Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dodging the Reaper

Earlier today I caught myself wondering why I post this blog, why I put it out there to read and why I care to read what others think orfeel? You don't know me, and I don't know you.. So, what is the purpose? I think the answer is very simple; we want to be certain that we're not alone. We want to be sure that someone else out there is having the same feelings, the same anxieties and the same problems. We want to be assured that others take the meds that we take, have some of the same (or similar) reactions we have and the things that run through my head other people think of too.

From time to time, and especially right before and during mania, I have the strange, horrible and gruesome thoughts that I don't think of at any other times. Surely I am the only person in the world that is so twisted as to have these thoughts. What about the side effects of the lithium, or the seroquel, or the adderall, or the effexor? Do others feel them too? Maybe I am doing something wrong, thus triggering these side effects. When you tell me your experiences, I feel better. All of a sudden I am not a lone mentally ill person dealing with this disease all by myself.

I have a great deal of difficulty explaining how I feel to someone who isn't MI. At times I'm told, "You look and act normal (I hate that word - it really lacks definition) to me". I have to admit that sometimes that really pisses me off! As an example, let's say that I was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. The cancer was just discovered and, although it is ravaging my body and making me sick, I am still able to pull myself together somewhat. So, I decide to go to a family reunion, where my situation is announced to family members. They are shocked, and a few come up to me, after checking me out, and say, "You look fine to me. You can't be that sick." Really? They don't realize what I am doing in order to appear "normal" (there that word is again)

The same problem, even to a greater degree, is associated with MI. I'm told I look fine, I say I don't feel fine, and then comes that question that is so hard to answer; "So, how does it feel?" How would you answer that question? My answer usually involves a mixture of swearing, ranting and wildly waving my arms around, while attempting to explain. I know this feeling varies greatly from person to person, but I really don't know what to say.

The closest I have come is to say that it feels like someone removed the top of my skull and ran a hand mixer through my brain. Or maybe it is best described as if someone tore a copy of the NY Times in strips, and then asks you to read it to them. I don't know. What are your thoughts.

All I know is that my brain is moosh, my thoughts are scattered and I can go from normal (aaahhhh) to full-blown manic and back again
in a heart beat ... literally.

More later.

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