Monday, July 21, 2014

Update - Mental Health and Klippel

It was one of those days where I did not want to get up – I could have easily just lay in bed for hours upon hours... but, reluctant to mess up sleep schedule for the upcoming evening, I forced myself out of bed and into the shower. For most people, showering is just that, a shower. For me, however, it is one of the most grueling parts of my day. Aside from the vast discomfort that comes from doing so with my Klippel, I find myself ritualizing a great deal during this time period. If I do not do things in a certain order, if I do not count to a certain exact number while performing a task, than I am not “clean” by my own standards... it may sound quite odd to someone who does not have OCD. However, for me, this is just one symptom of my condition that presents itself on a daily basis.


It is somewhat customary for my parents to knock on the bathroom door and ask if I am okay while showering – usually I am in there for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. Yes, I know how incredibly asinine that sounds, truly I do! Perhaps the craziest part is that after, I still do not feel clean often times... Since I have come home about 3 weeks ago, my OCD has grown increasingly worse. I am, however, working with my talk therapist and psychiatric very closely in order to monitor the bevy of mental problems in which I am experiencing.

It is not atypical for me to wake up and feel disconnected from the rest of the world – quite often, in fact, I feel as though I am having an out of body experience. Often a time, I wake up and tears flood my eyes... my mind is constantly inundated with questions along the lines of “why am I here? What is my purpose? What now?” I never know how to answer them, though, and often find myself existing out of mere habit rather than my own volition these days.

I was diagnosed with something entitled borderline personality disorder – just last week, upon a visit to my psych. Doctor, I found out I have it. Throughout the years, I knew there was more to my mental state than just “merely” depression and anxiety, but I was never quite sure what... As far as what borderline personality disorder is, I encourage you to do your own research. However, I do urge you to use caution upon searching (i.e. look at reputable sources). As time elapses, I am certain I will write more in regards to this disorder on here and how it impacts me.

For the time being, however, I am attending therapy several times a week to work on my mental health. I have started Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (a form of Cognitive Behavorial Therapy) and am already rather fond of it. As far as mental illness is concerned, my stance is the same as it has always been since it first majorly impacted me at the tender age of 18...there is no shame in having one. Like Klippel, I did not choose this for myself...it was thrust upon me. As far as obstacles are concerned, it is not the challenge that defines the person. But rather, it is the way in which one works to overcome his/her challenge(s) that should define them.

As far as my Klippel is concerned, things are under control infection/clot wise. However, my foot/ankle are a ticking time bomb. Aove is a picture of how the foot/ankle area looked during my June hospitalization. Upon my return home on the cusp of July, they returned to normal after Dr. Alomari did some tiny (yet exponentially helpful) procedure. However, each and every day it is beginning to revert back to what you see in the picture – slowly but surely. I am rather stressed in regards to this matter, but am taking it one day at a time.

I love you all and appreciate you taking the time to read my writings.
May you be well,

Arianna

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dark Secrets

Below is a Facebook status I shared with friends and family members alike on July 9th, about a week and a half following my discharge from the hospital (I was inpatient for just under a month). I am not proud of my past actions, and am hoping others can learn from my mistakes. Here goes...

"Only some of my immediate family members, physicians, and two friends know this but for a couple of months prior to this hospitalization, I was engaging in some pretty risky behavior. Late at night, before bed, I was mixing anti- anxiety medicines with alcohol. After a surgery, I would mix my pain killers with alcohol and at times I was on pretty hefty dosages. Truth is that I took my life for granted and felt imprisoned by my own mind and the torture in which my Klippel kept putting me through... My depression tried to tell me that while my family would be sad if I passed, it may be better off for them in the long run and I would no longer be a gargantuan burden to them. There were times I went to bed knowing I may not wake up and I did not care; I was seeking a peace that I could not seem to find here on Earth and I wanted a way out. No one knew this, though, because I was so manipulative with how I went about it. I was going to sleep way after my parents and sister were already in for the night, so I was able to get away with it behind my locked bedroom door. I was hiding the alcohol in my closest underneath a pile of clothes. I would like to note, however, that I would never and have never driven in this state for I would never endanger the lives of innocent others...that much I can proudly say for myself.

The day after I came home from the hospital (about 2 weeks ago), I came clean to my parents (along with my physicians and eventually a couple of friends) about what I had been doing leading up to this prior hospitalization. I was an absolute emotional wreck, and I knew that if I could not be honest now, I would end up “accidentally” taking my own life one of these nights. I was, in terms of my depression and anxiety, my own worst enemy and coming clean was probably the best decision I could have ever made... my parents, upon learning what I had been doing, were shocked and horrified but vowed to do everything they could to get me back on track again. When my psych. Doctor found out about the cocktail (and amount) of medicine and alcohol I had been mixing every night, she was beyond horrified and told me I am lucky to still be alive right now. In telling the truth, I felt so vulnerable and absolutely petrified, but I no longer wanted to deceive those around me and felt this was a good time to save me from myself...With that said, I am attending several therapy appointments per week right now with the doctor and talk therapist. I am so grateful for all of the help in which I am receiving and regret having taken my life for granted, no matter how hollow I felt or feel internally at any given time. It's funny, I have spent such a momentous amount of time fighting my Klippel to stay alive, and yet I was willing to throw away all of that perseverance and hard work for pills and alcohol...to quell feelings of despair that were and are very treatable with a great deal of hard work.

Tonight, while out with my family in Boston, I could not help but feel as though I was lucky...for whatever reason, I survived the self-medicating ordeal and my Klippel is currently under control. I still have so much work to do on myself and I would be lying if I said I was emotionally stable. However, I am trying and that's really the only thing in which I can do at this point in time; that and accept the help in which those around me have so graciously offered me.

I am not one to give advice, that much I am aware, but if I could tell anyone stuck in the midst of a deep depression one thing it would be to open up to others around you...do not sit alone with the suicidal thoughts and despair. There is no shame in having depression, anxiety, etc., they are just as real as having a visibly physical ailment. Also, do not self-medicate.... Tonight, down by the waterfront, I saw a parade of people enjoying life and partaking in some of the fun in which it has to offer... I want that to be me, someday, I thought to myself. I have a long way to go but I am learning to cope with my emotions in a healthy way... that means cutting out people who are toxic and not surrounding myself with negative energy. Along with this, I am trying to build-up my self-esteem and learning to cope with all my Klippel has put me through. I'm learning, and like I said I regret having done what I was doing for months leading up to this hospitalization; your life is worth something, despite how much your mind may try to convince you otherwise at times...

Keep living, loving, and learning,
Arianna"

Friday, June 27, 2014

Here Is Where I Lay. Where I Lay is here.

Something tells me I have a vast ocean of struggles ahead of me, and I’ve really only just begun to sink my feet into the dampened sand. 



What, surprised to hear from me? ; ) I am still alive of course, just not at my desired location, which is home. Today comes with strings attached, like the many others in which I have been here; a mere venogram. if nothing acute is found, I will be released to frolic back to the place in which Dorothy, too, desired; home. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home, no place like home..."

Go where your heart desires. - Arianna