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


depressed woman with cat“Failure” was the original title. My previous posts about strength now seem trite. Failure, only applied to myself, implies weakness. Weakness implies lack of strength.

If I switch strength to determination, then a new set of antonyms exist: fear, hesitation, wavering, and unfixed are a few. I especially like the latter, as it can have more than one meaning.

Perhaps what I will tell myself is “I have permission to waver, to fear the unknown, and to recognize that I remain unfixed.”

If I am unfixed, then I have not failed. If I have determination, then I do not need strength.

As always, self-doubt

unstoppablePlease note, I am not advocating that people go off their meds, and I do not plan to be off them for long. To reiterate – in my case, I’ve been on ineffective medications for so long that I felt that at this point they were either masking or worsening my symptoms. This is the only way my psychiatrist and I know how to figure that out. This is being done with the guidance and approval of my psychiatrist.

Tonight is my last dosage of psychiatric medication until mid-January. Confidence and fear stumble over each other, fighting for power. I’ve put a great deal of thought into my self-care planning; but I keep second-guessing myself – will it be enough? Deep down, I believe it will be. There is no choice other than the clear-cut one of the necessity for it to be so. I want my life to be better and refuse to allow this lifelong battle to have a bad ending, or to end this soon for that matter. I have set up my Healing Touch treatments, registered for yoga classes, discussed when-all-else-fails plans that are not medication related.

It has taken me years to learn to recognize a manic episode creeping up on me; although sometimes they’re just plain sneaky and are disguised as a burst of energy. On the other hand, depression seems to be more difficult for me to recognize in the beginning, especially during a mixed episode (note: according to this link, the term “mixed episode” is no longer commonly used in the psychiatric world…really?). Depression reminds me of waking up to a foggy morning, but the sun never comes out and the fog never goes away. It seems to slowly creep in, and envelope my brain. But I have figured out these signs, I’m ever watchful for them.

The physiological effects of the detox will probably go on for another five days after I take this last dose (at least that’s what my psych says). If I keep that in mind, when I feel physically crappy I can remind myself it’s temporary. Then a week after that’s over, I’ll be with my daughter and grandsons for a week. By the time I get home, my most triggering three months of the year will be just about over and it will be a little over two weeks before my next psych visit. Breaking it down into these smaller spans of time makes it all easier to cope with. Baby steps got me to this point…one month at a time, one week at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time…one second at a time. Yes, I will get through this.

Adding to my arsenal

not this time

The insidious black fog
begins to roll back in.
She can see it from a distance.
She can feel its presence.

As it moves closer,
she stands taller.
And with a look of determination
etched on her face,
she picks up her weapons
and strides in to battle.

It will not defeat me,
Not this time.

For twelve weeks, starting in September, I’ll be learning how to use Dialectical Behavior Therapy to aid in my battle against mental illness. After a lifetime of fighting for my life, I refuse to give up now.

My arsenal is holistic, with weapons that are both traditional psychiatric treatments as well as alternative modalities. My army is made up of my friends and family. My determination is strong.