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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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What a night.

I talked ALL DAY to Jesse about my head space; the cutting, the triggers. I didn't realize it, but there's SHIT TONS of old family space coming up. Maybe there's more there that I hadn't worked through over the last 20 years as I thought.

It was getting pretty bleak in here.

By bedtime I was feeling confident about my ability to keep myself safe. Jesse even promised to stay up until 6 AM. 3-6 AM is my danger spot. But by 2:30 AM, I couldn't sleep and I was desperate and I wanted to hurt myself.

Off to the psych ward we went. I wasn't admitted, to which I was relieved. I didn't really want to go there. It's become so routine that the separation from home, from Jesse, from the cats have become a sharp ache. I was given emergency resources.

I came home, couldn't sleep, and am now on my way to emergency walk-in with my psychiatrist. My meds are fucked up. I need to up my sedative, add something else. An antidepressant. Lithium. Something. I don't know what. All I know is I'm drowning and my life-raft, the chemicals that keep my head on my neck are unglueing themselves.

Coming home from the hospital was a hell of a thing. I lived in a "gated community." Outer locking doors. I had no keys. I had to beg two people walking to their cars to get me into the apartments.

Jesse had on earplugs and couldn't hear me knocking, which quickly became me pounding on the door, which quickly became kicking and full on, forearms slamming on the door trying to wake him up. One neighbor woke up and asked if I was okay. If I needed help.

Another wandered out and admonished me that it was 6:30 and people were trying to sleep. I was in no mood to be polite. I snapped at him "Yeah, I just got out of the hospital. Life sucks for everyone." I turned around and resumed attacking the door with every inch of my 5 foot frame.

20 minutes later Jesse opened the door. I had two cigarettes. I tried to go back to bed. I think I got another 3 hours. Maybe 4. Not enough to get through the day unscathed.

I'll go to the professionals. They'll know what to do. Jesse is coming with me. They'll know what to do, because I am out of all ideas, all clues, and all energy to figure this out on my own.

My skin remains unharmed. I had no suicidal thoughts or idealization.

That's supposed to be the positive. I guess it is.

I didn't mean to be a dick to wake up everyone in the building at 6:30 AM. But I also didn't want to sleep in front of my door for another 5 hours till he woke up.

I did just get out of the hospital. So yeah, life sucks for everyone. I almost added "Welcome to apartment living, asshole." Good thing he'd walked away by then.

Even I can handle so much dickishness from myself.

Bart -

May. 23rd, 2017 06:47 am
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I'm sorry, Bart. I wasn't doing so okay. I was on the line with Pat, talking out the urge to empty as much blood out of my forearms as humanly possible without actually killing myself.

I am doing a little better now. At least enough to stay away from the kitchen silverware drawer with the knives. At least enough to try and go back to sleep.

I went one more day without hurting myself.

Sometimes I don't know if that's a victory or if it's simply conceding to the defeat of being a permanently crazy person.
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Somedays all I can do is write.

One entry. Two entries. Three or four entries. It keeps my hands busy. It gives flesh to the voices and brings them into the light. It is the only thing I know how to do - and the only thing I am occasionally good at. It builds the wall around the worst parts of myself, or else it builds the door the monsters can flee through.

My mother was a writer, decades and decades ago. A good writer at that. But somewhere along the line she traded in the pen for a cage. She never realized that a pen can be the very key OUT of that cage.

She tried to destroy my key when she burned my journals. But she also didn't realize that while keys can be hard to find, pens are readily available. There was never a pause in the words I continued to write, no matter how many times she tried to take them away from me.

The pen may not really be mightier than the sword, but what's written lasts far longer than any spilled blood that melts into the earth. I hold onto that as sacred.

I ramble. I babble. I do this to fill the time. The endless hours where I cannot sleep or cannot hide under the blankets, cannot pick up a book, cannot engage in meaningful verbal conversation with Jesse...this is my busywork.

This is also to track the ups and downs, each chasing the other on their heels, hot and heavy breath with teeth just bursting with eagerness to sink themselves into my skull. It raises and falls so fast lately. Typical bi-polar stuff, made less typical by lupus, ungodly medications, and a sleep schedule that resembles a scatter of shotgun shells than anything focused with a scope.

I write so much. I am amazed anyone can keep up on this. I can barely keep up on it myself.

But it keeps my hands busy in those moments when I cannot otherwise keep them shoved under a pillow, to clench and release the softness and comfort.

Mine will never be a peaceful life. It will always include a mind that tortures itself for fun and scars that ache in the winters of the soul. It will always be dotted with bonfires that I must walk straight through to get to the other side.

"I will always fall and rise again,
Venomous and howling,
'Cause I am a survivor....
"

I will always fall. I will always tumble into the empty crevices of the earth, striking ledges over and over again on the long way down.

And I will always claw my way back up to very top of the hole, heels bleeding, ribs split in pieces, broken fingers clawing into the crumbling earth.
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I haven't hurt myself yet. I won't today. That's all I can promise. I can't promise I won't spend all day wanting to. I can't promise that I won't spend all day trying not to drown in this ocean, or that I'll slip and my head will go under for a few moments of desperate insanity and exhaustion.

But I can promise that I won't hurt myself today. If I have to sit on my hands for a full 24 hours today, or likely hide away from my mind by trying to shut it down under the blankets, I WILL NOT HURT MYSELF.

This is what the voices are saying to me. I don't have any way to write out what they are really saying, because while they are screaming, they're still whispering just enough to mishear words.

Is it a game for them? Is it a game for me?

RE-EDIT OF LYRICS: ICON FOR HIRE - "WAR"

"You and I go deep like water
You and I run red like blood
You know my darkest secrets
I know what you're made of...

It's a heavy load to carry
And I can't hold on much more...

I've so much more to tell myself
We're running out of time
It's dark and dangerous treading
Oceans in my mind


I can't survive for both of us
I can't hold back the waves
This ocean isn't big enough for both of us

Up all night, I held your hand
While I wandered in the dark
I know I can't make myself better
When all I want to be is lost...


It's a brilliant game I play
When I lock myself away
And I make everyone fight for me, fight for me..."
quirkytizzy: (Default)
And it took less than two hours of that blissful morning entry I wrote when I woke up to have it all crash down on my shoulders.

Everyone around me talks. What should be voices are too shrill and breaks the violent, desperate quiet I've constructed around myself. If it breaks in, if anything breaks in, I break, too.

This disease has infected my soul and I cannot cut myself out. I can't separate the healthy tissue from what rots within. I can only hope to wrap it up tightly enough as to where nothing oozes from what's bandaged underneath. The only thing that could do that would be steel and I've none to construct such a dam around it.

I did not hurt myself. I did not drag a knife across my skin, which burned with wanting to be calmed by bleeding. I did not take my meds until the last second before I went back to bed, for fear I'd grasp the bottle and end up swallowing the whole thing. (Breaking the plastic bottle into pieces to swallow being optional, but I considered that, too.)

Or was I always this sick and this disease just scratched me half-an-inch under the surface, quickly bringing what sickness was always there, just waiting for an abrasion to seep through?

I did not hurt myself. It took Herculean efforts. So much white-knuckling. It has always been like this. Sitting on my hands, rocking back and forth, telling my head to just shut up, be quiet, go away, you're not right, you're lying, GO AWAY!

I know I'm supposed to be proud of this. It just makes me tired. Everything makes me tired, but little makes me as tired as fighting this does. People wildly underestimate the energy expended into not wounding yourself, acting as if you should feel just fine once the active urges pass.

We are not fine. We are still shaking, still shattered, and the fight is gone from us. Do not expect us to be up to talking, or to go the grocery store, because we are not sure that we are even still here.

I did not see myself at the age of 35 falling apart like this. I did not see myself so crazy at 35. I did not see myself walking the bottom of the ocean, churned and filled with monsters, at 35.

I did not expect to feel like such a failure - as someone who cannot handle herself for a few hours alone in the morning without wanting to leap off a bridge (be it real or metaphorical.) I did not expect to feel as if I am disappointing everyone around me simply by FEELING this way.

And that I am. Disappointing people. I am their sinking ship. I am their losing war. I am sick and never seem to get better. Their efforts of love and support slip through my own mind like a sieve, and I'll have no one but myself to blame when I find myself without anyone around me able to help me. Sometimes I think that would best.

To be alone with my own shallow, egotistical, obsessional suffering. To not make others stand witness to this, to me falling over and over again, each again rising more unsteady than the time before.

I lose perspective. I know, if I think about it logically, this can't last forever. But that's the lie mental health tells us, that it WILL, and it's hard to ignore the sirens of destruction when they fill the hours I can't sleep in. The endless hours wandering the apartment with a mind lacking in anything but clutter and noise.

I am so weak. Do not respond to this. Do not comment on this. I don't need to hear it. I don't want to hear it. It will break through this perfect storm and it will only increase the waves for me to tread through.

"On the surface it looks perfect
Underneath it's just a perfect storm"


I can't handle your words right now. I'm sorry.
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This part is so frustrating. Where all you want to do is drag a razor across your skin, but you also fully realize the futility of doing such a thing. It won't make me feel better. It won't get me treatment that I need, because the psych ward is a place to stabilize, not treat long term behaviors.

Marya Hornbacher once called this the boring part of treatment. Where you are healthy enough to recognize the uselessness of self-destructive behaviors, but where they are still plenty present in your thoughts.

What would hurting myself do? Nothing. Nothing but rack up another $5,000 medical bill to stay in a place where I can't smoke cigarettes. For any momentary relief seeing my own blood seep out might give, there are then the days following, when the wounds sting like hell and you realize you've given up again.

And I'm tired of giving up. Tired of doing things that don't really help. I'd say it's a fight in my head, but it's more a resignation that what I was doing wasn't working and so repeating it would also not work.

So Jesse's making dinner, and I'll have a full stomach, and that will make me feel better, and then there's the bed that's been eluding me all day, if I really need to pull the wool over my eyes for a little while.

Also, uhm, I need your guy's help on something.

How do you tell people you're hearing voices without immediately getting Sectioned 8? )

How do I tell people that without coming off as...much, much crazier than I am? (Or at least want to believe?)
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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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Medical risks. I am a "Self-injury risk". Obviously. I am also a "Fall Risk", a thing hospitals take seriously, as it turns out. The Fall Risk follows me home just as the SI risk does, at least lately. I weave about the apartment like a girl at her third bar on her 21st birthday. I slur my words. It's been quite significant lately. The exhaustion is becoming heavier than the rocks they used to place on witches to make sure they sank into the river.

(Because only the guilty would drown with hundreds of pounds of stone upon their chests, right? Fuck the Salem Witch Trials.)

Thank god for overflowing piles of laundry for my ass to fall on. And walls. And occasionally chairs and couches. Not the cats, though, which sometimes happen to be the unlucky recipient of my unsteady limbs. Poor things.

I've realized that perhaps I've been too hard on David, at least in a couple of instances. He once wrote about cutting as if it were the only option other than suicide. And when phrased like that, it's a perfectly practical thing to say. Of course cutting is safer than leaping off a bridge.

But I LAMBASTED him for his phrasing. I felt such contempt that he would line up two and only two self-destructive behaviors as coping skills. And yet....

Here I am, finding myself stuck in the same dichotomy. Swimming between sharks and piranhas, and trying to figure out which is the safest to be bit by. The sane answer is "GTFO out of the water, you idiot!"

But as much as I'd like to make cocktail buddies between myself and sanity, it's a thing that can't ever be done in unison.

I'm tired. The longer I'm tired, the murkier things get. The murkier things get, the clearer blood sounds.

Someday I'll look at all this as progress, or at least bravery in being able to share the blow-by-blow agony of it all. Right now, though, I'm just very tired. Very tired and feeling almost as if I owe David an apology.
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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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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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GOOD NEWS: Cutting the Valium to its prescribed dosage has left me with my memory intact (if not waking me up every hour on the hours). But hey, that's preferable to motherfucking blackouts. This is especially relieving, as when Jesse and I tried to compare notes between when he left and when the post window was opened, neither of us could remember if I'd started writing BEFORE or AFTER the Valium.

I would much, much rather it be a product of a simple, overdone chemical cocktail. If it wasn't the meds, than that points to a problem in my brain chemistry.

I don't have many talents in this world. Reading and writing are among the few that can be counted on and lauded for. If I were to lose that to some kind of mental short-circut in the brain itself, it would absolutely decimate me. My intellect is really all I have of myself.

I can't have that taken away. I just can't.

What scared me most about that are things like, what if I'd gotten into the car and drove somewhere in the blackout? As Jesse had the car keys, that was impossible. And there is absolutely NO alcohol in the house for me to chug down in order to facilitate a black out. But it's not unheard of for people to wander outside of their houses in such a state, drunk and medicated or not. I do NOT want to be that person. I'd quickly checked my phone to make sure I hadn't black-out texted someone, to which thankfully I didn't.

With every strange new symptom, it hammers Jesse. He's always had issues with anxiety and panic attacks, but as the months and shoes and anvils just keep dropping on us, it's become a nearly daily problem for him. It'd be arrogant of me to suggest it's ALL because of me and my illness, but I sure as hell know it doesn't help.

I have an ever increasing empathy of anxiety attacks, now experiencing them for the first time in my life. I've only had ONE panic attack in my life and it was so terrifying that it was immobilizing. (I had this idea that stepping out of my home would crash a plane onto my head. And this was BEFORE the movie Donnie Darko came out.) It took hours of a phone call from another addict to squeeze me out of the house, on the phone for the 30 minute drive to work, and another 10 minutes of the call just to get OUT of my car to walk INTO work. It was horrifying.

For Jesse to go through both daily...my heart aches for him.

For reasons along the lines of "everybody deserves a second chance", the "no homo, bro" dude Jesse and I know have had a few more visits with him. I am finding myself becoming annoyed with every word that drops out of his mouth, to where even the sound of his voice agitates me. I will do my best to stay either away or in bed when he visits.

He had done something silly and pocketed a pack of smokes while out shopping one day. It could have been an honest mistake (I've done that before), but his explanation was that Satan had been whispering in his ear, and that he was worried he'd go to hell for it.

I was like, Uh, dude, Satan had nothing to do with that. That's all on you, Buddy. And why the hell are talking about yourself like that, like you're a sinner and are going to hell? It was just a pack of cigarettes. Just don't make a habit of it."

I'll go to the ends of the earth distracting security guards and cameras to help people steal food and medicine. A pack of smokes (or Magic Cards in the ex's case)? Hell no.

On the religious side, he really comes down too hard on himself. I point that out on occasion, but I guess you can't save 40 years of religious, echo-chamber, circle jerk religious training in just a few conversation.

I mean, seriously. I wish I had the option of blaming every fuck up I've had on demonic whispers tempting me to do stupid shit. But stuff like that, it's all on me. Impulsive as it, my actions are my own.

At least this man is unintennionaly driving home a lesson that I've needed to learn for like, oh, my entire life. He is obbessed about his life before, about the people in his life who have let him go, and about how nothing NOW could ever compare to the life he had behind him.

It plainly makes me see how pathetic **I** sound when I get stuck in that same, broody state. I'm now realizing the benefits of having to unglue my ass that's permanently planted in my past. Okay, so I can't do what I used to.

But what, in the future, CAN I do? Or even in the present? At the very least, I can at least try to accept my life as it is today, instead of being drowned by in the life that WAS.

There's been one other thing on my mind: David. David and our behavioral similarities. For years, I'd felt so vindicated that I never indulged in the behaviors he did, such as cutting and suicide ideation (if not threats themselves.) And yet, over the last four months, I have done exactly those things.

Granted, for entirely different reasons, if nothing else due to the fact that my disease can and has nearly killed me on several occasions - wheras his is a lack of wanting to seek effective treatment. I try to hold onto that as a imperative difference between us.

The most I can come up with is that his self-destructive behaviors come from a deep-seated hatred of himself. All those - and continuing years - filled with texts and conversations about how much he loathed himself for being unable (in his eyes) to function.

I don't hate myself. I hate what I DO sometimes. I hate what my body IS sometimes. And I have plenty of times when my entire self-worth is dragged into the blistering, uncomfortable light to be examined and dissected.

But self-hatred? No. I have a fair-to-middling self-esteem. I understand that self-compassion is often the only way to solving my issues, even if it is damn hard to apply that concept some days.

My life is flawed. My body is flawed. My psyche is flawed.

But me by myself? I'm not flawed. I'm just one messy human being trying to find her way home.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
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.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
"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?
quirkytizzy: (Default)
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.
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)
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.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
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.)

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