This is the story of a bipolar girl trying desperately to give the world a view of what in the ever-living fuck this is.
I sort of, kind of, accidentally switched meds. As in, I forgot to refill, did it at the last minute, didn't want to drive 45+ minutes to a from the base (as in Army) to get them and got stuck with a different brand/generic. Now, while the naysayers will tell me that the generics are as good as the brand, they are not. The FDA allows for a 20% difference in the effective ingredient either way. Now, if you are like me and the sight of Benadryl makes you sleepy, you're very susceptible to such changes. I am sensitive to drugs so much so that a switch in birth control once sent me to to the kitchen floor in hysterics while my not-yet-one-year-old child sat in her highchair in stunned wonder. It's like that.
I hope this post make some sort of sense.
Tonight I felt something I hadn't felt in ages. A relapse, I suppose. I'm trying to write this now, in the midst of the chaos, to adequately describe what it feels like to all of my totally sane friends. Even to my not totally sane friends. If you suffer from bipolar disorder and are easily triggered, stop here.
There are two states to bipolar disorder. Depression and mania. I have bipolar II so I have hypomania. Slightly less-than regular mania. At its peak, I'm unsure that it's less than. For the past few days I felt fine. I felt suspicious of my good mood and even more suspicious today as I tackled a ridiculous to-do list with minimal effort. I felt it. I ignored it. Mistake number one. I should have taken care of myself earlier. The fault is mine.
The fact that I can assign the fault to myself is a HUGE step. Usually I deflect and project and make it about something else. Right now, I can feel that something isn't right inside my head. I can realize the absence of a reason for the emotions I'm registering. I feel good. I feel awful. I feel alone.
Bipolar disorder is an island. The fight for survival is yours alone. You are not a character in LOST. There is no (very handsome) Jack to rescue you and tell you it will be ok. There is no making out on the beach. It's very Tom Hanks in a way and you're apt to find yourself talking to inanimate objects from time to time. There are psychotic breaks. I've had more than one. They are fun. End sarcasm. Realizing later that you can't tell the difference between reality and fiction is a tough pill to swallow. Even harder than the bitter lamotragine I inhale daily.
At this moment, I am sobbing for no reason. I want desperately to turn on music and wallow. I'm resisting. I can't pick up a book or try to escape because if I do, the demons win. They win. They are real right now and I must fight them. This is not a metaphor. Not entirely, anyway. I am also in a state of elation. I feel like I need to take on the world. I feel like I need to fix all the problems I see. I feel like I am invincible. I feel . . . I feel too much. It's overwhelming. It's the difference between depression and bipolar disorder. I feel. I don't feel numb for once in my life. I feel too much. I want to stop feeling. I want to feel everything because stopping means I will feel nothing. I am conflicted. I am torn. I am the moment in the movie Girl Interrupted where the shrink explains to Winona Ryder the meaning of "ambivalence".
I've done therapy and I'm supposedly medicated, though at the moment not well. I have tools. I'm picking each one up and trying it. Meditation. Calms me down but doesn't stop the racing thoughts or the feelings. Damn those feelings. It does give me more control, though. I'm acknowledging my behaviors or the behaviors I so desperately want to fall back on. I'm seeing them for the wolves in lambs' clothing they are. I'm picking up my book of random quotes and wisdom that my church gave me. I'm re-reading blogs from pastor (minister? sensei?) Nate.
I'm in two worlds, but I'm on an island alone. I have some friends yelling from nearby islands and it helps. They're telling me that I'm not as alone as I feel. I cling to that. However, I still feel alone. And I have trust issues but that is a whoooooolenother blog.
This is how it feels. This is what it is. I cannot tell you how to help other than just telling me I'm not alone and my own knowing that it passes. The nice thing about bipolar disorder is that it's essentially mood swings. It's highs and lows with some normal thrown in for kicks. Realizing that it passes helps. Feeling isolated is the most difficult thing, but I know I have friends who are behind me. Just don't try to carry me, ok? Let me walk alone, just walk by my side.