Off Meds Again – Day 2

So I’m off my meds again. It’s funny because I went to my psychiatrist 2 days ago and we were talking about awareness of symptoms, and she mentioned how difficult bipolar is to diagnose, and how it’s often MISdiagnosed. And how basically everything like diagnosis and treatment is really all up to anyone’s best guess. I’ve read things like that before too… about how people aren’t even SURE how pharmaceuticals ACTUALLY work… and I think hearing my psychiatrist express doubts like that made me subconsciously forget to take my meds. I was already thinking about it though, because in yoga they were talking about how it’s better to know yourself without any altering substances to be a yoga teacher. And I agree with that. Although my meds weren’t making me feel “numb” all the time, sometimes I would feel numb and wonder if it was the meds or me. It’s an interesting battle… how do you find yourself? Between symptoms of depression and mania, or between how you are on meds vs how you aren’t on meds? I suppose I fell into the thought process of “well, I wonder what I’m actually like now if I don’t have meds, because I’ve been feeling so stable with the yoga.” It bothers me how I can’t tell what’s actually working, the meds or the yoga? And since I’ve started work I’ve been feeling a strange emptiness yet calmness… and I suppose I’m just curious to try this experiment with myself. In the end, I would rather NOT be on anything because really…who am I? I would like to know.

All that aside, today some dark familiar thoughts of inadequacy crept in but I managed to stave them off. It truly dawned on me that THINKING too much about just how inadequate I think I am is such a time waster, and really won’t get the work done. I feel like I’m becoming more of a professional. Everyone at work seems so put together…and I know that’s just on the outside, but I definitely feel like I entered this zone of “well adjusted human artists working together” and couldn’t help feeling a bit like a phony. I think I’m holding it together pretty well though… initiating interactions with people in moments I would used to feel awkward, not having crippling anxiety, not dwelling on specific things I said. But weirdly… I feel so strange. Hence the getting off the meds thing. I’m really not quite sure what to think, or maybe I should just stop thinking? Maybe this “not thinking” business is actually a symptom of LEARNING TO BE IN THE PRESENT?!

I hate though that “feeling behind” is starting to creep in again. I can’t help but think of what Leah said, about how she can tell my bipolar is preventing me from flourishing and reaching my true potential, and that it should be my top priority to keep it in check. But that involves seeing what works… and I’m starting to see too how constantly thinking about it, or wondering what’s up with it, is taking my attention away from other things. Like, things I could like perhaps. I definitely like “things” but I can also tell how my obsession with figuring out what’s wrong with me, or stabilizing my symptoms trumps all else and ultimately makes me feel like I pursue things less for “fun” and more for “function” which kinda bums me out 😦 It really does feel like a curse…

I’m not even sure what I was trying to say this post. This is just the ramblings of the day… I suppose that’s what these always are but especially today I feel like things are just not fully formed and I’m in some kind of a daze…

A New Chapter of Discovery

Since I’ve last blogged on here, I got myself a “Sacred Storytelling Priestess,” basically a Life Coach who also does Sacred Storytelling (her name is Leah Lamb and she is AWESOME). She’s helped me out more than any therapist ever has because we’ve been working on learning how to harness my creativity. Since our journey began together back in April, we’ve been adding some structure into my life, developing better habits, and building my voice. Even though I’ve been making great strides, so much of the time it doesn’t feel that way. I’ve had to get back on medication (60mg of Latuda) in order to function enough to be productive in any capacity, and sometimes, like a couple days ago, I still have earth shattering episodes where I feel like I can’t possibly come out alive.

But I always do. I’m still here, and I’m gonna keep fighting.

During said episode, I finally feel like my bipolar showed itself to me, in a physical manifestation. I started this blog a while ago thinking of the bipolar as a creature of darkness, but until now haven’t been able to visualize it in any capacity… and I think that part of me was afraid to. But it was something Leah had mentioned a couple times since we started meeting, how I need to put a face to this thing. Well… now that I have, I have big plans, and part of it is bringing life back to this here blog.

I started Bipolar Beastie  to document my journey being off medication. I’ve learned a lot since then, part of which is that I’m currently too unstable NOT to take medication. I found that last time I tried taking it, my doctor put me on too high a dose too quickly. This time, I don’t feel numbed out… I feel more of a calm, and it helps me get sleep. It gives me a clear enough head more of the time to figure out better ways to function, like through yoga, meditation, or creative expression like art. When I wasn’t on the medication, I was overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions ALL THE TIME, and although I was trying a lot of things, I was spending ALL MY TIME just trying to cope and keep my head above water, rather than realizing what actually helps and how. Being on the meds and figuring stuff out, I’ve been able to build more awareness to begin to discover who I actually am in the in between… even though that “in between” feels very rare… When you’re being flung around so often by the depression and mania (I’m very much a rapid cycler), it’s tough to see who YOU actually are.

That being said, I have a project I’m working on, and I’m going to now be using this blog to explore it. Leah suggested writing one paragraph a day about what I’m learning from the bipolar, and allow it to be organic. Some days it might be a paragraph, other days a doodle or a poem… we’ll see what happens. The important part is that I’m actively engaging with this thing, and that I’m sharing what comes of it… something I’ve been afraid of doing for a really long time for some reason. When it comes down to it, I want this blog to be a place of discovery… somewhere I can say whatever I want, however I want and share things I would never be willing to share anywhere else. I’m really going to make this a home for my emotions and my creativity… a place where I can feel safe to grow. That’s something I’ve always wanted 🙂

Yay for new life chapters!

Sometimes…

I wonder how I’ll make it through life without actually killing myself. I’ve learned so much from about how to move through pain and still the pain of living through this bullshit is just too great…I am so tired of shaking and crying and screaming until my throat is raw and it fucking sucks so much fucking ass that I have to go to work today, try to put a smile on, kick assignments out, then do more work when I get home for 2 other projects and it’s all fucking art but my heart is fucking breaking how am I supposed to pull any good shit out of my soul to get any of this shit done this week I’m so fucking sick of being me and acting like balance is really a fucking option with a mind like this I’m so. Fucking. Over it.

This isn’t fucking worth it.

Take Notice of Trees

Take notice of trees

For just like the breeze

They quiver with untamed beauty

 

The wisdom of these

Gladly teach with ease

For open hearts willing to listen

 

But just as we

Time bears down on thee

And rot besets forests and thickets

 

Our trunks, our leaves

Life shapes, life heals

Bending each of us unique into being

img_2396
The trees that sparked the poem…taken from the park where I run each morning

I’m actually really shocked that I just wrote a poem because I don’t write poems (for fear of being horrible at it). However, I’ve been working on learning how to open myself up more to receive and find that running at sunrise with Mother Ayahuasca has been… enlightening to say the least.

She keeps surprising me!

This reminds me of a line from The Last Unicorn that I read last night, when the Unicorn transforms into Lady Amalthea and Prince Lir is overcome by her beauty.

“The cool brightness of the Lady Amalthea grew more slowly than had Mabruk’s wind, but the prince understood quite well that it was far more dangerous. He wanted to write poems by that light, and he had never wanted to write poems before.

I suppose this is what it feels like to be kissed by magic. To recognize that some things are too beautiful and best described through some type of artistic expression. We as humans all have the ability to tap into this, and each new day can be an exciting opportunity for magic to manifest! All we have to do is listen and let it flow through us without fear.

Day 17: Sad For No Particular Reason

“Everyone is too busy hating themselves to hate each other.” – Christie Tseng

Don’t have much time to write but am determined to not let my current mood spiral into a depressive episode so I need to get this out somewhere. I’ve been feeling pretty good lately… some days I mean aren’t that great or anything but I feel like I’ve been able to keep my head above ground without sputtering/nearly drowning for about a week which is really good for me. Today is really the first day in a while that I feel I could easily fall into the same dark habits of the past… so I want to battle it.

Something is wrong with my body today, and it scares me because it reminds me of the depressed me. I’m super sluggish for no reason. Because of my manic energy from 2 days ago, I was barely getting any sleep but last night I took melatonin and slept a good 8 hours. I shouldn’t be so tired today but slept at my desk for like an hour… ugh. I’m once again having that “need for isolation feeling” also where I’m feeling like answering any type of text message is a chore, and also that everyone secretly hates me.

It’s funny too because I had lunch with Christie today and I swear I was in a much better headspace earlier in the day. We even talked about how stupid it is to obsess over what other people think of us, or how we’re being portrayed. We agreed that the times we were super self conscious around others were times when we were projecting our insecurities onto other people and deciding FOR them how they feel about us.

I sent some wedding invites late and felt so much shame about it… feeling like I really fucked up and because I sent these invites late, the people I sent them to would hate me. I still feel that way and am wondering if that’s partially why I’m feeling sad today. The sadness rolled in some time after lunch and now it’s kinda just sitting here clouding my head and my judgement. Nothing else really happened today… I just sat and worked. I guess maybe one of the notes I got upset me since it was almost a total redraw but rationally I know it shouldn’t upset me. So why? I guess I’m also feeling some guilt about how I didn’t feel like approaching people to talk today, even though I really wanted to and it made me think like “Am I really making enough of an effort to be the nice friendly person I wanna be? Maybe not… how do I force myself to do that?”

I just left work instead of make myself go socialize and succumbed to the pressure of my old habits. Is that why I’m sad? Or maybe I’m sad cuz I wanted to lose all this weight before the wedding but I’ve been royally slacking off lately and today was the first time I ran in like a week. And maybe that’s what’s making me tired? Maybe my body is already not used to physical activity and I feel like all the efforts I made before to lose the 31 lbs I’ve already lost are just being overrided by shit food.

Ugh who knows… but I’m trying to just empty my head of all this useless shit to hopefully make it so I can do what I need to do. But you know what makes me sad? I feel like I never have fun anymore, you know? I miss having fun… but really feel like anytime I wanna have fun, I should be doing something else instead. It’s the bane of my existence really… not knowing how to relax. Maybe that’s why I’m so exhausted? I dunno…

I guess I also feel bad about the wedding. Another one of my bridesmaids might not be able to make it and I feel terrible that the thing is in Hawaii and that people feel pressured to go. What have I done to myself and my guests? Complicated all this shit and made them jump through hoops to what? Just watch me and Eddy get married? Was this really the best decision? Ugh I mean I’m learning a lot but… I GUESS THAT’S WHY I FEEL SO UPSET TODAY. I FEEL LIKE I’M GOING BACKWARDS.

Ok Elora, listen up. You may feel like you’re going backwards and losing all the progress you’ve made thus far, but you’re not. You know why? Cuz you’re writing here. That’s right! This is a different behavior than normal! Instead of just wallowing, you’re trying to approach this rationally and think it through, separate yourself from it. GOOD FUCKING JOB. I know you don’t wanna spiral, and because you’ve done this… you won’t. Trust me.

I was thinking in the car too about how sad it is that people live their lives in their own little bubble. Our soul and mind are self contained in this vessel that is our body, and that’s so inherently lonely it’s upsetting to think about. I just finished watching GLOW season 2 and boy was it powerful. I dunno why that show is marketed as a comedy because really, there is SOOO much great dramatic acting and complex character development. Something I love that the show does too is how they portray the loneliness of people… everyone is going through all this dark emotional shit but the people around them don’t know that they are unless that person mentions it, you know? If we choose to keep all our pain to ourselves, we’re just gonna implode. And I guess that makes me sad, and also makes me wonder if we can truly ever be happy.

You know I’ve felt pretty happy this past week or so, even though I’ve had minor freakouts and have the normal feeling that time is passing by too quickly. Which is why today is so jarring. But you know what, I already feel better. Something else I was thinking about today in the same vein as above is that, because we’re all so alone, it’s IMPERATIVE that we befriend ourselves. Amy called it becoming your own partner in crime, which I really love. We all feel so alone but if we can successfully manage to feel like we are our own friend, we’ll never be alone. I’ve been feeling that a lot more lately, that I’ve been becoming my own friend, but we’re just getting to know each other so maybe this is a hiccup. Or maybe it’s just, the darkness transforming itself into my buddy, but having some difficulty along the way as she turns into light? I dunno. But I think I’m sufficiently emptied of emotion and can continue with my day. I gotta get SOME of this video done before collapsing to sleep… as much as I want to do that right now.

As boring as this post is, I feel like we’ve made a breakthrough of some kind here. Thank you, inner me.

You’re very welcome 🙂

Day 13: On the Verge

Could feel the mania building. Eddy kept telling me to go to sleep and felt an urge to go back in room and keep working but he actually locked my room. First time he’s done that. It made me go psycho and he had to throw me down and pin me to the bed till I stopped flailing like old times. If he sees the light on in here he comes in and turns it off. Starting to calm down….super tired from fighting him. So grateful to have him in my life and glad he’s heavier than me and knows martial arts to keep me in check. Really don’t wanna slip into the old habits…hopefully sleep will come easy.