Bipolar – Letting Go. The Great Pause of a Moment in My Mind – Peace

www.youtube.com/watch {Please watch this short music video so you can get the gist of what I’m relating to you.}

Sometimes, I remember that moments of peace I experience are often when I’m outside of my head.

Perhaps you’ve never seen a video like this before. The first time through for me I just watched. Then I played it again and again. I closed my eyes and let go of all the thoughts that had been overwhelming me. I let the sounds that I heard, unfamiliar as they were, snuff out the ever present junk… that Bipolar junk.

Whether it is this video or some other, find one that you can abandon yourself in. Try something without lyrics. The words will only guide you and keep the constant brain usage, the chatter, at maximum, just like I always do.

I went outside without my phone, tablet, book, or laptop today. There was no human to talk to. It was just Bailey and I and a few flies. No one mowed, destroyed weeds with a buzz saw or played their bloody music at all.

It was amazing. Stunning. I stopped. Peace. This must be real peace.

Twice today I experienced genuine peace in my Bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety riddled mind and I fell in love with it.

No drugs or talk therapy. Simply stopping. Simply unplugging. Simply letting go.

Give it a try and see if you can touch your bit of peace. Try for it. As full of bananas as my brain is, I found it. I bet you can too. Now, stop everything from bugging you for five tiny minutes, and let the peace break in on the reliable back, of music.

Insidious Black Box

I apologize for the length of this post. Please consider reading the entire post. It’s very important. Your life could depend upon it. (Robin)

Emotionmasks insane faces

I take two medications that I considered to have a Black Box warning. They both depress breathing. Together they can stop my breathing altogether… There are other dangers.

I have chronic pain with Bipolar Disorder and Generalized Anxiety. I am prescribed both Oxycodone and Clonazepam by two different providers. They both know that I take both medications.

I see a pain management specialist for my pain. I have for some time now. To be treated there, I have had to sign a contract that governs my behavior with regards to taking pain medications, I have to take a pee test every time I go in and they count my pills every time as well.

My med provider handles my Clonazepam prescription for anxiety. I suffer from extreme anxiety. Sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode. Recently, this woman, who is the 4th or 5th provider I’ve had since I started going to this clinic, told me that I’m more likely to kill myself because of anxiety rather than depression. I was always told that a depressed person was more likely to commit suicide when they started to feel better. When they started feeling better, they finally would have the energy to follow through with their suicidal inclinations. Apparently, there is more to it than that.

My counselor and every med provider I’ve had is intimately aware of my massive anxiety and my inability to get it under control. We’ve tried all the counseling type of solutions including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (talk therapy), mindfulness and other techniques. I’ve not had success with any of them.

My med provider is content for me to only take Lamotrigine, which is primarily to treat my Bipolar Disorder depression symptoms, and not to take anything other than Clonazepam for anxiety. From talking to her, it appears that this is primarily to treat the depressive symptoms that I experience. I have not been able to get any of the med providers who have treated me to give me anything for anxiety other than Clonazepam.

She, my med provider, told me at our second meeting, that people with anxiety are more likely to commit suicide than people with depression. Since I suffer primarily from anxiety, you would think someone would have warned me of this. I understand now why I feel so self-destructive while I’m exploding with anxiety.

She has told me that her goal is to get me off the Clonazepam completely. Now that I’m taking my runaway anxiety and the real chance I will kill myself because of it more seriously, I’m also taking the mix of these two medications seriously. I always have, but my frantic response to my anxiety has created a situation where I’m so afraid of what might happen if I stop taking the drug for anxiety.

I’ve always felt like I’m most insane when my anxiety is at its peak.

I understand that long-term opioid use for chronic pain is not the most effective way to treat it. I’ve wanted to find a different solution for a long time. My pain management provider doesn’t offer other alternatives than pain medications.

I normally don’t want to die. I’ve always had urges that are normally short in duration towards it, but I haven’t had times when I sit there with my bottle of Oxycodone ready to take it all. But, I could.

I’ve never told any of my mental health caregivers that I have suicidal thoughts. I know that my community does not have good facilities to treat acute mental health emergencies. I don’t want to become one of those people who is shuffled into a hospital emergency room with a guard sitting outside my little room. That’s what they do. I have first-hand knowledge of this.

So what’s the answer? Do I chance dying in my sleep? Or do I chance ending my life while I’m awake? Both are real dangers.

I’ve decided to deal with my feelings of self-destruction now. With the danger of the two medications and my new understanding the relationship between anxiety and suicide, I have promised my family that I will talk to my counselor on Wednesday when I see him. I will admit that I think about suicide. That’s a huge step for me.

I’m afraid. Admitting how I’ve been feeling for years is like admitting that I can’t control the one area of dealing with my mental health that I always felt I could say I didn’t have a problem with. I’ll finally be admitting I have no control over my depression or my anxiety in relationship to staying alive.

As I say, I don’t want to die. When my anxiety runs away I cannot always control myself. I can become violent and destructive. I break down and cannot function. I become paralyzed yet also hysterical.

Yesterday I talked to my mother and all three of my kids and admitted the truth to them. My youngest who is a psych major at the same university that I attend (so is her partner) said she had been wondering if that was a problem for me. They all agree that they would rather I call them than I call a suicide line. I’ll talk to my therapist about that.

I have tried to learn to practice mindfulness several times in the past. I never fully committed to it. Mindfulness was just part of the learning experience in one of my classes I just finished. It’s time for me to review the materials I have about it, I have lots. I need to try to learn how to harness it’s potential in earnest this time. My life depends upon it.

I have a particular fear: I’m terrified of my anxiety. I know what it does to me. I sometimes feel the insidious devil of insanity creeping through my mind trying to take over, and it literally shreds my mind.

If you have any Black Box warnings for medication yourself, please take it seriously. Now that I am self-aware of my true situation I’m ready to find a way to deal with my symptoms.

 

My main medications:

Chronic Pain – Oxycodone / Nucynta

Anxiety / PTSD – Clonazepam / Benzodiazepines

Bipolar Disorder / Depression – Lamotrigine

 

Oxycodone – Warnings

“To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness
  • if you use a sedative like Valium (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Versed, Xanax, and others)”

https://www.drugs.com/oxycodone.html

Clonazepam – Warnings

Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids
Use of benzodiazepines, including Clonazepam, and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of benzodiazepines and opioids for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioids alone. If a decision is made to prescribe Clonazepam concomitantly with opioids, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use, and follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
(The above Warning is taken from: https://www.drugs.com/pro/clonazepam.html)
Concomitant: (synonyms: attendant, accompanying, associated, related, connected)

Lamotrigine – Warnings

To make sure lamotrigine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • A history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

https://www.drugs.com/mtm/lamotrigine.html

Nucynta – Side Effects for Health Care Professionals

Psychiatric – Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, confusion, abnormal dreams, anxiety, depression, irritability, nervousness, drug withdrawal syndrome, restlessness, sleep disorder, hallucination, depressed mood.
https://www.drugs.com/sfx/nucynta-side-effects.html

 

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines may be used in the treatment of anxiety, panic disorder, seizures, or sleep disorders.
https://www.drugs.com/drug-class/benzodiazepines.html

 

Bipolar – TV

tvI want to believe that although I have Bipolar Disorder, depression, GAD, PTSD, ADHD and so on I can still be successful.

I want to live an active and full life. Much of the time I convince myself that I can’t do that. I look at my situation and I conclude that if I haven’t started living by this time in my life, that maybe I won’t ever have the life that I want. It’s tempting to fail myself and believe that.

One of the reasons that I sit static in my living room and don’t try to actively change my life is that I watch TV all the time. It is on all the time. I used to listen to music. Now it’s just the TV. As long as I have that continuous stream entering my brain I don’t use it for anything else. It’s so easy to be a spectator.

During school I finally admitted to myself that I was having a hard time doing my homework because it was on all the time. As much as I’d like to think that I can focus effectively on other things while the it is on, it isn’t true.

It’s hard to turn off the TV. It’s my companion. Right now, remarkably, it’s off. I’m listening to classical music on my phone. I’m trying very hard not to watch one of the many shows I have DVR’d. I’m practicing having it off so when school starts next week I’ll be more likely to switch it off while I’m doing homework. I’m sure that I’ll have an easier time doing the work if the TV isn’t invading my brain.

It also keeps me from dealing with myself. I can ignore the fact that I’m not dealing with my ongoing anxiety because I’m occupied with the TV.

I need to have quiet time so I can think. I don’t think well while the TV is on. Heck, I don’t think much at all when it’s on.

I’m finding that I’m having a hard time with this post. It feels disjointed and awkward. Maybe that’s because my companion is silent and I can really hear what I’m thinking. Maybe. I’ve been thinking about having the TV off for some time now. I’m impressed with myself that it is off. There is so much more interesting and important stuff for me to feed my brain with than TV. I’m not saying TV is bad. I’m just saying that when it is the only thing going on in my head it’s a problem.

A man (I can’t recall who) wrote that he used to go into a room every day with a pen and paper and shut himself inside and just think. He didn’t see people; he didn’t read anything. He just thought. I remember when I first read that I thought it was an amazing idea. I practiced it for a while, then, I went back to filling my brain with static.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep them so I don’t make them. However, right now seems like a good time to change my behavior. I’ve pinpointed a problem: I don’t think. I listen to the TV.

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) wrote: “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” I’ve always liked that quote. Thinking… that’s a problem. My medications help a lot. Counseling has helped too. My counselor has helped me identify problem thinking and correct it. (Napoleon Hill quotes)

What’s next? Well, my brain is full of what I put into it or what I allow to be put into it. I allow someone else to put their content in it the whole time the TV is on, which is most of the time I’m awake.

The solution seems easy doesn’t it? Turn the TV off. Easy.

Right now… the TV isn’t off.

I’ve learned a lot. Time to change. I should turn it off. I should–

You Can’t Have My Leg!

It would seem that I’m not done with me yet. I’ve paralyzed myself for a long time, not willing to write, telling myself that I don’t know where to start. So many odd and terrible things have happened to me… are happening each day… that I rationed that I was waiting for a lull in the storms that are me so I could present you with a neat package all polished and not like I am now. If I were a color book I would never have drawing inside my lines.

Here I am. This is what I’m thinking tonight:

My right leg is going to fall off.

Seriously. That’s it. Oh sure, with my alphabet soup (Bipolar 1, ADHD, PTSD, FM, OA… for now) crowding me for more undeserved attention. They annoy me. Like a flock, a gaggle of Canadian Geese launching themselves at me unreserved and underrated. They scare me. They are impossible to reason with. No matter where you are if they decide you need to be chased, you’ll be chased as long as they can chase you. No lie. Your heart will pound excitedly when the medium sized birds take after you on the ground like a Disney movie gone terribly wrong.

My leg. I had my right knee totally replaced in January two years ago. By the following year it was clear that the surgery had failed. The prosthetic that was implanted in my leg bone failed to graft with the bone it was supposed to graft to which would, had it worked, have given me a working and reliable new knee.

Wrong.

August 2013 a surgeon specializing in replacing messed up knee replacements replaced my replaced and prosthetic knee. Both times I suffered terribly (differently each time). I suspect that no surgeon would appreciate me talking with any of their patients and telling them how the whole sordid mess went. (To clarify – Sordid meaning: involving ignoble actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt, sleazy, dirty, seedy, seamy, unsavory, tawdry,cheap, debased, degenerate, dishonorable, disreputable, discreditable, contemptible, ignominious, shameful, and abhorrent. The exact opposite of: respectable.)

The up-to-the-minute report is this: Friday I showed my MD that my entire surgical leg (right) was bigger than the left. No sense in studying it to see if I was imagining it. It obviously belongs on some other person’s body. This is a problem. I don’t even know what the problem is and already I realize it’s a problem. I think my name must translate in some language to “problem”. I’m certain of it.

I exposed the bare and big leg to my doc on Friday last. He sent me back to my surgeon, but not till after we get another and new authorization to see the fella. Seriously. Same leg. Obvious connection. Gotta have that new authorization. I called his office and explained the situation. The woman at his office agreed to request one for me from my MD. (Yes, I’m saying “MD” and not PP, PC or any other ridiculous set of the alphabet… again with the alphabet. He’s my doctor, my medical doctor. That’s Medical Doctor. MD.

What I didn’t realize was that my MD had that very day put in an order for me to have a vascular study done on the affected leg. They would take me as soon as today (Tuesday). Getting an appointment that fast freaked me out. (Just a little FYI.) Since my doc referred me to my surgeon I assumed he was done with me regarding this particular medical happenstance (coincidence).

That last sentence looks strange to me, but my brain refuses to use any other word.

Anyway, the surgeon didn’t order the imaging before he even saw me. I wondered if maybe he had so he would know ahead of time what might be going on. But.. no. My MD ordered it. When he starts a process that really should probably be ordered to the specialist I was being sent to I hit the “worry” button and all hell breaks loose. Again.

Today the resounding thought that pestered me like the rain does every time it soaks me when I take the puppy potty was: “They are going to take my leg off.”

Seriously. “They are going to take my leg off.” That’s what my brain has been saying all damn day.

Just to show you how badly I freak myself out living inside my head with my alphabet soup, my MD has ordered me to have a service/companion dog. This, is our puppy, my service/companion dog in training. She’s so awesome. But more about her at another time.

I’m going to jump now through the rest of the day to now. I’m having considerable back pain which has kept me from sleeping. I began to write this. I got half way through it. Suddenly I see my bedroom door open, but I see no one opening it. Ahh. It’s Maks. Maks is one of our awesome cats. Throughout all my ailments Maks has been my healing kitty. Cat. He’s too old to be a kitty. Just don’t mention that to him and we’ll all get along just fine.

Whenever (most of the time) I’ve been doing particularly terrible, like today and taking my leg off, he comes to me and loves me up. Right now he’s purring and clawing, I mean needing, my right hip. This isn’t where he normally lays. He usually takes up station keeping on my left side somewhere but since we got the puppy (Bailey) he hasn’t been up to see me very often. I’ve been having my son bring him up to me when I retire for the night so he can get used to puppy smells and sounds. It’s working. He’s beside me doing his magical cat thing. How the hell do they know when we need them? Of course I’ve heard about the cats and dogs that can smell/sense impending death or various illnesses. He thinks he’s one of these special and extraordinary furry companions. I agree with him.

He’s been urging me to pet him and love him up stabbing me gently and now snoring at me. The look of love on his face is wonderful. (I know what you’re going to say. Cats don’t make that kind of face and they don’t feel like that you bozo. And then I would tell you to shut your trap. It works for me.) I’ve been alternately petting him and waving his loose fir away and writing this. I like it. I feel better. He knows my alphabet is haunting me. I do… feel better now.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m having the vascular imaging done of my entire right leg. It’s weird and cool to watch. Stay tuned in to this same bat time, this same bat channel.

Wow, can this cat snore.