Daily Archives: January 8, 2014

Don’t you look well!

I have to smile when people keep telling me I look and sound really well with such a surprised look on their face. It's as if they are expecting me to sound like a blithering idiot and look like a bag of shit because I've stopped taking my tablets! I've lost count the number of times people have said it. It's quite flattering really and very encouraging.
 I don't know quite what's happening to me. I still feel ok off the meds but it's as if my emotions are suddenly waking up. Being on medication didn't take the emotions away but for a lot of the time numbed them. Now I seem to be getting a whole lot of feelings flooding in and it's taken me by surprise. I've been quite tearful but it's not the same as being depressed. I don't think I'm crying over things that don't warrant a tear, I just seem to be very emotional. I've also felt really happy but not the same as when I get high. I saw a rainbow this morning and it genuinely made me feel really good. Maybe this is what's called being normal? !!!!! 
I went to see my GP. Out of all the people that have been involved in my healthcare he is the one person that I trust and respect the most. He's been involved almost right from the start. I've been going to see him at least once a month for the last 7 years. He has seen me in just about every possible mood going. I had a double appointment so we could have a proper chat. I made sure I said everything I wanted to say before I listened to what he had to say. He agreed that he couldn't deny that what I was saying about why I wanted to come off the meds wasn't unreasonable and that how I was presenting was completely rational and grounded. He asked me if there was anything that he could say that would make me start taking my medication again. I told him that unless he told me I was going to drop down dead tomorrow, absolutely nothing. He said that was fair enough. He said he'd be surprised if I didn't have some sort of crisis within the next six weeks but that he hoped he was wrong. I have to see him again in two weeks. I'm ok with that. I'm being vigilant and if anything were to happen I have enough people looking out for me. I'm not stupid and I'd be quite happy to go back on medication if I really need to.
I've just seen my care coordinator and she said pretty much the same as my doctor. She said she wasn't at all surprised that I stopped the lithium too. She said that if she was in my situation maybe she would have done the same as at least I'll know for sure wether the medication made any real difference. The next few weeks are going to be the telling time. Right this minute I feel fine. I've had a good few days, I'm coping with the crap and I'm as prepared as I think I can be. 


So I finally got prescribed meds and she gave me:


WELLBUTRIN (echo…echo…echo)

Is anyone on this drug? How does it make you feel? On the fun med site that I like to use http://www.crazymeds.us they say

“Being marketed by Glaxo sales reps, and Dr. Drew, as the “happy, horny, skinny pill.”

Is this a good thing? If it was that kind of pill, wouldn’t everyone be trying it? 

I have to take it once a day, in the morning, and then see how it goes. She warned me about headaches that can happen with it. 

I’m scared. This is my first time ever taking an anti-depressant, and well…

What do you think?



ps. here’s the site to the Wellbutrin page: http://www.crazymeds.us/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Meds/Wellbutrin

Obligatory Disclaimer

Nothing in this blog is actual medical, psychiatric, or psychological advice. So don’t blame me if something I say here doesn’t work for you. YMMV. You have been warned.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

I have been having a terrible time with sleeping recently which for someone who has Bipolar is a really bad thing. I get in bed after taking nighttime meds, I read a little, I get sleepy, I turn out the light, and Bam!, I am awake, but sleepy because of the meds. I cleaned up […]

Amazing Daze

I should be sleeping, but my day was so amazing that I have to tell the story, or at least …

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Amazing Daze

I should be sleeping, but my day was so amazing that I have to tell the story, or at least …

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Spin Cycle

I feel myself slipping into hypomania and there’s not much I can do about it. I see my psychiatrist Friday so I’m just trying to hold on until then. My lack of control is overwhelming right now.

This about sums me up right now.

Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: bipolar, hypomania

Officially Official

Whew, what a first couple of days……I am up to my hairline in information and my brain is swimming! I’ve met so many people and learned so many new things in the past 48 hours that I’m amazed I can remember my own name.

Which is now emblazoned on my key card, my government-issued ThinkPad and iPhone, and my new business cards. I haven’t gotten to be out in the field yet—there’s a whole month’s worth of training ahead before I ever set foot in a nursing facility as a surveyor—but I’m officially “official”. Yesterday when I walked into the enormous building, I felt like a kindergartener on the first day of school: I didn’t know where anything was, didn’t know any of the people I saw walking around, didn’t even know how to find the bathroom. I was very, very lost, and very, very nervous, but I followed the big kids around for awhile and then sat down with my fellow newbie, an older gentleman named Samuel, for our first lessons.

Today, I feel like I skipped all the grades and went straight into my senior year of high school, because not only do I know how to use my secret decoder badge, but the big kids actually let me play with them. The teacher also gave me homework……before I started on this blog entry, I had to go into the ThinkPad and reset passwords (I have four different ones for four different programs, and of course I’ve already forgotten three of them) and do a short online course in Privacy 101.

Speaking of privacy: I had no idea until yesterday how liberating it can be to spend eight hours a day in a building where not one single person knows my psych history. Not one. To the people I’ve met thus far, I’m a brand-new employee with a great deal of enthusiasm (and a kickass sense of humor). They don’t know that I was only recently a washed-up nurse with a very diminished role in life. They don’t know how sick I was for much of last year. They don’t know that I have to take a fistful of medications twice a day to be functional.

And I like it that way.

Somewhere along the road these past few weeks, I decided that I’m NOT ready to give up after all, even though I’d almost been resigned to living out the rest of my days mired in the cesspool of poverty and despair from whence Will and I came. Then this opportunity came along, and I was almost too afraid to take it because I was so fearful of the risks—what if Will got sick? What if something happened to him while I was at work? And heaven forbid, what if I lost my shit in the middle of a survey 300 miles from home?

But once in awhile, one just has to say NO to the “what-ifs” and take a chance. Maybe this job will be everything I want it to be, and I’ll thrive on it with a minimum of interference from my bipolar. Maybe not. But I am done with thinking of myself as a loser, and I’m not going to allow my illness to make my decisions for me if I can help it.

After all……I’m official! :-)


Short Story Review: The Tale of the Lantern Lady

I recently had the privilege of reading a short story, “The Tale of the Lantern Lady”, by Natalie Patterson Mohr. It provided a unique look at the course of mental illness through vivid imagery and symbolism. Here is a brief summary of the story, provided by Ms. Mohr: 

Whether it be sickness, life challenges, mental illness or spiritual voids, at times dark moments can seem to swallow us. After these experiences, we emerge with a new life lesson, a growth in character, or a change in perception. The Tale of the Lantern Lady is an allegorical story about the influential people who provide guidance and help to those suffering from such struggles. Despair can lead us to feel hopeless, isolated, and irrational and can make it more difficult to fight our battles alone. This story pays homage to the “angels” who bridge the gap between pain and positive change in others’ lives. Their “lanterns” encourage, illuminate, and empower those who struggle.

Natalie Patterson Mohr grew up in Morristown, Tennessee. She received a B.A. at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and completed her graduate degree at Lincoln Memorial University. She is a mental health advocate, a former Spanish teacher and mother to two young boys. She currently lives in East Tennessee and enjoys pursuing her passions of writing, art, community involvement, music, and life-long learning.

“As someone who struggles with a mental illness, I have learned over the years to treasure the advice and wisdom gained from many years of treatment. If it were not for the supportive encouragement of my therapist, friends and family, I would not be the person I am today. It is my hope that those in need of help will seek it diligently until they receive the care they deserve. I hope that others may be as fortunate as I have and find a positive support system where they can be helped to overcome their obstacles. No one should have to fight their battles alone in the dark.” – Natalie Patterson Mohr