Bipolar Mania Fading Away

I joined MoodTracker this morning and have been inputting my meds and moods (thank goodness for writing things in the blog!). I had no idea I was struggling for so long. I’d been “productive” for probably 6 weeks before I started writing the distress on these pages, but had no idea, until writing it down just how long I have been trying to find balance.

Now I feel useless. I cannot concentrate… or stay awake… long enough to work. I am irritable as shit. Hair-trigger anger. I need to work so bad… the pay period ends tomorrow… but I cannot keep 2 thoughts together long enough to take even a 15-minute call.

brave-ugh2

And as if the mental crap wasn’t enough, the pain in my upper right abdomen. Fuck. I am tired of hurting.

What to Do Instead of Work…

… or read or watch TV or watch a movie or clean anything or focus for more than 2 minutes at a time?

The only thing I have found is listening to Disney music.

Disney is as much in my blood as my Dad’s Cuban heritage is.

mulan2

Reflection

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

Gonna go nap.

For the 3rd time today. After 7 hours last night.

This is some fucked up shit, too.

Bipolar Mania: Mere Vapors Left

I just want to cry.

I am sleeping 12-15 hours a day. Deep, deep sleep that leaves me groggy. I have not taken a Trazodone to sleep for 4 days now, just the Risperdal. I also re-added the Cymbalta and Wellbutrin (that was in the plan) to see if that would help me be more awake.

drown

While I don’t feel like I have fallen into a depression, per se, I feel like this drawing… somewhat submerged… when, a few days ago, I was a colorful bird zipping and zooming over the meadow.

My body hurts so bad again. It was glorious to not feel pain for a few weeks. I am back to my plodding productivity cycle.

It feels like I am waving good-bye to a beloved friend who doesn’t have the Internet with which to keep in touch.

Intellectually, I know it is right to send the Mania on its way… all I have to do is read the past posts to see how terrifying the hallucinations were… which do remain, but on a physically smaller scale.

I am left with needing to sleep many hours a day, not being productive, in pain, have zero desire for sex and still having a completely scrambled brain that makes work almost impossible.

Will I find equilibrium?

sigh

tree

Bipolar Mania: Rollercoaster Crap Now

10/7/17, 3:32pm

The hurricane was a complete bust. Whatever.

I, on the other hand, have been an up-down-up-down-sideways crazy person.

California Screamin Roller Coaster
California Screamin’ – Disney California Adventure (downward spiral)

Elusive Balance

For fuck’s sake already.

I am really trying to be patient waiting for the meds and Manic cycle to even out, but in the meantime, my poor friends. Gads. They are bearing the brunt of my bizarre behavior. Giddy happy (said in a sing-song voice) one minute, then dark and brooding the next ( almost whispered in ominous bass tones). How they cope with my craziness is beyond me, but goddess love them, they are still hanging around. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they just skittered away, blocking me from their lives forevermore. Yet, they remain.

I have been up and down (har) with sleep. I will be awake for 23 hours, then sleep for 5. I took a 2-hour nap yesterday, without meds, and then was up another 20 hours, taking meds to get myself to sleep at 5am this morning. I was back up at 8am. Probably not enough sleep, but I am completely energized. (Or manic, however you want to say it.)

Hypomanic Tilt

funwheelswingin
Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Disney California Adventure – note the swinging gondolas (they sent me and my girls into sheer panic the time we rode them)

I’ve considered writing out a schedule, but now I think I am teetering on that Hypomanic State where it feels “normal”… not psychotic UP and not burying your soul down. I am in that so so good, without nasty hallucinations, pero con bastante energía… place.

I am singing again. (Still badly.)

Right this moment, Disney’s Broadway Lion King Soundtrack.

Singing LOUD.

lionking
Disney’s Broadway Lion King Musical

from “Shadowland

And where the journey may lead you

Let this prayer be your guide

Though it may take you so far away

Always remember your pride

I know some believe (and it is confirmed by Dr. Google) that Hypomania only occurs with Bipolar 2, but I will beg to differ. Over the years, I’ve had several episodes of Hypomania that created reams of articles and posts.

Where I am at the moment is a-WAKE, feeling positive. The hallucinations are on the periphery (not literally)… not terrifying, but not flowery, either. I can pretty much brush anything I see or feel aside… inconsequential gnats.

My written words are flowing easily. I am not spending money I don’t have (an enormous shift from the past 2 months). I have 18 half-finished posts calling my name; I want to do all of them at once.

And then there is talking to clients. I am still too speedy with them, talking over them, a huge no-no in phone sex work. My kids could even hear the difference when they called last night before the hurricane.

Boo Hoo’s

Talking to my kids and former partner Zack, I sobbed through the calls, acting like the hurricane was a freakin’ tornado about to take me from all of them. The tears come and go randomly. Have for 4 days now.

I know the goal is balance and that will probably come with a more regulated schedule.

I am just not ready yet. I don’t want to slow things down. Not yet. I feel too good.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

10/7/16, 5:27pm

Bipolar Mania: I Slept 7 Hours…

… in a row!

10/5/16, 6:14am

Sleep: Not Over-Rated

I cannot remember the last time I slept 7 hours in a row. Well, I am on Lasix for the swelling from the Risperdal, so had to pee twice (and almost didn’t make it to the toilet I was so deep in sleep!), but fell right to sleep again, which is also weird for me.

I’ve been up since 4am and no hallucinations so far. Very odd. Nice, but odd.

tendersleep

Hallucinations’ Origins

As I have said several times, I have not researched the Mania stuff because I want to experience it instead of anticipating what might come next. But the bizarre nature of the two hallucinations where I was kicked & grabbed scared me so much I had to ask the Psych where the heck those came from. (I still have not researched, not sure I want to yet.)

He explained that the mind in Mania is like a record on 78 (fast, for you youngsters). Skipping grooves randomly. The grooves being fears & memories. Usually scary memories.

Fun times.

How the brain knows to tap only into the shit thoughts is beyond me, but it seems to do that.

My Hallucinations’ Origins

My Fears: Rats & roaches. HATE them both. Intensely. I sat on a rat and killed it once. (Through a couch cushion, but still.) And roaches are fucking everywhere in Florida. It was delightful to not have them in San Diego, but gads, trying to avoid them here is amazingly difficult. (I am meticulous in my room, so if there is even one crawling under the door… it is DEAD.)

Memories: I am open about having been raped (at 18) and molested as a child. When I told the doc about the aggressive hallucinations, he asked me what I had been discussing in therapy lately. I had no idea why he was asking, but told him we were working on trans issues with my former partner Zack… and we’d talked about when I had a pretty long discussion about rape one night with someone else recently. He said, “That would be it.” I was confused and he said the mind grabs those scary thoughts and memories and “acts them out.” I was pretty floored and have thought about it a lot since yesterday.

Where to Go From Here

I am tempted to look the mechanism up, but am still wanting to just stay in the moment until the whole episode is past.

Hurricane Matthew is on its way, so I am out to Costco this morning, then back to work (been on since 4am; no calls yet) afterwards. Hope I get lots of calls today.

I might even take a nap! How wild would that be?

10/5/16, 8:10am

Bipolar Mania: Goal – SLEEP

10/4/16, 9:56am

Just back from the Psych… who would make quite a wonderful midwife or doula because of his soft voice and gentle demeanor.

curlup

Med Changes

  1. He was fine with the Risperdal at 4 mg (thank goodness!)
  2. Remove Cymbalta until sleep issues are resolved
  3. Remove Wellbutrin until sleep issues are resolved
  4. Add Trazodone, 50-400 mg (start at 100 mg)

I cannot write anymore right now. (will put med links in later)

Meds taken, going to bed.

Thanks all for your wonderful thoughts and words of encouragement.

10/4/16, 10:10am

 

Bipolar Mania: Precariously Weird

10/3/16, 5:24pm

Yesterday was so awesome. Filled with energy and no hallucinations. I took two short naps, but didn’t take my Risperdal until 2am because I’d moved into a new day without seeing it happen and I was still wicked high on energy.

thowingupcolor

From Awesome to Terrifying

Well, I did have a few images/tactile sensations trying to invade around 8pm.

After I took the 4mg Risperdal at 2am, I was making my bed after having done the laundry during my frenzy and when I bent over to put the sheet on the back corner, some-one/thing fucking kicked me onto the bed. I thought I was being robbed! I fell and whirled around and nothing was there. I rubbed my ass it hurt so much. I started crying, got back up, put the sheet on and moved to grab the pillows off my chair and some-one/thing grabbed my upper arm; I could feel the fingers digging in. No one/thing was here. These were, by far, the most aggressive hallucinations I’d ever felt. Scared the bejeezus out of me. I put Bear McCreary’s Outlander music on and quickly jumped into bed and under the covers. I breathed with Raya Yarbrough as she sang the Skye Boat Song and eventually fell asleep.

boleman-herring
artist: Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

Today Sucked

10/3/16, 7:29pm

Today, however, has been entirely different than the delightful highs of yesterday.

I seem to have an emotional mechanism… a gauge, if you will… that can instantly detect where my emotions are at any given time. Today I woke up feeling… sad? Dejected? Off?… I sighed knowing today was going to be tough. And it has been.

I have struggled to type. Normal words come out spelled as a homophone of themselves. “Brake” comes out “break”… “flee,” “flea.” Frustrating as crap having to go back and edit over and over… not something I often have to do.

I did take calls, but could feel that too-fast mind on overdrive and had to really harness the energy so I didn’t talk over clients. One caller in particular spoke at a gentle pace and I could feel myself tromp tromp tromping on some of his words (and I could feel his frustration as well), so I was really strong with my voice and stopped doing it. The call went smoother and he was very happy in the end. (It was less than 15 minutes long, so I only had to control myself for a mere few minutes.)

findbalance

10/3/16, 8:28pm

I’m overwhelmed and need to lay down. Do I take my meds and sleep? Do I just rest for awhile? I cannot even make a simple decision like: Should I drink water or Diet Coke. (No comments from the peanut gallery with your opinions!) Back in awhile.

10/3/16, 9:24pm

I went and cried in bed thinking about today.

As the sun went down, I began to break apart more. Tears, laughter, morose, frustration. A couple of the guys annoyed the fuck out of me so I decided, with check-in, that I was a tad over-reacting and best email with them in the morning instead of tonight. Apparently I shouldn’t have screamed my head off in anger (in my room) when I was called “Sweetheart” in an email.

Oh, and the news. I am not supposed to watch or read the news. I am even trying to stay out of Facebook a lot so I don’t get dragged down by the horrible things going on. But I caught a whiff of the tragedy (understatement) in Aleppo and went to read what was happening. I have barely stopped crying since. And then all the Trump shit? It’s just too much. Too, too much.

Reaching Out for Help (Again)

brokenbrainhug

When I had my second “break-down”  in 1998, my dear friend who introduced me to the Internet (on New Year’s Eve 1994), along with my two lovers at the time, took me to the doctor where I was diagnosed (finally) with Bipolar Disorder 1 and put on a cocktail of meds that began my life of being medicated to keep me sane.

So tonight, as I felt my mind was disintegrating, I called my friend who understands in more ways than most in my life. She listened as I explained what was going on (hallucinations, physically shaking with electric energy and occasional jolts, crying, laughing, anger, despair) and she helped me decide to see the doctor again tomorrow instead of next week. No suicidal ideation at all, but the feeling like my mind is going to spill out of my ears onto the floor is so enormous, I am sorely tempted to go to the hospital, but know all they would do would be put me in and I don’t want that. (For me, the hospital represents  HELP!… a long-ingrained midwifery belief.)

I am just going to watch something inane and work on my Picture Files.

I promised those in my life: NO NEWS & CALL DOC in the morning.

You all heard me!

10/3/16, 9:58pm

Mania: Momentary Respite?

10/2/16, 3:42pm

I took a 45 min nap and slept really well. I have been taking calls and I don’t feel like I am screaming loudly or talking too fast… what is this? Is this the trip down?

spiral_down_by_draken413o

As I said, I haven’t had a manic episode since 1998 and was nearly psychotic then. Not sure if I have been this time… suspect it will be determined in retrospect.

10/2/16, 6:16pm

I took another nap, but just saw my first hallucination of the day.

sigh

I can feel the productivity waning.

I Googled Bipolar Mania Cycle to read what might be happening, but stopped because I think I would rather write and read after the fact instead of anticipating or reacting to something I’ve seen on some Psychology site. So I closed the tab.

My Inner Nautilus

I have this thing about the Nautilus.

spiral2
photographer, Sharon Cummings

When in therapy, it is a common analogy to use the onion to describe the process of “peeling away layers” of experiences and feelings that one comes across over the months & years (and decades!). I find the onion too tearful and have chosen instead the nautilus.

Inside the nautilus are chambers.

A newly hatched nautilus begins life with about four chambers and develops an average of 30 chambers by adulthood.

Humans do that chamber-growth sorta thing, too.

I find the analogy much more appropriate than a stinky onion.

10/2/16, 6:43pm

As I write, I can feel myself feeling more and more weird. The hallucinations are increasing. Shadows… the bugs are beginning (visually)… nothing tactile or auditory yet, but those are coming. I can feel the aura like I did last night.

I want to cry.

It was such a nice day, too.

brokenreach

Mania: Dancing Now!

10/2/16, 8:24am

Well, now that the room is clean… I am a dancing fool! Pretty hilarious at my weight, too.

dancing-dervish-gif

This would be exactly what I feel like right now. Don’t even know how I found the gif, but it is as expressive as I want my words to be.

Much better than the angry or sad person I’ve been for all these days before.

Mania can be so awesome.

10/2/16, 8:30am

A Manic Dervish

10/2/16, 7:12am

I’ve been up since 3am cleaning like a whirling dervish.

whirling-dervishes

Busy Hands Filling Garbage Bags

I have no hallucinations this morning, but am filled with energy. I am a Kon Mari fool, pulling out drawers, yanking out things to throw away, wiping them down with baby wipes. Putting things back in neatly. Moving on to the next. And the next. And next.

I hope when I come down I don’t find I’ve thrown the wrong things out. (I did that once before… threw out a slew of eye make-up… from Sephora, no less. It still stings.)

It feels so good to be full of energy after yesterday’s suck-fest.

whirlturkeydervish

I wonder how long it will last.

whirldervish-gif

And if I will crash afterwards.

10/2/16, 7:27am

 

Not Fit for Human Consumption

10/2/16, 12:36am

This is written all over the place. I should have put times on paragraphs. I will try to do that from now on.

10/1/16, sometime early evening

Today is bad. A terrible struggle. I am in an intense place of self-loathing (as you can see by my previous post). And there was that time (a few hours ago) I screamed at the woman in the Pharmacy line and had to be escorted out of the store.

Ugh.

screaming0

The Family That Ignores One’s Mental Illness

Tomorrow is my sister Amy’s birthday. She died of an overdose to opiates, with a side kick of 4 Fentanyl patches on her side and torso, 5 years ago. My mom was very upset, so I went over to talk about things… including memories. Amy and I had a contentious relationship from day 1… we were 18 months apart. The last years were not pleasant with her, so consoling mom wasn’t an easy task in this frame-of-mind.

My family has barely an inkling of my mental illness. We are a Sweep-Nasty-Things-Under-the-Carpet kind of family. I don’t hide it, but when I say something they don’t want to hear… oops! Gotta get dinner going. Or, did you see that Trump said ?

family

Even though my mom knows I am in a Manic place, she kept telling me to be quiet, don’t talk so loud. My family’s going to Chinese dinner tonight and I was told I had to go, no choice in the matter. “Do it for mom, Barbie!”

When I tried to explain the BP Mania I am having, in many different ways and words, they looked at me blankly. I finally said, “I have horrible diarrhea,” and there was a collective, “OH! Well stay home then!”

rolling eyes

How Do I Function This Way?

i_am_bipolar

10/2/16, 12:45am

I went to go pick up the 1mg Risperdal from the Pharmacy and, waiting in line, a woman annoyed the crap out of me. I have zero clue what set me off, but the next thing I know, I was screaming and a friendly face from behind the counter came out to help me calm down, got my meds for me then she walked me to the car. I was sobbing with shame by then. She hugged me gently and kindly.

I got home and opened the bag and no Risperdal. I thought my head was going to explode. I thought, “Well, I am going to take 4mg again and call him and tell him I am just going to take the 4mg a day and be done with it.”

The past few days, I seem to be doing well during the day, then tumble into the crap hallucination stuff over an hour or so’s time in the late afternoon, so I thought maybe taking 2mg during the day and then 2mg at night might work. I actually think I was far worse today doing that. Now, of course, there is the: what do I do tomorrow? Wait until I collapse in craziness before taking the 4mg? Fuck. This sucks.

Watching Shakespeare in Love for the 800th time. Good non-thinking, not scary movie that is about writing (one of my big three, along with baseball and anachronism), that make perfect movies and books.

Swatting at Hallucinations

4cc1ac2b-ed96-4ced-9865-36ac396bc1e9

Yeah, a (not real) roach jumped from my side table to my arm and I screamed and threw my Ramen in the air.

Fuck hallucinations. Fuck them hard.

hallucinations-fuck-off

Night, all.

10/2/16, 12:56am

Bipolar Mania: An Aura of Distress

It is 9/30/16 at 4:20pm.

I just took the 4mg Risperdal (it’s supposed to be 3 but I haven’t been comfortable leaving the house to get the 1mg ones yet and they are teeny with no scores so I made the executive decision to take 4mg). I am struggling to type correctly, so pardon typos, I will fix them later. I wanted to write, though, to get the feelings down as they were happening. They started… then increase exponentially as the minutes pass.

Part 1 – Hallucination Overload and Part 2 – Bipolar Mania: Recovering share the beginnings of recovering from a (pretty mild, but still terrifying) Manic Episode.

My Unravelingunravel

I had a good day, handled several calls (am a Phone Sex Operator), did the two Tumblrs, was able to write the other blog posts… and now, though.

I am sweating profusely. I have been seeing increasingly ominous hallucinations (shadows, rats and fucking cockroaches) and feeling things crawling on me… and the fucking whispers. (Sorry, the word “fuck” is just appropriate sometimes.)

It is terrifying.

My hands are getting jittery and I am missing the right keys on the keyboard (I am an amazingly fast and accurate typist). Things look weird… Dali-esque. And there is a ghost trail effect going on. Like this kind of (can’t find an exact gif, but this’ll do… losing patience):

this-one

I am glad I took the meds, they should kick in soon (it is now 7:16pm) so I can sleep and they can get back in my system. I am going to call Monday and ask about taking them twice a day so I am not in bed at 7:30pm and up at 3am for the day. Not good for business.

Does This Phenomenon Have a Name?

scream

I call it an aura because it is similar to an aura with migraines (I do not get migraines but everyone in my family does)… the premonition of doom so to speak. All I could find was this one article on an aura of doom with hypomania… doesn’t really fit, though. Anyone have a name for it?

I have Yusuf Islam on tonight… formerly Cat Stevens.

I am going to go lay down and meditate. I do Mindfulness Meditation. Struggling at the moment, that is for sure. But laying still, eyes closed… covers over me… I don’t see or feel as much.

No suicidal ideation at all today.

Light is closing in.

More later.

(And thanks to my new readers! You all are awesome for following along.)

It is 7:30pm

Bipolar Mania: Recovering

I published Hallucination Overload over the last few days and now that I am on medication for the Bipolar Mania, new things have been going on that need to be said.

mindmess-gif

9/30/16, 4:00am

I’m trying so hard to hang on while the Risperdal takes its full effect, but it’s challenging, to say the least.

I took the first proper dose on Wednesday, 9/28/16 and thought I was doing better, but last night sucked bad.

I had a pretty good day, productive, took calls, wrote, but as the day wore on, I fell deeper and deeper into weirdness.

abconfused

I laid down and took my phone with me and texted a friend. I asked him to tell me stories so he shared nice memories from his youth and then a favorite Fantasy story. I laid there weeping, filled with gratitude for his kindness.

While he talked to me, I began crying in earnest. Reason, no reason… who knows. I called Zack, sobbing by that time, and he kindly reminded me of the down that comes after the high.

I felt mad, going from laughing hysterically to chuckling to feeling fine to falling into the hole again. All within the span of an hour.

I was back up to the computer at 6:00pm, but by 7:30pm, I was having horrible hallucinations again, could feel my mind crackling precariously. I tried to hold it together… can even see the struggle to stay coherent in my chat log, but by 7:55pm, I was nearly immobilized by the inner turmoil.

womanptsd

I hastily signed off of work then took my Risperdal, turned on Andreas Vollenweider and crawled into bed to wait for the meds to do their thing: send me to sleep & fix my mind.

Laying there, my mind screamed, amplifying the tumult.

Kill yourself.

Go take the massive amount of pills you have just across the room and end it already.

Suicidal Ideation is some fucked-up shit.

I almost went to the hospital to protect myself, but couldn’t even reach the phone to call Zack again for reassurance. I took it as a sign that I also would not be able to get over there, to my drawer filled with medications, feeling a moment of peace.

I don’t know how long it took, but I stayed in the bed, meditating to Andreas Vollenweider – and finally fell asleep. 8pm was the last I saw the clock.

looking-for-self

Looking for My Self

9/30/16, 6:00am

I woke up feeling better (again) at 3am.

I’m logged into work, doing my Tumblr’ing… and writing all of this out. I hope the good feelings last.

Hallucination Overload

warning_letter

photo-95

From 9/28/16

I began writing this on Tuesday, 9/27/16 about 2am. I had not slept but 90 minutes total since Sunday at midnight. I got on the Risperdal on Wednesday morning, 9/28/16 at noon (still only having slept a total of 90 minutes since Sunday) and an hour later, was asleep until 6pm. I don’t even remember getting into the bed! Anyway, I am so glad I wrote last night and then shared with my friends in Facebook because tapping into that mass of confusion and horrific images is more challenging after medication and sleep. Read on!

From 9/30/16

It is almost 4am writing this. I need to get this post out and the next started regarding finding balance. Pardon if it is a tad disjointed and it doesn’t have a tied-up-neatly ending.


Ever since the Pulse Massacre, I have had a slow downward slide into depression. I haven’t been in a depression for over 2 years. The children of Aleppo, the Syrian War, the horrific killings of black men, women and children… and then the election stands out all on its own… all of these things have added cement blocks on my limbs and are pulling me under the water. I sort of recognized what was happening, but when the Relief Trucks were bombed in Syria and I was inconsolable for over 2 hours, I knew for sure something was wrong.

Initially, I was put back on Risperdal, a medication I was on for 18 years to quell the hallucinations I always carry with me (olfactory mostly, but also visual and auditory), but had been off of for a year  because the hallucinations hadn’t been scary in a couple three years, on Thursday, 9/22/16. The next day, my feet and ankles began swelling, but it didn’t dawn on me that it was the Risperdal until Saturday morning… and of course the office was closed, so I Googled it and it didn’t seem distressing, but was a reportable side effect, so called at 8am on Monday, 9/26/16.

Falling Into Mania

screamingloud

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 in 1998, have only had 2 manic states total (one in 1996, the other in 1998)… still enough to qualify me for the BP 1.

Until right now.

I was thinking I was merely in a hypomanic state, but these fucking hallucinations shift it to a manic episode.

This is part of what I wrote in Facebook last night:

I could use some good thoughts.

Long story, but the doc took me off the Risperdal 2 days ago and I have only slept 1 hour since then. Am extremely manic and am having really scary hallucinations. I don’t see him until Thursday so am white-knuckling it until then. Have considered going to the hospital several times, but keep holding out. I am not suicidal at all… not even really ideation stuff… but the hallucinations and racing mind with jolts of electricity coursing through my body are really not fun at all. I cannot even work because my speech is so rapid, stumbling over thoughts that have no direct connections to each other… and the flares of anger.

shaking head

I am just best left alone in my room until Thursday. I can write, however, and am pumping out post after post for work. Am writing one for my NgW blog about the hallucinations so maybe if I drop the shit on the page, they will leave me alone for awhile. Light and prayers welcome.

Then later, after being asked why I was taken off the medication, I answered:

scary

The Risperdal was making my feet and ankles swell. Called the doc. Nurse called back and said to halve the dose. I was pretty cranky about that because they were already simmering down the hallucinations (auditory, tactile and visual atm).

Then she calls back like 20 min later and says, “He said to go OFF the Risperdal.”

I was like… “uh, why!?!?”

“Because you are having hallucinations.”

I wanted to scream ugly nasty words hurled against women, but just kind of screeched loudly… “THAT IS WHY I AM ON THE MEDICATION IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!”

She said, “Well we can get you in on Thurs at 8:15.”

I was so pissed… still am… and not knowing how much anger is actually appropriate… and mad at myself for…

1) not asking her to go back and fix the stupid comment she made

2) not taking the Risperdal even though he told me to stop.

I get Tardive Dyskinesia really easily with meds I have not used before… and Risperdal and I have an 18-year history. If the feet swelling is dangerous, then fine. If it is just a stupid side effect, I don’t give a crap… GIVE ME THE RISPERDAL. (See! I can’t even control my screaming here and you are are my beloved friends!)

My Beloved Holds Me Tenderly

Later, after talking to my former (30-year) marriage partner Zack  (“My Beloved”) for a really long time, where he listened to me ramble and rant… cry and laugh uncontrollably… talking me down from the ledge of insanity several times… reassuring me that if I wanted or needed to go to the hospital, it would be fine, but if I wasn’t suicidal, they might not even keep me, so try and hang on until the office opened at 8:am… I wrote this:

delirium-tremens

I got really scared awhile ago and called Zack who has the best handle on my mental illness and he was very kind and loving and reminding me the rats and roaches aren’t real. That I can get in my bed if I want to… that those rats prancing on my arms, scaring the fuck out of me and making me jump out of my skin are not real.

I feel like my body has a form of Tourette’s, slapping myself randomly because I know there is a family of roaches on my legs… I can SEE them. I can FEEL them. But I swat and they are not really there. I was watching rats climb onto my bed last night. Blink 3x and they are gone. And shadows. Ugh. They darken my peripheral vision… I turn… and they vanish. And the evil whispers. Just out of my range of comprehension. Except when they call my name in a menacing hoarse whisper. Makes me jump every time.

My wonderful Facebook Friends posted, messaged and texted me:

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THURSDAY.

bpdart

Agitated Waiting Period

I am writing 9/30/16 and ending this post, opening a new one and continuing.

It has been a bizarre few days.

 

Bipolar Diary: Depression Deepens

TWMental

Depression

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.

sigh

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.

edvard-munch
artist: Edvard Munch

An Odd Sorta Depression

When looking for images about depression lying, I came across several pieces like this one below:

depressionwords

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.

cake close

Medication Changes

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.

paxil 30

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.

slidepackgood
“Follow these 3 simple steps,” it says. Push the blister pack all the way in, then press on the “lock release button” on the left . Finally, pull the sliding pack out at the same time as pushing the spot on the left. I wish it was as easy as they make it sound! It’s almost worse that rubbing my head and patting my belly at the same time.

Suicidal Ideation

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.

Depression is a lying bastard

The thoughts of suicide are so enticing. They call to me seductively as if they were sirens on the ocean’s rocks.

sirens1

I try to block them out listening to various albums I have memorized. The Eagles, Carly Simon, Sting (Living Sea), and, of course, Hamilton: An American Musical.

I also try to find positive recovery-from-depression-and-suicidal-thoughts articles and posts online. This is one I go back to over and over:

Suicide Prevention: How to Help Someone who is Suicidal and Save a Life

“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.

Working/Not Working

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.

trudging along

Thanks for listening

depress help
Always reaching for help.

Bipolar Diary: Incremental Shift

TWMental

Loving Nudge

After my Bipolar Diary: Depression Deepens post, 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.

Office Visit

The crying had been keeping me from functioning and did not abate while in his office.

cry

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.

soren dreier
artist: Soren Dreier

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.

aca-bumper-sticker

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.)

634020302

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.

free getting
artist: Zenos Frudakis

Bipolar Diary: Zero Gravity Hallucinations

I’d thought I’d come to a place of balance. I was still having hallucinations, mostly visual, some auditory and tactile, but those not so often. Even though the hallucinations have continued, I told the Psychiatrist I did not want to take more Risperdal to 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.

pilbalance bw
Balance – dance troupe, Pilobolus

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.)

Visual

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.

l_48a68e20-7063-11e1-b4bd-1d74b1b00004

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.)

funky apple gif

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.

Tactile

tactile-and-visual-hallucinations

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!)

Auditory

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.

shiver

Resolution

Klimt
artist, Gustav Klimt

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.

Fuck, this is confusing sometimes.

Thanks for listening.