Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Advice Needed **Trigger Warning**

This isn't an exaggerated look
About seven weeks ago the lights went out. I've tried to replace the batteries, repair the electrical socket, man handle the cord, check the breaker...all to no avail.

I've been wandering the halls illuminated by only candlelight to guide the way.

I've taken all the right steps to reignite the spark in my eyes over the last ten days:

  • 12/19 I spoke with my psychiatrist regarding the rare side-effects I'm experiencing (since doubling up both medication doses at our last visit before Thanksgiving) and the worsening depression. Solution: Back down on the mood stabilizer and call his partner should I need assistance between 12/24 - 1/3. We have to pinpoint which drug is the problem. If no change after three days, back down some more. 
  • Backed down the mood stabilizer for a week with no change. I'm now on an ineffective dose.
  • Evening of 12/28, called the partner psychiatrist to tell him I'm feeling delusional and the side-effects were something I could no longer live with. They are interfering with my life. Response: There's no way the medications are causing those effects. It's a coincidence that I'm experiencing these symptoms. Call your primary care doctor. My response: I research the hell out of anything going into my body and I have, in fact, confirmed that these are side-effects of the medications. Rare side-effects. Him: Call your PCP.
  • 12/29 Called my PCP who is out of town. Her assistant calls back after consulting with her partner. Response: These are psychotropic effects and need to be addressed by your psychiatrist, but yeast infections aren't a part of that so you should make an appointment to get that taken care of. Oh, and hydrate. My response: I have it here in black and white that these psychotropics are causing vaginal issues. Thanks but no thanks.
  • Remainder of the day 12/29, keep working and act like nothing is wrong even though I'm on the edge of losing my fucking mind into a full-blown panic attack. Think about ways to kill myself. Talk to close friends in the same position. Think. Think. Think. Overthink. If I write a letter, really heartfelt, explaining why I'm doing this and explain how it's nobody's fault, will they get over it? Could the adults lie to my children about how it happened?
  • Chat with a suicide hotline rather than calling. Told my issues and was asked, Okay, what can I do for you? Disconnect.
  • Go home and collapse into my husband's arms and cry. Dry heave weeping. Convince him it's okay to carry out his plan to go to his brother's for dinner and that I'll be okay. I'd never do anything at our own home anyway. What kind of mother/wife would that make me? Agree on a plan to cut antidepressant dose by half until psychiatrist is back on Monday. 
  • Take a few shots of whiskey, see my family off for the night, watch bad TV, cut my own hair, cut my skin, text with friends in the same position some more, drink wine, take double dose of Klonipin, try not to think about the thoughts I've had all day to make this a permanent fix and just go to sleep. 
  • 12/30 Wake up. Nothing's changed. Wait...what?

What the fuck would you do?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another Failed Attempt

My side-effects aren't getting better.

The depression is worsening.

My psychiatrist is on vacation until Monday.

I called the on-call psychiatrist.

He called me back.

He referred me to my primary care physician.

Why?

Because the side-effects don't coincide with the medication.

Even though I looked it up.

Even though I have five pages of side-effects where I highlighted mine.

I called my PCP.

She's out of town.

Her assistant called me back.

It's all psychotropic.

Huh.

I didn't realize.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

The South Isn't for Me

You know that feeling...that feeling when you're doing okay...okay enough to notice that you're pretty okay so you say it? It's like, "Damn! I'm okay and have been for a little while now."

Once you put it out into the universe it heads South. Nobody wants to go South. It's too fucking hot and humid there. Going South for like a long weekend is all I can stand, and I used to live there.

Even if you don't say it out loud, noting the feeling of being "okay" fucks you sideways no matter what. You could be sitting on the couch looking around your cute apartment and realize in your head that, "Damn! How long have I been feeling this okay?!"

Boom!

South...

I've been South for about a month now. So fucking South that I've succumbed to an idea that's been rattling around in my thinking for several years now....

You know how people with mental illness say over and over and over again that they're not their illness? That their illness doesn't define who they are?

This may be true. May. For me? I know this illness is going to do me in someday. It's just going to. That's not to say that I've become my illness or it's defined me to the point that it's all I think about. What it is saying is that each time I head South where the hair is bad and showers need to happen twice daily, it takes longer and longer to get out. And one day, I will listen and it will be over.

I've been majorly depressed for a month give or take. For one day, I was pulled out and I was like, huh...that wasn't so bad. Then it was all...nope. And it got worse. I feel more horrible today in this pit of depression than I have felt over the last seven years.

It. Is. Very. Bad.

I haven't self-harmed by scratching in about six weeks. My back is covered in dark marks that have softened over. When I reach to touch my skin and find nothing to claw at except for fresh meat, it's an accomplishment, yet a drawback.

I haven't self-harmed by cutting in about three weeks. The marks on my leg are a lush red ready to silver over at any time.

So how am I making it through?

I have no fucking idea.

I cook, I bake, I read, I write, I cry a whole hell of a lot and I drink.

I admitted today that I am dangerously close to needing to go to the hospital.

I've been alone a lot lately. Being alone with myself scares me often. You have no idea what the inner voices say to me and I won't tell on them. Not today.

In a few hours I'll be alone again. I'll drink wine and watch Netflix and keep a sharp object close by to scare the innards away.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Psychotropics--When Rare Side-Effects Pounce

It never seems to fail. Just when I think my combination of medication is working together like peanut butter and jelly, the rarest of the rare side-effects take over.

My lips are severely chapped. I have tried at least a dozen remedies from regular chapstick to castor oil to Vaseline, and on from there. It gets better for a day or two and then it's all...tricked ya! I'm talking blood, cracking, skin wanted to be pulled at (not healthy for a self-harmer).

My nose is one giant scab on the inside. I slather Vaseline and castor oil on it to keep it from cracking and pouring blood in public places. It hurts. Humidifiers are expensive.

I've been experiencing joint pain, which I automatically assumed was arthritis because it runs in my family. I live on the third floor. The pain is in my right knee. I'll leave it at that.

Cover your eyes if you don't want to know about this but alas it is true...yeast infections.

I have little desire to eat resulting in weight loss. Not a bad thing though, right? What girl doesn't want to attach a safety pin to hold her pants up? I love food though. I love to cook it, smell it, taste it, devour it...so lack of appetite isn't acceptable.

I'm exhausted and yet I can't sleep unless I double dose my anti-anxiety medication, which of course, is addicting.

At first I thought maybe I was just getting sick. But then I did it. I Googled. "Rare side-effects of..." and there it was. A laundry list of matches.

I emailed my doctor that I was stopping the drug I assumed was causing it. Cold turkey is never the way to go with psychotropics. I know this. I've done it and felt like a junkie hovered over the toilet with vomit in my hair, the cold of the porcelain on my cheek the only relief in between retches.

I contacted him on Saturday and because he's amazing, he called all the contact numbers I have in my file to get me on the phone to talk me off the ledge. So now I'm tapering to a dose that alleviates these rare effects but will have minimal effects on my mood. He mentioned a few other drugs that are hardcore and require regular blood testing. Drugs I've been on before and couldn't handle. I'm not ready for those drugs. Not yet.

Basically I told him I give up. I knew I would be stabilized and feeling beyond fantastic for a time and then it would fade overnight. And it did.

He's on call for the next few days before he goes on vacation. I'm holding on for now. So many negative things are happening in my life right now and I need mental stability.

This is all one giant recipe for disaster.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hearing Your Own Words in Another Voice

You might remember a few weeks ago when my poem, Catatonia, was shared on the World Poetry show.

Last Friday I had the pleasure to hear my words on the air as another was read.

My poem, The Hearing Eye, can be heard at the close of the show (2 hour, 22 minute mark).

I don't know about you, but as a writer, it's a feel good situation when you hear your work in the spoken word of another.


Click HERE to listen!

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Hearing Eye

out there
maddening
spinning
unstopping
but i am hollow
quiet
un-serene
a vacant glare
without feeling
without focus
isolated
laughter lying
smiles mangled
filled with pain
coiled
ending in flames
stemming from seed
i am monotone
here but hovering
alive but flat
peering down
an image of me
but not me
an illusion
a veil of fabric
someone i don't want to be
a soul who needs saving
yanked from the inside
organs and blood exposed
does my heart still beat
do my lungs continue to breathe
do i have a pulse
why do i not feel
you stopped knocking on my door
hollow remains
tangled in the branches of time
needing to be unraveled

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Stories on Amazon

I didn't realize how easy it would be to get short stories self-published on Amazon. Or any story for that matter.

I just wanted to put a little of myself out there where others may be interested who don't follow me here.

Many of you have already read both stories. I'm definitely not in it for the money. It's literally pennies. I am interested, though, in having the titles reviewed on the Amazon site.

If you're up for it, please click the titles below and leave a note.

The Occasional is a fictional short story categorized in the erotica genre:



Without a Struggle is a fictional short story categorized in the horror/thriller genre:



Please don't feel obligated to purchase either title. Reach out to me on my Contact Me page and I'll send you a PDF version of the story.

Thank you in advance!
Share Buttons Pamela Gold 2/18/16 Keep this message at the top of your inbox To: Pamela Gold

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Post (mostly) About Nothing

I got my ass kicked at work this week. Same work I do every single month but it felt doubled. I love being busy and I love that I work with numbers every day (geek) and I love my industry (construction). I spent a good part of the week hearing twenty men (who are worse than women) cursing about the combo printer/copy machine. I'm all...Put fucking paper in it! Select your paper size! The fucking red light shows you where the jam is! You need a girl to do this for you? Every issue has its own beeping sound to tell you what the fuck is wrong with the beast. When in doubt, unplug the fucker. So holy hellacious-ness am I'm tired.

The minute I walked into the apartment last night and realized the chicken I was going to cook for dinner was still frozen (insert huge grin), I poured a glass of wine (prior to taking off my coat) and took a long pull from the glass. It instantly became a frozen pizza and peaches from a jar kind of evening.

Lucky for me I wasn't hungry. Once the kids were eating three days' worth of sodium in one sitting, I poured some bourbon. I've lost my appetite for the last several weeks (thank you medication). My lunch for the past few days consisted of two cookies each day. Knowing I wanted to consume additional alcohol I choked down some cheese and crackers.

Once the clock struck 5am this morning, I couldn't get back to sleep. I'm not hungover, just tired. Tired to the extreme. It's going to be a nap kind of day (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Snow is supposed to be falling right now, my excuse for not grocery shopping, but dammit, it's not. I do have that chicken from yesterday though so there's that. Nobody is suffering from hunger. Hello grocery shopping on Sunday when all the church goers will be marching around the store in their fancy get up while I drag ass in my yoga pants. I might wear shoes with laces. That's to be determined.

Here's the thing. I'm totally not depressed anymore. I know that's a good thing. I think I'm mentally and physically tired of not knowing what the future holds for me.

I up and moved my family across the country 2 1/2 years ago and I've got a fantastic job (see first paragraph) but the unknown is too much. My kids are happy. They have family here. I do not. Things at home are parting ways at the current time. I'm pretty sure we're beyond the sting of that, but it's like The Clash asks ...Should I stay or should I go? New Jersey is beckoning me home but I think I've got a minimum of eleven years before that's going to happen. By then, the unknown better be more known so I know what to do (is that like a triple negative?).

This post is going nowhere in a hurry.

I finished reading a fantastic book today (review to come later). I had to reread the pages I read last night in my drunken haze. Then I fed the shortie some breakfast.

What do you want to eat?

Blueberry poptarts.

There isn't any.

I want it.

There fucking isn't any. Toaster strudel?

Okay.

One or two.

Three.

You're getting two.

Stomps off to his room. Fuck bag.

Then I sat and stared at that giant green container holding the fucking Christmas tree. Sweet funky Jesus! I put it up. Well, it's standing. The star is drooping forward. There's no decorations on it. The branches are jammed in the same position they were in when I pulled it all out. My thinking is we have so many goddamn ornaments, the branches will fall into place all on its own. Am I right?

And so...this is what I call, Saturday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Where the Children Lie

when the sky is somber
and leaves disguise the ground
she wanders through the withered grass
rocks perched upon markers
a tally of visitations
contemplating the dates
some at rest for decades
fresh earth blankets others
velvet green chairs abandoned
human remains departed
extinct
it is calming
her sanctuary
her sedative
she sweeps the grounds
avoiding one space
where laughter no longer exists
old toys left in its place
once stumbled upon by mishap
she sobbed
and she mourned
the only instance of feeling detached
in a place filled with whispers

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Childhood Friend's Words | Poetry

My childhood best friend, ironically also named Pamela, lived across the street from me for eighteen years. She was part of my family and I a part of hers. We lost paths after I moved away but social media brought us back together. 

Now we talk on the phone and text like time never passed us by. We've been comparing notes and I recognized the writer in her. And she's good. Damn good. I'm sharing her with you today!

*** my apologies

would you come if i was scared
would you know without me saying

would you hold my hand 

even if i couldn't find the words to express why my heart aches   
why i cry in my mind and shelter my thoughts till they are rage
or would you run far away
leaving me this way
if i couldn't say

© Pamela Vignapiano 2015



     (unnamed to unanswered questions)

who do you trust
when everyone lies
who do you turn to when you can see their thoughts with your eyes

where do you go

when nowhere is home
how do you feel in your own mind thinking alone

© Pamela Vignapiano 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Poem Read on a Worldwide Show

I'm wicked excited about something that happened on Friday night!

I belong to a writer's group called Writer's Cafe. A gentleman who runs a show called World Poetry contacted me. The show broadcasts worldwide and people call in to read their poems. I was a little shy about calling in because...anxiety. So I decided to submit my poem to be read aloud instead.

I got in contact with him to let him know my situation and would he please PICK ME--PICK ME! Because there are a lot of people like me in the world who have the same issue.

And he picked me!


At around the 32 minute mark you'll hear my poem "Catatonia - -A (Horrific) Poem" read. I love the way it sounds in a man's voice.

Click HERE to listen.

This made my whole weekend!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Anxiety Triggers

I have two triggers that make me feel like I've been pushed down one of those slides that circle around and around and around, resembling the small intestine. It's got more twists and turns than a category five tornado. 

Noise and social situations do me in.

Shouting, cheering, singing, laughing, talking too loud...

I've been told to get over it. To suck it up. Why should others have to be unhappy just because I am? That's just it...it's not that I'm unhappy. It's that in an instant, it stabs my anxiety to the maximum. It's a trigger no matter what my mood is. I can be flying high and noise will bring me crashing down faster than a plane with a giant hole in its wing in which a made for TV movie was created.

Going to a party, a barbecue, family gathering, the grocery store, my kid's school...

All of these things set me on the edge of my seat. I want to get in and get out with as little contact as possible. Small talk makes me want to claw your face off so you appear on an upcoming episode of Botched. In a few weeks I'm chaperoning my son's school field trip. Tiny six year old children will swarm around my dark soul and test my strength. I'm scared.

The way I feel is if the people in your life don't understand and continue to test your triggers, then they don't respect you.

I'm definitely not saying that it's all about me 24/7, but respect should be.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Most Random Post About Random Randomness

In no particular order:

1- Rushing to the store to buy deodorant because you know yours is going to run out tomorrow but it ends up lasting another three months. Same goes for body wash.

2- Ever try to push a grocery cart through a half-ass snow plowed parking lot without getting stuck? It can't be done.

3- Getting your hair dyed for $75 at the salon is no better than the $8 box of hair dye at Walmart if you're going for a solid color. Your grays still return in the same amount of time. Cut your fucking hair and baste it in L'oreal.

4- If I'm nice enough to let a motherfucker pull in front of me when I'm stopped at a light and he doesn't say thank you? I'll ride up right next to his ass and flip him off. It takes less than a second to wave your hand. Do it. Dickbag.

5- We all have that single tissue in our car's side pocket that we've used and reused 18 times. Don't fucking lie about it.

6- What the fuck ever happened to Billy Mahoney? He beat the shit out of Keifer in Flatliners then fell off the planet.

7- See number 6 above, what the fuck ever happened to that hot piece of ass that is Billy Baldwin? Is he dead?

8- This week my 6 year old told me his neck was tired from holding his head up all day.

9- Hair tip #2...Don't cut your bangs when your hair is dirty. No matter how hard you try not to cut it too short, it's going to be too short. My bangs will be pinned back for the next two weeks because of this little incident. Wash that shit and cut it dry.

10-Turn your fucking headlights on when it gets dark. Just...do it.

11- If you're going to go out of your way to hang Christmas lights up on the outside of your house? Do that shit right. None of this crooked-ness. None of this half burned out-half lit. Don't just throw a pile of lights in a bush and call it a day. Don't put up the lights if your ass can't make a straight line. And take that shit down by the 3rd week of January. Anything else is unacceptable.

12- To all radio stations around the globe...Nirvana has more songs other than Smells Like Teen Spirit. Use some goddamn variety. If I hear "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World one more time everything will not be "just fine". Sometimes I don't have the energy to play music from my phone. The radio is not a sufficient replacement.

13- Don't be the dick who sees the lane closure ahead sign and try to get in front of me right when the lane is ending. You're not getting in front of me twat waffle. The only time it's acceptable for the guy behind me to ride my ass is when he's trying to block the dick bag off too. We've banded together and you're not getting in.

14- My son, for no reason at all said, "I appreciate you."...and then I gave him donuts for dinner.

15- You know that book ROOM that's being made into a movie that everyone has been raving about? The fuck? I can name 1,700 other better books with actual thought put into the plot other than a kid calling his dresser "wardrobe" as a name. Stupid kid.

16- Stores should let you buy a new purse, try it out for a week and return it-no questions asked-if it's not a good fit. It might be cute on the outside but when I can't find my keys or my lip shit or my fork, that's an issue.

17- I enjoy getting my blood drawn.

18- Don't put your fucking turn signal on at the last minute. I'm sitting over here waiting for your piece of shit SUV (that I can't see around) to pass by so I can pull out and then you decide to turn before reaching me? You deserve to die.

19- It's completely possible to eat yogurt with a fork with determination.

20- Are sagging pants still a thing? Here I am, stuffing my face with my beautifully crafted burrito bowl at Chipotle when this douche bag walks over to pour himself a root beer and I witness, mid-bite, his pants slowly falling off his hips. Fucker had a belt on too. I almost got up, snagged him by the rear belt loop and yanked that shit up. Tighten up, bitch!

21- SUVs. Trucks. Large moving vehicles. I am tired of being surrounded by you. I can't see around you when I want to turn or when pulling out of my parking spot. Do you know how hard it is to hold a cheeseburger in your mouth with no hands, balance a drink on your lap and turn with your pinkie finger all while trying to see around your behemoth beast with a motor?

###

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mixed States & Cookie Dough

Strange occurrences today. I slept very little last night, about 3 hours. By 4am I was wide awake and reading articles on my phone. I overdid it on the caffeine because I knew the day would be busy and my eyes had to stay open. Focused. I even had enough time this morning to pay some bills and update my blog layout before heading to the office. I thought by noon I'd crash and burn.

I was buried in work and had a meeting in the afternoon. I kept on going full steam. Never crashing.

I've been noticing that I have been making little mistakes at work. Things that I should be catching because my attention to detail is extreme. My lack of concentration is really showing through and other people are beginning to notice.

I don't have a hard time admitting to other people that I'm depressed. It's easy to blame life situations and get away with it. I'm not ready to come out and tell anyone (at work) that I suffer with bipolar disorder. The truth is, I'm ashamed and the stigma will follow wherever I go. Because it always has. I'll never be that person shouting about how proud I am to be bipolar. Ever.

I know I'm in a mixed state right now. I'm up then I'm down. Mostly down. For exactly 11 days, I have felt like my life was over. Unrecoverable. It's not that today I don't feel that to be true, it's just...lighter somehow.

I got out of the house tonight, had dinner at the local beer garden and just tucked my son into bed with a story. I couldn't coax myself into making dinner. I couldn't even drive to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Sometimes just going to dinner is the way I win at life for the day.

I have no idea how I will feel tomorrow. I don't even know how I feel right now. I'm tired but able to keep fighting the urge to close my eyes and get the rest I know I need. Sleep is so damn important with mental illness.

I tend to do the opposite of what I know I should be doing to keep myself well...just one more glass of wine, an extra dose of anti-anxiety medication won't hurt, I'll just lay here and watch TV for 12 hours, maybe I'll do yoga or better yet--put on yoga pants and watch more TV, eat too much, eat too little, sleep too much, sleep too little, not keep up with a normal daily schedule and get upset about straying from what I should be doing in this moment...

There's too much to think about. Sometimes I want to be reckless for no other reason than to say I was reckless. So maybe when I wake up in the morning I'll keep to my schedule. Better yet, I'll call in sick, make a batch of cookie dough and eat it while walking around aimlessly through my favorite cemetery in my pajamas and slippers.

Yeah...that sounds way better.