Tag Archives: mania

Bipolar Discrimination and Stigma – It’s Getting Old

There are a lot of blogs that I follow about bipolar and Struggling With The Elephant In The Room recently posted about mental illness stigma and work/school/etc.  I shared my story in the comments there, but I thought I’d share it here as well in hopes that one day this stigma will no longer exist and that people with mental illness will be able to be open about their illness without being treated as poorly as I was.

Here’s what I said:

“When I was pregnant with my son, I had to come off all my medication. Obviously, doing so did not have the greatest effects on me. From all the stress plus being pregnant I was constantly physically ill. My job threatened to fire me so I called HR.

I spoke to the “HR nurse” and explained my situation. I had doctors paperwork faxed over documenting my illness (length of time I’d had it, that I had been medicated prior to becoming pregnant, etc) and that one could, in fact, get sick from mental illness. The “nurse” yelled at me and told me there was no such thing and that I was just trying to get out of work. She said it was company policy that I couldn’t miss more than X number of days. I explained I was covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She said that basically it didn’t cover for days off due to mental illness as that was not “reasonable accommodation.” I broke down crying on the phone and said that it was unfair discrimination and that basically at this point I was just waiting to get fired.

I was two months away from qualifying from FMLA at which point I would be able to get a letter from my doctor which WOULD allow for days off (I still don’t understand why FMLA covers and ADA doesn’t). So for two months I dragged myself into work throwing up, crying, seeing things, no voice, too depressed to function properly. It was the worst two months ever. I made it, got FMLA paperwork filed ASAP, and took days off as needed. I even had scheduled “mental health days” to try to prevent further depression as just going to work literally sucked the life out of me because everything they put me through and how cruel HR was to me.

I begged to be transferred to a different department for about a year after my son was born and was finally moved in October of last year under a manager who is more understanding of my condition. The HR department is still regrettably the same, but since my manager allows me to take days off without reporting them to HR, it’s not an issue. He commented the other day that I rarely take sick days anymore. Well, yeah, because I’m not stressed 24/7 that I might be fired any second. Stress=sick.

ADA needs to be tweaked a bit for those with mental illness as it is more geared towards handicap, etc. For the mentally ill, it still allows people to discriminate, make life a living hell, and not provide what accommodations are truly NEEDED for someone with mental illness.”

I’m taking a politics class in school and this week’s chapter was about civil rights.  It spoke about the struggles of African American, women, elders, gays, and other minority groups.  It had a section on people with disabilities and talked about how handicap bathroom were required and elevators and such.

Where are the accommodations for those who have illness that is not visible?  Everyone feels sorry for the war vet in the wheelchair, but everyone gives the side eye to the girl talking to herself.  People look at me like I have two heads when I say I have bipolar even if they’ve known me for years and I’ve managed to act just quirky enough for it to go unnoticed.

Better working arrangements need to be made for those who are mentally ill.  I’m largely in favor of “mental health days” and not just those with serious mental illness.  I think everyone could benefit from a day a month or so off to de-stress and have some time to themselves that isn’t a Sunday.

Short term disability should be more accommodating to mental illness.  When I tried to claim short disability, I was met with all types of problems.  I was told I either had to leave work entirely or I couldn’t claim it.  There was no way I could take a week off as need be and be covered.  So if I had an episode and go too depressed to go for a week, it wouldn’t be covered if I applied in advance knowing this would happen at some point due to my illness.  Why not?  I know it’s bound to happen sooner or later.  Why not just let me set everything up in advance?  Because you want to fire me, of course.

I also had a hard time getting accommodations for my anxiety about people sitting behind me.  When people sit behind me, it give me panic attacks.  I told management about this and explained to them they simply needed to give me at least fifteen minutes notice so I could take a Xanex.  I had two managers that REFUSED to do this and would walk in on me mid-conversation with a client, one time causing me to run out my office hyperventilating and crying almost to the point of having to go to the ER.

When the district manager was at my office and I didn’t even mention bipolar (I just said I had anxiety so it wouldn’t sound so crazy) she reported back to EVERY MANAGER IN THE STATE what I had said and pretty much stalled my promotion for a year.

By the way, they promoted a guy that performed FAR below me before me simply because he was African American (thanks, affirmative action).  How about some affirmative action for mentally ill?  I bet promotion numbers for us are even lower than African Americans or any other race for that matter if management becomes aware of the condition.  Talk about “discriminated or historically underprivileged” group.

We need our own civil rights movement.  Maybe we should all get together and do a sit in somewhere.


The Circle Never Breaks…

So Sallie Mae declined my student loan application based on the fact that I’ve only been at my current job position for 8 months, even though I’ve been with the company for four years.  That and the fact that I work on commission.  Now I’m in the fun position of having literally no money to go to school next semester.  FML.

I mean, really?  They said I need a cosigner.  I can’t get a cosigner.  My husband has shit for credit from a car repo before we got married.  My mom refuses to cosign because she said she tried to help me go to college when I was 18 and I dropped out.

Yeah, I dropped out because I had no goals at the time and had a bit of a nervous breakdown.  I told her I wasn’t on meds at the time and this time was different, even my therapist says so.  She says I did it for the first two years okay, why did I have issues the last two?  Hell if I know.  Why does my brain ever do anything?  Why did I get depressed or manic or whatever the hell I was that I can’t even remember?  I’m pretty sure I was depressed because I recall sleeping a lot and not being able to get up to go to class.  Most of it is a blur at this point.  I’m sure there was a manic episode or two that cause some of those A semesters.  Lots of energy to burn?  Try college!  But the F semesters were more likely depression.  When I got my transcript I could actually see the mood swings in my grades.  Semester one – A, B, A, A.  Semester Two – A, B, C, A.  Semester Three – C, D, F, F.  Semester Four – F, D, W, W.  Not exactly like that, but you get the idea.

She says me going back to school isn’t her problem.  I get it.  It’s not.  But since I got free tuition when I went the first time and she just paid for books I don’t see why she can’t at least cosign for me.  She then went on to say she might be willing to give me some money.  She confuses me so much.  You’ll give me money but won’t sign your name so that I’ll pay it myself?  No, she says, because if I can’t pay it her name will be on it.  Yes, I say, but whenever I don’t have money you help me out anyway so what difference does it make?  Apparently not the right thing to say.  What do I know?

So now I wonder what the fuck is the point of me continuing this semester if I just have to drop after it?  If I don’t have the money to keep on going, why waste all this time now?  I’m giving up time with my family, time sleeping, time relaxing, time working, time doing any number of things that would likely be more enjoyable than studying.  If I’m not going to get a degree out of said time, then why the hell should I be wasting it on school?  Yes, I like to learn, but at my own pace and about things I’m interested in not things that the deities of the school system think I should know.

But alas, the degree is important for my job.  My job was actually supposed to help pay half, but the declined me too.  They couldn’t even be bothered to tell me why.  I wasn’t special enough or something.  I really don’t know what to do at this point.  I need to go, but funds are limited and I’ve spent us in a total hole the last eight months.

I can’t tell my mom this of course.  She knows.  She tells me I spend too much.  Now that I’m mildly depressed I spend in budget, but coming off the high of a manic phase I just couldn’t curb it.  It wasn’t the panicked spending in the thousands of dollars a day I was doing in the manic phase, but it was $50 here, $20 there, $100 there and it all added up.  I just kept needing things.  Don’t know why.  Just had to have them.  Would die without them.  Skincare first.  Then makeup.  Then skincare agin.  Then purses and wallets.  All always one thing I would obsess over and spend on that one thing.  When I’m manic I do that, but also buy loads of other random crap just to spend money.  Coming off the mania, it was like obsessions with categories.  I must have every eyeshadow color this brand has ever made.  I must have every Coach Poppy bag.  My wallets must all mach and I need three.  Does this sound like some type of OCD?  Hoarding?  Something.  It’s not manic spending.  It feels different.  But it’s bad.  Maybe just a shopping addiction.  I always have to be addicted to something.  Better than the drugs, I suppose.  More expensive though.

I saw my pDoc today.  She upped my Lamictal to 300mg to help the mild depression.  We also switched from 30mg XR Adderall am and 15mg regular Adderall pm to 15mg regular Adderall 3/day.  That was my suggestion because I find that the XR lasts less time than the regular.  I take the XR around 6am and by noon I can’t even focus long enough to read a book or listen to a phone call with a client.  When I take my regular dose at 5pm I can focus until around 1am if I really needed to.  So about the same amount of time actually.  But with the current setup I can’t focus from 12pm-5pm.  That’s five hours of me being totally unproductive and generally surfing the internet because I can change the page every five seconds when I get distracted or bored.  Or napping.  Whatever.

I hate these long posts.  I’m sure no one reads them.  They look too long and formidable to get through.  Ultimately I post to vent to myself, but my vanity wants to think that someone somewhere gives a shit about my crazy.  My family can’t stand my crazy though, so why would anyone else voluntarily subject themselves to it?

My husband says he hates himself all the time.  I dislike me a lot right now and I hate my life.  I love my son though and my husband, so I plow on for them.  If not for them, I’d curl up in a ball and wallow.  If it gets bad enough I still might.  I wonder if other people hate themselves often.  I wonder if other people wake up and go “what happened to me” or “what happened to my life.”  I must think that 100 times a day.

I used to be so fun, such a party girl.  I had gotten out of a deep depression and was self medicating, so of course I was fun.  Everyone loved me.  Or hated me.  Not a lot of grey area.  Most people loved me though.  I lit up a room.  I was out ’till four in the morning and staggering into work the next day with stories about having sex in front of four people or dancing on table tops or whatever other crazy shit I had come up with.  The reality check is that I was in a very unhealthy place.  The ideal version I have in my head is that people actually liked me for once.  Plus I was having fun.  I liked me.  I liked my life like that.  I liked numbing the crazy and self medicating.  It’s much more fun than the real medication.

I look back…and part of me really misses that time in my life.  As absolutely fucked up as my life was then, I kinda liked it.  I had no money.  I was destroying my future.  I was destroying relationships with my family.  I was making reckless decisions left and right.  I was filled with wild abandon.  I was let loose and crazy and manic but not in the hallucinogenic type of way.  In the fun way where you destroy your life and think it’s awesome.

Then I realized what I was doing and I got really depressed.  Like, tried to kill myself depressed.  Tried to go to a doctor who turned me away.  Got worse.  Cried all day for months.  I tried to pick up the pieces of my life and I did.  I got a good job, I got married, I had a kid.  All things I had decided to do while manic and messed up, but I held through with my crazy promises to myself.

I stabilized after a while.  Had some episodes here and there.  Had one long episode of depression the whole time I was pregnant and about three months after.  I try to forget how bad I was then because I know I made my husband miserable.  The fact that he didn’t leave still surprises me.

Stabilized for a while again, and had another break about nine months ago.  Screwed more stuff up.  Got to a good doctor.  Got on the right meds.

And now, here I am left with this normal, ordinary life.  And it’s just not enough for crazy, extreme me.  My life is filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows and middle periods?  They get kinda boring after a while.  Right now I’m holding on to “right below the middle” for dear life though.  Not the biggest fan of the depressive side of the illness.

But this normal life, it’s making me itch.  Normal job.  Normal family.  Normal employee.  Normal wife.  Normal mother.  Who is this person?  I don’t like her.  She’s too vanilla.  I want that fun, crazy, party girl back.  But to get that back, I’d have to give up my son and husband.  My son I tried so hard to have.  My husband I’ve worked so hard to keep.  I wouldn’t give them up for anything – not all the parties and self medication in the world.  So why do I still feel like I miss that life?  If I wouldn’t change what I have, why do I ache for what I don’t?  I guess somehow I think I could have both.  I can be nomal!Kira until 8pm and party!Kira when the sun goes down.  History tells me normal and manic don’t go well together, but I sure wish I could have the good things that come with mania normally.  The energy.  The lively personality.  The lack of fear.

Now I’m just here, with my vanilla life, hating myself for wanting something different than my wonderful family.  Well, I don’t but I do.  I don’t know.  I know I hate thinking I might want something different.  I know I hate missing the party life.  Then my paranoia kicks in and I think, what if I can think these things into reality?  What if by the mere passing thought of wanting to be that girl again that somehow my son and husband will be taken from me by some greater act of nature.  A car wreck or a fire or something that takes what’s most important to me away because I wasn’t grateful enough for what I had.  Then I’d forever be missing what I have right this second and I’m here too stupid to enjoy it.  That’s my greatest fear of all – losing them because I didn’t love them well enough.

I’m such a shit wife and mother.

And now I’m officially wallowing.

Stress, lemon cars, and general freak out

I’ve been lazy about posting.  Partly because I’m not super manic motivated and partly because I have a lot of stuff going on and I’m stressed and pissed and all posts will be rants.

Went to the doctor on Monday.  Changed the Geodon to 120mg.  Just when I stopped twitching on 80mg.  I had to bring my son who, of course, decided to be the Biggest Brat Ever in front of my doctor.  He actually punched me in the face.  So here I am trying to control him, he sees there’s nothing for me to take or place to do time out, and all hell breaks lose.  Best moment?  As he’s saying “fight!” and punching me, my doctor goes “how are you feeling right now?”  HA-HA-HA.  How do you think?  I went with “annoyed” although “fucking annoyed/pissed and about to scream and/or break shit” would have been more accurate but wasn’t toddler friendly language.

Then my car.  Oh, my POS lemon car.  They sold the used car I kinda wanted, so now I’m looking at the 2011 model.  My brain says “buy it” but I don’t trust my brain.  Other people (husband/mother) say “probably buy it.”  I’m not stable enough for a maybe.  Tell me yes, we’ll sign papers.  Tell me no, I’ll file a lemon lawsuit.  Maybe does not compute.

The lawyer says he thinks he can get me a “keep the car and here’s some cash to shut you up” settlement.  This would take 30-45 days.  That’s too long for manic me and plus it will take a lot of my time which is better spent making money at work and such.  After he takes his cut, I might end up with not enough to have wasted my time, plus a judgment on the car probably effects the resale value, but maybe not.  He says no, but he was being sales-y about it so I don’t believe him.

I want the car.  Really bad.  Too bad, actually.  The rational side of my head keeps yelling at me about debt and payments and normal me HATES both payments and debt.  Especially on depreciating assets.  I hate big purchases if not made in cash.  Scratch that.  I hate big purchases even if in cash because then my balances look sad.

So I keep arguing with myself in my head all day and I’m stressing myself out bad and it’s making my mood swing cycle right back up again.  Part of my brain (manic?  rational?  who the hell knows??) says just buy it and be done with the stupid lemon POS.  Part of my brain says debt is evil and big payments suck.  I don’t trust either one of these parts of my brain any longer.  My husband isn’t much help because he’d probably give me an okay on Ferrari so long as he could have one too.

This whole situation would be so much easier if I could trust what my brain tells me.  Stupid broken brain.  I just wanna scream.  So yeah, that’s how I’m doing.  Crappy, but a different type of crappy than before.

Oh, and I bought more shit today after quite a few days of not buying dumb shit.  So it seems the progress I was making is going to hell because I’m so stressed.

It’s all that stupid car’s fault.

Med changes and almost buying a car…it’s been a busy day

Today my plan was for someone to come fix my washing machine, hope to hear back from my doctor, and maybe shop with my mom.  Things did not go according to this plan.

I woke up exhausted, but it only lasted about thirty minutes and I’ve been hypomanic/manic ever since.  The washer people called and said they would be out between 12-2.  Two minutes later my doctor calls and says she can get me in at 12 to change meds.  I call my mom, who comes over with my step-dad and they watch my son and tend the the washer issues so I can go to the doctor.

I think I sped the whole way there at least 20 miles over the speed limit.  My son wasn’t in the car to give me sensibility.  So I drove as fast because I felt fast.  I turned the music up.  I was 21 again.  It was kinda nice.

My doctor made a few changes.  Adderall now at 10mg XR instead of 20mg (was taking some of my old 15mg until I ran out).  Taking 2mg Risperdal tonight (down from 4) then off completely.  Starting 80mg Geodon (no generic and expensive) tonight and possibly up to 120mg next week.  Staying put on Lamictal and Xanex for now so as not to change too many things around.  She says the Geodon should work faster than an Abilify or Zyprexa but with fewer side effects, so I guess I’m on board with this.  Fast is what I need and side effects are what I don’t.  She also said my old pediatric doctor said hi and did of course remember both me and my batshit crazy dad.  She had to go ask him about my records because they didn’t exist.  After my dad got my stuff, apparently he took it all out of the computer and kept everything handwritten and secret.  I kinda want to hug him.  No, I really want to hug him.  That’s above and beyond and I’m beyond appreciative, even though my dad would have no way to get them anymore.

I stopped at the mall on the way home (stupid, I know).  I spent money.  Surprise, surprise.  Felt like I was in there for hours and it was more like 15 minutes.  I sure can spend money fast.  $250 later in nail polish and hair products and I’m keyed up and about to lose it for some reason.  My heart is racing and my thoughts are so fast I can’t even keep up.  I speed even faster home.

On the way, my car breaks.  My brand new (2009) car.  For the fourth time since I bought it NEW.  The RPMs are revving and the car is going nowhere.  Fumes are coming out.  I’m furious.  I get home and throw things and yell and generally throw a fit.  I decide, screw this car.  I’m getting another one.

I tell my mom and step-dad to take me to the dealership because I want to yell at them and then look at new cars on the lot across the way.  They show me a pretty silver car that’s a 2006 and is the type I want.  Silver is my favorite color.  Body looks good.  Show me where to sign.  I wasn’t even going to test drive it.  I was just going to buy it.  My logic literally went “this car is unreliable, I’m sick of it, I’ll buy this older car because it’s a brand I trust in a shiny color and things will work out.”  This is something I’d expect my husband to do, not me.  I’m not impulsive.  I don’t make big decisions quickly.  Yet there I stood, ready to pull out my pen so long as they’d give me a good trade in value and I could be done with my stupid car.  Even the salesman was talking me out of it.  Generally sales people who are trying to sell you on not buying are giving good advice as a rule of thumb.  I’m glad he and my family were there, because if they weren’t I’d have a new car.

Now, is getting a new car a bad idea?  No.  I’ll still probably do it.  I need something that won’t get me killed on the interstate.  Is making the decision in a fit of manic rage smart?  Nope.  But I was gonna do it.  No doubt in my mind that if others weren’t logical around me, I’d have done something really, really stupid today.  My husband said “why trade your 2009 for a 2006?”  Well, because they have the same value and the 2006 is a better brand.  But when he said that, my brain said “ok, just go in debt and get a 2011 then.”  That’s where my brain was.  Willing to go 10K in debt because I was annoyed with my car.

These meds better work as fast as promised, because my impulse control is dying more and more each day that I’m not better.  I’m losing the rational, logical part of my brain I cling to so much that keeps me from complete insanity.

Here’s hoping I don’t have a new car tomorrow.  I would like the car, but I’d like to make the decision in a normal state.

Side note:  I’m sure this medicine will, in fact, work.  There’s no generic and I paid $65 for a 15 day supply.  So $130 for a month is what this med will run me if it’s permanent.  With my luck, this will be the best medication ever and my pay will all be going to med costs.  That’s almost $200 a month just to see my doctor one time a month and get that one pill.  Not including Lamictal, Adderall, Xanex, and any other med that gets thrown in down the line.  No wonder health insurance companies hate bipolar people.  We’re costly.  That’s more than I budgeted in my HSA for the year, so we’ll end up with crazy medical costs in Oct/Nov/Dec 2011 I’m sure.  Hopefully the price is high because I haven’t hit a deductible yet.  I know that happened with my Wellbutrin last year.  January it was randomly $60 and then back down to $10.  Also my bottle for Geodon says “take 2 capsules by mouth every evening for manic bipolar disorder.”  Now even my pill bottles remind me I’m nuts.  How depressing.  I need no reminder, pill bottle.

Just when I thought today was going well…

For most of the day, I felt normal. This morning I was exhausted and needed a nap. I took one of my old Dexedrine pills in the smallest dose I had around 10am. My son and I played and everything was wonderful. Around 11am I was less tired. I felt happy. It was nice. Not overly happy, just normal happy.

At two, he went down for his nap. I got him to nap without battle! He went to sleep in ten minutes. I waited a bit longer than usual and pulled some new tricks my mom suggested (give him his milk in his room, don’t let him drink in my lap any other time during the day, rock him to sleep and then slowly transition – asleep in lap, move to standing, move to bed, rub back for two minutes, place hand for two minutes, lay near bed one minute, and go. [yes, I had my timer]) I was excited!! Too excited??

Did my excitement trigger hypomania or is it again just doing whatever it was going to do anyway? I never know the answers. I know I was excited, and then ten minutes later I was suddenly doing my nails instead of napping. Didn’t like the color, looked online to buy different color as if that would somehow fix my current issue of not liking the color, tried to nap, failed, redid nails a different color, looked online for more polish.

I want to go somewhere. I don’t care where (mostly). Out to dinner, out to a club, to the mall, just somewhere. I asked my husband if we could do something. He asked what. I said “suggest something.” The text reply said “fishing.” I’m a vegetarian but okay. Not really helpful. I just explained my day to him in two minutes and he says “is that why you wanna go somewhere?” (as in is the hypomania why you want to do something). I said “yup!!” and he said “I was gonna text ‘you’re just being crazy.'” He just wasn’t 100% sure. Nice. Like a completed to do list, a sudden request to go out can spell trouble.

Really, I’d like to hit up the mall because now I need a new nailpolish color and I only really like to use OPI and I know they have it at the mall.  But they also have lots of other shiny things I want, and my husband probably would not let me get them, and I’d go all nuts in the mall because I have less ability than my son to hear “no” right now.

I’m sad.  I really thought I was going to make it through a whole day with no crazy.  A nice, normal day.

I swear the neighbors are calling my name, though probably just because someone else has the same name as me.  My husband is testing how sane I am because when I said “are they calling my name?” and explained they could be calling me or someone with my name he asked “well are they calling you?”  As in do I think other people are talking to me when there’s no logical reason to think so?  Nope, not there yet.

Oh, side note.  I had a migraine last night for which I took Vicoden, thinking it would mess with me less than my stronger pills, and thought I was a stick bug.  It was like Kafka’s Metamorphosis in my head.  I could clearly see I was still me with my eyes open, but if I closed them I saw a stick bug and felt extra phantom legs and stuff.  Fun times.  Glad I passed out quickly and didn’t have to deal with that too long, as am terrified of stick bugs.  Would not have ended well.  Think for any migraines going forward I’ll stick to aromatherapy and Butal (which works like a stronger Advil or something, ie: doesn’t do much).  Hallucinate or migraine?  Which is worse?  I do so love when dual issues of mine don’t get along in terms of medication or other things.  I’ve taken just about every headache medicine and pain pill out there for my migraines, and never had a reaction like that before.  Maybe it’s not the medicine.  Who knows?

Just told my husband that story.  He sighed and walked away and mumbled.  I said “see why I don’t take acid?  No need!”  When I was in elementary school kids used to ask me where I got mine from all the time.  I should have went with it because “druggie” would have gotten me more friends than “crazy girl talking to herself.”  Instead I looked confused as to why they would think I had any.  At a young age, you only know your own normal.  I thought all the hallucinations were normal and that everyone had them.  Not the case.  Now I know, and only close friends and family and the internet at large get to hear the crazy stuff I think and see.

I’ve never taken acid and never will because I’m not a fan of hallucinations.  At best, they’re annoying.  At the worst end, they’ll make me lose my grip on reality completely.  Why people would want to see stuff confuses me.  I always ask people.  They say it seems “cool.”  Maybe if it’s a choice.  Sometimes I can control what I see to a degree, when they’re more “annoying” than “sanity losing” and then it can entertain me for a while.  You’ll still never hear me say “I wish I could see stuff right now!” even if I’m so bored I’ve paced a hole in the ground or something.

I don’t think a lot of people who have ever seen things without the help of acid and such take it.  I think it’s people like the ones in elementary school who would tell me “I want to take acid one day to see what it’s like to be you.”  I think it was a taunt, but I bet they took acid in their college years.  “Experience crazy for a day” or something.  Like it’s a fair ride.  No, the pills I’m give are the “experience normal” types.  I don’t know how I ended up on this topic…

I guess I’ll go harass my husband into maybe bringing us all somewhere.  I’d take a Xanex to calm down, but a week of doing that tells me it’s useless.  So I might as well just go do something instead of giving my pills the side eye for the rest of the night and yelling about how they don’t work.

Xanex is not a mood stabilizer & why a completed to do list spells bad things

Not one, but two doctors told me I should take my Xanex to slow down my hypomania. Both of these doctors were wrong. It is a sugar pill to mania. It’s a miracle for my anxiety issues. There are days I wouldn’t have gotten through without it because of that. But for hypomania/mania, I might as well take Advil or something. Advil might be better, because it might not make things worse, and I’m starting to wonder if the Xanex might.

According to my app, at 11am, I was sleepy but light hypomanic. By 12pm, I was exhausted. At 1pm, my son would not nap, I lost it completely, called my mom in for backup, and generally freaked out for thirty minutes. At 1:30pm, I took a Xanex. My mom stayed from 2:30-4:00-ish and the whole time I talked a mile a minute and never got to take the nap I wanted so badly. The napped I lost my mind over not getting because my son wouldn’t take his. My mom told me she could only understand half of what I was saying because of how fast I was talking and had to tell me many time to slow down or stop talking altogether. WTH???

Xanex needs to stay in my back pocket for bedtime and anxiety, but in terms of a primary med for bipolar/mania/general crazy, it’s pretty freaking useless. It’s either not doing anything or making me worse. I’m kinda betting “doing nothing.”

I feel like I am exactly where I would be without the meds minus hallucinations. So yay to my antipsychotic arch nemesis Risperdal for that I guess. But otherwise, I’m still all messed up.

My husband was happy cause I cleaned. He still does’t get how a clean house can ever be a bad thing, even though it almost always is for me. I tried to explain how I felt, but I was probably talking to fast for him to even comprehend. I try to explain sometimes, but it feels like wasted air a lot.

He said he could understand some of it, because he does have streaks of hypomania in his everyday personality. He spends a lot, he’s reckless, he usually has a lot of energy. But thoughts so fast you can’t keep up, so fast it makes your head hurt…that’s a foreign concept. Grandiose schemes and plans that I fight not to start because when I ultimately never finish it’s just one more thing to hate myself for on the down swing, that idea got a side head tilt he was so confused. I said “I have all these great ideas! But I can’t do them, because I know it’ll be bad if I do later.” He said “just do them.” I said “I won’t finish them. The ideas are big and expensive and time consuming. I won’t be able to follow them through like my head tries to tell me I can, and when I don’t do finish them, I’ll feel like a failure.”

I fight these ideas every day, because my head is a good sales person and wants me to think I CAN do them. When manic, all things are possible. But I’m realistic and know (or at least hope…) that mania is not forever and “sad I never started” depression is better than “I can’t ever do anything” depression. My head asks “what if you dismiss a good idea as a manic one and miss it?” I don’t have an answer. This is how some tasks get started anyhow. Some of them just get sold better to the bit of my brain I can control. At a level 10 mania, there’s not a lot of the part left, so I hold on to the bits I can control pretty tight so long as I have them.

Rational brain says Big Ideas are all Bad Ideas in current state, even if perhaps some of them aren’t. But “quest for perfect skin!” managed to sell it’s way through somehow. Maybe it didn’t seem big enough. I think I’m up to $400 in skincare in two weeks. I don’t know how that number didn’t fall into “Big Idea.” Generally anything over $100 I classify as “Big” in manic states, because above $100 and five minutes later it’s $1000. That’s not including lots of other dumb ass things I’ve bought. I hate my spending issues when manic. They cause depression, too, when I have to try to fix them all later. Red on my budget software makes me sad, but apparently not sad enough to kick me into depression.

Not that depression would be better, but I’m nearing three or four months of this manic nonsense and I just can’t deal.

I think I posted ramblings last night, though I only vaguely remember doing so and haven’t gone back to read it because it’s probably scary to look at. At least it is if you’re the person that wrote it and doesn’t recall much of it.

These meds better work, because this is the longest spell of “up” I’ve had in a long time, and usually the ups are shorter than the downs. The down on this one is gonna be bad if the meds don’t work. Bad, bad, bad.

Hypomania can be fun. For a day or maybe a week. When it’s “light day” hypomania and I’m not creating problems. After that, it’s pretty awful. Self – read this next time you’re depressed and wishing for mania. It sucks on this end, too, you just forget.

Hope the doctor calls me Monday. I need a Xanex for bipolar. Something that does what Xanex does for panic attacks, but for mania. That’s what I said at my last appointment. I was told Xanex should do it. Well, it’s not. So let’s try again. Bring on the Seroquel or something. Inject me with Abilify. Just make this nonsense stop. The only thing keeping me from classifying myself “hospital level manic” is lack of hallucinations.

I have some grip left on reality, but it’s not a lot. I’m fighting for that little bit every second of every day, even if it doesn’t look like it. If you see me sitting, reading a book at work, inside my mind I’m at war. It’s a war I fight every day, but right now I’m in the heat of battle and I’m losing ground. Me versus bipolar. Every day of my life. Until the day I die. A war I can never really “win.”

This is an awful way to live. Fighting ideas like they’re demons. For most people, a Big Idea is a good thing. A new task, a new hobby, something to accomplish. For me, it’s just another thing to be depressed about later and spend money on now. For most people, a complete to do list, a clean house, and a list of extra things accomplished is a productive day. For me, it’s symptoms of a bigger problem.

It’s funny how if I sniffle, everyone asks if I’m depressed and have I been taking my meds, but when extra stuff gets done no one sees a problem until it’s full swing mania. I get a cold and people worry about depression because they hear me blow my nose and think I’ve been crying. A clean house at midnight and no one asks questions. Mild depression has a negative impact on others and they certainly don’t want the risk of major depression. Mild hypomania makes everyone else’s life easier and they can just cross their fingers and hope it doesn’t escalate and negatively impact them. It’s selfish, but I can see why they’d do it. I don’t get much accomplished outside work hours anytime other than hypomanic or greater. People end up having to pick up household slack for me a lot. I’ll give them the happiness over my cleaning and organizing.

Other than losing it this afternoon, my son and I had a great morning. We played with just about every toy in the house. I wore him out for once. He was giggling and happy and super lovey-dovey all day. I called my mom as soon as I got irritable with him because he didn’t deserve it and I didn’t want to yell at him. It’s not his fault I have issues and I don’t want him to pay for them. Once I knew she was on her way, I could bite my tongue easier on the things he was doing that annoyed me. I hate feeling annoyed by him. It gives me a major case of mommy guilt. It’s not like he can understand “mommy is having a moment, go play in your room for a while.” If he wants to interact, he wants to interact. I tried that, by the way. He went in his room and when he saw I wasn’t following he stopped and held his hand out and said “room” in a sweet voice. How do you say no to that? You can’t. So I didn’t. But we did sit quietly until my mom got there to lessen noises and such that might set me off. I don’t like to fuss at him, let alone raise my voice. Irritable me raises my voice a lot. Thus, backup called the first time I yelled.

Hopefully tomorrow will go a little smoother and then hopefully the doctor will call Monday and someone will give me something that will work quickly. Quickly being the key phrase. I was gonna try to do something with a friend of mine tomorrow, but I’m thinking maybe not now. I dunno. I’m beyond broke and a little on the nutty side to be socializing. Maybe going out would do me some good though. I guess I’ll see how I feel when I wake up. If I can get me and my son dressed and ready in time, perhaps I’ll go. It won’t be the biggest expense I’ve had in the last week and it will be something for him to enjoy and thus a truly reasonable expense.

EDIT: Read last night’s post. Reads much like I remember feeling, which is to say all over the place and generally crazy.

Sunrise, sunset…you’re hopeful then you regret…

That’s this song, by the way. Song of my life.

Yesterday: hypomanic, depressed, hypomanic, depressed, tired.

Today, the only thing keeping me from “mania” is Risperdal and I know it. I kinda always figure if I’m not seeing stuff it’s not really mania. But my thoughts are so fast I can’t keep up. Things look so bright and clear they almost shine. Everything has an aura. I spent money. Lots and lots of money. I think I’ll spend more tomorrow. I had to buy online so no one would know. I expedited shipping, hoping it will come tomorrow so no one knows. I don’t need the guilt trip. Things will work out.

I called the doctor, but it was too late (around 4:30). Hopefully she’ll call back Monday. They said they were open, despite the holiday.

Doubled up on Xanex (2mg). Am at the point 100% convinced it is NOT a mood stabilizer and works kinda like Vicodin does for back pain and such. The pain doesn’t go away, you’re just so trashed you don’t care. My mind is lost to me, but I’m supposed to be doped up enough not to care I guess.

I want to clean the spare room. I want to organize medical records. I want to clean. The Xanex has be to physically tired to be stupid and clean base boards until 3am. My husband has to work Saturday, Sunday, Monday. I do not. I’m so fucked.

I thought this stuff was supposed to help. I’m exactly where I was two weeks ago, minus psychotic hallucinations. Bigger dollar amounts. More projects. Faster thoughts.

Today really sucked because I ran out of low dose Adderall and had to take 20mg instead of 15mg which I knew, just knew was gonna screw me, although I didn’t think it would be this bad. But what do I do? Die on the car ride to work? Kill my son in a car wreck from med hangover? Not an option. At least manic I can drive, although perhaps a teensy bit over the speed limit. I didn’t notice until husband said I was pulling in the driveway like a crazy person. Nothing that would injure anyone though, so still the lesser of two evils. If I have to pick between my health and my son’s safety, I pick him. It’s not right that someone should have to choose. So I take the Adderall. So I can drive. So I can not fall asleep at work, lose my job, and put us on the street.

I have no friends, in case you haven’t noticed. That’s why I was all depressed. Well, that’s what I’m attributing it to because I hate not having a reason. It just cements the illness. Who gets depressed for no reason? Crazy me. So I find a reason once I’m already depressed. Makes me more depressed. Cycle. Cycle. Cycle.

My life is one big cycle. Even in my mostly hypomanic/manic state these last months, it cycles. I’ve been tracking it like crazy so the doctor will do something more drastic. I use 5 for anything that I think is in the range of what a normal person would feel, so “sad” or “happy” could be a 5, if they’re a normal reaction at a normal level. There’s not enough on the 1-10 scale for this to work for me, but I’m trying. Six is light hypomanic/mid-light hypomanic. Seven mid-range hypomanic. Eight full blow hypomanic. Nine manic. Ten worse ever manic. I’ve only gotten down to a four which I’m saying is “mild depression for no apparent reason except the one I made up.”

It takes these numbers and makes a graph. I did it all week. The graph of JUST my hypomania is a roller coaster. In one day it goes 5, 6, 6, 7, 6, 5, 8, 5, 7. You get the idea. It’s all over. With no affect from meds it seems. Adderall seems to make it worse, but I can’t survive without, literally. Xanex has one day made it worse, and the next day right about when it should have kicked in was when I got depressed. I took 2mg about an hour ago and my chest hurts from my heart beating so fast from trying to keep pace with my head. This is why I’m physically sick all the time.

All day, ideas. Great idea at noon. By one, how dumb. At two, no it was brilliant. I feel like I’m 13 again and cycling by the hour. At least I’m not suicidal at noon and manic by two. At least it’s mostly on one side.

But three months of hypomania that keeps pushing through to mania…I can’t do this shit anymore. I think my brain my literally hemmorage from the sheer amount and speed of thoughts.

And once this all stops, I’ll pay the price. The budget that’s so screwed up. The bills for meds and ER trips. The damage to my job. Hopefully no damage to my son…….he seems to be okay with me leaving the room. I’m holed up now because I just can’t deal. WTF do I do tomorrow?

I need something that can work in conjunction with my Adderall. Where the Adderall still is effective at a) helping me focus and b) keeping me from passing out mid-commute. Does this exist?

Things are so shiny. My world is retina display. I think I was better on the drugs the doctors didn’t prescribe, but that’s a dumb thought I’m sure.

I need to go to the hospital, but I can’t. My husband has work. My mom has plans. My job will fire me if I’m “mentally incompetent.” So I’ll keep taking these damn sugar pills and maybe tomorrow they’ll work. I’ll try no Adderall, but when I pass out then what? My two year old takes care of himself while mommy naps? This stuff doesn’t work for moms. Sorry. Find me a better solution.

I need to mediate again, but now is not the time to start. I can’t even try to slow my thoughts right now.

Last night I got a migraine. By the way, my Relax oil cured it. Wish I’d known that 10 years ago. Maybe just luck.

I wish I’d called my doctor sooner.

I hope I don’t lose it again…well, more than I am right now.

I need to stop doing stupid things.

I’ll pay for this if the meds don’t work soon in regret, in sadness, in hopelessness.

I can’t type fast enough to get my thoughts on here. I debated even coming on because I know this is so fragmented and incoherent.

I found a bipolar support group. Maybe I should suck it up and go. I can’t keep going like this. Too many people depend on me.

Why won’t anyone give me Abilify or Seroquel or something to knock this shit out and then I can stop it when Lamictal kicks in? I can’t do this another month.

Glad game: I know what is and is not reality. My husband has not left me. My son is not running from me.

I forgot to eat. How does that happen to me?

I want to scream. Maybe if I’m loud enough everything will seem quiet in comparison.

I wish I had someone to talk to other than my mom and husband. Someone not under some type of obligation to deal with me. They’re worn out. I’m worn out.

I want an Abilify shot if it exists. I want to sleep through the hypomania and mania this weekend is bringing and then recover enough to get to work on Tuesday.

My son will hate me one day. I’m a constant variable. Especially rapid cycle. I’m pissed. I’m sad. I’m energetic. I’m exhausted.

I’m taking sugar pills that make me sleepy, pills to keep me from dying that make me worse, to take more pills that make me sleepy. There has to be something else.

I’m drained. My mind has circled so much just the ideas have worn me out (thanks Xanex, now I can feel bad about not even trying). I love my Xanex – for panic attacks and sleep. For bipolar, it’s useless. Like a pain pill for a serious injury. Masking something horrible so maybe you won’t notice as you lose your mind.

The shiny auras need to stop. It’s making my head hurt.

You know, I’m a decent person. I deserve better than all the shit I get, all the losing hands I’m dealt. I get a few wins (my husband, my mom, my SON!). But I treat mom and husband like crap because I don’t know how to control myself around the people I let into my crazy mind.

Alright, whatever, I’m done with this. I’m done with this post.

I don’t know wtf to do about this weekend. Hopefully not screw us over more financially.

I was supposed to be getting better, and all I am is the same minus floating black Jigglypuffs (scarier than it sounds). With extra paranoia.

Just….fuck. I don’t know where to go from here. I can’t get help from anyone. I hope I wake up better tomorrow. I think I have some non ER Dexidrine from a while back I can sub for Adderall.

Really, what’s the difference between experimenting with these drugs and the other kind? I think the ones I’m on now have worse side effects and fewer results.

I’m exhausted and major hypomanic. How does that happen?


Suggestions welcome. Really. Please.

Note: I have BC now. Add that to the glad game.