my world turned upside down

So after the break in, I had to start getting my life back in order. You don’t realize how much stuff is in one thing until you lose it. I lost my driver’s license, credit cards, check book, office key with my paycheck stubs in my purse and my journal, talk about feeling violated! I mean someone being in your apartment is violation enough but the thought of someone getting a hold of my journal, my inner most personal thoughts! Something you don’t let anyone read at all! And now it’s somewhere out there floating around for people to read. Talk about feeling extremely violated and vulnerable and naked. Can I please get my journal back? Everything else is replaceable, just give me my journal back!

I was driving around with no license for a few days. Well I had an expired driver’s license but what good does that do me? I went to the DMV to get a temporary license after a few days only because my coworkers told me to. Then there was the hassle of opening a bank account so that I could have access to my money. Mind you I had no debit or credit cards. I only had my passport and ssn card as proof of ID. I take it down to the bank and they tell me that I can’t open an account without a second form of ID. What other form of ID do you need? They said I needed a credit card from another bank. I’m like, I don’t have anything! Everything was stolen! So no new bank account. I had to wait several days for one of my replacement credit cards to come in the mail so that I could go back down and try to open an account again. Oye!

In the middle of all this, I’m scrambling to contact my credit card companies that got charged by the person who stole my stuff. I have to get the store, store number, amount, time, and location or as much information that I can get to provide to the officer to try and track down this person. Everyday during the week, throughout the day, my lunch hour, I was on the phone with credit card companies getting all this information. Exhausting! I haven’t even thought about the security of my own home. So much stuff to think of, I just want to fall apart. I don’t know how I’ve kept up with all this stuff.

I finally get my new credit cards in the mail. I head down to the bank, got my new account. Next I have to go through all my bills and change the draft accounts, the automatic transactions and all that stuff. You know what I mean. It takes me two hours to go through each and every single one. I think I got all of them. You don’t realize how much activity goes through your bank accounts because everything is so automated these days. Oh yeah so I still have to go back to the bank to change my ID  because I opened it with my passport and not my driver’s license. Round and round I go.

Week two. It’s finally dying down a bit. I can’t believe all that happened in one week! It felt like a lifetime! I still have to ask my building manager if they will change my windows to the newer modern ones. I have to get a camera system and maybe security in my apartment. People are asking me if I’m moving and I say no. I’m not in any position to move right now. Yes I’m still paranoid that I would come home and my front window is broken and my place is ransacked. I still wake up in the middle of the night and check if my front door is unlocked. But it’s only been two weeks. All that will go away once I get the security system in place and the anxiety wears down. I don’t leave the windows open anymore. Even though it gets stuffy in the apartment on some days. I just open them when I’m home. I always lock the door behind me even when I’m doing laundry or taking Mochi out in the courtyard.

This really has been a big eye opener as to how I live my life. I used to be so nonchalant about everything, leaving doors unlocked and windows opened all the time and now that has changed. I live on the first floor. I’m an easy target. I’m the first apartment you see when you come through the entry gate. No more random deliveries to my apartment.

It’s still a big blessing that no one was hurt. It was a good thing Mochi didn’t bark and wake me up to someone in my apartment. Maybe this was a warning to say that I’m too easy going with my living situation. It could have been worse! A lot worse! My world was turned upside down for a bit, but it’s getting back to normal and it’s making me change the way I live.

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someone is watching over me

So about two weeks ago, something bad happened to me… My apartment was broken into in the middle of the night while I was home sleeping! Scary, creepy, I know! Tell me about it! I was there! But I’m okay, I got away unscathed.

So this is what happened… I went to bed at 11:00 pm, Mochi sleeping next to me as usual. Sometime in the middle of the night, before 3:00 am, i woke up to Mochi whimpering. I went to go check on her and she was at the door whimpering and when I looked up, I noticed that the door was unlocked! Now, I know that the doors were locked when I went to bed. I checked around the apartment to see if anyone was there, but there wasn’t. I went back to bed. The next morning I get woken up by a phone call from my building manager asking if I was okay? I jump out of bed and rush to the front door to see what was going on and my building manager and some neighbors were outside my apartment. The planter box in front of my kitchen window was moved, the screen on my window was popped out and on the floor and the glass window was wide open! Obviously someone had broken in in the middle of the night, went in through the kitchen window and walked out the front door. The asked to see if anything was missing and sure enough my purse was gone! At the same time I couldn’t fine one of my cats, Moo Moo.

The first thing that popped in my head was my sister and brother’s sensitive information was in my purse and they could be compromised. I immediately called my sister and let her know what was going on. I tried calling the police right after and having to go through voice prompts to get to the right department and at the same time my neighbors helping me to try and find my cat. So much going on, it was chaos! I checked and double checked and triple checked my apartment to see if Moo Moo was hiding anywhere but couldn’t find her. I finally got a hold of the police and they said someone would be coming out to get a report. My building manager and I checked my apartment again and even turned my couch upside down to see if she got scared and crawled in there. Somewhere in the middle of the chaos dying down a bit, I went to go fix my bed and found Moo Moo wrapped up in my bed cover to the point where even if I looked under the bed I wouldn’t be able to see her. One problem solved. Mind you I haven’t even had the chance to wash up and make myself look decent. At the same time, in all this chaos, trying to call my credit card companies to cancel all my accounts.

Sooo you’re probably asking how they got through the window… My window was open… Okay, I know, I’m a single woman living in LA, I shouldn’t be leaving my window open!

So the police came and took a police report. Two officers asking me different sets of questions, one was for the actual break in and the other was for the theft of my belongings. At that time, I was still in shock over the whole thing and my mind was all over the place. Trying to remember all the little details was quite difficult. Oh yeah, the person left blood on the curtain and on one of the picture frames that was on the TV stand. They only took my purse. They didn’t take my laptop which was in plain sight, they didn’t take anything else of value either. My living room light was on and so was the bedroom light. I slept through the whole thing. I just remember waking up to Mochi whimpering at the door. That finally clicked. When I checked the door in the middle of the night, I didn’t notice my purse was missing, but then again, I was half asleep.

The rest of the day was calling my credit card companies and banks continuing to cancel all my accounts. That took all day long. Nate came in the afternoon and I finally got to clean up and take a shower. There was a second detective that came to take finger prints. I finally get a little break from all of it and Nate and I went to go eat at about 4:45 pm. I haven’t eaten all day. At that time I realized that I just recently started a meal delivery service that delivered Sunday through Thursday and they were the last people I gave the gate code to. How else could the person get into the building? In the five and a half years that I’ve lived in that apartment, I’ve never had a problem leaving my window open and I have water delivery service every other week, UPS, FEDex, and other delivery services come to the building and nothing ever happen until them. My finger is on the meal delivery service guy. I canceled my subscription immediately and gave that information to the police.

The days after the incident were nothing short of complicated and frustrating… It took me three days to open a new bank account. I had to go to the DMV to get a new driver’s license. Luckily my mom had lent me money otherwise I would be dead in the water with no cash or credit cards. It didn’t really hit me that my apartment was broken into until a few days later and started feeling the effects of it all. It’s been almost two weeks and things are starting to fall back into place. I keep my windows closed now. I’m looking to install a security system and cameras into my apartment and The police have identified the person using my credit cards.

The one thing we keep saying is that it was a good thing I didn’t wake up. Things could have ended a lot worse. The person that came into my apartment that night didn’t harm me or my pets. Someone is definitely watching over me.

 

the year that I died

Things were already falling apart. I couldn’t tell you when it began, I just remember my therapist telling me at some point that I needed to see a psychiatrist. Why, because everything that I had buried so deep inside and chose to forget and other things that I didn’t know were there started pouring out of me and I couldn’t hold it together anymore. For a long time I refused to see a psychiatrist, I refused medication, I convinced myself that I was fine and that I could handle anything. Boy was I completely wrong. This was the second time it was happening but this time was a lot worse than the first.

The first time this happened, I remember in 2012, I sought out professional help because the things that I had buried deep inside and had chosen to forget had started to surface and I didn’t know what to do about it. I found a therapist and we started working through my issues. I had a boyfriend at the time. He knew what I was dealing with and I think we became closer because the more he knew, the more I felt comfortable around him. My therapist at that time suggested that I see a psychiatrist and get on meds to help with the depression. I refused for a while. Then I said I’d give it a try. Not too long after, I ended up in the ER. I don’t know if it was because of the meds or just a really bad anxiety attack. I stopped the meds and I stopped going to the psychiatrist. At some point I thought things were getting better and I was healed, so I stopped therapy and now we end up to the beginning of this blog.

Fast forward a couple years later, obviously I found a new therapist because I was really really really depressed. No one had to tell me. I don’t remember when I started seeing her but since the beginning she had been suggesting meds. I remember complaining to my therapist saying that I would be in a perfectly good mood and be with good company and all of a sudden a wave of depression would hit me. So that’s what clinical depression is. I still refused the meds. My depression was getting worse, things from my past were resurfacing and there was no stopping them. At some point the suicidal thoughts became apparent. They’ve been there before but the urge was a lot stronger now.

Things just got worse from that point on. I started hearing voices and seeing things, seeing ghosts. I felt like someone was following me. I was always on edge. The suicidal urges were constantly knocking on my door. I’d have episodes where I would be talking to someone in person and the voices in my head would start to talk and say that they would harm the person that was with me. I was scared for the other person’s safety and I would cry and cry and try to run away but that person would tell me that there is no one there. I would continue to argue with them telling them to leave, but they never did. In the end, they calmed me down and I would snap back into reality. I had several episodes of that. I remember when I felt like the voices in my head were plotting against me, plotting my death. I remember telling my friend that I wouldn’t make it to my next birthday that year. I remember saying that many times. I remember having a dream where I was dead. I felt like I was already dead. The voices in my head told me to give all my account information to someone. They told me to write goodbye letters to certain people. They would tell me exactly how it would happen, the only thing left is for me to do it. One day I remember them saying, you know where the xacto knife is. I told my friend I wasn’t going to be at church that night. I went home. I starred at where my xacto knife was. I sat there for a while. I eventually got up and ran to my room crying and digging my fingers into the palms of my hands so that they wouldn’t do anything. My pastor and friend found me and took me to my pastor’s house that evening. That was only one incident. I didn’t tell my therapist about that.

In the middle of all this, I gave into my therapists’ wishes and started looking for a psychiatrist. I didn’t realize how hard it was to find one until I started looking. Some said they were not taking any new patients. Some said I wasn’t sick enough. Some asked why my family wasn’t driving me to my appointments? One said they couldn’t treat me and didn’t tell me why. Looking for a psychiatrist and the constant rejection drove my suicidal urges into overdrive. Being told that you are not sick enough according to text book? Just because I still have a job and live on my own, I’m not sick enough?!? I’m on the verge of ending my own life! Is that not sick enough for you?!?

Eventually I found a psychiatrist that would treat me. Eventually I told my family what was going on with me. It wasn’t until September 2016 that I was officially diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder and started treatment. It’s been two years and many changes in medication since then. I think my psychiatrist has finally found what they call the “cocktail” of medication so that I could function normally. It’s been working well the past few months, I hope it keeps going and not have to change again. Things have gotten a lot better. I don’t have hallucinations anymore. I don’t see things any more. I don’t hear voices anymore. I’ve fought to stay alive for this long and now am making plans for the future. I went through hell and back and now I get to live my life to it’s full potential. I’m alive and well and am really glad that the meds are working. All I can do now is look towards the future.

excited!

So I got a new toy to play with… well not really. I’ve had my macbook for a couple of years now and I installed Light Room on it so that I could edit my pictures. There’s not a lot of hard drive space on my mac so I couldn’t load all the pictures that I wanted to so that I could edit them. I finally bought an external drive to store all my pictures in, transferred all the pictures and files from my old PC formatted hard drive onto the new hard drive, and viola, freed up some room on my mac! Oh, side note, my other external drive was formatted for a PC so I couldn’t access my files from my mac.

A good deep sigh… I can finally, really put some time and effort into my photography and learn how to edit my pictures. Long awaited, excited to get home and work on stuff feeling. Woohoo! Now to brush up on my editing and photography skills, the little bit that I have at least. HAHA But to learn more! OH the possibilities!!! 12792113_10209165188232531_7347170844335749195_o

i beat you to it

I meet a guy. We go out on a few dates, talk/text and obviously like each other. Then things get start to get rocky on my end, personal stuff, I have another episode. I end up leaving the guy in the dark because I don’t want to talk about it. In a day or two I say goodbye to the person and send them on their way because I want to be fair to them. I don’t want to leave them hanging and feel helpless because I won’t let them into my mess. And we’re back to shutting people out. Damn, I’m getting really good at this!

First of all, I want to be fair to them. I don’t know how long my episode(s) will last and each time it’s different. They will just be left in the dark because I don’t want to talk about it, especially because I barely know them. They will end up feeling helpless because they want to help but don’t know how. Not their fault. At the same time, I’m dealing with this episode and it’s consuming me and the last thing I want to have to worry about is entertaining this guy every now and then so he knows that I’m alive. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re depressed is another person. I don’t mean to be cold, but it’s true.

Second, I don’t want to have to explain myself for anything that happens. Why this or why that? Things that are out of my control. I don’t want to have to explain for you to understand. I don’t want to have to repeat what I’ve told others already… It’s exhausting just hearing about it and I don’t want to bore you or make you worry. I barely know you.

Third, I think that I am too much to handle. I come with a lot of baggage. I’m a huge complicated mess. I’m a lot to deal with. A person can say that they can handle it right now, but what about later down the road? Years later? How will you feel then? I don’t want to be a burden to anyone and I certainly don’t want them to resent me for what I end up putting them through because of my situation. So I beat them to the punch, I leave before any harm can be done. I leave before I could cause them any pain. I leave before they could cause me any pain.

It will be hard for any guy to come into my life because of this. You would have to be really really special to get past my walls. For me to talk to you about what I go through in my darkest moments will be your ticket in. Good Luck! and good luck to me if I ever find that guy that I will actually let into my life.

vacation battle scars!

So I just got back from my Hawaii vacation almost a week ago. I got away with one injury. I don’t know if you would call it major or minor, or if it would actually be called an injury. Anyway, how it happened… It was the last day of our vacation. My mom and I went on a kayak and snorkeling tour. We were out in the middle of the ocean, miles and miles away from the shore and at least 20 feet deep to the ocean floor, I think. Sorry I don’t have pictures of any cool fishies. I came up for air to fix my snorkel gear and was just swimming around and all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain on my right rib, twice. I screamed out loud because it hurt that bad. I don’t exactly know what I did, maybe twisted the wrong way? Then I went back to swimming as if nothing happened. We finished our tour and I dropped my mom off back at our condo.

Then I went on a two and a half hour drive to the southern most tip of the island called South Point. I was about to go cliff jumping into the ocean but, there was no way back up so I didn’t. To be honest, I was a bit scared to jump off a 40′ cliff, not to mention the strong current waiting for me at the bottom along with jagged rocks, but the views were incredible.

After that I went and hiked a what seemed to be a never ending two and a half miles of dirt road to the famous green sand beach. That was not an easy hike! I went through two water bottles! There was the option of their shuttles going to and from the beach but I decided to tough it out. It was definitely worth it, minus the feeling of, am I lost? a couple of times. HAHA Went down to the beach, played in the sand for about twenty minutes then hiked back up to the top. I decided to take the shuttle back to the beginning since I drank all the water that I had taken with me and I didn’t want to get lost going back. And it was only $10. I gotta tell ya, that ride back was like being on a roller coaster with no restraints! I was on an ATV with no seat belt. Felt every bump, dip, rock, and whatever came in front of this vehicle while only holding on to one bar and trying to keep my balance and not crash into the other passengers on the back of this pickup truck. That went on for a good twenty to thirty minutes. We eventually made it back to the beginning of the trail, talk about a rough ride! Then I drove home.

So between the kayak and snorkeling, swimming in the ocean and then hiking two and a half miles and the makeshift ATV with no restraints, I somehow ended up with bruised ribs, if that’s what you call it. The next morning I was in sooo much pain. It hurt to move whichever way no matter what I did. I don’t know how, I just know that the right side of my ribs hurt like hell and were sore to the touch. It got worse the more I moved. Of course the next day we were headed home. The days that followed seemed like the pain got worse. On Wednesday, it felt like I was getting better. I could move around more freely. There was still some pain but it was tolerable. So of course I didn’t mind it and forgot that there was any pain and of course I would over exert myself with lifting heavy things not thinking about the consequences. Today, it hurts again. I can still move but not as much as yesterday. People tell me to take it easy and I’m like, what is that? I’m getting better, it’ll be fine. Of course I’ll pay for it later. HAHA I never learn.

So I guess in the end, I had a great trip. Nothing like a battle scar to tell you that you had a great vacation and enjoyed every minute of it! Let’s do that again! Maybe without the injury this time? But wait, that’s the indication of a great trip! HAHA just kidding. Or not! You pick.

meds, moods and life

So my meds are working, so it seems. I’ve gone a little over two months without a depressive episode. I have to wait a few more months to make sure they are really working, but for right now, they are. I have yet to pass the 6 month mark on changing my meds, then I know they REALLY are working. I do feel the difference. I’ve mentioned it several times before.

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With my meds working and me getting better, I notice something else… my mind isn’t as active, there are no thoughts that are constantly running through my mind, my imagination isn’t running a muck and my creativity is just dead. I find it harder to write, to put thoughts into words and I get writer’s block all the time! It seems like when I’m down in the dumps, everything just comes pouring out of me and there is no way to stop it and when I’m better, not even a drop of imagination comes out. I’m not saying that I want to be down in the dumps so I could write and do other stuff, it’s just an observation that I’ve noticed with all of this stuff going on with me. At the same time, I wait for life events to happen to spark any emotion out of me. I guess it has to do with the meds leveling out my moods. Not that I blame them, they are helping me handle my depression and other stuff. Maybe the real me is finally coming out after all these years, buried under this facade that I’ve created to hide from the world or maybe it really is the meds. I know that without the meds, I am this quirky, clumsy, somewhat nerdy, adventurous, sometimes careless girl that skips around life making it as simple as possible but attempting to make it fun at the same time. And right now I’m just on an even playing field with no mountains to climb or planes to jump out of and nothing to write about, really.

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But that is the challenge, right? To pull something out of nothing. To be creative without your fuel source to bring things to light. That’s when real creativity comes in. When you are your true self and you can create something wonderful. I would like to be able to write and be creative without being down in the dumps or some sort of life event happening. I don’t want to rely on my emotions to get my gears working. Is it the same thing as finding inspiration in anything that comes your way? Whatever it is, I want to be able to keep going no matter what mood I’m in. At the same time, I have to find that me again. The one that likes to go out on adventures and explore life to its full extent and not let anything stop me, including my meds. First it was a battle with my emotions and getting a handle on them, now it’s a battle with what moods my meds get me into. Will I ever be happy? (Rhetorical question).

Hawaii is a less than a week away and I am excited! I’ll probly have lots to write about considering all the adventures we’re going to have from riding ATV’s, zip lining, snorkeling and jumping off a 40′ cliff into the ocean. But then what happens after that? Life goes back to normal. Back to the same daily routine day after day until the next adventure I guess? That’s the thing, how can we make everyday life more interesting? I know there are so many things that I could do but, and I’m not making this an excuse but she is one of my priorities, I gotta take Mochi to the park everyday and let her mingle with her doggie friends. I want to do that for her. So with that being said, that makes my schedule a little more difficult to navigate. I can’t do anything til after 7pm. I’m not trying to put a downer on life, like everyone else, I just have to find a healthy balance. I’m sure there are plenty of things that I could do after 7pm, I just have to find them.

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Well I’m off to Hawaii on Friday… maybe I’ll write while I’m there, maybe I won’t. So if anything, I’ll write when I get back. Aloha!