Hi. My name is Melissa and I am living with Bipolar Disorder.


I was really nervous about telling my boss about my illness. I wish I had a better opinion about him – everyone there likes him, so he’s gotta be nice – but in my 4 months there, all I’ve heard from him is that I’m the slowest.

Just what someone who has been recently diagnosed with a mental illness needs to hear.

I couldn’t talk to him until the end of the night. When I noticed he was back in his office, I went back, knocked on the door, and then tried to delay the process by commenting about his lovely flowers on his desk.

I told him I needed to make a schedule availability change. He told me to speak to so-and-so who handles scheduling. But then he asked why.

I just jumped right in. I told him I have Bipolar Disorder and that the lack of a consistent sleep pattern is causing a lot of trouble. I can’t work nights anymore …which means I can’t work during the week…which means I can only work Saturday and Sunday lunch shifts.

He didn’t really like that. He looked like he had just been put in a bad position.

I took the opportunity to say “You know how you say I’m slow? The illness causes cognitive dysfunction. My memory is horrible sometimes, I have trouble processing information, and I get confused and indecisive.”

He expressed understanding and said his daughter is “like that too”. Weird. Her name is Melissa too.

Then he said “You know, technically, you have to be available to work 3 days a week. Why can’t you work a lunch during the week?”

“My (many) children.”

“Ohh yeah.”

“I was only diagnosed 5 months ago, so I’m still learning how to adjust my life to the illness.”

(I made effort to say ILLNESS as much as possible. I had no plans on how to conduct this conversation, but I did know I would be using that word a lot.)

By this point we’re walking out of the office. It felt like the conversation was drifting off, so I said “I’ll make sure to talk to so-and-so. Thanks.” To which he replied “Uh hu.”

Well that’s it, committed readers. Now I have to send an email to so-and-so who I’ve known for 2 weeks and seems infinitely nicer, which means she probably wont be.

My therapist today, upon razorblade revelation, insisted I stop working altogether. Grand idea if you weren’t poor.

She inaisted that if things aren’t taken care of properly and in a timely manner, yours truly would be hospitalized .

Pillars took it poorly…he was planning on my contribution to our financial well-being being more than two days a week.

Ill let you know what the scheduling manager says!

Hurting yourself is bad, mmkay?


Bug. I have therapy tomorrow. Not normally a bad thing, but I came out to Pillars tonight that I have been having more suicide ideation, and that I held a razor to my wrist a week or two ago. We made a deal that involves me telling Iris tomorrow.

Needs to be done. Yeah. Ugh. I just don’t wanna hear her ask questions and me have to respond, making it clear to me that I am not “normal”, whateverthefuckthatis. 

Actually, I don’t think anyone is normal. I think we’re all on a spectrum of some sort. And just like in politics, some are far left, and some are far right. Some are in the center. Who decided that the center is right? And why do I want to be in the center? Can’t I just be whateverthefuck I am and (a) not hurt anyone, and (b) be happy with myself? What pill does that for you?? Why does my mind torture me? Why can’t I be some hippie that just hugs myself all the time and accepts myself and forgives myself and moves on with a big smile and baggy clothes.

Hating yourself is a waste of time. It’s harmful. It’s useless. So why can’t I listen to myself and stop it?

Little Chest of Horrors


My husband and I changed bedrooms a couple months ago. We moved most of our things to the downstairs office, and most of the office stuff to the ex-playroom. I was in the old room wrapping up some of the last few things to make it ready for our oldest to move into tonight. I picked up a earring and opened up a drawer to my jewelry box. It was full of skeletons.

I bought a lot of jewelry during my manic episode. Nothing expensive. Mostly big, gaudy, cheap costume pieces. I still wear some, and I still buy some, but not as frequently. There were a few pieces in the drawers that I had forgotten about, and seeing them made me freeze. It felt similar to what it looks like on TV when a ghost walks through someone. I felt like I do right before someone sticks a needle in me.

I threw a couple things away that specifically reminded me of one of my affair partners. I paid attention to how it made me feel…what kind of attachment I had to it. It was like throwing away a piece of trash, or something was no longer useful. It just had no purpose to me anymore.  Can’t complain about that.

Its such an odd feeling when I come across what others who have committed adultery probably consider triggers. I don’t feel a longing for the APs, but a longing for how my marriage used to be. I don’t feel any desire to contact them, or that “me”. I only want to forget this ever happened, being as there’s no way to undo it. But I can’t forget it happened, because it caused my husband so much pain and nearly ruined my family. And I can’t deny it because its my illness, and denying it will lead to my demise.

Its a nasty circle of pain. I try to forget it, but weekly therapy and nightly medication denies me that chance. I have no choice but to live with it, but I think that can only be solved with time. Accepting being bipolar – I’ve suspected that for years, that’s not the hard part. Accepting that a manic me had affairs is a whole other ball game.

Optimus Prime and the Bipolar Bucket.


I’m gonna make this quick because Pillars is in CA, it’s been a CRAZY night with the kids (who just went to bed…), and my bed and Netflix are calling me…

I saw my therapist again yesterday after an excruciating 3.5 weeks. She had been on vacation. I went in kind of dreading it really, because I was going to have to recap my confusion, anxietydepersonalizations and depression, and it’s just a lot of stuff to cover.

She said that this week, she wants to conduct an experiment with the confusion/anxiety/depersonalization symptoms. She thinks they’re all anxiety symptoms, even though they don’t necessarily leave me shaky and nervous. So, I am regularly taking an ativan every day. (Although, I’m thinking it may need to be 2 per day). We’ll see if this week shows any marked improvements in that area. I expressed the symptoms being related to the lithium, and possibly lowering my dose, but she really wants me to try this first. I don’t mind. I like ativan. 😉

She has said it many times before, and said it again yesterday – I really don’t handle it well when things don’t go the way I want them.

I know this. It didn’t stand out as anything wrong until I was a grown adult with children. THEN, only then, did I say to myself, “Why am I acting like a 3 year old? I know how I should be acting/reacting. This is not it.”

Whatever. I’ll throw this in the bipolar bucket (see definition below). And by “whatever”, I don’t mean that I can get away with nasty behavior like that, but I mean that I am accepting that it’s not happening because I am a spoiled brat. That there is another factor involved.

Bipolar Bucket: My imaginary bucket that I will envision throwing all of the things about my bipolar self that I cannot change. If it were something I like, it would be pink with hearts and horses on it. Instead, I’ll make it black and put a big sticker of Optimus Prime on it. Because I’ve recently discovered that he’s awesome. And he has a sexy voice.

(Pillars has a sexy voice, too)

“Bipolar symptoms, ROLL OUT”

 

Frontline: The Medicated Child


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/medicatedchild/

I just watched this on Netflix and was quite horrified. Mostly because of a mother who stated that before the appointment she wants to decrease her (4 year old “bipolar”) son’s (8!!!) medications, and then walked out with an increase instead. Like she had no control.

I mean, I don’t know what he would’ve been before the meds, but I saw clips of him as a teenager throughout the documentary, and THAT was not bipolar. THAT was fuckedupness from taking 8+ meds since he was 4.

Ugh. I’m flabbergasted.


My amazing husband (thepillarsofherearth) drew a beautiful picture tonight depicting his blog title. Check it out.

The Pillars of Her Earth

image

Somebody has something nice to read when they get home…
Love you bRaving Bipolar

“I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”

View original post

Who am I, anyways?


I always had this clear vision of who I was, who I wanted to be. I was a dreamer growing up. Not the distracted dreamer, but I had big

plans for myself and I was confident about them. I knew that if I wanted it bad enough, I would get it. Something drove me inside; I felt strong inside. I attributed some of that strength to religion. Times got rough, as they do, but something always happened to pull me out of it. I was confident in my SELF.

The indecision and confusion that has been plaguing me for a few days reached it’s worst point yesterday. Thankfully I was off of work. I seem to be in a better place today. I don’t work again until tomorrow, so it should be gone by then. Thankfully, it never seems to last more than a couple days. It’s a slow slide into it, and then I have a virtually nonfunctional mind for a day or so, and then I wake up on the upside. Maybe still a little foggy, but I can think clearer, and make a decision easier.

Lucky for me, not only did I have yesterday off, but Pillars took the day off. Not because of my incapacity. It was nice. It’s always nice to have him around of course. 🙂

My self esteem hits rock bottom when I’m trying to do something simple like make a box of mac n cheese for the kids and I have to read the instructions 5 times before I even understand the first step. I don’t like looking like I’m stupid in front of my husband. I know he knows I’m not…and he thinks my mind is beautiful. But when he talks to me about what we’re going to do, and my head is EMPTY, and his words flow in, swirl around, and flow right back out – none of them finding a place to stick – I have to say “I’m sorry, what are we doing after that?”.  Or worse yet, “Just tell me what to do.”, because my memory isn’t on. I’m a body. I’m breathing. I can smile. I can laugh. But I can’t hold any information, and can only perform small, easy tasks. And even then, it takes me forever.

It’s those days that rubs my nose into the fact that I’m not “normal”.

On to happier news, I think I’ve gained more weight. I say “think” because I’m avoiding the scale. I know it’ll only upset me more. I’m trying to avoid things that upset me. I’m in a sensitive enough place as it is, and have had despairing thoughts and more suicide ideation than I care to admit. So, no, I’m not stepping on the scale. It’s not a surprise that I have…I used to run A LOT (while manic, of course), and now I just want to sit in a ball on the couch.

I don’t need a scale to tell me that I’ve packed a little on. So I decided to go running yesterday evening. As before, it started off fine, and then I ended up angry and crying about half way through. I realized I didn’t want to be running. But that 5 months ago, it was all I could think about. I’m drained of energy. But 5 months ago, I felt like I was busting at the seams with it, and had to restrain myself from doing jumping jacks all day. I cried because I want that energy back. At least some of it. At least enough to be able to feel alive, because right now, I don’t.

I said to myself, “I want myself back!”. But then I realized that that wasn’t myself. Then, who am I? When were my “normal” periods between episodes? When? I don’t think I have any way of knowing. So does that mean I have to figure that out now? Then my inner voice started screaming that I didn’t ask for this. I don’t WANT THIS. This isn’t how I was SUPPOSED TO BE.

Bipolar isn’t want I dreamed of being 15 years ago. 

We live across from a church, that has a nice little water fountain, and benches. I took my angry bipolar self over there, thinking it would calm me down. I sat on the bench, still crying a little bit, and asked if this is what life is for me. All the flowers there are bloomed,  and beautiful, and I wondered when I would be able to find my internal passion, hope, optimism, and beauty again.

Will I only know my “normal” when there is a absence of symptoms? I’ll realize I’m “normal” when I’m not checking anything off of my nightly symptom chart?

 


The Bipolar Place

I saw this post yesterday & thought it very informative. Please have a read & let me know what you think?

…………………………………..

Please do not use the following article for self-diagnosis or the diagnosis of others. We cannot diagnose ourselves. It is intended instead for information and to provide useful subject matter to discuss with a psychiatrist or therapist.

One of the most common questions I face in my bipolar Meetup group is the difference between bipolar 1 disorder and bipolar 2 disorder. I have written up list of all bipolar symptoms, but I thought I’d write a post that deals with the specific symptoms that differentiate bipolar 1 and bipolar 2, so that there can be a handy resource available for understanding the specific differences.

I won’t mention here all of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. This article only discusses the differences between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2…

View original post 1,211 more words

Rewriting history


I’ve had a couple weird memory moments over the past couple days.

First, my husband and I were discussing how some people rewrite their lies/history/experience, and then end up believing the lie. I remembered doing that…and all I can remember was that it was preteen years, and I didn’t like the way something happened, so I told myself over and over that it happened “this” way, and eventually the lines got blurry and one day I woke up and couldn’t remember the truth. So bam, the lie I had told myself stepped right in. I don’t remember what this was about, so that’s a little disturbing that I can remember everything but that.

Also! This freaked me out. Tonight at work a guest paid with a bill that had “7 years” written all over it. I’ve seen that bill within the last week or two. I don’t know, it just made me feel weird. Stuff like that makes me uncomfortable.

I guess in a time when you already question your mind, you don’t need stuff like this to pop up and make you feel even less sane.