Diagnosis : Disaster 

For the past almost year I have avoided my psychiatrist. In the months after my wedding I spiraled out of control, hurting everyone I could purposely or unintentionally. I left miles of burnt bridges in my wake, knowing all the while in the back of my mind that being alone would make my final task easier. I was going to die. 

I finished the summer barely holding on to the tiny bit of sanity I had left, leaving a long trail of destruction behind me. Moments of clarity lead to intense self-loathing, and I dreaded the silence I normally craved. I punished myself for my shortcomings by destroying the relationships that mattered most to me, and in a final act of inner hatred, I consumed ten days worth of medication. 

Spoiler alert: I survived. 

Unfortunately, the attempt on my life did not provoke me to seek professional help. I went to my local walk-in, told the doctor that I lost my meds while on holiday, and carried on hating myself. I pressed on, facing each day with a heavy heart and a crazy brain. If I’m not supposed to die, what am I supposed to do? I’ve lost almost everything I had. My kids and my husband deserve better. Could I run? Leave them to give them a fresh start, and throw myself off of something that I surely could not survive? 

After thoroughly researching and considering my options, I got a message from my nephew. He told me about his girlfriend, and about university, and in they conversation he sent a message that changed my entire outlook on my life. 

This message. This one message had a profound affect on me, and is responsible for saving my life. 

I contacted USTAT and told the receptionist that I required immediate attention, and she got me in to see my doctor in the same week. What I learned at that appointment, I really wasn’t expecting. During the course of our conversation I learned that almost a year ago, he determined that my diagnosis was wrong, and that my treatment needed to be  changed. After dozens of attempts to reach me, he was forced to set my file on the back burner, and hope that I would either come back or had sought treatment somewhere else. 

I was misdiagnosed, and treated for, bipolar disorder. I  know now that this was incorrect. (I was also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which is correct). I have now been rediagnosed with Disassociative Disorder, along with BPD and major depressive disorder. What this means, is that for more than a year, I was essentially treating myself for a disease I do not have, taking medication that was not correct, to the point that it was harming me mentally, which inevitably lead to harming myself physically. 

So what is Disassociative Disorder?

“Dissociative disorders (DD) are conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity, or perception. People with dissociative disorders use dissociation, a defense mechanism, pathologically and involuntarily. Dissociative disorders are thought to primarily be caused by psychological trauma.”

I fall into the Depersonalization Disorder camp, and I have to say, as messed up as it sounds, I fit the bill perfectly. I’m not treatment résistent bipolar, I have DD; and after learning that, so much of my life makes sense. I cannot excuse my actions or behaviours, but I can finally start learning why I do the things I do, and more importantly, how to prevent these behaviours from occurring in the future. My medication regiment has been altered to fit this new diagnosis, and I am enrolled in Dialectal Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Three counselling sessions a week (until my program starts), journalling, and positive daily affirmations are helping me on the path to recovery. 

Not seeing my doctor was an intrepidly ignorant and dangerous choice that I made for far too long. I cannot treat myself, and I was naive to think that self care was as easy as having a prescription filled every two weeks.

The people whom I have hurt may not choose to forgive me, and that is something that I will have to learn to accept. I cannot change the minds of others, but I hope that, regardless of if they choose to stay with me or not, that they will see that I am once again putting in the effort to help myself, so that I may be better for my family. I already am feeling the effects of my new medication, and for the first time potentially ever, I recognise the wrongs I have committed, and feel immense guilt. It’s not a feeling I’m used to, but it’s part of my recovery, and I accept it.

I am not better. Far from it. But I will get there this time, because I truly want to. I want to be the woman my sweet nephew thinks I am, and I think I can be. No more self treating, no more ignorance, no more blame, no more hate.

To my nephew : I owe you my life, and I love you more than anything. We will succeed together.

To my sister : Out of everyone I’ve mistreated, I’ve treated you the worst. I don’t know how to properly apologise, because you deserve more than just words. I hope that my behaviour from now on helps to heal the gash I cut between us. I love you. That is my  constant. That has never, and will never change.

To my husband : Thank you for not packing up and leaving after you saw the pills I took. Thank you for standing unwavering in my corner. Thank you for loving me through all of the days that I can’t love myself. I life you.


Negative Space

My brain is out of fucking control.

I have no idea what is going on in my own head, and I’m starting to feel a feeling beyond terror. Terror and hatred. Hatred and disgust. Disgust and confusion. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I be normal? Feel normal. I’m not normal. I’m a larch tree with a twisted trunk, branches askew. The winds of my mind have whipped me and torn the leaves from my branches, pulled at my bark. I go to the doctor, tell him I feel fucked up, he ups my meds. I take them, I feel fucked up, I go to the doctor, he ups my meds, I take them.

What if meds won’t help? What if my ‘fucked up’ is a special brand that nothing can cure? Why can I seem normal sometimes, but never actually feel it? I think I might be delusional. I see things differently about myself than everyone else. I carry on normal conversations and I do normal things, but on the inside I’m a mess, and nothing I’ve tried is fixing it. I want so badly to be fixed. I cause so many problems with my fucked up brain. So. many. Don’t tell me I don’t, if you think I don’t you just haven’t found out about whatever fuck up I’ve caused yet. It’s all I do.

Did I murder someone in a past life? Am I being punished for former crimes in this life? Why can’t I be normal? I don’t want to fuck my kids up. Sometimes I wonder why I’m still here. They have a normal, wonderful Dad. He could find someone new and raise our beautiful children and they would have foggy memories of their fucked up mom sleeping all day and ‘not feeling well’. I don’t feel well. I don’t remember the last time I’ve felt well. Felt anything other than contempt for myself. Fear and loathing. But here we are, I’m fucking this idea up, too. Too fucked to leave, too fucked to stay.

I’m tired of going to the doctor. I’m tired of making a shitstorm of everything. I’m tired of not being able to slow down on the inside. I lack the ability to repair anything inside of myself.

To hell with it. I’ll start over again tomorrow. Just like I do every day. Research different ways to fix myself. Get nowhere. Medicate. Repeat. It’s all just bullshit, anyway. We’ll do it live.

Deep breaths.