Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pop Goes the Potty

Potty training...and birthday parties!

Potty training is a messy, messy thing. Older kid is going a pretty good job at it, he hasn't had an accident in weeks, and stands up to pee on a stool and everything. He can even pull up his big boy pants himself! But the number one problem is with number two...

He cant seem to go number two when he isn't sleeping. Which is a problem because that means we can't predict when he might go when he's awake. Because he doesn't. He sleep poops.

I asked our pediatrician about this, and he suggested putting him on the potty ten minutes before he naps, and ten minutes before he goes to bed. I've tried this, and all I have managed to get out of him are a couple of toots.

We have an award system for the kid; he gets a gummy bear whenever he successfully goes pee pee in the potty. It seems to be working, until he gets tired of gummy bears. But who gets sick of gel made from the melted bones and hooves of animals? Maybe I need to try a more vegan approach and give him Twizzlers instead...

The baby is the big ONE now! And walking around like crazy. It took him about two days to accomplish this. I mean, seriously, at least give me some warning before I have to go out and spend $40 on new shoes for you. I mean, at least the day before my nonexistent paycheck. We had a toned down party at my grandma's house, and do let me share the picture of my beautiful, cream cheese icing, triple fudge chocolate chip, hand made cake.

Hey, at least I tried. And it only cost me about $10 to make! Take that, Publix and your delicious chocolate iced cakes of wonderment.

James got plenty of gifts, and was extremely pleased with the bags and paper and Styrofoam that came with each one. He was also pleased with his smash cupcake.
 
How adorbs, really.
 
But now, I have to go. The baby (now one year old) is trying to bang on these keys while simultaneously chewing on a big block of said Styrofoam. More later!
 
Love you all.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Suicide, the Selfish Act

Robin Williams is dead.

I am sure the entire world knows by now that one of the greatest and most beloved comedians is dead. By his own hands. This was not a murder, this was not a jealous person committing homicide, this what not a wife lashing out at a husband, or a random drive-by shooting. This was a suicide.

A suicide. Death by your own two hands.

A selfish decision? I do not think so.

Someone I know the other day said, "What a waste of talent; a waste of life."
I could not disagree more strongly. Why can't we celebrate his life, or the wonderful things he left behind? It wasn't a waste, it was a wonderful, laughter filled life.

Also a life littered with depression.

What kind of disgusts me is what this has done. It has brought out strong opinions. On both sides. One side is saying "Finally! Suicide will be better understood, and mental illness will be normalized! Don't you see what it does??"

And then there is the more accepted view of "Suicide is selfish. It is wrong and unforgivable."

Well, I would say that most people who believe such idiocy have never suffered such deep depression, that you stare death in the face. And it looks really damn good.

I will go on and say that last December, during my postpartum psychosis episode, I considered it. And wrapped a tie around my neck. I wanted death. I wanted to die, I wanted the pain to end. I was so far gone, that the only thing keeping me tied to this world was God. I was to the point where even my children were not a reason to stay anymore. That is somewhere no one should be, ever.

I have considered it a few times, in fact. After suffering from anorexia and bulimia since 10th grade, the respect for yourself is pretty much gone, and you harm yourself thinking it will take the pain away. But then you get to the point where that doesn't do it for you anymore, and where else do you turn? That is when suicide happens. When you are looking at yourself in the mirror, and see in your eyes nothing but pain and sickness, and realize you are worthless. Not just to the world, but to yourself. And there is no point.

When people say that suicide is selfish, it literally makes my stomach twist. "You don't understand!" I want to shout. People are in pain, they are hurting and just want it to end. It is not just mental illness that brings that out. Terminal illnesses that bring large amounts of pain, when you lose a loved one, or chronic illnesses bring out the craving for the end of the pain.

Have you ever stubbed your toe, and it hurts so bad you cannot cry, you just sit there gasping and wondering when the searing pain will end? Yeah, take that and maximize it to one million. Then it would MAYBE be comparable.

Another reason this makes me so angry, is because i know this will remit. Why does it take a celebrity committing suicide to bring this out of the shadows? To somewhat break the stigma? I have seen statistics saying that help lines are getting more calls since Robin Williams' suicide. That is absolutely wonderful. But, realistically this will eventually fade. And we will step back into the dark of ignorance. And go back to hiding our depression, our anxiety, our postpartum issues, our mania. We will go back to self medicating and hurting ourselves more instead of seeking help and not being afraid of what friend or family will think or say.

I pray that does not happen, but it will.

This is why I am in school for psychology because, oh Lord I want to help people. I want to stop people from doing something like this. I want them to see there is help, there is hope, and that life is not just means to an end.

No one needs to hide. Not anymore.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Acceptance

So, everyone. It has been awhile, hasn't it?
I have been in a whirlwind of hospitalization, medication regulation, and, unfortunately, divorce.

I was hospitalized again, at the beginning of April. My depression was beginning to creep upon me again, and I went in practically begging for ECT to be given. Thankfully, my doctor talked me out of it.

"Just try it." she said, holding out the prescription of Wellbutrin to me. I was reluctant, because that was the same medication that had sent me into a manic tailspin before. We had agreed upon 150 mg instead of 300 mg. "If in four weeks you are not feeling better, come back here and we will dicuss another series of ECT."

That was on April 8th, and I have not been back.

I did spend my birthday in the hospital. It was very sad, but my fellow patients made me a card, signed it, and sang me happy birthday during recreational therapy. There is always a sense of camaraderie in there. Maybe because we are all suffering, so we all understand how badly we all need someone who understands and will not judge us, just because we have a diagnosed mental illness. We are all running the same race, just with different shoes on.

It is now near the end of May, and I feel incredibly stable. I feel like I can now walk a straight line, instead of constantly falling and shaking. My sense of reality is clear, and I now see a future ahead of me without a hospital stay every month. I must remind myself, there is no shame in going back, when needed.

I am still battling depression. It is not so much that I cannot breathe. I just have to get away and cry, or just sit and absorb everything around me, and remind myself that things are going to be alright.

One great thing that my therapist has told me is, "we all are attempting to paint the same picture, the picture of happiness and satisfaction in our lives, but the brushes are all different." Everyone is struggling. Even that happily married couple you are friends with, or that succesful lawyer. Or that mom who seems so adjusted. You never know what is going on behind their closed doors. I have to remind myself every day people are having it way, way worse than you are right now.

I hope to continue writing this blog, I dropped out for awhile; things were just getting a little heavy for me.

I hope everyone has a great second half of the week. Cheers.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Where Am I Now?

Well, some time has gone by,

and I will admit, I have been ignoring my blog a little bit. I have been pretty busy, moving and just taking care of two young kids and all. But mostly, feeling back to myself again.

Well, not completely myself.

After ECT, my depression was obliterated. The suicidal part, I will say.  ECT put me into a temporary stupor of complete bliss. I had a totally ditsy, care-free personality, and almost no memories of the weeks I had the treatments done. I was happy as a clam. Once that faded, I just felt normal. But the psychosis left with me a searing emotional wound.

Now, I am left to deal with the aftermath of the depression. The healing process. Which will not be easy in the least bit. I cry daily. Over anything. I am left an empty shell, trying to grow my sense of motherhood back.

Every time I see a newborn baby, I am reminded that I lost that. I have no memories of James' newborn days. And not in that hazy, I-am-a-new-mom-I-get-no-sleep lack of memories, but the loss of memories that comes from having psychosis. It just simply never existed.

Every time I see someone breastfeeding, hear someone talk about it, I want to close my ears and disappear. I know, formula is wonderful, and without it, James couldn't eat, but breastfeeding is so important to me for bonding. Because of my medication, I can't do it. If James is crying, I can't do anything but rock him and pray he stops. There is no soothing breast to give him, no napping together after a good feeding, nothing. And that kills me, every time I remember.

So, now what? My therapist tells me that, to get through this healing process, I need to "live intentionally." I have no idea what that means. Even after she explained it to me, I STILL don't get it. So, I have decided to try to use my life to figure that out. That means, playing with my toddler more, trying to live in his world. Using my past experiences to help others. Going to lunch with my sister spontaneously. Catching up with friends I haven't talked to or seen in months. Maybe that is what she meant.

I hope to see myself in a better light in the coming months. Until then, I can just keep praying and moving forward.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ECT & Me

So, I sit here trying to get my thoughts together. It's not an easy task, especially after undergoing two rounds of ECT.

Eleven days ago, I went back into being inpatient at Carolina Center. We did the usual "how are you doing, why are you back, how is your medication working." Me, being fed up with being hospitalized for this mess, decided to go forward with ECT. It was a hard decision, but so far, I believe I have made the right choice.

On Friday morning, I was woken up around 5:45 am and given a Zantac and a Zofran for nausea. They give you this so you don't vomit and end up aspirating it during the seizure they induce during ECT. I was seriously nervous. I spent the whole night before just praying and giving the next morning up to God and hoping for the best.

After I took the medicine, I was led down several hallways, into a room named "ECT Suite." My heart was racing, and they showed me to the first of several beds in the recovery room. There were about seven other people there, and all seemed as nervous as me.

I had about six circular things stuck to my body and had wires attached to them. I got two electrodes stuck to my forehead and an IV put into my arm. Then, I waited.

I was second in line to receive my treatment. I was rolled through the double doors and into the treatment room. I talked with the doctors for a few minutes, and was laid back onto my bed. I breathed into an oxygen mask, and three breaths later, it all goes black.

I woke up in the recovery room, remembering nothing, but I had a searing pain radiating from my chin to my right jaw joint. I had no memory loss to speak of, and felt somewhat different, but not much.

Now, after my second treatment I had on Monday, I feel a difference. My thoughts don't race as much, my emotions aren't as raw as they were during the depression, and my hopelessness is starting to melt away. But, I do have memory loss. I don't remember yesterday morning at all. I am having some trouble with word recall and putting sentences together. But, if it came down to choosing between contemplating suicide daily and having issues thinking of the word "microwave", which would you choose?

This treatment is not for everyone, but I can really feel a difference already. I am excited about my upcoming treatments; my next one is tomorrow at 9:00! I will be done by April, and will be ready to celebrate a really happy birthday, and start enjoying life with my children again.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Road to Recovery

So, my antidepressant gets kicked up tomorrow. I have noticed it makes me seriously panicky, and it has destroyed my appetite. I feel as though I have to remind myself to eat.

Tomorrow I am also going to start weaning off of my antipsychotic, and to be honest I am super scared. It has been a crutch for over two months now and I am afraid of relapsing into my psychosis again once I am done with it.

But, as much as I am afraid, I am excited. If they think I am ready to start minimizing my medicines, that's a good thing. It means I am showing signs of recovery, and that my mind is mending itself. As one of my psychiatrists put it, psychosis is like a broken arm. First you put a cast on to stablize it, then you slowly move down to a brace, then eventually it is healed enough to be on its own.

I am confident in my doctors that this is the right decision. I am still fighting daily awful anxiety and depressive thoughts, but I am now getting breakthroughs of light and hope each day as well. So that in itself is recovery.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Seeing the Light

The power of prayer. It is an amazing thing. I truly believe that prayer and medication was what got me through this.

Today is the first day I am seeing the light.

Exactly three months ago today, my psychosis started. Exactly three months ago today, I descended into my own personal hell. My heart broke, my mind betrayed me, and my soul seemed to be shattered. I was someone else.

Today, I feel hopeful. I feel happy. I feel like I am coming through to the other side. This day is the first day that I have had no psychotic or depressive symptoms whatsoever. I found myself smiling at my newborn, and feeling pure joy. I have not felt that since he was born. I played with my oldest, genuinely enjoying it. God is good.

God is good, all the time!

I thank anyone and everyone thinking of me and praying for me throughout this hard time. I believe in miracles, and this was one.

Praise be to God.