Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I am dynamite.
I am glad that I am somewhat intelligent.
I am glad that I was raised with very well defined and high set standards and values.
I realize more and more how lucky I am.
I am glad that my intelligence, values, standards, and expectations of others helped me to not act on so much of the insanity in my head.
I am glad that I always somehow had an sanity chip that somehow managed to hold the chaos together, even if it was a very small chip.
I am glad my sanity chip never broke... (completely)
I am glad that there are "engineers" who have helped my chip function better and helped to sort out the chaos.
I am glad that I was not just let go but that one man, an officer of the law "over-reacted" to my "warped sense of humor."
I am glad for my family and friends. That I have people who relate. That I have people who don't always relate but are patient with me.
I am glad for Christmas and the reason for it.
I am glad for a God that has given me a beautifully bizarre and complicated life... Otherwise I'd probably be bored, and likely quite destructive.
I am glad that I can see this and appreciate it.
I expect miracles
and sometimes I get them.
Life is good, friends are good, family is wonderful and I am happy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's just me

Sometimes things people say and do get me thinking. Sometimes things I say and do get me thinking... But I'm pretty much always thinking so maybe it would be better said that they can direct my thinking.
Sometimes I say and joke about being "crazy." I am rather open about my mental health issue's these days and maybe I need to be more careful. Though I'd like people to just see it for what it is, accept it, embrace me for who I am, and then laugh with me about it, I realize we still have a long way to go before things of this nature are understood well enough to reach my ideals.

So I've been thinking about what I am and how to explain it to people that I may have frightened so that they understand.

Before I was so keenly aware of what a "mental" brain potentially looks like I'd say I was most certainly at risk of many "mental" things. Such is the case with everyone you meet, you really don't know what's going on in someones head, possibly even your own.

In my head there was a lot of noise. That may be the best way to explain it.
I would have racing thoughts and I would have flashing thoughts. I once went to a concert where they had a video playing that was basically flashing different images, only staying on them long enough to know that they were there. I liked that I could point out to my husband "that is what it is often like inside my head, images flashing almost constantly."
Fortunately for me I am a very logical analytical and practical person. Unfortunately for me just about everything I see and learn sticks around somewhere in my head even if I can't utilize it productively. Which I usually can't do in this state because there is too much going on and it takes all my energy just trying to sort through the excess amounts of crap floating, whizzing and crashing into each other freely inside that little head of mine. But all the imaginative things I have been subjected to and all of the logical things I have been subjected to in addition to spiritual, religious, social, etc, are each formulating an argument, analyzing and trying to process all things I encounter, seen and unseen. I remember in high school thinking I had a small sanity chip that somehow held all the chaos together keeping it from destroying me.

Now maybe all this noise is what cases my anxiety issues but there are times, even now when my mind is not so out of control that I can feel that "anxiety" just right below the surface. The best way that I can explain this is something like endorphins rushing up in response, or random, to events that do not merit such a response. Anxiety can also be excessive nervousness or worry, but maybe it is these responses that case me to worry and be nervous.

Then I can get stuck in ruminating thoughts. I think that might better fit me over the term obsessive. But ruminating thoughts that last for days, weeks, months and even years may have then turned into an obsession... but then again I am not sure. All I know is the old cliche "just get over it" somehow does not magically work when one is sincerely stuck in genuine rumination. Rather it just adds another element to the rumination and helps the ruminater despise them self or what ever they may be ruminating over because they aren't "just getting over it".

Then there is the issue of ups and downs. Highs and lows. This is the most interesting, most fun and most awful of all. There are times when I didn't "suffer" so much from these "episodes." It is possible that all that noise is the cause of these. The possibility being that one side of my brain wins an argument causing an upward swing but then the other side fights again and wins causing a down all the while the "real" me, somewhere in there, gets a chance now and again and I get to experience level. That's an idea but the ups and down seem present even with medication though not as severe. It is also possible that they follow a hormonal cycle as they are quite regular. I am not sure about this "instability" at all but I do know that I like it to be less extreme since floating off to euphoric plains, though fun, can be dangerous and sinking down to the hell that is within me is not fun and takes every once of strength to fight. As early high school I remember being afraid to be too happy because I knew what it would be followed by.

These things are not so frightening to the outside perspective and apparently easily hidden, intentional or not. They are not so dangerous in early stages. Had I not been made aware and had I not started to look into some of the suggestions that were made to me then I'd still be accepting them as part of who I am and I'd still be headed down that slippery dangerous slope to "insanity."

But I am not yet insane and I don't think I'm even on the path anymore as I have done much to understand these issue's and amazingly medication gets rid of most of it.
The noise is gone, likely focused into one voice that is my own. The flashing thoughts are a distant memory. Though I may think about things a great deal, my thoughts are progressive and if they are not productive or become undesirable I can change them or be rid of them. At times it may require some effort but it's possible. The anxiety seems to come in forms that, to me, seem what they are intended to be for, to help keep me in line when I might be heading off. An example: at the store I want to buy something that we really don't need, anxiety about finances will keep me in line so that I am not buying excessive amounts of toys and crap that we really don't need. As for the ups and downs, currently they are still present though much less severe. We (being my doctor and I) are working on those because I'd like to be more level. I'd like to be a bit farther from the edge. In addition, when one thing is slipping it is quite possible the others will be following.

So this is a long entry but I'd like my friends to be at peace with my "crazy." I hope that they can accept me and know that they can trust me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tis' the Season

I am hopeful and happy this morning. I feel quite "normal." I am thinking that medication just might be keeping up with me enough and will likely just get better.
My highs aren't so high, my lows aren't so low (or long) and God does help me to pull out of it quickly when I turn my heart over to Him(again and again). This is a good sign and I am more patient and so much more often the mom (and person) I want to be.

Of course it is early in the day so we will see when those hours roll around that are often so unbearable (usually around two or three pm). But I slept fine last night, I don't feel so euphoric and I even feel like eating yet not looking to eat just for a burst of energy or something satisfying.

I remember the words of a dear old friend who once reminded me that sometimes the benefits of medication far out weigh the side effects. It still took me a couple of years and some progressively harder times to heed his advice but now that phrase runs through my mind often and I am grateful because really it is so much nicer here, for me, my family and I am sure others.

I am grateful and Thank you friend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I wrote this yesterday and I hope you will (or have) read the other blog I wrote in the morning of yesterday. This would be the evening me.

Today I went from somewhat euphoric to plain and uninterested and I am about as boring as any mortal could be. But for me it is not that boring because I rarely get to spend much time here.

This also is the time I turn on people, as my affections fade into nothing but being human and I am not always a great human. And so often all the feelings that I so freely share and so passionately feel are gone and I am left just feeling human. I am sure this is quite normal. But I really don't spend too much time here, feeling like this, this is when I just live and do. But though I always think it won't and I am always certain I have it beat, the next phase will be down, down, down and I'll be battling my worthless pathetic self that has somehow, once again, suckered me out of the good traits/aspects of me.
I am sooo, so much better then I used to be and really the cycles are at a much more manageable level and maybe I really will avoid the low this time but we'll see. Sometimes it is good to expect it because then I can remember I'll be up again pretty soon. It is getting better. though I do wish I wouldn't bounce between heaven, hell and mortality so much. It gets exhausting and I am not sure how much more my little body can take of this. One day at time.

That was yesterday.

And then tonight I've found myself down again. battling my worthless pathetic self. Confused once again by everything and not sure why nothing is working to pull me out of this.
I don't feel like laughing. Things are bothersome and my patience is short, and the tears come easily as I am overwhelmed by everything surrounding me and inside of me. I am sure that I am just a silly little girl but then why and where has all that conviction, passion, and confidence gone.
Here I am often sure that I am stupid and I have made all kinds of terrible mistakes. Here my best is obviously not good enough as everything I ever attempt is a failed attempt and a ridiculous idea in the first place. Here it is hard to know who the me (or anything for that matter) is that I am supposed to remain true to. Here I am not happy and I feel irritated.
I often wonder if I have fallen prey to the devil, though God is not quick to save me when I try to turn my heart over to Him (which is something I do regularly). I suppose that could be and suggest further evidence that there is a chemical and physiological issue here, as I am not willing to to give up on my belief in God. I see no point in that and truly it is an even more depressing thought.

This is also a very forgetful place as well where it is very easy to lose sight of many things... But now I can look back and remember, mostly because I have it documented now, or at least see that I have been through this before and with faith I can feel confident that I can come out of it again.
I still have some fight left in me yet and I will not go down without a fight.

Oh how lovely life is...

I will not be defeated! (there I feel a bit better already...)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ups and thanksgiving

I thought I might write.
I have been waking up a lot in the nights lately. Not as tired in the day. Not seeming to need as much sleep and even more productive.

I know what this can mean.

It does seem different in that when I am awake my mind is not completely stuck ruminating and obsessing on the same subject but rather wanders some what freely, contently contemplating some of the more interesting points of my life, while I lay relaxed and not much bothered by the fact that I am not asleep. I usually fall back to sleep, though I've been waking up easily an hour earlier on my own where I usually struggle to get up with the aid of the despised alarm.

I am happy in the day and I realize this could just be an "up". But I have yet to come crashing down. And over all I am calm and patient.

Though I do have my moments where I come down a bit or I feel the waive of chemistry that makes me shaky or a bit nervous, I am hoping that this cycle will become a bit more regular in my life.
I am hoping that the new medication that I am slowly, slowly introducing is keeping up with the excitement of life that we are currently experiencing. (it is a mood stabilizer)

I think I don't want to push it though, and I don't feel quite ready to tackle some of the bigger tasks at hand. Specifically writing about my brother, for the wise mantis, the rest of my family and hopefully the world.

I hope it will last. It seems a bit different.

Whether it be medication, interactions, lessons learned or a combination of it all, I am grateful.

and I thought I might share.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

to the beat to a different drum

I'm thinking I may have written about this somewhere but I am not finding a title that matches and I do not wish to read through every thing I have written (Often I do not go back and read through as somethings are embarrassing to me. But in pursuit of truth and reality I don't feel it far to "edit," though the temptation would be irresistible with some of the dumb things I write). So this may or may not be a repeat.

I have been thinking about an experience I had a couple of years ago, not sure exactly how long ago but it was somewhere between after my son started walking and before I started taking medication again (so at least a year and a half ago but no more then three and a half years ago).
We went to a large park in a city where they have a wonderful man made river play area for kids. This is a very large park and it seems there is always a lot going on. We happened to be there on a Sunday which is when the local "hippies" participate in their version of a drum circle. (hippie would be what they call themselves, though I am not sure of the exact definition and if they really fit so that is why I put it in parentheses...and my mom was a Boston hippie of the 60's. Her sisters were at Woodstock).
The drums could be heard in the background of where the children and families were busy playing in the water. As we approached the water I was pleased with the sight of children playing and families being together. As my children started playing something started to sink in that something wasn't right. I was completely unsettled. I kept looking around trying to figure out what was bothering me. I wasn't seeing it. The drums were beating in the background. Something was definitely wrong and the children's laughter was starting to bother me. I was starting to feel a bit frantic, what was so wrong with this picture. The drums were still beating. I was agitated and just about panicked but everyone else was so calm and unaffected, nothing seemed wrong at all in there perfect little world. The drums were still beating....

Then I saw it, from a slightly elevated spot where I could hear the drums even better. Everyone, the kids and adults, were moving and playing right along with the beat of the drum. It was eerie and surreal. It made me incredibly uncomfortable to see these people all moving along with a beat which they seemed completely unaware of. I was relieved and more relaxed once I realized what was "wrong." But then I was also perplexed and somewhat agitated by how people seemed so unaware of how influenced they were by what most would consider background noise or harmless entertainment.

That would be an assumption though. Maybe they weren't so unaware, maybe it was part of the enjoyment for them. I was not moving to the beat of the drum and maybe that is why it bothered me so. I did not wish to be so easily influenced. Maybe it is evidence of my heightened sensitivities and intensities, or maybe I am much more defiant and non compliant. Maybe I just need to relax and enjoy the beat, easily blending into my surroundings. Maybe I just view the world a bit differently. Maybe the others just weren't bothered. Maybe they were and hid there agitation much better under a smile or looks of boredom. Maybe they view the world differently and it just heightened their experience. Maybe they were completely unaware, maybe they weren't. I am almost certain the children were. But they're are a lot of maybes here aren't there?

You be the judge.
Are you aware of the beat of the beat of the drum to which may or may not be following?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Embellishments

Recently my husband had shoulder surgery. He has been in a huge awkward sling for three weeks now. It is especially awkward for him because he is not the type who likes to draw attention to himself, especially the sympathy kind. He admitted that he was getting a bit tired of everyone noticing and all the stories everyone felt inclined to share with him about their own shoulder, knee, elbow, friend/relative or what ever.
"And they're always such a big deal," he says.
"Do you think they embellish," I ask.
"oh yeah, but everyone does," he adds.
He even claimed that he does from time to time.
Of course I had to contemplate, "do you think I do?"

"Actually no you really don't at all," was his thoughtful reply.
"If anything you minimize and down play."

Although I will confess that tonight I did find myself embellishing just a tad when my young children asked to hear a story about when I was a kid. I really don't remember very many good stories to tell and my son wants to hear a story every night (from when I was a kid)... If it's not exciting enough I'm stuck wracking my brain trying to remember another as he is not satisfied with simple, short or boring stories.

But I dare say that I typically don't embellish. I had made a conscious effort not to, for a very long time. It is not so conscious anymore, now it is just how I am. But I think it is good for people to know, especially when I expose myself so in the name of mental health awareness. I am most likely playing it down so keep that in mind as you read.

Friday, October 30, 2009

psychological thrillers and knowing better

Today I watched a "psychological thriller." In the day time.
I should know better.

I already have an appointment scheduled with the psychiatrist this upcoming Wednesday because I was suspecting I'm not quite right... I suppose I really do know better.

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation."

-Jenny Kerr (no idea who that is)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Nature of the Beast

So I have been thinking...
I've been thinking about the nature of the beast. Often one who really needs to take medication for realities sake will wonder if it is really "right" and if they really should or need to. It is a huge struggle for loved ones to accept, especially after they have finally come to accept that there loved one really is "crazy," when that person decides they are fine and really don't need medication.

I will tell you that part of this decision (to go off) can be attributed to the fact that most people, on some level, are "mental." Often the feelings and behaviors or obsessive thoughts that required medication in the first place can be viewed as "normal." Especially when one is far away enough from the skewed reality, or far to deep into the skewed reality, to remember or realize how much more intense these issues were then what may be considered healthy.

Example: I would often feel overwhelming quilt.
People are right when they say that guilt is normal and healthy. Good for society even. But the farther away from the immense amounts of guilt I felt the easier it is to fall slowly back into some erred thinking patterns. Overwhelming guilt over everything wrong in the world, with the expectation put on oneself that any minor infraction or injustice you see and allow or don't fight, then you are just as responsible for is just not realistic to maintain and possibly magnified by a physiologically unstable or unbalanced state.

Another example: Before I started taking meds and and a major contributor as to why I swallowed my pride and got back on them would have been called "my temper." I would have angry out bursts, usually at my children as I could not hide from them and I am around them constantly. In a level state I do loose my patience occasionally but it is merely that and it is resolvable as me and my children aren't extremely traumatized. But with out medication they were angry out bursts and the longer they went on the worse they were getting. I was convinced that I could control these but the harder I tried the worse they would get. Yet if I did not try at all that didn't help either. My rational mind would instantly flip and it frustrated me. I would try my darnedest but to no avail. In my attempts to "control" my temper I would find myself engulfed in guilt and misery, a kind that could easily justify ridding my children of myself (personally I don't think that suicide is the worst thing a person can do). Or worse I'd find myself justifying and/or rationalizing my unacceptable behavior. Fortunately for me I have been made aware that the trip to insanity is not usually an instant snap. Their are usually some warning signs and this can be one very obvious one.

In my opinion many deviant things that happen in this world are insanity and can only be explained as a result of some seriously out of whack chemistry that usually doesn't happen over night and is fed by a many things. Paying particular attention to the state of media in general and what is widely accepted as acceptable forms of entertainment. They are not inherently bad but people really ought to be aware of what they are feeding in there pursuit of higher profits. Media is really the exploitation of body chemistry as it "appeals" to our senses and arouses reactions that we crave. So the continual pushing of the line has lead to a paradigm shift in values and what is acceptable. We are ever closer as a whole to complete chaos and complete insanity. I am a bit more sensitive than many but I am also somewhat intelligent. I see the need for values being taught and people being respectful of those things that might feed our instinctive or imaginative desires, that can be referred to as the "natural man." I see the need for a higher power and good will for humanity. I see the need for people to recognize the connection and distinction of the body, mind and spirit. There really is a need for balance between these three entities of being.

The nature of the beast (mental illness) is ill and it will cause ill will if left unchecked. As a society we have a responsibility to have values and to both teach and respect those. It is up to each of us individually to recognize when we may be "off" and keep it in check. That can be accomplished through various and numerous methods but ill behavior should never be justified, rather treated. The sooner that we recognize and treat our own "symptoms" the more manageable our mental health will be and a better results of treatment are likely.
And may I emphasize that it is increasingly important that we withhold judgement on the individual but rather treat the "illness."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Welcome to the otherside

Being a genius isn't all it's cracked up to be. Having a truly open mind can create a black hole of a void. Being divinely directed can be exhausting. And knowing you must be so responsible with the powers you posses can also wear on one. It is not so easy to maintain invincible and immortal. It is quite time consuming. So sometimes it is OK to take a mortality pill that may make you boring and average at best. Sometimes boring and average are quite refreshing. Sometimes life can be much more enjoyable lived well within "the limits."

Friday, October 9, 2009

a lovely boring day

Not been writing much. That is usually a good sign. Usually means I am feeling pretty "normal" and forgetting "all that."
Sometimes it is nice to be able to forget that my head may or may not be screwed on tight and that I may or may not be crazy or something close to it and that I may or may not be fully responsible for all my stupidity and insanity. So it is nice that I may or may not be "normal" but that lately I just don't care.
SO that brings me to my point of writing today.
I still feel a need to publish and post many other thoughts and crap but today I just feel kind of blah... and you know what I kind of liked it. It was like a down, depressed, kind of day where I just wanted to do nothing, waste time and sleep (and I did do those things) but it was calm. I just felt blah and I was able to just be. I lived today like I have eternity for everything else and it was nice. My head wasn't screaming or over active. The "voices" were easily identified and ignored. My kids were cute and pleasant even when they were driving me nuts or I was feeling a tinge guilty for laying down. My job was eventful but dull. But the sun warmed me a bit and I got to chase my son half way to school.
I want to sleep so much and so often that sometimes I think I might be dying. I doubt it but, whatever, I'm OK.
I am OK with my boring, down day that was not boring at all. It was nice to just feel blah and not much else. It was nice to make mistakes and have them be just that, a mistake, not the end of the world. It was really nice. What a lovely depressed day I had. (and that exclamation point totally does not fit with the kind of day it was, but I am leaving it, instead of deleting it, so that I can have to explain it because that is my boring humor today... but I really didn't like the way it looked when I read over this again so I deleted it anyway, but I am leaving the explanation now I feel a boring little laugh inside of me and I have a boring little smile... I guess I still might be crazy, oh well, crazy can be fun)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A message from the other side.

Part of the misery of losing someone is divvying their remaining material items. My brother left a book that found it's way to me. It is called the "The Andromeda Strain" by Michael Crichton. It's a fun little read. Interesting concepts but there was one page that seemed to be left specifically for me from my brother. It is both funny and interesting how we will find and feel these things after some one has passed. But for me I will embrace it what ever "it" may be and share it with you.

"Like many intelligent men, Stone took a rather suspicious attitude toward his own brain, which he saw as a precise and skilled but temperamental machine. He was never surprised when the machine failed to perform, though he feared those moments, and hated them. In his blackest hours, Stone doubted the utility of all thought, and all intelligence. There were times when he envied the laboratory rats he worked with; their brains were so simple. Certainly they did not have the intelligence to destroy themselves; that was a peculiar invention of man.
He often argued that human intelligence was more trouble then it was worth. It was more destructive then creative, more confusing then revealing, more discouraging then satisfying, more spiteful then charitable.
There were times when he saw man, with his giant brain, as the equivalent to dinosaurs. Every schoolboy knew that dinosaurs had outgrown themselves, had become too large and ponderous to be viable. No one ever thought to consider whether the human brain, the most complex structure in the known universe, making fantastic demands on the human body in terms of nourishment and blood, was not analogous. Perhaps the human brain had become a kind of dinosaur for man and perhaps, in the end, would provide his downfall.
Already, the brain consumed one quarter of the body's blood supply. A fourth of all blood pumped from the heart went to the brain, an organ accounting for only a small percentage of body mass. If brains grew larger, and better, then perhaps they would consume more-perhaps so much that, like an infection, they would overrun there hosts and kill the bodies that transported them.
Or perhaps, in their infinite cleverness, they would find a way to destroy themselves and each other. There were times when, as he sat at State Department or Defense Department meetings, and looked around the table, he saw nothing more then a dozen gray, convoluted brains sitting on the table. No flesh and blood, no hands, no eyes, no finger. No mouths, no sex organs-all these were superfluous.
Just brains. Sitting around, trying to decide how to outwit other brains, at other conference tables.
Idiotic.
He shook his head, thinking he was becoming like Leavitt, conjuring up wild and improbable schemes.
Yet, there was a sort of logical consequence to Stone's ideas. If you really feared and hated your brain, you would attempt to destroy it. Destroy your own or destroy others.
'I', tired,' he said aloud..."
Hmmm.... Interesting.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Wise Mantis once said...

This is a year or two year old e-mail from my very wise and redeeming older sister who has helped me through many challenges. I have wanted to post this for some time, it's one that just I don't want overlooked.
A little back ground.
She wrote this to me when I was in a particularly delicate state. I was rapid cycling through all kinds of crap but I did not wish to visit any doctors as I had little faith or trust in them especially in this particular field. It is important for people to understand, though I am quite sane and though I am little if any risk to society in general, I do have the potential to be quite literally and legitimately "crazy." Really wish I didn't. Really have fought that. Even tried denial.
But sometimes we have to face reality and be responsible.
Just yesterday a friend who went through some bizarre panic attacks that were thus far acute to labor, was quite surprised by them. Surprised by how they came on so unexpectedly, how they affected her physically and how she really was trying to do what she was "supposed" to be doing (which was breathing). She was glad that I really did understand and could relate/explain a few things. It's like I told here "Unfortunately I relate to all kinds of crazy." (but maybe it is not so unfortunate)
Back to my point of what my sister wrote to me as I was starting to realize I needed help again. Not wanting to get to the point of a complete breakdown, I was starting to see that I really did relate to crazy yet I was not yet ready to accept it. I sent a little cry for help to my sister since she had been with me at other near breaking points in my life if she thought I might be a particular diagnosis.
I am happy she let me share this here and now because I think here writing and intellect is a very rich and savory treat.
Here is her reply:
"If you look in the genetics of this family, the environments and choices, you'll find symptoms of all of the below, with more inclination towards Anxiety and Depression. ( Not to mention Bipolar, thick-headedness and possibly glandular diseases... ; ) )..... However, each individual isn't going to fit one category explicitly. Mental health is a many headed monster with hundreds of faces. In trying to categorize symptoms into " this is depression or this is bipolar" you limit yourself and fall into the mindset of "This is what I have / This is what I am", when in fact you're probably fragments of "each", combined with YOU.
People are not the disease, they HAVE it.
There is so much people don't understand. It's been my experience that if you visit a doctor with a clinical guideline in his/her head of what the symptoms are your limiting yourself.
- There is a reason "shrinks" have a quacky reputation, because when someone puts their trust in a doctor they assume that what the Doc diagnoses is fact. Doctors are not Gods. Psychiatrists are nothing more than glorified Personal Relation directors, some more educated than others. In pigeonholing an individual you limit their success at management with a clinically closed mind because it's a mental health disorder and NOT a medical ailment, in the common sense of the word, and the damage done to the individual is nothing less than devastating and dangerous. A good quack knows this. A great one practices it.
In answer to your question, no, and yes. I feel your focusing on how to categorize "you". Don't. Self diagnosis can be an emotional roller-coaster that leaves you with too many unanswered questions and your limiting your treatment.
If you had say, a skin disorder that infected your entire body: would you only visit one Doctor for a diagnosis if what he prescribed continually didn't work? - Say it does work, would you only treat one or two limbs, hoping that the rest of you would just catch on and heal? Or, if the prescription healed most of it except the more advanced/infected patches. Would you then consider trying a new prescription or approach, or stubbornly stick to the first and take your chances?
Your dealing with the spirit here, not the body. Yes, I know it's genetics and chemicals, but what happens to your physical body is secondary to the anguish your soul / mind is left scarred with.
-Diagnosing yourself will only lead to boxing yourself in. I can guarantee your not "this" or "that". Your [You]. What your mind does is going to be different than the next. You can't categorize the mind. Period.
Even if you were to be diagnosed [this] you would like a snowflake, each [this] is different than the next. Throw in other avenues of mental health and you'll never hit the right pitch unless your open to managing ALL of your collective demons.
Self medication is hit or miss, and I can guarantee it's short lived as the "supplements" are not strong nor regulated in their consistency, to be enough. Couple that with the body's ability to overcome and figure out how to get around it, and you'll be left standing in a mind full of demons before you know what hit you. -- Take CAREFUL consideration that when the body figures it out it'll come back to bit you in the ass, usually before you even know it's coming, because it's not overnight. It's gradual, and before you know it your back at square one, oblivious that what you were taking stopped working a long time ago.
At that point your usually too consumed by your own mind to steer straight and your judgement will be skewed. Back to square one.
-- Which is why you MANAGE mental health, you don't cure it. In managing it you are able to touch bases with the doc. (one who knows what he's doing) and he's able to detect the subtle change and currents and adjust things accordingly. I know money is a factor. FIND A WAY. If anybody can, you can. Open the mind to possibility.
I've taken everything from seizure medications to hard core Bipolar horse pills. I do best on two completely different medications that I take every day. And, every year it changes. That's the nature of the beast.
If you truly want relief from the angst, open your mind and find a way, don't stand on indecision waiting for a set of rules to follow. Go forward with courage, nothing doubting, believing in yourself, have faith, keep hope at hand and all things will work towards your good. Believe that your already there and you will have the knowledge and confidence to accomplish it.
Let me know how it goes. Sorry for the lecture .. OK, not really, you knew me for what I am when you asked the question. : )"

And I absolutely love her for what she is. How could we ever really learn, grow or accomplish much with out people like her in our lives.
She often leaves us speechless, so don't feel bad if you to have to read through more then once and really have to let your brain work to take it all in and to fully grasp the idea's presented. Please take the time to fully grasp it all. It's well worth it.
Thanks for listening and have a lovely day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Is the world against ME?

I have to say that there are a lot of sick twisted people out there and it really pisses me off. I can not comprehend how people get to the point of doing some of the things they do. Like the guy who took Jaycee Dugard. Obviously this man is seriously mentally disturbed.
So is this what people think of when they think of a mentally ill person?
It angers me that people will use stories like this to justify discrimination against people who are getting help for mental illness/disorders. I think it is important to realize that discrimination should not be against people who are getting help. I think it is important to recognize that people like this are usually not getting medical help or are not choosing to be medically responsible. This guy was also a heavy drug user at one point in his life. That is important to recognize. Drugs change people and screw them up. I have NEVER done drugs. I somehow knew that I was already screwed up enough I didn't need help. I wouldn't even drink or smoke.



I will also tell you this; mental health issues can lead us to loose control. It can lead us to consider things that we have been taught are wrong and/or never in million years would consider otherwise. That does not ever excuse the behavior.
I will use me as an example. In a much less stable state, one that was not being treated with medically, I found myself fighting an overwhelming desire to "end it all." I would also find my temperament so fragile that I would snap and not be able to handle the stress of my children. My frustration or anger would be so intense that I would desire to hurt them. This is not something I care to admit and I would beat myself up tremendously over my temper and anger. I could see how irrational it was but I could not seem to control it. I would yell...
But like I said there is no excuse or justification for bad behavior and I think I would rather accept tendencies and intensities like that as mental illness and take a few pills for it, because they do help and they do an amazing job at solving the problem, then just keep on down the path that could lead to who knows where.
It is and was not fair to my children, myself, my family or society.
Now you may think that you can not trust me, but, if that is what you think, then you couldn't be further from wrong. You see I have a problem, it is a problem because I was taught better. I was taught value's. I was taught integrity and I was taught love and respect. If I had not been taught these things maybe I would not see it as a problem as I could have easily justified my actions by the worlds standards to that point.

I hate to think where I'd be, likely dead by my own hand because I'd rather be that then hurt my children. But suicide is something else that I was taught is wrong.
I think it is important to realize that there is right and wrong and obvious wrong is never ever justified. Wrong may be a symptom in which case you know to get help, not change the definition of right and wrong for your particular case.
I do not change right and wrong, I change myself, whatever it may take.
There are ways and things people can do to change their deviant selves and if medication helps then why the hell are we discriminating against people who are choosing to live responsibly while many, many, many unstable and frightening people either refuse to accept such a thing as mental illness or refuse to get help, or refuse to acknowledge that is might apply to them. I am angry.
I am angry with distrust. I am not broken. I have not crossed the line. I am quite sane likely more then most because I can admit that I have a problem and will keep myself well within a safe range but only by getting help in various forms and talking open and honestly.
So today I feel the world may be against me but at least I now know that with Gods help I can trust myself completely. At least I can honestly say I don't get it, I can't even begin to comprehend. But, I'll tell-you-what, I'm willing to give up any of my deviance to be sure that I never even come close to understanding. Can you say the same?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The imblance battle theory

"Remove mood from the driver’s seat. A common trap for depressed individuals is that they aren’t motivated to participate in activities that improve their mood. They become inactive and withdrawn, which worsens and maintains their depression, Oakley said. This is where it’s key not to let your feelings dictate what you do, he added "

I read this in this article http://psychcentral.com/lib/2009/living-with-depression-2/2/... Wait let me correct myself. Actually, I have not read the article but skimmed it briefly and was just struck with an idea. I've had this idea and presented it before. I think of it more as a theory: Maybe some people with depression (in the "clinical" or "major" sense of the word) aren't dictated entirely by their moods but in letting their minds dictate, the result is mania. Imbalance is imbalance. In my opinion there needs to be a balance of mind and mood in the drivers seat (and likely heart and soul and everything else...when you are aware that there is so much to balance, balance is not always so easy...)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Wise Mantis once said...

Yes, I'm publishing this post twice because I copied it over to my blog before I posted so when I posted it posted on the date that I started the post but I think it very important so I will leave it here and put it on again for todays date.

This is a year or two year old e-mail from my very wise and redeeming older sister who has helped me through many challenges. I have wanted to post this for some time, it's one that just I don't want overlooked.


A little back ground. She wrote this to me when I was in a particularly delicate state. I was rapid cycling through all kinds of crap but I did not wish to visit any doctors as I had little faith or trust in them especially in this particular field.
It is important for people to understand, though I am quite sane and though I am little if any risk to society in general, I do have the potential to be quite literally and legitimately "crazy." Really wish I didn't. Really have fought that. Even tried denial. But sometimes we have to face reality and be responsible.
Just yesterday a friend who went through some bizarre panic attacks that were thus far acute to labor, was quite surprised by them. Surprised by how they came on so unexpectedly, how they affected her physically and how she really was trying to do what she was "supposed" to be doing (which was breathing). She was glad that I really did understand and could relate/explain a few things. It's like I told here "Unfortunately I relate to all kinds of crazy." (but maybe it is not so unfortunate)

Back to my point of what my sister wrote to me as I was starting to realize I needed help again. Not wanting to get to the point of a complete breakdown, I was starting to see that I really did relate to crazy yet I was not yet ready to accept it. I sent a little cry for help to my sister since she had been with me at other near breaking points in my life if she thought I might be a particular diagnosis. I am happy she let me share this here and now because I think here writing and intellect is a very rich and savory treat. Here is her reply:



"If you look in the genetics of this family, the environments and choices, you'll find symptoms of all of the below, with more inclination towards Anxiety and Depression. ( Not to mention Bipolar, thick-headedness and possibly glandular diseases... ; ) ).....

However, each individual isn't going to fit one category explicitly. Mental health is a many headed monster with hundreds of faces. In trying to categorize symptoms into " this is depression or this is bipolar" you limit yourself and fall into the mindset of "This is what I have / This is what I am", when in fact you're probably fragments of "each", combined with YOU.

People are not the disease, they HAVE it. There is so much people don't understand. It's been my experience that if you visit a doctor with a clinical guideline in his/her head of what the symptoms are your limiting yourself. - There is a reason "shrinks" have a quacky reputation, because when someone puts their trust in a doctor they assume that what the Doc diagnoses is fact. Doctors are not Gods. Psychiatrists are nothing more than glorified Personal Relation directors, some more educated than others.

In pigeonholing an individual you limit their success at management with a clinically closed mind because it's a mental health disorder and NOT a medical ailment, in the common sense of the word, and the damage done to the individual is nothing less than devastating and dangerous. A good quack knows this. A great one practices it.



In answer to your question, no, and yes. I feel your focusing on how to categorize "you". Don't. Self diagnosis can be an emotional roller-coaster that leaves you with too many unanswered questions and your limiting your treatment.

If you had say, a skin disorder that infected your entire body: would you only visit one Doctor for a diagnosis if what he prescribed continually didn't work? - Say it does work, would you only treat one or two limbs, hoping that the rest of you would just catch on and heal? Or, if the prescription healed most of it except the more advanced/infected patches. Would you then consider trying a new prescription or approach, or stubbornly stick to the first and take your chances?

Your dealing with the spirit here, not the body. Yes, I know it's genetics and chemicals, but what happens to your physical body is secondary to the anguish your soul / mind is left scarred with.

-Diagnosing yourself will only lead to boxing yourself in. I can guarantee your not "this" or "that". Your [You]. What your mind does is going to be different than the next. You can't categorize the mind. Period.

Even if you were to be diagnosed [this] you would like a snowflake, each [this] is different than the next. Throw in other avenues of mental health and you'll never hit the right pitch unless your open to managing ALL of your collective demons.

Self medication is hit or miss, and I can guarantee it's short lived as the "supplements" are not strong nor regulated in their consistency, to be enough. Couple that with the body's ability to overcome and figure out how to get around it, and you'll be left standing in a mind full of demons before you know what hit you. -- Take CAREFUL consideration that when the body figures it out it'll come back to bit you in the ass, usually before you even know it's coming, because it's not overnight. It's gradual, and before you know it your back at square one, oblivious that what your taking stopped working a long time ago. At that point your usually too consumed by your own mind to steer straight and your judgement will be skewed. Back to square one. -- Which is why you MANAGE mental health, you don't cure it. In managing it you are able to touch bases with the doc. (one who knows what he's doing) and he's able to detect the subtle change and currents and adjust things accordingly.

I know money is a factor. FIND A WAY. If anybody can, you can. Open the mind to possibility. I've taken everything from seizure medications to hard core Bipolar horse pills. I do best on two completely different medications that I take every day. And, every year it changes. That's the nature of the beast. If you truly want relief from the angst, open your mind and find a way, don't stand on indecision waiting for a set of rules to follow. Go forward with courage, nothing doubting, believing in yourself, have faith, keep hope at hand and all things will work towards your good. Believe that your already there and you will have the knowledge and confidence to accomplish it. Let me know how it goes. Sorry for the lecture .. OK, not really, you knew me for what I am when you asked the question. : )"



And I absolutely love her for what she is. How could we ever really learn, grow or accomplish much with out people like her in our lives.

She often leaves us speechless, so don't feel bad if you to have to read through more then once and really have to let your brain work to take it all in and to fully grasp the idea's presented. Please take the time to fully grasp it all. It's well worth it.

Thanks for listening and have a very nice day.

keeping faith and fight

"I know everyone has ups and downs in all journeys we embark on. Today was a down.
Today it was a little harder to be happy as the children were singing in [church].
Today I didn't feel like listening to the lesson but rather I wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep. Today I didn't want to hear the encouragement that I just need to have faith and things will work out fine. Today, I wanted to close my eyes and pretend the world would melt away into nice warm nothingness.
Why is it that when things are harder the things I need to do more are the things I want to do the least?
I am planning on tomorrow being an up day in my journey. I am also hoping that the ups and downs level out a bit in the very near future. I guess when it all comes down to it, that is what faith is for after all."

This was a blog entry of a friend (I think she writes beautifully) who is in fact going through some very hard times. Now I understand her point and on her blog they are really irrelevant to me and my blog. Yet she writes a nice introduction to a few points that have been a huge struggle for me personally and I think can be some of the big misconceptions with mental illness/disorders, and I'd like to address that.

Ups and downs are normal and I am certain most people struggle with that from time to time. But where is the line drawn? What is a "normal" human struggle and what is a physiological problem? And when is it merely a lack of faith and spirituality?

I (of course) have formed a few opinions on the matter. One point I'd really like to make is that things of religious and spiritual nature, in my experience and observation, can and will feed an imbalance. For me personally (and I've touched on it before) there are "spiritual highs."

I have often considered that my ups and manic like symptoms are simply the pendulum swing in an imbalanced state as a result of my fighting depression (or just an imbalance). If the chemicals are out of whack and I push myself to do things to make me happy or more spiritual or what ever then they will still be out of whack and I will respond to the stimuli in a different, maybe more extreme, way then if my chemistry was "better" balanced.

Does this make sense?

And which is better or worse to be down and out of balance, or to be up and out of balance? We tend to think it is better to be up, period, but I know plenty of people who know better. Out of balance is out of balance and when out of balance becomes to usual and to extreme, up or down, then there is very possibly a problem that no amount of fighting or faith will stabilize.

Unless, of course, it is God's will also. But this will continue to be a hard part of human nature to accept God's will that is not always the same as ours. I guess a point I am trying to make here is sometimes it takes faith to accept that I have a problem that I can't kick on my own. And it takes faith to tackle that problem appropriately.

I think it is important to kick things on our own, and try to solve our own problems but may I remind you that God did not put us here alone and for as much as it is an individual experience it is also a collective experience. And we are all still God's children and loved by Him no matter how His will for us may be different form our own (with our limited understanding).

Mental illness and disorders are a very hard thing to accept because, and I think my sister put it best when she said
"...in fact you're probably fragments of 'each', combined with YOU.

"...Mental health is a many headed monster with hundreds of faces.... People are not the disease, they HAVE it. There is so much people don't understand... because it's a mental health disorder and NOT a medical ailment, in the common sense of the word, and the damage done to the individual is nothing less than devastating and dangerous."

To my friend and you, or any one who ever relates to the ups and downs, I would say keep fighting, keep trying. I appreciate my friends faith, I hope that others will have that to.

But if, when life settles down, or even if it never does, if you don't adjust and you hit the point where it is taking too much time and energy to battle the ups and downs, if your efforts seem to escalate the ups to be followed by deeper downs, and/or if you ever ever start thinking of ways to help the world to "melt into nice warm nothingness," then please employ a few more forces in your army and get the help you need and deserve.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow

Feb 26, 2009
I feel like writing but I have nothing to say… It is days like this that suck. I don’t like how real and fake life is. My brother is gone and that bothers me. A LOT.
I don’t like the quiet. Sometimes I don’t feel real. My little brother---(edit cut)... He’s not OK… I’m not OK… Life is supposed to be a grand adventure but I don’t like it right now. I’m not sure what I am supposed to do anymore.
 
About 6 months prior:
I am half laughing as I tell the study doctor psychiatrist that I am pretty sure I am a vampire.
I am laughing because I know that I am supposed to know that I am not but part of me believes that I might be. Or at least that I relate… To a fictitious interpretation of a fictitious being. It’s funny really. And I have to laugh at how I float between realities never really part of any.

Today:
I am mostly sane, my head is still a bit jet lagged and I am certain that elevation is having more of an effect then I’d like but other then being a bit slow and forgetful I think I am mostly fine.
I listened to a discussion/interview on the radio (All things considered)about a musical called “Next to Normal.” They made the point that mental illness is a life long issue…
That is when I fully realized that this would be a life long thing.
At 19 when I first got myself into “mental trouble” I was absolutely determined to not need medication for the rest of my life. I was sure that I could beat this “depression.” I was absolutely determined to be fine, to “heal,” to get “over it.” I believed that I would be... with everything in me…and after all can’t we do anything if we put our minds to it. Isn’t the sky the limit. Can’t we be anything if we just believe.
These days I feel a bit angry that we were so puffed up with these lies as children. If there was anything I learned in school it was that I could be/do anything I put my mind to. I am angry because it is a lie that we were constantly being subjected to, this push the limits type of addictive thinking. And it continues, “You deserve it” and all that bull…
I am sad because I now have to realize and accept that this is my life and I will battle with mental illness for the rest of my life… I’d really rather not.
But then I am thankful for the people I know, and that I know so many good people with “mental illness‘s.” And I am thankful that I was caught early.
I feel a sense of responsibility and a desire to help along with frustration with the current state of the field psychiatry and mental illness. It is so confusing, taboo and shunned.
I feel overwhelmed when I try to think of how I can help or what I should.
And though it is nice to feel much more stable, I will admit that at times I feel confused by my current lack of intensity .
But I am also happy that life has been so good to me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A day in paradise

We just got back from Hawaii. Huge steep mountains, beautiful waterfalls with delightful pools to play in, caves, the most beautiful blue ocean with all of its wonder and glory, jungles and all sorts of hidden treasures. Hawaii is definitely my idea of paradise (though it can be a bit crowded and unfriendly in some places).
At one point, after we had a few amazing days exploring, we were driving in the peaceful and pleasant early morning on the road back from Hana and a thought occurred to me. I was struck with the idea that, here, in paradise, maybe I would not need the medication crutch that I so despise. It was blissful thought, yet as I remembered all that I have learned, know and have been through, I recognized the error in my idealization. And I realized the reality of what the trip would actually be like, had I not been on medication...
It would have been too much.
Paradise would have simply overwhelmed me and after experiencing euphoria, that may or may not have lasted longer then usual but likely would have been even more intense, I would have been a mess of emotions that would threaten my existence. I would have a type of anxiety and adrenaline that would compare to bungee jumping out of a hot air balloon but that would continue inside me well after a hot air balloon would have landed. It would continue until I broke.
So as much as I still dislike being somewhat dependant on medication I am very grateful that I could enjoy Hawaii with them.
And so this is the life that has chosen me and I suppose I will continue to work on accepting that...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Talk is Cheap...assume little!

There is a saying: " It is better to let people think you are an ass then to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
But talking openly, even if it makes an ass of me, has saved my life and my sanity more then once. It has saved our marriage and I believe it could save many people from many atrocities.
This part of me is not "mental illness" this part of me, though it may be idealistic, is a valuable asset.
Yet, we live in a world where we are not always speaking the same language even when are speaking the same language. However, I still feel it is rather presumptuous to simply assume things about others so I give them credit and have sufficient faith in them that I hope they would have in me and I open my mouth.
So here is some food for thought: when one re-considers the adage "it is better to let people think you are an ass then to open your mouth and remove all doubt," I hope people might stop to think who is really being the ass? The one speaking or the one assuming?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saving Lives

It's not enough to merely save people from death. We can save lives but if the quality of that life is not worth it to them then what is the point?

Before my brothers passing I had recently connected with two friends from high school, that are sisters, and had been two of those people that you just get along easily with, connect with, and will always cherish. After my brothers passing the younger of two tactfully asked "how."

As it turned out my gracious friends lost there dad about six years ago, he also "took his own life"... My friends shared with me about him. I am so appreciative of their compassion and willingness to share. He'd hit a point of complete madness. He was no longer himself or at least not the man that they all knew and loved. Why? He'd been OK for so long. He'd been an amazing dad, a kind and generous person. Brilliant even. but then it all started to fall apart and who knows if he got help in time. Who knows if he was even taking the "help" that he was being given. All the same he was going and then he was gone. They all tried to help him and at times even tried to save his life but those closest to him knew that it was not their life to save. They knew that merely keeping him alive was not saving him. They had already lost him... Where did he go?
Did he just give up on fighting? Had is adaptive practices been changed to the point of demise? Are mental disorders/illness's degenerative? Was it merely a matter of time? Obviously there is no sufficient nor satisfactory answer to these questions, especially to his family, he is gone.

I have another friend, with whom I was fortunate enough to work with this last year. Her father passed away a month before my brother. At one point, when I was struggling a bit at work, I asked her how she was doing and if she felt this way or that. She was compassionately willing to talk. Our brief conversation led her to tell me that it was actually not the first father she had lost (although I must tell you, as a evidence of her compassion, it was not her loosing two fathers that brought up the subject but how she felt so bad for her mother because this was her second husband to loose).
As it turned out, her biological father committed suicide when she was very young. Her father was about the age of my brother. I was amazed and so impressed with my friend and her graciousness in coping and sharing. I asked her what he was like. She explained that he was in the military. He loved to work out He even loved life often. He was kind and loving and not the type of person you might expect this from, though he did struggle with depression from time to time.

I remember thinking how both of these men sounded similar to my brother. I have often thought that if he had only gotten married and had a family of his own this would not have happened. But after speaking with these two friends about their own fathers I have realized that it is not the case. Family does not cure some one of mental illness and it does not save one from this fate. Family can do a lot for a person including improving their quality of life but in they end that alone would not have saved my brother, no matter how much they may have loved each other. There is so much more to the story here.

One thing I would like to point out is that I don't believe that such interactions and the many other bizarre coincidences are coincidences at all. I am soooo thankful that wonderful people were so conveniently lined up for me! Thank you so much my friends for sharing and for wanting to help and make a difference in this crazy mixed up world we live in!

But I will also re-iterate: keeping some one breathing is not merely enough. We have a responsibility to each other to do more and be more. And yet likewise, when it is someones time to go, no matter how painful or hard it is to understand, then it is time to let them go and love them just as well.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

update

So I suppose an update is in order as an increase back up to 10mgs seems to make all the difference in the world. Though I also wonder if the lovely female cycle also plays a role in some of my intensities. But I have been feeling quite a bit better and watched two thought provoking movies without becoming overly "disturbed," which always seems to be a good gauge.
Though even jumping a mere 5 mgs in the nortryptaline has caused a slight increase in the skin issues that really annoy me. I have determined it is worth the annoyance and I'll try what I can to fix that without going off of anything as it apparent I still "need" it.
But again Life is very good and I love to feel level and "normal." However, I also think it still important, for me, to (at least at times) remember how it is to feel and be on the edge of sanity. It is nice to think about how far I have come and it is probably best to realize that it I will likely push the limits of reality again. But I will be prepared and hopefully this blog and my friends can once again keep me from going completely overt the edge or bring me back if I do.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not today, not ever!

I don't feel much like writing lately. Don't feel much like talking to anyone, checking my e-mail, or writing to friends. I know that is not always a bad thing, and it is not such a bad thing for me to give the old computer a break (actually it's quite new). But lately I don't know that it is such a good thing.
I really don't feel like writing right now in fact, which is exactly why I decided to do it anyway.
Lately my fuse is shorter then I think it should be. I am obsessing a bit more and feel less inclined to be responsible... In fact the other day I realized that I am a bit impulsive. I thought I was "above" that because I am not impulsively doing off the wall horrible things... Just taking walks at odd hours in the night and angrily telling houses with there lights on to go to bed. Beating up a few trees and lurking in shadows. Plus I am not impulsive because I am not out whore'n it up or shooting up, I don't even want to do those types of things. And all of my impulsive purchases and self directed medication changes are carefully thought out usually with a grand plan and a final leap of faith. But never with out adequate obsessing!
And then there is the idea of right and wrong. Is there really such a thing. And maybe it is actually wrong for me to stick around (or at least more wrong). Maybe my kids really would be better off with an un-medicated mom who just goes with it...which usually means running away. Maybe it is better for some moms to abandon their kids over medication or alternatives... Whose to judge really?

So I am pretty sure that dropping down to 5mg's of the one medication is not so good for me. And I think that the other medications makes it so I just don't care as much that I am so darn ridiculous and fly off the handle-ish.
So friends beware, now is the time to stay away... (though I must admit that I still like for people to bounce their ideas off me...so maybe don't stay away)
I'll get it sorted out again and be back on top...back down...No... somewhere in the middle in no time...or some time... Either way, I can't wait to run away to the islands with mountains. Alas there is always something to hold on to.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I am what I am

I am what I am and what you see is what you get.
For real.
So a thought I leave with you: If I am not the person I want to be and am not capable of being that person, or have only been frustrated in my attempts to be that person then I am perfectly fine with calling it a mental illness and taking medication for it if it helps me be the person I want to be! (anyone who has ever had children and has failed to practice self restraint when it comes to "discipline" might want to consider this idea also... unless, of course, that is the type of person they want to be...in which case we have just opened a whole new can of worms haven't we my friend!)
This is why I am what I am and what you see is what you get!
p.s. I love you

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

not today

Sometimes I just want to throw it all away and start over. Just me, the husband and the kids. I know the kids are game... Well maybe, kind of. But the husband, he'll take some convincing...
I am tired of all the things swimming around in my head. I'd like them to go away. Too many exposures to fairy tales, and statistics. Politics and Media. Books and bills. Visuals, said and unsaid expectations... Gone are the good old days of simplicity and self reliance...did they ever really exist?
Too many movies and magazines and too many people telling me what I should look like,what I should wear, what I should act like... And yet so many people have a problem with religion for the same exact reasons. Life is lame sometimes and so are people and all I can do is write about it on this lame ass blog and some people will be intrigued but most will find it a waste of their time so is that what we really are? Is that what I am and how and why? You see sometimes it is all just bullshit. Bullshit that hits for a moment and hopefully I've learned well enough by now to just keep holding on and things'll get looking better again. I still love sunsets and I still love mountains, beaches and even people. I love rocks and flowers. I love cliffs and waterfalls. I love to fly. I love the wind and the rain. I love cool evenings and stars. I love fires and birds. I love simple things... Someday I will disappear into my simplicity but I suppose not today.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saving lives.

It's not enough to merely save people from death. We can save lives but if the quality of that life is not worth it to them then what is the point?

Before my brothers passing I had recently connected with two friends from high school, that are sisters, and had been two of those people that you just get along easily with, connect with, and will always cherish. After my brothers passing the younger of two tactfully asked "how."

As it turned out my gracious friends lost there dad about six years ago, he also "took his own life"... My friends shared with me about him. I am so appreciative of their compassion and willingness to share. He'd hit a point of complete madness. He was no longer himself or at least not the man that they all knew and loved. Why? He'd been OK for so long. He'd been an amazing dad, a kind and generous person. Brilliant even. but then it all started to fall apart and who knows if he got help in time. Who knows if he was even taking the "help" that he was being given. All the same he was going and then he was gone. They all tried to help him and at times even tried to save his life but those closest to him knew that it was not their life to save. They knew that merely keeping him alive was not saving him. They had already lost him... Where did he go?

Did he just give up on fighting? Had is adaptive practices been changed to the point of demise? Are mental disorders/illness's degenerative? Was it merely a matter of time?

Obviously there is no sufficient nor satisfactory answer to these questions, especially to his family, he is gone.

I have another friend, with whom I was fortunate enough to work with this last year. Her father passed away a month before my brother. At one point, when I was struggling a bit at work, I asked her how she was doing and if she felt this way or that. She was compassionately willing to talk. Our brief conversation led her to tell me that it was actually not the first father she had lost (although I must tell you, as a evidence of her compassion, it was not her loosing two fathers that brought up the subject but how she felt so bad for her mother because this was her second husband to loose). As it turned out, her biological father committed suicide when she was very young. Her father was about the age of my brother. I was amazed and so impressed with my friend and her graciousness in coping and sharing. I asked her what he was like. She explained that he was in the military. He loved to work out He even loved life often. He was kind and loving and not the type of person you might expect this from, though he did struggle with depression from time to time.


I remember thinking how both of these men sounded similar to my brother. I have often thought that if he had only gotten married and had a family of his own this would not have happened. But after speaking with these two friends about their own fathers I have realized that it is not the case. Family does not cure some one of mental illness and it does not save one from this fate. Family can do a lot for a person including improving their quality of life but in they end that alone would not have saved my brother, no matter how much they may have loved each other. There is so much more to the story here.


One thing I would like to point out is that I don't believe that such interactions and the many other bizarre coincidences are coincidences at all. I am soooo thankful that wonderful people were so conveniently lined up for me! Thank you so much my friends for sharing and for wanting to help and make a difference in this crazy mixed up world we live in!


But I will also re-iterate: keeping some one breathing is not merely enough. We have a responsibility to each other to do more and be more. And yet likewise, when it is someones time to go, no matter how painful or hard it is to understand, then it is time to let them go and love them just as well.

The simple little blog entry that turned into a bizarre creature of a thing...

Any one who knows me well, likely knows that they are one of my most favorite people. That being said I hope that my favorite people who really do not struggle to maintain sanity will still know that, yes, you are still one of my favorite people. (p.s. I am very fortunate because I know a lot of very very amazing, awesome and interesting people. It's not hard to have a lot of favorite people when you know the people that I know.)
But today I just want to say that I love my "crazy" friends. It is nice to talk with people who understand insanity similar to the way that I do. I also have to say that I think I trust these friends more then any one in the world.
I believe that unless you realize that you could possibly be just as "crazy" as that homeless man mumbling, growling and punching himself in the head then it is possible that you just might be more delusional then he is. Of course I am not saying that everyone needs psychiatric help, but rather I am saying that just because one person's world is not socially accepted as sane does not mean that society and all that is accepted and expected there-in is sane. With all of the knowledge that we have and that we have gained over the course of history it is silly to think that we are not being influenced by things that may not be immediately and obviously affecting us.
If I've lost you, don't worry I've lost myself to... So My point? I suppose it is this: Welcome to crazy my friends!
And to my "crazy" friends: Thank you for embracing your insanity and then working to maintain mental, emotional and societal responsibility! I absolutely Love You!
(I suppose I'm still a bit tired. I'm not sure that I'm actually saying what I am trying to say, but today I'll say it anyway. It's one of the perks you get to allow yourself when you succumb to taking medication to maintain sanity... oh, will I ever cease to embarrass myself? that'll likely be the day I disappear...flying away with pigs...I might go back and erase or edit this one later...when I'm more awake...after I frighten people away of course...)

Friday, June 12, 2009

ADD and All this bull#$@*...

So we took my husband to a Dr. yesterday to explore his ADD issue's, see if we can't figure a thing or two out for him... The Dr. said he has a mood stability disorder as well as definite ADD and that is what we need to treat first. A mood stability disorder he also explained as bipolar (kind of a baby bipolar if-you-will). I think I am still laughing. I don't quite know what to think about all this mental health/illness/disorder bullshit but I do agree that my husband has a mood stability disorder that I want treated because, quite frankly, he can be scary but that's not really who he is. And he has adapted very well all things considered but he still "has issue's" and at this point in his life I don't think we have the time or the patience for all the alternatives...

I really kind of hate all this bullshit...
I suppose you connect with who you relate to and we definitely connect but I hate that we "need" medication... and I suppose I may always question "need" medication versus alternatives. I hope that one day I'll be able to take care of it all a bit more naturally.
But for now I think it is best that I take the path that leads me quickly and forcefully away from self-destructing...

Sometimes life is interesting but incredibly stupid.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

where to put the fight

Some days are hard. Some days I feel sad. I miss my brother, especially on days like to day... We went to the Air Force Air Show and I saw so many guys in their fatigues that reminded me of my brother. I got to go on a plane similar to those he loved to jump from (he was Airborne). The pride and patriotism of the military always impresses me and excites me, I want to join sometimes. I know I'd be incredible. I imagine that the discipline and intensity of the military might be more my pace. I could see myself as a drill sergeant even. I wish that J---- was here so I could talk to him about it...
But he's not and currently I am on medication so the military won't take me anyway... The medication that doesn't feel like it's working that great today anyway...
I have so much fight in me, even when I don't want to. Maybe this is where I belong, maybe this should be my fight...
Today I don't know what's what...
and I don't feel much like fighting today...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A comment to this article http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/05/27/army.suicides/index.html
and this one
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/05/28/soldiers-ordered-not-to-kill-themselves/

In December my younger brother died from a self inflicted gun shot wound. He had served in the Army National Guard spending some time deployed in Afghanistan. I think there are a lot of stigma changes and paradigm shifts that need to happen with mental illness ESPECIALLY in the military.
My brother was not on medication and was not seeking medical help and part of what contributed to that was the stigma associated. While active in the Military he took medication for a short time but would only allow himself that as he would not be able to continue in the military if he continued taking medication.
I have also been on medication for my mental health issue's, when I tried to join the military they would not take me because I was on an anti-depressant, I thought it silly and stupid that they would take a "crazy" person that neither recognizes nor addresses their "insanity" but they won't take some one who is choosing to address their "issue."
Another point is that my brother very likely had a borderline personality disorder and it makes perfect sense for people with these types of disorders to join the military. Sort of a noble death wish if you will. That in and of it's self is not necessarily a bad thing and it's rather silly of the military to avoid these people but rather it seems it would make sense to utilize this personality type. In giving them the medical help they need with out the discrimination it would really make for a phenomenal military. I know my brother and I know what I am talking about, they (and we) would be an incredible asset to any branch of military but medical attention, education and acceptance in the arena of mental health is crucial and in a military setting would probably be fairly simple.

ups and downs on a much more even scale

So I've had some down days. I think that is to be expected, especially considering I recently lost a brother whom I love.
I slept a lot, felt sad, unmotivated, and not terribly interested in much at all. I'd think of my brother and cry. I'd feel down, so I'd sleep... Depression... I even had a couple of days in which I felt my mind might be starting to undermine my medication. My focus was off, my nerves and such were starting to rise and I was feeling very sensitive to any possible slight. I realized that I had not been taking the best care of myself, eating horribly, not exercising much and lack of a regular bedtime seemed to be getting to me. I'm changing those back to a more healthy standard and I am already feeling the level difference. I seem to be following the same cycle of ups and downs and in betweens, only now it is manageable. It feels...umm...how'd you say... uh "normal." I must say it is nice. I got excited again last night just realizing how manageable a couple of days of excessive day sleeping were and that they have not turned me into the beastliest of creatures.

I have to say that those who either have the fortune or misfortune of being around me are, either way, very fortunate that I did work so danged hard to keep myself in line. Had I not been aware and worked so hard at it, I'd have been a complete nutcase, seriously! I think that my own self awareness and the logging of it will help me to avoid the common pitfall of quiting medication too soon because "I am fine." So it is with that, that I will stress the value of education and societal values and standards... though I'm probably still a rebel of societal expectations on some level and forms.

Monday, June 1, 2009

especially considering I can rarely keep up with myself
I suppose if I found somebody who could and would actually keep up with me, that might be terribly frightening... I suppose

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lesson Learned

Here is another blog entry I wrote awhile ago and wanted to edit, possibly re-write, but I have determined that I am not that great a writer and I'd rather get this one out then make more (then about two...maybe three) pathetic attempts at "perfection." (or is it four?)
So though it is not yet what I want it to be I will share my lesson learned with flaws and all.

I'd like to share one of the most valuable lessons I have learned from an individual. It is as lesson I learned the night I got to spend in the waiting room of a Mental Health Facility in Florida. I mentioned this stay in my blog entry "the story of my crazy little life."
Remember I was an eighteen year old Utah raised girl in a Mental Health Facility in Riviera Beach Florida being held against my will, but not entirely unjustly.
Everyone who was brought there had to wait in the waiting room until they could be evaluated by the psychiatrist and determined if they were "safe" to leave. I was brought in in the very early evening, shortly after the psychiatrist had left and she would not be returning until the next morning, if they needed her, and since the next morning was Easter Sunday she insisted upon attending her Easter Services ( though a bit annoying to me at the moment, I admired and appreciated the priority she put on that. Really of all people, she should be there celebrating and honoring a second chance at life. I was glad she went).
But for those who had to wait the accommodations were; one enclosed room with two hospital like cots and the waiting room. As best I could tell the "bedroom" had been claimed by a frighteningly large and very strange woman and a very reclusive male that I remember very little about (so little that I have wondered if he was a figment of my imagination). Though they confiscated all weapons, belts, shoelaces and shoes I had no desire to sleep in an enclosed room under these circumstances even if the door didn't lock. The rest of us got to find a place among the benches and floors. I was fortunate enough to get a bench. Of course there was the security of one night "receptionist" watching over us from behind the counter. We were limited to the waiting room and a short hall that led to a padded room and a bathroom. I wondered if I might ever find myself in a padded room. It didn't look that bad, sterile but strangely comforting.
That night I made friends with a man (we'll call him Derek) whose mother had him "baker acted." The Baker Act was the statute that allowed a person to be held against there will until they were evaluated by psychiatrist if someone in authority or a close family member felt that they may be a threat to themselves or others. Another man (we'll call him Todd) who had been brought from the county jail for threatening suicide if they insisted on putting him into a cell with a man that he knew would kill him anyway (only in a much more brutal way). I actually felt very safe with these two interesting men.
Around 2:30 in the morning a police officer brought another man in that was talking from the get go and I was never entirely sure whom to. I wasn't as comfortable with this man and I felt very small and naive. He was not a large man himself and rather looked undernourished. I was struck with the idea that he might be homeless.
From the moment he got there this man seemed to be talking about the "voices that were telling me to do bad things." As I lay there on the bench, pretending to still be asleep, I remember thinking "this man is genuinely crazy, I wonder what they will do with him?" Just like the rest of us he got a blanket and a pillow and was to find a place to sleep in the waiting room with the rest of us.
"Huh, this could be interesting."
I have to admit I was a bit nervous. He took a bench/ or the floor in close proximity and proceeded to tell his story. I am not sure if he was telling me, Derek, or just whoever was listening or nobody at all, but his story was definitely the most exciting there that night.
He began talking about when the voices started to come back. He said at first they were easy to ignore and he'd acknowledge them and would then tell them to go away. He was hanging out with his friends (which was entertaining in and of itself trying to imagine what his friends might be like) when the voices started getting harder to ignore. They started to tell him to do bad things. He told them that he didn't want to and that they should go away. At first the they'd go away for a time, but then they wouldn't go away. They started asking him to hurt people. He said he didn't want to. They started getting louder. He started telling his friends that they needed to take him to the hospital because he didn't want to hurt anyone. The voices morphed into Jesus, but this man knew that Jesus wouldn't want him to hurt people so he told "the voice" that, and that he didn't want to hurt anyone. He raised his voice and got stern with his friends "YOU take me to the Hospital right now, before I hurt you."

I am not sure how many times he had to ask his friends to take him (he repeated himself a lot) or how long the whole thing took to transpire, but the police officer had brought him to "our" facility from the hospital. I listened intently and though I was not sure if or what they did at the hospital, I hoped they would have done or given him something.

He was the first one to see the psychiatrist the next morning.

I remember being completely intrigued by the whole thing. It made me think, in fact it has ever sense. I have often thought "if this man, as crazy as he was, could learn to recognize this and maintain some values and self control then I could learn to deal with my issues, maintain some sense of self and be responsible for my actions." I could learn to recognize if I was creeping close to the edge. I think this experience has also contributed significantly to my realizing the importance of maintaining and teaching values on and in all levels of society. As our minds approach deviance from some very important core values I think it is import to keep them in check and get help before the "voices or feelings" get too loud.
This was and is a valuable lesson learned. I have sense been fortunate enough to have "coincidental" interactions and situations that have helped keep me ahead of the game (well at least ahead of some of the severity's). The old adage suggests that "an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and I strongly believe this is applicable to Mental illness and Mental Health as well.
I, personally, have been profoundly grateful for people who have been willing to talk about, write and/or share their stories and experience. It has helped me profoundly and personally and it helps to educate people in one of the final frontier's of medicine and health. I believe that through others stories, knowledge and help that we can better learn to treat and understand some very real physiological problems that as of yet cannot be tested by conventional means without greater risk to health and safety. The brain is a very powerful but also very delicate organ and it is not immune to malfunctions. That does NOT make a person less of a person.
These are some of my beliefs which, I suppose, is why I so strongly feel the desire to share my own experiences in both treating present symptoms and problems and preventing rapid progression of my own likely degenerate medical condition.

devine intervention in it's simplest form

I have felt a bit down the last few days. I am discouraged by my brain and the uncertainty of modern medicine in this arena. I went online to blog out some of my discouragement but the AOL home page news links had an article about a lady whose limbs were at least three times that of a normal persons.
I have to admit, though I went to the article just out of mere curiosity, it did make me feel better. At least my ailments are not out there in everybody's face physically all of the time. So I suppose the Cosmo's still have a plan for me despite my recent feelings of discouragement, and once again I can say the world is a beautiful place, even with all it's imperfections.
May I send a sincere Thank you to Mandy Sellars, you have a beautiful smile and you are a beautiful person, Thanks.

Monday, May 25, 2009

ramblings of "Truth"

Oh the beautiful mind that is mine... I am so very happy and pleased with my current state and stability, however I was once again reminded of how temporary it could potentially be. I am OK with that because why be anything else, it will only rush a POTENTIAL downfall (and may I remind you and myself that it is only that, a potential).
I am grateful to know the people that I know and everyday I learn something knew. I think that is cool and yet hard at times.
... I am writing to write today because I am perplexed over my cousin. I am pained by the confusion I believe I sense from him. I am pained by the devastation's he has and is recently facing that I myself will likely, and fortunately, never face. I can really appreciate his "beautiful mind" and how he has amazingly been able to utilize it to his advantage, which makes it no surprise that he, at times, might believe he has to figure it all out himself. (Thing is, he eventually will figure it out, likely not all on his own though.) But, oh the pain of the chemistry.
I do know that when we go through hard time we are often amazed at some of the feelings and emotions we face that we never could have ever anticipated or understand had we not gone through it ourselves... and then to top it all off, we are all individuals and even going through exact same thing can effect people very differently.
I have another cousin who is also intelligent and talented in his own right but likely (and thankfully) laking in the screwed up brain chemistry arena. Currently he is trying to make a career change and is dealing with a bit of internal conflict in that area. As he put it "sometimes I just wish someone would tell me what to do." I feel his pain but I also appreciate his optimism through it all.
...And i find myself thinking about how it is somewhere in between being told exactly what to do and trying to figure it all out for oneself that the answer and the truth lie. I am at least pretty certain of that AND I'll throw it out there because I am, in fact, willing to be wrong.
Maybe I have touched on this before, today I don't care to go back through my blog to see if I have, but I believe that is one of the Great Ironies of life; that being that the only way one can truly have the truth and have peace with truth is if one is willing to be wrong. It seems to me that it is most likely when a person is adamantly fighting a point and are unwilling to bend on their perspective, position or understanding that they are often wrong or at least some part of their belief is wrong. It would also seem that once we accept that "this is what I believe but I could be wrong" that is when we are really accepting and ready for truth. Often we were right all a long and sometimes we are not but the beauty of it is in that state of mind we are open to a higher truth. That is my opinion of course...but I could be wrong. (sorry, I couldn't resist, I just had to throw that in there)
So that is my write-to-write-and-ease-my-head-a-bit rambling for the day. May you laugh with me when I laugh at myself and may you have a lovely day.