From: Your Dead or Alive Mother


I feel like a human science experiment. I felt that way when I was pregnant…wasn’t hoping to feel that way again. Ever. But in my search for the perfect “cocktail” of meds, I find myself swinging (in moods, not in partners!), and exhausting my mind and body in trying to keep up with my real world responsibilities and not look like a total nut case.

Shit has to get done, and poor Pillars can’t do it all himself. I *could* just sit on the couch and look like a total wreck all day, I have before, but that’s not something I want my children remembering me for. I want them to remember me as a fighter who put them first, no matter how badly I felt. A mommy who had a lot of patience even when going through the worst moods. I fail a lot of times at this, and I always find myself caught up in wondering how they will remember me when they are older, after they find out about my illness.

I KNOW they will look back on their childhood and try to fill in the blanks. I’m always looking through  their eyes at me, viewing what I’m doing, and there are many times when I don’t feel like it’s good enough. I know I should be showing them that no one is perfect, and how to be accepting of yourself and of others, blah blah blah. Shut up, don’t say it, readers!

I really think most of this is caused by the fact that I look back on my childhood at my Dad and try to figure out who he really was and what he felt. I’m projecting that onto my children, and in turn back to me, and I’m just wasting time. I keep telling myself there is a difference. I’m going to be around to show them who I am, and I’m going to be around to tell them how it feels to suffer this. Unlike my Dad, I will be here in 20 years for them.

It all circles around to my fear of ending up like my Dad. What if I’m not here in 20 years? This morbid part of me actually bought little notebooks to write letters to them for them to read in the future and know how much I love them, because I wish I had something like that to read from my Dad. I’ve written in them a few times, but every time I pick it up, I wonder if I am admitting to myself that I don’t think I’ll be around in 20 years. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also a sweet idea. Who wouldn’t love having handwritten letters from their parent talking about what they’ve done that day as they’re growing up and how much they love them?

I got seriously depressed a couple weeks ago and I’ll tell you the only thing that made me feel like life was worth living was having my kids lay on top of me. Like a mommy-pile. Their weight, their energy, their scents, their giggles, it all gave me a little more energy and a little more hope.

Anyways, I just saw my new psych (because my other one is retiring) and we’re tweaking my meds. We added Zoloft just over a week ago and it certainly brought me out of my depression I was feeling, but it sent me into a hypomanic state. Not a big deal, as long as I’m not bothering anyone. My old psych is the one who started me on Zoloft and he wanted me to double the dosage to 100mg a day after a week, but I told my new psych that I’m just not comfortable doing that right now considering how drastically I felt the 50mg had already affected me. I’ve felt that my hypomanic state has declined a bit, into a more normal than hypomanic area.

Sorry for the morbid title. Nope, no, I’m not sorry. And BTW, don’t google an image for “morbid”. That shit is REALLY morbid.

XOXO (I love Gossip Girl)

I bet I would be SUPER in theatre.


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.

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I did A LOT of that ^ yesterday. I mean, I was a god damn mess. And today, I’m like this:

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And who knows!? Tomorrow, I could be this:

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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 forgot to put a title here.


I think we’re going to have to change the times I take my Lithium up a bit. I see the psych this Friday.

I am currently taking:

Lithium 1200 mg at bedtime

Ambien 10 mg at bedtime

Ativan as needed

Pretty mild considering some of the other concoctions I hear about people being on. So that’s one positive I suppose. But I am tired of being irritable and nasty in the evenings and night. Some people in my support group said my meds are probably wearing off, which makes perfect sense. Either way, I am just going to go in to the office Friday and present my symptoms. I think I do a really good job at keeping Pillars and the kids out of the line of fire. I just rage at everyone else. And it’s horribly exhausting.

I should probably just go take an Ativan right now. I’m sorry I don’t have anything remarkably insightful to say. I’m sure as soon as the fog clears out of my head it’ll all come out.

And before I forget, I would like to list some of the things my sweet husband (of 7 years, this month!) does for me on a regular basis:

– I am not saying this to brag, but there are some people in this community who have called him “vile”, “dangerous”, and, my personal favorite!, “a bipolar” lately and I merely wanted to say that if loving vile is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Haters gonna hate! –

Hot towel massages, complete with calming music and scented lotion

Head/foot/shoulder/back/whatever aches rubs (sometimes 2/3 a day)

Random yummy surprises (candy bars/nachos and cheese/soda/OJ…my favorite things)

Romantic cards with smushy love letters written in them

Lots of house cleaning

Cleans the litter box

Wrestles with the kids every day, and makes it a point to show them how to treat a woman and what a woman should expect

Plus all the “regulars” like making dinner, unexpected trips out of the house (“Go out to eat, read a book, just relax!”)…shit, he’s even shaved my legs before.

I bet you all wish you had someone vile like him. 🙂

Struggling


I’ve been having trouble falling asleep lately, despite the help of Ativan and Ambien. I’m also (as displayed in previous posts…) having anger issues in the evenings and I’m drinking entirely too much fluids and getting up too much at night to pee. Last night was 4 times.

Many people in my group told me last night that they had a similar irritability problem and it was easily fixed by changing the time they took their meds. I’m gonna call my psych Monday and tell him that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to be an angry person.

The drinking, I don’t know what to do. It’s a “I’m dying of thirst!”feeling, and I know it’s a side effect of Lithium, so there isn’t much I can do. I complained to the psych about it a few weeks ago and he said “drink less”. Thanks. Asshole.

I think sleep will get easier of I change the time I take my meds. I’m just too agitated, anxious, and angry to be able to pass out at a decent hour.

So I’m struggling right now, and I feel like it shows.

Raising the levels.


The psychiatrist’s waiting room is unusually full today. Which means I am sitting elbow to elbow with…colorful people. And it’s not even 9am.

I’m starting to realize how different social situations either make me clam up or come out. It’s odd. I think Ill start taking notes and seeing if I can connect any dots.

Thank God I was the first person called…this big guy next to me kept falling asleep and then jerking awake.

I meekishly explained my symptoms to him. It sounded something like this:

“I don’t know if you remember our meeting last Friday, but I had told you that I had a couple symptoms creeping up. They’ve grown, kinda snowballed. Now I have full hypersexuality, pressured speech, Im witty, productive, excellent multi tasker, inflated self-esteem, Im dressing a little differently…there are times when I know I am not in control and that scares me. It scares my husband. We don’t want to wait until something bad happens.”

He asked when I got my lithium level checked, I said yesterday. He didn’t have the results yet, so he sent me back out to the crazy house the waiting room while a secretary called to check on it.

30 long minutes later he called me back in and said that we had good news, my level was at .7 yesterday. Therapeutic level (for this lab at least) varies from .5-1.2. So, I’m on the “low” side of the therapeutic dose. So we upped it to 1200mg.

This is good. I didn’t want another medication. Hopefully this’ll work out. I’ll have another blood draw Monday to see how it looks.

Yay. There’s hope.

Losing it. Keeping it.


I’m battling an episode. Really. It feels like a goddamn war. One that sometimes I just want to give up.

And I don’t know that I need to fight it. Do I have to? Is it even an enemy? Will it really hurt me?

The “real” me is battling the manic me that likes to go out with barely any clothes on, drink rum and coke until I need someone to carry me, wear bright makeup, and flirt dangerously. <—hey let's all admit this chic sounds fun. And I hear she's hott.

My self esteem picked up. I don't think Im disgusting anymore. Hey, that's not a bad thing, right??

I long for a drink sometimes. But not just one. That can go in the "bad" column.

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        My Dad liked to drink too…

I talk. And talk. And talk. Good for my job – my guests love it when I continuously engage them in conversation. And it reflects in my tips. Good column.

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                   Who doesn’t?

And I’m frickin hilarious. Well, at least I think so. Always something witty to say. Unlike the real me who takes 6 hours to come up with a come-back. Good column.

I’m productive. I think easily. Another thing the real me can’t do. I can easily multi-task without having to blink. It’s another trait that makes work easier. My depressed brain stutters. Bad. My normal brain moves at what I would suspect is a normal speed. My manic brain does laps around everyone elses brains. If my brain were in the Olympics…

Oh. Now there’s an idea. Brain Olympics. Bipolar people would totally kick ass.

When I’m shopping, everything grabs my attention. “Oh look, its toddler toothpaste with Pinky Pie on it!….Ohh look at this new training toothbrush with the little finger loop on it so they can brush their little teeth….” Luckily, my husband was in the phone with me (Yes….I was saying all that to myself….) to keep me focused on the goal.

I think that last one should qualify as a bad column. Its using up time I could be productive.

Is any of this anything to worry about? Some may say no, but Im gonna say yes. The hurtful part of all this – the hypersexuality – is dangerous. Because when it hits, the rest of me throws the deuces up and checks out. Anyways, its here. Has been for a few days. I just haven’t been able to relinquish my grip on myself. And I don’t want to.

Hypersexuality – so, how long has it been since you’ve had sex with your husband? My therapist asks.

I think its been nearly 2 weeks.

What?? There’s no reason it should be that long. Especially if you’re feeling hypersexual. What’s wrong?

Idk. The feeling is there, but I think I might be scared to have sex right now because it might trigger something. Or he might see in my eyes that I am not emotionally there. Ans he’s in so much pain anyways, I don’t wanna do that to him.

She ended up getting me in tomorrow with the psychiatrist at which point I have to tell him all my symptoms and also that’s I am scared of myself. She toke me to say that, but it really is the truth. Im not in control of myself.

Either way, its putting us all on edge. Which is weird. Here I am. Im the one that without, people would live a little easier. I seem to bring destruction into people’s worlds. And not even on purpose, but because of an illness, which is even more unfair.

Ugh. Im sure something will done Thur. I’ll let you all know…

Mood charts, symptom charts, and a non-detrimental episode?


A lot of bipolar people chart their moods. I started in the first week of July. Well, I “started” in March, during whichI time I was still in my episode, but didn’t record anything worth transferring into this new chart:

Aside from this mood chart, I’m keep a sort of symptoms checklist. Every night, after I fill out my chart, I also check off what symptoms I experienced that day. These were symptoms I displayed during my last episode:

 

Ewwwwww. Nice trend, right?

Sometimes, knowing the difference between a normal feeling and a NOT NORMAL feeling is difficult, but it gets easier every time.

So some of the blocks in the symptom chart are 1/2 filled in, because a little bit of the symptom was there, but not a full case.

For example, when I get in the mood for some love – that’s not hypersexuality. When I get a fire in my temple area that runs down my back to my hips, have had much more frequent (and raunchy) sex,  and I am really aroused all day – I consider that hypersexuality.

The inflated self-esteem option is one I keep finding tricky. Last week, I didn’t want to undress in front of my husband and was regretting having traded my granny one piece in for a bikini because I felt so unattractive. Now, I’m feeling significantly more attractive and wouldn’t mind  putting on a bikini. I’m not cocky. I’m not walking around like I’m the baddest bitch. But I’m also not walking around self-loathing like I had been. And what I feel now is a significant change in what I was feeling last week. So, I don’t know, doesn’t that count? Maybe a half inflated self-esteem? If I compare how I feel now to how I felt about myself during my last episode (Dec – April), I think I’m about 3/4 of the way there. So yeah, I guess how I feel now would be considered a 1/2.

I’ve lost 4 lbs in the last couple weeks. Don’t worry, I’m not running again. Yet. I just came out of my self-loathing diet. Fast food and soda decreased. Although I am going to the gym today with full intentions on running. I am curious as to how it will feel. That will also be a good indicator for me. When I ran during my episode I got continuous hormone releases. It was a continuous high. It brought a crazy smile to my face whether I had just stepped out the door or if I was 3.5 miles in.

I totally feel like the Joker sometimes. He never seemed very in control of his face or his body.

Seeming as my symptoms are gradually building up, I mentioned it to my psychiatrist Friday. I told him what I’ve been noticing and asked what the odds are of me having another episode. He said “slim to none”. I can say that the symptoms are being contained/held in/smothered out like a fire quite nicely. But there is a trend so it’s my job to be watchful. I’m also not sure he understood me initially, because he said “What I think you’re experiencing is disappointment.”  (Ummm, I think I can recognize disappointment…) “Lots of people are disappointed once things go back to normal after a manic episode.” Yada yada yada. C’mon dude. I’ve done my reading. I know this. Disappointment is like the #1 thing you hear about when you research going onto medication and leveling out. So, I restated my question, and he brushed it off again as nothing to worry about. Okkkaaaayyyyy…Now I’ll mention this to my therapist next week, and she’ll tell me I just didn’t word something right for him – because he needs some form of speak other than plain English.

When I reminisce about my previous episode, it is of how I felt about myself. My energy. Is it possible I can have those positive sides without slipping into the same mistakes I made before? Is it? Is it possible for me to slide into this hypothetically speaking only positive side effects hypomanic episode without any fear of it turning into something much worse? I guess if I don’t worry about it, that would be the bigger problem. Maybe until it happens, and I realize it is possible for me to have a productive episode, I’ll feel scared about it. And that’s ok. Just uncomfortable and scary.

Lithium, nursing, rage, oh my.


I wanted to list some of my lovely Lithium side effects. I am 2 weeks into treatment, 900mg daily.

  • slight tremors in hands
  • occasional dizziness
  • increased appetite <—LEAST FAVORITE
  • confused easily (some might say this isn’t anything new)
  • tendency to space out
  • sleepiness

All of these have become less and less intense over the last several days, which the psychiatrist told me would happen. Good deal. And I can’t complain about the increased appetite too much, because compared to some of the other more serious side effects, it’s really no biggie.

I am still nursing my 17 month old, which the psychiatrist advised against. But I didn’t take his opinion 100% serious after he expressed his slight disgust at the idea of anyone nursing a child over the age of 12 months. So I called the lactation consultant I have been using on and off for 4 years and she told me what I was thinking: all research on lithium and nursing was done on newborns, and all of the studies concluded that the older and heavier the baby got, the less lithium showed in their blood work. So she supported me continuing to nurse, which I happily did, but I made an appointment to get the baby’s blood work done asap to check his lithium level. I found out yesterday that his level is normal (as was mine a week ago). This is a relief.

One slight concern I have had recently is my “short fuse” as my therapist called it. I have always been a very patient person, which is why I always thought I would have many children.  I lost my patience a few months after the 3rd was born, and attributed it to the fact that I was a busy, over-worked, over-tired mommy. However, it’s gotten a lot worse in the last few months (my hypomania started in December). And it’s not just with my kids, it’s with my husband, co-workers, strangers driving like idiots…

And I know that everyone gets pissed at other drivers, but I’ve been driving for 13 years now and have never felt like this.

So the therapist told me that if I don’t feel like my temper is any better by Monday to call the psych and see if it’s something that needs to be to be addressed before my next appointment with him (3 weeks away).