I was typing yesterday, like I do for hours and hours daily, and then I started seeing colors. They were fluorescent and seemed to be coming from my fingers. Confused, wondering if I had stuck my fingers somewhere I didn’t remember (you know how you get marker streaks or bruises that seem to come out of nowhere), I looked closely at my fingers. There was nothing on them.
As soon as I started typing again, there were the flashes of colors. Were they coming from the taps? That’s not what it looked like. They looked almost flame-like, licking the air around my first knuckle. The colors, really the colors of fluorescent markers, that bright green, orange, yellow, and blue, were what was dancing around my fingers.
They still are and only when I’m typing, but I have to say, it is quite distracting.
More than the clock which is, in case you wondered, still having intermittent sparks and glowing itself. It’s tormenting me. I know it has an agenda. (Is that psychotic? What I just said? haha!)
It’s oh so (not fun) typing for NaNoWriMo, trying for 1667 words a day, with flames emanating from either my fingers or the keyboard. I still can’t figure out which.
I’m trying to play along as I collect words for NaNoWriMo and am doing well. We are on Day 4 and I have completed 9735 words so far. 6668 words is the typical Day 4 goal and I am above that which is good because I have a constant work day on Tuesday and will not be writing, so trying to jump ahead to compensate.
Queen Walks Into My Novel
I swear it fits! It happened organically. I was writing along, fluorescent colors flicking up my fingers, and then the next moment, Queen was in my WIP.
I saw Queen in 1978 and there was a huge to-do about Freddie Mercury being a “fag” (the common word my group of gay friends used and I use throughout my novel) and I was going to the concert, well, because I loved Queen, but in my novel, the guys are charging my lead character, Lisa, to go see for herself if he is as gay as they say (who “they” are or where they said it is beyond me). Lisa’s friends gathered together $6.50 for the ticket (impossible for Lisa to have had at that time) and she got a friend from a kind of friend of a friend, having to exchange “favors” for the ride, and she went to the concert.
See how happy Queen is to be in my book?
Me, too! (Even if it is the weirdest thing ever. Maybe that’s what’s psychotic!)
I am watching so many Brits now I’m picking up British slang. When I say, “Taking a piss” (kind of meaning “pulling your leg”) you can worry about my up and moving to the UK. (Nevahhh!)
Today is my first baby’s 40th birthday. It’s just shocking how fast time flies. He was just put in my arms a minute ago. I love my boy so very much!
I’m working on a post that is now interminably long called “Operator” which is based on the Jim Croce song. I like it a lot, but it’s more intricate than I expected. Who knew that word could lead down so many rabbit holes?
The fucking clock continues annoying me endlessly. The blue numbers are often in licking blue flames, jumping out of the clock’s face. I wish I were an animator so I could animate what I see. It’s frustrating I can’t show you all this dancing and flashing, the numbers with a life of their own.
I can’t help wondering why it is the clock that’s tormenting me. Am I not in the moment enough? Do I need to watch my time more closely? What’s going to happen when NaNoWriMo starts in 12 days? Will I really be “against the clock” then?
I have mild hallucinations elsewhere. (Can hallucinations be considered “mild?”) I continue being in a deliciously energetic place, so can only assume it is the high end of hypomania. I am sleeping more, so that’s good, but I am continuing to be somewhat impulsive and weird. Work is benefiting greatly from my productivity, so there is that.
My labs at the hematologist/oncologist were relatively good. My doctor was shocked at my 70 pound weight loss. I keep being asked if I had a gastric bypass. “Yes. In 2001.” They ask, “A revision?” Nope. I just quit eating Uber Eats and all processed foods. 70 pounds in 5.5 months without starving or denying myself food is pretty damn good. I am proud of myself!
I do need an iron infusion, but that’s no big deal. I’ll have that done next week. Then I don’t see her until the end of December. Wheeee!
Off to Scrivener to do some NaNo prep. It’s rushing closer and closer!
I am still in this weird hypomania thing. It’s yummy as hell, so not complaining, but time is just weird.
And the fucking clock is still messing with my head. Glow. Not glow. Float. Fall over. Annoying.
I figure as long as my Queen Funkos aren’t singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” to me, I’m not totally losing my mind. (Roger still hasn’t arrived. I am sure he is partying somewhere en route.)
I got myself some poking today. Not the fun kind, get your head out of the gutter.
I got a pneumonia shot, a flu shot, and my third COVID booster (full dose). It’s been several hours and I feel great. No arm soreness or feeling odd at all. I don’t usually have negative reactions to vaccinations, so that’s good.
Scrivener is the software I use for writing. I’ve written in Scrivener for almost four years now, so you would think I know it well.
Somewhere along the way, my Toolbars got wonky and I can’t figure out how the holy hell to fix it. I have Googled, YouTube’d, Scrivener Manual’d, Scrivener Forum’d, Reddit’d, and if there was an adult book named Scrivener, I would have found it from searching the issue so intensely.
I’m still prepping for NaNoWriMo in 16 days. It’s getting closer and I’m trying not to get nervous. I have to quit talking about it because people keep asking if I’m finally going to finish this book I keep talking about. I sure hope so!
Enjoy The Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle.”
Something I heard yesterday, but was drown out by the other activities of my brain, surfaced again in the night and continues this morning.
You remember the sound of playing cards on bike spokes?
They are humming along in my room.
I have a huge AC and a tall fan on 24/7, so nothing has changed as far as equipment. I turned them both off, together and separately, and I still have the cards-in-the-spokes sound. It’s not as loud as the video above, but it is distinct and I can hear it over both the AC and fan. I have to turn the music up pretty loud to drown it out.
So I do.
Tired of This Reporting
There’s more, but I’m tired of telling y’all every detail of what my head is doing. I think I’m going to take the day off writing about my mental craziness and find something else to chat about.
In the meantime, enjoy Queen’s “Bicycle Race” video below.
I am in a small room and it came to life, scaring the bejeezus out of me.
A can fell off the shelf (but didn’t really). The smoke alarm rang out twice (but didn’t really). Someone slammed their hand on my desk (but no one was here). A pane in the window cracked (but didn’t really).
I covered my head with my pillow until I could get control of the fear that I was the one cracking up, then I was able to sit and allow the hallucinations their performances.
Why do I think they are gone, and they are gone for days, then come back full-force for no apparent reason? Am I going to have several more days or these noisy, annoying visions and sounds? No scents, at least so far, just the visual and auditory hallucinations. When I was in bed, I thought I felt something crawling on me, but ignored it and it went away, so maybe some tactile will wander back to my skin.
I tried to sleep, but the random noises kept occurring so I got up to write. This way I have some control over validating if these things were real or not.
I have a lot of canvas pictures on the walls and they keep tilting, which is impossible since they are stuck on with Command Strips. I blink and they regain their correct positions.
The best way to describe it is like a not-too-serious earthquake shaking things up, but when I blink or close my eyes for a few moments, everything goes back to their proper place.
I do wonder if I’m going headlong into mania. I thought I’d avoided it, but now things are picking up steam again. I still refuse to take the Risperdal, so if I fall over, it’s my own fault.
I have not slept since I woke up 23 hours ago despite the try when all the action abruptly started and I gave up an hour later. I would love to sleep, but am not remotely tired. I do get a bit worried when I have not slept for 24 hours or more, but not much to do about it.
I know y’all are tired of hearing about the clock… as tired as I am talking about it… but for fuck’s sake, it has a life of its own.
This morning, the numbers are dancing to Brian May’s “’39.”
I wonder if I am having hallucinations that I’m missing what with all the focus on the clock and time.
Time is weird because I wake up and think it is the opposite am/pm than it really is. This has happened several times. Not sure why I am turned around, it isn’t like I go to sleep in the light and wake in the dark.
I counted how long I slept last night because I’ve wondered if I might still be in hypomania. 2.5 hours. Hmmm… probably not so good.
I am kicking ass working, though, but am talking a tad too fast and loud and have to consciously slow down and lower my voice. I’m also writing like a banshee. Work blog posts are pouring out of my fingers. Not doing so bad here, either. I feel alive!
If someone told me what I just wrote up there, I would tell them they need to talk to their psych because 2.5 hours of sleep isn’t normal and needs to be more. But I justify it that it isn’t every night. Some nights I’m sleeping for four hours. That’s better, right?
My hypomania is fading and I am quite cranky about it.
I’ve been gloriously productive the last three weeks and now to have this needing-a-nap bullshit again is pissing me off.
My clock face is still glowing some, but nothing like the 3-D it was giving me last week. The blue color is almost flat.
My Color Draining
For most of my life, I’ve been able to detect my mood just by looking at my imaginary mental health watch. I could look down at my wrist and gauge where I was at any moment. Good? Depressed? How depressed? (As if I could measure the depth by the minute hands on the face.) I have not thought about my mood watch in ages… until the clock on my bookcase became that touchstone.
I’m still early in losing the hypomania, but I can already feel the pressure on my mood. It’s slight still, but it is most certainly there.
I’m crying knowing what is coming.
The hallucinations have all gone. Nothing.
No random scents.
No ants crawling on me.
No seeing things.
Would I rather have the bugs crawling on me and around the room? Probably not, but you see, there is a trade-off. I would take the bugs if I get the great energy and wonderful productivity.
Now, I have neither.
Too Short and Very Sweet
This episode was very short, but so wonderful, even if for only three weeks. Now I am left with the memory of that time and it, too, will fade. My words here in the blog will be the way I can recall where I was and when. If I had not written them down, they would have been erased by my brain within a few more days.
I’m so glad I did not agree to the Risperdal. I would be headed to a major depression at this point. I’m hoping to avoid that, but know it is always a risk and that I have very little control over the depths into which I will fall.
My Status Quo: Low Level Depression
I will most likely fall back into my baseline which is a low-level depression. Not terrible despair. No suicidal ideations. No inability to move or think. Just a place where I exist without fantastic joyous feelings. I feel love for people, family, kids, grandkids, but it isn’t an overflowing power I feel when I am not in my everyday skin.
That makes me sad.
We’ll see how much I continue writing. It was so nice writing a lot those few days.
I light a candle each morning when I start writing. I have the candle in front of my Baby Buddha who wears a mala I had made for me by my dear friend Sherry.
I got up at 3am this morning after going to bed at midnight and was wide awake, wanting to write.
Do I Have to See Things?!
About an hour into writing the previous post, out of the corner of my eye I saw a flare of fire mid-air. It looked as if someone lit a match and was holding it up, but the hand and matchstick were erased.
I assumed it was not really a flame flying around, but turned to look at it and it vanished, not quickly, but it didn’t dawdle, either, starting at the bottom and finishing at the top lick of the fire. Along with that came a strong sense of smoke which took me on a field trip around the house a couple of times to make sure nothing was on fire.
Nothing was on fire. There was no flying flame. But, they thought they existed and revisited several (random) times throughout the day.
Oh, What a Mind Can Conjure
Happily, no dead carcass smell for a couple of days. That makes me happy.
The parfum du jour has been mint toothpaste. It is so strong it’s as if I had the tube held right under my nose.
There is no toothpaste around here.
It’s a tad disconcerting to have the floor boards slithering. Especially since they are laminate and all one piece across the whole floor. I sneer at it because I don’t want to fall and will be very angry if I do. It behaves, for the most part, when I am sitting and holding it down with my feet. But if a foot leaves the floor, the game is on.
How Much to Reveal
I see the psych early this week and am still having loads of fun being awake and productive as hell.
I know that hypomania (for me) is a one-way ticket up (to mania) or down (to despairing depression). My hypomania doesn’t usually last long. I can often get a sense of which way I am going, but am either ignoring it or unable to decipher the clues.
Not Sooooo Bad
My previous manias have not caused me to lose touch with reality. When it gets really bad, the hallucinations make it hard to remember they aren’t real, but I can remind myself they are a figment of my tilted brain.
(I’m laughing to myself as I italicize words for emphasis but you can hear me saying them out loud, right? I get quite emphatic in this state. I want to be understood. Clearly, understood. And I assume italics makes that happen?)
I’m hanging on until I see the psych next week. I am not in a place of needing hospitalization or calling for help, not that way. I have only been hospitalized once, but not for trying to hurt myself, but close to it.
I went back to read what I wrote when I had the Manic Depression and wrote about it in this blog. If you’re interested, Search: Bipolar Diary and all the posts will come up. I wrote some good shit about what was going on. The published dates are 2018, but the Mania was in 2016. Blessedly, I wrote dates and times on the posts. I must have re-posted for some reason along the way. Who knows why.
“A crazy hallucination I had the other day was seeing my pillow breathing. Yes, I know… ridiculous, but I stared at it as it inhaled and exhaled for the entire 5-minutes I watched. I blinked, shook my head, told myself there was no way in hell that was real, yet the pillow kept inflating and deflating, slowly, as if it was breathing. I glance over a lot to see if it’s going for a repeat performance. Nothing so far.”
I also wrote:
“I have the usual roaches and now some flying bats, but those are pretty yawn-inspiring since they’ve been around so long now. It’s the floating toilet paper roll, the pens, my Blistex lip balm… things that are here in my room, in my real life, just appearing, mid-air… there… and then fleetingly gone again. My food shifts next to me. I “see” music coming out of the speaker. The movements around the room are near-constant. (The book next to me is shuffling the pages as I write this.)”
My psychiatrist, whom I adore, was great, totally understanding where I have been. I did tell him about the suicidal thoughts, said the standard line “I do not have a plan to kill myself and promise I will not” to quell any concerns he might have.
I forgot to mention in the last post that all my hallucinations have vanished. ALL of them. I cannot remember a time in 2 decades that I have not had at least one hallucination going on, usually olfactory. My world has quieted… and it is disconcertingly odd.
I was prescribed Paxil, 20 mg a day and see the doc again in 2 weeks to see if we up it or not. I also lowered the Cymbalta from 90 mg a day to 60 mg a day for a week, then down to 30 mg after that. Interestingly, I have never taken Paxil in all these decades with Depression and Bipolar Disorder.
Dr. Google revealed that Paxil can bring on hypomania, mania, insomnia, agitation and more. I read those side effects and thought, “Bring it on!”
It takes 2-3 weeks to really begin working in earnest and then another few weeks to settle into the system. Crossing my fingers things get better fast. I miss writing!
The last 2 weeks have sucked even worse than when I wrote on July 13, 2017. Tears. Tears. Never-ending tears. The suicidal ideation is coming more often and is more vivid than when I started the Paxil. And the damn hallucinations are back.
Almost all of my time is in bed, either curled in pain (another post), staring at the ceiling or sleeping. I leave I Love Lucy on in the background. Sometimes Friends. I’m listening to Mists of Avalon (a book I love), but when I listen in bed, I fall right to sleep. I’ve replayed Chapter 6 four times already.
An Odd Sorta Depression
When looking for images about depression lying, I came across several pieces like this one below:
Not sure if I’m just more familiar with my depression than when I was younger or if it has really shifted, but I do not hear the lies the girl in the image does… nothing negative about my body, how alone I am in the world, how fat/ugly/sick I am. I did when I was younger, but not anymore.
I just feel sad. An overwhelming sadness. A pall of melancholia that separates me from the rest of you. I cannot even touch what I am sad about except for the endless distress I have about our country because of 45. But this joylessness is deeper than the fear-for-our-lives kind. I feel like I’m under the thick glass of my Nana’s cake pedestal, so close to others, but unable to penetrate the barrier of dreariness to make a connection.
The psych doc upped the Paxil to 30mg after 2 weeks on 20mg. He said he still might have to increase it when I see him in 2 weeks. For fuck’s sake, can’t this stuff take effect already? I hate this waiting part.
I have weaned off the Cymbalta. Is that the reason for this huge dip? Who knows anymore. He wanted to increase my Risperdal, but I refused; the eating is out of control with more Risperdal… can’t abide by that.
An aside: I despise the new packaging that seems to be taking over the medication world. I am not stupid, can follow directions, but they are incredibly difficult for me to get into. I’ve asked the Pharmacy to open them for me and then I rip the inner blister pack out, throwing the outer box away. If you haven’t see them, let me introduce you.
I’ve had lots of suicidal thoughts. A friend stayed with me one night when they were especially bad, reminding me every few minutes that Depression is a Liar. Hearing that, knowing it for certain, is what kept (keeps) me going. Hearing that so-and-so loves me doesn’t do much for my mindset because I rationalize that away easily. Depression Lies, however, works wonders.
The thoughts of suicide are so enticing. They call to me seductively as if they were sirens on the ocean’s rocks.
“A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. People who take their lives don’t want to die—they just want to stop hurting.”
When I had my first serious clinical depression in my late teens, I didn’t understand the “wanting the pain to stop” aspect and teetered really close to the edge of death.
As I got older and had some decent therapy, I was able to verbalize the inner turmoil and excruciating emotional pain that was drawing me towards dying. Understanding that I didn’t really want to die, but just to stop hurting… a pain that went so deep as to injure my soul… I was able to cling to those brief seconds of “medication will help remove the pain… hang on a little bit longer.”
Medication and therapy have not failed me yet.
Work has been nearly impossible the way I feel. I can do one call, then need 2 hours off to regroup. The calls are easy, mostly with regulars, but the energy expenditure exhausts me. Even writing this post has taken 4 days so far. Ugh. I need to be able to work!
Okay, I need to get this out to you all. It is not a cry for help, I promise. I will not hurt myself, have no plans to. It’s just those random thoughts that flow through my mind… sometimes like heavy cinder blocks and others like wafting vapors. As long as they continue moving on the conveyor belt, I think I’m okay and headed towards healing.
After my Bipolar Diary: Depression Deepenspost, I had several people tell me to call my psychiatrist immediately. I thought I could white knuckle it for another week, but others saw what I couldn’t. I trust those closest to me and picked up the phone, getting pushed into a non-existent spot in his schedule the next day. Wednesday, August 2, 2017.
The crying had been keeping me from functioning and did not abate while in his office.
I told him about the suicidal ideation increasing… then added the obligatory, “But I have no plans to hurt myself, am not stockpiling meds and promise to call 911 if I do find myself getting too close.” He replied, “I understand how frightening they (the thoughts) can be, even when you aren’t consciously creating them.” I breathed a sigh of relief that he seemed to understand.
I’ve had at least 8 different psychiatrists in 30 years and this one is one of the top 2. He listens to me, takes my preferences seriously like refusing the Risperdal increase and is infinitely patient with my continued distress.
I really am so blessed to have such a kind (and gifted) doctor. I know that is rare and how privileged I am to be able to receive quality medical and psychiatric care.
I OWE MY AWESOME CARE TO THE ACA/OBAMACARE INSURANCE I HAVE.
I would not be alive without it.
Medication Change… Again
I continued crying while he pondered, looking at his computer, typing some, then thinking again.
He found a medication I had not tried before… Latuda… which I’ve since read is used specifically for bipolar depression. Yes, yes… it does come with a laundry list of side effects, but I’m ignoring them, listening to my body instead.
I know it takes at least 2 weeks (in my body) to 6 weeks to feel the full effect of psych meds, but when I got home from the appointment, I took my first pill. Then the next morning, I took the second. (It is taken once a day.)
Whether placebo or really working that fast, I did not cry until late evening the next day. I didn’t cry the next night, either. And the ideation has slowed, the thoughts feeling more “transparent,” fewer hard imaginings. The images had been like mosquito bites, begging to be scratched. (Not sure I explained that clearly… I’m having a terrible time writing this, pardon spelling and grammar errors, please.)
August 6, 2017
I’m feeling better still. The doc told me that if I was feeling too sedated, to drop the Risperdal, which I did on day 3 after starting the Latuda. I’ve been on Risperdal since 1995, so it is a major thought process to not take it before bed. I do feel less sedated (I described it like someone spiked my drink), but there’s a lot more room for not dropping into a slumber at any given moment.
Let me get this out so those who are following along know how I am doing. Thanks for you care and attention, my dear friends. Thank you for your love.
I’d thought I’d come to a place of balance. I was still having hallucinations, mostly visual, some auditory andtactile, but those not so often. Even though the hallucinations have continued, I told the Psychiatrist I did not want to take moreRisperdalto try and make them go away. The short time I was on the increased amount (double what I am on now), I gained 30 (fucking) pounds in 6 weeks. As soon as we halved it, I stopped eating like an insatiable animal, and have now lost 10 of those 30 pounds. I told him I’d just suck up dealing with the hallucinations.
However, there does come a tipping point between what I can live with and seeing much of my room floating around as if I was in space.
What’s Going On?
I cannot pinpoint why they are getting bigger, more bizarre and more aggressive. My sleep is weird, but I am sleeping. I’m in an inordinate amount of pain, but that isn’t too new… I had my gallbladder removed on February 2 and have had a series of infection complications since. I’ve got other pain, but can usually meditate to work through it. (I have Trazadone if I need help sleeping, but have only taken that a couple of time.)
A crazy hallucination I had the other day was seeing my pillow breathing. Yes, I know… ridiculous, but I stared at it as it inhaled and exhaled for the entire 5-minutes I watched. I blinked, shook my head, told myself there was no way in hell that was real, yet the pillow kept inflating and deflating, slowly, as if it was breathing. I glance over a lot to see if it’s going for a repeat performance. Nothing so far.
I have the usual roaches and now some flying bats, but those are pretty yawn-inspiring since they’ve been around so long now. It’s the floating toilet paper roll, the pens, my Blistex lip balm… things that are here in my room, in my real life, just appearing, mid-air… there… and then fleetingly gone again. My food shifts next to me. I “see” music coming out of the speaker. The movements around the room are near-constant. (The book next to me is shuffling the pages as I write this.)
I try to drive infrequently and only for less than a mile or two because it is frightening to not know if that box flying through the air is an illusion or really fell off that truck up there. I am terrified when I pass bus stops because people are so close to the edge, they slide over into the road sometimes, sliding back just as I get ready to veer away from hitting them. I do everything in my power to never drive during school drop-off or pick-up, the amount of busy-ness in the roads confuse me terribly. Don’t even get me started on mailboxes.
I am tapped periodically. No one is here to tap me. It’s nothing. I feel things crawling on me a lot. My room is clean! There are no bugs to crawl on me. No fleas, no gnats. Nothing. Yet I could swear there was a spider crawling up my leg or on my arm. Even when I am looking right at my skin, seeing with my eyes that it isn’t there, it is there… I just cannot see it is all. (Talk about a mind fuck!)
I have these the least at the moment. Just some occasional whispers. Nothing telling me to do anything, I don’t get those kinds. I just get ominous whispers, just out of hearing range… my name whispered a lot.
Writing all that down, I see I really might need to just up the Risperdal to curb some of this extraneous activity in my brain. I am crying writing this, fearful of gaining more weight. (I gained 80 pounds in 3 months when I started the Risperdal 13 years ago.) I know there are other meds I can try, but I get Tardive Dyskinesia so easily… and have it already from the Wellbutrin… I am so wary of changing from meds I know work.