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So that memory gap between writing entries turns out to have led to something far more sinister. As in, I woke up this morning at 4 AM, went to get a pack smokes, went BACK to bed - and woke up at 6 AM with cuts on my wrists.

Cuts that I do not remember making. AT ALL. Again, there had been the nebulous thought of "Hm. Cutting. Interesting." I smoked a couple of cigarettes, went to bed, woke up, and wrote this morning's LJ entry (of which I was perfectly cognizant for). I then looked down and saw red. Red that had already been seeping open for over an hour.

Shallow cuts, mind you. Very superficial, but I have no recollection of finding a sharp object, making the cuts, and then ignoring it to crawl back into the blankets.

Weirdly enough? Writing out Livejournal entries under a blackout freaks me out WAY worse than cutting during blackouts. Backwards thinking - or else the cutting freaks me out on a level that I don't want to dwell on.

Is something wrong with my meds, which are otherwise working perfectly and I don't want to fuck with at all? Early dementia? Lupus eating at my brain?

So I did what I know to do - called a friend and absconded to the ER. Their psych ward was full, as was the other place they normally send people to. A bed may open in the second ward later, which may be utilized.

My initial labs, blood and urine work, came back just fine. Normally if I go off the edge, it's because of some kind of looming infection. Not so this time. On the other hand, blood and labs don't always show brain troubles.

The thing is, I feel fine. I don't feel at all sad, despairing, hopeless, or sorrowful. I didn't feel that waking up either. I'd slept all day yesterday, waking up to go pee a few times, and woke up this morning thinking only one thing - "Damn. We're out of cigarettes. I'd better go get some."

They did dress up my wounds, though, which felt very nice. They are now wet thanks to me doing dishes. I should probably change them out.

This is wierd and pointing to a much larger problem that I don't at all want to think about.
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Of course, noting the lack of writing Wellbrutin causes, I suddenly find something with plenty to write. Nothing of a grand adventure, mind shattering. But the words are out there, circling closer. It is such an immersive burden lifted.

Not to say that this does anything for my grammatical endevours. (Is that a word? It should be, dammit, because I just made it up and it SOUNDS right now.)

Who would I be without being a writer? I have never given the thought any question, any bearing, any curious glance in my entire life. I found writing earlier and fell into it with the fervor of a religious zealot.

But stripped away of that, I only know a few thing about my self. I love cats and never turn one down. I have a sweet tooth the size of the entire North American seaboard, and I like science fiction and fantasy films. But these are just things I consume.

They are not things that make me who I AM. I've never ascribed to the idea that good writing comes from balanced places. But maybe...just maybe...they are right. YOU GUYS are right. Maybe I don't have to torture myself to make my words concise and moving.

Maybe. As much as I've cursed this idea, there is truth in that the Crazy gives an intensity that sanity does not. But spending my life trying to dig into the Crazy is exhausting.

Maybe there's an easier way, so long as I stay stable, on medication, and learn the trade-offs do not mean not writing completely.

The balance between patience and obsession is such a fine line. Maybe someday I'll figure that out.

With help from all of you, and Jesse and Pat's never ending encouragement over my writing for over the last 30 years..maybe they're onto something.

Now whether or not I get off my lazy ass and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, instead of wasting it here on a website that became obscure 10 years go...maybe it's time. Certainty I'm feeling better from the lupus, in leaps and bounds, lately.

It' the perfect time to start exploring what writing can be other than self-obsessed shots across the bow of an internet journaling community.

Maybe. I didn't sleep well for a couple of days, which means a ridiculously long nap today. But maybe even in sleep, ideas will percolate and eventually form a picture I can expand on.

Maybe. Stranger things have happened.

Why now?

May. 26th, 2017 05:00 am
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The question I've been asking myself for the last month is this: Why NOW? Why now, after 20 years of being self-harm free, am I fighting self-harm urges again? Why now, after 20 years of unbroken skin, have I returned to one of the nastiest, most vicious forms of coping that I had ever taken up?

A therapist had a surprisingly simple - and illuminating - answer. I began to cut at 13 years old when I was betrayed by the abuse of my mother and stepfather. I have now been betrayed again by my body. They are different circumstances, but the mind has its own memory - and it remembers what used to work.

The keyword was "betrayal", defined in part as "to be evidenced of."

After the abuse at home, I worked for decades to make sure my core was strong enough to never be betrayed again. I emptied out entire sections of myself, shoved re-bar in them, and poured concrete into the holes. Enough that even if the concrete got chipped or dented, the foundation WOULD HOLD.

Years passed, as they do. Betrayal turned into a stinging wound, then just a scar, and eventually it simply became a part of my history. The concrete, the metal rods, were still there, but I didn't need them and I went on living my life. There was nothing new to be entered into court, to be laid on the witness table, or to show evidence of. Betrayal was no longer a thought, theme, or fear.

Then at 35, the silent prophecy that I was completely unaware I had been born with surfaced and everything changed. But this time the betrayal came from something internal. Suddenly I was the problem. Suddenly the concrete core could not sustain me, because it itself WAS a part of me.

It became evidenced - overnight - that the very body I inhabited was greatly flawed and had spent decades lying to me. My mind remembers this feeling very clearly. It is called "betrayal" and it remembered what used to work.

Betrayal was dealt with by cutting. That's what it remembered. That's what it's trying to do.

You are right, Harvey, in that suicide attempts are often anger turned inward. A loss of control when you realize that you've actually lost control. A fury about that whittles you down to a single, dead-set decision cast in a single, dead-set breath.

As I cut when betrayed before, when trying to survive the anger at my family, I cut in trying to survive the anger at my disease. It is no wonder I would want to lash out at my body. To punish it, to express the anger, to try and find some desperate control over my skin where I cannot control my DNA.

I often bemoan the famous phrase "Knowing is half the battle." Thanks, GI Joe, but I'm already pretty good at the knowing parts. It's the fighting parts of the battle I have trouble with.

But knowing this...having some kind of answer, a new light shone on my own motivations...it does help.

It helps immensely.
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It is a little after 5 AM. I have been up every hour, on the hour, for the last seven hours. With luck, the next time I lay down will take. If it does, I'll likely sleep 12 hours. If it doesn't, I'll be unable to speak coherently for the exhaustion.

It's not always "the devil you know." I know both of these devils well. It's simply the devil that gets you first.

Fate is my best frenemy )

Again, I am superstitious, not religious.

I came upon something much darker a couple of days ago and having been to trying to process it. To put it where it belongs, to where it makes a full picture instead of an unwinding quilt of threads shredding themselves this way and that way.

My suicide attempt in March was not as random an impulse as I've wanted to believe it was. It was not as much a casual slip-up of thoughts as I've wanted OTHERS to believe. It's so hard to admit this. Everyone can forgive a single, drug hazed mistake (to which with all the drugs I was prescribed, I WAS in a drug-hazed state), but the more the look back, the more I realize the drugs wasn't what did me in.

It was me that nearly did me. Me, thoughts, and fears, and strangely enough, my resentment. In March, about a week before I decided to make a dinner meal out of an entire bottle's worth of sleeping meds, I wrote this on my Lupus Support Group.

"A month ago, my blood pressure dropped fatally low. It had done so in my sleep. My boyfriend, noting how pale, cold, and unresponsive I'd become in the night, had called 911 and was told that had he not done that, I would have **died**. It put a rightful scare in me. I was also surprised to find that through that scare and the gratitude at being saved was twisted a small feeling of resentment.

Things had been going so poorly - and still continue to be poor, eight months after diagnosis and endless hospital admissions (I've spent well over two months total sitting in hospital beds). Technically things are "improving", in that my kidney numbers and nausea symptoms are improving greatly, but it has not translated into a Happy, Healthy Quirkytizzy yet.

I am tired of feeling so unwell, so consumed by feelings of anger, confusion, and sorrow. I would have considered it a blessing to pass away in my sleep, even as young as I am at 35.

And while I am grateful - terrified and grateful - to have gotten a literal second chance at life, a part of me resents my boyfriend for having saved my life. Saved my life for what? For years more of this endless treatment where the cures are worse than the disease? For decades more of dealing with people rolling their eyes when I have to spend yet ANOTHER day in bed, all day?

I didn't know how to deal with this resentment. I am so grateful to be alive, but at the same time, a small part of me wishes he had not called 911. At least I would have gone peacefully.

Has anyone ever felt anything like this? I understand just how selfish it is for me to feel this way, but I feel what I feel. In true honesty, I would not have wanted to die.

But if I'm being honest, a part of me would have welcomed it.
Am I alone in this feeling????
"

That was such a huge warning flag that I'd unknowingly raised. My own journals, littered over and over with phrases like "I don't care anymore, there's never going to be a good day, why am I bothering to live like this?" were also signs.

Never having before been suicidal myself, I didn't stop to think about these being things that were placing myself in imminent danger. I thought that these were just normal parts of the grieving process.

I was so ashamed at feeling anything but gratitude for Jesse saving my life. I struggled because what good person feels upset when someone you love loves you so much that they LITERALLY save your feel life?

I'm now thinking it's not so much that it makes me a good person or a bad person, just a person in desperate pain.

I mean, really, how DO you tell your loved one that you want to be be with them for the rest of their lives, but goddamnit, couldn't you have just left me die in peace"? The two thoughts do not mix and all that happens is that hurt and rejected feelings ripple endlessly through the lake once that stone is hurled into the waters.

I suppose the progress is this: I no longer resentment him for saving my life Like, at all, not even a little bit. Given time, treatment, and a maddeningly slow but noticeable uptick in health, being alive is becoming at least a little more attractive. Without him, I literally, as in would have been buried almost six months ago, would not have had that chance.

It all just so clearly outlines the idea that suicide attempts don't just "happen." There are warning signs. Personal and often tailored to a person specifically. A person can go weeks without writing so much as a FB post, but if I go more than a week without posting on LJ, we know something is wrong. Your mileage may vary, but it's still a car, and we're still all stuck riding in them.

At least now a days I have a much better idea of what requires immediate attention and what doesn't.
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I woke up, growling and gritting my teeth through the joint pain. I'd never before known that joints could hurt like broken glass being ground into more broken glass. Even the hardest of my manual labor jobs didn't produce this kind of pain.

Okay, I seethed to myself. I stumble to the kitchen counter, swallow down Tylenol with my coffee. Take my coffee outside and stare at the gray sky, threatening to spill over with enormous ladles of rain at any moment. Realize I'm on the down-slope of a very bad mood. A small voice in the back of my head says "Switch out the cassette tape. Jam another one into the Walkman."

(Yeah, I said "cassette tape" and "Walkman". I'm 35 years old, motherfuckers. I'll use whatever analogy comes to mind first.)

So I quietly compile a list of things that are going RIGHT:

* I woke up this morning. Not a blessing I hold in high honor most days, but it's still a plus.

* I'm not nauseous.

* There are no intrusive or disturbing thoughts present at the moment.

* I have enough energy to get the basic morning chores done.

* There's food in the fridge to eat - a thing that isn't always there.

* All parts of me are lined up at the same level of awake. None of this "my mind/body is in quicksand while the other is screaming with frantic energy."

All of these could change at a moment's notice. They often do. Crazy and ill play their own game of Tilt-A-Whirl and it's a game I usually have no control of. That part is always aggravating, if not outright frightening. But for the moment, I am okay.

I am okay. Not ecstatic. Not depressed. I have a baseline that is lower than I'd like, but it is a baseline, and I sit squarely on that line.
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If it is too good to be true, it usually is.

I'd spent the day before in an ecstatic bliss of peace, of joy, of contentment...only to wake up this morning flattened like Wiley Coyote against a wall. I hadn't been experiencing true happiness. I had been rapid cycling.

Intrusive and disturbing thoughts, but without plans or will to act on them, propelled Jesse to suggest that I go speak to my therapist to see if further action (such as intake) was needed. I am relieved that her opinion was that inpatient was not needed, only a boost in my psychiatry appointment to get my meds straightened out.

Then okay, another round of the med-go-round it is to be. It's always a process of trial and error, my body and mind paying for the game of Wheel of Fortune every time. I will try at least three medications, every time, only to find something that mostly works, all while experiencing the bevy of side effects that all brain medications come triple-wrapped in.

1:30 AM. An hour that I am altogether far too familiar with. I skipped my dose of Seroquel tonight, as I'd slept 10 hours today and do not wish to add another 10 hours straight upon it.

The lack of my presence in our daily life greatly affects Jesse. He feels adrift, often as if he is living alone. Given that I spend so much time unconscious under the blankets, it is a fair feeling for him to experience.

I do not know what to do to solve it. When I become so tired that I stumble against walls just trying to get to the bathroom, rest is the only thing I can do. And I become this tired every goddamn day.

We are in a Catch-22. He needs me awake. My body needs me asleep. Neither of us gets what we really want, which is an active relationship. It's amazing how little two people can see each other even if they live together in the same room.

I don't know how to give Jesse what he needs. I don't even know how to give my body what it needs. If the body would simply even out, then being with Jesse in my entirety would be easy.

My body has other ideas, though, and they are never good ones.

I know these troubles are not uncommon when one partner falls terribly ill. But knowing it's not uncommon does not seem to ease it. Couples counseling would be an idea, except the problem is my physical illness - something no psychological professional has training enough to curb.

We cuddle more. When I can, perhaps once a week, I try to at least peripherally participate in a sex life between us. As much time as I am able to give, I spend my waking moments in conversation with him.

But that is not necessarily living a life together as two people in love with each other. And I know he is in love, and I know I am in love.

Sometimes they say that love is not enough. I refuse to let that be the case here. Surely, somewhere, someway, someday, progress will be made to make this a relationship again, instead of some waiting game while we pray my disease learns to take a backseat to me actually living my life. A life that includes Jesse where he should be, by my side and not whiling away days on end on the computer because I am asleep.
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Broken bottles in the hotel lobby
Seems to me like I'm just scared of never feelin' it again
I know its crazy to believe in silly things
It's not that easy...


Maybe it's not all hopeless. Maybe those few hours this morning can bring me to...

High hopes
It takes me back to when we started
High hopes
When you let it go, go out and start again...


Because what I forget so easily, drowning in the day to day struggle, is that I have...WE, as in all of me, to the first breath I drew to the last one I will breathe...

Are like Sparks
We are, we are, we are alive...


Maybe I just have to...

Love me harder...

Maybe I have to accept that this year is a new beginning, from the day I landed in the hospital, as a place to start again, to find myself again. It is in a deeper, richer, darker, and brighter place than I could have ever found without this illness wrapped around my DNA. Maybe accepting that doesn't mean losing WHO I was, even it means losing some of what I used to be able to do.

There is madness in this. There is beauty in this. Every struggle before this has left me with something beautiful nestled inside of it, even if it is stitched and scarred. But beautiful.

I must try to not lose sight of this, and when I do, I must begin the active search to find it all over again.

And I'll use you as a focal point
So I don't lose sight of what I want...


Because this is about love. Love for all the pain, love for all the joy, love for simply having been born, no matter how heartbreaking it can be.

Two words make up the word "heartbroken", and I must remember that "heart" comes before "broken." If I can remember this, then I can know I've...

Found love where it wasn't supposed to be
Right in front of me.


* Kodaline "High Hopes"
*Neon Hitch "Sparks"
*Amber Run "I Found"
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I slept for 40 hours straight and wake up, for the first time in months and months, rested. Rested and so happy that I feel delirious. I can face the day, or at least the next few hours without cringing, without feeling like I have to grimace and fake having fun.

Seriously, I've cleaned, I've showered, and I'm sitting here weeping because I FEEL SO GODDAMN HAPPY at having my life back, even if it's just for a few hours. I'm laughing on a level that borders on hysterical, broken only by gasping sobs, because this is how it's supposed to be, and for once, life has deemed me worthy of a few hours that doesn't involve crippling illness.

It might not last all day. Chances are that I've got only a handful of hours of this, but goddamn, I'LL TAKE IT.

If Jesse were to wake up right now, he'd see a sobbing madwoman, but it's tears and heaving laughter of nothing but sheer joy and delight. And even if it's just for now, an hour, two hours, before what my life is overtakes me, dear god, I'd forgotten I was able to feel this good at all.
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So I woke up intending to write down what was on my mind last night only to find that I'd already written it.

I have no memory of writing the previous entry. Like, none at all.

I briefly wondered if Jesse had written it (it wouldn't be the first time I've asked him to post for me), but we have wildly different writing styles. The writing style of the last entry is perfectly mine.

The only explanation I have is that I'd taken 30 mgs of my Valium, as I'd been unable to sleep for close to 24 hours previously and have been experiencing insomnia all week. Methinks I will cut that down to the recommended 20 mgs of Valium. Like, stat.

I went back and re-edited for grammar, but yikes, it's freaky to not have the slightest recollection of opening the DW window and writing, let alone POSTING, an entire entry. For an ex-blackout drunk, and for having plenty of things that I don't remember concerning my manic episodes, it's....kinda freaky.

I guess I can be reassured that outside of wildly misspelling a ton of words, the entry itself was coherent. Still....yeeks and shivers.
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Y'know, having a rare, incurable, autoimmune disease that one gets only by winning the worst of the genetic lottery draws, and that has ridiculously limited funding (often less than 2 billion a year into research)....might not be so isolating after all.

I finished my phone interview for Disability, this time armed with both a local, face-to-face representative and a national advocate. This time around, I am armed with ALL the paperwork needed and have given control of the process to an advocacy group. It was a surprisingly good call, with great sympathy given by the representative.

Her mother, she said, has lupus and so she sees the struggle. And it occurred to me that nearly everyone I've spoke to about my lupus at least KNOWS ONE PERSON themselves that HAS lupus. I've yet to meet anyone outside of the monthly lupus support group that I am sometimes able to attend that has lupus personally, but the fact that nearly everyone I know KNOWS someone with this disease makes it...

Less isolating. A little more bearable. I feel just a little less lost.

My Medicare has finally been reinstated. My normal prescriptions will run through either completely covered or else vastly discounted. I cannot describe the relief this is to me (and to Pat's wallet.)

There are days when I feel like this disease is a lost cause. There are days when I fight like hell with doctors and ER trips to get even the most unbearable symptoms to just back the hell off for a few days. I even experience some anger at being treated as if my migraines were nothing more than an excuse to beg for Imatrex (which is, like, the least addictive migraine med there is.)

I've only had to request narcotic pain medication three times in the entire last year, so hopefully this keeps me under the drug-seeker radar.

But overall, I've been so lucky in that people believe me. My GP has been exceptionally supportive in helping me through the Disability process. The pharmacies have also been helpful and never condescending.

They also don't dismiss the mental health issues, both pertaining the medical side and the mental side.

As I read over the struggles of others trying to for years to get diagnosed and the uphill battle at getting treatment...I'm glad - in the most perverse ways - that my lupus diagnosis came at the same time my kidneys and my brain were literally being eaten alive.

I've been lucky. Lupus, as uneducated as the populace seems to be about what it really does to a person, is not as isolated as I once thought. That gives me such great, grand hope.

In fact, with advocates, personal doctors, I seem to garner the most sympathies, often with them apologizing about me having come so sick as such a young (ish ) age. I talk and joke, gallows humor, laughing at the ridiculous of this whole thing, but it helps.

NOTE: I no longer indulge in gallows humor in the hospital. Saying things like "I'd load a shotgun to my mouth" tends to get taken pretty seriously.

My meds are hitting me, so please excuse the bad grammar littered all over the place.
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I picked the wrong day to do laundry. *sigh* At least the wrong laundry machine, which kept filling after the load had "finished" and wound up flooding the entire downstairs laundry room. And left me to haul 40 pounds of soaking wet clothes up two flights of stairs to rewash AGAIN.

Also washed the wrong towel with those clothes, so those clothes are now covered in white fuzz and will require ample coverage with a lint-roller. Even after the second washing. Oi. This effectively cancels out the idea of washing to have clean, non-fuzz covered clothes to begin with.

Somedays I have to wonder what the point of adult living (which includes having clean clothes) is.

As I have recently begun wondering the same about vanity. The damage to my body through this disease is actually quite visible to the naked eye if I strip down. It's starting to affect my self-image.

This is the result of gaining and losing over 200 pounds in 8 months.

Not my picture personally, but this is EXACTLY what I look like )

That is what I look like, exactly, from the bottom of my ribcage down to the tops of my thighs, as well as my boobs themselves. Never had a baby, never managed to gain that much weight on my own to get this wrinkled, pitted mess of skin, and yet...there it is.

That's lupus, 10 extended hospital stays, endless numbers of infiltrated veins, IV's, and the fact that my kidneys cork themselves so tight that the kickback results in being a real-life balloon.

It can be discouraging sometimes. Easily enough covered with clothes, and Jesse is amazing at reminding me that he still finds me beautiful, but there are some moments I stand looking in the mirror and think to myself I look like a freak.

Still, looks aren't everything. Or so I keep telling myself.

Cemetery and Cmcmk, those pictures were BEAUTIFUL! That costume was amazing, I could see that being displayed as a muesuem piece. An indulgent wash of shiny, brilliant colors. Makes me wish I could get away with something like that everyday! I'm googling more of those kinds of costumes right now. Flashy and epic.

And Cmcmk, I really loved the croquet picture. It's the HUGE dominoes! Where is that picture taken? And where do I get a set of dominoes like that? Someday I will have to have a carpenter make me some just like that. Scatter them about like I've a Forest Giant for a friend that stopped by for tea and a quick game.

It is those things I need to seek out more often, if nothing else than to remind me there is a world much, much bigger than me and my dismayed reflection in the bathroom. Thank you so much for sharing those.
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"I'd rather be dreaming....it's chances, not choices....noises, not voices...a day's just something to get through...."

I'm depressed. Or cycling through what closely and repeatedly IN/HYPERsomnia will due to a body naturally. Or both.

Admitting this feels weak. Which is how I know it's time to admit it.

It's so hard to tell anymore what is psychological and what is physical, as they've become so entangled. One balances precariously upon the other, and there's only so many doctor or shrink appointments, so many med adjustments, I can make to keep up on it.

My body REELS from changing out my meds every two months and Pat's wallet also does flip-flops, considering every change requires $200 from him.

Insurance still hasn't been reinstated. Got the ball rerolling in the psych ward last month, just in case. Still waiting. Tick, tock, America, "When will I be able to buy groceries with my good looks?" (Or life-saving medication?)

I miss Jesse. I sleep all day, or else don't sleep at all and am unable to focus, and he's left alone, even if I'm snoring or staring five feet away.

I use run-on sentences when I'm depressed. Oh well. At least I'm writing at all? I hope to go back to sleep soon. I don't really prefer dreaming. When you're running off exhaustion, the dreams are just different shades of nightmares anyways.

I ain't got nothin' left but time to kill.

So I'll give it more time. Like you said, Matrixx, I don't think Life is the greatest invention ever. But I've got a few more things I'd like to see and do in this life.

So...re-editing this, can anyone give me their happy stories? Or tell me more about a time that they spent on the ledge but were finally able to back down and settle back on their feet? Or how they got through it?

Or just...words of wisdom? I don't know. Just...something?

Boring

May. 6th, 2017 07:57 am
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There's just not been much to say as of late. I've been tired and sleeping a lot. The only noteworthy thing is that Jesse and I have been watching Lexx, an old science fiction show.

I remember catching a few episodes with Pat and his parents when it aired in 1997. It was goofy. A little graphic. And it's still goofy and graphic, but in that WTF kind of way that makes you want to keep watching to see what the fuck happens next.

Here's another truth about chronic illness: It can be boring. Mind-numbingly boring. You'll sleep and sleep and sleep until your bones can no longer handle laying prone. You'll crawl out of bed to find that the last 30 hours of sleep has not left you rested, but instead has left you with just enough energy to not be able to go BACK to sleep, but not enough energy to DO anything with.

Crossword puzzles? Play a video game? Read? Have a conversation with a loved one? Go out to the park? Pet the kitties? Hell, even write? All things that require energy. All things that you can't do, even as your body refuses to rest anymore.

And so you sit on the couch, or on the bed, and stare at the tv until your bones feel soft enough to lay down again, and you'll curse yourself for not being able to do something, anything interactive. Long stretches of time are spent this way. Days. Weeks. Maybe longer.

It's boring.

Really, really boring.
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For a house with two writers, pens can be awfully difficult to find. But I have four cats, meaning they are probably under the couch, the bed, the refrigerator, or some such other inaccessible place.

Londo Mollari struggling with the same issue, except with space roaches )

I stumbled onto a small solution to a small problem that was so obvious that I could have smacked myself for not realizing it sooner. Sometimes Jesse's and I's sleep schedules WILL match up, and we find ourselves waking up within an hour or two of each other. I often find what he watches when he gets up to be jarring. Loud music. Talk shows with laugh tracks. Vines videos. Things that rattle me so early in the morning.

And then I realized we have headphones. While I can't turn it up loud enough to drown out his noise (that'd be too much for me), I can at least put on things that I find soothing or comfortable to help cancel out what he listens to.

Granted, somedays this will mean having the headphones on almost all day, because a lot of what he watches is jarring to me. But hey, he's not the only one who is allowed to listen to what he wants to, all day, every day.

I don't think I'll ever understand the person who has to have SOMETHING on from the literal moment they get up to the moment they go to sleep (which is damn near everyone I know). Hell, the entire first week after I broke up with David, I didn't listen to a single song, a single tv show, play a single video game. That entire week was spent in pure silence.

I used to say that people were just probably afraid of silence - and maybe some are. But that's a pretentious statement for me to make, as if I am elevated above those who "need noise". It just may be that they don't NEED the silence.

Maybe their heads are already peacefully quiet and thus they don't need the extra quiet time like I do.

But not too much quiet time, I'm finding out. It's taken four trips to the psych wards, but I've discovered a trigger, a major one, to the destructive urges. Too much alone time, too much alone time in a quiet, dark apartment. When working, I had 2 or 3 hours of alone time a day and that was enough. With insomnia, that stretches out into 5, 6, or 7 hours of alone time in a dark and cold apartment.

So the goal is to work on finding the right sleeping schedule (ahahaha, I mean the right sleeping meds) to give me no more than 3 hours of alone time. I've also gotten the green light from Jesse to turn on a light in the morning to help cope with this trigger.

It's a studio apartment, so I've always tried to keep it dark when he sleeps. (There's no bedroom or living room for me to shut a door between him and I.) But if a light helps, he says, then it helps. So I turn on a light and the darkness - both literal and metaphorically - edges just a little further back into the shadows.

Weirdly enough, this is a trigger only in the mornings. I can handle vast amounts of alone time in the afternoons or evenings and come out the other side just fine. It's just in the mornings where it begins to take me to dangerous places.

Trigger work in general is another concept I must return to. It's been a long, long time since I've had to dive into that whole mess. One of the Group Therapists in the psych ward said that new trauma can create new triggers or else strengthen older triggers, something that I'd not really considered before.

Some of the triggers can be modified through environment, such as turning on lights in the morning or developing a sleep schedule that doesn't leave me dangling five hours before sunrise. Sometimes I have to learn how to let the housekeeping go for a couple of days. (This is EXCEPTIONALLY difficult for me, as an unkempt house can, by itself, lead to a full blown melt-down.) Or I have to grit my teeth and let Jesse do chores in what I consider "the wrong way" and instead be grateful that the chores are getting done at all. These are triggers that can be worked on pro-actively.

Others cannot and must simply be dealt with as they come up. I'm still sorting out which triggers are which. But I'm definitely recognizing their role into what cassette tape starts playing in my head and what to do to jam up the whole process altogether.

(And ahahaha, I said "cassette tape". Date yerself much, Teressa? AAHAHAHAHA!)

And JohnnyD, I found something last night. Something in one of my journals from 1999. I'm going to take a picture of it and write about it here soon, hopefully today. It's about a few things, but in the end, it was me begging you to believe in me and you telling me that you did.

We may have been young, but it saved my life then, and every time I come across it, it saves my life again.

Sleep meds

Apr. 30th, 2017 07:42 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Ahhh, my old friend, medicinal grogginess. It's better than the fatigue, though, which is (and feels) wildly different. I dislike hypersomnia due to medication, but after so long of INsomnia, even Jesse says it is okay.

I'd left the psych ward with Ambien, only to find that even at its max dose (10 mgs), I only sleep three hours on it. We will try adjusting when to take the drug, but I can't go any higher on it and it's not a drug I want to mix with any other sedative.

So we tried Seroquel again, with Jesse glued to the computer less than 7 feet away, on the watch for anaphylactic shock. (Thanks to the overdose on this med, I was a little worried.) Instead I slept deep and well and long. Really long.

Like time, there is no real "catching up" on sleep. But I sure as hell am not upset by it. Assuming this goes well, the hypersomnia should be a vanishing side-effect soon. "Assuming" being a wild assumption, of course, but for today, I can say I slept and slept well.

Meds, meds, and more meds. The med-go-round. It's like a regular merry-go-round, except you never know if it's going to start going so fast it'll sling you into orbit or if it will just lock down and rust up entirely.

Medication maladies post, preserved for medical reasons: WRITTEN.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
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.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I keep waiting for the sun to come out. The sunlight in me to come out. Recovering from the abuse of my childhood came with clearly defined markers, year by year. Month by month, even. I could feel hope about this as I clearly was making progress. This?

Will this be like recovery from my drugs? Where it takes years of frantic obsession, checking and rechecking, white-knuckling, experiencing only brief moments of serenity, to finally get better?

Because I remember it was like that. It took two years before the terror and agonizingly long work finally paid off. Two years. It felt endless. And in the end, it was like I just woke up one day and it was gone. The obsession to use, the need to apply ungodly amounts of platitudes just to get through the day, the hopelessness, it had just...out of nowhere, it just lifted.

One day I woke up and was free from the needle and free to my live my life. Simple as that.

Since this does not seem to be like the first, I can only assume it's going to be like the second. Where one day, I'll just wake up and be...happy with being me.

And if I'm honest, getting to that day just seems like it's getting harder and harder somedays. I'll make it. There's nothing else to do BUT make it.

But if this is a needle, goddamn, it's going to be another long, long year to get there.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
* Think to myself "Hmm. We need more cat litter. I'll go pick some up."

* Come home, shut the door behind me, put my back against it, and slide into an inky unconsciousness.

* "That sucked. I'm going to keep an eye on out on this."

* Refill catboxes. Message Blozor that I'm contemplating a 911 call.

* Check blood pressure. It's dropping. It's dropping fast. Like, really fast.

* "Shiiii-". Pass out on couch halfway between that thought. Come to, grab phone, wander outside and call 911.

* (Yeah yeah, shouldn't have walked anywhere. Should have kept my ass right where I was. I am sick of waking Jesse out of a dead sleep and panicking him. And sick of us desperately trying to round up all 4 cats into the bathroom so the EMT's can work without stepping on them.)

* Blood pressure reads 80/47 when the EMT's arrive.

* Get the ER. I am asleep - or unconscience, it can be hard to tell - for most of it but am able to at least come around when people say my name multiple times. Blood pressure wavers in the ER between the healthy(ish) bare teens when lying prone and then plunging into 60/40 when I try to stand.

* It does take a few hours in the ER, but it all finally stabilizes.

* Final diagnosis? Combo of wrong meds and dehydration. Discard one of the old blood pressure meds, drink more water, and for god's sake, stand up slowly, Teressa.

* Not sure how I feel about all this. Am glad (thank you, Michael, for urging me to call 911) that I caught it early enough to avoid dying this morning. Am annoyed that I have something that REQUIRES catching early enough to avoid dying in the span of an hour, if not minutes.

* Could it have killed me? Could it have killed me inside of an hour? Going by the numbers, yep. Am I counting this as yet another near death experience?

* No. Why? Because I don't care about that word anymore. It's not the "near death" part that counts.

* It's the part where I walk out of that damn hospital and come home to write a Livejournal post about it that counts.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
(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.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
While I no longer believe my life has meaning nor purpose, nor that breathing itself counts as a victory...I am at least still breathing.

"I'm like an ambulance that's turning on the sirens
I'm like a soldier coming home for the first time
I dodged a bullet and I walked across a landmine

Oh, I'm still alive

Am I bleeding am I bleeding from the storm?
Just shine a light into the wreckage, so far away, away

I'm like a junkie tying off for the last time
I'm like a loser that's betting on his last dime

As I walked out on the ledge
Are you scared to death to live?

And the truth that's in the message
'Cause I'm still breathing
'Cause I'm still breathing on my own
" - Greenday "Still Breathing"

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