Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Whirlwind


It's pretty amazing, I think, how someone can go and follow such catastrophic yet beautiful sights for all of us to enjoy. And yet, it can cause an indescrible amount of damage. Much like some people in our lives.

It takes a lifetime to build a relationship with those people, even longer to build one with family. That when their lives turn in to a catastrophy, you still chase after them; regadless of the damage they might cause. Sometimes, that whirlwind might even be you. I know it's definitely been me.

Christmas-2006: always letting me put random things on him; look at THAT 'stache!

The greatest man I've ever known, passed away 4 years ago; I was 20. My mom was in rehab, my sister had just found out she was pregnant and I felt alone. It seemed to me, at the time, that I didn't have any one. It didn't help that a daughter of his (not my real sister, thank goodness) decided that it was okay to blame someone half her age for his death. That was probably what set me in motion.

"Maybe if you had visited him he wouldn't have been so depressed and died before he was ready, Clarissa." I don't know about anyone else, but when I was sitting next to my dead dad, vulnerable and already feeling alone this has an impact on you that might actually make you think it was your fault. Of course there was a big part of me that knew otherwise, but it is still effected me. 

To anyone who doesn't know my reasoning, it seems mean that I didn't visit him. We had entrusted his care with this woman, but she was anything but trustworthy. While anyone else in our family would have taken care of him because they loved him, she did it for the money the state gave her. Apparently that wasn't enough, she had to go and constantly take money out of his account for her own benefit. We hadn't realized why he didn't want to spend his last days on this earth with her, when we finally did, he was in such a fragile state; physically and emotionally that he didn't want to leave. 

I understood that, but it was still worth a try to have him leave. It was hard for anyone who visited him to deal with her negativity, constant complaining and insults. She would make it very clear if she didn't like you with her passive aggressive behavior. 

With all of these aspects, my fathers passing and the blame, I had one hell of a Whirlwind coming my way...
to be continued. what happens next may need several posts.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Babies, bugs and beaches



So my plan was to write a blog once a week, every Wednesday after my last post...and then life got in the way. When I say it got in the way, I don't mean in a horrible way. I simply mean there hasn't been one week of this new year that has been uneventful. 

I was almost tempted to write about it maybe call it "How to lose your friends in less than a day" or something else negative. But then the third week into the new year something happened.  

-----------------THAT THING-------------->

The past week was dreadful! I'm sure I looked very attractive in my over-sized sweat pants with puffy crying eyes, red runny nose and in a pretty drugged up fog. Anyway I'm finally at the tail end of my Flu-sinus-infection-illness. But last night, my daughter ran to my room in the middle of the night. She wasn't crying or anything, but when I touched her, she was burning up.

 I right away got worried that I had given her the flu (even though we both have our flu shots), I was more worried from the what the news had been reporting had reached my mind. "Flu kills more people than ever" "Children and Young adults affected more than ever" "X amount of people dead in California because of the flu". I gave her some children's Tylenol and lay her down next to me when all those thoughts flooded my mind like a tidal wave. 

I don't think I've mentioned her on this blog yet, but she is the one good thing to come out of my crappy life.And that's what I wanted to share today, that although tons...and I mean TONS of bad things have happened to me (and continue too) I have also had the best thing happen to me. Sometimes I need to stop and remember that...

Her first time at the beach. This was in 2012, she could barely hold her head up on her own. I chose this picture because the beach is a magnificent, beautiful place that always makes me happy. Taking her there and showing her the beauty of it, only made me happier.
 

Monday, December 30, 2013

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

I really enjoy writing on this blog. Sharing my experiences, hoping that someone somewhere will be reached by words is the ultimate inspiration. Unfortunately, I had to take a short break after my last post. Finishing school and graduating was my ultimate priority. Now that that is done, I can get back to my favorite thing...writing.

We've all heard of Murphy's law, in some way or another.

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

I don't know if that statement could be any more true when it comes to at least my life. To the point where it should be called "Clarissa's Law" I'd like to say that after all that my family went through that things would have gotten better. When everything in my life seems happy, it's only the calm before the storm. Being out of the house, away from my mom, is more like staying out of harms way. You aren't physically effected by it, but the emotional turmoil can weigh you down more than gravity.


This year seemed to have been better than most. My mom sought help and was doing great for about eight months. The eye of this storm seemed to have spanned quite a distance. I was more than proud of her, and she was proud of me for once. I don't think anybody would have thought we would see the day that I would graduate from college. Actually, she didn't; not because I didn't walk though. I'm not even sure she knows I got my diploma. But, I did it!!

I've probably mentioned before that holidays are the worst for her, they usually are for any addict or person suffering from mental conditions such as depression. Everyone around them is happier than usual, they are spending time with their families who love them unconditionally. The addict in her seemed to get the best of her this year especially. My dad hasn't been around for three years now, her family is hundreds of miles away...but she failed to see the good that came out of this year. My sister and I were by her side proud of how far she had gotten, we were showing her this by letting her help with the kids (a thing we would never had allowed before she went to rehab) and to top it all off, she had a boyfriend who was supporting her and her recovery.

I'm not sure what made her self-implode, but she spent three days holed up in a woman's house drinking non-stop before she decided it was too much for her. Called 9-1-1 herself, I'm not sure the purpose of that. But the story she told me was incredulous, I was surprised when my sister allowed her to sober up in her house. Of course, when it comes to family, my sister is more forgiving tolerant than I am. The next night, she spent at a hotel with her also recovering boyfriend. Turns out he had relapsed a month before, and hid it well. This night, they both spiraled out of control, he more than she. Keeping in her in the room taking away her phone....

After finding this out, I have to say I had never been more scared for her life. I haven't spoken to her she hasn't spoken to me since before her three-day-tirade. I wasn't supposed to find out about it apparently. I don't know what it is she can't find it in her daughter to talk to. Though it hurts. I'd like to think she knows that I want her well and in my life.

It's almost a new year, with a happy soul I have a new hope.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pills vs. Heroin: Withdrawals

Barely being able to walk into the office, I sit on the table and explain as I did in my previous post. The Doctor asks me about my medications. I was on an antidepressant called "Paxil", and how the dosage had been upped but wasn't cutting it. The previous weeks, I would sleep away most of the day and stay awake most of the night. My personality had gone from talking and laughing non-stop to dull and anti-social in a matter of days. My family was very concerned. A text from my sister Jazmin said:
 I was sad to see you like that, it must be waaaay worse for you :(.
Anyway...My doctor asked me about previous SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor/anti-depressants) I had been on: Celexa, Prozac, Nortriptyline and Zoloft. We got into how I reacted to each one. When we started discussing Zoloft, she had asked why I got off of it if it was working so well and the dosage I was on was low. The answer:
     My medical insurance does not cover mental health, which means I have to see my primary doctor for any all problems. However, he (and this doctor) explained to me that their knowledge in medications for "Mental Conditions" is basically nonexistent beyond SSRI's. If it doesn't work right away, my doctor takes me off of it right away.
"I'm going to put you back on Zoloft. Start at 50 mg. Stop taking Paxil. Start tomorrow"
That was this doctor's order for me. What she didn't tell me was that the next week was going to be hell for me and my family.
 This was Thursday 8/15.
Friday. Passed by just fine.
Saturday. Things started getting a little weird, but didn't think much of it. I was having night sweats, nightmares and panic attacks.
Sunday. I didn't want to get out of bed. I was cold, then hot REALLY hot. Nausea. Dizziness. Fatigue. Faint.
Monday. More things, I  felt really light headed. Short of breath. Irritable. Headache.
Tuesday. Mood swings. Migraine. Dry mouth. Panic attacks became worse.
Wednesday. I was lying in bed sent a text to my fiance, "help me. help me. please".  I couldn't stand being inside of my self anymore. I was crying so hard. Grabbing at my face. I'm pretty sure it looked like I was trying to rip my face off. It was horrible.

[fyi: this ^ is why there was no post last week]

I emailed my doctor that night after reading online that Paxil withdrawals are comparable to heroin:
On the 15th, I went to a same day appointment with Dr._____ for my anxiety/panic attacks and depression. The paxil I was one seemed to have stopped working and I was having very bad panic attacks. When she asked me about zoloft, I explained that it worked but I wasn't at max dosage before I was taken off. She prescribed it again. And told me to get of Paxil, cold turkey. The withdrawals are horrible. To the point where I feel I'm going insane and need to be 50/50'd. Is there anything I can do to ease the withdrawals?

His reply was NOT what I was expecting: If you need some ativan to help during this transition, just let me know. It's been 7 days and hopefully, your symptoms should improve.

At the urgent care they had prescribed me this. I'm sure he saw that on my chart. Not to mention. When I overdosed, I took a whole bottle of it. I wasn't sure why he seemed to go to that medication right away. I asked what I could do, to ease the withdrawals. I wasn't expecting any meds. I did take 1 after his email. It didn't help. I took one more (UC doc had told me to take UP TO 2) and that finally help.  

I am feeling so much better now though the Zoloft has kicked in. Withdrawals died out. Not a day has gone by where I haven't laughed like "normal". My normal is laughing hysterically to where I can't breath and I am crying.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Acid Trip?

Lying down, attempting to look at the ceiling. "Oh! I forgot my glasses!" **facelpalm** Looking back up attempting to focus on the center of the ceiling fan, hoping it will ease the dizziness in your mind or hope that maybe the "you" that is outside of yourself will reel itself back in. Only the feeling has worsened, a steel anvil rests on your chest making it unable for you to breathe let alone move. That doesn't explain the imaginary restraints on your ankles or wrists. The realization of this comes to mind, making thoughts run at a million miles an hour. The panic begins to set it, your breathing get faster by the second, your heart feeling as though it will break right on through the anvil on your chest. Looking at that fan, it's coming to your attention that, you haven't been able to keep your eyes open. Not even for a minute. 

Standing up, the same effect. Just like coming off the zero gravity ride. Dizzy, nauseated, shortness of breath, heart racing. But for you, it eventually ends. For you, your mind and body reconnect. For you, you don't think you are going crazy for no reason. Unfortunately, for me, when I stand up it doesn't go away. None of it. Not ever. The rapid movements (walking, turning your head, even changing positions) make it all worse, causing disco type lights to flash before my eyes.
I went to the urgent care yesterday do to all of the above. Apparently all this is. This horrible thing is just anxiety. This is not what I want to feel daily. The above is what a panic attack feels like. This is my first one in 3 years, it happened on Thursday and it hasn't stopped. Any little issue tends to set my feelings awry. I'm due for an appointment next Thursday.

Hopefully I'll find it in me then, to go back to a normal blogging schedule. Until then, thank you my thousands of readers!!!! I appreciate you guys oh so very much.
Oh ya, and you... 8 (yes only 8) "friends" from Facebook, Really. thank. you.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mental Condition-Depression

Originally, I was going to write about how I was able to acquire hundrends of prescription pill that I overdosed on. I was going to blog on Sunday. But, I've been depressed lately. So that's what I want to talk about. Depression and the fact that 20% of people with it commit suicide.
My brother-in-law was in town about a month ago for his and my fiancé's grandmother's funeral, I had mentioned that I forgot to take my medication and he said (and I quote) "For your mental condition?"  I don't think he meant it in a condescending manner, that's how I took it though. Their grandmother had had a stroke and left her in a state that reminded me of my dad before he passed. I have been depressed since then, well more than usual.
This "mental condition" is a lot more serious than people tend to think. There are the usual questions "Why are you sad?" "Can't you just smile?" "Are you in a bad mood?" Or just the general statements "Cheer up, buttercup!" "Don't worry about it!" "It'll all get better!"  You see, it's not that easy. It is way more than being sad. Don't you think that we (those who suffer) want to be happy? Smile? Cheer up? This condition, it's like being in jail, for no reason. Actually, worse! 
Imagine being put in . A dark, cold cell that is all yours. No way to get out. The food, yuck, there is no way you can eat. But you eat any way, just because if you don't you'll  be locked in longer. Sleep? What is sleep? When you are in this state, it is not existant, it's a mere lie that people tell you is achievable but is no where in sight. 
I know I have friends, my fiancé, our daughter and my family. When I am in a funk, I don't feel like they are there. It's as though they don't want anything to do with me. I just want someone to ask me how I am, let me complain about things that a "normal" mind would think don't exist, let me cry about things that are hurting me that may or may not even be worth hurting about. Right now though, they are true. And I'm sad. I am genuinely hurting deep inside. Where no one can reach, nto even me. 
I feel like I'm losing everyone, I know I'm not in reality. When I tell anyone that I am sad, they just simply ask "why?" I don't know, I wish I did. I'm trying to control it, I have medication I take daily. But that isn't enough. Some days or weeks or months. You just need someone to be there for the issues that aren't real. To hear them, tell you that you have every right to be sad and to show you the light at the end of that tunnel. It isn't always clear to us.
I explained to a few people my current situation. I like with my fiancé (Jake), our daughter (Scarlett) and his family [mom (Mary), dad (Daryl) and 10 year old sister (Amber)]. There are times where Amber gets cranky, being so young, so she yells for her mom. Scarlett is 16 months old and she hears Amber doing that. She went from calling Mary "Grandmama" to "Mommy". We all correct her. She just doesn't want to hear it or change it. It is the worst feeling for me hearing her look up to Mary saying "mommy, mommy, mommy" over and over again. 
I know it has to do with her being so young and impressionable. But when I tell people that this makes me really sad, and they laugh about it because it is "cute". It makes it even worse for me. I imagine, at night when sleep never comes, that if I ever leave, she won't need me. Or even want me when I come back because she has her "Mommy". I try not to leave her during the day with Mary, because of this. I'm sure that me not leaving the house often is part of the reason I get depressed. It is just very hard having any type of motivation when you feel no one would want to see or hear from you.
1 in 10 adults suffer from depression in the U.S. That's a lot. Most of us are good at hiding it, especially from the people closest to us. They usually don't realize that if people knew, they would be a bigger hellp when you are in super deep funk. The kind where you don't turn on the lights, stay in bed all day and don't talk. When I get like that, my fiancé definitely notices and tries to get me "up and at 'em". However, I don't think he realizes that when I start saying I'm sad, it is a warning sign that something deeper is about to happen. Start paying attention to those around you more often, I'm sure someone needs your help but is just afraid to reach out to you. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

School Sucks!

By now you are probably asking "where is the partying, pills, etc. etc?
I'll get there I promise. In order for you to understand how I hit rock bottom, you need to know what led to it. It wasn't just my mom. I know I make her sound bad, but she wasn't the worst, she was there when I really needed her. Which was a lot
I had a lot of trouble in school, not just with grades or friends, but with my teachers too. There are two maybe three that I will never forget. One being my middle school art teacher that I had previously mentioned. It's true that he threatened to duct tape my mouth shut, and although that isn't how you should treat an eleven year old; it worked. I never did talk AS much in my classes after that. My mom sided with him on that one, even gave him permission to threaten me. But she didn't side with all of my teachers. The main ones, the worst ones were my sophomore science teacher and my high school counselor.
I was really interested in science. I enjoyed the chemistry and biology parts of this class. When we got the project to make a strand of DNA I was ecstatic! I went out that night for supplies, I knew exactly how I wanted to make it. I used licorice as the strands, Dots for the proteins and toothpicks to hold it together. Anyway it was getting towards the end of the school year and all the students were planning their schedules for the next year. 
"If any of you are interested in AP chemistry or biology for next year see me after class anytime this week." I was interested in taking chem. but I was kind of nervous to ask about it. I was, still am, an average student. When I told my mom later that night, she told me to "GO FOR IT, CHICA! Your smart." So I went for it.
"Mr. Wong, I was thinking of taking AP chem next quarter.
He explained what was needed in order to take on an AP course, it went for all AP classes. I would need an A both semesters in that class and have good grades in all my other classes. That was no problem for me, at least that's what I thought. He took out his gradebook.
 "Well, you are doing well in this class. A's and B's, but...girls don't generally do science and if they do, they don't do well. Who knows maybe you won't even graduate. I can't sign off on it. Maybe you can take it senior year. I doubt it though."
I wanted to try to take on this issue myself, not be a mommy's girl so I went to my counselor, my thought being she is supposed to help me with scheduling and problems. I didn't make an appointment, I was livid so I just walked into her office. Mrs. Kendall, I hadn't talked to her too much before this. I explained my situation. I had found out that upon entry we should have been given a test to see if we could be put into AP courses, I hadn't been given that test. I brought that up too.
"Mrs. Kendall, I'm very interested in taking AP courses."
"Take it up with your teachers, but looking at all this, Mr. Wong is right. You really shouldn't. I think you might just have to go to junior college. Make up for not taking AP."
"But I want too. My english classes are waaaayyyy too easy for me. I can't even concentrate in them because it's elementary."
Mrs. Kendall was very persistant on me not taking those classes. I ABHOR being told I'm not capable of doing things. It makes me want it that much more.
Like I said earlier, my mom stood up for me when I really needed her. And I needed her. I needed her to get his get his racist-sexist-ASS FIRED! And hell, why not get rid of her too while she's at it. She spent months calling and talking to Mr. Wong, Mrs. Kendall, the dean, the principal and I don't know who else. But you know how these things are. NOTHING happened. To this day, I do what I can to prove I can be better, that I AM better than they are. I went and finished his classes ignored him, stopped doing as well in his class, still left with an A. I think that was partly because my mom threatened to keep making calls until he was fired if he didn't start being more positive to his students.
Unfortunately, I was stuck with my counselor for two more years. Nothing changed with her either. She insisted that I didn't apply to colleges, especially my top two. NYU and Penn State. NYU was just a dream I knew that. But, I really wanted to go to  Penn State a more reasonable school for me and...OH YEAH. I got in!!!!!! I was hella excited. Is it bad though, that I was just an incy wincy tiny itty bit more excited to give Mrs. Kendall my acceptance letter? And to see that look of awe and bewilderment on her face was way worth it. 
If my mom hadn't told me to ignore what she said and be confident in myself, I never would have applied. I just hope my mom told both of those douchebags that they can go and SUCK IT!!!