Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I think I'm going to scream now....listen if you like, and don't if you don't

Per usual, all kinds of craziness is going on in the news today. Crazy stories exploding all over my TV set like the 4th of July, until I can't take it anymore, I'm nauseated, and I jump up and change the channel, asking the cat why she turned this neocon asshole on, as she must have, because I'm so sure I wouldn't have done it myself. Rush Limbaugh calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist woman because she's Hispanic and she isn't afraid to say so to whitey. What? Since when did anybody even remotely intelligent take Rush Limbaugh seriously, anyway? It is 2009, correct? Maybe I'm confused. What goddamn year is this??!!

Newt Gingrich said Sonia Sotomayor isn't qualified for the Supreme Court, basically because she's a woman and she's Hispanic. Why else? Oh, yeah, she might be pro-choice too, right boys?? Abortion being, as it is, the be-all-end-all issue of scared little white boys like Gingrich and Limbaugh. Limbaugh, you really need to go back to pill-popping. That shows more character and it's far more interesting than listening to your racist, sexist ranting and raving. GTFO of my living room while you're at it. And don't come back.

Craziness. The Proposition 8 decision in California the other day is just another example of insanity en masse. Why are all these straight people so damned afraid of the gays of this world, anyway? What is really going on here: straight boys all have nightmares about being raped by gay men?? What the hell is really at the root of this idiocy about saying certain people can marry and other people can't?? WHY THE HELL DO YOU CARE if someone who is not you gets married?? Why? Really, though, why? No one seems to have an answer to that other than the usual neocon, homophobic, Bible-thumping hate-mongering bullshit.

And while I'm at it, what is with this whole Jon and Kate Plus 8 TV show hysteria?? Go the grocery store, and you can't get out without seeing 17 covers of magazines with pictures of Jon and Kate plastered all over them like yesterday's vomit. What is the deal with this now? This woman was married when she had her 90 children, so she didn't get raked over the coals like the Octomom, who had the nerve to be unmarried and even man-less when she bore her brood. But now Kate is an ice queen. A bitch. A bad wife and a rotten mother. A person who needs to go back to church and read her Bible more often. Why? Because she drove her pathetic passive aggressive husband away! She might have even driven him to cheat on her with a coed in the backyard! Golly Jee Willakers, does it get anymore scandalous than that??!! God save the queen! Run for cover! Man your battle stations!! Goddamnit the world is going to fucking end now because some woman wasn't a good enough Christian to prevent her obviously stupid, loser husband from finding a girlfriend. Get a life, Jon. You actually were not as smart as your wife, as anybody could see from day 1 of your lame TV show, and she really shouldn't give a damn where you go or who you're with anyway. That's my humble thought on that. Women don't drive men to be assholes who cheat on their wives, folks. Women do not hold the blame for everything bad that has ever happened in your life. Wakeup, Rush, because the whole 'feminazi' thing got old and lame about 15 years ago.

I'm sick of all this craziness coming at me from the media. I don't care about Brad and Angelina and Jennifer-I-got-cute-hair Aniston. Who really cares about this crap? Who cares what any neocon pundits have to say anyway? Really, who cares?? I have been putting some thought into this, and I'll tell you who cares. It is the idiots of this world who care. It is idiots who can't read, so they all have to take reading classes (which 75 percent of students at my college have to take), idiots who don't know how to find a book in a library, idiots who take their beliefs directly from the screen in their living room and the moron at their church pulpit. Idiots who hate others for simply BEING WHO THEY ARE.


They're really getting on my nerves.

Monday, May 25, 2009

it was a long trip with little days in it and no new places -Anne Sexton from "Flee on Your Donkey"

As the psychosis has (*mostly) gone away for now - something for which I am extremely grateful - my depression has, once again, expanded throughout my brain. It seems this is a pattern with me. I get depressed sometimes when I am also psychotic, but I get depressed a lot when I am not psychotic too. I know that some of it is because, once my brain is free of the auditory hallucinations it so often has to contend with, I am able to think more clearly, pay attention to things going on in my life, and reflect upon where I am at this stage in my life.

It seems that I'm never at the place I want to be in my life, especially when I am depressed. I just realized, once again, that I feel like a total and complete failure. I have managed to accomplish none of my goals which I have had all my life (college degree, serious boyfriend or husband, career, close friends all around me), and I don't really know how to do so. This is depressing, obviously. I have one close friend who I see. I have other friends online who I never see, but that is a different kind of friend. I always have wanted to have the kind of friends who you know well enough that you can go to their home and they can come to yours. Like I said, I have one close friend who fits into that category. And that is that.

I think a large part of my problem with not being able to accomplish my goals is that I am tired. I am constantly tired. I am tired when I am busy, and I am tired when I am doing nothing. I wake up tired every morning, and I drag myself out of bed. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia in 1997. Since then, the diagnosis was changed to Sjogren's Syndrome, but the symptoms, mostly, remain the same. Tired. Fatigued. Lacking energy (which one should differentiate from spunk, as they are not the same thing at all). So that is an issue. I have been getting my thyroid troubles addressed by an endocrinologist, and that is an area that I feel is going in a positive direction. But I'm still tired all the time.

My other main issue is my weight. I don't consider myself attractive anymore at all. Hell, I barely consider myself deserving of the air I breathe at this weight. I know that men no longer find me attractive. To explain why this is different then the past, I should mention that I used to be pretty. I was thin all my life, very thin, and I was not bad looking. I used to attract guys. I don't now, at all. My disastrous relationship with my ex-boyfriend did such a number on my self-esteem that after we broke up, I never even considered trying to date someone again. And now it's been 1 1/2 years since we broke up.

I get lonely a lot. This is one of my main issues in life as well. I miss people I used to be close to. I had some friends online who I never heard from again after I went psychotic. That was very hurtful, and I have had a hard time getting over that hurt. I had another person who I thought of romantically, who I've mentioned here before. I thought I was in love with him for 12 years. Sometimes, even now after I have not heard from him in almost a year, I still think about him as the guy I would like to end up with. This is a totally delusional thought, which probably has more to do with the misfiring synapses in my cerebellum than it has to do with real romance. This guy and I never had a romance, but in my mind we did, and it went on and on and on, and then he totally stopped talking to me. I was devastated by that, incidentally. I miss having that person in my life. I miss hearing from him, and talking to him about things. It makes me sad that I know I will probably never hear from him again - and I mean really sad, not sad because of a delusion.

So, these are some problem areas I've outlined which are bothering me right now. I feel that I am caught in a boring cycle of waking up, going to work, going to a doctor/therapy appointment, going home, going to bed - with eating interspersed here and there and Diet Coke consumption throughout. This is a boring life which is just leading to more of the same circle, the same humdrum boredom, the same nothingness. And this bothers me a lot. I do have times where I'm involved with activism and I enjoy those times a great deal, but they don't fill up my days. My boring job fills my days, and I don't get much satisfaction out of that.

I think, having mulled this over a bit, I need to start changing some things. I need to work very seriously on weight loss, for one thing. I need to branch out into the world and try to make new friends, if possible (this is extremely difficult for me and always has been), and I need to explore going back to college now that I'm not hallucinating all day long anymore. I want, more than anything, to finally get my college degree which I've worked towards, off and on, for so many years. It means to much to me to give up that dream.

Sorry this was a rather depressing post. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

some improvements~ one step at a time

I recently took a trip to New York to see my younger sister graduate from college. She worked very hard, and overcame numerous financial and physical obstacles to get her degree, worked for nine years, worked when she was horribly depressed and often hopeless, and didn't give up. So she got her degree. I am very proud of her. I was also amazed that both of my parents were at the two graduation ceremonies (literally sitting on either side of me), and they managed to behave in a civil manner, which is something they have not done (except for my brother's wedding five years ago) at all in 20 years.

But all was not positive on this trip. My mom has Bipolar Disorder. I don't talk about it here because this blog isn't about my family, and some of my family stop by here too. But my mom can be really manic with severe irritability, and some rather abusive behavior such as screaming all kinds of garbage at me and my sister whilst we are in her rental car lost in New York. So it was a rather stressful trip. My mom was in a bad mood most of the time, and we were sharing a hotel room and spending all of our time together for five days. By the end of it, I couldn't wait to get home and I was really stressed to the max. The upside of this is, although under serious stress I did not have any psychotic symptoms.

Repeat. I did not have any psychotic symptoms. For five days, I was stressed and anxious, and waiting to hear the voices and the double speak when they would start up again, but they never started. They never happened. I managed to get through this entire trip without psychosis. I was literally amazed that my brain could accomplish this feat.

While I'm still waiting for the psychosis to return (since, historically, it always has), I am enjoying this period of being psychosis-free most of the time. I have to give credit where credit is due, and state that my Risperdal injections are working, whereas, oral meds, for me, do not work much. This leads my therapist, my psychiatrist, and myself to think something is wrong with my body that disturbs it's ability to process the medications when taken orally. So, even though a blood test showed I did not have Celiac Disease, I am getting an endoscopy in a couple weeks where the gastroenterologist takes a small specimen to biopsy and check for Celiac. If I did have Celiac, I'd want to know, since it is something that can be corrected. If I don't have it, I want to know, so I don't have to wonder about it for the rest of my life.

In the past few weeks, I've returned to my physical therapy after not having it for a year and a half; I've gone to see an endocrinologist who prescribed Cytomel for me in addition to my Synthroid for hypothyroidism, and began to feel a bit more energetic as a result; I've kept up with my regular community mental health center appointments, I've gone to the Florida NOW conference with a person I just met and had a great time; I've gotten the gastroenterology appointment done, and I've been generally pretty busy. I have also managed to read a book, called This Common Secret, about abortion and women's rights to reproductive choice, and primarily about one doctor's life. I loved the book, but more importantly, it was A BOOK, and, I READ IT ALL. This is hard for me to explain, but my inability to concentrate enough to read books has caused endless difficulty in college and in life and a lot of low self-esteem issues because it makes me feel stupid. If I can read, I know, always, that things are going better than usual. And I can read right now. So that is a good sign.

I wanted to report some positive news here, since I so often use this blog as a venting place, and a place where I reach out to see if there's anyone out there in the great abyss of this world who might possibly relate to me or understand what I'm going through. I have found so much comfort, camaraderie, and understanding from people who read this blog, that I cannot overstate how much your time reading here and your comments mean to me. Thank you for that.

Right now I've got my fingers crossed, my toes crossed, my eyes crossed, and I'm hoping against hope, begging for a miracle, zooming all the positive energy I can muster out into the universe from my soul, and praying to the God I don't believe in - to let me have this reprieve. I need reprieve. I've really needed it for quite some time now. I think it may finally be here and I'm just asking life to grant me this break from the psychosis. So thank you, universe, in advance, for that.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My story in short form

Hey all~
I wanted to let you readers know that a short form of my story has been posted on Mental Health America's website, in the "Real Lives" stories section. I submitted it sometime last year, and I had thought they chose not to use it, but since I recently received a Facebook message about submitting stories to that site, I went there to check it out, and there was mine.

This is where it's at:

Friday, May 08, 2009

a few good things...

I have a few positive things to report. One is, I went to the Florida National Organization for Women (NOW) conference last weekend. I rode there and shared a room with a woman that is a member (and is now the Vice President of the local chapter), and I had a great time. There was some good information given out, some interesting speakers and a lot of conversations with fellow feminists who are interested in creating positive social changes. Since I don't have a lot of local feminist friends, it was great to meet some of these women.

In one of the workshops we were giving reports of sexual harassment and some sexual violence we've experienced. I ended up telling them that I had Schizoaffective Disorder. One person behind me sounded like she was making a snide remark about it, though I am not sure she was. But everyone else was just listening as if there was nothing surprising in what I said. I spoke on the way back with the woman I rode up there with (it was a four hour drive each way), and she asked me about whether or not I still have symptoms and what the symptoms are like, so I told her the truth. That was interesting. I am not used to sharing this information with people who are not either mentally ill themselves or employed in the field of mental health. It was kind of nice to be able to just be honest about my life and to not feel judged about it. She shared some really personal information with me too, so I did not feel like I was saying too much about myself.

After returning from the conference, I went to a local NOW meeting, for our chapter, and I was elected Secretary, which was exciting. I am looking forward to doing what I can to increase our membership and reach out especially to younger women online who might not ordinarily be coming to our meetings.

The other good news I have is that I have been chosen by NAMI's local chapter (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), after a few test-runs to present my story of my illness to the local sheriff's department and emergency response people who will be at the Crisis Intervention Training that is next month. This training (called C.I.T.) occurs twice a year in our county. It also happens in other areas around the United States. I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and over the past three months, I have practiced presenting for a few members of the local NAMI chapter three times, and I whittled away at it until it fit nicely into a 20-minute time slot. I wrote here about the first practice session, and how cool it was to be able to tell my story openly and honestly with people and not be judged. I am really looking forward to telling the police officers what my experiences with the police, when I was psychotic, were like, and in telling them about what it is like to have Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder. I think this is an excellent opportunity to create awareness and combat stigma, and I am honored to be part of this project.

So that is some good news. Also, since having been back on Risperdal injections for several months, I am noticing a marked decrease in my psychotic symptoms. I am not hearing double speak or voices much at all (fingers crossed!) these days, and that is a very welcomed change from the way things were going just a few weeks back. I think my main problem with depression is my worst symptom right now, but I'm doing all I feel like I can do to combat that and keep functioning at a healthy level. I think one thing that I do, which I would like to change about myself, is undermine some of my more positive times, by focusing too much internally on the accomplishments I have not made yet, which I feel like I should have made by this point in my life. When I am not hearing voices, it's easy to take for granted the fact that I have been hearing them most of the time for the past year and a half, and that this is why I am not going to college right now, why I am not someone with a Master's Degree or a PhD by now, etc.

My therapist pointed out to me that I am ambitious, and that there are two sides to that coin. On the one hand, it's admirable and all to have ambition. On the other hand, if you expect unreasonable things from yourself and set your standards too high you will perpetually feel like an underachiever. So that is something I need to keep in mind.