Tag Archives: support

Where Do We Start… and End?

It has been a long time since I felt comfortable to be myself around someone new. I finally found that person, but things got strained and difficult really quickly. I will not lay the blame on him, I believe that this is mostly my fault, however I will say that it usually takes more than one person for conflict to arise.

He was super sweet and waited almost a month to finally meet me in person because I have been sick, and well I still am. That is one of the problems. I was having a good week when we met and our first date was fun and our second date lasted 40 hours. Then it was back to work, stress, and then my stomach problems came back.

Now I haven’t been talking much about my recent sickness. That is maybe because it isn’t a recent illness, just the most recent flare up. I am in the process of getting a confirmed diagnosis for gastro-paresis. If you don’t know what it is, it sucks. I am sick to my stomach all of the time, I can hardly eat and all kinds of social and environmental factors play a part. Basically to not have a flare up I have to never be under any stress, ever, at all. Now having my diagnosis currently of and anxiety disorder with OCD personality traits, this is a flat out impossibility. I can’t go through a day without something stressing me out, and it is usually little things. Like my computer not working right, or traffic being bad. Normal everyday stress that for a normal person is a minor irritation, takes medication to control not just for my brain, but also for my stomach.

When I get stressed, I get sick. This causes more anxiety, which causes more sick, and the cycle continues. The only way out is to get away from my stressors. Sometimes that means I can’t drive. Other times, well it is impossible. People have to work, but for someone like me the simple act of walking into a job where I might get stressed, so I might get sick puts me on guard, makes me nervous, and eventually leads to where I am now. Trying desperately to prove to my employers that I realy have a disease, and that I’m not making it up.

Now where does the boy come into all this, well we had so much fun the first two weeks we hung out that y stress went down and I started to get better. Then I got stressed out at work, and I vented to him, and we had a couple bad nights and things got awkward, and now we don’t know how to talk to one another, and he wants to be just friends. While there is much more to this, and will get its own post, I will say that it was bad timing. Today I needed desperately to distress after being confronted with the very real possibility that I may soon be unemployed, and I thought he would be the perfect fun relaxed person to distress with. Instead he tried to help me in another way. Which caused me to get upset again and I was ultimately unable to explain things the way I wanted, which again leads me here.

I truly appreciate it when people try to give me advice about things I struggle with. However, let me get through the emotional moment first. Now this could be a moment or a few hours, depending on my percentage of bad brains that day. And this is changing too. I never thought that someone could recover from mental illness, just learn how to live with it. Now I believe that for someone us it changes over time. Which makes sense why my greatest shrink refused to give me a diagnosis. But I got one anyway, and it has changed. I have gotten both better in some things and worse in others. Which equals a whole new diagnosis, and while I know it’s not bi-polar, I’m pretty sure I know what it is, and it isn’t one that I want to fully embrace yet.

I do know that I have been sick, and alone and this makes me depressed. I stress out to the point where I have dissociative anxiety attacks, something I haven’t done in years, and this scares me too. It is scary to know that you live with something that can only be controlled to a point. Something within you that you fight every day, just to make the rational choice and not the impulse that will just make things worse. I don’t always win, but I feel that on the ones I used to lose I’m gaining decent control. Others I am still working on.

I don’t know if I can save my job. I’m going to go to the doctor and try to get into a specialist ASAP for my tummy problems. I am going to consider increasing my anxiety medication for a short time to help with the stomach problem as well. It is very convenient that I’m prescribed something which is given for both disorders. And I’m going to talk to my crazy doctor about my depression problems and the disassociation and see if there is anything that can be done there. I’m not keeping my hopes up that the boy will come around, but I hope he keeps reading this, and will see that I am taking his advice to heart, that I’m reaching for the bootstraps, and I’m doing the best I can. I hope everyone else sees that too.

I don’t want to go through this alone, and I know there are a few of you out there who are there for me both in my personal life and in your comments, and I thank you. This is another long journey, and I can’t do it without support.

So embrace the crazy you have today, even if it is different than it was yesterday, and especially if it rambles along as much as this post.


Mitch Hedberg Got it Wrong

Mitch Hedberg once said that addiction is the only disease you can be yelled at for having. Unfortunately, I have found in my life that people are just as willing to yell at you for being crazy. So ultimately he got it wrong.

If you have a mental illness, people often get upset with you for it. Post-partum depression is one that people really just don’t get. Often people think that if you just have more time to bond with your baby that things will be alright. Or if you have anxiety they get angry because you can’t always do the things you want to do, or planned to do. Those who have never experienced these things often get angry with the afflicted person. Even if they truly wish to be understanding, at some point they get mad.

Now the problem with this is that it is completely counter productive to tell a crazy person to stop being crazy. You can’t tell someone with OCD to knock it off, it doesn’t work that way. I can’t shut off my OCD any more than I can shut off the need to eat and drink to live. I don’t need OCD to live, but I’m hardwired for it. Getting angry with me because I see the world different isn’t fair. It’s not like I have an opinion you don’t agree with, my brain literally works differently than yours does.

Lots of crazy people end up with addiction problems and then get yelled at even more. Well I think that if we were more understanding in the beginning that some of these people would have never turned towards self-medicating to feel better, or feel nothing. When everyone around you doesn’t understand you or accept that you have a problem it is tough to recover, whether you’re an addict or have a mental illness, we need love and support. Screw that, as humans we need love and support.

Now there is love and support, and there is smothering. You can just be there as a friend to be loving and supportive, you do not have to constantly go over to your friend’s house to make sure they are alive, a text works. A phone call to show you care. Be there when they need you, so they know it is okay to ask you when they need help. Be prepared to be frustrated, those of us who are crazy and know it are a tough bunch to be around. You have to understand that we can’t always control how we feel, most people can’t control how they feel all the time anyway, so why expect us to be able to.

We are a little different, maybe even slightly broken. This doesn’t mean to throw us away, this means you sit around while we stich up our gaps. Just existing helps us more than advice. If you don’t understand it you can’t fix it. Those of us who do understand our illness can’t fix it. We think differently, and that’s a good thing. If everyone in the world saw things in the same way, then it would be a very dull world.

Embrace the crazy. Don’t be angry about it, learn how you can live with it.

My brain is Chaotic and Shiny

So tonight was supposed to be a Chaotic Shiny night, but I could not decide on a prompt. After being given about twenty possible prompts, as well as religions, prophecies, and settings, I still had no inspiration. This is perhaps because my mind is trouble by other problems tonight. While fiction should get my mind off of my problems and move it into more interesting and less painful areas to explore, tonight it has decided to elude me.

My life itself has become more like a prompt from chaotic shiny. Where odd things are thrown together to make a story, somewhat believable. I don’t know when this happened, but it has been going on for a long time. My mom has told me in the past that my life would make a good TV show, and maybe she was right. These days however, the show would be fairly boring.

As much as I would again like to lead a fascinating life full of craziness, I’m actually happy that most of the drama is past. Now of course like everyone, there are some drama filled moments in my life, but it’s much more calm than it used to be. I prefer normal, boring days at the moment. Hanging at home or at a friend’s house is more appealing than bar hopping and getting wasted. Now these things do happen on occasion, but in the grand scheme of things, compared to my mid-twenties I don’t even drink anymore.

I am wondering tonight about friendships, much as I was last night. When I posted “Like attracts Like” I was in a very different mindset then I am right now. Same time of night, same chair and friend’s house, but with a different reality. It bothers me that this is bugging me so much, but someone who was a longtime friend, almost 16 years actually, just unfriended me on Facebook. This is where like repels like.

We have almost the exact same disorder, yet while I like to confront a problem and find its natural solution, my friend likes to pretend the problem has vanished, until she has gotten over it. By that I mean she avoids the source of the issue until she doesn’t remember why she was mad in the first place. It is frustrating, especially if what you really want to do, or what I really want to do is just apologize. So how do you apologize to someone who will not speak to you?

I have tried email, Facebook messages, texting, calling, and even tried buying an apology present. However, I have gotten no response and nine months in I discover the unfriending. Now I shouldn’t care about this, it is just a social networking site, it doesn’t mean anything. However, if it weren’t for her forcing me during my pregnancy to join FB, I wouldn’t be on there at all. Now if I just had anxiety I would take some medication, watch a happy movie and go to bed, but I am blessed with OCD, the kind which causes obsessive thought patterns. So not just my life is Chaotic and Shiny, but so is my brain.

Problems circle around in my brain on an endless loop like a song put on repeat, and it’s always a song that you hate. The questions are all why? Why is it like this? Why can’t I fix this? Why can’t I just move on and not worry about it? This is the one part of my crazy I do not like to embrace because then I can’t sleep. Not that anxiety is particularly fun to embrace; these thought patterns are only good for writing. They kill friendships, and my nights become restless. It’s like having a plot stuck in your head you can’t figure out, or a character whose motivations you don’t understand. However, instead of fiction, it is reality.

I try to own up to things which I have done to earn myself the anger of those that I have wronged. In this case however, I am not asking for forgiveness, just a moment so say “hey I’m really sorry this thing happened, and I know that I was in the wrong.” I wouldn’t even ask for another chance, it seems obvious that I’m not getting one. So with my crazy I end another great friendship, but all is not lost.

As I write this I sit with someone who understands me. I spoke earlier with another friend who also understands and speaks her mind. Speaking my mind gets me into trouble, but with a few people I never have to worry about judgments or wrath for being who I am. I screw up and they tell me as much and we move on, all forgiven, if not forgotten. We don’t forget so that we can remind each other of why we shouldn’t do that same thing again. It’s like knowing that you shouldn’t walk in front of a speeding car, but having a friend point it out if you forget. That’s comfort and safety, and support.

So to my friend who will not read this, I am truly sorry. To all others I have hurt I am also sorry. I am not perfect, and I never will be. But I will always be me, and that person still strives to help her friends no matter the situation, or the past. It is difficult for me to write someone out of my life. I just hope that in the end I have not been forever written out of hers.

How the Crazy Hurts Everyone

It is difficult enough to know that every day of your life you have to live with an illness which people don’t understand.  There isn’t exactly a support group for those with mental illness, and everyone has a different experience with it.  What is most difficult when living this way is not just that you hurt personally and emotionally, but that you unintentionally hurt everyone around you.  People are pushed out of your life because you snap at a child when you are trying not to have an anxiety attack.  Worse still is when you lash out at you family from impulse aggression which is caused from feeling trapped inside your own skin.  You want to hurt yourself because you hurt everyone around you.  Then at some point, everyone seemingly gives up hope that you will ever get any better.  At this point, you get even worse.  Anxiety so bad you can’t get out of bed, or leave you house to do something as simple as getting a drink, or going to buy a pack of cigarettes.  Putting air in the tires on your car becomes a terrifying event.  The thought of seeing your family causes so much tension before you get there that everyone is on edge and they are all just waiting for you to snap again.  Then if you manage to try to control yourself, and someone else yells at you or insults you you are stuck with the dilemma of responding or walking away, both reactions are taken as insulting to the person you are trying to not fight with.

Living this way is a constant battle.  One which a person cannot hope to face alone.  One which family and friends need to learn how to understand, so that they can help you take the steps forward in your life which you long to take.  It is hard enough when you are terrified of everything to get out of bed in the morning.  However, knowing that you have hurt almost every person in your life because of your disease makes it that much harder.  There is no cure, but with support we can overcome and live normal lives.

So to those whom I have hurt, my best friend, mother, sisters, brother, grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, step-mother, father, and my son I am sorry.  I try everyday to become a better version of myself, but I am still lost inside this disease.  I don’t know which direction will take me out of it, and that is why I have felt the need to write about it.  I hope as you and others read these essays and posts, that you might gain some understanding of what it is like to live in my skin, to walk my path, and how difficult it is to know what I have done and that nothing I say can repair what i myself have broken.

To the readers who don’t know me in person:  I hope that you can gain insight into your own lives through my struggles.  I hope that if you are reading this because you have a family member or a friend with a mental illness that you will gain insight into them.

The key is support.  Crazy or sane we all need support.  We all need our friends and family to be there to listen when we are in pain.  It is more difficult to do this when someone is always in pain, I know, but please remember that even if you are not seeing the person you love when they have an anxiety attack, a manic episode, or a bout of depression, that person is still in there.  They are trying to figure out how to come back, and they just need a strong hand to hold until they can make it through.

Don’t Bitch It… Blog it…Image