Undoing Crazy

Let’s spread love, not hate….

I’ve been hearing a lot about the new show Lindsay on the OWN network, especially on the radio (basically my only source of news and I only listen to it in the morning on my hour and half commute to work.)  I have to admit, the response is not what I’m hoping to hear.  Not one comment on the show in a positive light.  And it’s very clear to see that the world still isn’t very open minded about mental health. It makes me sad that just because someone has money and access to all the luxuries in the world that they can’t possible have issues.


I’ve started reading a book called The Mirror Effect by Dr. Drew and he discusses Lindsay in his book and how the world should have empathy for them. I happen to agree.  I’m not saying to take pity on Lindsay, but I do think for the most part she is trying.  The majority of the people in the world don’t realize how hard it is to recover from mental illness.  It’s a lifetime process that never ends.

Another thing they (the radio announcer) criticized was Dina Lohan’s interview with Oprah. They said that she just took everything Oprah said an emphasized it back to her.  Oprah asked if she was happy that Lindsay was closer to home and if she was worried she would relapse again. Really???? If Oprah or anyone else were to ask my parents the same questions, I’m sure they would respond in the exact same way Dina did. No, I do not think she was being dramatic. Seeing the struggles my family has gone through regarding my own mental health, it’s just as hard on your family as it is on you.

On the show, Lindsay doesn’t want to go in to too much depth about her recover. She explains that it is sacred to her and I think that should be enough, but instead someone comments and wants to know why it’s sacred.  This person has obviously not had any mental health struggles.  She also expresses that she doesn’t want to be filmed going to AA or NA (not sure exactly which one she attends) but this is completely understandable.  The entire premise is that it’s anonymous, if it’s filmed, it takes away from the anonymity.

In summary, I don’t think that anyone that hasn’t been through their own mental health struggles has any right to comment on someone else’s journey to wellness. We all take our own path and it’s up to us to find what works for us and what doesn’t.

And also, dammit Lindsay, show up when you say you are going to show up!!!!

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Self compassion and myself

I have a really hard time with self compassion, this may be a big reason why I can’t get any man on the face of this earth to like me.

I can list a million things that are wrong with me and only a couple that are admirable traits. Yet I can tell complete strangers to have faith in themselves when I don’t have complete faith in myself. I can also give strangers compliments like no tomorrow but can’t give myself any.

I’m not sure how to go about changing this, it’s just been how I’m feeling lately. Or maybe because I can’t get a man I feel worthless. I know I’m not supposed to judge my worth based on other people but it’s really hard not to.

On a side note, I’ve been having a lot dreams lately that center around a school. Different parts of school, last night it was a gym class and I also keep having a recurring dream that my favorite old teacher is hosting a convention with my director of HR. Dream moods.com says To dream that you are in school signifies feelings of inadequacy and childhood insecurities that have never been resolved. It may relate to anxieties about your performance and abilities.

Alternatively, a dream that takes place in school may be a metaphor for the lessons that you are learning from your waking life. You may be going through a “spiritual learning” experience.
Both could really be feasible.

Last night my father made a comment about how he can’t believe I still have a job because I’ve missed so much work. This did not help my state of mind as I’ve already been feeling guilty about this and feel guilt and shame about it on almost a daily basis. I just keep hearing the words from my review and worry that they’ll come up again. Oye! So stressed.


I’m back, and update….

I finally have official diagnosis’, I have; moderate recurrent major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder.  Wow, what a mouthful.  This happened yesterday, I kind of had an idea that my brain needed some work. I wasn’t expecting the GAD diagnosis, but considering that I worry about everything I suppose it should have been obvious.

The hardest part now isn’t learning about what’s wrong with me, it’s accepting what’s wrong with me and the fact that I still have a lot of work to do.  Dealing is the hardest.

Today I also return to work, I’m petrified.  I had to take an Ativan last night just to sleep and I took one today in hopes I can be calm and prepared.  I bought a few things to keep my hands busy when I’m nervous. Hopefully I won’t beat myself up too bad.  My assignment from my DBT therapist is to not judge myself and my assignment from my main therapist is to keep reading and learning about BPD.

My neck was killing me over the weekend so I got acupuncture this morning, my neck feels great now.  I love cupping.

I’ll be back and updating most everyday now that I’m back home.  Hope you’re excited to hear from me.

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The Family Business

Every doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, and hospital that I have gone to on this crazy ride have asked me the same question “do you have a family history of depression?”  And at the time I was being intensely treated I could only give the answer of “not that I’m aware.”

Through a recent family death on my maternal side I was able to find out that not only is depression prevalent in the family, but alcoholism as well.  Thankfully for me, I barely touch alcohol. I just hope I can keep that up in the long run.

Also, the other day I posted a youtube video and a quote about depression urging people not to minimize the disease and received a “like” from an unsuspecting individual, one of my cousins on my fathers side.  With that, I decided to send her a private message asking if she had gone through it and if she knew of anyone else in the family that had.  She told me that she is also on Effexor and that several people in the family have been recommended to take meds but have decided not to.

I’m absolutely amazed to find out that it is prevalent on both sides of my family tree. Hopefully know that I know that I can find out how it effects them and how they handle the ins and outs of things. But overall, it’s soothing to know that I’m not the only one.


Addressing the Elephant

Since I’ve been back to work I’ve been walking on eggshells.  I’m sure it’s all in my head, but anytime someone turns the other way or whispers something I’m worried it’s about my leave.  I know that a few people are aware of why I went on leave and know the facts from me first hand, but word spreads around my shop like wildfire anytime something happens.  The anxiety was killing me and a couple people in group therapy said that if it was bothering me so much to just address it head on.

Last night I went around telling each person in my work group that I wanted work to be as easy as we could make it for all of us and that I didn’t want them to be afraid to talk to me.  I also opened the floor up for any questions they might have about what’s going on with me but everyone just seemed to feel like it was personal and they couldn’t talk about it.  I almost wish a few people would have asked me flat out what was wrong so that I could tell them “I’m living with depression, this isn’t the first time I’ve been through this, I’m sure it won’t be the last. But at least I finally sought out treatment.”  I’m finally comfortable with it, I hate the stigma that it has to be a secret though.  Ugh!

Work was slow last night as well so I worked in another department doing mindless work and thought about so many different things.  I’m unsure about how I feel about my meds, I’ve had about three really bad days since I started finally coming through the dark clouds.  Although Wednesday at group was the only time when tears welled up in my eyes and I started to show some real emotion even if it wasn’t carried out all the way.  I’ve noticed I’m a lot more patient with my best friend (and everyone else around me) who always takes forever to return my messages. (in all fairness, he is a really busy guy)  But I’m curious as to when I’ll become my old giggling-at-everything self.  Will it ever come back?  Or did I just finally mature in the time I’ve been in treatment?

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Back to work…

Returning to work after a leave due to mental illness can be extremely nerve-racking. At least for me, anytime someone looks at me I feel like all they are thinking is “look, the nut job is back.”  I’ve only been back for four days now and everyday has been a challenge for me.  Yesterday I woke and really missed being apart of group therapy and thought maybe I should think about twice a week therapy sessions again.  Because my mind couldn’t stop racing, I called into work again.

I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself because I’m going to have bad days, but I still feel guilty for missing work.  Although attending group therapy last night was a very good decision for me, it made me think even more about how I really need that and can’t get it because of my work schedule.  I’m perfectly fine talking about whats been going on with me now, but it’s one thing talking to someone who’s been through the same things and another talking to an “outsider.”  People who have been there can give a lot better advice than the ones who haven’t.

I started a creative writing class this week.  I’m surprised how mental health and creative writing mesh together and become such a big writing topic.  I’m curious to hear the reactions of my classmates when they read the memoir I have planned to write.  My biggest challenge so far is carving out time to write and sticking to it.  From what I’ve gathered so far, time after work is off limits.

The search for two female baby guinea pigs that don’t resemble mice/rats seems almost as hopeless as my recovery from depression.  I’ve gone in search of them the last two days and came up short.  I have their home all set up and ready for them, all I need now is my babies.

I’ve started a new therapist that I really enjoy so far.  I’ve only been to her once, but she seems to be a good fit for me.  She’ll be working on talk therapy and CBT.  I’m curious about how it works and fits in. She’s already given me a homework assignment.  And I need to be more diligent about it, not surprisingly.

Finally, I feel like my meds are finally working and stable although now my anxiety is through the roof.  I’m sleeping wonderfully at normal hours when nothing exciting is coming up or anything bad has happened.  I’m just not anywhere near how I used to be, I’m able to laugh now but not giggle incessantly like before.  Maybe I’ve just grown up through this, or maybe I have more work than I think I do to get better. I’m not really sure what to expect of this experience. The only thing I know is it hasn’t been the first depressive episode I’ve had, probably won’t be the last, but it’s the first time I’ve had help for it and I’ve very grateful for the help I’ve received so far.

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If we treated all illnesses the way we treat mental illness…

A perfect example of the stigma surrounding mental illness. Although I’m not sure how I’ll handle negative feedback when it comes to me (and I know it will) I’m finally confident that I’m making the right decision with getting treatment. I wouldn’t expect myself to “just deal” if I had cancer.

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Hello world!

Whether we like it or not, often times the mental illnesses we face are seen and judged by others. For a depressive like me who is already sensitive to people’s judgements and reactions, like many depressives, the way we are perceived comments can mean staying in a deep depression for longer than we plan.

It’s easy for people to say, but it’s hard for me to believe not to care what others think and that it IS okay to seek help for your mental health issues without the worry of being stigmatized as a lunatic, crazy person, insane, demented, or mad.  In fact, everyone that I have met in my various forms of therapy are far from any of the stereotypes. They’re just like everyone else in the world.

Although I’ve only received negative feedback from a few people (you know, the old “buck up and move on”) it’s still in the back of my mind that most people think I’m crazy.  Going to therapy and starting antidepressants was hard enough for me to accept, getting a recommendation to enter a mental health facility was almost impossible for me to accept at the time.  Opening up to my parents and supervisors would prove to be even more difficult although everyone around me knew I was in a downward spiral.

At my worst I would miss work at least an average of two days a week, and when I was at work I came and did my job without saying more than three words. I dreaded going to work, and more days than not I couldn’t even get out of bed to make it there.  Although I didn’t see it, and they didn’t seem to show it, I was told many people were worried about me.  At the time, I was only fixated on how bad my life was and barely thought about anything but that. I made the decision to take a leave of absence to work on myself and get better a week ago and since then I’ve had two coworkers inquire about my health.  It turns out that even though I thought no one would care if I went missing, people did take notice.

At the beginning of my treatment I started seeing my primary care doctor to prescribe antidepressants. The first to try become an off brand Zoloft.  The two weeks I was on it I couldn’t eat without feeling sick, barely wanted to move because of it, and worst of all started to plan my own death.  When I switched to an off brand Effexor, side effects became much more tolerable but the desire to kill myself was still there. I simply didn’t think that life was worth living, although I didn’t have a plan on how to do it.

I’m now seeing a psychiatrist once a week, although I’m not the biggest fan of my current psychiatrist.  I’ll be meeting a possible new candidate next week.  And I’m also still in an outpatient behavior health facility that is giving me new insight into myself.  Without it, I wouldn’t have found out that I enjoy writing about my feelings much more than talking about them.  I actually find writing to be quite a therapeutic experience for me.  I haven’t actually written anything since college and I know my writing in college was far from perfect but I would really enjoy even the possibility of writing a book on my personal experiences as well.  Practice makes perfect.  I’ve also discovered that my worry about the stigma surrounding mental illnesses was holding me back from truly gaining the most out of my therapy experiences.  I would love to volunteer or write about ways in which to break the stigma or at least make efforts in trying to do so.

I’m going to try to make this a habit like I have started to make daily journaling a habit as well.

Thanks for listening,


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