Dear Joe

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I’ve always wondered who you imagine me to be, in your head. Because much like I know you mostly through mom and dads recaps, reading abstracts of your scientific papers and vague childhood memories combined with yearly visits with screaming children at the forefront, I know it cant be very accurate. I know from the last visit that you don’t really understand much of what’s wrong with me, or how that impacts my life, and really, I don’t either. But what has become clear is that your mental version of me has little to do with the reality of my life right now. I wonder if the same is true for me with you?

I was put on thorazine recently, because sounds became louder than they were, louder than they could be, louder than any single thing and instead a chorus of many. Colors got brighter, brighter, brighter, until the ceiling started to look pink and it got a bit unnerving.

Thorazine is an anti psychotic medication, with the benefit of being an extreme tranquilizer as a side effect. Its always hard to say how much of these things is caused by my seemingly incessant state of extreme sleep deprivation, and how much is part of a bipolar symptom. I think the general conclusion is a little bit of column a, little bit of column b.

Thorazine is the brand name. My psychiatrist only refers to it by its generic name, and im unsure if this is because its simpler or if he was hoping I wouldn’t look into a seemingly innocuous name of yet another drug I shove in my body – which, to be fair, its rather surprising I did, given my current state. But I did. Apparently it’s the first, like the literal first, anti psychotic medication ever produced. There’s whole songs written about ‘thorazine dreams’ and ‘the thorazine shuffle’ and all those good dead and drooling side effects that characterize all patients who took it for decades. This is oddly not much of a deal to me. I think, at my stage, you don’t get to think about quality of life in the same way as the average person. Yes, taking this may cause all sorts of things, but are those sorts of things worse than seeing in technicolor acid trip swirls or thinking a song played through a grocery store speaker was the universe trying to send you a message? Because I feel like there’s a tipping point that comes after that that I don’t want to see.

I’m very clearly losing my grip on interpreting my reality correctly. I am not, however, actively psychotic, because I catch myself, to an extent. Like I know the ceiling should not be pink, as I know it is not painted pink, and I can usually make that logical connection. Therefore I am in, as my doctor says, “the funky stuff”.

Possibly the most frightening realization Im having is that I can understand how delusions work now. Its not something that sort of… appears and you suddenly believe you’re Christ and think you can save the world, or whatever the fuck the stereotypical thing of delusional people is. It’s the little things.

I was at the grocery store with mom, because I live with them now, because I cant function as a human. Not sure if anyone told you that yet. My apartment remains but I don’t exist in it and the idea of it makes me a bit uneasy. But I digress. The grocery store. Mom wondered away to get lemon and left me with the cart and the task of getting yogurt. I was very… alarmed inside. My doctor calls it heightened sensory perception, which is how he explains the Technicolor and such, but I wasn’t seeing things. I was just very alarmed, and suddenly very, very frightened. And I tried to reason with myself as I pushed the cart the 10 feet to the yogurt section, my fingers gripped around the cart handle, but people were in the way and I couldn’t get there and the fear just escalated so quickly. And I know you think I mean anxiety, but I don’t. I mean pure fear. Like falling out of a ten-story window accidentally.

Then suddenly I hear the store radio start playing a Billy Joel song. One of the ones mom used to play in the kitchen while we (well, I) was little. It was like a tidal wave of comfort. I felt for sure the universe was trying to provide me comfort. To take the fear away from me, personally, that this event was someone meaningful beyond mere coincidence. Part way through the song mom showed up and I was following along behind her sort of half mumbling the words to the song, catching my breath, basking in the sweet relief. She had no idea any of this happened. The song changed to something I didn’t know, and I swear to god I felt like the universe had abandoned me. Hit like a ton of bricks. Mom asks if I need to go outside but I tell her I just need to stay by her now, and she continues about her shopping while I snap back into reality enough to realize what the fuck was happening and how my brain was rebelling against logic without me. She doesn’t know any of that happened. I took an abnormally long time trying to pick a breakfast cereal. My eyes were probably really wide and I probably talked sporadically, but I don’t think shed have noticed much at all.

And isn’t that scary? That you don’t notice?

But the scary part for me is that I can see the logical connection to those feelings and normal rational feelings I would have had in that situation if I were just, say, anxious. Music is one of my calming tools it is what I do to distract myself from my other senses or to cheer myself up. That song making me feel better wasn’t illogical. But it didn’t make sense.

That’s now a thing I haven’t to consider more than I really know how. Over or under pathologizing behaviour isn’t very helpful but believing the universe is speaking to you isn’t exactly a symptom you can let slide, when you’re able to recognize it as a symptom.

So I take thorazine. It makes me sleep, so the sleep deprivation is gone, but the “funky stuff” still lingers so the dose is being increased. Although this stuff would usually be considered part of a manic episode, the fact that I’m also horribly depressed for large swaths of time indicate it’s a mixed episode. In other words, we have barely scratched the surface of the emotional well of crazy that is your sister.

I wonder how much that mental image of me has changed now. Do we know each other well enough that this is just a thing about me, or is it starting to define me, more than you want it to?

 

mixed, with no blessing

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i legitimately have no idea where to start or what to say or what the important bits are, anymore. im just going to ramble and see what floats to the top.

ill start with the obvious.  im in the middle of a (diagnosed) mixed episode. its been a month now. still going strong. things have been… unsettling.

my sister came down for a week because its her birthday, and this happened to coincide with my doctor cutting my wellbutrin dose in half (complicated story, simplified:  anti depressants bad. mood stabilizers good. lowered mood stabilizers, increased anti depressants, bad things happen. like mixed episodes that last for over a month).  This is a dramatic decrease, obviously, and because im me and im sensitive as fuck to medication, i obviously got some stupid withdrawal symptoms for a week. so the two combined and i stayed with my parents until they left today to drive amy back to new brunswick.

i never actually wrote about the trip to philly to see my brother here, and i still cant really, i mean i should, theres definitely stuff to say, and if i could string a coherent thought together i would, but basically my mixed episode started on the trip, manifested as intense anxiety and panic attacks with lots of mood shifts, i was a fucking wreck. my brother didnt know how to handle it. his family really didnt know how to handle it. i didnt know what to do. i avoided everyone a lot. i cried a lot. hysterically. hysterical is the word i would use to describe the experience.  i think joe and i got a lot closer? in the end? and i think he realized we dont actually know each other very well, considering we are siblings. it was interesting. and a mess.

things calmed down for the last few days of the trip (mood shifted up). then we got home and the mood went down but everything else stayed up up up. all the agitation. none of the sleep. all of the rapid thoughts. none of the happy.

ive been in some weird cluster of mismatched bipolar symptoms for a long time, but at any given time, what these mismatched symptoms are is a complete surprise to everyone, including me. so far the most noticeable have been extremely suicidal, extremely tired, very very very agitated, completely enraged, pumped full of adrenalin, spontaneous crying, hyper vigilance, and pressing thoughts. very few of the so called positive effects of mania.

but then.

then there are the concerning things.

yes, but definition, i guess i am implying that the previous symptoms do not merit ‘concerning’, in so much as, ‘part of being bipolar, sometimes’.

when we chopped the wellbutrin off at he knees, initially it had some very positive effects. the agitation definitely reduced. the thoughts slowed down a bit. i slept through the night for a couple days. then i slept all day, too. then i started getting sick every morning until my dose kicked in (because we cut my night dose). but like, overall good. thought that might be done.

but no.

ive been getting the scary symptoms again.

the ones ive only every gotten when extremely manic, or in a psychotic mixed state.

colors got super super bright for awhile. just like five hours here or there. only it wasnt with the exuberance that happens with mania. and then the worst symptom. the symptom i try to explain to people and they think im describing like an adhd symptom but i am really really really not.

all sounds become very very loud, and they all scramble together into a big lump. the volume doesnt bother me, like it doesnt hurt or anything, i just can. not. untangle. the. noise.

we were playing a board game and people were talking and the pieces were clicking and cards were being shuffled and the dog was sleeping and the fridge was humming and someone was talking on the street outside and amy was knitting and all the sounds all the sounds all the sounds. they get maxed out. everything at max volume and max intensity. with no ability to sort through them. like. all the sounds happen all the time, and everyone takes in all that info all the time, but our brains focus in on the bits that are important and ignore the rest, most of the time. thats why you dont usually hear yourself breathing, and how you can have conversations in coffee shops. and when i try to explain it people think im just constantly getting distracted by sounds we dont normally notice (like the fridge humming). but thats not it. its that all the sounds come in together, smooshed up, and i cant tell that that is the humming of the fridge or that that persons voice and the humming of the fridge arent the same noise.  i just. i cant explain it. but then there becomes this.. space. this layer of padding between me and all of my senses. i jut stop being able to take in any information or make sense of anything im hearing, and then seeing, and then sometimes i get extremely aware of all the sensations of my body that you dont normally notice (jeans on leg, pressure of chair, hair on arm, etc), and it all comes with an extreme sense of confusion and being overwhelmed. and then, its like my mind pops, a giant 404 error, and complete disassociation begins. but i wouldnt call it anxiety, while its happening (though definitely anxiety producing after the fact). and it can last hours and i cant make it stop. sometimes days. and all i can do is basically curling in a ball in the dark in as close to silence as i can manage and hope i can sleep until it goes away.

for me, everytime this has happened, ive been diagnosed as either being psychotic or having psychotic symptoms shortly after.

i dont know if thats happening. i dont know if like, the wellbutrin was pushing me in that direction but the sudden drop like staved it off and now im going to be fine.

i dont know whats coming.

i have never been in a position before to identify symptoms of psychosis. if you can identify them, is it really psychosis?

like i dont know how this works

i dont really consider psychosis and a standard part of my illness, but its not an unprecedented occurrence.

i dont know i dont know i dont know.

writing this is the longest ive been coherent and stable in ages.

im very tired now.

so.

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ok.

so.

i havent been writing because ive havent been feeling or doing literally anything. so there was nothing to say. i also stopped communicating with all but a handful of people.

but.

now.

ive been avoiding writing this for awhile. i dont know what to say. but we are at the point in the spiral where the talking needs to start happening, and because im no longer in therapy because i am broke as fuck, i guess this is now when the writing needs to start happening.

so.

for several months my mood has been shifting from ‘wow, this is what its like to have normal level emotions?’ to ‘uh. im not sure i like normal level emotions…’ to ‘…wait, do i even have emotions now?’ to ‘no…nope i dont’.

I saw my psychiatrist three or four times during this decline. To recap, in the fall he had upped my mood stabilizers and taken down my wellbutrin (anti anxiety/depression meds), and then sometime in like december? i cut my clonazapram (anxiety)  in half because i wasnt feeling really anything, so i wasnt really feeling anxious and im trying not to build up my tolerance.

so. first visit:

me: im having trouble adjusting to not feeling things like i normally do. like it feels like my world is small and i dont know what to do. its making me feel like i am missing out on my proper existence. i know this doesnt make sense.

him: this is unfortunate but mostly normal. try seeing your therapist. we will keep an eye on it. (only nice).

second visit:

me: i always thought once i stopped being actively suicidal that would mean i gained some sort of will to live? but i dont have one. at all. i cant find a reason to get out of bed. i have no drive or motivation to do anything. im exhausted all the time. i dont feel sad, or chaotic, or out of control though, and im not suicidal, so this isnt anything like what i would call depression.

him: so, sounds like youre depressed, but your mood stabilizers are working. have more wellbutrin.

third visit:

me: nothing changed. im getting less and less interested in being alive and im completely apathetic to everything around me. still dont feel sad, or chaotic or suicidal, so it still doesnt feel like depression like i know depression.

him: ok, youre definitely depressed. its weird that the wellbutrin increase had no effect. lack of drive and motivation are side effects of your mood stabilizers. lets cut 75 mg off your total of those and see if that makes the wellbutrin work.

me now:

I FEEL ALL THE THINGS AND THEY ARE ALL BAD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD EVERYTHING IS AWFUL I CANNOT BREATHE HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK OUTSIDE IS HORRIFYING I CANT TALK TO PEOPLE HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK IM LITERALLY SO ANXIOUS I CANNOT FUNCTION HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK IM REALLY REALLY REALLY UPSET FOR NO REASON HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK

i cant give many concrete examples, because i have legitimately stopped leaving my house unless it is in a car with a family member, and usually only to my parents house or like, grocery shopping (which is its own little form of hell right now). this is the first of three major signs of when my anxiety crashes into my bipolar and i stop being a functioning human. step 1: agoraphobia step 2: intense fear of germs (see: scrubbing down showers for hours with tooth brushes, for example) step 3: extreme anxiety about animal life. things living underground start freaking me the fuck out. nature becomes extremely unsettling. how the universe is constructed becomes extremely unsettling. step 4: some sort of bipolar break down.

on saturday i had people come to my house.  i was supposed to go to brandons house twice during the week but i had to cancel both times because i couldnt leave my house and was super panicky (side note: it really bothers me that there is a ‘k’ in panicky), so i avoided the situation because i could. brandon kinda knows whats up, but not really. so. saturday. third time trying to make plans with brandon. he and sav have this thing where they watch rupauls dragrace together and the new season was starting and he wanted me to join. obviously, we learned leaving the house probably wasnt going to happen so they were going to come here. ok. then robb was going to come too. ok. day of: sleep schedule massively fucked up. already panicking about having people in my house. brandon invites kale too. i like all of these people. these are literally my best friends. i have a hyperventilating panic attack. i call my parents, stay on the phone for like an hour just basically being unable to talk and crying. brandon says they can go to savs if i cant do it. i eventually resolve to do it, 1 mg of clonazparam and 4 mg of ativan later. they come over. i have basically cleaned my whole apartment but i keep apologizing for how dirty it is because literally all i can see is the dirt of things that arent really that dirty (like the dust i missed while sweeping, and shit). it is mostly fine, and mostly a good night. first time watching dragrace, more enjoyable than expected. people leave around midnight, so basically 5 hours of company. they leave and i then start panicking and overanalyzing everything i said all night and whether or not kale hates me now (we have a convo about the trans guy on survivor and i think what i was trying to say came out wrong). fixate on this for several hours. dont sleep.

parents know i cant take the bus to their house for sunday dinner so they come get me. feeling mostly better and able to function around people, which is good because jeffs kids are there. exhausted, pass out at midnight and wake up at 10am. have moments of talking about my bipolar with my mom, which we dont really do. mostly stuff about being really uncertain what symptoms are coming and how everything is factoring in with possibly going to visit joe, and how joe, while family, having no experience with me as a mentally ill person, and how i dont know if thats something im going to do. manage to go to the grocery store on the way home today. mom had to do most of the work, but i was physically present so that is something.

i came home and cooked an actual meal – roasted a chicken and vegetables. ate that. watched an episode of girls.

so here we are.

i need to call my psychiatrist tomorrow and see if he will change my meds, or do something, because things are bad, and they seem like they are about to get a lot worse. im not scheduled to see him for four more weeks. i dont think anyone anticipated this med change throwing this sort of wrench into life. they weird part is, i dont think it actually changed anything, i think it just kind of ripped the plastic wrap off. like the complete numbness that was on the surface went away and all the horrible stuff underneath is now being felt again.

i guess the kind of fucked up part is i find that a bit of a relief.

now the overarching thing im worrying about -besides breathing, sleeping, the outside, people, public transportation, people touching me, the bipolar shitstorm that is coming, my complete lack of financial stability, etc –  is whether or not i should go to joes with my parents in april. its stressing me out a lot.

also, i got an email notification that theyd made a decision on my giant scholarship application but that i cant access the results of that decision until april 1. so thats unsettling. also im supposed to find out if i got in to grad school in a couple weeks. probably while id be in philly. im…. assuming i didnt get in and also very worried about how im going to handle that. i still dont know if ill go if i do get in. but i feel like having something lined up might help? i dont know.

ok. thats all. im starting to panic again.

on the scale of happy

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well, its a new year.  and everyone else is either retrospectively talking about 2016 or clamouring about the the new bullshit things theyre going to do in 2017. im uhhh.. gonna skip that. because a) i do not believe in new years resolutions. something about have a disease that causes you to have to rebuild your entire existence every so often makes these time based things seem futile. b) i dont find those posts particularly interesting (especially not the daily update posts about how you are still doing them! yay! you made it a whole 5 days!) and c) i have nothing to say about the events that happened to me in 2016 that hasnt already been said here, so thats all pretty redundant, no?

so its 2017.

i woke up at 530pm today. thats not a great sign. the kids came down at 630 and i was in pjs without a bra on and hadnt eaten yet and was honestly kind of still asleep? so that was good, because it means i didnt spend literally the entire day in bed. just most of it. yes, i am currently in bed.

so this fucked up sleeping pattern has a few causes which are: 1. i am me. if you havent noticed, this happens at least one a month. 2. i did accidentally go to bed at 8 am. 3. when i know i have literally nothing to do in a day i try to sleep through it, because for some reason being up all night doing nothing feels less depressing than being up all day doing nothing, which really isnt true to begin with, but also kind of perpetuates the doing nothing because im like ‘is 4 am, i cant do laundry’ or ‘4 am is no time to start a painting’ so i just eat and watch tv until its 8 am again. 4. i think im subconsciously willing myself into hypomania.

being stable is so. fucking. weird. and hard. and boring. SO BORING. like i just cant handle it to a certain degree. my world feels like it shrank in dimensions and like, for the most part YAY but also like, the fuck? what do you people do here all the time? i feel moderately pleased or moderately unhappy and i truck along in a very one note life and i am both pleased about this, because i havent wanted to die in awhile and this is a pleasant thing, but also displeased because i feel like i cut off my right arm, or something. like this is a tiny fraction of life ive decided to live in and its just.. mundane. i realize this is literally how most people live and the extent of their emotional experience and thats good and great and you know, im not saying i want to be at either extreme, or whatever, but it makes me uncomfortable to not being moving from center. CENTER IS SO BORING. AND FAKE. AND JUST… CUT OFF FROM ACTUAL EXISTENCE.

i know. that paragraph made no sense. but i feel it. i feel it so entirely. i feel like half of myself is missing, and for the first time ever ive begun to understand why people go cold turkey off their meds.

to be honest, ive always thought it was because those people were sick in the delusional way where they thought they were better and thus didnt need them. which is moronic, because they are making you better, you numbskull. but its not that. meds: you get full credit. and then theres all those people talking about meds like greying them out or zombifying them, and i also thought of that like the side effects that i had on abilify. or like, being foggy brained or drooling in a chair or something.

i am none of those things.

i just. i feel completely myself, but also like if myself were a line, i cut myself into thirds and only kept the middle chunk and now im just wondering around as a third of a person.

i dont particularly MISS being actively bipolar (as i would describe myself as being passively bipolar now. i dont if other people think about it that way?) but like… it still feels like part of me? like i got rid of part of myself? and i know that those are like, not the best parts, because they make me want to die, or other bad things, but theyve always been there? they make me feel…whole?

people always talk about missing mania. maybe i miss hypomania (no one misses actual mania. no one.). i mean, i do miss hypomania because it is literally the best. but like, seperate from my actual mood (if you can think like that when talking about a mood disorder), its like my whole life has been built around going up and down, and learning how to function with and around that. which was challenging, but its my life. i dont really think about it as a…. coping mechanism, i guess. i have always worked in batches: crazy hard for three months, down for few months. it balances out to at least an average person workload, but like, honestly an above average workload because i have perfectionist issues. but like, thats how i work. thats how ive always worked. and now im just….waiting to go back up, and be super productive and get into my working groove for a few months. which i know will end in hell, but its a predictable form of unpredictable hell. and for a few months, before the hell, i feel like i am the best version of me, in my still super fucked up perfectionist full throttle personality thought patterns.

the meds. the meds have stripped that out of my life. theres no super productive (or super non productive) phase now.

and thats… probably good? i mean, i guess? from like a functional life of an average person perspective? but i… i dont know how to function like this? with a mediocre level of energy and motivation? how does anyone get anything done? and more to the point, do people who live in this tiny 1/3rd of life like.. do they think this is it? this is all their emotions? like… this is not very happy, the happiest i feel now. on the scale of feelings i know to be happy. the problem is like 50% of the things i know to be happy i also know to be bad. or like, leading to bad.  but i also just feel so alarmed for people who think this is all life’s feelings have to offer? on the one hand like, hallelujah if this mediocre level of sad is the saddest you ever feel, even if to you this mediocre level of sad is like THE SADDEST SAD THAT EVER SADDED because like, your emotional dimensions end here. and in that way, i guess, that point is kind of moot because if thats the saddest youre capable of feeling, relatively speaking, it probably seems equally as shitty. but like. THE HAPPY.  you are missing 33% of the bad stuff but also 33% of the mostly good stuff. though even though im talking about this all like mood is linear, it, at its most simplistic, is AT BEST a circle (we all know its actually a sphere) because the shit 33% and the good 33% that i no longer experience are very much connected. but basically, i am just ASTOUNDED that this could be someones entire emotional experience.

and also extremely FRIGHTENED THAT IT MAY NOW ALSO BE MINE. FOREVER.

that is so disturbing. so disturbing. do not want.

also do not want hellish suicidal tendencies back, though, so. like. i guess these are my options now? 1/3rd of life or all of life where i spend at least 1/3rd of the time trying not to jump off a bridge plus sometime where colors are REALLY BRIGHT and thoughts move TOO FAST TO CATCH THEM.

im finding it extremely problematic that i am gravitating more and more toward the second option the longer i am without it. because when i was in it, i would have literally died for this feeling. but i feel so lost. and deadened. PART OF ME HAS GONE SOMEWHERE. and it makes me a more functional human, but also less of myself. which is supposed to be a good thing, medically.

thats a little weird. being less of myself is perceived as a good thing.

i dont know. i have lots of thoughts on this but i just want to FEEL. SOMETHING. like really feel it. feel it in my bones. not this passing, forgettable “feeling”.

life stuff.

ugh.

the new years party was good. my dress fit, thank god, i drank the right amount of gin (was drunk, but not black out drunk). jon and dima came so i spent most of the night with them as it was one of their last days here. went out with jon one more time before he left. god my life was so much better when he lived here.

tomorrow there is a surprise party for sam’s birthday, which should be good. though most of her good friends are now people i dont know well (im the only one from my circle that has met them, except jenn, and no one but me and sam likes jenn…) and im not sure if theyd get along with sam and my mutual friends so its going to be weird to see them all jumbled together.

over christmas my sister and i watched gilmore girls: a year in the life. i had been saving this originally to watch with sam, because my sister doesnt live here and i didnt think id be able to hold out this long, but plans with sam never worked out, and honestly its probably better this way.

my sister and i used to rent box sets of the gilmore girls seasons at blockbuster, back when that was a thing, and binge watch them together. we were the trendsetters of the binge watching netflix generation, obvs. so it was kind of full circle to watch the reboot together.

i have to say, i was not happy with how it ended. those famous last words the original creators had for the series, that they finally got to use in this reboot (as they didnt write the final season of the show), were not ideal, to me.  but i still really enjoyed the show. it was like visiting old friends, once you got into it. i would watch gilmore girls forever, if it were still on (similar to the west wing. and how i will always listen to hanson.)

also i watched the end of please like me before christmas. it was episode six so i thought i was midseason. BUT NO. IT WAS THE LAST EPISODE. which would be distressing on its own because please like me is so great. but it is extra distressing because they might not make a season five! and i am not ok with it! i like it to the point i actually follow all the actors on twitter and read interviews with josh thomas for fun (in fairness, he is a comedian). i dont even do that for gilmore girls, the west wing OR hanson. my little tv heart is breaking.

in sum: i desperately want to be hypomanic, jon left and my life got worse, the gilmore girls reboot is worth watching, and you should absolutely watch the little known australian tv show called please like me (i guess im supposed to mention that its “gay”, because people like representation, and all, but i never really think about the gayness. its just really good). also i will be drunk tomorrow so that may or may not result in another rambling poorly planned out blog post.

the end.

 

Guess whos back? (the recap)

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(back again, shady’s back, tell a friend…)

so I’ve been gone a long ass time. like three and a half months. despite the last entry here, and the depressing ones leading up to it, this is actually because my life has been going pretty well, and well… i dont come here to process my feelings when my feelings are good. i guess.  eddie was bugging me to update for awhile, because things were good and i was (am?) good, and i do think its important to present some normal times here (if id done that over the years that whole christian thing probably would never have happened. just saying.), but i didnt. and then i meant to, and then i didnt. and so on and so forth.

then i got an email from the contact form i forgot i even had on here (?!?)  asking if i was ok because i fell off the planet and i have this slight history of almost killing myself.

so. here we are.

because its been so long i guess i’ll just try to highlight some of the major things that happened this fall and then ill go back to over analyzing my current life, as i do haha.  Im not really writing this as if someone other than me is going to read it (i never do, though its cool that people do? it’s also really weird. but in a good way? but here we are.) so this is literally just a recap for when i come back and look at my life as opposed to a witty edited version of events that youd find on normal blogs because i still just treat this as a diary (sorry.)  basically what im saying is this is gonna be dry as fuck. but here we go!

I moved!

I had been living in an old character ridden flat with bright colored walls and beautiful though gappy hardwood floors. it was a huge one bedroom with a sunroom, tons of closet space and some of my bffs lived in the flat upstairs. it also had the worst oven possible for something that was still technically functional, and cost a bazillion dollars a month.  it was in the “artsy” (read: hipsters and poor people) end of town.

So when i went on EI because I went crazy, I got a roommate in order to stay living there. she lived in the sunroom because it was big enough to be a bedroom (mostly). as I think I documented on here over the summer, she turned out to be less than ideal and bailed on me on august 1. since aforementioned apartment cost a billion dollars a month, this was not sustainable on ei. I was freaking out, a lot, about what i was going to do because i was in a lease, and I was broke, and much, much, much stress ensued (as im sure was documented but i didnt go back and look). then gma died and christian happened and blahdy blah so it was a bit of a shit show at the end of august. but anyway, i broke my lease and left at the end of October.

the new place

Because I am very poor and my life was a complete mess at the time, and I have the most excellent of families, my brother offered to let me come live in his house for free. So I ended up moving into a studio apartment in Jeff’s house. It is his house but the place is set up as three apartments, so the top floor is where Brandy’s sister lives, middle floor is where Jeff’s family lives, and live on the lower level. Its a 15 minute walk away from my old place, but in a nicer area. SO basically I have my own apartment in a nicer place for $0 a month at the moment. I am a spoiled bitch, and my stress has been reduced greatly.  also I see my niece and nephew all the time, which is nice.

construction

So if youve been following timelines, which you havent because i was not at all clear, this means I had two months living at my old place for  a bazillion dollars a month by myself. this took all of my ei money for those two months and i could barely afford my pills and food, but thats neither here nor there. anyway, so during these two months my father and i renovated the apartment I now live in, in Jeff’s house. We ripped out the walls between the kitchen and the washroom and rebuilt them in new places, moved the entrance to the washroom, built shelves for the washroom, made inset shelves in the kitchen, bought new kitchen appliances because the ones here didnt actually function, etc. it was actually a super nice father daughter bonding experience overall. plus it gave me a schedule and routine everyday (we literally came and worked here for 6-10 hours a day, every day, for about 6 weeks), which combined with coping better with my gma stuff and getting over christian and knowing i could stop stressing about money in november, drastically improved my mental health. i was a happy as i remember being in years through most of October. and I think my dad respects me more now because even though I am the least handy person on earth, i did show up everyday and i did learn how to like drywall and remove flooring and shit. so it was good times.

I applied to grad school!

As Im sure has come across over the past three years, going to grad school has been a major goal of mine. it has gotten completely fucked up numerous times by my very severe mental illness. whoops.

my therapist is not overly supportive of my going to grad school in general, but although I have carefully considered his opinion on this matter, fuck him. I have made major concessions in this arena to hopefully be able to complete it while also dealing with my severe mental illness, and I think thats a decent compromise for the both of us.  For one, I didn’t try to go ivy league, despite having the marks and the experience to have given me a decent shot (and because this had been my goal since high school).  that sounded pretentious, I accept that, moving on.  second, i decided to only apply to grad schools where I live. which means I only applied to one school, because its the only one with good science based grad programs (luckily, its a pretty good school in its own right). this means i wont leave my support system or my doctors. third, i made sure the program i applied to allowed people to switch to part time status for health reasons if necessary.

So. all that being said, i finally fucking applied to do my Masters in Community Health and Epidemiology. this is a massive jump from my psych background. massive. so there is still a decent chance I wont get in. but ive got the grades and really good recommendation letters, so fingers crossed.  and hey i did jump from fine art to psychology with ease, so maybe itll all work out. ill talk more about this at some point probably.

After applying I was invited to apply for a scholarship, and I also applied for the canadian graduate scholarship, which were both extremely in depth applications that required you basically summarize your proposed research for your masters degree. that was super fucking stressful because unlike other masters degrees where you get a supervisor to get into the program, so you generally have you field of research narrowed down, in this program you get matched up with someone in second year. and again, this field is a massive departure from my previous educational background. so basically i kind of had a meltdown trying to write these wondering if i picked the completely wrong program blahdy blah because i was having trouble fitting what i wanted to do into the application. but in the end i basically proposed that i wanted to look at how socioeconomic status influences hospital admission rates for youth presenting at the er with mental health concerns. so. fingers crossed on those as well.

my other brother, joe, helped me a shit ton with those applications.  obviously, he runs a research lab and teaches at an ivy league university, so hes kinda given me an edge (hopefully). and once again, my family is most excellent.

My meds are fucking working (for the most part)

So i started my current med regime quite awhile ago, but ive finally got proper levels on everything, and everything is working together really well. also, my life situation has calmed the fuck down, and being on medical leave from life for a year has really really helped. basically, this is the most stable my mood has been in probably 15 years. that being said im still going through ups and downs.  probably the hardest thing to explain to people who arent bipolar is that when i say my mood is stable i dont mean that it isnt shifting. i just mean when i feel an emotion if feels… solid? like before it was all a jumbled mess that flew around in every direction and i felt so many millions of things at once it was overwhelming and confusing. even when i felt like i felt nothing. now when im depressed, i feel depressed and awful and thats that. theres no rapid shifting all the time? no mixture of extremely energetic but horribly suicidal, really. i guess part of it is i havent had any mixed episodes since starting, but thats not really what im trying to say.  i dont know, its really fucking difficult to put into words that someone outside myself would understand.  i will work on this in future entries.  but for the  most part no mania, very little hypomania, and still some depression but like… normal depression. well i mean still clinical but i think at the level of the majority of people with major depression, as opposed to kind of tipping the scale at the craziest of crazy, and no psychotic depression episodes.

i believe i am currently a functional managing human. huzzah.

dating

i dated a guy named mark for like two months. super nice guy, timing was bad, basically. and our sexual preferences werent really a match (without spilling my sexual preferences or his on a blog haha). we’re good friends now (guys: i made a friend. that doesnt happen).

other than that, ive been actually meeting people and dating more than i have before. its been kinda good, i think im learning some general dating skills that i severely lack. im very weird about dating and relationships, as eddie frequently points out. i find it very difficult and i generally strongly dislike it. to the point where id almost rather just stay single. but now that im emotionally kind of balanced out, not being alone forever would kind of be a nice thing. so im giving it a shot. ive met some super cool people, but really online dating apps are the fucking worst. ill rant about that later too.

most of my previous dating has been done entirely while, or started while, i was very manic or hypomanic (see: christian) and making choices i probably wouldnt normally make.  sometimes thats a huge glaring problem (see: coke guy) and sometimes its just kind of a push in one direction that will play out how it will. anyway. now whenever i date brandon gets worried im manic, which is fair. but im not.

i also have been trying just to meet people even if i dont want to date them just to meet cool people.  the other day a met a guy on bumble who was just here for the weekend and he ended up checking out of his hotel to come stay here for the night and we stayed up literally all night having life chats and drinking. no hooking up or anything, just… friends. it was nice. im not sure we will ever really speak again, though we did the facebook and phone numbers thing, but i think that was it and im fine with that, and also had a very positive experience. so like, baby steps right?

work (or lack there of)

I am still on ei. it runs out in 2.5 weeks. im freaking out about that now, and getting very stressed, as i’ve only really got enough saved to be able to feed myself and still have a life for about 2, maybe 3 months after my ei runs out. and no one hires in dec/jan. but, on a positive note, im not  paying rent, so i can ease back into the workforce with a part time job of sorts. on the downside, two of the part time jobs ive applied for so far explicitly stated i was “over qualified” for the position in that negative way. also i have no like retail experience or anything that most part time jobs are. so thats going to be tricky. wish me luck.

upcoming

christmas is a couple weeks away. it will be my first without my gma, so itll bring a whole new set of traditions since we always rented a room in her apartment building for christmas day so she could come. her birthday was also in november, so ive spent a lot of time thinking about stuff like that. otherwise, joe and his family arent coming to visit this year,  and my cousins just confirmed they cant make in from quebec, so it will be a very low key christmas. but amy will be down, so that will be good. and my parents are actually buying me gifts this year because im so poor haha so that will be fun too. im trying to come up with something to give jeff and brandy, which ive never done because we dont do gifts ,and it is extremely difficult, but i feel like i should do something nice for them.  unfortunately it cant be food as they are vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free, no garlic no onions blah blah blah and girl just cant do that.

things are very boring right now, without working but with a functioning brain. its kind of bad for the depression, but i mean its not real depression its just boredom and the desolate feeling that comes from doing nothing and not having immediate goals.

its been snowing a lot and really cold, which is making me hide inside too much. going to try to work on that. going to try and work on a lot of things.

anyway, very long story short. things have been good, things will be good. im good. hopefully more in the moment, less long blathering dry entries in the future.

rethinking

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i felt like i should maybe delete that last entry but i dont delete things from this blog. everything has truth in the moment.

im doing better today. no idea why but im not complaining. maybe the med increase is working?

speaking of meds, i still have this stupid rash and i spent the day calling my doctors office only to get a busy signal the entire time. i dont know what to do about that. i did successfully get my ei straightened out though, so thats good.

the things i said about christian last time are still true. i am depending on him too much and i am still having trouble completely letting go of the relationship we sort of had before all of this went down. but not talking to him was a stupid idea. id rather work through it together than apart, and hes been more than willing to try to work through it with me, even if he never talks about it unless i force him to. he really is a good friend, even if its hard for me to just be that.

i dont know what the point of this entry was. i just felt like i needed to say that.

reality

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today is a bad day.

christian and i broke up, if you could even call it that. we “defined the relationship” only we defined it into nothing so i guess it just never really existed. i’ve come to the conclusion he says i love you to me like i’d say it to brandon. i do love brandon. i love him a lot in fact. but it isnt quite what i meant when i said it back. add it to the list, i suppose.

i went to the psychiatrist today and bawled in his office over things that dont matter to him at all but i couldnt stop. i cant afford my meds as of next month and i have no idea what to do. he tried to write me three month prescriptions but the insurance company refused to fill them.

so thats terrifying.

and laura is moving out and i cant pay my rent. and everything is just fucking exploding.

and all i can do is cry.

9 days

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where to begin.

there three things i need to cover before i can talk much about today so lets get those out there:

1. christian bought plane tickets (!!!) to come see me (!!!) and will be here in 9 days (!!!). im nervous and terrified and happy. i dont know what this is or is going to be or if it matters in the end but for 4 nights im not going to care.

2. Laura decided shes moving out, which kind of fucks me over for rent and everything else. which is one thing. this whole fight between her and kale and donna has reached such a ridiculous point im just happy to have it over with, to be honest, im so sick of being stuck in the middle. but i like laura and i like her as a roommate. so its all around just sort of shitty for me.

3. I spent the weekend camping, hence the lack of posts. camping went well! though i did keep up my tradition of getting sick and throwing up the woods. so theres that.

today has been a very bipolar day. i missed my meds last night and my hands are shaking so badly a spilled an entire glass of water on myself when i got home a minute ago. constant uncontrollable shaking (or as i like to call it, JAZZ HANDS) is something i got used to for a lot of years but had mostly gone away in the past six months. i forgot how difficult it is to do basic things like text or hold a full glass of water.

i missed my meds. and weird things happen when i miss my meds. so i woke up sad and over thinking and when im sad and over thinking it usually leads to bursting the christian bubble (that sounds oddly religious…), which sort of happened, but mostly i was just depressed and wall starring.

then the package christian sent me showed up, out of the blue, which was really exciting for a number of reasons: a) mail!!! b) hoodie and a book!!! c) HIS hoodie and HIS book!! and d) the postal strike didnt ruin it!

so that helped. a lot. have a selfie in the magical happy sweater:

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but after that i had one of those soul crushing panic attacks. it started out confusing and crying and turning into imploding and not breathing and fetal position, digging nails and scrapping skin sort of panic attacks. tore my arms up a bit, nothing major. called my sister to come get me because i was afraid to be alone. we went to my grandmothers and had pizza. it was nice, shes almost back to herself. she was like a confused child we were caring for for so long its almost strange to see her be human again now. we went swimming. the chlorine burned my torn up arms and the sting was oddly calming. i used to lay in that pool floating on my back with my ears covered listening to the internal ringing for hours back in 2013 when life fell apart. so i did that again for a bit.

home now. in bed in the magic sweater. i still dont feel…right. though i feel a little better. and i took my meds today, so hopefully tomorrow will be better. i wish laura and i werent in this weird awkward place because i really dot want to be alone right now, but we are. i cant text christian cuz its the 4th of july so he is having some big party with his wife and friends and im not going to interrupt it to be sad at him. the hoodie is comforting though. so thats something.