Is my mind sick or is it just me

bipolar-symptoms-400x400

Mixed episode.  Sad, angry, no purpose in life, lonely.  No one cares

I am worthless, I need to stay away from people or they will judge me when I

don’t laugh or jest as I normally do.

Mixed episode manic side:  Natural high, but really high as some think I am doing drugs.

Speed talking and thinking so fast it is hard not to subject jump.

 

 

Dolphins In HawaiiEven keel.  Balanced.  Where I should be.  Everything illogical is not logical the right way. When manic the logical becomes the illogical and backwards.

I once asked my therapist how can I tell whether my actions were me or part of the bipolar.

I am still trying to figure that one out.

If I am extremely irritated and annoyed all the time when there does not seem to be a reason,

When I am mad at everyone but really no one.

When I am not in the mood to talk about my mental illness

When I rant and rave after having a blast on the top part of the roller coaster

When I lash out in anger or annoyance over things that usually only bug me

When I naturally stay up all night for 36 plus hours

When I am very productive and on a natural high

When I have to stay busy because of the adrenaline and can’t sleep or sit still,

I know it is the bipolar.  The manic side.

When I am angry when the other person is simply at annoyance

When, I say hurtful things or mess up relationships, I know it is not me.

 

I need the people in my life but mental illness puts a wedge between me and them. Relationships are destroyed.   I also suffer is what the other person does not understand.  I have destroyed a relationship because I was operating from the sick side of my brain.

I lash out in rage, but the other person is wondering what the hell is going on.  That person is  only at annoyance or reaching anger.

I try to explain that we will never be at the same emotion at the same time for the same situation.

When people see me go off verbally, ranting and raving, they just think I am mean and hurtful.  Not everyone in my life thinks this but most of them do.

Wondering causes me confusion and I contemplate not taking the medicine because in my thought process all this is me and I do not need the medicine. I guess I do not fully subscribe to that bit of logic because I have learned to stay on the medications, just because I know how I am without them and maybe, just maybe the therapist and the psychiatrist know what they are talking about.

Maybe I really do have a mental illness and my emotions are heightened because of it.

Maybe I really am a bitch, but I don’t think so.  Some people would rather believe that I am a bitch rather than that I have a mental illness.

To them I say, “deal with it or leave me alone”

Mania: some people with mental illness and some that do have mental illness but no bipolar,  never take into consideration how it is for me to change throughout the day: up and down like a see saw going from mania to depression (or on the way) .  This pattern repeats itself for hours and sometimes days.  I hate it because I can’t make any of it stop.

These are mixed episodes and like mania and depression I cannot control them.

I am being judged for my actions without an expert witness to testify for me.  To let them know that this is not the real me.

I agree to do things on the spur of the moment without thought for consequences and no one believes that.  It is believed I am the way I am because I simply choose to be so and then conveniently blame mania.

Again, to them, I say “learn of my illness and you will get to know me”

 

Does any of this sound familiar???:?

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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

The shift has begun and I am okay

I know when fall is upon us before the weather feels like it.

Normally I get about 5 hours sleep a night.  Six hours makes be wake up feeling tired.

Friday night I was up until about 3:30 am.  When I could not sleep, I went for a coffee run around 3 a.m.   Coffee does not keep me awake.  If I am sleepy, I am sleepy no matter how much coffee I drink.   I drank half a cup and went to sleep.  I woke up at 4 am and was up until late last night.  That is my shift change.

When it starts approaching time for us to turn the clocks back, my sleep cycle changes and everything on the inside of me as well.  I get a creepy feeling of uncertainty about how I am going to do.  I have to fight my mind that just because I went through a major depressive episode last year, it doesn’t mean it is going to happen this year.

It was about this time last year that I started feeling lonely, then sad, then alone in this world.  These feelings increased as the days went by until I could not take it anymore.  I began to experience suicidal ideation and was hospitalized.

Even after leaving the hospital I was still fighting depression even though I no longer had thoughts of suicide.  Accompanying major depression from bipolar, I also had SAD (seasonal affective disorder); a double whammy.

As of mid December 2014, I have been doing much better and have been on a good level.  There is no reason for me to fear (which is False Evidence Appearing Real) a repeat episode.  Everyday I am taking measures to avoid the triggers of last year.

One thing I have been doing is getting out of the house everyday even when I don’t feel like it.  If I have no plans, I still find some place to go so I can be around people.  Even though I can be around people and still feel alone, I know if I need help, I can call out and someone will call for an ambulance.  I am much less likely to hurt myself in public than I am alone at home.

I am also looking into volunteering at places that I can give back to others (until I start a job) such as a domestic violence shelter, mental health community place and places for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol.  Helping others helps me stay safe, heal and give hope and encouragement to my peers.  We are all in this together.

Life is good and I am looking forward to living it.

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

Blogging: good support system for me

I really do miss blogging.

This past week, I realized how much it helped me when I was depressed and posting a lot.  It was part of my support system.

I would share how I was feeling or what I was going through and people would respond.  It assured me I was not the only one in that situation or having those thoughts or unpleasant experiences.

When I could not sleep at 2 or 3 in the morning, I would start blogging.

One time while I was going through major depression, I sat at my computer and blogged.  It was a safe place for me to be.  I was expressing how I was feeling and being there kept me from harming myself.   I knew others would read what I had written and respond with encouragement.   When they did, it was of great comfort to know that someone understood what was happening to me.  It felt like I had a listening ear that would not interrupt me.

Once I got better, I stopped blogging.  I did not think I had anything to share unless I was depressed or manic.

Recently, I was starting to go up and down.  You know the pole I am talking about.  I did not waver to much but enough that my therapist strongly suggested I start to blog again, so a few weeks ago, I started posting again.

I really miss having the internet at home.  It was why I was able to post so much.  Hopefully, by the winter I will have it again.  In the meantime I will have to be at the mercy of the library ‘s computer use.

Last week, I really got into some trouble with stinking thinking.

I was having a great day.  It was late one evening when I had to return a phone call and then it started.  The phone call quickly went south and then another call went south and then stinking thinking started.  The person said to me, ” I could say some things about you, but I don’t.”  They did not say good or bad, but because they made that statement and did not clarify it, I started taking it in a negative manner because they were annoyed with me for calling them out on something they were doing.

I was using tough love speech to wake them up about their life because I care about them.  When you see someone doing something that you know is destroying them, you speak out because you care.  Sometimes you just want to shake them and say “what the hell are you doing?”  That is what I was doing with my words.  I was trying to shake them.

They shook me without even knowing it.  They turned the table on me.  This person knows that when you make a statement like that to me you have to say what it is and they did not.  My mind is always trying to figure out what someone means when they make an open ended comment.  Unfortunately, I always, always, think the worse.

A switch in my mind  turned after the call ended.  Everything that is logical became illogical.  I started beating myself up with thoughts of self hatred and disgust.  There was nothing I liked about myself.  Everything good anyone had said about me, I turned it around to something negative.  I started sending crazy off the wall text messages to this person.  I was expressing how disgusted I was with myself (there was nothing logical about what I was doing).  In the end I begged the person to forgive me and to call me and let me know I was forgiven.  The call never came.  I was so upset and distraught that I took 3 Ativan (for anxiety).  I started hallucinating that one of my friends was in the house with me and I was asking her if she wanted coffee.  When I turned around for her answer I did not see her so I thought she went to the restroom.  After a few minutes I realized she was never there.

Things got a little hairy when I thought to myself, ” I wonder what it would feel like to cut my arm.  Not a deep cut, just the surface.”  It was then that I reached out to one of my friends who worked late.  They came over and listened and assured me I did nothing wrong.  They told me to leave it alone.  They prayed for me and left. It was the first night in 3 nights I had more than 3 hours sleep.

Lack of sleep the previous nights was throwing me into the beginning of mania and I did not realize it.  Once thinking stinking started, I was going downhill.  Thank God for supportive people in my life whether or not they know I have bipolar, they are there for me without question.

Never be afraid to reach out to your true friends.  They are the ones who are available by phone or in person whenever you need them.  For me, they are turning into a rare breed of people.

The person I was trying to help:  the next day I was still shaken so I went to my therapist.  She asked me if I thought this person’s ex would agree with what I said about their life and I said, “Most definitely”.  That really made me realize, I did nothing wrong except to reach out to them in love and what I said struck a cord.  They took a shot at me to turn the tables.  It worked then, but because I used my support system, I was fine in the end.

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

Sleep and the roller coaster ride

Sleep has not been easy for me.

It has been like a roller coaster ride.

Everyday I wake up very early.  One day I might wake up around 2 am, the next day 3 am, the next 2:30 am.

This morning was no exception.  I have been awake since 1:26 am.

Nothing I take seems to help me sleep through the night and it doesn’t matter what time I go to bed.

The lack of sleep is making me take note of my behaviors.  I have to watch for signs of mania and depression.

When feeling down or sad, I have to remind myself that it is sadness and not depression and use the tools in my toolkit for depression.  Using these tools help prevent depression from setting in.

I know I am never out of danger from a manic or depressive episode and have to constantly stay on guard if I want to stay even keel or close to it.

With proper sleep eluding me, it is very important to check in with myself as to how I am feeling throughout the day.

I call the early morning wakening being at high altitude but the drop to late sleep never comes.

Has anyone else been on the sleep roller coaster ride?  If so, has anything helped get you off that ride and get back to healthy sleep habits?

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

Sleep

I am starting to get up at 3 a.m. again.

I don’t know why I cannot sleep but it is frustrating.

There was a time when I thought it was okay to be up that early.

My mind and body said, get up and I would get up rested and ready to go.

Now, I want to sleep later but sleep eludes me.

I know the importance of sleep when you are bipolar.

Lack of sleep can lead to mania so I am trying to get the proper amount.

The medication that used to help me sleep does not work at all now.

I feel lost all day, although not depressed (thank God).

I rise early and one day seems to drift into another.

When I do fall asleep it is not for long and one sleepless night turns into another.  It is quite frustrating.

I spend most of the night tossing and turning trying to stay asleep until finally I cannot take it anymore and have to get up.

Then what do I do?

Not much

I journal whatever comes to mind and wait for 5 am to start taking medication.

After 5 am what do I do?

I might work on my book and journal whatever comes to mind.

I do whatever I can think of to pass the time until daylight peeks through.

Once daylight peeks through you would think I would be okay.

I have been up for hours and have done everything I can think of just to get to this point.

Now I am lost as to what to do so my day is the same as yesterday, doing nothing and waiting for sleep that will come but not last.

I want to work but my therapist wants me to wait a little longer.

I have been on the anti-depressant patch since mid November and have had 2 dosage increases.  It seems to be working now, but I guess I should give myself some more time to stabilize.

In the meantime, I remain sleepless as part of my bipolar.

pb

Victory day

Yesterday was victory day.

Forced myself out of the house in the morning and stayed out for a good portion of the day.

It was a productive day because I interacted with other people and did not stay to myself.

Yay                                          100_0492

I now realize that there are no automatic easy days.  There is always a fight for something in order to maintain my mental health wellness. It is always there. That is why it is so easy to give up and give in to depression.  Fighting mental illness to me is a constant battle.  Maybe not for everyone, I can only speak for myself.

Yesterday morning when I dipped into sadness, it would have been easy for me to stay there.  I wanted to go back to bed and fortunately that is not my style.  I had to fight that sadness and that sensation to crawl back into bed with the covers over my head becasue one of my loved ones has closed me out of her life.  It doesn’t just sting when I think about it, it pains me, but I keep moving forward.  I cannot let it cripple me with sadness or turn into depression.  I don’t like being in that place.

I am back on a crazy wake up schedule, 3 am.   I used to be okay with it becasue I thought it was when I was creative.  I have since learned that I am a creative person period.  That means I can be creative at any time of the day, not only at 3 am.  Now I am trying to get my mind to let me sleep at least until 4:30 or 5 am.  That would be great.  Unfortunately my body seems to rule what time I get up and not my mind.

That means I have to really be aware of my moods and how I am feeling.  Too little sleep can cause me to go into mania and then dip down into depression.  Now that I know that sleep deprivation affects my mood and how so, I need to really pay attention to what I am feeling and how I am responding to people or reacting to situations (am I getting irritable for no reason or at little things).

I must make it a point to get out of the house, to know manic and depression tools in case I need to use them.  I need to make sure I use my coping skills when situations arise that could throw me off balance.

I like having a victory day and look forward to making more victory days happen.  That don’t just happen for me.  I have to make them happen by keeping it going.

Have a victory mental health day

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Fighting

Sadness is trying to set in.

For some reason my sleep did not last as long as I thought it should have.  I don’t know why I was up a little past 3 am. but I was productive.  Got some things accomplished and was even able to concentrate and read a book.

I was excited about being able to do that.  It is not something I can do when depressed or manic.  It was a good sign.

I was even able to do yoga this morning, but that led me to thinking about my estranged daughter.  Estranged through her choice, not mine, although I am the culprit.  It was some things that I said when I was not feeling well.

It was when I was depressed and in a destructive mood that I lashed out at her and others.  Others have stayed because they realized it was part of my mental illness.  She has to protect herself from me and I understand that, but it does not stop me from missing her.  The yoga reminds me of her because she introduced me to it.

How do I clean up this mess and get her back?

One thing for sure, I cannot let the sadness rule because it turns to depression for me when it lasts to long.

I have fought long and hard to get to this point of being okay again.  I will get past this.

pb aka peanut butter

Oh, is it Monday morning? No wonder I am rambling

Miami - sunrise
Miami – sunrise (Photo credit: Marcos Vasconcelos Photography)

Sometimes my days run together and I don’t know which day of the week it is.

Unless, I have an appointment, I can lose a couple of days.  I know that is usual for people who do not work but sometimes I can lose a week.  Is that usual also?

This morning was up around 7 am, give or take a couple of minutes to or after 7 am.  Felt pretty good.  Felt good enough to do some basic yoga to wake up the rest of my body and mind.  Legs were not as restless as yesterday, but nevertheless they let me know they were ready for a run.

I am happy that I was able to sleep until that time.  I can’t remember the last time I slept that late.  Yesterday, I got up around 6 am.  I was also happy with that time.

I think I am getting anxious about going away and not knowing how the trip is going to affect me.  At some point today I was telling myself not to go but the trip means a lot to me and I would have a hard time dealing with me if I did not go.  I am thinking that is why I am anxious even though I am getting a good amount of sleep.

Thank God for psychotherapy.  I have an appointment today and we will definitely have to discuss this.  This sounds minor but if I don’t go, it will turn into something major for me to forgive myself for.

Push yourself today to do something you are hesitant to do because of a possible bipolar episode.  Make sure it is not something impulsive.   Make sure your decision is not based on feeling depressed or manic.  We can later regret the decisions we have made.

If you are not sure about your decision talk it over with a support person.

be good to you,

love to all

pb aka peanut butter