Pre-Funk

Ehh.

I had a great weekend. Fun family stuff, a little me time at the salon, and even a date night. It was perfect, actually. Now, today, feels totally off.

My list for the week is full of good things. Gift wrapping, Ben’s holiday pageant, planning meals and snacks for the holiday. All fun things I should be excited about. I’m not. I feel blah, and like I want to sleep all day.

This pisses me off. I can do one of two things, lean in or push back. I have to push back! If I don’t it will get worse, every day. I have to write out exactly what to do each day this week and I have to DO IT no matter how I feel. It should be a good week, one full of anticipation and joy, not full of weighty bullshit going on in your head for no reason at all.

I have been really into the season, and I will keep going. I will keep moving until the feeling comes back. And it will, it always does, I just have to Go. And Keep Going.

So! I will watch my favorite holiday movies and I will wrap gifts and paint my nails an wear a dress and bake cookies and just keep going until it all feels whole and happy again. I know I am both of these things, I do, I just have to kick my self in the ass every few hours so I don’t forget.

 

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Progress

When I wake in the morning, as I slowly come to, I wait and feel until something tells me how I am. What is today? Am I well, am I iffy, am I off? You’d think that a person wakes up the same everyday, that you get out of bed fine and as the day progresses you know how you are. Something happens that can shift it, but I don’t get to do that. Life has a hand in how I feel, for sure, but, first, I check in with my head.

I’ve said before that meds are a band-aid for a disease, that after time, and often without warning, the adhesive gives and something has to change. You either rip it off or you try with all you have to make it stay on. My band aid started to give last October, and despite all of my encouragement for it to stick, I ripped that fucker off.

I did what I think a lot of people (probably) do. You decide that you’re done with this. “This” isn’t working for you any longer and that you can handle it on your own. I had a lot of reasons to stop my meds, but the biggest one was I hoped, the tiniest bit of hope, that I could survive on my own. That I could fight. I could win.

Well, we know how that turned out.

It’s been just 2 weeks since I’ve been back on the pharmaceutical wagon and when I check in with myself in the morning, it’s iffy. I’m still moody, a little on edge and a lot fragile. But I’m getting better, again.

Being well is such hard work.

I wish I could just pop a few pills in the morning and be done. It should be that easy, right? Here’s your RX go sing with the birds. I wish. I wish I didn’t have to unravel once a week on my therapists couch. That I didn’t have to take a depression and anxiety assessment every night before bed. I wish that I didn’t have an actual happiness handbook, but I do. I do, and I have to use the book, and do the homework my therapist assigns me and I have to dust myself off and hope I have it in me to keep going.

This is exhausting. To fight with your head and to change your own mind. That’s what cognitive behavioral therapy is. And it works, and I love it, but hot ham it pisses me off and I hate it. I love that I can change my mind, I hate that I have a mind that requires changing. That I have to talk myself down so many times a day, I have to remind myself not to catastrophise. To take life at face value and not with how it’s making me “feel”- It hurts, and I’m raw but I’m fighting.

I’m fighting, and it’s not how I wanted to win, but I still can so I will keep moving.

Of lights and tunnels

I went to the dr on Tuesday. An appointment that was scheduled before I dropped my basket. It was the perfect timing, if it had been a week earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready yet.

I was crying in the waiting room in my sunglasses, cause that’s not a giveaway in a “behavioral medicine” office. (I’m not upset, I’m just cool. (crazy cool))  I was asked how I was doing in the hall before we even rounded the corner to her office. I didn’t answer. Did I have too? I was wearing my sunglasses, she knew.

I told her I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t. What was even important at that point? The full body tension, aches, pains, stomach issues? I abbreviated the physical and went for the mental.

I never had to say I didn’t want back on the Lexapro, she knew. She never suggested it. She listened and offered up ideas. I didn’t really care, as long as it wasn’t the same poison as before.  I let her tell me what to do, and why. I had no fight left.

She shared some information about her personal life, things that made me trust her. She is a daughter of a schizophrenic, had trouble with depression as a young adult trying to care for her ill mother and ultimately, it all drove her into this profession. She apologized for how bad it was going for me, and also divulged that she went though this herself, in the early 90’s and no one knew what it was. She was misdiagnosed with MS, and when it disappeared one day, she began to question everything.

It helped me, a lot. To know that she go it.

I went home with a rx for Prozac, to take along side my welbutrin.

2 days later? I’m still pretty moody, but I didn’t loose my temper once today, and the dizziness, nausea and brain zaps are completely gone.

Did I do the right thing? Yes, I spoke up when the regiment wasn’t working and asked for a change. It was awful to go thru it but had I not, and just slugged along, I’d just be suffering needlessly. In the process I found out about a vitamin deficiency, and well, learned the hard way (what I already knew but get to damn stubborn to admit) that I am a person who needs to be medicated. It’s that “simple” I need help. But it’s help that is available! There’s no cure for a screwy brain but there is help. 

I need help. I get help. I am the face of a mental illness and you know what, I’m learning to live with that. This is a part of who I am, and if I can’t own it, the drugs can’t save me. Only I can do that.

Two Years

 

Today is a big day for me.

Today I am alive. I am well. I am happy.

I’m not done. There is so much work to be done, hard work. But I am here and I will do the work, I will take the pills and I will hold my people close and thank them for saving me. For giving me the strength to save myself. Because I am here, I am a survivor. And two years later I can really own it. I have been through hell. I have fought my way back.  Survivor. And I am here to tell my story, and I thank you for listening to it, for you are part of my survival as well.

 

(don’t know what I’m talking about?  Its this and then this.)

I hope they know

I start to stir, the light is a dark pink as the sunrises through the curtains. One is standing next to me whispering “Mommy? Mommy….you wake? Mommy, I’m here, scoot over.”  I do. Of course. I feel the warmth of his body as he moves closer to mine, I smell his hair fresh from last nights bath. I breate it in deeply the scent calms me as I snuggle him close, eyes still closed. His skin is so soft I remember when he was a baby and I’d stroke his cheek as he’d fall asleep back when he fit in my lap but smelled the same.

About thirty minutes later the little one starts making noises from down the hall. I stay in bed listening, holding the big one but enjoying them both. He gets a little louder so I shake Nate a little, “Your brother is up, are you ready for the day?” We get up and walk to Ben’s room. They chat in their own secret code and I am an outsider. I lift Ben and hold him so close I can feel his heart beating, so warm and snuggly, first thing. He too smells fresh from his bath and I again breathe him in as fully as I can. A quick diaper change and he and Nate are off. No longer needing me, they have each other now.

The days aren’t always smooth and easy, some days are but occasionally I’m not well. Somedays I lie on the floor while they play and stare at the ceiling, tears running down my face for no real reason at all. Sometimes I don’t want to talk or play or color, I just need to be. I hate these days, I hate that the best  can do is just being in the same room with them. I don’t want to be away from them, that’s for certain. I need them close to me, they remind me that it’s worth it, to keep going. Still, they know. They know when I’m off, they behave a little better and play a little more quite. They know. They are so young but the get me. Mommy’s not always well.

I’m working so hard on being well. So hard that when these days come they are more debilitating then ever. WHY, is this STILL happening!? I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and should do. And yet, depression and anxiety can break through at times. Medicine is helpful, it’s not a cure.

I’m able to appreciate the good days and I try so hard to let the bad ones go. To make the good ones great, Nate’s old enough to remember this now. They say that you choose the good memories over the bad. I hope this is true. I hope he remembers me at my best and not the mom who sometimes lies on the floor and cries.

Both boys were hard to leave today.  Nate at pre-school, Ben at the gym. Yesterday was a really hard day. It affected them, they didn’t want to leave me today. I didn’t really want them to go, either.

I just hope they know. Not that mommy is sick but that she is working to be well. She wants to be well. I want nothing more than to raise these boys, to watch them grow up and to love them. That going to the gym so much and not letting them eat fruit snacks and making them wash their hands means I love them. Nate knows when I go to the doctor and it’s a lot. He never asks why, he just tells me he’ll miss me. I clutch my heart and go to therapy. When I come home I know three sets of open arms will be waiting for me. So I go and I do the work. I do it for myself and I do it for them.

I love these people so hard. All of this work is for our family. I love them. I hope they know.