So… this is life

3/20/15     9:55pm

So… this is life.

It’s 9:55pm. I’m sitting on the tile floor of a hotel next to an ATM. The world around me seems surreal. I did Scotty’s dance, taped Missi’s. People greet me and ask how I am. Some of them ask with a knowledge from Facebook of the hospital. Some have no idea. To those whose eyes say they know, I am trying to be honest. A new thing for me. My doctor warned me I would overheat on seroquel and geodon. She failed to tell me what to do not to. One intermediate Scotty workshop brought my blood boiling to a point it shouldn’t reach until well into a Saturday night dance or several advanced routines in a row outside on a hot summer black asphalt day. I must brainstorm for tomorrow. But I’m tired.

(breathe)
There’s cold air blowing on me.
I really love to dance.

I’m not sure why I feel sad here. I don’t feel connected. I don’t feel alive. I guess I don’t feel ready. Will I ever? I want to dance again but I don’t have faith in me. I need help to believe. I don’t even know what a healthy person’s life looks like. What am I s’posed to want? And for whom?

(deep breath)
STOP (DBT skill) Now what did that stand for? (practice skill) Well, now I feel sadder.

Check the facts:

  • I’m at Possum Trot.
  • I’m sitting alone in a noisy lobby.
  • I feel sad and scared.
  • I am also excited to be here.
  • I feel free on the dance floor.
  • My face and neck are twitchy.
  • I stayed awake today.
  • I got to hug and laugh with Scotty.
  • I am able to dance w/o pain.
  • Mom is here.
  • I am scared for it to be over.
  • I really want to dance and feel loved.
  • I am fragile.
  • I am safe.

I’d like to watch Peg + Cat now.
My head hurts.

I want to feel safe.
Will I ever be a dancer again?
I need to go to sleep.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Non-linear

3/19/15     5:30pm

Non-linear. My thought is non-linear today. I was willful and skipped my Geodon. I also didn’t eat. Now I have a big headache. I can move today. My muscles don’t hurt. I can breathe easier. Literally. (move to stairs)

I thought I could wait for my mom here with some ice on my face. Instead my mom wants me to play with the girls. No.

I sound like a meth-addict today. Or crack. My thoughts jump on lilypads scattered. They come out fast in somewhat coherent globs. There are pauses where words should be. My muscles are twitchy, reactive. The ones on my face have been vibrating all day. I have periods of nerve pain, intense. I question me driving, stayed home extra hours today when I wasn’t okay. I feel small and scared. I want to go home. My face BURNS.

Tomorrow I will start half-dose in the morning and full dose at night. Dr. H is not mad at me, thankfully. I just want to feel better. Better. Me. Non-linear. I want my think back, please. With less pain. Maybe migraine today. I’m losing time. It floats away. The sound attacks my head with spears. Don’t let me ever have kids. Really.

Non-linear. My head hurts. Please.

I did some projects today. No. I want to go home please. Non-linear. Me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Useless

3/13/15     10:25pm

It’s like there are no useful thoughts in my head, yet I am acutely aware there is something I’m supposed to do.

(swing outside)
I feel like a rat in a toilet bowl scrambling to survive the flush. Chemically dulled. Staring. Curled up. Twitchy. Tics. I want the med work in the hospital to stick. Why can’t it be simple? I’m not feeling hope. I’d like to cry. No tears.

Word of torture: USELESS
Rebuttal: Human
Reply: Broken
Answer: Jesus

(pray, swing)
I’ve been seeing a grey fuzzy cat that’s not there. I miss Dr. N.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Indigo

3/7/15     6:40pm

I feel overwhelmed. I’m at Auntie’s and I can’t escape the noise.

(move outside)

I come here to escape the noise, the technology, the pain. This time I brought it with me. I helped Auntie learn her smart phone this afternoon and missed the sunset. Geodon is making me really sensitive to sound and I feel like everything is screaming at me – phone, tv, people.

I’m sitting on the porch now. I hear distant dogs barking, the hum of traffic on a nearby road. I try not to hear Steve Harvey on the tv inside. I look up and see sparking stars. They stand out, close and present, against the living night sky. A dark blue glow hugs the skyline – hills and plants. My salty desert dirt. I can’t smell it today. Allergies. If it wasn’t cold I’d sleep out here.

What do I want?

  • To have unpressured non-timed down time to be mindful in here
  • To teach Auntie her phone
  • To give gifts
  • To go to church
  • To scan photos

(stare at the stars, deep breath) Wow. The sprig of a tree stands out white in the night. I think I just learned the color indigo.

(watch the moths)
The cold is helping.
What I need is some place comfy for me to sit. That would reduce my anxiety and pain.

(stare at the stars)
They were really there, all the time.
(see a shooting star)
(ponder in which direction a “falling” star is moving)
(consider universal relativity)

This may be why I go crazy in the desert. For now, I’ll eat ice cream.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Revelation

3-7-15     6:13am

I woke up at 5:15. Feels like Christmas morning. I took a shower. We don’t leave until 7:45 or 8. I’m excited. It’s almost my BIRTHday!

I had a revelation in the shower.

Old Thought: I can’t have that.
New Thought: I can have all things God wants for me.

I feel the power of the old, the peace of the new. Surrender. I believe it. No conscious cognitive therapy involved.

I’m going to my aunt’s today. I want to ask for the house. I keep getting flashes of things that scare me, of reasons not to want to live there alone, aside from the fact that it’s next to nowhere. Snakes and intruders mainly. No readily accessible emergency services. Poor medical care. I know nothing about septic tanks or wells. Maybe it’s just a dream. At least it’s my dream. A dream worth having. Besides, God kills snakes. I pray a snake doesn’t kill Ellie.

I feel like I’m missing meds. Or I just slept great. Hmmm… What did I switch around last night?

I’m going to listen to “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” audiobook. Noreen recommended it. Thomas found it at the library. I put it on my ipod. I’m almost afraid.

But of what? Liking audiobooks?

No. That I won’t be able to tolerate those either.

Dammit, Michelle. Enough already. STOP AVOIDING. Don’t think. Just dance.

Yeah, I need to do that too.

READ THE DAMN BOOK.

Alright already. Geez, lay off.

Mom’s upset I’m up early. I feel like I’m missing Seroquel from a diet healthy in psych drugs, but I know I’m not. Hmmm… I really must trim some of my specialty medical care. I pay upwards of $900 a month right now in care not covered by my insurance. And that’s not a typo. Where did I get lost? How did this happen? Probably the same way new wardrobes showed up in my closet when I was manic. This time I’m collecting people. You’d think they were priceless.

I feel an overarching sense of excitement and impending doom. I’d like to sleep but I’m wired and already dressed. I told Auntie I’d make her pancakes. Gotta get there first. I know. I could upload back-pictures or do my credit counseling online. And take some Benadryl so I can breathe.

Over and out, Chickadee.

-M

Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Dropping in

3/2/15     11:20pm

I didn’t go to Soleil’s today. She let me reschedule due to rain. I also couldn’t stay awake. I spent the day with T- instead. It was nice. Shopping, the beach, group. I’m exhausted.

I’m dropping back into life and I’m confused by what I see. I didn’t realize how many demands are placed on me, what people expect, what I was able to give. It’s astounding. Life didn’t ask it of me. I chose to give. And I chose to take a break. Life didn’t change. I did. Praise God for that. But I’m not sure where I fit.

I have a very low tolerance for other humans right now. I’m also not fond of bright lights or noise or extended car trips. My creativity is blossoming and I feel peaceful and calm, but I have no use for or real ability to do what I usually do. I don’t want to help people. I want to be at home. I don’t want to do paperwork or answer emails or look at texts. I don’t even want to be on my phone. It’s not that I’m depressed. Quite the opposite. I’m alive. I’m alive for Christ’s sake! And I’m dropping in, assessing the damage, deciding what to do next. I’m not sure what that means for now but I’m pretty sure it will turn out to be nothing less than miraculous. God is good and I trust He has me here in this state of disarray and confusion for a purpose. I wait with anticipation…

What helps you when dropping into your life after an absence of some time? when you find what you left doesn’t suit you anymore?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Rebranding

3/1/15     12:32am

Hello, dears. ;) It’s like greeting an old friend, sitting down to type. It has been awhile. Someone asked me recently, “What happened?!” in regards to my hospitalization. Well, a lot. I haven’t been able to answer that question yet. I thought I’d try here but it doesn’t seem likely tonight. I’m tired. I feel disconnected.

I worked all day in somewhat of a trance on my room and my chair in the living room – organizing papers, moving things around, throwing things out. I took a 4 hour nap in between but was able to create a space for me. I took some pictures but they came out blurry. I made space to put down my dance floor, a rug and my purple BackJack. I assembled some metal cubes to store stuff I don’t know what to do with in. Everything is up off the floor now. I even changed out the art on my walls. My room reflects me now. Colorful, calm, full of possibility and flexible in use.

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My birthday’s coming up next week. I’m excited. I’m going to my aunt’s house in the desert – my favorite place in the world to be. I get to spend time with my family and my dog and alone time with the dirt – my salty desert dirt. Is it just me or are there a lot of the words me, my and commas here? My mind is on its own today.

I’ve decided this year the purchase I want to save up for is a fountain. Yes, I want my own fountain. I got a mattress I love and last year I bought myself a swing. A fountain seems a fitting next step. I feel calmer near water and always gravitate towards it in gardens and at the hospital. So I’m starting a fountain fund. If you want to pitch in toward the fountain for my birthday, just because you like me, or because you have nothing better to do, you can send money through PayPal to my mom (diana.routhieaux@gmail.com). I made an Amazon wish list too. I want to buy a bowling ball this year but I’m not sure when. I’m overspending recently…

I feel like a seven year-old after a long day at the fair, coming down off cotton candy and ice cream, talking in circles and not making much sense. (stare) Then again it is 1:30 am and I took my meds at midnight. Eh, same effect. I’ll leave you to it. (Zap!)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Unimportant Grace

2/15/15     2:30pm

I want to die. I played Apples to Apples. I’m in a spiritual service now on repentence, turning toward goodness. Apparently lent starts next week. Hot damn. Who cares? Aside from Auntie. Not me.

     I need to go home now.
     It’s too far, too much.
     This transition will hurt.

I am proving how unneeded I am. (sigh) Damn. I am at once important and not important at all. Dr. N. It’s important to understand my unimportance. I can only get out if I do. I don’t want to. I don’t know how to know and survive. Jesus, help me. Thank you, Lord.

It is only through being unimportant that I am freed to do something else.

I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel okay.
Soaring freer than ever before,
Far up over the open door,
I watch what’s left here on the ground.
Where I am headed there is no frown.
No time, no terror, no second base.
Only the glow of His great face.
I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel His grace.

I miss you, Sonny.
Only surrender.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Day 18 – Looking Forward

2-12-15     5:30pm

Day 18. I think I’m getting better. Today I realized I haven’t been harassed by an electrical outlet in days. I don’t even want to die 24/7 today. What a concept. I even danced in my room. I admit I did it because it was part of my homework, but I did it. I’ve been working closely with my doctor here and with a therapist.

I’m having trouble concentrating. There aren’t many thoughts in my head right now but the ones that are are being diverted by Comedy Central blaring behind me and the sound of my fingernails on the keyboard. Mom’s coming tonight. I keep thinking it’s Friday and that there’s an OCD group tonight. Neither are true. It is, apparently, almost Valentine’s Day though. Not that it matters. One day after Friday the 13th.

I’d like to write something helpful here or even somewhat coherent, but I don’t really see that happening. (deep breath) Oh, how I long for the sound of quiet. I’m hoping I’m allergic to someone’s perfume or something else here and not to my new medication. I can barely breathe through my nose and my head and ears hurt but I don’t have a cold. I’ve also been getting migraines and having eye pain every day. Today was definitely better than the past few.

What I’m looking forward to:

  • Playing with Ellie at dog beach
  • Getting my nails done
  • Sleeping in my own bed (first time I can say that!)
  • Holding the girls
  • Watching NCIS
  • Seeing Soleil
  • Eating at CBW
  • Using my BackJack
  • Having a computer all to myself
  • Going to Possum Trot
  • Visiting Auntie
  • Driving
  • Going to church
  • Gospel Choir

Feels good to look forward to something positive. I can’t recall the time I was able to do that last. Praise the Lord for Dr. M and D- and my mama. Here’s to more posts in the near future with substance and grace.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Presence over Present

2/2/15     8:10pm

Presence over present – my message from God today. His presence over my present. I shared the phrase with a few people. They gave me their interpretations. For me, it stays the same. His presence over my present.

I wondered what this meant. DBT stresses mindfulness and being in this moment – the present. But being in this moment is really hard for me right now. Can I be in His presence without being in this present? Yes. Yes, I can. I was so relieved to realize that. My present doesn’t quite matter. It’s simply a bonus to drop into when I can. All I need is God.

Wrap me in your healing warmth.
Surround me with your presence.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Salty Desert Dirt

IMG_8693My doctor asked me to write a poem about gemstones or nature. This is what came out.

1-31-15     5:30pm

When I think of nature, the thing that comes to mind is salty desert dirt. I see the multicolored orbs – white, tan, brown – piled on top of each other, shifting with each of my steps. I stop, bend down to look at them, to ponder the earth. Large black ants march on their way. I’m fascinated by their roundness, their focus. Is it of fear or motivation? Intently I watch the ant hill. What is the project? What is the mission today?

The smell of the earth fills the air. It permeates by being. I want to be here with this earth, this special earth. When I leave, it isn’t hurt. When I return, it isn’t happy. It is simply my earth. Salty, talcy, dusty, dirty earth. I need no gemstones.

The earth doesn’t judge. It listens. It respects me. It hurts predictably when I fall on it. Salty desert dirt.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Confetti Mind

1/31/2015     9:40pm

So, I’ve been checking my email repeatedly tonight hoping something interesting would appear. In lieu of that, I decided to post an update here.

I’m sorry I haven’t kept up the blog lately. My brain’s been trying to kill me. I had a manic episode that morphed into a mixed one and finally crashed into depression. I’m in the hospital now. I didn’t hurt myself. I just really want to die and have been in a lot of physical pain for some time. A new med is helping my pain tremendously but another new one meant to “organize” my thinking is turning out to make me more confused.

I’m in somewhat of a spiritual battle. I don’t know what’s happening to or with me or why I’m here. I surrendered to God last week, disengaged from my life. I prayed that God would fill every cell of my being until it burst and there was none of me left, only Him. I prayed He would use me for His purpose and not mine. I know it’s a dangerous thing to pray but I did. I’m very aware that I’m incubating here for something. I don’t feel anxious about His work in me. I just feel weary and tired. I need rest before the journey. My pastor visited tonight. It was helpful.

I… (confused)

My doctor is considering TMS or ECT as well as other med changes. I’m grateful that my outpatient doctor is covering for my inpatient doctor this weekend. I saw her today and will again tomorrow. She is concerned, says I’m much more scattered than usual. I agree. I was sitting in the hallway today staring. I asked myself why I’m here in the hospital. I didn’t know. That’s never a good sign. I’ve been dissociating a lot and she asked me to try to stay present. I did and the death thoughts came flooding back in. I could feel myself dying in various situations. It was very unpleasant. I told my nurse tonight, whom I hate, and he didn’t seem to care. I care. God cares. I miss Dr. N.

My mom came to visit tonight too and I was pressured-speech rambling. Now I’m exhausted. I’ve eaten way too much chocolate pudding today but I’m eating and that’s positive. (stare) I’m tired now and feel so incredibly sad. Also, my friends are mad that I asked for no visitors except a select few. I don’t know what to say to that. I just need my space right now.

I’m not sure why I’m typing this or sharing my life with random humans. I guess I just need to feel heard tonight, to share. Thanks for listening. I appreciate you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015