Saturday, October 26, 2013


So it's been like 2.5 months since my last post. Sorry! I guess things got a little crazier than I thought. I started my fall classes at the end of August, and I was training all the new IT workers, so my schedule was a bit nuts. I thought it would get better, but it's just now easing up. Geez! I can't wait for winter break...

My new counselor (the one at the church counseling center) is awesome. I've been seeing her for while now, and I still really like her. I haven't self-harmed in 2 months! It's a struggle, but I'm working on it. The downside is that I've been emotionally eating more often, since I can't self-harm. Grr. I'm hoping that everything will calm down soon.

I started my new internship at the beginning of September. I'm at a community mental health agency in rural Missouri. And I started seeing clients!! I have 5 clients for individuals counseling right now. Unfortunately, most of them want appointments every two weeks, so I only have about 2 clients per week right now. I'm hoping that I can build my caseload more and have more clients soon! I know that I am getting a new client this week; she's being transferred from her case manager because she's having significant issues.

Here are the issues that my clients have:

  • Client 1: Schizoaffective disorder and alcohol abuse
  • Client 2: Bipolar 1 disorder and possible borderline personality disorder
  • Client 3: Depression (stemming from the recent death of her daughter)
  • Client 4: Depression with psychotic features (which has mostly subsided, due to great medication)
  • Client 5: Severe depression, very frequent suicidal ideation, self-harm
  • Possible client 6: Depression, serious self-harm, possible suicidality, possible borderline personality disorder
Sounds fun, right? Actually, I'm enjoying it. They are all super interesting, especially Client 1. She has some really cool hallucinations and delusions. I was supposed to start Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Client 5 on Thursday, but she cancelled and didn't reschedule. I hope she comes back! I hope that I didn't scare her off.

My biggest issues right now are A) lack of confidence in my abilities as a counselor, and B) feeling strange about having the same issues as some of my clients. You have to admit, it would be a bit weird if  you are struggling with self-harm and your clients are also struggling. In fact, Client 5 has been abstaining from self-harm for longer than I have! She has 3 months and I only have 2 months. Now that's just weird.

But the good thing is that my clients are a big motivation to keep me from self-harming. Thinking about them stops me. I don't know how I would face them if I self-harmed and then had to do therapy with them. Talk about hypocritical!

Well, I'm sure I have more to say, but I'll say goodbye for now. I hope that I will be blogging more frequently in the future! :) LOVE YOU ALL!
Especially you, Peri!

Monday, August 12, 2013


(I took this picture in my friend's car. Pretty great, right?)

Again, sorry for the long hiatus. I can't seem to blog regularly, can I?

Picking up where I left off in my last post! I did end up quitting my last therapist. Ugg. So that's three therapists that I've tried and failed to click with. (Not including the two that I saw at Student Health! Am I missing something here?). But on a whim, (and with some encouragement from my psychiatrist and some friends), I started seeing another therapist. I was very skeptical of her, because she is part of a Christian counseling agency, which is based out of a church. The church is relatively conservative, and I was worried that I might be judged for my sexual orientation. But so far, things are good. I think I've seen her three or four times, and I really, really like her. Last week, she had me make a timeline of my life. Which was ridiculously intense but also very interesting. So we've been exploring that. I'm hopeful that this therapist will actually help me!

Changing the subject. So you guys know that I have migraines. Or you do now. Since starting the Wellbutrin in March, they have been getting more frequent, and I'm having about 2 per week now. Which is really annoying. I have a prescription for Imitrex, which stops them once they start. And I can usually catch them before they get too bad. But still, annoying. So I was at Student Health anyway and I asked my doctor if we could do anything to prevent my migraines. I remembered that when I was taking Lamictal in 2010/2011 for mood stabilization, that my migraines totally disappeared. Well, for some reason, he decided that Lamictal wasn't the right drug (even though it had worked in the past... so okay...) and he decided to start me on Topamax.
He didn't warn me about any side effects, and I figured that if anything was dangerous or scary, he would tell me. WRONG. The six days that I was taking Topamax, and the 5 days that it took to get it out of my system, were the worst days of my life. Seriously. Here are the side effects that I experienced (all of which are relatively common):

  • Fatigue (actually, constant exhaustion, no matter how much sleep I got)
  • Upset stomach, nausea, loss of appetite (resulting in me stopping eating for about a week; I'm just now eating again)
  • Weight loss (I lost a significant amount of weight in a very short period of time, without trying)
  • Taste changes (soda tasted like ass)
  • Feeling of pins and needles in my fingertips
  • Dry eyes
  • Extreme thirst (I am drinking SO MUCH WATER)
  • Slowed motor functioning/reaction time (which made driving a little scary)
  • Cognitive and memory impairments (forgetting words, forgetting how to spell, not being able to remember a sentence long enough to write it down, feeling stupid all the time)
  • Decreased attention span (aka Liz had temporary ADD)
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Generally feeling like I was losing my mind
I have never felt so terrible in my entire life. I thought I was going to die. I felt so unlike myself. It was like I was a totally different person for 1.5 weeks! Awful. Never take this drug, if you can avoid it. It is used for migraines, seizures, and mood stabilization. 

Other than that, things are okay. Life chugs on. I finished summer classes last week, and I start my fall classes on August 27th. Yay. I am so tired of school. 

I'll try to write more later. I worked 11 hours today and I have to work again at 8am tomorrow, so I should probably sleep. Love you all! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Welp, I have been MIA again for over a month. Oops!

So I did end up seeing another therapist. I found her through my insurances' websites and then also on the SAFE Alternatives website. I don't know if I like her. I'm about ready to give up on this therapy thing. I don't think that it's helping at all.

This month has been interesting. My depression has been a lot better, although I've struggled on and off with shame about the sexual assault and thoughts of self-harm. I did end up self-injuring last week, twice. Last week sucked, basically. I was super anxious the whole week. And here's why.

Back in March/April, I was super suicidal. I made a very specific plan for my suicide (place, method, time of day) and picked out a date. I made the date far in the future, because I was trying to give myself time to feel better. I figured, if the depression got better, then I wouldn't need the suicide date. Anyway, the date was July 1st. Yesterday. Obviously, I'm still alive. About a month after making the original plan, I caved and told a friend about it. Just telling her made me feel a lot better, and since my depression has improved a TON since then, I did not feel the need to die. Obviously. But the week leading up to July 1st was pretty stressful. I started thinking about suicide again and ended up self-harming. But it's over and I feel SO MUCH BETTER. So yay for being alive! Lol.

Moving on. I just finished my internship at the hospital. It was pretty amazing and I'm sad that it's over. I saw a ton of interesting people and interesting disorders. During the last half of the internship, I was able to see patients on my own, which was great. Especially this last month or two, I have had very little supervision, which was awesome! It made me feel like a real live social worker :) But then again, I'm glad it's over because there were some icky office politics that were getting ugly. This coworker and I got into several fights (she feels threatened by me, because I have more education than her and she is terrible at her job), and it just kept getting worse. So I'm glad that's over! Thank goodness.

That's about it! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


WARNING: This post is being written on the worst day of my period (aka the day that I go crazy and emotional everywhere). Beware. This could get ugly and does not represent my normal headspace.


Okay, now that that's out of my system.
I quit therapy.
And now I'm questioning everything. Maybe that was a bad idea? Maybe I should try to find a different therapist? Maybe I'm beyond help and should just quit while I'm ahead?

I quit therapy because I don't like my therapist. At all. She says condescending things and doesn't understand how I think AT ALL. I thought I could deal with it, but I can't. So I cancelled my appointment with her (that was scheduled for today). I think she'll get the hint that I'm quitting. And this is weird for me! I have never quit therapy before. I have never done this before. And now I feel suuuuuuper guilty. WHHHYYYYYYYY.

Part of me thinks that I'll be fine. I have survived without therapy before, and I don't think it was working anyway. And I can always do therapy on myself, since I'm in three different therapy classes this summer. But the other part of me thinks that this is terrible and I'm screwed. I mean, how can I maintain professional sanity when I haven't worked through my shit?
Things that still need work:
- Self esteem
- Not blaming myself for the sexual assault
- Not eating my feelings (aka ice cream and chocolate when I'm upset or bored)
- Not having the urge to self-harm

These are relatively significant things. Don't worry, I haven't self-harmed at all. I just think about it sometimes. Not as much as I used to think about it. But more than I am comfortable with. I need to be a mental health professional, dammit! I can't have mental health issues myself!

So I don't know. That's what's happening in my head right now. Basically I feel guilty and freaked out and I'm waiting for this to pass.

Love you guys :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I feel like I apologize at the beginning of every post... but here it is again: Sorry for being MIA for two months! Oops :)

Grad school has been crazy. The semester is ending and I only have one more final exam before I'm FREEEE :) Then my summer classes start in a month, haha. But it will be nice to have a month without classes, although I'm still doing my internship and working. This summer, I am taking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Treatment of Mental Disorders, and another class. The other class will be either Motivational Interviewing or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. But I haven't decided yet, so TBD.

My internship is still awesome. I love every minute of it. Sometimes, though, it makes me sad. These kids come into my office and are so young, and yet have so many issues already. It breaks my heart to hospitalize 5 year olds. And the teenagers are the saddest for me, especially the ones who self-injure and are suicidal. I got a really sad 14 year old girl last week, depressed and cutting her stomach every day. Usually, I can handle stuff like that. But to hear this beautiful girl tell me that she cuts herself because she feels ugly and wants her outside to match her inside... that was heartbreaking. Poor kid. Sometimes I wonder if I'm cut out for this profession. I hope that I am. I really hope that I can do this.

The depression has been getting better. We've been upping my dose of Wellbutrin steadily for the past two months, so I'm at 200 mg right now. The physical symptoms have been getting better (concentration, sleep, fatigue), and the mental symptoms are starting to improve. I spend less time being miserable and suicidal, and more time being able to function. I have happy days. So things are good. I did cut myself several times, but that was over a month ago, and it wasn't too bad.

Overall, I'm optimistic. Life is difficult, but this will pass. I am just looking forward to Wednesday night, when my final exam is over and I'm finally done with my first year of graduate school. YAY! It's going to be awesome.

Love you guys :) Thanks for sticking with me.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Hello all, sorry for being MIA for a month and a half. Life happens, you know?

About the last post: the group did end up coming to a decision, and half of the leaders (the ones who think that homosexuals shouldn't be in leadership) stepped down. The other half, including me, are the new leadership team and our group is now officially open and affirming to the LGBT community. We'll see how that goes.

The shitty part is that the whole process led to depression for me. It started as simple depression related to discrimination, but it didn't go away. So now I've been officially depressed for about 1.5 or 2 months. And it's probably the worst depression that I've ever had. It's terrible. Like, I've been depressed before, but nothing like this. I don't want to do ANYTHING. I don't care about school or work or life. I don't want to eat, which is new for me. I want to sleep all the time. Blaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.

It's gotten to the point where I just can't wait anymore. I don't have time to be depressed, because I'm in grad school! I have shit to do! Plus I'm doing an internship at a hospital, so I can't be depressed. It's weird for me to assess patients for depression and suicidal ideation, when I'm experiencing the same things.

As a result, I went to a psychiatrist about a week ago, and she prescribed Wellbutrin. I started taking it 5 days ago, but nothing has happened so far. Because of the bad reaction that I had to Lexapro (back in 2010), she started me on 1/3 of the regular dose, to hopefully avoid any negative side effects or hypomania. So far, no side effects, which I appreciate. But it will take 2-6 weeks for the full effects to kick in. I think she will probably raise the dose when I see her in a week. We'll see how that goes... I'll try to keep you updated.

I have been trying to stay positive. I got a gym membership for Christmas, and I've been going 2-4 times per week. Supposedly, exercise helps depression. I'm not feeling it, but maybe it will come. I have been trying not to isolate myself from people, but that's hard. I have also been battling with urges to cut myself. So far, no cutting. And I have pretty high confidence in my abilities to resist. So that's good.

Other than that, nothing much is new. School sucks. I hate my classes. I hate most of my professors. The only thing that I like is my internship. But that's a little weird, since my job is to assess people for suicidal ideation and other mental illness, and I am currently experiencing a mental illness myself. Of course, my supervisor and coworkers don't know that I'm depressed. But it's still a bit weird for me. However, I do love it. I've seen so many interesting people and so many disorders already. I assessed a person with trichotillomania on Thursday! I never thought I'd see that disorder in real life. So interesting :)

Have a good week everyone <3>

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So sick and tired.

I am so tired of all of this stuff. Can I please, dear God please, just be who I am and not be hated?

Let me start over. I am part of a Christian group at my grad school. In case you didn't know, I am a strong Christian and it is an extremely important part of my life. I am also gay. I like girls, and very occasionally boys. But since it is very rare that I will like a boy (as more than a friend), I find it easier to say that I'm gay. Plus people seem to hate bisexuals, but that's another story.

This Christian group that I'm part of, called JSJ, is currently embroiled in a discussion about its beliefs about homosexuality. We are semi-affiliated with an organization called Intervarsity, which does not allow homosexuals to be in leadership. But we are fully affiliated with our school, which is a school of social work, which does not allow its groups to discriminate against people because of their sexuality. Therefore, we are being forced to take a stance on homosexuality, and either affiliate with our school or with Intervarsity.

As the only homosexual member of the JSJ leadership team, this issue affects me personally. And I am freaking sick of it. Can't I just be who I am, and be a normal member of society, and not have to think about all of this? I hate it when controversy centers around me. This is horrible.

I can't really blame people for their beliefs. About two months ago, I believed that homosexuality was sinful as well, and I was trying to "repent of my sin." But I just couldn't do it, and I didn't think it was healthy or right for me. Obviously, I also have evidence from the Bible and other Christian theologians that suggests that I am not sinning by being gay. I don't take this decision lightly. So now I am trying to accept myself for who I am, but this is extremely difficult, since other people don't accept me. And NO, I am not going to stop being a Christian or believing in God, simply because some people aren't accepting of me. So don't even try that one on me. I just wanted to express my frustration with the whole thing, in this safe format.

So that's it. That's my main thing right now. I have also just started my second semester of grad school, which adds another layer of stress to my life.

Love you guys. Take care <3>