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Two Years, Baby

Today we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. 

It’s been a crazy two years of marriage. I didn’t think it would be like this. 

We met in college. A little college, that is growing in students now, in Stephenville. It was 2010. And I liked him, but I was with someone else at the time. Had I known what waited for me there, I would have chosen him then and there. But life, life has other plans. We went our separate ways and lost touch for a long time. 

It wasn’t until I started this blog and the Facebook page that we reconnected. He found my page and liked it. Eventually he messaged me and we started talking again. 

Our first date was on July 18, 2014. We went to San Antonio to watch DCI at the alamodome. I remember asking “what are we?” 

After that, we were together long distance. We made plans to move in together and it happened. 

It was rough the first few months, I’ll admit. We were learning to live together, both of us independent and set in our ways. 

He had never seen the ugly side of my disorder, very few people did. Sometimes it came out, and he was there, always there for me. 

We decided that, if we could put up with each other and our differences and quirks we wanted to get married. We were in love. We were close to each other, there for each other. 

We got married on September 19, 2015. It was a beautiful little ceremony. My veil got stuck in the door as I came in. He surprised me with wearing a tux! He was so handsome. I was so nervous! He talked to me the whole ceremony to make sure I didn’t freak out, because I was on the verge of a panic attack. He was sick with pneumonia, but he was able to enjoy our wedding. It was beautiful.

Since then, things have been chaotic. He’s been sick with something that doctors aren’t sure what it is. The neurologist just said “we’re going to call it Upper Motor Neuron Disease, but I don’t think that’s what it is.” We’ve been in and out of hospitals trying to treat it, seeing doctors from all over the place trying to get a proper diagnosis. 

My mental health hasn’t always been that great. I will cycle from being ok and stable to being suicidal with a plan in just a few minutes time. And when I go that low it’s hard for me to come out, but he’s always there for me. I’m more stable now. I still cycle, but I feel better. And he’s still there for me. 

I had the opportunity to be there for him recently. It got so bad that we had to go inpatient. But he’s better now. 

The point is, two years ago, I has no idea life would throw so many challenges our way. But because of those challenges, we are closer than ever. I’ve never been this close to anyone in my life, other than my mom. I can tell him anything and everything. And when we get upset with each other we talk about it instead of letting it fester. He’s my best friend and my soul mate. I don’t want anyone else but him. If I had the chance to choose him again, I would do it in a heartbeat. 

He’s my favorite person and the one I want to spend all my time with, and it hard to be apart (yes, I know my BPD is showing.) 

Two years and we have 3 dogs and 1 cat, we have a home that we are restoring, we have a plan for what to do with that home. We have a lot going on but we’re together and stronger than ever. 

I love you baby. Happy 2 years with many more to come!

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I Don’t Speak Well

I don’t speak well…

I know the words I want to tell you. 

Words in my head that trip over my tongue.

I don’t speak well.

I know you need words. 

Words of comfort and peace.

Words that will make you feel at ease.

They are there in my heart and mind.

But the path to my mouth is polluted. 

My mind, it goes in a million different directions at one time.

The words get lost. 

I don’t speak well.

I write.

I’m a writer.

I’ve always been better at writing than speaking.

And I know that doesn’t help you right now.

Because you need to hear the right words from me. 

Words of peace and love and safety from my tongue.

But they are gone, they are lost.

Just to write this takes a while.

My mind drifts.

I don’t speak well.

I wish I could be the voice of reason for you.

I wish I could be the calm in your storm.

But I don’t speak well. 

And as I’m writing this, I know you need me to say words.

But I don’t speak well.

Panic

So I had a bad panic attack today. You know the kind… the shaking, can’t breathe, crying, feels like your heart is going to explode, all of it. 

I would have been fine, maybe, if I had been able to distract myself, or if I had my emergency medicine. But I couldn’t. And I didn’t. So I felt like I was dying. To make matters worse, I was at work. I was on my lunch break. I should have been fine.

Those of us who deal with panic attacks on a daily basis know that they can come from nowhere, can be triggered by anything, even when you are doing nothing at all. Including sitting outside on your lunch break. 

Personally, even though I know all of this, panic attacks make me mad. I know that it’s a system misfiring, my fight or flight system going off when there is no apparent danger to me, I know this. I know I have panic attacks. I know that I have a panic disorder. But they make me mad. Because, in the end of it all, I feel stupid. I feel like I should be able to handle myself at work, even with the stress, because I do work a stressful job that likes to throw me some curve balls. I feel like I should have a good reason to be triggered. And sitting outside on my lunch break before I have to go back to work should not be a trigger. Work should not be a trigger. 

It takes so much out of me when I have a panic attack, especially ones like today. With the shaking and everything, I’m just worn out. And of course, all I wanted to do was go home. So I did the only rational thing I could do, ask to go home. Well… that only got some raised eyebrows. Why? Because I couldn’t find the DSO, the one in charge that would tell me if I could go home or not, and when someone finally got ahold of them all I got was “Go to the ER”. So this nurse puts me in a wheelchair and is wheeling me down to the ER, and I’m just trying to remember to breathe and not bawl my eyes out while saying I don’t want to go to the ER, I just need to go home. We get there, and they all look at me to check in. Another nurse from the ER comes up and asks me what’s wrong and I tell her that I’m having a panic attack and that the DSO sent me down here. And she said something about me not having chest pain or being short of breath. Well, duh. So I calm down enough to call the DSO, she’s still telling me to go to the ER. I say fine and I call my husband to come and get me. I go and grab my things from the 4th floor. And tell them that I’m leaving, noticing that they are making a call to the DSO too. So this is just turning into a mess and a half. 

I finally clock out and just leave the building. And while I’m waiting on my husband, my boss texts me and asks not so politely why I’m leaving in the middle of my shift. And lo and behold, there she is, pulling up next to me. “You, I need to talk to you. Walk over here.” So I follow her. And she’s got her hands on her hips and asking me what’s going on. I explain again, and start crying again, because I’m still having a panic attack and she’s only making it worse. “Well I don’t understand how you can have a panic attack while you’re on  your lunch break.” Well aren’t you lucky that you don’t have to know how it feels? 

So I’m probably going to be written up for sure this time, because she told me this counts as an absence. And she’s telling me that I’m not dependable and she needs dependable people she can trust to do their job. And I totally get it. And I’m trying to be that person. But I couldn’t be that person today. Because when I’m having a panic attack, it’s not safe for my patients. I can’t focus like that. She tells me that I need to see a doctor and suggested that I go to the ER. The thing with going to the ER is that nothing is going to be done there. It’s a panic attack, not a heart attack. They will send me home. 

But this got me to thinking, how many people truly don’t understand how debilitating a panic attack can be? And instead of being so hard on someone about it, why wouldn’t you want to help them? I understand she’s a boss, and it’s her job to be tough and get things done. I get it, I really do. But when you have an employee crying in the parking lot, I would imagine a little compassion can go a lot further. 

Panic attacks are weird things. People experience them in different ways. Whether they are being silent and staring off into the distance, or making a scene (like I did today). Panic does things to people. And I doubt that any two people go through them the exact same way. I shake, my face turns red, my heart beats fast, I hyperventilate. But there are times, too, when I have a panic attack and I simply get sick to my stomach, or stare off into space. 

For those who need a little further explaination: 

“A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack, or even dying. Panic attacks typically begin suddenly, without warning. They can strike at any time – when you’re driving a car, at the mall, sound asleep or in the middle of a business meeting. You may have occsional panica attacks or they may occur frequently. 

Panic attacks have many variations, but symptoms usually peak within minutes. You may feel fatigued and worn out after a panic attack subsides.

Panic attacks typically include some of these symptoms:

  • sense of impending doom or danger
  • fear of loss of control or dying
  • rapid, pounding heart rate
  • sweating
  • trembling, shaking
  • shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
  • chills
  • hot flashes
  • nausea
  • abdominal cramping
  • headache
  • dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness
  • numbness or tingling sensation
  • feeling of unreality or detachment”

Mayo Clinic

So a lot goes into a panic attack. And if you have panic attacks and face each day the best way you can, you’re a bad ass. Just saying. 

I’m doing better now. Just resting. I hope everyone has a great day.

In Sickness and Health

These are words spoken in wedding vows and they mean so much to me. 

When we got married, I figured that I would be the one with the bad days. Having Bipolar Disorder gives you some ups and downs in life, days where getting out of bed is a feat in itself. But I found someone who has grounded me in safety and security. And when I have a bad day, it’s not as bad as it used to be. 

Now, I take care of him. And some times, it’s not easy to do. Not because I don’t want to do it, I would do anything for him. I would change the world for him if I could. But some times, it’s difficult to watch.

I remember a test that we had to do, to see how his muscles responded to stimuli. No one prepared me, when we took vows, that in sickness and health meant watching a doctor basically torture your husband for a test. A test that he needed, but you could tell that it was painful. 

“In sickness and health”, we really think of the healthy times. I see families together being happy, you don’t want to think about what happens when someone gets sick. And some times people think that sickness means just a simple cold or something. But a medical mystery? That’s something entirely different. 

It’s been an adventure. With the good days and and the bad days, I can tell you that we have taken our vows seriously. We take care of each other. We take turns some times, and some days we take care of each other at the same time. 

They don’t tell you, when you take those vows that you’re going to worry. Or that you’re going to want to know more, that you’re going to try to research everything you can to try and figure this out. They don’t tell you that you’re going to call every doctor several times a week just to get an appointment, or a certain medication refilled, or an MRI scheduled. They don’t tell you all of this.

But they can’t tell you that it makes you stronger. That it makes your marriage better. Love and marriage, sickness and health, it takes work. You have to want to work on it – I’ve seen illness tear people apart. But, for us, I feel like this adventure has made us stronger and made us love each other better. 

I know in my heart that I love my husband more and more every day. I want to be with him and take care of him, no matter where this takes us. I want to grow our family together. This has brought us closer than I ever thought possible.

To my husband, I am so proud of you for being you. For waking up each day and fighting your battle. For loving me like you do. You are an amazing man with such strength, we can only keep going from here. Together, we will make it through this. You give me courage and strength when I need it. I will always be here for you. I’m proud of all of your accomplishments. I love you to the moon and back, Siempre por Siempre.