It’s interesting you feel that way…

Tags

, , ,

Towards the end of 2019, I tried to commit suicide.

There’s a fun way to start a blog post.

I truly can’t bring myself to go through the reasons again, but if you want to know the reasons you can see that post here. Long and short of it though was that, besides the fact that I have nasty treatment resistant bipolar, my oldest stepson’s girlfriend is a psycho.

But I did what I was supposed to do. I went to the hospital. I went to the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). I worked through the issues and came to this decision. The easiest way to avoid problems if I ever talked to that birchy little girl again was to use the phrase “It’s interesting you feel that way”. She tells me I’m insane? “It’s interesting you feel that way”. She tells me I’m stupid. “It’s interesting you feel that way”. She tells me I’m lying? “It’s interesting you feel that way”.

I went to my phone and in her listing, right after her name I wrote “It’s interesting you feel that way”, so if she calls the display shows her name and “It’s interesting you feel that way”. I was pretty proud of this idea so I went in and I put that phrase next to my Stepson’s mother’s name, and the girlfriend’s mother’s name as well. By putting these phrases in my phone next to their names, I’m giving myself a refresher before I answer the phone. When they call, that initial lurch of irritation and anger can be mitigated a little by having an answer for what they say BEFORE I answer the phone.

Fast forward to now. To my most recent post about passive suicidal ideation popping up way too often in my life. Most recently it showed it’s ugly face during a confrontation with my husband. As an interesting side note, this conversation also revolved around my Stepson. That kid is causing my bipolar major problems. But, I talked to my therapist yesterday and she helped me reach an interesting conclusion. I can use the phrase “It’s interesting you feel that way” with my HUSBAND. This is literally something that never occurred to me. I had relegated this phrase to be used with people who are being mean or rude or unfair. It never occurred to me that when hubby is doing the same thing, he can be dealt with in the same way.

You see, “It’s interesting you feel that way” serves a few different purposes. First, it gives you the opportunity to think. I don’t know about you, but when someone is verbally attacking me, all rational thought pops out of my head for a minute. I have no quick answers, no quick comebacks. I’ve always been like this, but I’m much worse now. “It’s interesting you feel that way” gives me a minute to collect myself, by forcing the conversation back to the other person.

Second, it forces the other person to expand on what they have said. If they say you don’t know what you’re talking about and you say “It’s interesting you feel that way”, it makes them have to say why. It makes them have to explain why they said what they said. It won’t always work, but it’s a hell of a good start.

Using this phrase with my husband will be a game changer. The biggest problem is figuring out a strategy to remember this solution.

Do you have someone in your life that you could use this phrase with? Or do you have an idea about how I can remember to do this with my husband? Let me know in the comments!

Suicidal Ideation

I live my life in a near perpetual state of passive suicidal ideation. The idea of suicide is always there, right beneath the surface. It’s always passive, meaning that I’m not actively making a plan and considering where and when. But passive suicidal thoughts are suicidal thoughts nonetheless.

I tried to do something good today and it backfired. Hard. And after I got yelled at and then fell all over myself to apologize that suicidal thought pushed it’s way in. Maybe people would just be better off if I weren’t here to fuck all this shit up. If I wasn’t here to get in the way. If I wasn’t here to mess shit up.

I sent my husband off on a task that he didn’t want. But, I pushed him to do this my way. And it blew up in his face. And of course it did. My stepson is going to die if he doesn’t get into rehab. His heroin habit is destroying him. My husband and I got him clean once. We spent a shitload of money in 2019 that we will never ever see again, to get him out of trouble with the law. His girlfriend and mother swear that the only way he’ll go to rehab is if his father pushes him into it. They made it sound like that’s what the kid wanted. But, it wasn’t. And when his father contacted him, at my urging, the kid got shitty with him for something irrelevant. But, of course, that’s because the kid doesn’t want to get clean. Not really. At least, not enough.

But, back to my immediate problem which is my suicidal ideation. I really need it to go away. I really need it to not be bubbling around at the top all the time. But, it just pops out of the blue. Something goes wrong and it’s guaranteed to pop up. Of course, sometimes it pops up when nothing is wrong.

I just want it to stop

Surprise

I got a big surprise today and it had nothing to do with mental illness. I’m crusin’ around Facebook, minding everyone else’s business and I start looking at a friends pictures. I do it a lot. But this friend is an old boyfriend’s brother. And I found a picture of the brother. And I got a shock.

We broke up a week before my 27th birthday. That was 24 years ago. I’ve been married for 13 1/2 years. I love my husband very much. But that picture shocked me. It brought back feelings that surprised me. Like hurt, sadness and anger.

Now to say this man did me wrong would be an understatement. And the breakup was emotional torture for me as he managed to play my insecurities so well, that he managed to keep me hooked on the line for 3 YEARS after we broke up.

But, I have worked very hard to put that behind me. I’m gonna guess though that I didn’t do a thorough job. And I’m going to stop here, because I don’t think I want to explore this too deeply yet. My therapist is on vacation for a week and I don’t want to dig myself into a hole I can’t get out of without help.

Mania and Meme Share

I had a minor surgical procedure last week. No big deal, I’m not sick, just took care of something that needed to be taken care of. But, I’ve been struggling some with taking it easy. Ok, I’m struggling a lot. It doesn’t hurt much so the guilt has led me to be more active and now this morning I’m bleeding a little. I’m a little manic so I really don’t want to sit still but I’m going to have to today.

I’m too restless to really write more, but I have a couple memes to share.

Have a lovely day my dears!

Holy Moly

I went out to shop and eat with my Mother for Mother’s Day. While we were eating, and drinking, my Mother said that she was sorry. She was sorry if anything she or my Father did while I was young contributed to the problems I’m having now. She said that while they did they best they could, she wanted me to know that she hoped she didn’t contribute to my mental health problems and if so, she was really sorry.

….

And, I gotta be honest with you, this is a weird one for me.

My parents didn’t do apologies. Ever. For anything. Even when they were wrong and they knew it.

Now, I’ve dealt with my childhood stuff. It was what it was. I can’t change it. It does inform the person that I am now. The large pile of co-dependency I much around in is a direct result of that childhood. But, I can’t change it. I’ve processed why they probably were the way they were. They were made the way the were in their childhoods just as I was. I don’t excuse it, but I get it. I know they did the best they could. It wasn’t the way I would have wanted it, but I can’t change it.

Honestly, it’s making my head spin. Normally, I write these nice long posts about my journey through something, but not today. This is something I’m going to need to think about for a bit.

Thank goodness I have therapy tomorrow morning!

Cycling

Tags

Not on a bike. I wish I was on a bike. It’s my moods. And it sucks.

So much.

Rapid cycling is a key component in my bipolar. My moods, when I’m not stable, move constantly from day to day. And that’s irritating enough. But on days like today, my moods will cycle several times within the day. And it’s exhausting.

When I woke up today, I was in a deep depression. Not all the way down, but pretty far. I kept bursting out in tears, my whole body aches, I had a hard time getting anything done (although I did accomplish a few things). I felt like I was dragging a 1000 pound weight behind me.

But then an hour ago, I was twitchy, anxious, my mind was racing, I was getting things done but I had to be reminded of what I was doing several times because I can’t keep a thought in my head.

I’m on my way back down again, which is why this is going to be short. I can feel the heaviness settling in. The clarity, yet racing thoughts in my mind are still there, but they’ve gone behind a cloud. They’re there, but they’re hard to see and harder to understand. Sadness doesn’t describe it. It isn’t sadness. It’s worse. It’s an abyss. My husband just came over to tell me he’s going to make me a breakfast sandwich and it took everything not to cry when I said thank you.

This isn’t something that we can control. We take meds in an effort to control it. For some people that works. For others the addition of therapy does it for them. For still others, like me, we’re still searching for the perfect combination of pills that will beat down bipolar and force it into submission. Personally, I’ve been trying for about 10 years. I’ve had to stop working. I’ve had to go on disability. But, I also just had a months long stretch of stability and I’m so grateful for that.

But it looks like it might be over now.

Check In

It’s been too long. There’s been too much. I haven’t been able to get out of my own way to come and write. I’ve been up, I’ve been down. I’ve been ragey and I’ve been suicidal.

All in the last week.

I got prescribed a new sleeping pill yesterday. It’s real new. My insurance doesn’t pay for it and it’s $11 a pill. I got their discount card and got it down to $3 a pill, for which I suppose I’m supposed to grateful

Suck part of that? It worked.

How the fuck am I supposed to deal with that?

Stability Ruminations

I’ve been having a pretty good run of stability. And I’m beyond grateful, I really really am. But, stability is the time when you can spend a LOT of time thinking about your issues and how to deal with them and it’s HARD.

When I was a child, I pictured my fairy tale life with a husband and children and a long fulfilling life. I was a kid though and everything could be seen through the lens of a child’s eye. Romanticized and Disney-ish, I had a glamorous life ahead of me.

When I was a teen the depression came. I didn’t know it was depression. I didn’t even suspect that there was a problem. The reason I was so miserable, I thought, was the emotional abuse. And, sure, that was a big part. But, I never suspected depression. Even after my suicide attempt, which no one even knew about, I didn’t suspect depression. Why would I? My parents kept telling me that I was just a liar and not living up to my potential. If I could just do that, I would be fine.

When I was in my 20’s, things got messy. I left college without graduating and moved to a shitty little apartment. I got a job, then a better job, then a better job and so on. My life started to be defined by my career here. My relationship with my parents got significantly worse when I got a serious girlfriend. In fact, I was disowned until we broke up three years later. My living situation got better as my professional life got better. I broke up with the girl and started up with a guy. We broke up after I found out he was cheating. My self-esteem took a major blow and for the first time I started to notice my extreme need to make sure others were happy with me, which took precedence over my need to be happy with myself.

When I was in my 30’s I quit romance entirely to focus on my career. No more pretenses of defining my life by what I did for a living. My living situation continued to improve and I bought my first house. I got happier and happier and more and more active. I slept less, worked more and played hard. When I was 35 I met Joe. When I was 36 he moved in and when I was 37 we got married. And while this all sounds great, another part of life was falling apart. My next door neighbors (we shared a wall) started doing drugs (I think) and started going bonkers and vindictive on us. Joe and I finally had to put the house up for rent and move out. My parents and I entered the rockiest part of our relationship by trying to plan my wedding (should have gone to Vegas!).

When I was in my 40’s life started telling me, quite forcefully in fact, that things were going to change. If I wouldn’t see that, then life was going to force me eyes open. I had my first nervous breakdown (I still call it that, because it’s much more descriptive of what is happened then “major depressive episode”). Joe and I decided that we would move to South Carolina. He would be able to get a better manufacturing job there and the pace of life was so much slower that we hoped it would help with what ailed me. What actually happened was a succession of nervous breakdowns, coming just about every two years. I had to file for disability which began a three year battle with the Federal Government. Because of this, my battle for my own self worth came to a head. But towards the second half of the decade I started to get fed up. Fed up with the stigma of mental health, with the misunderstanding I was facing even from those in my own family and then the battle for health care in this country. I started getting political and started to look at my life in a different way.

Now I’m in my 50’s. 51 to be exact. And things are looking up at the moment. Yes, I had a nervous breakdown again last year, but the new meds seem to be working out great so far. No, I’ll never work again, but I think I’m finally figuring out this housewife thing. It’s been a very hard transition for me, but I may actually be pulling it off now. I think I may have found my way to contribute to society without having a job. And I’m having a nice run of stability. I am afraid of the next bipolar shift. My therapist and I just discussed this the other day. I got a phone call from someone today who showed me that people are starting to look at me as a smart useful person.

At the moment, things are looking up.

Loss and Sadness

I’m pretty sure that I’ve lost my best friend.

Moving 600 miles away from where I lived my whole life was hard. I had to leave a lot of things behind and one of them was Tammi. We moved for good reason. I needed a much slower pace to life then the suburbs of Pennsylvania, where distances to destinations was measured in time, not miles. We’ll tell you something is 45 minutes away, we just won’t let you in on the secret that it’s only 5 miles and bumper to bumper traffic to get there. Joe wanted a better more secure job with Boeing and an end to the worsening seasonal affective disorder he has.

My friendship with Tammi began 25 years ago when I was working in a daycare center and she need childcare for her oldest son. I started doing some babysitting for him on the side and developed a friendship with Tammi. Soon, we were each other’s bestest. We spoke every day, got together every week, traveled together, partied together. Even after Joe and I moved, we still spoke nearly every single day. She helped me through with my bipolar disorder, helping me get help during that very first nervous breakdown and hospitalization. She listened when I needed someone to listen and changed the subject when I didn’t want to discuss it.

But the phone calls started to taper off. When I would visit PA the time she would have available to spend with me go shorter and shorter. I would drive farther and farther towards her house to meet up with her for shorter periods of time, until finally it was just one lunch during my week visit. One hour was all that was available in a week.

Now, I haven’t spoken to her in months. The last time we talked was the first time we had spoken in a couple months as well. I told her on that conversation that I really felt like she was not invested in the friendship anymore because I never heard from her anymore. She’s busy, she knows, she’s sorry. She still loves me. But I haven’t heard from her since. And I can tell from Facebook that she is indeed busy. She’s spending a lot of time with her boyfriend and her new bestie. Her “ride or die” as she described it in one picture. I used to be her ride or die. I’m not really sure when that changed.

I feel like I know the answer to this whole situation. But, I don’t know if I’m ready to deal. And I wish to God the whole thing wasn’t my damn decision. I like clean breaks. Don’t decide you don’t want to be friends with me anymore, but leave all the structure of the friendship intact. Break it down, put it away. Unfriend me on Facebook, take me off your Christmas card list. Send me a note telling me to piss off. Don’t just silently walk away and leave me to figure it out.

Bipolar Bullshit

I haven’t been around for a week or so, to read or write, because my head is clogged with so much…stuff. I have a backlog of half-finished thoughts, feelings and plans and haven’t been able to really make sense of any of it. I did a verbal purge in therapy on Friday, but I’m not sure that it helped. I promised a couple people that I would do a written purge as well, so here goes.

You may wish to fetch an umbrella to shield yourself from falling bullshit.

So, I’m still sleeping like shit. I get 6 hours, 7 if I’m lucky, and am usually up around 2 am. And I’m always tired. Always. If I’m always tired then I’m not getting enough sleep. I know that and my therapist confirmed it. I’m taking Seroquel to help, but it’s just not doing it. I don’t need help getting to sleep, but I do need help staying asleep and the Seroquel isn’t doing it. How do I know? I stopped taking it on Tuesday night and nothing changed. Which of course leads directly into the next issue…

I stopped taking my Seroquel without talking to my pdoc first. I don’t do this. Ever. I always talk to my doctor before I do anything with my medication. I’m the daughter of a pharmacist. I know the importance of not screwing around with meds without letting the doctor know about it first. Or, possibly, I’m too programed to “do the right thing”. I mean, for crying out loud, I’ve been on it before. And it always makes me gain weight. Always. I was up another 10 pounds already. I’m down 3 already since quitting! And it wasn’t doing what I needed it to do. So, screw it. Right? Of course, one of the problems that out of control bipolars can have is that they stop taking meds, without advising their Dr., because of the terrible side effects . So, am I being a smart, sensible, self-aware patient? Or am I starting to trip down the road of non-compliancy?

I’ve been having these flashbacks of when I had my episodes of Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome. (I don’t usually link to Wikipedia, but it’s the only article I can find that’s not chock full of medical mumbo-jumbo. It is not a well-researched condition and there really aren’t a lot of articles) I wrote about my experience with PRES here. Anyway, “flashback” may not be the right word, but it’s the one I have. Basically, when I’m doing different things…it’s like I’m remembering how it felt to do them while I was actually suffering one of these “events”, for lack of another word. It’s a weird and unpleasant sensation and I don’t really know what to do with it. It happened in the shower just this morning. I was a little unsteady on my feet and I could immediately remember how it felt to get dizzy in the shower with one of these events and fall, or at least need to grab onto something to steady myself. I didn’t actually fall today, but the feeling triggered a memory. Though the memory was more about a feeling than a memory about an actual event. That’s really the closest I can come to how these flashback things are, but I’m still not positive that flashback is the right word.

I have finally found a dog park that suits Ilio and me. (Ilio’s the dog in case you haven’t been following along. His name means “dog” in Hawaiian.) It’s in one of the county parks and it’s HUGE, at least 4 or 5 acres. It’s got water, shade, tons of tennis balls, benches, picnic tables and bag stations so you can clean up Fido’s poop when he leaves a present. We’ve been going every day for a couple weeks now and he’s made some doggy friends and I’ve enjoyed talking to a few people as well. I still haven’t done a very smooth job of fitting it into my schedule, but I’m working on it. The big problem is the talking to other people part. I can just see all my insecurities in living color there. I talk too much to fill what might be an awkward silence. I laugh, out loud, at myself constantly because I’m so afraid people will think I’m stupid or nuts or whatever so I try to head them off at the pass by acting like I think it myself. My self-esteem is in the toilet. It always has been. I’m starting to wonder if it always will be. I’ve never really been comfortable in my own skin and I have no real good idea of who I am. If I’m that dorky woman in the park, I’m not sure I’m real thrilled with that at all.

I only have one therapy session this week because my therapist is out of the office on Friday when I would normally have my 2nd session. I have the option to set another appointment for Thursday, but I only want to do it if I need to. I don’t want to take up an open spot and then have nothing to talk about, especially if that appointment could have been used by someone in crisis. Although, if I read back through this post I have to wonder if I’m in crisis and just don’t know it. Wow.

Yesterday, I wasn’t in a great place. I was exhausted but I’d had so much coffee I couldn’t get back to sleep. I took Ilio to the park and we had a good time except I felt like that dorky woman in the park. (Rereading this I realize that if I felt so dorky, did I really have fun?) I came home and told Joe that I was going to lay down because I didn’t feel well but I felt fine. I was having a hard time getting warm but otherwise I was just tired. I managed to get out of doing much of anything yesterday except a couple loads of laundry by saying I didn’t feel well. Eventually, I really didn’t feel well. I did have to hit the bathroom every hour which triggered the flashbacks. And I tried to explain the flashbacks to Joe and he didn’t get it. I think he kind of thought I meant that I was having the episodes and wanted me to take my blood pressure. Which I did, although it was mostly to humor him. I can’t believe I did that though. I can’t believe I pretended to be sick to get out of doing anything. And, I can’t believe I actually talked myself into feeling physically crappy. I just couldn’t deal and was not in the mood to be looked at like I was insane. Joe’s been really great about trying to understand when I need to go do some self-care. I just didn’t want to test the waters. I didn’t want him to look at me like he was disappointed that I didn’t want to help him work on the patio. I didn’t want to work on anything.

And on that note, I’m going to end this post. I feel as though I’ve dumped enough garbage for the day and I can’t think about this crap anymore.