Fear of Judgment

There is a large stack of clothes, folded, but piled haphazardly on a table in my laundry room.  My mom is due over in about an hour with her boyfriend and her business partner, to deliver a clothes dryer, as mine went out about a month ago.  I am tied in knots about it.

Her coming over, knowing my house and yard and et cetera are not up-to-par.  Its bothering me.  I have been busy today, including making a trip the gym.  I have not thought about my pile of clean clothes, the bathroom that could use picking up, or the stack of therapy-related paperwork scattered across my desk lately because… well, I’ve been busy living my life.

Now I dread what she is going to say about it.  My priorities, in the past, have been on keeping the boyfriend-of-the-moment happy and surviving bipolar disorder and making sure Kizzie has food and water.

Now, in the present day, I am focused on making sure I exercise and take my meds and stay positive and attend appointments and do, I dunno, all kinds of other stuff, it seems.  I feel busy, even though I am not currently working.

My house is less messy than usual, than in the past, I suppose.  I still feel, in this moment, like a failure.  I feel like a failure, and like I am going to get lectured about the clothes that are not put away and the tub that could be scrubbed and so on and so forth.  I am worried, I am anxious.

I refuse to take a PRN Ativan for this ridiculousness.  Some day, I am going to have to get over concerns that my family is judging me and get over people telling me what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and so on.  Having a house that is not perfect, is not indicative of my mental stability.

Did you hear me, Rosa?  You are not crazy, just because your laundry is not put away.  Yeah, your mom might say something.  So what if she does?  Does that end the world?

No, it doesn’t.  For the past few days, I have been ALMOST happy.  When I think about interacting with ANYONE in my family, I fear judgment.  I keep people away, because I do not really think my clean laundry, tucked away inside the laundry room is harming anyone.

I really get tired of the judgmental voices in my head that tell me I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not a good enough housekeeper.  I hate that those voices get reinforced, it seems to me, by whispers of my past and the condemnations of the present.

I hate that I have “been there, done that” a kazillion times with bipolar episodes and recovery periods.  That I have a strong sense of déjà vu, right in the here-and-now.  That I am starting all effing over again.

Riding It Out

Another long overdue post.  I’d say I am emerging from the ECT fog fairly well.  Memories are coming back, some with a vengeance.  Some parts of my life are getting more stable, some are about the same, some are a bit worse.

After the ECT, I started to get manic, then mixed, with the removal of most of my medication (for the purposes of getting ECT).  I managed to get put back on Lithium a few weeks ago, and that has been helpful.  I go in tomorrow to draw labs and see if I am at a therapeutic dose.  It sure does take a long time to get into my system, but it helps greatly with mania and mixed episodes.

The past few weeks, I have been very angry.  I mean, fighting mad most of the time.  That is abating, but the recurrence of PTSD nightmares has remained.  I am sleeping about four or five interrupted hours a night, due to nightmares.  I am afraid to go to bed, afraid to stay in bed, just afraid.  I had hoped I would never be back here again, but I guess that is too much to ask.

I start a new DBT group next week.  I am hopeful about it.  I met the group leader last week and she reminds me of Goddess of Mindfulness, so that much at least is comforting.  I have been probably less than honest with my individual therapist about the troubles I have been having, but have plans to really work a bit harder in there because, with Medicaid, I could be without a therapist at any time.

And yes, I do still have issues to work on.  Lots of them.  I am hopeful that, with the addition of DBT, I’ll get back to some good coping skills and maybe start sleeping again and decrease the hysterical crying episodes.  Right now the nightmares and the crying episodes are still daily things.  So, while feeling much better than before, still not quite up to par.

I know I’ll get there, eventually.  I have had great support from friends and family, and I just want to take a moment to say “thanks!” and also acknowledge that my significant other, LarBear, has been awesome overall.  There is a learning curve to each recovery period from a big fall, and I still feel like I am falling short of the curve.  At least at this point, I want to keep trying.

Bright and Shiny

That’s me, in the moment.  I just came home from a two-plus hour workout (arms and cardio) and am feeling on top of the world.  My relationship with LarBear is going great, I finally have some non-itch-producing laundry detergent and one load down, I am blogging for the first time in five million eons, and Kizzie is possibly done unearthing moles out of the backyard for today.  Sometimes, its the little things.

Yesterday, the day before, the day before, so on and so on, lots of anxiety.  Actually, lots of anxiety since my last ECT one week before this past Wednesday.  ‘Tis a serious death anniversary week for me, one of my hardest, and it has been just as brutal this year as in years past.  I did get to see QoB last night though and do a little crying on my Momma’s shoulder, which helped immensely, even if she doesn’t realize it.

A lot of the anxiety I am having is also because I am having a really hard time remembering things and am also, at times, extremely confused and almost disoriented.  The beauty of ECT, though, is that I have forgotten a lot of the bad stuff, or, at least the details are not so crisp.  Very few nasty and scary memories still play in my mind as if on a movie screen.  Things are either blurry and hazy or not present at all.  I am hoping some of that stuff never comes back!

I think LarBear and I are going to try going to church this weekend.  Maybe.  No commitments but possibly.  We found one that seems promising, just have to give it a shot.  I have been trying to find things to do to build structure, and that would be one of those things.  I am also going to add DBT groups back in, as well as the good possibility of a water-walking class to go along with the water aerobics I am going to start doing at the YMCA.

Lots of good stuff here.  I hope to be back soon, friends!

Chasing Down the Night–Amazon E-Book Release

Rose:

Just downloaded and getting ready to head to the couch. The first two in the series were truly GREAT books. Would highly recommend checking out this series!

Originally posted on disappearinginplainsight:

CDN (book antiqua) Front Cover 6x9 JPEG Final Proof

Chasing Down the Night – 3rd book in the Crater Lake Series went live on Amazon yesterday Smile

As many of you know, early sales can give an indie author quite a boost. Please take a moment to follow the links and check out my newest creation.

US readers can click here:

UK readers – here’s your link:

Canadian readers pop over here:

As always – many thanks.

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Instead of Dying

I choose today to not go back and read blog entries, although some sort of cues as to where I have been for the past several months likely would have been helpful.

I am waking up from my first four ECT treatments, and a ten-day inpatient hospital stay.  I am unsure when I went in, or how long I have been out, but I know it wasn’t long ago, and that I haven’t been out of the hospital much longer than a week.

The one thing that does stick in my head with certainty is that I did two of the ECT treatments inpatient, and two outpatient.  I don’t know why this might matter, but it must.

So here I am, I’m out and about and well, not really depressed — more anxious, bordering on terrified and lost.  Definitely not suicidal.  Grossly different than months past, I do know that, although I am unclear on specifics.  The past months are cloudy at best, completely scrambled at worst, and really, might be totally forgettable.

I will have at least one more go — next Wednesday, we have a date.  Beyond that, I don’t know.  My psychiatrist does not seem to think it would be prudent beyond this point, cuing memory loss and the turn-around that the depression has taken.  What no one wants to mention is that I am barely on a mood stabilizer, and mania is breathing down my neck.

This is what it feels like to me, of course, only, and, you know, I am only the patient in this case.  I am being the good dog and going to talk therapy and art therapy and coloring at my dining room table and trying to remember my life.  Remember the details.  Remember the conversations and the books and the how-it-happened’s.

LarBear has been great help with all of this, and, although I did doubt and push away from him at a point, I also had a breakthrough and I do remember and feel our love.  And that breakthrough didn’t happen in a vacuum and it didn’t happen in a happy moment, but it did happen and I am grateful to remember and to have had someone so close to me lately that I CAN be filled in a little bit.

What hits me hard is how different life seems to be now than what I th9ought it was.  The people around me are all different, different, different.  There is nothing familiar about, especially family life compared to say, a year ago.

And the memories, well the floodgates have opened and I am being bombarded with scenes from all over my lifetime.  Some good, some bad, scary, indifferent, neutral, random, just-there-like-a-movie.  I can’t say its easy.

It really is like someone unscrewed the top of my head and whipped egg beater around in my brain.  My memories, my mind, scrambled for lack of a better term.  I won’t even go into how beat up my body feels.

So friends, if you’re reading, I’ll come around and see you soon.  Normalcy must reign and I am sure I will be blogging and reading again regularly.  This is a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be really hard.

Two Inch Square Reminder

I would like to think that every day I am swimming a little bit closer to the surface of reality and contentment and “ok-ness.”

It seems today was very very dark and only on a few occasions could I see a greyish blue light around the exteriors of objects and words and people.  Otherwise it was pitch as night.  At this very moment, just the slightest grayish blue.  And then it all disappears and I am without any senses to guide me.

I am making such an effort to come up with things to please myself, to give myself a moment’s respite from hell, to wrack my brain for what might be the thing I have missed.  I ate a soft-serve vanilla cone today. It reminded me of my sister and McDonald’s and having fewer cares. It made me feel happy for a moment, as I was looking at a faraway memory.

Often the grey light will come from within a memory of my sister or Oscar.  I have the picture booklet she made of their first year as a family sitting on my table where I spend many hours.  I usually go so far as to only look at the cover, but lately I have allowed myself to look inside and it is almost amusing to laugh out loud at Oscar’s silly face and my sister’s beautiful and loving smile, all the while with snot and tears rolling down my face.  And I flip back and through it over and over, laughing, smiling, and feeling like there are things worth living for.

And I tell myself, well, Rosa, at least you can be grateful for one thing if none other.  In the here in now, you have remembered there are things worth living for.

This happens to be my very first indication that, while things could go bad again and likely will, for now I have a glimmer of hope that I find in a two square inch photo book.  Love you guys.

No Overloading the Rosa

It is only within the past couple of days that I have been able to see any kind  of real improvement without major backsliding.  I have been **gasp** calm today, even in the face of really dumb arguments and an empty jar of peanut butter.  I have only cried twice and I slept almost three hours uninterrupted.

A tiny bit of clarity is in my thoughts today, and for that I am grateful.  I attribute it to the countless years of DBT with Goddess of Mindfulness and the very small piece of me that has been able to resurrect some of that in my life the last few days.  A small kindness or simple yet firm decision can go a long way.

My simple yet firm decision (that I have come to with surprisingly little angst) is that I must get back on a schedule, and do things that make me feel better, more grounded.  One would think that, having lived with bipolar disorder nearly my entire life, this would have come to  me sooner.  Well, it didn’t, or maybe I wasn’t ready to do it.  But now I say “no.”

In the next week, I will eat dinner before 8:00P and take meds by 8:30P.  I will read and blog and work on new art projects (charcoal drawings, thanks to stepmom Karen).

I will stay out of stressful situations.  I will not interact when I don’t want to, and I will not force things  because I “should” and other people want me to.

I will not talk about why I don’t believe in God, or my theories on ISIS, or watch the local news.

There will be no overloading of the Rosa, just soft and easy with myself and my time.  It will work this way because it has worked before, and because I say so.  Not a lot of willingness in there, but sometimes getting through the first steps means being the opposite.