Tagged with "in"
How I Learned to Talk About it
Category: Seeking Help
Tags: Opening Up

I have schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Before I was diagnosed, I was going to school full time and also working part time at a casino. I loved going to school but found it to cause a feeling of pressure. I hated working at the casino and didn't like a lot of the people nor their projected image of me while I worked there. I became ill and quit both school and work abrubptly. I became paranoid and quit trusting everyone and only trusting others for delusional reasons. I was like this for years. Finally, a doctor was able to diagnose me after some of my delusions were vocalized regarding my mother. For years, I was able to hide it. I have since been diagnosed with schizoprhenia, bipolar with psychosis, and the one I agree with: schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. 

I have quit medicine and treatment many times, at least four times. And each time I relapsed into my delusional symptoms, each time worse than the previous time. More violent, more demanding while under psychosis. I have learned from experience that life is just way easier on medicine and in treatment. I have learned that I would rather take medicine daily than lose touch with reality and think the whole world is out to get me. 

There was a time where I kept this all hidden. But I had to talk about it. I at first found Facebook groups. Then I told friends. My family never really accepted it. My mom blames me for things I did under psychosis and our relationship has a terrible rift in it as a result. And I do not trust my mom nor feel comfortable being vulnerable around her. I've lost friends who thought it was better to keep their distance. I do speak my mind and when it's delusional, I am aggressive. They think it's better to stay away. Keeping distance over something I have no voluntary control over. Just to medicate it away and no one wants to take medicine. 

Best we all just stay away from each other. They don't offer real support and that's fine. I'm on my own. I lost my mind and went into my own world. My favorite people were there and they talked to me daily by the second. Music was a great communicator. Tv communicated with me. The radio communciated with me. Books had deeper meaning and it was also a form of communication with God. I would open books at random and think it was God responding to me. I enjoyed these activities. But it was all delusional. These are activities I no longer get to enjoy because of medicine. It's just not the same on medicine because it doesn't feel as real. 

But medicine does allow me to work. And I work well. I'm a good worker. Medicine allows me to think clearly. Medicine has its benefits. I have to see the positive side of medicine. I can avoid abuse on meds. Off meds, people will take advantage of you. And I think others are helping me when I am delusional and these pepole are actually just taking stuff from me or hurting me. Because I am delusional, I interpret the abuse as help. So medicine helps me avoid that altogether. Medicine has a positive side. I will continue to take medicine. 

I will meditate and talk to God still. I just like that talking to God is my only focus off meds. But on meds, I have other interests. So I guess medicine is good for me, maybe good for my soul as I do not attack others. I am not paranoid and delusional on meds. I will of course continue to take medicine. Medicine saved my life. I also have to acknowledge that. I am suicidal off meds, too. Another aspect to consider. Better just stay on them and be grateful to have my mind back and all the delusions gone. Giving thanks to the scientific community for their work and research.

Poetry About Intuition Tags: Your Inner World

Think a little deeper

dig a little more

Your heart is an open vessel 

that wants to be explored 

Get under it

try to understand

everything you're going thru

is part of the master plan

Listen closely

your soul knows the way

Listen to your inner thoughts

and what your soul has to say

Let intuition

be your guiding light

and you'll never be lost

between day and night

Think a little deeper

dig a little more

your heart is an open vessal

that wants to be explored

Never sacrifice your right

to say yes or no

Listen closely

to your divine soul.

When My My Mom Dropped Me OFF at the Police Station
Category: Abuse
Tags: During a Psychotic Episode

People may not understand my feelings about my family. They have never let me live with them when I was homeless due to episodes of mental health. And it's happened at least 4 times. My mom has a history of locking me up at my cousin's, taking away both my license and vehicle and not allowing me to accept positions in the legal field because they were "too far away." She has yelled and sworn at me in public and I have never done this to her. But I have called her out on social media for being a Trump supporter. And I have called her out for her harsh treatment of me for my mental health issues. And I have called out family for allowing me to be homeless. I have not seen my sisters in over a year and I could have gone over for Christmas but holiday-relationships are overrated especially when you have been left out in the cold. Now that I am doing better, I am treated better by all of them. But when I was at my worst, for a condition that I have no control over and for one that requires education, I was met with both neglect and abuse. Which is why I started my website, to talk about stigma that people endure and to give a place to heal from it. Yes, I love these people. But I was only consistently treated with love and respect, and help from my friend Stacey. You know who you are. She has taken me in every time. And Tammie was there for me. But Stacey let me live with her each time and helped me get back on my feet. I wouldn't be a paralegal today if it weren't for her. My mom had me locked up. But Stacey saved me. She picked me up from the police station that my mom had dropped me off at, thinking that was all I was good for. She had taken my phone, taken my vehicle, and all I had was a bag of clothes, my license and Stacey's number, which I knew by heart. Thank God I knew her number by heart. She saved my life that day. You can all judge me for things you don't understand. My family only looks perfect in pictures. We are by far from perfect.

 

Further Reflections:

 

I decided that I am going to speak out against stigma. My own family treats me with terrible stigma. They treat me terribly. In the past, it was so terrible. I just don't want to be around them when I think of it. Leaving me at a police station. What was her thinking on that, my mom's? I was homeless and that is what she did. And she has plenty of money. She stole my dad's business. So I guess you can say she owns a business. She pretty much destroyed my dad when she married his brother. 

Never was I signed up for therapy. The books that my aunt gave me were ridiculed. And I was told not to read them. So I didn't. But they could have helped. I found self help books in my twenties. 

But to be left at a police station? She took my phone and my car. She left me with no money and a bag of clothes. At a police station.

Did she want me to be arrested? 

And people defend her.

They think she is helpless.

She takes whatever she wants in life.

She just quit wanting me.

I threw her relationship with my uncle in her face. 

My sister/cousin.

The fact that she stole the business that my grandpa left to my dad.

She fought in court for that business and she fought hard.

My dad said she would never have quit fighting.

She fought with me during psychosis. She fought to put me on disabilty and wanted me in a home.

She wanted me locked up.

But I ran away.

I'm going to speak out against this type of abuse.

She gave me an apology last week. She said she "overstepped her boundaries with me."

She never mentioned the police station.

She just mentioned that I am doing well at work.

She knows the police make me paranoid.

But I knew my friend's number by heart.

And I called her and she answered and she lived 45 minutes away, all freeway.

And it took her forever to get there.

But she came.

And she let me stay with her.

I was around love again.

I met my boyfriend at a bar that I was bartending at.

And I admitted all my faults in the first night, trying to scare him off.

It didn't work.

He knew what I was trying to do.

He only saw potential.

And he chased me.

But he also sent my favorite song, Maxwell, "Don't you ever wonder" on our first date in a text to me

And it was a sign

Also, when I gave him my number and looked back at the paper a month later, it was written on an order slip with the numbers 333

which are my numbers

another sign

He's a good guy

He has some bad habits

But he takes good care of me

And he keeps me safe

where my family didn't

where I didn't even keep myself safe

I kept going around people who weren't good for me

because of delusions and habits

because we were family

I am not safe around my mom

Or my dad

I have heard from my dad since last Christmas 2019 and he avoided me for the most part except a hug

The year before I couldn't even be there, it was too much,  too much pain

I went but left within ten minutes

My dad can hang out with my sister but not me

And she is probably not even his

Despite everyone's lies, no one can bring forth easily found proof these days

And I'm sure she is my mom's first boyfriends, who wouldn't marry my mom and my mom and dad had a shotgun marriage and a child in the next 8 months

They only dated a week before the marriage

He was mourning her sister, my aunt who dumped him

She only dated him for his car

And I think my mom saw dollar signs

I think she dropped me off at the police station to have me admitted and to put me in a home because filling out the disabilty paperwork was not working out for her

And that was plan B

Just like when she first got me into the system

She provoked a fight

said horrible things

made me react

and then called the cops on me

and had me admitted

because I was never a harm to myself or others

She made it worse

I am not safe around her

I plan to speak out against stigma. Against forced treatment. Therapy works. But they hand out meds like it's candy. I would love to come off meds. 

But meds are support.

Meds get me through a day.

And I would explain that stigma exists, even in your family and friends. Even in your health providers. 

And you need support. Find out who supports you. If you can't find it in your own circle, then join a group. Online. Find someone. Don't be afraid to speak up. 

And keep chasing your dreams. If you don't know what your passions are, watch movies, listen to music, read books, learn. Find out what inspires your soul.

Work if you want to work. I wish we lived in a world where you could talk about it openly. I am at a place where mostly I do. And yes, people use your weakness against you. People love to do that. I express that I am a little "crazy but in a good way." 

Dreams and Revelations
Category: Dreams
Tags: DREAMS THINKING in DREAMS

I had a dream last night. About the jerk in Cali and a brother of someone in high school, who is ficticious, but symbolic. I was in Cali and homeless and the guy in Cali was in a bar and I was trying to make it there when he was there. So that we could talk. I was doing all the work. And I knew that he loved me and that I loved him. But the only effort he put into this "relationship" was when we were both "present." Probably has something to do with he and I drinking.

And in the meantime, I was homeless and struggling and lost in a huge Hudsons' store with escalators going up and up and up but never down and out of the store. And I met someone. It was M. Spark's brother. And I hung out with him. And he showed me empathy. He showed me love. He showed me true friendship. 

But I still assumed I needed to be faithful to the jerk in Cali. But as I was in this huge store, and M. Spark's brother left to go back home to Michigan, I was so lost, so lost trying to find a way out. And it was near Christmas. And I began seeing all these beautiful items for men. And the only one I wanted to buy a gift for was M. Spark's brother. 

And I realized that I could have all my dreams come true through him. I could have all the love I need, without the abuse and neglect, through him. And I realized that I wanted to spend my life with him. And as I realized this, I was not lost anymore. I quickly knew my way out of the store, quickly found a plane ride home, quickly found him and we spent our holiday together and our lives together. And I knew everything would be perfect. 

The idea that I am obligated to that jerk in Cali is a trap. A mean one at that. I am not obligated to him. I found all the love I need in Jason. I love how he treats me. I hope we spend our lives together and there are no mind games. There are no mind games. I'll say that again, because it deserves repeating. 

There are NO mind games. Just honest love. I'm gonna marry Jason.  And it's better than any love I have ever found. It's honest love. It's real love. It's solid, good, heart-felt love. My soul told me this is the correct path. It confirmed it. 

Have You Heard of "MAD PRIDE!"?
Category: Community News
Tags: Mad Pride - Started in Canada

Mad Pride is a mass movement of the users of mental health services, former users, and the aligned, which advocates that individuals with mental illness should be proud of their 'mad' identity. 


It was formed in 1993 in response to local community prejudices towards people with a psychiatric history living in boarding homes in the Parkdale area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and an event has been held every year since then in the city except for 1996. A similar movement began around the same time in the United Kingdom. By the late 1990s similar events were being organized under the Mad Pride name around the globe, including Australia, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, Madagascar, South Africa, France, South Korea and the United States.

Events draw thousands of participants, according to MindFreedom International, a United States mental health advocacy organization that promotes and tracks events spawned by the movement.

Mad Pride activists seek to reclaim terms such as "mad", "nutter", and "psycho" from misuse, such as in tabloid newspapers and in order to switch it from a negative view into a positive view.

Through a series of mass media campaigns, Mad Pride activists seek to re-educate the general public on such subjects as the causes of mental disabilities, the experiences of those using the mental health system, and the global suicide pandemic.

One of Mad Pride's founding activists in the UK was Pete Shaughnessy, who later died by suicide. Mark Roberts, Robert Dellar (who died in 2016) and Simon Barnet were among the other founders of the movement.

 

SOURCE:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Pride

Ready for love
Category: Love
Tags: Love dating relationships hope

I recentally joined a dating site for people who suffer from mental illnesses called " No Longer Lonely".  I'm hoping to find someone that understands what it is like living and coping with the challenges of having a mental illness.  Ideally I'd like to find someone who is mature, patient, understanding, loving and kind. I feel like I'm finally ready to settle down and I want to find someone who is looking for the same. I want us to be able to share the rest of my life with someone who knows what it is like living a life with a mental illness.  I'm not interested in having children at this time, I just don't have the income or energy. I live a simple, peaceful and quiet life so hopefully my future partner appreciates that type of lifestyle. I believe that there are people who are lucky enough to find true love, I hope to be one of them. Past  experiences with love have kept me single for years...I guess I needed a lot of time to heal and recover but now I know I'm ready to love again.
 

 

Why were the Pyramiads Built?
Category: Aliens
Tags: ancient egypt intuition spirit stars astronomy

Intuition is what guides us in all aspects of our life. Have you ever felt crippling fear? I have. I have also felt happiness in my soul and been led on a great chase to find what happiness means to me. I try to follow my intuition. I try to sense the way I feel about things.. To understand what my inner language is telling me. I can be fluent in intuition if I try. Many people, especially children, are in tune with their intuition. 

I imagine why the pyramiads were built? They were built in design with the stars above. Planned. Built for spiritual reasons. Or pointing to the planet of the aliens who planted us here long ago? That could be a possiblity. But we won't answer those questions today. And speculation is usually useless. 

I understand that my intuition is guiding me to my path. I wish it were direct communication. But I must appreciate that it's all about feelings. Feelings that come from my higher self communicating with me. And me listening and understanding it is using my intuition. Today I was guided to stay home and work from home. This virus is not slowing down. And if we have the ability to work from home, I think we should. I have plenty to do. And I prefer to go in. But I also need to stay home now. Fine line between what I need to do, what I should do, and what I want to do. Today, for my mentality and for staying positive, I decided to stay home. I need to regroup. Take time for me today. Work is becoming overbearing and I need to reaccess what I am doing. 

Spiritual Growth
Category: Karma
Tags: Growth spiritual love growing evolving becoming renewing everyday

A Lesson in Self-Care and Self-Love
Category: Self-Discovery
Tags: Quotes strong calm healing journey self-care self-love
“It takes a very strong individual to sit with themselves, calm their storms, and heal all of their issues without trying to bring someone else into that chaos. Your journey into self-love is just that. - and you are doing it.”

Here’s a story:
My son got a cold three weeks ago. His symptoms weren’t that bad. With fluids, meds, and rest he was able to get over it within 3 days by Monday of the next week. Guess who got sick on Tuesday. Yes, it was me. And man did it hit me hard.

First it started off as a slight head cold. I decided it wasn’t severe, and I went to work. Bad idea. By the early afternoon, my stomach started feeling queasy. I decided to work from home the rest of the day. As soon as I got home, I changed into comfy clothes, took meds, and drank tea and fluids. Then I went back to work. Finished out the day and went to bed early.

The next day I woke up and was feeling incrementally worse. Took meds and was able to be able to breathe through my nose. But had shortness of breathe that made it really difficult to function. I still managed to put on my mom hat and bring my kiddos to the doc for an appointment, drove them to school, and back home to start my work day. My first meeting of the day was with my boss and teammate. They immediately recognized I wasn’t feeling well, and they told me to stay home the next day as well. Despite the difficulty in breathing, wheezing, runny nose, nasal and sinus congestion, I managed to continue working while taking meds, fluids, and frequent breaks. I would reach a reasonable stopping point in my work and step away from my desk periodically in order to give my brain a rest, as a lot of my work is analytical. I made sure not to push myself too hard and listened to my body when I needed to pause and take care of my needs, and come back when I felt better.

As my symptoms got even worse the next day (I felt like my lungs were closing in and I had difficulty breathing through my nose, plus now a cough from the post-nasal drip), I decided to have a quick heart to heart with God. Every time I’m sick I always ask God why is he allowing me to feel miserable and what is it I need to focus on right this moment. This time, I didn’t get a clear answer to my question. So I just continued to listen to my body and do everything I can to make myself feel as comfortable possible. Sleep that night was so difficult. I used a diffuser with essential oils, took meds, and prayed for at least a little bit of rest.

Friday I woke up with some relief in my nasal congestion, and felt like it was the first time all week I could breathe without a labored effort. I had hope that the end of this was near! I had another meeting with my boss and she told me to take it easy and rest. But I managed to work a good part of the day and then start my weekend off with a good dinner and rest.

My kiddos went to their dad’s on Saturday, and I had nothing on my agenda but laying in bed, watching tv, and more self-care. I had spent all week identifying when it was time for meds, a pause and a break, or even lying down and meditating.

My goal for the whole week was to remain calm and at peace with myself in everything I do with no expectations other than to listen to my body and take care of myself. And by Sunday evening not only did my symptoms almost completely subside, but I also felt proud of myself for taking care of myself.

I started the next week feeling almost 100% back to normal. I saw my therapist on Monday, she said to me that I’m not “trying” to establish healthy habits, I’m “doing it”. It was the validation I needed to push me out of my crippling depression and gave me hope that I can feel happiness and joy without fear.

Today I feel happy, proud, and confident. I am learning to recognize my strengths and weakness, and continue to listen to my mind and body in order to take care of myself with love. I am realizing my worth again, and I feel that I grow a little more each day. I have renewed hope. I forgot what Hope felt like it had been so long since I felt anything but overwhelming depression and numbness. I feel alive again; funny that it started off with being sick in order to find my balance and status quo. I know there will still be challenges on my journey ahead, but as long as I have peace in my mind and heart I have faith that I will indeed overcome.


Struggling today Tags: Rough day but things will get better
I am feeling very overwhelmed today. I hope you don’t mind since there is no where else I can talk about this
I feel sad and disheartened. I hope you don’t mind since no one else understands.
I have this familiar feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin or hurt myself but I am not going to. I hope you don’t mind since I cannot mention this in any other place.
I want to scream, cry, expend this horrible energy inside yet I feel paralyzed at this moment. I hope you don’t mind that I think enough of you to trust you with what is inside.
Learning to let go and stop beating myself up Tags: Taking care of myself
Being hard on myself, blaming myself, thinking I am supposed to be different, believing I should be able to fix things, situations, and even people in my life has been my life forever. I have really come a long way in this area, however I do still have those days where I have to remember I can’t change anyone. It’s not my job. I can encourage them, give my opinion, pray for them but cannot fix them. I can however continue to work on myself and deal with the feelings, the hurt, the helplessness that I sometimes feel when I see the ones I love and care about choose to go down a destructive path, refuse to take care of themselves and suffer or cause others to suffer for it.
Making better choices Tags: Medicine
I want to share something that I am not particularly fond of that I did. I went on a 10 day trip in May to Israel. I was worried about taking my medication, being that I need to take it with food and right before I go to bed since it makes me drowsy. I decided that I would not take it during my trip. When I returned, for some dumb reason, I did not begin my medicine(thought) “Maybe I don’t need it after all” Still to this day I do not know why I made this choice especially since I have only been on this medicine for about a year or so and for once in my life, I was somewhat stable, able to be a good friend, able to make plans, able to encourage others and be present. I had never had this before. I have never kept friends. I make a friend, we hang out, I fall off the face of the earth and they have no clue what’s going on because I didn’t even know so when I finally climb out of the pit, things are not the same. Right now I am trying to climb out of this pit. Started taking my meds but lost my insurance. Need to get it back before I run out of medicine.
Medicare For Everyone Tags: Healthcare Recovery Depression Medicine

Our healthcare system is broken when a missed $20 payment causes someone to take their life. These medicines are life saving. And having these medications can sometimes make the difference between life and death. I do not think people realize how important it is to have healthcare but mandatory Medicare for everyone would save so many lives. I pray this happens in my lifetime. #mentalhealth #healthcare #medicareOur healthcare system is broken

A Mother's Concern for Her Son's Mental Health
Category: Parenting
Tags: Depression Anxiety Recovery Support Parenting

I’ve struggled my whole life with some kind of depression and anxiety. I’ve always been able to manage it. I’ve taken medication when it was really out of control, but always seem to come out on top. My 17 year old son has struggled emotionally since he was a small child. He’s so gifted: extremely smart, talented, handsome, and charismatic (when he wants to be 😂). I had him young (19), but made it my mission for him to never feel like that put him at a disadvantage - and dare I say, I think I succeeded on that front. He’s headed to college, talking with coaches about continuing his career in baseball after high school, dating a beautiful girl. From the outside, it all seems pretty perfect.

His father disappeared the first couple years of his life and pops in to celebrate the victories. I married a wonderful man when he was 2 - he took him in as if he was his own and things were good. About 2.5 years ago his biological grandfather in his dads side was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He was the most consistent connect to his biological father. He showed up to every game and every tournament. He stayed in touch with me almost daily for years when his own son hadn’t talked to me in months. They gave him 6 months to live and 6 weeks after the diagnosis, he passed. My son was completely devastated.

Shortly after that, my marriage fell apart. We ended up in a long divorce (not spiteful, just long). He took the news well. My ex-husband and I vowed to be the picture of the perfect divorced family. And so far, so good. I never stopped to think that he might have been concealing his true feelings. That he was putting on a happy face, to save me from anymore heartache.

Add to this a broken wrist in the summer of 2017 that required surgery (and stopped his season) and a second broken wrist in the summer of 2018 that ended his season early, an extremely demanding high school schedule with 4 AP classes, and a broken heart over his first love....

He was a disaster. Fits of rage, all directed at me. Violent rage that started over the stupidest things like not being able to find a shirt he wanted to wear or dinner not interesting him. We couldn’t even talk anymore. He was hurtful and disrespectful and honestly scared me on multiple occasions. I knew it wasn’t him. His eyes were lifeless. It was like he checked out, and this other horrible person took over. He’d always had issues dealing with emotions, but it seemed like it was escalating daily. He asked for help and I found a counselor that he really liked and could start working with him quickly. She wasn’t able to write him prescriptions, but wanted to see if we could work things out without medication. About halfway through I felt like we needed to explore medication - finding a doctor that specialized in adolescents was a nightmare. Getting an appointment within a reasonable time frame was a nightmare also. My son was in crisis and I didn’t even know how bad it was.

On 1.10.19, he called me on my way to work. He had refused to leave his room for the sixth time in ten days. He was sobbing. He told me he didn’t want to feel this way anymore. That he thought he might be better off dead. That he had spent the night cutting his thighs, and that it wasn’t the first time he’d had those thoughts or done those things. That he just wanted to feel normal again and he knew he could, but he couldn’t even bring himself to get out of bed.

I left work. I took him to children’s hospital and within hours he was in a facility for adolescents. He needed medical treatment. He needed counseling, yes. But he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and panic disorder caused by anxiety. He needed medication. He needed an intervention. And the lengths I had to go to for someone to take him seriously still astounds me.

There’s so much pressure on us as parents to raise the perfect child. There’s so much pressure on them as young adults to get perfect grades, and go to a big school. There’s so much pressure on teenage boys to become men so fast. Don’t cry and be strong. Don’t show weakness or emotion. It’s not cool to hug your mom, and don’t you dare ask for a kiss. With all of those AP classes, he was averaging 3-4 hours per night of homework and still only getting C’s. Eventually he quit doing the work. I think that when he realized the hole that he had dug himself, he spiraled downhill quickly. The first thing I did was change his schedule. I took him out of those AP classes and put him into a suitable replacement. I stopped caring so much about making him the perfect child and started focusing on making our relationship strong. I started working on opening the lines of communication - even on things I don’t want to hear 😂 I started prioritizing my day differently - carving out alone time for him and I - because even though he acts tough, I realized some of it may have been a really painful way of getting my attention. We try to deal with emotions head on - cry it out, run it out, laugh it out. We try not to bite our toungues if what we have to say is constructive. And we hug - a few times a day sometimes. We say I love you. And sometimes he even sneaks me in a kiss goodnight ❤️

It’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. He’s not perfect. I still struggle. We still have a bad day on occasion. But we know how to recover. We know to address it. I still bite my tounge at times and really dissect my words. I know he is living with a disease at a level that is greater than anything I have experienced and my words, all of the words I speak to him, carry a greater weight than anyone else in his life.

I guess I just wanted to share this somewhere. Maybe it will help someone that is struggling. It’s not something I talk about often with just anyone. But it’s changed me in ways I could never imagine.

From an Anonymous Concerned Mother Who Wants To Help Others

 

$50,000,000,000 in Profits
Category: Community News
Tags: Medicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pharmaceutical industry made $50,000,000,000 dollars in profit last year. Meanwhile 1 in 5 Americans cannot afford life-saving medicines. How is this fair? Can we not lobby for cheaper medicine? Why is healthcare a profitable industry? Doesn't that go against the concept of "helping" others? Of treating others? How can we live in a society that sees patients as dollar signs and still expect the same treatment when everyone in the USA has different economical standards? What is affordable for one is not affordable for the next. And we call this society fair?It is far from fair and time we made a stand. We need to lobby for our rights, which are being walked on and trampled over.

My own way #2
Category: Personal Blog
Tags: health illness mental health my own way healing

The re-evaluation of my life. A strange feeling. Weird energies flow from the gut to the throat, pouring out like so much vomit. A forced re-evaluation of priorities and values, brought on by illness, stress and madness.

 

Previously, my aim in life was some form of success. From writing, or drawing. Not even success as such. I just wanted to earn a decent living from doing what I love. I`m not good at that much, honestly. I`m good at drawing and writing, fairly well versed in the production of alcoholic beverages and decent enough at gardening. I`m also very good at one other thing. But that`s between me and my wife, you filth. Heh. Weird energies from the gut again.

 

My goal was economic independence, an important goal for me. Seems it`s dead in the dust now, these strange pains and horrid lack of energy engulfing me, wrapping me in a web and rendering me – quite simply – too weak to work as hard as I need to, or want to, in order to achieve financial independence. It sucks. Drawing or writing for 60 minutes straight drains me of energy to such an extent that I struggle with the most basic tasks of life the rest of the day. With this as a baseline, it should go without saying that the amount of work needed to suceed in my previous goal is nigh impossible for me to attain. Not to mention the inevitable stress from success. Can`t cope, won`t cope, shutdown.

 

So what to do? I`ve never wanted to do anything other than what I have always done. Or always wanted to do, for that matter. Seems strange, though. This incredible focus on a career, of sorts. There are more important things in life. For sure. And of course. It still does not detract from the fact that I am stuck with this strange feeling of wasted potential, a life not well spent. And as such, I struggle to feel fulfilled. Sitting around wasting time is not my thing: I used to be fairly busy, active, always doing something. Now there is too much downtime, as I need to relax and come to my senses after doing the most mundane tasks. There is an incredibly ugly depression just hanging around the corner, waiting to pounce on me if I am not careful and keep my wits about me. Always on guard, lest I fall into selfpity, or worse, selfanalysis. I had two years worth of severe introspection. I don`t think I need any more at the moment. It`ll do for a lifetime. The extreme fatigue gets worse with depression, as well as the physical pain.

 

Channeling the energy spent on creating outwards, I found calm and relaxation in my family: wife, two dogs. Domestic bliss for a domesticated primate. Interests and hobbies, passions and fascinations that don`t spend my energy-reserves abound, as long as I manage to see them through the thin, lacy veil of depression. I found a renewed passion for homebrewing and gardening last year, as I struggled to regain some control over my perplexed apathy. Some not-too-heavy physical activites that really brighten my day. I can spend long hours conjuring up a new recipe for some strange and beautiful wine, cider or beer. And then there is the joy of the process, when all the pieces of the recipe is at hand and the hard work begins – all the boiling and mashing and stirring and so-and-such. The wait for it all to mature, and the giddiness from the first tasting – a year or so later. It is a true spectacle, a monument to a patience I thought long gone in 2015, when my concentration-span suffered a harsh detour due to a severely racing mind, madness erupting from the chrysalis.

The same can be said for gardening. The smell of the soil, waiting for the seeds to sprout, and later produce fruit. The fantastic feeling of using my hands – doing something, atleast being selfsufficient in a small way. Now, if only I had more room for the plants. All in due time. With patience and persistence, things will fall into place.

 

All throughout this short life of mine, I have loved music. Not playing it – I won`t subject my wife to that torture. It`s probably cause for divorce, come to think of it! I do love listening to music, though. After my illness, I found that those quiet moments where I am able to listen to a record and not do anything else as long as the record lasts are even more important than previously. Taking time to relax – to absolutely relax – is more important now than ever. And music relaxes me in a way nothing else – with the possible exception of meditation – can do. It is a pure, unfiltered drug pouring in through my ears and filling my veins with brilliantine chill, pure beauty.

 

Success is transient. It comes. It goes. It never lasts. Everything eventually passes. With forced and severely limited energy, priorities do shift, values change, what was important before becomes less important in time. I`ll create as I manage, taking my time. And, as such, spent my time on matters that matter. Potential success can suck it. My gut won`t allow it, my fractured body and psyche rendering it unreachable. What`s left to say?@!$%# it. I`m good.

 

- Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

 

 

My own way #1 Tags: health illness mental health my own way healing

 


Being in a state of complete physiological and psychological burnout is not easy. The immense fatigue is hard to describe to anyone who has not experienced it. Stemming from a psychological breakdown starting early in 2015, to which I have previously alluded and will elaborate on at some later point, I spent 2016 and 2017 recovering as best I could. The breakdown lasted until sometime in late 2017, when I finally managed to sleep properly again. Up until late 2017, i had been running on empty since early 2015, averaging three hours of resless sleep each night.

   It should go without saying that this took a great toll on mind and body, and as the recovery proved nigh impossible without proper sleep, I turned to seeking help, comfort and understanding. I then turned to despair when I realised that there were no proper help to be had. Neither during my breakdown, nor during my recovery. What I realised trying to get professional help was that there was noone willing to listen properly – I sought action, practical applications to get me through whatever it was that I was going through at the time, either in the midst of my breakdown, or at the beginning stages of my slow recovery. I received medications and a constant stream of "therapeutical" talk which did little to help. The meds made my sleep worse and my behaviour even more erratic than it were, alien even, as I quickly became someone I was not, due to the medications crackling in my brain making me seek constant action of some sort or other. To combat my insomnia, I was put on stimulants with a chemical buildup, I later learned, closely mirroring amphetamines. Not a wise choice, one would say.
   I spent six months tapering off this medicinal treatment. And another six months still suffering withdrawals and sideeffects. The therapeutical talk did little to help as well, every session being nothing but a rundown of the previous session. I know this pattern too well, having been in therapy for seventeen years. One would think that, after seventeen years, some good would have come of it. Rather than gradually being cured from whatever psychological ailments I might suffer, I was medicated into apathy and isolation, misdiagnosed and treated for several ailments which I did not suffer. Treating the symptoms, not the cause. The assumption being that I could not get better. It seems to me, in hindsight, that all these years of therapy have been nothing but a vicious cycle of symptoms – medication for symptoms – more symptoms – more medications. On and on.

During my breakdown of 2015, there was no help to be gained. My psychiatrist had gone on vacation without informing me. Desperate calls from both my wife and myself to health services rendered nothing. What I needed was instantaneous help. Help in crisis, pure and simple. Nothing was done, nor could anything be done, I learned.
   Hindsight being 20/20, we should have pushed and pushed until they had to render help. But the lackluster response were of a sort so unsympathetic and callous, so cold and clinical and bureaucratic that hope was lost and the willingness to proceed on my part gone the way of my sleep and my relaxation: blasted into dismal and confused oblivion.

   Seeking help from the personal sphere proved difficult as well, as the responses I got were to suck it up, followed by questions about how my wife were doing through all this. The message I received being that the wellbeing of my wife mattered more than my own wellbeing, despite me being in the midst of a complete breakdown where nothing seemed familiar to me. Of course, this did nothing but add a layer of bad conscience to my fractured and fragmenting psyche. Which brought me to a point of absolute despair, come mid-2016, where I wrote something like "No matter what I do, it all turns to shit. I give up." on my Facebook wall. Obviously, I am paraphrasing, as I can`t remember my exact wording. That matters little, though. I got one response, being told to "Not make myself so pitiful". As if this would alleviate my very obvious breakdown. I replied with anger. To which I only received the answer of "I have said what I wanted to say". Not much empathy nor understanding to be found.
   Now, to be clear, I do not consider Facebook a place to seek comfort, understanding or reason, facebook of course being the land of unreason and kneejerk reactions. But at that point in time, I was not thinking clearly. What was clear to me then, however, and still is, is this: my suffering did not matter in the least. The reason for this response was that the "culprit" found what I said uncomfortable, not that I should not make myself "pitiful", but that I should not make this person feel uncomfortable. It was not born out of compassion for me. Better that I suffer in silence, than let this person feel uncomfortable about my state of mind. Or my non-state of mind. Nevermind the fact that my original post was born from despair out of not receiving any support at all; a last and desperate cry for help. This reply proved to me, without a smudge of doubt, that I would receive no understanding, nor support from anywhere. A cynical outlook, for sure, but born from experience and carried ever forward as the weeks and months and years of unrest and lack of sleep carried on, me still being expected to drop everything in my life to rush to the aid of others instead of receiving aid myself.

Fast-forward now, to december 22, 2017. Mind getting calmer, sleep getting better through meditation and the application of antypsychotics, calming my mind a bit. The only medication, I migt add, that has ever worked properly for me. At this point in time, I have been receiving proper professional treatment for some time, after slamming my head into the wall. Had I received immediate treatment during my breakdown, I would have fared way better. Anyhow, I am sitting in the doctors office, completely exhausted, with every part of my body aching, my mind feeling foggy, sluggish, uncomprehending. And I am told that I now suffer a condition of chronic pain and fatigue: Fibromyalgia, which seems to me to be another modern ailment, brought on by stress and societal madness. A catch-all diagnosis for a variety of aches and ills, all different, yet close enough to be caught under an umbrella-term, bunched together and given a name. A name, but no cure. I am aware of the reasons for my current predicament. It is easy to say that this is brought on by my breakdown in 2015, but the truth is that 2015 was the catalyst. It has been building for untold years, repressed anger and fear and confusion brought on by unacknowledged and untreated/poorly treated trauma. My chaos of 2015 brought it all out into the light, and showed me myself to myself, my history and the core of my madness.

Now, this diagnosis brings with it the necessity of re-evaluating ones life. There are no two ways about it: things must change, in order for the mind and body to function properly together. When one wanes, the other follows. Psychological stress brings forth physiological pain, and vice versa – yet another vicious cycle handed me by my psyche. Everything I previously had sought and worked towards had to change. My planned career of art and writing tossed out the window in a catastrophic collapse of my body and mind. I have become unable to work as hard as I want to work on my art and my writings in order to achieve whatever success I might have achieved had I not "squandered" it all by getting ill. Through becoming ill, I have had to take a objective look at my life, my hopes and my dreams, my values and my passions. I have been forced to sort myself and my life out. In many ways, it is a blessing in disguise. This fucking ailment has made me truly seek my own way, to carve my own path through life based on my own values and desires, my own loves and passions, my own interests and hobbies, as well as my own strenghts and weaknesses.

This ramble serves as a short introduction to a series I have entitled "my own way", in which I will ponder my values and wax philosophically on the meaning and eventual goal of my life. Make no mistake: this is written mainly for my own development and healing. I am, however, hopeful that some of what I write might be applicable to the life of others, that someone will find some advice, perhaps even words of wisdom, in my ongoing ramble.

 - Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

 

 

Night Terrors Tags: night terrors terrors night anxiety fear dread insomnia overcoming

For about a year and a half, I suffered severe night-terrors. I should say a year and a half in my adult life, as I had previous experiences with the beast during my childhood and early adolescence as well, a fact I had almost forgotten about until I once again felt that clammy hand on my throat during adulthood.

I would wake every night in a state of absolute panic and confusion for those eighteen-or-so months. More often than not less than an hour after falling asleep. Confusion and panic would tear through me as I sat at the edge of my bed gasping for breath, covered in sweat, cold and clammy even in the midst of summer.

After some time of this, I developed an intense fear of sleep, postponing going to bed as long as I could, knowing that the grip of absolute terror would choke me once more the moment I fell asleep. The sanctuary of sleep was broken, beat down by an inner anxiety, ripped apart by a beast whom I could neither name nor subdue at the time. It goes without saying that this state of affairs contributed to three years I have dubbed «my insomniac adventures».

Insomnia is a fell beast which I have battled since my early teens. I was then, and am still, no stranger to tossing-and-turning. However, I usually managed to fall asleep at long last, and thus get some rest between the battles. The exception being, of course, previous aforementioned battles with night-terrors, so far removed from me at that point that I can`t remember when it happened. I can only assume that it has followed me at semi-regular intervals through my childhood. This time I found no rest between battles. It jolted me bolt upright and wide awake every night, rendering my ability to relax in bed impossible, rendering my bedroom a domain of terror, making sleep unavailable, resulting in countless hours awake in front of the computer, counting the dull hours until morning finally came and my wife got up so I could see some semblance of a day beginning.

I remember these slow hours ticking away with fear and trepidation. That horrible tea-time-of-the-soul every night, breaking me down, leaving me too much room to think, and to suffer the crushing loneliness of panic and dread, slowly wasting away into nothing but a trembling ball of flesh and bone, so exhausted by panic and lack of sleep that life became not life, but mere existence, a grey and dull haze through which I could barely see, let alone function.

There was so much time spent in this state of exhaustion and permanent panic that I still feel the effects and consequences, now settled in my bones, tendons and muscles. My body is reduced to an aching lump of clay, a veteran returning from war to find his home devastated by the very forces he fought, despite me having seven hours of sleep every night for about seven months now.

Of course, this state of affairs is brought on by more than just the night-terrors. Night-terror played it`s part, that`s for damn sure. But other factors contributed, which will be examined at some later time.

Healing from this terror came slowly. Gradually. I had to teach myself how to sleep again. How to not fear sleep in order to sleep. The anxiety I felt prior to falling asleep had to be quelled gradually, through the passing of time and me sorting through a fair few issues I had let fall deep beneath the waves of my subconscious, grinding and grinding on these issues as they ground on me, until both the issues and myself were ground down to mere pebbles, with the end result of me being but a shadow of the man I was. Then the slow upwards climb began, gradually rebuilding myself, pebble by pebble, through the tiny area of calm I discovered within myself during this process, until I saw something resembling the man I once was, now refined, better, stronger even than I was before, due to facing the fell beast and emerging victorious, despite it all.

 

  • Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018
The virtue of alcohol (short musings and various thoughts)
Category: Alcoholism
Tags: alcohol virtue pain chronic relaxation fatigue stress psychology medication

 


In a corner of my livingroom, mixed in with my records and stereo-equipment, I have a small, rugged and steadily growing collection of various whiskeys. Straight across from this eclectic collection of ambrosia, there is a small bar containing wine and various spirits, mainly strange german herbal concoctions, meant to aid in digestion and in general provide good health and longevity. I don`t know. I just love the taste of it. Go down four flights of stairs from our apartment, and you will encounter the "winecellar" – a small rectangular room containing my homebrewed beers and wines, as well as a more serious collection of storebought wine, each bottle saved for a special occassion. Of course, as always is the case with special occassions, the special occassion is whenever I damn well please.

These collections of heavenly nectar are growing at a fairly steady pace, ever since I traded partying for relaxation and quantity for quality.

Suffering severe pain and fatigue for about eighteen months left me in a bit of a odd state of mind. Being diagnosed with a severe chronic pain/chronic fatigue disorder, after a lengthy run to-and-from between doctors and psychologists, experts of medication and specialists in psychotherapy, psychobabble and strange, ethereal diagnosis that meant little and helped me less, (especially considering the farcical nature of my various psychiatric diagnosis – all proven to be wrong, then replaced by another, yet another, yet another)  left me in an even stranger state of mind. Of course, my partying days were over. Granted – the partying had been declining rapidly over several years anyways, and given my age I was already dangling from the precipice of this shit ain`t worth the hassle anymore. There are limits, of course, to the amount of abuse a body can withstand. Getting drunk once a week is not exactly abuse, as such, but add the chronic pain and fatigue to the steady decline of my body due to age, and it should become clearer than adamantium-armour that the hangovers would just be getting worse and worse. The morning after, previously treated as a lazy-day, became unbearably painful and clearly the shit really weren`t worth the hassle.

I do love alcohol still, however. The difference now, as opposed to the years of hearty, hardy partying lies in the amount consumed, as well as the reasons for consumption. Where before the desire for intoxication shone, shines now the desire for relaxation and reward.
   Of course, it sounds ridiculously selfcongratulatory to reward oneself at the end of the day for doing nothing but accomplishing simple tasks that everyone does everyday without even thinking twice about it. And that is quite simply because it is incredibly selfcongratulatory.

With my levels of pain and fatigue – and it is incredibly severe – comes the inevitable result: ordinary tasks, however mundane, drains me of energy. With the lack of energy comes the pain, and vice versa. A vicious circle, difficult to break, brought on by years upon years of a personal lack of ability to cope with stress. Piling up tasks, piling up to much of everything and everyone and leaving precious little time for myself to find that center of calm that I desperately needed. The end result of living like this, hiding it as well as I could for reasons unclear to me, for several years were two years where I averaged three hours of sleep a night, and spending my waking hours in a state of near-constant panic. Of course, this could only lead to the inevitable collapse of my body – both my mind and my body turning against me in a great wave, crushing me to the floor of the ocean and squeezing all the air and all the life out of my body.
   These two years marked the end of atleast fifteen years struggling with severe psychological distress, for which I received precious little help and support – instead being severely medicated and left in a odd pseudo-comatose state for several years. That`s healthcare for you. Don`t go to the root of the problem. Don`t heal. Subdue. Bury it under mountains of drugs. Drown the sorrows in pharmaceutical rain. If you can`t see the issue, it ain`t there.

This leaves me in the state I am in, a point in my life where I find it necessary – and of course helpful – to celebrate myself for achieving mundane tasks: cleaning, laundry, caring for my dogs, and so-and-such.
   One single drink, or a bottle of wine shared with my darling wife at the end of the day. Of course, it`s not just the alcohol that causes the relaxation. The alcohol is just another factor in sometghin that is almost ritual in nature: the sound of the cork opening, the pouring of drink into the glass, sitting down and feeling some semblance of calm washing over me and then having a sip and realizing that, even through the layers of fatigue and pain, through the anguish and the torture of my aching joints and muscles, I made it through another day, I did it, and life is, for what it is and despite it all, still pretty damned good.


- Kim Solvang Andersen, Sandnes, 2018

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