Monthly Archives: December 2013

It has been 5-6 days since I last posted. I can’t really remember what my moods have been. I’ve been going to sleep at roughly the same time and eating fairly well the past few days. I feel kind of normal, even if I’m really fucking sad. W and I broke up on Saturday.

I feel sad though. Not numb or suicidal but just sad. Hopefully this is me coming out of that dark place, even if things are gonna be tough for a while. I’ve got some stuff I need to get over. I’m trying to keep busy and look ahead.

The thing that’s bothering me is: am I bipolar or am I just kind of an asshole? Maybe I’m both. Either way, I need to make peace with who I am. I’m just going to carry on binge-watching tv, eating shitloads of spaghetti and masturbating furiously until I figure it out.

Not necessarily in that order.

 

 

Aggromanatee.

Think I was a bit hypo yesterday but it’s been the irritable, icky kind of hypo where I’ve just been pissed off or understimulated. Been doodling a lot in lectures, hard to stay interested in an annoyed/bored way, find conversations irritating and hard to maintain (seriously people, stop being so dull), nearly cried and punched my computer because I couldn’t get a game to work (could just be standard Nerd Rage but it’s noticeably different to malingering apathy). Been mildly annoyed by things all day though I had such a really good chat with my mum. Been agitated. Stayed up til 3am this morning and then woke up a few times before my alarm, always a bad sign. Went to town and walked miles, been off my food the past couple of days but had a big meal for dinner. Think I’m exhausted so had a mini binge. Am just kind of pissed off. Was fairly furious that Spanish was cancelled though it was justified as it’s the second week in a row/third time she’s failed to email me about it and I’d walked ages to get there. Fuck that noise.

Concerned I may sometimes have traits of borderline personality disorder, don’t think I have the full-blown thing but there are things I find relevant, and have been reading a lot about its overlaps with bipolar i and ii. Think I have some bad habits stemming from poor management of my symptoms, traumatic relationships (intimate and friendships) and Very Bad Things which have happened. Need to remember to bring this up at my next appointment.

Got good plans for the weekend and am very excited to see one of my best friends on Friday. We’re going to drink beer and play computer games and maybe eat ribs. Mmm ribs. Hope everything stops tasting like cardboard by then.

Can’t wait to go home for Christmas and spend time with my family but also looking forward to being out of this dark and cold flat. The lights are bust and nobody’s come to fix it plus I’ve fucked the bulb in my new lamp accidentally. I want guilt-free central heating and lights. Fuck this shit.

Been thinking that maybe my course is a waste of time. Not got enough to do, should have done a masters, should have moved to Scotland like I always wanted to grr life but really that’s silly as I do love it, I’m just not busy enough. Least I’ve shed some of the unbearable guilt I’ve been feeling about old memories. Anger means I must be thinking a bit clearer. My emotions come from a real place even if they’re a bit too big. Ah well. Fuck that noise.

 

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Ciderman, ciderman, does what ever a spider can

Probs a bit hypomanic all day. Got bare work done and music sounded good, didn’t eat much. Went to pub quiz in evening (came third) had a boss time, laughed a lot and talked to everyone. Ate my own bodyweight in free sandwiches. Drank a few pints of cider but didn’t go silly. 

Had a good night so not really bovved what it means.

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And how does that make you feel?

Thursday – Felt relatively level. Friend M said I seemed ok to her (she’s good at spotting which way up I am) and managed to plug through uni in a cheerful manner.

Friday – Slept in a bit but not too late so was in a relatively level mood for most of the day. Had my appointment. Was really just an assessment as it wasn’t a straight transfer between my old doctor and the new place. However, three months of conscious living with bipolar ii has offered some new insight which was hopefully helpful. Explained about my history, including the old naughty business, to an extremely patient and non-judgmental social worker. I explained my deep, deep desire to sort out my relationships and explore medication and therapy together and gave a (probably patchy but what can you do) overview of my moods. She says I will hear from them in a couple of weeks, probably psychiatrist first and then psychologist can follow up at my own GP surgery (I didn’t even know that was a thing – really fantastic). Then W came and I didn’t want to really talk or do anything. We ate Chinese and watched films.

Saturday – Slept in late. Didn’t shower or really get out of bed. Watched films all day. Didn’t say very much. Not touchy-feely in the slightest. Didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. Ate a lot. Was a bit irritable. Felt very tired.

Today – Slept in a little bit again. Got up, dressed and showered and went for breakfast at our usual spot. Quiet but more talkative than yesterday, not touchy-feely, lazy but washed. Not been in a bad mood as such but been a bit numb. I find weekends so difficult as I feel I’ve nothing to get out of bed for. Feel shame and guilt at my relief to be alone, feel like a disappointment, feel very bad for W, feel empty and then feel guilty whenever I manage to laugh or enjoy something because I’m not depressed enough. Then I also feel something I can only express through blowing air from puffed out cheeks, an abstracted nothing that’s also something. Feel annoyed that it’s just something I have to wait to blow over, worried that it might be something real bothering me that I either don’t know/don’t want to acknowledge/repressing some horrible trauma, feel a bit upset as had some bad memories over the weekend, feel annoyed that it’ll change and it’s not ‘real’ so no point expressing it, feel guilty that I find it so hard to speak out loud. It’s nothing and something and it’s bleh. Staying in bed.

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Feeling Resourceful

Yesterday was a bit up and down, mild depression/not wanting to talk to a soul because I slept too much and did too little, but today has been lovely. Last night I got between 3-4 hours of sleep before an exam today. Think I passed so all should hopefully be well. Probably been a bit hypo today, felt words drip off my tongue and span sentences from sugary spiderwebs. I even had a stab at my Angry Birds routine. Was dancing and singing to myself for a lot of the afternoon and even wore a bit of make up.

Had a wonderful evening with my brother and his blossoming pregnant girlfriend. I was very animated and charming, had a thoroughly delightful time eating risotto and having family bantz. Had been rather nervous as my brother and I have misunderstood each other in the past but we haven’t had such a good time together in years – was lovely to reconnect. I’m really glad he’s so happy and looking forward to seeing them both at Xmas.

Still, it takes energy to contain even mild ups so I’m socially acceptable. Managed to be friendly with neighbours and W today (after a prolonged silence with both). Glad to be back at home in my quiet sanctum though. Not sure if I’ll sleep so let’s see how it goes.

Utterly excellent resources in the meantime:

Love Has Its Ups and Downs – book about living with a bipolar loved one

Bipolar and Relationships – short article about bipolar relationships (who’d have guessed)

Living Manic Depressive – wonderful, wonderful blog which offers practical ideas, personal experience and puts so many things I cannot say into words

Health Central – some of the responses are incomprehensible/spam but a few offered me some cherished insight into why I withdraw from relationships, mostly out of guilt

Healthline on Bipolar and Relationships: Ultimate Guide – bit sparse in places but has some great articles on bipolar living

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Everyone loves an angry bird

Yesterday was rather dreadful. I was morose and moody all day and it culminated in a big argument with W in the car. We spent much of the drive in silence, which I preferred. I don’t especially like conflict or shouting because I feel I’m not very good at it. I’m not secure enough in my own judgement to think that I’m right and I don’t see the point in speaking. There’s also things that I don’t want to talk to him about and so I talked to my mum. My mum is quite standoffish about the bipolar whole thing, not because she doesn’t care but rather she’s worried about saying the wrong thing, but she was really helpful. She told me to hang in until my appointment and then I’ll have some help figuring out how I feel. I have no idea what’s me and what’s me being ill. I’ve lost my thread completely. My entire narrative, of which I used to be sure, has fallen to pieces around me. All the shards are jagged and cut my fingers as I try to pick through them and stick them back together, reliving some dreadful memories. And I’m still terribly angry about losing my independence. It’s a feeling I’ve often felt in relationships anyway, that I end up losing part of myself because I need so much looking after, and now it’s justified by letters from doctors. I also struggle with boundaries because of my flurries in mood, one day wanting to be together forever let’s get married and the next repulsed by the woebegotten creature who I now have to deal with. My relationship history is very, very painful.

Last night I slept terribly. I awoke repeatedly between nightmares – there was general fear, dread and a sensation of falling, plus something about having to report a safeguarding issue regarding obscene photographs being coerced out of patients by GPs. I’ve always struggled with sleep. As a very small child I never slept. My mother recounts the years of endless screaming which progressed to locking myself in the bathroom in hysterics. She said she kept getting phone calls from the bank about the credit cards she’d lose because she never slept as a result. She’d also often find me sleepwalking or having nightmares. I used to insist on going to sleep in their bed and being carried through to my own room after – I don’t think I fell asleep in my own room until I was about 9. I remember my dad saying that people would think they were abusing me because of the dark circles permanently etched under my eyes.

I was a very strange child. When I was little I would only talk to men with red hair – I was terrified of any other blokes, including my dad. We couldn’t watch ITV for a year because I was petrified of a particular washing powder advert. I had (and do have to this day) a huge sensitivity to caffeine, resulting in migraines and utterly appalling behaviour on the comedown, and it took my parents until I was two to figure it out. They think that might be the root cause as they said once they weaned me off (which involved me hanging on to my mum’s leg screaming ‘no, mummy, no, don’t take my cocoa away, what will I do’ like a little junkie) I became much more pleasant. It took several more years to realise that pink food colouring also has the same effect and sneaks into a lot more unexpected things.

For a long time my mum genuinely thought I was mad. Maybe she was right. I was certainly very emotional. She caught me stealing once when I was about eight and told me off. She said that I was hysterical and completely overcome with guilt in way that she’d never seen and she found quite disturbing. I also remember lying in bed as a kid and becoming inconsolable about the thought of my parents dying. I couldn’t bear to be separated from them, even on trips to my friends’ houses or my grandmother’s, but I think some of that was from my nana’s bullying and manipulative behaviour. I was left with her a lot as a kid when my mum went to work and she fucked with my head something rotten. Nana would feed me sweets, praise me for cleaning my plate and then tell my mum what a horrid fat child I was when she came to pick me up. Not good for the mind or body.

I was also very funny and lovely and extremely bright, of course. I did often manage to be nice even if I was a bit weird. I’ve always been loved by my parents which I think inoculated me against a total mental breakdown. These stories are part of family legend now anyway, we trot them out and recount them to guests who look on in puzzled semi-horror as we laugh. It is all rather funny really. My teenage years were more complex and involved Very Bad Things that mum and dad don’t know about and hopefully never will. Perhaps another night.

Still, today I’ve been in a good mood. I think I can see that the less sleep I get, the more likely I am to be a bit manic. I’ve also been overjoyed to be back at uni, even on about five hours’ sleep, and we had a very interesting day. We had to make a timeline of our lives, some very intricate and others sparse, and present to the group about times when we’d felt empowered and disempowered. People shared the most incredible stories: births, deaths, carjacking, suicides, helping people, loving people, kicking a dog in the face jungle style. I talked about my bipolar (of course) and how disempowering and emotionally disruptive I’ve found my diagnosis, particularly when psychiatric teams write to you but put the wrong name on the letter (unless I’ve also suddenly developed multiple personality disorder, of course). I also talked about my love of performing in front of an audience and working with people with learning disabilities, two things which give me genuine joy. Then I came home and cooked in a distracted fashion which ended up with sardines all over the kitchen wall. While it was messy, it made me acknowledge that my thoughts were racing (which doesn’t help a raging identity crisis in the slightest) and I’ve also been angsting about a couple of extra pounds that have appeared due to recent kummerspeck (German for “grief bacon”). So I did the unthinkable: exercise.

I started with a few of my old yoga poses just to see how it felt. A delicious heat seared through my limbs, all useful and taut, and I felt sweat bead on my forehead. I panted and glowed. Then, feeling cocky, I began to look up other exercises I could do. I settled on the Angry Birds Workout Plan which I’d seen some time ago but never quite got round to doing. It’s a dead simple combo of four movements using your own bodyweight to build strength. It’s designed for people with neither time nor space so seemed ideal for me – astrophysicists use at your own discretion. I gave it a whack and, after some sore reps in my pyjamas, got that wobbly orgasmic feeling I didn’t realise I missed so much. It was definitely a cheap kneetrembler rather than the spiritual earthshaker I used to get during dynamic balance classes at uni (I often had to refrain from blissed out giggling at the end of every session) but it did the trick. I was surprised at how average I was as opposed to the complete wreck I’d expected. It felt really, really good. Let’s see if this is another flash in the pan or if I can have another blast on Wednesday.

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Today was a dark and dour day. I am ticking off the time until my appointment on Friday. I want my life back.

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Vice Squad

Thursday was a lovely day spent with my dad. It was such a treat to have him all to myself as we Xmas shopped and shared pork gyoza in one of my favourite noodle bars. We discussed revolutionary politics, why everyone else on the planet is a fool and what it’s like having kids (“it is nice to see their little faces every now and again”). My mood was buoyant and I felt good.

Yesterday I struggled to get out of bed and was a bit tearful in the morning. This wasn’t helped by the letter I received from the DVLA. I have to surrender my licence until I’ve had six months of stable mental health. It’s not like I wasn’t expecting it but it was still very upsetting. I feel as if I’ve been dragged back to being a teenager, dependent once again on lifts and charity. It’s all because of one seemingly innocuous question of ‘and how does it affect your driving?’ I didn’t think it did and made a joke about occasionally driving at 32mph rather than 30 but all it says in my notes is ‘she sometimes drives too fast’. There is no grey area and certainly no room for glib remarks. I have lost my independence and I am honestly gutted.

Still, I managed to have a good time at thanksgiving dinner with some of my best friends. Though to begin with I was dull and sleepy, I sharpened up as the turkey and cheap Polish beer flowed. It was such a treat to see some of my best friends and crack jokes, being the me I was a few months ago. I have given up so much of myself, not just due to my diagnosis but the course I’m now studying. Its serious nature, looking towards being an upstanding citizen, means I can’t have any of the fun I used to be famous for. I also have to take complete and utter boring care of myself because otherwise I’ll be the unthinkable: mentally ill. I’m no longer a loveable party animal but a (relatively) sober manic depressive who has to be good and nice and well behaved. I know it’s all probably for the best but I’m scared I’ve lost some of the joy in life. I’m angry knowing that I’ve had to give so much up, even though I was ready to, but what am I supposed to do now? I can’t even get the cheap thrill of driving at 32mph. Everybody needs a little vice.

Then there’s the usual debate on my head about whether I’m unhappy about something real or if it’s just another one of my moods. I’m certain the car stuff is genuine disappointment and resentment but there are always things on my mind that I doubt. I will keep them inside for now.