Saturday, May 17, 2008

9:53 p.m. Waning of Words

Forecast: Frustration with slow country songs scattered throughout the afternoon. Moodiness experienced in the evening with a waning of words towards 10 p.m.

2:54 p.m. And Down Again


What more is there to say. -poof- From up, to down.

The energy feels like it's hiding somewhere, but it's not accessible right now. My lids are heavy, and so is my body. My mind, however, continues with this subtle static.

11:26 a.m. There and Back Again

I'm back in bed by 8:30 a.m. -- just as Jb's getting up. I stay in bed until 10:30 a.m. My dreams are vivid, some sexual, though I don't remember any of them. I heard the phone ring at one point, but decided, as I usually do these days, to ignore it.

Once I'm up, I'm... up. I still have energy. I still feel good. I'm ready to take on the day. I hop right into the kitchen to make Pillsbury Sausage and Cheese Crescent Squares for breakfast. Another surprise for Jb. They take preparation -- love -- to make and bake.

I want to play WoW today too, which I haven't really wanted to do in ages, though I have -- for Jb's sake. But it was always a task, something I was doing as a means to an end: to make Jb happy. Now, I actually want to. The way I want to read. Knit. Write.

My focus still isn't what it might be. I want to do everything at the same time, or 2 or 3 things, at the very least, and so sometimes I alt-tab between 3 different wants, not really focusing on any one thing, but spreading my focus, and thus, my productivity, thin.

Note to self: I am still unable to reach for some words. "Productivity" eluded me.

I'm Fine!

I had the I'm Fines last night.

They were accompanied by a late-late night, thoughts thrumming in my head, my own interior monologue and endless soliloquy, and an early-early morning, along with this burst of energy I can't explain, and a focus I've lacked for weeks. This is when I wonder if I'm showing signs of hypomania. Or if I'm merely getting better.

Of course, last night, I kept having visions of myself swaggering into my psychiatrist's office, brazen with the euphoric feeling of not being depressed, and announcing, "I'm fine! Really! I'm perfectly fine! In fact, I think I can go back to work. I think I should go back to work. And you know what? I don't really think I need these meds anymore. Because I'm fine! Couldn't be finer! No depression here. In fact, I've all this energy, see, and I've been thinking maybe I'll write that novel I'm always talking about, and I could teach on the side! That'd be perfect! And, you know, maybe this'd be a good time to go back to school, too. But I have to do the move first; Jb would insist. But after that, I mean. I could start knitting again! And reading! I'd die to cozy up in bed with a Nora Roberts trilogy on a Sunday!" And on and on. Until he saw that I really was fine, and all this disability business, and unpaid leave of absence, and medical assistance could finally be done. Because, hey, I'm fine now! I can handle anything! I don't need these meds!

Except, I do.

6:20 a.m. To Sleep Perchance to Dream

Jb's gone by 10:30. He's come down with a cold and is out like a light. For the first time in weeks, I can't sleep. I lie in bed well past midnight, words and thoughts rushing through my head. I've narrated all of my hospitalization, dissected parts of my relationships, my marriage, explained away the periods of increased sexuality, the nights I've stayed up until 4 a.m., and still the words keep flowing in my head. I try meditation, but I'm too distracted. The Tibetan monks call it "monkey mind." And when I try to relax my mind, it begins to hurt, like a bruise.

There's something else. the party line isn't there. In the past, late at night, when everything is quiet and so am I, if I focused inward, staying unobtrusive and silent, I could hear 8-10 voices paired up in conversation in my head. It's like eavesdropping on someone else's phone call. Sometimes I'd get vague flashes of context, especially if it's a family member, and sometimes, it'd merely be a low static of sounds in my head that I rode to sleep.

Don't think I'm confused. It's not the voice of my mind making these conversations up. I know the difference. Because once, and only once, there was a slick, black voice that told me upsetting things and asked for dangerous favors.

I finally fall asleep long after midnight, dream the vivid dreams I seem to have now, and remember none of them. I wake at 3 a.m. and then again at 6 a.m. It's more than that, though. I've been up and about most of the night. Because somewhere between midnight and 3 a.m., I ate the rest of the cookies I baked. Again, the Remeron. The sugar cravings are killing me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

6:52 p.m. Playing "Wife"

I lasted until 4 p.m. before I crawled into bed for two hours. This was after, I think, I told Jb I'd make dinner, which I promptly forgot. I do remember the noise of the tv, the computer, Jb smoking, and it's like a static in my head that I can't tune out. I have problems with noise now: too much of it, too loud, too sensitive to it. Sometimes, when I want to sleep, or get very very quiet so that I can visit the party line in my head, I resent the noise. And so I resent Jb.

"The bitch" itches just below the skin, waiting. One minute, we're laughing, the next, Jb's looking at me wrong, I'm paranoid about what he's thinking, every expression is some comment on my condition, every request, some monumental task I can't stand to do for him. This is not about Jb. There is something wrong inside me, and anything can trigger it. And the bitch scratches her way out, scratching eyes and hearts in the process, and even when I know, somewhere in my mind, that there's no reason for this, it happens all the same. And because it does, the bitch becomes me; I become the bitch. And my mood dives.

So I play the "perfect wife" game. Dinner ready and on the stove at 5:30. Fresh-baked brownies, cookies, lasagna. Because I'm hoping food will forgive everything else Jb has to deal with; I'm hoping he'll see that I love him, that he isn't just a paycheck, which it feels like more and more when I'm numb and indifferent. Still, even then, I know that I love him. It's the disconnect in the knowing and the feeling, always that gap that I'm too tired, too sluggish, too down to traverse. Until the numbness lifts again, and feeling becomes fact. Up and down. In and out.

This is how my last week has gone:

10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. -- Wake up.
10:10 a.m. - 2:40 p.m. -- Rummage in the fridge for a breakfast I don't want.
10:40 a.m. - 3:10 p.m. -- Sit in my chair and stare uselessly at the computer screen.
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. -- Try to pack one box, do one thing, so that I have something shiny to hold up to Jb when he comes home: "Look, I did the dishes! Look, I packed a box!"
3 p.m. -- Nap time. Deliberate or otherwise.
5 p.m. -- Start dinner.

I am happy when I manage one thing and dinner. I have managed this almost every day this week. I consider this a good week, despite how I might have actually felt. Because managing one thing and dinner looks, from the outside, like normal.

2:27 p.m. Slipping

Not even an hour later, and I'm slipping downward again. My eyelids are heavy, and so is my head. I'd be crawling back into bed if Jb wasn't home. But he is, so I'll fight it and try to hang on. I want so much to sleep. I eat the last piece of bread and butter that's been sitting next to me all morning, and smoke.

1:45 Happy?

Jb's home. We're playing World of Warcraft. Priest and shaman. PvP. We're laughing. The cat's cute. Playful. She swats the "logoff" key on Jb's keyboard, and we're laughing as he has to reboot.

Ten minutes later, it's a numb sort of happiness, as if it's been blunted, or submerged under water. It's still there. I know I'm content, doing well, fine. But over that, there's a certain distance. As if knowing and feeling are separate functions.

12:32 p.m. Seeing Things

Yesterday, in the bathroom, I saw a shadow go past the bathroom door. The cat whipped her head around as if she saw it too. We both looked back at each other, as if for confirmation, then we both pretended it didn't happen.

12:25 p.m. The Big Forgets

I forgot to take my meds last night. I remembered, then forgot. Somewhere between walking from the fridge to the bed. I do that now and then. Forget my meds. I ask Jb to remind me, but his ADD/ADHD makes him as forgetful as me sometimes. I used to be the responsible one. Now we're both in a boat without oars.

My Med List

  • Adderall 10MG 2x a day
  • Lamictal 100MG 1x a day at night
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin) 1MG 2x a day
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron) 30MG 1x a day at night
  • Nexium 40MG 2x a day
  • Benicar HCT 40/25 1x a day
I keep them all in a white plastic bag that says, "Washington Adventist Family Pharmacy: Thank you for shopping with us, and please come again." When I go to see my primary care physician, I take the bag with me and clutch it to me as I wait for her. I can't remember my meds and the dosages without my bag.

10:58 a.m. Forgetful

I wake up at 10:31 a.m. from some dream where I'm driving around with two younger men, trying to keep them occupied, for what reason I don't know, and the front of my sweater is unraveling. The boy driving seems to be waiting for it to unravel completely, which I find flattering, assuming he has some sort of cow-eyed crush on me. The dream ends with an ego-shattering realization that he simply likes looking at breasts and it has absolutely nothing to do with me.

Waking up always leaves me groggy now, and it's not uncommon for me to wake up 2-3 times, then go back to sleep, while the morning creeps into afternoon. The latest I've slept this week? 2:30 p.m. A new record for me.

I've gotten up to get some bread, butter, and cheap brie (I'm proud that it's cheap, and that I'm eating it in quarters) for breakfast, but I'm not really hungry. If I think about food, I think about the cookie dough in the fridge. That's the sugar cravings from the Remeron. The grogginess and disturbing befuddlement that comes and goes may be the Remeron, too.

Because I'm forgetful now. Small things. And big things. Like locking myself out twice yesterday. Once because I forgot my keys, and the second time, because I picked up the wrong keys. I stood down in the mail room yesterday looking at the wrong keys in my hand absolutely unable to comprehend that I had keys in my hand, and that they were the wrong ones. Once my brain had established this in its painfully slow way, I went to try to open my mailbox with them anyway. Within seconds, I'd forgotten I had the wrong keys in my hand.

Then, this morning, I completely forget the maintenance men were supposed to come do the preliminary walk-through of our apartment before we move. The knock on the door is a complete surprise. That I'm surprised, however, doesn't surprise me. Instead, I think I should start writing these things down.

That I want to write... Now that's something that also surprises me, but in a completely different way. I haven't written or read anything since hospital. That's coming on three months now. So I wonder: Does this mean I'm getting better? Are the meds kicking in? Or is it only another up in an up-and-down world. And if so, when will the down come? And how deep will it be?