It’s Alive!


I’ve been gone for a while, sorry. I think I felt like I was drowning myself in being bipolar and hindering my recovery.

I started school about a month ago and it’s going well…I’m looking forward to building a career, envisioning my life as a functional, contributing person in society.

I got my meds changed about a week ago, and I’m now taking 100 mg of Tegretol 2x a day, and 30 mg of Restoril at bedtime. I have my mind back, and it’s overwhelming sometimes when I realize how heavily the Lithium had affected my thinking. It was like brick wall had been built in my head, not allowing any thoughts to come in or to go out. It was a great mood stabilizer – and that’s why I put up with it for so long. I figured, hey, I’m not manic, I’m not severely depressed, so this MUST be the “normal” me. I thought it was just the life I was destined to live as a medicated bipolar person.

But the fact that I was an idiot half of the time started to chip away at my self esteem, and I did some high level critical thinking for me (being as thinking AT ALL was difficult) and decided that I was NOT an idiot before the Lithium (and not just because I was manic), and therefore, the Lithium was MAKING ME an idiot.

I realized that before I was bipolar, I was an incredible person, and that I still am that incredible person. There are just some things that need adjusting so I can get back to showing everyone that I am incredible.

If I have to choose between being an idiot on meds or being off meds, and thus a little unstable, I am going to choose being slightly unstable.

So here’s hoping that the Tegretol works. I’ll exhaust every reasonable medical intervention before I go sans-meds, but in the end I want to be the best person I can be for my children. I feel like being “alive” mentally is more beneficial than having an empty shell of a body because of all the meds.

I would rather them think in 15 years:

“Eh, Mom was a little crazy sometimes, high energy, telling jokes, always happy, and sometimes she seemed really sad and slept a lot, but she always made us feel loved”

rather than

“Mom wasn’t really ever ‘there’…she never seemed able to make choices very easily, couldn’t help me with my homework, never seemed really interested in my life, and was never really active with us”.

I think we’d all choose that first option. And I can understand now why people choose to come off their meds. It’s a really fine line.

But let’s be optimistic and believe that we will all one day find that perfect cocktail that will allow us to be mentally/physically/emotionally active and we won’t have to worry about all those nasty side effects of the meds or from being off the meds.

Cheers!

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned.


Or maybe I haven’t.

Or maybe I have, and I’m just gonna go to hell.

Or maybe I have, and it’s forgivable. 

I mean, I broke a commandment. Thou shalt not commit adultery. There has to be some repercussion for that, right? Some penance? I need penance. It’s not a “Oh, she was manic, she has an illness, she loves her husband and didn’t mean to hurt him – it was wrong, but it’s ok, you need to forgive yourself.” That just doesn’t sound right to me. But I kinda feel like that’s what I’m getting from my therapist.

She said I need to “do whatever you need to do to feel better”. Yeah, we’re at that point. 6 months later, and I’m not forgiving myself still. It’s like she’s pulling her hair out and looking confused wondering why I just can’t get over it. I thought it would just happen over time.

I know, for someone who did what I did, that this will sound really wrong, and maybe like a flat out lie. But I have strong morals. Which is probably why it’s so hard for me to let this go. Pillars says he has forgiven me. I have made great strides in attaining a normal mood, adjusting my life so it’s more kind to me. But I’m holding on to this nasty, hurtful feeling, and I’m not sure how to let it go.

My therapist asked Tuesday, “Why did you do it?”

“Because I couldn’t not do it. It was a physical urge. It wasn’t even an option. It was an energy. It didn’t make sense.”

“And that is Bipolar. It doesn’t make sense.”

Pillars asked why I am looking for sense in something that doesn’t make sense. Why can’t I just let it be: something that happened that doesn’t make sense.

I guess because I haven’t tortured myself enough yet.

If I wanna torture myself, fine. But the reason I am trying to figure this out is because I think that it’s coming between me and Pillars, physically. I had been explaining my low sex drive (I’m only wanting it once every 10 days or so) to meds, life, everything else. But things keep becoming clear to me – I’m able to see ways I am sabotaging myself . Ways I am lying to myself, maybe little white lies to others in effort to be what they expect me to be – or what I think they expect me to be. Doing things I don’t want to do, worrying about people judging me for any little thing. I wasn’t being true to myself; I might not even know who myself really is. I didn’t notice I was doing all of this, and now I’m slowly seeing it all.

So it became clear to me last week when we were having sex that I get little flashbacks, images, etc of my affairs. And of course that floods me with negative emotions: disgust, anger, hopelessness, pity, and more. I get really uncomfortable, and Pillars can tell. Therefore, sex = negative emotions for me. Hence why I hardly ever “feel like it”. We figured all that out in marriage therapy.

Now, I want to forgive myself for my husband. So we can have that intimacy back. So I can be his and be present while we are in bed. 0

I think a confession would be a good step forward. It seems to be what my mind always comes back to when I think of forgiving myself.

On the topic of the ten commandments – people commit murder to save themselves, people work on Sundays, people say the Lord’s name in vain, people covet what their neighbor has…

So it’s common place. It happens. A lot. I probably shouldn’t be so uptight about it.

But a little bit of me worries that if I let this go, I’ll do it again. But I’d have to be manic, and I keep too close a guard on my symptoms and my moods, Pillars pays close attention, and I see my therapist(s) too often for this to happen. So I should just let it go and trust myself and all of them.

That’s where I am. Focusing on that. Or trying not to focus on that. Whichever.

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?

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.

A 3 year old’s explanation of Mental Illness


Somehow, my husband and I got into a discussion with our 4 and 3 year olds about the brain. This led to them explaining how the brain works. I saw it as an excellent opportunity to introduce them to the idea that not all brains work the same way. A little mental illness normalization for them. Upon hearing that some brains are “sick” and need medicine, my 3 year old daughter explained it back to me:

“And sometimes, you have throw up in your throat and it moves up here (motioning towards her mouth) and then goes UP to your brain.”

I won’t lie, I got a little teary at hearing this, and knowing that one day I’ll be able to explain mental illness on a deeper level to them.

Then my 4 year old son had to explain:

“And sometimes, your, your, your diaper gets stuck in YOUR BUTT.”

Which led to a discussion about wedgies. Which I’m sure we’ll discuss again tomorrow. I love having kids.