I don’t know if I’m in a bad mood or not. I feel shitty. Mopey. But not depressed. The super fucking confusing to me. And upsetting. But it’s manageable. But it’s annoying and I don’t like it. But it isn’t paralyzing me. Why is existing still something I have to feel guilty about? I’m confused. This period of my life is just uncertainty. Now that the other chaos has subsided, the uncertainty I’ve always been plagued with can be front and fucking center. It’s fine. I’m just off and blah and yucky. I can’t focus, either. Which doesn’t fucking help. But anyway.
I was thinking, and I’ve decided that morning routines aren’t easily attainable for people with adhd (like me) who struggle with jumping from one task to another. BUT. they’re super necessary for people with bipolar disorder (like me again!) who have a messed up circadian rhythm and could benefit from structure and routine to counteract the chaos they live with internally. but like
WHAT ARE BIPOLAR PEOPLE WITH ADHD SUPPOSED TO DO
My morning routine consists of doing different tasks in succession, as routines do, and I’ve been toying with it since I was in the hospital in February, right before quarantine started.
Maybe I’m just lacking other structures in my life, but it is frustrating, I think.
I went to the beach to take a picture with my orb because I’m turly enjoying being artsy with this thing.
I had been itching to get out of the house, as always, and I didn’t know where to go, as always, and I was uncertain that I’d actually wind up at the beach until I actually got there. And even then, I wasn’t sure I’d get out of my car to take a picture.
[I’ve been in a funk. I don’t want to call it depression because I’m so fucking medicated how could it possibly be depression…but like, then what it is? Just me being a piece of shit?]
Uncertainty. It’s an ever-present force in my life, and it has been for a while.
But anyway, I got to the beach, got out of the car, walked down to the long stretch of sand, and took some pictures. It made me happy out of habit. It was a dulled sort of happiness. A happiness that shrugged and was just like “eh, this place makes me feel good so I guess I feel good.”
Then I walked a bit further to the water. I put my photography crystal ball thing down. Snapped one pic. Two pics.
Then I noticed the water getting closer to me. I grabbed the ball, and…couldn’t get up. Fuck fuck fuck.
I was soaked with ocean water before I had the time to curse myself for forgetting I have arthritis and can’t move normally but fuck, I still couldn’t get UP. I scooted up towards dry sand, and after (I shit you not) FIVE or so MINUTES, I was able to stand up like a normal human being, trek back to my car…
and start laughing hysterically as I snapchatted a friend to tell him what happened.
I drove back home listening to Disney music feeling as anxious as I’ve been feeling lately, but happier than the dull-happy I’d felt before getting overtaken by the ocean on this luckily-oddly-warm winter morning.
Life is weird and I’m grappling with it on a super-deep and weirdly existential level, I guess (why are we here, what is the point, what am I doing, why bother doing it)…but at least I got th play in the ocean today.
I’m having a hard time focusing. I’m anxious and stressed out over it. Feeling yucky. Off. Like somethings wrong but I can’t figure out what. The result is irritability and frustration. It’s overall just a dull version of what I’ve been feeling for the better half of my life (bipolar depression).
But I have to remember that for the better half of my life, I’ve suffered from bipolar symptoms/depression. That explains what this bullshit is. It’s just way less intense because I take 193741 pills every morning and night.
I can either see that as an unfortunate reality, that nothing can ever fully cure this bullshit. Or I can see it as an improvement, an important step forward, a bridge to being able to do better things.
I know I’d benefit from proper adhd treatment. But my heart definitely leapt when I had that a-ha moment of “thhaaat’s what’s going on here.” It feels better when things make sense, at least.
In March 2019, which feels like yesterday but also a billion years ago, I wrote about how I often found myself getting mad when unfair shit happened, or when people were just cruel (as people so often –too often—are). It was something that a therapy session made me delve deeper into, and I clearly remember writing it because I thought the phrase “emotional Robin Hood” was cool.
Welllll, I had therapy today, and that phrase popped into my mind again while we were talking about something. This time, it was more relating to how I need to stand up for myself. How it’s okay to know what I need and make sure I get it, how it’s okay to be confident and certain.
When we hung up (because therapy is vi a FaceTime, thanks to covid, even though I really want a hug, and I told her that haha), I dug up the thing I wrote that I was thinking about.
And I’m still thinking about it.
First of all, I’d like to think that I’ve made progress in my life, and that my issues now are pretty different than the ones I had a few years ago. And thankfully, that’s mostly true. But I do still circle back to things that were troubling me in year past. I revisit them from time to time as my life flows to bring them up again.
I definitely believe that we are taught the same lessons over and over again until we fully learn them (and that then life starts to teach us new ones), so I’m not stressing that I have to redo some soul searching.
It’s actually kind of interesting to see how I deal with a particular problematic behavior or emotion now as opposed to how I did then. It reminds me of pulling out old journals and reading through what I wrote and then re-processing what I was going through. That’s gotta be healthy, right? Growth, progress, learning…it can’t be a bad thing to focus on those things.
So. Basically we were talking about how three of the four psychiatrists I’ve seen were not good for me. The first one I’d been with for over ten years and he straight up just wasn’t treating my bipolar disorder. Like. Dude. Give me meds. Proper bipolar meds. But that’s a sidenote. I was going to say that three of the four have made me feel shitty about taking my adhd meds. Like I don’t deserve them, like if I’m taking them I’m wrong, like I’m lazy for needing them.
Like, this current one, until recently, only gave me 20 pills for a month. I…need to concentrate every day??? Like???? I don’t get it.
Anyway, my therapist and I were talking about college and how I feel like I didn’t try hard enough (not that anyone should blame me, my brain was trying to murder me up until 10 months ago). She said about my stimulants, like, “why do you value what those three psychiatrists think? You know what goes on inside you and your body best.”
(Have I mentioned I love my therapist?)
Then we got on the topic of not giving power to those people. She said another one of her bipolars told her a quote that stuck with her: don’t throw pearls at pigs. Meaning don’t waste my good shit for shitty people that aren’t supportive.
That’s what made me think of my emotional Robin Hood thing. Whatever she said in regards to not going out of our way for cruel people.
None of this seems to be related, and maybe it isn’t. But I like that I have writing to help me reflect on things that are hard to wrap my mind around. So I’m not upset about uploading this sheer mess of words to this thing. It’ll be good to look back on 😊
Wallowing in feelings of defeat won’t accomplish anything!
I’m okay, I got this, I have the situation under control
I’m worthy and valuable regardless of my mental state
People love and respect me
I am smart and creative and I have good ideas
I give off good vibes, I’m fun, and people like being around me
I have cool hobbies and interests
I am resilient (boyyyyy am I!)
I know how to calm and ground myself
I’m strong as fuck
I have so much love inside me, and I give it freely, and that makes me happy
Life is in constant flux but that fact is oddly comforting
I am whole
I am unique
I’ve been having a weird week. I’m mopey. My mood is low. I know it’s probably because of the lack of daylight (I love winter but ugh). Or maybe it’s just that I always get like this before Christmas. I can’t complain. I haven’t had an episode in almost ten months (since I was in the psych hospital), and that’s three times as long as I typically go. And even still, like I’m irritable as hell now but it’s manageable and that’s phenomenal. I feel guilty complaining. I definitely don’t have the “right” to (but see that’s an example of the negative thoughts I’m trying to kick away).
I don’t think I got anything done yesterday (besides some online Christmas shopping!), but today was better in that regard. And in lots of other regards.
I woke up around 8, took my meds, recorded my mood info on my apps, got dressed and ready for the day, got my coffee. Typical.
But I checked off a few good habits from my list. Made my bed. Stretched my aching body.
Oh, I painted my nails. I picked out a few outfits for this week (a practice I was into back in my high school years…laying out exactly what I was going to wear because that’d be one less thing to think about during the chaotic week ahead).
I got some volunteer work done. I took one of the last tests for my class.
Texted with various people. Went out with my boyfriend just so we could say we left the house haha.
I’ve been reading more, which is good. I tend to start books and not finish them (hello, hi, I have ADHD) , and even though I usually beat myself up about that or make it a goal to NOT do that, I’ve stopped feeling guilty about it. And it makes me a happier reader. And besides, they’ll always be there for me to finish later, AND it makes finishing books that much more satisfying.
In other news, we finally figured out what’s wrong with my body. Apparently my bloodwork showed my rheumatoid factor was as high as it could possibly be (over 100 when it should be around 6…yeah, SIX). And with that, and with a few other tests, the doctor concluded that it’s rheumatoid arthritis.
I’m glad it has a name. I’m glad there’s a reason why I can’t hook my bra or lift my legs to put my underwear on (and then my pants, and then my socks, and then my shoes, and ugh holy shit).
I asked her why I have it, what I did wrong. She said I didn’t do anything wrong lol, it usually happens after the body goes through some tough shit, like having surgery or giving birth. I didn’t experience either of those, so go figure, but eh, maybe starving myself yet again for a few months had something to do with it? Whatever.
There’s a medication I can take to help the arthritis. Another pill (twice a day). Add it to my collection. It literally looks like I have a whole pharmacy on my dresser. I’m not mad; it’s worth it to be able to MOVE and FUNCTION haha, but yeah.
The meds won’t kick in for a few more weeks, so in the meantime I’m on another steroid to help ease the pain. The last one really helped, which is a testament to how inflamed I am (oh joy), but you might recall me mentioning that I was rather moody.
That IS, apparently, a thing. I felt a lot better when I realized that was probably what was going on. Although I of course started to question myself and be all like “well maybe I’m just imagining it.”
I’m on a small dose of steroid, but I’m finding that I’m pretty sensitive to it. I’m irritable today. Just the same as last time.
I talked to my psychiatrist about it. She said to trust myself and do what feels best. It was nice to hear her say that she thinks I’m self-aware. Mostly because I don’t really know this woman. I’ve never met her in person (thanks covid), and just, ahh. Whatever. I’m just glad she gives me the meds I need now.
I’m excited to talk to my therapist tomorrow about, well, about all the things I just wrote about. It’s always fun to process things. It’s even more fun for me to process things with my therapist (who’s so fucking cool). Added bonus when I’m process things that aren’t terrifying, terrible depressions or all-consuming anxiety and whatnot.
My moods was stable as fuck and consistent for a good three days and today I’m just blahhhh, which I guess is normal, but it’s annoying. I’m unmotivated and uncertain and unfocused. I somehow turned a cozy and relaxing day into a waste.
I do so much mood tracking and I’m so careful with how I handle my moods and symptoms and how I handle my disorder. But am I doing ALL that I can? Does any of it even matter?
I’m disappointed that my class is turning out to be less than ideal. I mean, it is what it is, and I’ll take what was given to me and run with it. And I guess it’s good that I’m sure of my values and sure of how I feel (which is a rare thing with me haha, in terms of feelings, at least). I’m determined to not less this whole experience bring me back to the center of nowheresville.
See? Trying to be motivated. Because all I want is to be creative and productive and to make a difference. Or a impact. Or something. I want to be loved too, and to enjoy love and affection, and somehow that’s lumped into this whole paragraph??? My brain is weird.
I’m really sick of the rainy weather and I know it has such potential to be comfy, that it’s great reading weather, that it makes the flowers grow, blah blah. But like fuck I need some sunshine I want to sit outside and have my mornings out there.
Speaking of which, I need to regulate my sleep. I’ve been sleeping GOOD, to be honest, but I go to bed too late or sleep too late even when I go to bed early. I want my mornings. I need to set the right time for my day. It fucks me up when I have a bad morning, and even though I know I always have the power to turn my day around, it annoys me.
First of all, I’m not in pain anymore. It might be the MEGA DOSE of vitamin D every week working for me or maybe the steroids calming down whatever inflammation was there or perhaps both. But I’m eternally thankful to not be in constant discomfort. And more than that, I’m thankful to only have one more steroid pill to take because I really looked into it, and bipolars really should avoid them. But anyway.
I dunno how I was okay with suffering for so many months not being able to bend or stretch or move or use my muscles (not sure how I went 14 years without being properly treated for my mood disorder, but I guess that explains the other thing now, doesn’t it, Lol). I talked to my therapist about that. Good times ❤
I have to wait a few more weeks to see what the actual issue is with my body (I was told it could be something autoimmune, so like, I’m eager for an answer and a plan of how to deal with it from here) but I feel patient.
I’ll tell you a THING, though, I was pretty hyped up and approaching hypomanic this weekend. Like. Whenever I start laughing like a lunatic, that’s when I know something concerning is happening. And also? This one is hard to explain, but when I relate SO MUCH to a song that I feel it in my cells?? Yeah, hypomanic. I first noticed that in 2018 when I was wildlyyyy and chaotically energetic and I had this one song on repeat and I was swimming laps like a pro swimmer even though I’m not and just, I felt every note, every lyric, every facet of it, and I felt it so deeply.
Bipolar people tend to feel EVERYTHING deeply. We feel more. We react more. That’s an actual thing. But the way that relates to music is a telltale sign for me. I’m not articulating this in a way that does it justice, but I think that’s fine. I think my peopleeeee will understand this ❤
We talked this morning about how powerful it is to be vulnerable and how it’s sometimes difficult. I felt a bit disconnected from the conversation because I’m usually able to be vulnerable very easily. At least with other people. I’m good at relating to other people. I’m an open book, I know that I’m worthy of love and kindness, and like…all the stuff we spoke about in regards to sharing excited me. Some others were excited too. Some weren’t. But I really am looking forward to the next few classe.
Anyway, I’ve been reviewing a few pieces of my writing so that I can read one out loud while I share my narrative. I think I’m gonna go with something that I’ve already written and rework it a little. But as I was figuring that out, I smashed the keyboard and something fun appeared on the screen. Something about me walking into the unit at the psych hospital for the first time, being emotional and overall just scared as shit. It isn’t finished, but I’m eager to share it with the interwebs…
They took my elephant. Sickness swirled in my stomach. I looked again, pushing everything else around frantically. I swallowed hard, hoping to suppress the rising panic at the fact that my elephant wasn’t in the brown paper bag that held (most of) the other belongings I’d brought with me. Leggings, shirts, hoodie. No notebook. No stuffed elephant. Why was I frantic? Why was I starting this whole process by having a meltdown, why was I panicking over a stuffed elephant?
I was sitting in a chair like the ones behind the desks in my old high school. I was wearing something that was basically paper. I was cold. I was grossly depressed, exhausted from weeks of it, no– years of it. And my goddamn fucking elephant wasn’t in the piece of fucking shit bag.
A yell across the unfamiliar hallway broke me from my sad-angry mixture as I helplessly stared into that stupid brown bag. I inhaled deeply, unsteadily. But before I could exhale there were more yells from the same general area, way down the hallway of the unit that looked pretty much what you would’ve expected it to look like.
I brought my hands together with stiff arms, fingers laced, thumbs alternately massaging the opposite palm: a visible representation of my twisting, writhing anxiety.
The screaming got closer, along with banging and stomping and other voices arguing. Something happened to my right, and, oh god what was this place? What did I do to myself? Were they going to–
“Sweetie, are you okay?” said the guy who’d minutes earlier been screaming violently about the staff being idiots. He put his hand on my shoulder to comfort me, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, although I had a hunch that he was harmless. Regardless, I didn’t have to ponder too long because two men in blue scrubs jumped on him to pull him off of me in a manner that was incongruent with the tiny interaction I’d just had with him.
I rocked back and forth as the scene unfolded in front of me and they pulled the man somewhere around the corner, and I didn’t realize I was sobbing until a nurse came over to the little chair where I was folded into myself, crouched down on the floor in front of me, and asked me if I was okay. I looked at her quickly and concluded that she was trustworthy (I’m good at those kinds of determinations).
“It’s so stupid,” I gasped. “I’m 28 years old and it should matter.” I wiped my nose on the sleeve of the paper scrubs they’d given me to wear. “They didn’t give me my stuffed animal, I brought him, I packed a whole bag knowing what was going to happen to me, I knew I’d come here, I need this, but my elephant…” I sobbed in one long exasperated breath.
I don’t remember how she answered. But I remember going into a little room with a table and absurdly heavy chairs with her and explaining a bit about my history for her charts while I calmed down. And I remember when we walked out of that room she handed me a blank marble notebook that she’d grabbed from the closet. I knew she’d just given me one of the most important tools I’d get in that place.