Bipolar Mania Redux

Yeah, the Mania has returned.

Once again, I am a live wire that hums like a fluorescent bulb, sleeping 2 hours a day, am a writing banshee and logged into work for many hours at a time.

lights

See-Saw Up & Down

From mid-September 2016 to early November 2016, I was in a pretty intense Manic State. The last Manic Episode I’d had before that was 1998.

It seemed to take forever to get control over the hallucinations and be able to sleep, and when I did, I slid into Depression mid-December. The fight to find balance between soaring highs and plunging lows has eluded me. Just when I think I am finding stasis, I slip by it and move to the next level of distress.

And here we are, mid-January 2017, and I am, once again, having hallucinations, staying awake for far, far too long.

Will I never find balance?

Hallucinations AGAIN

I’ve had increasing hallucinations for at least 2 weeks now. They aren’t terrifying yet, but they are on their way there.

Today I was visited by a bat!

corynorhinustownsendiiflying

Fucking thing was flying around the room then dove right for my head. I ducked and covered myself, but, of course, it wasn’t real, so if someone had been watching, it would have given them a hearty laugh. Other visual non-existent treats have been my clothes on the back of the door lifting off and swaying back and forth a couple of times and nondescript somethings sitting on the dressers or on my bed.

(I feel like a crazy woman sharing these things. How can I talk about what is going on so casually? I think it is just getting to be so normal, I am more shrugging than freaking out about it.)

The auditory hallucinations have returned, my hearing all sorts of crazy noises from windstorms to doorbell chimes. And the incessant whispers, always just out of earshot and too low for me to understand, but they are not happy noises. “Ominous” is the word I would use to describe them.

nguyen-hoang-hiep
artist, Nguyen Hoang Hiep

Oh, the goddamn tactile sensations. Again, feeling like I have bugs crawling on me. Not lots so far, but just enough to make me slap myself periodically.

Not smelling anything (yet) – olfactory hallucinations – but those are probably what’s up next on the Manic menu.

Writing writing writing

book-letters

And so I write. Here,  in my work blog, in Facebook. The words tumble out of my fingers even when I am meditating trying to sleep. I cannot keep them still as they search for a keyboard upon which to create.

This is the part of the Mania that keeps me from telling my doctor or taking more Risperdal because the deliciously creative period would be fleeting and, right now, the negativity of hallucinations is balanced by the verbosity of my words.

So shhhhh. Keep my secret quiet for now.

And watch the words spill from my psyche.

 

Bipolar Diary: Manic Spending

I’m pretty upset as I write this. I’ve known I spent money during the Mania… enough that I am in quite a hole I cannot seem to climb out of… but I did not know how much.

falling

I could have gone and looked at my bank statement when I realized the money was gone so I knew where it went, but I was sticking my head in the sand, ashamed of what I had done… too embarrassed to even disclose it to myself.

But I found a pile of Blu-Ray DVDs 3 days ago; all 6 seasons of Northern Exposure and Season 1 of St. Elsewhere. I’m enjoying Northern Exposure (am on Season 5 now), it being one of my fave shows of all time, but I cannot help wishing I had the $400 back instead.

Today, I decided to be brave… and humble… and go look at the accounting of my spending during the Mania. It isn’t pretty. I didn’t have lots of new things in my small space, so was baffled what I could have spent the money on.

Apparently, I was benevolent.

syrian-help

Not needing to share the organizations I picked… I’ll just say I chose ones who were either in Syria or were attending to Syrian Refugees. 3 different ones.

1  of them twice.

Trying to put the pieces together, I looked here in the blog and, as the Mania was ascending, I had written about my utter horror and distress about the Middle East. Clearly, it affected me deeply considering the amount of money I donated very soon after writing those posts. There is no way I could say, “I wish I had the money back,” but I still wince seeing how much I sent out.

overspending-excuses

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to not have that happen again. As far as I know, I didn’t tell a soul I had done it. If I had, maybe someone could have questioned me? I have zero recollection of spending anything during that time. I don’t have a real life lover or anyone to watch over my finances (which Zack used to do). I don’t have credit cards, but spent everything I had plus more I had in the bank, so can’t even cut up cards to try and save myself from me.

I’m lost. Maybe someone will have some good ideas for not having that happen again?

I Am a Fluorescent Tube

Tuesday, 10/18/16, 7:06pm

You know that sound they make? That incessant buzzing?

That’s what I feel like.

fluorescent-tube-gif

And in perpetual motion.

Non-Compliant. Again.

I don’t know who I think I am fooling when I sneakily “forget” to take the Risperdal. Up for 25 hours, trying to sleep periodically and feeling like I am electrically charged, getting back up again a few minutes later.

I’m somewhat productive, writing posts for work and here, organizing my Kindle music library, pulling things out of drawers and stuffing them into garbage bags, but I feel sad all at the same time. Not that wonderful, blissful feeling of the last few weeks. My therapist, just like my Psychiatrist, reminded me that it was not all that “blissful” and my mind is playing games with me.

TAKE THE FREAKIN’ RISPERDAL.

(I did.)

Therapy

fluorescent-tube

I hadn’t been to therapy in a couple three weeks because I was working with the doctor instead. It’s almost an hour to get there and the prospect of taking that trek twice in one day was too daunting. I did it today, but probably shouldn’t have.

I barely remember anything we talked about, knowing I wouldn’t even as my lips were moving. The whirring so loud in my head and coursing through my body.

What I remember is that I need to honor my Self and take my meds every day and on time.

It’s the goal for the next few days.

fluorescolor

7:58pm

Bipolar Mania: Settlin’ Down

10/18/16, 2:08am

Melancholia

valeria-fulop2
artist, Valeria Fulop

I think the Mania is gone.

Hallucinations have shifted. The tactile ones are all but gone, the olfactory ones haven’t returned since starting the Risperdal and the visuals are much less… smaller… less intense. The last nasty one was when a roach crawled out of my Diet Coke can onto my face (it was not real) and I threw the can across the room. That was… 2 nights ago? 3 now? Otherwise, the shadows are pretty small… more translucent. I haven’t had an auditory hallucination in over a week.

Even though all those horrible hallucinations have all but abated, I am sad I am not filled with energy like I have been. I feel like a sloth now… it taking inordinate amounts of energy to do anything. Still not sure if I am dipping down into depression or not. I see the Psych in the morning and will run it by him.

Medications At the Moment

bpseesaw

Psych Meds
  • Risperdal 2 mg at bedtime
  • Wellbutrin
  • Cymbalta
  • Lamictal
  • Buspar
Meds from ER Visit & GI Doc
  • Bentyl – finished (not sure it did anything)
  • Cipro – finished in the morning; feel MUCH better in my abdomen, diarrhea gone, suspected UTI gone
  • Lomotil – haven’t picked it up from the Pharmacy yet, but didn’t need it after the Cipro
  • Probiotics bid – helps keep the yeasties at bay with the Cipro

Work & Sleep

I’ve been back to work 2 days in a row now. Luckily, we can log in and log out whenever we want/need to, so when I get tired, I just log out and take a nap. I spent 3 days barely able to function as things slowed down. I felt like my brain was stuttering and I never knew, from one minute to another, whether I would be able complete a call or need to crash asleep, so I pretty much listened to music, did some work writing and watched Netflix or Amazon.

My hair-trigger anger seems to have settled some as well, but when I get upset, it is over-the-top, but simmers down quicker than it would have a week ago.

I’ll write more after seeing the Psych and my therapist tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m just resting.

sera-knight-horsell2
artist, Sera Knight-Horsell

10/18/16, 2:45am

If I Have to Have Hallucinations…

… then why can’t I also have the energy behind them?!?

faststreetlites-gif

ht-tw
scary hallucination descriptions below

Fucking Roaches

But, nooooo, I am sleeping 18-hours a day and seeing roaches crawling everywhere. On the ceiling, on the walls, on my legs.

CRAWLING OUT OF MY DIET COKE CAN & ONTO MY FACE!!!

See the splatter of Diet Coke across the room on the wall? I’ve already cleaned it off the keyboard, the screen, the chair and the floor.

My favorite hallucination last night was when the big snake crawled across the wall. Beat the cockroach on my face by a slither.

Is This Normal?

normal

snortylaughing

(As if normal were even anything to claim or aspire to….)

But now I am reading some of Dr. Google’s “Bipolar Mania” because I am still a week away from seeing the doctor and I really want some answers.

  • Why am I still having hallucinations?
  • Am I getting depressed?
  • When do hallucinations disappear after mania?
  • Does depression always follow mania?

I swear the hallucinations have actually increased as I am getting more sleep. At least the past couple of days.

STOP IT ALREADY.

stahhhp

 

Bipolar Mania Fading Away

I joined MoodTracker this morning and have been inputting my meds and moods (thank goodness for writing things in the blog!). I had no idea I was struggling for so long. I’d been “productive” for probably 6 weeks before I started writing the distress on these pages, but had no idea, until writing it down just how long I have been trying to find balance.

Now I feel useless. I cannot concentrate… or stay awake… long enough to work. I am irritable as shit. Hair-trigger anger. I need to work so bad… the pay period ends tomorrow… but I cannot keep 2 thoughts together long enough to take even a 15-minute call.

brave-ugh2

And as if the mental crap wasn’t enough, the pain in my upper right abdomen. Fuck. I am tired of hurting.

What to Do Instead of Work…

… or read or watch tv or watch a movie or clean anything or focus for more than 2 minutes at a time?

The only thing I have found is listening to Disney music.

Disney is as much in my blood as my Dad’s Cuban heritage is.

mulan2

Reflection

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

Gonna go nap.

For the 3rd time today. After 7 hours last night.

This is some fucked up shit, too.

Bipolar Mania: Mere Vapors Left

I just want to cry.

I am sleeping 12-15 hours a day. Deep, deep sleep that leaves me groggy. I have not taken a Trazodone to sleep for 4 days now, just the Risperdal. I also re-added the Cymbalta and Wellbutrin (that was in the plan) to see if that would help me be more awake.

drown

While I don’t feel like I have fallen into a depression, per se, I feel like this drawing… somewhat submerged… when, a few days ago, I was a colorful bird zipping and zooming over the meadow.

My body hurts so bad again. It was glorious to not feel pain for a few weeks. I am back to my plodding productivity cycle.

It feels like I am waving good-bye to a beloved friend who doesn’t have the Internet with which to keep in touch.

Intellectually, I know it is right to send the Mania on its way… all I have to do is read the past posts to see how terrifying the hallucinations were… which do remain, but on a physically smaller scale.

I am left with needing to sleep many hours a day, not being productive, in pain, have zero desire for sex and still having a completely scrambled brain that makes work almost impossible.

Will I find equilibrium?

sigh

tree