What am I doing? … I have NO IDEA

Here’s the thing… I do LOVE fashion, makeup, and hair related anything but I am also suffering from Complex PTSD.  This is something I have been trying to sort out how to write about, how to approach writing about it and I came to the conclusion that I’d just dive right into it.

I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I am prone to sleepless nights, panic attacks, and worrying about everything. All. The. Time.  My PSTD is complex because there is not just ONE trauma that affects me but many traumas all on top of each other.

For YEARS I was misdiagnosed as Mild Bi-Polar which never really made a lot of sense to me but at the time, being desperate for an answer,  I just went with it.  I have tried so many antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications – at one point I was taking something in the morning, something in the evening, and I had Ativan “just in case”.  I hated them all, none of them (EXCEPT the Ativan which I  do still use on occasion), helped me at at all.  I was a zombie.  I had no personality.  Nothing mattered.  For me it just wasn’t working and wasn’t worth sacrificing what little part of me I enjoy.  Over the course of 3 years I was on and off more meds then I can remember and one day I just decided enough was enough.  I wanted to regain SOME control over myself.

I ended up just completely stopping taking my medication which I KNOW is not a good idea. I am fully aware that one is supposed to “ween off” of antidepressants and such but in my defence I was to a point where I was forgetting to take my AM pill or my PM pill on a regular basis, I’d miss a day or two routinely so just stopping just kind of happened.  Luckily I didn’t have any issues with going off of medication and I am happy to be off- NOT that medication is bad, it does work for some people just not for me (and I do not recommend my method of just stopping meds).

After going off meds and alerting my doc to my decision, I decided to pursue therapy (again). I had tried therapy before but I never really found anybody I felt comfortable talking to nor did I find it ever helped.  I’d leave my appointments feeling worse then when I went in.  That didn’t seem right.

I began doing some research and I came across a treatment called eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movement_desensitization_and_reprocessing) or EMDR for short.  I did not know much about this treatment but I knew I wanted it.  My search for this treatment led me to the therapist I see now and have been seeing for a few years now.  She is amazing.  I feel comfortable, safe, and not judged when I talk to her (which is how you SHOULD feel in a therapeutic environment).

At the time I first started this round of therapy I still thought I was Bi-Polar.  Not only did I question this diagnosis but eventually so did my therapist.  Over time and through a lot of discussions and activities such as mood charting and other things I won’t get into at the moment (because this blog is long enough ALREADY…), I was re diagnosed as PTSD.  That made a lot more sense.  I didn’t have many of the symptoms of Bi-Polar when it came down to it but I did have EVERY SYMPTOM of someone suffering from PTSD.  Not only was this a huge answer to the big blank I’ve been drawing for years but it also explained why medication did not benefit me.  In taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication I was only treating the symptoms of my illness, not the root of the problem.  As irony would have it, the EMDR therapy I so desperately want(ed) is exactly what (I feel) I need.

Currently I am in therapy and I am pursueing/getting EMDR treatment.  I have officially just started reprocessing and feel the need to share/vent about therapy or life in general…. What is my point? What am I doing? I have no idea really but I felt the need to write about it.  I can’t sleep and this is some what productive.  Also, I have been trying to vlog my therapy days and I thought a blog would be a nice piece to add to the puzzle.  I recently had someone comment and thank me because it helps them feel better and it was such an amazing feeling I have been inspired to start trying to write about this.  If I can not only help myself but potentially help other people then its worth more then I thought it could be.

Also please note this is my personal opinion/experience, I am not a professional.

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At this current time (MARCH 2016) I have deleted most of my “Therapy Vlogs” from YouTube as I have decided that for now I would prefer to keep some things off camera (this post was written a few months ago).  I have, however, started this blog in hopes that I can potentially talk about therapy and mental health related topics.  It is something I want to talk about.  I still vlog on occasion but I am trying to focus on making happy vlogs I will want to watch years from now and am not embarrassed to share with friends.  It is all a work in progress.  Let’s see what happens and where I go.

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Trying to be productive with Anxiety on my back

I wrote a list of to-do’s out last night for today.  This list consisted of 3 things:

  • remove nail polish
  • do kitty litters
  • shower

It took me all day but I have managed to complete said list.  I am even blogging and I managed to make noodles for dinner.  Yay me.

I am not a lazy person.  I do not like lazy people.  It is not laziness that prevents me from doing things.  It’s anxiety.

Everything I do has a hint of “it’s not going to work” or “you suck” to it.  I try to think the opposite as I do know deep down that I don’t suck and maybe if I work really hard something will work.  I still get sucked down by the thoughts and feelings of so many failed projects.  So many quit jobs.  Unfinished College programs.

I want to work, perhaps go back to school, find what makes me happy.  A career is very important to me and so far a career seems like a wish that is just no attainable.  I pick the wrong courses, I end up hating my major or the whole program all together (hello Dental Administration – why did I take you?!?).  My previous post-secondary knowledge is starting to become out of date (hello Art & Design – I love you but your are getting old.  Nobody uses the dinosaur programs or techniques I was taught).  I have nothing but industrial kitchen experience under my belt as that is what I did for 7 years before that became too depressing.  My second nervous breakdown caused me to quit that job so needless to say I am not in a big hurry to find another kitchen to work in.  Then, of course, there is that pesky little problem of living in the middle of nowhere.  I used to like it.  I enjoy the quiet and the privacy.  Lately I find it as depressing as anything else.  There is nothing around, nothing to strive for, nowhere to go, and no room to grow, at least creatively.  It downright sucks.

Then I think, maybe it’s me.  Maybe I AM the one with the big problem.  Perhaps I cannot be pleased.  Perhaps I am just the village idiot that should be happy I have what I have.  But I am not happy.  I want more.  The village idiot would not want more right?!

I miss traveling.  I love to film and edit footage.  I love to type.  I feel the need to advocate for mental health.  There MUST be something out there I can do and do well.  Something that won’t cause me to have a nervous breakdown.  Something that won’t cause me to lose myself and become miserable.  Is this the point where I decide to try to be my own boss? Is this when I throw caution to the wind and live the life I want now? Will I regret it later when it all blows up in my face? (Oh hello negativity, you again).

I don’t know.  I don’t know what I will do.  I do know that I am so sick of anxiety and negative thoughts standing in my way.  Do I continue to listen to those thoughts or do I encore them and go forward?  I don’t know.  We shall find out.

If I do continue to listen to the negative thoughts I do know I will also have to live with the regret of never knowing if my dreams could come true.  I don’t know if that is wise seeing as that seems like it would plague me and depress me for the rest of my life.

 

 

 

WHEN DEPRESSION ATTACKS

I have no real inspiration.  I just want to sleep.  I feel like a failure.  I am so sad I could cry for days. Everything hurts.  My thoughts won’t stop.

Depression is upon me. Oh who am I kidding?  Depression SURROUNDS me.  Writing this blog may very well be the most productive thing I have done all day.

I had a really shitty therapy appointment yesterday.  It has made me not want to even continue with it.  I am sick of therapy.  I am sick of being depressed.  I am sick of the anxiety obstacles.  Most of all I am sick of not living my life.  How fucking depressing it is to not live your life.  I had goals, I had dreams, stupid depression and anxiety always gets in the way.

I am sick of not moving forward but I don’t know how to move forward.  I feel so stuck in a rut I can’t even begin to imagine clawing my way close to out.  I am to the point where I am willing to completely immerse myself in the few things I still love and seeing what happens.  That means I actually have to try and not worry about the possibility of not succeeding.  Easy to type, not so easy to execute.

Fuck you depression! Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!

Anxiety & Me

i, Carla have an anxiety problem.

i, Carla loves to type.

i, Carla + anxiety + typing = iCarla Blogs.

I kind of don’t know what else to do with myself at this point.

I have been suffering with anxiety and anxiety related problems for over 15 years now.  I still remember my first attack as if it was yesterday.  It was horrifying.  At 16 years old I really believed I was dying – predominantly of a heart attack.  I had no idea what this tremendously bad feeling was nor where it came from.  I felt both physically and mentally sick.  I didn’t know wether I was going to throw up or pass out and my thoughts were a tunnel of doom and gloom.  Sweating, shaking, crying, all for no apparent reason.  It got to a point where I started fearing these attacks and would try to do anything to prevent or stop them.

Little did I know just how much these mysterious attacks would effect my life.  I did not even know what they were.  Back then not a lot of people seemed to know about anxiety problems, it took me years before I even heard the term “anxiety attack”.  And now my sense of fear and prevention have led me to a life I don’t want to live.

Currently I am extremely introverted.  I used to work and have had a variety of jobs but since late 2013 I have been unemployed.  I get extremely depressed to the point where I don’t leave the house for DAYS.  I am extremely anxious in social situations.  I don’t like strangers (I am 32 years old for crying out loud).  I am in therapy (and starting to hate it).  I have passed up and avoided more opportunities and situations then I care to remember and overall I feel like a gigantic loser.

I don’t know what to do anymore.  I have decided to start typing and see what happens.  Maybe somewhere, somehow, my words can help someone out there.