a pattern forming

I spent the day cleaning and scrubbing my home.  Have had about 624 coffees.  Have obsessively checked, checked, re-checked and checked Facebook, I have made playdough, I have played with said playdough, I have done colouring in – I even took my youngest shopping to buy a mammoth amount of crafty gear.  I mopped, cleaned out my car, did stuff.  I have even crafted with all my offspring.  And it isn’t 4:30pm yet….  I can see a pattern forming.

My body feels light and almost dizzy.  My legs want to run a marathon, yet the skin on them is itchy.  I can almost feel the blood pumping through my veins.  My heart feels like it is doing double time.  My head feels slightly heavy and like it wants to sleep.  The ride upward is always fast for me, it is like I can feel my body ramping up.  It is a countdown to launch.  I can feel my energy levels rise.  It takes some time for my head to catch up, but it will.  And then I will have my mojo back.  In many ways.

I recognized the first inklings of an upswing the other night.  I had nightmares.  All night.  It was like I didn’t even close my eyes, and then there I was, in the middle of something that even Stephen King couldn’t imagine.  It was more than hardcore.  It was utterly terrifying.  Yet there I was, experiencing it.  Living it.  I woke up the next morning feeling like I had never slept.  Like I had never slept, ever…  My body ached, my soul ached, my heart ached.  I had seen things I never ever wanted to see.  And so comes the insomnia.   I am wondering now if the insomnia comes from being so shit scared of actually going to sleep.  So scared of the nightmares.  So utterly terrified of what is waiting for me behind my eyelids.

After I had sat down and collected my thoughts I thought I should look into this.  I have suffered from crippling nightmares all of my life.  I remember them starting when I was about eight years old.  Anyway, I check out Mr Google and he tells me that there have been studies into this.  That often bipolar patients talk about having nightmares before a period of mania.  Makes sense, yeah?

So I shared this little tidbit with my little awesome community of bipolar peeps and it was interesting.  Many, many of them spoke about their experiences with nightmares and night terrors.  Suddenly I felt like I had an answer to something that had been plaguing me basically all my life.  The nightmares MEAN something.  It is my body, and mind, trying to make sense of what is happening right NOW.  Is it fight or flight?  How can my brain process this information?  Is it because I tend to rapid cycle?

Right now, I just feel a pressing need to find out more.  More information.  More connections.  I need to find a way to enable OUR understanding.  I don’t want to ask ‘whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy’ anymore.  Everything is relative.  Our bodies and minds work together.  I want to put that jigsaw puzzle together.

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words are arrows

Since my moment of truth, since I decided to be honest, I have experienced quite a few alarming and bizarre comments and/or opinions coming my way.  I do find it interesting because as I have said in an earlier post, I am still the same person I have always been.  Only now, I choose to share my experiences and life.  That is the ONLY difference.

Yet, I am finding that when something happens, I am copping the whole ‘walk away’.  ‘As a friend, you need to step off’.  Or even better ‘Go appreciate the sunshine’.

Which is nice.  It is cordial.  It seems like the usual response from people who don’t understand and feel like they have to somehow understand.  But they can’t.  And don’t.  Because that is not what normal people say to each other.  It is what people say when they don’t understand.  It is what people say to people that challenge THEM.

I would never ever say this kind of thing – even to a ‘normal’, ‘neuro typical’ person.  Because it is rude and condescending.  Common manners tell me that it would hurt anyone’s feelings to have that said to them.  Yet here I am.  Having had it said to me on more than three occasions already this week.  Since I’ve been honest.

So, I guess I brought it on myself.  I guess by me not hiding anymore, by me telling my truths, I might invite that kind of judgement.  Or ‘protection’.  It is neither of the three.

Just because I have chosen to share what I experience and use it as a form of recognition and healing, doesn’t mean in any way that I need protection.  I have done mighty fine on my own up until this minute, and I am pretty sure that once this minute is out, I will still be doing fine.

Words hurt people.  Words hurt.  Think about what you say, what you type, your reactions.  Check yourself.  There are people stronger than you will ever be.  There are people that have been through more you can imagine, and yet you will never know.  That is their story.  Keep your words to yourself and choose the words you share carefully, because words are arrows.

You can’t know all the time

I have been having a tough time.  A really tough time.  About eight months ago I decided that I didn’t have bipolar and that I needed to get off the poison meds.  I did so, very quickly, and kind of coasted along for about six months.  Then it all came crashing down around me.  Fast.

I felt strong, like I was invincible.  Like I could do this.  On my own.  I felt like everyone was wrong, and I was right.  That I knew myself better than anyone and I didn’t want to be disabled in the brain anymore.  I rejected what I should have accepted.  I rejected it all.

I spoke with a very close friend, who knows me probably better than I know myself.  And I asked her if she thought I needed to go back onto the medication.  I asked her if she saw me slipping.  I asked her to be honest and not hold back.  I was expecting (or hoping) that she would say ‘NOOOOOOOOOO.  YOU ARE DOING AWESOME’.  Instead, she just looked solemnly at me like her own life depended on it and said quietly ‘yes’.

In the minutes, hours and days after that conversation I questioned myself.  My own ability to judge my state of mind.  My own self knowledge.  My own SELF.   How could I be so wrong?  How could I have missed this?  How could I tell everyone in the world that I knew myself, that I knew where I was at in my mind?  How could I have lied to myself?  Am I actually a liar?  The worst thing in the world to me is lying.  How could I have betrayed myself so badly?

So, I put myself back on medication.  My psychiatrist laughed when I told him what dose I put myself on.  He said he was proud that I had put myself on the pediatric dose.  I have to laugh at that, because yeah, it was the pediatric dose.   Then I asked him how I could have possibly missed this.  HOW?

He simply looked at me and said something along the lines of ‘well, you are living it, so it is real and your reality.  You can’t be expected to know all the time’.   True.  I guess.  I don’t like it but I don’t have to like the truth.  This world is full of truths that I hate.

So I am back ‘on’.   As the dosages ramp up I will try to be easy on myself.  I will try to just accept the strange feelings in my body and mind.  I will try not to question, for now, because at this point, I need this rollercoaster to stop going downhill.  I don’t ever want to feel like I need to get off this ride again.

in true form…

I listen to music.  always.  It heals me.

Yet, for some reason, for the first time in my life I have ventured into ‘generic pop’ and found an amazing song.  It happened by accident, when I was posting a reply in support to a great friend.  I simply said that ‘You are beautiful, in every single way’…

If i remember correctly Linda Perry actually penned this song?  I could be wrong but in any case, wow.  I look beyond the stupid production and hear the words, the wonderful composition and have to swallow my words.  Mr Jonny Romeo….  you were right.  Christina would take me to the other side eventually :P.  I already feel bizarre because my usual music of choice is much, much, much more … indie.  or at least rock… a bit.  more than this.

Every day is so wonderful
Then suddenly it’s hard to breathe.
Now and then I get insecure
From all the pain, I’m so ashamed.

I am beautiful no matter what they say.
Words can’t bring me down.
I am beautiful in every single way.
Yes, words can’t bring me down… Oh no.
So don’t you bring me down today.

To all your friends you’re delirious,
So consumed in all your doom.
Trying hard to fill the emptiness.
The pieces gone, left the puzzle undone.
is that the way it is?

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring you down….oh no
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring you down, oh, no
So don’t you bring me down today…

<song over>

Good words can heal.

What is bipolar?

At this point, from what I can see, bipolar has varying degrees – like a spectrum.  There are at this point three terms that are currently used in the diagnosis of bipolar.  Bipolar 1 and 2, and Cyclomythic disorder.  They are all basically intertwining in essence, and all can present the same way, only in varying degrees.

I am not a psychologist nor a psychiatrist.  This is only my basic, very basic understanding of what bipolar ‘is’.  In basic terms, there is ‘hardcore’ and ‘not-so-hardcore-as-hardcore’

BIPOLAR 1 – the big kahuna.   Bipolar 1 typically means drastic mood changes, without control, between ‘mania’ and ‘depression’.  Those that live with BP1 can endure periods of deep depression, sometimes resulting in suicidal thoughts or motivations.  They can swing from those emotions (moods) to elation, feeling on top of the world, creative, motivated, unbelievable sense of self confidence.  Those that live with BP1 can often swing between these feelings quickly (rapid cycling is defined by the Australian terms for psychiatrists as swinging between these moods at least four times per year.  Though, in my personal experience and with knowing those that I know that do actually rapid cycle, it can change on at least a monthly level.  Sometimes weekly).

BIPOLAR 2 – in no way is any lesser than BP1.  This is a very serious way of life.  Generally those that are living with BP2 have ‘milder’ swings of mood.  Pretty much the same as BP1 but without (in medical terms) the co-morbidity factor.  I have not actually met a single person yet in my escapades that subscribes to being BP2.  I would love to connect more with those that have been diagnosed BP2 so I can better understand.

CYCLOMYTHIC – generally, cyclomythic disorder describes itself as encompassing those who tend to have hypomanic periods for a sustained time, and very short periods of depression.  I think this might actually be everyone in the world.  << just my personal opinion.  By the way 😛

So, in my own words, ‘THIS IS BIPOLAR’.  In my own little nutshell