Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Just do three things,...



Yes, for anyone who reads my blog they know that my rule for times of distress is to "Just do three things today" The reasoning behind it is that it makes me feel less guilty when I am having a black day. And sometimes, if I do three things it inspires me to keep on going. You know the theory,... well your up now, you may as well do such and such as well. Sometimes it can turn my black day into a somewhat shifty shade of grey.

But today. Today was a real test. I woke up feeling very depressed and down. Add to that the weather is extremely hot (34* ~ 40* with the humidity) and I just felt like a limp dishrag. I'll be honest with you. I wished that I could have gone back to bed and never woken up again.

But, I forced myself. I did my 3 things. I went to get my chest x-ray done,... I went to get my blood work done at the lab,.. and I went to the grocery store and bought some fruit. But once I came home I sank down into my lounge chair and didn't move for hours. I still feel sad. Depressed. Lethargic. Useless. A failure,...  (yes, this Black Fog is a bad one) But I have to say that having done my "3 things" I do feel like I also accomplished something and that is good.

I really hope this depression shifts soon. It really is a horrible way to feel. But while its here, I will keep in mind that baby steps are better than no steps at all,...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

After the crash


Back to the psychiatrist I went yesterday. After my crash I thought I would at least try to be pro-active.  Let the Doctor know what happened. And talk about it. And talk we did. I brought my support person (a family member) as I always do because that way the Doctor gets to know two sides to my behaviour. My version (from the oblivious little bubble I live in) and the real version. The two are rarely the same. It would seem that I “am an enigma” (her words ~ not mine) and that my illness is complicated because I have overlapping diagnoses. It’s hard to find a medication regime as one may be good for the OCD but may not be conducive to my depression or agoraphobia, etc,… I am a melting pot of illnesses. Apparently I am a “challenge” to treat for my psychiatrist. But we are all working hard to try. My Doctor, my family and myself. I know I will never be “normal” (what is normal anyway,…?) but I think if I work at it, I can still do well.

Things are better. I do see positive changes. Ten years ago I was, well,… let’s be honest,… a big hot mess. I had this illness but I didn’t have a clue how to cope with it. Nobody did back then so everyone was just floundering around not knowing what to do. I didn’t see my bad choices and behaviours. My family certainly did but they didn’t know how to deal with me. It wasn’t until I was able to get some professional help in the last few years that things got better. Before,… when I crashed,.. bad things happened (which we won’t get into except to say they were extreme and I always ended up in the hospital) Now, when I crash, I can see it. I can do things to help myself. medication is one aspect but it’s not the whole answer. I am now learning how to deal with it by doing certain things to help myself.  Spending time in “Homewood” (a psychiatric hospital) two years ago was probably one of the best things to have happened to me. I learned so much about myself and how to care for my illness.

So even though I am still feeling depressed and guilty and a failure right now. I’m not going to let that take over. I will continue to do my “Just do 3 things today” so I am at least doing something and I will just wait this ride out.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Peeking through the letter box



That was an awesome run. I felt good and was pretty productive for the past few months. I was sleeping okay for the most part,… being somewhat social (Is shopping alone being social?) Seeing family more than usual,… I was (dare I utter the phrase “almost normal”) My apartment is pretty much done and looks awesome now if I do say so myself. 

But, (as there always seems to be a “but”) the run seems to have ended.

I have to say firstly that even though the past few months have been good. I did get carried away with all the painting and decorating. In typical OCD fashion I became obsessed with getting it perfect. And in getting it perfect I spent a lot of money. I mean A LOT of money,… way too much money,….  And my mind was constantly on things I would do. If I had an idea for  the decorating at 2 in the morning while lying in bed, I would actually get up and look it up on the internet. If I decided I wanted something (because it would be “perfect” for what I wanted it for) then I would just go out and buy it. But being OCD I had to buy it now,… I “needed it” NOW. Sometimes I would leave for Walmart at 7 in the morning when it opened because I just couldn’t wait. I know this behavior is illogical but in the world of OCD logic doesn’t come into it. You get fixated on something and then its tunnel vision on that fixation until it is done. I don’t even think of the consequences. I just do it and worry about it later.

Well, It’s later,…  And now I am forced to think of it. I now realize I spent way too much money. I now realize I went way overboard on the decorating. I now realize my behavior wasn’t normal. But,… whats done is done.

And so on Friday when I did my banking I saw just how much I spent and it all hit me like a sack of wet potatoes. Again, like many, many other times in my life, I had made yet again some bad choices. I see it NOW,… but during the past few months I just thought I was being normal. That’s the evil of mental illness. You can’t see it when you’re in it,… It’s only later you shake your head and wonder what the hell was I thinking. I mean in what part of my brain did I think I was some kind of self-made millionaire with a bottomless bank account?? What allowed me to think that painting at 3 in the morning is normal?? How could I have possibly thought that any of my behaviors over the past few months even resembled normal?

I came crashing down with a thud. First,… I had a good cry because we know that has an important purpose (insert sarcasm there). And then I could almost feel the black fog lowering down on me. The negative thoughts,… the depression,… the total disgust at myself. The guilt,… and just feeling like a total failure. I went to bed in the hopes that it was just a passing mood and I would wake up feeling much better. I didn’t. My brain was foggy. The apathy was beginning. I knew this wasn’t going to bode well for today’s mood either. That whole day I felt a little out of frequency. Things were unclear,… I was getting lost inside my head which is never a good thing for me. I knew this was going to be a bumpy ride.

So now here I am, 3 days later and I still feel like I’m walking in molasses. My mind a haze. I feel numb. I still have some things to do like cleaning up all the paint, etc,… and putting it all away. But I don’t have a place to put it and that conundrum is just too much for my brain to handle right now so I just leave it. In fact, my mind can’t seem to make any decisions right now. I can’t go outside. Not even to take the garbage out or get my mail. I  am supposed to go to the hospital for a chest xray and the lab but I can’t. I need to make a few phone calls but I can’t talk to anyone. The past 2 days I have not even cleaned or tidied. I just sit and watch TV mindlessly. It’s really horrible to feel like this. It is what I call the dreaded “Black Fog”

So I guess it’s back to “Just do 3 things today no matter how small”  I don’t know how long I will be hibernating away this time. But I do know it will get better at some point. It always does. And THAT is what I have to keep telling myself. This won’t last forever and you will feel better again. I just have to grin and bear it until it does.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jacquie's Little Adventure





Wednesday night started out like any other night except that Hayley was visiting. We were chilling out in the living room waiting for “Paranormal Witness” to come on at 10:00pm.  We both love scary stuff but are afraid to watch things alone so we like to hang out and watch it together.

But suddenly I got a pain in my chest. Not just a little pain. A crushing pain. It felt like when you get a Charlie horse in your calf or something. Tightening,… gripping, unbearable pain. I tried walking it off. I tried laying down. I tried sitting, standing, curling up in the fetal position,… but it just got worse.  After 15 minutes and finding myself in agony, nauseous and sweating profusely I started to get scared.  Crawling on the bathroom floor I got to a point where I couldn't breathe or talk. It was time to get help.

Hayley called my brother and off I went to the hospital. But within 15 – 20 minutes of arriving there the pain subsided and I started to feel a lot better. But to be on the safe side the doctor kept me in overnight hooked up to an ECG to monitor me. By morning I felt completely better.

They still don’t know what the cause was. They don’t think it was my heart because all those tests came back normal. So they thought it must be either gallbladder or severe indigestion. Um, what? Indigestion?? But I felt like I was dying. I remember being on the bathroom floor thinking ‘Seriously? THIS is how I’m going to go?? Writhering in pain on the bathroom floor with my 18-year-old daughter watching??’  ~ I mean I seriously thought I was having a massive coronary and was going to die. ~ So hearing indigestion really threw me. Oh come on,… indigestion!

But apparently it happens. It could also have been gallbladder but I don’t suppose we’ll ever know unless it happens again. I mean, How embarrassing is this? Being rushed into the ER with a bad case of indigestion. It’s all kind of left me red-faced and feeling silly.

It does bring to mind that I’m getting older though. When I told the doctor I doubted it was a heart attack because I was only 49, he said plenty of people have heart attacks at that age. That was a little eye-opening. He was right. I am now at an age where maybe I have to start taking a serious look at my health and start taking better care of myself. So maybe it’s time to implement some changes. Diet (yup, that dreaded “D” word) and exercise (well that one may as well be considered profanity in my world). Just something for me to think about.