Sunday, September 09, 2012

Struggles continue, but life is like that

Hello friends,

I am not doing so hot. I am experiencing a lot of psychosis symptoms and they generally suck, as you may know from your own experiences with them. If you don't know, feel free to browse this blog! It seems to be a topic I write a lot about. Unfortunately.

But I'm back in school. At my university, I have to get notetakers for both my classes, because I don't think I'll pass if I don't do that for at least my political science course.  We are supposed to be reading legal cases and writing legal briefs. Once again, my brain has decided I won't be able to read this semester. Gee, this is familiar. It's the story of my freakin' life. So now there is a lot riding on me passing these classes, because I had to go through a major appeal process to get financial aid to continue college, by providing copious medical documentation that I had medical reasons (ie, I was out of my mind) for withdrawing from school years ago, so that's why I still haven't graduated and I have a low ratio of satisfactory academic progress. That's the financial aid term for "dropped out of classes a lot". I know a lot about this being a common problem, since I work at a community college where we help people who have questions about how to do such an appeal, so I know I'm not the only one out there with a decent GPA who is on financial aid "probation". But this means that if I ever withdraw or fail a course I cannot ever get financial aid again. There are no more appeals for me if I do that. In other words, I better get my ability to read back, and fast!

The auditory hallucinations continue, so when I'm at work, all day I hear people calling me "Jew" and telling me I am going to burn to death or be gassed to death and that I'm going to "walk home" to a concentration camp. This is going on even now, when I'm on THREE, yes, three, antipsychotic drugs. I am currently taking Latuda 120 mgs, Risperdal Consta 50 mgs, and Navane 6 mgs.

In the side effects realm, I can't stop moving my legs, thanks to Navane. It seems I've got a touch of the old Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS), so I'm supposed to be taking yet ANOTHER drug for that, Artane, because I can't take Cogentin since it makes my vision really blurry. But I hate being on all this medications. I am on Prozac, Klonopin, Ambien, Vistaril, Navane, Latuda, Risperdal injections, Methocarbomal, Naproxen, Synthroid, Cytomel, something for acid reflux I never remember the name of, Artane, Salagen, and Plaquenil, as well as Melatonin. This is too much. I know it is not a good situation.

I was able to attend NAMI Florida's Peer to Peer training and become a trained Peer to Peer Mentor who can help teach Peer to Peer classes for consumers, two weeks ago, and I got through that. I'm glad to be involved, but I'm also too overwhelmed to be able to handle other responsibilities. I was scheduled to attend another three-day training this coming weekend to lead a support group for a year and a half as part of NAMI on Campus at my old community college, but I know I am not up to this right now and I had to back out of it. I was really worried that people would be angry with me for backing out, and I really was afraid to do it, but I had to, as I cannot control my mind. It's unfortunate because they wanted me to lead a support group and I would like to be able to help with that, but I cannot do it, and I just know that if I push myself any harder I'm headed into a hospital.

Yesterday, I had a ticket to see Obama speak, and I didn't go. I have a lot of fears of the CIA and the Secret Service, and I was afraid to go because of that, but also, you had to wait in line and stand for hours in the heat in a mob of 15,000 people and I was in no way up to doing that. So I missed it. Probably better off that I just watched him speak on TV instead.

In other news, my brother doesn't seem to be doing well with his own mental health or his drinking problem, and I surely hope he gets the help he needs soon, but I really have no way to help him since he refuses to admit he needs help. He's been living in motels and in and out of my mom's house for the past couple years. He was supposed to go to a halfway house in January but he refused to go, and has refused to go ever since. So I keep having fears that he's going to die or end up in prison, or on the streets. Mostly, I'm afraid he's going to die. I wish I knew how to help him. I wish I had the money to send him to rehab, but I don't. I wish I could save him, but I can't. It's a very helpless feeling.

The other day I was in the grocery store, and I thought this woman was my mom. She didn't really look like my mom, but I thought she did at first, and then I kept thinking it. I followed her to see if she recognized me, but the woman just looked like she didn't know me, so then I told myself, "No, this is not your mom, this is your mind playing tricks once again, let it go". It scared me because stuff like that used to happen to me all the time when I was not well and not on meds. It shouldn't be happening NOW when I'm on A TON of meds!

I'm afraid my new psychiatrist doesn't know how to help me. I haven't been well the whole time I've seen her, so she doens't know me when I am well, in order to have something to compare this to. So all I can do is hope that she understands, when I say, "I'm psychotic", that I'm not exaggerating things. I find it hard to explain my whole life in five minutes.

Well, I'm really tired from all the meds, and I can't think of a lot of good things to say, so I'm sorry if this is a dull post. Pero, yo hablo un poquito en espanol because I am taking Spanish at my university and have learned a tiny bit. In Spanish when you ask people how they're doing, they don't always say, "Muy Bien!" (very good), sometimes they say, "Regular." I like that idea. Sometimes they even say "No muy bien" (not very good). It makes sense to me that people would just be honest about how they are instead of having to lie about it all the time.

Buenas Noches.


  1. Buena suerte con todos! (Not sure if that's grammatically correct.)

    Your posts are always interesting even when you write about boring stuff because you always provide sincere reflections on what you want and need. Also, even when you're dealing with psychosis, you seem way more well-grounded, mature, and rational than most people are when simply dealing with minor psychological and emotional ups and downs.

    And lastly, I always learn something new from you! (Like the stuff about financial aid)

  2. Hi

    You have so much on your plate right now I think it's a miracle you can get out of bed! Do you know how amazing that is?

    Notetakers are a great idea. They didn't have them when I was in school, I used a mini tape recorder to record lectures. I found this to be a great help. Is that something that may help?

    I get the same auditory hallucinations in the summer. I think the heat does something to it. I am afraid to use the shower- I'm convinced gas will come out of it. I end up taking baths.

    I agree with you about hearing the President speak. It would have been really really cool, but all those crowds- I don't handle crowds anymore.

    The NAMI certification is a good thing.

    Jen, despite all you have written here, you wrote it with clarity. You have so much on your plate right now, but you are high functioning- at least that is how you are coming off. You are one hell of a lady. I don't know one person in real life who could accomplish so much on such a boat load of meds.

    You go girl! Just remember to eat good food and get enough sleep.

  3. I will add to the argument that your post was indeed interesting and did not smack of dullness, mostly in my opinion due to the rare quality you pointed out yourself; being honest. I don't currently suffer from any serious form of mental illness, but I am frequently affected by people's general lack of ability to identify in themselves what they think or feel, let alone to express this in a non-exaggerated manner. Hooray for those like you who do it so well. Though I am not for one second saying you should be grateful for suffering with mental disorders, I feel I can truthfully echo the comment that you appear to deal with your thoughts more rationally than the majority. I hope you have a good evening.

  4. Thank you all for the kind words and support! I really appreciate them. It's so encouraging to read your supportive words. I don't feel nearly as badly about myself as I usually do, after I read such comments.
    They lift my spirits. Thank you.


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