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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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. 

Pillow Talk

Hello blog. I haven’t written to you in a while, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been in a rut lately and many small things have added up to a lot of weight. Though, overall, I’m doing alright. I’m not acutely suffering, but some of the symptoms of depression are there. The fatigue, slow motivation, disturbing anxieties and skepticism seem to pervade, and especially in the morning. I was an hour late getting in today, for example. 

I feel much better though, now that I’m in bed. I’m happy here. Everything is soft with the fuzzies and warm. It makes me feel safe from all of the anxieties and stresses of my day. It is the one place I can go and feel at peace and protected in a very fundamental sense. Logically? No explanation whatsoever. I don’t even bother to understand it. It just makes me feel good and it’s not a controlled substance so you should be happy 

Will has been a great friend in this tough time. He’s always willing to talk to me about stuff, and has loads of insight from someone who knows me well. I have been meaning to ask, but he must look back on who I was in high school and wonder where that guy went. That me was direct, merciless, insane, goofy and bizarre. The only one of those things I still am is direct. I used to be so vital and energetic, but as time went on, it broke me. I collapsed. After that first depression and meds, I became someone different. I do not know how to compare these two states. Both are good and bad for different reasons. I favor stability and old me was in no way stable. 

I think I lost Carly. It would be sad but expected. She got scared by my herpes and that pretty much quashed the flame she may have had burning for me. She seemed to be really interesting, with a full life. However, she detached from me a long time ago for many reasons. It’s not the way I wanted things to go, but this disintegration was inevitable, it seems. 

I just want to have a normal day, you know, where I wake up refreshed? A day where I can focus clearly, have meaningful social interactions and feel solidly good. I have had days like that before. I’m trying everything to promote that possibility with my actions tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Goodnight blog. I promise to stop by more often. I haven’t forgotten you, I’m just struggling. 

Stumbling Forward

I got into this mode of living as an independent man to help forward my ongoing mental health, but at the same time I am taxed by being alone. It is a tough balance. I need friends, but not deeply attached friends. I need meaningful exchanges without love or lust getting in the way. I have said it before but I think getting herpes has really helped me realize how alone I need to be to be healthy. Relationships fuck me up, and I will have no more of them. 

I will have women who I care for in my life, but not love with passion. Friends who can share memories and stories and show interest in each other’s lives. The thing I am trying to avoid is love and all the baggage that comes with it. Love has chewed me up and spit me out more than a few times. I’ve learned my lesson. Now I have a chance to prove my intentions as valid. 

Things happen and we respond. Life presents us with new challenges daily. In the end, I’m the only one who’s responsible for my life. If I want to live it proudly or in the shadows, that’s up to me. I was just telling Will about taking something of worth from the poorest deals. There is a truth to be gleaned from great loss and suffering. Maybe what we learn can move us forward instead of back? I didn’t make this road easy, but it’s mine to embrace and plow through. I’m ready for that blog. I did this. This whole thing is on me, not anyone else. I own that and I will do what I can to live true and proud regardless. 

Sometimes it hurts to think about just how lonely and unfulfilled I’m going to be for the rest of my life. That too was my choice and my burden. I’m here because I put myself here. I’m the only one who can make something of worth out of what’s left. I have next to nothing to show for my life and a weight on me I will never be free of. I have come to terms with all of this and vow to push on. Even if no one comes with me, I’m going forward. I won’t turn away in shame. I will face my pain and embrace my ultimate isolation. 

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I’ll still be the same fucked up me I am right now when I wake up. There is no reset, there is just tomorrow. 

…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.