Friday, November 13, 2015

Still trying to find a map to recovery

I have dealt with mental illness of one kind or another since I was 11. I have had good days, good months, good years. I have also had bad. But I have always recovered to some degree and was able to continue on. Looking back on it - and from what I can remember, which is always iffy - each time I had a breakdown I didn't recover as fast or as completely. And this time I can't seem to find any sort of path to recovery.

It is frustrating, to say the least, but at least I'm finding some answers. First, my physical health has declined drastically over the years and it ties in to my mental health. My inability to recover physically is seriously impeding my ability to recover mentally. Of course, the physical part is just as frustrating. I have been in constant pain for at least 25 years and I was able to deal with it before. Why is it so debilitating now?

I found another clue in a Facebook post this morning from a schizophrenia information site. It stated that studies have found that recovery is more difficult after each relapse. There may be progressive structural brain changes, which can make medications less effective. Thought processes change because the brain has changed and it makes it harder to return to "normal." Basically, every time I have had a breakdown there has been more damage and the process needed to recover becomes more obscure.

I am terrified, to say the least, to see what the future will hold. I don't even know what recovery means. I cannot see a future where I am able to live on my own again. I cannot see a future where I don't have a caretaker, and if anything happens to my Dad I don't know who that would be. The last time I was in the hospital (back in August), we put together a plan of baby steps that would get me functioning better and get back out into the world again. That totally hasn't happened. My social anxiety seems to be worse and I don't know how to make those steps without someone holding my hand.

I can't find the path, and no one else seems to have a map either.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Never honest

First of all: Update from that last post in August. I ended up in the hospital. I went for my usual appointment with my therapist and I was in such bad shape that she actually drove me to the ER. I was in Behavioral Med for a week. While I was there, my mom collapsed and also ended up in the hospital. Fun times all around.

I am now on a new anti-depressant and new anxiety meds (yes, that's plural). That, of course, keeps triggering my medication paranoia. I have some meds that I take 3 times a day and some every 4 hours so I always seem to have a "take meds" alarms going off on my phone. I had to add which medications to the alarm because I was getting confused.

In some ways I'm doing better. The new meds definitely work better. Plus one of the anxiety meds helps with the fibromyalgia pain, so that's a bonus. The suicidal thoughts are gone and the voices are quieter. I have been able to do some things I couldn't before, like get myself to see a new OB/GYN and a dentist, although the dentist left me a nervous wreck. Still, I was able to do it.

So, I promised my psychiatrist that I would be honest with him from now on. If I'm depressed, stressed, suicidal, anxious, whatever I will tell him. But the truth is I have never been completely honest and I don't know if I can be.

I have admitted to severe anxiety. I have admitted to social anxiety, but I haven't been honest about why it freaks me out to be around people. I can't bring myself to admit that I can feel the pressure of their thoughts all around me and if they get too close their auras brush mine and it hurts. I have admitted to hearing voices and even admitted to hearing them all the time, no matter what. But I can't bring myself to tell anyone what all they say because it feeds into my delusions - or what they would call delusions. I haven't decided yet. (The voices tell me I'm perfectly fine so I'm good, right?) I have never admitted to my delusions. I have never told those stories and I don't know if I ever will. They are so integrated into my mind and my memories and my beliefs that I'm pretty sure it would destroy me if my psychiatrist or my therapist told me they weren't real.

Of course, there is also the fact that if I can end up in the hospital just from the anxiety and such, what would happen if I admitted to the delusions and the feeling of other people's thoughts? I am terrified to find out.