Stream of Consciousness

Demons in the Dark

I keep coming back to this one quote.

 

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.”
– Sade Andria Zabala

 

A few months ago, I decided to say screw it.

I’d had to quit my job. My health was terrible and I could hardly eat anything at all. I was feeling like I’d never be any good at my YouTube channel, even though I put in so much time, effort, and money. I ran out of money. I was obsessed with the fact that I’m turning 29 this year and I’m still not financially reliant.

My health had destroyed me. I couldn’t see any way out of my constant struggle to work with my health issues until it tore me apart and I had to quit.

How am I supposed to be a person when all I am is the impossible restrictions my body places on me, as it tries to stop me from living?

When bipolar depression and anxiety slither into every split second?

When the doctors’ only answers are, “I don’t know what else we can try”?

When I feel no enjoyment, only physical and psychological pain that I can’t escape?

So I gave into it.

The hopelessness, depression, doubt, and pain that swam just below the surface of my every moment, every thought, every forced smile.

 

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For a good month, I probably wasn’t the funnest person to be around.

I’m glad.

Because I’m sick of caring about everyone else to the point that I don’t exist.

So what if people are uncomfortable because I’m not faking a smile or pretending to be happy and peppy?

I BLOODY MATTER TOO!

I’d gotten fed up with putting on a face. Being what everyone else needed. With being so wrapped up in feeling like I had the responsibility to make others happy. Or that I was a bad person if I wasn’t in a good mood all the time (even though it was quite fine for others to have their mood swings).

Hadn’t I learned this lesson already?

 

So I spent a good month being depressed. Mad at God (knowing I was wrong to be mad at Him), fighting with myself over everything I felt, despondent. Hopeless. Angry. Crying. Sinking in emotions I hated, didn’t want. Wanted free from. 100% negative. Drowning in terror that this was all my life would ever be. The back and forth from Hell.

No matter what I did. No matter how hard I fought.

I got wrapped up in me and all that I’d been ignoring. Letting all the sickness I ignored take the driver’s seat. I was swallowed by the pain I’d denied.

 

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I can’t pinpoint exactly where I came out of it.

But I know I needed it.

I feel different.

More solid.

 

Trying to pretend I didn’t feel all these things, feeling ashamed that they existed inside me, and shoving them down – it hurt me. Gave these feelings power over me. And caring so much about being what others wanted just made it a harder trap to escape from.

 

I feel like too many of us feel like we’re a burden. A good vibes killer. A downer. Too much to love. Hard to love.

That’s absolute crap.

We are strong. We have so much to fight through. To deal with. We are not bad or wrong for feeling how we feel.

We don’t owe anyone a peppy attitude.

 

I mean, there’s a different between focusing on negative thoughts and bad things in life – and feeling your feelings instead of burying them.

There’s also a difference between feeling your feelings and taking them out on others.

 

There’s no reason for us to feel guilty or ashamed for having hard days. Hard weeks. Struggles. Pain. Doubts. Fears.

When we try to pretend we don’t feel these things, we give them a certain power over us. And they fester in the darkness of our souls. Until they’re bigger and stronger than us.

 

We don’t owe anyone being fake.

We owe it to ourselves to live inside our own skin.

Either that, or we lose ourselves.

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Stream of Consciousness

Doctors That Didn’t Treat Me Like a Human (it’s scary)

I recently had to get tested for covid (as I’m sick and someone around me came up positive) and what really struck me was the TREATMENT I received.

And not just me, my entire family.

My body thinks it’s job is to attack itself, so I’m not a very healthy person. I see a lot of doctors. And there are two times recently that doctors have just blown my mind in a bad way.

The second, was when going to get tested. It was outback of my doctor’s office, where they pointed for us to park, then disappeared for half an hour.

They were nervous, that was obvious, and I get it. I don’t want to catch the corona-virus and they don’t either. But they barely even looked at me or my family as we were getting tested. They had us get out of the car and sit in this little area they constructed right in front of us without saying a word.

They stood there talking with one another and entirely ignoring me. Like I’m not a human who is nervous that I might have a virus that is killing people, who’s sick, and about to have a swab jammed up her nose into her brain.

It’s like I wasn’t there. Like I didn’t matter. Like their fear of getting the virus was more important than the fact that someone was sitting there.

And again, I get it, doctors can’t get too attached to their patients or they’d get emotionally torn up. But pretending I’m a robot or not even there at all, is messed up.

To not even speak to me except to tell me to look forward and I can go now, is not okay.

 

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I see a lot of doctors who are AMAZING. So I know it’s not impossible to treat me like I’m a person with feelings and fears, too.

 

The first time this past month that a doctor blew my mind was when I went in sobbing, to talk about my mental health. To ask for help, again.

And INSTEAD

I found out from my primary care physician that my last psychiatrist has entirely messed up my medical history. It says I took a medication for a year, which I took once. It doesn’t detail why I had to quit taking mood stabilizers due to extreme symptoms. It doesn’t detail that he told me I needed to be committed and he couldn’t help me anymore.

Which – at the time I believed him, so I went to the hospital. The people who interview you to commit you or not were blown away and suggested I see a different psychiatrist. They said they’d get laughed out of their boss’ office if they tried committing me, and that I was doing great for all the health issues I was dealing with.

They also suggested I go see my regular doctor because they believed I was hallucinating simply due to lack of sleep, caused by a sudden case of restless leg syndrome (a symptom of the mood stabilizers, which no one ever mentioned, even though it’s a health issue my family all has). I DID go see my doc and she gave me a prescription and POOF I could sleep. And what do you know? My hallucinations went away.  Because of restless leg syndrome. Even though my psychiatrist said it was my bipolar and I needed to be committed.

 

Safe to say, I never saw that psychiatrist again. He didn’t listen to me, didn’t tell me what possible symptoms could happen, or really hear anything I had to say. I was pretty scared of the idea of seeing a psychiatrist ever again. So I just didn’t go see him anymore. I kept up with therapy and for years, I’ve been doing totally fine.

Yeah, depression and anxiety mess with me. But the mood stabilizers caused my other health issues to keep me from functioning at all and didn’t actually help the depression or anxiety AT ALL. So not taking them wasn’t a big deal to me.

Until I had a job that was messing with me for several bad reasons. It was a very unhealthy situation and I was in a lot of pain.

 

So here I am, asking my primary care doctor for help and then finding out my last psychiatrist had messed up my medical history.

But this was all backstory. This wasn’t what upset me!

It was my primary care doctor’s response to me.

She acted like I was a lying crazy person who obviously just didn’t have any integrity or memory power.

As if my psychiatrist was right and I must have…. FORGOT that I took a medication for a year??? Or that I was lying and filled a medication I wasn’t taking for a year (because, yeah, she insinuated I’d filled it and just not taken it)??? When in fact, I filled it ONCE and never again…

I’m on the bipolar spectrum. I don’t have the scary Bipolar 1 or 2 that some people have to deal with. Or even that third one that starts with a “c”. I’m simply on the spectrum.

I don’t have hallucinations unless I’m only getting 20 minutes of sleep a night for a month straight because of restless leg syndrome, caused by a mood stabilizer because my psychiatrist didn’t pay attention to my family medical history and decided to give me a medication that CAUSES restless leg syndrome if the patient has a family history of it. … (And restless leg syndrome didn’t go away just because I stopped taking the mood stabilizer. I now take a pill for it DAILY that helps most of the time.)

I don’t EVER have mania, only hypo-mania. I NEVER have had a psychotic break or delusions of grandeur or anything like that. I just feel A LOT of depression and anxiety and I FEEL TOO MUCH.

But my doctor was acting like I was a full blown crazy person who just must not remember what she did. *in a huge condescending tone*

I was blown away. How do doctors like this handle people who DO have psychotic breaks? Do they just believe those people are incapable of knowing the difference between life and hallucinations? I mean, how is it that a DOCTOR can treat another human being like they’re an idiot who knows nothing? Or are all lairs because they have a mental illness? The huge wall that I just felt go up between us was depressing, to put a word to it.

Like I was suddenly an unreliable narrator in a story and couldn’t be trusted.

And what’s so infuriating is that I’m such a goody two shoes! On purpose! I hate lying!

 

It was just too much for me. And after all that, my primary care doc didn’t actually help with the depression or anxiety, but referred me to a new psychiatrist, who I’m terrified to see.

On the upside, my therapist agrees that I’ve had terrible experiences and understands why I’m now afraid to see another psychiatrist.

Although, now that I’ve quit that job, I’m feeling much better and don’t feel as pushed into NEVER ENDING MISERY as I did a few weeks ago. So do I even need to see a psychiatrist? Do they TALK to you or just throw meds at you? Because the meds make my health worse. (which by the way, can we talk about how i legit thought you could take anti anxiety or depression meds and they just fixed you? without any symptoms?? aaaahhhhh…. the naivety…..🤣🤣 …. I wish I’d been smarter and looked into possible symptoms or interactions on my own, years ago, before starting that journey.)

 

And then I went on twitter and between the coronavirus and all the hate…. I just couldn’t anymore.

So I had to take a mental health break. From everything, everywhere. Because sometimes life just hurts. And all I can do is hide under my shell like a turtle until the hurt doesn’t outweigh my own ability to breathe.

And if you need to do that? No shame. Social media has a way of putting a megaphone to things, whether good or bad. For someone who already FEELS THINGS MORE INTENSELY cuz I’m bipolar… not good. Add bad health and feeling out of control of my own life.

Just too much.

So I took a week off twitter and blogging.

and it felt GREAT, to be honest

 

but yeah, i just needed this all off my chest. there are FABULOUS doctors out there. but this really scared me. i find it hard to be honest with doctors BECAUSE of situations like this.

(and no, i don’t have my covid test results back yet 😫)

I’m not saying don’t see a psychiatrist, I’m just saying, find the right doctors for YOU. Who SEE YOU as a person and treat you with dignity and respect. 💜

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Stream of Consciousness

Mental Health Break

So last week I didn’t do any blogging or step into Twitter because I just

could

not

anymore.

 

And you know what? People were pretty cool about it.

I just want to celebrate that for a moment.

 

We are a crazy society that sometimes causes pain out of thin air, makes bad situations worse, and uses hate to fight hate.

But we are also adaptable and beautiful and capable of healthy change. Of coming together and lifting one another.

 

Yeah, there are nasty people in this world. Hateful, bigoted, dangerous people who just want to spread pain and misery.

BUT there are wonderful people in this world, too. People who fight for what is right, people who would NEVER step on someone else to get higher up the ladder, who comfort those that need comfort, and mourn with those that are mourning.

There are lovely people who truly SEE those around them. Who support and lead and spread joy and hope in ways that touch hearts and invigorate minds.

 

A simple smile. Someone talking to you like you’re really there, like you’re human. A hug (when it’s welcomed). Someone to sit with you while you cry and just BE there.

There are wondrous human beings.

And there is hope. No matter how much life hurts. There is hope.

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Stream of Consciousness

pinky promise?

promise me this

if you get lost

you’ll keep looking for a path, a light, an opening

don’t give up

don’t give in to the cold and the darkness so eagerly reaching its hands out to you, fingers outstretched, wanting you to curl up in a ball at the base of a gulf so wide and deep you’ll never find which way is up to crawl out

keep going

one breath at a time

one choice at a time

one footstep into the unknown you’re facing at a time

knowing

knowing you can handle whatever comes next

and no matter how much it hurts, stretches you, scars you – you are stronger

 

promise me

promise me

you will never give up

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Stream of Consciousness

You Won’t Understand When You’re Older

We got ripped off.

As kids, everyone was telling us that we’d understand when we got older.

Sure, I understand some more delicate things that kid brains don’t, but life in general? It’s gotten fuzzier, more complicated.

More vague, less defined.

The older I get, the more I’m exposed to, the more I experience – the more confusion rolls in with fogs of doubt and shades of grey.

I thought we’d make sense of things. Make sense of ourselves.

I feel like it’s the opposite.

Now, I just feel lost.

In the world and when it comes to my sense of identity.

 

Is there a tipping point?

Do I simply need to get older?

More experience?

Or is it truly a lie?

 

I think I may have just sniffed out some naive hope. That that tipping point will hit, I’ll come out the other side with some sense of what’s what.

 

Or perhaps there is no defining moment. No quota of life lived to unlock an inner sense of stability and knowing.

Maybe I have to figure this out, define myself for myself. Scrape away all the dead skin cells of pain and brainwashing and unhealthy neural pathways – and keep rebuilding.

 

But when will I stop feeling lost?

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Stream of Consciousness

Keep Going

If there is something you know you need to do – there is a way.

People might laugh, might mock, but the fact of the matter is this… If you know this is the right thing for you, this is your purpose, this is your path? Then you are 100% correct.

There might not be a clear step by step guide as to how to accomplish it. The odds may very well be against you. There might not be a single person on planet earth that believes in you.

That doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you do it. You work toward it, you keep picking yourself up after each mistake and road block and unseen complication – and you keep striving.

Keep going.

If it’s right, it’s right. That doesn’t mean easy or predictable. It means you’re meant for it. Go get it.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”