depression…part three: Prozac Princess

May 1, 1995…This is the day that everything changed in my depressed world  It is the day that my ex-husband and I (FINALLY) separated, and the day I filled the new prescription my psychiatrist had given me for a new drug called PROZAC. I had never heard of it, but the doctor said it was fairly new and initial results were promising. So, why not. The demise of my marriage had proven to me that I was clearly NOT OK on my own and I hadn’t liked the weight gain that had come with my old anti-depressant, so I was game. So, I asked. How long does it take this stuff to work? Doc said I might start feeling a little better pretty quickly but it takes a few weeks to get into your system, about a full month before you start feeling the full effect. He was correct. I did feel better, though almost certainly the cause was psychological, separating from my miserable marriage and moving in with a fun friend from work and planning a new life for myself. But I felt more energetic and cheerful in those first few weeks. Then, almost a month to the day, I remember the moment I felt “IT”.

When I left our old apartment, I moved in with a friend from work, Darlene. Darlene was a party girl. Darlene was fun. Darlene was a bit of an alcoholic, I think, but I loved her to death. Good times! Her complex had a pool. We worked together at JC Penneys at Perimeter Mall and both worked night shift and sometimes we would get up in the morning and lie around by the pool before work. One morning, we did this, right around June 1st I believe, about a month in on Prozac and it was a beautiful, warm, breezy morning, and I floated on my back in the shallow end and closed my eyes and felt the heat of the sun on my face and body and the cool water under me and I spread out my arms and sort of took it all in and a wave of something nameless washed over me. It was like happiness, but it was more. Like everything was right with the world. Like bliss…like euphoria…and then I thought. “That Prozac is some good shit.” And it didn’t go away. It lasted, for days, for weeks, for months. I went through some bad days and I didn’t feel euphoric, but I felt OK. Like I could handle it. Like I could take whatever life dealt me. I stopped crying. I found that I COULDN’T cry, even when I felt like it. That was the strangest thing. I used to cry over the least thing, like a commercial or a movie , and then all of sudden, nothing. I worried briefly that the drug was changing my personality. I decided it didn’t matter. I liked the new me. I felt bolder, more confident, and more positive. I had always been so pessimistic, so negative. The new me could do things, make things happen.

After  several months, I made the decision to go back home to Cullman, and from there try to get back in school. I remember the day I left Atlanta with my dad driving me home, moving all my stuff. I didn’t cry, naturally. I played a tape of Stone Temple Pilot’s “Interstate Love Song” over and over all the way home and drove my dad crazy. I was pumped! Prozac and I had my future all planned out. No looking back. My ex and I were separated, but as far as I was concerned we were over. I just wasn’t giving in. I told him if he wanted a divorce he would have to file and pay for it. It took him a year and a half to do it. Meanwhile, I went back to school and got on with my life and when he finally sent me the divorce papers, I signed them, put a stamp on the envelope (the only thing I paid for) and went out to celebrate with friends. I had done my grieving during the marriage. Thanks to Prozac, I stayed pretty evened out and made pretty good grades. And then I got stupid. I succumbed to some faulty reasoning that plagues many well-intentioned mentally ill people. I thought I was cured. Prozac has cured me, I thought. Therefore, I DON’T NEED IT ANYMORE. So I stopped taking it. And for a while I was OK. Prozac stays in your system for a little while. I didn’t tell anyone what I had done. I didn’t tell anyone until the night I called my mother up talking about wanting to die. I think I may have called my dad too, I can’t remember. But I was deep in depression  and desperate or I never would have called her. In my right mind I would never say a thing like that to my parents. That’s just a bell you can’t unring. Once your mother or father has heard you say you want to kill yourself, they don’t forget it. and they never look at you the same way again. Every time they see you, every time they talk to you, they wonder if it’s the last time, and they wonder if it’s their fault. And you did that to them, and you have to live with it. Their guilt is your guilt. A parent shouldn’t have to wonder these things about a child they brought into the world. So I promised my mother I would go to the psychiatrist and get back on Prozac. And we joked about me signing a contract stating I would never go off my meds again.  I got back on the Prozac and was feeling better within a few weeks. But things were becoming more complicated. The doctor no longer felt Prozac was enough.It was becoming standard to have patients on a “cocktail” of drugs designed to treat their illness and I began taking more drugs. I started taking medicine for anxiety, ADD, extra drugs for depression.  I started to feel like a guinea pig. I was constantly coming home from the doctor’s with samples to take, dealing with side effects, going off and on new medications. I would get to a combination that seemed to work for a while, and then I would start getting depressed again and we would try something else. Always, the Prozac stayed the same, because whenever we altered it, I became extremely depressed. Was I addicted to it? The doctor said no, you can’t be addicted to anti-depressants, but I had my doubts.

During this time, thanks to Prozac, I was able to overcome a major obstacle in my life, a severe debilitating phobia of driving. I was in a terrible accident with my mother when I was five years old and had blocked out most memory of it but was left with this terrible fear that I didn’t realize until I  had to take driver’s ed in high school. Even in the simulators in class, I was terribly nervous and my performance was awful. When I had to get in the car, just sitting in the driver’s seat gave me panic attacks. I drove once and scraped the side of a bridge near school and never went back after that and failed the class. So my entire adult life up until I was 30, I had to rely on someone else for transportation. It was embarrassing, humiliating, inconvenient to myself and others, and really caused problems in my relationships, especially my first marriage, because I was so dependent. The fear was so strong that I couldn’t even try to overcome it. But after I started taking Prozac, I started feeling strong enough to at least try and I began to practice using an old truck of my dad’s. Finally at age 30, I got my driver’s license! Once I started driving, I couldn’t imagine how on earth I had survived up until then. How had I made it through all those lost years? How would they have been different if I could have been driving and independent. I probably would have never married my ex at all. But all we can do is look ahead. Eventually, I got my own car and haven’t been the same since. In recent years, I’ve had periods of illness where the fear has crept back in and I’ve had to stop driving for a while or take anti-anxiety meds but today I am fine and savor my freedom. And Prozac is still part of my daily drug “cocktail”.

I did learn the hard way over the last few years that Prozac can build up in my system and stop being effective, and when that happens, I have to replace it with something else temporarily and  get it all out and then restart it later. I say “the hard way” because I became depressed a couple of years ago and went to the hospital and the doc there took me off of it cold turkey and substituted something else and sent me home a few days later. A few days after that, I was back at the hospital, suicidal, and a different doc put me on something completely different. It was a few months before everything got straightened out and when I started back on Prozac under my private doc’s  care , it worked just like in the beginning. So, about that contract my mother was talking about…:)

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depression…part two: medication

“Have you taken your meds today?” Sometimes this question is a serious inquiry made by medical professionals in a formal medical setting. Sometimes it is a (lame) attempt at humor by a friend who has noticed that you are a little off your game or maybe a little more serious question from a loved one who is concerned that you aren’t quite yourself. It’s one I’ve heard many times, one I’ve even asked myself in moments of confusion, honestly wondering if I had, in fact, swallowed the allotted pills in my daily pill organizer, that thing that one usually associates with senior citizens who take dozens of pills a day, a separate little compartment for day and evening of each day of the week. Believe me, that thing is a lifesaver. Without it, I never would keep my  meds straight. Yeah, that’s “meds”, short for “medications”. That’s the lingo in this business. Glad you’re keeping up.

There are far too many people in the world suffering from mental illness that are untreated, tragically, but most people with diagnosed depression and/or bipolar disorder are prescribed some kind of medication. Some choose to take it, others prefer to wing it on their own, not liking the side effects, or fearing becoming someone else other than themselves on the drugs. I am considered an ideal patient because medication has worked for me at least some of the time and I trust it and my doctor, to a degree. I know that bad things happen when I try to go off meds entirely and that I will likely be on some form of medication for the rest of my life. I can live with that. Whatever keeps me far away from the deep, dark abyss of depression, I am committed to that. When I talk to people who are going off their meds, I congratulate them on their bravery, but inside I’m thinking, “FAILURE! DOOM! DON’T DO IT!CHAOS! HELL! MISERY! SADNESS!” and I pray for them. I don’t want to hear about another suicide. I’m a believer in pharmaceuticals, because they have worked for me, sometimes.

I first began taking anti-depressants as a freshman in college. I was depressed before then but never got professional help until I was on campus at the University of Alabama. I was dating my future ex-husband, and my ex-boyfriend, whom I was still in love with came down to visit me and told me, in one breath, that he was joining the Navy, his girlfriend was pregnant and he was getting married. I didn’t cry. I just hugged him and said it was ok, everything would be ok. Later, I cried, and apologized profusely to my current boyfriend, swearing I only loved him and I didn’t know why I was crying. Then I didn’t sleep for two weeks. So I went to the student health center and saw a psychiatrist and a psychologist and was diagnosed with depression and given a prescription for Pamelor, an old school trycyclic. This was pre-Prozac days. I finally got some sleep and started feeling better and started talking to a therapist and realized I had been depressed since childhood. This was sad, of course, but in a strange way made me feel somewhat better.  I wasn’t just weird. Something had been wrong with me. and it had a name, and now I was getting help. I felt hopeful. Over the next few years I was fairly stable with a few adjustments to the dosage level of my medication. Then I dropped out of school and got married and moved to Atlanta and instead of looking for a doctor there, decided as many wrongly do,  I was all better and didn’t need meds anymore. I had worked out all my childhood traumas in therapy and I was fine. I didn’t need any help. I wasn’t suicidal, so I didn’t think I needed meds. I convinced everyone around me of this and no one argued. Within 6 months of marriage, I was miserable. We both were. It was a disaster, for reasons I don’t have room to write here. Just that our relationship had run its course before we had gotten married. We never should have done it. We had broken up before and should have stayed that way. But there we were. He decided to be as bad as he could be to make me divorce him. I was not brought up to believe in divorce so I clung to him like a snapping turtle. I was determined to make my marriage work. My husband started seeing a therapist and got a prescription for Zoloft. That same day, I got a call. He was on the top of the parking deck at his work threatening to jump off. He was taken to the psychiatric hospital where I was allowed in while he was admitted. They gave me his belt, his tie and his shoe laces to take home with me. They asked him what was going on with him that made him want to take his own life. He looked me right in the eye and said “My marriage.” Thanks for nothing, you bastard, I thought. Rather be dead than live with me? Fine. I asked if there was anything he needed. He wanted me to call his parents and tell them but ask them not to come. I agreed, but told him I couldn’t prevent his mom from coming over. That was the hardest thing, telling his mom over the phone. She thought I was about to say he was dead, so she was a little relieved but, the hurt in her voice when I said he wanted to die. And then that he didn’t want to see anyone, not even her. She probably blamed me. That’s ok, if it made her feel better, may she rest in peace. I went home and got the best night’s sleep I had had in a long, long time. It was a peaceful few days that he was gone, but it had to end. He came home, and all I can say is Zoloft may cure depression, but it doesn’t make you a better person. It just made him more of a self-absorbed jackass than usual. He became the “victim” in our relationship, according to his therapist. I was the bad guy, though not quite sure what I was supposed to have done, since he was the one with other women on the side and I was just working and trying to be a housewife, the latter of which has never been my calling. We inflicted ourselves on each other another year until he forced a separation by giving notice on our apartment, knowing I couldn’t afford rent by myself. I resisted. We fought all night. I remember throwing a Bible at him, screaming scriptures at him. “God hates divorce!” Then I found a leftover bottle of Pamelor and took what was left and swallowed it and went to hide in the closet. He dragged me out and took me to the hospital, more angry than concerned. The nurse there caught his vibe and asked when we were alone if he was abusive. “Not physically,” I answered. I convinced her I hadn’t taken enough to harm me and she let me drink charcoal instead of pumping my stomach and he took me home. We separated a month later.

On May 1. 1995, the day I separated from my ex-husband, I took the first pill of a new prescription called Prozac and my life changed forever….

to be continued in  depression…part three: Prozac Princess

 

All I can do is all is all I can do.

Question to myself from a private journal:

Why am I always worried about what others think of me? When did I become such a people-pleaser? Why doesn’t anyone worry about what I think?

Answer:

Because you are WEAK. You seek others’ approval to build up your low self-esteem. You always have and you will do this until you learn to love and approve yourself. And no one cares what you think, love.

(True enough.)

The thing is, I could please people more if I would stop being quite so much myself, if I could tone THIS down a bit, maybe. Posted less politics and opinion and more Harry Potter and cats. Then more people would like me. But then, why don’t people worry about getting along with me? Why do I always have to be the one to change? Well, I’m not, that’s all. I will pick and choose my battles and decide what’s worth fighting for and what can fall by the wayside. I just have to give up this juvenile desire to be loved by everyone because it ain’t gonna happen. I’m never going to please everyone and I have to stop trying. Some people are easy. Give them a smile and a kind word and they are good to go. Some people are never going to be satisfied with me no matter how hard I try or what magnificent feat I pull off. I have to cut myself some slack and stop trying so hard. All I can do is all I can do, as the song goes.

 

 

 

depression…part one: suicidal thoughts

It seems only fair that I should follow up my “worst manic moment ever” story with a story about my worst moment of depression. That is something I simply cannot do. I’ve simply lost count of the times that I have been suicidal. I have bipolar II  which is mild to moderate bouts of mania alternating with moderate to severe episodes of depression.Even well medicated I spend most of my time on the depressed end of the spectrum, usually somewhere in the mild  to normal zone.  I can narrow down the number of actual suicide attempts, but just to take you to the brink of death with me would not be helpful for either of us.  I want to talk about what psychiatrists call suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts.  If you ask a depressed person how they are doing they will most likely say “OK”, even if they clearly aren’t.  From my own experiences, recorded in journals, let me show you a window into the disturbed mind of the suicidal soul.

August 3, 2008

I am going to kill myself. It’s just a matter of time, means, location. I can’t do it right now because my apartment is a mess. I don’t want my body found here surrounded by junk.. Maybe it would be better if my body was never found. I’ve done everything else in life half-assed. I’m going to get this right. I’m going to think this through, plan it down to the last detail. I am going to be in control, for the first time and the last time in my life. There are decisions to be made, which is ironic. I’m terrible at making decisions. I change my mind so easily, and nothing is more final than death. Or is it? I can’t even decide that. I don’t know what I believe anymore. My faith used to be my ultimate protection. I believed in God, God created life, only God can take away life, etc. And most importantly, if I take my own life, I’ll go straight to hell, right? But is that really true? Would God really do that? Is there a Hell to go to? A Heaven? Is there even a God listening to me or have I been talking to myself all these years and calling it prayer? Ugh. I’m already in Hell.

(undated)

 

WAYS TO KILL MYSELF

DRUGS   this would be the simplest since I have plenty, but I’m not sure it’s enough. They’re stingy with samples at the clinic and I’d hate to end up taking only enough to make me sick or a vegetable. Too bad I don’t like to drink. Alcohol could certainly speed things along.

Lately I’ve been thinking of more violent ways to kill myself, I think because I feel like I should be punished. It’s strange that even though I hate myself and feel I deserve pain and suffering, I’ve never gotten into cutting myself like some girls do. I have dreams, images of it, but I can’t bear the thought of it. Does that mean that deep down , I really want to live? Why, then, does it seem acceptable to me to endure seconds or minutes I might experience if I jump off of a building or in front of a train? Even though I’ve considered these things, so far I’ve been too chicken to take such drastic action. I believe one can be passively suicidal and that’s where I’m at. I’m too scared to do it myself, but I have a definite death wish. Ideally, I would like to die in some manner that I could not be blamed for. I find myself jealous of other people’s cancer diagnosis. How sick is that??? Or when I hear of someone killed in an accident, I think, why couldn’t it have been me.If I die in an accident , from a disease, or at the hands of another, my family and friends will grieve for me and remember the good things about me, and they would accept it and in time, move on.They might be able to believe it was God’s will or that it was my time to go or whatever. If I kill myself, they will be heartbroken and will despise me forever. Will I know, when I’m gone whether they love or despise me or whether they ever did? I need a plan. I need to decide when and where and how. I need to clean house, put what’s left of my  life in order. I don’t want to leave a mess behind. I need to find homes for the girls. I’ve heard of people killing themselves and killing their pets too but I couldn’t do that. They don’t deserve that. They can bring joy and comfort to someone else, like they have to me…if only it was enough. Do I have enough insurance to pay for a funeral? Imagining a funeral brings up a whole lot of other problems. Maybe it would be best if I just went missing and my body was never found. Would that be more or less cruel to my mother? Not to have a body to bury. But if I die here, someone has to find me here. Someone, most likely, from work. Which shift, which officers? Which dispatchers would be working? How can I possibly think of doing that to them? I don’t show up to work one day and I don’t answer my phone. How long do they wait before they come over, force entry? How could I do that to my friends? Who would notify my mother, my mother  who loves me more than life. My father, my sweet father. My brother and his wife. My nieces and nephew. The rest of my family, friends. Who would post on my Facebook? I think about each of these people. Imagine every individual reaction. Force myself to imagine the misery caused by ME. All because I couldn’t hold on another day. Couldn’t find something to laugh at. Something to be grateful for. Something to get out of bed for. Something to live for. But there they were, all along.

I may kill myself one day. But it won’t be today. Not as long as I have people to love and people who love me. Not as long as I can find something to laugh at. Something to be grateful for. Something to get out of bed for. Something to live for. And maybe it’s just the Prozac talking, but I think there will always be something. 🙂

 

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1 (800) 273-8255  US only

 

http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

 

Bipolar and the Hall of Shame

First of all, let me say that if I was to tell you every negative, embarrassing, humiliating, horrible, awful, thing I have ever done because of having bipolar disorder, this would be a book, not a blog. Not that I blame all my bad behavior on my illness. Just most of it. Some days I’m just a bitch, and no amount of medication is going to fix that. That’s just me being me. But usually, most people who know me will tell you that I am a laid-back easy-going kind of person. One friend once told me if I got any more laid-back she was going to check me for a pulse. I am a confirmed introvert, a homebody, almost a hermit. I don’t go out much. I don’t do much. I am happiest at home in my comfortable little nest with  my loved ones and my wi-fi and my books. I don’t start trouble. Generally. Hardly ever. So the story I am about to share with you will shed some light on the power of  mania in a bipolar person’s life. The following is the biggest trouble I have gotten into while suffering a manic episode. I won’t say it’s the worst thing I’ve done, because technically there are things that are morally far worse, but anyway….

It all started because I had a doctor’s appointment at 9:00am, which is a reasonable time, unless you work 3rd shift and get off at 6 am and have to stay awake and wait for that appointment. I was tired and stressed when I got off work at the police department where I was a dispatcher. I tried to take a short nap, but to no avail. I made it to the appointment, more tired still, where I proceeded to wait in the waiting room for  two hours. TWO. HOURS. I did not complain or ask what the holdup was. I knew there was no point. You’ve all had to wait at the doctor’s before; you know how it is. I suffered in silence, becoming more and more exhausted.Finally, my turn came to see the doctor. He breezed in and looked at my chart for about two seconds and wrote me some prescriptions and left. I got out of there and went to the nearest pharmacy on the corner, not even wanting to go to my usual pharmacy. I remember it was a warm September day, the kind of day where you knew fall was coming, but it was still comfortable outside. I walked into the pharmacy and was blasted with cold air. The air conditioning in there was unreal. I wondered if I had wandered into a meat locker. There were others ahead of me so I sat down, crossed my arms to keep warm and put my head down. I stayed like this for a long time. I think I began to fall over, because I overheard one woman ask another if I  was passing out and if they needed to call an ambulance. I sat up then to let them know I was ok, but I was really feeling bad. I wanted to lie down on the floor. Finally, the pharmacist called me up and apologized for the wait and told me the problem. My doctor had prescribed me a medication that was contraindicated with one of the meds I was already taking. He had been on the phone an hour trying to get him to give him a substitute. AN HOUR. He said, “I’m so sorry,  honey, it might be quicker if you just go back over there and see if you can pick it up from the nurses’ station.”  I said thank you. I must have looked like a zombie. Flat affect, flat dead voice. I felt half frozen. I shuffled my way to the door, and went outside to my car. I don’t know if it was the sunlight or the heat that affected me more, but suddenly, I was wide awake. Wide awake and mad as hell. I got into my car and tore around the corner back to the doctor’s office. Thank God no one was in my way. I got out, slammed the door, marched into the office, slamming every door I came to, marching like going to war until I met the receptionist who, I noticed for the first time, was behind protective glass. Probably because of people like me, I thought. And laughed. I felt high. I felt invincible. Nobody was going to tell me no today! I walked up to her and told her I needed to see the doctor RIGHT NOW. She skittered away, apologizing profusely and came back with a nurse in about twenty seconds who led me straight to an exam room, the door of which I SLAMMED as she was saying “The doc will be right with you.” It slammed a lot louder than I expected. Really, really loud.I started to talk to myself in my head. OK. You are out of control here. You have got to stop. But I couldn’t stop. I was still trying to calm myself down  when the door eased open an inch or two and a hand appeared with a prescription, then finally a whole nurse looking nervous came in with it and handed it to me. One was for a drug for fibromyalgia, which I don’t have, which I threw back in her face with a look of disgust and said, “I’m not taking THAT”  and the other was the one I needed. I got up to go and asked if I would just sign for them at the nurses’ desk.  I said of course and I said “May I leave the doctor a note, since he is obviously too busy to see me?” My voice was pure sugar coated sarcasm. They all nodded. “Or maybe you all could just remind him that next time he writes someone a prescription he should maybe check and see what other drugs she’s taking so he doesn’t waste her time, make her sick, or GET HER KILLED!!!!” Then  I stormed out, slamming all doors behind me, and got the hell out of there before they called my own police officers to come and arrest me. I got home safely, took my meds, went to bed and slept like a baby. As far as I know, they didn’t do a police report.  No one ever talked to me about it at work, and after a few days, I breathed easier. But about two weeks later, I got a letter in the mail telling me that I was banned from all doctor’s offices within that group, which was practically every doctor in town. They didn’t say “banned”. They said something like they were “discontinuing services” or some such nonsense. But it meant banned. Because I called a doctor later that I wasn’t sure was part of the system, and his receptionist told me that  “Dr____ doesn’t feel that he can be of service to you now.” Alrighty then! So that’s basically how I got blackballed out of medical care in my hometown. I’m not sure how far it spreads. I assume the ER won’t turn me out, surely. But, I live elsewhere now, anyway, so, it’s all good. And now you all know, there’s another side to me, a side you want to avoid seeing if at all possible. There are many sides of me, actually.”More sides than Sybil!” Just kidding. I DO NOT have multiple personalities. If I did, I would make them write their own blogs. 🙂

I Am the Queen of the Nation of Procrasti!

I have been sitting at my desk for almost 4 hours, counting lunch, checking email, surfing the internet and mostly playing on Facebook. It hasn’t been entirely unproductive. I made a few new friends, gave a little advice, got a little advice. But not what you would call a productive day. I sat down with the plan of writing a blog, but didn’t have a topic ready in mind. So I put it to my Facebook friends, more of a threat than a request. Give me a topic or I start posting Grumpy Cat memes. No topics were forthcoming, so I began to post Grumpy. First one was funny, but surly, as always..best-funniest-grumpy-cat-2     I meant business. Grumpy Cat is sort of my alter ego. The expression on her face pretty much sums up my general demeanor unless I am given something specific to be cheerful about. I don’t go about smiling for no reason. I am not PERKY, and I despise perkiness in others, especially when I am not quite awake. So I have grown quite fond of this kitty with the unfortunate facial expression, who I am sure is as sweet as a lamb despite her murderous stare. She’s just misunderstood. I can relate. But I digress. My purpose today was to write a new blog post, and it wasn’t getting done. Instead,  I continued to peruse Facebook and post items of interest and comment on others. Time to just log off, right? NO! Of course not.best-funniest-grumpy-cat-13 I promised more Grumpy and that’s what they got.And I continued to procrastinate. Why? I don’t know. I have over 100 books on my Kindle I could be reading. Not to mention the hardcover books I have on my shelves, including 3 from the Book of the Month Club just waiting for me. I have a memoir project that I am working on that has been going well…memories gushing from seemingly nowhere through my fingers into my keyboard, and I will soon begin working with an instructor on that, so I need to get busy on it.It has the potential for a book. I have ideas for a novel, which needs to be outlined. And there are towels in the dryer than need to be folded. And the whole place needs vacuuming. And that’s my JOB. But no, I am sitting here, nursing a mild headache, praying it won’t become a migraine and WASTING PRECIOUS TIME. Here have some more Grumpy.best-funniest-grumpy-cat-16

Meh…that’s kind of how I feel, too. I need something to motivate me. I love to read. Why don’t I want to read? Could it be because I’ve been reading nonstop lately and my brain is so overloaded with words I can barely sleep? I don’t have writer’s block. I have plenty to say, just ask me the right question or give me a topic . I’m tired of Hillary and Trump right now and I think everyone else is weary, too. I think I’ve said my piece on police violence for a while.  I don’t care about the Olympics. USA is #1, yay!! We all knew they would  be. I don’t feel like talking about depression or bipolar.   Maybe I should focus on the manual labor instead. (“YES! ” says my husband.) Mindless drudgery to give my brain a break. Yes, that’s it. I shall become one with the laundry. Very zen. Then something brilliant will come to mind to write about. Maybe not. But the towels will be folded and my husband will be pleased. Maybe he will be pleased enough to vacuum for me. Annnnnnnd maybe not.

Manic Tuesday: One week later.

What a difference a week makes. I just reread last week’s post and it’s like it was written by another person. I guess you could say I am back to “normal”, whatever “normal” is. I am definitely  not manic. I had about 2 days of high energy and then I just plateaued. I am not exactly depressed, though sad. (I found out yesterday a Facebook friend died. Even though I never met her in person, I would have liked to have and I am feeling the loss.) I kind of feel myself sinking back into my old rut of mild to moderate depression, the kind where I’m not suicidal, but I’m quiet and disinterested in everything and sort of lost in my own head.  I am not in the danger zone, but it’s not a good place to be. I expect I’m not a joy to be around, if you were to ask my husband or family and friends. Of course I’ll be avoiding all of them except my husband as much as possible, because that’s what I do. I withdraw. The fact that I am writing this is something new. I don’t know if I will continue. Just depends how low I get. I may  log off here and focus on other writing projects. A few days ago I forgot to take my bed time meds with dinner and I didn’t sleep all night and was sick and miserable. I didn’t figure it out until the next night, and I was angry with myself, because it was my own fault.  It depresses me that my wellness depends on a couple of handfuls of pills a day. I don’t know who I am without drugs. Every time I go off meds, I become suicidal. So I take my meds faithfully, because the hospital is not a place I want to be ever again. But I just forgot.  Stupid, stupid, stupid. Nothing for it. Just have to get back on the program and try to stick with it. I’ve never been very good at taking care of myself. I think that’s why God sent me Steve. Steve takes very good care of me. Steve notices when I don’t feel well. He makes sure I eat and drink even when I don’t feel like it. But even he can’t save me. I have to save myself. I have to make the choice every day to get out of bed (or not) and take my meds and try to live my life. He can’t do it for me. No one can. Some days I can’t. Currently, I’m getting out of bed around noon. I get up with him when he goes to work, but I go back to sleep “for a few minutes” and then it’s noon. A whole morning wasted. So I get up and eat and take meds and try to get things done and not think about going back to bed. Recently, I started taking Adderall for ADD. That’s what caused the manic episode. It felt great. I wish I could be slightly manic all the time. Laughing at everything until it hurts, full of energy, getting things done, mind sharp as a tack, thinking positive thoughts, not dwelling on gloom and doom. That would be ideal..That would be the real Me. That’s my goal, always, to be centered. Neither too high, nor too low. Lord, let me be.