The World of the Living

Well, today started like most days. I didn’t want to do anything, except roll over and go back to sleep. I’ve been struggling lately. My birthday is this weekend, Easter was this past Sunday. My first for both with no contact with my family. I thought I’d made it through the holiday season. This caught me off guard. I’d actually considered having my husband take me to the psych hospital. I didn’t know if I could do it. But I did!

I’m working on living. That may seem dumb, or a given, but look at my title; “Rebuilding A Life Worth Living”. So, I’m working on it.

This morning, I took a shower, got dressed (not in sweats!) I procrastinated quite a bit. I have on full make up, and pulled my hair up in a neat bun. I got in my car to run to the store for dish soap and such. Except I just kept going! I drove through a little town called Olivet, and kept headed south on the back country road. I ended up in a town called Marshall. Now, I have a hate relationship with this town. The hospital here is where I had my first in patient psych stay, NOT voluntary! Two and a half weeks in the Spring in a beautiful old town that I could only see through a window with wire reenforcements in it. When I got out, I never wanted to return. Yeah, I forgot this was the same town! So I’ve been exploring.

I started off at The American Magic Museum, hit up a couple of antique shops (always looking for tea cups that strike me), and now I’m resting at The Broadway Grille. I ordered a simple cheese burger. Not overly priced. Tasted really good. The servers are friendly and quick! I figured I’d take the time to write out this post while I eat (on my phone, mind you!) But I suppose I should pay my tab and get moving on, even though there is no pressure for me to leave. There’s one more antique shop I wanted to look through, then head back. But I still need to stop and pick up the essentials.

I’m just glad my husband didn’t get too freaked out when he asked where I was going and my response was, “Marshall, I think”


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.

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…

She said what?!?!

well, this morning I woke up a little before 3 am, having a hot flash. so I did my usual routine when this happens, go potty, splash cool water on my face, go to the kitchen and slowly drink a glass of cool water. I added grabbing my BlackBerry PlayBook from the charger to read for a few minutes, that usually helps me fall asleep faster. well, when I got back into bed, the glow from the screen, (really just the letters, black background and all) was bugging my husband. I know he’s tossing and turning and awake because every time he rolls over facing his edge of the bed he his his alarm clock to make it light up to see the time. so I decided to go out onto the living room couch, (why do people always specify “living room” couch, I mean would we really go lay on, oh say, a bathroom couch?) to read. I probably fell asleep within 10 minutes.

I woke up a few hours later when my husband got up to get ready for his (thank God!) last day at his job at 6 am. I had the weirdest dream that I was at my ex fiance’s two-story house with full finished basement hiding in the secret room because this girl (adult) and her mom were looking for me, yelling how I had to give them a current picture of myself in case they had to tell the police who I was. Then my ex comes into the room I’m hiding in to tell me the coast was clear and he says to me, “Arrrr! Thar ye be a good lass” in the style of Pirate, but with the voice of my first boyfriend that I went to prom with, lisp and all. and holding a bowl of half-cooked bacon, which he ate.

Normally I wouldn’t be bothered, but my husband said last week he was kissing me good-bye before he left for work and I swung at him, (not unusual for me with night terrors) and I yelled, “get down! I need to protect the onyx mine!” They say night terrors and very vivid dreams can be an indicator of a huge bipolar swing. I’ve had only one episode in two years, and it was the same week I had to sever all ties with my family, including calling the police in twice to force my parents to leave our property. It lasted two days and I don’t remember ANY of it! I guess I tried to take our dog and go live in our tent in the yard because I couldn’t “trust (my husband) anymore”. No precursor on that one! but yeah, I have good reason to worry!

Today, I found that nothing could really hold my attention, and I was so bored. The further into the day I got, the more hyper I got. Now I’ve been sick since I had a bone graft on my jaw this past June, with not many “good” days. Well, the last two days I’ve been feeling pretty good, besides the side effects of my increased beta blocker dose, which only lasts a few hours. Like I was making up silly songs singing to the dog. Mind you, I also have ADHD, so normal for my is hypomanic. I haven’t taken any ADHD meds in over a year, and I took one each day I had a final, cause EVERYTHING disracts me in a quiet room!

So, while I’m scared that I might become fully manic, I also like “(my) kind of crazy” as my Dr. Ex, M.D. refers to it. I’ve lived with my brain at that speed almost my entire life. But I’m not too worried. I’ve gone through it on drugs, so if I can stay aware of what’s going on, I should be fine. Except tonight, I’m bored as hell again, “blame it on my ADD!” *Sigh*

I think I’d rather be manic, cause at least then I would keep myself busy!

So what is this crazy woman doing?

This is my first (real) of hopefully many blog posts. I want to say right off the bat, thanks for stopping by and taking a look. Feel free to leave comments and such. I do want to set a few guidelines.  This site is MY blog. It is about the journey I am on, and my life and struggles with Mental Illness and other health issues that have made me disabled. Please respect that. Negative comments and bashing will NOT be tolerated. I do welcome open discussion and debates, though.

I ask that you refrain from mentioning very specific drugs, dosages  and or specific therapies, unless you are sharing your own experience. I.e. saying “I have had luck with a mood stabilizer taking it twice a day.” but not “I take Prozac, what do you take?” If it is a common drug, like an OTC, that is fine, like mentioning aspirin,  Tylenol or Motrin/ibuprofen, Robitussin for a cold. But please, unless you are a licensed physician, do not give medical advice for treatments.

That being said, I started off at 18 working in EMS. I continued on into Law Enforcement, and after some severe injuries ended up teaching at a large well-known medical school. I specifically taught patient care and chronic illness. But I will not recommend specific treatment advice as I am not treating you. I will be willing to answer general questions you may have about treatments and drug therapies, but really the information is quite readily available on these intertubes! I highly recommend

I have some (possibly lofty) visions for my blog. I want to help stop the stigma of mental illness, at a minimum.  But I would really love to be able to help just one person on their own journey by sharing my life story. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to help other people. My illness has really side tracked my plans (you know the saying, you want to make God laugh, tell  him your plans).

So, who am I really? I am a 30 something Okie transplant in Michigan. I have not had the easiest or best life, nor have I had the worst life. Although some of the trials I’ve endured may make you cry, or feel for me, DO NOT PITY ME! That’s not what I’m out here for! I only share in the hopes that someone else who may have been or is going through something similar, may find strength.

I have survived cancer twice (6 years free). I have an auto immune disorder, nerve conduction pathway disorder, asthma, chronic migraines, endometriosis and poly cystic ovarian syndrome (just about non existent since my hysterectomy) , IBS, SVT, both high and low blood pressure, and the dreaded high cholesterol.  A history of anxiety, Bipolar (mostly mania). ADHD, borderline personality disorder, closed head injury, and please don’t get me started on all the normal injuries I’ve had!

I am also a survivor of domestic violence (both when I was 18 and again in my late 20’s, and I’m ashamed to admit it, after being a domestic violence investigator for a police department). I also have one failed suicide attempt. No one is still quite able to figure out how I’m still alive, and with almost no lasting issues.

So I invite you to join me on my road to recovery. And to also look back at just how far I’ve come! So welcome to my crazy little corner of the world, and please keep your hands and feet inside the ride while we are in motion!