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Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Another year and another nano under way. So far I am off to a good start. Four days in and I am just shy of 11k words. Not too bad of a start. I am treating it a little differently this year. Usually I go a little crazy and over do it in the beginning, days of 5000-8000 words and sometimes more. This is great till I get near the end and can’t quite find the energy or will to complete my story and see it through. Now this is not to say that I have not succeeded at the challenge. One year I had a late start and had my own nano in a 30 day period, just not in November. Two years ago I was able to complete Nano in its normal time. I actually wrote a story that was well over 100,000 words but could not bring it to an end. This year I am trying to take a much different approach. My goal is to consistently write around 2500 words a day and even if at the end of the month I am not at the end of my story I have to keep working till the story is at its end.

This may be a fun challenge but my bigger goal is to craft a novel that I would be proud to share with my fiends and family. If I am very lucky I would love to be published or self publish.

As the story goes I am pretty happy with how things are progressing. I am discovering some of the key characters and beginning to craft the magical system that glows through the world. I have already introduced some interesting creatures into the story and have some great ideas for more to show up in later pages. I have set the scene and the action is about to take off.

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Outside of the writing which was a success, it was a good weekend. My step son was up and on Saturday the three of us went to a concert. It was a Christian rock festival. Not my normal thing but some of the music was pretty good. The message might not have been the same for me but live music is live music. I do feel like a little bit of an outsider at those sort of things. Like at some point one of them is going to point at me and shout nonbeliever! I am paranoid and over anxious about it bit it is a weird thought that I have. I tried to just concentrate on the good tunes. I did love that we were able to go as a family.

For this coming week I am looking forward to seeing my doctor again. Things are getting a little better. I am definitely more level. Have not have the moments of breaking down for no good reason. I do feel that even though I am more even it I a level that is still on the downer side. That is okay though as they are going to add an antidepressant into the mix this week. The anxiety is still pretty bad though. That is one thing I am going to make sure to let her know.

Well that is a quick summary. I hope to have an update again later this week. Maybe I will post an excerpt.

Dan

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I wanted to write a post about what my thoughts were for my novel that I am going to attempt during Nano, but the events of yesterday occupy my mind. So a week and a half ago I went to the doctor because I have been having a tough time catching my breath. This was actually the sole purpose of this visit. Once there though the curtain of denial quickly fell away from my mind. I have been suffering pretty bad mood swings up and down. The worse feeling though now is the anxiety that has tried to take over my life. Anyways the doctor ran some tests, ekg, blood work and the like and found nothing. We talked a bit more and in the end she put me on a bipolar/antidepressant, Lamictal. I asked if there was anything they could do for the anxiety and not being able to get restful sleep and she said she did not want to till I saw a psychiatrist. So she gave me a referral. I left feeling a little bit of despair because my worst symptom right now was not going to be helped.

I got home and had serious thoughts of not doing anything because it seemed I was not being believed. Despite this I did call and made an appointment. The soonest I could get in was a week and a half away. Even with this though I was happy that I was going to be able to see someone who could help me. Now I just had to wait and make it until then.

Through out the week+ things kept getting worse. I was having moments of breaking down with little reason. This even happening at work. I was having more and more occurrences of not being able to take a deep breath. Going out into public, like say to the store, was starting to be a terrible experience. I do not know how to adequately explain it except that it feels like you are in a tunnel at the bottom of the see. There is pressure and you feel like you are weak and might pass out. Talking begins to speed up and you feel jittery.

At work things were and are getting pretty bad. I have to try to do breathing exercises to calm myself down, with little effect. Trying to do simple things I feel like I am freezing up and try to process a million things in my head when I know what the next step is. If there is confrontation I seem to be shutting down and my chest begins to hurt. Just recently my neck and jaw are locking up and the pain that cause is multiplied since I have to talk quite a bit for my job.

Needless to say things have not been improving. So yesterday arrived. Little sleep the night before with a work meeting bright and early and my doctor’s appointment to follow. I got through the meeting, despite being shaky and knocking things over. The drive to my appointment, an hour plus away, felt longer than it should have. A few times I felt like pulling over and letting my fiance drive. My symptoms were getting worse but I was still looking forward that I might get some relief.

Arriving at the behavioral health clinic I had some odd recollections of the past and what I have been through previously. I registered and filled out some more of the paperwork and questionnaires that they had for me. The person I was meeting with came and got me and lead me to her office. She went through all the surveys and information I had provided and asked me for more details, my symptoms, thoughts and feelings. We went over my history, the fact that I had been struggling with this for years.

Near the end when she began to lay out the plan my heart began to sink. She was not a psychiatrist. She was not a doctor. She was just a handler, her job to find out what I needed and then refer me to a course of action. The wait list to see a psychiatrist…50 DAYS! 50 days. I am going to leave the office with absolutely nothing to help me. I had no idea that I was not going to see a doctor that day. The practitioner who referred me did not let me know of the wait. The person who made the appointment did not mention anything about what the first appointment would be. I felt wrung out and passed along. The handler tells me then that I have to go back to my family physician for any medications in the mean time. I told her that they sent me here.

I have never been more upset or let down by a situation in my life when it comes to health care. This system is about as bad as it can be, especially when handling people who are having issues that are effecting there lives in very real ways. Debilitating, disparaging ways.

So I have an appointment tomorrow and I am hoping, begging that I am not let down again. I just want some help and not to be passed along again.

Dan

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It has been a long time since I have ventured onto wordpress. It took me a few attempts to remember my login and password but I made it on after a few attempts and accidentally sending a reset email to whoever uses dbahr as their login. As I figured out that my login was danbahr. Maybe though this is something I still need. A good way to get some things off of my mind and to share some of my creativity when I feel like it. 

It has been almost a year and a half since I was last on this site. Amazing to me and kind of depressing to see my lack of commitment to something that I enjoyed doing. I gave a quick glance to my site statistics and the funny thing was that my site had its busiest viewing day in august of this year. 400 plus views and that was a year+ removed from my last post. Well I hope that my checking back in here is not a temporary  endeavor. I hope that I an keep it up again and let this be my catharsis again.

Life has seen its ups and downs as is the norm. An up was that in august of this years I passed my three year anniversary staying sober. Something that I never thought I could attain. I feel pretty strong in my resolve to stay off the sauce but it is always a fear or worry that is in the back of my mind. The funny thing is that the fear of letting my family and friends down is probably one of my greatest motivators. Add that to the fact that I would not be able to live with myself if I made that mistake and went back.

One of the downs seems to be looming over my head. I feel a dark cloud is shadowing my path and I need some help that I let go of a few years ago. Over the past few weeks I have had issues every day with not being able to catch my breath or breath deeply. I went the classic “guy” route and let it go for far too long before finally¬†succumbing¬†to the pleas and demands of my friends and family to go into the doctor. I did so and made an appointment with my family doctor, well not actually my family doctor as she is far to busy and over booked to be seen on short notice. Anyways it was one of the nurse practitioners that work at the clinic I go to. I let her know what I was experiencing. I said I was wondering if it was asthma or something else with my longs. She¬†promptly¬†did some tests, checked my breathing, did an ekg, drew some blood. In the end they could not find anything. Everything came back normal. So upon her looking at my medical history and the pharmacopia of medications I was on previously she decided it was most likely anxiety. She asked me why I stopped taking all the meds I was previously and I said because at the time my insurance ended. I realized going into the appointment that anxiety was a possibility. My fiance had said as much as I was calling and making the appointment.¬†

When my life was at its lowest point I was diagnosed as being manic depressive with social anxiety disorder. Or something along those lines. I cannot remember exactly. Just means that my moods can go up and down and I can have some issues with anxiety, sometimes rather large issues. I was on bipolar meds(2 different types), anti depressants, a pill that helped boost the other pills, anxiety meds and meds to help me sleep. It was an interesting mix and definitely something I do not want to fully go back on. I was a walking zombie. Tremors and all. I was definitely not myself on all of these meds, but it did get me through the worst of what I was going through. In hind sight it was not the best decision to quit all of these cold turkey. I went through a week of hell but have made some strides on my own. Now I realize my own will power is not enough.

So anyways the doctor(you know what I mean) prescribed Lamictal, a mood stabilizer mainly for bipolar disorder. Upon hearing this and that this was the decision and knowing that it was most likely anxiety I was not happy and felt even more depressed. Depressed because I knew that this was not going to be the short term fix that I need at this time. My issue may have been opening up about my past and telling the doc why I checked myself into a psych ward. She did not want to prescribe me any sedative and in her tone I realized that she thought I was either a pill seeker or would do something risky with these meds. The first thought that went through my head was that I am not a damn pill seeker. I have not been to a doctor in over 2 1/2 years. That is not the normal pill seeker type. I have not drank in over 3 years. I have not done drugs(the hardest I have ever done was some hash and marijuana in college) in over 8 years. My second thought was this. If you think I was going to do something stupid and off myself with these pills you have got to be kidding. With the copious amounts of prescribed meds I was on previously I could have ended my life a few times over if I wanted to. 

With these thoughts in my mind I took the referral to a behavioral specialist, psychiatrist, and my prescription for lamictal and left. I left realizing there would be no short term relief and I would continue to suffer. I had the immediate urge to just break down into tears. I had the immediate urge to just toss the phone number away and go on suffering and hope it would go away. I had the anxiety of having to go to another doctor and explain my issues all over again and hope I was not looked down upon. Despite all of this I did call and make an appointment. At the time the earliest was a week and a half away so now I have to tough it out for a little bit longer.

I have suffered with something like this my whole life. Depression, anxiety and manic swings. It can be as little as having issues breathing properly, to my heart racing in public situations, like going to the grocery store. It can be the unseen anchor that makes it nearly impossible to break free and get out of the house from time to time. It can be the feeling of being in a tunnel under water with the weight of a thousand oceans sitting on top of me. It can be my mind going into overdrive right as I am laying my head upon a pillow making sleep all but impossible. It can be a small event that brings me nearly to tears and sometimes all the way there. It can be absolutely debilitating.

I definitely need some help and I have the tools around me to get it. I have decent insurance that makes seeing a mental health specialist practical and affordable. I have family around me that mostly support me. Especially my Dad and my Brother. My father knows what anxiety and depression can do and he understands what I am going through. He has also been there for me no matter what, no questions asked. He has saved me on more than one occasion  My brother is my best friend and he has been there to see me through the worst of it and make sure I had a good footing before trying to heal on my own again. I also have a good woman by my side who is supportive. I love her and want to be better able to support her as well. 

I think for now this is more than enough for one post. I hope to use this more often. I do not have the energy to go back and check this for errors so I hope it is readable. I think the writing is another tool that helps me not stagnate inside my own head. I plan on competing in NaNoWriMo again this year. The National Novel Writing Month. I just need to come up with a good story. It is a good way to occupy my mind.

Anyways. Good Night WordPress and Facebook Friends.

Dan

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Smiling happy families sitting in front of roaring fireplaces, wearing festive holiday sweaters and sipping cocoa. The picture image of a christmas card to be hung for all to see. Norman Rockwell images of a life that all attain to reach. the problem is that this does not really exist. We think that other people have these lives. The grass always being greener on the other side. We want to have what they have, be happy as they are. This is something that is only a myth though. We might see the picture perfect families and feel envious of them, but the truth is that no one really has this perfect life. Everyone is flawed, everyone has little cracks in their make up that show a little of the true life and heart that hides with in.

This is not to be a glum post, pre christmas. This is merely to be a post explaining that no one is perfect. No one has a life out of the perfect holiday movies. The key seems to be that we make the best out of what we have. I have realized this more and more. I can make the choice to focus on the things that make my life a little bit better. It is my choice if I want to be down, dwelling in the gutters of life. This is not forced upon me, this is not something that I have to live and feel. I can do differently and better. Also though if I deny the past, deny what has shaped me and marked me I am doing a disservice as well. The past has happened, I can’t change it, that is where the dangerous thoughts come in. I can learn from it and realize there is a better way through.

Yesterday was a day where I could have made the wrong choice. I could have felt sorry for myself and grieved over the losses of my past, most obviously with the anniversary of my mother’s passing. I did not though. Yes it was on my mind, and I miss her. But I did not think of how I could have done better and felt pitiful for myself in her loss. I just tried to live the day as well as I could and for the most part it was a success.

Life is never quite as we expect or want it to be. The perfect cookie cutter image does not exist except only in our imagination. We all do what we have to. We live our lives and survive through every day. Some days are better than others and in the end we can hope that the good outnumber the bad.

Dan

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Like clockwork I tend to ignore this blog, it is not intentional but just seems to happen. Fits with who I am and my personality because as with anything in my life I have to feel the urge to do something, if not it gathers dust until it is called forward. So I thought as I am reading over some of my past entries I should log a little bit of what is going on in life.

Christmas is upon us, like a stealth assassin it hid in the bushes and reared its deadly head just before striking. Hmmm, maybe not the right visual right there but that is the feeling. It is here and the month of December has disappeared. I do not know where it went. Holidays have been pretty depressing for me over the past two years. Two years ago tomorrow my mom passed away. It feels like it has been so much longer that she has been out of my life but that is for another day.  That and with the erosion of my marriage and the family I used to have holidays have been reminders of what is missing or lost to me. I see everyone else with someone they love or care for and it is a sharp pain. Or at least it has been.

Thanksgiving was something different. For the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed the holiday. Being with my family, having a good time, lots of laughs and playing cards. It was what days like that should always be. I was able to just bask in the things I do have in my life, like a good job, family that loves me, a place to live and enough to get by. Yes things aren’t perfect but considering things could be a lot worse. This is bringing a sense of hope to me that Christmas will be better than it has been. Hopes can be dangerous things though and I know I have to keep this in check because I have a terrible way of ¬†letting my hopes get carried away and then expectations never quite fit reality. I know that there will be some rough times, that is a given considering the history of this time of year for me, but as long as I can remember what I do have in my life it should be better than it has.

In the end it really comes down to a choice, a choice that I ahve to make to let the good things in and not dwell on the bad…..

Anyways, life otherwise has been pretty uneventful for me. That is a good thing when all is considered. I seem to be settled in at work, finding my own place after such a long time worrying about the little things, mistakes here or there. I actually enjoy working with the people I do which is a great thing and for the most part I feel like they feel the same. At least there is lots of laughter. I try not to take things too seriously but in my line of work there is always an a- hole or two who will rile you up. I try not to dwell though. Overall I think I am pretty good at my job and it is something I can see myself doing for the time to come.

I will try to remember to check in more frequently and post… Hopefully I can ride the good feelings and not let things take me too far down the wave again, I am just happy to be living more of a monotone life sans prescriptions.

Till I write again… good night.

Dan

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I was in an odd mood yesterday, I could only classify it as being manic. Extra talkative, joking around and being more up than anything else. Swinging a bit is part of my life but the pendulum tends to be stuck in the lower portions of that swing more often than not. For the most part I would consider my mood a good thing, if not for the fact that it was a nice sidebar from what my life usually is. Dwelling on negative things tends to consume me so it was nice just to have some energy and be a little excitable. At the end of the work day I did have some conversations with my coworkers that went more into the darker places of my life. Dealing with my past and relationships and trying to move on in my life. I always worry in hindsight that I am sharing too much. I worry that I am coming off a but batty and most likely I am, hopefully in an endearing way. It can be endearing right? I am going to think that it can. One of my coworkers has gone through something similar as me in recent history so it is nice to talk to her because at least I know she understands. I probably rely too heavily on my work friendships to talk about such things, but they really are the only people I talk to on a regular basis. I am around them more than anybody else. It may be convenience but also in a way i trust them because I know them.

On a side note my novel is coming along. I should make the nanowrimo goal by this weekend, though the novel will nowhere near be finished I will have succeeded at the monthly contest. I had to break down yesterday and plan out a few chapters after the first 38,000 words were written from the hip with no real story line. I felt the need to do so, so that I could start reigning in some of the characters stories so that they could begin to come back together for the climax of the story. I am happy with my progress but must admit that writing in a more real life setting instead of sci fi or fantasy has been more difficult for me than I expected. It has been a challenge but that is a good thing.

Well I work today then have three days off to so some marathon writing. Hope all are having a good day.

Dan

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I have no idea where this is going. It is unedited and any further posts will be the same….

The bottles all looked so inviting. Golden liquids and dark mahoganies. So many unique types with all their own flair and characteristics. The man stood before them staring, gazing from bottle to bottle. What harm would it really be to pick up one of these bottles and head home. What harm would there be in letting their spirits wash away the memories that destroy the peace that his life does not know. He remembers what the warm feeling is like. The delicious soothing buzz that would erase the worries of the day and the horrors of a life lost. In the end what is it really going to matter if he picked up the bottle and had one night of bliss. The man reached out and picked one of the bottles off of the shelf. He turned it in his hand feeling the weight of it. He suddenly felt the pressure of those around him. He could feel their cold hard stares judging him. Casting shame in his direction at the very thought of what he wanted to do. ‚ÄúHow dare you!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúDisgusting!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúPathetic‚ÄĚ Their voices rang in the back of his mind. Each moment that passed a dulling ringing began to sound from within his ears and his heart began to race. Cold sweat began to bead on his forehead as he stood their battling his own thoughts. The struggle was always there. There was never a true moment of calm. Clarity would always be a fleeting thing. One thing began to cut through the moment. The knife that guided his hand to set the bottle back on the shelf and step away. The shame of knowing how his family would view him if he went back to that life. In a world where he knew no one or was completely isolated from any judgment he would have easily taken that bottle home and downed it until he could not remember even his own name. He did not live in that world

Shakily he found the will to move away from the display and took the few things he had collected from the store to the front check out. This was almost his daily routine. Fighting these ever present battles. Maybe the day would come when he did not have to worry about slipping back into that dark habit. This was the hardest time though. Work done for the day his mind no longer occupied with the menial tasks that kept him busy. Freedom was the most dangerous thing when it came to a mind that liked to live in the seedy places of the past. Idle hands, idle minds would be just the same.

As he placed the few groceries he had selected for his dinner and breakfast the next day at the check out he could still feel the eyes of all those around him staring. The oppressive feeling fed his anxiety and would not dissipate until he was able to get back to his apartment where he could shut the door on the stares of others. The common moments in life could be hell for someone who felt what he did. Feelings that were amplified in the recent past by the events that gouged at life.

The items on the belt were his focus, doing what he could to ignore the world and be aware of its every object at the same time. Finally the clerk said the obligatory greeting and began to scan his items. The man nodded at the young lady and said nothing. The total flashed on the¬† display in front of him and he fumbled in his wallet, finding and handing his card to the girl and stood there for what seemed like ages until she handed both his card and a receipt to the man. He collected his bag from the elderly bagger and nodded again as the two of them said ‚Äúgood day‚ÄĚ in almost perfect stereo.
Stepping out into the night air he lets its coolness fill his lungs. The sweat on his brow now felt cold and damp. His shirt clung to his lower back, a feeling that was not pleasant in the least. He stood there for a moment. Collecting his wits and calming his nerves. The anxiety began to fade away and his heart began to beat at a more normal pace.
‚ÄúWatch out!‚ÄĚ he was jolted from his peace as someone came out of the store and bumped into him and remarked rudely. He grunted a response and took that as a cue to head for his car far in the back of the parking lot. The parking lot was deserted yet he still parked where no one would notice him coming and going. Unlocking the car with his free hand he placed his bag on the seat next to him and turned the key in the ignition. Luckily the ride home was not a long one. His solitary rides in his car were not things of calm. It was a time when he was stuck with his thoughts. Prisoner of the small space and the solitude. Even the radio or music would not help. Music would find a way to remind him of the past. All of the songs that he once loved were tainted by it. And news or talk radio would not be enough to occupy his mind. He sighed and put the car into drive.
The Streets were filled with the working masses. City streets in the average American city.  Torrence was the picture of rockwell’s dreams. Small shops lined its main street. Businesses of all types that made for strolling on a sunny day. In the darkness of night all the storefronts were dark though except for the few diners and a Chinese restaurant that was open every day of the year. He past the dark store fronts wondering what a normal life was like. All of these people coming to and from work. The kids walking home from activities at school. The families heading out for a supper out. What was a normal life like. It could not be that he was living such a thing. If that was the case then whatever god was watching all of this had a sick sense of humor. The man wondered at this every day. Wondered why he did not have the same smile on his face or light hearted laugh he saw and heard in so many others.
His thoughts consumed him as his body took over on auto pilot. It was so often that he got to where he was going without even remembering the journey. His mind always conversing and battling. Back and forth. Movies of memories past and what should have been, what should have happened, What no longer could. Coming back to reality he realized he past his apartment a few blocks ago and quickly found a street to double back on. These moments happened all too often. Lost in his mind reality suffered. Sighing he turned the corner and pulled his car into his parking space behind his apartment building.
It was not the place you would find the successful in life, nor was it the place of the dope fiends and felons. It was a place where people simply lived to get through every day. Quietly in their own little worlds. They did not make a point to get to know you. No one was throwing a party to have everyone over. It was where those with the will just to survive came to go through the motions and get to the next day. It was  a place where your history was an unknown and that was okay. It was the kind of place the man needed. A place where he could escape and have no presence in the world. At least that is what he thought he needed. All he knew was that he was alone. And as he sat in the car with the engine running he was reminded of the lonely little place of the world he had carved out.
He cut the engine and left the world for the night.

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