Category Archives: stress

A Light at The End of the Tunnel

Word Press Post A Day – You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

A tunnel? Anywhere on earth my heart desires?

To be honest, I am not sure this tunnel could take me where I want to go.  I could get wherever I want to go on earth on any given day if I really wanted to – by car, plane, boat.  I don’t always have the money — but I could save up for it, borrow it, be a stow-a-way (heck some 60 year old woman has done that 4 times and all she got was a little bit of jail finally, surely I can do that if I wanted!).  Anyway, back to my thoughts — there are a lot of places on earth I want to go to, I love traveling, but I wouldn’t want a tunnel to just take me to them.  That would take away me seeing all the beauty of getting there.

I would want a tunnel for something else.

If I could have a tunnel — I would want that tunnel to take me the I guess you would call it “the light at the end of the tunnel.”  I want to see this place that everyone keeps telling me about.  This place that is supposed to be there despite all my depression, bipolar, PTSD, and borderline personality problems.  Despite all my downs — I am supposed to have this “light at the end of the tunnel.”  Well, if I am finally getting a tunnel — I will definitely let it take me there.  I want to see it.  I want to see this light, I want to see if it really leads me to happiness?  Or contentment? Or as someone told me once – maybe it is just a train coming at me and I should just stop trying to look for that light because it is just as bad as the situation I am in now.  Umm thanks buddy for that encouragement…

There are good days and there are bad days.  There is no quick fix.  Nothing is going to make everything get magically better.  Life may seem miserable every single day.  You never know when you will reach that light at the end of the tunnel though unless you keep living.  It may be today, it may be tomorrow, it may be a year from now, or it may when you are 100 years old.  That tunnel eventually ends though and there is a light.  In fact, it may be broken up and it may stop and start again – there may be hints of light here and there.  It may be discouraging that the light keeps going away.  But it still has to eventually end all together – a tunnel cannot last forever.

Spike in Crisis Line Phone Calls after Robin Williams Death

Since the death of Robin Williams, there has been a spike in calls to crisis lines around the US and Australia.  I am not sure about other parts of the world, as I simply saw articles pertaining to these two countries, however I am sure they probably went up as well.

Calls, chats, messages, and clicks on their websites to Lifeline in America, Lifeline in Australia, Beyond Blue in Australia,  the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) information line and Facebook page, and local crisis centers all around the US.

Many people were reaching out, seeking help for their depression, suicidal thoughts, and some were simply wondering how people can be depressed – how can someone look happy and yet feel so much pain and kill themselves.  Perhaps with that last question, people will begin to understand depression more and even see or help someone else around them who might present happy but really be very depressed.

While they do not really know how many people were reaching out for help due to their depression and suicidal thoughts prior to Robin Williams death versus those who were affected by his death and began to feel suicidal after in response to his death (example, when you have someone close to you die, you begin to feel like you want to die) — they are glad that more people know about the crisis lines and support systems and are using them.

While I do think Robin Williams death brought a great deal of attention to suicide and mental health, I also think it is going to die down soon as it usually does even though people seem to care very much about it after such a loss.  However, hopefully after all those posts of the suicide hotline numbers – this will not die down and people will remember these resources – and use them – and reach out for help when they need to.

Here are a few articles discussing the increases in spikes in crisis center calls — and there are quite a few more if you search on the internet.

Australian News Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis calls

American Aljazeera Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis line calls

Houston, TX News Article Discussing local crisis center call increase

Augusta, Maine Article – Discussing local crisis center call increase

Depression Hurts

Depression hurts.  Literally.

Not only does it hurt us emotionally and mentally and where it decides to beat us up in our minds —

—- but physically it takes a toll on us.  Our bodies ache!  Our joints hurt.  Our muscles ache.  We get tired.  It feels like a truck hit us.  A bus ran over us.

I remember going to my doctor a few months ago and complaining that my joints were hurting me — not all of them, but my joints in my fingers and my toes, my ankles and my elbows.  Specifically my fingers though.  At some point her partner had diagnosed me with arthritis and it does run in my family.  She looked surprised and looked through the lab work — she said that the doctor had messed up my lab work, ordered the wrong tests, and diagnosed it off the wrong test.

Now I was confused — why the heck was I hurting so bad!!!  I was going through an awful bout of depression at the time.  She said it might have been the depression, that could definitely cause the pain, but to make sure she would run some labs and get some x-rays.

Off I went for the labs and x-rays.  A few days later – bam! I was fine! Nothing was wrong physically via the tests.

It was the depression.  I was feeling so bad that my body was literally hurting too.  I wasn’t purposefully making myself hurt, but I was feeling so bad emotionally that my body was too.

Depression can come out in so many ways.  Sometimes, people don’t even realize they are depressed immediately.  They know they feel a bit down, but their symptoms mainly appear as the physical aches and pains and fatigue.

At one point, there was even a Cymbalta commercial focused on “Depression Hurts” — a lot of people made fun of it, you can actually find parodies of it on youtube.  But it really isn’t funny… it is real – depression does hurt.  It hurts more than just mentally, it hurts physically too.

Sam Kirkegaard – Sam Supports Mental Illness

These are some videos by Sam Kirkegaard.  He makes random videos on youtube, but he has a few called Sam Supports Mental Illness.  They are silly little videos that bring awareness to mental illness.  This is Day 5, which talks about 5 myths about mental illness.  I can’t share all the videos on here – so you should go to his youtube channel and check them out! His first one talks about his story though, which is about OCD and his intense anxiety, his 2nd one talks about why he is doing it and that he is raising money for Active Minds.  There are 31 days worth of them.  I haven’t watched them all, but I will check them out and see how they are, I am sure there is some good and interesting stuff on there.

 

Not – “Why Did This Happen”, But “What Can I do Now, Where Can I Go From Here?

This blog has been a great release for me.  I have also said I still struggle.  At the moment, that last sentence is something that has been a problem for me.

It is a struggle that I am dealing with in a way I am not very much used to.  In fact, anything that is misspelled or looks weird in this I am sorry.

I have been dealing with trauma therapy.  It has been going well, I have an amazing therapist and am so grateful that I her.  She has stuck by me even when I could be open right away.  It is getting hardest though and I can’t stay present much.  Im awake then Im interacting with someone.  If I sit at home, going off, I dream, I imagine, I cry, its in my face, its happening to me.  Im fighting on the floor.  The thoughts are being yelled in my years

I took ambien cause I just feel myself leaving.  I talked to a friend from  my NAMI group.  I told her that my meds have made me better.  I am not severely depressed like how I was.  I do find joy at times.  I still have this underlying ever day depression though.  I still have this need to die though.  It is this bizarre need, like I have always felt like I wasn’t supposed to be alive.

Is it because of the childhood abuse?  Is it because of my genes?  It is because of both?  Nature, nurture, both?

I am not I will ever know what has cause my brain to hurt the way it hurts or have such hard feelings.

Anyway, I am on ambien and am completely falling asleep.  So as I said there maybe a completely a million mistakes and this may make no sense.  But I felt the need to write this.

Thinking our thoughts is hard.  Ruminating on why things happen can consume our lives.  From here, we really should just be asking, not why? but what now?

Not why did this happen. When did it happen?

But — What can I do now, from  this point forward, what can I do?Where Can I go From Here

Anyway, I am posted this ahead of time, so it should be posted in a few days, but I am totally tired from the medication now… so if it appears as if I should have been awake when it is up and posted, this is why 🙂  Best wishes everyone ! For some reason this was on my mind and I felt like writing it, perhaps I will re-write it or a follow up later though.

Please add your thoughts as well!

Looking Back at Life (1/22/2011) – Chemical Imbalances

I look back at how bad my depression was over the last few years … in a previous online journal I had a post from January 22, 2011 at 6:28pm that simply stated:

The first two weeks of school have gone pretty good.

I need to die though.

Two sentences.  Nothing else.

My depression was so bad, that even though my first two weeks of college (actually the last semester of my senior year) had been fine, I still felt the need to die.  This was the year that my mental illness became extremely severe.  This entry was posted a week after my first psychiatric hospitalization. Prior to my second hospitalization, which would result in me abruptly dropping out of school (on the semester I should have graduated) and deciding I wanted nothing to do with graduating as I had no reason to believe I would live any longer.  And if I did indeed live, I did not need school.  I wanted no degree from the college I was going to, I hated my college at the time, and I wanted nothing from them at all.  I was much to amazing to have a college degree (woohoo bipolar delusions and suicidal ideations and reckless decisions).  I did go back and get my degree though, although I am not using it at all thanks to my wonderful hospitalizations and instability.

It is amazing how set I was on death though.  I had been depressed so much of my life, but this was the breaking point for me.  How can we see that things are good, but still want death so much?   The chemical imbalances in our brain and how they work are so –weird!

People ask me all the time why I am depressed.  Which I hate by the way.  I don’t know.  Things can be going fine in my life, and I am just depressed.  Which obviously this entry from 3.5 years ago shows — it seemed like things were fine, but I still was determined that I needed to die.  The chemical imbalance in my brain was just completely off!  That is how bipolar works, that is how major depressive disorder works, and schizoaffective, schizophrenia, and a whole host of other mental illnesses.  It isn’t a simple switch that I can turn on and off.

Yes, I can change my thought process, that does help.  But that alone does not fix me.  As I have mentioned before, I need my medication.  I am not someone who can go without my meds – because my diagnosis definitely is based on a huge chemical imbalance.  Working on CBT helps a lot, but only when my medication is also working.  Then I am stable enough to focus on using those technique to change my thought process too.

But — I guess, looking at this post from 2011… I also just think about how much it hurts to feel that way.  To know that you can see your life going ok but to know that you still feel the need to get out of it.  To have this deep desire to just escape.  I haven’t felt that deep desire since January 2013 luckily, my meds have been working well since then, but I still have the thoughts and desires here and there.  Not constantly though.  It was a hard.  It still is hard., but I’m learning to manage and it’s getting easier.

Thank You All For The Support

Thank you so much to everyone for the support and kind comments, likes, and encouragement on all my posts and especially throughout this frustrating time dealing with my anxiety and last psychiatrist appointment.

I still have struggled today and have just spent time kind of lying around – yes I know, not the healthiest thing.  I did go out and just sit outside in the sun, trying to get some good ol’ vitamin D, and listened to music.

One thing that does always help me though is comedy.  I absolutely comedy – I think every time I have been down, I can bring myself out of it with some type of comedy.  It might take a bit of time, but eventually I am laughing so hard and my mind is distracted for a good period of time.  Of course, the hardest part is getting myself to watch some comedy.

Tonight though, there were two shows on TV that involve quite a bit of comedy.  Hollywood Game Night and Last Comic Standing.   Now, I don’t normally follow Hollywood Game Night, I have just watched it here and there, but it is pretty funny.  I have followed Last Comic Standing this season though, for the first time, and it always makes me laugh.

So tonight, I turned on the TV, because I have just kind of been lying on my couch, being a bum, ruminating on my problems, getting no where.  I figured, what the heck, maybe TV will at least get my mind off of it.  Thankfully both of these shows were actually on!!!  Well, Last Comic Standing is actually on right now – so I am alternating between writing this and watching it 🙂  But it has really lifted my mood already.

Tomorrow I have my appointment with my therapist and hopefully that will help as well.  Perhaps we can problem solve some of all of what I am feeling and thinking about everything going on.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone.  It is amazing how much support I have gotten.  Also, comedy is an amazing coping skill to bring you out of a bad mood – you should definitely try it if you haven’t 🙂

Good Days and Bad Days, This Blog Has Helped and Will Help Me

I used to write all the time.  I had a journal on blogger and I wrote and wrote and wrote.  I wrote about my depression, my frustrations, how much I hated life.  I would write suicide notes and good bye letters.  I wrote about how I thought suicide was ok and how those who loved me should be happy I was gone because I wasn’t in pain anymore.  I had a physical, tangible journal too that my therapist gave me, and I wrote in that periodically as well – I would scribble down any thought that came to my head, over and over again, rambling on about everything – but it was always the bad stuff.  I never counteracted any of the negative thoughts with good things.  I never put any positive self talk in there or reminded myself about what was going on that was good.

I couldn’t see anything good around me – at all.  There was good stuff though.  My siblings cared a lot about me.  I live no where near them, we are all in different states.  We don’t even talk very much, but when we do, I can cry and let all my emotions out and they listen and understand.  Each day, I have food and an apartment to stay in.  Sure, I struggle to pay the bills and have food to eat — but I have it.  There was a time in my life, that I basically was kicked out of my apartment and had to move back home or be homeless, and I attempted suicide because of it.  I did not want to live with my mom.  Now, I have those things.  I have to think about that.  I have a mental health team, I am able to have my medicine.  I hate taking medicine, but it makes me stable.  There were times I couldn’t pay for my medicine – now I can and it is works fairly well.  I have struggled incredibly hard to find a good therapist and psychiatrist, but I have those now.  I have a team that wants me to get better.  There are good things in my life.  I may think that life is horrible and miserable, but not everything is working against me like it may seem.

I started this blog because I was so focused on the negatives in my other blog.  WordPress is a really active community and I wanted to be able to be involved with interacting with others.  I wanted to discuss mental health issues.  I wanted to be involved with reading about other interests of mine.  I wanted to focus on positives.

I still have horrible days.  Just two weeks ago (or something like that), I broke down.  I called the crisis line and then a day later called my dad and about went to the psych hospital.  I thought I was going to kill myself.  Life isn’t perfect for me.  My days can still get really shitty.  I still get super depressed.  But, I want to help people.  And writing on here has helped me feel better.  And talking with others on here has helped me feel better.  Connecting with others that are going through the same thing, knowing I am not alone.

I’m going to eventually have the posts where I am hating life again, but I am hoping that those are few and far between.  I’m sure starting grad school is going to make them happen a lot more frequently – bringing back memories related to my sexual abuse and rape.  My PTSD is going to be stirred up even more than it has been lately with therapy.   I hope to use this as a way to vent still, and get my frustration out, but in a more positive way than I was on my other online blog – which was quite negative as I was simply writing out my plans for death.  Here I can just write out my thoughts and even ask for advice.

I really think that writing on here and connecting with others on here and seeing this as a support has really helped though.  I hope that it continues to do that.

I Think I’ve Hit a Road Block – And I Need to Find the Detour

I saw my psychiatrist today.  I wasn’t really the greatest appointment.  I actually left feeling very discouraged and I’m not in the greatest mood.  I think I’ve hit a road block.

I’ve really been struggling with my anxiety.  I’ve always had bad anxiety.  It was pretty well managed the last few years, although I was pretty overloaded on my last anxiety medication.  When I was in the state hospital, the environment was very controlled and I thought I had gotten over it, so I transitioned off of my medicine (the valium).  Upon moving though, I knew no one, was in a brand new state, and also began working on trauma therapy — my anxiety has been at an all time high once again.  I deeply regret ever getting off anxiety medication.  I cannot get my psychiatrist to give me medication other than vistaril, which has done nothing, and buspar which simply made it 100x worse.  I understand that other medications are addictive, but I only want something to help me when I go into a panic attack just while I go through this trauma therapy, even if it just a few pills a month to get me through the worst of times.  I am getting exhausted living like this – it has made me depression horrible.

He told me that he went through my medications I have tried in the past – not specifically anxiety, but everything.  I have gone through a lot – and he said that medications don’t work for me.  I was pissed, because the regimen I am on now has done a pretty good job for the last 1.5 years.  I have been more stable than I have been in like 4 years.  He has only seen me twice now (I go to a medical school, so they switch residents every two years when they graduate).  He doesn’t even know me! Yes, he has my records, but I highly doubt he has read them! Does he really want to see me off my medication – because I am really considering just stopping it since he claims that they don’t even matter, despite the fact that I have seen how much they have changed my life.  But if he says that, why would I waste my money?

He wants me to compliment my trauma therapy with DBT.  Which would be fine, except the only place around me that does it, is 1 hour away (ok still doable), but they also don’t take insurance, or any insurance for that matter (not doable).  I am already paying out of pocket to see him (supposed to be $124 dollars-what I was told….but I keep getting billed over $200 and while they tell me they will fix it, it never gets done).  I live on disability right now, I cannot afford to pay out of pocket for more therapy that my insurance wont pay for. 

I guess I am just frustrated though because he basically told me that if my anxiety is that bad – I need to go to the hospital.  What is the hospital going to do?  Why can he not just help me?  If he can’t help outpatient, why would the hospital be able to do anything different?  Would they be able to prescribe me a medication?  If they do–would he actually keep me on it?  I’m not going to go spend a ton of money on a hospital stay when I feel like this should be able to be taken care of on an outpatient basis.  I thought psychiatrists were supposed to try to keep you out of the hospital. 

I have grown so much since 2011 when I first started having serious problems with my mental health.  And I believe that each day I grow stronger.  I know I also fall back though.  I just feel like this is a set back for me.  Or I shouldn’t say set back – its like a road block.  A wall in my way.  Another challenge.  I don’t have help this time though. I don’t have a psychiatrist to help me get through it.  And it sucks – it just sucks.  I’m facing my pain and anxiety and depression on my own. I mean, I guess he cares in that he suggested the DBT, but he also knows I cant pay for it and he clearly doesn’t want to help me with medication – so I don’t feel like I have support.  Now, I have to find the detour, the way around it – get past this road block.

I’m going to get through it.  I just am going to have to work a hell of a lot harder and figure something out.  I don’t know what yet though.  I feel like I have tried a million coping skills. 

So, I’m going to try to write some still, but I may be a little less frequent.  I have some posts that I wrote ahead of time that are scheduled to be posted though, and those should show up.  I am still going to try to get on here though, cause it does help.  Ill just have to see how it goes I guess. 

The Worst Day of My Life

Trigger warning — discusses suicide.

It was the lowest day in my life.  My depression hit a wall.  I didn’t know what to do anymore.  I had been out of college, graduated 5 months prior, in December 2011.  It was May 2012 now.  I had no money.  I had quit my job in March, but it was a student job from my college, and I wasn’t a student anymore so I was bound to lose it at some point anyway.

My parents had been paying most of my bills.  Even with my job, I didn’t have enough money for rent and food.  They wouldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t blame them.  Rent, food, even my students loans – they were paying for them.  They cut me off.  My lease ended at the end of May.

I had to move home to Texas to live with my mom and her husband or I was homeless, in Indiana.  Neither option was a good choice.  I didn’t want to move to Texas.  I hated it there.  I wasn’t fond of my mom’s husband nor was I fond of my relationship with my mom – living together for more than 2 weeks usually ended up in a disaster with arguments galore.

So back to the worst day of my life —

I decided I could live anymore.  I was done.  I had attempted to end my life multiple times before.  I had failed many times before.  Usually, I called for help.  I realized it was the wrong choice.  I realized I didn’t really want to die, just wanted the pain to end.  This time, it was different though.  I went all out – I was determined to die.  I was ready to die.  I didn’t want to be saved.  It wasn’t a cry for help.

It was still an overdose, as usual.  I didn’t take the pills all at once though.  I strategically took them over time.  Ten pills here, ten pills there, ten pills here… over a course of 24 hours.  They slowly built up in my system.  My liver was toxic.  My case manager met with me the next morning.  I didn’t tell her anything.  The tone of my voice and the negativity in my voice I suppose let her know that I was having the suicidal thoughts though.  She left, but 30 minutes later called me back.  I answered and she asked me how I was.  Of course, I said fine.  She said she would call me again.  I couldn’t understand how she knew something was going on.  Before she ever called me back – there was banging on my door.  The police, paramedics… they were all at my door.  I refused, I refused to go anywhere.  Because of my past history of suicide attempts though, they could get a court order and have me taken in – with handcuffs and all if I did not go.  So I went.

The paramedics took me, I refused to tell them anything.  Blood tests were taken and showed that my liver was at toxic levels and I was very close to actually dying.  They couldn’t believe I was not sick, that I wasn’t in horrible pain from how my levels were.  I told them I refused treatment, I wanted to go home.  Absolutely not – it was not going to happen.  Mucomyst – it is the antidote to Tylenol overdose.  I was given it, immediately.  It also made me incredibly ill.  Police were outside of my door since I was set on leaving and not being treated.  I was throwing up and became very ill.  They gave me Reglan to combat the vomiting.  That was a mistake because I was allergic to Reglan.  My face swelled.  I got hives all over.  I couldn’t breathe well.  I was going to die!  Nope — then I got Benadryl.  I was miserable.  What a miserable way to be.  A few friends from my NAMI support group came to be with me.  They sat with me, disappointed that I had gone to these lengths.  I was upset.  I was upset that I didn’t die.  Yet I was happy.  I was happy that someone cared enough to save me.  I didn’t know how I felt.  I was horribly ill – mentally and physically.  I was supposed to be sent to the ICU, but the ER was trying to stabilize me from all the reactions I was having to the medications to combat the overdose.  Finally, I was sent to the ICU.

I spent 5 days in the ICU.  Maybe 4.  I’m not sure.  I was then released into a psychiatric hospital.  I spent two weeks there.  I had been to that hospital before, many times.  They weren’t surprised to see me.  Upon my release I only had a few days to be out of my apartment because my lease was up.

I won’t forget that day though.  The day I attempted suicide.  Sure, I had done it before – but that day, it was the worst attempt I had ever had.  It was the attempt I really wanted.  The attempt I had hoped would actually work.  It was right near my mother’s birthday, right near Mother’s Day.  It was the attempt that actually really hurt my family.  The one that made everyone realize that I was struggling really bad.  It was the day that I realized I was hurting everyone around me whenever I hurt myself.  It was the day that I realized I would probably never attempt suicide by overdose again either – hopefully never attempt suicide again period too.

I have had really crappy days since then.  I have had horrible days.  I have still had my suicidal thoughts and been back in the hospital since then.  But, when I think of the worst day, that is the worst day that comes to mind.  It was caused by all the horrible things that happened before me.  The culmination of all my past events that made my mind go crazy, it was caused by my chemical imbalances … and all those things just created the worst day ever.  The lowest day in my life.  The lowest point in my life.