Tag Archives: Depression

Why I Didn’t Get Depressed When I Got a F**k Off Letter

Brenda was a friend to my husband and me for many long years. We partied with her, and talked with her, and grieved with her and supported her when her marriage ended.

I became closer to her than Dan had, although he had met her first. Then we grew apart. Then I heard that she had given up on me. I wrote, asking for one more chance.

Recently, she sent me a three-page letter. When a mutual friend asked what it said, I replied, “Basically, ‘fuck off.'”

I’ve written before about the friends I’ve lost due to my bipolar disorder (http://wp.me/p4e9Hv-2W) – the pain and loss I sometimes still feel, my unsuccessful attempts to apologize or rebuild the relationships, the continuing rejection, the knowledge that those important people are gone from my life forever.

But this time, the rejection didn’t seem to bother me as much.

Why? I wondered.

I know that people sometimes do drift apart, and there was an element of that in the death of the relationship.

I knew that I had refused many invitations and stood her up many times. But apparently, when I did show up, I brought along an extra person, “my misery.” It seems like a trap: don’t accept an invitation, or be unwelcome when I do because of my constant companion, which I was unable to just leave at home. In those days, and sometimes still, the Black Dog was always with me. But Brenda saw it as something she couldn’t compete with, something that was always more important to me than she was.

In a sense that was true, though I didn’t see it as a competition. It wasn’t like I valued my disorder more than I valued her. Feeling miserable was important to me, in the sense that it seemed ever-present, but it was important to me in a bad way – the thing that dragged me down, the thing I fought against, the thing that did make my life a misery. But it was a misery I could not put down, much as I wanted to, even for people I cared about. At the depth of my depression, it was simply a part of me. I am sometimes amazed that I came through it with any friends left. But I have.

To be fair, Brenda also blamed her own misery after her divorce as a contributing factor to our parting. Then there would be four of us present – two people and two miseries – and evidently it was too much.

Most perplexing to me, though, was Brenda’s contention that her growing religious fervor and burgeoning political conservatism contributed to her decision to cut ties. I freely admit to being a liberal and to disliking organized religion, but I have friends who feel otherwise and yet remain my friends. There’s lots we agree to disagree on or simply choose not to talk about. Even my mother and I had profound differences but never gave up on each other.

According to Brenda, her religious and political leanings required “personal responsibility” – including responsibility for one’s moods. As she put it, despite her reactive depression, her happiness was a choice. One that she made and I didn’t.

She compared mental illness with high blood pressure and diabetes – conditions that one must take personal responsibility for treating and trying to control. The fact is, I was trying to control my disorder, with therapy, with medication, and once almost with electroshock. I know she knew this, as once we went to the same therapist.

And that’s why I said, “eh” when I got the letter. By Brenda’s own criteria I was doing my best. And that’s all anyone can do. I couldn’t go back and change my misery, or try harder to find relief. And I couldn’t simply choose to be happy, which I don’t believe is possible for most people like me. If you can manage it, more power to you, and to Brenda.

I think what bothered me most about the letter is that Brenda has a degree in psychology and is teaching psychology in college now. I wonder what her students are learning from her.

 

 


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, depression, friends, mental health, mental illness, my experiences, public perception, social skills

The Bad Thoughts Are Whispering…Loudly

Not that anyone should ever need to think or say it…If you spend enough time in a depression, you start recognizing when your thoughts aren’t your own anymore. You realize all those bad things whispering in your mind are simply depressive artifact. And logically you know this and know it can be corrected *if* you can stumble on the right med combo…

The fresh hell is waiting to find that combo and being forcefed bad thoughts by your own mind the entire time.

The Bad Thoughts started whispering when my kid woke me at 6 a.m. on the first day of summer vacation from school. I literally could not pry myself out of bed. Which lead to, you are a shit mom, get off your ass, your own mom worked swing shift and still got up with us girls every single morning!.

After that it was Spook asking every ten minutes for 5 hours if it was time to go to Grandma’s for her sleepover. Bad thoughts pointing out, Even your own kid can’t wait to get away from you, do her a favor and kill yourself, you useless bucket of monkey spunk.

After I finally took her to mom’s and came home…I just kept thinking of the clock ticking until I had to go to the shop. And R called and he was just heading to the airport in CA and was shocked nothing new had come in all week, as if people not wanting to pay to fix busted shit is my fault. Not to mention he’s already so far over his head with two jobs, why would you want more work???

Finally, the clock watching got to be too much, I couldn’t focus on anything, so I just went to the shop fifteen minutes early to make the calls instructed to make. And for a brief period, I wasn’t hearing the bad thoughts. Then K returned from his trip down south and I was reminded…

R has this awesome new job, traveling across the country, K is preparing to move down south, and wtf am I doing but stewing in depressive juices and self loathing? And believe me, more than anything, I want to pull myself up out of it, I want to work and feel better about myself and look forward to getting out of bed and doing something good with my life.

Depression simply doesn’t agree or care.

Once home…I returned to binge watching Lucifer (I missed the entire season due to the depression, can’t have that abyss tainting my favorite shows, no no no, and also, depression wants you to get as little pleasure out of life as it can suck away)…And then I see an episode about a dead musician and they mentioned he was sleeping on someone’s couch and that took me to…

When I was 16 and ran away from home to Hollywood, CA. I was so mesmerized with the hair metal scene and miserable in my midwest hell, I just worked until I had some cash and I bailed. And it wasn’t until there that I learned what “sofa surfing” and “couch tour” meant. It wasn’t nearly as “cool” as it sounded when uttered in magazine interviews by hair metal musicians. Money ran out quick in Hollywood and I ended up rooming with a hooker. Kind soul she was, she found my diary and of course, my idiot ass had all my pertinent info written in it, and so she called my parents who then called the lost kid network and they dragged me back home kicking and screaming.

And tonight I flashed on that couch tour and whether Nina did me a favor or not. Was dying there at 16 any better than dying here at whatever age? Not like my life has counted for shit unless being deeply depressed wins peace prizes.

I KNOW it’s depressive distortion. I hate it. I fight it with everything I’ve got. But honestly, between that and putting up the facade for everyone around me so they don’t have to face what a mess I truly am…It’s pretty easy to hear the whispers and start believing them.

I think that part is likely what drives so many with mental health issues to self harm and even suicide. Battling your own mind is beyond difficult. And eventually it just wears you down until you wave the white flag.

I’m not doing any flag waving, but I admit…I can’t wait for my appt Tuesday to ask the nurse if I can get back on Cymbalta. That has been the quickest acting most helpful anti depressant for me and I NEED my life back. I’ve lost the will to go to yard sales, for fuck’s sake. I skipped months of my favorite shows because I didn’t want to taint them with my depression. I’ve robbed my kid of a semi sane mom who doesn’t go through the motions but actually LIVES life. I want that back, even if it only lasts a few months.

I need to be stable and I need to progress and move on, like everyone around me is doing. Being left behind because my own brain seems to want me dead…It’s devouring my soul and making me an even angrier, more bitter person.

To quote Helloween, “I want out.”

I said I was always big on hair metal…Sofa surfing, nope.


Thank You Dr. Jamison & The Unknown Angels

  Dear Friends,  Last year, I wrote about Anthony William’s book Medical Medium.  William explained how praying to a group called the “Unknown Angels” helped him a great deal. At first, I was quite skeptical. However, the thought of asking those mysterious-sounding Unknown Angels appealed to me so I went for it and I started talking to them. … Continue reading Thank You Dr. Jamison & The Unknown Angels

Since I’m Having a Good Day

I think I’ll post! Sorry it has been a while but I have been seriously so depressed I was happy if I showered once every two weeks! I’ve had no motivation. Honestly I say it is partially genuine feelings and this new weed I got. Both make me want to do more.

I did go to Applebee’s during a slow time for lunch last week. Slowly getting at doing more.

I’ve been playing my computer games but still haven’t painted. I can feel it coming though the painting will happen sometime I just have to patiently wait for my brain to allow it.

My anxiety has sucked a lot lately.  My brain just always goes to a negative place for every single thought that I have. I don’t know what to do about it except give my head a shake and go on to the next thought and hope it is better.

Anyhow nothing really has happened besides the Applebee’s thing. My life is not real exciting right now. My days are spent stoned and dozing in the recliner listening to music. It makes me feel relaxed and shuts that voice up for a little while. So I always end up doing it every day. Though the night before I always claim will be a weed free day but it doesn’t end up that way.  oh well.


Dealing With Depression At Home

Hello to our South African readers! (And of course a friendly hello to our foreign readers too!) We are excited to tell you that an article, “Dealing With Depression At Home“, […]

The End Of All Days

Okay, so maybe nothing that dramatic but it is the last day of school which means for two and a half months…my already fractured brain and fried central nervous system will be held hostage and assaulted daily by Spook and her merry band of desperadoes.

On one hand…Yay, no dragging ass out of bed to meet her school schedule.

On the other…her yelping to play with her friends at 9 a.m. seven days a week.

I tried to get her into a summer program. Apparently “Is there a scholarship available because I can’t afford full price” means you don’t even warrant an email reply from the Y. Maybe I can find things for her to do, but I just resent being driven from my safe space to escape all these kids. Great, she has friends, she is popular.

It just never ends well. Her, around her friends, means she becomes more mouthy and disrespectful and argues with me every time I say no to an extreme I don’t even see when her friends aren’t around. And to make matters worse, these kids show up before 10 a.m. and are still knocking at 8 p.m. wanting her to play which makes it stressful for me to give her a supper time, a bath time, a bed time. The minute they show up, she goes off if I say no.

And as I told her yesterday when she said she didn’t like me because she mouthed off and I made her come inside…My job is not to be your friend, it’s too teach you right from wrong and keep you safe.

AND IT IS A SUCKY SOUL EATING THANKLESS JOB.

In addition to pre summer dread is the post summer dread when I have to pull blood from a stone to get her new school clothes and all the supplies then attend all the start of school stuff that get me so stressed…Two and a half months away and still enough to give me a stress stomach ache. Not that my mental health care provider seems to think any of this is a problem cos last time he saw me 4 weeks ago, I was having a less insane day thus he took it to me I am doing much better, here’s a nurse, talk to her, you’re A Okay.

NO I am never gonna stop harping on that. 24 years of psych care and never once was I shunted off onto a nurse. She might well be more understanding, hell she could suggest the magic bullet that gets me six good months, IDK. I just think it’s shitty to stick a patient in an 8 month seasonal depression in a position of feeling like they’re not even worthy of seeing their own doctor.

The anxiety is getting to me all over the map. I woke at 3:30 this morning amidst a pile of cats in my bed and realize…my softer mattress is helping my back pain, it’s playing bed Twister to avoid crushing a cat that is making me wake up all sore and feeling crooked. But there was no getting back to sleep immediately. I tried for an hour and a half. Stroked a kitten hoping purr therapy would work. By 5 a.m. it was 0.5 Xanax time. Which gave me a half hour to nod off and ninety minutes to sleep, give or take. When my sleep is disrupted like that, it usually means I am going to have a really shitty mental health day. It’s not the amount of sleep I get, it’s how much uninterrupted sleep I get. Not that the professionals understand that, either.

I took her to school, put gas in the car, and paid car insurance on line. Now I am gonna watch the season finale of Special Victims Unit because I do so love when fiction mirrors reality and I am reminded what this country has come to. A bunch of hate mongering assholes who think Muslims are all terrorists which is akin to saying all people with blue eyes are Hitler petri dish mutations.

I may be mental but the world is a cesspool of ignorance and it doesn’t take sanity or a brain surgeon to see that.


No, YOU Started A Meet-Up Group!

WHO is this person and WHO started a Meetup Group for persons 50 and over?  She sounds like a fucking centenarian!  My God!  The scandal!  Trying to meet people her own age!  And in her own town!  And an Introvert, mind you!  It seems I’ve drunk the kool-aid about it not being good to be isolated all the time, I guess.  Maybe I miss having more friends / social contact than I have now.  Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and think what a bad fucking idea this was and ask for my money back.  And maybe I’ll grow a tail 🙂  Well what the hell.  I started a Meetup group.  Forgive me for cutting this short.  I’m compulsively monitoring Meetup to see if anyone has joined my group yet.  I’ll keep ya posted 😉


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Meetup Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Blogging, Depression, Hope, Humor, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Manifest Anxiety

I have run the emotional gamut over the last 4 days from too depressed to be awake to wanting to die to “I’m okay-ish” to today’s “I was fine then the anxiety started gnawing away at me and I had to go out near people and now I am either having a nervous breakdown or a psychotic break”.

Mixed state. Icky.

Sunday my will to live was nil. The bad thoughts were kicking my ass and I was starting to believe their lies, especially when my kid was hosting 6 different kids and shrieks were the ambient noise. That day I managed to wash dishes and fold six baskets of laundry, not out of will, but out of desperation to drown out the depression and its lies of how worthless I am.

Monday was survivable.

Yesterday…I hadn’t eaten in 36 hours, took my meds, and started throwing up. Then my stomach started to churn and not even milk and Pecid were taking it down. I got excessively sleepy and had to stumble through the day ticking off minutes til my kid was asleep so I could escape to dreamland, too.

Today didn’t start out bad. But then came time in the dish and traffic and oh, some dumbfucks parked in the middle of the road arguing about who was the shittier driver. That was pleasant because confrontation sits so well with me. That ratcheted up the anxiety to fever pitch.

Part of this week’s anxiety is being at the shop 4-6 while R is out of town. It’s not that there’s anything to do. Whatever was asked of me was done Monday and now it’s ghost town aside from talking to elderly people who wander in and seem to just want conversation. No, I think it’s the responsibility factor. Like someone trusting their child to you when you’re in the middle of having a seizure and a heart attack as well as being dosed with roofies. I have enough with my kid and cats and home…But ya know, I am forcing myself outside my comfort zone for a friend and also, giving the depression and anxiety the middle finger. Fuck you, I can and will do this, even if it lands me in the Rubber Ramada.

Price for this forced functionality and rebellion is immense. Because I sit home and wonder, did I lock the door, did I turn everything off, did I forget something…Crushing responsibility at the moment. But when not mixed, when not getting my ass kicked by a seasonal depression that’s lasted 8 months…it wouldn’t be a big deal. I am capable enough. At this time, though, I am also altered so much, putting on pants is a challenge.

Of course, I can’t tell anyone around me that. I have to pretend to be just fine because Niki is too smart to be depressed. As if intelligence has fuck all to do with depression or bipolar. I can’t tell my family how bad it is because then they will start thinking I am unfit to care for my child. Yet as I fall apart, my kid is still fed, clean, clothed, going to school, and has friends. No, I am the one I am unfit to take care of. I do the bare minimum for myself because that is what it takes to be a competent mother while in this hellish state of mental unhealth.

Not a word there? I just made it one.

So two more days after today and hopefully R will be back and I will be free of added responsibility. Because I am wearing down and breaking down and I don’t even get to tell my doctor about it, he’s so busy I get to see the nurse in spite of an 8 month depression that’s barely been alleviated due to the fact the midwest still thinks it’s late winter. FFS.

Writing this has given me a headache.

I am gonna tell the nurse I just want to go low dose Cymbalta. I’ve been on it two or three times and the high doses always make my anxiety go insane. I am thinking this time with the Wellbutrin (if they can be mixed, cos you can’t say it’s so just cos the internet said it is) maybe I can be skyrocketed out of the abyss. Cymbalta has done it for me before, one of the best meds ever used by me if you discount high doses causing mania and anxiety. I just hope it’s not a case of “I have to talk to the doctor and he’s gone for 6 eons so you can’t get a script til he returns from Planet Neomaxiezoomdweebie”.

And I best not hear “outpatient therapy”, either. I am beyond the point where talking and art therapy are useful. I am up and ambling about and my anger is keeping me alive…I just want some damned balance and maybe the will to live. Because the way things are going with the new president…the disabled are going to be disposable and I’d like to have my mental ducks in a row before that happens.

And by disposable, I mean, bye bye benefits, not that the Trumpire wants to suck our blood and kill us.

Hey, don’t look at me, college humor came up with that nickname for him. I just like it.


Surely It’s Me, Right?!

Watching tv. Trying to write. This has been the pattern for weeks. So much on my mind yet I can’t seem to catch my thoughts. I feel like a drifter. Its been just about 3 months since I left my full time job of 17 years. I was leaving many great working relationships behind in pursuit of a less stressful environment. The hope was in doing so I would have less depressive and manic episodes. I was averaging 2 hospitalizations a year. I guess i always forget even with “good” stress, such as a job change, the risk of an episode is high. I added to that statistic w a devastating manic episode.
On to greener pastures I am now in a part time position. A little slower pace. A smaller office. The only person I really talk to is my supervisor. I drift in and out of the office. Sit at my desk. I miss conversations w my old coworkers where I sat in a unit of 8 people, I the veteran. I the one most people came to for assistance. My cubbie mate and I on the verge of a real budding friendship-something I don’t seem to be good at. But, that world is gone. It seems out of sight out of mind.
I know. I know. Everyone is sooo busy. I don’t always reach out as often as I should. But I try. I think of other people daily and wonder how they are. I don’t just forget people. I feel confused when folks I thought were my friends don’t respond. When these same folks seemed so concerned after hearing about my possible suicide attempt (long story wrapped up in my mixed manic episode). Shared my business with others without my permission. I let go of all of that, as I thought they truly cared. Thought they were my friends..or at least more than acquaintances at this point.
Is it me that falls off the map or them? If anything, I keep in contact, albeit hiding, through texts. When they don’t get returned what am I to think? I am lonely. I feel so alone. I have very few friends. Can’t maintain the ones I *may* have. Lost some along the way.
At the same time I don’t want to beg people to be my friend. Surely it’s me, right? You know why I was unable to write this..because the truth hurts. The pain of isolation is grand. To be fair, I do have a husband. He is most certainly my friend. But, 2 people don’t make a circle. A circle of support is always shoved down my throat. If only I had one. If only I knew how to rally one.
I just drift along to and from work. Drift in and out of the grocery store. Drift from my bed to the couch. Drowning in loneliness and isolation. I think people like me. But that’s as far as it goes. I really don’t understand why it stops there. Surely it’s me, right?


To Bird Or Not To Bird

zebra finches

I am struggling mightily with the impulse to buy some pet birds.  It’s Spring, and I hear the beautiful birds singing, and I just want all the birds!!  I have had Zebra Finches before (other birds too) but I like Zebra Finches because they are zero-maintenance.  They don’t want to be held or cuddled or paid attention to in the least – they just live their precious lives in their cage and if you get a male and a female they make precious babies!  OH!  How I want to get some!  Then I could just sit in my chair and watch my birds.  And avoid studying.  Oh.  Yeah.  That.

Part of me says “Wait until you pass your certification, then this will be your reward” which is a great idea but fuck me I don’t want to study!!  I have just rebelled and rebelled and I haven’t studied for a week!  This isn’t good people!!!  I’m supposed to take the test at the end of the month!  This is my own deadline but it’s for a good reason, I need to go out and get a damn job!  Have I mentioned how I feel about getting a full-time job?  I know I have.  I feel like SHIT about it!  Oh lawd I think all this shit is tied together.  Could getting pet birds possibly help me in some way?  Could I become homeless with pet birds?  These are the things that pop into my head.  I dunno, I just think pet birds would contribute to my home harmony.  That sweet little song . . . C’mon people talk me into it!

Well that’s about all for this week except we had a damn snowstorm in the middle of May and I had to say What the FUCK, Colorado?!  That sucked.  It is beautiful today, though.  Snow all gone.  Hope all is great in your world.


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Studying, Bipolar and Work Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Blogging, Depression, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader