Bipolar ThoughtsPersonal Relationships

About a two years ago I had my ECT treatment.

The story leading up to that is simple: I was doing poorly, attempted suicide on my 30th birthday. Went to my shrink the next day and he sent me to the ECT guru of the Beaumont system the following Monday. That afternoon I checked into Beaumont Royal Oak’s psych ward and I would remain there for a week; 5 nights and 6 days.

My very first night there I had an unexpected and very welcomed guest. I believe the very next night I had some members of my immediate family stop by and visit me. I was incredibly nervous about being there. I hate to sleep away from my bed and away from my wife. I often have very horrifying sleep and she is always there to wake me and comfort me when I need it. But now, I was sleeping next to a man in his 90’s that was completely deaf. Any nighttime disturbance would be assuaged by a nurse, possibly. And I doubt he/ she would want to cuddle with me.

AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepressionManiaObsessionsPersonal History

I think people might get confused a bit when I say things like “I’m symptom free” or use the word “remission”.

The truth is those things don’t exist. I am never totally ok.

I haven’t experienced the crushing extremes of bipolar in about 10 months. But just a couple days ago I was reminded that exactly a year ago right now I was in a crippling depression and was avoiding people and drinking heavily. And, truth be told, I avoided people and felt depressed at times during this summer as well.

I still have the mood swings, even the extreme ones. I still experience anxiety, insomnia, irritability. I still find my mind racing, or find it difficult to get out of bed.

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Bipolar ThoughtsObsessionsSuicide

I had a strange, but not at all uncommon experience driving my car this afternoon.

I was stopped at the train-tracks today. I was second in line, and therefore saw the gates coming down. The car in front of me decided he didn’t want to wait and drove around the downed gates before the train came. And so I pulled up very close to the gate myself.

And as soon as I saw his car go I couldn’t stop thinking about his car being crushed, and then I couldn’t stop about my own being crushed.

I assume that isn’t uncommon. I think this is a common fantasy people have; same as the desire to jump from a high open location.

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Bipolar ThoughtsDepressionMania

I’ve only really had a couple dozen nights of good sleep since early March.

A lot of that has been simply the cessation of my sleeping pill. Insomnia always was, and probably always will be a problem for me. I tend to have a reputation for knowing a lot of trivia, and whenever someone asks me how I know something, I always respond with ‘insomnia’. And it is true! I have spent countless hours going down countless rabbit holes while the sun was asleep.

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Bipolar ThoughtsDepression

I have these small, thin but long, slightly raised white lines on the left side of my chest and torso. There are seven of them. They are barely visible, especially in the winter (then tend to pop more if I have even the slightest tan). I doubt any of you have ever noticed them if you ever happened to see me without a shirt, a situation I am rarely in.

I only ever notice them, or think about them, when I am in the shower. They are very noticeable to the touch. They are quite raised for their diminutive size. It is possible something about the water or soap makes them more perceptible to touch as well.

I got these scars in June, 2013.

I had been off of work since the last week in February. I had been out of the hospital day program I was enrolled in for over a month. I had been alone all day everyday, drinking, abusing pills, struggling to grapple with the whirlwind few months that included a complete break, a serious suicide attempt, hospitalization, and the heavy burden now being placed on my brand new wife.

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Bipolar ThoughtsSuicide

54,589

That was the most motor vehicular related deaths ever recorded in a single year in the USA, in 1972.

The federal government proclaimed motor vehicular deaths as a public health issue and has since thrown billions of dollars at the problem. And it worked! Not only have those deaths sharply decreased to 32,675 in 2014, they have done so despite the fact that we now drive many more miles with more cars on the road. There has been nearly a 215% increase in the amount of miles driven since 1972, but the mortality rate has dropped over 40%.

That is a truly amazing thing and many people consider it the greatest achievement of the public health works of the 20th century.

That’s difficult to quantify, so I won’t try, however it is still amazing.

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Bipolar ThoughtsObsessionsUncategorized

I don’t know why this didn’t publish on my Facebook on Wednesday, so I am reposting this again today:

 

Have you ever experienced a moment so intense or unexpected that it feels as if you can feel the vibrations of fear and anxiety?

I don’t mean physically, per se, although that might also be true. What I am referring to is like how it feels when you look at this image:

Two things are immediately juxtaposed that your brain cannot rationalize.

I imagine that is how a lot of people felt right after the election, how they still feel about it, how I felt as well. Like my lifelong experience told me something was completely impossible, and then it happened. Maybe like watching a magic trick that is so realistic it actually frightens you instead of dazzles you. An experience that is too real to be fake but not possibly true.

Except it is true. That is what makes it so difficult to swallow, what intensifies those vibrations.

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Bipolar ThoughtsObsessions

Have you ever experienced a moment so intense or unexpected that it feels as if you can feel the vibrations of fear and anxiety?

I don’t mean physically, per se, although that might also be true. What I am referring to is like how it feels when you look at this image:

Two things are immediately juxtaposed that your brain cannot rationalize.

I imagine that is how a lot of people felt right after the election, how they still feel about it, how I felt as well. Like my lifelong experience told me something was completely impossible, and then it happened. Maybe like watching a magic trick that is so realistic it actually frightens you instead of dazzles you. An experience that is too real to be fake but not possibly true.

Except it is true. That is what makes it so difficult to swallow, what intensifies those vibrations.

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Bipolar ThoughtsDepressionMedicationUncategorized

Just thought I would share a quick mini post from my phone. I know I didn’t post at all this week, it has been a bad week, bad month really. 

So this is the news. I just took a trazadone, lithium, and klonopin. The same concoction I was on before I quit the meds. 

I have been tracking my mood for three weeks on a couple and it is showing a steady low mood witha some serious swings the last couple days. 

I hope to stay on top of this and manage it before it becomes an issue. 

I’ll get into the specifics in another post, but for now, it is 10pm, I took all my pills, that is where I’m at. 

Have a good night!

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Bipolar ThoughtsBlogMedicationParenting

I took my sleeping pill, Trazadone, for the first time in months yesterday.

The decision came before Jocelyn had her several meltdowns I mentioned in the last blog. I was actually planning on taking one on the night of her first meltdown. It was one of the first things I told my wife when I got home from work. But alas, Jocelyn had other plans.

The great part: I slept through the night.

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