Who am I?

Over the past few weeks, meds have been added to the list of chemicals that keep me productive and socially acceptable.  Meds to increase this behavior and reduce that behavior, all designed to mold me into me.  But the question always arises, who am I?  Is the medication going to control too much of a behavior or maybe totally supress a trait that is part of me?

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This is the foundation thinking for my master plan of being chemical free.  I’ll admit it is an unhealthy and unrealistic plan considering how poorly I function without chemical help.  But the thoughts always haunt me when new medication is introduced.  Some wonderful personality trait is going to be lost in order to control a symptom of my disorder.

There is a deep seated desire for a quality life.  Where do I draw the line?  At what point do I stop giving up pieces of me in order to fit in mainstream life.  What if I am eccentric or unique?  Are a couple of quirks really that bad compared to a zombie existance?

I exagerate.  But thats part of my personality also.   I’m just worried.  Who am I and what can I keep?

Pls excuse typos.

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Thank you for calling….

Today was my first day back at work after a short term leave of absence for a medication change due to a mixed mood episode. Quite a mouth full for one sentance, but now you’re up to date.

My patience still has a very sharp edge and it takes a great deal of effort not to lash out at perceived idiots or other imagined agrivants. My nice and happy meter is registering at about 70% otherwise and my normal daily routine no longer feels alien to me, like I was dropped into someone elses life.

So with bills pilling up and insisting on being paid, I prepared myself the best I could and reported back to work. This may have been a few days early, but unfortunately checks in the checkbook does not mean money in the bank.
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Now everyone has stress at work and mine is no exception. I work in a call center with a focus on customer service and sales. I have numbers I am required to meet for everthing I do. Numbers for everything from how long I stay on the call to how nice I am, from how much I sell to how long my break is. There is a number for everything! So we have me, struggling to be happy in her own skin, talking to un-happy customers, trying to meet the numbers and you can imagine the situations I found myself in today. It was a challenge. And by close of shift, my daily numbers weren’t that great.

Now one of my famous circles of thought begins. I try to figure out if I helped or hurt myself by going back to work before I was ready. Additional stress I do not need. I know that. I should just let it be. The decision was made. The deed was done. Just get on with the next day.

Easier said than done, but I’m trying. I do not want another mixed mood episode so I needto remove what stress I can, when I can.

Please excuse typos. Spell check is not working 🙂

Bipolar and Stress

Mental illness and stress is a self perpetuating circle for me. How about you?

My short term leave of absence from work is coming to an end and I’m schedule to return to a high stress job in just a few days. As I sit here and plan my return, I can’t help but wonder how I am going to side step the pot holes of stress and what I now know as a mixed episode melt down. Stress causes melt down. Melt down causes missed work. Missed work is diminished paycheck which doesn’t pay the bills and causes more stress. What a mess.

So how does a person with bipolar, “passing” in the (term used with grimace) normal world deal with stress. Different things will work for different people. I prefer to let the daily stress build up and then retreat to my safe space, my home, and do a project, read, something. Not the best plan, since I keep having to miss work. I think I need an “in the stress of the moment” activity as well.

So until I win the lottery and can turn my back on all stress, I will contine to find ways to deal with and release one of my mortal enemies, stress.

Mental Health & Debt Advice – Published 13 July 2012 1622 GMT/UTC

I’m reading this now. Oh my gosh, how true it is. Debt and bipolar feed off each other. Hopefully the info in this booklette will help break the circle. Thought I’d share. Just in case you’re drownding in debt from manic spending and reduced paychecks from missed work like me. This article is based on help available overseas. But hey, it’s still good general info and there should be something for the US, right?

Goaty's News (UK)

Copied from the respected advice site moneysavingexpert.com

Free Mental Health & Debt 2012 booklet – you’re not alone
Mental health and debt are a marriage made in hell | Info & tips to help you and your family

Mental health issues can cause severe debt, and severe debt’s a catalyst for mental health problems. When we first launched our booklet, many told us of their relief realising they weren’t alone. Annually, one in four have mental health issues and Mind reports 75% say it makes their debt worse. So we believe it needs treating as a mainstream money issue.

  • mental healthNew free Mental Health & Debt booklet – updated for 2012. Download the 44-page
    Mental Health & Debt Help 2012 PDF booklet (thanks to charities Mind, Rethink, CAPUK & others for help). It’s crammed with info on handling debts when unwell, working with banks, where to get help, whether to declare…

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Ants with umbrellas and tiny little rain coats

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It rained on my picnic today
And only the ants had umbrellas.
Seems twas only I that was unprepared.
With galoshes and raincoats they traveled on.
Not a step was missed on their daily roam.
Twas only I caught unaware and unprepared.

In search of Flowers

Hello all.  Checking in on day number three on Abilify.  My eyes feel like they are floating in a pool of mashed potatoes and I have a headache that would bring Godzila to his knees.  I’m all to aware of the fact that it “takes time” for the medication to build up in the system.  Really don’t remember if Abilify is one of those.  But I’m not seeing any good yet and the side effects have me missing work and feeling miserable.  The confusion and agitation of feeking my depression and mania at the same time with an added a large dose of physical pain and you’ve reached my breaking point.

My mind is racing more than ever.  Is this the right drug for me?  Will the mixed episode ever go away?  Can I hold on three more days till I see the Doc again?  When I increase the milligrams tonight, will the effects get worse? 

Having a hard time focusing.  Going to water the plants.***********-********************
I’m back for a minute. Watering the plants turned into visiting a good friend. Which was interrupted by a need to know what was going on in the blogs. Which was rather abruptly halted by a need, un-controllable need to make flowers. So I drove to the craft store which was interrupted by a forgotten about prescription. Four hours after I set out to water plants, I’m now making these adorable flowers. Not sure why, but back to it.
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I am now the proud owner of some cute felt sunflowers that one day, hopefully will find a perfect home in some other project. Color choice could have been nicer. But hey, depression was in charge of that. What did I expect. Right now the sunflowers home will be in the project room. Most of us have a room or space were all the “had to do right now” projects go, usually incompleted in my case.

So I guess I had a successful day. I visited, ran a errand and did a project. Nothing to clean up, fix or denigh.

Silence Has Not Been Golden

I’ve been kinda quiet for a while now. To be 100% honest, I thought I ‘d finally and totally flipped my lid! I’ve been feeling terribly depressed and strangely manic at the same time. Huh? I know I thought the same thing. That’s why I thought I’d lost the bit of sanity that I had. I’d wake depressed, down on life in general, only seeing the uselessness off continuing on the pig path of life. But there would be some creepy mania mixed in…. I listed and categorized all the TV shows previewing this month and programmed the VCR. Depression usually means sofa here I come. Flipping between naps and declining circles of thought. But instead, I was glue to the sofa with my tablet, flipping between researching the declining thoughts and chores that I’d forget almost as soon as I’d stand up.

I am agitated and snippy. Every little thing gets disproportionately under my skin. A stark contrast to my usual 60’s “live and let live” approach on life. I’ve got the shakes and major headaches. I don’t sleep and have no appetite. And get this, some times I can’t form coherent sentences. Crazy! Right?

So after about three weeks of this, with great reluctance, anxiety and fear, I went to my Doctor.  I sat in the waiting room scared to death that he would confirm that the “camel’s last straw had broken” and that I need to be hospitalized again.  Long moments later, after I’d done the last walk to his office and choked out the story of the last few weeks, I sat and waited as he jotted in his folder.  “Welcome to Mixed Episodes” he said.  Luckily my doctor has a great sense of humor and a nice smile.  So the statement fell lightly on my ears.  After it settled, I started the barrage of questions.

Here is what I learned.  I, have only taken a short vacation from my normal, abnormal ups and downs.  Triggered by stress, my moods are really happening at the same time. I have not lost it.   And with the help of a drug called Abilify and the removal of the stress, I can get past this.  Sounds simple, right?

Wrong!  Taking a new medication isn’t really a big deal.  But the removal of the stress is monumental.  If anything, over the next few months the stress will be increasing.  All of you can relate to the economic, job and family stresses we have.  Well mine are getting ready to peak.  So does that mean that this mixed mood stuff is going to last till then? months?  What is a girl to do?

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