bipolar · Life · Long term Therapy · Meds · mental health · mental illness

The Journey

NaturesRespite

 

Some days it’s draining. Other days it’s indescribable. All you can do is hope to make it home to your bed and dream it all away.

I can’t believe it’s been over five months since my meds quit on me. Stability was something I had worked to achieve and I’m working towards it again. I’m seventy to seventy-five percent there. Work to be done in the spending department. Still feeling shaky in my hands. This angers me. My pdoc knew she was walking on shaky ground with the two meds I was on and I even warned her of the two prescribed at once.

(Yes, warned. You MUST take a proactive stance in any medical or therapeutic treatment. Know your meds. Know your ailment. Don’t follow blindly.)

She wanted to keep me on the two “shaky” drugs an extra month. I didn’t feel this was good for me because of the shaking and the possibility of a nerve condition as a side effect.

I ended up-titrating myself down earlier. This is my life and my body. Not to be played with by anyone. I felt secure enough that the other med had petered out and the new one was working well. Not recommended practice. It worked out well for me. Always titrate down. Never just quit a medication.

It will take a month to get the old med out of my system after being on it over ten years. I hope the tick goes away. You can’t see it, but I feel it and notice it when I type. This is irritating and keeps me from writing new poetry etc.

One thing mania has contributed to my personality has been confidence. Which I lost years ago. Failed relationships, verbal and mental abuse. I don’t want to go on with the list because I’m not in the mood.

Let’s be honest. All that crap adds to the journey of any person’s life. When you’re BiPolar or have any mental illness,  I feel we are a bit more sensitive to the damage. Things are mixed up after diagnosis and we can’t trust our own thoughts or decisions. This is a scary time. You second guess everything. Is it me? Or is it my illness? You don’t know who “ME” is anymore in the beginning. All you can identify with is the illness. This will separate in time. This is why I say ‘It’s just an aspect.’

Stability is the golden ticket out of there. Something to strive for and is actually obtainable. I use the term “Remission” if you have to use one to describe something that can be triggered by stress, medication or life tragedy. It really never goes away. That’s the reality of my illness. Stability is my remission.

I’m almost there.

Huzzah. Huzzah.

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anxiety · depression · Long term Therapy · Meds · mental health · mental illness

Chocolate and new meds.

I haven’t had a med change in almost ten years. I realize that these meds for stability only last about ten years. I wish I was counting and I could have seen this coming. I’m tired. My anxiety is crazy. I want sweets. I want death. I know this will pass but for the moment its hell.

No one to talk to who won’t freak out. If I had chocolate this would all be easier.

I have to add another dose next week. Yesterday was easier. I just need things to be what they were before the confusion. I don’t want to leave the house. Back into the darkness.

bipolar · Life · Long term Therapy · Meds · mental health · mental illness · symptoms · Thankfulness · Thoughts

Medication and Side Effects – My take

 

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The Cake Walk

 

I’ve always been amazed at those commercials about medications on tv that tell you about how wonderful a medication is and then go thru the list of all possible side effects.

May cause shaking, dropsy, walking or eating in your sleep, drowsiness, scurvy and death.

They always say death the last. Just the possibility of one of the side effects is enough to turn people away from the benefit. And I understand that fear. I’ve seen some pretty scary side effects from psych meds over the past 20+ years. I’ve had a few, not too serious ones.

Like the death mask. It was a dark rash, only on my face, that highlighter my skull. Like a skeleton mask. Not very attractive and not the normal side effect. Of course I stopped taking the med and it went away.

I’ve always made sure that when I was about to have a medication overhaul, I was in the hospital. That way, if the side effect was severe, I was in a safe place.

I’ve been on A LOT of meds since my diagnoses. One doctor joked, ‘do you rattle when you walk’. Meaning, with all the pills rattle around inside me so loud, that you can hear them. Not very funny, and there were times I was ‘over’ medicated. So I had to go back in the hospital for my own safety and they took me off all my meds and started from the beginning.

I’ve been thru all the SSRI’s, only been prescribed one MAOI and had a  reaction to that one.

I’m not going to talk about all the side effects I’ve been thru, if you want a greater understanding of meds, here’s a good start.

Mental Health Medications it on the NAMI sight.

I understand that the choice to medicate or not to medicate ones self for a mental health illness is personal. There are people who have told me that I’m pouring poisons down my throat and that they’ve gotten over their problems without meds.

I was like, ‘problems?’. Well you know what, good for you. God bless you. Buddha bless you and have a great day.

But for what ails me, I need meds. For my own mental health, safety and peace of mind. I want to be here. I don’t want to hurt others in any way. Not to say I’m gonna get dangerous, but words can hurt you too; and when I’m angry, I can be pretty hurtful.

I give a pill 2 weeks worth of side effects and if they haven’t gone away, I know it’s not for me. I’ve done the thorazine shuffle and have sat there, like a zombie disconnected from the world. But it’s gone away in time or rather I adjusted.

I’ve never had Tardive dyskinesia, which is rare; because most of those meds which cause it, aren’t used any more. But I’ve seen it and yes, it is scary to have and too watch. But I’ve also seen the person recover, pick up the pieces and move forwards with a medication that worked and got their life back. Working, driving and pursuing love, which was very important to him.

You can’t give up on the pursuit for the right medication. It took me 20 years to finally find one that kept me stable. Looking back, it didn’t exist when I first got ill. But it’s here now and I’m here now, because I just didn’t give up.

It’s no cake walk. And you will be surprised at the amount of strength you have in yourself to just keep moving forwards and trying different meds. Different combinations, or cocktails as I call them.

What works for you, may not work for someone else. We are all individual beings, so why should one med work for all people.

For those of us who choose to medicate, keep this in mind. It may not happen overnight, or it might, but eventually it will happen. You will feel better. And if you do, be conscious enough to realize, it isn’t because it went away, but rather; it’s because you’re medicated and the meds are working. SO KEEP TAKING THEM !!!

Mental Illness isn’t a cold or the flu. The meds aren’t designed to be taken for 7 days and then quit because you’re cured. No.

Its like having diabetes. You have to take them every day too keep the symptoms from reoccurring. So yeah, it’s a life thing for the majority of us.

So yeah, I’m married to my meds. And I know, I am only able to write this, because of the meds. I am stable in this moment. And that’s all that counts.

Not the number of meds or the side effects I’ve been thru or how long it took to get here. But the fact that I am here, and I have many friends who are not. Who didn’t survive the battle and it is an internal battle, fought daily and won by me and my meds.

And my fucking medal is LIFE.

(She drops the mike.)

bipolar · Book · depression · Long term Therapy · mental health · mental illness

Undertaking – Considering a book

I let it slip in therapy that I was considering writing a book. Hell, who isn’t. Mine would be a story concerning mental illness and hope.

Although there is much more to it, I’m not gonna give it all away here, in case I’m unable to follow thru. It’s hard sometimes just to remember to post to the blog or call a friend or return an email from someone important.

It’s not that I get busy, but the moods sometimes distract from the task at hand.

I hope I can give at least an hour towards character development etc. and then dive into the story, which I have started already. I just want to make sure I have enough structure.

I can’t promise anything, but I hope I can do it. It would mean so much to me and reflect what its like to be BiPolar without the ‘snake pit’ image portrayed so often in the past.

For those who don’t know the ‘snake pit’ reference. Click here – SNAKE PIT

 

Not to say it wasn’t a good movie. But the treatment of the mentally ill is different now and still lacking.

I just want to open some eyes and get this story out of my head somehow. I just hope I can do it.

 

bipolar · depression · Life · Long term Therapy · Meds · mental health

There are answers out there

You don’t have to broadcast. Or walk around with a t-shirt displaying your illness. But being open to discuss what its like to be Bipolar or Schizophrenic or depressed or have bouts of anxiety. Is a type of bravery, that most people who don’t fight the good fight, have never known.

The stigma attached to being mentally ill, dates back to Biblical times, so there is a lot of work to be done. To break down those walls and DIALOGUE is the best way to make them crumble.

There is no shame in being ill. Take care of yourself. Mentally and physically, the best way you know how. And if you don’t know how, just ask. It can be your doctor or someone you know who has gone thru the same battle or your therapist or even an online support group.

Education has always been the best way to battle Stigma and discrimination. And the more people know, the more those walls will come down and we can have free discussion and get help to people who need it.

I’ve been fighting this battle for over 20 years. And I am still here.

That’s a strong statement; I have many friends who can’t say that and I could not give you a simple answer to how I’ve survived, but “I’m still here”.

Never feel like you’ve been cursed or that you are less of a person because you have an illness. It may take a long time to get to a place of stability, and it may be shaky at times. But it’s all part of the journey. And if you take it day by day, moment by moment, you will be surprised at the inner strength you have.

Just reading this post is proof that you are strong. You want to know more and you are willing to do something. Don’t give up. There are answers out there.

Everyday I search for a way to survive, and somehow I am doing it.

bipolar · depression · Long term Therapy · Meds · mental health · mental illness · Stigma · Support · Thoughts

A quest for stability

scale

 

 

I believe in destiny. And fate, which makes me wonder about my present situations in life. Life may not be the greatest, but I tell myself and I know “IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE”.

I look at people in other countries; whom, if they were in my present state of life, would be dead. I don’t wonder about “WHY” anymore.

Sometimes, there aren’t any answers. It is what it is. No why’s, it just is.

If you obsess on answers to why you are physically and mentally ill, it will send you out of your mind. And the whole point is to be stable.

I don’t believe in the term ‘recovery’ when applied to mental health. Because you never recover from some illnesses, they can go into states of remission. But you have always be diligent about triggers and over doing things.

So it’s just a quest for stability. In my eyes.

There are people who have gone thru stages of depression and have reached recovery.

But for the BiPolar and Schizophrenic and Schizoaffective etc.; these things never go away. And that is the reason why I believe in taking meds diligently and keeping up with therapy to help support the medication. Like a one, two punch.

There are millions of people who suffer daily. And they suffer in silence, due to fear and stigma and family influences. And that saddens me. Because you are not alone, not by any means. And that’s something to remember.

 

 

anxiety · bipolar · Life · Long term Therapy · mental health · mental illness · Stigma

When things change, you flow like water

So many changes within the last few days, and I must admit, if it weren’t for the right medications, I would be on a psych ward right now.

My therapist retired, I thought they were gonna move my case onto the next therapist coming in, no.

They are following what they believe is a trend in the future of “Mental Health Care”. Triaging crisis issues and once the issues are resolved, closing the cases and cutting off treatment. No more ‘long term’ therapy. Get in and get out and move on.

For those of us with chronic illnesses, like BiPolar and Schizophrenia, etc. This particular clinic won’t be handling ‘long term treatment’.

Life is difficult enough without having a diagnosis. You need to have the release of therapy and to hone your coping skills constantly. Even with the help of medication, therapy is key to keeping yourself in stability.

I don’t like the term ‘remission’. Because “I” believe that mental illness is always with us, on a daily basis and we deal with it daily. Remission gives you the ideation that it’s ‘gone’. This isn’t true.

Everything we experience and think and desire in life is processed thru our illness. And if we have it in check, (stability) than we can make proper choices and can think clearly and have fewer episodes of double checking our thinking, to make sure its ‘realistic’ and not something that is heavily influenced by our illness.

Remission to me is a ‘physical’ illness term.

I am dealing with physical illness with chronic pain. And BiPolar, which is stable, but I still have anxiety issues, which are daily.

I need to be able to deal and to check that I am able to deal with the proper filters, therapy is required.

So I left the old clinic, although I had a great Nurse Practitioner who got me where I am today. Not looking forwards to starting over, be there are times its necessary to maintaining stability.

I have intake on Wednesday and hope to update this blog at least once a week, since there are things to write about now. LOL

Maybe I can be inspired to write some ‘decent’ poetry.

My anxiety is crippling at times. There are moments of depression and so much negative thinking that tries to come to the surface.

So much to work on…