Friday, July 28, 2017

He Feels | She Feels

What happens when your spouse holds on to the positive and you just don't know how to get on board with that anymore?

I'm talking about the state of my mental health.

I'm the wife who has taken dozens of different combinations of drugs, gave talk therapy a few tries and underwent ECT, twice.

He's the husband who stood by my side when I arrived home with new prescription bottles, coaxed me to give it one more try (therapy) and backed me up when I wanted to test the ECT waters again.

You guys, he's been very supportive but I'm at my end and he wants to keep trying.

I get it. I do. He wants me to be better. To enjoy waking up each morning and face the day with a smile. To stop crying and start laughing. I want those things too. When the methods you're using to be better aren't working, it's hard to stay positive.

I used to be able to count on feeling well when October rolled around. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I also don't mind Winter when I'm home all warmed up as the snow falls outside. When Spring hits I'm usually okay until the 80 degree days arrive. Summer, though, is the worst. I can't count on any one time of the year where I'll be on the up and up. It doesn't work like that for me and I'm jealous of those who know.

My days consist of intrusive thoughts and paranoia (although, if you wonder if you're paranoid, can you really be?). I want to rush though the work day so I can get home and be in my pajamas. Some days I cook dinner and other days it's a cereal kind of night.

I can't remember the last time I wasn't depressed.

I can't remember the last time I smiled and laughed throughout an entire day.

I can't remember the last time I felt like I truly wanted to keep breathing.

When is this going to change?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Coming Out of the {Bipolar} Closet

I've been open with everyone in my life since my bipolar diagnosis almost eight years ago. When my family and I relocated from Florida to Colorado to start over, I hid it from people who didn't already know. I thought I could erase the fact that I'm bipolar if I didn't allow the discussion to surface. It worked for a short while.

I took a job that was intense; complete with yelling and screaming from the owner every single day. Once I figured it was time to look for a new job, I wasn't doing so hot with my mentally ill self.

I secured a new job and have been here ever since, a little over two years. Nobody here knows the extent of my mental health. I've dropped little clues but what is known is that I suffer with anxiety and depression. I was even hospitalized last year and they know the reason to be a nervous breakdown.

I don't want anyone here to know. I don't want to talk about it anymore with the people who do know. I know it won't change what I am but it will change how people approach me. I've been on lock down, in my own head, because I'm ashamed. I feel like a monster for having this illness.

Educating people in person about being bipolar is hard work and there are a lot of questions and topics raised out of ignorance. It's scary when faced with it because you want to believe, in the time we live in, that people are more open to it. The stigma still exists and it's going nowhere fast.

My moods are cycling fast and right now I'm in the anger phase. I'll be mean to anyone who talks to me without really wanting that to happen. The underlying depression still exists at the same time.

My new drug has been in my system for 18 days. All it has done for me is make me tired. When I say tired, I'm not just yawning extra. I can be having a face to face conversation with you and doze off. It's embarrassing and it's scary. I'm determined to give it until my next psychiatrist appointment in two weeks. Until then there's extra coffee and caffeinated soda all around me.

Where do you stand on coming out of the bipolar closet?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Anxiety Triggers

Today started off easily enough. I got ready for work and doubled down my caffeine consumption to avoid falling asleep at work (this wasn't successful). I arrived a few minutes later than usual and there were already people here. This triggered me because I'm usually first and have a short while to get settled.

There's almost never a lot of people in my office, but of course today, many people showed up with their speakerphones at the ready. They just don't think. All that noise!

We just moved to this office and it has an open concept layout. Meaning, the conference room doesn't even have doors. Meaning, I could hear every word pouring from inside of it.

I don't like taking more anxiety meds this early in the day because it makes me mellow to the point of wanting to possibly doze off. So when my anxiety hits the first thing I do is eat. It's only 10am right now and my lunch is gone.

I can't focus. I can't sit still. I'm sweating. I feel so nervous about nothing. I want to self-harm but I'm trying to stay away from that. My mind is going and going and going but yet, it's filled with nothing important.

All I can do is breathe through it for now.

Breathe and listen to my 90's alternative station on Pandora and hope for the best.

What are your triggers? How do you get through an anxiety attack?