mixed, with no blessing

Standard

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.

Standard

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.

glowstick

Standard

let me start by saying christian is on vacation so i know he wont read this, which means i am just going to be honest for once.

im seriously considering if i should stop talking to him for awhile. just like a month or two. i still want to be friends. but im both depending on him in ways i dont like and am not proud of, and am also continuously breaking my own heart.

i know the transition was easy for him and i know he wants it to be easy for me but its not. i mean, sometimes its fine, just sometimes its really not. and i cant figure out what causes it.

its like for the past couple weeks ive survived by separating current friendship with christian from past christian anything. and by doing that ive effectively separated christian from any of the feelings he caused. but the feelings are still there and im still having to work through them anyway because he effectively caused my worst nightmare and pulled on all the things i fear most about life and myself and threw them at me, even though he didnt mean to. im in a big ol pit of depression and on some level, he caused it. not that its his fault; im fucked up and have all these weird fucked up insecurities he couldnt have known about. but what he did was pretty fucked up too.

my bipolar is all out of whack. im fine and then im suicidal and then im just sobbing for hours. alone.

ive basically had three thoughts playing continuously on repeat:

  1. dont kill yourself
  2. hes married and he doesnt love you anyway
  3. try harder, you’re failing

i told kale i wasnt doing well so hes taking me to the beach today for something distracting. i love him. i have good friends. supposed to see sam on friday too, but she works two jobs and has company literally always so i dont know if that will actually happen. nicole is in the province and should be coming to visit the city soon, which is exciting. i miss nicole a lot.

christian tried to describe the whole he never loved me thing as an equation where half of it is friendship love and half of it is romantic love and he loves me friendshipwise but the rest was just question marks, like he wasnt sure. i dont think its question marks for him. i think he knows he just doesnt love me and is afraid to just tell me that. or at the very least, we’ve made some sort of decision to be bffs, so the rest is getting thrown out. and i wish he’d just tell me that if that was the end of it. i dunno. i just wish he was better at communicating his actual emotions instead of what he thinks is best for me.

i need to get ready to swim now. hopefully this day with kale snaps something in my head, something to go from light from all the dark. like a glowstick, haha.

im trying.

heavy hearted

Standard

ive been having a lot of trouble with the whole unloveable thing lately. like i recognize that im 30 and these deep rooted feelings are supposed to have gone away by now but they havent and they probably wont. and everyone and everything around me is just like… driving that home lately. nats pretty much exclusively talks about her boyfriend or her illness, usually how awesome her boyfriend is about her illness. kale and donna dont seperate anymore, christian is the christian situation, every show and every book have some stupid love plot. my heart just feels heavy about it.

in other things ive somehow failed to talk about, joe and his family were here for the past week. i had a very bipolar week and the visit had some very rough points for me. i stayed at my parents for 5 days, with everyone else. i skipped a lot of activities and cried in the bathroom a lot. christian had to talk me out of being suicidal one morning. but the visit was good overall i think, i dont think they kids noticed anything was wrong and i played with them enough that i think they have positive memories of me.

the best part of the visit was sibling lunch, which turned into sibling dinner because amy had plans at lunch. every time we are all together the 4 of us go to lunch without any kids or spouses and its nice. this time was better than in florida because i think its pretty obvious im not doing great and this time we didnt all just ignore it and talk about everything as if it were fine. which is progress for me. i did cry at a restaurant though, which isnt awesome. but jeff did offer to let me move into his basement apartment if i really cant pay rent, which is nice of him. and also relieves some stress because i really didnt feel ok moving into my parents house given the situation with my grandmother. theyve got enough burdens, if you know what i mean? not that i dont love my gma. but shes lost her memory entirely (she already forgets joe visited), and she cant go to the washroom by herself so shes not… without burden to my mom. i feel mean saying that.

im not doing so great, overall. i cant tell if its the stress or if im just in a down period or what. ever since that suicidal leg cutting night things havent really recovered. i can mostly hold a conversation fine and i dont think its incredibly noticeable that things arent great though, so thats an improvement. i have trouble at night, and during the day when i have too much time to think. so basically whenever there isnt something actively distracting me like people or grocery shopping or something. sometimes i spiral but mostly i just cry a lot. my heart is heavy, i guess. all of me is heavy. my weight is bothering me more than usual.

i talk to christian about 16 hours a day, off and on. so thats a pretty decent distraction and most of the time it helps keep some of the crying spells at bay. he’s going on vacation next week and i want to be happy for him, or i am happy for him, but im worried how im going to fill all that time with something so i dont spiral out of control. like… i dont know how to talk about it. because christian is great and we are friends and we talk because we are friends. but talking is also distracting and distracting keeps me from sobbing which keeps me from thinking which keeps me from wanting to die. does that make sense? probably not. i think really i just need to a) make more friends and b) get to a place where i dont need constant distraction to not become suicidal. but here we are. im expecting the next 7 days are going to be rough.

maybe more than 7 days.

i have a rash on the inside of one of my arms that i assumed was razor burn but appears to be getting worse not better and it scares me because rashes are a really serious side effect of one of my medications. apparently they can be a symptom of stephen johnsons syndrome or whatever the fuck, which is bad and involves skin “sloughing” off your body.  my mother had it and was in the hospital for weeks. so i need to get that checked out soon. but im afraid because the medicine is working a lot better than any medication ive been on before and i dont want to have to stop taking it.

worry, stress, depress.

 

 

 

 

 

broken and breaking

Standard

i’ve waited too long to write this to do it any justice. i wasnt going to write about it at all – it hurts and it makes it real – but the downward spiral is lasting too long to not note it somehow.

a very very long story made shorter:

The break up:

  • last week, Christian told me he was never in love with me, just loved me, and had been dating me because he thought i ‘needed something special’. he basically wanted to save me from being bipolar by fake-loving it right out of me. like he could fix my brokenness by giving me the gift that was him.
  • i was enraged. i am still sort of. it was not only painful from a break up stand point, it hurt my soul. it was like everything i feared made true.
  • i felt and feel completely broken and unloveable, more so than before, which is an impressive amount.
  • he never really knew me, even when he was physically here, he expected me to be needy and in need of a saviour. he wanted to save me. i do not fucking need saving.

The break down:

  • i spent tuesday night in a tail spin of self destruction. i sliced my leg open with an xacto knife. i spent most of the night in the shower trying not to bleed on things. i was a mess. i almost killed myself.
  • it wasnt about the break up, it was about the feeling like everyone just saw me as broken and fucked up anyway, like none of the work i’d done mattered, like everything was just bull shit and there was nothing i could do to fix peoples perceptions of me, or fix me, or be anything other than just the bipolar girl. like the only reason people would be around is to fix me and be self congratulatory about any of my personal gains. only not any of that. i just felt and feel horrible about myself. just fucking horrible. ive hated myself for a long time but normally it stays as a background thought. its not in the background anymore.
  • i feel like a burden to everyone who knows me.
  • i broke and am breaking.

After:

  • Christian stayed up most of tuesday night with me making me not kill myself. which is ironic because he is both the cause and the thing that stopped me.
  • I guess he finally got to play saviour then, and that probably was good for his ego.
  • We are friends now and I think I’ll eventually trust him again, but it makes me feel really stupid.
  • i’ve barely gotten out of bed in the past week. i went to pride and got fucked up as hell at kale and donnas, spent most of the night talking to sav  and robb about how fucked up i am and how im not making it through the night very well anymore.
  • im not making it through the night anymore. i talk to christian for most of the day, like we always have, like nothings fucking changed, for better or worse. but he sleeps and i do not. or i do but in fits and bursts. i always said id never try to kill myself through pills because it rarely works and usually you just end up with fucked up symptoms because of it instead of dead. but ive counted all the meds i have, which is a lot. i dont know the lethal doses of any of them anymore but i think i’ve got enough of everything to do some serious damage.
  • i havent cut myself since tuesday. that was the first time in 3.5 years so i dont expect i’ll do it again. im not really one for half measures. and the scars hurt.
  • I’m having like dual versions of Christian right now.  i hate one. i hate one so much. but the other is here for me and is a good person and i love him a lot. i cant figure out what to feel about anything. we are acting fine and sometimes we genuinely are fine.
  • i am very good at forgiveness, i’ve had a lot of practice with important people cutting me to the bone. and forgiving them.  and i mostly forgive him. im not over it, but i forgive him.
  • I feel like im letting him off without pain. not that i want to hurt him but i also need him to understand how much he hurt me and i dont know if he does. he’s one of those annoying permanently ok to happy people and i dont know how he feels. or if he feels. about any of this now. i cant tell if he just thinks its over and we survived it. because its not over. it doesnt go away. its a permanent part of who we are now.
  • i broke and am breaking.

it’s a dont kill myself day

Standard

….

i dont know. i dont know i dont know i dont know.

everything is hard today. i havent slept. christian asked what i was going to do today and literally all i could think was ‘try not to kill myself’ which i didnt really want to say out loud because things are getting better. and they are better. and i dont know why this day is happening.

i dont want to be difficult for him. side pieces are supposed to be fun, not messy and fucked up. im not really cut out for side-piecedom, i guess. im always messy and fucked up. even when im supposedly doing well.

its 9:35 in the morning and today is already this hard.

i feel guilty. like i dont want to not tell him things but i also dont want to be a burden on people and i dont want him to leave. not that he really can because he has plane tickets but i dont want him to want to leave. it makes everyone leave eventually, thats ok, but now is too soon. he wasnt around yesterday and i got through yesterday. i can get through today.

i cant talk to my parents because theyve got way too much shit happening. i think its going to be a brandon day, not that he ever knows what to do with me but hes there and its easy and he wont leave.

i have therapy in a little over three hours. 5 minute increments. breathe in, breathe out.

im worried he doesnt really love me, like its all going to fall apart. i dont know if he could even love me.

i dont know.

 

exposed

Standard

bell lets talk day makes me feel weird. i feel weird for talking about it, i feel weird not talking about it. its like a no win situation. i wasnt going to talk about it this year, but i did. i said this:

ive gotten a surprising number of questions about why im not posting for ‪#‎bellletstalk‬. ive done it before and im sure ill do it again but right now i am tired of presenting mental health in a light where recovery and “normalcy” are at the center of the discussion. the majority of you know i have bipolar disorder and PTSD, because it changes how i live my day to day life in ways that ive stopped bothering to hide. so im done posting my story like it has an ending, or like theres something i want you to do or acknowledge about it. its just my life. so if you want to know my ups, downs, and over the edges, if that helps you somehow then you can read them. if you need to talk i will listen. if you need company at the er at 4 am ill be there. but i dont have a “mental health story”. i have my life. they arent separate.

and i linked the september 2013 on this blog.

i am freaking out.

i didnt really think this through; no one knew this existed. for one. and two, a lot of people i care about are making their first hey i have anxiety! or whatever posts and i really hope i didnt offend them or hurt their feelings.

and then theres bell, the company, which is kind of awful, but we wont get into that.

so. i think i feel like writing again. its time. ive been off my meds for awhile, ive been sliding all over the place. i did a lot of cocaine and slept with some questionable people. i concocted a plan to drown myself in a half frozen lake. i started coloring to pass the time.

im on medical leave from work. or im supposed to be but get an ROE from them is like ripping my own teeth out of my skull with pilers. only i might prefer that.

i went to my shrink today and decided to go back on medication. because im a reasonable human being, at my core. so im going to be trying lamotrigine on top of my abilify, wellbutrin, clonazepam, and ativan. its supposed to be better for the depressive symptoms than most of the others ive been on, which is good, because my typical is having more problems with downs than ups, though for the past few months my mixed episode has definitely had more problems with ups. so im weary. im also preparing myself for the inevitable vomiting that is about to occur. it doesnt help that i already have the flu.

i think thats all im going to say for today because i think, judging from the stats counter, people are reading this today. most will likely forget about it by tomorrow. so maybe tomorrow will feel a little more safe.