New and newer

So … new insurance means finding a new person to handle meds. Met with that person yesterday. Oh, and yesterday kind of s#cked. Made several professional mistakes that I could be called to task on and/or written up for. Trying to stay on top of too many things at once and that means making mistakes. On to the new prescriber, a psychiatric nurse practitioner. After spending over an hour with her, she’s decided to double the amount of Zoloft (generic version) from 50 to 100 mg. I knew the 50 mg was low, but it was mainly to stop the crying. And she’s also increasing my Lamictal from 200 to 300 mg. She says that’s the most that should be taken before its effectiveness decreased. She wanted me to take the rest of the week off of work but I refused to. Conferences and assessments to be done. Next week is a vacation week, so that should help. As always happens, she wanted me to assure her that if I felt like hurting myself, I would call 911. I said I wouldn’t do that. Would I call her? I said, “honestly, no.” Heer response was the expected, “if you can’t do that, then I need to hospitalize you.” My response, “I have no desire to kill myself, but I can’t say I won’t hurt myself.” I’d told her that my self harming had gone from the more obvious cutting and burning to the non-visible purging. Even though it is not a good thing. This seemed more satisfactory to her and she let me go at that. I’ve never wanted to kill myself. There are too many things in life I want to see .. like grandchildren someday, my family, the world, what happens in life! Sometimes I just don’t want to hurt so much. It’s not even all the time, just when things happen. I just want to feel ok with myself and not so volatile or sensitive to everything. The roller coaster has NEVER been a ride I enjoyed ( real or metaphorically speaking.) And it’s not too thrilling for others on the ride with me either, ie my husband and family.

We’ll see how it goes. Today, I’m feeling better – but that’s also how it seems to go. I really would like to be ok with myself some day. From what I hear, I’m a pretty decent person.

IMG_0797

New Meds, helping???

I’m off the Latuda and trying Lamotrigine again. No more “crawling out of my skin” feeling, which is good. I think the Lamotrigine is helping a little, but the dose hasn’t been finalized yet. Slowly increasing it. I’ve also been dealing with a lot of pain in both of my legs lately. The doctor thought it was bursitis, but is now considering a bulging disc. The pain is horrible at times. At night, if I change positions, it feels like my legs have been stabbed with a knife, and the blade drawn down to my knee. I fall asleep crying and afraid of changing positions during the night. I’m sure this isn’t helping my depression! I’m dissatisfied with EVERYTHING in my life. Overly emotional (though I haven’t blown up in a rage in awhile!) Last weekend, I was driving with my husband and started crying. His reaction was, “Good Lord!” I know that it was just because he’s frustrated with me always feeling down. He’s been there with me through it for over 30 years, and I’m sure it’s exhausting to be around when you don’t know how to help.

I know my life is filled with blessings, and it’s easy to start naming and acknowledging them. But that doesn’t make a difference with depression, and I feel that most people don’t understand that. When I recognize that I am blessed, yet still battle with my depression on a daily basis, I again realize that it is a disease. Something is amiss in my brain chemistry. And this brings me back to my depression. I may receive treatment for it, but it will always be there … a part of who I am. Some days, I feel hopeless and wonder why I am still here.

I want to be exuberant and filled with joy at life and the wondrous world I live in. Will that ever be? I do have brief moments of laughter and happiness. But they don’t last more than a day or so. At least they do come round though. Most days, I hide my depression behind a facade. My smile doesn’t make it to my eyes. Do people even recognize this? I don’t know, but it gets me through the moments so that I don’t SEEM to be down so much. It makes me feel like I haven’t been a very good wife or mother.

I’m just SO tired of being sad and crying at the drop of a hat! Just writing this has me in tears. Saying good-night to my son has me in tears. I am very lucky and blessed to have him as my son. He is kind and generous and thoughtful … a good person through and through. I’m happy that I’ve had a part in developing those characteristics in him. I am fearful that he might develop some of my condition as he gets older. But I have to be mindful and in the moment. He isn’t like that now, and I have no way of knowing about the future. So I do enjoy and appreciate him for who he is today. And the time I spend with him.

On a different note, last weekend, I went with some friends to a place where they take you through the creation of a painting. Usually the painting was done by someone famous. We were all taken through painting “The Old Vineyard.” I didn’t recognize the painting, but the whole process was fun and a great way to spend an afternoon with a few friends. I’m hoping it will get me to pull out my paints and canvas and have a go of it at home.

IMG_0813

Sometimes, I just want to go to sleep and stay asleep. But i also don’t want to miss out on life. I want to see my son grow and have a good life and family. I hope to be a grandmother some day – and think I will be a good one. Those of you will know what I mean. I’m just so tired of being sad – for what seems like no reason. I want to live life fully, but am having a hard time doing so.

Fear and Loathing

IMG_2275_1024

The river of life

I’m not at home right now. I had to return to my parents’. My dad is failing – as in death. I fear his death. His body has gone through hell over the years and it is a miracle that he is still alive. I loath this whole situation. My mom needs me, though, and I am and will be here for her. I love them both very much. This is a difficult part of life. A part I’ve never dealt well with. Mortality. There’s no coming back once the line has been crossed. I’m glad I never crossed it during any of my struggles.

This situation has caused me to reflect on all of my suicidal ideation episodes. I feel horrible about the emotional pain I have put others through over the years. I feel very calm about where we are at with my dad. He seems to be at peace and all that is left is tiredness. The hourglass has almost emptied. I’m confused by my calmness. All of my BPD seems absent. Am I in shock? I just don’t know.

Go Beyond Fear

Fear

Fear (Photo credit: Susi Watson)

As I was sitting at my laptop responding to comments and catching up on reading blogs, I happened to see my Shambhala cards and realized I hadn’t pulled one out in quite awhile. I had been posting a few of them months ago. They seemed relevant as points to ponder; for me at least. So, pausing in my blog readings, I picked up the box and pulled out the next card, #10 … Go beyond fear.

OK, my attention has been caught! I have been struggling, as I have been meditating over the last couple of days, because there is some kind of blockage that I know is caused by fear. That fear is on top of my always ongoing fear of abandonment, loss, and a whole slew of other bits and pieces that basically have made me afraid of truly enjoying life. Go beyond fear.

I turn the card over to read the commentary.

“When you examine your fear, if you look beneath the veneer of your nervousness, you find sadness.” OMG! This is me! How many times has my husband told me that he wishes I could be happy and that he doesn’t think I ever will be. “Nervousness is cranking up, vibrating all the time. When you slow down, when you relax with your fear, the sadness is calm and gentle. In the Shambhala tradition, discovering fearlessness comes from working with the softness of the human heart.” 

I am getting reading to do my meditation; the same one that I have struggled with for the past few days. My hope is that, after having read this card and reflecting on it, I will make more progress today. I have always thought that fear was at the base of my emotions. It is a new thought to think that the fear actually masks sadness. But it makes sense for what else would be the balance to happiness other than sadness? Yin and Yang.

Scars and the tales they tell or hide …

My mom (who is almost 88 years old) just flew home after visiting me for a week. It was one of the quickest good-byes I’ve ever had at an airport. I think we were both afraid … afraid of the tears, afraid in case this is the last time we ever see each other. At her age, you never know. For someone who struggles with depression and BPD (me), you never know. These days in general, you never know. And we now live 2,000 miles apart.

my “Stoic Swede” mom and me in Tahoe

My mom knows that depression has plagued me most of my life, but she doesn’t know about the BPD and I don’t plan on telling her. She’s seen many of my scars. Some she asks about, most she doesn’t. Although she is quite educated and was a nurse and educator, she gets quite anxious at any indication that I might be struggling to cope psychologically with anything or be seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist. It worries her that there’s something wrong with me … Partly because she will then blame herself. So, I keep it to myself. I wore long pants and sleeves while she was here. I was continually conscious of myself and what she could see.

It was a good visit, setting her mind at ease that our move out here was right for me. The mountains help me to feel settled, grounded in a way the midwest did not. The movement of the American River soothes me whenever I am able to be near it and watch the sun reflect off its surface as the water rushes around and over rocks.

American River Canyon

American River Canyon (Photo credit: aresauburn™)

This is only a few miles from my house! The Forest Hill Bridge in the back is the 3rd highest in the US

I continue to have moments when my anxiety and fear of loss and abandonment overtake me. I had some even while she was here and again as I said good-bye. Will those ever go away? I’m beginning to doubt it. That is my cross to bear or fountain of youth to seek. Am I Don Quixote fighting windmills in my mind?

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza (Photo credit: M Kuhn)

In my last post, I was very discouraged about how few people were reading my blog. I contemplated the suicide of my blog and the word suicide was in the title. Suddenly, there were many more hits and several comments from readers saying they were reading, even if they weren’t commenting. Thanks for the comments that were made to that posts. They helped. I guess I need to keep fighting my windmills and some of them might turn out to be real and I can win the fight! Others will taunt me as they will. More scars may come from the fights, but I will fight to the end – never giving up hope for happiness in life. Not just fleeting moments, but deep seated, know it in my bones and it shows in my face real happiness.

Turned around and Confused

I read an interesting blog post today at Fake Plastic Trees titled The Paradox of Pleasure. It didn’t pertain to mental illness, but rather happiness and our pursuit of it. Here’s a partial quote that I found thought provoking.

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

Which would make you a happier person, winning the lottery or being in a car crash that leaves you paraplegic?

The answer to this apparently illogical question is, well, neither. Studies show that people who go through these radically different life experiences tend to revert, over time, to their previous level of satisfaction. Winning the lottery will send you to cloud nine for a while, but in a couple of months you’ll be back to where you started, no matter what you do with the money. Even more interestingly, ending up in a wheelchair will destroy you morale in the short run, but over the same amount of time you will aga- in fall back to roughly the same happiness level as before the accident (psychologists call this your set point).

This rather disconcerting trait of human nature is called Hedonic Adaptation, and it was first studied in the 1970s, analyzing precisely the effects of lottery wins and debilitating accidents. Humans have an amazing ability to adjust to the hardships of life: that’s how people carry on after devastating losses and terrible misfortunes. On a more philosophical level, this also means that single life events, no matter how bad or good, do not necessarily alter our existence …

So – as someone who struggles with emotions, and happiness being one of them, I find myself REALLY thinking hard about this. It makes me wonder about lasting happiness, rather than fleeting moments of it, sought amongst flair-ups of temper and bought of depression. What IS my previous level of satisfaction anyway? I am truly intrigued by this. Maybe utter happiness is my base level, but I’ve only dance around it for the last five decades. Maybe I’ll only ever know these brief episodes of happiness. I hope not. I would much prefer to find that I am destined to be one of the world’s joyful souls – even if it comes about in the second half of my life. I’m there now, and more than willing for the time to have arrived. 🙂

How to Grow

OK, now I’ve  found my lost follower, my day turned around some. I’ve realized that losing followers will happen. But I would like to attract more followers also. How? I started blogging after reading http://gypsy116.wordpress.com/  Through My Eyes: Adventures in Borderline Land and thought blogging might be a good way for me to do some writing about my thoughts and experiences. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions about what has worked to increase their following, I’m reading to read! I read someone else’s blog and they are up to 5,000 hits  after 2 months! How on earth does that happen? Well, I’d rather that people read mine who have similar interests or issues (you know what I mean). I hope we all want to be there for each other in some way or another. I didn’t realize how much it meant until I briefly lost one person, and then saw how happy I was to regain them. Abandonment issues I guess. Anyways, I’m looking for ideas and feedback … tags? categories? topics? titles? Thanks again to everyone.