Two months ago today I was in a severe car accident. It was just me. I was drunk. I don’t remember anything from the actual accident. Partly because of the drinking. But mostly because I sustained a severe concussion. I was in an out of consciousness. I flipped my car down a hill. I vaguely remember the firefighters there trying to get me out of the car. The next thing I remember was being in the hospital. Miraculously I didn’t break anything. Even luckier still, I didn’t get a citation for the accident or a DUI. I still don’t know how. But that’s the truth. They told me the only reason I survived was because I had been wearing my seatbelt.
During my stay in the ER they did a complete CT scan on me. Everything turned out normal, except for the fact that I had an abnormal amount of urine in my bladder. I have battled kidney stones and infections for years now, but after this, my doctor began to become concerned. So I was sent to a urologist and testing. They determined that there is an extreme amount of blood in my urine. Looking back over my records, there has always been blood in my urine. Every time it was chalked up to the fact that I had a kidney stone and pain when my urine was tested. But now, it was raising concern as it was a pattern that before had gone unnoticed.
I am still going through testing. My bladder is three times normal size. It is severely inflamed inside and bleeding. I am having constant bladder and kidney pain, which is abnormal. At first they dismissed the idea of cancer because they said I’m too young. But now, as all other possible causes are being ruled out, it is becoming more likely.
To say I am terrified would be an understatement. The irony of all of it is that for the past couple of years I have fought so hard to control the BPD. I have fought to keep myself alive. I have fought against the pull of the abyss. I have fought to create a better life for myself. I thought BPD would be my life’s greatest battle. But in this, I am powerless. I fought to keep myself alive against myself. But I may be facing down a battle that I have no control over. I might have to fight against unseen forces that I can’t quantify or explain. I am scared. I am lost. I am at a loss for words.
Pinky Swear (Photo credit: The Kozy Shack)
I have recently found myself reflecting a lot on the last year. In all honesty, it has been the most challenging path I have yet had to venture down. This time last year, I was deep in the throes of an emotional abyss. I was struggling to find an identity. To find a purpose for my life. I was lost in a world in which not many people can find you. I did not even know if I wanted to be found. I was crying out for help that did not come at the time. From there it only got worse. My ex leaving me in the manner that she did, shattered any grasp I had on my life. I was broken. A shell of myself. And I continued to spiral down. I was beyond lost. And I am too stubborn, or proud, to truly ask for help. I have an innate belief that I can heal myself. That I can maintain control over the demons inside of me. I lie to myself. And, by many accounts, I failed. I never wanted to see tomorrow. I never thought that it would get better. I gave up on everything in this life that I had ever believed in. Including myself. And I found out the true extent of my disorder. And the deep places that it can take me if I allow it. The scars on my arms are fading. But the memory remains as clear as ever. I remember. Everything.
To this day, it terrifies me to think of the depths of my emotions. And where they can lead me. But I am still here. I am a different person then I was 7 months ago. To say that my life has changed over the course of the last year would be an understatement. I have grown. I have learned. I have begun to build a foundation on the solid rock bottom that I never thought I would escape. I still struggle. I still fight my impulsive true nature. I cry. I battle against myself. I battle with myself. I know the darkness that can consume me. And I understand that the darkness is still inside of me. But I am here. And I know that there are several reasons for that. It cannot be attributed to just one thing. And one of those factors was this place. This blog.
Whoever may be reading this, I want to take a moment to thank you. Yeah, you. I probably don’t know you. I may never know your name or meet you in person. But you’ve read my blog regardless. And because of that I feel the faintest connection with you. In this place I have found solace, and I needed that more than I ever knew. Maybe no one is really reading this, but I will put my faith in the belief that someone is. That even just one person out there cares. And whoever you may be, you played a part in saving me. Just by existing. And for that, I will always be grateful.
I am not “cured”. I never will be. I will still stumble. I will lose battles within myself. But I will continue to fight. So thank you for providing me with one more reason to. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Never give up on me. And I promise to never give up on you. I’ll even pinkie promise if you want.
I don’t usually talk about my medications. To anyone really. Except the people absolutely closest to me. Because, while I have become pretty good at taking my meds, I do sometimes falter and I need someone keeping me on track. But even my best friends only know that I take “meds”. They don’t know their specific names or what they are for. I just refer to them as “meds” in the most generic sense. But today, well today I feel like talking about them.
People have tried to get me on one medication or another since I was 18. I can’t even remember what they had me on back then because I would only take the pills for a couple days and then stop. I didn’t think I needed to be on medication. I had the notion that I could handle things on my own and didn’t need to be medicated. Then three years ago everything in my world changed. It started with OCD. I became terrified of germs. And it kind of just grew over time. I had to carry hand sanitizer everywhere I went. My hands were raw from me using it so much. And then I couldn’t touch anything for fear of what germs may be there. I would have to sanitize my entire workspace every morning. I didn’t want to go out anywhere because I was scared of the germs that I might pick up. I didn’t want to eat at any restaurants because I was scared I would get food poisoning. The fear consumed me. And I couldn’t control it on my own. It just kept getting worse. And people would of course notice it. And sometimes they made it worse too. Someone would say, “So you’re scared of this, but why aren’t you worried about xxxx?”. And then all of a sudden, I’d be scared of xxxx too. I couldn’t function. So I knew I needed something to help because it was getting out of my control. And that’s where I believe my journey truly started.
I’ve been on medications solidly for the last three years. Not the same ones or the same doses. But the entire time I’ve been on something. It started with Paxil. That stuff was just absolutely no good for me. I became extremely depressed after a couple weeks on it. To the point where I couldn’t even get out of bed to go to work. And that’s not me. I’ve always had pride in myself that I could get up in the morning and be responsible and go to work. It’s a small feat, I know. And most people don’t think it’s an accomplishment to just get out of bed in the morning. But for me, it was everything. It meant that, for that day, I beat the depression and emotional angst that was begging me to just curl in a ball and stay in bed all day. But on that medication, I was completely defeated. I had no drive or motivation for anything. So after only two weeks on they immediately took me off it. Then came Effexor. Which I was on for two years. And it helped with the anxiety. I could function again in that basic sense. But I was still constantly in emotional upheaval. I realize now that the OCD was a manifestation of me needing to be able to control something in my life. Because I have never been able to control my emotions or impulses. And the OCD was my way of dealing with that. But I always just thought my emotions were normal. I had never known any different. But my doctor noticed. And she wanted to get me more help then she could provide. Enter my psychiatrist. I have seen countless psychiatrists and therapists in my life. But the difference was that this time, I listened. He immediately put me on Seroquel and changed my Effexor prescription to Pristiq. So I’ve been on that combination for the last year. At first it was rough. I was not really myself at the beginning of taking Seroquel. I literally didn’t care about anyone or anything. I feel sorry for what I put my friends and loved ones through during that time. But I also couldn’t help it. It was my brain adjusting to new meds.
But I rode it out. And here I am. We just recently upped my dosage of Seroquel and I am really happy we did that. For the first time in a really long time I feel…..good. And it’s a constant feeling. Situations happen where I know how I want to react or how I would have reacted in the past, but I have much better control over my emotions. It is not such a rollercoaster in my life at the moment. I am much closer to being the even keeled person that I want to be. Yes, sometimes I can be a “zombie” from my medication. My girlfriend hates it. She says that for those moments she loses me. But for me, it feels amazing just to be able to handle my emotions. I’m not at such extremes all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still definitely have my moments. It’s not like the meds take everything away and make me all better. They just allow me to be able to deal with things better then I could without them. They don’t necessarily make me happy, they just dull the pain of all the negative emotions for the most part. And with the absence of such constant extreme emotions, I find peace. I am able to breathe. It’s nice to be able to breathe.