Daily Archives: April 26, 2013
Good morning, world and sundry!
Well, the good news first — the anxiety appears to be subsiding. Which is good, because my anxiety has been reduced on the whole for the past year and this past month has been… unpleasant. I’m pretty well convinced now that the random break-out on my back had to be a stress rash; I will definitely be bringing it up at my next appointment with my list of concerns.
But the downside is that that mass of depression is still slowly nudging itself in. I sigh, and hope that it will be vaguely tolerable for not being mixed up with anxiety anymore. It will probably suck a big one (per normal), but I will continue to try and think positively! In that vein, hooray for only feeling completely run over and empty, rather than that plus the electrocuted lab frog of anxiety atop it.
And, of course, things are never as dire when yarn is involved! As I mentioned earlier in the month, I finally cracked the basics of knitting after nine years of struggling with it. Because I’m still so new to it, I’m just making squares out of scrap wool to eventually join into a blanket of some sort (or a really hilariously miscoloured coat, ha ha). I’m still not too sure about the edges, but the tension seems to be pretty good, and I’m starting to pick up good speed.
I’ve still not made my mind up in full on knitting, though. It’s laboriously slow compared to crochet, for starters. But it uses up less wool on the whole (or at least feels that way by the effort that goes into it), and I do admire the flexibility and stretchiness of knitwork. With both, there is the pure joy of making (which is something my dear and talented friend Miriam Felton hits on here, there, and everywhere). For me, the act of doing is an act of meditation, a joy; if I am depressed//anxious to the point of being unable to do, it means I am more certainly in a bad state!
What about you nice folk out there — is there any specific doing that is your thing? Or is each act of doing a celebration of existence? Is anyone out there as needing of tangible results of their doing as I am? I’d certainly love to hear about what other folks have to say!
And if you’re newer around here — hi! I am generally terrible at offering discussion points via blog in spite of years of forum experience, so yanno… if anything sparks a point you want to make, make it (with the usual caveats of ‘Be respectful’ and ‘Don’t be a dick’).
So ya know yesterday when I was feeling pretty good and hypomanic? Yeah, well about that…
R called and told me to come in if I felt like it as Kenny would not be there. I felt good and thought okay, I can do this.
Fifteen minutes after arriving, the mood crashed and I didn’t want to be there. Because I knew my mood wasn’t level or good enough. Because now I feel like I am jumping through flaming hoops trying to keep my mood pleasant for R’s comfort. Because ya know, he did ditch me once before because of moodiness. I wasn’t a fit girlfriend because of my disorder. Now it’s starting to feel like I’m not a fit friend because of my moods. He did say “You haven’t been yourself, you’ve been distant and moody…”
WHICH IS THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF BIPOLAR, YOU TWONK!
I guess he figured a few months of faking my way through the bad stuff made me cured.
Oh, sweetie, that was just the filler between prologue and epilogue. The epilogue is where I curl up in a closet crying and panicking because I can no longer handle the stress or keeping up with the expectations of people too ignorant to understand this is not my personality, it is a chemical fucking imbalance.
Unlike most, I DO know the difference.
Rebellious streak-personality. Sarcasm-personality. More affection for animals than people. Personality.
Rapid changing mood swings and crippling hyperventilating panic attacks? DISORDERS.
Oh but I take meds, so much like Tylenol making a headache go away, my meds should make the mood swings completely disappear.
I am frustrated being surrounded by people who are so ignorant and don’t want to be any other way. I am sick of them clinging to their personality disorders while expecting everyone around them to change. I at least am aware there are things about my personality that are quirks or need work. I don’t justify alcoholism with “I work hard so I earned the right”. I don’t tell someone else about being moody, meanwhile something went wrong so I am tossing power supply boards on the floor and punching walls. (He did that the other day.)
Another one of my “annoying” personality quirks is that my mentality is QUID PRO QUO.
You want me to recognize when I am being a bitch? Try taking a look in the mirror and realizing what an utter ass you can be at times. Crazy talk, you say? Then you deserve my attitude and wrath. You EARNED it!
Oh..and yesterday’s “wow, why do I even bother?” moment…Some guy went bonkers in a town 20 miles from here, shot 5 people, including a 1 year old girl. Now they’ve released that he was bipolar and off his meds. So of course R looks at me and asks, “Is that what’s going to happen to you eventually?”
Oh, that’s hilarious.
He wasn’t joking, though. His first wife has borderline personality disorder, which he thinks is the exact same as bipolar, and no matter how many times I have corrected him, it doesn’t matter. So because she was violent, and this guy went nutso and happened to be bipolar…well, birds of a feather…
What pisses me off further is being told I am mean and twisted because I like cheesy 80′s horror flicks, skulls, and coffins, yet he and Kenny sit there watching Youtube videos of people doing stupid shit that results in bones poking out of skin, blood, gore, et al…And they laugh like it’s the funniest thing ever. To me, that is sick. Because I get NOTHING out of watching people get injured. I am not sadistic. Even my worst enemies I don’t wish physical harm on.
So maybe I’m not the twisted one here, I’m just the one with enough remorse about past behavior and enough insecurity for them to sway the focus onto me away from themselves. I know it in my gut, I know I will never please them and the more I try the worse I feel…And I am nice and strong and stubborn…Until I have to go deal with them and feel like I am under a microscope every second, lest my mood shift and I glare and they assume it’s all about them…
I’m just over the interacting with others thing. Personality disorder? Perhaps. But managing the bipolar and anxiety not just for myself, but for the comfort of others around me, is exhausting. I keep thinking if any of these people cared for me beyond what I can do to make their life easier, they’d at least try to learn about my disorder, try to hear me out and let me explain it.
The other day, R was telling someone the story of our first date. Yeah, back when I tried to explain my panic disorder to him and he laughed it off then took me to a packed gambling boat. “She went in looking perfect, gorgeous, then ten minutes in, she ran off to the bathroom and came back looking like a train wreck…We went outside and she leaned over the side of the boat…and threw up some more.” Tee hee heee. 14 years ago but hearing about it never gets old. I TOLD him I couldn’t handle that many people with any grace.
For awhile, I thought it was cool being friends with someone I had a history with, because we have our own inside jokes and all.
Now…When it’s just a rehash of my not so greatest hits and reminders of what I was like prior proper diagnosis and meds…It’s actually pretty depressing. I feel like I need to escape, abandon ship, so to speak…Get away before I end up even more psychologically damaged. Because while I steadfastedly stick to traits I like- being macabre, being sarcastic, liking the music, shows, movies, etc that I like…When it comes to the moods and bipolar and anxiety stuff…I know it’s all wonky and I know it’s difficult to handle, and I want to not be difficult. I want desperately to be simple and fun.
But I don’t think that’s who I ever was or will be.
Now…sorry for the long rant, but I really needed to purge all that was weighing down my mind.
I’m gonna see if I can muster up the motivation to shower and go to the shop.
Magic 8 ball says it does not look good.
So I sat there, in the counselor’s office, (that did not have the stereotypical leather couch I’d anticipated) with my mouth hanging open in disbelief thinking; “What the hell is going on? A diagnosis?” Before that day when I received my diagnosis of bipolar disorder I thought I probably just needed to stop drinking and partying so much and start making wiser choices.
I had never heard of bipolar disorder.
I was acting out, a nineteen-year-old rebelling against her parents and drinking an absurd amount of alcohol. I felt dead on the inside, but at the same time, I was overwhelmed with feelings of depression. Looking back, life was full of mixed episodes consisting of impulsive spending, grandiose thoughts as well as depression with suicidal thoughts that were mentally and emotionally crippling. Several times I thought about [a supposed] relief that I thought could find by driving my car off the road, into a ditch or into a wall. I shudder at that memory now. Even with all those feelings, at that time, I was still uneducated about bipolar disorder and unable to identify what was going on with myself. Education was, AND IS still so critical. For patients, for family members, for everyone. Just everyone. With education of the ins and outs and the specifics of the illness, as a bipolar patient, I came to recognize my feelings and identify them for what they were. I knew when I was depressed, I knew when I was manic and I came to know what was everything in between. When that is possible, you can work with your doctor and therapist so much deeper and further in treatment. Again, I say, if the statistics are true and it’s possible that every family is affected by some form of mental illness, then I say EVERYONE needs to get educated to some extent or another. Enough education to know that a) mental illness is REAL and b) there IS help out there.
Learning typical aspects or symptoms of bipolar disorder also made me feel so much better. It gave me such relief and it helped me know someone else, somewhere, had felt like this too and it was encouraging to know I wasn’t the only one. I attended bipolar support groups occasionally, but every now and then I found myself caring too much about other people’s problems when I needed to focus on my own. But, more often than not, it was encouraging to know we were in this battle together.
It was probably the hardest time in my life. Therapy sessions with my counselor, psychiatric appointments, group therapy and hospitalizations made for an incredibly intense and exhausting couple of years. Not only was I dealing with the disorder itself, but working so hard to “fix myself”. The order of events of my life from age eighteen to about twenty-three (give or take) is very hazy and sometimes I have trouble recalling things in chronological order. Recently, I told my psychiatrist this and he said it’s very common. I didn’t know it was common, so I asked him what causes that, and he kind of snorted and said “repression, probably.” I didn’t ask him to elaborate. I get it. The memories of that period of life are sad, literally depressing and I have a lot of embarrassment over it. There are some things I won’t share, but to some extent it’s because I can’t. Because I don’t remember, and it’s such a blessing.