The (Brutally) Honest Truth About Depression

July 3, 2016 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: mental health 0 Comments

she’s a bitch.

she will creep up on you out of nowhere and silently. she will hide behind the amazing moments you live for, waiting to strike.

she will follow you around, making you second guess every move you make. she’s waiting and watching and ready to strike when you least expect it.

she will leave you broken. she will leave you crushed. she will attack and tell you things you may begin to believe. she’s left me broken. shattered. she’s left me unable to eat. unable to sleep. unable to get out of bed. she’s left me in the dark, wondering why i am still here.

even with medication and therapy, she’s still there. waiting. watching.

sometimes you just have to wait for it to pass, holding onto your friends and family. sometimes you brave the storm alone, one breath, one step at a time. each storm that passes, you come out a little higher than you did before, piecing the pieces back together.

it takes time. she will rear her ugly head again and again. you’ll feel the storm pushing you back, drowning you but you fight, you push against the wind, you get through the tears, the nightmares. you want to give up, to give in, but you don’t.

some days are harder than others, but you’ve made it this far already.

let her rear her ugly head. let the depression be the bitch she is, but don’t give up.

don’t give up. ♥

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Keep the Faith: How a PCOS Group Saved my Life

July 2, 2016 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: health, Uncategorized 0 Comments

f85730b89d84c92fcefe4605d4a23549I was diagnosed with PCOS in September of 2015. It was eight months after I had been diagnosed with type two diabetes. Once again, I felt lost. I was scared. I was devastated. I felt like I was alone.

On top of all of that, I was told that becoming pregnant was something that would either not happen, or it would be very high risk (and the doctor who told me this, made it clear that it wasn’t the best option for me). Needless to say, by the time I got back into my car, I was a wreck.

For months, I had been staring at myself in the mirror – trying to figure out where this extra dark hair on my chin and neck were coming from. It was months of testing my blood sugar, taking medications and trying to hang in there.

I cried my entire way to work, cried at work and then cried even more when I got home from work. Eventually I calmed down and started searching for groups on Facebook. I was already in a few for chronic illnesses and spoonies, but now I needed to find a PCOS one that was right for me.

It was hard. There were so many of them. So freaking many.

A few hours later, I found myself reading up on a group called PCOS Positivity. I joined. I was hesitant to make that nerve wracking introduction post, but I did. I opened up and let these ladies into my life. I told them how lost I felt, how overwhelmed I was, that I wasn’t sure what to do, where to start or how to breathe through this new and scary diagnosis.

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In that group, I began to find myself. I had already been blogging about life and my health journey, but in this group, I was welcomed and I could share positive moments, welcome new members to the group, and grow into loving myself, encouraging others and seeing the love and positivity flourish in this group. I joined the group right in it’s infancy, and holy crap, we are now 6,000+ strong!

Let me tell you what this group has done for me:

The group has given me positive information about my diagnosis.

The group has welcomed me with open arms in one of the hardest times of my life (at that point in time, my life had become diagnosis after diagnosis).

The group challenged me to love myself, no matter how hard of a time I was having. These amazing ladies were always there for me.

I’ve met ladies I never would have met if I didn’t have this group, and so many of them have seen me at my worst, and my best.

I’ve seen the group grow, grow and grow some more. I’ve seen this group grow into a community of ladies who support each other, encourage each other and are there for each other.

I’ve seen how this group gathers around its members, spreading the love, opening up to the group about major life events or just when they really just need a friend.

I know that I am not alone in what this group has done for me. There’s thousands of us who call this group home, our family. There are thousands of us who found this group when they needed it. There are thousands of us who speak out about PCOS and raise awareness.

If I hadn’t found the group when I did, I don’t know where I would be today. It has had such an impact on my life and I’ve learned so much from it and the amazing ladies in the group. We’ve grown and grown and grown, we are entering a new phase and I cannot wait to continue to spread the love, positivity and inspiration that these ladies have given me.

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An Open Letter to Jeremy Camp: The Strength and Strain of Coming out

April 20, 2016 Katie A Uncategorized 0 Comments

(for those who don’t know, I was a moderator for Jeremy Camp on his message board. He is a Christian musician and I loved being able to support him, his music, message and other members on the board. This open letter chronicles my coming out experience)

“Several years ago, I was one of the few in my area who would attend every local show you did here. I was there at the first show in Rancho Cordova when the power blew, I was at the shows at the huge church in Roseville. My brother and I went to the shows together, he even took photos at the show at UC DAVIS and hung with you and the crew backstage.

These years and moments were a huge part of my life. I worked tirelessly to promote you and the events, to attend them, to share the word and your music with others.

Not only that, but I was also a moderator on the message board. I loved it. I loved being there as an inspiration, a supportive person and to encourage others. I had late nights shutting down the spammers, I worked with other admins to dissolve drama. I shared my story, my testimony and my struggles.

I truly felt welcome, loved and supported there.

That all changed in an instant.

I started seeing so much hate on the board toward the LGBT community. It was shocking. Appalling. It blew my mind. For a group that felt called to love and support others, these members were doing the exact opposite of that. Instead of embracing everyone as Christ had, they turned their backs and spewed hateful words towards the community.

It was a personal blow.

For weeks and months I struggled with this. I spent nights crying, days trying to find a way to avoid the hate yet still be a moderator. I tried to show that love, compassion and acceptance Christ had. I was one of the few who did.

Eventually, it came to a breaking point. These members needed to see that a gay person was not some kind of monster. They needed to see that people of the community were normal, loving people who led normal lives and worked with so many in various communities.

As one of the main moderators in the Sisters in Christ board, I chose to come out as lesbian.

I couldn’t stand seeing the hate these members were spreading. They had to see they were damaging one of their own, hurting me down to the bones.

I knew that the post would be hard to swallow for many. I knew I’d likely face backlash from it. But Jeremy, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. They needed to know that I’m a normal girl who loves Christ, who loves encouraging and helping others.

I posted it, and shortly after, signed offline for the night – partly out of anxiety and because I’ve always struggled with chronic illness. I took a deep breath and knew that I had done what is best for me. I had to do this.

By morning… I woke and all hell had broken lose. While I had a few long time friends on the board supporting me, encouraging me and letting me know that while they didn’t agree with my “lifestyle”, they still cared about me.

Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good.

Members of the message board started to harass me. I was threatened. I was told that because I was gay, I was going to go to hell. I was told that I could be stoned to death because I am gay.

Worse?

Worse was members of the admin and staff team lying to me. They told me they had sent an email explaining their stance and actions, but I never got that e-mail.

Even worse than that?

The main admin of the board, C (as we all knew him by), took to the general part of the forum and publicly humiliated me. The actions of the team made it very clear that I was never welcome on the board – the humiliation continued as members stalked me on forms of social media, sending me harassing messages. I had been publicly humiliated on a board with thousands of members…

All because of what I said. Yet, he (and others on the team) took that step to humiliate me. That? Jeremy, that’s what still stings the most. How is this showing Christ’s love? How is this loving others as He loved us? Jesus took the time and spent time with people no one else did… yet his followers, they did the exact opposite.

The situation came at a time where I was depressed. I was struggling and so much. The situation nearly pushed me to a suicide attempt. How was I supposed to feel like I am loved, cared about, and supportive when people who claim to show Christ’s love can act so cruelly?

It’s been several years now since this all happened… some days are better than others. Some are not. What remains is how hurt I am. It shows in the panic of coming out to others, to stepping foot into a church. It shows in the nights where I’m in bed crying.

What happened to me on the board should have never happened. The moderating team and admins should have treated me as a human being. Instead, I was lied to continuously about that “email”, I was publicly humiliated. I was stalked and harassed.

I am writing this because I need you to know what happened. I can’t get this closure without you knowing what happened. Maybe you already do, I’m sure you heard bits and pieces several years ago.. but I wanted you to hear it from me. I wanted you to know how hard this has been for me, that it hasn’t yet healed.

Since then, I have really struggled with my faith. I don’t feel welcome in a church. I’m scared to come out to people involved in church or the Christian music community. I still carry the weight and scars from the experience because people who claim to follow Christ quite literally made my life a living hell.

You may not even remember me, or even read this email, but I need to you know what happened, and how it has affected me over the last few years since it happened.”

Was this easy to share? No. In fact, I am anxious and terrified that some of these same people will come back into my life and start the same issues as they had when this situation first unfolded, but I also know that it is my time to speak up about this.

I won’t stay quiet anymore. I will speak up. I will encourage others. I will support others. If you are struggling with coming out and/or the aftermath? I am here and so are many others.

 

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Life As We Know It: That’s What Christmas Means To Me

December 24, 2015 Katie A life as we know it, personal: life as we know it 2 Comments

indexYou guys! I am so excited to bring you the first post for the new feature Molli and I have created! It’s going to chronicle our lives together – everything from our FaceTime date nights to THE BIG MOVE. We wanted to create something to look back on and this feature fits perfectly.

It’s Christmas time! Time flew by, and honestly, it doesn’t feel like it should be Christmas again. I know, that’s weird isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday. I love spending the time with my loved ones, relaxing and taking part in our holiday traditions.

This year more than ever, I am looking forward to new traditions to start next Christmas with Molli.

We’ve talked about exchanging Christmas PJs (something I have always wanted to do), the family candlelit Christmas Eve service at my church and just taking it easy, celebrating together on Christmas Day.

My family has probably a few dozen Christmas traditions. . . probably more than I can even remember, but here are a few I always look forward to each holiday season. 168038_520027042487_4986670_n

Christmas Eve we always gather at my grandmothers house and take the short walk to our church where we attend the quiet, family oriented candlelit service. All the kids head up and listen to the Christmas story and at the end of the night, the lights are dimmed and everyone has a lit candle as we sing Silent Night.

It’s just so special feeling. To see the warmth of all the families, the flickering candles and knowing you are spending time with your closest friends and family. 17267_512032054507_4603450_n

After church, we always have dinner as a family. Sometimes it’s a big dinner we cook up and sometimes, we pick up Chinese food.

Growing up, we always used to open gifts from grandma Mary on Christmas Eve, but over the years it has shifted some. Still, it’s always a special night for our family and we all look forward to a quiet night together as a family.

Christmas Day we open gifts, stockings and visit with my mom and step dad. We have a Christmas dinner somewhere (this year it is at my dad’s house) and sometimes (like this year) brunch with my aunt and her three kids.

It’s always a hectic day, but it is filled with so much love and laughter. At the end of the day, I usually curl up in bed and reflect on the day and the past year – enjoying the quiet and spend time with my sweetheart.

Next year will be incredibly special. IMG_1071Mol will be living here, and we will be in our own apartment, starting our own Christmas traditions.

I’ve already started one – giving her a Christmas ornament each year. I try to always find one that reminds me of the two of us, something we did together or a favorite thing of ours.

Next year, we will exchange Christmas PJs, do stockings for each other and spend Christmas morning in our home. I would love to start the tradition of a Christmas breakfast for us – and curl up on the couch for snuggles.

No matter what happens throughout the year, the family comes together for our various traditions and they fall into place no matter how chaotic things may be. A couple years ago, I was in a cast and couldn’t use my right hand – it made present opening pretty hilarious, but it’s another memory to share with loved ones.

 

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Anxiety, Intrusive Thoughts and Insomnia

December 13, 2015 Katie A personal: anxiety 2 Comments

78f0179c0df2db4e539aaaa01f84d8ecI cannot begin to explain how exhausting, draining and rough these last few weeks have been. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of good has happened, too. . . but the rocky days are winning this around.

I tell myself to keep fighting, to stay strong. I tell myself to take it one day at a time, one step at a time and one minute at a time.

It’s been hard. I’m not going to lie about it and I’m not going to sugarcoat it, either.

It’s that time of the year when everything creeps up on me. Finals. The holidays. Every single thing I have to do. Stress about grades, stress about the upcoming semester.

It’s that gut wrenching, guilty feeling of being pulled in too many directions for the holidays. Where do I go, how do we make this all work – who will I end up hurting if I don’t go here but decide to go there? It’s like being a child again, fresh out of my parents divorce.

Overwhelmed. Hurt. Anxious. I hate it.

Then there’s the panic, and the attacks that have been coming along with it.

It’s the early morning panic about not getting enough sleep. It’s the panic about knowing I need to get up and to campus, but being unable to do so. It’s the panic about what everyone is thinking when I’m not there in class.

It’s the panic over what work will hold for me that day. It’s the panic at the end of my shift when I still have this much to do, and feeling like I won’t get it done. It’s the panic as I try and sit down and work on homework, knowing that despite having taken this class three times now – I’ll never learn the material, I’ll never pass.

It’s the relief that I can finally crawl into bed at the end of the day, exhausted, drained and ready to sleep. Until the panic starts in. My brain is like a hurricane, constantly going and impossible to turn off. It’s the thoughts about today, what tomorrow holds, how much I have left to do just this week.

It’s the panic over the holidays, over money, over my health.

It’s like that first panic attack I had. I was in high school, goofing off on a nearby playground with friends when I slipped just a tiny bit. That gut wrenching, terrifying feeling that everything around me was collapsing. I couldn’t catch my breath, I was sweating. My heart was pounding and aching.

It happened two more times within one week.

I had convinced myself my heart was giving out, that there was nothing anyone could do. I went to the doctors and they told me, no, it’s just a panic attack. What’s going on? What triggers them?

Hell if I knew. I’d never had one before, even though I’d felt that panic before. Again and again and again. It was a familiar friend at that point, but it was quickly becoming my enemy and something I was terrified of. That alone would cause more attacks.

It’s the terrifying intrusive thoughts that come on when I am feeling at my worst. It’s the thoughts of what would happen if I did this? What would happen if I walked out and didn’t come back? It’s the thoughts of self harm, something I haven’t done in years, taunting, calling me back. It’s that terrifying urge to go back to those habits and fighting hard not to.

Those thoughts haven’t won the war, but they’re there. They are in the back of my head on the worst days – popping up when I’m at my worst. I fight them as hard as I can. I turn to those I trust the most, confiding in them about these thoughts. Somehow, we’ve managed.

The thoughts are there on the worst of days, but I’m constantly fighting through them. I have to fight them.

These days, it’s the constant anxiety. It’s the late night panic attacks where I can’t catch my breath and I search for a reason why this attack came on. It’s the nightmares some nights, memories or flashbacks on another. . . sometimes I’m not even sure what triggered them. 5f1ff5ca1c081e5f465e27075323a268

It’s not easy.

I feel drained. Exhausted. Even on my good days, the days where I am laughing, calm. . . the anxiety is there. It’s the old friend who wants to stay in your life despite how much has changed. It’s that dreaded feeling when you know you are doing better, but something is still dragging you down.

It’s a daily battle. Anxiety is a bitch. You think you have it under control and something, even the smallest thing will trigger it and it will all come flooding back, drowning you under it’s weight.

I try to stay above the water, to stay grounded, but the anxiety gets the better of me more often than not. It’s hard to push the thoughts away, but I push and I push and I push.

I can’t drown under the weight of anxiety. I refuse to, but these are the days where it seems like it’s pulling me in all directions, settling in and making itself at home. It’s a demon and a ghost, a friend you don’t want.

It’s a part of me.

 

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I’m Thankful For…

November 26, 2015 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: health, personal: positively katie, personal: pretty girl and honey, personal: that spoonie life 1 Comment

63fa1ee0605af33d63d2f12b72130df9I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, but things have been a little bit wild here. I have been swamped with school and spent a day in the ER due to endometriosis complications.

On top of that, it’s been balancing work, family life and then being accepted into the online high school diploma program. It’s been a wild ride so far, but I’ve also been focused on self care and learning what may be “too much” for me. It’s a hard lesson, but one that I need to learn.

With today being Thanksgiving, I wanted to take some time out of my day to share what I am thankful for this year. I’ll be honest and say that yes, there have been some really bad days for me, where I wasn’t sure what would happen next – but there have been so many days where I can look back and see how much I have grown this year.

I’m thankful for…

My girlfriend: Mol, you mean the world to me. I cannot imagine my life without you and I am so incredibly in love with you. I am so excited for the future we are building together and I cannot wait to love you for the rest of my life. No matter what happens, we always have each other. You are my best friend and I am so incredibly thankful for you, and for us. IMG_1071

My friends and family: what would I do without you? You’ve seen me at my worst, you’ve seen me at my best. You’ve listened to me cry, you’ve stayed at my side throughout ER visits. You’ve supported me, encouraged me and were always there for me. You’ve seen me grow this year, you’ve seen me stumble. I am so thankful for all of you. My sisters, my brother, my parents, my grandmother. You mean so much to me and I cannot have come this far without you.

My health: it’s been such a rough year health wise with what seemed like a year of never ending diagnosis appointments, I am happy with where I am. This was the year that I was diagnosed with type two diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome and bipolar disorder.

It’s a lot. It’s a lot to absorb, to become used to. I’ve learned what triggers my blood sugar spikes, I’ve been on a handful of medications I’ve had to adjust to and I’ve had to learn to test my blood sugar. I’ve seen my A1C go from a 10.3 at diagnosis to a 6.9 at my last appointment.

My education: this is the year is the year that I applied to a high school diploma program and was accepted! I have kept a 4.0 GPA so far, and have completed three career courses and am waiting for the go ahead to continue since I just finished my last two “qualifying” courses.

Authors: so many of you have impacted my life. A few of you have become friends, you’ve supported me, encouraged me and have been there for me. You’ve taught me about myself, you’ve opened my eyes and your words have healed parts of me. Tamara and Courtney – you both mean so much to me and I am so incredibly grateful for all you have done for me. Your love, friendship and support get me through each day. I am so proud and honored to not just consider you friends, but a part of my family.

To my readers and the spoonie community – thank you. Thank you for being there for me, for listening and taking the time to catch up on my life, learn about my health conditions and to support me along the way. I am so happy with the direction my blog has taken this past year and I am thankful for each of you.

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#MedicatedAndMighty – Why I’m Taking Medication for Mental Illness

November 6, 2015 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: anxiety, personal: bipolar disorder, personal: mental health, personal: psychiatry, personal: that spoonie life, personal: therapy 0 Comments

04b98602857b22cd85129f52d6e64cd7When I saw this post on BuzzFeed, I instantly knew that I wanted to turn it into a blog post of my own. It had been lingering in the back of my mind for awhile, but it didn’t hit hard until I read this post yesterday.

For a long time, I fought with the idea of getting help. I’d sit in a funk for awhile, debate over finally calling EH where my doctor had set up a referral for me. Eventually, it’d pass. It took awhile, sometimes longer than others – but it would pass.

It didn’t mean I wasn’t sick anymore.

I was. I knew it. Those closest to me knew it. Deep down, I was wrestling with the idea of getting help. I knew that something wasn’t right, that this back and forth, the battle, the flip of a switch mood swings and everything I was feeling wasn’t normal. It wasn’t healthy.

It wasn’t until last winter where I finally knew that I was either going to give up, or find help. My first try got me nowhere and basically was told that I wasn’t “sick enough” to get help from the county mental health department. I still look back and think, had I been worse… that outcome could have been so much worse than it was.

7395b496d3afbe4bb7e0bbfc64a0b70aMy biggest fear at that point in time, was starting to come true.

Getting out of bed was a fight.

Getting ready for work or class was a battle.

The smallest things would trigger an avalanche of emotions.

I wasn’t sleeping.

I was hardly eating.

It was getting worse and worse as every day passed. I felt like I was drowning, sinking and that I was going to feel this deep depression for the rest of my life.

That’s not even including the anxiety that was quickly taking control of almost every aspect of my life.

So, one cold January morning – I walked into my doctors office, broke down in tears and explained what was going on. He was the first medical professional to listen to me. To really listen and see what this was like for me. I left the office that day with a referral to EH to see a psychiatrist and start therapy, but also with a prescription for an anti-depressant.

The adjustment was… hard. I slept, a lot. My moods stabilized somewhat, but then started bouncing around again. I was sleeping 10-12 hours a day once the medication entered my system, and even then I was exhausted. I knew it would take time, that it meant I may have to try other meds.

Yet, I knew that starting medication was the best choice. Nothing I was doing on my own was helping, I’d lost weight, I’d lost friends (later realizing this was their loss and not mine, as they left me when I needed my friends the most) and set out to work through this.

In the end, I ended up seeing a psychiatrist about six months ago.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar disorder. I was given more medication, with some adjustments here and there over the past six months. It took awhile, but I slowly started to see the difference.

Taking medication meant I could get out of bed.

Taking medication meant that I could make it to work and to school.

Taking medication meant that I could finally feel stable again, despite having a low here or there.

Taking medication means that I am taking care of myself, and in the long run – maybe this is what I needed all along. It took awhile to get to here, and previous experience with taking medication in high school left me hesitant and fighting the idea.

Taking medication means that I am on the road to becoming healthy. Taking medication daily means that I can have a chance to have a normal, healthy life. While I’m still fighting my mental illness, I am taking the biggest step I can in order to regaining my health.

I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.

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On Chronic Illness, Friendships and Relationships

November 4, 2015 Katie A Chronic Illness, personal: health, personal: that spoonie life 2 Comments

Since I’ve become sick and have started living my day to day life with chronic illness, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how strong I am, how much of a fight I have in me, that I can reach my goals, that I’ll have the good days and the bad days. I’ve learned that in order to be healthy and happy – I have to take care of myself.

I’ve also learned a lot about friendships.

And look, it hasn’t been easy.

People I thought would always be in my life, left.

Friends I thought I could trust, I can’t.

People I’ve loved dearly have left me behind, unable it seems, to deal with the plans life has thrown at me.

I’ve been broken, beaten and let down.

I’ve been dragged into situations that had nothing to do with me, torn apart and made to look like the bad guy. I’ve had people blatantly try to sabotage relationships and my own happiness.

I’ve had people I thought would be at my wedding, leave me behind. I’ve said goodbye to more people than I thought I ever would – but…

d478419b81e7d67abdd275e78281880fI learned that letting go is something I have to do to not only be healthy, but to be happy. I cannot sit around and let that negativity into my life. I struggle day in and day out as it is. I cannot let toxic people invade my space, try to silence me and try to ruin my own happiness.

Instead, I stood up. I stood up to the negativity. I stood up to toxic friendships that I let linger for far too long. I used my voice, one that had almost been taken from me. My own voice, that had been censored.

I had been told through others, that by speaking up, by venting and letting my own frustrations out in my own safe place, that I was stirring up trouble. I wasn’t going to allow my voice to be taken from me. I never will. 2a81792fdda015b2b760d614afa4f747

Instead, I severed ties.

I did what I had to do. I did what I had to do for my own health. I let go because having that negativity in my life means I can’t chase my happiness to the fullest. It meant that I would always be walking on glass, paranoid and ready for it to shatter all around me.

No matter what life has thrown at me, my own health and happiness matters the most. I refuse to be drawn into the drama, into the toxic and negative lives others thrive on. I refuse to be silenced.

I’m a fighter. I’m fighting for my health and my own happiness.

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Positively Katie: New Beginnings, New Meds and New Hopes

November 1, 2015 Katie A personal: anxiety, personal: bipolar disorder, personal: health, personal: highs and lows, personal: mental health, personal: positively katie, personal: pretty girl and honey, personal: psychiatry, personal: that spoonie life, personal: therapy 0 Comments

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YOU GUYS. This week has been kinda crazy, but most of it in good ways. I’ve been fairly busy this week, but still struggling with the endometriosis. I’m surviving, but still pushing through this flare.

highs: CANDY! Seriously. I bought all the best candy for Halloween. I knew we wouldn’t have many kids show up, so I got all the family favorites. Good thing, too. We only had two kids show last night. TWO.

FaceTime dates! Every time we laughed until we cried, we talked about some stuff we are both dealing with, talked about our future… it’s the best way to spend my evenings. I am so so lucky and in love.

Interviews…. what can I say here. It wasn’t a job interview. This summer I applied for a local high school diploma program and completed the qualifying process. I didn’t know when I’d heard more as it’s all state funded and based on grants, so I was surprised to see an e-mail asking me to schedule my IN PERSON INTERVIEW for the program.

I just got home from that and I am just so amazed, so excited and just… it’s overwhelming. It’s a dream come true and I am so thankful for this opportunity. It’s something I have wanted to do for a long, long time. 6cbf532a2c119171d6589ef556030310

I still have a final qualifying course to complete once I get the e-mail telling me to start (next week or two, I was told) and need to complete it (two parts) in a month, from there I am officially ENROLLED to work as a high school student and earn my diploma. 9106387b2fd29a4a2136b332a7a30150

Mental health… I have graduated to every two months for visits with my psychiatrist! She is thrilled with my progress over the last five months, so we are keeping my mood stabilizer at it’s current dose and upped the dose of my sleep meds, but I am thrilled with this progress.

lows: anxiety about that interview… especially last night and just minutes before it. I thought of taking an anxiety pill, but I didn’t and I am feeling much better. Once the interview started and all, I felt so much better and confident.

Endometriosis…. this is the flare that never ends. Let’s just leave it at that.

 

1Overall, a great week with a lot of exciting things ahead! I’ll leave you with a photo I took after my interview today. I got all dressed up for the interview and was (still am) feeling amazing!

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Reaching the Surface

October 31, 2015 Katie A personal: anxiety, personal: bipolar disorder, personal: health, personal: mental health, personal: psychiatry, personal: therapy 2 Comments

09e01f3406b1a67399504f3e6b3022a2When I became a patient at EH this past summer, I stepped into the doors full of anxiety, fear and uncertainty. I didn’t know what treatment would be like, I didn’t know anyone there.

All I knew was that I needed help.

The same afternoon I began therapy, I began seeing a psychiatrist. I started seeing LP once a month and we began the process of finding medications that would work for me.

I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, as well as bipolar disorder. We were already treating my depression through my primary care doctor, but LP kept lines of communication open and said if I needed a different medication, she would help me find it.

She was there to help. She wanted to help me get my feet back on the ground, to begin to feel like myself again.

It was overwhelming. Draining. Scary.

It was a lot all at once.

I trudged through, I adjusted to medication, increased dosages, changed medication and finally. . . after nearly six months, I walked into her office yesterday morning for our monthly meeting.

Seeing the smile on her face when I told her how I was doing, how I was adjusting to the change in dosage of the mood stabilizer made everything come into focus. Even now, I’m smiling.

For so long, I had told myself that I would always feel that way, that I’d always be numb, cold and sinking under the weight of depression. LP and my therapist CY have been amazing. I have a support team, these two cheer me on, listen to my struggles and encourage me.

They ask the hard questions.

They ask how I’m doing, and expect me to answer with exactly how I feel. I have to. If I don’t, I won’t be able to keep taking steps forward. If means changing medications over and over, adjusting to new ones – it’s something I have to do.

When I sat in LP’s office yesterday, I never expected her to tell me this:

“You are doing really, really well. You’ve graduated to the next step, the mood stabilizer is obviously working for you right now at it’s current dose. I think our next step is to graduate you to coming in to see me every two months.”

Wait, what?

Really?

It was not something I expected, and yet, I felt a weight lift off of me. I didn’t feel the anxiety sink in. I knew that if I need to come in sooner, that LP is there. They’ll fit me in and we can take things from there.

For now, I am enjoying this milestone. I’m proud of myself for getting this far, for fighting through the worst days, sinking under depression and losing part of myself.

All these little steps I started to take in July led me to today. Slowly but surely, I am starting to reach the surface – I fight the bad days, I fight when depression rears its head and tries to push me back down under it’s weight.

I’ve come so far already, and reaching the surface just a tiny bit is a breath of fresh air. I’m not sinking anymore.

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