Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bigger than us

I just want you to remember that I'm telling this story from the view point of two days later, so there's a lot interjected that I am able to add now that I know all of it.

Stephen had a psychotic breakdown on Tuesday.

He said he had vivid dreams that felt so real! he could feel the blood pouring down his veins and he wanted to rip them out (or at least that's how he described it to me).

He had been prescribed some antidepressants last Wednesday and started them on Thursday. This is not to say that the fault lies in that of the medication, really; there was a lot more there than we could see. I say this to highlight the fact that he knew he needed something more than how he'd been surviving up until now.

Brandy, I wish I had taken your observations as something bigger and I feel that I should have looked at it as such. Instead, I thought it was just something that would pass, something that I thought could be helped once he settled in; some fleeting byproduct.

I was never more wrong in my life.

Your observations were a sign of what was breaking down, of things to come... and I couldn't see it getting to where it has gotten now.

So, after much talking late Tuesday night, Tracy and I decided that we needed to present him with the option of checking himself in, of having himself committed.

When she did so Wednesday morning, he decided that this would be the best choice and that he had one of two choices... and he chose to battle. He was scared and he wanted something to change because what he was trying on his own wasn't working.

In short, he asked Tracy to drive him to the ER to get help. 

I think that's huge.

He's been battling depression since he was a teenager and had tried 2 other medications prior to this one, neither of which worked for him. His getting on antidepressants seemed like a huge step this time around. He was willing to accept that antidepressants had changed since way back when and so he tried a new one. Unfortunately, I feel, the time to only do that much for his mental health had passed.

The other factors that may or may not have lead him to this are unimportant to this post. Really, we'll never really know why it happened like it did so I don't see the point in driving myself nutty over all of it. The point is that he's where he is now and he made the decision to hold on a bit longer to try to look for better answers.

So you know, Stephen was placed on suicide watch for 72 hours as of 17:09 Wednesday evening in the psych ward of a local hospital. It is currently 01:28 on Friday and he will remain in the hospital until Saturday evening. The doctors are looking into other medications just to be sure but they don't feel that the medication really could have been the whole of the making of this. They've also advised him to check himself into an intensive psychiatric outpatient program. That... seems to very likely be where he'll end up after this. Quite. 

Me? I'm just sort of... thankful? he wanted to try these other options ... and also sort of numb... and shocked... but overall glad that he decided that he didn't want to be where he currently is mentally.

But really... I just want to use all that has brought me to where I am in my life to enable him to get to somewhere better than his "here." I've been there. I've survived this. I believe he can, too.

I believe in him.

And I feel like I'm breaking up
But I wanted to stay.
Headlights on the hillside
Don't take me this way.
I don't want you to hold me
I want you to pray,

'Cause it's bigger than us.

Lyrics and images from White Lies "Bigger Than Us"

***So, sue me for the dramatic images! This song just won't stay out of my head... and I kind of love the images in the video... which, also, Stephen loves, too. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Here we go with the suicide topic again.

It's been kind of big in my life as of late. No, I don't mean me.

I wish I could tell you that it's something we had an answer for. I wish someone could tell me that there were answers for it. But there isn't.

All I know is that sometimes you can't save someone from themselves no matter how much support they have. Sometimes being there for that person, letting them know how much you love them, or how much you listen and try to guide them just isn't enough for them. All we can do is hope that the message gets through and that it's enough for them to keep up the battle to find the light they're not seeing.

It's scary. Even knowing all this, it's more than I can bear.

We always end up asking ourselves, is this something that I could have helped with? Unfortunately, the answer isn't always yes.

Nothing new, right?

I guess mainly I had to write this for me so that I can work through everything in my head in a sort of... logical way. It helps when I write. I may not come up with any answers and it may not help me feel happy again but it does help put it into perspective, I guess.

However, I have to remember that sometimes we are enough... friends, family, our support group... sometimes it does make a world of difference. Right now, I just hope it's enough.

Good luck out there guys. Life is brutal.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Today in Ceci's world, I'm trying to get everything in order for a course I will be teaching in the fall at the university.

That's right, I will be an instructor for a course on information literacy and critical thinking through the College of Communication and Information.

I never thought I'd be asked to be an instructor, really, and this sort of just fell into my lap. Having the time and trying to gain experience in more than... well, more than what I have experience in (which is actually a lot of miscellaneous things)... I decided, Sure! Why not?? 

Well, it's a face-to-face class that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays and starts the day after I get back from London.


Soooooo this girl has to be ready to hit the ground running on the 24th of August for something she's never done before. I have to be able to stand up in front of a class of 18- to 20-year-olds and teach them stuff. Also, lecture them about something... and figure out a way to spend about an hour?? doing this. I guess there should likely be some discussion in there somewhere. Or not. I mean... it's my class, right???? heh.

Bizarre, no?

Well, at least that's how it seems to me. Bizarre because a lot of the time I don't know how I end up where I end up. Things just sort of... happen!

Hey, look! The girl who just kind of Lifes is teaching a course at a university!

I guess this blog that's currently been about mental health and my writing is now going to add a bit on my adventures in teaching.

This... should be interesting.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

 Here's to nights like this during the past 10 years.
Ten years ago I started this blog as The Bride. I started it because, despite it being my second marriage, I was going to have a wedding. Like... get-a-dress-and-book-the-reception-hall wedding. Never thought I'd do that. In fact, I never thought I'd be a bride in that sense, or a bride at all again after the first marriage. So the blog was to sort of chart my way through it.

Well, guess what? That marriage didn't last. Ten years together (funny, that), 2 of them married, and it didn't last. As the couples therapist put it, we all change every 5-7 years (give or take) and sometimes we don't change in the same ways. So that's what happened, the ex and I could no longer communicate; our boy and girl Legos no longer fit. The therapist pointed out that we had had a good run - 10 years was a good run, really. We just had to look at it as a new phase that we can't move forward to together. That actually made sense to me and still makes sense. We evolve and hopefully for the better. 5-7 years is forever for the person that you were at that time. So that's what happened to The Bride.

Tracy and I decided that the definition of forever should be changed in the dictionary:

forever |fəˈrevəradverbA period of 5-7 years: she would love him forever.• a very long time

A little less than a year after I started The Bride (but before the end of the second marriage), I changed the name to its current one. I believe it was during the Exile that the blog changed... because times had changed. I was traveling a lot, I had gotten myself into a very sticky situation (that is quite the understatement), and I was moving from Long Beach, California to Portland, Oregon. Life was... everything. This was also pre-diagnosis so things were quite amped.

I wrote about dark times, wonderous wandering, new adventures, and interesting/exciting things.

Then... there was a long darkness. Then a mad shake up during the dissolution of my second marriage and moving across the country to Lexington, Kentucky.

I read a lot during this time. Call it escapism

Then... then... well, I guess I just didn't know what to do with this blog.

Now it's sort of where I post about Bipolar Disorder and other mental health stuff. Some of it has to do with the novel I'm writing and some of it has to do with writing about my own struggles in order to be honest and open with it. I try to advocate for the... destigmatization of mental illness. I mean... as I've often said, it shouldn't be any different than anything else that affects a person; heart condition, diabetes, etc. There are things in our bodies that don't always work like they should so we have to do things to make it right... or at least make it something that doesn't impede our living. You know?

I think it's necessary to write about my ups and downs with Bipolar Disorder. However, I really miss the adventurous, funny, and surreal life. Perhaps I need to get back to that because this... what's going on here in my head and having to put myself back into the Bipolar mode to write the main character in the book... it's not helping. I have to remember the words of Saul Bellow:

"Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is." 

Let's see what the next 10 years brings us, shall we?