Tag Archives: meds

Hard NO on gabapentin ever again. **Trigger warning – self-harm thoughts**

I really need to remember (and underscore) that psych meds and I really don’t play well together.

I’ve noticed, and been able to label, psychotic thoughts getting stronger with each dose… The biggest “aha” moment came tonight after my evening dose (#3 in total) when I scratched an itch on my scalp, and thought “I should just rip it off”, and I pictured myself ripping off a large chunk of my scalp to relieve the itch. That is not a normal thought!

I may be experiencing psychotic thoughts, but I’m aware enough to recognize them as such.

After figuring that out, I did a quick Google search; apparently, psychotic agitation is a “rare” paradoxical effect of gabapentin…

References on this phenomenon:

There’s more out there, but I’m having trouble concentrating… My tongue is very present at the moment, and it’s flashing up a thought to “just chew it off to stop it from feeling that way”… Seriously not fun right now…

I feel like I might cry and laugh maniacally at the same time… My emotions are all over the place, mostly hypomanic & psychotic. I know I need to turn over and try to sleep, I just need to stop being scared of the thoughts. They are just thought. I don’t need to act on them. They will pass. I just need to let myself sleep…

Endings suck…

…Even stupid, meaningless ones that shouldn’t suck as much as they do.

Like tv shows that let you escape yourself.

And fictional characters dying.

Because they tug at the old hurt of all the losses that came before, and were actually meaningful…

It compounds when more than one loss is piled on at the same time. Then suddenly everything else comes flooding back, and it sucks…

The stupid, meaningless losses take on all the hurt and emptiness the previous ones left you with…

At least Lucifer wrapped up the series well, almost as if they were planning on ending it this season. They could take it further, but this is a good stopping point. They gave is the closures we needed to be able to walk away from the show satisfied.

Scorpion, not so neatly wrapped…

Totally left without closure; Chris passing away Monday. She had gotten through so many health issues over the years, ones that were true miracles she recovered as well as she did… I guess her body finally gave out. I’m not even sure if it was the cardiac issues, the kidney issues, the cancer, or something else that finally took her. Before this week, she had beaten cancer, recovered from kidney failure, and was recovering from bypass surgery… she and L were friends for a quarter century (give or take a year or two). I had only met her after I stated dating L, but she was an amazing person. She is greatly missed.

… Then the older stuff picks up; L’s dad, Chow, ButtButt, K & T, Floppers, Twigs, Tigger, Dizzy, Sugar Cane, Almond Joy… De, Chrispy, LKB… All the endings that were sudden, painful, and unresolved.

It all gets rolled into a giant ball that feels choking and overwhelming.

This time of year seems to hold a disproportionate amount of those losses…

And then there’s July 7th (the anniversary of K’s death, and almost 14 years later, my first suicide attempt… there were only ever 2 thought-out attempts where it was a conscious choice. Anything else resembling one was an impulsive, desperate attempt to find some peace, but not necessarily an attempt at ending my life… I blame it on the meds. I’ve never done anything like that when I wasn’t spiraling out of control on psych meds. Even when I was ridiculously depressed, I never gave in to the impulse when not on psychotropics. They work wonders for some people, but I am not one of them)…

Back to the original point of this post: grief sucks. Losses suck. Especially when the biggest, earliest ones were never resolved…

The thought of psych meds makes my chest tight

​I’m going to see my pcp about trying an antidepressant again. It’s kinda freaking me out. The last time I was on meds regularly for this, I pretty much lived in one psych hospital or another… I haven’t been that bad since coming off all meds 5 years ago. I really don’t want to get back to that space again. :/

I dunno what’s better; dealing with ridiculous depression and anxiety, or risking another revolving-door hospital experience. Dr C thinks it might work out better this time, especially if I stick to just an antidepressant. But that’s how it started last time… I might plan ahead and insist Dr S not prescribe anything after like 6 months, and nothing other than an a/d… and maybe agree that if I end up hospitalized at any point, we work on stopping the meds immediately instead of tweaking or adding. 

therapy today (really long-winded… sorry)

As much as I was dreading today’s session, it actually went ok.  I was able to tell TL that I seemed to have developed a lot of anxiety around therapy. I was able to tell her that I was in no way shape or form interested in having to be the one to continue to seek out additional services for myself (she pictured it as being “empowering” while I simply see it as a chore.  People here don’t like to return calls, answer their phones, or generally be helpful in any way when it comes to a client securing services for herself. I was a bit snotty about it, for which I feel like an ass, but I was able to let TL know that I was really tired of phone calls and playing tag with people. I was tired of begging for help for myself, and I just had zero energy or motivation to do any of it.  She seems ok with being the one to make the calls after we each explained our positions on the subject… I just wish I hadn’t been such a jerk about it)… I had hoped for some more structured and therapeutic groups, but apparently she is ok with simply having social things going on.  I told her I was not likely to go to many of them, as I had done that search myself and come up with little that seemed interesting.  I was not able to tell her that I really need something with more accountability, someplace I would be missed if I didn’t show, and someplace I could be more genuine (less “smiley-happy-normal-chick” and more of the “I-really-hate-the-world-and-myself-right-now-chick”), and find more support… She even asked if this was the kind of “extra help” I had asked about, but I wasn’t able to be honest about it.  I think part of me is still really scared about what that may lead to.  I’m still really bent on not wanting any reason to be inpatient here, especially when all they do is trap you and drug you. There’s no therapy, no support, and they treat you like you know nothing about anything.  Currently, I need more therapy, not less…

We then switched gears and TL plowed through the rest of the intake packet that I am assuming she is under pressure to have finished asap. Most agencies give therapists a month in which to complete them, and this would be the end of said month.  I say this not only because she was pretty bent on finishing it, but also because she was willing to stay nearly an additional hour to make sure she got through it all.  I’m really hoping she did not have another client in that time slot (I doubt it, because she was aware of when and how far we were going over time).  She tried to get some goals out of me, but I think I spaced. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have identified wanting to deal with the loss of De (and other losses) as one of my goals.  I would have also told her that I need help keeping afloat at this point. She suggested animal therapy, and we covered the expressive arts therapies possibilities too.  She is open to focusing on some art therapy activities next session. She also asked about music therapy (which I said I was open to, though not all that sure what it entails).  We talked about my personal goals in life, which brought up a way to try to convey how hopeless things feel at the moment.  She also asked about how things had gone in school, and when I felt that things changed.  I realized that (at least in the moment I was speaking about it), I did not feel any connection to any of my accomplishments.  I had originally said I did not remember them, but that wasn’t accurate. They simply did not feel like my accomplishments.  I told her about promotions at work, excelling in school even while I was falling apart. She countered that I clearly had remembered them, because I spoke about them to her.  I had to clear up that they did not feel like things I had done, though I know of them because of my resume, my transcripts, and people’s stories about my successes.  I wasn’t able to pinpoint the emotion behind it at the time, but now I recognize it as feeling like a fraud.  Looking back, I feel like I must have cheated, or had someone take pity on me to be able to move ahead.  I don’t see how any of that could have come on merit…

We talked about a bunch of other stuff too, but I don’t totally remember all of it… too mundane I guess.  We ended with her reminding me she needs to ask about my safety (I had disclosed suicidal thinking and planning in our first meeting, and since then she does a safety check-in each time).  I felt like I was watching myself talk to her from behind a curtain.  Words spilled out of my mouth that I had no intention of uttering in her presence… It was very disconcerting (actually, it happens a lot with her. I tend to say more than I mean to say, and feel like I have little control over what comes out). I not only admitted to a plan, but told her what it was(?!). She checked in on the barriers to that plan, and I was honest about them. They are some very real barriers, and likely will not disappear any time soon.  I admitted that since I came up with the more solid plan, the urgency to follow-through had dissipated.  I think it’s just a “security blanket” of sorts at the moment. I know as long as the option is there, any overwhelming situation can be escaped.  If that option is gone, everything feels a whole lot bleaker and more hopeless… We ended with an appointment made for next week, and a plan to try to get me to that Yoga class on Wednesday… I’m currently feeling very resistant to the idea, but things may change by Wednesday.

I really miss having the ability to write after session and have my therapist read it before the next time we meet.  I keep thinking I want to bring it up to her, but it’s another thing I am writing in a reaction to on her part, and it will be rejection (mostly because I know that there is little out-of-session contact allowed/encouraged at the agency, and I know all written communication must be filtered through the supervisor. I’m not sure I want 2 people having access to what I write, especially since I don’t know the supervisor). It made things easier with De though.  It gave me a way to be able to express things I wouldn’t have been able to speak, and to process things at my own pace rather than within the hurried hour.  I might bring it up to TL at some point, but I fully expect to first hear “I will have to talk to my supervisor” and then hear “it would not be appropriate, see if you can bring the important stuff in with you the next session”… :/  …back to really missing De again.  I had told TL that I did not think there had been one day in the past 2+ months where I had not cried. It came up in response to something that made her try to tell me crying was ok, and can be healing… She seemed a bit incredulous about the statement, as if it was impossible for me to be that depressed (because I didn’t present that way to her most of the time? because that level of depression for that long is pretty uncommon? I don’t know)… At the end of the session, she brought up the fact that I had mentioned Ativan was the only thing that seemed to really help (especially lately). She asked if I would be interested in meeting with the psychiatrist at any point in case I was interested in getting a “more thorough evaluation”. I had told her that I had met with the guy once, and I was under the impression that he either could not or would not prescribe the Ativan to me, and that he hadn’t really been helpful in coming up with anything else.  She pushed a bit, but seemed ok at leaving the idea to marinate for later.  I had told her early on that meds and I do not get along very well (much like DBT and I). I reminded her that even the Ativan only worked because I had not taken it with any real regularity over the past 3 years.  I would like to have more on hand because it helps immensely with the flashbacks and impulsiveness, but I highly doubt that the ARNP (he’s not actually a psychiatrist, but a psych nurse with prescribing privileges) would give it to me. Most doctors will not prescribe benzo’s unless they know you, and know you do not have a drug problem.  Even on the inpatient unit, the psychiatrist initially refused to prescribe me any while I was there.  I had to beg him and underscore that I was ok with him not prescribing anything for after discharge, but that I really needed it at the time to help make my stay more manageable… It’s not a drug often used to calm flashbacks or impulsiveness, but it is one of the only fast-acting meds that can dull all of that for me.  I wouldn’t mind talking to this guy if  I thought I could get a script from him for it, but I doubt it. And I really don’t want to have to go through the hassle of trying to remember all the meds I have tried over the years, and all their out-comes.  TL suggested that he may be able to suggest something I have not yet tried, and that it may work wonders.  I stifled a laugh… I had tried every drug and class of drug that they even remotely thought might work to stabilize me back when I was in the hospital more than I was out of it.  They had come to the conclusion that I was hopeless and the only course of action left to take was ECT… I refuse to go down that road again…

Grumble grumble grumble

TL called out sick today and rescheduled for Saturday.  It was so difficult getting to today. Now I have to get to Saturday.  Ugh. Going to try working on some art. Need some sort of release…

In the mean time, I’m tired but can’t sleep, so going the benadryl route again.  No ativan left because was using that to tame the body memories (didn’t have all that much left, barely 8 doses).  Now just going to utilize the benadryl. Hope it works…

what’s behind this?

Ok, so I know I have the connection of taking psych meds one day and being outrageously cranky the next.  My wife has noticed this, I have noticed this… But now it’s happening even with the Benadryl.  I have taken Benadryl for 2 nights in a row, and for 2 days in a row, I have been outrageously cranky.  Things that do not normally bother me have me ready to scream.  I really dislike this.  So what’s in these meds? What triggers this response in me?  It seems anything with a sedative effect triggers extreme anger in me.  I don’t like this. :/

coercion as standard “best practice” (vent/rant)

I thought about this all weekend.  I finally worked up the courage/resolve to call the IOP  that had refused to let me back.  In speaking with the case manager (who had never actually met with me in the 2 days I had been there), I was told that any consideration of readmission would depend on my agreement to take psychotropic medications.  She heard/listened to nothing beyond me refusing meds. I tried to explain that I have had really bad experiences on meds, and they tend to de-stabilize me more than I can do on my own.  I tried to tell her that I am better able to control my impulses and urges to harm myself when I am not taking anything. She brought up the meds I was discharged on from my inpatient stay.  I reminded her that I had only been given something for sleep.  I told her the only medication I was willing to take would be something as needed (for sleep or anxiety).  She tried to tell me that antidepressants were not PRN meds, to which I responded that I was not willing to take antidepressants.  She clarified that I was looking only for a program to provide support and not med management, then reiterated that I would not be accepted back to their program if I did not agree to take medications.  She asked if I had kept the med appointment the hospital discharged me with.  I told her again that I was not willing to take medication on a regular basis, so I did not want to waste my time (and a doctor’s) on a useless appointment.  The case manager told me she will call the original program she had mentioned to the hospital social worker to confirm whether or not they accepted my insurance.  She said that she would get back to me by the end of the day.

After I hung up with her, I thought of who I may be able to contact about my change in presentation once off meds.  Clearly, because I have an mh diagnosis and am refusing medications, I must not know what I am talking about and simply be resistant to treatment.  I need a professional with credentials to tell them that I tried way too many meds, and they all just mess with me.  I think I may contact the IOP I attended several times and ask for my records.  I may also contact my old therapist and see if she would be willing to speak with whichever service provider I end up trying to utilize…

When the case manager called back with some referral numbers for me, we again spoke a bit about medication options and the things I had tried.  She spewed one of my most hated lines: “There has to be some combination or med that you have not tried that would work, you just have to find it.”  Why is it so difficult to understand that I am no longer willing to put my life on the line to go through more chemicals that make me worse instead of better?  Why is it so difficult to believe that meds do not work for everyone, and sometimes people just need support and talking?  The other numbers she gave me also all have a med requirement… ugh!  Maybe if I just tell them I am willing to sit down with a psychiatrist to talk about options, I will be able to get in somewhere?  The issue then becomes whether or not they discharge me for refusing to take anything.  L had suggested I accept a prescription for something along the lines of citalopram (Celexa) and just never fill the script or take the med.  I don’t want to lie to my providers.  That just seems counter-productive.  I may end up having to do that though.  I really still want the added support of a day program at least through the holidays.

The practice of forcing people into a corner to get them to take medication is very frustrating, and I will argue also very unethical. Why is it so common practice in mental health?  A physician could not coerce me this way if it were for a physical ailment.  I am allowed to search for non-medical alternatives to physical ailments, but it is out of the question for mental illness.  I hate that they are allowed (and encouraged legally) to force unwanted treatment, even to the detriment of the client/patient…


I have found a few resources on life with mental health issues without meds since I have chosen to stop taking those prescribed to me, and refuse to return to them for anything more than the occasional PRN (as needed).  I feel lucky that I have a family that supports my decision (backed by my continued over-all improvement).  I know that even if doctors or the courts were to try to force me into it, my family would stand up and fight for my right to refuse any treatment I disagree with… Some people don’t have that support.

I was reading a blog on the coercive and abusive nature of the psychiatric industry here in the US.  While I experienced some of that living up north, I see more of it down here.  When I had sought help last week in the form of a brief inpatient stay, I was told by the psychiatrist that “people can’t be in the hospital without meds!”  I agreed to let him prescribe something for sleep and something for anxiety (though he only wrote the sleep script, and I refused it 2 out of the 4 nights I was there).  Meds can have a time and a place, as I really needed something to help with the flashbacks Saturday night after they had restricted all my other coping skills while there (I was unable to talk to anyone without being blamed or preached at, I was not allowed to watch TV as they had “closed” the day room for the night, I could not call my wife before they closed the day room because I could not make a long-distance outgoing call, and no one was willing to make it for me, I had no access to music, I was not allowed to draw or write because it was “too late”… that left my option at: continue to escalate my discomfort with the flashbacks or take something to knock me out… I opted for the meds.  I’m pretty sure they do this on purpose to keep people reaching for the pills).  I watched more than one patient get drugged to the hilt because they were agitated or annoying (one man was on 100mg of Haldol shots every 4 hours because he was mischievous (just to give you an idea of how much that is, the guy was similar build to me, but if I were to take 5mg pill of Haldol, I would be out for 3 days… they gave him 20x’s that every 4 hours), but really, what do you expect us to do when you only provide entertainment/engagement for max 4 hours out of a day.  There is 1 TV for 18 people, and if you don’t happen to like what’s on when someone else picks the channel, you are stuck being bored).  There are 3 phones, but you can’t really call out (and how much time can one person spend on the phone anyway, especially when 17 other people are also trying to communicate with people).  Access to books, art supplies, music, and supportive others is severely limited.   Staff are short-tempered because they are burnt out and working with limited resources… So yeah, they medicate people to shut them up.  It’s easier to deal with a unit full of drooling, asleep patients than it is to try to provide even brief therapy.   Psychiatrists admit that most meds do not take full effect for several weeks, but they discharge patients after a few days of “stabilization”… So how are those meds really helpful at that point?

Once again, I’m saying our mental health system needs an over-haul. I think we need more focus on therapy and providing social supports for people.  We need less focus on lining pharmaceutical companies’ pockets with cash.  We need to listen to people.  We need to hear their stories and help them work through whatever it is that is causing this pain.  Meds can be used primarily as short-term interventions, but ultimately leave it up to the patient to decide.  I hate when a provider asks “Do you think the benefits out-weigh the side-effects?”  because they never want to hear “no”.  They only say that to make us feel like we have a choice, and are choosing to feel better by taking meds.  The truth is, most of the side-effects are not less hazardous or annoying even when weighed against the “benefits.”  Is feeling numb or drugged or insatiably hungry all the time really better than feeling waves of incredible depression?  To this day, I maintain that I have more control over myself and my impulses without medication.  The years since coming off them have proven that.  I no longer move to OD or attempt before I ask for more support.  I can think clearly through problems, and easier identify poor lines of thinking (even if I don’t necessarily work to change them at the time).   The few times I have taken even sleep or anxiety meds this past year, I have found my mood is exponentially more labile and uncontrolled.  I get irritable and lash out without a thought to the consequences of my actions.  A few days after having taken my pill, I find I blow up without provocation.  Once the meds have been processed from my system, I am back to my “normal” self – able to control my temper, which I had never had a problem with before starting meds. That processing time by the way, it’s much longer than they tell you.  Doctors will say many of the meds leave your system in a few days after stopping.  The truth for me is that they affect me much longer.  Trazodone, when used for sleep, is supposed to wear off within a day (according to numerous psychiatrists and a few of my therapists).  It takes my body up to a week to get rid of the effects of having taken it only once.  The longer I take it, the longer the effects last in my system.  The last “regular” med I took caused my body to withdraw from it for months even though I had only taken the med for about 3 weeks.  The over-all expected effect may wear off faster, but the side-effects and withdrawals can last much longer than they tell people.

Sadly, the mental health system is coercive in more ways than simply pushing meds.  In FL, you can be Baker Acted for simply “appearing to have a mental health problem”.  This means that a person can be held in a locked psychiatric facility for up to 72 hours while professionals decide if you actually are a danger to yourself or others.  Many times, they will medicate first, and make the decisions later.  If you refuse meds, you are considered “resistant to treatment” or “non-compliant” and can be deemed “problematic”.  Those labels will then increase your chances of being held longer.   The doctor at my most recent hospitalization made it clear that if I chose to refuse even the prescription of medication, I would be held under the Baker Act until I “accepted the help.”  Prior to my voluntary hospitalizations in SFL, I was involuntarily hospitalized several times (a few without merit, but since the psychiatrist was not on the DBT bandwagon, she deemed me a danger to myself and I was hospitalized for 7 days.  Had she bothered to look into the DBT goals, she would have realized that I had accomplished a lot that weekend and not actually been a danger to myself because I held things in check).  I was also threatened with being forced into ECT treatment after I refused to undergo the procedure voluntarily.  The doctor bullied me and threatened me (while I was involuntarily hospitalized under his care) for 5 days before he could not find other psychiatrists to concede I was incapable of making my own decisions.  Had I not felt as strongly, and not been as educated about my current condition and the uses of ECT, I would likely have given into his tactics just to shut him up (I guess being terrified of my dad for all those years, then learning to stand up to him, helped me stand up to this jerk).  There were times during his tirades that made me wonder about his own sanity.  When asked to provide studies and evidence that proved ECT was effective in treating addictions, or actually recommended for abuse/child sexual abuse trauma survivors, he told me it was my responsibility to look that up myself (please keep in mind he knew I had no access to journals, the internet, or any research information while on this locked unit, but still felt I should be the one looking it up).  It made me wonder if there was any evidence at all to back his claims.  I asked my family to look it up for me, and then I continued my search once out of the hospital.  I have yet to find any articles (peer-reviewed case studies or scientific research) proving that he was correct.  I had found several articles saying that ECT was in fact contraindicated for abuse survivors, but not a single one saying it was more help than hurt.  I had to fight this battle against a “professional”.

I think a huge problem today is that we, as providers, have fallen into a rut with our available treatments.  Money talks, and no insurance company is willing to pay for novel treatments.  There are very few funding sources for research into any new treatments, and large-scale studies need funding.  Students and researchers need to live after all.  They need to support themselves, their families, and their work.  They need people to take risks in backing the trial-and-error needed to come up with viable alternative solutions.

My idea for a competent and flexible treatment center is ever-evolving.  The more I learn about treatments that don’t work, the more I wish I had the knowledge, funding, and resources to provide options to others (and myself).  I know I need to work on my own stuff before I can initiate such an under-taking, but I don’t have the funds to find and hire people I think could actually help me.  Ideally, I would want a safe place to intensively work through all the crap in my head.  I want that safe place to allow me to utilize my known positive coping skills, but also help me develop new ones.  I want to have the option of talking about, communicating about, and sorting through everything that comes up when we open the topic of my traumas.  I want to be able to do that daily, or even several times a day.  I want to be able to take a break from it for a few days if it gets overwhelming, and not be deemed “stable enough” to be discharged.  I want to be able to have someone gently guide me back to dealing with things after a break.  I want to be able to face my triggers and work on coming through them safely on my own, but I also want to know there’s support there if I can’t accomplish that.  I want access to music and my social network.  I want access to my animals.  I want to be able to get out into nature (on my own or with someone else, depending on the situation).  I want to be allowed to cry, and learn that I can safely do that in front of another person.  I want to have people challenge me to get through things without resorting to self harm, OD, suicide, or PRN medications, but I also want them to support me if I do slip up and cut or need to take something for anxiety.  I want to have access to art therapy, music therapy, “alternative” therapies (basically anything that is not the western medical model), meditation, and holistic options.  There are places out there that offer much of this, but don’t accept insurance or payment plans.  That limits their treatment to the independently wealthy… and even then they limit what you can listen to, read, watch, or get support with…  If you happen to disagree with a “core” part of their philosophy, you might as well not show.  The place that looked best on paper had two major draw-backs: 1) it was self-pay only and very expensive ($16,000/wk and you are expected to stay a minimum of 4 weeks), and 2) you could only engage in recovery-oriented activities.  No music outside of meditation chants, no reading if it wasn’t directly related to recovery and treatment, and no TV or movies.  I’m a big proponent of diving head-on into your recovery, but every now and then your brain needs a break.  Even if I end up triggered or craving, it helps in the long run.  After all, I want to know how to handle those triggers once I leave the program.  Totally cutting me off from anything that may or may not cause a bump in my road to recovery only serves to disadvantage me once I leave the padded safety of the treatment center… but it’s a moot point anyway, I could never afford the place…

So yeah, we need to seriously re-think mental health care in this country.  Everyone is different.  Everyone responds differently to treatments, so let’s start catering to individuals… I just wish I had the resources and the voice to start the process.


Things came to a head last Wednesday, and I asked to go inpatient.  I got out yesterday evening.  My brain’s a bit numb at the moment.

It was an “interesting” experience.  The doctor became highly irritated when I said I only wanted the physical safety/containment without any meds.  He wasn’t listening to begin with, but then walked out as I was trying to explain to him why I was refusing meds.  Despite going in voluntarily, they set me to involuntary status as soon as I told then I was suicidal.  They changed that status back to voluntary the following day on the unit.

I have to say, as frustrating as the hospitals were up north, they are so much worse down here.  The doctors talk to you in passing.  There is no contact with the social worker outside of the initial bio-psycho-social assessment they rush through in 20 minutes or less.  There is no discussion about after-care that I was involved in (they simply told me what they were setting up, without ever asking me what I may be looking for or explaining their rationale).

Most of the stay was bearable, however I had difficulties with flashbacks one night.  I had already refused my sleep meds (I hated the way they made me feel, and the dose he had me on knocked me out for the whole rest of the next day) when they started.  I had no way to ground myself.  The day room had been closed for the night.  None of the staff wanted to talk to me (I’m sure they figured I was just trying to be difficult).  When I asked the nurse if I could still get the Trazodone, she told me she had already sent it back to the pharmacy and marked it as refused.  She said she “knew” I would change my mind about my refusal but did not want to re-order the med.  I told her I was having unexpected difficulties with flashbacks, and really needed some help to quiet them.  She sent me back to bed dismissively.   I chose to walk the halls, as it was lessening them a bit.  Finally, the tech came out of the nurse’s station to ask what was wrong.  When I told her, she insisted that I needed to pray.  I expressed my difference in opinion and requested that she refrain from talking to me about religion.  She continued to try to convince me that I needed to “turn to god” to get through things, all the while telling me it was my responsibility to have left the abusive relationships in my life… I must have asked her 5 times to stop before I finally walked away.  I returned to my room to sit on the bed (since walking the halls was no longer an option without being preached at).  The nurse arrived a few minutes later to tell me she had re-ordered my sleep med (at least the tech helped me out by talking to her).  The nurse proceeded to ask about the flashbacks, but chastised me for “allowing the assaults to happen”.  She told me I should no longer be effected by any of it, and that 17 years was long enough to “get over it… especially since it was [my] fault.” She also mentioned my lack of faith in her “god” as a reason I was still struggling with all of this.  She told me that, had I gone to the police (and church), I would be better off by now.  I took the meds and returned to bed.

It never ceases to amaze me how bigoted and just plain ignorant some people in the mental health profession can be.  It has taken me years to come to terms with not claiming all of the blame for myself.  I know I should have gotten out of the relationship sooner.  I know I should have told someone.  I know I should have been more forceful in my “no”.  But I wasn’t.  I can’t change that now…  and no amount of religious belief would have changed it, ever.

Needless to say, I’m glad I’m out.  It did what it needed to (get me over the hump of the worst of the suicidal thinking), and now I’m ready to move on.  I was not accepted back into the IOP program, as they deem me too much of a “risk”.  No other local program will accept my type of state insurance, so I will not be doing any type of day program (though the support would be nice).  De was off yesterday, so I am not sure if she will be referring me out or not.  They hooked me up for meds with the one place I refuse to have dealings.  I will not be following through with that appointment.  (I also refuse to take meds that only serve to make me more of a risk to myself).  I’m pretty much back where I started in terms of supports assuming I can still see De for individual.  The mental health care system down here needs some serious over-haul.

Also, I was reminded again of the dismissive attitude of health care workers when you are struggling with mental illness.  My cold returned while on the unit, and it took me being unable to get through the 30 seconds with the doctor without coughing violently to finally get cough medicine.  I asked to get something for an ear-ache and sore throat as well, but my requests were flat-out ignored.  I asked my nurse each shift, I asked the doctor, and I told the techs (hoping ONE of them would at least believe me) to no avail.  They seem to think all symptoms are a result of my diagnosis, and nothing other than that needs to be addressed.  I will end up having to find a walk-in clinic that takes my insurance and hope that they will be able to do something for the ear ache…  I miss my providers up north, at least they listened.

little shards of triggers scattered about the “maybe” garden, watch your step… **tiggers**

wishing therapy was tomorrow and not Tuesday… it feels so far away, though I am not sure what I hope to get out of it.  Mental quiet? or a place to tie up the loose ends left unfurled from Friday? maybe put things back into their neat little boxes in the back of my emotional closet?  Or maybe it’s all of the above, as well as a validation again that shit will fall apart before it gets better.

Maybe it’s that I want to make my pictures come true, but that would be a poor choice, so I need to tell someone about it.  Maybe it’s that I need to find someone who is not wrapped up in all that is daily life.  Maybe I just need a safe place to rest while I catch my breath from all this running to escape my head.  Her office is a quiet place.  As hectic as emotions can get in there, it still feels safe to go there in that room.  It’s dim and comfortable and safe… It reminds SJ of her closet.  Or maybe that’s just how we see a safe place: dark and quiet and soft.  She was summoned a week ago, and I think she now feels safe enough to come out, but only there.  She’s so fucking sad.  And the other is desperate.  And it feels all separate, but all together at one time.  The compartments only meld sometimes.  The wall cracks, or the screens are down, or the ice melts, or whatever you want to call it, but it only happens sometimes.  I don’t want to be trapped back there, but it’s nice to have some congruence between the conscious and unconscious.   There really is a lot that goes on behind the scenes all the time, but I only ever know the details when I’m let in… kinda like peeking behind a heavy curtain – you could hear the muffled conversations before, but now you see the whole stage and know what’s really happening.

Why is it that music has to reflect the inside?  It enhances the experience; brings a beginning, middle, and end.  It allows the walls to disappear for a while.  Everything has its own soundtrack though it can change over time and slight shifts in mood.  Why is it that music depicting situations reminiscent of the past bring comfort, even when it’s not necessarily a comforting song?  What is it about the music and lyrical combinations that lull the panic?  Why does a song about abuse, or self harm, or suicide, or rape bring such relief to the chaos?  The only thing I can think of is the definite course of the song – there’s no threat of being lost in it forever because the song always comes to an end; there’s always an out.  Real life is not like that.  Real emotions are not like that.  They float and coalesce around you.  They take over and drown you. Music gives it all an end.  But that doesn’t explain why those types of songs are comforting.  I get that they keep things from lasting, but why go with enhancing the emotions in the first place?  Is it relating to the music?

Did I ever mention that, while growing up, I always imagined myself with an abusive military husband?  I don’t know where the image came from, it was just always there.  I would fantasize about having the crap beaten out of me by my husband.  He was always in uniform, and we were always on some military base.  I always just took the beatings,  sick fantasies.  Fantasies are supposed to be positive.  Mine never were, just a bunch of daydreaming about abuse (I used to call them “daymares”).  No one ever helped in the fantasies.  It was just what I deserved in them.  Maybe being military gave my brain more of an excuse to have him be so abusive?  And it was always a fantasy of being married to a man, though I never felt love for whomever he was… I think even then I knew I was gay, just didn’t really acknowledge that to myself (the times I can remember playing house as a kid, there was never a husband, just “friends” living together and the husbands were always gone away or simply non-existent – dependent on the other girl’s preferences).

I have other “daymares” these days… they suck equally badly, though differently. Again, no real relief in a timely manner (if at all).  I don’t consciously fall into them these days, but they come up if my mind wanders.  They are not flashbacks, because none of them have actually happened, but more like very vivid daydreams.  Flashbacks happen too, but they are more emotional these last few months (they have tamed themselves in visual and auditory content, but not at all on the emotional front). Wait.  (in Gru’s voice) Liiiight-bulb!  THAT’s what went on today!  I thought it was all out of no-where, but I’m pretty sure it all connects to the past in a huge way.  When I explained it to L earlier, I told her it was just all the stuff piling up. It really was.  Gotta love finding explanations for seemingly trigger-less things.  I just have to figure out what the triggers to it were (most likely the mounting feelings of inadequacy, frustration, depression, and resentments).  The image of huge iron bars on all the windows and doors had come up earlier in the week, and intensified after therapy on Friday.  Maybe knowing that will dampen the effects for the rest of the night.  And maybe it will help quell the self-harm urges (the desire to see blood is insanely intense today… lots of it.  The desire  to have it almost all drain out is very prevalent, but not acting on any of it).  The desire to be high is also really strong.  I wish I had access to hallucinogenic herbs, or at least quality pot… I miss the feeling it gave.  I miss the floating and detachment and happiness (it felt so genuine and un-tethered to the depression).  They wonder why so many mental health issues run comorbid with substance use/abuse… that stuff works better than any meds they provide (and some have fewer side effects).

Fuck, all the emotions and urges are a huge jumble again.  I had hoped my realization that it is all an emotional flashback would help lessen the blow.  It did for about 5 minutes.  Everything’s back now.  I wish I had called out of volunteering for tomorrow.  I’m not sure I will be in the head-space to be useful.  Generally, when the walls crumble and the awareness blends, I become wholly useless.

Anyway, speaking of volunteering, I should try to sleep so I can pretend to be useful tomorrow… and maybe it will make the day go faster so I can get to my appointment on Tuesday already.  I was going to just show her this entry, but I’m not totally sure I want to do that now… We will see.

Huffington Post Hears Voices – All Weekend

I like this perspective and def. want to look into it more… A few of my former residents came to mind when reading this…

recovery network: Toronto

Eleanor1It’s Hearimg Voices Weekend at Huffington Post. Well, not quite but close enough. The whole weekend Huffpuff is featuring Eleanor Longden’s mind opening TED talk. There’s an op-ed by Eleanor – repeated below – and pieces by regular  Huffbloggers. 
go read,
go listen.

About ten percent of us hear voices. Any of us can at some point – especially around or after difficult life experiences. [eg about half of those in a long -term marriage will hear, see or otherwise sense the presence of their deceased spouse].

Some cultures regard it as a gift, or even normal – in some it’s those who don’t talk about the voices they hear who are regarded as troubled or strange. 

Literature is filled with references to the voice in my head, Ray Bradbury said that “all writers hear voices – or they couldn’t do dialogue” and there are hundreds of songs.

So, why…

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I’m still incredibly tired of all this

I’m so tired.  I don’t want to do this anymore.  I don’t want to fight the urges or the depression.  I don’t want to put effort into living anymore.  The only thing is, the depression is taking a backseat to the rage.  I would take the depression over the anger and rage any day.  At least I know what to do with the depression.  I don’t know what to do with the anger…

I want to sleep, but I can’t.  Even when I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I lay awake all night.  If I take any meds, I am either rage-full the next day, or I can’t wake up at all for the next 16 hours or so.  I hate that there is nothing in the middle.  There is no simple good night’s sleep.  I don’t want to do this anymore.

I actually feel better about my dad than my mom at the moment.  That’s scary and not how it is supposed to be.  Apparently my mom is angry about a whole lot of stuff, but she’s not telling us any of it except in cryptic outbursts once a month.  Them everything becomes uncomfortable and tense.  At least G apologized.  Heaven forbid mom explain herself or admit any over-reaction on her part.  She doesn’t feel like she should explain herself, and we should be able to read her mind about what is wrong.  Well guess what?  I’m not into mind reading.  I’m tired of bending over backwards to include her when it just pisses her off.  If she wants to simply be people that happen to share a house, fine.  We can do that.  I’m done making an effort to reach out to her when it’s always met with a sour face and annoyance.  She’s never happy with anything.  Nothing is ever good enough for her.  I’m done trying.  If she wants to hang out or do something or be more involved while we are here, she needs to make the effort….

I felt totally brushed off by De on Friday, which was in complete contrast to Wednesday’s appointment.  I know it was just a check-in because my dad is down, but it was cut 20 minutes short.  What was the point of me wasting the gas to go down there then?  We could have done that over the phone.  And I don’t see her again until Friday.  Whatever.

I’m so tired and so raw…


I woke to the sounds of a storm around 12:30 a.m. and have not been able to fall back asleep.  I did go out to round up the outdoor kitties (they hate storms and getting wet), but now I’m wide awake still and it’s 2 a.m. my wife gets up in 2 hours and I take her to work. I normally would just let her take the car, but I want an escape option with G here visiting. I normally can’t fall asleep again after that until about another 2 hours later.  Then 3 hours after that I have to pick her up again. 
We have a full day ahead of us once she gets home.  (We planned it that way to minimize time with G to avoid conflict).  I’m glad we will be it,  but the thought of yet another long day on very little sleep is frustrating. 

I even saw the med guy yesterday, but he was not really any help.  He lowered my dose of sleep meds and of the anxiety meds.  I had hoped to change the anxiety med to something that did not make me so cranky, but we could not agree on an alternative.  I would prefer someone less flakey to prescribe them, but I will take what I can get for right now.  I still have no insurance or benefits of any kind, and no hope of getting any for at least a month. 

I called the state to find out what I need to do to apply for Medicaid, but she did not tell me It would be so complicated (they want me to do it online, but they have merged my mom’s case with my wife and I’s. The way to apply suddenly got way more confusing. It gets filled under my mom’s name, but with my info…) I have to call them again later today to get clarification on the proper way to do it. I wish they had done their job the first time and not just closed the application. Ugh.

De and I kinda touched upon the need for some higher level of care (php or iop), but I still don’t have benefits, so it’s a moot point at the moment. Also, I think I’m functioning ok right this second.  It may change in 2 weeks, but right now I’m ok. I do wish we could have more sessions regularly, but I’m not going to push it at the moment.  I don’t want to have to find another therapist all over again, and I’m not sure of her willingness/availability/ability to do more than one session a week outside of special circumstances…

My head won’t stop running.  :/ I know I need sleep, but my brain has other ideas (penguins don’t have knees right? What is the air speed velocity of an un-ladened swallow – African and European? Did i just spell swollow correctly if writing about the bird? Why do we call millipedes that when they only have a few hundred pairs of legs? Will the dog be able to get comfy and sleep on the floor if i kick her out of my spot? Or will she whine and complain? Can I find a massage place that will take me today to try to get the kinks out of my neck and back? Does any of this really matter at 2:15 a.m.?)… ugh!

Someone hit me over the head with something so I pass out already, please?!