A Blog-o-versary!

I am in serious shock. Aside from my personal journal, I have never kept a project going for more than a year.

Truthfully, I can’t take all of the credit. If Pendulum didn’t have an audience, I would have been discouraged enough to abandon the blog. If I didn’t have such wonderful friends here, I might not be inclined, or even inspired to write. Thank everyone for their eyes, ears, fingers, minds, and hearts.

Now, for this blog-o-versary behind-the-scenes edition of Pendulum.

Little known fact #1:
Pendulum was not the first blog I created on WordPress. Some people know about the other one, but I’m not really supposed to directly give the secret away.

No, the inspiration for a blog actually came out of a kind of spite thing. An old, friend-turned-rival had a personal blog she used to keep updated with friends. It contained some cute antecdotes about her life and some concert and album reviews, nothing incredibly revealing. While I had no inclination to start a very personal blog, I did want to have a humor blog with some antecdotes about my own life.

By the time June rolled around, I was in a very isolated place with my life affected by disorder. I felt like I was hiding behind some alter-ego (when am I not? Let’s be honest!), and I was suffering in silence. I always had been.

After a forum and a friend, Pendulum was born.

Little known fact #2:
Pendulum started with a self-injury post, To See if I Still Feel (a Nine Inch Nails lyric). But, what is lesser known is that it was accompanied by a half-hearted suicide attempt.  It’s coded throughout the post, but I never really came out and said it.

Pendulum literally saved my life that day.  That was the day that I really realized that there are other people out there who are like me, who have been what I have been through, and get it.  That’s always been the problem in my life.  There are few people who get it, and those that do only seem to want to have a pity-party competition.

It wasn’t followed up by comments right away.  But, it was a start.

Little known fact #3:
“As the Pendulum Swings” was not the original choice for a blog title.  However, the blog title that I wanted was already in use by my other account.  At that point, I was very much in hiding about bipolar disorder, so I had to sever from it.  I literally sat at my computer for a half an hour, staring at this blinking, expectant cursor.

It is not named after the Linkin Park song, “In the End“, though many times I use the full name of this blog, it does go through my mind.  All I could think about was my time ticking away, pendulum swinging back and forth, dragging my emotions with it, with all of the futility and loneliness of my existence.  And that’s how it came to me.  My life is like a pendulum.  With an upswing, there will be a downswing, and so on, and so forth.  There is no end until the clock runs out.  And then, you’re dead.  And no one knows when that’s going to be.  Today, tomorrow?  Old, young?  By my own hand, or by a stupid accident?

So, this blog was named to detail the swinging pendulum of my life, and go with the ups and downs.

Little known fact #4:
Tallulah grew out of several different names throughout this last year.  Those that have been with the blog prior to February will remember the screen name of LunaSunshine.  LunaSunshine was named for the tattoo on my back of a moon and sun, my own visual representation of the duality of my nature and the stark contrast of parts of my life.  I knew Luna was “Moon”.  I just couldn’t do any better for the “Sunshine” part.

Now, even lesser known fact.  At a job I worked over a year before this blog, I earned the nickname of Sunny, just because of my demeanor.  Believe me, it was really difficult some days.  Sunny was something that stuck with me, because no one had ever referenced me in such a manner before.  I didn’t know I could even be perceived in that context.

And during an episode, just before my son’s second birthday, I dyed my hair bleach blonde, a color I hadn’t worn since it was my natural color as a child.  I guess it marked some kind of stability for me, because I’ve managed to keep the same color for almost two years now.  Before that, it was bouncing between brown and red, based on the episode I was in at the time of the purchase of the hair color.

Now, back to the evolution of the name.  Another blogger started to refer to me as “Lulu”, and somehow, it fit.  It just stuck.  No real rhyme or reason in a real life context.  And maybe that was why.  A clean break, you know?

How did it evolve into Tallulah?  Actually, there is a post entitled, “A Proper Name” that gives explanation to that.  Tallulah has always been a name I wanted to name a daughter, if I ever had one.  I realize that’s not an option.  Tori Amos wrote a song called, “Talula”, which carried a special meaning for me.  To me, it spoke of the projection of the ideal woman, whether it was mine to begin with or not, and holding it as a standard, where if I don’t embody it, then I will be abandoned by the ones I love.  It’s kind of like “behave, or we’ll stop loving you”.

It fit with “Lulu” already, so that was that.  Stark was just something that paired well with it.  It was not intentional, as it just popped into my head, and it has nothing to do with Iron Man.  In fact, I have never seen the movie.  But, I will make a kind of weird admission that Robert Downey Jr. looks kind of hot in a GQ sort of way in the commercials.

Lesser known fact #5:
This is my first mental health blog, but not my first blog about my personal life.  In my younger years, I had been inclined to share things via short lived blogs on Livejournal, Darkjournal, Blogspot, Myspace, etc.  In fact, I have had flame wars with my husband via blog sites, obviously much prior to our relationship and subsequent marriage.  I found hard evidence that my ex had been cheating on me, via blog sites.  My husband found out he had a stalker (same woman as the one my ex cheated on me with).  And I’ve even had to end several friendships over flame wars on blogs.

The very last time I had a falling out on a blog site was when I was finished with blogging entirely.  I didn’t appreciate how a friend dragged an incident where she was completely in the wrong into a public light.  Then, she went as far as to try to spin it, and take the focus off facts and onto slanderous statements.  I quit after that.  We closed down all blogs, old email accounts, and most social networking sites.

And finally. . .

Lesser known fact #5:
My husband is well aware that I keep this blog.  He knows it has a public address.  He can access any and all of it’s content at any time.  We share passwords, and there aren’t supposed to be any secrets. Totally accessible. And he hasn’t read a word.

I’m amazed at the lack of curiosity. I don’t blame him though.

Happy blog-o-versary!

A Spectrum of Depression

Blank.

Each time I go to write, I get a blank.  Is it a blank, because I feel as if I don’t have anything important to say.  Or is it a blank, because if I make a certain statement, then it is real.  It becomes something tangible in this world, not only for me, but for others, and I will eventually have to come nose to nose with it.

I’ve grappled with this before.  Making certain admissions.  I do not lie as much as I turn a blind eye.  I rationalize.  I attempt to will it out of existence.  But, it is just not that easy.

Simply – I am in the midst of a depressive episode.

Why was that so hard?

There is a certain hesitation for me to use the word depression.  It is not a word that I use loosely; others use it as a part of their regular vernacular to describe sadness.  Depression is not sadness.  Depression has a depth beyond that of sadness, loneliness, isolation, self-loathing, or any other word.  No amount of words arranged in any way can accurately depict depression, and do it any kind of justice.

The hesitation to term it as depression stems from the idea that, if it doesn’t feel like the worst I’ve ever felt, then it’s not depression.  I have faced more gruesome depressions than this one.  With the admission comes a certain fear.  If I am to term it as a depressive episode, then it really will be such, in the worst sense of that word.  It could worsen the episode itself by acknowledging it.

Blank.  Again.

I have found it so interesting that Bipolar Disorder has this grandiose spectrum to encompass so many different types and symptoms.  However, they are exclusive to mania.  Depression is just depression, and it by itself is MDD, or unipolar depression.  Except, now psychologists are starting to recognize symptoms that are related to atypical depression.  However, by reading through these symptoms, it seems as if it may be exclusive to unipolar depression.

How much research has been done to distinguish unipolar depression from bipolar depression?  So far, the only thing that separates the two is the existence of hypomania / mania.  In theory, there wouldn’t be a difference.  I get the feeling that there is, and it is significant enough to have a separation between the two.

So far, the mood spectrum looks like this:

But, I really think that’s being too broad about it.  I fall smack dab in the middle of Bipolar II, no full on psychosis equals no full on mania, even if I have delusions.  I wouldn’t even suspect that I have full on mania, anyway.  Even with delusional thinking, I can honestly say that there has never been a time where I have been hypomanic where I lost touch with reality.

People with mood disorders are familiar with the depressive symptoms.  But, I’ll sum them up:

Sadness, anxiety, irritability,  Loss of energy,  Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness,  Loss of interest or enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable,  Difficulty concentrating,  Uncontrollable crying,  Difficulty making decisions,  Increased need for sleep,  Insomnia, Change in appetite causing weight loss or gain, Suicidal ideation, and / or Attempting suicide.

Symptoms of atypical depression:

Increased appetite, Unintentional weight gain. Increased desire to sleep. Heavy, leaden feeling in the arms and legs, Sensitivity to rejection or criticism that interferes with your social life or job, Relationship conflicts. Trouble maintaining long-lasting relationships, Fear of rejection that leads to avoiding relationships, Having depression that temporarily lifts with good news or positive events but returns later

These are all familiar.  I’ve bolded the ones that I’m experiencing at the moment.  It seems that I’m bordering on the more atypical part of depression.  This is the kind of depression that no one really tells you about.

I had mentioned my diagnosis of Bipolar II, resulting from non-psychotic “manias” clinically termed “hypomania”.  Fair enough.  Let me put a question out there.  Has anyone ever experienced a psychotic depressive episode?

I have.  And I have mentioned this to doctors on several occasions.  I will have breaks with reality when I am depressed.  I have severe delusions, almost completely the opposite of delusions of grandeur.  I will have severe paranoid episodes – in fact, I just had one.  I can have myself convinced that everyone hates me and is out to destroy my life.  It makes me combative.  I will sometimes invent conversations that never happened, just because my brain contorts a criticism.

Mayo Clinic appended this in fine print below their list of classical depressive symptoms:

When a person with psychosis is depressed, there may be delusions of guilt or worthlessness — perhaps there is an inaccurate belief of being ruined and penniless, or having committed a terrible crime.

Perhaps?  I’m nearly positive that exists because not enough research on bipolar depression versus unipolar depression exists to accurately differentiate between the two.

There are a few questions that remain.  Again, not to just the bipolar population but the unipolar population as well, have you ever experienced a psychotic depressive episode?  Is this more commonly found in MDD, BP II, or BP I?

Because if this is common amongst all populations, then the mood spectrum should look more like this:

Perhaps a more accurate model

Debt of Explanation

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?

Confessions of the Pain of Payment

Warning: This post has disturbing and profane content.  Be advised that this is not for the faint of heart or anyone who might consider themselves to be unstable.  This is in no way an advocation of the content within.  Read this at your own discretion.

Small, simple, safe price.
Rise the wake and carry me with all of my regrets.
This is not a small cut that scabs, and dries, and flakes, and heals.
And I am not afraid to die.
I’m not afraid to bleed, and fuck, and fight.
I want the pain of payment.
What’s left, but a section of pigmy size cuts.
Much like a slew of a thousand unwanted fucks.
Would you be my little cut?
Would you be my thousand fucks?
And make mark leaving space for the guilt to be liquid.
To fill, and spill over, and under my thoughts.
My sad, sorry, selfish cry out to the cutter.
I’m cutting trying to picture your black broken heart.
Love is not like anything.
Especially a fucking knife.

Just look at me, look at me now.

I’M A FAKE, I’M A FAKE, I’M A FAKE.
“I’m a Fake” – The Used

I’m not a role model.  I never wanted to be one.  I only wanted to be me.  I wanted to be honest with myself at the very least. The honesty starts here and now.

Monday, I caught myself sitting at the kitchen table, alone. My sitter had called off – again. I have problems making other arrangements, as you’ve read in One Day I’m Going to Grow Wings and Spitting Fire. Stress overwhelmed me, sucking the air from my lungs. I thought again, in my still silence, about the idea of having to resign my position. My mind drifted to Zen. He’d be at my side, through it all. Tears streamed down my face. And I crumbled.

A flashback struck me. I had remembered Stacy. She noticed my bandages. So, she showed me hers. I had never encountered another cutter. We sat on the ramps one grey day, in the pale fall light pouring in from the large windows. I confessed to her in whispers; I cut again. She inspected my gashes made by a steak knife. Dismantle a shaving razor. The cuts are cleaner, easier, sharper and can be mistaken for something else.

My little box of lies was born again. When I was a teenager, I had a jewelry box I called “My Little Box of Lies. It always contained a razor, a pregnancy test, and pills I was saving. Today, it is a 1970’s Altoids tin. It only contains four tiny razors and band-aids.

I looked for areas of my skin bracelets would cover. I drew the blade against my flesh and felt numbing pain of the blade. My mind quieted as I watched the blood rush out. I made another slice. And another. I ran the razor diagonally over the gashes. It was enough. I bandaged my still bleeding wounds and carefully hid my tools of self-destruction where they would never be noticed.

Tonight, I am loaded on Xanax. It’s still not enough to purge my mind of the week. My failures at parenting mocked me. My husband’s biting words hurt my heart and soul.

I’m a lazy bitch. I’m a liar. And I’m ungrateful. Totally ungrateful for everything I have been given.

I want the pain to go away. I found myself alone in my bedroom this time. No amount of pills or lies or acts will erase this. I pulled out the blade and retraced my healing wounds. I dug deeper, gushing more and more blood. Tears rolled down my face, blurring my vision slightly.

It still wasn’t enough. I needed more pain. I needed more testaments to my suffering with fresh flesh. I pressed the blade firmly against a new patch of skin and put as much pressure as I could with such a flimsy blade. It seared through me. Again. I desired more. I needed the painful lines to pour out and release the pain inside.

I am so ashamed. I am not the Lulu with a sordid past and insights. I am Lulu, with the band-aids over her life. Lulu, the liar, the fake with a closet full of skeletons and empty words now.

I’m Going to Die in the Walmart Parking Lot

This is installment one of “The 99 quirks of Lulu”.

I’m know these are not at BP related. Some of them are anxiety related. Others stem from life experiences. And the rest, well, I don’t know.

  1. I can only wear found or gifted jewelry. If I wear jewelry that I bought for myself, it always either breaks or gets lost.
  2. When sitting in a public place, I try to position myself so it would be difficult for a person to come up from behind me. We’s don’t want no surprises. No, seriously though. I’m pretty paranoid.
  3. I can’t make eye contact when I’m telling a story. It’s not symptomatic of anything. I just can’t take in any visual information when I’m trying to give out verbal information.
  4. I have to have a minimal amount of background noise when I’m working on something. The more tedious and repetitive the task is, the more sound I require.
  5. I have serious claustrophobia. I hate elevators. I will walk six flights of stairs to avoid it (I’ve done it). I have nightmares about getting trapped in a tiny space. No matter how badly I want to get home, I’ll let a crowded bus pass to get on a later, less crowded one.
  6. I am obsessed with office supplies. I cannot resist a sale. I hoard them.
  7. I am so particular about my pens that I will only use specific brands, with gel ink, and only in 0.7 tip.
  8. I have been wearing the same Capricorn pendant for 10 years. C.S. bought me a Taurus pendant at a craft sale 4 years ago and I haven’t taken it off since. I’m very superstitious about it. Every time I forgot to put it back on, something bad has happened. Last time was C.S.’s car accident.
  9. I practice natal astrology. It can peg a person every time.
  10. I put my hand in front of my mouth a lot. Ethology would call me a liar. But really, I’m just trying to hide.
  11. I have a really difficult time lying. It produces an intolerable physical response, so I don’t do it unless I really have to protect myself.
  12. I’ve bitten my bottom lip since I had teeth. I have pictures to prove it.
  13. I am so particular about shoes that I only buy tennis shoes every three years. And that’s after they start taking on water. This is partially because my feet are abnormally wide, although they’re not very big. It takes a lot to find a comfortable, stylish shoe.
  14. I honestly believe I’m going to die in some ridiculous, unbelievable accident or situation. I have this scenario about how I’m going to die in the Walmart parking lot. If you want to hear about it, ask in the comment section.
  15. The numbers 1, 5, and 14 follow me everywhere. The bus number I’m on – 5157. I’m on a bus everyday that starts with 51. My birthday 1/14. My husband’s birthday 5/14. Just strange as hell. Coincidentally, no lie, this just happened to be 15!
  16. I am a camel. I can hold it for hours on end. Longest held? 16 hours. I was 13, and stuck in a car with my parents on the way to Florida who refused to stop until we got there. By Virginia, everything below my waist was numb.
  17. I have always had a problem regulating body functions. I can’t fall asleep, and then I can’t wake up. I am always thirsty, but I have difficulty knowing when I’m hungry. Sometimes, if I’m busy enough, I’ll forget to eat until I have hunger pains.
  18. I have an incredible internal clock. I always know what time it is. Or maybe I’m just very observant of the position of the sun.
  19. I yell at inanimate objects.
  20. I can get a vibe from someone and know instantly if we’re incompatible. I don’t discriminate. I can be on the phone or over the internet and know. It is in the way a person addresses me.
  21. I am the only person that does the dishes and folds the laundry. It has to be done in a certain way. My clothes have to be sorted by graphic tee’s, solid tees, and color. My jeans are assorted by thickness.
  22. I have twilight blindness. I can’t see things correctly during that time of day.
  23. I carry my person journal on my person at all times.  You never know when you’ll be inspired.  You also never know when someone wants to take a peek at your dirty little secrets.
  24. I used to make wishes.  My wishes have always come true, but in a Twilight Zone kind of way.  There was always some kind of catch that ruined it all.  Remember the episode about the man who just wanted to be left alone to read his books?  And he got his wish, but then his glasses broke and he was all alone.  It’s a lot like that.  So I don’t anymore because I know there will be consequences.
  25. I have a cat that wipes my tears away when I cry.  He paws my face without claws.
  26. I think it’s ridiculous to give a kid a weird first name.  So, in case my kid want a weird name, I gave him a weird middle name.
  27. I think the most random thoughts.  For instance, my husband and I were once talking about daily activities that burn calories.  I asked him, “How many calories do you think a seizure burns?”  Today, we were talking about how we were going to manage to find a girlfriend for another friend.  He’s kind of nerdy, so I said, “Maybe I should start telling these girls he has money?  Do you think that would help?  It worked for Bill Gates!  How much money does someone have to have before they stop being a nerd?”  Honestly, I want to know these things.
  28. Flashing lights drive me nuts.  Imagine me verses a strobe light.  I have a message indicator that is driving me crazy on my voicemail right now.  But I just don’t feel like listening to it.
  29. I have to sleep with my feet outside of the covers.  My feet are my temperature control.  If they’re too hot, then I’m too hot.
  30. I am almost always barefoot when I can help it.  You see, my depth perception is terrible.  In order to not trip and fall all of the time, I use the sensations in my feet to guide me.
  31. I count stairs.  I can tell you the amount of stairs that are on every stairwell that I encounter frequently.  13 in my house.  14 in my parent’s basement and 16 to the upstairs.  And 10 each going up each floor at work, with eight leading into the building.
  32. Every clock I have that isn’t set to a satelight is set randomly ahead.  I don’t know the real time, so I have to assume that what I’m looking at is the real time.  This is how I trick myself into being early.
  33. I am an organizational freak, not a neat freak.  Everything in it’s right place.  I want to know where I can find anything on a moments notice.
  34. I am extremely scheduled.  I have to do things at certain times or else my day isn’t going to go right.
  35. I am obsessed with the weather.  Especially during hurricane season.  It is absolutely fascinating.
  36. I collect odd things from places I travel to.  In fact, I have sand from Myrtle Beach in a baby food jar with a little ceramic turtle with a little straw hat sitting on my desk.  I went to a theme park in California that was selling as many rocks as you could fit in a tiny bag with a drawstring.  I have a collection of decorative boxes from various places.
  37. Old world maps tickle my fancy.  It’s amazing to see how differently people viewed the world in those days.
  38. I believe in the power of hematite.  Hematite supposedly absorbs negative energy.  To clear the energy from the hematite, you bury it in the ground for several days to return it back to the earth.  I actually had a hematite ring shatter once.  I was going through a really bad time.
  39. I cannot spill a drink without freaking out about it.
  40. I hate the smell of raw onions.  It is intolerable.
  41. Perfume is my best friend.  I have this fear that I smell bad.  So everything I use is scented.  Lotion, bodywash, shampoo, deodorant, body spray, perfume, anything you can name.
  42. I don’t like wearing jeans.  I prefer skirts and what would be considered a house dress.  But, I live in Pennsylvania and we have two seasons here.  Winter and construction, also known as summer.  Jeans are required dress.
  43. I cannot stand getting my face went unless I’m fully submerged.  That means, I hate any kind of precipitation, with the exception of a good summer downpour.  Now that’s a way to get wet!
  44. I can’t stand when my husband uses my toothbrush or razor.  So I intentionally buy pink colored items so he doesn’t use them.  It’s not manly.
  45. Everytime I dye my hair, I always have to do a trim.  So, I take a sample of the hair and I keep it in a ziplock with the date on it.  That way, I can always keep an assessment of my hair color at any period of time.
  46. I like having certain imperfections.  My hair is cut choppy and asymmetrical with a weird part for a reason.  I love the scars that I didn’t inflict upon myself.  I have stretch marks all over my body for various reasons (growth spurts, pregnancy, etc).  I love when my dark blonde roots come in against my white blonde hair.  And I especially love my eyes.  They are each split in half in color.  One part is green-gold and the other part is blue grey.  Maybe people think I look like a mess, but I think I look real.
  47. The noise of someone biting their nails is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  Ugh.
  48. I can predict the weather based on previous injuries.  When my hips and knees hurt, a serious storm is coming.  I’ve never been wrong.
I imagine you have quirks too.  Maybe you identify with some of mine.  So tell me, what are yours?

Pillbox

After working through numerous scheduling conflicts, I finally had my visit with the psychiatrist today. And I finally had a chance to express to him everything that has been going on.

His first reaction was not what I had expected. Instead of generalized anxiety disorder or a medication reaction, my doctor seems to think I’ve had underlying panic disorder. He wanted to change my antidepressant to Effexor. I very kindly reminded him that my depression had caused significant weight gain in a short time. He changed his sights to Prozac. I stopped him there.

I didn’t think it was the antidepressant that was the problem. We just changed the dosage on my Wellbutrin and there was no change. None. Not better and not worse. But we haven’t moved anything around with my mood stabilizer or my anti-anxiety meds in six months or more. I told him that irritability was always the calling card of destabilization. And I’ve been a firecracker lately.

So I have some new things to add to my pillbox. Xanax, 1 mg 3 times daily, and temazepam 30 mg once daily. C.S. added a couple of nutraceutical add-ons to help.

My daily regimen looks as such:

Morning:
300mg Wellbutrin
1 capsule Cogni-flex
1 capsule Ubiquinol
1 capsule Adrenomend
1mg Xanax
100mg Lamictal

Afternoon:
1mg Xanax

Bedtime:
1mg Xanax
30mg Temazepam
150mg Lamictal
1 tablet Orthosept
1 capsule Quell
1 capsule L-glutithione
1 capsule Seditol

As needed:
2 puffs Ventolin
1 capsule Maxalt

Note: The nutraceuticals are not all aimed at mood support. I take some for heart support, weight management, and immune support. Some psychiatric medications lower white blood cell count and leave a person susceptible to infection.

I am also aware of the potentially dangerous interactions between several of these medications. Don’t worry. Dr. Husband (with some sarcasm) has vowed to look after me. Mainly, we’re concerned with too much sedation. Orthocept increrases Xanax and Xanax and Temazepam are both benzo’s. Temazepam isn’t forever – it’s temporarily treating the insomnia until we can get things under control$

If you see something I might have missed, let me know.

The Little Box of Lies

Let me tell you the tale that led to this post.

My husband and I pulled up to the gas station. He said, “If I pump, will you run on and grab the cigarettes?” That is usually the plan, and I hopped to it. When I got inside, I opened my wallet and remembered. This morning, T.D. snatched my debit card out of my purse. I grabbed it off of him, and thought I threw it in the blackhole that is my purse.

I took my bag back to the car and tore through it. C.S. Then informs me that the pump isn’t accepting his card because it’s too worn. My anxiety flaired up, “It’s not here. It has to be at home.”

C.S. huffed, “I guess we have to go back home and get it. Where is it?”

I answered in a panicked voice, “I don’t know. I have to look.”
I ripped through the house in a panic. Not on the table, not on the bookshelf, not in the basket, not anywhere. I dumped my purse on the sofa and still there was no sign of it. C.S. was sitting in the car staring at me. Time and patience was wearing out. I made the last ditch effort and rechecked my wallet. It was there I discovered that my debit card was in another compartment of my wallet. It had been with me the whole time.

I got back in the car and C.S. asked, “Where was it?”

“Bookcase,”I lied.

Everybody lies.

Sometimes, we don’t intentionally lie. It just happens. But then, there are other other times.

I am about the bluntest person you would ever meet. I don’t play games and I don’t manipulate. I don’t out and out lie. In fact, I am pretty much incapable of lying. It actually causes physical and emotional distress.

However, I have been known to drop little white lies. I have lied to avoid a useless argument. I have deceived people to protect myself. And I have lied to save myself from a serious consequence.

How many lies do we tell in a day? To others? To ourselves?

I find myself lying in small ways everyday. For awhile, I lied to myself about my weight gain. I lied to myself when I said that I’d start my diet tomorrow, with every single cookie.

I lie to my husband. Usually about stupid stuff because I didn’t want to start an argument. His is the only opinion in the world that I care about. So I don’t want to tell him that I need that nap in the afternoon. Or tell him anything else that would change his opinion of me. That’s sad, really sad. But it’s the truth.

I have a lot of confessing to do. In private.

Do we all really lie? And what about?

Holding My Medicine Hostage

If only there were chains...

Today was the big day. I was rescheduled to see my psychiatrist’s nurse. I had to beg my mother to babysit T.D. and bribe my father to drive me the 15 miles up there in rush hour traffic, but I made it.

Here’s the big deal about going to see my pdoc. He’s located 15 miles away, I don’t have access to a car because C.S. takes it to work, and I have no one to watch T.D.

To be honest, I don’t have a great relationship with my parents or siblings. We don’t feud anymore, but decades of doing so has left our relationships strained. The state of our relationship only matters a little. They aren’t very giving people, and each “favor” ends up being a debt that can be called for repayment at any time. I’ve known more understanding loan sharks.

My friends work. And I’m also very particular about who watches my son. I prefer mothers, experienced nannies and babysitters, or female teachers. Those seem like high standards for babysitting a kid for an hour, but I consider it to be reasonable for a child with PDD-NOS and a significant speech delay. Would you leave your baby with someone with limited experience with babies? Though T.D. Is not quite a baby chronologically or physically, the same principals apply.

I actually made it there early, despite the traffic. But, it was certainly a “hurry up and wait” situation. Not only did I end up waiting the 15 minutes that I was early, I waited an additional 15 minutes past my appointment time. That is 45 minutes that my father had to wait around in the parking lot for me.

And all for what? Exactly what I predicted – a pitiful, unproductive, and largely inconvenient appointment with a nurse practitioner who probably shouldn’t be dealing with the likes of me.

I outlined the problems and ineffectiveness of my medication very clearly for her:

      I’ve been so depressed that I gained 10 lbs in three months. She answered,

“That kind of weight gain is practically impossible on Lamictal and especially Wellbutrin.”

      Yeah, I know. Both of them are notorious for weight loss. I have a genetic predisposition for extreme weight gain. That’s why I chose them.

My anxiety is unmanageable. I have regular anxiety attacks over every little thing. I’ve developed migraines over this again.

I don’t sleep anymore, apparently. I’ve been taking supplements for insomnia and now they don’t work. I started taking over-the-counter medication for it, but you can only take that in moderation without risking frying your liver. So, now I’m stuck with increasing sleeplessness.

It’s been about 6 hours a night off and on for two months now, and has been every night for the last week. And some nights, it’s 5 or less. Last night, I slept 4 and a half hours. I used to become hypomanic when this occurred. Now, my brain and my body are so tired that I am in a perpetual fog where I am completely dysfunctional.

    My moods are all over the place and I am highly reactive. This began slowly about two weeks ago. It started as only certain things that could trigger an unpredictable response. I would laugh hysterically, cry uncontrollably, or fly into a fit of rage at the drop of a hat, for seemingly little reason. Now, it’s progressed into constant states of arousal. I’m either delirious with hilarity, extremely irritated, or crippled with depression.

The nurses solution? Increase the dose of Wellbutrin and let the doctor determine the rest two weeks from now. My suspicion? She’s not allowed to adjust any medication other than antidepressants.

So now I take my medicine like a good girl and hope that I can manage my life within my two week period of the waiting game.

I decided that I hate nurse practitioners masquerading as psychiatrists more than I hate doctors.

Ugh.