Monthly Archives: March 2014

Walk If You Can’t Run Like Hell


I'm irritated as all fuck. OK, I'm fucking pissed off and disgusted with some of the male presence on G+. This morning, they have been posting racist shit, and stupid shit regarding the missing Malaysian plane, a rich white male creature that raped his own children, and some other stuff. I rarely see any women or girls making their opinions known, or responding to what anyone posts regarding news stories, and political news. Why is that, I wonder? Especially on a particular news item that reported on a terrible women's issue. No women but me. What the hell?

I guess you call these kind of shitheads "trolls", but I have never used that term before, as I haven't been doing this social thing for very long. I still don't know all the acronyms people use either. D'oh! So let the dicks be dicks. It's hard to just "walk away" without saying something like "you're a fucking racist cunt.", etc.

Anyway, this irritation morphed into anger, and now fucking anxiety that is at least an hour too soon to have to deal with. I took meds and hope that I can be OK to get my exercise in. It can be a crap shoot with seroquel as far as it making you tired. I think I'm too angry/hyped up for it to make me tired though.

I should be concentrating more on "Supernatural", that's been on since 9am. Speaking of, I just saw the Blue Oyster Cult symbol, and Dean mentioned he'd seen that somewhere before, and it's driving him nuts. Funny.

Usually, I do my walk on the treadmill while watching "Supernatural". It is a great escape for me, no matter how many times I have already seen the episodes, and have the DVDs, in case of  TNT doing something stupid like putting on another show, or sports. Problem is that getting motivated to get my ass up and actually moving, feeling that weird feeling of walking and getting nowhere, seems to be coming later and later. I shouldn't be putting so much pressure on myself to make it by the end of "Supernatural", but it just makes it easier to do the walk and be distracted. Lazy with the DVDs, yep. Pressure creates more anxiety, and anxiety creates more bad, and bad creates guilt, and guilt creates self-hatred, and you know what comes after that. Let's not go there today, for once.

My spouse was not in a shitty mood this morning and actually gave me a hug and told me that he would drive me to my Dr appointment tomorrow, as well as pick up my meds from the drugstore. That was good. He is hooked on the "Game of Thrones" books, so he's been up reading in bed every night, making it a bit harder for me to go to sleep. Just knowing someone is awake that's near me does that, but the seroquel kicked my ass sooner or later. He was gone for a few hours yesterday to meet up with an ex workmate, so I had some time alone!

Well, try try trying to get up on the treadmill...

Interesting how my mood has changed so much, no? Chillin' on seroquel and clonopin. I recommend it.



Bipolar Pill

Bipolar Pill This may not be news to many of you because the report came out a couple of weeks ago, but scientists have found two new gene regions that are connected with bipolar disorder. To put it simply, Scientists have shown further evidence that bipolar is a genetic trait and this could mean much, … Continue reading »

The post Bipolar Pill appeared first on Depression and Bipolar Disorder:.

Coming back up (Caution: mentions s______)

I have been in a bad place for a while but now I am finally on my way back up.  This was a bad one.  I quit my job, and nearly burned those bridges, as well.   I counted pills and did research.  I told my children as well as my doctors.  I pulled out my will and printed out information on how to claim my life insurance.  It was like following a to do list.  When I felt like there was nothing between me and the edge, I put a simple post on a mental health website:  "I have discovered, that when the idea of taking your own life no longer scares you, you are on a very slippery slope," or something to that effect.

I am grateful to those who responded by asking me to please be safe.  I read those messages over and over.  They became a mantra, of sorts.  There were those, however, who wanted to argue semantics with me, that if I had used different terminology, they might have taken me seriously.  Really?

Feeling a bit better yesterday, I posted the details of what I deal with and why simply coming out of a depression will not fix the situation entirely.  I waited all day to hear from someone...anyone.  At the end of the day, when I had received no comments of commiseration, compassion, or criticism, I thanked all those who had cared before and said, "well, I guess that's it."

This morning, the web site moderators took that to be a suicide note and removed me from the system.  If I didn't feel isolated before, I do now.

I originally intended this blog to offer hope and encouragement to people who suffer from the struggles of bipolar disorder.  When I started it, I was semi-manic, lucid, optimistic, and functionally creative.  Now, I feel like the blind leading the blind.  I'm not in a place to give hope.  I struggle to understand what it is all for.

BUT...

As I have testified on this blog before, when you are down, it feels like you have always been down and that you will always be down...that the landscape will always be bleak, the road will always be uphill, and that the horizon will always be pointless.  I am taking it on faith that this will Not always be the case.  That this too shall pass.

Interlude

There are a few more posts I want to make on anxiety; for instance, I have yet to address social anxiety, agoraphobia, etc.  But depression has a way of making me lose my focus and drive, so I will resume the anxiety series later ( a soon later I hope).  For now, I want to share a really great blog post written by Christy at Normal in Training. Earlier in the month, she wrote something about depression that really spoke to me.  I wasn’t depressed at the time, but I knew it would come in handy when I was.  Indeed,  No Good Reason is a very helpful read.  I hate depression, not only for the obvious pain it entails, but for the added guilt I pile on top for feeling that way in the first place, as if I willed myself to be depressed.  Some well-meaning people really don’t help the case when they ask “why are you depressed?” as if it is that simple.  As if a situation caused this and therefore it can be fixed by changing the situation.  We always want a reason for everything, right?  But some things just aren’t so black and white. 

I am going to go interact with my family.  My daughters are here and I want to enjoy this time.  It’s not fair that depression comes at such inconvenient times.  It’s hard to fake being alright when I’m not, and my daughters are old enough to perceive that I am struggling.  But I’m going to make the best of it while they are here.  They will be leaving tomorrow, and that will create a situational depression, but I can’t dwell on that now.  One day at a time, please. 

How Are You Doing? Bipolar Edition

Some one just asked me how I’m doing.  How I’m doing…in life.  Like, in general.  How is my life going in relation to my bipolar disorder.  A fairly simple question;  “How are you doing?”

But in my head there was a BAZZILLION different angles to respond and ways to answer.

How am I?  What do you mean, HOW AM I?  Do I start at birth or from when I was diagnosed as bipolar?  Oh no, wait, should I start at when I started showing signs of bipolar disorder?

Either way, I’m still trying to answer the question.

“How are you?”

Well.  Um.  I’m good.

I’m genuinely happily married with three adorable kids.  I have a place to live that more than meets my needs.  I have a psychiatrist who is FAH-bulous.  Family and friends who are awesome. My prescriptions are currently working well for me.  God is awesome.  I’m good.

Good

I’m good.

 

But it hasn’t always been that way.  I was diagnosed in 2002.  Started to get a glimpse of stability in 2004ish and by 2005ish things really lined up.  My husband is my constant.  He keeps me grounded, together and reminds me of who I am.  He gets me.  He understands that even when I’m depressed it’s absolutely not an inadequacy on his part, but an inadequacy on the part of the chemicals in my brain, those little shits.

Pregnancies where hard.  Yah.  But that’s to be expected, I think, not taking the same medications I normally did.  That’s hard and a huge adjustment.  Not to mention hormones.  Oh the HORMONES.

But, I’m good.  I mean, I think I’m alright.

I always used to say “I’m stable” but what is stability? I mean REALLY. What is it?  I thought I knew.  I think I know… How long do you have to feel “good” to then be allowed to say you’re stable?  Now, I’m careful how I say that.  I’ve learned.  Sometimes it feels like life’s balance is teetering at the edge…maybe into stability…whoa whoa…and now BAM into a depression so deep you can’t see straight, or a mania so high you can’t stop soaring (in a bad way).

So when someone asks me how I am, referring to my bipolar, I guess the answer is… I’m still here?  I’m good.  I’m still fighting.  I’m good.  Each day is a new day.  I’m good.  I can still count my blessings. I’m good.  On the good days, it’s easy to say… I’m good.  And on rough days I can still remind myself that THIS. WILL. PASS.  I’m good.

Are you…good?

Able to say I’m good,

Mrs Bipolarity

Insanity Plea

Now that I’m on a roll (four good days in a row!!), I thought it might be interesting to talk about how people with mental illness learn to determine the difference between what is “us” and what is our disorder. It’s taking me what seems like forever to figure this out, and even though I’ve got a decent handle on it now, I’m still wrong some of the time.

Looking back over this recent mixed-mood episode, for example, I can see where I made mistakes. I thought that because it was situational—I broke my toe, I’ve been unhappy at work, it was the anniversary of a horrific loss—it didn’t qualify as a legitimate episode. That’s why I didn’t call Dr. Awesomesauce until I was deep into it; I couldn’t pinpoint the causes nor articulate the reasons for my distress, so I blundered through it as best I could…..and went without needed treatment for weeks.

I also judged myself pretty harshly for what I believed to be an overreaction to everyday stressors. I don’t want to be one of those people who blame their condition for everything that goes sideways in their lives, but there are times when I really CAN’T control what my body does or what comes out of my mouth. It’s like the illness takes possession of me and spends itself in frenetic foot- and finger-tapping, leg-bouncing, pacing, and noisemaking. Unfortunately, it also has an obnoxious habit of speaking through me….and usually not for anyone’s benefit.

Still, I can’t just plead insanity every time the son-of-a-bitch gets me into trouble, and to this end I have gone overboard in telling myself that if I would simply try harder, I could avoid all the unpleasantness. (Funny how that hasn’t worked out for me.) This is what comes of being raised by a hypercritical mother who succeeded in driving home the message that absolutely everything that went wrong in my life was my own fault. In fact, she did her job so well that I’ve been known to let serious mood episodes go until I’m practically on the bottom steps of the psych unit before I allow myself to ask for help. Just like when I was a child, I’m afraid

Of course, Dr. A knows I have this attitude, and it drives him up the wall. The dear man has done everything he can to make me trust him, and for the most part I do. But I have trust issues with EVERYONE, so when someone—and that includes family and friends—goes the extra mile for me, it’s always something of a shock. I mean, if you can’t trust the woman who gave birth to you, who can you trust?

But that’s a post for a whole ‘nother day, so to speak. For now, I’m content just to have made progress toward remission, and learned another lesson in discerning where bipolar ends and I begin.

 


So Broken

There is a term for those who are damaged. “Broken toy.” I used to take solace by saying “I am bent, not broken.”

That ship has sailed.

I can’t find joy no matter what I do. Everything irritates me. It’s not even something where a week in Fiji would help. This is all encompassing, unrelenting, and inescapable.

I let my kid have friends over ‘cos it’s been a long winter and she needs to play with other kids. Unfortunately, it was the devil girls and within 5 mins, they made a mess, demanded food, and every ten seconds someone was running to me bickering over something. I sent them outside. I thought I could rake leaves while keeping an eye on them. They dumped water all over the leaves thus making it ten times harder to accomplish anything. Every step I took, they were there.

I gave up and brought my kid inside. My nerves can’t take those two girls even in tiny doses.

I am a failure as a mom, as a human, as…everything.

The only thing I accomplished today was dyeing my hair. I used to be very vain and for the entire top of my head to turn snow white…depression is ugly in every way. I forced myself to do it. Now I have uniformly shiny black hair. So in 3 weeks the white can peek out again.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

I am so tired. So fed up.

So broken.


Fuck Anxiety And The Horse It Rode In On



FUCK. And the war with nausea and anxiety begins again. I just want to do some walking on the damn treadmill, some dusting, vacuum the carpet, clean the kitchen floor maybe, take a shower and attempt to comb all the knots out of my hair. But what do I get? A big fat dose of fucking anxiety. I've taken 2mgs of clonopin and 100mg of seroquel that I hope are going to act FAST. I'm gritting my teeth, and feeling myself shaking on the inside. On the outside, I'm making my best attempt not to tremble or shake, even though no one is watching me! I'm just doing it for me, for trying to take back control of my body from this wicked motherfucker called ANXIETY. I hate it. I have to get angry! I have to get past the nausea from the meds, and get angry at my body for that to stop. I'm trying to sip water to make it stop. I could not stand to shove doughy, salty crackers in my piehole.

I tried deep breathing a few times, and that just seemed to make it worse, because it felt like I wasn't getting enough air fast enough, even though I was telling myself that I was. Sometimes that works, though, if it's mild. 

This is really bad shit. I can feel it from the top of my head down to my fucking toes. In between, I'm having various aches and pains, plus the nausea, which is starting to go away. Yay! They say sip, don't guzzle, but it's hard not to. All I've had to eat was a cup of dry wheat chex. I don't like cereal with milk. I don't like the idea of milk.

Whoa... this is fun...now it feels like my brain is like an overly wet sponge, and the extra juice is tripping down inside my chest. I wonder if that's the seroquel. I can feel it in my ojos that it's taking effect. Spongy. Sponge pants. Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Nausea is gone, pretty much, and I will keep drinking water for a bit longer until I decide what to watch during my time on the treadmill. I will not fail today. My face is burning up, but my feet are freezing. Fucking psych diseases are just plain crazy.


The 3 Wars

In Britain – and in mainland Europe too – much is being written and said about the First World War this year, the centenary of the start of the conflict that changed the face of Europe and ultimately the wider world, forever. I wrote about that conflict and the Tour de France in an early edition of this blog. You can read it here: http://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/who-by-fire/

But there have been other conflicts, other struggles since then. ‘Struggles?’ I hear you ask. You may have been led to believe that cycling is, for me, something akin to a Zen – like state; a mindful meditative way of being that keeps me (literally and figuratively) going. I am sorry if I have given that impression – it’s true – but it’s not the whole story.

For me there are 3 struggles in cycling. Mind, body and breath. I have to admit that this is not an original thought. ‘Ah!’ you reply. ‘White Crane Kung Fu!’

For those of you not familiar with this form of Chinese martial arts it seeks (in part, at least) to engage in the struggle to master the 3 wars. Control (at least for some of the time) of the Mind, Body and Breath. One of the reasons that I find cycling so helpful in maintaining my mental health is that it engages me effectively ( as long as I’m pedalling, at least) in these 3 wars.

Now I come back to  where I began: war. Actually, 3 wars that took place in England between 1642 – 51. The English civil wars centred around the issues of by whom and how the country should be ruled – by royalists or parliamentarians. These 2 groups are distinguished by their hair styles. The supporters of King Charles 1 were known as Cavaliers. Supporters of the supremacy of parliament over the monarch were known as Round Heads; named as such because of their short hair. The Cavaliers, like the king, wore their hair long. I kid you not.

3 wars, 3 civil wars. And that is what the struggles with my mind, body and breath can feel like.

I am at war with myself.

I have written elsewhere about the practice of Mindfulness –  the discipline of being in the moment, of focusing on one’s breath and body. Day after day after day it feels like skirmishes, anbushes and trench warfare in my mind, my body. And with all this….my breath persists, as stubborn as asthma.

All the good advice – ‘be kind to yourself’, take one day at a time’, ‘avoid people and activities that affect your mood adversely’ – there’s simply not enough space for it, not enough time. I’m too busy dodging bullets to have time to survive.

XLIII: The Brain

The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As Sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)

 

 

 


World Bipolar Day-March 30

Today is World Bipolar Day!

Y’all, this is what it’s all about!  Spreading the word of truth about bipolar disorder. I started mrsbipolarity.com to share my story and to talk about the reality of mental illness.

I want people to know what bipolar disorder REALLY is, and to fight the stigma that’s so heavily associated with mental illness. We’ve got to fight it!

Please feel free to share your story or tell me what World Bipolar Day means to you!

World Bipolar Day

Your Advocate,

Mrs Bipolarity