in-between

𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙨𝙩𝙮 𝙖𝙨𝙛, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛𝙞𝙚𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙢𝙮 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙛𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 ✨🖤🥀

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 𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙩 𝙙𝙤 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨 + 𝙄 𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙞𝙛 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙤 …*

Negative self-talk is not helping ‼️

Wallowing in feelings of defeat won’t accomplish anything!

Time to “change the script”

as my therapist would say

Affirmations:

  • 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).

Who knows. I just have to keep chugging along.

“Another day” pic from last year, during a major eating disorder relapse and a major bipolar episode. “Merry and bright” pic from this week, which I took bc I felt pretty 🙂

I was totally on the path towards an 𝖊𝖕𝖘𝖎𝖔𝖉𝖊 but I think I somehow managed to avoid it ✨

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 ❤

Hi enjoy this selfie from my floor purely to celebrate the fact that I can now officially get onto the floor and then get up again without sounding and looking like and FEELING like I’m my grandpa’s age (which I believe is 92) 😎 #imnotold #notthatold #notyetanyway
My rheumatologist appt had to be canceled because the nine vials of blood they took from me haven’t yielded any results yet, so I’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out what the actual issue is, but I can move and I’m fucking thankful. Like, people, you take for granted being able to shave your legs or hook up your bra when you’re able to do it. Yeah I’m thankful I can hook my fucking bra #gratitude

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 ❤

me this weekend…showed this to my boyfriend and my cousin and they laughed lmao, and like, shit I’m so glad to have people who GET me and my brain

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise ✨

6:23

Waiting for the sun to rise, I have been for three hours already

Wearing leggings and an oversized sweatshirt, my grandma’s old brown leather jacket, boots of the same color, my other grandma’s locket

(it matters because I’m comfortable and cozy, feeling cute and calm, and because I’m patiently awaiting the morning’s official invitation to join it outside)

Come on light, come on optimistic, hopeful light

Spill over into the blue that’s gradually fading into purple, contrast the darkness with your red, oranges, golds, and yellows

My hair is pulled into a bun so it’ll be curly tomorrow, still wet (which isn’t ideal in the 45° weather, but lo and behold, colder weather will be here soon and there’s nothing I can do but get used to it)

Sitting at the kitchen table, door already open so I can grab my coffee, already poured, and my book, Halloween-themed and exciting, and go sit on the steps to revel in the morning silence

The birds are already chirping, though they’ve got a way to do so that doesn’t interrupt the stillness, and they’re making my front porch sound both musical and…what’s the word for “more nature-y than it actually is”

6:42

I think it’s time, so I step outside into the chill and as it reaches my core, I don’t shy away from it but inhale deeply and hold for a bit

*

Another day’s begun, although it feels weird to say that after the night awake just warped time around itself

Even during my darkest moments, I usually woke up with some level of optimism; certainly not a stellar amount all the time, but I remember talking about it in therapy and my therapist told me that my prognosis is better because of it

Now, it might have taken life merely a minute to knock the optimism right out of me, but even I can’t deny it was there, if ever briefly

*

I’m irritable again, and I definitely know what usually follows such fervent desire to rip my face off, but (as I shouted at the skies countless times for countless years), all I needed was a god damn break…and I got one, and I’m thankful, and I’m not taking it for granted, and I’m handling my issues

6:55

It’s cold, I’m probably going to go back inside, but I like starting my mornings out here, and I’m glad that I did today

So for the class I’m taking, we have to share our narratives. Our stories, our struggles, our hopes.

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.

Three months.

It’s been three months since the psychiatric hospital. And it usually happens every three months. “It” being me losing my fucking mind. I feel it coming, just like I always do. I mean, I can handle it better now. I haven’t screamed, thrown myself into a wall, cut myself. But I’m too irritable to focus. And I was having trouble focusing to begin with so fuck me twice as hard, I guess. I think that’s also why I’m anxious, so maybe anxiety shouldn’t count as its own symptom here, but I still don’t like the feeling. I’m on a relatively low dose of lithium, a dose that’s better suited for borderlines than bipolars (did I ever explain that the hospital doctor refused to believe that I was bipolar?) so I think I need a higher dose. But I don’t really trust my current psychiatrist to listen to what I have to say and take it into consideration. I am handling my emotions better (ie: the not screaming, throwing myself into a wall, or cutting), but I feel them at the same level I would have on something other than lithium. I’m wondering if I should do the experiment, go without upping my lithium dose, see how manageable this round is, and go from there. But why torture myself? I mean, maybe it’s important to see, but I’d feel bitter if that’s the case. I spent WAY too much time (14 years) suffering as I figured my bipolar disorder out, with no assistance from any professional (though not for lack of trying), and I don’t want to play games with my life anymore. That isn’t fair. I want to move on and feel successful and accomplished and proud of myself. I want to make a difference. I have goals that go beyond “survive the raging mood episodes I’m cursed with.” Fuck.

Track Your Shit

lose your mind with me

I sat on the couch in my psychiatrist’s office with my arms crossed and steam billowing out of my ears.

“Are you on cocaine?” he asked without a hint of sarcasm. 

“No,” I shot back, completely bewildered but appropriately defensive.

“Then you’re bipolar.”

Yup. That was how I was diagnosed.  And to my memory, that was really the only major piece of information my psychiatrist gave me that day.  There was no supplemental information given to me, no sort of enlightenment or introduction into the all-consuming project that would be managing my difficult and sometimes debilitating condition, and I left the office with what felt like a really random label and a higher dose of Abilify.  I was nineteen years old, I was a chemistry major in college, I’d kicked the hell out of an eating disorder, and I was bipolar. The facts didn’t matter too much. Right?

Over the…

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Halfway through Mental Health Awareness Month and I’ve barely posted anything specific about it. I feel like I totally should. Why not celebrate my mental illness (sounds like a weird thing but I meant more like, celebrate the fact that this month is supposed to highlight mental illnesses and how they affect people so more people are aware and therefore can be more supportive…ya know). Aaaaaanywho, here’s a Van Gogh quote because I love examples of people who created beautiful things even while struggling with mental shit. Being “normal” (whatever that means) is fine, but I’m glad I’m unique in the ways that I’m unique because it allows me to see things like the flowers along my life’s path. Also, I’m pretty sure this painting is on the wall in my therapist’s office (haven’t been there in like two months ugh quarantine lol) and I know that when I was in the hospital, we had to recreate a famous piece of art and I chose this one, so I like Starry Night a lot 😃

So, I’ve been feeling really good since getting out of the hospital. I’ve had time to process a lot of the craziness that had happened, and the space needed for that processing to happen, and I’ve been enjoying what I’d certainly call stability (fucking finally!). I have not been taking it for granted. I mean, it’s just crazy how I felt so bad for so long, and now I feel like a normal human being (or what I assume normal feels like, because it’s definitely subjective and different for everyone, but you know what I mean). I’m not crying daily. I’m not even really consciously thinking about my moods and I’m not constantly readjusting them. That’s mind-blowing to me. I feel so lucky.

But I kinda freaked out a little yesterday, and I’ve been spending the morning trying not to overthink the whole thing.

This is my journal from last night which explains what happened

I saw my new psych yesterday (virtually). I haven’t seen a psychiatrist since I was in the hospital a month ago and I needed my meds. So yeah. I discussed everything with her. And she’s very much like my first psych where she doesn’t like to prescribe pills. Which is baffling to me. Like why are you a psychiatrist if you think medication isn’t a solution for mental illnsssed? I’m overgeneralizing but still. I hung up after the appt thinking I’d get all my same meds. Including my adhd stuff. Because I need to focus to write. Since that’s the literal crux of who I am as a human being and since writing is my only income at the moment. And I’ve done the experiment countless times: I don’t take the pill and I’m moodier and sad and it affects me very negatively. I understand her perspective on not over-prescribing. But I explained my case and she said and I quote “I’ll work with you on this one” and I go to pick up my meds and she never called in the Vyvanse. And now. When I’m home do the foreseeable future with nothing to do but write. I will have a much harder time doing so. Like it’s possible to concentrate without them but why put myself at an unfair disadvantage?! And it’s difficult because I hate that I’m dependent on the shit. I do. But WHY SHOULD I?! I don’t hate myself for having to take my Lithium or Prozac or Rexulti or Remeron or or or or…like why is it such a sin to have adhd? I understand it’s difficult with bipolar bc stimulants can trigger mania. I’m rather smart, and I’ve done the research, and I even brought it up to her. If there’s another solution to my concentration problem it should have been discussed with me at our appt. I shouldn’t have had to find out she never called on my Vyvanse at the fucking pharmacy. I gave her the benefit of the doubt when I called the office to leave a voicemail, saying she must have forgotten. But I sincerely doubt that bc she also said how she’s conservative about prescribing meds like Vyvanse and Klonopin (which I don’t need right now, I haven’t had a panic attack, thank GOD, but it’s just shitty to know if I did need it she wouldn’t give it to me). I’m also really annoyed because I took great care during our video call to be calm and polite. Idk. I just have to wait at this point. I’m fuming but like I wassssss in a blind bipolar rage and I toned it back so I’m proud of myself. Also, I’m pretty sure anger is normal in this situation. Being frustrated and upset is normal now, right? I was lied to and it affects my life and I’m mad. That’s gotta be normal.

TLDR: I saw a new psychiatrist on Friday and after giving my history and talking, I explained that I’ve been taking meds for ADHD since I was 20 and that those pills are crucial for my concentration and subsequent mood management, but she didn’t send those pills to the pharmacy for me, I assume because she said she’s conservative with prescribing meds

I’m NOT gonna beat myself up over normal emotions. And even if I did overreact (which I admit is likely), I’m not gonna beat myself up over THAT either. I was able to bring it in and calm myself down, and I NEVER would have been able to do that a month and a half ago. Progress is progress, and I’m giving myself credit where credit is due.

I’m mad that some lady I don’t know has just damned me to a bitter with my concentration (and again, writing is who I am on a fundamental level and if I can’t concentrate enough to do it, it feels like a fuckin’ crisis for me). How dare she, ya know?

But I’m moving on. I’ll figure it out. Maybe it was just a mistake on her part and this can be fixed. If not, I’ll find a new doctor, whatever.

And just like with my whole mood situation as a whole, maybe time some and space to think about it all will be helpful. I dunno.

We shall see.