New Activity

Hey blog, let me lead off with something I have been neglecting: Another blogger reached out to me and asked me to post a link to his top 100 bipolar blogs,  which you can look at if you are hoping to find more bipolar information or hear different takes on having the disorder. I believe consolidating the bipolar experience is a good thing, and worth my support. I was 38 on the list (when last I checked) which is much higher than I deserve for what little actual content I provide here.

 

I am back in training this week, three students, for the next five weeks. I really love teaching, so it hardly feels like work. Much different job I’m doing now, for sure. So things in the environment have been better, and on the homefront my social circles are expanding. I’m spending more time with friends in general.I think the new 60 mg of Latuda is restoring a lot of positive energy in my life, and my quirky enthusiasm is coming out. I feel like a really effective teacher in my classroom at the current moment.

Sadly, looks like my computer is on life support. I think my motherboard is on it’s last legs. Can’t run anything in the PCI-E slots, can’t go to bios. It’s an investment that needed to have been made at some point anyway, so now is as good a time as ever. At least my onboard GPU.

 

I’m coasting. My physical exercise is on hold for the time being, as I no longer have the time to do that. Training is 8.5 hours straight and in order to stay caught up I’m working through my breaks. I’m willing to make sacrifices because I will cut corners in slow times and shit like that, and shave a few minutes off my shift when there’s not much going on. When it’s time to hustle, and get shit done, you better be fucking ready, otherwise you’re a loafer. I hustle, like right now, and for the next five weeks. It feels like salary position sometimes. I like that status, even if it is a lot of work. Completing hard things builds you up.

 

Have a great day blog, hopefully I can get my computer back to life with a new PSU.

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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. 

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. 

…And We’re Back!

I haven’t blogged in a while, mainly because I have been so overloaded that the itch to write was stomped out temporarily. Life does tend to get hard for stretches, but it’s the hard things we do that make us who we are and represent what we stand for. Personally, there isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do for my family, but I am also aware how much energy that costs.

Moral of the story is, we survived family reunion and moving back to back, and now a much deserved return to normalcy. Starting this week, I will have only myself to worry about again, which I sincerely needed. This release of the weight I had been carrying has left me the excess to do things like, blog, for example. I know I wrote a little from the heat of it, but I was pissed off and grumpy in general. I certainly don’t feel that way now.

Getting back to work was a tough transition, but I made it. I got through my day and came out the other side feeling pretty nominal. I guess this is our mark on the post blog. From here, we will see as the week goes on if I manage to fulfill my physical health goals and still keep a high level of energy for the rest of my life. I am thinking right now I don’t feel tired, or anxious, or anything but comfortable. If I’m significantly lower than this by 7:40 pm Friday, I’ll have some clue that I need to change something else in my life to foster a better energy environment. Whatever that happens to be…

Goodnight for now blog. See? Happy post. Not angsty post. Happy post.

Burning Out

Remember how I said that Sunday was my last family activity? I forgot to mention my parents are moving as well, and as of this afternoon that task too will be completed. Meanwhile, I’m barely hanging on. My energy is in the tank, my attitude sucks and my motivation has shriveled up and died. It has been a grueling week plus a few days. 

However, by the time late afternoon gets here, I really will be left alone to have my weekend. I can relax and regain some inertia. This run has taxed me, and there have been consequences. Mainly, I drive much more aggressively than I have in the past. I need to stop doing that because it is dangerous and not beneficial. I also blew up at this lady who asked me if I could plug her dual diagnosis site. At first I told her yes, back earlier in the week, but as you can see, I haven’t had the strength to post until now. She poked me yesterday asking if I had done my favor for her, and I told her I’d post it when I was good and ready, if at all. If I’m the one helping you out, don’t prod me to get me to do it faster. That’s infuriating. So, I’m not going to post her content as a reminder to myself and others: treat me with respect, and you will be treated with the same… treat me like an idiot and count me out. 

It’s an hour before my alarm goes off. I just had a series of perturbing dreams that I clearly remember, for once (a byproduct of hugely reduced cannabis intake). I dreamed about Amanda, and that I was kicking the shit out of her ex husband. But he was like, unstoppable. He insisted on annoying me and no matter how hard I hit him or choked him or smashed his face with bricks, he just kept coming. He tore my Fitbit off my arm, he stole my phone, he was standing over me while I was in bed, it gets weirder from there. Amanda and I tried to have sex but he was right there and I couldn’t get hard. It was totally strange. Then there was an alien invasion and people were being harvested and taken up to the mothership. We were all fugitives running from safe house to rendezvous point. For some reason or another, Amanda and I had to split up. I cried because I knew we were both going to be caught before we reached the next safe place, and I was never going to see her again. It was a strange dream with a bummer ending. 

Today I’m finishing up the move for my parents. We are hauling food to the new apartment. After today, moving time will be over. I can’t tell you how badly I need the time off. I also really want to see Carly but she’s been busy for the last two months. A product of circumstance, mind you. I still believe Carly is repulsed and also not interested in talking about my herpes, which will relegate our relationship to a platonic state. I guess I don’t mind that, since I was the one who did this to myself. I can’t expect anyone to want to have sex with me anymore. 

Well blog, one more day.