Daily Archives: June 22, 2016

Another Electroconvulsive Therapy Update

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
I’ve had three sessions of ECT so far, nine to go. Apparently I’m having seizures the way I’m supposed to, I haven’t experienced anything more than very temporary, very short term memory loss. The muscle pain is minimal, there’s no nausea. Leaving home at 05h30 to get there in…

Another Electroconvulsive Therapy Update

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
I’ve had three sessions of ECT so far, nine to go. Apparently I’m having seizures the way I’m supposed to, I haven’t experienced anything more than very temporary, very short term memory loss. The muscle pain is minimal, there’s no nausea. Leaving home at 05h30 to get there in…

Another Electroconvulsive Therapy Update

I’ve had three sessions of ECT so far, nine to go. Apparently I’m having seizures the way I’m supposed to, I haven’t experienced anything more than very temporary, very short […]

8 WAYS

This is a beautiful, but sad article from my relative Abbas Raza’s erudite website called 3 Quarks Daily or 3QD as we affectionately call it 😊 It’s a poignant description of what we with bipolar disorder and our loved ones, who love us and try to help us through it, go through because of bipolar disorder. I guess I could say what we, people with bipolar disorder, put our loved ones through 😔. I’m sure, at times, I am not easy to live with and I commend my husband for always being there for me. It reminded me how lucky I am that I will soon be celebrating my 28th wedding anniversary, while how many relationships are trashed and left by the wayside by this infernal disease. Yes, this disease can be infernal! The piece below is beautifully and wistfully and poetically written. (Just one note: as usual I would have said people who have bipolar disorder, not bipolar people or manic depressives. That’s just what I always prefer.)


From: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2016/06/8-ways.html

8 WAYS
by Tamuira Reid
According to an article written by Therese J. Bouchard for the site, World of Psychology, there are “8 Ways to Help Your Bipolar Loved One Cope”.
1. Educate yourself. “Education is always the starting point. Because until a spouse or daughter or friend of a manic-depressive understands the illness, it is impossible to say and do the right thing.” -TB
I try to imagine your rage as something beautiful. Lightning raging across the sky. Wind raging across a thirsty desert. But all I see is you, Giant Man. Trapped in a body with a broken mind. What does it feel like? I don’t recognize you in these moments, not even in the eyes. They go grey, flat. Like still water or trapped rain.
2. Learn how to talk to your loved one. “[He] doesn’t say much when I’m clutching tissue paper, crying my eyes out. And he’s hesitant to speak when I’m manic. When I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, he reminds me why I need to.” – TB
I feel like I’ve lost my mind, T.
Then let’s find it.
It’s not funny.
I’m not laughing.
Go fuck yourself.
3. Make some rules. “All those times the school administrators rehearsed what, exactly, would happen in the case of an emergency? Families of bipolar persons need them as well: a plan of action for those times when the bipolar person is sick.” – TB
You cut the deck and wait and cut it again. We open our Pepsi’s and sit on the floor in our underwear.
We learned to play cards like this in rehab. To kill the boredom. To pass time thinking about anything other than how much we wanted to use.
When I went into treatment for my drinking problem, everyone warned me not to fall in love. Rehab booty is bad booty. Ridiculous, I thought. Who the hell finds love in a place like this?
It was my 25th day. Morning meeting. Bunch of newly sober drones reading from the Big Book. I was knitting a scarf for Linda, because she finally kicked dope and was leaving and had no chance in the world really but we all liked to pretend she did. A scarf with blue and black squiggly lines. That’s when I heard it. Your voice. It cut through the room on some silvery thread. I looked up and saw you, Giant Man, with a stream of light pouring down on you from a hole in the cabin ceiling. Perfectly illuminated. It was so cheesy and over-the-top but there you have it. Fuck, I remember thinking. Oh fuck.  
If I could go back to that morning and change it all. Stay in my room instead of going to morning meeting. If I’d gone to the center by the beach instead of the rehab on the mountain. 
Go fish, you say and smile.
4. Plan for emergencies. “When you are dealing with a disease that has the potential to become life-threatening, the last thing you want is an improvised response to an emergency situation,” writes Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D. in his book “Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families.”
You scratch your arms. You scratch your face until it is red and torn. You scratch and howl at a moon that is not there. Trying to fight off a piece of yourself. I say, come sit with me a while. I say, it will be over soon, not knowing this is true. The neighbors hit the wall on their side, kick it. They are tired of the noise. They are tired of this shit. So is he, I want to tell them.
When you were six your neighbor and his buddies took you fishing for the first time off the coast of Ireland where you still lived. You had on a little wool cap and sunscreen and held tight to a borrowed fishing rod. They drank beer and laughed and talked about the things men talk about when their wives aren’t around. You had to pee but held it because you didn’t want to miss anything. The ocean looked huge and you wondered if the fish ever got bored swimming around all day with no TV to watch or comics to read. When a fish was caught it was thrown into a cooler near your feet. You looked down at them, shimmery and cold and gasping for air. With all your strength you lifted the cooler and dumped them back out into the water. They landed with a thud, like the one your body made when you jumped into a pool. The men put their beers down and stared at you or maybe they screamed but the fish were free now.
5. Listen. “Don’t hesitate to say nothing. Because silence often speaks the most loving message.” – TB
After rehab, you move to New York to be with me and take the window dressing job at Donna Karan and your Giant Man hands dismember the mannequins instead of dressing them. Snap off pretty plastic arms and legs. You try to fit in, try to fold yourself into the world of normal people doing their normal things. Waking up. Going to work. Buying lunch from the halal guy on the corner, the greasy rice leaking through the Styrofoam and onto your pants. Sometimes you don’t even get on the train but sit on the station bench instead for hours like it is your job. Like staying alive is your job.
I can’t do it.
Can’t do what?
Work. I don’t know. Think? I can’t think.
I think you’re being lazy and bills are coming in and now I have to do the thinking for both of us.
And I’m sorry for that. I’d like to tell you I’m sorry for that.
6. Go Gentle. “A little kindness and gentleness toward your loved one–especially at those times that you feel incapable of affection and care– goes a long way to aid recovery.” – TB
I stop caring about you sometime between January and May. When the weather changes and the leaves come back. You go on the new meds and can’t have aged cheese or avocado and I sit at the table in the kitchen, watching you watch me. We try to drive the crazy away but it has us by the throat, sleeps where we sleep.
7. Laugh together. “Recent studies indicate that humor reduces pain and boosts a person’s immune system.” – TB
The hypnotist snaps his fingers and then there you are again in the office, sprawled out on the sofa like a beautiful smashed bird. And for a moment, you are unaware of who you are and what you are returning to. Hi, I say. Your hand feels light in mine and I remember that day so long ago when we rode the subway for the first time and it shot out of the tunnel at 125th street and sunlight hit us from all around and we kissed.
But then it’s back to the real world of our apartment, all five bolts locked, and you, Giant Man, stand in front of the Giant Ikea Bookshelf – the one you built in a manic episode (I just need a project, a fucking project!) – pulling the thesaurus down from it’s spot, conundrum, you whisper. Mystery, secret, head-scratcher.
Head-scratcher. Yep, totally you, I say.
8. Get support for yourself. “It can be exhausting to live with a hypomanic person and frustrating to deal with a seriously depressed person day after day,” says Dr. Mondimore. “The changes and unpredictability of the moods of someone with bipolar disorder intrude into home life and can be the source of severe stress in relationships, straining them to breaking point.” – TB
You call me from the fourth treatment center. I feel like Seabiscuit. Champing at the bit. So ready to get out of here. I’m like a new person, T. I have great meds, man. I mean, they work, like I feel them working.
You will call me in the years following this, from the next center and the next, from hospitals with crap beds and the psych wards with horrible fucking food and the places in-between that neither of us want to remember. In and out of doors for the rest of your life.
Your calls have mostly ended. Sometimes I think I hear your voice in my sleep, all big and Giant, and I want to ask where you are but I don’t because it matters and it doesn’t. The only real thing is you aren’t here anymore.

– See more at: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2016/06/8-ways.html#sthash.rF0pDK9v.dpuf


8 WAYS

This is a beautiful, but sad article from my relative Abbas Raza’s erudite website called 3 Quarks Daily or 3QD as we affectionately call it 😊 It’s a poignant description of what we with bipolar disorder and our loved ones, who love us and try to help us through it, go through because of bipolar disorder. I guess I could say what we, people with bipolar disorder, put our loved ones through 😔. I’m sure, at times, I am not easy to live with and I commend my husband for always being there for me. It reminded me how lucky I am that I will soon be celebrating my 28th wedding anniversary, while how many relationships are trashed and left by the wayside by this infernal disease. Yes, this disease can be infernal! The piece below is beautifully and wistfully and poetically written. (Just one note: as usual I would have said people who have bipolar disorder, not bipolar people or manic depressives. That’s just what I always prefer.)


From: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2016/06/8-ways.html

8 WAYS
by Tamuira Reid
According to an article written by Therese J. Bouchard for the site, World of Psychology, there are “8 Ways to Help Your Bipolar Loved One Cope”.
1. Educate yourself. “Education is always the starting point. Because until a spouse or daughter or friend of a manic-depressive understands the illness, it is impossible to say and do the right thing.” -TB
I try to imagine your rage as something beautiful. Lightning raging across the sky. Wind raging across a thirsty desert. But all I see is you, Giant Man. Trapped in a body with a broken mind. What does it feel like? I don’t recognize you in these moments, not even in the eyes. They go grey, flat. Like still water or trapped rain.
2. Learn how to talk to your loved one. “[He] doesn’t say much when I’m clutching tissue paper, crying my eyes out. And he’s hesitant to speak when I’m manic. When I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, he reminds me why I need to.” – TB
I feel like I’ve lost my mind, T.
Then let’s find it.
It’s not funny.
I’m not laughing.
Go fuck yourself.
3. Make some rules. “All those times the school administrators rehearsed what, exactly, would happen in the case of an emergency? Families of bipolar persons need them as well: a plan of action for those times when the bipolar person is sick.” – TB
You cut the deck and wait and cut it again. We open our Pepsi’s and sit on the floor in our underwear.
We learned to play cards like this in rehab. To kill the boredom. To pass time thinking about anything other than how much we wanted to use.
When I went into treatment for my drinking problem, everyone warned me not to fall in love. Rehab booty is bad booty. Ridiculous, I thought. Who the hell finds love in a place like this?
It was my 25th day. Morning meeting. Bunch of newly sober drones reading from the Big Book. I was knitting a scarf for Linda, because she finally kicked dope and was leaving and had no chance in the world really but we all liked to pretend she did. A scarf with blue and black squiggly lines. That’s when I heard it. Your voice. It cut through the room on some silvery thread. I looked up and saw you, Giant Man, with a stream of light pouring down on you from a hole in the cabin ceiling. Perfectly illuminated. It was so cheesy and over-the-top but there you have it. Fuck, I remember thinking. Oh fuck.  
If I could go back to that morning and change it all. Stay in my room instead of going to morning meeting. If I’d gone to the center by the beach instead of the rehab on the mountain. 
Go fish, you say and smile.
4. Plan for emergencies. “When you are dealing with a disease that has the potential to become life-threatening, the last thing you want is an improvised response to an emergency situation,” writes Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D. in his book “Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families.”
You scratch your arms. You scratch your face until it is red and torn. You scratch and howl at a moon that is not there. Trying to fight off a piece of yourself. I say, come sit with me a while. I say, it will be over soon, not knowing this is true. The neighbors hit the wall on their side, kick it. They are tired of the noise. They are tired of this shit. So is he, I want to tell them.
When you were six your neighbor and his buddies took you fishing for the first time off the coast of Ireland where you still lived. You had on a little wool cap and sunscreen and held tight to a borrowed fishing rod. They drank beer and laughed and talked about the things men talk about when their wives aren’t around. You had to pee but held it because you didn’t want to miss anything. The ocean looked huge and you wondered if the fish ever got bored swimming around all day with no TV to watch or comics to read. When a fish was caught it was thrown into a cooler near your feet. You looked down at them, shimmery and cold and gasping for air. With all your strength you lifted the cooler and dumped them back out into the water. They landed with a thud, like the one your body made when you jumped into a pool. The men put their beers down and stared at you or maybe they screamed but the fish were free now.
5. Listen. “Don’t hesitate to say nothing. Because silence often speaks the most loving message.” – TB
After rehab, you move to New York to be with me and take the window dressing job at Donna Karan and your Giant Man hands dismember the mannequins instead of dressing them. Snap off pretty plastic arms and legs. You try to fit in, try to fold yourself into the world of normal people doing their normal things. Waking up. Going to work. Buying lunch from the halal guy on the corner, the greasy rice leaking through the Styrofoam and onto your pants. Sometimes you don’t even get on the train but sit on the station bench instead for hours like it is your job. Like staying alive is your job.
I can’t do it.
Can’t do what?
Work. I don’t know. Think? I can’t think.
I think you’re being lazy and bills are coming in and now I have to do the thinking for both of us.
And I’m sorry for that. I’d like to tell you I’m sorry for that.
6. Go Gentle. “A little kindness and gentleness toward your loved one–especially at those times that you feel incapable of affection and care– goes a long way to aid recovery.” – TB
I stop caring about you sometime between January and May. When the weather changes and the leaves come back. You go on the new meds and can’t have aged cheese or avocado and I sit at the table in the kitchen, watching you watch me. We try to drive the crazy away but it has us by the throat, sleeps where we sleep.
7. Laugh together. “Recent studies indicate that humor reduces pain and boosts a person’s immune system.” – TB
The hypnotist snaps his fingers and then there you are again in the office, sprawled out on the sofa like a beautiful smashed bird. And for a moment, you are unaware of who you are and what you are returning to. Hi, I say. Your hand feels light in mine and I remember that day so long ago when we rode the subway for the first time and it shot out of the tunnel at 125th street and sunlight hit us from all around and we kissed.
But then it’s back to the real world of our apartment, all five bolts locked, and you, Giant Man, stand in front of the Giant Ikea Bookshelf – the one you built in a manic episode (I just need a project, a fucking project!) – pulling the thesaurus down from it’s spot, conundrum, you whisper. Mystery, secret, head-scratcher.
Head-scratcher. Yep, totally you, I say.
8. Get support for yourself. “It can be exhausting to live with a hypomanic person and frustrating to deal with a seriously depressed person day after day,” says Dr. Mondimore. “The changes and unpredictability of the moods of someone with bipolar disorder intrude into home life and can be the source of severe stress in relationships, straining them to breaking point.” – TB
You call me from the fourth treatment center. I feel like Seabiscuit. Champing at the bit. So ready to get out of here. I’m like a new person, T. I have great meds, man. I mean, they work, like I feel them working.
You will call me in the years following this, from the next center and the next, from hospitals with crap beds and the psych wards with horrible fucking food and the places in-between that neither of us want to remember. In and out of doors for the rest of your life.
Your calls have mostly ended. Sometimes I think I hear your voice in my sleep, all big and Giant, and I want to ask where you are but I don’t because it matters and it doesn’t. The only real thing is you aren’t here anymore.

– See more at: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2016/06/8-ways.html#sthash.rF0pDK9v.dpuf


Against the Odds

So here I am (sort of against my will) writing my blog. I just kept a diary this week and will share with you:

So I was wondering what to do with the rest of my life. At a retreat I was at I got an answer: “Opportunity presents itself when you are just doing the day by day stuff as best you can.”

Wednesday:

Saw both psychiatrist and therapist in same day. Talked about my birthday, weight loss, and my Aunt Nancy. Aunt Nancy is my favorite aunt…the last of that generation and she just had a heart attack. It’s pretty hard. Definitely felt mild to moderately depressed.

Decided this is going to be the year of weight loss. One year from now, I’ll be looking good for that next birthday.

I’ve been using some phone apps to help me keep going: “My Net Diary” for food, “moodtracker” for mood and anxiety, “balanced” for stuff to do, and “centering prayer”. I’m doing great on my devotionals and prayers. Don’t feel much like seeing friends. Definitely some birthday depression floating around.

Thursday:

It’s my birthday and we are getting the outside of the house painted. They started at 6 am, which really wasn’t bad cause I was up anyway. The painter had me pick out colors which was intimidating because you had to like them for something like ten years.

Not much going on for my birthday…I see the CBT therapist at 3. Had some Happy Birthday texts from friends this morning. My heart just isn’t in my birthday. Did get a shower but feel definitely depressed.

Friday:

Up at 5:30 with the painters. They started working and it is looking really good. I feel okay this morning but not like really doing anything. I need to do some laundry. Also need to work on some homework for my CBT therapist. Last night I had a nice birthday. The cake was really good and my son made grilled cheese. I got some make-up brushes, lip gloss, gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, decaf coffee K-cups, and a gift certificate for a party at the local tea room. Remember I was talking about this?

I felt a little better and did a load of laundry. Husband was taking his sister out for her birthday. I didn’t want to go. I don’t hate my SIL but she is kind of cold acting.

We’re having turkey wraps for dinner…it’s getting pretty hot here.

Saturday:

Woke up with a mild headache. Waiting on painters to come, clean up a bit, and pick up their check. I have to be honest. I didn’t think the house looked that bad to start with. But it now looks gorgeous. They did a lot of powerwashing, fixing cracks, underneath the patio ceiling, etc. It’s all terrific.

I think today I am feeling slightly elevated. Just slightly. But I am going to a movie with my friend and I do want to go. Sort of unusual for me to want to go anywhere. I also made a date for breakfast next Friday on strict orders of my doctors. They said I can’t expect the meds to do everything and I know they are right. But it is extremely frustrating to agonize over what I am doing wrong or right and banging my head against the wall. Then I simply pop a pill and feel okay. All that angst about how worthless I am, etc.

My friend called and cancelled the movie. I was sort of glad because it was SHE who cancelled and not me. We rescheduled….no big deal. I got my blue and white quilt ready to be sent off for quilting. Next project is a large Christmas quilt with some sparkly flecks in the fabric.

Sunday:

Ditched church…was too lazy to get a shower. Back to the shower thing again. Got up and did devotional…hands not so shaky.Father’s Day: having lemon pie, pizza, and watching Game 7 of the NBA Finals. For a gift for my husband we all chipped in and my older son built him a computer. I guess it runs pretty fast….my husband is thrilled.

Still worried some about daughter as she is still having headaches. Pretty sure these are tension migraine type headaches.

Monday:

Slightly elevated mood. Walking around humming which is always a good sign. Don’t have a lot to do today, may listen to an audiobook. Got all my devotionals, meditation, and mood apps done on my phone. Not sure if the elevated mood is the Rexulti or the CBT.

I am really pleased with my therapists. I feel like they are truly interested in me and have my best interests at heart. The CBT therapist is helping with the anxiety, but more importantly she is helping me have a more positive attitude. I am getting attached to both of these ladies…they feel like friends, even though I know they are being paid for their services. Both therapists are encouraging me to view myself as someone who is healthy with an “issue”…that being bipolar. I’d love to feel that way.

Started a little on my Christmas quilt.

Tuesday:

Hands are pretty shaky today and I am frustrated. Woke up with a migraine. Know this is cause by mixing Rexulti and Zoloft. Want to go back on Rexulti and Wellbutrin. Don’t see the doctor till the 5th.

Angry with myself today as I wanted to go to the gym and then to my bipolar support group. But there is no one to drive me. Husband is going to an  auction, daughter is going out, older son still at work, younger son off with friends. I have GOT to get driving again. Right now my hold up is taking too much Klonopin for anxiety. I get spacey and I need to focus on the road.

I have some good news. I invited people to the tea and have 14 people who said “yes”. I think it will be fun. I am also going to that cancelled movie tomorrow, out for sushi on Thursday, and to  breakfast on Friday. Hopefully this will all work out.

That’s it for this week. I did my duty. I wrote the blog.

love,

lily

Cake

I’m trying to lose weight. I’m trying really hard not to eat sweets but damn I want some cake. Been craving it all day. Lucky for me there is nothing within walking distance, I might have walked for it lol.

Today has been pretty uneventful.

Yesterday my sister in law invited me to a little gathering she is having Sunday, I’m actually thinking about going as it will be good practice for the fourth.

Hubby doesn’t want me drinking anymore so it might be hard though.