Bipolar – Etiquette Driven By ME

Despite regularly feeling madness was my destination, I determined the etiquette of my personal success, inspite of myself.

Never give up.

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I Would Be Truly Insane…

I would be truly insane if I didn’t fire my med provider.

My doctor agrees.

She’s history.

This is me standing up for myself.

I win.


Bipolar Madness

I realize that having Bipolar doesn’t mean I’ve fallen into the fire of madness, but that’s the horrible truth of having a debilitating mood disorder, sometimes you feel that way.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to experience it. When my moods swing with what seems to be infinite patience on its part, just waiting for the right moment to strike, I feel like I have something burning in my brain. It’s really runaway anxiety or mania or depression. Most of the time it’s both and it is so HARD to understand where I’m at.

Are you depressed, he asks. Yes.

Do you feel anxiety or manic? He ask. Yes.

He accepts my answer because he has worked with me for some time and he knows I’m speaking truthfully.

I’m so confused. It terrifies me. I FEEL like I don’t know who I am.

Right now I can’t sleep. The pendulum has swung far to manic side. It’s all I can do to keep from getting up and working on my website.

The truth, when I can remember it, is that I will be okay. I haven’t felt like hurting myself for months and that only lasted a little while.

I will be okay. I will fight to be awesome. I’m graduating with a bachelor’s degree. My mind didn’t shut down til finals week, my last quarter. Knowing myself, that’s amazing. I should have not been able to get through my first quarter… Maybe I didn’t come through as healthy as when I staryed. I was hysterical and so full of anxiety I often couldn’t do the work without my son’s support. I really believed I would fail. I had a hard time remembering things.

This blog isn’t necessarily about living and losing the fight with Bipolar. Nor is it one that has a sunny message to encourage you with everyday. I’d like to think that as I share my reality you might feel that you’re not alone.

You’re never alone.

There are so many of us who have taken to sharing what we can online that I’m confident you’ll find someone to click with for informative answers to help you. You might find those here. I do grow and learn and I’m stronger than I realize because I haven’t lost all my mental cookies. I won’t. I refuse. This last week I was so close though.

Two days after I lost time I started feeling a little mad, like my reality was having to fight to keep me together.

Monday I will go to that huge building (the Tacoma Dome) and walk across that stage. I may be terrified, but my friends I will graduate with will be with me and my family will be there too.

The etiquette of this rocking mood disorder, that doesn’t play fair, sometimes makes me feel mad. Insane even. It isn’t fair. There ought to be rules it has to follow.

There ought it be some kind of etiquette.

Remember, you are not alone.

If you find my blog is worth reading, please share it. There are more if us than I think you might now imagine. I’d like to know them too. Thank you for tuning in. I’ll be playing here all week. I’m not going anywhere. I will not. I refuse.

Be well friend. Refuse to quit.


Bipolar – I Lost Time

Sometimes you think you’re doing all you can to maintain the appearance of normalcy then your brain throws you a curve ball thrown at you from a speeding car and you just can’t prevent the crash from happening.

My daughter (Jessica) lives with me. Wednesday I was working on my final paper. I was stressed, but I felt like I could handle it.

Then I lost time. Thursday at 10 a.m. Jessica found me in my room, still fully dressed, laying on top of my blanket, with my glasses still on, the light was on and there was blank computer paper all over the room.

When she woke me up I immediately panicked. I was supposed to have written my rough draft and was due to meet with my professor in 2 hours.

I didn’t write anything apparently. The folder for that class had been deleted form my computer.

All the lights in the house were still on. I guess I hadn’t fed my beta fish because their lights were still on. I don’t know if I took my dog out before it happened.

My laptop was on the floor in the other room, open, and the battery dead. On the sofa my research was neatly stacked and still in the order I was going to use them in.

I think I remember sitting down and getting ready to write. Then… nothing.

I’m missing 14 hours.

I was sent to the emergency room at the hospital. They found nothing and hours later they sent me home. I still don’t know what happened.

Why was there blank computer paper all over my room? What happened to me?

I’ve talked to the hospital doctors, my counselor, and my retarded med provider and we all agree my brain had enough and the stress I carry with me every day finally caused me to shut down. The med provider said she’s had other patients do that. She just told me to keep doing my relaxation techniques and not to take my chill pill. I’m not certain why.

My professor knows what happened and is working with me to be able to turn something on Sunday so I can graduate. I have excellent timing.

I woke up about 2 hours ago and I think it happened again. I found my iPad next to me on my bed and my glasses part way under me. I must have been watching something… but I don’t remember what. I don’t know why my iPad was on my bed and my glasses still also on the bed.

I’m so confused.

Now I’m remembering that I’ve been waking up with my glasses on, the light on and something like the iPad next to me for some time now. I had just thought I was tired.

One of my son’s yelled at me because he thinks we should have called him at told him I was in the ER. Looking back I probably should have. But you know what?

I was embarrassed.

I suspected it was anxiety. I think I felt it would make me look sicker to them, my kids. Why the he’ll would that matter? They know I have an alphabet following me around (like Bpd, PTSD, GA, FM, IBSD, RA, OA. And let’s add chronic pain.) Why did I feel the need to hide It?

I’ve been going to the University of Washington Tacoma for three years. Last quarter I started having trouble getting along with others in class. I thought this quarter I was doing better….

I just wanted to be like all the other students and act normal.

Normal. I’m not normal.

The other day I gave a presentation in my advanced writing class and I turned it into a stand up comedy bit. The class was laughing hysterically. I was so funny. I didn’t follow the guidelines for the assignment at all and I even kind of insulted the professor. I got an A- on it. I was so excited. I love doing that, being funny like that. Whenever I’ve had the chance to do it people crack up.

If everything seemed to be going well, what the hell happened?

I’ve always known that the brain is more complicated than the universe and we know almost nothing about it, but this, this is beyond me.

I’ve been awake since I woke up at about 4. I don’t want to go to sleep. My brain isn’t playing fair. If I decide to go back to sleep… will I wake up?

I blame the incredibly high stress on 2 people: myself for not exercising, not eating well and not meditating or practicing mindfulness or something, anything, that might have helped. And I blame my med provider because I’ve been asking her to try another medication because my anxiety was growing and growing for the whole sic months or so I’ve been seeing her and she’s done nothing. I’m going to demand someone else. I just hope there is someone else and that they know what they’re going. And I’d started feeling like I wanted to hurt myself and still she changed nothing.

I don’t understand why I didn’t call my other kids. I feel embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve not felt like this before. I feel like I’ve just proved that I still can’t hold a job and my kids have to babysit me and my mother has to support me financially. I don’t want to keep being a burden.

Since I lost all that time I’ve decided to push how horrible I feel and use this as a reset button. I graduate Monday. After that I’m leaning a bi-weekly writers club, a fellowship really, with people who signed up when I announced I was going to do it.

Robin, your peers respect you or they wouldn’t have signed up and started asking when the first meeting was going to be.

What have I learned? My brain is more delicate and yet more resilient than I ever imagined.

I’m creative and I’m funny and I’m respected. I’m going to finish my book, get fit and interact with friends. I haven’t had real friends who I could see in person for may be 20 years. Honest truth. I’ve been so lonely, yet so afraid they would find out something is wrong with me.

I do still believe that my particular brain gives me the ability to do things that are special and amazing. I must always strive to be stronger in body and mind. I’m afraid of this blackout happening again, but even so, I’m graduating from college at 55 years old with a sever disability. That’s pretty cool.

I need to believe what my kids keep telling me, that I am the one who went back to school and got my degree. I did that and that’s amazing.

Probably my biggest problem is my inability to shut my brain off. I worry all the time. I’m going to try to replace that worry by engaging myself fully in projects I’m excited about.

I’m going to remember that I can make a difference and that um special in a good way. I’m completely unique and it’s time to put that to good use.

I’m going to nap now that I’ve worked through all that. Despite my not so great feelings that are still there… I can do anything.

I lost time. Maybe I became like a baby and was reborn to a new start. A new beginning. And this post has become as long as a chapter in a book. Time to stop.

Dear Reader, keep on pressing on. We’re gonna be okay. We can even be great!

Robin


My Bipolar Condition: When Anger Rips at My Mind

planet-explosion-1

My Brain Explodes

I’ve passed my breaking point. I’ve been really mean and foul-mouthed to my daughter who lives with me and helps keep me stable. I haven’t been mean like that for a long time, at least, to my family. I’ve started throwing things against the wall, trying to break them. I feel like I have no other way to get the emotional pain out.

I’m about to graduate from college again. I’m 55. I still can’t hold down a job. I’d have to drop out of school next fall if I wasn’t going to be done. I’m so tired and angry and ready to smack people. I have run out of patience and I’m losing control.

I’m frightening myself with my behavior and my emotions that are raging out of control. Three years. That’s how long I’ve lasted at school. This whole year I’ve been slipping, sliding towards the hands of anger and mania that throttle me.

Then I drive people away from me. My support dog is afraid of me when I yell or raise my voice. She’s a good pal to tell me exactly when I’m going off the rails.

I hate this. I hate being out of control.

My kids haven’t seen me like this for years. Jessica was frightened. She says she can’t make out the difference between me swearing just to swear and my swearing because I’m royally pissed off.

I feel threatened and scared of tomorrow. My mother has been supporting me financially. Between that and financial aid I’ve been able to get by. But now, no more money. I’m being pushed to get a job. I don’t think I can do it. My kids have always been told by my primary care doctor that I’d need to live with one of them one day. I think Jessica saw why yesterday. I felt so sick.

I want to start my own company again. Only this time, I want to do it so that I won’t explode and blow my successful business up. The only way to do that is for me to just volunteer and work for free. If I don’t have to worry about not having enough money my financial supporter will back off. I really need support, not pressure to get a job. I am fully disabled.

You know I try to be someone to contribute to society, someone who helps others, but sometimes when the beast in my brain begins to scratch my skull my world falls to the ground. When it stops, then I have to put it all back together again.

Again.

My god, the beast, my extreme swing emotions, they hurly me towards the end of the world. I have to stop before I fall.

I think I need my meds adjusted and fast.

Do you ever feel that way too? Like your emotions are ripping at your skull trying to take over?

I refuse to lose more days of my life to this disorder. Bipolar is no joke, especially Type 1 with rapid cycling and mixed states.

My life is passing me so fast. I can’t remember huge chunks of it.

The hell with it. I’m not going to go down this time. Jessica saw what we’re up against. I hope that my kids will work together to help me. I’m a handful… and I know it.

Jess believes in me and that I really can have a successful business again… If I can just focus. Focus. Yeah. Between Bipolar and ADHD and a few other things… it’s so hard to pay attention to one thing for long enough really get something done.

My brain, it hurts. It is time to sleep.


Bipolar – Recovery is a LIE

If someone who pretends to know your mind, who says they can “fix” you, beware because they are liars.

We can learn to manage it.

It will always be a part of me because it’s part of my brain.

There is no cure or secret formula. It is what it is and I am who I am.

I will always fight, but sometimes not particularly well. Those who I’ve surrounded myself with will hold me and help me stand back up, and I will keep fighting.

At this exact moment, right now, I’m doing well. I’m about to go to sleep, but this moment… this moment feels awesome.

Do you understand?

How are you? Right now. In this precise moment?

It’s okay if you say you’re depressed or are feeling like stagnant swamp water.

I’m confident, that another moment, not right now, but later, things will change and perhaps then, in one of those moments yet to come, you’ll have a good moment. And maybe we’ll have a good or even a great moment in the same instant…

Wouldn’t that be something?

I think it would be. It would be something amazing, something beautiful.

Good night my friends.

Robin


Sometimes, Even Those With Bipolar Can Rest. Even You

I’ve been listening to this for the last few hours while Bailey (my wonderful dog companion) softly snored in the background. I completed all of my correspondence now and am ready for sleep. This music helps me believe that I will sleep – and I’ll sleep well. I’m telling my brain to be ready for some specific instructions. Now…

Sleep. Sleep well. Wake up in the morning when the alarm goes off. Then get up and get excited for the day ahead. That’s the plan brain. That’s what I expect you to do. You always take me to what you think will make me the happiest. Pleasure over all else.

Brain, these are the plans. I expect to go to sleep now because that, will give me immense pleasure.

Good night my friends. Sleep well.

Robin

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