manic panic

Dear Doc,

Two things I learned yesterday:

  1. It hasn’t been the lithium that has been making me feel so good. I haven’t been on it long enough for it to work, as you explained. I have been manic. That’s all. So, I have to accept that and try to make myself understand that it’s part of who I am and stop trying to find reasons/excuses to explain it all away.
  2. The symptoms I’ve been experiencing, though they are identical to lithium toxicity/intolerance, are the result of Zoloft (sertraline) withdrawal. I looked it up because I knew that, if the physical symptoms I was having were not lithium related, it had to be the Zoloft. As I explained to you on my first visit, I have only been taking it to avoid the withdrawals. The list of withdrawal symptoms in this article is not complete, as withdrawals can vary from one person to another. However, I’ve tried to stop it before, with no success, due to the symptoms I had, but I just didn’t remember till late last evening, when it dawned on me like most other things I forget about…like a bomb!

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/withdrawal-from-antidepressants#2-3

I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was talking to you on the phone about all of this. You must think I’m some sort of drama queen. Truth be told, I am. But, that’s just something you’ll have to fix. lol! I called N and let her know that I figured out the root of the problem. I should’ve already known that, as I have had severe withdrawals in the past, ending up in the ER once after passing out. Fortunately, I choked on my own vomit and that work me right up! I assumed you wanted me off of the Zoloft when you prescribed the lithium and abilify. If you said anything I don’t recall. In fact, I was going to ask permission to record the last part of our sessions, if you have any new directions/information to provide. I just don’t remember things. Blessing/curse territory, that.

I noticed, yesterday, that you were ‘handling’ me. I understand that is part of your job and that you do that for a reason. But, I guess that I have just never looked at myself as someone who needs to be ‘handled’. I’m not crazy, or a hypochondriac, or anything of that sort. On the other hand, I do have a list of issues and I’m sure that you get many calls every day from people wanting to talk about their issues. I felt I needed to report the symptoms while I was having them, or I’d simply forget about it. And, I would not have emailed you if I had realized what the core issue was. But, I’d been up for almost three days, I think. And, before that, I think I’d gotten three hours of sleep. So, hell yeah, I was concerned. For $250 and hour, I felt as though I could email or call in an emergency, and, yesterday, I was reaching a point. Let’s leave it at that.

I fell asleep at three something this morning and slept till just past 8. I feel exhausted, and very much like I sort of crashed. I am still talking talking talking too fast and too long. I just cannot shut the fuck up. But I’m more calm this morning, and I’m happy about that. I have several tasks I wish to complete today, so I put them on my phone calendar. I’m going to take my time and do one thing at a time, to completion. I may not get finished with everything on my list, but I have to at least manage to finish something. So, that’s the goal: Try for everything, but at least finish one thing. I think that’s reasonable.

I had another chat with my friend in the wee hours of this morning. He is a shaman and doesn’t even realize it. He’s the only one who knows about a certain aspect of my life, because he asked the question. Of all the people I’ve known in my life, he is the only one perceptive enough to pick up on things I say and such and to understand and empathize. What he knows about me, nobody knows. It feels good, though, to know that someone out there cared enough to ask and is open enough to accept and help me through the horrible answer.

I think God truly does work in mysterious ways. I’ve always believed that the people who come and go from your life are meant to. Some stay, some are friends for a season, some are there for only one reason. It’s a beautiful thing, when you think about it. I hope that I can be as good a friend as to my lil shaman as he is to me. His wisdom is precious to me, and it comes from a very deep well. I honestly don’t think he realizes the impact he has. I thank God for letting us cross paths.

On that note, I’m gong to go attempt to complete my first task. Fingers crossed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ummm…yeah, it’s like that.

Dear Doc,

I’m having a pretty big spin out today. I’ve been a lil outta sorts, but not in an angry way. It really started last night while I was chatting with a friend online…

You know, many of us suffered abuse as children. It’s a disgusting fact of life that,  I believe, has spared no generation since time began. There is no type of child abuse that doesn’t leave a scar. However, there are some types of abuse that devastate you…that level you like a bomb went off in your soul. You grow up keeping secrets; your own and those of your abusers. The more twisted the secret, the quieter you keep. Even as a child, you are keenly aware that there are things so wicked in this world that nobody would believe they even exist unless they actually saw the evil with their own eyes. Even more so, the gravity of the consequences, should you tell a living soul, could cost you your own.

Having been a keeper of wicked secrets, I have flown under that particular radar for almost my entire 50 years of living. Until last night, during an online chat with a friend. He just came out and asked me if I’d experienced a certain type of abuse. I was so taken aback that I answered him before I could think of a way to avoid the question. I don’t like to lie, so I don’t, but I will avoid the fuck out of pretty much anything that would be more easily lied about. Yep…I’m not as hard of hearing as some think I am. 😉

LATER…

Doc, I guess that, what I really want, is a guarantee that this will go away.  I don’t want to discuss it, and I don’t want it to be at the forefront of my mind. If you could see what I saw, and experience what I did, you’d understand why. It’s the same reason that I don’t watch gory movies, or movies with demons in them. It’s why I don’t do a lot of things. It’s why I didn’t fight back at Randy’s party that time…or ever. I just can’t fight it, or what it did to me. And now, I’ve gone and told someone. I am ashamed. Humiliated, really, though that was never his intention by asking that question.

I cannot bear the thought of being thought of, in any way, as a victim. I know you don’t understand why, but I can’t explain it to you. It’s just the worst thing anyone could ever be. And I know that I could’ve figured out a way to…I don’t know…but even children can do something about things like that. Right? I had one teacher who, I think, would’ve listened to me. I’m not sure she’d have believed what I had to say, though. I couldn’t risk it. So, yes, I’m fucking indignant about some of your diagnoses because they make me sound like a stupid bitch. Your labels make me feel guilty and wrong and so goddamned ashamed. I know it isn’t your fault. And, I’m not mad at you. But, you have to try to see things from where I stand. I know you do try, but I’m not sure that you’ve led the type of life that allows you to really consider depravity on a certain level.

You know that I never told Bennie? I think he knew, because I do have some strange habits. Even though I’m a Christian, I still make and carry charms and have a few ritualistic idiosyncrasies. I know God doesn’t like that and I really need to change it. I guess that I’m afraid to. I wish I could say why, but I don’t think you could handle it, Doc. You’re such a kind person and you’re so peaceful that I would never want someone like you to know.  There are some very bad people in this world. That’s what I know more than anything. There are some really great ones, too. So, I just want to really try to be like them and forget the other stuff. Ok?

I better go, Doc. I have only slept three hours in the last two days. I feel amazing and horrible at the same time. I feel like bugs are crawling all over me and, now and then, I see one on my arm. They don’t look real…it’s like the kind I told you about. It just drives me absolutely nuts. But, I’m good. In fact, I’m kinda great, sleep or no sleep…my life is changing, already.

Okay, I’m outta here. Fat Pat ain’t gonna listen to himself! 🙂

to my son on my rebirthday 

​Remember tonight when I’m gone, long gone

Remember the laughs and the stars we wished on

Think of the tall grass when it blows in the breeze

Think of good things when you think of me

Think of the love that we shared all these years

Think of me with your smile, not with your tears

It has been a privilege to have loved one like you

A love to the end; a love that was true

I can see that you’re crying and holding my hand

At my bedside, you sit, one helluva man

I’d never have lived as long as I did

Except for the help of one helluva kid

Yes, I know, you’ve long ago grown up

But,  to me, you’ll always be just a pup

And when the day comes that we meet, again

At last, I’ll embrace my son…my best friend

it’s a twin thing, etc…

Dear Doc,

Since I was small, I’ve felt as though I have a twin. I think I mentioned it, last visit. It’s just that there has always been something missing, and I am at a loss to imagine what it could be.

When I was almost 18, I believe, my real mother and I reconciled. She was telling me that she and my father were very excited that she’d become pregnant so soon after losing twins. I thought that I must be right…perhaps one twin was still there, somehow. Or, perhaps, I was one of the twins and just never left. I asked Mom about it the last time I saw her and she said that both twins were accounted for after the miscarriage and that she’d had a D&C, I believe, so that there is no possibility of any sort of genetic entanglement, were there such a thing.

So, here I sit, wondering how I could be stupid enough to think that some part of me exists in a twin I’ve never met. For years, I suspected that I was actually a twin and had absorbed the other one. THAT does happen. I wish I could meet a twin absorber and pick their brain for a bit… CRAIGSLIST!!!!!  😉

When we were young, my youngest half brother told me that he felt as though he were missing a piece inside. He was probably about 8. He even showed me where the empty spot was. His empty spot was near his heart. He’s now a raving lunatic. You say that won’t happen to me. My friend says the same. I suppose I’d just feel comfy with some real assurances. I don’t think I’m cut out to live like he does. I’d rather die. I don’t know how he’s still around with as many attempts as he’s made not to be. I remember the last time he slit his wrists. It was disgusting. There was this new cop throwing up in Mom’s front yard from the sight of all the blood. All I cared about was cleaning up the scene of the attempt before my mother saw it. Mothers shouldn’t have to see those things.

This lithium is really helping a lot, Doc. It makes me feel more…bright. I can focus and stay on a task for more than five minutes. I still can’t remember, off the top of my head, what all I did yesterday. Yesterday, I couldn’t recall what I did the day before that. But I can during normal conversation. Mostly. lol! It’s amazing, this gift of clarity. I pray that this is ‘my’ med and you don’t want to keep adding or changing things. I’m still having extreme anxiety and panic. But, everything else is better.

Oh…I’ve even been driving the speed limit. That’s just not me at all. But, I don’t have that urge to thrill seek. I haven’t gone over a hundred in a week now. I wanted to a little bit, but it wasn’t an irresistible urge. I like that. Irresistible urges tend to get ya into trouble. Also, there’s this cop that I am pretty certain has it out for me. Not…stalkery ‘has it out’, but he would not mind busting me for speeding. I know, it’s breaking the law, but there are hardly any people on these old roads and I don’t see the point in making the few that are here abide by arbitrary laws. Just sayin…

Well, I’m gonna wrap this up. I hope you’re having a pleasant Sunday, Doc. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a lil something to think about

So often, we set ourselves up for pain. Life is busy. It’s hard to take time to really pay attention to the things going on around us, sometimes. However, if you don’t, then YOU are fbresponsible for those tears you’re crying over someone who hurt you. Take a minute to evaluate those in your life and how they make you feel about yourself, and why they make you feel that way, particularly in love relationships. Do not allow yourself to be so afraid of the answers that you don’t ask yourself the questions. If you’re feeling anxious about really asking yourself about a certain person or situation, to begin with, you probably already know the answer. We’ve all been there. It’s up to us to never go back there.

My real mother and I reconciled many years ago. She’s a wise woman. She has two sayings that are very much relevant to a happy life, especially if you’re dealing with mental or emotional pain:

  1. “Your mind is not your friend.”  This means exactly what it says. We cannot always rely on what we think because, sometimes, we find ourselves in…or put ourselves in…situations where emotions make serious decision making difficult. This can be when you’re dealing with almost anything; jobs, money, love, etc.
  2. “There are worse things than being alone.”  I think this one is obvious, however, it is something that we forget when love enters the picture. Nothing is worth the pain and other residual effects of staying in an abusive relationship. I learned this one the hard way. Nowadays, I’m full of regret and shame that I allowed a man, who was supposed to love me, to put me down as though I were a dog he didn’t want around. He was an addict and a narcissist. Though he died last year, I still struggle with the pain of losing him, and am constantly wondering what that says about me, personally.

greetings and salutations!

In late June, I felt that I needed help with a panic issue that had plagued me for years. I sought out the help of a psychiatrist about an hour away from here. Upon our first meeting, I recognized that he was a very soulful person. I liked that. So, I asked this very soulful man to give me a pill for panic. I even said, “Please.”

As it happened, I was in full panic mode when I arrived at Doc’s office. That wasn’t unusual, since I almost never leave home and can no longer even grocery shop for myself due to the intense panic I experience. He put headphones on me and turned on an EMDR machine. I calmed down in about four minutes. It was incredible. However, the good doctor quickly assessed that panic was not my only issue. In fact, it isn’t even the most important one. We talked for most of the hour before he made any decisions about my mental state.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar 2, PTSD, Self Disorder, and Dissociative Disorder. I know…that’s a mouthful. However, I’d like to add that a dear friend explained that we are, at times, given a diagnosis for the purpose of being able to receive treatment for things that don’t necessarily meet all the criteria for one thing, or the other.

To give you a little background on me…

I was born in 1966. My parents were married. My mother discovered, immediately after my birth, that my father was/is gay. She had a bit of a breakdown and I ended up being adopted by my grandparents. Dad, (my grandfather), was a violent alcoholic. Mom, (my grandmother), was something akin to one of those blow up sex dolls come to life. She was into the occult, very much walking the Left Hand Path, as it were. Though I went to Sunday school and church every week, at her side, no less, my life also revolved around the Left Hand Path. Mom was extremely abusive towards me and I hated her from first I can recall. Ironically, Dad never raised a hand to me until I was a smart ass teenager. He was my savior, my hero, and possibly the biggest influence on my life. He showed me the beauty of controlled violence, and I’ve been fascinated by it my entire life.

I married at 19, after completing a six week stay in an eating disorder unit, that turned into a rehab situation, as I was, at that time, a drunken pill head. The young man I married, B., was 21 when we walked down the aisle. We had two boys during our 30 year marriage. He died 15 months ago from an aortic dissection. During the last half of our marriage, he was abusive and cruel and insufferable. He became addicted to pain killers. I spent most of the last year he was alive just making sure that he was breathing. In spite of the bad things, he is the love of my life.

I started this blog at the behest of a friend. I have been keeping a private journal since a few days after my first visit with Doc and I filed it in a folder called The Dear Doc Diaries. I felt it appropriate to assign that name to this blog. I find that, so often, it helps to look at a situation from another point of view, and when I write to Dear Doc, I frequently find that I arrive at an understanding that I wouldn’t have, had I not tried to see a situation with a more clinical eye. After all, we’re not talking about mental wellness, now, are we?

I would also like to add that I don’t feel that I’m special in any way. I do not believe anything about me, or the mental situation I’m in, is unique. My worst day is someone else’s best. I know, because I used to be that person. And, because I can see and feel. There is never a pain shortage in this world. Sadly, that has always been, and always will be, true. But, if by sharing my story helps anyone not feel as though they’re so alone, and that their way in life is so singular that nobody understands, or that no one can help them, then I feel as though dealing with my own pain on a public playing field is worth it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this lil intro. I’m interested in your stories, too, and your feedback. I never thought I’d be doing a public journal like this. In fact, I’ve always said that writing keeps me sane! lol! Guess not!!!!

Have a lovely day, dearest reader…