Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Been Brewing

This is going to be long post. It's been brewing for a while.

Things at home, with Jb, are getting rough and rocky, and I know it's my fault. But I also know I can't control it. He's as much a victim of my mind as I am. I'm reading John McNamanay's book on living with bi-polar/depression, and he talks about how your mind drives your body around. And it's true, though these days it seems like my mind drives my mouth around.

My mother used to tell me that we were "discontented souls," and that was why we were never happy like other people. And worse, that we'd always be that way. I believed her. After all, wasn't I always critical? Wasn't I always aggravated by people who couldn't keep up? Wasn't I judgmental? It's one of the main reasons my mother and I could never co-exist.

That's how I feel lately. Discontent. With everything. Myself, Jb, the world, our situation. I'm resentful of things I'm expected to do, and I'm resentful of the people who ask me to do them. Jb tells me he wants me to do something, heavy emphasis on the something. As if I do nothing. As if I don't battle everyday to maintain some facade of equilibrium.

It comes on worse at night. Sometimes, it even starts in the morning. I'm aggravated, angry. I feel slighted. Any form of neglect, any perceived rejection, and it cuts right to my heart, which is like a discolored bruise that cowers from a touch. Instead, a mere touch feels as if someone's socked me in the heart, and there's a physical pain to it. Words cut.

Tonight, trying to expend some energy because my mind wouldn't stop, I laid on the bed and kicked my feet, and turned around restless, and stretched and twisted, and took some slim enjoyment from hearing the muffled impact of my shins on the mattress. Jb asked me if I was having a seizure, calls it having a tantrum, tells me I'm childish, seeking attention. And perhaps the last part is somewhat true. I do want attention. Because I feel like the Tinman, an empty shell where a heart, or some sense of self, should be.

Mostly, I am trying to deal. I am trying to tire myself out. I am trying to let things out, and yet keep them inside. Jb says I talk too much, tells me to shut up. That's a dagger. Who is this person he despises so much that she's not even allowed to speak? He says I'm always bitching, always whining and whining and whining. And I don't see the whining, I don't. But the bitching... yeah. When I'm in that mood, when the aggravation takes over, when nothing anyone could do would be right, I'm witty as hell. The comebacks come quickly and painfully. They hit below the belt. They're meant to hurt. It's the way my mother used to treat my dad.

And then there's the fact that Jb thinks he gives me his time when, to me, all I see is that he gets up around 9am, logs into the computer, and stays on it until well past midnight. I'm left alone. To my own devices. And it's like living with Greg all over again. Once upon a time, Jb would seek me out, would stop playing simply to connect with me. Now it's a battle. Requests and expectations are known, but not acted upon. And that hole inside aches more. Except, it's me who's driven him away. It's me who makes him shrink into himself. It's me.

I can't expect someone to fill that gaping abyss that is self-loathing, guilt, a need for constant reassurance, for someone to cherish me and hold my hand, the way someone might take care of you if you were physical sick in bed with a high fever. I'm overly needy now, and I don't think Jb can handle that. I think it's part of why he retreats into World of Warcraft. I think that's why Greg retreated into his games, too. Both were good at looking out for themselves. And here's me: unable to even know who I am apart from Jb.

How do you get across things like you can't be bothered to cook when your boyfriend is constantly telling you he's disappointed in you. Everything seems to worsen everything. I don't want to play WoW, I don't want to play Spore, I don't want to watch tv, I don't know what to do with myself online or off. I wish Jb would read the bits in McNanamy's book that were taken from replies on his bi-polar/depression site. If only to catch a glimmer of what I'm thinking, going through, dealing with. Because I can't put it into words.

I feel lost, and alone, and as if there's no one to turn to, no one to take care of me. And it's my childhood all over again. So many expectations, and all I can do is try to build walls. But these days, those walls never hold strong. They crumble. Let things in. They don't keep me safe. And so I shut down, I recede, I walk around in a third person narrative, where things never happen to me, they happen around me--and slowly, oh so slowly, so that the world looks strange to me. But the world is as it always was. It's me who's out of step, out of time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Knee Slapper

It's all a big joke. People sucked into games and out of their own lives. Escapism at its finest. Arthur C. Clarke shit. And where is the other person in the relationship left when they don't want to spend their life in an illuminated box? If I had a Post Secret, I think it'd be: Mostly, I wish he'd pick me.


Flat out: it's been a bad few days. Crying, too sensitive, bruised. disillusioned, angry--so angry. Jb says I threw a tantrum the other night, that I was acting childish. But it wasn't that. It was this rage, and better I beat pillows on the bed and punch the mattress than take it out verbally on him, which I do far too often.

The nights seem longer. I seem less motivated. SSDI comes in bits, very small bits, because it's so much information, and some of it, I can only guess at. The creditors want to sue me, the DHHS needs medical documents, which my psych will fill out, but which feels like one more thing on my back. And it's too much to deal with.

And that's how it is. Rolling fine, feeling close to normal, or as close as I know to normal, and then, despite all meds, I get worse. I'm snappy, angry, unforgiving, judging. I become a different person. All my barbs hit below the belt. I'm witty in cruel way, and it comes so easily. I can see it happening, and yet, I can't stop it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Any Plans for the New Year?

You know you have a mental illness when someone asks you, "What are you doing for New Year's Eve?" And you say, "Going to my psych."

So. Things aren't much different. Taking meds. Upping my Zoloft to 150MG. I'm doing better, but my psych keeps getting on my ass to start the SSDI process. I started last night online. What a headache. I was completely drained after the first two parts.

The other thing my psych and I argued about was my recovery time. He says I'll need about a year once I get stable. I was all, "You're kidding me, right? A freakin' year?!" I swear. I wish I could pretend there was no such thing as mental illness. I hate my meds. Resent them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


It's one of those nights. Up at 4am, on the computer until 6am. There are things I, supposedly, wanted to do today: See Twilight. Having read the book, every trailer I've seen has made it more and more enticing to me (perhaps, too, because I knew I couldn't go; we were too poor). Now I'm up in the middle of the night, wondering what it's all for. Jb got laid off a month early. No help forthcoming from JSSA. I'm supposed to do grocery shopping tomorrow, and I can't be bothered with it. In fact, I simply don't want to do it. Not in a stomp your foot, two-year-old tantrum sort of way, but in a deadened, "I don't have the heart," way. And for some reason, at 6:33am in the morning, I feel like crying and mourning my marriage. But then, I flip like a switch and mourn anything these days--anything without discretion. I've become a "Fragile: Handle With Care" package.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What to Say?

My mind's gone dumb. I have no wish to write anymore. I don't even know what to say. I seem to be all right, and then I'm arguing with my boyfriend. He's extremely hurt and upset, and I almost don't care. I do, but it's this far away part of me. But it's the up front, face to the world, part of me that wants to sleep, that doesn't want to cook dinner, that doesn't want to play the new WoW expansion, who doesn't want to get up early to drive Jb to work, or drive to the therapist or psych, or drive to pick Jb up from work.

I'm smoking more. Almost half a pack a day. I have a bad smoker's cough going, too. It's another sign that I'm in this holding pattern, circling around and around the airport tower not sure if I'm going to land or be sent around for another lap. The thing is that I felt fine last week. I did. Then Jb and I argued Sunday--well, not argued, per se, but something happened that upset me--and it set me off later that night all over again. Now I don't give a shit. About much of anything, and I hate being in that place. I hate feeling so distant.

I'm more into Spore than the World of Warcraft expansion that Jb's been dying for. He's upset I'm not as excited and all-consumed as he is, and... I'm not. I don't know why. I don't know if it's because nothing really excites me, or if his excitement sets me off, triggers me into this overwhelmed anxiety that I can't deal with well. And shouldn't I be able to after all this time? Spore is easy. You sit in your little editor and make your little creations and it's like art therapy in the hospital. It's private, personal, no one rushes you.

Anyway, I go see the psych tomorrow. Woo. /sarcasm. I have no enthusiam for anything.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Throw Out a Lifeline

The last I wrote here I'd had a breakdown. A pretty good one. I didn't take my meds for a week. I wasn't eating. I had hit apathy so hard that nothing mattered at all to me. Part of this, Jb and I am sure is that I lost my therapist for about three weeks while she was nursing her son who'd shattered his foot and had to have multiple surgeries. I don't think I understood how very important therapy had become for me. How balanced it helped to keep me.

My dose has changed again. 100MG of Zoloft, 300MG of Lamictal twice a day, and Klonopin 3 times a day. We're winnowing the meds down, which is one of the reasons I like this psych. He had tried me on Lithium, and I couldn't stay hydrated enough to keep up with the shakes and disoriented, vertigo-like sensations. So we dropped as not a good drug for me.

In between, I've been moving along as well as I'm able. I had a week and a half after the major depression where I couldn't sleep. I'd be up until 5 am and running on 4 hours of sleep a day. I was restless in bed, could not fall asleep, thinking and thinking and thinking. I think I might have swung up into a bit of a hypo mode. Anyway, now that's gone, as if hypo episodes burn my body out, and now I'm feeling exhausted and unmotivated and all around... feh.

An amazing thing happened last night, though. Jb came with me to therapy. He actually wanted to. How many guys would do that for you? My therapist thinks he's the best thing on two legs. It was a productive session. I think he got to say a lot of things that were on his mind, and none of them exactly hurt or were negative toward me, but I couldn't help feeling guilty, and ashamed, and humbled by how much he truly cares for me, regardless of my condition. There was so much love and worry there that it really made me tear up.

So. Apparently, I have the best boyfriend in the world.

Last tidbit about what I've been dealing with. Balance issues. I'm still having them. In fact, right after the therapy appoint when we got home, I literally fell on my ass when I got out of the car and rolled down the grassy slope. I'm always tottering. I almost fell on Jb while he was lying on the bed, and when I was cleaning the other week, I feel smack on the metal garbage can we keep in the front room. I've bruises on my arm, bruises on my foot where I dropped a fan on it, and I've fallen into the closet door in the bathroom more times than I can count.

What else. I've a DHHS appointment to review my foodstamps and temporary disability. It's at 8am, and there's really no way we can work the single car situation with Jb working. I've called to see if they'll reschedule, but I had to leave a message. I'll try again later because frankly, I don't trust them to get back to me.

And the SSDI. I got the info about my doctors, though I couldn't get all the dates of tests and visits. I had to fudge and guess years of when I saw some of them. Best I could do. But I can't seem to get further than that. I brought up the online application page and just sat there looking at it for an hour, overwhelmed and unable to start it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lost It, Again

I lost it in the office at the psych's. Completely, utterly broke down. Shaking, sobbing. I think I used half his tissue box. I couldn't stop. And he just sat there and let me cry, which made me feel stupid and dumb and broken. I admitted I hadn't been med compliant and that I couldn't keep up with the hydration on the Lithium to offset the side effects. And when he suggested Abilify, I had to shoot that down because I'd been on it and gained 50lbs. And that's when my last psychiatrist suggested bariatric surgery rather than meds. What the fuck?

So I'm out in the parking lot outside the office, calling Jb, because I suddenly realize what day it is and that he's not getting paid 'til next Friday, and I blew all our foodstamps on food for, like, 4-5 days and a bunch of crap, and we've a whole other week we need groceries for. So I fucked up. And I'm bawling on the phone to him about that. And I can't stop. I can't stop crying. Up and down, up and down, up and down. Fucking roller coaster, and I want off. But no, the psych says, "That seems to be symptomatic of your illness." So it's official: I'm a rapid cycler.

Anway, prescription changes: off the Lithium. Still on the Lamictal and Klonopin. Wellbutrin is now gone. Zoloft has been up from 50 to 100MG.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I haven't been writing in a while. Haven't been taking my meds lately either. I just can't be buggered. Which sounds blithe, but really, I mean that there's something inside me that simply doesn't care. I don't know what motivates it, what brings it into being, but there's a level of apathy that's so profound that I, very honestly, do not care. Last week, I didn't care enough to eat. This week and last, I don't care enough to take my meds. Tell me how that works?

Then there are days I'm fine, except for a mild Eeyore down. Something constant and stable in its own way. But that's a day or two, and it's deceiving. I feel like I don't need all this kid glove handling. Still, Jb says I've been up and down. And I haven't been doing things I normally do. I'm trying to lose myself in books and sleep. And it pisses me off. Because I thought I was better. I wanted to be better. I want to be better. I just want this all to end.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How Deep is Your Well?

A day best slept through than lived. You can only understand that if you've ever been truly depressed. Made myself shower. It had been a week since I'd washed my hair. Made myself refill my pill boxes and take my morning meds. It'd been three days.

I confessed to my therapist that I hadn't been med compliant. And she asked me why, which is a reasonable question, and I surprised myself by saying, "It's not really intentional. Last week, I was so high I didn't think I needed them. And then when I crashed, I couldn't be bothered to care."

There's a lot of that last lately. Can't be bothered to eat. Can't be bothered to care about food, groceries, money, bills, pills. As if they will all, somehow, magically take care of themselves. Don't care about my hygiene, how the apartment looks, if I'm able to get anything done.

I've started having the gas mask fantasy again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

They're Back

Psych took me from 600 Lithium to 300 because I was showing side effects. And while Lithium at 600 seemed to stabilize my mood, it stabilized it at a moderate depression. The 300 Lithium, however, doesn't stabilize me. I've had one 3-4 day period of hypo/mania, and I crashed afterward into a moderate depression. This is hell on my relationship with Jb. It's hard to feel close--for him, as well, I imagine. I don't know how to get closer to him when I feel like this. I feel so self-centered and day-to-day. The financial situation doesn't help. We argue over spending $5. That's how bad things have become. And the IBS just gets worse and worse.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Med Update

Therapist is going to help me fill out my SSDI form. My psychiatrist is behind this as well, which helps having the two behind you.

As for meds, psych is dropping me down to 300MG Lithium. I was showing side effects: shaking hands, disoriented, walking like a sailor. He suggested I hydrate more.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Restless 12pm

Can't sleep. Spent an hour tossing and turning. It's not going to happen. Couldn't sleep last night either. Up until 2am. I haven't been eating much. Lost a few pounds, despite the Lithium, which I hear tends to pack on the pounds. Just not interested in food, shopping, making meals. You'd think this was the beginning of an upward spiral, but I'm still walking--stumbling really--around at about a 3, though to be fair, I have my moments of okayness with Jb.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I feel somehow obligated to put up a post, to talk about what's going on with me. But I don't have anything to say. I can't get up quickly, or slowly, and I can't bend over or else I lose my balance. I smacked my head into the closet door yesterday and nearly went down on the Ikea rug. The shakes are worse and are making it hard to type or use the mouse. I can't tell if the lymphedema is worsening because of the lithium or the deteriorating stockings because I can't afford new ones. And I forgot to eat dinner last night. It sat there right next to me, but I kept forgetting it was there. Jb tried to make me eat it. I just put it in the fridge. I am ... nowhere. I see the psych and therapist on Wednesday. Until then, I remain tired (I'm not sleeping well), unmotivated, and I feel like an old lady at 33. It's wearing on me. On a scale of 1-10 today, 10 being the best I've ever felt, which is more like a 12 when I'm hypo, I'd say I'm walking around at about a 3.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This is like a meta discussion in graduate school: talking about talking about the disorientation that I've been dealing with. When I discuss it, it's always in the context of what I did while disoriented: nearly took a header off the front porch, fell into my car, fell headfirst into the bed. But I feel like what I should be talking about is what it feels like to have to talk about "the spins" or this rolling deck type motion that comes over me.

I hate having to discuss this. It makes me feel weak. This whole situation makes me feel weak and small, and at times, I hate myself for being this way. "The spins" are getting worse. I can hardly make it into the bathroom late at night. I nearly fell in the tub the other day. There are so many near misses. When it snows, I will surely bust my ass on the paving stones. Jb has taken to walking behind me, as if he'd catch me if I fall. He watches me, to make sure I make it in the door, up the steps, across the yard. And all I'm able to say about it is, "I can't help it."

For the most part, I don't want to talk about what's happening to me. I had a professor who told me that even silence is a form of rhetoric, and so it is. My silence says that I am, in some small place, ashamed. This is even worse now that I've started getting the shakes. When Jb and I go out for a smoke, I start to shiver and my hands start shaking. As it's coming on fall here, he's right to ask me if I'm cold. And sometimes, I say, "Yes," and sometimes, I say, "No" -- without any more explanation than that, though the true answer is always, "No."

All this silence, all this guilt, over a year since I went on FMLA at work. Around six months since the hospital, and in some ways, I'm worse. How can BP show up at 33 and just wreck your life? Oh, I know, I know. The signs were there. I made excuses. I didn't see them. But if they were spikes in the Richter scale of my life, this breakdown was the Big One. And yet, I still don't know how to talk about how I talk about it.

Monday, September 29, 2008


I can't help feeling overwhelmed lately. I've gone to 300MG of Lithium twice a day, and whether it's that or something else, I've started getting the shakes, the spins, mild headaches, constipation (which is funny, considering the IBS alternative), and dry mouth. All this on top of an IUD period. (An IUD period means you will bleed like a stuck pig, for days and days. You will go through three boxes of tampons, having to use one every two hours at your worst, and the cramps make you feel like shit.) So. Good times right now.

Perhaps it's all the physical symptoms that are making me feel touchy. I'm reactive to every bit of criticism, every bit of rejection. When Jb's goofing around, doing a little smack talk, I get upset. I feel disrespected. I can't find it funny anymore. I'm touchy about everything. I want to be coddled, loved, take care of, and I don't feel that at all. And then Jb yells at me for not being involved in our relationship. And I'm absolutely fluxommed.

And Jb and I are fighting again. I'm supposed to clean up, do the dishes, make dinner, do the finances, plan meals, go grocery shopping. This is supposed to be me carrying my weight. But I have no interest in it. I've no interest in writing this blog. I've no real interest in anything. Thank god the book I'm reading has only 2-3 page chapters because that's about all I can manage at once. And there's SSI to think about. I should start that. I haven't the faintest where to begin. I'm just ... I'm tired.

I hate smoking out on the front stairs now because there's something about looking down the cobbled walkway that sets me shaking, that makes me want to say, "Good dammit!" And then the knives start to glimmer when I wash them. They look appealing. And I start to wonder if you can overdose on Klonopin, and if it'd just be like drifting to sleep. Because I'm a coward when it comes to suicide. But it doesn't mean that I don't want to sometimes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lady Lithium

I call her lady because only a female can come up on you so sly. Four days in, and I'm noticing the effects: the constant diarrhea and abdominal pain (it makes my IBS look like a kitten), the severe dry mouth. The dry mouth I can handle. The gastro-intestinal stuff ... Gah, wasn't IBS enough? I've been up and down all night in the bathroom. I haven't slept well. I'm dreading when I go to lithium twice a day. The bathroom and I will become very intimate, I'm guessing. Least the lithium doesn't act totally like IBS. I don't get the sweats, the shakes, then throw up.

And on another front, I'm still having the spins.

I was also a bad girl yesterday. The day before yesterday, I cancelled my therapist appointment. I was so down that I simply couldn't handle having to go out, much less drive Jb to work and back, then out to my therapist and back, the back to pick up Jb, etc. I just couldn't deal. A moderate depression as these things go. Not suicial like the week before, but depressed enough to be absolutely immobilized. My therapist is a doll and has volunteered to help me fill out SSI because ... I just can't get started on it myself. It's far too overwhelming. She's even volunteered to make a home visit to help. So I hope I didn't piss her off by canceling. I haven't heard from her yet.

I guess my big thing to do today will be to call SSI and get them to send me a Starter Kit. Their webpage says, "Don't worry if you don't have all the information. We'll help you get it." I wonder which information they mean, and if it's true. I've heard that you have to give them everything they want and be as detailed as possible. I kept horrible records until some time after the hospital. I thought I was merely depressed, that there was no help for people like me. I didn't know I had options, safe harbors, like the hospital, SSI.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Letting Go

I sometimes wonder if I should let Jb go. He never asked for this. He told me last night he expects me to do some cleaning today, but I'm not sure he understands how difficult that is for me. How little I give a fuck. And it hurts him. My ups and downs, his constant working to support us, my inability to keep the house clean, the dishes done. The way I drag my feet about cooking, drawing up a grocery list, going to the store, though there's only a stale box of Rice Krispies, some peanut butter, and corn tortillas in the fridge. And frankly, I don't care. I don't eat during the day anyway. I could go without dinner. The only reason I bother is for him.

There's a point in some relationships where the bad starts outweighing the good, and when the bad goes on long enough, you can't help but wonder if you've lost the good. Having said that, Jb is my lifeline right now. He's who I hold on for, as little as I'm able to hold on. I don't want to hurt him -- even when I know I am -- because without him, I'd be completely lost. I'm not sure what would stop me during my episodes if it weren't for thoughts of Jb. But I've become an absentee girlfriend. I don't have the patience or attention span to listen to him. I lose myself in games and books, and when he's harsh with me, telling me I can walk up to the store to get my American Spirits, I'm not sure he knows that, no, I really can't. I think that he thinks I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and be done with it. I know he gets annoyed with me.

I was a crazy, awful wife to my ex. Crying all the time, moody, confrontational, hating him as much as I loved him, cheating on him, leaving him for impulsive jaunts to Michigan, Wisconsin, all with his money, buying things I didn't need. Spending, spending, spending. Being diagnosed with bipolar brings all of that into clarity for me. And while, I knew I had to leave him, that I had to hope there was something better, we were great friends, and in the end, I convinced myself that as hard as it was for me to leave, he would, eventually, realize he was better off without me. And that's what made it so hard, to know that I'd become a burden, and the sigh of relief he must have felt when that burden was lifted. How freeing that must have been for him.

I wonder if the same could be said for Jb. He says he wants to stay around, that if I didn't love him, he'd cry and cry and cry. An ocean full of tears. But sometimes people don't know what they're saying, what they're asking for. Jb would be angery to read this, saying something like, "Because I'm like your ex. Because I'm like every other man. I thought you'd know me better by now." He'd be hurt by the similarities I'm drawing. And maybe he is the stronger man, but I'm a handful: suicidal one week, manic the next, and in between I walk around in a moderate depression, unable to leave my front door, not wanting to interact with the world, incapable of drawing up a grocery list, needing my therapist's help to fill out SSI.

Sometimes I think Jb'd be better off without me, and that I should be the one to set him free.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I hate sitting down in my therapist's or psychiatrist's office and having to answer the first question they inevitably ask: "How are you 'feeling'?" Because my answer is bitter and jaded:

"Well, I was suicidal for four days the week before last. I was hypo Friday afternoon. By evening, I was full blown manic. I switch from day-to-day, week-to-week, despite being on a mood stabilizer, an anti-anxiety medicine, and three different anti-depressants. My boyfriend can't catch up with me. He calls me every afternoon to, again, see how I'm "feeling" today. Whether it's to be sweet or to know what he's coming home to, I don't know. To top that off, it's been six months since my hospitalization, and you know what? There are days I still sleep all day and hide in bed. There are still days I'm too scared and anxious to walk through my front door. I don't go anywhere because I'm afraid of the bus, and when I go out, I think people are always looking at me and talking about me. Then, there's the lack of focus and motivation, the forgetfulness, the inability to attend to detail. The dishes have been sitting in the sink for three weeks, the house is a mess, and I can't make myself draw up a grocery list. I honestly don't care whether we eat or not. I cry at the drop of a hat. I'm reactive to anything negative in my life: a fight, criticism, perceived rejection. Movies and songs and books trigger mood changes, and I can't always predict which movies and songs or books will do that. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which means I'm also stuck at home with diarrhea, sometimes up to 6 times or more a day. I know every bathroom on every route I take--just in case. And don't forget the "spins." One of these days I'm gonna fall and bust my head or bruise my tailbone. Because I can't walk without losing balance. I look like a drunk navigating the halls. I have problems getting up because I get disoriented and plop back down again. Then there's the irritability and bitch factor. I pick fights, I'm paranoid about what Jb thinks of me. I'm irritated and just want to be left alone in a relationship that takes two people. My boyfriend has actually sat me down and told me that because of being so withdrawn, I haven't been participating in the relationship. I'm anti-social. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere. All the things I used to like don't matter to me anymore. I jump from thing to thing, never able to settle on any one thing to do. So, I don't know. I can't sit or walk for long lengths of time because of my lymphadema. Sitting makes it worse. Walking more than a block or two is impossible because of the pain in my shins due to the medical stockings, which no insurance will not pay for and which are $400 every three months. So. What do you think? That's how I'm "feeling."

Is the total frustration evident?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Never Say Never

Raggedy edge, my ass. Got stopped last night by the police because my tags were one month out of date. We explained to him that we'd just moved and that the mail hadn't caught up with us and thanked him for letting us know, thinking all the while, if we were lucky, he'd let us off with a warning. No such luck: $60 ticket. On top of that, I had to renew my car registration to the tune of $120. I want to be like, "God. Seriously. C'mon."

Jb's got holes in his jeans, and we can't afford to buy him a new pair, though he can only go so long before work makes him get a new pair. His boots were so wrecked the sole was falling off, so his supervisor/boss took him to JC Penny and bought him a pair of $90 Timberlands. The one short sleeve shirt I have is demin and has started to fray at the sleeves like a pair of old pants fray at the bottom of the leg. Besides which, I ripped a hole in the arm. Our comforter is 10-years-old and tears at the slightest touch, which means the cat's had a double dose of fun, and there are feathers freakin' everywhere, everywhere. Can't afford a new one there.

We've a budget of $100 for two people for 14 days of dinners. Do the math: that's $7 bucks a day to feed two people. Between the battery in the car, the ticket, and the registration renewal, we've lost rent money. We can borrow from next month, but that's like robbing Peter to pay Paul. God only knows how we'll make rent next month. It's just putting off the inevitable. Gah, some days, some days, you have to wonder what all this is for.

You know, I'd really like to see a Senator or Congressman try to feed his family on a month's worth of foodstamps. I'd like to see him live in a studio. I'd like to see him try to make it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Raggedy Edge

There's nothing worse after a paycheck than having the numbers not add, than having that negative sign in front of a figure. So, here we are, on the raggedy edge.

Change in Meds

Started Lithium today. I almost don't care about the horror stories, the side effects, I'd take anything right now if it'd help with these mood swings. I'm riding a roller coaster, where the drops are steep and the rises aren't nearly slow enough.

Just Another Manic Friday

What kind of bipolar is it that comes and goes in a day? That leaves me strung out as a junky with the shakes, waiting for Jb to come home so he can take me to get my meds. I can't even punch the numbers into the machine for my debit pin I'm shaking so bad. In the car, I'm ripping through bottles for my Klonopin like it's life or death, and even Jb can tell I'm shaking like an addict and repeating myself over and over and over. I need something--anything--to bring me down.

Strange how it's almost as hard to hold on when you're out of control and too high to contain yourself as it is when you're depressed enough to be suicidal. The struggle when you're high is the lack of impulse control. Any moment you could do something you'd regret.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pride Goeth

So this is how it happens: you get slammed with a $200 utility bill you hadn't budgeted for; you then end up with overcharges from your cable and internet company, who, thus, turn off your cable and internet; then your boyfriend accidentally hits a squirrel; and the battery in the car dies when you're barely going to cover your bills this month, which, in turn, throws everything out the window. Now another bill gets shoved off. And so, pride goeth before the fall, or some such, and you're calling your therapist to see if her non-profit really does help out with money concerns when you're in a tight spot, even though you were too prideful to ask for help when she offered before.

That, my friends, is hubris. Or something.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Then, you can always trust Denis Leary to put you in your place.


Jb and I had the fight, the one that inevitably ends with, "I'm the one who supports your ass." The one that makes you feel small and guilty for what you are. Because you are capricious and mercurial, you are always wrong. Pile guilt upon guilt until you feel useless and dumb. And still you don't know who you are, or what you've become.

But you do know this: you are dependent on the kindness and beneficence of those around you. You are captive to good intentions, "love," the kind that brings resentment and distance, and finances. You are well and truly stuck, both feet in concrete, and you are sinking fast. You vaguely think of alternatives. Can you ever go home? Halfway houses. These are your choices, at 33, after you've had a marriage, a house, a job, luxuries. How much further can you fall? Not much. And maybe that's why suicide becomes such an option. There is so little to fear when you're so far down you don't know how or when you'll ever get back up. You fear being dependent and controlled--because you have no control of your own. You can't be someone's baby girl, their sweet, submissive "wife," even if you're only their girlfriend. People expect and they take, even when you're hollow. You can get blood from a stone, and they prove it.

I'm more and more aware of the ghosts from my past marriage. Aware that, though he neglected me, he never once yelled at me, never once said anything out of anger. The neglect was there. I felt small, unwanted, but I never felt judged. Though he seemed to have no use for me, he always wanted nothing but my happiness, and let me pursue it as well as I could. I had carved out a niche for myself: writing classes, friends, co-workers who were like family, the coffeehouse circuit and music. I did things. I was ... something. Here, I don't know who I am. I have no friends, no family, no co-workers who ever were as fine as those at my last library job. No surrogate mother who had me over, made me drinks, let me sit on her porch, and talked to me about life and love and shooting stars and words.

In my relationships, I have always tried to be what my partner wanted, as if, in doing so, they might love me more. It never works. You would think I'd know better by now. And I've tried being this for Jb, taking on his likes, his wants, not following my own. Unaware, anymore, of what my own likes and dislikes are. And so I stand in this maelstrom of someone else's life, twisting in the wind, pieces of myself drawn away in tatters. So when the accusations spark, the betrayal is all the more painful, deep. I've subverted so much of myself in an attempt to keep someone that I don't know what I feel, what I want. I am stumbling.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Time to Come Clean

Therapist appointment today. Nervous about discussing last week. The depression seems to have lifted. I'm feeling anxious and revved up today, despite having the wonky balance issues and having given blood this morning. (I actually fell into my car, which is better than falling out of it, I guess.) It's the nervousness of coming clean to the therapist. I know it. And all I want to ask is, "Does it ever get better?" Because, god, I don't know if I can relapse like that again. It will be the hospital next time. It was too difficult dealing with it on my own. And all the time, I wonder when Jb will break. Because I see the strain. I can't bear to put him through this. It's hard enough for me. I can't imagine what it's like for him.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Passing

So, it's passing. I think. I hope. That was probably the worst I've been since the hospital. Jb and I have a rule: no killing myself. Wednesday, it was a hard rule to keep. Thursday and Friday, I just wanted for him to come home. Smoked a lot. Rocked myself on the porch stairs trying not to think about it while I've got Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" playing through my head like that last strip of film that keeps slapping against the reel--over, and over, and over.

I should have gone to the hospital Wednesday. I should have gone Thursday. I was that bad. But I couldn't stand the idea of another stay, starting back at square one. It had taken me 5-6 months to pull myself out of the last one, and since the first hospital stay, I swear it's as if I get worse and worse, and never better. Or there's the hope of better, and then the crash hits. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But mostly, I couldn't put Jb through the strain of another hospital stay.

This weekend I have Jb as a babysitter. I've an appointment Monday with my therapist. Another Wednesday with my psych. It'll give me things to do, keep me in line.

Out of the blue, a woman I'd struck up a friendship in the ward called me. Last time I'd talked to her, she'd been convinced she was going off her meds and talking about suicide. I couldn't call her after that; I didn't want to know. I couldn't deal if she had. It was so good to hear her voicemail, to know she wasn't a fallen comrade, that I cried. When I called her back, I was suicidal, and she was completely manic. I couldn't keep up with her, as slow and dumb as my brain had gotten. But then again, how do you keep up with someone on a manic kick?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Crazy Baby

Joan Osborne sings it straight:

That Close

Yesterday was close. I needed Jb, I needed the hospital, I needed something. So when Jb said he was coming home, I sat on the porch, telling myself if I could just hold it all together until he got home, I'd be okay. But all that ran through my head as I was chain smoking, waiting for him, was, "Just bleed out. Just bleed out. Just bleed out." I kept rocking myself, starring at the paving stones, looking up at every car that passed, hoping it was Jb, hopping it was the one person who'd make it all okay. Never, never have I thought Jb could fix me, but I'm better when he's around.

When he finally got home, I couldn't stop crying. I felt so guilty having to admit that I'd been having suicidal thoughts. He asked me if I needed the hospital, and I probably should have gone, but then I'd be back at square one, and I can't go back to that. I can't climb up out of that pit again, and maybe that's why I wanted to end it all. I was so tired. So tired of the meds and the therapist and the psychiatrist and the fact that even though they're brilliant, I still can't bring myself to leave the house today; I don't trust myself with razors. I'm standing at the brink, always at the brink.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When's This Get Fun?

I can't stand the ups and downs. Last week, I'm hypomanic in my therapist and psychiatrist's appointments, and now I'm flat on the floor. I can't be bothered to do anything. The dishes have been in the sink for two weeks now, and it makes me hate myself. How can I not even get the dishes done? Sometimes I really wish I knew why we go through this existence. I wonder if too much education is a bad thing: it teaches you to question everything, and it doesn't allow you the blind acceptance of societal norms, religion, even psychological propaganda. I had a psychologist tell me once to get up and try to think of 10 things I was happy for. It's a tool, I know, but it's also a distraction. My mind doesn't work that way. It's a trick. Like politics. And it makes me feel less to give into such things. I want to talk and think about real things--not band-aids.

Vertical Issues

That's to say: I'm having trouble staying vertical. I've never been grace personified, but there are limits after which I will not take blame for my own actions. For example, the other night, I nearly took a header off the top stairs of our porch. I could see that "oh shit" look on Jb's face just before he reached out and got his arms around me. My hero, of course. Otherwise, I'd have fallen backward down the stairs and busted my head. Crazy person in the hospital with a head injury. Ba-bump ching. Funny, funny stuff, folks.

Anyway, I really don't know if it's a side effect of one of the meds or not. Zoloft is the most recent addition. But seriously, I walk around the apartment like I'm drunk. I'm good, and then all of a sudden my entire body wants to go to the right, and my feet are trying to catch up. I trip over myself constantly, and when I get up from sitting down, I often plop right back down because I can't quite get my balance. My ex-mother-in-law had an inner ear thing that kept her off balance, but I've no inner ear thing. Thus, I can only attribute it to meds.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Should Haves

I should have talked to my therapist about this today, but I didn't feel it until just now. The anxiety. The very real panicky, fear of going back to what I was. I'd die there. I'd want to die if all I had to look forward to was an 8-hour day and a few, precious hours at home. I have to go back. Everyone does. There are bills, rent, utilities, food. Nothing pays for itself. And yet, it scares me more -- the idea of going back -- then of being poor like this.

I've come to this point where I don't know who I am. Without my family, my home, my friends, the existence and hobbies I'd eked out in Illinois, I don't know who I am here. I knew who I was in my marriage. What my role was. Jb is more challenging. I feel more need to be the things he wants me to be, even though I know that what he most wants is for me to be myself. But I don't know what that is here on the East Coast. I don't know what to do here, or why I should do it, or who to be. And I have no resources in which to explore it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ain't No Reason

There's an official video, but this one's for the Firefly fans and Browncoats. They're all big damn heroes and too pretty to die.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

20/20 Hindsight

It wasn't until I was in the truck with Jb on the way back from the store when I realized that I went into the psychiatrist's office hoping for a different diagnosis. Something simpler. Not bipolar. It made me tear up.


Full blown hypomanic today, though. Speeding in the car. Nearly clipped a parked car and ran a red light, but god, the rush of driving fast again. My thoughts were all over the place and several times I had to ask both my therapist and my psych what I'd been talking about. My therapist called it a "flight of ideas." I think that's a euphemism for random, racing thoughts. But it was the first time she got to see that side of me, and it's useful in her sessions with me. Otherwise, I'm merely telling her stories. Same with the psych. It's almost good he saw me like that. I think therapists and psychiatrists, in general, believe depression more easily than hypomania. Probably because you seek help when you're depressed, but when you're hypo, it's a high, euphoric. Who'd report that?

New Psych, New Evaluation, Same Diagnosis

I love the new psych. I am not going back to the old one. The new one spent an actual hour and a half with me, listening to me, to my history, to my ideas about my meds. I was prepared this time. In all fairness to my last psych, he got me straight from the hospital, and all I could do for several visits was sit in the chair and cry. But this time, I used my resume to help create a timeline of episodes of depression and hypomania and brought along a list of my meds and when I was given them.

On first blush, the psych agrees that I have some form of bipolar. Probably bipolar II because I don't seem to show a history of full blow mania or psychosis. He's shoving Remeron off my list of meds, which I'd tried to talk my last psych into doing because I knew it wasn't working for me. And while my new psych thinks Lamictal is good for some types of bipolar, he thinks Lithium might be the better choice for me, but we need some baseline blood tests. I go to my new PCP Monday, and my psych gave me a "prescription" for what he required in the blood test.

He also wants my past history from the hospital, from my last psych, and from my last PCP. He's the first psych to be so thorough. And I could tell he listened to me. He agreed with me when I said that I thought they were merely throwing drugs at me and couldn't understand why I was on three -- count them: three -- anti-depressents. He'd like to have me try Lithium and get me down to one anti-depressent or maybe a muscle relaxant? That last bit I'm not sure of. I need to research that more in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

It was a second opinion, though, and he seemed utterly professional and interested in my input -- that I wanted an evaluation and a diagnosis. When I walked out the door, I told him how glad I was to have found him and that he seemed very professional and gave me a better evaluation than I've had since the hospital. He kinda smiled, like he was feeling a little self-conscious, and told me I was a very good patient. So I'm encourage. He seems like someone who's willing to work together on my diagnosis, and that matters a great deal to me.

I really lucked into this non-profit organization. They are, without equal, the best treatment I've received since being in Maryland. I even called the head honcho of the place to let him know how happy I was with my therapist and the meeting with my psychiatrist. After some shoddy treatment, you don't realize what a relief it is to finally find the holy grail of psychological specialists. And we often overlook people who do their jobs, and do them well. I wanted to be sure the head honcho knew what a great set of people he had.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is It Peace Or Is It Prozac?

New Psych

Tomorrow's my appointment with a new psychiatrist. I haven't given up my old one, entirely. I'm considering her a fall back option. But this new psychiatrist works with the same agency as my therapist, and as I like her a great deal and the agency seems extremely professional, I want to give this guy a real shot. My therapist and I have been discussing my diagnosis, and I've explained to her the whirlwind way they slapped a label on me in the hospital, then again at my last psych without any sort of true evaluation or tests, etc. My therapist said she was going to talk to the psych before my appointment, let him know what we'd been discussing. I told her if she should stress anything it's that I would really like to have a thorough evaluation, including tests if available and that's what it takes, and a real diagnosis. I need something solid to hang my hat on.

Here's hoping.

Axis of Evil

I'm slacking on my meds again. I got myself a day/afternoon/night pillbox to deal with all the meds I'm on because, frankly, at 12:30am, I'm not thinking the clearest; I'll pass up my meds if they're too much damn trouble. And that's what I've found myself doing. Late night can't be buggereds and early morning forgets. On top of that, my stomach and gut are acting up real bad.

It's the meds. It all comes back to the meds. It takes me roughly 2-3 hours to completely wake up in the morning. If I get caffeine, I can muddle through on 1 1/2 hours. But that's just it. Having to get up and drive Jb around in the early mornings, I've started chugging caffeine again after being off it for nearly a year. On top of that, I'm smoking more often. American Spirit Menthol Lights give me a slight buzz that Marlboro Menthols never did. The combination is chewing up my stomach, though, and it's creating this "axis of evil," where I'm using caffeine to get me up, cigarettes to bring me down, and meds to keep me level.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Shakes

Difficult day. Halfway through it I hit a full on panic attack. Couldn't stop shaking, felt like my heart was coming out my throat, wanted to rip out of my skin, thoughts flying fast. Was near hysteria. Wanted to cry, almost crying. Hyperventilating. It was like the morning before going into the hospital when I called Jb crying and hysterical and couldn't choke out what I wanted to say.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You Save Me

The Crash

Everything had been so normal, productive. More so than anything I'd experienced since the hospital. It reminds me of my childhood, the abuse. You could go days full of normal, and then out of nowhere, you'd get slapped down. Literally. Even now I have to use "you," second person singular, to distance myself from the memories. Depression feels like that. You find normal, if only for a few days, but there's always that trepidation that you'll have to pay for it -- with a slap out of nowhere, a hand that slaps you down, and there's a sort of a detached surprise when it happens, and then, like someone abused for a long time, resignation.

Mondays are the hardest for me. They're the first day I have to deal without having Jb around. That's strike one against me. But the previous day, we'd been driving in the car, and some country song had come on about weddings, fathers and daughters, the love and hope of a wedding. And it was disturbing how quickly it sent me back to my own wedding. Over ten years ago now, and I still remember it. How perfectly planned. How I never thought I'd end up separated, divorced. How maybe I shouldn't have married him. About how I'd felt myself shout "no!" inside when he'd given me the ring. How I should have listened to myself. It reminded me of how little I do. And it reminded me of failure, of a lifetime ago. And I felt such grief for that person that I was. For the tender moment with my dad. For the grief of leaving home.

Jb saw it, or part of it. There are things I can't tell him. There are things he simply can't know, having never gone through a wedding, a marriage. But he saw the part about my father. Knew I was thinking of him, and brought up a picture from my wedding I'd entirely forgot. It's the best picture taken from that wedding. My dad, in the library, holding an open book in his hand, dressed in the only suit or tux I've ever seen him in, with a silver glint of earring in one ear, and a mischievous grin for the camera. The big joke being that my dad's functionally illiterate, and he'd never in his life pick up a book or look like a man of leisure in a library and tux. He's always been blue-collar, down home, Southern through and through. And I love that about him.

It all was enough to trigger me, I think. I slept most of the rest of the evening, getting up for a couple cheese cookies I'd made for my birthday the day before and a drink. Then I crawled back into bed and slept the rest of the night. I'd get up for the bathroom, but I literally slept from 5 the following day until 4 o'clock on Monday when I knew Jb would be home. I had to be up when Jb got home, so I forced myself to take a shower. But the depression of those two days was so dark and deep that I couldn't fathom leaving my bed. And all last night, Lucy Kaplansky lyrics from "The Tide" kept running through my head, over and over and over and over.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My old professor always said that even silence was a form of rhetoric. And if my silence here says anything, it says that I've been busy, that I've felt more stable, that I've been taking my meds, seeing my psych, and seeing my therapist.

In fact, my therapist, and the non-profit she works for, seems so much more professional than my psych that I've gotten her to hook me up with a psych appointment there. I told her that the hospital was so shoddy, that I never see my psych, only his nurse practitioner, and that no one's ever sat me down for a real evaluation, and I told her I want that: I want a real evaluation and diagnosis. And she thinks that's a good step in the right direction. So many things mimic aspects of bipolar, and I don't want to be on five meds if they're the wrong meds for the wrong diagnosis.

We did broach a few subjects that I don't tell many people. Like when I'm elated, the leaves glow. Or that when I'm quiet, it's like I can drop in and listen to this party line in my head. That people are having distinguishable conversations. And that I've seen a shadow figure of a man twice at this apartment and that I used to see the shadow figure of a man and a small dog all the time when I was a little kid. We talked about Jungian psychology and getting more into that.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I'm feeling better. The moods come, but they don't linger. I'm restless and aimless, but it doesn't feel as frenetic. Music and lyrics and books and tv and movies still trigger me, but I can get past those. It's the anxiety I'm finding it hard to battle. When nothing's demanded of me, I'm fine, but a phone call, having to drive somewhere, having to go out of the apartment by myself, these still make my heart and stomach clench up, make me nauseous. When I'm depressed, I'm more apathetic than depressed now. Like everything's tumbled me smooth as a rock.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Major Life Events"

More than once, I've heard talk about "major life events" having a direct effect on your level of stress. There's a whole worksheet on the subject. According to the worksheet, my score is somewhere around 1000, putting me at "an increased risk of illness." Though it says to look over the past year, I took stock of the last three years, and this is what I came up with:

An illness that sent you to the hospital 74
Change in your responsibilities at work:
fewer responsibilities 21
transfer 32
Troubles at work:
with your boss 29
Loss of job:
fired from work 79
Major change in living conditions 42
Change in residence:
move to a different town, city, or state 47
Change in family get-togethers 25
Major change in health or behavior of family member 55
Spouse beginning or ending work 46
Change in arguments with spouse 50
Separation from spouse:
due to marital problems 76
Divorce 96
Change in personal habits 26
Change in social activities 27
New, close, personal relationship 37
Girlfriend or boyfriend problems 39
Sexual difficulties 44
Major decision about your immediate future 51
Major change in finances:
decreased income 60
investment or credit difficulties 56

death of cat
death of grandma

Quite a resume, isn't it? All of this is brought on by an e-mail from my "husband." He's prodding at me to start the divorce process, and while it's been nearly three years, which means it's certainly high time to get this taken care of, I feel lost at sea in terms of how to go about it. There's cost involved, which I can't afford, and a sort of panicky anxiety that kept me awake last night. And I can already feel myself slipping toward a depression.

I wish I could say it's only the paperwork and proceedings that are bothering me, but there's an old grief there, and a fear, that I don't think I've dealt with entirely because I happened so quickly into my relationship with Jb. And while there's nothing I regret in doing that, in being with him -- he's better for me and so important to me -- it's hard to shake off the memories of a ten-year relationship. It's surreal looking back, as if it were a life ago, and I can't remember who that girl was who got married, bought a house, lived this life with friends and family. It was a several states and a lifetime ago.

I definitely need to bring this up with my therapist. And I feel a little desperate about wanting, needing, to see her, but I'll find a way to get through until Tuesday. Until then, I hope Jb can understand if I'm a little more down, a little more distant. He has all my love still. But he knows how difficult it is for me to let go of the past, and today, it feels like the ghost of it is enough to overwhelm. It makes me shake when I go for my Klonopin like a druggie needing a fix.

What's worse? Jb's had almost as many major life events, and who and what is there for him?

Monday, August 11, 2008

You Are What You Eat

So, now that I've a cocktail of five drugs, I'm interested about what, exactly, I'm putting in my body. I mean, what's the difference between the three sets of anti-depressants I'm on?

According to Crazy Meds, Wellbutrin XL is a multiple reuptake inhibitor, which means:

These drugs affect more than one neurotransmitter, usually serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are the big three neurotransmitters responsible for a lot of depression issues. My wild-ass guess / rule of thumb is that imbalances of one or more of these three are responsible for 80% of the depression issues people suffer from. It's all just a matter of figuring out exactly the extent of the tweaking and what neurotransmitters you exactly need to tweak.
As for Remeron, it's a tricyclic anti-depressant. According to McMan, that means:

They work by preventing two neurotransmitters - norepinephrine and serotonin - from being absorbed by the brain cell's receptors, and can be a life-saver where other medications have failed. Some experts contend that because these meds have strong action on two neurotransmitters, they may be more effective than the newer generation of antidepressants, which largely zero in on only one. But owing to the fact that tricyclics are imprecise weapons that take out unintended targets such as opioid receptors and histamine receptors, patients are at risk for a range of unwanted side effects. Overdoses can be fatal.
Yay for fatal overdoses.

So, now, what's the Zoloft for? Apparently, it's an SSRI, or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Nice to know that the three are at least three different kinds of anti-depressant. Still, here's what Crazy Meds says:

These drugs don't make you produce more serotonin, rather they make your neurons soak for a longer period of time in the serotonin you already produce.

But is that the same thing?

That depends on the person and the sensitivity of your 5HT receptors. Sometimes it's the same effect, sometimes not. When not it could be sub-par (to the point of being useless) or too much.

These days serotonin is the first line of attack in conquering depression, and the most likely neurotransmitter to really mess you up if your problem is actually bipolar and not unipolar depression. While these are not happy pills, for unipolar depression they are often quite effective at keeping depression at bay. In addition to depression, SSRIs are frequently good for panic/anxiety disorders and some are good for OCD as well. SSRIs are sometimes good for the more common forms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Basically, the psych nurse is trying to cover all bases, it seems. I don't know how I feel about that. Wellbutrin and Remeron are in my system and have been for a while now. The Zoloft is the one that'll take nearly a month before I can possibly see any benefit.

I'm not even ready to touch the debate about anti-depressants and bipolar disorder. Maybe it means I don't have it. Maybe the fact I'm not having an adverse reaction means I've something else: major depression, unipolar depression, what have you. Sometimes, I think I'm drug resistant. Because I've been on Zoloft, on Effexor, Prozac, Cymalta, Trazadone, and one or two more I can't remember because it was long ago. They either seemed to help, then pooped out, or didn't help at all, or made me suicidal. Now I'm on nearly every type of anti-depressant, except an MAO inhibitor, which no one uses anymore, and a mood stabilizer.

It makes you think: if this doesn't work, what the hell will?

Psych Check-In

I haven't felt like writing here much. I had a good bout of depression going last week. Slept until 2:30 one day, got up for a few, then went back to sleep until Jb came home. Couple fights put me so low that I was thinking about the hospital and suicide again. It passed, though, which is good. I did make up an excuse to not see my therapist last Friday. Jb'll have a fit when he reads this, as I told him I was sick, which I was, just not in a way he could understand. Or so I felt.

There's other little things. I haven't cooked in a week or so. Haven't made a grocery list yet for this two weeks. Haven't done dishes in a week. Let the apartment go to hell. Jb helped me clean up this weekend (i.e. Jb mostly cleaned up. I've yet to do the dishes). On a side note, I did apply for unemployment today, and we'll see how that goes given the obnoxiously ridiculous situation that was my work's request for a voluntary resignation and then an unpaid LOA without any documentation whatsoever. I finally just quit, and I'll probably have to explain that.

Did see the psych, or rather, the nurse practitioner, who I like better anyway. She still considers me unstable and has put me on yet another medication, Zoloft. So that's what? Five psych drugs. You've got to be kidding me. I'm really unhappy with this. I'm almost to the point where I'm ready to throw up my hands, throw out all the fucking meds, and just try to work through things with this therapist, who I'm liking quite a bit. I mean, seriously, five fucking meds:

Remeron 30 MG 1x a day (Sedative/Anti-depressant)
Lamictal 150 MG 2x a day (300 MG total) (Mood Stabilizer)
Klonopin 1MG 3x a day (Anti-Anxiety)
Wellbutrin XL 300 MG 1x a day (Anti-depressant)
Zoloft 50 MG 1x a day (Anti-depressant)

Plus the Benicar, the Levsin, and the Protonix that I'm always on for hypertension and IBS. I honestly need a pill organizer at this point. A quarter of the time, I forget to take my meds. Maybe not so much. But I'm not daily compliant. I don't remember until too late in the morning, or I totally forget at night. Maybe an organizer would help. I don't know.

Feeling increasingly frustrated.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Sometimes, beyond crying and being able to get things off your chest, a good therapist pulls a pearl out of all your perceived troubles, and you remember something you'd overlooked.

Thank you, Jb, for being the kind of man who'll turn off the computer, the tv, pull up a chair, and talk to me about our relationship. There aren't many like you. I'm truly lucky to have a man so open to communicating his emotions, and committed enough to want to. I love you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bipolar Relationships

Bipolar relationships are a no-win situation. A Catch-22. In the beginning, the sane person is always the one to blame. After the diagnosis, the insane person is always the one to blame.

Before, your significant other can't keep up with your mood swings, can't intuit the things you so desperately need from one minute to the next. In short, they can't gallop along with you, so they're left dragging in the dust. And you hate them for it. You hate that they can't keep up, that they can't stand up to your racing, wanting, needing. There's yelling, disappointment, accusations. And they look at you, bewildered, bowled-over, and you can't understand their surprise, or their caving, and you see it as weak. They're weak, but you're strong. So much stronger, so much better, so far above the person you claim to love, but where's the love? There's judgment, self-righteous indignation, and, unbelievably, betrayal. How could someone you love betray you so when you've given them everything, every bit of you. And god help them, you have, and now, they've no idea what to do with you, and they question themselves, and you leave them feeling as if nothing they do could ever be right. And it never could be.

Six months and a diagnosis later, and you're the one who can't do anything right. Something in your life has broken. Something in your mind is broken. Your emotions are foreign things to you. You are out of control, and your significant other knows that you are. You are now the problem. Instead of galloping ahead after a righteous mad, you smack face first into an argument, into an accusation. Your loved one has become brave, and it's time to pay the piper. You're left bewildered. You question everything about yourself: Are you to blame? Were you that bad? Was the mood justified? None of it seems to matter. The only thing you hear, over and over now, is that you are wrong, you are responsible. You listen and listen and listen, and you wonder, tears near the surface, when it'll be your turn to talk. But you've lost your turn, and you think about calling your therapist to see if you can't get in immediately because you need to talk to someone. You need to talk to someone who'll listened. You are desperate for anyone to listen to you, desperate for someone to believe you without demonizing you. Because being at home feels more full of doubt than being anywhere else. And only a stranger can listen now.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crazy-Ass Welcoming Committee

This blog is not entirely solopsistic, though it might seem so. But truly -- beyond wanting to bash my head into a wall -- I am putting this down for posterity. Because no one invites you into the Bipolar, unemployed, uninsured, disability club. And frankly, someone should. There should be a full-blown, crazy-ass welcoming committee. And in it, there should be information on FMLA, the American Disabilities Act, the EEOC, and your local Department of Health and Human Resources. Because you will never see Oprah touting the latest diet craze: The Poverty Diet.

Department of Health and Human Resources: Your state has one. It is like the DMV. No one will explain anything to you. Checkmark anything that might give you money. They would be very happy not to give you any resources at all. They are helpful like that.

SSDI/SSI: Whether you are truly disabled or not, you will not get this. If you even apply for disability insurance (i.e. the government's money), they will reject you off-hand, and if you truly want to be stubborn, you need a lawyer and copious notes of dates and days before the government will let you pry any money at all from their cold, dead hands.

Hospitalization: There are good and bad mental wards. Your PCP probably knows something about this, as might your therapist or psychiatrist. Ask. All mental wards are not the same, but they are a little like prison. Keep juice boxes and fruit to trade for other useful items.

Food Stamps: Do not be fooled by the rhetoric. If you want your SO to be able to use the card, he can. No one checks who it belongs to. Do not, however, put their name on your application for food stamps unless you are married. If you do, you will not receive enough money to feed a gerbil.

The Poverty Diet: When the DHHR determines that, though you've been fired and have no money of your own, you aren't eligible for emergency food stamps, become religious. Religious charities are the number one place to receive donated food. Humbling, yes, but your stomach ain't rumbling.

Temporary Disability Assistance: There is such a thing, but you aren't supposed to know. This is why you check every box when you are in the DHHR. This can be hidden under something called Temporary Cash Assistance. Do not be fooled.

FMLA: Yes, you can take nearly 12 weeks of leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Your employer, however, will not like you, and most likely, they will find another reason to fire you -- if they don't force you into a voluntary resignation.

EEOC: You will spend half your day waiting for the three appointments they have available that day. In your appointment, they will listen very kindly, then tell you they cannot help you -- unless you wish to make your employer conform to the American with Disabilities Act.

ADA: The American with Disabilities Act does, indeed, protect your right to certain accommodations within reason. Your employer, however, has a much different definition of "within reason" than you do.

Unemployment: If your doctor has signed a paper telling the State that you are unable to work for a year and if you receive temporary disability from the state, you cannot get unemployment. Unemployment is only for people able and willing to work (i.e. though the body may be willing, the mind is not; your mileage may vary).

Medical Assistance: You can apply for this, too, from your local DHHR. While you're virtually guaranteed some sort of declaration about your food stamps and temporary disability within 30 days, medical assistance is a totally different beast. The medical assistance board is always backed up, and apparently, no one has -- or will divulge -- their phone number. You will rot for three months or more before you hear anything about this. Once you do, you'll understand why it's worth the wait.

Medicaid: Your medical assistance has been approved. If you're lucky, you get a nice shiny packet explaining things. If you're not so lucky, you get a phone call telling you that you have two days to find a Managed Care Organization and a PCP. However, once this is achieved, you will realize that when politicians talk about the Health Care Crisis, they are not talking about Medicaid. Medicaid is what it must be like to live in Canada. Your prescriptions are $1, your visits to your psych, therapist, dentist, and doctor are free. As are a host of other disasters.

Bankruptcy: It happens. You can't get unemployment, the state barely pays you enough to eat, and it could be months before you get medical assistance. In the meantime, you are accruing debt and medical bills as if you can afford to. Call your Credit Counseling Service. Then call your local Legal Aid office. They will waive all fees for their assistance. Go figure.

Psychiatrists/Therapists: Believe it or not, the title does not always fit the figure. Psychiatrists and therapists, the ones with the shiny credentials, may suck wombats. Most nurse practitioners and licensed social workers are far more caring. It can leave you dumbfounded when they actually listen to you.

Seriously, these are all things I wish someone would have told me. I learned it all the hard way, and not everyone wants to self-educate. These tidbits are valid, however, and have been learned through harsh real life experience or from other patients in the mental ward.

Here's The Thing

Complete and utter breakdown in the middle of a movie that triggered me, right? Today? Zilch. Some anxiety about going to the class on being your own defendant for a bankruptcy suit, which would probably cause quite a few people anxiety, but otherwise, nada. Course, the extra dose of Klonopin could be helping with that. As soon as I feel The Nerves coming on, I pop my mid-day pill. It seems to work quick enough, or so my mind thinks.

But some days, like today, I'm still amazed at all the fuss, the taking of pills, the two sessions a week of therapy. I feel -- really feel -- that I could handle this on my own if I'd only pull myself up by the boot straps and be brave. And get this, of all the things I remember today when writing about this, I remember a random Dolly Parton song I caught while changing channels past CMT:

"A girlfriend came to my house
Started cryin' on my shoulder Sunday evening
She was spinnin' such a sad tale
I could not believe the yarn that she was weavin'
So negative the words she had to say
I said if I had a violin I'd play."

And that's why we have therapists. Because I mean, truly, who wants to listen to such a person. Waiter, pity party for one please, with some cheese and whine to go with it. I'd certainly rather belong to Our Lady of Piss and Vinegar and show a little more backbone. Sometimes I wonder how much of the mental illness is what impairs me and how much of it is my grief over the diagnosis. In time, the mental illness I can manage, and God knows, I'll get over the grief.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Mistake

HBO had Girl, Interrupted on their OnDemand channel listing, so I told myself I'd watch it, when Jb wasn't home. And it's not me, it's not what happened to me, or where I went. It's the 1960's for Christ's sake. But there's so much there that rings true, and when the head nurse dumps Winona Ryder in the bathtub... I had to stop the fucking movie.

Valerie: You know, I can take a lot of crazy shit from a lot of crazy people - but you... you are *not* crazy.
Susanna: Then what's wrong with me, huh? What the fuck is going on inside my head? Tell me, *Dr. Val*. What's your diag-nonsense?
Valerie: You are a lazy, self-indulgent *little girl*, who is driving herself crazy.

Is that all I am? A lazy, self-indulgent "little girl?" Because I don't fucking feel crazy. I don't talk to myself, I don't cut myself, I don't lose complete touch with reality. But I can't stop crying, and part of me wants to be back in the hospital, back where I had friends, where I knew people, where seeing someone get discharged was enough to blow you over so that you were lying in bed all day. And each day new people rotate in and out, in and out. But you know the score, and when you snap, the staff is paid to deal with it, not like your boyfriend, not like the ones you love. And every day gets harder and harder.

Jb and I had a fight last night, and he walked out on me this morning--without even a word. Got dressed and left. And it's my fault. It's my fault. I feel like I'm going to explode. Like that game you played with dandelions, singing, "Mama had a baby and its head popped off." At least in the hospital, you all spoke the same language, and when someone broke down, you understood. No one judged you, no one asked anything of you, no one cared what you did as long as you took your meds and showed up for meals. But now things matter, and I can't even commute to the therapist without feeling like I'm going to throw up.

Jb and I

It's cliche. The way, when someone asks about your relationship, everyone almost always answers: It's complicated. Aren't all relationships? But ours has gotten more complicated. My irritability doesn't help; it puts him on the defensive, and there's nothing that can be said from there.

But therapy is going to open old wounds as well: the neglect from my parents, from my husband, the realization that as mother to my mother and roommate to my husband, I've had very few people -- hardly any -- who ever took care of me. I've been taking care of myself so long, of other people, that right now, I need someone who wants to take care of me. Who wants to put my needs before their own for once. And that's a tall order for any relationship.

I'm not sure Jb is up to that. Not with all the work he does to bring money home, or the way he feels as if I'm telling him he never takes care of me when he must feel like he always does now that he's supporting me. But it's a different kind of need, and one that's truly hard to explain to him. How do you tell your boyfriend you need affection, and lots of it, because you never, ever had it as a child. It's a tall order. Especially when your own experience has made you stingy.

The Therapist

Skinny as a whippet, but I'll try not to hold that against her. Despite that, she listens, and mirrors some of the things I'm trying to say. She thinks I'm reflective, intelligent, and brave. Flattery, of course, will get you anywhere. Bottomline: I like her. She wants two sessions a week. And with Medicaid, I can do that. I've had a good therapist want that before, but was unable to for lack of money. I have to relearn to drive, though. It's a 5-hour commute by bus and rail.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Psych Check-In

Haven't been sleeping well. Unable to fall asleep, so up until 3am, etc. Wake up feeling like I have a hangover. Using caffeine to get me functioning after being off caffeine for so long. All things I tried to convey to my psych today. She still considers me unstable, which is frustrating, and yet, true, and while she doesn't think I'm stable enough to consider a part-time job, she thinks some volunteer work would be good for socialization at this point. Happy to hear I have a therapist appointment tomorrow, as well.

My change in meds:

Benicar 45/100 -- 1x a day (Same)
Klonopin 1mg -- 3x a day (Upped)
Lamictal 150mg -- 2x a day (Upped)
Remeron 30mg -- 1x a day (Same)
Wellbutrin 300mg -- 1x a day (Same)

Since I'm having trouble sleeping, she's given me some leeway to mix my drugs around (i.e. taking Lamictal all at night or all in the morning, taking half a Klonopin in the morning if I'm groggy, etc.) The problem with the Klonopin is that it has a 12-hour half life, so if I take it all at night to help me sleep, how does it help my anxiety during the day?

I'd also be curious if anyone else experiences episodes of hypomania or anxiety that seem to be directly set off by doctor visits. I always seem worse when I go.

Oh, we also discussed my driving. I haven't been driving in a year or two. Jb's basically been using the car and what not. Lately, he's been encouraging me to try to get behind the wheel again, but it's causing me such anxiety that I don't think I'm ready for it. More importantly, my meds keep me off-balance, dizzy. The psych agreed that with my meds I probably shouldn't be driving until I'm more stable.

On a side note: The nation's health care system may suck, but state insurance for the needy, such as Medicaid, is a godsend. All of my prescriptions cost me $4. Free psych and therapist visits. Free doctor visits and lab tests. That's such a financial relief right now when I can't be working.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


So, after the huge energy, anxiety rush yesterday, couldn't get to sleep until 3am. Woke this morning feeling like I had the worst hangover. Sleep schedule this weekend totally screwed.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Started getting twitchy this morning around 11am. The anxiety sits like a knot in my stomach. I've been extremely productive: cake, calls, insurance, resignation, appointments, legal aid. I've been on the phone nearly all day, got up all the trash and even washed out the trash can. Did all the dishes. Baked the cake. Still feel like I could keep going. Something inside me feels like it's galloping, and as soon as Jb gets home, I'm snappy. Things aren't moving fast enough. Chop chop. Send out your IRS payment. Here, let me do that for you. Not getting done quick enough. Gotta move, gotta get things done. Want a smoke, can't wait. Alt-tabbing. Looking at five different sites at once and playing WoW. Tossing off e-mail to mom. Thank you for the birthday gift. Have fun in AZ! Scanning forums, listening to Pandora, twitchy, twitchy. Need to get things done. Need to do things. Everything in order. Right now. No depression in sight. Quite fine. More than fine. Better than anything recently. Slight elation. Can't listen to the music I've been listening to. Too slow. Too about depression and down. Not down. Up. Up up up. Need up music. Something fast and smary. Amy Rigby maybe. The Flogging Mollys. Let's go. Let's go. Vamonos! I got the pistol, so I get the pesos! That seems fair.

On That Note

I feel pretty good today, though I forgot to take my meds last night, and I haven't taken them yet this morning. There's a false sense of not needing them in that, I know. Because I feel fine. But that's probably because they're still in my bloodstream. The half-life of most drugs isn't short enough for one missed dose, or even two, to end in the drug completely leaving your system. But I will take my meds, I will try to make a cake I've been determined to make for weeks, and I'm going to try to mop, and maybe vacuum, while I have the energy and motivation.

N.B. This is when I wonder why I need to go in to see the psychiatrist or the therapist, now that I have one. I'm afraid I'll have nothing to tell them. That it'll be a waste of time. That I'll be fine, and no one will believe me about how I did feel, have felt. It causes me genuine anxiety.

Depression: How Do You Know?

Jb's comment from yesterday made me stop and think: how do you know someone's depressed? And it struck me that it's a bit like applying for college. There's a standardized test -- ACT/SAT -- in which you are compared to other students by a set standard, and how well you do on the test is determined by how aptly you're able to mold yourself to this set standard. But as a potential applicant, what does that really tell a college about you? You fit a standard, the way a depressed person may fit the DSM-IV-TR, but it's a very structured, impersonal assessment. Of course, then there's the personal statement. This is where you tell the school a little more about you, but mostly, you tell them what you think they want to hear so that you're accepted. It's not unlike the way those who are depressed try to move through their days, through their doctors' appointments, through therapy, through the workplace. For the doctor's, the psychiatrists, the psychologists, you try to tell them what they want to hear in order to get help. Because how can you voice what and who you truly are in a 30-50m doctors' visit. Around those you love, around strangers, around co-workers, you go one further: you put on a mask, as much as you can. For those few hours, you try harder -- to be what people expect you to be, to be fine. Because, like that college personal statement, only some statements are acceptable, and you're still hoping to live up to a standard that equates to acceptance -- into college, by your co-workers, by your loved ones. And still, no one ever knows how you feel alone in the dark, or during the day shut in by four walls, or curled up in bed for hours at a time, or when you smile that fake smile to pretend you're still there. You listen, you go through the motions, you try to do one or two things to make it seem like you're okay. But there's only so much anyone, other than you, can ever really know about how you feel.

Of course, sometimes, there's no metaphor for depression. That's when nothing at all matters.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Frustration Personified

I've been med compliant for at least two weeks now. So no weird ups and downs in meds, and the last few days I've been depressed as hell. Spending too much time in bed, not caring about anything, not even enough to make food. Just sort of let the hunger gnaw at my stomach because I can't be buggered to feed it. I have all these good intentions: straighten up in the front room, maybe sweep, do dishes, keep bathroom picked up, mop in the bathroom and kitchen. Doubt any of it will get down. Jb has the cigarettes at work, and I can taste them in my mouth, it's how I know I'm missing them, and I hate that, hate the way the taste comes in to remind me. I'm in such a mood today that I really think it's best for everywhere if I just keep to myself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I have a therapist appointment. It's with a Jewish Social Services agency, which feels vaguely weird for a non-practicing Catholic, but they take Medicaid, and she can see me as soon as next week. It's going to be a bit of a haul, nearly 2 1/2 hours by train and bus, but I need this.

Monday, July 21, 2008


After a three month wait, my medical assistance application was approved, and I've been accepted into Maryland's Medicaid program. It sounds like an amazing program. Free doctors visits, lab work, x-rays, gynecological exams, dental cleanings and fillings, surgery, inpatient and outpatient hospital stays, transportation, emergency room care, cheap prescriptions, mental health providers, including psychiatrists and therapists. Who could complain about that?

Except, there seem to be a few bumps in the road. First, I try to get a prescription filled, and they tell me Medicaid is my secondary insurance. I don't have a primary insurance, so this is, understandably, confusing for me and the pharmacist. Then I'm told, oops, they can't fill it because they're a DC store, not a Maryland store. (They're literally two blocks over the DC border line. But that's what you get in an area where three states converge in some weird Bermuda Triangle of politics.) So, on to getting the prescription transferred to a Maryland pharmacy. Roadblock #2: Medicaid does not allow prescriptions to be transferred. So back to calling my doctor to get another copy of the prescription sent to the new Maryland pharmacy.

Then there's the issue of my PCP. When I chose my Managed Care Organization -- UnitedHealthCare -- I called my PCP to make sure she was enrolled in it. Her office said she was. I get my insurance card with the name of a completely different PCP on it. I call Medicaid and they say my requested PCP's enrollment has expired. But that most offices with more than once doctor bill a patient's visits under the name of a doctor that is enrolled, and that as long as they do that, I can see any doctor in that office. So I call about this. They transfer me to the business office, which immediately disconnects me.

So. Medicaid should be a lifesaver. If I can every get the damn thing sorted out.

Disintegrating Oral Tablets, Redux

On third try, the disintegrating oral Klonopin tablets don't get any better. There's the issue with the blister pack. The damn peel back corner does not open the whole blister pack. It has this annoying tendency to rip off a tiny strip and only just to the edge of the depression where the tablet sits. Thus, you're forced to find some other damn way to get it open. I found out the hard way that disintegrating tablets are, apparently, more fragile than regular tablets when the tablet disintegrated in its depression while I was trying to get the thing open. It's all fun and games until you have to tilt the stupid blister pack upside down to try to get the crushed bits of tablet onto your tongue.

And then there's the thing about it supposedly disintegrating within a few seconds. Nuh unh. It won't disintegrate at all if I don't sort of rub it against the roof of my mouth. Then it turns mealy and sits there on your tongue. I'm not really sure if you let it sit there. It doesn't seem to disintegrate, unless whatever's needed to be released has been absorbed by your tongue and you're left to swallow the binding agent. Either way, it's oogey. And that's a scientific term.

Joint Venture

Jb and I had a talk yesterday. He doesn't think I should stop blogging; he thinks it's a good outlet for me and useful. I tried to express to him, though, that being laid bare and not being allowed into his thoughts about what's been going on is a little more vulnerable than I want to be. His response was that he didn't think he was supposed to respond to what I said here. I told him, on the contrary, I'd really like his response, especially if he posted it here -- to help me see how my perception of myself or incidents synch up with his perception of them. He agreed to try this.

This all stems from the fight we had over the weekend. Sometimes, in fights, I can't give in. I simply can't let it go. My emotions are too ... overwhelming. I become extremely tenacious or confrontational. Because I need it fixed, or else my emotions and mind go a little crazy, turning toward types of thinking that I really shouldn't: about breaking up, about hurting myself, etc. Anyway, when I finally got Jb to open up enough to tell me what, exactly, was wrong, he came back with this statement that I was always negative these days. I was negative about everything. And I felt, somehow, blind-sided. My knee-jerk reaction was to assert that I hadn't been negative all this time. But then, my belief in that became precarious. Had I been negative? Had it been something I couldn't see because I was so busy dealing inward with my own moods?

Having Jb comment on my posts, or on my emotional and mental state of mind, would help a great deal toward my own awareness, but it would also give me something to tell the psychiatrist. I can say I feel depressed, or I felt high as a kite, or I couldn't control my emotions, or half a dozen other things, but it's one thing to say how you feel or see yourself, and it's another to add, "And my boyfriends says I do this or that or the other." Since, we're assuming, this outside view of the situation is far more objective than my own inner view. Because that's what happens, isn't it? When you're inside the maelstrom, you can't see what's going on outside it. All you know is where you are, and all you can do is try to get through the worst of it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Klonopin Disintegrating Tablets

For some unknown reason, the last time they filled my Klonopin description, I got orally disintegrating tablets instead of my usual tablets. Let me just say this: (1) they do not disintegrate in a couple seconds and (2) the tastes lingers like no one's business. I would not recommend these. Ever.

Set Back

Status: Med compliant. Tired.

Concern: I'm considering scrapping this blog. When I first started this blog, I gave Jb access to it. I thought it'd be a way for him to understand how I felt and what I was going through. I think, after a fight I'll mention later, that all of this was more than he could handle. And I'm feeling as if I've let him too far in while he's stayed silent and kept everything in. I don't like the vulnerable position this puts me in. I already feel vulnerable, and Jb's feelings come out harsh in arguments.

Argument: It started over going to a freakin' deli for lunch. I had asked if there was anything there I'd like. I had wanted to know if Jb had even thought of me. I don't typically like sandwiches and subs, so I was unsure why we were going. Well, he hadn't thought of me. And apparently, my pointing this out had "ruined" the afternoon. We ended up in a yelling match, trying to out stubborn each other. Me, sitting on the curb by the car. Him smoking on the steps and leaving me there. What came out in the end was his feelings that I'm constantly negative these days. That we can't go out and do anything without my mood swinging, without being negative, and how do I respond to that? Giving him access to this blog was supposed to help him understand what I'm going through. But it's wearing him thin, and it's straining our relationship in ways I don't know how to deal with because I can barely deal with myself. I'm considering looking into a support group recommended by my psych.

The upsetting part of yesterday was that I was so hysterical, got worked up to such a point, that I probably hit manic for at least a few. And this is my problem: I go from depressed to manic to normal to depressed to normal to manic and it can be in hours, or days. It's not the periods of mania and depression that, looking back, I can begin to label and name. There was a point where I was so hysterical I wanted to go to the hospital because I really did want to overdose, slash my wrists. And it was frightening and impulsive, and I didn't really care. I was so tired of fighting, fighting to keep the feelings in boxes, away from the people I love, and being yelled out for not being able to do it. Since hospital over four months ago, I've honestly felt as if I've needed in twice in the last four months, but I've kept it to myself.

On the Good Side: I got my medicaid cards. They cover inpatient and outpatient care, so if I need to go to hospital this time around, I can. They also cover just about everything else without copay or out-of-pocket expenses. It's a life saver right now. I only wish I could find a therapist. They're as elusive to me as unicorns.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I can't stand the groggy morning. Up by ten, and it's 12:15, I've showered, and I still can't say I'm awake. The lids are heavy, the body leaden. I'm still third person twice removed from the world. I couldn't care less about anything, except maybe something to eat. But the idea of going out is a heroic endeavor. I'd like to crawl my ass back into bed and stay there. But Jb's home this weekend, so there's no hope of me getting away with such a thing. I'm just glad he wants to go out for sandwiches so I'm not required to do dishes, look at the kitchen, or bake the cheesy sausage thing I told him I'd make for breakfast. I really can't deal with making anything. Thank god, he likes tuna melts. It was an easy dinner last night. I just ... I'm not pulling my share this week. And I feel guilty about it, but I ... can't. I really can't. Everything is such an effort. The depression is back again. Some of the bad thoughts are back again, as well. At bay for the moment, but there at the edges.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Got My Mad On

So, there's nothing like getting a mad on to shoot you up out of depression. Over the last few days, a couple who've, for some reason, decided that I and Jb are evil, though we choose to have as little to do with them as possible, have made it their goal to flame both of us, ad nauseum, on a forum that we both frequent. It's been drama up the ass with these two. They both got kicked from the forums and their inflammatory threads removed, but I'm still furious. Who's so immature as to begin a character debate and slander campaign against another adult online? I know we're in an election year, but dear god. I have to tell you, though, I went from weepy, crying depression, to livid, absolute fury in the course of two forum posts. Anger as a cure for depression. Not a suitable thesis topic for the average psych student, I'd imagine.

Today's Playlist

What About Everything -- Carbon Life

In search of some rest, in search of a break
From a life of tests where something's always at stake
Where something's always so far
What about my broken car?
What about my life so far?
What about my dream?
What about.....

A Girl and Her Horse -- Carbon Leaf

And away she rides,
To the great beyond.
You can wave goodbye –
To a girl and her horse
With a bond you can't deny.

Not Only Numb -- Gin Blossoms

In the shade below the eaves
Think I could chain smoke anything
Im not only back, Im not only numb
When the air at home is thin
Getting out, then looking in
Yeah she knows, she knows, she knows
It aint awful hard to tell
What its like, my little hell
Yeah she knows, she knows, she knows.

Toy Soldiers -- Carbon Leaf

We find the people of our dreams
We find that they're not what they seem
I've learned that people come and go
I've learned that families break and grow
Toy soldiers brave away those tears
Toy soldiers hope for better years.

The Riverflow -- The Levellers

Life goes on and round we go and words can kill these things I know
Often you cut me, deeply so, but on the river flows.

[ . . . ]

But I still remember the day you said
That the river flowing through my head
Would take me far or leave me dead
And all you said was true .

Stop and Stare -- OneRepublic

Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're 'here' not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can you see what I see.

Follow Through -- Gavin DeGraw

So since you wanna be with me
You'll have to follow through
With every word you say
And I, all I really want is you
You to stick around
I'll see you everyday
But you have to follow through
You have to follow through.

Work Song -- Dan Reader

I've got all the fucking work I need
I've got all the fucking work I need.

Studying Stones -- Ani Difranco

I am out here studying stones
Trying to learn to be less alive
Using all of my will
To keep very still
Still even on the inside.

Life Got in the Way -- Sister Hazel

And I wanted you so much
Just like I do right now
I wanted us to be the one the poets write their books about
I wanted it to last
I wanted to grow old
But life got in the way.

Over My Head (Cable Car) -- The Fray

I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a queue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy.

One Green Hill -- Oysterband

It might he tears of laughter,
It might be tears of rage
You hate it and you love it
And it rattles at your cage
My people are survivors, living in the cracks
Whatever bad luck hands them,
They keep on coming back.

What was Wrong -- Storyhill

Roll the window down
Turn the car around and get the hell outta town.