Avoidance

I haven’t been myself lately, so I haven’t been writing… but I think that’s part of exactly when I should be writing. When everything’s a mess but still fine but not. That’s a part of our lives too.

I started my new medication last night. I also think I’m getting sick. I also think my lithium level is off because the medication I just came off and the one I’m going on both affect it. Please don’t worry, I know the toxic symptoms and I’m not, I promise. The reality is that it’s just not effective right now at its current level.

My throat is sore and I spent over an hour with tears falling from my eyes for no discernible reason. My hands, my arms, my legs fall asleep for no reason. I have been so irritable that I have picked fights with friends online, but my loneliness from the depression seeping back in keeps me from avoiding my friends, so more fights.

I whine constantly. I bitch about tiny things that don’t matter and I have no ability to focus. As it stands, I’m smoking a cigarette, drinking tea, binge watching charmed, checking my phone games and writing this… so if it’s a little disjointed, it simply wasn’t written all at once and I keep losing my train of thought.

I didn’t write… because I didn’t want to complain… so I avoided this, but if I don’t tell you about the bad days, what can you possibly understand about me?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Medication switches…

I’m SUPER not excited about the upcoming couple of weeks but I am actually a bit excited about the prospect of being on a medication that does not cause widespread chronic pain. Side effects of medications, whether they’re for physical health or mental health, can often suck. Switching medications gives you this window where you’re finishing off the old side effects, no longer getting the benefits of the old medication and starting a new one to get new side effects… Let’s be honest. The process sucks. A lot.

I did finally get to see the new neuro-op for the intracranial hypertension thing I have. If you’ve joined us recently – basically the pressure of my cerebro-spinal fluid is too high and creates a migraine that lasts 24/7 and can actually take your vision away. I temporarily lost a third of the vision in my left eye. The doctor was concerned it might be permanent (but I got it back). I’ve been on one medication for it for most of the last five years, and when I thought it was a temporary thing (which for many people, apparently this “rare” freakin condition resolves itself… ) I was willing to handle the loss of libido, the increased joint pain. Vision’s kinda important to me.

Mine is most likely caused by one of the medications I’m on that I will be on for the rest of my life. That makes this condition life-long for me. All of the sudden having no sex drive and ever increasing chronic widespread pain was not feeling like something I could handle. So I got a new doc…. I got a new prescription…

This means a few weeks where the old medication won’t be high enough to help, and some time to start the new one. This means likely a couple weeks of crippling headache pain. YAY! … no. not yay… but if this new medication doesn’t have the same horrid side effects as the old one, it WILL be YAY.

Unfortunately med changes are trial and error… It’s all risk/reward. The same is true of mental health medications. Yes, some of them may make you sleepy, or even worse… but then you change them and sometimes you’re lucky enough to find the ones that help without making things worse…. The ones that make you start to feel like you can live your life again rather than just survive it. Note: some people are medication resistant and a lot of this won’t apply, but some of us need to be reminded that it can take more than one or two tries to find what we need.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Did I Make Myself Sick?

The last few days have seemed like this never ending eternity of nausea and anxiety. I got sick a couple nights back, threw up, felt nauseous the rest of the day. I started coughing hard in the evening and threw up again… not sure if it was my stomach or if it was my whole body tensing up in coughing fits. Not sure if it was a bug I caught, or if I’m really SO anxious about Monday’s appointment that I’ve made myself ill.

Monday is my first appointment with a new neuro-ophthalmologist for my intracranial hypertension. You’d think with all the doctors I see, all the appointments, all the new ones, I’d be better at initial appointments. I’m not. I’m a mess. For me it’s the interview process on both ends – he needs to know if he can treat me, I need to know that he can understand my needs during treatment.

Any first appointment is like this. What makes this one hard is how long waiting periods are to make initial appointments and this is my brain… I can help a psychiatrist understand that I know my conditions and my body because these are problems I’ve dealt with for years. It’s harder for me to convey my level of self awareness of my symptoms to a doctor that treats the physical side of things.

It’s paralyzing, this particular fear. That’s the only reason I feel that it could even create physical symptoms. The fear grows as the day draws near. I have about 40 more hours freak out about it. I’d been getting painful panic attacks for days even before I got sick. Shortness of breath, pain in my chest, etc… Those ones where you know the pain will go if you can just calm down, but the pain is freaking you out more. I hate those.

I haven’t been around and I make no excuses. This is what the last couple days and even weeks of my life look like. Fear, pain, throwing up, coughing til I cry. Let’s be honest, it sucks, and it drains my motivation.

So, appointment on Monday. Update on my condition or treatment options on Monday night or Tuesday. Stay tuned as we get answers.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Motivation may be the first thing to go.

It starts with “I’ll write something later.” It continues on with things like “I’ll just do it tomorrow.” “Maybe I’ll do it this weekend.” Weeks go by and you don’t even really realize that you’re slowly going down. It’s not that I’m lazy… I’m just slowly sliding into depression.

I stopped talking to people on Facebook. I stopped talking to people in other chat platforms. I stopped playing Ingress. I slowed way down on my Clash Royale (for those just joining us, these are games I play on my phone close to the point of obsession).

I stopped caring. I ended an almost 8 year friendship. I told people exactly what I was thinking even if they didn’t ask because I couldn’t just pretend anymore. I probably upset family, maybe friends… I don’t intentionally hurt them, but I can’t take on the emotional burden of lying to them either.

I don’t even feel like writing this. I just know I should. I know that somewhere there is someone who is flipping through posts wondering where their motivation went… and I want them to know that it’s not just them.

Anxiety can paralyze us and stop us dead in our tracks, but depression works a little differently. It often just slowly takes away the enjoyment of everything you love… It’s called anhedonia… and it’s not just you, it’s not your fault, and it will pass.

It just really fucking blows when it’s here. Be kind to yourselves, the best you can.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

I would apologize…

but I’m trying really hard to stop apologizing for things that are beyond my control. It’s been like a week since I posted and it’s because life gets in the way. The first few days it was my anxiety and working on getting the correct medication until my next psych appointment. After that it was a road trip to take care of some things.

I am slowly bringing the list down of things I have to stress about. One by one I am trying to cross each thing off an invisible list. I can’t even write the list out because it becomes so overwhelming… However, I did make that appointment for a neuro-op finally, it’s not for two months but the appointment is made! I have my psych appointment in a week and a half. I have resolved one of my personal issues this weekend.

Three things off the list. It’s getting there. I didn’t take my laptop with me and I can’t write a post on my phone – the typos would be glorious but I am sure my point would have been lost. Perhaps I should try it one day, just to see how that works out for us. I bet we could use the laugh.

I still have a long list, but I’m feeling less paralyzed by it. I hope that means I will be able to check in with you all more. Maybe then we can explore the rest of reality and not just where I’m stuck in it that particular day.

In the meantime, do what you can to cross one thing off you list, doesn’t matter which thing… but if you have a list… pick one thing, ignore the rest, do that, move forward. Pick the rest up tomorrow. Much Love 🙂

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Drawing a blank…

It’s the anxiety again, I know it is. I have too much to do and not enough whatever i’m missing to do it. I can only handle a couple things today, meaning only a couple things CAN be handled on any given weekday morning. I, however, also have running in my head all of the things I can’t do anything about until the day they happen.

I need to make phone calls, I need to make appointments. I also have a road trip coming up to handle some things this weekend but I can do anything about that til this weekend. I also have an appointment September 7th that I can’t do anything about really until then.

These extra things weighing on my mind are making it feel impossible to do the phone call things. I stop everything I’m doing. I look at the phone. I stare blankly at it and either go back to the computer or open a game because I start to get so anxious I can’t think at all. “Do you need help making these phone calls?” Yes, yes I do… but I don’t think it’s help that anyone can give me from afar.

So I figured I’d write a blog post, and maybe getting some of this out of my head would make me more capable of handling it. I opened the page and my first thought was “Oh god, I have nothing to write about.” Hence the title.

The reality is that the thoughts come so fast that they’re gone before I can get them all out and I’m typing as fast as I can but I still can’t catch them. “Do I have to make those calls today?” “Can it wait til tomorrow?” “What am I going to do for hours in the car?” “Why do I have to keep switching doctors?” “Why do I have so many doctors?” “When did I finish my coffee?” These are random ones I tried to pull out of the mess up there, they took so long to type, I skipped over the thirty others that came and went…

I just stopped. Stared at my hands. Wondered what to finish this with. Again… Drawing a blank.

Be kind to yourself. Let whatever you do today be enough. Enjoy the eclipse if that’s in your itinerary today… Tomorrow’s another day. We can try again.

~Brutally honest Eccentric~

I am trying.

How many times do you say this? How many times do you tell your doctor, your best friend, your family… “I am trying.” Only they can’t see it. “Are you?” … Yes, really, I am. It’s just there’s this constant fighting going on in my head, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry you can’t see it. I’m sorry you keep asking. I am sorry you don’t believe me. I am sorry it’s been years and I am still fighting.

For some people, depression is linked to an event, such as loss of a job or a relationship. Sometimes just moving forward can help these people out of their depression. This seems to make them think that it is that simple for everyone. “Chin up, this will pass.” It will pass, but for many of us, it comes back.

If you’ve had a depressive episode and managed to come out of it and not return, please don’t assume that everyone has that ability. For some, there is trauma, from war, from abuse… This does not just go away by “getting over it.” You don’t just “move on.” For some, there are chemical imbalances in the brain. Please don’t tell me that you did it without meds, so can I. I can’t. I’ve tried.

I can’t always just ‘cheer up’ – I have learned to pretend to but even that has become so exhausting, I can’t do it often. I can’t always ‘just relax’ because my brain doesn’t understand how to stop throwing thoughts at me sometimes. I’m sorry you don’t understand this.

Someone’s going to read this and think I was talking about them in particular. I’m not. Please know that. This is something that those of us with mental health issues deal with on a regular basis just by interacting with people. Sometimes this is why we don’t want to interact with people.

If we tell you we are trying, please try to understand that the processes we’re going through aren’t visible to you but they are very real. We haven’t given up. We fight every day. We are trying.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~