6 Reasons I Might Be A Survivor

  1. I have survived as a child of an alcoholic father who abused my mother.
  2. I have survived as a little girl with migraines and pain no child should have to live through.
  3. I have survived being bullied as an adult, doing a damn good job I am proud of.
  4. I have survived Lyme disease.
  5. I have survived through the whole disability mess.
  6. I have survived through mania and the consequences of my actions.

Seems like I’ve been a pretty good survivor despite relentlessly worrying about all this shit above. Constant worry.  And still worrying.  I have to remember that I’ve been through a lot and I’ve gotten through it.  Things will be ok.




Turning In My Nursing Badge

I still look back almost two years later and wonder what set me adrift in my nursing career.  Looking back now I know that I was manic or at the very least highly hypo manic.  I was paranoid.  I was worried I’d lose my job. I had very rapid thoughts and speech.  Two weeks before I quit, I was praying out loud to God during hikes.

During this time my ADD medication was no longer working. I was making small errors at work. I saw my GP and had asked for an increase in dosage because in my mind I was so scattered. I’m sure the stimulant med was making my symptoms worse but at that time we didn’t know I had bipolar disorder. I never even considered it could even be anxiety. My mind raced all day every day. I never even considered stopping it because to me when I started this medication it was a life changer for me.   To me, this was a concentration issue.

Bipolar disorder did me in and being bullied was what set me down the path of no return. My final panic attack was the nail in the coffin.  Although I’m still in a depressive phase, I am physically healthier that when I was working.

I am so grateful to be able to stay home now.  Being awarded disability was the single best thing I could have done for my health.





Are You Comfortable With Your Doctors?

My two main docs are my pdoc and my GP who treats my myriad of other afflictions I have. I stopped seeing my neurologist because nothing was helping. He was helpful for ruling out MS as a diagnosis, got my MRI’s all authroized quickly.  My GP says the specialists always are that way.  (I don’t think that’s always the case).

I like my GP because she asks for my opinion and input. I’ve felt comfortable asking her about personal questions, anxiety meds, increasing a dose, can we tests for _______.  I’ve convinced her to try a couple of non-conventional treatments for my migraines after I had read about them. She’s not a total pushover though.  She wasn’t totally for applying for disability. She told me I wouldn’t have anything to do after, like a place to go to every day and I might end up feeling worse.

Pdoc seems to know her stuff.  She was more in favor of applying for disability. A couple of times I’ve mentioned a different treatment and she hasn’t been open to it. I don’t push it either because I know she knows a hell of a lot more than my doctor google degree. She doesn’t like to do big changes with meds…one change at a time kind of rule.

Since then I’ve been on disability for two years? I’ve had  a few periods of  “meh” and a couple of “ok’s”.  I had no idea it would take so long to treat bipolar disorder and I know I’m still not fixed yet.

A Tale of Lyme Disease

When my youngest babe was beginning kindergarten I started to get really anxious about what I was going to do when he went to first grade.  I had been home with my kids for 10 years and I knew that it would be difficult to find someone who would hire me and something that paid decent.

About this time my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (doing awesome now). My sister encouraged me to go to nursing assistant school with her. We both passed the class but she never did look for a job.  Always makes me chuckle.  It wasn’t for her. Nursing assistant work is hard.

I began working as a nursing assistant and then decided I was going to go to nursing school.  Remarkably I was accepted but soon found out that working (part time!) and going to school was not for me.  I was struggling at home to  accomplish what I needed to do but with my job I couldn’t hack it. As per usual, I was living with migraine headaches. I left my job to focus on school only.

I don’t know how I got through nursing school.  Looking back I think I was highly manic. I struggled with anxiety which I thought was A.D.D.  Probably both mixed together.

I got a job as a nurse right away and while I liked it, it was odd hours and I was a big ball of stress from working full time, being a new nurse and trying but failing at my home life. I couldn’t get it together.

At this time I started to have symptoms of leg weakness.  My leg would twitch for hours, it would tremble and ache. I was convinced I had MS. I thought there was no treatment for MS anyway so might as well wait it out.

After two years I took a “less stressful” job at the office. My leg thing became worse.  I was not able to get up from a sitting position without using my hands as leverage. I was tripping a lot, falling (which I still do).  I began having a burning pain. I complained to my MD but she wasn’t any help. I remember her looking at me with a confused look on her face. I had some very elevated lab results so something was going on.

At this time she decided to close her office I found a new GP who was looking into things more thoroughly.  She told me I had every Lyme symptom and wanted to test for Lyme.  I knew it wasn’t Lyme.  MS I told her.  Send me to an MS specialist.

I was positive for Lyme Disease. It had gone undetected for way too long.  A lot of antibiotics.  I still have chronic pain from it.  I still wonder if my cognitive skills were from the Lyme verses anxiety/stress.

I don’t regret pursuing my nursing career.  It was a good go while it lasted.  I enjoyed it, just not the extreme anxiety my body reacts to. I don’t believe I will ever go back to it.  I don’t feel safe with my cognitive skills lacking. I know the stress will run havoc on my body.

I still I call myself a nurse.  I earned it.  My body just couldn’t hack it.




My Panic Attacks

I can recall my first panic attack vividly. I had a long history of anxiety but never a panic attack until this night.  My youngest was a year old, 1999.

I had a migraine all day. By night I put my little guys to bed and took some excedrin.  I made myself a cup of tea thinking that additional bit of caffeine would help. I had wanted to stay up and watch the Barbara Walters 20/20 interview with Monica Lewinsky.

After the interview I went to bed with my migraine in tact and started panicking. As I laid in bed I began to get this awful feeling of dread.  My heart began to pound.  I woke my husband up and told him something was very wrong with me, I thought I was having a heart attack, aneurysm or stroke from my migraine. I stayed up most of the night trying to calm myself with meditation. It never occurred me to me that this was a panic attack. It feels so real.

The next day I immediately called my doctor as soon as they opened. She had me come right in. After examining mes she diagnosed me with a panic attack.  She was right on with that one.  Now if she only caught the Lyme disease…but that’s another story.

Now I take an occasional low dose of a PRN anti-anxiety med if I need it.  I’m on daily medication to prevent the attacks. It seems to help.  And avoiding too much caffeine which probably triggered that first attack!


14 Tips That Will Help Win Your Psyche Disability Case

Did you know you can file for disability without your doctors help? I thought it had to be something your doctor did for you or encouraged you to do. Nope, not the case.

Here are 14 tips that will help you.

  1. This is a long process.  You can do all of this easily by yourself free and get started right away with a social security number.
  2. Go to sss @gov.  Make an account.  You will be surprised to see all of your past earnings listed per year.  You can fill out the entire disability form online to get things going.  Honestly it will take several days to fill out.
  3. Once SS gets your electronic application they will send you paperwork to fill out.
  4. Best tip: When speaking to a SS doctor answer questions thinking about your worst days. It’s easy for us to play down our symptoms and pain.
  5. Have a good understanding of your disease/disorder.  Know which answers are right and which are wrong. For example, I played off the problems I’ve had in the past with co-workers.  I also now know that it is a problem with bipolar patients. I never wanted to admit I had a problem at work with people but it was  time to be honest with myself.
  6. Remember what you filled out on the paperwork because if SS sends you for another opinion they will have a copy of the paperwork you provided.  Therefore your answers should match.
  7. Be exceptionally honest.
  8. They will want to know ALL your doctors within the last year. Try to remember them all.  I even put down my eye doctor because I had been complaining to her about my blurry vision and had been in to see her a few times because of it. (Fibroyalgia was one of my diagnoses)
  9. Let your emotions show.  I cried all through my exam.  You don’t believe I suffer from depression?  Here you go.  I’m often like this.
  10. If you have to go for an exam have a friend or family bring you and wait for you.  They will ask you how you got to the appointment.  In my case, it proved my point how hard it was for me to leave the house or to drive.
  11. I was asked if I had gone to therapy.  I had completely forgotten how I had gone to therapy a handful of times over the years.  At first I assumed she meant had I gone recently to counseling. I choked my tears back and answered that I had gone before.  I remember her nodding her head.
  12. If you’re thinking about a lawyer, don’t (at least not yet).  You can fill out and submit your own application online easily. Social Security will request your records from your doctors.  You wont have to do that step.
  13. Answer your phone.  They may call you for something.  I don’t like to answer my phone unless I recognize the number.  Unfortunately I missed several of their calls. They ended up mailing me a letter saying they had been trying to reach me and they sent me to an independent Psychologist.
  14. Don’t panic if they sent you to see an independent Doctor. They could have just denied you but they aren’t just sure yet.

What Caused My Childhood Pain

I’ve often wondered about the root of my pain.  Did something happen to me to cause these migraines or was I just born this way? Was I a stressed out little baby and it turned me into a ball of crazy ever after?

My mom was verbally and mentally abused by my alcoholic father until I was about 3 or 4.  She has never has said exactly what he’d say. I only have a vague idea and a few memories.   Could that abuse effect a child that young?

I suffer from fibromyalgia.  It’s a syndrome which is noted to have occurrence in adults who were abused as children. I’ve never been abused as a child but I know what my mom experienced effected me deeply.  I do believe it was the trigger for my young migraines. It was just at that time she left him. I’d still have to see him sporadically throughout my childhood.

I think this is plain old genetic. My own daughter has suffered from pain symptoms since she’s been little. She also suffers from migraines and I know she has not been abused as a child.

My sister and I have no contact with our father now.  An amazing step-father stepped into his place and provided a safe and nurturing environment for all the migraines. Every one.

this is about my childhood with migraines.


Work Bully

I worked in a medical office and I was bullied.  She was my new superior, didn’t like me and picked on me relentlessly.  Left me notes with comments, accused me of making errors that were not mine publicly in front of patients and staff. It took me a while to figure out she was truly harassing me. I should have went to my higher up sooner and kept her notes.

Every morning my anxiety was in full force.  Would she leave me alone today? After work I’d go over and over my day in my head to make sure I had done everything I needed to do and correctly. Anxiety on top of this can make you forgetful and distracted. I was not perfect.  It was not fun.

Ultimately it is why I left my job in a panic attack.  I had been there over 5 years. I try to forgive her but it’s still hard.  I try to remember kindness.  I’m in a better place now.

I urge you to take action if you are being bullied. You don’t deserve it and it’s not your fault.  ❤



My life was going along as good as you’d expect. I had ups and downs. Who doesn’t?  I was going on with my life working a full time job. I began having more anxiety at work. One afternoon i had a severe mental breakdown. Uncontrollable crying. I quit my job on the spot. My anxiety was through the roof and I couldn’t go back to work.  Soon after I found out I had bipolar disorder.