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Daily Archives: May 18, 2017
Hi there, my friends! I hope you’re doing well… So yes, I survived presenting my Toastmasters “Thought of the Day” to my Redwood Ramblers group yesterday. Once again, I was nervous as hell. At least my head-to-toe shakiness wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been during my Icebreaker speech. I … Continue reading Stoked I Didn’t Pass Out During My 2nd Toastmasters Talk!
Went back to my psychiatrist to make sure the new medicine combo is working. It has seemed to make a difference in the anxiety and obsessions and so we are going to keep it the way it is. I see Tillie next Monday and get my hair done TUesday and I’ll be ready for the residency
Got a note back from the editor at the local paper–I’ll be hearing something by the beginning of next week. Hopefully we can get it all taken care of before I leave and they can have the story come out in time for the launch for the new site. I’ll do it May 31 so everyone can see it June 1.
Need to tell Bob all about this. I think I’ll do it tonight after everyone goes to bed. SO we will see what he thinks about it. It’s not revealing too much than what I’ve already revealed on the this blog so I don’t see it being a problem. ANd I have enough volunteers to keep it running for a while.
Hope everyone has a good end of the week.
For some people, it is a relief when they find out that there is a name for something they have been enduring sometimes for years. Unfortunately, due to the stigma attached to mental illness, some people feel ashamed or don’t want to face the fact that they are “crazy”.
The diagnosis for bipolar disorder 1 is usually done after someone is in a manic episode. This means that they have grandiose ideas, are spending a lot of money, they are taking risks they normally wouldn’t take, they are verbally overproductive, and are oftentimes psychotic. This oftentimes results in a hospital stay where the person is medicated to try and stabilize their moods. There are many medications out there that help with mania (anti-psychotics, etc) and there are also mood stabilizers. Sometimes it takes months to find the right combination of medications as every patient is different.
Usually, after a manic episode, the person will fall into a deep depression where they are in a deep hole that they feel like they will never get out of. They are unmotivated, feel like life is not worth living, sometimes are suicidal, they do not enjoy things they used to enjoy and usually there is a change in appetite and sleep.
If someone with bipolar disorder has been admitted to the hospital, they most likely have been placed under what is called a 72 hour hold. This is a time period where they are not allowed to leave and are assessed by the doctors and nurses to see if they are safe to return to society. If a person stays past that time, either voluntarily or involuntarily, they usually start going to group therapy, participate in art activities, take classes that help them with self-esteem and are given coping skills. It is a learning time if they are in there for the first time. The family gets involved too and there are usually sessions with the patient and their loved ones.
When the person starts to come out of their manic episode or are no longer suicidal, the staff start talking about discharge. The patient is given resources to use when they leave, directions from their doctor as to what medications to take and when, and an appointment is made with their doctor and other people like social workers.
Depending on high functioning the person is, they are able to take care of themselves after leaving the hospital and life goes back to normal. It is not something that will stay permanent unless they are lucky enough to have found the perfect medication cocktail. It is constantly something that gets evaluated as the patient goes to their doctor’s visits.
Some people are able to work full time jobs and no one even knows that they have been in the hospital and would be shocked to hear that they were diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some people have to go on disability as the stress of their job is too much and will cause mania or depression.
If you have recently been diagnosed, there is always hope and things can and will get better. Hang in there and don’t expect everything to get “normal” again all at once. If you truly have bipolar disorder, be ready for a long fight. Many people are able to use their manic highs and accomplish a lot. However, some tend to stay depressed and are unable to see the good things in life.
It is the hope of loved ones and professionals that the person who has bipolar disorder is stabilized and does not have mood swings anymore. If you could view bipolar disorder like a roller coaster where the highs are the mania and the low points are the depression, you aim for the times where the roller coaster comes to a stop.
After getting back into the world after being diagnosed, you will learn where you can get help, where the resources are, who you can count on, and what your limitations are. It is advisable that you create an action plan.
An action plan is something that you and your support system make together so that when you start to get into trouble and see the red flags (spending a lot of money, grandiose ideas, talking a lot, etc) that your support team surrounds you with love and helps you through it all. Things that can be included in an action plan are: Someone takes away your keys and credit cards so you don’t drive crazy and get into an accident or spend money you don’t have. Another thing that might be in an action plan is that when the person feels they are getting manic, they let everyone in their support system know. Some things that the support system can do are to make sure the person is eating right as they oftentimes forget. Some other things are to encourage them to journal, take long walks, make sure they get enough sleep. Sleep is very important when it comes to preventing a manic episode and can make it a lot worse. People in the manic phase oftentimes can go more than 48 hours without sleeping.
After the action plan is created, it is a good idea to have everyone sign it including the person with the illness so that when they do get sick and have poor judgement they might not want to listen to their supporters. However, with the action plan they can be reminded of what they agreed to. One such thing is to limit social media time or to stay off the phone or not write any letters. By doing this, it prevents them from embarrassing themselves and doing things and saying things they will regret later. Encourage them to wait until they are stable to take on huge projects.
Living with bipolar disorder is not easy, but it can be manageable. With determination, a good support system, and a good medication regimen, people can lead normal lives.
Distortion, history, fear and self-hatred
steal our clarity, our compassion, our strength, and our presence.
The task is not to go to war with ourselves,
but to allow the stolen seeds to take root in their chaotic prison.
They are where they need to be.
Quiet brain started rumbling after I picked my kid up from school and every tiny thing I tried to do went wrong. Like disassembling the vacuum and fixing it and I went totally blank on where one part went back in even though I’ve taken that section apart ten times. Just…blank. Then I dumped a glass of water. The wind kept knocking the fan over but if I close the windows, the humidity kills us. Another kitten passed away. R called to ask if I’d keep the shop open from 4pm to 6pm tomorrow while he goes out of town to look at a car as his got side swiped and is barely running… My kid started mouthing me in front of her friend and after telling her no to the same thing five times, I went a little overboard with the ‘firm’ voice. Gah, just…suckage.
Around 8:30 p.m. the panxiety set in. Only it was a scarier panxiety than I’ve had in a long time. The light dimmed when I plugged the fan in my kid’s room. Which brought me back to a text from my sis a few days ago when she saw a firetruck heading my address direction and she was worried we had a fire. And of course, a week or two back my dad tossed out how he thinks we’re going to burn to death in this place. Then I realized one of my smoke detectors fell off the wall and is trashed and the other has a dead battery…I AM A TERRIBLE MOTHER, IRRESPONSIBLE AND UNFIT!!!!
I started spinning out of control, mentally. Looking at all the stuff I’ve let go, all the stuff falling apart. Even this laptop, the keyboard got splashed with sticky stuff (OJ, I think, courtesy of leaping felines) which is more money and having R install it. Oh and in spite of two cooling fans external, the laptop is getting hot really fast meaning likely my fan is clogged but I can’t disassemble a damned computer and the person I know can is too busy to contact me unless it is related to his needs.
Downward spiral at breakneck speed. Sheer terror, going around turning off anything that doesn’t need to be on. And I found my kitchen dark and the fridge off which means likely when the fan in my kid’s room dimmed, it’s tied to that circuit and the safety breaker was thrown. Had to reset that. And then it came in the back of my head, the rare appearance but always terrifying…
You’re trapped like a rat in a maze here, you’re unfit to be a mother, your kid deserves better…You’re losing it and you feel buried alive and you know what would just fix it all is to kill yourself.
These dark thoughts do not come to me often, that has always been the one plus of whatever brand of imbalance I have going on. I’m not suicidal. But when the panxiety hits the roof and I feel so overwhelmed…Scumbag brain starts whispering, then screaming, like a bunch of cruel teenagers encouraging a classmate to jump off the roof ledge and kill themselves.
I am a little scared by tonight’s mental events. I don’t see the psych nurse until May 30th but if I am falling apart with paranoia and hopelessness three times in the same week…I am decompensating. I need to call the dr office and talk to someone but as short staffed as they are, by the time I hear back, it will be the day of the appointment. I need a secondary anti depressant and I need it desperately. I was playing my little ponies with my kid earlier and honestly…I was keeping a promise I made to her last night. I have zero desire to play. I zone out and fake it and…THIS IS NOT ME!
I didn’t realize how quickly I was circling the drain until tonight. Because I had a few less vile periods and thought I was close to the upswing of seasonal depression. Instead I am falling to pieces and emotional shrapnel is everywhere. My writing has practically flat lined. I have no desire to go to yard sales (as if I have money.) Even food has lost its appeal and the tv shows I watch…background noise and something to distract myself from my own thoughts.
I AM NOT GOING TO HURT MYSELF, so please don’t take that message from this post. I posted this simply because I NEED the professionals to know how bad it gets for me at times, how terrifying it is, how paralyzing it is. To be so overwhelmed, have so little support or help, to just tread water day after day until nights like this when I started going under the surface, sputtering for breath. Convinced sharks are coming for me even though there are no sharks in the murky local river where I am drowning.
I took 2mg Xanax and am starting to calm down. I hope this is an isolated incident. Even if these paranoia bouts hit three or four times a year…It’s too many times. I feel like mentally I am so far gone and such a failure…
You know what the depressive distortions are telling me.
It’s terrifying. More terrifying is living in fear that one day…I’ll start believing the distortions and finally throw in the towel.
I think the brain needs a reboot, gonna attempt sleep. But with my brain circling with all the possibilities of what could go wrong while I am asleep…It’s not going to be restful sleep.
I hate this.
My mom is cleaning out her basement, so she’s giving me all kinds of crap I don’t want. Today she gave me the following “gifts:”
- A reeeeeally ugly square lamp. It’s a clear square with a brass rod through the middle of it, and its shade might have been white in a former lifetime. Now that I think of it, it’s so ugly that it probably goes great with the ugly chair from this post. Then again, how much ugliness can one room handle? I think this would put us over the top from “quirky” to “tasteless”…if we haven’t already migrated into “tasteless.” Tough to tell sometimes.
- A teddy bear that says “I ❤ Jesus” on the foot (there’s actually a heart, not the symbols for less than three, but I’m not technologically intelligent enough to put that in a post). I read the tag on the bear’s ear, and it was a prayer for salvation. I told my husband, “How many people have read this out loud and then been like, ‘Crap! Did I just accidentally get saved?!'” Ha ha. Sneaky bear.
- A glass dog. Um…..whyyyy do I need a glass dog? It’s kind of big, too. Probably as big as my open hand. Is it a paperweight? While I’m working, it can stare at me with its creepy clear eyes. Is it a….doorstop? A talisman of some sort? It sounds like a curse…THE CURSE OF THE GLASS DOG. I’d read that. Sounds like a Nancy Drew.
- Old MRI scans from 2008
Now this one was kind of cool. 2008 is when my brain tumor was first discovered, and these were the scans that discovered it. The scans are big and bulky. I held them up to a window and said, “Hey Andy! Check this out! Look how creepy my eyeballs look!”
For the record, the glass dog’s eyeballs are still creepier.
After these scans were taken, I started on a long trail of drugs and doctors and medical nonsense. 2008 was the last time I was not on any medications. I was getting a little sad about this, but then Andy said, “We have your current scans, and now we have your first scans. You’re one of the very few people who can actually hold up pictures and say, ‘This is my brain, and this is my brain on drugs.” Ha! It’s like the old D.A.R.E. ads, except the pictures aren’t much different from each other and I have to be on drugs, not off them. Life gets weird sometimes.
Anyway, Jesus bear and the glass dog are still looking for placements in my house. I hope the ugly lamp isn’t getting too bonded with the ugly chair. I sense a garage sale in their future…don’t tell my mom.