Daily Archives: February 25, 2013

I wont leave you all

I know I am slack with posting these days but it doesn’t mean I am not thinking about it. Every small accomplishment I make reminds me that I am right now a whole person. Living life with my man and my dog, family, friends, and this monkey on my back called bipolar disorder. Life is good. ūüôā

I am in such a good place that my man and I are having a ball. On a whim I suggested we go to The Bass Pro Shop (we have never been) because Patrick wants to start fly fishing. Oh what a wonderful past time to have….I mean, have you ever seen a fly fisherman hanging out in an ugly location? But anyhow, here was a small miracle.

Are you ready….

We went to a new store, a HUGE store, and stayed for over an hour. I talked to new people, watched strangers pass by, and I hadn’t taken anxiety medicine AND no panic ever set in. Therapy and medicine help but also I am just in a good place. Okay so medicine plays a huge part in this. My mood stabilizer and anti psychotics along with an anti depressant are something I can’t live without. And you know what? I am at peace with that… for the moment.


Every now and again, I make myself go back and read things about bipolar 2 so that I may have a better understanding of my own situation. And I was just reminded that even with treatment, relapse is a common thing. So The fact I was depressed for all of December and (am likely) entering another depressive phase isn’t my ‘fault’. I try to not give into self-blame anymore; I used to be quite the self-flagellator. I’m doing the right things — I’m taking my meds, I’m trying to keep a record of my mood, I’m still applying positive thinking as much as possible… but it might just be for naught all in all. And I can’t think like that, else I might as well throw the door wide open for the bipolar to usher the depression back in to roost.

I guess I am concerned that my doctor might want to change my meds, or add to the mix. I’ve been fortunate that the Seroquel has done such a great basic job. I can cope with most of the side-effects (even if my hands occasionally crapping out is maddening). I would want to, if I could, keep the Seroquel as a base and grudgingly add on to it, or up my dose, or something. All in all, I want the highs and lows and jags smoothed out to something flattish, but yeah… scared that if I changed meds, it would send me spinning off in dangerous ways. I want to be even better, but don’t want to rock the boat when now is better than then, and blah blah blah. It’s all those joyful conflicts that make one desire to hide in a bottle rather than contemplate anything.

I think this line from Mind probably pins it the best, though:

Although some people may cope very well in between episodes, many still experience low-level symptoms in these relatively ‚Äėstable‚Äô periods which still impact on their daily lives.

Hypomania is great — it helped me write a novel, and complete who the crap knows what other great things in my life. Depression is crap, and tends to keep me down at pretty much every time I’m not hypomanic. Coping is definitely the word; the best of the rest of times is me trying to find some minor motivation to do -anything-. I’m sure there are people out there who think I’m just lazy or a game addict, but what can you do? I can’t change everyone’s mind — I can just try to share my experiences and hope that some sense can be derived. And, I think… perhaps tomorrow I will talk a bit about gaming and the role it fulfills in my life. We’ll see. For now, I’m off.



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The Kindle Effect

It’s something that I’ve always found curious about being on the bike – the further I ride, the smoother the cadence, the faster I go without appearing to make any extra effort.¬† It’s as if a¬†momentum builds up and carries me on faster, with no additional exertion on my part.

It’s the Kindle Effect. No, not that kind of Kindle. So, if you found this blog post looking for some ideas for free downloads…read on and I will give you¬†a recommendation in a bit.*

Recently, I have been taking part in a project established by Cardiff University called Beating BiPolar.¬† It’s a series of online¬†modules focusing on different aspects of Bi Polar Disorder, including people sharing their experiences of the disease, psychiatrists and academics explaining the biology, the science, as well as the pharmacology.¬† I’ve learnt a lot. For those of you who are interested email Martina at¬†¬†svobodovam@cardiff.ac.uk¬† for password/username access details.

One of the most striking things I have learnt about¬†is what they call The Kindle Effect.¬† In a nutshell, it is what happens once someone has had one episode of depression/mania. Once you have had one, the episodes come on – if not thick and fast – then more frequently, and with more severe symptoms.¬† That’s why early diagnosis and treatment is so important – to extinguish the fire, so to speak.¬† They highlight the worryingly long time it takes on average for people to receive¬†an accurate diagnosis, and so effective treatment.

Witch burning

It took¬† almost exactly 10 years for me to receive¬†an accurate diagnosis.¬† The bitter irony is that treating bi polar depression with anti depressants only sparks the mania/depression cycle¬†and the severity and frequency of these symptoms. Although I don’t blame my doctors who missed it back then, I have had a few ‘if only…’ moments in the past couple of weeks.

If only I had talked about the racing thoughts that clattered through my mind as I lay prostrate in bed in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening day after day after day.

If only they’d asked.

I have written about my job as a Peer Supporter in previous editions, and the central role that hope plays in what I do.  Over the past couple of weeks I have to admit that I have struggled with this core value of my recovery, and those of the peers I connect with.

It’s all too late, what difference can I possibly make if I am working with people with severe and enduring challenges, and whose treatment has come years and years too late?

from Dante’s Inferno

Canto iii

Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov’d:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here.

Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1361)


*Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder by Dave Barter


Newsflash: Fresh air does NOT cure a depressed mood

Two days running now, in the bleak black depression zone. I have tried everything to lift myself out of it. Watching favorite movies, playing favorite music, playing games with my kid. I even resorted to a trip into the petri dish, thinking maybe there was something to that fresh air thing helping improve mood.

Bucket of fail.

About the only thing that helps these moods is a brain reboot. Much like a computer, except the only restart I have is to go to bed and sleep off the bad mood. Sometimes it takes days or months to work.

Thing is, I don’t even know why I am so down. Nothing’s really different, it’s the same bucket of suck it’s always been.

Maybe because my anxiety is just devouring me. I have cats jumping on me demanding attention and an inquisitive needy 3 year old asking “Why?” and saying “I want” every ten seconds. And because the Tic-tac-o-pin is utterly inept, I just want to scream bloody fucking murder. Instead, I put myself in a time out today. No doubt the sunshine spewer will tell me I’m the mom, I don’t get time outs. Yeah, well, it’s either time out for mommy or meltdown for mommy. Time out seems like the lesser evil.

God, I don’t want to see her tomorrow. It’s not going to help an iota, it might even bring me down more.

I am still trying to battle my way through the bleakness. I am failing big time. I don’t feel like writing. I don’t want to do housework.¬† (I don’t think ten unwashed dishes and a basket of unfolded laundry constitute a pig sty, but then I am not anal retentive and ocd like some people, to them that’s probably a public health hazard.)

Just at the point of saying fuck it, time to reboot the brain with some sleep.

upbeatness in me at the moment. These are the moods I wish the therapist and shrink could see.

I’d be curious to know if anyone else gets in these black moods. Because the so called professionals here have a “shake it off” attitude and I am trying and feeling like such a freak and a failure. It can’t just be me, can it?