Tag Archives: mental health

Chest Pain

 

This afternoon, I have chest pain. Not the heart attack kind, but the depression kind.

Meds are still doing their dance of adjustment. Take more of this, weaning off of that.

When I stay busy unpacking in my new surroundings, I’m not as bad, but as soon as I stop, I remember that I’m in debt with a credit card, now have bipolar2 disorder, am spending too much per month on this rent house, and am eating up my savings just to live (and have been for four years). I was supposed to have graduated from college two years ago with a nursing degree and be in the thick of things.

Instead, the God I had known allowed an alteration in my brain chemistry. It happened when I experienced severe empty nest. What I didn’t know at the time . . . the reason I ran away from home and can now never go back, was hypomania had set in. My life had changed forever.

For two years, hypomania ran my life. I spent too much, flunked out of college twice (I tried. I really did), and I did many other “classic” things that the internet and books give as bipolar2 symptoms. I had them all. In the midst of it, though, I had no idea what had happened to me.

My family and friends kept asking me what I was doing – what I was thinking. I just said, “I’m going to fly. I have a new life. I want to see the world. I want. . . I want . . .” I had no idea where I was going. I just knew EVERYthing had changed. I was euphoirc, and didn’t quite know why. My off-kilter mind led me.

After two years of acting like a teenager and losing forty pounds in just two months, depression hit me – slowly at first, then I hit a wall and texted my family good-bye notes. I got in my Jeep, sobbed over my steering wheel at the realization that I had to kill myself. . . . . . Again, I wasn’t aware that an out-of-whack brain chemistry led me to all of it.

I drove, seeking an interstate I could speed on and then drive off of. A high one. But, some little flicker of life inside me said, “There MUST be an alternative. Is there? I want to talk to my friend, but she’s at work, and she can’t really get me out of this.” Then, I knew. As I drove near my doctor’s office, I exited the highway and told her I was suicidal. I’d been on depression meds and was adjusting them at the time (I also desperately needed a mood stabilizer). It was an all-encompassing stress-filled and helpless time for all.

I dropped and dropped, new antidepresdsant didn’t work. None of them did. At first, they were fine. What happened?

So, I moved to Dallas, Texas, in hopes of finishing a shorter degree in funeral science. I’ve always loved that field of study. Depression, real depression, dropped on me. It was a heavy blanket made of cinderblocks. I couldn’t get out of bed, gained back the forty pounds plus another forty. Ate complete crap – and didn’t get any movement – just lay in bed, too low to watch TV or read. No talking on the phone. Texting for help was all I could do. Thankful for my dedicated mother and daughter.

I began investigating depression blogs. I came across one that shocked me. It was a woman with bipolar disorder. She spoke of highs and lows – in extremes. I didn’t have such highs, though. But my low had dropped me at the door of suicide. Every single day, for months, I wanted to die. I planned ways of going. Where would I do it, so that a loved one wouldn’t find me? How could I be sure I’d complete the suicide? I didn’t want to be rescued.

I kept reading related blogs, and I kept seeing myself more and more often. I thought I might be experiencing the bipolar, type 2 I read about – deep depressions that are almost impossible to get out of and light mania (well,mine was enough to ruin my life at that particular point).

My Psychiatrist listened to my questions and asked me why in the world I hadn’t told her about the first two years after I had left home. I answered that I didn’t think that was pertinent to my depression. “I would have had you on a different course of treatment,” she said. I was so fatigued, sad, and hopeless, I’d had trouble even keeping that appointment, and I’d driven SIX hours to see her.

So, she added a mood stabilizer to a new antidepressant.  —— I’ve been seeing improvement – finally. Who knew the two long episodes were related?!

I’m getting off of the highly addictive Xanax (2 mg per evening) that my GP had me on (for sleep) and increasing the mood med, slowly.

Different parts of my day mean different moods. I was energetic in the early afternoon. Now, I blog because of a heavy chest, tears as I write, and a feeling of sadness. However, no more suicide compulsions. Just hopeless at present.

One of my blog posts in the recent past said – “When the money runs out, I run out.” I have limited funds and worry constantly about whether I’ll have enough to pay for school, living, food – before I can graduate and get a job. Stress, stress, stress.

I see very clearly, in hindsight, what this disorder is. That I had it all along. I even suspect when I got it. When my daughter left home to pursue a new career and fiancee three hours away, I entered her pink room, closed her door, surveyed the empty bedroom, and sat down hard on the pink carpet – among pieces of discarded paper and childhood tokens -a plastic ring she had kept, a necklace from her grandma, a Bible School bracelet she had made with colorful beads.

And I cried harder than I ever had before. I cried loud, wailing sobs into a washcloth. My breath almost leaving me as my diaphragm screamed from overuse. I hadn’t cried so desperately and hard even at my father’s funeral (a suicide at age 44). My  mind swam in a dirty puddle of muddy, nowhere water. I don’t know how long I sat there, but no one came in to soothe me (husband or grown son). Alone, I grieved my loss as a “Mama.”  I’m sorry if you don’t understand, but my two children were my life. Nothing had touched me like my children.

I don’t remember anything about the following three weeks. Only that I woke up one morning in a very, very good mood – knowing I was going to hurridly leave my husband and son at the family home and find my own way, my freedom.

Within three months, I was in my own townhouse – a completely changed woman. Everything was new, different, and it was an exciting but scary time.

There it began. This “new life.”

I still sometimes feel lost, aimless, helpless, and often hopeless. Sometimes I still think, “When the money runs out, I run out.”

The reason I stay is my mama and my daughter. I can’t do that to those wonderful women.

What is left today? Chest pain and tears. That’s nothing new.

 

LOOK at the Change in Mood in Just 14 Days!

The April 26th post vs the May 10th post look like night and day! Dumb meds.

I know in the long run, they’ll level out and help me. They already have. But, getting there! Ugh!

Thank you for the encouraging words and prayers and the general love you send my way. Your comments and emails are always welcome respites from an otherwise sad day.

XO to you, loves

BOOM! Mood Change!

 

I’m going along just fine, enjoying my new days of being depression-free – not feeling great, but still better, when BOOM! I have to adjust the mood meds again. Doubling the dosage to get me where the Psychiatrist wants me to be. Every time I change the dosage, I get radical side effects. Today, I cried so hard that my diaphragm was sore for hours after.

I had confrontational “words” with my grown son and told him to not visit me in the future.

I got Mother’s Day flowers from my sweet daughter. I filled the vase with water and then it dropped to the floor. Water everywhere. Thank god the vase was a cheapie plastic one.

It’s 8:15, and I’m in bed. I can’t face anymore yuck today. Inside, I FEEL the dying I do daily. We all die a little each day, right? Imagine “feeling” it. Strange sensation.

If I had my choice, I’d wait about 2 hours – make sure it’s very dark out – and then stand next to the interstate – where a semi-truck wouldn’t see me until it was too late to slow. I’m sure I’d feel the intitial impact, but not afterward.

No, I’m not suicidal. I don’t need a hotline or a trip to the psych ward. I need to be normal again, whatever that is. I can’t really remember what “normal” feels like. I have had 2 years of solid hypomania, then 2 years of drepression (some minor. some extremely bad). Only recently did I get a diagnosis of Bipolar, type 2, so I can get proper help!

I write to get the desperation from my chest. To purge some pain.

If you are  praying person, remember me tonight?

I love you guys!

You Are Not Alone

I’ve been reading others’ posts about feeling alone, friendless, and just plain miserable. The majority of these individuals are still (barely) functioning in the “real world.” They have jobs, obligations with young children, and other responsibilities that demand their attention.

I have great admiration and empathy for these people, most are women that I’ve heard from and read blogs of. I, too, have spent many, many weeks in my apartment, mostly in my king-size bed. I didn’t want to be there, but depression caused it – all-consuming, crippling, evil depression.

While I have a very kind boyfriend who makes sure I am “ok” every day and that I’m told I am loved and beautiful every day, I still fell and stayed in a pit of misery.

After seeing my old psychiatrist and getting a new diagnosis (and different meds), it is 9 days since taking the first new pills. I double the dose of mood med next Tues, so we’ll see what happens then. <I like that . . . Mood Med . . .much less serious sounding>

My point is that there are many of us out here who hurt and are dealing with neurochemical upsets which need meds and counseling to manage. One woman in particular, my heart wrenches for. She lives nowhere near me, has no friends, has a child to care for, and is in such great depression that she tried suicide this week. She didn’t complete it, for which I am very thankful. I try to reach out to her, but she doesn’t reach back.

When depressed, we isolate ourselves, which is unfortunate because that is the point in which we let the disorder have control. But, while we’d like to, we can’t face the world, the people, the sunshine. When it takes all of our energy to merely rise from the mattress to use the bathroom, we’re pretty much not “going” anywhere else.

I am feeling thankful today. I’m thankful for my mama and daughter and daughter-in-love who keep up with me daily and make sure I’m okay. They hurt with me, laugh with me, and weep with me. There are many more things/people I could list here, but I won’t.

What do I want you to take away from my post today?

No matter who you are or where you are, you are NOT alone. You may feel – with every fiber of your being – you are, but you aren’t. There are people like me out here who want to chat, discuss your pain, and reach for a future along with you. Human beings weren’t meant to  be alone all of the time. We are social creatures who need one another’s encouragement and empathy.

Need to chat? Do it here or on a reputable board.

Need medical help? Seek it – until you find a competent and caring professional.

Need crisis care? Anyone, anytime, any crisis, visit this website: http://www.crisishotline.org   or  call 1 (713) HOTLINE.

Smooches to you!

 

 

I Left My Bed ~

 

Ladies and Gents,

If you follow this blog at all (which almost 300 of you did yesterday), you are aware that I am in the midst of meds change because my Psych says I have Bipolar 2. I’ve never been a pill popper, so I dislike thinking I have to take medications every day. The difference must be in the mood stabilizer I was given. Never had that before. Yesterday was a tragedy of mood. Today, I LEFT MY BED!  I know, it’s next to nothing in the scheme of life, but I was completely non-functioning for quite a while.

My morning:

I found my Jeep parked where I’d left it two days ago, I slipped in, and started her up. The outside air blew on me from the vents. What a nice day. Since the storms that passed through, the air is cooler. It didn’t strike me to lower my car windows, though. I was busy thinking about mailing two cards and getting some lunch (and marveling that I was OUT).

After my errands, I left the burger joint with my window down. A cool breeze combined with warm sunshine on my arm. I grabbed a clippee from the cup holder and pinned my long hair to the back of my head. Let the wind blow! I had not been outside of my home in days, and it felt like weeks. I’d found no joy in anything for a very long time. Now, I was loving the feeling of the wind and sun. Simple things mean so much to me right now. I had a huge smile on my face the entire ride home. I remembered being on a carvinal ride. It was that good.

I wanted to cry – not as usual, with tears of misery, but tears of thankfulness that perhaps this med is actually working for me. I hate counting my chickens before they are hatched, though. So, I’ll enjoy today and the hope it brings.

Oh, and I deep-cleaned my kitchen. Don’t faint, Mama. Poor Jerry has been cleaning the house for over a month AFTER he gets home from a long day at work.

I think I’ll go vacuum. :-D  (who IS this woman in my body?)

 

Postpone or Back Peddle?

Postpone or back peddle? That is my dilemma. I’ve missed two days of school this week (in my accelerated degree program, that is a lot) and am behind in already-difficult classes (chemistry, anatomy, restorative art, management, ethics, embalming). I’m having to change the dosage of my new antidepressant, so my mind is shot, and my body is extremely fatigued. Got up this morning, after new dosage of Prozac, and have been “to the bathroom” several times. Fought mild nausea and diarrhea. Yesterday, I just stayed in bed and cried or slept.

It’s a crappy way to live, but it could be much worse.

I had to inquire of the school’s admissions office about when these classes are offered again and about how much of my tuition I’d have returned if I couldn’t “do” this quarter. I’m waiting to hear back from her.

I can hardly believe I’m having to face this. I’ve waited since 1992 to go to this school.

I keep my head up (even if my eyes are turned downward). I have to. There is no other choice. It’s survival.

Now, I wait, I guess. I see how I feel, what my school tells me, and then I face the decision to postpone these classes or back peddle later to try to make the grade this quarter – somehow.

I’m sick of hearing myself. Honestly, I don’t know why my friends, family, and boyfriend are still hanging around me. Grrrrr!

I wish you all a wonderful day. I know mine is out there waiting to happen. Timing is a b!t*h sometimes, though.

XO