Category Archives: death

The Aftermath of Latuda & Despair

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solar flareThe Latuda that was destroying me is gone now, though it has left a lasting mark that lives on within me. It no longer provides mood stabilization for my overloaded brain. The good that it may have done is far outweighed by the damage that it has left behind. Often, I cannot speak for long before I lose the ability to be understood. My speech becomes silenced and my face jerks and spasms as though in pain. Large muscle groups jerk and move without my involvement. It all devastates me. I feel locked inside my body, my brain unable to freely communicate even with those who are closest to me.

I’ve recently come out of a period of not feeling anything but anxiety. My actions indicated that I was depressed, but I didn’t exactly feel depressed. Recently, that has changed.

Last week I crashed. I felt the old familiar feelings and thought things that hadn’t consumed me for some time. I looked at all my pills (I have many) and considered how easy it would be to stop. Just to stop.

But, I didn’t touch them. I called my children and I reached out for help. My girls both came to me and loved me… they helped put away those feelings of purposelessness and thoughts that I have no reason to live.

Why have I not taken all my pills? I have no purpose, no reason to burden those around me. You see, I want to have a purpose. I want my life to matter. While I currently feel I have nothing to offer the world… I think, if I don’t give in to the depression that loves me without reservation, that it might be possible to find that singular purpose that is meant for me.

I suffer from Bipolar Disorder Type 1 with rapid cycling and mixed states. Perhaps I am able to find this ever so small spark of desire to find my purpose because in my manic delusional state sometimes I have delusions of grandeur. Who knows, maybe my periodic delusions will give me my missing purpose. I hope so.

I need a reason to carry on. For now, the love of those who care for me is what I am holding on to. I have to wonder… how long it will be before even that is not enough.

At this moment, I don’t want to die, but I am encompassed by a cloak of useless despair.

I desire purpose. I want inspiration. I resisting the urge to give in and bring this fight to an end. Intellectually, I want my end to be celebrated with the acknowledgement of a fulfillment of purpose and leave an honorable legacy that says my life meant something, that I lived with purpose and left a remarkable mark on my world.

I don’t want to be an unnumbered footmark in the annals of the world, but I can’t seem to master what my brain chemistry is doing to me.

Now, it’s time to start my two-hour ritual of preparing to sleep. Maybe I’ll get lucky and I’ll have a temporary respite and I’ll sleep an emotion free night.

Bipolar – Dealing with Emotional Pain

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Siberia1
There are any number of examples I could talk about concerning dealing with emotional pain. I’ve been going through a lot the last year and a half. This last week was one of the worst weeks that I hope I have for a long time.

I had to put one of my cats to sleep. She had advanced and wide spread cancer and was voiding all over the basement carpet. I was moving to a new home in a week and it just became necessary to quit avoiding it and stop putting off the issue and take responsibility for what I needed to do.

Her name was Siberia and she was our family pet for about 12 years. That’s a long time to bond with anyone, animal or human.

I was expecting to be sad, to cry, and to be upset. I was all of that. Now it’s been more than a week and I was up late last night crying hysterically and saying to my other cat how sorry I was and that I’d killed his friend. It was horrible. I eventually had to take a chill pill because I couldn’t stop myself.

Anyone who has not had a pet won’t understand the loss of a loved companion, but if you have you know what I’m talking about.

Feelings of guilt, denial, anger and depression have plagued me and I’ve wondered if I’m going over the top and am heading for an episode. The truth is, for me right now, I think I’m experiencing normal emotions. It’s hard to tell the difference though isn’t it?

When are my uncontrollable feelings of depression and anger caused by my Bipolar Disorder and when is it just from normal feelings that come after great loss?

I think that it’s hard to tell. It’s new right now so I’m inclined to think I’m feeling normal feelings, but a little deeper than maybe my children are.

I have just moved a few days ago and the stress from that is immense. I’m making sure to take my meds and using my chill pills when I need them. I haven’t been out walking because I’m kind of scared in my new neighborhood and it’s so very hot. Next week I see my counselor. It will be good to talk to her about what I’ve been feeling.

In the meantime, it’s time to try to go to bed. It’s only 81F in here now. At least I’ve stopped sweating for a little while.

Good night Siberia. I love you. I will honor your memory and play with Maks (the other cat) more than I had been doing. I miss you.

Meeting the Triggers with Awe

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do after I encounter a trigger and my bipolar or one of my other difficulties (like anxiety) are “activated” so to speak. I can’t just ignore it.

First I guess I should explain what I mean by a “trigger.” When I say I’ve been “triggered” I mean that something has happened that causes my bipolar to come out of balance or remission and become active, and there is a good possibility that I might become depressed or manic. Just like the other day when my daughter pushed my buttons.

This is the moment I’ve got to be ready for. I can’t just ignore it and hope it doesn’t become a full blown episode. It is so easy to be overcome by bipolar disorder. I must always be vigilant. I have Bipolar Type 1. I experience mixed states and cycle rapidly. I don’t enjoy it when it is running rampant. Sometimes in the past I haven’t wanted to live because it has been so devastating. I will do whatever I have to to avoid that from happening again. I want to live.

I was reading in Psychology Today yesterday in their March/April 2016 issue and I found an article on “awe” called “It’s Not All About You!” by Carlin Flora. The article talks about “rumination—or mulling over worries—is the biggest predictor of depression and anxiety” (52).

Wow is that ever true for me. I waited till my son got home and told him about it, then I blogged about it, then I talked to Kyle about it some more. And of course I thought about it in the in between times. What about you? Have you found that when you ruminate you are in more danger of having an episode? So what to do.

Awe. The article goes on to quote a study that says, “Awe is the opposite of rumination, it clears away inner turmoil with a wave of outer immensity.”

So I decided to do a little experiment. We live near Mount Rainier in Washington State. It’s only an hour to the park entrance from our house. I used to take the kids to the park when they were young all the time for a break from school and so we could have time away and together. Family time.

My experiment consisted of looking for “awe.” It included my son Kyle and my dog Bailey. We drove for 30 minutes to get to beautiful Alder Lake which is on the way to Mount Rainier. We enjoyed the drive and taught the dog to fetch in the lake and swim. She’s never been swimming before. She never hesitated. Then we played fetch with an old black and yellow football we found in the garage the other day. We spent time alone together, away from the normal stresses of daily life. We were gone for 2.5 hours.

I found AWE. It wasn’t hard. It was like it was waiting for me to notice it. I found it in the beauty of nature, laughter and the love of those I was with.

How do I feel now? Honestly, I feel good. I don’t know how long it will last, but for right now, I feel like I’m back in control.

Look for awe in your daily life. Whether it is in the eyes of someone you love or in the colors of an amazing sunset, look for awe. Maybe you’ll find it stopping you from ruminating too.