Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Overcoming

Anxiety is my constant companion, these days.  It's there... all the time.  When I wake up, I feel it weighing me down.  It's all I can do to get out of bed.  After I drop my kids off at school, it gets heavier.

I remember this feeling - like I've always known it.  Always worrying.  Always not feeling good enough.  Always panicking.  Always on the edge of rage.  Always tense and constricted in my chest.  It's always been there.  I never knew it was there until it wasn't.  That's what I noticed very first about the meds I started taking for my postpartum depression - the lack of anxiety.  I didn't yell, anymore.  Crumbs didn't drive me mad, anymore.  Messes were still messes but without the world coming to an end.  I could finally deal.  I could breathe.

But those meds started making me crazy.  I found myself wanting to end.  And since I know too much for that to become a reality, I found myself wanting to cut myself.  I could see how that would actually be a release for the anguish that was flooding my thoughts.  I'm thankful I was still "there" enough to recognize the need to get out while I still had a glimpse of who I was.  So, I stopped the meds.

But, the anxiety.  I don't think there's a day that goes by I don't cry or feel guilty or want to scream.  

I was told in a blessing that if I exercise, if I read my scriptures, I will be healed.  I've been told that my whole life.

I've got the scriptures part done.  I read them every day.  I know I could be better at actually studying them, but I'm reading them and that's more than I've done in years.  

The exercise part, though.  The time slot during my day for that would be 5:45 am, after I drop my kids off at seminary.  All I want to do that early in the morning is crawl back under my weighted blanket that makes me feel safe and held, down.  I don't want to stay awake.  The rest of my days are literally packed, hour to hour, with going and doing.  After the boys go to bed at night, all I want to do is sit and not do or be, anymore.  

I keep thinking about my thyroid and how it might actually be the culprit and maybe it has been all my life.  I'm on meds for that.  But it's only been a month and I've read it can take up to 6-8 weeks for the effect to take place.  I think that's an excuse, though.  Like I'm avoiding the obvious.  I feel like one of the people in the bible who simply had to look up to be healed... and I'm not doing it.

Make the time.  That's what my blessing said, quite specifically.  Make the time.

I have been trying, today, to have a conversation with myself.  I remind myself how awful this feels and how, yes, it would be hard to stay up in the morning and actually do something physical.  But it would be better than this.  It would make this go away.  I would be able to deal, again.  I would be able to breathe.  I need to make this a habit before my son drives and I don't have to take them to seminary, anymore.  I need to make this a habit before it gets dark in the morning and I really won't want to get out of bed until the last minute.  I feel so desperate for this to happen but can't seem to find it in myself to take that first step.  

But I know the Lord will hold me up.  He'll help me take that step if I just let Him.  I need to let Him.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rebuilding

I know why the Lord gives us trials.

I may have said, before, I feel as though I've been stripped of my very self.  In my head, I see a flat surface where I used to be.  I feel like I need to build what was there, back up.

So many heart-wrenching things have been finding their way through my mind, lately.  That seems extreme, as I re-read it.  But in the moment, that's how it has felt.  It's almost as though I'm raw and extremely sensitive to anything emotional in any way because I need to relearn how to regulate those emotions.

I've been clinging to the Lord.  I can't imagine going through this without Him.

As I do this, I'm learning that this is happening for a reason.  More than many, I'm sure.  But one for sure:  so I can be close to Him.

I know it's been said we only really turn to Him in times of sorrow or adversity.  If I was my happy, cheerful self, would I be as aware of His message for me?

I only want to use His building blocks as I reform who I am.

I've been immersing myself in all things spiritual.  It has brought me much comfort.


This, in particular, has been a sweet blessing.  {The wrong song was attached to that.  Not sure how that happened.  But, it's correct, now.}


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Finding Joy... and myself.

I tried writing, yesterday.  But, I couldn't.  Not without being completely negative and depressed.

I watched the movie, Inside Out, yesterday.  It was my first time seeing it all the way, through.  I loved it, to say the very least.

*Spoiler Alert if you haven't seen it*

I was so disgusted with Sadness.  I wanted her kicked out of Head Quarters.  I hated that she kept trying to ruin the happiness.  Joy tried very hard to keep her from touching any memories, at all, which I was rooting for.

Then Sadness really screwed things up and almost lost the Core Memories and got herself and Joy sucked out of Head Quarters.  Basically, she was ruining everything.  It was because of all this, Rylie was starting to lose track of who she was, inside.  She was crumbling.

But then Joy made a discovery with one of the Core Memories she was trying so hard to protect... If it hadn't been for Sadness, the happy part of the memory might never have happened.

I feel like I've been stripped of my very own Joy because of loser Sadness.

I've been sort of freaking out, lately, worrying that the medicine is done doing its thing and this is as good as it gets.  I read a couple of places, online, that one of the meds I was on has the ability to permanently damage ones brain.  That had me really freaking out.  (This is why they tell you to stay off the internet when you're facing an ailment of sorts.)

As I was driving, yesterday, I had somewhat of an epiphany, though.  Without Sadness, we wouldn't know Joy.  I got to thinking, maybe the medicine is done and I need to relearn how to be happy.  I learned a long time, ago, that happiness is a choice - you have to choose to be happy.  I have always believed that I had that ability - to be happy, no matter what.  My happy muscle has been in a wheelchair, so to speak, for years.  It hasn't had to do anything because there were meds doing all the work.  Well, now the meds are gone.  And I have to learn how to use that muscle, again.  I have to exercise it and make it strong, again.  And, so far - this is hard.

I read another's story of finding strength, this morning.  She referred to the song Moana sings to Te-Ka, as she walks towards her, at the end:

I have crossed the horizon to find you.
I know your name.
They have stolen the heart from inside you.
But this does not define you.
This is not who you are.
You know who you are.

Then she goes on to write, "You are not defined by your darkest hour.  You are greater than what has been stolen from you.  It is never too late to heal.  It is never too late to make a fresh start.  It is never too late to have your heart restored."

I want this for myself.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reboot.

So, for a long time, it seemed, there was a lot of anger.  So. much. anger.

Then, it kinda stopped a little... and turned into a depression of sorts.

Then, a few days, ago, I had neither.  I felt mellow? I don't know how to describe it.  But, then it kinda went to a depression/nothingness.  Just low.  Nothing.  And my brain has been laggy.  Coming up with words, forming sentences, functioning in certain situations... not happenin'.  It's been weird.

I told my husband about it - he said it's like a computer that crashed and has to reboot... and is doing so, slowly.

That just made sense.  My computer was on the fritz.  I rebooted.  Now, I'm slowly coming back online.

Only, this time, no fritz.  Just me.  I'm sincerely hoping this is par for the course - and that soon I'll be myself, again.

I'm not angry, anymore.  In fact, I'm able to calm myself rather well.  It's been nice.  I still have a smallish moment where I want to scream, but it passes, quickly, if I don't pay it any heed.  I still have moments of just wanting to not exist.  But, those pass, too.  My husband has been super lovey and attentive and patient.... it's kinda getting on my nerves.  ha ha I'm a very independent person; always have been.  I need my space.  I try to tell him this, nicely, all the time.  He forgets, I think.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Freedom

Today was a good day.

I felt so good.

There was no anger.

There was no depression.

I was happy.

I found a little of myself.

I felt free.

I prayed very specifically for this.  We had a day of family activities planned and I did not want to ruin it or have it ruined.  I so badly wanted this day to just be good.

And it was.  And I'm so thankful for that.

I don't know what tomorrow brings, but I was given today.  And, for now, that's enough.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

{More Anger}

Someone brought my family dinner, a few days, ago.  Just because.  She knew I was "stressed" and just offered.  That was huge, for me.  Especially the day she did it.

Someone brought me a happy basket - or a non-stress basket... can't remember what she called it.  It has all kinds of cute things in it, but mostly, her friendship.  Just because.

A friend invited me out to lunch, last minute.  She could've invited anybody, but she chose me.

People have been good to me and I've been seeing tender mercies, this week.  My husband has been a rock star.  He is trying so hard to be helpful.  I actually had to tell him, today, to stop asking how I'm doing.  Just assume my life sucks and I am having a hard time coping, at the moment.  That's how my last week has been.

I'm still fighting anger.  Big time.  But now depression is creeping in.  It really is all I can do to not scream obscenities and throw things and punch things and then just crumble and cry.  Instead, I try to focus on one thing.  Just one.  Start a load of laundry.  Grab something out of the freezer for dinner.  Breathe.  It helps.  It's such a stupid constant battle.  And I hate it almost more than I hated (still hate) postpartum depression.

But, the Lord has my back.  He shows me over and over, again, His love for me through the hands of others.

I'm grateful I'm still receiving blessings in spite of my strong belief I don't deserve them.  My thoughts are riddled with swear words, no joke.  And I feel angry and rebellious and guilty towards certain things.  I hate praying almost as much as I feel the desperate need to.

I'm afraid, though.  How the heck am I going to know what normal is? I remember being so naggy about things not being clean, enough, before meds.  I feel that way, now.  I hate lazy.  I hate messes.  And I have no qualms with letting my kids know, these days.  I can't remember anything other than crap.  My brain is so clouded with just crap.  I hate it.  Like, really hate it.

I've started praying differently, today.  I used to pray for this to pass.  It will.  It better.  But, in the meantime, I'm praying I will make it through, till it does.  If I can make it through without burning any bridges, breaking anything expensive or important, losing my testimony, or damaging any relationships, I think that would be a success.  Mostly, I want so badly to just be happy.  I just want to be me, again.  I hate this, so much.  So. Much.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Gift of Anger

I came across something in a book I started, today - "The Gift of Anger", by Arun Gandhi.

Yep, that Gandhi.  His grandson, anyway.

He used to have anger issues, as a kid, so was sent to live with his wise, patient, loving, peace-promoting grandfather when he was 12.  He lived with him for two years, learning wisdom and lessons on life from someone who definitely knew how to teach it.

Anyway, I've just barely started.  Like, a few pages into chapter one.  haha  BUT, I've gleaned something from it, already:

"I am glad to see you can be moved to anger.  Anger is good.  I get angry all the time," he (Gandhi) confessed....

I could not believe what I was hearing.  "I have never seen you angry," I replied.

"Because I have learned to use my anger for good," he explained.  "Anger to people is like gas to the automobile - it fuels you to move forward and get to a better place.  Without it, we would not be motivated to rise to a challenge.  It is an energy that compels us to define what is just and unjust."

Anger is my biggest withdrawal symptom, these days.  I feel like a ticking time bomb.  I have had to avoid several things so I don't explode.  BUT, as I read further into this book, I'm finding the good in this experience.  I have a whole lotta bricks in my backyard that need relocating.  I think I might take advantage of my "drive" to get that done.  ha ha  Also, though, I'm using my repressed "energy" to fuel doing things around the house.  I'm controlling what I can because not being able to control what I can't will surely drive me mad if I fail to do so.

I'm finding more moments of non-anger, though.  That's a good thing.

Monday, June 26, 2017

I'm off.

I feel hesitant in posting, anymore.  I regret sharing.  All because of one person's reaction.

Things have been hard, still.  But mostly on my insides.  I feel anger towards a lot of things.  It's hard to control it, but I do.

My family and I had a family council, last night, so we could all talk about it.  I'm big on open communication.  I hate when people let things fester and go unresolved.  That's lame.  This was very helpful and I think we're going to get through this.

I wanted to make note of how my husband is doing with all of this.  He's standing by my side.  I'm pushing him, away, and he's just patiently waiting for the real me to emerge.  He tries to take over if something is starting to push me over the edge and offers to do things so I don't have to fall apart under the stress.  It's been nice.  Also, I've noticed when I loathe being touched and feel like a ticking time bomb, a hug from him actually helps.  Even the thought of being touched, right now, makes me want to punch someone, but strangely, it helps.

My daughter was avoiding me because she was afraid I would just yell at her, which would make me yell at her because I hated that she was avoiding me.  It was horrible.  But, we talked and I'm hoping we're getting past that, too.

My son was assuming that every time I yelled, it was because I was going off my meds.  I made it very clear that I still have anger rights.  If they're being idiots, yes, that will make me mad.  I told them I do have the right to be angry for legitimate reasons.

I hate this.  I hate feeling like I'm going off the deep end over dumb things.  I hate that I have to constantly keep my anger in check so I don't lose it all over people.  And, yes - I use the word "hate" quite liberally because that is EXACTLY how I feel.

Last night was the first night of not taking any of these meds.  So, it's official.  I'm off my meds, now.

I just re-read a post prior to this one, about being in control and having more power than I ever gave myself credit for.  I realize, again, that I do have a lot of inner strength.  It really is quite difficult to not beat the snot out of everything.  I feel like a three year old must feel - all these big feelings and no clue what to do with them, so I want to throw a fit.  I want to kick and scream and yell and hit and throw things and just be mad all the time.  But I don't.  I want to cry and give up and pout and sit with a blanket over my head and hide from the world.  But I don't.  I write this down because some day, when this crap is over, I'm going to want to do something big and I'm going to know I can do it because I did this.  If I can get through this, if I can get through postpartum depression, I can do anything.  I know I have it in me, because I'm seeing it, right now.  I know I have the Lord on my side.  Bring it, world.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Damage Control

One of my more recent posts said some not-so-me things about someone I'm supposed to not say things like that, about.  Venting or not, I felt yucky about it.  So, I deleted it.  The rest of the post is still there.

This blog is about documenting my inner thoughts as I go through this trial.  It was never really meant for others to see.  I shared it because I wanted people to know why I've been flaky or overly-stressed and I got tired of having to explain myself.  I just wanted people to know.

I'm a very happy, optimistic, upbeat person.  I'm a good friend to others and love people.  I'm a good listener.  I have a strong testimony and try so very hard to be Christ-like.

Unfortunately, I'm not always so bright and shiny.  I'm flawed, just like everyone, else.  And I regret what I posted.

This is me doing my best to fix it.

The end.


**I know I said I wasn't going to let the Facebook world know when I posted things; I'm still not going to.  I just wanted to make this part of my thoughts known.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I wanted to write about yesterday.  It was a good day.

I didn't have any anger outbursts and didn't cry over anything stupid.  I was in control and it felt pretty darn good.

I still had moments that threatened to push me over the edge, but I was able to keep it under control.  It was awesome.

I have an intense personality.  I always have.  I'm opinionated and impulsive and picky.  I'm hard to live with.  I write this down because I'm trying to remember who I was before I wasn't.  And, not being able to control my inner workings has given new light to the idea of "self-control".  I have more power over myself than I've ever given myself credit for.

I want all my days to be good.  I know crappy things are still going to happen, but I've been given the blessing of being able to see my way through those moments and living to tell the tale.

So, there it is.  A good thing.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Whole Picture

My last post was a bit harsh.  I was venting.

I started this blog to share with others what goes through my head.  Writing is very therapeutic for me.  But, I soon changed my mind and decided to not tell others about it.  I know some people knew, as I could see that I had readers, but I don't know who they are and don't want to know.  All I know is what I was writing was very personal and others might not understand.  Others might judge me for my words.  I didn't want that.  But I didn't want to stop, either, so I just kept it to myself.

Recently, I decided to share all of this.  I can't say I don't regret that.  In fact, after this, I'm going to stop letting people know when I post things.  If you still want to follow along, by all means.  You'll just have to find a way to follow without my lead.  Just don't judge me.  I don't sugar-coat things.  I keep it real.  This blog runs the risk of getting ugly or unpleasant or uncomfortable.  But that's just part of my story.

My last post is only about 10% of my day.  Sometimes more, mostly less.  Those moments are just intense in nature and tend to make up for lost time.  For the most part, I can control my emotions.  For the most part, I don't yell at people.  For the most part, I can keep my anger and depression and tears under wraps.  Every moment is a learning opportunity for me and those around me.  My son has learned how to diffuse a possible unnecessary argument between the two of us.  My daughter and I are learning to just walk away from each other because neither of us back down from a fight.  I am learning how to keep calm and control my voice, which effectually calms me, more.  My husband and I have a very open communication about all of this and, again, every moment is a learning opportunity for both of us.  We are working on this.  It's not easy.  It's not always hard, though, either.  My brain has been dulled by powerful mind-benders for so long, it needs a moment to regroup.  (Ok, I lied - I totally sugar-coated that last statement.)

I know what I'm doing and I know I'm doing the right thing.  I don't need others to agree.  I think I put that down there for my own benefit, mostly.  I'm starting to question my own sanity and feel like by me defending it, again only diminishes my credibility.  Which really just pisses me off.  I have been fighting more ugly thoughts in my head, but I'm learning how to keep it in.  I'm now thinking it would be better to do that, in general, anyway.  People can't handle what they don't understand.   I hate that I feel I should censure myslef in order to spare others grief.  I'm not going to.  Everyone has the choice of whether or not they read this.  I still need a place to let it out and work through it.   I'm just not going to share it so openly, anymore.

Please know my life is ok.  This blog is simply for the hard parts.  If you want the good parts, read my other blog.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Venting, mostly.



I feel like I'm in Hell.  I hate this, so much.  My family is suffering.  They don't understand that I am, too.

My clarity is slipping.  I'm finding it hard to see that this isn't me.  I'm starting to question whether or not this IS the real me.  

I know it must be hard for my family to be supportive when they're the ones who have to deal with the ugly.  But, this isn't fair.  Not at all.  I want nothing to do with my husband, these days.  I can't stand to be touched.  I hate that he thinks he can help me feel better.  He just makes me feel worse simply by being there.  

I'm finding it so hard to fake it.  I feel like I have to work, constantly, at maintaining this facade.  I just want to go about my life without anyone directly in it.  I want them all to go away.  I hate that they see me like this, because it makes me feel like they're just going to remember their mother as some psycho.  I hate being around them because they don't understand; they don't get that this isn't the real me.  I hate having to remind them.  To me, that just diminishes my credibility.  Like the crazy person who claims they're not crazy.  Yeah, right.  That's what they all say.  And the more it's said, the less true it surely is.  

And, Heaven forbid I should actually get angry about anything.  Apparently, since I have no control over my emotions, whatsoever, me being pissed at someone for legitimate reasons is null.  Me being angry with someone for being stupid is just me being my crazy self.  Surely, I must need to go back on my meds because I got mad at someone.  Shame on me.

I'm sure I sound bitter.  I am.  Quite.  I'm angry that I have to go through this.  I'm angry that others are being affected.  I'm angry that they're being jerks about it, at times.  I'm angry that I will be remembered as a jerk, myself.  I'm angry that for so very long, I have had to defend who I am.  For years, I had to keep reminding my husband that some of the things I did were not my fault - they were a product of my mental illness.  I'm angry that I never had said mental illness, I was just being made to think I had it because of the stupid meds I was on.  

I'm just angry.  So very full of rage, angry.  I could take a baseball bat to someones car or punch my fist through a wall, kind of angry.  Angry because anger is a withdrawal symptom.  Angry because I don't even know if I have a valid reason to be angry.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Better.

Why hide who we are? I always hate it in movies or shows when someone is obviously suffering from something that is too hard for them to carry, but they never tell anyone. They even go out of there way to hide it. That's just lame.

I've been facing this thing. My kids don't really know. They just knew I took pills for something and was a bit crazy if I missed a dose. My husband only knows what I share with him, which isn't everything.

I'm a strong person. Why wouldn't I want people to know that? I have great faith. Why wouldn't I want people to know that? I'm relentless. Why wouldn't I want people to know that?

This has been a very heavy burden. There were moments I didn't think I could go on. There were moments it was all I could do to keep from giving up, from crumbling and sinking into an abyss it would be so very hard to come back from.

Why wouldn't I want help carrying that burden?


The Lord put us on this earth to love and help each other. He can't be here; we have to be His hands to help and love others. It's through us He takes care of His children. I'm always teaching my children that. Why would I want to deny myself that very same blessing?

I recently shared this blog on Facebook.  That was a scary thing, for me.  I did not want people to see me as broken.  

Whether or not they did, was something they didn't share.  Instead, I received an overwhelming response of caring and support and encouragement and even gratitude for being brave enough to share something others face, but aren't able to share, themselves.

We do not have to face our trials, alone.  We have the Lord, yes.  But, part of having Him is having those around us.  That's how He can accomplish a lot of what He wants for us - through the hands and hearts and prayers of others.  

So, if you're reading this and you're struggling with something, tell someone.


***


On another note, I'm still suffering from withdrawal symptoms.  I'm off one of the meds (of the two) and I am almost done with the other one.  Mostly, I have moments of tantrum-throwing.  Something will set me off and I'll be ready for a fight.  That's been fun.  (Yeah, right.) I also cry way too easily.  I just bought some waterproof mascara.  ha   

I'm still finding amazing clarity in my thoughts, though.  I am so amazed at how dimmed my thinking was by these stupid meds.  I was dulled to certain things.  I was dulled to myself.  I certainly was losing myself, just like I had feared.  Only, I wasn't being swallowed up by some mental illness, it was the medication.  It was snuffing me out.  I almost lost myself.  Man, I do not know how people who don't know they have the Lord, do this.  

Actually, I do.  Suicide.  That horrible thought kept trying to creep into my mind.  I knew that wasn't me - I don't think that way.  There was enough of me left to know I needed to get out.  Get out of what? My brain? The grasp of whatever was pulling me down? I don't know.  I just knew it was a fight or flight situation and I was NOT going down without a fight.  It's just not in me to do, so.

So, moving forward.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Trudging

Yesterday turned out to be a bit rough.  I know I'm doing the right thing.  I know I have to go through this to get back to who I really am.

But this sucks.

I mostly hate that not everyone knows I'm doing this.  I hate that I feel like I either have to explain myself/my behavior or suck it up and hope people don't form a negative opinion of me.  Either way, I feel like a loser.

My heart feels fragile, this morning.  I was so glad I wasn't feeling depressed; I read it was one of the withdrawal symptoms people experience.  I'm hoping it's just because I stayed up a bit too late, last night, and not a thing.  I prayed if it is a thing, that it passes, quickly, and that I can get through this without giving in to the ugly.  I'm making note of this because I want something to read, if I have to, reminding me I'm not really depressed, I'm not really a failure, people are going to think what they think but that doesn't make me who I am.  My life doesn't really suck.  Just this moment does.

I almost wish I could retreat from the world until this passes.  I've yelled at my poor kids so many times in the past few days, then had to explain how sorry I am and that it's not their fault.  I hate that I still have to go on as though nothing's wrong.  My house is a mess.  My brain is a mess.

I feel like I need to make a PSA to the people of my world - Please know I'm doing my best.  I'm sorry if I fail you or forget something or punch you in the face.  My brain is temporarily out of order.

Or maybe I can just put a sign around my neck that says, "Please Excuse the Mess".

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Clarity. And more withdrawal.

I have been on quite a ride over the last few days.

Tears.  If I had a dollar for every time something small or seemingly insignificant made me tear up or all out cry, I'd be able to go on a small vacation.  My daughter makes fun of me.  It really is quite comical.

Irritability.  Don't tick me off.  I'll let you know you did and won't back down because I'm ready for a fight.  Bring it.

Brain buzzes.  I mentioned these in a previous post - it's like my brain is a guitar string and it's being plucked... frequently.  Mostly just weird.

Slight dizziness/loss of balance.  There have been a time or two I thought gravity was going to get the best of me.

Insomnia.  Sleep has evaded me.  I think it's passing, though, which is good.

Bizarre and memorable dreams.  I read nightmares are part of the withdrawal symptoms.  I don't usually remember my dreams with such detail, but I've been having quite vivid dreams, lately.  Not nightmares, thankfully, but I think that's made up for with the next one...

I have had this fear of some evil presence lurking in the corner of my bedroom.  It's been there, before - I've posted about it, here, which happens to be the same post I referenced, above.  I've seen faces/profiles, at night, in other parts of my house, too.  I told my husband about it.  I have a hard time being alone in the dark.  It makes me think of biblical times when the mentally deranged were thought to be possessed.  Weird.  **As I'm re-reading this post for editorial purposes, I can't help but think the adversary has something to do with this - he doesn't want me to be the true me.  He knows my strength and that I don't. back. down.  I've got the Lord on my side and good always wins.  I'm so winning this.

Craving for country music.  I grew up listening to country music because my mom loved it.  It was the music of my childhood.  My dad introduced me to Queen, The Eagles, The Beatles, Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor, etc., but country music was what we most listened to.  Why, out of nowhere, is this what I crave (seriously, crave)? Interesting.  I listen to it whenever I can, though.

Passion and clarity and the ability to choose how I deal.  I still feel clear on my thoughts.  I feel more empowered when it comes to controlling my emotions, or at least how I handle them.  I can control whether or not I give in to depression or become manic.  I am truly starting to believe that it was, in fact, the meds that were making me feel like I needed the meds.  I started taking them for postpartum depression, but I don't need them, anymore.  I haven't for a while.

Exercise and scriptures.  That's what the Lord, for years, has been telling me I need.  Those are the only meds needed to make my brain function as it should.  I am my father's daughter and my son's mother.  Knowing this has been so liberating and I couldn't be happier for the Divine inspiration I've felt in this come to Jesus moment.

Makes me all teary just thinking about it.  ha ha

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

And so it begins.

It's happening, I'm afraid - the ugliness that comes with weaning.

For the last three-ish days, I have been a roller coaster of emotions.  My moods are swinging so much, you'd think they were in an open marriage in the 30's.  

My poor family is getting the crap end of the stick.  Well, both ends are crap, really, but it's not fair they should have to suffer, too.

I've gone from just fine to down-right *itchy in a matter of seconds.  I've felt horribly out of control of what comes out of my mouth, not to mention the thoughts that have been going through my head.  And I hate it.  

I had to keep reminding myself, last night, that this isn't me.  This was expected when I chose to go off my meds.  I knew this could happen.  I had hoped it wouldn't, but it is, unfortunately.  One thing I'm trying with all of my might to hold on to, is my clarity.  It was so hard, last night.  I felt I was getting swallowed up; like I was being dragged down.  I prayed and prayed, so desperately, for Heavenly Father to stay with me, even though I felt I didn't deserve it.  I was afraid to open my eyes after I got in bed - I was convinced there was evil lurking in the dark corners of my bedroom.  So much, that I was convinced one of my children was invoking evil spirits into our home.  I was afraid I was hallucinating.  It was very scary.  (My husband's out of town, else I would have had him perform an exorcism of sorts.)

I was convinced my husband would be better off not being married to me, that my kids would be better off not living with me.  I was convinced people wouldn't believe that it was the medication screwing with my head, that I was really losing it and still need to be on it.  I felt if I told them, it would expose my weakness and have them either treat me as broken or not take me seriously because of my mental instability.  

I have to get out of my head.  I have to write this down and work my way through it with words.  If I don't, I might forget this isn't me.  I might lose myself and be swallowed up.  I might not make it through this with poise and grace.  That's actually not as funny as I would originally hope it to be.  I said some things on a social media website that made me look like someone I'm not.  I find myself raring for a fight, not wanting to back down, with an increasing desire to yell at people and say things I can't take back.  It took me a while to come up with a me-like response to a humbling couple of comments, a couple of my friends made.  I felt betrayed by them, but I knew I deserved what they had to say. 

There was a fire at Walmart, last night, and I was so pissed I had to leave without getting the rest of my things (I was partially through the self-checkout process, I could've been done in a matter of minutes).  There was no visible fire, just some smoke coming from the side of the building, somewhere.  I was certain I would've been fine.  Still am, but that's beside the point.  I was angry.  And loud.  And super stubborn.  And my daughter, who was with me, was not pleased with her mother's behavior.  She and I were supposed to watch a movie, together, last night, but she couldn't bring herself to, because of her anger towards my actions.  She had a right to be angry.  These last few days, whenever she expresses an opinion about something, I pretty much jump at the chance to tell her how wrong she is.  Or so she says.  And I don't let up.  I keep going till she says, "this is turning into a lecture".  I do not want to ruin the pathway of communication between us, because I can't control my words at the moment.  I want her to know she can still talk to me and I will actually listen with respect and love.  It takes continuous effort and self-affirmations that I can do this.  I'm trying to think before I speak or react.  It's not easy.  Like, at all.  

I feel like I want to tell someone all of this, but I can't.  I don't want people to think I'm suicidal (which, I'm not), nor do I want them to think, like I said, that I need to be on meds, that going off of them was a mistake.  I don't want people (ok, I say people, but I mostly mean my family), to not take me seriously or treat me with more disrespect than they already do, because "Mom's just a psycho".  I don't know how long this is going to take, but I sincerely hope my family and I can make it through this, relatively unscathed.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weaning - Day 19

Headaches.  This is the only real thing I notice whilst going off my meds.

Also, I feel more crisp and controlled in my thinking.  If I'm faced with a thought that would normally have me spiraling down, I simply take a step, back, and rethink.  The hopelessness and not being in control of my thoughts is starting to dissipate and I love it!

I've started coming down on another of my meds (there were two for my brain).

I also want to look into natural alternatives for my thyroid.  I found one that has good reviews, but I still want to do some research.

Anyway.  I just wanted to log my progress for my own sake.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Weaning - Day 13 - Remembering Me

One thing I remember about myself before the meds was how clean I wanted everything.  I was quite the nag when it came to getting things done... and the right way.  I was afraid I'd go back to that - the intense, irritable, anal, perfectionist.

It's hard to recognize what's me and what isn't.  I want things clean, these days.  Not that I didn't, before, but now, it's as if I've become fed up by the laziness of my family.  I got pretty intense with one of my kids, last night, about their habit of just leaving the mess after they're done with whatever.  I think all in my family are guilty of this in some form or another.  I know I am.

I guess what I'm saying is, once upon a time, my mom said the meds I was on at the time (different ones) made it seem like I saw the world through rose-colored glasses.  Things that were crappy, around me, didn't phase me.  All was well.  I remember the moment I realized I had anxiety issues - it was when I noticed they were gone.  (The first time I took the meds, I'm on, now.)

What I can't stand the thought of, is people in my family not taking me seriously or blaming my determination to end their laziness as a result of me going off my meds.  I hate that so very, very much.  Not much angers me more than having to defend myself and trying to convince others of my sanity.  All too often do I wish I could just leave them all, behind.  Unfortunately, that is not really an option, as I actually do love these people and I have the guide of a strong and not-often-silent conscience.

I am a passionate person.  I experience extreme emotions.  I'm impulsive and trusting and unrelenting.  And I like things clean.  I think the meds were definitely making me more lax about certain things.  More tolerant, maybe? Or, less uptight, I guess would be the right way to say that.  I found myself not caring about messes.  I also found myself being lazy.  I stopped caring about getting dressed or showering or pretty much anything.  Once in a while, I would snap out of it and have a major cleaning/getting things done frenzy.  I recognized those as my manic moments.  Maybe they weren't.  Maybe those were just the times when my brain would break through the medicine fog and catch up on the things I would normally do.  I was active and cared and moved.  It was great! I looked forward to those moments.  I also recognized that one tiny thing could set me off... meaning, one little thing would make me sad, then a flood of emotions would break though the medicine dam and I would feel all the sorrow and stress and guilt I seemed to have been avoiding or whatever, all at once.  I think the meds have been dulling who I really am.  And I think the major influxes of emotions were what led me to believe I was bipolar.

I really am glad I'm learning this all, now.  It's been quite a journey of healing.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Progress - Day 8

I feel like I put up this facade of not being a failure; of holding it, together.

Then something happens and I fall apart.  I drop the heavy load that I've been struggling to hold up, and it crashes down on me.

And I feel all failure-y, again.

So many things stress me out, and I either avoid them like a boss or pretend I can handle it.

What a crock.

Something I've been using to my advantage as I wean off my meds, is I can control myself.  I can control how I handle things or react to things.  I don't have a mental illness to blame.  (Well, that's to be debated; but for now, I blame the meds for my idiosyncrasies.)

I've been holding up, rather well, I think.  I've read stories of others who go off the meds I'm on, only to struggle through a year of withdrawal or have to go back on them because their brain can't handle thinking on its own.  I know I have the Lord on my side, and I couldn't be more grateful for that.  So, though I am not handling stress as well as I try to show that I am, at least I'm handling it.  I have the choice to fall into a depression.  The mind is a very powerful thing.  Inner strength has always been one of my better qualities; I think I've lost sight of that.

I feel super tired, lately.  I also feel motivated to accomplish things; and not in a maniacal way - just a normal because-it-needs-to-be-done way.  And I do them.  And it feels good.

I still have one med to start weaning.  I plan to do that, today.

As for the stress? I have a new bike that will take care of that.  (Well, not new - but perfect, just the same.)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Living Proof

So, I'm doing a bit of research on natural mood stabilizers.

Turns out, medications for such things can aggravate either the manic side or the depressive side.  

Huh.  Who knew?

Weaning - Day 3

Yesterday, I felt a little off balance, in the morning, but not as bad as the first day.

Today, I don't remember feeling that, at all.  I feel pretty darn normal, actually.  Well, as normal as I've ever felt, I guess.  No extreme withdrawal or whatever.

I know it takes several weeks for this process, but I'm hopeful.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Weaning - Day 1

I did it.  I started taking a smaller dose of my meds, last night.  With my doctor's guidance, of course.

Well, there are two and I could only afford to refill one (I still have some left, of the other).  So, I'm reducing one of them, starting last night - I take my pills with dinner.

I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen.  I'm anxious.  I wanted to keep a record of what seems to be going through my head, so I can keep my mind clear on what's going on as much as possible.

I slept almost 8 hours, last night; yet, I feel like I only slept for three.  And my balance is being affected.

When I first started this medication, it was because of postpartum depression.  It was bad.  But that's another blog post, altogether.  So, essentially, I've been on this particular medication for five years.  The side effects were weird:  tinnitus, decreased pupillary reflex, loss of equilibrium, my nether regions were slow to react (if you know what I mean.... TMI? Yes.  Yes, it is.).  I can't remember if I had any others; those are the ones I really noticed.  One time I went into the bathroom, turned around to close the door; next thing I know, I'm on the floor.  I fell.  Just lost my balance.  It was weird.  It was also weird to watch my pupils react as if I were high.

I still have the ringing in the ears.  I get a headache if I forget my meds for a day.  I also get brain buzzes if I forget.  I think I also got those at the beginning, for a while, too.  Look it up - it's a thing.  It feels as if someone is plucking a guitar string in my brain.  From the research I did, it's my brain forming connections because of the medication.  Or something like that.  ha ha

I took my first lower dose with dinner, last night.  This morning, I could tell my equilibrium was off.  So much, that I was nervous about carrying a full laundry basket down the stairs.  I was slightly worried about driving my son to seminary.

And I'm tired.  I'm always tired, though, so it's hard to tell if this is because of the other.  I know I hate it, though.  I can't read a book or watch a flick or, in general, sit for very long without being tempted to sleep.  It sucks.

I asked my husband to give me a blessing, this evening.  I know that will help.

I'm having anxiety about doing this.  I have to keep reminding myself that it's ok - I don't feel like I shouldn't.  **I just had an epiphany (Divinely inspired, I'm sure):  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  That's what's kept going through my head as I've been praying about this next step in my mental health.  My following thought would be, "It's not fixed.  It still feels broke."  Which led me to believe my meds weren't working.  Here's my ah-ha moment:  My mind isn't "broke".  Therefore, I don't need to "fix it".  I don't NEED the meds, anymore! I'm past the postpartum depression, I'm sure.  I don't need them! Well, this is just cool - I feel all kinds of better, now! And lighter... this is the right thing to do! What a relief! I'm so grateful for answered prayers!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rock Bottom

I lost it on Friday.  I think I was finally pushed over the edge.  Maybe I fell.  Who knows.

Whatever the case, I hit hard when I reached the bottom.

I'm recording this because I feel it will help the healing process.

I realized something about myself that I've been fighting to convince my husband (and myself), otherwise, for years.  It was a hard hit.  I think I needed it, though.  In order to be able to fix it, I needed to drop my shield of denial and expose it for what it is.

I felt raw and maybe a little fragile, Friday night and Saturday, which was hard because we were on a camping trip with friends.

Sunday, I felt a little better.  I felt like I was beginning to take control and heal.  I felt a little hesitant, but knew that I needed to keep moving forward.

I felt broken.  That's the best way I can describe it.  I truly felt like I really did suck at life.  I felt super insecure; my confidence had been shattered, or so it felt.

But, Sunday, I felt a little better.  I felt like, if anything was going to change, I had to make it happen.

I went to get blood drawn, yesterday.  One of the things my new PCP is looking for is a genetic defect that affects the brain and heart, among other things.  I did a little bit of research on it, and it sounds like it could possibly be a fit.  The reason she thought to test for this is because of my dad and my son and our similar temperaments.  Also, the heart thing.  My dad's dad died from a heart attack (his second one), and my dad has had nine heart attacks since the age of 35.  I'm 39.  My cholesterol has always been high, even when I was physically active and totally fit.  I know my son and I have some chromosomal abnormalities; a few of them are the same.  I don't know if my dad has them or if they have anything to do with this genetic defect, if it even is a thing.  I'm almost hoping it is, because then I have proof - something solid I can research and treat and understand.

I'm still moving forward.  I can't afford not to.


*** UPDATE ***

I do not have the genetic defect.  I was bummed, to be honest.  But, if you'll read one of my next few posts, I've come upon a realization that pretty much changes everything.








Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Come to This

My mind has been plagued with thoughts of going off my meds.  I couldn't keep track of all my thoughts, so I took a notebook with me to church, yesterday, and just started writing.

Here's what I wrote:

I need to write this down.  My head is full of constant thoughts of crazy.  I normally would've typed it out.  My brain goes faster than my hand.

I want to get off my meds.  I need to get off my meds.  I feel like I'm getting worse.  They're certainly not helping.  I feel like a failure.  I feel like I can't function.  I'm on the verge of tears all the time.  I feel like I'm on the edge and it won't take much to push me over.  I'm married to someone with high expectations that I can't live up to.  I don't want to be constantly reminded of my "flaws".  I don't want someone to have to live with them, but even more, I don't need a reminder that I can' even live up to my own expectations, let alone someone else's.

Do I even need medication? I was thinking, this morning - when did this start? I was trying to remember as far back as I could.  Early high school.  That's when I stopped being as physically active as I was as a kid.  I got sick and had to specifically avoid physical activity.  I was tired all the time.  I slept a lot but it was never enough.  My dad said Quin is just like him and needs physical activity.  Quin needs physical activity or it affects him in a negative manner.  He can't cope.  My dad has never not been physically active.  I used to be, then I couldn't, and that's when it all went downhill.  For as long as I can remember, whenever I prayed for healing or comfort or guidance, exercise and reading my scriptures was the answer.  Exercise.  I've always felt so aware of myself, like I was on the outside, looking in.  No, that's not entirely accurate.  I feel like I can see what I'm doing and feel what I'm feeling, but can't do anything about it - I can't control it.  I always feel the need to make excuses for my behavior, like I need to tell people this is why I suck at life.  But, I'm always afraid I'll sound like I'm making it up.  Maybe there's something to that.  Maybe I don't fully buy it, myself.  I'm a strong person - always have been.  Is there such things as high-functioning bipolar? Maybe I started feeling depressed in high school because I wasn't constantly moving.  Maybe I'm not bipolar.  Maybe I'm not anything.  Maybe my meds really are just messing with my head.  I feel they're starting to mess with my train of thought.  I'll be talking, then, mid-sentence, lose my words.  It's like my brain will hit a brick wall.  Maybe I am just a passionate person, prone to extreme emotions because my body simply cannot handle my mental capacity.

I have a higher than average IQ.  (I've taken several tests and they all average out to the same number.) I don't need meds for that.  I need to stay close to the Lord and keep my body going so it can keep up with my brain.

This is coming from my Heavenly Father.  (My thoughts are being guided.)

I want to start from scratch.  I want to be medicine - free.  I want to get all drugs out of my system so I can see what my body truly needs.

Before medication, I remember being irritable.  I remember still feeling ups and downs.  And being impulsive.  I'm still impulsive.  Manic? It comes and goes.  Not able to function? It comes and goes.  Extreme emotions.

I know it will be hard to "self-medicate".  Exercise and scriptures will have to be a huge and regular part of my every day life.  Just thinking about it exhausts me.  Trying to fake happiness is becoming unbearable, though.  Not being able to function is becoming unbearable.  Always questioning and being plagued with guilt for not being good enough is becoming unbearable.

Aren't people who really do suffer from mental illness oblivious to the problem? I'm so aware, I feel like it shouldn't be real.  What if it's not? What if I've been fine, but I'm such a control freak, I had to label it or have something to blame so it would be easier to not have to work hard to change it.  Maybe it's the meds that's been causing my problems, all these years.

I believe the body and the mind can heal itself.  I believe that's how Heavenly Father made us.  I believe I have access to part of my brain that few do.  I've always felt that.  I believe I have it in my power to maintain a healthy mental state.  I know it will take constant work, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I think I'm going to go off my meds.

Here's Why

I want to let those who read this to know something.

I don't do this for attention.  I do this so others can maybe understand a little why I do some things I do.  I do this because writing it out, helps.

I do NOT want people to feel sorry for me.  I hate sounding like I'm making excuses, though.  I hate feeling like I have to tell people I've let down it's not my fault.  It's my brain's.  So, I usually don't tell people.  I just apologize and keep moving forward.

I generally can't stand it when people constantly talk about their mental issues.  It almost seems like they're glad they have them or they like people saying, Oh, you poor thing.  Honestly, I would really rather no one know this about me.  I don't make it known when I've created another post, like I do my other two blogs.

I feel like, in saying these things, I AM seeking attention.  I feel slightly hypocritical for saying I don't like it when people talk about themselves and draw attention to their situations.  Here I am, posting about my inner workings - the ugly ones, anyway.  I guess if you want to know why I do this, go to the very first post.  I'm actually going to go read it, myself, to remember what it is I even said.  haha

Anyway.  There it is.  I like that nobody comments.  I like that there are only a few people who read this.  I would even prefer it if they were people I don't know.  I know this sounds lame; it sounds lame to me.  I just wanted to let people know I'm well aware of the possible assumptions that people could make (because I'm likely one of those types of people).  Think what you will, of course, but know that I mostly do this for myself.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Not Me

Stress-paralyzed.

I learned that phrase from a movie, once.

I haven't been able to shake this down phase.  It's been going on for like a month or something.

I have been avoiding.  The opposite of that would mean thinking of and listing every single thing that needs to be done and since I can't do it all right now, I freak out and shut down.  So, I avoid.

Have I always been like this? I can't really remember.  I can't remember times when I wasn't on medication vs. the times I was.  It's all blendy.

I keep thinking, maybe if I go off my medication, it would be better.  I don't feel like it's doing what it's supposed to be doing.  I feel like I'm being pushed down; sometimes held down.  I feel like I can't function.  So, I Netflix.  I Netflix until I'm numb.  One episode after the other.  I can't stand to not shut down; it's too much.  My brain tries to think of everything all at once and I feel anxiety and like I'm failing because I'm not getting it all done.  I feel like my children are seeing me as a failure and my husband is seeing me as a failure.  He has said as much.  There are times when he understands and is so patient, but other times, I can tell he can't stand it.  And I hate that.

I remember yelling a lot.  I remember being stressed and easily irritable.  I don't do that, medicated.  I don't ever want to be like that, again.  But I hate this.  I hate wondering if I need medication.  I hate wondering if it could be better.  I hate wondering if it would be the same as being medicated and I'm just pumping my brain full of unnecessary drugs.  I'm afraid of withdrawal if I do decide to go off of them.

Scriptures and exercise.  Those are the answers I've always been given when I pray about what to do.  This was before medication.  I'm sure it still stands.

I do remember certain things about not being medicated, and they're no different, now.  I would think medication is supposed to help those certain things.  I would think being on an antidepressant should make it so I don't get depressed.  I would hope it would make it so I don't get stress-paralyzed.  I would think it would make my manic moments less... manic. So I don't know what to do.  I don't know what to think.  I know it'll pass.  I don't know when and I hate having to explain to my family why I can't seem to get dressed until 6pm, some days.  12pm, most days.  I don't even shower that much, anymore.  I hate it.  I feel like I can't control it.  I feel like I can think about it and think about it and see myself doing it and know that I need to do it, but physically, I just sit there.  I can't bear the thought of actually doing it.  It would mean having to find clothes.  It would mean having to do something with my hair.  It would mean taking 30 minutes out of my day when I could be doing other things, those things that pile up and overwhelm me in my head that never get done because I choose not to get dressed.  I choose to shut down and Netflix.  I choose to escape my life.

What if the medication is making me this way? What if it isn't? What if this is as good as it's going to get?

I can't stand it.  I hate feeling like a failure.  I hate feeling so.... stress-paralyzed.  I hate it.  And I feel like I can't figure out what to do about that.  I wish I had someone to tell me.  I wish I didn't have to hear about how the house isn't clean, again.  I wish I didn't have to hear about the dishes not being done or the laundry not put away or dinner not being ready.  I hate it.  And I don't know what to do about that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Finding My Way Back

"So, how do you do it? How do you get through my ugly periods?" - me

"How do I do it?  I just look past it and know that the real you is in there somewhere and will come back." - my husband


I've been going through a down period.  It's only been about a week, but it's been a very, very long week.  I know I always find my way, back, but this time it just seems like it won't happen.

I have triggers that bring me down... I need to start looking for triggers that bring me back, up.

I wish I could do this without medication.  Medication is so meddlesome.  I almost want to see what happens if I go off it.



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Night and Day

Last week, I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.  I vacuumed the couch, kind of cleaned.

This week? It's all I can do to get dressed.  Showering is just something I can't seem to fit into my schedule.  I feel blah... like not doing anything... like not wanting to be touched or talk to anyone or make dinner or not sleep...

I'm ready for manic mode, again.  I have two more bathrooms to clean.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Change-up

Pretty much anything that's ailed me, over the years, have gotten these answers for a solution when I prayed about them:

Exercise.

Read my scriptures.


I seem to be self-sabotaging.  I think we all sort of do this, once in a while.  Maybe it's a habit... who knows?

Whatever the case, you'd think if God was telling me these things, over and over, again, that I would grab hold and just run with them.

Well... I haven't.  I have a knack for thinking, "I need to do that", but then never actually do it.

I'm in a comfort zone.  Uncomfortable as it may be, I'm here, just the same.  This is what I know.  If I commit to making my life better by doing these things, I might actually have to do something about it.  I will be held accountable for my actions.  I won't have excuses, anymore.  Things might be different.  I hope they would be, actually.

I came across something a friend told me about, a long time, ago.  It's a supplement that's supposed to help with what ails me.  It's non-medicinal.  It means going off my meds to try it, if I'm thinking it will work.  I want to talk to my doctor, about it.  I would love to not have side-effects, but, going off meds like the ones I'm on, is scaryscaryscary.  For many reasons.  For them to work, they have to mess with your head.  To go off of them - well - messes with your head.  I'm not keen on being messed in the head anymore than I already am.

I think it's time for a change, though.  Time to step up my game.  Time to listen to God.

I'm a little hesitant.  I don't want to fail.  I don't want it to not work.  I can't just dip my toe in the water, if I choose this - it's all or nothing.  I can't do it, halfheartedly.

If you're reading this, and you're the praying type, I wouldn't mind if you sent one or two my way.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One more thing...

I found out I have a thyroid problem.  Hypothyroidism, to be more specific.

I've been tired since junior high.  Well, 9th grade.  I missed a lot of school because of this.  I slept through a lot of classes, because of this.  I thought it was because I was sick.

I wasn't.

I remember a nurse being quite rude when I (or my mom, can't remember) asked if it could be my thyroid.

Guess what, jerk - it was.

My doctor, now, actually listened to me.  I know we were in, quite a bit, when I was a teen.  We didn't know what was going on, only that I was depressed, gaining weight, and tired, all the time.  I was very physically active and didn't eat terribly... we were baffled.

My doc suggested a certain blood test be run that he said most physicians don't run.  It's a more specific test - I can't remember what it was, though, just that it showed him what's been plaguing me all these years.

So, I've been on medication, for this.  I think I'm still suffering symptoms, though.  It's frustrating because, what if what I'm feeling is a result of the other crap I face? What if it's a side effect from one of my meds? How can I tell what is causing it??

Lame.

Onward, ever onward, I guess.