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Old 12-07-18, 05:27 PM
peripatetic peripatetic is offline
 
 

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Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

All this time I thought ...they/forces, let's say...were out to exploit or control me Maybe all along the only person waging war versus me ...is me.

I had back to back therapist then psychiatrist appointments. My mind sometimes gets confused and I can't differentiate easily between having memories of urges and having the urges themselves. I've stopped riding my bike down certain streets so I am less susceptible to being triggered into whichever they are. I really am not looking to die right now. But I feel like the meds are *just* on a cusp of tipping, but I can control whether I let it tip. I'm still in control of my mind. Though I suppose I would argue even when super unwell that that's the case. This isn't one of my psychotic symptoms on display posts. Or I hope it isn't. That's the trick...I feel so uncertain and then it shifts and I'm unwaveringly certain of my perspective and beliefs. I need to not tempt them. And the meds are keeping me in the proverbial drivers seat.

But, I have a really daunting thing to share that happened. And I wonder if others have inquired and been given from his/her psychiatrist really unhoped for news. I've wanted to ask him this question when I'm fairly stable and lucid and yet I don't want him to lie; I would not respect or trust him at all if he did and I learned of it. But he's great and I trust him and his insight into my ailments. I've also seen him for about twelve to fifteen years. We developed an instant rapport, but still I've shied away from asking him his professional and (because in comparison with all his other patients) experience-informed opinion of where on the severity spectrum I am.

He said "moderate to severe in general with times of profound impairment."

And then we just looked at each other for a really long pause while his words hung in the air before starting to sink in as "subject-matter expert's educated opinion".

I don't know how I feel about that. I mean, i realise I do not have a high functioning life if measured by many of our socio-cultural standards. (EX: My goal this week is to change my clothes daily, eat at least twice a day, and shower more than once.) It's a low bar; I get that.

BUT, I also know that, amongst all those worldwide with my primary diagnosis, I have had periods of being VERY high functioning. Like, I earned a doctorate and got a job lecturing for a while and did a two year stint abroad... even now, I'm not in hospital, I'm co-parenting a young child with my stable partner of fifteen years. Like, I'm SUPER high functioning in comparison to at least a third of those with my same diagnoses who are living in group homes, institutions, assisted care, SROs or who are a significant percentage of the thousands of people in my city living on the street without homes at all.

So having this fantasy, as my therapist calls it, of being medication free AND healthy and functioning all at the same time, took a major hit today. I finally had the courage to ask and I'm unsure how I feel about the reply. Which I do believe he offered with total sincerity and he was simple and direct when he said it. Looked me dead in the eye. The gravity of what he was saying I don't think he look lightly.

The question now is whether I can maintain stability for a long enough chunk of time where I can be considered in a residual phase? I guess, in some sense , that's been all of my mental health workers' goal for me all along.

Sometimes I despise mental health workers who buy into that positive psychology **** whilst concurrently letting people set goals that are beyond them. Everyone can't do everything. I can run a seven and a quarter minute average for at least bay to breakers (7 miles ish), but I will never be a professional performing acrobat. And telling people to pursue...no, more like giving people who accept some of their limitations a guilt trip about just not wanting it badly enough. What ableist ******** that is.

Still, I'm an optimist at heart and I do cling to my "fantasy" of "succeeding despite xyz" or just plain "winning versus/defeating" the ailment. I posted on here somewhere a while ago about the truths, corroborated facts, I need to accept in order to progress as a person (and progress as a partner, and a mum, and as a member of the community).

Today's psych appointment did some major damage to my idealized self image, though, not to mention my belief in my potential to execute lofty goals of med free living and so forth. I need to find peace with myself, or rather make peace with myself, and it's awfully challenging.

I got my prescriptions today. A three month supply of my five regular meds and a month of my two PRNs. About fifteen bottles to add to my cupboard. >FIFTEEN ******* bottles!!! I have no other health issues (touch wood). No heart or glucose or blood pressure or other diseases of aging and/or randomness. Fifteen ******* bottles, therapy next Friday as usual, IOP aftercare twice (tues and thurs), and my next psychiatrist appointment scheduled (if all stays roughly the same) for 2019.

My friends, and whomever else takes up reading this, remember how resentment works and know this one thing I've learned: everyone knows resentment just eats you up inside like a mental "subtraction soup"...you will never be validated enough or "heard" properly enough or find peace with self and others so long as resentment festers actively within you toward another or toward your circumstances. That doesn't mean we don't still indulge in it, but critical thinking shows us it's not ideal.

What I didn't know, or realise, I guess, is that resenting yourself for being mentally ill steers you right into self loathing and disappointment and fear. All this time I thought I resented the mental health community and public stigma and discrimination and judgment and treatment...what I think is really happening is that I resent myself, my mind, for betraying me. When your whole life you've wanted only to live authentically and constructively, collaboratively make things better for humans and non humans and other living things...having a mind that I can't count on to not turn against me and demand my death kinda leaves me feeling like Descartes in the meditations.

That's when he's, like, my senses deceive me, as does my mind at times. He, of course pulled a double deus ex machina and found that piece of "firm and constant knowledge" on which to anchor all of reality, knowledge, and experience (even those experiences where our senses or mind mislead us about reality; e.g. a pencil put into water halfway will appear bent because water and air have different indices of refraction, do not shake his foundation.) Ah...and in response to his meditations rationalism rose again in the course of philosophy.

Here's my thing: finding an intrinsically valuable foundation isn't enough to keep the concerns about reality and knowledge and my experiences at bay, because the very entity perceiving and analyzing is, and not just in a casual (or mild to moderate) way, and has spent years and years (i.e. I've been unwell since my mid-late twenties and now I'm mid-forties) worth of time trying to dig and place a cornerstone in what turned out to be quicksand. That's a slice of the outcomes from my two appointments today. I've been building on quicksand, statistically speaking there's an incredibly high likelihood of my doing so again, but I do have a clearer picture of the foe that's both not me and entirely me.

I've written a lot so I'm going to post this and maybe do that eating thing I'm supposed to do. Or possibly shower. Dare to dream/aim high, right? :/
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Old 12-07-18, 06:31 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

I hear you, peri, and it's good to see you here again
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Old 12-07-18, 07:34 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

I'm glad to see you back Peri!!
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Old 12-07-18, 08:39 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

This time of year is always so dicey for me. I once slipped and called the holiday season the hospital season. but it's not entirely inaccurate. It's actually pretty spot on.

When will this cycle of striving and not making any headway end? I mean, obviously I know the answer: with my death (hopefully...I do worry about having been or being formaldehyded), so I'm asking more rhetorically.

I'm going to be forty five in June. That means I've had my "moderate to severe with times of profound impairment) for about twenty years. I never thought I'd make it to a point where I've been truly sick for more than half my life, but that's approaching.

An old therapist, a crack he made, sticks in my head suddenly. He was, like, it's less likely the small girl will end up schizophrenic because it often skips a generation. But then my family has it throughout. So either e or her child(ren) would be doomed.

I missed seeing you around rebel...always glad to see familiar faces who remember years past as we ride the December wave into another new year.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:22 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

This time is hard for me too no folks.big lack of funds right now for anything but more bills .I saw my best friend burried at 49 in October. The fricking alcohol got to him.im still trying to get a grip on it.my one best true friend gone...I'm praying the year ends w no more B's or screw ups or whatever you call it.
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Old 12-08-18, 01:31 AM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

Can psychotic disorders ever go away on their own (or after psychotherapy/meds), or do you think you'll need to be on meds for the rest of your life?

I'm interested in what you said about resentment and validation. Are you saying that validation can feed resentment? What is the cure for resentment?
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Old 12-08-18, 04:25 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

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This time is hard for me too no folks.big lack of funds right now for anything but more bills .I saw my best friend burried at 49 in October. The fricking alcohol got to him.im still trying to get a grip on it.my one best true friend gone...I'm praying the year ends w no more B's or screw ups or whatever you call it.
So sorry for your tragic loss. Condolences, friend xx
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Old 12-08-18, 04:54 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

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Originally Posted by CharlesH View Post
Can psychotic disorders ever go away on their own (or after psychotherapy/meds), or do you think you'll need to be on meds for the rest of your life?

I'm interested in what you said about resentment and validation. Are you saying that validation can feed resentment? What is the cure for resentment?
The cure for resentment I think is reframing and acceptance. And then either letting it go (accepting it is what it is), or it'll fester and taint all of the parts of your life, without ever being constructive.

Validation doesn't feed resentment, I don't think. What I mean is that resenting these meds and this ailment, even hearing others validate that, doesn't make it resolve. Kinda like having a partner, whom you resent for ____reason, say "yeah, that sucks about me; I can see why you're resentful", but nothing CHANGES, the validation that you're right isn't going to give you peace.

I can be super "right". Yesterday I walked into my psych appointment and dumped all of my prescriptions onto the chair next to me and was, like, this is where I am right now and I ******* hate it. And my psychiatrist was, like, "I know you hate it and we're going to spend the next year working on it."

As to your other questions...yeah, apparently some freak percentage of people only have one episode and are able to go off meds and not end up cracking. It's a small percentage that I'm not fortunate to be among. They say "they"=some studies suggest, that after about age fifty symptoms start to be less potent. The late twenties and all of my thirties and right up until I found out I was going to be a mum, I admit, I was not good at staying on meds and my symptoms always returned. As I aged, they would return faster.

Like, in my twenties I went off and didn't end up in trouble for several months. I got through graduate school I'd say <50% of the time taking a therapeutic dose. In my thirties I'd still be ok for at least a month after going off. But it accelerated and now I'm at this point where I miss a handful of days and within a week, at most, I'm very unwell. I used to be in hospital every other year or so when I'd go off and slowly unravel, but now I can't even do major medication changes without going in.

In May I missed about one week (at least five days) over the course of two weeks. By the end of that two week spotty time, I was full blown and my psychiatrist 5150'ed me after I tried for (literally) an hour to calmly explain that it wasn't a big deal and I'd made peace with the fact I simply had to die before my birthday. My main concern was that I needed to take E to the beach one last time. And I thought, as a fellow parent, he would understand.

Ugh, I feel like I get hospitalized all the ******* time, even for med adjustments, though less frequently now that I have my girl and I'm doing my best to stay functional. On the plus side, the one this past June was relatively short (like, less than the two week 5250). When I was younger I think I was in less frequently, but for several months at a time. Actually, even as recently as 2013 I was in for over half of the calendar year.

I hope I answered your questions. I sorta lost my train of thought and hope it didn't just derail.
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Old 12-08-18, 05:25 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

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Originally Posted by CharlesH View Post
Can psychotic disorders ever go away on their own (or after psychotherapy/meds), or do you think you'll need to be on meds for the rest of your life?

I'm interested in what you said about resentment and validation. Are you saying that validation can feed resentment? What is the cure for resentment?
Edit: I had an accidental duplicate but then added to the Serbin's one. This is the added part only, I hope. xx

The cure for resentment I think is reframing and acceptance. For me, I need a lot of support systems to stay functioningband it's a struggle to get all three of my daily goals met. It's a low bar. But I think gratitude might also play a role. Not counting the times I've cut myself open (none of those were attempts; those were device removal), which I don't because I was in no way intending death though it could've resulted in that. Only three times though has it convinced me I needed to die, like must to prove I'm still human or because I believe I'll be formaldehyded or most recently it was that I had to die for my small girl to live. I used to be really resentful of being stopped, but I am grateful for my small girl. As much as this ailment has taken, I get to be her mum. I try to focus on that.
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Old 12-08-18, 05:32 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

Sounds like me when will this end when I'm dead.i get very cynical like that too I try not to as it's not too positive.no stinking.thinking
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Old 12-08-18, 05:38 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

Oh, and your first question: do I think I'll have to be on meds for the rest of my life... I ******* hope not, but all signs thus far point to yes.

My care team believes I need to have and as much as possible stick to a therapeutic plan for the foreseeable future. It's way more than the5-7 meds. It's also individual therapy once a week, group twice a week, minimum monthly psych appointments (if I'm doing okay-ish, like now), email and/or check ins, and monthly and quarterly bloodwork and on and on and on. I have case management and definitely every one of them has advised me to not go off/miss my meds without first consulting with my psychiatrist.

Even though I try to be consistent I still sometimes fail to execute. I now own a pill drill. It tracks me big brother style but also it reminds me in about three or four ways *repeatedly* to take them until I swipe the container or manually disable the alarm.
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Old 12-09-18, 07:55 AM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

Hey Peri- I have struggled similarly in the past and not so distant past with being med compliant. I used to have episodes of fugue- disorientation, slurred speech, combative behavior and paranoia. My doctor wanted me on Geodon because she felt the AAP's would solve the problem. I had refused all of the typical ones and the geodon because they cause you to gain weight. I worked so hard to lose a ton of weight and keep it off that my vanity or maybe my ego wouldn't let me try them. Over and over I was advised to take them and I refused or only took a quarter of the prescribed dose. I put my family through these traumatic episodes where no one knew what I was going to be like day-to-day. Combine that with the alcoholism (and you know I still credit it you for saving my life that way) and it was a real sh*t show. I finally became compliant and got sober and yes, I gained 20lbs back. In the grand scheme of having lost 127lbs its really nothing but even still it bugs me. Now I have a knee injury and other aches so my exercise as fallen off too. I am on disability and I struggled with feeling like a loser for that too. I shouldnt, I did work for a large portion of my life but not for the last 15 years. I recently enrolled in a teaching pre-requisite for an alternate teaching program. Not only did I barely make it, when I got my sh*t together I had my daughter almost being homeless waiting to get into sober living and my 22 year old had a stroke and heart surgery. I wonder if I really would have made it if that hadnt happened or would I have self sabotaged? Should I bother trying again as if I've learned my lesson?

My psychiatrist has been very blunt in acknowledging my deficits. This was a good thing because she encouraged me to get disability and I have been with her for 17 years. I did therapy for like 15 years but sort of reached my ceiling and wasnt getting anything out of it. It was more like chatting with a good friend.
I feel defective if I let myself think too hard about myself. I try to avoid this. When there is a tornado going on around me that becomes a double edge sword. Either I blame myself for my issues with my kids..(my bipolar addict daughter) or I engulf myself into caring for and protecting my kids when they are sick (my son) or care for my husband (his back). My sponsor used to call this defocusing. Like purposely taking the focus off me and putting it on others but what can I do? I know I am the glue to hold my family together. It seems like once a month I get non-compliant and lay around forgetting to shower and wearing my fleece pants all day. I am working on forgiving myself for this. Meds do not solve a problem, they help treat it. I do not know if what I am saying is helpful or if you can relate but I feel like I relate to you. xxxooo
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Old 12-09-18, 08:25 AM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

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Old 12-09-18, 11:33 AM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Edit: I had an accidental duplicate but then added to the Serbin's one. This is the added part only, I hope. xx

The cure for resentment I think is reframing and acceptance. For me, I need a lot of support systems to stay functioningband it's a struggle to get all three of my daily goals met. It's a low bar. But I think gratitude might also play a role. Not counting the times I've cut myself open (none of those were attempts; those were device removal), which I don't because I was in no way intending death though it could've resulted in that. Only three times though has it convinced me I needed to die, like must to prove I'm still human or because I believe I'll be formaldehyded or most recently it was that I had to die for my small girl to live. I used to be really resentful of being stopped, but I am grateful for my small girl. As much as this ailment has taken, I get to be her mum. I try to focus on that.
I am amazed to hear people tell me that they are amazed that I made it
through my married/momming years despite all my issues.
I didn't know there was a choice.
Yeah, I thought about suicide, but there was no way I could do that to my
daughter. The children of suicide are way more likely to suicide themselves.
So ... no.

I had very little support in those years. I don't know how I would have dealt
with learning that there is a diagnostic name for all of my issues without it.
My daughter has been my strength and support and encouragement, because
she wants and needs my strength and support and encouragement in her life.

She turned 45 in September. The poor kid is stuck with one daughter who has
severe ADHD, one who has Autism, both have anxiety and depression and
migraines and spinal issues, and a mom who has all of the above. And she has
half of them herself.

She had no support from her ex, and her dad died one year after we were
divorced. It's a good thing we aren't one of those mother/daughter duos who
can't be in the same room without fighting.

I think as E gets older you may find you have a special bond with her where
you support each other because you understand what the other is dealing with.
It's both a curse and a blessing.
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ADD is not a problem of knowing what to do; it is a problem of doing what you know.
-RUSSELL A. BARKLEY, PH.D.


As far as I know, there is nothing positive about ADHD that people can't have w out ADHD. ~ ADD me
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Old 12-09-18, 04:37 PM
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Re: Still alive, haven't been as frequent, planning to be more so+latest realization

Luna, I definitely thought I'd never be in a position to leave my daughter, but when the delusions have me, I lack insight. My mum lost her mental illness battle, so I know how much it sucks to lose a parent to suicide.

That I've lived this long is beating a bunch of odds/statistics. That one day it'll probably win makes me feel obliged to not let her get too attached to me. But then that's impossible because we've already bonded and she's 3.75, so will have at least faint memories of me no matter what. I keep a journal to her, too. In case she *is* only left with faint memories.
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