Friday, February 19, 2016

Such a long week.

The boys have been off from school this week. It has been exhausting. They have been full of energy and up to mischief. This is not a surprise or a change from their present patterns of behavior. I, however, have been really struggling to keep up with them. I am thankful that they go back to school on Monday because I am worn out. It makes me concerned that their next break is going to be just as difficult for me to navigate.

Last weekend, I had a bad flashback. I think it has been contributing to the fact that I don't feel well right now. Usually, I bounce back from a flashback fairly quickly. A day or two later and I am functioning more or less like I usually do. This week, however, I have had so much difficulty concentrating and I have been more anxious than usual. It didn't help that Tuesday was a really hard day for me. I had an episode where I got very anxious and angry for a while. Thankfully, Beloved was home and he was managing the kids. I was having a bad day Tuesday because I was feeling very depressed to begin with. The anxiety and anger just hit me out of nowhere.

A friend of mine said it sounded like how her anxiety attacks manifest. It makes me think that I should do a little research and see if part of my problems with anger are actually problems with anxiety. I am so tired of dealing with depression, anxiety, and all the rest of the mess that is my psyche right now. I said the other night that I hated my brain. Beloved replied that it was a shame that I felt that way because he thinks it is my most attractive feature. It was a very gentle reproach. But, it is a reminder none the less that I need to stop hating facets of myself because they're not perfect. It is more of that all or nothing thinking that I struggle with.

I haven't done any spinning in the last two months. I just haven't had the motivation to do so. I look at the beautiful fiber and my delightful spindles. I just felt numb despair that nothing I did would be good enough and I walked away. I have been feeling that way about many things right now. I know it is depression talking. It is exhausting and disheartening. I don't know if how I am feeling right now is an indication that I am improving. My writing on here is not inspired by anything or the fruit of some feeling that I need to write. It is more motivated out of guilt for my silence than anything else.

I don't know if that is a good thing or not. It has been hard for me to get into an appointment to see my therapist. Over the last month, almost month and a half now, we have been playing phone tag. Either I am sick or she has been sick. A part of me says that scheduling a session is a futile effort because something is going to come up. It is the same part of me that says everything is useless.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Powder keg.

I am not entirely in my right mind right now. I am on edge. I am hiding from the rest of the family and listening to super calming music because the stimuli of the living room is too much for me right now. I am no longer shaking or feeling so anxious, agitated, and angry that I'm ready to have a screaming meltdown in the middle of the kitchen. I can't concentrate. The ativan helped some. I can feel this all is still there but the volume is turned down some. It is probably the only reason why I am collected enough to post right now or listen to music here.

I don't know how I'm going to sleep. My brain is telling me that I have wasted food that we needed and that it will make the kids go hungry because of my screw up. I have this sense of guilt over the fact that I made more dishes to wash. I also have it going on because I just didn't manage to get a cooked dinner done for Beloved and the kids. (Sandwiches were for the boys and Beloved said he'll figure something out for himself. Making the sandwiches was hard for me. I was ready to throw the butter knife across the room because the peanut butter wasn't spreading as evenly as I wanted it to.)

A part of me says I should start folding laundry right now. Another part of me says that it will be a huge pile on the bed when it is time for me to go to sleep and just make things worse. I feel like my head is winding up and going faster with each moment. There is no giddy euphoria with this. Just tension, suppressed screaming at the children for being a little loud, and shaking. I am making a point of staying away from anything that I could possibly use to hurt myself right now.

Earlier, before the Ativan kicked in, I found myself ready to start hitting myself because of my fuck up with dinner. I don't know why this is happening. I'm worried about it. I just want to be calm. I just want to get to sleep and wake up normal. I don't want this happening. I feel helpless and scared right now even as I am angry and anxious. I just don't know what to do. I don't know if this is continued fallout from the bad flashback I had last weekend. I don't know if it is something else going on with me.

I am trying to calm myself down. I am failing. I'd be knitting right now but I'm so torqued up I can't see myself handling dropped stitches well at all. What am I going to do when the Ativan wears off? Is this going to be the rest of the night? I don't know. I'm scared.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rebel brain, submit to my will.

Still stuck in a mixed episode. It now makes day four of it. I'm not as short tempered as I was yesterday but I still have the combination of having energy and being depressed. I saw my psych provider yesterday. She was surprised how long I have been struggling. Now, this makes the first full year that she's been working with me. Starting out, last March, I did my best to make clear to her that the time from late November to about mid-March is the worst of the year for me. Due to a combination of factors, I pretty much spend my entire time depressed.

I am hoping that the fact that I'm not as ready to scream, break things, and generally light the world on fire is a sign that I am moving out of this mental state. I really hate depressive episodes. But I think I hate mixed episodes even more. At least with the depressive episodes I have some numbness insulating me from the worst of the feelings. With this, I feel every knot and twist of my pained mind through the entire episode. I have noticed that I did not get my full nine hours of sleep last night. I'm keeping an eye on that.

It is sad to admit, but I no longer trust a cranky day or a string of good days. I watch everything about what is going on with me. I am wary of what is simply a good day turning into mania. I am concerned that a bad day is going to stretch out into a longer interval with my anger turning nearly uncontrolled. I just don't trust myself anymore on that front. And for some one who has difficulty trusting herself in other areas, this makes me exasperated and sad. It also makes me angry.

My therapist tells me that I just should let the moods happen as they will and adjust to them as they happen. I feel like I can't do that. I feel like there is too much at stake. Multiple rounds of depression leads to my not taking proper care of myself. This ends in my needing dental work, increased problems with exercise, and (apparently) high triglyceride levels. She tells me that I am looking at it from a too complicated approach. I feel like I need to plan for each mood state like I would for the invasion of Normandy.

I haven't hit the point of having crisis plans written up in my binder, yet. I do, however, now have a list of all my medications and my diagnoses in my wallet now. In my times of hypomania, I start organizing everything and trying to make all in my life efficient. This is also when I start thinking about how to possibly manage the household, raise the children, do my writing, and run multiple businesses at the same time. I also get a little bit freer with my spending. But I spend it on practical things, like more canned goods to keep in the pantry in the event of a bad winter storm. Or, if I've gone really wild, clothes for myself. And when I am doing this extra spending, my anxiety of money is such that it stops me from going over about sixty dollars on my purchases.

Anyways, I feel like I need to have a plan in place for when I am well, when I am depressed, when I am hypomanic, and when I have a mixed episode. I don't and that makes me uneasy. My plans for when I am well are simple and I don't really need to check in with other people to make sure that I am well connected with reality. But for the other three states, I don't have anything written down and I worry that as time goes on I am getting worse. And I want to make sure that if something goes majorly wrong, there is a plan for how to take care of it. Because it makes me feel more secure about it all and it makes it possible for there to be some kind of solution to the problems that would arise from my being severely unwell.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Hamster Wheel Progress.

I am doing everything I possibly can to move forward. I am making sure I get enough sleep at night. I am eating three proper meals a day. I take my medications. I have even been getting a little bit of exercise into my day. Looking at this, one would think that I am on track to be in good health and spirits.

Life right now is a hamster wheel. And all of my efforts for forward progress are getting me nowhere. I still have this lingering cough that makes my chest ache. I am still dealing with being depressed. And I am still having a hard time writing or doing anything else creative. I am struggling to be patient with my kids even more than usual because my mental capacity is hindered by the depression.

I look around and there is nothing in the present that should be causing this aside from brain chemistry issues. It frustrates me. A part of me still kinda is stuck in the socially approved story that depression is sadness over an event in the present. I get frustrated and angry with myself when I don't have something to point at and say 'This caused it.' I get so upset when I realize that it is a combination of neural chemistry issues and past events. I get so angry about the past events still bothering me.

Something in me says that I should be over it. Stuff that happened thirty years ago still comes to mind and makes it hard for me to sleep at night. Stuff that happened twenty years ago comes to mind and makes me want to scream in terror at times. I look around me and I see the world carrying on as it does usually and I feel cut off from it. I feel like my PTSD has ripped me out of my life and left me to watch as everyone else is progressing through the 'normal' events of their 30s.

My therapist tells me that I am perfectly normal. That I am a text book case of complex post-traumatic stress disorder and of bipolar II. It doesn't reassure me on days like today. Days where I had planned on doing simple things like cooking dinner and putting laundry away get interfered by my sudden lack of energy and overwhelming sense of despair due to my depression are arduous. Add in the peppering of flashbacks to the various traumatic events I have lived through and my day feels like I am just a walking mass of anxiety and exhaustion.

I sit here and I question why I should keep going. Then I get angry with myself for those questions. I have responsibilities that I can not just drop. I have things that I want to get done before I die. I have a book series to finish writing. But I am so tired. And I am so full of despair.

I don't know what to do about it. I don't know if writing this post was a good idea or not. All six of you probably have me friended on Facebook. So, you have seen this struggle as it has been unfurling. I vainly thought there would be some form of catharsis in writing this.  But it feels much the same as writing in my journal. Sans the pleasure that comes from looking at my handwriting when it is neat and tidy.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Down with the Sickness.

Yes, I ripped the title of this post off from Disturbed. I am not ashamed in the least bit. It amuses me and that is all that matters. I spent the weekend sick in bed. This nasty cold (which I was worried for a bit that it was turning into bronchitis) had me exhausted and miserable. I am at the point where I'm not feeling breathless walking around the apartment and doing some chores. I think that I might actually be well enough to go do laundry tomorrow.

In the midst of my intermittent fever and woozy exhaustion, I did something uncharacteristic of myself. I actually gave myself permission to rest and be sick. I was cranky with the fact that I didn't like being stuck in bed all weekend. At the same time, however, I was not trying to force myself to do everything because I was sick. Beloved was wonderful. He took care of the grocery shopping and kept the boys in line so that I could just sleep. Between drinking copious amounts of orange juice and tea, I spent a good amount of this weekend, when I was up, just sitting and staring at stuff. I guess that is what Facebook is good for.

I'm feeling a bit better and I have much more energy right now. I am optimistic that I can get laundry done tomorrow, provided I don't push myself too far today.