My most recent slip helped me notice the difference in my social skills during my moods. It was really quite remarkable. I went from being the “Hey! How are ya? We should get together soon!! I LOVE THOSE EARRINGS!!” to, *grunt*, *shuffling feet*.
The whole air around me changes, and I think people can feel it. All of a sudden, situations that wouldn’t be weird become really awkward and silent, like I said something totally inappropriate. Or at least I feel like they feel like I said something inappropriate. I feel like when they look at me, they can see that something is off about me. Kind of like when you talk to someone who has a slight mental disability and you you’re thinking “Somethings not quite right here…”.
You know, I think the air around me DOES CHANGE. Because I know it changed when I was manic. It was on fire. It was either a lustful/seductive fire, or a “You’re the slowest, dumbest, piece of shit I’ve ever seen and I am highly offended that I’m being forced to breathe the same air as you” kind of fire.
So I suppose it’s only natural for it to change when I’m depressed or in a mixed episode. It’s one of those moments when saying “It’s not you, it’s me” is TOTALLY appropriate.
I don’t blog that regularly anymore because I don’t feel like I have anything witty to say anymore. I’m just existing, living a
normal average life. Can’t complain about that, really.
I did A LOT of that ^ yesterday. I mean, I was a god damn mess. And today, I’m like this:
And who knows!? Tomorrow, I could be this:
If you haven’t guessed it by now, my meds need adjusting. When I came off the Lithium in early February, I started the Tegretol at the normal starting dose of 200mg a day (100mg twice a day). And I felt really good for about 6 weeks. Then I felt my emotional bubble continue to grow past my comfort level.
((emotional bubble = range of emotions felt: sadness, normalcy, happiness))
I didn’t say anything because I wanted to push it. Just like everyone else, I want to be on as little medication as possible. So my internal dialogue did that same old shitty speech “Buck it up, you can handle it. Normal people handle it. You ARE normal. You CAN BE if you just try a little harder.” So I did. But my bubble bursted yesterday and I was a bipolar mess. Really, 200mg, I might as well be un-medicated. The tegretol is ALL I’m taking for my bipolar.
So I wake up tearing everyone a new asshole, then perfectly fine, then ready to lose it on my kids, then an anxious wreck, all panicky, crying, hopeless, then fine, you get the idea. Rinse and repeat. It was exhausting, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Pillars pretty much kicked me out of the house for the day – for his sake, and for mine. I wasn’t handling existence well anywhere, but it was easier out of the house where I could control all the stimulation around me (remember…3 small children here).
I spoke with my Psychiatrist yesterday and he doubled my dosage, so today was my 2nd full day of taking 400mg a day. I had moments, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Much better than yesterday. Luckily, yesterday was also support group night. Well, or unluckily. When it was my turn to talk about my week, I bursted into tears and I’m sure the words coming out of my mouth didn’t make any sense. They made me feel tons better, as being with people who are equally fucked up typically does.
The battle here for me is when I feel myself being pushed, to NOT continue to allow it. To tell myself that it’s OK to ask for help, and to stop expecting myself to function as other people do.
So here I am, being all bipolar and shit again.
I found myself wondering yesterday evening, as I stepped into the shower about an hour before my first Bipolar Support Group started, “Why am I going?? I don’t like people. I have all the support I need between my blog and my family and friends who know. WHY AM I GOING?”. Surprisingly, the answer flowed from my elusive brain:
I want to see what they look like. I want to see just how sick I am compared to them.
Honest thoughts like that from me are hard to come by. Most of them are centered around pleasing someone, and as emotional as I am, I am not very in touch with MY feelings. Recognizing this has knocked me back a little. It feels like a huge realization that is going to change the way I think. It has, in this short time. I can feel myself care less about if someone is judging me. Its odd…Im still trying to figure it out…another day, another blog.
I was incredibly nervous going to this meeting. I found a parking spot quickly, and made my way to the nearest elevator. There was an older woman in a pink shirt that rode to the 2nd floor with me. She carried on to wherever while I asked the nearest nurse where room C is.
I stopped down the hall from the room. I had to decide now if I wanted to see what was in there. I kicked my ass and walked in.
And there’s the lady from the elevator. She joked and asked if I was following her. I didn’t have to spend much time scanning the room, there was only a total of 4 people there. All older (40+).
Sigh. No one in a straight jacket. No one trying to chew their ear, or screaming, or my personal manic favorite – soliciting for sex.
There ended up being 10 including me. I was the youngest. I wasn’t the craziest. Or the least crazy. Trust, I quietly surveyed everyone. My first check was for wedding bands. Aside from the two partnered gay women sitting across from me, I was the only one wearing one
In 15 years, when I’m their age, will I no longer be wearing one? Do I, do we, have the equivalent of the plauge of marriage? I gathered after hearing everyone’s introduction that they had all been diagnosed later in life. I comforted myself with thinking about how I caught it early and am dedicated to therapy and my medication.
I was fully prepared to say that I don’t want to talk. But I found myself eager to share after hearing a few intros: painful, and embarrassing. I listened and watched everything there was to listen to and watch. Clothing, eye movement, voice, sentence structure, and confusion or delay in their story, and most importantly, what their eyes were saying.
Some eyes were sad. Defeated. Hollow. Wild. Angry. Frustrated. I saw myself in every single one of them. They saw themselves in each other as well. There was an understanding. And it was the least judgmental place I have ever been. They knew when someone was feeling low, when someone hadn’t taken their Meds. They asked how the other’s surgery went, and sent a Happy Birthday to another group member’s dog.
There was a sense of protection there. It was special. It just was.
They were people Ive probably seen around town, and they are struggling just like me. They get crazy just like me. They have a temper just like me. I always thought I was a rare breed…
But I found others. Just like me.