March 8, 2016
Today has been one of those shit-filled days, those days when I don’t want to be here or anywhere. I say filled with shit because that’s how my head feels. Stuffed and ready to pop. I’ve got all sorts negativity churning inside of me and nothing is digesting well. I hope I can metaphorically vomit this shit out. In attempts to, here I am writing.
I was awaked by a call from my love earlier. I’ll call him, the loverface, V. Vet because I met him at a veterinary clinic where he works as a vet tech. So anyway, he calls me around noon and wakes me. I wake with a big smile because I love hearing from him. I get lost in his voice. There’s nothing more reassuring to me than to hear from the person I’m romantically involved with when I first wake. And not only am I romantically involved with this guy, I am madly in love. This is terrifying. I spent two years in my previous relationship (this was while I was in hiatus from blogging) and it didn’t work out in the end. The end, which happened in June of last year, was as painful as breakups can be. Considering that I have Borderline Personality Disorder however, I’m quite proud of myself for not falling into the deep end. Said previous relationship was the most stable one I’d had, but it ended just as quickly as it started. Maybe I didn’t really love him? I would ask myself
This guy though. Sigh. It is different with him. He reminds me too much of Monkey Man. We have a deep connection that I didn’t have with my ex. And I’ve never fallen in love so soon, even with Monkey Man I didn’t fall so soon. Love can be as scary as it is uplifting. I’m sure you know this from your own experience. When you’ve loved someone who died from addiction, it is even scarier–terrifying–to then fall in love with someone else who also struggles with addiction. Yup. This is the case with my current fella. V. Vet is an alcoholic. He’s tole me all about it. He’s mostly sober now, or “in recovery” as I like to tell myself or he likes to tell me. That’s always my reassurance when I get doubt. He’s in recovery P. He says he doesn’t want to be the way he used to be P.
“You inspire me to be a better person,” he says. He always says.
Well, that wake up call today was not only literal. I see it as a metaphor now. See, he sounded off from the start of our talk. The conversation he lead was annoying the shit out of me. We’re both very excitable people so we tend to interrupt each other a lot, but today I knew he was off, more so than usual. Not only did he interrupt me more, but he just sounded beside himself. One thing to keep in mind is that he also struggles with mental health problems–psychosis and such–so it could be that he was having some sort of episode.
But… My intuition tells me otherwise. Our intuitions are carriers of truth, so I know my intuition doesn’t lie.
After that irritating conversation which I ended up with me in tears, I just hung up. “I’ll just call you back later,” I whimpered, “I can’t talk right now.”
I shoved myself out of bed and started my day. The day dragged from bleh-heh to fuckin bleugh. Everything sucks bleugh. All feelings escalated; the feelings of irritation turned into rage and then melancholy turned into depression. I wanted to lie in bed and cry all day. Then, around 3:00, I called him back. No ring. It went straight to voicemail. I did this two more times in the following two hours and it went the same: “… Please leave your message after the tone.”
Now this isn’t the first time it happened. Here’s where I begin to worry. He already sounded loopy earlier, I haven’t heard from him the rest of the day, AND when I dial his number it goes straight to voicemail. WTF. I tried to control my catastrophic thinking and replace all of the extreme situations I envisioned with to more positive or rational possibilities.
I was lying in bed just wanting to disappear when my dad called me to eat dinner. I reluctantly rolled my ass over there. I was hungry and shaky so it was a relief to finally eat. Just as I was beginning to eat, I got a call from V Vet. Ugh. Bad timing. But… FINALLY! Wait, he sounds even more fucked up that he did earlier. What’s going on? Could it be that he’s drunk?
My heart sank in further. While he babbled I decided to confront him and just simply ask, “Are you drunk?”
“Have you been drinking?”
“No I haven’t,” he replied again with a mumbling and almost slurring roll.
“I want to believe you but I don’t,” I said.
That’s when the conversation ended. Two conversations ended with me crying today. Sigh. By this point I had left the dinning room and was in the bathroom crying. I figured I’d just get in the tub and take a shower to calm myself down. I didn’t want anyone to notice how upset I’d gotten. I cried and washed my hair. Then cried some more and washed my face. I paused to lather my body with soap only to cry again as the water washed off the soap. Once I was dry and dressed, I reached out to a friend who I knew would understand. We texted back and forth for a while. Whew. I just may not explode. I even practiced diaphragmatic breathing. Now on to blogging P. That should help too. Keep it up! Use all of your arsenal woman! YES! I’m using my skills!
And… just as was in the middle of writing this post, I got a third call from him. Let me just say it wasn’t very pretty and I’m still feeling shitty.
I’m left wondering, if he’s good for me the way I am for him? I know what’s good for me. I love him. I also know what I need to do right by me. I’ll have to figure this one out. Le sigh again. It’s not easy and it’s making the trigeminal neuralgia pain flare.
Here’s to a shitty day turned into a shitty night. I can hear the thunderstorm outside and all I want to do is run out in the rain. Maybe I’ll get lucky and be hit by lightning.
January 24, 2014
HOLY SHITBALLS! The last time I wrote a “Borderline Girl Song” series post was over a year ago… I had to search my own entries list HERE to figure out what number I left off at.
I’m coughing and hacking greenish gooey phloem still, and I’m crackin bones in the process, yet I’m high high high HIGH or hypo hypo hypo or both! Yes, both. Same shit, sort of. I’m high on life and speedy typing (NOT Speed). I was crying non stop last weekend. Been giggling and singing all morning. Emotional dysregulation any? Just a bit.
Anyway, I’m high. And content, relatively happy. Fuck. I’ll just say it: In this moment I am happy. (That’s lyrics from an Incubus song FYI)
I’m high on life… and cold medicine, antibiotics for the N1F1 flu that upperecutted me three weeks ago, and half a hydrocodone for my cracked rib (yes I broke a rib coughing, maybe two), and dare I say I’m also high on LOVE…
Pretty Little Demons: Love? Like “romantic love”?
I can’t even hear myself say or phantom the thought but, but, but (breathes), I may be falling in love with someone. This person “asked me out” back in August. (I hate the term dating by the way). That’s one of the reason I’ve gone MIA here on Bloggieland. Too busy with the boyfriend and work.
Falling in love… maybe. Falling in love may be. Falling in love, falling, falling in love. 🙂
I’m sitting here on my bed covered in icy-hot muscle rub, Vicks vapor rub and pillows; three socks, bandage on my right leg, an orange wool scarf, and a laptop on my legs writing to you. I’m writing to tell you that people with Borderline Personality Disorder (or whatever they call it these days) can remain stable for–well, I’ve been relatively stable for a good while now and I’m busy in my “real life”, so I haven’t been able to complete a single post I begin. Started a few, but then had to go do this or that or him. heee.
It was 30 degrees fahrenheit out this morning and it rained all day yesterday so we have sleet. Amber Alerts were sent and schools were closed. Truth is, the sleet melted by noon. We Houstonians can’t handle a little snow or ice. P Mouse is fine with that ’cause I get to work from home today and I ain’t going out in no cold while recovering from a cold in my wheelchair. 🙂 YAYUH.
Anyway, where was I? Oh da song. This week’s Borderline Girl Song post is Dido’s “Thank You”.
I thank him, the guy mentioned above, for having the courage to tell me he had feelings for me/a crush or whatnot. I’m thankful for giving him a chance. I’m thankful that I gave him a chance because therapy helped me help myself give him a chance. And. Here. I. Am. Thankful for being alive, even though shit still pisses me off and I have my low moments (don’t think recovery is like that, I don’t).
In my next post, I’ll tell you who this mystery man is. He’ll be introduced, I promise. I was writing his introduction on Monday actually–on Reverend Martin Luther King Day–but as I just said, I keep getting cut off to do this or that or him. In this case it was him. Too much info? 🙂 Then that evening, my dad and his friend interrupted… No, no, no I’m not explaining myself right. In other words:
On Monday, MLK day, I spent all day with HIM (mystery love) at his place, then that evening when I was back home, I logged on WP and started writing a post, which I will post tomorrow.
Well, here’s my song for this series. I dedicated this to him the other day.
November 19, 2012
When I got to the psychology clinic at the university, there was no one at the front desk. In fact, the doors for the clinic were locked. I panicked for a few seconds and wondered if I had made a mistake and the offices would be closed for Thanksgiving. But the other clinic next door was open and students were on campus.
It took almost half an hour to finally get someone to let me in. By the time I got in, it was nearly 11:30. My appointment was for eleven. Turns out I was probably the only client scheduled for that day and my therapist had put me down for 1:00 pm instead of 11:00. So there was a communication issue. I kept telling myself that I should have called her Friday to confirm, but I can’t beat myself about something so minute.
Afterward, I headed to the hospital with my dad. He can get very naggy but here’s always there to help. We didn’t have to wait too long. Usually it’s about three to four hours, but we only had to wait about an hour-and-a-half.
The doc looked at my jaw and said everything looked like it’s healing up well. I got no follow-up! Unless there’s a problem, then I should call and schedule. But I don’t think I’ll have to go back to that clinic ever again! Let’s hope not.
The jaw saga is coming to an end! And I have rescheduled with the therapist for tomorrow.
On another note, my jaw is currently hurting really bad. waaaah.
Oh, but here’s a quick sketch I drew of my dad while he fell asleep waiting in the hospital with me. (Forgot to draw his glasses.)
addendum: I can’t believe I forgot to mention Carter. I was having a lot of pain and left my purse in the car. That’s where I had my pain med. So my dad went down to the parking lot to get it for me. Since it was such a beautiful day and the doctors were at lunch, I went down with him. I waiting near the tunnel by a construction site on the front of the hospital. And this middle-aged black man comes up to me and asks if I’m waiting for my ride. I said I was waiting on my dad. He kept telling me how blessed he was. Then he said, “I just got out of prison yesterday. Thirty-five years, and I’m not going back”. We chatted for a bit about why we were at the hospital, and I told him to take care. He said he was so very happy to meet me and you could tell he really meant it. 🙂 The end.
November 18, 2012
Oh yes, it was a successful surgery and very sexy indeed.
The lovely Sara Draws brought this sexiness to my attention. This was the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of the not-so-sexy surgery gone wrong two years ago.
Tomorrow will complete a week since my jaw surgery. I have therapy with Brunet Young at eleven then have to go to the hospital, which is fortunately nearby, for my follow-up on the surgery.
Maaaan, I just can’t believe how well it went! I keep gloating about it. In fact, on Wednesday I believe it was, I started crying uncontrollably in the shower. I realized the tears were tears of relief–purifying tears as a dear friend says.
It went something like this:
I panicked Thursday and called my therapist, Brunet Young. Cried Sunday. Woke up Monday to face what I had to face on my face. I had to pee in a cup for a pregnancy test, put on robes that were four times my length and three times my width and put on my cap. All I could think of was how horrible it was last time. How I woke up with lips so swollen that they blocked my nostrils; how they told me my jaw had split in two; how I’d had a plate inserted to hold it together, a plate which was later found misplaced, sticking out of my skin; how my mouth was wired shut for four months, and how it hurt so much for the last two years, ugh… It all came back and I tried my best not to panic.
One of the docs slipped an IV into my vein and I got drowsy. But I guess I was so nervous that I didn’t fall asleep. They rolled me into the operating room and there, with the oxygen mask, I finally closed my eyes.
Young male doctors caressed my face then made a small incision in my outer cheek and a larger one inside my jaw. They then unscrewed the screwed-up screws.
“P, P” a voice near my ear said, “Everything went fine.”
I faintly smiled and with hazy eyes and blurred vision, I moaned, “Man, I had the strangest dream.”
“Really? A lot of patients get that from anesthesia. What was it about?”
“I have no idea.”
And I fell back into sleep.
I lied with blood on my hair and dried flakes of blood on my neck while a cute bearded nurse-boy asked if I wanted a suction tube in my mouth.
“Oh yes, yes, please” I replied in short breathless mumbles as he inserted it in my mouth and I sucked.
Yep. The surgery was soooo hot!
I now have hopes that my face will go back the way it was two and a half years ago, before all this mess. Or that the pain will go away at least. I know that the Bell’s Palsy has affected my left side which never fully recovered, but I’m okay with that now, really. I’m ok with my face not being symmetrical now.
My face looks good as new. And it’s been less than a week! It still hurts, but surprisingly this pain is much, much more tolerable than the pain I had with the plate BEFORE the surgery (this second operation, not the first).
I know it will heal this time because there’s no broken bone, no obstruction, no metal sticking out the skin to prevent the wound from closing properly.
I just have hope.
Hope is the thing with feathers,
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.
November 11, 2012
Insert Jaws theme song.
I find it funny (in a dark kind of way) that a few months ago I tried to snuff myself. Today that seems remote. BUT… I’m having surgery tomorrow. It’s one of those, “oh, I’ll make a long blog post about it some day” but then never get to it kind of things.
I think I’m going to die, not because of the surgery, but rather because I fear my rage will exceed the capacity of my heart and I will thus have a cardiac arrest, or an aneurysm or some kind of… Ugh, I will not indulge these thoughts.
Tomorrow, a plate will be removed from my lower jaw. It has five screws. See.
Yep, that’s my jaw. See the plate on the left (your right) lower mandible? It has five fuckin’ screws. See them? And see my nose ring!?
This is partly the reason why I’ve been having so much pain in my face/jaw for the last two years. That and the nerve damage ’cause by the procedure, oh and the fact that it is still sticking out in the back of my throat–they didn’t seal it properly. Yep. Also, I had the worst episode of Bell’s Palsy on that side.
Turns out that when I –it’s a long story. Trust me, I’ll get to it someday, a day that is not today.
Turns out that when I had a cyst and the back-most molar tooth removed, my jaw was fractured. I have brittle bones/Osteogenesis or OI as I’ve mentioned before. They knew this but probably had no experience working on someone like me.
It was supposed to be a simple day surgery. You know, minor operation, go home same day. But nope, I woke up in the ICU (intensive care unit). And I woke up looking like THIS GUY:
Alright, I didn’t look EXACTLY like ‘ole Sloth here, but I did look like his sister–if he had one. It sucked. My mouth was wired shut for four months. I had what they call “poor man’s braces” to keep the wires on and they tore at my gums. I only ate liquids and soups my dad made for me. I couldn’t look at my face in the mirror for nearly six months. And well, the pain. The pain. The pain.
Hopefully tomorrow much of this pain will be relieved once the damn titanium plate is out of my jaw.
I know you’re probably wondering, “But P, why didn’t you tell us before?!” And I know I’ve been neglecting this blog and your blogs, but that’s because so many things are changing. It is what it is. This blog has meant so much to me and your support has kept me through this year.
I barely found out about the surgery on Thursday when I had my doc appointment (that’s when I took the photos above). I had hoped to schedule it ASAP but I didn’t expect for them to schedule so soon. MONDAY! I’ve put this off long enough though and I’m going through with it!
My therapist Brunet Young has helped me prepare for this. I had a panic attack on Thursday and earlier today but I’m good now. And I’ll most def’ appreciate the support!
Oh and my family was such a HUGE support today. Bro came with his girlfriend and we watched Children of Men (one of Monkey Man’s favorite films). Bro’s girlfriend, N, brought me donuts and some soft slippers! So that has eased much of the anxiety. That and the fact that I took a Clonazepam and Tramadol earlier.
I gotta be up at 5am. Night.
September 2, 2012
Especially today. Know why?
Little Luna and I sat down just chatting away with our clown noses on–me in my hippie tie-die beach dress–trying to come up with a dare for Le Clown. (I’ll admit, Little Luna came up with most of my better jokes.)
Anywya, help me out here or it’s the end of The Circus at the End of the World! What should I dare Le Clown to do?
Ok, it won’t be the end of the circus world or The Circus at the End of the World, Not really.
This is no joke though; it’s not poor Photoshop work either. Soon after writing down the last comment, we had to stop, drop and roll because we REALLY caught on fire after reading the hilarity and typing 300 words per second.
Yes I have a ton of windows up. And don’t ask me why the word MAGICAL is crossed off. I got the font from dafont.com and since I didn’t purchase it, I think it only lets me use it with some words crossed off. Hey, it’s a trade off. BAgh.
Don’t ask me what’s going on here either. But I think she was begging me to stop and I DID give her a dozen treats for helping me get through all those comments (truth is we really didn’t read ALL of them, but ya know).
addendum: On a more serious note, I wish I had a painkiller because my jaw is fuckin’ hurting. I’ve got that titanium plate that needs to be removed from my lower jaw. 😦 Ughh… It’s been hurting all week. It’s been feeling like it really is on fire. le sad mouse sigh. Eric, you should tell Le Clown to give me extra points for this! Just because you know? You’re the only sweet one that Le Clown listens to. I swear I’m not trying to milk it. 😉
July 30, 2012
As I mentioned in the previous post, I started therapy again three weeks ago. I’m seeing her on Wednesdays. This Wednesday will be my fourth session.
The second session I had with Brunet Young was just as productive as the first, but the third surprised me. Did I actually say all that? Yes, yes you did P. At ‘a girl!
It’s a good thing when you know what you’re getting yourself into when starting therapy. The same could not be said when I first went to see a counselor after my monumental mental meltdown in 2008. I had no idea what to expect then; I even walked out, or rolled out, of a therapist’s office in frustration in 2009. But this time… I have goals this time!
I came into therapy just as desperate, but more ready than ever. I know my borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis, I’m more sure of the bipolar tendencies if the psychiatrist is right, and I’ve learned some basic dialectical behavioral skills training from Ex-Young Therapist as well as core training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
I’m barely driving out of hell, but I have a tank full of gas, me thinks. That’s hope for ya.
On the second session, much like the first, we went over major areas of my life that need working on. I asked Brunet Young if she could tell me what it was she remembered about my history from the consultation team so I could fill in the rest as best I could.
I told her things like, “the overdose from two months ago was not my first, but definitely the worst” and “I have a history of abuse, though my views on it change. I mean, you have to understand our culture is different. But, it’s a fine line no?” I told her about my mother’s past suicidal tendencies, her upbringing, her sister’s (my aunt’s) suicide and so on. She already knew about my immigration situation, my medical problems, my tendency toward isolation, and my body image issues, so I didn’t have to go into that with her.
We talked a lot about how Monkey Man’s recent and sudden death has affected me, how I was drugged up with him much of the time we were together (off and on), but how I always tried to get him to stop drinking. We discussed ways in which I can work up my courage to call his step-mom and/or dad to ask about the toxicology report results again.
On and on we went. I couldn’t believe myself.
Towards the end of the session, she did something I was so thankful for. She asked me to write a list of issues I thought I hadn’t had a chance to go over with Ex-Young Therapist.
My dad had taken me that second day and, on the way out, he said something that bothered me a little.
“She’s not good like the Ex-Young Therapist is she?”
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, she didn’t say hi to me as kindly as the other one.”
After the initial frustration this remark induced, a light bulb lit up in my head! Aha! I have to discuss this with Brunet Young, not this in particular, but my dad. I have to discuss how I think some of my black and white thinking patterns about myself lead back to his black and white thinking. I didn’t get into depth discussing my dad much with Ex-Young Therapist. I did a little, but more toward the end, or just when issues arose. In fact, because we focused so much on me learning DBT skills, the therapy process and focus remained on present problems and not past, “unresolved” problems.
Last Wednesday, I decided to take the bus for our third session. It was better for all of us. My dad didn’t have gas money and I wanted the liberty of no off-handed comments.
It was an hour and a half bus ride; I have to take two buses and the MetroRail downtown but that’s a hell of a lot better than waiting on ole MetroLift’s shifty ass.
I arrived on time and with my homework assignment completed.
Here is my list of “past problems” I didn’t get to discuss with Ex-Young Therapist. And I added a bonus for Brunet Young. I added some therapy goals–totally my idea.
I’m on a roll. I’m telling you. Here’s what I wrote down for her:
Goals for Therapy
*Manage Panic attacks and chronic pain
*Reduce suicidal and self-injurious impulses/actions/urges and manage the thoughts better. (No more overdosing!)
*Increase support network
-> continue rebuilding relationship with brother
-> get into that DBT group at BT (keep calling! don’t desist!)
-> get involved again in community organizing/activist orgs.
* Interpersonal effectiveness -> review
* Distress tolerance -> review and continue practice!
* Develope a more consistent daily ruitine to include: writing/blogging, sketching, watching Lynda.com tutorials, planing, swimming/yoga, playing ukulele again, and getting a job after filing the immigration papers!
-> remember to do one thing at a time
-> break down into smaller chunks
-> plan ways to reduce stressful situations, not increase or worsen them
* Continue healthy eating / no binging
* Work on self-validation
* Work on healthier ways to deal with complicated grief
-> Monkey Man L’s death and guilt about death
-> hearing loss
* Ask about/look into other methods such as IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Schema Mode therapies.
* Mother’s verbal and physical abuse (I really hate the way I wrote this one because, honestly, I feel closer to my mother than my father and I love them both very much, even when they piss me off. And my mom’s changed for the better after getting help herself.)
* Dad’s continued invalidation and overbearing tendencies (not to mention the fact that I still have to depend on him financially)
* Medical Trauma (e.g. still need to deal with jaw incident and set up a date for surgery, continued nerve pain, decreased bone density, past accidents that led to ER, prolonged stays at hospital during childhood; loads of surgeries)
* Sexuality and validation issues (e.g. what happened with Dusty and Emily)
*Repetetive compulsion with alcohol and drugs (mainly alcohol and self-harm)
* Maladaptive core beliefs (e.g. I am not a “good” person, I’m “a burden,” etc.)
Yep, so that’s what I have so far. We went over this list I wrote, which she said was very good. I think it’s a good starting point too. And since I was able to write it out, it helped when she asked to explain what I meant by “sexuality and validation issues”. That’s when I brought up Sir Dusty and a lot of other things I may or may not mention here. Man, it was hard work!
July 29, 2012
Fuck my bleeding ears! I’m trying to stay positive. I really am. I’m relying on my inner wisdom.
And these days, I’m maintaining a better outlook more than not, which is the complete opposite of what could be said a month and half ago. I feel funny though, and not previous-post funny. The anxiety has just been maddening.
On Friday night, when I hung out with my brother, I ended up staying over the night. Well, around 4am (as usual these days), I woke up with chest pain, feeling like I was having a heart attack. You’re not having a heart attack P. This is just anxiety. I was nauseated, felt the same old prickly feeling in my toes and hands and was shivering too. So I woke up my brother and asked him for another blanket. I told him what I felt and he agreed about the anxiety.
Earlier Friday, I was eating lunch with my dad at the kitchen table. We had arepas and queso and coffee. I hadn’t even touched my coffee yet and my hands were trembling. (I swear, I’ve been cutting back substantially on the coffee.)
“Your hands are shaking really bad. Why are they shaking like that?” he asked.
“I think I’m just having a lot of anxiety right now.” I lowered my head.
“I don’t know. It’s a lot of things, I guess.”
“It looks as if you had Parkinson’s”
Ah my dad, good ole papi. Gotta love the way he throws in something that sounds both amusing and insulting or hurtful (to me) without even meaning to–but sometimes meaning to. I’d made a joke about looking like Michael J. Fox during an interview on my very second (or third) post here! So, yes, this isn’t new. But now it’s noticeable to my dad even?
Today, right now, I’m feeling the same way. I hope it passes soon. I hope typing will at least keep me at ease a little while.
I wonder if it’s the medication that’s making it worse. Almost every morning it’s the same.
At the end of May, a few weeks after the incident, I saw the psychiatrist. She had the Fluoxetine/Prozac upped. I keep wondering, how did I get here? Accepting drugs from a psych? For me, taking “medication” is last, last, last resort.
I saw her again this past Thursday. She said something that both surprised and didn’t surprise me.
“I’m thinking… you seem to have bipolar, bipolar two,” she said midway through our appointment. These appointments, by the way, are actually forty-five minutes long. Ok. Well, at the moment, labels don’t matter to me much. I just need all the help I can get. I don’t want another incident to occur, for the sake of those around me at least. But in part, for my sake too. And that’s a good thing! It means I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel, despite the way I’m feeling.
Long story short, she prescribed Lamotrigine/Lamictal. I haven’t gotten it yet. I barely ran out of Tegretol last week and didn’t bother to get it filled. Well, there’s was more to it than that. There was the money issue. It’s rough right now. I just wish I could handle things better, without getting so frantic, so worked up inside… Swimming is the only time I don’t feel like I’m drowning!
And now I’m to try yet another drug?
I don’t know. I just don’t know…
But therapy. Right!
I finally got in three weeks ago. The very first week, we covered a lot.
She’s also a young brunet like Ex-Young Therapist, but it’s a university, so what was I expecting, an old student? Anyway, we covered basics, like what I did with my Ex-Young Therapist, what worked, what didn’t work. Turns out this new therapist (I’m going to call her Brunet Young) worked in a team with Ex-Young Therapist, so she already knew a little bit about me. A consultation team is part of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
After going over some of the basics, like major problems in my life, she mentioned the overdose incident from early May. Has it been two and a half months already?
“In the intake interview, you mentioned that you didn’t consider the overdose a suicide attempt. Why is that?” Brunet Young asks.
“Um… I’m not sure,” I reply. I stammer around and stutter for a little while. “Maybe it’s because I have a hard time seeing it as that. But also, I think I was gambling. I was playing Russian roulette. I told myself that if I died that night, then fine, but if I didn’t, I would have to just try a lot harder. I mean, I would’ve definitely taken the entire bottle had I wanted it to be more sure…a more definite thing.”
“How much did you take?”
“About eight painkillers and two sleeping pills.”
“And you were ok with the fact that you might’ve died as a result?”
“Yes, I was.” It’s scary to think, but at the time, I was.
“You know, from a clinical perspective, there is a distinction between suicide attempts. There’s an active suicide attempt and a passive one. What you describe is a more passive attempt.”
She made sure to emphasis that it was still considered an attempt. Or at least that’s how I heard it.
We then wrote up a crisis plan, which looks a little something like this.
When I feel upset and have thoughts of hurting myself or someone else, or I feel that I am in emotional crisis, I will take the following steps:
1. My warning signs are (e.g. very self-critical, hopeless, isolation, staying in bed)
-passive thoughts of suicide increase in frequency and become clearer, more of an urge/stronger urge
-insomnia and crying spells worsen
-triggers (e.g. Monkey Man, relationships, drugs, reminders, etc) –> anger/rage
-isolating myself –> not picking up calls, curling up in bed and staring blankly, dissociating
-being upset about hearing loss; being upset on days when I’m not able to go swimming
-chronic bone pain intensifies; facial nerve pain increases
2. My reasons to live are:
– I can do a lot for others. I have potential to do a lot.
-I don’t want to hurt my family
That’s all I have for reasons right now. I used to have career plans, but that’s not strong-holding at the moment. It has to be something that you really believe, something that will grab you, will keep you from doing anything permanent–a true deterrent. I think I need to come up with more. I told Brunet Young this and she said, “It’s alright, we’ll come up with more later.” I thought of adding “love”. Just focus on the word love, the meaning of it for me, how I’ve managed to hold on to “love” in my life. But love of what? Art? Life? Beauty? Family? How can you focus on that in a “crisis” situation when all you’re thinking about is the pain you’re in and peaceful bliss of death and non-existance?
3. Do these things to calm myself or distract myself:
-say serenity prayer and Buddha refuge prayer
-If at home, call Luna, pet and cuddle with her. (The good thing about Luna is if she hears me crying, I don’t even have to call her over. She finds me. Sweetest dog ever.)
-remember “Distress Tolerance” –> follow breath, deep breathing
-self sooth –> hum a tune, splash water on face, take warm bath, play ukulele
-write, write, write
-read, read, read
-watch TV (comedy preferably)
-stretch with yoga mat
-image focus –>meditate
-progressive muscle relaxation
-review “coping card”
-take a short nap and/or break from whatever you’re doing (e.g. go out in the fresh air and walk the dogs)
4. Contact a friend or family member that I can trust:
name & number: answering service at PRSC –>that’s the university’s psychological research and services center
Also, I’ve listed my brother, mom, and maybe B and Mansie, Ryden and Eloise, although I’m having a hard time with this one. I’ll really need to work at it.
5. Call PRSC and ask to speak with my therapist
6. If it is after clinic hours (M-Th 9-8; F 9-5) and I can’t reach my therapist, call the PRSC after-hours answering service at **********
7. Call a hotline for support or assistance:
I also have several other local hotline numbers included here. But I don’t do hotlines. It’s not how I roll.
8. If I am unable to get help quickly enough and feel that things can’t wait, I will call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room for help.
The thing about the crisis plan is that I have only been able to get myself to do steps one through three, maybe four. I’m able to recognize warning signs and use methods like distress tolerance and mindfulness, but contacting a “trusted” person is difficult. That’s the thing, on Friday, I did contact my brother, but I did it after too much thinking. Also, I don’t tell him how bad I feel, I just ask him what’s up. Brunet Young said that was fine, I don’t exactly have to tell him, especially not now if I’m not comfortable doing so. The important thing is to distract in non-harmful ways.
Another difficulty I’m having with this crisis plan is knowing the “answering service” after hours aren’t open on weekends. I’ll have to ask her about this. But even then, I’m not the type of person who would call. I think I only called Ex-Young Therapist twice or maybe three times during a “crisis situation”. And that was after two years of seeing her! One of those times was a few days after I found out about Monkey Man’s death this March.
I used to hate the idea of therapy. Sometimes I still do. Right now though, I’m just glad I finally got in again.