Daily Archives: December 29, 2014


I’m sitting on the edge, close to a precipice looking down. There’s one scraggly tree branch to hold on too as I lean forward and back, trying to balance. Trying not to tip over and fall back into the depression which is knocking on my door.

I woke up and felt it immediately. I wanted to go back to sleep to pretend that it wasn’t knocking at the door. Yet I knew I had to get up and face the day.

We’re trapped currently. It has been snowing and our car is rear wheel drive, so as hopefully most of you know it doesn’t travel well in snow or ice. So I’m stuck. Unable to run and do something that might pick up my mood.

There are things on TV that I don’t want to watch , books I don’t want to read and games I don’t want to play. I feel lonely surrounded by people. I hate this feeling so much.

I’m hoping that I can just relax and it will pass. Maybe it will just be a bad day. It’s only half over maybe it could get better. Right?’


Funny how the time gets away from a person over the holidays. Is it the extra sleeping? Is it the extra familial company? Who knows, ha ha. I have totally been getting some extra sleep, and I think it’s actually been doing some good (not common with my chronic fatigue), but really, I just need to work on getting to bed earlier. I didn’t go to bed until midnight last night and I was really freaking cross at the world for that. Totally my fault, but still.

I hit a point since the last post where I finally had to break down and give myself a tiny little boost to my Seroquel. I have a pile of 25mgs that have built up over time from doses being tinkered with, and when I am having an especially bad spell, I’ll take one. Just one. It usually does a really good job of filling in the cracks in the me-foundation, enough to get my head back together and in the right direction. Of course, it helps that the baby seems to be passed whatever this last ‘wonder week’ or whatever the frack it was.

Lately, I’ve been starting to feel a bit… hopeful. I was bitter a lot during my pregnancy because my chronic fatigue was so severe. And of course, there’s no actual cure for it, so I felt pretty stymied. I know that it’s likely related to endometriosis, and hopefully, I can beat a doctor into taking that one seriously. So many seem to be dismissive of it unless it affects fertility, which um… not a problem in my case. I’ve got a laundry list of things that are likely caused by/related to it, but that’s not one of them. I’ve decided that the first step is going to be if I can get a doctor to put me on a permanent contraceptive, something that will stop periods. One doesn’t need a monthly to be healthy, and in my case, not having one would likely make me a lot healthier. I avoided taking the birth control pill my entire life because hrm… oh… hormones… and a broken brain that is very swingy… yeah. I didn’t see it as a particularly bright combination! I know one can take the pill for a few months while skipping over the sugar days with no particular problems, but that’s a short-term thing for like, vacations or whatever. So it’ll probably be getting an implant and/or an IUD. I’m not too worried about the doctor approving that. What I’m more worried about is getting one to sign off on a laparoscopy to look for endometriosis, as that’s the only way to diagnose it. And that, plus chronic fatigue, means I’ve not booked in to see the doctor quite yet because I need the spoons to deal with the potential rejection, as well as the brain power to put my case together cogently.

But that’s not why I’m feeling hopeful. I just have felt lately like I can do more things again. Not a lot, but like… I did NaNo again and didn’t send myself into a tailspin. I’ve been able to be more and more out with opinions on matters that I am passionate about without fearing abuse and attacks//having to tolerate the person attacking me to ‘be nice’. I’ve been well enough on some level to be able to actually allow myself to improve, and maybe even excel at things I enjoy.

Having said that, I’m just kicking back and enjoying myself right now. Lots of gaming, and lots of knitting. No snow, which makes me stick my tongue out at Mother Nature, but ah well. Maybe for my birthday next month?

Hope everyone is doing well out there, and having a great holiday season.


What to do this year? I have some ideas…

2015 (282x179)This is one of those entries designed to analyze that previous year and look forward to the next one. Believe me, there are big chunks of the previous year I do NOT want to analyze, and I’m pretty tired to look forward to next year. But I thought I’d give it a whirl:

Things I am doing right:

-Taking meds as prescribed. This is no easy feat considering how many I take. My husband is a great help here. I’d really like to get off a few of my meds but I don’t know if that will happen. Whenever I try to cut back, I get some depression or excess sleepiness or some other problem.

-Seeing doctors. Psychiatrist and psychologist once a month (more if needed). Dentist, physical, mammogram, you get the idea. I’m pretty healthy physically except for my weight and triglycerides. My blood pressure is good and all the female stuff is about where it should be. My teeth are all caught up and don’t need work. I’m even all caught up on my glasses which is a big help with all this computer work.

-Going to church probably 3 times per month. Doing some missions work there such as bringing in food and shampoo in large quantities for the shelters. Making a few acquaintances. (It’s nice to be greeted by name at church.)Am attending a women’s support group designed to help me lead a more purposeful and devoted life. It’s helping. Reading the Bible and devotionals daily.

-Keeping up with my friends. Keeping eyes open for new friends and dropping friends that aren’t helping my mental health. Having some problems here with canceling on people. They know I have bipolar, but it’s still irritating I am sure to have someone cancel on you when you had planned an event.

-Blogging. Getting those feelings out. Making a few blog friends and having a few blog “victories”. For example, I have 98 followers. Two more and I can get excited! The blogging has been a real help this last few months. Since I just started blogging off the top of my head I am taking a “101” course in blogging starting in January on how to do everything. I hope to bring you a dazzling new blog in 2015. (Just kidding…)

-Working with NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness). Doing speaking engagements and helping to run a support group. The speaking engagements are tough. Baring your soul in front of large groups of strangers can be really intimidating. But I think it is good for me. It brings the stigma down for both me and for the audience. Helping to run the support group is easier. It also reminds me of how far I’ve come. When I see newcomers medicated, glazed, and silent or crying, I thank God for my situation.

-Improving relationships with about six different sets of relatives. I’m speaking to two aunts out of state. I’ve had my husband’s cousin and his wife over twice. I’ve gone out to eat and had tea with another cousin. I had my sister-in-law and family over for Thanksgiving and attended a college graduation. I need to keep working on my niece and nephews. However, from what I’ve seen lately my niece is a little witch so that should be interesting. I’m also trying to build something with my brother who just got out of prison.

-Mentoring one young person with MI. There may be a chance to do the same with another. I enjoy this to no end and need to get my courage up to contact my new prospect to see if he might like to have coffee.

-Cooking dinner. I am providing a home cooked meal for four people and usually freezing a fifth helping for my son who lives across town. This is a big deal and takes some effort.


Most of this focuses around my weight and activity. I DON’T expect to do all this at once. This is more of a lifestyle I’d like to work into by next year.

-Quit canceling on people because I feel depressed. If I make a date I need to keep it. I have got to learn to be dependable. It’s weird though, sometimes when I am depressed I feel immobile…like there is no way I can move. Now I don’t feel too guilty when I cancel appointments with doctors, etc., but I need to show up with friends. One reason I think people have stayed with me as a friend is because I stay in contact with them regularly through text and talk and keep up with their lives. I don’t think a lot of friends do that.

-Get off of the couch and out of bed. It’s fine to rest in the afternoon….or to listen to an audiobook…in other words be in bed for a specific reason…but spending all day on the couch in my pajamas has got to go.

-Learn to ice skate. I’d like to be able to skate around in a circle at the rink. There’s a rink close and they have adult beginner classes. It’s $18 to drop in for one class. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. I might as well try.

-Attend book club. It’s free and I like the books. I’ve read the books for the past two months but have not gotten there. I am currently reading the book for this month. I mean, gee, how hard can this be? I’m not afraid of going in alone, just too lazy to get dressed.

-Do some activities: hike around on some flat, easy paths (husband and son will go), take dogs for a walk (dogs are willing), do yoga for fat people DVD, do DVD for senior using weights, go to gym for treadmill and senior weight classes. I’d like to get up to 30 minutes per day of SOMETHING. This is supposed to relieve depression and maybe could help me get off some meds.

-Get regular massage. Once a month is supposed to help depression. Well, okay.

-Think about volunteering at school. My daughter could use help at her teaching job. I’d like to go on Fridays. But am scared I would cancel too much.

-Stay on my food program. Four shakes a day. Dinner that I cook. Lots of water. Salad as I want and need it. Weigh in every two weeks. Not tricky if I can get my husband to keep junk out of the house.

-My best friend. I think we have lost our relationship somehow. She’s working now but that’s not it. We both used to work and still found time to talk and get together. I don’t want to let that friendship just fall off the cliff. It IS a priority for me, but I don’t know where it stands for her. I just have to try.

There you have it. 2014-2015. Curious to see where it leads. Hope it is recovery.

Edited to add: Cannot believe I forgot this one. SHOWER at least every three days!

Aha! Very possibly.


Aha, well this may explain the enormous (and when I say enormous, I really mean it) amounts of anxiety I’ve been feeling lately. The increase in Seroquel may well be the culprit! I’ve been thrashing around in my sleep even, as my friend “Blahpolar” amazingly surmised. Seroquel increases epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline.) Which are involved in the fight or flight response, also in alleviating depression, as well as in causing anxiety, aha!

I have been having awful anxiety and now my muscles are starting to get very stiff, another adverse effect of Seroquel.

Ah yes, as it saves you, it also kills you. Have to be vigilant about the beginning of these adverse effects and cut them off at the pass, Kimosabe.

Well at least it’s good to know what is likely happening with me. Thank you Blahpolar for your ingenious understanding of my symptoms.

Below information about Seroquel side effects and adverse effects from : https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=does%20seroquel%20increase%20adrenalin

Seroquel Side Effects: Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Seroquel: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors;
  • twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs;
  • mask-like appearance of the face, trouble swallowing, problems with speech;
  • breast swelling or discharge (in men or women), missed menstrual periods, impotence, loss of libido;
  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights; or
  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, cold or flu symptoms, cough, sore throat, red or swollen gums, painful mouth sores, skin sores, trouble breathing.

Common Seroquel side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, loss of energy, tired feeling;
  • increased appetite, weight gain;
  • dry mouth; or
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or discomfort, constipation.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

This post is my friend Kitt O’ Malley’s and the beautiful pictures are her’s as well. It’s called: Rose Series

Originally posted on Broken Light: A Photography Collective:

Photos taken by contributor Kitt O’Malley, a mother and wife who lives with bipolar disorder type II. Kitt is licensed in California as a Marriage and Family Therapist, but hasn’t practiced as a psychotherapist in over 20 years. She has a bachelors in legal studies from UC Berkeley, a masters in psychology from New College of California, and has attended Fuller Theological Seminary. Her career path has included working as a legal assistant, psychotherapist, and commercial real estate professional. Now, she advocates for those who, like her, live with mental illness, by writing and using social media.

About these photos: “Roses are quite simply beautiful. Their color and form soothe me, improve my mood, and give me hope. These photos were taken of roses in my yard and in the yards of my neighborhood. I am grateful to be surrounded by such beauty.

Find more from Kitt at her website and Flickr.


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Stress mess

I get so wrapped up in my own mind, sometimes things slip. Like basic hygiene. I haven’t showered since Saturday. That’s not like me. I’m actually pretty big on showers. But when I start to slip into the abyss of anxiety, stress, and depression…Things like furry legs and moss on my teeth become lost in the mix.
It’s been much, much worse in the past, as embarrassing as that is to admit.
Mental illness does that to you. And sometimes, you’re frozen like a deer in headlights and it isn’t until you hit that rock bottom where things have gotten so bad you’re filled with shame and self loathing…that you’re jarred out of psychological paralysis.
I’m nowhere near that particular abyss at this time, but I can feel it bubbling beneath the surface.
I have to stay on top of it to avoid going under. This has given me an image of being a militant control freak and people around me get caught in the web. They think I want to control them with an iron fist. I am just trying to control my own orbit. If I let up for a minute, the descent begins and by the time I realize it…I’m down the rabbit hole.
Time and time again I have let people I am with convince me to “lighten up, relax.” Next thing I know…I’m six feet under the depression grave.
So I fight, and the only way I know how to fight, is to be in absolute control of my own little world. I can’t control my mind and or moods. I can only control how I handle them. If militant control freak-ism gets the job done, I’m fine with it.
It’s a slippery slope, though. Letting things slide a day or two…doesn’t seem world ending. But a day or two can so quickly become months with depression. It’s a tightrope act and I have poor balance so it never becomes less daunting.

Yesterday was a vegetative day. But towards evening…I just bottomed out, the mood went into DOA mode. I curled up in bed at 7:30 after my kid went to sleep and just tossed, turned, and tried not to let the boiling emotions overwhelm me. It’s not as easy as you might think. There are times the thoughts in my head feel like a fever, boiling,broiling, threatening to splash over the surface and erupt like a volcano.
I suppose I have too much time to think. The rest of the world keeps so busy there is no time fore reflection or deep thought.
I can’t keep that pace, god knows, I have tried. And it didn’t change anything, it just ensured I bottled it all up and when it did froth up…It was explosive.
The ONLY thing I miss about lithium is the novacaine affect it has on the feverish emotions. It really numbs you to emotion. Which gets old after awhile because life without feeling anything is just as empty as feeling too much. Least the lamictal levels me out without total apathy. Sad things should make you cry, not sit there stone faced and feel nothing.
But sometimes, just sometimes…emotional novacaine wouldn’t be bad.

I am babbling because it’s what I do when I am worried and nervous. My mom had her biopsy today and official results won’t be in for 2-4 days but they are fairly certain it is cancer. That she should at the very least be prepared for a lumpectomy. That in itself is worrisome because my mom has had such bad reactions to the anaestetic (I can never spell that fucking word right, it’s annoying). That, combined with her age and health problems…It freaks me out. She can be evil as hell but she’s my mom and I love her. I have to think positively, but…fear is natural and logical. Perhaps why I rambled on about me, me, me in this post. Because there is nothing I can do to help her. Nothing.
Maybe I can help myself by returning to my former control freak self so I don’t go down the rabbit hole and can at least be in good enough shape to be supportive for her.
Because while I feel shitty for being self absorbed…The fact is, if I don’t take care of myself, no one else will. So self absorption is just a necessary evil. I feel helpless, and for the most part, you are helpless when someone you love is sick. The best you can do is make sure you’re in good enough shape to be a form of strength and support for them.
I hope they are wrong and it’s benign.

For now, we wait. I will attempt to swing back into militant gear, bathe, clean, pretend to feel the functional thing. I know from experience this is seasonal affect. By the time it warms up, I will likely be manic.
But knowing five months of the year your will to live is pretty much nil…It’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Me, me, me.
I’d love to write about something else.
But they say stick to what you know and the only thing I know with any certainty is…

bipolar depression explained (by someone else)

I guess I’ve distracted it as much as I can this time (hello darkness my old #¥@$&). Byebye mixed episode, hello depression – may as well research the mofo.

play this song


The black dog institute‘s overview of bipolar depression in both bipolar I and II, as distinct from unipolar depression, is really good:

“Bipolar depression is the name given to the depression experienced in those who have bipolar disorder (in other words, they experience depression as well as manic or hypomanic episodes).

This is in contrast to those who experience unipolar depression, the form of depression where there are episodes of depression only (and no episodes of mania).

The depression that people with bipolar disorder experience is generally of a melancholic or psychotic type and therefore more biological in its nature.


The features of melancholic depression are:

a more severely depressed mood (see signs of depression) than is the case with non-melancholic depression
psychomotor disturbance – where movements are slowed and/or agitated, and concentration impaired. Many people describe an inability at such times to get out of bed, to fire up and do basic chores – thus, a very physical state.
Melancholic depression has a low spontaneous remission rate. It responds best to physical treatments (for example antidepressant drugs) and only minimally (at best) to non-physical treatments such as counselling or psychotherapy.


Depression and bipolar I and II

The depression experienced by sufferers of bipolar disorder can be equally as severe for people with bipolar II as for people with bipolar I, and with a similar psychomotor disturbance component. However, younger people with bipolar II are more likely to report increased sleep and food cravings rather than insomnia and appetite/weight loss as usually experienced in melancholia. Some recent studies have gone further by showing that depression can be both more frequent and more chronic in the case of bipolar II than with bipolar I, and that there is a comparable suicide risk between bipolar I and II sufferers, (with some researchers even reporting a higher risk for bipolar II sufferers). Therefore, for people with bipolar II, treating depression becomes a vitally important issue. Also, rapid cycling tends to be far more common among sufferers of bipolar II than bipolar I, leading both to difficulties in diagnosis and missed treatment opportunities.”

So, no more bipolar one upmanship, mkay?

Follow the follow the …


Follow that blog. One of the unholy trinity of supercool christians I know on wp.

Originally posted on After Midnight: A Christian Bipolar:

… follow the After Midnight blog!

I just looked, and I have 40-some followers, hallelujah!

I’d like to see if I can’t double that! So give me a grrrreat big New Year’s boost by re-blogging one of my blogs!

You will sleep so well knowing you’ve done a good deed! Try it!

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bipolarisea – a disordered metaphor

Its name puts bipolar on the same axis as the earth. There’s a plumbline drop from north to south. The north pole is mania, the one people assume is the party of a lifetime. Halfway between it and the centre is hypomania – helium happiness and the difference between the two is what separates bipolar 1 from 2.

However, bipolar is not flat, anymore than the earth is.

Earth is a 3D thing, oblate spheroid, distorted by its own gravity and mostly covered by shifting water, partly covered by land in various flavours of stability. Those two poles exist, because we have decided that they are a thing. Points of reference. We don’t move between them by drilling through the earth’s core, we wander along a multitude of trajectories. The equator (which goes all the way around, of course) is euthymia, the ‘normal’ state of non-extreme moods.


You could compare bipolar to global weather systems, but I’m taking the simpler option – the sea. People (muggles, I mean) tend to see oceans as capricious and moody things, liable to change direction and attitude at the drop of the proverbial hat.


That’s a very superficial assumption. Calm, storms and everything in between the two states are caused and affected by all kinds of things, most of which are invisible to the naked eye.



It sparkles, but the main thing about mania is that it isn’t always a very merry mood, it can be a mean mania too and then that shiny sunlight is broken, glittering glass. It can be a perfect wave, but remember that water and waves operate on tension and motion. You can’t get a wave like that to lie down quietly, it has to break. Sometimes waves make it to the shore and crash, sometimes they fall apart in deep water.


A smaller wave that doesn’t hospitalise you – but it fragments in the end, like they all do.



It may appear fairly calm on the surface, but depression is neither quiet nor static. Imagine yourself sad. No, sadder, the most sadness you can possibly get your mind around. Now imagine that while you are feeling that, you are being sucked down by a vortex, so deep you can feel the oxygen begin to riot in your veins. And it can last for years.



Another fun format of depression is anhedonia, when the winds drop and you’re becalmed in the doldrums. It’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner stuff. Nothing shifts, nothing happens, you don’t enjoy anything. No-thing. Doing your absolutely very favourite thing ever just makes you despair, because you can’t enjoy anything.

Mixed states


Choppy seas … sometimes the sun shines and life doesn’t feel to bad, at others there’s no light, it’s cold and everything is bleak. The danger of mixed states lies in their energy. Those are the times for suicide watches, because depressed and suicidal people find the energy and motivation to carry out plans they couldn’t while only depressed. Chuck in agitation and anxiety along with mania and/or depression and hopefully you’ll understand that mixed states are bitches straight from hell.



Not all ships get totally wrecked, but psychosis is an indicator that it’s time to get the lifeboats sorted, or you could end up in concert with Celine Dion. Not everyone experiences it, it’s caused by a stress overload and can manifest as delusions and auditory and/or visual hallucinations. History has tended to file psychosis under madness, visionary or both. It is neither. In fact, psychosis is nothing like a badger.

Seahells on the Seasore

Manic depressives are seafarers. It’s plain (ish) sailing for some, temporary for others. And then there are the bipolar ancient mariners – our ships are wrecked. When we surf, we fall every time. When we dive, we always get the bends. And you wouldn’t believe how many sea miles we accrue.

Don’t shoot the albatross.


Last Night

Last night I was hit with an abdominal pain so strong it felt like labor.  I went and laid down in the bed for a while, Then tried going to the bathroom to relieve it.  I realized I was spotting red blood.  So after a half hour of it not going away, I got my husband moving and we went to the hospital.  It started to subside but just down to a dull ache.  SO a lot of poking and prodding later, the doctor decides to do a CT scan of my stomach at two a.m.  They found gallstones without active evidence of disease.  The pain’s gone this morning, so we don’t know what went on. He wasn’t convinced that the gallstones were causing the pain or the bleeding.  So I’m to call my ob-gyn about the bleeding and my doctor about the gallstones sometime today.  We’re operating on about 3 1/2 hours of sleep. So pray that if it is something to worry about, we’ll find out and that if it isn’t, I’ll never have any trouble again :).

I’m a bad one going to doctors because of my work with disability, I know the symptoms of everything that can kill you.  So my mind goes to the worst possible scenario every time,. And I’m bipolar so I blow everything out of proportion in my head.  I don’t bother the doctors a lot because I know this, but last night, I was convinced I had either an ectopic pregnancy or a ruptured cyst of some kind.  I listed off all these things I was worried about, and he asked if I had been googling stuff.  I said no, and my husband said she doesn’t have to.  :)  So that was my adventure last night.  Just pray that Bob can make it through the day at work.