Monthly Archives: June 2014

Curbing Bipolar Overreactions

When it comes to bipolar disorder, it can be hard to discern which type of mood episode is more harmful in any given situation; the moods that pop up sporadically without warning or the big overreactions that can happen in response to a stressful situation.

I think for most people, understanding that bipolar disorder includes un-triggered mood episodes outside of our control is simple enough to attribute to the disorder itself.

But what about overreactions? These big mood flare ups have often been a bigger source of trouble for me when it has come to my relationships with other people, because it can become easy for others to write these actions off to “a dramatic personality”. It can be difficult for people to separate a mood disorder from what our culture has been putting on a pedestal (via reality television); the drama queen.

For this reason, it has become important over the years for me to learn to adapt in situations where big emotional overreactions might take place and find a solid method to curb those overreactions (or express them safely) so that my boss, my co-workers, my family, and friends aren’t subject to a toxic emotional blow-up.

Having said that, I don’t claim to have a 100% success rate. I definitely still blow up at people, but having a strategy in mind when these situations come up has helped me funnel most of my blow ups in such a way that I’m no longer destroying as many relationships because of them. Obviously, this is a system that tends to work for me, and though I can’t say for certain that it will work for everyone else, it is a good place to begin if you are interested in putting your own system in place to curb overreactions.

Alright! Here we go!

Step 1: Isolate

A lot of the time I am lucky and experience a delayed reaction when it comes to overreactions. I can put on a serious face while getting bad news, and it isn’t until 10-60 minutes later that I often experience the explosion of emotions that come after. This has been helpful because in that time I can seek out a “safe place” to be when the emotional wave hits me. In public or at work that generally means finding a restroom as quickly as possible, but that could also be as simple as removing myself from a group and stepping outdoors, or into a garage; any space where I am alone.

This tends to be a bit more difficult when I am in a situation where I am extremely reactive, or immediately angry at something someone has said to me. Though my success is not quite as good when it comes to curbing these types of overreactions, it can still be extremely beneficial to just turn and walk away. Walk away and isolate, again; garage, the front porch, or a restroom can all help out.

Step 2: Purge (safely)

Once alone I move on to the “purge” phase, which simply means expressing my emotions in a healthy way. The idea is to get as much of that excess emotion out as quickly as I can and do so in a safe way. 

Here are some of the safe ways that help me express my emotions in these situations;

  • crying
  • screaming into a pillow
  • punching a pillow
  • crumpling paper or leaves
  • writing out my feelings in a journal, on paper or a napkin
  • calling the crisis line to talk to someone
  • calling my therapist to talk to someone
  • calling my boyfriend (who is good at diffusing these situations)

These are just a few ideas, but there are many more ways to express what you’re feeling in a safe way. Personally, in these situations I tend to avoid calling most friends or relatives because when I am upset I can often say some very upsetting things. I have learned from experience that it is best for me to express my frustrations (or whatever I’m upset about) to a licensed professional who is familiar with mental illness, or to someone who knows that I am just having a blow-out and (usually) not a full-blown crisis.

There are days where crying is enough and I feel good enough to resume whatever my previous activity was afterward. Other days I need to do more (especially if there is anger or desperation involved) or I might need someone to talk me down.

Step 3: Walk

Getting out the emotion and the swirling vortex of thoughts is important, but for me I usually need to also expel a big wave of physical discomfort/energy as well. Failing to rid myself of the energy or tenseness that came with the emotions often results in the emotional wave coming back around for a second go. The easiest way I have found to do this is to go for a walk.

Walking gives my body a chance to relax through gentle exercise. The fresh air often makes me feel more calm, and being outdoors can change my perception from feeling “trapped” in a bad situation or with bad news to feeling much more free.

Certainly it is possible to combine steps 2 and 3, and sometimes I do (though I usually wear sunglasses in the city so people can’t tell I’m crying). Typically though I like feeling like I’m in a “safe place” while letting my emotions out, and it can be a big bummer when you’re trying to release an emotional meltdown and someone with a clipboard is trying to get you to fund a program for rescued dogs (oh the city!).

Usually I can see a drastic improvement in my mood after even as little as 15 minutes of walking. I tend to go on a lot longer than that if I have a choice (just because it helps me so much) but I know when folks are working or in school it can be difficult to be away too long.

I like to walk to music but I’ve made special playlists limited to upbeat, positive songs for these situations. I try to avoid any music that is too emotional during these times because they tend to have a big impact on my mood, and the whole point of this exercise is to improve my mood, not shift it to an equally dubious place.

Step 4: Distract

The one thing I can do to undo everything I have done up to this point is allow my focus to shift back to what upset me in the first place. That means when I return to whatever it was I was doing before the overreaction, I need a distraction. Really, it can be anything that keeps my mind away from obsessing about what just happened.

This could be anything from…

  • a game
  • a conversation
  • a piece of work that requires my full attention
  • music (again, upbeat)
  • art
  • cooking
  • giving blood (I used that as a distraction once at the office, it worked great!)

Seriously, anything that takes my mind off of what upset me is a winner. Ultimately, if I don’t distract myself well enough, I run the risk of having another overreaction triggered solely by the thoughts I have about the original situation!

I know this system isn’t perfect, but when I use it I find that I often feel much better anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour later. I know that might still sound like a lot of time, but when these overreactions were causing meltdowns for me that were lasting all day (or triggering bigger episodes lasting days or weeks) I can safely say I’ve seen a big improvement overall in rational time after overreacting vs. irrational time overreacting.

Sometimes it is also important to remind those around us that massive overreactions can be an equally difficult part of bipolar disorder. Even my boyfriend (who has six years of bipolar-girlfriend experience at this point) asked me on Friday why I spent an hour crying, and then an hour walking after we got some distressing news about our prospective new apartment. Somehow he was still baffled that I reacted that way after all this time… all I could do was explain that overreactions like this just come with the territory. It is one of those things I wish I could stop (before it even begins) but it has never worked that way for me.

Instead I have to do the things that I can to get those overreactions out of my system in a safe way so I can move on to doing the things I’d rather be doing!

An Emotionless Manic Episode?

When I experience mania it often happens one of two ways. Either I have an experience where I am so overwhelmingly blinded by what is happening in the moment that I get lost in it (my actions directly feed into the mania itself) or I have something more like an out of body experience where everything feels far away and like my mind is in no way connected to my actions.

I woke up pretty early Wednesday morning, considering I was still taking Seroquel. Normally I couldn’t do a darn thing until at least 9 am, but that morning I felt quite alert and functional.

That is… until I started making breakfast.

It was very much like my inner self had gotten bored with looking out at the world through my eyes and decided to go back into a more secluded room in my brain to listen to some records and eat nachos. My body was set to autopilot, and while it cooked and ate breakfast, then took a shower and got dressed, my mind was flashing a million miles a minute and listening to Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” about 78 times in a row in my head.

(Thanks, Corey, for playing that darn Guardians of the Galaxy trailer repeatedly for the last two weeks!)

Then, the rocket took off. Vibrating skin. Tingles. Feeling high for no reason. Out of body experience. And ultimately… confusion.

Normally this is the sort of thing that, while slightly, you know… dangerous, it tends to feel amazing. Euphoria up the yin-yang. Feeling invincible or like another entity entirely. But all I felt was confusion because none of the emotion was there.

By the time I made it to the doctor’s office (which I agreed to go to earlier but really have no recollection of the conversation) I was also wildly dizzy. The nurse was concerned because apparently I was walking like a drunken Frankenstein. All I could really keep saying was, “wow I feel weird, you know… I really do feel weird.”

“I think I’m having a manic episode,” I said to the doctor after things had settled down a little bit.

“You don’t look like you are having a manic episode,” she said.

“I know, that’s what is so confusing, I don’t feel it emotionally, only physically.” Said me, the cracked out robot.

“Maybe the Seroquel is dampening the emotional aspects while the rest remain unaffected,” she suggested.

The only thing I could pinpoint feeling was confusion, which was simultaneously alarming but also somehow not a big deal. I had come to the doctor to talk about the side effects I was having, and at that point I couldn’t discern what were side effects, what was (maybe?) mania, what was anxiety, what was stress. It was all one big pile of spaghetti.

“Ah crap.”

What I did glean from the hour long conversation was that my psychiatrist wants my regular doctors to look into my side effects because he is extremely set on keeping me on Seroquel. After backing down to 25 mg the bleeding issue seemed to stop, so I had no evidence of my experiences to offer up to the white-coats checking me out. Still, they took eight vials of blood and ran several tests that I was far too “elsewhere” to make any fuss about.

They tried their best to brainstorm what might be causing the bleeding because apparently less than 1% of people who take Seroquel experience that side effect and, like my psychiatrist, they weren’t convinced that was what caused it. They were offering up anything and everything from rectal trauma (no, I can’t say anything like that has gone down) to HIV (sorry folks, I’ve been tested for that!). All in all everyone is hoping the blood tests might speak for themselves on this one.

By the time I got home hours later, I was starting to come down a bit. After devouring half a pizza I felt much more like (an emotionless) version of myself.

One of the things I seem to quickly be learning is how psychiatric medication is not straightforward in its effects, and while it is fine and dandy to be told that the idea is to cut out the “extreme” portion of mood swings or slow them down, the effects I’ve had seem to be like someone rolling the dice to see which symptoms are about to be dampened and which are about to be exacerbated.

This seems to be a good approximation of improvement for many doctors, but for patients like me who have reached a point of becoming familiar with how their symptoms work and the patterns associated with them, trying to dampen them with a piece of swiss cheese (that lets some symptoms through and muffles others) is wildly confusing and alarming. This odd manic hiccup does, however, also somewhat explain my potential hallucinations lately.

Is a rapidly cycled manic episode with the mood elements removed considered improvement? To my doctors… maybe? To me… I haven’t decided. I was still acting awfully odd in public (and I was stared at by a lot of folks due to my lurchy movements and perpetual lip-synching to “hooked on a feeling”) and I would consider that one of the less exciting aspects of mania, while having to forgo the parts that make me feel good, or confident, or friendly (or, let’s face it; also wild, brazen, or out of control).

Instead what I felt was like a blizzard; my skin tingled and hummed in the pelting snow, and though I sat back nicely in my igloo looking out at the weather everything around  me was a flat shade of white.

This is turning out to be the most complicated bout with a medication yet, and it has been several days now where all I have felt is static. Part of me is grateful, considering the immense amount of stress I am dealing with right now… but there is another part that feels hurt, maybe even abandoned and empty.

How ironic is it that my anthem has been “hooked on a feeling” when all I’ve felt lately is their absence?

My Seroquel Journey & Questioning Reality

Monday I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. It couldn’t have come at a better time because my Seroquel (Quetiapine) journey was taking some odd turns. 

Many of you already know, but it is important to those just beginning to learn about me that I have been actively seeking some form of psychiatric medication to help manage my symptoms of treatment resistant bipolar type 1 (with psychotic features). I’ve tried 13 medications in the last couple years and the result has consistently been either intolerable side effects (intolerable to the point of often requiring immediate medical attention) or no effect at all. To put it bluntly, my experience in this realm is generally much, much different than the norm, and it is important that people know that up-front.

While in a psychiatric inpatient hospitalization in 2011 I was given a large dosage of Seroquel. This did not bode well for me, and I quickly became too dizzy to stand or walk, and too absent minded to be able to speak clearly. Being unable to move or communicate effectively was rather terrifying, and I quickly made it known to the staff (though I can’t remember how for the life of me) that I was not willing to take any more of that particular drug.

Cut to last month. My psychiatrist reminded me that we were extremely limited in what drugs were left for me to try; limited puts it nicely, there was one.

Thinking back, I offered up the suggestion of trying Seroquel (Quetiapine) again. I thought that perhaps if we started with a miniscule dose, I could weave through the unpleasant side effects until they faded and then move up slowly. This is generally the way I tend to opt for trying medications, as a little often goes a long way for me. That, and if it is going to completely kick my ass at the lowest dose, I know immediately without venturing to the point where I’m taking an amount that renders me completely incapacitated or requires the emergency room.

We agreed this would be the plan, and June 1st I began with half of the smallest pill, roughly 12.5 mg.

There was definitely a grogginess that lasted several days, and something akin to confusion and stupidity. I felt a little bit of stomach pain when waking up in the morning, but after an hour or so the pain subsided. After fiver or six days the grogginess and stupidity had worn off, and I increased my dosage.

I began taking 25 mg a week after starting the regimen at 12.5 mg. Things were pretty much the same, with a few minor adjustments. Lack of appetite (something that didn’t bother me too much, I was more worried about having an increased appetite and weight gain), a bit more stomach pain (like stomach cramps) came and went. A week went by, and by the end of it I felt alright.

“Maybe this is going to be easier than I thought!” I said to myself.

So I increased to 37.5 mg. My doctor wanted me to jump to 50 mg, but I didn’t feel comfortable making that leap. Ultimately, I’m glad I erred on the cautious side, because even though the first two or three days went as I expected (after the previous two weeks) the next few days were like a punch in the gut.

Stomach cramping pain all day, every day. Bloody diarrhea. Cramping of the muscles in my face and jaw (where I already have issues with TMJ) making it very difficult for me to chew and eat. Increased frequency in panic attacks. Sinus congestion and headaches from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed (headaches like this often trigger severe depression for me). Not a delightful time.

I spent a week with these side effects hoping they might start to fade the way the previous effects did.

They didn’t. They got worse. And the most frightening moment was late one night when I tried flossing my teeth only to have my gums bleed until my mouth filled up with blood.

Needless to say, I was a bit concerned at that point. The Seroquel side effect leaflet does mention something about the possibility of suppressing the number of platelets in the blood (which can cause issues with blood not clotting correctly) and I found myself too terrified to try and floss again.

Thankfully that was a mere 48 hours before my psychiatry appointment. I stuck it out and then went in to see my doctor Monday morning.

When I related this entire account to him, he scoffed… which is quite unlike him. I get somewhat unnerved when people don’t seem to be taking me seriously (at least, in serious situations) and while the younger version of myself might have tried to pick a fight when someone was questioning my validity, the things that have happened the last two years made me stop and think.

Honestly, and I believe 100% that the issue with the blood while flossing happened. Having said that, I know there have been times the last couple years where I have hallucinated/delusioned my way into believing some crazy shit. In this situation I wouldn’t normally second-guess myself, except that there were three things that happened in the last week that make me a little nervous about the validity of my own story.

First, I went straight home and flossed my teeth. They did not bleed the same way they had before, so I could not re-create the situation and confirm my own story. It is possible the issue with my platelets was a temporary side effect, but we don’t know for sure.

Second, I was out for a walk last week with Luna and we were turning a corner to walk down a long stretch of the street. Upon seeing us, an old man on our right picked up his half-bald dog (so it wouldn’t run after Luna) and turned to walk away (off to our right out of view in the grass by the cement wall). When we made it completely around the corner, I turned to the right to smile and wave to the man to say thank you… only he wasn’t there. There was the cement wall we’d just come around met by a tall rock wall that intersected it. There is nowhere he could have gone, there was a grassy patch and a walled-in corner; he simply wasn’t there anymore.

I have never hallucinated a whole human being and an ugly dog before, and I can’t say that is what happened. Frankly, I don’t know what happened, but I feel somewhat suspicious about the whole situation. This suspicion has spread to all other recent situations now, and I am in a place where I don’t know for sure if I even know what I’m talking about.

The third thing that happened was probably even more suspect, there was a period of about 2 hours where every time I closed my eyes I could still see, but it looked as if I was looking out of a mass of spider’s eyes (multiple eyes all jumbled together, somewhat like a kaleidoscope). I noted this as “interesting” and went about my day (which is generally what I do in any situation involving hallucinatory subject matter that I can identify). That, if nothing else, leads me to believe that there is some psychosis happening. I just have trouble knowing when it is there and when it isn’t. The real kicker is that when these things have happened, I haven’t had any of the usual manic or mixed symptoms that generally go with psychosis… that is part of what makes this whole thing so confusing!

I’m waiting to hear from my regular doctor about what kinds of tests we should run, particularly about the blood being where there shouldn’t be any blood. Really I don’t like second-guessing myself and it makes me feel so much more out-of-sorts than most of my usual symptoms. I’ve backed down to 25 mg of Seroquel in the meantime and the side effects have gotten slightly less horrendous, I just wish I had compiled enough data to know if it is effecting my mood or not yet.

Clearly there is a good chance the “antipsychotic” qualities aren’t working, I just don’t know if I should be concerned if the medication might be contributing to psychosis (as opposed to simply not suppressing it). I know antipsychotics shouldn’t trigger psychosis but I’ve been in several situations where the medication I was on triggered or exacerbated my symptoms instead of helping quell them (i.e. benzodiazepines increasing my anxiety). To be fair, my stress level is about quadruple the level it was a month ago, which probably has more weight in this situation.

I don’t quite know why I tend to think things are bound to work out or be straightforward when it comes to trying new medications, especially after the 13 times it hasn’t. Does that make me naive or resilient?

Probably a bit of both.

Summer; Seattle’s Hypomania

Happy Monday! The first thing I want to mention is that things have gotten rather stressful in the span of a matter of the last couple weeks, and that is partially why I have had such a hard time updating (and I’m thinking about last week specifically). Of course, I know you’ve all been there!

It is kind of funny to me how the seasons in Seattle can be such a catalyst for the way bipolar disorder operates for me and many of the people I know. The majority of the year is spent in darkness here and (no surprise) rain, which means there is a big chunk of time spent in depression.

As soon as the summer hits (transitioning from June to July, August, and September) everyone is out in full force. Events are scheduled for every weekend day (and some week days) until the better part of September so that we can fully take advantage of the nice weather.

(Fully take advantage of the nice weather, or fully take advantage of the increased mood and energy that comes with sunshine? Eh? Eh?)

I’m sure it is a little of both.

So my schedule has jumped from occupying myself as much as possible to get through the winter to an explosion of parties, parades, festivals, weddings, and you name it. Frankly, if I were to coin any place as one that operates similarly to bipolar disorder (or at least bipolar type 2) it would be here.

You would think this system would be perfect for me, and in a sense when I was younger it was. Having a chance to “make up time” in the summer for everything I lost during the winter is often how I operate when blessed with a stretch of hypomania after a long depression.

These days though, my cycling is ten times as fast. I can have four (or more) episodes or mood shifts in a month. I don’t find myself blessed with the energy and great mood needed to take on an event a day anymore, instead my mood is coming at me more like an unpredictable jazz riff. It can make the weather and “fun” a bit bittersweet, because I can’t saddle it and ride it through the fall.

Likewise, depression is a bit different for me in the summer, and the sense of being overwhelmed is often met with desperation that is fueled by wanting desperately to be around people (hello codependency) instead of isolation.

At this point? I am definitely overwhelmed, but I don’t plan on reading too much into it; that is a feeling that could change any second. I’m also trying not to look directly into the (completely scribbled) calendar and opting to attempt to take things one day at a time.

Goodbye rain, hello world!

Jagged little pill: has the recovery narrative gone too far?

There has been a post floating around right now that sheds a little light on something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Since I couldn’t have said it better myself, I’m pleased to pass this one on. Thanks!

purplepersuasion

I feel that in writing this post, which has been brewing for a long time, I am saying something that some might see as controversial. So let me start by making something clear. This post is not intended to criticise the work of the big charities – I am a proud member of Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and have undertaken both paid and voluntary work for both organisations. I have also volunteered for Time to Change and made a TTC pledge at last year’s Mind Media Awards. A huge amount of good work is being done on a daily basis to challenge public perceptions of mental health and to normalise discussions of the topic. Time to Change is entirely right to highlight just how peculiar it is that mental health stigma continues to loom so large given that a quarter of the population is thought experience some form of…

View original post 1,074 more words

An Expert’s Insight About Avoiding Mass Shootings

Hey folks! Frankly, I’m a little worn out when it comes to all the talk regarding mental health and violence, but I’ve just found a great article with information from Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine. This man is something of an expert when it comes to researching mental health and violence, and I appreciate the information he was willing to share in this article!

I feel like there have been so many theories and ideas about this subject tossed around (really this seems to be a subject everyone has an opinion about) that I find it refreshing to see a point of view from someone who is well educated, understands many aspects about mental health, and is a leader in their field.

Having experienced a mass shooting recently down the street from my apartment here in Seattle I think it is important that we (as a mental health community) are aware of what our individual states and country as a whole plan to do in response to these acts of violence. There is a good chance the changes made will impact us (via healthcare or laws, etc.) as members of the mental health community first (violent or not), and probably as citizens second. I know it can be tough to stay informed with such a raging debate going on, and that’s why I wanted to share this particular piece with you.

You can find the article here, it is worth checking out!

Thanks!

 

Can’t Stop a Moving Train

About a year and a half ago a bipolar mixed episode with psychosis and delusions wreaked havoc on my career in the fashion industry. My paranoia spread through the company until it got a grasp on the HR department and sent everyone reeling and investigating one another. It wasn’t until I pulled myself from work (for fear of hurting myself or someone else) and spent over a month in depression before I could see the delusions for what they had really been.

At the time I was extremely frustrated. This sort of thing has happened to me fairly regularly while working, I’ve never been able to hold a job for much longer than a year. My entire healthcare team (my psychiatrist, therapist, etc.) suggested I stop working because the stress of it was potentially triggering episodes far worse than I would normally experience.

I remember falling into this daydream-like state, wondering if I could eliminate all stress from my life (and primarily stress due to working) if things would quiet down. If the episodes would minimize, and I could have a stable-ish (albeit slightly boring) life by simply doing nothing at all.

Seems like a simple enough theory, doesn’t it? Remove all triggers and there is no reason for an episode to happen. I don’t know why I believed a move like this would work; I had seen plenty of people on SSDI at support groups who seemed totally out of control all the time (and they weren’t working either!).

My therapist at the time seemed to believe this would “work” (lessen my general episodes) because she, unlike me, believed all episodes had to be triggered by something. I tried to explain to her that wasn’t how it worked, and that episodes of bipolar disorder often seem to come and go as they please, but we were both too hopeful to pay much mind.

A few months ago I was sitting with her, now over a year since we put this plan into action. It was right around the time after my hearing (February) where I was significantly depressed. After all of the time I had put into applying and waiting for an SSDI decision I sat down in front of her and she said to me,

“You know what I think would help you? Working.”

Completely exasperated, I slapped my hand to my forehead and sighed. We had come full circle. Needless to say, my desire to get a new therapist (I start with someone new tomorrow) had been growing for quite some time.

As it turns out, you can’t just wave your hands and expect to stop a moving train. True, going without working is generally one of the things I attribute to not having been hospitalized lately, but it has honestly (at times) been just as stressful as working would be (with a much lower income).

Last week I managed two or three days of stability in a row, and I found myself thinking how great it would be to start working again, to meet new people, to have a task, and to have a little (as opposed to no) money. I’ve been here before though, I know this charade. I know that when I feel stable I generally feel like I can take on the world without any problems, and the truth of what happens when I do gets pushed to the background.

To top it off, even if I wanted to work (I say “work” but realistically mean roughly 10 hours a week) right now, there are some significant roadblocks. Some, like my social security disability application, I put there myself. I still haven’t received an answer after my hearing in front of the judge in February. My attorney has suggested that working (even 5 hours a week) will often return a negative reply from the government, because working 5 hours a week (and I kid you not) somehow suggests I could potentially work 40.

You can believe that if I could work 40 hours a week without becoming totally delusional, homicidal, and suicidal I would be doing it. I have always been an overachiever, and I’ve had several good positions at some very noteworthy companies (making sometimes incredible amounts of money). Why would I ever stop if I could handle it? Why would I ever give that up to sit in the dark alone, teaching myself to make a proper cream sauce for lack of anything better to do?

Honestly, I also found it a bit of a slap in the face when I met with my social security judge and the “vocational expert” for my hearing suggested I become a hotel maid, or a bottle-capper, or a mail-room clerk (because those jobs couldn’t possibly exacerbate bipolar disorder!). It felt rather humiliating that these “experts” were so quick to throw out the degree that I earned (and am still paying for) and my intelligence or goals or interests, simply because I have a mental illness. My attorney assured them that no matter what job, I am not capable of maintaining it (in my current, still unstable state) which I appreciated, though I still left feeling sour.

The other roadblock is the train itself. I am still looking for ways to help reduce my symptoms of bipolar disorder, and without some kind of useful treatment I am likely to become very volatile very quickly in the workplace. I like to believe (especially when I am feeling good or stable) that I am in control. After 10+ years under that delusion, I understand that there is a lot more to it. It appears that the more stress I experience, the less control I seem to have over myself. While I have been working hard to combat this truth with practically anything I can find, I am still doing so in an environment with the least amount of stress possible.

I’ve had a lot running through my mind. Frankly, I don’t know exactly where I am going to go next, and there are still many things up in the air (my SSDI decision, what my attorney will suggest to do next if it is a “no”, etc.). Right now I am putting all my attention on moving, because if there is one thing I want to get right… that one is it.