A Wrench in the Works

I was diagnosed bipolar nearly two years ago. In the time since then, I have carefully crafted a routine to follow to keep my mood swings to a minimum. My psychiatrist and I changed up my medicines a couple of times, but I’d been on the same doses/drugs for nearly a year now. Things weren’t ideal, I still had a lot of depression and a few mixed episodes, but for the most part, I was doing pretty well. As any of you who regularly read my blog know, I’ve been in a pretty bad depression for months. I’m isolating, skipping showers (good thing no one can smell me) and wallowing. I hurt and the aches and pains just won’t stop and I can’t sleep. My migraines are also pretty bad right now, nothing seems to be working for them. In short, I’m miserable. Flat out miserable. But I figured my bipolar was “OK” because I hadn’t had any bad swings into mania for some time.

But honestly, when I look at posts and tweets from the last few months, you can see hypomania and aggression in them. You can sense the self loathing rising up. I was (and am) continuing to go to my therapist as regularly as my finances will allow and during therapy, I managed to be positive and really focus on using the tools I learned to improve my situation. And then there would be the post therapy letdown. I always feel better after talking to my therapist, she has a great personality and I am very comfortable tackling any subject with her. But I’d always end up feeling even more down in the dumps after a session. I would think I’d feel at least kind of hopeful afterward. It finally occurred to me that even in therapy,  I was guarded. I was afraid of my therapist judging me or saying something I didn’t like. Newsflash:that’s not what therapy is about. You are going to hear things you don’t like, but it’s necessary to move on.

I was lucky in that I was able to get an appointment with my psychiatrist (he works in the same practice as my therapist) however, it was a bad day. I had a headache, I called off of work again, the traffic was bad. I walked into the waiting room in a bad mood, and having to sit next to someone who reeked of cigarettes was making my headache worse. To top it off, my psychiatrist was running a half hour late, which seems to happen every time I see him. By the time I got in to his office and sat down, I was ready to blow. The first thing he said was that I seemed agitated and he apologized for being late. I didn’t blow up at him, but I did admit I wanted to yell. I went on to tell him about how poorly I had been doing, about my inability to make myself go to work, about the aches and pains, all of it. In short, I finally properly communicated in a therapy setting. He suggested changing up my medicines, which I figured would happen. Because I work with medicines daily, I know the medicines and their side effects. I was shooting down suggestions left and right…”no, that will give me diabetes” “no, that’s for REALLY messed up people, I don’t want that”. We finally were able to agree on a few more meds and to discontinue my risperdal. I have mixed feelings about that, I feel like the risperdal was a help, but it clearly isn’t doing the trick any more. But another part of me says “heyyy they took you off the antipsychotic, that’s good, right?”

Sorry, I’m going off the rails here.

I find myself really upset about the medication changes. Like, unreasonably upset. I went in taking two meds for bipolar, two meds for my migraines and a vitamin. So 5 medicines daily. I am now taking two for bipolar, one for anxiety/sleep, two for my migraines, one for my fibromyalgia-like pain and my vitamin. 7 medicines daily. That’s depressing. My grandparents take less medicine than that. I also have to change the times I take some of them, which means altering my every day routine. I know the important part is to focus on the new routine, to know that these medications are here to help me. I know I’m truly not upset about the medications, I am upset with myself, with my faulty brain, my whacked out nerves.

After my psychiatrist I went to the grocery store (so not a good idea) and I promptly had a meltdown, complete with sweating, hyperventilating, rapid heartbeat, the whole 9 yards. It was all I could do to get home. It was Lisa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

There were positives, I suppose. I got a new pill container to fit everything and I bought myself Valentine’s Day candy. Sad when a new pill container is a treat. I might trick it out with washi tape or something.

Now that I’m a few days removed from the whole fiasco, I feel more at ease. Yes, I’m upset about the medicines and changing my routine, but it will be old hat before long and perhaps I will feel better. Honestly, if only one migraine were taken away, it’s worth it. I hope you all are in better spirits than I am! Thank you, as always, for reading my word vomit.

Filed under: Wellness Warriors Tagged: bipolar disorder, chronic illness, depression, fibromyalgia, medication, migraine, pain, therapy

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