Archive for cyclothymia

When Conformity Isn’t The Best Medicine

Posted in anxiety disorders, biolar disorder with tags , , , , , , , on October 27, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

Now, I don’t purposely let things go in one ear and out the other, but due to attention span and short term memory issues, I may think I read something but actually dreamt it or I may take things out of context. For this reason, I name no names (as I can’t really remember who said what or wrote what) and use no quote marks. I just seem to recall a post or comment or something about how the mentally ill should not expect the world to accommodate us, we should feel obligated to conform to the McMuggle world.

I can’t begin to say how strongly (venomously) I disagree with this mentality. Especially coming from a mental health community.

It never ceases to amaze me how the politically correct Nazis lobby against everything from jokes about mental retardation to how the use of the word “gay” in the context of scoffing at something silly as bias against the LGBT (did I miss a letter there?IDK) community. We have the Americans With Disability Act to ensure no one is rejected for a job due to their disability as long as they are qualified and able. Bathrooms and buildings have to be wheelchair accessible. People/kids with diabetes are allowed an extra break to eat a certain food if their blood sugar drops or whatever.

This is all well and good, I am not saying anything to the contrary.

BUT, and I really wish I could enlarge that a thousand times…What protection against discrimination do the mentally ill have? What accommodations are made to our illness so that we can hold jobs and function amongst people with the same expectations when we are at a disadvantage?

The answer, of course, is none. Oh, the law may say otherwise but let’s face it. People can be scum. And in all fairness…It makes more sense to hire someone with an impeccable work record as opposed to someone who has so many gaps in their history due to mental instability it could strain pasta. The problem with this is…we are never able to escape our past,never given a clean slate. We are lepers.

Conforming does not change this. Our pasts ARE held against us. No one cares if you went bankrupt due to a manic episode. No one cares that the six months you had no job, you were holed up in a crippling depression barely able to draw breath. Mental illness is the bastard child of the medical community.

So here’s a thought…Rather than have us bury ourselves in denial by conforming to unfair expectations…How about we educate society about mental illness? Ignorance can be cured. You will not sway all, but with the correct information…A difference can be made.

(Steps down off soapbox, dusts self off.)

Okay, now the reasoning behind that rant.

Since my kid was born, I have tried so very hard to adapt to what is considered “normal” , what the shrink says is “healthy”. For someone who is a night owl and hates mornings, this has been…grueling. Going to bed before 1 a.m. depresses me. Getting up before nine a.m. depresses me. But I’ve been on auto pilot for six years and the depression has gotten worse. I feel bankrupt when all is said and done. There is no me left because I’ve lost myself in this “be normal” thing.

So what is normal? Because to say that 9-5 is the norm for everyone is stupid. Why should we all be forced to keep the same schedule, including when we sleep.

My last post, I believe, was Sunday night/Monday morning when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep so I vented. I kept trying to lay down, go back to sleep. (Not so easy with a six year old elbow in your head.) It wasn’t working. So I fought the cold, escaped the warm blankets…And stayed up. I did laundry. I watched my new shows. By five a.m. I was getting tired but it seemed pointless to risk oversleeping so she’d be late for school. I remained awake.

Ya know what? My mood was better, my patience better, my humor better, for when she got up. So much easier to be already awake at 7 a.m. than peel cobwebs off my brain just waking up. Maybe it’s part of my faulty wiring, maybe it’s circadian, I don’t know. It’s just always been like that for me. I used to work at 5:30 in the morning and I couldn’t seem to function properly getting up early. So I’d stay up all night then sleep when I got home. And it worked well.

So yeah, I stayed up all night, got her off to school, watched some shows. Felt pretty good about all the little things I’d gotten done. By 11 a.m. the anxiety over school pick up started in. So did the “omg, I am gonna be a bitch if I don’t get a little sleep” feeling.  I set the alarm, curled under the blanket, and eventually drifted off. I woke up at 1 p.m. having only slept seventy minutes, waking before the alarm, and once I shook off the cobwebs..I felt pretty damn good. Better than when I get 8 hours of sleep at night.

I was more patient with Spook. We did her homework. I played with her a bit. We ate supper, she got a bath, I gave her ice cream for being so good. (Then she decided she’d met her goodness quota and started spewing pea soup). Point is…Most days by six p.m., I’ve been up 11 hours, relentlessly pounded with anxiety and outside stresses so I often can’t bring myself to run her a bath, I throw her in the shower with me. But because I had that seventy minute nap…I wasn’t so overly taxed.

By 8 p.m. exhaustion set in and my mood crashed. I took xanax and restoril. It didn’t kick in until after 11 p.m. I slept most of the night aside from the normal wake cycle. Got up this morning.

So maybe conforming isn’t the best medicine when it goes against who you naturally are. Maybe not adhering to the so called “normal” schedule of society isn’t the answer for some of us. Making it some facet of bipolar or depression is insulting. Especially when I’ve wasted all this time trying to be something I’m really not. Maybe a few nights a week I DON’T sleep all night but nap in the morning. So what? If it energizes me more, makes me more tolerant of my child instead of so stressed, why is wrong?


Think outside the box, color outside the lines. Stop feeling obligated to be what everyone else is. Sleep when you are tired. Be awake when you feel awake. Not everything is byproduct of bipolar.

Would I like to sleep six solid hours without waking once? Of course.

But since that’s not happening right now…Maybe this outside the box thinking and schedule is just what I need so I don’t feel stretched so thin and unable to do things I enjoy.

Now, we return to the regularly scheduled programming of anxiety and “Ugh, I gotta go deal with R.”

Can’t be helped. I am almost out of smokes and that is NOT a good thing. Heads will roll. Not in the awesome Judas Priest way, either.

So…fuck conformity, fuck sleep disturbance, fuck McMuggles and fuck normal.

Four days til Halloween, people. GIMME CANDY.

Evil needs candy, too. Pop Rocks, cream soda flavored Dum-dums, and flavored Tootsie Rolls are favored. 🙂


Siamese Clown Lips

Posted in biolar disorder with tags , , , , on June 16, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

WTF, right? Spook declared this morning, “I want us to be Siamese Twins!” Then she proceeded to put my hair into piggy tails and slather bright pink lipstick on me coated with waxy lip gloss and green eyeshadow. Welcome to the horror show. But it warded off more tantrums, of which she had four right out of the gate. She saw a spider, freaked. I caught one of the outside feral cats and she spazzed because it won’t come near her. I tried to explain it’s because she’s loud and stomps around and scares them. That set her off and she began to yap and shriek and whine. Enter panic and irritation. NOISE is the trigger. It’s not her exclusively. It’s just too much noise. Yesterday she was quiet and polit and loving. Today she’s loud and bossy and obnoxious. I’m allergic to that shit.

I did as intended last night and cryptified around 8 p.m. Thought I’d drift off easily. Ha. I was still awake at 10:30. No sooner than I started to drift off finally, my kid was up. Standing beside my bed. Like some horror movie, minus a stabby object. Talk about startling me. And so she climbed into bed and thus I had to begin the entire process of trying to fall asleep again.

Once I did sleep…OMG, the bizarre dream started in . One involved The Donor. I am haunted by his propensity for expensive exotic foods. I dreamed we went shopping for food and the bill came to $80 and he’d snuck this baby alligator onto the conveyor. YES, three feet long of dead gator. And I was on about,”Don’t eat that around me, that is disgusting. I don’t even want to see the carcass in the trash!” It got even weirder then because while he ate gator, I was eating this big thick steak. AND I FUCKING HATE STEAK. Dear God, I’d rather have had a nightmare about Freddy Kruger fileting me with his claw hand.

I can no longer blame the dreams on Latarda. (YES I SAID IT AND FUCK YOUR POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, “to retard” means “to hinder” thus Latarda hindered my sanity). Which means Trileptal brought it all on as there were few dreams prior to that. Maybe by itself it wouldn’t. Maybe it’s the other meds combining. This doctor seems to think he knows everything and I don’t think any of them truly know the potential side effects of med combos. I know it’s made sleep less comforting for me.

I need to do housework. What I am going to do (other than try to surreptitiously wipe this awful candle wax off my mouth) is watch Grey’s Anatomy and enjoy the cool gloomy day. I took out the trash. That’s one thing accomplished. Now I rest on my laurels and maybe I’ll accomplish other stuff by taking the pressure off myself.

If not…Unfolded laundry never killed anyone.

Not so wonder mom

Posted in anxiety disorders, biolar disorder with tags , , , , on May 10, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

We are in the middle of a big thunderstorm, lightning and thunder and all that. I should unplug my stuff yet I never do. Maybe I am tempting fate. Let it all burn. I’m an expert at starting from scratch. Not because I don’t get attached t0 things sentimentally but because I usually manage to save that which matters most and I can replace the rest. (I still have a “bitch goddess” keychain a friend bought for me when I was 15 but most of my stuff is…um, secondhand and not original.)  Knowing how gleeful R gets when there’s a storm cos it means fried electronics I should care more. Yet as long as we don’t burn up, I really don’t. I don’t have the frigging energy left. Or the money to fix shit, anyway.

My mother’s day has been…Sucky. I mowed the lawn. Yayyyy, what a gift to me. I planted the flowers I was given for mother’s day. My kid promptly dug them up and killed them all then declared I should buy her something. They let them make little totes at Sunday school that say “I love mom” and she’s spent the entire day screaming that it’s hers when obviously it was meant to be a gift for the moms. The self absorption, lack of empathy, and complete absence of remorse this child has makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out with fish hooks. Because while it may just be a kid thing, it could also signify the next gen sociopath on Deadly Women, (If you want a ray of sunshine, you’ve come to the wrong blog space.) I’m frustrated and yeah, hurt, that my kid cares more for herself than she does for me.

And she’s still at it, in spite of time out and grounding. All tears about how I hurt her feelings by not letting her have the bag that says “mom”. How I am holding a grudge over her murdering my flowers and should just buy her candy cos she said she’s sorry. I can deal with psychopaths. Sociopathy, not so much. I guess I am too harsh on her but…I’ve seen this behavior left unchecked and it never turns out well. So I keep trying to make a dent and failing and feeling shitty every single day of my life in addition to the mental stuff.

The twonk who says parenting isn’t a job should be shot before a firing squad. It’s a thankless job you can never get right no matter how hard you try. And while I am grateful that whatever saw that I got my dream of having a child…the mental health deities have not rendered me much sanity with which to parent. Especially not this particular child who while beautiful and smart and capable of being very sweet…is actually an expert in manipulation and guilt trips.


Hardly. There are those who say, “Well, you’re managing so how bad off can you be.” Then those who say, “Wow, considering all you have to deal with, you’re doing great.”
I’m…managing. It’s bad a lot of days and some days, it’s very bad. I’m pretty down on myself as a parent and I think maybe I deserve a little more credit from myself. I’m not perfect but I am making the effort and I am learning as I go along. Mainly, I’m staying the course and that says a lot.
But I’ve come to realize my biggest flaw is being inconsistent. And that all links right back to the instability of bipolar. I stand firm on “potentially fatal” things like sticking forks in outlets or running into traffic. But depending on mind frame and anxieties, I will threaten to ground her, then back down when her being inside is resulting in me freaking out from the noise. If I am manic, I will be bouncing off walls, playing water gun fights and such with her and ten different neighbor kids, I’ll forget all my boundaries and rules. If I am depressed, I won’t leave the house, get dressed (she’s asked more than once, “are you gonna take me to school in your pajamas again?) or take her to school events or friends’ birthday parties.
It’s hard to be consistent with her when I can’t even do it for myself.
So to some extent, I guess her defiance is my own fault. I deserve it, and all the judgments that come with it.
But I am trying.
I mean, there are people without any of my mental issues or financial constraints that would have crumbled by now. I’m still here, playing the hand I was dealt, doing the best I can for her.
And always trying to do better even if I fail. Gotta count for something.

There are days, like today, where she pushes the envelope so much it’s all I can do not to run screaming down the street. And if there’s a parent out there who says they’ve never had that fleeting thought when a kid misbehaves…They’re a fucking liar. Of course,you don’t abandon your kid(s). But the desire to do so when you’re struggling and drowning and they prove to be ungrateful rude little jerks…That’s natural and normal. No one wants to be treated like shit. When it’s your kid who does it in spite of you busting your ass to do good by them…
It’s food for the depression and anxiety.

Today I am being devoured. Which maybe is my punishment because hey, my uterus served its function, what gives me the right to expect a day of gratitude. (And yeah, a bit of sarcasm, but also, I know how the industries profit from flowers and card sales, so it has become bastardized.) I just…I dunno what I’d hoped for. It wasn’t any different even when the donor was here. He didn’t even think to buy me a gift or flower and Spook was too little to do it. Mother’s day can fuck off. I called my mom to say the usual platitudes but got compared to my sister who bought gifts because she’s “working” and all it was all I could do not to scream bloody murder…Because while we all got mother’s day gifts, mom and sis now have no food for the next week which left our dad to buying them some food. It’s so fucked up, I don’t even like to acknowledge it. They have three times the income I do (five times, actually) and yet while they blow money on superfluous shit, I’m pawning dvds to put gas in the car. Yeah, awesome, fuck you, family from hell. *(Yes, I should have let them put gas in the car as my mother’s day gift but, omg, the toilet lid broke so rather than face three weeks of pinched butts, I thought, I will just request that as my mother’s day present. How fucking lovely.)

Hard to believe how one child can wear me down so totally in the space of ten hours. She’s exhausting. She takes but rarely gives. She demands but does not reciprocate. Everyone would have me belief it’s normal childhood behavior but my gut is telling me this is beyond the superficiality most kids experience. I think because she doesn’t have a dad in her life, she’s become hateful towards me thus wants to make me go over the edge.

Insane? Maybe. Maybe not.

If people had really cared about me having a good mother’s day, they’d have brought me a big ass bottle of cake vodka. Because if your mood is shit, and your outer circumstances are shit…Alcohol will either improve your ability to endure or put you into a nice sleep.

Sucks. Because after I mowed the yard, I took a cool down shower, I looked out and thought, wow, this yard looks amazing, then I watched some shows and it was seeming ok in a low way…But the more the child hammers at my brain the worse I feel. I shouldn’t give her that much power and yet…She’s eating my soul. I’d do anything for her but she cannot have my soul.

I sold it to the mental illness years ago so she will starve.

I despise the way anxiety and mood can distort even that which normally gives us hope and pleasure. Rationality means fuck all when you’re this low.

The Disability Of Mental Illness

Posted in mental illness with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

As I await response on whether my disability will be denied or extended (and please, no horror stories about how yours was cut off, because I know it can happen to me and it just makes it all worse, freaked out enough) I’ve come to ponder the question:
Is mental illness truly a disability?

There is a huge difference between having a singular diagnosis which responds well to one medication and stabilizing or spending 20 plus years of your life on a never ending medi go round because you have so many diagnoses none of the meds will work in concert.
You get a little better. You slide back. You go manic. You slip into a months long depression. Rinse, lather, repeat. Now toss in the fact I’m only “functional” for about four months of the year (used to be spring and summer) and there are days when the anxiety and paranoia have me literally ready to physically launch myself at someone who sets me off…
I’d call it a disability.
What does an employer want more than anything from an employee?
Stability. Half the time they don’t care if you have the IQ of pocket lint. If you show up as scheduled without fail and mimic doing a half assed job…You’re golden.
If you bounce off walls, excel, then for months sink into this slovenly tear streaked “hiding in the bathroom” trainwreck who can’t complete a simple task to par…It doesn’t matter how skilled or smart you are.
You’re unstable.
You don’t meet criteria one for employment.

With other disabilities, employers will make concessions, accessibility, compromises. If you use a wheelchair, they obviously don’t expect you to stand. If you’re diabetic and need to dash off because your blood sugar’s gone wonky, they don’t fire you for being a flake. If you have cancer and aren’t feeling well due to treatment, they won’t castigate you for calling off or throwing up on the floor.
(And no, I am not saying mental illness is worse than cancer because any chronic illness sucks equally for the person going through it.)
I’ve never had a job where I got “mental health days”.
“I can’t stop crying and I think people are going to attack me so I may need to stay home to avoid ya know, getting violent.”
“I’m manic and thinking it’d be a good idea to table dance at work while demanding dollar bills be stuffed into my bra, perhaps today is not a good day…”
“My meds make me too groggy to be coherent.”
“My others meds are making me nauseous and I have to throw up every five minutes.”

Oh, nooo, those are not legitimate reasons. It is not an illness to employers, or for that matter, the general populace.
You are weak, lazy, making excuses, you don’t want to grow up, you don’t want to take responsibility, you’re milking the system…
Anything but facing the fact that mental illness is real and it can happen to anyone, including the naysayers. If they acknowledge that it might be contagious and put them at risk.
So suck it up and quit being a baby.
(All the while your fight or flight response is on high alert, you’re terrified, and can’t think straight so you assume the fetal position in a stock room-true story)
Nope, not at a problem at all, when your mind is all fucked up. Totally capable of rational thought and reaction.
Hey, here’s an idea. Hire people drunk off their asses, stoned out of their gourds or hopped on drugs. Then see if they can do a good job.
Because like it or not, mental illness is like being under the influence. Your reactions, your thoughts processes, coping abilities…it all hinges on your brain interpreting situations correctly and sending the proper impulses to respond in kind.
No more than one can “talk” themselves sober, a mentally ill person cannot talk themselves out of imbalanced brain chemicals. We may learn techniques in therapy to minimize or at least postpone some meltdowns, but for every one of those, there are ten failures. To fail in front of others and have your intelligence questioned when the problem is illness, not a matter of smarts, is insult to injury.
If my brain processed things properly so I could respond properly, I’d hardly call it a disability. It’d be an annoyance like my allergies.
Te fact is affects every aspect of my life, including the “fun” stuff, tells me it’s no affectation, no dramatization. I have twenty years of records to prove something’s off kilter.

Wanting to be stable and make a contribution and have some self esteem is not the same as being capable of it. It seems like a matter of positive thought and rah rah rah I CAN do this.
Until you live inside a mind with its circuits crossed.
Then you realize how futile it can be. You fight your hardest and have more failures than wins. It takes a toll on your self esteem, your motivation, even your hope for things to improve.
How is it not a disability to never be in your “right” mind?

In fact, the notion that anyone can say a long standing history of mental illness without any long periods of stability isn’t a disability only proves their own ignorance.
Big difference between being on Prozac for six months due to the blues or whatever or spending your entire life balancing a multiple diagnosis, battling your own mind, dealing with med after med that doesn’t work or quits working or has horrendous side effects. And it is truly horrendous when the very meds that “correct” what’s causing the bad input then affect other normal aspects like appetite, weight, sex drive, sleep, lucidity…It’s a constant trade off.
And it makes you want to go off the meds just to remember how you should feel, in case there is something wrong that isn’t a side effect from the meds. Not to mention the manic episodes when you’re pretty sure you’re cured and could solve world hunger while riding a pegacorn over Atlantis. The mania convinces you that you’re happy, all is better, fuck the pills.
It’s an endless cycle.

And it is not WHINING.
Mentally ill people just want what we were born without that comes standard issue for most. Normal brain wiring. There’s no fun in constantly feeling like you’re in danger and can’t breathe or that life isn’t worth living and you should kill yourself and solve it all.
We want to NOT have such thoughts constantly.
Because if someone roofie’d you and you were held accountable for your actions and called a whiner…You’d be pissed.
We are at the mercy of our disorders.We live with the fallout, even though technically, we’re generally in altered states which leads to bad choices and bad behaviors. Like being drugged.

Our brain is pretty much the epicenter around which everything stems and it is the brain that directs everything to work in concert.
If the brain itself isn’t doing its job properly, how can we be expected to perceive things properly to keep everything working right?
One bad fuse, in our case, faulty wiring, can take an entire car down.
Is it so far fetched to view humans as such?

In closing…
NONE of us with mental illness want to feel this way. We don’t want the stigma, the judgments, the “looks”, as if we’re going to eat your young and spit out the gristle or something because mental illness means “bat shit violent crazy lock them up in the rubber ramada”.
Our thoughts get distorted. Through these distorted thoughts, our bodies react, with fight or flight, terror, breathing problems, stomach problems, ability to focus.
No different than any other illness that affects your ability to function “normally”.
Except we will never be cured or in remission.
We can only keep trying to be stabilized and riding the roller coaster of that is mental illness.

Next time you want to roll your eyes and scoff as mental illness being a disability…Remember a time when you were drunk, high, on pain killers, coming out of surgery and feeling out of sorts…How would you feel, if in that altered state through no fault of your own, your entire worth and intelligence was judged based on your inability to be coherent, walk a straight line, stay awake…All things you’re perfectly capable of when not under the influence of something.

No one wants to be judged for things out of their control.
It’s not shirking responsibility, it’s just facing that due to whatever twist of fate…We do not have the level playing field others do in which to make informed choices at all times.
Cut us some slack, please.


Countdown to New Psych Doc Time

Posted in anxiety disorders, biolar disorder with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

It’s 9:42 a.m. My appointment with the new psychiatrist is at 2:30 p.m.
Suffice it to say, I am literally sweating bullets, my gut is doing pretzel mambas, and there’s this mixed sense of dread and hope settled down into my bones.
All kinds of questions swirl about. Will he be a jerk? Will he be open to hearing me out? Will he just follow the notes of his predecessors? What if he’s dismissive?
I can handle about anything but dismissive. I have walked out on a shrink before because they were condescending and dismissive.(Zoloft doesn’t work because you don’t want it to work???? Really, this is a professional saying something so ignorant?)

To add to it, I have cramps and my spine feels like it went ten rounds with Pinhead, courtesy of menstrual dysphoria and all. I feel low but solid at the moment, mood wise. I am terrified one wrong word from him and I will either burst into tears or go full on pissed off manic. Neither state is optimal because I become irrational and run on emotion that is amplified by all the chemical and hormonal imbalances.
It’s bridge burning territory.

On the plus side, I guess, is my daughter is having a sleepover at Grandma’s tonight so if the shrink appointment turns to shit…I can come home, bawl, and lick my wounds without worrying about her seeing me come apart.
It really is post traumatic shrink disorder as opposed to pessimism.
I have had so many shit doctors and one decent one. It leads to serious trust and faith issues.

I have made a list (a rather incoherent one that makes sense only to me) to take with to the doctor appt. I know he doesn’t have a lot of time so I have prioritized the list in my own sloppy way.
Lamictal works great.
Xanax works well, could be raised until whatever this current anxiety plague resides.
Prozac…Willing to give it more time, but that mid day crash sucks.
The disturbed sleep thing definitely needs to be addressed, if only to explain why I am so exhausted all the time.

The primary focus today will be my memory/concentration issues. I have to get my point across on this one. Like the medication is not covered by insurance and I will be paying out of pocket which I can’t afford so I wouldn’t be asking for it if I didn’t know how much of a difference it had made in the past. I am willing to do it on a week by week basis, and if it doesn’t work this time, fine.
But for three years I’ve watched my life turn to absolute chaos because my mind can’t focus and organize and retain information due to all the swirling thoughts.
I need help.
It’s so bad you get replaced at volunteer jobs for friends, well, seems to me something a doctor would pay attention to.

I am literally sweating. Palms, armpits, neck. Anxiety is a fucking scourge. I have yet to get dressed because well…Um…I don’t even know. It’s that whole mental restraint thing. I know I need to, have to, but I am a deer in headlights, frozen and the car ain’t stopping and I am ain’t moving.
I have an ass ton of housework I’ve gotten behind on and I don’t even know where to start on that.
I’ve been drowning for so long and these doctors are supposed to be my lifeline to stay afloat. Epic fails. I can only do so much if the chemicals aren’t aligning properly. Being made to feel like I’m just not trying hard enough is counterproductive. Professionals should know that.
I’ve always said though, top of the med school class doesn’t end up in this armpit of a town. Can only get what is there. I get Dr. Chihuahua and Dr. Osteo run-up-and-down-the-stairs-to-cure-depression.

I’m also scared that this switch to in person doc may result in him taking away my Xanax. The new order doctors are just so biased against it. They push this clownapin and it does fuck all for me.
I could be making things worse for myself here.
It’s said, “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you never take.”
I suppose.
Then again, Sartre says, “Hell Is Other People.” It’s been the background on my desktop for three years now.

I would have less fear if I were attending a tea party with Michael Meyers, Jason, Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, Leatherface, and the sadistic fuck from Saw.
I know they’re out to kill me.
This new doctor…is unknown.
That’s petrifying.

Manic Depressive Mommy

Posted in biolar disorder with tags , , , , on March 28, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

***Yes,I know,it hasn’t been called manic depression in years. It is now bipolar disorder and NOT a mood disorder. Frankly,the DSM would rewrite traffic laws every year so that green lights mean slow down, red means go, and yellow means stop. They confuse and muddle everything. Proof is how borderline pretty much mimics bipolar in their diagnostic manual. Pfff. Manic depressive is a better description.
*****And no,this post is not just for bipolar moms.I can’t speak as a dad because ya know, I’m not one and won’t be arrogant enough to encompass their experience as a replica of my own. The gist is the same. Parenting with mental illness presents a whole new set of challenges.

Perhaps the MOST infuriating thing I’ve read all week is “mentally ill people should not have kids.”
It’s an ignorant statement.
Look at Dahmer and Bundy. They had normal upbringings and still…prolific serial killers no one even suspected. Could their parents have predicted they’d be psycho/sociopaths and avoided reproduction? Hardly.
Is it difficult to be a parent with a mental illness?
Hells yeah.
But probably not for the reasons most would think.
Is it possible a mentally ill person could fall victim to a dangerous aspect of their disorder thus rendering them an ineffective or dangerous parent?
Same goes for people without mental illness. Some people are shit parents. And some, try as they might, just can’t handle it. It’s not exclusive to mental illness.

My biggest thorn in the paw is that my illness does affect my daughter. She’s missed birthday parties, school events, and a lot of other normal rites of childhood because Mommy was in bad shape.
She’s also experienced manic episodes with mommy in which I let 12 kids play at our house and we had water gun fights and silly string wars and every kid in the neighborhood thought I was amazing.
She’s seen both ends of the spectrum and in between.
I don’t feel good when she asks, “Why are you sad,Mommy?”
I mean, I don’t cry in front of her short of a pet’s death. I guess even kids can sense when someone’s smiles are fake.
What can you do to explain depression to anyone? I don’t know why I am sad. Wish I did.
And the shifts between happy funball mommy and paranoid pajama mom are confusing for her, I am sure. It’s like I’m two different people.
The wonderful thing about kids is…As long as you’re not abusive…They accept you and forgive. They don’t judge you for being less than perfect.

I think perhaps the absolute WORST part of my multi diagnosis that affects my mothering most is…Anxiety disorder.
Incessant noise. I have always been sensitive to it, it puts me on edge, makes me irritable, and I literally cover my ears at times because it’s excrutiating.
It’s annoying enough to non mentally ill parents when a kid insists on yapping constantly or bouncing a ball off a wall ten thousand times.
Amplify that by a trillion.
THAT is where my parenting is affected most.
I am already on edge with traffic sounds, people yelling, children terrorizing the streets, lawnmowers, et al.
I can always find a place or way to dull that.
But a child…Especially a strong willed needy one like mine with no concept of indoor voice so your eardrums are in a perpetual state of cringing…
Yeah, that’s the hardest part. Grueling at times.
And I am starting to think it’s that strain that’s got me so exhausted by the end of the day. I only have so much to give and this child…Only child syndrome. All attention must be on her at all times. And if you dare to ask for five minutes of peace, she will go out of her way to have a fit, create a scene, and get that five minutes of attention one way or another.
DO NOT get me wrong. I love my daughter. She is why I keep fighting these disorders so hard. She is smart and funny and rubs my tummy and sings “Soft Kitty” to me when I have cramps. She’s an awesome kid.
She is also high spirited. My friend raised three daughters as a single dad and he even finds my child overbearing and hard to handle in large doses. So while my disorder may multiply things for me, it isn’t just me.
They’re so much easier as newborns and early toddlers.
Once they get that personality of their own and start indulging their sociopathic natures because they haven’t been socially conditioned otherwise…That’s the tough part.
I am supposed to teach this child what is acceptable.
She fights me at every turn.
I am getting better at consistent parenting.
But an ever changing mind frame and the anxiety that rarely dies down….
It’s a challenge times a thousand.

I don’t see how this makes me a less adequate parent than any other. Parenting is a tough gig.
My kid gets to school everyday. She has food, clean clothes, shelter, toys. She gets playdates, goes to Sunday School (provided they come get her and bring her back, cos ya know mommy’s panic disorder doesn’t do crowds.) We read. She’s already learning to write in cursive because she saw me do it and got curious. She knows she is lived and is pretty much (to my chagrin) glued to my elbow every minute she is awake.
So if I can churn out a healthy happy kid who adores me..
Remind me again why mentally ill people shouldn’t have kids?

She’s made me a better person. Taught me what real love is. No strings attached. Total devotion.
Sometimes she makes me want to go hide in the closet with noise canceling headphones.
I know non mentally ill parents who feel the same way.

Parenting, like life, is a mixed bad of the good, bad, ugly, and beautiful.
I don’t think mentally ill people are any less worthy of having kids than people who are just…well, shitty.
My kid’s sperm donor walked out almost four years ago, hasn’t contributed to her existence at all, hasn’t asked to see her. Yet he’s got a job in management and everyone thinks he’s this saint while I am the bad guy. (Yeah, he sells it that good.)
Personally, I think he’s the one who shouldn’t have had kids. This is his third he’s basically stopped supporting or seeing. He’s not mentally ill.
I’ve been here the last six years, meeting my child’s needs however I can, to the best of my ability. In spite of my illnesses.

Personally, I think we should all be born sterile, then have to go get a shot to have kids when we are ready.
Any asshole can make a baby.
It takes a good person to be a real parent.

Dirty Little Confessions Of A Manic Depressive

Posted in biolar disorder with tags , , , , on March 27, 2015 by morgueticiaatoms

I got to thinking…What could I possibly write about that would be considered brave and brutally honest? What could I post that might actually paint an accurate picture of manic episodes?
Then it hit me. Prior to all the bipolar shit…It was called manic depression. And it’s a far more accurate term than this broad category of bipolar.
You’re manic. You’re depressed. Doesn’t matter which one is prevalent. The disastrous results are the same.

So…I am going to drop my modesty, humiliation, and shame and just put it out there. I think there are too many people who blame their poor choices on simply being a bad person (and frankly, the professionals seem to encourage this.) I believe in patterns of behavior. If you only behave a certain way during a manic or depressive bout…That is the illness tainting your ability to think logically. Maybe it’s a fine line between blowing off personal responsibility by blaming the illness but for me, it’s no different than someone who has a burst vessel in their brain slamming into another car in traffic. Did they choose to do it and cause the wreck? No.
And I never chose to go off the rails manic or nutsy kookoo with the depression. Compared to my brief but possible stable periods, I behave nothing like that.
Dirty little confessions of manic depression.

I am not talking the good hypomania here. That’s generally productive and you feel good without the impulsiveness.
Full blown manic episodes mimic being drunk and high. And you feel that way even without chemical substances.

I have had sex with people I didn’t even like because I was bored and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Until the manic episode ended and I said, WTF?
I have gone on drinking binges and popped diet pills to the point of “omg,how are you not dead yet”. Yet when depressed, I don’t want to drink at all.
I have said and done things that were absolutely cruel and uncalled for.
I’ve been in one fight in my entire life(got my ass kicked) yet when transitioning from manic episodes into the weepy volatile phase…I have thrown things, hit people, yanked their hair. Given this was all fifteen years ago back before mood stabilizers were introduced, but it still haunts me.
I would quit jobs during a manic episode, not even considering the consequences because I was ten feet tall and bulletproof at the time.
I’d sink into such deep depressions and panic attacks, I’d just not show up for jobs because I was physically ill due to the mental illness and it was just less humiliating to be fired for not showing than admit I couldn’t handle it. Either way, I was gone.
I have let down people I cared about when manic. They reached out and I was flying too high with my own idiocy to be bothered.
When depressed, I have often curled up in bathtubs or closets with blankets and just sobbed for days. (Prior to having my child when I had the luxury.)
There were times the pain of being conscious was so much, I’d deliberately knock myself out on Trazadone and Serquel. If I woke up after ten hours, I’d take more. To the point of sleeping 18 hours a day seven days a week.
By comparison, when manic, I barely want to take my meds (even though I do) and I don’t want food or sleep or alone time. I want to feel alive, live in color, out loud. What I don’t realize is that I am loud, aggressive, I talk too much, too fast, and make no sense, and I am actually irritating. (Though the consensus is, I am way more tolerable manic than depressive, which says much for those around me being shallow.)
I barely consumed alcohol for the bulk of my disorder. My shrink had me on 3mg Xanax daily and it seemed to keep the anxiety demons bay. It wasn’t until the new shrink order and their bad attitude toward Xanax paraded in and plied me with Buspar, Ativan, Klonopin, Seroquel…All as helpful as a tic tac. So I fight until I get my Xanax back and I get it, but at half the dose I am used to.
It was then that the drinking started.
Throw in booze with mania…Yeah, I skipped state with a dude I met on the net, lost a decent job, and it took months for me to come down and realize…What the hell have I done? And then I hit rock bottom. He didn’t want to clean up, I did. Because once you wake up on the carpet surrounded by trash you haven’t taken out in days and spot maggots on the floor…You don’t know rock bottom.
It’s disgusting, I know. But it happened.
I called the local rehab center. They told me I had a coping problem, not an alcohol problem, and they couldn’t help me.
I had no insurance for therapy or meds because I’d lost the job.
I was…a mess.
And all I had going for me was the knowledge that I had to get my shit together and apparently, I only had myself to count on.
It started this seemingly endless cycle of months long depressions, minimal functionality, and epic manic episodes. (Until I got the right diagnosis and meds.)

I have had far few manic episodes since then. They last a week or two and I try to avoid any situation where I could make disastrous choices. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed.

The biggest problem has been the depression bouts. I will go days without bathing. Wear pajamas 24-7. I’ll eat like a pig one week, forget the eat the next. I become paranoid and fearful. I barely leave the house. I am fairly convinced the world is out to psychologically damage me. Well, more than I already am. I miss social outings, school outings for my kid. I am just…out of it.
Which runs off friends and my family just sighs. “Oh, she’s doing it again.”

There is no aspect to this illness that doesn’t mess with my existence. While the proper diagnosis and meds have helped immensely…It never sticks. And it’s frustrating.
More than anything, living with the shame of your actions during both extremes is a very hard pill to swallow.
People assume it’s your personality and you did it all on purpose.
That’s as logical as saying someone who is Roofie’d deserved to be raped.
Mental illness taints everything you see, feel, perceive. Yes, you did the behavior. But not being in your right mind was a crucial factor.
Does the world take one minute to ponder this? No.
So the stigma and shame just continue.

I pick myself up again and again and keep trying.
What else am I gonna do?
I will go until I can’t anymore.
But there is a difference between existing and living.
Mental illness is like living in black and white.
Sanity is living in color.

I have regrets. I have shame. I even cringe and call myself names for some of the lows I’ve hit.
But when all is said and done…
I’ve done the hardest thing.
I’ve faced up to the behavior, owned it, shared it, and moved past it.
That’s courage and self awareness.