are we there yet?

by lifeonaxis1

i want to post an update about my lithium journey.  the trouble is, i find myself unsure about what could be due to lithium, and what could be due to…other things.

there are some things i am more confident about, like the metallic aftertaste in my mouth that seems to be getting sharper by the day.  for example, last night i had cookies and milk.  i never mind if the cookies break off into the milk because it just means more tasty goodness at the end.  after i savored my last cookie for that session i went to drink the rest of the milk and get to my secret pot of gold at the bottom of my cup, but i couldn’t even get past a sip.  there’s not really an easy way to describe what milk and metal taste like together, but it is NOT. GOOD.  I’m shuddering just thinking about it.

my moodscope is looking pretty optimistic too, relatively speaking.  my new high score is 45%.  still on the more negative side of things but compared to 7%, let me tell you: the weather is great up here.  it seems that the lithium is definitely doing its part for my depression, although i am curious how much of that can be attributed to the lithium + prozac combination.

if i have to be completely honest though, i would admit that i think i am a little happier than “normal”.  i mean, it is a relief to not feel abysmal and it’s possible that the stark contrast from just a few days ago accounts for this observation.  but i have a sneaking suspicion that i might be experiencing a little more hypomania and that i find myself not wanting to tell my psychiatrist about it (lest she change anything) lends a bit more support to that hypothesis.

we’ll table the fact that this physiological and behavioral response to lithium indicates a correct bipolar II diagnosis, for now.  but just to describe the experience: my sense of hearing is much more sensitive, so i have to turn down the volume of my phone or videos.  i find myself feeling a little high, a little giddy.  perhaps even a bit devious and deviant.  kind of like i’ve just had my first couple greyhounds (vodka + grapefruit) and the night is starting to take shape.  i am impatient and distractible, and even a little irritable.  laughter comes more easily.  i can conclude that this isn’t “normal”–not other people normal, anyway–because this is how i felt before i was depressed.  i notice that my writing and thinking is a bit more erratic and it’s harder for me to focus on creating a structure for this blog entry.  i really, really want to go on an adventure.

thank goodness i have video games to entertain me so i don’t go off and do something rash.

as for the “other things”…yesterday i felt quite stressed for a reason i will explain momentarily, but the result was a very turbulent sleep and what felt like psychological warfare on my dreams.  i had a long series of dreams about conflicts and problems and people from my past.  but one dream was so disturbing that i don’t even want to write about it.  i don’t want any cues as to what it was about, and the sooner i forget about it, the better.  i’ve had some pretty horrifying dreams in my day, but this one definitely hit the top 10.  i woke up sweating, stressed, anxious, and ready to cry.

fortunately i’ve been able to turn my day around due to some really uncharacteristic, but lovely weather for this time of year.  i spent a lot of time outside with the dogs, i watched a movie i loved, i felt inspired, i talked to a friend on the phone and i painted my nails green.

but the source of stress is still there, lying in waiting.  gnawing at me.  stealing this shining moment of release from darkness.

you may have guessed it by now.  XBF has made contact.  yesterday he sent a peculiar email.  it was peculiar in the sense that it communicated the opposite of what our last conversation seemed to, and he titled it Missing You.  he expressed his love for me and that he missed me.  he made no mention of our previous conversation or of his not one but now two 180-degree flips in behavior, but instead sent me a link to make me laugh like he had been there for me this whole time.

and I’M the bipolar one here?

when i told him i was confused and asked for an update since his attitude seemed to have changed quite a bit since the last time we talked, he said we could meet in person when i’m free.

ha!  no way jose.  i’m finally getting a break from mind boggling depression.  i’m not so stressed out that i feel close to some kind of  psychotic break.  there is no way i am walking into a situation where i can be potentially blindsided again, without warning.

so i told him i felt uncomfortable with that and asked to talk by email first so at least i have a chance of managing my emotions.

he hasn’t responded.  of course.  he clearly didn’t read the freaking book.

i have mixed feelings about all of this.  i love him but i am just tired of it.  if i take an inventory of the stress he has *added* to my life, it is not trivial.  and with how he handled even recent events, despite my explicit request to minimize stressful events, i don’t feel comfortable trusting him with my peace of mind.  it makes me sad, really sad.  and pretty pissed off and annoyed too but i think that may be my irritability and impatience talking.


and if my hypomanic state is guiding my behavior, then should i really be talking to him anyway?

ultimately, i am just really shitty at making decisions when it comes to relationships.  that whole setting boundaries lesson has been lost on me for years and i struggle with it daily.  i’ve gotten better, but in general i can never tell when enough is enough.  i really mean i can’t tell.  i can’t SEE it.  so i usually err on the side of caution and try to work through things, so hopefully i’m not cutting people out prematurely like SOME people in my family (:cough: my mother :cough:).

i guess in some twisted way this diagnosis can be a blessing…i am trying to stabilize (sort of) so the clear cut off point is whether something adds too much stress or not.  if it does, it’s removed.  this way, i don’t have to include my heart in the decision-making process.  and let me tell you, that makes a world of difference.