Category Archives: Read Along
So I got to talk to the doctor organizing Diversity Day at University Medical Center and the panel I will be speaking on. We had a very good conversation about the objective of the panel and who all would be involved with the conference. It’s for psychology interns who deal with the mentally ill as well as for anyone who wants to minister to the mentally ill. He asked for my resume so I sent it along and then sent a message with some personal information, including my diagnoses, etc. I feel really good about being involved in this event and hope I can make a positive impact on the audience and the panel members.
I hope my recovery holds together through then because I so want to make a good impression for the sake of the people I will be representing. I want people’s preconceived notions of the mentally ill to be upended by me and to show how a Christian handles mental illness. So we will see what happens.
Day 5 of my kid being home for spring break. I’m ready to rip out my eardrums. She never shuts up. The.Noise.Never.Stops. I am not equipped for days on end of a barrage of constant babble, questions, and demands. Am I the worst mother ever? Could be. I just don’t see why ANYONE needs to fill every moment with chatter. And no matter how many talks I have with her about giving me a few minutes quiet…It does no good. Trying to write with her home, at least before she finally goes to sleep around 10, has proven damn near impossible. I can’t watch a 22 minute TV show without ten interruptions, let alone focus enough to write.
And I try to include her because we have certain shows we both like. Big Bang Theory, The Middle, Superstore. 20 minute shows (if that) and she says she wants to watch but still…Constant jabbering. In her room alone with the droid? Still, constant noise. There is not a single place I can go where I can’t hear her noise. And throw in the neighor’s “put out 5 times daily” barking dog that sounds like something the band Goatwhore would put out…
I try to give my kid some leeway because it’s not her fault her mom’s super sensitive to noise. But there comes a time when even the most patient adult would beg for ten seconds of silence.
It hasn’t helped that it’s been gray, cold, and rainy all week. Can’t have her play outside, can’t take her to the park to run off the hyperactivity…just trapped indoors. And the weather has made my mood pretty low even if I have managed to do a little writing and housework. I just feel embalmed, and my demanding needy child makes it worse.
I am sure I sound monstrous. I don’t care. I want the world to grasp what life as a single parent with a chemical imbalance is like. If you want well rested shiny happy “children are the future, worship at the alter of the snowflakes” you’re screwed. And if other parents, even chemically balanced ones, were willing to be honest, they’d probably admit…They too get worn down by the noise and demands and never getting any credit or thanks. And sometimes even downright derision.
Earlier when I asked my kid why she constantly makes noise for me but the school says she is so quiet…And she said, “Well, they’re working, they need me to be quiet.”
Low blow from a 7 year old and not the first time she’s made reference to me not working.
Like I don’t feel shitty enough.
Earlier I was thinking, 5 more days and she will go back to school. Except they have spring break this week and in two weeks, they will have 4 days’ Easter break. I’m really not getting much of a break prior to school getting out.
It pisses me off because my writing cycles have ALWAYS gone from fall to spring. Now I am just starting in spring which means I could write all summer except I will have interrupting cow home 7 days a week. (No, I am not calling my child a cow, I just like the old kid’s joke.)
“Why have a child if all you do is complain about the noise?” I am sure some will ask.
Honestly, I never saw myself ending up with such an extroverted talkative child. I mean, hello? If genetics don’t count, what about nurture? I thought if nothing else she’d learn to converse only when necessary by nurture.
I love my child. I am happy she is nothing like me because as comfy as I get in my little bubble…It can be a lonely place at times. And not lonely in the sense I want a crowd around me, but lonely because I’m not even equipped to reach out to one person when I need to lean on someone. I did it in the past only to land on my face and now, I can’t do it at all. I was cripple by those face plants.
It’s good my kid is nothing like me to an extent.
Sometimes, I wish she had a better mother who would delight in the noise.
Of course, it cuts both ways cos I could, at times, stand a child to be introverted and quiet.
We don’t get what we want or what we can handle. It is what it is.
Complaining about your kid is not the worst you can do.
Abandoning them to make your life simpler is the worst you can do.
The doctors don’t want me on so much prednisone, so they cut it down quite a bit and I ended up with all my skin falling off and a full-body staph infection in October. That stressed me out quite a bit. They also tend to want me to jump through various hoops just to get my pills, which, in addition to keeping the skin under control, also keep me alive since I have adrenal insufficiency. This stresses me out even more.
In theory, I’d be happy to be on less prednisone. As I mentioned to my therapist, when I still had one, I feel like I am intoxicated on drugs 24 hours a day. Part of this is due to the meds exacerbating the mania, but part of it is just the drugs themselves. The beauty of recreational “fun” drugs like LSD and pot is that you can enjoy them a while, and then eventually they wear off and you can go back to your normal life and your normal functioning without any impairment. While corticosteroids are not “fun” drugs, the brainfog and the feeling of impairment is real obstacle that stresses me out and ruins my life every single day.
In addition to that, there is a feeling of doom hanging over me at all times, and a disconnect from the rest of humanity. In general, I feel like there is no way out of my situation and things will just continue to get worse until I eventually drop dead. I have been in such a godawful place psychologically that not only am I unable to talk about it with people, I can’t even type anything about it here. I can’t even easily work through it inside my head because I feel like I should just wallow in the brainfog and denial because I don’t want to face my own thoughts.
I have reduced my stress somewhat by not looking at my Facebook newsfeed anymore (I have a few groups I look at and maintain bookmarked, but for now, I am not looking at my newsfeed for any reason. Until I am less stressed out by it.) I am not deactivating, but I have also made two accounts, one for family and one for nonfamily. All of this makes Facebook a less threatening place for me, and I don’t think it should be a cause of stress.
Other than that, I just finished a huge work project and may take a few days off from work to do things like watch movies and read books.
what to write today. I don’t really have any news to report–I got up and saw Candy and Christy this morning and went to lunch with Mary Jane at Cazuela in Jackson. We had a good talk about what all is going on in our lives and what all we’re doing. I wrote up my essay response this morning so I haven’t been a complete slug today. I need to do my workshop stuff though and that’s going to be difficult since one is about a brutal murder in the author’s family. Hard stuff to read and to comment on.
I am proud in that we had a bad, bad storm out last night and I didn’t freak out like usual. Maybe I’m just getting better and better all the time. I hope that’s a good sign. It was just a lot of rain and wind, but it didn’t upset me like they used to do. Maybe I’m finally getting over all of that. It’s taken long enough.
I can’t believe March has flown by so fast. A few days still to the end of March, but it hasn’t taken long at all to pass. I wonder if it’s because I’m finally filling my days with living instead of sleeping it away like I used to.
Hope everyone’s week started off well.
So we went to the dance competition and the girls did well. They won a bunch of trophies and plaques and pins so their teachers were happy. I did go backstage to help Rachel with her hair to change it for the next dance and the dance teacher watched me for a minute and then said, “Just let me do it.” SO I’m not going backstage again. I know when I’m not wanted.
Today I have advising with my program director about this summer and next semester. I’m going to sign up for the long residency this summer and the Forms in Fiction II class this fall. So that is my plan unless my professor objects to it for some reason. And I c an’t imagine why he would.
THen I go out to lunch with Bob today and MJ tomorrow. Rachel was selected for a special trip next summer through the school for going to Washington DC and New York, and we have an informational meeting Tuesday night. SO I will likely go to that. Then church on Wednesday and I’m not sure we have anything else planned for the rest of the week. We will see.
I was really proud that I handled the weekend okay. I didn’t take Xanax and I didn’t fly off the handle at anybody, even the dance teacher. I’m learning how to cope better with stress, I suppose. I’m certainly trying to. Prayer is effective in this as well. Keeps me from getting too anxious.
Hope everyone has a good week this week.
Yesterday came the splat. Gray damp day. Zero motivation to do any writing. I took my crappy meds toward afternoon and suddenly got so sleepy I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The more I fought to stake awake, the worse my eye strain headache got so I decided to kill the lights and just lay in the dark. But then suddenly I got so cold and began shivering so violently, I went back to Fort Blankie for the first time in 8 days.
And I nearly nodded off, even though I swear I was still awake because I was aware of my show in the background. Nodding off while kid is home, uncool. Stupid meds, why do they make me sleepy sometimes but not all the time? Then as if my mood wasn’t depressed enough, my dad stopped by. They took Spook out to lunch which was fine by me. I got to nod off without feeling guilty. I slept almost two hours, then got up and tried to shake off the the lethargy.
Epic fail. The only thing I accomplished yesterday was following through with my plans to cook spaghetti. Not that it tasted all that good. Since quitting the Pristiq NOTHING has a good flavor or texture and I am forever stuck with the proverbial “bad taste” in my mouth. It’s nasty. Nothing I do changes it, I could scrub down to my esophagus with a baby bottle brush and this nasty taste won’t go away.
Since I was feeling defeated and shitty and hadn’t even tried to proof my writing from the prior day…I told R sure, I’ll take some company. I mean, what are bad moods for except for people to hang around. I’ll save my good moods for writing thank you very much.
He gave me his credit card so I can get some smokes. (I am so sick of asking for loans, March has been endless and I can’t figure out where all the money went except, logically, I can, I just get infuriated thinking I lost seventy bucks a month a child support and food stamps only increased 8 bucks, what the fuck is that, core math???) In return Spook and I are gonna visit at the shop with him for a bit. Whatever cos guess what…
It’s fucking gray and pouring rain and chilly today too! See why the mood shifts suck? It’s so tied to the damned weather and until that changes, I am swimming against the tides. Forecast says rain for 5 more days. Seven motherfucking days before my mood may lift?
I hate splat. Fucking hate it. I feared it would come, I just thought I had a few more good days before it did.
The one thing I remember about both my stays in California was….Zero real depressive bouts. Because the weather was static, day in and out, sunny and warm, cool enough at night without being cold. Had it not been so fucking expensive there I wouldn’t have left either time.
Weather is the bane of my existence. I don’t like sweating my pancreas off but now that I realize how delicately balanced my equilirbium is when the weather is concerned…Yeah, I need a family in California to adopt me and Spook for purposes of my sanity.
I just hate this so much. I could not feel more tired and beaten down today. And I slept the whole night. Splat is a lot like being embalmed while alive.
God, being trapped in the weather fickle midwest when your mental well being is tied to the weather…I apparently pissed in someone’s Cheerios in a previous life to be reincarnated here this way.
And before any sunshine spewer chimes in about “snapping out of it, don’t let it get you down”…Fuck you. Shaking off depression is like pretending you don’t have the flu. Puke is still gonna fly. Only instead of puke, I have chunks of sanity flying about.
The absolute worst thing about it all is getting several days’ worth of how amazing it feels to be doing well, feeling well, almost start feeling hope again…Only to have it yanked out of from under you and return back to feeling lousy. Sometimes it hurts more to lose something you know than to simply never had had it at all.
Morning! Having introduced you to the Chronic Illness Bloggers recently, I thought I would try something new and introduce a regular slot each week highlighting new posts from some of my pals over at CIB.…
Dysphoric mania landed me in the back of a police car pleading not to be 5150’d. It was a helluva day on Tuesday. Come Wednesday morning I was shuffling in the halls of the psych hospital. I was full of shame and tears fell on their own accord. Here’s the story….
I’m not exactly sure when it started. Three or four nights of intense agitation that had me yelling at my husband, criticizing him for anything and everything. Then only moments later literally laying on the floor in complete despair. Moments later running around the house not able to figure out what to do w myself. I was supposed to go to Outpatient on Monday but couldn’t get out of bed.
Tuesday played out like a horrible nightmare. I got up begrudgingly around 8am. I was back in bed by 10:30am. I’m not sure if I slept or not, but emerged again at 12:30. I was feeling guilty about how unproductive I was. I remembered my husband’s request I move my clothes from one closet to another. So I launched in to this project. Somewhere in the midst of walking my clothes from one room to another, I got the brilliant idea to go to the beach. I don’t mean for an afternoon. I mean for a few days. My memory is quite fuzzy. I can only tell you what I think happened. I ran around the house filling a bag with necessities. I brought some meds, but not all. Forgot my birth control pills. Didn’t pack a jacket. Honestly I don’t know what I did remember to bring. I guess I left a window open at the house and our cat outside.
On the road within minutes of my brilliant decision. I think I was headed for Seaside, about 2.5 hours away. However, the freeway I actually landed on would not be how I normally go. I’m about 1.5 hours down the road and it dawns on me I don’t have a phone cord. I also forgot my wallet. My gas tank was getting low. I pull over in a restaurant parking lot that overlooks the bay. Moments upon exiting the car I proceed to crawl down the rocks that line the banks of San Francisco Bay. My shoes are in the water.
What I did next, I can only recall bits and pieces. I called a friend and yelled into the phone something along the lines of…I’m here at the banks of the bay. I’m sorry I’m not a better friend. Goodbye! I then hung up. I called my therapist, thanked her for trying to help me. Said Goodbye! Hung up the phone. Then called my husband. I told him it was meant to be that I am sitting on the banks of the bay. I loved him, but it was time to go. Hung up. I think I texted some people too.
What’s important here is that whenever I have a meltdown/breakdown I keep it a secret. Usually my husband is the only one who is privy to my falling apart. I will be hospitalized and not tell anyone. So, to be reaching out like this was certainly a sign something was very wrong.
Little did I know my husband had called the police. So had my friend. I had no choice but to return home as I had no money. Soon my cellphone would be dead. I raced home. I was convinced a white Chrysler 300 was following me despite the fact I was the only one changing lanes. I drove recklessly and too fast.
As I approached home, about 20 min out, I called my husband. I could tell by the way he was talking to me something was up. I just knew the police were at my house and there was going to be some kind of standoff. I accused him of conspiring against me. I refused to tell him where I was and hung up. For whatever reason I decided to pull over, maybe to figure out my next move. I don’t even think I was sitting in my car for 5 minutes when 2 police cars rolled up on me.
They asked me to get out of my car and I said I didn’t do anything wrong. They politely asked me again. As they put me in the back of the car my husband appeared. The police officer at our home drove him to get my car. I was crying hysterically and apologizing to the officer for wasting his time. They took me to the crisis clinic.
At the crisis clinic I became very agitated. I was yelling and making demands. I was insulting people. The crisis counselor said she did not feel comfortable releasing me. I told her she didn’t even know me. My husband agreed with her and said the way I was acting was not me. He was also concerned. There you have it. The 72 hour hold started.
It wasn’t until the next day, talking to my husband on the phone at the hospital did I learn of what I did. Who I called. What I said. I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I reached out to all those people. I don’t reach out. I keep my bipolar disorder pretty private. I felt like I had created wreckage from my manic episode. I felt so guilty I put people in the position of needing to call the police.
When I left the house, I had no intention of hurting myself. Had I remembered my wallet I could have bought a new phone cord. I could have made it to the beach. Had I taken my IPad, my husband would not have been able to locate me. Its such a strange day when I look back on it.
I am constantly humbled by bipolar disorder. In the past, I have known myself when it’s time to seek out the hospital. On this day, I truly didn’t know. Being driven away in the back of a police car, not even sure why. It was very scary. Its still scary when I think about it.