Acheivement Unlocked

Total panic attack right now.  Freaking out and want to throw up.  Sheesh.  I used to have clonazepam “as needed” for this shit.

So I saw the phsyc doc about 2 weeks ago to kind of get his view on the ECT or if he had other ideas for meds.  He was actually quite ambivalent and unhelpful about the ECT, saying he wouldn’t discourage me from checking it out further, but he wasn’t actually saying “yes lets do this” either.  He DID suggest that instead of taking clonazepam so irregularly that it would probably do me more good to take it twice a day every day.  I had been taking one most of the the time but my prescription was for up to 3 if I needed.  So now I’m taking two at night before bed, which HAS helped me sleep better and hopefully will keep me “level” rather than “up and down” as the psych put it.  BUT if I”m full of anxiety right now after taking my 2  nearly 3 hours ago, can I still take another one without messing up this trial of seeing if the dosage change help?  I DON”T FREAKING KNOW.

—-

I started writing this an hour ago and have since been able to address one of the main reasons freaking me out.  I have to go out of town for a while and was invited to stay a couple days at one of my best friend’s house.  I REALLY wanted to say yes, (so I did!) because I SO FREAKIN” WANT TO BE NORMAL!  And I so look forward to spending time with this friend.  But it’s a newer house, one I don’t know well… she’ll have other family there… and while she totally gets where I am emotionally/mentally/physically right now… well… keeping up the facade for everyone else is tough.  And nights are so hard for me.  I started worrying about everything that could go wrong and I was just freaking out.  Nearly threw up.

BUT bonus points for me- I’m learning to recognize and respect my needs.  I called her and hardly got 3 words out and she was like “I totally understand.  No worries!”  Then we chatted for another hour and it was so great.  SHE’s so great.  True friends are few, but the ones I have are the best.

Anxiety is still high though.  Hoping it will just calm down soon if I can wait it out a bit longer.

Tinman

Video

So many things…

I’ve been putting this off and putting it off for so many reasons.  None of which have anything to do with this.  I love blogging my ups and downs.  And I’ve really missed it the last couple of months.  But I haven’t really been in a great place, and you know how it is… well at least for me, I tend to hide until the shit goes away or it’s really repressed enough that I can just pretend to be normal and ok.  But that hasn’t been happening.  Instead, more shit just keeps appearing.

I’ve been kind of aware of some of what I’ve been hiding from.  But a couple days ago I totally broke down and admitted I hate this ostomy.  (Surgery went find, medically speaking, my ostomy is great and my health is much improved.)  But mentally, I’m not dealing with it as well as I thought I could.  See, when I was raped 16 years ago, the ONE thing I found was that I could survive anything.  I made that my rock.  It was my foundation and I built my world around it.  No matter how bad it got, I survived that, I can survive this.  It rather pisses me off that this lifesaving ostomy that I should be grateful for is causing that foundation to crumble.  I literally found myself praying to die the other night.  I don’t pray.  And I knew the prayer was pointless because God doesn’t answer my prayers.  But I felt so alone.  Even though my dear husband spent half the day with his arms around me in support… I feel pointless, I feel cheated.  For the first time in my life I hate my body.  I can’t bring myself to take a shower.  It’s so strong.  I know I need to, I get all my stuff ready, slowly, but when it comes down to it, I just can’t.  I hate dealing with the ostomy in the shower.  So I go a week without it, until my hard-wired need to meet certain social expectations finally wins out, and I force myself through it.  Purely so I can go to therapy the next day and keep my secret that i am barely holding it together.

Right now I feel jealous of everyone who is dead.  It was just a year ago one of my best friends took his life and all I can think is that I wish I could trade him places.  And Hope… dear Kyra.  I feel terrible that she felt so alone.  One of the first things I found out when I started reading blogs again was that she was gone.  It broke my heart.  She was the first person to ever follow my blog, comment… and hers was the first blog I ever followed.  She wa such a beautiful, intelligent person. and I’m sorry she’s gone.  And yet I can’t help but envy her just a tiny bit.  And I feel terrible about that.  Sometime I want to punch myself in the face for being so done by sometimes comparably small things.

 

My therapist thinks maybe its time I consider ECT.  I’m beginning to think he’s right, though I have mixed feelings about it.  I know some of you, my readers, have had it, and I would really appreciate some feedback.  If you feel like you don’t want to share on the blog, let me know and we can email each other or something.  I really want to know all the good and all the bad before I make a decision like this.  But something’s gotta change ’cause I can’t keep playing by the rules.  I’m just done.

Thanks to my insides

I feel … I can’t finish that sentence right now.  I’ve had this thing weighing on me the last couple of days.  A suspicion I’ve had for years, but never confirmed.  It’s been on my mind a lot.  Generally I do not dwell on it.  Why spend the energy on something that may not be real?  But the last couple of days, I can’t shake it.  My anxiety at night has been through the roof.  I can’t sleep.  I’ve been sleeping on the couch because trying to go to bed just makes the anxiety worse.  And I wonder, is this some small confirmation of what I have wondered?  And what if it is?  Not having a memory to go with it… I feel sick inside as I cycle through possibilities… I want to write about all of this, but I don’t think I’m prepared to deal with the fears it brings.  But, I just had to reach out a little bit because I know there are those who will understand.  I want to forget about it… stop thinking about it…. push it back to the corners of my mind where it has dwelt for years and years.  How does it do me any good to have it sitting here out in the open when I can’t even pursue it?  I hate my insides sometimes.

Huh, maybe that’s why I keep having to get bits of them removed surgically,.  Well.  That’s helpful.

Not Cool Internet!

Wasn’t going to post tonight, but right now I’m pissed.  And afraid to speak out about it, and pissed that there’s any reason to be afraid.  I love Felicia Day.  She’s a role model, not just for geeks and gaming, but just for a person like me, who yes happens to be a geek, but also just happens to be a women who wants to embrace who she is and shine as herself.  I’m endlessly fascinated by her talent, her creativity, her passion, and her acceptance of who she is.  Not to mention her ability to find time and opportunity to experience so many of the different things she’s interested in.  She has always appeared to be to be intelligent and genuine in what she does.  I about peed my pants when she was cast on Supernatural.  The pairing of my favorite role model and my favorite TV show???  NOTHING COULD BE GREATER.

And now?  She’s being attacked, threatened.  Like many other women in her industry right now.  And it’s not with criticism, valid or otherwise.  We’re talking rampant rape and death threats made to her and others.  It makes me sick.  What is wrong with these people?

“I haven’t been able to stomach the risk of being afraid to get out of my car in my own driveway because I’ve expressed an opinion that someone on the internet didn’t agree with. 

HOW SICK IS THAT? 

I have allowed a handful of anonymous people censor me. They have forced me, out of fear, into seeing myself a potential victim. 

And that makes me loathe not THEM, but MYSELF….

…I have lived a large part of my life ruled by negative emotions, mainly fear and anxiety. From my experience of working through those issues, I have this to say: Steeping yourself in the emotions that you’re surrounding yourself with, of hatred and bile and contempt, is ultimately not destructive to others like you want it to be. It’s destructive to yourself. “

(thisfeliciaday.tumblr.com/post/100700417809/the-only-thing-i-have-to-say-about-gamer-gate)

It’s not hard to see why I read those words and get affected.  Of course I understand them.  And that just makes me take it even more personally.

I’m not a gamer, so I can’t comment on the main issue surrounding all of this.  And I realize these kinds of threats are nothing new to the world, obviously- it’s why most of us are writing here.  But I don’t give a shit what the cause is, people who make these kinds of threats should take a left and head straight down to hell.  Right fucking now.

Felicia Day, I think you’re the awesomest awesome to ever awesome and I hope this passes sooner than later.

High Hopes

New plan.  Post before reading.  I get so into reading what everyone else is writing and then I can’t find the words to post about my own stuff.  So here’s the dealio:  As I mentioned before, I’ve been sort of overwhelmed with some things.  My parents were here a couple of weekends ago, which was great- they came specifically to help me clean up and organize my apartment (Trust me, I needed outside help!).  But I was so sick the whole time.  I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to do anything, I couldn’t sleep, and dang it, throwing stuff away is HARD for me.  It was work, just sitting there watching my mom go through stuff asking me if I was keeping this or getting rid of that.  So I was exhausted after they left.  Slept for like 24 hours after that.  (But my apartment looks much better now, less depressing, so thanks mom!)

Anyway, I’ve just been getting sicker and sicker.  Feeling crappy more often than not.  No appetite, losing weight, not sleeping, more pain.  I finally heard back from my surgeon who had taken my biopsy slides and history to a “conference” she has with other IBD specialists in the area.  They all pretty much agreed that I had chronic pouchitis and it wasn’t going away.  I could keep trying to treat it medicinally, but she (and they) felt like it was really only worth it if I needed that peace of mind of feeling like i had exhausted every single option.  They all felt that it would probably end the same way- needing to have the pouch removed and having a permanent illeostomy.

I had already decided after the miserable weekend with my folks, I was having surgery of some sort.  I am just too exhausted to keep going like this and to not be able to enjoy spending time with loved ones.  We moved to this town a year ago and I literally don’t know anyone here because I rarely leave the house.  No friends.  No family.  Just the hubster- who is wonderful and all, but ya know we need more than that.  So I’d been doing the research.  I spent a lot of time over at jpouch.org and I did a lot of research on k-pouches and the BCIR.  These are basically similar in that they still use an internal pouch like I have with my j-pouch, but instead of wearing an ostomy bag, you plug a catheter into it to empty a few times a day.  But no outside appliance to wear.  So it sounds pretty good.  But I can still get pouchitis with it and likely would since I’ve had it already.  The pouchitis might cause symptoms like cramping, stomach pain, and fatigue but I wouldn’t have to worry about urgency and continence anymore.  The other drawback is that there are only a few places that do k-pouches or BCIR.  And if I have a problem then I have to fly to wherever I had the surgery done intially to get it fixed.  So it could end up being costly and still not resolve some of my main issues, namely the fatigue.

So I had a lot of decision making to do there.  But I’ve decided the traditional illeostomy has the best chance to make me feel better so that’s what I’m doing.  (It’s possible I may be able to try a k-pouch later down the road, but that depends on different things.)  So Nov 7 I am having the surgery done.  When I come out of it, I’ll have a hole in my stomach with my gut sticking out and what they call a “barbie butt”.  Yeah.  They’re gonna totally sew up my back end.  Which, I think right now, is bothering me more than anything.  And it’s really hard to put words to it, but I think that when you’ve survived bodily trauma, you become extra protective of your physical identity.  And now, once again, I feel like life is just laughing at me right in the face.  Growing up LDS, you’re told “your body is a temple; that’s why you don’t get tattoos and piercings, etc”  But I feel like “God/life/chance/universe/whatever” has done more damage to my body than anything I have ever chosen to do.  At least when I get a tattoo or pierce my nose, or color my hair blue and green, it’s my choice and it comes from a place of honoring my body and the person who lives in it.

*sigh* I’m delving into a new topic there… anyway, bottom line.  Big life changes goin’ on, and I HATE CHANGE.  Do NOT WANT.  But such is life… mine anyway.

=-=-= For the record, I do know that some people out there have it far worse or have had similar experiences.  It’s not the end of the world for me.  It’s just tough going through and I need to talk about it somewhere!

I’m going to add this video.  The song has been in my head all day… it makes me grieve for lost innocence and lost dreams… and… just makes me feel so many things.

The sun starts to cry…

Holy anxiety, Batman!  Been back and forth to bed a few times and it’s not taking so I guess I’ll write.  Sometimes that helps.  A while ago I mentioned a video that gets my little PTSD heart all teary.

Try to forget that this is a Supernatural fanvid.  It’s sort of “alternate universe” anyway, but it shows this character who has literally been to HELL and seen all sorts of awful in his life.  And then see him trying to live a normal life.  Wake up in the morning… those moments you lie in bed, wondering how you’re going to get through another day.  Then putting on your best face and going to work.  Then the moments when that unreal reality sneaks its way through.  And you try to lose yourself in the monotony of repetitive tasks, till another reminder finds its way in.  See the contrast between the memories and the present day… and how the memories themselves seem to be an alternate universe.  Not really real.  Not until you are reminded again.

This video could possibly be trigger-ish for some, so keep that in mind before watching.  For me, this was like finally being able to SEE the experience that just doesn’t have words.  It was affirmation.  But it is somewhat graphic and I don’t want it to be something that causes a flashback or anxiety itself.

video by Loki/SecretlyToDream “Till the Sun Starts To Cry”

The first time I saw this video, I cried and cried.  It was beautiful to me and I couldn’t stop watching.  I would be REALLY interested to know what ya’ll think.  Does it still translate if you’re not familiar with the show?

The first time and the last time… self harm

Someone else wrote about the topic of self harm the other day and I thought I would share my own experience as it is part of the road I have traveled in learning to cope with trauma.  You can read the original post at http://heathershelpers.org/2014/10/13/self-harm/

 

9207e756b2b8db7d3438541448c4626f(picture was found on pinterest, don’t know who to credit)

 

I remember the first time… I supposed anyone would.  It was… 15 years ago?  I was trying to deal with the never ending anxiety and constant state of alertness I was in.  I had a little corner in my bedroom, I lit some candles and some incense and tried to meditate.  I hadn’t ever really tried this before, unless you count prayer growing up… and even then- I’ve always had a hard time being in the moment- connecting to it.  I can recognize that now.  But growing up, I didn’t know those words… have the language.  I don’t know why I disconnect, disassociate.  It’s just always been a coping mechanism I guess.  But in the year after the rape, I started to learn the words, and I started to recognize the ever present state.

I had also just started massage school.  So I was learning new things, about body awareness, mindfulness… things that sounded wonderful and I KNEW they could help me.  (It sounded so easy in those days….)  So yeah, candlelight, incense, deep breathing… try to clear the mind… HA.  I kinda freaked out.  A lot.  And I remember looking at that incense stick kind of curiously.  And I wanted to feel it.  I picked the stick up and just slowly pressed it into my arm.  Just drawn to it.  And it was such a relief!  Suddenly clarity!  CONTROL!  visibility.  Things my insides did not have.  It was… peaceful.  Just what I had been looking for!  I pressed it into my arm again, feeling that connection to my pain.  And I just started repeatedly jabbing the thing all over my arm.  I don’t know how many times.  But it was almost like taking a paint brush and painting pretty little dots.  Springy… from one to the next.  It was… happy.

(It’s really weird looking at this memory and smiling… because I know how fucked up it is.)

And when I was done, my arm was a mess… but I was proud of it in a weird way.  I remember the next day, I was sitting in class… and I had pulled the sleeve up on my shirt just a little bit.  I want to say it was accidentally… but I’m not honestly sure there wasn’t some part of me that wanted someone to see it.  And I remember I caught the girl sitting next to me staring at it, and I said something crazy about grease splatter and I’m sure she didn’t buy it, but I think she was the only one who really saw it.  Eventually they healed.  I remember it kind of scared me, the power I felt when I was doing it, and the ease at which I got caught up in it… I only did that one other time, years later.  But I remember for the next few years, when summer would come and my arms would get a little color, you could see all these white spots, scars all over my arm.  And I always liked the way they looked.  I admit, even now, I wish I could still see them, but they eventually faded away.

I think it was a while before I tried anything else.  A couple of months at least.  I think I’d had some medication changes that made my anxiety skyrocket… I can remember taking my lunch break at work and going to the grocery store where I bought a steak knife.  And I can remember going back to the parking lot at work, sitting in my car and lightly running it all over my arms.  Just enough to leave scratch marks.

Here’s the thing- I’m kinda a wuss about pain… well, I used to be anyway.  I don’t know if I ever cut deep enough to draw actual blood.  So I call myself a scratcher 🙂  But yeah, the steak knives and the “scratching”- that became the method of choice for… the next 2 or 3 years?

The last time…  I had started taking ambien again to help me sleep.  The drawback was that I looked forward to that first hour after taking it, because it was the best I felt every day.  (I missed the whole drinking, partying, etc stage in life so ambien was really my first experience with anything remotely mind-altering.)  Ambien always made me feel so damn creative!  And I used to write a lot.  So I remember reading some things I had written the next day.  And it freaked me the hell out.  I can’t even remember what I wrote, but it was about cutting and blood and it was just messed up.  And I started to worry that I’d do something while on Ambien and go too far.  Control was a big part of the need to cut, so losing control just wasn’t going to work for me.  I decided I was done.

The next time I felt that urge so powerfully, I tried painting it.  I went to Walmart, got a cheap canvas and some paints.  I came home and started painting.  First the flesh, then the cutting.  And it actually worked for me.  So well, that for a long time, all I had to do was look at my painting and it brought relief.

20141015_011701

I still get the urge.  And there have been a few times I have come pretty damn close to giving in.  But it’s been about 12 years now since I painted that picture.  Being stubborn sometimes plays into my favor… and now I’ve got the control issue working for me instead of against.

So that’s my story.  I thought the post I linked to above went into why people self- harm and explained it pretty well, so I didn’t repeat.  I also thought she listed some great alternatives… coping strategies.  I think we all have our reasons and our methods for getting through it.  And I’m not really sure why, but I really felt the urge to share my own experience here.  Read Heather’s post above, if you haven’t.  People are complicated things and we deal with things in complicated ways.  It’s so hard to know how to help or react to someone who is dealing with some of these things and one of the things I hope to accomplish in keeping this blog is normalizing what might seem like really abnormal behavior.  I’m not in any way saying that self-harm is a healthy coping strategy, but I think it helps to know that we are not alone in our experiences.  We are normal people just trying to get by.

789b4cc44227acc9987ffad78cf34fb3

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Full Disclosure:  You know how when you share something like this you kind of get that little bit of anxiety about what people will think when they read it?  Someone in group therapy once derisively called me a “mormon drug user” when I mentioned ambien.  And it really stung.  I have anxiety that people will read this and not think my experiences are valid… (“ambien? ha… what a sheltered little girl…”) (“only a scratcher?  That doesn’t count!”)  I actually KNOW that people won’t think that, but I’m still afraid they will?  Hmmm….I’m really in a sharing mood right now.

And the questions pour out…

So it’s been awhile since I had my last BIG anxiety attack (the kind where I want to crawl walls and rip my hair out.)  I don’t know why things were going well- had decided to attribute it to therapy.  And that probably is it.  BUT as I posted previously- I am having ANGER these last few days.  And I don’t deal well with anger.  I just don’t even know what to do with it.  Few things really even make me angry, but not feeling in control and feeling invalidated or used will make me angry.  My last post- the car smashing- that was about not feeling in control with my health issues, which I’ve already ranted about, so I won’t again.  (not right now, anyway!)

I had trouble sleeping that night, all the anger and anxiety.  Finally started to doze off a couple of hours before my dental appointment, but you take what you can get, right?  I kid you not, I had just relaxed when I got a bunch of txt messages.  From my brother.  Who I’m going to call Alec.  I ADORE my brother.  I can’t even tell you how awesome I truly think he is.  But he has the same capacity for just pure #$%#$^.

I crave closer relationships with all of my family.  Alec in particular is very distant.  He has told me in the past that he avoids me because he can’t deal with what happened to me (the assault.)  That hurts like hell, but I have to respect where he is too, ya know?  At the same time, he’s… not stable.  Just a few years ago, he stabbed himself in the stomach with a huge knife because he was angry.  I’m not really sure if that was a suicide attempt, but there have been those.  And he takes his anger out on himself.  I worry about him all the time, but never really know how he is doing because he tries to hide everything.  So Wed, when I got his txt asking for money because he’s going to get evicted… I was sick with worry and anger.  Anger because I know he is trying to manipulate me right now (this is the only time he makes contact) and worry because I don’t want to see him in trouble!  So- both anger triggers hit.  And everything just snowballed into that awful anxiety again.

How do you help someone you love that refuses to be helped?  I know this post probably makes no sense whatsoever.  I feel protective of my little brother and so frustrated at the same time that I have left a lot of things unsaid.  On the plus side- it sounds like he was able to avoid eviction for now.  So there’s some relief.  But sadness too.

This may seem so random, but I think of my brother when I hear this song.  It sings to my worst fears, but also my wishes to understand better what he is going through so I could help.  Except, if he doesn’t want my help… do I have any right to try to give that to him?   I don’t know any of these answers.  So here’s a song to ruin your day…

 

The Patient

So Thursday night I went to bed around 9, exhausted from a few stressful days and not sleeping well for a couple.  I thought I’d be out in seconds.  Nope.  Lay awake for hours.  But it was still restful so I just relaxed and figured I would eventually fall asleep.  At about 3am I finally took an Ambien.  Still no help, but I lay in bed, still sorta resting but not quite sleeping and too tired to get up and do anything else.  At about 8 or 9 am I KNEW I had to get some real sleep so I took a Klonopin and a mild muscle relaxer.  FINALLY SLEEP.  With the exception of getting up to use the restroom a few times I slept till about 10pm, when my husband came from work.  (And I mean REALLY SLEPT.  I WAS OUT.)

When he got home, we had something to eat and watched a little tv.  And by 11 I was ready to go back to bed.  Just so freaking tired!  So that’s what I did.  And I slept again until about 3pm.  Got up for a bit, hung out with the husband, started feeling sick to my stomach around 9 so I went to lay down a while.  Got up a couple hours later then finally went to bed again at 2am.  Slept until about 8pm Sunday.  He’s working overnight again so I HAD to stay awake but all I wanted to do was go back to bed.  I haven’t eaten hardly a thing the last few days.  Everytime I eat I just get terrible consequences (yay for IBD).  So I have no energy.  I’m exhausted, depressed, and all I can think about is how I wish I would just die already.  What God or WHOEVER is asking of me is just too hard and I want to be done.  I struggle to see the point of me living when I am spending most of it in bed.  And it this point I just feel crappy all the time and can’t get excited about the things I love.  I don’t think I’d say I’m suicidal.  I’m too damn stubborn.  But I would happily die in my sleep.  I had a scope for my jpouch last Monday and a teeny tiny part of me hoped I wouldn’t wake up from anesthesia.  I knew I would, so the disappointment was small when I did.  But it just sounds like such a great way to go.  And I don’t know what I’m really holding on to right now.

There’s just soooo much that I feel I will never find my way out of.  Dealing with things, weights, emotions, depressions, fears, anxieties, beliefs, etc. I’ve carried my whole life.  That alone weighs a TON.  Now I’m being asked to deal with this chronic illness that should have technically been “cured” when I had surgery… nobody seems to know what to do to help me anymore with that.  I’m afraid this is the life I have to look forward to.  I scares me, it depresses me, and I just want to go to sleep because i can’t deal with it all right now.

This song has meant a lot of different things to me over the years, but it seems to fit here pretty perfectly.

 

Tool, “The Patient”

(lyrics are in the video)

 

And now its 5:30am and I am going to try to get some sleep before therapy this afternoon.  Back to bed it is!

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