Not today

I can’t. I just can’t do it right now. I’m tired of fighting through the day, the week, month THE YEAR. I’m tired of pushing myself into the “I’m not a victim, I’m a fighter” school of thought. I don’t want to be a victim, either but I’m so low that I don’t care and I’m sick of trying. It’s tiresome to work on being “better” all the time. I wrote an email to my therapist once that said I am taking responsibility for my own happiness and treat myself with the same respect and kindness I do for others. I don’t care now. I’m in a blackness, a black tar and it’s harder each minute to struggle to free myself from it. I haven’t felt this way in awhile but every depression is ten times harder to get out of than the last one. I’m lost in it right now and I can’t do strong bipolar fighter today.

my daughter was sitting on the couch yesterday and said Friday in school, she suddenly became home sick thinking about an upcoming vacation with her grandparents and said all she could think of was “I miss my mom.” I miss my mom and wanted to come home from school. I have to live for her.

I have to live and pretend to be ok. I can’t die because it would crush my family.

So I’m so miserable I can’t live without pretending and am too responsible to die.

 

Rambling

The weird movements and shaking of my legs have stopped. It definitely was related to Latuda. As soon as I switched to Seroquel, it all stopped. That was a big relief.

I paid the late tuition for my photography courses I’ve been taking for certification. I love photography. I love taking pictures and conveying a message or thought to the person viewing my photo(s). I take pictures of everyday, overlooked beautiful things that otherwise go unnoticed. I also take pictures of urban decay. I’ve been in a magazine. I think I was so stuck in feeling unimportant and worthless that I jumped at the chance to finish my pharm tech classes and let the things that are at my heart go. I dismissed my art and photography as they were empty efforts. In contrast, art and photography is worthy and good. I need to use the outlets that I have when I am at my lowest and pull myself back in when I’m unable to catch a single thought during mania.

I got caught up in comparisons. Comparisons like how is Jane Doe managing her bipolar? Or how does John Doe be so successful and living life without a hiccup with his bipolar? Where am I on the scale of how Bipolar people are doing? I was making myself miserable. The truth is that every Bipolar person does the best that they can and what that looks like is different for each one. We have similarities but we’re not all the same. It takes a tremendous amount of work for anyone of us to live and survive with Bipolar. I think it comes down to determining that you’re going to make it at least this day or this hour or five minutes even. How you do that, no matter what gets you through – is what YOU do. Whenever you see one of those shiny, magical, successful Bipolar persons, keep in mind that you don’t know THEIR Bipolar and they’re not judging where you’re at or what you’re doing. Doing your best is all you need to do and how you do it is as unique as a fingerprint. Yes, there are general things that Bipolar people have in common; medications, doctors, therapists, bad times, good times… but how you live, how you survive is up to you. You do the best with what you have.

 

 

Husband without a clue

I’ll start taking Seroquel XR tonight instead of Latuda. And no more gabapentin.

My psychiatrist made the AP switch last night at my appt. This morning when I told my husband, he got mad. He complained about med changes – as if he were the one taking them – and argued that I’m changing meds every two weeks. Let me clarify here; I have been bitching about my meds here but the only changes that have taken place since December, when my Latuda dose went up, was the addition of gabapentin and the dropping of an AD because I was manic. My husband has no interest in going to my doctor appointments. He has no interest in reading anything about bipolar. He has no interest in knowing the side effects of any medication I take. Other than a list I gave him about 6 months ago, he has no clue what I take. He was bold enough to say to me that he wouldn’t know what to tell the hospital if I were there and couldn’t speak for myself. He doesn’t know because he doesn’t care to know and he doesn’t want to have conversations about me having bipolar disorder. Every time an issue comes up, he says he doesn’t want to talk about it because he doesn’t want all of our conversations to be about MY bipolar. It’s ridiculous because we don’t ever talk about it unless there’s a BIG issue. Otherwise, I hide everything I can. Of course, I can’t hide a manic episode or severely depressed episode but all he flatly says then is “I’m sorry.” He doesn’t even know what to be sorry about.

I’m just so angry that I can’t even see straight to type out all the details of our interaction. I wish that for once, just for once, he would listen to me and try to understand what was happening instead of getting pissy because he’s not in control.

 

Feeling guilty, feeling bad

I’m not going back to classes after all. I’ve been so stressed and so anxious about it that I haven’t been able to leave my husband alone for days. I keep going to him and asking him what he thinks, can I do it, does he think I’ll fail again, what’s going to happen if… and if… and if…. what if!?! He gently suggested that if I’m so anxious and scared about it now, when I start back I’ll not be stable enough to deal with stress and school work, peers. Also, my daughter’s last summer at home is this year. He also wanted me to take a look at a few facts – I only decided to go back within the two weeks before school started and also during that time I was in a manic, albeit mixed, but a manic episode when I made the decision. I made the decision not to go back to school at this moment. I feel bad and guilty about it. I feel like I made all these plans only to not follow through with them. I feel like a loser because of that.

I don’t know what else to say tonight. My anxiety and stupid inability to manage my own emotions has done it again. Thanks, crazy Jen, thanks.

Still scared of side effects

I swear I have tardive dyskinesia. My legs are still twitchy and shaky but I watched them last night and it’s more of a little bit above a fine tremor. My toes curl, my legs get stiff and then the shaking starts. It almost looks like a nervous person’s leg shaking but the movement is not as pronounced. I’m also noticing that my right hand looks like I’m pointing at something when I’m resting, doing absolutely nothing. My pointer finger will just be up and outstretched while my hand and other fingers are relaxed.

I’ve already reduced my Lamictal on my own. My doctor rarely has time to discuss things over the phone and I don’t have the ability, nor is it practical to run out at eight forty-five p.m. to get a last minute appointment. Plus, it takes a lot to get that last minute appointment. I had to threaten to kill myself last time.

My doctor is currently treating me for depression following a mixed episode. I’m on two AD’s. I’m still on the SSRI that triggered mania, but at a lower dose and an added new one. The side effects I mention above were there before the changes in AD’s.

The side effects didn’t start until after we maxed out on the Latuda dose. I’m not depressed so much anymore. I want to lower the Latuda again because the first reduction hasn’t helped the symptoms. I don’t want to trigger any kind of episode by lowering it but I don’t know what else to do. I’m afraid of these things becoming permanent.

I’m also afraid my doctor won’t put two shits worth of importance on what I tell him about when all of this started. I’m afraid he won’t listen because I didn’t tell him earlier and that he’s going to blame everything but the antipsychotic and then bitch me out for messing with my meds on my own. What options do I have, though, when he’s unapproachable in between appointments? He won’t talk on the phone and relays everything to tell me through his receptionist. She relays everything I say back to him. My situation is too complicated to play that game, yet not so awfully complicated that I need an early appointment – JUST TALK TO ME ABOUT IT ON THE PHONE!!!!

I’ve vented enough for now. I’m going to drop the Latuda dose again. I can’t stand these weird movements. I don’t want to be stuck with them forever. If Dr. B bitches me out, then he bitches me out.

Taking a chance

So, I’m going back. It’s official, I just confirmed it with my admissions rep. She called today to see if I was ready for Monday. I said yes in a high, fake enthusiastic voice. I said yes not really knowing if I was going to follow through.

I have massive, tons, unending pressing anxiety about school. However, I have decided I will go back and finish my classes and internship. I’m going to do it. Monday at seven a.m., I will be sitting in class, taking notes and trying to calmly get through the day.

I’m putting some weak self confidence behind my decision and some faith that I’ll make it through this time. I only have to last until September.

I’m finishing school. I’m getting my certification.

No clever title.

I had orientation for school yesterday. It wasn’t bad but I won’t have many if ANY friends there. My classmates are two latina girls with black and purple hair who look like twins and talk like twins – Obviously, they are best friends; another girl who is about eighteen, two other young friends and a thirty four year old man. They all looked at me, or I thought they were looking at me like I was an alien. I’m not looking forward to school at all. As a matter of fact, classes start Monday and I’m thinking about stop all of this before the end of the week. I have to do it at least by Friday.

I’m having side effects from my medicine. It scares me. My legs are jittery and shaking and do it on their own. It’s almost like I’ve been cold for a really long time and they tense up and shake. Mostly, it is my left leg that does it and then my right leg follows. I’m also clenching my jaw. My husband asked me today why my leg was moving like that. I assume he thought I was fidgety and jumpy because it’s what I do before I become manic. I’m not manic or about to be. It’s this freaking side effect. I have had these side effects since the beginning of January. I know the time frame because I was in the hospital having a blood transfusion for the last three days of December. I wasn’t having these problems then. I was also only on 120 mg of Latuda, not 160 mg and not taking two antidepressants BUT I had all this going on before anything changed with my antidepressants.

At my last two or three psychiatrist appointments, I failed to mention the side effects. I didn’t say anything because I was so wrapped up trying to get a grip on my mood and not being an emotional toilet. My last two appointments were emergency appointments anyway but now, I’m stuck with these side effects, had changes to AD and added gabapentin. I’m afraid if I say anything to my doctor now, he’s going to blame everything else BUT Latuda. I had all of these side effects before the added meds. I’ve been through so much in the past two months with a mixed state and then crashing to depression when the doctor tried to make a change to my only AD. I’m also afraid if I say anything, and I tell him I think it’s Latuda, he will be reluctant to make any changes to it for fear that making a change to it will cause me to destabilize even more.

I have been feeling better mood and emotional wise. I’ll admit, I have lowered the dose of Latuda on my own to 120 mg. I’m still experiencing the side effects. I’ve been on Latuda before at both 160 mg and 120 mg and never had these issues before. I restarted Latuda last September and up until Jan, I was fine. After upping the dose, the weird things started. Even though, I’ve lowered the dose back down to 120, the side effects are still there. Now, I’m scared that I’ve done something permanent to myself by not doing something quick enough. I want to lower my dose to 80 mg even but that will be lowest dose I’ve taken since 2015. I also want to drop Trintellix completely now and just go with the Wellbutrin. My doctor doesn’t want to do that until my depression is all better. AND or BUT, WHATEVER…. will my depression get worse and will I lose the decent place I’m in if I continue to mess with my Latuda?!?!? It’s not only a mood stabilizer for me but as almost everyone knows, it’s also an antidepressant for bipolar. Maybe after a few more days of 120 mg instead of 160, things will get better. I’m so scared.

I’m STILL back and forth about school. It’s stressing me out. I don’t know if I can or if I’m ready to commit to something like this again. I couldn’t handle before. I can’t stop bitching about it and whining about it.

I don’t know what to do about my meds. I want to go back to December before I considered school and said anything about committing to it and before increasing my Latuda like an idiot when I didn’t have crazy side effects. I’m scared about everything.

 

Frenzied.

Frenzied. It’s a word I used in my last entry to describe what I was not – frenzied.

Frenzy. I’ve worked myself into a frenzy. I have orientation for school tomorrow morning. The frenzy started with anxious feelings about returning to school and instead of squashing those, I let the demons speak – question myself, fill my brain with electrical buzz. Fidgeting comes with frenzy. I bounce my left leg constantly. I shudder. I know if I can’t manage anxiety, there’s no freaking way I can manage school. I am thinking of a hundred and thirty six reasons why I can’t or should not go back to school. I’ve let the frenzy get so out of hand that it’s pushing the gas pedal on my bipolar.

I’m frenzied. I’ve looked over my meds today. They are all different colors in their light protective, tan bottles. I don’t want them anymore. I don’t think I should take them. I’m sick of the doctor that’s associated with them – the monthly or sometimes closer appointments in his plain, pamphlet covered office. I don’t want to play games at the pharmacy anymore. I have decided that I’m not going to be bipolar. I’m just not. I’m done. I’m not willing to be bipolar anymore. It’s over. Bipolar and I are parting ways.

It’s like trying to peel off tar. And being burnt by it all underneath. I can’t pull the tar off and when I try to, my skin is raw and blistered underneath. The wind, a breathe, causes immense pain. I know realistically, I can’t admonish bipolar. I can’t peel off the tar. Or maybe the meds are the tar. Either way, I know I’m stuck in this thing. I have to keep going whether I want to or not. The going around and around in brain over this nonsensical cycle of “No, I’m Not!” but “Yes, I am. Always have been…” The argument with myself about taking meds and the added No, Yes, No, Yes, have me frenzied.

The anxiety led to pushing bipolar buttons which led to a near meltdown. My mind is in a frenzy. I’m looking at a big scribble with black ink in the center of my brain and can’t find the beginning or end to untangle it.

I need to find a dark room and spend some time in it. I have to get it together for orientation in the morning – the whole thing that started the frenzy in the first place.

Breathing again.

I can take a slow, calm deep breath. I can do it without the exhale sounding wavy or jittery. I feel good, finally. The med changes are settling in and I feel like I can breathe. It doesn’t feel like I’m underwater, looking through a filter, not able to quite reach the surface – so frenzied,  I sink back into the murk again. I can breathe clean, quiet air.

Neither depression or mania are here.

I’ve been watching this show, My Strange Addiction. Binge watching it. Someone ate a mattress. A couple gives themselves coffee enemas FOUR or more times a day. A lady was eating her husband’s ashes. This show is wild but there are some things that are so disgusting that they make me gag. The lady who licks her cat to groom it and then eats its hair, big fluff balls of hair…chews on them when she’s bored… GAH… she eats cat fur and it made me want to throw up. I have my own eclectic habits but nothing like these people. I thought I was crazy… nope. I’ve come across a whole new crazy. What is it about these shows, though, that compels us to keep watching?

On Tuesday, I have orientation for school. I’m a little anxious about it. I’m more anxious about returning to school itself. I am going back to finish my education for Pharmacy Tech so I can get my certification. When I started it, five years ago, I quit because my bipolar attacked and I could not stay and finish. I’m afraid I’m going to have to quit again or I won’t be smart enough or be able to pay attention enough to grasp the material. I am on ADHD med this time around. I’m hoping it will make a difference in how I pay attention.

Until Tuesday or school starts, I’m going to try to take it easy and just continue breathing. I’m going to enjoy this calm for a little while.

Meds.. I want to run them all over in the driveway

Meds. I have been med changing and balancing since August of last year after I had been stable for quite a while. In my first ten or so years, yes TEN, I was constantly changing meds because my bipolar was so hard to treat at the time. My husband was very frustrated during this time and we fought a lot. I felt I was doing my best and he felt I was just asking for meds and wasting my time – taking anything I wanted. He doubted my diagnosis several times and made it clear that he thought so.

When I finally got to a doctor in 2014 after yet another hospital stay, the doctor was able to figure out the magic combination of meds that worked. I stopped going from mixed mania to depression and making everyone’s life hell to a different, “normal” (for the most part, I am to eclectic to be normal, ha ha) person who painted again, took photos, even held down a part time job for three years. But, it lasted three years and I became depressed and stressed out again. I had to quit my job on the advisement of my psychiatrist and in the summer, the switch flipped and I was manic. Both of these episodes required yet again, trial and error meds. My husband started to get ruffled.

I was feeling so awful and cried about wanting to die yesterday that I finally did call my psychiatrist. At first, the receptionist; who is wonderful there – spoke to him on my behalf and my doctor told me to go ahead and wait a month and see how I feel. I cried at the receptionist and told her fine, I was eventually going to die then. I couldn’t take this for a month. Plus, I start school in a week and a half. He got me in for his last appt at eight p.m.

My psychiatrist – guess what? Yes, he made a few med changes. Not big ones but small things. He bumped back up my Trintellix by the next available 5mg dose and started me on Wellbutrin XL. I expressed my concerns and dislike of Trintellix and being on two antidepressants at one time. He said after I felt better he would take away the Trintellix. I said ok because I was so desperate to get out of the black hole. He also agreed to let me take two Ativan at bedtime instead of one. That was it. Only those changes were made. So, we are swapping antidepressants and Ativan dose changed. No big deal.

When I got home and told my husband what the doctor said, all he sarcastically said was, “MORE med changes..AGAIN” and went on to get ready for bed. I told him they were small and basically switching one AD for another. He huffed and said “Ok. Whatever you have to do.” He was obviously not happy and had an attitude. Why can’t he just support me and what I need? I didn’t ask for these mood changes and I didn’t ask for bipolar.

My husband has not been real supportive all along. Although he will stick his chest out and boast about how he had been there and stuck it out during every hospitalization – how he took care of the kids because I wasn’t there. Guess what? That’s what you are supposed to do!!! Even now, he doesn’t want to have conversations about my bipolar and how it effects me. He says he doesn’t want to talk about it and if we do, it makes our lives revolve around bipolar. I don’t really want to get into this any further because it just upsets me.

Anyway, yes; there were med changes. I only hope it works. I’m very tired today and just want to sleep but I think it’s from crying last night. Honestly, I hate all the meds I take. They are a daily reminder of my “mental illness.” I would love to quit taking everything and dump the bottles in my driveway. Then run them over until they are crushed into dust.