Foreword: Trigger Warning! The following topics include very sensitive subjects. If you suspect that you may have a trigger contained within, please refrain from reading. Reader discretion advised.
Blink. Blink. Blinking away. The cursor sits at a standstill while I stare ahead, poised, awaiting the words to flow out of my mind, through my arms, and out of my fingertips. Nifty title for some heavy stuff. And though there is plenty of content, I have no clue how to provide an introduction. A part of me flinches, and I find my fingers stiffening in hesitation.
No, you’re going to do this today.
Awhile ago, The Voice emerged from the jumbled noise in my head and spoke to me again. The Voice was back at feeding my paranoia and preying on my fears. I cannot understand how this conflicting persona came to be, though I tried to make sense of it in a theoretical psychology essay entitled, “Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious”. I can only recall the emergence in my early teens, probably nearly coinciding with the onset of symptoms.
The Voice had never become external to myself. Until late April, mentioned in Lulu-Lunacy. Moments in time started happening where The Voice had taken on a complete audio hallucination. It had gone beyond paranoid delusion into a complete distortion of my reality. I would have believed that The Voice was a real external entity. It sounded as real as someone sitting next to me on the bus, whispering in my ear. The words were loud, crisp, and clear. But, there was no body to go with it.
I knew it wasn’t real, because I had been hearing it for as long as I could remember. However, I’ve always been able to identify it as a part of my conscious mind. This was detached. The words coming out were not words that came out of a deep, dark place. I had never considered going off of my medication. I had always regarded them as something that made me better. Instead, The Voice was telling me that the medication made me dumb, like cattle, so I could be led around by the neck.
That was my first experience with solid psychosis.
I started to believe that some kind of external source was putting The Voice in my head, and had been doing so for years. I just couldn’t hear it, because I was purposefully not listening. This reason The Voice was always one step ahead of me was because that external source had been monitoring me for years. I was chosen. And it was at this point that they wanted me to finally step up to take back my life from others who were trying to steal it for their own gain.
Yes, it was that real. Do I still think that? I have no idea.
Here’s the truth. I am not one solid person, as I began to mention in Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious. I have a post drafted about my various personas and how some differ greatly from others. Really, it’s more of a spectrum. It’s almost dissociative, but not quite. A part of me is still present as a spectator while other personas take the wheel. But, I am almost in a disembodied kind of state. Sometimes, it feels like I am in a third person kind of state completely outside of myself. Other times, I don’t feel like I am present at all, and clearly I wasn’t. Chunks of time go missing and events get hazy.
Sometimes I feel like I am struggling for control of my own consciousness.
Then, there are the pararealities. I describe them in many of my more lucid, vague sounding posts. Most of the time, I feel like I am a time traveler. Except, I am not really akin to Doctor Who or Marty McFly or other time travelers. I don’t really go from this time period to other time periods. I live in pararealities. These pararealities run alongside and often overlap the linear continuum most people reside in. Here’s a visual representation of reality and pararealities:
To put it in words, I do not experience life and time in a linear way, though I do experience it in the same direction as others. Time speeds up and slows down. Some moments last forever, and sometimes days go by with a blink.
The parareality is a reality that is similar to our own, but doesn’t quite operate in the same way. It’s like living life a millisecond off of everyone else, either faster or slower. Sometimes, the parareality is a little more detached, like in the farther regions of the red and blue zones. But, they are adjacent realities overlapping in areas. More than two pararealities cannot be experienced at once, and although a spectrum may exist, it’s not like a theory of parallel dimensions where there could be dozens totally different from one another. They are much the same, but it’s often like putting a different lens on a pair of goggles.
I realize that what I am saying is complete insanity. It’s the realization alone that prompted me to stop writing and start dodging. Silence fell over me, because nothing I was thinking or feeling really made any sense when propped up against facts. And then The Voice says, “Or maybe it does.”
It’s a rabbit hole situation. I am Neo, and I’m opting for the red pill, though I am not entirely sure whether it is going to lead me to the real reality, or deeper into the delusions and hallucinations. It just feels like I’ve been taking the blue pills too long. Everything feels so forced. Life shouldn’t be forced, right?
Now, we get to the sick parts.
I have been keeping secrets. Apparently, it is what I do the best of all. I am so skilled at illusion that I can deceive myself without even knowing it to begin with.
Enough with the pomp and circumstance. Get on with it.
I am still taking my medication, though I do not want to. I don’t want to drink alcohol anymore, not because alcohol is bad for me and it makes me feel bad. (It is and it does). Alcohol is distorting a reality that my mind is already challenging as being real. That’s all good right?
No, I have ulterior motives.
I am continuing to take my medication and to stop drinking alcohol for a very disturbing reason. These are all efforts to continue to sustain an obvious mania that has been going on for – since at least late March, but it was a component of a mixed episode at that point. It didn’t become clear mania until late May.
I am also doing these things to keep my weight down. Did you know that Wellbutrin has been known to exacerbate symptoms of eating disorders?
Wait, Lulu. You don’t have an eating disorder.
It’s probably pretty clear to those that have ED. The restrictive diet, the compulsive exercise, talk of negative body image. It’s never been something I wanted to admit. First, I didn’t think that it was a problem. It’s not, not physically anyway. Second, even if it was a problem, I didn’t want anyone to catch on to the behavior. First, because I so fear obesity. I didn’t want anyone to stop me. And second, because I didn’t want anyone to look down on me anymore than they already do. It’s bad enough that I hate me most of the time. (Unless, I’m manic when I love me).
I binge sometimes when I’m sad. I purge it when I’m disgusted. I purge when I’m nervous. I purge when I feel self-destructive. I purge when the scale is giving me an unacceptable number. I restrict when I’m very sad and self-loathing. I run to run away from all of this, to run away from myself. I run to see that number plunge. I restrict to spite myself. I restrict to self-destruct.
I have an eating disorder(s).
Finally, I am still in the grips of self-injury.
I am not proud. I am not showing off. I am not crying out for help, because at this point, I don’t even think I really want help. I am being honest, because my dishonesty was killing me. I’m supposed to be discussing mental health topics. And here we are. The very start of everything. Honesty in the face of the monster.
Tuesday was a big day. The Blackberry – now dubbed BB4, because I’ve determined I’ve doomed any inanimate (and potentially animate) object I name, arrived. And I struggled at every step getting the damn information transferred.
A compulsion dragged me into two different pharmacies in town, in search of a replacement Sharpie pen. I obsessed about it. I couldn’t continue writing in my journal without it. The writing wouldn’t look right. I saw the hideous tag of $9 and change for two. And I decided that day that my sanity had a price.
I continued with my regression therapy experiment by listening to The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. The album as a whole. Still nothing but lyrics. I can’t ever remember where I put my phone and my cigarettes. But, I’ll never forget a single lyric from any of those 14 songs.
All day, obsessions. These obsessive, intrusive thoughts snagged and snapped at me.
You lose everything remotely important. Check your bag for your pens. Your cigarettes. Your phone. Check again and make sure you see it. Did you put it back in there? Check again.
The world whizzed by me. And the music blared:
C L I C K .
– – – – –
“Fine-ally!” I seriously thought my bladder was going to literally burst inside of me. I pulled myself to sitting on the beige bench seat, all the way in the back. My heavy sandal fell off of my foot and landed directly on my copy of The Downward Spiral. I plummeted at freefall speeds. And upon impact, BANG! I was fiercely sobbing, van door open to a busy, boiling hot highway.
I rustled myself out of that van, and into that rest stop. I lit up a cigarette in a stall (back when you could smoke almost everywhere), and continued to sob.
“What the hell are you causing so much fuss about?” I heard from the stall next to me, “Me and your dad will buy you a new one when we get there.”
– – – – –
My father wouldn’t let me have anything that held any value. I didn’t even carry a wallet until I was 18. I didn’t carry a purse until I was 21. Why have these things without valuables. He insisted that I’d lose it.
When I did lose something, I’d never hear the end of it. Things I’ve come to realize can be easily replaced. A pen. A hat. The trouble is that these things never were replaced. If I lost something, and I loved it, it was gone forever.
“Everyone I know, goes away, in the end.” Trent purred.
I was eager to get the key into the lock. I couldn’t remember the last time I had to go so urgently. I threw my bags on the sofa as I rushed through. I shedded my coat onto a kitchen chair and turned the corner to the bathroom. I walked up to the toilet and –
The seat was up.
Why was the seat up? I was the last one in the house.
A cloud descended upon me. A dark, nasty, vile cloud filled my head with heavy, smokey noise. It seemed a man had been in my house. And seeing as how only two men have a key to this house, and know the odd work hours I keep, that narrowed it down.
I take my father at his word. The man doesn’t lie. He would just avoid the subject.
That knocks it down to one.
“Wait! Don’t! Confronting a potential liar gets you nothing but more lies. Provoke him into exposing himself.”
I fired off a text, “Someone is busted.”
Normally, there is a lag time between fifteen minutes to three hours between texts. “I’m just so busy with everything going on! I’ll go to text you back and something will come up.”
More excuses. I don’t expect to take precedence every day. Just one day would be enough.
Immediately, a call shot to my cell. I nonchalantly answered the phone. At first, he carefully poked around. “Who? What do you mean? What happened?”
We didn’t speak while he was coming home. Unusual. He was only quiet when he was either alienating someone or plotting. I had him cornered.
When he arrived home, he put on a great show. He anxiously scoured the house looking for clues. In paranoia, he wedged himself between the fridge and the wall to boost himself above the drop ceiling. It was quite the farce.
He made a mistake. My husband, a man who is not guilty of anything and deeply crippled by anxiety, would not have given up so easily.
He was chipper when asking, “Would you like to take a walk over to the store for freezer pizza?”
I was bitter and suspicious. He hadn’t regarded me in that way in nearly a month. Each revision of behaviors became more noticeable. He eagerly set up the stroller. He made a pass of the exterior of the house for good measure. Only a pass. It was anything but thorough.
“So who do you think it could have been?” he uneasily questioned me.
“Everyone and anyone who could gain access to our house. Whether it be by force or key.”
Some more silence.
He rattled off a few very unlikely people. Forced. Any shift away from focusing on him. The insinuation was nowhere near vague. If there was something to hide, I’d find out. I made that unmistakably clear.
He trotted through the store. Suddenly, necessary items considered to be superfluous became important. I begged him for toothpaste when I had thrush. I knew it would clear faster. But, though we had just gotten paid, there was no money available.
He was overly enthusiastic about everything. At one point, he went to the Digiorno pizzas, and exclaimed what a great price they were. I had done so three months ago, and was shot down, claims they were still “too expensive'”, and returned to the same nasty, three, overcooked Tombstones.
Fake. Appeasing me. Buying my distractions.
I glared as he rushed through our taxes without complaint. We have never done our taxes so late. Never down to the wire like this.
Irresponsible. Careless. Uncharacteristic.
I fished through his cell phone for clues. He’s clever. He would have erased any tracks. He’s too paranoid to let anything revealing slip.
I have my reasons.
Emblazoned on the frontpage of Wikipedia:
Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge
It didn’t take a lot of imagination yesterday. When you went to Google, there is a giant black censor block. I logged onto WordPress, and found myself staring at a page filled with censored blogs, where there should have been featured blogs. Upon clicking, this headline sits before me:
You may not be aware of the pending legislation called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). It sounds good in theory. I would know, because Representative Tim Murphy from Pennsylvania got to me first. He declared it to be in our best interest to stop cyber terrorism. This legislation is heralded as the great protector of our sensitive information in banks, hospitals, etc. After I had several fraudulent charges on my joint bank account within two days of each other, two sliced and diced debit cards and no way for easy access to my money, I considered this a great thing!
Until yesterday, January 18th, 2012. Until I was forced to open my eyes and do my civic duty by actually reading what these bills are all about. (Thank you, President Obama for the Freedom of Information Act).
As usual, we’ve been duped. Essentially, these bills equate to the US Patriot Act, in a manner of speaking. The US Patriot Act is there to deny civil liberties guaranteed by our Amendments, if they suspect you as a terrorist. They’ve set it up so that if you speak out, it can be very easy for you to disappear.
This is another step toward totalitarianism. SOPA and PIPA seek to criminalize our freedom for information. By doing that, they also grossly violate our First Amendment rights to write, create, and pass on information as we wish. It grants permission to Internet Service Providers to block any information they wish.
Doesn’t this seem suspicious that these were pushed on the dawn of the Occupy Movement? The Occupy Movement consists of local grassroots organizations that rely on the internet to make international connections between them. What happens to all of the grassroots organizations, such as Occupy and Blog for Mental Health 2012, when our voice is stifled?
And that’s what Pendulum would look like if certain politicians had their way. It is bad enough that many of the mental health bloggers feel the societal pressure to take refuge behind glowing monitors and clever pseudonyms. Now, our medium and content are being threatened. Extreme discrimination could take place. If one party, just one, find our content to be vile, disturbing, irresponsible, or amoral, then we are likely to get shut down.
I won’t stand for that. Personally, I want to stop this thing dead in it’s tracks. This is my own forum to discuss mental health. In the days of old, families would lock up their “insane” in basements, cellars, and attics. What we would experience would be the modern equivalent. I was tired of hiding and being disguised. That’s why, exactly seven months ago today, I came here to be on display for all of the world to see.
It saved my life. And, I wouldn’t know what to do without it.
If you feel that your civil liberties to talk about your mental health and special concerns are in danger of being violated, take a stand. Do it now before it’s too late.
Google wants you to take action.
Even certain parties in the White House want you to take action.
Around the world, in the UK, individuals are taking action.
And millions of others all want you to take action against SOPA and PIPA.
Every signature on every petition counts. Shout it out, loud and clear!
SOPA WON’T SILENCE ME!
Sing it again!
Four years you think for sure
That’s all you’ve got to endure
All the total dicks
All the stuck up chicks
So superficial, so immature
Then when you graduate
You take a look around and you say HEY WAIT!
This is the same as where I just came from!
I thought it was over!
Aww that’s just great!
I had theorized for years that high school was boot camp for life. Some people are assigned to the hot zone, and others end up behind a desk. And most of the time, just like in the military, you don’t end up in the place you signed up for. Usually, the place you end up wasn’t quite as bad as training.
I was mistaken.
High school is actually the kiddie pool for life.
When I was in high school, all I wanted was to graduate and get the eff out of there. In fact, I wanted out so badly that I dropped out at 17, entered the pilot cyber-charter school, and finished out 11th grade that way. The only reason I was coaxed back to my high school was the fact that I could enroll in five music classes and only needed one gym. It was way better than the option of a purely academic senior year.
I missed a record amount of days that year. A whopping sixty-two, when the fail limit was twenty-one. I missed almost three times the maximum amount. I actually missed one day over half of the school year.
(It was a miracle I graduated at all).
Yes, I had a severe case of senioritis. It was more than that. The whole ordeal of high school made me ill. It was a jungle of mini-adults, preying on one another in the attempt to establish social superiority. All for what? To be openly adored and envied by many and secretly despised by everyone that was trampled?
I was easy prey, far down the food chain of the high school food chain. Don’t be mistaken. I was not at the very bottom. I created a new breed of outcast and made it fashionable. It was a fabulous alternative to being hated for being a poser. I flaunted my flaws in hilarious self-loathing. It was quite a show to behold. Best of all, I helped push it so far from popular culture that it was enticing. A geeky, intelligent rebel? Who knew?!
It caught on. This was before emos existed, during the time of goths. I was neither. Sure, I was adorned with black clothes covered in pins. But, I was determined to give a permanent home on the social ladder to every kid that didn’t quite fit the mould. I wanted to challenge every social norm, and show everyone that different was actually better.
Just that alone put me in the line of fire. But what could they possibly gossip about that I hadn’t already broadcasted myself? I was poor as hell! My family was an absolute wreck! It was clear to see that I was a fat band geek. My wild eyes glared at the cliques behind thick lenses. Plainly said, I was a crazy freakshow!
I lied. I smiled when people gossiped about me. I’m too poor to afford new clothes every school year. I’m a whore, because I have sex. I see a crazy doctor and take crazy meds. My mother is a drunk, my brother is a tard, and my father is crazier than me. I don’t actually have friends, I have followers and worshippers. I acted like I fed on it, and turned to preach to my flock to do the same.
Truthfully, I felt like less than garbage. There was a drop of truth in every story. I felt ugly and ostracized. I didn’t like people’s perceptions of me, but I knew I never would. I should at least put on a show! Turn your own self-loathing and insecurities into something inspirational to some and controversial for most. It worked for Howard Stern, right?
Every jock, priss, prom queen, cheerleader, dancer and intellectual took their own shots at me. We were so far removed toward the end that it didn’t really affect me anymore. The shots from the artists, thespians, and fellow musicians hurt the most. You would think there would be at least a little bit of camaraderie. I suppose it is every (wo)man for themselves in the urban jungle.
I didn’t even plan on walking at graduation. My plan was to finish finals and disappear into the ether. But, parents get what parents want. I walked across that stage decorated with honors, and extreme gratitude that all of that was behind me.
Today, I learned that it is still exists, maybe even more so, right ahead of me.
The night before last, I had this dream that was absolutely horrific. Stay with me if you can. This is a little long.
The dream was like a video game. It started out with me receiving instructions from someone. They said that I’d have a delivery in the mail. It was a very precious item that many people would be after me for. Namely a woman. I don’t remember her name.
Next thing I knew, I was either in a large apartment complex or a bad motel. I’m not sure. I’m thinking bad motel, because I don’t recall seeing any of my belongings there. It was a tiny place where the living room and the kitchen shared the same open space. Everything was drab and kind of nondescript. There was an antique style armchair – dark wood and burgundy velour fabric. That was about all that could fit into that tiny room. Right across from the door was a huge, open closet, with only a lone hanger on the rack. It looked extremely lived in. The TV was one of those old style TV’s that had a wire clothes hanger for an antenna. (Those don’t even function as televisions anymore). That was against the wall between the two doors.
I was standing there, peeking out of the glass side door that led to a huge wooden patio that was completely enclosed. It was an entire floor up, and the stairs leading down were precariously steep. Beyond that, all I could see were trees, mostly palm trees. In the very far distance, I saw what might have been a coast line, but it was misty. I couldn’t really see a whole lot.
Then, the doorbell rang. I let the heavy drape, maybe yellowish with green palm trees embroidered into them. It was dark in the room, and the room didn’t have any other windows but the big, glass, sliding door. I carefully edged my way to the front door and asked who it was. He said it was the delivery man. I told him that I didn’t want the package, but he insisted. There was no return address. I unlatched the chain on the door, unbolted it, and opened it. I saw outside to notice that the motel was in an L shape, with the black iron railings and only two exits to the parking lot that existed within the L, one on each end. He wheeled in a huge box, and practically vanished.
A huge box, great. Now everyone in the area has seen it. But that was probably the point. I opened the box to find it filled with peanuts. Tons and tons of white packing peanuts. I dumped the box out, realizing that the dolly was a ruse. Even the delivery guy was in on it. At the bottom, I find some kind of metal item. It was symbolic of something, but I can’t quite remember what it looked like. Maybe a metallic cross. It looked old and worn. It was larger than my palm, but not too large to carry in a fist. I clenched it in my fist, and headed for the patio.
I practically jumped down the stairs. I knew that someone set me up, and that they probably watched the whole thing go down. I hit the cement, and I began running through the trees.
I knew there was someone on my tail. I came out of the trees and onto a beach. I turned around, and I saw her in the distance. She had jet black, shiny hair, and dark eye makeup. She wore all black and had two thugs with her that were looking for me. I went into a crowd of beach goers. They were all just kind of laying there, soaking up the sun, despite the mist that surrounded the coast line area. Nobody seemed to mind me running through the area, kicking up sand. I was hoping to get to the mist before she noticed me. Or else, she wouldn’t be foolish enough to shoot into a crowd.
I’m going to guess what came next was a warning shot. I wasn’t hit, but it was a single fire from a handgun. I kept running for the mist. And now, she was hot on my tail. Her thugs stayed behind, probably to guard any area that I could use to get out. I ran, and my legs turned to jello and my body was heavy. My lungs ached with every gasp. She continued to fire at me with the pistol. I got into the mist and ran down the shore. I still couldn’t see the water because the fog was so dense.
I came to a grassy area and darted out of the mist and toward a parking lot. It was close to the shore. Not close enough, because she managed to graze me with a bullet. She had to have been running out by then. I busted in the window of a car door with my elbow (impossibility), got in, cranked it up, and sped off (complete impossibility).
I drove to the local grocery store to talk to Jay. (I don’t know why). I knew that he’d figure it out. But this store didn’t exist in my hometown. It was in this beach town, probably somewhere in Florida. Palm trees grew wild. But it was misty like northern beaches. I don’t know. I ran into the store, and I was convinced that she wouldn’t follow me in. There were security cameras and people everywhere.
Inside, the grocery store was identical to the one here. I stood by the bakery and talked to Jay. I showed him the relic, and he was clueless. He had no idea what I should have been doing, or what I could do to hide or get away. He did tell me one thing. This was a video game. If it was similar to Grand Theft Auto, then I wouldn’t die. I’d wake up at the local hospital or in my own bed at home, whichever was closer.
That was when I saw her and her thugs down the aisle. She lifted a rocket launcher. I stood there, wide-eyed, as Jay calmly stood is ground. She fired and I squeezed my eyes shut.
I woke up in the armchair back at the motel. Now, my family was there. I was so happy to see T.D. I had no idea what happened, but I was glad that it was over. Until someone called on the phone. I answered my Blackberry and it was the same man who gave me the instructions in the first scenario. Great, here we go again.
“We don’t have much time. You will find a package that contains a group of items. Try not to be suspicious, but hide them. And do everything you can to keep her from finding them.”
Her? The black-haired woman?
The doorbell rang. C.S. and my dad already seemed to have known. They coaxed T.D. outside with the box and instructed me to answer the door to distract her.
I opened the door, and it wasn’t the black-haired woman at all. It was a dark blonde woman. She was about my height (short), and much more stout than I am. She acted as if I was supposed to know her and invited herself in. She disregarded me entirely and surveyed the scene. T.D., C.S., and Dad were all back inside now, wrestling around as if that was what they were doing the whole time.
“Lovely,” she grumbled. “I shall require you to make accommodations.”
“Of course,” I answered, pretending that I had a clue as to what was going on. I pointed to the one bedroom door in the very back. She huffed her way down there.
I ran out of the door, and suddenly, the outside changed. It wasn’t outside anymore. I was in an upscale hotel. I ran down the hall, trying to find something I could use to distract her. I saw a spa, and ran in to make her an appointment. Through the mist, I saw her lying on a table, wrapped in white towels, with the whole spa get-up. She had the green mask on her face, and cucumbers on her eyes. She lifted a cucumber for just a second to see me and she said snootily, “Oh, I’ve already taken care of it. Don’t worry about lifting a precious finger.”
This was my opportunity. I knew I needed to hide the contents somewhere else. I jumped down the patio stairs again, and found several freshly dug patches of dirt. I used my hands to sift through it. It wasn’t really packed down. I uncovered these shining relics. One was a silver ornate, ceremonial knife, and the other was gold. One looked like a small scepter with a ball of onyx in the center. There were other tarnished gold relics buried with them that I couldn’t describe. Maybe crosses or other religious symbols? They were ornate, but encrusted with gunk.
I heard her voice in the distance and attempted to bury them even deeper. They were in too shallow of a hole, but I didn’t have a shovel. I clawed at the dirt with my hands, threw everything in the hole, and tried to cover it back up. There wasn’t enough dirt. It was still too shallow. And I started to panic.
I didn’t have enough time to sit down and do a dream analysis on it. That’s what I’m working out right now, because after the chain of events yesterday, I need some answers.
I’ve attempted to write this post about a dozen times now. Maybe more. I don’t know. The words aren’t coming out right. It feels like there is nothing to write and everything to pour out, all at once. There’s this battle going on inside myself between what I want to write, what I should write, and how to convey all of these thoughts.
I’m just going to blurt it out. My blog, my rules.
This has started at work and with blogging lately. For some unknown reason, I’ve been getting the feeling that I’ve been talking about myself too much lately. I’m not self-absorbed, at least not in the way that my interests and motives orbit my being. People seem to give me these blank stares of intense disinterest when I’m relating a situation to them. The objective is to relate to someone else, not grant my pity. I feel strongly against pitying people. It’s insulting to some and enabling to others.
This has been the case with my blog, I’m sure. I don’t often look at my stats, and when I do, it’s only to see what topics are the most popular. If I’ve run a topic out, say about my upcoming surgery, then I’m done with it. There is all that is to be said on that front, and I move along. My stats are consistant with days that I write, and there is no immediate drop off.
However, there is no dialogue. This is not incinuating that every post sparks something within each reader that makes it relevant and interesting. If there is nothing to be said, then so be it. But, I’m not running a blog to whine about my life. It was never my intent to create a blog that dissects every situation and magnifies it to intensely overdramatic levels. My objective was to become relatable in my trials and tribulations. That does not to seem to be the case. At least, not to me.
It seems that my comments and insights into other blogs are not enjoyed and in certain occasions, seem less than welcome. It was my assumption that I was among a community of bipolar bloggers, to say the least. I’m sure there is a mishmash of alphabet soup among us, and I can accomodate that. Perhaps, I was mistaken in certain aspects of how these relationships work.
My goals were simple. First and foremost, write a blog for me. As my reader base increased, I had decided to narrow it down to important topics in my life. As the community grew, I attempted to welcome everyone with open arms. I was pretty sure everyone started their own blog with similar objectives, so my next goal was to provide insight and occasionally suggestions to other writers. And finally, to bring our community closer together.
Maybe I was wrong, and I’ve failed in some fashion. Or, I’m delusional with depression.
That’s what I wanted to write, sort of. I wanted to include something to the effect of my suspicions of an on-coming depression, that is coloring this entire ordeal in my mind. But, that can wait. It’s not something I’m considering dissecting at the moment. I am too disillusioned to be remotely objective.
I’ll write when I’m ready. Whenever that is.
I am terrified of myself right now.
When I first began As the Pendulum Swings, I had started off with a post called, “To See If I Still Feel” which described a similar episode with self-injurous behavior that I blogged about recently in “Confessions of the Pain of Payment”. Soon after my original blog post, I described an incident which I thought was a mixed episode in “Shifting Gears”. It was the first time I had ever experienced both hypomanic symptoms and depressive symptoms at the same time.
Last night, I didn’t sleep more than five hours. I had taken three and a half milligrams of Xanax and 30mg of Temazepam. I should have been knocked flat on my back.
My brain was buzzing, ablaze with thought and compulsions. There was a sensation of vibration all throughout my body. I surveyed my kitchen and drearily thought, “My house is disgusting. It’s an absolute nasty, repulsive, filthy hut. I wish I could burn this place to the ground.” But that wasn’t my compulsion. I wanted more than anything to clean.
First, I showered and scrubbed myself raw with a luffah. Shampoo ran through my fingers and foamed as I clawed my scalp, three or more times. My quest continued in the kitchen. The skin on my hands was raw, red, and peeling as I ripped through the dishes. I meticulously wiped down every surface with Clorox.
It wasn’t enough. I gathered every piece of paperwork that had been piled up on my counter and threw it in a box. I set it atop a large laundry basket and hauled it up the stairs. Everything in it’s right place, everything in it’s right place, my mind’s voice frantically whispered.
I sorted through two months worth of paperwork, cleared two desks and organized their drawers, and cleared, then rearranged my dresser. It was immaculate. It was also 3AM. I didn’t want to stop. I had so much more I wanted to do. But I feared that I would be too tired in the morning to even think about getting up.
My eyes opened in a flash when the first alarm went off. And I didn’t even consider hitting the snooze button seventeen times this morning. I laid in bed for a few minutes and felt the dread and dismay of my life. Everything was still wrong. It was all wrong. And now, I was falling behind in my own life.
So, I sprang to action. T.D. had Occupational Therapy at 9am. I was compelled to clean the house some more. I went through emails and started getting back on the horse and back into my life. I went to work and disciplined sassy fifth graders. I entertained Kindergarteners with new games. And I rekindled old friendships with my third grade group.
Not once did I yawn.
I suspected that what was happening to me now was what happened three months ago. Opening my web brower, I began my investigation into what a mixed episode is really classified as. The NIMH states:
Bipolar II is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
Again, I verified it. DSM-IV Criteria for Bipolar II specifically states that “There has never been a Manic Episode or a Mixed Episode”.
How is this possible? I have never had a full-blown Manic Episode. I don’t think, anyway, at least not diagnostically so. But, I know that I am having feelings of despair and hopelessness while having boundless energy, racing thoughts, and pressured speech.
Bipolar II, as described by Psycheduation.org, is very fitting. I have more depressive episodes than anything. My episodes don’t really last longer than a few months, if even that long. The longest hypomanic episode I ever had was for two weeks. They usually only last about a week and then are followed by crushing depression for a few weeks to a couple of months.
What the hell is this? I feel like I’m losing touch with reality. At the same time, I don’t even think I want to be in touch with reality anymore. I don’t want to take my medicine and I’d rather give in to my impulses than keep fighting this constant, tedious, exhausting battle. I want to stay up all night and do whatever I’m compelled to do. I want to lay in the yard in the middle of the night in the rain. I’m being hit with all of these illogical and sometimes sinister thoughts at light speed.
I’m going downstairs to try to continue the conversation I was having with C.S. at dinner. He asked what I cut with because he had already thrown out all of the razors. I’m crafty, what can I say? I’ve contended with worse than him. I didn’t want to answer, partly because I want to hold on to my little box of lies, and partly because I didn’t think it was appropriate dinner conversation. I asked if he rememberred to buy band-aids. He told me that he refused to buy me band-aids because he’d rather shame me into not doing this again. He told me that he’s taking a tough love approach.
Do you know what happened the last time someone took a tough love approach with me? I suffered while I bided my time. I waited until I had a reliable and self-sustaining source of income. And I ran like hell while never looking back.
I’m up to like 919 words. If you’re still with me, please, help me with some of your insight and personal experience. At least insight into what I’m dealing with here with this seemingly mixed episode.
What do I say now?
I’ve written and rewritten and edited this draft for the last three days.
It originally started out with a rationalization:
Lamictal and hormonal birth control don’t play nice. When I first started Lamictal, I would take the bc placebos for that week and start exhibiting symptoms of PMDD. My Pdoc recommended that my OB/Gyn consider putting me on a continuous cycle for three packs and then have the off week. And I’ve been doing that for almost 2 years.
I have that liberty to schedule when Aunt Dot comes to visit. Risking a complete mental break down every 63 days was better than having to do it every 21. In the last year, the last couple had been pretty mild. I thought I was in the clear.
I lost track and went 5 months this time.
What person with bipolar disorder wouldn’t want to be able to blame conditions that are within their control? I was telling myself that Monday would come, I would be back on the BC and all would be right with the world. In the meantime, I adjusted my dosages – with no effect. I did that a couple of days ago thinking I could put a bandaid on the situation until there was a real fix, meaning I straightened my meds out and all of this moody woman bullshit was over with.
PMS was a word invented by men to explain women’s emotional behavior. (No offense intended to my male readers). My husband discovered my self-inflicted injuries today. Actually, more like he discovered the band-aid that I’ve been hiding under layers of bracelets all week. He said, “What’s that?” I answered in a low voice, with T.D. on my lap, “Nothing.” I won’t lie. I’m sick and tired of cowering in fear for someone else’s approval. I didn’t lie to him. It means nothing to him, but it will stay with me for a long time.
He asked again, “What is it?” And once again I replied in a murmur, “It’s nothing.”
“Every time you get your f***ing period, you have to go and cut yourself!!!”
I don’t recall being afflicted with such in my very first post, “To See If I Still Feel”. And I can honestly say that was the very last time I engaged in self-injurous behavior.
I’m starting to suspect it isn’t completely me.
Originally, I wrote:
My marriage has been on the rocks lately. My kid is raising hell. I have the crushing weight of being solely responsible for T.D., anything domestic, and work. I am expected to have time for everything. I am also expected to take all kinds of crap from everyone when something goes wrong. That is, surprisingly, with the exception of my boss and co-workers.
I have dealt with be mistreated and disrespected in my home. I have endured vicious criticism and blame. I am overwhelmed and over burdened. And anytime I speak up, not only am I wrong, I am intentionally starting trouble. Suddenly, my condition becomes a reality because it’s convenient to blame me “being a bitch” on having bipolar disorder.
I am falling apart and it’s not even at the seams. It’s from consistent strain and wear on my fabric. And when someone I let close enough to me starts taking swipes… it’s enough. It’s more than enough to come undone.
I wrote to a dear friend that I used to be able to depend on C.S. I described all of the wonderful things he had been to me. But now, I feel like I’m being pushed off the ledge and then kicked in the face when I finally hit the bottom.
Each morning, when I awake, I have been telling my dearest friends here that I’m doing better. And each afternoon, I’m doing worse than the day before. After that comment, “Every time you get your f***ing period, you have to go and cut yourself!!!”, I’m about to give it up. I was mistaken when I said to my dear friend that I wasn’t sure that he was even aware of what he was doing to me.
We don’t get to choose our family. Sometimes, we can’t choose who we fall in love with. But we always have the choice to make the decision to devote ourself to each other through marriage. How could someone who chose me, who is supposed to love me, be causing me so much hurt?