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I am now officially #Crazy

Yesterday was my appointment with a new medical team for my mental health “status” and diagnostic.

For those who don’t know, a résumé: for now 3 years, I’ve been managing a lot of mental health issues, depression, general anxiety, flashbacks, triggers, mood swings, etc… that, when discussed with many health specialists, made us realize that I may have a mental health condition. Like bipolar, or borderline. It wasn’t just depression and general anxiety: it was clearly more.

So I was nervous as fuck, yesterday. Uber-Anxious, too, that they might overlook my conditions, and finally say “You ain’t sick in the brain, go home”, or underestimate it. I was scared of judgment, too, I’ll admit it: that I was wayyyyyy crazier than I thought…

I felt listened. I felt not judged. I felt respected with my analysis, my answers, my hypothesis of my own condition and life, my thoughts, my experiences…

So, by the end of the afternoon, it was official:I am crazy!
(joking! … well, almost 😉 )

But overall, it went well. I have a new psychiatrist assigned to me for a while (FINALLY! It took 3 years to HAVE one just for my case!). With her resident-psychiatrist who will be doing most of the work with me. My medication doesn’t change (for now) but we are now doing a very intense follow-up on this. More blood tests, more health log & journal, to figure out the *precise* condition of my brain. But for now, my main hypothesis has been accepted AND confirmed now by 3 psychiatrists, a resident, 2 social workers, 1 psychologist, and my own family doctor:

Non-specific bipolar/not-quite-cyclothymia/Borderline-but-not-totally. All caused by trauma/PTSD.

Yeah, it’s a mouthful. BUT it’s something.

What does it means?

Well, to start: my brain didn’t grow up like everybody else. I came from a family background where extreme poverty, childhood neglect/abuse of different kinds, and malnutrition impacted my brain chemistry when growing up. I probably lack some essential brain hormones and cells necessary to have a “normal” mood like everybody else. My hormones in my body have been impacted during my teenage years by this lack of hormones. So when my periods started, it only started amplifying my mood swings. Mood swings that were HIGHLY different than the average person. Mood swings that made me acted…rashly; irrational; angry at time; depressed as time; imprevisible. Unpredictable, for most of you all. A total chaotic clusterfuck of emotional ticking rage/depression bomb at time.

Not fun.

Yeah, I know, it sucks. It explains a lot, I guess. It explains A LOT of my past decisions during my early adulthood. Of my mood swings, my depressive phases. My HIGH phases (at least 2 per year, in January and September, and a little lower High phase in June, too). It explains a lot of what a lot of people/acquaintances (those who didn’t take the time to know me, at the time) observed as my “chaotic personality”.It explains all the anxiety I’ve developed afterwards, because of my past childhood and my decisions during those mood swings.

It just confirmed everything.

I now am “labeled” by my medical team, and in the health system. We have more tools, now, available for me, to make my life and daily struggles a bit more manageable. It won’t completely heal me: it never will. A life of trauma can NEVER be erased from my DNA and brain chemistry. I’m stuck like that.

But now, I have a team that is behind me, have tools, medications and knowledge to help me get better on a day-to-day basis. I am not alone. I can only facilitate my brain chemistry by following some steps to make it better, more stable. I am not crazy, au final!

This is me. Debbie: an unclassifiable Pirate person, not crazy but scrapped by Life, and survivor of bad stuffs. Crazy cat lady extraordinaire. Badass ass-kicker of liars and douchebags.

I’ll survive this and stay strong!

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3 years ago…

[TRIGGER WARNING: mental health, depression, suicide]

Looking at my Facebook memories, and being reminded that…
3 years ago, I wanted to kill myself.

I was lucky, that day in mid-May: two dear friends of mine were holding my hands and were there when I went to the psychiatric emergency of the Douglas Hospital. I had plans, I had the mindset. In my mind, I was ready to end all this suffering in my head and in my heart…

The constant emptiness. The fear of being abandoned. Or lied to. Or abused. Or traumatised yet again. Or being psychologically violated, humiliated, abused, diminished. The fear of being inadequate. Of being an impostor. Of being a monster. Of being too much.

I’ve lived too many traumatic events that left its imprints in my brain while I grew up, and the depressive anxious mind of mine was winning over my will to live. I just couldn’t anymore. All my defence mechanisms & protective actions and shields weren’t protecting me against my sick brain anymore.

But…yeah, I was lucky that some saw it. I was lucky that some had the intuition to reach to me, propose to hold my hands and bring me to the hospital. No judging. No moralising words. Nothing.
Just compassion, care, and love.

I felt it, and it kicked me just enough to reactivate that “warrior Debbie” in my mind, and fight. To finally go get the medical help I needed, because I couldn’t heal alone anymore.I needed help, and I needed NOW before doing the irreparable…And I needed to do it for my kiddo. I just couldn’t live with the thought that she could blame herself for my death. I just couldn’t.
So, 3 years ago, I started what I knew was going to be a hard healing process.

It is still ongoing, mind you all: We are almost there with fine-tuning my medication; I did a lot of introspective work on myself with my psychologist; I work diligently with my doctor and whichever’s psychiatrist assigned to my case; I call my social worker at my Pointe-Saint-Charles clinic when I feel there can be a relapse in my depressive phase; I’m on the waiting list for many medical appointments at the Douglas Hospital for my mental troubles affecting me, and to see how we can start repair (probably never totally repair a 100%. but close enough!) my brain, and make me feel better;I’m talking more about my current conditions, and I’m not shying away: I DO have a mental health problem that can make me not function properly in different spheres of my life (be it work, friends, family, social, etc).

For the last two weeks, being reminded of THAT day 3 years ago on Facebook made me reflect on how far I came around and worked hard.
I am still doing it, mind you. But yes, I saw all the work coming into effect when, in the last few days, I was confronted with some personal events arising. I saw how I kept strong even with the maelstrom of intense emotions; I was able to keep a clear mind and think; I didn’t succumb to some impulsive and risky “bomb-type” decisions; I didn’t overreacted. I was just able to stick to my ideas, my values, and my worth, and move on. Solve that shit like the Surviving Warrior that I am.

There can be relapses, in the future, for another depression phase, or even a suicidal one: a traumatised brain like mine won’t really ever heal from all of that. BUT…with all the help I am getting, and work I am doing, I can only hope that those phases will distance itself each time, taking more time before it happens again.

Today I am happy to be alive, and to have fought that dying thought 3 years ago. Today, I am happy to still be around, and be there for my daughter.
Today, I am happy to be me.

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May is the month of Mental Health Awareness in the US. and we had a National Week for Mental Health Awareness at the beginning of the month. It’s important to remind our self that we aren’t the only one struggling alone in our corners: close to 1 person on 4 (25%) will be dealing with mental health trouble during its adulthood.

We need to talk more about our mental health. It’s important! And no, we aren’t alone: people care!

We have two wonderful organisations here that help raise awareness: Mouvement Santé mentale Québec
Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS)
ACSM – Association canadienne pour la santé mentale – Filiale de Québec

And there is also some online groups and websites that give place to people sharing their own personal mental struggles and troubles:
The Mighty
Humain Avant Tout
Project Semicolon

Also, if you need to talk, I am there. I’m always available to hear people’s stories, their own struggles, and be a listening mind. I’ve been there, I know that fight, and I understand.

You are cared. You are loved. You ain’t alone.

Me neither.

#MentalHealth #MentalHealthAwareness #SantéMentale #Suicide #Depression #Anxiety #CPTSD #PTSD #Trauma

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2018

2018.

Un goût doux-amer dans ma bouche, car bien que ça a moins bougé côté action/événement, c'est dans ma tête que ça a brassée beaucoup cet année. Intensément.

2018 qui a commencé avec une hypothèse plausible - et très possible - que j'avais finalement + de séquelles

Read more
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On dealing with mental health issues: the BPD probability

In the last few months, I had to deal with the fact that I may suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD). After talking with my medical team over this possibility, I read a lot on that subject, and I thought a lot about myself in these last few months. It does explain a LOT of past behaviours and reactions. And ever since I became aware of its possibility, I change a lot of stuff in my life to make it better (and it did!).

But there is still one main point characterizing BPD that I have a hard time dealing with: the constant, ever-eternal, chronic feeling of emptiness. 

Boooyyyyyyyy do I have that one HARD! And fuck do I hate it.

But…it does explain A LOT in my past: how I was never able to focus on one project at a time (and especially bring it to “completion”/finish); how I was always jumping from one thing to another, never satisfied, never happy after the happy rush from its beginnings; the hard time to focus at school, always happy to start the semester, but always struggling to finish it (let’s not talk about my university grades; the never-ending ADHD side of myself which always struggle to finish anything…fuuuuucccckkkkkkkk!);

So now, I’m trying to see if I can change this point a little. Push myself a little to NOT drop whatever new project/thing I try or start. It’s hard, but if I deal with it one day at a time, I might manage it…

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Quote of the day

When you prefer confiding to strangers instead of your friends, and when you feel better following random strangers’ accounts online than friends’…

That’s a weird state to find yourself into! 😐😕😟😵

Me, on Twitter
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It’s that “Luddite period” of the year for me 😵

It’s that time of the year, again…The time when just seeing a computer makes my skin crawls, my eyes roll all the way back to the back of my head, and where my brain just…shuts down.

I have that urge again.

The urge to just drop everything tech-related, and isolate myself in a cabin. Far in the woods. Far from society. For at least a month every year (and since I’ve been working in my work field – that is now 18 years! fucking wow!), I’ve always had that “urge” to disconnect and stop touching a computer. Code nothing. Design and play nothing on a computer. Just….not touch a damn computer. Like if my life would stop right there if I touched a computer. Crazy, i know, but that’s the feelings I felt every single time I was/am in that mindset. I kinda find it infuriating. And debilitating. Especially when I need to work, you see. Because, well…I need to gain money to life? And normally, juussstttttt normally, I don’t hate my work?

Yeaaahhhhhh, kinda a bad timing, that urge 😒

I also have some physical symptoms, where I want to cry, or puke, or I just become aggressive when I see a computer. Crazy, uh?

So I managed to grab some tips and advice, to survive that period of the year where I just feel like a fucking Luddite:

  • no touching a computer outside of work. like: REALLY no touching after I leave the office.
  • no reading books or online feeds/blogs/sites related to anything tech/web
  • disconnect by watching numb TV shows
  • bingeing through my Netflix huge to watch  list!
  • read! Read, read, reaaaaddddddddd many books: history, scifi, fantasy, etc…
  • take walks, and go on urban exploration and photo walks
  • just sit on my balcony and watch the clouds move by
  • run and play and talk with my daughter
  • no tech conference or meetups
  • no helping friends with their websites
  • sleep!
  • go out with my friends

So yeah….it’s that time of the year, again. Lucky for me, this time, it’s happening during summertime. At least I can enjoy tons of outside activities and procrastinating moments in the sun, I guess 😉

Who else has this type of feelings?