Thursday, February 19, 2015

On Autopilot And Faltering

I turn today's post to my own personal life in the last few days. I realize that this page is about schizophrenia but it is also really about the larger picture of mental illness. That is why I often choose to include my own struggles with my bipolar because a complete picture of a family living with mental illness is worth a post or two here or there.

Perhaps you didn't notice and if you didn't that's good in some ways, but I have left this page on autopilot for a couple of days. I know the articles that you all appreciate have dropped off and even my daily personal postings are sporadic. All of that is indicative of my very own brain lately.

Somehow this year, as opposed to years in the past where this blog is concerned, I am really struggling maintaining it. Part of it, of course, is that Thomas is doing well so there isn't a lot to write about where he is concerned. He has a few hiccups here and there but for the most part he's cruising along pretty nicely. The other day when we were moving my mom to her new house Thomas did experience some paranoia and I was proud of him when he came home and he put his "schizophrenic buckets" (that Dr. K. designed) to good use. He wrote down his paranoid thought and a challenge for it and there it sits, a lone 3x5 card in his blue schizophrenic bucket. He has therapy today so I know he'll be toting the bucket into Dr. K.'s for them to review together. My own personal thought on his "schizophrenic thought" was that it was pretty harmless, a flash of paranoia that lasted maybe a couple of hours, and he didn't let it slow him down. It should be in the bucket, perhaps more because the buckets haven't been used at all and they need a little love, but more than anything it shows that he was aware of the paranoid thought and he figured out for himself that it was just that.

A thought.

I turn now, though, to my own personal life. Many of you have said that you want to know about my life just because you have come to know myself and Thomas intimately and you care about what we both deal with. The truth of the matter is, right now I am really struggling with my bipolar. Or, perhaps, it's grief. Or perhaps it's physical. I don't know really for sure because it's all just a jumbled mess inside of me and it's overloading my brain.

The best way to describe what's going on in my brain right now is that there is a combination of racing thoughts, an inability to put a plan into action, some depression and a huge lack of motivation. What's difficult to deal with it allowing the racing thoughts to reside in a depressed, unmotivated brain. Imagine a game of tug o' war. One side says,


and the other side says,

"I. can't. move. from. this. place. I. am. rooted. in.

It's a very draining experience and worse still is that intellectually I know all of this is going on but I can't get my intellect and my emotions to line up.

All of that I am pinning on my bipolar.

Then there is the grief. So many people feel like, given enough time, that a person should let go of their grief over the loss of a loved one and that there is a time to move on. I can't seem to do that. On the 28th of this month will be exactly one year since my dad died. I know one year is a long time in the scheme of things but for me, the day he died, the finding him laying there in his bed dead, the dealing with the coroner, having to make ALL the calls to EVERYONE that he had died, and most importantly the night I spent with my mom the night my dad died where I laid next to her in her bed as she cried uncontrollably and I begged God to help me, repeating over and over to myself,
"I am only one person. Please God, help me help her."

That day could have been yesterday for me and now here I am approaching THE DATE that I lost my dad and it's all fresh all over again. So there's that. Grief and bipolar all jumbled together.

Making matters worse is my new exercise obsession. It's fantastic to want to be in shape and lose weight but it turns nasty when someone does what I have been doing. I walk between 6 and 8 miles a day for 2 hours at a time. At about mile 4 my feet begin to hurt, feeling like someone is shoving razor blades up through the bottom of my feet. My knee is in excruciating pain and barely supports my weight and yet somehow I go on to complete my full 6-8 miles. I have a problem, I know. I know I need to listen to my body and put a stop to my walking when the pain arrives but I don't and I don't know why. My psychiatrist says that it's because exercise is the only thing in my life that I feel I can control so that has become my sole focus.

I think she's right.

My brain's betraying me, I'm missing my dad and having PTSD about the day he died, I've always got an eagle eye on Thomas never sure when his illness is going to reclaim him and my everyday life is chaos. OF COURSE I NEED TO BE ABLE TO CONTROL SOMETHING. The problem is, I am "controlling myself" right into the ground. I am in constant physical and emotional pain and I am EXHAUSTED. I texted my mom the other day and I told her that I was just plain done with life. It's not that I'm suicidal,

I'm just DONE.

As such, and I bring us full circle here, my blog suffers a great deal as a result. It pains me because doing what I do here is my passion. I never want to lose sight of my mission here. I am proud of what I do and I love my community, all of you who support me. Managing it, though, is almost insurmountable right now.

So, as I have in the past, I will do it now, I am asking that you guys hang in here with me until I get a grip on my life. I don't know how I will or when it'll happen but I can promise you that this blog is never far from my mind and I intend to return in full glory sometime, hopefully sooner than later.
Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time today to read this. You guys are so much a part of my life and I feel like at least some of your care about the 360 degree view of it. We aren't just caregivers and loved ones for someone with schizophrenia, we are also just ourselves, often struggling, but always working to move forward. That is all I am trying to do right now.

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