Tweaking the Crazy Recipe

According to the experts at WP, it has been 10 days since my last post.  Now, mind you, I have considered updating on several occasions, but have been extremely BUSY and IMPORTANT doing things like sleeping extra hours, watching copious amounts of basketball, doing everything I could to avoid getting dressed or showering, severely curtailing any limited contact I already had with the outside world, and backing out of every appointment and engagement possible.  BUSY, I tell you!  IMPORTANT, I’m saying!

selfish

Anytime something seemed remotely threatening to the tiny scrap of sanity I clutched in my sweaty palms this week, my answer was to retreat to my bed.  Phone ringing?  Bed.  Text message?  Bed.  Appointment?  Cancellation, then bed.  People wanting to swing by?  Ignore phone call, avoid with text message, go to bed.  Mess in the kitchen?  Bed.  Time to start thinking about a shower, or brushing my hair, or dragging a toothbrush across my mouth?  Bed.

Ok.  Apparently everything was threatening to my sanity.  Figuring out meals was terrible.  I wasn’t ever hungry, and I can’t just feed anything to LarBear (who has Crohn’s disease), and he can’t cook.  Stress multiplied by three!  Multiply that by one more, because I couldn’t conceptualize food because it was too difficult to think of when I could barely think of how I was going to keep myself alive, going into the next hour.

Up until late last night, I was having very intense self-harm thoughts and urges.  I hadn’t had self-harm thoughts or urges in years, although suicidal ideation is always hovering near the surface for me.  But self-harm, like harming myself just to harm myself, just for the release?  Wow, it has really been awhile, and for the past couple of weeks it has been intense and it has been SURPRISING and nasty and terrible.  I have spent ridiculous amounts of time trying to remember how I “got over that shit the last time.”  Hahahah!  Sorry, that’s funny, if you’ve been there, you know that.

And the answer to that — “how did I get over that shit the last time?” is, well…I don’t remember.  It’s a myriad of things, I have decided, that “gets one over” it.  Because you’re not really “getting over” it.  You’re more tamping it down, so that you don’t see it or hear it (until next time, right?) anymore.  I don’t think this stuff is every going to REALLY go away.  Like, AWAY, away.  It gets buried under other stuff, prettier stuff, healthier stuff, better stuff…you know, until next time.  And hopefully, the next time is a really, really long time away.  I think that’s really all I can hope for.  That the next time isn’t, ya know, tomorrow or next week or even, say, March.

What I do know is that the first thing I must personally do in order to “get over” this stuff, is to be ACTIVE in my pursuit of other feelings.  The passive push-away does not work for me, in ridding myself of these bad thoughts.  So, today I sought out good feelings, and actively pushed away bad feelings.

And today, January 31st, was a better day.

I went to church and sang very loudly.

LarBear and I went for a long drive.

I ate good food that was also healthy.

I talked to a friend.

I set boundaries with someone I have been meaning to set.

I made positive plans for the future, near and far.

I am blogging.

I have set my mind against taking other people’s crap into my own mind.

I have promised myself to try and stay out of bed, as a coping mechanism.

These are the things I did today.  I have many more plans for the start of February, and definitely do expect that I *may* have some success, just as I expect I *may* have some setbacks.  Part of getting better is making a conscious decision to get better, and that is something that I CAN do, that I HAVE done, that I AM doing.

content with who i am prayer

 

 

 

 

Rapid Cycling Tempered With Suicidal Ideation and Clarity (TW)

TRIGGER WARNING — mentions of suicidal ideation and self-harm thoughts

not giving up

I have been pondering doing ECT again for the past several days.  According to my mood tracker app, I have had six days in a row now where I have struggled desperately with suicidal and self-harm thoughts.  Had I been using the app for even longer, it would have shown some seriously ridiculous rapid cycling.  The up, the down, it never ends.  This last stretch has been particularly difficult.

I have opted not to go to the hospital or the crisis house, mostly because it is too hard to be away from my natural support system.  With the near-constant help from LarBear, and lots of support from Mom and Dad, and the support of friends, I have managed to stay safe.  There have been many times where I was *almost* not safe, and there was some self-harm behavior that I DID engage in, but I am still standing, still in once piece.  Upright, as I told a friend yesterday.

golden gate

And that’s the truth — there isn’t anything in my life that isn’t *fixable*.  Unfortunately, it isn’t a “magic wand” kind of fix or a pill I can take or a therapy I can do.  It is all, I believe, a mixture of many things that keep me alive and keep me from making that final step into the abyss.  I hover over the line, testing my toes across the edge, but I consistently pull back.

Because LarBear.

Because Kizzie.

Because my mom and my dad and my sister.

Because Oscar.

Whatever the “because” is, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that I still have a “because,” and even several of them.  Even at my very worst, I can almost always keep in mind that I don’t want to leave these precious people behind.  It is a blessing that I can think this way, and it is only when I am unable to see their importance in my life that I will put myself into a hospital or a crisis house.

Oscar’s birthday was the 19th, and I meant to do a birthday post for him, but mentally wasn’t up to it.  I am going to try and crank one out in the next day or so anyway — he is two years old now, so I am pretty sure he won’t judge me too harshly for not being on time.

Yes, because Oscar.

Yes, because my sister.

Thank you, baby Jesus, that I have my family, that I have my LarBear, that I have my friends.  Without them, things would be very grim indeed.

And KINDNESS.  No, kindness is not overrated.  It is simple, while being complex, and is really so VERY easy, even though sometimes it’s hard.  So, because kindness.  You never know what someone is going through, right at this moment.  Be kind.  Smile at someone.  You could save a life, without knowing it.  I know I have seen some smiles in my life that have kept me from wrapping my car around a bridge abutment, from stepping out a window, from picking up that instrument of self-harm.  It really can do it.  Please smile at someone today.

lightens the burdens

 

 

 

(Escalation) — Trigger Warning

TRIGGER WARNING — mentioning of self-harm behaviors

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My anxiety level has been through the roof the last two days.  Yesterday, I went to a basketball game with my dad and LarBear, and totally lost my shit in front of an arena full of people.  I tried to calm down for awhile, sitting outside smoking a cigarette, and then sitting in a folding chair in the hallway.  I couldn’t calm down enough, with a combination of Klonopin PRN and talking to my mom and breathing exercises, and gave up and left the game mid-way through the second game.

I felt like a failure for not being able to go back into the game, but all I could say was, “I’m losing my shit” over and over.  I was shaking, my chest hurt, my mind raced ten times more than normal.  I was having a panic attack and nothing I did could make it subside.  Sometimes the only safe place is home.

And sometimes, home isn’t safe.  It’s been another day of high anxieties.  I noticed today that I have been using my gum floss pick to destroy my mouth.  And then sitting it down for five minutes, but having itchy fingers and picking it up over and over.  As I sat with anxiety higher than I could stand, I noticed my mouth was full of blood.

And so I picked away some more, because, DAMMIT, it felt good.  And bad.  And like SOMETHING, all at one time.

I did eventually point this out to LarBear, and he took them away, but my little secret is that I know where he hid them.  I’m not even thinking totally logically, because while I know its a bad idea, there is such a sense of relief.

I haven’t self-harmed in years, before this all started up again.  Its funny (oh except not-so-funny) how easy it is to fall back into old patterns.  Just the other day, I took all the skin off the pads of my fingers, just like I used to do in high school, because it was soothing.

That’s sick, people.  Removing skin from your body should not be soothing.  But it is.  Jabbing a sharp object into bleeding gums over and over should not be soothing, but it is.  I don’t want to devolve into some other self-harming behavior, namely bulimia, but I suppose anything is possible.

Life is so different than it used to be.  My support system is different, my day-to-day life is different, winter is different.  I have to adjust, I have to adapt.  I am having a hard time doing so.

I didn’t want to put this out there, this bit about self-harm, but I think if I am going to be truly honest (and I want to be), then I have to.

It’s something I’m going to bring up in my next therapy session and its something I will have to explain more to the LarBear.  Just because its happening doesn’t mean I need to go to the hospital.  I’m not at that level yet, and hopefully won’t get there.

Changes, changes, changes.  All things must change, and this is another one of those things that’s gotta go.  I am giving myself an atta girl for recognizing the problem, and now just need to focus on ways to avoid these problem behaviors.

 

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Puddle Jumping

A chest full of easy freedom
I eyed the narrow road, seeking
Needing bodies of water
A place to rest and be still
Too many puddles on the dirt path
Treacherous, this journey has been
Never knowing if a particular puddle
Hides a tiny trampoline to hurl me skyward
Or if I might be swallowed whole and crumble to nothingness
I suppose it is in the not knowing, wherein the greatest fear lies
Or the dawning realization that the continuous puddle jumping will go on and on

A Bit Strange — More Crunch, Less Smoosh

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The last bit has been so very up and down, my moods so quickly changeable, intense.  Many tears shed, even more maniacal laughter.  Sarcasm sharper than sharp, my brain is afire and I find myself plucking “damn, that’s good!” phrases and one-liners from it at random, and feeling prideful, in a sense, that my brain is so damn wonderful.  The up and down is fast becoming more of an “up” and hopefully, not a “too up” up.  If you had to ask me right this second how I will feel tomorrow, I really wouldn’t know where to begin but would bet on “elevated.”

Memories have been haunting me lately.  I attribute it to listening to a lot of different music, and also on the fact that my brain is whirring along faster than ever with the subtraction of a very sedating sleep medication that I decided I no longer wanted to take.  Belsomra…that stuff is of the devil himself.  So, I took myself off the “anti-nightmare” medication Clonidine, as well, because it just wasn’t working.  As my psychiatrist often says, no point taking something that doesn’t work.

I happen to know things are getting better (or at least more interesting) for my mental health because I can identify so closely with the word photos in this post.

i can and i will

I had a really great day today.  I made it back to the gym and my water-walking, I helped my mom roll almost three dozen burritos, LarBear and I have been clicking along, and I have all this new-found energy.  Great things build upon itty bitty good things, I have found, throughout life.  If I can just get started, I can be dangerous.  I’m like a snowball coming down the top of the hill that just keeps gaining new snow and getting bigger and wilder and faster.  Hmmm, this does not make it sound so positive, but it does FEEL positive.

I am working really hard in DBT on judgement.  Judgement of self, but other people, too.  First focusing on my own self-judgement, and the rest will follow.  I am trying not to judge my quick thoughts and upbeat mood and newfound energy, and to just accept them as they are, not try to label.

That’s hard, and if you have any kind of disorder in your life, you know that.  You know the SIGNS, man!  The warning signals.  I am glad the cycling isn’t so rapid right at the moment, but I WILL keep an eye on things if I continue to get racier in my brain and louder in the mouth.  I am so stinking tired of med changes and most days would like to get rid of them altogether, but the constant TWEAK that seems necessary is annoying.

I really must listen to one more song, smoke one more cigarette, drink a little more Crystal Lite, and try to go to bed.  I have a full day of things tomorrow, because I WILL be doing things, while I have the energy, seeing as it seems to be so fleeting.

via

via

 

 

I Wish I Could…(Almost Wordless Wednesday)

Today, missing a person in my life who hasn’t completely left it, but pushes me away tiny bit by tiny bit.  There is so much I want to say, that I won’t, that I can’t (for various reasons).  I had a person in my life for almost 34 years who I thought loved me, for me, and treated me as his own.  Now that things are different, I yearn to be able to turn to him as I did all of those years, but my mind and heart have been so damaged by the past year, and all of his words, his actions and inactions, that I have to leave it alone.  This may end up being the first DBT complete “burning bridges” that I have to do.  I hope it doesn’t come to that, but I don’t see any change in the future, and if I look back far enough, it wasn’t usually good enough to make me feel okay in the first place.

 

 

Ten Things of Thankful (Muddling Through, Not-Giving-Up Version)

Well, I couldn’t find a current TToT anywhere to link to, but I know that these things happen on the weekends, and its the weekend (I think…ha!), so I’m going to throw it up here anyway.  Life has been a series of ultra-rapid-cycling bull-stuff, going on, so some of this may be a stretch, and some of it might only make sense to me, but I’m going to continue on anyway, because I have made it this far, and I will not give up:

  1. The realization that certain persons may not give a damn, to the degree that I had previously thought.  I really want to be done asking myself why I try so hard with certain people.  Other people, more deserving people, could be getting that love that is so thrown away by others.
  2. The realization that certain persons DO give a damn, more so than I had originally thought.  I would really like to stop asking myself WHY (and questioning!) these people love me the way they do, and instead enjoy it.  These people, would be the more deserving people of the love I have to spread around.
  3. Pandora Radio — one of the only things keeping me remotely sane, is playing nearly 24/7
  4. Mostly positive Christmas celebrations.  Meaningful exchanges, warm conversation, good food, flickering fireplaces.
  5. Love.  Even though I am feeling up and down, around and around, I still have love.  Granted, I am realizing that some love I thought existed does not, I have newly-opened-eyes to how huge the love is of certain persons.
  6. The ability to turn my mind.  I may have to practice it over and over, repeat, repeat, repeat, but I CAN turn my mind, if only for a moment.
  7. Not impulsively burning bridges, and realizing that this has served me well over the years.
  8. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) — thank you for teaching me how to save my own life, once again
  9. The possibilities of addressing deeper issues in the new year in therapy, possibly looking at doing EMDR.
  10. Having learned to ask questions when I need validation or support.

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