Daily Archives: March 30, 2014

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

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

Today is the First World Bipolar Day

Hello, my fellow Bipolaratti (and non-bipolar folks who come by, hee hee)!

Look at us — we have a day! This comes compliments of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, and related organizations:

http://www.isbd.org/advocacy-and-patient-resources/world-bipolar-day
https://www.facebook.com/worldbipolarday

The purpose of today is familiar to most of us who have chosen to blog about our disorder — we are doing our best to lift the lid on what it’s like to live with bipolar, and to show that we’re people the same as anyone else. We are doing the best to show that while bipolar has a checklist at the doctor’s office, that each of us suffer differently no matter how many ticks we might make on a list. We are doing our best to show that we are not lazy, or making excuses — we are doing our best to live as full a life as fucking possible with a brain that is doing its best to murder us.

We are doing our best to show that we are not being ‘drama queens’ — our brains are trying to murder us. The fact that the suicide rate is so much higher amongst the bipolar population proves that one. And that suicide and suicide attempts are not a symbol of weakness, but rather, hopelessness, exhaustion; there are very few of us that haven’t attempted or considered attempting suicide at least once, and that is because there was no visible way out. It doesn’t make us bad people for wanting escape, or less, or crazy. I think most of us, if we could put someone else in our shoes, would, just so they could understand what a sparking jungle of bad brain wiring we’re fighting against in addition to fighting against a society that tries to tell us we are less, or not trying hard enough.

Not trying hard enough? HAH. Hah. Hah. I wake up every day right now in severe physical pain and exhaustion. I might get a little bit of empathy because I’m currently pregnant (so thereby possessing a visible ‘legit’ reason), but I’m sure there people lining up to roll their eyes and mock the fact it means that I can’t fight my brain as well right now. That’s pretty shit, yo — I certainly didn’t intentionally try to think of that song that pushes me to severe depression immediately (bonus points — my head tried to convince me it was okay to listen to. Not fucking falling for that one again!), nor did I want to get stuck in an anger loop ruminating about people who have been assholes to me. I’ve busted my ass since I was a kid to be able to defuse these bombs when they drop into my lap, but that requires the resources to spend to deal with the impact of the brain throwing up this sort of crap, as well as the resources to stop them from making things worse. And then there’s the fear that once you get the hang of defusing your brain’s current set of bombs that it will find something even worse and harder to fight. And when the bombs are dropping faster and faster and you can see the countdown timer ticking down, ticking, ticking… whelp. It’s not like a stupid little game on your phone where you get tinny sad music and try again. You only get one life for reals, one shot, but yanno… just not trying hard enough. Obviously.

Now, I’m one of the lucky ones with bipolar. I know I have it, and what kind I have (Bipolar II, rapid cycling). I have meds that work when I’m on them (and deity, can’t wait until this kiddo is out and I can get back on them — only 75 days or so to go!). I have worked really hard to develop coping methods and ways to defuse my brain’s attempts to kill me. I have good friends of varying degrees of mental health and illness who love me, accept me as I am, and support me through the good and bad times (and I do the same for them). I am lucky because I do not care what others think of me, and because stigma and misinformation will not cost me my job or anyone who truly matters to me (I’ve weeded out most of the chaff by now, hee hee). I have my voice, and I use it wherever I can on my behalf, and on the behalf of my friends who cannot speak out due to fear and stigma. I’ve been told before that I love really weird people, and that’s true — us ‘weirdos’ are the ones that need the understanding and love, and I would much rather spend my limited resources on those who are most needing and *gasp* appreciative.

So of course, I use today as another chance to speak up and out, and to try to share a bit of insight into my brain. As ugly as it can be, this is my lot in life, and I am not prone to hyperbole about my suffering and conditions. I do not want attention or pity, or an excuse to be an asshole. I want understanding for myself and others, and understanding that the set of circumstances we are working from are difficult at best. And that one way to make them less difficult for all involved (because yes, you poor dear neurotypical folk, I DO understand we’re hard to deal with) IS to be understanding, and patient, and kind. Fear of judgement and stigma tend to make one react in an overwhelmingly negative way; this is something am still fighting with myself over.

But it doesn’t get better when ‘well-meaning’ lack of understanding minimizes what we’re dealing with. Educate yourselves, if you’re not familiar with the basics of bipolar; there’s lots of great information on wiki, Healthyplace, Psychcentral, and so on. There’s a wealth of personal insight here on The Bipolar Blogger Network, on WordPress, and all over the internet. And while many of us do spend a lot of energy sharing and trying to educate, remember that no one with bipolar has an obligation to teach you anything. By all means, educate yourself and try to support loved ones with bipolar, but it is not their job to hand you a how-to guide. They’re probably spending most of their resources just trying to get through another day, and getting huffy because they’re not able to spare anything for you is… well. Pretty dickish.

Don’t be a dick.

Bipolar is a life-long illness. While some folks are lucky enough that it goes into remission and they can live a normal life, it’s less common than one might think (and some types like Bipolar II have INCREDIBLY non-existent remission rates). On this inaugural World Bipolar Day, I guess it boils down to this for me — I have a life-long condition. I am doing my best to manage it and live as full a life as I can. I am not bad, or crazy, or lazy — I have a broken brain, and much like any other physical illness, I deserve understanding and compassion for the hardship this places in my life. So does anyone else with any sort of mental or physical illness, visible or otherwise. These are qualities that most people claim to consider important and would wish applied towards themselves, so let’s all make a point to remember the Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s a good way to live anyways!

<3

The post Today is the First World Bipolar Day appeared first on The Scarlet B.

From PAIN to PLAIN..

I have been absent lately because..

because..

I don’t really know. I want to write, but what to write about has really stumped me. I am still taking Prozac and I feel MUCH MUCH better, but also, I feel disconnected from the mental health world. It’s really F-ed up because I know I have a mental illness, but once your feeling better it kind of goes into the background.

But isn’t that what I wanted? To live my life without symptoms of my illness?

Now my mind is on other things like work, what I’m going to cook for dinner, what are my cats doing, where are my pants. I mean my mind has shifted from pain to…plain.

I know this post is kind of becoming a melodrama of one, but I really feel out of the loop. Does that happen to you?

When you feel okay, do you let go of everything?


Filed under: Ranting

Addiction

It’s early morning right now, quiet and calm. I am not scheduled to work this weekend and was busy most of the day catching up on housework. I’m finally feeling better after having been sick the last several days, so you would think I’d be relishing the time to relax and reflect in a quiet and peaceful environment. Work (in a hospital emergency room) is constant noise and activity, motion and lights, smells and sights and stress. You barely have time to finish one task before another one rears its head. You definitely have to have a certain personality or constitution to do this kind of work. I go home most days mentally and physically exhausted.

Sounds like a place you’d be crazy to miss, that you’d be running out of the door as soon as your shift was over, doesn’t it? There’s a label given in health care to people who crave the craziness- trauma junkies. So as I sit in my peaceful home, I am restless and I realize it is because I miss being at the hospital, I miss the flurry of activity. If you’ve seen the movie The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner’s character experiences something similar with being addicted to dangerous military activities. It’s as though I can no longer separate myself from who I am at work. You know how people say they give “110% at work”? Yeah, I give 120%.

Is it the bipolar that makes me this way? It’s been shown that people with bipolar and other mental illnesses have a greater tendency towards addiction. Or is it just that I have found the place I truly belong as far as work goes?I prefer to think it’s the latter, but it’s an interesting topic to ponder here in the silence.

Image

photo credit Mitchell Hawkins

Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: addictive personality, bipolar disorder, mental illness, work

Inescapable

My mood has been gutter level for three days now. Nothing seems to help. It’s like my joy bone is broken. NOTHING brings even a spark of excitement or desire to my mind. I am going through the motions. I am faking it. Pasting on the happy face. It’s just not working. What really pisses me off is that this is WORSE than I was 2 months. Then I could at least focus on my writing. Now even that seems pointless. Try writing a damn storyline when every single idea and outcome not only fails to motivate or resonate, but it bores you. There is nothing not impacted by my current mind frame.

To top it off, as warned, the Paxil is making me sleepy and I feel half narcoleptic. I know coming off Viibryd will take time, Paxil will take time to kick in, I just didn’t realize it was going to mean landing face down for days on end.

I took my kid to see her grandma today. I had plans to do housework, yard work, write, dye my hair…Instead, I took Paxil, got very cold and curled up under a blanket and went to sleep. Then no sooner than I was asleep, kids came knocking at the door looking for my kid. So I went back to sleep again even though my instinct was to fight the grogginess and get stuff done. My reasoning ended up being, other than folding laundry and raking leaves, there is nothing pressing to be done and 6 straight days with a sick kid left me pretty exhausted…

Sounds valid. Except I can’t stop beating myself up for sleeping for four hours. I thought, well, it will make me have energy tonight and I can fold laundry and stuff then…WRONG. I am fighting to stay awake now. Having had a nap, I can only assume this is med related and if so, Paxil and I are not going to be friends. I can’t stand meds that make me somnolent. Reality sucks but dealing with it while awake is my way of feeling like a tough girl. Sleeping your way through life is soo easy. I don’t want that.

Maybe it will go away after a few more doses.

I need a shower but I dont think it’[s gonna happen. In fact, my eyes are so heavy, I may manage to press the publish key before I fall face down into bed.

Fuck.


Nothing To See Here

Wow. I just got done reading through some of my blog entries for the past few weeks, and now I can see why some of my family and friends were a bit concerned. And once again I’m left to wonder why it is so difficult for me to appreciate when I’m in crisis…..after all, I’M the one who lives with this disease day in and day out.

This makes three good days in a row. Don’t laugh—after weeks of being up and down and all around, three days of normality are a precious gift. They have been days in which I haven’t felt panicky, manicky, depressed, confused, upset, angry, irritable, frightened, or paranoid. And while I certainly can’t claim to be stable when my overheated brain was screaming for a fistful of Ativan only a week or so ago, it does feel like the tide has turned.

That doesn’t mean that my financial problems have gone away, or that I still need to do something about changing my work situation (and have no idea what that looks like). The thing is, I’m not freaking out about it or plotting to steal away in the dark of night and drop off the face of the planet. It’s all sort of humorous now, but it wasn’t the least bit funny a couple of weeks ago when I finally sent that SOS to Dr. A.

It’s hard to guess where he’ll want to go with my meds when I report in on Monday. I don’t suppose it matters, because he has this way of getting me to do what he wants me to do and this time will be no different. If there’s anything I’ve learned from the two years I’ve been in his care, it’s that he really does have my best interests at heart, even though he’s an objective observer and as such, he doesn’t have an agenda. That’s why he gets away with calling me out on my bullshit and telling me what to do, while my family and friends usually don’t (sorry, guys).

In the meantime, I’m relishing my newly-won freedom from distressing mood shifts, and enjoying two days of NOT driving up and down the interstate surrounded by stupidity. I even took a nap today. Now, if the weather would ever clear up so I can get outside and grow flowers and cherry tomatoes in the dirt, I’d be golden. :-)

Nope, there’s nothing to see here. And for once, that’s a GOOD thing!

 


New Hair Reveal + Wet n Wild First Impressions

Come check out my new haircut, and see my first impression of 3 Wet n Wild products! Continue Reading →