Daily Archives: November 22, 2013

Hoist On My Own Petard

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It figures. Last time I wrote on here I did a post on re-framing my past and how I tried to look at my life differently so I could unhook the bad stuff and be OK with it all. So what happens? I run into an old friend I haven’t seen in 10 or 15 years and all of a sudden I’m thrown back into the times I knew her and what all happened then. She was around for much of the dysfunction I went thru when I had my breakdown in ’95 and before and after that. So she knows my story, or thought she did….

I thought I could just relate some of what happened to me back then, but I found myself slipping into the emotions of the past as all the pain and hurt I experienced when I fell apart back then came flooding back. I couldn’t shut it out and I wrote her things I wish I hadn’t just to vent some and get it out of my system. I couldn’t stop myself and I made a fool of myself, tho she kindly didn’t think so, so maybe I’m being too hard on myself. She thought so.

I was caught right in the middle of the situation I’d just written about where I had to look at things differently. Over the course of a few emails we worked out the issues thru discussion and I came to a feeling of acceptance, which was my goal, but it sure was hard to do. I talked in my last post like it was something that I’m good at doing, and I guess I am, but man it’s hard. I had to re-frame in progress and that’s not easy.

I found myself defending my actions instead of just trashing myself tho I did plenty of that too. You see I feel responsible for losing it and letting the Non-Profit Educational Learning Center I created in ’91 fall apart when I fell apart in ’95. It was a great community resource and I lost it and couldn’t keep it going. I thought I’d be doing it for the rest of my life but life intrudes in strange ways and changes things.

My emotions got pretty whacked by the experience back then and it’s clear I’ve still got some residual anger and bitterness about it all, even tho I can say I did a great job of it and helped a lot of people. But that flies out the window when I go down the low road to depression, which I did in the time it took me to write a single email. Wow.

That resonates with my earlier post on Cycling. What I did was do an Ultra Rapid Cycle in a couple of minutes. It really did happen that fast. I’ve had this happen hundreds of times but I still can’t get used to it very well. It’s so powerful. I feel overwhelmed by it and I hate feeling disempowered. I’m used to being in control, tho that’s a joke when you have Bipolar Disorder with rapid cycling and mixed states so often, even tho I’m a model of recovery in many ways.

I see my lesson here as once again being myself and accepting my foibles and crashes and not beating myself up for them. I do the best I can and it’s pretty good. I’m in a bit of a shaky state right now in that I’m both trying to figure out which of my supplements is making me sick, so I’m doing a trial of quitting them all and then adding one back at a time to see if I can see which ones hurt me. And I’m also cutting back on my morphine and that’s causing some withdrawal I think.

I take a huge dose of the stuff for my pain and it comes as 30 mg extended release tablets so I can’t cut them in half. So when I decided to go down on them I had to do it 30 mgs at a time which is a big dose. I went off the first 30 and I did OK for 2 weeks so I went on down another 30 and it’s been a week and 1/2 and I’ve been feeling it some. My pain is coming back and I feel lousy. So I have those extra bits of emotional triggers to add to my distress in the emails I did.

It’s all part of my life and I have to just go with the flow and do the best I can. It’d be so nice to cut my opiates and not be so dependent on them for my survival. But that may not be possible. I may have to take a large dose of them for years, as I have already. And of course I still take my Bipolar meds too – an Anti-psychotic called Abilify and some Klonopin and Buspar for anxiety. I can’t take antidepressants like most people with BP, as they can make us manic. Not good…

So what is this rambling post all about anyway? I guess I’m just reflecting on my own attempts to live my life without so many regrets for my actions and behaviors of the past, and acknowledging that sometimes I’m a bit too facile in thinking that I can fix things easily. I can’t. I made a lot of mistakes but I did a lot of good work too, and I have to remember that part and not put so much emphasis on the bad stuff.

It’s that simple but it’s so difficult to do. I keep saying that and I don’t mean it to sound like I’m a victim. I don’t feel like one. But I do feel  out of control often and that’s a challenge for anyone, especially when your mind is playing games with you and you hurt all the time.

But life is grand anyway. I have so many good things to be grateful for and I give thanks for them every day. I’m grateful for the people who read my blogs here and on other sites I belong to. I don’t get out as much as I’d like to and I intend to change that soon, but the web has been a salvation for me in terms of airing my opinions and feelings about my life.

This blog in particular is about my feeling Invisible in my Illnesses. That’s still my main theme here, and as you can see, all that I’ve just been thru was invisible to anyone else I didn’t let on to about it. I told my partner of course but he gets it pretty well and cuts me slack. I have to cut myself the slack tho. And I am. And here I feel like maybe I’m Visible for a change.

Do you see me?

Steve


Filed under: Bipolar, Chronic Intractable Pain, Depression, Health, Illness, Medications, Mental Health Tagged: Bipolar, chronic intractable pain, Invisible Illness, mental-health, recurrent depression

Thank you, Bobby Darin

I love telling stories, but lately I haven’t been able to recall any that I haven’t told before. Then, it dawned on me that I’ve shared bits and pieces about how Maurice and I met and formed our relationship, but I don’t think I’ve told it all in one clear and concise post.  If I have told this story before, you’ll have to forgive me, I’m telling it again because I like it.

Over ten years ago I ended a three year relationship.  It ended badly.  No, it ended really, really badly.  No, it ended Three Mile Island, the cops got involved and two years of therapy badly.  Toxic from beginning to end.

Maurice and I met online before I was in that terrible relationship.  We would briefly chat now and again, but each time we chatted one of us was in a relationship, so we never got together.   Maurice says he doesn’t remember any of this, but this is the way I recall it and I’m sticking with it.

When the bad relationship ended I told myself that I wasn’t getting into another one.  I wasn’t saying never again, but I swore it wasn’t going to be any time soon.  I made a conscious decision to start dating.  That was it.  Meet some nice guys, go out on a date, have some fun and that was it.  Call it a night.  Was there ever a time that people just dated?  They did in old movies and tv shows.  Nowadays they most certainly don’t.  Two or three dates and people want to be exclusive.  I knew that was exactly what I did not want.

It was not going to be easy, but I was determined to stick by my decision and it worked.  It took a while, but I developed a group of guy friends who I’d go out with from time to time.  Dinner and a movie this week with Tom – lunch and a museum next week with Jack.  Maybe sex would be involved, maybe not – no expectations.  For two years I LOVED IT.  And then one night, things changed…

I was chatting online one evening and this cute guy sent me a simple message that said “hello.”  We chatted a bit and he said he’d like to meet over coffee and I agreed.  When he walked into Starbucks I was excited.  “Wow.  This guy is hot.”  Then I remembered that he was in a relationship so I tempered my enthusiasm and resigned myself to accept that this was going to be just coffee and friendship.  DAMN!  Needless to say, the guy was Maurice.

Starbucks was packed and he admitted he didn’t like coffee, so I said, “It’s been a really tough week at work, what do you say we head down to the beach?”  He agreed it was a good idea.

It’s important to note that I had one very firm rule about dating.  If the cell phone was pulled out at anytime during the first date, that would be it.  No reaction, no comment, no drama…there just would not be a second date.  I made an exception for Maurice because he was courteous enough to tell me right away that he took care of his grandmother and he had to answer if she called.  I told him I understood.  Besides, at this point I wasn’t even sure it was a date.

When we got into his truck, Maurice asked how to get to the beach. I lived only a mile from the coast, but it would require going by foot down a steep cliff to get to the beach.  That was not a good option that late at night.  So, when he asked me where to go I told him I wasn’t sure and said, “just go that way.”  In the process we got lost on some winding, dark road and we laughed about it.  Fortunately, he found my free-spirited attitude endearing.

When we found a beach, Maurice casually mentioned his recent breakup and I practically squealed.  Yes!  It’s official!  This was a date!  It couldn’t have been a more perfect night.  The beach was practically deserted and there was a full moon.  We sat there and chatted and chatted some more.  It got chilly so we cuddled a bit and chatted some more.  It started to get downright cold so we cuddled some more and chatted some more.  We sat on the beach, under the full moon and talked for five hours.

Remember my rule regarding no cell phone usage while on a date?  Well, he was right, his grandmother called – she had Alzheimer’s so about fifteen minutes later she called again, and again and again…every single time she called she asked Maurice the same things and every single time he would repeat his responses in a calm and loving way.  I couldn’t believe it.  All I kept thinking was, “He’s a really nice guy.”

At the end of the night, when we pulled up to my place, I was thinking this guy was different, this guy was special.  As we were about to kiss goodnight a song came on the stereo.  It was Bobby Darin singing “Beyond the Sea,” Nothing could have been more perfect to end the evening. Right now, thinking about it gives me the chills – good chills.  I knew right there and then that this was kismet. He was THE one.

We’ve been together now for eight years, so it seems to be working out okay.  There is a moral to the story.  Whenever a friend tells me that they just can’t meet the right guy, or the right girl.  I tell them the magic secret that worked for me:  Have fun and stop looking.

DNA Determines Medication

I just stumbled upon this amazing company, Assurex Health. (http://www.assurexhealth.com/) They claim to be able to tailor psychotropic medication selections based on your personal DNA panel. I mean, this could mean the end of the medication-go-round that it seems everyone goes through. Now, if they could predict side-effects, that would be a game changer.


I’m trying to get in touch with them, to talk further about what they’re cooking.


This makes me ponder the question: If most people were generally given the *right* medications the FIRST time, for their symptoms, diagnosis, and physical construction, would they be more likely to stay on those medications? The same point, from another angle, could be argued for those who are anti-psychotropics to begin with. People such as holistic healers, therapists, and some psychiatrists are strictly opposed to the current available psyche-specific drugs. So, from that perspective, what if there was an all inclusive panel of Vit D, Vit b12, seratonin, dopamine, adrenaline, etc. If the root of bipolar really is a deficient or overly-active compound (or series of compounds), then it would be far more preferable to order a study like that. I’d prefer to know the root causation of my chemical imbalance, vs. what medications were required to address symptom management.


I don’t want to sound anti-medication, because I am very much not. It saves lives. Period. Unless something epic happens, I am committed to taking a certain degree of medication so I can be at my best for my family. There are some who can exist without it, or choose not to partake, and I have the utmost respect for people who make an educated decision about their care options. We all get to choose what our boundaries are. I simply wish I knew the root causation for, at the least, my depressive episodes, from a physiological perspective. I wish there was a test for that.


It doesn’t seem as though drug companies have any impetus to fund something like that though. I mean, it would mean not needing their brain candy.

The Best Feeling

Is there any feeling better than having a crush on someone and realizing they like you too? I feel I’m a bit old for crushes, but the heart has its way, no matter how silly it seems. I’m finally within a mood swing I enjoy when I see him and our eyes meet and everything is happy and shiny and rainbows and puppy dogs. I am treasuring this feeling, guarding it yet still enjoying it. I went on a few dates with a guy I’m friends with, but there’s nothing romantic there and he kind of insulted me. So my attention turns once again to a guy I’ve had a crush on for a while. I’ve talked about him before , but it’s becoming obvious the feelings are mutual.

Right now, it’s the time of stolen glances and excuses to be near each other. Of silly grins that never leave our flushed faces. It’s the time when there are no expectations or disappointments and all the possibilities are just ahead. I can honestly say I haven’t felt this way in a very long time. I think I’m enjoying it so much because when he looks at me, I am as he sees me. I’m not bipolar or flawed or dumpy or not-whatever-enough. I’m the pretty girl he calls “babe”, and for right now, that’s enough for me.

source:imgfave.com

source:imgfave.com

Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: crush, happy, hearts, hope, love

Once an Aspie, always an Aspie

I had a very Aspie day today.

On Autistic Spectrum forums (actually the word is “fora” because “forum” is Latin and its plural is “fora” but since nobody would know what I meant I left it “forums” which is incorrect) (you see what I mean?) I rant and rave about the fact that “autistic children” grow up to be “autistic adults” but everyone associates the word “autistic” with “children.”  Admit it:  I say the word “autistic,” what’s the word association that pops into your mind?  ”Child” or “children,” dollars to donuts.

Anyway of course nobody on the fora disagrees with me so I can rant all I want to.  But today, after doing something socially awkward for the 20,000th time, I realized that once an Autistic Spectrum child, always an Autistic Spectrum child.  It still hurts just as bad to be excluded from a conversation that I invited myself into as it did when I would try to insinuate my undesirable self into a game of jumprope or kickball.  No one wanted to play with me because I was WEIRD.

Well, I’m still weird, and I still have trouble taking turns and waiting to be picked for Red Rover.  I never did get picked for Red Rover because I was Weird and Not Popular.  And socially awkward, and completely baffled by the behavior of other children.  It was WRONG.  It was not FAIR.  They had their cliques and I was not in any of them.

So now, when I find myself in those same sorts of uncomfortable situations when I don’t know how one is supposed to behave, and I decide to be brave and take a flyer at it and it turns out to be the wrong one, and I get those same looks, stares, and then they turn away or just leave, why, I realize that although my body has aged, I’m STILL an Autistic Child.  So maybe I shouldn’t get all bent out of shape when all the media etc. ever talks about is Autistic Children.