Thursday, March 28, 2013

DBT, Self Sabotage, Fear, and Acceptance

This morning I received a phone call from the psychologist that facilitates the DBT group I previously attended.  I wasn't in a spot to talk to my therapist at the time the call came in and so I sent it straight to voicemail.

I know the DBT skills.  I was in the group for 9-10 months about a year and half ago.  I do use the tools I was taught.  However, there is a very strong part of me that is unable to use those tools from time to time. Okay, often I'm unable to use them.

As I drove home this afternoon from an appointment w/my orthopedic surgeon, the reality of I really do need to attend this group again.  Many feelings came up over the course of the next few hours.

This picture kind of illustrates some of those feelings. A small scared kitten...coming upon big bad puppies at the door in front of me.  Those puppies are nothing but lovable, endearing, and probably will be my best allies in due time. Just as healing can provide the same comfort.

Overwhelmed with fear.  Urges came to the surfaces.  Ones that I couldn't fight off.  I want to hide and run away at the same time.  I've wanted to do everything possible to not feel the true feelings about "What is really behind the emotions regarding this group..."  

I came home and took the DBT binder and put it in the trash.  Determined that I don't need this group.  I don't want to attend. I am overwhelmed with the thought of it.  And so, forget it. I'm not going there again.  Hell to the no.

This is where the self sabotage comes into play.  I have the opportunity to give this group a try again.  I have the opportunity to get the help that I need.  Not everyone is blessed with the ability to have unlimited mental health coverage like I do.  It comes at a high price (stress of my job) and I don't for a moment take it for granted.

What the hell am I so afraid of?  Why throw the damn book in the garbage?  WHY?  I took it out of the garbage.  Put it back in the drawer where I took out of and walked away.  The urges were more than I could fight off, again. I gave in.  Again.  For as long as there was hot water, I hide ran away from the intense feelings of where this was all coming from.  The fear became tears.  I could feel (or taste) the tears as I stood  in the hot shower.  I could feel those feelings.  And at that moment....I knew what the hell I'm so incredible afraid of.  What was driving the fear.  The self sabotage.  The self harm.

Holy Hannah it has taken me forever to write this admit it...what I'm afraid of..I'm stuck.  Stuck in being honest with myself.

I think I'm afraid of finding out who the real ME is.  I'm afraid I will find out that I have the ability to beat this.  I'm afraid I will find out that I have the ability to live the best life I can and it is a life worth living.  I'm afraid of finally having to feel the real emotions,  and figuring out at the end of the day, who "ME" is.  Oh my hell that is freaking terrifying...being afraid of yourself is scary as hell.

Typing that..,,took me over an hour.  In between puking and typing...I got it out there.

I've done DBT before.  I know what the work is.  I know it isn't easy.  Nothing in life worth fighting for is easy.  I fear that a second go around won't work.  And if that is the case I don't know what will.  I know that I need to find acceptance with where I am at the moment.  That taking things one step at a time is the only way out.

Yet it is so f*cking terrifying.  I am acutely aware of who one of the psychologist working with this group is.  She is understanding, compassionate, and she knows how incredible difficult dealing with this shit is.  I know she only expects each participant to do the best she can do and be honest with herself (and them).  It is all anyone can ask and it has to be enough.

My options right now are limited.
Self sabotage is not an option.
I know that I need to find healing.

I know that finding acceptance in all of this will come.  In due time.  My options for this evening and the days ahead are to breathe and accept the challenges that lay ahead of me and accepting this group is something that would be in my best interest (along with whatever type of treatment that is needed).

Not sure where I heard this fits perfectly with today's theme.

"Sometimes the most courageous act is showing love and kindness towards yourself..."

I need to remember this. I want to remember this. At the very moment I can't remember it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Last 3 days....

...and then some have been incredible hard. in gut wrenching hard.

I'm struggling to keep my head above water.
To find balance among the waves.
I know that I'm not alone in this struggle.
Yet at the same time it feels as though I am.
I've pulled out all the tools.  All the stops.
Everything I can to keep swimming.
It hasn't been enough.

My hair hurts.
My teeth hurt.
My ears hurt.
My toes hurt.
Everything hurts.
I know why.
Relaxation tools have went out the window. I've done them.
Over and over...from deep breathing to some mindfulness.

I'm not positive tonight. I don't see much positive ahead of me.  I got up today. I went to church.  I made a crockpot dinner.  It is the extent of my ability to cope for today.

Living in the Dark - Guest Post for My Daily Jenn-ism

The following is the blog post I wrote for Jenn for her March Mental Health Awareness Month Guest Blog posts. Thank you Jenn for opening up your blog and giving a voice to the many areas of mental health this month (and often). If you've not been to My Daily Jenn-ism. head on may just want to go check her out.

Readers of my blog know that I’ve struggled with various forms of depression and suicidal ideation off and on for several years.  Consistently since my youngest was born in 2002. The intensity spiked up ten notches after I had gastric bypass and the ability to absorb medication properly came to an abrupt halt in 2004.
Some days I believe I am the Queen of Suicidal Ideation.  I imagine my psychiatrist believes the same thing.  Several years ago, shortly after I was released from a short inpatient hospitalization, she said to me “Do you really believe you will eventually kill yourself?”  I can’t even tell you what my response to her was.  What she said next, I know I will never forget.  Ever.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to process.  I didn’t process it.  I didn’t even let it affect me.  She was right.  I knew it.  And just like many other areas things in my life...I stuffed what she said...deep down in the ‘don’t go there’ emotional bin.  

It wasn’t until about 18 months ago, when she said it to me again, that it dug deep. Even deeper than the first time. When I left her office, I spent another hour sitting in my car.  Processing what she said.  The depth of her comment.  And how incredible hard it was to hear.  

“__, I’m not convinced you won’t kill yourself.  And that haunts me each night.”

This was a continued conversation regarding medication, the lack of being able to take them, being at the end of another failed attempt, and pure frustration for both of us.  

I had no hope at that point and the pros/cons of being hospitalized was thrown around. To hear Dr. KSB confirm she didn’t have that hope, was a bit devastating.  Initially, few years earlier, it didn’t have the same effect.

I contemplated never going back to see her.

I made an appointment with a psychiatrist that specializes in gastric bypass, whom I had seen when I was in the hospital, whom had done an evaluation on me prior to my WLS, and whom even though I didn’t like...I did trust his knowledge was extensive.  It was a 6 month wait to see him.  I was desperate when I scheduled that appointment.  The appointment came and went.  He confirmed that I was seeing one of the best psychiatrists and that I needed to continue my treatment with her.  He gave me his recommendations and sent them to Dr. KSB.  Telling me to follow-up with her in a week or two.  He also, added several dx to my permanent chart.  That appointment was a year ago.  None of his recommendations were options at the time.  Dr. KSB has left the one recommendation as a last case scenario.  Agreeing that the only way she would suggest it being an option, would be if there was an attempt to end my life.  It would be, as he said...”LAST CASE SCENARIO”.  
And so...I continue to see her.  
She knows me. I know her. She trusts me (I think). I trust her.  
And she knows that filling me with all sorts of medications is not an option.  
At my last appointment with Dr. KSB, we discussed the current state of my marriage.  My husband and I are both patients of hers.  Once again, she told me ‘my gut tells me you would not survive a separation or divorce’.  Damn as much as I know that. It is harder to hear it.  Once again, I sat in my car for a good hour after my appointment trying to process what she had to say.

Currently, mental illness waxes and wanes in my life.  There are a few good days here and there.  There are suicidal days where I’m holding on to the last bit of the frayed string, trying everything in the book to stay alive.  Some days all I can do is lay on the couch and watch my dogs play, listen to my children's voices, fighting against everything to hold on to their sweet voices.  Praying and hoping against all hope that the depression will lift.  Leave me alone.  At least for a day.  

A few weeks ago, I wasn’t suicidal.  I had more than an entire day without the constant thoughts of hurting myself, the bad thoughts, the self hatred, and self harm impulses.  Just sadness.  Sadness that this is my life.  The next few days, I wasn’t so lucky.

That is the nature of this beast.  The last 18-24 months this has been my life.  It is a constant battle to get up every day.  Some days, the darkness lifts.  

Everybody Hurts by REM rings a bell.  I woke up thinking about this song this morning.

And so....I leave you with that.

Everybody Hurts.
Everybody Cries.
Hold On.


And I will add I've had a bad week of suicidal ideation.  Self harm crap has been sky high.  My BFF informed me I'm to negative and need to try to increase positive in my life.  And while I know she is right, when every ounce of my energy is taken by going to work....there is nothing left.  Excuse?  Sure as hell is.  Bit it is where I'm at.  I have went as far as have plan in place and need to be talked down off the ledge by one of my Orlando Moms.  She gets this place.  I know she does.  And somehow that makes it that much harder.

Jenn added the following to this post. And I will do the same.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

No matter what problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself isn't the answer. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a counselor at a Lifeline crisis center near you.

Someone loves you and someone WILL miss you.  I promise! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guest Post: Living in The Dark

I had decided to not write this post because it was to painful.  And then I read the text from Jenn that said something on the lines of 'I would imagine it will be somewhat therapeutic'. 

And so...I did. 
And it was incredible painful. it is. 

Another brain dump.  As Jenn may be hard to read.  Even for me...who wrote it.  A week later it had me in tears as I read it on Jenn's blog this morning.

**click link below**
My Daily Jenn-ism: Living in the Dark By: I Will Get Up Again and Again

When Getting Up is Hard to Do....

When those days and moments are incredibly get up, continue moving forward, and just to be....

Having this photo pop up on my phone screen saver takes the edge off just a little.

It is a reminder that, even though it is incredibly lonely right now, I don't walk this alone.

Yesterday was the first day in a while that I was able to 'just be'.  Sure the shitty stuff was still there.  Sure the urge to snap at those I love most was there.  Sure the impulse and need for emotional release.... all still there.

I was able to just let it be! 

This morning the self sabbtoge was even greater.  And even the littlest of positives were over ridden with the need to continue to sabbtoge.

I'm here. I'm working. I'm up.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sun Comes Up...

Whether I like it or not...

The sun comes up every day.  I stood along the shore in Melbourne, Fl  nearly 2 weeks ago and watched this sunrise over the shore.  My heart filled with so many different emotions.

I did not want to get up that morning.  Getting up meant being up earlier than my work days.  I had slept all of abt 4-6 hours in a 48 hour time frame.  And I didn't want to move.

I had 3 other moms relying on me.  They were riding with me.  Since I am the driver of the rental car...I needed to take them.

Things such as 'it is just a sunrise....we all have seen the sun....' same out of lips as I rolled out of bed.  Cursing the sun for rising.

Little did I know the profound effect that morning would have on my heart.

It was cold.  Very cold...38 degrees cold.  I flew from the Frozen Tundra...not to freeze my ass off at 530am....but I did it. 

I am glad I did.

As I looked into the lens of my camera heart sank at the endless beauty.

And as I stood on that bitted cold shore the we hours of the morning of March 7....I was reminded that one more day..The Sun did Rise!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

And then it was over...

Each year the ETAAM experience has been drastically different.

This year I went with different expectations for myself than in the past.  I went wanting to be able to push the darkness aside and bask in the love and friendship that has been created.  Put aside the marital issues that keep me awake more than I sleep.

And while I did fill up on that love.  It didn't really do much for tht dark space that I've been in.

The uncertainty of what laid head of me when I came home weighed heavy on my heart. I see there are babysteps and in some areas I'm hopeful. And then as soon as that hope shines a little brighter ..I'm smacked with another doozy. 

Being positive and setting that part aside was pretty damn tough.  Overwhelmed with all different emotions regarding why I was there caught me off guard.  Things that I thought I was at peace with....reared its ugly head...and...had the scab picked off.  And while I could have at anytime talked to just abt anyone abt tht scab I choose not to for variety of reasons.

This post is all over then place I know. When I'm able to sit down at my computer I have a few "brain dumps" as I like to call my blog posts.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wilderness - Just Breathe

I was hoping to post pictures that I've taken that go along with the March Photo a Day - Journey Theme.  However, this picture kind of settles with me under 'wilderness'.  Remebering to JUST BREATHE is hard.  And it is one that when we remember to breathe we are able to move fwd in a positive direction.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Depression is lonely.
When I look at this picture of our 18 month old Silver/Black Pug...I think of how I feel sometimes.  He's not a pathetic looking sad dog.  Instead, he's full of life.  He still has tons of puppy left in him.

His brother, Max who will be 6 yrs old in a few months...he is always the best of friends when I'm lonely, sad, or depressed.  Or even when I'm not.  He's my pal.  I can't imagine life w/out him.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 2 - Scary

Red Rock Canyon
Las Vegas, Nevada

Watching my son, daughter, and husband climb up these rocks....was scary.  It took my breathe away.  My little guy was just barely 8 yrs old.  He faced his fears.  And momma watched in awe.


The Photo Theme for March over at is: Just Be. Love All. Live Life

In doing some research on a topic I came across this blog.  This is the first and only post I've read and I love it.  I can't promise that I will be able to "participate" every single day.  However, I will do my very best.

As she writes "we journey from dark to light during March, as spring begins."  I can be hopeful that "I" can take that same transformation in my own life and journey.  As the light has been turned off for quite sometime.  It would be awesome to have the light flicker back on and stay on.

And the spirit of "Journey" I am going to 'attempt' to post a photo a day.