When I’m having an extra rough day or so, like I am right now, I try to find the positive side of things. So I started thinking what (if any) is the upside of bipolar disorder? Productivity, creativity, hypomania (before it gets too far), and personal strength are all positive aspects of bipolar disorder. These are the first things that come to my mind, but I had to think hard to find them. For every one thing that is even slightly positive, there are several things that are difficult and unpleasant.
I’m more productive when I’m manic or hypomanic, but not at all when I’m depressed. I love the few days that I become hypomanic, but I know when to stop it so it doesn’t get too far into mania. My house gets a good deep cleaning when I become hypomanic. It’s the one time I don’t mind doing those annoying tasks.
Of course, it’s always said that there’s a huge connection between individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder and individuals who are extremely creative. My bachelors’ degree is in graphic design. I love decorating and organizing things. I’ve also been told that writing is creative. It’s important to remember that creativity comes in many forms.
Personal strength is hard to see, but I know it’s there. I’ve been told that I’m courageous, knowledgeable, compliant, and willing to help others. These characteristics have taken years to grow to what they are, and I still don’t see all of them. I do try to keep growing in any way I can. I also try to do it with as little complaining as possible, but that’s probably not going so well.
Even though it’s hard to see, there are some positives to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. One other thing I know is that if I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar, I wouldn’t have some of the friends I have today. I have made several friends that I met in bipolar support groups, and I’m very grateful to them in my life.
Tomorrow would have been my next ECT treatment. Instead, I talked to my doctor a week or two ago and canceled the appointment. I’ve been wanting to stop these treatments for a while, and I finally did. Now, I’m nervous. I’ve been doing this for 15 months. Even though it’s hard on my mind and my body, it has become normal. All of the “what if’s” are going through my mind. What if ECT actually was helping? What if I slip into a huge manic episode? What if my depression gets worse? What if I have to re-start it, will I be willing to do that?
If I have to re-start ECT, then I don’t get to pick up where I left off. I would have to re-start by going three times a week for a month. Then once a week for four weeks, then every other week for eight sessions, and then finally back to once a month. I can’t do that again. I think I would rather try the IV Ketamine, and that terrifies me. Treatment resistant bipolar depression sucks. I wish I could take a vacation from it. Sometimes I feel like giving up. I know I’m not going to, but I want to. I wish I could be the person that didn’t always do the right thing.
I always do everything I’m told, and I think it’s catching up with me. I don’t want to cause any problems, but I feel like I need a vacation from my life, from myself, from my health. Just out of curiosity, I’m wondering how many people have had the same thoughts as the following:
- I’m always compliant with my medications and my treatments. Sometimes I just want to say screw it all and not take my meds. I wonder how much they’re really helping anyway. What’s the point of taking all these meds without knowing that they are definitely working?
- I’m an insomniac. The Clozapine has been helping me sleep for the most part lately, but I still wake up several times throughout the night. Why do I keep forcing myself to fall asleep? For some reason, I’m always hungry when I wake up. Maybe I should try to see if I get tired on my own. I’m an insomniac; I have problems sleeping, not getting tired.
- Sometimes, I’m get tired of doing the reasonable or rational thing. On occasion, I just want to do whatever I feel like doing without people saying it’s because of my mental health.
These are just a few of the things that have been going on in my mind lately. I think I’m just a bit frustrated with everything, and I’m wondering if other people have similar thoughts as I do. If others do have these thinking issues, what do you do to get through them?
ECT went well today. I’ve done it more than 30 times; it’s become normal for me. When I woke up from anesthesia, I felt fine, no pain. By the time I got home, the pain set it, so I had to take a Percocet. I have a pounding headache and my jaw hurts terribly. I’m just waiting for the pain meds to kick in. I wish I could go to sleep, but for some reason, I can’t, I’m just not tired. If I could sleep, it would probably make me feel even a little bit better.
My memory is back to being crappy. I can’t remember where my husband is, although I know I knew his plans before the ECT treatment today. I looked in my calendar and saw that I recently went to visit my family in Connecticut, but I don’t remember any of it. I can’t remember my wedding, that one really bothers me. I went through my wedding album; it brought back some of the memories. That was helpful, but still not enough. I’ll probably watch my wedding video later today. I hate the memory loss. Every time it finally starts to improve, it’s time for another treatment that causes memory loss again. It’s a vicious cycle.
I don’t want to continue (I think I’ve mentioned that many times), but I just do what I’m told to do. One of these days, I’m going to stop being so compliant. I know that my being compliant regarding my psychiatric treatment is extremely helpful, but it’s also exhausting. I’m afraid that one day I’m just going to do what I want to do instead of what I’m told to do. Following my bipolar treatments is overwhelming. I’m going to rest today, or I’m going to clean the house and go play cards with my family. I know I should rest, but I doubt that will happen.