Joining the Circus! Be Back Soon

  
Since I’ll be on leave for at least 6 weeks, I’ve decided to tell everyone that I’ve gone and joined the circus- you know, instead of telling them I’ve checked myself into the funny farm (again). 

Yes! That’s me up there! Credits to my girlfriend for her ever-inspiring art! And thank you, Instagram, for your odd filters.

I’m a bit nervous for tomorrow, to say the least. I’m excited to get back to stabilizing myself and my emotions. I’m just very anxious about the inevitable pain, discomfort, and realizations that are to come.

Off to the circus I go!

My Hypnotist is also a Hellion

The past few nights have been really difficult. M has been here, prominently occupying my daily life. He alerted me of his presence with a, “Hello, Sibyl. Good morning, Bitch.”

I can feel him injecting black dye into my organs. I can see it flowing through my veins. They’re darker. I am clouded with it. He shuffles through obscene pictures of my girlfriend fucking other people, of my cousin mounting me… he wants me to know how absolutely worthless I am to anybody’s health.

I feel quiet and helpless. Two mornings ago I found myself hidden once again beneath my covers, crying into my mattress. I feel that at any point in time, someone is going to break into the house and kill me.

Exhaustion has befriended me. I hope it’s as simple as a med adjustment. As the days progress, my itch for opiates intensifies; the release of warmth and comfort. I’ll be okay, I’ll be okay.

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.

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:

Day 3 of Partial Hospitalization- 600 mgs of Mania

Day 3, done.

I felt so incredibly manic today. I haven’t felt that wound up in a very long time. Once I got to group, it was pretty apparent. I could barely sit still. My attention was all over, as well as my speedy speech. I felt as if I was bursting out of my skin; complete with anxiety and rapid auditory hallucinations.

I brought it up to my doctor. When I was first admitted to PHP, I had let them know in my assessment that I felt a manic and/or psychotic episode coming on. (I have had several intense psychotic breakdowns in the past, so I know the onset symptoms well, now) She said that it sounds like the mania is setting in before the psychotic crash. She had me up my dose to 600 mg tonight- which I took 30 minutes ago.

I was so incredibly anxious before I took the meds. The anxiety attack started around 7:30. I felt it buzzing beneath my skin…then, it all set in. I began crying uncontrollably, desperately gasping for air. I wanted to harm myself, I wanted a drink to diminish the panic. It was all okay in the end. I’m really looking forward to the lithium working.

Today was very quiet and mellow. There were only 4 people in group today so we had a lot of time to really delve into ourselves and such. During fourth group, we participated in a guided meditation. Ahh, finally, relaxation. I was elated to greet the fresh blankets and pillows. I napped and I napped hard. So did everyone else. The heater softly blew tepid air into the room as we listened to the rain propelling down onto the bungalow roof.

I left a message for my primary care physician. The plan is to get an approved leave of absence from work for 1 month from my medical doctor. That way, I won’t have to totally jeopardize my job because they won’t know I’m in behavioral treatment. While I’m in PHP, I’ll be able to work on myself some more, adjust my meds, and just get better- the ultimate goal.

I cleaned the shit out of my apartment when I got home. In 30 minutes, I had picked up the living and dining room, vacuumed, dusted, wiped down the tables, washed the windows… mania is good for production purposes.

As of right now, I feel kind of dazed and detached from everything around me.

Day 2 of Partial Hospitalization; Animated Paperclips

Day 2 of PHP was fantastic, again. I was so drained and exhausted by the time I came home last night that I didn’t want to write.

In the morning, I spoke to the social worker for quite a while. I realized how much pain and turmoil I was suppressing in the depths of me. Also, she is going to work with me this morning to file for a leave of absence. As you know, I work for a company deemed as a Scientology affiliate; they manage the staff and all under the administration side of the church. The social worker suggested that I call my medical primary doctor and ask her to put me on leave for a month or so. This way, my job is a little more protected (legally, too), I can continue to work on myself and push through the shit, and I’m in a safe place while my meds are shifted and increased. There is a plethora of stress and anxiety accumulating over the logistics of filing for disability and blah blah…

I think what makes me most anxious about- and this may seem silly- taking more time off is I miss my girl friend. We work together, we communicate consistently throughout the workday, and I miss her. She’s what brings me back to reality, she makes me happy, etc, etc. I know, I know- I need to work on stabilizing myself. Maybe this experience will also give me the strength to change my living situation as well. I have been using ad hockery as a crutch. Now it’s time for me to start planning, little by little so as not to overwhelm myself of course, planning my recovery.

Anyways, so I strategized with the social worker. Next group session, I processed about Allie and my fears of losing her due to antipsychotics. (I would be elated for the others to stop, in particularly Morris) My homework last night was to list the various traits about Allie that I found to be beneficial to me. What was it about her that made her such an intrinsic support net for me?

Then, the more I was expressing this, I came to another a-ha! moment. Morris tends to reiterate pernicious phrases from my past. I had never given this a second thought until now:

When I was very young, I heard from my grandfather, my brother, and step-mother that I am the reason my father committed suicide. That’s fucking hardcore. As a child to be told that not only did my dad take his own life because of me, but my mother abandoned me as well. I had stuffed those memories way down in the caverns of my darkest memories. Now, it’s all resurfacing.

I felt as if I was buzzing inside my body all day. I was AWAKE and ready to go. I had to take several deep breaths to bring myself back down. I was hallucinating a lot more- though I’m sure that was due to anxiety. In the morning, I had to speak a little slower in group, and focus on what was happening. I found my self wandering around in my mind. Although the voices and such were prominent, I was dealing with a significant flux of visual hallucinations. For example, objects would animate. When I closed my eyes, I would envision people falling from the sky, hitting the ground, bones shattering and ….well you get the idea. THAT was unpleasant.

I slept like a BABY last night. I was so alert and felt fantastic when I woke up this morning.

Lithium, Orange Badges, and Art Therapy

Diagnoses: Schizoaffective Bipolar Type (hasn’t changed)
Rx: Lithium, 300 mgs

I started my Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) today. It went really well! They signed me in, took my vitals, and I received a PHP badge so I could access the designated bungalow for outpatients. I’m there from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm for 5 days. I was assigned a psychiatrist, doctor, social worker, and psychologist. The days consist of 4 intense group therapy sessions led by the psychologist.

During the first session, she went around and checked everyone’s basic how-are-you-doings, medication issues/concerns, sobriety check-ins, etc. The second group session consisted of processing through areas each person needed to work on.

Side note, they had coffee throughout the day which was available during breaks. I was very happy about that. Third group session was an educational session. Today’s topic was mindfulness and breathing mechanisms. In guided meditation, the psychologist had us listen to the sounds around us, both inside the room and out. After about 5-10 minutes of this, we shared our experiences through the meditation. Then, we had lunch. Everyone was so welcoming to me! I shared some of my stories about the Church of Scientology. We talked about medication, our lives, what it’s like living with our disorders, and music.

Finally, art therapy came around, which is the last group session of the day. We journaled. The psychologist had us close our eyes, and she read 3 quotes about anger. “At the root of all anger is pain…Do not teach your children to not be angry; teach them instead how to be angry….” The last quote is escaping my mind at the moment. For 5 minutes, we were told to write. The only rule was to not stop writing for those 5 minutes. This was the poem I created during that time:

Dear mother, dear father
this anger, sick, sick, reverberates
it pushes and lulls within my marrow.
through blue heroin
you speak, you cry, you birth.
my dear parents, this anger rises
from the silver needles.
my small veins soak with it. and how angry you’ve felt…
4 years gone, dear father,
you vanish. trickling behind you were
photographs of my first birthday,
still wet with ink.
suicides- they don’t always die
yet the great, grave flesh burns and turns.
you have betrayed us.
dear mother, the absence of you has
embroidered itself within my heart,
stitching thoughts of
you were too worthless to be loved.
still, I loved you and had forgiven you.
this unrelenting fury an anguish lingers.
you had given this to me, this sick disease.

We all shared the pieces we wrote. I realized through processing how much anger I have been carrying towards my parents and myself. I didn’t really think about how angry I was for allowing myself to become my parents. I had taken on addiction, alcoholism, and suicide attempts. Now, I am on the road of forgiving myself and realizing that I really need help. It nearly brought me to tears.

It was so relieving to be able to speak freely, unafraid of judgement. It was also wonderful to be with people who understood. We were able to support each other through tears and laughter. I felt really safe and I wanted to share with the group instead of isolating myself.

Tonight I start 300 mgs of lithium. I’m a little anxious of side effects. Next week, I’ll start an antipsychotiic.

I’m also going to give sobriety the good ol’ college try. Irritability, here I come!

I feel better. I still feel wildly depressed and mind-fuckingly anxious, but knowing that I have a support system- my current and new- I think I’m going to make it out alright. PS- Here’s some related humor because without it, everything just sucks

The Price is Right and Assessment Papers

I bit the bullet and went in for an assessment today at a mental/rehab facility.

Allie sat with me in the passenger seat all the way to the hospital. She reassured me that no matter what happens, no one will take her away from me. So, in that, I found comfort. Although I was beyond anxious about it, the minute I stepped on to the grounds, I felt a little bit of relief. The outside of the facility itself was so calming and soothing.

I called last night and told the receptionist that I’ve been feeling very suicidal. When I walked up to the check in desk, she happily exclaimed, “I’m so happy you decided to come in!” They even gave me hot chocolate- so I was sold right then and there.

I didn’t have to wait for too long. I found myself laughing at the overly giddy Price is Right contestants on the lobby television. Then, my name was called. She took me into this small assessment room with cozy love seats. First, she took my blood pressure and heart rate. Then, the usual questions. What brings you here today? Have you had thoughts of suicide? History of drug abuse? Are you on any medications? Any recent losses?

I found myself tripping over my words. It was incredibly difficult admitting to her all of the gory details of my depression and psychotic episodes. We touched briefly upon my past and present opiate abuse, my alcohol reliance, suicide attempts, psychotic breaks. The more I talked the more I wanted a drink.

I was accepted for an intensive outpatient program, which starts tomorrow for 5 days. After those 5 days, we can reassess my situation and schedule more appointments and such. So, from 9 am to 3 pm I’ll be spilling my guts to my psychiatrist and working with other people.

I’m scared shitless, I’m still sad, I still feel floopered, but I know that tomorrow I will at least have the opportunity to alleviate some of this unbearable pain. By unbearable, I mean just that. I mean I just don’t want to be alive anywhere. The emotional agony is absolutely intolerable. What makes it worse is I really feel that I’m alone; I’m suffering from an invisible and seemingly phantom anguish that no one else can see or understand.

It will get better. I just need to pull myself up by the boot straps. Holy hell, this is a bad ride.

I keep hearing knocking on the window next to me and it’s slightly frightening.

Anyways, readers, thank you for being there. I’m going to try my damnedest to make it through tonight alright. I may come back on here and just write. I can already feel it creeping and weaving through my fibers.

The Wonderful Doctor Rogers, a Tale of Insomnia

1 am thoughts:

Can I make it to 4 nights on about 4 hours of sleep total?

Today was interesting. I was just so exhausted, yet wired. I had to stamp 1032 postcards for work, so the repetition was good for me; I didn’t need to think too much.

I was on a strict diet of coffee, cigarettes, and ibuprofen today- coffee to keep me going, cigarettes to curb my anxiety, and ibuprofen because the headache that ensues after drinking 3 glasses of wine at 4 am is a bitch.

Oh, last night. I didn’t think I was going to make it out alive. I felt, I mean I truly felt, that I was slipping away. I have had a few episodes of sheer psychosis. I feel one coming. I thought maybe last night I was going to break.

I’m sitting here, blogging and watching Adventure Time.

I went to a show earlier tonight. It was an Animation Breakdown, sponsored by Cinefamily, for Devin Flynn. This guys is pretty nifty. He’s done animation for Wonder Showzen, Flying Lotus, Adult Swim…

He shared 2 hours worth of animation rarities. It was like a acid trip, to say the least.

1:30 am thoughts

My liver is a champion.

My coworker seemed concerned about me today. I’ve told her a little bit about what was going on. Not too much. She works in my department in human resources, so I feel that I need her to at least know, to some extent, that I’m going through a hard time. She’s definitely covered for me, since our boss is a Scientologist…blah, blah, blahbadyfuck. Wouldn’t he flip if he knew I’m starting meds soon…

Which reminds me, that psych never returned my call. I’m going to go back and grab my script for the Zyprexa. Right? Shouldn’t I at least try it out?

To be quite honest, I’m absolutely terrified of starting medication. Physically and mentally.

I wrote this poem a long time ago when I began my journey on lithium…. It’s called The Wonderful Doctor Rogers. When I submitted my first manuscript, the title of my poetic compilation was called The Wonderful Doctor Rogers and Other Glorious Affairs. (Read out loud, if you want…or not…I’m not the boss of you)

Blinking bulbs buzz around aluminum.
A quiet pulse pushes platinum
through my steel veins.
The monitors above me
spill LCD shadows against my chest.

Where am I?

A dozen rusty-edged cans
lay scattered around
the operating room.
They’re full of wheels and
bolts and screws.

The wonderful Doctor Rogers
shuffles through the white-lit room
lulling a crate of wires.
He turns to me, turns confused.
I cock my mechanical head.
With his large left hand,
he pushes my eyelids down.

I feel pressure on what seems to be my skull.
I listen to the sonic scalpel-scraping sound.

“Now, darling, be still,” he says
with a whispering croak.
“Don’t move an inch.”
A chisel chills my hybrid frame.
My eye sockets feel loose,
and my tendons the same.

The doctor hums a tune or two
as he works away on my skeleton.
“You’ll be good as new once
I’m through with you.”

My wrists pop back into place.
The floor, its swirled with
a demonic face.
This argentate plasma smells
like plastic. My embossed veins

are heavy with it.

2 am thoughts. Dear sleep, where are you?

Paranoia Bullets, the Zyprexa Edition

2007-06-04_psychiatrist_and_mobile_phone

Well, she prescribed me Zyprexa. I would like a second opinion, though. So, I think I’m going to see another psychiatrist next week, or as soon as possible.

(I wish I could help myself by simply applying the kindergartener’s philosophy; crafting via finger paints and macaroni necklaces. I wish I could cure myself by succorance and constant communication)

Though when I was at work, later on in the day I kept hearing my coworkers talking about how insane I am…and I thought…maybe Zyprexa isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Does anyone have any experience with olanzapine? Good, bad?

The appointment went well, over all. Oh, to blahpolar, the dr asked me how I was doing, and I responded with a chipper, “Tenebrific!” She was definitely amused at my response, as well as the short story I told her about it.

It was a short appointment. I let her know what’s been happening since I saw her last week. I let her know about the brutal suicidal thoughts I was having two nights ago. Nothing seemed to surprise her.

After I left her office, I stepped into the elevator. There was a man behind me and I truly felt as if he was going to stab me. I felt so paranoid. Even as I was driving back to work, I felt everyone staring at me, following me. Then, I began to think about how this same thing would happen to me when I was younger. I was constantly on my toes, thinking that someone was peering through my window, ready to shoot me. I would crawl on the floor to avoid the bullets. To this day, actually, I get that feeling frequently. I’ll have to do little ritualistic things to rid myself of the overwhelming expectation of getting shot.

Again, I felt that I was being filmed. I couldn’t shake it off. What a peculiar sensation it was.

This morning, the familiar, tendrillar, black creature wrapped it’s wiry limbs around me. The voices pervaded my very thoughts. I’m sure anxiety has a lot to do with it. You see, not only was I nail-biting over my appointment today, but work itself was a harrowing feat. I raise my glass of wine to all of you. Mondays are a bitch.

In other news, my mom finally called me. She is still at home, living with her husband. It bothers me. It really bothers me, actually. Yet, what say do I really have? Absolutely none. Other than residing in the same home as her asshat husband, she seems well and in high spirits. She is looking for work currently. I hope she finds a better life for herself soon.