Crystal Lynn enters, stage left

I said in my last post, first one in a long time, that things were getting better because I’m learning and putting into practice ways to cope.

There is still so much drama in my life it is unbearable at times, like last weekend.  I can’t even write about it because the anxiety still bubbles up and fills me.  I was so depressed it wasn’t looking good for me.  My medicine is working, I know the difference between meds screwing up my mood and other depression caused by rejection, fear, feeling, lonely, confusion and stress.  My narcissist ex-husband the cause of all of it. It was bad.

I was doing that pathetic crying again., Where you don’t make a sound or move and the tears role down your cheeks.  I tried not to give in to it.  I knew I should try all the “tricks”, but I couldn’t even do that.

Sunday morning around 11am it was either this or me.  Dead serious.

So I got into bed, watched reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” and waited.

I’m not sure how long it took or why it started to happen, but I started to come around a little bit.  Nothing like a phoenix rising from the ashes, but clawing out from under the earth and reaching the surface.  Very dramatic, but that is how it was feeling.

Just that little breath of air from the surface began to clear my head.  I meditated for 5 minutes, crying.  I read a little book I have about 50 mindful ways to calm.  And then I remembered, Crystal Lynn.

Crystal Lynn is my alter ego that I developed to stop being so, well, being me.  She doesn’t have a job, sits on her porch all day surrounded by cars on cinder blocks, smokes and does what she wants.

I needed her because she says things like “Who cares?” and “Fuck you!” and “Fuck that”. If she says it enough it feels real, I stop caring and I can breathe a little more. When she’s thinking for me I reach that calmness.  It’s amazing how she can practically soften blood pounding in my head, pain when I breath in and my pounding heart.

In my already delicate mental state, a teen age transgender daughter/son (I’ll tell that story sometime) working two jobs, narcissist ex-husband that despises me…I’ve got to stop writing about it again, my chest is beginning to constrict.

On top of all that…I made my self-crazy with anxiety, because trying to be the best at everything and usually failing I fell into that vicious cycle.

Crystal Lynn doesn’t handle the bigger situations as well, but I cause almost the same symptoms with the little things as well as big things.

Example of a little thing that I made into a big thing:

My son’s college graduation. I knew my ex-husband would be there and then I found out the night before that my ex-in-laws were coming as well. I started trying on outfits, using it as a way to redirect my anxiety (didn’t realize that was what I was doing).  I tried on all my clothes and shoes. Nothing fit because I’ve lost so much weight, but still lumpy in places.  Worrying about where I was going to sit, what time should I arrive, where were they sitting, what if I saw them, what if they were there for pictures…. spinning out of control as usual.

Enter Crystal Lynn,. She said, “Just wear something you will be comfortable in, John knows what you look like and there isn’t anyone else that you have to impress or even cares what you are wearing.”  Now anyone could have already said that before, but it’s a magical feeling to feel it and do it with absolutely no second thoughts, almost as if I came up with it myself!

I think people with anxiety and/or PTSD reactions will totally understand how a small thing, or in my case, all small things connected to John start to get on that endless circle only picking up speed with each pass.

I wore my comfortable outfit that fit. White jeans and black cardigan. At the last minute my dad said he was going with me.  I fought the physical reactions, took half a clonazepam, parking no problem.

We sat with my son’s wife’s family, didn’t look around and I don’t think I was spotted. Took pictures with Tristan.  In laws and John showed up.  I was aloof and took the high road (hate that road).

Thanks, Crystal Lynn, please come again.

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It’s a new day, it’s a new life….

I began writing my blog from a need to accept my newly diagnosed self with Bipolar II.  At that time, except for my marriage, that seemed to be my biggest struggle.

I wrote mostly about everyday things with a little humor.  Those were good times.

My posts changed with my mother dying.  The trauma of those two weeks coupled with my broken marriage wreaked havoc with my delicate emotional balance.

The next years became fraught with major life changes.  My youngest daughter’s seizures, my narcissistic ex husband’s affair and the divorce.

I was thinking back to the last year and a half (which I try very hard not to do).  My relationships with my children were falling apart. I was emotionally falling apart.  During this turmoil I was still able to work full time and part time on the weekends, put on a happy face to the world.  I had some bad moments where I was responsible.  I had terrible moments that I was not.  I was out of my abusive co-dependent marriage, but having withdrawals from the tiny crumbs of love that was all I had received for the last 27 years. I was 25 pounds overweight. My medicine was causing trouble and I was drinking a bottle of wine every night.  To add to this pile of misery was my constant drive for perfection in everything from work, family and even the speed of my recovery.  I was a mess.

Now to the present. I am 25 pounds lighter, no more drinking wine every night, medicine stable and relationships repaired.

I’ve still got a ton to fix, but I’m finally coming out the other end and I can tell my stories with humor again.  I can write how I fixed and am fixing so many things.

The most important indication of my new found hope was changing all my passwords to happy words with exclamation marks!

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

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.]