A Relevent Mental Health Question for 200 Followers

6 am, check my phone, check my notifications- 200 followers!!! Thank you for actually reading my blog and being so helpful to me! This is such a fantastic support network. Thank you.

Something that is on my mind…I have a question for anyone who would like to throw their opinion on here. On the subject of mental illness, how do you feel when someone equalizes it to another illness?

Specifically with Schizoaffective, Bipolar Type in my case: those of you have SAD, is it “okay” for someone to also call it Schizophrenia? If I have Schizoaffective Disorder, is it appropriate for me to say “I have Schizophrenia. I have Bipolar Disorder” as two separate illnesses? Why or why not?

I may be totally wrong, I’m not sure- as far as I understand my Glitter Rainbow Imagination, I have Schizoaffective Disorder, which is on the spectrum of Schizophrenia, however, it is not correct of me to go so far as to say, “I have Schizophrenia.” Two completely different disorders, correct?

L’appel du Vide

Yesterday, my day was comprised of authoritarian voices telling me not to step outside, that the rain was acid, I would burn alive. There’s acid in the food, don’t eat the food, they all know…

I am in a movie, a film. I have already died, most likely. The room is very quiet. Mourning and silence suffocate the air around us.

The film focuses around the last few hours of my life, before I am brutally murdered, or before I have taken my own life. Within these last few hours, major changes occur. Changes that could have severely reconstructed my life, had I not died. In the end, what a shame it was that death had taken me so soon; if I had only been alive just one more day, my entire human purpose and outlook would have shifted for the better.

Sometimes, I am replaying my final hours from the grave, displaying the cynosure of the plot to my audience (or perhaps only to myself).

Often, I feel as if something is wrong during my final hours, though my innate sense of danger is marred from depression, or the like. There is frequently a soundtrack that plays in my head to go along with whatever scene is happening at the moment.

When I was younger, I thought that I just had a very vivid imagination and that I was just a natural born raconteur. Which is all fine and well, until it began to really control me. It would get to be overwhelming. I would feel as if I was stuck inside of a snow globe- sometimes for days at a time. It’s similar to the feeling you get after you’ve seen a phenomenal action film, and you feel as if you’re IN the film for a couple hours afterwards… does that happen to anyone else? I call it Film Dysphoria. Perhaps it stems from feeling that I am constantly being watched.

Which reminds me, when I was a teenager, I was absolutely convinced that any home I went into, there was hidden cameras.

I would search and search relentlessly for the cameras. I became so uncomfortable that I would refuse to go into rooms alone. Every now and then, I’ll still have the feeling, but it’s not ruling me.

I think I’ve mentioned this before… whenever I have night mares that I can’t wake up from, I kill myself in the dream. Sometimes, I feel as if I’m dreaming when the dysphoria becomes unbearable. I have fleeting thoughts of, “What if I kill myself to wake up?” This is a very genuine thought in the moment, I’m sorry to say. It scares me.

L’appel du Vide.

DDNOS in a Church Pew

I drove to group this morning. Before I went, I stopped by my childhood church. I cried in the pew for a good 15 minutes, and begged God-whoever-s/he-is to please, please give me a break. I need a breather…
When I got to the hospital, I crawled in the backseat of my car and wept some more in a tight fetal position, while I stared off into the carpeting.
My two feeling words in group today were “detached, hopeless.” 10/10 depression, 7/10 anxiety. 10/10 craving to self harm. She sent me to visit with my doctor.
After speaking to my doctor for a long while, and based off of the information she’s been going over since my initial admittance, she diagnosed me with DDNOS, Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. (However, I guess my official diagnoses according the most recent DSM is PTSD Dissociative Subtype…?) She explained that I’ve been going through depersonalization/derealization. Part of the diagnoses, she said, is due to “brainwashing” by the CoS. They are going to help find a therapist that can help me with not only the schizoaffective symptoms, but the DDNOS as well. Trauma specialist.
Her explanation made sense to me. My immediate reaction is to research is, but I don’t know if I should. Maybe it’ll just add to my anxiety.
Overall, I’ve been feeling very out of my body. I feel like I’m in a movie constantly, or like I’m living in the moments before an atomic bomb goes off. It’s very unnerving.
Also, I was approved for 9 additional IOP days, so I’m going to need to request more days off of work. My primary care doctor refuses to write a letter for me on her letterhead, so I’m just going to have to give my job the letterhead from the hospital…

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.

Goldie and Micah’s Anathema

I haven’t been on in a few days- I have lots of comments to answer to!

Firstly, thank you for the birthday wishes, everyone! I had a fantastic day. I binged on Netflix whilst wearing my PJs and snacking. Allie hung out with me on my birthday throughout the day. Then, I went to my girlfriend’s house and spent much needed quality time with her. It was absolutely the perfect ending to my birthday.

On Sunday…I didn’t do much. Allie was chattery and all over the place. I felt as if she was pin balling everywhere, with all kinds of ideas and thoughts. I couldn’t contain her. Then, she reminded me of Micah’s foreboding anathema, and my stomach cramped. He had so graciously given me “50 days left,” and now those 50 days are done on March 26th.

Therefore, my anxiety has been all over the boards.

I’ve been queasy, sometimes unable to hold even water down. Last night, I hardly slept, being awoken by my own nightmares, then another episode startled me. I’ll get to that in one second.

Monday I had group. It was a bit emotionally arduous- not only for myself, but because I’ve developed an empathetic connection to these people and when they hurt, I hurt. It sounds selfish to say it, but I relate to one of the girls so well, I lost myself to my own painful memories yesterday.

During group, my therapist asked me if I heard voices. I said yes. Then, she asked me if they were ever religious- which was relevant to the group conversation. I said yes and proceeded to tell her about this one very awful entity. This is a story for another time. All you need to know is his initial begins with H, and he is one million times worse than M. He manifested from an obsession I had with the ouija board. I swore to myself I would never say his name aloud. Yet, I did. And he appeared. He’s with me now, draining my life force away from me.

Also, something else happened over the weekend that kind of hit a nerve. A very sensitive, touchy nerve and it sent me spinning through my own head. So, during group, I processed about how I felt as if I am unloveable “forever.” In my personal opinion, I think people fall in love with me quickly because I’m interesting. They’re fascinated with my fucked up mentality…but soon they realize that I’m batshit, and that I’m work. I’m hard work. Whether or not this statement is true is irrelevant, because due to said circumstance, a little piece of my heart irreparably scintillated and seared on Sunday.

And surprise, a new one introduced herself to me. Her name is Goldie. She’s a tough cookie. Allie brought her in as a reinforcement, because she’s worried. Allie has also brought back Celia as my “emotional accountant.”

Last night, through my nightmares and all, I woke up, and realized I was standing in front of my body mirror, conversing with Goldie. She spoke through me in her badass Jersey accent. She put me to bed when she realized I was awake, and told me not to worry about it anymore.

My girlfriend was scared because the other night, Allie spoke to her for a split second through me. I think I just let her slip out.

She’s been talking to me a lot, along with Allie, and now Celia is here, asking questions. I feel that I am losing my grip on reality, slowly. Which is fucked up because tomorrow is my LAST day at the hospital. I’m not ready. I need help. I’m slipping and I don’t want to admit because c’mon: all this time, after the meds, after therapy, I’m still not better?

I know this sounds stupid, but I feel possessed. I hate it.

Rainbow Tutus and Combat Boots

During group, the therapist asks us what our goal for the day is. My goal was to stay happy for longer than 5 minutes.

I don’t know why happiness has been so fleeting, so transitory. As of now, I am beginning to feel the high wear off from the day’s joyful excursions. It’s not an awful crash by any means, but it is a crash.

My mother called today. Yes she did! Unfortunately, I was at work covering reception so I quickly asked her, “Are you safe? Where are you? Can I call you back?” Yes, she’s safe. She’s back in her home…I called her back 40 minutes later and no answer. She’s alive and she sounded well, which is all I cared about.

The hallucinations got just a little bit gnarly tonight. They are just now beginning to dissipate.

I saw my doctor today. She said she’s proud of my progress with group and with the meds. So far, so good.

I was able to wear my rainbow tutu at work today, thanks to my girlfriend for purchasing said tutu. Yes, I was well equipped with my combat boots. The office helped me celebrate my birthday a day early, so that was fantastic.

Overall, it was a fantastic day. I’m very fortunate to have the people that I do.

Like I said, the high is wearing off now. However, I’m still doing alright. I shall report back tomorrow or Sunday morning about the general tom foolery I encounter on my name day.

Cheers.

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.

Day 6 of Partial Hospitalization- Relapses and Minor Profanities

One week of sobriety…down the drain.

Today was difficult for me. It started with me waking up, feeling detached from the world, buzzing beneath the flesh.

Group was alright. I felt paranoid a lot. Micah began circling around my chair, as a wolf. A deep growl resonated from him as he traipsed around me…almost as if he was protecting me from something- which turned into a relentless paranoia. I was afraid someone was going to shoot me through the window and that everyone was talking about me.

We had creative writing during 4th group, in which I wrote the following poem:

The dead bell hangs quietly,
unrung, unexpressed,
and rather lonely.
Still, the jealousy I’ve
encapsulated for this
weathered tool retired within
its old, iron tower,
springs a new from the depths.
How great the dead bell sits,
suspended eternally above the
pedestrians, families, unsuspecting lovers.
My thoughts alone chase after me.
Snarl-grinned, jagged-toothed and clawed,
with low growls the black wolf cunningly
seeks a meal from the stark fear
painted on my face,
Completely rooted up, he goes flying.
And what of the other ones?
The dismal groans,
the 3 AM ribbon-like
life nightmares, protruding from the eyelids.
How envious I am of that old, dead bell.
No need to sing, or feel. Its life purpose
done and checked off the gargantuan God list.
Needing not to think, to dream, or even choose.

So, later on, I was talking to my boyfriend’s mother (because we have a great relationship still….for the most part), and I was telling her how I’m going to find an NA group near me. She said, “You don’t need that. You don’t have a problem…you could’t even get your hands on enough narcotics to become addicted.” (never mind that SHE is my supplier) Too much to go into. When we got off the phone, I told him that it really upset me. I felt invalidated. He said, “Well, you don’t have a problem. You’re just being impulsive and you’re creating a problem.You’re involving yourself in too many groups.” -In so many words.

I felt that I have been working hard, I have finally identified the fact that I have a problem, AND I’m seeking help…yet, I’m getting attacked for all of the above.

That being said, I said fuck all of you and drank. I’m trying very, very, very fucking hard not to snort a line of hydrocodone. I want to fold myself into a pocket of destruction and get it over with it.

I’m going to get it all out tomorrow on therapy but fuck. Right now, right this second, I feel hopeless. I feel so fucking alone. My boyfriend….he’s allowing me 2 glasses of wine….because he says I shouldn’t be stopping cold turkey. I should allow myself a drink or two at night.

10 minutes to med time. It will take strength not to take more than my seroquel prescription.

I just want this fucked up disease to get better. How the FUCK am I going to get better living here?

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 🙂

Day 4 of Partial Hospitalization- Seroquellian Dreams

Day 4 went pretty well. The group was rather quiet and mellow in the morning. We welcomed two new members- both came from 2 weeks as inpatients.

I spoke with my doctor this morning. I’m having blood work done tomorrow to check my lithium levels. She’s keeping me on 600 mgs for a while. In 6 minutes, I’ll be taking my first dose of Seroquel- 50 mgs. I’m slightly anxious about it, but I think I’ll be okay.

I talked a lot about my mom in the second group; my frustration with her, my anger because I feel that she is choosing drugs over me, my feelings of abandonment are resurfacing and I hate them. I still haven’t cried in group. I feel very apathetic.

In third group, we discussed depression. I was surprised at how many people understood me, and how I understood them in regards to the symptoms and aggravations of the black dog.

*takes meds*

I played hooky from fourth group and instead went out with 4 other awesome people I met in group. We went to a hookah cafe. How refreshing it is to converse with fellow Glitter Rainbow Imagineers. We’ve come up with a group title:

The 50-ONE-50s.

Tell me that isn’t the best thing ever.

I went to my first AA meeting tonight. It was an LGBT group, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Another fantastic benefit about AA is when I’m finished with PHP, I can continue to participate in group therapy. It really helps me a lot, and I’m so grateful for the experience I’ve been having so far in group. Driving to the treatment center, every morning, I find myself thanking God- whoever that may be- for allowing me to have this new start. Things were really dark there for a second. More than a second. I’ve been struggling for years. I needed this break, I needed this medication, these people, this place to get me on my feet and well again.

I’m also grateful for this blog. Many of you are so supportive and I appreciate you all so very much!

I suppose now I’ll wait for this Seroquel to kick in and make me sleepy. Supposedly, it’s a real ass kicker when it comes to drowsiness. Thoughts? Advice? Personal experience?

My anxiety has improved in regards to my work. I visited my coworkers for a little while today after I filled my prescription. I think everything is going to be okay. I need this time for myself.