Monday, May 15, 2017

Zoetic

It’s so zoetic.
So immensely pathetic.
That I breathe my obsessions
That fuel my depression.

I’m envious.
I’m full of pettiness.
When I’m angry I can break things.
When I’m scared the anxiety stings.

Because my mind scares me
When I go from mood to mood.
Because my heart it scares me
When it beats faster than I want it to.

It’s so zoetic.
So fucking prophetic.
That my past will dictate
every move that I make.

It’s convenient
That I’m irrelevant.  
When I ache I can break down.
When I cry I curse the sound.

Because my thoughts frighten me.
How can I possibly make it through?
Because my feelings frighten me.
Tell me what am I supposed to do?

It’s zoetic.
So extremely poetic
That my falls don’t mean I’m out.
Isn’t that what life is all about?

It’s a consensus
that I’m overzealous.
When I’m high I can’t calm down.
When I’m low I’m flush with the ground.

Because my soul it terrifies me
with my constant negative point of view.
Because my obsession terrifies me

with the thought of losing myself to.

Yield

 I yield
To the pain and the depression
To the power of my obsession
To the rage and aggression
To the death of my progression

I yield
When my resolve is pathetic
When I’m no longer sympathetic
When my heart Is apologetic
When  I ache for the empathetic

I yield
To be free of the wanting
To break away from the hurting
To cure my mind of the longing
To know why I’m undeserving

I yield
When I need a familiar face
When I’m feeling out of place
When hope has no trace
When love is in need of grace

I yield
To the hope tears wash away
To the belief good times stay
To let the tears fall as they may

To the dawn of a new day

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Xanax

I take several medications to help me get through life. I take medications for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, acid reflux, high cholesterol and anemia. Dealing with so many medications can be difficult. You have to make sure you take them at the right time of day or make sure you take them the right amount of times daily. Once you are on them you cannot just stop. You must be weaned off them. You have to make sure all of your medications mix well together.  You also have to make sure that you get the right dosage.

I take Xanax for my anxiety disorder. But that wasn’t the first one that was prescribed to me to help with my anxiety. It was a lot of trial and error. I had to find the right medication at the right dose. Before I took Xanax I took Klonopin. I hate Klonopin. That medication led me to oversleep and it was difficult to function with it. I felt like I had narcolepsy when I took it. When I took it I would pass out immediately. 

One time I fell asleep in the middle of the day and was only woken when someone pounded on my door. It was my friend and she had my daughter who was in Kindergarten at the time. I had slept through three alarms and missed the time to pick her up. Thank goodness I had my friend down as the emergency contact.

I told my doctor that I needed something different. That is when he prescribed me Ativan. Ativan was like taking a placebo. It didn’t do anything. I might as well have been taking a sugar pill. It had no affect on my anxiety and it still made me sleepy. So I went back to the doctor and that is when they offered me Xanax.

I have been on Xanax for over a year and a half now. I am stable on the right dose and that is a really good thing.


I write about this because I want those that have decided to take medication for their bipolar disorder to know that there will be some trial and error. There will be ups and downs when taking medications. Do not be afraid to tell your doctor what works and what does not work. 

Weight

I was recently diagnosed with a mild case of OCD. I received the diagnosis because I have a history of obsessing over things. Sometimes they are minute tiny things and sometimes they can be big and intense.

OCD is short for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,

“… those who have OCD suffer from unwanted and intrusive thoughts that they can't seem to get out of their heads ,often compelling them to repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines to try and ease their anxiety.”

Those with OCD become obsessed with something. They then begin to use a compulsion to get rid of the fear, doubt and anxiety.

The Obsession

My obsession lately has been with my weight. Last May I weighed 205lbs and I was miserable. I was overweight and suffered from hypertension at 32 years old. So I listened to my doctors and began the journey to lose weight. It is a year later and I am down 30lbs. I am proud that I have been able to lose weight and keep it off. The problem became when some real ugly thoughts began to permeate my brain. I realized that I had lost the weight before and gained it all back. I knew that I could not let up. I became obsessed with what I ate, when I ate it and how much of it I consumed. Then the fear and the anxiety began to build. It was intense and I needed some way to alleviate it.

The Compulsion

I began to weigh myself. The only thing that would get rid of my anxiety was to get on the scale and made sure that I had not gained anymore weight. I had to know multiple times a day whether the food I consumed that day made me gain or lose weight. It sounds strange but inside my mind I need to weigh myself to feel better. I weigh myself at least 7 times a day. I am afraid that if I don’t weigh myself I will gain the weight back. I cannot get through the day without getting on the scale.

The Treatment

After much discussion with my therapist we decided to do a worksheet and study treatment plan. The treatment requires me to focus on the thoughts in my head and finish them. If I have thoughts of not being good enough I need to challenge those thoughts.
“I’m going to gain the weight back.” I need to confront those thoughts.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vulnerability

I’m not good enough.
I’m never good enough.
Those words rattle around in my head on a daily basis. It’s there when I first wake up in the morning. I hear them when I’m getting the kids lunches ready or while I shower and brush my teeth.
I am worthless. I am not worthy of love and affection.
I also tell myself those things. I don’t have to be depressed to feel these emotions. They are like the backdrop to my life. The theme music that plays as I go about my daily life. I take them in with every breath.
I feel so much vulnerability and shame just telling you this information about myself.
I had a conversation with my therapist about never feeling good enough. She pointed me in the direction of a researcher named Dr. Brene Brown. She researches shame, fear and vulnerability. Those are topics that most people are uncomfortable talking about.
I learned some very important things from listening to Dr. Brown. I learned that when we are vulnerable with people we open ourselves up to hurt and pain. We get to feel the heartbreak and the rejection. The depression and the alienation.  This is what causes most people to take a step back. No one wants to feel anger and grief. If we could avoid it…we would.
Yet, we cannot chose which emotions we want to feel.  We cannot avoid some and live with others. When we do that we do not allow the good emotions to prosper.
That is why we need to be authentic and vulnerable. When we are, we open ourselves up to the good things in life. We have to give people the chance to be empathetic and the opportunity to get to know the real person behind the mask.
That is difficult for me.
Being vulnerable.
 I am afraid if I am my most authentic self that people will see that I am really worthless and not enough. That is one of my worst fears. But as Brene Brown teaches, I also close the door on the opportunity to discover I am enough just the way I am. I may miss out on happiness and joy because of my fear of being open and vulnerable with people.

Vulnerability is not something that comes naturally to me. I spent a great deal of my life hiding myself from the world hoping that they won’t be able to see inside my heart. I know now that being vulnerable is the only way I can manage the shame that consumes me. It will help me to discover that I am not alone. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Uncomfortable

I watched a Ted Talk from a woman named Dr. Brene Brown. She hit on some really solid view points. She discussed that are prone to numb their uncomfortable feelings through vices of all sorts. They cannot take being vulnerable so they find some way to numb those feelings.  We are the most medicated, overweight society because we cannot sit in our painful emotions.

This discussion made me think long and hard about myself and what I have been going through lately.

 I took a hiatus from therapy because my therapist moved. Having a therapist that you have been pouring your heart out to for years ups and leaves, you need time to regroup and figure things out before you jump into bed with another therapist.

I went back to therapy because I was constantly having anxiety. I was having anxiety attacks every day. I found myself relying more on Xanax, my anxiety medication more and more. I am only supposed to take my medication twice a day. Once at night and the other as needed throughout the day. I normally would take my pills as directed. Lately I had been feeling like I wanted to take my medication three times, maybe even four times a day. I was feeling uncomfortable in this world and my emotions were taking over. I didn’t like the feeling of anxiety.  When I am in the midst of an anxiety attack it feels like I am drowning and I am fighting for air.

Well, I decided to see a new therapist and try to stop myself before I began a long and painful journey making my life worse than what it already was. I knew that I was getting close to relying on my medication to get me through life and I knew I was on the brink of an addiction.

What I was doing was what Dr. Brown was saying. I was unwilling to be uncomfortable and vulnerable so I was medicating the problem instead of facing it head on. We do not get to numb or single out the emotions that we do not want to feel. We must feel the bad ones in order to feel the good ones.


I knew that I didn’t want to risk not ever being happy because I could not and would not acknowledge my pain and sit in it. I didn’t want to numb the good moments along with the bad. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Term

I learned a new term today.
It is called “flooding”.
Apparently this past weekend I flooded myself.
Let me explain.
Last weekend I went to Las Vegas with some girlfriends of mine. We partied, ate good food and had loads of fun. I was so glad that I went on this mini vacation I came back feeling rejuvenated. I needed
Before I made it to Vegas, however, I had to drive to Santa Clarita to meet up with everyone. It would be easier for me to drive to them and then head to Las Vegas than to have them pick me up here in Bakersfield. That sounds easy, right? It is only an hour and a half drive. Well it wasn’t so easy for me.
·         I am terrified of the mountains. The Grapevine induces an irrational fear in me.
·         I was driving my husband’s car that I don’t normally drive.
·         I was going to a city I had never been before.
·         I have anxiety disorder.
Well, I got my playlist together and I got on the highway to Santa Clarita. As I approached the Grapevine, I could feel my mind begin the process of trying to shut down. I was almost frozen with fear.
My heart was racing, I felt like couldn’t breathe. I began to sweat despite the air conditioning blowing in the car. Every turn I felt closer and closer to the end of the world. I just knew a truck was going to jack knife, another car was going to speed up behind me and hit me. Every bad scenario played in my head. I hit a curve and I felt the car go over the line just a little in the next lane. I panicked and I began to cry. My body began to shake and I felt like I was going to die. I just knew this was it for me.
Long story short I made it on my trip. I made it through the mountains, to Las Vegas and then back through the mountains home.
I related the event to my therapist.
“I don’t recommend it but what you did was…have you heard of ‘flooding’?” she asked me.
I hadn’t.
“What is ‘flooding’?” I asked intrigued.
She goes on to tell me that flooding is a technique that can be used in psychology sometimes referred to as “exposure therapy” or “prolonged exposure therapy”. It can be used to treat anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress disorder.
She said that she normally doesn’t recommend it because it requires the person to immerse themselves in their greatest fear to be miserable for long periods of time. I apparently spent an hour and a half immersing myself in my greatest fear.
I must say, I was miserable and in pain. I was in tears and terrified the entire time. The fear was so thick I could taste it. I was afraid that I was crying because I was blurring my line of sight. Yet I made it. I overcame my fear and anxiety and showed myself that I could do it without medication.

So I learned a new term. It’s called “flooding”.