That is the worst idea you have had

When your therapist of 3 years, the women who has seen you through panic attacks, self harm, suicidal ideation, and lord knows what else says “that is the worst idea you have had.” You should probably listen 😬

So what was this terrible idea? I went off my meds. That may not seem like much, but remember all the lovely things mentioned in the first sentence? That was during a period of time I spent months arguing with her that I didn’t need medication. Followed by a month of trying to stabilize on my new medications, some of that time spent in a psych hospital. She helped me understand that I need meds, helped me find a good psychiatrist after I had had so many bad ones in the past, she helped keep me safe from myself while I worked to find the right blend, and she helped me understand that the meds bring me to a baseline where I can then work on my self care to become healthy and stable beyond that point.

Recently someone at the office started telling everyone that I don’t care about things. Suddenly rumors where flying around that I am heartless, that I don’t care about my work or my team. This started spreading out of control until someone started trying to tell others I should be fired so they can have someone that actually cares. As someone with Borderline Personality Disorder I’d never been told I don’t care. I’m told I care too much, I care when I shouldn’t, I am too emotional, that I need to shut it off. My whole world shifted as I began to hear these strange rumors and I panicked.

I knew the “issue” was that I was stable, and that I wear an emotional mask on top of that. I also knew that I wasn’t going to lower that mask, so the only way to show emotions through it was to stop being stable. So for the next two weeks I cut my antidepressant and mood stabilizer dosages in half. When I didn’t end up completely crazy after that I just stopped taking them altogether. I went against my better judgement. I went against the advice I give others to never adjust your meds without first speaking to your doctor. I went against the advice I give myself, to talk over decisions I know are probably wrong with my therapist before doing stupid things. I panicked, so I ignored everything but the rumors at the office and I screwed myself up worse.

So at last Monday’s appointment we discussed the issues I’m going through right now, and eventually got to the dreaded question:

“How are your meds working?”

“I’m not taking them.”

Pause… “When did you last see your Psychiatrist?”

“About 3 or 4 months ago?”

“So she doesn’t know you stopped taking them?”

“No.”

“How long have you been off your meds?”

“A week, I was on half dose for 2 weeks before that.”

Pause…. “Why?”

“They were making me stable so people thought I didn’t care. I needed stronger emotions at work or everyone would hate me!”

Longer pause (probably an effort to regain the peace she had found while meditating that morning before I had come in and ruined it) “That… that is the worst idea you have had.”

“They want to fire me!”

“You can’t just stop your meds.”

“I can’t be stable right now, they hate me at work!”

“Do you hear yourself?”

“Yes. But I don’t care. I need my job.”

“You are more important than just a job. You need to be stable for you and your husband and your kids. You need to be on your meds.”

So I’m back on my meds. I’m feeling better, more clear, more calm. But I still have moments of desperate desire to be off them. To let my crazy take control. I don’t know where this desire is coming from exactly, I don’t think it is just from work though that was certainly a catalyst. But something in me says I shouldn’t be stable. And this is a new fight for me, one I don’t know how to face.

When I was young and refused to acknowledge depression as a medical condition, or that I had anything more than seasonal depression, I would refuse meds or go off of them because I shouldn’t need them. I’ve fought that battle and moved beyond it. I’ve learned to ignore the occasional thoughts my brain throws at me trying to convince me of that lie. But this is a new lie. My mind says the meds are working, and they’re needed, but that I should stop anyway. I recognize the truth of my illness and my treatment, and something is telling me not to be treated. To let the symptoms take over. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know how to fight it. Have any of you fought that before? The idea that you can be stable but shouldn’t?

Mindful Caffeination?

Every night for weeks I’ve been having bad dreams, and they seem to be getting more frequent and vivid. Nights filled with scenes of war, disease, pain. Watching loved ones suffer only to find myself paralyzed and unable to help. So many friends and family members have died in my arms in dreams, I can’t even recall them all. And it’s not some epic story line, but just snippets. Just the moment of dream torture and then it cuts off and starts the next. 

I can’t get away from them and so try to sleep as little as possible. I know it’s not healthy but I can’t seem to become lucid in the dreams so don’t know what else to do. I am coping well outside of sleep though. Meditating a bit, listening to music, spending time doing crafts with the kids, breathing and releasing the pressure when I start to panic. But I can’t bring myself to do these things in my sleep.

Today was a more panicky day and I had some moments of hiding at work. Today I couldn’t bring myself to meditate, my mind just couldn’t for some reason. I was so exhausted so I sat in half lotus and sipped my coffee. I needed the caffeine, I needed the break. It might not help the mind long term like mindful meditation does, but it helped me get through the day. And now I can hide at home where I feel safer and more at ease. Though I am still drinking coffee, cause lord knows I don’t much want to sleep.

Dark times

Out of nowhere I’ve hit another dark time. I don’t know if it’s stress induced, med related, or just a season of my brain. But my monster has come out to play and it is effecting everything. 

I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a month. I want to release the pressure in my arms. I want to cry and scream and hit things. But I’ve been practicing DBT and self care exactly for these moments. So I still meditate, still tell myself “it’s temporary” whether I believe it or not, and I still try to adjust my judgemental thoughts as much as possible. 

The lack of sleep and the monster marathon running through my head are making this hard. But I’ll get through. I’m a stubborn bitch like that. I hope.

Hibernating monster

I’ve been feeling human again all week and enjoying this break from depression. But what’s interesting is I feel so much better in comparison, I don’t realize I’m still stressed. I carry my stress and emotions in my left arm. Why? No idea. But that is why it is more cut up than my other limbs, that is why I have to focus breath and release there during meditation, and that is why when I’m stressed it shakes.

So all week I’m feeling fine but having random moments where I can’t stop my left arm and hand from shaking. So I press it against the bottom of the desk while I type with my right. Hoping all the while that no one will notice. 

As irritating as this can be, it is still so much better than before. I tend to talk about my “monster” and how when my mental illness is getting the better of me, I am the monster. Or at least I believe myself to be. So feeling human except for just my limb makes me think perhaps my monster is asleep. And every now and then simply has a bad dream that stresses out my arm. Probably sounds stupid, but for whatever reason it makes me smile and relax just a little more. So I have a hibernating monster in me, and I can’t wait to see how long I can keep him asleep. 

I should yoga

I’ve had consistent anxiety for at least a week now. It isn’t bad enough to give me panic attacks, just enough to give me high adrenaline all freakin day. At first I didn’t mind cause I could use that adrenaline to get shit done. But it’s become overwhelming the last few days. 

Last night I was coping by drink wine. Because in my family that’s the way we cope. I come from a long line of alcoholics and usually try to be more careful. So what I plan to do tonight is meditate and do some yoga. I don’t know if that will actually happen, but I brought out my sports bra and yoga pants, so good first step so far.

The wine in the fridge and whiskey in the cupboard are calling to me. But I am calling to my logical side and my strength and pushing myself to do some yoga so I can feel better tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Crashing

Therapist “we should work on some grounding and balancing”

Me “I’m fine! I’m perfectly fine being manic as long as it lasts long enough to get me through all the crap I need to get done!”

Therapist “I understand that feeling. But what happens when you crash? We don’t want manic followed by depression. We want balance”

Me “I don’t have time to try for balance right now. Manic is hitting at the right time. There is too much to do, I need this energy. Just let me be overproductive for a few more weeks”

β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

A few days later and I’m now beginning to crash. Depression is kicking in and I’m started to get scared. My last episode of depression was not kind to me, and I don’t know that I have the strength for another so soon. So I will meditate and hope it passes soon before it gets too bad.

I guess balance wasn’t such a bad idea. But I really don’t have the time for anything but productivity right now.

Mindful Dreaming – First Steps in my JourneyΒ 


As mentioned yesterday, I want to go to my meditation spot in my dreams. My spot is a large field with no building or houses in site. It is dusk, the stars are coming out, and there is nothing to block the view. I sit on the ground and feel myself sink gently into the grass and slightly loose dirt. I am grounded. I am stable. I am at peace.

I can’t always get there. I go through phases where I can’t visualize and have to switch to guided meditations. I’m in one of those phases now. But I have heard that meditating to different sound waves can help with many things, including lucid dreaming. So when I’m not overly anxious I meditate simply to theta waves.

I prefer theta waves because they balance my heart, throat, and third eye chakras like nothing I’ve tried before. It calms my body and focuses my mind in just 15-20 minutes. I am trying to do this more frequently as it is a strong step toward lucid dreaming and I hope will also prepare my mind to find my field once I take control of my dream.

Do you have a happy place? A spot? Somewhere your mind goes when you meditate?

Why I want to have lucid dreams

I’ve mentioned before that I have extremely vivid dreams. They are exhausting and often frightening. So I finally decided to take control. I began to research lucid dreaming, and what I found most interesting is that lucid dreaming can be used to better communicate with your inner self. You can call out things like “show me something funny” or “give me some confidence”. This is what I want.

Primarily my goal is to bring myself to my meditation spot. There is a place I visualize when meditating and I want to go there in my dreams. I want to sit in that spot and call out to the sky “bring me a sense of peace”. 

I described this to my therapist. She had not looked into this before, so it was new information to her. But she is the one teaching me mindful meditation and said it sounds like mindful dreaming. I like that description “mindful dreaming” as that is exactly what I want to do.

I was making progress before put on an anti anxiety, so I went off my anti anxiety a few days ago (with my psychiatrists permission. Do not adjust meds without first speaking to your doctor!) and am starting the process again. I’ll start sharing what I’m doing and if it’s working. If you want to see some of the research I’ve done I posted a link below. 


http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/ 

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee, you’d be all “um, it’s kinda late in the day for coffee isn’t it?” And I’d be all “but it’s coffee!” And you’d be all “I think I’ll have an herbal tea ms barista.” And yeah that’s totally fair, I get it.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you how the whole family has been sick this week, and work is crazy right now, and it’s cold outside, and I’m cranky. But per coffee time tradition I must remember the good parts of this week. So….

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’ve been getting back on track with meditation, and finished knitting a cool hat this week. I’m feeling a bit better and my medications seem to be more consistently good now. I stopped taking my anti anxiety at night though (with my physiatrists permission of course) and am going to restart my attempts at lucid dreaming.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask, what was your favorite part of the week? Please share!

Do NOT think of a purple lamp!

So my therapist says instead of focusing on NOT doing self harm, I should focus entirely on something different. Which totally reminded me of the “don’t think of a purple lamp” test that immediately makes you think of a purple lamp. So I decided my therapist was probably right (something I should probably assume more often).

By the way, is anyone else’s purple lamp a lava lamp? Mine is totally a purple lava lamp! And now I want a purple lava lamp…

Anyhoo, I had a stressful morning after yesterday’s stressful day, and it turned into a huge adrenaline rush that first made me really productive, then really cranky, and finally extremely panicked. By the time I got home I went into full panic attack and all I wanted was to release the energy that was trapped in my arms. 

I took my therapists advice and turned on one of my favorite guided meditations, “Surrender to the silence within” (you can find it on the insight timer app if you’re curious). And holy crap I feel so much better! What was also cool was that my husband joined me. He hasn’t really gotten into meditation but thinks it’s cool in general, so he snuck in the room and sat with me through the meditation. 

So I will certainly continue this focus technique on my journey towards better stability. And maybe I’ll get a lava lamp too. Purple of course.