Monthly Archives: August 2013

A New Path

The last few days since I received my bipolar diagnosis have been stressful. Between working and adjusting to my new meds (still a work in progress) I’m also facing the ignorance and cruelty of people who do not understand that I do not choose to behave this way, it’s a part of my disorder.

Does that sound like a cop out? It might, but it’s the truth. People who lack empathy are toxic to me. It takes a lot more bravery and strength to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and show them mercy than it does to bully, belittle and chat with your friends about “that crazy girl” and “check out this post she wrote”. I’m bipolar, I’m not stupid. This type of garbage plays havoc with my already bewildered mind and emotions.

I’m making a huge effort to take care of myself. I’m trying to get my medication schedule figured out so I can be my best at work and keeping up with healthy eating. I’m still dedicating time each day to talk to Jesus, thank him for the good things I have. I am choosing to surround myself with positive people, positive messages and if something/someone does not support this, then that is being removed from my life.

I am happy to say that for as much negativity as I’ve faced in the past week, I’ve also received positive, loving support that far outweighs the bad. From co-workers to family to friends and internet people I’m finding a support I was scared I never would.  For that, I am so grateful.

To anyone who is in the same boat as me, hang in there. Don’t let the bastards grind you down, as the song says. You are more than the stigma, the names, the cyberbullying, all of it.

Image

Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: bipolar, bullying, healing, support, wellness

Testing Myself

Thursday morning, I had a bright flash of inspiration — why don’t I keep Lilbit at home with myself, and let everyone else in the family have a nice, child-free day? The husband concurred that it was a good idea, and we agreed that I’d do it tomorrow to enable my mother-in-law to have a completely empty house (my father-in-law works from home on Thursdays), because she’s awesome and deserves a nice break. Because I was so unstable until my diagnosis and treatment, and only really started feeling properly stable in the past few months, I figured this would be an excellent challenge to see how my mental state was coping.

Lilbit playing Sims 'like Mommy!'

Lilbit playing Sims ‘like Mommy!’

Friday dawned with me feeling flu-ish, which is perfect for staying at home. It’s not that great for child-wrangling, but I started to feel better as I consumed more caffeine and beverage. My husband headed straight for the office after breakfast, most happy at the petrol he was saving. I had decided to try and not have the television on much if I could help it, and instead put the radio on quietly. I asked Lilbit what she wanted to do, and she asked if she could play Sims on Daddy’s rarely-used desktop computer. I smiled; I adore her emulating me. And she’d already made a start by insisting on putting on her bathrobe for our ‘party’, as I was wearing mine until the cool of the morning had passed. I know, I know — some folks would roll their eyes at trading one screen for another, but I feel letting her poke at games helps her develop legit computing skills. I don’t want her to end up in her 20s like my sister, unable to match colours on the back of a computer tower (true story). She got to a point where she would yell at me if I tried to help (excellent), and instructed me to turn my attention back to my own computer(s).

Anyways, the things to note were that she was quite happy entertaining herself, that she wasn’t clingy in the slightest, and that we did play together in bits and bobs as she felt the need to socialize. We had a good time, and my mood held it together pretty darn well. I find that exciting — it’s one of those things that I consider indicative of me hitting ‘real girl’ status (not to diss on my mental illness, but rather, to embrace what I perceive as approaching a more neurotypical state). It means that I can try to do more to help my husband in wrangling her, and maybe even I’ll hit the point where I want to say… take her to the park and let him rest at home (gasp)! I’m taking it very slowly and cautiously — after all, I don’t want to screw it all up and end up triggering depression if I can help it.

It sounds like Lilbit and her daddy are back from shopping, so I’m going to go see what’s shaking. I hope that everyone is having a good weekend.

<3

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Waiting For The Emotions To Come

I do not know why, but I feel little to no emotion about this whole divorce experience, event, to-doing, whatever. …

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Something Great

Something great is at stake
Anticipating, it’s not too late
I’ve waited for so long
It is right, it can’t be wrong
I’m going after what I want
Mistakes they will not haunt
It’s something big, it’s a lot
I’m giving it all I’ve got
I pray that things will work in my favor
If not this one, another flavor
Either way I’m here to stay
I’ll choose my path as I may

Zurich’s Drive-In ‘Sex Boxes’ Off to a Modest Start

Reblogged from Traffick Alerts:

  • Click to visit the original post

Greeted by a press pack rather than prostitutes, the first customer to roll up to Switzerland's sex drive-in on opening night took one lap of the facility before making a hasty exit.

The second car, a family vehicle driven by a man in sunglasses under cloudy evening skies, broke down and needed jump starting in front of a host of photographers, sniggering into their cameras.

Read more… 552 more words

I ran across this and got so sad...it's like, here are these "cribs" like they had in ancient Rome, where nameless, faceless women are sold over and over and over. Are they voluntarily selling themselves in "sex boxes"? Why would they? What a bleak, sterile existence. Yes, as the article says, it might be better, safer than having sex with a strange man in the woods or a parking lot. Yes, I'm sure of that. But that kind of sex is always, always connected to drug addiction, pimping, trafficking, or all three. I'm ashamed of a country that can purport to legalize prostitution and then put women in boxes like packaged meat at the grocery store.

New beginnings

New beginnings begin
New endings end
There is no better time
So just get in line
This is how it is meant to be
Can’t you see?
There is nothing more
Pull your heart off the floor
It’s time to explore
All those negative emotions
They cause a commotion
But they are temporary
No need for them to be so scary
Find the good feelings
They’ll do the healing
Something great is about to happen
Feel it and know it
It’s your time to show it

Losing Your Sense of Self

A fellow blogger forwarded me an article published in April in the New York Times Magazine. The article was beautifully written by Linda Logan and details her 20 year journey living with bipolar. She does an excellent job of detailing the hell that it can be living with a mood disorder and the loss of self in the process. Her early years when she began understanding her depression resonates with me. I was confused as to what was happening and wondered why I was so strange and had a feeling of not belonging.

I don’t think there is a particular point at which I can say I became depressed. My illness was insidious, gradual and inexorable…

I shuddered as she described wanting to commit suicide. I too spent many hours playing the details of my plan over and over again in my head.  At one point it was probably the only coherent thing I could focus on.

…several nights a week, I drove to the reservoir near my home, sat under a tree and, as joggers and their dogs ran past, thought about ending it all. There was a gun shop on the way to my poetry group; I knew exactly where to go when the time came.

I feared the first time I was hospitalized. Once again, she had entered my brain and was writing my experience. Detailing the horrible period of trying and retrying meds to find the right cocktail. Many times the side effects were worse than the disease itself.

The moment the psych-unit doors locked behind me, I was stripped of my identity as wife, mother, teacher and writer and transformed into patient, room number and diagnosis.

My doctor used my first hospitalization as a so-called washout, a period during which he planned to take me off the medication I was on and introduce several drugs in several different combinations. The prospect of polypharmacy — taking many drugs at once — seemed foreboding. I read about Prozac’s giving some people entirely new personalities: happier, lighter, even buoyant. “Who are you going to turn me into?” I asked my doctor.

I was losing myself quickly, With each new day I laughed less, I had difficulty speaking, and, heaven forbid, someone try to have a conversation with me. I spoke in half sentences and then had to look at the people around me and ask what I was talking about. I was frightened and ashamed.  My illness was tearing down who I was.  I could tell people were concerned about me.  I was sure many pitied me.  Trying and retrying one medication after another only served to increase my lack of coherence. My husband, Maurice loved me unconditionally through it all, but even he has his limits. I remember the day when, in tears, he told me he missed me. I understood. I missed me too.

With time, and a good combination of meds, I began to put some aspects of my life back together.  Going to Depression and Bipolar Alliance (DBSA) meetings helped.  These are peer led groups.  Not 12 step programs, but still similar to A.A.  One person with a mood disorder helping another. Sharing ideas of overcoming obstacles, highlighting successes, and sometimes to be around a group of people who don’t make you feel embarrassed when you cry. 

Over the years, I’ve talked to clinicians about why the self is rarely mentioned in treating patients who suffer from mental illnesses that damage their sense of who they are. If anything, it seems that psychiatry is moving away from a model in which the self could be discussed. For many psychiatrists, mental disorders are medical problems to be treated with medications, and a patient’s crisis of self is not very likely to come up in a 15-minute session with a psychopharmacologist.

For many people with mental disorders, the transformation of the self is one of the most disturbing things about being ill. And their despair is heightened when doctors don’t engage with the issue, don’t ask about what parts of the self have vanished and don’t help figure out strategies to deal with that loss.

How do we change our current system?  I’m sorry, but I have no idea.  While most people I know see both a psychiatrist and a therapist, it’s still the psychiatrist who makes the decisions regarding medication.  15 minute psychiatrist visits is the norm nowadays.  What does a psychiatrist do in 15 minutes?  Not much.  Maybe 10 minutes of listening to how you’re doing and then filling out prescriptions.  Did the doctor listen to me? What will it be this month?  Will he increase my dosage?  Decrease it? Change it completely? Or leave it alone.  It’s easy to have your meds pull you into mania or into depression, when the goal overall is to maintain a balance.  And balance can come at a heavy price.  I may be “balanced” because I’m not manic or depressed, but the cost may be losing self.  Difficulty being who I think I am, or who I may have been.

I’m happy to say that things did get better for me. I may be taking 6 pills a day but apparently, for me, they are the right combination. I am able to carry on a conversation. And I love and can feel loved. Things aren’t perfect and not every day is filled with sunshine and lollipops, but I’m having more better days than bad days. I do have a sense of self and for that I am grateful. I think of the many months that tears would roll down my face and I’d ask, “Is this it? Is this as good as it gets?” Fortunately it did get better. There were days I thought I’d lost me forever, but I was wrong. It’s good to feel alive again. It’s good to be me.

Why Can’t Things Be Easier?!

I am not a person normally given to self-pity. I consider myself disciplined, and that said discipline helps keep me on an evener keel. Having said that, I’ve realized recently that perhaps, just perhaps, I’ve been trying to block out entire segments of emotion because it was the only way to cope. It occurred to me the other night when talking to a friend; this person wanted some advice on coping with a family member dealing with depression. I had to give it straight — you can’t really do much but be there, and yes, I know that is incredibly frustrating. I found myself feeling sad, which was kind of novel. I’ve been dealing with depression forever, but as we know — depression and sadness are not the same thing. That’s why I referred to it often as ‘chemically sad’ back in December when I was coming down off of my NaNoWriMo effort. Emotionally I didn’t feel sad, but my body felt kind of wonked out; I could taste the chemicals doing weird things, and all of that. So in that, feeling actual sadness in empathy for a friend without it risking triggering something one way or the other was really kind of neat. Not that I desire to feel sad, obviously, but it was a healthy emotional response to a situation that didn’t destroy me.

Still, I’m not to a point where I think I can actually trust my emotions to not shiv me. It was neat that I felt sadness for that little stretch of time, ’cause it’s counter-balanced against feeling stable. But I have to keep taking notes on my behaviors and actions because as said — can’t trust things. So that I want to do nothing but play Diablo III is probably not a good thing. I’m enjoying the crap out of it to the point of not even wanting to go out, which… hrm. Sounds like some bubbly avoidance to me. I did make myself go out, and I had a good time, but as the subject line says — why can’t things be easier?! Why can’t I just bumble around in ignorance doing my thing without worrying about ending up a basketcase?! As said, I don’t give into self-pity that often, but I’m definitely letting myself have a taste of it right now. *chuckles*

Mind, I don’t wish I was anything but what I am. I like me, warts, thorns and all. I believe that all parts of me are valid and important to who I am as a person, to include the fact that I am mentally ill. I probably wouldn’t be such a quirky philosophical individual if I didn’t have to endure the suffering it brings. They say that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, while I prefer to think of the line, ‘I give you your faults.‘ Thank you Mrs. Whatsit, I will take them.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to admit it would be nice to not have to think about it all. I’m still going to, obviously — I don’t want to end up at the bottom of the well again anytime soon if I can help it. So I guess this is me saying that it’s nice to be stable enough that I can feel I can make this complaint without triggering a depressive reaction, to take a moment to take a breath… and then re-shoulder the burden and keep on trekking down the road.

I hope this finds you all well.

<3

The post Why Can’t Things Be Easier?! appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Mental Cycle

10:10 pm, post Untethered entry.

I showered. Azazel is far from being lively but he did get up and stretch and move into the hallway. Maybe I am being too dramatic, saying he is dying. I think maybe I am simply because last time, with Castiel, he started showing little improvements and I was being a cheerleader…so it was double devastating when the little guy didn’t make it. And I am very attached to Zazel so maybe by assuming the worst I am hoping to fool the fates and get a good outcome?

I don’t know.

The only point of this second post is to show just how fast the cyclothymic shifts hit. I can’t say I blame the people who have been in my life and couldn’t deal with it. It is made ten times worse by withdrawal right now, but it’s the general idea. One minute I am coming apart, then I calm down, an hour from now I could be manic or back into a teary “fuck this” depression. It’s never static.

It is a mental cycle that never stops moving.

 


Untethered

I think I am losing my mind. I know I am losing my will to keep doing this living thing. It’s too hard, it’s too painful, and nothing I do is ever going to be right or amount to anything so what’s the point? I know it’s the fucked up brain chemicals talking but it feels pretty fucking real.

My cat came back and he is dying and there’s not a fucking thing I can do about it. And yes, I am a horrible person for being so selfish as to have a pet I can’t even afford to euthanize to put him at peace.

I also learned today that I am scum for getting food stamps (customer and cashier talking), oh, and single mothers are the reason kids turn out bad so the kids would be better off dead than raised by them.

The nausea is neverending. The 95 degree heat is not making it better. I am just flying off the handle over every tiny thing and now I am crying and I was having panic attacks and the brain zaps just never fucking stop, it’s like having a damn pacemaker deep in your brain that just randomly zaps you for no reason.

I am untethered, unglued, and I’m not even sure I should be loose right now. Part of me thinks I should be a damn looney bin.

It should not be this hard to come off an anti depressant, ffs, what the fuck is this? I thought Effexor was the worstl. I was beyond wrong. I seriously want to die right now, because everything just seems so futile. I need to regroup. I need to take a cool shower  take a xanax, and just calm the fuck down.

But if I calm down then all the bad thoughts get louder.

It’s so fucked up because prior to 4 pm I had had a decent day, sans brain zaps and nausea. Then those hellish girls showed up and my stress level skyrocketed and my mood went to shit. I can’t do a goddamn thing for my cat. I have buried too many damned cats this summer. And it upsets me more than when a family member dies.

I don’t understand life. What’s the whole fucking point to being born only to die? And why do some people get a long life and some people barely get a life at all and others find happiness then die the next day…I wish I had the faith to think it all serves a purposes but right now…

My soul is bleeding.

And scumbag brain says I am a useless piece of crap and I’d be doing my kid a favor if I died.

It would be easier to ignore if the world at large didn’t seem to agree.

This will pass, I know it will.

Just wondering if my sanity will be relatively in tact.

Next time, I’m just gonna shoot heroin. The withdrawal couldn’t be much worse and at least there’d be a high involved.

Kill

me

now.

**** Subject to change based on next mood swing