Rapid Cycling Tempered With Suicidal Ideation and Clarity (TW)

TRIGGER WARNING — mentions of suicidal ideation and self-harm thoughts

not giving up

I have been pondering doing ECT again for the past several days.  According to my mood tracker app, I have had six days in a row now where I have struggled desperately with suicidal and self-harm thoughts.  Had I been using the app for even longer, it would have shown some seriously ridiculous rapid cycling.  The up, the down, it never ends.  This last stretch has been particularly difficult.

I have opted not to go to the hospital or the crisis house, mostly because it is too hard to be away from my natural support system.  With the near-constant help from LarBear, and lots of support from Mom and Dad, and the support of friends, I have managed to stay safe.  There have been many times where I was *almost* not safe, and there was some self-harm behavior that I DID engage in, but I am still standing, still in once piece.  Upright, as I told a friend yesterday.

golden gate

And that’s the truth — there isn’t anything in my life that isn’t *fixable*.  Unfortunately, it isn’t a “magic wand” kind of fix or a pill I can take or a therapy I can do.  It is all, I believe, a mixture of many things that keep me alive and keep me from making that final step into the abyss.  I hover over the line, testing my toes across the edge, but I consistently pull back.

Because LarBear.

Because Kizzie.

Because my mom and my dad and my sister.

Because Oscar.

Whatever the “because” is, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that I still have a “because,” and even several of them.  Even at my very worst, I can almost always keep in mind that I don’t want to leave these precious people behind.  It is a blessing that I can think this way, and it is only when I am unable to see their importance in my life that I will put myself into a hospital or a crisis house.

Oscar’s birthday was the 19th, and I meant to do a birthday post for him, but mentally wasn’t up to it.  I am going to try and crank one out in the next day or so anyway — he is two years old now, so I am pretty sure he won’t judge me too harshly for not being on time.

Yes, because Oscar.

Yes, because my sister.

Thank you, baby Jesus, that I have my family, that I have my LarBear, that I have my friends.  Without them, things would be very grim indeed.

And KINDNESS.  No, kindness is not overrated.  It is simple, while being complex, and is really so VERY easy, even though sometimes it’s hard.  So, because kindness.  You never know what someone is going through, right at this moment.  Be kind.  Smile at someone.  You could save a life, without knowing it.  I know I have seen some smiles in my life that have kept me from wrapping my car around a bridge abutment, from stepping out a window, from picking up that instrument of self-harm.  It really can do it.  Please smile at someone today.

lightens the burdens

 

 

 

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Crispity, Crunchety, French-Fried Edges

I had been doing so well on blogging regularly, but the last week or so has really taken a toll.  I have been completely without two very important medications for four days one week, and then totally without any sleeping or nightmare medication for three days the following week.  Add that to a very busy schedule, and I find myself feeling a bit worse for wear as days go by.

Of course, I’m gonna come through it, and things are already looking up, but I am fried around the edges.  Social contact has become difficult — heck, I don’t even want to be around LarBear half of the time.  I just want my music and my sunlamp and for everyone to leave me the Hell alone.  I haven’t been doing much Facebook, haven’t been returning messages or emails.

This time of year is classically difficult for me.  I haven’t had a “good” winter in over fifteen years, and for the last few years have ended up in the hospital or the crisis residence shortly after the holidays.  Heck, this Spring, I even had to do ECT.  I still grasp at straws as to things that make me feel better, but sometimes it is grasping into thin air.

I have jewelry pieces I have been wanting to make for Christmas, and I have all of the supplies — I am severely lacking in the follow-through department, however.  They aren’t hard pieces, but I just look at the supplies, then out the window at the grey nastiness, then back in at the supplies, and ughhhhhh.  I cannot get any motivation going, and as Christmas approaches, the stress of not having these things done or even being worked on grows greater.

So, I’ve been doing a lot of flailing, sitting still, kicking and screaming against doing anything the last week.  I have been trying my very hardest to stay positive, to stay in wise mind, but I find myself full of negative feelings and emotion.  As much as I can, I am turning my mind away from those thoughts and feelings, but gosh durn, it’s hard sometimes!

Thanks to DBT (and almost 20 years of dealing with bipolar disorder), I have discovered a few things that work to bring me back to Earth.  I have been relying heavily on music, breathing exercises, building structure, building mastery, and routines.  Yes, I must have my routines — they may seem to be silly and frivolous to other people, but my routines are sometimes the only things that keep me going.

In addition to the medication issues over the last two weeks, I have been dealing with a LarBear who is struggling to deal with the realities of his (negative) family situation while embracing a “new” family that has traditions and celebrations out-the-wazoo.  It is overwhelming for him, and he has said as much, and has certainly acted as such.  I don’t know much to do except to just ease him through the season, but it definitely adds to the stress level.

Through the course of blogging today, I am feeling a weight lift off my shoulders, and realizing that this dang thing is more therapeutic to keep up than I had realized it still had the power to be.  If you are my dear friend, and I have mentioned a piece of jewelry for you for Christmas, know that it may be more of a New Year’s gift, and remember that I am human, and it might even turn out to be a “Happy February” gift.  Doing the best I can here, and there’s always manana, manana!

O.K., Wild One!

Okay, so maybe “wild” isn’t the right word.  Hypomania?  Mania, even?  What started out as just some “really great” feelings has evolved into something more.  I’m not sleeping but three or four hours a night, and those hours aren’t all at one time.  Nightmares have come on with an even greater vengeance.  I find my thoughts to be confused and jumbled and quite speedy, my speech is pressured, and one day seems to capture ten different mood shifts.

No bueno, my friends.  I did go to see the amazing psychiatrist last week and he increased my Lithium and added Seroquel as a PRN show-stopper of sorts, but I have had little relief.  Especially in the sleep department.  My tolerance for other humans has begun to shrink, and even my feelings of empathy for the puppies in my life who struggle with fireworks and thunder and every other loud noise have been diminished.

I miss blogging every day, but most days I find that I just don’t have much to say.  Or much to say that I think bears repeating from my tired old brain.  Sometimes I think I should just throw it out there anyway, but I don’t.  I admire bloggers who do it day-in-and-out, and maybe I’ll get back there some day.  I think I would have a hard time throwing RosieSmrtiePants away altogether, and don’t think that day is coming anytime soon.  Maybe I could embrace a weekly blogging schedule.  You know, a SCHEDULE.  Gah!

So many things in life are better these days, so it is really aggravating to me that I must still be on the bipolar circus ride of up-down-all-around.  I have resigned myself to think that perhaps it will ALWAYS be that way.  I mean, if the past 33 years is any indication anyway.  I comfort myself by reminding Rosa that at least the current state of affairs does not 100% revolve around depression and anxiety.  Yay for mania (except, ick, really) for keeping things interesting and here’s to a goal of no hysterical crying for 24 hours.

We all have goals, am I right?  ;). Sure do love y’all!

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.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes You Have to Burn Bridges

burning bridges

 

 

Younger, naive, much less in tune with the ways relationships work (and don’t work).  To put it simply, I was just young and dumb and hopelessly romantic.  I thought I was in love, maybe I was.  It sure seemed that way, when we weren’t fighting over something silly and he wasn’t ignoring me or giving me the silent treatment.

We were very different.  At that young of an age, I had a restlessness to do things.  Anything, really.  I wanted to have have dinner and an evening of conversation at my mom’s house, go catch a movie once in awhile.  I wanted to have my pregnant step-sister over and make her brownies and see how excited she got when the pan came out of the oven.  I wanted to go to ballgames with my dad and not see his disappointment everytime I left the house.

And he didn’t want to be around people.  Not anyone.  Not his family, not my family.  Sometimes, I think, not even me.  I did everything I could to catch his attention — cooked great meals, suggested movies to watch, brought home card games I thought he might like.  To no avail.  The harder I tried, the more he ignored me.

I see now that it was terribly painful for him to be around other people.  When he said, “Rose, I don’t know what to say!” — he really meant that he didn’t know what to say.  I thought he was just shy at first.  And that was okay because I’m a little on the shy side myself when I first get to meet someone.  But it was more than that.  There was a complete confusion, for him, about how people interacted, talked to each other, empathized and loved one another.  He didn’t understand it, and it couldn’t be taught.  I tried — he would say, “just leave me alone.”

I don’t know how I made it through three years like that.  My biggest problem with him was that he constantly ignored me.  I would get home from work and we would talk for a little bit and, even though he had been home all day by himself, he had to get away again.  He would go to the basement and play video games at full volume, for hours on end.  He would take his tablet or his iPod and go listen to five or six or seven podcasts.

I remember thinking, “I just want him to like me.  To love me, even!”  I remember wondering why he never wanted to be around anyone, no matter how loving and including they were.  It was all very confusing to me, because I felt like I was doing all the right things, like my family and his family were doing all the right things.

When things were close to the end, we were sitting around taking online questionnaires.  I sent him one for Asperger’s Syndrome.  He read off his answers to me, which were all lies.  The truths were all such CLEAR markings, and I can say that I do have some experience with this, having worked in the the mental health field for over ten years.  I began to think, not for the first time, that something clinical could have been playing a role in our dysfunctional (nonfunctional) relationship.  Not that it was or that it had, but that it COULD have.

Right after that, we got into a big fight about the same old things (ignoring me, never wanting anything to do with anyone, playing video games for 12 hours at a time overnight).  He said he was leaving.  I told him that I would hold him to that, and he left the next day.

It’s three years later and imagine my surprise when he friends me on Facebook.  Knowing I shouldn’t, but wanting to know how he is, I accept.  And he starts messaging me.  Over and over.  Won’t stop.  I finally figured out to unfriend him.  He kept messaging me and I didn’t understand how that was possible, so I blocked him.  My phone rang a few minutes later, and it was him, pretending to be a customer service rep.  I told him we were never getting back together, that it would never happen and that I had bad memories from that time.  He said he understood and would leave me alone.

I hope I don’t have to change my number.

Blinding Happiness Followed By Crash With Tears

Today has been a great day.  Today, I met my very first ever nephew.  That’s right; I’m Auntie Rose.  My sister had the baby last night and I went to the hospital in the big city to see her and the newest addition.  The text message pictures she sent me this morning before I got there didn’t do the boy justice.  Of course they didn’t.  He is perfect.  I mean it.  Perfect.

I thought I would cry when I held him, because for weeks I have been tearing up, just thinking about him and what a beautiful life he will have.  When my mom placed him in my arms, I was nervous (that I would drop him or sneeze on him or something else terrible), but calmed easily and just got lost looking at him.  I never did see him open his eyes, and he didn’t make much noise, but I felt such a deep connection.

I hadn’t felt that degree of pure joy in a long, long time.  I’m tearing up just thinking about it now.  I wish the misery around me would go away and I could just sneak back in those hospital doors and see him.  I know that would make me feel better, for awhile.

But every time my mood goes up, it must come CRASHING THE FUCK DOWN!  I’m so sick of it.  I held it together until I got home.  I am an idiot because I asked DSB if he was happy to see me and he flatly replied, “ecstatic.”  To me, that is sarcasm, and it is not appreciated.  To him, he is joking.  But really, that’s just how he communicates.  He doesn’t get excited about anything, and even if he did, he would never admit it.

So, I burst into tears and told him I needed a break.  I sit, here at my desk, in my favorite room in the house, and I am crying.  Just flat-out, sniffling, can’t-stop crying.  Not sure I WANT to stop.  The day has been an intense emotional roller-coaster and I really just need him to be there for me and understand.  I don’t seem to be able to ask him to do that.

And I need to stop crying.  All this crying I am doing, every day for at least two hours for the past month…it has to go.  The last time I cried like this, it lasted for months, and I ended up in a day-hospital program, and then went voluntarily inpatient.  I am not doing that again.  Ever.

I also need to get my feelings and mood swings in check before I ruin the best thing I’ve got going — me and DSB.  I’m at a loss.  I really am.  Blogging has helped somewhat, but I’ve got to ask my biggest supporter for more support and I don’t know how.

The Up Down Game

I started to participate in Cultivate 2014 this year.  I even wrote out the first day’s post.  Unfortunately, all prompts since that post have been so “not me,” that I’ve decided to move on.  Since it was following Reverb, I thought I would really enjoy it, but that was not the case.  Maybe I should have dug a little deeper, tried a little harder to  make it work.  I just don’t have it in me.

The depression fog is there, and then it’s not.  I’m focused, and then I’m lost.  And then I’m back to focused again.  Depression has been the bogeyman this go-round, usually springing up to “get me” when the sun goes down.  For the most part, during the day, I can stay active and get things done.  And feel good about it.  Once sundown occurs, I start to lose focus and perspective, and anything good about that day goes down the drain with it.

I see this as a pattern, yet I don’t know how to stop it.  I see Goddess of Mindfulness on Wednesday and I am hoping to talk about it and maybe gain some insight and some ideas on what I can do to prevent this from happening.  It really is odd, to me, that it comes and goes like that.  Such is life with bipolar, though, right?  Up, down, up, down.  All these years living with it and it still gets to me.

Happy moments have me down, too.  Which, of course, isn’t fair to the other happy people.  These happy moments cause me to reflect poorly upon myself, wishing it were I in the situation, wishing I had done something differently about the situation, that I was more included (all the while knowing that I had ostracized myself).  Feelings of “it’s not fair” and “everyone hates me” floating around in the air.  And everyone around me is all smiles and laughs and oblivious (thankfully, I think) to the extreme emotional pain am in.

Sometimes (and sometimes, a lot of times), I feel like giving up, giving in.  I want to stop trying and I want not to hurt so much.  But then there is a part within me that just wants to get better, that can see myself getting better, that is aware of the accomplishments I have made, the strides in progress.  That part of me doesn’t come out all the time, but when it does, I can momentarily feel better.

And isn’t that all anyone wants, to just feel a little better, even momentarily?