Daily Archives: November 13, 2014

Head Above Water…Barely

Tough couple of days circling the mood gamut. Oddly, I never did hit a high or hypomanic spot, just hovered between insanely low and insanely pissed off. Sprinkle in some garden variety generalized anxiety…Mental illness salad.

Every instinct I have says to shut down, to run and hide. It’s so easy to do. I’ve got my old list of rationalizations at the ready.
No one understands, no one gets it, no one cares.
No one would notice if I dropped off the face of the earth and if they did, they’d throw a parade.
Why bother when no one else seems to even try?

If I learned anything from last year’s 8 month depression from hell, it was my own culpability in it. I had people who reached out to me, tried to keep me from going under. And like the child I can be when drowning in the depressive abyss, I smacked their hands away and slammed the door in their face. All my rationalizations insulating me against my own contribution to my problem.
I gave in, I gave up. It was a CHOICE. I tried to fight and it never seemed to do any good but it’s because my own distorted thought wasn’t looking at it the right way. I wanted a cure, I wanted stability and normalcy.
That’s just not gonna happen with cyclothymic bipolar.
What I need to focus on instead is, can I at least force myself to fight it three out of four days? Can I fight my own need to self sabotage by waving the white flag and relinquishing control to the depression simply because it won’t let me have things exactly my way?
Three out of four days, whether you’re in the mood or not, is one hell of an effort. Maybe you don’t get dressed or leave the house. But you get out of bed, you do a few chores, maybe you read. The level of functioning is not as important as the fact that in spite of all the distortion in your mind, you are making an effort to not get dragged down into the abyss.

So having learned a hard lesson last year, and having teetered on the edge of “fuck it all” for the last couple of weeks…
I’ve been allowed a look in the mirror, seeing my own past behavior in that of another. Talk about a wake up call.
It makes me determined to keep fighting, keep doing things I don’t want to do, because if I don’t…Then I really do have only myself to blame. Expecting sympathy or empathy when you won’t even try is asinine. It’s childish, too, and admitting this to myself makes me embarrassed. I’m 41, ffs. Yet there are times I retreat into immature child like behavior and others see it and say something and I am just so convinced I’m right and they are mean and don’t understand…
Once the mirror opens your eyes…
There is no choice but to keep turning on the auto pilot, to keep forcing yourself to take each step, do each task.
Seeing yourself as behaving like a child is a great motivator for finally making a change. It may not be a cure, or drastic, but the effort to change, and the tiny differences it brings about, are all that matter.

So I am rebelling against myself, my own need to self isolate, to shut down, to embrace my misery and blame others for not getting it.
I’ve come to recognize my own acts of self sabotage. Which is not say I have ever faked a day of my illness and struggles. They’ve always been very real,all consuming, and agonizing.
My mistake was surrendering all control to the illness as if I couldn’t make a few choices to defy it.
I want to stay in bed all day? I FORCE myself out and on my feet.
I don’t want to go visit people? I suck it up and visit anyway, because even if I remain miserable, I can at least say I tried.

I’ve been looking for the big change, the big cure, and it’s never going to happen. I set myself up for the fall down the staircase.
I have to accept the importance of the small changes, the small efforts, and give myself credit where it is due and self criticism where it is due.

Maybe I have four days a week of vegetating.
But if self bullying gets me three days of functionality…
Let me throw the first punch at myself.

Sound Familiar?

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Beware Of Flying Boot

"You'll come running back to me..."

Things got a little ugly around here from the stress, I actually lost it, and finally went off like a naughty person. Ugly words were exchanged, but I made no apologies for my outburst that was building and coming for a long fucking time. I've been holding a lot of shit in to keep the peace, but had to let it out for FFS - finally - because I have my limits too. There was a moment as to which direction the heavy boots was holding, and that I was going to put on, were going to fly: in the direction of someone's head, or toward the area of a door. They pretty much hit the door, lucky for the spouse.

I can't remember throwing something that potentially painful, if you were on the receiving end, for a longass fucking time, so you can only imagine how many months to a year or so I've been letting things sort of slide. Partly letting them take their toll on a part of me, causing me depression, but at the same time, building up some fucking red hot motherfuckin' ugly, potentially violent, unpredictable. I say "potentially violent" meaning that the well-deserving provoking person's (i.e. the spouse) head could very likely or would become the target of some crazy object one can quickly grab and hurl without thinking.

Fortunately, for the "target", I am not only blind in one eye, and therefore have no depth perception, I'm nearsighted as fuck in the other, so it's unlikely anybody would get harmed except for me out of sheer embarrassment for missing by a long shot, and letting something stupid let me lose my composure. Well, at least I got an apology for ugly words that were exchanged without feeling guilty in the least. I felt I was in the right, so I was pleased and accepting of a fucking well-deserved apology for once in my fucking life.

After that incident, I learned later that the spouse really did show up for his doctor appointment, even though it was only a GP, but he'd made an appointment and later went to a counseling session. I'm guessing to talk more about me and my "issues" instead of manning up to his, but it's a start. I'll give him that. I was glad he went. It gave him a reason to talk about the shitty atmosphere around here lately. Since then, the heavy atmosphere of unneeded stress and worry has been lifted considerably.

My agoraphobia is really not agoraphobia anymore, I've decided. It's just anxiety. I managed to handle being in a crowd indoors at a Dias de los Muertos celebration earlier in the month, which was cool. Now I'm just dealing with this going out by myself a bit differently in my head. The feelings and sensations aren't as heavy and all-consuming that I have to totally over-medicate to push through. It's somewhat different, but impossible to explain. Still fighting the anxiety though, it's changed a bit. The ugly game has changed, and is not as ugly and gut-wrenching. But fuckin' A, I still keep my meds on hand just in case. :D I'm still crazy, not stupid!

From Radical Forgiveness to Walgreens, I Fucking Hate You!

Oh Walgreens! You motherfucker!! You know what a pain in the ass it is to get Clozaril. You have to get bloodwork every two weeks (every week for the first six months). The bloodwork gets sent to your doctor and to the pharmacy. Then the pharmacy refills the prescription. Two weeks’ worth of medicine. Right? Wrong! It doesn’t work that way in Florida! In Florida, the doctor has to fax a specific Clozaril Access Form to the pharmacy. Did anyone tell me this? NO! When I called the pharmacy yesterday to see if they’d received my labwork, they said Yes, they had, and my prescription was ready. Then I got an email from Walgreens saying my prescription for Clozaril was ready. TWO CONFIRMATIONS that my prescription was ready. So, I go to pick it up. Is it ready? NO! Because they didn’t get that fucking form from my doctor. Why in God’s name did Walgreens tell me TWICE that the prescription was ready? It’s one of life’s great mysteries. So here I sit, two doses of Clozaril left, phone message left for my doctor in Colorado, panicking because if I miss a dose of Clozaril it’s curtains, people!! My mood will crash! And being out in Florida, away from my support system, this just CANNOT HAPPEN!!! Jesus Christ why oh WHY is it such a fucking pain in the ass to be on Clozaril???? And Walgreens (Walgreens in Florida, specifically), I fucking hate you.

Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar Depressed, Bipolar Disorder, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Clozaril, Hope, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader, Walgreens Sucks

Good News (Very Routine)!

Somehow, I’m still chugging along on NaNoWriMo. I made my way into the NaNo chatrooms and that’s somehow helping me get more writing done? It’s sort of counterintuitive, but whatever works. And I’m still having a lot of fun with it even though I’m not sure where I’m going. Heck, I’m probably having fun for that reason!

I’m starting to become a bigger pain in the husband’s side though. He said that yesterday especially I was way zoned out and making my angry thinking face. We agreed that my ADHD is probably a bit worse, and especially since getting back into NaNo. Whups. I told him I’d try a little harder to pay attention to him, because I love him and don’t want to give him the cold shoulder/angry face.

Anyways, looping around — I just got back from my first psych appointment in months. The last one was in July, right after the baby was born. We covered basic ground — how my OCD is a bit worse (though not particularly detrimental to my health), how my mood is mainly fine, no ups or downs of note, and of course, that the ADHD not being taken care of or diagnosed continues to be a problem in my estimation. We decided to not up my meds for now, and she gave a few suggestions to try to try and counteract brain fog. I don’t know that I can actually take my Seroquel any earlier without risking completely falling asleep at like, 8pm, but I’m willing to tinker. The other was to eat more salad for assorted reasons, which while not a bad idea… I don’t really have a large appetite and I’d like to eat more in a day than salad!

She plans on trying to find out more about getting my ADHD diagnosed/looked at, which is exciting. I don’t know that I’ll trust it until something happens, but like I said — I know that at least one med for the disorder gives me a ridiculous amount of functionality, so I’d yanno… like to have some more of that please and thank you. But for the most part, we’re all on the page that things are doing well enough, and let’s not rush to up my meds quiiiite yet. She reminded me that if I did it a bad patch, that I can contact her/the ER/etc and get my meds adjusted, but since I’m still fine enough, let’s leave well enough as-is. Fine by me. It was nice to discuss it, whatever the case.

It’s been rather quiet lately, it seems. Do a lot of you dears have issues with seasonal affective disorder, or? I hope everyone out there is doing alright.


Dang Almost Forgot

Usually this time of night my blog pops into my head and I write it. Yet tonight I am tired and almost went to bed without writing in my blog.

My cold is now mostly just a sore throat. Yesterday I went to the minute clinic and had my throat checked for strep. The 5 minute test said nope. So I just have to wait for it to pass. They said 4-5 days I might need some antibiotics but my nose is clearing up all on its own. Gross right? lol

Today was pretty uneventful. I shaved my dog and slept a lot. Tomorrow I see my therapist and shrink. I am wondering if I should increase my Latuda. I’ve had depression but it doesn’t last as long. I am rapid cycling, but that is the norm and I am remaining mostly active.

There were more things done when we went out to visit the house. They will be doing the electric and plumbing soon. It’s all very exciting. I will post pictures on Saturday. Now I’m off to bed.

The Homecoming: Life On The Inside, Part 4

They weren’t in any hurry for me to leave.

I’d been inpatient for five days when my doctor and the treatment team asked me when I wanted to go home. I wasn’t quite ready, but I was eager to get out before the weekend. I wanted my husband, my pets, my freedom. And I really, really wanted my own bed because the one I was sleeping on jerked knots in my back.

So we settled on Friday, even though the team suggested that if I felt even a little freaked-out about going home, I was welcome to stay longer. What a contrast to regular hospitals, where they boot you out the door before you’re fully awake after a day surgery. But I was determined, because I felt safe and I didn’t want to become so comfortable in there that I wouldn’t be able to manage on the outside.

I continued to take advantage of groups and individual therapy, except the art classes because I’m about as far from artistic as one can get. I did join the drumming group though, and I played blackjack with some of the other patients on my last night in the facility. What fun that was—all of us were in there because we were or had been suicidal, and here we were laughing and having a good time. What a difference a week can make!

Then Friday dawned, and I performed a quick mental inventory to assess whether I was truly ready to go home. Yes, I was. The experience of being in the psych unit had been a good one, but I needed to resume my normal life, as stressful as it was. So when Dr. W met with Will and me, he agreed that I’d improved enough to leave. Then it was off to the nurses’ station to gather my belongings and get my discharge medications…..and then finally through those locked doors to the outside, where an impossibly blue sky and brilliant fall trees awaited me.

I never knew that fresh air could feel—or smell—so good. I marveled at the grass, which had never seemed so green, and the bright orange pumpkins that remained in front of a few houses. As we drove home I had to fight off the urge to stick my head out of the car window and take in the commingled aromas of burning wood and newly-fallen leaves. Everything was so beautiful that it nearly took my breath away. Who knew that a week in a mental hospital could make one appreciate life so much?

But I knew that week had made a real difference in mine. For one thing, I was alive, and I might not have been had I not checked myself in when I did. For another, I’d gotten over my fear of the place, and if/when something like this happens again, I’ll be less reluctant to go. And I’d learned that being around other mentally ill people had its benefits too—there was no judgment, because we were all going through a bad patch and we could relate to each other’s suffering. No one else can do that, no matter how much they love us or how hard they try to understand.

Thus endeth my story about my first (and hopefully only) hospitalization. Thanks for following along on my journey. :-)