Greetings

So it’s been awhile. I’ve thought about blogging from time to time then I don’t. I don’t know why.  

I’m coming out of a really horrible mixed episode. Lots of ick and craziness. That wasn’t fun, but the upside is I found out that Buspar knocks it out fairly well. I’m happy about having that in my arsenal. It’s funny. I’ve had that med in my cabinet for a long time now. I refused to take it because, well, I hate taking meds. So to find out that I’ve suffered needlessly off and on since filling the script makes me feel dumb. I guess my psychiatrist knows what he’s doing.

I’ve lost 30 pounds which I’m stoked about. I want to lose 60 more. (Perhaps a little more even. I’ll figure that out when I get there.) I’m trying to prepare more meals from something-close-to scratch. Some weeks I do well at it, some weeks I don’t. My biggest obstacle is that I hate cooking. Like, HATE cooking. Tossing a frozen pizza in the oven is about all the cooking I can stand. But I’m trying. I did my grocery shopping today and bought a lot of produce. I have a big bowl of fruit sitting on the counter and enough veggies to make a salad everyday.

I think I’ve talked myself into starting college during the Spring semester. I just turned 39, so going back to school is daunting, but I can’t deal with my job/career anymore. I’ve never liked it. I decided it’s time to do something about it. The trick is figuring out what I want to do. I’m thinking either the mental health field or maybe get into the nonprofit sector. I want to do something that matters, something that makes me feel good.

So that’s where I am. I need to write more because it helps. It’s also incredibly helpful to me to read your blogs. That connection, that sense of not being alone is so therapeutic.

Hell is Other People

My sister-in-law is a drama queen. She’s one of those people who can’t understand why the world doesn’t stop and cater to her when she’s upset. (She is always upset. The day she stops being upset will be the day she dies.) She and I don’t get along, so I’m usually spared her never-ending theatrics. But me and my big blunt mouth had to make a (true!) statement in passing that set her off. She has been blowing up my phone for two days. It’s interesting to watch someone have a one-way argument all by themselves.

Her foolishness got me thinking about people taking their lives for granted and the duplicity of being bipolar. On the one hand, my head is a swirling jumbled mess of irrational emotions. On the other hand, I’m fairly chill about most life things. Currently I’m looking at the world through a depressed filter, making it a sad, lonely place to be. Yet, when I take a mental step back I have to admit that my life is pretty darn good. I’m sitting in a warm, dry house. In about eight minutes I’ll have gooey brownies fresh from the oven. No one I love has died today. It’s a good day.

It fascinates me that life can feel both awful and okay at the same time. I’m not content, yet I can’t really think of anything else I need/want (apart from a better functioning brain and maybe a job that makes me happy). Something in my head is telling me that I’m dreadfully sad, but my life doesn’t in any way warrant the sadness. I know this is a tidbit we’re all familiar with, but sometimes I’m just stricken by how bizarre the whole thing is.

Me and My Stupid Brain

We all know that one person who can turn everything to crap. That person who’s incapable of recognising anything good in life. That person who is depressing and exhausting to be around. That person who, if given the choice, you’d rather drive nails into your forehead than have to talk to. That person? I have become that person.

I don’t mean to be. I just can’t seem to adjust my attitude toward anything remotely positive. I hear myself tearing everything down, and I want to shut the hell up, but I don’t. My usual half-kidding cynicism has turned into full-blown hateful pessimism. I’m a total bummer.

My ability to function throughout my life has varied greatly. I have gone for years being quite high functioning. I’ve had years in which I couldn’t leave my house. The last decade has been fairly decent. Typical ups and downs (even some brutal ups and downs), but I’ve been able to function well enough to hold leadership positions at work and manage the everyday goings on of life. A couple years ago I hit a wall that I can’t seem to get around. I had to demote myself at work. I’ve had to withdraw and make my life very small in order to maintain what was left of my functionality. Yet, I’m still going from bad to worse.

The trouble is my coping skills are gone. My toolbox is empty. I’ve dropped everything that I know to be good for me, and I don’t know how to pick it back up.

I did decide to find a new therapist. I feel that I’ve gone as far as I can with my current one. She’s been great, but she doesn’t seem to understand where I am. She’s worked with me from back when I was quite capable of taking care of myself. She doesn’t get that I’m severely broken at this point. My thought processes, my functionality aren’t what they used to be. My symptoms are coming at me fast and fierce. I feel like I’m drowning. I need someone who can help me remember how to swim.

I did get on my treadmill yesterday for the first time in a couple months. I also did some yoga which felt amazing. (I have so much tension stored in my body it’s a wonder I can even move.) Today I was going to do it again, but opted for a nap instead (self-defeating behavior is my specialty).

So, all in all, I’m feeling pretty defeatist, like a lost cause. Everything I do takes so much effort that I feel completely wiped out all the time. Getting out of bed in the morning takes Herculean strength. I have to drag myself through my day. I’m at a loss for how to fix this, this shattering of my insides.

Figs

What a weird week it’s been. My mood has been all over the map. I’ve been a tad bit more delusional and paranoid. Hearing and seeing things I should neither hear nor see. And not sleeping well because of it. And not doing anything else well for that matter.

My depression swings quite low most days interrupted only by brief up(?) swings of anxious energy punctuated by intense existential crises. (Existential crises are the only thing I’m really good at, by the way.)

I’ve missed a day and half of work in the past two weeks. For me that’s terrible. I don’t miss work. I require a particular rhythm to my days. Part of that rhythm is allowing work to consume a chunk of my focus, as well as a chunk of the hours of my day because I seldom make good use of them when I’m left unattended (mentally, I run with scissors and don’t play well with myself, and on really bad days I just sit in the corner and eat glue). Unfortunately, work hasn’t just been consuming my time, it’s also been consuming me. It’s turning my brain to mush. My thought processes are jumbled and gooey. They don’t move properly, and when they do move, they don’t do it well. I randomly forget simple things, like how to do daily tasks or where I am (this kind of forgetfulness isn’t new, or med related. It’s purely bipolar overload.)

 I gave in and took a half dose of Latuda night before last. I quit taking it a couple months ago because it makes me feel ridiculously anxious first thing in the morning. Sure, there are anti-anxiety meds to combat this, but I don’t understand treating symptoms created by a cure I take to treat my symptoms. It brings to mind the old lady who swallowed a bird (how absurd) to catch the spider to catch the fly. If I don’t swallow the fly, the spider becomes unnecessary.

That said, the Latuda did make me feel more clear after the jitteriness wore off (ah, the fun of psych meds. They giveth and they taketh away.) I think I’ll keep taking that half dose. Not only might it help to keep me a little more together, it has the added benefit of my being able to tell my psychiatrist that I just cut my dose rather than stopped the med altogether without his knowledge.

Drugs & Pumpkin Pie

After putting it off for over a month, I finally called my psychiatrist to reschedule an appointment that I cancelled simply because I didn’t feel like going. I can’t get in until January 2nd now.

When I do finally see him he isn’t going to be happy with me. I abruptly (and without his permission) quit two meds that he insisted I remain on because he felt they needed more time to work. I (obviously) disagreed. I can’t even guess what his reaction, or the consequences might be. He’s a little fed up with me and my tendency toward noncompliance. I’ve never been fired from being someone’s patient, but I’ve heard of it happening. I suppose I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (US). A long time ago my husband and I decided that holidays should be enjoyed, not stressed over. We make our plans, but have a total que sera sera attitude about them. If something doesn’t work out, oh well. I have to work tonight and tomorrow night, so he’s doing all the cooking. (I absolutely adore not cooking. It’s one of my favorite things.) 

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I hope everyone has a lovely day!

The Elephant in My Brain

The fact that all text editors want to start you out with a font size of 11 is proof that the young rule the tech world. I mean, I’m not that old myself, but I’m old enough that my eyes look at 11 pt font and go, “Um, yeah, no.”

Anyway, on to the bipolary stuff.

It feels like a lot has happened this week (feels like.) But I’m pretty sure that most of it has been self-created scenarios bouncing around inside my head. It’s that bizarre depressive tendency to create my own stress, break my own heart, and (mentally) wreck my own life in general.

And the tears! Holy flipping cow, the tears. I’m crying over everything. I’ve cried because I wrote a date incorrectly. I’ve cried because I haven’t wanted to go to work (in all fairness, that might be a legitimate reason). I’ve cried because laundry is hard and overwhelming. I’ve cried over the melodramatic music corporate pipes into work (“I don’t know why I’m running away, Hoobastank, I don’t know!” *sobs*) I’ve even cried because I can’t stop crying. And I’m currently crying as I’m typing this. Why? I have no idea.

In meditation there is this idea of sitting like a mountain, of allowing the weather to come and to pass, of allowing yourself to simply be (infinitives should be split and often). I have the briefest of moments when I can take a breath, see the storm raging in my head, and withdraw slightly from it, but I can’t maintain the distance, and I can’t achieve it everytime I try. My mountain is just pissed and sad and lonely and eroded and doesn’t want to be a mountain anymore.

To make matters worse, paranoia has begun to creep about the fringes of my mind. For example, I was convinced that someone was in my backseat during my commute from work this morning (when I say “convinced” I mean I knew there wasn’t, but that didn’t stop me from believing it.) I had to turn on my interior light and investigate my backseat twice. It’s one thing when my brain wants to make me grief stricken for no apparent reason, it’s quite another when it wants to make me “crazy”.

I haven’t seen/called either my psychiatrist or my psychologist in a few weeks (I know, I know). People in my life keep encouraging me to do so, but I feel like what’s the point? My psychiatrist is going to be all, “Oh, let’s do more med stuff that doesn’t work.” My psychologist is going to ask,”How are you taking care of yourself? Eating right? Exercising?” Of course not! I’m vegging on the couch eating English truffles (chocolate from across the pond trumps American chocolate in every way). Do I care? Of course not! I’m depressed. If I gave two shits about myself I wouldn’t be depressed. But I can’t give even a single shit because I’m depressed. Yes, that sounds whiny and defeatist, and I’m ashamed of myself, but thankfully the hole that the shame has created is precisely the size of a truffle.

You know that COPD commercial where the guy has an elephant sitting on his chest? That’s how I feel. There is an elephant sized object sitting on my soul, bashing itself against my brain every second of every day, and I can’t make it stop. And I’m well aware that what I am doing isn’t working, and I can’t stop that either.

So this was very long and heavy on the self-sorrow, but it’s the current state of things. Yet, the sun will come out tomorrow, right? (Mostly because it’s been doing that for about 4.5 billion years regardless of my, or anyone else’s mood.)

Cheers and contentment to you.

An Evening with El Diablo

So what has prompted me on this snowy evening to start a new blog? I’m not sure. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is that I want from it. I mean, there are lots of things I want — world peace, firm thighs, for people to not drive slowly in the left lane — but none of which I can get from blogging.

I suppose the long and short of it is I’ve more volume of thought than I have of brain. I have bipolar disorder and things have grown gloomy and frenzied and vast inside my small skull. I stumble restlessly through a grief with no origin and seemingly no end. How helpful it might be to have a quiet place for the overflow to, well, flow.

I’ve been reading bipolar blogs and watching YouTube videos today, searching for some camaraderie and rightness. (Even if I can’t be properly right in normalcy it’s nice to know that there is some semblance of rightness in my abnormalcy.) And while the depths of the hell are unjust there is a rightness in the human ability to claw through the inferno. To rage against the dying of the light, so to speak. To daily do the impossible and to be made mighty by it. (High five if you get that reference.) There is strength in hearing the stories of brothers and sisters in arms.

I suppose that’s another purpose for this blog. To lend strength to another through the sharing of this, my life, for whatever it might or might not be worth.