Sunday, July 08, 2007

The bipolar normal

I had a conversation today with a lady who's been diagnosed with bipolar for 20 years. She didn't say a lot in the conversation, but with her few comments I managed to make some sense of something that has been bothering me. You see, I tend to overanalyze things when it comes to the big question of whether I'm bipolar or not and I came to the conclusion today that I need to stop analyzing all the little things. I need to relax and see if any of the big things happen and quit spending so much time putting all the little stuff under a microscope. I also realized that there are things about me that simply are NOT normal. Things that are apparently more normal for bipolar individuals, but the regular people in life don't seem to experience these phenomena. I want to make a list (yes, I'm a listmaker if you haven't noticed already). Lists show me things in a clear and concise way that I find to be rather indisputable. Anyway, my list is of things that aren't so called normal. Things that happen to me that fit into the bipolar mold.
1. The depression blanket - that's exactly what it feels like. It's like all of a sudden I get this overwhelming feeling of depression for no reason I can find.
2. .......

I'll think of more later. I know there are more. They'll come to me.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not proven yet

I've been okay for a while now, no really up or down moods that is. Things are different this time around though. The other times when I fell into some really deep moods I was either living alone or with someone in my family. Now I have a roomate, and this is different for me. I know that I don't really want to affect other people with my moods so maybe that is part of the reason why I'm okay now. Maybe it's giving me a reason to try harder because I don't want to be the depressing roomate moping around the house. Or maybe, I'm just okay and there's nothing wrong with me. I like the thought of that. Doc bowtie doesn't seem to think I'm okay. He's been *encouraging* me to take meds again. He seems to think that I've proven beyond a reasonable doubt that I'm bipolar, but I don't think he's necessarily right. I know that recently I had some really down days but they didn't last long. I got over that pretty quick I think, and if I were bipolar would I have been able to come out of it so quickly? Yes, I was pretty depressed for that little while, even thoughts of death started crossing my mind, but it didn't go very far. It was over as fast as it started. I don't think that short period of time can count as an episode. I'm just not convinced yet.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Life is good again

Today was good. I slept super late but once I was up I was reasonably productive and actually left my house. Tomorrow I need to do so much stuff. I've been putting things off forever and tomorrow that's all going to catch up with me. That's okay though. I don't mind tomorrow being really busy as long as I have the energy for it. That's the thing. I just never know what I'm going to feel like when I wake up in the morning. If tomorrow is good like today then that will be just perfect.

I was doing some thinking today. As if that's anything new for me - I'm in my head way too much. But anyway, I was thinking about things that happen, like indicators of my mood being too high or low. I want to be totally honest about this stuff with myself. I started this experiment of no meds with the intention of really figuring out if I'm bipolar and the only way that is going to happen is if I'm totally honest with myself. So lemme see......

The Down Stuff:
- Sleep a lot
- No energy to do anything
- Don't bother eating much
- Quit answering the phone
- Cry (or feel like crying a lot)
- Feel completely hopeless - like I'm a failure
- Listen to depressing music
- No creativity whatsoever
- Irritable (I don't know if this is actually a down or an up thing)
- Psychomotor retardation - that'd be the proper name for my body completely slowing down. I once had a therapist who wondered if I was ever going to blink again when I was really depressed.
- Suicidal ideations - sometimes with a plan
- Don't want to be around people
- Call in sick to work
- Can't concentrate or focus - like if I'm trying to read something I could read the same page five times and not know what I read.
- Can't do my job - interpreting for deaf students is nearly impossible because I can't hold the verbal information long enough to get it out in sign language.
- Write in my journal more
- My house becomes an absolute disaster because I have no energy to clean anything
- Self medicate (not so much anymore)
- Drink alcohol

Okay, that's about all I can think of for now. And the other side of things......

The Up Stuff:
- Psychomotor agitation - really fidgety, can't sit still, if I'm sitting and doing something I'll keep getting up to do something else then come back.
- Easily distracted by irrelevent stimuli - I was once having a conversation with someone at work and kept getting distracted by absolutely everything in the environment behind her. I kept trying to refocus but it was futile.
- SOMETIMES I don't need as much sleep - More often it's just harder to fall asleep because my mind is too busy to let me fall asleep.
- Super giggly - everything is funny and I'm full of jokes and humor (or at least I find myself really amusing).
- Listen to really upbeat music
- Physically move faster - I was once walking with my friend who is way taller than me and walks pretty fast himself, and I pretty much kept leaving him 10 paces behind me before I realized how fast I was walking.
- Feel really confident - Now...... I don't think I get over confident. I think I just really believe that I can accomplish my goals like finishing university with good marks and things like that. I did once almost sign up for more university classes than I could have handled while working full time, but I stopped myself from doing that.
- I'm more creative but can't sit still long enough to finish anything - here's an example...... I like to scrapbook but when I feel good enough to be creative I tend to get more distracted by all the supplies I have and it takes forever for me to actually put a page together. I spend more time doing everything else but what's in front of me to do.
- Start a lot of activities but finish almost nothing
- More social - this means I just really like being around my friends and visiting with them. Not social like going out until all hours of the night or phoning people at inappropriate times. I just really like to talk (and talk and talk and talk) so I like being around people at these times.
- I don't always hear what people are saying when they're talking to me because I have my own little thought conversation going on in my head.
- I don't get cold - it could be really cold outside (like other people are shivering so I know it's cold) but I might be in only a t-shirt but not feeling the cold at all.
- Irritable (again, I don't know if this is an up or down thing, or maybe both) - I get road rage sometimes.
- Sometimes I drink when I'm in a super good mood
- I don't like taking meds when I'm in a good mood because I feel like it's going to bring me down
- I've been known to take extra antidepressants when I'm in a good mood, hoping to prolong it
- Pressured speech - this I've seen written in my charts from when I was hospitalized, but they're right. I know that sometimes I start talking as fast as my brain is thinking and people have a really hard time keeping up with me.
- Go off on unrelated tangents when I'm talking
- Can't focus because my mind is too busy - I once forgot how to drive a standard (while I was driving) because I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing. I literally had to coast in neutral for about 10-20 seconds to figure it out, and I drive a standard car every day.
- Sometimes I get an energy that doesn't "feel natural" - I can't really explain it but it just doesn't feel right, not natural. Sometimes this includes physically feeling my energy tingling under my skin (or at least I think I feel it).

Okay, I think that's about all of that for now. But, there are some things I DON'T do when I'm in a good mood that I think are kind of hallmarks of bipolar disorder. I don't spend a lot of money or go all sex crazy. I don't have delusions or get paranoid. I don't think that there are special plans for me or the world. I've never been spoken to by God or other figureheads of the world, nor do I believe anyone is watching me or making me do things. I know these more extreme things are Bipolar type 1 but I've just never been anywhere near those things that I can recall.

Yes, when I read what I wrote above I realize those things don't sound normal when all grouped together, but those things don't always all happen at once. Those things are just stuff I remember over the last 8-ish years happening at one time or another. Yes, several of those things do happen at once sometimes but it just never feels overly extreme to me, so this is why I wonder if I really have a mental illness that needs medications to deal with it.

I think that's enough for now.....

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The big question: Am I Bipolar?

Wow, it's been a while since I've written in this blog. I decided to start doing this again because I'm trying to figure out what's really wrong with me, if anything (ya, right). Bipolar Disorder type 2, or so he says, Doc bowtie that is (that's my psychiatrist). I don't know (or maybe I don't believe it) if I really am bipolar. I don't know if what's happened in my life qualifies for this disorder. So I've quit taking all meds in hopes of figuring this out. I was taking Lithium, Lamictal, and Seroquel...... but nothing now. Doc bowtie wants me back on meds but I'm not ready to do that yet. I tend to email him a lot, especially when my mood is "off", and my emails to him lately were cause for alarm to him I suppose. I'll admit they were a bit to the extreme side at times but I think there may be reasons for that other than me actually having this disorder.

I was once diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and even though I don't think the criteria for that fits me very well anymore, I think that might be what my problem is attached to moreso than bipolar. I know I used to be a real fan of the attention I got when I was "sick" and I think sometimes that I still crave that attention so I make my moods out to be more than they are. Maybe I like the attention from Doc bowtie when I feel depressed or so-called-manic and maybe that's why I make these moods into more than they are. Maybe they aren't real. Maybe I'm making them up. Maybe I hope I'm only making them up??

In a nutshell, I've been admitted to the psych ward many many times since 1999 (that was when I was first diagnosed with *something*). 2 of those times are really hard for me to rationalize away. This is because once was for 4 weeks and once for 6 weeks. With pdocs trying to discharge you from a hospital ASAP, how can I justify me not really needing to be there for that long? Ya, that's a toughie. I've taken meds on and off for the last 10+ years. I've taken almost every med approved for mental illness, some helped, some didn't. On the surface I look like I have the symptoms of bipolar disorder, but I need to do a little more deeper analysis of what really goes on in my mind when I'm out of sorts. I need to really figure this out.

So, that's why I'm blogging. I need to know. I figure that if I see the writing on the wall so to speak I may have an easier time accepting that I have a problem, and if it turns out that I really honestly don't see a problem then maybe I'll be able to let this whole thing go. I can only wish it would be that easy. I know this is a really murky subject for me....... I'm just hoping for some clarity. Any comments on my conundrum would be muchly appreciated. I know there are a lot of people out there who fight with problems of bipolar disorder and I think that anything anyone has to say about this can only help me figure this out a little better. So, here I am...... looking at my life, with probably too much rationalizing, but I'm shooting for honesty.

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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Introspection never lets you out

I don't get what's going on with me. Everything is fine until I stop to think about how it's going. I saw doc bowtie on the 16th and that, of course, stirred things up again. It got me thinking and now that I'm thinking it's not a good thing.
Maybe I just think too much. Maybe that's the only problem with me. Maybe if I could shut off this introspection I'd be fine. I can't help but think that maybe I'm fine and I'm wasting everyone's time. That any problems I do have are just in my head as a result of over analyzing things. Maybe normal people just don't do that and that's why they're fine. So if I could just stop all this damn thinking I'd be okay. I wouldn't need meds and psychiatrists and therapists. I wouldn't need any of it. I could be just fine on my own if I just stopped indulging this introspective nature I seem to have.
I mean really, what is it that D can do for me that I can't do for myself? What good is it to have a psychiatrist if I don't really need meds? No one ever said life was perfect so why do I have such high expectations? Why do I seem to think that I have all these disorders when really I just need to grow up and keep my goals in sight. All people need goals. We all need to have a direction in life. Once we have that direction we just keep working towards it. That's all there is to it. I'm sure a lot of people in this world had fucked up childhoods, but that isn't any reason to let it control one's life. There's nothing really wrong with me. I think I just like the attention that I get from having problems. I don't think that the things going on in my mind qualify as Bipolar Disorder. I probably make myself manic on purpose for attention. It never lasts long anyway. I don't think any of it qualifies for a manic episode. Even that stuff that happened this summer was probably just me making it happen. That's probably something I would do on purpose. I think I've just been wasting everyone's time and energy.

Geez, is that ever rude of me.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Following rules sucks

I don't know what happened. I was feeling fine, and then all of a sudden when I got home after class tonite I felt like crap. Like my mood just took a dive. I thought about writing to doc bowtie to tell him about the sudden shift but I don't want to jump to conclusions. He is always the first person I want to talk to when I feel bad. It was hard for me not to write to him tonite. Just to say something, anything.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

I finally made the perfect CD

I finally finished the CD I was making. I called it Silence and Solitude. That sorta how I was feeling when I went to label it. The songs on it are:
Silence - Sarah McLachlan and Delerium
Honestly OK - Dido
Time - Sarah McLachlan
Disagree - Chantal Kreviazuk
I'm Not Sorry - Morrissey
Push - Sarah McLachlan
Nobody's Perfect - Madonna
Still Listening - Sinead O'Connor
Deliver Me - Sarah Brightman
The Gospel According To Darkness - Jane Siberry
Policy of Truth - Depeche Mode
Solitude Standing - Suzanne Vega
Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos
Hangin' By A Thread - Jann Arden

I had 3 criteria when making this CD. The songs had to be sung by people with beautiful voices, they needed to have some uniqueness about them, and the lyrics were VERY important. And now I have my CD. I love it. I probably listen to it TOO much, but oh well.

All the songs carry sort of the same theme. It's all about this mess that's happened lately. All the trouble I caused, my pushing people, my lying by omission, needing people to be there for me even though I don't always do everything right, and some sort of angry stuff that can be heard in "Disagree" and "I'm not Sorry". I have so many mixed feelings going on these days. I know my honesty was lacking. I know that I screwed up royally. I know that I have to expect at least some of these repercussions. I do know that it mostly makes sense. But I'm still angry. I still feel like I'm losing all the security that took so long to build. I feel like it's starting over, only it's starting over on shaky ground and I don't know how to make it steady. And I hate this.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Maybe it will all go away

I know I'm being an idiot, but it seems I don't know any other way to be. What am I supposed to do? I have to somehow figure this out on my own. The only way I know how to do that is to shut down. If I ignore it, it will go away. Eventually it will have to go away. I can crawl inside myself so deep that I don't have to see anything anymore. Maybe by the time D gets back I won't even need him anymore. It really might be better that way. This idea of getting help, having someone to talk to about the stuff in my head....I think it's just killing me slowly.

I found another song today. Ya, it's all about the lyrics. Some of this song is a little too *lovey* but for the most part I think it hits the nail on the head.


Every time I look at you the world just melts away
All my troubles all my fears dissolve in your affection
You’ve seen me at my weakest but you take me as I am
And when I fall you offer me a softer place to land

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe in
You’re all the things that I desire you save me you complete me
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe

I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do ‘cause you’re too good to fight about it
Even when I have to push just to see how far you’ll go
You won’t stoop down to battle but you never turn to go

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe in
You’re all the things that I desire you save me you complete me
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe

Love is just the antidote when nothing else can cure me
There are times I can’t decide when I can’t tell up from down
You make me feel less crazy when otherwise I’d drown
But you pick me up and brush me off and tell me I’m okay
Sometimes that’s just what we need to get us through the day

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe in
You’re all the things that I desire you save me you complete me
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe

"Even when I have to push just to see how far you’ll go, You won’t stoop down to battle but you never turn to go" That's the best line.....


bipolar planet
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