Category Archives: psych

When you least expect it

I’d thought I was doing really well handling my PTSD symptoms.  Turns out I’m only actually good at handling them when there are no triggers.

All morning, my roommate has been yelling at her parents on the phone, banging around the apartment, slamming doors.  These are major triggers for me.  These were the things that came right before my mother’s rages.  Then there would be hours of her screaming at me, telling me I was a terrible person, telling me I was ruining her life.  Sometimes she’d hit me.  Sometimes she’d throw things at me.  Often, she’d threaten suicide and blame me for it.  Then she’d disappear–sometimes for hours, sometimes for days.  I would be left alone with my sisters, and I never knew if she was coming back or if she’d actually kill herself this time.  I’d do the best I could to take care of my sisters–we ate a lot of cereal, sandwiches, and macaroni and cheese because those were the only things I could cook.  I made sure we all got on the bus on time in clean clothes.  I didn’t know exactly what would happen if any grown-ups found out my mother kept disappearing, but I knew it wouldn’t be good.  I hid it all, but I was a child.  Children aren’t really very good at hiding things, but no one noticed because they didn’t want to notice.  When I was ten and my depression got so bad I couldn’t function in school, when I tried to kill myself the first time (albeit very ineptly), no one ever investigated why such a young child was so severely depressed.  No one investigated what was going on in my life, and I couldn’t tell.

I was left completely alone with a situation too huge for me to deal with, but I didn’t have any choice.  I didn’t have any way out.

And that’s how I feel now, even though I know it’s old trauma stuff.  My roommate is not actually going to hurt me, and even if she tried, I know how to take care of myself.  But my heart is racing, and I can’t stop shaking.  Every noise makes me jump.  I have my earbuds in with music on, but that only helps a little.  It becomes overstimulating–sound is the worst for me, for some reason–but that’s better than listening to my roommate.  I’ve done all the grounding stuff, and I’m not dissociating–but I don’t feel safe.   I really need to get something to eat, but I can’t leave my bedroom.  I can’t deal with seeing her or talking to her.

I really, really wish I could afford to live alone.  I do so much better that way.  Living with people is triggering, even if they’re people I’m comfortable with.  I just never feel entirely safe when there’s someone else in my space.  Roommate is nice enough, but it turns out she’s kind of immature and a drama queen.  From what I can gather, she’s having some kind of dental problem, and she’s upset because her parents didn’t call her or come take care of her.  I mean, she’s almost 30.  I try not to be judgmental of people’s distress, but when her distress is so out of control that it causes me distress, I lose tolerance.  I mean, I nearly died when I first got sick with UC, and there was literally no one there for me.  I was 500 miles away from home and 600 miles away from my family, and my family wouldn’t have been terribly concerned even if I’d been right next door.  My mother didn’t take care of me when I was sick as a child, let alone as an adult.  It sucks, yes.  It hurts when our parents don’t take care of us the way we need them to.  But you grow up and deal with it as best you can.  You don’t spend hours screaming about it.  You acknowledge that it sucks, but then you take care of yourself as best you can.

I hope this screaming and crap doesn’t become a long-term issue with Roommate.  I really cannot deal with that, at all.  Somebody just buy me my own place so I never have to live with anyone again.  Those tiny houses are pretty cool; I could go for one of them.  Just as long as it’s mine.

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I hate everything.

I’m not feeling very cohesive, so this post is going to seem kind of scattered.  And I still feel shitty, so it’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies.  Apologies in advance.

I found out B can’t go to the wedding with me.  Apparently his grandfather has cancer, and he has to have surgery the day before the wedding.  It’s a legitimate excuse, but it does bother me that he couldn’t find 30 seconds in the last month to just shoot me a one-sentence text or email.  I think I just need to let go of this relationship.  I was stupid to think I could ever be okay enough to maintain a serious relationship, so it’s my own fault.  I never should’ve gotten so invested.  I’m just not sure I know how to let go anymore.

I don’t know how I’m going to afford a plane ticket.  I mean, I’m trying to live off of $700 a month, and $400 of that goes to rent.  The last time I checked, early in the year, the cheapest round-trip tickets I could find were $500.  Plus, I’d have to find someone who could take me to the airport, since there’s not one close to me.

This morning, I was supposed to have an appointment with Idiot Case Manager.  She was going to take me to the grocery store so I could actually buy food.  But she didn’t bother showing up.  Didn’t call, either.  I called and left her a message, but I have zero confidence that she’ll even hear it, let alone call me back.   I’m so sick of her shit.  She doesn’t check messages, doesn’t return messages, and now she just didn’t show up for an appointment and didn’t call to cancel or reschedule.  I’m so far past done with these people.  She’s not helping me at all with any of my issues, so what the hell is the point?  Maybe I’ll leave a message terminating services, just to see if she really does pick up her messages.

So I basically said fuck it and slept all day.  I just can’t care anymore.  I’m too depressed to function, and the “clinician” (I don’t think she’s even competent enough to deserve that title) who’s supposed to be helping me can’t even bother to call and tell me she’s not gonna show up.  I’m glad to know just how much I matter.

I still haven’t gotten anywhere with finding new roommates.  I emailed a bunch of people from Craigslist, but only one replied.  Last week he said he’d be in town this weekend and would call me about a time to come look at the apartment, but I never heard from him.  Right now I just don’t even care.  I should, I need to, because I can’t afford the rent by myself, but I just can’t make myself give a shit about it.  (Or anything else, for that matter.)

I did manage to go to a phone bank tonight, but it was a waste of time.  My numbers were dismal–I had something like a 2% contact rate.  I think I talked to maybe 5 people in 4 hours, and 3 of them hung up on me.  One did say, “Oh shit!” and hang up when I said I was calling from a campaign, so at least I got a laugh out of that.

And then, right after RFD took me home, he called me.  Apparently somebody was wandering around the neighborhood starting fights, and he beat a lady up pretty badly.  I don’t know what the fuck is going on with my neighborhood lately.  It’s a dead end street two miles from anything, so it’s not like people end up there accidentally.  But this is the third time in two months that we’ve had a bunch of cop cars out here for a disturbance.  One involved a home invasion, one I don’t know what happened but it required an ambulance, and now tonight someone was assaulted.  It scares the shit out of me.  After the first home invasion incident, I was really scared because they guy had banged on my bedroom window, so I bought a big hunting knife that now lives right next to my bed.  This shit puts my PTSD symptoms into hyperdrive.

I just can’t deal with anything right now.  I’m so depressed I’ve actually been considering self-harming just so I won’t have to feel anything.  That or bingeing and purging.  Anything that will make me not have to feel anything for a while.  I’m not fully suicidal [yet], but I’m having a lot of thoughts about not wanting to be alive.

I really need to get a therapist, but I can’t deal with contacting people.  You know you’re really fucked up when you’re too depressed and anxious to even get a therapist.

I really hate myself right now.  It’s really hard not to self-destruct, and I’m losing sight of any reason why I shouldn’t just give in to the urges.

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Messy

I think part of the reason I’m feeling so crappy–a BIG part of the reason–is my relationship with B.  Or my apparent lack of a relationship.

He won’t pick up the phone.  Won’t call me back.  Won’t answer my texts.  I don’t know why.  Nothing happened, as far as I know–we didn’t fight or anything.  He’s just not talking to me.

We’re supposed to go to my sister’s wedding together.  We planned to do a big road trip.  B loves road trips, so I thought it would be fun.  Two summers ago, he and a buddy from college rented an RV and did a cross-country road trip.  He wanted me to come, but I just wasn’t in a place where I could.  So I thought a smaller road trip would be a good way to make up for it.

We need to, you know, plan this trip, seeing as how the wedding’s in less than a month.  I’ve been trying for three weeks to get him to plan this with me, but he won’t respond.  I don’t know what to do; I don’t think I can afford a plane ticket now.  I don’t want to seem pushy or bitchy or whatever, but I need to know if he’s coming or not.  I mean, what else am I supposed to do?  I guess I’ll email him and say, “Look, I don’t know what the deal is, but are we doing this trip or not?  If you want me to leave you alone, just tell me, but it’s not fair to leave me hanging.”  It sounds passive-aggressive, but I don’t know what else to do.

Since he moved to New York at the beginning of the year, he’s been more distant.  I thought it was just that we were adjusting to the long-distance relationship thing.  He never reached out–but to be fair, neither did I.  (I never do with anyone because I always feel like they don’t really want to be bothered by having to deal with me.)  I did call him when I found out my grandmother had died, and he couldn’t even be there for me.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt because it was late and he was about to have finals, but he never called back to see if I was okay or anything.  He did call on my birthday, but I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t call him back.

It really hurts, but I feel like I have no right to be hurt.  See, a few years ago, I broke up with him.  I felt like he deserved someone better, someone without all my issues, someone who could give him sex and kids and everything he wanted.  I didn’t talk to him for months.  I honestly thought it was better for him, that it would hurt him less that way.  I was really messed up then, and I was wrong.  I hurt him so badly, and I’ve never gotten over the guilt.  Part of me feels like I don’t deserve to complain about how he’s treating me because I did it to him first.

But another part of me says that doesn’t make it okay for him to hurt me back.  I would never intentionally hurt him.  I learned from my massive mistake, and it’s not one I’ll repeat.  I still deserve to have feelings, and I deserve a partner who cares about my feelings.

I don’t know.  I feel like I should just walk away, but part of me can’t.  I don’t get attached to people, not usually.  I’ve walked away from so many people in my life, whether intentionally or because I stopped tending to the relationship, and I’ve never missed anyone before.  That probably makes me sound like a cold sociopath or something, but it’s true.  I’ve never really missed anyone before, not like this.  They might pop up in my thoughts every so often, and I might wish I could see them or talk to them, but it never hurt before.  This hurts.  And I’m angry at myself for letting it go this far.  I hate myself for being so weak and stupid, for letting myself love him.  I’m just not meant for that.

God, I don’t know.  Maybe if I hadn’t been so detached for my entire life, I’d be used to this by now.  Maybe if I hadn’t been such a robot…

The more I think about it, the more messy things get in my head.  I know a lot of this is coming from other parts, but I can’t sort it all out.  I don’t want to sort it out.  I want to go back in time and never let myself have feelings for him.  I want to call him and beg him to not stop loving me.  I want to erase him from my head entirely so I don’t keep feeling like this.  I don’t want to deal with any of this.  I can’t deal with anything right now.

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Taking Care

In therapy today, I was talking about being sick.  That’s a lot of what I talk about in therapy lately.  Part of me feels like I’m just whining and should shut up about it already, but I also know it’s a big adjustment for me, and it relates back to old abuse and neglect stuff.

I said I’ve had this urge a lot lately to just quit taking my meds because I don’t want to have to deal with being sick anymore.  A thought I meant there was a child’s magical thought process of “If I stop taking my meds and seeing the doctor, that means I’m not sick anymore, so I’ll feel better.”  I told her that wasn’t quite it.  She thought I meant denial, but that’s not quite it either.  I don’t know quite what it is, but I know a fair bit about what it’s not.

I told her it’s too much like the way I felt when I was abused: something is happening to my body that I can’t control, I’m in pain, and I can’t do anything to stop it.  I know the situations aren’t really that similar–my father and a disease process aren’t very similar (except metaphorically).  I think it’s the element of helplessness that links them for me.

“I want somebody else to take care of me,” I said.

I have a lot of shame around that, layers and layers of it.  My mother always acted like I was making outrageous demands when I need or wanted her care.  My father was more responsive and caring, but he was also raping me.  As an adult, my desire to be taken care of makes me feel too needy, and receiving care puts me in the mental state of wondering when I’ll have to pay for it with by enduring sex or violence.

“That’s normal,” A said.  “Everyone wants to be taken care of.”

She had no idea how much I needed to hear that.  It sounds crazy, but I don’t think anyone ever told me that before.  I honestly thought I was abnormal for wanting that as an adult.  I still do, to some extent, but less.

A asked me what being taken care of would look like to me, and I had no idea, crazy as that sounds.  It’s this nebulous concept in my mind: I want someone outside myself to do something that makes me feel better, but concretely I have no idea.

“What about B?” she asked me.  “If he just put his arms around you and held you, would that feel like being taken care of?”

“No,” I said, probably too quickly and too emphatically.  “I don’t like being touched most of the time, and it’s even worse when I’m sick.  I mean, yeah, there’s a part of me that wants that, but it never ends up feeling good to me.  I don’t even want to be around other people or talk to them when I’m sick.  It’s caused some tension in our relationship, actually.”

I left the session without really understanding what was going on, frustrated and tense because I still didn’t know what “being taken care of” actually means.

There is a weird dualism about touch.  In my fantasies of being taken care of, I want to be hugged and held and touched in ways that aren’t threatening, but in reality, almost any touch feels threatening to me.  Nonsexual touch feels like a lead-in to abuse, or it feels unpredictable because I don’t know if or when the touch will turn abusive.  I didn’t have any healthy models of what it’s like to be taken care of, so I know I have this abstract desire, but I have no idea what it would look like.

Defining it has been on my mind the rest of the day.  I had this English professor, an Irish guy, who drilled into us, “Define your terms!”  That keeps running through my head in his Irish brogue.  The closest I’ve come to a conclusion is that this comes from child parts.  I/They/We want to be taken care of back then–when you’re always reliving traumas in a loop, you don’t need a time machine.  But me–and possibly other older parts–are too guarded to allow it or feel comfortable with it.

Ultimately, I think what I mean when I say I want to be be taken care of is that I want to be saved.  I want somebody safe to appear, to rescue me from each trauma, and to take care of me like someone should’ve back then.  That’s impossible, of course, and it’s incredibly painful to know that.  Nobody saved me then, and you can’t rewrite the past.  And the only one who can save me now is me, and I desperately want somebody else to do it because I feel too small and helpless.  I’m the children and the adults at the same time, and every self hurts almost unbearably right now.

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Triggered

Really not okay since therapy this morning. Normally I’d call my team leader, but she’s away on vacation. I don’t really feel like I could talk about this with the other people on my team. And it’s almost the weekend, and I’ll be all alone.

I tried taking a nap. I tried knitting. I tried watching DVD’s. I tried playing dumb iPhone games. I tried reading. I tried looking at pictures of cute baby animals. I tried taking a PRN. I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to do, and none of it’s helping.

My head is all chaos and I have a pounding headache that Tylenol doesn’t touch and someone in my head–maybe me, I don’t even know anymore–wants to slice me up because then the feelings would stop.

I wanted to stop freaking out in therapy this morning. I knew I could–I’m good at shutting down feelings, but I didn’t really want to do that. I wanted to survive it and let it pass without doing any lasting damage. That’s what I really want. I keep getting told that the feelings pass, but they never seem to for me. Or at least, it takes a hell of a lot longer for me than other people.

I keep thinking I’m faking it for attention but then why couldn’t I even keep my eyes open. Name three red things in the room, five purple things, four brown things. That’s all she was asking me to do. If I made it all up, then why did that freak me out so much I couldn’t do it?

But why would that freak me out? Why would that freak anyone out? It happened at Sheppard Pratt a bunch of times too. It was terrifying and overwhelming, but I felt like my therapist there would get mad at me if I didn’t do what she said. She’d just keep pushing and pushing, so I’d name whatever things in the room she asked, but there was this rage because she didn’t understand how terrifying it was and I couldn’t tell her. Somebody HATED her, wanted to scream at her whenever she made us open our eyes.

I don’t understand it.

I don’t understand most of what’s going on right now. I think I know what set all these bad feelings off, but I don’t know what the feelings are or why I’m having this specific reaction or how I can survive it.

I just know I hate this.

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Paper Doll

BF told me he’s probably moving to NYC at the beginning of next year. At first that was okay–we’ve done the longish-distance relationship thing before. There are trains I could easily take to go down for the weekend or whatever.

But he just assumes I’ll move there with him. Granted, I have no idea where the fuck I’ll live after the end of the year or how I’ll afford it, but still. He just assumed. Didn’t ask me what I think or what I want. I know I’m making him sound selfish, and he’s not. I think he just forgets I’m a real person sometimes, and that hurts. Too many people have intentionally made me a non-person, and even though with BF it’s not malicious, it still hurts intensely.

I’ve fallen in love with Massachusetts. I didn’t realize it until I thought about leaving. I knew I’d never go back to Alabama, but I didn’t realize I’d gotten so attached to Massachusetts. Back in the winter, A asked me how I pictured a satisfying future, and I told her I wanted to end up living in Boston eventually. Maybe I’m as guilty as BF–we were having problems, and he wasn’t included in my fantasy future. Just me, but now I can imagine him in that future. I just can’t imagine it in New York.

I feel like I’d drown there. Disappear. There’s just so much of it, so many places and people, and I can’t ever imagine feeling safe there. It makes me cry just thinking about it. It’s so hard for me to feel safe, and I finally do. BF doesn’t understand that. He can’t. He hasn’t been traumatized, and he’s a man. It’s different for women–we’re taught our entire lives that everything is dangerous because we’re small and weak and there’s always some big man out there who wants to hurt us. BF has never had to live in a state of constant hypervigilance and fear. It takes so long for me to feel safe, and I don’t think I could ever feel safe in NYC. And he can’t understand that.

But it still hurts. And it hurts that he didn’t even ask me how I felt about it. Of course he’s entitled to make his decisions about his life without my input; that’s not what bothers me. It’s that he includes me in it without asking what I think.

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Better Day

Doing a little better today. Got zero sleep last night, but the asthma’s cleared up some.

My whole therapy session today was me venting about how I don’t want to be a sick person but I’m always sick these days. I was trying to explain to her that I feel like I don’t know myself anymore–the body I was used to is suddenly foreign. Body image isn’t quite the right term because it’s not about appearance, but my relationship to my body has changed in ways I don’t like or even understand yet.

Annie commented that it’s odd that I didn’t see myself as a sick person, since I’ve had some major health issues. I hadn’t thought of it like that before, but I guess it is sort of strange. But the other stuff wasn’t as disabling as the UC. I grew up with the ear infections, surgeries, and hearing loss, so that was just my normal. The symptoms from my AVM weren’t severe until I started having seizures, and then it was quickly diagnosed and treated. With the motherfucker gene, all I have to do is take pills. The back injury would’ve been pretty disabling, but when it was bad, I was so depressed I didn’t want to get off my sofa anyway, so it didn’t bother me too much.

But the UC, damn. It’s way better than it was, but I still have pain most of the time and have anywhere from 3-8 BM’s a day. On bad days, I can’t leave the house because I might explode if there’s not a bathroom available as soon as the need hits. My diet is severely limited, so even with supplements I’m malnourished and chronically dehydrated. Zero energy. And oh my god, my FARTS. You can’t even comprehend the magnitude. Most of the time I can’t hold them in or even make them silent, and half the time I have to dash to the bathroom because I’m not sure if I’m gonna fart or crap my pants. My farts could knock a herd of cows out cold.

But I saw the gastroenterologist this afternoon, and he seemed very hopeful about getting me into remission. He said there’s a very high probability of achieving remission with the combo of the 6MP and Humira. This was a doc I hadn’t seen before–I’d been seeing an NP at the practice, but she wanted me to see an MD because I’m a difficult case. (I would get the most severe, hardest to treat form of UC because I don’t do anything half-assed. [Sorry. Poop jokes are my coping method.]) I liked this guy. He was thorough and explained things without talking down to me. I’ve been happy with this practice–their office staff are terrible with organizational stuff, but the actual medical people I’ve dealt with have been great. The NP actually called two different times to see how I was doing. I’ve never had a doc/NP/medical person do that in my entire life. After yesterday’s clusterfuck at the PCP, I was dreading this appointment, but it ended up good. Not a single hint of “it’s all in your head.” I mean, it is kind of hard to chalk up the colonoscopy results to OMG TEH CRAZYYYY.

I should get my Humira tomorrow, and I have an appointment Monday so the NP can teach me how to give myself the shots. The 6MP can take several months to start working, but the Humira works a lot quicker. Once it goes into remission, then we can start weaning me off some of the meds slowly–the GI doc said hopefully I could get down to just the 6MP. He said he’d taper me off the budesonide first, then the mesalamine, then maybe the Humira, depending on how I feel and how my labs look. I would love to be on just the 6MP, and he said he’s seen patients have 20 years of remission this way. That would be amazing. I will never take normal pooping for granted again!

So I’m feeling much better than yesterday, emotionally, and the asthma is somewhat better. My psych nurse is going to call my psychiatrist in the morning and get him to give me something for the asthma. I’m sure he’ll be willing to do that–he’s written me scrips for non-psych stuff in a pinch before. A gave me the name of a primary care practice she’s had good luck with, so maybe I’ll see about switching to a PCP there. I’m feeling a lot more hopeful about life.

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Stigma and Medical Treatment

I’m really not okay.

I got an appointment at my PCP’s office today about the asthma. It was with someone who isn’t my usual PCP, but I assumed it would be okay because I haven’t had issues with my PCP.

Yeah, not so much with the okay.

First, the nurse’s aide made several comments about how many meds I’m on. NOT YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS AND NOT APPROPRIATE JUST TAKE MY BLOOD PRESSURE AND GTFO

Then the NP just blew me off. All she did was listen to my lungs, which doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about asthma. You can have normal, clear lung sounds and still have asthma–and I TOLD her the wheezing only happens occasionally, the main problem is chest tightness/pressure.

She told me, “It’s just anxiety. Just try to relax and breathe normally.”

THANKS I NEVER FUCKING THOUGHT OF TRYING THAT

Then she flat-out refused to do any testing or prescribe me anything to help. She told me to go home and breathe into a paper bag.

I’m sure if I didn’t have a mental illness, she would’ve done something. But no, I don’t deserve real medical attention because I’m obviously just an attention-seeking crazy person.

C, my team leader, wanted to go in there and argue with her and demand that she do something, but I begged her to just take me home. I knew I was going to start crying, and if I did it in the doctor’s office, they’d just interpret it as proof that I’m crazy and not sick.

I give up. I’m just fucking done. This is a HUGE trigger for me, and I just can’t deal with it. It’s pushing me to the brink of suicidality, and I’m having a hell of a hard time resisting the urges to cut. I’ve been crying on and off all day.

I think I need to find a new doctor. True, this wasn’t my regular PCP, but it’s hard to get appointments, so sometimes I have to see someone else in the practice. And I can’t/won’t accept being treated like this. I don’t even know how to go about finding a doctor who’s not prejudiced against people with psychiatric diagnoses. And I can’t take any more trial and error.

Fuck. Just fuck everything. I’m trying so hard to hold it all together, but I just don’t know how much longer I can pull it off. I’m sick all the fucking time, and now I’m being treated like I’m faking it and being refused adequate medical care. This should make me mad at the NP, and it does–but mostly it makes me feel like I should kill myself because I don’t deserve to be alive.

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Physical or Psychosomatic?

I’ve had trouble breathing intermittently for around two weeks and coughing for about a week. I went to the doctor last Thursday, but I don’t think she believed me. I wasn’t wheezing, and my O2 sat was normal. I told her most of the time it’s not wheezing, it’s feeling like somebody’s squeezing my lungs so I can’t get a breath. My inhaler helps a little, but not well enough or long enough.

Now I’m doubting myself. Could it all be psychosomatic? I’ve had that happen before when certain memories come up.

My father’s favorite torture method was oxygen deprivation. My first split, when I was three, happened when my father nearly drowned us in the bathtub. He would sometimes cover my mouth and pinch my nose shut, and other times he’d smother me with a pillow. I’d do whatever he wanted if he’d just let me breathe.

But those memories haven’t been coming up for me. I guess it could be a part experiencing it, but I don’t feel like I’m getting passive influence. But dissociation is weird, so it could be that. It would explain why my breathing sounds good and my vitals are normal and my inhaler isn’t working. All that makes sense if it’s all just in my head.

But it could be a real physical issue. It wouldn’t be the first time a doctor’s blown me off because we all know psych patients never get sick, don’tcha know. I’ve got complex medical issues, and the doctor could’ve missed something. She said if I needed my inhaler more than twice a day, I should go to the ER. But I don’t think it’s that serious, and I don’t want to be treated like a hypochondriac again. I’m going to talk to S, my nurse, about whether I should make an appointment with my PCP, but it could take a while to get an appointment.

I just wish I could determine if this is physically real or psychosomatic. I’m going to talk about it tomorrow in therapy, but I don’t know if A will have answers. How do I tell?

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Fighting Hopelessness

I’m at the end of my rope with the UC. I feel like I can’t take it anymore, but I don’t have a choice.

I put on an act most of the time: being brave, dealing okay with a sucky situation. I make a lot of poop jokes. And sometimes it is real. Sometimes I am brave and resilient.

But sometimes I’m not.

Partly I put on the act for other people, but mostly it’s myself I’m trying to convince. I want to be strong and brave and resilient. I want to be well enough adjusted to it that I can make jokes about it. Sometimes I do believe that about myself.

And sometimes I come home and sit on the toilet and cry. I feel like I’m losing my life to UC. Oh, sure, I’m still alive…but without the quality of life I need to be okay.

A lot of the time, I can’t socialize or exercise or grocery shop or leave the apartment or eat because the symptoms are too acute. Between the chronic dehydration, malnourishment, and side effects of the immunosuppressants, I have no energy. I’m in constant pain. I’m bleeding, although in relatively small amounts. I don’t sleep well because i have to get up and run to the bathroom, sometimes 10+ times per night. I take 12 pills a day for the UC, and I’m probably about to start giving myself shots. I practically live in doctors’ waiting rooms and exam rooms.

I could deal with the appointments and the meds and the diet if it got my symptoms under control, but that hasn’t happened so far. It’s better than it was at the start, but it’s still taking over my whole life. I’m bordering on suicidal.

It triggers a lot of trauma stuff. Some of the symptoms, especially bleeding and rectal pain, are triggering, as are the medical exams. And there’s the overarching trigger theme: I have no control over what’s happening to my body. I hate it all so much.
And I feel like I shouldn’t talk about it—be brave and shut up. But maybe talking about it is another way of being brave.

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