Tuesday, November 10, 2015

For Fox Sake.

I got a fucking birthday card from mother yesterday. Home sick from work with a nasty cold, a few days after my birthday has passed. Ooooo, the struggle. Do I just pitch it? I should just pitch it. I'll take it to the garbage and...openitopenitopenit. A handwritten note inside: "...I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when you needed me. I hope you can forgive me my failings..." So she's apologized. It means squat to me now. She's fake apologizing so she can get what she wants, which is for us to all get together during the holidays. How do I know this? I don't fucking know, I just know. The beginning of the letter asked for pics of my boys, asks how they're doing. Shit she should have asked about years ago but didn't. It's fake, it's ALL fake. She's figured out this equation in her head: if c, then b. If a, then not b. She tried a, and it didn't get her what she wanted, so she'll try c. Three years down the road, after multiple non-apologies. Frankly, this was a non-apology, too. She doesn't need forgiven, her failings need forgiven. She's not sorry for what she's done, she's just sorry I didn't have her when I needed her. I got what I knew I was going to get (that I hoped I wouldn't get) when I opened that card. Fakefakefake. At this point, there's nothing she could do to change my opinion of her, so why did I hope? Cuz I'm an idiot who she's trying to play like a fiddle. I disliked her less before I opened that letter.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I've been devouring any and all books about living with mental illness or living with someone with mental illness that I can get my hands on. I want to try to understand how others are coping with the cards they've been dealt. All the books I've read have been quite good, and some of the books by authors who have lived with bipolar disorder talk about some things that ring big bells in my head. The most recent read was "Manic" by Terri Cheney. The book consists of vignettes from her life as a bipolar woman and covers her highs, lows, and eventually stabilization. I don't believe I'm flat-out bipolar, but her description of a mixed state made me go, oh my god, I've been there. Several times in my life, including the time I was experiencing the paradoxical reaction. My current diagnosis is Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Diagnoses are so funny, you know? They are a snapshot of what a doctor knows of a person at a certain place and time. You go in and talk to the doctor/NP and they ask you questions, which you answer as best you can, but what if they're not quite the right questions? What if you have answers you don't know you have?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ego v. Reality

Paradoxical reactions to benzodiazepines are rare but considered most likely to happen in the aging population. As it turns out, they can and do happen in other age groups. When the anxiety got too great and I asked for something to help manage it, clonazepam seemed like a reasonable solution - long half-life, less easily abused than some of the other bennys. I took it as prescribed for one week and had a suicidal breakdown. I spent a few days in a behavioral health unit to stabilize and get medication management, then discovered that the antidepressant I was already taking samples of was not going to be covered by my insurance, thus necessitating the change in that medication as well.

I had been angry and upset at the prescribing doctor for a few weeks before the clonazepam debacle because I felt like a science experiment, but if we're calling a spade a spade, that's what any of us are when we're trying to find a medication regimen that works for us. There's no way she could have foreseen how my brain reacted to that medication.

The day I was released from the hospital, I was so grateful to be going home feeling somewhat improved. I had this unexpected desire to speak with my mother, which I thankfully resisted. I wish I had the family I could talk to about this, and some day I'll talk to my sister about it, but not yet. It's enough I have a supportive husband and kids.

The current meds seem to be okay. I'm frightened as hell about what would happen if they suddenly began to not work, if I got thrown back into mind-hell, with the anger, irritability, depression, and anxiety. There is nothing I fear more than that.

I always prided myself on being able to do everything on my own. I felt like I couldn't trust anyone to help me. I was wrong.

The first couple of days in the hospital, I was eaten alive by humiliation. I hated that I bought into the stigma, that I was in a psych unit, that nothing would ever be the same, but I couldn't quit beating myself up. I'm forcing my viewpoint to perform a complete 180, still fighting with myself, but coming to an understanding that humiliation should be humility. There was no palpable difference between myself and the others who were hospitalized, and no difference between them and the people I meet everyday on the street, in my workplace, at a restaurant, living their lives as best they can. We are alone together.