Sleep Paralysis

My Psychiatrist prescribed me sleeping pills recently to try and help with my very disruptive sleep patterns. 

I don’t take them every night but the first couple of times I did take them I actually slept like 7 hours…in a row!!

But with any of my past experiences taking sleep meds, usually after about 3 days or so, I seem to become immune to them and history repeats itself and eventually they just stop working. 

So my Psychiatrist suggested that maybe I alternate between 2 different kinds to try and avoid building up an immunity to one particular brand.

The secondary pill he prescribed is pretty new on the market and came with a bit more risk to me when it comes to its long laundry list of potential side effects. Something I have to be very vigilant of given my history with most medications I take.

I tried taking them once or twice a couple of weeks ago and found that it made me extremely groggy and unfunctionable the next day. I decided to just save them for nights where I really feel I need one.

Last night felt like one of those nights that warranted me taking one. I was having a bad night and feeling super anxious and emotional. I also hadn’t slept the night before because I have been experiencing severe pain throughout my entire body the last few days which I believe to be a side effect from the recent increase in my anti-anxiety medication and I was almost too afraid to fall asleep. 

So Rich gave me the sleeping pill about 10pm. An hour or so later I could feel myself slowly drifting off to sleep, or so I thought.

My eyes were closed but then suddenly my arms and legs felt very tingly, I felt very weighted down under my weighted blanket, I kept trying to move but couldn’t and then my body went almost numb. 

I felt paralyzed and for the next hour and a half I began hallucinating and became extremely paranoid. 

I remember all of it. Every noise I heard and every image I saw including the one of a gun pointing directly in my face. 

My body may have felt very disconnected but my mind was still very much aware of my surroundings. I was completely conscious yet felt helpless against the danger I kept feeling I was in.

It was terrifying. 

Our brains can have a very cruel sense of humour sometimes. 
My body is so damn sensitive to drugs of any kind and that’s no joke. It’s really making me reconsider my decision to begin Ketamine treatment next week even more.

I could hear myself trying to speak aloud at times but the words weren’t always coming out of my mouth. I couldn’t catch my breath. I kept trying to take deep breaths but I was gasping for air each time I did. Those desperate and very loud gasps for air was what brought Hannah anxiously running down the hall from behind her closed bedroom door to see what was going on.

One minute I’d be hysterically crying and the next moment I was hysterically laughing. 

Maggie kept trying to lick my face. Her tongue felt like it was on speed. She could sense that there was something wrong.  

Rich held my hand the entire time trying desperately to calm me down while at the same time laughing hysterically alongside Hannah at some of the nonsensical and I gather from their outbursts of laughter, very comical things that I kept saying.

Laughter was all that was holding them together. I guess that’s why they say it truly is the best medicine.

**If you missed my blog yesterday about my upcoming Ketamine treatment please go to: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/10/05/ketamine-again/

Xoxo

#sleepparalysis #sleepingpills #suicidalmind #triggers #laughteristhebestmedicine #mentalhealth #hallucinations #paranoia #mentalexhaustion #ketamine #weightedblanket #treatmentresistantdepression #adogspurpose #mentalillnessawarenessweek

Update

* Content below could be very triggering for some people. Please do not read if you feel it could be of harm to you’re own mental well-being * 
 

The other day I expressed myself as best I could in a post/blog about what it feels like to struggle with thoughts of suicide. (See blog: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/08/23/what-does-it-feel-like-to-be-suicidal/)

My head has been completely cluttered by loud and intrusive noises that won’t fucking leave me alone no matter how much I fight back. I’m in such a fog that I easily lose my train of thought mid sentence (and I even forgot my own address last night). I feel as though I am holding on by a thread right now. I am vulnerable and scared and I’m not sure how much fight I have left in me anymore. 

My heart knows how loved and needed I am but I just wish my brain could get on the same page. Words can not express my endless gratitude for the overwhelming amount of support I’ve received since my post the other day. 

Every message has been exploding with overwhelming kindness and empathy (the 2 greatest traits any human can have) and it warms my heart knowing how many people care about my well-being, feel inspired by my courage and enlightened by my honesty and truth. I’ve received private messages from people I haven’t spoken to in 30 years who understand what I am feeling and others whom I met just weeks ago.

I am especially grateful to one friend inparticular who literally dropped everything she was doing yesterday to sit with me for over 3 hours after I experienced a breakdown earlier in the day.

Last night though my pain got to be too much to bare and Rich drove me to emerg. I was in such a panicked state that I was certain I was having a heart attack. I have panic attacks often but this one felt different. Once ruling out that it wasn’t in fact a heart attack my hope was that they would give me a script for some Ativan which is used primarily to treat anxiety disorders, trouble sleeping and severe agitation. All of which have been causing my downward spiral. 

It is also extremely addictive. I know this first hand because a few years ago I had an extreme addiction to the drug. I’d started hoarding bottles of them from doctors and other inpatient treatment facilities. I had 100’s of them in my possession and nobody knew, not even Rich. 

I was no longer taking antidepressants at the time after more than 20 concoctions and lots of horrible and dangerous side effects led me to a further diagnosis of Treatment Resistant Depression. But Ativan wasn’t giving me those side effects. Instead it was numbing my pain and helping me sleep more. So I took more. I just loved the clouded feeling I was getting from it without all the added and dangerous side effects from the antidepressants. 

I finally fessed up and came clean to my Psychiatrist at the time when my kids began voicing their concern to Rich that they were nervous being in a car with me. By now I had been taking 8 to 10 pills at one time every day. I truly don’t know how I was even functioning or still alive.

Now back to last night. Rich took me to the emerg at the brand new hospital nearby our home. It officially opened to the public only 2 months ago. It is affiliated with our other local hospital and I sadly recognized several familiar staff from the amount of visits to their emergency room over the years.

It was very clean. The floors and walls still looked fresh. I wanted so bad to come on here today and give this new hospital a glowing review but aside from the clean floors and fresh coat of paint I can’t really say anything positive from my own personal experience, especially given the amount of emergency rooms I’ve been to before to compare to this one during a crisis (and potential heart attack!). Even when I’ve been stripped of my belongings and my dignity left on the dirty floor or had security guards practically sitting on top of me I’d still put this experience below them all.

I was there for close to 7 hours and I observed a lot. I heard a lot too as they would call patients to the nurse’s station to give them their results before releasing them and I was in a room right across from it all (wouldn’t it be smarter to go talk to the individuals in their rooms, we are still in a Pandemic I thought and really do I need to hear everyone else’s diagnosis?). One of my most concerning observations though was when they called a lady to the desk (who’s mask was not on properly and they kept asking her to fix) to give her a script for an antibiotic and puffer to treat her pneumonia and then proceeded to tell the woman “but I’m pretty sure you probably have Covid”. Did they not test her for it? Did they not tell her maybe she should self isolate?  Rich and I looked at one another in complete disbelief. SMH

Anyways back to my night which I returned home from just before 3am. I had an ekg and blood work done to rule out any issues with my heart. The doctor spoke to me about what else was going on at the moment as well including if I had an intended plan of carrying out a suicide. I was visibly shaken and he decided to give me an Ativan to calm me down and then he put in a request for their crisis team to come talk to me further.

We discussed my prior issues with Ativan which is clearly stated in my file as well as any other one of my doctor’s files who had once prescribed it to me. We also discussed how dangerous and addictive it is and that he would give me the one for now but was not comfortable giving me anymore to go home with. 

The crisis worker eventually came to talk with me by which time the Ativan had kicked in and I was physically and emotionally exhausted and my mind was shutting down while trying to talk to her. By this time, Rich had left to try and get some sleep for a couple of hours. 

The Crisis Worker asked me a whole bunch of questions, all standard to someone who is in crisis. Do you have a plan and what is your plan was her main concern and focus. The one positive of the night was that she had actually taken the time to go through my (lengthy) file before coming to talk to me so it saved me a lot of catching up on my history over the past 7 years. 

My hope was still for her to let me have a few Ativans to take home with me so I can try and get some sleep and numb the severe and debilitating anxiety and desperate plans of suicide I’ve been experiencing. And to hopefully lift some of the fog. She spoke with the doctor and came back with a prescription for 5 Ativan for me but then she quickly regretted her decision.

She made me promise I wouldn’t go home and take them all at once or go to another hospital to get more. She also made me promise that I would call and speak with my Psychiatrist today and her last promise she had me make to her was that and I quote “don’t do anything stupid”. I know she meant it very lovingly!

I slept for a solid 3 hours last night within minutes of getting into bed thanks to the Ativan. That is huge for me, like Super Bowl huge. I have not gone to the pharmacy yet today (or gotten out of bed for that matter) to fill the script which I promise I will hand over to Rich who has been the keeper of all my meds for years as I am not sure I can be trusted right now to be perfectly honest. But a promise is a promise.

If you or someone you know is in crisis please seek help immediately. 

#promisespromises #ativan #incrisis #suicidal #depression #anxiety #reachoutforhelp #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #newhospital #emotionallydefeated #yourmentalhealthmatters #mentalhealth #mentalillness #youmatter #youareenough

Monday Motivation: Extra Extra,Read All About It

With another “Stay at Home” order in effect for Ontario now is the perfect time to delve into a good book. 

Reading not only entertains us but studies have shown that it can also improve our overall mental health too. 

Reading a good book is a great way for our minds to escape from our day to day stress or racing thoughts. 

It can help us unwind and relax. 

It keeps our minds sharp, improves our memory and cognitive skills and can help make our brains stronger. 

For me personally, I love to read Self-help and Personal Development books; many of which are autobiographical accounts of someone’s victorious mental health journey.

They can be very inspiring, therapeutic and healing. 

They can provide insight into our own limitations and help us grow stronger or become better humans.

Reading in general can feel very empowering, be very engaging and emotionally charging.

It can also enhance our creativity, productivity, outlook, competence and overall wellbeing.

So whether you prefer to curl up on the couch with a good self-help book, fiction, romance or something autobiographical, as you can see, reading has so many healthy benefits to it (just incase you were on the fence about taking up the hobby yourself!). 

So really, what do you have to lose?

What book are you reading now? 

What type of books do you prefer to read? 

#mondaymotivation #reading #books #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #selfcare #youareenough #selfhelp #fiction #biographies #yourmentalhealthmatters #bekindtoyourself #depression #anxiety 

Living Inside My Suicidal Mind

***WARNING: Content may be triggering***

I know that Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

But what if your problems keep adding up and what if they no longer feel temporary?

But what if you can no longer shake off those unrelenting thoughts?

But what if you believe that suicide is your only option in order to feel any kind of relief or be at peace?

But what if you feel like your mere existence is hurting those around you, especially the ones who love you the most? 

But what if the pain in your heart is too intense and overwhelming to stand for one second more?

But what if you’ve made a plan and just want to figure out a way to execute it?

But what if you can’t close your eyes at night because you’re too afraid of what you might see?

But what if you’re anxiety is paralyzing you with fear and keeping you from living? From breathing? From loving? Or from finding hope?

But what if your depressed mind keeps telling you that you are helpless? Worthless? And have no purpose?

But what if all this sadness and despair are so completely unbearable and feels as if it will last forever?

If you or someone you know is in crisis please reach out to a trusting friend, therapist, counsellor, loved one or call Canada Suicide Prevention Hotline @ 1.833.456.4566/ Kids Help Phone @ 1.800.668.6868 Help is available 24/7/365

#itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #checkonyourlovedones #suicideprevention #suicideawareness #mentalhealthcheckin #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalillness #dontsufferinsilence #yourmentalhealthmatters #youmatter #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #BellLetsTalk

A Dog’s Sixth Sense

 

I’ve been living with a severe anxiety disorder on a daily basis for more than six years now (yup old news, I know) and I’m pretty certain by now that it’s something I will live with for the rest of my days. But I also suffer with a panic disorder and although I don’t experience panic attacks quite so often, they seem to be happening more and more frequently lately.

Many people think that anxiety and panic attacks are one in the same, but they are not. They often exhibit some similarities when it comes to symptoms (i.e: heart palpitations, chest pain, numbness or tingling sensations, shortness of breath and nausea), but unlike many of those regular symptoms that seem to follow me around on a daily basis, a panic attack will come on much stronger, often very suddenly and involve intense and overwhelming fear (panic). 

The other day I wrote a blog describing a panic attack that I had experienced the night before (https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/today-is-a-new-day) but what I left out was that I have not just been experiencing them more frequently, I have actually been experiencing them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the past week or so, and last night was no exception. 

As I lay in bed feeling anxious last night (surprise, surprise) my thoughts quickly intensified and without any further warning a feeling of panic and impending doom set in and before I knew it I was in the depths of a full blown panic attack, fearing that something very, very bad was about to happen. 

Rich lay helplessly beside me, holding my hand as tears ran down my cheek. I was hyperventilating and felt like I wanted to pull my hair out and jump out of my skin. The next thing I remember happening was Maggie laying on my chest licking my face. I truly believe that dogs can sense their human’s emotions and body language. They just seem to know when the right time is to snuggle up beside you or even help to wipe away your tears. It’s so much more than just a sixth sense and I’m really grateful to have this added layer of protection in my life when I need it the most.

#panicattack #panicdisorder #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone #youareenough #courage #itsoktonotbeok #emotionalsupportdog #pettherapy #sixthsense

Paging Dr. Google

Living with a severe anxiety disorder like I do can literally make anyone do crazy shit. And if there is one thing I know for sure it’s that my anxiety makes me feel out of control and will often paralyze me with fear and worry when it comes to, well, just about everything.

Over the last few years I’ve been taught several helpful tools that I can turn to when I’m feeling anxious and I have found, through some trial and error, many of them to be quite useful at times. 

As I’ve also mentioned many, many times before, I rely heavily on CBD oil (Full Spectrum, with NO THC and preferably peppermint flavor!) to give me an almost immediate relief of certain physical symptoms like severe heart palpitations and nausea. But when the physical symptoms go beyond my everyday normal symptoms I’m lucky enough that my dear friend “Dr. Google” is always there to advise me.

“Dr. Google” is my “go to” Doctor when my own Doctor is unavailable for consultation, you know, like in the middle of the night when many of these symptoms seem to unexpectedly show up and you need a medical diagnosis, STAT. 

But I should probably also mention here how much I avoid calling my Doctor to begin with because I just can’t bring myself to pick up a phone to call her or I get worried that I’m just bothering her (yup that too is a symptom of my anxiety). 

I know that all probably sounds a bit crazy to some of you (I told you that anxiety can make you do crazy shit) and I also know that “Dr. Google” is probably NOT the most reliable resource when it comes to making a proper diagnosis (trust me I know) but I also know that I’m probably not alone. 

The internet makes it so easy these days to look up just about anything your heart desires but when you suffer with extreme anxiety and major depression, my advice to you would be to stay as far away from “Dr. Google” as you possibly can because before you know it your anxiety/panic attack at 2 am has somehow just been diagnosed as a rare and incurable disease. 

Just like the one I diagnosed myself with last evening after describing to a friend an extremely sharp pain I had been having on and off for the past couple of days in one particular area of my body, a pain I have never experienced before. She tried to reassure me it was probably nothing too serious and that I should call my Doctor in the morning but before she could finish her sentence (we were actually texting) I cut her off because “Dr. Google” was already telling me the complete opposite of what she was saying, and quite frankly, like come on now, who are you actually gonna believe? 

Well seeing as it’s now after 2 am as I write this and stare at my “Dr. Google” diagnosis you can probably figure that answer out all on your own! And trust me, “Dr. Google” is just as quick and informative when it comes to helping me self diagnose my kids ailments too!

Who else turns to Dr. Google for their regular check ups? 

#drgoogle #selfdiagnosis #anxiety #depression #symptomsofanxietyanddepression #mentalhealthishealth 

THC Hangover

On Friday evening after experiencing several heightened episodes of anxiety throughout the day, I found myself right smack in the middle of a full-on panic attack. 

I did my best to try and calm myself down using some breathing techniques but trying to distract myself from what was triggering me in that moment I could barely catch my breath long enough to take some CBD oil; something I don’t hesitate to do several times a day when needed as a therapeutic. 

As soon as the CBD oil started kicking in and my heartrate began to decrease to a more tolerable level I curled up under my weighted blanket, still fully dressed from the day but I didn’t care because all I wanted to do in that moment was close my eyes and go to sleep.

But whose kidding who? Like is sleep ever an option for me? Even if my panic attack had just taken every last ounce of strength I had left inside and crushed it with my blanket, I was still preparing myself for a sleepless night ahead.

And I knew if I lay in bed much longer I would most definitely end up having another anxiety attack of some sort, so I reached for my other bottle of CBD oil on my nightstand, the one with the THC in it. 

I regretted my decision almost immediately even though it took a while for it to kick in. It did not reduce my anxiety or relax me or even help me sleep, instead I spent the rest of the night fighting off my paranoia and hallucinations and by the time morning arrived I was still feeling the effects from the THC and spent the entire day in bed yesterday with a “hangover”.

They say it’s nearly impossible to OD on cannabis but if there is even a slight chance of that happening then I’m pretty sure I managed to do so. Cannabis is supposed to give you a feeling of euphoria but like every other prescribed medication or therapeutic treatment I’ve taken along my journey, including that of Medical Marijuana, “Shrooms”, Ketamine and Edibles I’ve experienced adverse effects from them all.

By morning my Psychosis had pretty much gone away but it left me barely able to finish a sentence or swallow. I had a headache, I felt exhausted, I was beyond nauseous and dizzy and whenever I tried to stand up I felt myself passing out on the floor moments later. But not to worry because I can always count on my family to look after me, and they did just that while between fits of laughter and snapping pictures and recording videos of me to ensure they captured all the highlights. 

I have tried and tried for years now to reap the benefits from using THC and other similar treatments but I think that after what happened to me this weekend I have tried for the very last time and I am just grateful that at least my regular doses of CBD oil still helps me in some small way.

#cbdoil #thc #cannabis #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #panicattacks #anxiety #depression #suicideprevention #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalillness #selfcare  

Sleep Is Beyond Overrated

Yesterday I was feeling a bit under the weather and BEYOND exhausted. All I wanted to do was sleep but as physically exhausted as I felt all day I knew that as soon as I were to get into bed that all bets would be off. So I decided to take something to help me fall asleep because I needed to sleep BEYOND badly. 

I’ve been prescribed sleeping pills in the past but like all other medications I’ve tried they really never worked properly and within days I would build up a tolerance to them anyways. This did eventually lead me to start abusing some of my prescribed meds, taking upwards of 8 to 10 pills a day, just so I could feel numb and maybe get a few solid hours of sleep at night.  

Well that didn’t end well at all on so many levels and once it was discovered that I had been stashing away certain medications in my home Rich began having to hide all my prescriptions and distributing them to me every day and I guess it’s a good thing that I have also since been flagged from being prescribed certain medications all together unless under proper supervision.

But that’s okay because they never really helped much anyways and so nowadays when I do take something for sleep I go for more of a natural remedy instead. I fight with myself to take anything most nights because truthfully they don’t really help much either.  

It’s almost 4 am as I am writing this and I should be fast asleep since I was so BEYOND physically exhausted yesterday and I did take a sleep aid before I got into bed but my case in point, sleep remedies don’t work for me.

Ok maybe I’m lying a bit because after taking something to help me fall asleep last night I did in fact fall asleep within an hour of taking it and I got a solid 1 hour of sleep!!! 1 whole glorious hour of sleep! And then I woke up and have been up since before 11 pm, which is about the same time most of you reading this were just about to doze off to dreamland for the night! 

I’m starting to think that sleep is kinda, sorta beyond overrated anyways? 😢😢😢

#sleeplessnights #beyondexhausted #insomnia #youareenough #youarenotalone #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #suicidalthoughts #sleepingpills #cbdoil #mentalexhaustion #physicalexhaustion

Puzzled

I finally finished this puzzle tonight. I’m pretty sure it was the most challenging puzzle I’ve ever done in my whole life.

My girls had so thoughtfully bought me this puzzle a couple of weeks ago knowing just how much I enjoy doing them and it’d been a while since I’d done one but then almost immediately upon opening up the box I became quite overwhelmed by it.

Normally I have no problem organizing the pieces of any size puzzle and then I excitedly like to get started right away but this time around I became easily frustrated right from the very beginning. 

Puzzles usually take me at most a few days to complete but suddenly this time around I also found myself adding additional anxiety to my day everytime I looked at it and began pressuring myself to get it done RIGHT NOW, or else.

I’m not really sure why I always put so much undue pressure on myself for just about every single “piece” of my life, it really is quite “puzzling” to say the very least but in any case I was determined to complete the darn thing no matter what it took or even how long it did because I knew how rewarding it would feel by doing so.

#puzzled #youareenough #gingerbreadhouses #candycanes #goals #perseverancepaysoff

Sorry I Didn’t Mean To Bother You

In all likelihood if you try calling me there’s a very good chance you’re gonna get my voicemail, that is of course unless you are one of my kids or my husband. They know that unless it’s an emergency, it’s best though to give me a warning signal by sending me a text first. 

I wrote a blog a couple of years ago titled “Call Me, Maybe” where I spoke about how making a phone call can cause me severe anxiety and how much more severe it becomes when my phone rings.

Here it is in case you missed it: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/call-me-maybe  

I much prefer to text, use Facebook messenger or even email with others unless I am in the right frame of mind to chat on the phone at that moment you call or I am prepared ahead of time to do so. 

I welcome texts and messages with wide open arms, I enjoy receiving your emojis and silly GIFs and I especially love the distraction late at night when my mind is spinning out of control. I truly appreciate every time you reach out to me “just because” you are thinking of me or you simply want to chat but much like making or receiving that anxiety provoking phone call, reaching out “just because” to my friends and family via text is just as overwhelming.

Like with most every aspect of my life, my anxiety causes me to worry; ALOT and it also causes me to have severe heart palpitations day in and day out, including when I reach out to others via text message etc just to simply say “hi”; and more often than not it will cause my mind to spin into a downward spiral.

What if I’m bothering them, what if I’m burdening them with my problems, what if they’re too busy to chat, what if they’re tired of hearing my negative thoughts, what if I’m just too exhausting for them, what if I say something wrong or embarrassing, what if they will judge me or what if they simply don’t want to hear from me?

I know that most of these worries and fears are just my anxiety talking down to me yet everytime I go to send someone a text message these thoughts overwhelm me and feel very real in the moment. 

The unknown possibilities are endless as to how someone will react when they receive a message from me and the guilt I feel for not being able to reach out more often is so unbearable at times. 

I know I have lost relationships because of my inability to reciprocate but sadly the deadly combination of having a depressed and anxious mind can do horrifying things to your self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence and I’m just so grateful to have an army of people behind me that aren’t keeping score as to who sent the last message. 

#callmemaybe #texting #myarmy #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #checkonyourlovedones #depression #anxiety