Friday, December 4, 2015

empty

I'm in an empty house - sitting in an empty room - feeling completely empty inside.

I don't know for sure why I want to document this. I guess because I'm assuming/hoping it will go away and I want to be able to look back and go "Ya, I remember that and I overcame it."

I want it to be very clear that I LOVE Dr Huse and KNOW he is doing incredible things for me. His methods may not be what many are use to - but in many ways they have been more effective for me than traditional medicine.

That being said - we have to sift through a lot of crap to get to what's driving my emotional states/thoughts and then clear it out and replace it with thought patterns that will be beneficial for me.

I have fallen into a slump. I'm not exactly sure what triggered it but it was exposed today as Dr Huse worked on me. I have deeply seeded, core beliefs about myself that are harmful to me. When my system is exposed, these beliefs fire more rapidly and strongly, making me think/feel these beliefs are who I am.

As I laid there on the table, three tear drops fell from my eyes. The pain of exposing these beliefs - to release/clean out - was sad. It's sad to believe that I'm worthless, that I will fail in whatever I try to do, that I shouldn't try because I can't be successful, and on and on it went.

I have been left feeling completely empty. I'm not numb - I've been numb before and looking back I see that there was an intense anger fueling the numbness. I'm not happy - I'll smile and talk to you but inside there's nothing. I'm not sad at this point - not depressed - certainly not enthusiastic. I'm not identifying with any emotion right now. I can go through the motion of things but nothing has helped me feel better. Bored - maybe bored. I could probably identify with that. But I don't want to do anything. I'm not feeling creative. I don't want to sleep. I don't want to sit or stand or be on social media. I don't even really want to write. This is such a strange place to be. Maybe I'm bored and I don't care. No, I care but I don't have any drive behind it. I don't want to do anything about the things I care about.

I feel so over this. So done with being in this body in particular. I hate it. It's heavy and weighs me down. It's in pain and tired. It's covered in acne. There is nothing on this body that I want. I want to be rid of it.

I want a break - but I'm struggling to identify what a break would be for me.

In summary - I feel the following:::
 
Uninhabited - Desolate - Abandoned - Hollow - Ineffective - Meaningless

Saturday, November 28, 2015

to me, from me

Dear Rachel, 

Wow - can I just start by saying "bravo" and slow clap leading up to thundering applause. You. ARE. Amazing. Look at all you've done when you feel like the pits - girl if that doesn't deserve a Standing O then nothing does. 

Ya, being a girl really sucks sometimes - and when you've been bleeding down there for 6 weeks and have to get on a bc it REALLY sucks. Whew - those drs LIED to you when they said local bc has less effect on the body than systemic bc. lies lies lies. Yes - yes on every level - I feel those hormone induced headaches and those mood swings - you're a rock star for not killing anyone. Vertigo sucks. Having something up your you-know-what for three weeks is terrible - then you bleed for one - and then it's back to three... And the other side effects - yep, it's awful - I hear ya. 

Depression - it is seriously a nasty part of your life. Ya I thought it would go away/get better too but the truth seems to be you have depression, now what? Well you walk this awful road as best as you can. Take it one day at a time. One moment at a time. And remember when you feel like doing something extreme, you really don't look good in stripes - so stay cool - be chill - lock yourself in your bedroom - and just breathe. 

Sheeh. Ya you weren't expecting to look THAT huge and fat in your photos. Yearly pictures all started out as a way to honor and document your journey but boy it's depressing when your journey makes you fat. Let's just start here - some of those angles were not flattering. Low to high = no bueno. High to low = muy bien. Also, ya you've gained weight. It's not all your fault - you're on meds that sedate you and make you not feel like exercising. You have little energy - I hear you - and with what energy you do have why - WHY - would you spend it on exercise when you have a ton to do??? Yes, you need to eat better. Yes, you need to exercise. But it's not all your fault and I KNOW you can only put out so many "fires" in your life with what you have. One day, therapy and Dr Huse and all the other things that are taking up your time, won't. And then you can work on these things. A time for everything and everything in it's time. It sucks being fat and feeling incredibly ugly - thinking that you being fat is why no guys ask you out etc etc. 

While you're thinking of all these down sides to being in this body and living this life, you have to admit you are pretty spectacular too. First of all - your eyes are amazing. They tell deep stories of suffering but can change to sparkles as you laugh until tears run down. Your hair is beautiful and you can pull of many different colors. Girl, your boobs are the bomb! Seriously - people pay to have what genetics gave you. You are hilarious! You have an amazing sense of humor. You can make people of all ages laugh - that's a unique talent. You have exceptional taste in music and loving animated movies will make you forever young. Your suffering makes you accessible to many people in different walks of life. How cool is that? One day you'll be well - whole - healed.

Ya, this is not the life you wanted or expected but it's ok. You can do this. You can win. You can conquer. You can succeed. I'm watching. I'm seeing. I'm clapping. 

With Love and Respect,

Elle Crank

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

dear november 10th,

no, you did not escape my notice this year. i lived through your day and felt the consuming sadness you bring each year.

i hate you a little less this year. and my hope is that with each passing year i'll hate you a little less and a little less until i don't even remember the pain you brought into my life.

unlike the previous four years - i did not have a seizure on your day. that's progress.

i can't believe how sad i felt. how deeply i hurt. how much i longed to escape. you still matter to me - but the day will come when you don't matter. when you're simply another date on the calendar instead of a stop in my life.

i'll forget you, but you'll never forget me. because what started on your day didn't break me. i kept going - kept fighting - kept living - in-spite of fear, anger, and loneliness.

the memories of your day five years ago still haunt me. i dream of having seizures and being taken to the hospital and that fear grabs my heart and holds it hostage until i awake in a sweat. but i've learned so much and i believe it will not always be like this.

as s said, "the time will come when the anniversaries don't cause you pain...there are lots of events and many many times of year that previously weakened me and now do not." you will not always cause me pain - you will not always weaken me.

i'm not where i was - i'm not where i will be.

you won't win. i will.

with eyes wide open, i'm looking up.

if you're completely lost on this post read the blog posts below:



Friday, October 30, 2015

hell.

hell.

people, i've been there and back many times over the past five years. each time i travel a little less further inside and make it a little further past its powerful gates. my most recent trip to hell was monday with an overnight stay into tuesday and i began to climb out wednesday.

what prompted this trip you may wonder.... well, i feel into a very common mistake people on anti-depressants fall into. i was feeling good and wanted to get off of my deplin and pristiq - or at least see if i could do with less - so with my dr's permission i got off of deplin a month or so ago. i felt fine (i thought) and so i asked him on the 16th if i could go down to 50mg on the pristiq - he agreed. i decided not to make any changes until i saw dr huse on the 23rd. i thought maybe he'd give me something to help during the transition. a week ago today i started the 50mg and didn't get any extra supplements from dr huse - he said if i started feeling worse to call him. saturday i had horrible vertigo. i have decided tho that if given the choice between working with a migraine or vertigo, i choose vertigo. both sucky choices but i can manage my vertigo a little better than a migraine. anyway - sunday i go to an earlier congregation at my church and they were having a special program where all the children got up and sang/spoke about jesus. i cried. a lot. below is my favorite song from the program.


after the program i drove out to see s. we had a wonderful visit and i felt good - happy. it was so nice to be with her and enjoy her company. she's such an amazing friend. after i drove home and went to bed - all the while thinking i'm ok. looking back i notice that my thoughts were getting angrier/more reactive. anyway, monday comes and i have my morning session with susan. during it she says some things that really pissed me off. i believe if i had been on the medicine and been able to think clearly i would've been able to ask her for clarification/used skills to help me understand what she was trying to say. i know that what she said was out of genuine concern for me but in my altered state i felt confronted. i remember driving home but i literally cannot recall what happened from 11:30-3:30 that day. the next event i remember is deciding to cut. it was the best way i could say "f u" to susan. the pain, the blood, the burning, the red - all reinforcing. i felt so much better. the first person god put in my path to get me to a place where i was willing to get back on meds and get help was heather, dr huse's wife. i called the office because i needed some product and she said with so much care and concern in her voice, "how are you?" i was emotional and told her what had happened. she said one of the most brilliant things i have heard, "just because you're not doing something right now doesn't mean you will never do it." that brought me a measure of peace as i began to realize that not everything i want has to happen now. that night i slept really well - the pain helped me stay grounded and sleep soundly.


for the past 3 1/2 weeks i have been working 11 hour days on tuesdays and thursdays. coming from a very different schedule where i'm used to napping a few times a week if not daily and waking up later and not having a ton of outside pressure - these days have been kicking my ass. i usually have conversion symptoms on those days - so while working an 11 hour day i'm doing it with a migraine or vertigo. i'm not having full out seizures, which is good, but i'm having conversion symptoms and it's hell. i told myself this past tuesday, that if i could make it through the first half of my day my reward would be to cut. it worked like a charm. every time i began to feel stressed or worried i would think of cutting and the stress would go down immediately. it's similar to suicidal ideation - day dreaming about doing something harmful releases stress. i stopped and bought a knife and band aids on my way to my second work place. i was angry and yelling at god in my head "if you care about me at all and want me to not do this you better send a person because i'm just not going to listen to what i should do!" a lady came up to me in the parking lot asking for a ride but i dismissed her - she was probably the person i demanded god send me.... i got in my car and cut. it felt so good. later at work i had a moment of willingness and decided to act on it and reach out to my friend st. i knew out of all the people in my life she would understand the spiritual/religious, mental, counseling and holistic parts of my life - all of which felt out of sync with each other. i began texting her and went on and on. during the middle of our long text conversation my co-worker k came and asked me to come help with her group. i usually don't help out with the groups but i was happy to do it. she asked me to write on the board the two group's answers to skills they can use to stay clean/sober. as i was writing it clicked that each skill i was writing was a dbt

i went back up front and a few minutes later she came and said she wanted to talk to me after group was out. i told her she didn't have to and she said she knew that but she wanted to. i went back to texting with st and got some clarity - finally! - and felt like i had a small grasp on the situation. k and i talked for a while that night and i am so grateful for her insights, wisdom, and listening ear. as much as i didn't want to be cared for in that moment - as much as i wanted to go on a cutting, self-destructive bender all week - i felt a spark of connection and knew i couldn't go on like i was. she asked me to make a "five alive" list. five things i'll do every day to stay alive - and i would add the dbt saying - to "make my life worth living." i couldn't commit to five - so she said three! i later decided on one and will work up to more. i couldn't believe i had found a sliver of hope. being disregulated is the pits because i throw out even the good things that happen. i told god that night that if he wanted me to call my psychiatrist and counselor he better tell me in a dream - because again i was not going to listen to what i should do. i must matter to god - he must care - he must know me and my limitations - because that night i had a dream about doing my chain analysis (in dbt if you engage in problem behaviors you have to chain it all out to see what you were thinking, feeling, doing and how you could've acted skillfully) with susan. she was not mad - she didn't hate me - it was a matter of fact process and i learned from it.

wednesday morning i woke up feeling worse than tuesday or monday. i was irritable, tired, moody, and all in all felt like shit. i did my "five alive" breathing-prayer-breathing and asked god to make my day what he would have it be. wednesday was nothing like i planned. i went to my foot dr - ended up at the dentist - called my psychiatrist (telling him that i was not going to the hospital - period) and called susan (telling her that i knew because i engaged in problem behavior she probably couldn't talk to me until our next session but that i was trying to fix what was going on). 

i really do love my psychiatrist. i know i matter to him. he called me back and i could hear the concern in his voice as he asked me what was going on, what i had done, and then gave me instructions to get back on meds. susan also called me and told me to come see her later that day. i decided in between all of that that i was going to visit c, e and baby i. i needed baby lovin', kid time and to feel connected to my friend. i had a headache but managed to make it to susan's. we talked. she said she was concerned/worried about me. i told her what happened. we talked about how miscommunications can happen and how what she said to me monday was not received by me in the way she intended. we made a plan for how i can better say "f u" to her :) ha! and that i can email her my thoughts if i am upset by how a session went. we also talked about how to make our coaching calls more effective. exposure therapy is what i'll be doing next - but i have to be free from self harm behaviors for 8 weeks before we can do that, protocol. that's a huge insentive to me. i really want to do exposure. not because it will be fun but because i feel like it is the tool that will scrape out the metephorical infection i've been living with for five years. we both agreed before ending the session that we had learned a lot from this experience. it was not how we would've chosen to learn things, but we did learn.

thursday i finally told my mom all that had been going on. i was so grateful for her reaction - she did not cry or overwhelm me with ideas of what i could do or hide all the knives, things i can see her wanting to do to keep me safe. instead she told me how proud she is of me and all the hard work i've done and continue to do. she asked me if there was anything she could do for me. and then she let me be. it was an incredibly positive experience. i had my 11 hour day and managed it well. i had a check in call with susan. i also texted s that "i f'in rocked" for taking my meds - because i really did not want to - and that i deserved a huge prize. she's going to send me one :) i also texted k and told her how i was doing and st to thank her for all she did for me.

today i woke up with a headache. i was irritable and tired. i felt dead/hollow inside. i went to dr huse's and laid down in one of his rooms until it was time to see him - and when he came in to get me we decided to do the session in that room since i was already settled. thursday night i had a dream where i was told something very specific. it was so specific that it woke me up, so i wrote it down. i didn't know what it meant - it was talking about my hormones and gave me instructions on what to take to help heal me. i figured dr huse would know what to do with that information so i shared it with him. i laid on my stomach on the table as he worked on me. eyes closed, slow heavy breathing as i felt myself begin to relax. i was still grumpy as all get up and figured i would stay that way for the rest of the day and if i was lucky i'd be able to sleep it off. 25 minutes into the session my eyes popped open. i started looking around. i started talking to him. i laughed. 10 minutes later i sat up on my own. i felt totally different than when i walked in the door. it was a complete 180. i was alert, responsive, happy, as he said, my "personality rounded out." i couldn't believe the difference. in his beautiful, calm way he told me that going off the medication and having this response was not a failure. in no way had i failed. it was an experience that gave us information. when i decide to try getting off meds again we will need to give my brain more support. he echoed what susan said about me not being able to remember all the details of the past few days - susan said it is trauma related - dr huse said yes plus there was not enough dopamine in my system to help me grab onto and retain all my memories. he also told me to walk in the grass everyday barefoot for grounding purposes. what a neat idea! i'm actually excited to try it and see if it helps me.

i came home and ate a lot of mac n cheese and watched tv and took a nap. i just rested. i am amazed at how much has happened in one week. i don't feel like i'm in hell anymore. i still feel close to it but each day i take steps farther and farther away from its gates. i know as the medicine continues to work and i find myself in a stabler place that i will look back on this week and be amazed by how clearly god's hand was there, taking mine even when i was being rebellious, and leading me to people who i would listen to and who would help me get back on track. god has my back. k said to me that we're in "god's gang" - ha ya, we are. i wouldn't wish this experience on anyone but like dr huse said - it gave us information. it gave me information. it gave susan information. it taught us a lot. 

someday soon i hope to use my self injury experiences for good - i want to be part of a support group and one day be a sponsor to others going through this.

i'm constantly changing and becoming better.

and i've just got to say it: I'M AMAZING!


my theme song this week

Saturday, October 17, 2015

the congreve cube

i am - "stuck." "oh, to my floor?" "no, sir." "then what?" "like as a person." that's from mr magorium's wonder emporium. i love that movie. i resonate so much with all of it. i am stuck - on how to write what i'm feeling/thinking. i just wrote an email that was hard because i had to be dbt about it. both/and - acceptance/change - her feelings/my requests. i think that's what sucked the creative writing juices from my soul because i had so many thoughts in the shower - and now they're gone. maybe down the drain with the water. wow - i am glad i didn't publish my last blog post. it started out as a blog post but then i realized it was so personal and angry that i needed to send it to s. so i did. ya'll are welcome. i signed the letter "-the hulk-" and i was a big, angry, raging green monster that day. i am proud of myself for the progress i have made. most of the changes i have made cannot be seen. they are internal. changes in my thought patterns. calming of my anxiety. thinking "what's the worst that could happen?" and NOT coming up with catastrophes but rather likely outcomes. it's so fascinating in my brain. i wish you could see it. the thousands of dollars spent on my therapy is working!


"unlikely adventures require unlikely tools" :)

i feel - calm, a little tired, and grateful. dr huse is helping me so much! i am able to stay awake for 12-14 hours and that's a miracle. i do not wake up tired every day. i still hate mornings and the sun but i'm not tired all the time - i never thought this day would come. i am managing my headaches/migraines without prescription meds! how cool is that?? i am also decreasing my xanax - off of one depression med and weaning down on the other. god promised me years ago that there would come a day when i would no longer be on prescription meds - at the time i did not see how that was possible. NOW i see it - dr huse was/is the key and i'm so grateful. i feel excited for the christmas season. i can't believe it's here already. i can't believe that i've survived this year. so much has happened. i can't believe i'm working. my life really is a miracle.

i think - susan is right. i am not as much "clinically depressed" right now as oppressed. i am wanting more independence in my life and am having a really hard time navigating to that. a lot of my feelings are not sad feelings but irritated, annoyed, frustrated, angry feelings because i'm not where i want to be. i'm far from where i was but not where i want to be. i need to trust that if god can get me off my meds he can put me in my own place again. HE has that power. yes. he does.

i know - i'll be alright - that my creative writing juices will come back - that there will be stupid people no matter where i go in life.

i want - to cut. ya, i really do. i miss the communicating it did for me. if i wanted family to b a c k o f f i just had to show them the cut marks and then enjoy my solitude. i long for the pain - the scars - the blood. i know i'm feeling more stress in my life so this is a good test to see if i can manage it. susan reminded me that cutting now would not get me closer to my goal of independence but push me back. i'm trying to remember that when the urges overwhelm me.

i wish - i knew what to get my parents for christmas. so often i'm irritated with them that it's hard to want to get them anything. yet in that same moment i know they have financially made my healing possible - so i get mad at myself for being mad at them. god must have put us in families because they are the hardest environments to survive. 
hell. yes.

i will - continue to be mindful of the moment and enjoy my saturday. the weather is lovely, i'm surrounded by owls, and this moment is a good moment.

i will not - let anger cloud my vision of who i can become.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

day to day act

"Never underestimate another's suffering because you can't see it. Many cry anguished tears in between the day to day act of living. I'm one of them."
-Rachel

I am - leaning against my bed. I like to slump over in this position because it stretches out my legs and back.

I feel - Better after seeing Susan this morning for the second time this week. Yesterday, wow, yesterday was a totally different story. I was a mess. I was angry - think Hulk-like anger, and cried and cried and cried. I sobbed at work and in the shower. It was a very difficult day. I wanted to act on self-harm urges but after making a coaching call to Susan, she reminded me that if I do that it will only set me behind in my long term goal of independence. She also said - contingent on me being skillful last night - I could come see her this morning. I guess I really don't want to disappoint her - and have come a long way with my skills - because I chose to remain skillful, tolerate the emotion, and see her today for additional help/support.

I think - hmmm - many things are coming to mind - all of them jumbled. In this moment, I think I'm going to be ok. I think S is right - my future is bright. Susan and I were talking today about not putting worry energy into the future. She said there's a concept in AA that asks, "What's the next right step?" We did that for my day today by mapping out what the next right step would be for me, hour by hour. That I can do. That is manageable to me. When I start to think about all that is expected of me, all that I want to/need to/should do, all that I'm not doing, I shut down. So tonight I think I'll just do the next right step.

I know - I am being blessed by God. There is so much more to him than I understand. There is so much more mercy he has and will extend to me. Have you heard the saying, "There's no such thing as standing still - you're either moving forward or moving backward." I decided I don't agree with that. Depression does a number on the brain. I have never felt so abandon/alone then these past 5 years of struggle. My thinking about my faith has wavered. Susan says she sees me as a very faith-filled person, fighting to know what I believe. I have seen (and do see) myself as a failure in my faith for not doing everything asked/required/expected of me. As I began thinking about my walk on the Road to Salvation I decided if I couldn't walk the path right now at least I could stand facing the right direction. Then that seemed too much. So I decided to sit facing the right direction. Sit and wait. Wait until I had the strength/courage/understanding to pick myself up and carry on. Into my mind came gently the image of Christ sitting next to me. I was so comforted by that. He will walk with me - and when the walk becomes too much - he will sit with me. He understands my complex challenges better than I do and so he is completely capable of looking on me with mercy as I sit and wait. I do not feel like I am going backward. And I'm not actively moving forward. I'm sitting and waiting. And that's ok.

I want - To be calm as I begin working 11 hour days Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next month. Ha, actually I want to pop some pills that will increase energy and decrease anxiety, but they would end up cancelling each other out. So I'll just move with a quiet perseverance and breathe in each moment as it comes.

I wish - I could think this clearly all the time. Guess I'll just have to have therapy, followed by a support group, then a nap, and a cupcake every day if I want to feel this level headed - ha! I wish I didn't feel like damaged goods. I wish I could find a guy interested in me.

I will - Shower tonight and have my sister S braid my hair so I don't have to fix it tomorrow.

I will not - Hate myself, look down on myself, or call myself names. That doesn't inspire me to do better - it squashes the little motivation I have to keep living/dreaming/creating.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

crying

crying - that's all i've done for the past two days.

i cried at work - luckily no one was around to see - and i cried today a few different times.

my last post was raw - real - honest. i didn't even get into the deep, complex thoughts and feelings swirling around my brain regarding church, mental health, depression, chronic fatigue, pnes, etc. life feels too big for me right now. i'm trying to put out so many fires in all areas of my life while keeping ok areas- the dry grass - protected from sparks so more fires don't start. all of this and i only have a gallon of water.

i've tried to distance myself from heavenly father because i feel like a failure as a daughter. it's easier to fail someone if you're not as close to them. despite my best efforts, he is right next to me, gently sending reminders to me that he has not left me.

reminder #1 came last week. i was thinking about my anger towards heavenly father - anger that he hasn't healed me from the psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and given me a normal life. i knew anger wasn't going to help me take steps towards him. what could i offer him? willingness to turn to him - but that was low and my faith felt so small it was almost non-existent.  "do i have an inch of willingness? an inch of faith?" no, i don't have that much. "what about a centimeter? do i have a centimeter of willingness? a centimeter of faith?" no, that still felt too big. into my mind came clearly "all you need is a mustard seed worth of willingness and faith." ah, yes, that i have. that size is not intimidating to me. i can give a mustard seed's worth of willingness to turn towards heavenly father - i can show a mustard seed's worth of faith in the promises he has made me.


Matthew 13:31-32 - Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.


reminder #2 came today. i was writing out all of my jumbled thoughts to two close, trusted friends who love me as their daughter. tears were coursing down my cheek as i tried to express how confusing it is to me that i used to try to be so much better at "perfect" and now i feel the whole "perfection" situation is hopeless. i used to try. now i don't because it hurts less to fail when i put less in. i used to be so on top of things spiritually - reading scriptures and praying every day, attending a 6 am seminary class m-f for four years, serving in church, singing often, being the president in classes, teaching primary and sunday school classes, earning service awards, being willing to serve a mission, going the extra mile always - i feel like people saw that "rachel" and approved. the post mission, suicidal, seizure-ie, unwilling, ugh church, no service, rarely singing, angry "rachel" (i think) is not understood. maybe someday some of the "pre-rachel" will come back but depression has changed me, severe anxiety untreated for years has changed me, therapy has changed me, seizures for months has changed me, and i will never be the "rachel" i was before. the hardest thing for me to hear is when someone close to me says, "you've changed. you never used to be like this." i've changed because in order to survive the hell i've been to, i HAD to change. maybe not all the changes were ideal but they were made because i felt like i had no other option. so, all that said, how, HOW, do i reconcile these two "rachels" ??? gently entered the thought "what about the widow's mite? was her sacrifice less in my eyes because she gave a mite, a monetary value of less than a penny?" no. her sacrifice was honored by the lord because she gave all. me - rachel - now, i am the product of my experiences. if what i can give the lord is a mite then that is acceptable to him. he will not guilt or shame or "should" me into giving more than i have. my offering is acceptable to him. i need to trust that.

 
Mark 12:41-44: And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

may christ mercifully look on me at this time in my life and say, "[she] did cast in all that she had."

reminder #3 came to me tonight as i was mindlessly scrolling through my facebook feed. my emotions feel raw and exposed right now. i swing from happy and hopeful to angry and discouraged so many times each day i'm wearing myself out. a friend posted a short video by a leader in our church who is my MOST favorite. his stories touch me. his voice clams me. he speaks to my soul.  i feel like he gets me. i saw it and my first thought was, "absolutely not, i am not watching that, i'm too upset" and in that same moment i thought, "ok, maybe i'll try to watch it" (mustard seed worth of willingness!). how i didn't want to but needed to hear that message. patience. i could almost hear heavenly father saying, "i see you, little one. i see you struggling. i see you crying. i know it's hard. i know you want out. it's ok. you're going to be fine. i'm in control and i see a better way for you. be patient. my blessings for you will come. keep going. give me your mustard seed and your mite. all will be well."


and in truth, all will be well.



Saturday, September 19, 2015

DON'T. PUSH. ME.

"don't push me!" i scream to myself.

yes, it's me talking to me. 

i'm so tried of hearing myself go on and on about how i "should" be doing such-and-such when getting out of bed is hard enough for me these days.

from january to june of this year i was in a slump. the working theory of periodic paralysis left me hopeless and depressed. i look back and see just how much that diagnosis affected me. i was a lifeless shell, shuffling from one dr's appt to another. the more i learned about pp the less able i felt to cope with a lifetime of it. i lost sight of me and any potential i had to be "the woman of my dreams."

when i was officially diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in june a sense of acceptance came over me. i started seeing dr huse in july and have found a stable sense of well-being in spite of obstacles. i got a job in august. before that, i did not know when i would return to work. i started going to a pnes group at utsw in september and like it, though no new answers about pnes have been given to me. in august i started cutting back my anxiety med and yesterday i cut out a depression med.

the past 2-3 weeks i have noticed sadness as my primary emotion.

my actions reflect this sadness/depression.

there are many things i 'should' do in my awake time, but all i have the motivation for is another episode of whatever on netflix. 

no motivation - no energy - no drive.


monday i saw susan and began with, "i don't want to be here - and i know i don't want to be here because i'm avoiding something, but i don't know what i'm avoiding."

after tears - sitting - talking - she told me i have taken two HUGE steps: working and starting the pnes group. often after we make big changes in our lives we simply need to "sit and be" with the steps we've taken. for me that translated into just sitting and being ok with working and the stress/anxiety that causes me and as i work on figuring out my triggers for the pnes episodes i must also sit and be ok with where i am.

when i started the pnes group, i was expecting some huge/magical solution to these episodes. i wanted "the cure." i'm so tired of having these episodes, but more than that, i'm tired of managing them. i want them to go AWAY for GOOD. in the three group meetings we've had so far, the answer has been, learn your triggers and manage your life in a way that you can decrease them so that you don't have as many/any episodes. WHAT A SHITTY ANSWER!!! that's what i've BEEN doing for the past three months - and i haven't had any episodes - but it's been a HELL of a lot of work - and I'M TIRED.

i'm tired of trying/pressing on/keep going. 

not in an "end-my-life" way like i have been in the past, but in a completely exhausted, mad at god, i don't want to, slump into depression kind of way.

i don't want to do exposure therapy. i don't want to be skillful. i don't want to let my emotions rise and fall as i sit with them. i just DON'T WANT TO DO IT ANYMORE!!!

hell, i haven't even wanted to write on my blog. that's so sad to me. i've had no energy to put thoughts into complete sentences. every time i thought of writing on here i found myself curling up in bed.

i don't feel like i'm expressing how deeply and thoroughly i don't want to engage in life right now. i want an out. i want the depression to be gone - the withdrawals from meds to be gone - the pressure to perform to be gone - basically i want to exist without existing

my spiritual life has gone from a grape to a raisin. i hardly pray - i don't read my scriptures - i don't like going to church - i'm mad at god because THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO GET EASIER! utsw was supposed to hold THE answer and i'm SO disappointed that the answer is/was "what you're doing is it. keep doing what you're doing." NO! give me a pill - rewire my brain so i don't react to stress with seizures - do SOMETHING! i feel like i'm such a disappointment (to god, to my parents, to church leaders) but i don't have what it takes to be "amazing" anymore.

this severe disappointment has led to depression and a lack of motivation. i don't want to engage in life. while ALL OF THIS is going on i look around me and long for the "normalcy" i see my peers have - marriage, babies, family, companionship, a home, security, etc. i posed the tear-ridden question to susan, "who would want me? who would want someone who has psychologically driven seizures when they're stressed? i would be such a burden." my family has to take me - but who would choose to take me? ugh - TEARS! 

ha ya and THIS is the time i choose to cut back on my meds. smart. real smart. bleh...

even when life gets better IT STILL SUCKS. when will i get to the point that i'm content and moving at a steady pace in life? is THAT the impossible dream?

bet you're wishing 1) i hadn't written and 2) you didn't start reading.

susan said in our session, "i know you're tired of hard."

i really am.

i think the saying "i can do hard things" is stupid. sure i can do hard things, BUT I DON'T WANT TO! and it doesn't make me feel any better saying, "you can do hard things" to myself. hence the "DON'T PUSH ME" saying to myself.

i'm being pushed and pulled and excavated (in therapy and with dr huse) so DON'T. (EXPLETIVE). PUSH. ME. !!!

~~~ and that's all she wrote ~~~

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

a depression post

depression.

ah, something that has been a part of my life for almost 5 years.

before my mission trip to AZ i did not suffer from depression. i did suffer greatly from anxiety, but depression was not something i would have identified myself as having at that time.

returning home early from my mission, having non-epileptic seizures on and off for 5 years, working full time for 14 months in difficult homes, having recurring thoughts of committing suicide, going inpatient twice - all of this has contributed to my depression. during all of this there were times when my depression was better and times when it was way worse. 

from january to june of this year i had MANY tests done to rule out everything from a sleep disorder to periodic paralysis as it related to my non-epileptic seizure events. the results came back PNES and they sent me to a group for others who have this, which starts next week.

this was more help with this problem than i had gotten from any other doctor. the problem was, i was still having odd symptoms that no one could explain the hardest for me being restless nights, exhaustion during the day even though i was sleeping 14 hours, and no energy. as my mom put it, "the events are a big deal but the lack of energy is what's crippling."

enter dr huse. he has been a life line as i have seen him and found answers/healing from him.

the most kind and reassuring thing he told me was that my brain is confused and sending signals to my body that my body is not interpreting correctly which is why it has been extremely difficult for me to function "normally" these past 5 years.

i believe when the depression hit me hard after coming home early from my mission that my brain began to get confused. i have always been a sleeper - able to take a long nap in the afternoon and then sleep at night for 10 hours - but with the depression i only slept. when i had the sleep study done this year the results came back "interrupted sleep." no shit. i could've told you that and saved us lots of money. my question was WHY was my sleep so interrupted?

as dr huse has worked with me he found that my parasympathetic and sympathetic systems are reversed. the parasympathetic system kicks in when the body is at rest - for normal people that's at night. the sympathetic system kicks in when the body is in fight or flight response - for normal people that's during the day. 

for me, my parasympathetic system kicks in during the day (creating exhaustion) and my sympathetic system kicks in at night (creating energy).

this knowledge has been a breakthrough for me. there are finally reasons i feel the way i do! it's not because i like sleeping all day or am lazy - like i've told myself a million times - and i'm not really a night owl. my brain got super confused when the depression hit and i've been seeing the effects of that for years.

i believe - and am hopeful - that the day will come when i'm off of all prescription medications. i think i will always need to be on supplements but maybe/hopefully not the strong doses of meds i'm on now. and this belief/hope comes because of the work dr huse has been doing with me. i can't sing his praises enough. he is the first doctor who i felt like has really cared about me as a whole. at our last appointment he said, "i look forward to the day when you are off of all medications and can come in here and be completely you." tears filled my eyes.

i'm so thankful for him. thankful that i have answers and reasons as to why my body is reacting the way it is.

 i know i'll get better in time.

and that time is coming.

 

Friday, August 14, 2015

hello, is it me you're looking for?

wow - have i said it enough - time is FLYING!

so much - too much maybe?? - has happened in my life.

writing is such a positive outlet for me, but to find the time to get 'in the zone' and just let the world pass by has been difficult lately.

big news - i got a job! it is exactly what i wanted and really just fell into my lap. i know that when i don't have to force/orchestrate things in my life, it's god's hand. i am a night receptionist three nights a week for 15 hours. it's good for me to be doing something that pushes my limits and tests me a little more.

learning the job has been over overwhelming. i have been an 'inactive' person for almost 2 1/2 years. during that time i worked as a nanny but i knew/know the families and the stress level was not what i am feeling now. training week was like being run over by a semi. i slept HARD most nights and took naps when i could. my first 3 nights of on the job training are a blur.

i have been experiencing high anxiety from this job which leaves me exhausted. one night in particular i felt like i was going to have an event. texted s last night that more and more frequently i find myself reaching for my prn anxiety med. i had gotten to a place in my life where i thought "huh, maybe i don't have anxiety anymore." um, i SO do. physically i get sick and emotionally i feel frazzled. every neuron in my brain is firing at the same time and it leaves me exhausted. many nights i have wanted to over dose on anxiety meds just to stop my heart from pounding on my chest and to slow my racing thoughts - but i have been strong and able to not do that. i know my psychiatrist and therapist trust me, and i don't want to break that trust.

two appts ago with Dr Huse - who continues to be a god-send - i voiced to him my personal space awareness ie: i do not want to be touched without the person first asking if it's ok, by certain people. he said it was good of me to be aware of this need for space and to understand it instead of pushing it away or lashing out. then he said, "you feel raw." that struck a cord with me - yes, i do feel raw/exposed. i want to be alone and untouched for the greater part of each 24 hours. there are particular people who 'rub my energy wrong' and i do not like when they approach me. some are in my immediate family which makes me feel guilty that i don't want any physical/verbal contact with them. but i think it is ok to have my limits - even with family. 

most of the time they carry the brunt of my anger. i heard somewhere that whichever parent a child feels safest with gets the worst attitude because he/she knows the parent will still be there and not abandon them. i'm not talking about this in extremes (like abuse) but just everyday ornery-ness. i feel the safest with one of my parents and he/she gets the brunt of my anger. the other one i don't see as often and want more of a relationship with so he/she does not get my irritation/anger. i can be sassy and mean because confronting/facing anger head on is not how i express myself. when i express my anger, it's not subtle - more passive. it is something i need to work on - and something i think will fade out as i distance myself physically (ie: grow more independent and get my own place).

i love Dr Huse and wouldn't trade our sessions for anything - but i do frequently leave his office feeling raw/exposed. as he continues to help me heal i know these feelings will rise and fall. he said in our last appt that he doesn't believe anything happens by accident (and neither do i) and commented that the 'fit' of my job is interesting for testing the work we are doing in my appointments. i completely agree with him. during this time of change i am transitioning from prescription meds to more natural forms of medication. i hope to heal my body and give it the nutrients it needs instead of creating a pharmaceutical/chemical dependence. i am not opposed to prescription meds and if i need them i'm ok with that - but if i don't need them and can get what i need from other sources, that's my first choice.

my final thought today is my acceptance/relief/enjoyment of being an introvert. :) i LOVE my alone time. i do get energized by being alone. i don't like crowds or lots of people - even if it's all people i care about. i need a few hours at night to calm down/re-charge before falling asleep and time during the day to just be. people. wear. me. out. for many years i thought this was a fatal flaw of my personality, but as i've grown to be more accepting of me, i realize it's actually an incredible strength/gift. i am happy with who i am. happy to be alone. content. and being content is such a comfortable feeling. my friend, c, shared this about introverts and i think it's awesome: 10 comics that perfectly sum up what it's like to be an introvert

happy friday. 

xo