Daily Archives: January 2, 2014

Mirror Girl

Today I am broken. I don’t know who I am.
I am held together by a mess of side-effects and prescription drugs. I don’t know where I stop and the disorder begins.
I reflect on this past year and there are so many actions I can’t explain, choices I don’t remember making. A blur of calendar days.
Why do they call it your hometown if it’s not your home? I am a stranger here myself. Even my bed feels foreign.

I return to men’s shirts and leggings, back to handmade blankets, but I am too tired to escape to the lands of my books. I attempt to paint happiness across my face with powders and pencils, but this disorder has made me ugly beyond recognition. Or maybe this is how I looked to begin with?

The novelty of sickness has worn off. There is nothing unique or special about this brand across my skin. I ache for its removal. I’m ready to be normal now, I plead.

My Happy Box

My son has a new hideout.  Under the table in his playroom he has a cardboard box just the right size for a two year old to snuggle up in.  One of my daughters even cut him a door that opens and closes for it.  So if he gets quiet, there’s a good chance he is hanging out in his box.  

I have been in a relatively happy place myself for the past few days. I have had an indecent amount of depression, so depression-free happiness is not what I am talking about.  But creative happiness has been abundant as I delve into the book I am working on.  I really become myself when I am writing.  I don’t know why I shut myself off from it so often.  Well, yes, of course I know: self-doubt.  And while I can’t predict when that awful hate for every word I write will kick in again, I am going to enjoy the peace before it.  This nice, calm breathing in, breathing out of ideas becoming actions on paper.  

Stinkin’ Thinkin’

No, no, no, don’t worry, I haven’t done—nor am I about to do—anything crazy. But I’ve got to admit that I have an interesting thought process going on that’s quite seductive…..even though I know it’s 99% bullshit. Hence I call it “stinkin’ thinkin’”.

I continue to be amazed by the way a sleep schedule and some motivation seem to have cleared up a lot of my mental health issues. I’m not as forgetful as I was, and I feel like a lot of that brain-fog I had going for so long has dissipated. Even my last few med passes at the nursing home went much smoother than usual because I could remember stuff, like which patient needed her pills crushed in applesauce and which one liked to take his with a strawberry health shake instead of water.

Of course, I also remember feeling this way just a few short months ago, and we all know how well that worked out for me. That’s why I’ll mention it to Dr. A at my appointment tomorrow—that last rodeo made me a convert to preventive care, and now I’m leery of even the merest HINT of hypomania. At this point, I don’t need the highs to do what I want and need to do……I don’t need  any “help” from my bipolar, thank you very much.

I keep telling myself it’s just excitement about starting my new job, along with a teensy pinch of anxiety that falls well within the normal range for someone making such a radical change in her life. But for some reason I am being sorely tempted to believe that being strict with myself as to sleep and meds will somehow make me immune to flare-ups, and the idea both frightens and thrills me at the same time. Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!

Which makes me wonder for the 900th time: why does my brain lie to me like this? Logically, I know that it’s not a matter of IF another manic or depressive episode will occur, but WHEN—even with all the meds, doctor visits, and clean living in the world, I’m going to have mood swings. (At least I’ve finally gotten that through my thick skull.)

And medically, I know that as treatable as this illness is, it is definitely not curable and I’ll have to deal with it, in one way or another, for the rest of my days. I’m finally convinced of  that (I wasn’t the last time) and there have been no further illusions—or are they delusions?—of an erroneous diagnosis. I have only to look at my computerized mood chart to see a year’s worth of episodes; the damn thing looks like a screwed-up EKG tracing and confirms the accuracy of Dr. A’s comment about my “classic bipolar pattern”. In short: there is no way I’m NOT bipolar. That’s settled. Over. Done.

But……

Something inside still wants desperately to believe that I can be totally normal—on meds of course, but normal—for long periods of time, despite all the difficulties I’ve had in controlling my symptoms. The entire month of December was the steadiest I’ve seen since I started keeping track of my moods, and I’m experiencing full remission between episodes now instead of always being on the edge of one. That’s a HUGE deal for me. But in the long term, what feels to me like stability is really only a break in the action, and I have quite a ways to go before I can say that I’m truly stable.

That bothers me, but I suspect I’m just over-thinking things again. Bad habit of mine. But who knows, maybe Dr. A is right—working full-time will keep me too darned busy to do all this stinkin’ thinkin’. I can only hope! :-)


Resolve, It Isn’t Just for Carpets Anymore, Midafternoon Mental Moment

My parents and I had a conversation the other day. That in itself is not that newsworthy don’t misunderstand, I talk to my parents everyday.  It was notable in its content. […]

Health law may not broaden access to mental treatment

Health law may not broaden access to mental treatment

“The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover mental health care just as they do physical care, but a new study shows only half of psychiatrists accept insurance”

What? Are you kidding me? Just kick us while were heading down. I thought that Obamacare was suppose to help us…now doctor’s aren’t even accepting it!?

What a crock of shit.

Who are these people making these decisions? Are they even consulting mental illness patients?

GRR!


It’s a Year End Recap

How does one recap an entire year?

To recap a year seems impossible.  This year was so good yet so rough.  For fear of sounding like a total sap I won’t tell you that no matter how crappy some life events may be, and how trying and tumultuous my moods might get, as long as I have my husband to live life with, it’s alright with me.  (It’s good I’m not sappy, much).  I’m thankful for my immediate and extended family and dear friends and never want to lose sight of the blessing that they are.

We had two deaths in the family only a few months apart.  And random series’ of events that were little…but big at the same time.   I believe no matter the scale of the event, stress and worry definitely affect my mood.  I had several triggers this year that threw my mood into a funk at best, and a tailspin at worst.  As always I communicated with my psychiatrist to keep my mental state healthy!  It’s a ongoing “battle.”  Some days it’s a walk in the park and some days it truly is a fight for survival.  But it’s worth it.  Worth the fight.  ALWAYS.

In January, my grandfather passed away.  I was able to see him shortly before he passed.  It was a beautiful last memory, as far as these things go.  I have peace.  Our twins turned two in February and in March our fourth baby niece was born– A MAJOR HIGHLIGHT of the year.  Sweet precious girl, we adore her so!  April was a big deal because Mrs Bipolarity was born! April was also the month my Grandmother passed away. Sad times. Hospice is hard and I struggled with my mood. May… what happened in May…?, and on to June when our oldest son turned four years old.  How did that happen?  I have no idea how time goes this fast!  July… I might have turned thirty-one but I’m not confirming anything.  Autumn rapidly approached and my annual cycle of depression started lurking.  Plenty of “mini-trauma” (as I call things some of the things that trigger my mood).  Finally, Christmas and New Years sneaked up on me and here I am.  Still standing up–neither strong nor week–but at least I’m standing up!

One of the highlights of 2013 was coming out of the bipolar closet.  One of the best things I’ve decided to do.  I know it’s helped a lot of people, and that’s why I do it.  I do this to help people and to fight stimga.  When I get discouraged, and think about stopping–someone comes to me with a story of encouragement and reminds me how worth while this journey is…and onward I march.

Thank you.  Each of you, reading this now.  I thank you.

mrs bipolarity head2013 was full of high-highs and low-lows of life, but I think everyone (bipolar or not) experiences that! I wish you contentment (because that’s better than happiness), stability (whatever that looks like to you), peace (because who doesn’t want peace?), self-awareness (you betta recognize!), the tools to fight this never ending fight, and above all I wish you to find what you’re looking for and that God blesses you richly in 2014.

Happy, Happy New Year,

All my best,

Mrs Bipolarity

Quite a Relief

Allo lovelies, it’s been a busybee morning!

Most importantly and to the point though, I was in for a psych appointment this morning. I was concerned because *MY* doctor retired effective Tuesday, so I didn’t know who I’d end up with. I’d hoped for the boss doctor, but instead I was with a nice lady I’d never met before. I was incredibly pleased to note that she had certainly done her reading of my chart, and was more than passingly familiar with my case. I was amused when she’d noted I’d been with them ‘for some time’, as I’d not really thought about it. I laughed and concurred. We did have to feed her some pre-history on why I was only fairly recently diagnosed, and the ‘misplacement’ of all my documents the first time around.

Now, as many of you know, I want to come off my meds because of my pregnancy, and because it’s what I need to do to get approved for a home birth again. I feel I’ve made it very clear in the past that I do not do this lightly. One of my biggest concerns about having a change in doctor was that they would disagree with the plan my previous doctor had laid out for me coming off meds, and why. Thankfully, even though she admitted she wasn’t as informed on maternity care and psychiatric meds as she could be, she understood why I had made my decision, that it wasn’t done lightly, and that I fully intended to get back on my meds the second the kiddo was born. Because yes yes yes — my depression was BRUTAL after Lilbit was born, and I can only thank it for giving me the strength to admit to myself that I needed to get help, and to go get the help.

So far, I came off the Zoloft fairly successfully. I found myself a bit easier to anger, and that my stress threshold was lower, but because I now know what normalized me can achieve in stability, it gives me the mindfulness tools to take care of myself enough to get by. Today’s plan was organizing the coming off of the Seroquel, a draw down which we feel can be achieved in 8 days or so. I’ll still have spare pills of varying doses around the house should I not be able to cope, which is good! I’m pretty confident in my abilities to slog through a few months of depression should that hit, though with massive pregnancy hormone-driven cheerfulness, I very well suspect I’ll manage to eke through. And, best of all, the schedule works out that I should be off and clear before I see the maternity folks about (what I suspect) is my ability to cope with a mental health disorder and pregnancy. And HOPEFULLY, the hospital will get me back to the psych folk in 4-6 weeks as requested, instead of 2-3 months as seems to be actuality. *cough*

So yes, definitely feeling relieved to know that this cog in the machine is in place for now.

<3

The post Quite a Relief appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Disconnected

It’s how I feel. Disconnected. From everything, even the things I love. My writing. Music. TV shows. My kid. My Cats.

From the things I don’t love so much. People. Housework. Errands.

Everything.

It started with the depression months ago, when I swapped Cymbalta for Lexapro and the Lexapro did more harm than good. Then I was without an anti depressant for over a month and things just got worse and worse. Followed by the hellish holidays.

Now…I am in a depressive bubble nothing can penetrate. I play with my kid and I want it to be fun..But it’s forced. I get out of bed, eventually, wanting to face the day with enthusiasm. It never happens. Everything is forced or non existent and I am frustrated.

Two weeks ago, prior to the holidays, I was low, but now, it’s gutter time. Even that which I felt connected to two short weeks ago now feels alien and threatening and not a comfort. It makes me feel mercurial but I don’t believe I truly am.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on introspection, dissecting my own personality, trying to own the flaws that contribute to the failures in my life. It occurred to me the relationships that instantly failed were started during a winter depression. The ones that succeeded for awhile were all during the spring summer mania. And while I am not in control of this disorder, I still feel shitty that it all comes back to me and my moods and altered mental state. Is it any wonder nothing works out when a man meets me and I am up and lively and interesting…only to find out six months later I am a depressed husk paralyzed by paranoia and anxiety…Never mind I have warned every single one of them just how bad it gets. They never listen and that should be on them. Yet I still feel like a monster.

I don’t think anyone could grasp how much  I hate living this way. I don’t think most even want to try to grasp it. So much easier to believe I am a monster than give me the benefit of the doubt. And while I am flawed and probably monstrous at times…I refuse to believe I am without worth no matter how many people say it, no matter how many failures seem to prove it. I’ve just met some really weak or shallow people who’d rather bail out than see beneath the veil of the illness.

Perhaps my biggest flaw is that I am so comfortable with my own company I’ve never really fought that hard for a relationship. I get lost in my depression and know when I come out of it, I will be there, fuck anyone who can’t deal. Maybe it isn’t being weak that is the big flaw, maybe I am too strong. Being alone simply isn’t a curse for me. I prefer it. Hell, maybe subconsciously I’ve sabotaged my relationships because I’d rather be alone but if they leave me at least I can say I tried.

I am a jigsaw puzzles with missing pieces and extra pieces and there is no way to make it all fit and make sense. I am oddly ok with my own psychological train wreck-yness.

I am NOT okay with this seasonal depression. It needs to fuck off and die.