New Theme, New Start

I changed my theme! YES. After a static two years, I feel like a new start is what it takes. Today I had to do a presentation at work. My Project Manager was hoping I’d speak but I skillfully managed to avoid any of that nonsense by letting my colleague speak for the entire 15 mins. YEAH ME. Also, bad me. I should learn to speak in public.

But even just the fact that I had to stand there in front of all these people made me shake like a leaf. I can’t imagine what would have come out of my mouth had I tried to utter anything. Just thinking about it now makes me nervous!

Fun fact: during my interview for my current job, my boss told me, and I quote (translated from French) “I can see you are shaking. We’re all relaxed here. No one is wearing a suit. You can calm down.” It did help but I continued my charmingly unstoppable shaking prowess because this is what I do.

My PM promised that if I am on his team for a future project he’ll force me to speak to teach me how to speak in public. Well I guess I’m going to hell.

What terrorizes you the most?

Have a great day everyone!

 

The horrors in my head

I try and keep a positive tone in most of what I do. I find that it keeps me hoping and it also prevents me from driving everyone around me crazy. I have accepted long ago that my emotions and my crazy thoughts are too much to handle for other people. How could they not? I live with them and they’re too much for me. Sometimes, I need those horrors out there though. By keeping them inside I end up believing in them.

Often I wonder how I’m still alive today. I spend at least 30% of my time trying to convince myself not to give up. That’s a lot of time and energy. I’ve been like that for over 10 years now and I know it’s not going away anytime soon. But some days, it becomes too hard. Some days, everything is too much and I’m not sure willpower alone can keep me going. On days like this, I need to talk. I usually talk to people but lately I’ve been rather lonely. I mean I have friends but I can’t bother them with my irrationality anymore. And I currently have no doctor either (bless the Quebec health system and its wonderful ways) so I can’t just call and book an appointment.

At least I've got company!
At least I’ve got company!

So I’ve decided to talk here. After all, I created this blog to help me deal with the ways of my brain, so I should use it! Now if you don’t feel comfortable reading about suicidal ideation or if the subject is a trigger for you I advise you stop reading here. As much as I need to be writing about it I don’t want to make anyone else feel horrible right now – one is already too much.

When I feel good it’s almost like I forget what it’s like to be depressed. In a way it’s good, because it lets me breathe a bit and enjoy life when I can. But when I feel bad, it’s like I’m a completely different person. And it disturbs me. I get so exhausted, but I can’t get proper sleep, and it makes me incredibly annoyed. It’s like all the little things I usually have patience for now hold great importance. Everything is wrong, and it’s inherently my fault because I’m the one thinking it. And my brain is all foggy and encased in some sort of material that’s applying pressure on it. My head hurts from that foreign entity trying to force itself upon me. No matter what I do, it stays there and grows stronger. And I fight back, as much as I can, with the tools I learned to use.

I take walks, I make jokes, I think about all of those great things I did. I remember the travels, the moments spent with friends. Everything I’ve got going for me. I listen to music and I dance. And it works. Because those things I know and I believe. I know that my family loves me because of everything they’ve done for me. It took me a lot to be remember that though. As a teenager, when I was going into depression I had to keep repeating to myself  over and over again “It’s not true. It’s your brain tricking you. Your family loves you. People in the street do not hate you. No one looks at you weird. It’s all your imagination.” It took years but it finally worked. I don’t think that random strangers in the street hate me anymore. I don’t believe that I’m worthless, and have no friends. But my real problems, the one that are present no matter what state I’m in, they’re still there. And they appear so much worse when I’m depressed. I see no hope, no future because my financial situation can’t ever get better, after all, I’m going to get hypomanic and start spending like crazy again. I’m never going to get a stable job because I am not stable myself and I’m unreliable. I can do my best, but my best will never be as good as everyone else’s regular. I know inside that it’s not completely true. But all the fog is making it hard to distinguish the truth.

I’m not a religious person, and I don’t think humans have souls. But that thing that hurts inside of me, that thing that is screaming out in pain, it feels like a soul. I try to hug it tightly, to tell it not to worry. But I’m so tired… It’s going to get better… but it’s also going to get worse… Over and over and over. I think that’s the hardest part. Knowing that I’m stuck like this for the rest of my life. Forever having to battle highs and lows and spend all my energy trying to convince myself that all those thoughts are wrong and filter my emotions. I know that if one day I end my life, this is going to be the reason. I just can’t take the sickness anymore. It takes so much out of me, how can I survive more of it? I don’t want to die. I really wish I could live without all of that pain. But I can’t deal with this any longer. I don’t know where I get the strength to continue when I’m curled up in a corner screaming and crying. Probably from my friends and my family. I don’t want to let them down. We have so much stuff planned – I can’t just die on them like that. Just one more day. Everything will be better soon.

I’ve had a rough week. I’m doing my best to stay afloat. I really wanted to talk to my ex, just a little bit, to get reassured. But I can’t. She has other problems, real problems, to think about. Besides, I don’t think she ever really understood or felt comfortable with my mood swings. I don’t blame her, they’re terribly confusing, scary, and annoying.

It feels like the world has abandoned me. But I’ll keep doing my best. Tomorrow, I’ll go to work, and in the evening, I’ll celebrate my friend’s birthday. Saturday, I’ll help another friend store some of her stuff in the empty room. Sunday, I’ll go fight with foam weapons. And I’ll smile. I’ll pretend that everything is well because this is what I know. I’ll do my best to keep going. Because life is worth it. Even if right now I don’t believe it.

Nevertheless, I really need a hug right now.

I’ve been feeling good – and it’s scary

Hello there! How are you doing?

Personally, I’m doing good. I’ve been doing good for well over a week now. A normal person would say “Great! You’re lucky! You should be glad.” Except I’m not normal. Part of me simply wants to be happy and put all the worries away, but another part wants to be cautious and remain vigilant. Because when you have Bipolar Disorder, you must always remain vigilant. Know what you’re thinking, what you’re doing, where you’re going and most of all, if all of it makes sense. Is your reaction proportionate to the situation? Would you say/do this in a normal state of mind? Are you slipping into a depression/mania/hypomania?

Statue in Brussels
Sometimes, that’s what being Bipolar feels like…

I have rapid cycling, but the extremely rapid kind. I usually have small ups & downs inside of days/hours and big ups & downs every couple weeks. So when almost two weeks go by and there’s no sign of depression, it’s strange to me. There is a good reason for it though: my lithium has been working well enough and I recently started taking b12 supplements. My levels were way low, so there’s a good chance it was making my depression symptoms much worse. The lack of depression is good news. Still, I am scared. All my life, my biggest fear was that one day I’d  give up and commit suicide. I have to say I probably would have a long time ago if it wasn’t for the people around me. Today, my biggest fear is that I’ll one day have a full blown manic episode. I’ve always stayed within the range of hypomania. I’ve been cycling so fast the past year that I don’t even remember what it feels like to be normal. What is ok when all you know is either very happy or extremely sad?

So recently I’ve been feeling energetic and happy. And ready to do all sorts of activity. Ready to start working in a new environment (same company). I have a list of things to do and I’m not even stressed one bit. I know I can do it. I am confident. I can think clearly. To me, it sounds both like a blessing and a curse. It is so amazing to finally be doing great on a regular basis. To be able to smile of such a true smile that even people in the street respond to it. It’s like my life finally has a meaning and it feels great. But it also feels like it’s hypomania. Not the one I’m used too, because the one I’m used to makes me dance for a couple hours and then get incredibly irritable. So I keep monitoring myself. Every day I think about how I’ve been and what I’ve done and if it looks like what a normal person would do. It’s frustrating and exhausting to always have to analyse your every thought/action. But it’s also necessary. I wouldn’t want to wake up in a prison cell because I’ve gone mad and tried to steal a pie from Rockaberry.

Sometimes I wish I could talk to someone who understands that. Someone who knows how scary it is to be sad and to be happy. Until then, I always have Internet. And you? How do you know when you’re slipping into a mania or a depression? What do you do to stop it/reduce the symptoms? Are you afraid of your emotions, or do you enjoy them while they last?

Have a great night!