Friday, September 30, 2011


So I saw the doctor. I actually like him quite a bit. Well, his demeanor didn't do him any favors. He was surprisingly not open and welcoming for being a psychiatrist, but I like the way he does things. He asked lots of really tough questions, which was frustrating cus I know he had both my intake info from when I was inpatient and from when I started with this new program. But after asking the questions he changed my meds me new sleepy meds that are supposed to also help w/nightmares by blocking adrenaline, and new anxiety meds that should work a lot better than the ones I had before which were just too weak for what I need. He also came up with a plan for me to see him again next week, as well as attend two different groups. I REALLY like this because the t I didn't like didn't give me a plan, or anything to do besides count down the days til the next appt and try to figure out how to handle things on my own until the day came. That doesn't work for me right now because the stuff i'm dealing with is big. And scary. And just so so tough to deal with. Any little bit of bringing it up, even if that's not directly what we talk about during the appt....gets me totally flipped out. He wasn't giving me support so i'd spend the rest of the week just tryin to survive and get by. Not good.

So the dr. has another appt scheduled for me, and stuff to do so i'm not alone. (Jury is still out on whether the iop is the right fit for case you're wondering...). But what I liked best about the dr. is that he seemed to believe in me. He basically said that I need to process the stuff that happened to me, that it's going to be hell, but that it can be done. I told him what I feel like I've been screaming lately mostly to deaf ears, that i'm ready to do the work and that i want to get better, i just need the guidance of how. I need someone to point me in the right direction and be there to support me through it...because basically we're talking about unraveling the entirety of me, my childhood, and the horrible things that happened. I get scared just admitting those things exist. But I want to do it. And the dr. seems to think I can.

The two groups he has me going is DBT....dialetical behavior therapy. ( I think this sounds pretty cool. It's all about learning to stay grounded and mindful in the moment. I guess it's based off of some buddhist stuff too. It doesn't focus on the trauma specifically at all, just about how to deal with panicking and that kind of thing. So so so what I need right now.

The other one is a women's group called "seeking safety." I'm not nearly so excited about this one. It sounds like it's more for women leaving abusive relationships, but the dr. said it would be good for me. I'm doing everything I can to follow the instructions of ppl willing to help me though, so I'm going to give it a try.

Anyway back to the title of this post....fear. I mentioned a bit above about how scary it is to face this stuff. But what most ppl don't understand is that it's scary as hell just to admit that the bad stuff happened. To actually say out loud to someone is so painful. Talking about it in any detail at all makes me so scared I can't breathe. I feel like I'm dying. I know it's illogical but that's what happens. It might be from when I was a child and they told me they'd kill me if I told. I don't know. What I do know is that it's terrifying.

I do ok if I just think about the groups...though they scare me too. But then I looked at the website for the group he's recommending I talk to (a city wide group...not associated with this program) and I start getting shaky. It's a lot more focused on the bad stuff. A lot more. I look at their recommended reading list thinking maybe I should find a new book to read. Just seeing the titles, and especially the descriptions, the death feelings come back. Just that much and my stomach ties in a knot and my lungs stop working.

That's what I have to fight to be able to fight this. That's the whole problem....any little thing I try to do good for myself brings up all this fear and panic....ending up with more to deal with. That's where the drinking comes in too (though I've been sober since tuesday night). The panic makes me want to drink...but the drinking ultimately makes it worse. Logically i get all of this, in the moment it's painful. It's what happened to me when I went to the AA meeting. It happens every time I try to do something good. I think that's why the DBT stuff could be good for me. If i could do something to help myself w/out the help itself becoming trauma....I might have a chance.

I guess I also want to say this because I'm tired of people telling me to "just get over it" or that I'm making excuses, or that I'm unwilling to help myself. 15 minutes in an AA meeting, for example, was TERRIFYING to me. It made my chest hurt to the point I couldn't breathe and I started getting so dizzy I could barely see straight. I haven't been back to one yet but that doesn't mean I'm not trying. I want to do everything I can to help myself, but this isn't the type of fear where you just suck it up and go. This is an all encompassing, painful, raw, terror. It literally feels to me like I won't survive whatever it is that i'm doing. That's why I chose not to start the iop today. My friend staying w/me agrees that that's for the best. I have a very stressful event that I'm working on for school that's happening tomorrow, plus i've faced a lot of other stress this week. Plus it's run by the t I don't like (i think i'll be fine with him in group format0 so if I went today i would be thinking frustrating thoughts about him rather than hearing what he's saying or focusing on what i'm supposed to get out of it.

So yeah...i'll admit it...i'm scared. But please don't tell me to face my fears. Don't tell me "it won't be that bad" or say "there's nothing to be scared of." I'm doing the best I can right now and I am fighting like hell to get better. Sometimes just being awake and present is all I can do. Some days just that is a serious fight. In a sense it's like a sickness. Some days I need to lay in bed and recover. Some days I can't actively fight.

This is more addressed to the world at large than any one person, so don't go getting offended. I just think it needs to be said. Often it seems like even the dr.s and therapists and everyone don't get it either. Everything is a struggle, and is so hard and painful and scary...that what I really need from people is just their belief that I can get through. That's all. The biggest fear of all is that I won't make it to better. That I will always hurt. That I can't move past this. Today I can only believe in getting through the day. The rest is just too much. Back to playing video games...(Oh, and the fact that I have the absolute worst cramps ever is adding to my desire to stay in one place!).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just a Quickie....

First off, Barb, I think that title may be for you.

Now then...

I am absolutely exhausted right now but I want to give a quick update on my day today.

I decided to write a letter to the therapist explaining why his canceling the appointment bothered me. I ended up writing about four pretty detailed pages about the issues I'm having with feeling a lack of support and feeling very scared, lost, and alone without his support. I found it to be a very clear, focused, but not accusatory letter and I have to say I was pretty proud of myself. He called again later in the day. I missed his call and he left a message that was not much better than the first. He said things like how I can't expect him to fix problems that took years to make, and that there's only so much he can do for any one client. Beyond that he seemed to be concerned with defending himself, not helping me feel comfortable. I guess I'm needy right now, but I really just needed him to sound sympathetic and care. I'm not looking for him to fix anything, I just need to KNOW that he is there with me in the battle. And right now I don't. I had my friend that is staying with me listen to the messages to see what she heard from it and she had the same reaction as I do. So the plan now is to get back in touch with the guy I did the intake with (who I actually liked a lot), to see if there is another therapist available to work with me. Also current therapist offered to help me find someone else but he says he thinks it would be better if we worked through this. I personally just don't feel like this is something to work through. Maybe it's as simple as a personality clash, but even though he keeps saying things like "I hear that you're frustrated and scared" I don't feel like he gets it in a way that's helpful for me.

In other news, I finally made it to an AA meeting. Sort of. I made it for the first 15 minutes and then started panicking and had to leave. At least I made it in the door this time. Other times I've sat outside the door. This whole thing is a giant catch 22. I've been using alcohol to manage my PTSD symptoms. Without drinking, the PTSD goes nuts. A big trigger for me is being in a room full of people I don't know, especially in a place where I feel stuck or like I might not be able to leave. (Hence the sitting at the door or outside of it). I know I'm gonna have to figure this out eventually, but today 15 minutes in the room lead me to an all out sobbing my eyes out, couldn't focus on anything or concentrate at all panic attack. I had to basically race outside and lay down in the grass till I could breathe again. Logical mind knows that AA meetings are generally not scary, but all the big fears inside of me don't listen to logical mind. Logical mind actually really likes the idea of AA and having a support system and a sponsor and all that. But can't seem to convince scared part.

Tomorrow I finally get to see the psychiatrist. Will be interesting to get his/her take on everything going on. Hopefully this will be a real appt. to talk about stuff rather than just a med refill...since the meds need work and I'd like to get some advice from the medical side of things.

Better shut up now before my quickie becomes a longie....or something.


I actually started out today feelin' pretty good. I had made it through 3 days of detox and was actually feeling pretty decent. My aunt commented repeatedly that I looked totally different than I had the last few days. It seemed like there was some light at the end of the tunnel, and things were going just the way they were supposed to.

Then one phone call changed everything.

I got a call from my therapist, canceling my appt. for tomorrow. He said that one of the therapists is out of town and he needs to cover his group...which just happens to be during my appt. time. Fine except it doesn't sound like an emergency or anything. Couldn't they have found someone else? Or cancelled the group? Or told me much earlier than the day before so I'd have time to reschedule?

I know this sounds like overreacting, but here's the thing. I called t on friday (regular appts are on wed.) and told him that I was having a really tough time and felt like I needed much more than one hour once/week. I ended up crying to him about it. We talked about getting me in to the IOP (intensive outpatient program) and I told him I would commit to getting sober so I could get in it. So he knew that I was having a very very tough time to begin with, plus that it would be my first week of sobriety which is never easy. We'd talked about how when I'm not drinking all the PTSD stuff comes back in full force and I don't know how to handle it.

So he KNEW, or at least should've known, that this would be hell week for me. Then he cancels last minute, with no apology, like it's no big deal. Totally just matter of fact, like he's canceling a pizza order or something.

I've been counting down the days till I can see him again because I need direction and I need help. I don't know how to be sober anymore. I hate to admit that I'm so lost as a sober person. I also hate to admit how dependent I feel towards this therapist already. I also need to say how INCREDIBLY hard it was for me to admit to him how bad I need him.

Add to this, he's also the one that runs the IOP. At first I thought this was a good thing because I felt comfortable with him. But now I don't feel like I can trust him. Now I question if the IOP is really something good for me. I'm too angry at him to think that spending 3 days/week w/him would be a good idea. Getting in to the IOP is a big part of why I chose now as the right time for me to get sober. Sooooo in my head I told myself that that was out the window so sobriety doesn't matter anymore. So I drank. Yep....the day after 3 days of hellish detox...I drank.

I'm still with my aunt. We're staying at a hotel tonight and I fly back home early tomorrow morning. When we got to the hotel we got a coupon for a free drink at the bar. My aunt wanted to take a quick nap so while she did I went downstairs and got the free drink. And another drink. Would've loved to have stayed there all night but knew I needed to be sober-like for my aunt.

I hate myself for drinking today. Mainly because my aunt spent the last 3 days dealing w/my detoxing self. It wasn't pretty but she stuck with me. Then the first chance I get I sneak off to drink? I know this aunt would do anything for me, so I feel especially bad about it. I'm also just feeling really really scared. I thought that after all that detox shit it would be a long long time before I touched another drink just to avoid being that sick again. It scares me that I was so quick to drink when the opportunity presented itself. I didn't want to. I heard my mind saying over and over again that I didn't want to, I shouldn't, etc. But body marched right down to that bar to drink. Going back to the room I was still thinking about how I can't believe I was drinking while still w/my aunt. And yet I was also frustrated that I couldn't stay and drink more. Two didn't seem like enough. And these were strong drinks.

My head is a mess right now. I feel totally alone because I feel like I can't trust my t who I was just starting to trust. My plan that I had set in my head no longer feels like a plan worth anything at all.

Just to be clear, I didn't drink BECAUSE of what my therapist did, but it most definitely added fuel to the fire. I had reached a very shaky point of "ok" in the morning, and then the call from my therapist just totally threw me off. (He left a message, haven't actually spoken to him). The call felt like it changed everything in my world and I didn't know how to deal with that. I was lost and scared and didn't know how to handle it. That's what made me drink. I couldn't find something solid enough to hold on to to keep me out of the bar.

To tell ya the honest truth there's very little keeping me from heading me back downstairs to the bar now that my aunt is asleep for the night. Darn hotel...I could even go in my pj's if I really wanted to.

I'll be back "home" tomorrow so I might go to an AA meeting then. I probably should. Clearly I need help with this whole drinking thing. I'm way more addicted than I thought. But I don't know how to deal with everything in my life right now sober. That's another truth. I was doing ok before, but recently (as in since last spring) things have gotten a lot LOT crazier for me). Can't really go in to that now, but it's more than I know how to deal with it. I guess I need to go back to minute to minute right now. Can't make sense of the big picture at all.

If you're reading this, please please please send prayers, good thoughts, or anything else you can think of. I feel like I'm floating away all alone again and I just need ppl to be with me. Thanks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nice People

I am not always a nice, or even pleasant person to be around. I know this. I have anger issues and attachment issues. Getting close to someone scares the hell out of me and tends to cause me to do stupid things to push people back to where it feels safer. Hence, the nicer someone is to me, the more likely they are to see my way less than pleasant side. People who know me as an acquaintance only regularly comment on how nice and friendly I am to everyone. People who get closer see the anger, the struggles, etc.

But somehow, through the midst of all of my attempts to push everyone away, I have ended up with some unbelievably nice friends. One accepted me into her home without a second thought after I got out of the hospital. She invited me to sleep on her couch for an indefinite amount of time while I get my life back together and find something more long-term. She expressed only care and concern for me throughout, taking care of me right down to cooking and making sure I ate, as well as making sure I stayed safe.

My aunt (not biologically related, if you were wondering..) was willing to take me in while I detox. She didn't know at the time what she was in for (trip had been planned for a while, the quitting drinking is recent). But she never balked at it when I told her what was going on. She told me she'd help me with whatever I needed, and that she wanted to be that person to get me through it. Then, on top of everything else, I was randomly whining to her earlier today that I never got a bday celebration (bday was spent in the hospital) she snuck out and got a cake, balloons, a banner, and a present for me. Not only that but she remembered all these little things that I'd told her but could barely remember what kind of cake I like and what I would want for a present.

Another friend is flying in on wednesday to stay with me in a hotel room and help me with life stuff and finding a new place to live, and to give couch friend a break.

Still another friend is dealing with unbelievable stuff of her own, and yet always finds the time to sit and listen to me. We have very similar pasts, and she inspires me daily to keep fighting. No matter what she's up against she's always willing to support me and be there for me, and I don't know where I'd be without her.

I know I put out a lot of negative energy into the world. I don't mean to, but as an old friend used to tell me often, I've got walls built so high it's a fortress. I don't know how to do relationships. They terrify me. I don't understand how these amazing ppl keep finding me.

Whenever someone does one of these nice things, way deep down I hear my parents' voices in my head. My parents, and especially my dad, didn't like it when anyone did anything nice for me. For one, he said I didn't deserve it. Second, he seemed to think that if someone did something nice i must have been telling lies in order to get it, so I'd get in trouble for it. I think he was afraid of anyone getting too close to the family because they might find out what he was doing to me. Or I might get comfortable w/them and tell them. Or it may have just been the drugs talking. Regardless, all my life I knew that nice things were not for me, and they ended up causing more pain. Sometimes now that voice is quieter, sometimes it's louder, but it's nearly impossible to get rid of.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I keep feeling so small and worthless inside, and I somehow keep attracting amazing people in to my life. I don't get it. It's not that I want any of them to leave, I just feel completely and totally I could never be as nice to them as they are to me...i could never repay them. I know that's not what they're looking for but it all just seems strange to me. It just doesn't make sense. (Speaking of which, I hope what I'm typing makes sense. It's been another very long day physically, though I seem to be doing a bit better now...)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

48 hours

Well, I'd planned on coming here and writing a nice long post about how miserable detox and withdrawals are, but I have so few moments where I don't feel dizzy or like my head is in a vice that it hardly seems worth it to write too much.

So I'm just here to say...I've officially been 48 hours w/out a drink. It's been hell, and the fact that it's been hell shows me I had a bigger problem than I realized...which sucks. I really thought I wasn't doing "all that bad" with drinking but my body has something else to say. I seem to cycle between nausea, horrible headaches, dizziness, shaking, etc.

I posted on friday that I was quitting but I didn't make it through the night. So now I'm trying again and doing better. I'm staying w/my aunt out in the mountains so I'm far removed from temptation and with someone willing to help take care of me. We may be looking in to an AA meeting for me to go to here (might be easier to actually get myself to go when it's ppl I know I will likely never see again....easier to get over that initial huge fear), or I might just wait till I get back "home." Anyway need to get back to horizontal and zoning out. Just wanted to let ya'll know what's up so you can be proud of me. :-P

Friday, September 23, 2011

What the hell was I thinking?

Last night was a bad night. This morning was a bad morning. Can't really go into detail right now but lots of flashbacks and other craziness goin on in my head making it nearly impossible to function. I made the decision that I need more than 1 hr/week to deal with this stuff. I tend to feel even more lonely after t, plus it takes me a half hour or so to feel comfortable and able to say much. So yeah it's just not helping. I need something more. I talked to my t on the phone today and told him I'd like to do the IOP. That means I need to stop drinking, but I'm willing to in order to get the help I need. Not to mention my major drinking binge this week showed that it's more essential than I realized. So I made the decision today to make a committment towards sobriety. Good idea I guess, but holy hell does it hurt!

I'm having horrible withdrawals mixed with crazy panic and flashbacks and everything else. I have no way to drown it out, and don't have the presence of mind to be able to ground myself, so i'm just stuck with it. All my thoughts are flying so fast I can't think straight or think through any of them. My whole body hurts and i'm shaking and it's just all the awful stuff all at once. I know just one drink could fix this and could dull it enough to process. Just one drink. What the hell was I thinking? :(

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I just got done with a meeting at the disability center for my school. My t at school suggested that I go talk to them.

It was a very strange experience. There were many questions related to, "How does your disability affect _____?"

My disability? Weird.

They asked me to describe my disability. I didn't know how to answer.

I've never really thought of what I'm dealing with right now as a disability. Yes, it's absolutely disabling. But I've always seen it as my inability to figure shit out. Disability changes things, though I'm not sure how.

They offered me a lot of services...though I'm not sure if I'm going to use them. I now have the option to take a test in a separate quiet room so I'm less distracted. I can get a peer note taker to take notes for me so I can still get all the info even if I lose focus. I can now take breaks as much as I need to during class if I feel myself starting to panic. There's others as well...

All nice things, but strange to think about actually taking advantage of. The note taker thing is anonymous....whoever volunteers will drop the notes off at the disability center and won't know who they're taking notes for unless I choose to tell them. They get a $20 gift certificate at the end of the semester, so it's a nice deal for them too. Ironically it's a deal I would've taken in a heartbeat when I was actually doing well with school. Ok maybe not, considering that few people can read my handwriting and I tend to take notes in a way that doesn't make sense to a lot of ppl.

Taking the tests elsewhere is a nice idea, and one that I may use because during my test today I did really struggle to stay focused. I was one of the last people done because I had to do so much self "coaching" just to stay engaged with what I was trying to do and not get lost. But then again I liked having the time afterwards to talk w/others and hear how they did and what they thought of the test. Also, I was able to ask the prof. some important questions that I wouldn't have been able to taking it separately. But really, I think it all comes down to not wanting to be different. I don't know that I'm ready to admit that this thing is getting the better of me right now.

It's the same with taking extra breaks. There have been times where I just absolutely cannot handle being in class. The panic and everything else is just too great. During those times I've taken out my computer and played simple games just to make sure i'm at least staying present. I really haven't gotten anything out of class during those times and have thought about how it would be so nice to be able to just leave the classroom for a bit and sit in a quiet corner to recover before I go back in. So now I have "official" permission to do that. But will I? I always sit in the back of the class because having people behind me tends to get my panic stuff going. The problem is that all the classrooms have doors at the front of the classroom. Can't exactly leave discretely. If I'm already panicking I don't want to have to walk in front of the whole class and have everyone looking at me wondering what I'm doing. Everyone looking is only going to make things worse. Likely, no one will even care much what i'm doing or why i'm leaving, but in my head it's a big deal. When you're already panicked, or in the start of a flashback or whatever else, the last thing you want is a large group of people staring at you.

It also comes back to me not wanting to be different. I want to make it on my own. I want to be strong enough. Logically I can understand that accepting help does not mean I'm weak or that I'm not doing something right. But there's a big part of my brain that isn't logical and feels like this is admitting defeat. It feels like this is saying "I can't." Also, calling it a disability makes it feel much bigger. In a sense I guess I like that because "bad memories" is something you "just get over," but a disability is serious...right? It also makes me wonder if i'm somehow using the system. Maybe it is something I'm meant to just get over but I'm using stuff put there for ppl who really need it so that I can have it a little easier. It's possible. I know I'm dealing with more than most right now, but how do I know how bad it "really" is?

I don't know...just another weird, confusing chapter in my life right now.

Oh...and almost forgot to add so I'll say it here....another crappy part to all of this is again having to tell someone how messed up I am. I had to tell a prof a whole bunch yesterday to explain why I need to miss another class when I've already missed 4. Now today I had to explain it to the disability intake person. It just sucks. Yes I have panic attacks and flashbacks and thought about killing myself and yada yada. As much as it's always present in my mind right now it sucks to have to explain to the outside world how bad it is. :(

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slow it down I need to get off!!

I just need life to slow down for a bit. There's too much happening and I can't make sense of it all. Or any of it.

Funny how I can go from feeling pretty good about things on wednesday and thursday to feeling like everything is crashing down by monday morning.

I just need a break. I need things to stop for a bit so I can clear my head.

I tried that last night. I spent more money than I probably have on a hotel room so I could block out the world for a night. It didn't work. It just made me more stressed out today about all the things I probably should've done but didn't. I'm even more behind in school now because I didn't put any work in yesterday or last night when I had the time. Plus, it's all made me feel worse because I lied to my friend I've been staying with in order to get the break. I told her I'd be staying with family. She's become my caretaker of sorts and I was worried she'd think I was getting the hotel room to go do something stupid. In a sense I was, but only to drink, nothing more. She doesn't like my drinking. Lots of ppl don't. But now I hate that I lied to her in order to go drink by myself. Really though...I'm normally a very solitary, independent type of person. I'm not a people person. I don't like being around people all the time. But I hadn't had any real alone time since August. That's just not me! I was going crazy having ppl around. I started looking at apartments on friday and saturday and was faced with the same truth that there just isn't anything that's safe, in my price range, and doesn't require a long-term lease. I started feeling like i'd be homeless forever. Add to that the level of claustrophobia in being in this house where I don't have a room and everyone was home cus it was the weekend. I just started to panic a lot and no meds or anything could help it.

I knew I needed a break but was afraid that telling this friend would make her worry or would make her feel bad that I so badly needed a break from her.

She has done amazing things. She is the reason I was able to get out of the hospital when I did...because she was willing to take me in and give me a place to recover. She made sure I ate, slept, and took care of myself. I couldn't have done that first weekend without her. Really I couldn't be doing any of this without her still because I just don't have anywhere else to go right now. But I'm starting to resent her, and everyone, because I just want some time and space by myself. I'm tired of needing to be babysat. But how do I know the difference between taking time and space to myself vs. dangerous isolation. I drank quite a bit last night, partly because I was finally in a place where no one was there to stop me. Does that mean I'm still dangerous? I have no idea but I know I just want to be on my own so badly. Next week a friend of mine is coming in to town and staying for quite a while to be with me. At first I thought it was a great idea to have someone here to help me full time, but now I'm really stressing about it. I just don't want someone there with me 24/7. And she won't have a car or anything else goin on here so it really will be 24/7.

Every time I start to think through this stuff I start to panic. Needing space vs. needing ppl to make sure i'm safe. Needing the IOP vs. needing to drink. Needing the extra support in order to stop drinking but not being able to get that if I'm still drinking. Knowing if I should drop the class in order to start the IOP.

Thing is...I think this is proof that once/week therapy isn't working. At all. I feel strong and great the first couple of days. I stayed sober wednesday night bc i felt empowered after seeing my t. Now I've drifted back in to wanting to drink more than ever. It's not just the drinking either...that's just the easiest example to show what's going on. Nothing makes sense right now. Nothing. I'm getting more behind in school but every time I sit down to do homework or study my brain gets overrun by the panic and I can't do anything. I'm going to end up failing out of this class that should be very easy. Ugh. (Unfortunately the one I'm really struggling with is not the friday one. Grrr).

I just need someone to tell me where to go and what to do. I need a road map. And I need everything to slow the fuck down!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Amazing night

I just have to tell you all about the amazing night I had last night.

My friend and I and her bf went out for dinner last night. Surprisingly, I was not just hungry but bottomless pit kind of hungry. Remember, it's been a struggle for me to even eat regularly lately. I had even eaten earlier in the day...I'd had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and two slices of pizza for lunch. dinner I ate my whole big burger, the small side of mac and cheese it came with, and most of a slice of pie for dessert. I left feeling full, but not "stuffed" at all.

After that I was so tired that I almost fell asleep in the car. We got back a little after 9:00. I said I was going to take a shower so I could start getting ready for bed (part of the problem when your bed is the couch and other ppl want to stay up cus it's friday night). Anyway my friend wanted to do some stuff in the bathroom, so while she was doing that I got my pajamas then just laid down on the couch to wait. The next thing I knew I was being surprised by my friend pulling a blanket up over me and tucking a pillow under my head. It made me jump since having ppl close to me when I sleep can be scary, but I was able to go back to sleep very quickly. I ended up sleeping from about 9:30-7:30, with no sleeping pills, and with the only real wake up I can remember being at 6:00 because i'd forgotten to turn my school alarms off. I had to wake up enough to dig the phone out of my pocket and turn off the alarms, but still went back to sleep.

So yeah...close to 10 hours of sleep, fully clothed, no routine or anything, no meds (don't remember the last time I fell asleep without meds of some sort) and not even a drink! (I'd had one drink when I got home from school so I wasn't totally sober, but that was at like 5:30. The full meal and so much sleep...these are both HUGE for me. It seems like my physical body is finally starting to be somewhat willing to participate in getting me through this. Plus, it's obviously a lot easier to focus on the crazy stuff when I'm at least not having to work on convincing myself just to eat and sleep. I feel amazingly better today. Everything seems way clearer and way less there might actually be answers out there after all.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Irony is fun!

(And so is sarcasm!! lol)

It's gotten downright laughable how many ridiculous ironies there are in my life right now. So many things that should be good are causing more frustration. I guess crazy situations result in crazy events and reactions. And whatever you think about my situation...ya gotta admit it's crazy!

I mentioned yesterday (I think it was yesterday, they all run together) about my school t bringing up the issue of me maybe having too many t's. So all summer long I fight and fight for someone to help me and NO ONE can/will. Well, no one except for evil bitch woman. So I spent most of the summer thinking there was no one out there that could really help me. And now I have TWO ppl that I really like fightin' over me! Ok they're not really fighting, but kind of. That one actually isn't such a bad thing, it just cracks me up that it's an issue in a sense.

I also mentioned yesterday the whole catch 22 of having to quit drinking to get into the IOP (Intensive outpatient program), but not being able to quit drinking w/out intensive support like the IOP.

I've been thinking a lot about dropping my Friday class in order to get in to the full IOP. That would give me support MWF for 3+ hours each day, which would be a really good thing for me.

Dropping the class would put me below 9 credit hours. 9 hours is the line where I'm required to have school health insurance, which my hospital assistance thing doesn't count for. I was thinking this would be perfect because I'd be below 9 and could get off the insurance. Turns out because the official drop deadline has passed (now you can't get a refund and the class stays listed on your transcript but as "no credit"), and I had 9 hours at the deadline, I'm now "stuck" with the insurance. Now most of the time this would be great news. We all know how hard it is to find health insurance! Especially when you're my age and don't have any sort of established career. But right now I really need to be off the insurance because this insurance doesn't pay for mental health stuff to anywhere close to the same level as the hospital assistance does. (One of these days I'm going to write a post just about's pretty ridiculous).

To add to the irony, today I had a test in the friday class under consideration. This professor has quite the reputation for writing very, very difficult tests. I figured that even though I studied for at least a couple of hours last night (made my homework time goal...yay!) and some this morning that I just don't have the focus and understanding right now to do well. I figured that my low grade on the test would give me that much more reason to drop it and just focus on the other two classes and the IOP.

Well guess what...I aced it. Good news, right? I am proud of myself (and also think her tests are nowhere near as hard as ppl claim...they ask questions that require you to use what you've learned but no crazy trick questions or overly complicated stuff). But now I'm stumped because most of the grade for this class comes from tests. Now that I've done very well on one of the tests it seems harder to part with. It seems like maybe I should stick this class out. I might be good at it and now I feel like I'd hate to start over. Then again...this class can be found anywhere, and maybe the IOP is just what I need. Who knows...but gotta love the irony. Every time something goes well it makes life way more confusing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And just one more thing....

Cus I just can't seem to get all my thoughts into one post! lol

A month ago about this time I was feeling absolutely worthless and was beginning to consider if there was any reason for me to be alive. I was beginning to plan what I might do instead. I've got a long, long way to go...but seriously....last post compared with that? How's that for big change?!

(Ok and just for fun I thought I'd look up my post from a month ago for the full comparison. This is from 8/17.)

It's not good right now. The details are too overwhelming to list. I have an unbelievable amount of stuff that I need to accomplish in the next week or so. It would be overwhelming on the best of days. But right now I'm struggling just to keep breathing throughout the day. There's just too much right now and I'm not sure how i'm going to make it through. Just please think of me....send some good thoughts my way. If you're the praying type, maybe that will help (I'm not the praying type but i'll take whatever might help). I just feel really, really desperate right now. Major life decisions at a time when I can barely process being alive.

Life is weird...

Ya know those "Life is Good" shirts? I want one of those with someone looking completely and utterly confused with the "Life is Weird" slogan. I wonder if something like that exists. It's definitely how I feel. Everything's weird right now.

First off, a couple more things from yesterday that I forgot to mention:

I made my goal and walked for 25 minutes in the morning. Yaaay! Glad I got it in then because it rained like crazy in the afternoon. I didn't go for a walk today but I had a ton of walking with going to classes, going to school therapist, etc. so i'm sure I covered a couple of miles or close to it.

I'm also doing pretty well w/my eating goal. Yesterday I had a granola bar for breakfast (breakfast is often a hard one lately), a tuna melt for lunch (full meal after the art thing :) ), and pizza for dinner (with ice cream after. Yay!)

I did much better today with the getting to class on time goal. I had the same issue with parking again today and was debating trying a different lot and then said "I'm NOT going to be late to this class again damnit!" (same class as tuesday). So I just sucked it up and paid to park in the garage and I made it early. That felt good.

I also got the return to Toys R Us done, so I actually managed to accomplish quite a few things.

When I was talking to my t yesterday he said some interesting stuff. He told me not to worry about dealing with my past. Instead he wants me to focus on getting to a safe place in the now...physically, emotionally, etc. That was kind of weird and sort of reassuring, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I've just thought that dealing with the past is the way to feeling safe. I guess I'll at least have to deal w/some of it.

Today I saw my school t. She continues to be awesome. It's funny because at the start of the session she mentioned that it's generally not advised to have two individual t's because you might end up hearing differing, confusing stuff. I couldn't help but laugh because I fought all summer to get anyone to listen to me and help me and now I have too many? She agreed though that at this point the more support I have, the better. She said since the hospital program is more focused on substance abuse and she's more focused on school related issues she's ok w/it.

I did my official "intake" with her today. Kind of ironic that this far in we're now doing the intake, but I really feel like that's how it should be. It was so much easier to answer her questions when I already knew her and felt I could trust her. It's not creepy and weird like when it's someone you've just met. Not to say it was easy...but it was better.

She asked where I wanted to start and I said I didn't know. She said, "Ok, how about you tell me about your family." Ugh, talk about a punch in the gut. I knew it was coming but didn't expect it to be first. I started to tell her I hadn't seen them since I was 13 and they're mean evil ppl, but she kept pushing for more out of me. I ended up telling her more about them and what happened, and even hinted towards what happened when I was on the streets, which I almost NEVER talk about. I told her I couldn't say it, but she started asking me these questions like, "I've heard of some people that do ______ in a situation like that....was it anything like that for you?" Then I was able to answer yes or no instead which was easier, and I was even able to put a few of my own words to it. I still can't believe I'm actually talking about this stuff out loud to people. It's just so so so weird for me! Especially saying it to two different t's I don't even know that well. Apparently things are changing inside me...

She gave me a few visualization things to start working on to keep the flashbacks at bay, and she recommended that I write out as much as I can about what happened when I'm ready and up for it. She says the more I can give the memories a voice, the more they'll leave me alone. But she also gave me some techniques to separate from them when I need to focus on other things. A little bit different from what hospital t guy said, but it's not like I've talked to either of them in depth about it. It does seem a little weird to see two t's, but I really don't want to let either of them go.

And speaking of all this, school t did give me some awesome resources to work with. She said that I can go to the disability services place and be considered disabled as far as school is concerned because of all the stuff i'm dealing with. That means that I can get things like audio books to help keep me focused on reading and less distracted, and help me actually get through the reading material. This is huge because I'm close to 5 chapters behind in one class and am a very slow reader even at the best of times. It sounds like there's also other services which may be able to help me get caught up and continue to keep up despite all the other craziness.

She also told me that the school offers saturday classes in things like self esteem, time management, etc. that actually count for credit. So if the academic advising folks tell me there are issues w/me dropping the friday class in order to do the IOP and not having enough credits, apparently I can sign up for one of these other classes to fill the slot and it may be something that could be helpful to me. Will still need to do research on that, but she was really great with helping me come up with some resources and make a plan for dealing w/school ppl.

I have to say i'm really impressed with all the services that are suddenly opening up to me. I wish it hadn't taken all that it did to get to them, but it's great to have these things be available and to have people actually pushing for me...the real me...with all my faults and craziness and succeed. It's just such a huge reassurance that maybe I will be ok after all of this. I'm not gonna fall off the map and be forgotten again. I'm not fighting this alone. That's such a huge, huge thing to know. So huge it's hard to believe, but it's making me feel just a bit lighter and freer. I was actually feeling playful and a bit smiley at the end of my last class today (the same one I was sobbing through last week). Oh, it also felt really good to turn in some homework. I realized it's the first homework I've actually turned in this semester. Wow. But at least I'm on the right track to doin stuff and succeeding. I'm seeing an ever so small light at the end of the tunnel. And I'm already looking forward to wednesday for my next time in the art studio. I have a great plan to finish the painting I started. :)

Therapy day...

First off, I hope I didn't give the impression from my post last night that yesterday was all bad. It wasn't. The particular moment when I was writing was, but the day itself held some very promising stuff.

First, I managed to make it to the art group thing. It was a little hard to get to because it was in a different building on a different part of the hospital campus. When I finally found my way there they told me I had to go back to the other building because I didn't have the right paperwork. Went back to the other building and had to stand in a hugely long line to get said paperwork. Everyone kept saying they were surprised I didn't know about the paperwork. Turns out it's all to prove that I went to the group, since most ppl that go to groups have tx plans that require them to. No one could seem to wrap their mind around the fact that I was choosing to go because I thought it would be good for me and would help me. The therapist running the group said that showed a lot of initiative and that I really am working to get better, which was cool.

It turns out the art group isn't so much of a group but more just an art studio where you can work on whatever you want to. I did some watercolor painting bc that's still my favorite thing to do...especially when I'm emotional. I like it because the color blends well so you can put a lot of crazy colors together to paint what you feel without it necessarily having to look like something.

The art stuff calmed me down enough to be hungry so I ran out and got something for lunch. Came back and met w/the new therapist.

I was surprised w/the new t in that I actually sorta kinda liked him (and for me, when it comes to t's, that's a HUGE positive review!). He was really nice when I met him and just had the sort of personality where it felt easy to be around him. I was waiting for him to turn "t-like" but he never did. I actually felt comfortable in his office and wasn't counting down the minutes till I could leave. Instead I ended up going over time totally by accident, and would've happily stayed longer if he'd let me. I actually felt so comfortable there I was scared and upset to have to leave and go back to facing the outside world.

He seemed to get me and get my humor too, which was cool. He wasn't bothered by me making bad and possibly inappropriate jokes as a way of getting things out and dealing with it being out there. He laughed along with me and never told me I shouldn't joke or that I needed to be serious or any of that. He made some jokes as well which helped make it feel ok.

I showed him my painting and explained to him what all the colors meant. He totally shocked me in coming up with a really interesting meaning that I hadn't thought of at all when painting it or looking at it afterwards. It really impressed me cus I didn't think anyone would really be able to "add" to a painting that basically looks like lots of random colors and is based from my subconcious and my explanation of my feelings. But he did, and what he said made a lot of sense. Like scarily so. I'm working on posting the pic here so I can explain what he said, but at the moment having issues w/pics (don't have my camera right now and my phone is fussy about taking pics).

Towards the end of the session I sorta fell apart telling him how scary and awful this week has been, and how I don't want to be alone waiting another week. I asked him for anything else I can do...groups I can go to, ppl I can see, whatever....just more therapeutic type stuff cus an hour is just not long enough. It feels just long enough to bring more stuff out (and EVERYTHING seems to want to come out right now) but not long enough to start to process it.

He looked through the group schedule and said that really the only group that's fitting for me right now is the art one. It's offered on other days too but during times I have class.

He then mentioned that there's something called the IOP....intensive outpatient program. That's kind of what I thought the program I'm in would be but it turns out it's seperate. The IOP meets MWF mornings from 9-12 (or something like that...don't remember exact times). It's run by the t I saw (who is now my t long-term, which is cool), so that gives me a good feeling about it. It also seems like it was meant to be because my important classes are tuesday and thursday. I have a class Friday too, but he said it would be ok for me to just do monday and wednesday.

But there's a couple of catches:

1. I have to commit to it. It's not the kind of thing that you can just show up to now and then. As much as I know I need the help, that's a big scary thing to commit to.

2. I would have to commit to being totally sober.

I know some of you out there are bothered by my drinking, and frankly so am I. But the thing is (and my t, who is a substance abuse counselor agreed with this), is that alcohol isn't what caused my problems. Instead alcohol has been the only solution right now that actually, successfully calms me down and gets me out of total panic mode. It seems to be the only thing that can get the craziness to stop and to calm me down enough to sleep.

We talked about how much i'm drinking, and t guy said that he thinks it's a very high risk behavior for me right now and I need to be super careful, but he doesn't think that telling me I need to quit right now is the right thing. He and I agreed that I need to have some other successful sort of coping before I give it up entirely so I don't just make myself crazy again. Too much panic and not being able to calm down will definitely lead to crazy and back to the really bad thoughts I think.

But this has all gotten me thinking. Maybe, if I had intensive support 3 days/week I could successfully cope without it. But it's a catch 22 that in order to get that intensive support I have to have already committed to quitting. Also, unless I drop my friday class, I would only be able to go 2 days/week, which wouldn't be enough for me to make it sober.

The friday class is definitely droppable. It's a very generic class that I could take anywhere, even at a community college, so it's not the kind of thing that I have to do now or it'll put me way back in my program. I like the class, and I liked the prof at first, but now she's starting to get on my nerves. She's very laid back, which is nice, but I'm starting to feel like she's laid back to a fault. Her class is very never quite know what is going to happen when and even though there is some structure, it has the feeling of being random. Also the design of this particular class isn't really set up for my major, more for others, but they've squeezed in my major as well because there isn't really a better option at this school. So most of the instruction is focused on secondary ed. majors, which god help me if I ever end up standing in front of a class of highschoolers teaching biology! lol

So hence the going without a drink last night. I wanted to see what would happen and how my body would handle it. It was really really rough, but my friend I'm staying with made me some calming tea, I read the new book I bought (which seems to be a really good one, I'll have to post on it later), and I was able to watch America's Got Talent till I fall asleep. God I love that show for falling asleep. There's so much crap in between acts it almost always knocks me out when I'm tired enough!

So it is possible for me to make a night w/out it but I definitely felt lousy then and feel lousy now. So it's doable, but it would be a lot.

My t said he'd work on getting me an appt with a psychiatrist asap so I can get on better anxiety meds. The ones i'm on now really don't do much at all except make me sleepy and put my brain in a fog. I guess it reduces my anxiety somewhat, but it makes me pretty well useless as a human being. I do stupid things like try to put my plate in the fridge and rinse out the butter after I make toast. There have been countless examples of that kind of thing on these meds! Funny to think back on, but so frustrating too. If I can get on some better anxiety meds I would consider dropping my friday class and committing to sobriety. However I also have to confirm with the school that dropping another class won't cause any additional issues for me. 9 credits seems to be the mark when you become a full time student, and dropping this class would put me below that. I also have to get over feeling like a failure or like i'm quitting/giving up by dropping it. Then again, spending 3 hours 3 times/week working on myself is way harder than any class is going to be if you ask me!

The strangely good news is that I already missed the deadline for dropping a class and getting a refund. The reason that is good is because there is no immediate deadline. The next deadline is to drop the class w/out it messing up my transcript, and that's not until 10/31. So I won't be getting my money back, but I'll have some time to think about it and talk it out w/official school ppl and both my t's. (How crazy that I have 2 now? lol) I'm still seeing my school t and will be able to as long as I'm taking at least one class, but only for 8 sessions total. She may be able to help me figure out this new dilemma though.

So that's life as it stands now...big decisions and a lot to work out. All I can say is it's amazing how busy my days feel even when I'm doing so little from day to day! I'm not working and only taking 3 classes and yet I feel like I have no free time. Probably because any free time (and some class is focused on trying to make sense of the confusion in my head.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The day...the night...

I'd planned to blog about my "therapy day" today...I know a lot of ppl want to know...but I'm attempting to go a night w/out drinking and sadly enough I can't seem to focus on anything else and my hands are too shaky to type much anyway. I hate to admit that but it seems to be the case. I've gone nights w/out drinking recently but not ones that have been this stressful. Ugh. So frustrating to try to limit the one thing I know will help me feel better in the moment. I'll try to write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Well after trying to put a positive spin and focus on everything, it's already not going well. After writing it I accidentally left late for class. I was rushing trying to get there and ended up spending almost a half hour looking for parking. There's one lot I usually go to close to the class building and usually if you do a couple laps a spot opens up. This time nothing was opening up. I tried another lot, and then it finally hit me that there was a giant parking garage for the same price that only made my walk about 5 min. longer to the building. I went there and found a space after not too long....parked, and then realized I'd already missed more than half of my hour long class. By the time I got there I'd be walking in just to catch the end. This is a prof that said from the start she hates when ppl come in late. Also bc i'm panicky so much right now I hate walking in late and having everybody look at me. Even if it's only for a second I hate seeing all eyes turn to me. I had planned on leaving early today to try to figure out the public transportation thing (paying for parking is EXPENSIVE! I'm amazed at how many people do it!). Seems ironic now. I was set to leave way early and then for some reason I just didn't. That's been happening to me a lot lately.

When I realized how late I had gotten by the time I found a spot (wasn't really paying attention while I was looking) just got really frustrated w/myself. Had I planned better, left earlier, etc. I could've kept all of it from happening. Instead I was missing class yet again (this class is 2 days/week...I've missed 4 classes in 3.5 weeks. I think that means I've missed more than I've made. The subject matter is easy to catch up on, but the class is graded on attendance and class participation. Anyway...just got so angry w/myself and felt like a dumbass and liked I'd really screwed up. Unfortunately all of those things are BIG triggers for flashbacks for me right now. I can't go in to too much detail at this point but it relates to the kind of things my parents would say to me as excuses for hurting me. Logically I can look back and (most of the time) know that little girl me wasn't at fault, but they did a really good job convincing me i'm useless. As soon as I start to feel useless I go back to thinking of them and seeing/feeling the pain all over again. Can't say anymore now cus its starting to happen again and i'm barely holdin on.

The good news is that I recognized that I was also in an area of town that adds to triggers so after I pulled over to deal with the worst of it, I used a technique someone taught me to be able to stay present enough to drive to a better area. Now i'm having lunch and just tryin to stay in one piece. Already took the meds that usually help make the flashbacks go away during an earlier flashback in the morning. I think it helps some still but obviously didn't keep stuff away entirely. Not doin well on the goals so far....tryin to find the positives but just feelin lousy. :(

Plan for this week

This is my attempt to put something positive together. I also hope that if I make my plans public I'll be more likely to follow through on accomplishing things since I'll have the blogosphere to hold me accountable. Also, I realize that the week started yesterday, but to me it's starting now bc I got a 3 day weekend to go visit my so so so adorable little baby nephew. Talk about an amazing chance to regroup. Granted there was still a lot of stress in the trip, but holding the little boy who I credit w/keeping me alive because I couldn't steal his auntie away from him was just so so so meaningful. I'll write more on that another time. For's the plan for the rest of this week:

*Attend all classes: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
*Attend meeting w/new therapist for tx program on Wednesday.
-be on time
-be as open as possible
-be honest about just how much I'm struggling and how much help I really need right now
-ask for suggestions about housing
*Attend meeting w/school therapist on Thursday
-be on time
-continue being honest w/her
-ask if there is any loophole in the session limits because I really don't want to lose her
*Spend at least 3 hours this week genuinely working on homework
-remove distractions
-make an honest effort to focus and not let bad thoughts pull me away
-enjoy the accomplishment and success, no matter how small

Those are the for-sures that I absolutely must do. Below are the goals that I would also like to accomplish but won't be angry at myself if I don't:

*Be on time to as many classes as possible (started to say every class but want to keep trying even if I'm late to one..which tends to happen since campus gives me panic attacks)
*Attend art therapy group on Wed. afternoon before individual therapy
*Take nephew's present back to Toys R Us to exchange
*Do something nice for friend I'm staying with
*Go for a walk (preferably one every day)
*Eat at least something for every meal (preferably something healthy...though I just had ice cream cake for
*Find a field experience location for class (not due till next week but would help calm me down a bit if I could do it earlier)
*Finish all current homework for at least one class
*Spend some time at one of my past volunteer jobs

I'm sure there's lots of other stuff I should be doing but that will at least give me a list to pull from when I'm feeling lost.

It's officially been written. I better get to it so i'm not late to class today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

So much fear.

I can't handle this right now.

I'm not doing well.

It's just too much.

I know it's stuff i have to deal with.

Deep down i've known for a long time it's coming.

But it's big. And so scary.

I know there's no good time to do it,

but I still have to ask why now.

Why ever?

It just hurts too much. I must be dying. Something that hurts this much it must be killing me. Or I'm killing me. Or they're killing me. I don't know, but it feels like death is near because I no longer know how to live. I'm not saying I plan to kill myself , just that death is the only ending I can see. I'm trying to have hope but at the moment I don't. I'm looking forward to starting this program, going to therapy, getting help...but i'm terrified what that's going to entail. I'm not ready to face this. I can't. I'm not ready to tell someone. This is happening so slow and yet way too fast.

All I can ask is that you keep me in your thoughts, cus I don't know what a goal can be anymore. I don't know how to live or to keep going or to have hope. I feel like I'm barely hanging on on the edge of a cliff, waiting for someone or something to help me back up. But all options of getting back to solid ground seem just as scary as the cliff. Feels like everything is spinning and I don't know what to do. Just want to cry but can't even do that.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick update

So the new t guy called me and so far I'm mad at him.

I missed his call so I didn't talk to him and he just left a message. I know I'm being silly to be mad at him but I am.

He doesn't sound like the guy I felt (relatively) comfortable with. So I'm scared of him.

Also he wants to meet w/me on wednesday, not tuesday like the first guy. The tuesday appt. was perfect cus I'd have the hospital program on Tues., the group art therapy session on wed. if I felt up to it, and my school t on thursday. That way it would be lots of help and lots of things that will hopefully be helping me figure out how to deal with this with less breaks to isolate. It's hurting so much that I feel like if I'm gonna do this and have it work I gotta be around helping ppl a lot. The art session is offered on other days but all when I have class. It doesn't make sense to not take the individual appt. bc of a group appt that I may or may not be too scared to go to. It just makes me sad.

I'll adjust. I'll get over it. Just not liking change at the moment.


Today has been a surprisingly good day, all things considered. I'll first just say that yesterday was AWFUL! It was basically one giant, unbelievably intense and painful panic attack. I went to both of my classes yesterday but in the first I was too panicky and dizzy to get much out of it. In the second, which is about therapeutic techniques, we were going through (and actually doing) some exercises that hit waaaaaaay too close to home for what I've had going on lately. I cried off and on for the entire class period (3 hours...ugh). I ended up getting my computer out to talk to ppl and play games, just to distract my mind enough to keep from sobbing. After that I went home and drank, because the meds weren't working for me AT ALL and I was just so stressed and exhausted from it that I had to make it stop. I know a lot of ppl think I need to quit drinking, and you may be right....but I had had enough and had run out of options as far as I could see. (Think about crying, being short of breath, dizzy, disconnected from reality, shaking so much your whole body hurts, and having a feeling of terror deep inside you all day long. Yeah it was bad).

Anyway...on to today. :)

I'm leaving this evening to go see my baby nephew which I'm super excited about. Still, travel is always stressful, and especially now when I kinda have to explain myself and answer questions about what happened and all that. (People seem to take it personally when you're considering suicide and didn't call them or anything. I guess I can see where they're coming from but it's still frustrating). Anyway, I'm leaving right after class, so I had to get everything packed up for my trip and for school and be out of the house before 8:00 to get to the pharmacy to pick up my meds before class. And I almost made it too. Left by 8:10. Yay! :)

I need to start getting over my fear of hospitals since everything for the outpatient program (including the pharmacy) is at the hospital. I was panicking pretty bad but talked to a good friend and got through. Actually was panicking bad enough that I had to have her talk to me all the way to school cus I was getting so distracted and disorienting I was headed away from school rather than towards it. It was a tough conversation and a lot of bad thoughts were brewing.

I was terrified to go to class, since class makes my panic attacks so much worse since i'm "locked" in a small room with lots of people, most of them strangers. That doesn't help calming. But ppl keep tellin me I need to get used to a routine and I need to show my profs I'm making an effort so I went. Had my computer with me to have an escape.

This was my first "real" class with this prof (it's only once/week and the first week was an intro, second week I missed), and it turns out she talks incredibly fast! I was trying to take notes and realized there was no way I could keep up with notes while having my computer out so I put it away. Turns out the fast talking was amazing for me cus it made me fight to catch every word and take notes, cus she didn't repeat anything. I realized that I was actually getting stuff! I wasn't just present, and I definitely wasn't getting it all, but I was all there in the class, and actually learning. About half way through I realized I was hungry. My body has been so out of whack lately that I've had to force myself to eat. But I had calmed down enough that I was actually hungry. I got a croissant and a banana during the break and ate them both. My list of accomplishments continued:

Finished a breakfast
Made it through the entire class w/out my computer and w/out losin it
Faced going to the health center to see if they could get me in w/a psychiatrist while I'm waiting for the outpatient program to get me fully in (they couldn't, but at least I went in and asked)
Challenged the insurance office at the school about my insurance issues (more on that later, but a HUGE thing for me to do)
Called the guy I met with for the BFSI to ask him some questions
Ate lunch (yes a second real meal! had a subway sandwich)
Bought the rest of my books that I need (big committment to the future kind of thing there).

It was a BIG day for me in terms of taking care of business and looking towards the well as being willing to keep fighting through this. I didn't believe in a million years that after yesterday I'd get results like this so quickly.

Now this afternoon has been a bit more stressful. Turns out that while I was still looking for the classroom (they'd changed locations last week but no one had told me and there was no sign) it had been announced that we didn't have afternoon lab. So I wouldn't have really had to have been sprinting around campus like I was. Then again maybe the time crunch was good for me to focus. And at least there was one other girl who also didn't hear the announcement so I wasn't the only lost and confused one. This prof makes announcements as fast as she talks about other stuff so it's really hard to make sure you get all the info. Though now I have a few hours of downtime before I leave, and i'm already out of bed and out of the house, so maybe I'll actually do something good for me. The only bummer is that had I known during class this morning that lab was cancelled I could've gone to the group session I really wanted to try at the outpatient program (I gotta come up with a better name for this program!) Granted I'm not sure I would've actually gone to the group, but the fact that I actually looked at the schedule after I found out class was cancelled has got to be a positive thing, right? A little bit of hope sneaking in there?

Speaking of which, when I called the guy I did the BFSI with, I found out they've assigned me to my long term t (therapist). I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's good in the sense that it's something concrete. The first guy kept telling me that he would be with me until I was assigned to someone else or maybe longer, so a lot of questions were in the air. But I felt comfortable with him...I felt like he really cared and was willing to help me and be an advocate for me in getting things done (It sounds like he may have gotten me a psychiatrist appt. for pretty soon. Yay! Lots of med questions.) So I'm hoping this other guy will be good too. First guy said he had a specific someone in mind for me that has lots of experience dealing with trauma like mine. I'm assuming this is that guy. It's just more unknown stuff though and it's making me nervous. Not fully panicked yet, just really nervous when I think about it.

Guess that's all for now. Maybe I'll actually do some homework. I have yet to do any since the semester started 3 weeks ago. Most of my books (the ones I couldn't buy used) are still all shrink-wrapped even though I've been carrying them around with me! lol

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Surviving the BSI

So I got sorta in to acronyms yesterday. I got tired of talking about the giant intake i had to do yesterday morning for the hospital's outpatient program. So I renamed it the BSI...big scary intake. At times it was also the BFI, or the BFSI. I'll let you use your imagination on those. Most of you have probably heard about the BFI at some point or another cus it was pretty much all I could think or talk about for the last few days. But just in case I'll give you the quick rundown.

The hospital where I was inpatient also offers an outpatient program. Because I had been inpatient, I get 30 days free so it seemed worth checking out (and even when I have to pay the cost isn't awful). The downside? They told me to show up for my intake day at 7am and expect to be there for at least a few hours. A few hours??!! Yikes!! An hour in a therapist's office is PLENTY for me...especially when they're doing intake stuff which involves asking personal question after personal question without any real help to process any of it. Oh and the people are all strangers to you so it's extra scary. But I'm determined not to get back to how I was before the inpatient time, so I gathered up all the courage I could find and went.

Now the long part of the

I left a little late, but not too bad considering how impossibly hard it was for me to drag myself out of the house for this. I would've only been about 10 minutes late but it turns out the hospital is a giant campus with TONS of buildings. (I arrived by ambulance and left from the bus stop right by the main building so I never really realized before). I misread the map and the building i was looking for was tiny so I walked and walked looking for it. Thankfully 7am was the suggested time (since it starts getting much busier later on) but they could still get me in later even though it was almost 8 when I got there.

So the first part of the intake was an interview with this woman that i'm so so glad is not a therapist. Her demeanor was cold as ice. I was making stupid jokes to try to lighten the mood and help myself be a little less stressed and she'd just glare at me when I did. For example the first screening things were I guess to test cognitive ability or something, but the first question was what today's date is. I gave her a goofy smile and said "can I look at my watch?" (and really, who actually knows what the date is without looking?!) She glared at me and said no. There were a bunch of incidents like that. Apparently sense of humor is not required to interview someone there. I did finally get her to crack a smile towards the end. I sorta made that my goal cus it kept my mind off of what was really going on. The interview room was this long, narrow, bright white cell of a room. Super terrifying, especially when I felt like I was being interrogated.

After a bit, bitchy woman announces that the therapist i was supposed to speak to was only available til 9, so it looked like I'd have to come back tomorrow "if that's ok."

I replied with, "Actually no that's not ok with me. It took every ounce of my strength to get myself here this morning. I don't want to go back through that again tomorrow."

She asked, "Well how are you going to stick with the program if it's that hard for you to come in?"

I held my ground and explained that it was the fear of strangers and new places and new situations, and that once I had a routine and could build up some trust w/ppl and get used to it, it would still be scary but more doable. She left the room for a bit, came back and said that she thought maybe they could find someone different for me to see. And they did! I was very proud of myself for being able to stand up for myself to her even though i was so terrified I was shaking. (Side of the tests involved copying a picture that had been drawn on another paper. It was two oddly shaped pentagons that met at the tip to form a little square. Now we know i'm not an artist anyway, but i was shaking like crazy! I couldn't draw a straight line to save my life, or even make my lines connect to each other. They kept This is where I finally got her to laugh though...After jokingly grumbling about "no one told me there was gonna be an art test too" I finished with something to the effect of "Hey look I'm Picasso!" And she actually smiled and chuckled a bit.

After all that went back to the waiting area, did some more paperwork, and then met the therapist that was gonna be interviewing me. He was a he, which was a little scary, but he was surprisingly nice and calm. He asked me a lot of really tough questions and basically said that I couldn't ask not to talk about things because they needed to know everything that was goin on. Ugh. He didn't ask details or anything, but the amount of stuff I had to say was huge. Where my parents were, why i don't talk to them, what about my other relatives, what kind of abuse, etc. etc. So hard. But as we were going he would add in some really nice comments about how he was impressed that i'd finished high school and even gone on to college, that it was great that I was still fighting and facing this stuff, etc. So even though I was sure I was going to throw up in his office before we were done (I didn't...yay!) I made it through. He was really reassuring and said they've had lots of ppl come through this program with stories similar to mine...that they could eventually, when I'm ready, help me connect with other survivors...and that he could see that I was really ready to take this on even though I was super scared. He said as long as I keep the attitude of being willing to fight, that they would keep working with me.

Now about the program itself. Because it's a low-cost/free program, there are A LOT of hoops to jump through to get started. I understand they need to make sure ppl are serious, because there's a limited number of spots and apparently lots of ppl trying to get in. Understandable, but intimidating. I'll have to come in twice/month to pee in a cup and come in for random breathalyzers on days they decide. The breathalyzer thing seems a little odd to me just because it's "gee we think you might be drinking...could ya drive to the hospital?" lol Anyway shouldn't be a big deal, just sounds like I'm gonna have to come there a lot to start out with.

They gave me a schedule of group sessions which i'm not required to go to at this point but can if I want. Most of them are not anything I'm ready to do, but I noticed they have one called "coping through creativity" or something like that. I mentioned to the t I met with today that I had really liked the art therapy in the hospital, and it was one of the ways I'd been able to open up even when I was struggling to find words. (Interesting, because I hate doing any kind of art most times, but with a little structure and guidance it becomes a very useful tool to me). Anyway, he said that it may even be the same woman who was leading the inpatient groups which would be awesome because I really connected w/her. Unfortunately as I think about it more, I remember that the woman doing the inpatient groups said she was just filling in for someone, so it's prob. not her. But maybe. Of course I don't remember her name...considering I wasn't exactly at my best socially while in the hospital. But she and I really connected...she felt it too and told me she'd be thinking about me. Might try that group next week depending on how I'm feeling then.

So after the BFSI, I asked about getting my meds because they told me when inpatient that they'd give me a week's supply along with written scripts for a month's worth, and to fill the written ones once the medical card comes through. All sounds great except that when I called the medical card ppl to set up an appt to get the card they said they couldn't do it till next week, leaving a gap. I asked the guy I talked to today and he walked me over to an office w/a very nice guy (who also happens to have my middle name as his first name) who got me set up in minutes. Well, actually I spent another hour or so racing around town cus apparently I didn't have all the paperwork I needed and had to pick up more stuff....but once I did that he got me set up super fast so I could go to the pharmacy. So it seems like this program really can work for me and help me get stuff done...which is cool.

After that I got to see my school t (therapist). It was great to see her again bc she was the one that called the police and everyone to get me sent to the hospital. She told me she had been really upset about how it had all gone down. She was very upset w/the cops for shooing her out of the room and not even telling her that I had been screaming for her. (Even though I'd only seen her a couple of times, I knew she'd have better ways of calming me down than the cop's version of manhandling me and screaming at me to calm down. (I'm still stuck on that one....does ANYONE calm down by having someone yell at them? We all do it sometimes getting frustrated w/a bratty kid or whatever...but scary that this is apparently police/paramedic protocol). Anyway it was really nice to have a debrief w/school t about everything that had happened, and be able to let her know that I was ok. It almost scares me to say it but I really am starting to like this woman. I've never liked t's before because I hate the whole idea of sitting in an office being grilled on my personal life by some stranger. But this woman somehow has this amazing demeanor that puts me at ease...and she's totally willing to work with me to get me through stuff. (For example we still haven't done the official intake, which is required for the school place, put she said that if I wanted to I could write it out or draw it or whatever else I wanted to do, as long as she gets the info somehow. Not sure I'll be up for that before next week but I love that she's giving me options. I was surprisingly open w/her yesterday she was an old friend or something. I was able to talk a lot w/very little prodding...i told her all about the hospital, the art i'd done (showed her the drawings, didn't have the painting with me) and also showed her a poem that I wrote for class and really liked (it's posted on here somewhere...too lazy to go find the link but you can look if you want to. :-P It's called silly class assignment I think). It drives me crazy that I've finally found a t I actually like (usually not hating them is the best rating a t can get from me) and feel relatively comfortable with and it's in a place where i can get a max of 8 sessions. Doh! At least she's helping me a lot to get comfortable with the idea that there are good t's out there despite the awful ones i seem to keep finding. That's a really good lesson for me because it's such a HUGE leap of faith to decide to trust someone you don't really know with your big deep dark secrets. Even if you're building up to it slowly, it's still scary cus obviously you don't want to take all that time building up the trust only to decide it's not a good fit and have to start over again.

So yeah...hell of a day...but thankfully i had my amazing friend waiting for me for the evening. We went to the gym so she could run and I could swim. Mostly it was just moving around in the water because I'd been so stressed and so shaky all day it felt like my muscles were all seizing up. I did a bit of real swimming...and then sat in the hot tub too. So relaxing and made me feel so much better. After that we went to dinner at my favorite burger place in the whole world. Oh, and I had pre-ordered myself an ice cream pie a couple days before and had picked it up earlier in the we got to have amazing pie for dessert.

To put it simply, one of the most exhausting days I've had in a long, long time, but it felt good to get through it. And now it feels like, in a sense, the worst is behind me. I'm still really scared not knowing where it's going to go next but people know my name and people are listening. That's pretty huge right now. And i've learned that i have lots of good friends to help back me up.

That's enough of a novel for now. Thanks a ton to everyone who's been supporting me through all this and especially through the BFSI!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We is quickly becoming my absolute favorite word in the english language. It brings about more comfort than anything else I know.

A while back I was talking to a friend of mine. I was telling her that I was tired of the pain and really wanted to fight it but had no idea how. She was telling me to let my body get rest so I could be stronger to fight, rather than forcing it before I was ready. She said, "if you rest your vision will be more clear and we can fight more effectively."

"We?" I asked.

She replied with what has become my absolute favorite sentence in the world. She said,

"I'm fighting with you. You aren't alone anymore."

That sentence meant so so so much to me and still does. I teared up when I read it (online chat :) ) and immediately copied and saved the entire conversation so I could look back on that line. I'm not alone anymore. Wow. Someone knows what's happening in my head, and what's happened to me before, and is fighting with me. I'm not alone the way I always have been. I'm not drifting lost in the world, and there are people that have my back.

Tonight I was telling the friend I'm staying with about my fears for tomorrow (big long scary intake for the hospital outpatient program). I was telling her how concerned I am about them turning down or it otherwise not working out, since i've already been denied at a lot of places and not sure where I would go from here. My friend told me not to worry about it. She said to go in with an open min, and if it doesn't work "we'll find something else."

That we word again. Someone that's going to help me. It's still a huge, gigantic scary fight, but I'm not going to suffer alone. Someone knows I'm here, in the dark places, and will be there to help pull me out. I don't have to face the big scary monsters on my own. And that means more than I could ever express.

We. What a great word. In this case, so so so much better than I. Solitary I. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my "we".

A brand new bad

I hope this post doesn't sound too sad and depressing. Definitely don't mean it to. Just noticing the very strange things happening to me right now.

Since the hospital I feel basically no suicidal thoughts or anything close to that. I don't know if it's the meds, the reality check of bein in the hospital, finally getting past my birthday, or what, but those thoughts are mostly gone. The difficult stuff is unfortunately not. But it's a different hard than the hard before.

Now, everything is a struggle and it's exhausting. I have to make very very basic goals for myself for each day (get out of bed, send an email, take a shower, etc.). The world feels incredibly overwhelming. The hospital opened up some very old wounds that I've kept very deeply hidden for a long time. That adds to the pain. I'm feeling very small and vulnerable, and everthing feels raw and exposed. I'm having intense panic attacks, even with the panic meds they gave me, and crazy paranoia. The paranoia might be because I told some of what happened, and it's been ingrained in my head for a long long time that very bad things happen when you tell.

I really don't know, and most of it is very hard to explain. However while writing this i've realized something good....a positive. I'm making goals. Before I would lay in bed and think about what I wanted to do and then say no i don't feel like it, or I can't, or whatever else. Now I'm able to see what I need to do and act on it. I'm sure it helps that I'm living with a friend who is very, very good to me rather than crazy ex-roommates that were so awful. My friend makes sure I'm taking care of myself, and she's an incredible cook so I've been eating well. I've been tryin to clean up afterwards as much as I can so I can at east add something. But she's very understanding about how hard all of this is. I think it also helps that my bed is the living room couch, so i can't really stay in bed all day bc other ppl need the space and it's weird to be laying there w/ppl comin in and out of the room and doin stuff around me. The sleeping on the couch thing was the main reason I didn't think here would be good, but turns out maybe it's a blessing in disguise.

Wish I could say more, but that's all I've got for right now. Life is just weird. Exhausting and weird. I think this is te start of the big battle, but I really really miss denial.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Strength, and other conundrums...

Here I am at my weakest, and people keep telling me i'm strong.

I feel fragile and broken, and I keep hearing that I'm doing great (considering what i've been through...).

I'm feeling at my lowest and I've had 3 random strangers tell me how beautiful I am. One was my friend's uncle who told my friend after meeting me only briefly (he speaks only spanish, I don't speak any spanish) that I seemed like a truly beautiful person inside and out.

It's like the world is looking at a different version of me.

I feel horrible and gross and vile and whatever else because I admitted out loud what had happened to me. I feel like the disgusting child who "made" her parents do horrible things.

I feel like others are looking at a very different person.

I wish I could see that person.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm gettin' sprung!

At some point this evening I'm gettin' outta here. Right now they're getting discharge papers filled out, getting some starter meds for me, and I'm waiting for my laundry to be done. (Thought it'd be nice to be clean and wearing clean clothes when I head back into the world.) I just looked up the bus schedule so I know how to get back to where my car is, and then i'll be going to a friend's house.

I have to admit a little part of me is scared about stepping into the real world. I obviously don't want to hang out here longer than I have to, but it's a little scary to be managing things on my own. I like being taken care of. But I also like my freedom and my cell phone and my facebook and my ability to get outside and etc. etc. I really really can't wait to go outside. Haven't had a breath of fresh air since Tuesday. I can't wait to go out and hug a tree and breathe fresh air.

They've got me on a bunch of different usual ADD stuff, one for flashbacks, an anti-depressant, a stronger sleeping med, and possibly something for anxiety. They haven't decided if the flashback one will be enough for anxiety or if they want to add something for anxiety in with it.

I have to admit as much as I've hated so many things about this place I think they've been good at workin stuff out behind the scenes. They have a really good program laid out for me. Also, when I get out I can still go to the outpatient program here at the hospital. They have therapists, psychiatrists, group therapy, and substance counseling. They've assured me that they have therapists that can help me deal with trauma specific issues. I'm realizing now that the only way I'm going to succeed sober is if I get a lot of help with calming myself during panic and flashbacks so I don't immediately reach for a drink to numb the pain.

I haven't decided for sure if I'm ready to quit drinking, since it is a useful coping mechanism, but we'll see. It will be nice to have the help of the hospital place to deal with that.

Will update more soon.

Hospital...a new day...

Things are starting to look promising. There's actually discussion of me being able to leave. It's cool cus I've been totally honest about everything and they still seem to think I'm ok. That's reassuring because I always thought if I said what's really in my head that I'd never be accepted and that everyone would think I'm too messed up to be a part of the "normal people" world.

I had a really great group therapy thing this morning. We did a painting thing where we painted our happy place. I LOVE watercolors though I rarely ever use them and it was really nice to get to paint again. I'm realizing how much easier it is for me to talk if I get to do artwork first. When people just start asking questions of me I get overwhelmed and can't handle it, but if I can do it in terms of talking about my art work it's much better. Today it was painting a picture of our happy place. I painted the mountains where I work in the winter in a snow storm, cus I thinks snowstorms are super pretty. I also included a family of snowmen. I said that was part of my happy place because it showed that kids had been out playing and having fun and enjoying their innocense. That means so much to me because I lost really any chance to have that innocent childhood, so I like reminders that there are happy, healthy kids that can still exercise their innocence. I was able to say all that to a group of ppl without freaking out and only crying a little bit.

Last night we were drawing things that give us hope. I drew a sunrise for a whole variety of reasons. Then my second pic had one side that was me sad and surrounded by bad ppl as a chid, and the other half had me as an adult surrounded by kids to lead and skiing and everything else I've done. I think it shows hope that I lived through something I wasn't supposed to survive and now have become someone with a passion to help kids and to help others.

One last thing for now....I'm asking you all to please please please leave comments, send email, send pm's if you're someone I know from one of the message boards...whatever you can do but it means so so much to hear from people right now. I've been especially struggling lately with believing that I matter to the world, so taking time to write to me helps a lot. Also this may be a bit of a shameless request, but if I've done something that has helped you in some way I really really would love to hear about that. Knowing that my actions have helped people and that they matter means so so much. So yeah, I'd love to hear from you.

It's possible I might be getting out today. None of it is for sure but when I asked to change beds to one by the window since my roommate left, they replied by saying we'll talk about it tonight when we know for sure if you'll be here for the night. So at least I know they're considering it. My hold is up this evening, so I'm really really hoping they'll let me out then, even though there is a small bit of comfort (amongst the terror) of being here. As scary as it is, it's nice to have people looking out for me, having meds that I need but being in control of them for me, etc. And they really seem like they have meds for everything...Even to make my flashbacks go away. So cool!

My housing stuff is all messed up, but as long as I know it's messed up anyway i'm not as anxious to leave. This may be just rambling lately but it's a lot to work out. It does feel like, for the first time in my life, the real, inner me is being helped and being heard. That's a really, really good thing

Will update more soon, but again would love love love to hear from all of you. Thanks you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hospital update...a little better...

I had a bit of a breakdown last night. It ended up working out well though bc one of the nurses was really helpful. I ended up getting a double dose of anxiety meds and sleep meds, and was finally able to go to sleep even though I was still terrified of the room. And get this...I slept for 10 HOURS! I only woke up a couple of times during it. I scared the hell outta myself when I woke up at one point cus I'd forgotten where I was. Anyway, for that reason I do like the hospital a little better...cus that was a level of meds I couldn't have taken at home. But since it's supervised here I can. Still feel unbelievably sick today. Everyone's assuming it's alcohol withdrawal and not really offering me anything. I don't feel like I drank enough to have withdrawals but I don't know. Still hoping to get out of here soon! Really need to get home and get my stuff from my crazy roommate. That's scaring the hell outta me right now. I sent her an email about what's going on and she said I'm taking advantage of her. Wow...because it's always about her!

I am feeling a bit of relief because my birthday is finally over.