Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Mental illness is nothing to fuck around with.
This stigma it holds onto so tightly needs to have some room to breathe. It hovers because of idiots who speak before they understand. Listen and learn and you will change your mind. No "maybe" about it.
The whole "think before you speak" thing goes for the general population. However, when you are saying something potentially hurtful toward a person who has a mental illness? It can seriously damage them for life. True story.
I know people with mental illness, myself included, who choose to isolate themselves from others to sort of deter from the fact that we are ill (some days we're more ill than others, some days we're given a break-but the illness is just resting-). Most of us try to avoid instances where it's suggested we are making everything "all about us". It's the exact opposite, really.
We want to be camouflaged...to be lost in the crowd...to blend...to merely be "normal".
How are you? This question is posed quite often simply because it's what we say as humans. When asked, do you really want the true answer? No, you don't. It's okay to admit it. Go for the short answer and get to the root of why you're speaking to this person to begin with. That's why most of the time, the reply is okay or fine. Even though the reality is the complete opposite, we go with the flow to avoid reality because it really is for the best. It's for your protection (you're welcome).
I've been accused of making everything all about me. I apparently, make it so others have to side step me whenever we come in contact with one another. I make YOU uncomfortable. How fucking ironic. I laugh at the thought.
Words hurt. Words sting. Words simmer in the brain, sometimes forever, and can never be forgiven. Even when you're being kind and considerate after the fact, those nasty words are right there, shouting at me from inside to hate you into oblivion. To remind.
You don't want to really know how I am, so why ask? It's pointless. Just go about your perfect life on this perfect day in this imperfect world.
I'm open about who I am here because it helps me. Sometimes it helps you too.
I'm mentally fucking ill. I didn't choose this. I wasn't always this way. But you know what? Fuck YOU for giving up on ME. Fuck YOU for thinking I gave up on you, because I didn't. I was merely sheltering you from the wicked storm that passes through these here parts on the daily.
I've been taking the Seroquel at 10pm every night. It definitely isn't knocking me on my ass as I expected it to. I discovered today that I need to take it one to two hours before bedtime to give it enough time to kick in. So tonight I'll experiment with that.
I'm starting to feel better. Clearer. Less agitated.
I was able to go grocery shopping last Saturday without the want of stabbing someone to death with a coupon (trust me, I could pull that shit off). On Sunday, I cooked and baked and even vacuumed (it wasn't a "cleaning" day). Monday was another slow day at work but I wasn't as irritated as I have been.
I'm not letting down my guard just yet. I still have flutters of anxiety swimming inside of me throughout the day. I'm just able to handle it better than in the past.
One day at a time is too grand. One hour at a time is where it's at. At least I've graduated from minute to minute.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Time doesn't stand still. Time doesn't give a shit about you.
I've been struggling this week. Struggling a lot. It has been hell trying to get this medication situation under control.
After work yesterday, I went home to my bed and took a nap. All the shit was catching up with me.
My phone rang just before 6. The caller ID told me it was my doctor's office. I left two messages earlier in the day and they were finally calling me back. The nurse was giving me the runaround and couldn't provide me with answers to any of my questions. Mental illness might weaken the senses but I still know what questions to ask and need answers to before I move forward. Sheesh.
Ten minutes after I hung up with the nurse my phone rang again. This time it was my actual doctor. Finally. Together we decided to switch from Seroquel XR to regular Seroquel (because XR isn't available generically and I can't afford the price tag that comes with). Since regular Seroquel isn't time released, he also doubled my dose to 200mg. He understood that the XR wasn't knocking me out as expected, but said this version would. So take it at bedtime.
This will happen tonight.
If within a week I'm not feeling any change, I'm to call him back and we'll increase the dose again.
For now, I'm okay with this. It's important for me to know there's a next step when the current one fails. Without knowing what's next, anxiety shoots through my veins instead of blood and I'm no good to anyone.
I feel like I'm back in the driver's seat today. I may still be driving erratically but I'm in control of how fast I'm moving and whether or not I've got my seat belt on.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
- Thomas Edison
- Thomas Edison
Monday, July 23, 2012
My sample pack of Seroquel ran out last night.
I left a message like I'm supposed to with my doctor explaining that I'm not feeling any side effects (besides being tired).
Mondays are the worst when trying to get any feedback from my doctor's office. Everyone and their sister needs to talk to him. I knew this was going to happen and so now my anxiety will be elevated until I get a call back.
I explained that I think 50mg is too little and I'm more than happy to go to 150mg.
Of course everything I said was on a recording and the nurses who take the messages tend to write down what they think they hear versus what is actually said. I deliberately didn't leave the information regarding what pharmacy I use on purpose so they are forced into calling me back. That way I can make sure this is handled correctly.
Being experienced when it comes to swallowing pills, I know it could take up to six weeks for anything to happen. Usually I know within the first week if I'll get to week six because of unbearable side effects. What I'm experiencing isn't unbearable, yet.
Now I wait and every time my phone rings and it isn't my doctor's office, my nerves take another step toward the edge.
My doctor is on vacation until Friday. Nice. The back up doctor (who I don't like) bumped my dose to 100mg. That's cool.
Then I get a call from the nurse, "The XR isn't available in generic form."
Of course it's not.
She's leaving enough samples for me to get through twelve days. You know, to see how it goes.
What's the fucking point? I can't afford this medication in its non-generic form.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I dropped off the prescription with the voucher from my doctor (to make it free) yesterday and then just hours later, got a call saying they were out of stock. So I asked if they could transfer the prescription to the pharmacy by my house (vs. the one by my office) and they did. I go to pick it up and they said they couldn't give it to me until after 6 (this is after I find out they sent it to the pharmacy not so close to my house) because of my insurance. I'm thinking how fucking stupid, the pills are free. Assholes.
When I stormed out of there (yes, I could have gone back after 6 but it was time to be in for the day, anxiety through the roof and tears free-flowing) I called my doctor who apologized and said to come back tomorrow (which is today) and pick up some samples. I'm all, what the fuck! Why didn't he just give me that when I was there?
Guess where I just came from? Yeah. Guess how many pills he gave me. Four. FOUR. Guess who's going to need more by Monday? This girl.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
"So...How are you doing?"
"I feel dead inside."
"Can you explain that?"
"The depression is back, I'm angry all the time and I am the most antisocial person ever! Having to hold this conversation with you, to tell you how I am, is making my skin crawl."
He nodded his head. He didn't look for further explanation.
"What would you like to do?"
"I'll take the Seroquel you've been pushing on me for months now, thank you."
And that's how my appointment went. The appointment I wasn't supposed to have until August 1st, but after I called asking for drug samples, he asked me to come in right away. I knew I wasn't going to be able to wait this one out.
I'm starting on the lowest dose, 50mg, because I'm sensitive to these drugs. The side effects tend to hit me fast and hard.
In the past, when I would start taking a new drug, I was already on another and so the transition was easier. On the flip-side, I'm on nothing now so if there's an issue after I start Seroquel, I'll know what it is.
I've been so scared of this drug because of what other people said about it. By now, you'd think I would know better. Everyone reacts differently.
Now it's time to finally find out for myself.
A thought sprung to life and the sobs which followed were deep and retching:
"When did I fail? When I realized I NEED meds or when I realized I can't do this without them?"
The phone was within reach, sitting on the passenger seat. It had been quite a while since that number was selected from the contacts list. That number. Dr. M. The psychiatrist. Two months to be exact.
The new (to me) appointment setter answered the phone. The first time I met her she was full of uncomfortable smiles and giggles. I wanted to stab her for being so fake. Didn't she know where she was? People calling and/or "stopping by" the mental health unit don't want overzealous smiles and giggling. We want soft voices and "barely there" smirks.
Two weeks out.
Don't you know who I am? (As if I were a God of sorts)
I've never waited that long to see Dr. M.
Admittedly, it has already been a month since my mental health took a turn for blackness. I was in denial.
With the appointment booked for August 1st, AUGUST!, I ended the call and turned back to the drive. The drive that included my favorite weather.
It was no use trying not to weep. I let it out. All of it. It was my hope to get it all out of my system before pulling into the driveway. The driveway that led to the front door which led to my husband and three kids who don't ever want to believe the woman in their lives was fucked up. Again.
It worked for about a half hour.
"I called my psychiatrist and made an appointment today, but I have to wait two weeks." I spoke softly while telling my husband.
I was afraid of being judged for not being able to do this on my own, without the aid of anti-psychotics. How stupid it was to think like that. We talked for a while and he embraced me. My tears fell upon his shoulder and I cried as silently as possible. The toddler hates it when I cry. He strutted behind me and hugged my legs when he realized I was, in fact, doing so.
I have some anti-anxiety pills left over I can swallow if necessary.
If it gets really bad, I'll call Dr. M and tell him it's an emergency.
He'll fit me in.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Of course, I turned to Pinterest! I found a recipe there and I was so excited because it was the same recipe mentioned in an old Nicholas Sparks book I read years back (I big puffy heart adore his books) (the name of the book escapes me) but never tried.
My version is different than the original:
My Just say "NO" to jarred marinara sauce recipe:
2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (no brand preference)
1 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomato (optional, I don't always add it, but when I do petite is a must)
1 stick of unsalted butter (no, do not substitute salted butter)
1 medium white onion with the skin off and cut in half
1 teaspoon of salt
Now...throw all of this into a single pot and put the burner on medium/low. Let it cook for about 45 minutes. Just before you serve the sauce, fish out the onion and add about a teaspoon of salt (seriously just a teaspoon, if it needs more after you taste it, go for it but start small).
I make this weekly. I usually use it for my spinach lasagna (which I'll have to post some day, which uses no-bake pasta!) or my spinach-meat sauce (just add 2 boxes of frozen spinach that has been cooked and thoroughly drained along with a pound of cooked ground beef that has been salted prior to going into the pot).
The butter wraps around your tongue and makes the tomato taste fresh from the garden. It has just the right amount of onion flavor without the chunks.
Try it and let me know how it goes!
Friday, July 13, 2012
|These rings were spraying water in the middle.|
|Spraying the big kids!|
|Thoroughly wrinkled toes post water park.|
|Passed out on the ride home.|
|Of course I worried about his skin so much that I forgot about my own!|
We spent hours splashing in the water. It was the first time in ages I allowed myself not to worry about all the "things" that were waiting for me to do after. There was no rushing or counting down with the clock. In fact, I didn't look at the time until we were leaving.
I did have a few moments when we were playing where tears crept up. It made me realize how much I was missing out on while the hours tick by and I sit behind a desk all week long. Weekends are reserved for chores or lounging anymore and so I know I'm missing out on all this fun.
I have to have more days like this. It's a must.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
I was thinking about the past few months this morning because out of nowhere, I'm feeling very emotional today. I'm on the verge of tears for seemingly no reason. I thought, I've had a few good months. Maybe I'm out of the woods. MAYBE I'M CURED! Then I looked at the calendar and saw it has only been 4 1/2 weeks since I swallowed my last bit of psycho-medication. Fuck.
4 1/2 weeks. I thought it had been months. Obviously I have no sense of time. I have no sense of anything.
Do you know what I do anymore? Nothing. Absolutely zilch. It's fucking sad.
I work during the week, but prior to my workday I contemplate, "Can I go another day without washing my hair? Are my legs that bad? Must I shave?" Because the process of washing, drying and straightening my hair is agony. And? It ends up in a ponytail within hours of completing the process. Why did I grow out my fabulous short "do" again?
On the weekend I force myself to grocery shop. I'd rather get a wisdom tooth pulled then tackle this weekly task. After that? I sit. I watch tv. I read. I play around on my phone.
My kids are foreign to me. I don't know how to spend time with them.
I cook dinner on the daily but only because eating is a requirement. Nourishment and all that shit. Yada, yada.
My ability to be social is null. I. DON'T. KNOW. HOW.
When I swallowed my last pill, everything within me that made me human was swallowed with it. I don't regret it though. The side-effects of the pills I was taking was unbearable. But so is being antisocial. Fuck.
I've talked to people who have said the same thing happens to them when they don't take their meds. I've never personally experienced it before.
I know I can't go on this way but I lack the motivation to make any changes. I'm THAT person who complains and yet, does nothing.