Bright and Shiny

That’s me, in the moment.  I just came home from a two-plus hour workout (arms and cardio) and am feeling on top of the world.  My relationship with LarBear is going great, I finally have some non-itch-producing laundry detergent and one load down, I am blogging for the first time in five million eons, and Kizzie is possibly done unearthing moles out of the backyard for today.  Sometimes, its the little things.

Yesterday, the day before, the day before, so on and so on, lots of anxiety.  Actually, lots of anxiety since my last ECT one week before this past Wednesday.  ‘Tis a serious death anniversary week for me, one of my hardest, and it has been just as brutal this year as in years past.  I did get to see QoB last night though and do a little crying on my Momma’s shoulder, which helped immensely, even if she doesn’t realize it.

A lot of the anxiety I am having is also because I am having a really hard time remembering things and am also, at times, extremely confused and almost disoriented.  The beauty of ECT, though, is that I have forgotten a lot of the bad stuff, or, at least the details are not so crisp.  Very few nasty and scary memories still play in my mind as if on a movie screen.  Things are either blurry and hazy or not present at all.  I am hoping some of that stuff never comes back!

I think LarBear and I are going to try going to church this weekend.  Maybe.  No commitments but possibly.  We found one that seems promising, just have to give it a shot.  I have been trying to find things to do to build structure, and that would be one of those things.  I am also going to add DBT groups back in, as well as the good possibility of a water-walking class to go along with the water aerobics I am going to start doing at the YMCA.

Lots of good stuff here.  I hope to be back soon, friends!

Chasing Down the Night–Amazon E-Book Release

Rose:

Just downloaded and getting ready to head to the couch. The first two in the series were truly GREAT books. Would highly recommend checking out this series!

Originally posted on disappearinginplainsight:

CDN (book antiqua) Front Cover 6x9 JPEG Final Proof

Chasing Down the Night – 3rd book in the Crater Lake Series went live on Amazon yesterday Smile

As many of you know, early sales can give an indie author quite a boost. Please take a moment to follow the links and check out my newest creation.

US readers can click here:

UK readers – here’s your link:

Canadian readers pop over here:

As always – many thanks.

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Instead of Dying

I choose today to not go back and read blog entries, although some sort of cues as to where I have been for the past several months likely would have been helpful.

I am waking up from my first four ECT treatments, and a ten-day inpatient hospital stay.  I am unsure when I went in, or how long I have been out, but I know it wasn’t long ago, and that I haven’t been out of the hospital much longer than a week.

The one thing that does stick in my head with certainty is that I did two of the ECT treatments inpatient, and two outpatient.  I don’t know why this might matter, but it must.

So here I am, I’m out and about and well, not really depressed — more anxious, bordering on terrified and lost.  Definitely not suicidal.  Grossly different than months past, I do know that, although I am unclear on specifics.  The past months are cloudy at best, completely scrambled at worst, and really, might be totally forgettable.

I will have at least one more go — next Wednesday, we have a date.  Beyond that, I don’t know.  My psychiatrist does not seem to think it would be prudent beyond this point, cuing memory loss and the turn-around that the depression has taken.  What no one wants to mention is that I am barely on a mood stabilizer, and mania is breathing down my neck.

This is what it feels like to me, of course, only, and, you know, I am only the patient in this case.  I am being the good dog and going to talk therapy and art therapy and coloring at my dining room table and trying to remember my life.  Remember the details.  Remember the conversations and the books and the how-it-happened’s.

LarBear has been great help with all of this, and, although I did doubt and push away from him at a point, I also had a breakthrough and I do remember and feel our love.  And that breakthrough didn’t happen in a vacuum and it didn’t happen in a happy moment, but it did happen and I am grateful to remember and to have had someone so close to me lately that I CAN be filled in a little bit.

What hits me hard is how different life seems to be now than what I th9ought it was.  The people around me are all different, different, different.  There is nothing familiar about, especially family life compared to say, a year ago.

And the memories, well the floodgates have opened and I am being bombarded with scenes from all over my lifetime.  Some good, some bad, scary, indifferent, neutral, random, just-there-like-a-movie.  I can’t say its easy.

It really is like someone unscrewed the top of my head and whipped egg beater around in my brain.  My memories, my mind, scrambled for lack of a better term.  I won’t even go into how beat up my body feels.

So friends, if you’re reading, I’ll come around and see you soon.  Normalcy must reign and I am sure I will be blogging and reading again regularly.  This is a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be really hard.

Two Inch Square Reminder

I would like to think that every day I am swimming a little bit closer to the surface of reality and contentment and “ok-ness.”

It seems today was very very dark and only on a few occasions could I see a greyish blue light around the exteriors of objects and words and people.  Otherwise it was pitch as night.  At this very moment, just the slightest grayish blue.  And then it all disappears and I am without any senses to guide me.

I am making such an effort to come up with things to please myself, to give myself a moment’s respite from hell, to wrack my brain for what might be the thing I have missed.  I ate a soft-serve vanilla cone today. It reminded me of my sister and McDonald’s and having fewer cares. It made me feel happy for a moment, as I was looking at a faraway memory.

Often the grey light will come from within a memory of my sister or Oscar.  I have the picture booklet she made of their first year as a family sitting on my table where I spend many hours.  I usually go so far as to only look at the cover, but lately I have allowed myself to look inside and it is almost amusing to laugh out loud at Oscar’s silly face and my sister’s beautiful and loving smile, all the while with snot and tears rolling down my face.  And I flip back and through it over and over, laughing, smiling, and feeling like there are things worth living for.

And I tell myself, well, Rosa, at least you can be grateful for one thing if none other.  In the here in now, you have remembered there are things worth living for.

This happens to be my very first indication that, while things could go bad again and likely will, for now I have a glimmer of hope that I find in a two square inch photo book.  Love you guys.

No Overloading the Rosa

It is only within the past couple of days that I have been able to see any kind  of real improvement without major backsliding.  I have been **gasp** calm today, even in the face of really dumb arguments and an empty jar of peanut butter.  I have only cried twice and I slept almost three hours uninterrupted.

A tiny bit of clarity is in my thoughts today, and for that I am grateful.  I attribute it to the countless years of DBT with Goddess of Mindfulness and the very small piece of me that has been able to resurrect some of that in my life the last few days.  A small kindness or simple yet firm decision can go a long way.

My simple yet firm decision (that I have come to with surprisingly little angst) is that I must get back on a schedule, and do things that make me feel better, more grounded.  One would think that, having lived with bipolar disorder nearly my entire life, this would have come to  me sooner.  Well, it didn’t, or maybe I wasn’t ready to do it.  But now I say “no.”

In the next week, I will eat dinner before 8:00P and take meds by 8:30P.  I will read and blog and work on new art projects (charcoal drawings, thanks to stepmom Karen).

I will stay out of stressful situations.  I will not interact when I don’t want to, and I will not force things  because I “should” and other people want me to.

I will not talk about why I don’t believe in God, or my theories on ISIS, or watch the local news.

There will be no overloading of the Rosa, just soft and easy with myself and my time.  It will work this way because it has worked before, and because I say so.  Not a lot of willingness in there, but sometimes getting through the first steps means being the opposite.

Sometimes A Little is Too Much

Over the past month of my unintended absence from blogging (and life in general), it is becoming clearer to me what I need to do and have around me to stay somewhat sane.  In the forefront, stress of any kind must be kept to a bare minimum.

Stress.  Right.  Traumas from years ago are rearing their ugly head and the past year seems like it was fraught with tension and tears and angst.  I know that if I am going to survive, I am really going to have to remove myself from all that.  Even a little stress is too much.  Even a little stimulation is too much.

While in some ways the man I started dating last December has been very supportive, I question if now is not a good time for me to be in a relationship.  We fight and I would admit that a lot of it is my craziness, he has serious issues as well.  In some ways we are not good for each other.  I love him but the fighting drives me crazy.

I have been trying to head back to basics in the last few days.  Thinking about blogging (and then doing so), getting started in individual art therapy, taking meds like I am supposed to.  Going to my bazillion appointments.

Still not enough.  I have had numerous med adjustments.  I , continue to be suicidally depressed, am cycling through anger and irritability every few hours, chest crushing anxiety, crying spells several times daily.  I haven’t been able to work even a few hours here and there and I don’t know when I will be able.

My doctor wants me to do ECT, since this bipolar has been so treatment resistant.  I am looking into it and think I will do it as soon as I get medical clearance.  Because really, this shit has to end somewhere. Somehow.

Treading Water, Full Speed Ahead

**TW FOR SUICIDAL IDEATION**

Stuck in time-space travel, living too far into the future, no focus, hyper-focused, zero attention span.  Do not care.  About that (although a little troublesome) or about much.  I’ve let most things I love and care about drop around my feet slowly, starting in August of last year, when my world was given the big smack-down and everything changed.

I’ve cycled through some hypomania and have as of late been mired in depression and super-fun mixed episodes, with a bit of giddy mania sandwiched in.  I have dropped blogging, family, friends, personal hygiene, my TV shows, my music, my books, my sanity, and the smoking and weight loss kick to find myself with a new boyfriend and far too much change and far too much crying, several times a day, every day.  Something is not right.

I feel as if I am living in a different world.  I don’t do the things that ground me.  I am trying new things and they sometimes make me quite miserable.  Cutting off ties to certain people leaves my belly churning and my chest tight.  On the flip of that, I am deliriously happy, ecstatic even at times.  And in the middle, irritable, wounded, striking out.  I am all and I am none.

I am eating Hamburger Helper and Ramen noodles and instant mashed potatoes, even though I can cook, and do cook well.  My body is so parched for moisture from a lack of self-care, that my feet are cracked, my skin rough, my hair thinning.  I do not recognize myself in a mirror.  I have important phone calls to make to set up appointments for my health and should try and see family more, but all I really want to do is stay up all night being whacked or lying in bed all day, broken.

I want to retain the good parts of my life and explore the new, rid myself of the negative or unhelpful, but I can’t make myself care enough to do anything about it.  I probably look fine, even good on the outside, like I am doing well.  But in mind and heart I have gone away.

I sometimes think about throwing myself on the mercy of the psychiatric hospital, or the local crisis services, but I don’t, because that only burdens everyone.  I stay safe because I keep boyfriend Larry at my side as much as I can.  There is only so much one can do, though, and he will get tired.  As with any other relationship, I am probably wrecking this one already with my craziness.

No real worries, friends.  I will keep on keeping myself safe.  These are only thoughts and feelings.  Reality is that there is love in my life and I would never do anything to hurt or abandon anyone in that fashion.