Daily Archives: April 9, 2014

Three Stars

The Disease of Depression. Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Emily, Me, Jacen
Today is my daughter Emily’s 12th birthday.  Where does the time go, right??  It seems like just yesterday she was curled up in my lap while I sang lullabies to her.  Children just grow way too fast!  But I am proud of the young woman she is becoming, and I am thankful that she loves me and enjoys spending time with me. She loves for me to come eat lunch with her at school, and while a room full of loud kids is not exactly a walk in the park for me, there’s no way I was going to miss this lunch date with her.  After all, she will be going to middle school next year, and as my older daughter has informed me, it’s just not cool to eat lunch with your mother there!  So I spent yesterday cooking up several pans of brownies to bring with us today, and luckily they turned out very yummy!  My daughter was allowed to sit with me at a smaller table apart from the loudest part of the cafeteria with a couple of her friends, and my son provided lots of entertainment for us all.  It went well.  I survived.  No panic attacks.  Woohoo! 

Mentally ill in Jails Rather Than Institutions

Early Prison Reform for Mentally Ill in Jails Dorothea Dix was the first child of an impoverished family. Her father was a Methodist preacher who was an abusive alcoholic. Her mother struggled with depression. In 1841, when she was 38 years old, Dorothea was asked to lead a Bible Study class for women at the […]

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Stress Factor

I’m now two weeks into what seems to be a solid recovery. I feel like myself again, warts and all, and as silly as it must sound to anyone who doesn’t deal with a mental illness, that would ordinarily be cause for celebration. The weather is warm and lovely, but there’s no hint of mania; I’m having a tough week, but I don’t feel the least bit depressed.

Now, it’s the job that’s got me wound up. I am beyond stressed out, and if I had even a ghost of a chance of landing something else right away, I’d put in my two weeks tomorrow. I keep throwing myself against a wall and I am getting NOWHERE. I’m doing my level best and I just. can’t. keep. up. I am running around nursing facilities on a big toe that is still painful, lugging a heavy laptop with me everywhere I go, trying to think on my feet, but not too much because my thinking does not follow a linear pattern and this is supposed to be done in a linear fashion. I’m scattered, forgetful, and anxious as hell. In short: I cannot do this.

And it’s not like I have anything to compare my performance to—there’s no benchmark as to what I’m supposed to be able to do and where I’m supposed to be in this still-early phase of my training. I don’t know what the standard is. All I do know is that I’m not meeting it, because no matter how diplomatic my trainers are, I can tell they’re becoming exasperated with me.

I wonder if it really IS true that we take longer to learn things as we age. I’m older than both of these folks by over a dozen years, and I know I don’t pick up things as fast as I did when I was their age. But I can’t accept that as the reason why I’m having so much trouble learning what is admittedly a very tough and very complex job.

OK, the bipolar doesn’t help. What this damn disease, and the medications used to treat it, have done to my short-term memory and my mind in general has been discussed in this blog ad nauseam, even though I really, really hate to acknowledge it. However, I’m well aware that it can’t be discounted entirely, and here’s where I’m running into a dilemma: is it time to think about disclosing my diagnosis?

I can think of probably a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t, not the least of which is the flame-out I experienced LAST spring and the subsequent loss of my nursing director job when my illness took me out of work for three weeks at a crucial time. Nor was widespread knowledge of my condition particularly helpful in my last nursing job, where almost everyone knew and respected me. I haven’t forgotten that my hours were reduced to practically nothing after back-to-back mood episodes in October and November; and it doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to know  what inevitably follows such an occurrence. I just didn’t give ‘em the chance to let me go first.

No, I really DON’T want to disclose. But I don’t want people to think I’m stupid, either. My brain simply takes longer to process and then use the information it’s fed, and I think a good deal of that can be attributed to my illness and med regimen. I recently ran across a copy of my med list and for an instant, I got an inkling of what that doctor at the urgent-care center must have been thinking when he looked at this:

Lamictal (mood stabilizer) 150 mg twice daily, Celexa (anti-depressant) 5 mg once daily, Geodon (anti-psychotic) 80 mg every night at bedtime, Zyprexa (anti-psychotic) 5 mg every night as directed, Klonopin (anti-anxiety) 0.5 mg at bedtime.

 

 

So for now, I’ll keep on hurling myself against brick walls until I can figure out what to do instead. The good news is, I think I’ve just talked myself out of telling my bosses I’m bipolar. Goody for me. :-)

 


Ninja madness

You know how you lay down, not intending to go to sleep…but you fall asleep and don’t remember doing it? It just snuck up on you…Bex and I call that ninjas. You never see it coming.

Well my current mental state is like that. Ninja.

I had the best day I’ve had in months. My mood was slightly up, I was fully dressed, made up, running errands, taking my kid to appointments…I even raked the leaves in the yard and I was feeling so….like me. About 7pm…it all crumbled. My mood crashed abruptly and severely. My anxiety went through the roof. I am itchy and I feel like bugs are crawling all over me and in my hair but I can’t find anything. I am paranoid and suspicious.

It came from out of nowhere. I hadn’t had much issue all damn day…and WHACK! It just hits me. Ninja ass trash. This has always been the primary problem with my disorder. I can do, I just can’t maintain. And when I come down, I land face first and hard.

I got my kid pre registered for kindergarten. I kept my word to R to appear at the shop to order a part. I got to see Kenny. And it was okay. For about 15 minutes. Then it occurred to me, I have nothing to say and while they never stop talking, I’m good with a 15 minute exposure. Beyond that, my mind wanders and it occurs to me all the things I could be doing that actually appeal to me. Self absorbed? Maybe, but truthful. I don’t care how many attempts at brainwashing are made, I simply do not do social. It does not make me anti social because I don’t actually dislike people or avoid them for such reasons. I can only tolerate so much bullshit. My view is, if it nourishes my mind and soul, bring it on. If it leaves me feel malnourished spiritually…meh, never mind.

My kid has to have glasses, at not quite age 5. I am sad for her. I was mortified when I got my glasses at 10. I am also horrified that it took me so long to get her to the eye doctor. You don’t hear complaints so you don’t really know anything is wrong, then you go in and they make you feel like the most inept neglectful parent ever. This parenting thing should come with instructions and a damn crystal ball because nothing I do is ever right or good enough.

The counselor I took her to says the problem is me. Spook is seeing me depressed and panicked and it’s manifesting as anger and defiance. Oh, and I left her at my mom’s so I could go to the shop all those months so she also has separation anxiety, also my fault. My kid begs to go to my mom’s, barely hugs me when dad takes her for a night…I think it’s bullshit. And I do pretty well hiding the worst of my disorders from her. Just not well enough I guess.

I’ll buy my wishy washy thing when it comes to discipline is to blame for much of it but I get so many mixed messages from people who think I am too harsh to people who think I let her run riot. I don’t know what the right thing to do is. I am clueless. Ultimately it’s my decision and I have to live with the consequences. Well, I can’t change the bipolar or panic disorder. I would if I could. But I can’t, so I guess I’ll just have to work on the things I can change.

In spite of being made to feel like suckiest mom ever by more than one person…I felt good today.

Until now. What goes up, must come down. And wow did I come down.

I think tomorrow shall be a vegetative day so that I can recharge. Today really did drain me. Or that could be the pms. Still…I got much accomplished and that feels good.

I am going to go shower and hope that makes the sensation of bugs crawling all over me go away. God knows being outside with leaves and grass could have put bugs in my hair. Also, I am allergic to most things Mother Nature.

I think I may just be allergic to life.