Yes, I have a sickness. What does it do to me? I get to feel extreme emotions. I also get to feel “regular” emotions. Right now I am happy and no I am not manic, I can tell the difference and my husband can too. It is not always this way, so I am very appreciative. I am not dreading and constantly thinking, “how long is this going to last, oh I know this is going to end, blah, blah, blah”. If that were the case then I really wouldn’t be enjoying the moments now would I? I am realistic though, and remain hopeful. If it lasts, it will last. From my mental history these come and go, just like the depressive visits. The depressive visits come without warning, sometimes for reasons known, some for reasons unknown. That is the nature of this illness. Sometimes they last years, months, weeks, days. Some days I do not get visited by depression, but by sadness.
I try not to complain, because I know complaining does not make a difference. Also when one complains that puts the focus on negative, that is why I like to be thankful about what is going right in my life. Even when I feel like total crap and completely depressed, I KNOW I have something to be thankful for. I have my sight. I have 10 fingers, toes. I can walk. I have hair. I have food… the list goes on and on… these are things to be appreciative for and be thankful for. By shifting my mind to positives and focusing on this, helps adjust my mind set. Yeah, I may still be depressed, but I am still thankful and am still a darn lucky gal for everything I have in my life!
Anyway, I was going through my journal the other day and found an entry from January 18, 2013 and thought I would share. The point of me sharing the journal entry is for others to see, that we can get through this. NEVER GIVE UP. Things do get better. It is a cycle though. It gets crappy. It gets better. It gets crappy. It gets better :)
TRIGGER WARNING. also has a couple of curse words. Sort of a short story, after reading again I am thinking perhaps I have watching too many horror movies or read too many horror books ;)
Can you see the pain through my eyes? Can you sense the agony that I am emitting? Can you feel the tears that are not falling?
What is this I am feeling? It is not new. I have been here before. Why does it have to hurt so much? It is so strange. To feel so much pain, so much agony… yet feel numb. It is unexplainable and so confusing. Why am I back here, why did I have to return to this forsaken place? I have crawled/scratched my way up this lifeless pit of misery many times before. So why does it feel unfamiliar… is it a new pit?
Are there different pits that I happen to fall into throughout my life? Are they reserved just for me? Why are the in my path at all? I do not need to be constantly tested for my strength. I know my strength and fortitude. I have taken many paths in my life with many ‘forks’. I have also had to make a few detours, but I have always been able to persevere.
I know life is not easy. That there are many obstacles in our paths. But why does mine seem to have so fucking many???
Maybe I was walking my head held too high and failed to see the gaping black hole in front of me… But that is not like me. I do not walk with my head held high like that. I look forward and I pay attention to my surroundings and all of the people around me. And yet, here I am… again, at the bottom of the misery pit.
I attempt to look around me, I can tell I am surrounded by death and decay. I can smell my past, it is a stench that I do not care to ever visit again. Once again, I look around, but cannot see anything. I am in complete darkness. I can sense this darkness, it is its own entity. I can start sensing its evil eyes looking upon me, longing for me to join them. It has many faces, many arms. I then start feeling the cold decayed fingers and hands reaching out for me. They grab at me, trying to get a good grip. As I stand there in total darkness, I feel various decrepit hands all over me… They grab at my arms, my legs, they are all over me. They struggle because they are weak, yet have some strength because they know the darkness, they live here, they are in their element. And they are lonely, they want/long/crave for another soul. They want to feed off of me, they want my hope, my life, my being. They need it, they must have it. I just stand there, stuck in fear and amazement, I do not fight them. I can now ‘hear’ them beckoning and pleading for me to join them. In unison they ‘tell’ me that I should join them, that they can take all of my pain, misery and agony away. They ‘say’ that I do not have to feel this way, they can make it all better, make all of it disappear. All they ask of me is to completely surrender to them, to let myself go, and they will take care of the rest. As I listen closely, I hear evil shrieking and angelic sounds. I then realize these are not voices at all, these are not human voices speaking to me. I also realize there are no sounds coming from their putrid mouths. They are communicating to me through my mind. They are in my mind. They can feel everything I am feeling and it excites them. They are feeding off my fear, my pain, my agony, my confusion and what little hope I have left.
As I stand there, I can feel them consuming the life out of me. I am not fighting them, I am allowing this. As they are consuming my being, I slowly start to feel relief, a sort of peaceful feeling starts coursing through every ounce my being. I feel home. I feel I am where I belong. This is it. This is not only the answer, but the feeling of relief I have been searching for. I just stand there and let them have their way with me. They are all greedily sucking all of my pain, my agony, my hope.
Suddenly I feel a dampness on my face, I am crying, I can feel the tears rolling out of my eyes. This snaps me back to ‘reality’, I ‘wake’ up in a daze and realize where I am and what is happening. I happen to look up and see a flicker of light. The longer I stare up, the brighter the flicker gets, it is glowing. This terrifies the creatures, I then realize they are extremely scared of light.
I make the decision to have them stop feeding off of me. I am not giving them my being. My hope, my fear, my agony and pain… those all belong to me, not them. These are all part of who I am. It is not theirs to take.
I realize the longer I stare up directly into the light, that I am controlling how bright it gets. So I use every ounce of hope left inside of me to make that flicker turn into a mass of light. I can feel the heat from it, it is comforting and welcoming. Everything these creatures had sucked out of me was flowing back into my pores. All of my hope was coming back, along with my fear, pain and agony. The mass of light exploded, harming all of the creatures making them retreat back into the darkness. I could ‘hear’ the shrieks, I could tell they were angry and in pain. And just like that they were gone. I could not feel or sense them any longer.
Just then a ladder made of hopes and dreams appeared before me. When I touched this ladder my fingers/hand went right through it, this ladder was not solid. I did that a few times. There was no way I could climb out of here on this thing. It was not ‘real’. I knew what I had to do, I had to believe. So I closed my eyes and put all of my belief and faith in this ladder of hopes and dreams. It then became solid, and I was able to climb my way out of that pit of darkness. That ladder was made up of my hopes and dreams. I still have enough hope and dreams to keep me alive, to help me find my way out of the darkness.
Out of the darkness, I now find myself in a field of nothingness. I am alone, there is nothing around me. It is not dark, nor is it bright, it is just enough light for me to see. To see I am alone in this field. I am not clothed, I am cold and scared. I am not sure where to go, or what to do. I see that the gaping hole has closed itself. I look around, there is no where to go. I am confused and completely lost. So I just sit and wait…
So that was the journal entry. I guess that explosion should have killed those creatures instead of allowing them to retreat. Not really sure why I allowed those suckers to survive.
I guess going through this is why I can appreciate being happy so much more. And why when I am happy I want to share it with the world.
Much love, peace and happiness! ~Bekr
On January 1, 2015 I claimed this was going to be MY year! Well… This year has turned me into a ball in a never-ending pinball game.
(This may seem like a rant, but it really isn’t, so bear with me until the end :) ) I always have a message ;) )
It started out wonderful, I was happy as I could be.
Then my psychiatric medications started making me physically sick, so I stopped taking them. *Then I started getting depressed. *Then I started the most awful psychological therapy possible (willingly), which sent me into my deepest depression ever. *Then I had a bladder cancer scare. *Then something else and other stuff in between, I won’t bore you with details. *Then I started new psychiatric medications. New side effects. Insomnia. Mania. Weight loss. Had to stop the one that gave me severe mania. Kept the ones that worked, but the side effects of those which are effecting me now are malnutrition and insomnia. BUT the malnutrition MAY not be a side effect from the medication, it could be from my GI problems. I have so many things going on my body it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing what anyway. So, yeah….(will get to that later).
I have been medically scoped, poked and prodded in every way much more than I would ever care. *BUT I did have some good months :)
This month I have been to the ER twice for some severe lower GI problems (won’t gross you out with details, but I am sure you can guess). It has not been fun. But I would like to personally thank Walgreen’s for locking their AVAILABLE restrooms at night, yes, thank you very much. I asked politely and was declined. It was quite the ‘mis’adventerous and shitty night for me and my wonderful, loving, supportive husband ;)
Anyway… where was I going with this???
Even though I have not had a decent nights rest/sleep in 7 months, I can now say I am happy!
I made it through the depression, I am alive. *I was not able to complete the therapy sessions, and that is okay, I know in my heart and mind that I gave it my all. *I made it through the cancer scare. My body ‘warned’ me. My bladder was checked out, the ‘evil’ tissue was removed/taken out of me and can no longer cause me harm ;) I still have to have ‘uncomfortable’ checkups, but that is a better alternative! *Now my I am guessing my body is warning me of issues elsewhere, so I am having to see a specialist GI doctor about that, so will be following up on that. Yay (sarcasm).
Onto the malnutrition and insomnia part. My husband and I have a plan. One of the medications I am on cause weight loss, which in turn causes me to have no appetite what so ever. It is difficult for me to eat. So we are going to get a meal plan going to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients I need not only for me, but for my husband too, so we will be doing it together. We will also slowly be living a more active lifestyle, which should help with the sleep. In the meantime, I am going to ask my doc for sleeping pills, I hate to do that, but I am about to seriously lose it. I NEED sleep! I have been on them before, I know how they work, they are just temporary. I know once I get more active it WILL help me sleep.
SOOO, the freaking message is, NEVER give up!!! Things get bad, it is a damn cycle, but things get better. It is life. Nobody said it would be easy. It is a challenge. Be a tough cookie! You can do it! Be thankful for what you have, appreciate the little things! Be kinder, gentler!
(and sorry if this was all over the place, as I write it makes sense in my head, and I know I always write this…)
Peace, love and happiness my friends <3 :)
SIDE NOTE: for those of you that do not understand or know about Mental Illness and are wondering “why the heck would she keep taking medications that are causing malnutrition or harm?” The benefits outweigh the risks. It is something that has to be decided. It is a tough choice that we have to make and live with everyday of our lives.
What ever made me think I could make it through one of the most difficult therapies (Prolonged Exposure Therapy) while being unmedicated is beyond me. The lies we tell ourselves. Maybe it was because I was not medicated ;) Hey, at least I tried and gave it my all. So yeah, it did not work out. I completely crashed. I sank, really REALLY low. My worst depression. It was quite scary. But I made it :)
What helped was a combination of a lot of things. These are some of the main ones:
- Realizing I had the strength of making it through many times before.
- My husband, family and friends
- Previously going through Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Self Awareness
- My furbabies (Roxy and Raedar)
- Reaching out for help
- Getting back on different medications (only reason had stopped taking them was awful side effects)
I went back to my therapist after not seeing him for a few months and told him what happened with me and he started to question efficacy of PE Therapy on people with PTSD and Bipolar Disorder. It did help me a little, it helped me realize a few things, but that is about it. I would not recommend to those that have co-occurring disorders, not after what I went through.
Hopefully I am back. Of course I have meant to write for some time now, but never do. Trying to motivate myself. With everything going on in the world I feel discouraged/disgusted. Humanity makes me want to crawl into a corner and stay there. I know there are good people out there, I just question, what the heck is going on?!?!? Are people that blind? The media/government are trying to divide us. Do people seriously believe that is ALL that is going on? What they see being put on TV/Facebook/everywhere. There is SO much more going on in the world that is not being televised or posted. I know I am going off on a tangent, but that it the way my mind works and that is what has been on my mind.
Anyway, hoping to see much more of y’all!
As always, much love, peace, and happiness <3 :) Bekr
Went to my therapist today. I decided I am not going to stop the therapy. I am not a quitter ;) So I just took a much-needed little break. Enough time to pick myself up and dust my shoulders off. I will attempt it once again. I think the most difficult part is over, although it is all difficult. Yeah, I chose the most intense therapy for this. There is also EMDR and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with focus on trauma. All are difficult, but PE is the most intense. Go me! I am all or nothing kind of gal ;)
As you can tell, I am in a better mood. I am glad I went to my appointment today, almost did not make it. But I did and I discussed everything with my therapist. How I felt about it, what I was going through, my self harm thoughts and such. He told me I did not have to go through with it if I did not want to. I feel I have enough self-awareness that I feel comfortable jumping back into it. And if I get to a certain point, where I feel I am a danger to myself or others, I will stop and definitely seek out one of the other therapy options. He mentioned something that stuck out. “It’s like you are on 2 roller coasters”. I was all like, yeah! You are so right! I already live on 1 roller coaster because I have Bipolar Disorder and Borderline. And now I am on another roller coaster while going through this therapy. All at the same time. So my ups and downs are going to be more severe, going to be sideways and every which way. No wonder I am getting physically ill! I do not like this ride! I may scream, yell, cry out, get sick… But I am staying on until it is over! I may falter, but I will not fail. And hey, if I do have to stop, it’s okay. I won’t consider it a failure on my part because I know I gave it my all. I see that as a partial success ;) I AM human, not a super person here ;) Although I do sometimes think I am an alien, but that’s an entirely different topic. Teehee.
My life has led me to this point. I have gained the strength I needed to go further. What I now realize about all of those awful ‘troubling’ times is that they were preparing me for even worse. Hmmm… trying to explain this using words is more difficult than I thought. Basically, I know I have the strength to endure much of anything life decides to throw at me because of what has already been thrown at me. The lemons seem to be getting larger and larger. Yes, a few times, I barely made it. But miracles happened, and I am still here. Now I am just rambling… I guess I am saying, I can do this and I will come out stronger in the end.
I am ready to move on from this experience. I no longer wish to give this event (and other events) and this person (and other people) such power over my life. I deserve better! They do not deserve any more of my time or misery. I am a survivor! A fighter! A warrior!! Hear me RAAAAAWWWRRR!!! ;)
Thanks for listening (reading).
As always, much love, peace and happiness! <3 :)
***********TRIGGER WARNING***********TRIGGER WARNING***************TRIGGER WARNING****************
Timeline: Week 1 of Imaginal Exposure
Friday 27 February: Did the imaginal exposure for the 1st time. Was really rough. Sobbed, cried. Got through it. Was feeling physically sick the rest of the day. Very low mood. Then anger and rage took over at night. Eventually went to sleep and woke up in a somewhat better mood.
Saturday 28 February: Did not listen to the recording of the session, although I was supposed to.
Sunday 1 March: Listened to the recording of the session for the 2nd time. Was very rough. Sobbed for a while. Was strange hearing myself sobbing on the recording while actually sobbing at the same time. This was about 1 hour ago. I feel upset, not depressed, not hopeless. Feeling like I am being punished for something (although I know that is not the case). Wondering how long I have to live like this, having to relive this experience over and over, everyday. Having to listen to it, every detail of it. This is ALOT of work. This week my assignment is to watch a movie with rape in it a few times. Yes, this therapy has “homework”. Lots of it. It is what is called “in vivo” exposure.
To compare what it feels like I am going through emotionally to physical pain: It feels like over 75% of my body is covered in scabs (yuck, I know) and they are just starting to heal. So they are super sensitive and itchy, but cannot scratch them. Then it feels like they are all being ripped off, exposing the wounds to the air, and the pain becomes fresh and unbearable again.
Monday 2 March: Ended up falling asleep while listening to the tape. I took a lorazepam earlier because I could not handle the stress I was feeling. Was more than I could handle. So listening to it did not make me worse. NOTE: not supposed to take medications before a session or listening to the tape for these exact reasons. I should have waited for the medication to wear off before listening, but I did not want to wait, I wanted to be done with it for the day.
Tuesday 3 March: Listened to the tape. Did not cry. Had this awful feeling though.
Today: Decided I cannot listen to the tape anymore. I am not in a good state of mind now. Have been in a dark place, and was only sinking further. Serious self harm thoughts, the ones that scare the crap out of you because they come across your mind in the first place. Some hopeless feelings, which can be even worse than the self harm thoughts. I have decided to wait until my appointment on Friday to discuss this with my therapist. May need to take a break from this therapy or stop it. I did some reading on another type of therapy sort of like this one. EMDR, will do some more research on this and discuss with therapist. But the VA probably does not offer it. Right now, I think it is in my best interest to take a break, hopefully my therapist agrees with me. He really can’t force me to do this. But it will depend on what he says and suggests as he has more experience with the ‘therapeutic’ side of it. Ultimately it is my choice. I really don’t see myself going any further with this. I was totally committed to this, but I am not going to let it destroy me. I knew this was not going to be easy. But damn! ;)
Having Bipolar Disorder, we are supposed to avoid triggers as much as possible. So how does one cope when one is constantly being triggered by trying to ‘help’ oneself with this type therapy?
I also am only on 1 medication, which is for anxiety. I stopped all other meds 3 to 4 weeks ago. That also may be a contributing factor to my thoughts/emotions. I had to stop my mood stabilizers and anti-depressants because they were making me physically ill and having awful side effects. I have an appointment on Friday 13th ;) with a pharma doctor to discuss why my body seems to be rejecting everything and discuss my options. Personally I would like a ‘medical’ card, but the VA would not cover the costs nor ‘those’ meds. I am tired of putting all these nasty chemicals in my body. Would like to go the ‘natural’ route.
To end it on a good note: I received some lovely cards in the mail today, which made me cry heartfelt tears and gave me the hope I needed. I still feel awful, but the hopelessness is gone and the self harm thoughts are not as prevalent. I will get through this! :)
So I went to the 3rd session of my Prolonged Exposure Therapy. It was the one where I relive/talk about my traumatic experience over and over. This was the first time I discussed it in that much detail since it happened. It was very difficult. I sobbed, I cried. But I got through it. I also was able to “see/realize” a few things I had not before, with the help of my therapist.
I was exhausted afterwards. I took a nice long nap. The rest of the day was ‘meh’. Later on at night, I was extremely aggravated and angry after I had a crying fit. The therapy that morning was a huge trigger. I took my anger out on my poor husband (which I need to apologize). I now feel so bad. I said some very cruel stuff. That anger inside of me was so vicious. It had a mind of its own. I even had thoughts of serious self harm, which I did not act upon. It was REALLY bad. BUT, I am okay now. My mood is somewhat stable. Not upset/depressed or angry. Not happy either, just kind of here going through the motions. It has been a pretty stressful month, so breaking down last night was not a real surprise.
Here is a video of me before the session, right after the session and a few hours later
For more information about Prolonged Exposure Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorders see links:
Underneath the smile
Underneath the smile
Is a scared little girl.
Underneath the scars
Is a soldier.
Underneath her skin Is a lost soul…
Underneath it all, there is
Happiness, sadness, madness, confusion.
Underneath this scared little girl, is someone who has faced her fears… faces them every day…
and is still a little fearful.
Underneath her lips
Were lies, which are working on honesty and loyalty.
Underneath her eyes
Are tears of joy and sadness.
Above all of this Is a girl risen from her own ashes…
And is a survivor, a fighter, a warrior…
~Bekr September 10, 2013.
Watching TV when you have ADD/ADHD
* Sit down to watch a movie/tv show.
* 5 minutes later: this is boring. Go get laptop, check e-mail, check Facebook.
~10 of the most grotesque photos you will ever see (click here), don’t mind if I do… ewwww that’s sick… nah that one isn’t… who determines what makes the pictures so grotesque?
~10 things that make you go hmmmmm? CLICK… 10 hours later I come up for air ;)
* Who is that actress? What other movies has she been in? I know I know her from somewhere. Grab phone and look up movie to see her name, then click on her name and see all the movies she has been in. Oh yeah, I thought she was in that movie. OR I did not know that was her. He’s in this movie? What other movies has he been in. Click his name… 20 clicks later I know everyone in this movie and all the movies they have been in.
* Oh, that’s a cool song, grab phone Shazam that shit, save for later.
* Glance up at TV.
* Awwe, look at my babies, they look adorable. Grab phone and take photo of my dogs.
* Check Instagram.
* Get on Pinterest… Cannot look away/stop pinning.
* Check Facebook.
~ oooh, a silly quiz. I’ll take it just for laughs. A million quizzes later I know: I will survive a zombie apocalypse; that if I were in a horror movie I’d be the killer; that I’m not a psychopath; what color my aura is; what character I’d be in this movie and that movie…
* Pee break.
* Ooh, I am hungry, go make a snack while trying to keep and eye on the TV.
* Is that dust? Grab duster and dust entertainment center.
* Was I doing laundry? Yes. Put clothes in dryer. Sniff the fabric softener for a couple of minutes.
* Brilliant idea/topic for a blog post, think about it for a few minutes, have all intentions of writing it down, look up at TV, then completely forget the idea/topic.
* Bought boots yesterday, need to break them in. Get up, put boots on. Sit back down and stare at super shiny red boots.
* Pee break.
* What is that strange-looking thing on the wall? Is that a bug? or just a spot? Don’t feel like getting up to see exactly what it is. Squint, because that will help me see better. Oh, it’s just a little bug. Leave it be, it is not bothering me (unless it starts crawling around, then must get up and kill it)
* I am so thirsty, open fridge, get water, look at lack of food.
* Man these boots are squishing my feet :(
* That chic is so stupid, did she seriously think she would get away with that?
* I haven’t worn a watch in a while, I know I have a skull watch somewhere… get up and look for watches… eventually find watches, decide to wear my army od green watch.
* Pee break.
* ooooh, red shiny boots, so worth the slight pain. It feels like they are hugging my feet. It is love.
* Cool song, this movie has a great soundtrack!
* Is this movie ever going to end??
* That is such a cool necklace, I want it.
* Hands feel dry, find lotion… “it rubs the lotion on its skin”.
* It’s getting late, I should be tired, but I am wired. Tired/wired wired/tired, that rhymes.
* What day is it? Do I have an appointment tomorrow?
* Is there something I am forgetting?
What was I writing about???
Still going through medication adjustments. Again… yes, again…
I had written about stopping benzos because of the side effects and memory problems. I lasted a little over 2 months without it. The first month was rough at night. But it did get easier. Then anxiety started kicking in again. I would try to relax and go to sleep. Then my blood would feel as if it were boiling and wanted to burst out of my veins. It felt like every cell in my body were made of tiny razor blades radically bouncing around… constantly shifting, with no relief. My body was flopping around like a fish starving for water. I tried listening to relaxing music… I tried meditation (maybe not hard enough). I tried chamomile tea… and then some, I tried everything I could think of. Nothing worked. So I decided to get back on benzos. Talked about it with my Psychiatrist and she prescribed them for me. It was I that wanted to stop them, not by recommendation of her, so she had no problem prescribing them for me, since I never abused them. I now take a very small dose as needed. I do not feel like a failure at all for having to get back on them. Someone had written about that, for me not to feel like a failure. Not sure why they wrote that. Why would I feel like a failure for having to get back on certain medications. Well, I guess I could see where someone would think that.
Love, light and peace