Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dammit, Manic.

aahhHH i can't slow down!!! where are the brakes when you need em

Manic, dammit.

uhh I might be kind of manic right now. Can't sleep, can't stop working, can't stop getting back in touch w people, sending emails etc... I'm mAking myself take breaks by watching a DVD or reading a book for chunks of time when i start whirling away, but I keep finding myself moving back towards work-oriented reading. International taxation, legal matters, bla bla bla. I want to rest my brain...

And now I'm here writing, wondering if I'm gonna find myself going a bit overboard or not. This may in fact be my first hypomanic episode since I've stopped taking meds. I suppose it's been quite a while, which might be indicative that the meds tipped me up out of depression directly into hypo/mania more often than it needed to. Or it could just be that my cycle is changing. Or.. whatever.. it doesn't really matter, as long as I can stablize this.

I've avoided stimulants over the last couple of wks as much as possible. Kind of felt that they wouldn't be good for me in this state (though yes, yes, they're not good for me anyway). I felt kind of restless, uneasy, unstable.. and now I do feel a bit hyped up as if I'd hug strangers in the street but feel really weird about it afterwards. Dammit. And I thought -- or hoped -- that maybe this bipolar stuff just maybe, maybe, was meds-induced. Turns out my old doc had made a correct prognosis after all. I guess I knew that was the case, but had a few months to hope otherwise.

My thoughts are spewing out on paper in splatters and globs.

Chill, M., chiiilll... relax... sleep...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Depression Is.

I found some writing from way back when. Thought I would share. Because, well, why not.

My brain is turning on so many things – not all of them pleasant, mind you – but it is so much better than it turning on nothing, or even worse, it turning on turning on nothing.

I suppose the best way of explaining both a manic and/or depressive episode is by comparing it to a swirling pen. A pen to paper that just draws circles and shapes and continues to do so until the scribbles overlap and blend into a blotchy mess of deeply sunken ink as unidentifiable (or un-understandable) as a black hole with its immense gravity just sucking in brain matter from every which way.

On some occasions, you find yourself going over one single topic so many, many times in your head that whatever portion of your brain is responsible for rational thinking just fades away in the distance. At these times, you might finally conclude that you’ve got it figured out, or you might console (or berate) yourself with the full-fledged belief in the idea that you have covered the topic from every possible angle. Then tomorrow perhaps you pick up where you left off, and continue to think incessantly about that single topic some more.

And this, of course, is only the case if you are lucky enough to get to sleep or take a short break from the obsessive thought in the first place. Sometimes you really just can’t, and you stay on that same channel of loud, drowning and obnoxious static noise for what seems longer than a lifetime.

Sometimes it follows you into your dreams, and even in sleep you remain as possessed as when you were awake. Now this is when it’s really hell.

At its worst, this is what depression feels like. Actually, scratch that.

This is what depression is.

And wait: we haven’t even gotten to the kicker yet. The real kicker – what makes this mental state so detrimental and potentially dangerous to your very being – is that during all that time you spent churning over this idea, you were going over it in the exact same way. Like a robot. A single thought was played over and over in your head like a broken record.

You know that conclusion you thought you came up with? You were wrong. Your verdict, your surety was not based on any real contemplation at all. Because you already “knew” or rather decided on the answer before you even started. Nothing would have changed your mind. Because frankly speaking, you had only looked at the problem from one single, measly, obsessively and fundamentally limited angle.

It is a sick trick that our brains play upon us. It fools us. And we believe what it is telling us with all our might. We become so involved and possessed by these thoughts that are so undeniably biased towards negativity. We could not possibly be pulled away from that force. At no point could we step back, when we desperately needed to, to see that which in normal circumstances should and could be plainly understood; your brain has been digging itself rigorously into a hole getting deeper by the second. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mood a bit wobbly today

Life is good, generally speaking. Everything seems to be going pretty well. Right now though, I feel some slight fear, sadness, cloudiness... I'm not sure why. Been having bad dreams that bug me a bit. I am off to sleep again now, in fact. Need to get some rest before I have to be somewhere an hour and a half away tomorrow. I guess I just felt like saying this to someone. That I'm scared and sad. But I will be okay. Well, good night.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Quit Cigarettes and Meds- and it's helping, I think.

I suppose my taking long breaks from this blog is kind of like my procrastination on other projects. I want to add something helpful, to say something profound... so I put this off, figuring I'll write something perfect someday... but if I keep waiting and waiting until the time 'feels right' I might be waiting forever... So never mind. I will just write.

I am still prescription drug free. Still off the anti-depressants and things like that. Been a couple of months. I plan to stay off of them as well. It's not like I am any more in control of my life exactly, but I do feel more free. I know that if I ever get back to my worst I will see a doctor without a doubt, but right now... I think I can handle it.

There are lots of issues in my life at the moment that I am trying to figure out how to deal with. But I think I will be able to deal with them. It won't be easy. Not at all. And I still often do want to drown out the issues and accompanying thoughts with booze or drugs or something else... but I'm also tired of letting issues just sit there as they have, festering away and staining the rug for years on end (if that makes any sense at all... that's just how I visualize it). I don't want to push it all away with substances anymore - prescription or otherwise - so I can pretend everything is fine and that I don't care. I have feelings because I am human, and that is okay. And my emotions do have reason.

On another positive note, It has also been 4 months or so since I quit cigs. Not bad huh? I am happy about that. I smoked because it gave me a break of sorts, was a kind of reward to myself, and it just gave me something to ingest, to fill my lungs with. That might sound weird, but I liked the way it would sting just enough to make me feel it was dOing something. Hard to explain. I still miss having that something to turn to on occasion, but I don't miss cigarettes tooo much. Sometimes I do. But mostly I'm happy to not want that 'something' to give me a quick jolt as much as I used to. I no longer get antsy at such regular intervals, which is great. Some entire days are still heavy with difficult thoughts, but I haven't needed to use cigarettes as a way to split my mind and ease concentration on a single topic. Nicotine really is bad for you if you're trying to get control over your mental state. The craving for a puff, however small, affects a person mentally as well as physically. I realize now it affected me more than I should really have let it, considering I have enough chemical instability to deal with as is.

Nothing profound to say today. Just an update. And a couple of paragraphs in which I allow myself to be proud of what I've accomplished. A good thing I suppose, considering many days I feel like I've accomplished nothing at all...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Natural mood booster: Old nostalgia radio

Dealing with a bipolar mind basically comes down to this: stabilizing your moods (ie. aim for being happy but not manic). Also add in the importance of taking care of your health (sleep, exercise, nutrition, sun, and good healthy relationships), because that plays a big part in managing your moods and vice versa.

Since I've recently (accidentally?) stopped taking all of those uppers and downers and sideway-ers in my pill regimen except for a little bit of the SSRI i've been tapering off of, I've been paying particular attention to ways I can keep myself happy and in tune with myself and the world naturally. One thing I've come across recently is the amazing array of old radio shows you can find and listen to on the Internet for free. I just had to share this with you all- this discovery is too good to keep to myself!

If you run a search for "old nostalgia radio" you'll be directed to a bunch of good sites for these lovely old shows, but to speed things up a little I'll just share one with you that I've really been enjoying as of late:


I personally have been listening to Father Knows Best, which apparently began on the radio as the "beloved family show that both parents and kids loved in the 1940s" -- it only later became a favorite on TV (before I read this, I only knew of it as the TV show.) Described as a "funny situation comedy", they start off with the audition program (the pilot) aired on October 20, 1948 complete with a live in-studio audience which makes it all the more enjoyable. It even has those old spoken commercials that just make me smile.

On this site, you can also listen to tales from Mystery Theatre, The Lone Ranger, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Dick Tracy... lots of fun old stuff that has me conjuring up images of home life with families gathering around the radio before the TV and Internet eras settled in to our lives. I like to turn off the lights and dim my computer screen before closing my eyes to just let the old radio sounds fill up my room with warmth at bedtime. But I bet this would be just as wonderful to listen to at any time during the day or evening, whether while tidying up the apartment, paying some bills, or when just sitting back comfortably to knit or something nice (as my Grandma used to) with your hot cup of tea.

Anyway, since this has me feeling warm and fuzzy, just thought I'd share the love.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy 2008.

Well, it's been a month or so since I last wrote. Doesn't mean I haven't been checking back here, planning to write... because I have. I just didn't really feel like writing. Not that I've been depressed or anything. Or manic, really, either. Maybe a little of one or the other at times but generally I've been okay. Had a good holiday season with family and friends, and I have been keeping busy recently with moving house. Moving nearer to the beach. Leaving the city to be by nature. Kind of. That will be the result, anyway, regardless of the many reasons behind the move.

I haven't seen my psychiatrist in a while. Long story... And meanwhile I stopped taking everything other than Zoloft (because I ran out of all the other meds two weeks ago). So far I seem to be doing fine. Which is great! Even a meager week or two off of prescription sleep aids made it so that my body no longer expected to be pilled to sleep, and I am actually managing to get some real, non-drug induced sleep. I like it.

I'm still not falling asleep instantly and waking refreshed to bluebirds chirping outside my window, mind you, but I must say- not bad. I purchased my first audio book at , which I turned to for a few nights. Recently I have simply been reading myself to sleep. I'm reading a nice, long, educational biography. Keeps me learning and interested in turning the page, while also making it completely impossible for me to even attempt to finish it in a single sitting. I'm a big big Abe Lincoln fan, and if you're looking for a great book, I highly recommend this one.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Perhaps I'll write more about the book some other time.
Anyway. Do let me know if any of those sleep solutions helped you guys out. Meanwhile, a happy 2008 to you all.