Mental Health Is Like A Teeter-Totter

When I called this past Monday about making a psych appointment, I was given two options.

Option A: Go to the main campus of the hospital system I’m currently using for my healthcare and wait for many hours in the ER. 

Option B: Wait until September 11th, the first available appointment for a psych evaluation at the smaller and much closer office building.

Since I’m not currently experiencing a mental health crisis, I decided on option B.

Mental health is a precarious thing. It reminds me of a teeter-totter. It goes up and it goes down, sometimes so quickly that you’ll lose your balance and fall on your ass with a loud thud.

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Look, a therapy dog!

It’s not that simple getting help, as you can see from my options up there. Either I am in serious trouble and need assistance right NOW or I have to bide my time until I can be evaluated.

I can tell you what I need, a decent therapist.

I need to talk about what I’ve gone through the last few years with someone who isn’t too close to the situation. This time around, though, I won’t follow any doctor(s) or therapists blindly like I have in the past.

Perhaps I’ll even allow the doc to give me a booster med that is specifically used for major depressive disorder. I know that I want to stay on Effexor, because without it, I’d be curled up in the fetal position on I-71 South towards Columbus.

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A strange thing happens when your trust has been broken numerous times by people you once thought had your back; you begin to follow your instincts and tap into your own shitty experiences instead.


I’m hanging in there.

I miss my mother dearly and I cry often. It hurts not having her to talk to and share news with her, good and bad combined. I’ll start to think about those last few days before she died and how she didn’t even look like herself lying in that hospital bed on comfort care. The sound of her breathing, erratic and desperate. Even while actively dying, she didn’t want to let go.

All I can do is continue to move forward. I want to make her proud of me and keep on living my life.

And that’s why I need to fight back hard to stay put on that teeter-totter and try not to fucking fall off.

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The Chronically Hopeful Award

My good friend Kim (who guest posted here for a spell) nominated me for The Chronically Hopeful Award.

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Thank you, Kimmy.

The two of us share a disease. You may have read one of my MANY posts about it…yes, that’s right, fibromyalgia.

Since I really don’t do these award posts anymore, I’m only going to thank the person who nominated me (I did!) and then answer her questions.

Because I’m a lazy rebel with brain fog.

At what age were you diagnosed?

I was 24 years old when I was officially diagnosed with fibro, but looking back on my youth, there were mild symptoms as young as the age of 5. I believe that I was born with it (or maybe it’s Maybelline?)

It didn’t become blaringly obvious until after I gave birth to my daughter in 1997. She was five weeks early due to a condition called gestational hypertension. My labor was induced in order to save both of our lives.

It was a miracle that we both survived. The trauma my body endured triggered the fibromyalgia to really show its fangs. It took me two years to finally find a doctor who knew what in the hell was wrong with me. I cried tears of relief initially, because it meant that I wasn’t crazy, after all.

What were your first thoughts after you received this diagnosis?

Fuck.

Do you think chronically ill people are expected to behave a certain way when they are in public?

Yes, I do.

I look perfectly healthy, unless you’re really paying attention.

I limp. I have awful balance. I walk slowly. I wince in pain most days. I nod off constantly and forget to use my big girl words. My short term (and somewhat long term) memory is full of black holes.

I stare off into space often and I become extremely overwhelmed without much provocation. When that happens, I’ll freak the fuck out and have myself a lovely panic attack.

But most people don’t look that closely at me. They’ve often judged me when I use my handicap parking thingy or when I’m at Walmart on the zippy cart.

They can kiss my flat ass, though. I might have an invisible illness, but it’s as real as global warming.

What is the biggest misconception about your illness?

I know that it shouldn’t irk me, but when people tell me that they hope I feel better, I want to scream “it’s chronic, damn it!”

But I just say thank you, because I’m usually a polite human.

There’s no decent treatment or cure, so I am stuck in this never-ending cycle of good and bad days, just trying to walk the line.

Don’t do too much or don’t do anything at all.

Have you seen any significant strides in the treatment for your illness? 

Sadly, no.

I got tired of bee-bopping around to doctor after doctor. My current physician and I are on the same page with medications. I want two things to help me manage my fibro; pain medication (200 mg of Tramadol a day) and my muscle relaxer (20 mg of Flexeril a day.)

I take Magnesium and B-12 supplements. I’ll use CBD oil sometimes, but I really don’t see what the big fuss is all about.

I also smoke some marihuana now and then, when I can afford to purchase some. I do tend to take breaks from it for months at a time though, within the last decade that I’ve been a “pothead.”

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I found this gem at an antique mall that I went to with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. The place was huge, so he was kind enough to push me in my transport chair.

That pretty much sums up this post.

Again, thank you so much Kim, you’re a true chronic illness warrior and I’m honored to call you my friend.

Just Move On, Mer!! A Special Rant Post

Now that I’m divorced, I have many people telling me to just move on.

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Let me break this shit down for all of those well-meaning peeps. (Love you.)

My MARRIAGE ended in the absolutely worst scenario, like, ever.

My husband CHEATED on me, probably multiple times over the years, but he had a fucking MISTRESS. Her name was Debbie. She had a pug. She lived only a couple of towns over.

She knew that he was married, but this did not stop her from diddling my ex husband.

So, as much as I am ecstatic to be divorced now and no longer living with such a garbage person, a genuine sociopath, who darkened my life with his fiendish personality and also subtly abused my daughter, I cannot just “move on” that easily.

Do you know how that totally fucks with your mind?

You’re thinking to yourself, well shit. I must be the worst, most ugliest, worthless woman on the planet.

The entire ordeal continues to haunt me. I’m almost positive that it would haunt YOU as well, thank you ever so kindly.

Trust me, I DO want to MOVE on, more than you can even fathom. I wish that there was a reset fucking button and I could go back to the day he asked me to marry him.

I would’ve laughed in his damned face!

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I would’ve kicked him out then and there. Phew!

Fuck yeah!!

I would’ve spit in his food and told him that his beloved ding dong was microscopic.

But I can’t go back in time, this isn’t a mother fucking movie.

But what I can do is be realistic and realize that I need to address years worth of trauma and abuse. I asked my doctor to refer me to a psychologist, which he did. I’ll make the call tomorrow morning.

I think that most people don’t quite realize how truly difficult it is to “just move on” from unpleasant life experiences. In theory, it sounds fucking peachy keen, doesn’t it?

Oh yes, I never think about it anymore, Wilma. I have successfully moved on! 

My God, I wish that were the truth.

I’m admitting right here, on my humble little blog, that I do indeed need some professional help dealing with a large amount of bullshit. Self-administered EMDR therapy and positive memes just aren’t cutting it.

Rant over.