Dark Obsessions and MRI’s

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Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist. We spent a lot of time talking about the dark, morbid interests I have and whether those might be contributing to my depression and anxiety. I’ve always been drawn to studying the dark side of things, whether it be the occult, serial killers, suicide, the dark side of history, horror movies and books, or psychopaths. I know these interests may not be the best things for my mental state, but they are all things that fascinate me and it is hard for me to resist things that fascinate me.

At one point in the conversation, my psychiatrist asked if there were any happy interests I have. I told him I love cartoons, but then I told him one of my favorite cartoon movies is Anastasia, which he pointed out is about the mass murder of the royal family lol, so maybe not so happy after all.

Today I have an MRI scheduled on my head and neck to try to figure out what might be causing my recent migraines. I’m really not looking forward to it. I hate MRI’s, especially on the head and neck because I feel really claustrophobic and hate not being able to move for so long.

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Mental Health Labels – Gotta Catch’em All!!!

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Sometimes I feel like mental health disorders are like Pokemon: Gotta catch’em all!!!

Is there a point where collecting mental health labels gets ridiculous and almost humorous? Sometimes I wonder if all the stuff that has been ascribed to me is really wrong with me, and if it is – is it actually just one thing with many different facets?

Here are the mental health diagnoses I have collected to this day (that I know of and can remember):

PDD-NOS (high-functioning autism)
Asperger’s Syndrome (a slightly different form of high-functioning autism lol)
Bipolar Type 2
Major Depressive Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Complex PTSD
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Phobias
Cyclothymia
Adjustment Disorder
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Dysthymia
Somatic Disorder
Attachment Disorder

I may be leaving some out or have ones I don’t even know I have in my medical record, but am I getting close to winning this odd, mentally ill game of Pokemon Go yet? I CHOOSE YOU!…

Complicated Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day always creates such a barrage of mixed emotions for me. There was a lot of trauma, abuse, mental illness, and foolish decisions that marked my childhood. My mother was far from a perfect parent. Luckily, she does admit to that and seems to be really trying to be a better person now, but being around her always triggers so many memories, thoughts, and feelings – some good, some bad, some funny, and some tragic.

I think part of the issue is that my brain has a tough time seeing how she acts towards me now and reconciling it with memories of how my sister and I were treated while growing up. I do believe in forgiveness (within reason), and I do love my mother, but I doubt there will ever be a day in her company that doesn’t create confusion for me internally.

I write this post today to recognize those of us who struggle on Mother’s Day to even know how to feel…

Photo Art from the Children’s Hospital

Yesterday I went to the local children’s hospital to see their genetic specialist for Ehlers Danlos testing. While there, I got bored and took a couple photos of a set of sculptures I liked:

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My favorite is the feet one. I love odd angles and close ups of objects, because it shows details most people don’t notice. I did add a bit of a filter to the first picture to make the colors stand out more from the darker aspects.

As for the visit with the geneticist, it went fine. They did a mouth swab to test my DNA, so no pain involved. The geneticist is pretty sure I have hEDS (hypermobile Ehlers Danlos) since I meet all the criteria, although he wanted to rule out other kinds like vascular and classical EDS, hence the test. I just hope it isn’t vascular, as the average lifespan of someone with vascular EDS is only 48.

 

I Won 3rd Place in Another Art Contest!

Maranda Russell, Untitled #1, 2.5 x 3.5

I got some great news yesterday! The above artwork won 3rd place in the “Finding Your Inner MozArt” art contest! I get $75 in prize money plus whatever the piece sells for, so not bad!

I think the best part for me personally though, is that the head judge is the Director Emeritis of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego! This is the first time I’ve had someone that important associated with a major art museum recognize and reward my artistic endeavors! I know we shouldn’t focus too much on important job titles and all that, since the art itself is most important, but it still rocks to be recognized officially like that!

I saw quite a bit of the competition works for the contest and they were very impressive, so I know winning 3rd place really is a big deal! Had I been a judge, I would have had a hard time deciding!

EEG Update & Going Gluten-Free

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Had my EEG yesterday morning. It wasn’t too bad. The flashing strobe light part was almost kind of like what I imagine doing psychedelic drugs would be like – all the swirling lights and patterns…it was kind of crazy. I was supposed to nap for like 15 minutes or so, but just couldn’t fall asleep. I’m hoping I won’t have to do the home sleep study, but I guess we’ll see what the doctor thinks. The gel they put on my hair to keep the electrodes connected drove me crazy, so I had to come right home and wash it out.

Other than that, not much exciting is going on. I am attempting to embrace a mostly gluten-free diet in hopes that it helps my digestive and chronic inflammatory issues, but it is hard because many of my favorite foods (pasta, pizza, bread, cereal, cookies, etc.) have to be eliminated or replaced with gluten-free substitutes which don’t always taste as good or have the same texture. As an autistic gal, food texture matters A LOT to me and it takes a good long while for me to get used to changes. Thank goodness a few mainstream cereals are already gluten free (like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, most Chex varieties, Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles, and a few more).

My mood today is rather blah. Just not feeling much of anything, except tired.

Lucid Dream Last Night

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Every once in a while I have a dream where I realize in the middle of it that I am dreaming and I have the ability to take the dream over and do whatever I want to do. Last night this happened again. I became aware that I was dreaming and that nothing I saw around me was real, but instead of deciding to fly off to some other land or into outer space, I decided to stick around the environment I was already in and see what my sleeping mind had conjured up out of nothing.

It was actually rather fascinating to study the “set” of my dream. I noticed all the little details – the plants (color/shape/flowers), I noticed how a few rocks were randomly scattered over the ground and even counted them, wondering if the number had any significance. I felt the textures around me, including puffy cotton balls growing off to the side, marveling at how real it felt to my touch, even though I knew none of it was real.

I wish I remembered every single detail that I studied, but like most dreams, once I woke up, bits of it started to fade like wisps of smoke. I do remember it was an outdoor setting obviously and there was a small bridge and a stream of water. I would almost say it was a little like a Monet water garden painting.

It always interested me that I’ve heard some experts claim we don’t dream in color, but if that is true, they obviously have never visited my dreams!!! I feel texture, pain, and pleasure in my dreams. I taste. I smell. I hear. When I am there, it is just as real as where I am right this minute.

I Won My SSDI Case!!!

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Here is what I wrote on my Facebook page today, I think it pretty much sums it all up:

Six long years, and I finally won my SSDI case! Fully favorable! Feel like crying and screaming. Been sick and in pain so long, sometimes I wanted to give up hope and die, but glad I hung in there.

All those people who doubted me or thought I was just being “lazy” or “dramatic” can kiss my ass. To all those who have showed love, empathy, and encouragement, thank you so much for helping to keep me alive and fighting.

My fellow bloggers here on WordPress definitely fall into the second category of supportive, encouraging people, so thank you all so much!!!

By the way, the decision was just made yesterday and my lawyer was the one who called and told me, so it will still be a little while before I get the back pay or monthly payments started, but I’m on my way!