Tag Archives: Conversion Disorder

WIDE AWAKE ROTTING

I don’t know why I blacked out. If it was the stress of dealing with my dad, the heat, me not feeling well, all I know is that I woke up on the floor.

When I woke up on the floor of my bedroom it was like I was somewhere else. I didn’t recognize this disgusting place filled with bags and bags of empty water bottles, paper towels, cigarette butts and ashes that had taken over the room. But it was my room. I had let it GET THAT BAD. I kept ignoring it or I didn’t want to see it. The shame of finally seeing what I let happen was too much. I had to leave it a little longer and remember what had triggered me in the first place.

I know I’ve been allowing people, places, and things said, get to me when I shouldn’t. I exist with every nerve ending exposed, my heart on my sleeve, and no protection. I always have, I also replay conversations and events in my mind that I feel were hurtful or that I deserved. (the key words are “I” and “I” am not a good judge because I am so sensitive) It’s probably one of the worst parts about it all, the constant film running in the background of my mind. It’s been the hardest thing for me to control or find coping skills that actually work.

Music, coloring, and research, work depending on the day. With an autoimmune disease, kidney disease, and medical disorders having to do with my blood that can’t be explained, my medications work at different levels in different ways.

One of my doctors believes part of my Conversion Disorder comes from watching my Mom die. Not just the horrible way she died in the hospital but the way she slowly killed herself at home.

She knew everything she had to avoid to stay alive, she knew everything she had to do to stay alive. I knew when she gave up. When she started staying in her room all the time, stockpiling food she wasn’t allowed to eat and not talking to anyone.

At the time I was working 60 hours a week and trying to maintain my alcoholism.

My mom was never thin but started to gain weight rapidly. This made it harder for her to breathe and put stress on her heart. Her bones were brittle and weak from chemo and radiation she had 7 years before. We were so lucky she even survived, most people don’t. I don’t know what it was that made her give up after fighting so hard previously.

When she fractured her back it was the beginning of the end. She would lose control of her bladder and bowels. She cried, moaned and screamed in pain all night long. Nothing we or the doctors did gave her any relief. They decided to do surgery even though she wasn’t healthy enough for it.

She made it through the surgery but the weight gain and immobility made it so hard for her to breathe she felt like she was suffocating. It was her biggest fear.

I now see some of the same behavior in my Dad and it scares me. It’s the opposite with him, he’s lost a lot of weight and does too much. He has old fractures in his back that he chose to ignore over the years. This time his sciatic nerve is being compressed so he can’t ignore it. He’s fallen down numerous times and doesn’t tell me unless I see blood and bruises. Yesterday he was stuck on the pavement of our driveway for over an hour bleeding from a large wound on his arm. He fell out of his truck coming back from dialysis.

He refuses to go to the hospital.

I called my twin sister to let her know what was going on and I might be taking him to the ER. She never called or texted back. Once again I’m left to deal with watching a parent die. Only this time I don’t think I’ll handle it at all.

My Dad and I are close. I told my Mom everything but my Dad and I have a lot in common. When I quit drinking for the last time he watched movies I know he had no interest in, same with TV shows, just to keep me company. He’s never given up on me. It’s only been these last 2 years that we’ve really argued and that’s due to both of our illnesses.

I want to live my own life.

I’m just not sure if I deserve to.

I destroy everything around me or they leave.

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HAVING AN EXPIRATION DATE

I’ve been past my “suicide” phase for years now. I still think about it on really bad days but not like I used to when I self-medicated with alcohol. When I self-medicated with alcohol I didn’t just think about it. I’ve been sober close to 10 years now.

Seeing the results of my blood work I was scared. I didn’t know my kidneys were getting worse so fast. They use your GFR to determine when you should go on dialysis or go on the list for a kidney transplant. When the number hits 30 your Doctor starts preparing you for your options.

My GFR was a 40 one year ago. I kept putting off going in for surgery to have my ureteral stents changed. Part of the reason was the Depressive Episode I was in for a very long time. The other part was just fear. You know when something is wrong with your body. I knew I was losing weight again but there was some swelling in my feet and ankles. The color of skin is the same as chalk but with dark circles under my eyes. I’ve lost muscle mass specifically in my temples. I didn’t notice how bad until this morning. They are so hollowed out I could collect rain in them. I’ve been a little short of breath and having trouble doing simple tasks.

I’m pretty sure I won’t make it on a transplant list. I checked again today. If you have a mental illness, a past history of drug/alcohol abuse, or an autoimmune disease, you usually have a hard time getting on the list. I have all three. I have twin who could donate her kidney but before I could ask I was told she wouldn’t. She had to think of her children. Pretty sure her husband had a big influence on this decision.

Because no one knows why I went into Kidney Failure, or why my kidneys are getting worse, no one is sure about dialysis. My other option is to have a tube coming out of each side of my back just under my shoulder blades. The tube would drain fluids out of my system and goes down each leg. Someone has to learn how to clean and change the drains which I don’t have anyone to do this.

Before I make any big decisions I’ll go to my appointment on Tuesday and see how much longer I can keep the stents. If they don’t send me to the ER then I’m going on a Road Trip to Deep Ellum, Texas. I don’t care what anyone says. I have limited time to do what I wanted to do. So I’m going to try it. What’s the worse that could happen? lol


IF NOTHING CHANGES

Sitting here day after day with little human interaction is becoming both difficult and easier to do. When I do get the chance to talk to someone I actually get a sore throat if it’s for longer than 10 minutes. Luckily for me it rarely is.

I want to change my situation but I’m scared to death to do so. I also feel guilty about leaving my Dad.

I try to remember that he has already lived a full life. He’s travelled all over, done some pretty exciting things, found and married his soulmate, had two children with her, lived, laughed, and loved her for over 45 years. He has 5 grandchildren that love him but he doesn’t see them because he feels guilty that my mom isn’t here to be with them. I find this ridiculous. I also think it’s more about his hearing than anything. He can’t understand what they’re saying so he doesn’t interact with them.

His hearing has become a huge problem. He refuses to do anything about it. He used to love to watch movies with me. He stopped a few years ago because he couldn’t hear the dialogue no matter how loud it was. He has a habit of just agreeing to what a person is saying when he has no idea what was said. This isn’t good when it comes to his dialysis and health. I finally called the dialysis center and told them he can’t hear what they’re saying and is just agreeing with them. They had no idea after the years he’s been there.

I also told them that he isn’t following a renal diet at all and if he says he is he’s lying. I gave them the correct dosage of Prednisone he’s taking because he told them 10mg when it’s 40mg. They need to know these things!! He get’s pissed off and leaves early because his TV isn’t working. It isn’t about the TV, it’s about him feeling anxious so bad he HAS to leave. I told them this also.

I did this because for the last week he’s come home with feet and ankles so swollen they look like wax. They don’t look real. That’s how mine were when I went to the ER. Would he listen? No. Would my sister answer her phone? No.

I’m afraid if I change my environment things will stay the same. I’ll start to talk to someone and they will fall asleep while I’m talking or walk away. Both my dad and my sister fall asleep while talking to me. My dad walks away often.

Maybe I should record my voice reading a book and sell it as a natural sleep aid.

There are no words to describe how it feels when you’re ignored, dismissed, or on the opposite end yelled at for things beyond your control or still held accountable for mistakes you made 20 years ago.

Sometimes I don’t know what I want. I’ve seen the worst of humanity, I’ve been on the receiving end of  humanities worst, but for some reason I still crave human interaction. I still have hope. I just don’t know how much longer that little bit of hope will last.1c69ece744ce08e16a8cfc698acf0e23


A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO SHAME

I know I’ve gone overboard with Social Media over the last 6 months. I usually think before I type but I haven’t done that in awhile. When I realize what I’ve written doesn’t sound right so I try to delete it but sometimes I can’t.

I made a comment on an Instagram post that I guess came across as odd. Someone replied “Are you okay?”. When I read it in my Notifications I had no idea why anyone would ask me that. Then I went to the comment.

I did sound manic and all over the place. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I then noticed another person had replied and I felt angry on top of everything else.

The woman is supposedly a “Mental Health Counselor” and she suggested I should “take a Holistic Approach to your mental illness instead of dangerous medications”.

I wanted to respond but since I am now back on the correct dose of medication I knew that it wasn’t worth it and it wasn’t right to have a discussion on someone else’s Instagram page. I let the matter go.

NEED TO KNOW

I don’t want to give a history of my health to every single person in order to explain my emotions, behavior, mood, or physical symptoms. I feel like I have to or people will assume the worst. The problem is they assume the worst anyway.

THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLIMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE HEALTH

The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health is the main government agency for investigating non-traditional treatments specifically for mental illness.

  1. Complimentary methods where non-traditional treatments are given in addition to standard medical procedures.
  2. Alternative methods of treatment used instead of established treatment.
  3. Integrative methods that combine traditional and non-traditional as part of a treatment plan.

NATURAL PRODUCTS

Research is still lacking when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of Complimentary Treatments.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These may help decrease the risk of chronic schizophrenia but what most people do not know is that this is only the case for young people experiencing psychosis for the first time.

Folate/Vitamin B9: The human body can’t make this on it’s own, some people with mental illness have low Folate levels. The FDA has approved one form of Folate as an add on not a primary treatment for use in depression.

Medical foods, mind and body treatments and vitamins fall under these categories also.

VITAMINS: Anyone on a prescription medication should be cautious when taking vitamins. Vitamins can make some prescription medications less effective or toxic.

40% or more of Americans treat themselves with alternative or “Holistic” medicine without professional supervision or disclosing it to their Psychiatrist/Primary Care Doctor. Many patients use Holistic medicine while taking prescription Antidepressants which can cause dangerous interactions.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK

Bipolar Disorder is a brain disorder.

MRI scans of people with Bipolar Disorder are similar to each other but significantly different from people without Bipolar.

When Bipolar Disorder goes undiagnosed and the person is given the wrong medication and self medicates it makes them much more difficult to treat when they are diagnosed.

I remember when my Mom was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I was devastated. The first thing people said was “Did she smoke?”.

If she did smoke, did that mean she deserved to die a horrible death? People don’t think before they speak.

No one mentioned any Holistic medicine instead of Chemo and Radiation.

When my kidneys failed and I was in the ER, not one person mentioned “Holistic Medicine” as an alternative to saving my life.

Mental Illness is no different, at least for me it isn’t.

I may not always be able to edit myself online but face to face it’s much easier.

It’s easier because I never really talk to anyone. When I get the chance I get too excited and I start to stutter. The shame and embarrassment kicks in.

I would like to know 1 entire day without feeling shame. I know what I’ve put my family through. If I thought vitamins, yoga, meditation, would make it better believe me I would be doing it. Actually I’ve done it.Zen stones in water

 


12 STEPS TO INSANITY CONTINUED

Many people would not be able to stay sober without a 12 Step Program. I acknowledge this and accept it. I wish it went both ways. I have often been told that I “would never make it without a program”. I’ve been sober or in remission for over 9 years without a program. It isn’t for everyone.

I couldn’t handle being in a room filled with strangers and feeling their pain plus my own. I’m like a sponge that way. I also wasn’t hearing anyone say anything similar to my situation. No one admitted to drinking because they were afraid of meeting new people, afraid of talking to people, afraid to make friends, or just simply afraid.

No one admitted that at times they wanted to hurt themselves because they felt they didn’t belong anywhere. That they would look around a room and ask themselves “Why can’t I be like other people?” never feeling comfortable in their own skin. Or how much of a failure they felt like because the person that was born with them was able to do everything they couldn’t.

I can’t remember how many times I watched my twin sister and wondered if maybe there wasn’t a mistake made at the hospital. We were so different. Because we are twins people felt it was ok to comment on how different we were in front of us. I was always the fat, quiet one, she was always the thin, outgoing one. After years of hearing this it’s how you start to identify yourself too.

No one told stories of getting wasted and having sex with more than one guy in a night or waking up and not remembering if you had sex or not. There were no stories of hanging out with men who thought it was fun to make you cry or hit you. It was a group of men that for some reason wouldn’t let me go and I couldn’t get the courage to escape from for years. Some tried to help while others made things worse. Yes, I put myself in that situation because I thought I deserved it. I didn’t know I was sick or an alcoholic I just knew that at that time it was the best I could do. Secretly I hoped one of them would kill me and so I drank more.

There were no stories like that. I didn’t feel like I could tell them either. I needed a lot more help than a 12 Step Meeting could provide. I just didn’t know it yet. It would take several more years to figure it out.

Mental illness coupled with self-medicating is one of the hardest things in life you will ever go through. If you actually get through it I’m proud of you because it’s a Hell of journey and not many of us make it. It takes more than one or two relapses before you get it for some reason that’s just how it is. I’m here to say that if that happens don’t wast time beating yourself up. Ask yourself why? After that let it go and move forward. If you don’t you will keep repeating the same pattern.


I REALIZED I HAD ENOUGH IT WAS TIME

I had to leave the house today. It scared me and I didn’t want to. As I was driving on the highway I suddenly felt sad. Sad like I’ve never known. No one took my calls. I then felt like drinking. I have not felt the need to drink in years. After that came the question “What if I just let go of the wheel?” Then a tiny voice said “What the fuck are you doing?”.

I turned the car around and went to an Emergency Psychiatric Facility I had read about last year. I forced myself out of my car and into the building. I stood outside their door watching for about 10 minutes. My legs were shaking and my hands felt numb.

I eventually went in and stood in a corner shaking. A kind woman behind the glass came out and asked me if I needed help. I told her I did. I was stuttering badly and crying. One of the Social Workers told her he would fit me in as soon as possible. I heard him say “She has Conversion Disorder which is making it difficult for her to give information”. He spent 2 hours talking to me, getting all of my background information, my family history, everything about me that might be important.

Usually you have to wait a few months before seeing one of their Psychiatrists for an assessment but they had been monitoring me since I walked in and the Director of Psychiatry took an interest and made room to see me next Friday for 2 hours. They take Medicare. The Director is a woman which the male Social Worker thought I might have an easier time talking to because of some of the things I’ve been through and because I’ve never had a female psychiatrist.

We decided not to let my current psychiatrist know anything until I’ve decided if I’m going to keep going to them. I already liked the fact that the Social Worker was surprised my doctor put me on a new medication that was potentially dangerous and then didn’t want to see me for 6 months. It made me feel better, like I wasn’t the only one who thought he was dropping the ball.

This was a big step for me. Usually I would’ve needed my sister or my dad with me but I’m learning that isn’t always possible or fair.On-My-Own-Quotes-006


Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder (Conversion Disorder)

I can’t remember when I started to have problems with my memory, pain in my muscles and joints, vision changes and muscle weakness. I’ve had these issues for so long that I just got used to them.

When my hands first started to tremor I didn’t think much of it. It only happened when I buttoned a shirt or counted money. When I began having trouble keeping food on my spoon or fork and spilling whatever I was drinking because my hands were shaking I knew something was going on.

I went to my GP who sent me to a Neurologist. My GP had mentioned Parkinson’s and MS. I admit I was worried. The Neurologist diagnosed me with Essential Tremors. He had found other brain abnormalities that I found scary but he didn’t. Essential Tremors are hereditary and no one in my family has ever had them.

About a year went by when I started to stutter.

A person with Conversion Disorder (CD) or Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder (FND) experiences physical symptoms without an underlying physical cause. Symptoms are usually connected to emotional or psychological stress or trauma. The person has no control over the symptoms and are not deliberately producing them.

The typical signs and symptoms of FND are:

  • Deafness or hearing difficulties
  • Difficulty concentrating *
  • Difficulty swallowing *
  • Fatigue *
  • Impaired movement *
  • Lack of responsiveness *
  • Loss of balance *
  • Loss of senses
  • Numbness *
  • Pain in muscles, skin, or joints *
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems *
  • Tremors *
  • Vision Problems *
  • Weakness *
  • Twitches

Symptoms may come and go or they may persist. They also vary in severity and location. In some people they can last for years and make everyday life difficult. In other people the symptoms are short term.

The exact cause is still not known. Researches used to believe FND happened mostly to low income women with little to no education. This has been proved to be false.

The other false belief is that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the way to cure FND but CBT has only a 13% success rate.

When my stuttering got to the point I couldn’t talk my Psychiatrist sent me to a Doctor who specialized in Movement Disorders. He was more than happy to tell me that the reason I was stuttering and my hands had tremors and I was losing my balance was that I had Conversion Disorder.

I knew nothing about it at the time and I was shocked. All I could think was “My brain is doing this?” “If my brain is doing this why can’t I make it stop?”. In fact the harder I tried to control the stuttering the worse it would get. The more frustrated and embarrassed I became the worse everything would get. I didn’t understand that yes it’s my brain but I still have no control over it.

I understand it now but many other people don’t. My family certainly doesn’t. Of course I am one of the lucky ones who most likely will not get better because I have an underlying mental illness, addiction, and traumas.

There’s also another issue. I do have actual physical problems. When my GP or any Doctor checks my reflexes, I don’t have any. They keep boppin’ my knees and nothing happens. I keep telling them they are wasting their time but some are determined. Same thing with my blood pressure. Some nurses will get 3 different machines even when I tell them I have LOW blood pressure. They just won’t accept what they’re seeing. Which kind of worries me but no one else. I’ve stopped asking questions.

Again, I do what I can depending on the day.


BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER STUFF

When you are a twin, Birthday Parties are not really that fun. When you have problems with Anxiety at a young age they are worse. When you don’t understand why you feel the way you do or why can’t “act normal” they’re a nightmare.

I’ve described previous Birthday Parties where I would watch my twin sister from a hiding place trying to understand how she could talk to people, laugh, or even smile. I felt sick and wanted to go home. I’ve always had a hard time making friends. My voice is not loud and I’ve always had a hard time being heard. I was also afraid of saying the wrong thing or saying something that would make other people laugh at me. They already laughed at me because of my thick glasses, my weight, and my skin. I had won the lottery for being bullied.

It wasn’t until I started drinking that I actually had some great Birthday Parties. Sober people with self-esteem and self-respect wouldn’t have thought they were great but I did.

I think it was my 18th year when J. did a surprise party for me. There was HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner, a keg, cupcakes, an entire football team (invited just for me), a raffle (I won a bottle of Fire Water which I drank), and about 100 people in and out of his small apartment wishing me a Happy Birthday. Things did take a little turn for the worse after I drank the bottle of Fire Water but it was still good. (Fire Water at the time was as close to 100 proof as you could get Cinnamon Schnapps that we would put in the freezer).

Most of my Birthdays while I was drinking were actually fun. I think.

I have not celebrated my Birthday in the 9 and half years or so I’ve been sober. I am down to 1 friend who works a lot and has a boyfriend. My twin celebrates our Birthday with her husband and children. My Dad usually forgets or just says Happy Birthday.

January 11th I will be 45. I’m kind of feeling this one. I’ve been depressed for a long time now and can’t seem to climb out of it. My Dad and I are fighting constantly. Mostly because I keep trying too hard. He refuses to learn new things like how to use the new TV I bought him or the right foods to eat so he doesn’t die while on Dialysis. He also insists on shoveling the driveway when he doesn’t have to. My anxiety is at an all time high.

Lately he likes to make little comments or digs. I remember he used to do this with my Mom sometimes. My Mom would give it back to him. I have a hard time doing that because he scares me at times and I have no where else to live.

I’ve been doing DBT for the last few weeks and it sucks just as much as I remember. “Don’t judge your judging”. Ok. That’s a brilliant idea. I wish I had thought of that. “Take a walk outside when you’re triggered”. Ok. It’s 9 degrees out and there’s snow so that isn’t happening. And my favorite “Try doing some exercise or yoga”. If I had the energy or will to wash my hair, get dressed, shovel out my car, rob someone to pay for yoga lessons, maybe I would. “Make someone you love cookies”. Why? So they can yell at me for using the stove? Complain about what kind I made? Because this is what I live with.

It’s almost my Birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.5e507ed572b2cde6eba0358f3836f8ff


A VISIT TO MY PSYCHIATRIST

Today is the first time I’ve left my house in 3 weeks. I had to go see my psychiatrist and get ready for the big snow storm coming tomorrow. I hate snow and I hate the cold. I hate a lot of things lately.

As usual I was called into his office late. His first question was “How is your Crohn’s?”. First I don’t have Crohn’s Disease I have Celiac Disease so that was strike was one. I hate correcting people. I decided this visit I was going to write everything down that has been going on. I also wrote down observations from my Dad and my twin sister just in case. I was going to correct him when he said the wrong diagnosis or medication too.

I told him that I’ve been having trouble concentrating, leaving the house, issues with controlling anger and irritability, and going over past events. My family thinks I have gotten worse in the last year. I also told him that spoke to a few of the companies making my medications and they said that they needed to be adjusted because of my kidney failure. The Klonopin manufacturer said it’s most likely only staying in my system about 2-3 hours. The maximum dose for people like me is 4mg and I’m on 2mg. I only take it at night. He disagreed and said I had probably built up a tolerance to it and it’s only a band aid and not meant to be used as a cure.

I told him I refuse to live like I used to, dry heaving all day with a lump in my throat for no reason. That’s one of the biggest reasons I drank.

He said we could try an antidepressant. I think when I started laughing he got nervous. I have a list of all the antidepressants I’ve been on. It’s 2 pages long. I asked him if there were any new ones not related to the ones I’ve already tried.

His answer? “Trintellix” I said “You mean the one that’s just like Brintellix?”. He said “Yes”. I said “The one I was on when I almost got arrested for assaulting a police officer?”. He said “Oh! You’ve tried that one?”. Yes moron I have. If you looked down at your screen it would probably be listed there. Or maybe not because he gave me a bag filled with samples that the sales rep had just dropped off and must have thought I would be a good guinea pig.

He then suggested another medication for PTSD but he didn’t say the name of it. He asked if maybe I had been eating Gluten and that was why there was change. I told him I eat 1 big bowl of Rice Chex a day and that’s pretty much it.

Then he asks me “How are you managing your Eating Disorder then?”. WTF? I said “WHAT Eating Disorder?” “I’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder. My appetite is poor because I have Chronic Kidney Disease”. His response was “You do?”.

He did mention the hospital where he works is doing Ketamine trials because he thinks it’s the same as mushrooms or organic psychedelics. I couldn’t help it at this point. I said “There a little late. There are already a lot of studies showing the negative effects of Ketamine specifically with people who have PTSD or Conversion Disorder.” He didn’t respond to that one.

He repeatedly mentioned Therapy and I repeatedly mentioned that I already tried every kind of Therapy there is including Shock Therapy.

My family doesn’t want to talk to me, I cry all the time, and I don’t want to leave the house.

The only person that has offered any kind of help or support is my Auntie Lee. She called me yesterday to tell me she loves me and that I should come to Florida and be with her. If I had the money I would in a second. She’s my Mom’s sister and I love her. She’s positive 99% of the time. We’re like best friends when we get together.

I think I’ll start saving my money. It’s time to make a change. the-mind-of-freud


ROCK BOTTOM

I had many “rock bottoms” but they never really stopped me from drinking for too long. Only one thing eventually stopped me. Learning the reason why I was drinking.

It took too many years to figure it out but when I did it made everything clearer for me.

Drinking took away that empty ache I always had. It took away the anxiety I felt 24 hours a day. Yes, I know alcohol causes more anxiety as the alcohol leaves your system, but it was so bad I didn’t care. I just needed some time without it. Feeling like you’re on a roller coaster all the time is exhausting. Without alcohol I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I never would’ve left my bedroom. Some would say that would’ve been a good thing. But they were not inside my head. If you have General Anxiety and Social Anxiety, which used to be called “Social Phobia” than you understand.

Alcohol took as much as it gave. It took my money, friends, family, health, dignity, and what little self-esteem I had.

I tried to stop drinking many times over 20 plus years. Some of these times were court ordered and some I decided on my own. I attended AA for two years and disliked it immensely. I also went to an outpatient rehab 3 times a week for a year. That wasn’t bad but I still went back to drinking. The reason? I never asked myself why and neither did anyone else. Self-medicating was never brought up anywhere I went. Not at any of the Psychiatrists, Therapists, AA meetings, or rehab.

It wasn’t until I was 36 that a Doctor asked why? I answered honestly. So I wouldn’t feel anything that I was feeling. He dug deeper. He asked about my family history and if anyone had addiction issues or mental health problems. When I told him my family history I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. I didn’t understand why.

He said “No one has ever diagnosed you with a mental illness?” I told him one Psychiatrist diagnosed me with “Social Phobia”. He asked if she had given me medication for it. I told him she prescribed me Paxil then Prozac. At this point he was shaking his “NO” so hard I was worried.

We talked more and he made an appointment for me to come back the following week when he had my test results.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar with Social Anxiety. The Conversion Disorder came a little later. My hands shook but I didn’t think to tell him. I thought it was caffeine. It wasn’t until food started falling off every utensil that I knew it was something else. When I started to stutter and my head started to shake a little I was terrified. My Doctor had an idea what it was but sent me to a specialist to be sure.

I stopped drinking the day I was diagnosed. It’s been about 9 and half years. I do not know the exact date and time because I forget a lot of things. I’ve forgotten more since I had a round of ECT (Shock Therapy) that didn’t go as planned. Also I didn’t plan on dying for a few seconds or being under anesthesia for so long or so many times. But that’s what happens when you go into Kidney Failure and don’t know it.

I also don’t believe that if you “fall off the wagon” one time  that should you should go back to zero. I know too many people who had years of sobriety slip up once and because of the shame kept drinking. I believe if the stigma and shame were taken away this wouldn’t happen. I’m living proof.

Five years ago I drank one night. One night. Since then I have not had another drink. I was honest with my family about it and they understood but were not happy. They didn’t shun me or make me start over either.

I recently read a Tweet where someone had a drunk dream and their biggest worry was that they would’ve wasted their 5 years of sobriety. It shouldn’t be like that. What if you’r at a wedding and accidentally grab the wrong soda and it has rum in it? Do you start over? I know it’s different because it isn’t intentional but it was the first concert I had ever been to sober, I was alone, in another state, I was manic and I had just died a few weeks before. When I showed up alone I felt like everyone was looking at me (not in a good way because why would they do that?) Then when I realized it was in a good way I didn’t know how to react. I had always been over 200 pounds at concerts and now I was 125 (because I was sick) so I panicked.

The next morning I booked a flight home and talked to my family. It’s been 4 and half years since then. So 9 and half years. If you don’t like it you don’t have to do it.086a8d692cb6d849fed48f86d0d04959


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