Combatting Bipolar Disorder-Related Fatigue
Learn how to cope with fatigue, one of bipolar disorder’s most troubling symptoms, through diet, stretching, exercise, meditation, and even sleep.
Learn how to cope with fatigue, one of bipolar disorder’s most troubling symptoms, through diet, stretching, exercise, meditation, and even sleep.
it’s june 1st and that means i have only three months left in this place. i would feel relief if i had any idea of even the state where i will end up moving.
i almost left at the beginning of last academic year due to some BS which i will describe in a later post. but i already had a year’s worth of teaching commitments so i decided to stick it out. by the end of the year, though, i thought enough is enough and i was done “putting up with shit” in this hellhole. around december, i started making plans to move back home.
“home” in this case is california. city of angels. we get a bad wrap, i know, but L.A. definitely has a piece of my heart. i can feel it when i land at LAX: a sense of being home, of feeling lighter. i feel relieved.
i wanted to be around my friends again but they weren’t my primary motivation. i felt i needed to move back as well, both for my own sanity (d’oh! too late) as well as to help my family. if you read my first post about acting like i was acting like i was depressed (no that is not a typo), then you know my sister was hospitalized for a suicide attempt or threat or something that was never really clear to me. this happened toward the end of april, but she had been deteriorating for some time.
when i visited in december we talked about moving in together. i thought this was a brilliant idea because i could keep an eye on the person nearest and dearest to me and help her process at least some emotions. it would also benefit me; rent in california is not cheap and i might even assuage some guilt about her condition since i seem to feel like there was something i could have done to help that would have prevented this. maybe if i had known how to react when i found out her high school boyfriend was physically abusive…but how, or why didn’t i notice something was wrong? am i blind?? i should have done something. something more than just tell my mother, who didn’t do much of anything and my sister hated me for it for a long time. i should have been a better sister.
or what about her next long term boyfriend, who also beat her? hell, i saw her black eye last 4th of july. i stayed with her, took her to the police department to get pictures taken, convinced her to come back to where i lived for graduate school, just to visit. the problem was that, although i didn’t know it at the time, i was smack dab in the middle of a hypomanic episode. i even called it my “manic period” after the fact, before i had any idea about bipolar. in general, i’d say this is NOT a good idea. we drank like the earth was ending and our little adventure blew up in a fight of epic proportions. we didn’t talk for a long time and we both got worse. i think that was the end of my “manic period”.
so, since i was getting my shit together and getting medication and would be looking into treatment, i thought i was better positioned to help support her. she seemed to really like this idea too. it all seemed to be coming together.
and then, at the end of February, life started unraveling again, even further and at a faster rate. around the same time, two major obstacles planted themselves firmly in my path. first, my sister told me she wanted to stay with her roommate. i wasn’t sure if this meant she wanted the three of us to move in together or what, but it was clear that our previous plans were now on shaky ground. second, and perhaps more importantly, i ran out of fucking money. like seriously ran out of money. and to run out of money in FEBRUARY is no bueno. i still had to make it to August and my stipend barely covered the bills. worse still, i somehow had to subsist over the summer for 3 months without pay. usually i save up student loan money for that but somehow it was just GONE. i mean, clearly i had spent it, i just couldn’t figure out how. i knew had gone on a shopping bonanza at the end of the year but i should have spring semester loan money. where was it?!
(clearly my hypomania had snuck up on me again)
so, needless to say, my rent has been late since then, which will be awesome for any landlords to know when i move. oh and how am i going to afford moving? i have no idea.
then i arrived at plan B. if my sister wouldn’t be sharing the cost of rent and i couldn’t afford living on my own right away, i could move in with my grandma. she was another part of why i wanted to move back to california. she’s been losing her vision for some time now and i wanted to be able to help her run errands and do things around the house. why not just live with her? then i’d have the opportunity to save a bunch of money, pay off some bills, help my grandma, and be local for my sister. this might have been my brightest idea in months.
i latched onto it like it was going to be my saving grace. it was my secret source of strength, just knowing that in a few short months i would be in a living situation where i could decompress from all the shit. i could relax, work on finding part time work, get projects done…i’d be living the life! when i’d get stressed, i’d mentally duck into my imagination where i already lived there…my private respite. it was going to be perfect.
when shit hit the fan with my sister and she was hospitalized, i started thinking that maybe she should move in with my grandma too. then we’d all be centralized in one location. i’d bring my animals, which would help my sister’s depression and give her something positive to do, and i could train them (well, the big one at least) to help with things around the house. we could share the responsibility of helping out gram, perhaps alternating days to drive her places and so on.
it turns out, she ran out of money too, which she told me the day before my birthday, and the day i found out i was going to be evaluated for bipolar. perfect, i said, you should move in with gram too and then we’ll all be in good shape. she said that’s what she had been thinking of doing. this was all just falling into place!
a couple of weeks later, it all collapsed again. i got an email from my sister on mother’s day. it was a picture of my grandma and her new “friend”…a medium sized black dog. my sister had apparently taken her to the humane society for mother’s day. i saw this photo and FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. my private respite was imploding.
i called my sister and said, what happened?! why does gram have a dog?? suddenly she became defensive, which confused me even more because i was asking about the dog, not about my sister. she got strange on the phone and said she had to go. i few minutes later i got a text message about me being self-centered and how my reaction was “not appropriate”. i nearly shit myself.
see, i have 2 dogs and a cat. my big dog A is from the local shelter here and he can be aggressive toward other dogs. we’ve made a lot of progress, but i still don’t have it under control. one of my first objectives upon moving to california with my grandma was to use some of the money i was saving on rent to hire a behavior trainer for him, specifically to deal with other dogs. big dog A and i have worked for almost a year to resolve most of his behavioral issues, and the dog aggression was pretty much our last frontier. then we can move on to the more fun stuff, like high level obedience training or agility training.
my entire family knew i planned to move with my grandma and they also knew that big dog A is dog aggressive. just two weeks before i had told my sister that i just needed to convince gram to let big dog A move in. suddenly, she has a fucking dog already.
will someone please shoot me? for fuck’s sake.
i had to tell my entire family that i’m taking a fucking break from them until my summer school class is over. i just cannot wrap my head around these people. and now, my class is over and i have no idea where i’m moving. this last event succeeded in destroying my last tether; now i just feel like i am floating in space with nothing to grasp onto.
i’m not even sure i want to move back to california. there’s no way in HELL i’m staying where i live now. i’ve mulled over the idea of moving to colorado. there’s just something about it. green, plenty of nature and outdoors activities, four seasons. my animals would be in heaven. so would i. this is all in my imagination, of course, because i’ve never actually been to colorado. i’ve just heard amazing things. XBF said i could move to the midwest with him and i’ve considered that.
i just don’t know.
i’m stuck at another cross roads too. my apartment is an abomination right now. i mean it’s really disgusting. everywhere, there is just CRAP. it’s really overwhelming. what i really want to do is throw a bunch of shit away and sell most of the rest of it. simplify. the thing is, much of my furniture was purchased when i was living with my ex-boyfriend (not XBF, a different one). we split the cost of it and i am pretty sure i won’t be able to afford furniture this nice again for a long time. do i sell it? do i keep it?
it would really help if i knew where the fuck i was going!
So, since going off meds, I have been trying to get my shit together. Trying to eat better, trying to get more active, and trying to lose some weight and get in shape. Take pride in my home… all that stuff I didn’t really do while on meds. Now,a little history lesson for y’all… I have a history of leaving my husband when I get manic. And when I leave my husband I mean, move out, get my own place or go live with someone else, or kick HIM out and then do the nasty with other… people. I am ashamed of my past indiscretions, but it is what it is. I was out of my mind and fucked up… (literally I guess you could say)… And the pattern goes something like this: Get a major overhaul on myself (usually out of the ordinary hair style or tattoo), get a job, and then cut the ties….
Fast forward to now….
My youngest starts kindergarten when school starts back up in August. So, that will leave me here alone with nothing to do. My husband has hinted around at me getting a job. And while I am not happy about it, I don’t have a problem looking for a job or working at all. My resume is interesting, but sucks. And my memory sucks, so filling out an application is going to be difficult, because I have not held a job in at least 5 years. I have been a stay at home mom all through my kids child hood. And While we are not rolling in the dough, my husband does make enough money to keep us above water and living somewhat comfortably. I would like to have my own money though, because well… I love to shop, and I have my eye on a Coach bag.
The other day we were having casual conversation with the oldest child, who is really not a child anymore, but I digress… We were talking about employment. And how I had to go look for a job now since Sara would be going to school. And then the husband got a little upset… Not mad or pissed, but uncomfortable I suppose… And I was confused…
me: “I thought you said I had to get a job?”
him:”No. I just thought you would be bored being here alone all day. I am perfectly happy with you staying home all day if you want to keep house and do that sort of thing.”
me: BLINK BLINK!
This is where the confusion sets in… What? He WANTS me to stay home? I thought he was so worried about having money? Brain. Can’t. Function.
And then he said it.
“That is how it starts you know. You get your hair done. You get a car. You get a job. And then you leave.”
I get it now. And I can’t say that I blame him. He thinks I’m getting ready to hit my manic roadshow and leave him for the 4th time. Or is it the 5th?
I’m totally not in that frame of mine. I just want to have a life. I just want to be a person. I even thought about maybe volunteering up at one of the schools? Taking yoga classes in the morning twice a week. Something. But not leaving. I’m too lucky to have a person who still loves me after putting him through so much crap. Nope. Not leaving.
My mind has apparently gone zennishly blank. Or to say, has been as such since I woke up and appears to have no interest in thinking about anything. I could work myself up into a tizzy about it, or I could say hooray and let it drift. So I think I shall let it drift; maybe something interesting will come to it later.
i don’t think i ever really knew the meaning of the word BORED until now. i am bored with everything. sleep, work, people, you name it. i don’t give a fuck. it’s all just dull and what’s the point.
i play video games and watch “I shouldn’t be alive” on Netflix. i’ve become obsessed with trophies on the playstation network. today i played infamous after my nap and i earned 4 or 5 trophies. it’s funny; i once sabotaged a relationship (because i never have been good at breaking up with someone and keeping it that way) because this dude played video games day and night. i found it so annoying at the time. oh, how the tables have turned.
most days i can’t even walk my dogs. it just wasn’t happening today, although yesterday we got in a solid 30 minutes off leash. sometimes in the middle of the night, around 12-1am, we sneak over to the school across the street so they can at least run around for a little bit. i walk laps around the perimeter while they run and explore and chase each other. still, i can’t get myself to do that regularly.
which brings me back to my earlier post where i explained why finding out i’m bipolar pisses me the hell off. i’m too bored to be pissed off right now but i can still make my point.
this depression is debilitating. how exactly am i supposed to fulfill my role as a parent if this mood is standard issue? in other words, even if my children are somehow lucky and do not have any bipolar spectrum disorders, they still have to deal with MY moods. and this lithium is doing a shit job so far so i am not getting my hopes up. what’s more, if the onset of an episode is associated with stress, then isn’t having children just asking to be episodic all the time?? aren’t i just recreating the unstable environment i had hoped to avoid with my own family?
and here’s the other part. i am almost 30 years old, folks. i was in a place where i had plans and they made sense. now, most of my plans have gone to shit, and those that haven’t are up in the air for an indeterminate amount of time until i can figure out what this illness will look like.
so i basically feel like life just scrambled up my plans, handed back a mess and said sorry, try again. well fuck that. i don’t have the energy to start over, to figure out what i can do and what i can’t do.
BOLLOCKS, UNIVERSE!! I SAID BOLLOCKS, YOU HEAR!?
i’m just not going to do it.
i woke up from my afternoon nap while the sun was still out and thought, gee, that’s strange. why is it still so light out? lately my naps have been stretching into the 6 hour range, while today i was only able to get in 3 hours before waking up.
i’ve been having nightmares in various shapes and sizes. i feel noticeably distressed. i don’t know why. once i dreamt that all my students hated me, which through me into a panic and i woke up in a sweat. i don’t recall what i was dreaming just now, but it was unpleasant enough to wake me up.
tasks seem overwhelming. i have to mentally prepare to do even the simplest thing.
i feel lost and depressed. my moodscope score today was 19%.
i am disorganized.
that’s all i can write today.