Tag Archives: triggers

Stuck between depression and dysphoria

If you read my previous post, you’d know that last week was a bit rough. This weekend I went to a cousins wedding, which I really didn’t want to do. Mostly because I needed time by myself and loads of sleep. I am working two jobs at the moment and I am just not getting around to everything. I have clients treating me like dirt and my multi-tasking muscle seems to be broken. I was already emotional about all of this, plus the anniversary and something and old friend of mine, who’s a beauty queen, wrote about her own bipolar struggle. Then I had to pretend to be all fine and then attend the wedding the next day.

Our family is massive and everyone was there, including my brother and friends I hadn’t seen in ages. So it was okay. But there was also this woman there, a friend of my sister’s, who I had previously tried to make friends with when we sat next to each other at a wedding, and which really failed in the end. I asked her if she just liked guys (she’s a hunter after all and basically only has guy friends), and when she said yes, men all the way, I just said oh because I’m bi, I always just wonder. Somehow when I was my clingy self which is what borderline personality traits along with a good dose of anxiety make you, she got it in her head that I was in love with her or something. Even though she said it wasn’t that and I just had too much drama. This was after she had ignored me for about a month, which made my anxiety shoot through the roof. I tried to explain. She didn’t care.

So I said a few things because I felt hurt and rejected, and left it at that. A month or so later I thanked her for helping my sister with stuff left over from my dad’s will (the Chartered Accountant and the Lawyer, so important). I never discussed her with ANYONE, least of all her friends. But as my sister mentioned, she knew everything. And at the wedding, the woman had the audacity to gossip about me to my brother. And he came straight to me. I tried to talk to her but she said that there was no reason and she had no issues. So in the wee hours of the morning I sent her a text about how she’s in MY house and here she is the outsider and I will not tolerate gossiping to my family etc. And the next day I felt like the worse human ever, because I am not actually a bitch like that and maybe she didn’t deserve is. I blocked her of facebook and she block me off messenger. Probably for the best. Yet, if she shows up somewhere and starts talking to me, I’d have a conversation. I don’t know if I’M the asshole or if SHE’s the asshole. I do feel aweful, but trying to make peace just won’t work. I’ll make everything worse yet again.

Bear with me, it all fits in together. As the night past I became more and more furious, drinking more and more jager bombs and brand and wine and whatever. Knowing I had to stop but not doing it. Falling of my heels a few times, because all the meds. My brother got my key when it was time to leave, but I was so angry I wanted to drive the 2 hours home. So I slapped him through the face. Twice. I shouted at him and his friend who is a girl who he loves about why they weren’t together. My whole body is full of bruised. I twisted my ankle and somehow I ended up with my head behind the toilet and I didn’t even know how I got there. I completely blacked out, like I hadn’t before I started taking Lithium. Plus I haven’t had more than 2 glasses of wine in like…months.

I feel really stupid. For everything I said and did. I’m never an angry drunk, but it was obviously reflective of my mood. And now I’m raging and irritable and depressed all at the same time. I want to pack a bag, load my cats and my dog, and disappear. But my sister will have the whole ‘you skrew up everyone’s live’s speech.

Has anyone watched NCIS New Orleans where the one guy is bipolar and he disappears for years at a time? I’d really love to just do that.

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Unexpected triggers

In my case, I guess no news is good news. I obviously don’t have much to say when I’m doing well. Which I was. I guess I’m still okay. Normally this time of the year is bad. We are after all on the eve of my 2-year suicide attempt anniversary. But this post is not about that. It’s about how you are merrily going about your day for a month or two, almost forgetting about the whole bipolar story, except for all the pills. When it looks like things are coming together with work and personal and life in general, and then BAM!! something happens that throws you completely off balance. In my case, the BAM came last week Thursday.

A colleague decided to just up and resign effective immediately, throwing everyone for a loop. I didn’t really care, until I realised that she hadn’t even told her clients, that she possibly stole and that her admin was such a complete and utter mess that it took me two days to figure out her client list. Then I had some of her clients just trampling all over my boundaries, another one cancelling her contract because she didn’t feel comfortable with me, and one of my clients peppering me with insults about something that was her fault. And this is only my one job!

I am doing some freelance work for my previous employer too and while I enjoy it, it is a lot of work. Everything falls into the ‘urgent and important’ category, you spend your time problem solving crisis on crisis on crisis. You really have to concentrate and multi-task; skills that are a bit rusty. And so I’ve been freaking out since, well, last week Friday I guess. My major problem is that I lose my filter and I get the bipolar rages, not good when working with clients. Especially when I know I’m right.

Basically, I’m not hypomanic or depressed, but I can see things moving into dysphoria if I don’t get it under control. We have our care plans and our everyday checks and a whole lot of things we do to stay balanced, but an unexpected trigger is, well, unexpected. It doesn’t give you time to prepare. If you are not with someone who understands you really well, no one will notice the anxiety, rage and general mood shift taking place until it’s too late.

Here are a few tips that I have found helpful:

  • always have an emergency script or emergency meds with you; something that you know chill you out.
  • Stay away from alcohol and other drugs. Yes, normally it will chill you out, but it can also flip you. And you lose the little self-control you have and do something stupid.
  • This one is very important: STAY AWAY from your phone and especially social media and email for at least an hour. As long as you have to.
  • If you don’t have a wedding every weekend like I do at the moment, take a day or two to chill out and unwind. Order your favourite food and beverage, and spend the day on a hobby in front of the TV or with a book. I normally prefer to be alone, but if you know you need someone to just hang with you, phone a friend or family.
  • SLEEP. Whatever you do, make sure you get your necessary hours of sleep; it give our brains time to process and keeps you from doing something stupid.
  • Write it out, on a blog or in a diary. There was a time that what went on in my head was SO dark that I avoided any writing in any form. Do what works for you.

By no means do I have it all figured out. Yesterday and today I communicated in very snotty ways, and sometimes to people who didn’t deserve. I get super irritated and mean. Not a nice person. But the things above help eventually.

What do you do when you realised that you have suddenly been triggered unexpectedly (ie not on Christmas or the anniversary of someone’s death)? Please share what works for you, so we can all help each other to be healthier, more stable humans.

When you want to self-harm but you can’t

First, if there is anyone who follows this blog, I don’t have the parasite that makes you sleep like my mom thought. So maybe I’m just still tired because 2017 was a pretty fucked up year and I didn’t get much holiday.

Trigger warning obviously – see heading

Here’s the problem it is 23:30 and I am enraged. Seriously explosively ‘like urbanol does anything’ enraged. A few rage-worthy things happened today, but it really ended with a boy. Doesn’t it always? First time in like 2 years I put myself out there, btw, and though he seemed interested for weeks now suddenly he doesn’t and is moving 3 hours away to a shitty remote place anyway.

So I’m raging. And when I rage I cut, because I don’t yell or punch or give another bitch a piece of my mind. No. I take it out on myself. Now the funny part is that I have absolutely NOTHING to cut myself with. No a single blade or proper kitchen knife, not a decent razor or sharp scissors. Fucking NOTHING. Shows you how long ago I raged. At one stage there was this debate by my healthcare professionals about whether I have borderline personality disorder or not. One psychiatrist and one psychologist said I did, one of each said I didn’t. Maybe I do if have the capacity to feel the way I do. I’m also crying because I would tell my very good friend S all of this and she’d listen and not judge, but oh wait, shes’s dead, so can’t do that.

Less than a week ago my psych told me that I’m absolutely glowing. I keep feeling like something is wrong just under the surface. My mother needs to be convinced that I have a physical illness. I want to cut myself for the first time in MONTHS, but can’t. I should take some seroquel but I am working hard from tomorrow, I can’t afford that fuzzy brain. Oh and I am dizzy ALL THE TIME, Venlor or Wellbutrin side-effect?

I found myself beating my chest earlier with a fist. It didn’t hurt but it was a feeling of trying to resuscitate myself. Only we can’t do that, can we?

Flipping the Bipolar switch

I don’t normally post two days in a row, but I wanted to have a little rant on Facebook and realised it would be so pointless because no one would get the intensity of what I’ve been going through today. And how quickly the switch can be flipped from a ‘slightly depressed’ to ‘crazed rage’. Okay, I didn’t quite reach crazed rage; or I did, but it was not uncontrollable, so it didn’t seem that way.

I am busy with these ridiculous little projects as I think I mentioned, where my deadlines are insane and the pay is crap. I think the employer person hasn’t been able to get anyone else desperate enough to help her, so she hounds me at all hours of the day and night. Last night at about 20:00 she begged me to do a quick thing before 5am the next morning. So, working better at night anyway, I finished around 2am and was laying awake until about 3. Needless to say I snoozed my alarm until about 11, 12, and then had to fly up to start with the other project I have due in about 36 hours. And from the moment I opened my eyes everything just went wrong.

I have 0 cash, but I have money in a Paypal account. However, my country in general and it’s banks are SHIT, and turns out connecting my credit card to Paypal is theoretically easy, if my bank stopped telling me I was entering the wrong card number. Which it’s NOT. So because of this I am trying to feed my cats cheaper food and they are refusing to eat. I’m adding tuna to entice them and now my room, that has no ventilation, smells like fish, which I HATE.  I know this sounds minor, but when you don’t have time or money or energy, it starts grating. Then I realised that my dog’s whole food bowel, as well as the cat bowels, were FULL of ants. And as I look around, I realise that they are EVERYWHERE! And because of the animals I can’t use poison. So I’m drowning ants and fishing soggy pet food covered in ants out of the drain and I am so grossed out I feel like, I don’t know, my hands are going to fall off or something and I don’t know how to get rid of them and I feel like my head is going to explode and I’m going to throw something against the wall and burst into tears and slip into a puddle and cry while stomping on ants and screaming while washing my hands 10 times.

And I think this is kind of the part people don’t understand. Yes, there were a couple of things leading up to it, and someone else might also get mad and drown the ants or whatever. But when I say it feels like my head is going to explode, I literally mean it. The combination or rage and frustration and anxiety and feeling out of control is so intense and overwhelming, that it literally feels like I will spontaneously combust. It’s like my brain is swelling and my whole head is getting bigger and I’m waiting for it to pop open and for brains to splash all over the walls. I was freaking the fuck out, to be honest. I won’t just diagnose myself with a co-morbid something and maybe it’s also a bipolar thing, but I can’t stand my hands and feet getting dirty. So fishing soggy pellets covered in ants out of the sink really almost pushed me too far. As in I felt like fainting too far.

I packed my things and my dog, left everything just the way it was, and went to work at my mom’s house (who’s on vacation). My sister lives there too and she still wanted to give excuses for why I couldn’t come work there, but I had already positioned myself in the spare room. Finally I could focus and get stuff done. I only got back a little while ago and emptied a bottle of baby powder where I suspect the nests are, because apparently that works. I’m feeling calmer now. I still have so much work to do, but I think it’s shower and sleep for me. Nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. I think this whole thing also taught me the lesson (again) about sticking to my sleep schedule. I think I still got enough hours, but it wasn’t exactly uninterrupted.

It is so difficult to describe to other people what I felt like on the inside today. Had I lost control I might have pulled my hair out or something. And this was AFTER I took Urbanol. It also shows that we don’t necessarily have those textbook episodes of 4 days hypomania/mania, months of depression, or whatever. I’ve had a psychiatrist tell me that rapid cycling isn’t real, but I think I disagree, if one just compares today with yesterday. And of course there were triggers, my switch wasn’t just flipped. I think the big difference comes in that if a non-bipolar person went through the exact same day as I did, they probably wouldn’t have felt like they were losing their minds. Or, maybe just a little bit and not the literal ‘my head is going to explode’ thing.

*Especially if you’re bipolar (but even if you’re not) I’d like to know if/how you agree or disagree with me. And if you’ve gone through these same weird combustion feelings, let me know. Would be great to know that I’m not the only one.*