Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks on Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. Usually I love to post all the things I am thankful for and talk about them, but this year I'm not feeling completely thankful. I'm struggling with depression, which i hope is just situational because of the trouble with my mom and my friend.

But i am thankful. I have some of the most amazing people in the world supporting me through all this. I have a wonderful job (that I need to blog about), and i have my miraculous health. I'm not completely healthy, but I'm much better than i was, and that is wonderful.

I have a nephew who fills my heart with joy no matter how sad i am. I have my bonus siblings - Chris, Kyra, Sarah, and Chase, and i have my unwavering rocks, my brother, Darin, and my dad.

I can't express how thankful I am for these people. They give me faith in the world and faith in myself. And maybe that's what I'm most thankful for - my ability to have faith in myself even when I'm being attacked. My faith in myself definitely wavers, and I'm so thankful to have wonderful friends, family and a great therapist who build me back up when I fall over.

And I'm sort of tipped over today, but I have people who love me surrounding me and reminding me why I love myself.

And I have Luca-Bug. Who wouldn't be thankful for this?

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are all as lucky as I am. I hope you are in good health and surrounded by people who love you for you.

-- Carla's on the go! Post from her iPhone.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

So Lately

Recently things have been hard; it's been hard to get off my butt and do anything.  It's hard to not think about my mother or the friendship that got screwed up.  In hard times like these I try to turn to my angels and let them bring me what I need.  This post is going to be quote heavy, but it's how I feel and expresses best my emotions. 

I try to live knowing, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you might just find, you get what you need." - The Rolling Stones.  The 2nd half of that quote was my senior quote for the yearbook in high school - because I couldn't fit the whole thing.  I honestly believe "If you try sometime, you might just find you get what you need." 

Wednesday was probably my worst day.  I couldn't stop crying at work.  I came home early to go directly to sleep.  It was "Go straight to NAP. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200."  I couldn't handle the world anymore.  And then my phone started dinging.  Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. You've got Text Message.  So I got up to see who was obsessively texting me.  And it was three texts from a guy I hadn't heard from since August... and they were very sweet text messages.  Apparently, he's a blog lurker (HI!) and was worried about me.  I believe my angels sent him to check up on me.  More on him later... but....

And tonight I'm having trouble again.  Things with my mom still suck.  Things with my friend still suck.  And I'm not doing well on the path to loving myself completely like I wrote about in the last post.  I'm on my way to bed, but a song came to mind - and it's a song I really needed tonight.  I need to put myself "In the arms of the angels" and "fly away from here."

I feel like this song... and it is strongly tied to my memories of Ladybug.  And I am missing her tonight.  And I'm thinking about all my other angels and asking for their help.  So here are the lyrics to Sarah McLachlan's "Angel."

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There’s always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There’s vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lie
That you make up for all that you lack
It don’t make no difference
Escaping one last time
It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here

"And maybe I'll find some peace tonight/ In the arms of the angel."

Love to all my angels.

Beautiful Words

 These are the beautiful words Kyra wrote about one of my recent posts.  After her comment, I will write a little about what she said.  
Kyra S. has left a new comment on your post "Mental Me":

Someone once said "Just stop feeling that way!"

Yeah. Right. I'll get right on that.

I know it is hard because of your anxiety to just let it be unresolved (this is from a card carrying member of the anxiety club) but realize that you can. And every time your brain comes back to that "Oh no, I can't take it place" just reply calmly "Yes I can, cause I've nearly died and if I can survive that I can survive this." And just pretend you believe it.

Your friend may never be willing or able to understand mental illness. Its hard for people sometimes when on the surface someone seems so healthy. Realize that your brain is fundamentally different than someone without PTSD. (And if anyone contradicts you, send them to the head of the Psyc department at the UW, who has research to the contrary) I'm betting your friend wouldn't ask someone with a triple bi-pass to run a marathon. In the same way she shouldn't ask you to be in the same room with your trigger. It would endanger your life and health just as much the marathon would someone with a heart condition.

I recently had a conversation with someone in a high position in the mental health community who asked how it is we can change perceptions of mental health in the US. I believe that we need to see people with Mental Health issues as full and complete people. Period. Not to be fixed or cured. Treated? Of Course. Medicated? When necessary. But to see them as valuable human beings first.

You are a whole, complete, wonderful person as you are. Give your PTSD a hug, cause it is part of you and you are wonderful.

Know that you are loved.

PS. Luca says: fffffffjfjfjdjdg. fjhgh edug sfggh h fd hesdjz. (Which I think means "What mommy said!")

These are words are so beautiful, so complete, so good for my soul it's hard to write about them.

I need to realize that my PTSD is just as much a part of me as my CF is.  I accepted my CF a long time ago - I know that it is part of me but does not control me.  I know that I am a complete person who happens to have CF.  I need to do that for my PTSD, too.  I need to realize that I am not a crazy burden.  I am a person with a medical illness - that happens to be mental - and sometimes I need some accommodations.  Just like when I travel I use a wheelchair and my friends accommodate that, they need to accommodate my need to not be around my PTSD trigger. 

I may not know what to do about my friend and her inability or unwillingness to accept my PTSD, but I need to accept my PTSD and know that I am a whole person who has some challenges.  I need to realize that I did what I had to do to protect myself - and despite the fact that she says I can't be trusted to behave appropriately, I do behave appropriately; I behave in a self-preserving way, sometimes, but other than that my behavior is always appropriate.

I know I have wonderful people supporting me; these are the people that see me as a whole person who happens to have PTSD, not as a burden or a crazy loon. 

And maybe I am a crazy loon - but at least I know it and can give my whole self a hug - PTSD, cystic fibrosis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, depression, anxiety, diabetes and all.  It's who I am.  And the entire me is loved by some incredible people, and I am working on being able to love my entire self, too. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Like Oprah and Law & Order

I'm disowned again.  Maybe just for today or this week, or maybe for a long time.  So Oprah, Law & Order and I have a club. 

I'm barely holding it together.  "Like a G6" helps. Awesome friends help - but I usually cry because they are so nice and wonderful to me.  Later I'm going to post the comment Kyra made on my last post because it is just too beautiful not to share. 

The other thing that helps is that Katy Perry song "Peacock."  I can't stop watching the silly video I posted a link to last night in the middle of the night.

Like Kyra said, I've almost died before, and I came back fighting from that.  I fight for my health all the time.  I can fight through this and survive.

So that's what I'm doing today.  Trying to survive and to cry as little as possible.     

Mental Me

It's 3am and I'm up.  I'm up, listening to "Like a G6" and writing... well, waiting for inspiration and play Bejeweled.  I'm sort of a mental mess right now, and I have realized that my blog has become a play by play of my PTSD adventures, and I rarely write about my CF anymore.  That's because my CF hasn't really been a problem lately.

I wrote in my last post about a fight with a friend and a trigger who is a person.  Well, it's escalated and I'm completely heartbroken.

My friend sent me an email in which she completely ignored my PTSD, and from what I understand, she doesn't want to deal with it.  I don't usually do this, but I am putting up a quote from her email because it is what has me so upset.

"A is my friend and I will invite A to events I host, and for now, you will not be invited when A is because I cannot trust you to behave appropriately."

When I got this email I broke into sobs.  I can't be trusted to behave appropriately.  Untrue.  Considering my mental illness, I am behaving in a completely appropriate manner.  I will run from my trigger.  I actually pride myself on acting mature and like a civilized adult.  I am silly - but I know how to behave myself. 

My friend is being unfair to me.  It's how I feel.  She won't talk things through with me - won't listen to my side, but as I was told this evening, what I say will probably fall on deaf ears unless my friend is ready to hear it.  It's the waiting that is killing me.  I am not the type of person who needs to cool down - I need to work things out immediately because otherwise they eat at me and I become a ball of mush who cries at work - I can't believe I cried at work today. 

My friend is being unfair to me.  It is completely not fair to not think about my PTSD and try to understand.  "A" has done and said horrible things.  "A" violated me.  End of story.  "A" is a serious trigger for my PTSD (thinking about coming in contact with "A" sends me into a full panic - which is what happened.  We were both invited to a party - as a way to stop my panic attacks, I asked "A" if he/she would do me a favor and not show up to the party I really wanted to go to. "A" said fine.  My friend is still mad.  Still really mad, apparently.). 

I have been told by three different mental health professionals to avoid "A" and to never be around "A" because I could relapse.  The last time I relapsed was this past spring.  I nearly checked myself into a mental ward, but instead went to stay with my parents for a week.  *Side note - I brought this up to my mother today, and she didn't remember this at all.  Thanks for the support, Mom.  Like I said this is a side note but not a totally different story.  Sort of like me talking about my triggers to her allows her to air her opinion that I should just "grow up and be an adult."  Sure Mom, I'll work on growing out of a mental illness that went untreated for many years.

I don't want to relapse - and I feel there are a few special people who are keeping me from such a relapse.  But I got the email from my friend this evening and I cried... from 9pm when I got home from work until 11 when I went to bed.  And it was what Oprah and I call the "Ugly Cry."  The sobbing so hard you can't breathe.  Snot flying everywhere and the hyperventilating.  

I had to call my brother twice - and luckily the 2nd time he had me watch a completely awesome YouTube video.  You're welcome! And Thanks Darin!!!

So that video cured the Ugly Cry, but not the pain.  I don't know what to do about the pain.  One of my very best friends isn't speaking to me - and she won't even think about my PTSD.  Listen to why I did what I did, or try to understand why I can't be around "A."

I want to feel like I'm a good friend - because right now I feel like I can't do anything right.  I try so hard to fix things, to apologize when I screw up (which in this case, I did what I had to do - even if it was wrong.  I had no choice.  I had to stop the panic attacks somehow).  I take my friendships very seriously because my friends are so important to me.  My family could fall apart at any moment - my brother is going to move away.  My mother is prone to uninviting me to things - like today, when I got myself uninvited to Thanksgiving.  Maybe she'll cool down and I'll go, but I don't know.  My dad gets irritated when I call too often (which is like, a daily occurrence).  So I need my friends.  And right now, I feel like a horrible friend. 

Tonight I sent text messages and emails to my really good friends - the ones keeping me going.  The ones I am truly thankful for and blessed to have in my life.  I am trying to focus on the positive - like these people, but it's so hard.  Why can't I just forget my friend and move on?  Because she's in my core group of friends.  She is one of the people I thought I could count on for anything.  Someone I thought would understand mental illness - and apparently she doesn't understand or doesn't want to understand.  And that just hurts so bad.  

I want the pain to go away. Today it was pretty unbearable. After I found out Mom said she doesn't want me to come at all for Thanksgiving, I came home early from work and took a nap right up until the time I had to go back to the studio.  I needed to curl up and hide from the world... and this was BEFORE I got the fabulous email from my friend.  BEFORE the sobbing and the even worse pain. 

Most of all, I want my friend back.  I want things to go back to normal.  I want to hang out with my friends and have a great time laughing and playing games or watching movies or whatever. 

I want to feel whole again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Proud Mental Case

I just saw a commercial saying 1 in 6 adults has a mental illness.  I am proud to be one of them - proud to have gotten treatment with therapy and medication and proud to continue to go to therapy and take my medications.

I recently had an incident where I had what might be best described as a "flare up" of my PTSD, and it caused an argument between me and one of my best friends.  And I don't know how to help her understand my PTSD.  I don't know how to help any of my friends understand.  Some of my friends and some of my family are so unbelievably supportive, and some people just say the strangest, worst things imaginable.  My mother says many of those horrible things - but that's a different story. 

My PTSD is here to stay.  I have triggers - things that make me nervous, uncomfortable and anxious.  Some things cause a bigger "flare up" than others.  I cringe every time I see a particular make and model of car.  There is one sport that I would love to be a fan of, but it makes me uncomfortable.  And there are a few people I just can't be around.  It's a long story why I can't be around a couple people and it's a longs story why I was in a fight with my friend.

The point is, I want my blog to help people understand mental illness.  I want people to understand that I am like everyone else, I just have a few problems with my brain - just like I have problems with my lungs.  I'm still a person with feelings, wants, and needs. 

Mental illness is harder for me to deal with than my cystic fibrosis.  It's entrapment in your own mind.  It's illogical and you can't escape it.  Sometimes I know I am absolutely crazy and acting unreasonably, but I can't help it.  I am doing my best to calm down, or make the flashbacks stop.  I am trying to survive until things get better. 

Mainly, I want compassion from others and some level of understanding.  You may never know what it's like to experience a mental illness personally, but try and understand what your friend/family member/coworker/neighbor/that stranger you judge is going through.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life in Fragments

I don't feel I have time to write a complete blog post.  So here is one in fragments...

Loving life.
Doing some volunteer secretary work and dance training.
Taught first ballroom dance class - the waltz.  Went well. LOVE it.  Born to teach.  Thought someday I'd teach chem; teaching dance more fun, less work.

Loving Luca - cutie who has stolen my whole heart.
Love being MoH for best friend's wedding... planning things is so much fun!
Doing dishes, laundry, knitting, quilting, knitting, dance, try to write but pretty much fail.
Halloween my favorite.  Had great time dancing and partying.  Was Queen of Hearts - so great!

Looking into small O2 concentrators so I can travel - nothing going to hold me back.  Going to live my life fully and fun. 

Thanks fam and friends for making my life wonderful.

The end.

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