Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nothing is free in life, not even sanity.

I'm at week seven of a med change. Every medication comes with side effects. .

Lexapro and anything in the SSRI family makes me sick to my stomach.  The kind where you lose all kinds of weight.  I become incredibly irritable going from normal to instant anger in half a second.  I can't stand to be touched, not even brushed up beside in a crowd.  It does nothing to slow my depression.  Useless, not worth my time.

Wellbutrin. Also known as the magic pill for many.  It has helped countless people lose weight, quit smoking, smile, and live a normal life.  For me it makes me want to hurt myself.  The only time I ever felt that way.  It's on my critical list of never again.

Remeron.  For me it was a fat pill.  Seriously I gained over thirty pounds in less then two months on this drug.  I went from size four pants to size fourteen.  My skin hurt from stretching so quickly.  I was counting calories nonstop, living on the minimum just to survive.  I went to the gym.  I gained more weight.  I became more depressed.

Abilify.  Worst. Manic. Ever.  And even though it was a medically induced mania I've now experienced it which means that anytime my brain resets to manic it could bring me that high up again.  Also on my critical list of never again medications.

Lamictal.  My saving grace.  Six years on this little pill.  When I first started taking it the doctor watched me closely as it could cause Steven-Johnson syndrome, a rash that kills a person.  Once I made it into the safe zone I was golden.  Then about three years ago I began having pelvic pain.  It got to the point where this past October I was scheduled to have laparoscopic surgery because nothing seemed to help and it caused a lot of pain.  I just happened one day to see the side effects of this medication and low and behold on very rare occasions women who have been using Lamictal for lengthy periods can develop chronic pelvic pain.  Awesome. Seven weeks ago the doctor began weaning me off of it, all the while trying to keep my brain balanced by adding in something new.

Latuda.  My new medication.  The one where I've developed a twitch in my left eye.  Maybe it's just a random, coincidental thing, I have been tired lately.  But eye twitching is listed on the side effects right under the bold print that says stop use immediately.  So far that's the only possible side effect I have so I'll let the doctor decide what I should do.  Maybe it's worth it to have a twitchy eye even if it could become irreversible.

I hate pills.  I used to gag them down.  Now I take 6 pills a day.  I've learned that nothing is free in life, including my sanity.  Everything I do has consequences.  For the most part these pills help me function.  I smile real heartfelt smiles because of them.  And maybe I'll find I should go back to my saving grace pill and live with chronic pain.  It might be worth the smile.  Or maybe I'll stick with the wacky eye twitching.  If it means enjoying my family and living a normal life then these crazy side effects are worth it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Symptoms of my manic self.

I wrote this a few months ago when I was living life as a manic.  I've read and reread this post but I can't bring myself to change it.  It is apart of me.  My thoughts don't always make sense and so I usually delete my written thoughts when I'm manic, but this one I can't bring myself to delete.  Unfortunately my sickness is genetic.  Someday my boys may find themselves in my shoes.  I would like them to know they are not alone.  I would like them to know they can live life well even with a diagnoses of crazy.

When my mind runs fast with a river of never ending thoughts.  Incomplete thoughts actually, because like water that rushes down the mountain side smashing into anything in its way, my thoughts crash into each other in the same way.  Each thought violently interrupted by the next shattering both into millions of meaningless words.  With will power a few thoughts do have a beginning and an end.  Some even turn into full conversations.  Often by the time the conversation is over my mind has worked so hard to focus on completing a few thoughts that it forgets everything the other person said back to me.  This can lead to some really big life changing moments for my family...  "Hey I called my doctor and changed medications just like we agreed."..."Hey I took that job we talked about."... Only we didn't agree.  It was decided to get more information, or that we would take some time and think things over, or that it truly was a bad idea end to begin with.

When my words are kind but my tone slashes straight to the heart.  I watch it happen as if I'm a third party watching the conversation take place and while I know it's going to end badly I can't seem to change that robotic lifeless tone.  My mind does not play favorites be you a stranger or a friend, a son or a husband, it can hurt.  Any word can hurt said with the wrong tone.

When I have times when my skin feels tight, like it's too small for my body.  It doesn't matter if I'm wearing sweat pants or jeans, tee shirts or business attire, my skin just feels tight.  As when your pregnant and you itch from all the stretching your body does.  Sometimes I wake up with bruises from scratching in my sleep....Or when I move so fast I'm not aware of whats around me leaving unexplained welts all over my body....Or when the touch of your husband is just too much to handle.  Even running into a friend who greets you with a hug causes you to hold your breath while you focus on getting through the 30 seconds of touch.

When my mind decides it really needs something or a lot of somethings and money doesn't really matter.  It's been everything in the dollar isle at Target, because someday I might need this gold ribbon, the boys might some day like the glow in the dark Elmo socks even though they have no idea who he is, or we might have a fun dinner when cute little milk bottles would be useful.... How about the time I insisted we needed egg timers.  I put every egg timer I saw in the grocery cart while my Strong man followed behind taking them all out as he reassured me that the timer on the stove, the one on the microwave, and the one on my phone would be enough when I did someday find myself in need of a timer.

When sleep is pointless but I know that without it this battle of my mind will spin widely out of control and so I lay there clenching my jaw closed, forcing my eyes shut willing myself to sleep.  Taking prescription sleeping medications, herbal supplements, having used essential oils all to no avail.  They say that to keep a mind like mine in check it has to sleep, if only they could find a way to convince my mind of that little tidbit.  Instead I lay for hours battling my mind, waking the next morning with a sore jaw, heavy eyelids, and in need of more sleep then when I went to bed the night before.

And this is a glimpse into my manic self.  Written as a manic, jagged and rough.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Finding joy always

Ever since that morning I woke to find a world void of color I have searched for joy.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  In the Wing St. apartment I woke to the sound of my one and two year old eating breakfast with my Strong Man.  I laid on my back with my eyes closed for a few minutes before rolling out of bed.  When I did blink those sleepy eyes open I couldn't help but stare at the gray wall in front of me.  After a minute or two I stumbled over to the light switch to be sure it was really true.  When I had gone to bed the night before those walls had been yellow.  I know it sounds crazy but for the next few months I would live in a world covered in gray.  Thus began my search for joy.

At first I found a journal and began numbering each joy that I found, training my eyes to see that it in the smallest parts of life joy could be found.  The way a bubble glistens in a sink full of dishes.  The feel of a summer breeze passing by.  The peaceful sound of a song bird floating through the window as a sleepy Momma tries to manage the chaos that always trails behind toddlers.  The silence of nap time.  Strong hands that hold me tight...  Somewhere into the hundreds I saw color for the first time in months.  It was dandelion yellow.  As counting the joy around me became more natural vibrant color came back into my life.

While I don't number my joy any more I haven't stopped searching for it.  Every November as a family we write out our joys together.  Simple.  Sweet.  It's just one word at a time hung on a few sticks to remind us to slow and see to find the joy surrounding us.