Claws of darkness
On my knees
Claws of darkness
On my knees
Thank you Kitt O’Malley (kittomalley.com) for tweeting this.
This is horrifying, any hits to the head can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. The hits don’t have to cause concussions, any hits to the head can cause damage which may or may not be evident immediately.
Football coaches of young kids who play football should read this article as well as NFL played, coaches, and officials. These debilitating, often invisible st first, and sometimes deadly injuries really need to be checked. A sport should not cause the death of its played.
So, this winter, I didn’t really go through my yearly and very dreaded hypomanic phase. It’s been quite a miracle, and for this I am endlessly grateful. The reason was medication of course. A combination of Lithium and Seroquel. Although I am a little sluggish and my muscles ache a little bit, the yearly being out of touch with reality didn’t happen! The Daily emotional breakdowns did not happen. The being totally dysfunctional did NOT happen.
Anxiety still happened but those other things did not!
Amazing what the right dose and combination of meds can do!
So for me, winter in my manic mood and summer is my depressed mood, exactly the opposite of seasonal affective disorder. So I am moving towards depression now. However, I am hoping that since the hypomanic mood didn’t really occur, neither will the depressed mood. As we all know, the intensity of mania in one direction is matched by how intense the depression will be in the other direction.
Oh I have s bit of a pitchy stomach from Seroquel, but nothing that a rigorous ab regimen won’t take care of.
All in all, it’s been an unbelievably stable winter! I can’t tolerate too many meds but these two, Lithium and Seroquel, that I can tolerate are mega bosses.
Hoping for stable moods, happiness and love in the lives of all who visit here and even all who don’t.
You’d think Gene Roddenberry would have known better.
Still, Bill Shatner could Shakespearize anything, even bad grammar.
But I digress.
Boldly going, I’m moving to Oklahoma.
My sister and I started talking about it when I visited her there over Christmas. We let it sit a while to see if it was just holiday cheer and wishful thinking, then decided the plan had legs. What really put shoes on those legs, though, was my brother’s offer to support me enough to live somewhere other than subsidized housing.
It’s been a shock, really, to be given this unconditional support, to know that my siblings are with me, to come to understand that I am not alone. We didn’t grow up this way, you see. Grand generosity was never our family’s forté. Small gifts, yes. Limited support with strings, yes. Pull up your big girl panties and stand on your own two feet lectures, yes. This level of largess requires a complete brain dump and reboot. What I thought I knew as truth isn’t.
I’m also struggling with the urge to hide in my apartment until it’s time to move. I can feel myself disengaging from my life here, from both difficult and delightful relationships, from the activities that fill this life. All the reasons I want and need to leave this place rear up like trained elephants, trumpeting and rolling wild eyes at me.
But I have a trip to Taos at the end of February, to make art with friends and breathe in the mountains of the West. I want to enjoy that trip. And I know I will need time afterward for my brain to do what it does with change and stress. It will be well into spring before I leave this little apartment that I’ve worked so hard to make into a Nest. I need to stay present and grounded in now, take care of my friendships, do the work in front of me each day.
In the meantime, my sister is in High Research Mode, talking to her realtor friends and sussing out neighborhoods. In a month or so, she’ll start looking at places for me to rent. She has my Must Have list (I have several lists going—that’s one way to keep the Greener Pastures Gremlins from taking over).
Transition is always a challenge, as is stress. Even good stress. So, while I do the work in front of me, I must also Do My Work. Be kind, gentle and generous with myself. Allow the terrified elephants a chance to walk on four feet and sing themselves to sleep.
Because (all together now), I’m on an Adventure.
A number of months ago (about seven according to my blog, which is the main way I measure time), I stopped going to my psychotherapist (https://wp.me/p4e9Hv-xj). There were a number of reasons, but here’s the main one:
My sessions are mostly an update on what’s going on in my life at the moment, plus a recap of my recurring problems. But those problems are ones I’ve faced before and know how to cope with. I already have the tools I need and use them without needing a reminder.
This week I had a new session with my therapist, also for a number of reasons.
My triggers are looming large. The last time my brain broke, there were a number of stressors piling up on me. Financial reasons. Health reasons. Relationship reasons. Job reasons. All combined with good ol’ bipolar, type 2.
Now those stressors are back, in slightly altered versions. So far I’m holding my own, but I know there’s a danger that they will do the same to me as they did the last time.
I’m catastrophizing. The lurking triggers are setting in motion a thought process in which I assume the worst. And the stakes may even be higher this time. Financially, we could crash and burn, owing our souls to the IRS and maybe losing our house. I need a reality check from someone outside. (I’m also consulting a tax attorney; these fears aren’t completely all in my head.)
I need another person in my support system. My husband is great, but I can’t always talk to him about my problems. For one thing, he’s not objective, since he’s facing the same stressors I am. And my friends offer me encouragement and moral support, but I hate to do a total meltdown in front of them. Dr. B. has seen it all and helped.
I need emergency help readily available. My irrational thinking at times such as this has caused me some suicidal ideation in the past. I know that’s not the right thing to do, but my brain has betrayed me before now and I can’t guarantee it won’t again. So I need someone – preferably someone more informed and present than an online help group or a 1-800 number – that I can talk to when the inside of my head gets too scary.
I have a therapist I know and trust. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s breaking in a new therapist, having to go through the Reader’s Digest Condensed version of my screwed-up life. Dr. B. at least doesn’t have to start from ground zero. I’m fortunate that she’s still available.
My meds have remained relatively stable; what I need is talk therapy. I’ve been on the same meds and the same dosages for quite a while now. I know within reason it’s not another or a stronger drug I need now. It’s something that meds don’t offer – a face, a voice, a presence that understands, listens, calls me on mistaken assumptions, suggests strategies, reminds me of what I’ve done in the past and how far I’ve come.
You’ll never find that in pill form.
The next 10 days are really going to test my mental (and physical) strength and resolve. Bipolar mood swings can be rapid and unpredictable. Stress is one of just several things that can cause depression, hypomania – or mixed mood.
I’m not a sociable person. Though I have done many poetry readings without stress, the thought of having to take a school Assembly this coming week is beginning to hit me. I could probably get out of it but I’m going to give it a go if at all possible.
And during the week after this coming one we have a re-Inspection; this is without doubt the most stressful time for any teacher. During a previous inspection, in a different school, I worked a 92 hour week leading up to it.
These two things really aren’t going to put anyone with a mental illness in a good frame of mind. Consciously, I’ll do my best to, well, do my best. But I’m not in charge of my bipolar with its depression, hypomania, OCD, anxiety and often dissociation.
I’ll see you on the other side..