Un-niche-able – the Next Day

tday_across_honey_streetI have an announcement to make. I’m going to be 56 for a few more months…. or is it 55? Well anyway, I have ADHD and am a manic bipolar individual so let me think on it for a bit okay? Sigh. It’s late and I’m tired and the dog wants to know why in the world I haven’t taken her out yet! Sorry baby. That’s the dog baby. Um, her name is actually Bailey. Uhh. Slow down! That’s the manic bit – obsessing on one thing and going on and on.

[And this would be a big change in the conversation.]  You know sometimes things become clear, oh so clear… and then their bellies bust right out of those tight pants and they know how convoluted they are. [What??] I mean honestly… I spent almost two hours tonight preparing some documents everso carefully. I was so sure that anyone who could use a crayon could follow it… or I thought so.

I was supposed to be studying. I really want to finish this course! I’m learning so much. But, nope. It’s been hours and I still haven’t started. It very much annoys me. Oh and the documents I’ve been making so “clear” were for my Mom. No pressure. No expectations that I can’t possibly meet. Actually, I’m not sure she has any expectations of me other than the negative ones. The expectations that all end in failure.

I’m un-niche-able. I’m sorry. No one’s going to suffocate me in expectations of failure anymore. This is my un-niche and I’m keeping it!

I spent all this time getting it set up for her so that we wouldn’t have any conflict, as we always do when it comes to going over this stuff. I thought I’d made it so clear this time. She could just print it all and follow along with the notes that were even colorfully numbered. I even put the name of each file right in the text of the email so she could see where everything came from.

It was all very clear. Just read the email first, as requested, print it, then open and print all the pdfs that were attached. Simple? Not on your life.

I’m sorry if I sound rather like a petulant child, but I kind of feel like one. Huh. There has to be another way.

And this brings me to what I’m ruminating on tonight.

Why are people so uninterested in learning about each other?

At T-Day, I tried to explain to a family member (who will have a psych degree this summer) about how I was diagnosed with ADHD about two years ago, but besides giving me medication they haven’t taught me anything about the illness or how it might interplay with Bipolar Disorder. It seems to me that the ADHD mixed with my ever-present manic-ness would be kind of interesting.

Fascinating stuff. Right? For a psych major? UUUUUuuuummmmmmMMMM NOPE! Not on your bloody life. Talk about a snub and a dismissal. OMG! I totally forgot she’s royalty. EEeerrrttt! Stop right now! I guess I shouldn’t go down that road. Insults from childhood are coming to mind. Ick.

So what’s the deal? As I am finally embracing my un-niche-able-ness I’m getting pretty excited. When I’m excited, as you might guess, I want to “share the good news” with at least someone… if it can’t be with everyone. I was brave and I settled on just one someone. I hoped it was a safe someone. I miss judged. Next time, I’ll think longer on who I trust with my soft underbelly. Get my drift?

You already spotted the Un-Niche all over my face right? Yep. It was the royalty.

Dang. How do I slow this bus down a bit?

The Great Un-niche-able Me!

Teaching one of our cats to go hiking.

I think I’ve found myself. Sort of.

I have been stuck, stunted, and riven clear off the tracks to the point where I’ve actually spent the spent the night having one of my best inner panic attacks. I haven’t gone through one like that for a while.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot, not about the panic attack per se, but about how I’ve gotten here, to this place where I’m stuck in my head. I have some ideas that I’d like to put into some form of business, but I… well, I feel broken. Still. I have another bachelors degree, and I still feel broken. I might answer that sentence by saying… yes, but you still have no job.

Nope, I don’t. And I don’t plan on having one. I’m going to start another business. Yes, I’ve done this having my own business thing before. And don’t give me grief, I’m in the proud third generation of business owners! I’m just going about it my own ADHD way… my Un-Niche-Able way.

“Fine. Like what? You’ve messed everything else up, what’s it going to be this time? You never settle on just one thing and focus on just that one thing. You’re always going to be a failure. You never finish anything.” Says some of the retarded and self-defeating self-talk I’ve been doing for forever.

Nope. I don’t. And now I know why. I’m a person who has a brain that’s crammed full of plastic neurons doing highly technical biological sorts of things in a really unique sort of way. (I’ll be learning more about this as I go along. I promise!)

I don’t focus well on one thing at a time, because I have ADHD.

I have occasional panic attacks and freaky mood swings. I have depression sometimes. Other times, well, I’m manic.

Add “mood swings” or specifically the mania part and ADHD, and you will see me, the really active me. And these two things are a part of the larger group of things that make me myself.

So I need to carve out that special niche to have a successful blog huh… HA!!

I am the Great Un-niche-ableMe. You will never catch me, nor will you see me coming. I’m that little ufo disc zooming around those folks and their power pole just there, in their backyard. Wait, it’s the pie tins again!!

I can’t focus on a single thing, establish a niche because I’m not a single niche. My brain doesn’t know that song or the dance. To have a successful blog, a book or even to write a news article or someone else’s copy or content, I’d have to be able to focus on a single topic, at a time! Honestly, this is such a bizarre idea to me.

Oh god. Noway. Not this woman. No wonder I’ve been feeling like you feel when you play that game where you put your forehead on the baseball bat and spin around and around until some random person tells you all to stop and run to the finish line. (I secretly despised everyone who made it before I did, which was exactly the way it was. Just kidding. You’re so serious, aren’t you?)

Ok, so the more I’ve been thinking about it and trying to come up with a niche, which I was sure was Bipolar Disorder, until I couldn’t write my posts because I was trying to niche-it-up so I could build a blogging business the successful way, with a niche… the problem is, was, and always will be… That I’m just not niche-able. Me and ADHD and FM and OA and this and that and Bipolar disorder. Ok, I’m good with that. I have no pre-defined niche! And you know what? I’m finally totally fine with that.

This is who I am. This is the Un-niche-able Me. And this is finally the beginning of my story and of finding my way and living my best life. I’m going to work on figuring things out as I poke holes in what is expected of me, and making my own squares, rectangles, triangles and so on for myself. Want to tag along?

This is my blog. My place to learn and share what I learn. I hope you’ll come back. I’lljust bet, that there are a lot of you out there who are a lot like me. Yeah?

Maybe I can’t write on Bipolar disorder and only on it… so what? Life isn’t ever that tidy. I’m gonna mix it up a little. Do this my way. On my terms. The way life is really lived and the way I really am, and I’m going to do it as…

The Great Un-niche-able Me!

Have a grand T-Day everyone! Please be safe. I’ll be waiting for you on the flip side of the holiday!

Don’t forget to subscribe so you can see where my brain stops next. There are a few things I want to visit (I can organize things a little bit… but I make lots and lots of notes, which I lose, and then find them and tape to the walls, and make piles of them and then, can’t remember what I wrote them down in. These exciting ideas are in a Word document and are in a special secret place where they will be very safe. Wait – where did it go?

Subscribe. And please, share this un-niche-able-ness with others and LEAVE COMMENTS! What do you think about this line of thinking? Can you identify with me? Tell me about it. Tell me about you. Or, drop me a note from the “contact” page.

Again, welcome to The Great Un-niche-able Me!

What My Med Provider Means to Me

burning-ice-cubes-640x402
I’ve complained about my med providers and their apparent inability to comprehend the word ANXIETY for over a year now. You could assume that I don’t like med providers… that I don’t trust them, that I think they’re stupid. Well, umm, yes, that’s basically how I’ve been feeling. I’ve been living a nightmare that has been driving me downward toward my old companions: anger and rage. It makes me feel like they’re getting out of prison and are moving into the house next to mine. I’ve been really scared that I was about to lose control of my emotions again, and eventually, my mind. It has happened before.

I last week I spoke with my counselor (Lee) before my visit with my med provider (Susan) this week. He thought the Ritalin obviously wasn’t working and that my ADHD was out of control. I allowed myself to interact with him the way I do at home with Jessica. My inability to control things like how fast, how much, and how many topics I covered while speaking certainly indicated that this was true.

<OMG! Alexa is playing music from the 1950’s for me. I LOVE THIS MUSIC!>

I was stunned. ADHD? If he was right, this could change everything about the way I approached my brain. I was told I had ADHD just a few years ago and had never taken the time to learn anything about it. Wow, that wasn’t like me at all. I love research! Following rabbit holes is my favorite pastime!

Anyway, I assumed Susan would look at my chart to see what notes Lee would have put in it before she saw me. Doing that would give her knowledge she should have used to help her understand where I was at and she would have seen what Lee was concerned about. It was an assumption I shouldn’t have made. Apparently, things don’t actually work that way.

Every time I see Susan 12 times a year. Yikes! So many times. One of the first things she asks me is if I feel like… if I FEEL like the Ritalin {1} is helping me focus? Focus? What does that mean? How can I tell it’s working? I can pay attention in class. Is that what she means? My attention is crap at home. I can’t ever do just one thing at a time. I have to leave the commercials in when I watch from the DVR (DISH) so that I can read or research stuff online that they just talked about. Is it working? I suppose so? I always replied that I guessed it did. I guess that was silly of me. I would say that because I had no idea what else to say. If I was a little boy, I could probably mean that I’d slow down and stop bouncing off the walls and maybe stay in my seat. But as an adult… I had no idea what that looked like. If I said the wrong thing, she might mess with my meds and right then, they were treating me okay. I wasn’t raging at anyone that day and I didn’t feel depressed.

After I mentioned what Lee and I had talked about and that he was very concerned she took a minute to read his notes. Suddenly she made a whole new treatment plan. I had been on Lithium when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (BD). The first book I read on it was: “An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness” by Kay Redfield Jamison. I was deeply touched. I felt like I understood what she was talking about, like we were kindred spirits, linked through the ether by BD. Jamison was very sick when she was diagnosed.

Let me attempt to generally get right to the point for once. Jamison was placed on Lithium to treat her BD and it worked. So, that’s what I asked to be given. My personal doctor (MD), was the one who initially treated me. He said that Lithium has been around for many years and there is a lot of evidence that it works.

The Lithium worked.

Susan felt that since the Ritalin was obviously not helping me focus. I guess that made her rethink her strategy. She finally agreed that my brain was hopping along on two of four legs. She told me that does think I have ADHD she now believes that I’m far more manic, which was making me act like that bouncy ball they teach kids to sing songs with. Do you know what I mean? It might be too old for some of you. They wanted to teach kids songs so a character on a film or on TV would get you to sing along as it had a bouncing ball hop around on the lyrics so we could see the lyrics while we sang. It was great fun! than anything else. Sure I talk incessantly to Jessica, but my brain was exploding with ideas. It was time to help me continue to be creative, but to control my mania so that I could be productive.

The plan: no more Clonazepam, no more Ritalin. Start Lithium.
*The reason I went off Lithium was that my PC (Primary Care) had been highlighting the dangers of being on Lithium more than he was the benefits of it. It was because of these side effects, that I requested I be put on something else that didn’t have the same drawbacks. Lithium toxicity can occur even at a low dose. While on Lithium, the user has to be closely monitored so that the dose can be adjusted as needed. The symptoms of Lithium toxicity are numerous and I already have several of them for other random reasons. This website lists the long lists of side effects. In addition to these potential problems the user (remember this is me) has to carefully watch their intake of salt, caffeine, and alcohol. And get this… some of the other medications that may interfere with Lithium and increase the risk of toxicity are ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). Oh, and I can’t leave out this one: acetaminophen (Tylenol). So… yeah. I had a lot of scary reasons to ask to be taken off the drug that was helping me but was also kind of terrifying too. 

Susan believes that this change in medications should make my extreme moods in control much better.

Excuse me? As long as I’ve been seeing the professionals in this clinic, I’ve never had anyone decide to try Lithium again. All this time… lost. Years of feeling my little grey cells melting, running out of my ears. But then again, Lithium toxicity…

I want to be a writer when I grow up. I once heard that writers go through life with their head cocked a bit to the side. I showed Susan a piece of paper that was covered with writing on both sides. It was filled with websites, blogs, and email addresses that I’d created. She studied it for a while. I asked her if I was stupid and delusional to think that I could do all these things and believe that they were not just good ideas, they were great ideas. They were creative ideas. Is my mind actually existing in a consistent state of delusions of grandeur?

Delusions of grandeur. I’ve always been afraid that people would remember that part of the list of symptoms for BD and dismiss me as a kook. Am I brilliant? Or am I bonkers and deluded? I’ve always believed my ideas were great. Yeah. Delusions of grandeur?

She said no. It wasn’t that. Yes, my thoughts are crazy fast, but I am very creative and smart.

Me – creative and smart. OMG!

Of course, now I respect her. She believes in me. She agrees with me that I’m smart and creative. No one has really said that to me. No one has said, “Robin, you’re not delusional. You’re smart. You’re creative. You have good ideas… cleaver… innovative. Don’t worry about being crazy. We just need to slow you down so you can get things done.

Since then, I’ve discovered additional information that indicates that one aspect of BD is the tendency to be super goal oriented. Yep, that’s me. Why haven’t I’ve seen that before?

Watch out! Corner coming!

What are the good things about having BD? I’ll have to think on that for a while.

Go ahead, get mad when the medical professionals don’t seem to be listening. Pester them until they hear you. Then, you listen to them. Work together. Hope that things will finally start to workout. Now that Susan and I are communicating, now that she hears me, we have a new plan. Maybe my mind won’t keep leaving the scene without me.

Yes, it really has done that. We’ve called professional trackers to find it a few times now. It-is-very-embarrassing when your mind is so exposed, so naked.

New plan. New hope.

Bring it! I’m ready.

I’m more than ready –

{1 – Concerta and Ritalin are stimulant medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They’re both different brand-name versions of the same drug, called methylphenidate hydrochloride.  https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/concerta-ritalin}

Frankenstein – Bipolar & ADHD

Frankenstein-tumblr_ovgh5egVdd1wzx3t8o1_1280 I’m aware, that when given the chance, I will, without question, talk until the air has been sucked out of the general area and everyone has passed out. So normal.

Anxiety – After I graduated, and a few weeks had passed I could tell I was under stress from that. My anxiety has gone down. It did get better, for a while. I got to the point where I didn’t quite feel like my brain has been stuffed full of raging bees. Awesome!

ADHD – I was under the assumption that I was taking Ritalin to help me focus my attention so I could do well in my classes. I was always confused when my med provider asked me if I felt the Ritalin she was prescribing was helping me to focus better. I always said, and continue to say, “Um… I guess so.” I’m manic! What does she want me to say? I work very hard when I meet with her to sit, shut up, and answer her questions honestly. She terrifies me. What if I answer wrong and she changes my meds again? I’ll say something than think, “Crap! Why did I say that?” I always say that I guess it was working well. I suppose. Now I think that I was wrong.

More ADHD – I accepted the diagnosis of having ADHD because it was about not being able to focus on one thing at a time and I knew I couldn’t do that. But, being Bipolar was always the main objective of both my counseling sessions and appointment with the med woman.

Bipolar 1 – I assumed that my Bipolar was worse (or more dangerous to me) than ADHD could be. Wasn’t it?

You know how a doctor will sometimes leave a small tube that goes through an incision so that the area can drain and heal properly?

Yeah, I don’t know where I was going with that—

Switch – I have some ideas that I think are pretty good. I’ve done one or two or three big projects that have come out great. The other 45 ideas that are going around in my mind appeared to be stuck in orbit. I remember the video I watched on YouTube yesterday about ADHD and I was shocked. Frankenstein!

FRANKENSTEIN – I’ve come to think of Bipolar/ADHD as a Frankenstein type of symbiotic relationship. I can’t imagine why my diagnoses has always focused upon Bipolar Disorder. In counseling I talk faster and faster and cover an impressive variety of topics.

Pressured Speech (Bipolar) – Thought very little about ADHD or how to deal successfully with it. I’ve been taking medication for it for three years. In that time no one has talked to me taught me to handle it. Why not?

FRANKENSTEIN – Why hasn’t anyone explained how the two disorders interact, and how the medications for each may also affect each other. (“Do you think that the Ritalin is making your mania worse?”)

I have been primarily a mixed state, high functioning, Bipolar type 1 for years now. I always thought that my constant mental zooming about was just my amazingly stunning mania. (While I mostly talk about my being manic lately, let me just say that depression has played a big part in my mental health too.)

My daughter went with me to my last counseling appointment. We talked about my inability to stick with one thing and see it through to completion and how it was impacting her. Basically, I’m driving her bonkers. These are some of the things that I do: TALK CONSTANTLY NO MATTER WHAT WE ARE DOING, change topics as fast as I talk, pick up a pile of laundry in the living room to put it away, stopping to talk to our beta fish (Victor and Batman) and feed them a few dried wormy things and set down the laundry, forget that I had a mission with the laundry, see that the dog/cats water bowls are empty and fill them, read 1.75 pages in a book. What was I doing? Let the dog out to do her business. Hours later I discover the laundry next to the fish… you get the idea.

My new counselor, my daughter and I decided that I need to focus on being able to focus. Yes, my Bipolar mania hops it up like jet fuel in a race car, but with knowledge and tools to help me with my ADHD and settle on one thing, even for an hour, I might just begin to get a handle on my anxiety/stress and even mania.

Maybe. This is stressing me out. Bothering my daughter this bad is building an anxiety that is part of everyday life. Sigh…

Who knew that pressured speech and mania aren’t the same thing as ADHD? I really don’t understand what the hell is going on. I feel like my brain has been sewn together with blue and green colored twine and slip knots.

One final thing: It has taken me three days and four hours to type this. Just kidding. Two days. Honestly, I have no idea. I need a time-out.

Bipolar – Days Racing Up, Down, Up, Sideways Right, then Left… It Never seems to End.

There will always be days that start well.
After they go along for a while…
Then the ground begins to frighten me.

train_crash_for_blog_imagedddddd(It says, “Somedays, This is how we feel…..””

I find that this is very true. At least it is true for me.

Is it ever true for you?

Today started out slow and exhausted. I was up almost all night with restless legs. It eventually became so horrible… that I cried in frustration and pain. I think I slept an hour. I was so tired. my goodnesss. Sleeping right nwooo dddkkk,,,,,,,,,,,,,

<I keep falling asleep. Sorry if this all comes out weird and confused… well.. that’s what you get. LOL. Pardon my language but this is crap””””””’>

There were other good things that happened throughout the day, but this was the best I think. I had a business meeting at a resturant! Isn’t that awesome!? I’m publishing a second edition of a book that I published 27 years ago. I’m so proud of how I wrote it, and the amazing artwork. But, it is time to update it and publish it in different editions and to update it as well.

I’m very excited because my meeting was an amazing. The woman I met with completely understood what I wanted to do and she caught the project and my passion for it really fast.

Then I got home, and stepped on the kitten, again. Sigh….

I’ve had enough of my day. So, I’m going to sleep. I usually do a lot of my work at night. I’m too tired.

I wanted to give you a look at this train photograph and share with you that I feel like I’m on fire and out of control.

Control. That’s hard to achieve when I’m being full on manic, have my ADHD surfing around everything I can possibly think of and somehow finding more, ever more, to add to the intense way I zoom. And finally, there is my always and every seemingly anxiety.

Anxiety – ADHD – Bipolar MANIA. Oh exploding stars that’s enough! Insomenia from restless legs. Oh I keep falling asleep and my fingers press the keys on my laptop and the strangest things get typed up.

I’m going to sleep now. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh rere… ug. Whee are my fingers supposed too bee on the deyboard? I think I’m sleeep. Yes. dd

Nite my friends,

Robin