Mood Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified

diagnosed bipolar and pissed about it

Month: November, 2012

forbidden fruit

sonofabitch, oxytocin be damned!

i woke up at 1pm today.  after sleeping for a. day. and. a. half.  no joke.

despite all of my good intentions, i was partying until the wee hours of saturday morning.  a big group went out for a friend’s birthday.  it was industrial night, and all the freaks were out.  i felt right at home.

there was marilyn manson’s twin.  and the guy with the gas mask.  and women dressed to the nines for goth theater.

a big crew was there.  including the graduate student, “amanda”, i described in this story.  yeah, her and her really tall, really good looking brother.

fuck my life.

it turns out, he’s my type.  tall.  good looking.  kind of a dick.  so i tried to avoid him.  i had a little team of helpers to keep me away from him, friends who i’d asked that under no circumstances was i to hook up with this dude.

i did a decent job for most of the night, even into the afterparty where there were fewer distractions and ways to avoid him.  finally, i went to the guest bedroom to sleep.  i could hear my helper team articulating very clearly that he could stay over…on the COUCH.

some time passed.  everyone went to their respective rooms, or couches as the case may be.  it got quiet.  then there was a shuffle.  steps.  a door whooshed open and he said, “the couch is really uncomfortable”.  i didn’t skip a beat: “you can come in here”.

so, he did.  and we stayed up, talking.  he talked a lot about being lonely and having no friends out here.  he spent a lot of time wrapping his arms around me and squeezing me close to him.  i was counting the seconds because i knew after 30 of them had passed, my brain was producing oxytocin and i’d be damned.

oxytocin.  the bonding hormone.  affection hormone.  trust hormone.  my arch enemy in this particular situation.

and besides that, like i said, he was right up my alley.  so i was literally drowning in sex hormones.  i was so turned on i wanted to cry.  and i was drunk.  and he was saying things like, “i can go down on you if you want…”.

it took everything i had not to respond physically.  i did not face him under any circumstances.  i kept my body, my hips, absolutely still.  i didn’t reach back, like i wanted to, and grab his hair, or pull his body close.  several times, i had to bury my head in the pillows and sheets and wait for the dizziness from my libido to pass.

somehow, i withstood it all.  the attraction.  the hormones.  the “you’re beautifuls” and the stroking and squeezing…all of it.

but i woke up several hours later, and he was there, sleeping.  but not holding me.  and i was disappointed.  i had to leave.  and forget.

except i haven’t yet.  my body and brain are still experiencing the ecstasy of the moment.  i couldn’t have picked a more dangerous, less accessible person.  but i’m not responding to reason, i’m responding to biology.

biology is just so much more persuasive.



take a deep breath.

that’s what i say to myself when i review the variables on my plate.

one thing at a time.

that’s my second thought, because my obligations are mounting.

i can do this.

the third and final thought.  a welcome one because it has been so long since i’ve believed it.

i would just like to take an inventory of the tasks i am [slowly] incorporating into my life.

  • i have successfully taught 150+ students at two campuses
  • i have semi-successfully managed a TA for the first time
  • i am increasingly connecting with friends and family, welcoming long phone conversations and venturing into social activities of increasing diversity and complexity
  • i maintain a relatively clean home
  • i make time for relaxation and hobbies
  • i make an effort toward exercise and achieving a healthy lifestyle
  • i have begun planning my online winter course (key question: how much grading do i really want to do over winter break?)
  • i will begin planning my online spring course
  • i am working on three collaborations: 1) a methods paper with my advisor, 2) a model of aggregate economic factors and behavior, 3) a revision and extension of my Master’s thesis
  • i will revisit my dissertation beginning next semester
  • i will seek out additional collaborations to build my academic resume
  • i am thinking about potential jobs and places to live

i would just like to say: relative to even as recently as august, my life has completely turned around.  i could not function, think, speak, or interact with people.  i have come, quite literally, from nothing.  no ability to handle responsibilities.  no ability to think or speak.  no ability to perform mundane tasks.

assuming i can keep her steady, my life may become very fulfilling indeed.

now you see it, now you don’t

okay, okay, okay.

i received a message from my psychiatrist today.  last time we met, he asked to see some of my blog posts from when my old psychiatrist said i was hypomanic.  he wanted to see my train of thought, i guess.

today, he sent the following message:

“Hi Patient A.,
Since these blog entries are all while you were taking fluoxetine, they cannot be used as counting towards a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  You would have to have similar symptoms during a period of your life when you were not on antidepressant medications and not using alcohol or other drugs.
Hope this helps.”

is this the same thing as saying we do not have adequate evidence for a bipolar diagnosis?

if so…doesn’t this mean that if i had never seen JiffyDiagnose (psychiatrist #2), i would have never been diagnosed bipolar?

and possibly that i’m not actually bipolar?

hear me raaaaaaaawwwwwwr

godzilla is making a cameo.

i am one angry puppy today.  i woke up irritable as all hell and just got angrier.  i went to class, counting on teaching about sex to get me out of my own head.  it worked, a little.

i’ve been trying to turn my day around.  you know, get the bigger picture and become aware that my perceptions are being limited by my emotions so get a bigger perspective and all that.

my secret bag of tricks includes working on teaching-related activities.  teaching makes me happy.  my animal behavior class is my labor of love.  so i’m doing good and grading my students’ work.  happily along.  feeling accomplished when they appear to be engaging with the materials.

and then i come across this.  one of my students posted her concept map file with the title “another time-consuming concept map that does nothing to advance my understanding of this material”.

oh really?

here’s why i’m pissed (and doubly so because i was already fucking moody as hell).  for the entire first half of the class, i offered them the opportunity to give me feedback about assignments and materials every week. in which, by the way, this student has never participated.

it’s one thing to have a complaint about a class.  students will always have complaints, some more useful than others.  but posting that kind of feedback to an online public forum for both me and other students to see?  that’s just fucking rude.

i guess i should be glad this is an online class.  i’ve got a virtual barrier between me and this kind of thing.

i’m taking a break from grading.  it’s better that way.  other students shouldn’t be penalized just because i’m on a war rampage.

i’ll try again tomorrow.

holding steady

i think my plan is working.  i used a strategy that i “discovered” a few years ago in grad school.

i used to be petrified of public speaking.  feeling faint, sweaty palms, hiccups, the whole nine yards.  being in academia, this is quite a handicap.  i repeatedly forced myself to try and try again, sometimes successful, others not so much.  i remember that even at department colloquia, i would have to write down all of my questions, pick the best one, lay my profusely sweating palms flat on the table and try my best to ask the question without a shaky voice.  once i was standing by a pillar, and had to lean on it for support before asking the question because i almost fainted.

in any case, it was a disaster as you might imagine.  so when i had a class presentation in a behavioral genetics course my advisor was teaching, i had created this very interesting powerpoint and discussion on an aspect of the chapter i was supposed to cover.  it would have been very good…the only problem was that it wasn’t a summary of the entire chapter.  in my defense, the instructions for the presentations were not clear at all.

nonetheless, it did not stop my advisor from stopping me a few slides in with his resounding, bellowing voice, yelling that this was not what i was supposed to do.  now, combine terror of public speaking with fear of criticism with fear of yelling (due to ptsd from being raised around domestic violence), and you get me, shaking in my seat, trying to regain control of myself.

still, i could not stop it.  i felt my face burn hot and the tears well up.  i tried to get the words out but the tears started to fall.  i stopped.  i said i needed five minutes and bolted out the door to try and pace, do jumping jacks, shake it off, something to get back on track.  when i felt ready, i returned to the class and began again.  i failed, again, and began to cry.  took another five minutes and came back in again.  i did this three times. finally, my advisor said this wasn’t helping anybody and we ended class early.  it was humiliating.  and it got around too because other grad students who were not in the class asked about it.

i proceeded to go home and drink an entire bottle of wine.

at the end of the semester, when i was to re-present my chapter, i did a no-frills, perfect summary of the key points of the chapter (i.e., boring and not thought provoking because everyone had read it).  whatever.  but when i came in the room where i was to present, i couldn’t breathe.  i was shaking.  the room flashed white, black, red.  i could feel the cry in the back of my throat.  this was not a good way to start.

i didn’t know what to do, but i knew that if my advisor yelled at me again in this state, i would turn into a living geyser.  hell, i might even do it without the yelling.  so, as students came in, i started to write a note to my advisor.  my hand shaking, i asked him not to yell at me while presenting because… i don’t know how far i got, but i looked at the note i was writing.  in an instant i took a full inventory of the situation.  the note, the class, my advisor.  and i thought, this is fucking ridiculous!

suddenly, my fear was gone.  it was possibly one of the most magical experiences of my life.  gone, just like that.  snap of the finger.  i couldn’t believe it.

i sat down, facing the class, renewed confidence in mind.  i smiled at my friends in the class who were looking at me apprehensively and i proceeded to give the best presentation of my life up to that point.  i was a new woman.

sadly, i have no idea how to impart this success unto others, except to say “just keep doing it”.  but the lesson i took for myself is that i need to force myself to face the whole situation, not just the points my emotions would like me to face.  and when i do, and i am able to see things as they are (as much as i can, anyway) the influence the blinding emotions have melts away.

i think that is what i am doing here, with my residual feelings for XBF.  in the few days since i wrote out that inventory, i haven’t felt the slightest amount of regret, sadness, longing, or anything.  it may be a different story on a different day.  but for now, it’s working.

processing power

today a friend asked how she could help with my remaining feelings of tenderness for XBF.  i told her to remind me of all the reasons why he was not a good partner for me, or why i broke up with him.  i decided to start processing that task on my own.  here’s the first draft of my list.  it’s kind of appalling.  which means it’s working.  🙂

  1. Sexual Dissatisfaction 1: I pleased him more than he pleased me.
  2. Sexual Dissatisfaction 2: I was more interested in the sensual aspects of sex than he was.
  3. Sexual Dissatisfaction 3: He was hesitant/unwilling to experiment, or it would have taken too long for him to step out of the box.
  4. Not active enough; wouldn’t even go on walks with the dogs; the one hike we went on was short
  5. Overreacted when his values or worldview was challenged
  6. Was judgmental and invalidating when I felt angry.
  7. Rarely went on dates; often asked at the last minute even though I repeatedly said I wanted notice.
  8. Sick, frequently; needed caretaking; not appreciative enough
  9. Did not follow through on plans/commitments; unreliable.
  10. Could not count on him for emotional support for most things; especially true when he his opinion differed from my own.
  11. Demanding and unappreciative.
  12. When in need, he often asked me to do 10 things at once (e.g., when he asked me to make him lasagna, he simultaneously needed medication and bread and water and so on.  Immediately.
  13. He sent naked pictures of me to his cousin; after his initial apology, appeared aloof to my concerns and embarrassment about it.
  14. Unavailable when I needed him; e.g., when I fainted at the health center or got stranded on a mountain.
  15. Unsupportive when it counted; e.g., when I wanted to return my Vita for the money, he got angry, or when I was so depressed I felt incapable of taking care of Big Dog A and looked for a home for him, he got angry and dramatic.
  16. He was around for one of the most difficult times in my life but didn’t seem to understand it, sympathize with it, or demonstrate interest in learning how to be supportive through it; he assumed he knew it all already.
  17. Narrow world-view; he criticized me for not being open to his advice when he was completely unwilling to consider certain other points of view.
  18. He had a nasty habit of negging and disguising criticism as concern.
  19. Receptive to hear me out only on his terms.
  20. Stopped being responsive to my concerns.
  21. Incapable of taking care of himself; included health, hygiene, nutrition, cleanliness; depended entirely on his mother for these things.
  22. Misogynist in disguise.  Explicitly stated that “before me” he hated women and believed they exist to destroy the happiness of men; exploits them and denies it.
  23. Frequent failure to communicate in simple tasks; e.g., changes in plans or schedule
  24. Was never interested in my work or research; actively disparaged teaching and education; defended self by stating “but I’m not talking about you” which did not help.
  25. Failure to comprehend my core values or show any indication of interest in learning about them, with the exception of those that impacted him.
  26. Extraordinarily self-absorbed, all about himself, and not in a confident, sexy way.
  27. That whiny voice.  I just cringed thinking about it.
  28. I frequently felt like he was taking away more from my life than adding to it.
  29. I would not have gotten better if I stayed with him because it was all about him (and I let it get that way).
  30. I set dangerous precedents with him because I was emotionally handicapped and unable to stand my ground.
  31. It often felt as though he was very emotionally manipulative; also completely unwilling to consider this when it was brought up.  He asked for examples, and when I provided one, he criticized the example rather than considering its merit.
  32. When we met, he made a big deal out of his history of always paying for everything with girlfriends; I paid more than my fair share of things and it began to feel like he was keeping tabs on everything.  I felt less valued.
  33. I believe he instigated the fight when we broke up; I believe at some level, he wanted it to happen.
  34. Even when we were together, I often felt lonely.
  35. I felt that I gave him more encouragement, comfort, and acceptance than he gave me.
  36. It didn’t always feel like he had my best interests at heart.
  37. Our relationship was his first priority, only when it suited him.
  38. Stood me up on several occasions.
  39. Despite trying to balance reasonable expectations for him given his age, maturity, and experience, I still felt like I was selling myself short.
  40. I could apply this statement to him: “If you value intimacy and companionship, and they value their solitude, doing things their way, and no matter what they profess, they consistently do things that exclude you and make you feel anything but intimate or a companion, you are incompatible. The closer you get, the more they will move away. Even if they like a little intimacy, they only want it when they want it, which may be little.”
  41. Sometimes I felt like he only wanted to hang out to get sex.
  42. Lack of regard for my professional environment; shared things with others that I would have preferred kept quiet.
  43. Extremely judgmental and critical about my choices; e.g., bipolar, staying here rather than moving, etc.
  44. Some of our serious problems happened because he either wasn’t listening, didn’t ask, or selectively remembered information
  45. He complained CONSTANTLY; had a very negative outlook; ignorant of how emotionally draining it was
  46. Was completely aloof when I quit smoking.  I don’t event think he asked about it once.
  47. He once complained that camping is “dirty” (prissy); when we went camping, he brought only junk food (immature), and wanted to watch tv episodes on his tablet (missed the point of camping entirely).
  48. When I finally got a car, I wanted to drive around and he sat with his arms crossed wanting to go home; unenthusiastic about my success in getting a car; unenthusiastic about my success in a lot of respects.
  49. When I needed to talk about things (e.g., Houston we have a problem), I never got around to it because he wasn’t available, ready, or wanted to vent on his own first (emotionally draining; I had nothing left).
  50. His birthday experience.  I don’t even want to go there.  A complete and utter dick.
  51. I was honestly embarrassed when he would bring up stories from high school around my friends.
  52. I felt uncomfortable because I knew most of my friends and family didn’t really like him all that much, and I knew they were right.  I have never gotten the question “why are you with that guy?” more often.

flip flop

yesterday i was all moody blues.  i woke up today feeling chipper.  optimistic, even.  don’t get me wrong, i appreciate the improvement.  but man, do i wish it was consistent.

i went to a get together last night, in the interest of staying the course in being social.  it was a small group, different than the one i had been running with the past few times i went out.  it didn’t hurt that i have a teensy weensie crush on one of them.  okay, two of them, but the female is in a relationship so she’s off limits (have i finally learned that lesson?).

i limited myself to two beers, and it didn’t hurt that both of them were HORRIBLE so i wasn’t inclined to have more.  i had no idea it was possible to fuck up an IPA.  it was like drinking acid, forreals.  i ducked outside to the street so i could dump it out, while still appearing gracious for the drink.

after about an hour and a half, i was painfully bored.  it’s not that [all of] the people were boring.  graduate students can just be so…awkward at times.  myself included.

mind you, this is like…9pm so people went kind of bug-eyed when i said i was going home.  so this is what it feels like to be a square.

i arrived home to happy pups, a few rounds of draw something, and some L&O.  midway through an episode, i was yearning to play infamous and made a spontaneous decision to buy it on the PSN…around midnight.  while it downloaded, i checked out a show my friend recommended called Firefly.  although anything Buffy-related reminds me of XBF, this Joss Whedon show was distant enough that i didn’t feel sad when i watched it.  in fact, it was really fucking good.  by 1:30a, infamous was still downloading, so i called it a night.

this morning, i got up and went to breakfast with another friend.  the sky is blue, the clouds are parting, and there is a pleasant wind today.  just my kind of weather.  i came home, flipped on firefly, and cleaned my house, washed dishes, did laundry.  now i’m sitting down to grade, but i think i might sneak a little infamous in first.

let’s hope this pattern holds.

grey skies

moody mcmooderson checking in here.

the skies are grey and so am i.  just bleh.  my house is no longer clean and i haven’t exercised since last week.  i’ve made sugar cookies in spite of my no flour, no sugar diet.  twice.

the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

i believe my mood is a result of my misplaced effort to integrate social interaction into my lifestyle.  i’ve been successful in being social, but the experiences leave me dull.  complacent.  unmotivated.

i think a big part of it is alcohol.  which makes me sad.  in the last week, i’ve been “social” 3 times.  after each night on the town, i’ve been incapable of doing anything but playing Draw Something on my phone.  i’ve got over 20 games going right now.

it’s not even that i’m drinking too much.  the effect is present whether i’ve had 3 drinks or 10.  i’m also not a big fan of the interaction of alcohol with my meds.  i can’t remember much of anything.  it’s almost a guaranteed “black out”, even when i felt fully cognizant and aware of my surroundings at the time.

and my diminished mood makes it easy for sad feelings to take over.  negative self-talk speaks louder.  feelings of missing my ex are stronger.  i feel like doing the healthy things less and less.  it’s a vicious cycle.

i keep trying to go to sleep and wake up to a “new” day.  but then i just turn on L&O and open up Draw Something, and hope that the next day will be different.

for the record, i know i’m going to have to be the catalyst in changing my mood.  it’s just that today is not going to be that day.

fuck me eyes

don’t take this the wrong way, but…

do you ever go out and feel like everyone there wants to have sex with you?

this happened to me a couple nights ago.  i was out with satan spawn, his woman, a friend, and friend’s brother.  i swear, three out of four wanted to bang me.

satan spawn is my ex of several years ago, and there is pretty much no question about him.  his woman is more of a womanizer than he is, and she tried to have sex with me in a hot tub incident last year.  in any case, i get the sense that it’s an open invite.  the guy friend, who used to want to have sex, now has a girl so he’s been on pretty good behavior lately.  his brother, however, was another story.  by the end of the night he was giving me a smoky stare and saying how gooooood it was to hang out with me.

then last night, i get a text from a lesbian back home who has explicitly stated her interest in both dating and sex (she just sent another text right now!).

and today, that student i mentioned in my last post was giving me winks and fuck me eyes every chance he got.

what the fuck?

this would all be great, except, no, no, no, no and NO.

and besides, i still miss my ex.  a lot.  😦  nothing like a broken heart to help me keep my pants on.

turn on turn off

did i mention i got my sex drive back?

and i mean, boy, is it back.  it’s back at the levels i felt when friends said i emitted sexual energy.  it’s back at the levels where i see red everywhere and slight breezes are arousing.  going to the gym is its own reward, if you know what i’m saying.

i’m not interested in hooking up.  not right now at least.  but i can’t help feeling attracted to some people.  or certain muscle groups.  and i can’t help when i feel aroused in situations where i am not “supposed” to be aroused.

like my classroom, for instance.

given my recent experience dating an ex-student, i have plenty of reminders for why that is not a good idea.  that is why i dress conservatively and talk about sex as blandly as i can in my human sexuality class.  and yes, there are good-looking kids in the class.  there always are.  but i’ve been successful in maintaining a professional persona, i think.

except today, i felt a bit overwhelmed by my hormones.  fortunately, it was a test day and fortunately, i’ve been practicing distraction techniques.

i’m skeptical about my success however.  one attractive individual i had especially noticed (and therefore tried especially to NOT notice) gave me a smirk as he handed in the exam.  at the time, i wondered if i had something on my face.  later, as i’ve been grading, i came across the real reason: he wrote me a note saying i looked really nice today.  my face went flush when i read it.

i know, i can’t act on it.  but i’m just concerned because while i can disguise my body with conservative clothes and disguise my experience with apparent disinterest or naivety, i wonder if i’m not adequately disguising my sex drive.

there is only so much i can do about it.  it’s overwhelming.  my whole body is aroused, and it’s like i can feel sex coursing through my veins.  under all other circumstances, this is okay, but in the classroom?  sometimes i just wish i had an off switch.

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