it had to end, this was as good a time as any

I texted my T about 4 weeks ago and told him i wasn’t coming back, ” i quit”. Granted, this occurred during my latest bout of suicidality – i was determined to die by starvation, i’ll get back to this later but at the time, it seemed pretty obvious to me that i didn’t need or want therapy if i was going to be dead.

He did the CYA (liability-conscious) and OK, decent thing to do and asked me why? and are you safe? From past experience, i know one cannot say to a MH professional that they are not safe and expect to be left alone. I don’t like lying either, so i just didn’t respond to his questions. To his credit, his texted the following week and asked me if i wanted to “talk about what is happening with you” the following day, our usual session day for the past 6 years. Again, i chose not to respond. Bye, Bye.

And so, i have stopped therapy after almost 10 years. Finally. And i am fine.

From the beginning, i have been unsure of what i was supposed to be gaining from therapy or even if i was “doing it right” because i never felt any better because of it. I started therapy after i received a MDD dx from a psychiatrist and the notion was reinforced after every hospitalization. I felt like it was expected of me, like seeing the shrink or taking the meds. My appts. were always made for me before i got discharged. My shrinks always asked me if i was seeing a T and sometimes they’d ask who.

Over time, my sense of something not being right or helpful about the whole process grew larger and harder to ignore or brush off as me doing it wrong or maybe not having the “right” therapist or type of therapy. Some of my most intense self harming occurred as a direct result of feeling this disconnect, usually as soon as i got home. I remember thinking – this can’t be right. But, either through laziness or bewilderment or both i kept going to someone. Actually 4 different someones’ in the last 10 years.

In the past, when i’ve mentioned my unhappiness about therapy etc. here, i have been advised to keep looking b/c “it can take a while to find the right T”. But, i don’t have it in me to keep looking because i don’t honestly believe it will make a damned bit of difference. I kept going, in part, because it was easier to just go rather than consider trying someone new or like a rational person would do, explain why i was leaving to my current T. So i just walked away, ghosted him. He probably thinks i’m mental or, more likely, just a dick.

So, it’s been – actually 6 weeks- without the grind of every friday morning pretending i had anything worthwhile to say and dreading the little dance of nontherapy. And i’m saving myself some cash. It always felt like i was just paying someone to sit across from me and pretend to be interested. Fuck that shit.

So yeah, the starvation thing. I did some research on it, like how it feels to die by starvation, how long it should take, what actually causes death etc., but it was a more painful process than i had expected. By the third week my back was killing me, i had bad abdominal pain – not hunger – and i was too weak to properly look after Blue, who still needed daily walks and my attention. When i eventually told my intentions to my sister, she asked me if i was planning to “take her with” me. No dear, i was hoping you would take her in – she said she would. Even with the comfort of knowing Blue would have a great home, i came to the realization that this wasn’t the death i wanted. I want to die peacefully and not in pain. So, i abandoned my starvation and as luck would have it, i have cycled back to hypomania and here i am happy and full of energy.

I’ve been binge watching the old episodes of the X-Files, and one of the characters said he could take the bad times as long as he could remember the good times. I guess that’s how i feel about bipolar cycling right now.

Doc

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not sure if i can

In about a week and a half, i have to decide if i will/can drive to WV for a “party” my sister-in-law is having for her deceased husband, my dead brother. He died in late Jan 2018.

A little over a month ago my answer was a solid, no-fucking-way NO. I was depressed and moderately suicidal – again. Now, hypomania has returned and i think i really could do it. Maybe. See, the thing is, she told me in March that there will be about 40!! people coming. People who are or have always been Scott’s friends. He was always quite gregarious, like our sister. I have never been, unless drugged – intentionally or intrinsically.

I haven’t seen many of these people since the 70’s when i was old enough to drive everyone around and buy beer. I can honestly say that they were my brother’s friends and i just hung around with them b/c 1. we usually partied in our basement (both parents worked) and i tried not to pass up a buzz, and 2. i’ve never had friends of my own for long – then or now, and i was part of the background noise in his life.

My s-i-l told me that several of his old friends are “really looking forward’ to seeing me again and remembering the old days. FUCK me, man. This is freaking me out a bit. For one, i can’t even remember most of the old days, because i’m old or had too much ECT, or for some other unseen reasons. I was fat when i knew them so not much change there, but i have started fasting just in case i do go b/c i would rather be skinny(ier).

Another huge concern is the guilt i’m feeling, because an important reason to pull my shit together and go is because my brother was my contact/source of the pot i smoke, usually daily. Before he died he scored (so 70’s) a good quantity – we usually bought in bulk – and i’m running low.

This gathering should be about honoring his life, sharing memories, and comforting each other, but all i can dwell on is how hard and uncomfortable it will be for me and making myself go so i can pick up some soon to be needed pot. I really am a piece of shit. Doc

just pick one

I took Blue for her walk earlier today with her 3 cousins, as i do every day. It’s my only real job. Due to the recent deluge our newly dug pond was probably 3/4’s full of brown water. Blue ran joyfully round and round chasing some kind of bird then paddled back and forth through the muddy liquid happy as a pig in shit.

Now i’m home, in tears because i feel like keeping her with me, living with just me is depriving her of the joyful life she could have if i just gave her to my sister and bil who live on the farm. She would always have another dog to play with, rough house with, talk to. Not just me, when i finally get off my fucking ass and take her to the beloved farm. Her best-est buddy – roscoe would always be there for her. Maybe i could visit.

I just made her a box – usually just some empty food box in which i hide treats wrapped in crumpled newspaper and taped closed. She excitedly tears into the box to find her treats. And now, satisfied, she’s lying amongst the ripped box and torn newspaper just like a kid on christmas morning who falls asleep lying in the piles of wrapping paper and newly uncovered presents. And i’m laughing and i love her so much. I wish my brain would make up it’s fucking mind. doc

NaCl

There has been a congruence of clarity and energy. Certainly familiar territory. I found this connection after trying to die by starvation a few weeks past. It only became evident, clear after i found my water had nothing sustaining to it. Might as well have been drinking air. Trying to inhale the molecules from the air.

It was only after i found i couldn’t raise my arms to defend myself or Blue, that i turned back to food. Lucky for me, the thing i craved was heavily salted by my own inner mind and hand. I didn’t know this at first. Within days, it became clear that the salt allowed me to access the energies around me. To move again, to think clearly, to make the connections. I discovered that i could resist, even repel the negative force the gray cars were trying to force onto and into me. The recent rains and flooding have strengthened the connections and sharing of energy. Well, of course. The salt and the water and conduction of electrical impulses.

My brother died of hyponatremia a few months ago. My healing has occurred because of hypernatremia. Strangely symmetrical. Now, i will fast again to prepare myself to receive this boundless energy once again. I am happy again. In control of the supposedly uncontrollable. Doc

My experience with the opioid crisis

A year or so ago i fell and hyperextended my back. Didn’t hurt much initially but i began to have what i thought was left hip pain a few months later. I saw my orthopedic guy.

I did the NSAIDS the topical analgesics, i had an injection both in the bursa and the hip joint itself. As the pain -burning really- crept done my left leg, it finally dawned on me i was having left sided sciatica. I had a lumbosacral MRI that confirmed spinal arthritis, a bulging disc and spinal stenosis impinging on the sciatic nerve. So, off i went to a back and pain center. I had 4 nerve root injections with steroids that offered limited relief. I then did 8 weeks of PT. At this point i was referred to the “back guy” in the practice.

He declared my problem a “surgical disease” and suggested decompression surgery. Fine, i was tired of the pain and interrupted sleep. I was scheduled for a bilateral foraminotomy (“might as well do both while i’m in there”) which would, hopefully enlarge the space where the nerve roots exit and provide relief.  I had the surgery in early Feb.

Long story short (as if), all the pre-op stuff went well. I had a consult with the hospital pharmacist because the plan was to stay overnight with a PCA -patient controlled analgesia and be discharged in the am with my post op pain being managed. The surgeon said he likes to do overnight PCA’s so that his patients don’t get behind the pain curve. Sounded good to me.

Only that’s not what happened. Basically the floor nurse told me no PCA because “it was better to transition” me to oral meds. I told him the only reason i was staying overnight and had 2 IV’s placed was specifically for PCA pain control. He didn’t say it, but his attitude said tough shit and he brought me a Vicodin.

Here is where i failed myself. Because of the current hysteria about opioid use i didn’t feel like i could make a scene and insist because i did not want to be seen/labeled as a drug seeker. So, i swallowed my Vicodin, got nauseous, gratefully got some Zofram and decided i wasn’t going to ask that bastard for any other thing. Even if it killed me. I didn’t see him again until morning, before shift change, when he asked if i was in pain. By then it was bad. I told him yes but i didn’t want a damned thing from him and told him to get out. He asked again, why and i told him through gritted teeth that if i explained it to him i would end up YELLING. Pure rage. To his credit, he did say i could talk to the floor manager, which i refused (same reason – no yelling) and then he said i could sign myself out AMA (against medical advice) if i was unhappy. If i had any clothes and a ride i may have, but i don’t think insurance pays when you go AMA. I heard him give report to the day nurse outside in the hall and he told her didn’t understand why i was mad. I felt a kind of evil pleasure knowing he “didn’t know what” he did. Maybe it would make him think about the night. I did tell the day shift nurse so that someone would know and she told me she understood my anger.

I told my ortho guy the story as well as my therapist who works at the hospital in palliative care and my T said he told the floor manager. I sincerely hope this person follows up and contacts me. As may be obvious, i am still pissed off. I’m not interested in getting him fired but if this is the level of care nowadays regarding pain control, we are all in trouble

I do not deny that “we” have created a huge problem and it is deadly.  However, if i can’t even advocate for myself, a former healthcare worker because of real or even imagined stigma,  what in the hell can the average person expect.  Not adequate pain control, it seems.

Doc

Bad days

I’m just having a bad couple of days and i’m hoping that by writing them down they will stop knocking me upside the head. Even as i write that i feel like a whining, self-entitled bitch. My problems are really meaningless in the scheme of things, you know?

For the past couple of weeks i have been crying – a lot. I don’t cry. I’m fucking in control and if need be fairly stoic. So, why now? My brother died about a month ago and i know some of my tears are for him. Normal crying, normal grief. Poor guy had a bad death, he went from his normal to dead in about a week. Lifelong alcoholic, who lived the way he wanted, trashed by a bad colon and sepsis.

Today my tears are, in part, because i got up today and really came to believe that i do not have a mental illness. I am weak and easily manipulated and when i was told i was sick i fucking believed it. Don’t get me wrong, i know people suffer with mental illnesses but i feel like a fraud. My life should be good and i’ve allowed my imperfections to be explained away by medicine. I feel like i am taking time and resources away from the people that honestly need them. I don’t think that is “depression talking”. I am considering walking away from these things and see what happens. How can you tell if something is real or a suggestion?

The other/real reason i have been crying is because i am responsible for my dog, Blue and while it is true she has “kept me out of the hospital” i did not want a dog. I did not want a reason to stay alive. Also, Blue has become a cat killer. She will even eat parts, in front of me, if i can’t get it away from her. She doesn’t know what this is doing to me. I recognize that she was born and bred as a hunter, but each time she kills i find my self waiting for the gunshot to ring out when the cat’s owner sees what’s about to happen. I’ve imagined how i will kill her when she returns with the next body dangling from her face. My father passed on a story concerning one of their cats a while ago. Seems that a dog out for a walk or something, happened upon one of his cats and killed it. My step person called animal control and the dog was confiscated and put down. The owner had no recourse reportedly. This thought fills me with despair every time i lose track of her walking on the farm and realize that i can hear her “cat bark”. One of the neighbors to the farm keeps a feral cat colony and this is where she hunts. My sisters’ two cats are also in peril along with her chickens. EVERY day and EVERY walk is filled with dread. She was intended to give me companionship and purpose but the walks are a nightmare. Her breed is highly active and must be exercised daily. I believed that we could walk the 122 acre farm each day and keep her happy and encourage me to exercise.

Now, i am not unaware there are possible solutions. I sent her away last year for 2 weeks of training with a method that uses a collar to give a tone and vibration – no shocking. You push the button which tells her you have a command like sit or come or heal. The issue is that it only works when she is in the transmitters line of sight and around a quarter of a mile away. Nice on an open field but limited in the woods and hills and such. Since she got away from me again today – completely my fault – and went to the “cat house” i called and whistled and waited for about an hour before i climbed the steep hill and drug her away. I was so terribly angry but i knew she would not understand any punishment so i didn’t. But this often means i punish myself.

I don’t want to put her down but one day i may be forced to. It would also be the day i die. So, as an adult who is capable and well, i am going to try one other option. I came home and in tears, measured her for a basket muzzle. Should get here in 4 to 7 days. She will be able to drink, bark, pant, take a treat but not grab another small creature and shake it to death.
I can’t live with this fear and uncertainty every fucking day.

Once again

I’m not sure if i have anything worthwhile to write about. I last posted in Nov. 2017.

My life had really changed – for the better – in May or June of last year when i finally realized i was hypomanic. After almost 8 years of depression and the despair it caused, i felt alive and excited each day. Funny enough, my mood improved after i stopped all my meds. In the past i had always been blamed for “the consequences” of dc’ing those drugs. But not this time.

With my newfound reason to try and live, i set about having house repairs and painting and new hardwood floors and a shower instead of a tub, something i’ve wanted for years. I grew up taking showers and have never embraced sitting in dirty water. I am a shower snob, apparently.

I think i wrote about some of the problems i’ve had by letting unknown people/contractors in my house. I was overcharged, had money and drugs (leftover opiods from previous surgeries) stolen while i was out of the house. Thought i had learned not to trust. But i’m fairly forgiving as a rule, so i tried once more and hired someone to lay the floors and build my shower and i got screwed again. This guy took off leaving the floor unfinished and the shower only partially finished. He was one those shady guys that evades paying taxes by asking to be paid in cash, I’m sure there are women working in remodeling and home repairs and whatnot, and they can’t all be good people but goddamn i’m hating men right now.

I had hoped that my mania would last until my projects were done. Fat chance. Once i accepted that guy #2 wasn’t coming back, my mood began to slip away heading back to depression. Trying to be responsible i sought out a psych. nurse practitioner and resumed an antidepressant. It now seems that starting meds again has pushed me into a mixed state and i am scary. So far, the only soul i’ve exploded on is my poor, sweet dog, Blue. Granted she deserved “some” correction but when i was done screaming and throwing things she was trembling and fearful of me. I have never acted this way with her. She couldn’t possibly understand my motives or even intentions and i fucking hate myself right now.

I am surprised by how angry some small nothing can cause me to become.
This isn’t the real me. As a result i agreed to start a mood stabilizer. And so it starts again. More and different drugs. I am so sick of handfuls of pills. So many bloggers insist “you must take your meds” but i got better without meds. I have to decide which path to take.

Doc