Show me what
it looks like,
the beautiful part
of the breaking.
to me in a way
that lets me feel
it down deep
decays in my bones.
I need to know
somewhere in all
of these pieces
so I can believe
in something again
and know this
isn’t all for nothing.
© Stephanie Bennett-Henry 2016
It’s the held breath
walls of lungs
sighing into ecstasy.
It’s the terrified scream
burning the backs
of throats ripping
pain into pleasure.
It’s the storms
we are made up of.
When the chaos
the calm answers
and without one,
we have no other.
© Nicole Lyons 2016
It’s a war
that can’t be won
It’s a pain
that burns fresh
and it burns deep
It’s a disease
that hides behind
pretty smiles and
It’s a silent scream
with bloody talons
tearing through the soft flesh
of my still beating heart
It lurks just beneath
the surface of my
The darkness that
overwhelms my light
The fear that wakes
a child at night
© Abigail Zebrowski 2015
Abbie is a published writer and poet who creates with passion and conviction. She doesn’t shy away from the truth and often writes about her personal journey with depression and anxiety. Abbie is a fierce mental health advocate determined to promote awareness and fight stigmas, which inspired her to start Depression: Catalyst for Change. Connect with Abbie on Sidereal Catalyst, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
It is as if some sort of cosmic energy
is continually pulsing
through my veins,
cascading along, dancing
with my white blood cells, finding
a home in every organ
of my body.
I hold the universe
inside of me
and I delight
in the idea of that for days
but when I hit blackest of holes,
that live beneath my skin
exhaustion near cripples me,
the melancholy damn near swallows
but still, the stars erupt
ba bump of my heartbeat, and shoot
through my system.
This world is a cruel place
for a mad girl
with stars falling
under her skin.
© Nicole Lyons 2016
Broken, I love someone broken
“We’re playing hot potato,” you had said
As we took turns to succumb to the monsters;
Those chemical teeter-totters in the playgrounds
Of our heads, and whilst I was below
Beset, prepared to die to spare you
(How nobly I would go, for you, for everyone
For those foolish enough to care if I lived
Or lost, or lived lost – how could I continue
To burden them, what dreadful cost.
What an awful way to repay their love!)
But you asked me, nicely, to please don’t leave
You told me you needed me, and I believed
Because deep down and intellectually
I know it’s true – ridding the world of me
Will not save you, or anyone, but forever brand with pain
Cause permanent heartbreak each time
You thought of me, or heard my name
And whatever burden I could ever conceive myself to be
Could not contend with the weight
Of being the one who didn’t
I’m on the rise
Head above water, feet touching sand
I’m surprised, yet so much is due
To those who rescued me
Not least to you, yet here I am
Apathetic, hopeless, incapable
I see you floundering and can
Barely chuck a word to help you float
You whose heart was like a rescue
A fucking ginormous boat, and now you need me
Now I’m less broken, and you’ve begun to sink
THIS is the burden you chose
You lovely fool, I’m useless!
I wonder if I’m worse for you
When I’m sick, or healthier
Either way, congratulations, you lose!
Your prize – a second broken mind
This one housed inside some other
Kind of personal crazy, just SO inept
Yet you, my dear, each day amaze me
With your persistence and the way you recognize
Even when they’re screaming at you – lies,
The lies our brains replay, to torture us
To make us want to quit, turn tables, end our day
In the peace of forever-sleep, yet somehow we’re unable
Knowing as we do that ending One
May be the end of Two
Then we swap
And off we go again
This dance macabre of neurons
Waltzing us to unbearable
Mental pain, forcing us to face
What, for each of us, seems true:
We drown ourselves to save the other
But in saving, maybe drown them too.
[Thank goodness it’s all lies
And love propels us into light
To hold hands, lock hearts,
To save ourselves…
We. Will. Fight.]
© Lizzi Lewis 2016
Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things, committed to living life in Silver Linings. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible. She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever possible. She’s absolutely certain that #LoveWins.
A founder member 1000Speak, she hosts the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop each weekend and tries to #BeReal as often as possible.
It’s finally here, the day has come when I see my GP about an ECT consult. The medication/psychiatric merry-go-round is killing me. I can’t do this anymore. I haven’t left my house in weeks, I haven’t written for PC because let’s be honest, I’m not doing so well with “Living well with mental illness” and why the hell am I going to preach that to anyone?
The new office is cheerful. I feel safe as soon as I walk in. The girls take me to an exam room right away, I must look a hot fucking mess. I can hear him in the hall and I’m clearing my throat in preparation for my speech when he walks in.
“Hello Boss” he smiles.
I adjust my sweater and fix an angry look on my face, tears pooling in my eyes, threatening to spill over.
“Look at this! TWENTY-SIX FUCKING PAGES!!!! I can’t do this anymore.” The twenty-six pages fall to the floor. He sits down and scoots his chair closer to mine.
He looks at me with those wise eyes of his. I’ve come to him for over twenty years now, for everything from a scraped knee to appendicitis, it’s comforting and painful to watch him advocate…
“You are a manic. I have dealt with manics for 40 years, Nicole…you are terrible to live with. If you could live on a deserted island things would be great..but you can’t! You yell and scream! You make it ridiculously hard for anyone to live with you, you have ever increasing demands for people to live with you and sometimes they make sense, but most times they don’t.
You have seen every psychiatrist in this city and every psychiatrist will just give you more medication. And they talk…
You are a very smart woman who does not thrive when she is limited with psychotropic medication. You will never be sane by society’s standards. When I make a decision, I make it. I don’t have to second guess my choices like you do. I don’t have to look at a decision that I make and think, ‘is this going to effect the rest of my life and my children’s lives’ and I’m so sorry that you have to do that when you decide something. I am so sorry that you have to second guess every single choice that you make.
The fact is Nicole, you don’t have the luxury of going crazy. Your brain wants to not be sane. Your choices require effort and you can not let your guard down and I’m sorry, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE THE LUXURY OF GOING CRAZY.”
He hands me a tissue and nods his head. I feel better because he listens and he talks to me like I’m a real person, not just some number in a filing system. He cares because he’s my family doctor, he knows me, he gets me, this crazy nonsensical brain of mine that makes perfect sense once you clear away the muddles.
“There is no drug that is going to heal you. If I were to say the one drug that has helped keep you flat it would have been lithium, but you don’t do well flat. You can’t function as a zombie. You can’t live without feeling so we will do what we can to make your life and the lives of those your life as healthy as we can, without the side effects. We will not shut you off. The stabilizers will remain and we will get you off of the sleeping pills, it will be very hard, but we will do it.
ECT is not an option right now. You are not suicidal and you are not psychotic or in the throes of any psychosis. If everything was shit and even breathing hurt, ECT would get you to the point that you are at now, it’s not a good fit, and we’d have to get you to a psychiatrist for that.”
My eyes bulge out, “Don’t you let that witch come anywhere near my brain ever again. I will lose my shit if I ever have to see her again.”
He sighs and nods his head, used to my little outbursts by now. That’s comforting though, he gets me. He sees progress. He can point out how I can see the swings before they occur. He reminds me of the leaps and bounds that I have made over the last four years.
I’m calm again. “So that’s it then, I’m not going back to her or any of them. Why is it that they all want ignorant patients? Why can’t they handle people who ask questions demand answers and refuse to be zombified?”
He gives me that look, “You know why. I won’t talk poorly about any of my colleagues, but I have seen so much. I won’t let you fall back in again. It is up to you to get rid of everything in your life that sets you off, everything that is not healthy for you. It’s time to start saying no for your own health. Do what you need to do because this is how you’re going to live a life where you can feel and not be shut off. You can’t function when you’re shut off.
I’ll see you in a month and we will go from there. Make an appointment sooner if you need to. You know what to do.”
Do not let a practice that won’t heal you kill you.
Remember when I said I was going to get the pharmacist to print out every single medication I have been prescribed since 2012? Well here it is and it is a whopping 26 pages long. There is shit on here that I had to Google, absolutely no fucking clue what it was, and no recollection of having taken it for, say 3 months.
Lexepro? Nope, I’ve never tried that one yet…Oh wait, yup sure have, it’s cipralex and it works for me…if my stabilizers are good, if not ↑ ↑ ↑ Buspar? Never heard of it, but apparently I sucked a shitload of that back too. Oh and don’t get me started on the lithium again. On it, off it, on it again, increased, decreased, off it, try it again – 5 fucking times.
My failure to recall these specific meds come from the big stay at the psych hospital, or as I like to refer to them, The Lost Months, so I can forgive myself for the memory loss there. They had me so drugged that I’m surprised I could feed myself. Oh wait, I needed help with that too (lithium tremors.) Oh! I just had a thought:
I need to get the records from the psych ward…all of them…to see what they had me on there…all the times I was in there…different pharmacy so my meds from inside are not reflected here. Goody, that means more.
Here’s a look at SOME of my outpatient meds over the course of 3 1/2 years:
I have been on and off some of these drugs numerous times, take lithium for example, 5 times. Went toxic three times requiring kidney scans and two weekends in the hospital being flushed by IV. The doses have been increased, decreased and then increased again on so many.
This list does not include medications to counteract side effects from these listed.
I have seen 4 psychiatrist, 2 psychologists, gone to CBT, DBT, mindfulness classes and yoga. I have jumped off of meds, which put me into seizures that sent me to the hospital (not proud of that and wouldn’t advise it at all) and I am tired. I am so tired of this. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many pills I have swallowed in the last 4 years.
January 20th is the day that I see my GP. I’m taking this list with me. I’m going to ask for an ECT consult, I don’t know what else to do.
I asked for this medication change. I needed this medication change, but that doesn’t make the initial effects of this medication change any easier to deal with.
Yesterday was particularly brutal for me. How is it possible for one’s head to simultaneously feel so bloody heavy that it’s weighing your entire body down yet at the same time it’s so light that you’re about to float away? It’s a fucking mystery to me. The shakes that accompanied the sweats and chills reminded me of my old party days. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a days long cocaine binge but once that paranoia and jitter bug sets in, you’ve pretty much got what I felt like yesterday.
I know once I get over this initial hump I’ll start to feel better. Well that’s what I keep telling myself after I get mad anyway. Yesterday afternoon I was trying to rest and remembered that I had to call in the rest of my meds to be refilled, I was praying I didn’t have to deal with Carol. I didn’t. Once I got off the phone I started thinking about all of the medications I have been on over the last four years. Just off the top of my head I can recall fifteen, and those do not include meds to counteract side effects, I know there have been more than that. I called back and asked her to print them all out for me to take to Dr. H next week.
I think I’d like to hear the words come from him rather then just keep swirling over and over in my head. He’s already said “med sensitive” over and over, that’s completely obvious though. I’ve heard “non-compliant” but never from him, now I’m just waiting on “med-resistant” but like I have said before, I’m not a fucking doctor. I’m just the one swallowing the pills hoping one of these days something decides to work.
Thank you, Jacqueline Cioffa for bringing this to my attention. Please everyone check out this original post on the Jackie’s stunning site.
I have been feeling like shit for quite some time and here is where I’m at:
I think it was around 4 months ago now the last time I waltzed my ass out of my psychiatrist’s office after she prescribed me tegretol and looked me dead in the eye and stated, “I’m going to refer you to a humble colleague.” I believe that she has read a few of my blogs and is less than thrilled with me speaking publicly about my journey, but I could be wrong.
*waves* Hi Dr. T.
Like I said, that was about 4 months ago now, maybe 5, with no word from my psychiatrist or this “humble colleague” that I am apparently being referred to. But, thank goodness for my GP, because when I ran out of my medication he was there to refill them for me. So now I’m left wondering, what exactly happened to abruptly end this client/therapist relationship with my psychiatrist?
My psychiatrist is hell bent on stopping my swings, and I encourage you to read all about that here. But, I refuse to take certain meds because of their side effects that end up making me actually worse off than the symptoms of bipolar disorder. When I bring this up, and my extensive research (I’m not a fucking doctor, but I have stopped putting shit into my body without first doing some research, again read the link and you’ll understand why) I am then labelled as being non compliant. Because I choose to have a dialogue with my doctors and refuse to just pop whatever poison they prescribe, I am labelled as being non compliant. When I bring up issues that stem from side effects from meds, that then require me to take other meds, those issues are brushed off because I am now…you guessed it…non compliant.
I need a med change and I need it yesterday. My options are limited here and it is a fucking awful feeling. My GP can refer me to someone and we can wait, or I can go inpatient and cross my fingers that I get a good psych, but who wants to go in during the holidays? I mean it’s never a good time to have a breakdown, but Christmas, come on. So I’m band-aiding with anti-anxiety meds and calling on every single one of my mindfulness and CBT tricks. This is ridiculous. I could call her but that seems weird. She usually ends our appointments with making a new appointment, not ushering me out the door quoting a blog and telling me she’s “referring me to a humble colleague.” I’m frustrated.