Subject jumper part 2

Dolphins In HawaiiLook closely enough and you will see me having a great time with my peers.  We are with each other to be supportive, to have fun and to join together as a family.

I am still ambitious.  I want to make sure I educate as many people as possible what bipolar really is.  Not what they think, not what the media feeds them and certainly not what people who stigmatized us tell them.

As people with mental illness we are sometimes shun by family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers or anyone who is a part of our life.  All this because they lack the knowledge and some even lack the desire to take the time to educate themselves about bipolar.

To try to understand mental illness is a beginning.

Learning about bipolar symptoms  and how to recognize them in me, is the beginning of showing me I matter and that I am a worthwhile person to you.

Going to support groups, at times attending therapy with me and even taking the time to go with me and share with my psychiatrist what you observe when I am on a certain medication,  truly makes me feel you really do care about me mentally as much as you do if I have an incurable and visible illness.

Finally, answering my call when I give the secret word that I need help because I am ascending to the top of the roller coaster of mania or rapidly descending from the top that I bypass sadness and drop into the depths of depression.  It lets me know, that as much as possible you will be there with and for me.

I am not a lazy thinker.  If I say I do not know how to do something, please do not frustrate me by continuing to ask me do it after I have repeatedly told you I do not know how.  Not only are you calling me lazy minded but a liar.

I am now offended and any good you have shown seem to make me wonder how much you really have been watching and listening to the real me.

I feel successful when I can make someone genuinely laugh or smile and for that moment allow them to forget that part of our brain is incurably sick.

It is a success to me when despite how much I unwillingly play  tug of war with sadness, I get out of the house and say to hell with sadness.

I am passionately pursuing to be a peer supporter to all.

We are a special breed of survivors.  We are all passionate about helping one another.

Who else knows how to help us best without saying a word.

 

 

Quick change of mind

I realize that I am just starting to get manic.  I googled Plenty of Fish and there in big letters was the story of a woman raped by a guy from POF.

Normally, things like this can and do happen in all dating sites, would be my logic and I would proceed to activate an account.

Being between mainstream and manic, I do realize there are potentially dangerous situations that can happen whether you met someone from a dating site or not.

As much as I want and need human touch, at this moment that is not a risk I am willing to take.  I hope this logical thinking stays with me throughout this ordeal.  Thoughts usually flip for me when manic.  Logic is now illogical and illogical is now logical, hence, no negative consequences, only a good time.

I usually do not even realize when I am going into mania, until it is too late.  I am already there.

Now my mind thinks, maybe I should go back and try to find one of the other ones I was already dealing with, NO thanks.

Get some type of hobby, what I don’t know.  Something that will keep my mind in check and my body will follow suit and stay in the safety zone.

Frankly speaking..

Apologies ahead of time for anyone who gets offended.  It is not my intent but I really need to talk about this.

Yes, it is back to being hyper-sexual.  I don’t know if it is an obsession or addiction but I am not used to being turned down, not once but twice by the same person.

I thought there was one person who could be there for me whenever the need arose.  You know, friends with benefits.

We really are not even friends, just acquaintances.  He is so closed about everything, I don’t know much about him.

I tried to get him to my house alone twice and he could not make it either time.   No explanation, just, I can’t

Now that I feel rejected and somewhat ashamed, my attitude is fuck him, but not really.  I don’t know why not. He seems to be in it for a moment and then he has to get back to work, if you are really wanting to get busy, why not come back.  Maybe there is something I should but do not know.

Now that the beast has rose it’s ugly head again.  I find myself wanting him even more to the point where I said, btw, x times annually I get hyper-sexual.  Minutes later, I apologized because that comment was not necessary. Have a good weekend and I will see one or both (his partner) if anything else goes wrong with the unit.

For me, there will be no more flirting with him.  Now I am going back to Plenty of Fish.  Yes, it is the pickup cesspool but maybe this time if I keep my mouth shut and do more talking, maybe I will make a real friend (yeah, right), impossible things have been known to happen.

What will or will not happen.  This is what I know is my reality:

There is no chance I will find someone to love me, bipolar and all to stay there for the long haul.  I have not had a chance to tell this man that I am bipolar so he probably doesn’t even get it.

As saddening as that is, this is also my reality: I will be hyper-sexual and I will make sure my needs get met.  Hopefully one day, they will make a medicine that will work with my body and not against it.

I do not like living like this, but right now, I have no solutions and no shame.  Only questions that I need answers to.  How much longer do I have to wait for a solution and is there one that does not require more medication.

If by some strange chance we do get together, I hope it will be worth it.  Frankly though, I do not see it happening.

no judgements, comments accepted, good, bad and not so good.

 

Mania: a different out of control this time

This last time around mania had a field day.

It did not follow the path it normally takes.  Perhaps it was because I was not following my same routine.

This time I hardly slept.  There was even a time I did not go to sleep for over 24 hours.  Needless to say when I finally went to bed I crashed for the night.  The next night I was back to being up and out late at night.  It doesn’t matter that I was not getting into trouble being out late, but with this change in routine I was missing night medications a lot and did not realize it.  I was also not wearing my depression patch correctly. Sometimes I would forget to put it on.

I had so much energy I needed less and less sleep.  it did not matter how few hours I slept, I was refreshed when I got up.  I would start exercising between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning.

At night, I would change into my alter ego and do the opposite of what I would normally do.  For instance, I was used to being up late, but at home, not out going from place to place.  No place in particular, just whatever store was open late.  I would go from one to the other.  Wal-mart was a great place to be at night.  No pesky customers getting in your way or rude children running around screaming and almost knocking people over.

I was also on the hunt for a party.  Of course I never found any since I did not know where to look. The point is, that I am not a party person unless someone I know is having a party.  I was just looking for a good time.  I would have gone to the night club except I did not know of any.

Finally,  I had a huge blow up with one of my family members and they almost stopped speaking to me for ever.  Thankfully after we said what we had to say, we smiled.  We knew that regardless of what happened the one thing we could never change is that we are bound by blood.  We said what we felt we had to say and then it was squashed.   Things don’t always turn out that way when I have done manic damage.

What frustrates me is that people in general, whether family or close friends, do not understand that when we are out of character it is a sign that we may need intervention.  When we blowup with rage, it is a sign we are manic and may  need intervention.

This time around, I felt so alone.  I needed someone to be there to anchor me and yet there was no one, so like a ship without a compass or captain, I was lost.  I could not find my way out and there was no one there to guide me.  This was probably the longest and hardest storm of mania I have experienced in a very long time.

Have you ever been manic and felt like you were 2 or more different people because you were one way one part of the day and a different person another part of the day?

Are your mania episodes always the same?

Do you do things out of character when you are manic?

Please share.  I would really like to know.

love to all,

pb

Persistently Pursuing my Passion to be a Peer support person

Everyone needs a hand up and someone to walk with them on their journey

Stinking thinking

Today was a most disturbing day compared to the last few days.

I woke up feeling  odd.  A feeling I can’t quite explain but it prevented me from going to church today ( I really do regret this).  I had decided to stay in for the day and not bother anyone with how I was feeling or letting them try to make me feel better or help me in any way.  Later, I realized I needed to get out of the house.  It is one of my wellness tactics.  Don’t stay in and think, think and keep thinking.  It is nothing but stinking thinking controlling my mind.  I have to escape its grips, so I run.  I leave as quick as I can get dressed.  Sometimes it’s so bad, I don’t care if my clothes are pressed or not.  I just have to get out.

I was not depressed or sad, but had sad thoughts.  My thoughts were how alone I was in the world (stinking thinking).  I have my mom, my children and the biggest support person in my life, my therapist, but in those moments, I felt very alone in the world.  I felt very misunderstood and that for that reason, I mattered to no one.

I went from room to room trying to get some kind of emotional balance.  I played a game on my cell phone and tablet while my mind wondered.  I also did some journaling.  Sometimes it helps me figure out what is going on in my head and that sometimes helps me figure out why my emotions are the way they are.

I had stinking questions like, did my last relationship end, because the person could not deal with my illness.  Quickly, logic said No.  It ended because we wanted much different things.  Our lifestyles are very different.  His lifestyle is dangerous for a person with a mental illness.  Mine is safe for me and those I love but would be boring for him.  We used to do things together but they were things that took me to the edge and I became tired of living on the edge.  I just wanted to live.

Stinking thinking said, I am horribly ugly and that is why you are alone. It took me a while to bounce from this one because all my life I thought I was ugly.  Later today, I realized, ugly is a harsh word, especially for one to use to describe self.  Though I am not pretty or cute or attractive, I am probably average.  Not hard on the eyes or people who not be able to look me in the face and smile back when I smile at them (doesn’t matter if I know them or not).

Stinking thinking says you are missing out on your grandchildren and on the important events in the life of your children.   The reality is, that I am limited to what I can do and where I can go and for how long.  I can see pictures of them and their aunt lets me know new things they are doing.  It is no where near the same as being there, but it is all I get.

Because of my bipolar, I cannot visit them for to long.  I truthfully have not been able to stay away from home for more than a few weeks without a mood shift.   Once that shift happens, I start going downhill and usually end up major depressed soon after I return home.  Some times I bounce back quicker than others. The last time was extremely hard.  It was the whole winter.  It was bipolar depression with suicide ideology and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I guess I was sad because I am not involved in the lives of my family.  I feel like a throw away.  I miss out on all the important events. I see photos of everyone there except me.  Why am I am never made aware of major life events until after the fact.  This makes me feel left out of life.  I hate that feeling.  I hate how it makes me think, what it sometimes gives me a thought to do.  But it is what it is and I have to fight those thoughts and remember that even though I have a mental illness that does limit some things in my life, all things are not off limits.

I am grateful that while I do get lonely at times, I can live alone and care for myself.  I am compliant with taking my medication, seeing my therapist, keeping all Dr. appointments for my medical health and remembering that living healthy with mental illness takes work.  We cannot take anything for granted.

I cannot even take my thoughts for granted, that they are just thoughts.  Some of those thoughts are harmful, so I need to be aware of my thoughts.  I need to control my thoughts and not let them control me.  Make no mistake, that is the case whether you have a mental illness or not, however, with a mental illness our thoughts tend to take us into a dangerous realm where if we do not catch them, it can be harmful.

We cannot take sleep for granted.  My mind tells me every night, not to go to bed.  Let’s stay up.(definitely stinking thinking- who chooses to stay up or night when they don’t have to work).  I try and it gets me into trouble.  I eat more to stay up, that adds on empty calories and then I sleep only 5 hours at the most.  Sleep deprivation is tied to weight gain.  It also can bring on mania for me.  Sometimes it is the cause of my stinking thinking and then it takes  me into depression.

I am at my safe place now.  At the computer blogging.  I am surrounded by people (comforting even though I do not know them) at the library.  I can stay until the library closes and then another phase begins.  “I don’t want to go home”.  For what?  I need to be out.

So, when it is time to go, I will waste gas and drive to a store that probably does not have what I want anyway.  A waste, but it keeps me out a little longer.

Catch that stinking thinking.  It doesn’t matter if they are questions, irrational statements to self or others or if it is an illogical, irrational or dangerous action.  You are in control.  If you feel out of control, get help by phone or walk to someone who can help you.  Sometimes I most definitely cannot afford to be out of touch with people.  I will sink for sure.

take care,

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

The Pharmacist is your friend

The best thing you can do whether bipolar or not is to get to know your pharmacist.  They provide valuable information about your medications.

Case in point: I was experiencing muscle/ nervous system problems, called EPS-extrapyramidal symptoms.  My feelings of anxiety were off the chain. My anxiety medication was not working.  I could not stop pacing. I had a constant need to move about.  I could pace in my house for hours.  I could not sit still.  I would try to sit for a minute and pop back up like a jack in the box.  I was restless the whole day and started getting irritated.  I would try to read but could not sit down to do it.  I would walk and read even though my attention span was short.

When I fell asleep at night, I would only sleep for a couple of hours.  When I woke up I would take my saphris (an antipsychotic medication) and that would allow me to fall back asleep for until between 4 and 5 am.  When I first started taking this medication, I would fall asleep right away and sleep through most of the night.  It was great.  Then it stopped working.  So I stopped taking it when I first went to bed.

Taking it at different times allowed me to figure out that I should fall asleep without taking it and then when I woke up 2-3 hours later and could not fall right back to sleep to take it then.  This was now working.  I had longer blocks of sleep.  Then the side effects started but I did not relate it to this medication.  I should have gone back and read the pamplet for the saphris but I did not make the connection until I spoke with my pharmacist and read about the EPS.

I spoke to my Dr. and he thought it was my anti-depressant patch dosage, so he made an adjustment and added a medication to help with the side effects of the anxiousness, the constant movement (my legs would shake when I did sit down so I would have to get back up and walk/pace some more).  It was tiring.

I asked the pharmacist about the new medication and told him why it was prescribed.  He was the one who told me what the name of the symptoms were (EPS) and was surprised the doctor thought it was my anti-depressant since these symptoms were associated with antipsychotic medications.  The pharmacist did not know I was only taking the saphris regularly for the last few weeks, almost a month. He knew I was taking saprhis for a while and did not think it was it at first since I only started experiencing these problems. I went home and researched the EPS and made the connection to the saphris and confirmed it with the pharmacist.  He said this made more sense than relating it to the anti-depressant patch.

I could not reach the Dr. (left a voice message and never got a return call).  I took the new medication but stopped the saphris.  Now the symptoms have stopped and I do not have to take the new medication.

One problem solved becasue my pharmacist knows me and my medications.  He gave me the tools I needed to make the connection.

New problem: I am sleeping an hour at a time.  I sleep for about 2 hours then I am up every hour after that until I finally get tired of trying to sleep and get up.  This is a problem becasue sleep deprivation can lead to mania.

Now what?  Do I start back taking the saphris and the new medication to deal with the restlessness and the anxiousness and irritability?  Do I wait until the next Dr. appointment for new sleep medicaiton?  These are things I need to figure out for myself.  It is my body and I know how I feel with the symptoms.

I trust what my pharmacist tells me about my medications and I make sure I go back and read the side effects to confirm what he says.

Your Dr. may be unreachable when things start happening with medication.  Reading the pamphlets is valuable but you may not which side effect is for which medication and have to read all of them over again.   A pharmacist can help you pinpoint the problem.  They are valuable as part of your treatment team.

Try to use the same pharmacy so they can get to know you.  Ask the pharmacist questions when taking a new medication and when you start experiencing things that can be side effects of your medication.  They may know which one just by you describing the symptoms.

Don’t stop taking medication without first talking with your Dr. I could not reach my Dr. so I stopped becasue I knew which mediciation it was and checked what I might experience if I suddenlty stopped taking it.

Now that I know it is the saphris, I will probably start taking it again with the new medication until I go back to the Dr but I am very happy I spoke with the pharmacist.

Over and over again, the pharmacist has proven to be a valuable person for informaton for my symptoms and medication.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Good holiday this year

Thanks to my mom and friends for making it a good Christmas this year.

The medications are working in sync with my brain now and I was able to enjoy Christmas day with family and friends.

A week ago I was a little anxious about the holiday becasue I was still somewhat depressed.  I did not know how I was going to handle Christmas day.  The thought of it being sad and having crying spells like on Thanksgiving day was unbearable.

But thanks to the medications working it was a good day.

I enjoyed being in the presence of family and friends and the day went by without incident.

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of t...
Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of this Christmas display with over 3.5 million lights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

pb aka peanut butter

The importance of reading medication pamphlets

I was not one for completley reading the information pamphlets that accompany the medications I take.  I would glance over the top to make sure it was the right medication, the right dosage and that I had refills.  That was it.  I just collected the pamphlets to read another day.

I started getting dizzy for no reason.  It would happen anytime of the day and started happening more frequently as the days passed. In addition to this, the corner of my right eye started jumping.  It was so bad I could not watch t.v. without covering my eye.

The only thing that had changed was my medication dosage. My mood stabilizer dose had been increased by 600 mg.  A big dosage jump.

I tracked the beginning of the symptoms back to a few days after the dosage increase.  After I read the entire pamphlet, I saw that these were side effects that needed to be reported if they persisited.  Not only did they persist but they were getting worse each day and lasting for longer periods of time.

I cut back to the normal dosage and within a few days, the symptoms were gone.

The dosage was later adjusted to a 300 mg increase instead of the 600 and there are no side effects.

Had I read the pamphlet, I would have known these symptoms were associated with the dose increase and contacted my Dr. right away for an adjustment instead of dealing with them for longer than necessary.

Read those pamphlets completely and if your dosage is increased on a medication you are already on, read the pamphlet again. Sometimes there are risks involved with higher dosages that are not a concern with lower dosages.  Read and be informed for good mental and physical health.

be good to you

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

What an awesome day

My emotions and my anxiety are all over the globe this am.  Was up early as usual.  Tried to sleep until at least 4:30am.  but did not fare too well with that task.  No wonder I love sunrises.

Globe
Globe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that time of morning I was already involved in a couple of projects between the two floors.  Trying to focus on on project at a time was out of the question.

Right now, I am blasting music in my ears in hopes of calming down long enough to get out of the house and drive.  It has already taken a while to get dressed.

Need to go out today.  Not just for the bipolar wellness but also because I have bills to pay if I want to keep living on my own and in control of my finances.  I have to fight to do the right things.  I do not want my privileges to have to be monitored.  I want to be trusted by my family and support group people that I can and do take care of self.

Sometimes mania or even depression may present a challenge becasue I can’t just stay in the house.  When I go out, sometimes spending money other than on bills makes me happy.  I have a trick for that meny spending.  Go to the thrift store and buy cheap books that you are interested in.  It doesn’t matter if you never read more than the cover.  You will always have it and can see where you spent the buck or two.  You spent money and feel better.  The same for childrens’ books and toys and stuffed animals.

Sometimes, medications become an issue but that is always going to be a work in progress.  And yes, I can conentrate more with the music blarring than in silence sometimes.  It helps me keep the train of thought focused becasue I have to try harder to concentrate on what it is I am trying to say.

Feel good right now, but the anxiousness is still there.  I think the thought of having to wait for the anxiousness to subside is causing more anxiety.  If I can just get out of the house, I can go to the store and walk off some of the anxiety.

Funny thing.  I know there are people out there who walk the same path as well.

Footprints in sand, Vero Beach, Florida.
Footprints in sand, Vero Beach, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll say it again.  I would not wish mental illness or anyone, even someone I don’t consider a friend.  No one deserves to be manic and depressesd, up and down.  Feel like you are losing your mind.  Full of fear of the unknown brought on by panic and anxiety.  Living in the past because of triggers that take us back mentally.

No one deserves to live like this.   To lose family and friends, becasue they don’t understand or just can’t take the irratic behavior anymore.

Right now I am okay and will venture out.  But someone is not okay.  To you I reach out and say, give yourself some time.  You will get there.  You will be able to leave the house; get out of the car, do what you need to do.  Stay encouraged.  We all go through it.

take care of you

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Tools, tools: Use them and survive the storms

A toolbox, from Biltema)
A toolbox, from Biltema) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I mention my mental health wellness toolkit or tools quite often.

 

That is because using them really works (the majority of the time).  I have only had one hospitalization in about 3 years.  I had to change my life diet (places and things that caused triggers or were not productive for my mental well being) and start using coping skills to get through the storms brought on by manic-depression episodes, that I call storms.

Lately, I have had to use my depression tools since I have been off of anti-depressant pills.  Sunday I start the patch for depression and it has not been easy.  As I have posted, it has been like a roller coaster ride.  When I start using the patch on Sunday, the storm is not over.  It will still take time for the medication to get into my system and begin to work but the roughest part of the storm, I hope, is behind me.

Just like a toolbox is divided into sections so is my toolkit. In the depression part are tools like: watching a funny movie, calling someone and just talking about funny things going on in their life.  I also get dressed everyday and put on a light colored top.  It doesn’t have to be a bright color, just not black, blue, brown or any other dark color.  I put on lipstick.  Again, not a dark color.  I put on all the things I would put on if I were feeling great and going out with a friend, even though the opposite is true.  I don’t have to think what to do in order not to sink deeper into depression because all the information is in my toolkit and I just have to look at it.  I have recently added meditation to my toolkit and deep breathing.

These tools even help when I am manic.  Light a scented candle and sit comfortably or lie down.  Concentrate on your breathing in and out. I like to concentrate on my breathing because I actually forget to exhale when I am manic.  This slows my breathing down so I get air in and out along with the feelings of anxiousness or sadness.

The breathing helps me focus on something other than the racing thoughts.  I get the thoughts under control.  It especially helps me when I am doing it with someone because even though I want to stop and talk, I don’t want to open my eyes and see them concentrating and I disturb them.  It is not hard doing it alone because I now know the benefit of doing it.  It slows me down.  It helps calm me from doing impulsive things (which is characteristic of my mania).

I rely on my tools because I know they will get me through the storms of mania and depression.  They may not take them away but they do keep them from escalating.  For instance, since using the tools for mania, I don’t overspend.  I don’t make impulsive buying decisions.  I purposely stay out of the stores, even the stores I call the treasure hunting stores.  I do the opposite when feeling depressed.  I will go treasure hunting because I have no desire to spend money, but it gets me out of the house and around people.

Develop your tools for coping in mania and depression and use them when you see the storm coming.  Just like people prepare their homes for a hurricane, prepare yourself for mania or depression by having tools in place before the storm hits.

Purpose to have an awesome day according to your own definition of awesome.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter