Meds Change; “To be a Zombie or not to be?”

If you’ve never been on a psych drug before let me give you a small piece of what it’s like. Day 1, things feel off. As though everything has shifted, literally. From the walls to the trying to grab your can of pop, things visually are no longer in perspective.

Day 2, by this point you now have fingers working their way through your brain twisting and turning things, (God willing in the right directions). You are either extremely alert or extremely tired. Either way, sleep is really the only way out you have at the moment.

Day 3, mush mush mush mush. That’s it, there’s no more. Thinking, whats that. The fact you didn’t crap your pants right there is pretty amazing, (yes you remember there’s a toilet but ahhh tell your brain to tell your body to get there and see the response your brain has. It wants to respond but this hand in its head is squishing it like putty).

This continues for sometimes weeks. Lessoning and worsening depending on the medication.

Then out of freaking nowhere “AHHHHHHH THE HEAVENS HAVE OPENED”. You one day open your eyes get dressed, brush your teeth, and an hour later you think, “Shit I’m thinking!” Your symptoms have finally gone away or at least to a livable level. No longer are Martians coming after you for your long underwear. (I’ve heard stranger tails in the psych unit.)

But you must must must get through it. It’s hell, I won’t lie, but the pay off is worth it. Doctors, good doctors will work with you, if your symptoms are too harsh they are not going to force you to keep taking things that make life worse. But you must trust the process.

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Down the Rabbit Hole I Go

There I was minding my own damn business. When the white rabbit appeared, I followed like a moron. Who follows rabbits anyway? But I did. The fall is when it hit me, I was falling, I knew in my logical brain that this was the despair that had been sneaking up on me for weeks. Unfortunately, with this condition (bipolar) it no longer scares me, it’s just a part of me.

My world was no longer in a logical sense. It was filled with nonsense thoughts and “Hold on Jean Louise this one is going to be a fun ride” would cross my mind on occasion. There was one marked difference though, I had one emotion, anger. I had so much anger towards everything (except my dog) that I could have exploded. Fed Ex dropped off a package on its side and not up and down and I thought I was going to slice his tires. (I wouldn’t but the image in my mind made me feel better).

“Who are you? You are not Jeanie.” I could hear the caterpillar. “It’s me, Jeanie!” I felt my insides screaming. But no one, not even me believed it. This was not part of me. Something, something whatever it was like a monster taking hold of me was eating me from inside out.

The laundry was piled up and I couldn’t figure out how to put it away, my floor needed vacuuming, but the vacuum was too far away. My dog wanted under the blankets for the 100th time but I was saying, “Just F-inig lay down!”

All I could do was lay still and listen to the hum of the fan. Time was going by so slow, yet so fast. Was I high? Certainly didn’t remember doing any drugs of any sort. Did I take my drugs? Yep, I did. WTH then? I just wanted to be me. I knew this wasn’t me.

I was convinced my boyfriend was leaving me, why….because while he was at work he hadn’t text me back. Really am I in high school again? I would go back and forth between the two. My logical brain and the monster within.

Just sleep, but I didn’t want to sleep I had to do something, but I couldn’t do anything. I was weighted down by external forces I couldn’t explain, nor did I really care too.

I hadn’t slept very well the night before, which didn’t normally affect me in this same way. But yesterday all hell broke loose in my mind and I couldn’t put any of the pieces back together again.  I tried my therapy skills. Do something else, completely else. But I would just do that in a few mins, I just wanted to lay still and listen to the fan for a few more moments. Well, the moments passed.

They turned into hours and soon my boyfriend was home. No, I didn’t murder him. 🙂 Poor guy how he puts up with me is beyond me. Instead, we refilled my prescription for Valium. (Side note my new public health psychiatrist took me from 90 pills a month to 30…this is going well)

I took the valium right there at Walmart. By the time we checked out, my levels of wonderland crazy where finally disappearing. My heart was broken for the horrible thought patterns and inability to do a damn thing all day. But at least I was decent to be around again. I had to go and clean a property that night. This was fine, I could finally think so I wasn’t concerned.

I had had a pain growing on my shoulder and neck for 3 days (I’d been off of my benzos for 3 days) and slowly the pain was subsiding. Neck pain is so horrible. It throbs and aches give headaches and all around pain. But no longer were the muscles tensing every time I heard someone sneeze.

I was in a short but sweet mixed episode with anger. I couldn’t act on anything and make it better, deer in the headlights syndrome. But for 24 hours I felt as though I was one of Vlad the Impalers victims, laying on a spear waiting for death to finally take away the pain.

Instead, an angel came and took me down one more time. Patched me up and said, “now go and do good. Because you are good. Those moments were meaningless. One day does not mark the rest of your life and count your blessings angels strap you in when you are like that so you can’t act on your impulses. (We should probably duck tape your mouth though. ;))”

So that’s just a visual of how it feels, but it is the truth. I am awake and feel “normal” today. When asked about my faith and whether or not I’m angry with God for bipolar and mixed episodes, I can honestly answer with. “I’m grateful He always sends me help.” Never have I been completely alone. I feel alone in the moments of mental hell I go through. But when it’s passed, I know I couldn’t have gotten through those moments without God. Without His intervention, I wouldn’t slash tires but probably damage myself.

So no I am not upset with God, I am grateful and blessed He remembers me when I am mixed up in the head. I am grateful that he has blessed me with almost two brains, the logical, “Jean does this make sense?” and the crazy, “My family hates me, I only bring pain and suffering.” And my guardian Angel who protects and keeps me from harm.

All I want for Christmas is governments health records….

Fair is fair, I’m stuck showing you mine, show me yours. I pay for your health insurance for the rest of your life even. Not only an American citizen also I am a Daughter of the American Revolutionary War. Check the National Archives if you like. (Go through Berseth-Brown-Sharp(e) and there we are. Our great so and so forth set many treaties with the Native American’s. He was very successful. But I’d dare to think what he’d say if he knew what his country has turned into.

You will never find me kneeling during our National Anthem in protest to how we are treated (which is despicable).  I have too much respect for what we have fought for and what we believed and believe in to give up now. But now is the time. Too many have died in vain so that people can sit and allow things to happen to them.  I will continue to stand, I will continue to fight and I will continue to honor the fallen and the real heroes who came home, to save my sorry butt.

Government is controlled by pharmaceutical companies. Why is the greatest nation on earth being controlled by an entity outside of its leaders? Why is it that someone goes to the doctor and their records become a record for the government, but yet, I have no idea what procedures I am paying for my congressmen? How many congressmen have had their limp dicks fixed on my dime? How many of their daughters have birth control on my dime?

How many of these drugs and procedures are set up with the pharmaceutical companies at a lesser cost to the government? Then it costs a woman who is working 2 jobs to raise 1 child pay for health care costs to get the same procedure?

Fair is Fair, Government I want to know what I am paying for. I want your records.

Things People Say, Mood Disorders

Over the years people have tried to give plenty of advice on how to handle my depression. In my mind, I have collected a few that I just want to straighten out for those who don’t understand….

“Just get out of bed.” That one I have heard plenty of times. That’s great I’d love too, but can you tell my brain to tell my body how exactly that is supposed to happen. Because right now I have no freakin idea.

“Can you just try for me?” I can’t try for me, how can I try for you? I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to talk myself into using the restroom let alone how I’m going to get dressed. This isn’t about me trying to for you it’s about me figuring out how to try at all.

“Must be nice to always have an excuse.” Ahh, I don’t want this, would someone take it from me? I just want to be the normal girl with the normal friends and the normal career. But I didn’t get that kind of lucky.

“If you don’t sleep the night before just stay up all day and your body will reset.” Yeah, wrong doesn’t work that way for us. It could be weeks before my “normal” patterns of sleep return. So please if I’m laying down, I’m not sleeping, I’m letting my brain get what little rest it can.

“It’s all in your head, your just lazy.” Lazy my rear end. Do you know how much work I do when I’m healthy? Do you know what my IQ is? (don’t look at my grammar or spelling that isn’t a very good example of my IQ) If I could just not go through this BS for like 2 years of my life I could at least set things up to be prepared. But I never got that chance. I got the crap ball and was told to roll with it.

“Stop looking for attention.” I don’t want your attention. I want you to not see me, to not hear me I want them to think I’m invisible. “Bitch” face got that one down. Why, because nobody approaches me. But no your all over here upset because I’m in a depressed state. Tell me, who needs attention?

“You don’t need the drugs.” Are you on drugs? Do you know the crap I did without them? Thank you, I’m keeping them. You can go your natural organic vegan holistic spiritual Buddhist zen dance. I’ll take my drugs.  Oh and your essential oils as well. Not that those things can’t help. But for the love of Jesus (and I love Jesus) he gave me a miracle, it’s called Latuda I’m taking it.

“You can’t count on her.” Yep, your darn right you can’t. I can’t count on myself, imagine how I feel. Not knowing what Jean will wake up the next day. I want to be there, and my heart breaks, I cry I ruminate but my body says, “NO NO NO….” So I sit at home in my bed praying sleep will overtake me because this mental agony is killing me.

“Did you know exercise is the same as an antidepressant?” Have you ever tried to get a depressed person motivated to work out? Good luck. Let me know how that goes.

I could go on, those are the few on the top of my head. Feel free to add. It just amazes me at what people think they know about what we go through. When they don’t understand that bipolar is lifelong. I will come out of each depression, but I will go back in. This will be my life.

 

Jesus Christ did not say, “Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right” CS Lewis

Oh how I had a good laugh when I read that. Christ certainly said a good many and important things, but never did he say the world was right. As a matter of fact, I’m wrong, a lot. (Just ask my boyfriend. ;))

Our treatment of people with unseen disabilities is the definition of insane. Don’t get me wrong we have come a long way, but it wasn’t that long ago I had to yell at a little girl for staring wide-eyed at a woman having a breakdown. Really? Where is your mother?

And on the other hand, we have those people who play off their disabilities and get away with it. Leaving the rest of us, working so very hard ready to ring their necks. I mean really I’d like to take the rest of my life off for my disabilities. But I don’t have too, I had to learn how to work with it, but I did. I still struggle and sometimes so hard.

Between doctors, I had to go through withdrawals of my meds, basically, it’s like coming off of crack. It’s not an overnight process, it was a month of no sleep, just wanting to die. But finally, I was able to be seen again. But then the process begins again, side effects. Welcome to the wild world of our health system, refills, and insurance companies.

My business suffered. I suffered, and my boyfriend suffered. Thank God my family lives 3 hours away, they’d of taken me in. I’m a fighter though you see. (Side Note) My mother has lost 5 of her 6 brother’s and sisters. My grandmother lost 3 of her children before she passed. I will fight until I have nothing to me before I will put my mother through that pain. My pain no matter how heavy it is is better for me to carry than for her to endure the loss of a child.

But that is the society we live in.  All goes to hell because a doctor leaves a healthcare system, it takes 6 weeks for the next provider and the insurance company refuses to authorize refills until I’m seen by a provider.

Progress.

Mental Illness Is An Excuse?

Well dang, I’m cured. Here I was under the assumption that it is a chronic, often life-threatening disease that causes a distortion in the thinking patterns of an otherwise healthy individual. Nope, it’s an excuse.

Now let me tell you I have excuses coming out my behind, all sorts of things. But never have I thought that being bipolar was an excuse to not go after my dreams. Actually, I have found it to be the opposite.

During an episode of clinical depression, my dreams change. I don’t know about you, but for me, all I want is the pain to stop and to live like a normal person. But my brain won’t even let me figure out how to get dressed. I’m lucky that I don’t pee and live in it. When I’m me again, these things are no longer there. I do go after what I want, I do not fear the unknown. I often take that mental illness and decide I’m going to kick it where it counts and show it who is going to win.

When I’m depressed, my dream is to no longer be a burden. It’s a good thing I don’t follow my dreams, I’d reach for any number or all of the bottles of pills in my closet.

Choose your words wisely my friends. Unless you have been where we have been you don’t know the struggle and your advice, or whatever is invalid.

PS

To the woman who I annoyed and made all paranoid about on social media about her choice of words. I wish you luck. But don’t ever tell me that mental illness is an excuse.