Daily Archives: January 11, 2014

Solitary Confinement

“Go away.” I groan this phrase more often than any other when I’m having a depressed episode. I even close the curtains to shut out the sun. The only company I desire is that of one of my dogs. I don’t answer my phone, I don’t check Facebook except to angrily stalk those busy hanging out without me, I ignore everyone. It’s a dangerous practice, and it’s one I need to actively combat.
In the throes of depression, sometimes solace can only be found in blankets and solitude. But it’s important to note that this solution is only temporary. Certainly some people do better being alone than others, but I think that depression should not be underestimated. It is a dangerous beast, one that can be thwarted more easily with a small army. When fighting depression, we need to be told that our thoughts are unrealistic, and we need to be reminded of our own strength. More often than not, there are others who want to help – or who are at least willing to watch TV with us for a little bit until we feel well enough to eat.
I can feel my mom tense up when I retreat to my room during a depressive episode. The words to call me back to the dinner table are caught in her throat. My therapist has told her to let me go, but I know it still hurts her to see me escape to dreams that offer a less painful reality. I know that when I pull the covers over my head and swaddle myself in quilts that I am not curing my depression. I know I am merely hiding. But I don’t have the energy to fight, only to sleep.
This year, I don’t have to work on fighting harder. I need to work on letting others help me fight. I recognize that there will still be times when the only useful course of action involves a short nap, but I need to reduce the amount of time I spend in insolation. There is a reason that solitary confinement is used as a punishment in prisons; it’s detrimental to our psyches. Humans are naturally social creatures. Now I’m not suggesting that you throw a wild party when you are depressed, but I think that being in the presence of another person is enough. Instead of curling up with your laptop in your bedroom, try the kitchen or living room. Watching TV or playing a video game with a friend or sibling provides a great distraction. You don’t have to be chatty or talk about your feelings. Just try to enjoy the company of those who care about you. If you try, I will too.
Do you get the urge to hide yourself from the world when you’re depressed? How do you fight it?

Insomnia bender due to stress

I am running on fumes and my mind is slowly turning cloudy from lack of sleep. I have been conking out in 4 hour intervals and after 3 days of it …. I am dragging ass. I am so tired of having these issues to deal with. My mom thinks the lack of sleep is due to an up coming commission I have to paint a mural. It will be my first one to do professionally and I am scared about certain aspects. Well, not scared but anxious. Will this woman like me or will my crazy side come out and i need to take a klonopin. No one wants to be seen popping a pill in front of their employer because then they may ask you to explain. Well, it is what it is.

On the plus side. I am getting to go hog wild on buying painting supplies. So excited. I even bought a iPhone compatible projector on sale to help me sketch the image I drew. Life is going well but I am undergoing medication alterations. So that is tweaking my nerves too. I hope all is well with everyone. I can’t wait to post some pics of the mural.

bpnurse 2014-01-11 06:08:52

Holy crap, what a WEEK!! I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the idea that two months ago I was on a seemingly relentless downhill course, and now I’m…..well….not. It feels for all the world as though I went from playing Pop Warner football to the NFL in just a few weeks. Now I’ve got my state ID, my $2400 laptop, my business cards with “M_____, RN” and “Surveyor” printed under the official Department of Human Services logo and the state seal…….what the hell happened here?? Talk about your rollercoaster ride!
I’ve gotta admit it: the sleep routine really has turned the trick. I have been on medications up the wazoo (and in fact am still on them) and the meds alone didn’t work well enough until I started getting some shut-eye. Thus, my attitude toward the initial imposition of a bedtime has changed a lot, and in fact I don’t even call it a “curfew” anymore because now I’M calling the shots.
This is something I really wish I’d understood years ago. Protecting my sleep is probably one of the single most important things I can do to stay well, and I want to stay well more now than I have at perhaps any other point in my life. (Taking my meds at routine times and never missing a dose have also probably helped things a lot.) And I have a new appreciation for the ability to behave like a decent human being, because there have been many times when the casual observer must have thought I was raised by wolves.
Then I look around at my new co-workers, all of whom have been welcoming and who seem so professional, and I’m not even tempted to discuss mental health issues except as they relate to the population we serve. Not just because I want to keep my own medical history private, but also because it’s so irrelevant to everything that’s going on around me. There’s no time to bemoan depression or fiddle-fart around with hypomania when we have serious problems going on in the facilities we’re monitoring.
So, staying on an even keel is absolutely critical to my success, to say the least. Now, I have no idea why it seems everything’s magically going to be OK all of a sudden—even though I’ve been fighting BP tooth and nails for a solid two years— but maybe I’m just thinking that it will be because I want it to be. At least this time, I’m AWARE of that feeling and am on guard, because I know I can’t wish away my MI—it’s still there whether I’m actively symptomatic or not.
I mean, I get it…..I’ve achieved a long-desired goal against all the odds, but at the end of the day I still have an illness that requires some hardcore medications and a strict sleep regimen to control. I won’t let myself be fooled again by the oh-so-seductive but ridiculous idea that all I needed to straighten myself out were a cool job and a little security.
Now, Constant Reader, please tell me if any of that makes sense, or am I just rambling because I’m so whupped from a week of intensive learning that I can barely think straight? Inquiring minds want to know…..but they’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out because it’s med time, which means it’ll soon be BEDtime. Nighty-night!

Boomerang

Well, I’m sort of back at square one again. I saw my psychiatrist today and we’re starting me on 2 new meds and keeping me on one I’ve been on for months. Still struggling financially so I currently cannot afford medications and therapy as well as psychiatrist visits so really hoping this is the right medication cocktail. Then I can focus on going to therapy and only seeing the psychiatrist intermittently.

As for The Paramour… I cannot stay away from him. He is either a blessing or a lesson (that applies to everyone, really) and I’m jumping in headfirst to learn which way it will go. We gamble hurt versus regret in every relationship, every chance we take. I am both excited and terrified and overall feeling…alive. He inspires oddly poetic thoughts in my mind and face-hurting grins. It’s an amazing feeling after being down in the dumps for so long. So in a sense, I’m back at square one with him, too.

It’s weird to say that being back at the beginning does feel right, that maybe I needed a reset or to wait for the boomerang to return so I can start moving forward.

Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: bipolar, love, medications, therapy, wellness

A San Francisco Cable Car And My Blog

I received a notification from WordPress about my blog for 2013.  For 2012 my blog was compared to Mt. Everest.  This time it’s compared to a San Francisco cable car.  I’ve never been to San Francisco so I’ll just have to take their word on it.  Here’s what they told me: “Crunchy numbers A San […]