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.

Work It Wednesday…On Thursday

I missed posting yesterday because I played a computer game with my daughter instead. I feel the time was well spent.

So my goals for last week were:

1. Workout 20 minutes a day.

2. Take breaks from my computer every hour.

3. Keep to a budget of $50.

How’d I do? Eh.

1. Exercise has been hit and miss, but it used to be nonexistent. It may not be perfection, but it’s progress.

2. I’m not finding it as annoying to walk away from my computer as I thought I would. I move around for five minutes, get my heart rate up, then go right back to wasting my life.

3.I was not good at sticking to my budget. I used my card while mentally tracking my spending. Turns out I’m a big, fat liar. This week I’m pulling $50 cash out my account, leaving no wiggle room. When it’s gone, I’m done.

I’m going to stick with it. I didn’t do as well as I told myself I would, yet I did something which is a huge improvement over doing nothing. I’m not going to allow my innate perfectionism to ruin my progress. 

For this week I want to work on building the habit of drinking a smoothie everyday. Sounds easy, but it’s not because these smoothies suck. Basically I take random fruits and veggies, toss them in the blender, and drink whatever comes out. Last night I made one with 1.5 limes, half an apple, half a pear, and 1 whole large beet. It was like drinking a cup of dirt. Look at all the fruit and veggie servings I got though. It took me two minutes to make it and a minute to drink it. It’s especially worth it since I’m not going to cook and eat things like beets (gross!). I just have to remember to do it every day.

My depression is still pretty thick. I thought I was doing a fairly good job of functioning until I complained to a friend that I didn’t want to go to therapy today. She got a concerned look on her face and told me that I’ve been feeling bad this week and I need to go. So much for concealing my symptoms.

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.

Work It Wednesday

I have been feeling like complete crap. I’m dealing with the kind of depression that makes you feel like you’re stuck in tar. It hurts to do anything. I took an FMLA day on Monday and laid on the couch for hours, crying my eyes out. I literally could not stop the tears. I even fantasized about various ways of offing myself (it’s so hard to get the right balance of it being tolerable, not gruesome, and foolproof). I’m just tired of feeling terrible all the time.

That said, I did something today that makes me feel pretty good about myself. A couple hours ago lethargy got the best of me. I laid down to take a nap and while laying there I started thinking about what a waste a nap is. I goaded myself into getting up and exercising to keep myself awake. It sucked, but I did it.

While on the treadmill I did a lot of thinking. Depressive episodes can come on without any provocation, but they won’t necessarily go away without a fight. I’m not really fighting, at least not much. I feel tired, weak, and powerless. So where can I find power? What do I feel worst about and what might I do to fix it? I realized that the two things that I’m beating myself up over the most are my weight and money.

I’m a backwards bipolar. I have better impulse control when I’m manic than I do when I’m depressed. Depression makes me feel like ‘fuck it’. If I want to eat an entire pizza, I’ll eat an entire pizza. If I want to spend money on pointless stuff, I’ll spend money. What does it matter? Life sucks anyway. As a result, I’ve gained nearly 50 pounds in slightly less than a year and my bank account is running considerably lower than normal. I’ve decided that this is where I’ll start.

In my career I’ve heard ‘plan your work and work your plan’ so many times it kinda makes me throw up in my mouth when someone says it. However, the idea behind it is correct. Thus I am instating Work It Wednesdays. I’m going to give myself tiny, little, baby-step goals to work on through the week, touchbase on Wednesday, and give myself something more to work on.

This week I’m giving myself 3 goals:

  1. Exercise — I have to spend at least 20 minutes on my treadmill daily. I can go as slow as I need to, but MUST go for 20 minutes. I’ll work on building the habit, then on increasing the stamina.
  2. Stand Up Breaks — I added an app called Take a Break to Chrome. It lets me know when I’ve been sitting on the computer for an hour. The goal is to get up at each reminder and move for at least 5 minutes. 
  3. Spending Cap — I’m giving myself a budget of $50 a week for personal spending. This includes lunches, snacks, and random junk I tend to pick up on my way home from work.

I feel inspired for the first time in a long time. If I can drag my lazy, depressed butt onto a treadmill when I feel this awful, I should be able to accomplish nearly anything.

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!