Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Medicine, More Mental

Last Saturday I purposely burned my arm with a cigarette. I haven't done that for at least a couple years; I have about a three inch scar on my right arm from old burns, now another inch and a half of new burns. I never thought I would do this again; I thought I was past that. Apparently not. When my self-esteem gets low enough, I am in the danger zone to self-punish, no matter how many years ago I last did it, I guess. I don't smoke; I have to go out and buy cigarettes and a lighter just to burn my arm. I'm very intent; I get set on it, and that's it - I'm going to do it, no matter what. I believe that I deserve the punishment. My self-esteem gets so low that I start to crave cruelty. I say critical things to myself and push myself to do it. Again, I believe I deserve it.

I put three burns on my arm Saturday, then another three on Monday just before my CODA meeting before I realized that that added up to six - I don't like the number six - so I rushed out to the car and did another burn to make seven just before walking into the meeting.

Sick, huh? Well, it is called mental illness, after all.

I haven't burned since last Monday, but do still feel like I want to punish myself because, to be honest, I hate myself right now. The only thing that stops me is the idea of my scarred arm getting worse and worse.

In any case, Dr. Psychiatrist added Lamictal last week. Started the titration three days ago - so far it makes me sleepy. I don't know if it's going to help. I don't know if anything's going to help. I feel just nutty and depressed (obviously). Dr. Psychiatrist said to give the cigarettes to someone who wants to kill themselves with cancer and to stop burning myself. *snort*

The plan a couple weeks ago was to increase the Seroquel to 200mg to help alleviate the depression, but at 100mg I noticed the affect on my POTS (heartrate up into the 170's), so I didn't take it any further. Depression remains unalleviated. I see my cardiologist Friday. Again, feel like I can't help one (mental illness) without hurting the other (POTS), and vice versa.

Therapist is still trying to help, even though I'm not doing too much to help myself at this point. I think of things to do - take a shower, clean out my car - but then I just don't do them. Day to day, I can't muster up quite enough energy or motivation even to do simple things that might help me. All is doom and gloom and giving up. Somehow I drag myself to CODA meetings, appointments, and I'm trying my best to follow through with the lesbian book club I started because, well, I started it when I was in a better frame of mind, and I don't want to let people down.

I do more things because I don't want to let people down than because I really want to do them. All I really feel like doing, all I really do for the most part, is curl up in a ball, flip through channels on the television. Television is a kind of drug.


moonlitscreams said...

Ah, nice entry, I feel I can relate. Self harm is an addiction. Even once we've kicked the habit, it has the tendency to crawl back out when things are bad.

Amber said...

I agree - it is sort of an addiction when I think about it - kind of like I've heard that tattooing is, in a way, though self-harm obviously has a more sinister motivation behind it.