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.

Update – feeling up!

I haven’t posted in awhile and I think it’s a good thing. I’ve been feeling better. I’m now on Latuda (mood stabilizer) and it seems to be helping – a lot. There haven’t been any flare ups of my rage for awhile now. Whew! I know they can come at any time though. I will enjoy this time as long as it lasts and hope that the medication will decrease the severity of my rants. I know it’s still with me and will always be. On FaceBook today, I came across this picture and it serves as a good reminder. 

 

Image

 

I know I still have lots to learn … in time. 

Email to a friend

I wrote an email to a blogging friend early this morning. Somehow, it turned into a post – so here it is with personal info about people deleted.

Hi, I haven’t read any posts this past week ( other than into paragraph ) but seems you’re in a bad spot. I wish there was something I could offer up to help. I think about you and your journey most every day- even if I’m not able to read your posts. You and Mxxxx.

Having a bit of anxiety myself now. Filling out paperwork for my son to have insurance, even though my husband and I don’t qualify. Something about a thick packet of paperwork puts me over the edge. Only 4 hours sleep because I didn’t take any kind of sedative. Actually got out my exacto knife and washed it in rubbing alcohol to sterilize it. Put it away. Getting anxious about psych appointment next week ( first in over a year +) to be evaluated (again!) for meds (and condition?) Anxious because the last few weeks have been not too bad. What does that mean for me? Better? Yeah, right … That I’m only that much closer to another episode? Probably. And that thought makes me want to isolate myself and turn everyone away. Sink inside. Depressed. But instead, I’ll put on the happy face and try to pretend the anxiety isn’t there. Until it explodes.

My husband thinks that any of my self harm is just for attention. How can that be if each incident is hidden from others? No, it’s not for attention at all. It takes me away from whatever is hurting. Like an escape hatch. The deeper the wound, the better the escape. Like Alice going down the rabbit hole perhaps. But the a new world of disoriented thinking begins.

I’m not needed by my family anymore. I watch their lives going on – completely independent of anything I can provide.

I realize I’m rambling here, and I’ve written more of a post than an email. Sorry about that. I’ve been awake since 2:30 a.m. And feel it. Yet each time that I’ve tried to go back to sleep, I find myself fully awake as soon as my head hits the pillow.
I hate taking sedatives. It’s easy to want to take more than I need so that I stay asleep.
F#%k!

I might as well copy and paste this as a post, since it’s where I’m at this morning.
Writing this on my phone, just noticed my signature says “Visualize”. I think that’s part of my problem. I visualize too much.

Take care, please! I’ll catch up on your posts this weekend.

Hugs,

Hope

I have an appointment for a county evaluation this coming Thursday. Evaluations always confirm my BPD, depression and anxiety. It’s what can be done that I’m looking for.

Image

By the way, my dog Chi seems to be 100% again!the vet thinks it was an autoimmunity. Cortisone helped. I sure do love her. When I broke down last week, she quickly jumped up on my bed and curled into me as I sobbed. It was the first time she’d jumped up on the bed in a month. She did it for me.

Dwindling Supply

I’m down to just a few days of anti depressants left. I’ve only been taking them every other day for a month now – to make them last longer. And I’ve got about a month’s worth of mood stabilizers, now that I’ve cut my dose in half – again, to make them last longer. All this as the holidays are upon us. A time known to be difficult for stress, depression and anxiety, especially for those who struggle with those issues during on an ongoing basis.

I’ve tried to devise a scaffolding to help me through this. I’m also taking fish oil, a multivitamin and B complex. I’m striving for eight hours of sleep a night and some form of exercise, be it yoga, hiking or yard work, every day. I’ve made new friends and shared my struggles with a few who are supportive and open to talking/listening without judgement. I’m trying to meditate every day, but have succeeded in doing it 3-4 times a week.

But I’m scared. The slightest harsh word makes me want to hurt myself. I don’t know why. I’t’s like a whip lashing at me and I feel it tearing away at my insides. Hurting myself by my own cutting or burning pulls that away. I should be the one to punish me, hurt me. Maybe then the words of others won’t hurt so much. If I’m causing myself pain, I can increase it and it numbs what is coming at me from my environment.

The funny thing is, when I’m being hurt by others, they usually don’t even know they are doing it. Ha Ha. Joke’s on me. Sometimes dissociation seems like a good thing. A protective void. Feels like I’m invisible. Down a hole, looking up and watching the world while being unobserved. Or up a tree, hiding in the branches.

When I was a young teen, I used to wish I had been a feral child. Running wild with the wolves. Away from people. Animals were safe. True. You knew the rules. That’s never been the case with people. Even with myself.

My son tells me I alway change what I say. Maybe I say what I think I’m suppose to do, then my impulsivity and fear jump in and I react with a different answer.

I can already feel my fear increasing as my medication dwindles. Soon there will be none. The only thing I still have is Lorazapam. LOTS of those! But I’ve not been taking them because I’m afraid I’ll take too many and they can’t take the place of an antidepressant or mood stabilizer – Can they?

I haven’t been anxious for awhile … The doctor had me on them before the mood stabilizer. I didn’t seem to need them afterwards. But I kept them in case.

I just want to go to sleep through it all. The bad parts that is. But I’m the one who creates the bad parts for myself. If I’m asleep or no around, there are no bad parts. I am my enemy, my fear. I can’t escape me – ever!

Pins and Needles

Pills pills pills pills

Pills pills pills pills (Photo credit: Thirteen Of Clubs)

This is somewhat of an add on to my feeling kind of jumpy post. I recently switched meds – lamotrigine (which made me gain A LOT of weight quickly! to topomax. I think part of my jumpiness and my pins and needles feeling in my feet and hands is a side effect of the topomax. But I’ll definitely take it over the weight gain! I can learn to tolerate it, and perhaps it will eventually go away. Other than that, I’ve been pretty happy with the topomax as a mood stabilizer. And it’s the only one I’ve found that didn’t cause weight gain. That was a huge trigger for me with a history of bulimia.

D-Day

I’m afraid of what today’s appointments, and the one with my psychologist on Monday, will bring. Tuesday afternoon, I was burning some brush and thinking about how Dave continues to not respond (even to acknowledge receiving and/or reading) my emails about my BPD. He’s just THAT shut down about it I guess. I know discussion is out of the question, but I keep hoping he’ll become more aware or understanding. It goes back to my unrelenting fear of abandonment. All this after 32 years of marriage. You’d think I’d realize he’s not leaving me, but I know some days push him closer to it, so it continues to haunt me. The whole thinking part put me in a funk of not caring about myself, risky behavior with the fire. I didn’t use a stick or tool to move wood around. I used my hands. Carefully, of course. But then I started picking up sticks that were burning embers on the end. That let to me thinking about my burn scars being flatter than my cutting scars. And that lead me to deciding to burn over the cutting scars on the back of my leg. I’ve been on an antibiotic for 5 days for strep throat, but the area of cutting/burning looks like an infection is developing. I told my psychiatrist about it last night when he asked how things had been going. I really should tell him his questions, or at least some of them pertaining to my safety, should be more specific. I’m afraid, today, because I will see my regular doctor. He’s the one who’s treated my cuts and burns. I feel like I’ve really let him down.I know I have strategies to help me, but they evaporate in the moment. I spend a lot of time alone, and that’s when the irregular thinking occurs. The move to CA is coming up in about 6 or 7 weeks, and I’m afraid someone here will get the brilliant (sarcasm) idea to have me treated inpatient. If I really want to seriously hurt myself, I could do it there too, so what’s the point? The move will be stressful too. I need to make friends, even though I’ve never really had close friends. I need medical support and that’s been difficult to set up. So there’s the alone time again.

EVERY bit of stress seems so much larger than it is or should be. I see the Sleep Disorder doctor in 3 hours. They want me to do another sleep study night (Horrible experience!) and it looks like I do have sleep apnea, which means some sort of device to be worn while sleeping. I want the help of the doctors, but on my terms. I guess it’s another symptom … manipulating, pushing, challenging, clinging. The monster inside me looks and waits, ready to pounce.

My body, my cage, my cell.

Image

Day 3 of Partial Hospitalization Program and I’m Exhausted!

Twenty years ago, I was inpatient for 6 weeks for bulimia. I never cried or really let my emotions be exposed. Today I did, first thing in the morning during a small group session. I so want to hear and feel nurturing love from my husband (and looking back to my childhood, my mother.) To know someone loves you is one thing, but my strong emotional need sought and craves more. I want to be held when I hurt or am distraught. I want validation and to hear, out loud, that I am loved. But these things were not in my mother’s nature, nor are they in my husband’s. I guess it’s the still young child in me that is so fearful of not being loved and of being left/abandoned. That doesn’t make me want it any less though. Today I expressed my lack of these things in front of virtual strangers, without aggravating the still healing burn on my arm. Yesterday, I could not talk in group, or with the psychiatrist without constantly rubbing and applying pressure to it. Today, I left it alone by clenching my fist under my arm. Is that progress? Hopefully.

                                        A yoga class.

After that group time we went to experiential therapy. There, we worked on mindfulness of our environment and then did some yoga. The mindfulness was new to me, but I can see how it helps as a grounding technique. During the yoga, which was used to relax our body and mind, I found myself pushing my body to physically go as far as I could. But that was a distraction from the purpose. The whole time, my muscles were  quivering from anxiety. During a balancing pose, I couldn’t maintain my balance. The therapist tried an exercise with me whereby I held out my arm and stated positive qualities about myself while he applied downward pressure on my hand. I stood strong, which is the usual response. Then, he had me repeat it, but stating negative aspects. Typically, the person is not able to resist the downward pressure and their arm is easily pushed down. Not me. My arm was as rigid and strong as when I stated the positives. What does that say about me?

The staff was meeting for their weekly meeting about the patients today. I’m very curious about their observations about me so far. Will I ever find out? For some reason, I’m almost obsessive about what the “professionals” perception of me is. But they don’t come out and tell you, and I assume terrible things. There’s that word … assume. Make an ass of me.

Various pills

After lunch, I met with the psychiatrist to discuss my medications. I have a long list. He wants to wean me off of Lorazapam (but not the Temazepam) and add Abilify to help increase the effects of my Effexor. All the other medications will stay the same. As he said, it gets worse (longer list) before it can get better.

Français : La rivière Ardèche. Deutsch: Die ro...

The last session of the day was art therapy. We had a large sheet of paper divided into 4 sections. We were given an assortment of drawing media to use, but I asked to use just a pencil. In the first section, we were told a scene of walking down a path, rounding a corner and discovering a river in our path that needed to be crossed. We were to draw how we got across. My drawing depicted a strong river with a steep bank and one rock in the middle. Other rocks were on my side, but too large to move.

Line art drawing of a goat.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The second picture was of being at the top of a mountain with a cliff on one side of the path, a steep incline on the other, and a billy goat blocking the path. How did we get past the goat?

I drew myself having a rope around the goat and tied to a tree behind me. The third was of a cave with two guardians and how we were to get into the cave.

I drew myself up in a tree throwing rocks past the guardians to distract them so I could sneak into the cave.

The fourth was of being in the cave where there was a fire. What would we have with us?

Publicity photo of David Carradine and Sondra ...

I drew a cave with stalactites, a fire with a large kettle (engrave with dragons: hint – back to the old Kung Fu tv show) and myself with sleeves rolled up exposing bare arms. To burn myself as I picked up the kettle?

 

 

We then discussed the quadrants. #1, obstacles. Everyone showed herself making it across, except me. #2, conflict the women in the group befriended the goat, the men kicked it over the side of the cliff. #3, guardians. Everyone confronted the guardians in a positive way and was granted access to the cave. I distracted them, perceiving them has protecting the cave and being adversaries of mine, needing to gain entry secretively. #4: comfort : what things did you have that brought you comfort in the cave? Everyone else had some useful or needed thing: food, a tent, tools. I stood with outstretch arms, having nothing but myself and my only thought was of getting burned if I tried to remove the kettle from the fire. I could not help but think that I had perceived and done the whole task wrong. Everyone else took their drawing. I left mine on the table, left quickly and sped out of the parking lot in a panic.

Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Photo credit: Wikipedia

What will day 4 bring?

First Post

Hi, I’ve just begun my recovery from decades of BPD that was never addressed. I’ve coped, at my family’s expense. That is no longer acceptable to me. We all deserve to be happy and to find joy in life. My hope is that it isn’t too late for me or those close to me. I’m desperately afraid of what demons I will be challenged with facing, be they experiences, issues or emotions. Right now, I’m feeling very lonely and apprehensive about stepping into this journey. But step forward I must because going backward isn’t an option and staying put is debilitating. So, here goes!

Lonely Wolf

Lonely Wolf (Photo credit: Ghetu Daniel)