So Many Titles…

I had so many different ideas for what to title this blog. But none of them felt quite right.

First of all, I have been reluctant to post- (disclaimer: this part is about a comment on my blog- but has nothing to do with the poster of said comment, nor does it mean I am upset with the commenter)- because recently after a more positive post a comment was made that it was nice to see something positive posted. Immediately I clammed up.  I felt like “crap, people are sick of my problems”.  But In the end I decided to just take the comment as I know it was written- as a message showing happiness for my fleeting moment of positivity.

I struggle with constructive criticism, I over analyze what people say.  What everyone else thinks means more than what I think.

But I can’t hold this all in any more.  This has been a hard week.  I can’t give you a reason, because I don’t know. I have been sad and depressed all week.  Like major regression in my symptoms.  My OCD has been over the top- to the point that I offended a person in my DBT group because I moved my seat when I heard that she had been sick- and so I explained to the group if I do stuff like that, it’s me, not them.

And I’m just tired. So tired. Tired of this life.  It never gets better. It seems like I stand up and a big bully pushes me down, over and over.  And I am tired of getting up. I have tried so hard in the past month to try to do things to “make me feel better “.  But it doesn’t work.

And I have found that even dreaming about possibilities has it’s consequences.  I keep thinking about Marilla Cuthbert, and the things she used to say to Anne when Anne would let her imagination run wild, have romantic notions etc.  It’s not practical.  It’s not useful.  Never in my life has there been anyone who encourages me to dream.  They just point out the reality.  “I get it mom I will never be on star search” (6 or 7 year old me),  “I get it (insert name here) I am not as pretty as (insert name here)” (14-16 year old me).  “I know I will never amount to much dad”.  “I know I don’t shine mom”.  “I know I can’t manage money because I have a shopping compulsion- maybe it shouldn’t be my responsibility.”  “I know my bucket list will still be undone when I die”.

I get it.  This.  This is it. It’s never going to get better, and I will stop dreaming, hoping and wishing for it to get better. I see now that it does no good, because I will never change, I will always be a compulsive overeater, with a shopping problem, and a mental illness. I have always, and will always be weak.

When I was a kid my best friend and I came up with a phrase:

“Reality is too real for us, we live in the abstract”.

Looking at it with 30 or so years of knowledge I didn’t have then- it really was more like- our reality sucks, so we choose to wish/hope/dream of how it will be better “someday”.

But I think what I have learned over the past 2 years since my breakdown- for some people- someday never comes.  For some people, it’s scraping by, barely keeping your nose above the water line forever. For some people- they’ll always wonder “what’s the point?”

And if all that isn’t enough- the school isn’t following the IEP as written for my oldest.  Here we go.  It’s giving me PTSD flashbacks of our last fight when he was in 3rd grade, and I don’t know if I have it in me.  I don’t know if I can do it again…..

Saw Mary Poppins this week.  She added another med to my list. A mood stabilizer… probably a good idea.  Ive had 2 panic attacks in the past 2 days.  It’s been a couple months since I had a full on attack.  The craps hitting the fan again and I don’t know where to hide to dodge all the crap coming my way…..

Sorry for the downer post.  I just can’t keep it in anymore….

Catching Up

Another week has passed and I haven’t had the….. motivation to write. It’s been a really long week.  Monday was uneventful I think, I can’t even remember it.  But Tuesday was horrific.  Tuesday we had a snow day because of the impending weather- snow, ice, freezing rain…fun fun fun.  I had an appointment to meet my new counselor, who I am already trying to come up with a name for… I also had a PT appointment, YES I am STILL in PT for my ankle sprains. So ridiculous how long this is taking to heal.

Anyway, my med doctor A.K.A. Mary Poppins had asked me to call on Monday with how I felt after her upping my Amitriptyline, at that point I had a 200mg bedtime dose and a 50mg dose in the A.M. I told her that I thought maybe I wasn’t quite so depressed, but I also couldn’t stay awake and that my heart rate was still through the roof (it was 129 at my last appointment with her).  Her nurse called me on Tuesday AM and said Mary Poppins wants you to cut out my morning dose, and call my PCP about the heart rate, and to callback on Friday telling her how I felt. So I called my PCP and explained what was going on.  They had me come in immediately. My resting pulse when I got there was 130 beats per minute. Then they did an EKG and they tell me that was normal except for the heart rate- and though I am not a doctor, they were comparing my EKG I had for surgery clearance a couple months ago to the one that day and to my non-doctor eyes thinks it looks much different but I have to trust they wouldn’t tell me it was fine when it wasn’t.  The next step was blood work, CBC and complete metabolic panel.  They called me Wednesday, blood work all came back fine- so it’s not an underlying illness causing this.

The next step is that I have to wear a cardiac halter for a couple days, they want to measure my heart activity day and night and see the trends. I go for that on Monday. Once those results come back? Who knows.  Am I scared? Definitely.  I have other symptoms, tightness in my chest, light headedness, breathlessness.

I let Mary Poppins know yesterday since I was in her office for something else yesterday, I also gave her a copy of my lab work. She told me to cut my nighttime 200mg dose down to 150mg and call Monday to tell her how I am feeling.  I just took my pulse before I started writing this and it was 136- Just sitting here in my recliner. It’s concerning to me. They were trying to give me information but all they did was successfully make me even more anxious- they said the danger of my heart being this time all the time is that my heart muscle will wear our and I will be at increased risk for heart attack and stroke.  Great! Tell the woman with severe anxiety that she might drop dead.

Needless to say I missed my appointment to meet my new counselor(way to make a first impression). Of course I called twice keeping them updated where I was at with my PCP.  And I cancelled my PT for that day.  The weather was horid and I didn’t feel much like going out again.

So what’s causing my heart to race like this?  Well there are three possibilities- 1. a reaction to my amitriptyline.  That would be a simple fix, stop that medication- however I have exhausted the search for a med that helps with the depression, this marginally did something, but we were working on upping the dose so it could help with the anxiety and hopefully kick this depression out. So it would stink to go off this medication.  But hopefully Mary Poppins has more stuff in her never-ending bag. 2.  Anxiety.  This would be a simple and my preference.  We can medicate the anxiety- I have been feeling anxous – no panicked- constantly, except that my heartt symptoms could be giving me a false sense that I am panicked. The 3rd option is my least favorite, that there is something wrong with my heart. THAT scares me, A LOT. Between this, and my oldest having a cold, my OCD is in overdrive.  Yesterday hubby touched my hand when he was handing me something and I had to wash my hands…I stripped our bed, showered twice, I just couldn’t stop.  It was a forceI couldn’t stop.  I was panicked and jumpy all day. It was NOT fun.

I just took my pulse after I finished that paragraph it was 152.  Sitting here, in my recliner typing and listening to Christian music. But I could feel a tightness in my chesst so I wanted to check it. And it was just as I feared- WAY too high. I hope we have answers soon.

And as if all of that wasn’t enough- hubby hurt his back AGAIN, his herniation still isn’t better, and he was walking our daughter home from school, he stepped in a hole and now his back hurts where it consistenly hurt, but now it also hurts higher up- he went for an MRI yesterday and we will see what the results of that are.

Our family just can’t seem to catch a break.  We are definitely facing trials in all parts of our life, but we have faith God will hear our prayers and give us peace with it all, because God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Until next time….

Memory Problems

The memory problems associated with ECT can be quite unnerving.  I picked up my glass 4-cup measuring cup off the counter today and stared at it.  I couldn’t remember where it went.  No matter how long I looked or how hard I tried to remember it was gone, poof.  I had to ask my son where it went.  It seemed like such a stupid question- it’s my kitchen!

It’s so weird to be doing something normal and the memory to be gone.  I wonder if it’ll come back, or if some of my memory will always be gone.

I have had 3 ECT treatments, I don’t really notice much of a difference yet.  But I don’t think I’m expected to, I think I am supposed to have 9-12 treatments.  

My brain doesn’t work as well as it did.  But I think it’s supposed to get better.  It’s taken me a while to write this because my train of thought doesn’t flow like it used to.  But my brain seems to work just fine when I’m having anxiety.  Of course <insert eye roll> I wish that the ECT would make the anxiety go away the way some of my memories have….

I guess that’s all I have to say…. I’m sure there was more I intended to tell you all, but it’s disappeared like my memories.

 

Lazy lazy Sunday.  

Today was a lazy lazy day.  I overslept and missed church.  I was very disappointed in that. I wanted to hear my Pastor’s last sermon before his vacation, and I always feel better when I spend time in the word, especially with my brothers and sisters in Christ. But we got up and I ate my Cocoa Pebbles, and then started binge watching the Netflix Original Series 13 Reasons Why.  Probably not the most therapeutic show I can be watching right now. But once I saw the first episode I was hooked.  It was a beautiful day outside so my family were all outside and I sat on the couch with my ipad and headphones and watched 8 episodes today.

I missed a valium today because my timing was off.  I am feeling a bit anxious tonight, like my body is buzzing.

I did hang out my first load of laundry this year, and I went with my husband and children so that little one could practice riding her bike.  But then I went back home and headed straight to my show.  My hubby and the kids made pizza and part of me wanted to join them but often my anxiety makes the environment tense and it’s easier if I just stay out of it.  So I just left them to have the fun themselves.  I ate one piece of the pizza and then I ate Cocoa Pebbles (of course).

I think I mentioned recently not knowing why I was addicted to my 600lb life…. I think I came up with a theory- I relate to them. I relate to their mental state.  I relate to their food addiction, I relate to their relationship with food. And I worry that I could end up that way.  It’s definitely a big concern of mine, I am gaining weight at the rate of a pregnant elephant. I hate myself. I hate the way I look. I don’t want my husband to look at me, I don’t want anyone to look at me.

This post is awfully all over the place, I can tell I am not medicated. I guess I better post another day…..

I sleep through most movies… it’s just who I am…

I am not sure that I have yet seen the movie Inside Out all the way through, but I get the premise of the movie.  It uses characters to represent emotions we all have.  Joy is the main emotion.  She works hard to oppress the rest of them, and I guess that’s a good thing we all want to feel joy right? Well, I think the movie is brilliant.  And I used it’s premise to explain the war in my head to my husband tonight.

In my head there is a war waging.  But instead of just the normal emotions of Inside Out- Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust.  I have some other characters in there.  Let me introduce you to them

Insight-also known as rational thought, and frontal cortex. Poor insight.  She knows the right decisions.  She’s rational.  She knows that her thoughts and feelings and sometimes actions are irrational.  She unfortunately is not as strong as the rest of the characters, and they tend to beat her up a lot.  She is often found crying, hiding in a corner rocking back and forth repeating “this isn’t the truth” over and over.  The other yell shut up so she just says it more quietly.

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Next is depression- depression is one of the Kings of my brain it (it isn’t a he or a she) thinks it’s in control, but it often saddened to learn that there is someone stronger you will meet later.

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Meet Anxiety.  When you get to know her at first you really like her.  She’s a real go-getter.  She has a list, she gets it done, she tries to keep control of every situation.  But then as you get to know her better she also has a dark side.  She likes order, and if you disrupt her order she causes her hosts body to go through physiological changes that can be scary.  The host starts, sweating, heart pounding, looking for escape because Anxiety has just activated the DANGER button… you know the red button in every movie you aren’t supposed to push? She pushes it, a lot, and it’s scary and bad things happen.

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Meet Anger.  We all have a bit of anger in us.  But for me, anger is always right at the surface.  He is waiting for someone to dare cross his host.  Or for anxiety to push the danger button, and when that happens he comes out and it’s not pretty.  He gets people’s attention.  He is loud, he yells, he sometimes scares people with his loudness and sometimes he says things he doesn’t mean.  But it’s job to protect.  OR so he thinks.

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Next is our friend PTSD.  He changes shape often.  This is his default form, but sometimes he can be found as a 4 year old little girl, a teenager, a preteen, an infant a young adult or anything in between.  PTSD comes out when triggered by a memory of an extreme situation in the host’s life.  PTSD is scared, PTSD is more than scared it is fearful and in fight or flight mode.  It wants to run far far away and escape the pain. PTSD gives no warning when it arrives but when it does you have no escape until it decides the memory has been fully relived and the danger is over.  I personally think He and Anxiety are dating.

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And finally we come to our friend, and the one in control of the host’s mind 99% of the time OCD.  OCD and Insight are mortal enemies.  OCD is out to destroy insight.  OCD wants order, OCD has rules and they must be followed.  OCD makes the host do his bidding whether through an obsession, a compulsion, a rule or some other weird ritual whether or not the host wants to.  OCD runs things around here.   And he is constantly making up new rules.  His newest rule is that there are 4 sets of clothing per day- clothing that is permissible in the barn (thereby being contaminated by the chickens and their dust), clothing permissible in public (thereby contaminated by being in public), clothing allowed in the house and on the furniture (but not in her bed, tho I do allow on top of the duvet), and pajamas.   Pajamas are only allowed only inside the covers, not on top of the duvet, allowed in the bathroom if it’s a must, and to go to the kitchen to get tea or a snack to be brought back to bed, as long as no furniture is touched.  He also controls whether or not the Host has the need to self harm,  over eat. not eat or punish herself in some other way shape or form.  There is not a rational bone in her body, and she has settled in for the long haul.  Everyday she adds new rules to the list, and they must be followed or contamination happens, or something bad might happen, to her, everything is life or death.

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So there you have it, the characters living inside my brain, waging war against poor Insight.  The meds are trying to help insight along but she’s simply limping along.  Most of the time she just goes into avoidance mode and let’s her host sleep, because during sleep the war is quiet, the battle is at a cease fire. But she knows this can only go on so long.  She’s not sure what will happen, or who will win, but she’s running scared that’s for sure.   She often wishes she didn’t exist because if she didn’t then she wouldn’t have to fight so hard. She could let the others run the place and she could park her butt on a beach in Tahiti and relax.

It really isn’t a fair fight.

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The Wisdom of a 6-year old and other stuff on my mind….

On the way to where we were headed tonight little one was disappointed that her playdate got cancelled tomorrow, and she told me:

“Mama, the bad memories and thoughts make a potion in my head that tries to take away the good thoughts and memories”.  The insight that child has amazes me. She understands her brain in a way that I don’t even understand mine.  I told her that my brain does that too, and big one said his does too.  I told her, Little One I think everyone’s brain does that.

She also has this theory that she has “black holes” in her brain, these black holes are all different some of them make her not listen, some make her mad, some make her do naughty things.  This makes sense to me, it’s like the little voices in all of our heads that tell us what to do and what not to do.

She has come up with all these things herself.  It amazes me.  I hope this is a sign that she will be more mentally healthy than I am.

I have had a hard day.  I had an extra medication appointment today to try to figure out what I can take to help me sleep at night.  We talked about my self harm, and my OCD.  She feels my OCD is much worse than it was when we first started meeting, but she sees a difference in my depression and anxiety. I think in general she’s right- although the past couple days my anxiety has been really high. But my OCD is definitely worse. And both her and my counselor asked me today if I try to go against my obsessions or compulsions and I basically said no.  I let it run my life.  Which is partially true- like Sunday I was obsessing over cutting, and I didn’t do it all day, but I thought about it, and obsessed over it, and even overnight was still thinking about it, and ended up doing it Monday morning.  I scratched today too.

The ironic thing, the keys I use to cut up my arms are the ones that go to the house we had foreclosed on us.  There is probably some psychological reason for that… plus they are nice and sharp.  Hubby and Dr are worried that I am going to up the ante- since it used to just be my fingernails and now it’s keys…. they are afraid it will go to blades.  And I can’t promise that it won’t.  I try to make the key injuries worse by putting hand sanitizer on them to make them burn more, or I get them wet because that makes it worse.  Dr wanted to know if I am cleaning them good, and I said no.  She’s trying to make sure that they won’t get infected since I am breaking the skin, and I answered her honestly.  No.  I only wash them when I shower.  She told me how important it was to keep it clean so it won’t get infected, but if I am honest with myself I kind of want it to be infected.  I want it to hurt.  I love the hurt. I love the pain.  It’s a distraction. It’s a punishment I can inflict on myself before anyone else can hurt me.

I am reading this as I am typing it, and I wonder if those of you reading this think I have lost my mind, or if some of you have gone through the same thing or at least understand.  Hubby does not understand I know that much.  Thankfully, he doesn’t get angry with me, though we talked today about why it bothers him so much that I do it and he said he wouldn’t let anyone else hurt me, he doesn’t want to let me do it.

Part of my problem today, was something from my timehop.

This popped up from 3 years ago today:

The picture on the right, was not taken that night, but that was the dress I was wearing.  When I fit into that dress, I felt pretty, for the first time in my life.  I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t at that magic number I thought I needed to be at, but I did feel pretty. People noticed me. And when I read that timehop today my heart broke into a million pieces.  For a very short time my husband was able to have a woman on his arm that he could be proud of for her looks, yes, it’s superficial but it’s the first impression.  I texted him this morning that, he deserved the prom queen, not her crazy, fat, grandmother.  He was a little confused by the grandmother  comment but I guess it’s because I look at this picture and a picture of myself and I feel like I have aged a decade instead of 3 years.

My husband has loved me when I was 118 when we met at ages 16 and 17, when I was 260 after having each of our babies at 235 when I started the journey, when I was 180, 170, 160, and at my adult lowest of 147, but he deserves so much more.  He is athletic, he’s thin, he’s attractive and even at 38 years old turns heads. I’m not blind.  I’m pretty sure people wonder why he’s with someone like me.  Recently I asked him if he would still love me if I were 600lbs and he said yes of course but he couldn’t promise he would still find me sexy/attractive.  And this morning I put him on the spot and said, and tell me, are you still as attracted to me as you were that night (the one in the timehop), and he looked at me, I could see his mind moving- do I tell her yes, knowing she knows I’m lying, or do I admi the truth and say no and hurt her feelings.  So let him off the hook, I said you don’t have to answer I know the truth is no so you don’t have to answer the trick question.

I hate the way I look, how can I expect him to like the way I look? Who honestly could be attracted to a woman who has rolls on her rolls, her arms are as big as some people’s thighs? And add to that my mental health issues, I don’t know why he stays here with me.  He puts up with my mood swings, my hating of myself, my self harm, the extra he has had to pick up at home with my depression, anxiety and OCD.  And he doesn’t feel good either, between his fibromyalgia and his disk herniation it’s not fair of me to ask him to pick up the slack.  I should be doing these things.

I don’t deserve him.  I don’t deserve anything.  I told my counselor today that I don’t deserve my friends that have been so good to me.  Im not sure why I don’t feel like I dont deserve anything but that’s how I feel.  Today is not a good day. Not at all.

 

The best and the worst time of the year…..

Tax refund season.  Should be the best time of the year, how often does the US Government send you a check for sometimes thousands of dollars- (yes I realize some people have to pay in, or don’t get a refund for whatever reason, but when you are low income and have children you get EITC and Child Tax credit so you get money back).  We got ours on the 15th for the Feds and the 20th for the state.  I left it in there till today.  I wanted to feel for a couple days that we were rich. That we had some money.

And then I paid bills. LOTS of bills.  We carry some credit card debt like most of America. And we pay our homeowners insurance and property taxes with our tax return.  I’d like to say that we paid off all the credit card debt we carry, but alas we didn’t.  But I am happy to report our electric bill is completely caught up, we can catch up on our oil (we haven’t yet only because we are awaiting our heating oil assistance money so we don’t have to spend that money if we don’t need to).  And we paid off about half our credit card debt.  Not enough, but we will get there.

We also wanted to keep a little cushion of cash since our state benefits are cut off as of April 1st, (until they made the medical determination that hubby can get disability due to his many conditions), and then of course SSDI has to make their decision. I was really worried about money until I paid off those bills today. Paying them off made our monthly payments over 200 less.  And I also paid off our car insurance until it renews. This takes a load off my shoulders.

But it doesn’t change the fact that we are never going to get ahead. My husband is never going to ever be able to be “gainfully” employed again.  My mental health and dealing with two special kids make it impossible for me to just “go out and get a job”. I can barely run to the pharmacy without valium keeping me from panicking and I use the DRIVE THRU!

I wonder if I will ever be “normal” again. I wonder if I will enjoy going out again. If I will ever want to be a part of society.  I wonder if I will ever have hobbies and interests again. I miss knitting and reading but it just requires more thoughts and attention than I can give.

The only thing I can do is blog.  I can put my feelings and thoughts here.  But I think that’s because it helps get them out of my head.

My brother- I haven’t talked much about him, he read my entire blog over the course of the past couple of days. First, I am humbled and grateful that he was willing to devote his precious time to reading my thoughts and feelings but he also had empathetic feelings toward everything that I had to endure as a child.  He knew some of it, and he himself suffered at the hands of my father the few occasions he visited us when he visited us.  (He grew up with his biological father), but he never knew how bad it was for me, and if I am honest with all of you, I haven’t even scratched the surface of the abuse I endured at his hands.  Eventually, I will get to more of it, I will share more of it, but I have to let it go slowly. If I don’t I will go crazy(ier) than I already am.

I am very lucky, my parented gave me a wonderful gift in the fact I have siblings. A sister, and a brother.  Even though he’s only a “half” brother I never thought of him like that.  We are close, the three of us, but it’s only recently that I have begun sharing how badly I’m doing with them.  I am the one who always brought us together.  It was a letter I wrote to my brother that got him to start visiting us when I was a kid, I am the glue that holds my family together, and I wear that badge with honor, because it’s a good label, but with that label there is also responsibility and there is disappointments because I am not perfect. Because I can’t keep the peace between everyone, I can’t mend all the relationships.

Today hubby had to fill out his disability paperwork for the state, next we will have to fill out the application for the Social Security office.  Sometimes I look at my life and wonder how I got here.  How is this my life? This is so not what I imagined when I was a little girl. I’m disappointed in so many ways.  I thought we were would financially secure, I didn’t think we would drive crappy cars, I didn’t think we would have to pinch every penny every month. I didn’t think that we would always struggle.

I was thinking about happiness, and what it means to me, and I think the answer I gave yesterday is the best that I can explain, but I also wonder if I can ever be truly happy or content living hand to mouth, relying on the state, or the government.  I want to be secure.  I don’t want to be rich (though universe if you are listening if you felt like you wanted to drop a million in my lap tomorrow I wouldn’t complain).  But I worry about our kids’ college, I worry about retirement, I worry about tomorrow.  What if an appliance breaks? What if we get in a car accident how will we replace the vehicle?  I try really hard not to focus on all this stuff too much because it really gets me down, and get raises my anxiety level but today it’s fresh in my mind as I went from website to website paying the bills I didn’t have a choice but to think about our financial future.  What I really hope is that each of my children will find a job that will bring them financial peace and security and I hope that I can teach them to manage money better than I have in the past – past mistakes, past bad choices and continued mistakes.

This was sort of an odd combination of thoughts….. sorry. It’s what’s on my mind after 2 valium….