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My lovely daughter turned 4 yesterday.

Let me just say, the past year with her has been rough.  I don’t like to call her bossy, but she does have some major leadership skills.  She is sweet, but she is also demanding.

She starts preschool today.  I honestly in ways feel like I’m a year late in getting her started.  She had some issues that held her back, but this girl is ready for school!  In fact, right about the time this goes live, she’ll be getting off the school bus for the very first time and rushing to tell me all about her day.  I hope she’ll talk about her day.

Mothering this child is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  But I love her so very much and I couldn’t imagine life without her.

I just hope that she uses her inner strength for good, and I pity the person who thinks she’s weak or a fool.

Not my Samantha.  She is a brilliant as she is beautiful, and as strong as she is brilliant.

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Touching Base In A Borderline Life

I’m in this weird position where things in life are going well, but I’m still not happy.

We usually have money troubles, but we were able to get a 2K advance on my student loans and that allowed us to catch up and get everything up to date.  We then have more money, twice as much I think, coming in October and that will allow us to pay ahead even.  So it’s not like we’re rolling in cash, but things could be and have been a lot worse.

We’ve been in this house a year now and we still love it.  We still want to grow old here.  It’s all that we could ask for.

My sister is healthier.  She still has a lot of healing to do, but she’s getting there slowly but surely.  We knew this would be a long process but she’s in no immediate danger.

The boys are back in school.  Sambam starts preschool Monday.  She is so ready.  We are so ready.

Pat and I are eh.  We spend too much time together.  I think it’s our personal mental health causing spousal drama.

The word I’m using is apathetic.  I feel apathetic towards life.  I also threw into the mix: agitated.  I don’t know why.  There is no certain thing or person agitating me.  I’m just agitated.

And Apathetic.

The History Of My Faith

I was brought up in a Presbyterian home with a mom that went to church every Sunday and sang in the choir since she was 5. I honestly don’t know my dad’s religious affiliation but I know 3 things for sure: 1) He doesn’t go to church ever. 2) His mom is a Jehovah’s Witness. 3) He is not.

Growing up until I was in about middle school, maybe early high school, I never really questioned religion or faith. I just assumed church was a place everyone but my dad went, and God was something everyone believed in. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I learned it was an option to question and/or not believe. I immediately became an atheist because religion requires blind faith and that’s not something I’m comfortable with. As an adult I’ve learned that’s because of my mental health. Also, science is a thing and I thought I had to believe in one or the other, but never both.

I stayed an atheist, wandering towards agnostic, until I was in my late teens or early 20’s, at which point I really started to look into paganism and Buddhism. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The one recognizes the Mother Earth as a powerful force, the other helps you find inner peace during your time on Mother Earth.

Somewhere in my early to mid 20’s I finally admitted that yes I do admit there is for sure something bigger than me out there, and no I have no idea what to define it as, but organized religion has some serious problems. I was comfortable with that, while exploring Buddhism as more of a way of life, and less of a religion.

Then when I was in my very early 30’s my younger sister was diagnosed with a failing liver and it started to fail her much faster than the doctors anticipated. Within 6 months she went from it being a problem, to her only having 90 days to live. That’s when the prayer warriors came out of the woodwork. For all intents and purposes my sister should probably be dead. She wasn’t even fully eligible for the needed transplant until about a month after her 90 days were up. But the prayer warriors prayed and prayed, the doctors saw something in her, and she made the list in time. The prayer warriors kicked it up a notch and started prayer not just for a donor, but for the donor’s family. Someone would have to lose their life for my sister to extend hers. Even then she had a meld score of 40 and was days if not hours from death when she got her new liver.

During all that trauma I made a pact with God, the details of which you can read about in my intro post. After he saved her, and I do believe it wasn’t just science, I could no longer deny a belief in a named high power. Despite this belief, I still don’t claim a named religion. Frankly, I don’t proclaim to know which one is “right” where the rest are wrong. From there I’d just pick the most peaceful, only they have all done horrible things in the name of their God and for their religion. I will say I like the idea of Christ, but I struggle with the water to wine, walking on water, and Resurrection. Sorry, but science.

So I’m left with a contentment that there is most probably possibly probably a higher power. I’m comfortable with the thought he’s the one who said bang, creating the universe. I think it’s logical that those first 7 days were in god years and therefore a lot more like billions of Earth years per Bible day. I refuse to name my spirituality.

All this left me thinking over the power of prayer. I mean, I had prayed before, even in my questioning years, but never with much belief, and I never stopped to listen to see if I’d been heard. But this past spring time after time a call for prayer went out and it was answered. So maybe I too can be heard, if I pause to listen back?

I present to you: Dear God, It’s Me Karen

Musings of A Psych Patient Part 2

The psych ward is an interesting, albeit inappropriate, place to play “guess the diagnosis.  The first person I diagnosed basically handed it to me on a silver platter within hours of being there.  I confirmed it with her later.  But then when her friend picked up on my neat trick, he wanted me to guess his next.  His was a touch harder, but I asked the right questions and figured it out.  I also explained what it all meant to him since no one had bothered to do that.  From there it was all speculation as I didn’t go around confirming, but it kept us entertained for a bit.

I suppose that’s one way to pass time in a psych ward.

Musings of A Psych Patient Part 1

What do you say during your 4th trip to a psych ward that hasn’t already been said?  By the end of trip 2, chronicling the day-to-day activities gets old.  Nothing really changes.  The TV’s are wall mounted now.  Jesus isn’t here.  The doctor that tried to kill me is gone too.  Everything else stays the same.  Even if the facility changes.

The telling of the 3rd stay took the humorous tone.  “10 things you can’t appreciate until you’ve spent a week in a psych ward,” is always fun.  But that list too remains the same.  The water is too hot or too cold when showering.  The bath towels are hand towels.

I know better than to get attached to anyone this trip.  The first few times I always made at least one friend that swore to keep in touch.  I know better now.  Psych ward friends aren’t real world friends.

It’s funny how a place overflowing with people can get to be so lonely so fast.  Even in the middle of the hoopla.  Lonely.  Isolating.

Those feelings are what brought me here in the first place. I had thought making a new friend might fix that.  The elation lasted 2 days then I was sunk into the realization that my expectations are too high.  I’m looking for an “almost lover” or Clyde level impact and those two individuals can’t be replicated, and neither can those experiences.  We’ll see what R brings me.

Five Days, Four Nights

This is going to come out very disjointed and just won’t flow.  I’m sorry, but that’s just how I am at this time with this topic.

I spent most of the last couple of weeks in July fantasizing about taking a few bottles worth of pills.  It wasn’t just a, “I wish I was dead,” but a full on plan.

When I tried to hospitalize myself in March, the hospital I went to was so sure it was just the stress of my sister’s illness.  They refused to take my own illness seriously.  When she got her transplant, and that stress was over, but I didn’t magically get better, I, in fact, got worse.  For a while I thought it was just me needing more friendship in my life.  I made a new friend.  I chatted with the new friend.  I was ecstatic for like two days, and then the new friend excitement wore off and I still felt like I wanted to die.  Turns out I didn’t just need friends.

But being turned away last March left me with zero faith in the system.  I was “too smart to need hospitalization”.  Yeah, yeah.  I’m also smart enough to know exactly how to successfully kill myself.

So I called my meds doctor and I filled her in on how I was feeling, the extent to which I was suicidal, and why it was I was hesitant to go to the hospital.  I knew I needed help, but I also knew if I got turned away again I would go through with an attempt.  At that point, all hope I had would be gone.

She, of course, pointed out the differences between the present and March.  For starters, in March as horrible as I felt, I was wishing I was dead, not planning it.  I also decided it would be wise to pick another hospital.  This time I went to OSU instead of Mount Carmel East.  Why yes, I am breaking my policy and I’m naming names.

OSU actually apologized for MC’s mistake even though they had nothing to do with it.  They full on told me that MC made a bad decision.  In doing so they didn’t just validate me being there in the present, but they validated my needs back in March.

I spent about 8 hours in the ER before they made the final decision and got my room ready.  There was never really much doubt in them keeping me, outside of my paranoia at the system.

While still in the ER, the consulting Psychiatrist and I discussed what exactly the stay could do for me, besides keeping me safe.  I finally admitted to myself and the world that the Cymbalta, my miracle drug, just wasn’t working anymore.  We discussed alternative meds and I picked Zoloft because it would help with depression and my anxiety.  The very next morning I start Zoloft and they started weaning me off Cymbalta.  To say I was fast-tracked is an understatement.  In 4 days I was taken off 120MG of Cymbalta and put on 150MG of Zoloft.  My body handled it well.

It was Friday, July 31, 2015, that I was admitted, and I was released the following Tuesday.

And here is where I end this tale for now.  I, of course, did some writing while I was in there, and I’ll share that with you in bits and pieces over the next week or so.

Stay safe.