Tag Archives: counting blessings

Inaccessible

I am a bit of a wreck right now.

Why? Because I had to try to use a phone. I… I really, really, really don’t get on with phones, and I haven’t since about 2002. It gets worse with each passing year, so I just don’t. I think it’s primarily an ADHD thing, ’cause like, I can’t see what they’re saying so I can’t try to connect the sounds up properly. Even being able to do that on say, Skype, is really hard for me. We generally always have captions on the television because otherwise I have a hard time following along there.

Oh but you’re in a different country from where you came from and…

Yeah, but I’ve been here for eight and a half years. I’m used to the various British accents. If anything, Americans sound kind of vulgar to me if I don’t already know them. That probably makes me sound snobby, doesn’t it. I guess it’s more that it just sounds weird when I’m used to hearing other on the daily. I don’t find it hard to listen to accents, to include on the phone. But I do find it stressful when they can’t understand me for having an American accent when my anxiety levels for phone usage are so high as to make me physically ill.

Terrible <3

Terrible <3

And that’s the thing — I felt that I had to make a phone call today. Even after five attempts to find and call the right number for my purposes, I was shaking viciously and trying to not start sobbing. And then the little one was being annoying and it was making me stress harder, and I just… ugh. In the end, my best-husband completed the phone call for me, even though it’s just about as hard for him, and he’s got a stutter to boot.

So why did I feel the need to use the phone? Because I hadn’t heard shit from my psych in ages, and haven’t had an appointment since Mid-September. Yeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, let that sink in. Mid September. When I had been put on an upgraded dose of a new medication (the first one that has given me serious side effects). Mid September, when I reported having minor hallucinations when I don’t have hallucinations as a general rule of thumb.I was also waiting to hear more on my psych’s attempt to get me the ADHD referral I want and need, so yanno… didn’t expect it to take so long.

I was terrified that I had fallen out of the system, if I’m honest. I had been dropped back in 2011 because someone recorded me as not in attendance of an appointment I was assuredly in attendance of. That ended with a ‘diagnosis’ of anxious personality and it took me a year to try again. We also moved last year, and I know that my address wasn’t correct in all places; though I watched my doctor correct it, I was still worried. While I don’t have to worry about fighting for refills and all my prescriptions are on repeat, it’s still only so far without having my doctor in the picture to make sure we’re doing the best course of treatment at the right time.

The long and the short is that my husband was able to get in touch with my psychiatrist’s secretary (ironically, the first number I tried and couldn’t get through on). She confirmed our address, and said that she was going to send an appointment card. I will believe it when I see it, but I am feeling a bit better about that much, at least. I’m still a wreck for having to try to use a phone.

‘Call me if you need anything,’ my doctor has said many times. And I’ve had to explain many times that no, using a phone is stressful for me and makes me iller. I know that to be true of many of my friends; even the ‘healthy’ ones have expressed a preference for text-based communications. I keep meaning to ask her for her email address, but I don’t know if that would be too far. I mean, surely, she has one for work issues. Hopefully I’ll remember whenever the appointment occurs… and hopefully, sooner rather than later. Appointments tend to be 2-3 months after the card comes through, which of course has added further concern and stress to my waiting. Fingers crossed, eh?

And now, I direly need a coffee or something of the like. Caffeine cures all wounds, right? Hope y’all are having a better day of it all!

<3

 

((I should add as an aside that I generally love the NHS, and blame the vast majority of its current flaws on the current government being such a nasty shitshow of rich boys sucking off their rich friends rather than strengthening the social safety net))

Keeping Busy and Such

I have to say, there’s not a lot going on in the brainbox. I’ve just been like… doing things ‘as normal’, I guess. There has been knitting, gaming, and socialisation in percentages that suit my preferences. I have had the winter joy of will it/won’t it snow — I want it to snow but it’s not, hrmph! Even the work year is off to a good start. The only impediment there has been the smallest wanting lots of cuddles due to teething, and well… it’s hard to be mad at her for being cute and snuggly, isn’t it.

In short, there isn’t a lot to complain about. My mood wibbles around a tiny bit up and down, but it doesn’t seem to push too far into the danger zone. I could complain about Depakote making me gain a stone in weight, but like… I don’t care? I’m actually quite okay with being fat, and having developed an addition to teeturtle has me excited about buying clothing for the first time ever (even when tiny small with a banging body, I found clothing purchasing a drag… not for any self-loathing, just because I couldn’t be assed).

Of course, as I sit here, the list of things that I could complain about starts expanding out in my head, but I’m doing my best to ignore it. I’m instead choosing to focus on the happy things (which of course has me occasionally questioning whether or not I’m going hypomanic because oh hey, thanks bipolar). I live in a country that suits me better than my country of origin. I’m still very much in love with my spouse after nine years together. We have a nice house and cute kids. We have enough money that we have a goodly amount of free time (though I get the most ’cause my husband is amazing about making sure I can hole up and take care of myself).

Or maybe I just need to recount the good because depression lies and I’m under its shadow and not aware of it. It’s always a possibility, isn’t it. ¬¬ But at least I’m still deriving enjoyment from my life, the things I enjoy, and so on, so it’s prooooobably not that bad. Probably. All I can do is to just keep swimming, and to apply my own brand of self-motivation to myself that I would murder anyone else for attempting to do and wouldn’t slather anyone else with, because damn it is sunshine-y. *chuckles*

Anyways! Hope y’all are doing well out there. Back to my knitting.

<3

That’s… Probably Not Good

So after feeling so rubbish and depressed at the weekend, I’ve had a really good week? I’ve been really productive in doing work things, though admittedly my daily focus hasn’t extended much past that. I like working, even if it’s just data entry — it’s zennishly fulfilling, and it pleases me to know that my work supports the rest of the office.

11899481_1613195232277151_1969739604_nIn the same vein, the outing Wednesday was faboo. We met up at the pub half an hour before our dinner reservation, and something about being there and away from the kids meant I was able to zone out and get a few rows on my knitting done before the meal. The meal itself was grand, and the Pasta Al Forno I picked in remembrance of bat’s baked ziti from our last meal together back home in Texas was amazing. My only complaint is that I didn’t wait for it to cool long enough, and kept having that issue where it’s not quite mouth scalding, but it’s too hot to properly process. I know, patience is a virtue. It’s hard to rock that virtue when something this gorgeous is plopped in front of you. Which is to say, my dear Dyane, it was a good outing and I am happy to report back on this. :)

So yeah, between those things, I was feeling… not depressed, but wasn’t sure where I was really. And then this morning, my closest local friend (who happens to be the mother of Smallhausen’s best friend) messaged and asked if they could come around to hang out. I was pleased, as I had missed her, and Smallhausen had only moments before asking if she could see J. I was so pleased, I even decided to have a bath.

That’s when I realised things miiiight not be okay. Things miiiiight going too good. You see, baths are hard. They’re easier than showers (not that we currently have a shower), but they are exhausting and take a lot of motivation to get me through one. And indeed, I came out of it shaky as shit because I didn’t actually have the physical resources to get through it. Freshly cleaned hair is divine and always makes me perk up slightly, but like… yeah. Something misfired to convince me that I should do it and that I could do it.

Isn’t it grand, the bipolar life, having to doubt every good mood? Now I’m starting to wonder if I’ve returned to rapid cycling after so long. It’s really mild compared to how it used to be, but it’s still making me Wary as Fuck. The only ‘bonus’ is the up seems to be either equal to or greater than the down at current, so it’s like… do I want to mess with this? Can I deal with random near-crying jags? I don’t really know. At this point, I think that the smartest thing I can do is to keep tabs on it and see where it goes. Maybe that’s me trying to duck doing anything, or maybe it’s just me prudently keeping an eye on things to make sure that I know enough to get the right treatment.

tl;dr bipolar is harrrrrrd. But y’all know that.

I’m going to go back to knitting, ’cause knitting is fun and it makes me happy. Hope you guys are all doing well out there.

<3

What the Headache

IMG_3473

No idea why the blister pack is so freaking huge for such a tiny pill…

Amongst the assorted uses for Depakote, it’s supposed to be good for migraines. I get migraines sometimes, so I was okay with this. Instead, I’ve got headaches. Hrmph. You’d think something good for migraines would help with headaches, but whatever. And the last day or two my little eye twitch tremor has come back. I’m not particularly stressed or overtired, so we’re guessing that maybe the weather is causing it. Who knows. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t affect my ability to see, but it’s just that little bit annoying.

Grump grump, grump grump.

And yeah, the weather. Summer seems to be trying to take one last vicious slash at us. While friends back in the States sort of sneer at us out here in the UK complaining about high 70s/80s, they also neglect to account for access to air conditioning. Our house is fairly well set up with several ceiling fans, and good air movement with open windows, so that helps if there’s actually a breeze to be caught. But really, it’s enough to make us grateful for the rain when it comes — Brits, adopted or otherwise, aren’t made for sunshine!


 

Past that, I’m a combination of tired and… happy? I’m always wary of the word happy, since most of my lifetime associations with happy was likely hypomania (and we’re talking like, a couple of days a year sort of deal). The golden warmth that I mentally associate with my periods of hypomania persist, but like… it’s mainly associated with my family. I figure it’s probably a good thing, that oxytocin connection we’re supposed to have to our flesh and blood that I didn’t feel when my eldest was a baby. It could be bad though and a sign that I’m stuck on up. Who knows with bipolar, right? ¬¬

Ah well. At least I’ve got my knitting and my games and I still take pleasure in them both. Also a possible sign of an up rather than a down, but ah well. It’ll do for now.

Hope that everyone out there is doing as well as they can be.

<3

 

Wahgarble

Ever have those days where you wake up, and you’re already done with the day? Yeah, that’s me most every day because of chronic fatigue. Today was that to a higher degree, with my only goals being getting laundry washed, and washing my hair. The former was going to be… I won’t say easy, but I knew that I could make it happen. The latter? I woke up too fatigued to even think about bathing. The mere idea of it was too exhausting. But I figured that as long as the baby cooperated in going down for a nap in a timely fashion, then I could probably work myself around to it.

Care to guess who didn’t want to nap today? Yeaaaah.

I pulled out all the stops too — plenty of food and fluids, play and cuddles. She didn’t want to be put down, but she didn’t want to go to sleep either. She recently likes to shove hard and claw at moles and freckles on my torso and grab my neck and other bits, which um… no. Fuck no. Anxiety through the roof no. Put you down before I scream no. Except she didn’t want that. Fuck? Yeah. Oh yeah, and when she was being happy to stay put laying against me, she kept pushing against my arms instead of staying centered, and that hurts. It’s like having a heavy-ass bowling ball resting all its weight on a scrawny ass arm, which… well. See the before cycle of putting down and pissy baby.

Suffices to say, my panxiety hit the point of wanting to scream and break things. I know that such won’t help so I fight myself to not doing it, but man. All the tiny things were doing their best to contribute to the spiking panxiety too, like noticing everyone elses’ mess encroaching on my area, to being pissed off that I didn’t manage to finish my daily writing until 1:30pm (a task I usually knock out before noon even on weekends), to the fact my hair was dirty and I think most people agree that having that dwelling on your brain (literally *rimshot*) makes for some dark and unhappy thoughts.

So of course, she falls asleep just as my husband gets back from work. Sod’s Law, right? I growled at him a bit more about messy stuff and he obligingly took a stack of things to sort through. Bless him, he’s a doll. I made sure to give him a bit of affection once I managed to drag myself through the bath. And then he took her with to pick up her big sister from school, meaning I got the precious few minutes of alone time that I direly needed to finish my recovery from the panxiety of the morning. Now everyone is home and having a good time together, so all’s well that ends well.

I will say on the subject of anxiety that I am thinking I will have to talk to my psych when I see her at the end of the month. I think it has continued to be severe enough that I need to get on something for it. I know that antidepressants are the usual approach, but the one I’m on doesn’t seem to touch it. It does a great job of keeping the depression mainly at bay, so I’m not keen to change it. I also don’t want to have to go through the hell of adjusting to a different antidepressant — adjusting to this one twice has been rough enough. In some ways, I’m better able to handle it now; in the past, when I’d hit this level, things would be broken, tears would flow, and it would be a crapshoot as to whether or not my brain was telling me I should off myself. That I could speak mainly politely and not shout or break anything or anyone… it’s really good, and the coming down is a lot faster than it used to be. But it could be better. I don’t think that I’m greedy for wanting better. An actual quality of life would be faboo.

Anyways, hope everyone is well… and also chuckling with amusement at how all of us show up more frequently when we have something to complain about. xD

<3

Brain Constipation

I realised last night that I haven’t been blogging at either of my public blogs, and had a bit of an anxiety spike. But then, things have been busy. The littlest one is cutting three teeth at the same time (!!!!!!), and the big one has been off school for half-term. I’ve had a great time with both of them around the house, but it’s also nice when it’s just myself and Littlerbit. I’m getting a taste of that right now because Lilbit is visiting her grandmother, and as Littler is napping, I’m free to try and pick my brain.

I’ve also been doing things offline and, le gasp, outside. I finally got up the spoons to hit up our back garden in a big way, and I’ve been nose to the grindstone trying to get the weeding caught up and to get some things planted — in this case, mainly produce. I had wanted to do the same at our previous flat, but the garden was a windy vortex and pretty much anything we tried to establish blew away. There was also knowing on all levels that it wasn’t going to be our final/permanent home as much as we liked it, so ‘why bother’ apathy certainly was the easiest way to go.

And really though, we did like that flat, but our current residence is more emphatically ours. My in-laws encouraged us to get all the decorating redone before we moved in, and so we moved into a house that was pre-stamped as ours. There’s still things that we can do in future, like an extension, and we derive enjoyment on speculating on that for some future day. Planning. Being able to plan things. To have something worth improving that is our forever home is bliss. I look in the back garden and take pride that we’ve made something beautiful (and soon, literally fruitful). I enjoy the meditation that is weeding and caring for the garden, even if my back doesn’t as much. I’m adverse to the idea of exercise per se, but movement framed as movements is a beautiful thing to me. Calling it exercise robs the joy.

I guess that I can say then that I’m mainly doing okay. I have patches of disassociation where I have to slap my brain into accepting that I have an awesome life and a great family, but it normally isn’t severe enough for me to be more than mildly annoyed and has been a feature of my brain-life for as long as I can remember. There isn’t too much in the way of depression, though anxiety has been bad, and my sleep has cycled around to being a bit crap again. The latter is partially my fault for staying up late a couple of nights recently, but should hopefully smooth back out without too much effort. Hopefully.

Hope all is well out there for everybody.

<3

Waaay Run Down

Yeah so, apparently teething children mean I need to hide from blogging for a few weeks — who knew? It’s because when I hit a certain level of frazzled or stressed, writing about it ceases to be cathartic. Instead, I start flipping tables mentally because I’m sick and tired of being that level of trying to hold it together when I really, really am not. Which isn’t to say that I’m having any episodes that I’m aware of, just that… I’m tired, and REALLY want to be left alone instead of being screamed at all day by a fussy baby. It’s not quite literally all day, but it feels like that when it’s the first thing I have to deal with in the morning until like, noon. For a week. Every day.

At least it’s Christmastime now, which means other people can deal with the kiddo for longer stretches of the day, ha ha. And really? I know how much better I am this time around when I am mainly holding it together, even when my brain goes into scumbag mode like last night. I’d gone into the kitchen, and I was pissed because there was a full sink of dishes (when I’d already cleared one that day), and the table was mounded high with stuff, and other things, and my brain hit a PTSD moment remembering my childhood, and basically being used like slave labour (to include forcing me to take a job and then pay for the care of one of my siblings atop chores). And most of y’all know the deal when the brain finds something like that to niggle onto. It clings and it sucks it in like some sort of leech and leaves you pulsating with all the poisons. But! I didn’t flip out. I didn’t scream (except at a plastic bag wrapped around a chair leg that was resisting being moved). I didn’t start sobbing, or try to find something to break. I instead expressed my upset to my husband, and felt… not exactly better, but defused. A year ago, I would have been the aforementioned wreck (and not because of pregnancy hormones or anything). Having said that, I’m fervently hoping that I can get a few hours to myself in the next couple of days, because I’m really freaking worn thin.

Of course, I also have to, in fairness, point out that we went to a party on Wednesday. It was a lovely time with good friends and food, and I went to bed later than usual (as I do every other Wednesday anyways for the same reason; it was with my Stitch ‘n Bitch group). And no, I don’t drink or anything — it’s just taking my meds late and going to bed late throws me off a bit. I made it worse this week by forgetting to set the alarm and waking up an hour late. No harm done in the day’s schedule really, but I wasn’t happy with myself either.

Oh yeah, and I’ve been having computer problems too. My graphics card had decided it was dying, and then decided it wasn’t, and that was eating up a lot of brain power. And then I used what tiny bit of brain power I actually could muster to get caught up on emails for The Bipolar Blogger Network. Yay for that being done (and welcome, new faces!), but man, does it take a lot out of me that I apparently didn’t actually have. Whups.

Ah well. At least it should be better for a few weeks. And if I’m lucky, the little one will cut that first nasty tooth over the break, and realise it’s not as bad as she thinks (and therefore, hopefully, spend less time grumping at me about something I can’t fix, ha ha).

Anyways, hope everyone is well out there.

<3

In the Clear

As I sit here a week and a bit into December, I am thinking that I am in the clear after NaNoWriMo. In addition to being so much less stressed about it this time, I’m also on an antidepressant. I wasn’t last time, and I think between that and the ‘discipline’ of writing regularly, I did myself a bad turn.

It’s also encouraging, because it means that maybe, just maybe — I can expand what I do. Slightly. I think a lot of us with mental illnesses know that it’s a bit too easy to overstretch and do ourselves a bad turn, and so it gets to a point of avoidance. That I was able to do something challenging without breaking myself… well, it feels pretty darn good.

I still have to be mindful though, obviously. I know how easy it is to push past the point of reason. And, I know, I’m still totally in recovery from NaNo. I find myself a bit more easily frazzled, though that could just be situations being more frazzling (like having to stop in the middle of this post to take my computer apart to clean the graphics card fan so my computer quits shutting off).

Past that, I’m just enjoying life in general. Lots of knitting, lots of gaming, and lots of kiddo snuggles — it’s hard to top that.I’ve always liked the simple things, and a life full of them is a life well spent to me.

I’m also getting better, slowly, at not jumping up and volunteering to do all the things for things that I like. For instance, I am trying to find someone to take over as leader of my kinship in Lord of the Rings Online. It wasn’t mine in the first place; it sort of fell on my shoulders after the leaders wandered off to another game. I mean, I didn’t have to take over, but I felt like I had to this time a year ago. I think I’ve got my replacement lined up, which is bliss. I definitely am not enjoying the game as much being the boss person. It’s the same with NaNoWriMo — I have felt a few knee-jerk ‘ooh, let’s be an ML (municipal leader), but I’ve managed to slap that down. Really, if I can winnow it down to just the network (and if eval requests come in not-gluts), that would be keen. I’ve been so brain dead that I’ve been doing the same singular eval for like, weeks now. But that’s okay! I’m not beating myself up about it, and that’s pretty awesome.

Hope everyone is doing well out there. Will try a bit harder to make the blog rounds and say a proper howdy.

<3

‘Tis the Season (For Colds, and Maybe Hypomania)

November is past now, and I’ve come down from the high of writing my novel. I’ve tried to cut back on writing so that I came down properly, and now I’m pretty confident that I made it through and after without triggering a depressive episode. I was really cross when I did that to myself in 2012, because I love December and winter and it made me very grumpy to be depressed from pushing myself too hard!

And while I am fairly confident I managed to get through unscathed, I get stuck with that annoying thing that most of us with bipolar do — am I in a good mood//happy, or is it hypomania? I’ve had a few moments were I’ve just felt so freaking happy that I have to stop and take stock, ha ha. I’m pretty sure they’ve just been happiness, but. I guess that’s just a side effect of being healthier on the whole. I can feel moments of pleasure and joy in smaller, ‘lesser’ emotions than hypomania now. I can look around at my home and my family and feel the joy of satisfaction without feeling like it’s not due to me, or that it’s not a valid emotion, or… any number of things. I’m sure this is coming out a jumble to people who don’t know what I’m talking about. Oh well. *laughs*

My main health niggle of current, though, is physical. I have rather severe chronic fatigue, likely due to yet-as-undiagnosed endometriosis. My maternal aunt and grandmother had to resort to hysterectomies to get a quality of life back, and I’ve had to square myself up to being okay with that possibility before going in and asking. Having said that, birth control has come a ways in the intervening years, and there are more doctors amenable to setting one up to not have periods through various birth control means. I need to do some more research to see what the best option(s) is/are, but I am feeling that it might also be a halfway point on which I can get a doctor to meet me on… and then hopefully recommend me on for a laparoscopy (only way currently to diagnose endometriosis).

While I absolutely know that this is my problem and has been for almost 20 years now, it’s really hard to get doctors to take it seriously because, like mental health issues, it’s invisible to the naked eye. And of course, there’s an inherent sexism too; while my main doc is great on mental health things, he shuts right the way down on female health issues. So thankfully, there’s a female in the practice now that I can take this too, and I really should make myself do it sooner rather than later. I know from after my first pregnancy just how huge a difference it makes when the chronic fatigue is gone. I had hoped for such a reprieve this time around, but it’s been worse, and then some.

And as I cannot think of anything further to add, I won’t. I hope everyone is doing well out there.

 

<3

Novels and Mood Spikes

I live, honest!

I’m a bit grumpy at myself for letting my post a week minimum fall by the wayside, but you guys understand — writing a novel takes up a lot of resources, mentally and physically. And in that, I can happily report that I won NaNoWriMo on the 19th, and wrote those magic words ‘The End’ on the 21st. So it’s done and done until whenever editing happens, and I’m well pleased. I managed it without being too huge a stressy nuisance, which was very pleasing to both myself and my husband. Part of me is already thinking sequel and he’s not running for the hills, while the rest of me is like ‘Gah woman, you’ve already won twice quit while you’re ahead, it’s off the damned bucket list!

So yeah, quite happy with that. Will be putting it out as a pdf for free if anyone wants to read it, but that requires getting the husband to hold my hand through it ’cause he’s fancier at making PDFs look nice than me!


Mind you, I have been stressing enough this month that I’ve had a few spots of mood wibbliness, almost enough to make me regret not being more forceful about getting my meds upped. On the whole, i still agree that it wasn’t needed and I’m fine, but I sort of scared myself the other night. I was really frustrated on Thursday for a myriad of reasons. For one, I’d gone out the night before, which was absolutely wonderful and a great celebration of finishing NaNo. But on the dark side, it meant that I took my Seroquel late, which meant that I had to deal with more fog the following morning. And unfortunately, Thursday I had to go into the office for the first time in ever for training. It wasn’t that bad, but being around people was more stressful than I realised it would be.

It also left me worried that had completely lost the steam on my novel when I was so close to finishing it, so that and kids and frazzle meant I was short-tempered… and I caught myself throwing something. When I hit that point, it’s usually very septic and dangerous. I’ll throw one little thing, then I’ll want to throw more things and then I will want to break things and start screaming and crying and that pushes into ‘whelp, let’s kill ourselves’ territory before I can blink.

Or has in the past.

So yeah, I was annoyed and chucked a shoe a few feet… and then caught myself before the ritual could bind me to a dark path. I caught my breath, I passed off the baby to my husband and explained that I was feeling really stressed out and needed people not talking to me for a bit. And you know what? Telling him that took a huge chunk of the weight off. I was still really worn and frazzled, but I was relieved enough to cheerfully converse with him and to thank him for giving me the space I needed.

It’s amazing how even a few minutes now make such a big difference in my ability to recentre. Mind you, the spikes still come out of almost nowhere… at least, it feels like that. You cope and you cope and then suddenly whups, can’t cope everything is terrible and bad and unsafe. It’s really encouraging, you know? I’m figuring stuff out, I’m breaking things. I’m able to take all that work I’ve done on myself over the years and apply it better now that I’ve carved out a wider me space. Yanno, ’cause actually feel like I have borders now after cutting out people who disrespected them.

Now, the real question that reminds — will this month of novelling trigger a depressive episode? It did in 2012 because I ignored my mental health and applied ‘discipline’. But also, then, I was only on the Seroquel; we didn’t add the Zoloft until half a year later when it became apparent that I was still having depressive episodes. We’ll see. I’m better at listening to my health now (though as prone to error as the next person), and I am doing my best right now to ease back into non-writing things. :D

Hope everyone out there is well.

<3