Thank you & Lamictal Day 1

First of all, thank you all for the love on my last post. I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I’m starting to understand that this is an illness that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I have to accept that. And I have to take the steps to treat it.

One of the first steps is to let others help me. I’ve always been independent and am not very good at asking for help. But I’m doing just that. I have a team of medical professionals who are looking out for me. I have an amazing support system of loved ones who care about me.  And I have this community, which I am very grateful for. I’m lucky.

Today I started 25 mg of Lamictal. I don’t want to go on Lithium so I talked to my pdoc and we decided to give Lamictal a try. I will be on 25 mg for two weeks then titrate up to 50 mg, eventually reaching the therapeutic dose of 200mg. I’m going to use this blog to document my lamictal journey. Perhaps it can help others :-). [I’d like to point out that this is only medication I’m on currently. I have adderall but my pdoc suggested I cut it out since it was probably contributing to my mood swings.]

Honestly, since it’s the first day, I wasn’t expecting much. And perhaps what I’m about to say is just a placebo effect  but here it goes anyway…

-I noticed that everything was more vivid and brighter. Sharper.

I did not feel sad today, for the first time in weeks. 

-My anger was under control.

-I did not swing from one emotional roller coaster to the next.

-I feel calm and alert.

No side effects.

So far so good. Here’s to day 1!

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My cat is the only reason I haven’t killed myself.

Sad but true.

I guess it’s been a while.

I wish I could say a lot has happened, but it hasn’t.  I must admit the nothingness was quite welcome. I was so…stable. 

I felt like a normal human being. My moods were somewhat hypomanic, but not depressive. I was productive. I started working out again. Eating right. Seeing a therapist weekly and dealing with my shit. Laughing. Smiling. Washing my hair and wearing sun dresses. The past few weeks were blissful.

I questioned my bipolar diagnosis. They were all wrong! They screwed up with me. I was just going through something…but it wasn’t bipolar! I don’t need any meds! Look, I’m normal. I don’t need help.

And then the wave hit and it all fell a part.

This is the most depressed I’ve been in about a month. I feel like an idiot for thinking that this was something I could just get over.

In reality, I haven’t truly accepted my diagnosis.

I saw the psychiatrist today and he said he feels that I am closer to bipolar I than II. He wants to put me on Lithium. (I’m currently on no meds.)

I had rationalized, up to that point, that being bipolar II was “less crazy” than bipolar I. I was okay with meds, long as it was Lamictal/ something mild. My session with the MD threw me for a loop.

I don’t know what to think. He advised me to get a second opinion but silly me, I thought HE WAS THE SECOND OPINION! (My therapist/MD, who originally diagnosed me being the first).

Im so sick of this. I don’t want to try. I don’t think I can keep going. I don’t want to go through life like this anymore. I can’t accept this as my future.

It’s funny. I’m not even sad right now.

I’m numb.

On being selfish.

Having a mental illness and wanting to focus on recovery/ healing makes me feel so…selfish.

I feel bad canceling commitments, saying “no”, and staying away from people I used to be close to.

But what other choice do I have?

For the first time in my life, I need to focus on me. My healing. My future. I need to make choices that won’t lead to extra stressors..because for my bipolar brain, these extra stressors may lead to depression or hypomania.

I have to say no to helping others because I need to help myself first. I have to stay away from those that bring me down, regardless of how “close” we used to be. I simply cannot go out and drink all night anymore. I simply cannot go dancing till 4 a.m. I need to get good sleep, eat right and exercise.

I have to disappoint and possibly hurt people in order to get better. And that terrifies me.  But I’m also at a point where my mental health means more. I know I can never fully “recover”, but I can get pretty damn close.

I’m worth it.

Oh insomnia.

1 a.m. and wide awake. I hope this isn’t the start of a hypomanic episode, though it probably is. So far, I’ve started making an apple galette from scratch and answered all my work emails for later today. My co-workers already know I’m crazy so I guess it won’t be too much of a surprise when they see the 1 a.m. time stamp :-). I’m so glad I’m no longer a student, work at least keeps me on a schedule… only 7 more hours to go!

I must admit that I do enjoy these nights.

Everything is quiet and still. There is a sense of peace that you rarely find during the day time.

Triggering co-worker.

My co-worker is a sweet, kind soul. She’s younger than me (~22 yrs) and suffers from depression and an eating disorder. We have great conversations, she’s fun to be around and I would consider her a friend. But my god… she is so triggering.

A part of me suspects she’s bipolar as well but she seems to be stable on anti-depressants, so who knows.  Lately, it seems as if everyday has been a gloom fest. She’s exhausted, falling asleep at work, can barely function. She’s super negative, mopey, and unmotivated.

I’m not trying to judge because I’ve been there. I truly know how it feels.

But it’s still really triggering. I feel like I easily absorb the emotions of others. When she’s depressed, I often find myself heading down that dark path. Sometimes I’m able to catch myself before the plunge. Other times, I fall pretty deep into that hole and it’s really hard to crawl out.

I’m not sure what to do. I can’t change seats, I can’t quit my job over this and I can’t control her moods, obviously.

I’m feeling stuck.

Lady in red: feeling seductive.

lady_in_red.

* * *

I wake up about 3 hours before my alarm, refreshed.  In the shower, I make sure to shave my legs…and my privates. Every part of me needs to be smooth to the touch.

I soothe my warm body with a lotion that claims to smell like rose and lavender. I do my hair, perfectly. My makeup is on point: not too much, just a little touch up of my best features. My outfit is well coordinated and hugs me in all the right places.  (And the color…well, it’s always red.)

…and then I realize I still have about 2 more hours until I have to get to work. 

But that doesn’t get me down. What is time, anyway? I make some coffee but forget to drink it. I don’t know what hungry feels like anymore.

I’m making plans. So many fucking plans! I know how to turn my career around, I know the people I need to get in touch with. Emails are sent. Facebook is reactivated…because well, I’m fucking social again! I want to connect with everyone and everything. Humanity isn’t doomed after all… I may have figured out a way to save it.

One more hour till work. 

I rip off my red dress and pull my hair back. I climb into bed and wake him up. First, just kissing. He tells me to go away. He’s sleeping. But of course, I don’t. I kiss his neck and he tries to resist. But I know he can’t. I work my way down from his chest, to his stomach, to his very happy dick. Good morning. 

I can feel my co-workers checking me out as I walk into work. I look pretty fucking amazing. That just fucked flush in my cheeks compliments my red dress quite well.

My boss tells me I’m on point today. That I’m doing a fantastic job. All I’m thinking is how much I want to fuck him in the bathroom. And then once again in his office. I smile and walk away. If only he knew. 

I tackle my work projects with efficiency and grace. My co-workers ask me what I’m on and start laughing. I laugh with them, maybe a little too much. I can’t sit still. How can I work in this shitty place when I have so many plans? I need to log all of my ideas into my phone before it’s too late.  I can’t forget. I have to follow through this time.

How the heck am I home already? Where did the day go? I miss him. I wish he wasn’t away on business. Why does he always enjoy leaving me? Maybe I should eat something. No, porn first. I wish I had the guts to go out to a bar and meet a stranger, but hey, this will do.

Somehow it’s midnight already and I’ve written four short stories, drafted a business plan and organized my closet. Need to sleep. But still not tired. This can’t go on tomorrow. God I hope I don’t crash. I can’t wait until my psychiatrist prescribes me something for sleep. Maybe if I just climb into bed…

Racing thoughts.

2 am. 3 am. 4 a.m.

Rise and shine. 

Making sense of feelings & accepting my diagnosis.

I think the biggest obstacle for me going forward is going to be figuring out what the fuck I’m feeling. I know I’m overanalyzing and perhaps others can chime in on their experiences with this. I literally don’t know what I’m feeling. Is what I’m feeling normal? Is it the start of something more sinister? Will I make it out of bed tomorrow or will tonight be one of those nights…and is that okay?

I would classify yesterday as a good day. I was calm, serene, level headed.

This morning, I could barely get out of bed.

Does that mean I’m falling back into the clutches of depression? Or does it mean that it’s simply Monday and I’m like everyone else struggling to get going?

Perhaps I’m trying hard to cling to the notion that I’m like everyone else. All I’ve ever wanted is to be accepted, but I’ve always been an outlier. And this diagnosis makes me even more so. (It’s the bipolar diagnosis I’m having trouble with, not borderline for whatever reason).

I’m not surprised by my diagnosis. I’ve known for a long time. I just didn’t want to get help. The hypomania is… seductive. I feel like I’m on top of the world. I’m charming, beautiful, creative. Why would I want that to end?

It’s the depression that sent me reeling into the doctors office. How I can be me one second and the next second I’m thinking about killing myself? Or the fact that as of late, I’ve been more and more depressed and I can barely function at work. I remember coming home early one day last month, around noon, and just going to bed until the next morning. I literally could not function.

Is this my reality from now on? Will I basically be shifting from high to low to normal and back again? Am I ready for it? Are the people in my life ready to accept me like this?

My fiancé knows but doesn’t get it, I guess. He’s seen me at my lowest and at my highest. He wants me to look at the diagnosis as a validation of my feelings instead of a life sentence. I know I’ll get there, especially as therapy progresses and the meds do their job. But I’m not there yet.

I’m not ready to accept it just yet.

For the meantime, my therapist gave me this great book. It’s hit a little close to home but I recommend it to anyone that’s been newly diagnosed.

facing biopolar

Here’s to hoping I get some restful sleep tonight.