Sunday, September 28, 2014

The blog voice.

There are times when I feel this tongue in cheek blog voice at the ready, capable of flowing everything together, and making everything seem important, if not meaningful.

I tend to pick up my metal bat and BASH HIM THE HELL DOWN, and write.

I guess I have a fear of sounding clever or slick on this blog, because I am neither, nor do I feel like I'm either.  I am a pretty decent writer, though, and would rather that be the case then be pushed into the masses of sitcom-episode blogs out there, that have poignant, yet meaningful messages to pass on to today's lost souls.

Actually, I don't think I've read any blogs like that.  Maybe they're not real.  And, well, its not like anyone is really reading this blog.

I guess I could throw hands up for solidarity among the lost souls.  I AM ONE OF YOU!!!  But then we'd just all wander off.

I look back at what I wrote and wonder: is this how a hipster is born?  Nah.  I'm not ironic in anything.  Pretty real.  And I am not an expert in anything either.

But on to current news...  I have started a therapy program called DBT.  That stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and I am still on the fence about it.  Mind you, I've only been to two classes, and one of them was orientation.  But this therapy group was a long time coming for me.

It was the suggestion of my Psychiatrist during my second stint in the psych ward(in May).  Actually, he really didn't give me much choice in the matter, and I had called my therapist to talk about it.  Because of a voicemail snafu(Thank you ever so much, T-Mobile!), I heard that my therapist had agreed with the treatment before even talking to me.  The truth has a way of sitting at the side, waiting to be brought on, though.  And I never brought it on.  So DBT became synonymous with "I have no control over what happens to me."

But I signed up.  And there was a SIX MONTH WAITING LIST.  Because that's how mental health works.  It goes dormant for six months, and only shows up when they can see you to treat them.

That's not fair, I know.  People work hard, my mother being one of them.  Its less about the people actually helping, and more about the people sitting behind desks, wondering how mental health could be more profitable.

So, I am waiting, and it turns out, another snafu.  Not T-Mobile's fault this time.  Turns out no one actually sent Portland DBT my materials!  Weeks of figuring it out, and I am registered.  And I get a call that I am registered.  I am offered an early class without a therapist.  That would come later.

And only at that point do I realize that once I am in the main program, I have to give up my therapist... the one who started seeing me a few months after my radiation treatment, up until now.

If you haven't read my blog before(welcome!), I have trouble with any sort of healthcare personnel.  It took me months with him to start trusting and opening up, even a little.  But with that trust comes that super strong mentally ill adhesive, that, if pulled away, leaves quite a bit of pain and suffering.

This was a big part of psych ward stay #3, as my therapist knew that he wouldn't see me during DBT, and DIDN'T TELL ME.

That's the drama.  Its quite a bit of mistrust, and a whole hell of a lot of anxiety.  I haven't decided where I land on the whole thing, but I'll give you updates.

One solemn promise is that no matter how brainlessly converted I come to this program, I will not fill up these posts with DBT crap.  I want it to be helpful, but I don't like shoving anything down anyone else's throat.

In other news, I didn't just see an ex-coworker, but she sat down on the train with me.  Stacey.  Thank GOD it was Stacey.  I was so fucking anxious, but she was very accommodating, and even ignored how much I was overamping.  I was trying way too hard, stuttering over everything.  She was surprised this was the first time I had bumped into a coworker on the train.  I am too, but so damned thankful.

I take transit everywhere.  And people get confused, ask me "I thought you were anxious around people?"  I am.  I just blast my headphones, and curl up on a seat.  Usually, I am OK.  I don't drive... and certainly would not want to drive even if I could, and I can't afford much except for an honored citizen's bus pass.  That's right.  I'm an Honored Citizen.  A bit like being a part of the Special Peoples' Club.

I think I was the only person who saw Welcome to the Dollhouse.  Heather Matarazzo?  She's now a lesbian, living in New York?

(insert hipster joke here.  Before you post) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Another post... already

I had a difficult time frame to deal with on Monday.  I had an appointment at eleven AM in East Portland, and then an appointment at four PM on the west side, south of OHSU.

This left a four hour gap.  I had to keep myself occupied and not freaking out for four hours.  I had to eat lunch, which I brought with me, and I also was going to call my brother.  And... walk, I guess.  A good friend got me a kindle for my birthday, and I figured I could read that- had the next Terry Pratchett on there, so why not?

(Aside from loving the Discworld series, I have found Terry Pratchett to be one of the few things I can just pick up and read right now.  Reading has become frustrating and difficult, and Terry Pratchett isn't.  Sort of a coping mechanism.  So I started at the beginning of the Discworld series, and am going through all of it... I believe there are over 30 books.  And I'm on 13, or close to that.)

So I finish my first appointment, and go walking, looking for a place to sit down and barricade myself.  I found myself getting closer to the house of a writing mentor and hero of mine, and remembered being a part of his writing group.  That reminded me that there was a Zupan's up the street.  I walked up there, and the place was deserted.  Fantastic.  I bought a kombucha, and went to one of the outdoor tables tucked up against the outside wall.  I laid out my lunch and read while I ate.

It took me quite a long time to realize that not only was the outdoor seating barely used, it was only used for a few minutes while people stopped to smoke and fiddle with their smart phones.

This was going to be the place that I talked to my brother.  But I decided that walking and talking was a good thing, too.  Just had to find quieter neighborhoods.

So I'm wandering, and I'm mostly focused on the phone.  Which is a good thing, as there are fucking leafblowers everywhere, and people that I could get anxious around.  I just kept talking and walking. 

So I am going down this street, talking pretty loud to my brother, completely oblivious, when out of the corner of my eye, I spot someone I know.  Now, I could not be completely sure, but I believe it was an assistant manager I worked under at new seasons.  I couldn't make out features, but the hair was right, and I immediately went into panic mode.

Here is one of my greatest pools of paranoia- that people I know will see me, and get confused, or even angry or hurt, because they see or hear me in without the required aspects of illness.  I mean, anxiety, right?  Why am I outside?  Depression?  Why am I talking so animated?

The paranoia is worse for anyone from my old job.  If I could go back I would.  But that environment is just too stressful, and I'd break down.  And I've been left with this feeling like I've betrayed them.  So, for her to see me, looking like I'm fine, just makes it worse.

I rallied like mad with my brother.  I don't think he knew- covering up my stuttering and drop into a low mutter for a bit.  And that moment is still with me.  How she might be telling everyone now "Yeah, I saw him.  He's fine.  What the fuck?"  

And I'll jump ahead of folks by saying yes, I know that paranoia isn't real.  Yes, so much of this is illogical and ridiculous. 

And yet, here I am. 

(And if you noticed that now I'm paranoid of what you think.  Oh, mental illness, you cheeky bastard!)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Serious False Start

Sunday, September 21st.  30 days since I posted the last one. 


Lets try this again.

I have been thinking about some stuff from my previous post, and I want to be more candid.  Or open.  I have been holding onto things very tightly since February, and there are several reasons for that.  None of them seem real enough to apply anymore.

I have shut down communication with a lot of people- by closing down my facebook, myspace, twitter, and linkedin accounts(although there is still a shred of an earlier business I created floating around linkedin.)

I also just stopped connecting.  I disappeared from my job, and no one knew why, then I quit.  Then I switched the blog to a new e-mail address, so I'm pretty damned sure there are only a few web bots that glance at this blog.   They'll point and say:

"beep beep ahhh, that's why hes been weird beep beep"

I'm terrible at accents.

But who knows?  People care about me, even though I've alienated them, or run them ragged.  Or maybe folks are upset and feel an explanation is needed.  Or maybe I'm just pulling more and more stuff out of my paranoia.

Needless to say, I had a breakdown in February.  I tried to commit suicide.  Over the next seven months(to today), I have had a few more near misses, crisis calls, three trips to the psychiatric ward, a lot of psych med combinations- some good, some horribly, horribly bad.  I've had countless hours at my therapists office, a Psychiatrist I now see regularly, a failed attempt at an outpatient program for CBT(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and finally, a new outpatient program in DBT(Dialectical Behavior Therapy).  I am still depressed, still feel worthless and a waste of space, and feel anxious- can't go to most public places except for transit, because I blast my headphones.  I also have a lot of paranoia, and anxiety attacks that are still a bit out of control.

But I can write.  I can sound like I have a good attitude, and I could lie and write something really hopeful here.  I don't have hope.  I do feel better than I did.  I'm not having ideas on how to kill myself pop into my head, and then a deep urge in my belly to follow through with them.  I still have to squeeze my eyes tight when going over a bridge, and avoid all bodies of water for the time being.

I got disability, so I don't have to find a job I'd fail at, but the money and insurance issues are incredibly stressful.  And I'm constantly on the move, going to therapist, program, other medical staff, the NAMI house.

I sit down at nights like this, and see the full folder of emails to people I still haven't emailed, and I think 'everyone must hate me.  Or worse, they just gave up.'  Maybe.  Maybe not. 

But I want to keep blogging, and catch people back on to it.  So if I don't give you a decent e-mail, you can at least see that I'm still here, and doing what I can to stay here.

So, I intend to write a posting at least once a week.  I don't have a specific day or time, but there'll be one by next Sunday.

That is my intent.