December 31, 2014

As The New Year Gets Ready To Start...

I'm not really doing any resolutions, but I am promising myself that I will work hard in therapy and learn all I can about the challenges I am faced with. I can't help what I have, but I sure can work hard to improve my quality of life.
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Remember To Put The Glass Down

Good words of wisdom.

The Box Of Negative Thoughts

I decided to make a box for negative thoughts. Where I could write something down, fold it up and put it somewhere as a symbolic way of pushing the thought away. I've wanted to make something for a while now and today I did. Just something interesting to try!
Happy New Year everyone, I hope it's a better year than this one was <3 p="">

Well Now My Brain Won't Shut Up...

Sometimes, I have one of those sessions with Doc G, where I just can't shut my brain down afterwards. This is definitely one of those nights. I'm trying to wind down. I'm definitely tired, but my brain isn't.
It's like I keep mulling over the stuff we talked about today. I think I'm just not used to bring up certain things. I feel a little... exposed? Like I'm opening up something I shouldn't? Maybe it just takes some getting used to.
I never really questioned the dissociative thing before. It's always been a part of my life, but I don't talk about it. Who wants to tell anyone that I'm 36 years old and spend half my waking hours living different existences in my head? It's probably the biggest secret I've kept for decades. Now, I've not only talked about it a little bit to him, but I'm blogging about it too.
I'm not sure if saying something was a like a slip up on my part or if I just feel comfortable enough with my doctor to bring it up. I still can't remember how we got on the subject. My memory isn't so good, I can hardly even remember a few numbers in my head long enough to write them down, remembering what we all said earlier...nope.
I feel like I've opened up a whole new box of presents. All this time I never really questioned why and I never really tried to keep track or observe how I go into my head. Maybe that's why it suddenly has me so confused. I've almost panicked a couple of times this evening.
I get the simplest parts of it, like why I do it. It helps me tolerate fear. In the past it served me well in the years I lived with my abusive step parent. Now it helps because I'm afraid of almost everything. If I'm having an agoraphobic day and need to walk somewhere I can do it because I'm on auto pilot and my mind is elsewhere. Or if I have to go into a crowded store and I'm having a bad people day. I can shop while my mind is off somewhere else. Sometimes to the point my body feels almost detached and on auto mode. It gets me through it when otherwise I couldn't do it.
Maybe it was even the mere suggestion that at some point I should give it up. That... put fear into me. I've done it all my life, I know no different. I'm not sure I could get through a single day without it. It's always been there, when I'm happy, sad, bored, tired, upset...
I did a little reading about dissociation tonight but it just had me too confused. Like I couldn't get my head around it and then I was more confused. I feel like the kid version of myself, do I open the door or do I stay in my hiding spot?
Tomorrow I'll do some more reading on it. Right now I just need to get some rest if I can. Before I give myself a headache.
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December 30, 2014

Interesting Session Today

My session with Doc G today was a tougher one, but a really good one too. I  hate talking about things so I am never that comfortable with therapy. Doc is really down to earth though and knows so much about childhood abuse that you end up (trying at least) talking anyhow.
I brought in the first scrapbook I had done, with all the old pages my mom sent. He liked being able to put faces in his mind to go with the people that are/were in my life.  He noticed in some pictures as a child I looked stressed or really worn down, it was interesting.
After we went through that I had the letter with me that my mom wrote twenty years ago, when I didn't know where she was for two years. We ended up having a really long conversation about her. About the things I see similar in me, about how over the top mom is and how she makes up a lot of stuff and she can't do any wrong. I have touches of this too, just not as extreme. I talked about how when I was young, she would sort of hook me in, make me think she was this awesome person and a great mom, when the reality was completely different. How she drives me nuts and I can't be around her for very long. The constant badgering and criticism and the world revolving around her basically (she's totally BPD...). It's hard to deal with because she doesn't work on it at all, doesn't know anything about what she has, etc.
Somehow we got on the topic of dissociation and how I use it when I feel like I am in danger (even when I realistically am not). He wanted to know where I go, in my head, but I wouldn't tell him. In my whole life it has been the one thing that is mine, that no one could spy on or take from me. For some reason  he found that fascinating. To me it's normal, I've been doing it on and off daily as long back as I can remember. Probably started when I was four or so? Around the same time the dermatillomania (picking on my fingers until they bleed) started. The more I think about it the more they seem to be a pair, going hand in hand. When I zone out, I'm usually picking my fingers apart. Not sure how I missed that until now.
I told him how I tend to take in other people's emotions, how I am just so thin skinned emotionally. One comment can sink me, on other days, it's not a problem. It's one of the reason's I can't work right now. For example when I tried to do that register job at a gas station a few years ago and just the social anxiety and trying to learn new things quickly and my ADD getting in the way and I just started to get more and more panicked until I'm terrified and freak out. I ended up in the hospital I think a week or so after starting that job. It just snowballs until I train wreck. I hate it.
He said he thinks because I was an only child until I was eight, that I absorbed all of it. Everyone's emotions... my abusive step parent's, my bpd mom's... all the negativity I just sucked in. I was also just mentally torn down between those two women so badly I had nothing left. No self esteem, no confidence, after a while I just believed the criticisms and put downs. I literally learned it starting as a four year old and while I grew up into a teenager.
He was asking me a lot about the dissociation, making sure it was just me in there. As far as I know it is. There have been times, under extreme stress that I don't remember what is going on around me when I disassociate, but I've never any signs of DID that I know of. I think it's just me and me useful imagination.
I don't know, I've never told a therapist about it and I'm definitely not ready to tell anyone about where I go in my head. After 20+ years with different therapists and psychologists I guess I have one who is easier to talk to. He told me at some point is an old abuse coping skill I need to let go of. It was weird, just the mention of that made me feel panic. And he knew it too. I did tell him just a little of my paranoia too. Like how I'm constantly aware if someone even enters our building. I'm always listening. He called it hyper-awareness, and that does seem to fit. He made me think about situations when I was young where that was beneficial. I remember many times, listening for my step parent to come down the hall or when my mom was getting beat up by her drunk boyfriend and I was hiding upstairs, listening thinking he was going to find me, ect.
Doc G said he thinks I fall somewhere in the Complex PTSD or Depersonalization Disorder range, because my childhood was so dysfunctional, abusive, neglectful and threatening at such a young age and I quickly adapted by dissociation and and hyper-aware pretty much all the time, thinking danger is around me somewhere, etc. We still need to explore it further, which I don't really like but I feel with him I can, just slowly.
It just gave me a lot to think about. Has me kinda confused too, but I've just never really gone into some of it so I really don't know what to do with it yet.
Therapy is good, but jeez I fucking hate it too.

December 26, 2014

Better Day

Today ended up not being too bad. Did some housework, played around with the camera and Bronte...the shots turned out hilarious! Chatted a lot on Facetime with a friend of mine. Just sort of took it easy.
I did check and I already have an appointment with my psychologist on Tuesday afternoon, so I don't need to call. I'm glad it's coming up so soon. Tomorrow I might work on the scrapbook some more, I'll get the high school stuff done fast and then on to stuff that is less stressful.
I'm thinking of taking the book in with me Tuesday and let Doc G nose around it, we'll see...
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Bronte Always Makes Me Laugh...

She loves when I test out shutter speeds using her. She will fly for toys!! :)
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Problems Yesterday, Didn't Do So Well

Yesterday I let my emotions get the better of me. I was doing okay, it was Christmas...and I did some more scrapbooking. See, my Mom sent me a box that contained all the old pages out of my scrapbooks. Her roof had a leak that caused a LOT of damage and finally partially caved in. A lot of my stuff that was up there was ruined but she grabbed the scrapbooks anyhow. In the end she salvaged every single page. It's those pages with the plastic you pull back and put photos, tickets, etc. in. I think those plastic cover things saved a LOT of the things in them.
I bought new books and am working to transfer it all over, page by page, into the new books. Yesterday I ran into a letter from my Mom, from the mid 90's, when I was in high school. My Mom has BPD, Bipolar, possibly Social Anxiety too. It's untreated, but the first two she was diagnosed with years ago. She tends to go for long periods of time without contacting anyone. When I get down I do this too. I do it for weeks at a time, my Mom can go entire years without telling anyone she's okay.
At the time of that letter, we hadn't known where she was for almost two years. It turned out she was indeed alive, but living almost 600 miles from where she was the last time we talked to her on the phone. As was usual for her, she chased some guy to a new location. She was working, setting up a home, dating a guy and making friends...but never let me know anything. The letter didn't have a return address or phone number, so we still couldn't contact her at all.
Reading that letter almost twenty years later, my reaction was one of anger and irritation. When I read it the first time I was frustrated yet happy, able to cling to that letter. Now though, it was just a bunch of crap, excuses about how busy she was, that she couldn't let anyone in her family know she was alive. I understand very well about the mental health issues she has, but I still can't understand going that long, knowing your kid is upset about it and worried. I probably won't ever understand that.
Hell, even now... I haven't had a conversation on the phone with her since May and now it's almost January. She wrote a note in the box she sent saying don't ever doubt my love for you. I don't doubt it but she sure makes it hard. She acts like everything is fine and what she's doing is okay, but to me it really isn't. I hardly even know who she is.
So anyhow, between that and the memories of abuse from my childhood step parent, I was cranky and down anyhow. Plus I found I was missing my family. I didn't mind being alone this Christmas, yet maybe it did bother me some. It's like social anxiety butting heads with loneliness maybe. Then I logged into my checking account to find out my internet provider took out $61.50 when I'd already paid my bill. Because of the timing, it completely killed my bank account. Instead of denying it, it was accepted and pulled my account into the negative, then I got slammed with over forty bucks in penalty fees.
I didn't deal with it well. After fighting with the internet company I was in a really angry mood. I blamed myself for the error and I didn't vent properly. So, I ended up taking it out on myself. It's something I do that is tied to my BPD that I just hate. But so far I have found no alternative that works. I've had this issue for over twenty years now. I don't talk about it much at all, except with my psychologist, probably because he knows so much about it and understands where it comes from. It wasn't something where I needed to go inpatient or anything, but I'm really annoyed about it today.
Ironically I know someone else trying to come to terms with their anger, so I gave some tips today. The tips work good, but still aren't a replacement to cutting for me. I try every suggestion people dish up...hold ice cubes, draw on yourself with a marker, write, exercise, etc. etc. So far nothing comes close. It just seems to stop the rage fairly quickly, though I end up full of soreness and regrets, like I am today. At least it isn't happening as much as it used to. There is that. But these days what is less in frequency is more often many more cuts at one time. Even if I get into the shape I want to be in, there won't be any bikini wearing for me when I'm in Australia next fall....
Today I'm actually pretty positive. I can't work out too much, if I sweat it will irritate things, but I did do some hand weights and it was great. I am a huge Elton John fan and a fan shared the mother load of live concert audio with me so I'm stoked!! Need to organize it all on the computer, so it's going to be a computer arvo. Helping a friend online later with some stuff too.
So it is a better day, I'm in a good mood. No scrapbooking today though. And Monday I'll call my psychologist, might try to get in early.
Hope everyone else had a good Christmas,

December 14, 2014

Good Day Today!

Been having a good day today! My brother surprised me and called early this afternoon. I haven't talked to him since September I think. We caught up for a bit and started talking about how we both should go to Grandma's for Easter in IL. I'm going to see what I can do. Maybe I can use some of my cigarette money towards it and fly from KC. We'll see. I haven't been there since 2011 so it sure would be nice! He is in Chicago today, taking the CFD exam. He's been wanting to work for Chicago Fire Department since he was would be amazing it he could get in. He said there were a LOT of people there. He's been a fireman in WI for seven years now and is a senior firefighter with his volunteer dept. He also drives ambulance and has his EMT as well as other training. I believe he has his FF1 and FF2 degrees from tech school. If it doesn't work out he's eyeing up becoming a driver the next time they are looking for another one with his dept. Good luck to him, it sure would be amazing.
On Facetime with my friend from Australia right now. She is cooking by her and I'm cooking here lol. I made a wonderful venison, bean & veggie soup today from scratch. It's cooling down now, then I'll separate it into portion sized meals and freeze. Been doing really well eating mostly paleo and exercising. It helps bump my mood up a bit, not just help my fitness.
Dec. 18th will be two years since I made the decision to lose weight and get healthier. I'm 53 pounds down right now, so happy about it!
Off now to do some dishes, hope everyone is having a good day as well!

December 13, 2014

So Much Progress Lately

I've been surprised by how much I've accomplished lately. Before getting back on Strattera, my apartment was a disaster. It was such a mess and nothing was organized. I kept trying to get some of it done... but I'd either get overwhelmed by how much there was to do or I'd get distracted. I had a lot of started projects that never were completed. I even had a huge stack of mail I hadn't looked at.
I've been on it now just over a month. It seems like the last week or two it has really been starting to help. I've gotten through the living room, kitchen, bedroom and am now finishing up the bathroom. Things are actually getting FINISHED. Going through all my mail was a pain in the ass. I had a closet full of laundry to do, I ended up finding clothing and other things I didn't even realize I had! Some stuff still had tags on them and all!
My apartment is pretty small so I don't have a lot of space. My caseworker brought me a couple of those storage bins that are clear. After reading a lot of tips online, I put a bin in each room. Anything that didn't belong in that room, went in the bin. That way I could later take the bin and put everything where it needed to go. I have one of those multi-drawer cart things that was in the bathroom. It took up too much room there, so I moved it to the bedroom by my desk. I have a LOT of art stuff.... everything from stickers to markers to colored pencils, glue sticks, different types of scissors, ribbons, tapes, glitter glues... So I used that cart to organize it all. One drawer is nothing but markers because I have so many. Another is colored pencils and sharpeners, etc. I love it! No more roaming around the house trying to find the clear tape or scissors!
I don't know if it's more an OCD thing or an ADD thing or both? I had stuff tucked away everywhere... My dresser hardly had any clothes, it was all art stuff, photos, etc. When I cleaned out the bedroom closet it took two days to do. I got all the clothes bagged up for the laundromat, went through the storage bins I had buried in there... and decided to start two baskets of stuff to donate. I found four laundry baskets in there! I don't need that many. In the end I donated the baskets full of clothes (I've lost just over 50 pounds in two years from eating right and working out) that are now way too big but still nice, some extra Christmas stuff, soaps and things I won't use, etc. to a center here in town. I know someone will get use out of those items.
My only complaints from the Strattera/Prozac/Gabapentin is:
1. I have dry mouth SO bad. I quit smoking almost a month ago (keeping fingers crossed) so I have a lot of sugar free gum around, which helps some. I also use Biotene at least twice a day to help as well.
2. I am almost never hungry. Some might like that but I'm trying to get fit, not just lose weight. I'm at around 127 right now (I started two years ago at 179!) and I'd like to get to around 120 or so. The number isn't as important though, I want to build muscle and endurance and bet FIT, not just thin. It makes it harder to gain more strength when I never want to eat. Sometimes I get really tired and then realize I went all day without food. I just remembered to eat a little bit ago, and it's after 4pm. I don't like that at all...
3. My face has been flushing on and off. Out of nowhere my cheeks will get bright red and feel like they are on fire. I have taken my temp a couple times when it happens out of curiosity. When my cheeks get like that, my temperature does rise a bit, to around 99F or so. Not a fever but I'm normally 97.5 or so, for me it feels like my face is burning up. I'm not sure if there is anything I can do for that? I see my doctor on the 22nd and I'm going to bring it up.
4. Since going back on the Strattera, my dermatillomania has returned. It seems worse too. Seems like I always have at least one band-aid on one of my fingers. I was doing pretty good with it for a while but now.... my fingers kinda look like they went through a blender again...
5. My sleep still sucks. I've been resorting to OTC sleep aids which I hate having to do. I drag pretty bad in the morning, like a med hangover almost. When I take nothing, I'm lucky if I get 3 to 4 hours of sleep. And it's broken up at that. This is also on my list to talk to my doctor about. It's the next thing I want to address, as we are adjusting one thing at a time. At least with Ambien when I woke up I felt fine, not tired for a couple hours into my day.
All in all though, it's been really good. Still getting things done, taking my time, not putting pressure on myself. One task at a time. The place is looking so much better. I feel less stress because of it.
Now, I'm off to finish some dishes and then start organizing all my jewelry, nail polishes, makeup, etc. in the bathroom. Fun times! ;)
PS: No alcohol or substances for over a month too! That in itself is fantastic. <3 p="">