Filed under: Bipolar Disorder
Filed under: Bipolar Disorder
This just about sums up the Holiday Season for me:Filed under: Bipolar Disorder
Today is Giving Tuesday, so please donate to any of these charities near and dear to my heart:
ALZ.org ~ My father has dementia. Alzheimer’s is one form of dementia that Alzheimer’s Association seeks to eliminate.
Cancer.org ~ Thank you, American Cancer Society, for research and life-saving programs for cancer patients. Far too many of my loved ones have fought and continue to fight cancer.
Lymphoma.org ~ My mother has survived lymphoma for thirty years thanks to participating in clinical trials of monoclonal antibody therapy, now FDA-approved as Rituxan. Please support lymphoma research by donating to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
NAMI.org ~ As my readers know, I have bipolar disorder, have benefitted from NAMI’s free Peer-to-Peer 10-week psychoeducational course, and have volunteered for my local NAMI.
Posted in Read Along
Tagged family, mental health
I don’t think this is too much to ask for. Who knows? It just might work better than the current system. I mean, honestly, how many governments just shut down because they are out of money? How many governments allow banks and corporations to “run” the country in the background? Why does the government tax […]
But I couldn’t go to sleep. My brain was working overtime wondering what dying would feel like. I didn’t feel the least bit sleepy—I kept trying to concentrate on the music playing, but it was hard to hear over the motor running in the enclosed garage. I went to the front of the van and turned it up so I could hear it better, but I still couldn’t seem to settle down. I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable lying down on the cold car seats.
I now know my manic symptoms were finally working in my favor. I couldn’t settle down, and by the time the CD finished playing, I was frustrated with myself and my attempt to end it all.
I stumbled to the front of the van and turned the ignition off. I was unsteady on my feet, and vaguely realized that I really probably didn’t have that long to get out of the van before the fumes overcame me. I climbed out the driver’s door and hit the button to raise the garage door, letting fresh air rush into the garage. I went outside and took a few deep breaths, then came inside, mad and frustrated with my abortive attempt to kill myself.
After an hour, I started feeling better physically as the fresh air worked its way into my system. I didn’t tell Bob what had happened once he got home for lunch—I was over the impulse to kill myself and didn’t want to ruin Thanksgiving by being in the hospital. So went my only serious attempt to kill myself.
November is past now, and I’ve come down from the high of writing my novel. I’ve tried to cut back on writing so that I came down properly, and now I’m pretty confident that I made it through and after without triggering a depressive episode. I was really cross when I did that to myself in 2012, because I love December and winter and it made me very grumpy to be depressed from pushing myself too hard!
And while I am fairly confident I managed to get through unscathed, I get stuck with that annoying thing that most of us with bipolar do — am I in a good mood//happy, or is it hypomania? I’ve had a few moments were I’ve just felt so freaking happy that I have to stop and take stock, ha ha. I’m pretty sure they’ve just been happiness, but. I guess that’s just a side effect of being healthier on the whole. I can feel moments of pleasure and joy in smaller, ‘lesser’ emotions than hypomania now. I can look around at my home and my family and feel the joy of satisfaction without feeling like it’s not due to me, or that it’s not a valid emotion, or… any number of things. I’m sure this is coming out a jumble to people who don’t know what I’m talking about. Oh well. *laughs*
My main health niggle of current, though, is physical. I have rather severe chronic fatigue, likely due to yet-as-undiagnosed endometriosis. My maternal aunt and grandmother had to resort to hysterectomies to get a quality of life back, and I’ve had to square myself up to being okay with that possibility before going in and asking. Having said that, birth control has come a ways in the intervening years, and there are more doctors amenable to setting one up to not have periods through various birth control means. I need to do some more research to see what the best option(s) is/are, but I am feeling that it might also be a halfway point on which I can get a doctor to meet me on… and then hopefully recommend me on for a laparoscopy (only way currently to diagnose endometriosis).
While I absolutely know that this is my problem and has been for almost 20 years now, it’s really hard to get doctors to take it seriously because, like mental health issues, it’s invisible to the naked eye. And of course, there’s an inherent sexism too; while my main doc is great on mental health things, he shuts right the way down on female health issues. So thankfully, there’s a female in the practice now that I can take this too, and I really should make myself do it sooner rather than later. I know from after my first pregnancy just how huge a difference it makes when the chronic fatigue is gone. I had hoped for such a reprieve this time around, but it’s been worse, and then some.
And as I cannot think of anything further to add, I won’t. I hope everyone is doing well out there.
Posted in Read Along
Tagged bipolar, counting blessings
Originally posted on Folie à Plusieurs (The Madness of Many):
It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains–that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant.
AS THE ZEN SAYING GOES, “After enlightenment, the laundry.”
Radio Psychosis has gone off the
air brainwaves at last. I didn’t mind it so much earlier in the year, when it delivered music I like. Mostly that means sad songs by pretty boys. The past few weeks though, it just gave me earworms. The kind you can literally hear *insert incredibly peeved emoticon*. This, for example, is a loved and lovely song, but not day and night plus idk how many remixes. Why, brain, why?
Btw you can sing this post’s title in the style of Dietrich, emptyink my head again, what am I to do …
So I just finished reading The Wild Truth, by Carine McCandless. You know, Chris’ sister. I watched Oprah interviewing Sean Penn about Into the Wild, then I saw the film, then I heard the soundtrack (Eddie Vedder) and then I read the book (Jon Krakauer). I do not have a t-shirt. Anyway. I think the Chris McCandless story and all its accoutrements will be filed as something like ‘On the Road for Generation X’ one day. Obviously I drank the koolaid here. In the initial book and film, you get the idea that the father had two families at once. In Carine’s book you find out that he sorta had two wives and eight kids all at once. And he was violent too. That and their mother’s refusal to break free, is why Chris disappeared.
I started the book feeling intensely sad that I couldn’t share it with my mother (dead mothers don’t read) and ended it damn glad. Carine makes it very clear that her mother’s failure constituted abuse – my mother would have applied that to herself. And I suddenly wished that instead of spending years denying to my mother that she had let me down, I ought to have simply told her that I forgave her and that she had more than made it right, in the end. It was a good read, I recommend it. Not very triggery either.
We live, we learn.
I have a free, gratis and for nothing appointment with my psychiatrist this week. I am very touched and grateful. Tbh I probably spend more money at the vet *glares at dogs*. I’ll also be increasing the Lamotrigine dose this week (autocorrect wants to call it lamp trigger).
Idk if I’m still depressed or not. I guess I could do a questionnaire or something. At the very least, I am less depressed anyway.
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way … (Pink Floyd)
Chop water, carry wood … (eat, shoot, leave)
So my default state when I don’t know wtf anything means or is, is to put one foot in front of the other and plod. I can be as stoic and stupid as Sisyphus (and as sibilant, apparently). Keep on truckin’, even when you have no faith in anything.
I am the alpha and omega of narrators (I am omniscient) and I know the beginning and the end. The beginning is the word and the end is silence.
Posted in Read Along
Amid the chaos of moving and trying to figure out where Will and I are going to go, there has been little time for reflection on how we got into this situation. But now that I’m on my second batch of papers for SSDI—the ones somebody who knows you well has to fill out—I can’t help wondering where the person I used to be went, and whether I can find her again. Or if she even exists anymore.
The condition of my house is a great metaphor for my life these days: besides being a disorganized mess, it feels like it’s lost its identity and now can only relate to the shambles in which it finds itself. It’s almost as if that other life, the one where I was a reasonably successful nurse, wife and mother, happened to someone else…..I feel like I’m standing on the outside of it looking in.
Perhaps it’s the advent of the holidays that makes me wistful for Christmases past, when there were decorations everywhere and plenty of gifts under the tree. I used to walk around outside at night on Christmas Eve and look at the house covered in bright twinkle-lights, pretending I was a stranger who just came by to admire the display and wonder about the family who lived there. Who were they? Were they happy? Did they have enough of everything? Then I’d smile because the house and the family were mine, and we not only had enough but had it in abundance.
That is certainly not the case this year. Last December, I wanted a tablet for Christmas (and got one); now all I want is a roof over my head. The thing about homelessness I fear the most is not the threat of bodily harm or of being swallowed up in the horrors of life on the streets, it’s the idea of being cold all the time. I’d almost rather be in Hell…..at least it’s warm there. Of course, the last time I thought about making those arrangements I wound up in a locked psychiatric facility, but I’m not that kind of depressed now and I’m not allowing bad thoughts to rent space in my head, not for very long anyway.
However, I must admit that in some ways this is even harder on me because I used to have a purpose and a defined role in life. I wasn’t always happy with it—in fact, toward the end I came to despise it—but I didn’t know how much I would miss it until I didn’t have it anymore. Now I just feel lost, as if I no longer play any useful part in the world, even though I know on an intellectual plane that I’m still needed and wanted. I just don’t know if it’ll be enough to sustain me when things get worse. My faith in humanity is not at its highest, but I have even less in myself.
So yes, I miss the woman who used to stroll around the yard at Christmastime, secure in the knowledge that my family had plenty of everything and that as long as I could provide for them, all would be well. I had no idea that the bipolar juggernaut was about to overtake me and sweep that life away in its whirlwind. I never saw it coming. One day I was fine (or so I thought), and the next I was in the middle of a mental health crisis, and the next I was losing jobs and applying for food stamps and getting evicted.
And as always, I wonder: what the hell happened?!