Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Reached Out For Help (Again)

I left my doctor a message this morning.

"I know it's been less than a week since we increased my anti-depressant but it's not helping."

I hope I didn't sound too desperate.

"It's taking everything inside of me not to swallow the contents of my medicine cabinet."

At least I didn't cry.

"Please don't give up on me."

I haven't heard back yet.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My First Video -- The Story of My Bipolar Type II Diagnosis

Some of you know I auditioned to tell my story at a nationwide show that was being held locally and I didn't get the part. It's not because my story wasn't good enough. All of the stories were outstanding. It just wasn't the piece to the puzzle needed to make all of them come together as one. I promised myself I would get my story heard on multiple outlets. This is the first. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Self Harm Among Adults

The Mental Health Foundation has published an informative article titled The Truth About Self Harm

It's informational, to the point, and covers all of the FAQs including:

"Self-harm is very common and affects more people than you might think."

Who exactly?

The article got me wondering about the statistics of self harm among those of us who are older than the typical teens mentioned in the article.

It's hard enough living day to day with an illness that is widely stigmatized. I'm a person who self harms her body and didn't start until I was 30 years old. When reading about all the teens and adolescents who harm their bodies, it makes me feel smaller. It makes me feel as if what I do to my own body is further wronged because my age bracket is ignored.

I did some searching of my own online and can't find an article newer than 10 years old that states the statistics of adults (anyone over the age of 18) who self harms. I'd like someone to run a study on self harm in both men and women over the age of 25. I'd like to know that I'm not alone in this. I'd also really like to feel less like an adolescent here. 

Is it just me?

Many people don't understand why we self harm. I can assure you that it isn't for attention. If it was for attention I'd be wearing my scars proud instead of hiding them beneath clothing. I wouldn't shun away the thought of wearing a swimsuit for fear of exposure. If I wanted attention, damn it, I'd just ask for it. 

I can say that for me personally, when I mutilate my own body by way of cutting, it allows a release of existence in that moment. For just a few minutes, the blood runs out of the wound and I feel something, which is better (again, my opinion only) than feeling nothing at all. It's takes me from numb and alone to feeling a hint of being alive. It reminds me that I'm still breathing and that I have a pulse. 

I am not glorifying the act of self harm in any way. If I felt like I didn't have to do it, if I felt more in control of my illness (medication can't do it all), then I wouldn't do it. It's that simple. 

For more information about self harm and by that I mean what it is exactly and why I personally just can't stop doing it, read my post here

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sleep Can't Fix This Kind of Tired

I'm sitting here caught between wanting to punch someone in the face and having a breakdown where, if I do, the tears will not stop coming. 

I go to sleep every night with a headache and I wake up every morning with my head still throbbing. I've never had migraines so I have nothing to compare it to and MAN, do I feel sorry for those people.

All I want to do, all the time, is close my eyes and sleep. It's because I'M SO FUCKING TIRED and no matter how much rest I get (upwards of 9 hours a night) I'm never satisfied. 

OH THE FUCKING HUNGER! Allow me to give you an example of all the shit I've eaten between 8-12 today (and I'm not gaining ANY weight, I'm just that fucking hungry):

  • 2 bagels from Einstein's loaded with cream cheese (I bought 1 for tomorrow but I was still hungry after the first so I ate the second)
  • 2 packages of mini Entenmann's coffee cakes (because apparently 1 of anything isn't enough right now)
  • 1 giant sandwich with roast beef and turkey with all the trimmings from Jimmy John's
  • 2 10 oz cups of coffee (I know the caffeine isn't good for my mental health but I need something other than ibuprofen to take the edge off this headache)
  • Water
I'm sitting here drinking down my third cup of coffee because THIS FUCKING HEADACHE and HOLY SHIT I'M STILL TIRED. 

I just swallowed an Ativan.

The only thing that can ever snap me out of this kind of mixed episode is mutilating my own body and I'm trying really hard not to think about the razor in my purse. 

I fucking suck. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Is Being "Fine" Good Enough?

I'm fine.

Not bad. Not good. Not great. Not okay. Just fine.

Is fine good enough?

Should I strive for more?

Shouldn't I at least be good?

Is it selfish that I want to be more than just fine?

I don't see my psychiatrist again for three more weeks. A lot can change in the next hour alone. 

I finally made an appointment to see a therapist but that's not until April.

I'm doing shit right. I'm avoiding my triggers and my house is clean. There's food in the refrigerator and a meal on the table every night. I'm going to bed wicked early and actually sleeping. I'm dragging to my ass to work each day. Things at home are okay (it's better than fine, at least). 

One thing that is truly off right now are my eating habits. I cannot stop putting food in my mouth. I'm starving all the time. It's a rare occasion that I finally feel full. This can't be my mental health medication (nothing's changed). It's quite possible that my hypothyroidism took a turn and went to hyperthyroidism for now but I can't see how that would happen. I'm eating and I'm not gaining so it's the only explanation. If it keeps up I'll get my blood drawn, but I just had it tested in January and my levels are holding steady in the normal range. 

It's always something.

Friday, March 4, 2016

What's Your Art (Therapy)?

When I hear the words "Art Therapy" it instantly brings me back to when I was hospitalized. It was one of the (many) things I was made to participate in. We would all sit around tables in this large classroom and "draw our feelings". I was pissed about it. How was this going to help me? I can't draw for shit (except for the pictures I put in my son's lunchbox...they're pretty rad).

Little did I know, it wasn't the pictures I was doodling that were being analyzed but the structure of the drawings. As it turns out, there's more to art therapy than drawing stick figures, flowers and boxy houses. 

While there are multiple types of art therapy, the Diagnostic Drawing Series drew me in (see what I did there?).

"The Diagnostic Drawing Series is a three-part assessment that largely relies upon colored chalk pastels and an 18” x 24” piece of paper. In the first portion of the series, clients are able to draw anything that they want. In the second, they are asked to draw a tree. In the third and final picture of the series, they are asked to represent how they feel by the clever use of lines, shapes and colors. Certified art therapists are then able to interpret these drawings to gain a deeper insight to the person’s inner state of mind and level of self-awareness."

The therapist looks at what colors are used, how much space on the page is utilized, the length of the lines drawn, placement of what's being drawn, and how it all comes together as a whole. Also taken into account is the behavior of the patient and how he may change with the duration of the session. 

Art therapy is a method of non-verbal communication that digs down into emotions in a way that traditional therapy may have failed. 

My Personal Creations
I've been open with my feelings towards talk therapy all over my site here. It's just not something I've benefited from personally. I haven't given up though. I'm looking forward to giving it another go at the end of the month. The right therapist, so I'm told, makes all the difference. 

The thing about art therapy is you don't have to be amazing at the art you choose, nor do you need to attend actual therapy to reap the rewards of art therapy--unless you want it analyzed. Pick your poison whether it be drawing, painting (even by number), coloring (all the rage right now), writing, taking pictures, or putting collages together. Whatever you create with your hands is your art. Make it your own.

As a person who is depressed and anxious for a good portion of every day, taking time out and coloring is relaxing to me. It keeps my mind focused on something other than intrusive thoughts and it allows me to be creative. It reduces a lot of my negative stress just by taking the cap off a marker and going to town. 

What's your art?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Maintaining a Level of Livability

I remember each of the three times I went into labor and actually walked out of the hospital with a baby in my arms (rather than with indigestion and a big fart rocking the boat). 

With my first, I was just 18 and already at the hospital seeing my doctor. I thought it was my fault when she told me my blood pressure was high and it was time to have this baby. As it turned out, I was in labor and didn't know it so it happened naturally. 

With my second, I was walking around the neighborhood to get labor kicked into gear. It worked! 

With my third, I tried all the remedies to get him out...Castor oil, sex, walking, spicy food. I was in and out with fake labor. He essentially fell out of my vagina the last time I went to the hospital and we've lived happily ever after.


He's a lot like me so we bump heads a lot but we never go to bed angry. Wait? This is my son, right? 

"They" say having a child will change your life. Well, having a child with a ten year gap between him and your middle child really changes your life. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Detour to Oz--A Short Story

The windshield wipers were having trouble keeping up with the rain, which spilled down in sheets. Gabby didn’t want to take her eyes off the road but snuck glances at the digital clock on the dash. Her anger escalated. There was no way she was going to make it. The storm halted her shot at making it to the job interview. She was already an hour late and there was no phone service. 

“Damn it! This shit always happens to me,” she yelled. 

She pulled the car over to collect her thoughts. Gabby decided to keep going in hopes of passing a coffee shop with WiFi and some decent phone service.

The wipers kept catching on something on the driver’s side causing them to pause. Gabby’s focus was on the outside of the window trying to pinpoint the problem.

I don’t need this right now. I’m in the middle of nowhere, she thought.

Her eyes darted back to the deteriorating blade on the window when her car plowed into a detour sign. She slammed on her brakes causing the car to spin until it finally came to a complete stop.


Her anxiety was mounting. Once her breathing was under control Gabby continued on the detour route. 

She must have driven about fifty miles without realizing it. Her focus was on the wipers when the blades stuck for the last time.