Tag Archives: help

a promise broken.

He vowed to love her. For better or worse. For rich or poor. To love her to the best of his ability for not only the rest of her life, but for the remainder of his as well. He promised to cherish her. But the reality, he is a promise broken.

One of the only ways I can explain what is inside of me is to say that it is an abyss. A swirling mass of emotions that sometimes rages. Sometimes calms. Sometimes swirls along at the bottom of my consciousness. And then soars to the very top of me. Covering every inch. Sometimes I stare down into the abyss. Standing at the very edge with my tiptoes on the ledge. And I look down into the emptiness and nothingness that is at the core of me. Sometimes it takes everything I have to not just jump in and finally allow the darkness to take me. Because it beckons me. Calls my name. Now the little girl that I used to chase around the house to hear her laughter. The little girl that I have shared every secret with, every smile, every tear, every hope and dream with, is staring into that same abyss within herself. And I do not know if I can stop her from creeping to the edge.
I don’t think she even truly understands what is happening. This is a new feeling for her. I know the abyss well. And while she has not had an easy life by a long shot, she has never faced the strength of that pull into darkness. To just succumb to the emptiness. She does not know what awaits at the bottom. I made my own promise to her long ago. I promised to always protect her. But now, I do not know if I can keep that promise. It is out of my hands. And I do not want to become yet another promise broken.

Last night I went over to spend time with my sister and niece and nephew. It was supposed to be an escape for both of us. An escape for me from the health issues that I have been struggling with lately. And a chance for her to get some help with the kids so she could get a couple moments to breathe. It turned into a nightmare.

My sister and her mom got into a screaming match. They are both wrought with emotion and strung as tight as can be. My aunt (that’s what I call my sister’s mom) is scared out of her mind that my sister will return to my brother in law. She is scared that my sister is breaking down into nothing, and that there is nothing we can do. My sister, on the other hand, is shattered. On the brink of a complete nervous breakdown. Unaware of the true extent of her brokenness. And so both of them just exploded against each other. Taking all of those other emotions out on each other. My sister was drunk and continued to drink. My aunt left the house for hours. I tried to talk to my sister, as I took care of the kids, but she could hear nothing that I said. She is so consumed with wanting her “family” back that she cannot see anything else. It is almost as though she has not examined her face enough to see the bruises that still circle her eyes. The marks on her neck that are only just now beginning to fade. I want to scream at her, “Look in the mirror! Look a little closer! A little longer! Truly see what he did to you!” But it would be no use. She is beyond words at this point. She would not hear me even if she was looking into my eyes as I spoke. She is in denial. I know this. But she is also about to jump into the abyss. With pure abandon. With both feet. And she doesn’t even know it.

It breaks my heart. It has broken me. And my niece and nephew, I want to protect them as well. The first time I held my nephew in my arms, I whispered into his ear that I would protect and take care of him to the best of my ability for the rest of my life. And I did the same with my niece. But from this, I don’t know how to save them. Any of them. “Well baby, mommy is going crazy and no longer knows what way is up. Yes, mommy is crying all the time because she’s sad. Yes, mommy’s face is black and blue, but there is no bandaid that can fix it. No baby, daddy is not going to come home soon.” I do not want to be a promise broken. But I have no idea how to destroy the abyss. It lives within me. I don’t want it to live within them as well. I promised.

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evil among us.

December 21, 2012. That day has been talked about for years. Brought to mean the “end of the world”. Armageddon in the flesh. However, what I think the date represents is a change in our collective consciousness. A shift in how the world is viewed. The beginning of a new era if you will. And that belief is shared by many experts. The date was never meant to be the end of the world. Or some catastrophic event that would end us. It was to be the beginning of a new phase of life. I have struggled to find the answer as to what that might mean. Will people riot? Kill themselves believing that this is the end? What exactly is that day going to bring. Well, I think I have found the answer. Or at least, the explanation that makes sense in my mind.

On Friday, December 14, 2012, our nation was forever changed. For years we have watched news reports on senseless violence that has taken place in our schools. At our movie theaters. At our neighbor’s home. But we have never experienced the type of tragedy that occurred in Connecticut. The victims were the most innocent among us. Children. Babies in every right. And they were also the protectors of those children. The ones who gave up their lives in that moment to save the innocence of the ones who were able to escape. Shootings that have happened previously, we tried to find explanations. A reason for the madness. But there was no explanation for this. There will never be an explanation. But we, as a nation, have forever been altered because of it.

Yes, a lot of people will focus on gun laws. But that’s not really the key issue. At least not to me. What we need to focus on is mental health. The taboo subject that not many in society want to speak of. Or god forbid, deal with. But by all accounts, Adam Lanza, the face of evil that was encountered by too many in that small Connecticut town, had been dealing with a mental disorder his entire life. Maybe his mother had attempted to get him help. Maybe she had exhausted every avenue. But either way, that help never arrived. Hindsight is always 20/20 and we will hear news story after news story about how people always thought that something “wasn’t right” with him. That this event “wasn’t a surprise” given his history. But how about instead of looking back, we actually provided help to a person who truly needed it at the time they needed it. I’m not giving Adam an excuse for what he did. By no means. I truly believe he was an incarnation of the evil that exists in this world. But what if there was a chance that we could have steered him in a different direction? What if he could have been helped years ago? What if, if he was provided the help he almost assuredly needed, he never would have stormed into that elementary school on that day? Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. Maybe he always would have ended up in that direction and in that place. But what if?

For so long, mental health has been a stigma that people do not want to think about. If there is nothing wrong with them, they don’t want to face the fact that there are many out there who are not okay. Not all who have a mental disorder are violent. We are not all demons. We are not all evil. I do not know if Adam Lanza could have been stopped. I do not know if the shooter at the movie theater could have been stopped. I do not know if they had been provided therapy or medication, if it would have stopped those events from happening. But what I do know is that medication has saved me. Saved me from myself. I was never a danger to others. Never. But I was a danger to myself. And now that aspect of myself has dimmed. Oh it is still there. It lurks in my subconscious. In my thoughts. In my dreams. But it is not at the forefront of my mind. I can make it through a day without feeling like I am going to drown in the world around me. I believe in the thought of tomorrow. I believe that I deserve a tomorrow. Which is something that for so long, I didn’t believe in. So if I was helped, maybe they could have been too. If nothing else, it is a topic that needs to be talked about. We have seen for too long what happens when we don’t talk about it. When we try and convince ourselves that people will be able to figure it out on their own. Or that each person is solely responsible for themselves and no one else. Because the actions of these people affects all of us. I cannot imagine what those parents and loved ones are going through. I cannot even begin to imagine what I would feel like if it was me. If I was having to bury my nephew or my niece. It’s unimaginable. Maybe providing mental health services to more people wouldn’t help at all. Maybe it would do absolutely nothing to solve the problem. But maybe it would. Maybe it would make a difference. And if there is a chance, as remote as it might be, that these events could be prevented then I think it is worth it to explore.

Maybe December 21, 2012 is the date in which we realize that we are all in this together. That, as a nation, we are only as strong as the weakest among us. Because the truth is, we are. As much as we don’t like to think about it, it is reality. And it is something we need to start talking about. This is the real world in which we live in. The world in which our children will grow up in. This is our “next phase of life”. And it’s about time we start making sure it’s a better one than the one we currently have. Our nation is broken. But everything that is broken can be fixed. At least that is what I was told. I’m not fixed, but I’m a lot closer than I was yesterday. We cannot change overnight. It can never work that way. But we can all take the first step. Together.


medications.

EFFEXOR XR®

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.