Thursday, December 18, 2014

Feelings

It's funny how you don't often really notice your feelings, like saying "okay, right now I am feeling ...." you can fill in the dots. Well lately I have had to do that. With going off of medication extremely slowly, the only two I went off were a while ago because of different interactions with other meds/adverse reactions (Olanzapine and Clhorpromazine/largactil/thorazine - whatever you want to call it) I have been feeling a lot of uncomfortable emotions. In the last week I have had really down, sad, lonely days, even when there are people around. Now I haven't experienced that in years. All the drugs that I have been taking have masked my emotions to the point where I wasn't feeling anything but reactions from one drug to another. I strongly believe that. It's been very difficult.

In the past I would have taken heaps of seroquel or valium to bomb myself out but not this time. I made myself sit in the emotion as it hit me wave after wave. First tolerable, then uncomfortable, to the barely tolerable where I could hardly breathe and then back to the tolerable and then completely gone. I have had many waves like this that came and went all day. I had to just get through them, clench my teeth and do something else to distract myself. This is very hard in that emotional state. I did it though. Everyone has been really surprised that I haven't actually given in the emotion, even when it's at it's peak and knowing that in that bag on the floor, there is a small pill box with seroquel in it. Yes, it's been that far away and I still haven't taken it.

Anyway I will see how I go. While I am here, I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas/Holiday Season/Whatever you celebrate/or not :)  I wish you all a lovely time or at least for those that find it difficult, a tolerable time. Be gentle with yourselves.

Sarah xx

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Excitement

Today is the day I get my new camera, a Nikon D3200, great for me since I haven't used a DSLR before only an SLR and that was in the 90s. Scary how time flies. So in about three and a half hours it's off to the shop to pick it up. Can't wait!!! I am feeling okay, I have had a little nausea but am unsure yet as to the source. I will just have to keep the pace slow and steady today. I am though the most well I have ever been since opening this blog in 2009. People are commenting on my outlook, my skin and my gentle happiness. I can feel it too, like today I am excited, but not manically so.

I started a new creative writing course this week, on Monday and it's going really well. Funny though that my dad is taking the same course and we are liking it equally well. Though he has already beat me to the readings for this week, I have one to go. I have also been working on my zine. I am pretty happy with it so far, though have found some silly grammatical errors in it that should not be there. Lucky I have an editor (Dov, ha ha) he's just the luckiest man in the world and he doesn't even know it yet.

How I'm going with meds, well I think I mentioned that I had an adverse reaction to Chlorpromazine, well we had to do an abrupt withdrawal because of the burning sensation in my skin all over. I had withdrawals off of that that lasted for about 48 hours but I was only on it a few weeks, so it hadn't got its hooks in yet. I started taking on magnesium tablet at night and that is getting me to sleep fine, though we did have trouble adding magnesium in the mornings which we think is the source of the nausea because the times match pretty well. I don't take PRN (when necessary) seroquel during the day anymore, but just one tablet at lunchtime and that is working. I am more settled and I don't want to take extra medication. I am very calm pretty much all the time. It's awesome.

The next thing is to re-add 1/2 magnesium tablet in the morning and then after 10 days of tolerating (only if) add one fish oil tablet at night. Then it would be a matter of alternating the adding every 10 days until I am on 1 magnesium morning and night and one fish oil, morning and night. Wait again and start the tapering of the psych meds. I don't know which yet and I am scared to even go there. I am dreading the withdrawals and worried about relapse. I think I will be okay though because I can feel my own strength.

So the other fun thing I have been doing is taking photos, I have created a flickr account to keep my photography shots in and it's way fun. If you'd like to check it out, follow this link https://www.flickr.com/photos/129652998@N06/ and yes, I have a weird thing of photographing my feet. You'll be happy to know it's only the top few that are feet, the whole site is not of feet. There are some of Cali too. Oh goody, feet and cats! You must all be excited about that ;-)

Sarah xx

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New zines in Etsy shop

In case anyone is interested, I have just restocked my Etsy shop with zines, including some double packs and a mega pack. Click here to view my shop.

Zines and DBT and stuff

So I have this zine that I have never even made a complete master of or copied it and I'm trying to decided whether to release it or not as a limited edition. It was written in the middle of the Brisbane floods of 2011 and my whole workplace was flooded out, so I couldn't go to work. Maybe I'll give it another read first. It is actually the last issue (Issue 7.5) of By the Skin of My Teeth I ever wrote before I canned the series.

As for 24 Past the Hour I am coming along fine with the writing. It no longer has Andy in it (my ex-husband for those who didn't know of me then) but for one reference. It is my now story, as I like to call it. I found my backgrounds yesterday that I will use as the backdrop behind the cut and paste. It is a gaming magazine but a really good one, it cost a bit, but it's worth it when you have beautiful looking pages.

Oh yeah, I got a phone call on Thursday last week from Trudi at the clinic I used to go to hospital at and she is one of the psychologists there and she was ringing to make an appointment for my in-take interview for DBT for Wednesday next week. I am really stoked about that. She is a tricky lady and if she is calling me it would mean that if I get accepted she would be my therapist. I am not sure how I feel about that. In my past experience with her she is very firm. Probably what I need if I try and waver from this path I have set out on. I don't want to quit trying to come off my meds in a really really slow 10% taper every month of one tablet at a time. Dr D is okay with that and that's all that matters. I just have to hope that with DBT, that it's not a six month wait. I guess I will know on Wednesday.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Busy busy busy

So I am busy busy at the moment. So much happening, which is a good thing, it keeps me out of trouble. You might have noticed the new image in my Etsy shop. This is the 'not quite' cover of my new zine 24 Past the Hour. I am writing it between uni work at other stuff.



By other stuff meaning that I am probably going back to DBT. Yes, you heard right, I really need to get this stuff in my head properly so that I can have strategies in place for when I freak out. Though these days it doesn't happen too much anymore. With the meds being decreased over a long period of time, I don't want to add any more drugs too that mix but I would like to have the ability to say "Sarah, it's just an emotion, ride it out, he's your strategy".

Uni is going very well. I wrote a personal essay about Dov and I meeting here but my tutor said to change it to a short story, which I did and I'm really happy with it. I checked all the grammar and whatnot last night and then corrected it this morning. My short story, which is my final piece of assessment for my introduction to writing class, is all ready to go. It just has to get through what they call the 'work shopping' part, where we all upload our work and let the other students pick it apart (nicely). I study online, so there is no class technically. I love it through.

So yes, today it's writing for my zine and also drawing too. I still don't know exactly how it's going to look inside, have lots of ideas and lots of drawing done but not as much writing. I'd better get to it.k

Sarah xx

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's only going to take around five years

I lost it a few weeks ago to a friend on the phone about my medication. I said to her that I am always going to have to take it and I hated it. She paused and said that that was not necessarily the truth and that she is doing this program where she is coming off all her meds, one med a time at 10% reduction per month. It's taken her a year to come off one med and she is now onto the lithium. I was amazed at her story and sobered. I started to do some research and found out a lot of info about how toxic my medication is and how there are a lot of drug interactions that could be happening. I read some stuff my friend gave me to read and watched a video and then I started to read a book Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Dr Peter Breggin, very interesting stuff and I started a plan, one that is probably going to take me about five or so years to complete.

So lets be candid, I am still on (wait for it), six different drugs, plus too for just general medicine. Some of them have more than one dose in a day. I just came off of a four week course of largactil/chlorpromazine, which I had an adverse reaction to, it felt like all of my skin was burning all the time. Then there were/are the withdrawals to deal with. They aren't that nice, nausea, dizziness, headaches. Icky.

In any case, I took it all the info I had learnt to Dr D and she agreed to help me and was more than happy to.  I am going to go back to DBT because I have to learn to deal with the 'emotions' and the traumas underneath all of this, rather than popping a pill. This is not something I have had any practice with of late, I tended to pop a pill instead. I have decided to make this a priority in my life, especially since I just turned 40 yesterday (go me!). I am realistic that I may not get off all of them, but the doses can be drastically reduced and the amount of them too. I had to commit to wanting to change before I could get help me with it. It's going to be a hard road, lots of withdrawals as I have found out from others that are going through this but it is possible. Slow and stead wins the race.

My big goal is to be able to shoot photos the way I used to so the camera doesn't shake. For my birthday I am getting a DSLR camera, a beautiful Nikon. I am in love with it already and I don't even have it yet :)  So here it starts, my journey of coming off of meds. Wish me luck :)

Sarah xx


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A little freaded out

So yes I am a little freaked out. On the 15 & 16 November, the G20 Summit is being held in my suburb/City. So all the international heads of state will be lingering around. I am not happy about it because of how freaky everyone else is getting about it. The worst part is that the 16th is my 40th birthday and my City will be completely shut down. I live in the City too, which makes it worse as if there are any lingering protesters, they will be in MY SUBURB!!! It's freaky too because I am terrified of something bad happening, especially with all those world leaders about, I am just not going out. I have bought 5 liters of longlife/UHT milk, 2 loaves of bread, two enormous bags of kitty litter, some baked beans, oatmeal and an extra box of artificial sweetener. I will buy a bottle wine and on my birthday, I will get drunk and the world leaders can do whatever they choose ;-)

Sarah xx

P.S. It really is my birthday on 16 November

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Better

wellness comes in all shapes and sizes. I am currently writing a piece of assessment for uni that is a personal essay, kind of like a memoir but you also add in some legitimate cause. For example, I wrote about homelessness and my experience with homelessness or in my case I did have a roof over my head but it was a very unsafe place. I haven't talked about it much but where I live only takes in those that are experiencing displacement like I had or homelessness. In my essay I wrote my story and weaved in the story of my building and a couple of its tenant's stories. It showed me how far I've come. I will always have trouble with the bipolar but I am hoping that given time, I will need less support. I have Dov and Cali and I'm so lucky :)

Sarah xx

Friday, October 10, 2014

Things aren't aways fixed

In my last post I said that I had a problem with no solution. I felt very hurt and sad by this and I was sure that Dov and I were going to break up, if not then, but soon after. We didn't. I realised that the only thing that was fixed was how I felt about my situation and that I wasn't looking past the stuff that might help. I then fell into a depression after a long period of mania and the issue itself attached to my depression made things muddy and unclear and downright scary. I still can't say what the issue it is but I feel better about it. I am still not sure how we are going to work around it but there are plenty of resources out there if I look them up and see if there is a solution.

So, where am I now? I am in hospital. The depression go too much and I, would you believe, overdosed on laxatives because I had this crazy idea from long ago, that if only I was thin, it would make it all okay. Thing is, it put me in hospital because the nurses on this government helpline told me to go to the hospital. I was sent home fine. My psychiatrist on the other hand wasn't so happy and she was extremely worried as I have been a freight train out of control for weeks now.

Getting manic was pretty awesome, I had fun, I spent way too money. I bought two lots of the same thing for some strange reason and then gave the second one away. I bought accessories for a camera I don't own but want to buy in December. I didn't sleep. I got up at 2am to study and I managed to get over two weeks ahead of the rest of my class. What a mania it was! Then I was put on a higher dosage of olanzapine and I started to come down, so my doc reduced the olanzapine and up I went again but a really agitated high. She put the olanzapine back up and I got depressed. I do feel a lot better than when I came in two days ago.

My mum drove a two hour round trip just to bring me to hospital which is 15 minutes from where I live. Dov has Cali his place and she is lapping up all the cuddles. I had taken her there a few times so she wasn't freaked out, thank god we had done that. I am okay. I am getter better. Thankfully.

Sarah xx

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Is this the beginning of the end?

When Andy and I broke up, it happened a few times before the final time. Last night, Dov and I had the very same conversation of breaking up for the first time. The reason is irrelevant but it's an obstacle and one that cannot be overcome. It's impossible because of its nature. Then we both cried and hugged and said that we didn't want to do that. It's just that I know this issue will never go away. I don't know what to do. I am terrified. I have been in tears since I woke up. I feel so sad :(

Sarah xx