I’m a bit sad today. It’s Mother’s Day and I’m not with my mom. I will be next year. Also, it’s just a reminder that I can’t have kids. I know that not having children was a choice, and I believe it was the right one, but it doesn’t mean that it was easy. When I see little children, my heart aches. I can feel my body’s desire to have kids. It’s even harder without having a dog, but I’m not ready for a new dog yet.
I’m going to stay busy today and be extremely productive. That will keep my mind and my body busy. Staying active helps the days go by faster. Plus, it helps me feel better about myself. I make a to-do list every day, and I feel better when I can actually check off every task; however, that doesn’t always work out that way.
Right now, I am holding on with all I’ve got. The Clozapine has caused a huge weight gain. I’ve gained more than 30 pounds in 3 months. It doesn’t matter how much I workout or what I eat, I just keep gaining weight. I know I made a committment to keep trying Clozapine until I reach my goal dose of 400 mg. I still have another month of dosage increases until I get to my goal. When I say I’m going to do something, I mean it. I want to hold myself to my committment. However, it’s easier said than done.
I told my psychiatrist about the weight gain. He told me that there are some measures we can take. However, he is on vacation, so I have to wait until next week. So I know that there is something that could possibly help with my weight gain, but I have to wait another week. I understand that everyone is entitled to go on vacation, but waiting even another day is extremely hard, a week is close to impossible. But somehow, someway, I will do it.
The problem with going off of Clozapine, is that there aren’t many other options for me. I’ve already tried ECT for over a year. I don’t want to do IV Ketamine because the thought of dissociation is terrifying for me. I’ve taken so many medications, there aren’t many options left. I keep questioning my future since my treatment options are getting fewer and fewer. This is when I really rely on my friends and family. So far, I have been shown nothing but love and support. I can do this; I can get through this. That’s what I need to keep telling myself.
Last night I had a terrible dream last night, it was a nightmare unlike any others I have had. My father was in a coma in the hospital for a few years. I would go visit him, hoping he would wake up, but nothing would happen. Then, one day, he finally awoke but he didn’t know who I was. He didn’t know who anyone in our family was. This was horrible. I was crying in my dream and I woke up crying as well. In real life, my father died over 12 years ago and I miss him more than I thought possible. I wish I could have a good dream about my father; then it would be like having him back, even if it was for a moment.
I tend to have a lot of bad dreams and nightmares. The only good thing is that I tend to forget them shortly after I wake up; however, I do wake up scared or sad. It often takes me a little while to figure out what is real and what isn’t when I first wake up. Most of my nightmares are about my past or they involve losing loved ones. I would like to stop my nightmares without taking any new medication. Maybe I should put up a dream catcher above my bed to catch my bad dreams.
I’m feeling slightly better today. I’m still upset about being labeled totally and permanently disabled, even though it’s what I needed to have happen. At least I’m not crying today like I was last night. Plus, it’s just a label; it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be disabled forever, even though it feels like that sometimes. It just sucks because I’m already doing everything I can do and the result is not very good. Oh well, at least I’m trying. I am proud of myself for doing all that I can do, whether it helps or not. If I wasn’t working at being healthy, then I wouldn’t be able to take pride in that aspect of my life.
I talked to my husband this morning about how I’m feeling. He kept trying to make me feel better; it was sweet and thoughtful. At least he cares enough to try. I have to give him credit for that.
I did sleep last night, but I didn’t fall asleep until 5am. I slept for 5 hours, which isn’t too bad. It’s better than not sleeping at all. I find it odd to be depressed but not sleeping very much. Usually, when I’m depressed, I sleep all the time. So does that mean I’m in a mixed state? Or can I have symptoms of both depression and mania, and still be in a depression? I’m not sure how it works. Anyway, hopefully things will continue to improve, even if it’s only one tiny bit at a time.
Yesterday ended up being a difficult day. The evening was the hard part. After my husband left for work, this deep heart-rending, wretched feeling set in. I started to feel ashamed of who I am; that is a feeling I haven’t felt in quite a while. I thought it was because of my weight, but that wasn’t it. I spent more time crying tonight than I have in months.
My mom called and we talked for a while. I started to tell her how I was feeling. As I was talking to her I figure out what the issue was. It was that my doctor completed my total and permanent disability paperwork. My therapist was also willing to do the paperwork if I needed it. Because of this paperwork, I realized that I had been on disability for 78 months. Wow, that is a long time. It’s something about being told I’m permanently disabled. I know it’s just a term, but it’s already been so long, and I’m not doing much better. I guess that’s why they diagnosed me as treatment resistant.
No matter what do or how hard I try, there’s always going to be a problem. I’ll go up and down; it will get better and worse, but the possibility of me becoming and staying stable is not likely. When my doctor filled out that paperwork for the total and permanent disability, he did so because he believes that to be true. He doesn’t believe that I will get back to fully functioning. I suppose I don’t believe I will get back to what I had before; a job and a social life. I don’t think everything is a failure; I’m just questioning it all.
The good thing is that I know this will pass. I will have an up-swing again, these feelings will go away, and I’ll deal with the problems of mania. At least my life stays interesting; it’s always something.
My body is just as screwed up as my brain. I had my first surgery when I was 16 years old; it was a cardiac ablation. My heart rate would randomly jump from normal up to 200 or more, and I would pass out. A year later, I had a tonsillectomy. In 2009, I had surgery on both of my knees. A year after that, I had a tubal ligation, which I will explain. I had a total hysterectomy in 2014.
The tonsillectomy is pretty much self-explanatory. I chose to have my tubes tied in 2009 when I was living in Connecticut. This was after my total breakdown. My psychiatrist had to write a letter explaining that I knew what I was doing and was making a sound decision. I decided that I have a hard enough time managing my life. I’ve had ups and downs; no matter how hard I try, I can’t always take care of myself. I’ve seen many people struggle with being a parent; it weighed on them so heavily. I didn’t want that to happen to me or my child. I decided it was better for me not to have a child. For me, this was the right decision, but it has been really hard. It’s been extremely difficult for me to not be able to have children. I often cry uncontrollably because of that fact. A year later, I ended up having to have a total hysterectomy because of severe endometriosis.
I pretend to be okay with the fact that I can’t have kids of my own. I’m a 31 year old grandma, who has never been a mother. Of course I wish I could have kids, but if I had to do it all over again, I would still make the same choice. I made the decision because it was the right thing to do for me, not because it was easy.
Right now, the most difficult problem I deal with physically is the interstitial cystitis. I currently get treatments every week; sometimes I can stretch it out to as much as every 3 weeks. The treatment involves getting catheterized so the doctor can put medicine directly into my bladder. This problem has been getting worse over time. I also have chronic bronchitis and pneumonia among other conditions, but luckily that’s not acting up as well.
I know that I’m luckier than many people, but I’m also worse off than a lot of others. Why do I have to have both physical and mental health problems? Why are all my problems chronic? Living with and managing physical pain as well as mental health is exhausting.
Right now, I’m waiting, and I’ve been waiting for days. I’m waiting for the results to my Clozapine level blood work. The results to this test will tell my doctor whether or not he wants to increase the dosage of my Clozapine. I’m currently at 200 mg every night. I did the blood work on Friday. My normal weekly blood work was completed on Friday, but the Clozapine level takes longer to come back. I just don’t know how long; I even tried to figure out how long it would take by researching it online, but I came up empty-handed. I told my psychiatrist that I’m in a depression. I informed him that I’m sleeping too much, I’m overeating, I feel worthless and empty, and I’m easily irritable. He told me to hang in there; we are waiting for the results of the Clozapine level. Once we have the results, then we can figure out our next step.
So now I’m just waiting. I’m waiting for my blood test results, I’m waiting to find out what change my psychiatrist wants to make, and I’m waiting to start feeling better. When you’re waiting for something, every moment seems to drag on and on. I’m just trying to get through this, one moment at a time, but how much longer do I have to wait? Even if my psychiatrist decides to add a new anti-depressant, we all know that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the medication to start working, if it’s going to work at all. So that’s more waiting. No one should have to wait this long to feel better.
I’m compliant with anything I’m told to do by my doctors. However, I am getting sick and tired of it all. I wouldn’t mind the waiting, if I knew that there were going to be positive results. I also wouldn’t mind the waiting if I knew that the positive results that I was going to get would be more than just temporary. We all know that no medication to treat bipolar disorder is permanent. Every time we try a medication, our bodies react differently; we almost never react the same way twice. How a medication works varies depending on our current mental state, the medications we’re currently taking, and any treatments we’re currently undergoing.
I just wish there was an easy answer to treating bipolar depression and mania. There should be an answer, an easy way to help us, where we don’t have to spend most of our time waiting. My bipolar disorder is very gray, nothing is absolute, and everything is questionable. I wish my bipolar disorder was more black and white, I wish it had easier, faster, and more accurate answers.
I’m in it, inside the depression; it has taken my energy, my thoughts, and my will. I’m not myself, but I can’t even remember who I normally am. I can’t seem to get things done. It has been weeks since I’ve cleaned my house. Normally I clean the whole house once a week. I keep putting it on my to-do list, but I never seem to be able to get it done. Anything and everything is close to impossible. Every moment is a fight against myself, and it feels as if I’m losing.
I’ve done this many times before. It’s not my first depression, or my second, or third, and so on. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 14 years old. It’s been 17 years that I’ve been trying to manage my diagnosis. I just wish that I could find the peace and keep it just a little bit longer instead of going from one episode to another. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been depressed or manic. The most important part is that I get through it every time. No matter how deep the episode is, no matter how hopeless the depression gets, I’ve gotten through it before and I’ll get through it again.
I wish I could get through this quicker. I know this sounds weird, but a part of me wishes I was manic. Then I would at least have energy and be productive. I’m not thinking about the negative aspects of mania, I’m just thinking that I don’t want to feel the depression I’m in. Right now, I’m sleeping way to much (I keep falling asleep on the couch), I feel worthless, I feel empty, I’m overeating, I have a decreased interest in almost everything, and just about everything is irritating. I’m lucky that I haven’t started crying yet, hopefully it will stay that way; I hate it when I cry. When I say I want to be manic, it’s just because I don’t want to deal with this depression. I want what I currently don’t have. It would be best if I could just be even, not depressed or manic, but I don’t know if that’s reasonable.
I will get through today; I always do. I have a great support system. Everyone I know offers their help. My husband just asked me if he could do anything. I thanked him for offering, but there’s nothing he could do. I wish there was something that other people could do, but I can’t think of anything. Simply knowing that people close to me truly care is helpful. Just knowing that they are there to support me makes me feel a little better; right now, every little bit counts.
So many people think of loneliness as something that’s felt when we’re alone. However, that’s not always the case, especially for those dealing with mental health issues. For me, the worst part of feeling lonely is when I’m with people, especially people I care for, and still feel lonely. It’s a feeling deep in your heart and your gut; it’s an emptiness that can’t be filled. When I’m around others and still feel this loneliness, it can somewhat feels like a rejection; as if the person/people I’m with don’t want me. That’s not what’s actually happening; it’s just my perception of things based off of my emotional state at the time.
When I’m dealing with this loneliness, I often feel better when I’m alone. Right now, I’m alone, which means the loneliness isn’t as bad as it can get, but it’s still there. I’ve been coloring in my adult coloring books for a couple of hours today. It does take my mind off of things, but when I stop, the loneliness floods back in. That’s when I decided to try writing about it. Blogging has been very therapeutic for me; at the very least, I thought it couldn’t hurt. Being able to put my emotions into words is helpful for some reason. I wish I knew how long this would last or had ways to get past it. For now, I just want to get through another day.