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As part of my therapy for depression, I’ve been openly talking about my struggle on social media (google + and facebook, mostly with a few posts on DreamWidth which are mirrored to LiveJournal).  I’ve been thinking of setting up an actual blog to try to reach more folks.  Not out of vanity but because I want other folks suffering from mental health issues to know that they are not alone.  Mental illness is not a moral failing, it is a health issue.   I also want to point folks at useful resources such as www.nami.org

NAMI is National Alliance on Mental Illness and it raises awareness, offers support for those with mental health issues and their families.  There are NAMI chapters all across the US.

I also hope to find resources for those outside the US but most of my experience is US based including with the deeply flawed US health system.

I also have physical health issues which are tied into my mental health. I have arthritis and chronic back pain.  So I will likely write often about coping with those.  It is all connected to my overall general wellness.

Welcome aboard.  I hope to provide useful information and insights amidst my ramblings here.  I welcome feedback but will moderate comments to weed out abuse, trolling and the like.

~hugs~

Cheryl

 

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Semicolon

So, last Thursday was the perfect storm of just too many things gone wrong.  I’ve been having very bad pain days I think partially due to winter finally arriving to the Valley of the Sun(winter being relative but it is a change in weather nevertheless).   I had finally made contact with a therapist and I was nearly giddy at the prospect of getting into therapy and on the road to better mental health. The appointment was originally set for early December but a cancellation allowed me a chance for last Thursday.  Giddy!  Glee!  Unfortunately, I failed to ask a vital question when setting up my appointment.   They didn’t take my insurance and as y’all know I am broke ass.  I didn’t have the $225 or really, any money for the initial appointment.  So I thanked the front office person and left.

I sat in my car and cried.  I started off back home and my gas light came on.  I cried some more.  It’s a miracle I didn’t have an accident.  I did make it home though.

I felt so overwhelmed with what I felt was failure.

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I took a deep breath. I put the pills away.  And then I took a nap and cuddled with my kittens.

I still feel fragile.  And I’m cranky. Moody.  All of that fun stuff.  Dreading the holidays and feeling isolated.

I have $0.51 in the bank.  I would like to treat myself to Moravian sugar cookies.  A taste from home.

But I’m still here.  My story continues.

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Helping Hand

How To Be a Good Mental Patient, Part 1: Before You’re Medicated

Very useful! Will have my own thoughts on recent events in my life up soon.

Miss Misery

(Note: I am not a medical doctor and cannot give professional advice. All of the following is my opinion, based on my experience as a patient.)

Psychiatric doctors are fascinating people*. They, more than most, are able to understand human consciousness as a function of biology. They see right through the misconception that the mind is greater than what the brain is capable of generating.

And they also have a medical degree, so you should probably listen to them.

pill bottles clker.com

The questions that are asked in this article are the questions I would have deeply benefitted from knowing the answers to when I first stepped foot into a psychiatrist’s office almost ten years ago. Hopefully, the answers I have provided (which are, at best, all partial) will aid you in your journey toward finding effective psychiatric help.

Q) Will taking psych meds change my personality?

A) The short answer is…

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Drowning

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On my rollercoaster ride of depression, I’m currently at a very, very low point.  I was finally able to connect with a therapist and my first session is tomorrow.  So there’s that.  I’ve been either sleeping too little or too much.  For the past several days, I’ve not been able to talk myself into getting out of bed until the afternoon.  I feel so useless.  Like why bother going through the motions.  I’ve been eating either way too little or too much of the wrong things.

Still waiting on a decision on my disability.  Meanwhile, I need food, gas, pet supplies. All of my bills are overdue.  I have no answers for the nice folks that keep calling me about them or sending me letters or email. Many of my clothes don’t fit anymore.  It’d be nice to have a pair of orthopedic slippers for around the house.  It’d be nice to go to a movie.

I’ve been trying to read or listen to music but that’s not really working on my anxiety.  It helps for a little while.  And I guess those small moments will have to do for now.  My dreams are full of all kinds of anxiety induced monsters.

I am hoping that therapy will help.  Except I am anxious about the added expense on top of everything else.  But I know I need the help.  But I will continue to fret.

As always, if you can help, here is my YouCaring page: A Helping Hand 

And my PayPal

 

 

State of My Head

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 Artist: TheHeadbanger93 Deviantart

 

Today I spent five hours sitting in a waiting room at the local DES office.  It was crowded and noisy.  Filled with all types of people: adults, singles, couples, parents with children.  All there because we are desperate and needy.  I saw dirty, unkempt people.  And neat, clean people.  And all those in between.  I saw people lugging all of their wordly belongings to this place in hopes of maybe getting help.

As well, I saw parents entertaining their kids.  Trying to make this long, often humiliating process a bit less trying and boring.  I saw people helping people.  Explaining the process to those new to it.  Encouraging worn down parents with fussy kids.

By the end, I felt as though I’d joined a fellowship of a sort.  I have a shiny new EBT card so I can now buy food and take some of the burden off my partner.

Sitting there, I was reminded of my childhood when we had to go check in with the government and assure them that no, we had not suddenly come into money and yes, we did still need food assistance.  Food insecurity is a terrible way to live.  Back then, we had actual color coded packets of vouchers.  It was embarrasing to go shopping and pull those out.  At least with the card,  you don’t stand out as much.

I sat in my car for a moment and felt…something..nothing.  I am dependent. Dependent on my partner. Dependent on my friends.  Dependent on the meager services provided by the government.  Dependent.

I’m Fine Redux

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I am very much not okay.  It’s why I haven’t blogged in so very long.  I am an emotional wreck.  Remember how I was having trouble sleeping?  Well, that’s over.  I’m now sleeping 10/11/12 hours a day or more.  I am making it to appointments.  I do eventually drag myself out of bed and take care of the critters.

My partner has been cooking for me.  Finding delicious ways to meet my restricted dietary needs.

I’ve been dreaming vivid dreams about old friends and places.

A dear friend gave us money when things got dire at the beginning of the month.  Really hoping my disability appeal will go through.  Though I think we’ve found a few things to cut expenses.  But medical stuff continues to stack up.  We’ve both had our medications tweaked.  We both need dental procedures.  My partner is getting a couple of other necessary medical procedures.  My orthotics cost more than expected. Not a lot more but still.  ~sigh~

I just want to disappear in a puff of despair.

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The Degentrification of Urban Fantasy

Chronicles of Harriet

Originally posted by the author onFacebook.

The cosmic. The weird. The fantastic. The spiritual.
Whatever we call it, we all have a profound need to glimpse, experience, or at least believe in, some greater reality beyond our mundane existence.
That is why Urban Fantasy has become one of the most successful genres in modern publishing.
Urban Fantasy is unique in its willingness to see the stuff of horror – the familiar cast of vampires, were-creatures, zombies, demons and other monstrous entities – not simply as horrific and repellent, but also as darkly fascinating and appealing.
Vampires have always embodied the darker aspects of human sexuality, but in urban fantasy, those aspects are allowed full rein to express themselves. However, there is far more to Urban Fantasy than steamy encounters with glittery bloodsuckers.
Authors of African descent are taking Urban Fantasy by storm and, as author Daniel José Older

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Things that make me tired

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Medical stuff.  Seriously.  Trying to get healthy is exhausting.  And expensive.  Why?  And now Congress is trying yet again to make it harder and exclude people like me from even getting the bare minimum health care coverage.

So after my fun diagnosis, I went to get blood drawn for more tests.   It was like 8 or 10 vials!  So I felt a bit run down after all of that blood left my body.   But my nephrologist is being thorough so I should be glad.  He’s checking for Lupus and I think trying to get a more precise diagnosis of my kidney disease.

I’m researching renal diets.  And my partner got me an instant pot for my birthday to make it easier for me to cook real food.  Yay!  There’s a lot of information out there and it’s taking me some time to sort through it all.  I suspect I’ll end up consulting with a nutritionist.   sigh

I still need to find a therapist.  I called a couple of people and found out they were not taking new patients.  I also need to get my eyes checked.  Oh, and the dentist.

In better news, I did submit an appeal for disability.  Now I have to worry myself sick with waiting for a decision.  I’m actually hoping I can just let it ride and not fret about it every damn day.  But that’s not how my brain works.  Anyway.

I got to see my wolfcub!  So that was a happy.  He gave me a pretty!

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~kermitflail~

He’s making many pretties to sell.  I’ll let you know where you can get yours.

Since it is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month  I want to remind you, that you are loved, you are worthwhile and you are not alone!  you-are-not-alone

  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

 

 

If you want to lend me a hand, here are a couple of ways:

https://www.youcaring.com/HelpCherylThrive

PayPal