Spatula

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I really like old school Maroon 5 right now. Sometimes you just need to sing into a spatula, what can I say. I HAVE A TENDENCY OF GETTING VERY PHYSICAL, SO WATCH YOUR STEP BECAUSE IF I DO YOU’LL NEED A MIRACLE. bitches.

I’m going to carve pumpkins tonight. Emily of RobbandEmily is hosting and Amber and Nicole are coming. I’m excited about this, or trying to be, even though the dollar store sold out of those pumpkin carving sets like people have children or something.

Things are going pretty alright. The apartment is pretty clean pretty regularly, I enjoy that. I’m stop gapping my wellbutrin because my psychiatrist forgot to call in the prescription refill, also that shit is expensive, not looking forward to having to pay for that. The chapter reading and shit is going along ok for school, though I have been avoiding my thesis like it is the plague only I’d probably enjoy the plague more. Angie and I met about it, in a bar, like we do, and hopefully.. that will get better.

I sort of forgot to plan what to carve on my pumpkin. whoops.

I can’t tell if I’m happier or hypomanic, probably the latter, and you know what? Dont give a shit, son.

paralyzed

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it’s 3 am. I’ve stopped bothering to try to be on a normal schedule.

I haven’t written anything in awhile; I feel like I have nothing to say. The weeks have been up and down and a little topsy turvy. I had trouble leaving the apartment for awhile, I went to my parents for awhile. I made it to Nocturne (the art festival) and to my friend Nicole’s birthday party. I started some class work. I stared blankly at my thesis. I had a panic attack. I cried. I’m strongly considering taking the fail just to avoid having to go through the pages of text that now only remind me of being in hysterical, psychotic disrepair, and being raped. Sadly, in this context, those are actually two separate and concretely different events.

I can’t look at it. I have to write maybe 5 pages. I have already written the other 150. I have already defended it in front of the department I already went to the national conference and won a national award. It is good research. No one has done it before. It is incredibly publishable and Angie has been pushing me to edit it down for publication submission since we were half way through the ethics debacle. I worked hard. I worked so, so, so hard on this thing. I got threatened with the criminal code. I wrote a 200 page rebuttal. I fought an ethics board and won. I did the work, I know the research. I did this. I did it. I did it better than everyone else and I cant write five damn pages because looking at it makes me panic so bad I sob in public.

It has nothing to do with my thesis. My thesis is good. My thesis is a master’s level thesis. Its the bull shit. its the association of being broken and unable to cope. Its the memory of staring at my computer screen for hours, fingers aching to make minor edits while having a mixed episode. It the sudden realization that the words I was typing didn’t make sense next to one another, it’s that moment where reality struck just long enough to call a crisis line. It’s the unabashed truth that that I went crazy in ways I’m not ready to deal with yet.

I’ve got 10 days to have this thesis finished or I fail it. I’ve gone through all the medical deferrals they can give me. This is it. How do you put that all aside and write? Why cant I put that all aside and write?

I shouldn’t be here yet. I’m not ready to be here yet.

scattered

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I’m having trouble leaving the house.

Richard’s band is down from Cape Breton and they are playing a show and I really wanted to go…. but I didn’t know who to ask and the last few times I’ve tried crowds it’s been a disaster so I just stayed home and watched Netflix. More and more things are getting like that. I want to go to the gym but then people are near me and I need to leave. I have a hard time in grocery stores. It’s Nicole’s birthday this weekend and I want to go, she’s one of my best friends, but I don’t know if I’ll make it. I might have to go back to my parents.

I feel really trapped. Doing absolutely nothing is really limiting (how’s that for a sentence?)… I’ve never had this much free time in my life and yet I can’t do anything productive with it. Just sitting here wheels spinning.

I had therapy today… which is nice because it’s on skype so I dont have to leave my house so I actually go to therapy. I like my therapist a lot, but it’s weird; I feel too many things at once and all I have is silence. I’m supposed to do 4 things:

1. Go to a campus library and try to start working on my medical deferrals. Even if I get nothing done I’m supposed to try for a couple hours because eventually natural habits will override the anxiety and I will just get some work done. (Also its midterm season and I love libraries during exam week- I’m abnormal and thrive on other peoples stress.)

2. Stop thinking about things that have to get done anytime further ahead than two weeks from now. (I’ve been supposed to be doing this for like 3 months; it’s not going well.)

3. Put on some fucking sneakers and go outside. (I walked to the grocery store. I wore shitty flats and my feet bled.)

4. Dont kill myself without calling first. (I promise this every week; I’ve only had to invoke it twice so far.)

So.. there’s that. Thats basically all of my life in 4 sentences, if you pick up the ‘stop using cleaning as a coping mechanism’ undertones.

I’m going out for sushi with my mother and sister-in-law tomorrow, because even if all my friends gave up my family is sticking it out with the best of them. I’m not up for public transport (dirt. people. crowds. dirt.) so my mom is driving into get me.

I just. I don’t know. I feel vacant. It’s like I can tell where I used to be but somethings happened. Something fell apart, or asleep and I can’t wake it up. I know things are getting a lot better, reasonably. I’m not pacing or rearranging the kitchen or coming home with $200 worth of tea or looking up statistics of the best ways to kill myself now. I havent stabbed the tips of knives into my skin and spun them around for awhile. I’m allowed to be alone. The bipolar symptoms are over. Now I’m just anxious anxious anxious and that’s going to spiral me right back down to drowning in lakes. I can’t get ahold of things.

One of my old psychiatrists told me I could tell the difference between hypomania and anxiety by the feeling of being run by a machine. The motor means I’m anxious. I feel like I’m powering off a cliff.

bits and pieces

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It was thanksgiving on the weekend. I thought a lot about writing one of those sappy posts about the things I’m thankful for like all the kids do in facebook status updates these days but I realized, I sort of hate when people glaze over things (I’m so thankful for my friends and family xoxo!!), so I probably shouldn’t do it. It takes the sentiment and the legitimacy out of the whole thing when you use blanket statements. So instead, I’m going to try to write some posts about the good things in the future, the things and people I’m thankful for. I think it will help with all the shitty moods I’ve been having.

I’ve been having a really off day. People commented. I gained 5 pounds. I miss school. I miss academia and studying for my GREs and midterms and being around a giant mass of people all the time. I miss feeling ok in a giant mass of people all of the time. Anxiety is a strange form of torture for an extrovert.

I’ve come to the conclusion coherent, cohesive writing is beyond my current capabilities so I’m just going to say some things I’ve been thinking about instead.

-I’m on a dating site. I’m really not sure why. On the one hand I have this deep seeded idea I will be alone forever and I am completely unlovable and fucked up and a burden to everyone, but on the other hand, all these men seem to be still interested despite the fat crazy person I am. And I’m lonely, since I do nothing all the time now, and I’m an extrovert, and I miss being around people, and I want to want to do things. Only I can’t meet strangers right now, I’m a mess. Even when I’m not a mess I’m not ready to dress up and try and look pretty and worry about how much uglier I am in person than in my photos and yadda yadda yadda. I’m pretty sure if I were a healthier, less anxious person, I wouldn’t be single. I’d probably date this cute guy who also loves In Flames or this research scientist who works in a hospital that is in every reasonable way, a person I should want to date. But instead I swim. and clean. and eat.

-I cleaned the washroom today. This is one of those things normal people do so it’s hard to talk about it like a thing, but it’s one of the things I do when I’m a mess. Not in the normal, give things a good once over because washrooms should be clean way, but in the using bleach and q-tips to clean ever square inch of the grout by hand because otherwise things will be dirty and the place where you get clean needs to be the purest form of clean otherwise you are always dirty I should spend 4 hours cleaning this 7×4 foot room and thats probably not enough and i’m going to fail and everyone will know I’m filthy and unworthy sort of way. Anyway. The point is, I did it. I spent a couple hours at it and washed the tiles individually by hand and scrubbed out the grout and cleaned the taps and all that. No q-tips. No bleach. It doesn’t quite feel clean but I know it is. Reasonably. I need to keep this shit under control, I can feel it spiralling.

-I need to get my school shit straightened out. Badly. I’m freaking out about it more and more everyday, and the deadline is getting closer but I don’t feel like its a good idea to look at it yet. I don’t know what to do.

-I genuinely miss my old co-workers. I’m friends-ish with my old boss and I think we will hang out, I find him strangely calming. Peaceful, somehow. I never feel judged when I’m near him, which is weird since he was my boss and all. I’m incredibly thankful for them.

-Brandon has been making a serious effort to keep the apartment tidy since I flipped out about the dirt at the fair. Lost my shit about being dirty in front of people for the first time; normally thats a mental conversation and outward panic attack we blame on crowds or something. I’m appreciative of the effort.

-I’m headed to a movie tonight with my sister, brother in law and elli. I’m hoping I’ve improved enough that I can follow the plot this time, since last time I couldn’t make it through wolverine, and all. Baby steps.

That’s it. Thoughts and things and more soon.

dirty

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i’ve had plans for like a week to go to the fair with a bunch of friends. i was excited about it even though its expensive as shit and im broke. long story short: it did not go well. kale had to drive me home because i was locked up and hyperventilating and crying in the corner.

theres this thing that happens to me when i’m at a sustained level of anxiety about life: i become horribly uncomfortable around things i cant control, especially large groups on animals or nature where all i can think about is all the animals living in the things beneath my feet. in this case there were livestock shows. theyre dirty and touching me and theres crowds and kids and shit everywhere and germs. everything is covered in germs and everything is so dirty and then i just cant handle it. im not entirely sure how this works given i used to (read: when i was 9) have this engrained notion that i was contaminated and i was contaminating everything i came in contact with… i spent hours scrubbing things other people would touch. now theres something about becoming contaminated, only not. more like.. just this need to be clean. scrubbed clean. its making being in my apartment with my messy roommate very difficult.

i know who my friends are out of the group of people i hang out with; its about half of them. i’m fairly certain the others sort of cringe when i show up places now because it doesnt go well. though usually i dont drag others away with me… i just cab away suddenly.

i came home and immediately showered. i scrubbed my skin so hard i feel like im missing layers of it. cleaned under my nails, washed my hair.
i feel dirty. anxious. its hard to explain.

this is when i used to scrub the shower with qtips.

im not supposed to do that.

i feel heavy, dirty, and broken today. its hard to want to be awake.

home.

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I’ve spent the last few weeks at my parents house. I have a good family. They helped me start to get better. I came back to my apartment yesterday. I feel.. iffy about it.

The NDP got supremely beaten in the provincial election today, which is sad. I think it speaks to the number of uninformed voters (everyone just hates Dexter, but they haven’t really looked into the issues… the liberals reduced power rate stance is completely dependent of something they have no control over etc. not that people wouldn’t have voted liberal anyway, but a lot of NDP votes flipped based on stupid reasoning) but it sucks none the less.

I gave up on trying to be friends with Dale. I tried really hard but he’s not giving back. It’s not worth it right now.

I just feel.. I don’t know. Anxious I suppose. I feel like I’m going to cry but I’m not entirely sure why. I went to trivia tonight… it was ok.
My mom bought me new sheets that make my bed look really nice and I really like them. Bed is nice.

I’ve been gone for so long I hadn’t checked the mail in weeks. I came home to a bracelet mailed form my brother in the states that says ‘just keep swimming’ on it… like Finding Nemo. It was a really nice gesture. My family is really good. I wish I could get better faster.

It’s really late at night or I;d call my parents. I dunno. I know I need to be here and this was the next step and all but I feel.. scared. Or lost. Or something.

I’m filling some of the time, but I need more real life people. I don’t know what to do about that. I feel alone.

swing low

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I’ve been on medical leave from life for awhile. A long while. Entering month number 3 here, in fact, though now I’m not so much on medical leave as on having an excuse to not look for a job or get on track with school. Here’s the thing about medical leave… it doesn’t end when your symptoms stop being all consuming forces that noticeably dictate your entire life. Weird right? I’m not sure why I continually feel like if I have ever felt worse, then I must be better. It’s becoming problematic.

I’ve got about a week under my belt of being coherent and relatively functional (in that I dress myself and eat things on a regular basis), meaning its been about 7 days since being awake was too much of a task in and of itself, about 10 since I was actively considering the best method to drown myself, and about 45 since the hysterical disrepair.

I’ve never much related to how people talk about bipolar disorder before. I am very disconnected from my emotional experience most of the time… or maybe not disconnected but in a state of blatant disregard for emotions and their influence… either way this whole ‘mood swing’ business seemed rather false. Big picture I can look backwards and characterize 3 month chunks as generally pretty shit or perhaps a little too ‘good’, but this whole notion of ‘swinging’ felt like other peoples problems.

And then I started looking at how I was describing what I was going through to other people: a pendulum, where I’m supposed to be in the resting centre position, and with way too far up on being swings to the left and way too far down being swings to the right. Even in my very first speech I described the difference in experience of emotion as other people being like boulders: heavy; it took something strong and forceful to push them into feeling something one way or the other. I described myself as one of those rubber balls attached to a paddle.

Apparently mood swings are my problem.

That’s weird.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t feel like I go up or down. I feel like I go left and right. I don’t feel like one is better than the other; I see them both as interference. Which makes me wonder if I’ve ever really ben manic because everyone else seems to have fond memories and all I’ve got are some weird memory gaps, hysterical anxiety, and a lot of shoes.

I feel like being so disconnected (or whatever you want to call it) from my emotions may be the reason I don’t relate to other peoples descriptions of being bipolar. I don’t recognize these periods of elation. Most of the time, I don’t even recognize these periods of morose despair. Everything seems normal to me. Everything feels like something to work through.

Therapy has been working on that, my compulsive need to push through things and get to the end, perfectly, come hell or high water. I recognize this is one of those things I need to challenge… despite appearances it’s not overly conducive to leading a fully functional life. Turns out, just because you can do something doesnt mean you get the same enjoyment or rewards out of completing it as someone who didn’t murder themselves to get there. But I’m terrified of losing that. It’s what makes me successful at things; it’s how I go back to school after being pulled out over and over. Its the separation between failure and worth, right now, for me. I don’t know how to turn that off.

Right now I treat myself in these periods as separate entity. This is the bad I have to overcome. I don’t know if this is entirely false. I do know that I have always treated the opposite of this as healthy, which is not true. The opposite of this, when I’m functional and acing everything, still has sick fucked up trauma me and healthy me fighting it out. It’s like I have three things happening. Actually, it’s not “like” I have three things happening I just do. I have the bipolar symptoms, the ptsd me, and the healthy me. Only until now I’ve never been able to tell them apart.

Speaking of which, I noticed I actually mixed you the healthy and the sick voices in my last entry. That’s the battle, I suppose. Sick me is horribly disappointed in myself. Healthy me is relieved. It’s hard to retrain yourself.

This entry wound up being entirely different from what I thought I was coming here to write. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get around to thinking about learning to relax and the point of medical leave.