Daily Archives: April 11, 2014

Handling the Hypomanic

So I don’t know what my insurance situation is still. Until I do…I’m going to post on other topics.

Divider GreyMy hypomanic states leave me totally drained when they end. I mean…when I come down after days/weeks of being in that state, I just crash into a full-blown major depressed state that will last for months. It’s not unusual for me to go for months without having anything resembling hypomanic states. It’s hard when I’m in the midst of depressed states, because I think that things would be better if only I had more energy, more strength to move forward.

In the midst of my months-long deep, major depressions, all I can really think is that it would be so much nicer to have just a bit more energy to function. If I could just go into one of those “up” periods that I so rarely had…it would be better. I never knew what those more energetic periods were. I knew that I was far more irritable than usual, and that I could go for hours, near onto a full day or more without sleep to get things done…all without any real strain that was noticeable in the moment. I didn’t notice the way things were piling up on me, until the energy all left me, and the piled up stress and strain hit me at once, and I’d crash at the end of this energetic period and I’d be plunged back into a depressed episode.

I would try to trigger hypomanic episodes…without really knowing what they were, or why they left me nearly as drained as they did. Because, compared to my long depressions, having energy was a gift. Even for a short period of time. It felt like it was worth it. The annoyance it left me with, the strain it put on me…it was not something I really thought too much about. They were small prices to pay for being able to get things done without constantly struggling to get out of bed.

Now that I know what I’m dealing with…I’m more even-keeled on my medications. But, I have to remind myself that the bursts of energy and boundless determination that a hypomanic episode gives me are not the gift that I thought they were. Sure, they might give me an opportunity to work for hours on end without the hassles of being distracted, and I might get a lot of work done. But…that irritation, anger and annoyance are real issues, and I do get snappy when I’m in that state. And the crash that follows is problematic. Because I sink down, need a lot of sleep to recuperate. I get tired and sad, sluggish and just generally weepy afterwards.

Hypomania is not the occasional “fun” thing that I thought it was. It’s rare enough for me still to have an up-trend that I need to remind myself that these things are not helpful. They are not useful. Being even-keeled is good for me. Being out of control either hypomanic or depressed in direction is not useful for me. I like being in control, it helps keep me sane. So for me, it is a constant reminder that those little glimmers of how exciting the hypomanic is…they’re just false for me. They aren’t going to help me in the long run. They just contribute to long-term draining of my energy levels. That constant reminder that hypomania is not fun is how I handle the occasional thought that just this once I’d like to just tip over the edge and just let myself go.

One Day

Fear is a very strange thing.  I struggle with fear at the most nonsensical times.  I am not fortunate enough to be one of those people that has the strength to take charge of my fear and let it fuel me to do great things.  I am paralyzed by the fear that grips my entire being.  It’s kind of funny that when I look back on my childhood and remember some of the days that I woke up terrified to go to school for some inexplicable reason, and to get out of it, I always had a stomach ache.  Which wasn’t a lie, I did but it was the terror that had taken over. 

 
I’ll never understand how this started.  I’ll never understand why it continues to happen today, as I sit here, 41 years old.  I always tell myself that you ought to have some insight into this by now.  30 years of panic attacks, you would think I would be able to snap right out of it.  And isn’t that what everyone wants us to do?  What we want to be able to do?  Snap out of it.  What a glorious thing that would be. 

 
At this stage in my life, I feel very, very tired.  Emotionally and physically beaten down by this disease.  I don’t know that anyone can ever truly understand the physical toll this condition takes on your body.  Since I was 19, I have been to countless doctors and on countless medications.  Some would work for a short period of time, some none at all.  I found bad doctors, and enough good ones to count on one hand.  I’ve been hospitalized 4 times, and was barely able to focus on getting better because the conditions I was living in were so horrific. 

 

So now, an average panic attack that ought to slowly subside, now manifests into something even larger because I am perpetually afraid of that next hospitalization.  Isn’t that a sad and pathetic commentary on our times?  You should be able to go to a hospital and get HELP, not stay awake all night because someone is stealing from you or your roommate screams her head off all night. 

 

I know I am kind of bouncing around, and not really sticking to one topic.  There is just so much to say, and I want to be able to say it before I forget again.  On a day like today where for a brief moment, I caught myself and said…..this moment is OK.  I am OK, I just long for more of those. 

 

I want to be able to wake up in the morning and feel strong, ready for the day.  Not afraid of what the day has to bring me.  The ignorance of those that think I do this on purpose is astounding.  Be me for ONE day, I dare you.  Until then, I will take a tiny bit of pleasure in the little things and try very hard to find the happiness that I know I deserve. 

 

7 things NOT to say to a bipolar

Janet Coburn:

This is such good advice, and so well expressed.

Originally posted on STUCK ON EARTH:

7 things that annoy the hell out of people that struggle with mental health..


1. “You don’t need the drugs”

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If they didn’t work, I wouldn’t take them.

Why don’t you try that line on a chemotherapy patient? “Oh no you look horrible and you feel terrible, why don’t you let your body sort its cancer on its own?” You have an immune system that has trouble getting rid of a cold, not a disease fighting superhero squad.

2) “Can’t you just control your moods? Can you just try really hard – for me?”

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Come again? You actually think that the sensation of every minute passing feeling like an hour combined with the inability to enjoy things I normally do is a choice? Do you have any idea what it is to be trapped in a cycle of guilt over the same things I used to think are funny just a…

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The End Is Near

Well, boys and girls, it looks like I’m going to wash out of my training program after all. It wasn’t put exactly that way by my trainer this afternoon, but I had to be honest with her about the reasons why I’m struggling so badly and she acknowledged that they’re pretty much incompatible with the work. The truth is, no matter how hard I try, I am simply not capable of reading and retaining large amounts of information, let alone utilizing it. This has been such an awful week on survey that I was sorely tempted to pull the disability card, but I couldn’t think of a single benefit other than demonstrating that contrary to appearances, I’m not stupid or lazy.

At this point I don’t think it matters; there’s nothing to be gained by elaborating on the causes of my learning problems because I’m not asking for accommodations. What’s to accommodate? This job is all about absorbing enormous volumes of information and using it to make critical decisions out in the field, and I can’t do it.

I still don’t regret trying though. AND, I don’t think I’m a loser because I can’t handle it. It takes a lot of smarts and hard work to even be considered for a job like this, and I know I’d have kicked myself for the rest of my life if I hadn’t at least given it a shot. To say that I am beyond frustrated and disappointed would be an understatement, and I’d love nothing more than to say “the hell with it”, but I can’t quit because I’ll need unemployment benefits. I don’t know what my next step is—I don’t have a Plan B—but somehow I’ll land on my feet. I always do.

Thank God I’m on enough medication to be able to weather this particular storm…..I can feel only a hint of mania and an inkling of the despair that so often leads to depression. It’s literally stifled by the meds. So different from last year at this time, even though this too is work-related and will undoubtedly create another major upheaval. One day I hope to learn not to overreach, or to push my limits too far, but I had to try this one last time to be and do more than I believed possible.

That’s why it was so good to have my daughter and her family come for a visit tonight. They brought a big pizza for us all, a pair of yellow carnival-glass candleholders for me, and a lot of love and laughter that soothed my sore ego and filled my heart with gratitude. I need more evenings like it; life is simply too short to be this miserable, and I will NEVER achieve any kind of stability as long as I continue to allow ambition to overrule common sense.

~~sigh~~Dr. A is going to have a field day with all this when I see him next week. He wasn’t thrilled that I took the job in the first place; maybe he’ll have some ideas since he fancies himself to be some sort of vocational coach where I’m concerned. And why not…..at this point, I think my DOG has got better ideas for my next job than I do.

To be continued…..


I have a dream…and in it, something eats my family

It was anti motivation day. I eventually started functioning but it was like trudging uphill in concrete shoes. I have menstrual dysphoria on top of the mood disorder so this week’s motto is “just say fuck it.”

It was pretty uneventful for the most part.

Toward the end of the day my anxiety and paranoia kicked into overdrive. I just can’t shake the feeling that something bad is around every corner. I am not this way when in my right mind so I don’t believe I have paranoid personality disorder. (Although if I were to pick one that sounds most like me, that would be the one, except some of my paranoia was hard earned from repeat experiences of suckiness.) I think my paranoia is a manifestation of fear and panic.

Around 5 pm was when the major triggering event hit. For years now I have ABSOLUTELY been unnerved by surprise visitors and I have made this abundantly clear to everyone. Most think I’m stuck up or fruit loopy but they abide. Except for my dad. I mean, how hard is it to get out the cell phone and place a sixty second heads up call? Even my stepmom has tried to explain it to him. You just don’t catch someone with a panic disorder off guard. He won’t listen.

He showed up with his bunch and told me to go rake my yard so they could haul the leaves away. I had gotten most of it and was going to get the rest this weekend, which was when they told me they’d be in town. But noooo, he just had to spring it on me. Panic kicked in. And sometimes, it comes out as anger. Like blinding white hot rage. When I am panicked and angry, I become quite a bitch. Well, a bigger one. Foul language spews forth without thought. I called my brother a dummy. I am sure I can expect a call at some point telling me I hurt his fragile feelings.

I was just so…rattled. It’s been this way for years, he shows up unannounced, interrupts whatever is going on, never apologizes and acts like the world revolves around him and his schedule. I have tried to roll with it because he;’s nearly 70, he’s not gonna change.But neither am I. I can’t remove the panic disorder obviously. So I am stuck living in constant paranoia, afraid to do anything during the day or early evening because he just shows up randomly. Yet he actually complains to me when the same thing is done to him by other people.

It amazes me how blind people can be to their own hypocrisy and faults.

After that, the mood crashed, the irritability skyrocketed, and now I just wanna crawl into bed. I haven’t regained equilibrium even 3 hours after the fact.

Between a dad who doesn’t give a rat’s ass if he sends me into a panic and a mom who calls me a fucking bitch, I want to be an orphan at times. No one is perfect but these are kind of heartless parents. Many people, including counselors, have met my family and declared, “You’re the normal one.”:

Maybe it’s not saying much but it makes a point.

Now…I need to try to work my way up to a shower, I probably have bugs in my hair from all the leave raking. You just get to a point of mental exhaustion where things stop mattering much. I spend my days looking forward to sleep more than I am comfortable with, and dreading when the alarm goes off and I have to face another day.

Perhaps the Paxil is doing something, but I predict a dosage increase in my future. Odd how it’s supposed to help with social anxiety and if anything, my anxiety is worse. False advertisement, ass clowns.

Time to get in gear. Shower then bed. I am honestly getting sick of it taking two hours to get to sleep because my brain decides that is the PERFECT time to start in with the racing thoughts and anxieties. But my kid never sleeps through so Trazadone is a luxury I can only indulge on occasion.

Where are the Serta counting sheep when you need them…