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.

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.

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

Widely Vascillating Mood Changes

Over the past few weeks,  I have had many successes.  Progress has been made, indeed.  The mixed episode is still going strong, unfortunately, and sleep and social interactions have been quite bothered.

Yesterday, I was very up and I was very down.  I was angry and pissy and entitled.  I rode roughshod over people’s feelings, and I do feel badly about that.  I didn’t realize just how much my moods were swinging until it all came to a crash today.

Today, I went to visit my mother and, although I had already apologized in an email, I apologized face to face for being so hateful.  I explained that it felt like people don’t want to deal with me when I am at my worst, especially her, and that sometimes all I need is a 30-second phone call or text to put my fears to the side.  She tried to explain to me how this wasn’t possible.

I really lost it, swung completely into a depression where I actually pondered checking myself into the local psych hospital.  I mean, REALLY pondered it.  I felt, in that moment, like I had no hope and that no one around me cared.  Like I had no one I could reach out to.  Of course this is not the case, but this is how I was FEELING.

I felt like being totally self-destructive but I couldn’t get out of the crying jag I was in.  A little bit of talk down the road, and I’m back to fine and don’t recognize the me crying my eyes out and talking about being through with life.

I hate these mood swings.  Up and down and all around.  Sinking me into a pit of despair before being lifted up into a mixed mess of hypomania and agitation.  Surely bipolar disorder isn’t meant to be like this.  Surely I am alone in my symptoms and my mood swings.  I mean, I AM special, after all.

It seems like I don’t talk about these mood swings with Goddess of Mindfulness because we are so busy talking about other things.  Well, these mood swings might just be the MOST IMPORTANT things to talk about.  If I swing really low and I am by myself, I cry and cry and cry.  If I am with other people, I cry and swear and am very angry.  When I’m up, its as if nothing is wrong except some extra energy and a bit of agitation.

I told my mom earlier that I can’t keep going on like this.  I don’t mean that as a suicidal statement, just as a fact — I can’t keep doing this.  It’s killing me and it’s hurting the people around me.  I don’t know how to stop doing it and I can’t get in to see my psychiatrist until the first part of August.  Almost two months away.  I don’t know that I should wait that long.

So, depending on what time of day it is, you may or may not get a Rose that  you are otherwise unaccustomed to.  There is the happy Rose and the free spirit Rose and the crying and devastated Rose and the hopeless Rose and the goal-centered Rose.  They are all the same person, but each one of them comes and goes of their own volition.

I try and  use my DBT skills when I start feeling an episode coming on, but it’s hard.  It’s fucking hard!  Like I said before, maybe I should go back to diary cards.  I really hate doing them, but I know they will help.  What I do know is that I’ve got to get this ship on an even keel because the lows can be a killer, as can the highs.  I need somewhere in between.

Every Day the Same

Low, low moments in time for Rosa.  It boggles my mind that I can have such great support and still feel such a wreck.  It boggles my mind that I can feel such a wreck and not let it show.  Sometimes I almost convince myself I feel fine, when I am in the heat of the moment, caught up in things.  It is when I am alone, when the lights are off and the sun has set, that the depression wriggles it’s way back into my brain.

I thought about blogging in the morning, because maybe then I could get a sense of how I feel fresh and new and ok, if just for that little bit.  DSB and I have our coffee, and I am ok.  My house is not a disaster and I don’t have laundry piled up and I have great plans for the day.  I’m gonna ___ and ___ and ___.  And then when I’m done, I’m g0nna write the blog post that will save the world in the most amazing way.

It’s laughable, really, how wide of a spectrum my mood travels during the course of a day.  Happy mornings, irritable mid-days, anxious afternoons, sometimes an easy evening, and then darkness, in the darkness.  It’s actually quite exhausting, and, come to think of it, am probably not getting enough sleep.

I have been staying up reading, addictively, on my new Paperwhite (sorry, I have probably only mentioned it 503 times since Christmas).  It is not holding a charge very well, but I think that  might be because I am using it far more than the 30 minutes a day it mentions when it mentions a “several week” battery charge.  I also leave the Wi-Fi on so I can download books at a moments notice and get updates.  That slows it down, too.  Moving on, no more Kindle drivel.

I know I haven’t mentioned it lately, but I am still not smoking.  I have some incredible stats to brag about:

One month, two weeks, two days, 12 hours, 0 minutes and 54 seconds. 2790 cigarettes not smoked, saving $354.33. Life saved: 1 week, 2 days, 16 hours, 30 minutes.

Yep, I’d say that’s pretty good.  Still with a few slip-ups, mostly one puff that leads to gagging and coughing and saying, “What the FUCK was I thinking?!?”  But I’m not gonna lie.  I miss smoking.  I miss the way it used to make me feel, the way I could hold it in my hand, the way it was a shared habit between me and people I care about.  And now I’m on the outside.  It’s actually pretty hard, more-so over the last several days.

Ok, now I’ve gotten off course.  Or maybe I haven’t.  This blog can be like my mood…up and down and all around.  I think I probably lost people after the first little bit and then they scan through the rest looking for something interesting.  Or, that could be my in-the-hole self-esteem talking.  I don’t know and at this very moment in time, I’m gonna go crawl into bed with my not-fully-charged Kindle and read.  And read and read and read, until it’s not so scary to go to sleep.

Good night and light me a candle when you get a minute.


Nicotine-Craving-Induced Blah Blah Blah — Beware

I finally convinced DSB to go to Thanksgiving today.  In direct defiance of some of the posts I have written, I flat-out begged.  It was just too important for him to be there, to me.  He went and didn’t have a bad time, but said he paid particular attention to the way my family treats each other and saw things he didn’t like.

My mom being bossed around by me and my sisters.  My mom’s advice being discounted and thrown away.  My stepdad making fun of the way Mom looked.  The lack of help in the kitchen department from my stepdad and myself.  The demand that the Big Dawg be the first to eat.

All true.  All shamefully true, and if I could have it back, I would do it differently.  My brain is operating on a funny wavelength, born out of nicotine withdrawal and the disappearance of my steady comfort and escape route, my forays out into the cold to smoke “real quick.”  I didn’t have any such breaks today, save for one, when I went and puffed on my e-cig while DSB smoked a “real” cigarette.

I didn’t have anything to hide behind and it was painful.  I wanted to do more but felt tied to my chair, sitting on my hands.  I wanted to give more, but I didn’t feel anything within me to give.  I was spent and the entire day went that way.

My sister and her husband ended up staying a good while into the evening; whereas, I hauled ass about an hour after dinner was done.  I couldn’t wait to get home and watch a  Grimm marathon and maybe eat a little pie and be in a place where I didn’t have to pretend so much.  And then DSB and I started fighting.

And we fought and we fought.  And he threatened to leave and I threatened to kick him out and it was altogether horrible.  I don’t know that we have mended that fence yet, but no one is leaving.  As of yet.  DSB has little tolerance for my nicotine-deprived moodiness and I have little tolerance for his holier than thou approach to the holidays.  It is an ugly time of year for us.

For the past few days, things have been sliding downhill with DSB.  We have argued more than we have said kind things, and it is wearing on me.  I know it is wearing on him, too.  I know it is the quitting smoking, and even how that has affected him.  I asked him to smoke outside and it is quite cold out.  He doesn’t feel he should have to do that and, really, I feel bad asking him to.

We made an arrangement today that the only place in the house where people can smoke is the dining room, where there are many windows that can be opened, a ceiling fan, and a lot of space.  I think this will work out well, too, for when QoB comes over because this is generally where we will hang out and then I won’t have to ask her to smoke outside, too.

I didn’t think this was going to be that complicated.  I was just going to quit and that was going to be that.  This hasn’t been just that and I am constantly revamping how I am doing things, hopefully for the better.  I am just ready to be rid of cigarettes for good and I can’t stand smoking one anymore.  I know this because I tried.  And no, I’m not resetting my quit counter for a couple puffs of a cigarette, although the Cig Nazis in my support forum would say I should.  I’m just not, and that’s that.

I know all of these posts lately have been about cigarettes and I do hope I’m not boring my three readers to death with all of this, but it is important to me and this blog is, like I’ve said a million times, for my benefit.  If I wanted to blog about the migration pattern of flamingos (which is actually quite interesting) for the next decade, then I will.

I hope DSB and I can come through this and be okay.  I hope I haven’t offended my mom too much with being the apparent brat that I was today, and I do hope I’ll get to see my sister again before she pops out that baby.  I love her to death, but am always just so uncomfortable around her, to the point that it is painful.  And now she is doing something I can’t do, having a baby, and it almost kills me inside to see her round happy belly.

Don’t get me wrong, because I am  happy for my sister and her husband and my soon-to-be nephew, but I can’t say it doesn’t hurt that this will never happen to me.  And I’ve accepted that as a part of my life.  I had to or it would have killed me.  Literally.

Oh the tremendous emotions I am rolling on today.  I have been up since 4:00 a.m., hoping to end the fight that got started last night with DSB, and have been up and alert ever since, just hoping for some peace.  He went to bed really early and I’m left to wander around and to my own devices.  I have ordered two books from the library, so maybe it’s time to just go snuggle in bed and read a good book.

Three days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 5 seconds. 206 cigarettes not smoked, saving $26.16. Life saved: 17 hours, 10 minutes.

On the Brink or In the Throes?

That is the question, that really doesn’t even need to be answered at this point.  Careful observations of my own behavior, as well as listening to what other people are telling me, indicate that I am experiencing the most terrible, violent mood swings.  I wake up happy, all is well.  I have coffee with DSB and am content.

Then the day really starts.

I have been really angry.  Little things are setting me off.  I am becoming quite vocal about it.  I almost threw a steaming hot cup of coffee at an idiotic McDonald’s worker today.  I still feel like she had something coming, just maybe not a scalded torso and face.

I was nasty with my mom this morning about my work schedule.  I didn’t know what I was asking for and I don’t know what I want, other than to not sit in a chilly bait store all winter, for five hours a day, three days a week, doing nothing except waiting on the occasional customer and reading my Kindle.  I felt like I was communicating with a blank wall and I just got so very frustrated that I could have screamed.  I turned that frustration into anger and took it out on her.

I had a fairly good group session yesterday, but when I got home I immediately started to pick on DSB until it got to the point where I was sobbing and screaming and shouting and cursing.  I don’t remember what started it, but I knew the gist of it was, “YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!”  And he admitted that.  He doesn’t understand the “bipolar thing” and doesn’t believe that one can truly understand it unless one is living it.  I appreciate that about him.

What it is that he doesn’t understand and won’t empathize with is the lack of motivation, the inability to make oneself get up and do something.  Just get up, just do something, just do it, just make yourself.  He doesn’t understand it and he has no sympathy for it.  He just doesn’t get it.  And for some reason that hurts me deeply.  Why can’t  he have even an inkling of understanding and sympathy regarding this matter, when he is so compassionate  in other matters?  It is deeply frustrating and makes me want to punch him in the face, literally.

A few nights ago, my mom really pissed me off with a flippant comment and I immediately got up and left.  Because, in that moment, I was worried about what I might do or say.  I could feel myself losing control, so I had to leave.  The comment and the idea still piss me off something fierce, and again I just have this feeling of being misunderstood.  Which enrages me.  Which brings me to tears, huge, racking sobs.

I don’t quite know what to do about these mood swings, but today, DSB says, “It’s got to stop.” in his “I really mean it” voice.  It means he can’t take much more abuse, much more hatred and sarcasm and nastiness thrown his way.  He is, of course, the most convenient target because we spend the most time together.  And it is he who sees me at the end of the day when I feel like the world has been unfair and I have been shat upon.  He gets all the fallout and, when my mind is clear, I see that as terribly unfair to him.  Well of course it  is!

I want to scream, “Life isn’t fair!”  Well, no shit.  When has it ever been fair?  Why do I keep expecting it to be “fair?”  I am just so angry and sick of everything.  And I’m tired of hurting the people I love, but find myself almost in a blackout of anger, spewing out vile things and saying the most hurtful.  And in the frame of mind I am in, I feel those hurtful things I am saying to be true.  So true, so very true.

And while the most vile things are thrown at others, I do a bang-up job on torturing myself with my own shortcomings.  Fat, lazy slob.  Worthless, stupid bitch.  Can’t even function on a day-to-day basis.  Not with it enough to get a shower daily, can’t even keep your house moderately clean.  Worthless.  Stupid.  Fat, lazy, ugly slob.

And still it goes on.  Those thoughts don’t help me, but they are there.  I hate myself intensely, and all of that bile and sickness in me just rises up for me to spew at the ones I love most.  I find myself apologizing over and over for things I have said.  And, while I feel like I am justified in some of the things I say, satisfied even, that I’ve managed to throw that feeling at you, see how you like it, called you that name, brought up that-one-time and rubbed your nose in it, I don’t feel good about it after the fact.  Just because something has a grain of truth in it, doesn’t mean it should ever be said out loud.

I am just so angry, so pissed at the world, at the people that love me most.  I am having hateful thoughts about the people that care most about me, and most of thoughts are right along the lines of

“He doesn’t really care about you.  He’s going to leave you.  She won’t make time for you because you aren’t important to  her.  He is only calling because he feels guilty for all those times he wasn’t there.  He pities you and your pathetic life.”

And really, most of this is untrue.  But it’s on a tape and it’s playing over and over in my head and I just get angry and depressed and then I lash out.  I feel horribly misunderstood and un/underappreciated.  I feel like no one “gets it” and that people who say they “get it” are lying.  I feel like I’m all alone and everyone is out to ruin me, to hate me, to kick me while I’m down.

There is, of course, a part of me that knows this isn’t all true.  That part of me comes and goes and for the last several days has been missing altogether.  I’m just not sure what to do.

Self-Loathing Right Below the Surface

As far as things go, I am still relatively stable.  I do, however, feel this downward trend as far as my self-concept goes.  As I have said before, I have been terribly hard on myself lately and I can’t seem to kick these negative thoughts that keep running through my head.

I find myself trying to force others to be openly and strongly critical of me, as crazy as that sounds.  I’m setting people up to say, “Rose, you failed and you are lazy and worthless and dumber than a box of rocks.”  Of course, the people that love me aren’t going to say that, but I continue my attempts at goading them into it.

Is it not enough for me to indulge repeatedly and constantly in self-flagellation, to continually think about my faults and weaknesses and shortcomings?  Do I really need to bring others into this nasty little circle of hell?

My uncle (my dad’s brother) is coming to town, is, in fact in town, and I will be meeting up with him and my dad tomorrow.  I haven’t seen this uncle in three years, and then only briefly (it was my sister’s wedding).  My uncle is super, killer, wicked smart, well-read, highly-educated, knows gobs about everything, and is nice and charming to boot.  He has two daughters who have done very well for themselves, one about to be married and working high-up in the financial world and the other off to med school.  He is very proud and he should be.  I’m proud of my cousins, too.  Anybody would be!

My uncle is visiting my sister and her husband tonight.  They are both wildly successful, if I haven’t mentioned it before, wildly intelligent, fun, witty, smart, and hip people.  I love them to bits and pieces.  Where am I going with this?

Oh yeah, ok.  I’m embarrassed.  I’m embarrassed of who I am and where my life has led and my circumstances.

******Entre DSB, who gives me a What the FUCK talk.

Back to what I was saying.  I actually have achieved a lot in the course of my life.  I am living with a very difficult mental illness and I am still alive.  I have ingested no drugs or alcohol for almost 16 months.  I have not been manic in over a year and not seriously depressed in almost six.  I have a very part-time job in my parents’ retail store and I manage that okay.  There is a roof over my head that I can call mine, I (usually) can put a decent dinner on the table, and I have DSB, my best friend and my everything.  I have the strong love of my family and two pups that love me.

I might not be successful in a traditional way, but I think in my own little way, I am.

Have I mentioned that I am having wildly vacillating emotions as of late?  This blog  post might give that away if I haven’t already.

The Dilemma/Conundrum

And now that I’ve blogged…

Now that I’ve talked to my Dr. Love…

Have made preparations for dinner…

Have petted my dog, said my please and thank-yous…

I feel fine.  I feel better.  I feel perfectly good, at ease with myself and my world.  I almost feel happy, grateful, celebratory. 

I promise to do all I can to keep it this way.

Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.

Against All Odds, The Postal Service