I had another ECT treatment this morning. I was happy to tell my psychiatrist that I had gone to a couple meetings and that I even spoke at two of them. I had to take Valium to do so, but that’s still a lot better than I’ve been doing. Progress not perfection. He was happy to hear that I’ve been doing a little better. Because I’ve been doing ECT twice a week for 7 weeks, and because I’ve shown some progress, I’m now able to switch to doing ECT treatments once a week (on Wednesdays).
I’m extremely happy that I’m making progress. Hopefully, I will continue to improve while I only do weekly treatments. And at some point, I’ll switch to one treatment every other week, and maybe even once every three weeks. Since I didn’t do very well with a once a month treatment last time, I probably won’t try it this time.
Today is World Bipolar Day. I wish I could say that with even a little happiness. It is important to spread awareness about bipolar disorder and other mental health issues around the world, but it is not an easy task. It’s important for people to know that bipolar disorder does not limit individuals. In fact, many people diagnosed with bipolar disorder are much more creative and passionate. Living with and managing a life with bipolar disorder is difficult, but it can be done.
The noon meeting I went to today went very well. There were only about 10 people there. I didn’t know any of them, so it was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was much better than a meeting with 50 or 75 people. It was an open meeting, with the subject of ‘One day at a time’. Near the end of the meeting, I spoke up by choice. When sharing, I decided to open up about how I’m nervous coming to meetings because I get nervous around people. Afterwards, one of the guys from the meeting came up to me and thanked me for sharing about my nervousness. He said that he feels that way too, but people don’t usually talk about it. He thanked me for my honesty and openness.
This is definitely a huge step forward for me. I can’t wait to tell my therapist and psychiatrist about what I did today. It’s a big sign that the Clozapine and the ECT are absolutely working. I’m going to try to keep going to at least a few meetings a week. Hopefully, I will find smaller meetings to go to so I feel more comfortable. Maybe I’ll even make friends with some of these people.
I’ve been thinking of going to another meeting today; however, the meetings I’ve been going to tend to get so crowded that I get uncomfortable. That’s why I thought I would change it up a bit and try going to the noon meeting. I’ve been to it before, so it’s not completely new for me, and there are generally less people at the noon meeting then there are at the 6pm meeting. It’s worth a shot, I should at least try it. If, for some reason, I’m uncomfortable, I can always leave. I’ll let you all know how the meeting goes.
I have so much to do lately, but it’s extremely hard to get any of it done. The main reason for the difficulty is because I’m having a hard time remembering just about anything. The ECT is causing a lot of memory loss, despite the fact that I’m on two different medications (Memantine and Donepezil) to help my memory. I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing, what I have done, or even what I do or don’t enjoy doing.
I miss my memory. You don’t always realize how important something is, until you don’t have it anymore. I wish I had the ability to respond to people accurately. I wish I had the ability to know what I truly wanted in life. I wonder if there is anything that will help my memory come back. Will these medications ever kick in?
I continue packing, just a couple of boxes at a time. I want to get more done, but I still don’t have an exact moving date yet. I should be finding out the moving date any day now. I’m looking forward to leaving this house and finally being responsible for my own property.
I’m trying to sell my Bowflex Xtreme 2SE home gym and my kettlebells. I don’t have a third bedroom where I can set up a workout room. It’s a good idea to sell my equipment, however, it’s also terrifying to possibly have a stranger come over my house, even when my husband is home. I’m afraid of strangers, so having them in my house probably isn’t a good idea. Maybe I can find a company I can sell them to or a charity to give them to. I’ll let you know how it all ends up turning out. I’m sure it will work out okay.
I don’t think I’m going to try going to another meeting today. They are so much busier on the weekends, and I’m not ready for that yet, at least not alone. I’m not giving up; I’ll go on Monday. I’m glad that I started going back to meetings. I missed the community and friendships. However, for now, I have lots to do while I’m home. Cleaning and packing is a lot of work.
Yesterday’s ECT seemed harder than usual, but my husband says that I say that every time, I just don’t remember due to the memory loss from the treatments. Last night, we went to my husband’s best friend’s house. We just played some card games. It was difficult, but I pushed myself through it. I think it’s important to hang out with people and have fun. Maybe it’s not the best idea to do it on a day that I had ECT, but I know that I will always find a reason not to do things, so last night, I just figured why not.
I went to another meeting last night, but I didn’t like that one as much as I liked the one on Wednesday night. I will have to try out many different meetings until I find the one that’s right for me, I have hope. Even though I didn’t like the meeting, I stayed for the whole thing. The important part is that I keep trying. I won’t be able to go to a meeting today because I have another ECT treatment, but maybe I’ll try again on Saturday. I have to keep putting myself out there. I really want to have that community that I used to have when I was going to meetings all the time. I can’t give up.
Yesterday, I went to my friend’s/sponsor’s house so we could drive to the AA meeting together. Just the thought of going to a meeting was causing an anxiety attack. I ended up going to the meeting with her and her husband, who helped me first get sober. When we got to the meeting, my anxiety picked up again, but my friend helped me through it.
There were several people who know me. They all wanted hugs, which was difficult at first, but it got easier as the moments went on. It was really nice to see most of these people. Only a couple of people asked me where I’ve been. I did my best to answer them by saying, “Not here”, but for one person it didn’t work. I just said, “I’ve been busy but staying sober.”
We sat on a bench with our backs to the wall (my friend picked the seats and she knows me very well). My friend sat on one side of me and her husband sat on the other. I was very fidgety, had racing thoughts, and at one point I apparently stopped breathing, so my friend suggested we go outside for a moment. I was afraid that someone was going to call on me to speak, and there were lots of people who kept looking over at me. Everything ended up perfectly fine.
In fact, I’m thinking of going to another meeting today. I know what it is that I have been missing from the meetings, I’ve been missing the friendship and community. I’m thinking of going to an earlier meeting today, at 4pm, so it will be a bit smaller (hopefully). We’ll see how it goes. I’m just going to take it one moment at a time.
I’m feeling a little better today, which is good because I have lots to do. My lawyer is going to call me in a few hours to explain how things are going with my case. I’m very curious and can’t wait to hear how it’s going. Then, my father-in-law and his girlfriend are coming over. Our house is a disaster because I already started packing. Hopefully they will understand that. I normally don’t let anyone in the house unless it’s clean, but cleaning and packing don’t really go together. My husband and I are going to take them too our new house shortly after they get here. I can’t wait to see the house again.
I also have a meeting to go to tonight, which I’m very nervous about. I’m meeting someone there, so I won’t be alone, but I’m still nervous. I used to go to these exact meetings (6pm Monday through Friday) every day until 2009 when I went on disability due to my mental health. I’m a little worried that people are going to ask me where I’ve been or why I haven’t been coming. My mom helped me out. If people ask where I’ve been, I can simply say, “Not here, how are you?” I think I can do that. I at least have to try.