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  • Brazokie 12:57 am on May 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , mental health   

    Drop the beat 

    Feeling my heart beat in the back of my throat. Muscular back pain. Nights with lots of nightmares. Panic attacks. This is the latest in the past week as I continue to adjust to medicine changes.

    It was visible that I was feeling worst and worst last week. A closes colleague mentioned on Monday how better I seemed to be after the weekend. As I mentioned “medicine” she asked me if I’d mind telling what they are, and I did. To my surprise, I got the “me too” response when I mentioned anxiety, and the not so surprising “I would never have imagined” when I mentioned the depression one. We talked a bunch about it, and it feels good that this is her normal too, and that we can be sincere to each other.

    But I went a step ahead and ended up telling my boss, who didn’t understand at first and brightened up a smile and said “ohhh feeling much better, yes?” and I told him no, changes come with side effects and he sobered up and was understanding and glad I took the time off.

    It is mid week and so far so good. I say this because I have been afraid of coming clean about this for years, but in the last couple of weeks felt very tired of hiding it. Nothing beautiful, but something very selfish: I want people to care about me, but if I don’t open up, they will believe I am fine.

    Also… here is my drop in the ocean in the fight against mental health stigma.

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  • Brazokie 1:27 am on April 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , habits, , mental health   

    Down Time 

    After moving to a different state, I have already found a new doctor to be able to continue my prescriptions and maybe find a professional more interested on my overall health than to shut me up about my symptoms. With that said, they took so many blood samples out of me that I almost fainted. Wasn’t pretty.

    Anxiety meds got bumped up in a trial to make me use the emergency pills less. Result is me drowsy until I either can’t stand it anymore or get used to the new dose. I am exhausted from the meds and all the many recent changes in my life.

    The positive point I’d like to share though, is that I have been able to get rid of a lot of stuff during my move, and adopting a more minimalist mind setting. At first I questioned if I was just depressive and not caring for things, but having less is actually bringing me a peaceful feeling of joy. Less to manage, more time to do what I enjoy. Hopefully this phase continues and I can apply this to other areas of my life.

    I am also reading on habits and how they can possibly help me to feel better. So while I am exhausted and grouchy and wanting to hide inside my house, I am also hopeful for the plans I have once my energy is back.

     
    • howikilledbetty 3:04 am on April 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Oh yes! Well done you …. I find that having a bit of a sort out and a de-clutter is total therapy. As you say, there’s less to think about and you know where everything is. So no frustrations when the batteries have died, the lightbulb has blown or the house keys have gotten lost again! Bliss! Keep going …. Katie x

      Liked by 1 person

  • Brazokie 9:05 pm on April 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mental health,   

    I’ll keep functioning even when I’m dead 

    That is what crossed my mind today during a panic attack at the grocery store. I knew it was coming. It started on the drive there. Body temperature kept changing, I kept sweating, but my skin was cold. The nervousness kept coming, the swell in the chest, my mind slipping away. It cost me $70 because it made me not understand what the cashier said about one of my prescriptions. Wrong choice and then insurance didn’t cover. Could have used the card for these kinds of things, but again it did not cross my mind.

    So there I was realizing all of what had happened, and how could I keep functioning no matter what, and the though came: I’ll keep functioning even when I’m dead. I don’t even believe in death right now.

    Right now, a couple of hours later, after a sugary snack I could probably have avoided, after unboxing my arts supplies into shelves… it comes the flashback that I missed the window of time where I could have stopped the wrong transaction at the pharmacy. I knew it, and I could not act, I just wanted to GET OUT and was overwhelmed by caring and not caring at the same time. Sadly I can only berate myself and not feel sincerely bad for myself. I knew it and should have done better. That is how I feel.

    It is just do damn lonely to go through this. Medication did little. I may need to go back to the stronger dose. I should call my parents but I don’t have the energy to pretend to be fine. I don’t have the energy to deal with their worry if I tell how I really feel either. I have no energy to ask for help. Writing this is my hope to at least put it outside of me and help the pressure of anxiety go down.

    Truly though, today I firmly believed death may be a lie. I will keep functioning after death. Unless I have a crisis so bad I cannot function, I will never respect my own suffering through anxiety and depression.

     
  • Brazokie 5:29 am on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mental health   

    Space 

    One of the good things about blogging is that it is a non commitment space. I can come and chat about whatever I want, and nobody is tied to a commitment to read, or comment, or work on a solution to an issue. It is just space, and it is a relief to put certain thoughts and feelings out there.

    It is the type of space I cannot have with a “real person”, there are too many social expectations when something is shared. If it is good, there is the expectation that there will be smiles and nods. If bad, some show of compassion, maybe a piece of advice. On the space of a blog though, everyone can annonymously read and are free to have their true reactions. They can laugh or scow to their monitors and I will never know it happened. They will have been true to their feelings about what I wrote, and so will I.

    Moods don’t always match what is happening around me, and some days that space and freedom to be negative or positive is all that I need. To be able to feel without acting or pretending, give space to what is inside to come out and run its course.

     
  • Brazokie 5:00 am on March 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , mental health,   

    Drained 

    Drowsiness and difficulty to concentrate greeted me energetically yesterday. Hugged me even. Wide smile after the almost 2 weeks apart. I tried to set into my old ways around them: fight through it. Don’t fall asleep. Count the hours. Wish for a soft bed. Damn it, this hard flood would do. Get a coffee. Chat about things I don’t care about with co workers. Eat something. Etc.

    But then I just snapped. I just couldn’t suffer through that same beaten path. I gave up, told a co-worker I felt bad and headed home. Four hours of sleep later, emotional numbeness joined the team as I woke up.

    As I told my husband… I just didn’t care anymore, right there and then. I won’t try and think what exhausted me, or was it depression or what. I just don’t care, I wanted to shut off and so I did.

    Felt dangerous too. How easy it was to suddenly give up. How lonely that I feel like I ran out of explanations to have people around me understand how tired I am, and how terrifying I cannot explain it either.

    The loss of control is terrifying, but I can’t tell anyone. Those I love would feel heartbroken and those I don’t wouldn’t care. Blogging and reading others is the closest to a sincere telling of what goes on as I can get. At least I have that.

     
  • Brazokie 7:42 am on February 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , mental health   

    Unfamiliar ceiling 

    Evening of day 8. In the middle of the Pacific ocean, in the isle of Oahu. There is a rainstorm outside and I love it’s noises and the cool air coming in.

    Today as I watched a bay with its reef s and turquoise water, I felt very blessed all tourists are basically from Japan and I can’t understand a thing they say.

    I start to realize it is the dog of depression creeping in. The calmness that is too calm and content with being isolated. The wish to watch and be still while everything else bursts with activity around me.

    Fast forward to the beach itself, where I rest by an Indian family as they chatter and eat. Speaking Hindi and sharing awesome food with me. I don’t speak Hindi, so score number 2.

    By the time I am grocery shopping, I am aware of how my energy is going downhill. I am a bit confused and slow. I skept a meal earlier in the day, which doesn’t help.

    Finally home and chatting with my friend who is hosting me. It is terrifying to be truthful about my moods and feelings. I don’t want her to think something is wrong with the trip, since there is no worng. My brain simply is going downhill as sometimes it does.

    It is time to sleep. I am exhausted and will take it easy tomorrow.

     
  • Brazokie 11:06 pm on February 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , mental health   

    Underwater 

    I wish I could spend the rest of my life snorkeling on a sunny day. The silence of having my ears underwater. The peace of floating with the fish. The beauty of nature, the delicate dance to move this way or that.

    The only sound the fish made was to nibble at the coral. They barely acknowledged me, moving slowly out of my way. I followed a couple of favorites around, and they didn’t mind.

    Animals are the one thing to lift me from any dark pit. It is my universal remedy to make me smile. Their innocence and lack of words. Their body language and ability to live with their environment, without destroying it. Their capacity to defend themselves when needed, to attack to feed, to run when they sense any risk.

    Us humans complicated things so much on our illusion of power. I saw some people stepping on coral to go from hand hold to hand hold, people who could not swim. Well, if you can’t swim, why do you feel entitled to be here? Now it is a risk to yourself and the wildlife.

    How many situations we just push ourselves through, thinking we can do it all? Because we are humans and adapt and compete. So we fumble around, we hurt ourselves and others, out of that stubburness. That is the cost of “you can do anything you want”. No, I cannot. There are limits to be respected and an illusion of gain to force things to happen.

    To focus on what you are good at, or on what you have to improve? I vote to start focusing on what I am good at. I want to feel happy, acomplished, to do what I enjoy whenever I can. To swim with the flow, to feel the peace of being one with the environment.

    Not to be confused with giving up, no. I simply choose to acknowledge that I have limits, and knowing where they are will make me feel better connected with life, and not at an eternal fumble to adapt.

     
  • Brazokie 1:41 pm on February 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , mental health   

    Memory Recall 

    History is an important way to understand the present and plan the future. Yet, I am still impressed of how much my own personal history has been helping me through therapy.

    It brought me to think of memories and their value. During bad phases I try very hard to think of the good phases. Why can’t I bring the good feelings back, if I can remember having them?

    I compared it to having an ex boyfriend. At some point there was love and care, I remember that. I cannot however recall and feel that way again for that person. Or something that I feared as a child. I may remember it, but cannot feel that same fear any longer.

    I cannot fault myself for being unable to summon my own brain into feeling better based on a memory, just like I cannot love or fear something from the past based on memory. It brings me some peace that I should treat each bad phase as its own, unique moment. What worked last time to bring me out of the darkness may not work this time, and that is OK. It is not a failure that something else needs to be tried.

     
  • Brazokie 2:15 pm on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , mental health   

    Medication Update 

    Xanax is not my “emergency pill” anymore. It is Atarax, a much safer option addiction-wise. Buspar has been halved to see if I get less drowsy.

    Last week, while feeling impatient and stressed, I just cut Buspar entirely. I needed my BRAIN back, I needed to be productive. 24 hours later, the unsolicited bad thoughts of anxiety started creeping back in. The ones where I imagine my loved pets being hurt. That was a big NOPE and back to Buspar.

    Overall I’ll say it was a bad idea to try and stop entirely on my own. Still, it was curious and good to have a day full of energy and a brain just could just spin so fast and think of 3 things at the same time. I’ll try my best to be patient and see how the next weeks few on this lower dosage.

    Oh another bad decision this past week: I postponed therapy so that I could have fries and a milkshake with some friends.

     
  • Brazokie 2:13 pm on January 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , mental health   

    Ambushed 

    With the bad news received this week, I have been approached by different people wanting to know details or to share their sentiments about the situation. That lead me to be caught on a typical reaction of mine: I do all that I can to make sure they feel OK. I will joke and act carefree and forget that maybe they really mean it, and want to make sure I’ll be alright.

    A person offered resume writing skills help, another job positioning with an agency, another had a good hug to give, another words of hope. I really appreciate it all. As usual I am having a difficult time to accept that it is OK to not be OK at this moment. I reached exhaustion yesterday and all I could do was sleep and feel pain on my head.

    I am terrified of the idea of working somewhere else. Interviewing. Meeting a whole new team of people. Learning the politics and moods all over again. But I am also terrified of taking the leap and move states to follow the job. My chest feels tight, my stomach burns. I considered tossing the meds I am taking to get my brain back and see if that way things get figured out faster. I need to make my decision by next week.

    Thank you all who’ve read this. This is just a venting piece to help me admit that this is a stressful situation and I should not feel guilty for feeling bad. I need to pace myself and accept help.

    ambush

    From the Persona 5 article by Forbes

     
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