Not even semi functioning

I’m stuck. I can’t leave the house. The pets are driving me crazy. I don’t create anything. I don’t have any art being made. I can’t function. I can’t function at all. My brain is messy. The last few weeks are all a blur. I keep thinking it’s still the 11th July. I can’t focus. My relationships are disintegrating and falling apart. Everything is a blur. And I can’t stop moving. I can’t stay still. I have to keep busy. I’ve got the washing machine going, the dryer going, the Netflix on, I’m not creating anything or making any art, I’m just pulling apart magazines and being driven crazy by my head.

How do people sleep who don’t have insomnia? And how do people sleep, at all? If I don’t have my meds, the only way to get to sleep is being really really drunk. And that’s not helpful.

How do people live normal-ish lives? How do people wake up everyday and go ‘hey it’s okay that I’m alive’? How do people wake up and not hate that they have woken up? How?

Can’t think of a title.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. And pictures with words, well I guess they speak even louder?

Essentially, the thing I’m trying to get across here is that I am not okay.

And I am trying really hard to be okay, but there are a few things I need to do, in order to be okay. And they are going to happen. I’m having my alien parasite gallbladder (known as “Gally”) evicted on August 11th, and then hopefully a couple days after I’ll be heading back in for another round of TMS. And maybe by then, I will have progressed through this grief stuff and be semi-almost-close-to-something-remotely-close-to-human. Maybe. Hopefully.

Mmkay I think that’s all.

Life is hard.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 3.58.04 pm
I may be mentally fucked up but I still have my selfie skills.

Okay so it’s been awhile since I last posted. And I am really tired at the moment. It’s been a sucky sucky few weeks. I can’t really figure out the last few weeks, like what happened when. Things are a bit of a blur. I keep thinking that it’s still about the 12th of July.

But it’s not. It’s the 29th July.

So, brief overview of the last weeks:

10th July: My birthday.
11th July: Gallbladder attack in the morning that landed me in the ER for a couple hours.
12th July: Gallbladder attack early in the morning – did not go to the ER, stayed at home.
13th July: Got call my grandma was sick and the doctors said “the family needs to come” (doctor speak for “she’s dying”).
14th July: Grandma passed away early in the morning.

I don’t really recall what happened between then and the next few days:

20th July: Funeral for my grandma.

25th July: Specialist appointment for my gallbladder. Surgery got booked straight away for August 11th.

And I’m really tired right now so I can’t really remember what else has been happening. These are the main things that stick in my mind. I don’t really know what is going on in my life right now.

None of this post makes sense.

Round Two, Ding Ding.

img_2347Me after waking up from the attack and a dose of oxy,
with Mr Rainbow Wheatbag

Okay so 3am this morning I had another gallbladder attack. Mr Hippo heated Mr Rainbow Unicorn wheatbag and I fumbled with the oxycodone box.

After taking the tablet and curling around Mr Rainbow, praying and begging for sleep. I fell asleep and woke with my alarm at 8am, feeling like I had been hit by a freight train carrying the densest substance in the universe.

So I have made an ‘Emergency Bag‘. It has the oxycodone and ondansetron that the hospital gave me, a current list of my medications and their dosages + reasons why I take them, a spare copy of one of my MedicAlert wallet cards (which contains info on allergies and medical history etc), a wheatbag (not Mr Rainbow), a hot waterbottle including fluffy cover.

I am worried because I fairly often get these attacks in ‘clusters’ (so obviously more than one) and I really really hope and pray to every god ever, that I don’t get another attack.

I rang the hospital department that my consultation is with on the 25th July, cried and begged for a sooner appointment, but apparently they are only open on Tuesdays and the next one on the 18th is overbooked and the fact two severe attacks within 24hrs means nothing.

And also, this pain is majorly making me reconsider any future pregnancies.

Jokes aside, I am so so tired of this. Please someone make it stop. Please.

The Useless ER Trip

So you guys know that gallbladder I got that hates me? That broke off a rib and carved a shiv out of it, trying to stab me from the inside and kill me? Yeah, Gally.

So like 5something AM this morning, I wake up in excruciating pain with Biliary Colic (aka ‘gallbladder attack’). The pain was so bad that I had difficulties breathing, which started anxiety, further impeding my breathing.

Mr Hippo drove me to the ER at about 6am. I had to half crawl into the room because I could barely stand up, and I waited in the triage line, clutching my unicorn wheat bag to my stomach, and even though there was someone ahead of me, I managed to say ‘I can’t breathe’ and they put me to the head of the line. Then they put the wrist band on (pictured) so loose it kept slipping off.

I was given a clipboard and told to ‘follow the red line and take a seat’ then ushered through The Door (to the actual hospital). I followed the red line on the floor as instructed. I took a seat, cried a bit more, then a nurse came over and took my clipboard and went away.

Eventually they took notes on my situation and did my OBS (all good, just a little tachycardia) and then I got a ‘doctor’ who came over and took the same notes and then took me to a bed and prodded my abdomen. She then took my blood (very badly) and sent me back to the chair in the hallway (there were more than one empty beds), were I sat, and sobbed, and clutched my unicorn wheat bag.

The intern came back and gave me ibuprofen (it does nothing). Then gave me Ondansetron (I asked for Zofran – which is just the brand name for that drug – and she was like ‘what is that?’. I also asked for Motilium, which is an antiemetic, and was told ‘that’s for your bowel’ …. a quick drug search tells me otherwise …) and an Endone tablet. And then the intern told me my bloods were all fine and I could go home.

I started sobbing. A nurse came over to ask why? Because I am so tired of these attacks, they are getting more frequent and more severe (the last attack was just a fortnight ago) and I just was so tired of it. She said that there is nothing they can do about it, I have to either go through the private system or just wait it out with the public system. They gave me scripts and sent me home.

The world is so cruel.

Fight or Flight: What Happens When Neither are Possible?

The last two days have been pretty awful. Mostly due to the house in our street being demo’d. (Pro Tip: Don’t park your big ass truck in front of a cop’s driveway. It won’t end well for you).

It may sound like that is just an annoyance. But the crunching and crushing sounds have been a massive trauma trigger for me. I grew up near an operating rock quarry. And the sounds of the quarry during the day terrified me as a small child. I thought they were “Rock Monsters” climbing the hill to come hurt me.

And so, the last two days I’ve been stuck hearing the Rock Monsters outside. Add that to my pre-existing major anxiety and you get a fun bag of crazy!

The two responses to any stressful situation is commonly “fight or flight”, but what happens when neither of those are options? I can’t “fight” the construction workers and their machines, I can’t “flight” either: I have nowhere to go.

I can, in a sense, “fight” my Rock Monsters. I can challenge those thoughts. I can challenge them with “I’m safe. I’m alive. I’m here, not there. They aren’t real. They cannot hurt me.” thoughts, but that is waaay easier said than done.

Another reason I am out of sorts, is my birthday is on Monday. I do not like my birthday. I really do not like my birthday. And it is a bit of a trigger in itself.

What is left, when an anxious person has their trauma triggered, when the main responses are unavailable?

“A child molester only has power as long as their secret is kept.
Tell the truth, and his power is gone.”
– L&W: SVU, ADA Alexandra Cabot.

Real Talk

People have been asking me how I am, and I don’t really want to talk about it, and I don’t. Because I’m ashamed.

I have gone backwards. I have gone right back to ‘recluse/agoraphobic/social anxiety/can’t leave house/leaving bed is a struggle/severely depressed/etc’ that I was before the TMS.

At least, I feel like I have gone backwards. 

And I’m afraid that the TMS didn’t work. And since I have a page long list of all the antidepressant medication and mood stabilising medication I’ve tried, there really isn’t any medication/drug option for me. And due to the type of illness I am living with, which is not ‘curable’ but certainly many people can live fulfilling lives, there are only so many treatment options for me. And if the TMS didn’t work, well I’m pretty much out of options for further treatment.

[I am aware there are ‘other’ treatments possible, group therapy, ECT, and other options. But while I have shared a lot of personal information in my posts, the full history of what treatments and therapies and whatnot I have been through has not been disclosed. So please unless you know me personally, don’t suggest a treatment that helped you. I appreciate the thought, I do really, but I’m not emotionally strong enough to be told what to do.]

And I am ashamed. I am ashamed because I feel like such a failure and a burden on everyone around me. My family and friends are being kept at arms length, I don’t talk about what’s going on in my head because I’m afraid that this is as good as it gets. That this is what my life is going to be like for the rest of it. This is the best I can get. And I won’t ever be a contributing member of society again.

This is as good as it gets for me it appears.

Stop telling me I’m ‘brave’

**This post was originally written on May 26th, I have not been able to finish it until now. So the first half of the post will be what I originally wrote and then I will make a separate section for my current thoughts**

So. Yesterday was a very hard day. I upped the TMS % and I actually did some head-on trauma stuff (which is in the last post I made). Today I upped the % again, I’m at 85% (aim is 120%) and I did a touch more on my trauma but not too much as it’s Friday and my shrink isn’t here on the weekend.

I only just shared the previous post on my personal Facebook account, took a bit of psyching myself up to do it, but I wanted to. For a variety of reasons. Which I can’t really explain right now, my head is a bit weird.

I do want to make sure one particular person knows that I love her and am here for her always, Athena my Warrior Queen, you are stuck with me! 😋

So yes. After talking to people over the years about my illness and trauma history, and even my current treatment, I keep getting the same themes from people: ‘you’re so brave/strong/courageous/etc’.

I appreciate the sentiment, that it is hard to recover from any illness and speaking about recovery is not as common as we as a people would like. I am not the first, nor the last person to ever suffer from a mental illness or attempt to recover from one. I am not the only person who has ever spoken openly about it, but sadly going by a rough estimate of how many people suffer from some form of mental illness in their lives, the people who talk about it are still in the minority.

I’m not the first. I’m not the last.

Telling me I’m brave/strong etc may seem like the right thing to say to someone battling for their lives, it may seem like a compliment, and it’s what everyone says to everyone who is unwell enough to need treatment (cancer also springs to mind).


Okay so this is now me, awhile later. I’m further down my treatment “schedule” and I’ve had more posts on how I’m going, and I’ve had no posts as well.

Still

Do not tell me I am brave.


memiddayfifthjuly5th July, 2017

And again, this is being written later, it has been sitting in “drafts” for so long.

Don’t tell me I am brave.
Don’t tell me I am special.
Don’t tell me I should be proud of myself.
Don’t tell me I am a good person.

Because even though all those are meant well and with good intentions and well wishes, they are no competition to the tirade of words and phrases in my head. The constant words that tell me I am not enough.

Those words even enter my dreams. This morning Mr Hippo was leaving for work, he sai goodbye and told me he loves me. But at first, it wasn’t him. The first words, were not his. The first words, while part of my dreams [cough, nightmares] were not his. And they scared me. Scared me enough, to start that tape in my head, that tape that tells me I am not enough/I am bad/I am wrong/There is something bad in me/There is something evil in me/I need to be kept away/I am bad/I am a burden, and to not leave the house again.

In the dream-mare, the words are not real and never spoken to me, but the reason for them and the reason they were in my head at all, is real.

I am not brave.
I am a coward.

 

One Million Lovely Letters

There once was a woman named,
Jodi Ann Bickley.

Jodi Ann got very sick one day. She had a tick bite and it made her very sick. Jodi nearly died. Jodi has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (which is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and Lyme Disease. (I have Lyme Disease too).

During her recovery, a long process, a long and lonely process, Jodi became very sad and very depressed. One day, Jodi wanted to kill herself. And she nearly did.

But, something changed, she had to learn how to write again, and in the process, she started writing letters.

She wrote to herself, she wrote to her family, she wrote to her friends, she wrote to strangers. She wrote and wrote and wrote.

And, she got better. Slowly.

Jodi started the One Million Lovely Letters project. She asked for letters and letters did she receive. She wrote back. She wrote to people who need it. Who need a little light in their darkness.

Jodi wrote a book. Jodi did a TEDx talk. She started a blog. She received so many requests for letters that she started asking for volunteers to help answer her growing inbox. They became part of her “team” and helped respond to the letters.

I wrote to Jodi. I don’t even know when. I knew my letter would take time. I knew I would get a letter. I wasn’t upset it hadn’t arrived yet. It came yesterday.

fullsizeoutput_c06

I removed my address in the photo.

I have been in a dark well of depression.
I have been so full of pain. Self-hatred. Fear. Depression. Tears. I’m not well. I’m not well at all.

And then yesterday, I opened the letterbox and this envelope was sitting there.

It was just sitting there. The only piece of mail in my old, slightly rusty, metal letterbox.

It was like magic. I was awestruck and with trembling hands I picked it up from the bottom of the letterbox.

It took me a long time to stop staring at the letter and open it. I opened it carefully, with a pair of scissors. Normally when I get mail from my friends I don’t bother with careful-ness, I’m too excited to read their words. And also because, I will have more of their words in my hands again. It doesn’t mean I love their words any less. But this letter. This letter was different.

I texted my best friend, Athena, and gave her a brief rundown on what OMLL is. And I showed her the letter in my hands, still unopened.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Omg omg omg
M: have you heard of “One Million Lovely Letters”?

Athena: No

[briefly linked to site and explained the project. Then sent photos of the book, the letter I received, and that I was anxious to open it]

A: That’s awesome!!
A: Open it!!
A: Now!!

M: Everyone who writes to her gets a letter

A: Open it!!

M: I’m so nervous

[photos of opening letter, letter unfolded, front and back.]

M: It smells … good. Sweet. Not like perfume. But like … I dunno how to describe it.

The letter is undated and reads (and no I do not mind sharing it, if you need you can imagine it’s been written to you):

heartstamp ONE MILLION LOVELY LETTERS heartstamp

Dear Eleanor
This is a letter just for you to tell you what an amazing person I think you are.
It takes so much courage to face so many difficulties and yet you do, everyday. Even on the darkest days you find the strength to go on. You are an inspiration Eleanor 🙂

You are an incredible young woman and it’s a privilege to share these words with you. It takes so much more than people realise to keep going yet you find hope in each new day. I am proud of you and you should feel proud of yourself, you are a part of all that is beautiful in this world.

Take heart my darling you deserve every happiness in this life. Have faith in yourself, you are wonderful.

Believe me when I tell you, you have touched my heart and you are not alone.

Always, Fiona x

I have no way to contact Fiona, and I managed to connect with Jodi on Instagram.
Thankyou to both of you.

Thankyou.

 

Are you a jackass or are you just stupid? Subtitle: Is it getting ‘bad’ again or is this just a bad day?

crying

I’m all about the “let it all hang out” mentality, and I DO air my dirty laundry in public.

The above photo, taken moments ago, is as raw as it gets. It’s a double whammy: makeup + pyjamas. The two most featured photos on my instagram. But this is a crumpled sort of version. Like when you have a chocolate egg/bunny/bilby and try and unwrap the tin foil without tearing it, and then after you carefully unwrapped the chocolate object you try and smooth out the wrapper.

It’s shiny.
It’s smooth.
It’s flat.
But, it’s also covered in creases. It’s not perfect. And neither is anyone else. But it is so imperfectly perfect it’s ugly.

I am so tired. Yesterday was my sister’s wedding. And it was a very long day. I am so exhausted emotionally and physically from it. My mum asked me this morning, if I was feeling relieved? If I felt relieved that the whole stressful thing was over. That the drama, the Bridezilla Virus that infected my dear sister, the outright bullying that drove me to tears on multiple occasions, the whole “ness” of it all, was over. Do I feel relieved?

No. I don’t. I feel sad. Achingly inside my little heart is sad. Because nothing stays the same. I feel like I’m being strangled. I feel like my throat is being squeezed closed, like the words in my throat are being stoppered. My heart flutters, but not because it is excited, because it’s in fight/flight mode and it’s trying desperately to escape, banging itself against my ribcage, over and over and over, trying to escape the slimy, sliding, slippery, other ‘s’ words, the oozing black tar of my disorder, that is trying to trap it and cage it like a little parrot. Only it will be one of the birds they would take into the mine shafts, and who would die from gases and other toxins and that would be the sign the workers needed to leave the mines.

My head is dull. It feels foggy. It isn’t drugged or drunk. It is foggy from fear. I am not thinking before I type I am just typing what comes out. So sorry if it is senseless. My brain, my mind, both are foggy. I don’t have any other words to explain. Other than they are dull. “Dead” is not the right word. But close.

My heart is still fluttering. It’s trying valiantly to stay beating. But there is only so much beating one can take. And then eventually, it becomes too much.

I don’t know what is going on.

See, you know what is REALLY annoying? I have had this disorder – Bipolar – my whole life, but it really became a problem starting at 14. I will be 28 in 8 days time. You’d think that having roughly 14yrs of living with this illness, this disorder, this disease, I would know what the “signs” are. Whether the way I’m feeling is just a “phase” and will pass soon, or if it means something bigger is on the way.

But I don’t. Sure I know some things. I know I have different moods, more than the typical “two” (as in “‘bi’polar”) and I know when a day is going to be hard. But I don’t know how to tell if this is a storm that is coming or just a strong wind.

Do you want to know WHY I don’t know? Because for about 12 of those 14yrs I was misdiagnosed and therefore my illness was being treated incorrectly. It was only roughly two, maybe three, years ago that the fact I even have a fucking mood disorder was even believed by my (then) treating doctor.

So I only really have 2/3 yrs of understanding of why I do things, what to do instead of doing some things, how to ask for help, when to ask for help, who is best in what situation, etc.

I am scared. I am scared that the TMS didn’t work and since I refuse to take antidepressant medication and I refuse ECT, I’m pretty much out of immediate options. I am scared that it didn’t work and I’m going to be stuck an agoraphobic drain on everyone around me.

And I am so so tired.

Only those that have nothing left to give, know that exhaustion.