Thursday, December 31, 2009

thoughts in the middle of the night

The new guy in my bed is adorable. He just moved in a few days ago. His name is Ribbit, and he's an orange tabby cat who used to live with my brother and sister-in-law. Princess Spooky, who's been the only pet in residence here for the past 2 1/2 years is not taking to him too kindly yet, but hopefully that will change.

If things were different, if I didn't have this illness, there are so many paths in life I would have corrected. I dated this very intelligent, creative librarian briefly about five years ago, when I was psychotic. He didn't know I was psychotic, and neither did I. He ended up moving out of state to go to graduate school. I ended up in and out of the hospital and moving around from place to place for a long time. If I hadn't had this illness, and if I was better at forming close relationships, perhaps we would have stayed together. He would have been an excellent with which to stay together for a long time. I look back and think - "what if I would have been able to think clearly? what if I had been able to handle life and not live in a state of constant chaos? what if I had gotten a chance to marry him?"

Life goes on. It's not wise to look back too much, but sometimes I cannot help it. Life goes on, but you will never know how much of a difference a few changes in choice or circumstance could have made. You are left only to wonder. We are, all of us, hurdling towards death. I'll die without accomplishing a few million things that I would need a few more lifetimes to accomplish.

What if I could have finished college at 21 and found a full-time job, and stayed thin because of not needing antipsychotic medications that make people gain 100 pounds? What if I had a child? What if I was not alone so much? What if there was someone here to talk to other than my computer keyboard and my two lovely cats?
What if I didn't hear things that aren't really being said? What if I didn't see things that aren't really there?

What if.......

The librarian guy actually dated me when I was in one of the most pathetic states of my life. So on the upside, one could say, looking back at that, that I actually functioned pretty well for a totally psychotic person, with having a boyfriend or two during a period when I had no car, only a rented room to sleep in, no job, and basically no life. I can look back now and think, at least I was able to socialize to some degree and meet other people. If only I had known I had this illness. It would have explained so much. In a way, it's remarkable that I interacted with a number of other human beings who never realized I was psychotic during those years when I was. Odd.

I don't want to die alone. Who does, really? I held my grandfather's hand as he was about to die a few weeks ago. I wonder who will be there when I die. Obviously if I never have a child, which is probably the way things will go, I will never have a granddaughter who could be there - or a bunch of greandkids, and adult kids.....I don't think it is in the cards for me to be a mother. But I think about it. I think about what if I didn't need all these medications that are so toxic. What if I could physically be healthy enough, and medication-free, that it would be fine to have a child with someone. Then the only problem would be finding the someone. I don't really want a child, but I'd like to have the option of having one open to me, and it's really not. I can't live in a hospital for nine months, and a psychotic person doesn't make a good mother, and without the medication I would be completely psychotic.

Things are so much better now in many respect ts than they were five years ago. I have no handsome, intelligent boyfriend. No boyfriend at all. But what I do have is an apartment, a car, a job, a college where I'm going to be taking classes again, a couple friends, two cats, a therapist, a case manager, and a psychiatric ARNP (and insurance to pay for all those people thanks to President Roosevelt who created Social Security). I do not have to resort to desperate measures to get money with which to survive. I don't live in somebody else's house, or in a motel room, or in a homeless shelter, or in my car. These at things for which I am very grateful.

Nothing is perfect. There will never be a way to accomplish the zillions of things I want to accomplish. I won't get to live out all of my dreams. But there are accomplishments I can make, and dreams I can fulfill, which is what I am trying to do now, little by little, one step at a time. My therapist says that I am a very ambitious person and that it gets me depressed because I can never live up to all my own expectations. This may be true.

I wanted to get a PhD when I was younger.I probably could have done it, without this illness. At minimum, I could have gotten a BA degree. Perhaps I still can, but I'm not entirely sure there is any point to it now. I will work hard to finish my associates degree that I've been working on, off and on, for fifteen years, but after that, I'm not sure I'll go through any more college work. I am not sure I can. This semester is going ot be extremely challenging because the only classes that I am allowed to take now are the math and science and ethics courses I need to graduate. I had to file two appeals for not meeting the college's standards of academic progress and not achieving a degree in a timely manner. Luckily the appeals passed, and I am allowed do take courses. If all goes according to plan, I'll be able to pay for them with financial assistance. But this is the last time I'm going to do all those appeals. I am not going to give up on school this semester and start again another time. I can't keep doing that all m life; it's ridiculous. So I am not giving myself the option of failing this time. I cannot withdraw from the courses. I cannot give up. I cannot get too overwhelmed. I have to do it. I hope I can.

Just some thoughts.

4 comments:

sparkations said...

Hi there,

I always always dealt with mental health issues-specifically anxiety and paranoia issues. It still bothers me at times, but it's not as frequent as before. And I tried psychiatric medication for it, but it never really worked out for me.

I am lucky in the fact that I took some neuroscience courses in school(I majored in psychology) to find out more about my psychiatric conditions. I also took nutrition courses. I also became heavily involved in the field of orthomolecular psychiatry and found out the metabolic basis for my thoughts. I now take vitamin supplements and have for a year, and it has actually helped tremendously for me, since my anxiety and paranoia has lessened a lot. Anyway, orthomolecular psychiatry is something worth looking into if you're seeking natural supplements (specificially vitamins, minerals, fatty acids-constituents of our human biochemistry).

A lot of research has been done on schizophrenia in orthomolecular psychiatry. But anyway, I'm just a random person dropping by so you probably are skeptical, but honestly, its something I've been helped by a lot. It helps to have a technical background in science and nutrition to really thoroughly understand the science behind orthomolecular psychiatry and the research findings, but anyway, as I mentioned before, you may either have: histadelia(high histamine), histapenia(low histamine), or pyroluria(abnormal pyrrole production). 90% of schizophrenics studied are either of these 3 metabolic biotypes.

I have pyroluria by the way.

Yeah, anyway, good luck with things.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Yeah,the "what if" game drives me into a spiral of over thinking. I do it wayyy too often but then again that's partly why I am mentally ill because I can't stop thinking about it!!

Most people get the "what-if's" but I think we mentally ill obsess more over than others. Mostly I think because we have to sacrifice more than the average person in our lives. Happy New Year!!

k1 said...

I like your new cat's name. "Ribbit", that is very cute :-)

I do the 'what if' thing too. But try very very hard to force myself to just take things one day at a time, one step at a time and not look back. When I look back I just make myself crazy.

I was voted 'most likely to succeed' by my high school class. Where am I now? I managed 1 semester of college, in and out of psych wards, on and off various heavy duty psych meds, in weekly therapy, on fed subsidy, reliant on a service dog, basically if my family didn't help me financially I don't know how I would survive. Yeah, not exactly where I thought I'd have ended up.

So yeah I agree when you really think about stuff like that it gets depressing. Hence why I try not to think about it. There is only so much you can change at one time or at all. I work on stuff little by little and eventually see progress, maybe not a lot, but hopefully some somewhere.

Jennifer, aka beautiful mind, complex life said...

Thanks for your comments. It's true, the "what if" game is depressing and nothing but a pointless, downward spiral into regrets and despair. I am trying not to do so much of it right now.

Sparkations, thanks for the info and links you left; I've looked into them and it's interesting.

Onward and upward. I'm going back to school next week!

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