Bipolar Diary: Incremental Shift

TWMental

Loving Nudge

After my Bipolar Diary: Depression Deepens post, I had several people tell me to call my psychiatrist immediately. I thought I could white knuckle it for another week, but others saw what I couldn’t. I trust those closest to me and picked up the phone, getting pushed into a non-existent spot in his schedule the next day. Wednesday, August 2, 2017.

Office Visit

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

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I told him about the suicidal ideation increasing… then added the obligatory, “But I have no plans to hurt myself, am not stockpiling meds and promise to call 911 if I do find myself getting too close.” He replied, “I understand how frightening they (the thoughts) can be, even when you aren’t consciously creating them.” I breathed a sigh of relief that he seemed to understand.

soren dreier
artist: Soren Dreier

I’ve had at least 8 different psychiatrists in 30 years and this one is one of the top 2. He listens to me, takes my preferences seriously like refusing the Risperdal increase and is infinitely patient with my continued distress.

I really am so blessed to have such a kind (and gifted) doctor. I know that is rare and how privileged I am to be able to receive quality medical and psychiatric care.

I OWE MY AWESOME CARE TO THE ACA/OBAMACARE INSURANCE I HAVE.

I would not be alive without it.

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Medication Change… Again

I continued crying while he pondered, looking at his computer, typing some, then thinking again.

He found a medication I had not tried before… Latuda… which I’ve since read is used specifically for bipolar depression. Yes, yes… it does come with a laundry list of side effects, but I’m ignoring them, listening to my body instead.

I know it takes at least 2 weeks (in my body) to 6 weeks to feel the full effect of psych meds, but when I got home from the appointment, I took my first pill. Then the next morning, I took the second. (It is taken once a day.)

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Whether placebo or really working that fast, I did not cry until late evening the next day. I didn’t cry the next night, either. And the ideation has slowed, the thoughts feeling more “transparent,” fewer hard imaginings. The images had been like mosquito bites, begging to be scratched. (Not sure I explained that clearly… I’m having a terrible time writing this, pardon spelling and grammar errors, please.)

August 6, 2017

I’m feeling better still. The doc told me that if I was feeling too sedated, to drop the Risperdal, which I did on day 3 after starting the Latuda. I’ve been on Risperdal since 1995, so it is a major thought process to not take it before bed. I do feel less sedated (I described it like someone spiked my drink), but there’s a lot more room for not dropping into a slumber at any given moment.

Let me get this out so those who are following along know how I am doing. Thanks for you care and attention, my dear friends. Thank you for your love.

free getting
artist: Zenos Frudakis

Bipolar Mania: Goal – SLEEP

10/4/16, 9:56am

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

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Med Changes

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

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

Meds taken, going to bed.

Thanks all for your wonderful thoughts and words of encouragement.

10/4/16, 10:10am

 

Bipolar Mania: Precariously Weird

10/3/16, 5:24pm

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

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From Awesome to Terrifying

Well, I did have a few images/tactile sensations trying to invade around 8pm, but I went onto the phone with my fawn and we spent a little over 2 hours together Scening and had an awesome time. I wove a magnificent story we won’t soon forget. And my orgasm after, fuck it was nice! I’d edged several times during the day, but was too jittery and with too little patience to finish. I did orgasm for my fawn, though.

delighted smile

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

boleman-herring
artist: Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

Today Sucked

10/3/16, 7:29pm

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

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

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

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

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10/3/16, 8:28pm

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

10/3/16, 9:24pm

I went and cried in bed thinking about today.

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

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

My precious fawn, a bright light in my life! He came home tonight… we were chatting on Skype… blah blah blah… and then I asked what time he would be home tomorrow night… and he answered, “Uh… uh…” and I realized what was going on and nearly collapsed in laughter. What had happened was my brain fell into a marital groove. Asking what time a partner is coming home is code for “What time should I have dinner ready?”

He lives thousands of miles away!

I thought I was going to die laughing… struggling still not to laugh maniacally (not succeeding most of the time). I know I will be filled with shame about it one day soon. When I feel better.

Reaching Out for Help (Again)

brokenbrainhug

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

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

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

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

You all heard me!

10/3/16, 9:58pm

Mania: Dancing Now!

10/2/16, 8:24am

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

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

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

Mania can be so awesome.

10/2/16, 8:30am

A Manic Dervish

10/2/16, 7:12am

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

whirling-dervishes

Busy Hands Filling Garbage Bags

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

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

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

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I wonder how long it will last.

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And if I will crash afterwards.

Glad my fawn is gone today.

10/2/16, 7:27am

 

Not Fit for Human Consumption

10/2/16, 12:36am

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

10/1/16, sometime early evening

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

Ugh.

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The Family That Ignores One’s Mental Illness

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

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

family

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

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

rolling eyes

How Do I Function This Way?

i_am_bipolar

10/2/16, 12:45am

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

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

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

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

Swatting at Hallucinations

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

Fuck hallucinations. Fuck them hard.

hallucinations-fuck-off

Night, all.

10/2/16, 12:56am