Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Cognition’

Better, I Guess…


Ok, so I had my Emergency Clinic Appointment, the one to try to help me get more stable after the first 2 weeks of being on Depakote from Lithium.  As you probably noticed in my recent posts, my mind has been all over the place, like it was full of live wires not attached just sending shocks and sparks everywhere.  I couldn’t even see through all the brain activity or hear through it to barely perceive the ‘real’ world that everyone all agrees is there, that everyone sees, the table, the tv, the computer, the room.  It was as if I was about to pass out, when all the colors invade your ability to sense, until the feeling either passes or they give you the smelling salts…and the smelling salts actually make all that distortion fade away and your brain goes back to seeing the world around you properly again, and you ‘wake’ up.  Except, of course, nothing works on a bipolar brain that is like that when it is like that, so you just keep going without actually seeing or perceiving, on the verge of passing out.  Emergency-Appointment

So they gave me an increase in the amount and frequency of trazodone, which i usually was taking only as a prn when and if i noticed i was getting nervous, jittery or anxious during the day. now i take it at a higher dose, and i do it 3x/day.  They also added ambien for sleep, cause with my brain malfunctioning, I haven’t been made tired by my normal seroquel at night.  not only did they add the ambien, they doubled the dose of the seroquel on the idea that more of it would also help with my sleep and it would also add to the anti-psychotic support of the depakote.  But they want to still keep going with the depakote and not go back to the lithium.  And they wanted me to stop the cymbalta, the only antidepressant that has ever worked.  I was afraid to lower or stop it since it has really kept the depression from being strong while I was on the lithium.  But they thought it was feeding the mixed state I’m in.  I think getting off it or lowering it might make me go from a mixed state to a constant depressive state right now.  And if I was unable to get out of a bipolar depression, I might actually be a danger to myself in the very near future.  At least in the mixed state, I am going from one extreme to the other, and I know the depression won’t last, and neither will the mania.  Even though still being in the mixed state is horrible, is almost impossible to function in at all.  Stringing words together to make sentences is such a challenge, so difficult to concentrate, to think.  So hopeless feeling, can’t stay like this either.happy pills

So, now that I’m taking the new mix, I am still not being made tired at night, not with the extra seroquel, or the extra trazodone, or the ambien.  It is taking 1-2 hours for me to fall asleep after taking them.  But during the day I am much more somnolent, much more removed from the world. I am kind of like a zombie, but I can still get up and do things, just a lot slower and harder to think through what I am doing.  And it feels like most of my emotions, my feelings in relation to any situation I’m in, are extremely blunted.  I smile when something is really funny, but no more.  I make no movement or change when something is very sad.  I can think clearer, but it takes so long to put together the thoughts.  My brain is so wrapped in cotton or saran wrapped it seems to be protected from any emotions at all, but the smallest, in response to the world around me.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

So, I guess I’m feeling better.  No big ups or downs.  No running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  No crying endlessly for no reason, wishing with all my might I could go to the hospital or find a place alone to end my sadness.  But knowing I can’t because what would happen to my kids?  But now although I am ‘stable’, I am also removed, slowed, and dulled and blunted.  I lack almost all emotional response.  And I am still not sleeping well. This is not how I want to live either.  So, is it really better?

I wonder if I will ever be able to get back on lithium?  Or if they will just keep adjusting my peripheral meds until it is more tolerable?  How long until I feel like myself again? (if ever).  Was it all my mistake when I gave in to the pressure from my psych doc to try other mood stabilizers? Maybe I should have stood my ground, even though it seemed to be childish?

So, my next appointment is in 8 days.  Guess we’ll see then.

bipolar image chart

Maybe…


Maybe I’m not really sick anymore.  Maybe I just learned it’s easier to say I am.

Maybe if I just tried again, got up on that horse again, I could be someone.

Maybe I was never sick to begin with, just sick of life.

Maybe I’m really better now, Maybe things are better now,

But I won’t give them or me a chance to grow, a chance to bloom, to afraid to fail

Again.

 

What will happen if I open the door, Open the door to life again?

What will happen if I step outside, step outside of my safe place again?

Step outside into the real world again, with expectations, obligations, and responsibilities?

Where I have to perform like the elephants at the zoo and the monkeys at the circus?

 

What if I make mistakes, What if I can’t perform anymore?

What if I can’t make the grade, fail to beat the score, can’t move fast enough anymore

Can’t keep up with the pace, find myself again failing the race.

Lose my place, keep trying anew, finding I can’t make a fit anywhere.

 

Things going wrong, haywire again, find myself stuck back inside

Unable to venture out, unable to win, the bar too high that was once so near.

Finding I’m back at the bottom, but this time there is no net

No one believes I can’t make it yet.  They say I’ve had time enough

To get back into that groove, can’t keep quitting when it gets too tough.

 

No more support, no more kindness, no more safety net to catch me now.

End up back in my head, can’t get out ever again

Can’t leave my shelter, my safe space, I know now

No one will believe me if I try again and fail.

 

They will say she is just not ill, She is just too lazy

To do her share.  She is selfish, expects the world to

Work for her and us to tell her so.  She wants to wallow

In her despair, Brought on by her own failures.

 

The system will say she had her chance, that if she had been telling the truth

She never would have tried again.  She just could have stayed inside, no one

Ever questioning the tide.

 

But maybe I was wrong, all those years ago…

Maybe I wasn’t really sick, just swallowed up in my own sadness,

In my inability to change my life.  Maybe I just gave up, gave in,

To my inner world that said I’d never win.

 

Maybe I should have kept trying, and I would not be so stuck today

On whether I deserve a second chance at life, or whether I should stay.

Inside.  Safe.

 

So I’ll never know if I could have won, Never know if I could do it again.

The risk is just too high, can’t be a failure all over again.

Once is enough, and done is done.

Metabolic Weight Loss, Instability, Regrets and the General Pointlessness of Things


So, I am partway way through my 3rd week of 4 of Metabolic Weight Loss nutrition and exercise program.  Have I lost any weight?  No, I had lost 1 lb, but then I switched from Lithium to Depakote, whose side effect turns out to be salt and water retention!  No kidding!  I jumped out of the frying pan  (lithium) just so that I could jump into the fire ( depakote).  Stopping the lithium was supposed to stop the ‘voltage dependent drug-induced R(enal) T(ubular) A(cidosis)’ that was characterized by my body thinking lithium was Salt, and wasting the real Salt instead, leaving way too much Potassium in the body that can’t bind with lithium like it is supposed to do with real salt.  So, my nephrologist was in agreement with me that since the lithium was so effective in stabilizing me, then we should stay on it as long as possible.  However, my psychiatrist felt that it was imprudent to do that, and really pushed and pushed for me to change off the lithium to anything else.  So, after like 6 months, I finally gave in to her and agreed to switch to depokate.

Well, we expected the hyperkalemia (excess potassium) to resolve, since my body would not be wasting its own real salt anymore since there would be no lithium to trick it.  So, all my symptoms were supposed to recede and be ‘normal’ again.  But what ended up happening is that my feet just grow bigger and fatter and more and more painful all the way up to just under my knees.  I look like I’m walking on big giant stubs.    Sleeping or putting them up does little to nothing to help them go down.  I had to fight with my psychiatrist and my nephrologist just to get an earlier appointment to see my nephrologist sooner.  Then my Case Manager at my mental health clinic insisted I acknowledge how she had made it all come together so I could see my nephro sooner, because she talked my psychiatrist into talking to my nephro about the swelling issues.  Except, I saw my nephro yesterday, and he had never heard of either my case manager or my psychiatrist or my clinic and the only reason I got in to see him earlier was because he heard my messages and was concerned about what I described going on.  So, my new case manager is not just trying to grub for acknowledgement and validation from me, her client, but she also lies about what she does ( and probably about what she doesn’t do, too).  Neither she nor my psychiatrist had anything to do with me getting my nephro to see me sooner.  It was ALL me!  That means, I am really failing to be getting the help and support of my psych team and they are not doing any of the communication between providers that they are supposed to do and the follow up too.  That means I am doing all the coordination and pushing and organizing all on my own.  So what good is it to be determined as SMI (Seriously Mentally Ill) and then being told to go to ma particular clinic for all your cares so that everything will be coordinated and followed up on so you, as a SMI person, will not have to fight the system with each interaction or symptom or whatever.  So that you, the disabled person, will supposedly be getting help to do and stay on top of all these things and not have to get stressed out and can concentrate on getting better, more stable, more ready to return to work or volunteering, etc.  But they don’t.  They just keep pretending and taking all the credit and leave you to fight all the battles on your own just like as if you had no SMI designation or had no Disabled designation, or were a regular working person contributing to the community with little more than small issues to be dealt with, not the large ones of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc.  But now that I am recognized as disabled and SMI, I have no choice to what services I can receive.  I am forced to go to 1 out of 1 clinic, and I am forced to work with the ‘team’ I am assigned (Psychiatrist, Nurse, Case Manager, and, on some teams, you even have to accept the primary care doc that is on your team–you can’t even go out into the community to choose your regular doc!  Every doc you see must be in the clinic is where they are going with this.  They even have a pharmacy you must use in the clinic as well).  And now, I have no choice over any healthcare providers at all.  I am lucky they have not yet put me on a team with a primary care doc, or a nephro specialist.

So, anyway, back to the original point.  I finally got thru to my nephro that I needed him to see me, and he did.  He is such a great and awesome doc–my best doc by far.  Wish he could be my doc for everything!  So, he is concerned that my body is not recovering like it should be.  Now that the fake salt, lithium, is out of my system, I should hold a normal amount of salt in my system to bind with the potassium.  They should both be at about the same ratio.  I should not have to worry about the hyperkalemia anymore, nor should I have to worry about hypernatremia.  But, I am definitely having hypernatremia issues—that is, way way too much salt leading to this huge swelling.  This should not be happening, except there is a rare possibility that I am having a a rare side effect of the new med, the depakote. Once in a great while, some people get the side effect of intense swelling and salt retention.  Hah!  I let them talk me out of taking a med that we had gotten well controlled that worked wonders for my stability, just so I could avoid the future potential pitfalls of that med on my kidneys, and now I’m on a new med, which is not causing me heart and liver issues by retaining salt and water!   And now, this is not well controlled the way the lithium and its side effects were.  And the depakote is not stabilizing me as well as the lithium was either.

So, back to the original point.  How am I expected to stay and maintain a healthy weight, a healthy body, and a healthy attidude and move forward in my mental health recovery when this is what I’m dealing with?  I can’t lose weight cause all the mood stabilizers have that as an effect.  Most of them also have really bad effects on me like the lithium leading to the kidney problem and the depakote leading to the heart problem.  And if I’m forced to keep gaining weight, and I am having difficulties with all the related side effects, then how would I be able to lose weight, even with the metabolic stuff?  And if I can’t stay sane and lose weight and deal with the heart and or kidney or whatever other issues would happen….then how am I supposed to stay positive enough to move forward and become a productive citizen again?  Is it the illness, the side effects, the meds, or the complications…that keep me disabled?  That keep me from being a useful human being again?  And damn it, I am tired of suffering and tired of my life never being able to move ahead.  Tired of being unable to do things.  Tired, so tired.  Something has got to give.  No matter what I do to get better, something else is sacrificed to make it happen.  So there is always something never getting better.

And I am not the mother I thought I could be, and I am barely holding on to life for my kids.  No, really, I mean if my ex misses one support payment because he changes jobs, or something else, we could end up on the street.  And I am certainly not capable of raising a family like that for the next 2 years.  I couldn’t even take care of me in that state for a month.  I live in fear of this every month.  I just found out my ex is moving to California from Az, where we all currently have been.  But his agency can’t find him computer programming work in Az, so they found him a spot in a place in Cali.  But he’s not happy with it, it won’t meet the cost of living changes.  And he’ll be looking for a new job once he’s there.  When he switches jobs, a new court order must be petitioned by me, then the court takes several months from time of filing to rule on it, then the court orders the employer to hold the money and pay it to the state the custodial parent is in.  Then the state processes the funds and distributes them to me.  So, if he even misses one normal payment of the 2x/mo….we are evicted.  We lose our car insurance and can’t drive.  Our house of cards falls apart.

So, I think I have made mistake after mistake, leading to a tenuous existence from which my grip will surely slide sooner or later.  I should never have quit working.  I should never have stopped the lithium.  I should never have gone down this path.  Where to go now, to start over or push on, I don’t know.

Just When I Think I’m Out….They Pull Me Back In


they pull me back in imageThanks, Al Pacino, as the youngish Don in Godfather 2 for that quote and sentiment.

Tonight, just a list. A ‘food for thought’ kind of list.  A list that says, ‘how am I supposed to be getting well, when “it just keeps getting piled higher and deeper” ‘ kind of list.  Well, enough confabulating, the list:

Son’s car repairs, beyond what he can pay from his salary as part time at Taco Bell–$310.  Without this repair, the car will not pass emissions testing and will not get its tags and will be undriveable. The testing must be completed by the end of this month. emissions_test

My car repairs, which cannot be completed because I still owe the shop half the money from the last repairs.  And because my son’s car is already off the road.  $–unknown (due to accident, see later on list)

My son’s school fees-$200.  Daughter’s school fees-$200.  Son’s clothing needs-Some of everything.  Daughter’s clothing needs–all of everything.  Total-$400’ish.

Moving costs for August 3-rent on old place, rent on new place, +$300 deposit on new place, plus renting a moving van for 1 day-$50.uhaul

Copays ex just reimbursed me for that now have to go to other costs than to reimburse me.  Still need to pay provider the copays ex just gave me tho.  Hmm…$200’ish.

Insurance company for woman who rear-ended me on freeway in May.  On June 30, representative for insurance said they accepted 100% responsibility, but in mail 10 days later, written notice they were denying any responsibility.  They still had their adjustor come and do estimate (he said it was definitely the other car that caused all my damage, and he has completed and sent in his report–I talked to him to be sure).  They refuse to return my calls, even though their voicemail says will reply in 24 hours, I have left messages every day since June 5th.  Meanwhile, my car is driving very scary and am afraid to use it, or to have it seen at my shop, cause if I fix it, then the other insurance definitely won’t reimburse me.  Actually, this is the insurance that refuses to call me back:occidental

Got divorce finalized in December 2011, applied for deferment or waiver at time of filing, so I had to pay nothing at that time.  Have never received anything from court since, until, July 15 when they sent me a collection notice for 20% interest in 30 days time if not paid in full by end of July–$400.  Told them I could pay it in September, they said too bad, so sad.  Pay or go to collections. Or try to get new deferral, but it won’t be approved because is from so far back.  Apparently, that is not their responsibility that they did not bill me appropriately, I was supposed to know I had a bill for x amount and pay it without a statement or invoice, etc.  They said I did not update my address, I said I did, and I had the scanned documents to prove it that I mailed in, and the postmark would prove it.  They said it has to be in person update of address to their specific court billing department, and that the normal updating of address for court is not for them and means absolutely nothing, even though I could prove I had sent it in.

Oh, and additionally, I get to refile for modifications to my divorce child custody and support and insurance, since my ex just told me he’s moving out of state on Friday, so he won’t be seeing the kids on weekends anymore and so he will have to increase the amount he pays in support for each of them.  Wonder what the fees for filing that will be, on top of the above $400 from 2011 that I was magically supposed to know about.  Maybe they can roll it all together?  And hit me for it all at once?  so I’ll be even more broke–if I get any more broke, I’ll be homeless eating at soup kitchens.  And I’m not being mellow dramatic.  And this is the courthouse and court that is acting so ridiculous:  maricopa se superior court

And then there’s the things that don’t cost money, but are so much fun to deal with that I just couldn’t leave them out.

First one, a 1.5hr conversation with a supervisor in my ‘team’ at my mental health clinic where I was trying to request a perishable food box, not the dry goods one.  I knew they were separate and from separate places.  But I didn’t know the names/labels the staff and case managers used to refer to them.  So, it turns out Food Box A-Dry Goods, is from a church and requires one’s case manager to fill a form out with the client a week before it is delivered to the clinic for client pick up.  You can only make one request for Food Box A-Dry Goods in a 3 months period.  I have never filled out a form, and have often received food boxes more than once in 3 months.  Also, the food boxes I have received were perishable, and my case manager delivered them to me, or told me when she had them so I could pick them up.  So, after going round and round that I never signed or filled out a form in 5 years of going to this clinic, where I was afraid I was going to lose it and burst out in tears, or ‘get that tone in my voice’ that makes people just walk away from me and ignore me forever, he finally said ‘well, case managers have the ability to go to 22+ food pantries to get perishable food boxes and deliver them to their clients.  Maybe this is what you are talking about?  And I said, flooded with such relief that I was afraid I was going to bow down on my knees and pray to God right then and there thanks that I was finally being heard, understood, and listened to, YES, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN TELLING YOU FOR THE LAST 1.5HRS.  THAT MY LAST CASE MANAGER DID THAT.  THAT THAT IS WHAT I WANT FROM THE NEW CASE MANAGER.  THAT IF SHE DOES NOT CHOOSE TO DO THAT (as it is optional for them to do that) THAT THEN I WOULD GLADLY FILL OUT THE FORM FOR FOOD BOX A-DRY GOODS, BUT ONLY IF I COULD NOT GET FOOD BOX B-PERISHABLE GOODS (which are up to case manager to do or not to do).  Then, he finally agreed to have her contact me tomorrow to find out if she does do FOOD BOX B-PERISHABLE GOODS, or not.  And if not, then I will fill out the form for FOOD BOX A-DRY GOODS, tomorrow.  And it only took 1.5 hours.  But I was REALLY proud of myselves for not bursting out into tears (the guy would have walked away if I had) or for ‘sounding’ argumentative/belligerent from frustration.  He would’ve walked away then too, maybe set security on me even.

And the piece de resistance, the mignon final, my late father’s wife, who is listed as Co Power of Attorney, Durable, for Health Care for my only living family (2 cousins who are sisters, who raised my dad) has shunned me, blocked me out of the loop concerning my two cousins, and has made my cousins believe that I am trying to steal their money and place them in nursing homes, when in actuality, I am trying to convince them to accept some home health and cleaning services so they can stay in their own home, by contacting the Area Agency on Aging and having them do a service counselling appointment.  Well, my step mom, now that my dad’s dead, has been trying to get their money for the last 3 years.  But when I actually want to step in and help them by having her do that, she shuns me and intimidates my cousins from talking to me or allowing the staff at the nursing home from talking to me, or allowing the Area Agency on Aging from talking to me, or their doctor’s from talking to me.  So, I am now effectively out of the loop because my step mom is going against my dads’ last wishes that my family should be in their house as long as they can be safe and healthy and have their needs met.  Since he died, my step mom has been trying to get them out of their house and take their money.  Now that I saw how they are living as hoarders (y’know those real life TV hoarder shows, ya, my cousins could be on that show) plus the filth under the hoard.  Plus they don’t bathe or wash their hair.  And the need assistance to get in and out of the house and in and out of the car.  So they need help if they are to stay in their home. They think if they accept help, they would spend down their estate/savings (which is true, but then they would be eligible for medicaid and would have every service covered).  They also think if anyone sees how they live, they will be forced to leave their home, but that is only true if they are found by a doctor or judge to be incompetent.  They are certainly not that.  So, step mom has made me the scape goat and has convinced my cousins that if they speak with me, they will lose everything and that I hate them.  I still have power of attorney, durable, for healthcare, because the only way that can be revoked is if my cousins themselves tell a healthcare provider that provides any service for them that they do not want me as their poa any longer.  They can also put that in a short note in writing.  Or, they can have it witnessed by 2 competent people or by a notary.  But my co-POA, my step mom, cannot just go around saying I am no longer POA just on her sayso, without any statement from any healthcare provider of my cousins or a written notice of it properly recognized by the state.  But still, step mom is doing just that, and is just going around announcing that she has removed me as POA, or that the cousins have, but there is no proof that the cousins have done any such thing.  Therefore, until proper recognized written notice is provided or until one of their healthcare providers says the cousins told them these wishes, I am still POA, no matter what step mom says.  But the hard part is proving it, and in engaging in and staying through to the end and winning this battle.  Just the thought of having to engage in this battle is epically depleting.  I don’t know if I can even see it through if I engage fully in it.  Especially with all the above stuff already weighing on me and being immediately pressing.   This really is the actual place they are at right now:   vista woods

Sorry.  Didn’t mean to whine.   Others have it worse.  I should think of all those in Ethiopia or wherever.  I am completely overwhelmed just in contemplating the oncoming battle over the cousins…don’t think I have the stamina to see it through or win either one.  This was really just meant to be a list that I could refer to to see what all I am dealing with daily because it all gets jumbled up in my head and I get so stressed and anxious and short tempered when it all gets tangled up and I can’t find room to think or breathe and at least in this list it is all laid out so I can keep each thread separate and at the very least know what is on my plate, even if I don’t want any of it, or know where to start or what to do with any of itHell and Hi Water.

 

 

Safe


What is it to be ‘safe’?  For me, it is complex, that’s what it is.  It means knowing I have a roof over my head from month to month.  It means knowing I have (any) transportation to get where I need to go.  It means knowing I have enough food for the month.  And just maybe, if I’m lucky, it means having TV and internet, and maybe phone.  It means not being hurt by someone, by anyone, by any situation or encounter or environment.  basic be safe

Jeez, I guess I ask for a lot.  I don’t think I have ever felt ‘safe’ in all those areas, ever, once in my life.  I have always been on the run, fleeing from one ‘unsafe’ to the next, promised ‘safe’, only to find that it was also ‘unsafe’ in some way.  What I really want is just once, once, to be ‘safe’ about everything.  I feel like I have put in twice my number of years trying to find ‘safe’ while everyone else seems to put in half the amount of time and effort and they actually manage to achieve it.  I am still looking for it.  I am still running scared.  And I’m getting older.  And tireder.  And slower.  And don’t feel like playing this game anymore.  I don’t feel like searching and running anymore.  I want to rest.  I want to sleep.  I want to have something worth having.  A reason to stay.  To wake up every day.  Let-me-take-you-someplace-Kate-Someplace-you-ll-be-Safe-caskett-32437245-500-700

I actually had a therapist to whom I confided that I felt I ran twice as far, twice as fast with twice the effort and ended up treading water, compared to other people.  He agreed.  He said it was true.  He said those of us with PTSD, with BiPolar, with Trauma and Depression, have that as a common experience.  That it takes a lot to make it all pay off.  He wasn’t even able to assure me that all that work would ever pay off.  That I would ever find that elusive ‘safe’.

Does it even exist for us?  for me?  blue confused emoticonbe-safe rain clouds

Don’t Know What to Do, Pt. 2


Ok, so where was I?  Oh, yes…so, after I returned home, across the country, I just couldn’t bear the thought of my family living in that environment.  I knew they needed help, to get rid of the hoard, to get and keep the house clean, to help them bathe and take them to appointments and errands.  And to make sure they put their feet up and actually go to bed and take their pills.

So, I searched out on the internet where to begin, and found the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and was directed to the local AAA for their region, aka ‘Milestones’.  So, I talked to them, and had a very interested and helpful counselor.  She told me they do what is called ‘Options Counseling’ for the elderly who are either at risk for or are self-neglecting.  That fits my family exactly.  They don’t have the authority to remove anyone unless a judge or doctor has ruled them incompetent.  So, my making this call had nothing to do with using POA, nor did it have anything to do with removal.  It simply was a way for my family to be told what would need to be done to make the house habitable so they could stay there after the leave the nursing home where they are for rehab.  I also found that while the Police will be more than happy to do a wellness check, if the home is habitable, and the family has not been found incompetent, then even the police can do nothing.  So all I have done is ask for an outside party to explain that they really need to make their house habitable so they can stay there, since they don’t want to listen to me.

Well, I tried to call them at the nursing home, but when they found out it was me calling, they told the nurses they didn’t want to talk to me.  So, I tried again last night, and just got told they were busy.  So I tried again today, and one was sleeping and the other being showered.  (If she really accepted a real shower, I am impressed by the staff there!!).  So, they are avoiding me, and are not being very subtle about it.  So, I guess I am persona non grata since I care about their well-being.  And it’s not only them, it’s my step-mother too.  She is my late father’s wife, who was like my family’s own son.  He would never have allowed them to live as they are now.  He would have cleaned the house out himself or moved them to a facility.  Not because he would be upset, because he would just never let them live in such an intolerable state.  His wife, R, has been pushing to get them out of their home for the last 3 years since my dad died, and now that I am in agreement with her, and am actively pushing AAA and Milestones and the doctor to help get them into a home or to fix up their own home, she is suddenly on their side, suddenly against them having a habitable home or moving to a nursing home.  She is suddenly not on my side of my family’s best interest.  She is not returning my phone calls, not replying to my emails, and told the lady at AAA that I was no longer POA (even tho talking to AAA/Milestones does not require POA, nor does asking them to provide Options Counseling)….but she and the sisters have failed to put in writing that I am not POA any longer and have failed to execute a new POA without my name, and have not told the healthcare providers that are caring for them that I am no longer their POA….so I question the validity of the statement by my step-mom to the AAA that I am no longer POA for the sisters.  But that aside, I have done nothing that requires the use of POA in the first place!!

So, I get why my cousins, the sisters, are upset with me, because they don’t want to have to change, don’t want to get rid of the hoard or have someone clean the house and them and take them places.  But they need it.  And if they don’t accept it, they are self-neglecting, and maybe I can get a doctor or judge to agree.  But what I don’t get is why my step-mom has made such an about face after being so gung-ho on getting them moved.  Why does she suddenly want them to stay in such an environment, without help, when she’s been pushing for just that for 3 years?  Why is she shunning me just as the cousins are?  These two sisters are my only family outside of my kids, and she is helping turn them away from me when all I am trying to do is make sure they take care of themselves and live in decent quarters and have the help they need.  I would do this for anyone I saw or knew who needed help.  This is just what people do.  Right?  blue confused emoticon

Love Letter to Myself


 

The Perfection of my Imperfections: A Love Letter to Myself

I wish you would
love your body
it carried you through the pain

love your legs
all thirty four inches of them
(impossible to buy jeans for)
.they are beautiful

love your hips
the softness of barely-there love handles
(stretch-marked and pliable)
.they are beautiful

love your belly
a curve of soft across the bones of your body
(warm and delicate)
.it is beautiful

love your face
the cut of your jaw as your cheeks dimple
(those moles that you hate)
.it is beautiful

love your hands
long fingers and broken nails
(wind-bitten skin and paper cuts)
.they are beautiful

love your hair
the strength of it unyielding
(unfashionable and wild)
.it is beautiful

.

i wish you would
love yourself

with the power that you love
everything
but your own skin

your body is imperfectly perfect
and it is beautiful

~ Unknown

(found on kate is rising)

Everythings OK Now, Really


So, okay.  I’ve been bitchin and moanin, and not doing anything to change it.  And I can now–do something that is.  For a long time, I was unable to do anything, but thanks to my great therapist A, I actually can change how I see things and how I respond to them.  And I also realized that my biggest trouble, the reason behind my triggers, is that I interpret things around me as a child would, and my behavior is based on that perception.  So, now, I see that I can start to understand things around me from an adult point of view instead, and that then, my behaviors will change.  And that doing this will free me from my triggers, my trauma.

This in a way goes along with my post on being a Sheep.  But while that post was bitter and hurt, I am now looking at  it not as a child, but an adult.  So, I am not being forced or coerced to be a sheep.  Instead, I am going to allow medical docs’ recommendations to not only be heard, but to be applied. So, if my doc thinks it is a better thing to change meds, I will give it a shot instead of becoming adversarial about it.  And if they think going to recreational groups and some therapeutic groups would be good for me, I am going to give it the old college try.  They may still be mistaken, but I will at least find out instead of being a child in a tantrum, denying anyone else can have anything useful to offer.

So, I am going to start going to at least one group at my clinic a week.  And I am going to allow them to guide me to different meds.  And I am going to lose all the weight I have gained when I started on lithium 6 yrs ago.  Maybe it will all be for naught after all, but maybe something will be helpful. But continuing on as a child will never change anything, so I have to start somewhere.

I have to say, I am excited and scared to death to start this part of my journey.  There are no parts of me, or my experience, or my knowledge that has any clue about how to be an adult.  What do ‘adults’ think like?  What do they see?  How do they interpret?  What is it like to be an adult in one’s own life?  But in the past, I’ve always winged it when encountering something new, and all of me always figured it out, sooner or later.  So, I guess that’s just what we’ll do now.

On Being the ‘Nice Sheep’ from now on


All my life I have been fighting the world to get what I thought I needed.  Nothing has ever come easy.  Since 1999 I have been fighting the mental healthcare establishment to get the ‘right’ treatment, to get what I believed I needed at the time, to get the best meds or the best treatment or the best therapy.  And over all those years, I was finally feeling I had won, that I had finally gotten everything I needed.

But then, the way my state handles Medicare mental health provision just changed, and I will very possibly be losing my Primary Care doc, as well as my specialists and forced to start over with unknowns yet again.  In addition to this (as if that wasn’t stressful enough) I am being pressured to change my psych meds, the same meds that got me to this point of actually starting to make progress on my issues and change my behaviors.  Before these meds, back in 2008, I had over 2 dozen serious attempts.  I can’t imagine changing these meds, for the risk of going back to the place where all I wished for with every waking breath was that my next breath would be my last.  I can’t even conceive of changing these meds and taking the chance of re-entering that hell.  I don’t even care what physical issues I develop by staying on these meds.  I don’t care if my kidney problems develop into full kidney failure, or if my potassium goes so high that I might have an asymptomatic massive heart attack and die, or that my EKG will change even more and maybe cause fainting or sudden death.  I don’t care if I am risking these things.  I want to be in my right mind, clear headed, coherent, and stable emotionally.  I don’t want to live with no physical illness or symptoms for forever if it means there is even a possibility that I will not be in my right mind, that I will be confused, disjointed, slow, fuzzy.  What is the point in living forever if you don’t have your mind?  Can’t they understand that I will risk all those dangers caused by the meds if it means I will keep my senses, even if my life is foreshortened?

I think I am tired of fighting all this time.  I think I will at long last yield and drop my gauntlet.  I will become the sheep that all mental health providers dream of making each client into.  The sheep who has no complaints about meds, services, therapies or providers.  The sheep who says and does exactly what is suggested by the provider.  Change meds?  You bet.  Baa.  Change providers?  Sure.  Baa.  Jump off a bridge?  Absolutely!  BAAA!  No longer have any ideas of what is wrong or what I need or what would be best?  Guaranteed.  BAAA!  From now on, I will a passive, calm, agreeable sheep and do what I’m told.

Things Are Looking a Bit Brighter?


Last week sometime, I woke up, got out of bed, did my morning routine and sat down to check the email and load up my online boggle game.  That’s when it hit me.  That’s when I realized I wasn’t down.  And then that was when I realized I was maybe, a little bit, feeling good!  But, I wasn’t quite sure if that was the right word to describe how I was feeling.  Thing is, I have been depressed for so long, it took a lot of inward searching to lightly settle on the conclusion that right at that very moment, I might actually be feeling good.  Like I said, I’m still not positively convinced that that was/is what I’m feeling.  But it seems more likely that than anything else.

I was afraid to look too hard at this unexpected and almost forgotten emotion.  I was afraid if it really was feeling good, that if I stared it in the face I might just scare it away again.  So, I have been going on as usual, checking often by looking behind me surreptitiously to see if the good feeling is still there.  So, it’s been about a week, and that ‘good’ feeling is still there.  Not quite obvious, just lurking behind the curtain, spreading its mild sense of well being invisibly.  It is almost so faint as to not be there at all.  But I’m pretty sure it is there afterall, right?

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