Daily Archives: June 6, 2013

You Know You’re At The End Of Your Rope When . . .

You know you’re at the end of your rope when . . . . . . your hard drive dies and you realize it’s the end of the world because without access to the internet you have no world. . . . you realize if one special person in your life dies you will have […]

My New Look

It was time to change the look of my blog. The old theme I had is very popular, but, I decided it was a bit too formal to fit my personality. I needed something that would look like me.

I love the ocean. I always have. My first date with Maurice was on the beach where we laid in the sand and talked for hours. The ocean also brings me solace. During the time When my doctors and I were trying to find the right meds, my bipolar was out of control. I was manic, then depressed, then manic, then depressed. Switching back and fourth in wild cycles. It was then that sitting on the beach with Maurice, watching the pelicans fly were the only times that my mind wasn’t racing. I was able to concentrate. I was able to have a coherent conversation.

I’ve lost 90 pounds since I started this blog. I give the beach much of the credit for that. When I was able I would walk along the strand for several hours nearly every day. These days my schedule is a little more full, but I try to have my beach walk two or three times a week.

So the change in layout brings the beauty and serenity of the beach to my blog. The picture of the lifeguard station on the beach, the picture of me standing on the cliffs above the ocean, the beach wood background all reflect the great joy in my life – the ocean. I hope you enjoy the new look as much as I do.

If you’d like to learn more about my love of the ocean, I wrote a series of posts in February that goes much more in depth about it. If you’re interested, you can find the first post of the series HERE.

The agony of realizing your meds no longer work

The denial and hope have faded away.

The Lamictal has stopped working, big time. Not even the dose increase seemed to make a dent.

I feel out of control. My brain is sending all these wrong messages, like a glitch in the software. Very much like Windows ME, my operating system (bipolar brain) keeps crashing. Not a stable operating system.

So it’s back on the medi go round. I see the shrink the 13th. She mentioned Tegretol but it requires blood work and all that,too, so why not just go with the devil I know and ask for Lithium. It IS the premiere mood stabilizer. Maybe I could get a couple of years of stability out of it.

I am so sick of this. At the risk of sounding like a whiny bitch, I keep asking WHY ME? Why can’t I be one of the lucky ones who takes a med, it works, and life goes on? Why must my life be in a constant state of disarray because every single med stops working after a year or two? WHY ME? I didn’t ask for this, I hate dealing with this every single day. This bipolar shit messes with every aspect of my life.

At least the Cymbalta and Xanax work.

Though with my brain so out of control and feeding misinformation, it’s not a big consolation prize.

R has started to see me differently. “I thought you’d changed.”

Hmmm. I have changed.

The bipolar has not.

And why that’s my fault, I will never know. Why mental illness is  viewed as some sort of character defect is another mystery. How can otherwise intelligent people be so ignorant?

I haven’t showered in two days. My brain keeps telling me it doesn’t matter, because I am such a loser and no one likes me anyway.

I try to counter with the fact that I like showers.

Brain doesn’t care ‘cos it is a scumbag.

I don’t want to go to the shop today. Technically, I wasn’t asked, so I don’t feel obligated to show up.

Maybe his intern is there and I won’t even be a fleeting thought.

Or will that hurt my feelings?

I get what I want and my brain starts sending all these signals that tell me to be upset when in fact, I’m relieved. What the hell is that? A year ago, I was nice and level, mood swing wise.

Now I am like a livewire, and I can feel the build up of some emotional storm that is going to turn into a tornado. It’s not if I blow up, with the Lamictal no longer regulating, it’s a matter of when.

My kid is manipulating me right now. It is making the fever of angry roll up under my skin. She already fed a leftover pork chop to the cat. She knows when mommy is in shit shape and that’s her time to poke the bear. I am trying to keep calm.

But I am being trolled by so many people right now, and my Lamictal does shit, and while I am not depressed, I am miserable. Because my thoughts are a clusterfuck and I can hear the time bomb ticking inside my head. Telling me to be hurt, telling me to be angry, telling me to lash out because everyone is so mean.

God, it sounds so petty.

But it’s my life at this moment.


Irrational

I have a three and a half year old daughter; I tend to bring her up once in awhile. But what I probably don’t say as often is how painfully irrational and hard-headed kids that age are. Oh, she’s sweet and hilarious… then she’s nuclear meltdown because they’re the wrong shoes (even if they’re the ones she asked for), or we dare to hurry her along, or won’t ‘go away’ when we’re stopping her from doing something dangerous. No kiddo, Mommy isn’t going to go away and turn around when you’re trying to wriggle out of your car seat. :p

Still, even though it frustrates me to the spiking hell, I totally commiserate with that level of brain hell. I’ve always tried to apply logic as a tool to get me through each day, but sometimes, the brain just refuses to cooperate (as most of us know). There is no reason, there is no why, and while sometimes one can pin down one flailing tentacle of illogic with reason and understanding, that doesn’t change the fact that the rest of the brain-octopus is rampaging and squirting everything that moves with inky muhahah. Hrmm, maybe that’s why OCD is so highly co-morbid with bipolar — stupid unclean, something something.

I’m minded of a quote I saw yesterday. It’s from Stephen Fry and is specifically on the subject of suicide in bipolar, but it’s relevant across the board:

“There is no ‘why’, it’s not the right question. There’s no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn’t take their own life,” he said.’

Makes sense to me — there’s a lot of no reason in both bipolar and three year olds. If it were as easy as reasoning, I think most of us would be the happiest folk in the world. But oh well, nevermind — I’ll keep doing my best, y’all will keep doing your best, and maybe my kiddo will eventually be less of a pain in the ass. Wait, in 15 or more years you say to that last one? D’oh! *giggles*

Anyways, hope everyone is doing well.

<3

The post Irrational appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Living for You

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned how my inspiration for getting help was my brother. Truthfully, he was my primary motivation for staying alive at that time. I wanted today’s post to offer an update, as well as to provide an opportunity to talk about the positives and negatives of living for yourself vs living for someone else.
When my mood was at its worst, when my thoughts were the scariest, I was not capable of believing in myself. Honestly, I didn’t believe that I was worth it. I didn’t value myself as a person; I thought I was too damaged and weak. My brother gave me purpose. Staying alive for him, I thought, was more noble than staying alive for myself. I am proof that in times of dire need, we can temporarily sustain ourselves by living for others.
Although much was remedied during my hospitalization, I still had to work towards achieving wellness once I got home. Thoughts of self harm still crept up. I avoided hurting myself, however, by promising my boyfriend that I wouldn’t do anything. I kept myself safe for him – not myself. This wasn’t a problem until our relationship ended. Who would I not cut for now? Lacking answers, I made a painful mistake.
This past week, I’ve noticed a change. I see the reminder of what I did, and I’m confused and a little embarrassed. Because I know that I deserve better. I deserve to not hurt myself.
***
I’ve always been a “people pleaser.” We talk about this in therapy pretty often. I overextend myself by refusing to say no and I sacrifice my own comfort for others’. It sounds noble, but it’s really just crummy. Part of being a people pleaser has involved me valuing others more than I value myself. This ties into my feelings of not wanting to live for myself. Living for yourself requires you to be a little selfish sometimes and to limit how much you try to fulfill others’ expectations.
Today, I tried to live for myself. I didn’t shave my legs to go to a scholarship luncheon because I just didn’t want to and no one there should be looking at my legs that closely anyway. I went to therapy. I went to yoga. I helped my brother with math not because I owe him, but because I love him. Today, I feel worth it.
Living for yourself is not about being a pretentious poop. It’s about recognizing, as my yoga instructor would say, the divinity within yourself. That divinity is just something that you recognize that is more powerful than you are. It can be beauty, art, music, science, service, friendship, family, or anything else that moves you. Just know that a little part of that lives in your heart, and because of it, you are stronger. Recognize what makes you divine.
***
I confess that part of my motivation for telling you about my recent regression is to keep myself accountable. I recognize that I am a fallible human being, and that this is just one of the many mistakes I will make in my lifetime. I think that even though I made this mistake, I did the right thing by telling my mom and therapist and recommitting to my desire to have a safe, healthy life for me.

Back on board the mood swing express

I started the day out feeling lucid, solid, everything seemed clear and stable, my thoughts weren’t at warp speed, everything was making sense. I had a decent session with the counselor, felt pretty damn good. Then we ate and I got stomach pains and the cramps and backache started back up…

Then toward afternoon my mood severely crashed. Like a ten car pile up. To make it worse, R’s eldest daughter showed up to “organize” and chastise us for not doing it because the place “looks like a junk garage sale.” She was not invited, her organizational skills were not requested, but there she was, like she owns the place and R, of course, being the jellyfish he is, just caved in spite of his own protests.

When it comes to her, we will call her Ursula because she reminds me of a stern bossy German woman…Well, I have some serious issues with her. She has a master’s degree in psychology therefore she thinks she knows everything. She’s under the impression that mental disorders are little more than choices we make. Which has been my primary problem with psychologists all along. Saying mental disorders are simply bad behavior is ignorant beyond words.

She is more opinionated than I am, which takes some doing, and she has just enough of an overblown ego to  buy into her opinions being the law of human kind. Mental illness doesn’t exist. The ONLY mental illness she gives credence to is what she calls “an adjustment disorder” after having her daughter last year, in which she took an SSRI. Most commonly called post partum depression. But I guess calling it an adjustment disorder caused by hormone fluctuations somehow validates her. She has openly disparaged people with bipolar disorder in front of me. For someone with a degree in psychology, she has zero belief in the very field she has entered beyond behavior modification and convincing everyone that everything is a choice they made. Got hit by a car? You chose to walk out the front door. Murdered by an axe wielding psycho? Again, your fault because you made the choice to leave the house. I am not joking. She really views things this way.

So when she comes around…I am very uncomfortable. She reminds me so much of her evil mother,it’s not funny. In fact, I’d almost rather visit with her evil mom, because she’s just a nasty human being. Ursula is not a bad person, but she is so stuck in her beliefs and that she is right, I find her a dangerous person. Especially if she’s going to “treat” patients with mental disorders. She is judgmental to nth degree, and not nice about it. She made so many references to poor people being low class today, I almost felt like it was all directed at me, because ya know, I am poor. She was singing the praises of her stepmom because “she’s done wonders for the house, I can’t believe anyone could have scratched up fraying carpet and not be bothered by it, that’s pathetic.”

(As I look on my stained threadbare carpet I have covered with rugs because it looks so bad and yet, what can I do about it? Oh, right, I chose to be poor, my bad.)

Then came more snark delivered with a smile which of course her father was oblivious to. She actually asked me why I was there if she was doing all of this stuff. I told her flat out “I tried but I gave up, this is his man cave and I’m not fucking with it.”

So I got a lecture about how cleaning is her coping mechanism and it makes her feel good to be productive.

Well, giving someone their own space when nothing in their life is theirs anymore is my coping mechanism.

I added that I told her father I didn’t need to be there all the time, and she said, “But you made the choice to be here.” And all I can think is, my god, this woman is the biggest bitch beast since my mother! She made a comment about her kid’s pediatrician and I said, “Oh, I love her, she’s great with my kid!” And that started a tirade on how Ursual “hates that fucking bitch, she told me my kid is fat, she’s a bitch, my kid is pretty and she’s ugly!” (Sound like junior high school logic to anyone else?) For fuck’s sake, I had two doctors tell me my kid was too plump as a baby and it pissed me off but ya know what? It’s not worth getting that bent and condemning a person. Doctors are under a lot of pressure, especially with children, to preach about getting them into the neat little chart dictating what they should weigh, by insurance companies and the like. Ursula said this doctor is also fake nice, lies to your face, and condescends. The irony is lost on her, though. Maybe her mirrors are broken. She made the choice not to take a long hard look at herself and her own behavior. Hypocrite.

Then she went uber critical on R because he is trying to grow his hair out and she called him “Ma’am.” (Which he and I had discussed earlier, his wife thinks he is avoiding a haircut because I like his long hair, but the man had long hair long before he ever met me, so I don’t see what I have to do with it, it’s his hair, I don’t know why any of us should have a vote.)

As she was leaving, she “informed” R he was getting an intern from some sort of electronics tech school, a friend of hers, so he’d have actual help. And he said, “Okay, we’ll see if he’s worth his salt.”

And I damn near burst into tears because, yeah, I said get the intern, this is good, I can break away, but my god, could he not have fucking told me himself? He claims he wasn’t told, she just sprung it on him, but I know he’s a liar. He’d lie and say black is blue if it keeps the fucking peace and saves him grief.

He promised he won’t get rid of me entirely and will still help when I need things.

From there, it was a battle of tears and anger and feeling like I had a knife planted in my back. I took my picture of Spook down and put it in my purse. Because while I wanted to cut back, this feels like being tossed out, and not even by him, but by his daughter. And he won’t speak up, he’ll just say something like, “Well,you can still pop in, what Ursula doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

I have been hurled under the bus. I know it. And while in all honesty most of me is actually relieved, the fact that he couldn’t even tell me the intern was being arranged and all…That makes me furious. I do not deal well with surprises, it just knocked me on my ass to find out from someone who’s not even involved in the day to day shit of that place. And it got the sucky tear ducts flaring. So I went quiet, almost silent, and just battled my way through, living for the moment I could escape. I have no reason to go back. I won’t be waiting for the bus to run over me with all its wheels. If he had just told me, given me a heads up…The lack of respect this man has for me is mind boggling. Yet he is  surrounded by his daughter and wife who don’t seem to like anything about him and won’t let him decide when he can have a cigarette, and I’m annoying because I have a dark view of the world.

I need to run screaming into the night and thank Ursula for freeing me from that depressing prison of betrayal.

Once I got home, the anger and tears subsided eventually.

My back still hurts.

I am in a weird mindspace. But the point is, I got out of there and the mindspace shifted. I think the situation is toxic.

Yet sadly if he does want me to come back, I will do it. Because  he buys my cigarettes and I think nicotine withdrawal might just be worse than dealing with all the treachery. One day I will want to quit smoking, though, and then I will throw him under the bus.

quid

pro

quo.

Now..Back to my Jonathan Kellerman book. Murder is less depressing than some aspects of my life right now.

And my mind is made up, I am DEFINITELY telling the shrink I want back on Lithium.

Dead inside but stable beats the hell out of every emotion being a goddamn ticking bomb on an out of control roller coaster.

I am so tired. Being bipolar is like having a 666 tattooed on my forehead.