Symptom Smack-Down…Take THAT, Beastly Irritability!

It is not exactly official, but any therapist I have ever had, as well as my mother and numerous boyfriends have said that I am the queen of being hard on myself.  Now, I like the idea of being a queen (Let them eat cake! Ha!), but I don’t think this is the sort of thing that I need to continue to be proud of.

There are tricks to not being so hard of yourself, and I learn and then unlearn and then relearn them about every three days.  Or more often, if the circumstances merit.  Just like the rest of life, your response to life will really vary based on hundreds of different factors.

I have been trying especially hard in the last ten days to be gentle with myself, because I have had some physical maladies (getting both toenails pulled surgically from my big toes) and rehab time with those maladies, and some psych med issues, not to mention being far off my routine (mostly because two toes have been keeping me at home, fairly immobile) — well, it was really too much for me to think that I wasn’t going to have a stumble or two.

Now, the beauty of getting older (and I mean, one of the MAIN beauties) is that, every once in awhile, you learn your lesson.  Sometimes you have to repeat it two or three or five hundred times, but it gets learned and it sticks in your head and, every great once in awhile, the stars align just so and BAM! you work yourself through your issues without going into great drama and hysterics.

I say maybe, because although the last ten days was fairly manageable, I had some seriously hysterically tearful moments.  Happily, I can say they were short-lived and didn’t put a damper on my entire life.  I have found that there are things (things, yes, these things) that can be done to make life a bit easier.

For me, I have rediscovered that I need quiet/alone/introvert time at least a few hours every day, and if I don’t get it, I become very, very cranky.  This has maybe been a hard lesson for LarBear to learn, but as an example, about thirty minutes ago, I yelled, or maybe just said loudly, “Ok, I’m going to the office,” and he (for once) didn’t take  it personally.  He is starting to “get” me, after all this time, thank goodness.  So here I am, with my headphones on.  I shut off my peripheral vision (just in my imagination), and have been sitting at my glorious desk, crafting this superb document for the interwebs (ha!) and doing my very best to stay in the moment.

It really does work, at least for me.  A few of the other things that help me are music (loud in headphones, preferably), taking a drive, a shower, lighting a new candle, putting on makeup, sitting on my front porch, writing things down in my planner, and last, but most certainly not least, I do a lot of journaling in my altered art journals.  I also make these little books out  of scrap paper.  I am going to end with a few pictures of altered art journals and the mini books so you can get an idea.  They are pretty awesome, another amazing thing I have learned from art therapy.

 

 

 

 

Emotion MishMash Equals Anger, Rage, Panic

Image result for quotes about anger in bipolar

Sad, angry, happy, irritable, hostile, giddy, appearing stable, sad, lonely, panicked, giddy, irritable, hostile.

Mad, sad, crying, hysterical, eerie calm, thankfulness, slow descent back to an impressive depression, then just a big solid block of sadness, quickly surpassed by feelings of irritation at every spoken word, movement, gesture, genuinely baffled by how ugly people can be.

All of this turning into genuine anger, first directed at the self, stabbing words into my skin as if with a knife, getting myself so unsettled again that I go through crying, more anger, hostility, to anger at other people/things/objects/ideas, and again circling back to hating everything about myself and secure in the knowledge that I am ruining the life of myself and everyone in it.

This gets old and it gets tiresome and it gets lonely.  My feelings all are over the place, some of which I am accustomed to, but the anger, the hostility, the sharp tongue — I never get used to that.  I never get used to the piece of me that can and will tear another down with words, hurling just the right ones in the most sensitive spots for maximum damage.  The difference between before and now, is that I am depressed enough, I don’t really care that I am hurting other people.  That is not good.  Every jab looks to land a mat-dropping blow.

I can control it to an extent, but there are times when I feel so bad, that I don’t control it and I let my mouth run wild and I hurt people.  For the most part, it is brushed off because the other person knows it isn’t really the Rosa inside who is saying these things.  Sometimes it doesn’t get fixed that easily.

I deleted over thirty people from my Facebook over the last week, because I am convinced someone is leaking information about me to my ex step-father.  To be clear, I am done, done, DONE with that relationship and any relationship I may  have ever had with that ENTIRE side of the family.  It’s a shame, because there was one or two people that were somewhat decent, but for the sake of my mental health, I can have NO contact.  I want him to forget I exist.  Let him think I went to Alaska to can salmon or something.  Rosa, disappeared from his world, never ever again going back.  I have my reasons, many reasons which are really not worth spelling out here, because I don’t care to embarrass anyone, but done, just done.  Goodbye.  Again.  Stay gone.

I started this post shaking with anger, and that was after I wrote a long, ranting email to a friend of mine.  I need a way to get over this anger, to make it stop, to do something productive with it, if it isn’t just going to go away nicely.  Suggestions, as always, are welcome in the comments.  And even if I get mad about a comment, I won’t attack anyone, and that is a promise (that I feel that I can keep right now at 9:45PM on a Friday night).  That’s the best I can do for now.

 

 

 

Fractured Personality

Sometimes I feel like different people live within my body.  The strong Rosa, the weak Rosa, the angry Rosa, the meek Rosa, the funny Rosa.  There are more, but those are the ones that come out the most.  I’m not suggesting that I have multiple personality disorder, I am merely stating that I can feel so markedly different from moment to moment, that I don’t know how else to explain it.

I want the tough and strong Rosa to always persevere, but sometimes it feel like she won’t.  Sometimes the flailing Rosa takes over, and any sense of hope is lost.  It’s that Rosa that’s drowning in a foot of water, and just needs to stand up.  Sometimes she can hardly be convinced to stand, even get on her knees, even though that would “save” her.  This Rosa has easy access to the “give up” button, where every small and inconsequential thing is exceptionally difficult.

I find myself stuck in this mode far too much of the time, and the only thing that brings me out of this particular funk is to write down on paper all of the “evidence” I have for not remaining in this frame of mind.

And then the tough and strong Rosa gets to break ties with the flailing Rosa, and all can be well for a bit.  The funny Rosa that likes to tell jokes and be sarcastic and get others to laugh even makes an appearance, for awhile.  I wonder, as I am writing, what I could do to make all of the different Rosa’s into one more cohesive persona.

So much of my problems are black and white, this or that, all or nothing.  This is a way of thinking that has plagued me forever.  I rarely see any middle ground on an issue.  I am all in or all out, and then vacillate between the two, never landing in the middle.  This is the dialectic, so they say.  This is why DBT works for me, this is why I must constantly strive to put the fractured Rosa back together, to make her whole.

This is why I do this, this is why I write — to straighten these things out in my head, and to marry the parts of Rosa back together.

“The Scientist”

Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry
You don’t know how lovely you are

I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh, let’s go back to the start

Running in circles
Coming up tails
Heads on a science apart

Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

Oh, take me back to the start

I was just guessing
At numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart

Questions of science
Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart

Tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh, and I rush to the start

Running in circles
Chasing our tails
Coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh, it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

I’m going back to the start

Oh [x4]

Choosing My Battles

I came home today from a five-night stay at the (actually quite) cozy local mental health residential crisis center.  I went in at the insistence of my med provider and stayed through the weekend after conferring with LarBear and family, and realizing that my behavior and thoughts really had become quite erratic and, most unfortunately, somewhat dangerous.

Let me first say that I am feeling much better.  At this moment, I am having no suicidal thoughts and my depression is not strangling me.  As tends to happen, I am quite literally bouncing out of this funk, and maybe soaring up a little too high.

I am trying very hard to make this a controlled leap through the air, rather like an artful trapeze artist instead of a chunky 34-year-old bouncing around on a backyard trampoline.  I have pinpointed the stressors that led to the necessitation of the crisis center, and quite a bit of it revolves around putting too much into my daily routine, all at once, after having done nothing but sit on my (ever-expanding) arse for months.  I went from 10% active each week to maybe 75%, and not having my downtime ramped up my symptoms.

I have figured out my schedule, and have been working at getting others on the same page with me.  I am struggling with this peer specialist I have been assigned to, and was quite befuddled as to why she did not call back to check on me after I had left her a message last Thursday letting her know what had happened, and then also leaving her a message this morning to let her know I had been released and again asking for a return phone call.  Radio silence.  So, I will be going into a meeting with her tomorrow where I will be asking for several things, and then also telling her my opinion of some matters, which she is sure not to like.

At this point, I just want things to be straightened out and I am not going to let myself falter and fail, just to fit into another person’s schedule perfectly.  We all have to make sacrifices, and it is actually her job to be flexible enough to “support” me.  Excuse me while I tear my hair out and spit nails for a few minutes, I’ll BRB!

So yes, the irritability is still there, but not the same degree, and my baseline anxiety level is far too high, but hey, I have come a long way down the road in the last five days, and so I am going to give myself credit for that, and just keep my eyes on the prize.  The prize being, I am going to take care of this conflict without conflict.  Because it is possible and because I can (and, Oh! I will).

The following is my new pump-it-up song.  DO take a moment and enjoy (unless you are trying to get into a chill zen state at this moment, in which case I wouldn’t recommend it).

 

I Will Always Be Rosa

I feel like I have a lot to do right now.  I am working more, now that is just QoB and The Rock and myself.  That’s ok though, I’m good with that.  I think before I had too much free time and I used that free time in negative ways.  We are looking at doing something flexible at least  until Spring.  The schedule has never been so laid-back.  Hell, the store has never been so laid-back.  I am hoping we are going to be just fine.

I made myself the biggest ta-do list today at work.  I have several doctors appointments and tests I need to set up and get written down on my calendar because well, I have missed several lately.  I don’t know when it happened that I became unable to remember small things, like a date and time, from the time at the doctor’s office until I was home 20 minutes later.  Probably the meds frying my brain, a little more each day as time goes on.

Seems like  things might be speeding up now, but I probably couldn’t get QoB or the Big Dawg to see it.  But that’s ok, because everyone, from the parents to the kids and out to the friends — everyone is processing this their own way.  I am still feeling very angry and anxious, and that encapsulates more than just my parents breaking up.

That is the whole big-picture-enchilada.  I am angry with so-called friends and with people who slap a label on my forehead and deem me somewhat less significant.  Of course, I whined about this previously in “Because That Phrase Doesn’t Work”, so if one didn’t get enough of it in this post, there is more to be found.  About how some people suck and treat you differently because you have bipolar disorder and about how you have lost all your friends.

And as stated before, there are some people that I am done.done.done with, some situations that will not ever change, and I am just worn out on trying to make certain things better, when it would require the consent and action of another human being who listens to nothing and no one, has no respect.

I truly thought I would wake up today and feel differently about aforementioned subjects.  I don’t.  I’m still mad as hell.  I’m still cutting people out of my life.  I am still mourning the fact that all my so-called friends turned out to not even be as steady in my life as an acquaintance.  I would never daresay “life isn’t fair” because, well NO SHIT!  I would not call myself brave or courageous because I have persevered through some hard stuff — did I really have a choice in the matter?  Try or die.  What a choice, right?  And I am glad I chose life every time.

And no matter how hard things are, how elusive the answers seem to be, I will always, always, always be just me, just Rosa.

beauty begins

 


 

I went back and read this post after publishing and I am sorely wanting to take it down.  It just looks ugly and disjointed to me, and I’m not sure I got across what I was going to say.  I think I will leave it up, though, because I am sure I could do a lot worse, and I really need to get this stuff out there, even if I am repeating myself.  Responses to comments tomorrow!  I have the time scheduled in!  🙂

Because That Phrase Doesn’t Work

buck up

Although I have heard this one often, sometimes in jest, some other more PC versions include “Can’t You Just Get it Together?” OR “Just Pull Yourself Back into the Saddle” OR “Get Your Shit Straight!”

For everyone’s information, Rosa is working very hard at getting her shit straight, at “bucking up,” if you will.  The problem, when you are also dealing with a mental illness, in addition to serious life stress — it may just not be so simple.

When Rosa stays at home all day, relaxing, chatting with friends on the Internet, reading blogs, reading on the Kindle, playing with the Kizzer dog, this is how she recharges.  Because people.  Well, people.  What can I say, being around people, it just drains the life right out of me.

The most current issue of the “just buck up” phrase comes from the fact that Rosa and her bipolarity have driven away oh-so-many people, and she finds herself with only a very few close friends and family members that she can rely on.  This means that, out of four people, there might not be someone to call at midnight, or five in the morning, or what have you.  With more resources, it might be easier.  I’d like to think it would be.

I have a stepsister and a best friend from grade school.  Both live close, both have kids and husbands.  In the past, they would always make time for me, but I guess I have worn them out.  The ups and downs of bipolar disorder, the cancelling meetings, the crying on the phone, my insistent attempts to get them to talk to me, perhaps me just seeming too desperate.  It is clear they have given up on me.  No, it’s really not in my head.  Other people see it too.

And there’s the question of my stepmom, who should love and care for me, at least in some small way, for the simple fact that she loves my dad.  Well, this is not the case.  She let it slip a couple weeks ago that she is “completely  unsympathetic to the mentally ill.”  What the FUCK would give you an idea to say that to me of all people.  She complained about people getting hospitalized, of which I actually  have twice and have thought about even more.  She had nothing good to say about a person with a mental illness — not even me.

And it occured to me — this woman does not love me, she does not respect me, and in fact she sees me as a burden on my father’s time.  She has actually said those words — burden on my father’s time.  No doubt that she can go up once a week to see my sister and spend 12 hours up there, or spend money and time on her daughter.  I am that red-headed step-child that no one wants around.  Save for Dad.

So after much introspection, I am left mainly with anger.  Anger for these people abandoning me in my life, when I could have used them most.  My dad came by last night and I cursed and yelled and cried and, while I think it was overwhelming for him, I think he needed to hear it.

He cried, because, well, this shit is sad.  The people I thought I could depend on are not there, and the list of people that I CAN depend on shrinks by the moment.  On my part, there will be no more contacting these people.  They have my number, my email, my web address, my home address.  They can figure out how to find me.

So here I am, at the end of the day, and I am done.done.done. with a large group of people.  I am not going to subject myself to heartache anymore, just as I suppose they wouldn’t themselves.

Remember this?

 

Difference of Wills

I have the will to survive.  I am not ready to die, even though I do think about it, the not-living.  Think about it obsessively, at times.  What I do not have, is the will to live.  To flesh out my meaningless existence into something worth having.  And I’m not sure it’s even the will that I’m lacking, but maybe the strength, or the desire, or the current ability.

I had another hard day yesterday and today, so far, hasn’t been much brighter.  I woke up with a chest full of anxiety and feel like I’m breathing through a straw.  I had already taken a PRN by 10:00 a.m., and that is quite rare for me.  I don’t know how to explain this feeling, but it’s more than just anxiety.  It’s anxiety, and it’s tension, and sadness, and hopelessness, depression, despair, agony, hurt, pain, confusion.

And anger.  There is so much anger.  I never thought of myself as an angry person, but I have been lately.  I have so much hatred, directed inward, that it is spilling out into hatred directed outward.  I am tense, I lose control at the slightest irritation, the voices in my head churn together to create a death-metal march of destruction.  I can’t take it.  What is it that I can’t take?  Anything.  The reality of the world rubs me raw and I just.can’t.take.it.  I feel lost and wounded, like I am limping through a forest of evil trees, waiting to be killed.  Kill or be killed.  Kill or be killed.  Kill or be killed.

Fall is coming.  Fall is almost here.  Bad things happen in the Fall.  Mood shifts, cycles, howling at the moon.  I wonder if I should use my sun lamp, but I feel like this might be a mixed episode and so I don’t.  But I want to.  Because that lamp brings me happiness, energy, joy.  Let’s face it.  That lamp could, does have the possibility, entirely possible that it could bring full-blown mania.  And I want that and I don’t, at the same time.  I’d be happy with some hypomania.  Maybe then I could get my house clean.  What I do know, however, is that it could really intensify this mixed episode I believe I am having.  And that would lead to more hurt, more despair, more anger.  I don’t really want that.  So I will wait, ride it out.  Because, really, what else can I do?