Another One of Those First World Problems

I feel complaining about insignificant things and labeling them “FWP” exonerates me from being a whiny spoiled person living in the best place in the world.  I’m also a jaded ex-catholic, so there is already a layer of guilt underneath everything I say and do.  

I want to post this for another reason.  With the hell I’ve been going through for the past year from medication side effects, divorce, being ostracized by my children and doing all of this in a delicate mental condition, I welcome superficial trivial problems. 

Here is one now:

Well, so far this is a very good day! I colored my hair this week from an online hair color boasting it is just like the professional color. I don’t know why I bother. The brown of my hair turned out beautifully but the white came out a light brownish reddish. Anyway……I used the last of my root concealer two days ago (forgot all about covering my roots on Tuesday and was out doing errands for four hours). Luckily I wasn’t aware so had all of the confidence of a good looking person. Back to my roots (pardon the pun) I was even debating wearing one of Allison’s hats to hit the Walgreens early before too many people were there to get a new can of concealer. In the bathroom I took one more last ditch effort, fingers crossed, to look in the bathroom closet.  There it was buried under cold medicine…..half a can!!!  Halejuha!

Dear Life:  please keep bringing on those kind of problems.  I really need a break.  xoxo

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Abused Patience Turns to Fury

So much anger.

I was feeling pretty strong against the ex-husband and his girlfriend yesterday morning.

He is trying to pass her off as his roommate.  No one knows what I know about how they were sleeping together a full 6 months before I asked for the divorce.  Even the children seem to have been fooled.  I can’t say anything to anyone because when it is all said and done I’m taking the high road as usual (not willingly believe me).  I Looking back at how outrageously (even for him) his behavior was during that time I believe I was manipulated (AGAIN) into asking for the divorce.

So I checked Facebook to see if I was truly able to handle it.

He was on her page with a selfie of themselves.  Under the comments was a comment from my mother in law saying “Just a couple of kids!”

I was so angry, hurt and other things I can’t even name that I went into a horrible spiral of depression and anxiety.  It was a pretty dark day.

I got up this morning and felt much better.  I tested the memory of yesterday to see if they still held their sting and they did.  Good news for me is not as painful. Then it dawned on me that checking Facebook was in essence breaking the No Contact rule!  That is the real key to recovery and now I have to start all over again! I had 4 whole weeks under my belt.

I’ve been doing EMDR for a whole host of things in the last few months.  When this woman moved into my old house with him I had to see my therapist twice a week for two weeks.  I have sooooo much more work to do.

I hate him.  I hate them.  I haven’t really been able to enjoy any of my freedom from him because he’s still getting to me but on a higher and different level.  When will this get better?  When can I finally feel better?

Its just like you when you try every trick in the book to lose weight and it always comes back to diet and exercise. Time heals all wounds.

Blocking all of them and taking the Facebook app of my phone is a good measure as well.

Beware of him that is slow to anger; for when it is long coming, it is the stronger when comes, and the longer kept. Abused patience turns to fury.

Francis Quarles

This is Going to be a Long One

So much has happened since my divorce was final I am going to start at the end and do sort of a flash back thing until I lose track of which order everything came in.  Please follow along…

The elation and anticipation of being off for the summer was thwarted because I had to ween myself off Pristiq. Withdrawal symptoms have been complete exhaustion, not eating, and brain zaps to name a few.

I planned this withdrawal very carefully.  Two years ago, I stopped taking Abilify because of twitching in my legs.  Two weeks later I fell into a deep depression.  I was put on Seroquel.  Two weeks later, another depression because the dosage wasn’t high enough.

One of the things I am terrible at is judging my state of mind.  I think it goes back to 43 years of coping with my moods alone.  I had to mask them from others and myself.  Not recognizing my last decent into into hell, my therapist and I came up with a 10 point question sheet to ask myself if I’m feeling different.  It makes me feel more secure.

I spoke to Tristan about needing his help if I go into a depression.  I spoke to Allison and told her if this happened she should call Tristan if I couldn’t.

After two weeks of careful planning the withdrawal and doing everything I’m supposed to do I took a dive.  It was more like a crash and burn; I don’t even remember the dive.

Getting Tristan’s help was more stress that help so I called the only sane person I know, my sister.  I started to cry and she said to call my psychiatrist.  I did and he called me back very quickly. My sister had called his office and said it was an emergency.  My Dr asked if I was suicidal because my sister had threatened to call an ambulance. Total overreaction.  Just writing this out makes me feel humiliated.  And I was and am.  What do they say about best laid plans?

The reason I had to stop taking Pristiq is because it was causing “Serotonin Syndrome”.  I had all the classic signs especially the hypo-mania.  I used to look forward to this little gem in my non-medicated un-diagnosed life.  Now it really sucks.  No pleasure from it, just agitation, irritability, poor sleep and all the other bad traits.

I wrote most of this blog the day after the crash.  I must have lost my concentration at the end because I had begun writing in a “stream of consciousness” style.

I wrote about how nobody understands, how I can’t trust anyone to be there, why am I even trying so hard, what is there to live for……

I know that is how I truly felt.  It’s not true today.

It’s just me and Allison now.  I am alone to take care of me.  I have always taken care of Allison on my own, but I’ve always had help for me.

I’m going down another half dose this week, I’ll be brave.

Summer of Disappointment

My summer began on May 27th.  I left directly from work to drive 16 hours to a wedding in North Dakota.   John’s relatives were there, I don’t think further explanation is necessary. Emily and I had spent a huge amount of time trying on dresses and rejecting everyone of them, usually because they didn’t fit me well.  In the last two years I have gained another 10 lbs (oh, you know there is going to be some follow up to that bombshell).  I finally found one, but it still wasn’t flattering.  I tried not to let my vanity get in the way of a fun time, but that that was a hopeless exercise as you would guess.

Emily and family came that week also.  It was very hectic.  I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as I wanted because there were so many things to be handled before I went to England.

Alison and I left  England with my Dad for two weeks.  To be honest, it wasn’t the best trip.  My dad was/is still trying to deal with the death of his older brother, Pete, and honestly I wasn’t much help. Sometimes I miss cues.  I feel guilty for that.

When we got back from England I decided enough was enough.  Allison’s depression and anxiety were getting worse. Everything she and I had tried failed. I took her to a psychiatrist. Maybe her moods were a chemical imbalance. After all, all of her female relatives on my side from her great grandma down have suffered from some degree of mental illness.

I tried everything that I had any knowledge of, I had read about or other people recommended.  There was Myofascial Release,  gluten free, clean eating, essential oils, supplements, a natural light alarm,  therapy, EMDR,  Brain Spotting, etc.

Oh, but the story gets better! One night she had a seizure!  A smallish one at first and two weeks later a “tonic clonic”.  It used to be known as a Grand Mal Seizure.

My lovely enlightened husband then blamed the whole thing on me and Zoloft. Even though five medical professionals said it would be very unlikely. We had a few knock down drag out fights because of this. It has been a heavy burden keeping Allison’s struggle front and center and not my own.

She had an EEG and an MRI, both normal. The only bright spot is she was diagnosed with Epilepsy.  I know that sounds strange, but it just might be the answer to a lot of things in her life.

Now she’s taking an anti-seizure medication.  If it takes care of the seizures it could also treat her anxiety and depression.  I guess time will tell.

“The Great Christmas Crash of 2015”

I have been going to post around ten times in the last month. Each time starting, writing a line and giving up. I just haven’t been able to express myself in the same way since “The Great Crash of Christmas 2015”.

To bring you up to speed of my saga, I was suffering from tardive dyskinesia (uncontrolled muscle movement), a side effect of Abilify.  I had an urge to clench and un-clench my right leg and tap my left foot. My doctor and I decided to go off Abilify. Two weeks later I had a depressive meltdown. I went the next day to my psychiatrist and I started on Seroquel.

I was doing fine on that for about another two weeks until the depression hit again. I had no idea how bad I really was. The week of Christmas was a nightmare for me. The in-laws were here, my mom had died at Christmas just last year, Emily and kids weren’t there and my sister and Dad weren’t coming. I would excuse myself every night at 6 o’clock, go to my bedroom and drink wine. That didn’t put a dent in my mood. That should’ve been a clue, but still it wasn’t.

One morning I had a meltdown very similar to the last one six weeks ago. I called my dr to get in and he was out of the office on vacation. I couldn’t help crying on the phone to the receptionist. How humiliating. She gave me his cell number and I was too embarrassed to call so I texted asking for him to call at his earliest convenience. That’s right I was on the verge of suicide, but had the wherewithal to mind my manners.

He doubled my dosage of Seroquel. After a few days staying in bed watching every English mystery on Netflix , I finally felt better. John was amazing during this time. I will have to do a follow up on my new marriage soon.

After being on a prescription roller-coaster for the last three months all I can do now is stay the course and try to keep the fear at bay. I sometimes forget that even though medicated and a hell of a lot better, I still have a bipolar disorder to wrangle each day.

Hopefully I am back again, I would say normal, but that would be ridiculous.

[More to come, the rut of all ruts, drinking, medicinal weight gain, the turnaround of an abusive marriage, Adam Lambert, etc.  So much finally to  write about.]

 

Abilify Side Effects/Withdrawal

Oh, where to begin. I suppose where I left off in August.

I still have my nervous clenching, now in my leg. It’s not a tapping, but a clenching. If I really concentrate I can stop it. The urge is still there, not a pleasant one, a very annoying one like an itch or when you want to pop your elbow or knuckles. I am also having trouble sitting still in general. The only time I get any relief is when I’m asleep and, of course, I can’t enjoy it.

I talked to my psychiatrist about it two months ago when it had been happening for about 6 weeks. He said it could be a side effect of the abilify. He said to see what happened with my psychologist and some relaxation training. Well I never did the relaxation training, I am a non-believer, it’s never worked for me at least.

Fast forward two months later, it’s worse and I am having more trouble controlling it. My doctor has diagnosed it as:

Akathisia – a movement disorder in which there is a feeling of inner restlessness and a strong urge to be constantly moving.

I do swear occasionally. I would love to let loose a tirade right now, but won’t in fear of offending anyone reading.

At my doctor’s backing I went off the abilify slowly. I have been totally off it now for about 5 days. Withdrawal symptoms are a crashing 4 day headache and listless/low grade depression, a little irritability, but not much else.

Since I still have the restlessness and clenching leg I started to research it on line to see if anyone else has this. I found a lot of people with it when taking abilify, some much worse than mine. I could have it in my face or arms. Mine is a little easier to conceal. The thing is that it could be permanent! I am just hoping the drug isn’t totally out of my brain yet.

This leads me to a real disappointment with my cocktail of medications I thought was tweaked to perfection. I’m also feeling a little sorry for myself.

Drinking in the Afternoon

You know what I did today? I drank wine out of a mug so my son wouldn’t question me.  It was 12:30 in the afternoon.  I was feeling so depressed that I thought it might help. It was that second mug that finally put a dent in it.

I realize that the trauma of my mother dying is making me depressed. Very understandable. This may be the most normal reaction I’ve ever had to anything.

I have to get my act together. I think it’s the three weeks on overdrive trying to make her feel comfortable, help my family and come to grips with her dying. Now with nothing left to do I feel like I’ve fallen off the edge of a cliff. That’s when the  depression set in.

It’s “normal”, but when have I ever been normal?