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Whoops

It’s literally been more than a year since I last posted. And, boy, what a year it’s been.

So far 2015 is chalking up to be my worst year ever, in fact, I think it already has that title, but there’s room for it to go either way. My husband is officially jobless at the end of day tomorrow, and with nothing new secured yet, there’s a possibility things could get much, much worse.

Since April I’ve lost my creative mojo. I’ve not written anything, and I’m feeling as far from being a writer as those normal non-writerly people must feel–except I still hang out with writers, and people ask me what I’m working on, and my current response is, “a baby blanket,” because I’m doing a huge favour for a friend (and that’s crochet, not writing, in case you were wondering how you write a baby blanket).

What happened in April to trigger this. Well, that’s the créme de la créme of my shit year. I ended up in hospital because my stupid brain decided reality wasn’t good enough for it, and it went walk about in insanity for a few weeks. An event that has totally fractured my belief in myself and trust in my brain, and even though everyone else is getting on with their lives as if it was all a bad dream, I’m still reeling from what happened.

How’s your year going?

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Posted by on 05/10/2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Clambering Back

If you look up how to get rid of depression you get all sorts of fun advice like, go outside, do exercise, spend time with fun friends, spend time with some animals (no joke), listen to upbeat music, and change your thinking. There’s nothing actually wrong with the advice, but seriously, when you’re depressed leaving the house is the most daunting thought ever, let alone doing any kind of exercise. People are too hard work and the idea that your thinking is controllable by you is unlikely to register as truth.

Basically, what you get is a list of things that counselors etc may advise, but it’s not information coming from people who are ill. It comes from people who are well and it seems like they’re saying: “of course I’m well, it’s so easy to be, all you have to do is get out and go for a walk…”

I did make some amount of a decision to start making an effort on Thursday, and in a way I did the things they suggest, though I didn’t even care about the suggestions at the time.

I changed my plans and met with a fun friend for lunch.

When I got home I sat and started a new project. I always feel really guilty when I start wanting to drop everything else and indulge in a new pattern, but I know crafting makes me feel good, finishing makes me feel better, and owning it (ie. making it unique to me) and having it work is the best. There’s a lot of ladies about to have babies around me at the moment, so I’d been wanting to learn how to crochet new born beanies (I can knit them, but I wanted crochet). I found a pattern using the power of Google, started it, didn’t like it, edited the pattern, started again, gave up and talked with B~ (another fun friend!) till after midnight about her book (this was a form of escapism. As long as we weren’t talking about me it was all good. Thanks B~!)

Yesterday, I emerged from bed before cartoons finished (ie. before 10! I think it was even before 9, but mornings are a bit blurry for me on the best days), and committed. After breakfast (which I eat out of habit now, even when I’m depressed, along with my first cup of tea of the day) I escaped to the shower. Being clean, including clean hair, is surprisingly reviving. I threw on the cleanest clothes I could find, put my hair up, and dared to suggest to Jake that we go for a walk.

We go for a walk most days. With no car, our modes of transport are busing and walking (well, in Jake’s case, running, as he doesn’t seem to comprehend the idea of walking). Getting into natural light is part of that. We walked a bit, bussed to Tower Junction (a shopping centre not far away), and I went shoe shopping. Now, I’d been looking for shoes for about two months. I have stupidly wide feet, and I have to be fussy (cos we walk!). This time, success! YUSS! Ankle boots that will be suitable for work and can be worn with a skirt or jeans.

Release the endorphins.

Then we did the obligatory trip to the pet store that occurs at Tower Junction (animal therapy!)

On the way home we visited another fun friend. By the time we were walking home it was dark, so I was starting to fail on the natural light suggestion.

Later I kept struggling with the baby beanie pattern, and finished it this morning. Now I’m almost finished a second beanie 🙂 more endorphins, and a tangible source of a sense of success (thus changing my thinking from ‘I’m a complete failure’)

Not a very good pic, but evidence of the baby beanie I created.

Not a very good pic, but evidence of the baby beanie I created.

I’m hoping that I’ve done enough exercise, seen enough day light and changed my thinking enough, etc. to satisfy the ‘getting rid of depression’ check list. I’ve also spent today listening to music (loving Mumford and Sons a lot at the moment), but I spend most days listening to music.

I think one thing I’d recommend to those struggling with depression would be get out and go visit someone. Even if you only talk about them and what they’re doing (I personally find that easier) at least you’re not lost in your own negative thoughts for a while. And if you can’t do that, put on some music. As loud as you need to to drown out the negative voices in your head 😉

Starting to smile a little now 🙂

 
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Posted by on 04/05/2013 in Mental Health

 

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Dip

Someone (I can’t think who) refers to my low episodes as ‘dips’ in mood. It’s a poor word, except for the fact that when I come out of it I feel like it’s still clinging to me as dip does to a chip (or ‘crisp’ if you prefer). I have so much to look forward to, cos I’m not out of it yet (but I’m sure I’ll come out at some point).

I noticed I was getting bad last week, but kept on going pretending I was fine because I didn’t want to be dipping. I didn’t want to be depressed, so I pretended I wasn’t seeing signs on oncoming depression.

It’s here now, so I’m at the point of apathy. Whatever. Don’t care. I’ll hang out here for a while, pretending to function when I leave the house, curling up in a ball letting Jake run riot when I’m at home, and feeling disgusted at myself for being the worst mother ever, and yet not actually giving enough of a shit to pull myself together and start the cleansing processes. It takes more than a shower to get rid of the dip residue, and I’ve lost the floor of the house. Seems it’s gone into hibernation beneath a layer of toys. I think it has the right idea, and if you come by and you can’t find me, check under the toys.

I’m ready to quit everything.

I’ve been working through the edit of ‘Evacuation’ that came through. So many changes! I didn’t think I was that crap. Plus I’m being asked to supply workshop stuff. Ummmm… Yeah. Ok. Doing it, but… *sigh*

I’ll try not to quit, but who cares anyway? Not me. For now.

I know I’d hate myself if when I came out the far, sticky, side and found I’d quit everything.

But I don’t have the energy for anything.

Hope you’re smiling, even if I’m not.

 

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DSOML ~ The last fortnight

You know the moment in 300 when Leonidas kicks the messenger into the pit. Wednesday last week I got kicked in the chest right into the pit of depression.

One of the problems with working on getting better is ‘the taller you are the harder you fall’ syndrome. The better I am, the further I have to fall to get to a point where I’m really bad, and then in comparison it seems way worse than the same place seemed before when I didn’t know there was an alternative.

The trigger, as in this case there was a very specific trigger which is unusual for me, wasn’t actually that big of a deal. Once I talked things over with my husband and understood the circumstances that, when misunderstood, flung me into the pit, the trigger event was pretty much all sorted out. What neither me nor my husband expected was that despite the trigger issue being resolved, it didn’t pull me out of the fall. It was too late. The push part was over and I was just plunging into darkness.

The next day I called in some help. It was the first time I’ve ever done that. I called my friend, and she dutifully came round. Mostly she looked after my son while I tried to hold myself together. We talked a little about the trigger event, but because it was over and pretty much resolved there wasn’t really much to talk about. Now, at this point I wasn’t just depressed but I was also exhausted. I said some things really un-diplomatically, totally missed communication cues, and ended up making my support person have a breakdown of her own! Oh, yes, Fran is an awesome friend. So then instead of being supported, I was doing the supporting, which was easier for me because I’m well practiced in being a good support person, and not so much at knowing how to be supported.

By the end of the Friday my mind was swirling with suicidal thoughts. Now, don’t be alarmed. It’s quite normal for me. There’s this personality disorder called “borderline personality disorder” I have, which explains it a little. Basically I see the world in black and white (not literally, I’m not colour blind, but in the good and evil, right and wrong, worthwhile and worthless, way). So, I was worthless and wrong and people like that don’t deserve to live, and seeing as that’s how I am wouldn’t it make sense to just remove the burden that I must be on others. The perception of someone who is depressed is very warped, but at the time it was very true for me.

A different friend came around that afternoon after work, which helped. We talked, I cried, we had a supermarket adventure and then we parted ways. My husband was at a work thing that night, and once the little boy was asleep I was very alone. The dark of that night was the worst I’d been in for over a year. I’m surprised the house didn’t float away on a river of tears. The absolute loathing of myself, who I was and my failings as a human being left me bruised, but I was still alive when my hubby got home.

Somewhere in there I probably should have sought professional help, but I’ve never been any good at determining things like that when in that head space, and it’s a bit late when you’ve got the gift of hindsight.

It took a while to come right. Well, in the big scheme of things it was no time at all, and it was only a lapse rather than a relapse, but I didn’t just bounce back immediately or anything. There were a lot of fights, many instances of me being irrational and argumentative, and I think there’s a few more grey hairs going on in this household. Eventually, after half-hearted attempts at communicating for most of a week, my husband and I had a massive heart to heart conversation. The day after that was Valentine’s Day, which saw me get some unexpected appreciation from some lovely people. I spent the day with people I love, and by the end of it I felt better. Not so good that I didn’t make snarky comments about not getting anything from my husband on Valentine’s, but we don’t do Valentines, and never have so there was nothing unexpected going on.

I’m not right back to where I was before I was kicked down, but I’m getting better. I need to catch up on sleep, but I’m still not sleeping well, so it’s hard to win in that area. My self-esteem is still a bit shattered, but people are helping me assemble the pieces. I just hope that the people who got hurt in the process of me having such a bad time will forgive me.

I thank all the people who supported me, and appreciated me, from the bottom of my heart. ❤ ❤

 
 

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Me and Meds

I had my final appointment with my psychiatrist on Tuesday. The advice was pretty much simply, “stay on the meds for the rest of your life.”

Now, I am not pro meds. I actually tend to sway to the side of anti meds. But when I went on them I was at a point of begging for something to make it stop. “It” being the state of despair that comes from knowing that things were only getting worse, but I had a 7 week old baby to care for. Babies and depression aren’t such a good mix.

Since going on citalopram almost 3 years ago I’ve been getting better and better. I don’t know how good I will potentially get because I surpassed my “normal” state of good about 2 years ago. It’s hard to work out how bad you are when you don’t have an accurate sense of normal to compare it to, and I still don’t know what normal is, but every time things get a bit better I’m filled with new hope that maybe this is it.

So despite my anti med attitude (those are my brain chemicals your messing with pills, that’s some serious stuff) I have to conclude that they’re good for me. While I’m still barely a step ahead of the edge of depression that pursues me, a step is a long way when most of my life has been spent at the bottom of that pit. I’m also fairly certain I haven’t had any kind of manic episode since I went on meds either (though it is tricky to define the difference between the mania of bipolar and the hyper of ADHD, and what’s so bad about hypo-mania anyway? I’m not sold on that being a problem, although there was that one time my poor friend got stuck on the end of manic Fran for over an hour, and I don’t think she got two words in the whole time beyond, “Hi Fran.”) In short, though citalopram is only an anti-depressant, it has helped bring my bipolar under some amount of control so I can function most days.

And then there’s my ADHD meds, for which it’s easy to prove that they make a difference (I’m on Strattera for anyone interested). Last week I missed my meds one evening. The next day at about 3pm you could tell. I could not sit still for the life of me. I was all around the house, sitting at the computer, then over on the lazyboy, then standing at the pantry wondering if I was there for a reason. I could not focus on anything. It made me really appreciate that I achieved anything before I was medicated. I have to assume that I’m out of the habit of forcing myself to at least sit still, and I know now that I can be better than that. It took about 24hrs before the next pill kicked in, and if there had been anyone around to observe me in that time they would have assumed I’d been drinking mass caffeine or something.

There’s no doubt that that’s helping.

Because there’s so much evidence of benefits they they are having on me, and therefore my life, I’m not too concerned about taking them forever. I have to really accept that both ADHD and bipolar are disorders that don’t go away. I admit that I had this idea of being able to get on without them as well as I do with them one day, but the reality really is that I won’t ever be able to. Even if I wasn’t sucked down by depression, I’d still have the attention span of a thing that has a very short attention span (I totally had a comparison there, but my fingers are not fast enough to keep up with my working memory at all today. Look in the ‘discarded thoughts’ pile my working memory must have and you might find it there, though it’s a pile large enough to have its own moons, so don’t get your hopes up).

Anyway, end of rambling here. I’m off to Make Cafe shortly to drink good tea in good company with my (good?) knitting.

Keep smiling 🙂

 
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Posted by on 07/02/2013 in Happiness, Mental Health

 

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