The Downside of Happiness

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I woke up feeling great! I did the dishes, baked peanut butter brownies, cleaned up the 3 dogs and then it hit me. This isn’t going to last. This will be gone probably by this afternoon. I wanted to stop, right then and there, give up, because I thought it was pointless. Then I thought grab it, fast, hold on as tight as you can before your brain takes it away. Make the most of it while you can. So I’ll be making some jewelry and taking pictures until the demons in my head slowly wake up and take over.

P.S.~If you are related to me and have read this even though I have asked you not to I KNOW I do not have actual “demons” in my head. It was not meant literally. So calm down, put the phone down, and yes I have taken my meds.

As a side note my photography is of different things that I find interesting. Some pictures are of my jewelry or landscapes, but I do take pictures of Cemetery Art/Sculptures. To me they are beautiful and not macabre. I understand it isn’t for everyone and I try to do it in a respectful way. I myself have loved ones in some of these cemeteries. The one I refuse to photograph is where my mother is buried. It is a Veteran’s Cemetery and kept in deplorable condition. Last time I went I fell in a sinkhole. It was up to my thigh. My mother’s headstone had slid into the next row. It is constantly flooded. It disgusts me, not just for my mother but for the actual Veterans buried there like my grandfather and my father who will be there with my mother when the time comes. Complaints and letters have done nothing. But these places can be rich with beauty and history.

What Your Doctor Might Not Know

At my last Dr.’s appointment I had mentioned Ketamine to my Psychiatrist. He said no one was doing it and FDA approval was probably 5 to 6 years away. I mentioned to him that there is a doctor in our state using the nasal spray version for pain management. He looked at me funny and said that he “didn’t think this was true”. I had the doctor’s name and gave it to him. He is well known not just in my state but also New York and Massachusetts. I had a feeling patients were seeking him out for the use of the ketamine nasal spray for more than pain management it just wasn’t being disclosed. I also told my doctor that his own hospital had done a study on it. He didn’t know.

This drug, once the side effects are taken care of can lift a Bipolar patients Depressive state within 10 to 20 minutes in most cases. Right now there are ketamine clinics across the U.S. but you have to stay and be monitored while it is being done. Most clinics do it through transfusion and are using the version with the hallucinatory side effects. It is my understanding that the nasal spray does not have these side effects but may not be as effective.

Regardless, if this was another medication for erectile dysfunction it would already be on the market. The drug reps would be pushing it like candy. Because the people who take that type of medication are usually middle aged Caucasian men with good health insurance.

The people who usually are portrayed as taking psychiatric meds are poverty stricken, homeless, with no health insurance or are on State Assistance or Medicare.

The estimated cost of 1 ketamine infusion is $500. You need more than one and insurance doesn’t usually cover it. But they will cover ECT. Which does help some people I personally found it barbaric.

The other problem is finding a good doctor that is educated and open minded about your diagnoses. If you have Medicare good luck with that. The entire system is set up to encourage you to give up. I have a fairly decent education, I could barely fill out the forms. The hundreds of pages that are required. Then to go before a judge only to be humiliated by his snide remark “what? Didn’t you take your meds today?”. Then laughing. While my father sat in the back of the room with tears in his eyes and his fist balled up. It’s a good thing I had a lawyer to speak for me, and boy did he. He said ” for your information she has Conversion Disorder also which causes her to stutter I spoke about this disorder on the Senate floor recently”. And that was that. I cried a lot that day. They still make me have reviews every year unlike everyone else who has them every 5 to 7 years. Even though I have gotten worse and have had 2 prominent doctors say I can’t work plus brain scans that show cognitive damage. But I’ll deal with it as it comes. I can try to change the system a little at a time as long as it doesn’t change me.

What Would You Do?

I guess I’m not doing as well as I thought I was. I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last week. Pounds I can’t afford to lose. The change in meds is part of it and I just don’t feel like eating. I am sad, nostalgic, and crying often. I said I would do a friend’s hair not because I want to but because I really don’t have any friends. I’m not sure I have the physical strength to do it. But I am afraid to say no. I’m in a cycle of wanting to do things but NOT wanting to do things. Makes no sense.

The Definition of Crazy

I’ve heard the definition of crazy is doing the same behavior over and over but expecting a different result each time. Example: I call my sister expecting her to answer the phone and talk to me. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Reality: I call my sister, she doesn’t answer, doesn’t call me back and I feel alone. Specifically when she butt dials me from a festival she’s at near her house with the kids and friends. I can hear the laughter and fun being had by all. My nephews squealing in the background, my sister talking mom talk with the other wives and mothers. I listen for a few moments just to torture myself because I must deserve it somehow, someway. I then send a text that she has butt dialed me AGAIN and I can hear everything she’s saying. No response. I went and took Cemetery pictures. Don’t get me wrong, it is a hobby. I find the sculptures beautiful, also the grounds. I always make sure I am respectful. I do it as art not in a mocking or in your face way. Still I’m sure people don’t appreciate me doing it. It makes me look worse according to my family. But there isn’t much I find interesting except art, making my jewelry, and watching movies. Some of these things cost money. I do not sell my jewelry. I could if I wanted to, but the market is over-saturated right now. It isn’t worth it. I would rather give it away to someone who appreciates it.

A friend of mine is going through a hard time right now. She is on the list for a heart transplant. She will never get one and she knows this. Both of her children have Developmental and Behavioral problems. 1 is 21 and is also Bipolar (unmedicated). The other is 14. The 21 year old has a girlfriend living there with them along with her 5year old and newborn. There are 11 people total living in the house. So much stress is put on her and her mother I don’t know how she does it. The oldest is prone to violent outbursts, not physical but screaming and throwing things. So when I can I do her hair. Her mother saw a pair of earrings I had on and loved them. Her birthday is in June and I will make that woman the most beautiful earrings ever because she deserves them. Someone said recently “Dana you use Swarovski Crystals and other good materials but you waste them on certain people by giving them away”. I was pissed. Everyone deserves to feel special. I don’t care who you are. Pauper or King we all have pain and if I can bring a little sparkle in the darkness I friggin will. Till I have nothing left to give.

The Spider Webs From My Eyes

I am not the only Scapegoat in my family. The original Scapegoat is my brother. He is 7 years older than me. My mother had him with her first husband.

Words I have heard used to describe my brother by family, teachers, and acquaintances: Bully, Scumbag, no good, Liar, Drunk, Useless, Violent, Intimidating, Will never amount to anything, the list goes on. He’s been arrested numerous times for DUIS, Assault, and other less stupid things. He’s never served any real jail time. I don’t know how. He joined the Army for a few years after getting married. He managed to get into bar fights, get caught smoking pot on guard duty, and while stationed in Germany went AWOL and came back to the states. He was given a dishonorable discharge.

After all this he put himself through school for computer programming. He was a genius at it. He drank and spent money but was good at his job.

My mother raised him alone for 7 years. He was the light in her life after his father committed suicide while she was pregnant. She was always in his corner no matter what. People always complimented her on what a “good little boy he was”. That changed when my father entered the picture.

At her funeral there was a disturbance concerning my brother. He was inside the funeral home while the rest of us waited to go to the cemetery. Two of my uncles went in and had it out with him.

I look back now and think that they were wrong. He had just lost the one person that was always in his corner, always believed in him. He must have felt truly alone in that instant. A father that kills himself before he’s born and his one supporter gone. The grief he felt must have been tremendous. I know because it’s how I felt. But no one comforted him. So he got drunk. I couldn’t watch. He had just hit on my best friend in front of his kids and our mother had just died. I was a mess myself so I left.

I am deeply saddened that none of us has looked deeper for the reason of all his pain. He refuses help or to talk about his drinking and gambling. I dread the late night drunken phone call. I’ve stopped answering. There is only so much my heart can take. This heart that remembers going on his paper route with him, remembers him scaring the monsters away under my bed and practicing his wrestling moves on. I am one person who hurts too much as it is. So brother I love you but I can’t go down with you anymore.

No Positivity Here Today~ WALK

When I started this blog it was because I was tired of seeing other blogs filled with sunshine and rainbows. I don’t know what meds they were taking but they certainly weren’t in the same ballpark as mine. In the last 4 to 5 years, I really couldn’t give you an actual number because my memory is shot I have been on a merry go round of medications that would make your head spin. This last one is leaving me with a fight or flight feeling most of the day, I was only paralyzed one more time so far, and my skin is itchy. I want to run away, I want to get dressed up and go to the bar. I want to find everyone who was ever cruel to me and tell them off. I want off this drug.

So I am. I’m taking 10mg of expired Viibryd. My Dr. gets annoyed when a drug he’s pushing doesn’t work for me. I’m not telling him. Maybe an antidepressant wasn’t the way to go. I could feel myself leveling off right before starting the Brintellix. I mostly had the mood stabilizer and Adderall in me. People had noticed that I was talking, and looking better. Adderall doesn’t work on me like it does on other people. It controls my stutter, tremors, and for some reason I cry less. Just like coffee doesn’t make me hyper it calms me down and helps me focus. So I will experiment. I’m tired of being other people’s experiment, or test subject only to be made to feel guilty if it fails. I’m not it discussing with my sister.

When I told her about being paralyzed and having no one notice her response was typical ” Now you know how I felt when I was having my seizures”. To be clear, there was NEVER any evidence that she was having any seizures. She was monitored for 48 hours in the hospital hooked up to machines to record her brainwaves and it showed NOTHING. The doctors all said she was just under stress. Yes, stress can be bad and I’m sorry she was stressed. But it’s apples and oranges. And she knows it. It isn’t a competition to see who as it the worse. I wish she knew that.

I can’t change any of that. I can change what is going on now. I’m lonely with no social skills. I have no idea how to meet people without going to a bar and drinking. This I have to learn how to do. Alone. It scares me. I sit in the parking lot of a nice restaurant saying I’m going to go in sit by myself, have an appetizer and see what happens. What happens is I sit in the parking lot for an hour until I cry then I go home. lol  Baby steps. I also have to cut back on the negative music. Blasting Slipknot and Pantera from my speakers while driving just makes me more aggressive. As brilliant as Corey Taylor is I’m going to get in trouble some day. So hopefully I’ll figure some things out soon.

Change is Fast

I don’t know if it’s the new medication or just me. In the last hour I have blogged, taken photos, told the police off, yelled at my dad, talked to myself a lot, cried, almost punched the wall and have felt like throwing up.

The police deserved it. The town decided to dig a 20 foot hole at the end of our driveway and not give us any warning. When my father came home from dialysis they were rude to him and made him park far away and walk back to our house. He had a problem at dialysis where his blood pressure dropped and they were going to have to call the ambulance. So I was pissed and went out there and yelled at them. Of course I sounded crazy because I think my words were a little slurred but you don’t treat an elderly sick man like that. I don’t care who you are. Meanwhile my father is in the house thinking they’re going to look up my name and see I’m Bipolar and have been in trouble before and I’m probably going to get tazered.

I made nice with them and just explained that he’s very ill and we can’t be boxed in. I still had this overwhelming feeling to hit someone. I used to get like that when I was drinking years ago. All you had to do was look at me, that’s it, just look at me. It’s only day 2 so I have to give it time. This weekend is hard anyway. I know people go out of their way to not talk to me because they’re having parties or gatherings and feel uncomfortable about me. So they just avoid me instead of dealing with me. They either don’t want me around the alcohol, past people that might be there or my babbling. I spend the summer alone. I am not the Incredible Hulk ready to start guzzling your Vodka while turning green and busting out of my clothes. I’m pretty secure in my Sobriety of 6 years and want to see 7.