Daily Archives: April 5, 2018

Silly Season

This is sure one weird spring. Weirder than usual, even. On the inside, my mind and heart are racing, which manifests itself in incessant leg-bouncing and shortness of breath. I don’t show any other signs of mania on the outside, but it’s there, just under the surface, like lava threatening to boil over the side of the volcano. My sleep has become fitful and on the mornings when I have to get up earlier than usual, I’m not tired. Last night I was so bored trying to sleep that I almost got up and emptied the dishwasher at two AM. The temptation to skip my meds is almost more than I can resist, but I really don’t want to blow three years of relative stability. Besides, I did that already and it didn’t go well. I want to drink, too, for absolutely no reason that I can think of other than I’d just like to have a beer.

What the F is going on here?? I haven’t felt like this in, well, I don’t know how long. At the same time, I don’t have any more motivation than usual to get off the computer and, you know, clean something. I can’t be manic because I don’t feel like taking off to parts unknown and I haven’t been driving any faster than usual (although I do crank up the stereo as soon as I’m on the freeway). Even though my thoughts race, I can still string a few together and make normal conversation. I’m not spending money either, not that I have any to spend (and I’m leaving the credit card alone so I’ll have something for the trip in September). That’s one good thing about being on a fixed income—you learn very quickly how to manage it, because otherwise you have waaaay too much month at the end of the money.

The sleep thing is perhaps the most puzzling part of it. I take enough drugs to put a rhino out, but lately I couldn’t sleep through the night if my life depended on it. I’m still a slug in the morning because I get the best quality sleep from about five or six AM, which is frustrating because I get up so much later than the rest of the household. But even though I go to bed around midnight, I’m awake till at least one or two in the morning, and then I keep waking up every hour or so just for the hell of it.

So why haven’t I called Dr. Goodenough yet, you may ask? Because I’m not manic, and I  don’t want MORE meds. I don’t want to go back on Ambien because my insurance doesn’t pay for it, and besides, it’s just one more pill and I’m having enough trouble sticking with the ones I’m already taking. I don’t know why that is, but as we’ve established, I’ve tried fooling with them on previous occasions and no good ever comes from it. I guess it’s just silly season, and like everything else, it too will pass.

It sure makes things interesting in the meantime, though. I’ve been so steady for so long, but these little hiccups serve to remind me that I’m still bipolar and need to be on guard at all times. It’s so easy to get lulled into a false sense of security that my diagnosis isn’t as serious as my providers have made it out to be. I don’t feel bipolar, I simply feel…normal. A little flat emotionally, to be sure, but then “normal” people don’t get the extremes that I used to. I do remember the screaming fits and crazy highs and black depressions. They just seem so far away now. And at times like this, with the flowers in bloom and April showers falling softly on the land, it almost feels as though they never even happened.

Almost.

Anger

We explored a  lot of anger today–anger at parents, moms and dads and other caregivers.  Several people wrote letters to their parents and read them today so that was interesting. No one has told me what letters to write, but i am only in my second week of therapy.  The time will come.

I already have two assignments–one is to write a timeline of events, positive and negative, in your life that were significant. So I need to do that first, they say.  Then I draw a graveyard of my losses in life and why they were significant.  So I will get to work on those in the next week or so.

We also had a guy “graduate” from therapy today.  He said he has run out of his medical leave and has to go back to work but said he would continue therapy individually to continue to control his issues. SO that was kind of a neat process to watch, where they asked him questions about how wgell he had done and how far he had come.

THey used to not have all these specific processes, so I think it’s interesting to see how the program has changed since I was last in it.

WEll, I need to get ready for a conference for class so I am going to run.  Hope everyone has a good end of the week and weekend.

 

The Best Natural Antidepressant Ever!

I saw a meme on Facebook today that made me smile because I understood it completely. It said: “I believe in love at first sight. I fall in love with every dog I meet.” The featured image is our precious puppy, Miley. She really is the sweetest thing. Those eyes will make you melt every …

Countdown to Muskogee. . . 15

Last week I went to my old sanctuary—the Cinemark 20 in Jordan Creek Mall in Des Moines.  It was the first place I felt really safe when I moved from Minneapolis to Marshalltown.  Those years when I was so sick and ill equipped to deal with it, the hour-drive would start to ease my mind.  But it was the theater itself that gave me a place to rest.  Dark, contained, I could distract my conscious mind with the stories onscreen, the music, the beauty, the art.  Often I spent the day going from one movie to the next with no interference from the staff.  I stayed as long as I needed for my mind to settle or shift.

Jordan Creek started my bipolar education—to know for a fact that my moods would shift and to wait for it with less fear, to appreciate the need and use of distraction, to contemplate acceptance of this terrifying part of myself.

I sat in the newly remodeled lounger seats filled with gratitude for a place that held me when nothing else could.  Memories of movies experienced rolled between my fingers like prayer beads.  I said good-bye with love.

 

Tribeless

Guess the downside to going to bed before 10 p.m. is that my fucked up system only requires 5 or 6 hours of sleep even with the interrupted cycle. I woke earlier and was relieved and chagrined to see it was only 12:30 a.m. Guess there’s some twisted optimist in me wishing I could just sleep through,wake before the alarm,and be bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Instead I woke,saw it wasn’t even 5 a.m. and I made the mistake of reading email. TRIGGER. And stupider still,it was even tagged triggering. Brilliant,I am! But it wasn’t triggering because I’m in danger of harming myself.

It was triggering because in spite of having reached out to a ‘friend’ who has ignored me for months and is in a precarious mental state…Well, I got a 4 word response to my effort to be there for them. This person seems to be drowning,I’m waving like a buoy in the water,and…

How narcissistic am I to make that person’s struggle about me feeling rejected? Not to mention this person’s long standing inability to communicate,period,thus making it even less of a rebuff against me. Someone wants to drown and you’ve brought them a lifesaver and a boat but they ignore you…their choice.

So I guess it’s not about them at all,this triggered feeling. It’s about me and how I’ve been feeling for awhile now.

Once upon a time, we had a ‘tribe’ of wordpress mental health bloggers. Ten or so of us who read each other’s blogs,commented,emailed,joked through the darkness.

One by one the tribe started to vanish. First,our ‘glue’,an amazing woman called Blahpolar,lost her battle with bipolar depression and ended her life. Then others either got worse, got better, stopped writing. ‘Over’ blogging,like some trend in fashion.

I got too attached and invested in my support group. Now there are maybe 3 core tribe members I still talk to cos everyone else has gotten over blogging or whatever. Shame. I am always happy when people get better and yet…sad that I am not one of them.

I keep going. I am not ‘over’ blogging. Writing has never been a trend for me. This is how I exorcise my mental demons. Getting involved in a ‘community’ was never my goal and I’d like to say I wish I never had but I got to know some amazing people. I just did my usual by getting a wee bit too attached and you miss something once you’ve had it then it’s gone. Such is my mental pathology. I don’t attach easily to people but when I do become attached…losing that feeling is devastating.

I miss my support group,miss my friends who have gone their own ways. And I am truly grateful for the few who have remained even minimally in touch.

But even without my old tribe…I am still here,struggling,writing about those struggles,and here I shall stay. Maybe it’s time for a new wordpress tribe.

And I still have my off line tribe who adore me,thru good,bad,and ugly. My daughter and our cats,Godsmack,Hex,and Vex.

Guess I’m not tribeless after all.

Depression just puts a spotlight on the bad and leaves the good in the shadows.

So thanks to that triggering email…I have come to terms with something I’ve been mourning a long time. The past is done and everyone moved on. Time for me to do the same.

By continuing to blog and encourage people to keep fighting depression and congratulating those in remission while being open to making new friends and a new support system- I am moving on in my own way.

Off to fill food dishes,the furry tribe members insist. Shant disappoint my adorers.

Boulders

The sun was shining today. No rain,not too cold. Still, inside it may as well have been a gray wet Arctic day. It’s not even 8 p.m. and I am ready for bed. Until Spook winds down,though,consciousness is my cross to bear.

I feel like I pushed a boulder up hill in a blizzard with broken limbs. Aching. Bruised. Leaden. I am trying to look for the good in things and…it’s not there. Because depression is like that. It is all enveloping,tainting every thought,emotion,event. Tiring your body in a way physical exertion can’t.

Above all else, I wish people could understand the pushing boulders uphill aspect of depression.

When I say I am worn out even if I’ve done very little…it is because my days all feel like I went ten rounds with Tyson.

When I say my body feels heavy,leaden,and it takes all my strength to sit up and walk upright…that is my reality.

It is a reality I wish I did not have to face.

I bit the bullet and called the doctor’s office to announce yet another med failure. As usual,they took a message and…nothing. They are busy and the world doesn’t revolve around me but when told to call,so you do,and they can’t even get back to you til one or two days later…

Even getting help for my disorder feels like one more boulder to push uphill.

I wish a meteor would crash into all my boulders and shatter them already.

I might have enough energy to carry handfuls of boulder uphill as opposed to pushing ones the size of an RV.

Then again…probably not. Too damned tired.

Don’t take things so personal……

Has anyone ever said “don’t take it so personal” to you?

They have to me. More times than I can count and for as long as I can remember. But it hasn’t been till recently I have really stopped to think about what that means. I understand that I shouldn’t let people I barely know have control over my emotions and my thoughts. It’s pretty easy to not let discussions with many, if not most, people get to me. Sometimes I have emotional reactions but in the long run it doesn’t linger.

But how do you make things with the people in your life that really matter less personal? It just seems like an oxymoron to me. Talk about my parents, my siblings, my kids, my husband, and a few other select people and not taking things so personally gets really hard!!

Why wouldn’t I be upset if I am watching someone I love walk a road they don’t have to if they would hear me out? Or if there’s something they KNOW they shouldn’t be doing, yet won’t hear your warning?

They say it’s about essentially being disconnected, even from the people you love, in order to not feel that a situation is personal. I used to not even hear that when it was said to me. I couldn’t even see a difference in what people close to me say to me and what people I barely know say.

I see that difference now. What I don’t understand is when someone is unwilling to hear what you have to say and I am supposed to pretend I don’t know what’s going to happen or that the issue doesn’t exist. Live and let live, and all that.

Well, I am finally starting to get a handle on this. At least I think so. First, I am an all in person. It might take me a while but once you reach my inner circle I am all in and it isn’t something that changes easily. It is also a fiercely protective loving experience. When you are someone I care about pushing me away isn’t really something you can do unless I allow you to do it. I see the good in people, and when I talk to people I can hear and see the pain of a painful past, or a hard situations. It’s almost like I can actually physically feel their pain and hurt. It costs a lot when this happens which is why I’m so careful. In many ways I can see that underneath everything else I am a person who wants to see the good in people, that at my core I am trusting, and many times it doesn’t occur to me that my words can have as much power as they often do.

I want people to see my pure heart so that they can trust it. Even when everyone else might act a certain way, I will act differently. I will be a safer place where pain can be left behind and beauty comes out. I like being that person.i like knowing that people feel they can trust me when what ends up being some pretty serious issues.

I’m trying to figure out how to “take things less personally” but to be honest I’m not sure that I should. People who know me well love me for my passion and stubborn refusal to give up, on anyone(well, almost). Is that really something I can give up? Or more to the point “should” I? I understand my intensity and passion can sometimes not be conducive to conversations. But I honestly don’t mean for it to come out that way all the time, or I see it has stubborn passion for someone that I love. Just because most people aren’t like me does that mean it’s automatically my illness, or that I choose to be this way? I don’t know. But I do know that I am always willing to stand behind what I say. I might change but if I choose to spend my energy trying to get someone else to see my side it’s because I love them. I love them with a passion and intensity that you likely won’t find again.

The other hard part is that when I seemingly go off these cliffs of emotional tragedy I do it with the full understanding that things could change forever, and that I could lose someone I love in the process. So when i bring a topic up it couldn’t be less spontaneous. I have usually spent a lot of time thinking about it and I have decided I am willing to risk loss. That doesn’t mean I think it will happen. It just means I AM prepared for that. So those words aren’t easy. While it seems like I have an answer for everything or ask too many question, I don’t. I just kind of view a lot of discussions as throwing stuff out there and seeing if anything sticks. Brain stormin, in a way, only much of it is in my head. So no, I don’t go off these cliffs easily, I go off them knowing they are going to be hard but praying that something I say will do some good.

So ya, my conversations are personal. My family is personal and those few close friends I have, they are personal. I’m trying to find a way to make what I see as giving up, sitting down, or being quiet a good thing. Because everywhere I look when people give up, sit down, and get quiet bad things are about to happen. And I’m just not sure I could forgive myself for being part of that.