Saturday, August 7, 2010

Four Questions

My friend asked me today to answer some questions for her for a school project and although the questions aren't completely about my illness, I thought it would be an interesting read nevertheless. Enjoy! 

1. What do you need protection from: 

-Myself, my feelings, my mind. I am my own worst enemy in every sense of the word.

-People-their cruelty, their judgments, and (often nasty) opinions on things they don't understand or don't want to understand. Even when stable, it's very easy to upset me, and people often don't realize (or don't care).

-Doctors-trying to push their own agendas and (especially) medication. For one good doctor out there (especially in psychiatrics) there's 10 bad ones.

2.  Things I'm afraid of: 

-I'm petrified of death. Not of my own, but of those I love. I think about it constantly. I know it's part of my disorder (to obsess) but it scares the hell out of me. Because I've been so close to death myself, and so has my Mom (we've both tried to commit suicide multiple times)...I know how close and easy death is. I've also lost a lot of people in my life, and each time it gets harder. I lost my Grandad when I was 9, and it was incredibly difficult. I had a chance to hug him on the day he died, but he'd had a stroke and I just couldn't. He looked like a shell of himself. I will never forgive myself for not being able to touch him. I tend to hold on too much to those I love, and I know eventually when they are gone, it will absolutely crush me. I have NO idea how I will be able to deal with it, and it scares the shit out of me.

-Driving Chris away. When we got engaged I told him all the things to expect with my disorder-being off work, snapping at him, hospital visits, med changes, etc.....but you can tell someone something all day long, it won't matter; they have to experience it. I'm petrified he will leave me because I'm too much to handle. I know he loves me, and I know he never wants to leave, but I can't help thinking that eventually it will get to a point where he can't take anymore, and that would crush me. He's such an amazing guy, he could have his pick of almost anyone, and the fact that he chose me (even with all my "problems") is amazing....but we're in this for life, and I often worry he can't handle being in this horrible roller coaster for life.

3.  What do you need to protect: 

-My marriage. It's the most precious thing to me. We work hard on it (not that it's incredibly difficult or anything, but it takes time and effort). It's everything to me, and I'd be lost without Chris.

-Those I love-my parents, my brother, my extended family. Family means the world to me. I spend as much time with them as possible, and could not live without them (this ties back to 'things I'm afraid of"). I work on my relationships with them, even though it's not always easy....because I believe family (and best friends) are always worth it.

-My health. I have to be my own health advocate. I have to research, ask others, visit the library....everything. It's up to me to know the most amount of information I can on every drug and treatment. I can't rely on doctors...they are often too busy or have their own agenda. I need to know what's best for ME.

-My sense of self/self worth/confidence-All these things are lost when I'm ill. I feel useless. When I start to feel better I need to start building up my confidence again. When you on are medications that change your thought patterns (and ultimately, you) it takes a lot of work to realize who you really are and what you really want out of life. Especially since these "miracle drugs" make you gain massive amounts of weight-which always brings down your self confidence. Feeling good and sexy is a VERY difficult thing for me. Believing that I'm a good human being and that it's WORTH it for me to be living and that I'm contributing to society is a VERY difficult thing to come to terms with when you are on life-long medication.

4.  What do you idolize: 

-Firstly (and obviously), Chris and my parents. I look up to Chris in ways I never thought I'd be able to in a husband. He teaches me something new every day. And my parents are truly the best. They raised me to be an amazing woman, and I had an fabulous childhood. Even though I went through a very difficult time in my teens, they were there every single step of the way. I honestly would not be here without them. Their support and love means everything to me.

-Not really idolizing, but I adore my alone time. I find it very difficult to recharge, especially when I'm ill, so my alone time means A LOT to me. And luckily Chris gives me as much as I need or want.

-My health. When I'm healthy, I cherish every single second of it. Most people have no idea what it's like to have an illness where you can become ill literally in a day. To the point where you can't work, can't socialize, and end up in the hospital. So everyday that I feel good and healthy, I cherish it. It's a gift to me.

-Travelling. Something I love to do (especially to Holguin) and always gives me something to look forwards to. No matter where we're going (even if it's just a camping trip up north) I look forward to it for weeks. It breaks up the monotony of life.

-I secretly idolize people who can deal with the disorders I have without medication. I would love to be able to do that, but it just doesn't work for me (I've tried). I'm happy for people who can use yoga, mediation, sleep schedules, and whatever else works for them. I would love to be able to be off these mind-altering drugs....who knows what the long-term damage will be? And I'd LOVE to skip all these horrible side effects. But for now, these medications work for me, and I'm happy with them. I don't agree with throwing medications at everyone for whatever ailment they have; but sometimes, we have to use the technology and scientific research available to us. But I do idolize people who are able to do it by themselves.