Strange, strange symptoms/withdrawal effects/Clueless!!!

My brain is still really foggy, I guess, and it's so strange because I can't tell.  You don't know what you don't know, right?  I suppose I'm still recovering from the Lamictal withdrawal.  If it's in my system, why is it taking so long?  Or is this depression related also?  I have no idea, absolutely none.

I've always found it difficult to use Mark's radio in his car, flipping through his mp3 songs, and as I once again struggled to figure out how to find the song I wanted, I said "this is NOT very"...and then I couldn't think of the word I've said so many times when complaining about his system.  It made me crazy.  Why couldn't I think of the word?  I said "Mark, you know what word I mean, it starts with an I".  He said "innovative".  I said "Yes, that's right, thanks!" and he laughed.  I didn't understand why he was laughing, and he said "that's not even the word you were looking for, you were wanting to say intuitive".  That made me nuts.  I couldn't think of the word, and when he told me a word, I didn't even realize that was the wrong word?  So glad he's having fun with this. 

We went into Target and we both had the use the restroom.  When I got into the restroom, there was water on the floor, and I slipped and fell.  My feet just completely slipped off the floor and I crashed hard on my hand, scraping it a bit, but I was fine.  I walked out and showed Mark and told him I had a "slip and fall" on water and showed him my hand.  He looked at me kind of funny, and I realized what he was thinking.  I said "NO, there really WAS water on the floor!"  What is he seeing that I am not?  What is it that I am doing that I do not realize? 

The weirdest thing happened later, though.  I was in the closet putting on my nightgown, and I lost my balance and crashed to floor, hitting my head on the stand up mirror.  I banged my knee up pretty good.  Mark ran into the closet and asked if I was okay and I said yes, but I was so confused.  What had just happened?  The only thing I could say was "There really WAS water on the floor at Target."

After the Target incident, we were driving home, and I was thinking about going for a run and asked Mark what he thought, weather wise.  He didn't look like it was such a good idea.  I asked if it was because of the weather, and he said no, and I said, do you think I'll get lost or something?  The running trail around our house can be confusing and yes, I'll admit, my memory is bad right now, and he said it's not that, I just don't know if you are going to fall.  OMG, seriously?

But yet, I know other people see things that are different about me that I can not see myself.  They don't tell me until later.  My therapist was describing to me how I was acting at the session before the last one, and I had no idea.  I thought I had been completely normal, but she was describing it like it was way, far from normal.

I thought it would be fun to play music trivia, which I am *SO GOOD AT*, and had him choose any song, any artist, and I would guess them both from YouTube.  But then I realized right away - really stupid idea.  I was clueless.  I knew I had heard the song before, I knew I normally knew every word but for some reason couldn't think of every word, and the name of the artist and song?  That was beyond me.  Right away I told him that was a bad idea, I just wasn't capable of playing that game.  He said no, I'll choose something really easy, something popular right now, something I play all the time in my car.  That just made it more frustrating for me.  And then I would ask him to play a song I would want to hear (we were doing this on the television - with google tv, I wasn't looking at his computer), but the name of the song would escape me, I would tell him one word of the lyrics, like "lipstick" for Maroon 5's "One More Night" (wow, just thinking of that title now was a struggle), but honestly that was all I could remember, just that the word lipstick was in the song.  He would go through song after song of theirs until FINALLY he got it.  But that was all I could remember.  Even right NOW, there is an actor, I can see his face, hear his voice, and it is absolutely driving me CRAZY who he is, where I have seen him, what he is in.  Mark wanted to help.  I said okay, he has an English or British accent, he's thin, with straight short hair, parts it on the side, I think most of the time he wears a button up shirt, and I believe he's in some sort of comedy.  He just looked at me and said "That's not enough to go on, I don't think I can help."  Yeah, that's not enough to go on.  I wish I could take the image that is in my brain and put it in google image search and it would come up with who it is!

So I wonder what other weird things I am doing?  One of the reasons I went to Target was to get coffee - nope, didn't remember to get it while there.  And I *even* decided I wanted Starbucks while there, you would think that my wanting a coffee would jog my memory that we NEEDED coffee?  I only went there for maybe three things and it nagged me the whole time...what WAS it that I needed for both Mark and I..what was it, what was it, what was it?

I have no idea how long this will last, what I am going to feel for awhile, what an idiot I look like, sound like, math is totally out of the question right now, not that it wasn't already. 

Hurry up medication!  Do your thing!  WHY is this taking so long!  What the HELL!  I *am* going to be back to normal, right?  This isn't permanent?  I don't have brain damage? 

Better, But It's a Long Road I Think

I think I'm slowly feeling better.  One day at a time. Actually, one minute at a time, one second at a time, one hour at a time - you get the picture.  I can be pretty happy one minute, the tiniest thing will happen and completely deflate my mood and those old, sad thoughts and feelings will start creeping in.  I have absolutely no idea if I'm anywhere close to being back to my normal self, or what my normal self even is.  When I ran out of Lamictal, I didn't know I was acting strangely for days although everyone around me saw it - even strangers who had never met me - so now I feel like I can't even trust my own judgment about I act!  Or what is normal! 

What still really bothers me is when I think about not going to school, missing ANOTHER quarter/semester, whatever.  It's just not right!  That's not what people I know do.  When Mark is sick, with a fever, he does not stay home, he goes to work, no matter how horrible he feels.  When he has the flu, he goes to work.  The ONLY time he will call in sick, which I can count the days on one hand in six years and have fingers left is when something is coming out of him - up there or down there, if you know what I mean.  He's told me stories about two people he works with that has had CANCER and still worked.  One was going through chemotherapy, still came to work and stayed in his office with his trash can next to him and threw up in it when he needed the whole time, then would just go back to work.  The other that had cancer had surgery, stayed out for maybe a week or however long he was in the HOSPITAL, then worked full time from home until his doctor released him.  That's just what people I know do.  Those are my examples.  I have always felt guilty about the time I checked myself into the psych ward when I was suicidal and my psychiatrist wouldn't let me go back work.  Every time I went to see him during those 6 weeks I was out, the first question I would ask him was "Do you think I'm ready to go back to work?"  I wanted him to say yes, but in a way, I was scared he would say yes, too.

I'm having a really hard time with this.  I mentioned to Mark that I might volunteer at a Suicide Prevention program.  He did not think that was a good idea.  He was afraid I might talk to someone who was suicidal, tell me how they felt, and I'd realize, "you know?  They're right...".  I mean seriously?  Being suicidal has affected me greatly, and suicide has been so key in my family.  NO, I am not ready to do that right now, and yes, I understand his concern.  But I *have* to do something with my life that is meaningful during this time!  I can't just "sit here" and "work on getting better".  How does that work exactly?  Sitting here and watching television, which I don't even turn the television on all day, but that's beside the point, is supposed to make me BETTER?

I suppose that is a question for my therapist, we haven't gotten that far yet.  We only got to the "you can not go to school on July 9th", me freaking out, and her trying to get me to understand why.  So I have made no plans.

BUT!  We have bought tickets to see the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty on July 4th at the Ravinia!  I'm pretty excited about that.  NO DRINKING this time!  No one has told me this, but the last thing I need right now is any form of depressant, none whatsoever.  I am abstaining from alcohol.  Surely I wrote about what happened last time I went to the Ravinia...I think just last week?  Got so drunk I couldn't walk straight?  Threw up there, in the parking lot, at home, the next day, slept the following day, etc. etc.?  I don't feel like going back in my blog and looking, but it was NOT good, although I had a really fun time.  Um, up to the throwing up part.

And Mark is seeing a counselor now as well.  That makes me feel SO insecure.  I am just SURE she is telling him your wife is a mess, dump her, she is this, she is that, but he said no, it's all about him working on making himself happy, which I know he has not been happy for a long time.  He doesn't allow himself to be.  I've always known that.  Oh, and they talked about sex.  I *did* prod him about that.  She told him some people are just not very sexual, and that's true.  I told him I've done everything he's said that he feels like he's missing, and the frequency that he wants, I thought I'd done everything he had asked or complained about, I didn't know why he was still unhappy.  But I guess it was because he felt I didn't WANT to do those things, it was a chore.  Sigh.  Sometimes you can't win.  At least it's not the last counselor, where they would gang up on me and tell me to be more sexual, learn to enjoy it more, I had a problem, what was wrong with me, read this book and that book and blah blah.  Oh my God that made me feel so inferior, that whole experience.

So...getting better but very, very sensitive, VERY.  The least little thing will unexpectedly put me in tears.

Psychiatrist Appt, and the Cycle Continues

I saw my psychiatrist last night - she was SO nice, she fit me in, the same day, at 8:00p.  She increased my Latuda and we went over what she wanted me to take as far as the Lamictal increase.  I have no idea why, but it was very hard for me to understand.  She was telling it to me, but I couldn't comprehend it.  She wrote it down for me, and I read it, and I still wasn't getting it.  She had written it down two different ways, so she crossed out one of the ways and had me read it back to her, and then I thought I understood.  Something so simple, reading the dosage amounts of medications to take, although to be fair, it was 1 and a quarter of this for one week, then one and a half for the next week, then one and a half of that of another medication, it wasn't like "take one of this and one of that". But still, not that complicated, yet maybe it was, I don't know. 

She agreed with my therapist - no, I should not start school July 9th, I needed to work on getting well.  Yet...wouldn't it help with my self confidence to start school and prove to myself that I am capable?  Although, doing ANYTHING at all overwhelms me.  I canceled my 8 week check up with my GYN yesterday and I'm about to call and reschedule the grooming appointment for my dog.  I just can't deal.

I go back to see her in a week.  I think she wants to be sure I am taking what I am supposed to be taking honestly because I had such a hard time comprehending what I was supposed to be doing, and I guess to check up on how I am doing.  I had originally misunderstood her on my first appointment so...we're already off to a bad communication start.  She's a good psychiatrist, she really listens, perhaps it's me. 

I still feel really, really sad and the weird thing is, my stomach hurts so much.  Maybe it's anxiety but it feels physical like super bad constipation or something, like up to my ribs.  I get the two confused often - physical illness and anxiety.  I will get the stomach flu and think I have horrible anxiety until I start throwing up and then I realize I am sick.  I was getting dizzy and felt sick to my stomach in the waiting room while waiting for my appointment last night and sent a text to Mark, and he said that sounded like anxiety.  I hadn't considered that.  I really don't understand anything at all.

So my therapist says what I feel is chemical, but you know, when you're so very depressed, does it really matter if it is or isn't chemical?  I still feel what I feel.  Sure, I can tell myself "this isn't real, this is a chemical imbalance", but how exactly does that take away the sadness, the crying, the feeling of hopelessness?  Does it change how you feel about yourself, your situation, the world in general?  No.  Saying "this isn't real" doesn't help, but...having hope that it's chemical and can be treated I suppose does. 

Like I said, I have a horrible stomach ache.  Mark just called on the way to work and said maybe I should go to the doctor about my stomach.  I guess when he kissed me goodbye he said I winced like I was in a lot of pain.  Well, he kissed me on the cheek, that's not where I'm in pain, so I don't understand that, but yes, my stomach really hurts.  I told him I would take a klonipin and see if it was anxiety and he reminded me I took klonipin to go to bed last night and it still hurt and I realized he was right.  I think I'll try some laxatives and see if it's constipation.  It's not like I have appendicitis or anything life threatening, my stomach just really hurts, but not unbearably so.  It really still could have something to do with my emotions or...I'm just backed up.

Who ever knows why you feel the way you do???

Okay, So I'm Depressed, I Get That Now.

Since my last post, I guess what I wrote towards the end, I've been crying and I just can't stop.  Is therapy really a good thing?  To hear things about yourself that you really don't want to hear, that make you sad, that you don't want to believe, like someone telling you that you're too hard on yourself when you don't think you're hard ENOUGH on yourself and you don't want to ease up even more than what you already are?

I'm already a loser, I'm too hard on myself, seriously?  How could a loser possibly be too hard on themselves?  Shouldn't they be more hard on themselves to get it together?  I just don't understand at all, not at all!

I am SO sad, SO confused, SO lost, I don't understand anything at all.  I just don't want to be here, I want to disappear.  I want my life to be different, I thought it would be different.  This is not what I wanted at all.  Everything is a mess and I don't know how to put it all back together.  Yet, from the outside, it probably looks like I have a pretty good life.  I don't, not at all.  Yet, I can't point to anything and say...THIS - THIS is awful, like I'm being abused or something.  No, nothing like that at all.

My therapist said it's the chemicals in my brain, they're not right yet, I have to give it some time from missing my Lamictal for so long, and it will take awhile.  I told her it is SO, SO very lonely to have a mental illness, I felt so very alone because I have no one to talk to about it. 

At first I thought she didn't understand me, she wasn't listening, because she said I was plopped from one state to another where I didn't know anyone, and that's NOT what I meant.  But then I remembered she started talking about how NO one has "perfect" brain chemistry, everyone has a chemical imbalance, and if they say they don't, if they say they never get depressed or anything, they are lying, and if they actually believe it, it will come back and bite them in the butt one day.  She then told me a story about her son having anxiety and on medication.  So, I guess she was saying, no, not guess, she actually DID say, I'm not alone having a mental illness because EVERYONE has a chemical imbalance, that I'm no different than ANYONE, and not to think of myself that way.  Right?  That's what she way saying?   

Okay, I took 2 klonipin because I really was hysterically crying and could not stop and feel a bit better now. 

Thank you dear blog for always listening.  I'm so glad I have you.  I have absolutely no one else that I could ever tell these things to and bare my soul to the way that I do to you.

I Just Don't Know What To Title This

I saw my therapist yesterday and just started out by telling her I didn't think I was doing well.  I mean, I'm not that I'm depressed really, I just...I have no motivation, I'm so tired, emotionally, physically, I can't always think properly, I'm not interested in much, and I didn't tell her this, but all of this lack of motivation makes me very anxious, yet...I don't have enough motivation even with having anxiety about it to do anything.

I JUST started returning phone calls from people that had been calling me on Monday.  I wasn't even listening to voicemails.  I couldn't deal with it.  The Pella saleslady came over and we went through the details AGAIN with the doors, I changed several things and I didn't realize a lot of things and she acted like she had told me on that day.  She asked me, "So were you just having an off day that day?" meaning the day she came when we originally ordered the doors.  My therapist said when I came in last week, I was off - I wasn't able to come up with words I wanted to say and I realized that was true.  The day after therapy is when I had gone out with Mark's friends and I couldn't even remember the street my last school had been on that I walked a mile on every day - all I could remember was it started with an M!  His friend who works nearby starting naming streets in that area and he finally said the right one and I said - yes!  That's it! therapist said I was more aware yesterday, more in the present or I don't know how she put it exactly.  That Lamictal withdrawal was brutal, and I'm still not back to where I was.  She asked about school and I told her when it started and I had so much to do to enroll and I felt overwhelmed and she said you have to start on July 9th??  No, you can not do that, that is too soon.  You can not go to school right now.  I panicked.  HOW could I not go to school?  What was she saying? 

I started crying.  She didn't understand, was I to sit home AGAIN, what was I doing with my life?  Yes, I know I'm not doing well, physically, mentally, emotionally, in any form at all, but I can't just put my life on hold.  It doesn't work that way.  You push on - you do what you have to do, you become successful, however you need to do it, be better than you are today, or at least work on achieving it and I've already sat out a quarter for surgery.

She asked if she were an airline pilot and was very tired, should she go ahead and fly a plane or rest up until she was able?  I mean I guess that's a good analogy, I don't know.  Does her family need food on the table?  I need more information, but I said rest.  Then she said I was too hard on myself, I put too much pressure on myself and we needed to work on that as well as I needed to get well first.

I alternated from being okay with it to freaking out and crying about it.  She asked if anyone was putting pressure on me to go to school right now.  I told her no, actually Mark said he was okay if I wanted to stay home.  But I never know what he really means, when he is just saying what he thinks I want to hear or what would be a nice thing to say is versus what he really believes or wants.  I don't think he thinks it is okay for me to be going to school for the next ten years, and I don't want to either.  He even said he needs to see a counselor, I think over our sexual relationship, he has a problem with it, I don't know, I just feel like I'm such a bad person in so many ways.  He has a really, really stressful job right now, like, VERY.  Like, there is no way I could live his work life.

So...I came home with a heavy heart.  I had to tell Mark what she said and see how he reacted, if he would be upset, disappointed, hurt, whatever.  I talked to him on the phone on the way home, but I wanted to tell him in person, to see the reaction on his face.

He was sitting at the breakfast table when I got home, and I sat down.  He asked how therapy went and I took a deep breath, and told him what she said about school and why.  He agreed that I was much too hard on myself and that it was okay not to go to school next quarter.  I really don't remember the rest of the conversation.  I made some dinner for myself, ate part of it and then started getting out my medication for the night.

I was standing at the kitchen island with my medication and a glass of water and just lost it, crying,  crying loudly and couldn't stop.  I had to keep myself from just kneeling on the floor and laying my head down to sob.  Mark had gone into the garage to take the trash out and I had really tried to stop crying, at least audibly, by the time he came in, but I just couldn't.  I felt I let him down, myself down, everyone down.  He came in and started rubbing my shoulders and I don't know what he said but he was trying to make me feel better so I didn't want him to feel bad and stopped crying but I really didn't feel better.

What am I doing with my life?  Nothing I've ever done has been good enough - especially now.  I can't even get it together enough to go to school?  REALLY?  REALLY?  I remember coming home from school as a kid, and no matter what grades I got, they were NEVER good enough, never.  Maybe one time, ONCE, I was told good job about school.  Otherwise, never good enough.  Nothing I did ever was.  Nothing I do ever is. 

I can't run fast enough.  I'm not thin enough.  I can't keep the house clean enough, or my car clean enough, my hair isn't thick enough, my husband is never happy about our sexual relationship and I try, I really do, I'm just not that sexual of a person, I don't know why, but he complains so much and I don't know what to do.  I just feel so lazy, staying home all the time, I don't even turn on the television all day long, I just play games on my phone, in a daze, all day.  I take a shower before he comes home.  Go to the grocery store when needed and sometimes put that off.  I haven't even folded the clothes, and I did laundry three days ago.

I just can't get it right!  I'm just not good enough!  Why can't people see that?  I'm not being hard on myself at all - it's just that...I'm really not that good at all, I can't live up to anyone's expectations, I'm not capable and it's really, really hard.  It's hard when you want to do your best, you want to not only achieve your goals and everyone else's, but you can't even meet your own minimum daily expectations.

I don't know what to do.  I'm at a total loss here.  I don't know where my life is going, it's headed nowhere's like I don't even care, I can't even find the motivation.  I don't feel sorry for myself I just feel...helpless.   And I guess I feel very sad about that.    

I'm so tired...

Once again, I'm left with a big question mark about what is wrong with me.  I am so very tired, I can go to bed and sleep for hours during the day - to the point where I wake up during a dream, and that is so NOT LIKE ME.  Even after my surgery, I would get tired and would WANT to go to sleep, but could not.  I would think it would be good for me, go to bed and just lay there, not able to sleep.

But since I ran out of Lamictal for 3-4 days, however long it was and started back again, then went out and drank too much that I was vomiting and had a hangover until 5pm the next day, then slept the whole NEXT day, I don't know what is wrong with me!

How is a person supposed to know these things?  Am I depressed and am just wanting to sleep my life away?  Yet I am PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTED.  I don't just feel like I want to hide away, there are things I want to do, I'm just too tired.  I have no energy to walk up and down the stairs, to take a shower, to get dressed, even to make lunch - I'll just eat crackers out of a box.  I'm mean that's really freaking lazy!

I need to enroll for school, I do want to go to school yet I am very anxious about being behind, but at the same time...I am SO TIRED!  Will I be able to make it to school every day?  I mean, right now, I can't even return a simple phone call!  That overwhelms me, and it's just details about the doors we ordered so they can start building them.  Yes, I know, why do doors have to be so complicated that this is the third time I've had to go over details now, why do doors have to be built and take 4-6 weeks to be delivered and installed get what you pay for I suppose, which is exactly WHY they are calling me, even calling my husband to tell them I won't call them back, emailing me, annoying the FRICK out of me, and I have no idea why I can't just call them and tell them what they need.  Maybe it's because I don't have the energy to have the conversation, to make decisions that I don't know.

OMG my phone just had a warning?  Did I install something weird?  Tornado warning, seek shelter immediately?  Will report back soon...

Where Do People Go?

I've often wondered why people with depression or bipolar disorder don't keep blogs.  Yes, there are a LOT of blogs by people with depression or who have bipolar disorder, but they don't keep them.  Eventually the vast majority get abandoned.  I used to keep a blogroll of my favorite blogs about people's personal journeys through their mental illnesses, but I was constantly having to remove people because they would stop writing.

In the beginning, I would really worry about it.  What happened to these people?  Were they okay?  I would send emails to the addresses they listed in their blogs and never received replies.  I was left wondering if they got bored with writing, if someone they knew found out about their blog, and of course the one that haunted me, if they took their own lives.  How would I ever know?  Something inspired them to write in the first place, they were feeling something so strongly that they had to get it out at that particular time - had it passed and they no longer needed the outlet?  Or...had they succumbed to their demons?

Sometimes strange things will happen.  Someone in Mark's family will say a curious thing and will make me wonder if they have found my blog.  If they have, is it so personal that they would not tell me?  Or even Mark?  I think it's paranoia, I've had this for years and years now and no one has suspected anything, or at least told me they have.  Mark may have found it had he not already known about it, but I told him about it years ago.  Apparently he read something about himself in it that really hurt his feelings and decided never to read it again.  I would say I didn't believe him but...he does really seem clueless about what I write about, how I feel, at least to the level that I describe here.

Perhaps others have a good support system where they can talk about their feelings and I do not.  I do not tell people I am bipolar, that I have ever been depressed, that I have any sort of mental illness.  Maybe I need a support group, I don't know.  All I do know is that right now just to talk to my new therapist about any past family issue is extremely difficult for me.  She brings it up slyly, I quickly answer the question and change the subject.  She said we could go at my pace, that I don't trust people, but yet, this snail's pace is pretty ridiculous!

I'm Not 20 Anymore!

We went to this REALLY gorgeous place last Friday night to see a concert.    It was Mark and I with two other couples and we sat on the lawn, drinking wine, beer, there was cheese, not sure what else.  I hadn't had dinner and didn't bring food, just 3 bottles of wine and beer for everyone, but they had all thought to bring their own alcohol as well which is very important in this story.

I was having a LOT of fun, and I believe they were too.  I have done things with these people before, they are not strangers, and as I was drinking wine, my inhibitions started going down.  Mark said I didn't say anything embarrassing or anything regretful, but you never know.  I was really just have an awesome time.  The weather was absolutely perfect, this place is so beautiful for a concert - people sit on the lawn and bring picnics, short tables with tablecloths, I guess even candelabras for the symphonies.  For me, I was just shocked you were even allowed to bring in glass bottles! : )

It's either people that Mark hangs out with, or people in Chicago in general, but they drink - and drink A LOT.  Mark warned me before me moved here not to even try to keep up with them, that even he couldn't do it.  But a few of us were walking around and one of them saw a certain kind of shot that they wanted us to try, so I said sure!  We went back, and someone else wanted to try it too, so I went with them as well and had another one.  On top of that, I drank a bottle of wine and half of another.  That is WAAAAY more than my usual one to two glasses of wine on the weekend during dinner and not an empty stomach. 

Eventually it caught up with me.  I started heading towards the bathroom.  The first time Mark and one of the girls came with me, but I just sat leaned over a public toilet and nothing happened, so I went back.  The second time, I tried to sneak away but the girl happened to see me and came with me and that time - success.  Or failure?  Whichever it was, what needed to come up came up.  We came out of the bathroom and Mark was waiting for us.  I put my arms around both of them and realized I couldn't even get close to walking a straight line. 

Mark grabbed our things, he said the concert was over anyway, and I do not remember leaving, just being in the car in the parking lot, opening the door with people watching, and getting sick again.  The ride home was horrible.  I got home, peeled my clothes off that I found scattered across the bedroom floor the next day and went to bed, but got up several times that night to get sick.

Mark had to go to work the next morning, and I was STILL sick, STILL throwing up.  I remember him coming to the bed, and said two things to me:  Do not forget to take your medications, you did not take them before you went to bed.  The second was if you need to drive, the keys are (I can't remember where he said).  I had met him in my car where he works so my car is STILL there.  He took his convertible to work so I would have something to drive.

He actually came home early that day - maybe around noon because I was so sick.  I hadn't called him or anything, I was completely miserable.  But he didn't need to come home - a hangover is a hangover.  However, I realize now I'm not in my 20's anymore.  I don't bounce back like I used to.  I didn't roll out of bed until 5 p.m.!!!  In the past, I would have been okay around noon, and who knows, I may have gone out that same night! 

Of COURSE I'm embarrassed beyond belief to get so drunk around Mark's friends, but he's totally okay with it, and reminded me of how many times I've seen his friends get absolutely plastered.  It's true, I have, and they do.  And the girl was so incredibly nice to take care of me - she didn't have to do that.  Or Mark - to wait for me by the bathroom door when I didn't even tell him I was leaving or what I was doing and why. 

I have sworn off alcohol SO many times.  I've spent nights in the bathroom promising God, myself, anyone and everything if I would just feel better I would never drink again.  So what happens?  Why do I forget those times? 

I had such a good time but...was it worth the pain?  I don't know.  I have such few good times with friends doing things, it's hard to say now that I feel so much better. 

Not 25 mg - 200!!! Oh no!

I'm an idiot.  I wrote down the wrong dosage of Lamictal and gave it to my new psychiatrist, but hopefully she has my chart from my old psychiatrist by now.  I am taking 200mg of Lamictal, not 25.  So he was always wanting me to take *400* daily, and it was the second 200 I could never remember to take.  When I felt a bit manic, I would take an extra 200 in the mornings until I felt better. 

So now, I have a new prescription coming in the mail eventually for doubling of my Lamictal - to from 25 to 50mg.  UGH!  It should be to 400!

That extra little 0 makes a big difference!  I guess my body isn't as sensitive as I thought it was!

How Long Was I Messed Up?

Wow, I keep seeing how far back I was "out of it".  The Pella contract guy came to measure our doors to make sure that what we had ordered on Saturday was going to be the correct measurements.  There was one detail that had been bothering me about what I *thought* I remembered the representative saying and it was something I did not want. 

We went outside to look at the outside of the back door, and I asked him what color that was going to be.  He said white.  I told him "No, no, no, no, NO!".  Oh my God that would be hideous.  I told him what color it needed to be and he agreed - it was the same color as the trim and all of our window frames AND, would match the back of the house!  The door would have been the only white thing on the house!  I mean, can you say "duh"?

I would never, ever have agreed to that in my right mind.  I am so surprised that the Lamictal withdrawals started THAT FAR BACK, although Mark told me he thought it had.  He said I was acting very, very weird while the representative was here, like I didn't care what we got, if we even got new doors at all.  But I didn't recognize my lack of caring at all. 

Then we went to the front door, and I was quizzing him about EVERYTHING, every tiny detail.  The handle of the inside door?  SO very wrong, it would not have matched the handles of all of the rest of the door handles in the house - brushed nickel!  But you know, now that I'm thinking about it, I do remember questioning the representative about that - telling her that is what I wanted, but regardless, that is not what was listed, and I can't say for certain what I did or said.  I simply WAS NOT PRESENT, but I realize that now.

So maybe I was off Lamictal longer than I thought.  Maybe it was more like 4 or 5 days, I actually do not know for sure.  I still think it was 3 days, but...maybe it was 4.  All I know is, do NOT stop Lamictal cold turkey!

And for anyone reading this who is going through Lamictal withdrawals or wondering if there is Lamictal withdrawals, yes, there are!  And I was only taking 25mg - which my previous psychiatrist had questioned if that was enough to be therapeutic but...I kept forgetting to take the other half that he wanted me to take.  So if I took as much as I read most people take - 200mg?  OMG, I can't EVEN imagine what that would be like.  To go cold turkey off 200  mg for as long as I have been taking it, I think I would want to be hospitalized - seriously.  That stuff is NO JOKE. 

I have a therapy appointment today but I am still pretty emotional, not in a great place.  Happy today, but...just not prepared to talk about anything deep.  I do NOT trust my emotions right now.  Mark said last night "Your medicine should be working by now, right?  How long have you been taking it?"  Are you kidding me?  I said "Maybe a little longer than 24 hours?  Really?  You think psychiatric medications work in 24 HOURS??"  And he replied oh yeah, that's not long enough, but they DO have half lifes so it's not like it's going to take the normal amount of time.  Okay, WHATEVER.  Sounds like wishful thinking that his wife will not be a basket case for long, but denial won't help either. 

Sure, I totally get that he wants me to get better, be back to my normal self, whatever normal is for me, but he's GOT to be patient.  Yes, I messed up, but I learned a lesson.  Don't f-up on your psychiatric medication.  Totally not worth it, and I had absolutely no reason not to get it filled!  Just stupid procrastination!

Road to Recovery

I think I'm starting to understand why Mark just doesn't, or didn't understand how horrible I felt yesterday with Lamictal withdrawals.  Since I was so disconnected from the world and felt completely emotionless, when I talked to him on the phone, I'm sure it sounded like I didn't care about anything, because I didn't.  Yes, I did try to describe and explain to him how I felt, but I wouldn't have made it sound like I cared much, because I just didn't feel anything.  It was pure mental hell, torture, but I didn't have the ability to express emotion about it, any type of anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, so that must be very confusing to him.  I know I told him I was concerned, maybe scared, but probably followed it up with I really don't care though, it doesn't matter or something, making it sound like it was no big deal because...I didn't feel anything about anything. 

But once the medication started kicking in, UGH, it smacked me in the face with what I just went through, how awful and horrible it was, how I was trapped mentally in a prison.  Then emotions were overwhelming, to go from feeling nothing to feeling ANYTHING, and to go from not being able to focus or even the ability to hear sounds fully to being able to focus on my surroundings and hear the things around me was sensory overload.  Everything was too loud, lights were too bright, anger was quick, sadness and hurt feelings came easily.  Mark said I was being impossible last night when he came home and I was basically following him around asking questions, interrogating him, telling him he felt this way about me, that way about me, he didn't understand this or that about me, he was doing this or that all wrong, saying everything wrong to me.

Now...I just feel...exhausted, mentally and physically.  But there are a lot of things I need to get done today.     

And I need to stop writing posts!  I think I've said quite enough on this matter now!

Lamictal - What a Hell

I wrote half of this last night, and finished up the other half this morning.  So part of it I am feeling better than the first half...

I'm slowly improving from my Lamictal withdrawal symptoms.  I think my body went through a lot today, it does NOT feel well at ALL.  It feels like it went through hell, I feel like I'm getting over the flu or something, I feel pretty awful.  I thought it was completely mental, but apparently my mental anguish was so extreme that it overwhelmed whatever was going on with my physical body because my body sure does feel like it went through something rough.

I'm just now noticing I'm no longer verbally saying each word as I type it, so that's good - my focus must be much, much better.  I'm watching television now and following along. 

As I think I said in my million posts today, my relationship with my dog suffered quite a bit today, he sensed something was different with me and kept away from me.  Without meaning to, I was absent-mindedly pushing him away when he would get close to me and who knows what else I was doing!  Of COURSE nothing cruel, I love him to death, just not my normal smothering him with love type behavior I'm sure.  I was completely in a fog.  He was in the master bedroom where he hoards all of his favorite treats and toys and I heard what I thought was vomiting so I ran up there to make sure he was okay.  I have never ever seen him do this before, but my little 6 pound dog who is afraid of his own shadow growled at me like a rabid dog and was trying to bite me!  He was actually trying to jump up and bite my hand, I guess so I couldn't hurt him?    Why would he think that?  We adopted him from a shelter, I wonder if he was abused.  I guess, I mean I have no idea, but perhaps he didn't know how to read me today.  As I've been coming around, he has kept so close to me and he keeps licking me like he's so happy I love him again, I feel really, really bad.  I would never hurt him, but it hurts me that he would try to attack me like that, but I feel like he was scared of me, he seemed panicked and didn't want me near him and got worse as I tried to approach him.  He didn't lunge at me, he would only get aggressive when I tried to get near him or he perceived I was going to put my hand down to touch him, as if he was protecting himself.  Wow, what kind of vibe was I sending out???  

**This morning**

Mark keeps making me mad, I'm just incredulous at the things he is saying.  He got home yesterday, and the mud room where the washer and dryer are is one of the first things you see as you come in through the garage door, and he said "I guess you didn't get around to folding the laundry?"  Are you KIDDING me?   I said "so you have NO IDEA how bad I've felt today?"  At that time I had grown very emotional, I think just feeling any emotion was overwhelming compared to feeling no emotion. 

This morning, he saw that the padded envelopes we had bought on Sunday so I could send my running watch back to the manufacturer to repair were still on the table, and he said "so you didn't get around to sending your watch yesterday?". WHAT the HELL?  I asked him if he really thought I would have been able to drive?  He really had no idea how bad I felt, how I couldn't even view the world around me?  He then said I misunderstood him, he was trying to show empathy, but that doesn't sound like empathy to me.  It keeps sounding like he thought I was just laying around, being lazy yesterday.  I was being mentally tortured, and apparently physically as well because my body feels horrible today and my brain and emotions are still not normal.  I am very quick to get angry, but he is insulting me, he has absolutely no idea bad that was, even though I tried my best to explain it, it was absolutely debilitating.

I really think it would be better for me to just hang around the house again today recuperating, but it would appear that would not be okay with my husband.  I'm pretty emotional, maybe from the lack of a mood stabilizer, maybe it's overwhelming from a lack of emotions, no clue.

Now I can tell he's walking on egg shells, being careful what he says to me, acting chirpy, kind of fake nice and happy towards me.  I know I'm snapping at him, but he really has not been getting it at all.  I haven't even TRIED to explain how I am NOW feeling, like I've been run over by a truck, my ears hurt and sound hurts, so very, very strange, and yes, emotional.  What's the point?  He won't understand anyway.   

Lamictal Withdrawal Take 4 -Slight Improvement

It was just a few moments ago, but I looked up for a moment and realized I was able to focus.  The Lamictal I took when it arrived must be kicking in.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still very....ill?  Disconnected?  I'm still verbally saying every word as I type it to focus on what I'm writing, but just to be able to actually see and not have the world be blurry is a step in the right direction.  But a conversation with a stranger would not be a good idea, my normal level of caring is not back, but it's hard to judge, when you've been so far from normal, what was normal like?

I called to tell my husband I thought I was starting to improve, and he said now you know what it's like to be me, to feel disconnected.  Uhhhhhh....that would be a big NEGATIVE!!!  He would not be able to hold down a job if he felt the way I do and did!  I really had tried hard to explain it, and I know he has told me he feels disconnected at times, but I must have not been able to describe it to him properly at ALL. 

It is a very hard thing to describe.  I suppose I could tell him to read my blog and he knows it exists and the web address, but I thought I had already explained it.  Guess not or he just doesn't get it.  Or it's impossible to understand unless you have felt it, maybe it doesn't sound bad at all unless you have gone through it, like someone not possibly being able to understand being depressed, I mean to point of being suicidal, unless they have been there.  How do you describe that level of darkness?  Both are feelings so intense that they are beyond words.  I know that sounds weird, a feeling of being disconnected and being emotionless as being intense, is, it was, I'm saying it was because it is improving, ever so slightly.

I never EVER want to go through this again, it is horrible, awful, debilitating.  I wish Lamictal withdrawal was something I could throw up and get it over with, or least feel normal for a period of time. 

No Lamictal - Day 3 - Take 3, Hurt

Still Day 3, Lamictal Withdrawals just a mere few hours from my last post .  I would now prefer the Adderall withdrawal days.  With that, I just felt sheer bodily exhaustion.  This is worse.  So very, very hard to explain.  I will attempt, do my very best to finish this entry.  I wanted to describe how I feel, yet...I keep rubbing my face with my hands, trying to focus, get concentration, think what I need and want to say, I'm actually having to say the words verbally as I type them.  I'm pulling at my hair.  Tugging at my face, anything to stimulate myself, maybe prove my existence? 

Like the song Hurt by Trent, NIN, or yes, okay, the remake by freaking Johnny Cash that people seemed to just LOVE but it was really Trent's song.  "I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel I...focus on the pain, the only thing that's real."

I remember I used to listen and cry to this song, but now...I listen to it and feel nothing, I have no idea why NOW it describes exactly how I am feeling nothing.  This is the only version I could find of Trent singing it, his original on the Downward Spiral is so much darker, it would be so much more how I feel, but it still is pretty close to how I feel, except he had to change what was his ORIGINAL words, which was "my empire of SHIT".

Wow, I think my emptiness may suddenly be turning a bit more towards kind of an anger.  No, not really.  He just needed to say shit instead of darts or whatever the hell he said.  And this is not quite fitting for my mood - a charity tribute to Johnny Cash on CMT.  What the freak ever.

Hurt - NIN - Trent Reznor  
I hurt myself today,
To see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain,
The only thing that's real.
The needle tears a hole,
The old familiar sting;
Try to kill it all away,
But I remember everything.

What have I become,
My sweetest friend?
Everyone I know,
Goes away in the end.
You could have it all,
My empire of dirt.
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt...

I wear this crown of shit,
Upon my liar's chair,
Full of broken thoughts,
I cannot repair.
Beneath the stains of time,
The feelings disappear.
You are someone else,
I am still right here.

What have I become,
My sweetest friend?
Everyone I know,
Goes away in the end.
And you could have it all,
My empire of dirt,
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.

If I could start again,
A million miles away,
I would keep myself,
I would find a way.

Lamictal Withdrawal - Day 3, Part 2

WOW, even just since my last post, I've deteriorated quite a bit.  I'm starting to get it, just the tiny bits of what I read people going through this wrote, how it was described as a kind of withdrawal from hell, just from a hell I've never known.  The world is becoming blurry, physically blurry, like I'm not able to focus on it, I'm not a part of it.  Lamictal withdrawal is so, so strange.  I'm trying to very hard to PRETEND I care, to be a part of just...being here.  The world almost doesn't exist.  I'll suddenly realize I have both palms of my hands on the temples of my head, just trying to FOCUS, just to concentrate on being here.  I'm now trying to pay more attention to how I am treating my dog because he was staying away from me, and I actually AM carelessly pushing him away, in an emotionlessly way.  Compared to how loving and doting I am on him, how I absolutely smother him in love and kisses and hugs, it's got to be so confusing to him and really hurt his feelings.  I am trying SO VERY HARD to act loving and caring now towards him, towards my husband, but I actually don't FEEL anything.  I just don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  But at least now my dog isn't hiding from me, he is on the couch with me.  I had to give him one of his favorite treats to bribe him, though, and I keep hugging him and giving him my normal little kisses.  It's hard to try to remember to do it though.

And again, I took my double dosage, as increased by my new psychiatrist a few hours ago.  I just have no idea when it will kick in.  God help me if this continues and worsens into Day 4.

Lamictal Withdrawal - But I Couldn't Care Less.

A major flaw of mine is that I am a huge procrastinator.  Of course it's not something I like about myself, but I used to be so much worse, or maybe I just think that because Mark has taken over most of what I used to procrastinate the most about or has created strict schedules on tasks that are the worst for me, like laundry which I do not allow him to do.  He does not believe that separating colors is necessary, or maybe he only says that so he doesn't have to do laundry.

I knew I was running out of Lamictal at least two weeks ago as I get a 90 day supply at a time and can re-order a month in advance since my insurance company requires me to use mail order on medication that is used for more than two months.  As I was taking the next to last dosage, I re-ordered and chose next day delivery, naively thinking I would get it the next day.  No, there was a few days of processing time.  I have never, in the many years I've taken Lamictal, skipped a day, or if I did, it must have only been one day.  This time, it has been three days I believe.

I didn't think there would be any withdrawals, but beginning yesterday, I knew something was different about me.  Mark finally bought what he has typically always had - his "toy" - a second car, a sports car.  It's very "cute", although the guys at the car dealership laughed at me when I called a Dodge Viper "cute".  He's had so many sports cars - Mercedes AMGs, BMW M3's, Porches, I could go on.  So this is just the next new thing on the list to explore.

Normally in his convertibles I don't like to ride in them because I hate my hair blowing all over the place.  Yesterday, I didn't care.  Whatever.  I tied a leopard print scarf in my hair sort of like a headband with the ends hanging below in the back and actually thought it was cute.  I have no idea if I looked ridiculous but felt kind of 1930's or 40's'ish.  Threw on some sunglasses and was good to go.  I wasn't even looking to see if people were looking at us.  Didn't care, felt nothing except it was nice to be out on a warm, sunny day for a change in a city that is typically a cold tundra.

But today, WOW.  I am SO disconnected from everything.  I care about nothing.  I don't want to watch television because I don't know if I could follow the storyline, and I certainly wouldn't care about anything I would watch.  I'm completely and utterly emotionless, like a zombie.  I feel absolutely nothing. 

Even my dog can tell something is up.  He keeps kind of crying, maybe because I dote on him constantly, but today, it's not in me.  Right now I have no idea where he is, I think he is hiding from me, maybe he has hurt feelings.  I even forgot he was outside for about 30 minutes.  Of COURSE I love and adore my dog, but I'm not cuddling him like I normally do, but it's not like I'm pushing him away or anything.  I am paying attention to all of his needs obviously.  I guess he is a very, very spoiled dog, or at least everyone says so that comes to the house.  I have no idea why they say that though.  But in my opinion, you can't spoil a good dog.  And I've never had a dog that has loved me more than that little creature.

I'm so emotionless, I've removed a ton of friends on Facebook, and while I'm not really annoyed because I don't care about anything, I find it interesting that when I go to my "friends" Facebook doesn't show me ALL of my friends.  There was one person I remembered I was friends with and had thought about removing, but hadn't seen her to remove and thought "Oh good, she removed me".  Ha!  Not even a moment of feeling rejected, although there are SO many people I could care less about which is why I was doing it in the first place.  I typed in her name in the search box and no, we were still friends, so I removed her.  I was disappointed I couldn't remove more than 20 people, but whatever.  You know?  Just whatever, I can't change it, so, who cares.

I never post anything political on Facebook either, not about an opinion one way or the other at least because I don't want to offend anyone, but yesterday I did because you know?  I don't give a rat's ass about what people think, if they unfriend me because they don't agree with what I have to say.  I don't like the fact the government is collecting information on everything I do.  Right now, ha, I don't especially feel the need to do anything about it, but my cousin posted a little video about why just because you're not "doing anything wrong" means there's nothing to worry about is not true, so sure, I'll pass it along because it was a damned good video.  And it was by the ACLU and I know even just THAT will piss people off.

See?  I don't even normally use curse words in blog posts or even when I speak.  But right now, I don't give a damn, I was almost going say I don't give a shit, but I would never say that, it sounds trashy, although right now, I don't care how I sound to anyone.

I just don't care.

Not even about this post.  The only reason I am writing it is because I know I will think later on it is important to document my withdrawal symptoms from Lamictal, that is one of many reasons for my blog, so, it's really just a duty.

That is all.  You may have read to this point or not.  I'm not really here, it doesn't really matter, the world doesn't really exist to me right now.  I am just inside of myself and everything around me is blurry. 

I was supposed to go enroll for school today but...go to school, go to work, make something of myself?  Eh, who cares, I can't possibly muster the energy right now.

Mark asked if I minded if he had a couple of beers with some friends after work tonight, and I'm glad he is doing something with his friends, I always encourage that, and tonight is a perfect night for that.  I totally don't care, and it really is not a good night for him to be around me.  I even told him to stay out as long as he wanted - that is SO not me.  I usually ask him what time he thinks he will be home.

He said it was really weird, he had been busy all day, but usually when he checks his phone, he has several texts from me, and today, there was none.  After I told him I was feeling really disconnected but I hadn't figured out the reason yet, I was just thinking it was really weird, he said no wonder, but how he thought it was so strange.  That is what made me look up withdrawal symptoms from Lamictal on the internet and saw it ALL OVER THE PLACE - disconnection, feeling emotionless.

People described it being withdrawal from hell.  Have they never been on Effexor where you get dizzy and start puking beginning hour 24 of not taking it and continuing for at least a week?  Or Adderral?  THAT is withdrawal from hell.  Not caring about anything?  I mean seriously...WHO CARES?  Obviously, they care about the withdrawal symptoms - be thankful for at least THAT! : )

My Lamictal has arrived and I doubled what I used to take as my new psychiatrist told me to do.  Mark must not like how I am acting because he is very concerned about when I thought it would start working.  How in the hell do I know?  And why do I care?  It will work when it works, get over it.

First Therapist Appointment!

I had a total melt down and freak out before my counseling appointment yesterday over nothing.  I actually had to take a klonipin just to get myself THERE without totally breaking down!  I was almost in hysterics, crying and crying.  What in the world is wrong with me?  What was I so scared of?  Of course I know the answer to that, but no one can force me to do or say anything I don't want to.

The therapist was very nice, and she held my psychiatrist in such high regard - so much so that she was even surprised I was able to just call and get an appointment to see her.  Yes, my psychiatrist was really awesome, I never could have expected it to go so well, not in a million years, it exceeded any expectations I ever could have had - I mean really? even a therapy dog? But since she WAS so good, and she had told me I would get along with this therapist really well I had high hopes for the therapist.

She did something no therapist has ever done before.  She actually took the time to tell me about HER life, even her personal life.  In the past, I have spent time during sessions trying to figure out a therapist's personal life - are they married?  Do they have kids?  Are they divorced?  Checking for rings on fingers, looking around the office for family pictures, things like that.  I have no idea why they choose not to share anything.  She told me all about her education, her family, her kids, that they were not all perfect, how long she had been married, she still struggled sometimes as well, I mean it's nice to know that someone doesn't always have everything all together, you know?  So now it's like, I won't have to spend any extra energy in sessions with those questions in my mind.  "Is she even married or has she been divorced three or four times?"  But...maybe that's exactly WHY therapists do NOT disclose that information.  Perhaps they have something to hide?  They HAVE been married and divorced three or four times?  Nothing wrong with that, but sure, people would judge them and their advice on that.  And just because you know what to do doesn't mean you are able to apply it, and it doesn't mean you are not a good therapist.

So we got all that out of the way.  Then we just talked, not about deep stuff.  Like, how long I'd been married, how long I've lived here, why I moved, she never even asked about my childhood, parents, abuse, none of that icky stuff.  I did tell her I found it hard to get close to people.  And towards the end I told her I had been scared to come because I was afraid to disclose too much to her and how I would feel about it later.  She said we would go at my pace, however slow that may be.  We did talk about my not having friends, but we didn't delve into it.  She did find it normal for me to find it difficult to make friends in my situation.  She said it would be hard for someone my age without kids, because that's how a lot of women make friends - while their kids are at soccer practice, etc., meeting other women.  And of course I'm not meeting women in the workplace.  And at school, I explained the socioeconomic differences, and she totally understood that, and brought up that probably most people were younger than I am, and she's right, the majority are, and those that aren't don't have any money to do anything, like go to the movies or a concert or whatever. 

She asked about my neighborhood - making friends there, ha!  I've read their catty messages in our neighborhood forums, but didn't tell her about them although I think she noticed my hesitance.  Then she said people have actually moved because of their neighborhood.  We haven't given our neighborhood a chance, and there are social committees that I could join that I haven't even tried, but I didn't mention that to her.     

That reminds me - the therapist didn't even ASK me why I went to a psychiatrist, she didn't ask me what my diagnosis was, which is interesting, because I've actually had more than one therapist refuse to treat me because of my mental illness and it broke my heart every time, like something was really wrong with me.  She did ask me what medications I was taking because obviously I was referred to her by a psychiatrist and she went out of her way to let me know that she even knew what effects most psychiatric drugs have and spent a bit of time on that. Do you know how refreshing that is?  To be treated like a person and not a disease, especially by a therapist?  God bless her. : )   

So...I go again next week.  What we'll talk about, I don't have a clue.  She didn't give me homework except suggested to start jotting down thoughts - even three or four words - if I had any, about how I was feeling, good or bad, on my cellphone in notepad.  I did tell her I wrote, but of COURSE not a blog! every few days, but she seemed to really want me to do the notepad thing on my phone so...okay! Yes ma'am!  Oh, maybe because I can bring my phone into counseling?  No idea!

Why Am I Scared?

Today is my first counseling appointment with the new therapist, and I am really anxious, dreading it, I could cry about it.  I've come to realize that I spend a lot of time and energy pushing people away and the idea of just talking to someone and letting them in again and how it will make me feel afterwards, about myself, how I will perceive they then feel about me, how vulnerable I will feel, how much I will hate myself for it - I'm just not looking forward to it.  I told my husband last night that he is the only person I've stopped pushing away, and he said I was wrong, I try to push him away all the time but he is very stubborn and won't go away.  I asked him how I did that, and he reminded me of the ways I often do that.  I do say things like I'm not good for him or things like that and he would be better off without me, or we don't share common future goals and maybe we would be better off not together, I just never thought about it.  It's just like this feeling comes over me, maybe I want to reject him before he rejects me, get away from him before he hurts me.  I even think about my dog often.  I love and adore him so much, he is the most faithful loving dog I have ever had and I love him more than any pet I've ever had, yet I know one day he won't be with me, he will even hurt me - not intentionally of course, he would never do that, but yet, it will hurt maybe unbearably so.  I just don't let people in, yet I've allowed these two into my heart, my life, and they have the power to hurt me so horribly, so terribly, it's really, really scary to me.  It's so strange - WHY am I crying about it right now?  NOTHING has happened!!! 

I'm terrified of being rejected, yet I feel it all the time, and I don't know if it's imagined, if I'm too sensitive, but I do my share of rejection as well.  Honestly, I don't know who is doing the rejection, other people or me, if it's split down the middle, if I do or say the wrong things?  I'm constantly worried about what I am saying, what I am doing, how I am being perceived, am I good enough?  I really don't feel that I'm good enough for anyone, anything, at any time. 

I'm a mess, I can't even finish this entry.  How can I go to counseling today?  I can't share this with anyone, this is too sensitive, what if I said this and THEN felt rejected?  And I would, no matter what someone said or did, I would, and that would feel even worse. 

But I have to go.  That doesn't mean I have to talk about anything important today.  It's just my first appointment.  But can I get through it without crying?  Without divulging anything that will make me feel vulnerable?  Yet I can't sit there and talk about the weather and anything personal at all will make me feel uncomfortable.  I can talk about my past in a very detached way - that's what years of counseling and several rounds of group therapy learning to talk about "your story" because you grew up being told NOT TO TELL has trained me to do.  Maybe it's seems strange to therapists, that I can talk about it so matter of factly, yet stop me to ask a question about how it makes me feel which makes me think about what I'm saying and not just reciting facts and events, and suddenly, I'm not okay. 

I have no idea when I got so terrified of letting people in, maybe because my ex-boyfriend seemed so perfect, the one right before Mark, and once I got to know him, he became a monster.  Is that it?  I have no idea.  Is it because I feel that eventually everyone hurts me when they go away?  Maybe. 

Is it because I'm a raging lunatic?  Most likely.

For now, I've got to gather the courage to go to one counseling session.  Just one.  Maybe she can help me, maybe she can't.  Maybe I can open up, maybe I won't.  Maybe it is a good decision, maybe it's the worst decision of my life.  I have no idea. 

I would say what have I got to lose but...I feel like I have everything to lose.

Kicking Off The Dirt!

I made an appointment with the therapist that my psychiatrist recommended today, set for Wednesday.  We'll see how this goes.  Not looking forward to it AT ALL.  I've been through this.  I know I will leave feeling I've divulged too much, I said things I shouldn't have said, things other people shouldn't know, I will feel guilt and remorse, that the therapist is judging me and now doesn't like me. I will have to talk about things I do not want to think about, she will make comments that will catch me off guard and you know?  Why do people do this?  Why?  It's torture.

I've been thinking a lot about, symbolically, kicking the dirt off my boots.  Stop thinking about WHY people do things, what I did to them, why they act the way they do, say what they do.  Who cares?  Maybe I did something, maybe I didn't, but I'll never know unless they decide to tell me and I spend waaaay too much time worrying about it.  Kicking the dirt off meaning...just get the thoughts AND the people out of my life that bother me, life is too short and my mental health is too important.

For instance, Mark's mother just has the most bizarre responses to emails and I can't figure them out and have stopped trying.  I actually stopped responded to her emails to both of us and decided she really was meaning to be sending the emails to Mark, not me, but was being polite and including me in the email.  I decided this after I replied, just to her, with a very nice response, upbeat and loving, and her response to me?  "Thanks", not even with punctuation.  So she sent us another email just the other day asking us about our house, if we were all moved in.  SHE asked US.  Like I said, I've stopped responding, so Mark, who doesn't talk about this stuff, it's totally boring to him, told her we had ordered custom furniture and it was coming in very slowly so we have some rooms decorated and some rooms empty and I was redecorating the house until school started.  That's not quite the truth, my life isn't so pampered.  I had surgery and have been recovering, but I don't feel close enough to her to tell her that and told him not to tell her either.  Her response?  So very, very bizarre.  She replied how good the cake was that we sent her for mother's day - very sweet, she could only eat a little at a time, but very good.  So she asks about the house, Mark fills her in, and she makes no comment about it and comes back about cake?

Mark only told her the furniture was custom because she used to go ON and ON about some little Ethan Allen table I've seen that she's had and loves and everyone had to be so careful around it growing up and he thought she would really like to hear about the furniture.  It's not Ethan Allen - we went there even though we liked another place better ONLY because Mark grew up with his mother always talking about her Ethan Allen table and she built the place up so much in his mind!  We didn't like Ethan Allen when we went there and chose another place, but he had to go there to see for himself.

So.  It makes me wonder...yes, I know it's his mother.  Is she not happy for him?  He wasn't bragging - she asked, and if you can't tell your parents what's going on in your life, the good, the bad, I mean what is that?  The woman that took me in when I was 16 - I can only think that is what happened with her.  I was no longer the teenager down the street that needed rescuing from abuse, I had risen above it all and was now in a pretty okay place.  Somehow, that wasn't okay with her.  When they say "misery loves company", that is really, really true. 

Which brings me to my current feelings about facebook.  90% or more of these people I am "friends" with - they have none of my contact information outside of facebook.  No email address, no phone number, no house address, nothing.  That's not a friend.  Had I wanted to stay friends with them, I probably would have.  Yes, I've found long lost family members, very grateful for that, and friends I was very happy to be reunited with.  But mostly...acquaintances I never really knew that well, never cared to know, never was a friend, and don't really care about them now. 

So what is the purpose exactly?  I really don't want to share anything about myself with these people, what I'm doing, who I am, what I like, don't like, where I go, if I'm married, what I look like - have I aged?  Have I gained weight?  Do I have kids?  It's none of their business - it's just morbid curiosity on how someone "turned out".  And same is true about them - I really don't care about them and what they have to share about themselves.

I have nothing to be embarrassed about, but I'm a highly private person if anyone hasn't already been able to tell.  My psychiatrist asked me where I got support for my illness - friends? family?  I told her just my husband (and my blog, but I can't tell her that, how could I write about her then?).  She said so you've told no one?  I told her no, just my husband.  I could tell that wasn't a good answer, but she didn't say so or lecture me or even do anything that would appear to be unapproving - it's just the fact that she asked me that question, "You've told no one?"  But, like I said, she recommended a counselor for me.   There is absolutely no counselor in the world that could get me to divulge my mental illness to people I know.  If there's not a reason, why face unneeded consequences?

Back to facebook.  I think I'm going to deactivate my account.  The people who only know how to contact me through facebook including family members?  We must have never been close if we couldn't even exchange phone numbers or email addresses.  I find that sad.  Yes, it's a two way street, I'm as much to blame.  But facebook shouldn't take the place of *real* friends.  Maybe that's why so many people are deactivating their accounts, I have no idea.

New Psychiatrist!

So far in my new doctor search, I have struck gold since I've moved!  My appointment with my new psychiatrist couldn't have possibly gone any better, I don't think I could have liked her any more than I do. 

When I walked into her office - she had a little dog, JUST like mine, but maybe twice the size, which is still small, since Bailey weighs 6 pounds.  I guess it's a therapy dog?  It was a great conversation starter anyway, but she put him away which made me sad but probably very wise.  I would have talked and gushed and played with the dog all hour which may have been why she put him in his crate.

There had been a very personal questionnaire I had to fill out before I even saw her, and like I said, some questions I just don't know how to answer.  I had been 20 minutes late getting there!  I'm still getting used to traffic here, and even though I don't live in the city, going anywhere here takes twice as long as I expect it to.  Her office was 20 miles away, but it took an hour to get there. 

20 minutes late, then the paperwork took 20 minutes to complete, and I was rushing it!  We chatted for a bit, then she started going over my answers, not in detail, and not every one, just generally.  I told her I didn't really know the answers to all of the questions, but she said there was no right or wrong answer, just a starting point.  YES, that question I mentioned in my last post was on there - "Do you hear voices or see things that are there that other people do not?"  I went ahead and put yes, but she didn't even ask me about it. 

We talked about why I had been going to a psychiatrist, did I agree with my diagnosis, the medications I was on, surgeries I'd had, etc.  She was quite shocked to find out I hadn't been going to a therapist, and a therapist hadn't referred me to her.  She said that's normally how it works. 

Of course I had to talk about all the yucky stuff, but there's only so much you can say in an hour, and I'm not going to volunteer anything that is not asked specifically.  The only thing I did bring up was my basement issue.  She said that was post traumatic stress disorder, but good that I was aware enough to realize what caused it. 

She was very interested in my experience with Latuda - everyone always is!!  She said, as I know, it is still a pretty new drug but that her patients have had overall good experiences with it as well, either no weight gain or some have had weight loss like myself, and do very well on it.  I'm sure not EVERYONE, it's like any psychiatric drug I'm sure.  But I told her of all of the psychiatric drugs I've taken, Latuda by far has been the most positive on my overall mental health.  I haven't needed to change anything since July 2011, when I started it, and haven't had any "emergency appointments" with my psychiatrist since I started it.

She did ask about the mania part of my bipolar - I said I didn't get the "ups" that people do.  I get irritation, but really it's the depression that worries me.  She said it sounded like  I was bipolar 2.  I have no idea.  I don't trust doctors diagnoses anymore.  But lately I've not been trusting them and it's been getting me in trouble.

About Lamictal - only taking the other half when I got irritated until it went away?  She said I didn't need to do that, I didn't have to split it by morning and night.  I should take the full dosage all at once.  Wow, that sounded awesome to me!  To take what I actually need to take ALL THE TIME, not just when I get that horrible irritation?  Well yes, of course I'm going to buy into that!

So that's the only thing she changed of my medication, wrote me all new prescriptions, I go back in two months.  She gave me the name of a therapist that she said she thought I would really like, but I haven't made an appointment yet.  When I got the name I was very excited to start seeing a therapist, but now that it comes down to calling to make the appointment, I feel dread.  Sitting in a room talking about miserable things?  Ugh.  Who wants to do that?  Who likes to do that?  It sounds AWFUL!  It *IS* awful!

I absolutely hate talking about my past to therapists or just about anyone.  I want it to just go away!!  And then I get so emotional, and I don't WANT to get emotional, to get mad again, to get sad again, go through all of that pain again!  And then have them say things like she did that made me start to cry, "You must feel so abandoned." WHY do I really need to hear that and feel bad and all of a sudden feel sorry for myself and start to cry? 

It does not sound pleasant but...I'll call and make an appointment.  Eventually.  I'll try to today.  Try.   

Appointment Tomorrow...

Tomorrow is my first appointment with a new psychiatrist since I left my old one in Texas of 12 years.  I keep going over and over in my head what I am going to say, but really, I have no idea what I will be asked.  I am just going to answer any and all questions as honestly as I possibly can, but I don't really trust doctors.  I found a good family doctor here, as well as a good GYN, and I did some research to find a good psychiatrist, but you never know.  I wish I could have whatever she is going to ask me beforehand so I would have time to think about the answers.  Not being "interviewed" or "diagnosed" by a psychiatrist in 12 years, I don't remember the exact questions, and in that time, they may have changed quite a bit, but I know some require thought, even if they seem like obvious yes or no answers.  "Do you or have you ever heard voices?"  That requires some clarification on their part.  What do they consider "voices"?  Someone in my head telling me to do things or saying things to me, specifically to me, or hearing something that is not there, like a voice on the television or radio that I could swear is on until I visually see it is not?  Those voices don't tell me to do anything, I can't even understand the words.  So are those "voices"?  Maybe doctors should ask people "do you hear voices in your head (because I never think it is INSIDE my head, I always think it is external) speaking words directly to you?" Or...maybe that is why I take a couple of anti-psychotics, who knows?  I'm DEFINITELY not psychotic. 

Mark made a comment that I'm so much easier to live with now.  I wondered about that statement.  Compared to what?  Since when, and how did I used to be?  I know I used to have little freak outs, I would get extremely, extremely angry or insecure about dumb things.  He would go to dinner with clients and I would call him and scream in the phone that I knew he was having an affair, crying and yelling at him.  Okay sure, that would be difficult to live with.  I don't  do that anymore, I totally don't even care and encourage him to go out with his friends, not just for business.  But perhaps that comes with being in a long term relationship.  Or...finding the right medication, no clue. 

But lately, HE is not easy to live with.  He is completely miserable, and I keep telling him, remember when I was depressed, when I came home and cried every day, how hard that was on you?  He won't do anything about it.  I told him he could change his frame of mind or change his situation, he couldn't just DO NOTHING and stay miserable.  I said go to counseling, go to a psychiatrist, DO SOMETHING, because this has been going on for a long, long time and has gotten much worse, but to be fair, his situation at work is not pleasant.  Yes, I have ALL THE EMPATHY IN THE WORLD, but...I get help.  I go the doctor, I take medication every freaking day.  I don't just do nothing and stay miserable and while he has pretty much stopped complaining, he just LOOKS and ACTS miserable most of the time.  It's really hard to live with someone like that when there is absolutely nothing you can do to help them and they won't listen to you when you say they need help.  It's incredibly frustrating, and right now when he is basically the only person I see every day and he is miserable, well, that doesn't exactly help my own mental health.  But, I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about him.  Who in the world WANTS to wallow in misery?  Who doesn't WANT to feel better?  Who wouldn't WELCOME the help of a professional?  I totally don't get it.  Is it like an alcoholic, you have to hit bottom before you reach out for help?  He keeps saying he KNOWS what a counselor will say because he went to about five sessions last year by himself when we were going to marriage counseling, but at the time it really helped him!  How does he know what someone would say about his exact situation at this very moment?  I don't get it, but I've been drinking the whole psychiatric/psychology Kool-Aid for so long that it's hard for me to understand those who don't.

So...I did make a friend.  Mark and I went out with one of his friends and his girlfriend and we had a good time.  The girlfriend was surprisingly really nice and fun and liked to do fun things and acted more like me - I guess more like a younger person than an older person.  You can look and act and feel old in your 40's, or the same and be young in your 40's.  I don't understand who wants to feel old and act old and look old, but yet...those are the women I don't have anything in common with.  They don't do anything fun, what I would consider fun, anymore.  It seems to me like they have given up?  Resigned themselves to being old or middle aged?  But why?  I don't FEEL old, I don't ACT old, I don't DRESS old, I don't think I'm old at all.  I actually act younger than my husband who is 7 years younger than I am - he says that all the time, that I am younger than he is because he is an old soul and his friends are all older than *I* am, so maybe I am immature for my age, but that's fine with me.  Why would I want to be MATURE for my age?  Be my age yet act like I'm 60? : )

Back to the friend.  So we got along really well and we became friends on facebook that day.  I thought she was going to be at a party last weekend, but her boyfriend didn't bring her, so I sent her a message saying I had missed her being there, but we should go do something and not wait on the boys.  She agreed and gave me her number.  WHY do I feel like I am dating all of a sudden?  Now I have to call her and ask her to go do something?  I mean, that was a big deal for me just to do THAT.  I can't imagine calling her, but I suppose I don't have to, I can send her another message, no law against that.  And these FRIENDS of Marks'!  They all have wives and girlfriends who are so freaking successful!  Even she is an executive at her company, and at the party, one of the wives asked me if we had moved to Illinois because of my job or Mark's because, of course, she is an executive.  And then there is me.  Going to school but not in school this quarter because I had surgery, and don't even know when I am going to finish.  Wow, I feel like such a loser, but no one acts that way or treats me that way, they are all very nice and it doesn't change how they treat me at all, just conversation, but still, you know?  I can't help but feel inferior and think what the hell happened to my life?  Sure, they know the big consulting companies I worked for because they ask what I did before I went to school so maybe that's a plus in my favor, but I don't know.  Maybe I should just get a job and forget school!


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