Tuesday, November 27, 2012

not sleeping and seeing things

Once again, I cannot sleep, which is not surprising. I have the worst insomnia known to mankind, it seems. Or at least, that is what it seems like when it flares up. The other night I hallucinated in the middle of the night and saw a woman in a black dress standing in my bedroom closet where the door was open.

I assumed this happened because I'd run out of Vistaril and forgotten to get it refilled for some time.....at least for a week, or maybe longer. So I decided to make sure I got it refilled last night, which I did. But I still didn't sleep well. At least I didn't hallucinate last night though.

It scares me when I get visual hallucinations, because they generally only happen when things are going really badly. And that is not exactly a good sign for the near future. But I'm hoping it was just a fluke.

Anyway, I'll post again when I have something more interesting to talk about.

Monday, November 26, 2012

just being friends

Well, I guess you could tell from my my last post that depression has crept into the picture. Oddly, today my recovery specialist came to visit and I failed to even mention this. I was actually just talking a lot about my brother's drinking problem. And she was asking me if I had a vacuum cleaner which was odd, considering I had vacuumed five minutes before she arrived. I really didn't want to talk to her about the New Zealand guy thing because nobody understands it. Nobody thinks you're serious if you tell them you're going to New Zealand to meet your possible soulmate in the first place, so there's no sense in telling anybody when you are no longer in the place where you're all happy and the stars are shining and butterflies are singing fairy songs in your ears because you're so "in love" (which apparently he doesn't think we ever really were, but I beg to differ, because I experienced it).

So anyway, today I decided to try to cheer myself by shopping on Cyber Monday. Everything's on sale, after all, it's the perfect time to do some Christmas shopping without having to venture into a crowded store, and I need a distraction from my life and my job. So that is what I have been doing here at work. Shopping. And working.

At home, to top off all the wonderful things that are happening in my life right now, my freaking modem broke, or something went wrong with my home network so it simply no longer functions. Therefore, I have no internet service at all, except at work, or at the libraries, until further notice. But since I'm feeling a little bit on edge, to put it mildly, I thought I would write another post while I'm here at work.

Thank you to the nice people who responded to my last posts! And Mary, I am grateful for you too. And Aussie guy, that is really cool that you found your true love. And Kate, thanks for your email.

I guess it is possible to try to be friends with someone after you thought you were in love with them, and they said they were in love with you, but I find this concept hard to fathom. It reminds me very much of Kevin, since it is basically an identical situation to my life, circa 1997. That was when I fell in love with Kevin, via email, and phone calls (there was no Skype then), and he sent me a dozen roses, and told me he loved me and he was going to come to Florida, and I sent him postcards with pictures of the tacky tourist attractions, and then, and then, and then, he said, "I think we should just be friends." Right. That's what he said.

Then I wanted to crawl under a rock, because he was quite literally the first guy I ever fell for, and he was the first one who ever broke my heart. But you know what I did, so brilliantly? I decided to stay obsessively attached to him for 15 years!! That was my brilliant solution to his decision to no longer speak to me on the phone. Despite his refusal to even response to most of my emails, despite that he had been recently released from prison, despite that he had girlfriends he lived with over the years, despite all that, and despite that I knew he did NOT love me AT ALL EVER, I stayed obsessed. I thought he was the love of my life. It wasn't until 2008 that we stopped talking, after I made a complete jackass out of myself by saying something to his girlfriend online (this was not one of the finer moments in my life) at which point he compltely cut me off and would have nothing at all to do with me ever. But then just two months ago I tried to strike up a conversation with him again, only to be told that I was too crazy for him and he didn't want to talk to me again, again.

Yeah, that is how this has worked out for me in the past when someone I thought I was in love with, over the internet, decided to just be friends. He also treated me like shit the entire time I knew him. So I decided a very long time ago that I wasn't signing up for that hayride again. Ever.

So even though I adore this person in New Zealand, I don't know how to be his friend, because I like him too much, I mean I still feel like I love him, and he most certainly doesn't feel that way about me, so I am a loser in this situation. And it makes me hate myself, because it feels like Kevin all over again.

I wish I had a normal person's brain.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

death

The other day, I was having dinner with my mom, and she said, "I don't want you to get all involved with this New Zealand guy and then get suicidal if it doesn't work out."

It didn't work out.

He just wants to be friends now. On other continents. So, yeah. I woke up today wanting to die. Actually, to be more accurate, saying out loud, "I want to die." I'm not suicidal though. I refuse to kill myself over a guy, that would be pathetic. I'm just really depressed.

I think I'm going to be alone forever. I knew that I was likely to get my heart broken in this doomed situation, but I wanted so badly to believe him that he really loved me, and that he really meant the good things he said about me, because no one else ever says that they really love me in a romantic way or anything like that. And I guess I was dumb enough to fall for it, because I was lonely, and I'm pathetic. And it was stupid, and now it's over, and here I am alone thinking about what an idiot I am and how I just wish I was dead.

Because who wants to date an overweight Schizophrenic? Not a lot of people frankly do. Not in my experience. And I have not dated anybody in five years. It's not looking like I'm ever going to find any real love or romance that isn't some sort of joke or facade that the person is faking. He told me it had been "infatuation", which I thought was interesting. Anyway, I don't feel like saying anything nice right now, so I'm not going to say anything else. I'm just really not in a good mood.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

all we are is all alone

I went to see a good movie tonight. It's called Silver Linings Playbook and it's about people with mental health issues (one has Bipolar Disorder), who fall in love. It's sweet and cute and romantic and funny. The actors are good, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. But this is so far removed from real life.

Most of the people I know who live with serious mental illnesses are alone. Forever. Few of them are ever married. Most of them never are. Most of them have few long-term relationships. I am just one of those people.

I have never had the true love I wanted all my life that would last and be mutual and be meaningful and result in lifelong commitment, and I never will have it. This has really hit me tonight, as I sit here thinking about the fact that I am going to be alone forever. I have been lying in my bed crying thinking about the fact this guy I fell in love with who lives in New Zealand is somebody I'll probably never even meet, and even if I did meet him, it wouldn't matter, because we're never going to even live on the same continent, and even if we were, that wouldn't matter, because he still spends most nights sleeping at his ex-girlfriend's house since they have a child together who has special needs, and I tried to understand that, I really did, I thought I could understand it. But I can't understand it. How can somebody be telling me that they don't love their ex-girlfriend anymore, yet spend every day and night at her house? With her? And going places with her?

Yeah, I don't understand that. And it doesn't even matter, because this whole thing, this has been destined to make me miserable from the beginning. And I knew that. I knew that if I let myself fall in love with this person, which is what I did, then I would have my heart broken, and I would regret it, and it would never work out, and it would never be whatever I wanted it to become. And I was right. Because it's never going to be whatever I wanted it to become. I don't even think he even cares.

My whole life is so entirely fucking pointless. I have spent my whole entire life alone. What is the point? The years I lived with my ex-boyfriend Jim do not count because they were miserable years that I wasted trying to be the perfect girlfriend to an asshole who never really loved me. Nobody has ever really loved me, actually. Not in a romantic fashion. People used to be attracted me. They would want to go out with me. But they never loved me.

And the ones they said they did turned out to be lying.

So that is life. I am destined to be alone forever, and I guess I've always known this was the case, but wished it was not the case at the same time.

Alas, life is not really like the movies.

When you actually have Schizoaffective Disorder, you actually don't find a lot of romance. I thought I had found the one person who could really understand me, who I could really relate to, who might even be my soulmate, and then I sat here tonight and thought about how he was off spending time with his ex girlfriend on the other side of the world, and I was sitting in my apartment in Florida feeling lonely. And I realize what a total idiot I am.

All we are is all alone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankfulness


I don't believe in being grateful only on one day of the year. I don't believe Thanksgiving is a good holiday. It's a day that represents the genocide of the Native American people; I don't consider that something to celebrate. But I do believe in being thankful for the things in life that I'm grateful to have in my life, the people, the happy times, the "solids" the universe does you every so often.

So here is one of my "things I'm thankful for" posts. I don't only write them on Thanksgiving.

1. I'm thankful for my 2 cats, Ribbit the Little Lion (the violent one), and Spooky the Princess (the victimized one, who is beautiful and sadly passive).

2. I'm thankful for the dozens of people I've gotten to talk to about mental illness since this time last year through my involvement with NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness).

3. I'm thankful for the fact that I have a family, even though I don't always get along with them all, nor do they all particularly like me all of the time. I'm thankful they're alive, that both my parents are still alive, that my brother who tried to drink himself to death in recent years is, despite the odds, somehow still alive, that my sister is still alive, that my other brother and sister (the littlest ones) seem to be happy young people. I'm thankful for the one grandmother and one grandfather who are still alive. I'm thankful that I got to see them both this year.

4. I'm thankful that I have plenty to eat, warm clothes when it's cold, and cool air conditioning when it's hot, and a nice, comfortable bed to sleep in every night with a roof over my head, no bed bugs, and no police arresting me for breaking any laws by sleeping illegally on a park bench like so many homeless individuals in this country and around the world. I'm thankful I don't live in a shelter now, like I did before. I'm thankful I have lived in the same apartment building for six years, the longest period of time I've lived in one place during my adult life.

5. I'm thankful for my Associate's Degree, and that I'm still able to go to college, and that, in spite of everything, I'm working on that Bachelor's Degree, and I only have about another two years to go part-time. I like my university, and I'm grateful for student loans, even if they are putting me in debt for life.

6. I'm thankful for my four mental health professionals I deal with on a regular basis: my psychiatrist, my therapist, my case manager, and my recovery specialist. They are each helpful in their own way, and I appreciate all of their help.

7. I'm thankful for my neighbors, who remind me every day that a lot of people aren't thankful at all for what others do for their country *(my neighbors are mostly formerly homeless veterans).

8. I'm thankful for my friend Mary who lives downstairs and tells me I'm her "very best friend", and smiles and hugs me every time I see her. I'm thankful for my friend Kathy who is fun to hang out with and who helps me clean my apartment when it's really messy. I'm thankful for all my friends in NAMI and in the National Organization for Women (NOW), who stand up for what they believe in, which is also stuff that I believe in myself.

9. I'm really thankful my friend Dr. Byrd is now cancer free! He got through chemo this year.

10. I'm thankful that when my grandmother died this year, I was able to tell her, via my aunt, goodbye, and I was able to go to her funeral, and I was able to be there and see her and watch my grandfather give her a kiss for the last time. I'm grateful that when my other grandmother, on the same day as that funeral, almost had bleeding on her brain after falling, she got lucky and came out of it okay.

11. I'm thankful that I don't have a terminal disease, that even though I'm not entirely healthy I'm also not entirely sick, and that my body still does a lot of things properly. For example, I don't, as far as I know, have Type II Diabetes yet, which is something I've been really worried about since I became prediabetic years ago due to medications and weight gain.

12. I'm thankful that I have a car that works right now and that when it didn't work, I actually had a way of coming up with the money to get it repaired, so I didn't have to just give it up like  I once did with my old car, when I was psychotic.

13. I'm thankful that, every time this year when I was psychotic, I knew I was psychotic.

14. I'm thankful for medications that work at least somewhat effectively, despite side effects.

15. I'm thankful for daisies, the smell of fabric softener, the feeling of wind in my face, the sky right before it starts to storm, the sound of babies laughing, music, art, museums, computers, the internet, blogging, my blog, people, the universe, and chocolate.

16. I'm thankful for you, reading this.

17. I'm thankful I don't live in Palestine, or Israel.

18. I'm thankful Barack Obama got elected and not Mitt Romney.

19. I'm thankful for the written word, and the ability to write it.

20. I'm thankful for love, and someone special on the other side of the world.

21. I'm thankful for Florida turning blue!! Go Dems!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

everything seemed to be sort of okay....

Last night, things went really well when I spoke to the NAMI Pinellas Family to Family class, where the people were really kind and very receptive. I got lots of hugs from them after I told my story, and they said things like, "You are amazing. I'm so glad you're still alive. Thank you for coming to tell us your story!" and "You are beautiful". It was really heart-warming, especially since, in my own family, there is nobody who would ever take the time to sit through a 12 week course on mental illness in order to be a better support person to me, which is what those people are doing for their family members.

There was one mishap, in that I locked my keys in my car, right before it was time to do my speech, so I had to call AAA, and have a locksmith break the car open. But no big deal.

And  then there is the love story saga. You see, I have totally fallen in love with this New Zealander. I know how ridiculous it sounds. "You've never met him!". I know. He's never met me. I know. It all sounds really silly. But he is really sweet, and kind, and funny, very funny, and smart, and interesting, and compassionate, and most importantly we relate on the level of both having lived with Schizoaffective Disorder for many years, and with being misunderstood by other people for having it.

But now, apparently, he's not talking to me. I don't know how long this is going to last; so far it's been about 36 hours. Before that we were talking several times a day on email and texts, if not on the phone. The phone calls are extremely expensive, and I simply can't afford to keep paying for that, so I had to tell him I couldn't call again right away. And then I started figuring out stuff with my bank account, and my college schedule, and my courses that I have to finish to graduate, and I really realized - there is no way I can afford to pay for the rest of my college degree. I simply lack the funds.

So this is EXTREMELY disheartening right now. And on top of that, if I can't afford to finish college, how can I afford to go to New Zealand, to see this soulmate who found me through my blog?

The only thing I can do is take out another loan, but I'm already in a lot of debt, so that wouldn't be wise at all. I would do it though, because I really wanted to do it. I really wanted to go there, and to see New Zealand, to travel around the world, and to meet him in person, and to hold his hand and see him smile, and give him a kiss, and I really wanted to have that whole experience of being around somebody that I was really crazy about (I hate the word "crazy"), but then......what happens when I have to go home?? What happens when I have to get back on a plane and realize that I'll probably never see NZ again?

I'm pretty upset over all this. It's all extremely disappointing and disheartening, and I lost my Prozac, so I am depressed anyway, and things are just looking downhill right now. I feel very alone. And I think I'm always going to be completely, utterly alone.

My heart hurts.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Losing medications, and positive affirmations....

So, things have been kind of weird lately. I've sort of fallen head over heels for my Kiwi in New Zealand, and it's been a big distraction (in a very nice way), but I became rather absent-minded about some things. Somehow I realized one day, "I don't know when the last time I took Navane was. Uh oh." And I still have no idea. I went to the pharmacy to get it refilled a couple days ago. They refilled the wrong drug. I went home, figured this out, called them. They said, "You have no refills because you just picked up a three-month supply on October 29th." I said, "No, I did not. I do not recall that at all." I really have no memory of it. But when you take like 16 different pills every day, it does become hard to keep track of them all.

So then, I talked to Tom at my pharmacy. He's one of the pharmacists who knows me since I practically live at the pharmacy. He said, "Yes, you definitely picked it up on the 29th." I said, "Well, then I've lost it." Uh oh. So today I went to see my doctor at 9:00 AM. I got there on time, even early. But the trouble was, I didn't actually have an appointment with her today. I only had an appointment with the therapist.

So I went home, and called the case manager, who was coming over, (my recovery specialist), to tell her I was going to therapy and I'd be back later, thinking to myself that I would magically get my apartment clean before I went to therapy. This didn't happen. I fell asleep. I woke up in time to get to therapy, but not in time to clean. I also fell asleep last night when I was meaning to clean.

Anyway, when I got to the therapist's office, she was not too  thrilled with the fact that I had lost one of my antipsychotics, not to mention the fact that I had no idea when the last time I took it was, except that, according to Walgreens, it must have been October 29th. She immediately got on the phone, and tried to get me some assistance from the medical assistants upstairs. I knew this would do no good anyway. Once Medicare pays for a drug and you lose it, well, you lose it, and it's your problem. Not theirs. I have already had my one "emergency" refill for the year, so there is no way they were going to pay for an extra three-months supply of Navane. I have no idea how much it would cost if I were to pay for it.

I went home, after therapy, and after the therapist reminding me "Don't buy a plane ticket to New Zealand. No plane tickets!". I started frantically trying to straighten up in the 15 minutes I had before the case manager got here. And then I found it. Right down in the crevice between the kitchen counter and the fridge was my plastic bag from Walgreens, with my unopened, never used bottle of Navane, a three-months supply. And I took it immediately.

You see, what's been happening, as I explained to my therapist was, since I haven't been on any Navane at all, I have noticed an increase in the "negative symptoms" side of psychosis, where I will just be sitting and staring off into space, unable to motivate myself to do things, like, say, clean my apartment. It isn't like this all the time, but I have noticed a definite shift in the past week. And I have been living in a mess. So hopefully, finding this drug will be helpful. My doctor plans on taking me off it soon anyway, but she wants to make sure I'm able to be stable without it first. I'm not sure I am yet.

When my case manager/recovery specialist came over, she brought me this great thing. .She had written out a list of positive affirmations for me to tell myself. I was trying to figure out how to write some on my own before, and I wrote about that here. Yet, I had a hard time with this, because I have cripplingly low self-esteem, so it is hard for me to do this kind of thing. But I really like the list she came up with. So if you want some positive affirmations to use for yourself, you can use these to start out with and then write your own. You can  put them on note cards, on tape them with sticky notes or little pieces of paper to your mirror or your walls or your computer....Here are mine:

I, Jennifer, want to live.

I, Jennifer, am beautiful.

I, Jennifer, am safe.

I, Jennifer love my life.

My life is worth living.

I, Jennifer, am worthy.

I am going to get some index cards to write them on, and carry them around with me in my purse. Then when I need a self-esteem boost, I will read them.

Also today, I, Jennifer, am happy.


Friday, November 09, 2012

Wise words

I was watching Rachel Maddow the other night when she said this. And I loved it. But when she got to the part about "FEMA is not building concentration camps in the United States" I was really disturbed for a moment. I had to pause and say to myself, "right, FEMA is NOT building concentration camps, and yes, you thought that, and yes you also read that on the internet years ago, and no it was never, ever true....." but it really scared me, to hear her say that, because this kind of thing, well, nobody ever talks about it. Usually when I tell people, if I ever tell anyone, "I used to think that I was going to be sent to a concentration camp in the US," they would look at me like, "Ummmm, what?" I assumed that nobody else really thought these things. But evidently they do, because I did, in fact, read it on some conspiracy theory website, and someone did, in fact, tell me last year that her son with Schizophrenia has the same delusion. But, no, FEMA is not building concentration camps.

Remember that.

Congratulations to everyone who, like me, voted for Barack Obama!! We did it.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Every Vote Counts!! Get Out the Psychiatric Disability Vote!!

Let's face it, we're an under-represented population, folks. We don't have a lot of powerful lobbyists in Washington. We have NAMI, and that is about it for us. We do not have big rallies or marches, and there are no people waving signs very often to raise awareness for our cause (although there was recently for a woman with a mental illness in my area who was shot by a law enforcement officer and the sign waivers received criticism for their efforts to raise awareness). So, what can we do? We can go to National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health America meetings. We can go to support groups. We can write letters to our Senators and Representatives, and we can create petitions. We can join community boards. We can use our voices. We can do public speaking.

And one thing, one simple thing, that we can all do is vote.

So if you are of age to vote, and if you live in the United States, and if you have not already voted early, then please get up tomorrow, go out and exercise your write to speak on behalf of everybody who relies on Social Security Disability and SSI benefits to survive, everybody who needs Medicaid or Medicare to get their medications or see their doctors, or receive therapy, everybody who lives in an ALF or group home or HUD housing, or other government subsidized living facility, everybody who uses food stamps, everybody with a kid in public school, everybody with no health insurance at all who will have the opportunity to receive healthcare under Obamacare, every woman who receives gynecological healthcare through Planned Parenthood or uses birth control, every man who expects the women he has relations with to use birth control, everybody who can't afford to raise a child, everybody who is gay and wants to maybe get married someday and not be shunned, everybody who is female and wants equal pay for equal work which she can get under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed by President Obama, everybody who is a little person and on of the 47% that Mitt Romney famously said he does not care about. Us. Speak on behalf of all of us.

So go vote tomorrow. Please. Do it for yourself. Do it for your ancestors who could not vote because they were women, or they were black, or they were immigrants, or they were uneducated and didn't know they could. Do it for the people in the world who don't have the right to choose their President and wish they could. Do it for the people who want the change that we can create. Do it for them. Do it for every country that is affected by the actions of the foreign policy of the United States. Vote for them. Vote for yourself. Vote for your mama, and vote Obama.

That is all.

End of my infomercial.

GET OUT THE DISABILITY VOTE!!

I know this is going to sound a little "crazy".....

I know this is going to sound a little ridiculous. Just a tad. Tiny. Little bit. Ridiculous. I have been told this already by numerous people, including my shrink.

But I have also been told by other people, "hey, you only live once! Go for it!".

And so, this is when I tell you that I really, really like this guy in New Zealand who I've been communicating with through email (and a few times on the phone), every day for the past month or so, and who I really feel like I know very well, and who I really relate to very well, and who I have a lot in common with, and who I really want to meet in person.

So because of this I have been feeling quite silly and like a school girl with a crush. And I know how dumb that sounds, for the person is on the other side of earth! But it doesn't hurt to have someone you really like, who is really sweet to you, who you relate to really well, to talk to on a regular basis. He also has Schizoaffective Disorder, and has been through much the same route with it that I have as far as being misdiagnosed with other things, and not being on the proper medications for a long time. So we relate. And that's a lot more than I can say about most people I know "in person".

So perhaps we will be traveling to meet each other. And that is all I'm going to say about that, because now that people who are mental health professionals read this blog, I don't plan on writing about things that they clearly will hold against me. But perhaps I have something in mind for the future and it is making me happy.

It never hurts to have things to look forward to!! And it's not Friday, but I really have always liked this song.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

love and distance

The thing is about romance and falling in love, is it's a terrible thing to do from a distance. And distance can be anything, it can be someone's drug problem, which was my ex-boyfriend Jim's issue, or it can be their history of childhood abuse that keeps them emotionally distant because they never got therapy to deal with it at all, or it can be 15,000 miles (or however far it is between the US and New Zealand) and two oceans. In any event, distance is an obstacle.

Alas, I think I ruined something good, and now I'm sad. Oh well. Life just really, really sucks sometimes. That's about all I can say.

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