I didn’t think it was possible for me to stay out of the hospital that long. For a few years now, months were punctuated by trips to the University to spend time in their psych units because of my mental health recovery. I’m so thankful that those places were there for me when I needed them and that I have more than adequate health coverage to cover my multiple hospitalizations.
But if you asked me 11 months ago if I would be going back to the hospital soon after my pulmonary embolism experience, I would have said it was inevitable. I was emotionally unstable and didn’t know which direction was up. But I had such a strong network of people to help me through. My family friends, psych clinician, and other professionals helped me through the hardest days. I’m amazed and incredibly grateful for my support system.
I know that my life with mental illness will have its ups and downs; I’m not saying that it’s all up from here. But I know that I will always make it through with help from the amazing people around me.
I’ve been just doing things around town lately and they aren’t causing me me the amount of anxiety that I’m usually in. New situations are different obviously. Riding on this train at night, yep, that’s a new and unfamiliar situation.
I took half of the meds I usually take to sleep. I wanted to be relaxed but not completely out of it. Well I slept soundly for about a half an hour after letting go of the anxiety that still loomed even after another dose of my benzo. I’m thankful for that time I slept but I wish it had been longer. Now I’m awake and the meds have seem to have worn off. I’m jittery, my brain is going faster than the train, and I can’t calm my ocd thoughts down. I tried distraction but I can’t focus enough for a movie or book, so I’m listening to good music and breathing. Maybe I.can get the ocd thoughts in my mind to chill out and get a few more hours or minutes of sleep.
All I know is that there’s great reward for making this trip. I love Johanna and miss her so much. Can’t wait to see her (and Brad and Hawkeye). Just gotta get through the next 6 hours!
By my psych clinician nonetheless. But it’s true, I have kind of let this blog go accidentally. I was doing the 21 Days to Happiness thing and then I forgot about it. Well, I didn’t really forget about it, it just wasn’t a priority to me. We all know how that goes. Life gets going fast and then we just let things drift out of our memory.
I thought however that I would start this blog up again because of my trip I’m going on to Denver. I’m leaving on the train to Denver tonight and getting there tomorrow morning. I’m visiting a dear friend of mine Johanna and we’ve got lots of things planned. Plus just spending time with each other since we don’t see each other very often. I miss having movie nights with themed snacks with the girl. It’s hard to do that when you live half a day away.
Anyone who knows me a little more than a little knows that I can be a little anxious when it comes to travel. I think I’ve made that pretty clear in this blog. But thankfully, I have a group of people in my life that make sure I’m safe and know what to do. In preparation for this trip, I made a crisis plan for traveling on the train with my staff. It outlines how I know I’m slipping into being unwell and what I should do at that point. The first reaction in all of my crisis plans is to breathe. When I look at that paper, I’ll be reminded to breathe and that is so important when you can feel yourself slipping into anxiety. It’s so simple and makes a world of difference.
So armed with my luggage, phone, kindle, and crisis plan, I plan to travel across part of the country on a train to visit my friend. If I wanted to do this a year ago, it wouldn’t have happened. A lot has happened in a year with the state of my whole body health. My mind, which was addled by my severe mental illnesses last year, has cleared up a bit and I took control of my life. My body, surprised by severe blood clots, has built up strength since last year. I’m the same person I was, only more determined and free. My mind is still addled; I still struggle with my mood and anxiety problems on a daily basis. But I know how to live an adapted life and choose not to let it take control. That’s the biggest thing. I’m making a concerted effort to control my life and not let my thoughts take over. That’s pretty big for me.
I’m thankful for anyone who has made it to the end. I just typed what was in my mind and let it out. I’ll be blogging more about my journey that is life. And I’ll try to make it as interesting as possible for you all to read!