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 love and we spent a little over 2 hours together Scening and had an awesome time.

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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.

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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 love, 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)

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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.

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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.

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>?

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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!”

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How Do I Function This Way?

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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.

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Night, all.

10/2/16, 12:56am

Hallucination Overload

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From 9/28/16

I began writing this on Tuesday, 9/27/16 about 2am. I had not slept but 90 minutes total since Sunday at midnight. I got on the Risperdal on Wednesday morning, 9/28/16 at noon (still only having slept a total of 90 minutes since Sunday) and an hour later, was asleep until 6pm. I don’t even remember getting into the bed! Anyway, I am so glad I wrote last night and then shared with my friends in Facebook because tapping into that mass of confusion and horrific images is more challenging after medication and sleep. Read on!

From 9/30/16

It is almost 4am writing this. I need to get this post out and the next started regarding finding balance. Pardon if it is a tad disjointed and it doesn’t have a tied-up-neatly ending.


Ever since the Pulse Massacre, I have had a slow downward slide into depression. I haven’t been in a depression for over 2 years. The children of Aleppo, the Syrian War, the horrific killings of black men, women and children… and then the election stands out all on its own… all of these things have added cement blocks on my limbs and are pulling me under the water. I sort of recognized what was happening, but when the Relief Trucks were bombed in Syria and I was inconsolable for over 2 hours, I knew for sure something was wrong.

Initially, I was put back on Risperdal, a medication I was on for 18 years to quell the hallucinations I always carry with me (olfactory mostly, but also visual and auditory), but had been off of for a year  because the hallucinations hadn’t been scary in a couple three years, on Thursday, 9/22/16. The next day, my feet and ankles began swelling, but it didn’t dawn on me that it was the Risperdal until Saturday morning… and of course the office was closed, so I Googled it and it didn’t seem distressing, but was a reportable side effect, so called at 8am on Monday, 9/26/16.

Falling Into Mania

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I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 in 1998, have only had 2 manic states total (one in 1996, the other in 1998)… still enough to qualify me for the BP 1.

Until right now.

I was thinking I was merely in a hypomanic state, but these fucking hallucinations shift it to a manic episode.

This is part of what I wrote in Facebook last night:

I could use some good thoughts.

Long story, but the doc took me off the Risperdal 2 days ago and I have only slept 1 hour since then. Am extremely manic and am having really scary hallucinations. I don’t see him until Thursday so am white-knuckling it until then. Have considered going to the hospital several times, but keep holding out. I am not suicidal at all… not even really ideation stuff… but the hallucinations and racing mind with jolts of electricity coursing through my body are really not fun at all. I cannot even work because my speech is so rapid, stumbling over thoughts that have no direct connections to each other… and the flares of anger.

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I am just best left alone in my room until Thursday. I can write, however, and am pumping out post after post for work. Am writing one for my NgW blog about the hallucinations so maybe if I drop the shit on the page, they will leave me alone for awhile. Light and prayers welcome.

Then later, after being asked why I was taken off the medication, I answered:

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The Risperdal was making my feet and ankles swell. Called the doc. Nurse called back and said to halve the dose. I was pretty cranky about that because they were already simmering down the hallucinations (auditory, tactile and visual atm).

Then she calls back like 20 min later and says, “He said to go OFF the Risperdal.”

I was like… “uh, why!?!?”

“Because you are having hallucinations.”

I wanted to scream ugly nasty words hurled against women, but just kind of screeched loudly… “THAT IS WHY I AM ON THE MEDICATION IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!”

She said, “Well we can get you in on Thurs at 8:15.”

I was so pissed… still am… and not knowing how much anger is actually appropriate… and mad at myself for…

1) not asking her to go back and fix the stupid comment she made

2) not taking the Risperdal even though he told me to stop.

I get Tardive Dyskinesia really easily with meds I have not used before… and Risperdal and I have an 18-year history. If the feet swelling is dangerous, then fine. If it is just a stupid side effect, I don’t give a crap… GIVE ME THE RISPERDAL. (See! I can’t even control my screaming here and you are are my beloved friends!)

My Beloved Holds Me Tenderly

Later, after talking to my former (30-year) marriage partner Zack  (“My Beloved”) for a really long time, where he listened to me ramble and rant… cry and laugh uncontrollably… talking me down from the ledge of insanity several times… reassuring me that if I wanted or needed to go to the hospital, it would be fine, but if I wasn’t suicidal, they might not even keep me, so try and hang on until the office opened at 8:am… I wrote this:

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I got really scared awhile ago and called Zack who has the best handle on my mental illness and he was very kind and loving and reminding me the rats and roaches aren’t real. That I can get in my bed if I want to… that those rats prancing on my arms, scaring the fuck out of me and making me jump out of my skin are not real.

I feel like my body has a form of Tourette, slapping myself randomly because I know there is a family of roaches on my legs… I can SEE them. I can FEEL them. But I swat and they are not really there. I was watching rats climb onto my bed last night. Blink 3x and they are gone. And shadows. Ugh. They darken my peripheral vision… I turn… and they vanish. And the evil whispers. Just out of my range of comprehension. Except when they call my name in a menacing hoarse whisper. Makes me jump every time.

My wonderful Facebook Friends posted, messaged and texted me:

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THURSDAY.

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Agitated Waiting Period

I am writing 9/30/16 and ending this post, opening a new one and continuing.

It has been a bizarre few days.