Daily Archives: January 26, 2015

So Fucking Blech

I didn’t wake up until after 11:00am and I really didn’t wan to get up. I still don’t want to be up. I’m just getting dragged down into the pits of despair and don’t want to do anything at all.

I don’t even want to post this blog but there is not way in hell I am going to stop when I am 6 days from writing every day for a year.

Screw this depression.


a sad longread linkdump

Triggers: suicide, death, violence, heartbreak. (Basically a harsh and tragic dose of reality.) Please don’t read it if those things will trigger you.

As I read these articles, I kept thinking of the survivors of suicide that I read and talk to on WordPress. They are mostly mothers who have lost sons; all of them are (completely understandably) grief stricken and often they examine, analyse and berate themselves for ‘letting it happen’. Only, they didn’t. They loved their children, they tried their utmost. I’ve tried to explain that suicidality is a sneaky and cruel bastard, that impulsivity can come into it, even when someone has probably been plotting their own demise on and off for ages. A lot of people I talk to (and me too) have been suicidal since childhood. It’s vile and unjust and any parent in their right mind would want to fix, help, change it – I’m so sorry, but the truth is that our (we the neurobiologically ‘mentally’ ill) suicide stats are shocking for good reason. Not everbody makes it.

He reads stories all the time about how people “missed the signs” after some tragedy involving a person with mental illness, only here he is, not missing the signs. Everyone sees the signs, only there’s nothing anyone can do.
(From Behind the Yellow Door)

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The articles aren’t all about suicide, but they all have tragedy in common and often, desperately lonely survivors. And they all tried so hard, as all good parents do, to make the world safer for their fragile children. But the world and the disorders we have, are not compassionate things. They’re not even malevolent. They just happen, life and joy and suffering and death.

“I don’t want to ruin your life anymore!”

If you only read one of these, make it A Father’s Scars. It’ll break your heart, but it will amaze you and teach you too.  If you can stand two, Behind the Yellow Door is distressing, but will give you a good idea of the impact an unmedicated man has on his family.

I can’t die before my son By Lorenza Munoz
After raising a severely autistic son to adulthood, a single mother’s brush with death raises the horrifying question of what will happen to him when she’s gone.

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The voices in my brother’s head By Maria Lazzati
After schizophrenia upended a young man’s life, the notes he left behind offer clues to the horrors that haunted his mind.

My son is schizophrenic By Paul Gionfriddo
The ‘reforms’ that I worked for have worsened his life.

The woman in 606 by CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Aftermath of a Stranger’s Death and the Puzzle of Psychosis

Your Son Is Deceased BY RACHEL AVIV
The city has one of the highest rates in the country of fatal shootings by police, but no officer has been indicted.

A Father’s Scars Stephanie McCrummen
Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds, a year after his mentally ill (bipolar) son stabbed him multple times before committing suicide.

Behind the yellow door, a man’s mental illness worsens by Stephanie McCrummen
Unmedicated SZA shut-in (no death).

Fitness Update January 26, 2015

It dawned on me that it has been awhile since I’ve written one, but I was shocked to find that I haven’t done one since October. So here for you is my latest, and extremely frustrating, fitness update: Why a Fitness Update on a Bipolar Blog? As much as I am grateful for the meds […]

The post Fitness Update January 26, 2015 appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Agoraphobia

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I used to think agoraphobia was simply not leaving your home (and it is), but it’s so much more than that. It’s a type of anxiety disorder that is the fear of or the action of avoiding situations that cause you panic or anxiety. Anxiety disorders left untreated can lead to agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is something a little different for everyone. For me, it was the fear of crowds – from grocery stores to concerts and everything in between. It was standing in a line up, waiting my turn, and maybe having to actually talk to someone. I was afraid of driving and of being in a car – or air plane. And I was afraid of being alone in public. This meant I had to have a companion for everything. But everything didn’t mean much. Mostly it just meant doctors’ appointments because I avoided doing anything else.

Most people who have bipolar disorder suffer from some form of anxiety disorder – especially social anxiety. It becomes a fear of interacting with people and can lead to a life locked in your own four walls. Agoraphobia includes the fear of open places and enclosed spaces and can lead to full-blown panic attacks. Not only can all these fears bring on severe anxiety, but so too can just the anticipation of them as well.

Relaxation is key to calming the effects of agoraphobia. What that looks like is personal. For me, I choose yoga. I find it very relaxing and gives you a time to escape your fears. Other people try meditation and various breathing exercises. Psychotherapy and medication have been successful in quelling the pains of agoraphobia. It is important, as difficult as it is, to not to continue to avoid your anxiety stressor. The more you avoid your fear, the greater it becomes. The more often you face it, the less power over you it will have. Repeatedly facing difficult situations will eventually reduce your anxiety. Anxiety worsens bipolar disorder. It’s a vicious circle.



Jigsaw

My mood is low. My anxiety is bubbling. I’m not sure if it’s a spoke in the mood cycle or just the continuing aftermath of last week’s “I’m a normal functioning person who can totally keep this pace.”
I can’t keep that pace. I am still paying the price.

I have trouble getting to sleep at night. Toss, turn, torture myself with spinning thoughts. I have Trazadone. I won’t take it. Even a tiny dose makes me useless should my kid wake up, the house catch on fire, or even waking to an alarm. I can’t handle the stuff. So nightly I either make the choice to have a drink or tough it out. I am trying to tough it out. It sucks. If one 7% alcohol drink can help ease me to sleep without nasty side effects…Why can’t the pharma companies come up with a sleepy pill to do it? Is it somehow advantageous to have a society of sleeping pill hungover zombies combined with sleep deprived stress messes?

I can’t focus. I can’t get motivated. I got my kid up and off to school. That’s the extent of today’s accomplishments. I am trying to watch my favorite shows. I can’t get interested, my mind is spinning out of control. I tried to write. Because my writing is what keeps me sane and yet…For weeks now it’s been like pulling teeth out of a struggling gator. Only the gator has dull chiclet teeth so instead of drawing blood, it just chafes my skin. I’d rather bleed and be in pain for my art than simply feel chapped and raw.
I sound nuts, don’t I? It’s a writer thing.
I need back in my pocket, that secure writing pocket where not even my own miserable mental state can intrude. I can’t get there. Maybe because I can’t seem to drop out of reality long enough. I am always with cats climbing me and a child browbeating me and friends making requests, reasonable and unreasonable. Ringing phones.
Creativity is an odd thing, it comes and goes. Writer’s block is like spending time in a body cast, full conscious yet unable to do a fucking productive thing.
But last year at this time…I was in a very dark place and still…my writing flowed like a faucet with a broken handle.
This year the mind space isn’t so dark but I am being torn in so many different directions, I can’t get all my jigsaw puzzle pieces together in a way that makes a picture.
I’m ill at ease in my own skin. It’s like wearing shoes that are too tight and every step hurts and you want to take off the shoes but…they’re super glued to your feet. No escape.

So day after day I sit and look at this thousand piece jigsaw puzzle that comprises my life…And I know what the picture should be but the pieces don’t seem to fit. And even if they do fit, my chaotic mind can’t focus enough to even find the corner pieces and work from there.
The shrink says it’s all anxiety.
Once upon a time, I’d have bought that.
But after that near death reaction I had to an MAOI back in 2000 that left my brain basically an omelet…
This is something more. This is literally mental chaos. It affects every aspect of my life. And it is a daily form of torture and the professionals won’t even hear me out, let alone help me. So does it matter if the other meds are helping if I still have an issue this big mucking up my day to day life?

I tried ginko biloba.
Memory may have been better, but focus…
The only thing over the last 15 years that made a dent was Focalin.
But because I don’t fit some textbook ADHD diagnoses and am not a teenager…The doctor won’t even entertain a notion other than “anxiety”.

I am beyond frustrated.
I am sick of sorting through jigsaw puzzle pieces. I’m not even sure the pieces are all for the same puzzle.
It’s enough to make me miss the agony of last week’s bruised rib. Which still smarts but is much better.
Physical pain people can allow leeway for.
But if you have scrambled eggs for brains…
You’re on your own and people are merciless in judging you for being so “flaky”.

My posts are proof enough of how disorganized my brain is. It’s not a deliberate attempt to be random and incoherent.
This is what I live with day to day.

And it sucks.
And sometimes…I feel like I am the only one who has this problem because no one will talk about it.
Perhaps the worst part is…I have the medical documentation to prove that reaction to the MAOI really did do brain damage…And my file is so thick doctors can’t be bothered to read more than the highlights of the last couple of years.
I’m screwed.
To think it would take one tiny dose of Focalin to make it all better…and I am talking to walls.

Ever seen the movie Misery, read the book? After the crazy fan hobbles him?
That’s how my life feels at times. Like I have been hobbled yet it’s invisible and I am still being held to the same standards as an able bodied (or minded, as this case is) person.
One of the great mysteries of the world is how I haven’t gone batshit and ended up on Deadly Women.
How much can one person take before their mind implodes?


Light Posting

I may not be updating as much this week as usual–I’m having an outpatient procedure done tomorrow and am not sure how quickly I’ll recover from it.  I’m having an endometrial ablation done to correct my periods–I’ve been having trouble with them for about seven months now and this procedure was recommended for it.  It’s a step above a D&C in that it removes the entire lining of the uterus so there is no more tissue to shed monthly.  So that is the story so far.  I may be down a few days, or I may  be too high on painkillers to post coherently :).  We will see. Pray for me that this procedure will go well and I’ll be back on my feet by Thursday as they’re predicting.


31 days of bipolar: 7

full meme here

7. What are the worst things someone can say to somebody who is bipolar?

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(Lol … tyvm dogsarebestpeople)

I know how you feel.
Everybody has mood swings.
Those pills aren’t good for you. (I read a lot of serious, peer reviewed research, I am not an idiot.)
I don’t know what to say.
Are you going to cut your ear off? (Okay I made that one up.)
Would you like to come to dinner/a party?
Oh please come to the dinner/party.
I’ll give you a lift to the dinner/party.
Please fill in this form.
Look into my eyes …
Would you like a line of coke?
Sleep is for pussies.
Have you put on weight?
Have you always had that twitch?
Could you answer that phone for me?
Hi! Just thought I’d pop in!
Surpriiiiiiiiiise!
Give me an answer NOW.
Seatbelts? Fuckem!

The thing is though, on the whole, the people I bother talking to irl don’t talk shit like that and where they’re uncomfortable is only because they care about me. Friends might cause a couple of eye rolls (as I do to them), but they’re minor eyeball vibrations, not the full Marty Feldman.

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Thanks for #MHPD!

Thanks to #mentalhealthphotoday on the B.U.L. blog I actual learned a lot about different mental illnesses and how to protect myself. I hope you enjoyed these images, and I hope you host our own #MHPD on your blog!

#MHPD: Bulimia

#MHPD: Anorexia