So weird that I'm out... Ready to do better and try my best. That's all I can do!
Monday, August 31, 2015
Sunday, August 30, 2015
I feel so many things... Sadness, fear, joy, gratitude, acceptance, nervousness and more.
And then on top of all those feelings are feelings from my parents' visit. I am so grateful for the empathy exercises we did with one of the night nurses the last few nights, it really helped me see how scared and uncertain my parents were. They are trying their best and I sometimes neglect to appreciate that. I do wish that I could feel as supported as they seem to want to be, if that makes sense. There is just a bit of a gap, like a language barrier, something lost in the translation...
After their visit this afternoon I felt a lot of pressure fall upon me. I flashed back to school and trying to maintain straight As as if my life depended on it (which I did) and avoiding emotional outbursts to stay in good favor, not rock the boat, people please etc. (which I managed most of the time).
It didn't feel good to be in that head space again. I want to feel like I am enough just as I am. I don't want mounds of pressure put onto my well being, to risk every future relapse feeling like utter failure on top of all the shitty feelings that come with an episode to begin with! I don't want to live in fear of my human element, the inevitable mistakes, the dependable ups and downs that come with life at unpredictable intervals... I want acceptance. Encouragement. Calm support. A net to catch me not a net gun with threatening implications.
I will have to work at cultivating that environment, and thankfully the hubs was pretty awesome in mediating our visit and trying to keep that pressure element at bay. He say my mom "boot camping" me as we call it and slowed her roll a bit!
In other news, I can feel the anxiety in the unit about multiple discharges coming in the next couple of days. For the most part everyone stays chipper but everything seems a little more molasses-y and less "go get 'em." There are a lot of good people here and I'm very happy that we happened to be here at the same time.
I painted another peep-inspired painting today. One lady inspired the swan and a dude inspired my take on "Ferdinand the Bull." I'm hesitant to give it to him, I'm not sure how he'll take it, I mean not every guy would be happy to have this painting... but there you have it! I'm nervous about giving any gifts really, heh.
|Painted a "Thank You" and I don't like it|
but the hubs says it's fine. Hmpf. Should've
let well enough alone!
Maybe more later... Right now it's dinner time. And time to stop thinking and just be and just do. *deep breath*
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Watching "Little Miss Sunshine" with some of the unit peeps and reflecting on our evening group about empathy and remembering my last post and how judgmental I was. It felt good to be annoyed and let off some steam and now I feel calmer and more accepting. I acknowledge that everyone is different. Different life journeys and different strengths and weaknesses and fears and burdens.
We had a real awesome group doing nonviolent communication exercises and I felt.... lit up.
I feel the strength returning to my heart and soul, the strength that lets my best character traits flourish, the strength to hold a safe space for others and get in touch with my power of my intuition and insight... I feel ME returning. It is nice. So nice. I feel grateful, excited and maybe a bit hypomanic but encouraged even while a bit cautious.
Had a good visit with my boys and I'm using the movie as a distraction technique to head off some anxiety regarding tomorrow's family visit while my meds kick in.
Little by little I'm uncovering my self from this depressive episode, like brushing sand away at an archaeological dig, before ya know it I may be revealed.
Wow. I sound so hypomanic! Way flowery and optimistic but I'll take it.
This is part of me too.
And I am okay with that.
PS really savoring the sound of rain on the skylight tonight, watching the rain slash across my window until the view was obscured.... Love my rain. Love my fall storms.
This morning the day nurses neglected to turn on the overhead lights in the common area until nearly 8:30 AM and despite the sky light's glow, it was simply too easy to sleep in. I think everyone outside our rooms was walking and talking more quietly with those lights off, it set the day off in a sleepy fashion.
Even now at three in the afternoon we are all rather reserved. I know you would think that would be the natural state of a unit full of depressed folks but for most days there is a bit of forced energy. Today we are all laid back.
I am feeling much better than when I arrived here last week. My baseline mood is higher, I feel hope, my anxiety isn't making me sick and tense all day long, I haven't been suicidal or wanting to self harm or hurt my baby. So much has changed for me in what feels like a very short period. I was skeptical at first that being here would be able to have much impact but I have been proven wrong.
There are some here that aren't so lucky. Weeks have gone by and they are still extremely depressed or anxious or angry. I can understand. I feel bad for them but I am also hopeful, I see their little glimmers of hope even when they do not. They are trying and it is so noble.
There are others that I do not think will truly get better for quite some time. The drugs may help, they may have remissions but I see dark futures for them. They aren't able to accept their situation, acknowledge their feelings, absorb the lessons to be taught here. I feel sad for them, annoyed at their stubbornness and their sort of arrogance. They act as if they don't belong here and through that denial I feel rebuffed.
I try to not take it personally, accept that we each have our own journeys and focus on my recovery, because I have flopped around like a fish out of water long enough and I'm ready for change even if those other people are not.
There are many things that I have been introduced to here that I plan on exploring and utilizing throughout my life. Nonviolent communication, DBT, radical acceptance, relaxation techniques, and more. I recognize that I have a ways to go in establishing a healthier lifestyle that helps me maintain better mental health but I am also so grateful and proud of myself for being where I am at this stage of my life. There are many people here that are much older than I am but are not able to delve into their issues that same way. My insight and sensitivity have caused a lot of pain in my life but they are also my tools to recovery and relief and I am coming to terms more with that now. Nothing is ever all bad-or good for that matter.
I'm sure there is more to be said and updates to be shared but this feels like the right post for me at this moment. I will close with another piece of artwork that I completed today. I quite enjoy it but I feel compelled to give it to one of my unit peeps, a lovely woman and mother that has inspired me during my stay. I hope that she will enjoy it and I hope my readers will as well. I am very glad to have positive memories to take with me as I prepare to leave 2 East. So grateful.
Friday, August 28, 2015
For today's visit my hubs and Baby Bananaface brought along my mother-in-law and for the first time in a long time (since I've been feeling low) I was able to really connect with her and we shared some wonderful moments. She was so supportive. Actively supportive in a way that was strange and fabulous to me. Asking me about my meds and how things are going and the food I'm eating and what I'm doing and actually listening. She said that she thinks I'm doing a great thing and even sweet nothings like "things are gonna get better" and putting an arm around me... just so wonderful.
Even without those gems it was a good visit. I got to nurse B.B. and he even fell asleep in my arms for the first time all week. It felt so nice to be reassured that I can still mother him like I used to and I wasn't overwhelmed as I have been in previous visits. I also felt connected to hubs, synced up again, even a little flame. We kissed and hugged more than we have all week. It's funny how those pathways shut down in times of stress almost without noticing...
Today was good as far as groups and socializing around the unit as well. There are a couple of people here that are very... guarded? deluded? emotionally ignorant? divorced from their feelings? They approach everything in a very controlling, almost aggressive way instead of trying to understand, accept, and accommodate their feelings. It is very frustrating for me but I understand that they are on their own journeys.
I enjoyed groups and while some of the time I was light-headed from anxiety or meds I felt better overall. I did have some chest tightness come up during a video on acceptance and I think I really need to put in some hard work toward accepting my sister's pregnancy. She is just about 7 months in after all. Jeesh. I can't believe I am still refusing to accept that... Anyways.
I've really been fascinated with the groups presented on nonviolent communication and am very interested in delving further into that topic. I think it would be very useful for me and my little family to help facilitate the changes we want to make happen for ourselves.
I achieved all the goals I set for myself except working on a schedule for when I return home. So I may putter around some ideas on that before bed tonight... But overall, a good day.
Oh, and I started a swan painting. We shall see how it turns out. I am thinking of giving it to a unit peep but undecided. I think I will know to whom it belongs once I finish it.
Note: I must see the movie "Inside Out."
Subnote: Journeys is a weird ass word as far as spelling. Can't even count how many times I've typed "journies." Pfffft.
Yesterday was a pretty good day for me but I got pretty tuckered out and wasn't able to fit in blogging. That said, I do think it is worth noting that I felt connected to my hubs and the baby, even if just a little bit, and it felt good. I am actually starting to feel little whisps of hope blowing into my mind now, like little spiderwebs on the wind. I hope they stick.
Today I am still tense and a little weepy but feeling hopeful. Trying to get some good work done to prepare for my transition back home but at the same time not over-doing it and sending myself into a spiral. I'm hoping to get a paper prescription for a breast pump today and I'm hoping to start working on a schedule for when I get back home... and patio time. Need to get outside :)
Upped my meds to 200 mg last night. That is our goal dose and should be staying at that for a couple days to make sure I'm stable on it. I was feeling pretty "up" even though I was exhausted last night, my thoughts racing and I found myself focusing on my belly bulge and losing weight. Apparently being preoccupied with health is a common warning sign of an oncoming episode-good to know! Thankfully the manic feeling gave way to sleepiness and I wasn't up half the night plotting.
Being here has helped me realize that the hubs and I have fallen into some bad patterns regarding my illness. Enabling bad eating and normalizing crisis behavior, not communicating openly both ways-the hubs is usually stoic and in manager mode and I miss hearing his experience or his feelings. It makes me feel really bad about myself and it took another unit peep sharing her story to make me realize that that could affect my recovery.
I'm having a hard time focusing, so here are some pics and I'll post more later if I can sort out my thoughts.
|6 MONTHS! He rocked his peds appt. In the 90s on all percentiles again (99 for weight, of course! 23 lbs)|
|My first "anger artwork" lots of sadness too|
OH! I did decide to invite my parents up for a visit. Since I am in Seattle at the moment my invitation gave deference to traffic patterns and also took into consideration the family group that takes place on Sundays. After the fact I realized that Sunday is also my father's birthday and I felt terrible for forgetting but the hubs called my parents again for me and clarified that they didn't have plans and that it was okay to visit me.... I feel bad but also don't want to feel too bad. I matter. Ya know? So hopefully both the grandparents can come, we can celebrate Baby Bananaface's birthday and my dad's and they can go to the family group and maybe that will help facilitate some communication about the future and my disease and creating a better support network for me....
Okay. Now I will sign off for a bit and get to business :)
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Had a good talk with my nurse and while I still feel low she gave me some hope. Maybe I am just working through some stuff and it's upsetting not necessarily just suicidal just overwhelming, and thinking like that is much more... palatable than diving right to "I just wanna die again." I have a lot going on. It's okay to feel overwhelmed and feel a lot. Gonna try to resist the suicidal thoughts more effectively tonight and tomorrow.... Today's journey to the bottom of the Hannah was enough darkness!
Trudging forward again.
Last night I talked with the hubs (and cried a lot) about wanting to feel seen and accepted and acknowledged by my family, especially my mom. I wasn't ready to have my family visit but I decided maybe just a phone call was a good place to start. She did listen better than usual and honored a recommendation from the hubs not to talk about my sister which was very helpful, asked some questions about group and how I was feeling but nothing too probing. So, while it wasn't great, I felt good about the call and my mood lifted a bit afterward, though I'm still teary and a little frightened about making progress before discharge.
I met with the psychiatrist this afternoon and he allayed some of my fears by saying that it looks like I might need to stay a bit longer and not to focus on one day (like Friday) for discharge but just to focus on getting better and leaving when I'm ready. That helped me anxiety a lot though I still worry about going home and not ending up a suicidal blob again real quick. I think they want me to have more of a support system improvement before I leave, and I agree.
This afternoon I've still be tired and low in my mood, I feel a little discombobulated and not as .... um, having a hard time saying what I mean and not rambling. I can't remember the right word I wanted to use but basically my verbal skills seem a bit off and my brain seems a little weary. My appetite was off too. I ate nearly half my cold cut sandwich and chips but couldn't finish so I ordered a hamburger (ate half) and some broth and yogurt with peaches (ate a good bit of that).
I haven't been suicidal really but I was feeling low last night, wondering if the hubs wanted me back at all since he appeared to be doing so well taking care of the baby. He reassured me that he's seriously exhausted and can't believe I managed to hang in as long as I did taking charge of B.B. and that he definitely wants me home and misses me. I felt a little more connected with the babe and hubs yesterday but mostly feeling like a third wheel, disposable.
So. Kinda tough feeling like I'm backsliding a bit but I think I've just gotten comfortable enough to let loose some of my sadness and it's swamping me. Not necessarily a super bad slide, maybe just an off-loading?
Since I may be in here for Friday, which is Baby Bananaface's 6 month birthday (I've declared this utterly important) I told the hubs maybe he should plan to visit with both of our parents and celebrate here. Kinda bittersweet, but I want to do something special and acknowledge all the growing he's done :)
Feeling pretty sad that I may (probably) be celebrating my son's 6 month birthday in inpatient and that I'm spending so much time away from him but I really don't feel up to being at home right now. And I think it's okay to be sad about that. Some tears are .... what's the word ... justified. Yep.
Two of my unit peeps that I really liked left today. That was sad but happy for them. Definitely brought down the mood of the group but I think we've got some good people taking their place.
|Lumpia was good, I actually ate most of my salad, and the custard with caramel sauce hit the spot.|
Appetite has been hit and miss today, dinner was a hit though.
Visit with the babe and hubs started well, I got a good nursing session in, we went for a walk and sat outside, but ended really bad. Like really bad... I couldn't soothe B.B. but the hubs got him down for a nap but by that time I was already spiraling. I've spent the last hour or more in a deep funk, some of the time just frozen in bed feeling like I want to disappear. Suicidal thoughts, wanting to self harm, the whole bit. It fucking sucks. So much for feeling like I'm making progress. I was afraid of getting discharged Friday but now I don't feel like it matters-the darkness will always find me.
To top it off I've started some random bleeding out of cycle and my wedding ring popped off and fell on the floor today. No damage, no lost stones, it just rattled me.
My sadness has grown, receded, and grown back today. I feel so pushed and pulled and disoriented. I thought I was doing fine and now I feel hopeless. My appetite is gone again but I want to eat all the time. I just want off this ride-permanently. Right now any good days don't seem worth this shit.
Pretty fun asking the male nurse for a pad though. Gotta say.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
|"Homestyle" potatoes and "apple & chicken" sausage were mistakes I shall not repeat.|
Today started out well enough. In fact a little too well. I know that I got the best night's sleep I've had in months (thank you Ativan) but I was a bit too chipper... My suspicion was spot on and while I felt very "up" this morning, I felt "down" this afternoon and have been navigating on again, off again anxiety and feeling weepy. Groups were good but tough as usual, bringing up feeling and issues that I haven't resolved.
On major issue coming up for me is the anger and pain at having put myself last for so long. I took the selfie below the morning I was admitted, before the doctor's appointment. I was trying to look happy enough to send a "cheer you up" support pic to my mother-in-law during her trip to visit her other kids in CA. I just couldn't fake it any harder. I didn't send it.
And end up here.
I know there is more at hand. Bipolar is a legitimate illness but I feel like it would be a lot easier to handle without the horrible self esteem and boundary issues that I have. I guess the good thing is that I can work on those things. I can't get rid of my illness, I can treat it, but I can work toward improving my personal landscape so that coping with a chronic illness become more manageable.
Something like that.... I'm feeling a little muddled at the moment. :)
A couple of my peeps on the unit are leaving tomorrow and it is upsetting for me. Right now I feel afraid of being discharged. I'm afraid of going home and just backsliding to where I was and I don't want that. I'm afraid of being left to handle B.B. and the house and feeding myself and self-care... It just feels impossible.
The psychiatrist here said the goal is to have me ready to go by Friday but that's always flexible so just try to keep focused on today and not think ahead, like I've been trying to do.
More artwork today... I Googled "hart deer" and rather liked this image though I am not certain of the species.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Rose Nylund: Here you go, Sophia, the perfect after dinner treat, a nice dish of Jello.
Sophia Petrillo: I hate Jello, if God wanted peaches suspended in mid-air He would've filled them with helium.
Slightly less well known than the more popular “Anger is like a piece of shredded wheat stuck in your dentures. If you leave it there, you'll get a blister and have to eat jello for a week.” Also by Sophia....
Cream of rice with brown sugar.... pretty dang scrumptious.
Today was on the whole better but with some rough patches. Had another bad anxiety episode with some nausea and I ended up getting my Ativan a little late, curling up on my bed and crying for a bit before it kicked in and I felt a lot better. I was more active, got outside TWICE and hit all the groups.
I opened up more today and was more social and shared more despite taking my necessary private time breaks and pumping. I've initiated double pumping which was a bit of a chore and exploration/experimentation but it's paying off! I'm spending much less time "on the rig."
|Might as well photoshop |
black splotches and a
cowbell on me!
Anyways. Gonna try to sleep better tonight. Last night sucked and then I woke up at 3:00 AM... This whole feeding a human and trying to sleep thing doesn't even work when the babe is off site! Trying again tonight to get good rest. May use another Ativan on top of the Seroquel dose to get me down, but we'll see.
Seems like the plan is to get me out of here Friday but everything is "wait and see." Gonna try to get me up to 100 mg of the Seroquel tomorrow.
We had a good self-esteem session (though distressing) and I'm looking forward to boundaries group tomorrow. Enjoyed exercise/relaxation today. Got some positive feedback about the boundaries I've been using with my mom but also some gentle nudges as far as areas I can improve - NOTE TO SELF: do the positive dreamscape activity, rewrite "internal tapes" that replay negative scenes with my mother as a positive encounter :)
I get along with most everyone though I do struggle with sucking up other people's emotions and one lady in particular is quite a seeper and very negative when she talks. Lots of "I just gotta say" or "I have something to share" and then major negativity and dumping and blaming and whatever. I'm over it. I try to tune out and remember that she has some major issues and that's her problem, not mine.
I finished my fishy painting and had fun with that today though I am a little disappointed with how the coral above "Gillybert" turned out I like most of it. The orange coral at the bottom right in my favorite and me and my unit peeps had a good laugh about the shape of the rock in the top right-heart? butt? boobs? testicles? It's a conversation starter.
|Before ink lines|
It is a bicolor parrotfish and I chose to paint it because A) purple and blue are some of my favorite colors B) bicolor/bipolar-get it? C) I went on a night dive in the Great Barrier Reef and saw a parrotfish sleeping in it's mucous sac and I use that visual when I'm warding off other's emotions :)
Good visit with babe and hubs. Still not synced up with B.B. and feeling distant and disinterested and low tolerance. Helps me realize that I'm where I need to be and what I'm working towards. The hubs had my mom up for helps today (very controlled circumstances and he kept her well away from me!) Apparently she talked more about my sister's baby shower than anything else and she and my dad haven't had many questions about my situation (well, my dad wanted to know if Disneyland was still on next month. Classy). But maybe part of that was the hubs intentionally protecting our privacy and not opening up too much. He can be pretty stoic and "shut downy" when he wants to be.
Good night all.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
So today I missed my morning group as I was pumping, then meeting with the psychiatrist, then showering. It felt good to shower today. I actually let the water get hot and washed my hair. The hubs brought me a lovely citrus Dr. Bronner's and I sort of like it/don't like it so it's a nice distraction haha I think it's more invigorating when I go for more relaxing scents usually :) Maybe midweek I will mix it up with a different scent?
Group was good, though I felt anxious. I think some of it was me some of it was sucking up others' vibes. I had a teary moment while we all shared positive affirmations. Mine was "I am enough." I cried. The facilitating RN asked how it felt for me to say that and I said it was hard. So hard. Another lady in group had the affirmation "I deserve love and kindness" and mentioned how it was so hard for her to believe and that she just hears her mother's voice when she tries to practice her affirmations.... I think I have some anger I need to express toward my mother but it's difficult for me. I feel like she wronged me yet I also know it wasn't truly her fault or intention. Blame seems so important and yet it goes no where.
Note: Must look into DBT. Sounds like good stuff.
This afternoon was less tiring than yesterday but I'm still tired. Little rests, little spurts of activity, rinse and repeat.
Today's lunch was a grilled chicken sandwich. I was a little alarmed when I saw what looked like a salad on my plate but it turned out to be sandwich accessories which were delicious. I'm not a super salady person and I instantly felt shame as if the dining hall were hinting, "Hannah, eat some salad." Anyways... My fruit salad was good but had a disappointing amount of honeydew (eck!) and I got chicken noodle again but with s/p and saltines it was enjoyable :) Oh, and of course mustard. I wrote on my menu for tomorrow I'd like 2 with lunch, so we'll see if that message gets received!
Dinner was pea-rific! I got a side of peas and a side of mixed veggies that included a crapton more peas so I was in heaven! Love me some peas. Went well with the mashed taters and meatloaf.
No jello today. Moving on...
Today I became a bit more aware/tuned into my mood, less numbed out or "up" now that things are settling down. I don't think my mood came down necessarily I just think I became more aware of how low I've been feeling, sort of lifting the veil of minimizing and acknowledging how low I've been. It made me feel discouraged and sad. The feelings themselves but a lot more the self-deception/delusion I'd been working under.
I think the hubster and I normalized my ups and downs and even my suicidal episodes, working through them as if it was just a bad day at the office instead of a more serious issue that really shouldn't be coming up several times a month!
I'm still feeling weak and like I have low tolerance with Baby Bananaface, but I got to enjoy nursing and watching him nap in my arms and playing around today. Spending that time with him and realizing how exhausting it was for me made me realize that I'm very much in the right place for me right now.
Pumping my breast milk is tougher than I expected. I enjoy providing food for B.B. but my nips are feeling the new sort of abuse and I've been struggling to get my milk to let down and stay down. This makes me anxious about pumping, which is compounding the problem. If I start getting anxiety sometimes my milk flow stops mid session and I have to try to relax and look at a picture of B.B. and cuddle one of his shirts the hubs left for me to restore the flow. Sometimes (like early morning today) I just can't get it going again despite knowing that I'm loaded. That said, I did have a successful session around 9:30 AM, so I feel good about that. Washing all the pump parts a few times a day is annoying but almost meditative, so that's good. I managed to read some romance novel while pumping today and that was great! So we'll see...
There are some evening activities/groups tonight and I will see how things go. Don't want to stay up as late as I did yesterday though. We played a fun game called "Life Stories" but boy, I was wore out even before I took my medication! Hoping for more rest tonight. Upping my dose to 50 mg I believe.
Thank you all for the lovely thoughts and support. I'm painting another sea creature and will post a picture when I complete the project :) Not a seahorse but another reef dweller!
Saturday, August 22, 2015
The food is pretty good. I met a nice lentil soup today at lunch though I did not enjoy my chicken noodle at dinner. The chocolate cake for dinner's dessert was good and I really enjoyed the turkey sandwich and chips (one of my fav types) at lunch. We get an evening snack at 8:00 PM which was definitely called for last night. I guess it's a good sign that I have more appetite and feel so hungry now, though it is somewhat shocking after going so long with next to no interest in food.
Friday, August 21, 2015
The appointment went well although not exactly as we had expected...
I knew that I might cry but I was more concerned about not crying and not conveying the depth of our struggles and not getting the help we need. I cried, I don't think it matters if I did or didn't!
We told the psychiatrist about how things have been spiraling and this week being especially bad with self harming and the suicidal bit. I remember saying, "I find myself wondering if this is OK if this happens in other people's homes or if it is bad enough, not OK."
The psychiatrist confidently said "this isn't normal, this isn't what is going on in other people's homes!" and recommended a mood stabilizer and in-patient care. We were relieved and afraid, the hubs and I were a bit hesitant but both felt like this had been a long time coming.
Him staying home and trying to take care of me, Baby Bananaface, and work is not okay, not sustainable, not enough, bad. We need more.
He and B. B. can visit me and I got a breast pump and I should be here a week. It's hard leaving them but also a relief, at least now at day 1! I'm sure I will miss them and home terribly in no time.... But for now I will rest.
Here I am.
So, this is happening...
Oh, what did we expect? Anti-anxiety meds or sleeping pills and "call if you need us." Feel like we are getting more attention than ever before, strange and scary but we are hopeful that this will be a turning point toward good things.
And yes, the jello is most excellent.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
It dawned on me why she may have been so focused on the hubs and baby, even going so far as to ask "Why doesn't hubs stay home with Baby Bananaface?" was because she wanted to keep B.B. out of the picture to avoid having him steal my sister's thunder (or take some back, seeing as she stole it from him, oh, about 6 months ago).
She kept babbling about other people having their babies there and how I'm so sensitive about having B.B. passed around and generally being insensitive and a little rude in my book (I'm know I'm over sensitive when it comes to my mother, but it seemed over the line how she was trying to control how my family would participate as well as being so negative about my parenting style). At the time I had a flare of indignation and while I asked "So you're worried about babies being at a baby shower?" which was a step for me (saying anything at all) but definitely not the real question I wanted to ask...
So. The hubs and I ended up deciding it was all a no-go. We're not going. He shipped my sister's gift. It was a no-win situation since we anticipate some social backlash in the following months but A) backlash from my sister is naturally contained since we don't see her very often B) backlash with parents is pretty manageable since they are so conflict-averse C) we came to the conclusion that any decision would make would "draw blood" and we just had to make sure it didn't draw my blood. I consciously made the decision that was best for me and mine, damn all else, and while it was definitely against my impulses I think it will be for the best.
|6 months has flown by...|
Today was the Thursday moms' group walk and instead of just me and one other lady we had a whopping 4 mothers! It definitely changed the logistics of walking the trail but it worked out well, two by two, swapping partners on the way back for different chatting vibes. Overall it was a good walk though I was undernourished and I'm pretty sure the baby peed out the top of his diaper onto me and his car seat straps.... Gonna have to wash those.....
Today things with the babysitter went way more smoothly. She got Baby Bananaface down for a nap more quickly than I have in days! and I was able to leave the house for a couple hours for solo time. I had lunch and hit up a cafe to fill out some paperwork for tomorrow's appointment but on my way home a bout of anxiety washed over me.
So, I'm trying to relax a bit and hope to nap a bit as I'm feeling quite tired now. We'll see how tomorrow's appointment goes.
I was pretty frustrated with B.B. last night and while we've avoided more self harming the last couple days I feel like we're barely containing the madness... yet I feel like I'm so slowed down and feel guilty for being in "sick mode." I don't know, I guess it's that familiar "not good enough unless I'm producing something" riff that constantly wears on me.
Ugh! Ending post now! I'm ramble-whining!
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Can you spy the baby woodpecker? Made my day a couple weeks ago.
In Hannah news, I'm better today but not well by any stretch. Still weak, still flooded with anxiety.
I spent some time away from the condo and B.B. which was nice. Did lab work and went to the cafe by the trail I walk that I usually navigate with my big ass stroller but today it was just me and laptop-stuffed purse. The hubs is home again but he'll be at the office tomorrow-I'm planning to be out of the house as much as possible.
Talked with my mother this afternoon on phone/texting. Baby shower for my sister and all sorts of shit. The hubs is dead set against it. I think I'm going to ask a family friend to meet me so I can hand off my gift...
It was a weird conversation with my mom. She was talking about why the hubs is coming at all and what will he do and how I was going to handle B.B. and keep him from being passed around since I'm so sensitive about that and then I just cracked, "BECAUSE I'VE BEEN SUICIDAL AND SELF HARMING THIS WEEK." She engaged for a little bit but then diverted to telling stories about my sister and talking more about the shower, closing the call with a "we're here for you, you just have to say when you need us, I love you missy."
The hubs had tried to help me by typing notes as I was on call, "DONT LET HER MANIPULATE YOU" and "DONT GET INTO DETAILS, IT OPENS THE DOOR" whatever that one meant, but I overshared, got nothing back, nothing new. Lonely and disappointed. That's what mothers are for right? (dark sarcasm) I have to remind myself that I don't have to be like that, that good mothers happen all the time and that B.B. won't necessarily feel about me how I feel about my mom or go through what I have.... Ugh. Anyway.
I felt sick. Stomach in knots. Wanting to scream, to call "bullshit," to hang up on her. Ugh. I wish I could get my body pumped for anger like a stomach pump for poisons.
Not good timing for more family shit methinks.
Looking forward to La Leche League picnic Saturday but concerned about energy levels and perceived hypocrisy (going to that instead of Sunday shower).
Oh, appointment bumped up to Friday due to a cancellation, so that's good. Skipping counseling tomorrow, rearranging babysitting again.... This week is just a cluster!
OH I-spy woodpecker answers below :)
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
I've passed exhausted and have arrived at desperate. The sleep deprivation with the anxiety kept me awake last night, my body tensed and my mind racing. This morning the hubster was home from work and helped with B.B. but didn't leave me to my rest (see GIF above) which lead to angry outbursts and subsequently darkness.
Last night I was scratching myself with tweezers and this morning the harmful soothing continued with matches and scissors. Eventually the suicidal fantasies began and while not quite a full-fledged attempt, something like it occurred. A white flag? A plea? I didn't really plan it out or really try to succeed, but I ended up in the hallway clutching a plastic bag. In my weak mind's fantasy I could tape the bag around my head, cuddle into bed and simply drift off, dissolve into nothingness as I've so often yearned.
But I froze when I saw the baby sleeping in my room. I couldn't do it with him there. I couldn't move. The hubster noticed my activity from his place on the couch, set aside his work laptop and upon assessing the situation rushed past me, transferring Baby Bananaface to his crib in the other room. He returned to wrench the bag from my hands and supervise me, resuming his work via laptop sitting on the bed next to me.
My body was painfully clenched as I lay on my side, feeble tears dripped onto my desperately clenched hands that were shoved under my face. I mumbled and muttered a weak begging mantra, "Please, get me a bag. Please, just get me a bag."
Eventually I slept.
More angry words. More desperation. Eventually I couldn't sleep or rest anymore and took a shower around 1:00 PM, finally eating and drinking around 2:00 PM. Speaking with the hubbo, my voice is small and quiet. I feel weak and ashamed. I know it's not all my fault, it's the illness, but I feel penitent, as if the horrible episode were selfish indulgence.
The sitter is here to help with baby but I don't think that she helps, he cries nearly the entire time. I haven't seen him for a few hours, tucked away here the bedroom. I don't feel compelled to intervene as I usually do but it still pains me to hear him cry. I suppose that's a good sign.
I have an appointment on Sept. 1st with a clinic that specializes in postpartum care but it feels so far away. The sleep deprivation, the anxiety, the painful, sticky thoughts about my family and the feeling of abandonment and worthlessness hangs over me. There are decent moments but so much of my day takes place under shadow.
I'm still slugging along but it feels so messy, like everyone else is in the desirable areas of the Candy Land board and I'm stuck in the swamp-what is it? chocolate? molasses? I always wanted to be the ice cream queen, clean white and blue, similar to the Snow Queen from the Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre, my favorite episode. Whenever we went to the library on base I would race over to the VHS section and search for it, renting it over and over. You'd think that Elsa from frozen would've appealed to me, following this chain of images, but no.
Also loved the image of the angel food cook lady from this cartoon... funny the images that stick with us from childhood? So strong after all these years.
The rain is gone. The sun is back. Insult to injury as far as I'm concerned.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Before I knew myself you told me who I was. I'm not sure if we once communicated well or if I simply accepted our non-communication as the standard, but whatever the case, it's not working for me anymore. I don't know how to fix it, how to take the lead or if I should, or what I should be working towards. You're the mom and even though you've told me "you're not the mother" so many times, I have been thrust into that role many, many times and am still put in the role of "Mrs. Fix-it" often enough to have this response ingrained.
I'm tired of grieving for something I never had. I'm tired of the confusion and feeling inept and lost. I'm tired of falling to pieces after every one of your visits. I am sick with the stress this causes me and I don't know what to do.
I struggle to completely accept the depth of our dysfunction, the entirety of my pain, and the hopelessness of our situation-at least in the short term. I hold out hope that one day we will find a way to communicate. I cling to the propaganda of my youth, that our family isn't "that bad," that we're "relatively close" and that we do things together and have fun like most families don't... but more and more I shed that programming.
Whenever I express concern or pain you deflect or negate my feelings. My severe lack of self esteem makes it difficult for me to believe my own opinions, especially in the face of your rebuttals, but my pain is evidence that my grievances aren't invalid.
I'm so tired, so sad, so sick that while I feel some anger and frustration, their flames fizzle to weak embers that burn only me. I wish I had enough oomph for a smoke signal but I'm not even sure you would acknowledge. It would be one thing to be abandoned, alone on an island, but it's quite another to be ignored, and isolated in the company of others, especially those that are supposed to be your closest allies.
Your Lost Daughter,
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Today I couldn't sleep in, bottomed out with dark thoughts mid-morning and scratched my fingernails up and down my left arm to soothe myself into a very low but somewhat functioning level for a shower around 1 pm. We are hoping to get out of the house and pick up my thyroid meds along with a few groceries.
I am not really caring about much at this point but I did manage to get a few pictures taken as requested. As usual, B.B. doesn't disappoint!
Friday, August 14, 2015
I had a good 45 minutes this morning. Baby Bananaface and I kicked things off pretty well, I even got halfway through some yoga before he needed a diaper and the dog needed brekkie. Just as I was resuming my "crescent lunge" series the doorbell rang.
*Ding dong-it's life, here to put you off course*
Maintenance. Leaks. Pipes. Whatever. No notice from landlord. Cue the anxiety. My day spiraled even as I found myself thinking, "this could set me off down a path I don't need to go, but I don't need to go there." Well my awareness didn't help much when B.B. put up a fight at his by-then-delayed nap and drove me off the crumbling edge of sanity I had left. I got super angry at B.B., super angry at the hubs, no eating, no drinking, just surviving, diaper changes, and reading my romance novel to distract myself until the hubs got home.
He had had his own shitty day at work with a disappointing meeting about his summer bonus and stupid bureaucratic shit about his so-called promotion. I had written him a note and left it in his wallet for him to find this morning-I love these, so handy-and that helped but the angry, incoherent texts from me that morning/afternoon kinda sent a mixed message....
After he got home and took over on baby duty I spent a couple hours relaxing, especially enjoying the rainstorm (with thunder and lightning!) that intensified around 3:30 PM. I slipped on my fluffy pink robe, purple velvety slippers, grabbed a puzzle book and lounged on our balcony with the rain whispering on my ankles. Oh! And Fio (on the injured roster with a gimp leg) sat in my lap. It was lovely. Refreshing. Refocusing. The puzzle I did even had baby's name in it (a very rare thing considering his name!). So I reset a bit. Showered and we went for retail therapy.
On the way to the mall (I mean, in the turn lane right before the parking lot) some idiot (wo)man-child spun out their lowered BMW and nearly crashed into us. It was so close that the bumper they had shredded on the curb brushed our front right side. She was such a fucking idiot. I don't know how the hell she managed to lose control in that section of the road but we thought for sure it would be Baby's first accident, she was coming right at us after swinging all over the two lanes beside us. Ugh.
Other than that rather shocking shit-cherry on our shit day sundae we had a good time at the mall (for being in a mall) and found some good deals and nice just-because things... The hubs picked out some fused glass earrings for me, I found some nursing-friendly dresses on the cheap, and we got B.B. some things, including this onesie that had me crying in the back of the Gap Kids...
Oh, Universe, how I wish for him to stay him a well-oiled happy machine.
Now some late night brownies and Star Trek.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
I've been living my days one at a time, trying to string a few good days together but struggling to make that happen. Nearly everyday I spend heaving my aching body to and fro, a pool of stress sploshing in my belly, my teeth clenching or my brow knotting, my brain feeling swollen and overheated, my thoughts racing any which way they please, thrumming along compulsively dwelling on painful problems I cannot solve. It hurts. It sucks. It's not a "normal" thing and I'm sick of it.
This time instead of missing the point and my mind skipping straight to "I'm trapped, I need the pain to stop, I want it all to stop, I want out" I find myself acknowledging that I need help. I need support, I need guidance, I may need meds, something to give me power over my life again, something to help me dig myself out of this rut. I don't know if that means finding the right babysitter to help reduce my stress, finding a new doctor to help me attack this anxiety, or both or something else altogether but something needs to happen and soon.
I'm tired. I'm confused. I'm angry and sad and hurting in so many ways.
All I want are more good days. I don't need all good days, maybe just content days, just enough so that I can tell the good from the bad. Lately I seem stuck with "not exactly bad" or "terrible." I harbor this well of resentment at others for not acknowledging that I'm struggling but it seems like that anger is just a refraction from my own feelings of frustration with myself.
It's time I listen to myself. I need help and that means listening to and caring for myself.
Ugh. Words right now just aren't enough.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
I was nursing on a street just of the main street, sitting on a big wooden bench with the hubs sitting beside me drinking some water and a lady (late 50s or early 60s) walked by and said to me, "You really should consider covering up when you're in public."
The hubs was on her like a honey badger defending his comb.
"Yeah, lady, well state law protects..."
"For the children..."
Me, in a pleasant tone, "It should be normalized for them."
Her, bitingly, "It's inappropriate!"
At this point she's still walking and talking and the hubs is up hollering at her, "State law protects breastfeeding in all public places!"
"THE STATE IS CORRUPT!!!"
The hubs shakes his head, and gives me a "what the???" look.
"Well have a nice day lady!"
Me, in a slightly rattled but relatively pleasant tone, "What that bitch was crazy. Thank you for defending us hun."
We smooched. It was very white knight romantic despite the yelling and public disturbance.
And now, I shall soothe myself through memes....
|Captain Baby of the SS Bananaface|
|2nd time swimming, he's still not very impressed|
|Some throwback cuteness to those early days|
Monday, August 10, 2015
I worry about you. I worry that this disease of mine is ripping you apart, munching holes in the important bits, slicing away support beams until you will collapse into an overheated pile of useless mush.
I worry about our future. I worry that years of this up-and-down cycling will compromise you, jeopardize our longevity or simply ruin our later years. Worse, that we'll get stuck in "down."
I worry that trying drugs again would only make you weaker, and let's face it, you're not the picture of health as it is.
As much as I worry, I also hate. I feel angry, frustrated, and betrayed. I want to bash you about with a giant wrench. I want to you cut you away from my body and leave you on the side of the street, somewhere dusty and inauspicious. I want to literally kick you to the curb.
In my dirty fantasy, I imagine you sitting near a street drain. Oily water surges over you as traffic charges past, each wave of cars causes you to lurch ever closer to the dark entrance before you vanish with one final teeter. Not a smooth glide into the drain like a little boy's paper boat, no, not for you. For you I want the repulsive, awkward stagger of roadkill on a rainy day.
I wish I could replace you and yet even more I wish I could heal you. As much as I hate the pain you cause me, the bad memories you cling to, you're still mine. I want things to work. So I keep going with you, as much as I wish for some relief, some easy way out. There are no restraining orders, no shelters, no vacations to take me away from you...
It's you and me brain. To the end.