3… 2… 1…

Tomorrow is the day. I get my hysterectomy at 730am tomorrow…

A, not excited to be up that early (530 check-in)
2, not excited about surgery (weirdly nervous about it)
D, everyone I’ve told has been so great (see below)

When this became part of my reality, I decided not to tell most people. I told my mom so she could come to the doctor with me, and I told Chris because he’s very important to me, and I told David (1), Billie, and Robyn, because they’re my besties. I also told Cat, because she’ll be covering some of my duties at work. But mostly I’ve kept it under wraps until recently. I’m not posting it on social media, but I’ve left little clues for people who are paying attention.

Well some people noticed. Shaunna and Bren are super sweet and offered to stay with me a day, as well as bring me Chipotle. Melanie offered to bring me Chipotle AND Boss (her dog) while I’m off. Baker offered to bring me Chipotle. David 2 offered to bring me dinner and watch a movie… Literally everyone has offered to come hang out and bring me Chipotle. It’s been… really nice. It’s nice to feel cared about. And David (1) went so far as to buy me the Resident Evil 2 Remake Deluxe Bundle so I have something to play while I’m off, since he’s not here to come see me. I was super in shock at that one.

I haven’t decided if I’ll make it super public, but it’s been nice to see an outpouring of support. Everyone who’s ever had surgery has reassured me that I’ll be fine, including Baker telling me about her C-Section. I often feel like I’m kind of a loner, but moments like this, where I could use people, people always show support. I have a unique kind of relationship with people, but we’re still friends. It’s important to remember that.

Yesterday I met my new med shrink. Dr. Patel is a young man with obvious Indian roots, but no accent. He’s also very nice. He helped me, via email, to get my meds straightened out after Dr. Major left. Our meeting was predominantly me telling him that I feel like I’m doing well in spite of all the stressors I have right now, gushing about Chris and how great he is, and just going over some “get to know you” questions. He let a few of Dr. Major’s notes she didn’t share with me slip, like how she suspected I might have Asperger’s. I don’t think I do, but at this point I don’t care what you call my crazy so long as we treat it. At the end of the hour we essentially agreed I’d come back in April or May, depending on if I take the job on the other side of town. It was really nice to see a doctor and not have anything be wrong.

I was a bundle of nerves yesterday, but I’m pretty calm today. I dunno why. Exhaustion, maybe? It’s hard to be anxious ALL THE TIME. I feel like at some point you just have to let it go. I won’t have time to be anxious at 5am tomorrow… I won’t hardly be awake. So I guess that’s good.

I dunno why I feel anxious about the surgery…. I’ve been under the knife several times…. gall bladder removal, ACL repair, skin removal…. Never had a reaction to anesthesia, or had to stay in the hospital longer than predicted. Never had a ton of pain, cuz I keep up on my meds. I don’t actually even think I can die, because I’m nicely deluded. I really have no reason to worry. Mom says it’s because I’m older now, and you just tend to get that way. The older you get the less you like the idea of surgery, because when you’re younger you don’t really think about it; it’s just a thing you do because someone tells you it needs to be done. She might be right.

Anyways… I guess I’ll check in during recovery. Hope it’s not too brutal.

Advertisements

Post-Therapy Debriefing

  • Improved Emotional Regulation
  • Improved Relationships
  • Improved Coping Skills
  • Decreased Anxiety, Panic, and Rage

What changes am I ready to make?


My talk shrink says I present as a very lonely girl. I can’t really say she’s wrong, but I haven’t figured out how we’re supposed to resolve that just yet.

She asked me how much my weight effects my meeting people. I told her it doesn’t, because I give no fucks about my weight anymore. She asked if I go out. I explained that I taught myself how to go out alone, because my friends didn’t like doing the things I liked doing. She asked why I didn’t make friends from that. I told her I do, they’re just single-serving friends.

I’m not sure that I feel like we really addressed anything today, other than she thinks I’m lonely and that I agree. She wants me to join a 6 month DBT group. A, how much will that cost? 2, that’s a big commitment. D, I associate DBT with D2, who didn’t get better as much as he just says the word “mindful” a lot, now. So… I’m not real keen on the idea, to be honest.

I’ve never been big on the idea of group therapy. Like, I get that it’s SUPPOSED to be a bunch of people with similar problems resolving those problems through group support and accountability. I feel like, in reality, what you end up with is a bunch of people comparing how crazy they are to each other… and then using those other crazy people as reasons to convince themselves they’re fine exactly how they are because at least they aren’t (insert something about the other people in group). But that’s just my personal opinion of group.

Gonna have to mull over whether I really need to see this shrink anymore….

★,。・:*:・゚☆”Better”☆。・:*:・゚★

I saw David 2 last night. It was… wholly kind of depressing, if I’m honest.

The trials and tribulations of being David 2 have taken their toll on him. I got to hear about his sister’s cancer going into remission, but his mom’s leukemia is back and she’s in chemo… and then he always wants to tell me about his mental health He’s in DBT, complete with flash cards of terms. He sees a shrink one on one on Saturdays and has group on Mondays. That’s all quite a lot, to me, but he’s also high ALL THE TIME. His shrink seems to be fine with it, and even helped him get a medical cards. When I say all the time, though, I mean all the time. Like he’s never NOT high. He edibles at work and smokes at home. He thinks he’s doing better. He’s taken time off work again, and admittedly he hasn’t been back to the psych ward… but I’m just sitting here like “buddy… that’s not BETTER… that’s sedated.”

It’s just sad, really. He used to have such a vibrant personality. He was a supernova among stars, the kind of guy that draws you in, and you just hope he wants to talk to you because you can feel the electricity coming off of him… and now his light is so dull… It’s like watching a star go out.

I don’t call that better. Maybe he does. Maybe he’s happy. He doesn’t look happy. He doesn’t sound happy. But maybe he is. Who am I to say?

I just know I don’t want that to be me. He’s lost his spark. He’s lost everything that made him so beautiful to know. Now he’s just… nothing. He likes drag. He likes football. He does therapy. And that’s all that’s left of the firework that was David 2.

I can’t say anything to him, obviously. Even though we were in this bipolar war together, we don’t seem to be on the same side anymore. I’m still fighting it, but he’s chosen to live beneath it. I can’t go “hey, you lost your spark, and maybe it’s all the weed” because that’s what he’s chosen to cope. You can’t steal someone’s life raft and tell them to swim… it’s not fair…. but it’s not less sad….

Forgets The Blood

History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood.

-Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

My favorite quote from a book. Is it a ridiculous book? Yes, obviously, but… it’s a good quote. It’s a true quote.

Let’s extrapolate.
I can tell you what I know about WWII… but I cannot relate to you the buckets of blood spilled during it on all sides (something like 80 million lives). I can tell you that around 40 million people died in World War I, but you and I cannot really fathom such a number. I can say that 45,000 people in the US committed suicide in 2016, but that number doesn’t reflect the weight of what happened. Just last year 58 people died in the Las Vegas shooting by Mandalay Bay, and 851 were injured, but while that event rocked the whole US and gave us all pause, I fly out to Vegas on Thursday evening for my 30th birthday.

You see, as soon as something isn’t happening, it’s not real anymore.

This is true in your own life. At least… I know it’s true in mine. I’m finally at a place where everything with me, emotionally, is kind of okay. I’m not depressed. I’m learning to do things I used to love doing. I’m able to invest time in a relationship I’m happy with. I don’t want to sleep until I die… Things are better than they’ve been in a really long time. While it was only a few months ago that I was so incredibly low I didn’t even know what to do with myself, I’ve already forgotten how that felt. Yes, I can tell you I was depressed, that I felt tired all the time, that nothing brought me joy, that I binge-ate all the time just to feel a satisfied fullness, that I thought I might be better off dead, that I gave up things I loved because nothing mattered, that I neglected myself in exchange for taking care of my animals, and that I was barely living (more like surviving). When I think about that, though, I don’t feel the agony I know I felt then. I can’t put myself back there.

I’ve fought really hard to get where I am, and I know that. Still, when I think about it, I’m like “that wasn’t so hard.” It was. It was the hardest shit I’ve gone through in my whole life. I know that, but I can’t FEEL that. You know? I remember the battle, but I’ve forgotten the blood. So much blood.

My point is… if your meds seem off, it’s worth getting them adjusted. You’ve forgotten the blood.

Started Cymbalta today. Shrink is trying to get me off Effexor. It’s making me reflective… also sleepy.

My Cervix Hurts

I had to go get a pap smear today. I haven’t had one since 2015. Why? Because I fail them. I’ve been getting them since I was 12 and I’ve failed all but 1. It gets annoying. It gets frustrating and depressing… so I just stopped. But, you can’t dodge that forever, especially when your family runs RAMPANT with cancer.

So I went, and it was a surreal kind of experience.

When I previous went to my doctor, several things were standard at the well woman physical. The nurse would try to pry information on my entire sexual history out of me. (Which I still don’t get. Who I was fucking before my 2.5 year celibacy break does NOT effect my current sexual health.) I’d take a pregnancy test. My birth control would be held hostage until I came in for the pap smear. My doctor would remind me that this was all for my well being.

A Kaiser well woman is a lot…. less. Just less. I went in. They took vitals, as usual, and then we did a quick breast exam and a pelvic exam, followed by a Gardasil shot. THAT’S IT. Now… I don’t say a lot of good things about Kaiser, because I hate them and I’d like to set their corporation on fire from the inside out, but this was great. No interrogation. No suspicion of pregnancy. In and out. Easy peasy.

But… as always… my cervix hurts and I’m probably going to fail the pap… so that’s no good, but whatever.

Chris was a real sweetheart about this, cuz I was complaining and then had a panic attack in the doctor’s office… and he was his usual suspiciously supportive self. He assured me that if anything was wrong “WE” would get through it and get it fixed, and then he told me about his Magic Tournament this weekend to distract me. He’s great. I love how great he is. I love him. It’s gross.


In other news.

Someone asked me to describe what living with mental illness is like. Here’s my metaphor.

It’s like… you’re the paste eating kid in grade school.

Everyone knows something is up with you, but can’t always figure out what it is until an incident. Then they know, and they treat you different for it. Sometimes it’s mockery, sometimes it’s avoidance, sometimes it’s lectures and repercussions, sometimes it’s someone telling you to just stop… but even if you get better and you move on with life, there will always be the people who know what happened, and they’ll tell other people, and you’re the kid that ate paste for the rest of your life…

The longer you go without eating paste, the more you can laugh at it, the less other people will know, and the less people who know will talk about it. But you always know you’re the kid that ate paste… and you always live with that shame, even though it wasn’t something you meant to do.

If you don’t get better… you’re always the weirdo that eats paste, no matter what else you do. You could cure cancer, and you’ll still be remembered for paste… it’s always going to be a footnote in a textbook about you… “They cured cancer! But also they ate paste… so… think about that.”

Steps Backwards

So.
I have high blood pressure.

My mom has high blood pressure and I’m incredibly fat and inactive… so, it’s not like this is unexpected or anything. What was unexpected is how stressful high blood pressure can be.

Let’s bullet this real quick.

  • So, I saw a shrink. She put me on Effexor. She requested some blood work.
  • My primary saw the blood work and wanted to talk about it, as well as just see me for the first time, since I finally picked a Kaiser doc.
    • My blood pressure at that appointment was high. She asked me to come back in like a month to recheck that it’s okay, because I thought it might be White-coat Hypertension. I don’t like doctors.
  • Before that recheck I saw my shrink again, just to see how I’m doing. I was doing great. Felt lots better. Started exercising. Woke up feeling pretty good on the daily. Wanted to increase just a little for weird depressive episodes.
    • Shrink had a nurse take my blood pressure since she saw it was high at my last doc visit, and Effexor CAN increase blood pressure.
    • My blood pressure was hella high. Like, to the point the nurse asked if I was having chest pain.
    • She got a higher ranking nurse to take it to confirm.
    • Blood pressure spooked my shrink, so she cut back the Effexor and gave me Wellbutrin.
  • Went to my blood pressure check.
    • Blood pressure was crazy high.
    • Nurse got panicky look and went to get higher ranking nurse to confirm again.
  • Doc scheduled me for an EKG and started me on Procardia.
  • Go to EKG. Take mom for moral support.
  • LPN is nutzo.
    • Can’t find the EKG order.
    • Tells me I don’t need to be there cuz it’s prolly White-coat Hypertension.
    • Brings me a 10XL gown to put on.
      • I’m fat, but I’m not THAT fat.
      • #bedsheet
    • EKG is fine. No damage to heart.
  • Take Procardia, Wellbutrin, and reduced dose of Effexor.
    • Feel bad.
    • Hard time waking up.
    • Very tired.
  • Get tired at work, so bosslady sends me to Rite Aid to check my BP.
    • BP is 183/123 according to machine.
    • Panic.
  • Mom takes me to Kaiser to have a nurse check my BP in case Imma have heart attack.
    • Nurse is cute guy named Joe.
    • BP is fine. 130-something / 80-something.
    • Advised that home devices and public machines are inaccurate.
      • For best results, sit for at least 5 minutes before taking BP.
  • Email Shrink about tiredness after mental breakdown over frittata.
    • It’s Effexor withdrawal.
    • Prescribes smaller pills.
      • Week 1: 1.5 pills
      • Week 2: 1 pill
      • Week 3: 0.5 pill
      • Week 4: Stop Effexor
    • Should help withdrawal.
    • Wait.
      • We’re stopping Effexor?
        • Not what I thought was happening.
      • Are we going to increase the Wellbutrin?
      • What if the Wellbutrin doesn’t work?
      • Panic.
      • Sadness.

And that brings us to today.

I picked up the pills… so I was up to 75mg… She knocked me down to half a pill (37.5mg) and added half a pill of Wellbutrin. So then she called in 37.5mg pills of Effexor, and I’m to take 1.5 of them this week to combat tiredness and withdrawal. Then decrease till I’m off Effexor.

That’s fine, I guess… but I feel like we’re moving backwards. I was doing great on Effexor. I’m on blood pressure meds now. The only up I’m seeing with Wellbutrin so far is that I don’t have the urge to smoke, even though I’ve been stressed out and sad. Great! But I’m supposed to be on vacation next week and I was really hoping to feel motivated to live so I can get some shit I wanna do, done. Right now I just want to sleep and cry. I’ve wanted to sleep and cry for years and I was finally kind of out of it, and now… we’re back here…

So I emailed my shrink… and asked when we’ll be increasing the Wellbutrin… because maybe it’ll work. It’s fine, if it works, but I am not currently fine. I had a freak out yesterday over cutting tomatoes… It was daunting, TO THE POINT OF TEARS, to cut tomatoes to put in a cake pan with eggs. That’s not better. That’s some shit I’d do before I started Effexor.

I feel very discouraged… I dunno what to do other than try to trust my shrink, but I’m not… great… at trusting mental health professionals…

In better news, I’ve lost some weight. Not a noticeable amount of weight, but 5lbs in 8 days. So, that’s good. I’m trying to keep up on exercising. Mom and I have been walking the dogs around the block a few times every night… we can’t go far cuz she’s still on oxygen at home, and all of us are out of shape, dogs included, but we’re doing SOMETHING. We didn’t go last night cuz of the freak out and general fatigue, but I did force myself to get on my stationary bike. I made it 12 minutes before my legs felt like they were going to explode… It’s not impressive, but it’s not bad for my first time in months.

I just… want to get better… Why is getting better so hard?

If I feel better, I can take better care of myself.
Not sad = can exercise & less binge eating.
Can exercise = will exercise. Less binging = less caloric intake.
Exercise + less calories = weight loss.
Weight loss = better heart health & better mood.
Repeat as needed.

But… that’s just not where I’m at right now.

Purple Spots

Kaiser is so fucking weird. Last time I wanted to see a shrink it took THREE MONTHS before I could get in… and I was really worried I wasn’t gonna make it that long. Today I called to get in and they’re like, “we could get you in with the shrink you saw last time early next week, but if you wanna see a new shrink we can get you in first week of April.” Really? Just two weeks? And it’s only that long because I didn’t want to see the same shrink I saw last time (as she is dead to me after her blatant disregard of my disdain for sedative medication).

Anyways… I get to see a new shrink! So… that’s fine. I mean, life’s been bad, and getting worse, but I’m having a weirdly good day for someone who didn’t sleep last night. I tried really hard, but yesterday was super hella blue.

Let’s backup.

Monday.
I made it into work, but on the way home I was just… defeated as fuck. We’re still down a biller, I’m training three new people, and the title gal went on vacation this week because she’s moving. I cried all the way home, and my mom encouraged me to go to my book club even though I was super blue. So, I bought some cigarettes, chain-smoked the whole way there, and actually had a really good time. I really enjoyed the book this month: Annihilation. It was really Lovecraftian, and I flew through it. I started book two when I got home from book club, and it’s really different, but I think I’ll finish the series anyways.

Tuesday.
For the first time in my life I found getting out of bed almost impossible. I’ve had low days, but Tuesday is one of the lowest days I’ve had since all this mood swinging like a wrecking ball started in eighth grade. I managed to get out of bed, and even shower, but then I couldn’t imagine leaving the house. It was 100% outside of the realm of things I was physically capable of doing. So, I called bosslady and told her I had a cough and issues breathing, and asked if I could work from home. I wasn’t opposed to working, but I just… couldn’t leave the house. I actually got a lot done from home, and it was fortunate I’d brought stuff home anyways. #YayRemoteAccess

Wednesday.
Hump Day was hard. I woke up, and I was determined to get into work, but I ended up about an hour late. I informed bosslady, obviously, and she knows I’m having problems, so she said that was fine, and that I could leave early. I did not leave early. I had some kind of mixed episode where I was pretty much hysterical but channeled it into trying to do EVERYTHING at once… and it literally startled bosslady. She tried to get me to go home at four, and I ended up staying a full eight hours “because there’s too much to get done.” But like… I was breaking…

So I went home. Mom had me try on some clothes she got me for Easter, to be sure they were the right size. I went home and refused to eat dinner… meditated on the idea that maybe I just wouldn’t eat again… and how last time I lost a lot of weight in a short period of time no one was concerned, because when you’re a fat girl that stops eating, or exercises herself to death, or binges and purges, people think the weight loss is great and no one asks how you lose 30 lbs in a few weeks. With my head spinning and my stomach feeling familiarly vacuous, I couldn’t focus on TV, so I played a few rounds of Star Realms before heading to bed with a book. Figured I’d wind down for an hour and be asleep by ten.

I was not asleep by ten. I was very awake. I put on white noise and laid in the dark for an hour. When the white noise shut off, I was still awake. So I turned on all the lights, got up, did a few things, turned on a fan and the humidifier, and then laid back down with some soft lo-fi hip hop to relax to. An hour later I was still awake and I had this pop song called RIIICH stuck in my head. It was annoying.

I tried thinking STOP STOP STOP or SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP, I counted sheep, I tried sleeping on the floor, I tried sleeping sitting up, I tried meditation, I took a 30 mg temazepam, I opened the window, I turned everything off… I got up and went downstairs, and in the dark biked on the hardest setting until my legs ached in an attempt to wear myself out. I was still awake… and all I wanted to do was sleep… and it broke me.

I’m not new to self harm or various creative ways to do it, but this was the first time I got so angry that I pretty much beat myself into submission. I slapped myself in the face, hit myself upside the head, punched and smacked my thighs till they burned, screamed, cried, and when it was all said and done I took to this weird game I’d played as a kid. I don’t remember why, but when we were kids there was some game where the punishment was someone hitting you with two or three fingers on your wrist or forearm. Every time my brain tried to think, after I laid back down, I’d hit myself on the arm. By the time I had calmed down, my arm ached like I’d slammed it in a door. This morning I woke up and thought it would be all kinds of colors, cuz it still hurt. Fortunately for me, it was just splotched purple. Still hurts like a bitch, though. There’s a definite swollen spot, but it’s not noticeable to anyone except me.

I never did sleep, I don’t think. I just managed a general nothingness till the alarm went off this morning. The dogs were concerned, but they are regrettably used to this kind of behavioral outburst. I hate that they’re used to it…

Thursday.
For someone that went totally batshit crazy and didn’t sleep, I’ve had a weirdly good day. I put on a nice purple sweater and cute boots. I’ve been very pleasant at work. I had a breakfast burrito and then meatloaf for lunch, in case you’re worried I didn’t eat today. I’m planning on Schlotsky’s for dinner, and I’d really like to maybe finish one of my books I’m reading tonight, but also get in some Star Realms time. I bought a ticket to a concert for tomorrow night, too.

Am I manic? I dunno. I’m terribly unfocused, but I’m not hyper, optimistic, or particularly chatty. I’ve just been enjoying my new playlist (and I took RIIICH off all but one playlist) and having a moderately pleasant day. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fine a little bit of happiness in every time my arm taps something and I get a small shock of new pain amidst the constant ache. I’m sure that’s some secret to my good mood… some messed up bipolar thing.

I’m not even tired… I’m just disinterested in work today. It’s super weird, and all of this isn’t LOST on me. I can only hope that I sleep tonight and the mood continues.

Anyways….

I’m gonna go see this pdoc and see what she says in a couple weeks. I don’t wanna take anymore antipsychotics, though… and I have always said I didn’t want to take Lithium… so I don’t know what they might give me. I’m willing to negotiate, but I really want a shrink to listen to me. There are side effects I can’t tolerate (like falling asleep at work), and I need to be respected when it comes to that.

So. We’ll see.