Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tiny Steps for Some... Giant Strides for Me

I feel like a new person. Is it easy? No. Not on your life. Everyday is a struggle while my meds are being weaned away. But each day I wake up and smell a smell I didn't before. I notice a feeling that was muted while medicated. And I am finding myself. Who I am. What I like. What I hate. What makes me tick and what makes me happiest. And do you know what I have found? Theatre. I cannot get enough. Yes me. The one who never attended one party in my school years because I was too shy. The one who always walked looking down so no one would notice me. Now I am the person who decided to highlight my hair purple, just because I could. It started with the toddler drama class for Kamryn. It was a class that required a parent to attend with the child. I loved it. More than she even. From there I took and acting class and started to audition for experience. I did one straight audition and one musical audition. Neither landed me a part however the musical did get me involved and this production I will be working on the tech crew. It doesn't matter what I am doing, what kind of day I have had, or how stressed I am, when I walk through those backstage doors I become....Me. The Me I have just recently begun to discover and meet and learn about. Theatre is my love. My family is my love and now life without medication is my love. Thank you Lord for changing my life.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Change is the essence of life.Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become"

Some of you may have noticed a small change in my bio. An ommission of a few words that mean my whole person. A few weeks ago my therapist, who shall remain unnamed here, changed the doctor for whom she practices. I, of course planned to follow her, while continuing to see the doctor I had been with for years at his office as normal. It seemed, upon my last visit, that that idea was not acceptable to him and when he treated me very badly, I decided to leave his practice and follow my therapist to the doctor for whom she now works.
The other day I had my first consult with the new doctor. Immediately I was impressed with his office and his style of practice. He has a more holistic approach, in whice medications are used when thought to be beneficial, however other options are sought first. His thinking was to take me off of the heavy amount of medications I am on and start clean. After a long session with him explaining my past, present and struggles he feels that my condition is mainly Borderline disorder, an axis 2 disorder and not bipolar at all. In other words (his), my condition is not one that will benefit from medication but rather from intense therapy to heal my past traumas. Borderline being one of the few conditions that can be completely cured with proper treatment, I was ecstatic.
So tonight was my consult with my therapist who now will partially manage my meds and help to wean and detox my system. NOT a fun process. However it must me done. The next few months will be extremely hard. I have done this before in order to conceive my children and did it myself but also didn't have any responsibilities. I could sleep all day if necessary. Now I have two little lives depending on me all day and a husband to support as well, who is currently trying to hold himself together as his mother is dying of cancer. I have my battle set before me but I am looking forward to being myself completely again. I am fully aware that when completely detoxed, I may find the continued need for medication again but feel better that it is more of a last resort than a go-to option.
Here's to a safe, easy ride on the roller coaster laying ahead....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bittersweet Sentiment

Here I sit, pecking away on my shiny new laptop. Top of the line, she is. The best of the best. Somehow though, she just isn't the same.
We bought our new laptop because my trusty old desktop was becoming ever less trusty. She had seen better days in the ten years she was by my side. After a multitude of system restores she just wasn't up to speed lately...literally. It was to the point that I feared turning her off for fear she would not boot back up. I had over 3,ooo pictures, videos and other irreplaceable treasures in her hands. True we had begun to back up her hard drive to a portable hard drive over the last year, but she still held them in confidence.
As if she knew she could finally let go and rest in peace after ten long years of being my companion, she turned off and would not boot back up...on the exact day that we fired up our shiny new laptop. We got it all ready to dump all of my photos and videos from the portable drive to the new computer when we realized a gap of two months time worth of photos were not backed up. Halloween through Christmas was missing. So we went down to retrieve them from my old companion, Nelly, and were saddened when she just couldn't give us one more boot.
Normally I would be devastated to have lost those two months of our documented lives but under the circumstances I found myself more upset at the passing of Nelly. How ridiculous is that? Saddened by my computer dying. But I feel like I have lost a good friend, a true companion.
Nelly has been by my side for ten years now. She has moved with me four times. When I first brought her home from the Officemax ten years ago I was just a kid. I hadn't yet been married for the first time.
She was with me while shopping online for my first wedding dress and honeymoon and kept safe all the photos and memorabilia that went with that joyous time.she helped me search for my first jobs and launch my career. She helped me connect with old friends via chat to talk to when my marriage turned for the worse and the pain was too much to bear alone. She was the one who helped me search out divorce vs dissolution and a mediator. Her keyboard soaked up so many tears that I am amazed it still allowed me to communicate with my supportive friends and family. She helped me search for apartments I could afford in order to start my life on my own again. She helped me to meet and foster a deep friendship with the man who I would come to view as my sould mate and eventually marry. She was there when I fell ill and had to research Ohio dissability laws. She was there when we booked our Las Vegas wedding and soon after was there when I found another job to get back on my feet. She was there to help me communicate the wonderful news that God was blessing us with a baby girl and I truly believe she was just as much in awe as were we at the incredible 4D ultrasound pictures and videos she was hosting of our bundle of joy. She held our changing lives via my belly changes safe and before long together we shopped for houses and nursery decor. She was there to help me connect with other mothers for support in my new adventure as a mother and was there when we found out we were expecting again. She held all of our most precious memories safe. She helped me find some of my dearest friends via forum sites. Friends who, although I have never met personally, I feel closer to than some of my own family. She helped me reunite with long lost friends via Facebook and taught me how to edit photos and make creative memories that will forever be treasured.
Nelly was more than just a piece of plastic with a mother board and all that. She was a part of my life. And no matter how shiny and pretty my new computer is, she is just not Nelly. I hope I can bond with my new laptop the same way I did Nelly although she is on the quiet side. But regardless I will always hold a special place in my heart for could I not?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is Fighting the Stigma a Losing Battle?

I have been working so hard at not falling victim to the stigma attached with mental illness. I am so strong for the most part. Mainly because up until last year I could talk about my issue in past tense and had a story of "recovery". However since this last year having to deal with my illness again and in a pretty big way, I am again seeing that stigma following me around like a shadow. Not always in words but in other ways.

I will never get rid of this. The final straw was a few days ago when talking with an old friend. Someone with similar struggles. Someone I had to literally take to the hospital when she was breaking down and someone who after reading about it, truly felt like she might fit the profile of a person struggling with BPD, better know as Borderline Personality Disorder. Now BPD is 100% curable and one of the only mental illnesses that is and not just controlled with medication. When my friend talked to her doctor/therapist about her wonder of whether she fit that criteria, the therapist said that she might but that she would never want that label. She claimed it was a horrible label to have. If even the professionals in this field are falling to and encouraging us to avoid labels, labels that could potentially give us the proper care, what does that mean to us??

Will this EVER leave me again? Probably not. I start to think so when I have good days but lately I have been struggling. The tumor in my pituitary gland is causing hypothyroidism amongst other medical issues which now are effecting the combination of meds that were finally working. I am sick alot physically and now fearing a breakdown again.

The good friends that I have found here are the only thing keeping me here now. I want so badly to move somewhere where no one knows of my baggage of my past or my present. Is this fair? Do we look at heart patients differently? How about diabetics? I cannot ever foster children regardless of how long I have been stable or even with a doctors' recommendation. I cannot ever provide respite care. I feel labeled and restricted as though I am a felon because of an illness that was started primarily by my being a VICTIM of a felon. Meanwhile that felon walks a normal life because I chose NOT to pursue legal action as I was not able to deal with it at at that time.
Tonight I will pray that God will reveal his plan for me in a way that will be less painful and shameful....whether its fair or not...painful or not.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

God Is Tugging My Heart...

....and he is pulling it toward Cleveland,Ohio. No really, I did just type that. Me...the Steelers fan, but yes. We are hurting here in Ohio, and I knew this but until I viewed the following video I didn't realize just how much worse Cleveland is struggling than other parts of the US. It is a heartbreaking reality check of how hard things are just an hour away from me, yet to most of us, out of sight is easily out of mind as well. I am praying for God to continue to tug our hearts toward Cleveland and guide us where we can help. This video was shown at the beginning of our church service at Rivertree Christian Church in Canton. It was put together by Momentum Christian Church,a church that our church helped plant in Cleveland to start to reach out to Cleveland and bring God's love to those hurting so much....Please take a minute and view this and if nothing else, say a prayer that he continues to use those of us able to help in order to reach out to those struggling so much.