Daily Archives: March 16, 2014

Reflection on life

It does not pay for me to look back on my life...although I do it quite a bit.  I could blame the mood swings of my disorder, but a lot of my life seems to have been a waste.  Lots of aborted efforts.  I've enumerated them before:  programming, painting, photography, writing, relationships,...  When I worked for the government, I once worked for four years on a database effort that was thrown away, ironically, while I was in the hospital giving birth to my son.  Why?  The data were later salvaged and used in another project by a different branch.  It still makes me angry to think about it.

I have already expounded on the waste of my artistic efforts:  the painting, photography, and writing that has ended up at the dump.  Why do I do this?  I have become a self-absorbed whiner.  Does looking at where you have been help you determine where you are going?  Is it going to be more of the same?  There is no way to guarantee that it will not.  None of those efforts were started with the intention of non-accomplishment.

Then, of course, I could flip it around...why do I feel that I need to accomplish anything?  Am I measured by my contributions to the world?  Is that how we are to measure the merit of a person?  What does that say about the millions of beautiful people who spend their entire existence merely staying alive.  

I hope that when I leave this earthly realm, I get a chance to talk with someone who knows what it was for.

In the meantime, I will join the throngs of human beings merely striving to stay alive.  If you have read my previous posts you will know that on many days I write to stay alive.

Reflection on life

It does not pay for me to look back on my life...although I do it quite a bit.  I could blame the mood swings of my disorder, but a lot of my life seems to have been a waste.  Lots of aborted efforts.  I've enumerated them before:  programming, painting, photography, writing, relationships,...  When I worked for the government, I once worked for four years on a database effort that was thrown away, ironically, while I was in the hospital giving birth to my son.  Why?  The data were later salvaged and used in another project by a different branch.  It still makes me angry to think about it.

I have already expounded on the waste of my artistic efforts:  the painting, photography, and writing that has ended up at the dump.  Why do I do this?  I have become a self-absorbed whiner.  Does looking at where you have been help you determine where you are going?  Is it going to be more of the same?  There is no way to guarantee that it will not.  None of those efforts were started with the intention of non-accomplishment.

Then, of course, I could flip it around...why do I feel that I need to accomplish anything?  Am I measured by my contributions to the world?  Is that how we are to measure the merit of a person?  What does that say about the millions of beautiful people who spend their entire existence merely staying alive.  

I hope that when I leave this earthly realm, I get a chance to talk with someone who knows what it was for.

In the meantime, I will join the throngs of human beings merely striving to stay alive.  If you have read my previous posts you will know that on many days I write to stay alive.

Reflection on life

It does not pay for me to look back on my life...although I do it quite a bit.  I could blame the mood swings of my disorder, but a lot of my life seems to have been a waste.  Lots of aborted efforts.  I've enumerated them before:  programming, painting, photography, writing, relationships,...  When I worked for the government, I once worked for four years on a database effort that was thrown away, ironically, while I was in the hospital giving birth to my son.  Why?  The data were later salvaged and used in another project by a different branch.  It still makes me angry to think about it.

I have already expounded on the waste of my artistic efforts:  the painting, photography, and writing that has ended up at the dump.  Why do I do this?  I have become a self-absorbed whiner.  Does looking at where you have been help you determine where you are going?  Is it going to be more of the same?  There is no way to guarantee that it will not.  None of those efforts were started with the intention of non-accomplishment.

Then, of course, I could flip it around...why do I feel that I need to accomplish anything?  Am I measured by my contributions to the world?  Is that how we are to measure the merit of a person?  What does that say about the millions of beautiful people who spend their entire existence merely staying alive.  

I hope that when I leave this earthly realm, I get a chance to talk with someone who knows what it was for.

In the meantime, I will join the throngs of human beings merely striving to stay alive.  If you have read my previous posts you will know that on many days I write to stay alive.

Overwhelmed With Weird

I think I need my head examined.

Since today kept getting more and more bizarre, I just had to chill out with a movie.  A movie that my psychologist suggested that I watch with my son, way back when he was (WAS!!!) dating a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder, who called him every thirty seconds and texted him in between calls, and became irate when he didn’t return her texts while he was in meetings.  My bone-chilling fear was that she would manage to get pregnant…….but thank G-d she did not, and at last he developed, through hard work, the strength to finally leave her.

The movie, of course, is Fatal Attraction.

My skin is still crawling.

I must be having a masochistic spell, or I certainly wouldn’t have pulled that one out of the hat.  Or maybe I just needed to see something weirder than my real life, these days.

Dad is doing much better now that he’s home from the nursing home.  Mom is busy working on that, though, by encouraging him to stand up by himself in the bathroom (that’s when he falls down–when he’s standing up, because he can’t feel his legs, and the tile floor is always hard).  ‘Round and ’round and ’round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows.

I’m glad Dad is better.  We get to spend more quality time together.  After I gave him his lunch today, we had tea.  He wanted a really strong tea, so he chose Irish Breakfast, and I had Earl Grey.  As we shared our tea, conversation floated naturally from one topic to another.  Then, on his way to the cookie jar, he fell asleep in his wheelchair, and I let him nap in peace.

My mother came in from shopping with her usual flourish, braying for the cat and waking Dad, which is hard to do.  I waited until everything was settled down, and gathered my things to go.

As I was getting ready to leave, and before I had a chance to put my raincoat on, she slapped me on the arm…hard.

 Memories of stinging childhood slaps.

“Don’t hit me!” I yelled.

“Why not?  I can hit you if I want to.  You’re my child!” Smirked Mrs. Social Worker Guardian-Ad-Litem.

“Parents who hit their children get reported to Social Services.  Remember?”  My mouth said it, but my mind was numb.

“Oh.  Yes,” she said blankly.

So I go home and watch Fatal Attraction.

What a jerk.

I. Am. On. The. Wrong.  Planet.  Phone home.


Mixed Up

Things are better today. I took a Vitamin Z, slept like the dead for a full eight hours, and woke up feeling less agitated and nervous. My thoughts are still racing and I have to force myself to focus, but I can string a few together, unlike yesterday when I wrote that last post. I re-read it this morning and could see why my friends are urging me to call Dr. Awesomesauce on Monday…..it was pretty tangential at that.

I just don’t know what to tell him. I don’t think “life is chewing me up and spitting me out” is something you can really describe over the phone. I know I’m in something of a mixed episode, where the energy is up and the mood isn’t (alternating with days when it’s the exact opposite), but I’m more confused than anything else. I mean, WTF is all this??! Why can’t I ever settle down and just live? I get so frustrated with myself because I loathe drama, and here I go creating it by wanting to shake up absolutely everything.

Naturally, somebody always calls me out for being angry with myself—because according to the conventional wisdom, I shouldn’t be—and I make the usual excuses about how I was brought up that way and can’t change. Yeah, I know: how’s THAT working out for me? I may be a little mixed up and a lot pissed off, but I’m not stupid. I’ve learned a few things in therapy. It’s just too bad that I don’t seem to be able to apply them to this situation.

And what IS ‘this situation’, exactly? It’s so nebulous I can’t even put a finger on it. I keep analyzing it (actually, I’m over-thinking it, as is my custom when I’m confused and anxious) but if you ask me what’s wrong, I’m apt to say “Nothing…..everything”.  Again, I think it’s more of an existential crisis than anything else, but as I’ve learned to my dismay, these things aggravate the hell out of my illness and so I have to deal with the symptoms in addition to the original issue. Talk about double jeopardy!

So what the deuce am I supposed to do? I can’t keep patching myself together with PRNs, it’s like putting a Band-aid on a broken bone (and I need to have a conversation with a doctor about that toe of mine, too). But I also don’t think this is cause for a med adjustment, and when I call Dr. A’s office to report an increase in symptoms that’s usually what happens; everything else is too complicated to deal with over the phone. So I continue to hem and haw and come up with more reasons not to call…..after all, I AM better than I was yesterday. And who knows, I might even be better tomorrow than today. :-)

 

 

 

 

 


The Noise


Oh me.  Me and my rapid thoughts.  I feel like there is a blender going full force inside my head.  I have so much I want to get done, so many ideas zooming in and out…mainly focused around getting organized and resetting my schedule and making things just so in life. But when everything is coming at me so fast all at once, I just want to break down and cry from the stress.  As it is, I am trying (trying!) to relax.  For one thing, I am on the verge of a migraine.  That’s nothing new, since I have a migraine nearly every day, but I do try to prevent them if at all possible, because I don’t have an endless supply of Relpax.  I’ve resorted to stress eating again, which is something I must nip in the bud before I gain all my weight back.  

I realize it probably sounds like I am manic, and in a way I am, but there’s an underlying depression, a frustration with all I can’t seem to get a hold on, so I guess this qualifies as one of my mixed episodes.  Truly, the mixed episodes tend to be the most uncomfortable.  Imagine having a very annoying itch that you just can’t scratch…it’s right in the center of your skull and there are a million flies swarming around it.  Part of you wants to claw it out – blood, guts, whatever – but part of you just, sigh, doesn’t have the strength to try.  So you sit there, itching, craving peace, craving silence.  But all that swarming is loud and relentless…

Is it any wonder why there are so many suicide attempts (and successes) during mixed episodes?

Not that I am suicidal.  But the noise can drive one to do unruly things.  I don’t blame anyone for trying to drink this mess away.  Or dope it away.  Or to even try to kill it away.  Not that substance abuse or suicide is the answer; of course not!  But it’s understandable.  Sometimes when the noise is so loud, it’s hard to believe there will ever, ever be quiet calm again.  

I can’t keep still!


The last few days have been getting more and more difficult. My Mum is in hospital and I'm really worried about her. I know that the stress is not helping my mood. I've only been back on the Lithium for a few days so I doubt it's doing anything yet. At times I feel exhausted yet I seem to have so much nervous energy. I feel restless and I'm finding it hard to keep still. If I try to keep still it's worse. I find myself jumping out of the chair or kicking my legs about.  It's like I just can't relax. I find myself grinding my teeth. I'm swearing a lot too. I feel like I want to scream. I just don't really know what to do with myself. I have bursts of energy where I get stuff done but I'm not very organised and get distracted. I'm not really doing the things I'm supposed to be doing. Sleep is getting less and less. I'm flitting from one thing to another. My mind is just crammed with "stuff" at the moment. I've been writing and drawing a bit, which channels some of it but that's pretty sporadic. I've got so many thoughts and ideas I can't keep up with myself. When I'm on my own at the moment I feel pretty stir crazy.  This is when I miss having someone around.  I want to talk and I crave physical contact.
I've spoken to a few people about it and I'm thinking of getting a dog. I need something to love and look after. I know I'm always having mad ideas but I think a dog might just help me settle a bit. I know it's a huge responsibility but it could be just what I need. I have so much time on my hands and it certainly won't be short of attention. I'm sure having something that depends on me will help me to get back into some routine. I've read countless stories of how having a pet can help with mental health. 
 When I first got ill I developed a "twitch" in my right thigh. The muscle was almost continually contracting and I had no control over it. I saw a movement disorder specialist in London and she diagnosed idiopathic myoclonus. Basically she couldn't say for definite why I'd developed it but it was most likely psychogenic ....originates from the mind. I find that really hard to get my head round. How can something that is so obviously physical be caused by what goes on in my mind? I convinced myself that it was yet another side effect of medication or that I'd developed some awful neurological condition. I tried my hardest to stop it but that just made it worse. The more I was conscious of it the more intense it became. I became so self conscious about it. It was noticeable to other people, especially my husband at night. He used to get really cross because I couldn't keep still. He often ended up sleeping in the other room. Sometimes my leg was twitching so hard it was painful. No amount of trying to consciously control it made any difference. Unless I was concentrating hard or fully engrossed in something it was there. I couldn't keep still and I felt restless and agitated.  It was always there and always worse at night. I was given a Botox injection in the muscle every few months, which really helped. It almost immediately eased the severity of the muscle jerking. Eventually it disappeared and the treatment stopped. If I think back it was at its worst when my bipolar wasn't under control. Now it's come back with a vengeance and if I'm honest it has to be because I'm not really well at the moment. I don't know if it's a side effect of coming off meds.  I don't know if it's very common for people with bipolar to develop movement disorders. There doesn't seem to be much information about it. I know psychomotor agitation is a symptom of hypomania or mania. What I also know is it's embarrassing and it's starting to get me down. I was at a friends last night and it was so hard to settle. I felt like I'd got ants in my pants! I'm just hoping things will settle as the meds get back into my system.

I can’t keep still!


The last few days have been getting more and more difficult. My Mum is in hospital and I'm really worried about her. I know that the stress is not helping my mood. I've only been back on the Lithium for a few days so I doubt it's doing anything yet. At times I feel exhausted yet I seem to have so much nervous energy. I feel restless and I'm finding it hard to keep still. If I try to keep still it's worse. I find myself jumping out of the chair or kicking my legs about.  It's like I just can't relax. I find myself grinding my teeth. I'm swearing a lot too. I feel like I want to scream. I just don't really know what to do with myself. I have bursts of energy where I get stuff done but I'm not very organised and get distracted. I'm not really doing the things I'm supposed to be doing. Sleep is getting less and less. I'm flitting from one thing to another. My mind is just crammed with "stuff" at the moment. I've been writing and drawing a bit, which channels some of it but that's pretty sporadic. I've got so many thoughts and ideas I can't keep up with myself. When I'm on my own at the moment I feel pretty stir crazy.  This is when I miss having someone around.  I want to talk and I crave physical contact.
I've spoken to a few people about it and I'm thinking of getting a dog. I need something to love and look after. I know I'm always having mad ideas but I think a dog might just help me settle a bit. I know it's a huge responsibility but it could be just what I need. I have so much time on my hands and it certainly won't be short of attention. I'm sure having something that depends on me will help me to get back into some routine. I've read countless stories of how having a pet can help with mental health. 
 When I first got ill I developed a "twitch" in my right thigh. The muscle was almost continually contracting and I had no control over it. I saw a movement disorder specialist in London and she diagnosed idiopathic myoclonus. Basically she couldn't say for definite why I'd developed it but it was most likely psychogenic ....originates from the mind. I find that really hard to get my head round. How can something that is so obviously physical be caused by what goes on in my mind? I convinced myself that it was yet another side effect of medication or that I'd developed some awful neurological condition. I tried my hardest to stop it but that just made it worse. The more I was conscious of it the more intense it became. I became so self conscious about it. It was noticeable to other people, especially my husband at night. He used to get really cross because I couldn't keep still. He often ended up sleeping in the other room. Sometimes my leg was twitching so hard it was painful. No amount of trying to consciously control it made any difference. Unless I was concentrating hard or fully engrossed in something it was there. I couldn't keep still and I felt restless and agitated.  It was always there and always worse at night. I was given a Botox injection in the muscle every few months, which really helped. It almost immediately eased the severity of the muscle jerking. Eventually it disappeared and the treatment stopped. If I think back it was at its worst when my bipolar wasn't under control. Now it's come back with a vengeance and if I'm honest it has to be because I'm not really well at the moment. I don't know if it's a side effect of coming off meds.  I don't know if it's very common for people with bipolar to develop movement disorders. There doesn't seem to be much information about it. I know psychomotor agitation is a symptom of hypomania or mania. What I also know is it's embarrassing and it's starting to get me down. I was at a friends last night and it was so hard to settle. I felt like I'd got ants in my pants! I'm just hoping things will settle as the meds get back into my system.

It All Started At Birth (The Drug Years) May Be A Trigger; I Don’t Know

Backing up a bit, I had just gotten home; it was maybe 10:30 pm, but I had told my parents I was working that night so I could sneak out to see my “boyfriend.” I put it into quotes because it became very clear to me that night that he had no feelings for me […]

It All Started At Birth (The Drug Years) May Be A Trigger; I Don’t Know

Backing up a bit, I had just gotten home; it was maybe 10:30 pm, but I had told my parents I was working that night so I could sneak out to see my “boyfriend.” I put it into quotes because it became very clear to me that night that he had no feelings for me […]