Rapid Cycling, a Guest Writer, and PNES

 

I am cycling faster than an Olympic Triathlete. And I’m tired of it.

I am depleted, depressed, deranged, and desperate. I want to say the hallucinations are better, but with the influx of anxiety at work, I am still swimming through teeming auditory hallucinations. I’m frustrated. I am not a fun person to be around right now. Every little thing sets me off either into a fuming rage, or into a morose melancholy in which I sit in to ponder my existential purpose.

On top of this, I want a drink. OH I want a tequila shot. Or a glass of wine. I’m itching and I cannot remedy the cravings with grape juice anymore.

On another note, I’d like to introduce a guest writer- my girlfriend. I wanted her to recall what happened on Thursday night, since I feel it’s important.

Without much further ado, COME ON DOWWWWWNNNNNNNN

 In regards to what happened last night, there was a certain familiarity to the situation. There was a loss of touch with reality, a sense of fear (mostly emanating from me), and what I would describe as a kind of takeover.

Simply enough, she and I were laying in bed. She sat up and blankly stared ahead. I asked what was wrong, and she told me she didn’t feel too well – that she felt a bit hypoglycemic. So off I went into the kitchen to get a glass of whatever I could find which ended up being some flat soda. After drinking it, her hands stopped shaking and she just laid back down. No more than 10 minutes had passed after this incident when I got up to get dressed. I stood at the edge of the bed while she began to sit up and addressed me. She looked at me mischievously, and in the most tauntingly devious, callous tone of voice she began to talk. This was the dialogue:

“Oh, you don’t want to fuck me first?”

“What?”

“I fucked you, why wouldn’t you fuck me?”

“Why are you saying that?”

“Come here baby, *makes kissy noises* OH, I loooove you.”

At this, she began to slyly grin. Her hand was reaching out for me – she wanted me to come sit down next to her. She dropped her gaze, bowed her head, with her hand still in the air, she got really quiet and began to cry. I sat down and looked at her and asked her to come back to me, since she was far gone at this point. When she stopped crying, she looked up with a manic grin behind her eyes, and I realized she was dripping blood from her mouth. She looked at me in the same way she had just moments before, and said “You’re sure you don’t want to fuck me now? Come on babe, I’m right here.” This is when she began to have what appeared to be a seizure. It was a slow onset; she began shaking lightly, then more and more violently. This lasted for about a minute and half. As she shook, blood dripped from her mouth, down her chin, and onto her thigh. I wiped it up with my hands and went to go get a towel or something in the bathroom. I was gone less than ten seconds, and when I came back her head was back down and she was no longer ‘seizing’. Her voice changed to the voice I’m most familiar with, and a meek “I don’t feel well, babe” escaped her lips.

I pulled her towards me, and she was confused. I asked her to get dressed, to put her pants on. She kept coming back to me. Her eyes slowly unglazed and she came back to reality. I guided her to the bathroom and when she saw herself in the mirror she asked why she was bleeding. We then realized that she had bitten and chewed the inside of her lip and that’s where the blood was coming from (this to much a relief for me, since my first thought was that she had been back to using drugs without my knowledge; this wouldn’t be the first time she bled from her mouth in that manner).

She, for a couple of minutes, had completely dissociated and removed herself from present time. She had no recollection of what had happened. She remembered laying down after drinking the flat cola, then coming to, when I was asking her to put her pants on.

All I could do was lay back down with her, assuring her everything was okay, that I loved her and that I was here for her.

Also, because she cares so much for me, or maybe she was just scared out of her mind (because who wouldn’t be), she did a little research and learned about Psychogenic NonEpileptic Seizures (PNES). According this website:

“PNES are attacks that may look like epileptic seizures, but are not caused by abnormal brain electrical discharges. They are a manifestation of psychological distress. Frequently, patients with PNES may look like they are experiencing generalized convulsions similar to tonic clonic seizures with falling and shaking. Less frequently, PNES may mimic absence seizures or complex partial seizures with temporary loss of attention or staring.

A specific traumatic event, such as physical or sexual abuse, incest, divorce, death of a loved one, or other great loss or sudden change, can be identified in many patients with PNES.”

I’m not self diagnosing. I will bring this up to my doctor, however, does anyone out there have feedback, and/or experience with PNES, or dissociation? I want to know I’m not alone here.

I wrote this to my girlfriend yesterday and it describes how I feel:

I feel as if the dust of my childhood had settled for years and years on the attic floor, untouched and unbothered by light or a footstep. Now, I’ve let people into the attic- doors and windows splayed open. The wind is tossing all of the dust into a flurry, illuminated by bright sunlight. And I’m in the middle of it all, gazing at the floor, remembering that the wood panels below had etchings and designs. My lungs are contracting, wheezing, and coughing from all of the dust. All the while, everyone else around me is well equipped with masks.

I think that through group, I have been rustling up my past memories. Yesterday I actually had a flashback to my molestation. As I ran to the restroom at work, I kept thinking over and over, there’s nowhere for me to hide. Not a crease, nor crack. There is no place where the pain won’t reach me. So, I cried in the stall and cut my wrist to quiet it down.

My girlfriend made a great point (again. She’s great). In regards to me telling her that I don’t think I’m getting better- I mean I WAS feeling better, but I crashed again. She said that when I was first admitted, I handled the immediate situation. I got meds, I was in therapy, I talked out my immediate issues and felt better. However, we all now that mental illness isn’t cured by wiping the superficial grime off of ourselves; I began digging deeper and finally hit the center of my earth. My childhood and past. It’s hitting me like a truck now.

I know I’ll be alright, though. I need to keep thanking those around me for simply being there for me. I’m a wreck right now.

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Adjustments and Aggravations

I’m overwhelmed and I want to whine.

I feel that I am just a shell. I have nothing to offer to anyone, except for maybe a fake smile and an overly effusive, waxed-on, “I’m doing great!”

The world around me is bustling on, treading the pavements, jolting from point A to point B. Yet, here I am, sullenly floating between worlds. I am in juxtaposition to former, pre-medicated self. Unfortunately, at this point in time, I’d rather be her. I know, give the meds time to work. This is the adjustment period.

Well, fuck. Alright? Holy fuck. I can barely stand myself. I feel bad for the people around me. I am flittering and ricocheting through extreme moods. One second, I’m infuriated, the next, I’m hugging my knees in melancholy. It’s absurd.

I took a higher dose of Seroquel last night. Right before bedtime, I was making a snack in the kitchen, and it hit me like a truck. I felt my blood pressure drop, along with my body. I hit the kitchen counter on the way down. I woke up on the kitchen floor, drooling. Somehow, I managed to drag myself to the safety of my bed, where I continued said coma. The shitty thing is I had a nightmare last night. Usually, I’m able to wake myself up. But since the meds had me so damn sedated, I couldn’t get out of it. Terrifying dream.

Also, this morning, I began crying as I watched the cars drive by. I cried because none of them even knew I existed. I thought, “I’m going to die and none of these people even know I’m alive right now.” I cried for my existence, and for my inevitable non-existence.

I really do want to feel better. I want to be happy- wow, what a concept. In the thick of my med adjustments, I feel helpless, hopeless, alone, suicidal, addicted, urged to self harm, insane, angry, pissed, depressed, happy, elated, manic, embarrassed, scared, stressed, nauseated, jealous.
I’m jealous of those who don’t deal with mental illness, who can just go to work and actually function, who don’t have to take medication to just be alive.

Alright, I’m done. I’m holding on to the hope that the meds will work their magic in a couple of weeks.

Adult Decisions, Yikes- Also, I Hate Mental Illness

I’m stuck with a decision. I need feedback, please. I’ve already gotten advice, but I don’t know why a plethora of opinions would help me more.

Yesterday was my last day of IOP. (Well, technically, Monday is my LAST day) When I enrolled in the program, I made an agreement with work that my last (what I call it as) physical therapy would be March 25th. Then, POOF, all better. Obviously, I’m not better. Or maybe I am and I’m just blind to my progress.

So, my insurance guy is trying to get me more IOP days. If I do get them, it will probably be 10-15 days or so. That’s continuing on with the same schedule, etc. My options:

1) Continue on with IOP, assuming I get approved for more days. I’ll continue to work part time, assuming my work even approves it- yes my boss will be pissed. I already know that. AND I’ll receive more shitty paychecks, which I’m already struggling with.

2) I file for disability for a couple weeks, enroll back into PHP most likely, and work on my shit.

3) Discharge from the program completely and find an outside psychiatrist and therapist.

I’m leaning towards the latter right now. I’m back in the mentality of where I know it’s getting bad again, but maybe I can just pull it together. Just enough to keep me sane until I start seeing a therapist regularly.

In other news, my doctor bumped my Seroquel up to 75 mg. I knocked the fuck out like a tranquilized horse last night. Still had hallucinations this morning. She thinks it’s just the anxiety swimming around me lately. Makes sense.

Lazarusandlithium.com, Day 1 of IOP

100 followers!!!

I’ve hit 100 followers! Oh, this makes me so excited! You all are so awesome! 🙂 Thanks for the follow.

In honor of this occasion, I have registered my domain name as lazarusandlithium.com

Just when I thought the Seroquel was doing more damage than good, the hallucinations have stopped!! I had ZERO hallucinations yesterday! So far so good this morning. *does happy dance* AND the depression has been minimal. I feel as if I’m leveling out. I haven’t been on for the past couple of days, so I’ll try to update you on the key points…

Day 7 of Partial Hospitalization

Thursday was hard for me. I did feel depressed, albeit not as gnarly as usual. I felt very out of it. I was shaky, I felt fuzzy, and had a lot of passive suicidal ideation that scared me. I had a nightmare about Morris that really triggered paranoia and whatnot.  It was my last day for PHP, so I had minimal anxiety about starting the Intensive  Outpatient Program (IOP). I didn’t feel ready to step down; however, due to work purposes and finances, I needed to step down.  So, all in all, tough day. I got to see my lovely girl friend, though, so that made up for it!

Day 1 of Intensive Outpatient

It went well yesterday! Like I said, no hallucinations. DIfferent group, different schedule, but I loved it. My days now are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I was really shaky yesterday, and I fell in a store. I called my doctor and she said it was just low blood pressure. Today I feel much, much better!

I’m not really in the mood to write an extensive entry, so that’s what I’ve got!

Cheers.

Blog for Mental Health 2015 Pledge

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

bfmh15-4-copy

I’d like to make an official commitment to blog this year about mental health. I would like to promote awareness specifically for schizoaffective disorder. I’m learning about it every day, as a person who struggles with SAD. I’d love to learn more about it via people’s experiences with it as well.

It’s time to erase stigma, It’s a good year to educate not only those around us, but ourselves as well.

I’m looking forward to blogging more this year and reading other blogs, making friends, and exchanging support!

Yours sincerely,
Lazarus

Day 5 of Partial Hospitalization- Learning to Love Myself

Today was Day 5 of my PHP! Technically, it’s my last day, but luckily my insurance approved me for 5 additional days. I’m going to finish PHP through this Friday, then starting Monday I’ll drop down to IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program).

Group therapy was difficult for me this morning.

In my second group, I processed through my childhood and my sexual molestation via my father figure and cousin when I was 12. I dove into my first suicide attempt as a 14 year old. The feelings of betrayal, abandonment,apathy, and hurt came floating to the top. The whole conversation came about with my origination of “I don’t feel anything.” During the past 5 days, I haven’t felt a damn thing. I can talk about my dad’s suicide, about my attempts, about my homelessness, heroin addiction, self-mutiliation, etc…not one tear or lump in the throat. Our therapist then pointed out that disassociation is a classic symptom and effect of abuse and molestation during childhood. It makes total sense. That’s how I survived- by building barriers around myself, pushing my feelings way down into my psyche, and carrying on with my life. I never really thought about it in that way…

There’s a new guy with us now. He’s really awesome. In the past  year, he has attempted suicide 3 times. He also has a 6 year old daughter. Our therapist asked him, “Where does your daughter fit into your attempts? Did you ever think about how your suicide may effect her?” He replied with, “In the throes of my depression up to my attempts, I thought my daughter would be better off without me in the world.” I broke down crying. I hope that that thought never went through my dad’s mind when he took his own life. I turned to him in group and I told him, “My dad killed himself. I wish he was in my life. You are a blessing to your daughter. Keep going.”

Something really hit me today in group. After I talked about my childhood and really stirred up the memories, our therapist said it’s time to really look back, as an adult and knowing what I know now, I can go back and be with that young child who was hurt, who was abandoned, and angry. I can love and nurture that child. I can stand next to her and hold her- something I didn’t have when I was going through that trauma. The therapist also suggested that I take a picture of myself when I was a child so I could visualize my innocence.

Well, I did just that. And it hurts a lot. I’m in tears right now as I type away. I’m at this critical point in my life where I’d like to be with that child, to forgive myself, to love myself. Which is difficult, because I harbor a lot of unwarranted guilt and resentment towards myself. However, I need to love myself and heal.

So, I’m dedicating this song tonight to the child-me, from the adult-me. Here’s to healing, forgiving, loving, and ultimate recovery. We all deserve inner peace.

When you’re feeling sad and blue
Don’t you know that I will always be here for you
When everything just makes us go out of our mind
Just know that I will always have the time for you
You say that I am your influence
You should know that you inspire me, now until the end
I’ll help you get through the thick and thin
And I know you’ll remember when, I say…

You are strong strong as a soldier
Even when winds are tough you’ll always keep it together.
You are strong, strong as a soldier
I know you’ll get through anything
‘Cause you’re strong, strong, strong as a soldier.

When the waves are crashing down, can’t get up
Just know I’ll pick you up from the ground
When it feels like everything goes wrong,
Just remember to listen to this song

You are strong strong as a soldier
Even when winds are tough you’ll always keep it together.
You are strong, strong as a soldier
I know you’ll get through anything
‘Cause you’re strong, strong, strong as a soldier.

Don’t you worry about the obstacles to your happiness
If you let them get to you, you’ll end up just like the rest.
I know you’re better than those people who get in the way
Just remember what I always say…

You are strong strong as a soldier
Even when winds are tough you’ll always keep it together.
You are strong, strong as a soldier
I know you’ll get through anything
‘Cause you’re strong, strong, strong as a soldier.

You are strong, strong, strong as a soldier
Strong, strong, strong as a soldier

PS- An extra song for us women 🙂

Malingerers- The Bitching Edition

Please excuse my dear aunt Sally.

Please excuse this second post, seeing as I’ve already written one post 5 minutes ago, but I have something on my mind and I didn’t want to smoosh it on the tail-end of my previous entry.

Malingering.

I have spotted- or think I have spotted- a potential malingerer in my vicinity and I would like to take a moment (just sit right there I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air) …take a moment and vent a little bit.

Malingering is so goddamn stupid. Not only stupid, but ignorant, hurtful, and dangerous. It’s hurtful because malingering is offensive to those of us who are doing the work. We struggle with real issues. It’s not a walk in the park. It sucks, it hurts, and a lot of the time, people die over this shit. So, I don’t see why anyone in their right mind (maybe that’s the problem, they’re not in their right mind) would want to brand themselves with a disorder. It’s not a badge of honor.

It’s hurtful because of THEIR ignorance, WE have to suffer the misconceptions of the disorder WE have to live with. Malingerers create such erroneous portrayals of real mental illness.

It’s NOT a game.

Yes, it IS obvious they’re pulling “symptoms” out of their arse.

God bless America. WordPress, I’m sorry for the whiny bitching. Thank you for reading.

I’m also real sick and tired of hearing of/seeing people zoom over to Web MD and self diagnosing. Oh. Oh man. I can’t. I can’t even.

Here’s a great little number from one of my favorite bloggers, Autumn Asphodel. Take it away, Autumn:

Jack’s Wasted Life- Trigger Warning

I don’t even know what to write.

I am Jack’s wasted life.

I keepglancing at my wrists, wanting to dig deeper into myself, wanting to bleed out my emotions, my depression.

I purged my food today. I didn’t feel that I deserved to take care of myslf. I’m weak and exhausted. My body is sick and soggy with sadness.

He came home today. We talked for a while. Nothing has changed. He saw the welts on my legs and arms so he decided to stay here and watch me- both of us know I’ll only hurt myself more if left alone.

I think that the walls are blu and gray, only he say’s differently. I don’t even know why I’m reaching out right now. maybe i;m better off sleeping it off.

work tomorrow. Monday, monday, monday

Maudlin Narrations and Wished Upon Oxycontin

Fuckkkkk I have a lot to say and I don’t know where to start, so I’ll start and I’ll leave it up to you to unjumble, unscramble, decipher, and peel it apart.

I started a new vlog, perhaps I’ll post up my channel here one day soon if anyone is interested in it.

Sorry for the awkward nostalgia, again, but here you go…

I feel like I’m nothing but poison to everyone around me. I’ve mentioned this before, but I see myself as so parasitic to those around me. My (ex?) boyfriend would tell me, “Then stop doing that! You can change your mind at any time!” Oh, lovely, if only it were that easy! I need a hug. Oh damn, do I need a hug.

I really shouldn’t be complaining. I’ve had a fantastic few days with her and all… I feel like such a bitch. Like no one is good enough for me. Or, rather, I’m not good enough for them.

God, what a maudlin display. I am bathetically pouring out all of the things I hate about myself today. I wish I had good news! I wish I could tell you I won another poetry contest, or I’m in love with this wonderful woman….etc.

The truth is, readers, I feel like slitting my wrists, popping back a few oxy’s, drinking a bottle of wine and bathing in my sorry existence. I want so badly to say, “I’ll get out of this one!!”

You have no idea how close I am to admitting myself to a psych ward.

Suicide; an Essay

“Suicide only really frightens those who are never tempted by it and never will be, for its darkness only welcomes those who are predestined to it.”

On a car ride, my boyfriend remarked on my choice of tattoo scripture upon my collarbone. (Here’s my post about it) His argument was how incredibly sad and purposeless it was to have someone else’s suicide story sprawled across my body, permanently. “It must be a cry for help.” In my mind, I did not understand how he couldn’t at least see the beauty in the meaning behind it. Specifically, we were exchanging roundabout palaver regarding Sylvia Plath’s death, the ethics in general of glorifying suicide, and the symbolism of the poem itself, “Lady Lazarus.” Which, by the way, he has never read. I sat there, exhausting my inner poet and literary evangelist, trying so hard to explain that suicide doesn’t have to be this grandiose tragedy.

Therefore, I’m writing tonight about the human obsession with suicide and death. I apologize in advance for any unclear thoughts and nonsensical reiteration.

“To write poetry and to commit suicide, apparently so contradictory, had really been the same, attempts at escape.”
John Fowles

Why do some of us harbor this glorified lust for the mortal expiration, execution of our fleshy prisons? Let us take a break, for a moment, from the usual assumption of suicide as a permanent escape. I’m not talking about the moments before the climatic curtain fall. Nor am I touching upon the seconds before, the wet ink on the goodbye letter, nor the flashing of life before the eyelids.

No, I’m interested in the perpetual avidity for death by our own hands.

Why? What then do we make of this morbid thirst, this appetence for the reaper?

Sexton wrote, “Death, I need my little addiction to you. I need that tiny voice who, even as I rise from the sea, all woman, all there, says kill me, kill me.”

“…I don’t want to live. . . . Now listen, life is lovely, but I Can’t Live It. I can’t even explain. I know how silly it sounds . . . but if you knew how it Felt. To be alive, yes, alive, but not be able to live it. Ay that’s the rub. I am like a stone that lives . . . locked outside of all that’s real. . . . Anne, do you know of such things, can you hear???? I wish, or think I wish, that I were dying of something for then I could be brave, but to be not dying, and yet . . . and yet to [be] behind a wall, watching everyone fit in where I can’t, to talk behind a gray foggy wall, to live but to not reach or to reach wrong . . . to do it all wrong . . . believe me, (can you?) . . . what’s wrong. I want to belong. I’m like a jew who ends up in the wrong country. I’m not a part. I’m not a member. I’m frozen.”
Anne Sexton

I have noticed this macabre archetype in many poets, usually confessional poets.

Though slightly off topic of suicide, I rather enjoy this article regarding the Sylvia Plath Effect.

It is intriguing to me, how many of us go through life fixated on the idea of suicide. What a fantastic paradox! To be alive only to be in love with death.

Is it the unknown? Perhaps curiosity gets the better of us. What’s next? Do we obliterate into the vacuous canyon of black space? Do we reincarnate into lizards, our enemies? Do we become God?

Or is it the sweet release for some of us?  What an idea- to be nothing. To be non existent, free from all feeling and thought.

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.”

William Shakespeare

Is suicidal ideation always a result of a mental illness? I don’t think I’ve met a “mentally healthy” person who holds death so affectionately as I do. Personally speaking, suicide has always called me. I’ve figured that one day, I will take my own life. Perhaps not out of sadness, loneliness, or hopelessness. I just can’t imagine death coming for me without my acceptance first. I’d like to invite him over myself to establish a contract over tea. “Suicide is man’s way of telling God, ‘You can’t fire me – I quit!”

(Now, let me make it clear that I’m not promoting suicide as an actuality. In fact, I have suffered through the loss of three close family members via suicide.)

The question of why are some of us so incredibly in love with suicide is much too philosophical for me. But, oh, how I love to visit it.

And now, 1300 words worth of my irrelevant rant, I leave you with some magnificent quotes:

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”
David Foster Wallace

“I can’t deceive myself that out of the bare stark realization that no matter how enthusiastic you are, no matter how sure that character is fate, nothing is real, past or future, when you are alone in your room with the clock ticking loudly into the false cheerful brilliance of the electric light. And if you have no past or future which, after all, is all that the present is made of, why then you may as well dispose of the empty shell of present and commit suicide.”
Sylvia Plath

“It was ironic, really – you want to die because you can’t be bothered to go on living – but then you’re expected to get all energetic and move furniture and stand on chairs and hoist ropes and do complicated knots and attach things to other things and kick stools from under you and mess around with hot baths and razor blades and extension cords and electrical appliances and weedkiller. Suicide was a complicated, demanding business, often involving visits to hardware shops.

And if you’ve managed to drag yourself from the bed and go down the road to the garden center or the drug store, by then the worst is over. At that point you might as well just go to work.”
Marian Keyes