I have been in a slight upswing for a couple of weeks now and there is really nothing I can...
I have been in a slight upswing for a couple of weeks now and there is really nothing I can...
I think I might have mentioned this in passing before, probably on my first post about ECT, but I have...
And now, a few words on a subject bipolar people don’t like to talk about: our reluctance to shower.
I honestly don’t know what it is about performing personal hygiene that’s so hard, but it’s a real phenomenon among many of us, especially when we’re depressed. It just seems like too much of a bother. We’re not afraid of the shower, we simply lack the energy to care for ourselves, and that extends to getting dressed, caring for our hair, even brushing our teeth. And as for actually bathing away the funk, well…let’s just say that it’s the last thing on our minds when we can barely get out of bed.
Look, we know we stink. But it doesn’t matter when we’re wading through the mud of depression. My daughter’s roommate, who suffers badly from it, will literally go months without a shower. And as much as I hate to admit it, I myself have been known to go as long as a week, although one of the reasons was a legitimate one: the bathtub showers in our old house were slippery and dangerous, and having a textured bottom didn’t allow for rubber mats or gripper strips. The sides were also high, which made getting in and out dicey at best, and I lived in fear of falling and having the paramedics see me naked. So that made a great excuse for failing to shower…in my mind at least.
Now I don’t have that excuse, seeing as how my son and son-in-law’s house has a beautiful walk-in shower. It also helps that I’m NOT depressed. Guess what, I’ve showered four times in the week that we’ve been here, and I’m going to take another one tonight. I’ve even come to enjoy it again like I used to years ago, before bipolar disorder took over my life for awhile. I love the feeling of being clean and smelling nice. Showering also makes me feel better about myself—a win/win situation all around. Such a simple thing…but one I no longer take for granted.
When I’m in a bad way, I’m very fortunate in that my husband will leave me gentle hints about my needing to bathe by putting clean underwear in the bathroom for me, rather than going “Ewww, you reek!!” He knows I would never put clean underwear on a filthy body, so while I may neglect myself from time to time I’m not stupid. That’s when I’ll drag my sorry butt into the shower and git-r-done, no matter how lousy I feel or how scared I am of climbing into the tub. Thank God I no longer have to worry about the latter.
Anyway, that’s a little bit about bipolars and showers (or the lack thereof). We don’t like to acknowledge this uncivilized behavior as part of our illness, but for many of us it is. I just hope the next time I get depressed that I’ll remember how much better I feel when I don’t smell like a goat. LOL
The professionals want to label paranoia as a personality disorder. My paranoia stems from anxiety and racing thoughts. I don’t think everyone is out to get me. I don’t check behind the shower curtain for knife wielding madmen or peek around corners or look behind myself to see if I am being followed.
But the tiniest things send my anxiety into the stratosphere which leads to paranoia and a sense of all encompassing feelings of terror and doom. It’s gotten so bad, I had to quit watching soap operas 15 years ago because the weekend was anxiety laden waiting for Monday to come so I could find out what happens next. Pathetic, I know. I don’t miss soaps at all, though, so even if it stemmed my own fucked upness, it had an upside.
THEN, as much as I enjoyed watching it, I had to give up watching shows like Mystery Diagnosis. Because I’d become convinced I had worms in my brain or some disease they haven’t even named yet. I became terrified if I had one symptom, no matter how illogical it was. This went way beyond hypochondria, it became terror inducing. And so I had to stop watching.
Today, and I didn’t even notice it til I was driving my kid home, my left arm feels like a muscle was pulled and it looks puffy. OMG WHAT THE FUCK, IT’S ARM EBOLA. I’m searching my memory banks for an explanation. Did I sleep on it wrong? Did I whack it on a doorway when stumbling around half asleep to use the bathroom? Is that bug bite infected with swine flu and the arm will have to be amputated???
Yes, laugh. I know it’s ridiculous. My brain, however, believes it. It seems like a logical fear to me. Because it happens all the time. Someone goes to a doctor with some seemingly innocuous issue and they end up having cancer or something catastrophic. This is why, aside from my shrink, I avoid doctors. Like the plague. (OMG, what if I have arm plague???) If I am dying, don’t tell me. Just let it happen in its own time. Because if you tell me I’m dying and have two weeks to live…I’m gonna spend those two weeks in a state of panic, unable to think of anything else. Nope. Does not want.
I’m sure this post will give some people chuckles. I wish I found it funny. This is my daily life and no matter how hard I try to fight it off and convince myself nothing is wrong…The more anxiety and paranoia mounts. Even now, I keep glancing at my arm (is it puffy or am I insane? The pain is real.) and wondering what if…west nile virus. Swine flu. Mad Cow disease. Some malady only Dr. House and his team can figure out? Will I end up with a horrible disease named after me? Morgueticia’s disease. Has a cool ring to it, no? OMG, flesh eating bacteria!!! Yes, that’s it, I could have that, omg, panic, panic, panic.
It’s only funny when it’s not happening to you.
My brain has serious wiring issues. I think I am gonna donate it to science upon my demise. Maybe they can learn exactly what went wrong and research what makes a bipolar brain so different.
Or they can stick it in a jar on their desk and have coffee with coworkers and laugh about the crazy bitch who thought she had Legionnaire’s disease…But ended up dying of swine flu.
SO I go back to the doctor and she releases me back to normal activity except for sex. Apparently I need to wait another four weeks on that. That’s ALL I needed to hear. Otherwise it was about what i expected-waiting around 2 hours to see her. Hopefully I will not have to go back for quite some time now that I have finally quit bleeding. Hallelujah and Praise God!
I’m trying to write more now that the kids are out of the house and in school. I’m working again on the bipolar book Finding the Eye in the Storm: A Memoir of Bipolar Disorder. Changing the name on the advice of a writer friend of mine. So we will see how this goes.
Friday I will hopefully see a friend I haven’t seen in almost twenty years. My college roommate is visiting from New Jersey and I hope to meet her in Flowood for lunch after my cllass Friday. SO we will see how that goes. I’m looking forward to it
I’ve got so much to look forward to. I hope my doctor is right that I’m in remission. I hope that means I can add more to my life than I have had the past few years and really start living again. I can’t imagine going back to the life I was living back before I was diagnosed. But I pray that God has something even better in store for me after this trial and I can realize it in my lifetime. I’m trusting and praying that he will.
Hope everyone has a good rest of the week!
So awhile back I got all depressed…Ok,I’ve been depressed for ten months, neither here nor there…But I decided to try to cheer myself up by taking a walk down memory lane aka HAIR METAL YEARS. And wow, some of the old bands are still making albums. Major suckage for the most part..But THIS, fromTrixter, or whatever they’re passing off as Trixter cos frankly age means shit but cut off the hair and I HAVE ZERO IDEA IF THESE ARE THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS. I digress…This song is fucking awesome.
So my kid had a sleepover at grandma’s last night, I haven’t fetched her yet. I haven’t put on pants yet. Meh. I need to do the shower thing, it’s been like two days? Three? I dunno. Details. I slept til ten. Though I was awake til almost four a.m. I don’t get to indulge my night owl much these days ‘cos I am a forced daywalker with the spawn. It was a pleasant change. I just played music on youtube but still…I briefly felt like the old me. (Okay, so I imbibed a bit that wasn’t iced tea, but cut me a fucking break.)
I’m experimenting with this whole “light will cure your depression and make you sprout wings and fly away” thing. I like to keep my place dark. Not pitch black, but I do find sunlight triggering so I had these icky (given to me free) brown curtains that drowned out all light…I found these purple satin-y curtains at a yard sale and they were so pretty and I talked the lady down to half off what she marked them..So I put them up. And now…my living room is a daywalker’s paradise. It’s killing me. Literally, my head is starting to hurt and my anxiety is bubbling up. I am gonna stick with it at least a week. My kid shouldn’t have to live in a crypt, after all. Who knows, maybe it will cure my depression. (And monkeys might fly out of my butt.)
I’m still keeping my bedroom dark, though. I have to have some sanctuary from the stuid sunlight. Vitamins and all aside, sunlight isn’t that healthy for me if it helps the depression yet gives me migraines and triggers my anxiety. Fuck. I can’t win.
I’ve played that Trixter song ten times in the last hour. I like it. Everything sucks but I like this song. I still don’t know who the members are ‘cos minus that awesome long hair, people just look alien to me. Hair is my fetish, sue me. It started when I was ten years old. I like what I like. Short hair on men is icky. Okay, some can pull it off, but I still like long hair. As long as I don’t have a visual of short haired rock stars and just listen to the music, I’m good. I see short hair and immediately assume the music is shit. I suck that way. I’m also a music sexist ‘cos few women can do metal. Most of it’s about them looking hot, screw talent. Exceptions to the rule would be Lita Ford, Doro Pesche, Joan Jett, Lizzy Hale, and the singer from Stitched Up Heart. If you can be hot and wail..I can roll with that.
I haven’t heard from R in two days. He didn’t reply to my text yesterday. I’m a little leery. He was here the other night watching The Human Centipede with me (which btw, was super fucked up) and his wife called. She was on her way back to town and wanted him home pronto. I talked to her and asked if he could stay 16 more minutes to watch the ending of the movie, she said sure. Then he had trouble with his scooter not starting and i called to let her know he wasn’t blowing her off…And she made this snarky comment, “I should have just let him stay there with you.” Um…’Kay. I don’t get it, cos she likes me and is in favor of my friendship with R. So was she pissed at him, at me, what? Or is she thinking something nefarious was going on? Ha. Not with my kid in the middle of everything. I can’t do anything ‘cos my Siamese twin is there. Not that I’d want to with R. She’s sucked the life out of him, he’s as interesting as watching paint dry these days. Blah blah blah broken shit busted stuff blah blah blah. BOOOORING. So whatever that was all about…I dunno. Human interaction is a pain in the ass with all its drama. Leave me to my cats and computer, thankyouverymuch. Seriously, maybe my people skills are limited and the bipolar and stuff fucks it up worse..It’s just a matter of how much it costs me versus how much it benefits me. Is that shallow? Meh. I have a good heart if you don’t piss me off. Unfortunately, most people piss me off. Character flaw? Who wants drama and to be used? I’ll take what is antisocial, Alex.
And for the thirteenth time..Tattoos and Misery again. YESSS. Rarely do I find a song I wanna hear more than once. ‘Cos grunge killed rock and roll and it’s never been the same. It used to be fun. Now it’s just…Icky. There are exceptions, though I am finding a lot of the cool stuff is either Canadian or Norwegian or Swedish. WTF, America? Okay, let’s do something different. Cell Block Tango. Merry murderesses cheer me up. And Catherine Zeta Jones is fucking hot. Ya know, she’s bipolar. And HOTTTT. I can say shit like that even if I favor men ‘cos I’m secure in who I am. I spot a cool Mustang and say it’s hot, doesn’t mean I wanna have sex with it. Well, maybe a ’73 Pantera ‘cos those are just fucking sexy…
I’m doing my “just took my Cymbalta, enter hypomanic buzz” ranting. I should be doing the shower and pants thing. God, it seems like so much work. I remember my manic days when I wasn’t diagnosed properly and they were shoveling anti depressants down my gullet…So outside the seasonal depression, I was manic for eight months of the year. And I was a fashionista. I would gussy up every day, full make up, cute clothes, hair extensions, the whole bit. An hour to get ready even though the local consensus has always been “the natural look”. I liked my make up that had to be removed with a putty knife. (That was a compliment someone bestowed upon me back in the day. I think they were trying to say I wore too much make up.)
Now, after the Nardil brain damage and mood stabilizers…I can barely muster up the energy to put on pants, let alone make up and shit. How fucking sad is that. And all these professionals have the nerve to ask, “How does your condition affect your day to day life?” HOW DOESN’T IT????? I’m a fucking husk of who I used to be. Was it just the mania? Was I always this frumpy drained husk but the straight anti depressants made me manic enough to be a fashionista? Or is it age and a kid? I blame the stupid depressions. They suck the life out of the best of us. And we have to put up with asshats who think it’s some affectation. I’d like to see them walk in our shoes for one week, feeling all out of whack and miserable or happy and out of control. They’d be crying uncle after two days.
I must say, in the interest of being honest and fair, the Cymbalta is helping, to an extent. I am making goo-goo eyes at my kittens and feeling true love and joy for their fuzzy butts. Few months ago even that was beyond my ability. Truth be told, I am hoping he boosts me to 120mg. I like the energy buzz Cymbalta gives. Not to mention the added plus of having no knee pain while I’m on it. I’ve had knee problems for ten years and the doctors just shrug ‘cos their scans show nothing. I suffered, damn it. Now…I don’t. That’s a plus. But ya know, the bitch of it is…If I tell my doctor it’s helping, he’s gonna pat himself on the back and declare me all cured. Stupid professionals. You should be required to have suffered a bout with mental illness before you can work in the mental health field. I know my first (well, as an adult, I had a counselor in school) counselor really got it because as a teenager she suffered such bad depression she was hospitalized. That was what made her want to be a counselor. And it made her awesome.
Okay. Procrastination be thy name but I am betting my kid is hungry ‘cos my mom blew all the money on her party and they have no food to feed her. Shower. Pants. Dish. I don’t wanna…And while my purple curtains are very pretty all this goddamn light is oppressive, I need a Tylenol already. Ass trash.
If anyone sees my “give a damn” and “giddyup and go” please let me know.
I’ve gone dark.
I haven’t written anything in a while and well…that’s a good thing.
I told you I was going to school now and making things happen in my life instead of waiting.
I miss writing and hopefully will get back to it soon. I’m just getting some things under my belt :)
The Recovery Quilt is coming along. The pieces are sewn in strips, cut, and laid out. Next step is to sew all these pieces together to make the top. Then I think we sew the side borders on, put batting in it, and stitch it over the top. But one step at a time.