Mood Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified

diagnosed bipolar and pissed about it

Category: bipolar

the sound and the fury

i am so angry right now i feel like i could vomit.  i actually don’t know what to do with myself.  i’m just kind of sitting here, confounded.

it’s bittersweet really.

i don’t want to minimize the first part of this story just because i’m angry about the most recent event, so let me see if i can manage to articulate it coherently.

y’all who read this blog or even my “about me” page know that i was diagnosed bipolar II in may 2012.  it was traumatic, to say the least, and brought me to the brink of suicide on multiple occasions.  it has had far reaching effects on my well-being, my relationships with family and friends (and lovers), and professionally.  and still, over a year later, i reap the consequences as just this week people in my professional circle have made reference to “my problem”.

lucky for me (and i do mean lucky), for whatever reason, whether it be because i am a graduate student in psychology, or because i have an insatiable quest for knowledge, or because WHEN YOU ARE DIAGNOSED WITH A SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS YOU TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, i sought out a phd-level clinical psychologist who specialized in bipolar disorder.  of course, i went in for a second opinion, but it was probably a good idea anyway because i had no the fuck idea how to handle this diagnosis and it only made my depression even worse.  i literally lost my mind, and to this day i still experience the fallout from that serious short-circuit to my brain, where i could barely form sentences, let alone understand what the fuck anyone else was saying.  memory, gone.  ever seen memento?  yeah, that was me.

so i kept my end of the bargain.  i went, faithfully, to this woman, every week.  sometimes i really didn’t understand the purpose of our sessions but in hindsight i realize they were more about gathering data about me.  what am i like?  what are my behavioral tendencies?  how do i react to stress or challenges?  how do i react to great experiences?  what is the pattern of my mood fluctuations?  you can’t really figure all of that out in an hour session; it *requires* multiple observations over a long period of time.

this is much unlike the practice of she-who-shall-not-be-named, the evil cuntwad who diagnosed me within the first ten minutes of our first session.  we’ll get to her in a minute.

almost a year and a half has passed and i had actually forgotten (not really, more like…set aside) the fact that i was seeing a psychologist weekly to get a second opinion about my bipolar diagnosis.  then, when i returned from the great pacific northwest, after my aunt threatened my life and a bunch of other shit happened (yeah, i haven’t blogged about that yet), i was sitting in her office trying to figure out how to navigate the situation with my aunt and the rest of my family and it happened.  i don’t recall what immediately preceded this moment.  i only have the flash memory of what she said.

she said:

i don’t think you’re bipolar

and i heard it and i stopped and i said, what did you say?  i’d heard her, but i just wanted to hear it again.  to savor the moment, maybe, i don’t know.

i don’t think you’re bipolar

and this was just, like, too much for my brain to handle, so i didn’t follow up with anything.  i kind of just let that idea enter my brain and percolate a while because i could not fucking handle it in that moment.  so i missed maybe a beat, and kept talking about my aunt.

a few weeks have passed since this moment, and i can still barely look it in the face.  it may be shock, but when i think of it it’s like a flood of emotions and an absence of them at the same time.  i don’t really know how to describe it otherwise.  so i kind of downplayed it.  i took it as a working hypothesis, rather than fact.  simply that the evidence indicated that i was not bipolar.  there is no certainty.  and that’s been the only way i’ve been able to deal with it.

until this week.

this week, on three separate occasions, two individuals have mentioned “my problem” in passing.  as if it’s ha-ha, nudge-nudge, funny.  and maybe i was okay with that before.  maybe my response to those comments was permissive, or encouraging even.  but this week, they just made me fucking angry.  and as each one occurred, i became more and more angry, so that i was just operating with a general level of irritation about it.  my daydreams were usurped by imagining telling them off for making jokes about my being bipolar (because HELLO, I’m NOT now…as if they could know), and the furious fucking letters i would write to the campus psych services, the psychiatry ethics board, and hell, the a.p.fucking.a. about the evil cuntwhore witch doctor who both diagnosed me prematurely and then told me i was “immature” when i hadn’t told my advisor that i was diagnosed bipolar, leading to these comments in the fucking first place.

so that’s what i talked about in therapy today.  i was nearly brought to tears recounting the breadth and depth of damage done by this woman, recalling wanting to die, desperately, and the damage it caused to my relationships and myself.

and do you know what my motherfucking therapist told me?  i couldn’t fucking believe it.  she said:

i had another patient come in, who was diagnosed right away with bipolar.  the same woman who diagnosed you.

let’s just sit with that for a moment.

..

..

because this means a lot of things.

this means, 1) i was fucking vindicated, 2) there was reason to suspect that her diagnostic decisions were a pattern, 3) she is, as i suspected, a danger to others.

those are really the most important ones right now.  so yes, we have an n=2 (sample size of 2).  but that’s two who happened to end up going to the same psychologist to talk about it.  probabilistically, then, there are probably more.

and remember, i consider myself lucky – LUCKY – to have had the insight or drive or whatever the fuck it was to GO SEE ANOTHER PROFESSIONAL.  what about those who don’t!?

so now, i am sitting here, ready to vomit, because i’m angry on behalf of myself and terrified for others who might suffer the same fate, who might not, for whatever reason, seek alternative opinions or care and who will LIVE ON AS IF THEY HAVE A SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE.

and it is fucking DAMAGING folks!  Many of my readers know this implicitly because they or a loved one experiences it themselves.  MY PROFESSIONAL REPUTATION IS FOREVER CHANGED BECAUSE OF THIS.  MY FAITH IN MYSELF WAS COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED, DESTROYED, AND I WANTED TO DIE.  DESPERATELY.  FRIENDS AND FAMILY DISTANCED THEMSELVES AND I WAS ISOLATED AND ALONE.  somehow i survived.

BUT THE NEXT PERSON MIGHT NOT.

THIS IS NOT OKAY. 

so i ask you, mental health community, what can be done?  who can i report to?  where do i sent my letter of complaint?

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THIS WOMAN NEVER HURTS ANOTHER PERSON AGAIN?

and if i can’t do that…

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THIS PATTERN IS ON HER FUCKING RECORD?

so that maybe, just maybe, when the next person complains, they will have a second complaint – my complaint – on record to show that YES, this is indeed a pattern, and YES, this woman is not professional and possibly not ethical, and YES, she is a risk to others.

please tell me: what can i do?

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of two minds – a new documentary about bipolar disorder

somehow, an announcement about a new movie crossed my desk.  i don’t go see movies very often, but this one was a necessity.  it’s called Of Two Minds, and it’s a new documentary film about living life with bipolar disorder.  it was in town for one night only, so i canceled my appointments and headed to the theater.

i wasn’t sure what to expect, both in terms of turn out and my response to the film.  i was a little nervous because i’m still in the “not sure i’m bipolar” phase and i wondered if i’d identify with the individuals in the film.  if so, it would be bittersweet.  find community, lose hope about not being bipolar.

it played at the local artsy-ish theater in town, which means it wasn’t going to be your typical movie going experience.  for instance, the director of films for the theater pulled up a microphone before the movie to introduce it, as well as the director (!), and other representatives from the mental health community.  we heard from reps from DBSA, NAMI, and the Aurora Foundation.  they announced the post-movie discussion panel and Q&A session, which i thought was a pretty neat idea too.

but let me back up a little.  i pulled up to the theater, and saw a crowd of people swarming the entrance.  fortunately, my friend was already there, so we’d have a place in line.  i was surprised to see such a turn out.  i honestly wasn’t expecting a lot of people to show, but that might be more a reflection of my history of perceiving this town to be a desert wasteland than anything.  boy, was i wrong.

by the time i parked and walked up to the theater, the line was wrapping around the building.  i scooted past a diverse group: old and young, normal…and not so normal, male, female, subculture, counterculture… the line went on.  i must admit with some amusement that it was fairly easy to distinguish the psychiatrists and psychologists in the group.  it was almost as if they had a dress code to adhere to: business professional, tweed, the works.

we walked in to a half full theater.  even then i thought it was far more people than i expected.  but they kept coming.  lines and crowds of people filtered in, filling the theater.  the start of the movie was delayed because people just kept coming and coming.  soon we were in an auditorium brimming with people.  i caught my breath, and tears filled my eyes.

i’m not alone.

once the movie started, my palms were a bit sweaty.  what would i see?  would i see myself, reflected in these lives?  would i identify with the trials and tribulations of these individuals?  the mania?  i knew the depression would be no question…but the mania?  would i identify with that too?

the movie followed the lives of several people living with bipolar disorder, some in more detail than others.  one of the opening scenes showed a young women up close to the camera.  she said, this is what mania feels like, and started dancing while the credits rolled.  i giggled a little, because it was silly, and because it resonated with me, much more so than some of the videos i’ve scanned by searching “bipolar mania” on youtube.  i wasn’t uncomfortable, to my surprise.  i wasn’t sad.  i was amused.

the stories unfolded, and spanned a variety of experiences, although i am fairly confident that the movie captured mostly bipolar 1 and not so much of bipolar 2.  it spoke of mania, psychosis, depression, and suicide.  of being untreated, undiagnosed, and unmedicated.  it featured love and relationships: those that worked, and those that didn’t.  of self-medication and pharmaceutical medication, and alternative methods of medication.

i was a little disappointed that more mania and hypomania weren’t captured on film.  that’s what i really wanted to see, in any case.  sometimes the individuals described it, along with psychotic episodes, artistic endeavors, and the vitality that is so often paired with bipolar disorder.  but it wasn’t featured all that much.  at least, not directly.  one of the characters who was refusing to take medication was clearly cycling up and down, and i think that was the extent of it, aside from the introductory cuts of the young woman dancing.

more poignant were the descriptions of depression, of yearning for death and ending the pain.  that was all too familiar.  right on the mark, really.

but overall, the film was good.  did i see myself?  yes.  was i upset about it?  no…i think i’m in a new place to be open to this possibility without freaking the fuck out.  it is what it is.  let’s just hope i don’t cycle into depression again because i’m not sure i’ll survive the next one.

the post-movie panel was great, with a few especially memorable quips by the panel members.  one guy, a representative from dbsa who is bipolar himself, said, “isn’t stable a place to keep horses?” which i found fucking hilarious, but it didn’t translate so well when i tried to recreate the moment for a non-bipolar friend.  his response was more like “…”  i, on the other hand, was crying from laughing so hard.

the director, a mr. doug blush, said probably the most striking comment i’ve heard in reference to mental illness so far.  an audience member asked him why he personally was interested in making this film.  mr. blush went on to say how much he has learned about the mental health community, and how in the mainstream media, mental illness is always portrayed in such a destructive way, with extreme behaviors that don’t capture most of life with mental illness.  he said (paraphrasing), “i’m just so tired of seeing mental illness portrayed in this way, and i’m tired of the media making mental illness out to be the only illness in this country!”  i got the tingles when he said that.  poignant indeed.

if you want to check out the movie yourself, it’s now available on amazon and itunes.  i’m going to get it, just so i can watch the extra footage.  enjoy!

don’t disclose your mental disorder on a dating website

i almost forgot.

i went out on a date last night with a guy from okcupid.  he didn’t really look like his pictures, and he was short.  i have no romantic interest whatsoever, but he would be super cool as a friend.  but that is beside the point.

he was pretty much talking the whole time.  once he decided to tell me about all the “weirdos” who make profiles on okcupid.  i was apparently the first person he had met from the site.  i asked him to give an example and dude says the following:

“well, there was this one girl who wrote about how she is bipolar but she’s on medication so everything’s fine”

this was followed by a shock-and-awe look like “omg can you believe that?!”

i just smiled.

sneak attack

i’ve been going about my days quite nicely lately.

i get up at a reasonable hour, sometime between my first and third alarms (out of four).  i respond to emails, get ready for any meetings or appointments, and make them on time.  i come home, do some grading or other work-related tasks, and in the evening i take the boys out for a jog and hit the gym.

most of the time, i feel pretty damn good.

so tell me.  how is it that i spend all this time being productive, feeling good, and feeling over my ex, that as soon as i’m asked to talk about him i start to cry?

i can’t stop it and it catches me off guard.  i spend so much time distracting myself from thinking of him that it feels like i’m over it.  clearly i am not.

so knowing this, i try to venture into “deal with it” territory but i find i’m still too tender and it’s still too painful to think about.

i feel like one of those jenga towers and the subject of my ex is one of the blocks near the base.  well, i suppose it is not strictly my ex.  as one friend put it, all of my emotional response is not just about him.  i also struggle with a number of internal demons.  relationships appear to be a convenient vehicle for them to rise to the surface.

my seroquel just kicked in, and now i’m too tired to continue my line of thinking.  au revoir!

the bulge

i just weighed myself.

big mistake.  the only time i want to see those digits is on a check, payable to moi.

good thing one of my new hobbies is going to the gym.  yeah, i went last night, instead of watching L&O or playing a puzzle game on my ps vita.  little did i know, that while i was doing squats and stretching, everyone behind me could see my fucking UNDERWEAR.  because i didn’t notice before i put them on that big dog A had chewed a nice doily pattern through the crotch.

lovely.

in any case, i did a shopping trip today, finally.  i emailed myself my old low carb grocery list and went to town.  if all works as before, i can lose at least 15 of these nuisances in a month or two.  last year i did the same.  in one month, i lost 12 lbs.  or 16.  i can’t remember.  all i remember is looking fucking fantastic in an itty-bitty bikini.

a friend of mine told me that “people” said they thought i was anorexic back in february of this year, when i did this diet again before a trip to the Playboy mansion.  she told me, i look much healthier now…

yeah, if i want to be served up at thanksgiving dinner.

(<3)

chemical booster shot

the past 24 hours, i’ve been okay.  not great or anything, but definitely okay.  yesterday afternoon, i experienced about an hour-long period of feeling like i’d been hit by a bus, but the waters have mostly calmed since.

i suspect it has something to do with another change in my meds, prescribed by my very new and very NICE psychiatrist.  he recommended seroquel, which i initially cringed at because of my sister’s brief stint as a zombie while taking the stuff.  he convinced me, however, that zombie attacks are usually associated with very high doses.  the dose i’d be taking would be very low, about 6% of the zombie dose.  and, he claimed, this would help with my unrelenting depression.  which, at the time of our meeting, was quite pervasive.  i guess all my talk of hangings and stabbing myself in the stomach finally got through to someone.

so, seroquel.  knocks me out.  i have NO IDEA how anyone takes the dose for mania or psychosis and functions.  let’s put it in perspective.  25 mg for me means i am going to sleep.  relatively immediately.  the dose for mania or psychosis is GREATER THAN 400 mg.  fuck that job!

the next change in my regimen will be to up my lamictal to 100 mg from 50 mg in the interest of getting me to a therapeutic dose faster.  and because the change after that is to reduce my prozac and lithium!  hooray!  we’ll decrease to 10 mg of the prozac (from 20 mg), and 600 mg of the lithium (from 900 mg).

thank fucking god too, because the lithium (and my brief appearance as the cookie monster) added 20 lbs to my body.  i am in perpetual discomfort!  arrrggghhhh.

i think eventually, i will just be taking the lamictal.

my weekly pill box will be so much more zen.

chaos on bullshit mountain

thanks to jon stewart for inspiring today’s blog post title.  and for reminding me to laugh, as i watch it the second time around.

because the news i received today is no laughing matter.  it seems as though me and my bipolar twinsies are taking the fall for some professional indiscretions in my department.  oh yes.

let’s talk about some events.  a series of unfortunate events, to be more clear.  the year was 2011.  a long, hot summer was winding down, along with my month or two-long mania binge.  i was facing the consequences of my actions, like having no money, and the fallout from a wicked fight with my sister.

around the end of july, beginning of august, i had lunch with my ex of two years.  we had just broken up at the beginning of june and i didn’t see him during the height of my summer shit storm.  at the time, he was feigning interest in being just friends, although it was pretty obvious that he wanted to get back together.

in any case, we’re out to eat, and he says he has some news that i need to be aware of and cautious about.  oh goodie.

let me back up first.  when we were together, we planned on buying a house together.  for a lot of reasons that are not important for this story, it didn’t happen.  however, we did spend over 6 months looking.  our real estate agent was my co-advisor’s wife.  we all developed a close bond.  i was considered family according to my advisor and his wife.  we’d exchange attendances at dinner events and activities.  all good fun.

back to lunch.  after my ex and i split, he continued looking for a house via the advisor’s wife.  my ex told me they were out looking at houses one day when the wife broke down crying.  she confessed to having problems with her husband (my advisor; hereafter dubbed chuck) and his relationship with another graduate student who we will call amanda.

this part of the story didn’t surprise me.  for months the relationship between chuck and amanda had been viewed with suspicion on the parts of students, both graduate and undergraduate, as well as post docs and faculty.  they were constantly together.  they showed up together and, many times, left together.  i have seen them out, without the company of others, on at least one or two occasions.  many people asked about it.  there were reports from people who observed her crying to him out in public.

i saw all this and you know what?  i stayed the FUCK out of it.  because honestly, do what you want and leave me out.  i’m good.  i had my friendships and my pseudo-family bonds, and that made me happy.  besides, who knows what arrangement chuck had with his wife?

well, i guess the arrangement was of the nonexistent variety, because wifey was crying on the shoulder of my ex, describing how there were problems with her marriage and with chuck.  how amanda was creating a wedge between them, and how she didn’t know what to do.  she described a situation in which amanda had a problem with wifey, and went crying about it to chuck, which in turn caused problems between chuck and wifey.

and here’s my favorite part.  chuck is out 4-5 nights a week with amanda…and ME.

wow!  that’s awfully funny.  i must have amnesia, because i don’t remember spending even half that much time with them.  hmm!

my reaction was an unholy concoction of shock, dismay, disappointment, disgust, anger, and disbelief.  these were my supposed friends and “family” (chuck’s words, not mine).  now i’m just a pawn?

what is a girl to do?

i withdrew.  i canceled my attendance at a camping trip with these so-called friends and family.  my stomach twisted and turned.  i was isolated again.  i only got one glorious fucking semester of respite from stupid fucking drama and now it was all heading down the shitter again.

after several weeks, i confided in someone who i *thought* was a close friend (i only lent him money for all grad applications, a chunk of his wedding, and my fucking car for like, a month, and we talked almost every day, but NO that does not mean we’re friends.  apparently).  this turned out to be a mistake for several reasons, not the least of which because he listened to everything and gave me no solace whatsoever.

now, here is what i SHOULD have done.  i should have kept my fucking mouth shut and distanced myself as necessary.  i should have let their fantasy cruise ship sink, as it was bound to do, with or without my contribution.

but me, nooooo, i can’t leave this small injustice against me alone.  i can’t just leave it at, wow, what a bunch of assholes, and move on with my life.  no, no.  i have to go and make a giant stinking mess out of things.

my course of action was as follows: do nothing for several weeks.  hide from all peers.  drink alcohol.  weigh out who is the SAFEST person (i.e., the lesser of three evils) to talk to about this.  I conclude that it is definitely not the wife, because that could cause major professional problems for me.  then i decide chuck is no good either, because he may be lying to his wife and using me to do it.  finally, i decide that amanda is the best bet.  why?  well, if something IS going on, she would theoretically appreciate the heads up.  if something is NOT going on, she will be able to salvage her reputation by adjusting her behavior…also resulting in appreciation.

i was WRONG.  fucking dead wrong!

amanda and chuck got together the next day and the shit hit the fucking fan.  now, i was supposed to meet with the both of them together but for whatever reason (ahem) i was not invited to this shindig.  apparently, chuck had it out with wifey, who claimed she never said anything at all.  awesome.

monday morning (the next day) i receive a very long, strongly-worded email from chuck about a series of actions that i need to take within specified time frames (24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours), including speaking to a previous grad student who “has seen me (and been involved in) many situations, sexual and otherwise…and she can give you a good idea about who I am, how I behave in a wide variety of  situations, and what I do (and don’t do) with my students (undergraduate or otherwise).”  This student could then tell us all of the problems with wifey, including “the confabulations that she can come up with, the problems with menopause that are rampant, etc etc.”  The next step, specifically to me, was to speak to my so-called friend about confiding in him, and to tell him that it was completely inappropriate to do so.  That was a task i was to accomplish in 48 hours.  then i got a thinly veiled threat about ethically responsible behavior (!) and a command to schedule a meeting with him to discuss the consequences of the situation.

as you might imagine, i flipped a shit when i read this.  the only thing i wanted was to eliminate my involvement with this situation (epic fail on my part, i know).  all of this talking to other people and so on just seemed to get me more involved.

i considered leaving the program.  i considered leaving the state.  this was way above my head and i wanted no part in it.  i followed zero instructions, went in a few days later and said “is this over with?”  he said yes.  i thought things would blow over.

wrong again.

there is another event that complicates this situation further, but this story is long enough as it is.  i’m going to cut to about a month later, when i noticed strange changes in behavior on the part of chuck.  i had thought things were fine but now he was doing strange things like deleting me from facebook and removing me from email threads.  i contacted him as soon as i noticed and said i wanted to resolve the problem if there was one.  we scheduled a meeting.  i went to see him, and he promptly told me he wanted nothing to do with me.

when i asked why, he said it was because i “did not follow instructions” and when i explained that i wanted to be less involved, not more involved, he said it doesn’t matter.

this whole series of events stimulated, in part, the drastic downward spiral into the deepest depression of my life, one that lasted 8 to 10 months of pure misery.  in that time period, i heard rumors that i was on copious amounts of drugs.  i heard that i called chuck a sociopath.  none of these things happened of course.  i was being sacrificed.

i am not sure who orchestrated the ostracizing more: chuck or amanda.  i know bits and pieces of their contributions.  the whole story will remain a mystery.

so today, i met with my other advisor (my primary advisor) to discuss options with my dissertation so that i can graduate by august or december of next year.  chuck is on my dissertation committee, although i had broached the idea of dropping him.  no formal changes had been made, so my primary advisor asked about my status with that.  i told him i’m ambivalent, and he gave me a piece of information that might “help”.  indeed.

apparently, when chuck heard about my “condition” (i.e., bipolar disorder), he said that it “completely puts my behavior in a new light”.  and that now he is less…aversive to working with me.  suddenly there is now some kind of positive spin and i’m “okay” again.

because he can blame the fucking bipolar.

well just get in line buddy.

when all else fails, blame it on the bipolar

the bitch fest continues.

so now my favorite part about being “bipolar” is that it can conveniently become the scapegoat for all emotional responses.  irritability, for instance.  rather than being a normal response to a shitty situation is now reinterpreted to reflect “an extreme mood swing”.

fucking awesome.

say you fly 2000 miles and pay $400 (on a graduate student salary) to see someone, a boyfriend perhaps, for his birthday.  you meet up with his friends and some family and plan to go out, except boyfriend hasn’t slept in two nights and he isn’t feeling well.  no biggie, we’ll have dinner and hang out rather than go out.

the meals haven’t even arrived yet.  i roll a cigarette to go out and smoke.  boyfriend says, please don’t smoke right now, it will make me nauseous.  okay, i put it away.  a few minutes later, he’s saying, can you just not smoke for the entire night?  mind you, there are other smokers in the party.  i say that’s a little silly, and i will smoke less.  boyfriend then proceeds to give me shit about starting smoking again.  i say, do you really want to do this now?

so, boyfriend decides from that point on to stop talking to me and ignore me.  he puts his arm up and turns completely away to talk to other people at the table.  this is awkward.  these are his friends and family.  what am i supposed to do?

this ignoring continues for the rest of the night, and is supplemented by whispering to his friends about “the situation” with my smoking.  awesome.

i get pissed.  i try to play it cool.  as the night wears on, i’m thinking about all the money i spent to be here.  i’m thinking i should be grading right now.  i was about to burst so i went outside to vent to my mom.

once the night is over and his friends drop us off, he starts to play nice.  i’m still livid.  boyfriend thinks i have no right to be mad and that i should just stop because it’s his birthday.  eventually we work it out.

come to find out, my actions were somehow an “extreme mood swing” and that i made his birthday all about me, and that his family member who was present got a bad impression of me, and so on.  oh, and that i didn’t seem to “care” that he was sick.  never mind he is ALWAYS FUCKING SICK and isn’t on top of taking care of his health and i have only taken care of him a baJILLION fucking times. and on top of it, i was concerned about how he was feeling…until he started IGNORING ME.

apparently, i’m supposed to apologize.  for what, i don’t know.  also, the apparent appropriate reaction in that situation was to “fake it”.  i don’t know how to say this any more clearly: that is NOT how i roll.

my grandmother once asked me to “fake it” when my mom and i weren’t getting along.  i said to hell with that plan.  if i won’t do it for my grandma, i sure as hell won’t do it for boyfriend.

i’ve dated my share of douches that try to make me second guess myself, and i’ve resolved to trust my gut.  but when it comes to the bipolar, i’m on shaky ground.  suddenly i have a mood disorder, so i have doubts about what “normal” vs “bipolar” behavior is.  and this vulnerability scares me, and it makes me fucking angry.  i can’t definitively defend myself because I. Don’t. Know.  To me, my reaction makes sense in light of the situation.  and i’m so furious that i can’t defend myself, and that if i try, my anger will come off as more proof of my mood instability.

but i’m just so angry because now bipolar is a crutch for any mood, valid or not.  and using it is like a subtle reminder: you’re actually crazy and you can’t trust your own reality.

follow the white rabbit

i estimate having slept between 2 and 3 hours last night.  i am not pleased.

i am afraid of myself.  i feel like a volcano.  or a geyser.  or something else that is unpredictable and explosive.

i’m not yet familiar enough with bipolar to know how to compensate, to try and bring me back to stasis.

not that i wouldn’t mind some hypomania.  it sounds awfully nice, i’ll tell ya.  i could get drunk and party and have lots of sex and spend money i don’t have and do drugs and forget about all of my current and impending responsibilities.  a little psychological vay-cay.

sigh.

it’s the depression that will follow, however, that has me shaking in my boots.  i don’t think i have another round in me to deal with it.  it’s too much, too recent.  i’m still reeling from the last “episode” that seemed to last FOREVER.

on top of that stress, i’ve arrived at the very dismaying realization that i am late.

i am late.  for a very important date.

i have not had my visit from Aunt Flo for 42 days and counting.  now, i have a long cycle but even for me that’s long.  i’m hoping it’s stress.

it’s stress, right?

so, along with my psychiatrist appointment today, i’m going to get a fucking test to see if i’m prego, because i can charge it to my bursar’s account at school.

i will just shit myself, literally, if that fucker comes back positive.  i paid over $400 for a 10-year IUD in 2009.  it better be doing its job.

regression

usually when i’m talking about regression, i’m referring to a statistical analysis that predicts an outcome variable from one or more predictor variables.

not this time.

now when i think regression, i’m referring to a rather strange and possibly disturbing trend in my behavior.  i’ve noticed that, over recent months, my behavior has taken on somewhat of a child-like quality.  i can here it in the tone of my voice sometimes.  i’ve been drawn to a few of the things i found comforting in childhood.  my behavior is decidedly more juvenile.

what does it all mean!?

i am already developmentally delayed as far as maturity goes, at least by some standards.  but this is a different mentality entirely.

take, for example, the last couple of weeks.  i have gone on a children’s cereal extravaganza.  i brought back all of my old favorites, starting with Lucky Charms.  Then I had Captain Crunch.  Then Frosted Mini Wheats.  I just finished off the Corn Pops.

last night, i downloaded a bunch of sanrio wallpapers for my phone.  right now i’m rocking pochacco who, along with keroppe, i used to draw incessantly as a kid.

the most disturbing aspect, though, is when i hear my own voice go from normal to  7 years old.  i catch myself and shut my mouth until i can regain my senses.

my cognitive ability isn’t far behind.  i have trouble reasoning through complex problems.  the idea of going to a meeting with my peers is just about the most terrifying idea ever (besides the one i’m going to talk about in my next post…).  anything that requires me to articulate something beyond the most basic sophistication gets jumbled somehow.  i can’t even think about the future.  the past seems swept away as soon as it happens.  it reminds me of the strange, disconnected mental space i was in for most of my childhood.

i just hope it doesn’t take me another 20 or so years to get out of it.

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