A Bit Strange — More Crunch, Less Smoosh


The last bit has been so very up and down, my moods so quickly changeable, intense.  Many tears shed, even more maniacal laughter.  Sarcasm sharper than sharp, my brain is afire and I find myself plucking “damn, that’s good!” phrases and one-liners from it at random, and feeling prideful, in a sense, that my brain is so damn wonderful.  The up and down is fast becoming more of an “up” and hopefully, not a “too up” up.  If you had to ask me right this second how I will feel tomorrow, I really wouldn’t know where to begin but would bet on “elevated.”

Memories have been haunting me lately.  I attribute it to listening to a lot of different music, and also on the fact that my brain is whirring along faster than ever with the subtraction of a very sedating sleep medication that I decided I no longer wanted to take.  Belsomra…that stuff is of the devil himself.  So, I took myself off the “anti-nightmare” medication Clonidine, as well, because it just wasn’t working.  As my psychiatrist often says, no point taking something that doesn’t work.

I happen to know things are getting better (or at least more interesting) for my mental health because I can identify so closely with the word photos in this post.

i can and i will

I had a really great day today.  I made it back to the gym and my water-walking, I helped my mom roll almost three dozen burritos, LarBear and I have been clicking along, and I have all this new-found energy.  Great things build upon itty bitty good things, I have found, throughout life.  If I can just get started, I can be dangerous.  I’m like a snowball coming down the top of the hill that just keeps gaining new snow and getting bigger and wilder and faster.  Hmmm, this does not make it sound so positive, but it does FEEL positive.

I am working really hard in DBT on judgement.  Judgement of self, but other people, too.  First focusing on my own self-judgement, and the rest will follow.  I am trying not to judge my quick thoughts and upbeat mood and newfound energy, and to just accept them as they are, not try to label.

That’s hard, and if you have any kind of disorder in your life, you know that.  You know the SIGNS, man!  The warning signals.  I am glad the cycling isn’t so rapid right at the moment, but I WILL keep an eye on things if I continue to get racier in my brain and louder in the mouth.  I am so stinking tired of med changes and most days would like to get rid of them altogether, but the constant TWEAK that seems necessary is annoying.

I really must listen to one more song, smoke one more cigarette, drink a little more Crystal Lite, and try to go to bed.  I have a full day of things tomorrow, because I WILL be doing things, while I have the energy, seeing as it seems to be so fleeting.





Hazy Memories, Please

I was going to do today’s Daily Prompt about memories, but I decided I needed to take a rest and just put my feet up for a bit first.  When I came home after work today, I felt tired and just really out-of-sorts.  We have all been working really hard the past few weeks and it’s starting to take it’s toll.  I almost never nap, but today was different.

As soon as I came home, the first things I did were to get more water and to play with the Kizzer dog for a good half hour.  I then sat, smoking, staring at my computer screen.  I didn’t have the energy to catch up on blog reading and I didn’t feel like writing.  I just felt like laying down.  So I did, expecting that the amazingness I felt as soon as I did would linger but that I would stay awake.

In the five years since I received my CPAP, it has come to the point where I literally can’t fall asleep without it.  And haven’t.  Until today.  I woke up two hours later and felt refreshed.  At least a little less pissy.  And I started to think about memories.

I had a dream about DSB just before I woke up.  In the dream, I was crying my heart out and begging him to stay.  He said nothing.  I cried some more.  He left.  I woke up with this strong tug in my heart and then I realized, “oh yeah, I’m not missing him.”  And I’m not.  I’m not really even missing the good times, because I see them so clearly now for what they are.

Memories.  The Daily Prompt wants to know if “vivid and recent” or “those that time has covered in a sweet haze” are better.  I really don’t think I have a clear answer to that.  The memories I prefer are the good ones — and it doesn’t matter if they’re 10 minutes or 30 years old.  You can have a really good memory that is old and vivid, just as you can have a new memory that is sweetly hazy.

Bipolar disorder does something to your memory and I know Goddess of Mindfulness has explained it, several pdocs have, and I’ve looked it up.  In the midst of an episode, you might not retain memories well, and you might not be able to retrieve already existing memories well.  I don’t remember the science of it, but that’s the gist.

I am thankful every morning that I wake up, and don’t have a trauma-based nightmare.  I think of these nightmares as those traumatic memories coming alive while I’m sleeping.  They can eat your shit up.  Fast.  When I start to have them, I know something is awry, and I do something about it.  Fast.

I have memories from two to three years ago that are bathed in the haze of mania, and I’m glad those memories aren’t vivid.  I did some seriously stupid shit during that time.  Just as I have memories bathed in a haze of depression for other, more, many times in my life.  I don’t like most of those memories, because when you’re depressed, you tend to only remember the bad stuff.

So, Mr. Daily Prompt — I prefer my memories to be of any age, but I would prefer the hazed version.  Life day to day in my world is vivid enough — I don’t need them racing around in my head, replaying all day and night.


Linger in Safety

Daily Prompt:  Linger

When I was alone, I feared the night.  I feared the dark, but mostly I feared my bed for the haunting nightmares it brought me.  My pup, Kizzie, was a small consolation, but she is not much of a snuggler and preferred to lie resting against my legs or on my feet.  With none other than my dog for protection (a fierce and happy 20 pound fireball, who might only lick you to death, at that), I would lie down, close my eyes, and wait for the demons in my subconscious to break through in REM sleep.

I spent years being alone literally in bed and alone with someone in bed, fearing the night.  Being alone with someone was almost worse, because they never understood.  It came to a point where my mental health would start disintegrating around nightfall.  My depression would increase, I was hyper-vigilant, my mind wound over itself over and over.  Nightfall would often find me crying, loudly, for no apparent reason, other than it was night.  I could not seem to console myself, or tell myself tonight might be better.  Because it never was.

When I met DSB, that all, very slowly, began to change.  I began to be less preoccupied with night, and learned to watch funny movies and eat popcorn as the sky fell dark beyond the curtained window.  I learned to never watch horror movies, or sad movies before bed.  I learned that there were two someones in my house that would fight to the death for me if something bad were to happen, in the night.

I had DSB and I had his dog, Rascal, and I felt safe for the first time in a long while.  Not only did I start feeling safer during the day, I started to feel safe at 5:00pm and beyond.  DSB, Rascal, Kizzie, and I would all spend 5:00pm and after doing things that I imagine couples and their child-dogs do around the country.  Cook dinner.  Reminisce about the day.  Talk about our failures, our triumphs, our dreams.  There were biscuits for the pups, Kool-Aid for me, and coffee (always coffee) for DSB.

I began to treasure the time between 5:00pm and 10:00pm.  Good things happened in that space.  There were a lot of hugs and kisses and dog licks, but there was also a warm and sweet and full feeling in my chest.  DSB made me feel like I could do anything, go anywhere, be anyone in those first few months.  He saved me from myself, from depression and anger and disappointment.

We had the longest talks, about anything, about nothing, about everything.  I learned to calm myself in the hours leading up to bedtime, and DSB taught me how to do that.  With his words, his gestures,  his smiles, his stories of life.  I began to relax.

Even now, the time between 5:00pm and 10:00pm is probably my favorite.  It has been two years since DSB kick-started the hard work it would take for me to make my peace with bedtime.  We developed a routine and stuck by it and life was predictable.  I learned that I needed a nighttime routine and we found one and stuck with it.

Those golden hours between coming home and making supper to slipping into bed and turning on my Kindle seem too short, sometimes.  I want to make them last, I want to linger in them and take in every small detail to store in my memory.  I never want to lose this time, and I will never forget how it feels to not feel safe, because I treasure so much the safety that I feel now.

Slightly Overdue Memories

Reverb longDay Six Reverb13 prompt is as follows:

There are so many “precious things” that are presented to us each day; discoveries and treasures found in simple moments, memories we wish to store in our hearts and keep with us forever.

What precious things have you gathered in 2013?  Which memories from this year do you wish to keep with you always?

This didn’t get completed on the 6th because, well, I was too busy out making memories.  A dear old friend of mine, who I have known since grade school, came back to town for a couple of days and I had the chance to catch up with her.  She is exactly the same…kind, beautiful, funny.  I truly wish we lived closer, but I have to treasure that precious time we had together and can only look forward to the next time our paths meet again.

While seeing this old friend, I caught up with her mother, who is also a good friend of my mom, QoB.  We had such a good talk and I left that little bar feeling light and happy, thankful for the friendships that I have, which sometimes I lose sight of.  It is so easy to feel alone, but yesterday reminded me that I am not.

Many precious moments this year between DSB and I, memories everyday.  Us laughing, talking, discussing, debating.  Kissing, hugging, smiling at each other.  Every moment we have had together is burned into my memory, even though some may be slightly hazy.  We have a good life, despite it all.  Life has thrown many curveballs at us, but we just keep on going.  And we can, because we have each other.

My sister’s pregnancy over the last seven or so months has been wondrous to behold.  From watching her little bump grow into a big belly, to feeling her stomach at Thanksgiving, to her little updates about the baby over text message.  It has all been quite lovely and heart-string-tugging, and I can’t wait until that little boy is here.

Like any year before, my time with QoB has been priceless.  From being on a mission to laid-back chats, she is always there for me with a word, a smile, an obnoxious song being sung.  As always, she is my rock, my foundation, my heart.

Not forgetting the pups, both Kizzie and Rascal have made many imprints on my memory this year that I want to remember forever.  Kizzie is eight years old now, but is still a pup in many ways.  Sometimes I forget just how small she is, but am reminded now and then and look at her in awe.  Because she takes up so much room in life, she literally is larger than life.  And the blessing of Rascal in my life that came with DSB, is nearly as wonderful.  That pup knows how to give kisses and always climbs into my lap when I am in tears, looking to make it all better.

2013 was not the best  year, but it was not the worst.  Writing this post, I am reminded of all the beautiful relationships and loves I have in my life.  Which, I suppose, was really the prompt author’s intent, right?  😀