Vacation

Well blog, I’m on a long holiday with my family in South Lake Tahoe.  It was a break I sorely needed as the monotony of the sequence had become overwhelming. I’m glad to have this time off, and I will make good use of it. Bonding with family is critical when presented with the opportunity. My hope is to continue to be there when called for and respond with alacrity. 

It came to my attention that a friend from my past saw and commented on a post I made a while ago in reference to an anxiety driven paranoid speculation I turned into a post. I don’t blame you for being upset Ian, but remember, I’m pretty much insane, so take it or leave it. I have no intent of causing harm, I’m just really lost in my anxiety and speculations can quickly become my reality. It’s a terrible curse, and it has caused me no end of trouble at almost all my workplaces. 

The fact remains that my primary objective is to find stability and strength again. I have clearly experienced setbacks along the way, but my course remains the same. This blog serves as an emotional canvas by which the story of my struggle is told. It reveals all the ugly truths and the odious lies of my inmost thoughts. I don’t hide that shit from you. I let you see the whole crazy. I make sure to check in when I most experience symptoms so we have a benchmark for certain behaviors and feelings. This is not only about documentation, it’s about observation and reaction. I look back over all the crazy shit I write and gather a better understanding of the pattern of my behavior. My anxiety continues to skyrocket as the months go by, and this has contributed (in large part) to my insane rants. If any of that puts things into perspective Ian you’d understand where I was when I wrote that post, opposed to where I am now. Hopefully logic prevails. 
In the meantime, im spending the next several days with my family in lovely South Lake Tahoe. There will be many activities, drugs and good eats. Precisely the thing I needed. It is a much needed break, as I have stated. 

I’m thinking of taking up the daily emotional health score, but also making it more elaborate. Not only will my score render an emotional health score, but also a physical energy score which will be calculated on weariness, lack of motivation, abandonment of hygiene, slowness or stiffness and general inability to go. I will still render each on the +/- 10 scale as this most appropriately narrates the nature of bipolar disorder. The more accurately I report the better chance I have of charting issues before they become problems. This whole thing is about self improvement. Hopefully I can continue to do that. 

Have a good night blog, I’m all partied out. 

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Going

It’s been a while since I checked in, and that’s largely for encouraging reasons. I tend to feel the need to write when things are turbulent, and within the past two weeks things have been pretty good. I have been taking the Latuda for a while now and I think the 40 mg dose is having an effect. My mood has been better, and my energy is up a bit. I’m back to a good level of exercise and my sleep has been fairly consistent. 

I am more resolved now than ever before to stay single and live my life the way I want. I don’t need approval from anyone but myself. My intent is to do the best job I can being who I am  and hold my head up with the realization of that. I’m severely mentally ill, but I won’t let that own my life. 

Will came down and visited, which was really great. We hung out like the old days and it reminded me of all the good times we’ve had together. We have been hanging out online and playing games with friends lately which has been excellent fun. The longer this pattern goes on the happier I’ll be. 

I’ve had some hard times in the recent past. I have also taken action when I noticed things were getting bad. I have been trying to be friends with Amanda, but I feel like I felt right before I broke up with her. It’s the same pattern of frustration and I don’t think I have any relevance to her anymore, or ever at all. I thought I could help her get a fresh start and provide guidance as someone who has successfully recovered from total life collapse, but I have doubts as to my messages being understood. Mind you, my life collapse was not as severe as hers, but many of the parallels should be noted. I have wisdom to give, though it is not “fun” to hear. Often times recovery isn’t about making the easy choice, but the one we must face down in order to go farther. Progress is earned, and the reward is pride. I don’t think Amanda gets that, which is still painful to see unfold. 

All I want is to help. I care about some people, and I don’t hesitate to offer assistance to those who need it, whether they ask for it or not. Sometimes help is a hug, or a smack in the face, but it serves a purpose either way, and that is to promote and acknowledge healthy behaviors. I myself have taken this type of advice and adopted regular meditation to my bedtime routine. I’m very reluctant to meditate because it is ridiculously hard to calm my mind for more than a couple of seconds. It’s a huge battle for me, but it is part of training my mind and to have control over my thoughts. People told me to be more mindful, and here I am implementing that in my personal reality. As a result, I have conclusively increased the sleep stage that provides me with a rested feeling the next day (Fitbit calls this: deep sleep). I was averaging less than an hour per night, and waking up feeling groggy and I was behind schedule. Since the meditation, that number has risen to more than an hour and a half, and I’ve had several excellent mornings in a row now. I do indeed practice what I preach. 

I hope you all have a good night. I’m happy that tomorrow is Thursday and we are but a stone’s throw from the weekend. Jubilation! 

Course Correction

I didn’t wait around for things to get worse, I took action. I had a thought-provoking therapy session and readied my cognitive tools for use. That conversation also helped me get a new perspective on my depression, something I desperately needed. Two days later I met with my psychiatrist and gave her my observations about the past two weeks. I told her it was feeling like the meds were not working as much as they used to. There were many symptoms, one of which was being caused by the Buspar (which was dumped). I was low energy, and had very little motivation for anything. I was feeling just somewhat perturbed, pretty much all the time, and without cause. My anxious thoughts were getting depressing, and negative to an alarming degree. It was not all on my cognitive tools to overcome all of that, so medically, something had to be done. We are cycling off Geodon (which can have damaging, permanent side effects) and introducing Latuda (a newer med which can help with bipolar depression). 

After 6 days on the new med, I’m doing significantly better. In fact, it really started Monday right after I got out of my psychiatry appointment. I got a good night’s rest and woke up Tuesday feeling healthy and alive. That trend continued all week. I honestly don’t think the Latuda had any effect the first night I took it. It’s not until right about now that I should be gauging its potential. I would say that the reason I have been able to continue on past the initial surge in the beginning of the week was that my brain started working better. Promoted by healthy diet and exercise, the med has had the best possible environment in which to operate. I think the benefits will be more pronounced as I get into the higher milligrams. Monday I’m up to 40. 

I have been working hard and having fun with my friends. We are all playing a new game together and it has been fabulous. It has been beneficial to feel good this week, I am so glad that trough is behind us. I was really starting to wear down. 

Wish me luck as I try a medication shuffle. Here’s hoping stability is the result!

Downwardly Up?

The last few weeks have been tough, as you have no doubt heard from my complaining and processing. Overall I’d say the trend was obvious and began having real impacts on my life. Thursday was a very low point for me as I contemplated the return of full-blown depression. I had many negative symptoms like low energy, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, fatigue, loss of appetite and dissatisfaction for things I used to enjoy. I called an emergency meeting with my therapist and it was at this point that things started to improve. 

She reminded me of my introspective process, and how I could be a better steward while my mental war was raging. Those little recognitions where I am identifying my suffering and moving past it are key to processing depression. Without the ability to accept, I have no hope of overcoming. Margaret again proved insightful, and even had a video for me to watch about self love (a concept I am still in the comprehension stage on). She reminded me of my tools and also the acceptance that bad things were going to happen. I can’t go on avoiding them indefinitely. I need to let my feelings pass over and through me. That is the only way to understand them. 

I felt better on Friday and that trend continued into the remainder of the weekend. I am now comfortably in my bed and pausing to look back on the dramatic change I have been through. I was feeling so down and despondent, but have since taken a sharp climb upwards. Out of the trough and in up the slope, as the sine wave says. I’m thinking this whole ordeal is largely neurochemical and time was the key factor in liberating myself from its shackles. Will the work week reduce me to a puddle of goo? We shall see. 

I’m practicing my good cognitive processes and finding much more space for my positive self to speak out. I am a proud man with a full and rewarding life. There just simply will be times that I am depressed, and I need to accept that. It comes with the territory. Why bother being surprised by something you’ve known all your life? I find this is easier to say than do. 

Tonight is the end of a very good weekend. I hope this trend continues on into the brutal horizon of monotony.