This week while inpatient, I learned that Im still perfect even when Im fucked up because Im being myself. I was able to reach out and make deep connections despite intense personal suffering and I was told directly of it’s impact by a handful of people. You may think, ‘only a handful?’ and while you may be right, to meet people where they are and love them exactly as they are, unconditionally, I find is hard work that not all humans are capable. It seems to be my superpower.
Mental Illness, Escapism, and Addiction
I am incredibly symptomatic following Wednesday’s epidural steroid injection. I’ve been agitated and pacing. Broke out into a hot, rash all over my face last night. Had the hardest time sleeping, constantly being roused from the edge of sleep with palpitations and chest pain. My body seems to be feeling the need to get up and run, which I guess is no surprise considering how much I’ve been laid up with the back pain prior, but it’s not allowing me to let my spine heal so that I can.
I swear, I feel like I’m caught in a perpetual Catch 22.
Trying to avoid pain medication and the potential fatal mix that can come with my other medications which all somehow fall into the central nervous system depression category, but still it. Trying to workout and lose weight without adding insult to injury. Trying to eat better but not being able to eat the fruits and veggies I crave while on a low residue, gastroparesis diet. Feeling as though I was doing much better at self-medicating with marijuana when I was younger, but not being able to do so because of my contract with pain management from which I need these epidural steroid injections, oh and that illegal thing. The same steroids that exacerbate my mental health issues and insomnia.
This is why Im a strong proponent for, at the VERY least, medical marijuana. Alcohol would be a better drug to scheduled illegally. If we can do better than Big Pharm, naturally, we should. Bottom line.
I am done with this vicious cycle and I just want off this nightmarish merry-go-round.
Ive come to write here several times and I just end up sitting, watching the blinking cursor in front of me, not knowing where to start and what to say. So, Ive decided to put my phone in talk to text mode and just let go … without giving more thought than is really necessary to what I’m thinking as I think it. I cannot keep pushing it down.
Stream of consciousness, narrative mode…
The last post I wrote, on Monday, was written through tears. The mask shattered. I crashed and it burned. I did nothing but cry. All I could do was cry. I didn’t get out of bed until noon and I was crying. Everything hurt. Physically and emotionally. I didn’t want to hurt anymore. I didn’t want to try anymore. It all seemed futile. Pointless. I thought of ways to dull everything out. Then there was suicidal ideation.
I was standing at the kitchen counter, cutting up the pineapple, crying, when I accidentally slipped and cut myself. I actually admired the sharpness and welcomed the pain. That’s when I knew I was in trouble. I attempted to get out of the house for a while. I walked the dogs and made the phone call to reach out to someone but I couldn’t stop crying long enough to continue the conversation with my father or even get myself ready enough to go anywhere with him. I just couldn’t.
It was then that I knew I had to put my plan in place. The plan I have in place in case it gets to this point. The point when I start to tell myself things like:
“I don’t want to be here anymore”.
Step one, I call my husband. I told him how bad it was and he urged me to call my psychiatrist, which I didn’t want to do because I knew what would follow. My sister is getting married on St. Patrick’s Day, my parents are all tied up with that, there are a lot of things going on with the kids this week, I didn’t want to set anybody off into panic or worry with so much in the balance. But my husband asked me to stop and think what I would do if none of those things were on the table and the answer, with everything else aside, was easy. I wasn’t safe and I needed help. Everything else aside, I would call my psychiatrist or go to the hospital. So I did.
Step two, I call my psychiatrist. I tell her how bad it is. She urges me to come in to see her for admission. Again, I hesitate. I struggle with what it is going to mean to everyone else. And I set it aside. It’s time to go. I want to live.
Step three, I commit to commitment. I reach out to a friend to tell them the decision that I’ve arrived at so that I am accountable to it. In doing so, I reached out to the only person in my life who understands my darkest moments even when I’m keeping my issues close, Biscuit. She knows my plan. She understands it personally. We are each other’s “check mate”. It makes the conversation about it very short and self-explanatory.
Unfortunately since Biscuit lives on the other side of the country and because Hubster was at work and I still only have my temporary driver’s permit, I had to reach out to someone else for a ride. Fortunately, in my haste it was someone who I normally wouldn’t reach out to but who I found out cared for me more than I could have ever imagined. Sometimes you don’t know how much someone really cares until you allow them to.
My Dad arrived at some point in the steps. I couldn’t say which. We had a rather unfair conversation in which he attempted to be compassionate and I was very frustrated and didn’t want to hear about praying and what God’s role was in all of this. I told him that which afflicted me was not something that could be prayed away and if I thought it would fix me I’d likely spend a lot more time on my knees instead of pacing the floor in my manicness, but that’s not how brain chemistry works. He also started to talk to me about my childhood in an apologetic way. I appreciate this now, but in the moment it was more than I could handle and as my friend pulled in the driveway, I rushed out the door, away from all of that and into my friend’s arms. My Dad thanked her and we went on our way. She thanked me for giving her the chance to be there for me. It meant as much to her as it did to me and that felt really good in a moment of such vulnerability. I felt safe.
That’s how I ended up in the hospital for two days. Turned out that my mood stabilizer required 300-400 calories to be ingested at the time of dosing in order to be properly absorbed and because I have been so sick recently and not eating, I really wasn’t getting my medication. They switched over to a sublingual that won’t come with the food requirements and that is making a huge difference already.
Im currently back home and bed bound with a migraine and nausea while Hubster and the Diva are at Jedi‘s school play. I don’t feel great about that. In fact, I feel like a shitty parent because since I was in the hospital, I missed the deadline to make transportation arrangements for Pickle as well. Speaking of shitty … I’m not. I’m all backed up which is likely just adding to the nausea I’m dealing with. Thank you, gastroparesis. I don’t know how I’m going to handle going through another flare up. I guess I’ll just cross that bridge when I get to it. In the meantime, I’m just laying here in the dark, listening to ‘House, M.D.‘ episodes. It is too much to ask for just ONE episode where someone presents with my symptoms and diagnoses? I feel like I’m just the sort of case House would have loved to dissect.
On the plus side, my circulation issues allow my fingers to be the most nimble sort of ice pack over my eyes … so at least there’s that.
Thankful for other bloggers who can do the footwork, while mine are being talked down from the ledge.
Lots of fascinating and helpful information about bipolar. Read on…
Im at the Cleveland Clinic today for more dysautonomia testing. Im currently waiting to have a biopsy. Im shaking my leg incessantly. Wanting to crawl out of my skin. The worst part is I know it’s not that Im all nerves in relation to the testing.
Im on the edge of insanity. Manic. Rapid cycling.
If I were able to continue self-medicating and numbing I might be able to fool myself into believing I can keep testing how far I can go and how intriguing it may be to see how much I can get away with while blaming my mental illness. The slowing and sitting gives me too much time to think. Checklist. Intentions. Consequences. This is when I wish I were dumber. Ignorance would be blissful. But, fuck…I know too much.
At least I slept last night. That only required 2 beers and medication, music, a movie and a book…all at once to stop the voices from creeping up. The ultra religiosity. Im finding it hard not to scour The Book for salvation.
I have a hyper sex drive. I’ve had it since before puberty. That might seem strange but I can remember having sexual longing as far back as eight or nine years old. I can remember “making out” with girl friends at that age. It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I had the slightest hint that this may have been abnormal.
After hearing too many stories of child sexual abuse, I began to wonder if something had happened to me as a child that I was suppressing. Then just over the weekend I was watching ‘Dirty Dancing’ and remembered that I had seen it around the same age. My older cousin had conned our naive grandfather into buying our tickets. When I remembered that, I thought, “OhMyGAWD! This is what has been wrong with me my whole life. This movie ruined me!” The dancing, romancing bad boys who were best is bed, the “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” rescue. AHA! This was it!
I began talking to my friends about this theory, to which most agreed that movies have set us up with unrealistic expectations in our relationships. When I explained that I thought my exposure to this specific film at such a young age may have made me hyper sexual and voiced my sexual frustration, I was looked at like an alien. In all of their marriages their husbands are sexually frustrated and they have little to no interest in sex. That didn’t make me feel better.
Upon further examination I realized that while I do have a few other friends who can relate to being hyper sexual, as Im calling it, all of us had one thing in common: mental illness. Diagnosed or not, it was the only common denominator we shared. Except for me, all the others were also victims of child sex abuse.
I just finished a short conversation on this topic with the friend I can share anything with and vice versa. She told me this is probably the number one issue she’s had in every single relationship. Even going in if she says “I have a REALLY high sex drive”, they always say the same thing “Me too, I know what you mean, that’s awesome” and EVERY SINGLE TIME they get annoyed with her because she wants sex all the time. It becomes an issue and they feel emasculated and it usually spirals from there.
So I can conclude that it is normal to have these feelings for any woman with a mental illness and to be a normal woman … sexual suppression and lack of interest?
What then of men and their sexual appetite? Why does it mean there’s a problem when a dude has no sex drive?
Is it just me or is that a double standard?
Is it just a double standard though?
OR Is there a connection between hyper sexual women and mental illness?