home.

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i moved home from my parents on wednesday. i was gone for three months. im not sure if this is an achievement or if i did it too soon or too late, but it’s a milestone none the less.

i wish i had written more here when things were flying off the handle, mostly because i have such severe memory gaps and i cant understand the place of things. i remember the truly scary parts and some of the mundane parts but i feel like im missing a lot. its always strange to feel like you only partially understand whats happened to you.

anyway. on to current life.

im 3 chapters from done the book content of my stats class. then i have my exam on the 14th worth 60% of my grade.  im afraid of that one. i find it so hard to learn just from a book. engaging professors have always been a necessity for me. even shitty profs are better than no profs. i actually get a lot out of lecture based classes.

im still registered to start grad school in the fall. im still hesitant about actually doing it. im just not sure i can do it, if i can move back into that feeling of life, that level of stress. i want to talk to my therapist about it but i cant afford to go regularly so there not much point. i just feel a little lost and scared. im 31 and i cant seem to take care of myself. and not only that but everything seems to be getting worse, im getting stronger weirder symptoms that last for longer periods of time. im noticing my “normal” symptoms a lot more in my daily life. but i can feel what my therapist was talking about when he said he thinks i should work for a major company with steady hours and health care and all that and not go back to school or keep working at start ups that hinge so much on your going at a break neck pace.

im afraid of going back to the break neck pace.

im not afraid of failing, which used to petrify me from a personal standpoint and now mostly bothers me from a financial one. im afraid of regressing backwards into my bipolar symptoms and doing the actions that i know trigger my symptoms, now that my symptoms are a lot worse than they were before.

i need a therapist but my therapist is against my going to school at all and i just feel like thats an unhelpful position.

im scared im never going to be able to actually take care of myself, emotionally or financially. im not so much scared as resolved to the fact ill be alone in the future, which in itself is not a problem but the two combined makes for a scary picture. where do i go? what do i do? how do i continue after age 40?

for a long time i avoided thinking about it because i assumed id have killed myself by then, which is still possible but feels much more unlikely than it has in the past. but because of this i havent really figured out what im going to do in 10 years when im unable to use my parents as support, when im supposed to be a full fledged adult doing adult things living a relatively stable if boring life.

i dont know.  i think its always been easier to plan for no future than to plan for the one i will have if i dont die. i havent taken care of my health like i would have if i thought id live this long. i never thought id live this long. i dont know if i want to, realistically, live past 40 if my life is going to shape up how i feel it will. but thats not to say i want to die, per say. like not in a suicidal kind of way.

i dont know how to handle going forward. i feel like the treading water that used to scare me so much is the only safe place i have left.

 

 

Summary

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I havent been here. I dont know why I havent, exactly, but I think its because this episode was filled with agitation more than depression, and it was too hard to concentrate to write. ive been in this state for 3 months now, so no writing came.  I cant promise what will come from here, but the agitation has mostly simmered.  For now, this is my mental illness oriented summary of June, for my future self


June was the third month of my mixed episode with psychotic features. It started in April, just before visiting Joe. April was filled mainly with anxiety attacks, panic, inability to function, and severe agoraphobia, with some low low periods. I worsened considerably throughout May, experiencing extreme heightened sensory experiences (like sounds being too loud and jumbled together, inability to parse sound, and very bright visual colors), as well as one brief psychotic-like episode where I felt like the universe was comforting me through the radio in a grocery store. I was severely agitated throughout May and into the first half of June. May was the height of my mixed episode features. I started a symptom tracker book in a bit of a frenzy, trying to find a pattern in my symptoms so I could somehow stop them. This was a grandiose idea, but I do find it very beneficial right now.

Near the beginning of June I started anti psychotic medication which helped significantly to calm things down. Things began to improve from there, but I was still having down days and occasionally being completely out of it (molasses or extreme agitation). Recently I was given sleep meds which seem to be getting me a solid 8 hours for now.

I have been living with Mom and Dad since May and will likely remain here for a few weeks (if not more) of July. Having the constant social contact helped a lot, and Mom and Dad are always a good support system. I am comfortable here and afraid to leave. My friends havent really been in the picture except for Brandon, who was really the only one who noticed something was wrong when I disappeared.

I started the stats class I need to complete in order to start grad school in the fall, and I’m managing most days, though the timeline is extremely tight now, given the late start. Its stressful, but also nice to be focusing on my brain function in a positive way again.

Jeff and Brandy had a Eleanor (Nori) on June 29th, and she is healthy and very very cute. Im still figuring out how to transition home, be helpful for J&B and the kids, but also not set myself back. There have been days where I couldn’t be near people- even them- and had to hide in the dark. I don’t want Wes and Lucy to see that or feel that from me, so managing that is my main concern about moving home. I’m super close with Wes right now, mostly because he seems to enjoy being around me more than Lucy, but I’m trying to be there for them both, and now nori too.

In short, June was still having the sawtooth up and downs, but the ups lasted a bit longer and the downs didn’t go so far down, and slowly I think I’m getting better. I also became an aunt again, which Im sure will feel more real in a few days. There’s been progress, but not perfection, which is my new motto to strive for.

I’ve gone through the worst and I’m climbing my way out, one bit at a time.

I got into grad school

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I found out like a 2 weeks ago, while I was in Philly.  I told my parents, without too much bluster, and they told Joes family, and we celebrated, kinda, a little, while we were there (there were lots of things happening, Joe got tenure! its easter! its my birthday! im having a mental breakdown!).. so it was a bit of a weird reception…. and then… then I didn’t tell anyone. At all. And theres quite a bit of story to tell in that. But for once, I’m just going to keep that seperate.

This is my thing.  This is THE thing I have been trying to do for years. And I got in. I got in with a scholarship that completely covers my tuition.

I just want that to breathe. I want that to be the part of this I go back and read about in the future.

And I know that getting in and going to school does not mean that I will finish it, or that I will do well. Hell, it doesn’t even mean I will successfully complete the stats refresher course I have to take before starting the program.  And I know my therapist thinks this is a horrible idea, and I know he might be right. I know these past 2 years have basically been an example of exactly how I am not invincible to the socioeconomic effects of mental illness, and that it is not unlikely that I will spend large amounts of my future in some combination of unable to work, living in poverty, working sporadically, and maybe just feeling accomplished to hold a job of any kind.  and I get that. But I’ve also decided I can’t just let that truth dictate my goals. There is a solid argument that I shouldn’t do this, one my therapist has made many times, one that mostly surrounds failing and making myself sicker. But the financial impacts of trying are pretty small – thanks to scholarships – and I think the benefit of trying will outweigh the prospect of failing. I would forever regret not trying.

So this is it. This moment is a culmination of every fibre of perseverance, strength and that nagging sense of hope in my soul.

I’m going to grad school.

 

progress.

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my grad school interview is tomorrow.

im a little hesitant to write this because im in a generally positive frame of mind about it at the moment and dont want to make myself all nervous over analyzing shit.  so thats mostly all im going to say about that.  I didnt get the CIHR scholarship I applied for, which sucked, but honestly i was in a pretty bad state when i wrote that so i guess its not horribly surprising.  I did just find out I received a different scholarship for $10,000 (renewable) though, and given canadian tuition prices, that is quite a lot. so thats encouraging. im not sure if they give entrance/school specific scholarships out with acceptance or not. i also dont know if ive been accepted or not. hence the interview. ack.

in other news, i have officially decided to go visit joe on friday. happy, positive, non bipolar vibes please.