The Survivals of Jewels

Learning to thrive through sharing my true stories, healing through God, healing through crafts, helping others, and helping others gain better health. Please note, names have been changed for protection.

Lithium Trials June 12, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 8:00 am

Awhile back, I was prescribed Lithium by my primary physician until I could get on with a psychiatrist to prescribe them. If you have been through this battle, it’s a big one. It can take months to see someone. Well, two weeks into taking it, I began hitting curbs while driving and lost my ability to do many things cognitively. I’m still having troubles at times. But am feeling much better than before. My brother took me to the emergency room and I was dealt with by the Washington County Crisis Team. They got me off the med and redid things. Even they could see that I was very affected by the Lithium. They put me on Clonazepam, Latuda, and Seroquel. While on the Lithium, my hallucinations got bad. They died down a bit on those meds, but I was a zombie half the day and had a hard time waking up. I finally got in to see my regular guy and he has me on a different regimen. Clonazepam, Doxy-something for PTSD, and Saphris. He also re-diagnosed me. I am not just Bipolar, I’m Schizo-affective, bipolar type and PTSD. These meds seem to help but not comepletely. I can;t wait to see him again.

If you have been through similar trials, please know that you are not alone.


My Mind Thinks I’m Thin March 14, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health,Take Shape For Life (TSFL) — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 8:00 am

As long as I remember, I’ve been called fat or overweight in some way. Yet, for some reason, no matter how bad I felt about myself, or how fat I thought I was, my mind still thought I was thin. I know this doesn’t make much sense but follow me.

My energy stayed up until this last year. I wasn’t lazy, and stayed active. My son used to ask me to slow down when I got on cleaning kicks. I have always been able to keep up with the kids I took care of. And when crisis’ arrived, I’ve always been able act fast and move quickly. I worked in the pizza business as a manager for awhile and was the fastest pizza maker, start to finish, there. I was able to multitask and handle many many things at once while completing every task accurately. I’m currently in a job wherein violence happens fast and you have to think and move quick to keep the situation safe and still be able to handle the complete duties of the job, while staying strong and calm. Everyone I know will tell you I never quit, I keep moving at everything I do no matter what. It’s monly in the last year that I’ve discovered that I could be doing so much more. That this is just the beginning of something great.

When I go shopping, I have always chosen the cute clothes off the shelf first thinking I could fit into it. Yet when I get into the dressing room, I can’t even get it on. I will pick out hairstyles or a style of clothing that younger people choose and wear them. In front of a mirror, it looks great. Yet, when someone takes a picture of me, I can’t believe what I see. I’m in horror at how big I’ve gotten.

So, I figure, if my mind thinks I’m thin, why not be thin? If I keep doing things that thin people do and fail, why not lose the weight, get healthy and accomplish more goals? It’s like my mind has been telling me the whole time, “you can do anything, don’t give up, you’re thin in more ways than one”.


Healing…My Eyes Are On Heaven March 8, 2013

I have chosen many paths to heal. It seems to be my nature to travel many paths at once. But, I believe this is the most important path to healing of all. I have found the greatest comfort in God. I had to come to the realization that I don’t actually need anyone but Him. In a sense, I have become His bride depending solely on Him and His guidance. Over the years, I’ve had times wherein I felt I was following His lead. After examining everything, I discovered I was following other’s ideas of how they were guided by Him. It was only after I fully came to Him in 2011 that I discovered what and who He actually is.

He is a comforter. A God that holds me when I cry. Knowing that everything will get better and be alright in the hard times is great comfort. Knowing that when I am in great pain, that it will end is how He comforts as well.

He is a provider. Every time I think I’m not going to make it whether financially, physically or mentally, He provides a way. He shows me the path to take to bring me out of the darkness and somehow provides everything I need.

He is a teacher. He has taught me so many things. He, through great trials, taught me to not fear anyone. No one can harm me in any way if I don’t allow them to. But the greatest thing He has taught me is to love. Everyone deserves love no matter what in some way. Someone I knew used to say, “you have to earn my respect”. This defeats the purpose of Jesus, I believe. He taught us to love everyone, which in turn is giving respect with no expectation for return. Which leads me to the next.

He is a lover. Plain and simple His love never fails. Every time I mess up, He reminds me that He still loves me no matter what.

He is a miracle worker. There are many times where I have no explanation how things happened. When our cupboards were empty, He prompted people to leave food on our doorstep. When I was in so much pain I wanted to die, He suddenly healed me. When I was dead, literally, he brought me back to life. He amazes me everyday with every miracle great or small.

It is for all these reasons that I believe the greatest way to heal completely is give everything to Him. Every emotion, feeling, hurt, pain, memory, disease and burden is handed to the feet of Jesus. If I were to die today, I am confident that heaven is my home. And with heaven at the forefront of my mind, healing comes naturally. Yes, I have my down times as we all do. But, unlike others, I quickly snap out of it and focus back on Him. That changes my mood and outlook fast. Sometimes, it takes seconds, sometimes hours, but it does go away. Knowing that heaven is the goal and loving Him is the greatest love of all boggles my mind and soul.

And, for this reason, the greatest healing, is knowing that in heaven all pain and loss will be gone. So I keep my eyes on heaven.


Healing Through Independence (Finding a Way, No Matter What it Takes) March 6, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health,Surviving the Different Abuse — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 8:00 am

Over the years, I have spent various times between relationships where I was single, but never living on my own. I was 36 before I was taking care of myself wholly. I don’t know if it’s fear of being alone or fear of not being able to financially support myself and son. It was probably both. I have been made to feel, my whole life, that I won’t amount to anything. I’ve been put down in more ways than can be counted. So, the only way to become something, is to prove everyone wrong.

This last time I escaped a bad relationship was the hardest. I had decided to move out and was afraid at the same time as I had nowhere to go. I had to figure out how to find a place on my own and how to set and make the bills. Despite my thought that it could not be done, I pulled through. I found a place at the last minute and worked my tail off getting extra hours at work to make the bills. We didn’t have much and our cupboards were empty a lot of the time, but we were free and independent. It was just me supporting my son and I. I was making my own rules, decorating the way I wanted to and buying what I want when I want/can. It was very empowering. Yes, I was lonely at times, but over time, that disappeared. I became happy just being me.

This empowerment has given me the power to heal. I have the time and ability now to analyze every thought and feeling. I always ask myself why I feel or think something. Then when I get down, I remind myself that I did it! I conquered my fears and everything everyone ever said about me. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it has been very tough at times, but I’ve always pulled through.

I have found many ways of making money just to make ends meet and save for a better tomorrow at the same time. I’ve babysit, coupon clipped, double coupon shopped, pulled 80 hour work weeks, sold crafts, sold stuff on ebay and many more ways. There is always a way. Some have worked out and some haven’t but when one ends, another starts up.

There are two songs from not too many years ago that say it all when combined. Both from Destiny’s Child, Survivor and Independent Women. Knowing that you did it, you made it out and safe and thrive everyday on your own is a great healing. If you haven’t done it yet, get out, be yourself and take care of yourself no matter what it takes. You are not alone. Us freedom fighters do exist. Message me if you need, I will help you through. You can do it too!


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) February 5, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 2:14 am

If you have ready any of what I have gone through, you will find it given that I have this. The same doctor that diagnosed me with Anxiety Disorder, diagnosed me with PTSD. He said that there really isn’t any medication for it, however, he gave me medication to help me sleep. He said counseling is my best choice.

My sleep gets terrible at times. I will experience night terrors wherein I wake in hysterics and sometimes in odd places. Like my closet. Sometimes the nightmares don’t even seem scary to other people but are terrifying to me. The doctor gave me Ambien for the bad days. Or, if I haven’t had sleep in days due to it. Which is seeming to happen a lot lately.

I also get what I call “waves” of terror in the awake time too. I will think I see one of them, or see something that reminds me of them and for a flash, relive the experiences (abuse) all over again. It completely debilitates me at times. I stop in my tracks and have to regain myself. Certain sounds, shows, or smells do it too.

Again, counseling and medication costs money and that is not something that grows on trees around here. But I continue to work on this daily.


Anxiety Disorder

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 1:26 am

When I was younger, I would get upset at a drop of a hat. Some people called it a case of being a spoiled brat. If they knew what I was going through, they would disagree. I would get scared of things that were not there or that I believed were overwhelming. I have experienced these things in many ways.

I remember a time as a kid when we were on vacation wherein it came time to back to Guam and knowing that the abuse would continue as soon as I got there, I became deathly afraid to go back. I couldn’t tell anyone what I was going through, so I internalized it. I internalized it so bad that I became physically ill. I refused to go back to Guam. My stomach hurt so bad that I couldn’t stand it. And I cried uncontrollably. My parents worked it out with my grandparents for me to stay for a week more. It still took a few days after they left for me to feel somewhat normal again.

I remember the time I got into so much trouble that my stomach was torn up again. I began shaking and sweating. As my mother drove me around, I ducked down in the car. I don’t even remember why I ducked down. I just remember the incredible fear. When she drove me to the hospital, they found an ulcer. I was only 12 years old.

This is something I struggle with everyday. Even moving to Oregon kicked up my anxiety terribly. Now I have moved around my whole life with no trouble. For some reason, this move was extremely hard on me. I couldn’t drive, shop or even feel safe in my own home or church because I was overwhelmed. I used to use the term, “I’m not functioning” a lot. It has driven many people crazy that I say that. No one knows what it means. It simply means I’m overwhelmed and can no longer think straight.

This disorder was not found until the “break” I took in the hospital. They said at that time that the medication they gave me then was going to take care of it. Over time it did not at all. It wasn’t until I was put on Clonazepam that it was under control to some point. It stops the worries, fears and helps me to focus, which in turn I use to focus on God. This focus seems to have become my life source.

At this point I have run out of medication and this has quickly become a severe struggle lately. If you have been to psychiatrists, then you understand that you have to stay on them for them to work. And I simply can’t. Some people say to just make an appointment and get some. It’s not that easy my friends.

1. You need insurance just to see someone.
2. Once you get insurance, you call around to find a good one and even with the bad ones, there is a waiting list to get in.
3. Once an appointment to get in, it’s usually a month out at least.
4. Then, the doctor reviews you to make sure you really need them.
5. Then, the cost of psychiatric medications is too high to have.

I’m at a loss. Just trying to take it easy and stay focused. But the anxiety is building, I can feel it. I couldn’t even get in my bed to go to sleep because of it. I’m stuck sleeping on the couch again. If you have or do feel this way, just know that you are not alone.


Bipolar January 29, 2013

Filed under: Surviving Mental Health — The_Survivals_of_Jewels @ 3:16 am

It was the break I took in the hospital where the psychiatrists discovered that there was a bigger problem. The ability to consistently and abruptly change moods was bipolar. Yet at this point in my life, anger was added to the already existent cycle of being happy, depressed and suicidal. The first cycle started when I was 12. As time went on and I began to attempt to heal, anger became pretty prominent.

The doctors prescribed Lamictal. This ended up not working very well. The mood swings were further apart, but still extreme. Of course the ever increasing house of abuse I was living in didn’t help. My psychiatrist quit his practice with no referrals and I was left with no psychiatrist. In the gap between doctors, in finding one, then waiting to get in, I ran out of meds and things got bad again. The new psychiatrist diagnosed me with a number of things after a long talking appointment. and prescribed me Depakote. This worked the best. I just kept going off of them because I felt I was better. Then crash and have to go back on them.

Right before moving to Oregon, I was diagnosed with a number of physical health problems. One of them was the inability to tolerate Depakote. I couldn’t get back in to see my psychiatrist before I left, so I just stopped taking them. I still get the mood swings, only now I pray like crazy through them. I now just have to wait to see what’s next on that boat.