes he's out late to visit them. I do not begrudge him this. I just find myself sometimes unable to sleep at night, unable to really fall asleep, until he is home. A safety measure, a comfort blanket, just his mere presence in the home. It makes sense, given the number of medical calamities suffered while he was either asleep or not home, but still, it is annoying for me and I imagine for him, as well.

And as I wake up invariably, ridiculously early, well...here we are.

Argh, this is the part that is SO FRUSTRATING. The daily writing goes on, no matter what has happened the day before. The sun always rises, no matter what has transpired in the night. The body needs fed, the catboxes need scooped, the trees bloom and wither, and life just fucking GOES ON no matter what.

In my teens, experiencing what would turn out to be a long line of traumatic events, I found this terribly unfair. As if the world should stop to acknowledge just how painful what I was going through was.

In my 20's and early 30's, I found solace in the continued spinning of the world, knowing that nothing, no pain would ever be so great as to end it all.

Now, with the age of 36 biting at my heels, I again find myself resentful of the concept. And so this will go on, every morning, so and on so on, until my body stops altogether, and even then, the world will keep spinning.

Hopefully by that time, I'll be too dead to care.

(That's not a suicidal thought. I just don't believe in an afterlife, therefore I'm hoping I won't exist in any form after death long enough to experience any emotion at all.)

Awww shit

Apr. 25th, 2017 08:44 am
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It's gonna be one of those down and downer days. The kind where my only hope of survival is to wrap myself under five blankets, shut my eyes really tight, and try not to make any sudden movements.

How do I know? By themselves, Melanie Martinez or Icon For Hire aren't necessarily indicative of grand emotional upheaval. Mix the two? Maybe add in some specifically about the crazy?

I keep crying, hoping to empty it all out. Clear my soul like a tsunami washing out the overpopulated cities and overworking nuclear reactors. There's never enough energy to cry it all out, though, and so it only comes out in the mornings, alone and afraid.

And it's never enough.

I'll rest today. Drink more water. Part of the dehydration is that I keep misjudging the content capacities of the glasses I drink water out of and part of it is that different meds (changed out twice a month, it seems) require different amounts of water. It's like trying to balance on a unicycle with one broken leg and a goddamn anvil tied to the other leg.

So fine. Like Melanie says, let's spill it all out. I don't give a fuck anymore if anyone calls me a crybaby.

Icon For Hire:

"Recovery time, a condition like mine,
What are we talking here?
Make me better!!
Tell me who I’m supposed to be
Tell me who I’m supposed to...


"Maybe it's a cruel joke on me
Whatever, whatever.
It's my party and I'll cry if I want to,
Cry if I want to!
I'll cry until the candles burn down this place.
I'll cry until my pity party's in flames!

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(And Karl, your recent post is one that I want to get back to, directly as a response to your post. Despite having been there, I don't think I have any answers. They are both so simple and yet so complicated at the same time. Do not feel as if you are alone or as if the issues you raised were said into a vacuum. I noticed and as soon as I am able, I will respond.)

My own morning inner monologue:

* How are you making it, Teressa? How are you still alive and waking up each day, even if it means sleeping all day, or crying and trying to crawl away from the darkest thoughts, or watching tv in the deepest malaise you've ever known?

* Honest answer? The brutal, honest answer?

* Yes. I want the honest answer, brutal as it may be.

* Truthfully, I don't know. I honest-to-god don't have any clue as to how I'm "making it." I guess I figure that feeling hopeless about the future implies a future to BE hopeless about.

* Is that enough?

* It has to be.

* Okay. Okay. If that's what it is, then that's okay.
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ER TRIP #5 (this week, at least)

Oh, and due to this being the 5th ER visit this week, (along with a 3 hour psych walk in and another 2 hour dr walk in, AND migraines AND nausea, all this week, I'd missed my dr's appt this morning.)

Maybe I'm a little overwhelmed? That just COULDN'T be possible, could it? No. Certainly not. Sick people are not allowed to be overwhelmed. There's just so much to do!)

So, what with the outcropping of unusual symptoms this week, I did the only other thing I could think of to do.

I went to the goddamn ER.

All labs come back as normal, as they always seem to lately. I tell them about the dangerous game I've been playing with my blood pressure meds, (taking too many, taking some that's not been prescribed to me) due to my BP staying between 175-185 unless I take all those unprescribed meds.

Their faces pucker in disapproval (of which I'd expected), but as my BP in the hospital was normal - I'd told them I had taken all those meds only hours earlier and thus it would read fine...well, I could also see THAT look. The look that says "Here's another one, exaggerating symptoms..."

I tell myself to breathe. That life is nothing more than one grand, cosmic joke and that I should get on and get in on the joke.

I leave with a new blood pressure medication, and after a great deal of begging, five days worth of pain meds.


I no longer have insurance. It was (OOOPS!) accidentally cancelled and will be reinstated within (unknown amount of time). My blood pressure meds are out of whack, I'm experiencing incredible pain, and most worrisome, the one kidney medication I'm on that is THE ONLY THING KEEPING ME ALIVE will now costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars.)

I can, of course, be reimbursed for the damn near thousand dollars I'll be spending on meds in the meantime.

Cuz that's what every sick person has in their back pocket. A whole grand, just taped up and ready for governmental, red-tape, fuck ups.

I decide that life is not a cosmic joke.

Life is an impediment.

But here's the bitch of it all...I fucking CARE if I live or die. I actually fucking CARE. So I can't go on a rampage and kill myself because goddamnit, been there, done that, got the fucking T-shirt.

And I'm supposed to be grateful for that, right? Like it's supposed to give me hope, a branch to hold onto in tough times?

Hell no. All it's doing is pissing me off right now because I couldn't get to suicidal if I tried.

I'm tired. I can't handle all the calls, all the visits, all the paperwork. I can't. I just can't. I don't even know if I have the ability to reach out for help concerning those things anymore. I'm just that fucking tired of it. Bones deep, blood aching, tired.

It's not just this thing this time. It's ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIME lately. It's been one thing after another fucking thing for month after month after month after LIFETIME. Two, three complications? Bring it, bitch.

This? This never ending life or death game? FUCK IT. FUCK ALL THIS NOISE.

All I ever wanted was a quiet, boring little life and a good job. The Universe has deigned me unworthy of such a thing. Why? What did I ever do the universe? I am not Londo Mollari, goddamnit. But for whatever reason, my life is decades of struggle punctuated by a year or two in between of relative peace.

I want off this roller coaster. NOW. THIS FUCKING INSTANT.

But I won't be getting off this ride anytime soon. If I tried to kill myself, I'd just survive and wind up looking twice the fool.

Of course, if these lapses in insurance keep happening, this disease will kill me on its own. I'll be fucking dead and why? BECAUSE I AM FUCKING POOR.

I won't even get the satisfaction of giving the Universe the middle finger on my out.

And THAT will fucking piss me off.
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Gonzo, thank you so much for posting what you did about the Propoxophene. When I read about how the effective and lethal dose were too close, I tossed that shit right away. Of all things, I can't overdo the Tylenol. Even the few of those pills I took shredded my stomach lining, which is a sign of an overdose impending.

They were also causing nightmares. And a class book, textbook definition of a night terror. The kind with awareness while paralyzed and the visual of seeing something pinning you down. It was a hell of a panic attack. I am no stranger to nightmares, but rarely experience night terrors themselves.

So between all that, I'm not using those pills anymore. Thank you for informing me of what the drug was actually composed of. I might have done some real damage to my kidneys without knowing that.

Another new symptom: Pain, or really an ache of the sharpest and heaviest kind, in my right arm. From shoulder to wrist, making the entire arm completely useless. It woke me up at 4:30 this morning. Too early for my tastes, but after some Tylenol, my last Hydro, and a heating pad, I can at least use the arm.

I will bring it up to my GP when I see her tomorrow.

I was bitching to Jesse about my nightmares. It was like, OKAY BRAIN, I get it. We're cracked. We've got lots of new trauma to process along with bits and pieces of old trauma. We've got a lot going on during waking hours, so you're trying to be nice and process it while I'm asleep.

But jesus, it doesn't do any good if it destroys the good sleep I DO get. I said to Jesse "My brain has its very own Guantanamo Bay built inside it." So where do I get it ratified that torture is illegal? How do I get my brain to compose its own Geneva Convention?

I thought the dreams would get less gory as I got older. They haven't. They've stayed the same gory they've always been. They HAVE reduced in frequency, now going months without nightmares instead of just a couple of weeks. But that week of nightmares that I DO experience, as it's always about a week's worth, fucks me up good and crazy every time.

For whatever reason, my mother has been on mind for the last few days. I was watching the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" yesterday, a favorite of her films. I realized that while I have long since removed from my life, I still like the movies she liked and still like the music she liked. Our ages vs our major life events have also run along the same lines.

We both are terrible cooks and have always dated men who cook. We both got divorced at the same age. And while for completely different reasons, we both lost our minds at the same age. (35 years old.) It's never been confirmed but Cassie and I have both long suspected she has untreated bipolar disorder. I am now wondering if she had lupus, which can make for all kinds of crazy, and just never got it treated. (Her hatred of therapists is only a few degrees higher than her hatred of doctors.)

Not that it rationalizes or excuses any of what she's done. She made her own choice to refuse therapeutic help, over and over again, for her own abused childhood. She made her own choice to stay addicted to drugs for the last 30 or so years. And she made her own choice to stay married to a man that she knew, she KNEW, was abusing her children.

No amount of crazy, mental or physical, makes up for that one.

But it also makes me wonder what other factors were in play - and how many more we have to share as we both get older. It's hard to break the cycle when you don't know everything about what composes the cycle. I guess the point is that as I see the destructive ones, those are the ones I bend until they snap. That means at least in my little life, those are ones I do not have to repeat.

So here's to breaking cycles, which will hopefully soon include the breaking the cycle of my unending uptick in blood pressure readings. That would be AWESOME.
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I used to have a body clock set in stone. For my entire life, I was awake at 5 AM, usually damn near on the dot. 5 AM. No alarms needed. No one woke me up at that time. My body just liked waking up at 5 AM. Nothing could change that wakeup time, even as I occasionally tried to shift it. Even on Abilify, which fucked my sleep SO HARD, I could not stay asleep past 5 AM.

So, 5 AM it was. 5 AM since I was 14 years old. It used to give my foster parents a hell of a scare, as they'd walk into the kitchen about six in the morning to find me already wide awake, cup of coffee in hand, scrawling in my journal. It was often the only time I was alone and could write with abandon. Even as a teenager, I recognized how important that was.

Like, seriously, I used to skip classes to go somewhere alone and write in some goddamn peace and quiet. I didn't skip to go party (even if I was already drunk). I skipped just to get a calm, midday writing break.

If I'd smoked that young, there would have probably also been a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. Still, the early wakeup times were always a little jarring for my various foster parents. It also annoyed the hell out of my Mom, who is also an early riser and disliked her alone time being interrupted. As an adult myself, I finally understand that irritation. No fault on you for that one, Mom.

Speaking of my mother )

But the whole slow typing thing is what gave my intake counselor and I a break long enough to get super excited about seeing a cat outside the window. It turns out that he is also a fan of cats, usually owning about three to four cats at anytime. It gave us something to connect over, which always makes the intake process easier.

I mean, the dude was so excited at seeing a cat at work that he left his desk and peered out the window with me for, like, a solid five minutes. It's rare enough to meet an older man who likes cats. It's even rarer to find one that will, with the same glee that I have, talk about their cats. It gave us conversation material between awkward silences.

He did peer at me, a little surprised, when I noted he had a copy of the Fifth Edition of the DSM and asked him if they'd finally moved Bi-Polar under the Schizoaffective umbrella. It turns out they did, which was a private relief, as I'd written a 12 page paper promoting that exact thing in college.

They always look at me a little strangely when I say things like that. But hey, I've been in some form of therapy (either talk, medicinal, or group) for over 20 years now. You pick up some of the lingo along the way. And once the internet became a viable search tool, I was off like a rocket to read everything I could about my mental health conditions.

I try to do that with lupus, but lupus is scary as shit. Sometimes I just don't feel brave enough. Or physically well enough, as a computer screen can cause lethal (or, again, what FEELS like lethal) headaches and nausea.

Alex, I'll take Sunglasses In An Otherwise Completely Darkened Room for $200.

But you don't conquer learning the coping skills of MENTAL health in 8 months, so I imagine you also don't conquer the coping skills of MEDICAL health in 8 months, either.

So the therapy intake went well. Exceptionally well. I have both a psychologist (the talky type) appointment set up for next week AND a psychiatric appointment set up in three months. (I've endless refills on my psych meds right now. It's no rush to get at them.) It took about three hours, to which the staff was exceedingly apologetic about. But I never expect a psych walk in to be ANY LESS THAN three hours, so I told them no worries about that.

See? Psych shit I know. Easy breezy. The hard part these days is making sure I can physically get to the appointments. The process of reaching out and making professional contact, however, is like riding a bike. You don't ever really forget how to do it. It takes a while to initally learn it, but once you do, all you experience is a wobble or two when you climb back onto the seat.

My bicycle is not in great shape these days. It's rusted, the tires need refilled and I've got several spokes that are broken and jutting out, just waiting for someone who hasn't had a tetanus shot to wander by and get jabbed in the knee with. But at least I AM getting back on the wheels.

I'll die if I don't. I know that now. And as uncool as my beat up bike makes me look, I'll look a hell of a lot worse if I'm fucking dead. So let's not die, Teressa.

Let's just not die.
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A bath and some Tramadol gave me enough relief to actually sleep last night. 5 hours, mind you. I'm still wearing my sunglasses, mind you. But a restful sleep.

I've also an idea. Jesse and I have a friend who is in much the same place as I am. I've got an intake at a new mental health place on Monday, as my old one isn't giving me quite the care I need.

I'm going to offer to that friend to come with me. I can even stagger our appointments so that I can sit in the back of his for moral support. Our reasons for needing the help are different, but we both sit in the same place everyday: fighting despair, sadness overwhelming, and a complete loss of self identiy. Our friend seems to lose this fight every day. I lose most days.

I can't save him. I can't save everyone or even anyone. I'm not always sure I can even save myself. But I can make an offer, something that will be easy for me and possibly helpful for him.

Back to bed. More sleep. More rest. Less sunglasses.
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I just woke up from one of the most horrifying, vivid nightmares I have ever had. So bad that an hour later, I still feel like throwing up. If I were smart, I'd leave it alone, and pray that in five years, ten years, the nightmare will fade and I will no longer remember it.

But I'm not particularly smart and I'm going to do what I've always done with the worst nightmares. I'm going to write it out. See if I can lance the nausea like a wound, and with a shower later, wash out the fear like an antiseptic.

The back of it )

The worst of it: As the sun began to fall, we were to move to a smaller building. To sing, to worship, to join the faith of over a hundred people into one grand shield. We started outside, walking the small forest between buildings, and the army came upon us.

At first, they simply marched through us, not seeing us. I could see the horror on the faces of the people around, as we could see THEM, but I wasn't worried. I was with people of True Faith. We would make it.

And then a young man, only in his very early twenties, on the phone with his girlfriend to help him through it, was asked one question. "Do you think you're a good person?", she asked, trying to reassure him.

"I am", he replied, "but sometimes...". He averted his eyes to the ground, as if trying desperately not to say something. "But sometimes...I have dark thoughts."

It was like some kind of magnet had been flipped on. I saw one army man, as soon as those words were uttered, whip his bony neck back towards us. He had heard what the young man said. His jaw dropped in an unholy shriek and the army was all over us.

A frenzy, a bezerker of thousands, dashing through the crowd. The press of their ghostly forms was so thick I couldn't see anything but white. I could hear, though. I heard screaming. I heard the sound of flesh tearing. I heard slaughter. I stood there, frozen, paralyzed, wondering why they were simply passing over me, around me, while I could hear so many others dying screaming.

God, the sounds echo even now. How can something you only dream be so LOUD?

In the dream, I eventually passed out, waking later in a small cottage room. I wandered out into the main room and my heart sank. There were only a handful of people in the room, faces pale, shaken...but alive.

"How many of us made it?" I asked. The pause, the silence between the question and the answer stretched an eternity.

"...seven," said a woman.

"Seven," I said. "Seven out of a hundred of us made it". A grief so deep I nearly dropped to my knees fell over me. Seven people. Out of so many, there had only been seven truly good people.

One of them, strangely enough, an ex-gang member who had been a hired murderer. He hadn't seemed particularly good when I first met him, as he'd been graphically open about how he used to terrify, torture, and kill his victims. I asked him how the hell he survived.

"I didn't care. I figured if I died, I was just paying the price for what I did." He gave a nonchalant shrug. "It would have been fair enough."

I looked around the cottage and saw the form of a corpse that someone had draped a white sheet over. I held the bottom of the sheet, thinking to flip it over and see who was beneath it.

"No." I dropped the sheet. It didn't matter whose face was under that sheet. They were dead and there was nothing I could do about it. What mattered was ahead of us. What mattered was the people who had survived.

I pointed to three people who had been with me all along. "You're coming with me." I told the remaining few that they were going home.

I had led the army to murder nearly a hundred people. Those deaths were on me. I had killed them. Had I simply pressed on, the army would never have detoured over the camp. They would still be alive.

I had killed them. Good people or not, they had still been people, people who likely did not deserve to die outside of some insane code of black and white. Their blood, their screams, their last moments spent in terror, were my fault.

I could not imagine why I'd survived. I did not...do not...consider myself a person of faith, or a person of shining goodness. I am human, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, evil and light.

My soul is not pure.

The other ugliest piece. I'd wandered outside for a moment, trying to breathe away the horror. I saw a piece of paper with words written on it, words smeared over with blood.

"Kenny wrote out his confessions," a man told me, startling me as he came up behind me. "I think he survived, but..." There were two lines of arterial red leading off into the forest, as if someone had slit their wrists and crawled away.

I looked away from the paper fluttering in the grass.

"We don't have time to look for him. We have to go."

Why do I have dreams like this? Is my brain so broken? Is there some guilt buried so deep that it only comes crawling out in my sleep? Have the recent near-death experiences drawn out some fear of the afterlife, of where I would go? A fear that I simply don't want to deal with and so it only comes out in my sleep?

Are demons and angels real, and for some reason, I can only see them in my sleep? I DO NOT BELIEVE in demons, angels, God or Gods. But sometimes the dreams are so vivid. I can still HEAR the sounds of slaughter two hours after waking up. I can only wonder if what I am seeing is actually real on some level.

It was only a dream. That's what I'm telling myself. That's what I tell myself every time. It was only a dream.

It wasn't real.

It was only a dream.
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Not shiny, mind you. Not new. Not full of refreshed energy or a zest for life. I hurt in every way possible right now, physically as well.

I apparently woke up halfway through the incubation, broke the hospital restraints, and ripped out the breathing tube, air bulb beneath it still full. It's left me with a HELL of a bruised wrist and bruised airway. They couldn't give me more anesthesia (I guess that would have been another overdose). There's a weird pride in having been able to do that - and a regret that I did, because fucking hell, it still hurts.

That I can safely say I did not mean to do. The things we do while under the delirium of anesthesia....

But I am back. Call me refurbished. Call me found art. Call me...a nervous little girl who is petrified of herself, the world around her, and what it and I will do to me.

But like Jesse told me last night, just because Mike Tyson takes a right hook to the jaw and falls to the mat, it doesn't mean he's forgotten how to fight. And as scared as I am about the fight ahead, he is right. I still know how to fight. I've done it before. I can do it again.

The Basics: I wasn't actually trying to kill myself. It was the strangest thing I think I've ever experienced. I'd thought to myself a nap would be nice, went to take a quarter of my Seroquel, and stood in the kitchen with the bottle and a glass of milk in my hand.

And then I thought )

I've been off Prednisone for a week now. I am mentally clearer, emotionally a wreck, and sad that anything spicy I might consider eating will tear up my esophagus.

I've received all responses about hope. I've never read responses so closely before. I've never needed people's experiences so much as I do right now. I've never had so much to process between what's going on in my head and what other people have told me has gone on in THEIR heads.

I want to think that I what I did doesn't mean I'd lost hope. But people with hope don't take an entire month's worth of sleeping pills at once. Somewhere along the line, along with everything else, hope had also taken its leave.

One thing I know above anything else: The trees have begun to bloom. The grass is green. It is spring. It has now been a full year of dealing with the wolf, first not all knowing why I was being torn apart by sharp teeth, and then hemorrhaging for months from having my throat ripped out.

I lost last spring, last summer, last fall, and last winter.

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If I'm in any kind of right mind, this is how the self-harm inner monologue plays out.

* Wake up and for whatever reason, feel like doing damage to myself. Usually cutting, but there's a thousand other ways to do it, too.

* Think to myself "Okay, before we do anything, let's have a first cigarette. You don't want to do anything rash before you've got your nightly nic fit fixed."

* Have cigarette and mentally run over what the morning chores are for the day.

* Think to myself "Okay, if you REAALLY want to hurt yourself, at least scoop out the catboxes first. Jesse will be too stressed to do if you're in the psych ward."

* Scoop out catboxes.

* Think to myself "Okay, if you REEALLLY want to hurt yourself, let's at least do the dishes first and straighten the house up. It'll help Jesse not be so stressed about the house."

* Do the dishes, straighten up house.

* Think to myself about how long it's been since I've showered, because I know if I get locked up in the hospital, I won't want to shower for at least a week.

* Shower.

* Think to myself "Well, if you REEALLLY want to hurt yourself, at least eat first. You'll be stuck in backrooms and waiting rooms for hours and hours and get a nasty headache from hunger. So eat first."

* I eat.

* By this time, the house is clean, I am showered and fed, and have even done a few good deeds for Jesse. Normally by this time, I am tired from the morning exertion and just want to go back to bed.

* The urge to hurt myself dissolves into this morning routine I have for myself. I've done other things and it wore me out.

It's not foolproof. Plenty of times in my life when I've played paint by numbers with my own blood in a filthy, messy home. But it can - and often - does help. It stops the immediate and actual urge to hurt myself and relegates it to an intellectual exercise, way back in the back of my head.

* Like this morning, when I woke up with a wild urge to hurt myself, for no real reason that I could see, other than The Crazy.

* There's a reason I can be such a stickler for doing my chores exactly when I do them, exactly how I do them, and exactly in what order. Sometimes they are what save my life. You just don't mess with a system like that.
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"I'm really hungry. I wonder what I should do about that."

*Brief pause, as I am genuinely confused on how to solve this problem*.

"Oh! Duh. How about you try eating? Y'know, that thing that humans have been doing since the dawn of time when they're hungry?"

*pours bowl of cereal*

Less than a dumb thought: I am struggling a bit with self harm issues this morning - but in a weird way. I can't decide if I want to cut myself because I actually want to cut myself OR if I want to cut myself just to make a big, messy, dramatic, messy kind of mess.

There are logistics to consider. If I were to take the car to ER, that would leave Jesse stranded. He'd have to beg a ride to pick up the car at the hospital. Summer is coming soon. It won't look quite right if I've got my amazing rack (seriously, some days my tits are the only thing I've got going for me) stuffed into my tank top right on top of a bunch of scars. Jesse and Pat will be exasperated. I won't be able to smoke while in the hospital. They won't let me shower at 3 AM (which is often my favorite time to shower.)

Usually those thoughts are enough to curtail any real damage I want to do myself. And as I've yet to pick up anything sharp and apply it to my skin, it seems to be working now, too.

So obviously (no sarcasm there) the issue is not acute or immediately dangerous. I just wonder why I'm wondering about it at all. I've had another bad night's worth of sleep, which I'm sure contributes. The insomnia is all piling up again, which I'm sure contributes. I'm a firm believer in things adding up.

You don't just experience one thing at a time. It sits there and more and more stuff gets put on it. If you're doing the right thing, you are constantly trying to remove the old stuff before the new stuff gets tossed onto the pile.

But sometimes that pile rises so fast, way faster than anyone could ever work through the bottom layers to keep up.

My lupus may be somewhat under control (as in "It's not going to kill me today.") But my bipolar is sitting at home base, baseball bat cocked and ready to pulverize whatever comes at me.

I'm just a little worried that what's going to come at me is ME.

So yeah, got some self-harm idealization going on today. Heavier thoughts than usual, but with no real energy behind them. So far, at least. That's good. As far as I can tell, that's how unhealthy behaviors change. You feel them - you just don't act on them.

So I guess it doesn't matter if I really want to hurt myself or if I just want to be a bloody attention whore. I'm not going to cut myself either way. At least so far. I HATE having to add that caveat. But I always do, because (1) The crazy (2) life changes fast and (3) I'm not perfect and sometimes I go back on my word.

Wouldn't want people to think I'm completely reliable, since I'm absolutely not.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Visiting with a friend at their house. Their shotglass accidentally gets knocked onto the floor.

FRIEND: Oh shit! My carpet's going to get drunk!

ME: laughs uproariously

That laugh was enormously appreciated, as the emotional baseline was lower than normal today. No intrusive or disturbed thoughts, though. At least none that weren't manageable. It amazes me how casual thoughts of self-harm (be it physical or something like running away) can be. And I mean casual in the original sense - a feeling that is fleeting, transient, something that just floats across the mind and behind the hills like a cloud across the sky.

It's getting easier to ignore those thoughts. This is good.

I'm forever going to be crazy. There will be days when the intrusive thoughts are easy enough to bat away. There will be days when those thoughts will eclipse every shard of light in my soul. This won't ever be fixed. Maybe the point isn't to be fixed. Maybe the point is to learn how to be okay with the broken parts.

"You wanna fix me? But maybe I like me broken." - Emily Amber

Maybe it's okay to like my broken parts. Like the crazy. Like the lupus. Like accepting that I don't have to be whole to be happy. Like the picture can be incomplete and yet still be beautiful. Maybe I can be beautiful, even through all the self-doubt, the scars, the ridiculously large ego that hides a terribly insecure woman underneath.

Maybe I can still be beautiful.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Appropriate. Real. And still questions I am asking.

Does anyone have the answers?

"Toward", as written by my friend here on LJ, [livejournal.com profile] ravenlake

To those that I love

I will tell you that I am afraid, and despite my attempts at courage and naturalness, I find myself posing half of the time. I am ambitious and proud, my ego is frail, and I long to be settled and grateful and earthy. I am all of this on one side of me, and can I say, as I try to make myself worth what you weigh in for me, I can't tell if I'm doing it the right way or all wrong, can't tell my blindspots from my left, my mistakes from my right.

Will you forgive me for not being around? Because I do want to be. Can I say that I am mending breaches and tears all at once, and while I ask not to be excused, know that I am not ungrateful, just maybe a little foolish, and a little blind.

And this is addressed to you, and others--that the memory of you beside the window, or laughing hard with everyone else, or squeezing my hand, or having a graceful sense of responsibility--but most of all, the proximity of all our faces-- has made it harder, yet all the more valuable, to step outside a worn world of shadows, into the dazzling sun.

This year has brought with it new meaning to the words "learning how to open up." I'd always thought I was the most open person I know - after all, wasn't I utterly free with the information of almost every trauma of my past? Wasn't I outgoing? Wasn't I straight-forward and didn't I say just about everything that crossed my mind?

And I was/am all of those, though with the appropriete disclosure lesson of the last few years, perhaps slightly less of the first. And yet, this summer, almost everyone around me was begging me to talk to them, to let them know what was really going on, because I wasn't.

It came to mind that while I'm terribly comfortable talking about the places I've been, I'm less comfortable talking about whatever is going on inside of me at the present. Half the time it's because I can't discern the exact shape of the landscape myself and because of that trying to communicate it comes out as a big tangled ball of crazy, frustrating both the person I'm trying to talk to and myself.

But I'm learning. At best, I can usually come up with long strings of words that I'm feeling and dimestore psychology for those feelings), it is something I'm learning to appreciate.

It is a new idea, that's for sure. It is, in part, the difficulty of this that propels me along to continue trying to do it. And it's risky, because when I talk from that space in me, I really do risk offending and hurting people from being unable to clearly say what I mean. Extremely risky, and thus even harder.

But maybe it's riskiness, it's difficulty, it's potential for disaster and loss, is what keeps me trying to do it right.

As Ravenlake said, it makes it harder, and thus, all the more valuable.....

What is your experience in these sorts of things? How do you untangle the moment and share clearly? How do you keep wanting to share? How does that process work for you???


Feb. 24th, 2017 04:57 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Sooo yeah, the whole "tapering off Prednisone" turned out to be nothing but a giant cocktease. In getting a hold of my nephrologist, he not only wants me to stay on the steroids, but to UP the dosage. So, faithfully, I'm back on 15 mgs (as opposed to 10) for three days now.

And a surprise to everyone but me, I've woken up at 2 AM for the last three days. Also a surprise to everyone but me, I feel the mania kicking in again. Not like it ever went AWAY. God, no. But I was at least getting SOME sleep in at the lower dose.

I'm getting so used to the mania that it's like a dull needle. I feel the pressure of it sliding in, but the sharp pinch that warns the body of impending, possible pain just isn't there. Somewhere along the line, the alarms, the warning bells wore out, because while I can see there's trouble on the horizon, I can't tell how bad it'll be. I'm fast losing interest in trying to treat it, because the only way out of this is to get off a medication everyone wants me on.

After all, the mania doesn't seem to be worrying anyone else, does it? Why the hell should I care?

If it weren't for the fact that without my sedatives I wouldn't sleep at all, I'd just stop taking my psych meds altogether. Why the fuck should I bother to spend time, energy, and money in getting those medications when (1) they aren't what's going to stop the mania and (2) no one else gives a flying fuck if I'm on the breaking point of sanity, so long as I follow the doctor's orders like a faithful patient.

Take your pills. Fall in line. March in time with everyone else. Be a good little girl and listen to Daddy Doctor. Better to be alive and in the psych ward than dead and sane, right?

No one around me - not even Jesse - is grasping the severity of this situation. I'm tired of trying to tell people, because all I get in return is a mouthful of "Well, the doctor said..."

So I'm just giving up on it. I'll take all my meds, medical and psychiatric. I'll keep up on my appointments. Let's pay lip service to the Almighty-Who-Gives-A-Fuck-If-You're-Crazy-So-Long-As-You-Aren't-In-The-Hospital Gods.

But as far as talking to people about what's on my mind, how the crazy is going, or how close I am or am not to doing self-destructive behaviors? As far as caring what I do to myself in the end, when this hits the breaking point, so long as it doesn't land me in the morgue?

Fuck all that noise. It's too much work and I ain't got anyone in my corner face-to-face willing to believe me when I say how bad it's getting.

So fuck it. They don't care? Okay, fine, then I won't either. Why bother getting worked up over something that isn't going to get looked at, treated, or even fair air-play?

After all, I've only been manic for 8 months. I haven't killed myself and have landed in the psych ward only once. And cut myself only twice.

That's enough to prove how sane I am, riiiight? That's how sane people live - psych wards and cutting. Obviously, so I better get with the program and stop worrying that what I'm experiencing is dangerous.

It's obviously not dangerous enough to worry anyone else. And even if I know how this is going to end (with my ass buried three feet and two weeks deep in the psych ward because I did something awful to myself), and I tell them (like I've been saying FOR MONTHS), they'll all still be surprised when it happens. They'll be surprised and I'll be too drugged up to even say "I told you so."

Because telling people isn't doing any damn bit of good right now anyways.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
The day winds down in a considerably better place than it started. A goddamn delicious salad, conversation time with Jesse, and a productive shower all add to the calm of a day spent entirely at home.

I was telling Jesse that I had this terrible urge yesterday to rid my home of everything that reminded me of death. All of my skull and skeleton figurines, the graveyard bric-a-brak, the muted fall colors of fake flowers that adorn the walls around my bed. I wanted to throw it all away and redecorate my home in enough pink and red as to make Barbie's Dreamhouse jealous.

Being as I'm an aging goth, though, ridding my home of everything creepy would require an entirely new apartment. It's just not practical. I've also been staying away from creepy videos, stories, movies, AND conversations.

And I know this as-of-late nervousness about creepy and morbid things will fade. It'll go away and I'll be happily traipsing about graveyards and buying new skeleton adorned snowglobes. And I don't reeeallly like hot pink anyways.

It's just that right now, the subject is awfully close to home. It's surprising to me. Shocking, even. I've been morbid my whole life. This? This is new. This leaves me reeling. A part of my identity has slipped and I'm not sure what to put in its place.

THAT, actually, is sort of a big thing altogether right now. A loss of identity. The regular, mid-life angst is there, but with an assload of sharp and sudden mortality-mongering thrown in there, too.

Eight months ago, I thought I knew myself. Eight months later, I'm not sure at all. I'm thirty-fucking-five. I really ought to have a better grip of what makes me ME.

I don't. All I've been doing is staring at my parts, all scattered and loose, hearing other people say that I'm more than the sum of those parts, and not at all understanding what that means.

Still, it is a good day. I'm not going to redecorate my apartment. I'm instead going to eat a delicious chicken dinner and sleep tonight, knowing that I don't need to KNOW myself to sleep.

At least tonight. That's damn good enough.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
The Xanax Anxiety Train.

I've had two anxiety attacks in the last two days, followed by a third one upon awakening this morning. This is unusual. I experience all kinds of strong emotions all the time - what I DON'T often experience is anxiety attacks. The kind that make me feel as if I've scaled a very tall cliff and am just toeing the edge, terrified a strong breeze is going to tip me over and into the void.

There's a reason my last refill lasted me almost 4 months. I just don't experience anxiety attacks often....except lately.

The Dr's appt one was very explainable. Yesterday's started as I tried to lay down for a nap. This is also explainable, at least as in the whole "I almost died here" thing goes. This morning? Not sure, but I can feel myself starting to scale the walls.

Both attacks before took HOOOURS to crawl down from. Part of this is that while I had Xanax, I did not want to take it. Didn't want to feel like I was "giving up the fight" or drugging myself to avoid uncomfortable emotions. Xanax also tends to knock me on my ass. It works quickly and effectively, but in the same way that a sledgehammer works quickly and effectively.

Which is funny, because I'm on the lowest possible dosage of Xanax at half a milligram of it. It still kicks me in the head with steel toed boots. But I know that's not what taking Xanax is for me. It's a medical treatment, for god's sake.

Jesse will do what he can. He'd hold me and talk to me, cuddle up under the blankets, say and do soothing, soft things. I'll spend an hour in bed running through all of my meditative and therapeutic self-talk tools. I even watched tv. Hours of it.

That's how you know I'm having a really difficult day - when I actually watch tv.

Usually all of that works, though. As of the last two days, I've still required medicinal help. It makes me feel weak. This morning, I'm circumventing the "You're weak and self-medicating, Teressa" thoughts and just took the Xanax, regardless of what my opinion of myself is.

It's okay to need medicine. I keep telling myself that. It's okay to need medicine.

So I've been out of the hospital for 27 days now. I am now 31 days from almost dying. Physically, my body is feeling wonderful, outside of crushing fatigue. THAT on its own is difficult. I keep telling myself that three months ago, I would have been THRILLED to have "ONLY" the fatigue to worry about. So why I can't I just be happy about that? Now that it is the only thing to deal with, I realize exactly just how prevalent and difficult that symptom is.

So now I guess is where the emotional part of the last month comes crashing in.

Yeah. Why can't I just be happy about that? I will be, someday. I know this. Jesse tells me to focus on just for today. Don't think about yesterday, don't try to plan for tomorrow, just focus on TODAY.

I used to be so good at that in early recovery in NA. Granted, that was almost 20 years ago. I was a different - and much more elastic, younger person - then. Still, there's merit in the idea of just trying to be, to exist, to be happy, just for today.

It's Saturday. The only thing I have to do today is scoop out litterboxes. And maybe binge on some iZombie and Babylon 5. Definitely watch more of "Don't Trust The B In Apartment 23". Let me pretend for a little while that I'm friends with a New York City debutante and that my life is more exciting than writing Livejournal posts and swallowing Xanax pills.

Could be worse. At least the only thing I have to deal with physically is the fatigue. I'da killed for that 3 months ago. Be happy and grateful for that, Teressa. I can be happy and grateful for that.

Just keep

Feb. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
In the waiting room at the doctor's office, a wild Anxiety Attack appears (and yes, it is Super Effective):

ME: Why do I have the sudden urge to scream and start running towards the door?

JESSE: Because this is the place where they tell you if something is wrong.

ME: I don't feel this way when I'm in the hospital. Why does going to the doctor make it feel SO MUCH MORE real?

JESSE: You've been in the hospital more than you've been at doctor's offices. It just takes practice, is all.

Just keep smiling and they won't know how scared you are. Smile, make a bad joke when you realize how long explaining the last 7 months to the doctor is taking. Smile. No, you're NOT going to break down sobbing when you walk out of the building. You're going to get in the car and light up a cigarette like a goddamn adult. SMILE, DAMNIT.

I feel so...small against the enormity of this disease. I want to run and hide myself somewhere, except myself IS the problem - all the way down to the cellular level.

Just smile.

They'll never know if you just keep smiling.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Okay, so that "touch" of depression this morning is turning into a black hole, complete with a star-destroying gravity well. I'm firing on all thrusters trying to stay out of it. Facebook. Funny youtube videos. Painting my nails.

It's just not working today. There's no rhyme or reason to it today. Physically, I feel good. Great, even. Mentally and emotionally?

It's like that episode where Sheridan takes the Whitestar into Jupiter's atmosphere to trap the Shadow ship, except I feel more like the Shadow ship than the Whitestar.

SHERIDAN: Alright Lennier, give me everything you got!

LENNIER: If I were holding anything back, I'd let you know.


quirkytizzy: (Default)

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