Can’t Touch This

Up and down and all around, as you know if you’ve been reading.  The past two days, the depression has really stabilized, but I have been left with soul-crushing anxiety.  Anxiety that absolutely nothing touches — not a single DBT skill has gone untried, a PRN gone untested, a theory, a trick, an avoidance, nothing.  I don’t remember the last time I had such intractable anxiety.

Usually, there is something that will work.  I can fool my brain for long enough to fall asleep or sweep the unpleasantness far enough under the rug that it doesn’t peek out for a few hours.  I haven’t been able to do this lately, and the added near-unbearable irritability that has come with it…well, I just don’t know.  I just don’t know about anything right now.

Well, that’s not altogether true, I suppose.  I know I’m not ready to give up and I know I’m determined to not hurt the people around me who love me most with this irrational irritability and anxiety.  I’ll keep trying this and that because, all it takes is one thing to ease it for awhile, then maybe I can sleep for awhile, or at least rest, and then the irritability can go away.

The anxiety has been the worst in the mid-morning and the beginnings of the evening.  I keep find myself trying to find reason behind a most unreasonable emotion.  As if I am dissecting anxiety, and if I can figure out how it’s heart beats, then I can clip the right blood source and it will die.  I am far too rational, too logical, too black-and-white in my thinking.

Perhaps there is no what/when/why/whatever to this, and my trying to dissect it further makes it worse.  Perhaps that.  The thought that I am making this worse by all of my struggling seems to hit home, and I ponder to myself that maybe I need to rest and float upon these waves of anxiety, instead of trying to kick my legs and flail my arms in an attempt to stay above water.  You know, like JulieTwo always said, depression is an ocean, and if you float you survive, and if you fight, you die.

Food for thought, right there, and maybe QoB was right in suggesting that I spew it all out here on this blog.  Because, the fight or float thing makes sense to me, but I need to retrain myself to float.  Floating is hard, y’all.  Maybe this is also just like my most recent favorite gem — that it is so frustrating to watch someone flail in knee-deep water, believing they will drown, when all they need is to stand up.

I’m gonna try that.  I’m gonna float and I’m gonna stand up, and I will persevere in the end, mostly because I am too stubborn not to.

“Rosie’s Lullaby”

She walked by the ocean,
And waited for a star,
To carry her away.

Feelin’ so small,
At the bottom of the world,
Lookin’ up to God.

She tries to take deep breaths,
To smell the salty sea,
As it moves over her feet.

The water pulls so strong,
And no-one is around,
And the moon is looking down.

Sayin’,
Rosie – come with me,
Close your eyes – and dream.

The big ships are rollin’,
And lightin’ up the night,
And she calls out, but they just her pass by.

The waves are crashin’,
But not making a sound,
Just mouthing along.

Sayin’,
Rosie – come with me,
Close your eyes and dream,
Close your eyes and dream,
Close your eyes and dream.

Throw a Bunch of Thoughts into the Pot

sunshine in three days

It has been a very up-and-down three days since I released from the residential crisis center.  To start with, the weather has been crap, or (to be more accurate) severe, and I am tired of rain, tired of thunder, and very tired of keeping up with two dogs who suffer from varying degrees of thunder and storm phobia.  I told my mom I was going to order them and myself a doggie thundershirt.  Yes, they really are driving me that crazy (ier???).

After reading a friend’s post about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I realized that some of my angst might be coming from a lack of sunlight, so I have my sunlamp blazing now, and I just pray it doesn’t throw me into a manic spiral.  It seems like the last month or so, I have experienced the true ick of rapid cycling, and to say it hasn’t been fun is an understatement.  Right now, this moment, I am desperate to feel just a little better, so in front of the sunlamp I will sit, until the bipolar devil on my left shoulder releases it’s talons from my flesh a bit.

I spoke with my peer mentor yesterday, and the conversation that I was worried about went just fine.  We are going to start meeting twice per week for 90 minutes each session, which is what I wanted.  She states that she never received any word that I was at the crisis house, including the Trust Quotes (9)voicemails I sent her and her unit secretary.  I don’t believe her.  I completely think she is lying, but it just shows that you can’t trust people.  Which is sad, because before all of that happened, I had been thinking about trusting her more than the average human being.  Now, I’m not so sure.  It isn’t easy for me to trust people in the first place, and my faith in people is easily lost.  What is different about me, is that I do give people many, many, many chances.  So, while I am not trusting her so much at the moment, she is going to get another chance.

Now that I have pushed through the suicidal ideation and self-harm thoughts of the past little while, I find I am stuck with huge spikes in my anxiety level.  I have spoken with a few people about it, and my therapist today even wanted me to go into the hospital.  I am not going into the hospital unless I am at a danger to harm myself, and I’m not, so therefore I will figure out the anxiety problem while I am living at home.

I’ve read a few interesting articles on evening anxiety, including this one because it talks directly about anxiety specifically in the evenings.  Every evening between four and five o’clock, I am having a very severe anxiety spike.  This has happened with regularity for over a week, since before I was in the crisis residence, and has happened at other times in my life as well.  I have a hard time when it gets dark outside, but its light at that time right now, although I do notice a further anxiety spike as the sun falls.  My mom and I jokingly have said for years that I have “sundowners,” which is a worsening of symptoms typical in Alzheimer’s patients at dusk.

Obviously I don’t have Alzheimer’s, but I have never been able to figure out why evenings are so difficult for me, other than maybe for trauma reasons.  I think it also has to do with my fear of the dark, which hasFear-of-the-Darkbecome more pronounced as I age for some reason.  Those little things that go “bump!” in the night…full body shiver.  I do believe all of that also relates to my issues with sleep and near-constant nightmares.  It is ALL related, I do believe.  I just have to figure out how to ease my unease.

 

image by listzblog.com

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.

 

 

 

 

Got High Hopes

Day one since I don’t remember, I’m feeling pretty decent.  I got a good uninterrupted night’s sleep, I pumped myself full of iced tea, had a good chat with a friend on FB, and now I’m blogging.  And I don’t feel cloudy-headed.  Daresay, I feel pretty darn good.

Now, I am not new to the bipolar scene.  I, as much as anyone, realize this could be fleeting.  Realize that this could just be a little  hypomania and I’ll have cycled out of it by midday.  But for right now, I’ve got high hopes.

I’ve given myself a deadline of 12:30 pm to get off my butt and start doing some cleaning in my house.  I plan to sweep and vacuum, and clean the kitchen.  There’s laundry that needs doing, but its inconsequential laundry, like blankets I don’t use, and sheets I won’t need for another week.  All the “important stuff” has been done and is ready to be put away.  Okay, maybe I’ll put away some laundry, too.

The scary thing about having high hopes, is that they can crash ever-so-quickly.  The scary thing about having high hopes, is that you share your high hopes with other people, and then you often disappoint them.  The scary thing about sharing your dreams with other people is that they want those dreams for you, too, and they start expecting, maybe more than you can handle.

There’s a fear to having high hopes.  A fear that more will be expected, that you might not be able to deliver, that the high hopes you had in the morning are gone by noon.  There is a fear to getting better.

That sounds crazy, though, doesn’t it?  Don’t we want to get better?  I personally do, but at the same time, I’m terrified.  What does getting better mean?  Does getting better mean that I am going to constantly disappoint myself when I can’t measure up?  Does it mean that people will pull their supports from me when it seems I can do it on my own?

What does it mean that I am able to read a book again?  Or do some housework?  Or write a thought-out blog?  Does that mean I’m going to be setting up some new standard by which people will judge me from?  And if I have a little setback, does that mean I’m getting sick again?  And what if I do get sick again, or rather, WHEN I get sick again, am I going to remember what I did last time to get out of it?

Because I usually don’t.  I go from well to sick to kinda-well to better to good.  And then back down.  It’s like a ladder you fall down and then have to climb back up again.  And the rungs are slippery and sometimes you fall a little bit or lose your footing, and you’re just so unsure of it all.

The answer of course, is to live in the moment.  Isn’t that the answer with most things?  I have been doing daily diary cards and emailing them to the Goddess.  I won’t say that I’ve been doing a perfect job keeping up with them, but pretty well.  And those cards remind me that I need to stay in the moment.

Right here, right now, I feel good.  Enjoy that, revel in it, dance around in it a little.  Because right now, this moment is good.  It is SO good.  It doesn’t matter (and we won’t think about) that things could be shit in a couple hours.  What matters is that right now, I feel good and happy and like I could be productive.  I have high hopes.

This song is one of the happiest songs I know, and I have it on repeat.  Give it a go; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, no matter what type of music you like.

Paranoia Raises it’s Ugly Head (among other things)

If you’ve read one of my posts lately, you know I’m in the midst of a hypomanic episode, that I’m post nine day break-up with DSB (and happy about it), and that I haven’t been sleeping.  Oh, and that I had a groundbreaking grocery shopping experience yesterday.  That pretty much sums up the last 10 days.

Today has not been a very good day.  My thoughts are racing, I’m irritable, spacey and dazed, can’t concentrate, and highly emotional.  I’m sure there’s more, but those are the highlights.  I somehow made it through three hours of work and then was so relieved when I was asked to leave early and do the bank run.  Leave early?  Go to the bank?  Well, yes, yes I can!

I had my appointment at 2:30pm, and Dr. Wizard (yes, he’s a wizard…magic stuff he does) really seemed baffled.  And then I told him about poor sleeping pattern for the past month and then almost no sleep the past week and that other life-altering event, and it all made sense to him.  He thinks the best thing to do to work me out of this hypomanic hell, is to get me sleeping again.  He prescribed flurazepam, which is a benzo, like the  clonazepam I am already taking.

I have a list of instructions from him, so my addled brain doesn’t OD or take something I’m not supposed to.  I’m supposed to take 10 mg of olanzapine (Zyprexa) twice a day, plus before bedtime.  I’m to stay off Ritalin until I have had “five normal days.”  I’m to take 1-2 flurazepams at bedtime.  I am also to start taking one of my three Geodon pills in the morning.  I’m also not to take any clonazepam in close concordance with the flurazepam.  I think that’s all, but like I said, I have a list.

Ok, I’ll try it.  I’m game.  I’m ready to feel better, and Dr. Wizard has yet to completely fail me.  I haven’t felt this horrible in a really long time, so I’m actually pretty desperate.

And on top of hypomania, we have rampant paranoia.  Everyone hates me, everyone is talking about me, I’m getting on everyone’s nerves, no one cares that I’m feeling bad, I’m being rejected by society as a whole.

Yep.  At least I know it’s paranoia and not fact.  It’s hard to stay grounded right now, and I’m trying.  I keep hugging my mom and patting Rock on his sunburned shoulder and I would have hugged Blue Cat (the artist formerly known as Catfish) if I thought I could get away with it.

There is a big fish fry at my mom’s tomorrow, and earlier in the week I was looking forward to it, even excited about it.  Now, I’m not sure I’ll go.  There are going to be a lot of people there and I just don’t know if I can handle it.  If I can fake being okay enough to pass.  If I even want to try and fake it, because I’ve been doing a pretty poor job at faking it anyway.

I just don’t know.  What I’d really like to do is work from home for the next two weeks (which is obviously impossible when you work in a bait shop) and just spend a lot of time playing with Kizzie.  I have food to eat, plenty of ice (can’t drink anything without it), great company (Kizzer!!!), and there are phones and computers if I feel the need to reach out and touch someone.

I feel very alone, and at the same time want to be alone, want to be left alone, but am actually starving for positive attention.  Does that make any sense at all?  I can’t help but thinking negative things when I am trying to talk to someone and I can’t help thinking that I am being judged and sized up.  I can’t help thinking that I can’t stop thinking and that I can’t stop thinking at such a rapid pace.

I can’t stop thinking about how bad I feel and about how I am raining on everyone’s parade by feeling bad.  It has been a long time since I have had an episode, and it’s like I had forgotten how absolutely awful they are.  I just have all these emotions and yet I have no emotions.  It’s insanity, and yes, Goddess of Mindfulness, I know I need to stop being so black and white.  This or that.  On the dialectic.

Goddess of Mindfulness, I think the past five months of taking care of DSB were apparent competence and I wish I would have figured that out sooner.

For those not in the know, apparent competence is basically:

Apparent competence refers to outwardly being able to cope and seeming in control, while inwardly being completely lost, or mentally unwell. It does not necessarily have the ability to span all situations however, people may be able to shake off depression one day and but not the next. It is inconsistent. It can be dangerous as you as well as others may fail to recognize what it happening for what it is, false competence, until it is too late and things blow up in a crisis. Since others cannot always understand or appreciate apparent competence, cries for help are often ignored and people are assumed to be incorrectly “quite well” which further complicates the risks that are associated with this situation. 

This is an excerpt of a blog article that can be found here.

It’s a DBT thing.  Anyway.  That’s me when I was working full-time, doing the social worker-type thing and that is often me, in many different situations.  I fall into apparent competence all too often, and I should have recognized it sooner.

But I didn’t, and now here I am.  Wanting to be all alone but desperate for someone to reach out.  This black and white, this dialectic…I don’t know how much more of it I can take.  I’m not saying I’m giving up, because I’m not, but I wish there was some magic fix to all this bullshit.

My apologies for the ranting and raving and crying all over my blog post.  I needed to let all that out, and that’s what I do here.  This is RosieSmrtiePants, off to dinner and TV with Kizzie, over and out.

Hypomania, Perhaps Just a Touch

I have not been sleeping worth a damn for quite some time now.  Before DSB left, it was mostly stress-induced I think.  Now that he’s gone, I don’t really have a reason for it, other than I just don’t feel that tired at night.  I feel wired, in fact.

I was very sleepy last night and fell asleep around 8:00pm.  I was up around 1:00am, wide awake.  I tried getting up and drinking some milk, then going back to bed.  I laid there for a good hour, until I said “eff it.”  I got up, drank some water, pondered taking another sleeping pill, and decided that likely wouldn’t help, other than giving me a hangover for Wednesday.

I should probably put a call into my pdoc.  I have noticed that I am more irritable than usual, thoughts racing a bit more, having surges of energy, thinking about risk-taking behavior, and also feeling very up and down.  I have no way of telling if this is true hypomania, or if I’m just rebounding from the stress and anxiety of a bad relationship.

What I do know is that I can’t just let this go unchecked.  Part of me thinks it’s not hypomania, because I’m not super-driven to get stuff done.  I’m more in a holding pattern, where sitting still feels good and getting up and doing stuff is a pain in the ass.  Part of that has to do with my knee being fucked up, and part of that has to do with reveling in the joy that I’m no longer functioning as a caretaker, always having to be on my toes and anticipating every need.

With every big change, there is the possibility of a mood shift, and maybe that’s just what this is.  What it doesn’t explain is the irritability, the racing thoughts, and the up and down moods.  Or maybe it does.  At any rate, it’s 3:30am, I’m not tired, and I’m pondering going and doing my grocery shopping.  What I might do instead, though, is try and go lay down.

I just don’t see it happening though, because I am literally wired.  I mean seriously.  I’ve responded to all my comments, read all the blogs in my notification list, sent emails, and played around on FB.  There’s not a lot else for me to do at this point.  I’m thinking I’ll watch some mindless TV for a little while and maybe that will put me back into a sleepy state.

I’m just glad I don’t have to work tomorrow, because I will likely fall asleep around 6:00am and wake up around 10:00am.  My sleep schedule hasn’t been this out of whack for a long time.  And I don’t really get it because I am sticking to my normal routine.  Nothing is out of the ordinary, except DSB and Rascal aren’t here.

Change is just hard, isn’t it?

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?