The nights fly by and I remember when my days seemed to hold more meaning. More possibilities, color, experiences and life.
There were shades of belief in so many more things and wake, work, struggle wasn’t my routine.
Even on the outskirts I was part of an oddly colorful community, though we were mostly adorned in black. I never knew I’d do most of my living then and that everything I thought was ahead of me was only a wish.

It’s not a mood change…it’s cognitive betrayal.

Each time I start digging around articles to give me some perspective outside of my own head about BPD, it’s shocking to me that anything over 4 or 5 cycles a year is considered Rapid Cycling BPD. I sometimes have more cycles than that in one day! I’m exhausted just dealing with my myself at the end of my day, not just oh let me sit on the couch for a moment to relax tired… But don’t even fucking talk to me, let me sit here and blink exhausted.

I also hate the term “mood change.” My mood didn’t change…my fucking brain decided it wanted to stop remembering things, mix up words, lose pieces of time and feel so agitated or suicidal it’s all I can do not to blow my head off at times, or take a handful of the pills that are supposed to help keep me level, just to make it all stop. It’s racing so fast and hard inside my head that it feels loud all the time, it’s days of not sleeping, it’s taking in too much because at that moment, I’m manic and capable. It’s isolating myself so no one has to deal with me like this because even I don’t want to deal with me like this. That’s not a mood. That’s a fucking cognitive betrayal. It’s me on one side and whatever is going on upstairs on the other and we are constantly battling. I feel so angry at all the places in my life this disease I can’t even see has affected. It’s a huge factor in my decision to not be a mother, part of why I’m still not “married” and why I had a total meltdown when I was trying to work and go to school full time years ago. It doesn’t care what my goals are, nor how hard I work toward them. It eats my brain however and whenever it wants. It’s maddening and embarrassing. It’s frustrating and debilitating. It’s not a fucking mood change…

The Girl Least Likely To…

What exactly do you do when you’ve had the therapy, taken and continue to take the meds, do all the self care you can, apply the coping skills and it still doesn’t prevent these down cycles mixed with cognitive issues from taking you down? My brain is fucking Swiss cheese and I would probably forget to go to the bathroom lately if it weren’t for my colon issues. The holes in my thought processes are worsening… I can remember pieces but not the full picture, words are on the tip of my tongue and do not come to me, my ability to multitask has decreased and my working memory is shot. I can’t get my sentences out and get immensely irritated when people don’t give me a moment to figure out what I’m trying to say. Sounds, light, temperature, the feeling of certain things on my skin make me want to scream. I feel assaulted by normal, ordinary things. I get around this at work by always writing things down and in my daily life by keeping several lists in my iPhone to remind me of this or that. My attention span, focus and ability to concentrate are shot. I don’t feel like “me” unless I’m alone with my thoughts or working on projects in my home. I can’t normally interact with people as of late unless I’m playing a role, such as who I am at work, or how a customer is supposed to act and I find myself withdrawing. Hermiting. My anxiety is at a level it hasn’t been in years and it seems I’m eating my Klonopin like TicTacs.

I’ve had vivid, disturbing dreams for years…I now find myself having vivid, disturbing thoughts and urges I have to shake from my brain and they leave me thinking “where the fuck did that even come from?!” My agitation level is as such that the sound of someone’s fingernails tapping against anything makes me want to lunge and I’ve never, ever been a violent person.

I work 2 jobs, live alone, pay all my bills, make all my own decisions, and am a fairly intelligent, well spoken, creative woman….and I can’t make any of this stop. I rapid cycle almost constantly but this is different. This feels like my brain is sick and becoming sicker… This feels like me digging my nails into what sanity I have and hanging on for dear life…but falling anyway into somewhere I haven’t been in years.

I’m educated enough in my disease to understand that many things going on in my life would drive anyone mad, or into a clinical depression, especially someone with BPD. That logic doesn’t help me however. I feel like I should be able to make this all stop so I can just remain a functional human being, capable of menial shit like going to the grocery store or watching a movie with a friend without it seeming and/or being so daunting and exhausting.

No one in my life knows it’s this bad. No one. It helps nothing when they do and I don’t think anyone could handle the truth anyway, without treating me like I was mentally retarded instead of mentally ill. You can only increase a persons medications so much when they’re employed and I certainly cannot add a medication fog on top of what ever the fuck is happening to my brain right now. A hospital stay really does nothing for some other than over medicate them for a few days, make them feel like they’re surrounded by crazy people (because well…) when they just want to be at home, feel shamed by being there in the first place while sitting in some stupid group therapy circle that helps no one who functions above a High School level and put you so far behind on your bills that you face eviction and cut off notices. Yeah. What a wonderful thing to come home to.

There’s nothing. Not one single fucking thing I can do that I haven’t already done or am not currently doing to help maintain any better. The circumstances surrounding this depressive episode are far from over and haven’t even gotten to their worst. I’m so. Incredibly. Exhausted. With life.

Constant agitation
My thoughts slow
My thoughts speed up
They fire on their own
And I cannot get them under control.
They’re driving
And I need to run the show.
I can’t fall apart
But all these years are catching up.
Catching up catching up catching up
And I cannot fucking fall apart.

Down Cycles

I am lonely, yet I want to be left alone. I pace and pace while my mind churns, walking from room to room not ever knowing quite where to stop or what to do. I sit. I want to write but it’s as though I’m out of words and I want to hand over my brain to someone and say “here, this. This is what’s going on in here.” I’m tired. So absolutely tired.

I play a character just to get through the day, go through the motions and tell myself these down cycles pass. That it won’t last forever and I have to hang on until it clears, even if I don’t want to.

2, 4, 6, 8, 10

I tap my fingers on my knees while counting 2,4,6,8,10 repeatedly, rhythmically, quickly, my body slightly rocking from time to time. Habitually, without effort, as automatic as breathing or blinking as the mechanics of my brain churn out thought after though, layer upon layer…

I’m Becoming a Statistic

I fight and have fought, hard, not to become a statistic because of my BiPolar disorder, family history, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background. Right now, it seems that I am anyway.

Over a long past due conversation, my relationship ended yesterday and my girlfriend is moving out, after only being here for 4 months. (Dating almost 2 years) I am now that mid 30’s something lesbian going through yet another breakup which will more than likely trigger a depressive episode. I’m not the typical lesbian in terms of getting involved quickly with woman but the end result seems to be the same. The abruptness of this one came as quite a shock to me however, even though I knew there were issues. Some issues just cannot be overcome…

I don’t know how to keep things like this from further reinforcing my reluctance to get close to, or bond to people, despite my want to. I feel both lonely and like being alone and suppose I’m still in a bit of shock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random This and That

I’m apparently not a consistent blogger…I’ve thought about it a thousand times and then end up going to my journal instead. The things I need to get out seem too private, dull, uninteresting or what have you. Sometimes I have so many things going on in my head that I end up locked up, unable to express anything and I silently spin inside my own head trying to work through this and that. For whatever reason it occurred to me this evening that if I don’t utilize this as a resource, it’s pointless to even have started it.

So, here’s to making an effort to blog more.

Much has changed in the last few months. My girlfriend moved in and I’m adjusting to cohabitation again. Living alone certainly has it’s benefits, just as living with a partner does as well. Her moving in has certainly served as a mirror for me to see just how introverted I really am and how much alone time I need to rejuvenate and recharge.

It’s an adjustment for her on many levels too and I’m sure having a BiPolar girlfriend isn’t the easiest, even when I internalize 95% of the shit that goes on in my head and fight like hell to maintain “normalcy.”

I have full use of my hand again and some relatively minor residual issues with it. The whole ordeal was awful and I learned just how intricate the human hand is.

I have been rapid cycling to the point I feel like I want off this ride. It’s exhausting. Life is exhausting and add this…well, if you are a person with BiPolar, you’ve been there and you know exactly what I mean.

The older I get, the more I’m aware of cognitive dysfunction issues and wonder how much BiPolar disorder plays in it. The focus is usually on a persons mood, depression or manic stages but it sure as fuck isn’t only a mood disorder. My wires often seem crossed and what I think in my head isn’t what ends up coming out of my mouth. I can’t remember shit and make lists or set reminders in my phone for basic day to day things. The holes in my memory seem to widen, I lose chunks of time, and it’s almost as if it wasn’t even me that lived through certain periods in my life. I have increasing difficulty with math (which I’m horribly deficient in anyway) and am unable to multitask as quickly as I once was. It’s like I’m watching a once intelligent person deteriorate and there’s not a thing I can do about it. I’m in my mid 30’s, not my mid 80’s.

I’m angry or frustrated much of the time lately and tend to go quiet when this happens as to not erupt. I simmer and boil internally but it’s better than alienating myself by being a complete psychotic bitch to all who dare cross my path. I’m aware at least. It’s cycles like these that make me wish I could rip the BiPolar out of me and stomp her in the face, just get her out of me somehow. I do not use it as an excuse to not live my life but I certainly am aware of how much it affects the quality of my life, which adds to my anger.

Tomorrow, I hope to have some phototherapy with a friend and infuse my brain with something else for a while. We get in the car and drive to nowhere in particular, take our cameras and explore whatever catches our eye. And bitch. You just cannot beat a bitchy gay man with a creative streak and a hint of his own crazy on phototherapy days.

Even when it’s not an issue, it’s an issue.

I still do not have full use of the hand that was injured and some of my fingers are still unable to fully extend or grip, despite various visits to specialists and intensive physical therapy. In obtaining copies of my medical records from the hospital stay to take to another hand surgeon, I found that my BiPolar and anxiety disorder was prominently listed along with the description of my injuries by every single Dr I saw at the 2 hospitals I stayed at. “Patient was injured when blah blah blah and has a history of BiPolar and anxiety disorder,” “Patient is unable to ambulate blah blah blah fingers, blood culture reveals blah blah blah results and has a history of BiPolar and anxiety disorder,” “surgical evaluation at this time reveals blah blah blah and patient has a history of BiPolar and anxiety disorder,” etc etc etc. It’s not even as though my mental health disorders played a part in this, were a contributing factor in my treatment plan, or something that would have been evident to any hospital staff, aside from my truthful answers about health history and medications I take. I was calm, pleasant to all hospital staff and didn’t throw the fit I wanted to in response to the constant pain I was experiencing despite heavy narcotics.

It’s like a flag on my records, not listed along with my general health history along with my other health issues, but listed predominantly. A flag that says “this patient is BiPolar, watch out,” I didn’t sleep for almost 3 days due to the pain and I am grateful that a breakdown didn’t happen until I got home, when I was alone.

Every single day I work hard to keep my disorders in check, manage several different health issues, chronic spinal pain, go to work, do freelance work and maintain my household independently. I am also currently sick (some sort of flu-like plague) and have pressing things I need to complete both at home and with editing a shoot I managed to do a few days ago. Since my hand injury I’ve had to cancel or reschedule 3 shoots because I could not even hold my camera, which means a bigger financial hit as well. It’s a downward spiral affect and I’m so. Fucking. Tired. I’ve done all the self care I can and I need a break. Badly. Maybe even some help, which is hard for me to ask for but that’s another topic in and of itself.

I’m unable to crash and burn, there’s nowhere other than here for me to land. I don’t want this to be my reality…but it is…and I manage the best I can…all the while mentally flogging myself for not doing or being better.