Tag Archives: mental health

Poem – ‘I am Full of Bees’

I am full of bees.


I am full of bees; every

cell of my being every

breath of my soul aches


and pains day and night

night and day ad infinitum.

Gravity is in league with


this illness; I’m pulled

down. Down towards the

centre, making my feet


heavy, dripping the atoms

that compose me, leaving

me heavy but with little


mass. And I’m tired; you

couldn’t even guess how

much I’m tired. I don’t


sleep. Never have. Mired

in that sinking sand I’ve

tried everything. Nothing


works. My opponent is

me; however the moods

make, take, me. I am


full of bees; each cell

buzzing with exhaustion,

creating a sea-swell of hell.



Back In The Saddle Again

Well I am back in the groove of looking for a job.  I have contacted three people who had previously contacted me regarding jobs (I had said I had a job) and one of them so far would like to setup a phone interview for Monday.  YEAH!!  It’s not exactly what I want to do, but it’s a Security-related company, so it’s going in the right direction.

I’m still very, very down about this whole situation, and I slept like shit.  I got obsessed in the middle of the night with the idea of suing this contracting company for lost wages and pain and suffering, and I got so worked up that I had to get up for awhile.  Interrupted sleep is not good for us people with Bipolar, as you know, so I’m feeling a bit fragile today.  But I am determined to spend the day looking for another job, so I can go into the weekend feeling like I have some new irons in the fire.  UPDATE:  After a couple of hours, my willingness is flagging.  I have applied for *one* job.  Oh holy angels, help me!  I just tried to apply for a Desktop Support job, and when I got to a question about why I am uniquely qualified for the job, I just said “fuck it” and closed the window.  Should I start drinking now???

I don’t know why life is testing me like this, and why things can’t just be smooth, I guess it’s just how life goes sometimes.  But I am NOT joyful.  I need to just focus on moving on, NOT on suing the contracting company.  I don’t want to get caught up in all of that negativity and stress.  That’s just something my frustrated brain came up with in the middle of the night.  I think about Hustler, and how grateful I am that I didn’t get that job, and maybe someday I’ll be grateful that I didn’t get this job, because there’s something better out there for me.  That’s what I’m hoping for.

Hope you all had a good week.  Fall is here in Colorado, it’s supposed to get chilly and rain all weekend, bleh!  Peach out homies!  BPOF!

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


Another lovely day in the dish. Construction going on, sirens, birds, traffic…All the things that ensure my aggravation and anxiety and I can’t escape. To top matters off, the midwest weather gods decided “almost fall? Hey, let’s crank it back to 97 with 60% humidity!” Even in air conditioning it’s pretty miserable. And I do live in a tin box with one window AC so going home is even worse than this shop. Plus, it’s dead so basically I just alternate watching Sons Of Anarchy with smoke breaks and talking to the stray cats that congregate next door.

Yesterday was going along fine…then enter R and it all went to shit. I asked for a few bucks to buy baggies to pack my kid’s lunch, gas, etc. He hands me this half shredded credit card and says it works. Only to find out at the store with several items it was declined repeatedly. The 97 degree heat and going home to a steaming hot trailer with a yapping child just amped up the aggravation. Spook starts acting out, then she’s so careless and hyper she dragged a basket of 2 week old kittens across the floor by a string and they came tumbling out. And rather than say “I’m so sorry, kitties, it was an accident!”…she starts crying because I called her out on being so careless and says I’m abusive (she’s thrown that abuse word out two days in a row now) and I don’t care for her.

I was furious, livid, disgusted. The other day she grabbed my hand, and I said ouch, cos I have those knuckles busted up from tearing down TV’s…I say ouch, she squeezes harder and starts laughing maniacally. I’m not a kid expert and maybe my anxiety and moods distort my perceptions sometimes but…there is something wrong with my child. Be it behavior or chemical, there is a problem. Maybe it’s in the early stages but her reactions are just…self serving or cruel. And she has enough friends around to give me a base idea on how others her age range react to things and even the devil kids pretend to be sorry when they do wrong. Mine doesn’t pretend, just goes defensive and it’s all poor her. Hours later she asked me why I was still upset and I asked, why am I upset, and she couldn’t come up with an answer except to launch into ‘you care more about cats than your kid!”.

I care about living creatures being injured, whether it’s accidental or on purpose. This does not mean I love her any less. But yeah, hurt feelings are trumped by four tiny little baby kitties who just got the equivalent of rolled in a car down a steep hill courtesy of Miss Rambunctious. But now, I even have to feel shitty for caring about animals because it apparently means I hurt my kid’s feelings.

I can’t breathe anymore with this kid. Love love love her, but she is like an ever tightening noose around my neck. And thing is, only a fraction of it is actually her. Most of it is just me burning the candle at both ends trying to survive and not let down a friend whose help we need. All this time in the dish, the noise, the stimuli, her obsession with her friends to the neglect of all else….It’s wearing me down. And the pms is making me downright snappy. To my credit, I’ve not even given her a swat on the butt. To my chagrin, I have said some harsh things or used a harsher than intended voice. I’ve apologized, of course, but my kid’s memory is good when it comes to being wronged. She still talks about a boy who hit her when she was 4. Daily guilt servings on top of everything else…

Feels like I am starting to unravel. I am trying to do mind over matter, stay upbeat, take a breather where I can, but…I’m basically a computer running on Windows 98 trying to function in a world running Win 7 or above. My hardware and software are incompatible and critical processes are incomplete, shutting down, frozen, overheating…

This was proven last night when R stopped by to give me a different card to use (this one mangled, too, but it worked) and the cashier had me prepay for fuel…My dumb ass drove off without even putting gas in the car! Worse, I went to Aldi, got some food, and was home 20 minutes before I even realized I hadn’t put gas in the car!!! Thank God for small towns so the cashier actually remembered me and helped make it right.

A mutual friend of mine and R’s just stopped in and started carrying on about how upset I made him when I was on the phone telling him about his customers’ complaints and wanting their deposits back…Then, per her norm, she backtracks and says she likes us both and nothing bad was said. Like I’d said something bad against him. All I am doing is relaying FACTS. People don’t want to wait six months for repairs, it’s basic common sense. Then she started in on Facebook this and that, Trump’s abolishing child support, Dollar Tree is closing…

Before panicking, I did a Google search. YES, these stories are out there. FACT TIME. They are all hoaxes from a site designed for people to generate their own news stories (react365,never trust anything stemming from it and if it’s on Facebook, triple check your facts!).

What I did find was an astounding number of Facebook pages with titles such as “child support is a joke”. And thousands of followers, all parents paying support and griping that they have to pay to support their kids. Are these people serious? If you’re paying too much, you had a shit lawyer. Have the state handle it and it stays at 20% of your income and stop your fucking whining. And all the “I pay but she won’t let me see my kid(s)” set…There are remedies for that too, so shut up.t

Just makes me remember the donor’s last girlfriend going around telling people how poor donor had to pay support and I haven’t let him see his daughter in 6 years, boo hoooo. Um…same address 8 years, he used to live there so he knows where it is. You want to see her, just show an interest. I am not one of those mom nazis who wants the money out of greed or spite. I have zero desire to keep her from her father. I have 100% desire to keep im away from me, but being an adult, I know realistically I will have to deal with him. I accept that. But I am NOT okay with false accusations. 6 years, not even a birthday card in the mail? Yeah, I’m the bad guy.

On the plus side, Nancy (the mutual friend) said I am falling apart worse than is and she said I should just take a break whether he likes it or not. So I’m not malingering, I am visibly a train wreck! Yay!

Ugh. This post went sideways fast. Oh, well. Welcome to living inside my head. It’s not pretty, is it?

Surviving College While Bipolar

I had two goes at college, and they were very different from each other, based on the state of my bipolar disorder at the time.

The first time I went to college, for my undergraduate degree, I was undiagnosed and unmedicated – except for self-medication. I was away from home for the first time – that was my first goal when choosing a college, being after a “geographical cure.” I ended up in the Ivy League, a scholarship student and a fish out of water. And profoundly depressed.

I did manage to hit the ground hiking, as the university sponsored backpacking trips led by juniors and seniors for entering students. We used to joke that it was meant to lose a few along the way, but really it was for orientation. Campfire chats about college life and the like.

On that hike through the Adirondacks, I met Caren, Roberta, and Cyndi, who instantly became my best friends and were my support system throughout the five years I spent there.

Yes, five, though only four of them were really at the university. After my first year, I took a year off. My depression had gotten so bad that I was given to sitting on the floor in the hallway, staring at a poster for hours at a time instead of sleeping. During my year away, I worked a dreary but educational job as an evening shift cashier at a restaurant. When I returned, I had a new major and the same old depression.

Oh, I did have fits of hypomania. I joined a sorority during one, though I deactivated later in a depressive downturn. And I went through the ups and downs exacerbated by several failed romances, including one total trainwreck.

The only help I got, aside from the support of my friends, was one brief therapy group at the campus mental health center and a brief stay at the university clinic, because of some suicidal ideation that my friends recognized.

Needless to say, I came out in no better mental shape than I went in, but I did manage to snag a B.A. degree. Now I feel that I missed a lot of opportunities along the way. It was just another occasion when I felt that my lack of mental health got in the way of what could have been a more productive time, as a well as a happier one. When I left college I was still almost as ill-prepared to function as when I went in.

By the next time I gave college a try, I was, if not mentally healthy, at least mentally healthier. And being back in the town I had been so eager to leave, I had a larger support system, now including a therapist, parents, close friends, and a husband. This time I had help.

I was still a mess, but less of one. With my depression lifting, I was able to teach introductory courses and manage my own course load. I remember my first semester teaching as a blaze of hypomania as I adored the subject and thought I was sweeping all the students along with my enthusiasm. Then one of the students gave me a bad review and I plunged again, never to recover that soaring sensation. I plodded through the next three semesters of teaching.

This time I came out with an M.A. and better job prospects. The day after I graduated I was working as a temporary editorial assistant, a job I kept for 17 years, moving up to editor along the way.

What did my experiences with college teach me (aside from modern poetry and how to swallow aspirin without water)?

  1. Making it through college is possible when you’re unmedicated and have minimal support, but I don’t recommend it.
  2.  Even with diagnosis, medication, and support, it’s still not easy. You know how hard it is to get out of bed and take a shower some days? Now think about going to a class on top of that, where your work will be critiqued. Taking a year off was one of the best things I ever did.
  3. Being bipolar isn’t your only identity, though it looms large in your life. I was also a student, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a wife, a poet, a cashier, and so many other things. I may not have enjoyed them as I should, gotten as much from them as I could, but they were as much a part of me as bipolar was.

I can’t see myself at this point going back to college and getting a Ph.D. Which is not to say I’ve never considered it. But I like to think that, were I to try, this time I would have a better chance of getting through, sanity intact, with something more to show for it than a piece of paper to hang on the wall. This time, I tell myself, I wouldn’t let Bipolar Me take the experience away from Me.

Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar type 2, college, depression, husband, hypomania, mental health, mental illness, mutual support, my experiences, poetry, support systems


I sign a lot of petitions on line. And a significant number of them, especially anything involving politics, always asks for a donation of at least $5. And honestly, it seems like such a paltry sum that any person should have on hand at any time.

Except, I don’t. My debit card is in the negative (service fees). I gave my last 40 cents to my kid so she could get milk with her sack lunch. I literally don’t have ANY cash. So that five dollars starts seeming like a lot Especially as the car nears the E mark.I realize I have no baggies to put my kid’s school lunch in, my bowls are missing their lids, the foil is running out. Five bucks. And at 44 with a small child, I don’t even have that much. By most city laws and probably the horrid Patriot act, having no cash on hand makes me a vagrant.

It’s disheartening. Especially since the donor gets to walk away, again, and not contribute to his daughter’s well being in any way and I still can’t even get a call back from public aid to get an explanation why a near three hundred dollar loss in income doesn’t warrant a raise in food benefits…It’s frustrating, maddening, stressful.

It’s also utterly isignificant in the big picture.

My sister texted me last night to tell me that her friend Randa’s boyfriend and small child hit a 17 year old head on in the fog…and the 17 year old was fine but, the man was killed instantly and the little girl was air lifted to a hospital and there was no word on if she was even going to make it.

Kind of puts that five dollar thing in perspective, don’t you think?

Society values money. Wealth, possessions, position. I will never be anything in the eyes of people with mentality like that.

What I am thinking of is the value to that little girl of losing her father that way. If she does make it, she has to live without a dad. Has to live knowing how she lost him, that she survived when he didn’t. Not even Trump’s money piles could equate with what was lost here.

Not that society gives a damn. They make the right sympathetic noises then go buy the latest thousand dollar iphone and a ten dollar coffee hybrid sludge drink and they don’t think about it again. My curse is that along with all the mood swingy anxiety financial crap that leads to sheer panic that I won’t be able to care for my child…

At least I am here to care for her. At least she is healthy and safe. Big picture, does it matter if I can’t toss down hundreds for a fancy phone (my $29.99 phone works just fine, thank you very much) or dress her to the nines in brand names or feed her pricey organic foods so I look like uber mom…

It doesn’t fucking matter. Yeah, you gotta provice certain things for children that require you spend money…End of the day…

The biggest gift is that we have each other and love may not conquer an empty fridge, but it goes a long way in making you fight to make sure it doesn’t stay empty.

That being said…a few days from now when I go splay again and start thinking of drinking the ‘special J-town Kool-Aid….remind me of this post. Perspective tends to get lost when your brain is rioting through mood swings.

Making A Home

This summer I spent some time considering a move to Des Moines, but after talking to a realtor (what was I thinking?) and finding out how impenetrable the subsidized housing process is there, I changed my mind.  Instead I opted to work at making Marshalltown my Home.

I grew up here and have been back for ten years, but I never really thought of it as home.  Growing up on a farm, “town” was a place to get groceries, a place the school bus dropped me off and picked me up.  After going through electroshock, losing my job, my home, and my husband coming back to Marshalltown mentally ill was a personal failure and a punishment.

I left Minneapolis with its liberal politics, diversity of culture and a townhouse I loved for a conservative rural backwater where I lived in my friends’ spare room with a curtain for a door.  I didn’t want to be here.

My life became richer over the last ten years.  I learned how to manage my illness better.  I moved into an apartment I loved.  Our eco-conscious public library and busy YMCA became part of my daily routine.  I embraced our Aquatic Center by water walking in the silky summer evenings.

But I still despised the town.  I hated the trains blasting at 5:00 AM along with the barking dogs and screeching kids next door.  I hated the yahoos who barreled along my street with their woofers blowing out my eardrums and their muffler-less pickups rattling my windows.  I hated the decrepit meth-lab houses and the soul-sucking poverty evident on most every street.  I still didn’t want to be here.

The work of Making a Home, I’ve discovered, is much like the work of Gratitude.  Instead of focusing on what I’m grateful for, I purposely seek out what I love about Marshalltown.  I quiz others about where they like to eat and hang-out, what they like to do here.  I’ve started reading the newspaper to look for events to attend and to get a better sense of the community.  I plan to take a class at the art center or with the continuing education program at our junior college.

Another part of making a home is practicing forgiveness, not just accepting people, places and circumstances for what they are.  The first target of forgiveness must be myself—for all the ways I let myself down, abandoned my dreams or my safety, and let the negative voices of my illness tell me how horrible I was.  Acceptance of my whole self took decades, but I feel like forgiveness can’t be that far away.  Whenever old resentments or regrets surface, I open to the possibility of forgiveness.  Whenever I turn my attention to the negative aspects of Marshalltown, I open to forgiveness and pull up my list of “Marshalltown Love” on my phone.  It’s startling how many times a day this happens.  It’s equally startling how long it’s taken me to be willing to forgive myself and others.

Forgiveness, like gratitude, requires a change of perspective, a change of heart. Sometimes those changes are a long time coming, so I’ve adopted an “act as if” attitude until it makes a home in my bones.  But, I’m determined to forgive.  I’m determined to find all the hidden spots of beauty and compassion in Marshalltown.  I’m determined to be my authentic self and thrive here.

Because, I’m still on an Adventure.


I was sailing along in neutral space (aside from the looming Reaper of Anxiety that borders on panic)…And from out of nowhere I went SPLAT. Total despair, depression, feeling hopeless. Nothing precipitated it. There was no trigger.

It’s the cycle.

Bipolar two is a special kind of evil. Insidious. Cruel. Unrelenting.

My anxiety increases with the sudden change in mental state (this is far more than a ‘low mood’, scumbag brain is sending out some pretty negative messages and I feel too weak to tune them out). A sense of foreboding lurks. Every sound seems amplified. Every tiny thing feels insurmountable.

And then I think of R working 2 jobs, and my dad rattling on about how he worked 80 hours last week and he’s 70 years old…

I feel like such a wimp. So pathetic. I know it’s the depression and anxiety filling my head with wrong messages. Maybe things are pretty rough right now, but things that didn’t register on my radar last week are suddenly running forefront this week as viable threats, potential threats, imminate threats…

I doubt the pms dysphoria is helping the situation.

You’d think as often as Splat happens, I’d be innoculated to how abruptly it comes on. Yet still, I am floored by how fast this hit me, from out of nowhere. I feel terrified and I am not sure of what. Maybe it was my kid asking if we were going to be homeless without child support. Maybe it’s because public aid still hasn’t called back about why my benefits didn’t increase when my income dropped nearly three hundred bucks due to missing child support. Perhaps it was even worsened when my sister texted me about their own dire situation, 2 weeks of nothing to eat but ramen. Dad and stepmonster refused to help them. I get when things are tough you take care of your own, and it’s asinine when my sister asks them to buy pricey cat supplies or household items. But for a father to not even offer up a package of meat to help feed his daughter and grandson…

I tossed them a four pound back of hamburger. I didn’t have it to spare, really, but family helps family. I will not become my father, stockpiling for my own sake, while my mom and sis and nephew go hungry. No matter how wigged out my brain is, I have kindness in my heart. I like to think (even naively) that karma comes around and one day when I or Spook need a hand, my sis and them will be willing to return the favor if they can. No way could I not do something, minor as it was. Not who I am.

Right now, who I am, is a woman feeling like emotional doomsday has arrived and every nerve ending is in flames and the Grim Reaper is at my door…It’s the disorders, but at the moment..

The disorders are kind of in control. It’s terrifying and yet it’s my reality. Lather, rinse, repeat.

“You’re fine.” says R.

“How are mood swings a disability?” said someone on a tv show.

“Deadbeats on food stamps and disability are taking all my money in taxes.” This, from my wonderful father.

I WANT to be fine.

But no amount of their guilt, denial, put downs- is going to change the fact that my brain is off kilter and it is disabling.

It’s scary times for those of us who have disabling disorders and need our disability income, our Medicare, our Medicaid, our prescription plans…Scary, hell, it’s horrifying. Maybe some of my anxiety and panic is warranted.

Does not explain how I went from feeling semi decent to suddenly feeling hopeless so abruptly. That’s all bipolar. The gift that keeps on taking. Like a vulture feasting on roadkill, this disorder is going to pick my bones clean one day.

Disturbing Behavior

Day 2 in the dish. My mood isn’t great or bad. My anxiety, however, has me feeling like my bones are trying to claw their way out from under my skin. This is unsettling, to say the least and it is what hinders my life in such a significant way. Depressions I know will eventually lift or have some mixed episodes. The anxiety is constant. Like this dark shadow that follows me everywhere, screwing up the good things in life as well as magnifying the bad. Until you’ve lived with that level of perpetual anxiety, it is so easy to roll your eyes and mutter ‘suck it up’. For whatever reason, my brain receptors perceive everything as a threat thus setting off fight or flight impulses. Simply getting the mail becomes a traumatic event because god knows bad news is gonna hit me in the face.

I guess I should be grateful for what I do have, which is the ability to crawl out of bed, eventually. Next week is gonna be more brutal as Spook starts riding the bus and has to be there at the stop by 7:20. No more neverending snooze button for mom. And I have a love affair with the snooze button cos I’m not really a morning person. Then again, by the time life chews me up and spits me out, I’m too shredded to be a night person like I once was. Defiant children drain a person like nothing else can.

So…I am still binge watching Sons Of Anarchy and this current episode I am watching featured a dog fighting ring. I was more affected by the (fictional) sight of dogs being fought til they were bloody and beaten then shot and stacked in trash cans. My disgust with people who do this and find it entertaining was so immense I want to deny that I am part of this vile, violent, twisted human race.

At the same time, I can watch hours of violent movies and TV shows and barely blink at all the blood and gore and murder. Unless I really really like a character, I’m just…meh.

So which is the more disturbing behavior? Me being desensitized to TV violence or the fact that dog fighting rings aren’t vampires and ghosts, ffs, they are real and people get off on that.

I am not now, nor will I ever be, desensitized to violence against animals. I’m not even a dog person (all that barking, ffs, anxiety disorders don’t like noise) but hurting animals, especially for sport and greed, disgusts me on a level I can’t even put into words. Maybe I am desensitized to TV violence involving people because people have hurt me my whole life. Animals never did a thing to me aside from defend themselves when they felt threatened. (I held no grudges when my sister’s Rottweiler came at me while I was holding my (departed) sname Ophelia and she bit me- survival, man, I get it.)

I guess on some level my views are disturbing behavior. Human life above all else is drummed into us from an early age. Then life gets a hold of you and damages you by the actions of cruel people and some good people who do shitty things that kind of leave a mark on your soul forever in a bad way…That’s when you start to devalue human life and cling to what has done you no harm. In my case, it is animals.

I would rather die from a tiger mauling my throat out than letting a person stab or shoot or beat me. Animals are acting on instinct to protect themselves and survive. People are just corrupt wretched husks of excrement.

Until on rare occasion one surprises me and for those surprises, I am very grateful. Makes me not hang my head so low in shame at being part of this violent breed called human.

Remember – Mental Illness is The Enemy!

Several years ago I received a call from a friend of mine who wanted to tell me she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It was a rather traumatic diagnosis for here to hear.  Certainly life threatening, but also treatable.  I was impressed with how she dealt with it.  She made cancer her enemy and did everything she could to fight against it.  And you know what?  She beat it.  She is now over 15 years cancer free.

What I’ve learned about mental illness is that it is also life threatening.  From the first time I experienced suicidal thoughts as a sophomore in college to the relentless dogging of “you should just kill yourself” tapes that played in my mind a few years ago.  I learned from the time I was twenty years old that depression was and will continue to be my number one enemy.  It threatens my life and makes me vulnerable at times to the hopeless thoughts that wander aimlessly into my brain.

The difference between cancer and mental illness is that there is a cure for many types of cancer.  There’s no such thing for mental illness of any kind.  Of course there are medications that make it more tolerable, but nothing that takes away all of the symptoms.  It’s a fight.  Sometimes a daily battle and other times an intermittent harsh reality of living with a chronic illness.

If you ask most people if they were afraid of cancer they would say, “yes.”  No one wants to get cancer.  But people are afraid of mental illness for all the wrong reasons.

Many people have no concept of what it’s like to suffer from so much anxiety a person can’t leave their house.  People still believe a person with depression just isn’t trying hard enough and he’s just plain lazy.  Those with bipolar disorder are labeled as trouble makers and moody.  People with schizophrenia – just plain crazy.

When my friend went to the doctor for her breast cancer consultation, I went with her.  As a matter of fact, I jumped on a 2 hour plane flight to go to her doctor appointments with her.  I wanted to show support.  I wanted her to know she wasn’t alone in the fight against her number one enemy.  The disease that was threatening to take her away from all of us much to soon.

This is how we all should rally around those who are struggling with mental illness.  The enemy is not the person who has the illness.  The enemy is the mental illness.  It’s the disease that causes an interference in thinking, emotions and behavior.  It affects the most important organ in our entire body – the brain.

Yet, those who have mental illness are often left to fend for themselves.  Especially when they aren’t fun anymore.  When the struggle is the most difficult and support is truly needed, many are left isolated and alone.  That isolation leads to a worsening of symptoms.  A more complex illness.

I want people to know that my bipolar disorder is a serious life threatening illness.  I manage it well.  But the moment I let my guard down, the minute I miss a day of taking medication, the days I don’t get enough sleep, is when the enemy threatens my life and everything I have worked hard for.  The enemy nearly destroyed me and I’m not going to let that happen again.

I just wish everyone knew mental illness is the enemy.  And if we are not diligent it will continue to steal our loved ones from us in one shape or form or the other.  Sometimes the difference is having a team to fight the illness with us.

The next time your loved one complains of depression symptoms or has a panic attack, offer compassion and a kind word.  Sometimes all it takes is saying, “Are you okay?  How can I help?”


Meds update

I’m on a relatively recent cocktail of meds now and overall they’re doing their job. The side effects are substantial, significant. I continue to pile on the weight (quetiapine). I ache literally in every cell of my body, constantly. I’m sedated much if not all of the time. I still don’t sleep through the night.

20mg of fluoxetine caps the low moods. 600mg of quetiapine stops the psychosis and the high / mixed moods pretty successfully. (Though see my other post of today.) And the latest, 500mg of valproate stabilises my mood. These three meds seem to have made friends though they gang up to bully me now and then. They know I need them.

I still have ‘extremely intrusive suicidal ideation’. I still have ‘rapid and uncontrolable mood fluctuation’. But regarding the former, I can control it more (hopefully – time will tell). And the latter, the valproate seems to have gone in with fists flying there.

It’s taken months to get the GP surgery and local pharmacy to get my (psychiatrists’) prescription right. This has caused me a lot of stress and worry. It’s isn’t rocket science; it’s a straightforward repeat prescription that should take moments to set up. So far it’s been 3 or 4 months of getting it wrong. Three or four months of stress. I wrote my GP surgery a begging letter recently, imploring him/her to get the ‘script’ sorted. I can do without the hassle basically.

I speak to no-one about my illness. No professional has come forward to offer me counselling or has even offered an ear. It’s all bottled up, and I hold down a stressful job because I hate the thought of being defeated by the evil bipolar monster. I’ve spent the day shaking and confused (again, see my other post of today). Got home, had a couple of glasses of wine, took my meds. Is it bedtime yet?