Luxury

A view of "Inca de Oro" (Inca gold) town (C) in the middle of the Atacama desert, near Copiapo city, north of Santiago, Chile

Luxury is unattainable.

I am a child, luxury is a hug from my mother.

I am a young girl, luxury is a Barbie Dreamhouse.

I am a teenager, luxury is acceptance.

I am a college student, luxury is self-respect.

I am a young mother, luxury is a loving partner.

I am a survivor of domestic violence, luxury is freedom from fear.

I am a person with mental illness, luxury is sanity.

I am a woman, luxury is self-love.

via Daily Prompt: Luxury

She flew through the air with the greatest of ease

;Yesterday was not good, last night was worse, today is a new day. I’m grateful for a husband that loves me unconditionally and refuses to give up on me; as well as a psychiatrist that listens.

For the first time in about 20 years, I am detoxing off of all my pscyh meds with medical supervision (do not try this at home, kids). This time I will not be hospitalized, but I have written instructions from my doctor, and people that love and care about me. It has gotten to the point of feeling like I’ve been having a variety of meds constantly thrown at me as merely a stop-gap. Nothing works any longer, diagnoses change on a ridiculously frequent basis, and I’ve had enough. No, I am not ready to check out of life, I am ready to start from scratch…again. I have made promises in writing to people I know will hold me to them, and I have made a promise publicly through because I said I would. I’m covered, I keep my promises.

It’s a scary prospect, being without psych meds, like performing on the trapeze without a net; but the timing is as close to perfect as it can get. Life is good, there are no underlying personal problems to mask my brain problems like there have been in the past. Hopefully in January 2016 (how appropriate) my psych and I will be able to come up with a new treatment plan (I’ll be seeing him before then, to check in, but I don’t want to make any decisions until after the holidays). I’m sure it will involve more trial and error, but until mental health diagnostics becomes an exact science, that’s the way it’s going to have to be.

In addition to my husband and my psychiatrist, I am also grateful for the love and support I receive on a daily basis from friends (both IRL and out in the ether) and family. Please don’t worry…I will land on my feet, I always do, right?

…and because…Bob loves him some Ashley

No hiding

Shame and hiding under a rock have no place in the fight against stigma. I recently learned about a movement called because I said I would, “a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity.” It addresses integrity and holding oneself accountable. The timing was perfect, the desire to give up on life was strong. I wrote a note to myself “I will not commit suicide.” Pretty strong words? Wrong. My wonderful friend, Jill Zimmerman from Alpha Healing Arts, taught me that in order to set an intention, one has to think in terms of the intention already coming true. That rules out “will,” “can,” “should,” “want to,” and other limiting words (yes, they are limiting). So…

My life is worth living. I fight shame, stigma, and self-doubt.

I make my world a better place to live.

There, I said it “out loud.” But one more thing – I go public. I can’t be an example to others, if they don’t know I’m here.

I would love to hear what you plan to do to hold yourself accountable for bettering your life. If you’re like me and you live with mental illness, I understand it will be difficult. None of this means we have to do these things alone, there are so many tools available to those who want to change their lives and make the lives of others a little better. For me, this includes taking my meds, seeing my mental health team, eating right, exercising, and using my personal tools (writing, reading, drawing, etc); as well as jumping in to life both feet first. Some days will be just a toe in the water, but that’s ok, at least I’m still moving forward.

Thank you to all my readers (whom I didn’t know existed), who let me know that they either enjoy my blog or it gives them hope, or they read it for whatever reason. You are why I blog, and I appreciate your encouragement. (seems like I should check my stats more often!)

Doubtful

Interesting observation from my therapist…I’m crying, feeling hopeless; just finished 4 wks of some of the scariest depression I’ve experienced, 2 wks titrating off one med, 2 wks of no meds. I’m saying I’m not sure I want to try the new one I start tomorrow. It seems so pointless. Then she reminds me of all the self-care I automatically do, all the times I’ve dragged myself out of the pit, all the times I have gotten out of bed when I really didn’t want to.

Bipolar depression makes one forget how hard we fight, how strongly we refuse to give up. She reminds me of how much my husband loves me, how much my support network checks in on me, and how my family, whether by blood or chosen, honestly care. I realize I *can* do this. I never thought I’d get this far, but I have, and I will keep going.

Doesn’t matter how many times I hear things like this, it sounds like a HUGE lie…bullshit, utter bullshit.

Have I become such a good actor over all the years that I can fool anybody? My weekend was spent in fear of being by myself. Normally, I love being alone, but this weekend it scared the hell out of me. If I wasn’t asleep (thank you Klonipin), I was sitting outside with Greg (allergies be damned) watching him do exciting things like fixing the tire on his bush-hog (I don’t know how to correctly spell this farm equipment term).  Horrific pictures of self-harm fill my brain if there’s nothing else there. I’ll most likely do some drawing later, another form of therapy for me to get the crap out of my brain, but he’s back at work, and I’m on my own. Psych wards are useless these days, that’s considering one’s insurance will even pay for one to stay.

No point in calling the doctor,hospitalization is out of the question…none of those pesky tox screens for me, thankyouverymuch.

So today I draw, write, hibernate…one second at a time.

Just wanted you to know…

This, this is why I blog

inspire