Hi…I’ve just begun to write this after posting my previous blog a few minutes ago. Why? Because there’s so much in my mind only only so much energy for me to get stuff out and things are going too quickly for me to keep up and it’s 9 p.m. and a lot happened today that I need to unleash and I don’t know where to begin and oh crap I haven’t used any punctuation.
Ok. Well. Sorry about that. I’ll try to calm down. The truth is that I’m feeling a lot better right now but 2 hours ago I was crying those profoundly sad but silent tears. You know…when you feel deflated, shattered and even your tear ducts aren’t functioning right? That was me. Why did I feel that way? Because my amazing assigned worker had to give me some bad news; I’m being discharged on Saturday. I knew it had to come but we were all hoping that I’d have a chance to modify/change medications while still here in safety. The trouble is that it’s taking too long and it’ll be three weeks here without a solid date for an appointment with a new psychiatrist. We can’t work with maybe’s and soon’s anymore. I understand that but I also feel terrible about it. I don’t feel ready at all. This is the first time I feel in a safe and comfortable environment with the right people and capable of expressing some of my innermost struggles. It’s the only way to get past them and I know that when I get home my environment will change and I’ll go back to rush mode where I escape my problems until they catch up with me and basically f*ck me over.
Before I go on I just want to say that for my blogs right now I’m going to be dating the entries. Hopefully it’ll make more sense especially since I can’t seem to work very consistently. My attention span is about this size: […..]
Moving on…where was I? Oh yes, I wanted to conclude what I left as cliffhangers last blog. I did my final test/exam. I took it in two parts; one before the meeting with my current psychiatrist and the other after. I had this feeling that appointments can be difficult with him and often leave me feeling worse than before the call. I was very wise to split it up because it was a bit of a disaster. I don’t want to get into it too much but long story short, he confirmed our fears that he’s been sticking to the Douglas evaluation of me which was about 3 years ago. Absolutely ridiculous! You know how much can change in that time?! And I told him so. He also said that I think one pill will miraculously make all of problems go away. I responded that I’m not stupid and naive enough to believe that and all I’m saying is that being on about 7 medications while not feeling better than I do (Exhibit A: Being in a crisis centre!) is nonsensical! If what were doing isn’t working there’s nothing to lose! Anyway he’s stuck in dogma and I felt so ignored and invalidated. I got immensely irritated, wanted to destroy everything in my room / hurt myself so I ran downstairs to the office with him on speakerphone. I was shaking so hard and literally losing my mind. I couldn’t speak and the poor worker I went to see who had no idea what was going on put him on hold. He hung up and tried again but I just couldn’t handle it. I was crying so hard and went to see my good friend who really consoled me. That’s how we left it. I explained all of this to my crisis worker a little later and he left a message with the secretary asking my psychiatrist to call back. We both highly doubted that would happen but surprisingly he did and said that we would have another appointment this week. After dinner during our meeting my worker informed me of that conversation and that I would have to leave due to Lakeshore hospital not getting back to us. It wasn’t his decision to make and he hated having to tell me. That brings us back to where I started this blog…feeling miserable and scared about leaving.
Sidebar: This blog will have different sections which I won’t even try to piece together as usual; that would be too difficult and I don’t have the mental energy.
Before I go on though I’d like to share a little commentary on the psychiatric system. When you have a doctor who isn’t really willing to re-evaluate you and monitor how the situation changes, this is a huge warning flag. The best psychiatrists understand this and are open to flexibility, nuance and progression. They’ll be more than willing to ensure that meds are tailored to your specific needs and with the fewest pills and lowest dosages that work. So that’s another red flag; when you explain symptoms (either new OR old if they’re getting worse again), and it seems like the psychiatrists’ solution is always to increase the dosage. Yes, this can be necessary sometimes…but if increasing seems to be their go-to without considering lowering or changing meds, that’s a problem.
I figure that the only way I’ll be able to extend my stay here a little bit is if we begin adjusting my meds right now. If that has to be with my current psychiatrist, I’ll take what I can get because I can imagine how badly it would go to do that from home. Every time we’ve decreased meds before to see how I would feel and/or to replace it with something else…it’s been really bad. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be in a hospital for Christmas. I want to hurt my parents and Aaron. I don’t want to let everyone down. I wrote 2 pages to share with my worker today expressing how feel with this situation and I think I’ll share it with you after. It’s a pretty decent example of me learning how to advocate for my needs and thankfully I can do that because I trust this man so much and am super grateful for the way he’s been with me. What we’ve done together is really helpful. In all fairness he’s so amazing that he’s offered me a daily appointment with him externally and support once a week in the upcoming months if need be. I feel guilty for requesting more time especially in light of that, but I truly believe I’m not ready. I’ll be back in environments where I feel that working on myself is nearly impossible. Actually, I will just share the pages with you to give you the clearest idea. Maybe it’ll inspire you to advocate for yourself too, in any form that works best for you. Writing is mine, and you can / WILL find yours!
More News About my Psychiatrist
Since our additional session was supposed to be on Thursday or Friday, and since today is Friday, I decided to call the secretary of my psychiatrist. I had to swallow my pride a bit. Actually I won’t really say pride, because really I had to swallow some of my important principles. That’s not the same thing. (I think it’s worse…or harder…I don’t know.) Anyway, I wanted to give them what they want to hear despite how unfair I feel it went the other day. So I called and brought up the subject of a new appointment. I also said that I would appreciate the chance to apologize and make things better moving forwards and with a good plan. I explained how I’m not ready to leave the Crisis Centre and that the only chance I have of staying here to test medication adjustments is if we speak today. The secretary asked for my number which I thought was a good sign. Her attitude was also different with me since I went into it apologetically. Anyway…I’m very grateful because she passed the message and he agreed to meet with me at 2:45 today. It 2;16 right now and my hands are flaring with anxiety. I’m afraid of the meeting, I’m afraid of leaving… I’ve been trying to do things like read the exercises/techniques in the binder my worker gave me and work on my Christmas cards. I also keep trying to engage Mia in something but she seems really tired and bored. She didn’t want to play ball OR tug of war with her monkey stuffy. I’m confused and I feel guilty; like I’m boring her.
While I wait anxiously, I’ll share something I’ve been meaning to write a while ago. It would have been good earlier but better late than never. I wanted to discuss Holiday stress. It’s a really big thing. Even though the Holidays are supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, I think it’s also one of the most stressful. People run around for gifts, run their cards into debt, pressure themselves to impress others, stressfully plan parties, send out invitations, manage career dinners and family dinners…there’s just so much in very little time. It’s a time of too much and that too much is normalized and fed into by the media and advertising. It’s a humongous money-making proposition but at the expense of ‘normal’ tax-payers. There’s so much that we apparently ‘need‘ and ‘need‘ right away.
Being in pain and going through crap for this many years has really made me appreciate the Holidays in a different way. I don’t need a big gathering and I don’t need lots of stuff or expensive stuff. What’s most important to me is to be happy with my family. Christmas has turned into a lot of things… I just want a warm wood fireplace and lots of love and laughter. I wish that for everyone. Joy, warmth, love, peace … and maybe a ton of homemade decorations!
The Holidays can be very depressing for some people. I can’t even begin to fathom what it must be like to celebrate (or not celebrate) the Holidays alone. Being alone isn’t bad necessarily but if the person doesn’t want to be but has no other choice – I just find it very sad. People without their loved ones, people without a home to stay in… I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to those people and I pray that things change for them!
What do you love about the Holidays? What makes them special for YOU? Do you have plans this year? Are you stressed about it?
I spoke with my psychiatrist and I’m so grateful that it went well! I unfortunately didn’t end up doing it with my worker because he had to take a phone call. I left the room quickly to give both of us space and quiet. I managed to express myself and we came to an understanding. The good news is that we’re going to decrease one of my mood stabilizers (Lamotrigine); that’s the one that can make concentration difficult. I started reducing today and tomorrow morning I’m going to start with a low dose of Vyvanse. Even though we can’t do a new evaluation for potential ADHD/ADD over the phone and normally that’s what stimulants are used for, we’re going to try it is a sort of atypical antidepressant if you will. I’ve seen them used for treatment-resistant depression and I have a feeling that it might really help. It’s worth a shot and since I don’t feel like antidepressants are doing much for me anymore – despite being on 2 – it sounds like change is smart! I’m excited to try it out but I discovered something crappy when I picked up just two days of meds to complete this week’s cycle. The Vyvanse was $14 for 2 PILLS! What the hell?! Anyway, we’ll see if it’s worth it. Now that a change has actually been made, it’s possible for my stay here to be extended a little bit and I really hope that will be the case. I need more time. I really do. And I need to test this in safety. My worker informed the coordinator so I’ll find out in the morning. It’s 11:16 p.m. actually. I hit a down before dinner and didn’t want to go downstairs at all. One of my new friends and I hung out though and I’d like to think that we both felt better after that. I should sleep now so I’ll say goodnight.
I still don’t know if my stay has been prolonged a little bit which is really freaking me out. It’s also really bad outside! The rain is freezing on the ground making it super icy and driving back home today seems really treacherous. I took my meds earlier this morning because of the Vyvanse. I don’t want it to give me trouble sleeping.
I got the extension because of the medication adjustment! I’m very grateful…at least I have until Monday to see how things are working out. Also, I wish I had taken Vyvanse a lot sooner! I have more to write on this topic but for now I’ll just say that it’s been super promising even with a small ‘trial’ dose!
I also forgot to mention something pretty funny. I’m going to preface it by saying that Aaron has said on multiple occasions that he wouldn’t mind experimentation of this kind…just no emotional connection. I’m pretty sure you already have an idea of where I’m going with this. It happened a few days ago but it wasn’t on the forefront of what I wanted to share. Cue Katy Perry ‘I Kissed a Girl”. Yup. It’s been a little while now since I’ve known that I’m Bi in terms of being in a relationship. I only care about emotional and intellectual connections…so actually it doesn’t matter what gender my partner would identify as. Is that Pansexual? I’m pretty sure I’ve written this before but I lean heavily on the asexual side. But – I have no experience with a woman which means I don’t know if that would make it any different! Confusing much? Long story short, one of my new friends and I were hanging out and discussing dilemmas like these and other relationship stuff. She was so kind and offered for us to have a quick kiss so I’d see what it’s like. She’s straight but wants to go into acting and this really didn’t bother her. (It was her first time too so we were both nervous and laughing. It makes for a funny story.) I haven’t quite fully interpreted my feelings yet but I can say that I enjoyed it. More than a little. It made me want more. Not to go further…but just more. But I wouldn’t. I also told Aaron literally a couple hours afterwards and he was fine with it. This isn’t like me at all but had his go ahead. I’m trying not to feel guilty. Anyway, there you have it!
I should’ve written yesterday but I didn’t. I think I did quite a bit but I can’t remember right now. Often I have trouble remembering what I do during a given day. I know that I was very happy, collected and productive though. Oh yes! I know I did 2 interviews, went for 3 walks with Mia and wrote. And Chinese food for dinner while FaceTiming my parents which was great. I’m leaving in less than 2 hours so soon I’ll be seeing my family and I’m so excited for that! It’s been a little over 3 weeks since I’ve seen my parents and I saw Aaron just 3 times. His brother came by twice which was very kind too; today is his birthday by the way!
I’m going to have one last meeting with my main worker today before I head up North! It’s sunny and hopefully the roads will be ok… Quebec Winters are hard for new drivers! Hahaha. I want to be extremely careful. Well, I’m going to wrap this up now and send it out. It’s my last blog from here but not my last about here and what I’ve learned.
Have a lovely day and see you soon! Before you go, check out these pics!
(P.S. I’m ashamed but honest enough to admit that I used a filter on the images of me because I’m very self-conscious and hate myself. Sorry.)