Day 7

February 7, 2021

It has been 1 week since my last ketamine infusion and like clock work I have begun to decline. This is where my story shall begin…

I have dreamt about writing this blog for many months now, sharing my story in hopes that others will benefit from the knowledge I have gained over the years dealing with mental health challenges. I have had a rough ride with many bumps along the way and this blog is going to be a journal of what it is like living day to day with mental health challenges. Some days I am up and some days I am down and this is going to be a true account of what every day is like for me. This isn’t going to be easy and it is definitely going to get messy, that I can guarantee you. I hope it will be informative and perhaps will help to change some of the stigma around mental health. I am a scientist at heart so whenever I can be scientific I will try to be.

The first question I guess I should answer is who am I and what gives me the right to talk about this stuff?

Who Am I?

(the simple answer) I am a 43 year old female. Single mom of a teenage girl and boy. I have 3 dogs, 1 cat, 2 goats, 20 chickens, a duck and a lizard. I have spent much of my life learning and versed in a variety of avenues. I have a degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and specialized in working with people with disabilities. And I love to garden.

(the not so simple answer) I have a brain difference. My official diagnosis sounds something like “Bipolar Type I Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Treatment Resistant Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”

Some of you might be saying “Wow, on the crazy – hot scale she must be pretty hot.” Sometimes I am beyond the depths of despair and other times I am walking on water I am so good. Well that was my life for 40 years.  That is what Bipolar is like. I loved being bipolar, I wouldn’t be who I am today without that part of me. Being Bipolar helped me in so many ways but hurt me in many others. Some of you may have no idea what Bipolar actually is so let me share DSM 5 diagnostic criteria: I will explain more about bipolar as I continue through my life story.

Anxiety disorder is my next diagnosis in the list and the one that can knock me flat on my face. In extreme moments I can experience panic attacks. In a panic attack I feel like I am going to die. The fear in my eyes is terrifying I have been told. I can’t catch my breath and my heart feels like it will beat out of my chest. The next time I experience one (which fingers crossed isn’t for a long time) I will document it as best I can to explain what those really feel like when they happen.

The next two diagnosis I am going to lump together as I feel they are the essentially the same thing for me. Treatment Resistant Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is where my story really begins.

Almost three years ago now I was in what we are going to refer to for now as “The Incident.” This was of no fault of my own but it is a day that changed my life forever. At some point I will tell the story of “The Incident,” but for now I will just tell you that it rewired my brain. For me it was traumatic enough that it caused a rewiring, a change in my nervous system, a complete change in my ability to fully function. Before the incident I was a SUPER WOMAN. There was no doubt about it, I could do it all and I did. I was going to school full time, working 35 hours a week and raising 2 wonderful kids. I had a ton on my plate but I liked it like that. I love to be busy and always doing something fun. Then “The Incident” day happened and 2 days later I started to cry. I cried and I cried, I cried like I had never cried before. I cried all day and all night. I cried when I peed and in my sleep, I cried when I drove and when I grocery shopped. I cried nonstop for 5 days without a break. It was one of the worst pains I have ever experienced. I wanted to die just to stop the physical pain. I had no idea that crying could hurt so much, that there is such great physical discomfort that comes from crying without being able to stop. I will never forget this actual physical pain, it was deep in my gut a ball growing at the base of my ribs in size every day that I continued to sob. I thought this has to stop sometime it can’t just go on forever, but it kind of did go on forever. There was moments it eased off, but I knew something was wrong. This wasn’t right. What happened was bad but this wasn’t a “normal” reaction, I was sure of that. It wasn’t long after that people started to talk to me about PTSD.,sexual%20violence%20or%20serious%20injury.

Fast forward almost 3 years to today……

I am currently part of a ketamine clinic to treat the treatment resistant depression and PTSD. I can tell you that ketamine works for me. This blog is going to share a great deal about ketamine treatment and how it effects me. I will share my “trips” with you and the healing that I experience on the way. I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t and I hope that you will gain some knowledge as I share my story about how ketamine is changing my life. Right now I receive ketamine intravenous injections once every 4 weeks. The ketamine works like magic for me and it is a little different for everyone. I go into the infusion crying and in the depths of despair and in 40mins I am all better. Yes ALL BETTER, well for the time being. Today I am on day 7 after my last injection (I’ll tell you about the last 7 days in a future post) and it is the day the ketamine begins to wear off. This is where I have decided to begin this story, with the day I start to go down the rabbit hole.

Today Feb 7th, well it started with the stroke of midnight and me typing away a letter to my psychologist about everything that has been going on. By 2am the tears began to flow and the circular thoughts were forming. Same thoughts rolling over and over in my mind. Reading the email over and over, not able to let it go. I put away the computer and let myself cry. I want to release the energy that needs to get out. I tossed and I turned knowing what is coming, knowing that this is just the beginning of what is going to be a month of hell. Finally at 4am I took an Atavan. I can’t fight it any longer and I conceded to the fact my mind was not just going to let me rest on my own. When the roosters start crowing and my eyes are still open the anxiety begins to set in. The fear of how tired I am going to be the next day. Will I get all my many things done that I need to get done? Will I just be crying all day? Turned out most of the day was spent crying. I accomplished very little and began the daunting task of staring at the wall. I fought with my boyfriend and cried about how I am not capable of a relationship. He asked me questions of which I couldn’t come up with even simple answers. Even being asked just gives me anxiety. My brain has begun to shut down and there is nothing I seem to be able to do about it . It just happens. I have often heard people say to me “why don’t you just snap out of it?” Like duh I didn’t think about that. For now I have stopped crying and decided to write. To tell you my story, and it begins with my descent towards depression because my ketamine has begun to wear off…

Day 7 – Intermittent Crying begins

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