Ashes..

“Can beauty come out of ashes?”

I’ve been reading over all of my previous blog posts and it’s been very difficult, reliving some of the anguish and turmoil I was feeling when I wrote them.. But as I sit here, listening to “Ashes” by Celine Dion from Deadpool 2, and really take in some of the lyrics –

“What’s left to say?
These prayers ain’t working anymore
Every word shot down in flames
What’s left to do with these broken pieces on the floor?
I’m losing my voice calling on you

‘Cause I’ve been shaking
I’ve been bending backwards till I’m broke
Watching all these dreams go up in smoke”

– it’s hitting me just how differently I feel now than I used to.. And that’s a good thing!! I don’t feel that despair or loneliness.. Yes, there’s still SO much self-doubt inside of me, but it’s getting better bit by bit.. For so long I didn’t understand why I was suffering the way I was, why I felt the way I did, why the medications wouldn’t work.. And, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense! The medications were causing the symptoms, that’s why I didn’t get better/ couldn’t get better! It didn’t matter how much I wanted to feel better, to be better, it just wasn’t happening.. The meds made me think, feel, say, and do things that were completely contradictory to me as a person and that caused so much inner conflict that I struggled to deal with it, because I just didn’t know how.. I didn’t understand why there wasn’t any treatment that helped long-term, some didn’t help at all.. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure out what was going on.. But hindsight is 20/20 and there’s nothing I can do about it now, just cope with the damage that’s been done and try to salvage something that looks sort of like a life..

I look back to the part of my journey where I decided to stop the psychiatric medications and then to stop additional medications, granted that I didn’t need them anymore, and I’m still amazed that I was able to actually do it.. The withdrawal periods were some of the hardest things I’ve been through physically.. I think my resolve to get off of them helped me endure it emotionally, and also having the support of those who care about me was a tremendous help.. But the motivation came from somewhere deep within that I didn’t know still existed, it had been muted by meds so long ago.. The only feelings I had known were pain and doubt.. Now I experience such a different range of emotions and I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I have for that! My day-to-day life isn’t much different in the functions, but my mood and state of mind have changed so drastically that I’m still waiting for the floor to drop out from under me sometimes.. I just hope that one day I’ll be able to rise, like a phoenix, from the ashes that is my life.. I don’t fear tomorrow like I used to, I’m not afraid to walk out of my bedroom door.. I don’t have a plan for my life, I still wonder what I’m capable of, but I do hope to one day be able to accomplish something significant, something more than surviving.. I hope that I’ll be able to thrive and live up to my full potential..

I am thankful..

Today was Thanksgiving and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it..  For the first time in years I was able to experience the pleasure of spending time with my family without being plagued by crippling anxiety and panic attacks..  After lunch we sat on the steps of our front porch to take a family photo and I could not stop laughing, as much as I tried..

 

I am currently having ups and downs still from going completely psychiatric drug free over the summer, as well as being in the process of weaning off of the medication I take for fibromyalgia, so my emotions can tend to be a little unpredictable at times, but most of the time I am actually enjoying life!  I laugh so much and so hard anymore..  I find myself getting irritable, but I’m attributing that to the medication withdrawal I’m going through right now and I’m dealing with it the best I know how..  But for the most part I can be around people again, and I WANT to be around people again!  I still need some alone time, but I don’t hide in my room as much as I used to, I don’t need to anymore..

 

There seems to be at least one moment every day or every other day where I think about how much all those psychiatric medications changed me and altered my personality..  Some of the changes that have taken place within me lately are a direct result of some of the horrible things I’ve experienced over these last 14 years, but others are because I’ve realized just how skewed my thinking had become because of all those drugs..  They are literally mind-altering, and not for the better in my case..  They change brain chemistry in such a way that can be detrimental..  I try not to fault the doctors who treated me over the years, because I’d like to think they were all doing for me what they thought was the best (for me), but I’ve grown so cynical towards the medical community as a whole that it’s difficult for me to think that most were doing anything other than just what was easiest for them..  But I digress!  I think back to certain things that I struggled with or had pervasive thoughts about while I was on all those medications and I know that I only had issues with them because of the meds..  I believe it’s a good thing I got out from under the haze of those drugs when I did..  My biggest regret is having ever started taking them in the first place, but we can’t go backwards in time, we can only move forward!  And I am trying so hard to “get over it” and cope with having lost 14 years of my life, and my health, that I will never get back..  It’s hard for me to not be at least a little bitter towards the doctor who initially got me started down this path, but he didn’t have any more foresight into what would come than I did, so I can’t blame him anymore for the pile of shit that is my life.. But again, I digress..

 

I want to end this post by expressing how thankful I am for my family and for life..  There were times when I didn’t know if I’d wake up the next day, but I did and I am so glad that I did..  And I am so glad that I can enjoy life!  Yes, there are aspects of life that suck and things are hard and maybe it’s because my life has been a black hole for so long – every good thing sucked down into it and destroyed, all the light blotted out by the pervasive darkness that filled my heart – that now I can understand that not all things are so bad and that not all days are going to be filled with endless sorrow..  I appreciate what I have, I appreciate what I don’t have (illness-wise), and I am so grateful for a family that loves me even though I am inherently unloveable..  I love you all so much and I thank God for you!  I hope you know how much you mean to me, even though I don’t always show it or say it..

 

 

 

 

My thoughts tonight..

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my life and about who I am, who I’d like to be..  I wish that I could say that I was married or had already found someone to share my life with, but with half of my life over already I find myself still very much alone..  I spend a good 21-22 (or more) hours every single day alone, unless you count the company of my cats..  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love some alone time; in fact, I need alone time to unwind and process all of my thoughts and everything going on around me, but I also very much crave deep conversation and meaningful time spent in the company of people I feel I can connect with..  But admittedly that number is frighteningly small..  I don’t connect with people very easily..  I just feel different somehow..  I don’t know how exactly to put it into words, but I know that I bite my tongue 90% of the time and I feel like I can’t speak my mind or say what I’m really feeling..  In the past when I’ve opened up and bared my soul I’ve been looked at strangely because I was misunderstood and no one could relate to me..  So I’ve learned (the hard way) to keep my mouth shut and not say what I’d really like to say..

 

Here’re some truths about me : my mind is pretty much always in the gutter; I’m pessimistic and I’m overly sensitive; I’m super/ hyper self-conscious and I’ve got a record low self-esteem; in my mind I say worse things about myself than I would ever say to anyone else, even to an “enemy;” I don’t think very highly of the human race as a whole, maybe that’s my personal experiences talking, maybe not; I don’t place any value upon or within myself..

 

These are things I WISH were true about me : I exude light and truth and, in spite of all my flaws and failures, people can sense goodness in me and gravitate towards it; I’ve got redeemable qualities that would make time spent with me worth it for individuals involved; I am talented; and I am loveable..

 

I’ve been through some exceedingly hard shit in my life and I have known some deep and indescribable sadness and despair and more times than I wish were true I have wanted to die, but out of an obligation or sense of duty to others over self-interest I never followed through with any suicidal plans or ideations, and there were many..  I have always chosen what’s best for other people over what’s best for myself; that is always foremost in my mind, my thoughts..  I never choose a path based on what I think would be best for me when it involves others besides myself..  I am fundamentally an unselfish person, I have never been focused on self or was self-interested..  It’s just not in my nature..  I cannot, and will not, choose what’s best for me if I think it in any way negatively impacts someone else or makes their life harder or even so much as makes them uncomfortable..  I’m not tooting my own horn here or trying to imply I’m somehow better than anyone else because, believe me, being this way is not good!  It’s one thing to be humble and interested in others above self, it’s an entirely different thing to consider everyone else before yourself to your own detriment..  I fall into the latter category..  What I do and the way I am is not healthy..  I don’t speak up for myself when I should, I’m not myself when I feel the most like I want to be, I am constantly guarding my heart and protecting myself from the world..  But in doing that I am also shielding myself from experiencing some of the basic human experiences like friendship and love and maybe even finding my place out in the world..

 

I don’t know how, or if it’s even possible, but I’ve got to somehow find a way to feel and believe in my own self-worth, then maybe I can contemplate trying to accomplish something in my life..

 

 

 

“A new day has come.”

As I sit here, listening to music and typing out my thoughts, I can’t help but wonder how much my life will still improve?  Most days it gets better, but some days are stagnant..  Things have progressed so much over the last several months and my overall health has gotten so much better..  I have MUCH to be thankful for, and I am..  But there are still things that I want or would like to do that I wonder if they’ll ever come to pass?

 

I have lived in such a state of dormancy that it’s proven difficult for me to muster up the motivation to get myself out of it..  I’m so used to doing, or rather not doing, things on a daily basis that I struggle to make myself do the things I know I need to do..  I am still very much in the fight and I have the passion and desire to live and breathe and exist and matter..  I just need to find the physical strength to actually make things happen..

 

With each day that passes I have much more clarity and acuity of mind, but I still have some troubles with memory..  I still have lost huge chunks of my life – most of my childhood is just gone, teen years are gone, early twenties just gone..  I don’t know if they’ll ever return to me; I doubt they will, and I guess that’s okay..  I’ve learned to accept some things in my life, things I might not really be okay with, but things that I can’t change and so might as well just “get over”..

 

Changing gears a bit : I find myself receiving little “messages,” if you will, occasionally..  Little reminders to not give up, to keep pushing forward, and to always strive to make my life better..  I have many people that care about me and I have some people that even love me, as miraculous as that is!  I am so very blessed and I can’t even grasp how I’m still here today, but I am so very glad I am!  Thank you for praying for me, thank you for caring about me, and thank you if you happen to be one of those few who love me, I don’t know how or why you do, but it means the world to me!

 

Life’s blaring messages..

I don’t often feel like I receive answers to prayers or requests, but lately I’ve been bombarded with messages that can only be in direct response to my sufferings and my longings and my pleas for answers..

 

I struggle every moment of every day to feel like I matter, to feel like I’m more than an invisible speck on this Earth..  I want so much to feel acceptance and understanding, for people to actually care and to be interested in me and what’s going on in my life..  But I’ve been seeing and hearing messages about learning to take negative experiences and learning from them/ growing from them, about finding peace and acceptance within yourself/ loving yourself, about putting aside your insecurities and finding confidence within yourself..  These are all things I desperately needed to hear..  I guess I haven’t been holding myself accountable and I am sorry for that..  I’ve been so focused on seeking love and acceptance and attention from others that I haven’t given any thought to learning how to be okay with myself – mind, body, spirit..  I don’t know how to even start loving myself, all I can remember is the hateful, debasing self-talk that has always invaded my thoughts..  But I am going to do everything I can to start the process of proper healing..  I don’t deserve to have anyone’s love, attention, or affection anyways, but especially if I don’t even love and respect myself..

 

This past week and a half have been so incredibly hard; I’ve been going through Zoloft withdrawal and it has been absolutely hell..  I’ve been in more physical pain that I can remember experiencing in a long time, I’ve been more emotionally unstable than I can remember being in a while, and I was at a place this morning where I had thoughts of wanting to cut again..  It’s been a while since I’ve struggled with thoughts of cutting and I do not like being there..  I’ve had moments where I’ve been so incredibly angry that I could barely control myself and there have been times when I could not, for the life of me, stop the tears from flowing..  I am BEGGING God to help me get through this..  This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through..  There is so much I wish I could do, but I keep hearing thoughts in my head telling me to be patient..  I just want this whole ordeal to be over with..  People say, all the damn time, it seems, that things in life happen for a reason..  I don’t really believe that, but I do believe that we are responsible for how we respond and react to what happens in our lives..  We are responsible for how we let our circumstances shape us..  I’d really like to be the type of person who can say that they grew and advanced from their experiences..

 

Of course I wish my life had turned out differently and of course I wish that circumstances were different, but they aren’t and all I can ask for now is the strength and continued guidance to grow and persevere through whatever shitty thing Life decides to throw my way next..

 

 

Contemplation..

So I’ve been thinking : when is it time to just stop trying?  When should I stop reaching out to people?  It’s not that I simply feel ignored, I literally am ignored..  I go unnoticed, despite repeatedly reaching out and attempting to make connections..  So, I ask myself : should I altogether give up on trying to make connections with people?  Is it ever actually going to pay off?  I like to think of myself as a kind and relatable person, but maybe I’m just completely wrong about what kind of person I am and the vibe I give off to people..  Perhaps I come across as cold or disinterested..  I want so much to just connect with people, have conversations with them, build meaningful relationships with them..  But I seem to be rather off-putting in some way, because people just don’t care..

 

With each new day that passes I feel that I learn something new, and it’s not always a pleasant lesson..  But I still embrace them, because if I stop learning then I stop growing and I want to always be improving myself, making myself a better person..  I don’t understand what it is about myself that people find unappealing, but I continue to work on evolving and doing what I can to grow..  I know I fall short of my own expectations for myself and that I don’t live up to what I believe I should be, but I try to reconcile what I am with what I wish I was..

 

I am at the starting point in life, having missed out on so many opportunities that people my age would normally experience..  I struggle with wanting to be so much farther along than I am..  I feel like I’m nothing, I have nothing, I’ve done nothing..  But I have been through so much..  I have been to such dark places in my life that I very seriously contemplated death and I have, many times, wanted to just die, no longer wanting to live..  I have suffered so much..  And for what?!  What has come of it?  What have I gained?  I have missed out on so much..  I’d very much like to be hopeful for the future, that I might finally experience some of the things I’ve missed out on, but with each passing day, as my mind recovers and I regain some mental clarity, I struggle because my body is still tired and it hurts, it’s achy, and I still sleep a lot..  I expected that I would start to have some energy again, but that hasn’t proven to be the case..  I’m at a loss, I don’t know what to do to help my body recover, too..

 

So I still question why should I bother trying to even connect with people anymore?  They’re predictable going to ignore me..  I can’t make people care about me..  I can’t force people to take an interest in me..  I obviously lack something that makes people want to know more about me and want to connect with me..  It’s beyond me what that is; if I knew, I’d change it..

 

I’m growing in my relationship with our Creator, but I still struggle to understand my purpose, if I even have one..  There are so many things I want and pray for in life, but it’s sometimes hard to have faith and hope that I’ll one day receive them..  If I knew a better way to go about getting what I want, I’d do it, but I’m rather ignorant that way..  I don’t understand why my life is the way it is..  I’ve stopped blaming people for it, it does nothing for me to dwell on who might’ve contributed in what way..  I’ve stopped asking why, I’m not sure I’ll ever get an answer, if there even is one!  I just try to roll with the punches and deal with things as they are.. My memory will probably never be restored, there’s been some irreparable damage done to my body by all those heavy-duty prescription drugs I was on for so long, and the emotional trauma of it all has definitely taken its toll, but overall I feel like I’m adjusting pretty well, considering..  I do feel fortunate that things are not worse..  I am thankful for the things, and people, I have in my life..  My life and circumstances could certainly be much, much worse, I acknowledge that..  That doesn’t detract from how difficult the last 13 years have been for me..

 

I apologize for the things I have said or done to the people in my life that have been hurtful..  I could say that for a long time there I didn’t have control over myself, because of the medications, but I do take responsibility for myself and my actions and anything I’ve done to hurt someone..  I wish that some relationships could be repaired, but it takes interest from both parties, and that just doesn’t exist..

 

Have you ever had a friendship/ relationship with someone that you thought would never change?  That you thought was strong enough to last a lifetime?  Yeah, me, too..  Turns out, it wasn’t..  I’ve attempted to reach out and repair that broken connection, but I was summarily ignored and flat-out mislead..  They said they cared and had an interest in rekindling that friendship, but obviously they didn’t care to make time for me in their ever-so-busy life..  I didn’t make the cut, I just wasn’t important enough..  Yeah, that hurts just a little, especially given how close we used to be..  I once thought that bond could never be broken; but I guess all things can eventually change..

 

So I try to move forward, attempting to forge new bonds, but that hasn’t exactly worked out either..  I’ve tried bolstering bonds already established, but that’s not really happening much either..  There’s just something about me, I guess..  People can, evidently, take me or leave me – usually the latter..  I’m not sure people even take notice of me; I guess that’s why I’m just as happy staying in my room alone most of the time..  I realize people have things going on in their lives and I’m not expecting them to drop everything and put their focus solely on me, but in all honesty, it would be nice to be the center of attention sometimes, for people to take a genuine interest in me and to listen to what I have to say..  But I don’t expect that and I don’t even ask for that from anyone, because I know that everyone around me already has so much going on that it’d be brutally unfair to ask such a thing of them.. I guess that’s why I attempted to make new connections with new people, but as I’ve already said, that’s going nowhere..  Peoole just don’t care and I don’t know what I can do to make people take an interest in me..  How do I convey to people that I’m worth their time, that they would be getting something out of a friendship with me? Then I have to question myself..  Would they indeed be getting something out of a relationship with me?  Would they have something to gain?  Or am I one of those who’s all take take take?

 

I’m physically cold right now and I’m exhausted..  I’m weary of fighting to grow past being angry about how shitty my life is..  I’ve stopped questioning why; it gets me nowhere..  Oh, I have cried so many tears, how could my body not be a completely shriveled up shell of a human being by now?!  My soul just aches so much..  If I had the remedy or an elixir that would fix whatever is wrong with me as a person, I would take it right now; but evidently I’m destined to learn how to fix myself the long and hard way..

 

I truly doubt whether I’ll ever really connect with anyone (i.e. a guy), being truly understood and accepted with all my many faults, and loved unconditionally no matter what..  For now I’ve given up even trying to make an initial connection..  And I’ll stop reaching out to people, because it’s evident no one cares about me..  People must already have everything in their lives that they need/ want and they don’t have room for me..

 

 

Update :

So, it’s been maybe a month and a half since I started the detox?  I’m not sure..  It’s been very rough!  At first the toughest part was the physical symptoms I was experiencing, but after the first three weeks those started to subside and the mental symptoms started kicking in..  I’ve experienced just about every emotion under the sun, but the most prominent has been frustration and loss..  I’ve been grieving everything that I lost during the years I was a slave to those medications..  I have thought about all the possibilities that might have passed me by, all of the life experiences I have missed out on because I was in the throes of drug-induced mental illness..  I literally have no anxiety anymore, the depression I experience is due to the sadness over what I’ve lost/ what could’ve been..  I still am cranky sometimes, but it’s mostly because I still don’t feel 100% yet.. My body aches and hurts all the time..  I’m tired almost all the time..  But I’m finding myself able to spend more time with family again, which I do very much enjoy..  I know I still have a very long way to go before I can say I’ve reached some sort of “normal”, but I’m working hard to get myself there mentally and emotionally..  It may not seem like it to outsiders, but I really am trying hard..  My body still has a long way to go before it reaches a balance within itself, but I’m hoping to get there soon..

 

I’ve actually become a bit hopeful for the future..  I like to think that someday I might meet someone that I could share my life with..  I’d love to find a guy to marry; that would make me so incredibly happy..  But I realize I’ve got to work on myself quite a bit in the meantime..

 

I don’t know what will become of me, if I’ll ever amount to anything, or if I’ll ever accomplish my dream, but I’d like to at least try to do something worthwhile with my life, to be more than a taker..  I’d like to be able to contribute something in life..  Hopefully one day I’ll get there..

 

In closing I’d like to say a huge thanks to those of you who have offered your encouragement and love and for those who have prayed for me..  I appreciate it all more than I can put into words; it truly means a lot to me..  Thank you for caring about me..

 

 

Quick update..

First off, thank you to everyone for their prayers, love, support, and well wishes.. It really means a lot and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! Love you, guys!

Now, I’m still doing well mentally, over all.. I’ve had a few bad moments where I got frustrated or really down, but they were short lived and have been few and far between.. So, for that I am extremely grateful! That aspect could be SO much worse..

Physically .. that’s an entirely different story.. I’ve been able to eat very little over the last week.. My IBS went from one end of the spectrum to the other.. I’ve lost OVER 3lbs in the last 24hrs.. I can’t hardly even think about food without getting nauseated.. I’m so weak and feeble I can barely make it the 20ft to the toilet and back.. I can hardly even sit up, I’ve been mostly laying down because that’s all I have energy for.. My face and hands are constantly tingling so badly it drives me insane.. Whenever I try to get up I get shaky and dizzy.. I just feel so horrible, like I’ve been run over by a truck!

But the good news is that I’m only on one psychiatric medication right now and I will be able to stop that within the next week.. I’ve been stopping other meds as well.. The next big one to tackle is the one I take for my fibromyalgia as that one can also be very bad for your body.. So the plan is to work on reducing that one next..

Once again, thanks for your prayers as my body works through this detox process (which will hopefully be over with soon!!).. Love you all!

The beginning of the end..

So yesterday began the start of a total detoxing, cleansing, and purging of some medications from my body, particularly psychiatric medications..  For fourteen long years I’ve been on all manner and type of psychiatric drug under the sun..  Here’s the shortest version I can manage to tell of how I started taking them..

It was about 14 years ago when I had a couple seizures; they were not the Grand Mal kind everyone pictures when they hear the word seizure, they were a less violent, but still serious kind..  I was seen by my neurologist, who immediately started me on anti-seizure meds..  I went through a battery of different tests, all indicating they were non-epileptic seizures..  After having a few, I never had any more; the cause was never determined, though it’s not entirely out there for individuals to have a couple unexplained seizures and then never have an issue with them again..  But I was immediately told I couldn’t drive, which I understood, but for an extremely independent person who drove everywhere, even to Walmart (or Taco Bell) by herself in the middle of the night, this was quite a blow..  The neurologist didn’t stop there though, he went on, telling me not to shower with the door closed because I might fall, stop up the drain and drown to death..  Or that I could fall, bashing my head against something accidentally and bleeding out until I died..  He was trying to scare the living crap out of me – and it worked!  I was scared to death..  Now, remember, I didn’t have the  drop to the floor, flailing about kind of seizures, so for him to say these things doesn’t (now) make sense..  But we were naive and unknowledgeable about things like that back then..  I’d like to think we’re smarter and more discerning now..  I know that whenever I’m given a new diagnosis or medication, we go home and educate ourselves as much as possible..  Anyways, after the few seizures I had in the beginning I never had another one..  But the neurologist caused the start of my battle with severe anxiety and that’s when I began having panic attacks..  Also, the medications he put me on were so strong that they were causing me to experience and exhibit very strange side effects..  When he couldn’t get those to stop he would either increase the dose or add another medication or both..  He obviously didn’t distinguish the difference between the seizures I described to him in the beginning and the bizarre side effects I described to him afterwards, or the fact that I was now having panic attacks that he was mistaking for seizures..  Looking back we say to ourselves, “why did we go to him for so long?  Why did we allow him to treat me for so long?!”  But we trusted he knew what he was doing, and at that point we knew so little about what was going on with me that we couldn’t distinguish what was what either..  But he was the doctor, who should’ve known what he was doing!, and we trusted him..  He would periodically run tests again, change meds, increase dosages with almost every visit, and I started experiencing depression..  I had never before had an issue with anxiety nor depression, until he started throwing drugs down my throat, literally changing my brain chemistry..  And when, after years of being so drugged up I couldn’t function, and with symptoms continually changing and getting worse, we finally asked for a second opinion..  You know his reaction?  Anger..  He was mad that we would question his ability to treat me..  I don’t think it was at all unreasonable for us to ask for another doctor’s input on what was going on with me..  So he begrudgingly referred me to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where they scheduled me for a five day EEG testing period where I was hooked up to an EEG monitor in a hospital room for five straight days, barely able to even walk down the hall (I had to ask special permission from the nurses, who usually said no)..  The specialist down there said it was definitively not epilepsy of any kind..  Not that he had the authority to make this diagnosis, but he thought it was a disorder where I imagined my symptoms and he all but said I was making them up for the attention it was getting me..  I can’t recall the name of the disorder, not that it’s important..

So we went home confused, not necessarily that it wasn’t epilepsy, because at that point we didn’t think it was, but at the proposed diagnosis..  I saw at least one other neurologist, another specialist, and a couple other doctors or practitioners here and there..  I ended up seeing a psychologist a couple times who “confirmed” this disorder diagnosed by the guy in Augusta..  We weren’t convinced, so we started going to a psychiatric facility in town where, again, for years I was having meds upon meds shoved down my throat, altering my brain chemistry even further..  My symptoms kept getting worse and the diagnoses kept coming..  I was, once again being mistreated, both on a medical and personal level..  Then a true godsend came in the form of Lauren, who I see now (at a different office) for my psychiatric care..  We’ve been working with her for probably about a year and a half or two years now..  She’s been great..  We love her..

Now come to present day… with the guidance and watch of Lauren, I am cutting back significantly on all my  psychiatric meds..  I’m either cutting the dose completely in half or stopping them entirely..  That’s six different meds, a lesser number and dosage already than I’d been taking when I first started seeing her!  I’m hoping to get to the point where I’m off all the psych meds and can tell for certain what mental health illnesses I may actually have, if any..  Growing up my issues always revolved around my period..  Three out of four weeks every month were torture, whereas one week I’d be fine..  Was that PMDD?  Or was it bipolar disorder?  It’s funny, “funny”, before the seizures I had been talking with Mom about seeing a gynecologist about my periods to see what could be done about the issues I was experiencing related to them..  But before we even had the time to find a Dr and make an appt, the seizures happened and my life was flipped, turned upside down..  The whole “period thing” got put on the back burner for years..  I eventually had a hysterectomy, but my body was such a wreck already from all the heavy-duty meds that I wouldn’t have been able to tell if symptoms got better or not..

These are things Mom and I have discussed at length about for a long time, over a period of months, some over years, and are things we’ve finally come to a finite plan on..  I’ve been saying for a long while that these meds are literally killing my body; I could show you the list of about a dozen things I’ve been diagnosed with since I first started the seizure meds (which often overlap and can be also used as psych meds) and then transitioned into the psychiatric meds..  I’ve recently felt an urgency to do something about it, like quit as many meds as possible, starting with the psych meds..  I’ve been diagnosed with two separate things by two separate doctors over the last couple weeks that the doctors flat-out said it’s because of all the drugs I’m taking..  If I hadn’t had my suspicions before that these meds were causing physical ailments, I certainly have reason to now..

So, now begins the loooong process of getting my brain chemistry back to some semblance of normal..  My hope is that I’ll discover I don’t actually have any mental illnesses and that what I’ve been dealing with over the last fourteen years has been a result of the toxicity of the meds I’ve been on over the years and that I can get back to the “old me” and am able to reclaim my life..  I know for absolutely certain that getting these drugs out of my system is going to be hell for me, and probably those around me, but I’m determined to get through this as a strong individual..  I am very afraid of the depths I may reach, but I am resolute to persevere..  I want to get my life back and to feel like myself again, not wholely consumed by anxiety to the point where I feel uncomfortable in my own home, even in the refuge of my bedroom..  I want to find pleasure and happiness in the things I once enjoyed so much..  I miss them, with all my heart, and I hope to have that desire for them again..  I know I have the full support of my family, and that’s everything to me..  I’m sure I don’t deserve that kind of devotion, but I am definitely thankful for it..

The plan of attack is to counteract this from all angles – vitamins, herbal supplements, diet, anything that we can do to help in this fight to get my brain healthy again..  It’s gonna be an uphill battle, but we’re raring to go!  I’m working on learning meditation and mindfulness techniques that I can use to center and calm myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed..  In time, when energy isn’t in such short supply, I’m sure we’ll begin to incorporate exercise into the mix, too..  Right now I’m feeling strong of will, determined; I’m ready to do this!  That’s not to say I’ve not got my eyes wide open about what could happen, but I am ready for this challenge..

I know this may be asking a lot, but maybe along the way, over the next few months, you guys could send a random word of encouragement, saying whatever you feel compelled to say whenever you feel compelled to say it..  It would help tremendously..  It could just be a quote from someone or a scripture or a song lyric or a simple ‘i love you’, I don’t know..  Only if you feel compelled..

I know how much love and support I have from you all and it truly means so much to me..  Just because we’re family doesn’t mean we automatically care for one another, whether we should or not..  And you all choose to care about me..  I’m sincerely sorry that I don’t inquire about each of you very often (or at all), that’s not fair to you..  But please know I do love you and appreciate you very much, even if I don’t say it..

Tis better to have loved and lost …

Last night another one of my cats passed away..  She was the sister to Big Girl and Stubby, who are already gone, and was two and a half months away from turning eighteen..  Meg will be sorely missed, but she was always dearly loved..  She’d been losing weight for months, but over the last few days it was obvious she was on her last legs..  It seems hard to lose her because she’d been a part of my life for more than half of it..  It doesn’t get any easier losing them, no matter the circumstances..  I’d been mourning her coming death the last few days and, though it didn’t come as a surprise, it was still incredibly hard and left me feeling empty..  I’ve got another girl kitty, Stinky, who’s somewhere around 17 years old and she’s also been losing weight over the last several months..  She’s been very unsettled since last night and seems to be taking it hard that Meg is gone, they were constant cuddle-buddies and I think Stinky will really miss Meg..  I believe it won’t be long before Stinky goes, too..  Though I’d very much like to be wrong about that..  And then I’ve got my boys, the brothers, Frodo and Sam..  They’re gonna be five in a few months and will hopefully have very long, healthy lives..  One thing I hope that all of my cats know (or knew) is that I love them with all that I am, they are my children since I will never have any human babies..  But from here on out I am not adopting any more cats!  Nor will I after Frodo and Sam pass..  It wounds me too deeply to lose them..  I’m not strong enough to endure any loss voluntarily brought upon myself..  I don’t know if I’m strong enough to endure loss INvoluntarily brought on me..  I’ve been told before that I’m a strong person to have gone through the things I have and to have come out the other side..  I don’t feel strong..  And the saying that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is bullshit..  Whatever doesn’t kill you just doesn’t kill you – it leaves you exactly as strong, or as weak, as you were before..  I understand the sentiment, if you survived then by the very nature of the having persevered you’re a stronger person..  But if you survive a drowning by simply managing to keep your head above water until help arrives, that doesn’t necessarily make you stronger; you just survived, you didn’t grow or evolve..  So the idea that growth or development is inherent in the mere act of survival is ignorant and naive..  But what do I know?  I’m ever the pessimist and am probably unenlightened, so take my words with a grain of salt..  I’m jaded and damaged goods, what wisdom could I bring to the table?

I’ve been ruminating on things about my childhood and my years of growing up, trying to untangle the twisted ball of screwed up mess that is my complicated life..  I realized that, at the age of seven, I was suicidal..  I had written ‘I wish I was dead’..  I had been bullied by my first grade teacher because I had an adopted sister who wasn’t white..  I was mistreated because she was racist and took her prejudicial hatred out on me..  I would be punished for things I didn’t do, getting in trouble in class in front of everyone..  I guess I was a silent sufferer even then because my parents didn’t know how badly my teacher treated me..  If they did I’m sure they would’ve done something..  I don’t fault them for not doing something about a problem they didn’t know existed..

I’m not gonna talk bad about growing up as the child of directors of a group home, but it wasn’t ever easy..  While there are some tough things I went through, I had a friend or two at different points along the way..  Those friendships faded, but I appreciated them very much at the time and even still today I appreciate the companionship they gave me at the time..  And I grew up in a small church with a sometimes non-existent youth group, except for me and Gen and the girls from our house..  So I didn’t have a whole lot of friends..  I was about 18 or 19 when I found a forum/ messageboard for fans of Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings (and his  various other works)..  It was right after the first movie came out, the Fellowship of the Ring..  I felt like I was embraced and like I’d found a place where I could belong..  I’d not been a lifelong Tolkien fan like most on there, but that didn’t matter..  I made friends, via the Internet, and was actively involved in the forum for ten plus years..  I had made some great friends..  I even met some of them in real life!  It was great..  I’m not as close to them anymore, and the forum is pretty much defunct, but it was a source of happiness for many years and I had friends on there for years..  I’m so grateful for that time of my life..  I’ve had a friend or two come and go between then and now, but I’m so different from most people at such a core level that I can only connect so intimately or so deeply..  There seems to be a limit to my friendship capabilities and I don’t really understand why..  I feel like I can connect and engage for a while, but then it kind of fizzles out..  I’m not one to want to stay at a chit-chatty superficial level; I want a deep soul connection..  I long for that person I can connect to completely, not even necessarily on a romantic level..  I want to have a relationship where I can, 100% of the time, text or call whatever whenever, no matter what I’m thinking, no matter what time of day or night; I need a person I can depend on to be accessible to me at all times..  I’m sure that could be labeled as too needy or dependent or even unhealthy; I feel like, and this is not intended to be an insult to anyone, but I feel that I operate on a deeper plane of emotions than most..  I feel so intensely, to an extent that it’s debilitating and crippling..  I’m exploring options and possibilities beyond mental illness diagnosis, but I know I’m unlike anyone else I’ve ever met..  I know there are things I need that I just can’t ask of anyone in my life right now – they are things they either can’t give or that I wouldn’t ask of them..  I’m at a loss and I’ve been drowning, just barely keeping my head above water, for years..  I’m in 24/7 survival mode and can’t seem to find a way out..  I feel like I’ve exhausted every avenue of treatment and have gotten nowhere..  There is literally nothing left..  I’m afraid of the damage I can sense is being done to my body by all these psych meds..  It seems to be a vicious cycle – I have a symptom so I take a med, which in turn causes a symptom that I need an additional medication for, which causes a symptom I need an additional medication for, and round and round it goes!  I’m so in tune with my body at this point that I know things are way off kilter and I don’t feel we’re any closer to the solution now than we were at the very beginning..  I’m on so many drugs that I know, I KNOW, I’m doing irreparable damage to my body by taking so many medications..  I wonder all the time how many of them I really need..  Am I at toxic levels of them? Are my ‘mental health’ symptoms just side effects of medications I’m taking to alleviate the symptoms?  Are the ‘symptoms’ merely side effects of the meds and not actually caused by any illness originating in my body?  But I’m told to take this med and this med and that med, so I do..  I’m trying to get off as many psych meds as possible, but the process isn’t fast enough for me..  I’m beginning to head into panic mode, I’m feeling like there’s an urgency to get off these drugs, but I don’t know what it is..  Perhaps it’s just that I’m sick and tired of taking handfuls of them both morning and night and a few pills in between, but I sense it’s something more..  I don’t know what, but I hope to find out before it’s too late..

I’m probably thought of as being overly dramatic and overly sensitive..  I don’t know about the overly dramatic part, I don’t feel like I play up the histrionics, but I will admit I’m a sensitive soul, though not in the way most people would mean when they use that phrase..  I’m sensitive to other people’s energies, positive or negative, and am affected by it..  I have high anxiety due to over stimulation because of sensory overload – loud noises, bright lights, pressure of touch, strong smells..  I like calm, dark, cool environments where I can ‘detox’, if you will..  I’m living in a high intensity household where it seems (to my perceptions) there’s a perpetual energy of chaos wafting through the air..  I can’t, and won’t, complain about my living arrangements, because I’ve got it good..  I’m lucky to have such a great set-up and I’m beyond grateful for it, it’s better than I deserve as a 34 yr old adult still living at home..  Not that I ever had much choice, but whatever..  It is what it is..  I should have no reason to complain..

Do you, whoever you are that is reading this, perceive me as someone who is constantly whining and complaining?  I feel like you would, but I’m no mind reader..  I feel like I’m giving off negative vibes all the time because I’m suffering, mentally and physically..  I don’t want to be that one person who always brings the mood crashing down with my negativity..  Or that one person who stands out for being different, though I already know that I am that person, so I guess I need to learn to cope with constantly being the outsider..  My thought process is different, my emotional barometer is different, my physical sense of self is different..  I’ve always felt like that one person who doesn’t quite fit in, even in the best of times..  But there I go pissing and moaning again..  Do I ever DO anything about any of it?  What can a person possibly do to fit in with people who were made from a different mold?  Maybe that’s why I get along with cats so well – they’re fickle, I’m fickle..  I’m crawling along at a snail’s pace through life while everyone else is far ahead of me..  I don’t want to hold anyone back, but I’m afraid of being left behind..  I literally cannot survive on my own, as a singular unit; I physically need other people to accommodate my needs..  I’m selfish that way..  They say ‘if you love someone, let them go’..  Well, I should do that with my family; I should stop being a constant responsibility because I’m a grown-ass woman who can’t take care of herself on her own..  I feel like all I do is take..  I put my heart, soul, and energy into surviving my minute-to-minute existence and by the end of it I have nothing left to give..  I’m a leech, a parasite, offering nothing in return..  I feel incapable of offering anything in return..  Do I subconsciously withhold what I have to give because I fear rejection?  I fear opening up to people who don’t seem to want me to fully open up, because you can’t unring that bell..  And people know that..  I think they’re just as afraid of what I hold within me as I am of what they’ll think of what I hold within me.. I’ve always got up some kind of facade, whether it be more light-hearted than I’m truly feeling or maybe a chatty Kathy, talking about casual things only, without getting into the grit of a conversation..  I really want to make deeper connections with the people around me, but I feel they’re either dismissive or afraid of me because of my issues or that there’s an awkwardness because I don’t know how to be me around them..  I’m emotional and fragile and I’m easily affected by other people’s moods and energies..  I physically can’t be around people very much right now because it’s too much for me to handle – the loudness, the constant movement, the changing moods – it makes me nauseated and anxious and I feel the need to be withdrawn..  I’ve holed up in my part of the upstairs and usually only come out when absolutely necessary, like for a Dr’s appt or if I feel the need to get out for a while and run errands with my mom..  I feel like solitude is a necessity right now, until certain things in my life can be sorted out..  I’m in a constant state of hyperactive senses, always listening for the slightest noise of disturbance downstairs (concerned that someone might be hurt), cringing at bright lights and loud sounds, trying to guard against any disquieted or negative energy (though I, admittedly, don’t really know how to do that effectively)..  I’m always in a state of half-panic, fearing the chance I’ll somehow put someone out or make someone else’s life more difficult simply with my own..  I have needs that I can’t, myself, meet and I have to depend on other people to do these things for me and I hate that..  I used to be, many moons ago, so independent and free and able to care for myself like a normal and capable human being..  Now I’m not that person anymore and I hate myself for the burden I feel I am to other people..  They say they don’t mind, but their feelings of being inconvenienced isn’t hidden to me..  I’m very good at reading people, probably better than they realize because I don’t often comment on what I’m seeing them ever so slightly exhibit, but I read their body language, their tone of voice, that look behind their eyes, the micro-expressions on their faces, even the vibe they’re giving off – everything they’re not saying out loud – and I can determine how they really feel..  I know they’re good at reading people, too, but this is one thing I am good at and I feel like I can do it better..  Maybe that’s just stupid of me and I’m totally off my rocker, but for me to say I actually think I’m good (or even better!) at something is highly abnormal and you know I must feel very strongly about it..  But then again, I could be delusional, too.. Just add that to my many mental illness symptoms!

All day today I’ve felt a deep tightness and pain in my chest..  It’s probably the costochondritus I’ve recently been diagnosed with, but I think it’s also the emptiness of losing one of my bedfellows.. I’ve slept most of the day, not wanting to feel these intense emotions coursing through me..  I also feel like I want company, but I can’t leave my bedroom, I’ve got an anxiety about walking out my bedroom door..  How irrational!  It’s a catch-22 – do I have enough mental strength and energic fortitude to leave my bedroom so I can be around people?  Or do I stay in my safer, and less anxiety-inducing, bedroom?  I rarely feel comfortable and at peace..  I don’t know how normal that is or how much that’s just me being dysfunctional, but I need to find a way to center myself with the noise and chaos of living in a household with six other people going on around me..  It’s beyond critical mass now and I need to find a solution and it needs to happen yesterday..  I understand that it won’t be a one and done fix, whatever the remedy it’ll, unfortunately, take time and it’ll be constant work for a very long time, probably forever..  I’m just afraid I won’t have the energy or capacity to endure the struggle..  I’m already down, I feel like Life is just kicking me around at this point..  I don’t know if I have the strength to get through any more hardships..  I’m weak and I’m afraid..  What happens if I fail?  Will I become suicidal again?  At this point I doubt I’d ever take my life because of the anguish it would put my family through..  I’d rather suffer on in terrible agony than inflict any intentional pain upon them..  So I try to suffer in silence, not wanting to drag anyone down with me when I go..  I don’t want to be the sadness that everyone immediately feels as soon as I walk in the room..  They’re better off without me around them..  You’re probably saying ‘just buck up and force yourself to be in a better mood, don’t allow yourself to be so down in the dumps!’  Try living in this shell of a person for just one minute and then tell me that again..  And you’re probably also saying that my experience or feelings aren’t unique to me, that everybody feels that way at some point or another..  Even if that were true, is it to the same degree?  To the same debilitatingly intense extent that I feel?

I know I’m loved and I’ve been told I’m not a burden, but sometimes I just feel so alone; I’m so different from them, from everyone, and it’s difficult for me to connect with people..  Deep down I’m just so afraid, of so many things..  I’m crippled and I’m not living, I’m not thriving, I’m surviving, barely keeping my head above water..  I’m afraid of asking for things I want (or maybe even feel I need) because I don’t want to be selfish, and because I don’t want to be asking for anything that would be unfair to anyone else or would  be taking something away from someone else..  I’d rather do without if it meant someone else did with..

Jeez, here I am with all this negativity and whining; all the things I say I don’t want to be or do, perpetuating the cycle..  When will I have the strength to make a finite change?  It starts with me and ends with me, if I don’t stop complaining at some point and start making a change then I’ll never get out of this rut..  It’s my fault for falling in it, it’s my responsibility to get myself out..

And let me end with saying that I don’t think I give those around me enough credit..  Besides the fact that they’ve got their own tough crap to deal with (probably tougher crap than me), I know they don’t intentionally make me feel any sort of negativity, I think I’m probably just overreacting and reading into things..  That whole ‘I can read people better than anyone!’ was stupid of me to say..  I don’t do anything better than anyone else and it was foolish of me to think so, even for just a moment..  But that’s me!, believing I might be better at something than someone else and then realizing what is in actuality, which is I can’t..  That’s the reality I deal with every day – having moments of unwarranted pride and then coming to my senses..  That’s the self-talk I’ve got going on in my head feeding me lies..  I’m constantly trying to sift through and find the truth..  I’d like to think I’m pretty sane and pretty sensible, a rational individual; but I’m constantly doubting myself..  It’s a non-stop battle inside my head between truth and lies..  Half the time I feel like I can’t even think clearly, these meds have me so cloudy..  After years and years of dealing with being heavily medicated I’m just tired of it..  I’m weary, I often feel like just giving up..  I don’t know how much longer I can take this, I really don’t..  But I feel like I’m being looked at from the outside as though I should just stop wallowing, not by family members, but the outside world..  I feel scrutinized and criticized and judged, put under the microscope, and I feel I’m failing the examination..  Whatever it is I’m doing I feel like I’m failing..  But the real question is : do people even care at all?  Do people even give me a second thought?  I’m probably imagining the judgement, so why do I put myself through this?  I doubt people will even read this, the whole thing, given that it’s so long..  And maybe that’s better, I’m a stupid mess and this will only solidify in people’s minds how crazy I am.. I’m unrelatable because I’m so different, these posts just emphasize that..

Anyways, I have to go, I literally can’t take any more..  I’ve been as raw and as open as I can be for one day..  I’m just one big open wound and every word is like pouring salt and rubbing it inside..

I apologize ahead of time for anything I wrote that might be hurtful or insulting to anyone, it was unintentional..  I’d never want to make anyone feel bad about something I said and I wouldn’t do it on purpose..  So I’m sorry, for just being..