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The symptoms are quite intense. Nightmares, anxiety and deep despair are a lessor evil than pain so I went against medical advice and didn't reduce the amount of Lyrica I'm taking.

My first thought is to type, "I know its risky, but you don't understand," however many do. Many get that its difficult to make a good decision when all the choices can harm you. If I don't take a mix of medication with severe side effects, then I run the risk of losing my mind due to pain. If I take the mix of medication with severe side effects I run the risk of hurting myself if the side effects don't taper off. That is if the problem is Lyrica. I'll get to that later.

This is a catch 22 with the medication and I made a temporary decision to continue this treatment course with daily, in person, observation by three close friends who are not medical professionals. One friend a day will be here for the next two weeks. I have therapy 2x a week for the next two weeks. I've also got regular activities and volunteer work to perform so I'm covered as far as being observed and supported.

While being supported, I may be tearful, anxious or suicidal. I know that word suicide is a scary one but let me state clearly that living at this level of physical pain is slow murder. So I'm going to take a calculated risk beside a strong support team. ...continue reading "Lyrica – Against Medical Advice"

1

Feelings upon waking:
Fearful. Fearful! I was trembling as my mind went over the crazy parts of this dramatic dream. After I woke I kept saying, 'I'm sorry' over and over again as if somehow dreaming something so violent was my fault. In addition to that guilt, there was guilt for not helping the man in the hallway who was viciously and savagely killed. I listened to him scream and die while cowering behind the closet door. I was anxious and regrettably chewed up my fingers. This is self harm.

Feelings now:
This dream is one day old but it's still a heavy one for me, especially since it resulted in an attack on myself. Why self-injury? To change the fear emotion that overtook me and to counter, over shadow flashbacks caused by the dream. I was shaking in bed, apologizing out loud for being weak. I wasn't thinking about the consequences of my actions. I was caught in emotion. I was not thinking straight. Another apology is needed, this time to myself. ...continue reading "Dream Therapy: Murder and Powerlessness 2"

2

I've done what I'm supposed to do, that should feel good. I don't feel good.
I'm still creating. Some get finished, other's lack substance and I lose interest. Today I made a third doll for donations (pics eventually) and a hat for myself.

Right in the middle of studying I had a full blown panic attack but I kept going. I didn't want to feel totally defeated. The problem was that I made one single, solitary mistake and it felt like my world crashed, like it was the biggest catastrophe on my heart. I had to get myself together over a tiny mistake that it took seconds to correct. Agitation. Agitation. Low tolerance for just about anything.

I listen to my frogs. I read. I played fetch with the dog again today; day three in a row. Playing with him today was forced but it was nice to see his tongue hanging out of his mouth and that big dog smile after playing so hard.

I want to care, mostly I don't.
I want to be in a good mood tomorrow and meet with what is now three people for letters to homebound Seniors in our community. I want to meet with them but I'm afraid. I just want to go to bed and put the covers over my head but honestly it feels miserable under there, too. Why? What is there to explain this level of absolute depression and flat out despair? What's wrong with me?

Just thought of something....... I've had a med change. It's the only thing I can think of that would make me feel this bad, so deeply with no real reason. I mean seriously, I want to just lay down and die. I can't explain why. Is it the combination of meds or something else? I talk to Dr. D tomorrow. We'll figure out something because today I hit my threshold.

Faith

I should call this entry, the big baby has pizza and now she's happy. It's comfort food. Pizza is my comfort food. It's in the oven now, bubbling with my herb blend, fresh garlic, three cheeses and two meats in a cast iron skillet. I'm gonna slice up a huge portion of self soothing.

Also in the 'this is a healing thing' category is the response I got concerning the last doll I made and adopted out. I smiled through the entire email. That really made me happy.

I am teetering and I know it. I've decided not to fight it. Maybe it won't last as long if I'm not trying to fight against an inevitable break.  Spasms and new medication as well as grief has pushed me further than I needed to go and I can see that plainly. If I can't stop this train from hitting the wall at least I can pad the wall. I can brace properly so the impact isn't as devastating. I can prepare by getting my emotional emergency gear in place. There will be pizza. There will be pepperoni, quality pepperoni, sweet Italian sausage and several kinds of cheese. There will be art supplies on the ready and a list of ways to keep myself healthiest.

This time of cracking up includes Clyde which is a good thing because I don't have to do this alone. Nights can get so hard, and long.

My pizza sauce has caraway seeds and rosemary so that it tastes similar to Pizza Hut. The crust has a bit of corn meal in it which crisps up quite nicely in a well oiled cast iron skillet. I bake the crust first then add the toppings. Most of the sauce is served on the side so that the crust doesn't get too soggy.

Jordan

According to my sketchbook, I've had unrelenting anxiety for a little over a month. It's really getting to me. These two art pieces were worked on to help ease things.

The piece cluster shows a checkered flag, a flag used to signify winning the race. I don't feel like I'm winning this battle at all.

Visitation is currently in black and white. It's a mindscape piece such as those in the series called Forty Years in the Wilderness. A mindscape is a snapshot of the inside of my head. Sometimes the images are livable, manageable, other times ... not so much.

Mindscape - 40 years in the wilderness

Tomorrow at 1:30 I go in to see Dr. D. I nearly canceled it because I'm having a hard time sitting. My sciatic nerve is acting up. I've done a lot of stretching to get it to ease up. I've taken the new medications, especially the muscle relaxer, but its not budging. I think we're going on three weeks now with this nerve constantly throbbing. It adds to the anxiety. It's like a dull ache, the kind that drives you crazy.  It may not be the most painful thing in the world but it, like my anxiety, is unrelenting and that's what makes it so hard to deal with, it just doesn't stop.

I'm going to take Clyde out one more time then go to sleep. I'm so happy he's here. I love that he wants to be close by me. I need that. His ears are so soft. He's adorable.

I miss Mary Jane and hate that she died.

fma

2

We talked about how there's no reason on earth I shouldn't trust that I get to keep Sir Clyde for a very long time. We discussed anxiety and grief concerning Mary Jane and some guilt that I have another pet so early after her passing. It feels like I tried to replace her but as I've said (I just have to always remember it) Mary Jane helped me be able to give even more love to the next four-legged friend in this house. Clyde is here now and I look forward to spending a very long time with him.

A few pieces of anxiety artwork.

We talked about how I became so frustrated with someone who kept giving me way too much information when all I needed was a simple answer. My head was swimming in information that just confused me. Processing words seems complicated at times. The words stop 5 inches from my face and mean nothing to me. I get frustrated and shut down. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Trust. Guilt. Anxiety Art. Community"

Sir Clyde Austin looking Kingly

Racism and the police lives on.

Today I was harassed by the police for the crime of walking while black. It would appear that a black woman walking her dog warrants harassment.

Clyde and I were originally only going to go for a short walk but I decided to go down to the park, circle around and come back. As I got to the entrance of the park I noticed a police car coming towards me. I noticed him because the guy in front of him was nervous. He was relieved to see the police officer pull into the park and let him go on. I laughed inside and thought, "Maaannn u know u got weed in dat car." I chuckled inside and thought nothing else..... until I noticed the officer focused on me. That's when I got nervous. ...continue reading "Walking While Black"

Outward RageI just read the entry written by Ariel Michelle. I don't remember it at all. I remember the art. I remember why it was drawn but I don't remember, at all, writing that journal entry.

I never did write exactly what Dr. D and I discussed in session because the only thing I wanted to do was run from it. While talking to him I needed a lot of self soothing. I felt so frazzled and like once tiny increase in emotion, one adjustment in anything at all and I'd fall apart. I rocked a lot. I was quiet a lot. I had my head in my hands a lot. It was intense just being alive so I wasn't as open as usual.

After therapy I went to the store with Snow but before I got out of the car I told her I wanted her to stay with me because I wasn't doing well. I then took a Klonopin so I could pick up the three items on my list and get the heck out of there. She commented that I seemed very calm. She was surprised to hear I felt like I was seconds from screaming and hiding my head. I was. I know I don't show even half of what I'm really feeling. I don't generally make a conscious effort to mask body language, but I still do it. I've done it since I was very little. I used to be proud of not showing much, not now.

fma

Part of me screams, help me. Part of me rocks back and forth with he eyes half closed. She wants to close them and fall into herself, all folded up like a napkin tucked in a jacket pocket.. She wants to be where its dark and quiet where no one can see her.

watercolor and ink in sketchbook journalMy head is a mess. I am fearful and anxious, ready to sleep, ready to find the fetal position and take it under layers of covers with the soft, warm, wintry blue electric blanket. In that blue cocoon I will not need to complete a sentence. I won't need to talk to someone and make sense. I can just lay there and sleep this off.

I need to be held. I need a new head. I need guilt to ease up and for my inner drive to be recharged. I am tired but it's not all physical. I'm tired inside to the point that it literally hurts to be awake.

I will sleep then wake to a nice warm meal of lamb stew with crusty bread. Later I will eat homemade chocolate chip cookies. My ginger bug is fermenting so I can start the homemade ginger ale, non-alcoholic, Jamaican style.

I'll write about the therapy session after I wake up. I'm very tired. I didn't get to sleep until 9 this morning.

Bye for now,
Ariel Michelle

5

Three weeks its been since I first inquired of this dog name Clyde. Several snags came up and I figured I wouldn't get the dog, thought it had all fallen through. I said if I didn't get him I'd concentrate instead on a six month vow to serve my community in a fuller way.

Here's what I know about Clyde.

  • He's got a funny name that I didn't like at first but that is too cute to change. It's silly and I now like it. I can't help but giggle when I say it, just like when I call my frog Chandler. I giggle. Strange name, cute animals.
  • Clyde has taken professional obedience classes and knows several service animal commands.
  • Clyde is laid back but has a need for regular walks which I am confident I can do.
  • He is a low key dog who needs a low key environment without a lot of intense stimulation.
  • He learns quickly and knows how to do compression for my legs which are often in pain. This is a key reason for getting a dog as opposed to a cat. I need the weight on my legs and sometimes my arms. I need a pet that will sleep with me so I can sleep instead of staying up until the sun rises. I can't explain how much I need another service dog to warm my heart with big brown eyes and slobbery kisses.
  • Clyde comes with all his food, bowls, leash and his crate. He's crate trained.
  • He's 6 years old, 60 lbs, neutered, chipped, not an excessive barker, shy with new people.

Clyde - a 60lb muttTwo people who are in my life have questions about the dog. "How can you afford a dog?" ..... "How are you going to take the dog out for a walk when you're in pain"....."I don't like dogs. He'll have to stay away from me." .... "What if he doesn't work out, what are you going to do then?"... The negative sisters have questions, some valid and some just typical of them.

I am not a 'love me, love my pet' kind of person. If someone states clearly that they don't want any part of the pet for whatever their reason, then so be it. I can respect that. I don't push my pets on people which means Betty will more than likely never even pet his little head. That's fine by me. She's under no obligation to like my pets. Her sister Snow prefers dogs at a distance. She likes them but doesn't want them all over her and doesn't want dog kisses. That's fine. I'm not offended by it. And for short visits I can put him in the room when need be. It's not like he'll be locked up all day or anything. No, he'll have a lot of one on one time with me and a few other people who are thrilled to death that we're this far into the adoption process that I was sure fell through. .... I feel the need to add that no friends are co-owning or sharing financial responsibility, including the adoption process.

soft ears and a tail that thumps makes my heart breathe easy

I hurt so badly. My heart is desperate. I need a companion animal. I can't stand life as it is right now. I look for the soft eyes of a pet and those eyes aren't there to tell me I'm okay. I look at the door wondering if my mother is standing there. I wish so much to have a dog I can learn to trust. If he's not barking and responding to sounds then no one is in my doorway, I don't need to keep looking up.

Last night in bed, last night after 2mg of Klonopin, last night after tears, I instinctively reached behind my back to caress the head of Mary Jane but she wasn't there. There is no soft purr to greet me and demand breakfast. Please, I need something gentle to balance the harshness of pain and grief. I just can't take my current load in life without a pet beside me. I need one.

Bringing in a dog is so much better than a cat. No more $30 flea and tick treatment. I can use diluted tea tree oil at $8 a bottle which will last forever. If he gets ill I am capable of caring for him better than I can a cat. Mary Jane's vet was 2 blocks away. That's where Clyde will go.

I expect the transition to be rough because there are many of me that have to get used to him. It'll be difficult for him because he's grown up in one home only. The transition will not be easy. I'm going to flip out because that's what I do. I flip out and panic!!! But flipping out isn't the same as giving up. It took a year before Mary Jane and I became a team. It'll take time for Clyde and I to work like a well oiled machine. I think I'm physically and emotionally up to the task.

If the adoption goes through I'll have 4 pets with a name starting with the letter C: Charlie, Cheesy, Chandler and Clyde. My baby boys would be the 4 C son's.

Soft ears and a tail that thumps makes my grief stricken heart breathe easy. Please let this be okay. Please let me get the right dog.

Faith

 

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