Friday, December 1, 2017

My Serious Mental Breakdown

Anxiety level: High
Last night I had a really terrible breakdown. It was probablythe worst panic attack I’ve ever had. I kept banging my head against the bookcase until there were huge bumps. There were a bunch of DVD’s and VHS’s and I just shoved them off the shelf. I’m not sure why, I just felt like I had to. It was like reflex almost. After that I just froze. I couldn’t move. I was holding on to my pjs really tight and was just staring and this VHS. I was barely breathing and I really wanted to stop breathing. I remember really hoping someone would find me and help me. I thought about choking myself but knew that wouldn’t work. I just held my breath for a bit. I took the cord to my headset and tied it around my neck. I knew that wouldn’t work because I’d tried it before. I had only got it to work once and that was the first time I ever attempted suicide. My brother walked in on me. The problem with tying something around your neck is you have to tie it really tight and even then, the cord can slip and it doesn’t work. Eventually I just froze again. I held onto my Batman pj bottoms really tight and rocked myself. I went back to staring at the one VHS and eventually I started crying really hard. I could barely talk. I really needed it to stop. I started crying for help. It was really quiet at first because I was crying so hard but I was able to get louder eventually and my mom and brother found me and helped calm me down. My mom was able to get me up even though I told her I couldn’t move. And walked me to her bed and held me and rocked me like a baby while my brother was hugging me. I tried to tell her I had bumps on my head but she couldn’t understand me for a while. She asked my brother if he could understand me but he couldn’t either. I tried to say it more clearly and eventually she understood me. I had boogers all over my face from crying and I tried to tell my mom and she understood me a little quicker that time. She got me a tissue but I told her I couldn’t move so she wiped them for me. I felt like a baby so I told my mom. She said yes you’re my baby. I said no I am a baby. She said sometimes we are but it’s ok and sometimes it even happens to her. I said ok and felt better about it. Somewhere in the middle of this I stopped crying altogether. When I was calm enough, she got me to lie down and cuddled me. I wanted cereal so my brother got me some. He got me more when I was done and wanted more. When I was done I wanted my blanket that was in the other room so I went and got it and snuggled it. It was really comforting to snuggle my blanket just like it was comforting for my mom to rock me and brother to hug me. I eventually fell asleep. I slept from 1am to 3pm. I had a super vivid dream that was a crossbow between Life is Strange and Assassin’s Creed, only it was with Marvel superheroes.
-Emily

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Canyon View Apartments

Anxiety level: High
My roommate told me last night that utilities are due. Today she said she had to have it by the end of the day or she would tell the landlord. The gas bill was due yesterday. I’ve been stressed all day even though I know it’s ridiculous to demand payment for that gas bill and other utilities after it’s due and expect to get it immediately. I was able to pay my part of the gas bill but she said she needed all of it, including rent. Rent isn’t due for another couple days so I’m trying not to worry about it a ton. I always pay the rent on time. I’ve never been late. I don’t why she has to put this extra stress on me! After basically calling me a liar, she is still being a jerk. She said she gave me plenty of time but that’s obviously false. I’m not moving out though, even though the apartment manager is a jerk and so is Laura. The pool here really helps me relax during the summer and I feel fairly safe while walking around the complex. I don’t want to have to fight with another apartment manager to be able to keep my cats. I just wish I had a better apartment manager, one that doesn’t discriminate against me or ask about me to my roommates behind my back. I wish she would treat me nicely and not be so condisending. She was upset that I gave the apartments 2 stars on Facebook “because of my roommate problems”. She was referring to the second notice she gave me that was 90% false. She said it was just roommate problems. I told her that it wasn’t the reason why, it was because of my cats. She said that’s fair but that I should explain it in the review. I was upset about that! I changed my review to one star and stated the truth: “The apartment manager doesn’t accommodate people with disabilities.” It explained the one star like she said but the next day I found that the Facebook ratings and reviews were taken off completely. If you were to check the page now there is nothing. I reviewed the apartments on google and a couple other places because people need to know. I found a couple other reviews that called her racist, discriminatory and the like. I don’t think she should be an apartment manager. I hope Laura doesn’t try to talk to me about getting rid of a cat again because that isn’t going to happen, I need them too much. I’m barely getting by with them, there’s no way I’d get by without them. I’m excited to move everything from the living room into my room. My TV, PlayStation, DVD shelf, table, lamp,and  lovesac. I’m excited to decorate my room Christmas too. Maybe I’ll start feeling better when I have things decorated. Christmas usually cheers me up. I’m tired but I doubt I’ll get sleep tonight. Too much on my mind. I’ll try some of my coping skills for night time so maybe I will.
-Emily

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Need Some Sleep

Anxiety Level: Pretty Friggin High
Hi people,
It’s 7:45 am and I cannot sleep. My sleep schedule has been wacky because I’ve been sick and also because of anxiety. Last night I played video games, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, and hung out with my cats  for quite a while because I wasn’t tired and even trying to sleep seemed pointless. I’m extremely tired now but my mind won’t quiet down. When I try to sleep all I can think about it how horrible my apartment manager and roommate were to me. I keep thinking it’s not fair that I can’t go back home. I honestly really needed to go to hospital last week but I didn’t. I was gonna go Saturday but my family is gonna be in town longer than I thought. I guess I’m going home Friday with my mom to make sure everything is ok but I’m freaking out about it. I want to be able to go home but it’s terrifying. The last thing I need is more harassment from both my roommate Laura, and apartment manager Lynette. I’m still freaking. My heart feels like it’s beating really hard and I was just silently crying because of everything with them. I’m just lying here, trying to clear my head. I put on some background noise but it doesn’t seem to be helping like it sometimes does.

-Emily

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I almost... but I didn't

I'm struggling. My roommate is being horrible and my manager gave me a warning about leaving my cats at home when I visit family or stay somewhere overnight, which I never do. I told my roommate how I was on suicide watch and she just didn't care. That is HARD to do. It is HARD to tell someone that and she's just brushed it off like it was nothing. I didn't want to stress anymore. I was supposed to go home but after the letter from the manager and my roommate telling me my cats aren't there to help me, I was just overwhelmed. I couldn't cope anymore.

Here's a background:

My cats help me SO much with my mental illnesses. Sephora with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Bucky with Major Depressive Disorder. They have such different personalities, it's crazy. Sephora helps me when I'm freaking out. When I'm panicking, she's there and she will stay with me. Bucky is the crazy cat who cheers me up. He is so weird and silly it makes me laugh. Earlier today I was crying my face off and Sephora just didn't want me to hold her like I needed, she got straight up angry with me. I knew I needed Bucky. He hates to be held but he let me and didn't leave me. He didn't even complain for a while. My cats help me in such different ways it's crazy. I love them both so much and they have absolutely saved my life.
When I first moved into Canyon View apartments in Cedar city I was planning on just having one of my cats with me because there was already a dog and there was a two pet limit. I knew I needed them but didn't know which one to have with me. I went to the hospital just as I was moving in. I couldn't handle the stress and was feeling insane and the panic attacks got so bad I needed them to stop so I got suicidal. While I was in the hospital I talked to the therapists and social workers about my things I did to cope. I mentioned in a one on one with a social worker (I think) about how my cats help me cope and how I was freaking out about not having them both. She was concerned about, firstly, the strain of being separated with even one of them; and second, the support and coping method that was being taken away. I was also worried that they wouldn't have each other to play with and keep company.
I was able to have a letter written that officially made them Emotional Support Animals and I started feeling hopeful again. I got out of the hospital with a new hope about things! I had them both with me for a little bit until I got, what was basically a rejection letter from the apartment manager Lynette. I was crushed and then I started panicking, all of the new hope vanished instantly. I didn't know what to do at first. I just knew I needed them. I contacted the Disability Law Center and they were able to give me some guidance. Firstly, they made sure that I only had one cat with me. Secondly, the sent a letter to the manager. The fight felt like it took forever and I was not doing well without Sephora. My former roommates boyfriend was also a jerk about it. He stayed the night every single night, had a key to the house, parked in our one shared parking space, and was there even when Taylor (the former roommate) was not. I had a really hard time after the fight was over. Eventually the manager decided just to let me have my cats, she first said I could have them both but she "couldn't renew my lease". She tried so many tricky ways to get me out.

So that was my legal battle for emotional support.
Seems kind of ridiculous doesn't it?

Now I'm not amazing with cleaning. I never have been, but I've been working SO hard on it. It's really tough to get yourself to clean when you can't even get yourself to eat. For a while after my boyfriend had broken up with me, my grandpa died of cancer right next to me, my parents, and my evil uncle had been harassing me, I had a hard time cleaning up after myself at all. I didn't eat, didn't shower, didn't brush my teeth, didn't really do anything. Eventually I decided to start school again, which was a terrible idea, I freaked out about going to class and it really just added on the stress and made me shut down more. My room got really dirty while all of this was happening. It was shameful of me but I couldn't get myself to do anything. I just didn't care. I left for comic con, which is a huge deal for me, if you have read this blog you should know. While I was gone there was an inspection and I got an eviction notice about cleaning the litter box. When I came back the house smelled so bad from the litter box. It probably did before but I didn't care enough to notice. I had forgotten to clean the litter box before I left. My room smelled awful and so did all the clothes in it. My roommates helped me clean my awful room and I did all of my laundry. I worked hard on getting rid of the smell. I started cleaning the litter box every day after that. I would still forget every once in a while but I did my best. I officially decided to drop from school which was really really hard. I started getting really depressed again. I started feeling worthless again. The only things that kept me going were my cats and the video game Elder Scrolls Online. I had met people on there that I regularly played with and it was great. I consider them my friends. I was desperate for help when I went up north for witch fest. I did have some fun here and there  but most of the night I was faking smiles and pretending like I was okay. I knew I was getting dangerously lonely and sad, being with my family did help a little for a bit. I haven't had anxiety medicine that worked since about beginning or mid September. That was also a huge problem with my emotional well-being.

I have two different roommates from when I moved in. Taylor's dog is gone. My roommates knew when they were moving in that I had two cats. I hoped they would like my cats. I thought they did for a while and now one of them wants to force me to get rid of one. This happened just after she sent me the second notice I mentioned at the beginning of this post. She wants me to get ride of one so she can "at least have the chance to have a pet to care for." I basically said no. She knew there were no pets when she moved it. I wasn't going to get rid of my emotional support especially not when I was on suicide watch. I told her I was on suicide arch but she still continued to tell me how my cats aren't there to help me and a bunch of other crap she knew nothing about. It hurt me. It was the breaking point. I didn't even feel safe going home! That right there is what made me feel the most hopeless. I was crying and shaking and I couldn't deal with anything or even do anything. I was hurt, lost, sad, hopeless, and I just didn't know what to do to make it stop. That's when I wrote the last post then put a knife to my chest.

One of the things that saved my life today was a cat named Gary. He lives where I'm currently staying and he wanted to be let inside. I was just about to do it when he came to the kitchen window. I let him in and that shift in mood from hopeless to cat saved me. I don't know for sure whether or. It I would have gone through with it but I do know that Gary made a difference.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Suicide

Suicide is scary thought.
Even in passing, if your not serious about it. And that's why I'm terrified to go back to home. I don't want to kill myself.
I'm doing it. Few things first.
Salt Lake Behavioral Health I might have gone to the hospital if you guys hadn't been so terrible. I'm terrified of the hospital because of you.
Laura. You obviously don't give a crap about me but then again why should you? You're the reason I can't go back home.
Tina. Thank you for being so supportive. You have no idea how much you helped me.
I'm sorry Mom, Dad, and Adam. I can't anymore. I love you Grandma.
Grandma Dixie. I couldn't be around anyone who thought I could even possibly have done the things you "don't know" if I did. Alfred is scum and has ASPD
Lynette G. (canyon view apartment manager) I can't take the harassment anymore. You are no doubt, a part of this decision. At least you won't have to deal with my cats in the apartment.

Take care of my babies. If Sephora and Bucky have to be separated then Amanda gets Bucky. I want them to stay together though. Have a cheap funeral then go do something fun. Remember me sometimes.

Mental illness is not a joke. No one else should ever get to this point.
I'm sorry.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Stop the Stigma / The Battle

Anxiety Level: Super High

"It's easy"
"You'll be fine"
"It's not that hard"
"Just do it"
These may be true to some people but not for me and others with anxiety disorders. It's different for everyone. Everyone has different triggers. My triggers are sometimes hard to identify. Sometimes I don't have a trigger. It's HARD to say "I don't know" when you're asked why you are having anxiety. I feel like I have to convince people that anxiety is real. If you are throwing up at work, you'll probably be sent home. When you're having an anxiety attack, which is so much worse, you have to suck it up. It sucks!! One of my friends passes out when she has panic attacks. I feel so bad for her obviously but it does make her anxiety appear more real. I read something about invisible illnesses a while back. Just because you can't see the illness doesn't make it not real. Most anxiety symptoms are not visible and that makes them not real to a lot of people. It needs to stop. How are we supposed to get better when we have to convince people that it's real? It's possible, but extremely difficult.
People will push us and tell us to get over it but they don't understand that they are making things much harder for us. In order to help your friend we need to stop the stigma and let mental disorders be seen as what they are, an illness. We have no more control over our anxiety than someone has over their cancer. Neither will get better without treatment. Telling a person with anxiety "you'll be fine"is like giving someone medical advice on an illness they know nothing about. Saying "It's easy" or "It's not that hard" is not understanding that they are experiencing something completely different than you are.

I have been going to work even though it's a battle to get out the door. Good for me right? I won the battle. Right? But what if winning the battles didn't help you win the war? Sometimes they don't...
For me there are 2 situations when I battle my anxiety triggers:

 1. Sometimes doing something is a really scary thought, but once you start doing it the anxiety lessens.

Example:  I recently had to return equipment to someone that I had started working for but quit because of my anxiety. I knew he'd be nice about it. He'd already been really understanding and said to let him know if I get my anxiety under control and I can start working again. Even though I knew this I was still freaked out and got terrible anxiety. After I pushed myself to answer my door and help him, my anxiety lessened. He was as nice as ever and it was all okay.

These battles help you win the war.
You begin to see that it isn't so bad, that there is hope and it gives you courage to keep fighting. 

2. You know something you have to do will give you anxiety, but you do it anyways and have terrible anxiety the whole time.

Example: I go to work even though I don't want to since I always get anxiety at work.. Depending on my specific duties that day and the people I'm working with, that anxiety will be worse or better, but it's still there. Once I get to work, my anxiety goes from bad to worse. The whole day is a bloody battle. Once I get home, I am relieved and think how I never want to do that again. The next time I have to go to work it becomes even harder to manage my anxiety. It's kind of like a conditioned response. I go to work, get anxiety, and in my mind work becomes anxiety. Then each time I go to work and get anxiety that idea gets reinforced. My anxiety gets worse and worse until I can't do it anymore.

These battles do not help you win the war. 
You may have beat your anxiety that day but if what you are doing makes your anxiety worse then you will reach a breaking point and lose.

These are my observations from having anxiety. Sometimes it's good to face your anxiety head on but sometimes it's counterproductive. Only the person with anxiety knows what that can probably handle and what they can't. Sometimes you have to take it piece by piece. My problem is I don't know what specific events cause anxiety at work. I know some people can help or hurt but I don't know what specific things make my anxiety worse. Don't push your loved one to do something they just can't do yet. There are things they can do. Try to help the figure out what they can handle and what their triggers are.
-Emily


Catching up/Reflecting

"I worked at a residential facility for people that have mental illnesses. I had many trainings and junk. I did a  training on Recovery Promoting Relationships and I absolutely loved the quotes from it.

“I can talk, but I may not be heard. I can make suggestions, but they may not be taken seriously. I can voice my thoughts, but they may be seen as delusions. I can recite experiences, but they may be interpreted as fantasies. To be a patient or even an ex-client is to be discounted.” (1988)

I have talked about mental illness stigmas before but it is so important to me."
-Emily (written in Oct or Nov 2015)

 It's been quite a while since I posted. I had a really hard time at that job because I wasn't all there when I started. Towards the end of working there I'd to have panic attacks about going to work almost every shift. I kept calling in sick because I couldn't handle it. I wasn't lying. I was absolutely sick, but people don't see mental illness as being sick. My supervisor was awful. I once showed up to be trained for meds and she was "on her break" I asked the other employee when she'd left and assumed she'd be back soon based on how long she'd already been gone. He told me not to wait around and that she'd be gone for a long time. He said she had some kind of dance class on Tuesdays or something. I'd done that kind of thing when I'd started, forgetting appointments that is.  I was supposed to show up for a special training shift and I'd forget. Looking back, I was much more effected by Kimber's death than I'd realized. During that time I was distracted and forgetful and overall kind of sad. I wasn't crying everyday and I didn't constantly think about it, but I was sad. I did eventually quit that job. I should've quit long before I did. I had been having a really hard day and my supervisor wanted someone to cover her shift. Now I had just had a doctors appointment after getting no sleep that night. (I think I had worked a night shift) I was exhausted. To make matters worse my car broke down on my way back from the doctors. I was able to get it towed to my mechanic. I told her this. I then received a text, that went out to everyone by the way, that said "Emily gave some story about no sleep and and unworking car.." Then: "obviously meant to go to someone else." I quit a couple days later, I couldn't do it anymore. 
I'm a great employee when my anxiety is under control. I am productive and hardworking. When my anxiety hits it all goes downhill. I become less reliable, am late to work, scatterbrained, and shaky. 
Other things that happen when I don't have my anxiety under control: my heart is always racing, I often starts hyperventilating, I am constantly on edge, I get physically tense, I can't concentrate, I get irritated easily, and I get a strong feeling something bad is about to happen. It's not easy to put into words. This is just my anxiety, not my panicking. Panic attacks are much much worse but happen less often. I've always heard that panic attacks last for no more than 10 minutes. This doesn't feel true to me. When it comes to some things I feel like my panic doesn't stop until I'm removed from the situation causing the panic. It may actually be 10 minutes but if it is, it feels so much longer. 

Anxiety Level Nov-Dec 2015: SO SO SO HIGH

-Emily