Saturday, 10 November 2018

Hello there beautiful!


Things have been going quite well since we last spoke. My Pdoc and I decided it was time to cut the lithium completely. It took an adjustment period, but I have now settled back into it and feel much better. No longer do I shake or vomit - hurrah!

On the flip side, I have been so busy with school and 2 jobs that I am running around playing catch up, especially with my sleep. Given the season change, a mood change was also bound to come. It seems that seasonal affective disorder is closely linked with bipolar patients, kinda makes sense. Some days I'm waking up at 4am, others I'm not falling asleep till 4am and finding myself sleeping till late in the afternoon.

Now that we have the bipolar under control and safely managed (almost 2 freaking awesome years without a major episode), its come to light that I might still be dealing with past trauma. We have come to this conclusion mostly because of the nightmares, but also just that it plays on my head from time to time and gives me an uneasy feeling. To combat this, we have decided to try out a PTSD medication.  The medication is called Prazosin. I've done some research and from what I can see there as much less severe side effects than some of the other meds I have tried. We're going to give it a bash starting December time, so expect a report back. Now that I'm on a lesser cocktail and intensity of meds it feels safe enough to try something else out. The nightmares and terrors are just too much.

I hope you are keeping well. If you have any feedback on Prazosin, please let me know. I'd really appreciate it.

Love xo

Thursday, 13 September 2018

This one's for you. .

So I wrote this poem around 6 years ago and it just popped back into my mind after an inspirational day of classes. I've never shared my poetry with anyone in my whole life, so go easy on me haha. . .

I think she's an angel, the best of a dream
A life so selfless, she is pure, she is clean

There was never an obstacle, no step too tall
The ups and the downs, she handled them all

With love in her stride and pride in her heart
She put me together, with all the best parts

For that, I live indebted to her
My hero, my muse, my voice from above

Love you Mumma bear xo

Thursday, 30 August 2018

What did I do?

It's all bloody swings and roundabouts isn't it?

One minute I'm grand, the next minute there's a change in the winds.

Looking back, it was probably not the best idea to change my meds during such a long, and somewhat tiring trip. It was probably not the best idea for me to further that change. Actually, it was not at all.

I started going up again, and then up some more, and then of course comes the crash.

I'm going to start by admitting that I'm not 'depressed', as I've known it in the past. I'm not rushing to the worst thought or feeling bad about myself. What I am is super exhausted, lethargic, tired, pooped, whatever you want to call it.

Over the course of a week, I threw up 3 times.

Now, there could be a fair reason for this. When I tapered off my lithium, and then soon realized that it wasn't working for me, I started taking the lithium again. Maybe the change of salts in my system made for the sickness? Also, lithium gives me the dry heaves in the first place, so it could be that.

I dunno.

Lithium daydreams maybe, lithium nightmares?


Hope you are well!

Love xo

Friday, 10 August 2018

Changing meds

Sooooo. Things are looking up.

I have always felt that I was on too much medication, come on, you saw the script. . .

Recently my psychiatrist and I have decided it best that I cut down my lithium intake. We came down 300mg, leaving me at 900mg.

Happy Days!!

I started to feel like I had more energy. Not hypomanic, just not droned out, you know? In terms of side effects, my shakes have gotten less intense, I haven't been dry gagging as much. I feel genuinely better for it.

So I was a cheeky wee rascal and came down another little bit. So far so good.  I happen to meet with Mr Psych in a few weeks, so we will be able to tell by then if its a good or bad result.

Oh well.

I just came back from an amazing trip with my family in Florida. I really needed the break, work(s) had gotten too stressful and I could feel my mood slipping. . . Ugh. But a wee bit of R&R, family love and Disney magic sorted that right out. I'll pop some photos up soon!

I hope you are doing well. I do aim to write some more soon, I promise.

Love xo

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Please help Sandy the Chiweenie

Sandy the Chiweenie is the sunshine in my life. A little doggo that just keeps giving. Sadly, she has had to undergo some serious dental surgery, leaving her 17 teeth less. The vet said she done great, and we are all anticipating a speedy recovery. Unfortunately however, I am struggling to pay the vet bill in full, and because of this I have set up a GoFundMe page.

I hate to ask for help or bother anyone, but a dollar, a pound, a well wish or positive thought would be greatly appreciated. <3

You can donate to Sandy's cause by clicking here.

Thank you so much

Love xo

Sunday, 13 May 2018

A long overdue check in


It's been a while. My last check in post I wasn't doing too well with the re-adjustment to school life. I got back into the swing of it, and then out of nowhere I had another low. A few days later however, I got the toothache. It was wretched. I was given antibiotics and pain killers, and it seemed to subside. My mood got back on track - well, a little off from the meds. Last week, my bad mood came back again, and I got the toothache AGAIN. It seems my body is fighting the infection and its having a detrimental effect on my mood.

I kinda stumbled through this semester. I didn't have high hopes for my grades by the end of it. Buuuut, you know what they say? C's get degrees! haha I got a B,C & C+. I'm not overly thrilled, but I also didn't put that much into it, so it's my own fault of sorts. I'm starting to question my motives with school. I wanted to learn as much as I could about mental health and disorders, but the idea of chasing a degree isn't something I set out to do. Maybe ill just finish up with these classes for now.

Besides that things have been hunky dory. I'm tired a lot of late, but that's mainly because I picked up a second job. I'm working at the liquor store at the hotel I also happen to work at. It makes for a lot of time in the one building, but what the hell, I won't be complaining when I'm sunning myself in the Caribbean come summer.

 My wee mumma comes to visit me in a couple days, so I am super stoked for that. Mumma time. My friend Kate gets married next weekend too, i'm so excited. The taste of summer is in the air and it is just delightful! I hope everyone had a lovely mothers day. Posting this pic in honour of my favourite human in the world. Love you mumma bear <3

 I better get back to work. 

Take care xo

Friday, 2 March 2018

That trip to the psych ward

When I was first diagnosed bipolar, it followed a serious stay in the local psych ward. I was referred to the mental health hospital by my doctor, whom after listening to me rant on about god and the devil, saw something alarming. I didn't quite care for the concern, I thought I was just fine. Magical and mystical, but fine. My behaviours didn't quite get the memo and I began to spin even more out of control.

My mind was awol.

A couple months later, I received a phone call from a man called Andrew. He was my assigned case worker. I assured him that everything was fine and I didn't need psychiatric help.

I lied.

I don't know when it happened but all of a sudden I was staring at my life and realized something was wrong. I called him back, threw my hands in the air and asked for help.

On our first meeting, although much better than previous months, I was still notably in psychosis. Andrews concern grew for me and he asked if I would approve of a visit to PES (psychiatric emergency services). I agreed and we walked over to the ward together.

I had been in a psych ward before but nothing prepared me for this. This was the realization that something was seriously wrong. This was my awakening moment.

I got signed in and sat chatting with Andrew for a while. I was made aware that under the mental health act I was not able to leave the ward of my own doing and if I tried, I would be escorted back by police officers.

Terrified wasn't even the word.

Screams echoed down the halls. One poor soul was standing banging his head against the wall.

There were chairs set up, reminiscent of the game 'musical chairs'. This was where we were expected to sit all day and sleep all night, broken up by plastic trays of hospital food and meetings with psychiatrists.

I was calm and collected when speaking to the psychiatrist. My biggest worry was what had went on in the months leading to now. In those months I was deep in psychosis. I would wake in the middle of the night and follow voices, fully clothed into the ocean. I would stand on rooftops conversing with the angels, ready to take flight. I, for want of a better phrase, had completely lost it.

But now I was more aware. I knew these things were wrong but there were also some residual thoughts and behaviours, lingering, waiting to be full blown episodes.

I must have seemed sheepish because one of the nurses asked me if I wanted a private room. I gladly accepted. I needed away from that room. That room.

After more chats with the psychiatrist, I was given a bunch of pills and sent to bed.

The next day, feeling somewhat clearer, I asked for a book. I don't know if this was a first for them, but they seemed stumped. I needed to focus on something that wasn't this hospital, and luckily a staff member had a book to spare. They probably didn't think about the potential psychotic episode that would arise from a book entitled 'The oracle of delphi', but it happened. I started to believe I was mystical again, that there was no such thing as mental health, but instead those that can see, hear and talk to different frequencies. The gifted.

I dare not tell my psychiatrists about my powers. I kept that to myself, all the while smirking like the cat whos got the cream.

I was soon released from the ward with a prescription for risperidone and some anti anxiety that I can't quite remember now.

Within days my psychotic tendencies were minimal and I was able to regain clarity. I no longer believed I was special, but I did realise that something needed attention. From then on I continued appointments with my case worker, my psychiatrist and my counselor. In the months to come I was given a diagnosis and since then I have been working to manage and accept that diagnosis. Four years later and I am doing so well I cannot believe. Things have come together in the past year and I feel like I am finally getting me back. Psychosis is a bitch, it takes everything from you and I can only hope I don't return to that state of mind.

Although I was scared by the whole experience, I still count PES as my back up plan. The staff were great, even if the setup is a bit dated. I have been back there since and will continue to do so when needed.

Love xo

Sunday, 25 February 2018

First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness

Recently in my Health & Wellness Potential class we have been discussing perspectives and models of wellness. I came across the First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness, and I find it to be a really interesting and holistic approach to wellness.

  • The inner circle represents the human beings responsibility for their own health and wellness - it begins with us.
  • The second circle illustrates the importance of Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Physical facets of a healthy, well, and balanced life. It is critically important that there is balance between these aspects of wellness and that they are all nurtured together to create a holistic level of well-being in which all four areas are strong and healthy. 
  • The third circle represents values that support wellness, these are: Respect, Wisdom, Responsibility & Relationships. 
  • The fourth circle depicts the people that surround us and the places from which we come. Nations, Family, Community and Land are crucial components of our healthy experience.
  • The fifth and final circle represents the Social, Cultural, Economic and Environmental aspects of our health and well-being.

I found this to be a great and cohesive way to look at wellness. I really can learn a lot from this model, and hope to use it in my self care strategies. Taking responsibility is the very first step and I can safely say I am trying to do just that. Finding balance within mental, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of my life is a task to say the least. I am currently working on an exercise and nutrition plan, tracking my food, physical activity, alcohol and cigarette intake. It's giving me a clear view of my habits and allowing me to tweak where necessary. I've set myself goals in these area's, so hopefully sometime soon I will get to habits I am happy with. I feel that my emotional and mental states are somewhat balanced - with the help of meds haha, but still. That just leaves the spiritual side of things, something I am intrigued to pursue. I have held off on anything spiritual mostly because my psychosis had a strong religious theme, and I am admittedly scared of dabbling too much, but I think its time. I definitely believe in a higher power I just have to educate myself in different faiths and religions and focus my values. Easy right?  

There are many more aspects to look at in health and wellness, but for now I think I am on the right track.

Love xo

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The ups and downs of school life

I am so excited that the semester has started once again.It's nice to have something to focus on, but I’ve quickly found my pitfalls.

The semester started off well, I was comfortable with my classes, engaged by the content and excited to learn. Last week I began nearing my first midterm and I could feel myself become anxious. I didn’t quite account for the adjustment period after having 3 months off of work and school. My sleep wake schedule seemed out of whack and my eating habits changed. I took myself straight to the doctors who gave me sleeping tablets and ordered a week off school.

I’m feeling better now but wow did that scare me. I could see an episode before my eyes.

A year without this illness and I’m still scared of coming down.

Anyway, I’m feeling much better now, it has passed. Phew!

Love xo

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The post-it note of my 20's.

Turning 30 is seen as a big milestone. I thought it would be all doom and gloom, but I am really looking forward to this new chapter in my life. Why not? I am stable, have a good lifestyle and I am working toward my dreams.

If this is not my year I don't know when is.

On that note, looking back, its amazing how our dreams evolve and grow. When I was in my early 20's my biggest dreams were to get qualifications, maintain a good career and immigrate to a new country. To travel, explore and love.... actually now that I write it down, maybe my dreams haven't progressed that far at all haha. I'm gonna be in my 30's, still studying, have a new found love for travelling (now that I am stable) and still have an urge to explore and love. . .I just maybe need to find my love for hospitality again, or change industries. .

This all sounds amazing to me. The past few years have been utterly consumed by psychosis and bipolar. I feel like I'm turning 21 all over again. This time, admittedly, not that wild.

My 20's were a whirlwind. My bipolar was noticeable, as was I. I was the life and soul of the party, always getting into mischief and just generally making poor choices. Most of the time I could knock it down to 'being in my early 20's.  Now, not so much.

Don't get me wrong, I worked hard. I usually held down 2 jobs and for a couple of years also went to school full time. I always found time to party, but then again, I'd always find time to lock the doors, close the blinds, cry and bleed. In hindsight, I was unstable.

No matter what battle I was fighting I accomplished my dreams. I got those qualifications, I built a career, I immigrated, I traveled, I explored and I fell in love.

If that's what the next 10 years has in store for me then fucking BRING IT. Lets get more qualifications, lets start new jobs, lets write, lets go to New York, the Caribbean, buy a motor home, explore and love. Love more than ever, because for the first time, I am ready for it. I have grown to accept myself including my flaws, I have chosen to forgive, slow down and enjoy. I have decided to continue my journey and further my dreams.

Yaaaay 30!!

Thank you every single person who has read a blog post, a Twitter update or an Instagram. You guys rock so much. It makes me smile everyday that someone even reads my pish. I love you <3