Pretending to be positive about things is more exhausting than I thought it was. It works, but it is extremely tiring. I am planning on going back to the support group I tried out last week. I need to go there regularly in order to get used to it. Once I get used to this group, I really think that there’s a good chance of it being helpful in multiple ways. There’s another group that’s not too far from my house that I’ve thought about going to on Tuesday nights.I think I’m going to try one new and scary thing at a time. It is nice to know that there are others out there just like me who are willing to be there for each other.
I also had a hard time getting my 2 week prescription of Clozapine. I’ll know later today if and when I can pick up the prescription. I’m not very happy with Walgreens right now.
I’ve realized that I’m very good at pretending to be alright. I’m not trying to be strong. Most of the time, it’s just easier to pretend to be okay than it is to express how I’m really feeling. I think that’s because I don’t know how I’m actually feeling. I’m stuck between several different emotions and no emotions at the same time. I know that pretending I’m okay when I’m not cannot last forever.
At some point, my emotions will come rushing back to me. It seems that I either have every emotion or no emotions, there’s no balance for me. That’s how it goes with bipolar disorder. When that happens, I know that I have a lot of support from my family and friends.
Right now, I feel like a mess inside. Life is chaotic. I’m getting ready to go back home and I’m almost all packed, but I’m not ready to leave. I wish I could take my mom with me. At the same time, I can’t wait to go home and see my husband. He ended up having a radio frequency ablation on his spine today. I’m still waiting to hear how it went. Waiting is not my best quality, it is making me nervous. I wish I had been there to take him and make sure everything was okay. Maybe I’m being a bit overprotective, but I just want to be sure he has everything he needs. Being a caregiver is something I’m good at.
I went to see my grandma once more before I leave. I have a hard time saying no to anyone, so I ended up staying and having dinner with her. Many of the things she says make no sense at all. I did my best to ignore the ridiculous things she said, but they have stayed with me all evening. At least this time I didn’t snap at her, but I’m still mad at myself for feeling the way I do. I get so frustrated and irritated with her. I don’t know why I’m mad at myself because of how I feel, especially since I was nice to her despite the comments she made and questions she asked.
I also received a phone call from an unknown number yesterday. I answered it thinking it was a doctor; I was waiting for a few calls. Turns out, it was my husband’s ex, the mother of his children. I’ve never spoken with her before and I’ve never wanted to. She was extremely nice to me on the phone, overly nice. From what I hear, she is manipulative and holds things over everyone’s head, even her own children. Once I realized it was her, I started to freak out, but I tried to remain calm and polite on the phone. Why was I so polite? It’s just my automatic reaction. She wants all of us to get together for a meal some time. All I could think of was that I would let my husband know. I hope I never have to have another conversation with her. I told my husband about it right away, and he reacted much better than I did. I wish I could go back in time and not answer that phone call. The situation is tearing me up inside. I don’t really know why, the situation is over. I put the phone number to my automatic reject list, that way I don’t accidentally answer a call from her again.
I don’t feel like I can handle my emotions or life right now. I just feel overwhelmed; I feel like I’m drowning. I’m capable of getting things done and I can fake being okay, but the fact is that I’m not really okay. However, I’ve been pretending I’m okay for so long that it’s just become the natural thing to do. Everything is in chaos and I am defenseless.
I couldn’t even fake being okay today. I tried, I seriously gave it my all, but between the emotional aspect and the physical side due to medication side effects, I was pretty much a wreck. There was a get-together at my mother-in-law’s house just because, basically to see our granddaughter. Technically, she’s my husband’s granddaughter, but I feel like she is mine as well, and step-granddaughter just sounds weird. She is 6 months old and absolutely beautiful. I wasn’t feeling very well today, I had a lot of physical weakness. I was too nervous to hold the baby because of the weakness; I didn’t want her to get hurt. I have dropped several things I was supposed to be holding, such as dinner bowls, I didn’t want her to be added to that list. So I didn’t have as much time with her as I wanted, and that breaks my heart.
I went to the family get-together in a difficult emotional state to begin with. Earlier in the day, someone seemed upset, so I asked if everything was okay. The response I got was that I ask too many questions and it can be frustrating. The way I took it is that I talk too much; my memory is horrible causing me to ask too many questions, and that I’m overall annoying. I’m sure it wasn’t meant like that, but this is where the bipolar kicks in; my mind always goes to the extremes. So I spent the rest of the day trying not to talk, which is extremely hard for me. My memory is horrible due to ECT and I talk so much and ask a lot of questions because of the bipolar mixed episode that I’ve been in. I guess I don’t take negative feedback very well.
I think it bothered me so much because I don’t feel like I have control over myself, my memory, how much I talk, or what I say. I tried my best to fake feeling happy. I would have tolerated being able to fake feeling okay, but I could barely even do that. I used to think that I could always fake being okay, but today proved that I’m wrong. I don’t want to annoy this person, but if today bothered them because of how much I was talking or asking questions, then I think it must bother them every day. All I can think is that I must annoy this person all the time. Every time I have started to open my mouth that was thought that went through my mind. So I’ve done my best to be quiet, although I know that’s not the best answer. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
Friday was the beginning of the Clozaril rechallenge (generic is Clozapine) process. I had my blood work done; there was some difficulty getting the lab to send the results to my doctor and my pharmacy. It was partially my fault, I did give them the wrong fax number for the pharmacy, but it took 4 phone calls to try to fix the mistake. Even when they finally said the problem was resolved, it turns out that it wasn’t; the pharmacy never received the results. Luckily, I ended up talking to one of the nicest and most caring pharmacists since my father and aunt. He was happy to call the lab himself and request my results so that I could get my prescription. Once he got my lab results, he realized that I had to be registered again in the Clozapine Database because I hadn’t taken the medication since this past summer; all patients need to be registered by both their pharmacist and their doctor. My pharmacist told me he would call me once the registration is complete so I can get my prescription filled. There aren’t many pharmacists that are as polite and happy to help as he was.
Sometime tomorrow I should receive a phone call from the pharmacy letting me know I can bring in my prescription. I admit that I am nervous. I’m not nervous that I will end up with some of the horrible side effects of Clozapine such as neutropenia, which is an abnormally low level of white blood cells, making the patient susceptible to infections. This is why there are so many protocols with Clozapine. I feel like I should be nervous about it, but I’m not. What I am nervous about is the fact that I don’t know if this will work or not. I’m trying to remain positive; I keep saying that this time it will work, I won’t get a fever, I won’t have to go to the hospital, and there won’t be any problems. I’ve been so nervous about this rechallenge, my anxiety level has been much higher than normal; I’m anxious even sitting at home in my comfort zone.
Is this weird that I’m more concerned the medication won’t work than I am concerned that the med will cause serious side effects? I think it’s just because I don’t know how much longer I can live like this. I have had suicidal ideations for more than 5 months. My hallucinations keep getting worse making the paranoia intolerable. And in my mind, the worst part of it all is that I won’t do anything about it. I can’t take my own life, no matter how much I think about it. I know that technically that’s a good thing, but if you lived in my mind for even a day, you would understand. Every day I put a smile on my face and do my best to pretend everything is okay, but inside I’m a disaster. I want to live and be happy to be alive. I need this medication to be the answer. I’ve taken pretty much every other medication and I still do ECTs. I currently take 7 other psychiatric medications, 2 additional meds to treat side effects, and 3 other medications for physical conditions. I just need to catch a break, I’m hoping that will happen with this Clozapine rechallenge. We’re all about to find out.
How is it possible that I can be surrounded by people I’m comfortable with (which is not an easy task), yet I still feel alone? In fact, I tend to feel even more alone, lonely, and depressed than I do when I’m actually all by myself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I feel good about myself when I’m all alone, but for some reason I tend to feel even worse about who I am when I’m surrounded by others. This is especially how I feel in the past couple weeks.
Feeling like this makes it extremely difficult to pretend everything is okay when in a group of people. I have become pretty good at faking okay. I have some automatic responses and a fake smile that goes along with those answers. It’s as if I’m wearing a mask, but I’ve recently found out that there are aspects of bipolar that I can’t cover up.
The extreme episodes can be read on my face, even if I can deter some of the manic or depressive behavioral changes. I have had people who work at stores that I regularly visit who have pointed out that they can tell something is wrong. Usually it’s my anxiety, panic, and restlessness that tell people I’m faking it. I’ve been told that my face shows how I’m really feeling, despite what I say or how I act.
I’m aware that any emotion I feel while either manic or depressed, is not always real. If I seem to be happy, it’s probably just because I’m manic and can’t sit still or control my emotions. And when I’m depressed, just because I fake a smile doesn’t mean I’m really happy or feel good. The truth is that lately, I pretty much feel alone, no matter what. This has nothing to do with my friends or family. I know that I am loved and supported, especially by my husband and my mother. But I can’t help how I feel or my mood swings. If only I could show people how much they mean to me, no matter how I feel, but that is not something that I see as a possibility, at least not for today.