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.

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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.

life’s roller coasters

It’s been over a month and I haven’t got much to say only that life has been one massive roller coaster in the last few weeks. My last post mentioned my ongoing ordeal with depression and medication that hasn’t failed on me for 5 months, actually 6 months. Well I spoke too soon and now I am I’m in the process of changing medication again because they did fail on me. Sadly because of my depression, I am skeptical of any good changes that will take place until they actually do and I feel normal again.

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At the beginning of the month I was doing perfectly fine. Did my volunteer work and took pictures at a kid’s birthday party, got my Likin Park tattoo, I even planned a couple of days off to myself. One day I took Mochi to the dog beach and hung out with my cousin the rest of the day. The next day I went to El Matador State Beach in Malibu with a friend and even took a bit of a fall and scratched up both my arms on some rocks without breaking my $700 camera, phew, that was close. Went shopping the day after that.

All of a sudden, it hit me like a ton of bricks waaaay out of left field. The next day I was in bed all day, didn’t want to do anything, didn’t want to see anyone, didn’t want to talk to anyone, just leave me alone! As the days passed by, the depression got worse. I have a new ghost that hangs around and my demons are back. I’m afraid of my own room again. I’m afraid of looking in the mirror again. I have this heavy weight on my shoulders, emotionless, lifeless, I had no motivation to do anything, no motivation for life. Everything I did was forced. Even taking Mochi to the park was a huge task. I don’t want to run or train anymore. My half marathon coming up doesn’t matter to me anymore. I don’t care. I just don’t care! I thought about getting the semicolon tattoo at some point and it would be a promise to myself that I would never cross that line, but for some reason that promise is hard to swallow and I couldn’t get passed it. So why do it if I can’t even keep a promise to myself? My doctor says that these feelings will go away again once they get my medication back on track, I just gotta hang on and wait it out. And all I can think of is it’s in one ear and out the other. Like I said I’m skeptical about the change of medication working until maybe the third try… until then… I’ll just be indifferent about the whole thing.

 

back into the swing of things

So I am training for the Disney half marathon in September, or so I was. I started back in May and I had this gigantic, nothing could stop me type of attitude and motivation for something that I have never thought of ever doing in my life. When I had first mentioned this so called half marathon to some of my family members, they were somewhat afraid for me. Maybe because I am a sickly person and I have a slight case of asthma and I haven’t worked out in a very long time. Physical and mental battle or not, this half marathon wasn’t going to scare me one bit. I downloaded a training schedule that Disney had graciously provided for beginners and it pretty much lays it out for you; when to run, how long to run, and so on, all the way to how your form should be while you are running. This was great since I’ve never ran a marathon before, let alone know where to begin when it comes to training. Oh and I bought a fitbit to go along with tracking my progress through all of this and invested in proper running shoes.shoes

So fast forward back to May 2nd, the first day of my official training. Ready to run the first 2 miles of this half marathon journey? No, not really, but I’m going to go for it. Off I went, and boy did I realize how out of shape I was. I didn’t even get to the end of the block before I started huffing and puffing and had to start walking. After my first mile, all I could think about was can the second mile just come to me and I can be done with it? The first couple of weeks were a challenge to get through. After that it got easier and it became a part of my normal routine. Tuesday, Thursday evenings or every other day, whatever worked out. It was perfect, after getting home from work it was straight to the park with Mochi for an hour or so, then back home and off I went to run my easy pease two miles. I actually looked forward to the days I ran. On the weekends, the training schedule started with two miles and added a mile every week. I started feeling more energized, sleeping better and just an overall extra burst of good moods. Then SMACK dab right in the middle of training I get hit with a bad case of bronchitis. I didn’t have the body aches or fever, but I had the sniffling and coughing and the worst part, it was affecting my breathing. I still had the energy and still felt like running, but I had to stop myself and let my body rest. Gosh darn it. This thing had me out for two weeks.

So I’m all better now and I have to get back to training. OH MY GOSH is it so hard to get my motivation back. I’ve been sitting on my butt for two weeks and my body just got used to not doing anything. I’m on my first day back to running and my legs have become permanent weights that don’t want to move and my feet are just blocks of cement. Still I push through and I feel like I’ve started back to the first day of training. As if I haven’t even trained one day for this marathon. Oye vey. I feel it all over, my energy is down, my sleep is not the same, I’m tired during the days. Am I being too hard on myself? Well of course! the marathon is two months away! TWO MONTHS! That’s not a very long time and the long runs on Saturdays are getting longer and there is no way in hell am I even close to being ready for it. Okay there I said it. The first glimpse of me actually being scared of this half marathon. I mean I don’t want to do this marathon and be one of the last ones to finish. I mean my goal is to finish, this is, after all, my first half marathon, heck, my first running event ever; I just don’t want to be at the tail end of the marathon.

I have to find my motivation again. I didn’t run tonight just because I spent a little more time at the park with Mochi. Tomorrow is a two mile run day and Saturday is supposed to be 9.5 miles. I gotta find that motivation sooner or later.

 

on the up and up

It’s been a crazy month but that phrase doesn’t seem to change for me does it? but it’s ok, things are going good… it was bad for some time, maybe too long in my book but what is good without the bad? it’s what makes the good even better right?!? I do miss writing, i miss my random rants about anything and everything and my mind has been on soooo many road trips good and bad… half and half too… at this point I’m back to rambling before i even get to the meat of the subject but that’s how i normally am right? besides, what is normal? heck i don’t know? who’s to determine what that should be? and besides the normal ones are weird and the weird ones are normal… so there… if that doesn’t make sense to you… it’s not supposed to.. haha i feel like i’m finding myself again, i miss me, a lot! nice to have you back! it’s good to be back! i’ve made it another year, woohoo! i’m doing a lot better than expected of myself, medicine is doing its job.

15078677_10211575985380953_6371228842385683589_nso i’ve set some new goals… i submitted Mochi’s picture for a calendar for 2018, hopefully it gets on there. i submitted other pictures as well. The cats are out and about getting along with Mochi dog. I signed up for a Disney Half Marathon in September, a Hillsong Conference in November, and I’m back in my piano lessons… notice that these are all for the next year if not two so i’m doing some reaching here… that’s good cuz i used to not be able to look past one day. Oh yeah I switched jobs, back to my old job and I am much happier! feels like home. I feel like I made the right decision and I’m happy with my decision.

With All of that said there is still only one person to thank for all of this, God! God is and will always be there to support me, listen to my hearts cries, and answer my prayers. Last weekend at my retreat, with the help of Pastor Tim, he confirmed all of this for me. That God has always been there, that God has always listened, and that God answers prayers. Pastor Tim told me things that came from God that were some of my deepest darkest secrets and deepest prayers, and yet through Pastor Tim, God speaks to me. Faith grows that much stronger.

meds… helpful or harmful? that is the question

A couple of years ago, I had a concussion and had to be put on meds to help get me back to normal and control migraines. One was to reset the neurotransmitters in my brain or something like that and the other was to help control the migraines from becoming so severe. That was on top of other medications I was on for other things that I will not go into detail with. Yes, many people have their opinions about not taking meds and you should let your body take care of itself naturally or something along those lines. But… what if you really needed it? I mean, I’ve been a sickly kid my entire life. Not that it rules my life or anything but sometimes, in my case, the meds were needed. And it’s not like I wanted to be on them… I hate taking meds, I have trouble swallowing the smallest pills!

Anyway back to the original topic… so last year, I was told to stop taking the heavy meds and only use the back up for the headaches. Almost the same time, I stopped all other meds I was on. It’s been about a year now and I’ve noticed a change in me… as in I can’t process emotions, situations, and whatnot like I used to. Almost as if my brain and body hit a RESET ALL button. (I was only on the concussion meds for a year). So now I think I actually have to go see my neurologist again and figure things out… In the mean time, hopefully I can GET A GRIP and stay calm and try not to hit my head again.

Side Note – that concussion has affected my memory… I usually had a pretty good memory… these days people are telling me stuff that I normally would have remembered but don’t.