anxiety · bipolar · depression · Life · Poetry

Empty Mornings – A Poem

Waking up

Opening eyes

Dry mouth and sore thighs

The chairs are barren

The table set

The dishes washed

I never leave a mess

No one ever calls

But just in case

The apartment is clean as gallery walls

Silent Sundays

Still Friday nights

Saturday is for television

And Popcorn for one

Things become familiar

Medication routine

Waiting for it all to kick in

So I can function once again.

Searching for the meaning of this emotional state

Popping a pill to quell the anxiety

Eating chocolate to satiate

Not knowing what I want

Not knowing what I need

Just knowing there is emptiness

If it stopped suddenly

I would find it all peculiar

Living so long like this makes living without impossible

And Saturday’s are for television

And Popcorn for one.

DIH – 9/26/18

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bipolar · Life · mental health · mental illness · Self Image · Stigma

Friends and diagnoses

You may say you care.

You might wish me luck.

You may have the best intents but it just doesn’t show up.

Wish me well, understand.

Just don’t attempt to take me by the hand.

I know my position. I’m well aware of my affliction.

It’s not your position to help me get through my diagnosis.

Did I ask you? Did I beg you?

I was only throwing it out there trying not to persuade you.

Why did you run so fast? Forgetting that I am human.

What can I do from so far away when I’m the only one I’m ruining.

So I’ll keep my mouth shut. Keep it simple and sweet.

We won’t get too deep because the Stigma scares you more than your own contradictions.

bipolar · Life · Meds

Quelling Paranoia

The way things are and the way things seem are two different things. There are times that you feel people are doing things JUST to annoy or impress or in spite of you. Like your upstairs neighbor for example. Are they are really that noisy? Or do they only get that way when you are at home.

Other people’s actions. My mind is hung up on the delusion that my neighbors make noise specifically to disturb me. Following me from room to room and settling down directly over my head when I am trying to sleep. That they are doing it to show me that they are in control of the building and that I have no power or say over things.

I have to remind myself that the world does not revolve around my actions. People are so hung up on themselves, that my life is the furthest thing from their minds. They are hung up on bills and their own problems and couldn’t give me a second thought.

My paranoia is on high alert and I have to bring it down to reality. Of course, my neighbors seem to only make noise when I am home. Because that is the only time I can hear it. When I am home.

Who knows what they do when I am out. Who cares. I need to concentrate on ME. Not what I think others are thinking or doing or whatever. I need to keep safe by being aware, but not paranoid of my surroundings.

Wanting to be a wallflower and then being told by others that I “STAND OUT” in a crowd, simply sucks. Being told that I am approachable when I want to be left alone. Things like that feed on me. But there are others who wish they were approachable or stood out in a crowd. It’s no fun.

And yet I am nowhere in my life. I’ve got one talent and it seems that when someone tells me about it, I shut it down. I don’t want attention. No matter how much joy it brings me. So I distract myself by reading Manga or watching movies or re-runs.

I use to think that no matter what I did, I couldn’t please my father. So why bother trying. So I didn’t. Now it seems that enjoying something in my life feels wrong. So I don’t do it.

There’s something in there, I haven’t figured it out yet, but there’s something in there I need to decode and disperse.

 

death · depression · Life · Meds

The meaning behind my absence

I’ve always been the kind of person who knew something or rather ‘felt’ something was coming, before it got there. The day I wrote the poem, “The Blackest Wings” I thought I was writing of my own death or another illness piled upon the ones I already have.

I felt like death was hovering around me, and it was close, but I couldn’t put my finger upon it, but it was something I should be prepared for, so I braced myself. For the past year I have been preparing for my brother’s death. He wasn’t deathly ill, but I knew he would be the next in our family to die, I knew it was time for a death. We had had two births and the devil was due his cut. I knew this as well as I know my name.

And that morning I wrote that poem, I never put the two feelings together. And here I am, connecting dots and writing of my brother’s death.

The day before he died, I had told my therapist I was afraid for him. That he was going to do something stupid. Like drink too much or something like that, I just knew something was not right for or with him. She asked me what I thought it was and with a straight face I said, “I’m afraid he’s dead.” The next morning, we found out he was, we still don’t know why, just that it was medical.

People keep asking us how and about toxicology reports and other rude rumors. For he did party and dabble and peoples minds always think the worse.

It doesn’t matter to me the HOW! Just the fact that he is GONE. I will never see or hear my brother’s voice again. Part of me didn’t believe it. Still expecting to hear from him, to hear that it was a mistake. But eventually, I deleted his phone numbers from my phone and realized, he was gone.

I never blamed God or damned him. I would just keep crying that; ‘someone took my brother away.’ In the beginning all I could do was cry and feel anger. Anger that he left me. Tears because he wasn’t here to protect me anymore. He was the oldest.

My mother lost her first born and when I told her, the words she said were, ‘I wish I could dig up his father and beat him and kick him and beat him for what he did to my children.’.

My father never knew how to be a father, cause his died when he was very young. And he basically raised himself. But it wasn’t until my ’40’s that I learned of the physical and mental abuse he put on my brother and how it tore him up inside like a secret eating at his soul.

He never had a chance to come to terms with those feelings. He was just beginning therapy and beginning a path where good things were ahead, it just required patience. Something someone with ADHD has very little of and he didn’t have the tools to move thru this life with mental illness.

I tried to teach him what I could, and he learned a few tricks thru his faith.

Faith or rather a promise is what brought me some peace concerning his death. The promise of resurrection, when we will be reunited again.

I’ve never spoken of religion here, because although I have my faith. I don’t go to church. I simply believe and respect everyone else’s right to believe and practice whatever works for them to live in this world.

But this soothes me and works for me and quelled my anger. Lessened my tears. Although there are days I still cry in my breakfast and wake with the words, ‘my brother is dead’.

I have to wake a half hour before I can take my psych meds. They are the hardest half hour in my life. For I grieve all over again and I realize without my Latuda and Xanax, I would be in deep distress.

The funeral is on Friday and I expect tears and that sharp pain in my heart again when I see his body, one final time. I’m not looking forwards to it. I wish it were done and over with and then there’s the repast my relatives want. But my mother and I do not. We just want to go home and crawl in the bed and sleep.

And can I add that funerals are more expensive than it takes to live a month of life. We had to scale back so many things and still, almost didn’t have enough. I hold disgust for this necessity of life and the greed surrounding it.

I had to write the obituary, a small blurb for the pamphlet and put together photo’s and a list of music for a DVD, which was a free offer. Gee, thanks for the 6 hours of staring at my dead brother and cropping and scanning photo’s. But he has a killer playlist.

I don’t know how long until I write here again. I have a short story to write, which will take some time. Baby steps towards my novel. I’ve taken some courses on writing, which have helped tremendously. Did all this over the past three weeks. Over achieving.

I’m not gonna end this with a goodbye. Instead, I’ll end it with a quote.

“My heart has joined the thousands, for my friend stopped running today.” – Richard Adams, Watership Down.

bipolar · depression · Meds

Waking up

To wake up crying for no other reason than I’m awake. I’m depressed and know it’s probably the rain or the fact that I missed doses yesterday. So I am in pain. But I can’t do anything about it until I take the morning dose on empty stomach a half hour before my other meds.

So, I’ve been busying myself with cooking and making playlists. I got up at 2am crying, wishing I was dead. Not wanting to be in this world anymore.

I’ve been here before. There is no reason beyond the fact that it is the nature of the beast. No event, no word uttered or knee pain. I’m on a downswing of depression and I’ve got to ride it out. Meds will help, talking with my mother will help. This, the writing, will help.

Hopefully it won’t last long.

anxiety · bipolar · Book · depression · Life · Meds

And the Answer is: Anxiety

I’ll take “REASONS TO STAY IN BED ALL DAY ” for $1,000.

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There are times I wonder if my days are nothing more than a wheel of ‘mis’fortune. Not to say its all bad. I might win a contest for some small thing, or get to spend some time with my mother and utterly enjoy the whole day. Or get to sleep without shuttering from my mind wanting to get up, but my body not being able too.

All types of crap happen. And when you have more than one diagnoses, you don’t know what to pick. Is today a BiPolar day, depression episode or anxiety attack.

My anxiety has been on high. I worry about my mom and I have a morbid obsession with how I will react or live once she passes.

Will I lose my mind? What will I do when I need someone to turn to and no one is there. There’s this fear about being alone, since there is no one presently in my life.

I wake up, go thru my daily routine. We talk and then; the rest of my day goes by until I call her before bed. This gives me reassurance that someone cares.

My mother is my rock. And there are times I am hers, and I like that.

My anxiety levels go pretty high and without the xanax and occasional other med, I would be inoperable. I feel it build and build and I want to eat everything in the house and I pace and I shake and it’s one major mess.

That’s where I’ve been lately. Except the day I shut down.

There I was, sitting in the waiting room for my therapist and my mood hit rock bottom. I could just stare and barely talk. My therapist is so good, she helped bring me around, able to make eye contact and sentences.

Things have been strange. I’m still able to put in an hour a week to development of the book. So, I guess it’s not a complete loss.

There was a writing course offered, but I’m broke. Only $400 and it would teach you how to develop characters, plot etc..  Coursera is an incredible site. I’m just too poor. Oh well.

Will share again, when I am able.

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.)