All I can think of to say is: 'Wow'. Not only do you people know firsthand the depths of what I'm feeling, but you are incredibly sweet and supportive. I'm shocked. At my worst I was convinced that half of you hated me. Or thought my opinions worthless. How can thinking become so twisted - I want to respond to each of your comments in this post, so you don't miss my appreciation for your wonderfulness.
As far as my ride has gone, well, in a nutshell, the lazy, useless, obnoxious houseguests slowly packed their bags and were out by Saturday evening. mmb'bye. And stay out! D'ya think I slammed the door?
Sunday I raced around here higher than a kite, doing stuff we needed to get done around the house and yard: preparing for a garage sale next weekend, so pricing, sorting through boxes et c., (please let my energy last until the garage sale is over), learned how to weed-eat and mow the lawn and did both, gardened for 2 hours, make a few dozen mini quiches for the freezer so hubby can take them for his lunches.... you know, the usual hypomanic stuff; and by midnight I was still raring to go - despite the huge blisters on my hands (my usual bedtime is 9pm). (3 of my 4 kids were with their dad for the weekend in case you're wondering how I managed that!) Also talked my hubby's ear off about anything and everything (I'm not the talkative type normally) That's another bonus of the 3 being at their dad's, I can actually talk! As in, get a word in edge-wise!
Today finds me still hypomanic, but with a side of irritability. I got really worked up and angry with my hubby today for something kind of crazy: he answered a call from my sister while I was in the shower, and told her it was ok for her to pop by for a visit later this afternoon (when he would be at work). Yeah, I know, crazy. When he told me though, I just saw red! I felt betrayed. This is a sister that I find hard to be around, and have to be in the perfect mood for her not to trigger me. He knows this, but I guess he thought that I was on an upswing, so it would be fine. He didn't know yet that today's upswing comes with a bonus feature: hissing & scratching. Bless his soul though, he sometimes just doesn't know which end is up, and I wish I could tell him, but can't because it's changing so fast sometimes.. How did God give him so much patience? He amazes me.
Anyway, the visit was fine because: it was brief, the kids did most of the visiting/chatting with her, and I was able to maintain an emotional distance. Yay me. Sister of the Year. Anyway, I do what I can do.
SO! Onto your comments...
Marya said: If you could keep with things that will be absorbing, that might help - stuff you enjoy - anything to keep those thoughts from invading. Would that be something you could do?
Marya, thank you for that suggestion. I just felt too despondent to do much of anything. But you're right, sometimes, I can keep the feelings at bay if I get absorbed in something that takes all my attention. Sometimes knitting, sometimes helping with a school project, that kind of thing. When I worked part-time a few years ago, that was often a helpful distraction. Now, I don't know if I could, as the cycling has become so much more rapid.
Shiv said: These are difficult emotions but you have painted the picture so beautifully! ~Shiv
Thank you Shiv, I consider that high praise, indeed.
Jena said: Oh, Coco. I am so sorry to hear of your pain. I hope you start to feel better soon. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers! PS-I have to agree with Shiv!
Thank you so much Jena, I really appreciate your kindness. :)
Susan said: Dear Coco,So sorry to read that you feeling so bad. Do you think it has anything to do with cutting back on your medication or going off the Lamictal? Your post today is one of the reasons I worry about posting about alternatives to medication. You see, I never feel the way you have described yourself. That's why I think that perhaps I was misdiagnosed. Your feelings seem to be common (although so thoughtfully expressed) among other people within the bipolar community.Anyway, I just wondered whether medication helps you feel differently than this. And I also want to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you!Susan
Susan, the medication. I just don't know. It's something I'm very confused about right now. All I know is that I feel robbed of the last 14 years of my life. On antidepressants I have felt like nothing. Like I needed to wake up and feel something, but I couldn't... numb. Like there was a chemical straight jacket on my feelings. The most precious years of my children's lives, I feel like I've lost. I want to feel. Sometimes I think that if it means cycling like this, then that's what it will have to be... as long as I'm able to feel things. And sometimes I feel like maybe I just wasn't on the right medication. I may try again. Right now I'm decreasing my Effexor very very slowly, as I know this is one drug I will never again be willing to take. Thank you for thinking of me Susan.
PJ said: First of all - SO WELL WRITTEN!! I loved the analogies, great peice. Secondly, I TOTALLY get what you mean by all you said. I get you, girl!Thirdly, my advice. I know it feels very uncontrollable - like you have no choice but to open the door. And, even if you don't open it, the uninvited guests will find their way in around the cracks. So, to you I say, do your best to keep reality in focus. Write down what you need to (such as "my friends love me", "I am a great mom", "I am worth it", "I am God's beautifully created daughter and He longs to hold me in His arms") on paper and post it around your office, bedroom, wherever you need to so that you can read it and let it sink in. Ask God to help you absorb the truth. Let Him wrap His arms around you. Take some quiet time, a few minutes at a time if that's all you can get, to focus, breathe, and say a quick prayer. Do that for 5 minutes every hour if you need to.Take care. You are in my prayers. Take comfort in the fact the people are praying for you.
P.J. that is some awesome advice! And I'm so glad to hear you 'get me' you should get an award for that! ;) Keeping reality in focus.. yes, those words struck a cord. And taking a few minutes at a time. You are a wise woman, dear P.J. Thank you for those thoughtful and comforting words ;)
Clueless said: I love your writing. I hope you were able to take a stand and reclaim your turf today. I liked the attitude and the picture you paint with the way you write.
Well, Clueless, I'd love to say I reclaimed my turf, turned those leeches out on their keisters... but frankly I think they tired of me. And thank you for the compliment.
Naturalgal said: Coco,You will get better. Believe that. Time will make you better. Also there are things you can try.Give yourself lots of positive self talk.I used to be sooo envious of others. But often there is a pain in their life that you might not be aware of. I have found that out about many people who I envied.What do you like? Is there anything you like that is easy to do?Take your life 15 minutes at a time.
Naturalgal, that is so true about other people, and never really knowing what is going on with them. But somehow even with that I manage to turn it into something to envy. Until I round the corner into 'normal' thinking and wonder what the heck I was so envious of. Yes, 15 minutes at a time, that is such a good recommendation. Otherwise it gets so overwhelming.
Gianna said: hey Coco,I have all those feelings too, but unlike Susan, I don't think they define bipolar disorder because I really have no mania or the big classic symptoms of bipolar...but I have all the insecurities you're talking about here in spades...I think they are more related to trauma and difficult childhoods than bipolar per se, though anyone can have these kinds of feelings certainly those without bipolar disorder too...I haven't' read much of your blog but it seems that trauma is part of the problem---like it is for me?
Medication didn't make them go away for me. I find that allowing myself to feel them and not judge them helps. I also meditate profoundly on my feelings. They are remitting slowly.My next post which I'm not sure when I'm going to post because of the long weekend is about how I deal with my symptoms...I don't actually talk about the insecurity, mild paranoia and envy so much but I deal with those the same way...Maybe I'll made my post longer and talk about some of those too...I see those for myself as characterological issues...I know some people don;t like that, but I find it freeing because I can take responsibility for them that way...instead of feel like I'm swept by chemical stew. And like I said the drugs never made them go away...I'm actually dealing with them much better now...of course I don't know what the answer for you is.
You write about your experience here beautifully.
I hope you feel better soon.warmly,G
well, Coco,You did inspire the end of my post...I realize I may view my situation differently...I don't at all mean to impose my interpretation of similar feelings onto you.It will be posted in the next few days...I may take a couple days off for the holiday...or maybe not...not sure...again, your beautiful prose inspired me...thanks.
Dear Gianna, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I think trauma plays a pretty big role here. But that's where it gets confusing for me. Medication did 'work' for me in treating the depression for the past number of years, in that it took away the bad feelings. Now that i'm cycling, it's a whole new ball game, and i'm pretty confused. Maybe childhood trauma is what brings on bipolar for some people. Maybe if i deal with some of those issues I'll recover? Maybe I need to be medicated in order to deal with them. But I tried that, and I can't FEEL the things I need to feel in order to HEAL.... I'm so confused and frustrated! Thank you for providing me with inspiration and hope by relating your story and whats working for you, though. I realize you're not trying to tell anyone what to do, and I don't take it that way, but I find great comfort in your journey.
I get those visitors too. I prefer the kid.
Oh, Lordy, me too Amanda ;), but the combination is the killer, wouldn't you say :s
Aqua said: God I hate having those unwelcome guests. I love your writing....aqua
Dear Coco,I always see so much of myself in your posts. You have a beautiful, creative way of expressing yourself. One comment I would make on whether your symptoms are due to childhood trauma or mental illness, I think possibly both. I experience many of the same feelings as you do when I am unmedicated and during PMS week (!!!) and I had a relatively normal, uneventful childhood. My own uneven emotions, depression, fear, paranoia, etc. were my biggest childhood monsters.
Preciousrock, I'm learning so much, it's amazing. Through Jena and now you, I'm beginning to realize that this isn't solely about 'undealt with baggage'. I"ve just always assumed that it was. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they mean a lot to me. And I often see me in your posts too! ;)
Stephany said: i definitely agree do not offer tea!
lol I didn't Stephany!
Jena said: hey just wanted to let you know my blog address changed, so you'll need to update your links- i'm still at blogger but my link is now jena-fun.blogspot.com :)
Thanks Jena, I've changed it. ;)
Susan said: Coco,You haven't posted recently, and I wanted to check in and make sure you're okay. Gianna just posted and mentioned your post. Thought it might make you feel better--if you're still feeling poorly.Susan
Susan, you are so sweet to check on me. I will now go to see Gianna. Thank you :)