A Chance For Hope

Anyone that struggles with a daily battle against Mental Illness or Chronic Pain knows how easy it is to lose sight of the long run. Giving up hope is one of the easiest things you can do. You get stuck in your head with all the negativity. I will be the first one to admit, this happens a lot to me. Which is totally uncharacteristic of me.

I’ve gotten through so much hard stuff in life because I have had hope. So now, for me to lose sight of that hope, is a bitter pill to swallow. I’ve been taking some rather bitter pills lately.

But the other night, as I was laying in bed, I let my mind wander, as I so often do. And it hit me: I keep forgetting the little things! So these are some of my favorite things about stuff I don’t like.

During a heavy winter snowfall, in the middle of the night, curling up with a mug of tea and warm blankets. Just sitting in silence watching the heavy snowflakes blanket everything. And even thought it is the middle of the night, there still seems to be a glow from the snow. And IF I’m willing to brave the cold and go stand outside, it isn’t quite silent. Listen, you can actually hear the ice crystals hitting each other as they hit the ground.

In the spring, while it is still slightly chilly outside, before the late afternoon sun warms the earth too much. Digging in the ground to work on my garden. Getting the dirt under my fingernails, knowing that I will have beautiful flowers to look at in just a few months.

In the summer, when the heat is so oppressive you can hardly seem to breathe, in the early pre-dawn hours, sitting on the porch just watching and listening. The sky turns from inky dark blue, to a dusty purple, then a bright orange sunrise. You start in almost near silence, but as the sky becomes lighter, you can hear all the birds and animals waking up, calling to each other in a simple greeting of hello.

In the fall, well almost any time. Fall is my FAVORITE SEASON EVER! I love that it can be warm during the day, but it cools down at night making for great sleeping weather. I also love the rain. I know this can be a trigger for some people, but I always love rain. Hearing its drum beat staccato on the roof as it falls to earth. The sharp report of thunder after the bolts of lightening that seem to light up the earth like the surface of the sun. The falling leaves, the slight chill in the air. The harvest. I love fall.

My puppy as he wiggles in excitement because I woke up, or because I come home. Knowing that someone missed me, even for that short amount of time. That’s pretty powerful.

And lastly, my husband walking up behind me and hugging me. Often for no reason at all. I love it!

So these are just some of the things that allow me to believe there is a chance for hope. Things beyond my control, that always seem to lift my spirits and calm me, no matter what.

Pride

So I met with my pain psychologist for the first time today. I went into this appointment not knowing what exactly it is that she does. I thought she would be trying to teach me to “deal” with the pain. I deal with the pain, everyday! I thought she would try to teach me breathing techniques to cope and get through it. That’s something I learned how to do a long time ago. So I really went into her office thinking this would most likely be a waste of my time, but I’m willing to try everything.

She is going to help teach me ways to deal with the pain, using guided imagery and all that. I’ve seen it help other people, so I’m going to really try it. If she had told me I need to imagine my “happy place” I was going to walk right out of there. I did tell her that when I’m having a migraine, the last thing I want to do is think. But it’s something you work on every day so that when you are in the moment of pain, it is there for you to use as a tool.

For me though, the big thing she said to me boils down to this; I have to throw my pride out the window. I come from a family that, no matter how bad something is, you PRETEND everything is perfect. I’m great at this! And I’ve been an athlete since I was a child, so it’s been beat into my mind to play through the pain and not show weakness. I need to learn to stop when I’m in pain. My pride be damned, I have to admit that I’m not Sheera or Super Woman. I have to ask for help when I hurt, or it’s too much. This is not something I’ve really ever done before.

I’ve watched many people in my family push through the pain. I’ve been told for so long to be strong and keep going, not to let anything get in my way. So, for me to stop because I hurt is going to take A SHIT TON of humility (something I’ve struggled with for years).

She told me when I’m out shopping, if I hurt, to sit and rest for how ever long and how often I have to. I told her, I don’t want people to look at me and judge. I look super young and healthy. You can’t see pain. She told me forget what people think. I told her I’m much better at pushing through the pain. She told me it makes the pain worse later. I said, “yeah I know. But at least I’ll be at home where no one can see.” Mind you, after one of my knee surgeries when I was in a locked straight knee brace and you could see the bulky dressings, I was in an amigo cart at a grocery store and I actually had someone come up to me and tell me that I should be ashamed of myself because the carts are for people that really need them because they have trouble getting around. I know my jaw dropped because I was with my sister and it was clear I was not able to get around well. Being as it was just a week after my surgery and I was still on high doses of pain meds I was rather nasty. The woman that said it was a super morbid obese woman. My snarky comment was to the effect of I was sure the extra walking wasn’t doing her any harm. Petty I know, but I do feel that way. And I’m a super fat person myself.

I want to be healthy and pain free. My physical health is taking a toll on my mental health. I feel useless when I can’t walk, or do everything around the house that needs to be done because of my pain. I have to show my weakness. I have to admit to everyone that I can’t do it all. I have to stop and ask for help.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Into the unknown

Well, in just 30 more minutes I will be going into the hospital. Now, I’m not currently ill (well not any more than usual), but I’m going in for Pain Management. Not pain control, but MANAGEMENT. For my migraines. Taking drugs to help prevent them no longer works. Not that they ever really did.

So I am scared. I am pretty sure they won’t be loading me up on narcotics. Which I don’t want. I know how easy it is to become addicted. I grew up with addicts in my family. So I won’t go there. I’ve turned down methadone for pain control in the past. So I can handle pain.

I’m scared because this is a last resort. Nothing else works. I can’t live with the debilitating week long migraines, or even just having headaches every day. It’s no way to live. I’ve gone from being this outgoing vivacious, fun person, to someone who hardly leaves the house these days. It’s not fun!

Well, wish me luck guys! I hope something can be figured out!

Sometimes I just don’t understand

Let me start off by saying Melancholy sucks! Bipolar sucks! I suck! Well, my brain sucks!

I hate to say it, but honestly, why me? What did I do to deserve this shit? I know I didn’t “do” anything, but it seems like sometimes I’m just being punished.

A little back ground might be helpful here (and I said I was going to give some).

My parents married on November 18, 1978. Yes, the same day as Jonestown. They also served Kool Aid at their reception. Now, the only way the priest was will to marry my parents is if my mother agreed to have children.

My mom never wanted kids because she had found her father dead in their back yard when she was 13. Her mom “checked out of reality” (her words, not mine) and she and her older sister were left to raise the remaining younger siblings. So she feels she was “cheated” out of her childhood.

Well, my mom did agree, as she wanted to marry my dad so bad. Maybe she thought her life would be better with him. I don’t know. They say they are “soul mates”, but soul mates wouldn’t do some of the things I’ve seen.

So a few years into their marriage, my dad kept saying he wanted kids. So, I suppose out of fear of my dad leaving her, she got pregnant with me. Now, by all accounts, I was a very good baby. I guess I never really cried. I was independent, very happy, and I was an early developer. So my mom figured it would be ok to have another baby, seeing as I was such a good one. Well, my little sister came along, and let me tell you, you couldn’t get two different people from the same set of parents as my sister and I! She was a very fussy baby, cried alot, always wanted to be held. She wouldn’t let any man near her other than my father.

My early childhood was pretty happy and ok. But then I got a little older. And my mom started telling me how she never even wanted kids. She told me I “tricked” her into having another baby. Mind you, I was not even three when my sister was born!

This happened quite a bit the older I got. She was always pretty mean to me. When I reached my mid teens, she started publicly referring to and introducing me as “the bad” or “evil child” and she would in the same breath introduce my sister as “the good child”. If I wore anything that was even remotely tight or form fitting, she would tell me that she could see every dimple and roll of fat that I had. I was 6′ and weighed anywhere between 140-155 pounds. I wore a size 8 jeans. My first prom dress, had to get it in a size 16 to fit over my breasts and rib cage and have the waist taken in. I was also an athlete. Yeah, I developed an eating disorder real quick!

I also got in trouble all the time! And for things like turning off the tv when my sister wanted to watch her music videos loudly while I was doing homework. My sister would call her at work, tattle on me, then I’d get grounded. Then my dad would get home and he would un ground me because I hadn’t done anything wrong!

She always accused me of all sorts of “wrong” things. I had a curfew (not a bad thing, but not for the right reasons). She always thought I was up to “no good” and that I was going to parties and drinking, doing drugs, and having sex. While my sister had no curfew, she was at almost three years younger than me drinking, smoking pot, and having sex IN MY PARENTS HOUSE with her boyfriends. But I was always doing something bad. I had my FIRST drink at 18 after I moved out and was in college. I was a virgin till I was 19. The only thing I did was I started smoking (tobacco) at 18. I turned 18 about two months before I graduated from high school. I’ve still only ever tried pot twice my freshman year of college, and haven’t touched any other drug!

But I was the bad child! I was also a genius! Was I angry? HELL YES I WAS! I was constantly threatened with “a room ready” for me at the “(pediatric) psych ward” Mind you, the state since has shut it down due to the years of neglect and sexual abuse from and to the patients there.

So, needless to say, yes, I developed Bipolar and borderline personality disorder. Not even touching on my physical health problems, I drew the short end of the stick here! When I was on the medications for everything, it seemed to make my symptoms worse (not at first, but later down the line as I started to stabilize). So that is why at this time, I’m off all psych meds.

I’m in “recovery” at this point. Not that I don’t get hypo-manic (also have ADHD, so it happens), I’ve had one full blown manic episode that lasted two days that I have absolutely no memory of, which I think is probably for the best because I’m sure I would hate myself more if I actually remembered some of the things I said and did to my husband that weekend! I don’t really have “major” depressive periods, but I can get quite down.

And then there is the melancholy! Let me tell you, this shit sucks! I don’t want to do anything, but I also don’t want to just sit there. NOTHING holds my attention. I can’t really sleep, but it doesn’t help that I have pretty severe insomnia since I was 14ish. I’m not sad sad, but I’m in no way shape or form happy. I have zero interest in food, and often go a few days between meals. I do drink the Ensure drinks because I have to. I wish I could be numb. I don’t want to feel. I don’t want to think. Really, I just want to sleep. I don’t want to exist, because existing like this is awful. But I don’t want to die. I just don’t want to be. I want it to all go away. The boredom. The ehhh. The suck. The hurt. The fuck everything.

I mean, really, why? Why did I have to have the mom that hates her own daughter? Why couldn’t she just love me? Why? What the fuck did I ever do that was so fucking wrong, mom? I didn’t ask to be born! I didn’t choose to be alive! Most of the time I don’t really want to be. I couldn’t even kill myself right. Not that I should have lived. I just did.

And then she finally convinced my dad to turn on me too. He told me this last year that his BIGGEST regret was moving me back in with them to get me out of the domestic violence shelter I was in and to help get me back into the psych ward. He said he should have left me on the streets to die! He used to be my biggest supporter. I have cut them out of my life. But why? Why can’t they just love me?

I know, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” Well, I’m tired! I don’t want to “handle” anymore. I don’t have much fight left in me. Every time the fight gets a little bit harder. I don’t want to reach the day when I can’t do it anymore. Because then, that’s not a life worth living…

I don’t even know what to call this

I am currently in that fucked up head space of I don’t even know what to call it. Where I want to do something, but nothing seems like doing. Nothing intrests me, tv, food, reading (which is very unlike me). I don’t want to be here, in this place, but I don’t want to be anywhere else either. I don’t want to be awake. I want to be numb. I wish I could just sleep and wake up feeling “normal” again. I’m not going to hurt myself, or do anything stupid. I’ll just putz around just waiting for it to pass, because I know it will, as it has many times in the past. It doesn’t suck ass any less though…