Monday, April 30, 2012

Please Stop The Rollercoaster, I Want To Get Off

I'm here.  I promise.  I see definite improvement, which is so wonderful.  Fewer terrible days.  Even some good days!

It's a rollercoaster though.  Sometimes I just wake up feeling like shit.  I embrace the good days. But I am able to make it through a decent number of days without taking the acute anxiety drug.  What I don't enjoy is that there is no way to tell with me.   It's a rollercoaster.  Some days just numb.  Some days so wound up I can't function.  Some days peaceful.  What sucks is the toll my ups and downs take on my friends.  They feel shut out one day, bewildered the next.  One friend in particular is struggling quite a bit.  All I can tell him is don't give up on me.  Please don't give up on me.

I start individual therapy this upcoming Friday.  I am both looking forward to starting that process and dreading it.  Because it's scary shit.  Facing myself like that is kind of terrifying.  But healing is necessary, so I am on board.

I started doing things for ME.  Like juicing, and coming up with muffin recipes that will allow me to eat something that tastes good but will get me lots of veggies.  It's also my way of trying to get P to eat that stuff.  He would live on cheese crackers and bananas if I let him.  He is cruising the perimeters now. Walking is just around the corner.  I got my hair cut.  Considering a radical dye job.  But not feeling it all the way.

There are some potentially major things coming ... I am saying no more because I don't want to jinx us.  We have shitty luck as it is.

What I want is to find my normal again.  Find work I find challenging and rewarding.  Make a difference.  Be a good mom to P, a good wife to Hubby.  I want to not be afraid to get out of bed, to wake up.

There was a storm rolling in last weekend.  I sat on TG's swing and let the rain and wind blow over me.  It was the most peaceful I have felt in a very long time.  I can't wait for more summer storms.  If that is what it takes, I will be getting very wet this year.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Legacy Stops Here

As you know, things have been rough for me lately. (Updates to follow!) I have rediscovered an album I hadn't listened to in ages.  Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge.  As I was coming out of my despair, one song struck me - Silent Legacy.  This song is about growing up gay, but as I listened, I realized that it can apply to so much of my life.

1 in 10 people fall somewhere on the gay spectrum.  I am bisexual and polyamorous.

1 in 40 adults are bipolar (approximately).  I am the most recent in a long family line of bipolar disorder.

1 in 8 suffer from Infertility.  I am part of that 1 in 8.  I am the 1.

I am the 1.

I am the ONE.

1 in 3200 if you do the math.  ONE.

The shame, the silence, the hiding, the pain...all of these apply to anyone who falls into one of those categories.  They always have.  But it doesn't have to be that way. There are resources.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).  The theme is "Don't Ignore."  Don't let this apply to only Infertility.  There are so many others hurting, suffering shame, fear, pain.  Be an advocate.  Don't ignore them.  

"Mothers tell your children
Be quick you must be strong
Life is full of wonder
Love is never wrong
Remember how they taught you
How much of it was fear
Refuse to hand it down
The legacy stops here"

Stop the fear.  Stop the shame.  Stop the silence.  

Stop the LEGACY.

Don't Ignore Our Pain - NIAW 2012

"I didn't want to get pregnant right now."
"I'm so tired of being pregnant."
"Just adopt!"
"There is a reason for everything."
"Want to borrow my kids for a while?  Then you won't want any."

We've all heard statements like that.  They hurt.  More than some people realize.  For those of us who are "out" about our infertility it blows our mind that someone could be so insensitive to our plight.  For those in the closet, it's a reminder of how unaware people are of the pain their statements can cause.

I am out.  Have been since day 1.  Friends mean well.  Family members mean well.  But the discomfort surrounding Infertility means that our pain goes either ignored or blown off quite often.  Here's the thing...

My pain is valid.  My constant envy of bumps and families built by accident and the thought that my son may never get to be an older's all valid.  Sometimes the pain hits me in the chest and I can't breathe.  Sometimes I struggle to find the appropriate level of response for an "oops" pregnancy, or your 5th child, or your complaints regarding your child.

We are so incredibly lucky to have had only 1 cycle with an RE, 1 IVF/ICSI cycle, and 1 perfect little boy.  I know that.  And I will never forget the miracle we have been blessed to receive.  And I know Survivor's Guilt, the pain I feel for my friends who are still fighting the war.

But I still ache for another child, to be pregnant again, to feel that life growing inside me.  The bond that is inherent in carrying a child.  I struggle with the fear it may not happen.  With the fact that our continual bad luck, my bipolar disorder, money, etc, will end our dreams.

We don't always need to hear that you understand...unless you actually do.  We don't always need you to say the perfect thing.  But that awkward silence, the quick changing of the subject...that needs to end.  Infertility is not a shameful disease.  A hug helps.  Thinking about your flippant statements regarding children and family building before you actually utter them helps.  You might be inadvertently causing some friend or acquaintance of yours to be seeking a quick exit to compose herself.  Or himself.

Just as jokes that are racist or bigoted can hurt or offend someone, so can your remarks.  Listen, we think about the things we say if we are compassionate.  So think about what you say.

And most of all, DON'T IGNORE it.  Ignoring it doesn't make it go away.  Oh, how we wish it would.  How we dream that we never heard the diagnosis that changed our lives.  How we desperately wish to just be able to conceive a child the "normal" way.  How we dream that we could just build our families without going into debt or making decisions about embryos.

Please don't ignore me.  Don't ignore my disease.  Don't ignore my pain.  Validate it.  Recognize it.

National Infertility Awareness Week 2012.

Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.
About NIAW

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Sound My Barbaric YAWP From The Rooftops Of The World

Today I will be positive.  Today I will be strong.  Today I will be beautiful.  Today I will be sexy.  Today I will remember to breathe.  Today I will be the best me I can be.


"There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself" - They Might Be Giants, "Whistling In The Dark"

Friday, April 20, 2012

To War I Go

Yesterday I had my psych eval.  It was fairly basic.  Not much exciting to report.  I have a follow up in 2 weeks to see how the new meds are doing and continue to tweak my treatment plan.


  • Zoloft (200 mg daily)
  • Risperdal (.5 mg daily)
  • *NEW* Lamictal - don't remember dosage, but it doubles in 2 weeks
  • *NEW* Hydroxyzine - don't remember brand name or dosage - this is to replace Ativan for acute anxiety symptoms.
Treatment Plan:
  • They wanted me to do the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) which is 9-3 M-F, but childcare for P would be an issue.  So, now they are trying to get me into the Transitional Outpatient Program, which would normally come after the IOP.  That meets 9-12 a couple days a week.  Theory: any treatment is better than none
  • See a therapist.  This has to wait until there is an opening and could take a few weeks.
I'm not going to lie, the group thing terrifies me.  I'm tired of crying and I'm terrified of letting things out.  A friend told me to remember that they are all in similar situations and are there to support, not judge.  So I just have to remember that.

It is taking all I have not to completely shut down and shut everyone out.  The supportive comments and discussions on Twitter and FB are helping.  I know that I need to get out of the house, but taking that step, literally, across the threshold is more like climbing a 12 foot wall with no partner.  Today I HAVE to go to the grocery store.  My anxiety is so bad that I shake and twitch.  I must look like a junkie, and facing people in public is just terrifying.  Dreading it.  But if I can focus on the task at hand, perhaps I will survive.  Also seeing a friend today I haven't seen in close to 15 years.  Which will either be good or freak me out.  I don't know yet.  

Unemployment update: I was officially denied.  Now, I can fight this.  The issue is that I currently cannot work, and being able and available for work is a requirement.  PA does not have state disability.  What do I do?  Seriously, what?  

I also need to call the county assistance office and get the ball rolling on things like food stamps and CHIP for P.  Again, it's the issue of conquering the threshold to do such things.  

The reason I was not admitted for inpatient care is that I am not full-on have a plan suicidal.  Just, as they say, fleeting thoughts.  The bad part is that I am "cutting".  In quotations because I don't use a blade, I use a nail file.  No permanent damage or blood.  

I can barely interact with P.  Luckily, he is a fairly independent little booger and will play on his own.  It's when he gets needy that I have issues.  Mid afternoon and evening are my bad times of the day.  Of course, that's when he is neediest and I have to be on top of my game.  I feel like the worst mom ever.  Which just compounds the anxiety and depression.

I am scared.  I want to get better.  But I have never been this bad before and it really is rather terrifying.  One of my closest friends and I are on the outs, partly because of my bipolar.  So, it got me fired, and it's losing me a friend in a time when I can't afford to lose people.  Which makes me angry.  So angry.  And so sad.  I despise this illness.  I want it to just go away.  I don't want to spend my life on umpteen drugs to help me be "normal".  But this is the hand I've been dealt.  And so, to war I will go.  

Tally Ho, soldiers.  Tally Ho.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

I went to the clinic yesterday and did the intake process.  I lucked out and am able to get psych eval Thursday.  Tomorrow.  It may be a few weeks before I can see a therapist.  We talked about a plan to get me through the days...getting out of the house.  Taking P for walks.  Doing things that I enjoy (even though right now everything feels like a chore), and about my support system.  He seemed pleased by the support I have in place.

But I am just getting worse right now. I went to the crisis center after I finished the intake.  Unfortunately, the center doc was on call for the hospital and could not see me.  Fuck.

I had the day to myself, so I came home and I'm not gonna lie.  I took 2 of Hubby's pain pills and let them knock me out so I could just SLEEP.  Because that seemed the safest option.  I am going to try to go to the crisis center again today, but the time frame means I may not be able to find a sitter for P and that is a problem.  I know I see the psych lady tomorrow.  So I can make it, right? Right?

My trip is postponed until I can get myself stable.  My unemployment was officially denied, so I have to appeal that, but I honestly don't feel like I can work right now.  Not at any place where I could get hired quickly.  I need work that makes me feel good, whole.  I honestly don't know if work is something that would help right now or hinder.  I feel like I can't make any decisions and trust that they are good ones.  Other than the one I made to go to the clinic.

The outpouring of support I have received from family and friends and bleeps and feeps and tweeps is simply amazing.  You all give me the strength to get through this.  I wish there was some way I could thank you all in person.  Hug you.  Something.

Music is helping me.  I rediscovered Melissa Etheridge the other day.  One song in particular has been helping.  So, I leave you with that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Plan

I did the research for our county and found these guys.  After asking around, it turns out I know several people who have worked there, and 1 who uses their services.  This is encouraging.  I called the crisis line, and found out that they have outpatient intake walk-ins starting at 9 am.  So, today is to be spent with Hubby and TG up in the 'hood.  Hopefully our friend can watch P tomorrow while I am at the clinic and Hubby is at work.

I guess what happens is they determine where you are in terms of health, and whether you need inpatient services as well.  It is non-profit.  I can get meds.  And according to family friend, the man I will most likely work with is awesome.  So here's hoping.

Need to pack overnight and tomorrow bag for P and myself.  And rescue my pie pan which has just become a drum...

I appreciate all your support and love.  Your comments make me cry.  Because I feel so incredibly loved.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fighting The Good Fight

I am going downhill.  Action needs to happen.

Went up to the old 'hood Friday to spend the weekend with Hubby and TG.  It did not go well.  I had to ask TG to hide the razor blades taunting me from the kitchen above the sink.  And temporarily gave him custody of my meds.  I have to stay busy.  If I am not busy, I think.  I tried to nap today and all I could think about was finding a sharp object and causing myself some pain.  Not killing myself.  But hurting myself.  I was thisclose to going to the hospital.

I have support.  No one is leaving me alone.  And if I have to waste the gas money, I waste the gas money to drive where someone can help me.  Tomorrow I am calling the county crisis line, and if I have to self admit, I will.  But we have to figure out how to get care for P.

How did I get here?  I am so scared.  I have been scared about money, about our baby coming early...about so many things.  But being scared of myself?  It sucks.

I am beginning to hate the statement "but you're a mom and need to care for P."  No shit.  That's why I need help.  So I don't neglect him.  Hurt myself while he is here.  God forbid I do something stupid and CPS gets involved.  There is the camp of supporters who think hospitalization is overdoing it.  That it's just therapy and medication adjustment.  But I think we are looking at some serious adjustments, and really?  Who wants to be around me when that is going on?  I'm a wreck as it is.

My go-to therapy, at least while I am at home, is the kitchen.  Made carrot applesauce and blueberry kiwi pearsauce.  Chopped all our fresh veggies and froze them (we are terrible at using them on time).  Friday before I went postal I took some Spring photos.  That always makes me happy.  Today I made sugar free strawberry banana orange carrot zucchini muffins.

The thing is.  The past couple of days things that normally hold my interest have not.  I baked today to keep busy.  But no joy.  Had zero urge to tattoo this weekend.  Or get laid.  I barely want to be touched.

None of my crazy seems to be affecting P.  While at home we have great sleep progress and something resembling a schedule.  And he has gone from an Army crawl to standard crawling to pulling up and cruising in a week.  Not kidding.  The pulling up and cruising came today.  Once he picks something up he is alllll about it.  So, for now...he is good.  Too bad I am terrible at playing with him right now.  I think he knows something though...he crawls over, stands up, and lays kisses on me like raindrops.

I am getting help because of him.  Because of this amazing kid who snuggles and babbles and wants to know about EVERYTHING as soon as he sees it.  As I write this he is giving his daddy kisses for the first time.

For him, all for him.  I need to get better.  I need to not do something stupid.  I don't know if my trip is happening.  At least not as soon as I had hoped.  But you all have been incredibly supportive.  It helps me so much to know I am not alone.  That there is another side.  That I can find me again in the darkness. I have to believe that I can.  That the pain can go away.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Facing The Hard Shit

I haven't been posting.  Not on here. Barely on Twitter or FB.  And mostly not about anything important.  Because the things in my head are scary.  Very scary.

I have been on the Risperdal for a little over a month now.  Is it making a difference?  I honestly don't know.  I sleep better.  Which is a plus.  But my moods?  I feel like if anything I'm just cycling more rapidly.  Me alone with P at home is just a disaster.  I don't have the energy to play with him.  When he cries or fusses I can barely handle it.  My mom seems aware of this and runs to him the second he is crying and I've gone to hide in the garage and smoke.  It's humiliating.  I feel as though I should be grateful...but I feel like a horrid mother.

We have made improvements in him sleeping in the crib though and the night time bottle is a thing of the past.  Well, the bedtime bottle.  Trying to use water only in the middle of the night, but that is still a work in progress.  But having the bed to myself is a catch 22.  Hubby is away a lot of the week working so he doesn't have to commute.  Which leaves me alone.  Which is BAD.  But necessary.  So the bed is empty.  Probably going to find myself sleeping on the couch.

When he is home, it means we have the bed to myself, which is a whole other can of worms.  I am numb.  And yet, he takes care of me.  There is always some outside opinion that thinks he doesn't.  He isn't super demonstrative in front of others.  But he pulls up information on insurance if we can figure out how to afford it so I can get in to see the doctors I really should be seeing to get me stabilized.  He is completely on board with me taking an extended trip to New England and the Midwest with P (scary scary scary) even though that means he may not see us for weeks.  But I need to get out.

I am trying to figure out ways to get out of the house.  So this tiny apartment is not as neat as I would like.  Sometimes as much as 4 days a week I stay up with our friend Tattoo Guy (TG) at his house while Hubby is there.  So...nothing gets done here.  I'm wasting money on food and gas.  So now, when I grocery shop, I plan to freeze and can so that the fresh stuff doesn't go to waste.  It's a project, right?  But when I'm there, it's like having a family to care for.  3 kids who adore me, TG who adores me, learning to tattoo, getting ink, photography projects...all things that give me motivation and I enjoy doing.

I need to find a job.  But I don't feel I can work right now.  I had a meltdown so bad the other day I scared TG into tears.  I am a fucking wreck.  I have come close a couple times to taking my uninsured ass to the ER and asking to be admitted.  Yes, it's that bad.  Talking about it makes me cry more.  Without a job we are fucked for insurance.  I NEED insurance.  I NEED to go to County Assistance and apply for food stamps and CHIP for P.  I NEED to get myself better.

I am hoping this trip helps.  A little of the old me getting out and living on the road.  I can't go back to the type of job I had before.  I know this.  I don't really qualify for the ones I would like.  So what the fuck do I do?  It's become obvious that what I do with my days to bring home the bacon very strongly affects my ability to function with my condition.  My good days often occur because I am doing something for someone else.  I.e. avoiding my own shit.  This is not healthy. I take my meds.  I barely make it through the day without Ativan.  I am up to 200mg Zoloft.  And yes, I self medicate with wine.  Because I can't seem to stay calm enough, numb enough otherwise.

Today my anxiety was flaring I shoved my lip rings back in after 8 months.  It hurt.  It worked.  Better than a knife, right?

The last time I was this bad...2 years ago, post IF dx meltdown, I was on paid leave.  No child to care for, depending on me, crying for me.  Days to myself.  I could take care of myself.  Now?  It's so much harder.  I don't know how to heal.  I don't know how to conquer the monsters in my head.  The pain in my heart.

It's not just ONE thing.  I can't just say, "oh, it's this or it's that."  It's so much I feel like I'm drowning.  And right's scary.  I still have such baby pangs every time I hear a pg announcement.  Ummm, hello?  I can't handle this child.  I am cuckoo for cocoa puffs!  But my god I want to be pregnant again.  Which takes money.  A job.  Insurance.  SANITY.  Who am I kidding?  I don't think it will happen.  And honestly, could I handle 2 small children?  Perhaps...if we ever figure out a way to get me functional.

I hate being me.  I hate living right now.  P is my reason for living.  He is why I'm alive.  I know this.  That's what I hang onto in the bad moments.  I can't fuck up his life.  Not after all the fighting to get him here.  I need to be a good mom.  I need to find a way to heal, to be "normal" so I can be that good mom.  Not a mom who goes off the deep end, who can't be dependable, who does crazy things.

One day at a time.  That is all I can do right now.  Barely.

I have support.  I have people I can call, can go to if I feel I am going to do something stupid.  I have more holes I can repierce...yay pain.  TG will tat me until he turns blue in the face.  Tatting him helps.  It gives me focus.  But none of these things move me forward.

I alternate between wanting to stay in bed all day (not possible), scream and cry and beat my head and fists against something or someone (ummm, did that the other day...stopped because I freaked him out), and wanting, honestly, to just not BE anymore.  I want to feel physical pain because it takes it out of my chest for a short time.

I am sick.  I know this.  I don't know how, in our situation, to fix this.  I am just trying not to fuck up more.  To not hurt people.  To not REALLY hurt myself.

Coming on here, admitting some of's very difficult.  Putting out there some of what goes through my mind.  Well, sort of.  Putting out there how much I am struggling.  It's hard.  It's scary.  It's embarassing.

I know this began as an IF blog.  But I've addressed other things as well.  And, well, the focus has changed somewhat.  My IF is still quite obviously an issue for me, one that is certainly a factor in the crazy.  But I can't hide.  I shouldn't be ashamed.  I shouldn't feel I need to hide.  My's not unusual.  It's not anything like that.  It's all too common.  And makes it worse.  Just like IF.  Putting it out there, being open and gives it a face.  It means that maybe, just maybe, someone will read this and know they aren't alone.  And it means I document it.  That can only help.  To have it somewhere.  To have acknowleged it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Tisket, A Tasket

P was due on Easter Sunday last year.  Which was 2 weeks later than this year.  On this date a year ago, P's IVF twin was born. So Happy Birthday to Bryan!

About this time last year we did P's newborn photos.  Remember this goodie:

He could fit into that Easter basket.

Here is that Easter basket in comparison now: did that happen?  I may or may not have cried my eyes out at Kmart the other day when I was looking at this year's selection remembering my itty bitty baby.  Who now crawls like a big boy, is pulling himself up, thinks we are his own personal jungle gym, says Mama and Dada, and is going to be in peewee football by the time he is 2 if he keeps growing like this!

Anywho, Happy Easter from all of us!!!

*Note: I took all but that first photo myself.  I highly recommend Camera360 for Android :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012


I am not in a great place.  I'm hiding it well.  But my lack of posts on here should give you some idea...I just no longer know what to write.  So much on my mind.  A lot of it is scary.  It scares me.  And I don't really know what to do with it all.

New medication.  No access to health insurance now.  Overwhelmed.

We moved into the apartment at my mom's.  It's small.

I feel so utterly lost with everything.  I am still here, and I know I will get my blogging mojo back.  Maybe it's just a case of needing to get my apprehension of sharing out.

But for brain festers in its own shit.  I'm sorry for being so absent.