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The struggle is real!

This month has been one of the hardest months of my life…and of course my birthday was in it XD

Seizures have really been taking their toll on my body, and my life. There’s nothing like a cluster of seizures and the resulting tiredness, confusion and lack of memory to completely fuck with you.

But more than that my bipolar had to shove its ugly nose in to remind me that it still existed and, even though these daily seizures are new, it was still the thing I had to be mindful of and fear.

Alongside seizures my bipolar made sure to make my mood plummet.

Overnight I went from being faintly chipper to battling against a tidal wave of depression. Literally overnight. This progressed within a day or two to me being swamped with suicidal thoughts.

I wanted to die, but I was lacking any form of motivation or energy to actually do the act – this (for me) was worse than being actively suicidal, as at least then you’re taking steps and although you feel totally desperate, you can see the end.

I had stretches of hours where I wouldn’t talk to my partner – no, in fact, where I couldn’t talk to my partner. I was completely numb, devoid of all emotion. Entire days where I didn’t get even the fleeting feeling of enjoyment and nothing was satisfying or made me feel warm or bubbly inside. I was dying. Several times a day, walking along, I would suddenly think to myself “Am I already dead? Is this why I feel nothing?”

Weeks passed in a blur of misery, the odd day that was going okay soon crumbling into despair and failure. Everyday I was crying, everyday I was telling my partner I wanted to leave. By the end my psychosis was picking up, and I believed with all my heart that my partner – my amazing partner who’s never anything but supportive – was a psychopath who was dating me simply to toy with the mind of a mentally ill person.

Finally today the despair lifted. Just like that.

People who haven’t experienced a serious mental health condition are never going to be able to understand the depth of despair or intensity of the emotions that sufferers have to endure. This is why Dr’s cheerily tell you something isn’t worth killing yourself over, why parents tell you to get a grip, and why friends family and loved ones seem to assume that your struggles aren’t as bad as you make out.

They are the lucky ones.

I’ve found when I’m surrounded by family or friends that don’t understand, the best things I can do are hug my pups, talk with my partner or, if I’m beyond that, search Pinterest.

Pinterest has some amazing quotes on there regarding mental illness, and I can always find ones that make me feel heard and understood. Here are some of my favourites:

This helped me see things from my partner’s point of view

This has become my all-time favourite quote 🙂

Another one that really resonates

This is so powerful, yet so simple

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Our own language

Quite often, and for long periods of time, I go mute.

I’ve been doing this since I was a young teen. I’d go days without really talking. My friends knew I wouldn’t respond to them verbally, my teachers knew I wouldn’t / couldn’t answer the register in class, and I just wouldn’t talk. I was quiet at the best of times, in class especially, but out of this selective mutism I was noisy and fun-loving with my friends.

Depression would change that, drastically and often, and people accepted this.

The silence has clung with me over the past decade, and even with my partner there will be periods of hours or days where I’ll say barely a word.

Being silent feels wonderful. It feels like hiding under a duvet from the world.

It’s not that I don’t want to communicate with people, especially my partner who I love and trust…it’s more that it’s too much effort, I don’t have the strength, and I worry about every little thing I say. Depression hits me that way.

On top of that there are days where I’m disassociating, days where my psychosis has my tongue tied and unable to get what I want to say from my brain and out my mouth. Most times I can write or type, so we’ve often used that as a way to communicate, but outside is tough.

Over the last year we’ve kind of invented our own language, our own sign language.

We have dozens of words and phrases; two different ways of saying I love you!

We can’t talk easily or quickly, but I can answer questions, ask for things, say yes and no, or tell him I need help.

Not only does this REALLY help me in terms of depression, when I’m just feeling the need to be quiet, or if my brain-to-mouth is befuddled, but it’s great for my paranoia too. I tend to talk in codes when we’re out in public, and my partner often gets confused about what the hell I’m talking about…

I get frustrated at the time because I think I’m being so obvious, and I’m so anxious someone will hear what I’m saying if I don’t make it code. With sign language, we can talk about a lot of things without me worrying, even in public.

And the really great thing is that, as some of the signs are subtle or very hard to interpret, I can make them around other people, family members or friends. Even in the company of others I can tell my partner I don’t feel good or I need help.

Very handy 🙂

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Just let me know what you’re doing, brain…

One of the things I’m struggling with SO DAMN MUCH at the moment is the unpredictability.

When I had severe bipolar I thought it was the worst thing ever.

Months and months of suicidal depression followed by weeks of psychotic manias, on repeat, over and over. I really thought it was the worst.

But I’m struggling even more now that my mood swings aren’t predictable and don’t follow a pattern. Alongside the constant psychosis (which is really, truly awful. Like living in a horror game) I now have extreme mood episodes that last just days.

It’s exhausting and confusing and upsetting.

It makes planning days impossible – what we might have wanted to be a nice relaxed indoor-day can’t be because I’m bouncing off the walls and if we don’t go out I’ll do something ridiculous.

Day visits with my parents have to be cancelled because my psychosis has reduced me to tears. Plans for enjoyable walks with my beloved partner and dog in the countryside abandoned because I’m so depressed all I can think about is suicide and I can’t leave the house.

I’m talking a day or two so manic I don’t sleep. Maybe a week where all I suffer is psychosis, constant, LOUD psychosis. Then depression where I can’t imagine, and don’t want to, living like this anymore. Then psychosis. Then depression or mania or more psychosis.

Yesterday and the day before I was manic. Can’t-sleep-spend-money manic. Today started okay. I felt a little off but I think I had a med-head or a psychosis overload. Late this evening I noticed myself getting panicky and sad and anxious.

The feeling got worse and more extreme. I had a panic attach. I freaked out.

There’s this tight feeling of overwhelming dread inside me. I’m struggling to breathe normally and behave normally and look normal on the outside. I can’t talk about this with my partner and I don’t 100% understand why.

I’m scared and trapped and oh so sad and numb and blank. I feel so completely overwhelmingly depressed and hopeless.

I could tell myself to just wait until tomorrow, because how I feel is changing almost daily now, but everything I switch between is horrible.

Mania – frustration, a frantic need to move and talk and beand zero need for sleep.
Depression – hopelessness, numbness, despair.
And psychosis – voices, scary thoughts, scary people, visual hallucinations that are all real, so so real.

This is all I get. This is me, this is my life.

Please don’t anybody advise me to go see a professional, or that things will get better. I know you mean well, but neither would be very helpful or appropriate right now. Thanks for your understanding friends.

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Psychosis, dogs and meds

I don’t know how I’m doing at the moment.

I’m still much more stable than I was before Citalopram, and am probably still closer to stable then I have been in about four years.

But things aren’t as good as they were, and I’m struggling.

The fact I’m struggling makes me scared, because I’m terrified Citalopram will stop working again and I’ll be thrown back into a life of terror and extreme, constant mood swings.

I’ve had a few days where I’ve struggled very much with depression, and tearfulness, and hopelessness. It doesn’t seem to be a constant though, just a day or two, and the constant is a more ‘meh’ mood…irritable, exhausted, miserable, and pain.

My neck pain, headaches and migraines have been really bad for a week or so now 😦

I’ve been having more visual hallucinations than had become usual and my paranoia is back. My anxiety still isn’t really visible, but I’m scared with my psychosis kicking up a notch it’s gonna come flooding back.

I am still able to enjoy things though, and I can get out the house still. I couldn’t cope with going somewhere busy, such as a supermarket, but I can enjoy brief walks around the neighbourhood – I can even walk our little foster dog on my own!

Because of our foster dog we can’t leave the house for very long at the moment – we’re building it up very slowly, today we’ll be leaving her for twenty minutes!

Anyway, that means we can’t make it to the GP appt which was supposed to be within the next week…before my mood went weird I was very confident about going to this appt and actually planning what I wanted to say, but now I’m relieved to have a reason we can’t go and when I think of an appt my heart hammers.

My partner phoned the surgery last Friday to ask for a phone appt, as my GP said we could do things that way. He’d talk to my partner about how I was doing and type up a repeat prescription, and the physical appt can be left another few weeks.

The surgery didn’t have any phone appts available though, there’s a week wait :/

I think we should have enough meds to last.

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Two good days in a row!!!

Not only have I been doing better than I have in a long time for the past week, but the past two days have been GOOD!

I honestly don’t remember the last time we had one truly good day, I think it was last summer, but having two in a row feels amazing 🙂

The most incredible thing was that both these good days involved me leaving the house, and not just that but going to busy places.

A month ago I couldn’t walk through our village or go to our local supermarket, because I would get so anxious.

I’d hear voices whispering that people were plotting against me, that everybody was spying on me – and I *knew* it was true. People were acting very suspiciously; people followed me and everybody watched me.

In the past few weeks I have met up with a friend and my parents several times (something I wasn’t able to do previously due to panic).

I have gone shopping, spoken to a few strangers even, and gone to busy places – an agricultural show, a kite festival etc. I definitely wasn’t able to do this a month ago, I couldn’t even leave the house!

My mood has been more stable, probably because the terror and panic has gone, and although I’m still experiencing hallucinations they’re of a different nature and I find they don’t make me so scared.

I’m dissociating A LOT, at least once a day for several hours, but even in that state I’m not anxious, or scared, whereas before I’d get very panicky and think it meant the world wasn’t real or I was being controlled.

Some days are entirely positive, and every day I have long chunks of time where I’m happy, content and enjoying myself.

I have energy, I’m sleeping okay, I’m extremely loving to my partner and pets.

I’m doing better than I have in years and years 🙂

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Sometimes days can be good

Mostly, this blog is a lot of doom and gloom, because a lot of our lives are difficult and miserable.

Well, today we had a really, really good day 🙂

We went to a kite festival, you can read all about the hilarities and see pics over on the other blog.

Not only was today a good day and we had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun, but I coped really well being out in public too, and at some points we were even in fairly busy areas. A few people even came up to give us advice about kite flying, and I didn’t think ‘shit they’re plotting to kill me’, I managed to respond to a few even!

The past few days have been the roughest since starting on Citalopram.

I don’t know why, but my anxiety has been highest than it has been the entire time, and my mood has been low. I’m still doing much better than pre-Citalopram times, but it hasn’t been fun.

Today, however, has been lots of fun 😉

Savour the good days!

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This isn’t real

Spacey-head ‘the world’s not real’ has struck.

I know 100% the world isn;t real. I know I’m not typing this I’m not thinking this I’m not in control of this. I know somebody is controlling me but sometimes their control slips and I know, I realise.

I know this. This is truth. I know it just how anybody reading this blog knows if they hold out a book and let go it will fall to the floor and not float to the ceiling.

People don’t understand that telling me things aren’t real and expecting me to go “oh shit, you’re right!” doesn’t work…because if I told you to look at the sky, and that the sky was actually red not blue, you wouldn’t believe it.

Me and my partner try have a thing where I believe him, whatever he says I have to believe him…if says something I’m thinking isn’t true or something I’m seeing isn’t there, I’m supposed to try my hardest to believe he’s telling the truth. But obviously it’s not easy. At all.

I can sit here and think “this isn’t real, nobody’s controlling me” over and over until the cows come home…but I’m still not going to believe what I’m telling myself, because my reality is saying different.

I can;t work out if it’s me typung this or them.