I’d like to use the reset button now.

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The Zoloft was a bust. Once I hit the 50mg I became more and more depressed. I could hardly stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. And just felt. Blah.

Since my psychiatrist is retiring next month, she at first didn’t want to change my meds again in case she couldn’t see me again before she’s gone. Who ever they are getting to replace her looks like won’t be starting until sometime in September. Awesome.

After explaining to her the extreme depression. Thoughts of suicide. In ability to stay awake or wake up in the mornings she felt it was best to make a change.

And here is where the fun begins. I have now tried just about every SSRI out there. Most make me feel like crap or just stopped working. I’ve taken Effexor XR previously with some results until it just stopped working. So my doctor decided to go down the SNRI route again. This time we are trying Pristiq.

I’m pretty nervous about it since the end results of being on Effexor resulted in checking myself into the psych ward for a week. Pristiq is supposed to be very similar to Effexor. Plus. My insurance is refusing to cover the new med because “there are plenty of other options”. Which I’ve tried. So now I must wait for my doctors office to tell them that it’s needed.

For now the Zoloft has been decreased and I feel like hell. Anxiety is super high. Depression is awful. Sometimes I’m not sure I know what it feels like to not feel this way anymore. I want a do-over. A reset button. Life was not supposed to be like this.

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When you cut the ties don’t try and tie them back together again.

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Awhile back I was unfortunately injured at work…fractured tibial plateau aka the tibia was fractured at the top near the knee.

I was taken out of work for 6 months and during that time I discovered the people I’d thought were my friends at work were truly not.

Not only was I treated poorly by one in particular whom I’d spent a lot of time with outside of work. But then flat out ignored.

She seemed to hold resentment for me because I was unable to work. Although I was injured on the job, and it hurt like hell I finished my 15.5 hour day.

She first told me how I was screwing them all over after being taken out of work. Then she stopped hanging out with me. And then just ignored me all together unless she needed something from me.

*sigh*

In the end I was left confused. Hurt. Wondering what I had done to make her hate me.

What did I do??

Nothing. I wasn’t of any use to her. So she dumped me. Nice right?

So when she sent me a text the other day asking why I no longer worked there.

The correct thing would have been to ignore her. MYOB lady.

But oooh no. I decided it would be a good idea to talk to her.

I explained the horrible situation I was placed in and I felt that I had been treated poorly and left.

Ignored.

Again.

She probably was looking for information about the girl who was causing me issues at work. Or dirt in general to start rumors.

Stupid. Oh so stupid. Once again I’m left feeling hurt.

Someday I will be strong enough to just cut these people out of my life for good.

Relief is not always a healthy thing.

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I’m ashamed to admit I had a relapse into my self harm last week. It feels so stupid now. How I just wanted to feel something…anything from what I was feeling at that moment I lost control and let myself fall back on my old ways.

Oh the shame I feel as I tend to my burns. Not as bad as I used to do…I suppose my tolerance to the pain isn’t what it I used to be in the old days.

While they are almost healed already the shame remains. How weak I was in that moment. That others can see my weakness (I only burn myself on my left forearm).

Worst of all is the shame of letting down the Other Half.

A stupid promise I made. Not to do it again. As if I have that kind of self control when things get bad. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. He of course was upset. Felt betrayed I suppose. All because I only I want to escape these feelings that overwhelm me to the point where suicide doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

Oh the things I have to live for. So many of them. The biggest? My nephews and niece. Except…my oldest nephew of almost 6 the last time I saw him confused me with my sister in laws sister.

The children who bring me the greatest joy don’t know me. How could they miss me?

Funny how the mind works. I know better than what it attempts to tell me. But it doesn’t change the thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis.

Everyone will be better off without me.

I don’t matter to anyone.

I’m not a productive member of society.

It goes on and on.

Each day I have to find my ways of telling myself it’s all worth it. Someday the meds will help again.

Needless to say the depression is at an all time high. Anxiety is a constant in my life. And the thoughts of doing things I shouldn’t run rampant in my head.

I will stay strong. I have lived 31 years with this I can manage awhile longer.

Body issues are body issues no matter what size you are.

Maybe its because its summer.  Maybe it’s because its bathing suite season.  Maybe its just because everyone is wearing far less clothing because its summer.  But I’ve seen a lot of these kinds of images popping up all over my Facebook feed.

Don’t get me wrong. Being confident in your body IS important.  I know no matter what size you may be you may still have body issues…

I am, in fact, floating between a size 0-1.  No I don’t have the body of a 12 year old boy either thank you.  I suppose in a lot of ways I have exactly what  a lot of girls wish they had.  I’m short but not too short, skinny, no issues with putting on weight, in fact I have the issues that I see a lot of people saying they hate when skinny girls say they have issues keeping on weight.  Well.  Guess what ladies.  It is not the glorious curse you think it is.

I am constantly making myself eat SOMETHING.  Even if I don’t really want food I need to eat.  If I don’t I lose weight.  I at one point not that long ago when I’d hardly been eating…and I was hardly 100lbs.  It’s scary shit.  I normally attempt to stay in the 110-115 range if I’m lucky I can usually manage it as long as I make sure I eat.  Not so easy when anxiety and depression are running rampant in your life.  Some days I really just don’t want to eat.  I want to stay in bed and sleep.

So when these little Meme’s pop up in my Facebook feed…I some days just feel like I’m being attacked because I’m skinny.  The logical part of my brain tells me it’s nothing of the sort.  They are not directing these images to me and only me.

Then my lovely brain of mine decides to pick myself apart.

 Why can’t I look like other girls do?

I never wear make up, not that my skills at applying it are lacking.  My hair.  Well.  It’s pretty simple.  It’s either down or pulled back into a quick bun.  I don’t know the first thing about actually styling hair.  God it looks so easy when I watch others do their hair.  Blow dryer in one hand a round brush in the other….and I end up with a rats nest of hair tangled around a brush…

I admit.  I have zero sense of style.  Not that I’ve bought myself more than a couple pairs of shorts and maybe a couple work friendly shirts in the past few years.  I am a t-shirt and jeans girl.  I hate going out of the house when College is in session.  The sorority girls everywhere makes me feel like I’m some ugly troll wandering the streets.

I mean.  I could go to the gym and tone up.  I could make more attempts at looking how I wish I looked.   But would it ever live up to the standards I have set for myself in my head?

What would you do if your Health Insurance said “No.”

What would you do?

Imagine wakening from a deep sleep to find yourself fully conscious but unable to move any voluntary muscles save for the muscles that control your vertical eye movements. You can see, hear, smell, taste, and even feel the bed sheets against your skin. However, you are unable to speak or make any vocalizations at all. You are totally disconnected from your external world in a real sense. You may appear to be in a coma to others although you are quite capable of understanding their speech and actions. You are, in essence, locked in your own body. This scenario is not a fantasy that Rod Sterling would have written for a Twilight Zone episode but a recognized, though rare, neuropsychological syndrome.

It is called Locked In Syndrome!

Brett Walls age 51 is kind and gentle man who is a husband, father, grandpa, uncle, brother and friend.   On Wednesday February 27, 2014 Brett had three strokes and two aneurisms which caused severe damage in the brain stem, in the “pons” area. The command center.  This has ultimately resulted in what is called Locked-in syndrome which is a rare neuropsychological disorder. Its primary features are quadriplegia and paralysis of the cranial nerves except for those responsible for vertical eye movements.

Right now Brett can see and hear, but his only way to communicate is to use his eye movements. He understands exactly what is going on around him but he is trapped inside his body.

-Text taken from the Go Fund Me page for Brett Walls

 

This is sadly the Step-Father to a former co-worker and friend of mine.  I’ve watched her family fight through this only through Facebook.  While the outlook for most with Locked in Syndrome is not good, and recovery is unlikely, and little more than eye movements were expected.  But this man has fought with the help of his family, friends, and community and has beyond hope, begun to recover.  Imagine.  Having the trach removed, slowly regaining some ability to speak, even eat a little.

But what would you do if then your insurance decided you no longer needed intensive Hospital care and would be sent home.  This is what has happened to Brett.  The therapy he needs to recover…they don’t seem to think he needs.

He is fully aware of what’s happening around him but locked in his own body, paralyzed.  The therapy he needs to continue improving is within reach but his health insurance is refusing to cover it.  The family of Brett Walls got a letter Friday from United Health Care that said he was ready to be discharged from Drake Hospital and coverage would stop Saturday.  It said that level of care, acute care, was no longer needed.

The problem is the ‘what’s next’ is very uncertain.  Tuesday Brett Walls was able to move his right fingers and show arm resistance.  His family was told when he entered Drake Hospital in the spring after a series of strokes not to expect even that.  When Local 12 saw him a few weeks ago starting to breath on his own it was a good thing medically.  But United Health Care said  it now means he needs to be discharged.  If the family wants to get him more care they have to pay out of pocket.

Brett’s wife, Gayle Walls, said, “Although he’s made progress and beaten the odds and we’d love him home ASAP, he’s a long way from that point.”

Brett is fully aware of everything around him and communicates with eye blinks and a chart.  He still has limited mobility and needs a feeding tube for most of his nutrition.  Gayle thought she had the solution for the next step, taking him to a skilled nursing facility.  But their policy called for 60 days of coverage.  After several appeals she was denied this step.

“They deemed him custodial care, maintenance only.  He’s ready to go home,” Gayle said.

The insurance company has denied the skilled care saying he would not benefit. Gayle said a hospital and one specializing in locked-in syndrome in Chicago felt Brett was a good candidate for rehabilitation therapy.

Vicki Harris said that after recovering from locked in syndrome 25 years ago she was given six hours of rehab a day.

“He’s right there and I don’t understand why they are denying him therapy,” she said.

Harris had much less movement than Brett.  Gayle said her husband worked his whole life and paid for health insurance, “And he did so so if the ground would quake beneath him he wouldn’t fall into that hole.  I feel they’re pushing us deeper.”

United Health Care issued a statement that said, “We recognize the devastating nature of this diagnosis for Mr. Walls and his family and we are working closely with them to provide additional support and make sure his family is prepared to help care for him.”
Read More at: http://www.local12.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/fight-recover-turns-into-insurance-battle-man-lockedin-syndrome-14633.shtml?wap=0&

 

I’m often scared of what my insurance will and will not cover when it comes to my own health needs.  Often times insurances are not always so accommodating mental health medications, and have often been left with either no coverage on a new medication, or insane co-pays.  I’ve paid out of pocket for medications, $150.00 for just one medication.  I couldn’t imagine being placed in this position by the insurance you’ve paid.  That’s supposed to be there for you when you do get sick, when you need the help.  It seems in truth United Health Care would much rather have money than actually help those they insure.

All I can do is hope that this post will reach others.  That maybe somehow if enough people know and share this story that it might help my friends family.

Do you remember?

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Children are always asked…

“what do you want to be when you grow up??

Me. Oh no. I didn’t want to be a doctor. Or a firefighter. Nope not an astronaut either. I would declare.

“I want to be an artist!”

I’m not sure what that really meant at that age other than I could draw all day and get paid. Right??

Right??

Oh the cruel truths of adulthood. While I held on strong to my need to be an artist. I went to art school. Studied photography, and me the high school drop out walked away with a BFA in Fine Art Photography.

I attempted for a time to work as a photographer…ok I was the school picture day lady. No joke.

But I made nothing. I had one hell of a commute to work. The hours sucked and when it was the down season my pay checks paid for my gas to get to work.

Finally I just lost the passion.

Slowly. Oh so slowly it’s coming back.

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I’m a little nervous and excited to share my in progress wall mural. Progress is slow. But so far I’m pleased.

Painting and drawing seem to fit my late night art moods a little easier than photography might. And I enjoy the tactile nature of it.

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If only this depression would lift. I can feel the longing to work on something but the lack of motivation and inspiration thanks to the depression keeps me blocked.

The attempt to be perfect in an imperfect world…

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A good portion of my anxiety seems to come from an overwhelming need to be perfect. Each day is obviously met with an overwhelming sense of failure.

I have set impossible standards for myself. None of which I can ever really meet to my satisfaction. And in turn I will beat myself up over small things.

For me my favorite time of the day is when I first wake up. Nothing has had the chance to go wrong just yet.  The day is fresh and new…and my mind likes to play its little tricks and tells me that maybe today…for once…we can do everything right.

But then the day starts.  My apartment is a mess…all I see are things that should be getting done, and I can’t even manage to get that done.  Then slowly things will with out fail, will fall apart and not go according to this plan I have in my head.  Every misstep leading me to believe that there is nothing I can do right.

Not one thing.

But how can a person even make the attempt to be perfect in an imperfect world?  Is it even possible?  I see these other girls…with their amazing taste in clothes, perfect hair, make up, confidence.  How can I compare to that?  Obviously shes figured out how to be better than me right?  But I am not the girly girl.  I hardly wear make up, my hair style is pulled up and out of my way…and clothes…whatever is comfy today.

Once again…I fail.

I’m fairly certain that the medication changes have not helped this situation either.  With the overwhelming depressing having firmly set up camp.  It leaves me feeling hopeless on top of everything else…

Today marks my very last day on Viibryd.  Tomorrow we start 50mg Zoloft, 25mg hydroxizine twice daily, and 2.5mg Valium 3x a day.  I will keep my fingers crossed that the Zoloft will do what its supposed to do and I can start to feel a little less on edge all the time.

Regardless I know there are positives…one of which is my new obsession for the week…the dehydrator.

Awhile ago the Other Half took a trip with some friends out to Bass Pro Shops, obviously aside from his fishing supplies he picked up he came home with a huge bag of the cure/marinade for jerky.

Now I freely admit I have a jerky problem.  Addiction really.  So this…the idea of HOMEMADE jerky?!!  Oh lord I was in heaven.

Only issue we continued to forget to pick up the dehydrator from his parents house.  Now granted I had other plans for the dehydrator aside from jerky.  Like fruits.  Things I can snack on and are healthy, plus its a cheap easy way to make treats for the dog too!

Finally last weekend we remembered to bring the thing home.  And this is what I’ve learned.

Dehydrating fruit with sweet potatoes makes everything taste like sweet potatoes.

Bananas.  Oddly take a long time to dehydrate.  Mine are still kinda chewy…but I’ll still eat them.

Homemade jerky is the best.

And I am a beef jerky addict.

We made a batch 2 days ago.  1 1/2lbs of beef.  Marinated for 12 hours.  Made just as the package stated and it came out amazing.  Except. It’s basically gone (did you think I was kidding when I said I have a problem?).  I now have almost 2lbs of meat going.  This time though we added some extra seasonings to the cracked pepper marinade/cure.  Now the wait.

Finding validation without a voice.

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I suppose it’s only appropriate that the entire blog post I’d originally written for this title, was somehow erased, no auto-saves happened during the time I was typing.  Just gone.

I started this post, after an upsetting chain of events that happened on Facebook.  An Ex of many years ago, who I’ve stayed friends with made a post about his car.  He who if you knew him at all would know that car issues are very common for him since he either takes terrible care of his car, or goes to shady shops that continue to screw him over.  (I’ve watched this happen over and over and over and over in the 13+ years I’ve known him).

It failed inspection for a silly reason, to which I responded with how I didn’t think this was a valid reason for a fail, but even so if he was going to order the part and could show the shop he should be able to get a temporary sticker.

What I was met with was just continued reasons why this just wont work/help and blah blah blah.  Which means he’s just getting more and more pissed off, and apparently he got pulled over to boot.  Instead of acknowledging my advice, he just shot me down over and over.  Then some of his little friends chimed in basically making me feel even worse and questioning what I had to say because they “didnt see anything on the DMV website”.  Regardless that I’d stated my information was coming from a mechanic.

The Rage started.  Oh how I wanted to open a can of crazy all over these idiots who probably can’t even put their own windshield wash in themselves.

Breath.

I send him a text instead.  Telling him that he’s acting like a jerk.  He claims that I’m reading into things too much and had no intentions of being rude in his comments.

Finally.  The words come out.

When he talks to me like that, he leaves me feeling that my words have no worth.  They are not valid.  That this is how he has always made me feel.  That by just shooting down my thoughts with negativity and not acknowledging that I could be right in this instance.

I was met with nothing.  No response.  No I’m sorry I’ve made you feel that way.  Just nothing.  As embarrassing as it is to admit it.  He being an English major, and hoping for some feedback on my blog if he was willing to read it.  Again ignored.

What did I expect?  I mean.  He’s an asshole.  He freely admits it.

Why does it mean so much for him to actually hear me.  Listen.  And respond like a human being?  I wish I had the answer.  I know continuing to talk to him, allow him into my life isn’t asking for anything but more problems.  Why not just cut him out?  Because apparently my mind gets some sick pleasure of my need for some type of validation from him.

It would be oh so easy to blame him for how I feel now.  That I have no voice.  That what I have to say doesn’t matter.  I’m just talked over, or met with silence.  While his actions probably did nothing to help matters…I know it’s not just him.

So many times I’ve tried.  Tried to reach out as best I could.  Open up.  Only to be let down time and time again.  Always left feeling that when I talk…people don’t listen or care and will talk over me because what I have to say isn’t important.

Lets add to the fun that I’m now on day 5 of the taper down to 10mg of Viibryd and taking 15mg of Zoloft with it, I’m a mess of out of control emotions some days.  Recently it’s been just deep depression.  No reason I can find…just overwhelming depression.  The Anger is still there, although it seems…sometimes to be getting better although this morning maybe it’s still pretty bad.

All I wanted was some Chinese for dinner….

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Tonight I splurged a little. Ordered Chinese food…and when I opened my fortune cookie it read…

What you will do matters. All you need is to do it.

Wow gee thanks dinner for getting my brain in a tizzy. Honestly I find it funny. A few different blog posts have been floating through my head all it’s all thrown aside by a silly fortune cookie.

What you will do matters.

What I have done matters.

Today. Of all days my favorite resident from my old job having been discharged from the agency sent me a Facebook request.

A boy who when I first met told me to “Go fuck yourself” at dinner. Defiant. Awkward. Scared. A Boy who had been living on the streets basically till he came to us. A boy who told me when I first met him to “Go fuck myself” at dinner one night.

I think I saw a lot of myself in him. We talked a lot. He grew so much from the boy I first met. And in the end I became one of his favorite staff. He cried the day I had to tell him I was against my wishes being transferred to another unit.

After leaving my job I was not allowed any contact with any residents who were still there. Him included. It made me feel so very honored that he did look me up after his discharge. In a way. I was his mother for a short amount of time. And I feel so proud of what he’s been able to do since I first met him.

What I did matters.

And what I will do matters. I only have to be brave enough to go for it.

And all I thought I was getting was chinese food tonight.

I’ll take door number two please?

Tomorrow marks my last day on just viibryd. Starting Thursday I will be taking 10mg of viibryd and 25mg of Zoloft.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this. Again it’s like a blind date. But you feel like you’ve been there before “oh he’s soooo nice you’ll love him”

“This has worked really well for a lot of my patients.”

Another SSRI. How many of these do they need to put me on before they realize they don’t work. Lexapro was the only one that helped with the aids of other meds for the anxiety.

Prozac, Paxil, lexapro, viibryd, and now Zoloft.

I don’t think I want what’s behind door number two….

Can I take the mystery box instead??