Bipolar – Never Far Away

I reached a stasis point, a time of going to neither depressed nor manic poles. I thought I was emotionally cramped or stunted. So, as I’ve said, my med provider and I decided to lower my Latuda to 80mg. It’s been about three weeks now and I can say without a doubt that I’m swinging again and in a bad way. I just called one of my daughters (I asked my family to watch me) and she said she’d noticed something had changed too and was wondering if that’s what was up.

Of course, I denied it. I realize now (30 minutes later) that I was protecting myself. I’ve worked for so hard for so long to be stable I didn’t want to admit that I’d have to up my medication again. I wanted to believe I could do this, be normal on my own.

I guess I feel like if I can’t be “normal” I won’t have really lived, I won’t really have given to my world or amounted to anything. I think those thoughts and feelings are always beneath the “calm” exterior of my well medicated self. It’s frustrating.

I’ve gone back to school so I can get a job. I’m 54 and I’m just going to school for a career now. It makes me so sad. See, the depression is coming like a vengeful lover, rough and dark.

If I’m already behaving “mean” towards my daughter and feeling depressed and like I’m about to have a fight I guess I’m not ready to be on a lower dose of my Latuda. So, it’s either go back up or change to something else. I’ll need to call the nurses line tomorrow and see if I can talk to my med provider as soon as I can. This isn’t the kind of thing that I should just wait until my next visit to handle.

Tomorrow I also see my counselor. We definitely have something to talk about.

Today I saw my pain management specialist. She ordered an MRI of my lower back. For some reason no one has ever had one done. I would have thought that having me on pain medications as long as I’ve been on them that someone would have had one done, but I can’t find it if they did.

Well, my new reality and I are going to read for a few minutes and then go to bed.

Be safe my friends.

I Am . . . Afraid

I’m still depressed. My Lamictal dosage is rising steadily and is currently at 350 mg daily. Maybe it’s starting to work because I already was taking 200 mg daily. Maybe I realized how afraid I really am. Oh sure, I go to see my med provider every two weeks again (back up from once monthly) and my counselor weekly, but somehow I “feel” worse off. It’s almost as if having my mental/emotional needs addressed again with such intensity tripped me up really hard. I’m at a place in life where I am so afraid… it’s the kind of fear that sucks your brain out and leaves you stunned and unable to think straight. The depression, anxiety and anger seem like they are swarming about me. They suck at my soul. They lap at the fallen corner stone of my very being…

I’ve lost my purpose and I’m so afraid.

I was trying to think of an image that would demonstrate how I feel. It’s pretty hard to Google “afraid, depressed, anxious, without purpose” and expect anything helpful to pop up. I thought of Leonardo de Vinci  and some of they dramatic faces he drew. I looked at a few and this one seems to come kind of near to what I want you to see… my fear. The man is shouting. The setting is the Battle of Anghiari.

 

da_vinci_shouting_man

da Vinci’s “Shouting Man”

Let me try to explain to you my friend, what I mean. During some of my very dark periods I was able to hold on to one thing, one certainty, that kept me going and gave me purpose… a reason to live. That purpose was to be the best mom that I could be and raise my kids to be the best people they could be. Growth them strong.

Now, they are old enough to not need me to keep my hand locked firmly on the tiller of their lives. They steer themselves. They are moving on and I am lost. From the time my eldest was born in 1992 my passion, my calling, my purpose, was to be “Mom”. I’ve thought that I have had other purposes along the trail of my life, but somehow being “Mom” over shadowed them all and now I am fighting myself just to remember what I believed I needed and wanted passionately to do… to be.

I am afraid that I’m a failure. No one needs me any longer. I keep to myself mostly. My family and I are not particularly close. I don’t work or volunteer. Putting it short: I don’t feel that I have anything to contribute to the world.

My fear has driven me off my path. I allowed bushes and hedges to crowd my chosen path and completely obscure it from my vision. I know, well, I think I knew what my “vocation”, that is what my passion was. I feel empty and bruised. I don’t want life to touch me. I seem to think it will injure me by exposing my worthlessness to me.

I’m trying to pull together my wits and engage in the monumental fight with myself to reclaim who I am and what I’m about, my purpose.

And, my pain meds for chronic back pain (degenerating disks all up/down my spine have kicked my butt and I just nodded off. Tomorrow I’ll attempt to pull myself together enough to begin discussing with myself how to deal with myself this time. I’ve already worked it out in advanced, but this lack of purpose, this is new and frighting.

I’m letting the drug induced sleep take me away from the fear for a time. Starting physical therapy this last week had kicked up my pain, as I knew it would. It makes the whole of me even more difficult to deal with. At this particular moment I feel like in the morning I can begin to pull my will back together. That is, unless I conveniently forget what I intend on doing with myself, again.

Time to sleep.