Day 27: How am I feeling?

I’ve seriously been neglecting my blog. 31 blogs in 31 days was a pretty epic fail. Maybe it’s because I’m scared of success or of achieving anything, so I doom myself to failure, all the time. But that’s another story, another time.

How am I feeling? Why is that such a hard question to answer? Can’t normal people do a quick assessment and just know? Why don’t I know? Why do I dig and dig and dig, but still aren’t sure about my emotions? Why are they so stifled? I know I’ve written about this before, but it bears a repeat because it’s actually really important to me. I want to feel.

I can feel negative emotions and recognize them fairly easily, but positive emotions are a lot harder to get to. I can’t associate anything with them. I was talking to Josh today about how I had a lot less issues when we first got together, and he told me that wasn’t true, I just wasn’t as aware of them. I’ve never thought of it that way before. I know I’m a lot more reserved now, to the point of standoffishness, but I thought I was happy back then. Josh says it was a false happiness, more of a deluded happiness. It makes sense, in a way. And maybe what I’m going through now is normal. I mean, I was on a manic high for years, maybe I’m just going to be in a more depressed state for years too.

It’s all so foggy though. Why is my life so hard to remember? Why are the memories so elusive, so dim? My short-term memory is pretty good, but long term…that’s shot.

This is quickly turning into quite the confusing post, and just when I thought I had this writing thing down. Well, I can’t help I’m in all sorts of a mixed emotional state tonight, lol. I’m pondering a lot of deep things, and they just trigger more questions than answers. Which I then type out as they come to mind. I’m slow going on the keyboard tonight, usually the words just flow naturally through my fingers, and I can type a post pretty quickly, but tonight I’m struggling for each sentence.

It could be exhaustion. I am pretty tired. We visited my sister-in-law last night, and didn’t get home until around 2 AM. And then I couldn’t get to sleep until around 4. I’m definitely going to bed much earlier tonight. Then maybe I’ll be able to write more coherently tomorrow. Maybe sleeping will be easier now that I’ve vented about not feeling things normally again. It’s been rough the last few nights, even with the Seroquel. Which I certainly didn’t take last nite, I’d never have gotten up this morning otherwise.

So right now, I’m feeling tired. And spent. But not irritated. And not depressed. I had a pretty good day for the most part, I did some shopping, watched Dark Knight Rises, took the oldest to the park, and saw Iron Man 3, again. Robert Downey Jr. always cheers me up. Has anyone else ever wondered if he was possibly bipolar? Not that I’d wish this on anyone, but I’d love it if he were. At least, if he’d come out in the open with it and embrace it as part of himself. Or maybe it’s just the characters he likes to play, who knows? I watch him act, and watch the characters he plays, and I always wonder. I mean, watch him in Sherlock Holmes, or in Iron Man, doesn’t he seem to be running totally manic? I love his portrayal of the craziness we feel inside. At least he’s not making people with mental illness look like gun slinging psychopaths. You know, like the news seems to want to portray us.  But I’m definitely digressing here.

I’m going back to how I’m feeling. I’m feeling good I think. I’ll take that for the time being and just accept and embrace the positive emotion.

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Day 24: Why me?

Do you even wonder that? Do you ever wonder “why me?”. Why am I the one who has to go through this?

Have you ever wondered if there was a rhyme to to the reason, or a method to madness?I’ve never really felt that way about being bipolar. I’ve never been angry or bitter towards anyone about being bipolar. I’ve been angry and felt bitter about having it, but never towards anyone.

Can someone explain where the bitterness and negative feelings come from? Or the pity party when it comes to things like this?

I mean, I did use to live a very negative life and always wonder why I was being punished whenever something bad happened, but I’ve since come to realize that we humans are on this planet to learn through trials and tribulations, so occasionally (or more often) we are going to suffer.

Have you had an attitude adjustment about something in your life? Do you have something in your life that makes you truly wonder “Why me?’. Do you think it’s an accurate question to ask, or that it’s a valid concern to have? What is it that you wonder about? How do you counteract these feelings, if you do? Let me know in the comments!

Day 23: Seroquel, really?

I’m putting it out there. I hate Seroquel. I know it is an amazing drug and it does wonders for people, but I still hate it. Never mind the fact that it probably helped keep me out of the hospital back when I was pregnant with my last born, or that it’s helped stabilize me where other drugs have failed. I still despise and detest it. Why such strong feelings you ask? Because it turns me into a zombie. And it makes me fat. I gain so much weight when I’m on it, it’s as bad as Zyprexa.

So why am I bringing all this up now? It’s probably because my doctor has put me BACK on Seroquel. I’ve really been struggling lately, (I’m sure you’ve noticed my lack of a blog a day like I was so vamped to do), and he feels that it’s the best (read: last resort) option available.

I tried going back on it a few weeks ago, and gained 9 pounds in one week. Nine pounds! I quit it, and I’ve lost 6 of those pounds, but still. I’ve officially gotten super overweight again. It breaks my heart.

But I’m desperate. I’ve felt so down and bleak these last few weeks. And for no reason what so ever. Everything has gotten to me. Everything has set me on edge, everything pushes my buttons. I hate living that way, and I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling like nothing matters, like I can’t function, like I’m a failure, and like I’m not worth the effort.

So, I did the cost-benefit analysis of staying off the Seroquel versus going back on it. I weighed the pros of Seroquel; like feeling better in general, not feeling so down, (eventually) having more energy, and overall feeling more up. The cons include the weight gain, which leads to decreased self esteem, and the zombie like fatigue, which makes daily functioning impossible until it wears off, and the irritation I feel at being on a drug I simply do not like. After having weighed all these factors, I knew I needed to go back on the drug. It depresses me, but I’ve got to do what’s best for me, even when what’s best for me doesn’t feel like the best thing.

What about you? Have you done something that you absolutely despise because you knew it would ultimately be good for you? How often do you do cost-benefit analysis on things in your life? Do you find these introspective moments helpful? Let me know in the comments what’s worked for you, or what hasn’t!

Day 9: Change can suck sometimes.

This writing thing is hard. I don’t think I realized how hard it was coming up with something new every day until I started trying it. I’m glad I’ve got my schemas going on and can discuss those, but it’s hard to keep writing when I really don’t want to. Just a quick note here, I thought I could write about my 5th schema tonight, but it’s just not happening. When I started I was in a great mood, and was motivated, and had energy, and life was amazing. And then I cycled.

I feel like crap, and I just want to curl up into a ball and not deal with anything. I’ve fallen into this deep pit of despair and see no way out, so I’m just struggling to stay afloat. This is the hell people with bipolar live with. I go to bed and have no clue what emotion I’ll be dealing with when I wake up the next morning. I’ve been crushingly depressed the last 2 days, and for absolutely no good reason. I was happy as a clam for a good few weeks, there was no reason for things to change, but they did. All I can do is wait as patiently as possible for this dark cloud to lift and the sun to come out again. I get so sick of waiting patiently though. I get so sick of the sun going down so often and for no reason. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t see me living a long and fruitful life going up and down like this. I can’t hack it. The people around me can’t hack it. I mean, don’t freak out, I’m not suicidal now, but that option sure looks more and more appealing the deeper I fall into this black hole. And its not even because I see no way out. I know this too shall pass, and I’ll feel on top of the world again, but I don’t know when. And even though I’ll cycle back, I know I’ll then start playing the waiting game again for the next time I crash. And I don’t want to live like that. It’s a bullshit way to live your life. It’s a horrible life to let others into because it becomes their hell too.

I mean, in fact, life is going rather well. My husband got offered his new job, and he starts in 2 weeks, we bought a new car yesterday that is ten times nicer than any one we’ve ever owned before. We’re paying an arm and a leg for it, but with Josh’s new job, we can afford it. I want to refinance ASAP though, just so we’re not continuing to pay an arm and a leg. I try to live as non-extravagantly as possible for some reason. We’ve been through two unemployment eras since this depression hit, and I like to keep our debt to income ratio as low as possible. You know, just in case. I think this preparing for the ‘just in cases’ in the worlds are wearing me out. It is physically and mentally exhausting trying to worry about every scenario that could go wrong, and yet I keep doing it. Josh is sitting over here happy as a lark about his new job, and our car, and the change that is happening all around us, and I’m lying in bed crying about nothing.

I think what is really eating at me is the change that’s happening all around me. Even though it’s good change, beepers don’t do so well with change. I mean, our insurance is changing at the end of the month and we’ll have copays again, and our prescription costs will be higher, and yeah. We met our out of pocket back in March, so we’ve been enjoying free healthcare since then. Starting in August we’ll be paying for services again. I’m trying to think of what all I need to have done in the next 2 weeks before we roll over into a new insurance plan, lol.

And then there’s the housing issue. I found a house. A glorious house. A gloriously perfect house. And it made me realize that we’re not going to live here forever, and that’s another change I’m not prepared to deal with. We didn’t get the gloriously perfect house, someone else jumped on that offer before we could, but that’s okay. God works on his own time, and when it’s time for our gloriously perfect house to appear, it will. But I’m already overwhelmed and depressed about the thought of packing everything up, and going through the work  of moving into a new place, even though it’s at least a year away before it happens. I am not being very mindful right now. Right now, mindfulness sucks, and is hard, and I don’t even want to deal with trying to do it.

So that’s been life the last few days. My mum is super worried about me, and Josh is super worried about me, and I just don’t care. Right now I’m teetering on the edge of destruction, so it’s a good thing I see my psych doctor tomorrow so I can talk to him and see what he recommends. We’ll see if he thinks I’m dangerous enough to be admitted. I mean, idt I am, just because I’m not actively suicidal, but he’s a new doctor, so I don’t trust him too much just quite yet. And besides, I made a goal of 31 blogs in 31 days, and well, they don’t allow electronics on the psych ward, I wouldn’t be able to keep up if I missed a week of blogging. I’m giggling at the thought of trying to get my inpatient therapist to approve letting me have an hour a day to blog for ‘therapeutic’ reasons. I make myself laugh. I love it. Josh thinks it’s cute how much I manage to amuse myself. I’m like a puppy chasing it’s tail and being perfectly happy.

Speaking of puppies, I have to share with you the cutest story. My son is 3, and one of his favorite things to do when he’s not being Batman is to be our puppy. He’ll crawl around and bark, and come over and nuzzle our knee to get petted. If only he’d show some interest in potty training, he’d be the perfect pet. Well, our 18 month old has a speech delay due to mild hearing loss, so she doesn’t talk or anything yet. She makes a lot of sounds, which is good, it means her hearing is probably either improving, or just staying mildly impaired. So, I guess needless to say, when she does something with sound or anything interacting with us, we get wildly excited. I tell you about my son’s game of playing puppy so you’ll understand this story with my daughter. She’s been walking since the end of March, and doesn’t generally crawl anywhere anymore. But for some reason the other day she started crawling around on the floor going ‘ruff, ruff, ruff’! Believe me, it doesn’t sound like that, but whenever we say it, she gets down and starts making the same sound. It is so freaking adorable. If I had it captured on video, I’d be linking it for your viewing pleasure.

I’m glad I made the decision to write tonight. I’m actually feeling a whole lot better now than I was when I first started. There’s still so much more I could write about, like my disgusting house and how depressed I am about it, and how hard I am on myself for not being able to keep it clean, but that’s related to my unrelenting standards schema, so I’ll save it for when I finally write about that. I keep making the goal to get one room a day clean, and my poor mum, she was worried enough about me today, she came over and helped me achieve my goal of getting the kitchen done. Me, my oldest, and my mum all worked on it, and it’s nice and sparkly now. With any luck, I’ll have the urge to finish up my living room tomorrow, and then I’ll have two nice and sparkly clean rooms. That will thrill me to no end.

What brings you up when you’re down? How do you respond to change? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Day 8: Why are you putting yourself in last place?

Who can guess what a person with this schema does? If you said ‘played the martyr!’ you’d have it right. People with this schema sacrifice their own needs to the point of excess in order to help others. When these people pay attention to their own needs, they often feel guilty. To avoid this guilt, they put others’ needs ahead of their own. Often people who self sacrifice gain a feeling of increased self-esteem or a sense of meaning from helping others. In childhood the person may have been made to feel overly responsible for the well being of one or both parents.

This schema definitely hits a chord with me, I distinctly remember there being times when I was growing up that my dad expected me to care for him. He had open heart surgery when I was 13 and left me in charge. On my own and no instructions for the nurse to help me manage his care. I had my brother there of course, but he was 11, and he couldn’t  seeing Daddy so sick. I always had to worry about him and his needs, in addition to the needs of the house. I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t perfect enough. I fled to my mum’s house shortly after I turned 14, to a situation that wasn’t much better. 

Instead of having a daddy to take care of, I suddenly had 3 new step siblings and a step dad, and I became mum’s confidante. Looking back, both of them forced me to grow up, I wonder which would have done me the greater good ultimately? At least if I’d stayed in NC I’d have learned how to cook and clean, skills which I definitely need now, but what kind of childhood is that? Growing up here I was the red-headed step child, but it meant some kind of ‘typical’ childhood. 

I made my bed, I stayed here and I had to lie in it.

 I got pregnant at 17 and received enormous pressure to give her up for adoption, but I was keeping my child, come hell or high water. Here is where the mistakes of the fathers become the mistakes of the children and it’s painful to watch, I screwed my kid up. In so many ways. Ways my mother did that I swore I would never repeat. This precious bundle of joy was my life, my soul, my very reason for being. I couldn’t do enough for her because I felt no one had ever done enough for me, she would never suffer that same disappointment, But I had no real world experience for ‘what is best for a child’. I consistently put her needs ahead of my own to the point where I ultimately had a breakdown and spent 6 weeks in the hospital. Having always been a single mum, and it just the two of us she had no routine, she had no bed time, and as she got older it became more and more manipulative my child was becoming, Thank goodness I met my husband and we had kids too because we were able to reverse a lot of the damage I’d done to Adia by the time she was 10, 

Now that I’m the mother, I still struggle in this schema bt making sure my children’s needs are met long before I’ll even contemplate meeting my own. I mean right now for example, I have a coupon for free glitter toes that I would love to redeem, and I’d love to get my hair done, but I’m not about the waste the money or time on making me look nice. My kids clothes come from Wal-Mart and the Mall, Mine come from Goodwill. It’s lead to fights before because my husband isn’t putting these restraints on my spending, I am. I’m too afraid to spend because what if someone else needs it more than I do and its gone?

This isn’t really a schema I’m ready to fully deal with right now. I think I’ll always have some self-sacrificing traits in me until the day I die. I think every mother does. But I’ll leave you with this question, “If the airplane is going down, who’s mask do you put on first; theirs or yours? Yours of course because you are of no good to them if you pass out and can’t get your children’s masks on. So try and keep your mask on.  If your mask is on, and you’re breathing, everything else will naturally fall into place.  

Did I learn anything about myself completing this assignment? I think I did. I learned that I’ve got to keep my cup full before I can truly be there for someone else, even my children. Did you learn anything new today about yourself upon introspection?

Let me know in the comments below!