Kat's Blog of Random Events

Archive for November, 2012

My Bipolar Diagnosis

So, last spring I was diagnosed with Bipolar II. It’s like Bipolar I, but the mood swings are slightly less extreme (hypomanic instead of manic, etc.) Now, I would like to point out that I am not a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, nor have I seriously studied psychology in any way. These are simply my opinions and knowledge gained as a layperson.

I was diagnosed with depression about 3 years earlier in 2009, but the funny thing about my depression was that it would come and go, and sometimes I’d actually be really happy for a few days or a few weeks. I was on anti-depressants, and they were certainly better than not being on anything, but they never really seemed to “solve” my problems. I always figured that medicine simply wasn’t perfect and that was just the way it was going to be.

But then my psychiatrist moved out of state, so my therapist, Dr. Jill Weber gave me the name of a new psychiatrist. Her name is Dr. Deborah Pacheco and I highly recommend her. She’s in Northern Virginia in the McLean area, and she is the absolute most thorough medical/psychiatric person I have ever met in my life, and believe me I’ve been through plenty (probably 5-10). She talked to me for an hour and a half on my first visit, then had me come back and report on my life several times. After meeting with me for a few months, she said we should consider a diagnosis of Bipolar II. The words were a little shocking and somewhat scary.

I didn’t know much about Bipolar Disorder, but as I did my research, it seemed to fit me more and more. Dr. Pacheco was very kind, she walked me through it every step of the way. She changed my medication and added mood stabilizers. I am happy to report that after months of being on them, I am doing much better. She also told me not to think of it so much as “Bipolar Disorder,” but instead to think of it as more of a “cyclical depression.” Bipolar disorder sounds so severe to me that it’s hard to admit I have it, but a depression that comes and goes and gets extreme and has really high points where I get lots done is EXACTLY my personality. So to anyone who’s been diagnosed, don’t be scared! It’ll be okay. I have my ups and downs, but for the most part the mood stabilizers do their job and I am much better and more controlled for it!

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What I Am Thankful For…

I guess this will be a Thanksgiving post, so I’d just like to thank some people that I know will never read this because they don’t know I have a blog.

I am thankful to be alive. Just over a year ago I was in the hospital, and we weren’t sure if I would make it.

I am thankful for color guard, which has kept me going for a long time. It is the reason I get out of bed every day and how I survived high school. It’s also how I’ve made many of my closest friends. I found a family there, and they’ve gotten me through a lot.

To my sister Elizabeth, I’m grateful to have you in my life. For all the things we’ve done together, and all the long talks we’ve had on the phone, and all the times we’ve had those moments you can only have with someone you’ve grown up with, I’m thankful for you. To my Dad, who has loved and accepted me for who I am my entire life, I can’t thank you enough. You’ve taught me about football, you are the reason I did guard, and always one of my strongest supporters. To my daughter who sadly is not with us, but who lives on in our hearts. I am grateful to you because you’ve showed me what life is really about and how precious it can be. You forced me to grow up when I wasn’t ready, and having you for the blink of an eye when you breathed through my body was the scariest and most amazing time of my life. I will never forget you. But I now know that if I can make it through that, I can make it through anything. And of course to my mother. My dearest mother who has been there through everything. I am so glad to have the most understanding mother on the planet. You’ve been so helpful and so wonderful to me. I don’t know where I would be without you.

I am thankful to my “other” Moms, Colleen and Barbara, who have helped me with my miscarriage. They’ve both been through similar circumstances and I don’t know where I’d be without them either. I wouldn’t be here today without both of you. I met Barbara first, and she got me through my first mother’s day. Colleen helped me get through both school and life. She’s been there every step of the way and she still checks in on me when she knows times are getting rough.

Do These Pants Make My Ass Look Bisexual?

This is a post from another blog I posted in from school, but I thought it was important, so I’m reblogging it here!

Unruly Bodies

Why does what I’m wearing define my sexual orientation? I’m a 22-year old female, and I often change the way I dress, even on a day-to-day basis. I may feel like wearing a tight skirt, heels, make-up, and jewelry and shaving my legs on Monday. On Tuesday I might wear sweatpants and a T-shirt and throw my hair in a messy bun, and on Wednesday I may wear a baggy pair of guy’s jeans with paint stains on them, a tank top, and skater shoes but do my hair in a cute way. I enjoy dressing in any way that makes me feel comfortable, and I usually do.

But recently, I got a girlfriend, and even though I dress the same way I’ve always dressed, with my same unique style I’ve always had, I’ve heard some interesting comments, even from people that I know care about me and aren’t trying…

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Lyrics That Get Me Through the Day

This blog is simply a list of songs and lyrics that I find helpful when I’m having a rough day

Codeine by Trampled by Turtles

“I like long walks and sci fi movies”
-Fake Palindromes, Andrew Bird

“There’s a kind of emptiness that can filll you
There’s a type of hunger that can eat you up
There’s a cold and darker side of the moonlight
And there’s a  lonely side of love
There’s a certain kind of pain that can numb you
There’s a type of freedom that can tie you down
Sometimes the unexplained can define you
And sometimes silence is the only sound”
-Hanging by a Thread, Nickel Creek

“I’m a bottle of diet poison”
-Bull in a China Shop, Barenaked Ladies

“They won’t hurt you like I will”
-Konstantine, Something Corporate

“Kiss me out of desire baby not consolation,
Oh and it makes me so angry
‘Cause i know that in time…
I’ll only make you cry,
This is our last goodbye…”
-Last Goodbye, Jeff Buckley

“We never said our love was evergreen
Or as unchanging as the sea;
But if you can still remember
Stop and think of me.”
-Think of Me, Phantom of the Opera

“Well I feel too young to hold on
And I’m much too old to break free and run
Too deaf, dumb, and blind to see the damage I’ve done”
-Lover, You Should’ve Come Over, Jeff Buckley

“It’s all about joy that comes out of sorrow”
-All About Soul, Billy Joel

“When I think more than I want to think,
Do things I never should do,
I drink much more that I ought to drink
Because it brings me back you…”
Lilac Wine, Jeff Buckley

“My house is a green Honda Civic
My bed is the passenger seat
I play guitar every night on the boardwalk
So that I can get a bite to eat”
-Boardwalk, The Leify Green Conspiracy

“One day you’ll see her and you’ll know what I mean
Take her or leave her she will still be the same
She’ll not try to buy you with her time
But nothing’s the same, as you will see when she’s gone”
-This Side, Nickel Creek

“Close your eyes when you don’t want to see
Stay at home when you don’t want to go
Only speak to those who will agree
Yeah, and close your mind when you don’t want to know
You have lost your innocence somehow
But everybody loves you now”
-Everybody Loves You Now, Billy Joel

“We came together, fell apart
And broke each other’s hearts”
-Remember When, Alan Jackson

“She’s just a lonely woman singin’ an I miss you song
The same one I’ll be singing when you’re gone”
-John Harrell

“Does his hand in your hair feel a lot like a thing you believe in
Or a bit like a bird stealing bread out from under your nose?”
-Bird Stealing Bread, Iron and Wine

“I helped her live and made her want to die”
-Can’t Complain, Nickel Creek

“One day I’ll come back if the door’s still open
Just promise to keep your heart broken”
-Keep Your Heart Broken, The Rasmus

Should I Be a Surrogate Mother?

I know I’m not ready to have children right now, but after I had a miscarriage 2 years ago, I’ve wondered if I should do anything to help others have children. I was thinking of being an egg donor, but because I only have so many eggs, I think I’d like to wait to be an egg donor until after I’ve had my own children. So my next thought was, what about being a surrogate parent and carrying another couple’s baby?

I know that the decision to become a surrogate mother should be an extremely long and well-thought out process, of which I am only in the early stages, but my initial thoughts are that as heartbreaking as it may be to lose something that you’ve been caring for for 9 months, doesn’t that also make it that much more rewarding to know that you’re giving another couple a chance that they otherwise never would have had?

Does anybody have thoughts on this? Has anyone ever been a surrogate or used a surrogate mother? What can you tell me about your experience? And does anyone know the best place to do it? I’m looking to do it somewhere that caters to both heterosexual and LGBT couples.

Upward Over the Mountain

One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard is called “Upward Over the Mountain” by Iron and Wine. This song always manages to bring me comfort when I hit rough times. Maybe it’s because my mother and I are so close. Maybe it’s because I was somewhat of a wild teenager and I had to keep telling my mother not to worry. Maybe it’s because the line about the dog having her pups in the pantry reminds me of my miscarriage. But for whatever the reason, I love this song, and it brings me peace in times of sorrow. It lets me cry when I need to, and it makes me smile when I am down.

I may even get a tattoo of birds flying over a mountain in memory of everything this song means to me.

 

Mother don’t worry, I killed the last snake that lived in the creek bed
Mother don’t worry, I’ve got some money I saved for the weekend
Mother remember being so stern with that girl who was with me?
Mother remember the blink of an eye when I breathed through your body?

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds, flying upward over the mountain

Mother I made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison
Mother I lost it, all of the fear of the Lord I was given
Mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to
Mother forgive me, I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons could be birds, taken broken up to the mountain

Mother don’t worry, I’ve got a coat and some friends on the corner
Mother don’t worry, she’s got a garden we’re planting together
Mother remember the night that the dog had her pups in the pantry?
Blood on the floor, fleas on their paws,
And you cried ’til the morning

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds, flying always over the mountain

A Holiday with Nothing to Celebrate

It’s the little things. Pregnant women make me cry. Seeing a woman yell at her toddler in the mall makes me angry. Why are you yelling? Don’t you know how lucky you are to even have a kid? In my Methods of Social Research class we fill out fake surveys so we can analyze data, and the questions will be seemingly simple things like “What is your gender?” “How old are you?” “What state were you born in?” “How many children do you have?”

But I can’t seem to get through that question. How many children do you have. I don’t know. How many children DO I have? How many children did I give birth to? How many children do I have walking around? How many children call me mommy? How many tiny hands have grabbed my finger? How hard was it to sit there waiting for the doctor knowing I wasn’t pregnant? Right before the 2nd anniversary of my miscarriage you’re going to ask me how many children I have?

How many children do I have? One. But I’m forced to say NONE. That I have no children. I’m forced to sit in that class and answer in a way that doesn’t upset everyone in the class and make them uncomfortable and send me to the bathroom to cry.

I’m certainly not the only person with this problem. I know I’m not the only one who has had a miscarriage (or infertility, or stillbirth, or suffered the death of a child). But two years ago on November 16th, I had the worst day of my life. After finding out I was pregnant just two weeks earlier, I then had to unlearn everything that I had learned.

Last year for my anniversary, I took the day off, thought of my daughter, and donated blood. It seemed like the right thing to do. I’m not sure why, I’m not sure I’ll ever know why. I don’t have any plans for this year. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to think about it as much. Which is a good thing. I think obsessing over it for months beforehand like I did last year would be a mistake. Because I’m not going to forget about it. I can’t forget about it. It’s the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep.

So my dearest Leslie Ann, what can I do for you? How should I remember you? What’s the best way to preserve my only memory of you? I guess my question for other parents who are suffering is, what do you do on your anniversaries?

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