Excitement and Worrisome

Excitement and Worrisome

Yesterday was a very tough day for me. I spent the entire day waiting to find out if the sellers of the house we like are going to accept our offer or not. We spent the whole day waiting to hear and the day ended still without finding out any news. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can tell you for certain that I’m not good at waiting. Hopefully we will get an answer later today; and of course we’re hoping that it’s going to be a positive response.

Other than the anxiety and waiting, yesterday was a physically painful day. I was having a lot of pain, it was probably due to the increased stress. I was also working on my taxes, which is a stressful and time-consuming task.

This morning, I have another ECT treatment; I think that this is my 8th treatment in this series. After ECT, I will have the opportunity to rest, if I can, but I usually can’t. Then tomorrow evening, my granddaughter is supposed to be coming over and we can all go out to eat. My mom has not had the ability to meet her yet, so I’m really looking forward to this opportunity that they’ll have.

I’m hoping that tomorrow is going to be a better day than today. I just need to figure out how to relax a little more. Looking for houses is definitely exciting, but is not at all relaxing. It’s more worrisome than anything else. I’m lucky I have the love and support from my husband and my mom to get me through every moment. They could both look at me and tell (just my looking at me) that I was having a rough day. I tried to pretend I was okay, but the people who know me best could tell that I was having a difficult time.

Up At The Crack Of Dawn

Up At The Crack Of Dawn

I have no clue why, but for some reason,  I woke up at 4am this morning. It was hours earlier than I planned on waking up. And when I woke up, I was wide awake. There was no going back to sleep for me. So I decided to get some stuff done. I might as well be productive since I have such a busy day ahead of me. I started by doing some laundry, then I cleaned the kitchen, and then one of the bathrooms. I’m trying hard no to make any noise so I don’t wake my husband. He was awake at 4am when I woke up, but unlike me, he was able to go back to sleep.

I’m glad I’m getting stuff done early, it will make the rest of my day a lot easier. I’ve actually completed half of the cleaning! I’m going to bring my dog to the groomers very shortly, that way he doesn’t smell bad while my mom is here. I do admit I’m a little frustrated that while I’m trying to clean, my husband is having his brother over to play video games. Somehow, I’m just going to make it clear that they have to pick up after themselves. Hopefully it works out.

Once all that is done, I’m excited for my mom to come visit. My mom is one of my best friends, she’s the best, and I don’t have enough time to spend with her. So I get her for 8 days, which is amazing! Just so you know, I do clean this intensely on a regular basis. I generally clean the whole house once a week.

Can’t Sleep

Can’t Sleep

Why am I awake? I have so much to do tomorrow. There are only two days until I leave and I have way too much to get done. My to-do list is so long, I hope I can get it all done. A good night’s sleep would really be helpful, but of course that’s not going to happen tonight. I would like to get started on my list right now, but that would make too much noise and wake up my husband.

I can’t wait to be with my family, I miss them all so much. I’m overly excited to spend time with my mom, siblings, aunt, grandma, nieces, nephew, and some good friends. Maybe it’s the excitement that is keeping me from sleeping. That seems like a good explanation.

Standing By My Decision – I Actually Did It!

Standing By My Decision – I Actually Did It!

I was very nervous about my psych appointment yesterday; I was so nervous that I even had an anxiety attack. I’m not used to telling anyone what I want, especially when it’s different from others want. Standing up for my own desires is nerve-wracking for me. I prepared for my psych appointment yesterday by writing down exactly what I wanted to say. I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to stop ECT because it has become too hard on my body and my mind. I’ve been doing ECT for close to a year and a half, and I just can’t take it anymore. I explained my reasons and to my surprise, he was okay with my choice. He explained that he respects my choice; I couldn’t ask for more than that. I’m very happy with the outcome of that appointment.

He gave me several options about what we could do moving forward. He told me I probably wouldn’t like a couple of the options, but he was going to mention them anyway. I’m glad he did mention them (without any pressure). It was nice to see all of my options at once, even though I didn’t like most of them. Together, we decided to slowly increase my Clozapine up to 400mg a night. We will increase the dose by 25mg each week until we reach our target goal of 400mg. We are increasing slowly to hopefully avoid some negative side effects such as dizziness, fevers, and drowsiness. It will take two months to reach our goal. I will see him in three months. This gives me time to get to the target dose and then allow my body to adjust to the dose for a while. I’m really hoping that this change will help. The Clozapine has helped quite a bit so far, I have a feeling that it will continue to help.

My husband pointed out to me that this is the first time that I made my own decision regarding my mental health, and stuck by it. He was proud of me. To be honest, I’m proud of myself. I know it sounds a little ridiculous to be so happy about this decision, but it’s a huge step for me.

I Did Well… For A While – My Life: Part 5

I Did Well… For A While – My Life: Part 5

After working at the rehab for 9 months, I decided I wanted to move forward with my life. I applied for many jobs in Phoenix. I got a job as a receptionist for a legal compliance and ethics e-learning company. I found an apartment in Phoenix and moved there with a guy I was dating from the rehab, but that relationship didn’t last. I don’t know when our relationship ended, but I think we lived together for about a year. I adopted a dog and named him Cash (after Johnny Cash). He was awfully energetic and liked to chew on everything. I learned how to train him, and he started to behave properly. Cash came with me to AA camping events, which was a blast. At some point, I found a great AA club where I would go to the same meeting every day at 6pm. I don’t like change, so moving was scary. I like to keep a regular schedule. I made a lot of friends at the meeting, but I would only go to that one meeting every day. One of the guys I met was Brandon, who became my best friend. He had the same sarcastic attitude that I have and we got along wonderfully.

I was doing really well at this time in my life. I got a promotion at work, I was able to live on my own, make friends, and maintain my sobriety and my mental health. I took my medication and saw my doctors regularly. I was seeing the psychiatrist that was treating me while I was in rehab. Brandon asked me to workout with him. I told him no for months, and then I ultimately caved and decided to go with him. I was terrified because it was something new, but Brandon made me feel safe. After working out with him once, I was hooked. I loved it. We started working out together 5 days a week. It helped me get through my days at work. I would go to work, then workout with Brandon, and then go to my meeting (often with Brandon). I was happy with this new schedule; it was working well for me.

In the beginning, I wasn’t open about my mental health when it came to my AA meetings. My close friends knew, but that was all. Eventually, I ended up talking about my bipolar disorder in a meeting. I felt as if it wasn’t accepted. Several times, I was told that I didn’t have a mental health problem. It was just an issue to work on through step work. That was a problem for me. I didn’t feel accepted. My mental health was a huge part of my life. Even when I’m doing well, it’s still a large piece of my life. I was stable for years. That had never happened to me before.

My psychiatrist decided to wean me off my meds slowly because I had been stable for such a long period. It was possible that my mental health issues were drug related, so we thought it was worth a try to get off medication. I was down to two medications, and then she took me off the Seroquel. About 4 months later, I started to fall apart. I thought it would be a good idea to go to therapy again because I started to remember things that I hadn’t previously remembered. These memories triggered what was eventually diagnosed as PTSD. With the PTSD coming up and the med changes occurring, it was like the perfect storm. I started having hallucinations and was shaking uncontrollably. My psychiatrist put me on Abilify, but that made it worse. I barely slept for 3 weeks.

My job let me work from home, but after a little while, I couldn’t even manage that any more. I went on short-term disability, which then turned into long-term disability. There were times that I struggled to feed the dog. My mom came out to stay with me for a little while, but she couldn’t be there all the time. I decided to move back to Connecticut because I couldn’t be on my own anymore. I’m lucky that she was able and willing to let me and my dog move in with her. My long-term disability turned in to Social Security Disability.

I thought writing my story would help my memory, and it has; but it has also become difficult for me. There’s a lot that I struggle to remember, and a lot of other things I wish I didn’t remember. I think I’m going to take a break from writing my story for a little while.

Getting Ready To Go Home

Getting Ready To Go Home

I leave tomorrow to go back home. I’m both saddened and excited at the same time. I don’t want to leave my mom and other family members; however, I miss my husband, his (my) family, my dog, and my routine. I’m close with my husband’s family, I feel like they are my family, not just my in-laws. I’ll be home tomorrow night. My husband is picking me up from the airport and I can’t wait to see him.

I have lots to do today so I can go back home tomorrow. I’m anxious because I have so much to do and I’m not sure if I can get it all done, but I’ll do my best. I wrote my to-do list last night. Besides writing my blog, I have to email my doctor, wash my hair, do laundry, pack, try to go see my grandma once more, go to the local farmer’s market, and look for secondary health insurance. I also have a few things to help my mom with, while I’m still here. I know it sounds obvious to wash my hair, but it’s such a huge task because it’s so long that I feel it’s worthy of being on my to-do list. I can tie my hair in a knot, like a bun, and it stays up. I’ve been meaning to look at secondary health insurance, it might help to have something in addition to my primary insurance. I figured I would do it while I’m here so my mom can help me figure it out. Sometimes, I just get overwhelmed and can’t figure out how to do even the simplest of things.

I got so many other things done already this past week and was able to visit with so many people. I met with two family friends yesterday and was able to catch up with them. I had a great visit with both of them. My brother and his awesome wife invited me over for dinner last night. I’m honored that they would invite me, and we had a great time. I love how happy they are together.

Now, I just have to get moving so I can get all of these things done on my list. I can’t put off washing my hair, laundry, or packing any longer.

Visiting Family

Visiting Family

There are some people, that no matter how many times you explain it to them, or how many times they see you have an anxiety attack, they will never understand. I don’t think really ask for too much. All I want is to know what is going on.  My first 2 visits today went wonderfully. I had a fantastic time visiting with people as planned. My third visit was a bit more difficult. Despite the difficulties, I’m still glad I got to see everyone I was hoping to see. I’m also very grateful that I took a Valium before going to third visit of the day. If I hadn’t taken anything, I probably would have had an anxiety or panic attack at their house because of the surprises I encountered.

I ended up going over to a family member’s house to visit with my nieces and nephew. I was finally told what time to come over a couple of hours before the actual visit (I had only been trying to make the plans for 2 weeks). I drive up to their house, knock on the door, and my nephew lets me in. I’m ecstatic to see him, he’s grown so much. I step into the kitchen and see 2 people who I don’t know at all. Apparently, my brother-in-law planned on having his mother and sister come over for dinner, but no one told me about this. He knows that I struggle with new people. All I wanted would have been to be informed of who would be there. Also, those other people, who turned out to be extremely nice, get to see the kids pretty often. I get to see the kids approximately 2 hours every 6 months. So I also had to share my time with the kids with these other individuals.

The visit was still nice, but it was far from what I expected. Visits always change when you add in other people. I need to change my expectations. Sadly, I can’t and often don’t expect much from others. I generally think I’m going to be let down. Next time, I’m going to do my best not to expect a visit, personal alone time with the kids, or even a response to my text messages. I’m not going to change how I feel about anyone. I love my family and would do anything for them; however, I need to protect myself. By lowering my expectations or having none at all, I’m simply guarding myself from being let down or disappointed. I will still try to see everyone; I’m just going to try my best not to have ideas in my head of how the visits are going to go.

The lessons I learned here are to keep my hopes and expectations to a minimum or not have them at all if possible. It’s another reminder for me to love my family no matter what. Also, it makes me extremely grateful for my relationship with my mother. Everything between us is so simple and loving; I’m so appreciative of everything her and I have.