Nah, not really a battle, I just like the Epic Rap Battles Of History thing on youtube and the opening always gets stuck in my head. I don’t rap, but I rant like a boss. BEGIN.
Yesterday’s petri dish outing was…Ugh. It’s not my attitude being negative. It’s not some self fulfilling prophecy where I dread it so it turns out bad. It just is. Because everything is amplified during a depression and your attitude counts for fuck all. If positive attitude alone made a dent in mental illness, all the so called professionals would be out of jobs. Point being, I fulfilled my obligation to have lunch with my friend. That I consider it an obligation should indicate just how far down the depressive rabbit hole I’ve gone. Instead, the doctor seems to think it’s some affectation. Were he worth a damn as a doctor, he’d recognize the symptoms of anhedonia, which is a hallmark of serious clinical depression.
While there at the shop for lunch, I had a couple of episodes that disturbed me. The first was when Kenny popped in during his lunch hour, one of R’s friends stopped by, and just that much seemed like too much stimulation and exposure. I started to feel the fight or flight response of panic kick in and retired to a deserted room away from any living creatures. I did all the STOP sign and breathing exercises from therapy. I did the self pep talk, reminding myself it was just an anxiety attack, I was in no danger, there was no logic, I could control it. Zero fucks were given by the anxiety. It passed, but had I been in a job working with the public and needed the flee to get my bearings..I’d be screwed. That’s one of the biggest parts of anxiety that no one seems to get. No, the panic attack won’t kill me. But when it happens in front of people in a situation where you cannot hit the escape hatch without major repercussions…It’s a problem.
The second episode was a complete wash of dizziness and nausea combined with an intense urge to sleep. I get that from time to time, it’s not frequent, and usually I just drink some orange juice and feel better. Some sort of blood sugar issue, I assume. I had no OJ, nothing sweet, and all I could do was ride it out even though it was a challenge to remain upright and conscious. Unnerving, to say the least.
I think the thoughts I wrote down before leaving kind of spell it out.
Seems oxymorons are a given with bipolar. Happily depressed? Depressively manic?
I get anxiously lethargic. Mainly because of my disrupted sleep patterns I spend a lot of time in a sleepy haze, functioning yet feeling things through a layer of gauze. I’d loove to just curl up and sleep. Some moments, I actually could just nod off…
EXCEPT the anxiety receptors are firing simultaneously resulting in the rapid heartbeat and that tense “can’t let my guard down” sensation. Which feeds my anxious stomach and it starts to churn.
So I’m sleepy and lethargic.
Yet I am anxious and jumpy.
I take a Xanax to soothe the anxiety, and lethargic becomes “need toothpicks to keep eyelids open.”
Mental illness, and its treatments, are a catch 22 from hell.
Yet I am still expected to go face the day, be clear and focused, and not a shambling zombie in spite of the overwhelming sleepiness. I am supposed to make calm rational choices and have calm reactions when my nerve endings are in flames.
Mental illness. The gift that keeps on taking and can never be returned.
I am told that getting up and moving around, going out in the sunlight and fresh air, being around others, will help me. Instead I think it drains me. It’s like a checking account. You have so much money you can make checks out for. Go over that amount and your checks bounce. Overdrawn. And when I am feeling all wonky and wiped in the first place, rather than feed me anything positive, trips in the dish result in an overdraft.
In an effort to be fair…There are times when doing the social dish helps. During an overwhelming depressive/anxiety bout simply isn’t one of those times. Goes back to the sporks. When stable or manic, I may start out with 24 or 36 sporks to use during the day. When I am in bad shape, I start out with 6 to 12 sporks and most of them are gone before noon.
Add to it that by hour four outside my bubble yesterday, my skin started to crawl with anxiety. I needed to go. Had to go. For my own well being. Yet R guilted me into staying by playing the “I enjoy having you around” thing. Translation: “I don’t want to be alone and have to fetch my own drinks and lunch.” Sad but true. Maybe he does enjoy my company. But he also enjoys Lisa, Bonnie, Kenny, Mark, and every other Tom, Dick, and Harry. Anything to not be alone. I don’t want to be a bad friend, he helps me out a lot. (Car parts and repairs alone, I’m still indebted to him for life.) But once I hit my “breakout” stage of the day where I need my bubble and my mind is spinning out of control with anxiety…I need to GO. Thankfully I now have an excuse so he can’t milk the guilt card too long. Gotta go get my spawn…
The outing got me smokes for a couple of days. Yes, I will stoop that low for nicotine. But also, I am trying to be a good girl and follow the professional advice (loosely) by forcing myself outside my bubble in the hopes it might improve my mood. It hasn’t happened yet. I live in a state of perpetual cautious optimism. If you don’t push yourself, don’t take the meds, don’t make the effort, the doctors get even more dismissive and treat you like a pill seeker. Cos psych med side effects are so non existent and they get you all high and joyous so of course we’d be in there lying to score Prozac or whatever. Idgets. So I TRY even though time after time it depletes me.
Once back to the safety of my bubble…I started to regain equilibrium. I needed to zone out, even though I desperately wanted to blog. The words and thoughts were all such a jumble, I couldn’t even make sense of it so I gave up. Instead, I numbed my mind with Criminal Minds as background noise and played mindless Word Poker on Neopets. (Spelling puzzles are an addiction for me, and my favorite just happens to be on a kid’s site, sue me.) All the time, my mind wavered on doing that which I have been dreading and putting off for days. The heinous trip to the grocery store. Aldi, no less, the one always so busy with long lines that sets off my panic receptors. No, I am tapped out, I can do it tomorrow. But if I get it over with, I’ll feel relieved. I don’t think I have the energy right now. Who says you will have it tomorrow, either, you’ll just wake up to realize you’re out of everything and still need food. Back and forth my mind went, all the while dealing with MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY. Then her friends came over and were mean to her again and I had to run them off. Two sporks left at 5 p.m.
Those sporks bit the dust when I finally located my missing kitten Brimstone. He died. I’d hoped he’d just gotten loose and was exploring and would come back all the while knowing in my gut if he were alive, he’d have been back. Another cat I had to bury. That was the third and final one from Nightshade’s litter. None of them lived. I was immensely sad. Yet…I couldn’t manage a single tear. That’s a side effect from the meds that’s always pissed me off. Sure, crying constantly due to depression isn’t optimal. But not being able to cry at all, to feel the cathartic release of expressing grief…That sucks more. It makes me look cold and uncaring, like some sociopath. It’s the same when my kid gets hurt. I patch her up, make the appropriate noises, and I’ve always made a hella effort not to be an overreactive dramatic “every booboo is a mortal wound” mom like mine was…But I know my affect is all wrong. It comes off to others like I don’t care when my kid is in pain and it’s not like that at all. I just can’t work up appropriate emotional responses. For all purposes…I’m dead inside. Emotional novacaine to the bone marrow.
Eventually…I forced myself out the door. Plan was to check the Aldi parking lot, determine how busy it was at 7 p.m. Thankfully it wasn’t busy at all and Spook and I loaded up on food. She wasn’t impressed by all the healthy stuff I got for her as opposed to bags of marshmallows like my mom feeds her. I’m trying to do the right thing. My job is to be her parent and do what’s best for her, not be her friend by shoving sweets down her gullet. I’m not an anti cookie nazi, just trying to promote healthier eating habits than what my mom is promoting. Seriously, it gets to three in the afternoon and the kid hasn’t had breakfast or lunch but mom says, “She’s had three cupcakes, some jumbo marshmallows, and a brownie.” Great, she’s not gonna starve, now she’s just gonna have rotten teeth and be hyper as hell. Thanks, Mom.
It was good to get the outing done and over with. It’s good to look in the freezer and fridge and see all the food, I probably won’t have to buy anything for two weeks aside from a couple of necessities I forgot. (Shopping with a 5 year old will cause black out memory issues.) Getting it done meant I could look forward to a vegetative day and that’s pretty liberating. Spent the evening enjoying some music on youtube with my kid. Eventually hit my wall, though. I took a Xanax. Mind kept spinning. I took a 3mg of Melatonin. I slept.
Unfortunately, I was half comatose this morning. I lolled in bed til noon. I haven’t done that in ages. I was awake, just unmotivated and overly sedated. My kid is old enough to get own cereal and she was right there in my room so I didn’t even bother feeling guilty. The lethargy is the price for a good night’s sleep.
Today I am feeling…Less high strung but still sucky. I barely had a chance to put on pants before Spook was dragging her little friends inside. And that comes with its own set of suckage. I don’t like people invading my safe space. My housekeeping is shit, my vacuum is broken. I have no screens on my windows but have to open them to cool the place so the flies are everywhere. Not to mention all the cats. And my insane paranoia that the kids are “casing the place” to report to their parents if I have anything worth stealing. I just don’t like people in my safe space, especially when I am in such a depression the housework is subpar even by my low standards. Ugh.
But I survived and I am still ticking. Yay.
In an effort to recognize that there is goodness in the world…I found a show called Nightwatch which basically follows around paramedics and firefighters on the night shift. The firefighters responded to a house fire and they found no people inside but they found a kitty cat and it was suffering from smoke inhalation. So they put him on an oxygen mask, because yes, they carry special masks just for animals. Now that is chicken soup for the soul, to an extent.
If you made it to the end of this insipid long ass rant…You win…