Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

It’s Not Just Me (Knowing Bipolar Doesn’t Make it Easier)

As probably comes to no surprise, I have many friends who also have bipolar. I incidentally gathered them before my own personal diagnosis, but then? One can argue that like attracts like. Plus, people with bipolar tend to be smarter than the average bear, and I crave intelligent people to gabble with.

One thing that might not be apparent to neurotypical folk is that everyone’s bipolar (or other mental illnesses) are fairly unique unto themselves. Yes, we all had to match certain criterion to get our diagnoses, but that doesn’t mean we’re broken in the same way. For example — I knew something I did yesterday would likely trigger one of my friends. I didn’t do it to trigger her, but I accepted that my action very likely would cause a less than positive reaction. And it did — I woke up to an accusatory and angry message. I talked to her and reassured her of my love and my understanding of her particular brand of broken, and I think we’re squared back away now. But I only appreciate her flavour of broken because I’ve known her for over a decade and love her well, and have seen how her particular brand of broken and it’s massive self-sabotage component has hurt her in the past. I do my best to not assume anything about her because of her personal set of mental functions and dysfunctions — I just try to accept they are a part of her and that the best love I can show is accept that it might not make her behave in rational ways. I know my bipolar certainly does some scary-to-folks things!

Really though, I do my best to accept people as they come. I have any number of friends who people would class even harder to love than me (and deity, I know I can be a pain), but they’re worth it. They’re worth the effort to include in my life, warts thorns and all. That isn’t to degenerate on neurotypical folk at all, mind — they make as valuable as friends as anyone else. But they are slightly in less need of affirmation, or able to ask for it more easily, or any number of things that keep ‘em on a more positive balance sheet without serious effort. And as I do have to ration my spoons, I admit that I try to spend them where they are appreciated and needed more. My basic rule applies though — if someone makes the effort to come to me, I try to reciprocate and gladly give due attention. ‘Cause that’s manners!


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Why am I not asleep?

Maybe you’ve noticed that this is my third post today. I guess it’s technically not today anymore because it’s past midnight. If you follow my blog, you know that I rarely, if ever, post more than once a day. That’s because people don’t like to get bombarded with posts, and are less likely to read them, judging from my scientific sample size of one.

I’ve had my evening drug cocktail, and when it didn’t seem to be going anywhere I used my adjuvant, which is a secret recipe having to do with Ouzo and Absinthe. Yes, I am well aware that this is frowned upon by mainstream psychiatry, but I have never had much truck with mainstream anything and I don’t imagine I’ll start now.

I just took another milligram of Ativan, and I might just take another to keep it company. Tomorrow morning is trashed already, so why not do whatever it takes to waltz off to dreamland without accidentally killing myself? That would be so hard on the fam. I’ll be careful, I promise.

All of the above points clearly to hypomania. I’ve seen it coming for a couple of days. I’ve been unusually creative, played my fiddle until my bow hand gave out, finally started and finished the first painting in a series I’ve been visualizing for several years, and spent way, way more time on Facebook and Twitter than was good for me, even though it is for a good cause.

Hmm, I just gave myself an idea. Why not get out of bed after taking that second Ativan and play my fiddle until a) I fall asleep or b) the sun comes up? I will think about it for another ten minutes, and if I’m still wide awake, that’s what I’ll do. Hope you are all having a peaceful, blissful sleep…

Postscript: after rattling around the house aimlessly I realized with a flash of insight that I had forgotten to take my quetiapine, the antipsychotic that puts me to sleep like a hammer, usually. In fact I normally must take it by 9 pm if I am to make it out of bed by 10 am. It affects me like that. And my doctors get a kick out of the baby dose I take, 50 mg, but it’s what does the trick. So now I’ve taken it, we’ll see if it can head this train off at the pass, to mix some metaphors. Shaken, not stirred.

DPchallenge video: The Tarantula and the Tarantula Hawk Wasp

This is a really horrifying video, so if you’re arachnophobic or queasy in general, you might want to skip it.  I was strolling down my driveway in the Blue Ridge Mountains when I witnessed this drama.  A dramatically beautiful wasp with red and blue iridescent wings had been hanging around my shrubbery for a few days.  I am very glad now that I did not try to catch it, because its sting is said to be so painful that all you can do is lie there and scream, sort of like a taser.  So I’m walking down my driveway and I see this wasp doing sort of a victory dance, and next to it is….a TARANTULA????  In Western North Carolina?  Camouflaged like the forest floor???  About two inches long?? I pinched myself.  Ok.  I have seen this drama played out in New Mexico, where the tarantula was, you know, tarantula size, and the wasp was as big as the tarantula.  They fought together, the wasp dive-bombing the tarantula until it goaded the spider into standing up, exposing its abdomen, and the wasp swooped in and stung it in the abdomen.  In a matter of moments, the spider was paralyzed, and the wasp triumphantly hauled it off under a rock, where it–she, really, would lay her eggs in the paralyzed but still alive spider’s abdomen.  The eggs hatch into larvae, which live on the still-living spider’s juices until the spider dies and the newly-molted wasps emerge from its body.  Awful, huh?

I made the video on a Galaxy Tab which I happened to have in my hand when I saw it.  The trailer was made in iMovie.

Half life

Today was not horrible. (If you discount my utter disgust and fury with a female driver who nearly plowed into me at the gas station because she was staring straight ahead instead of looking where she was going.) I had to leave at one, so the time I was at the shop, I got shit done. Being productive and kept occupied felt good.

I think the whole half day thing works well for me. I told him maybe I need to start doing that, and he is not conducive, because, ya know, he’s super achiever and cannot grasp the concept that some of us are not. Some of us need to take baby steps to be at optimal performance. It was less taxing, I even was able to go out later in the day with Spook to pay the internet bill and get a few things. I had more energy, less depression, less anxiety.

Of course, it’s now 7 pm and in spite of the day’s full dose of tic-tac-o-pin, I am starting to stress. Anxiety creeps up on me like a ninja, I sometimes don’t see it coming. The job lady even called my damn dad’s house because I haven’t returned her call. It’s been two days, ffs. Which got my dad in a tizzy that maybe just maybe I found a job. I didn’t have the balls to tell him I am going to drop out of the program for awhile, see if I can become more stable, get my head on straight. He’s another one who doesn’t think mental shit is legitimate. Gotta suck it up, ya know.

I’ve spent 18 months sucking it up and trying to be what everyone thinks I should be. It’s kicking my ass.  I need to take a step back and do what is best for myself, and even the counselor seems to agree it’s not a bad idea in light of all the med problems of late.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this job program were actually designed to target jobs within the capabilities of someone with my conditions. It doesn’t though. Applying for jobs I may have experience doing but no stability in keeping and managing the stress of seems counter productive. I understand I am not educated, I have a spotty if not horrible work history. (My work was good, my stability was not, seems that matters more.) I don’t think taking a step back at this time is a sign of me giving up. I need to regroup and make sure my feet are under me. Working from home would be the idea thing, and yet, those jobs seem to be like magical unicorns. Mythical.

Blah, I will call her back when I work up the nerve and inclination. She talked to my counselor, she should get the hint. But noo, let’s harass the crazy person. That always makes it better, especially calling my emergency contact number and getting them all worked up that I might become gainfully employed. That pisses me off.

Now, it’s the day before check comes in and bills must be paid. I had a high power bill so I am stressing all that. My car is nearing the E mark. That makes me nervous. I have like 40 minutes talk time on my cell. That makes me nervous. I am doing the math of all that I need to pay versus what I need to get through the month on kid, pet, and household supplies…It makes my brain hurt.

I want to write but that blank page and blinking cursor taunt me. I suffer through each day, waiting for the chance to write…And by then I am so tapped out from dealing with all the stressors of reality, I have nothing left for my fiction, which is my life’s blood. If I didn’t write, I do believe I would die. Some of my worst depressions have followed a writer’s block. Pretty sure writer’s block was created by the devil. Who else could be so sadistic as to give you a talent yet render you unable to use it?

I was doing okay. Now I am not. Which is akin to what I told R earlier when I was being super productive and pleasant and helpful. Remember how I awesome I was today because tomorrow I may suck.

It is what it is.

Two notes of quirk.

I watched the first episode of season one of The Vampire Diaries simply because I have watched everything else. It was like Twilight, but with a little more balls. I’m still undecided because it does soo reek of Twilight. Which I still don’t think was as bad as everyone made it out to be. It was written for teenagers, ffs, were you expecting the great american novel? And in all fairness, I made it through the Twilight books. I couldn’t get two thirds through Catcher in The Rye before the boredom made me want to stab my eyeballs out with bbq skewers.

Quirk two…They were selling the shamrocks at the gas station for some cause, muscular dystrophy or something. I donated a dollar and wrote Wednesday 13 on it. The cashier burst into laughter when I was leaving. Not sure if it’s because he knows who Wednesday is (doubtful) or if it’s because everyone puts their kid’s name on it, instead of something like that, but whatever. I made someone laugh.

Goes to show I am a seriously devoted Wednesday 13 fan.

Now…to try and rid myself of the anxiety and this depressive mood that is coming in like a storm cloud that was not forecast. This usually entails just slithering off to bed but I think I am going to try to fight it off. I had a decent day. No need to let fucked up brain chemicals ruin it. Yet  they almost always do. If nothing else, maybe I can force myself into the shower. Not something I relish when it is cold out.

So…it was a half day of good before the crash.

Half life.

It’s a start, I guess.