I Know This Much Is True
18 December 2014
For starters, let me preface this post by saying that right now, everything is fine. Nothing has happened in the immediate past to cause me to post this, other than my own searching, introspection, and desire to be a better wife and mom to my family.
I'm simply writing this as a place to collect my thoughts. Writing is the easiest, most natural form of communication for me. I can assemble my ideas into obedient little soldiers in writing, whereas when speaking, my mind becomes a jumbled, impenetrable mess.
I have reason to think that I am schizophrenic. This is not a new thought; I have brought it up before to both my therapist and my psychopharmacologist in Virginia Beach, both of whom dismissed the idea. Why? Because I "don't look/seem/act schizophrenic."
Well, maybe not, but I would not claim to be something with such a strong social stigma attached to it - warranted or not, there is - without a great deal of thought and research.
Secondly, the medications I'm on are also used to treat schizophrenia. I am not willing to go off them to illustrate to my healthcare providers that, yeah, maybe schizophrenia is a possibility.
(You're welcome, world.)
I have recently been reading on the NIMH website about schizophrenia-focused clinical trials, and I have submitted myself to one such study as a possible subject.
Please don't be dismissive. And please, for the love, don't judge me. It is with great internal, personal struggle that I manage whatever façade of normalcy I may or may not be portraying.
I have been trying to "fix" myself since I left home at 17 and went out into the world on my own. To review:
My mother died very suddenly when she was 33, and I was 7. Autopsy apparently revealed diabetes, which was untreated due to my parents' being Christian Scientists.
My dad remarried a year later, because he did not know what to do with two young girls. He has often said since then, "I thought she would be a good mother to you."
She wasn't. This stepmother was a bit physically, but mostly emotionally and mentally, abusive toward me from the time I met her at age 7 until I departed for college shortly before I turned 18.
My father was also abusive, in mostly physical form. (My sister was emancipated at 16, when I was 15, because of this.) Also, Dad left New York for South Carolina, where he still resides, during my senior year of high school, leaving me alone with the stepmother.
Can you say "abandonment issues" much?
To compound that issue, our son Robby died after birth nearly 12 years ago, which sent me into a three-year downward mental spiral, the likes of which I hope never to see again.
At the end of that three-year period of extreme bereavement and several suicide attempts (not for the first or the last time in my life), I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar I with Psychosis.
I have done my damnedest to pull myself together and carry on, for Hubs and our other kids' sakes. Sometimes, I fail. Sometimes, I succeed. Mostly, I ride the waves between crests and valleys and hope that I stay on the upward slope more often than not.
As far as schizophrenia goes, we will see. Let it be known that I want my body - particularly my brain - donated to medicine upon my death. I don't think it is conceited to say that I think it could be useful to some researcher(s) out there who can only study mental disorders on a dissected brain.
(No, I am not suicidal. I do not feel I am at risk of causing harm to myself or any other individual. My children are safe, happy, and well-loved, if a little silly. Okay, a lot.)
I guess what I'm hoping for, if there is an eventual positive diagnosis of schizophrenia, is better, more personally-tailored treatment. With my last doctor in Virginia, I felt like all the possible psychotropic medicines were thrown up in the air and whichever ones landed on me were the winners.
Especially since my Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery nearly six years ago, I have not felt as well-medicated. I have complained of this numerous times. My dosages just kept getting raised until the eyebrows of various drugstore pharmacists nearly blew out the tops of their heads. One even said to me, "This is the amount you take every day? Not in a week? Every DAY?!"
Anyway, as I like to say. Anyway.
If you read this, great. But please don't be alarmed. Pray for me, pray for us, think good thoughts, and send positive energy.
I am going to find a new psychopharmacologist and psychotherapist today. It's not yet 0730, so I will start the search in a couple hours' time.
And that is all.