Tag Archives: mania

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?


The Borderline’s Dilemma: Don’t Fight the Calm Waters in Life

I am generally one to exaggerate any given idea, event, moment, description, but it is truer than true that my life is really pretty darn okay right now, and has been for a little while.

Yes, there are bumps in the road, but I am using skills more frequently (and without overthinking) to get through the bumps, and the bumps pass much faster than they ever used to.

For once in my life, I can say that my stress level is relatively low, and while that is super and great and amazing, the mental health issues I deal with can make me take calm and serenity and throw it out the window, to replace it with something a lot more familiar, like drama.

Yes, I am saying it:  My life is good right now and it is a daily, sometimes moment-to-moment struggle to not sabotage the hell out of it.  I have my slips mostly with LarBear, and he is very forgiving and never holds those little fits against me.  He knows what is going on, just as I do.  Things are good, and it is hard sometimes when things are good, because that is just so unfamiliar.

 

I laughed when I saw this post on Facebook, but there is such a grain of truth to it.  How many days in the last five years did I basically not get out of bed, or get up and get showered or dressed?  A lot, y’all, too many to count.  I spent months at a time not even leaving my house.

Now that I have regular activities like church and social whatnots and am exercising at the local pool every day, I am finding that I actually LIKE being out and about.  I don’t like to be out all the time, but I like it more than I ever thought I would.  Because things were the opposite for so long, sometimes I start to fall into a pattern where I ignore my social obligations, my appointments, the pool, these new people I have met, but I find myself turning the mind quickly back to this semi-stability that I have gathered (through a ton of hard work).

 

After years of angst, I finally have the people in my life that I need and deserve, and I have enough self-respect to cut ties when things are toxic or harmful in some way.  I still give people far too many chances, but I rarely let another person really harm me without slamming the door in his/her face.  I truly believe that the church family that has come into my life recently was meant to be, that the people in my exercise classes and at the YMCA were meant to be in my life right now for specific reasons.  I especially see now how my relationships with family members have changed for the positive, and how it could not have happened before.  And of course, some may tire of hearing it, but LarBear was certainly paired with me by something more purposeful than chance.

I really think that the key to my happiness now, and the methods that I employ to stay that way and to avoid fighting the peace within and without, is that I am doing things in my life every day that I love, with people that I love, with intention and purpose.  I have an amazing amount of love in my heart that is poured in by others, and my heart is full enough to pour into others, as well, which makes my heart even fuller.  Being positive and doing what is effective, is what works.  Keeping a close eye on your mood and your thoughts and your feelings, is very important.  I think so much of it just boils down to paying attention and to living a life you love.  That may sound oversimplified, but that is my sound bite.


Filed under: Daily Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, borderline personality disorder, BPD, DBT, depression, dialectical behavior therapy, effectiveness, Family, happiness, love, mania, mental health, mental health recovery, PTSD, recovery, willingness

What Happens after you have been Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

dxsFor some people, it is a relief when they find out that there is a name for something they have been enduring sometimes for years.  Unfortunately, due to the stigma attached to mental illness, some people feel ashamed or don’t want to face the fact that they are “crazy”.

The diagnosis for bipolar disorder 1 is usually done after someone is in a manic episode.  This means that they have grandiose ideas, are spending a lot of money, they are taking risks they normally wouldn’t take, they are verbally overproductive, and are oftentimes psychotic.  This oftentimes results in a hospital stay where the person is medicated to try and stabilize their moods.  There are many medications out there that help with mania (anti-psychotics, etc) and there are also mood stabilizers. Sometimes it takes months to find the right combination of medications as every patient is different.

Usually, after a manic episode, the person will fall into a deep depression where they are in a deep hole that they feel like they will never get out of.  They are unmotivated, feel like life is not worth living, sometimes are suicidal, they do not enjoy things they used to enjoy and usually there is a change in appetite and sleep.

If someone with bipolar disorder has been admitted to the hospital, they most likely have been placed under what is called a 72 hour hold.  This is a time period where they are not allowed to leave and are assessed by the doctors and nurses to see if they are safe to return to society.  If a person stays past that time, either voluntarily or involuntarily, they usually start going to group therapy, participate in art activities, take classes that help them with self-esteem and are given coping skills. It is a learning time if they are in there for the first time.  The family gets involved too and there are usually sessions with the patient and their loved ones.

When the person starts to come out of their manic episode or are no longer suicidal, the staff start talking about discharge.  The patient is given resources to use when they leave, directions from their doctor as to what medications to take and when, and an appointment is made with their doctor and other people like social workers.

Depending on high functioning the person is, they are able to take care of themselves after leaving the hospital and life goes back to normal.  It is not something that will stay permanent unless they are lucky enough to have found the perfect medication cocktail.  It is constantly something that gets evaluated as the patient goes to their doctor’s visits.

Some people are able to work full time jobs and no one even knows that they have been in the hospital and would be shocked to hear that they were diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Some people have to go on disability as the stress of their job is too much and will cause mania or depression.

If you have recently been diagnosed, there is always hope and things can and will get better. Hang in there and don’t expect everything to get “normal” again all at once.  If you truly have bipolar disorder, be ready for  a long fight.  Many people are able to use their manic highs and accomplish a lot. However, some tend to stay depressed and are unable to see the good things in life.

It is the hope of loved ones and professionals that the person who has bipolar disorder is stabilized and does not have mood swings anymore.  If you could view bipolar disorder like a roller coaster where the highs are the mania and the low points are the depression, you aim for the times where the roller coaster comes to a stop.

After getting back into the world after being diagnosed, you will learn where you can get help, where the resources are, who you can count on, and what your limitations are.  It is advisable that you create an action plan.

An action plan is something that you and your support system make together so that when you start to get into trouble and see the red flags (spending a lot of money, grandiose ideas, talking a lot, etc) that your support team surrounds you with love and helps you through it all.  Things that can be included in an action plan are: Someone takes away your keys and credit cards so you don’t drive crazy and get into an accident or spend money you don’t have.  Another thing that might be in an action plan is that when the person feels they are getting manic, they let everyone in their support system know.  Some things that the support system can do are to make sure the person is eating right as they oftentimes forget.  Some other things are to encourage them to journal, take long walks, make sure they get enough sleep. Sleep is very important when it comes to preventing a manic episode and can make it a lot worse.  People in the manic phase oftentimes can go more than 48 hours without sleeping.

After the action plan is created, it is a good idea to have everyone sign it including the person with the illness so that when they do get sick and have poor judgement they might not want to listen to their supporters.  However, with the action plan they can be reminded of what they agreed to.  One such thing is to limit social media time or to stay off the phone or not write any letters. By doing this, it prevents them from embarrassing themselves and doing things and saying things they will regret later. Encourage them to wait until they are stable to take on huge projects.

Living with bipolar disorder is not easy, but it can be manageable. With determination, a good support system, and a good medication regimen, people can lead normal lives.


Detox: Ripping The Parasite Off My Heart

Ready. Set. Sail! So, I want to clarify something, more so for my own benefit than anything else. I’m not in a relationship with Mark as normal people would refer to it as. Mark is a parasite. To quote the website “Fact Monster”: There are three different types of symbiotic relationships: mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. … More Detox: Ripping The Parasite Off My Heart

I Wanna Do Bad Things With You

To describe it as torture would be an understatement​. It’s mental anguish. That feeling. That worm that digs and digs into your skull, trying to make it’s way in. It’s taking over my brain again. I can feel it. Twisting and turning inside my head. It’s almost painful. I’m grinding my teeth just to distract … More I Wanna Do Bad Things With You

Diagnosing Bipolar II #DavidLeite #NotesOnABanana

“Diagnosis: Mental Lite!” — Chapter 33 of David Leite’s self-deprecating Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression — reminded me of the two decades it took before I was diagnosed bipolar type 2. For twenty-five years Leite…

Mind Spinning

Mind spinning In circles Like a hamster On a wheel Racing Round and round Going nowhere Going nowhere Too quickly To safely Get off Mind spinning Sick to my stomach Let me off This ride Right now Please slow down…

It’s Over….

Sadness seems to grip me on the ride home. The vacation. The escape from reality is over. I was a guest in someone else’s world. They knew nothing of my recent manic episode or that I have bipolar disorder. There I am simply a daughter in law. Sister in law. Red hair, freckles and bubbly. 3000 miles away that’s all they have ever known.
I come home to medical bills of my ambulance ride to the ER. Remembrances of sitting in a police car more agitated and out of control than ever. Yelling, no screaming, at psych emergency services. Pacing. Pointing fingers at everyone else. Accusing my husband of collusion and conspiracy. Simply out of my mind.
I had to ask the brand new job I had yet to start to delay my hire date. My brain not able to process information. Not able to remember. Not able to form sentences at times. It didn’t seem fair to them or me to keep the original date. Shame and embarrassment filled me as I wrote the email. They politely agreed. Thank god.
Now, I need to re-enter my world. It feels like there is wreckage in the wake of the episode. Do I make amends to those I may have hurt or worried? While I don’t remember, the truth still remains I called people and told them goodbye. I upset them to the point of calling the police. They feared for me.
Worried people called worried people. My traumatic business is getting batted around through the phone lines. People care,I was told. I used to work with these people and will have to interface w them in my new role. Will there be an elephant in the room? Do I explain what happened? Do I just ignore what happened and move on?
I don’t know how to handle this situation. Then I question if there is really a situation to handle. In AA I would make amends. Is it the same with Bipolar disorder?


Uggghhhh…

I literally just want to blow my fucking skull off my body. My head has been pounding. I feel sick. I hate taking pills. I fucking HATE men. And I just want to run away. Yes it’s about Mark. No he’s not gone. Fuck. My. Life.

Rebound

She stood on the dock overlooking the water
Her rippled reflection staring back
Face a little rounder
Eyes a little redder
Spirit a little weaker
She could feel the warmth of the sun on her back
She eased into her new existence
Painful incident it was
Still trying to see the positive
Still trying to grasp the lesson
Caught in a shitstorm of insanity w far reaching consequences
Watching the ripples sway her profile
Looking as though she’s standing tall
Whether it’s an illusion or not
She takes the sudden inner strength
And carries it into tomorrow