The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

Meds: Narratives and Resistance August 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 2:35 am
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Although I don’t write creatively anymore, I still think like a writer–all that formal training is still deeply embedded. Narratives still mean a lot to me, and lately I’m confused about my narrative about meds.

At first I believed the narrative psychiatry was selling: “just take the meds and you’ll be better.” Even when it turned into, “It may take a while to find the right cocktail, but then you’ll be better,” I still swallowed it. Even when I gained weight, slept all sat, couldn’t think straight, couldn’t hold a pencil…I still believed what they told me. I needed to believe there was hope, even if it came in a pill bottle. No one told me there was any other kind of hope.

In college, I came across the anti-psychiatry movement. After a number of hospitalizations that only further traumatized me and a bunch of meds that didn’t work, I was angry. I wanted somebody to blame for why I felt so terrible all the time. I didn’t consciously remember the abuse from my father, so I blamed it all on the abuse from psychiatry. I was sure the meds were making me crazier, so I took myself off them. Nothing terrible happened, which was further proof to me that psychiatry was a crock of lies.

A few years later, I calmed down some–mostly, I think, as the result of dealing with my father’s abuse. I tried meds again, even though they didn’t help. I got so desperate I even had 29 ECTs, which helped only temporarily. But I was working with treaters who were respectful of me and my desire to be on as few meds as possible. Eventually I was only being medicated for my sleep disorders.

Then Menninger. That was a nightmare; my psychiatrist was a control freak who refused to treat me like an adult human being. She took me off one of my sleep meds without telling me and cut the dosage of another by half. Then she put me on lexapro, which caused urinary retention. She told me Lexapro couldn’t cause that, and the internist told menu inability to pee wasn’t negatively affecting my quality of life. My psychiatrist pushed and pushed and pushed to get me to take antipsychotics despite a total lack of psychotic symptoms. I got angry at psychiatry again.

I was lucky to find Windhorse because they’re not big on meds. Since I’ve been here, we’ve been trying to reduce my meds. I was really happy about that…until this recent depression. I’m now on THREE antidepressants, which I hate. But since my psychiatrist upped the nortriptyline earlier this week, I have been feeling a bit better. Not a lot, but some. I don’t want that to be the answer. I mean, how can I be mad at big pharma and mainstream psychiatry if meds really do help me and I really do need to take them for the rest of my life?

I don’t know how to make sense of this. I want to attribute it to anything but meds, but I can’t find another answer.

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Hopelessness August 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 7:58 pm
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I can’t take much more, I really can’t.

Saw both real therapist and fake therapist today. Told both of them I feel like nothing is helping and I need a plan and hope that things will change.

NT basically said this isn’t the kind of thing where you can set a step by step plan and fix it. I know she’s right, but where am I supposed to find hope if not in a plan? I need SOMETHING to hold onto. I’ve spent most of my life being told that if I’d just hang on a little longer, things would get better. I can’t hang onto intangible promises anymore. What else is left? What else can I hold onto? I need someone to tell me they can fix me. Not maybe, not I can try–I can fix you.

On the bus ride from real therapist to fake therapist, I hated everyone who looked like they had a life. Especially the kids at UMass. People just take it for granted, having a life, and I hate all of them for it.

Then fake therapy with fake therapist. It was horrible and I fell apart. I think she was trying to be sympathetic (“I can see you’re feeling terrible,” etc.), but it just made me feel more alone. I count stop crying. Even afterward, walking home, I couldn’t stop, even though the cop directing traffic was staring at me. Even now, I can’t stop.

But I took a cocktail of Benadryl, flexeril, and gabapentin that should stop the crying. Hopefully they’ll knock me out for the rest of the night, too. I’m supposed to do some data entry for the campaign and then go to kung fu, but I just can’t deal with either one right now. As it is, I’m already fighting an extremely strong compulsion to kill myself by taking all my meds, which would be bad since I’m on two tricyclics. Mild overdoses to knock me out are the lesser of two evils.

 

The Long, Twilight Struggle August 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 12:57 am
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I’m do frustrated with treatment. I actually considered quitting therapy today. I feel like nothing is getting me anywhere.

I’ve done nearly every kind of therapy you can think of: DBT, CBT, religious “therapy,” pastoral counseling, EMDE, hypnosis, psychodynamic therapy, and a bunch of combined/eclectic styles. I’ve been on too many meds to list and have been hospitalized more times than I care to remember. For months, I thought the Deplin had cured me.

The depression snuck up on me, but now it’s kicking my ass. I’m doing all the things you’re supposed to do–going to therapy, taking my meds, eating right, exercising, volunteering, socializing–but it’s not helping. And having had, for the first time, freedom from depression, this recent bout of depression feels even worse.

I’m quickly running out of the strength to keep fighting it. I don’t have anything to hold onto. People keep telling me there’s hope, but I can’t feel it. I think I only hold on still because I’m a stubborn pain in the ass.

I feel like I need my team to be more aggressive in trying to beat the depression back. I’m out of ideas, so I need my team and NT to come up with some. I can’t just sit with it anymore. I can’t wait around for my psychiatrist to mess with my meds, wait several weeks to see if it works, realize it doesn’t, try something else, and repeat the whole cycle ad nauseam.

I just don’t know what else there is to try.

“In the long, twilight struggle that lies ahead of you, there is the possibility of hope.”
–Draal, Babylon 5

I need to be able to believe again in the possibility of hope.

 

Not Okay August 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 12:32 am
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I’m not okay.

Had plans with a friend to get coffee before I went to my kung fu class. I spent 3 hours Monday night listening to her while she was having a rough time, but she didn’t show up and didn’t bother calling or texting to say she couldn’t make it. I guess that shows how much I matter: only when I’m useful.

I was so exhausted and depressed that I couldn’t make myself go to kung fu after that, even though I knew it would make me feel better. Instead I put Winston in the crate (bad puppy mom) and took a nap.

Naturally, I had a nightmare.

It was about being homeless. It’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, what with my grandfather demanding progress (a term he won’t define) and Paul Ryan wanting to gut Social Security and Medicare. (I know it’s stupid to be so affected by politics, but I am.) In my dream my mother and grandfather kicked me out. My youngest sister was trying to help by hiding me in her bedroom, but my mother found me. She hit me over and over and then shoved me out the door. It was freezing cold with deep snow, and this time I didn’t even have a car to live in.

I woke up with an intense urge to get a kitchen knife, stab it all the way through my forearm (between the radius and ulna), and jerk it around. This is not a new image/urge, but it’s been more than a year since it last popped up.

I’ve spent the last hour debating whether to call my team leader. She wouldn’t mind me calling, but I feel like it wouldn’t help, so I shouldn’t bother her. What I want is for someone to convince me everything will be okay, burnout one can do that. Lacking that, all the support I have just seems useless.

 

Too Much August 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 12:32 am
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Everything is too much right now.

Winston ripped up a sizable chunk of carpet in my living room. This should be a frustration; at worst, I’ll lose the security deposit when I move out. But it’s not just a frustration–right now I’m fighting suicidality. I feel like a terrible pet owner because I should’ve trained him better or at least supervised him better, and I’m bad for being angry at him and putting him in the crate. I feel like I’m a terrible person who should kill herself so she doesn’t hurt anybody else.

And I’m a bad volunteer because the neighborhood team leader just called me, and I let it go to voicemail. I haven’t done the data entry I need to because my Internet is down, and I’m afraid she’s mad at me. So of course my fucked up brain’s fucked up solution to what’s probably isn’t even a problem at all: suicide.

When I saw NT on Monday, she offered me another time this week. I took it, and now I’m hating myself for it. She’s going to think you’re too needy, Sara. She’s going to think it because it’s true. Nothing is ever enough for you, is it? You want a mommy. Well, guess what? You can’t have one. You don’t deserve one. Why do you think your own mother could never love you? It’s not you, it’s her. And now you want your therapist to be your mommy and love you–do you know how fucking pathetic that is? You’re 26 years old, so grow the fuck up already. Call and tell her you’re too sick to come on Friday. Hell, while you’re at it, just tell her you’re too sick to come ever. You’re too needy and fucked up for anyone to ever love you. Just kill yourself already. This world would be better off without you.

…not really sure where/who that last bit came from. I’m not actually going to kill myself or anything. But I just don’t know how to cope. Normal coping skills don’t work for me. The self-destructive ones do, but I really don’t want to go there. I just don’t know what to do. Even if I could make myself ask for help, I don’t know what anyone could do that would actually help. At this point I’m feeling pretty hopeless and like there isn’t anything that would help.

I’m just too much, for myself or anyone else.

 

Politics August 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 2:54 am
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I’ve been trying to keep politics off my blog. I guess I’m afraid I’d lose readers, people wouldn’t like me anymore, they’d say mean things, and I’d be all alone again.

I’ve led a very compartmentalized life–still do, in many ways. But I want to be all of myself as much as I can. There are some times I can’t. For instance, I don’t discuss my mental illness issues with the people I work with on the Obama campaign. But this blog is my space, and I want to be as whole as I can be here. And part of who I am is a volunteer and local data coordinator for Obama for America.

Probably I’ll talk more about the experience of working on President Obama’s campaign than about policy, though I can’t promise there won’t be any policy rants.

Probably some people will get mad. I might lose readers. People might comment negatively. I’ll try to be okay with that, even though it won’t be easy for me.

I just want to be all of me here.

 

Starstruck August 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 7:40 pm
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OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I SHOOK THE PRESIDENT’S HAND

We had special blue tickets, so we got to stand right up front. Literally 15 feet from the podium. It was amazing.

It was SO HOT. First we stood outside in line for two hours. Then we stood in the gym for two and a half hours before the speech started. With no air conditioning or water–the Secret Service confiscated my water bottle.

But everyone was joking and talking, really cool people. Right behind me was a gay guy from Alabama, so we made fun of Alabama for a while. I was dripping sweat and was afraid I might pass out, but I made it.

His speech was nothing new, but it was a totally new experience to hear it in person from 15 feet away. I screamed and cheered so much my voice is shot. My back and knees are killing me, but it was totally worth it because at the end of the speech I got to shake his hand.

When I get home, I think I’ll sleep until Monday. I had to get up at 4:00 this morning.

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