Sunday, January 22, 2012

i'm a survivor

i've been thinking a lot lately.

(i know...i can almost hear the "oh, great"s and eye rolling that must be going on.  at least from hubby, who teases me about the phrase because it almost always involves me asking for money or changing plans or something to that effect.)

the truth is...i've been thinking about myself, about who i am, who i've become, and what i've been through.  where i am now.

i miss my blog.  but i'm having a hard time coming up with things to write about, or time to write it in.  take now, for instance.  what do i write about?  while my children are pretty much amazing and my husband definitely has the hottest rear end in the world, i'm sure the rest of you don't want to hear about just that.  and due to neglect, i don't even know how many readers i have left.  (so if you're reading this, thanks.)

there have been a lot of changes in my life, especially within the last six months.  many of which i'm not at liberty to discuss, whether out of respect for others they concern or a desire for privacy.  it's kind of been a hard six months in a lot of ways, but also good in that i feel like i'm climbing out of the hole.

i saw a new doctor, which is good.  i hadn't seen a med doctor for far too long because our insurance changed and i didn't want to look for one.  (i HATE seeing new doctors...rehashing the history...trying to get comfortable and trust them...especially in situations like mine, where there is a ton of very uncomfortable history to deal with.)  my therapist recommended one, however, and so i finally called and made an appointment.  it was long overdue.  the doctor i'd seen previously told me that i wasn't bipolar, i just had a hormone imbalance.  she put me on progesterone and a bunch of supplements and told me everything would be better.  things did get better for awhile, but not by a whole lot.  then (stupid me) i stopped taking the progesterone.  bad idea.  i went back on it....did a little better....still had issues.  big, angry, sobbing, mood-swinging issues.  suffice it to say, my family wanted to throw me out the window.

new doctor tried very hard not to roll his eyes and very tactfully told me while he didn't have all of the information my previous doctor had, he found it very difficult to believe that i had a progesterone deficiency.  (i pretty much got the feeling he thought she was an idiot.)  he then proceeded to tell me that from everything he had heard it was very likely i'd been dealing with bipolar disorder since the age of approximately 13, if not sooner.  combine that with the PTSD and typical teenage angst, it's no wonder i had so many issues.

so....double the dose of my mood-stabilizer (lamictal) and add in an SNRI (effexor), life is sunshine and roses again.  i'm happier and have more energy than i've had in who knows how long (if ever).  hubby even told me to tell my doctor at my follow-up that he doesn't want to strangle me anymore.  (this news was met with relief....both on my part and that of my doctor, who wasn't quite sure how to handle it, heehee.)

only problem...side effects.  stupid, horrible, nasty, hateful side effects.  headaches.  dizzyness.  more headaches.  fatigue.  (more energy and fatigue...go figure.  but it's happening.)  yawning.  (i know, weird, right?)  and headaches.  since i already suffer from debilitating migraines, the daily headaches are not well-received.  i am hoping that they will start getting better soon.  apparently one in ten patients on these meds experience headaches.  yuck.

so where was i going with this?  oh  life changes.  all that.  back to the blog.

i got an email several months ago from a doctoral student at purdue (personal blog here), who is doing her dissertation (professional portfolio here) on trauma and blogging.  my blog was one of several she's chosen to use in her studies.  i'm really excited about this.  it made me really analyze my blog and the purpose it has served.

first, as an outlet to me.  a really important one.  when trauma made it physically impossible to speak...i literally could not get words fingers would still function on a keyboard.

when i needed someone to listen, i had a whole network of fellow survivors, family, and friends.  people who were there for me, who really understood what i was saying, because they've lived it, too.

i also have a place that encompasses me.  maybe someday, in thirty or forty or fifty years, this blog will still be out there for people to read, maybe even my children. 

my story has provided hope for others.  this is so humbling to me.  i decided a long time ago that if i had to live through hell, i might as well make it worth something.  so i took my personal hell and put it out there for the whole world to see, hoping that someone else out there would read it and feel not so alone.  since i started this blog in 2008, i have received so many comments and emails from people telling me thank you, that they have hope for themselves because of my healing, that they don't feel so isolated.  isolation is a terrifying place to if i can offer one person a feeling of connection, then that is pretty amazing to me.

it's been a kind of documentation of my healing.  the ups and downs.  the moments of blackest despair, when i wasn't even sure life was worth living, when i was convinced i would never be happy again.  the days where i was content, the nights of anxiety and fear, the help i got in therapy.  the participation in blog carnivals and groups, research on child abuse, the ability to think and feel.  and, ultimately, the regaining of my strength and power, the taking back of myself from my abuser.

so here i am.  i don't believe my journey of healing will ever really end, but having put most of the abuse behind me, i have myself to deal with.  my lack of self-esteem, the bipolar disorder and the impulsiveness and mood-swings that come with it.  medication, therapy, doctors....a lot more future to deal with, even though i've got twenty-six years of past behind me.

four years ago i never, in a million years, could have predicted i'd be right here, sitting at my kitchen table, having lived through everything i have.  three years i ago i never would have seen the happiness i've found in the past few weeks.  two years ago i would have had a panic attack just thinking about approaching my abuser.  one year ago i was really dealing with the abuse....

....and now here i am.  imperfect.  flawed.  but optimistic.  cautiously happy.  hopeful.  still struggling with wrapping my head around this bipolar thing, but i've accepted it.  i don't like it, but i accept it.  i'm still kind of embarrassed by it, even though it's not my fault, but that's a discussion for another day.

my name is cornnut.  i'm twenty-six years old, i'm a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a blogger, an artist, a student, a pianist, and a survivor.  because i truly have survived.

(now you can go sing that destiny's child song, because i know you're all hearing it in your heads.)

(and if you made it this far into this horrendously long and rather disjointed blog post, thanks.)


Valerie said...

I'm still reading! Hope you find stuff to blog about more frequently because I've always enjoyed your blog.

I have an idea! What if you blog about stuff you referenced above, but change names to protect privacy? Would that work? I wanna know the stories now! LoL

Caitie said...

C, sometimes getting a diagnosis is enough to help you start feeling better. Just knowing that it has a name and that it's treatable. So I'm glad that you seem to have that at least. Having dealt with mental and emotional disorders myself, I'm telling you that the worst is over, and it really does get better. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed at the word. Bipolar disorder is a legitimate disease, it's just that the symptoms aren't always visible to outside people. You've come a long way. Best of luck in your continued recovery. <3

Sky, Jausi, Capree & Cashden said...

I'm still reading :) I'm glad your doing well!