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Posts Tagged ‘bipolar’

 i was going to delete this, but then i pulled back and read the whole thing…i could see my thought process as i was having a “borderline melt down”. even though my focus, in this blog, is on my withdrawal from meds and fibromyalgia, i have lived as a recovering borderline amongst other things. boy can my thoughts bounce around and i spared the laundry list! but watch the process! the fear, resentment, paranoia, blaming…oh what an angry little girl i can still be! (description of BPD below)

feeling well seems to be a blessing and a curse. i haven’t been around to write on this blog for awhile now…and i’m sure, if i continue with the work i’m trying to do, that my time will continue to be restricted but, i’m having a day…well several by now…that is leaving me feeling horrible. i can’t seem to be able to talk with anyone about all that is going on but i’m feeling guilty for having tried to choose a better path for my daughter, surviving several sincere suicide attempts, recovering from alcoholism and getting off addicting meds! yes, sometimes i honestly wish my path had zigged instead of zagged at all of these points. i’m screaming at god and looking at people who i thought were my friends and wondering why there is so much resentment and anger…why does it have to be mine too.

i’m usually fairly good at dodging emotional bullets…my whole life has been made up of that. but when there are just too many bullets in the air…god i wish i were wonder woman with the large amulets. but i’m not. i’m just a person, alone, trying to go with the flow and make the best decisions i can. even best of intentions often seem to be thrown back in your face with added crap.

i can’t apologize for being born into a rich family. that was never the grace that so many people seem to think it was. i’m slowly trying to pull up my boot strings over the fact that my father died and i was the only one not mentioned in his will. (this just happened september of ’07.) he mentioned his dogs, home health aids, brother’s grandchildren, other family members and the remainder to my daughter. this was the end of a bitter, life long struggle for a father’s love. the manipulative act of leaving everything to my daughter just…doesn’t suprise me. he can continue to reach out from the grave and manipulate.  and he’s succeeded. there is nothing more i can ever do and my father’s last efforts on this planet were to let people know just how much he hated me. his decisions have left a continued destruction of what family remains as they take that as a final declaration to what a horrible person i am. loss, loss and more loss compounded with judgement…from friends and family. god can anyone just stop gossiping and talk to me. talk to me about the truth? this world is not fair and i won’t yell “not fair”. that is a law i accepted a long time ago. i never set out looking for justice or fairness…life is not just and redemption is rare. i have never set out to intentionally hurt anyone but my actions are constantly interpreted as having ulterior motives and i can honestly say that i never set out to do good to gain anything other than to set back and see good done. i never want my name attached and i try to do as much anonymously as i can. i flinch if people talk of my good deeds publicly. but i do glow when i see good things happen. why wouldn’t anyone. i guess i try extra hard to those ends. i think it is the effort that offends people. i think it is that, i use my free time and resources to help others when ever i have them…often though to the extent of over extending myself. i don’t do that to martyr or put others to shame…no, i love to share in the efforts when ever possible but if no one else picks up on the work i feel obligated to finish what i start. if i did harm it wasn’t intentional and believe me when i say i live with the consequences and constant, nagging, resurfacing painful reminders. i don’t say this as an excuse…i don’t believe in excuses…but i need to remember that i’ve been a very sick person for most of my life and i’ve been tossed out and alone in trying to manage a very messed up life.  i don’t expect others to carry that burden, but i do wish others could view my decisions with some compassion and a bit of respect. i tried to do the very best i could. this seems to have become some sort of battle cry and i don’t think life should be such a battle. a person needs a resting point…some forgiveness and “you did the best you could”. because…i have addressed my illness and i have worked so, so hard to recover from illnesses most people do not recover from. but when i get slammed from all sides i wish i could still hide behind my illness. but, i don’t want to be forced back into the darkness of borderline, bipolar, eating disorders, alcoholism, addiction…too much. i just want to be and at times i think i just want to be alone. people are too hard for me to navigate. but i’m human and i get lonely. i guess that’s why i turn to writing on here. every once in awhile i peek my head out into the world of the living only to do a hasty retreat from their games. i’m not that savvy…i don’t navigate the game playing world of soap operas. it’s too prevalent in the circles i frequent…and i need to frequent them because my continued recovery depends on it. but, the very help i need is equally capable of undoing and destroying the progress i make. it seems that people only want you around if you’re down and failing but the moment you’re doing well and having some small successes they make a world of controversy over what you’re trying to do. i avoid a lot of group activities because i don’t “play well with others”. i try to grow with this issue…. i may be so much healthier now, but i guess basic human skills continue to elude me. but i have to ask if i’m more plugged in now than i allow the feed back to tell me. maybe that i’m having friction around these sick people (who i thought were healthier people) is a sign that i’m better and maybe i’m swimming in the wrong pool. i’ve invested 11 years of my life trying to live up to certain principles. not perfectly, but consistently.  i get worn down like this often and maybe it’s my depression. no, it’s the borderline thoughts in my head.

god…i’m blabbering and unraveling here.

i haven’t been able to tend to myself and i’ve become caught up in “friendships”, not of my choosing, that are very sick. some people are seriously disturbed. i should know better than to help people who present as borderlines! yes, they can jump in to call me a “friend” but that’s not what i am…with newly recovering, sick people, that’s how it goes…as a person just beginning on the road, a borderline, isn’t really capable of being a friend to anyone…not even themslevles. when you are struggling with so many inside voices you can’t consider anything going on outside of your mind. i’ve heard it when i’ve suggested helping another as a way towards recovering: “why should i help her…she doesn’t have anything to offer me“. now…i can see what helping another person can do for me…but it’s still a difficult path for me to walk. shoot i know what i was like…and being one doesn’t always leave you better off in seeing one. my heart goes out to people in the throws of this disorder. i grew up in the midst of a borderline family, but i got out…i want to stay out.  borderlines will always try to pull you into that hole with them. while having been a deeply disturbed bpd, i still have to agree that borderlines are the most dangerous population in the mental health world to tangle with. besides my own recovery process, i have read extensively and if you have done your home work then you know that i’m not damning anyone…bpd means seriously sick…

but this disorder is like no other as it is an affliction of the personality and not a “chemical imbalance” or organic brain syndrome. most simply, it is learned and must be unlearned. if you know the difference and where that falls on the nosology…i needn’t say more. i’m not saying that borderlines don’t need help, but you have to be very skilled and armed…set up to do the job. not being able to handle the disorder well is just as destructive, if not maybe more, than not trying at all. what they write about borderlines is true…i lived it and i remember what i was like…

i see what the remnants of borderline are still like in my life. i may have had significant recovery but really, the volume is just turned down very low…i am still borderline, just to a lesser degree…much lesser. i never want to see that volume turned up again. when i get scared and unravel as i’m doing now…the volume seems to want to get louder…that is the process of that disorder. it is a cacophony of destructive voices going off in your head…fighting the whole world and your self.

damnit! busted! ok, i see what’s going on…i was sitting outside, frittering away over a laundry list of resentments and woes. wow can some people throw zingers at me if they want to hurt me…and then i throw in a few myself…that’s it! ok…nothing is really wrong”here. sitting down to write this out when i couldn’t find anyone to talk to, is helping here. my wonderful psychologist walked me down this path, kicking and screaming for over 7 years and now…if i remember her lead…i can, with in reason, navigate that path alone when i must. and…i must do it alone a lot. with borderline…sometimes you get hit with a big one and sometimes small, but the blows can come in rapid succession and the voices can become very athoritarian!LOL in my “down” times, when my reserves are low (and they come as a direct result of neglecting my personal care), i can feel like i’m driving down a road loaded with speed bumps at 50 mph and that is a lot to lay on other people.

that is how us borderlines suck the souls out of others. to compound that…i was trying to give a hand up to another borderline and she grabbed my hand and started the long sustained pull of the borderline. a little is never enough and enough is never enough. we are vacuous, black holes! i know! i need, need, need…and on a bad day i can become a whiny six year old in just moments. thank god i can usually detect that rush of borderline behavior when it begins to seep in. sometimes i can’t be objective and the behavior carries me away.

i have to watch “people, places and things” as they say in my support group. i have to check and recheck my intentions, because i can slide down that darn slippery slope of borderline behavior…which is so much more insidious than my alcoholism (but the two play darn well together). constantly, i have to ask myself “why are you doing this”. it can be exhausting, keeping the disorder in check, but i count my blessings that i was given the insight to do it. it was a lot of sacrifice on the part of my psychologist and a scary road of trust and surrender on mine. i continue to seek guidance from other qualified people. managing this disorder gets easier as we get older…perhaps wiser. life won’t be perfect…but is it for anyone? being honest and realistic are two qualities i try so hard to embrace every day. doubt and those darn voices can try to destroy my serenity but i am the final word on what happens with my thoughts. i don’t have to act on every thought and i can surely just release most of them.

so, thoughts, fly away now…

i should garden and play with my dogs for a bit.

peace out

what is BPD?:

Raising questions, finding answers

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity. Originally thought to be at the “borderline” of psychosis, people with BPD suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), BPD is more common, affecting 2 percent of adults, mostly young women.1 There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases.2,3 Patients often need extensive mental health services, and account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations.4 Yet, with help, many improve over time and are eventually able to lead productive lives.

Symptoms

While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day.5 These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.

People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Thus, they may form an immediate attachment and idealize the other person, but when a slight separation or conflict occurs, they switch unexpectedly to the other extreme and angrily accuse the other person of not caring for them at all. Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change in plans. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent, leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthless. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments.

People with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.

Treatment

Treatments for BPD have improved in recent years. Group and individual psychotherapy are at least partially effective for many patients. Within the past 15 years, a new psychosocial treatment termed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed specifically to treat BPD, and this technique has looked promising in treatment studies.6

read more:  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder.shtml

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i would like to say that this is another journey i don’t want to see come to an end but i’d be lying. detoxing off of my psych meds has made my top three list of most difficult things to do. but to think that it ends here would be…well let’s say getting the drugs out of the system is a only a portion and beginning of journey.

as i learned from getting sober…more than once…there are a lot of life skills i need to acquire, to make up for what i was depending on the drugs to do. i was lucky in that i’ve had a great foundation and have worked with some people who’ve really put me to work! i see so many people living with the illusion that the drugs/meds are “the therapy”. gosh folks, if we don’t know by now, we’ll never learn…that they are only a brief/portion means to an end. they can help clear things up and and make a newly diagnosed person a little more capable of coping (which in the beginning can feel like a lot). but if you do not develop a good set of life skills to depend on…you will start heading off in an even worse direction. and, having mental illness, depression, bipolar, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or any chronic disorder…we shouldn’t feel singled out as having an added burden of the need to learn these skills…granted we might have some more work to do, but all people would be wise, to be conscious of these simple, almost obvious skills that need to be created and sharpened.

i just have to say, that being on line with this journey has been one the greatest, free, adjunct therapies i could recommend. i’ve been able to put my stuff out there, and receive input. i’ve had the chance to read other people’s experiences and tips and have good exchanges of information and support! the support to gather more information and research…to be an informed consumer and participant in managing my life has been invaluable.

but, my journey is just beginning. the meds may be gone by the weekend but learning to live with out them is the next…the real part of the journey. i got off these meds so my life would be better and now it is time to set my sights on that process. i will still have the lyrica to contend with, but one thing at a time…doing to much at one time was part of the mess i got into.

in the past i’ve discussed various things that i’ve been picking up over the years and past months…such things to look at as: laughter, spirituality, brain exercises for mental acuity, using support groups (blogging), etc…there is a lot of discussion about diet, exercise and supplements in everyone’s blogs. all of these things are great life skills to work on that make our life’s great. i am still being exposed to more books and practices that support healthy living. that learning, is never ending.

i’m really looking forward to continuing my journey off meds both on line as well as…in my life. i do feel reeeeally good! (allergies and fibro…i can deal with that) there is much more to come thanks to being able to get off my meds (fellow bloggers), staying sober (AA), good living (counselor, friends, neighbors) and spiritual living (i should go back to church).

so moving forward here. my next effort is getting back into grad school. they could always just say “no”, but they could say yes (maybe with provisions)…but what ever happens…happens. as i get more busy with those ventures i will have less time to write here. but, my writing here is very important to me so, it is something that has to go on the list of “things to do”. if i don’t post much in a week it is likely because i’m doing well. of course when i’m having a more difficult day, i tend to not write either, but let’s go with the thought that i’m not here, because i’m out there putting the metal to the test!

this is just another beginning!

peace out!

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this isn’t really news…but it was released again today…from the fiercepharma newsletter:

5. Neurontin fails bipolar med review

Comment | Forward to a friend

Review the research on epilepsy meds, and what do you find? Neurontin (gabapentin), is no better than placebo for bipolar disorder, according to the Prescribing for Better Outcomes center at the University of North Carolina.

A bunch of “very poor quality articles,” however, seemed to support a positive effect–and those articles were cited and re-cited in the scientific literature, creating an “echo chamber effect.” Hearing it over and over, doctors were led to believe that Neurontin worked for bipolar patients, and prescribed it to lots and lots of them.

Ironically, the epilepsy-med review came courtesy of the 2004 Neurontin marketing settlement, under which Pfizer paid $430 million to settle off-label allegations. Some 94 percent of the drug’s sales in 2002 were off-label, the government said at the time.

– see the item in the WSJ Health Blog
– check out one of the center’s new papers from their drug review

Related Articles:
Pfizer might be liable for generic Neurontin. Pfizer report
Court: Pfizer can defend Neurontin patent. Report

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so many of us that have lived with a diagnosis of mental illness or chronic disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic pain also suffer from a loss of mental acuity and function. it can be the result of long term use of psych meds, pain meds, benzodiazapines, etc….it can also result simply from atrophy, attributed to a lack of use…

in considering the horrible side effects of the drugs we have taken and are now withdrawing from, many of us have turned to suppliments and certain dietary guidelines along with excercise, meditation and various holistic approaches to being well. probably one of the most disconcerting side effects of the medication and withdrawal is what happens to our mental acuity and functioning. we become fuzzy, confused, struggle with memory, have “brain zaps”, our vision is poor, speach is difficult…our hearing, smell and taste is off and coordination is challenged…the list can be lengthy. and while we take various suppliments and eat certain diets, etc. all of which can be expensive, but, important to support healthier functioning of our body…there is another thing we rarely discuss that is free and freeing. exercising our brains!

yes, our neurological system needs a good workout on a regular basis, just as our muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems do. when we’re depressed and struggling with the horrible mental side effects our first reaction is to isolate and shut down. were no longer receiving any stimulus or forced to use our neurological system in the way we used to, in day to day living. comming out of “hibernation”, as i call it, is yet another difficult thing to navigate. but how we manage that, determines our whole interaction with the outside world. stop and think about all of the tasks you did or would normally do just in your morning routine. all the interactions being transacted…comming and going, from your system and the world around you! if you’ve shut down and you’re simply going from the bed to the sofa, sleeping all day or watching tv, maybe eating something but not really cooking, avoiding the phone and conversations…just barely existing (like me)…well with all that, (over more than a years time) you can probably see your muscles atrophy…i sure did…and, i lost bone density! i mean, the physical evidence of being sedintary or functioning at a very reduced rate, is overwhelming to look at.

now what do you think has been happening to your brain?

well, not only can the trauma from the meds, but becomming sedintary and barely functioning also, wastes away our brains. and, no wonder we’re foggy, have poor memory, can’t communicate well, etc! i’m struggling with it, as may be evidence in my writing! i’m embarrassed to have to mingle with people, talk on the phone and worst even…speaking in front of large groups! it’s a horrible struggle. few can imagine the mental gymnastics you’re doing to compensate! yes, i have (in the last week and few months) spoken in front of large groups…i’m in AA so even in a regular meeting…it proceeds around the room of 20 or so and it’s soon my turn! gasp! i mess up, loose my train of thought…but i’ve told people what’s going on with my meds and detox. i just get to a point where i’m lost so i laugh, flip my hand up  and pass! BUT I TRIED…that’s the important part of the exercise. simple social gatherings, time with friends and group sessions offer us opportunities to exercise our minds. (sound like a no brainer?) hell, i’ve even woven and stumbled my way through two leads in front of groups 15 and 50! 

those opportunities and others are my chance to share this experience with others. i get to show them first hand, what has happened and why.

i have so many encounters now, and i am “hyper-aware” of my neurological processes! (yet another mental obsession…AAs will get that one) facing all these interactions, as i’m trying to make my way back in to the world…well i just take a deep breath when i leave the house every day, and i don’t hold it! i take a lot of deep breaths all day (it slows me down, gives me a pause).

but it’s in the doing that we rehabilitate ourselves. our mental processing will improve if we use it and take it out to exercise too! no, don’t leave your brain behind…it may be a scattered mess and you may feel a shell of yourself…but with increased use you can see parts of you slowly return. it’s really no different than if you received a traumatic brain injury in an accident…consider what persons with TBI go through, to get rehabed. well, we kind of have to follow some of that model, i’m afraid. there is no pill or vitamin that is going to do it all. hell that’s how we got in the trouble we’re in with these meds…someone told us to take this pill and our bipolar, depression, pain….would get better. doesn’t work that way does it?  to even really deal with all of our problems, meds alone could not work. we would have to incorporate such techniques as behaviour modification, thought changing…they all require work….that dirty four letter word…work. we are not lazy people and in fact the majority of us are quite intelligent by all measures. so we’ve been misled and the social and medical communities don’t have enough funds or manpower to assist us 100%. well, if we want to get there…it is evidence to me by observing the blogging community…that the initiative must lie with in…each of us. we must draw upon what we can create and develop ourselves…we can read the research on the wall….”they” are not going to provide extra help for us, and things are getting worse.

so how do we repair our shattered minds. many very good therapies, approaches suggestions have been shared in the bloggesphere, and i’ve picked up on a lot for my own use! i love it…people helping people…awesome. this is how it works!

but back to the mind….i wander and digress (surprised?).  well i’m starting here…a simple search for “brain exercises”: http://www.ask.com/web?qsrc=178&o=0&l=dir&dm=&q=brain%20exercises just look! there’s a lot being marketed to this topic, but you can find resources that are free.

right off i find a simple article from webmd:

Train Your Brain With Exercise

“Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.” to read more: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/train-brain-exercise

here is an article that says exactly what i’m trying to convey…but they have some creative and simple exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine:

Reviewer Name: Ferguson, Monica O. M.D.
Date Last Reviewed: 12-06-2005
Published Date: 02-06-2008

Just as cross-training helps you maintain physical fitness, using your brain in a variety of ways can help you keep your mental fitness, strength and flexibility strong.

“Presenting the brain with non-routine or unexpected experiences using combinations of your physical senses — vision, smell, touch, taste and hearing — keeps your thinking and perception active and growing,” says Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical School in Durham, NC, and coauthor of Keep Your Brain Alive. “It stimulates patterns of neural activity that create more connections between different brain areas and causes nerve cells to produce additional brain nutrients.”

Dr. Katz calls these brain-stimulating exercises “neurobics.” “Just like aerobic exercises emphasize different muscle groups to enhance coordination and flexibility, neurobic exercises involve activating many different brain areas to increase the range of mental motion,” he says. “They result in a mind that’s fit to meet various challenges — whether it’s remembering a name, mastering a new computer program or staying creative in your work.” to read more: http://www.healthline.com/sw/wl-neurobics-brain-exercises-for-on-the-job

ok so my formatting skills…don’t have them, but hang with me here…

here’s a blog: “Your window into the emerging field of science-based Brain Fitness, its implications for Health & Wellness, Education, Leadership, and more.”  http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/ this may give you some interesting links about the brain and how we maintain it and improve it!

now when i mentioned exercising the brain i was talking about using techniques that are like “brain teasers” and other literal “brain exercises”. but this new york times article discusses how regular physical exercise can enhance brain function:

“Scientists have suspected for decades that exercise, particularly regular aerobic exercise, can affect the brain. But they could only speculate as to how. Now an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain. “

to read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/sports/playmagazine/0819play-brain.html

i checked out AARP (ok, i’m only 44, but who would know better than AARP, about this issue) and when i was talking about simple social interactions as being a good exercise, here goes:

“Social Connections and Brain Health

A major public-health study involving more than 116,000 participants found that people with strong relationships had less mental decline and lived more active, pain-free lives without physical limitations.

Other studies suggest that people with the most limited social connections are twice as likely to die over a given period than those with the widest social networks. Many experts believe that social isolation may create a chronically stressful condition that accelerates aging.”

to read more: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain/takingcontrol/stay_socially_connected.html

even if things are not specific…geared towards “off meds and detoxing”…for the most part, with in this topic,  they translate.

if i do too much research on this i take away an important exercise you can do to help your brain rehab from this horrible storm it’s weathered! time to get the fog out…

peace out!

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well…i haven’t written or really been on line for the last few days. i’m a bit rushed this morning but, i guess when you get to feeling better for a bit, things get busy as you paddle to catch up. and there’s just the catching up inspite of not feeling great. the darn fibro alone simply wears on me, trying to make all my appointments and obligations. when i get home i can barely focus to read, let alone write.

i still maintain that getting off the benzos is a good thing…it’s means so much to be completely clean and then, “on top” of what is going into my body and how it’s affecting me.  while i want to rush and just dump this last .25 mgs, i will have to try to be patient…this weekend i’ll cut to about .13mgs, then i will be off the benzo/klonopin by the next weekend. there will be “aftershocks” even after the final dose…but i’m familiar with that route. being a recovering alcoholic who was addicted to pain meds for years as well, has offered me many “benefits” in this arena…my personal experience and mostly those of my peers!

i have several friends who’ve successfully detoxed off pmeds and are living good lives now. they inspire me.

i will be off all of my meds when i take that last klonopin in less than 2 weeks! that means no more: lamictal, wellbutrin, neurontin and klonopin as well as a mix of other prn meds.

geesh…the docs were all too willing to get me dosed up for over a decade…well two…but where did they go when i wanted help getting off an addicting benzodiazapine that was only being maintained…really…to avoid going through withdrawal. after the first couple of months the benzo was no longer providing the desired effect at 2-3mgs! i was hanging in some suspended place all of those years…the dose simply being like a “space holder”. attempts to go off did reveal symptoms…OF WITHDRAWAL! but the doc and all, had me convinced that those symptoms were from my “illness”, i needed to stay on the klonopin…and no one…NOT ONE professional ever suggested, strongly enough, that prolonged use of a benzo could be causing the chronic depression and fatigue i had succumbed to after a the first couple of years of adhering to my doctors orders with my meds! granted i was wresting with the fibro too…but all the more reason to get clean!

i know i may be moving fast compared to the schedule many others maintain. there are many who do agree with my approach and have done a similar program. but, i have no physician or practioner supporting and guiding what i’m doing (not by choice). the side effects roll in like the waves in the ocean…but there would be side effects if i went slow and i can’t see dealing with this discomfort for a year if i can bear with it all for about a total of no more than 12 weeks. yes that’s me sticking to a schedule even if it’s rough on my body. but staying on this drug is more damaging than getting off could ever be.

i take a lot of supportive measures with nutrition, meditation, exercise, laughter and friends. for me, i have to try to be on track by june to hopefully start back to classes

yes, our bodys do tend to follow their own schedule but…if i followed this darn body around i don’t know where i’d be! probably where i am, because that’s what i’ve been doing!

…so i rush…at this point no set of symptoms can trump what i deal with, having fibromyalgia, and thus set me back to changing my approach to my taper schedule. as i see it…if i back off my schedule…maintain or up the klonopin dsg to way-lay symptoms…i’m prolonging the inevitable. i’m already sick and draging, so what’s a little more if i can have this over with in as timely a maner as possible. i’ve lost so many years and time is precious.

 it’s been a rough and bumpy ride. the days are unpredictable packages of fog, fritz, fatigue and pain, punctuated with a clarity that motivates me to get clean. i’m so grateful to be able to detox…

many won’t have the chance to detox for a variety of reasons.

rough as detox is…it is a gift.

there is no pain-free, side effect free, way to withdraw from anything! i know this from experience…mine and other’s.

i have had many good hours but few completely good days. when i feel good i have a habit of “binging” on my available energy and lack of pain. of course the flip side is that i get wiped out, and feel the “hurt” of my fibro. i think the lyrica is being helpful, the most severe pain symptoms have abated, but i fight the fog and jittery feelings (which can be debilitating).

i don’t want to mess with the lyrica right now because the only thing i’m changing for now, is the decreasing doses of klonopin. a few weeks after the klonopin is gone i’ll work with my physician to tweek the lyrica and make decisions about managing my fibro. with the flood of symptoms i have from detox it’s hard to weed out which symptom is attributed to detox and which belongs to the fibro. oh, lest we forget this issue of bipolar… so one thing at a time.

my driving reason for wanting off all of my pmeds was the crazy overlap and layering of drugs that led me to where i just couldn’t tell what emotions and situations were me or my meds!

from now on the motto is to “keep it very simple and stay the course”.

and for now,

peace out!

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     so far, i’m feeling a bit better today. i messed around with the dosage on my lyrica starting wednesday. i was feeling like i’d drank 2 pots of coffee…very uncomfortable…so i began cutting back a bit and…well, maybe the bottom fell out…but i also wonder if being so tightly wound for so many weeks may have not just worn me down…a little of both? the pain was comming back as i lessened the dose of lyrica…physical therapy was tough too. i pushed my dose back up last night.  gosh was i weak!  i’m holding steady at .5mg klonopin, but that comes down to apx 36 mg.s tonight.
 
      i fell asleep when i got back from town. but when i got home, it was so nice to have msgs from people who were concerned and it was nice to know people cared…i had gone to an AA mtg but just couldn’t make it to staying and going out to dinner (which i always do). having to back down because i was not feeling well was really a hard thing to do…i just try so hard to never let how i’m feeling come up or interfere. is that stoic or stupid?
 
     this sharing…that i’m not doing well or not feeling well…it is really hard for me. it’s hard to ask for help and it’s hard to let people help. that attitude has been a long time in the making. when i was young…if i said i wasn’t feeling well that was met with “you’re such a hypochondriac” and “stop trying to get attention”…so i stopped…got tough and learned to buck it up! it always felt like i had to be well or together so everyone else could be falling apart and sick. i mean someone had to take care of the cooking and cleaning! i never, never asked them for help…they wouldn’t have been there if i did. so…you live and you learn…some really unhealthy things.
       living quite far from town and my friends…well it’s a big deal for them to come all the way out here (esp. now with the gas prices)…everyone i know is long distance call from here. yes, if you’re about a mile from here, it’s a long distance call! so that whole long distance drive/call thing is an added barrier. (in the back of my mind besides my personal issue about sharing what’s really going on and asking for help.) “i can’t impose on people because the drive or calls would be too much”…that’s an easy out!
 
     the insane thing is that…my circle of friends is based on helping others (AA) and i really love helping others. but allowing people to help me…and maybe really allowing people to know me…i’m insecure that way. i guess i only feel people will be around if i’m needed or being useful. i believe there is a huge part of me that feels, if i’m needy people won’t want to be around me. yes, there are some big self-esteem issues flying around here…the pink elephant in the room! i know how good it feels to have someone ask you for help, and to be able to help. why can’t i give that opportunity to the people around me…even my counselor! some of it is a control issue…accepting help also means accepting advice and doing what others tell you to do.
 
     now, most of the people who i would talk with, have excellent advice…they are wise and have a lot of experience. would asking them for help, and doing what they tell me to do, be fatal?!  not likely…in fact, i’m sure most people’s advice to me, would be better/healthier than, the advice i sit around giving myself most of the time. by isolating this way, i live in a vacuum and that is not conducive to growth. i’ve always prided myself on learning, growing and…being open minded. but damn can i be a stubborn, closed-minded creature!
 
      it’s embarrassing to admit but, that is being so much like my family, who i loath. yes…i am a lot like them…in those regards. stubborn, and closed-minded. yuck, blagh, aarrghh…that was awful to say…but being honest here…that’s what i’m working towards. (i’ve also seen my family, and others, develop disabling issues with “learned helplessness”…having ailments and problems become a means of getting attention…that has turned me off a lot. i hate soap operas.)
 
     yes, letting go of some of the control i’ve taken over my life (that has overtaken my life) , and being more honest in the one area that i am in the most denial and dishonest about…my health and energy…that’s what needs work!
 
 
     this thing about being alone…it can be a hard thing to become comfortable with. normally, i love being alone quite a lot and rarely think of it. i’ve been running this farm over 11 years alone and it’s become a way of life. the last time i was married was over 15 years ago, and that was brief. most of the time it is a good life. it’s the “being alone” when i’m getting really sick, or the sickness is dragging along that…well, when you’re not feeling well…everything in the world that is remotely upsetting seems to come to mind and become magnified! but during an average to good day…don’t think about being alone at all. i prefer it (considering what some of my options where over the years!). besides, i have 4 dogs, a cat and 3 horses that are the best therapy and company, most of the time!
 
     it’s good to find friends and comrades in many places…even far away. the internet has been a life saver, as winters especially, can become very isolating (besides the illnesses). well it’s a small town here, and it’s also nice to know people who are not from here…for so many reasons.
      writing this blog is also helping me to see some of these really disabling issues…as writing this has also led me to read other people’s blogs and share…people have been awsome and the reaching out from others here is carrying over into how i’m living my “offline” life! thank you dear blogshpere friends…you are changing my life.
 
     oh gosh….feeling held back from chronic illness, pain, these meds,…it just gets really getting old sometimes. but…onward and upward (LOL).
 
     today i will tell someone how i’m really feeling and ask for help.
 
peace out!
 

 

 

 

 

 

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today i want to bring up one of my pet concepts. being revolutionary…in how we live. the definition of revolutionary that i’m referring to (so we’re on the same page/screen here) is defined, in Merriam-Websters as: “c: constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change”.

yes, all the tools for better living that i may refer to, no matter how long they’ve been around, are and can be revolutionary.

it’s in the doing.

are you living a revolutionary life? no, you don’t have to protest, carrying pickets and saving the forests or other such activities. i’m referring to being revolutionary in the way you live….what you do. doesn’t that word just conjur up strength, hope and empowerment! we want to revolt against the things in our life that can be holding us back. we want to say “no more! get out of my way, i want to live my life!”… and just saying that, by the way, can do a world of good for your soul.

 when dealing (and i am dealing…believe me) with detoxing off meds, alcohol or other substances…living with bipolar, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic pain or withdrawal symptoms…finding our way to recovery can seem difficult if not hopeless and nearly impossible some days. the constant stress and tension caused by gnawing withdrawal or side effect symptoms…pain, tremors, brain fog, brain zaps, confusion, nausea, etc can make it hard for us to even think of, let alone do the things we need to do on a daily basis, to keep ourselves pointed in the right direction.

i know many of you have an extensive backgrounds in health and therapy issues either via life experience, profession or studies, and i don’t have anything really new or cutting edge to add. but the old standbys that may have been part of our daily routine in the past which now seem hard to draw upon or even think about doing, can be revolutionary!

what many of us are going through may be in an effort to get back to our old selves…not gonna happen…we’re working toward new selves. that’s revolutionary! the hardships we’ve endured, probably for decades now, have changed us and we can draw upon what we’ve learned to be better, stronger new versions of ourselves. that stuff is a part of us, for better or worse. deciding how we’re going to direct our life’s experience…well it can be your greatest liability or your greatest asset. choosing the later is revolting against the “dark evil forces” that would hold you captive in a life you’re trying to better. yes, you will never be your old self…can’t be…but you can be you…just fortified with wisdom and experience and wonderful tools for living. you will be able to use your “experience strength and hope” to help others revolt!

maybe you are new to this realm of seeking wellness and wholeness. but i promise, even the simplest things, the oldies can still be revolutionary in applying them. revolt against what’s holding you back and be revolutionary in applying the oldies but goodies…laughing, walking, lists, journaling, prayer and meditation, self-affirmation, yoga.

i think i’m fortunate in that i have my AA meetings that i attend and sponsees to work with. working with others, i hear what i’m saying and it reminds me…”oh, laughter….prayer and meditation…making a list and doing small, routine things that validate me, etc.” yes, i’m fortunate to have those constant reminders come at me often. but some days even i’m too low to hear what i’m saying or take my own advice. but hey, this is life and death stuff we’re working with, and even really small, simple things can matter when it comes to hanging in there one more day…today. it’s nice to know that today or even just this moment is all i really need to deal with.

this is an important tool to use:

did you know you can start your day over at any moment…basically hit reset in your brain and go? really, it’s not exotic or cutting edge or new, but i will say, it is revolutionary in the doing. probably in the past if a day started veering off in a bad direction we followed it to it’s end…which no doubt was not so good….insomnia, fighting with spouses, yelling at the children, drinking or taking extra meds to relax, another day lost to emotions. did we know that the moment we saw our day going awry…that at that moment there was really a fork in the road and we have always had the choice of which way we were going to go? being aware and periodically taking moments to scan your mind for where you’re at, at this moment, is an important and invaluable tool. we can’t be carried off by our emotions and symptoms, and oh…it’s easy, comfortable and familiar, but they only want to lead us to a not so good place. no, stop for a moment and revolt! breath and assess what’s going on. “do i need to step back and make an apology? do i need to get up and do something…call someone? turn off the tv and listen to some relaxing music…do i need to eat something healthy. should i get out of this house and walk or do some stretching and yoga”…what ever…just set outside on the front porch with your dogs and take in the day…but take some action even if it is very small. a day gone awry is not a good wave to ride! there is a dangerous cliff at the end of this path!

yes, revolt and begin to take back your life!

so, from time to time, stop…evaluate…revolt! even on a day that may require you to be home bound, you can be creative and find what it is you need to do to love yourself and stay on that positive path leading to the new you. 

now for the entainment portion of this blog:

 the string to embed this video wouldn’t work so i thought i’d just post this link. if you are a dog or animal lover…this will make you laugh! if you just need to stop and laugh…try this one out! http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=1093806 since i wrote about laughing and how much it helps our mental and physical health i wanted to share this. having dogs myself i see them make up some pretty funny games to play with themselves…albeit not as creative as this dog!be a revolutionary in your own life today….peace out and hang in there!

here’s a link about restarting your day:  http://www.beliefnet.com/gallery/sevenwaystorestartyourday.html?pgIndex=0

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